FRAP and FRET methods to study nuclear receptors in living cells.
ABSTRACT Quantitative imaging techniques of fluorescently-tagged proteins have been instrumental in the study of the behavior of nuclear receptors (NRs) and coregulators in living cells. Ligand-activated NRs exert their function in transcription regulation by binding to specific response elements in promotor and enhancer sequences of genes. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) has proven to be a powerful tool to study the mobility of fluorescently-labeled molecules in living cells. Since binding to DNA leads to the immobilization of DNA-interacting proteins like NRs, FRAP is especially useful for determining DNA-binding kinetics of these proteins. The coordinated interaction of NRs with promoters/enhancers and subsequent transcription activation is not only regulated by ligand but also by interactions with sets of cofactors and, at least in the case of the androgen receptor (AR), by dimerization and interdomain interactions. In living cells, these interactions can be studied by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Here we provide and discuss detailed protocols for FRAP and FRET procedures to study the behavior of nuclear receptors in living cells. On the basis of our studies of the AR, we provide protocols for two different FRAP methods (strip-FRAP and FLIP-FRAP) to quantitatively investigate DNA-interactions and for two different FRET approaches, ratio imaging, and acceptor photobleaching FRET to study AR domain interactions and interactions with cofactor motifs. Finally, we provide a protocol of a technique where FRAP and acceptor photobleaching FRET are combined to study the dynamics of interacting ARs.
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ABSTRACT: Cell migration is essential in a number of processes, including wound healing, angiogenesis and cancer metastasis. Especially, invasion of cancer cells in the surrounding tissue is a crucial step that requires increased cell motility. Cell migration is a well-orchestrated process that involves the continuous formation and disassembly of matrix adhesions. Those structural anchor points interact with the extra-cellular matrix and also participate in adhesion-dependent signalling. Although these processes are essential for cancer metastasis, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate adhesion dynamics during tumour cell migration. In this review, we provide an overview of recent advanced imaging strategies together with quantitative image analysis that can be implemented to understand the dynamics of matrix adhesions and its molecular components in relation to tumour cell migration. This dynamic cell imaging together with multiparametric image analysis will help in understanding the molecular mechanisms that define cancer cell migration.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 10/2010; 67(19):3219-40. · 5.62 Impact Factor