Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2012 Aug 1;2012(8). pii: pdb.top070607. doi: 10.1101/pdb.top070607.

Cellular bioluminescence imaging.

Erratum in

Abstract

Bioluminescence imaging of live cells has recently been recognized as an important alternative to fluorescence imaging. Fluorescent probes are much brighter than bioluminescent probes (luciferase enzymes) and, therefore, provide much better spatial and temporal resolution and much better contrast for delineating cell structure. However, with bioluminescence imaging there is virtually no background or toxicity. As a result, bioluminescence can be superior to fluorescence for detecting and quantifying molecules and their interactions in living cells, particularly in long-term studies. Structurally diverse luciferases from beetle and marine species have been used for a wide variety of applications, including tracking cells in vivo, detecting protein-protein interactions, measuring levels of calcium and other signaling molecules, detecting protease activity, and reporting circadian clock gene expression. Such applications can be optimized by the use of brighter and variously colored luciferases, brighter microscope optics, and ultrasensitive, low-noise cameras. This article presents a review of how bioluminescence differs from fluorescence, its applications to cellular imaging, and available probes, optics, and detectors. It also gives practical suggestions for optimal bioluminescence imaging of single cells.

PMID:
22854570
DOI:
10.1101/pdb.top070607
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center