Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cell Neurosci. 2011 Jun;47(2):79-92. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 Feb 19.

Fluorophore assisted light inactivation (FALI) of recombinant 5-HT₃A receptor constitutive internalization and function.

Author information

Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.


Fluorescent proteins and molecules are now widely used to tag and visualize proteins resulting in an improved understanding of protein trafficking, localization, and function. In addition, fluorescent tags have also been used to inactivate protein function in a spatially and temporally-defined manner, using a technique known as fluorophore-assisted light inactivation (FALI) or chromophore-assisted light inactivation (CALI). In this study we tagged the serotonin₃ A subunit with the α-bungarotoxin binding sequence (BBS) and subsequently labeled 5-HT₃A/BBS receptors with fluorescently conjugated α-bungarotoxin in live cells. We show that 5-HT₃A/BBS receptors are constitutively internalized in the absence of an agonist and internalization as well as receptor function are inhibited by fluorescence. The fluorescence-induced disruption of function and internalization was reduced with oxygen radical scavengers suggesting the involvement of reactive oxygen species, implicating the FALI process. Furthermore, these data suggest that intense illumination during live-cell microscopy may result in inadvertent FALI and inhibition of protein trafficking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center