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Live Cell Visualization of Multiple Protein–Protein Interactions with BiFC Rainbow

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journal contribution
posted on 28.12.2017, 00:00 by Sheng Wang, Miao Ding, Boxin Xue, Yingping Hou, Yujie Sun
As one of the most powerful tools to visualize PPIs in living cells, bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) has gained great advancement during recent years, including deep tissue imaging with far-red or near-infrared fluorescent proteins or super-resolution imaging with photochromic fluorescent proteins. However, little progress has been made toward simultaneous detection and visualization of multiple PPIs in the same cell, mainly due to the spectral crosstalk. In this report, we developed novel BiFC assays based on large-Stokes-shift fluorescent proteins (LSS-FPs) to detect and visualize multiple PPIs in living cells. With the large excitation/emission spectral separation, LSS-FPs can be imaged together with normal Stokes shift fluorescent proteins to realize multicolor BiFC imaging using a simple illumination scheme. We also further demonstrated BiFC rainbow combining newly developed BiFC assays with previously established mCerulean/mVenus-based BiFC assays to achieve detection and visualization of four PPI pairs in the same cell. Additionally, we prove that with the complete spectral separation of mT-Sapphire and CyOFP1, LSS-FP-based BiFC assays can be readily combined with intensity-based FRET measurement to detect ternary protein complex formation with minimal spectral crosstalk. Thus, our newly developed LSS-FP-based BiFC assays not only expand the fluorescent protein toolbox available for BiFC but also facilitate the detection and visualization of multiple protein complex interactions in living cells.