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Biophys J. 2007 Mar 15;92(6):2237-54. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Photophysics of Clomeleon by FLIM: discriminating excited state reactions along neuronal development.

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Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany.


In this work, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy in the time domain was used to study the fluorescence dynamics of ECFP and of the ratiometric chloride sensor Clomeleon along neuronal development. The multiexponential analysis of fluorophores combined with the study of the contributions of the individual lifetimes (decay-associated spectra) was used to discriminate the presence of energy transfer from other excited state reactions. A characteristic change of sign of the pre-exponential factors of lifetimes from positive to negative near the acceptor emission maxima was observed in presence of energy transfer. By fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, we could show that the individual conformations of CFP display differential quenching properties depending on their microenvironment. Suitability of Clomeleon as an optical indicator to obtain a direct readout of the intracellular chloride concentrations in living cells was verified by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopy. The simultaneous study of the photophysical properties of Clomeleon, the calcium indicator Cameleon, and ECFP with neuronal development provided a kinetic model for the mechanism when competitive quenching effects as well as energy transfer occur in the same molecule. Simultaneous analysis of donor and acceptor kinetics was necessary to discriminate Försters resonance energy transfer along neuronal development due to the different cellular effects involved.

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