Biophysics and Physicobiology
Online ISSN : 2189-4779
ISSN-L : 2189-4779
Regular Article
Determination of diffusion coefficients in live cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching with wide-field fluorescence microscopy
Akira KitamuraMasataka Kinjo
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Supplementary material

2018 Volume 15 Pages 1-7


Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) enables characterization of quantitative dynamic properties such as diffusion coefficients of fluorescent molecules in living cells by analyzing the recovery of fluorescence intensity after photobleaching in a specific cellular compartment or area. To quantitatively determine high intracellular diffusion coefficients, a suitable optical system as well as an appropriate model for fast diffusion analysis is necessary. Here, we propose a procedure to quantify the diffusion coefficient of rapidly-diffusing fluorescent molecules that makes use of an epi-fluorescence microscope with a photobleaching laser in combination with established models for diffusion analysis. Analysis for the diffusion coefficients of tandemly oligomerized green flurescent proteins (GFPs) in living cells when changing the photobleaching times showed that photobleaching with shorter times than the diffusion speed indicated not the only way to obtain appropriate diffusion coefficients of fast-moving molecules. Our results also showed that the apparent spreading of the effective radius of the photobleached area works as a correction factor for determining appropriate diffusion coefficients of fast-moving molecules like monomeric GFPs. Our procedure provides a useful approach for quantitative measurement of diffusion coefficients in living cells. This procedure is relevant for characterizing dynamic molecular interactions, especially of fast-moving molecules, and is relevant for studies in many biological fields.

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