Describing autophagy via analysis of individual organelles by capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence detection

Chad P. Satori, Edgar A. Arriaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Autophagy is a cellular process responsible for the degradation of intracellular cargo. Its dynamic nature and the multiple types of autophagy organelles present at a given time make current measurements, such as those done by Western blotting, insufficient to understand autophagy and its roles in aging and disease. Capillary electrophoresis coupled to laser induced fluorescence detection (CE-LIF) has been used previously to count and determine properties of individual organelles, but has never been used on autophagy organelles or for determination of changes of such properties. Here we used autophagy organelles isolated from L6 cells expressing GFP-LC3, which is an autophagy marker, to develop a CE-LIF method for the determination of the number of autophagy organelles, their individual GFP-LC3 fluorescence intensities, and their individual electrophoretic mobilities. These properties were compared under basal and rapamycin-driven autophagy, which showed differences in the number of detected organelles and electrophoretic mobility distributions of autophagy organelles. Vinblastine treatment was also used to halt autophagy and further characterize changes and provide additional insight on the nature of autophagy organelles. This approach revealed dramatic and opposite directions in changes of organelle numbers, GFP-LC3 contents, and electrophoretic mobilities during the duration of the vinblastine treatment. These trends suggested the identity of organelle types being detected. These observations demonstrate that individual organelle analysis by CE-LIF is a powerful technology to investigate the complexity and nature of autophagy, a process that plays critical roles in response to drug treatments, aging, and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11391-11400
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 3 2013


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