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12 Publications

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    02/01/08 | High-density mapping of single-molecule trajectories with photoactivated localization microscopy. (With commentary)
    Manley S, Gillette JM, Patterson GH, Shroff H, Hess HF, Betzig E, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Nature Methods. 2008 Feb;5(2):155-7. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1176

    We combined photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) with live-cell single-particle tracking to create a new method termed sptPALM. We created spatially resolved maps of single-molecule motions by imaging the membrane proteins Gag and VSVG, and obtained several orders of magnitude more trajectories per cell than traditional single-particle tracking enables. By probing distinct subsets of molecules, sptPALM can provide insight into the origins of spatial and temporal heterogeneities in membranes.

    Commentary: As a stepping stone to true live cell PALM (see above), our collaborator Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz suggested using the sparse photoactivation principle of PALM to track the nanoscale motion of thousands of individual molecules within a single living cell. Termed single particle tracking PALM (sptPALM), Jennifer’s postdocs Suliana Manley and Jen Gillette used the method in our PALM rig to create spatially resolved maps of diffusion rates in the plasma membrane of live cells. sptPALM is a powerful tool to study the active cytoskeletal or passive diffusional transport of individual molecules with far more measurements per cell than is possible without sparse photoactivation.

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    12/18/07 | Dual-color superresolution imaging of genetically expressed probes within individual adhesion complexes. (With commentary)
    Shroff H, Galbraith CG, Galbraith JA, White H, Gillette J, Olenych S, Davidson MW, Betzig E
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2007 Dec 18;104:20308-13. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0710517105

    Accurate determination of the relative positions of proteins within localized regions of the cell is essential for understanding their biological function. Although fluorescent fusion proteins are targeted with molecular precision, the position of these genetically expressed reporters is usually known only to the resolution of conventional optics ( approximately 200 nm). Here, we report the use of two-color photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) to determine the ultrastructural relationship between different proteins fused to spectrally distinct photoactivatable fluorescent proteins (PA-FPs). The nonperturbative incorporation of these endogenous tags facilitates an imaging resolution in whole, fixed cells of approximately 20-30 nm at acquisition times of 5-30 min. We apply the technique to image different pairs of proteins assembled in adhesion complexes, the central attachment points between the cytoskeleton and the substrate in migrating cells. For several pairs, we find that proteins that seem colocalized when viewed by conventional optics are resolved as distinct interlocking nano-aggregates when imaged via PALM. The simplicity, minimal invasiveness, resolution, and speed of the technique all suggest its potential to directly visualize molecular interactions within cellular structures at the nanometer scale.

    Commentary: Identifies the photoactivatable fluorescent proteins (PA-FPs) Dronpa and PS-CFP2 as green partners to orange-red PA-FPs such as Kaede and Eos for dual color PALM imaging. Very low crosstalk is demonstrated between the two color channels. Furthermore, since the probes are genetically expressed, they are closely bound to their target proteins and exhibit zero non-specific background. All these properties are essential to unambiguously identify regions of co-localization or separate compartmentalization at the nanoscale, as demonstrated in the examples here.

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