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New J Phys. 2013 Aug;15. doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/8/085006.

A nu-space for ICS: characterization and application to measure protein transport in live cells.

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Department of Physics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


We introduce a new generalized theoretical framework for image correlation spectroscopy (ICS). Using this framework, we extend the ICS method in time-frequency (ν, nu) space to map molecular flow of fluorescently tagged proteins in individual living cells. Even in the presence of a dominant immobile population of fluorescent molecules, nu-space ICS (nICS) provides an unbiased velocity measurement, as well as the diffusion coefficient of the flow, without requiring filtering. We also develop and characterize a tunable frequency-filter for STICS that allows quantification of the density, the diffusion coefficient and the velocity of biased diffusion. We show that the techniques are accurate over a wide range of parameter space in computer simulation. We then characterize the retrograde flow of adhesion proteins (α6- and αLβ2-GFP integrins and mCherry-paxillin) in CHO.B2 cells plated on laminin and ICAM ligands respectively. STICS with a tunable frequency filter, in conjunction with nICS, measures two new transport parameters, the density and transport bias coefficient (a measure of the diffusive character of a flow/biased diffusion), showing that molecular flow in this cell system has a significant diffusive component. Our results suggest that the integrinligand interaction, along with the internal myosin-motor generated force, varies for different integrin-ligand pairs, consistent with previous results.

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