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Trends Biotechnol. 2010 Aug;28(8):407-15. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2010.05.002. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Lighting up multiprotein complexes: lessons from GPCR oligomerization.

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Unitat de Farmacologia, Departament de Patologia i Terapèutica Experimental, Facultat de Medicina, IDIBELL-Universitat de Barcelona, 08907 Barcelona, Spain.


Spatiotemporal characterization of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is essential in determining the molecular mechanisms of intracellular signaling processes. In this review, we discuss how new methodological strategies derived from non-invasive fluorescence- and luminescence-based approaches (FRET, BRET, BiFC and BiLC), when applied to the study of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) oligomerization, can be used to detect specific PPIs in live cells. These technologies alone or in concert with complementary methods (SRET, BRET or BiFC, and SNAP-tag or TR-FRET) can be extremely powerful approaches for PPI visualization, even between more than two proteins. Here we provide a comprehensive update on all the biotechnological aspects, including the strengths and weaknesses, of new fluorescence- and luminescence-based methodologies, with a specific focus on their application for studying PPIs.

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