Protein interactions are critical for many processes in mammalian cells. Such interactions include the stable association of proteins within multi-subunit complexes and the transient association of regulatory proteins. Information about protein interactions in cells has previously come from either in vitro analyses using recombinant expressed proteins, or from yeast 2-hybrid studies. A limitation of this approach is that the protein interaction is studied in isolation, without regard to the many competing protein interactions that can occur within cells. This unit presents a light microscopy approach for detecting protein-protein interactions in vivo based on the measurement of FRET using the multiphoton fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) technique. By using the FLIM-FRET technique, the spatial organization and quantification of such interactions in a living cell can be characterized. A detailed protocol describing the complete microscope procedure and the choice of the appropriate experimental controls as well as the FRET calculations is also included.
- Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
- Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
- Protein Interaction Mapping
- Protein Subunits