In Situ and Timed Extraction of Cellular Peptides from Live HeLa Cells by Photo-Switchable Mesoporous Silica Nanocarriers

In situ and timed extraction of cellular peptides is a great challenge for dynamic and global proteomic investigation of live cells. In this work, a mesoporous silica nanocarrier with photoswitchable off/on coumarin gates (MSNcg) was developed for capturing peptides from the cytosol of living HeLa cells. The MSNcg was constructed from mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN) and its subsequent modifications with TAT peptides and coumarin, to endow the features of the size-exclusion effect of the mesoporous silica and the localization of nanocarrier at cytosol by TAT peptide and to control the closing and opening of the coumarin gates by reversible photodimerization and photocleavage. With the pre-endocytosing of MSNcg, 126 cytosol peptides were harvested and identified from living HeLa cells. Moreover, 3 peptides were captured containing dynamic and changeable information. The extraction strategy of using MSNcg exhibited promising potentials in the in situ and dynamic extraction of endogenous peptides and/or proteins from living systems.