The lateral organization of molecules in the cellular plasma membrane plays an important role in cellular signaling. A critical parameter for membrane molecular organization is how the membrane lipids are packed. Polarity-sensitive dyes are powerful tools to characterize such lipid membrane order, employing, for example, confocal and two-photon microscopy. The investigation of potential nanodomains, however, requires the use of superresolution microscopy. Here, we test the performance of the polarity-sensitive membrane dyes Di-4-ANEPPDHQ, Di-4-AN(F)EPPTEA, and NR12S in superresolution stimulated emission depletion microscopy. Measurements on cell-derived membrane vesicles, in the plasma membrane of live cells, and on single virus particles, show the high potential of these dyes for probing nanoscale membrane heterogeneity.
Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.