Quantum dot-loaded monofunctionalized DNA icosahedra for single-particle tracking of endocytic pathways

Dhiraj Bhatia, Senthil Arumugam, Michel Nasilowski, Himanshu Joshi, Christian Wunder, Valérie Chambon, Ved Prakash, Chloé Grazon, Brice Nadal, Prabal K. Maiti, Ludger Johannes, Benoit Dubertret, Yamuna Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


Functionalization of quantum dots (QDs) with a single biomolecular tag using traditional approaches in bulk solution has met with limited success. DNA polyhedra consist of an internal void bounded by a well-defined three-dimensional structured surface. The void can house cargo and the surface can be functionalized with stoichiometric and spatial precision. Here, we show that monofunctionalized QDs can be realized by encapsulating QDs inside DNA icosahedra and functionalizing the DNA shell with an endocytic ligand. We deployed the DNA-encapsulated QDs for real-time imaging of three different endocytic ligands - folic acid, galectin-3 (Gal3) and the Shiga toxin B-subunit (STxB). Single-particle tracking of Gal3- or STxB-functionalized QD-loaded DNA icosahedra allows us to monitor compartmental dynamics along endocytic pathways. These DNA-encapsulated QDs, which bear a unique stoichiometry of endocytic ligands, represent a new class of molecular probes for quantitative imaging of endocytic receptor dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1119
Number of pages8
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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