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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Mar 2;96(5):2135-40.

Dynamic and quantitative Ca2+ measurements using improved cameleons.

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1
Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0647, USA.

Abstract

Cameleons are genetically-encoded fluorescent indicators for Ca2+ based on green fluorescent protein variants and calmodulin (CaM). Because cameleons can be targeted genetically and imaged by one- or two-photon excitation microscopy, they offer great promise for monitoring Ca2+ in whole organisms, tissues, organelles, and submicroscopic environments in which measurements were previously impossible. However, the original cameleons suffered from significant pH interference, and their Ca2+-buffering and cross-reactivity with endogenous CaM signaling pathways was uncharacterized. We have now greatly reduced the pH-sensitivity of the cameleons by introducing mutations V68L and Q69K into the acceptor yellow green fluorescent protein. The resulting new cameleons permit Ca2+ measurements despite significant cytosolic acidification. When Ca2+ is elevated, the CaM and CaM-binding peptide fused together in a cameleon predominantly interact with each other rather than with free CaM and CaM-dependent enzymes. Therefore, if cameleons are overexpressed, the primary effect is likely to be the unavoidable increase in Ca2+ buffering rather than specific perturbation of CaM-dependent signaling.

PMID:
10051607
PMCID:
PMC26749
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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