Single-molecule imaging at high fluorophore concentrations by local activation of dye.
ABSTRACT: Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy is a powerful tool for observing biomolecular interactions with high spatial and temporal resolution. Detecting fluorescent signals from individual labeled proteins above high levels of background fluorescence remains challenging, however. For this reason, the concentrations of labeled proteins in in vitro assays are often kept low compared to their in vivo concentrations. Here, we present a new fluorescence imaging technique by which single fluorescent molecules can be observed in real time at high, physiologically relevant concentrations. The technique requires a protein and its macromolecular substrate to be labeled each with a different fluorophore. Making use of short-distance energy-transfer mechanisms, only the fluorescence from those proteins that bind to their substrate is activated. This approach is demonstrated by labeling a DNA substrate with an intercalating stain, exciting the stain, and using energy transfer from the stain to activate the fluorescence of only those labeled DNA-binding proteins bound to the DNA. Such an experimental design allowed us to observe the sequence-independent interaction of Cy5-labeled interferon-inducible protein 16 with DNA and the sliding via one-dimensional diffusion of Cy5-labeled adenovirus protease on DNA in the presence of a background of hundreds of nanomolar Cy5 fluorophore.
Project description:Fluorescently labeled proteins can improve the detection sensitivity and have been widely used in a variety of biological measurements. In single-molecule assays, site-specific labeling of proteins enables the visualization of molecular interactions, conformational changes in proteins, and enzymatic activity. In this study, based on a flexible linker in the Escherichia coli RecQ helicase, we established a scheme involving a combination of fluorophore labeling and sortase A ligation to allow site-specific labeling of the HRDC domain of RecQ with a single Cy5 fluorophore, without inletting extra fluorescent domain or peptide fragment. Using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer, we visualized that Cy5-labeled HRDC could directly interact with RecA domains and could bind to both the 3' and 5' ends of the overhang DNA dynamically in vitro for the first time. The present work not only reveals the functional mechanism of the HRDC domain, but also provides a feasible method for site-specific labeling of a domain with a single fluorophore used in single-molecule assays.
Project description:Current microarray assay technology predominately uses fluorescence as a detectable signal end point. This study assessed real-time in situ surface hybridization capture kinetics for single printed DNA microspots on solid array surfaces using fluorescence. The influence of the DNA target and probe cyanine dye position on oligo-DNA duplex formation behavior was compared in solution versus surface-hybridized single DNA printed spots using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analysis. Fluorophore Cy3/Cy5 fluorescence intensities were analyzed both through the printed hybridized DNA spot thickness and radially across single-spot surfaces. Confocal single-spot imaging shows that real-time in situ hybridization kinetics with constant target concentrations changes as a function of the printed probe density. Target-specific imaging in single spots exhibits a heterogeneous printed probe radial density that influences hybridization spatially and temporally via radial hemispherical diffusion of dye-labeled target from the outside edge of the spot to the interior. FRET of the surface-captured target occurs irrespective of the probe/target fluorophore position, resulting from excess printed probe density and spot thickness. Both heterogeneous probe density distributions in printed spots and the fluorophore position on short DNA oligomers influence duplex formation kinetics, hybridization efficiencies, and overall fluorescence intensity end points in surface-capture formats. This analysis is important to understanding, controlling, and quantifying the array assay signal essential to reliable application of the surface-capture format.
Project description:The fluorescent intensity of Cy3 and Cy5 dyes is strongly dependent on the nucleobase sequence of the labeled oligonucleotides. Sequence-dependent fluorescence may significantly influence the data obtained from many common experimental methods based on fluorescence detection of nucleic acids, such as sequencing, PCR, FRET, and FISH. To quantify sequence dependent fluorescence, we have measured the fluorescence intensity of Cy3 and Cy5 bound to the 5' end of all 1024 possible double-stranded DNA 5mers. The fluorescence intensity was also determined for these dyes bound to the 5' end of fixed-sequence double-stranded DNA with a variable sequence 3' overhang adjacent to the dye. The labeled DNA oligonucleotides were made using light-directed, in situ microarray synthesis. The results indicate that the fluorescence intensity of both dyes is sensitive to all five bases or base pairs, that the sequence dependence is stronger for double- (vs single-) stranded DNA, and that the dyes are sensitive to both the adjacent dsDNA sequence and the 3'-ssDNA overhang. Purine-rich sequences result in higher fluorescence. The results can be used to estimate measurement error in experiments with fluorescent-labeled DNA, as well as to optimize the fluorescent signal by considering the nucleobase environment of the labeling cyanine dye.
Project description:The novel synthesis of a dual-modality, pentamethine cyanine (Cy5) fluorescent, 18F positron emission tomography (PET) imaging probe is reported. The probe shows a large extinction coefficient and large quantum yield in the biologically transparent, near-infrared window (650-900 nm) for in vivo fluorescent imaging. This fluorophore bears the isotope, 18F, giving a 18F-PET/near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF), bi-modal imaging probe, that combines the long-term stability of NIRF and the unlimited penetration depth of PET imaging. The bi-modal probe is labeled with 18F in a quick, one-step reaction, which is important in working with the rapid decay of 18F. The bi-modal probe bears a free carboxyl group, highlighting a PET/NIRF synthon that can be conjugated onto many advanced biomolecules for biomarker-specific in vivo dual-modal PET/NIR tumor imaging, confocal histology, and utility in multi-fluorophore, fluorescence-guided surgery. Its potential in vivo biocompatibility is explored in a quick proof-of-principal in vivo study. The dye is delivered to A549 xenograft flank-tumors to generate PET and NIRF signals at the tumor site. The tumor distribution is confirmed in ex vivo gamma counting and imaging. Pentamethine cyanine (Cy5) has the ability to preferentially accumulate in tumor xenografts. We substitute the PET/NIRF probe for Cy5, and explore this phenomenon.
Project description:Many classes of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)-binding RNAs and proteins are of interest as potential drug targets in diverse therapeutic areas, from infectious diseases to cancer. In the former case, the SAM-I riboswitch is an attractive target because this structured RNA element is found only in bacterial mRNAs and regulates multiple genes in several human pathogens. Here, we describe the synthesis of stable and fluorescent analogs of SAM in which the fluorophore is introduced through a functionalizable linker to the ribose. A Cy5-labeled SAM analog was shown to bind several SAM-I riboswitches via in-line probing and fluorescence polarization assays, including one from Staphylococcus aureus that controls the expression of SAM synthetase in this organism. A fluorescent ligand displacement assay was developed and validated for high-throughput screening of compounds to target the SAM-I riboswitch class.
Project description:Currently most of the fluorogenic probes are designed for the detection of enzymes which work by converting the non-fluorescence substrate into the fluorescence product via an enzymatic reaction. On the other hand, the design of fluorogenic probes for non-enzymatic proteins remains a great challenge. Herein, we report a general strategy to create near-IR fluorogenic probes, where a small molecule ligand is conjugated to a novel ?-phenyl-substituted Cy5 fluorophore, for the selective detection of proteins through a non-enzymatic process. Detail mechanistic studies reveal that the probes self-assemble to form fluorescence-quenched J-type aggregate. In the presence of target analyte, bright fluorescence in the near-IR region is emitted through the recognition-induced disassembly of the probe aggregate. This Cy5 fluorophore is a unique self-assembly/disassembly dye as it gives remarkable fluorescence enhancement. Based on the same design, three different fluorogenic probes were constructed and one of them was applied for the no-wash imaging of tumor cells for the detection of hypoxia-induced cancer-specific biomarker, transmembrane-type carbonic anhydrase IX.
Project description:Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) can resolve the intrinsic fast-blinking kinetics (FBKs) of fluorescent molecules that occur on the order of microseconds. These FBKs can be heavily influenced by the microenvironments in which the fluorescent molecules are contained. In this work, FCS is used to monitor the dynamics of fluorescence emission from Cy5 labeled on DNA probes. We found that the FBKs of Cy5 can be tuned by having more or less unpaired guanines (upG) and thymines (upT) around the Cy5 dye. The observed FBKs of Cy5 are found to predominantly originate from the isomerization and back-isomerization processes of Cy5, and Cy5-nucleobase interactions are shown to slow down these processes. These findings lead to a more precise quantification of DNA hybridization using FCS analysis, in which the FBKs play a major role rather than the diffusion kinetics. We further show that the alterations of the FBKs of Cy5 on probe hybridization can be used to differentiate DNA targets with single-nucleotide differences. This discrimination relies on the design of a probe-target-probe DNA three-way-junction, whose basepairing configuration can be altered as a consequence of a single-nucleotide substitution on the target. Reconfiguration of the three-way-junction alters the Cy5-upG or Cy5-upT interactions, therefore resulting in a measurable change in Cy5 FBKs. Detection of single-nucleotide variations within a sequence selected from the Kras gene is carried out to validate the concept of this new method.
Project description:Cy3 and Cy5 are among the most commonly used oligonucleotide labeling molecules. Studies of nucleic acid structure and dynamics use these dyes, and they are ubiquitous in microarray experiments. They are sensitive to their environment and have higher quantum yield when bound to DNA. The fluorescent intensity of terminal cyanine dyes is also known to be significantly dependent on the base sequence of the oligonucleotide. We have developed a very precise and high-throughput method to evaluate the sequence dependence of oligonucleotide labeling dyes using microarrays and have applied the method to Cy3 and Cy5. We used light-directed in-situ synthesis of terminally-labeled microarrays to determine the fluorescence intensity of each dye on all 1024 possible 5'-labeled 5-mers. Their intensity is sensitive to all five bases. Their fluorescence is higher with 5' guanines, and adenines in subsequent positions. Cytosine suppresses fluorescence. Intensity falls by half over the range of all 5-mers for Cy3, and two-thirds for Cy5. Labeling with 5'-biotin-streptavidin-Cy3/-Cy5 gives a completely different sequence dependence and greatly reduces fluorescence compared with direct terminal labeling.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In vitro assays that determine activities of drug candidates with isolated targets have only limited predictive value for activities in cellular assays. Poor membrane permeability and off-target binding are major reasons for such discrepancies. However, it still difficult to directly analyse off-target binding at the same time as target binding, on a subcellular level. Here, we present a combination of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCCS) as a solution to this problem. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: The well-established dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor methotrexate and the kinase inhibitors PD173956 and purvalanol B were conjugated via polyethylene glycol linkers with the fluorophore Cy5. The cellular uptake and subcellular distribution of these compounds in single human cancer-derived cells were investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy. In addition, molecular interactions inside the cell with the respective target proteins and off-target binding were detected simultaneously in the nanomolar range by FCCS and FCS, respectively, using cells expressing green fluorescent protein fusion proteins of dihydrofolate reductase and Abelson kinase 1. KEY RESULTS: Large differences in the interaction patterns were found for these compounds. For methotrexate-Cy5, drug-target interactions could be detected and dissociation constants determined. In contrast, PD173956-Cy5 showed strong interactions with intracellular high-molecular weight structures, other than its target. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: The combination of FCS and FCCS provides a powerful means to assess subcellular pharmacokinetics and dynamics of drug candidates at nanomolar concentrations.
Project description:Single-molecule fluorescence imaging is often incompatible with physiological protein concentrations, as fluorescence background overwhelms an individual molecule's signal. We solve this problem with a new imaging approach called PhADE (PhotoActivation, Diffusion and Excitation). A protein of interest is fused to a photoactivatable protein (mKikGR) and introduced to its surface-immobilized substrate. After photoactivation of mKikGR near the surface, rapid diffusion of the unbound mKikGR fusion out of the detection volume eliminates background fluorescence, whereupon the bound molecules are imaged. We labeled the eukaryotic DNA replication protein flap endonuclease 1 with mKikGR and added it to replication-competent Xenopus laevis egg extracts. PhADE imaging of high concentrations of the fusion construct revealed its dynamics and micrometer-scale movements on individual, replicating DNA molecules. Because PhADE imaging is in principle compatible with any photoactivatable fluorophore, it should have broad applicability in revealing single-molecule dynamics and stoichiometry of macromolecular protein complexes at previously inaccessible fluorophore concentrations.