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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2019 Apr 1;11(4). pii: a032722. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a032722.

Fluorescence Imaging Methods to Investigate Translation in Single Cells.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461.
2
Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Center for Cell Dynamics, Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21218.
3
Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461.
4
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia 20147.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

Translation is the fundamental biological process that converts the genetic information in messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into functional proteins. Translation regulation allows cells to control when, where, and how many proteins are synthesized. Much of what we know about translation comes from ensemble approaches that measure the average of many cells. The cellular and molecular heterogeneity in the regulation of translation remains largely elusive. Fluorescence microscopy allows interrogation of biological problems with single-molecule, single-cell sensitivity. In recent years, improved design of reagents and microscopy tools has led to improved spatial and temporal resolution of translation imaging. It is now possible to track global translation in specific subcellular compartments and follow the translation dynamics of single transcripts. Highlighted here is the recent progress in translation imaging with emphasis on in vivo translation dynamics. These tools will be invaluable to the study of translation regulation.

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