Relationship of donor and acceptor fluorescence anisotropies as well as efficiency of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) has been investigated in a confocal microscope in the context of FRET systems comprised of donor and acceptor-labeled MHCI and MHCII receptors on the surface of Kit-225 K6 human T-cells. The measurements have been carried out in a 2-laser, 5-signal platform where the total donor fluorescence intensity and 2 acceptor fluorescence intensities with their anisotropies – one at the donor's excitation wavelength, the other at the acceptor's excitation wavelength – have been detected. This configuration enabled the determination of FRET efficiency and correlating it with the two acceptor fluorescence anisotropies as a kind of calibration. Estimations for the FRET-enhanced donor fluorescence anisotropy, the directly excited acceptor fluorescence anisotropy, and the fluorescence anisotropy of sensitized emission have been obtained. Procedures for determining FRET by measuring only the total donor intensity and the acceptor intensity and its anisotropy, or two acceptor intensities and their anisotropies have been elaborated, the errors of which have been estimated based on the fluorescence anisotropy values obtained in the calibration with the method of flow cytometric energy transfer (FCET). The combined detection of the donor and acceptor fluorescence anisotropies enabled also the determination of the lower and upper limits of the orientation factor for FRET (κ2). An increase in range for κ2 with increasing FRET efficiency has been observed, with average κ2 values different from the dynamic random average of 2/3. These observations call for the need of κ2 determination in proximity measurements, where the donor and acceptor orientations are not predictable. An increasing range of κ2 with increasing intermolecular proximity of the MHCI and MHCII receptors has been observed. This indicates that molecular flexibility in the clusters of the MHCI and MHCII receptors reduces with increasing cluster density, i.e. a “fluidity gradient” exists in the clusters. More specifically, the local density dependent flexibility can also be taken as a direct proof for that the association of these receptors is non-random, but mediated by some type of physical interaction, a finding as a benefit of FRET detection by polarization spectroscopy. Two new quantities – the quenched donor fluorescence anisotropy and a fluorescence anisotropy analogue, the “dissymmetry index” of the polarized FRET efficiency components – have also been introduced for the characterization of the orientational dynamics of the excited state during FRET.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology