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Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2009 Jul;2009(7):pdb.top57. doi: 10.1101/pdb.top57.

Indicators based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET).

Abstract

One of the major new trends in the design of indicators for optically imaging biochemical and physiological functions of living cells has been the exploitation of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). FRET is a well-known spectroscopic technique for monitoring changes in the proximity and mutual orientation of pairs of chromophores. It has long been used in biochemistry and cell biology to assess distances and orientations between specific labeling sites within a single macromolecule or between two separate molecules. More recently, macromolecules or molecular pairs have been engineered to change their FRET in response to biochemical and physiological signals such as membrane potential, cyclic AMP (cAMP), protease activity, free Ca(2+) and Ca(2+)-calmodulin (CaM) concentrations, protein-protein heterodimerization, phosphorylation, and reporter-gene expression. Because FRET is general, nondestructive, and easily imaged, it has proven to be one of the most versatile spectroscopic readouts available to the designer of new probes. FRET is particularly amenable to emission ratioing, which is more reliably quantifiable than single-wavelength monitoring and better suited than excitation ratioing to high-speed and laser-excited imaging. This article summarizes the photophysical principles of FRET and the types of indicators used.

PMID:
20147227
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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