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Proceedings Paper

Quantitative fluorescence correlation spectroscopy on DNA in living cells
Author(s): Cameron Hodges; Rudra P. Kafle; Jens-Christian Meiners
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Paper Abstract

FCS is a fluorescence technique conventionally used to study the kinetics of fluorescent molecules in a dilute solution. Being a non-invasive technique, it is now drawing increasing interest for the study of more complex systems like the dynamics of DNA or proteins in living cells. Unlike an ordinary dye solution, the dynamics of macromolecules like proteins or entangled DNA in crowded environments is often slow and subdiffusive in nature. This in turn leads to longer residence times of the attached fluorophores in the excitation volume of the microscope and artifacts from photobleaching abound that can easily obscure the signature of the molecular dynamics of interest and make quantitative analysis challenging.We discuss methods and procedures to make FCS applicable to quantitative studies of the dynamics of DNA in live prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The intensity autocorrelation is computed function from weighted arrival times of the photons on the detector that maximizes the information content while simultaneously correcting for the effect of photobleaching to yield an autocorrelation function that reflects only the underlying dynamics of the sample. This autocorrelation function in turn is used to calculate the mean square displacement of the fluorophores attached to DNA. The displacement data is more amenable to further quantitative analysis than the raw correlation functions. By using a suitable integral transform of the mean square displacement, we can then determine the viscoelastic moduli of the DNA in its cellular environment. The entire analysis procedure is extensively calibrated and validated using model systems and computational simulations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 February 2017
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 10071, Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Superresolution Imaging X, 1007102 (21 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2251409
Show Author Affiliations
Cameron Hodges, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Rudra P. Kafle, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (United States)
Jens-Christian Meiners, Univ. of Michigan (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10071:
Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Superresolution Imaging X
Jörg Enderlein; Ingo Gregor; Zygmunt Karol Gryczynski; Rainer Erdmann; Felix Koberling, Editor(s)

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