The dynamic assembly of multi-protein complexes underlies fundamental processes in cell biology. A mechanistic understanding of assemblies requires accurate measurement of their stoichiometry, affinity and cooperativity, and frequently consideration of multiple co-existing complexes. Sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation equipped with fluorescence detection (FDS-SV) allows the characterization of protein complexes free in solution with high size resolution, at concentrations in the nanomolar and picomolar range. Here, we extend the capabilities of FDS-SV with a single excitation wavelength from single-component to multi-component detection using photoswitchable fluorescent proteins (psFPs). We exploit their characteristic quantum yield of photo-switching to imprint spatio-temporal modulations onto the sedimentation signal that reveal different psFP-tagged protein components in the mixture. This novel approach facilitates studies of heterogeneous multi-protein complexes at orders of magnitude lower concentrations and for higher-affinity systems than previously possible. Using this technique we studied high-affinity interactions between the amino-terminal domains of GluA2 and GluA3 AMPA receptors.
- Peter Schuck
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Antoine M van Oijen, University of Groningen, Netherlands
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
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