High affinity ligands for the targeting of SERT and NET
Hughes, Emma Bronwyn
Mental health problems related to dysfunction of serotonin transporter protein and norepinephrine transporter protein are an ever increasing burden on the population and the health care system. The Rosenthal lab uses a unique system that employs small molecule targeting ligands and quantum dots to image SERT and NET in live cells. The movement of the transporter proteins can be imaged in real time for much longer than with traditional flurophores due to the unique properties of the quantum dots. This project focused on testing new targeting ligands. The SERT targeting ligand IDT361 showed the ability to label SERT with quantum dots in live Hek293T cells. NET targeting ligand IDT545 was tested in live cells but did show high enough specificity to deter the uptake ability of NET in live cells and therefore is unlikely to be used in further study.