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Essays Biochem. 2015;57:69-80. doi: 10.1042/bse0570069.

Super-resolution optical microscopy of lipid plasma membrane dynamics.

Author information

1
MRC Human Immunology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Headley Way, Oxford OX3 9DS, U.K.

Abstract

Plasma membrane dynamics are an important ruler of cellular activity, particularly through the interaction and diffusion dynamics of membrane-embedded proteins and lipids. FCS (fluorescence correlation spectroscopy) on an optical (confocal) microscope is a popular tool for investigating such dynamics. Unfortunately, its full applicability is constrained by the limited spatial resolution of a conventional optical microscope. The present chapter depicts the combination of optical super-resolution STED (stimulated emission depletion) microscopy with FCS, and why it is an important tool for investigating molecular membrane dynamics in living cells. Compared with conventional FCS, the STED-FCS approach demonstrates an improved possibility to distinguish free from anomalous molecular diffusion, and thus to give new insights into lipid-protein interactions and the traditional lipid 'raft' theory.

PMID:
25658345
DOI:
10.1042/bse0570069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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