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Biosens Bioelectron. 2012 Jan 15;31(1):292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2011.10.034. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Ratiometric fluorescence imaging of dual bio-molecular events in single living cells using a new FRET pair mVenus/mKOκ-based biosensor and a single fluorescent protein biosensor.

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Britton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics, Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics-Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, PR China.


Genetically coded fluorescent protein (FP)-based biosensors are powerful tools for the non-invasive tracking of molecular events in living cells. Although a variety of FP biosensors are available, the simultaneous imaging of multiple biosensors (multi-parameter imaging) in single living cells remains a challenge and is far from routinely used to elucidate the intricate networks of molecular events. In this study, we established a novel combination of FP biosensors for dual-parameter ratiometric imaging, consisting of a new fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) pair mVenus (yellow FP)/mKOκ (orange FP)-based (abbreviated as YO) biosensor and a single FP-based biosensor Grx1-roGFP2. Under our imaging condition, 1.4±0.05% of Grx1-roGFP2 signal contributes to the mVenus channel and 5.2±0.12% of the mVenus signal contributes to the Grx1-roGFP2 channel. We demonstrate that such low degree of cross-talk causes negligible distortion of the ratiometric signal of the YO-based FRET biosensor and Grx1-roGFP2. By using this dual-parameter ratiometric imaging approach, we achieved simultaneous imaging of Src/Ca(2+) signaling and glutathione (GSH) redox potential in a single cell, which was previously unattainable. Furthermore, we provided direct evidence that epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced Src signaling was negatively regulated by H(2)O(2) via its effect on GSH-based redox system, demonstrating the power of this dual-parameter imaging approach for elucidating new connections between different molecular events that occur in a single cell. More importantly, the dual-parameter imaging approach described in this study is highly extendable.

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