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ACS Nano. 2017 Dec 26;11(12):11839-11846. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.7b04671. Epub 2017 Sep 20.

Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Nuclear Envelope Architecture Using Dual-Color Metal-Induced Energy Transfer Imaging.

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Third Institute of Physics, University of Göttingen , 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, University of Göttingen, Department of Molecular Biology, GZMB , 37073 Göttingen, Germany.


The nuclear envelope, comprising the inner and the outer nuclear membrane, separates the nucleus from the cytoplasm and plays a key role in cellular functions. Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), which are embedded in the nuclear envelope, control transport of macromolecules between the two compartments. Here, using dual-color metal-induced energy transfer (MIET), we determine the axial distance between Lap2β and Nup358 as markers for the inner nuclear membrane and the cytoplasmic side of the NPC, respectively. Using MIET imaging, we reconstruct the 3D profile of the nuclear envelope over the whole basal area, with an axial resolution of a few nanometers. This result demonstrates that optical microscopy can achieve nanometer axial resolution in biological samples and without recourse to complex interferometric approaches.


metal-induced energy transfer; nuclear envelope; nuclear pore complex; optical microscopy; plasmonics; super-resolution microscopy

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