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Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2013 Jun 1;2013(6):537-9. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot075150.

Transfection of genetically encoded photoswitchable probes for STORM imaging.


Conventional fluorescence microscopy is limited by its spatial resolution, leaving many biological structures too small to be studied in detail. Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) is a method for superresolution fluorescence imaging based on the high accuracy localization of individual fluorophores. It uses optically switchable fluorophores: molecules that can be switched between a nonfluorescent and a fluorescent state by exposure to light. This protocol describes the transfection of genetically encoded photoswitchable probes for STORM imaging. It includes a discussion of how to choose a photoswitchable fluorescent protein; standard molecular biology techniques should be used to generate a plasmid containing the sequence of the photoswitchable protein linked to the gene of interest. Once the plasmid has been generated and has been verified, it can be introduced into cells via any standard means of gene delivery, such as lipofection or electroporation. Optimal conditions will vary considerably for different cell lines and plasmids. Here, we present an example protocol for the transfection of BS-C-1 cells with an mEos2-vimentin plasmid using the lipid-based reagent FuGENE6.

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