Rapid and Specific Imaging of Extracellular Signaling Molecule Adenosine Triphosphate with a Self-Phosphorylating DNAzyme Academic Article uri icon

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  • Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is a central extracellular signaling agent involved in various physiological and pathological processes. However, precise measurements of the temporal and spatial components of ATP dynamics are lacking due primarily to the limitations of available methods for ATP detection. Here, we report on the first effort to design a self-phosphorylating DNAzyme (SPDz) sensor for fluorescence imaging of ATP. In response to ATP, SPDz sensors exhibit subsecond response kinetics, extremely high specificity, and micromolar affinities. In particular, we demonstrate cell-surface-anchored SPDz sensors for fluorescence imaging of both stress-induced endogenous ATP release in astrocytes and mechanical stimulation-evoked ATP release at the single-cell level. We also validated their utility for visualizing the rapid dynamic properties of ATP signaling upon electrical stimulation in astrocytes. Thus, SPDz sensors are robust tools for monitoring ATP signaling underlying diverse cellular processes.


  • Zhao, Dan
  • Chang, Dingran
  • Zhang, Qiang
  • Chang, Yangyang
  • Liu, Bo
  • Sun, Changsen
  • Li, Zhonping
  • Dong, Chuan
  • Liu, Meng
  • Li, Yingfu

publication date

  • September 22, 2021