Single-molecule imaging provides a powerful way to study biochemical processes in live cells, yet it remains challenging to track single molecules while simultaneously detecting their interactions. Here we describe a novel property of rhodamine dyes, proximity-assisted photoactivation (PAPA), in which one fluorophore (the 'sender') can reactivate a second fluorophore (the 'receiver') from a dark state. PAPA requires proximity between the two fluorophores, yet it operates at a longer average intermolecular distance than Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). We show that PAPA can be used in live cells both to detect protein-protein interactions and to highlight a sub-population of labeled protein complexes in which two different labels are in proximity. In proof-of-concept experiments, PAPA detected the expected correlation between androgen receptor self-association and chromatin binding at the single-cell level. These results establish a new way in which a photophysical property of fluorophores can be harnessed to study molecular interactions in single-molecule imaging of live cells.
Source data for Fig. 2-5 are included in an accompanying zip file.
- Robert Tjian
- Thomas George Wade Graham
- John Joseph Ferrie III
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Jie Xiao, Johns Hopkins University, United States
© 2022, Graham et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Reverse genetics is key to understanding protein function, but the mechanistic connection between a gene of interest and the observed phenotype is not always clear. Here we describe the use of proximity labeling using TurboID and site-specific quantification of biotinylated peptides to measure changes to the local protein environment of selected targets upon perturbation. We apply this technique, which we call PerTurboID, to understand how the P. falciparum exported kinase, FIKK4.1, regulates the function of the major virulence factor of the malaria causing parasite, PfEMP1. We generated independent TurboID fusions of 2 proteins that are predicted substrates of FIKK4.1 in a FIKK4.1 conditional KO parasite line. Comparing the abundance of site-specific biotinylated peptides between wildtype and kinase deletion lines reveals the differential accessibility of proteins to biotinylation, indicating changes to localization, protein-protein interactions, or protein structure which are mediated by FIKK4.1 activity. We further show that FIKK4.1 is likely the only FIKK kinase that controls surface levels of PfEMP1, but not other surface antigens, on the infected red blood cell under standard culture conditions. We believe PerTurboID is broadly applicable to study the impact of genetic or environmental perturbation on a selected cellular niche.
The primary cilium plays important roles in regulating cell differentiation, signal transduction, and tissue organization. Dysfunction of the primary cilium can lead to ciliopathies and cancer. The formation and organization of the primary cilium are highly associated with cell polarity proteins, such as the apical polarity protein CRB3. However, the molecular mechanisms by which CRB3 regulates ciliogenesis and the location of CRB3 remain unknown. Here, we show that CRB3, as a navigator, regulates vesicle trafficking in γ-tubulin ring complex (γTuRC) assembly during ciliogenesis and cilium-related Hh and Wnt signaling pathways in tumorigenesis. Crb3 knockout mice display severe defects of the primary cilium in the mammary ductal lumen and renal tubule, while mammary epithelial-specific Crb3 knockout mice exhibit the promotion of ductal epithelial hyperplasia and tumorigenesis. CRB3 is essential for lumen formation and ciliary assembly in the mammary epithelium. We demonstrate that CRB3 localizes to the basal body and that CRB3 trafficking is mediated by Rab11-positive endosomes. Significantly, CRB3 interacts with Rab11 to navigate GCP6/Rab11 trafficking vesicles to CEP290, resulting in intact γTuRC assembly. In addition, CRB3-depleted cells are unresponsive to the activation of the Hh signaling pathway, while CRB3 regulates the Wnt signaling pathway. Therefore, our studies reveal the molecular mechanisms by which CRB3 recognizes Rab11-positive endosomes to facilitate ciliogenesis and regulates cilium-related signaling pathways in tumorigenesis.