A mTurquoise-Based cAMP Sensor for Both FLIM and Ratiometric Read-Out Has Improved Dynamic Range

April 29, 2011

FRET-based sensors for cyclic Adenosine Mono Phosphate (cAMP) have revolutionized the way in which this important intracellular messenger is studied. The currently prevailing sensors consist of the cAMP-binding protein Epac1, sandwiched between suitable donor- and acceptor fluorescent proteins (FPs). Through a conformational change in Epac1, alterations in cellular cAMP levels lead to a change in FRET that is most commonly detected by either Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) or by Sensitized Emission (SE), e.g., by simple ratio-imaging. We recently reported a range of different Epac-based cAMP sensors with high dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio. We showed that constructs with cyan FP as donor are optimal for readout by SE, whereas other constructs with green FP donors appeared much more suited for FLIM detection. In this study, we present a new cAMP sensor, termed TEpacVV, which employs mTurquoise as donor. Spectrally very similar to CFP, mTurquoise has about doubled quantum efficiency and unlike CFP, its fluorescence decay is strictly single-exponential. We show that TEpacVV appears optimal for detection both by FLIM and SE, that it has outstanding FRET span and signal-to-noise ratio, and improved photostability. Hence, TEpacVV should become the cAMP sensor of choice for new experiments, both for FLIM and ratiometric detection.

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Klarenbeek JB, Goedhart J, Hink MA, Gadella TWJ, Jalink K:
A mTurquoise-Based cAMP Sensor for Both FLIM and Ratiometric Read-Out Has Improved Dynamic Range

PLoS ONE 6 (4): e19170 (2011); doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019170

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