Understanding FRET as a research tool for cellular studies

Dilip Shrestha, A. Jenei, Péter Nagy, G. Vereb, J. Szöllősi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Communication of molecular species through dynamic association and/or dissociation at various cellular sites governs biological functions. Understanding these physiological processes require delineation of molecular events occurring at the level of individual complexes in a living cell. Among the few non-invasive approaches with nanometer resolution are methods based on Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). FRET is effective at a distance of 1-10 nm which is equivalent to the size of macromolecules, thus providing an unprecedented level of detail on molecular interactions. The emergence of fluorescent proteins and SNAP-and CLIP-tag proteins provided FRET with the capability to monitor changes in a molecular complex in real-time making it possible to establish the functional significance of the studied molecules in a native environment. Now, FRET is widely used in biological sciences, including the field of proteomics, signal transduction, diagnostics and drug development to address questions almost unimaginable with biochemical methods and conventional microscopies. However, the underlying physics of FRET often scares biologists. Therefore, in this review, our goal is to introduce FRET to non-physicists in a lucid manner. We will also discuss our contributions to various FRET methodologies based on microscopy and flow cytometry, while describing its application for determining the molecular heterogeneity of the plasma membrane in various cell types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6718-6756
Number of pages39
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 25 2015

Fingerprint

Energy Transfer
Energy transfer
energy transfer
Research
Microscopy
Microscopic examination
SNAP
Physiological Phenomena
microscopy
proteins
Proteins
Signal transduction
cytometry
Molecular interactions
delineation
Flow cytometry
Biological Science Disciplines
Physics
molecular interactions
Cell membranes

Keywords

  • Anisotropy
  • CD1d
  • ErbB
  • Fluorescence intensity
  • Fluorescence lifetime
  • FRET
  • IL15
  • IL2
  • Immune synapse
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)
  • Methods for measuring FRET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

Understanding FRET as a research tool for cellular studies. / Shrestha, Dilip; Jenei, A.; Nagy, Péter; Vereb, G.; Szöllősi, J.

In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 4, 25.03.2015, p. 6718-6756.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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