Accessible synthetic probes for staining actin inside platelets and megakaryocytes by employing Lifeact peptide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


Lifeact is a 17-residue peptide that can be employed in cell microscopy as a probe for F-actin when fused to fluorescent proteins, but therefore is not suitable for all cell types. We have conjugated fluorescently labelled Lifeact to three different cell-penetrating systems (a myristoylated carrier (myr), the pH low insertion peptide (pHLIP) and the cationic peptide TAT) as a strategy to deliver Lifeact into cells and developed new tools for actin staining with improved synthetic accessibility and low toxicity, focusing on their suitability in platelets and megakaryocytes. Using confocal microscopy, we characterised the cell distribution of the new hybrids in fixed cells, and found that both myr- and pHLIP-Lifeact conjugates provide efficient actin staining upon cleavage of Lifeact from the carriers, without affecting cell spreading. This new approach could facilitate the design of new tools for actin visualisation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1680-1688
Number of pages9
Issue number11
Early online date15 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2015


  • FRET, Lifeact, actin, cell-penetrating hybrids, fluorescent probes