Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to demonstrate the nuclear binding of flavanols and (--epigallocatechin gallate
Mueller-Harvey, I., Botchway, S., Feucht, W., Polster, J., Burgos, P. and Parker, A. (2010) Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to demonstrate the nuclear binding of flavanols and (--epigallocatechin gallate. Planta Medica, 76 (12). O_7. ISSN 1439-0221
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1264193
The use of light microscopy and DMACA staining strongly suggested that plant and animal cell nuclei act as sinks for flavanols [1, 2]. Detailed uv-vis spectroscopic titration experiments indicated that histone proteins are the likely binding sites in the nucleus . Here we report the development of a multi-photon excitation microscopy technique combined with fluorescent lifetime measurements of flavanols. Using this technique, (+) catechin, (-) epicatechin and (-) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) showed strikingly different excited state lifetimes in solution. Interaction of histone proteins with flavanols was indicated by the appearance of a significant τ2-component of 1.7 to 4.0ns. Tryptophan interference could be circumvented in the in vivo fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) experiments with 2-photon excitation at 630nm. This enabled visualisation and semi-quantitative measurements that demonstrated unequivocally the absorption of (+)catechin, (-)epicatechin and EGCG by nuclei of onion cells. 3D FLIM revealed for the first time that externally added EGCG penetrated the whole nucleus in onion cells. The relative proportions of EGCG in cytoplasm: nucleus: nucleoli were ca. 1:10:100. FLIM experiments may therefore facilitate probing the health effects of EGCG, which is the major constituent of green tea.