Super-resolution imaging and tracking of protein-protein interactions in sub-diffraction cellular space

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Journal Article
Nature Communications, 2014, 5
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Imaging the location and dynamics of individual interacting protein pairs is essential but often difficult because of the fluorescent background from other paired and non-paired molecules, particularly in the sub-diffraction cellular space. Here we develop a new method combining bimolecular fluorescence complementation and photoactivated localization microscopy for super-resolution imaging and single-molecule tracking of specific protein-protein interactions. The method is used to study the interaction of two abundant proteins, MreB and EF-Tu, in Escherichia coli cells. The super-resolution imaging shows interesting distribution and domain sizes of interacting MreB-EF-Tu pairs as a subpopulation of total EF-Tu. The single-molecule tracking of MreB, EF-Tu and MreB-EF-Tu pairs reveals intriguing localization-dependent heterogonous dynamics and provides valuable insights to understanding the roles of MreB-EF-Tu interactions. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
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