Bodner, C., Kiesenhofer, D., Schütz, G., & Brameshuber, M. (2023). Monte Carlo simulations for the evaluation of oligomerization data in TOCCSL experiments. Biophysical Journal, 122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2023.04.021
Biophysics; Single molecules; Fluorescence microscopy
The interplay and communication between cells build the foundation of life. Many signaling processes at the cell surface and inside the cell, as well as the cellular function itself, depend on protein-protein interactions and the oligomerization of proteins. In the past, we presented an approach to single out interactions of fluorescently labeled membrane proteins by combining photobleaching and single-molecule microscopy. With this approach, termed "thinning out clusters while conserving the stoichiometry of labeling" (TOCCSL), oligomerization can be detected even at physiologically high surface densities of fluorescently labeled proteins. In TOCCSL, an aperture-restricted region of the plasma membrane is irreversibly photobleached by applying a high-intensity laser pulse. During a recovery time, in which illumination is turned off, nonphotobleached molecules from the nonilluminated area of the plasma membrane re-populate the aperture-restricted region. At the onset of this recovery process, these molecules can be detected as well-separated, diffraction-limited signals and their oligomerization state can be quantified. Here, we used extensive Monte Carlo simulations to provide a theoretical framework for quantitative interpretation of TOCCSL measurements. We determined the influence of experimental parameters and intrinsic characteristics of the investigated system on the outcome of a TOCCSL experiment. We identified the diffraction-affected laser intensity profile and the diffusion of molecules at the aperture edges during photobleaching as major sources of generating partially photobleached oligomers. They are falsely detected as lower-order oligomers and, hence, higher-order oligomers might be prevented from detection. The amount of partially photobleached oligomers that are analyzed depends on the photobleaching and the recovery time, on the mobility of molecules and-for mixed populations of oligomers-on mobility differences between different kinds of oligomers. Moreover, we quantified random colocalizations of molecules after recovery, which are falsely detected as higher-order oligomers.
Neue Formen von Interleukin Rezeptor Signalisierung: I5056-B (FWF Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)) Einfluss von Fieber auf die Aktivierung von T-Zellen: I 4662-B (FWF Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF)) Biophysikalische Untersuchung der Rezeptor-Kinase ErbB4: I4740-B (FWF Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF))
Materials Characterization: 30% Biological and Bioactive Materials: 70%