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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2006 Oct;10(5):409-16. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

Imaging molecular interactions in living cells by FRET microscopy.

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  • 1Departamento de Química Orgánica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, Pabellón II, Buenos Aires, Argentina. eli@qo.fcen.uba.ar

Abstract

Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is applied extensively in all fields of biological research and technology, generally as a 'nanoruler' with a dynamic range corresponding to the intramolecular and intermolecular distances characterizing the molecular structures that regulate cellular function. The complex underlying network of interactions reflects elementary reactions operating under strict spatio-temporal control: binding, conformational transition, covalent modification and transport. FRET imaging provides information about all these molecular processes with high specificity and sensitivity via probes expressed by or introduced from the external medium into the cell, tissue or organism. Current approaches and developments in the field are discussed with emphasis on formalism, probes and technical implementation.

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