Hyperspectral imaging for simultaneous measurements of two FRET biosensors in pancreatic ?-cells.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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: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:Multicolor imaging based on genetically encoded fluorescent proteins (FPs) is a powerful approach to study several dynamic processes in a live cell. We report a monomeric orange FP with a large Stokes shift (LSS), called LSSmOrange (excitation/emission at 437/572 nm), which fills up an existing spectral gap between the green-yellow and red LSSFPs. Brightness of LSSmOrange is five-fold larger than that of the brightest red LSSFP and similar to the green-yellow LSSFPs. LSSmOrange allows numerous multicolor applications using a single-excitation wavelength that was not possible before. Using LSSmOrange we developed four-color single-laser fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy, solely based on FPs. The quadruple cross-correlation combined with photon counting histogram techniques allowed quantitative single-molecule analysis of particles labeled with four FPs. LSSmOrange was further applied to simultaneously image two Förster resonance energy transfer pairs, one of which is the commonly used CFP-YFP pair, with a single-excitation laser line. The combination of LSSmOrange-mKate2 and CFP-YFP biosensors enabled imaging of apoptotic activity and calcium fluctuations in real time. The LSSmOrange mutagenesis, low-temperature, and isotope effect studies revealed a proton relay for the excited-state proton transfer responsible for the LSS phenotype.
Project description:Both Src kinase and membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) play critical roles in cancer invasion and metastasis. It is not clear, however, how the spatiotemporal activation of these two critical enzymes is coordinated in response to an oncogenic epithelial growth factor (EGF) stimulation. Here, we have visualized the activities of Src and MT1-MMP concurrently in a single live cell by combining two fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) pairs with distinct spectra: (a) cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) and yellow FP (YFP), and (b) orange FP (mOrange2) and red FP (mCherry). The new FRET pair, mOrange2 and mCherry, was first characterized in vitro and in cultured mammalian cells. When integrated with the CFP/YFP pair, this new pair allowed the revelation of an immediate, rapid, and relatively dispersed Src activity. In contrast, the MT1-MMP activity displayed a slow increase at the cell periphery, although Src was shown to play a role upstream to MT1-MMP globally. This difference in the activation patterns of MT1-MMP and Src in response to EGF is further confirmed using an optimized MT1-MMP biosensor capable of being rapidly cleaved by MT1-MMP. The results indicate that although Src and MT1-MMP act globally in the same signaling pathway, their activations differ in space and time upon EGF stimulation, possibly mediated by different sets of intermediates at different subcellular locations. Our results also showed the potential of mOrange2/mCherry as a new FRET pair, together with the popular variants of CFP and YFP, for the simultaneous visualization of multiple molecular activities in a single live cell.
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: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:Presenilin (PS)/?-secretase plays a pivotal role in essential cellular events via proteolytic processing of transmembrane proteins that include APP and Notch receptors. However, how PS/?-secretase activity is spatiotemporally regulated by other molecular and cellular factors and how the changes in PS/?-secretase activity influence signaling pathways in live cells are poorly understood. These questions could be addressed by engineering a new tool that enables multiplexed imaging of PS/?-secretase activity and additional cellular events in real-time. Here, we report the development of a near-infrared (NIR) FRET-based PS/?-secretase biosensor, C99 720-670 probe, which incorporates an immediate PS/?-secretase substrate APP C99 with miRFP670 and miRFP720 as the donor and acceptor fluorescent proteins, respectively. Extensive validation demonstrates that the C99 720-670 biosensor enables quantitative monitoring of endogenous PS/?-secretase activity on a cell-by-cell basis in live cells (720/670 ratio: 2.47 ± 0.66 (vehicle) vs. 3.02 ± 1.17 (DAPT), ** p < 0.01). Importantly, the C99 720-670 and the previously developed APP C99 YPet-Turquoise-GL (C99 Y-T) biosensors simultaneously report PS/?-secretase activity. This evidences the compatibility of the C99 720-670 biosensor with cyan (CFP)-yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-based FRET biosensors for reporting other essential cellular events. Multiplexed imaging using the novel NIR biosensor C99 720-670 would open a new avenue to better understand the regulation and consequences of changes in PS/?-secretase activity.
Project description:BACKGROUND: ?CaMKII plays central and essential roles in long-term potentiation (LTP), learning and memory. ?CaMKII is activated via binding with Ca²?/CaM in response to elevated Ca²? concentration. Furthermore, prolonged increase in Ca²? concentration leads to the auto-phosphorylation of ?CaMKII at T286, maintaining the activation of ?CaMKII even after Ca²?/CaM dissociation. Importantly, the active form of ?CaMKII is thought to exhibit conformational change. In order to elucidate the relationships between the interaction of ?CaMKII with CaM and the conformational change of ?CaMKII, we generated molecular probes (YFP-?CaMKII with CFP-CaM and YFP-?CaMKII-CFP) and performed time-lapse imaging of the interaction with CaM and the conformational change, respectively, in living cells using FRET. RESULTS: The interaction of YFP-?CaMKII with CFP-CaM and the conformational change of YFP-?CaMKII-CFP were induced simultaneously in response to increased concentrations of Ca²?. Consistent with previous predictions, high levels of Ca²? signaling maintained the conformational change of YFP-?CaMKII-CFP at the time when CFP-CaM was released from YFP-?CaMKII. These observations indicated the transfer of ?CaMKII conformational change from CaM-dependence to CaM-independence. Furthermore, analyses using ?CaMKII mutants showed that phosphorylation at T286 and T305/306 played positive and negative roles, respectively, during in vivo interaction with CaM and further suggested that CaM-dependent and CaM-independent conformational changed forms displays similar but distinct structures. CONCLUSIONS: Importantly, these structual differences between CaM-dependent and -independent forms of ?CaMKII may exhibit differential functions for ?CaMKII, such as interactions with other molecules required for LTP and memory. Our molecular probes could thus be used to identify therapeutic targets for cognitive disorders that are associated with the misregulation of ?CaMKII.
Project description:Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy is a powerful tool for imaging the interactions between fluorescently tagged proteins in two-dimensions. For FRET microscopy to reach its full potential, it must be able to image more than one pair of interacting molecules and image degradation from out-of-focus light must be reduced. Here we extend our previous work on the application of maximum likelihood methods to the 3-dimensional reconstruction of 3-way FRET interactions within cells. We validated the new method (3D-3Way FRET) by simulation and fluorescent protein test constructs expressed in cells. In addition, we improved the computational methods to create a 2-log reduction in computation time over our previous method (3DFSR). We applied 3D-3Way FRET to image the 3D subcellular distributions of HIV Gag assembly. Gag fused to three different FPs (CFP, YFP, and RFP), assembled into viral-like particles and created punctate FRET signals that become visible on the cell surface when 3D-3Way FRET was applied to the data. Control experiments in which YFP-Gag, RFP-Gag and free CFP were expressed, demonstrated localized FRET between YFP and RFP at sites of viral assembly that were not associated with CFP. 3D-3Way FRET provides the first approach for quantifying multiple FRET interactions while improving the 3D resolution of FRET microscopy data without introducing bias into the reconstructed estimates. This method should allow improvement of widefield, confocal and superresolution FRET microscopy data.