Journal Highlight: Combining fluorescence and bioluminescence microscopy

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  • Published: Sep 7, 2015
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
  • Channels: UV/Vis Spectroscopy
thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: Combining fluorescence and bioluminescence microscopy
A powerful imaging tool for analysis of heterogeneous gene expression together with upstream signaling in live single cells was developed by combining fluorescence and bioluminescence microscopy.

Combining fluorescence and bioluminescence microscopy

Microscopy Research and Technique, 2015, 78, 715-722
Kazuhito Goda, Yoko Hatta-Ohashi, Ryutaro Akiyoshi, Takashi Sugiyama, Ikuko Sakai, Takeo Takahashi and Hirobumi Suzuki

Abstract: Bioluminescence microscopy has revealed that gene expression in individual cells can respond differently to the same stimulus. To understand this phenomenon, it is important to sequentially observe the series of events from cellular signal transduction to gene expression regulated by specific transcription factors derived from signaling cascades in individual cells. However, these processes have been separately analyzed with fluorescence and bioluminescence microscopy. Furthermore, in culture medium, the background fluorescence of luciferin—a substrate of luciferase in promoter assays of gene expression in cultured cells—confounds the simultaneous observation of fluorescence and bioluminescence. Therefore, we optimized conditions for optical filter sets based on spectral properties and the luciferin concentration based on cell permeability for fluorescence observation combined with bioluminescence microscopy. An excitation and emission filter set (492–506 nm and 524–578 nm) was suitable for green fluorescent protein and yellow fluorescent protein imaging of cells, and >100 μM luciferin was acceptable in culture medium based on kinetic constants and the estimated intracellular concentration. Using these parameters, we present an example of sequential fluorescence and bioluminescence microscopic observation of signal transduction (translocation of protein kinase C alpha from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane) coupled with activation of gene expression by nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide B in individual cells and show that the gene expression response is not completely concordant with upstream signaling following stimulation with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate. Our technique is a powerful imaging tool for analysis of heterogeneous gene expression together with upstream signaling in live single cells.

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