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PLoS One. 2010 Aug 30;5(8):e12471. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012471.

APPL proteins FRET at the BAR: direct observation of APPL1 and APPL2 BAR domain-mediated interactions on cell membranes using FRET microscopy.

Author information

1
Department of Cancer Biology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States of America. chial.heidi@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Human APPL1 and APPL2 are homologous RAB5 effectors whose binding partners include a diverse set of transmembrane receptors, signaling proteins, and phosphoinositides. APPL proteins associate dynamically with endosomal membranes and are proposed to function in endosome-mediated signaling pathways linking the cell surface to the cell nucleus. APPL proteins contain an N-terminal Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain, a central pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, and a C-terminal phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain. Previous structural and biochemical studies have shown that the APPL BAR domains mediate homotypic and heterotypic APPL-APPL interactions and that the APPL1 BAR domain forms crescent-shaped dimers. Although previous studies have shown that APPL minimal BAR domains associate with curved cell membranes, direct interaction between APPL BAR domains on cell membranes in vivo has not been reported.

METHODOLOGY:

Herein, we used a laser-scanning confocal microscope equipped with a spectral detector to carry out fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments with cyan fluorescent protein/yellow fluorescent protein (CFP/YFP) FRET donor/acceptor pairs to examine interactions between APPL minimal BAR domains at the subcellular level. This comprehensive approach enabled us to evaluate FRET levels in a single cell using three methods: sensitized emission, standard acceptor photobleaching, and sequential acceptor photobleaching. We also analyzed emission spectra to address an outstanding controversy regarding the use of CFP donor/YFP acceptor pairs in FRET acceptor photobleaching experiments, based on reports that photobleaching of YFP converts it into a CFP-like species.

CONCLUSIONS:

All three methods consistently showed significant FRET between APPL minimal BAR domain FRET pairs, indicating that they interact directly in a homotypic (i.e., APPL1-APPL1 and APPL2-APPL2) and heterotypic (i.e., APPL1-APPL2) manner on curved cell membranes. Furthermore, the results of our experiments did not show photoconversion of YFP into a CFP-like species following photobleaching, supporting the use of CFP donor/YFP acceptor FRET pairs in acceptor photobleaching studies.

PMID:
20814572
PMCID:
PMC2930004
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0012471
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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