学术报告：Revolutionary bioimaging with super-duper luminescent proteins
报告题目：Revolutionary bioimaging with super-duper luminescent proteins
报 告 人：Takeharu Nagai（Osaka University）
Fluorescent proteins is an indispensable tool for live imaging of cells and cell structures. But the requirement for external illumination definitely precludes its universal application because it can cause problems including photobleaching, photodamage and the unintended activation of other light-responsive proteins. Luminescent proteins such as luciferase is an alternative to fluorescence that does not require an excitation light. However, luminescence imaging has been limited by the dim brightness and lack of color variation of existing luminescent proteins. To overcome this drawback, we conducted random mutagenesis on Renilla reniformis luciferase (Rluc) gene to improve the intensity. Then, the luminescence intensity was further increased by fusion of the improved Rluc to a yellow fluorescent protein Venus with a high BRET efficiency. The chimeric protein showed much brighter luminescence than the original Rluc, enabling not only real-time imaging of intracellular structures in living cells with spatial resolution equivalent to fluorescence but also sensitive tumor detection in freely moving mice which has never been possible before. We also developed color variants of the Nano-lantern by substitution of the Venus with a different wavelength fluorescent protein. Furthermore we applied these Nano-lanterns to design Ca2+, cAMP, and ATP indicators, thereby succeeded imaging these bioactive molecules in environments where fluorescent indicators have failed. These luminescent proteins will revolutionize conventional bioimaging by allowing visualization of biological phenomena not seen before at the single-cell, organ, and whole-body level, in animals and plants. While luminescence may be a practical alternative in situations where fluorescence is problematic, the signal intensity of the Nano-lanterns is still more than 100 times weaker than fluorescent proteins. In the symposium, I will compare pros and cons of fluorescence and luminescence for bioimaging.
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