A Chemical Approach for Profiling Intracellular AKT Signaling Dynamics from Single Cells.

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We present here a novel chemical method to continuously analyze intracellular AKT signaling activities at single-cell resolution, without genetic manipulations. A pair of cyclic peptide-based fluorescent probes were developed to recognize the phosphorylated Ser474 site and a distal epitope on AKT. A Förster resonance energy transfer signal is generated upon concurrent binding of the two probes onto the same AKT protein, which is contingent upon the Ser474 phosphorylation. Intracellular delivery of the probes enabled dynamic measurements of the AKT signaling activities. We further implemented this detection strategy on a microwell single-cell platform, and interrogated the AKT signaling dynamics in a human glioblastoma cell line. We resolved unique features of the single-cell signaling dynamics following different perturbations. Our study provided the first example of monitoring the temporal evolution of cellular signaling heterogeneities and unveiled biological information that was inaccessible to other methods.


Institute for Systems Biology