Quantitative analysis of recombination between YFP and CFP genes of FRET biosensors introduced by lentiviral or retroviral gene transfer.
ABSTRACT: Biosensors based on the principle of Förster (or fluorescence) resonance energy transfer (FRET) have been developed to visualize spatio-temporal dynamics of signalling molecules in living cells. Many of them adopt a backbone of intramolecular FRET biosensor with a cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) and yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) as donor and acceptor, respectively. However, there remains the difficulty of establishing cells stably expressing FRET biosensors with a YFP and CFP pair by lentiviral or retroviral gene transfer, due to the high incidence of recombination between YFP and CFP genes. To address this, we examined the effects of codon-diversification of YFP on the recombination of FRET biosensors introduced by lentivirus or retrovirus. The YFP gene that was fully codon-optimized to E.coli evaded the recombination in lentiviral or retroviral gene transfer, but the partially codon-diversified YFP did not. Further, the length of spacer between YFP and CFP genes clearly affected recombination efficiency, suggesting that the intramolecular template switching occurred in the reverse-transcription process. The simple mathematical model reproduced the experimental data sufficiently, yielding a recombination rate of 0.002-0.005 per base. Together, these results show that the codon-diversified YFP is a useful tool for expressing FRET biosensors by lentiviral or retroviral gene transfer.
Project description:Fluorescent protein (FP) biosensors based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) are commonly used to study molecular processes in living cells. There are FP-FRET biosensors for many cellular molecules, but it remains difficult to perform simultaneous measurements of multiple biosensors. The overlapping emission spectra of the commonly used FPs, including CFP/YFP and GFP/RFP make dual FRET measurements challenging. In addition, a snapshot imaging modality is required for simultaneous imaging. The Image Mapping Spectrometer (IMS) is a snapshot hyperspectral imaging system that collects high resolution spectral data and can be used to overcome these challenges. We have previously demonstrated the IMS's capabilities for simultaneously imaging GFP and CFP/YFP-based biosensors in pancreatic ?-cells. Here, we demonstrate a further capability of the IMS to image simultaneously two FRET biosensors with a single excitation band, one for cAMP and the other for Caspase-3. We use these measurements to measure simultaneously cAMP signaling and Caspase-3 activation in pancreatic ?-cells during oxidative stress and hyperglycemia, which are essential components in the pathology of diabetes.
Project description:Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction is important for alpha-synuclein (?S) acquired toxicity. When targeted to the ER in SH-SY5Y cells, transient or stable expression of ?S resulted in the formation of compact ?S-positive structures in a small subpopulation of cells, resembling ?S inclusions. Thus, because of the limitations of immunofluorescence, we developed a set of ?S FRET biosensors (AFBs) able to track ?S conformation in cells. In native conditions, expression in i36, a stable cell line for ER ?S, of intermolecular AFBs, reporters in which CFP or YFP has been fused with the C-terminal of ?S (?S-CFP/?S-YFP), resulted in no Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), whereas expression of the intramolecular AFB, a probe obtained by fusing YFP and CFP with ?S N- or C- termini (YFP-?S-CFP), showed a positive FRET signal. These data confirmed that ?S has a predominantly globular, monomeric conformation in native conditions. Differently, under pro-aggregating conditions, the intermolecular AFB was able to sense significantly formation of ?S oligomers, when AFB was expressed in the ER rather than ubiquitously, suggesting that the ER can favor changes in ?S conformation when aggregation is stimulated. These results show the potential of AFBs as a new, valuable tool to track ?S conformational changes in vivo.
Project description:Direct visualization and light control of several cellular processes is a challenge, owing to the spectral overlap of available genetically encoded probes. Here we report the most red-shifted monomeric near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent protein, miRFP720, and the fully NIR Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) pair miRFP670-miRFP720, which together enabled design of biosensors compatible with CFP-YFP imaging and blue-green optogenetic tools. We developed a NIR biosensor for Rac1 GTPase and demonstrated its use in multiplexed imaging and light control of Rho GTPase signaling pathways. Specifically, we combined the Rac1 biosensor with CFP-YFP FRET biosensors for RhoA and for Rac1-GDI binding, and concurrently used the LOV-TRAP tool for upstream Rac1 activation. We directly observed and quantified antagonism between RhoA and Rac1 dependent on the RhoA-downstream effector ROCK; showed that Rac1 activity and GDI binding closely depend on the spatiotemporal coordination between these two molecules; and simultaneously observed Rac1 activity during optogenetic manipulation of Rac1.
Project description:Multiplexed imaging of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)-based biosensors potentially presents a powerful approach to monitoring the spatio-temporal correlation of signalling pathways within a single live cell. Here, we discuss the potential of homo-FRET based biosensors to facilitate multiplexed imaging. We demonstrate that the homo-FRET between pleckstrin homology domains of Akt (Akt-PH) labelled with mCherry may be used to monitor 3'-phosphoinositide accumulation in live cells and show how global analysis of time resolved fluorescence anisotropy measurements can be used to quantify this accumulation. We further present multiplexed imaging readouts of calcium concentration, using fluorescence lifetime measurements of TN-L15-a CFP/YFP based hetero-FRET calcium biosensor-with 3'-phosphoinositide accumulation.
Project description:The performance of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) biosensors depends on brightness and photostability, which are dependent on the characteristics of the fluorescent proteins that are employed. Yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) is often used as an acceptor but YFP is prone to photobleaching and pH changes. In this study, we evaluated the properties of a diverse set of acceptor fluorescent proteins in combination with the optimized CFP variant mTurquoise2 as the donor. To determine the theoretical performance of acceptors, the Förster radius was determined. The practical performance was determined by measuring FRET efficiency and photostability of tandem fusion proteins in mammalian cells. Our results show that mNeonGreen is the most efficient acceptor for mTurquoise2 and that the photostability is better than SYFP2. The non-fluorescent YFP variant sREACh is an efficient acceptor, which is useful in lifetime-based FRET experiments. Among the orange and red fluorescent proteins, mCherry and mScarlet-I are the best performing acceptors. Several new pairs were applied in a multimolecular FRET based sensor for detecting activation of a heterotrimeric G-protein by G-protein coupled receptors. Overall, the sensor with mNeonGreen as acceptor and mTurquoise2 as donor showed the highest dynamic range in ratiometric FRET imaging experiments with the G-protein sensor.
Project description:Epac1 is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rap1 that is activated by direct binding of cAMP. In vitro studies suggest that cAMP relieves the interaction between the regulatory and catalytic domains of Epac. Here, we monitor Epac1 activation in vivo by using a CFP-Epac-YFP fusion construct. When expressed in mammalian cells, CFP-Epac-YFP shows significant fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). FRET rapidly decreases in response to the cAMP-raising agents, whereas it fully recovers after addition of cAMP-lowering agonists. Thus, by undergoing a cAMP-induced conformational change, CFP-Epac-YFP serves as a highly sensitive cAMP indicator in vivo. When compared with a protein kinase A (PKA)-based sensor, Epac-based cAMP probes show an extended dynamic range and a better signal-to-noise ratio; furthermore, as a single polypeptide, CFP-Epac-YFP does not suffer from the technical problems encountered with multisubunit PKA-based sensors. These properties make Epac-based FRET probes the preferred indicators for monitoring cAMP levels in vivo.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The use of spectrally distinct variants of green fluorescent protein (GFP) such as cyan or yellow mutants (CFP and YFP, respectively) is very common in all different fields of life sciences, e.g. for marking specific proteins or cells or to determine protein interactions. In the latter case, the quantum physical phenomenon of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) is exploited by specific microscopy techniques to visualize proximity of proteins. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: When we applied a commonly used FRET microscopy technique--the increase in donor (CFP)-fluorescence after bleaching of acceptor fluorophores (YFP), we obtained good signals in live cells, but very weak signals for the same samples after fixation and mounting in commercial microscopy mounting fluids. This observation could be traced back to much faster bleaching of CFP in these mounting media. Strikingly, the opposite effect of the mounting fluid was observed for YFP and also for other proteins such as Cerulean, TFP or Venus. The changes in photostability of CFP and YFP were not caused by the fixation but directly dependent on the mounting fluid. Furthermore we made the interesting observation that the CFP-fluorescence intensity increases by about 10-15% after illumination at the YFP-excitation wavelength--a phenomenon, which was also observed for Cerulean. This photoactivation of cyan fluorescent proteins at the YFP-excitation can cause false-positive signals in the FRET-microscopy technique that is based on bleaching of a yellow FRET acceptor. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that photostability of fluorescent proteins differs significantly for various media and that CFP bleaches significantly faster in commercial mounting fluids, while the opposite is observed for YFP and some other proteins. Moreover, we show that the FRET microscopy technique that is based on bleaching of the YFP is prone to artifacts due to photoactivation of cyan fluorescent proteins under these conditions.
Project description:To investigate the proteolytic mechanism of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and to explore amyloid-beta (A beta) generation in living neurons.DNA fragments were amplified by PCR or synthesized. The four fragments, CFP, 54bp, YFP and C99 were ligated into pcDNA3.0 vector to construct the recombinant plasmids pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP and pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP-C99. The SH-SY5Y cells were transiently transfected with pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP or pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP-C99. The expression of fusion gene was examined under a multiphoton laser scanning microscope. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) was used to measure the beta cleavage and gamma cleavage of APP. A beta generation was confirmed by immunocytochemistry and multiphoton laser scanning microscopy. Cell viability was tested by MTT assay at different time points.(1) The double restriction endonuclease digestion and sequencing analysis confirmed the authenticity of the recombinant plasmids pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP and pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP-C99. (2) Blue and yellow fluorescences were detected in the transfected cells. (3) FRET occurred in pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP-transfected cells but not in pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP-C99-transfected cells. (4) A beta was produced in the pcDNA3.0-CFP-54bp-YFP-C99 transfected cells. (5) A beta-deposition was widespread in the cell. (6) Cell viability decreased along with the intracellular A beta deposition.C99 is important for the APP beta cleavage. A beta may be generated and deposited in cells at the early stage of Alzheimeros disease. Intracellular A beta accumulation brings deleterious effects on cells.
Project description:Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) act as zinc-dependent endopeptidases that cleave proteins required for neurotransmitter release. To detect toxin activity, fragments of the toxin substrate proteins, synaptobrevin (Syb) or synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25), were used to link cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). Cleavage of these fusion proteins by BoNTs abolished fluorescence resonance energy transfer between the CFP and YFP, providing a sensitive means to detect toxin activity in real-time in vitro. Furthermore, using full-length SNAP-25 and Syb as the linkers, we report two fluorescent biosensors that can detect toxin activity within living cells. Cleavage of the SNAP-25 fusion protein abolished fluorescence resonance energy transfer between CFP and YFP, and cleavage of Syb resulted in spatial redistribution of YFP fluorescence in cells. This approach provides a means to carry out cell-based screening of toxin inhibitors and to study toxin activity in situ. By using these biosensors, we found that the subcellular localizations of SNAP-25 and Syb are critical for efficient cleavage by BoNT/A and B, respectively.
Project description:Human APPL1 and APPL2 are homologous RAB5 effectors whose binding partners include a diverse set of transmembrane receptors, signaling proteins, and phosphoinositides. APPL proteins associate dynamically with endosomal membranes and are proposed to function in endosome-mediated signaling pathways linking the cell surface to the cell nucleus. APPL proteins contain an N-terminal Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain, a central pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, and a C-terminal phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain. Previous structural and biochemical studies have shown that the APPL BAR domains mediate homotypic and heterotypic APPL-APPL interactions and that the APPL1 BAR domain forms crescent-shaped dimers. Although previous studies have shown that APPL minimal BAR domains associate with curved cell membranes, direct interaction between APPL BAR domains on cell membranes in vivo has not been reported.Herein, we used a laser-scanning confocal microscope equipped with a spectral detector to carry out fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments with cyan fluorescent protein/yellow fluorescent protein (CFP/YFP) FRET donor/acceptor pairs to examine interactions between APPL minimal BAR domains at the subcellular level. This comprehensive approach enabled us to evaluate FRET levels in a single cell using three methods: sensitized emission, standard acceptor photobleaching, and sequential acceptor photobleaching. We also analyzed emission spectra to address an outstanding controversy regarding the use of CFP donor/YFP acceptor pairs in FRET acceptor photobleaching experiments, based on reports that photobleaching of YFP converts it into a CFP-like species.All three methods consistently showed significant FRET between APPL minimal BAR domain FRET pairs, indicating that they interact directly in a homotypic (i.e., APPL1-APPL1 and APPL2-APPL2) and heterotypic (i.e., APPL1-APPL2) manner on curved cell membranes. Furthermore, the results of our experiments did not show photoconversion of YFP into a CFP-like species following photobleaching, supporting the use of CFP donor/YFP acceptor FRET pairs in acceptor photobleaching studies.