Hyaluronidase has two cruical isoforms, hyaluronidase-1 (Hyal-1) and hyaluronidase-2 (Hyal-2), which are essential for cellular hyaluronic acid (HA) catabolism to generate different-sized oligosaccharide fragments for performing different physiological functions. In particular, Hyal-1 is the major tumor-derived hyaluronidase. Thus, specific detection of one hyaluronidase isoform, especially Hyal-1, in live cells is of scientific significance but remains challenging. Herein, by use of differentiated tolerance capability of an amphiphilic HA-based nanoassembly to Hyal-1 and Hyal-2, we rationally design a Hyal-1 specific nanosensor, consisting of cholesterylamine-modified HA nanoassembly (CHA) and RNA-binding fluorophores (RBF). The RBF molecules were entrapped in CHA to switch off their fluorescence via aggregation caused quenching. However, CHA can be disassembled by Hyal-1 to release RBF, resulting in fluorescence activation. Moreover, the fluorescence of the released RBF is further enhanced by cytoplasm RNA. Owing to this cascade signal amplification, this nanosensor RBF@CHA displays a significant change of signal-to-background-noise ratio (120-fold) toward 16 μg/mL Hyal-1 in cellular lysates. In contrast, it is resistant to Hyal-2. By virtue of its selective and sensitive characteristics under a complicated matrix, RBF@CHA had been successfully applied for specifically visualizing Hyal-1 over Hyal-2 inside live cells for the first time, detecting a low level of intracellular Hyal-1 and distinguishing normal and cancer cells with different expressions of Hyal-1. This approach would be useful to better understand biological functions and related diseases of intracellular Hyal-1.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Analytical Chemistry