In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (11)

Articles by Sean C. Warren in JoVE

 JoVE Biology

Open Source High Content Analysis Utilizing Automated Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy

1Photonics Group, Department of Physics, Imperial College London, 2Institute for Chemical Biology, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, 3MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, 4Chemical Biology Section, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, 5Retroscreen Virology Ltd, 6Pfizer Global Research and Development, Pfizer Limited, Sandwich, Kent, UK, 7Centre for Histopathology, Imperial College London


JoVE 55119

Other articles by Sean C. Warren on PubMed

Fluorescence Lifetime Readouts of Troponin-C-based Calcium FRET Sensors: a Quantitative Comparison of CFP and MTFP1 As Donor Fluorophores

PloS One. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23152874

We have compared the performance of two Troponin-C-based calcium FRET sensors using fluorescence lifetime read-outs. The first sensor, TN-L15, consists of a Troponin-C fragment inserted between CFP and Citrine while the second sensor, called mTFP-TnC-Cit, was realized by replacing CFP in TN-L15 with monomeric Teal Fluorescent Protein (mTFP1). Using cytosol preparations of transiently transfected mammalian cells, we have measured the fluorescence decay profiles of these sensors at controlled concentrations of calcium using time-correlated single photon counting. These data were fitted to discrete exponential decay models using global analysis to determine the FRET efficiency, fraction of donor molecules undergoing FRET and calcium affinity of these sensors. We have also studied the decay profiles of the donor fluorescent proteins alone and determined the sensitivity of the donor lifetime to temperature and emission wavelength. Live-cell fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) of HEK293T cells expressing each of these sensors was also undertaken. We confirmed that donor fluorescence of mTFP-TnC-Cit fits well to a two-component decay model, while the TN-L15 lifetime data was best fitted to a constrained four-component model, which was supported by phasor analysis of the measured lifetime data. If the constrained global fitting is employed, the TN-L15 sensor can provide a larger dynamic range of lifetime readout than the mTFP-TnC-Cit sensor but the CFP donor is significantly more sensitive to changes in temperature and emission wavelength compared to mTFP and, while the mTFP-TnC-Cit solution phase data broadly agreed with measurements in live cells, this was not the case for the TN-L15 sensor. Our titration experiment also indicates that a similar precision in determination of calcium concentration can be achieved with both FRET biosensors when fitting a single exponential donor fluorescence decay model to the fluorescence decay profiles. We therefore suggest that mTFP-based probes are more suitable for FLIM experiments than CFP-based probes.

Rapid Global Fitting of Large Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy Datasets

PloS One. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23940626

Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) is widely applied to obtain quantitative information from fluorescence signals, particularly using Förster Resonant Energy Transfer (FRET) measurements to map, for example, protein-protein interactions. Extracting FRET efficiencies or population fractions typically entails fitting data to complex fluorescence decay models but such experiments are frequently photon constrained, particularly for live cell or in vivo imaging, and this leads to unacceptable errors when analysing data on a pixel-wise basis. Lifetimes and population fractions may, however, be more robustly extracted using global analysis to simultaneously fit the fluorescence decay data of all pixels in an image or dataset to a multi-exponential model under the assumption that the lifetime components are invariant across the image (dataset). This approach is often considered to be prohibitively slow and/or computationally expensive but we present here a computationally efficient global analysis algorithm for the analysis of time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) or time-gated FLIM data based on variable projection. It makes efficient use of both computer processor and memory resources, requiring less than a minute to analyse time series and multiwell plate datasets with hundreds of FLIM images on standard personal computers. This lifetime analysis takes account of repetitive excitation, including fluorescence photons excited by earlier pulses contributing to the fit, and is able to accommodate time-varying backgrounds and instrument response functions. We demonstrate that this global approach allows us to readily fit time-resolved fluorescence data to complex models including a four-exponential model of a FRET system, for which the FRET efficiencies of the two species of a bi-exponential donor are linked, and polarisation-resolved lifetime data, where a fluorescence intensity and bi-exponential anisotropy decay model is applied to the analysis of live cell homo-FRET data. A software package implementing this algorithm, FLIMfit, is available under an open source licence through the Open Microscopy Environment.

Homo-FRET Based Biosensors and Their Application to Multiplexed Imaging of Signalling Events in Live Cells

International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Jun, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26133241

Multiplexed imaging of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)-based biosensors potentially presents a powerful approach to monitoring the spatio-temporal correlation of signalling pathways within a single live cell. Here, we discuss the potential of homo-FRET based biosensors to facilitate multiplexed imaging. We demonstrate that the homo-FRET between pleckstrin homology domains of Akt (Akt-PH) labelled with mCherry may be used to monitor 3'-phosphoinositide accumulation in live cells and show how global analysis of time resolved fluorescence anisotropy measurements can be used to quantify this accumulation. We further present multiplexed imaging readouts of calcium concentration, using fluorescence lifetime measurements of TN-L15-a CFP/YFP based hetero-FRET calcium biosensor-with 3'-phosphoinositide accumulation.

Time-resolved FRET Reports FGFR1 Dimerization and Formation of a Complex with Its Effector PLCγ1

Advances in Biological Regulation. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26482290

In vitro and in vivo imaging of protein tyrosine kinase activity requires minimally invasive, molecularly precise optical probes to provide spatiotemporal mechanistic information of dimerization and complex formation with downstream effectors. We present here a construct with genetically encoded, site-specifically incorporated, bioorthogonal reporter that can be selectively labelled with exogenous fluorogenic probes to monitor the structure and function of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR). GyrB.FGFR1KD.TC contains a coumermycin-induced artificial dimerizer (GyrB), FGFR1 kinase domain (KD) and a tetracysteine (TC) motif that enables fluorescent labelling with biarsenical dyes FlAsH-EDT2 and ReAsH-EDT2. We generated bimolecular system for time-resolved FRET (TR-FRET) studies, which pairs FlAsH-tagged GyrB.FGFR1KD.TC and N-terminal Src homology 2 (nSH2) domain of phospholipase Cγ (PLCγ), a downstream effector of FGFR1, fused to mTurquoise fluorescent protein (mTFP). We demonstrated phosphorylation-dependent TR-FRET readout of complex formation between mTFP.nSH2 and GyrB.FGFR1KD.TC. By further application of TR-FRET, we also demonstrated formation of the GyrB.FGFR1KD.TC homodimer by coumermycin-induced dimerization. Herein, we present a spectroscopic FRET approach to facilitate and propagate studies that would provide structural and functional insights for FGFR and other tyrosine kinases.

Intravital FRAP Imaging Using an E-cadherin-GFP Mouse Reveals Disease- and Drug-Dependent Dynamic Regulation of Cell-Cell Junctions in Live Tissue

Cell Reports. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26725115

E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell junctions play a prominent role in maintaining the epithelial architecture. The disruption or deregulation of these adhesions in cancer can lead to the collapse of tumor epithelia that precedes invasion and subsequent metastasis. Here we generated an E-cadherin-GFP mouse that enables intravital photobleaching and quantification of E-cadherin mobility in live tissue without affecting normal biology. We demonstrate the broad applications of this mouse by examining E-cadherin regulation in multiple tissues, including mammary, brain, liver, and kidney tissue, while specifically monitoring E-cadherin mobility during disease progression in the pancreas. We assess E-cadherin stability in native pancreatic tissue upon genetic manipulation involving Kras and p53 or in response to anti-invasive drug treatment and gain insights into the dynamic remodeling of E-cadherin during in situ cancer progression. FRAP in the E-cadherin-GFP mouse, therefore, promises to be a valuable tool to fundamentally expand our understanding of E-cadherin-mediated events in native microenvironments.

Visualising Apoptosis in Live Zebrafish Using Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging with Optical Projection Tomography to Map FRET Biosensor Activity in Space and Time

Journal of Biophotonics. Apr, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26753623

Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) combined with optical projection tomography (OPT) has the potential to map Förster resonant energy transfer (FRET) readouts in space and time in intact transparent or near transparent live organisms such as zebrafish larvae, thereby providing a means to visualise cell signalling processes in their physiological context. Here the first application of FLIM OPT to read out biological function in live transgenic zebrafish larvae using a genetically expressed FRET biosensor is reported. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is mapped in 3-D by imaging the activity of a FRET biosensor that is cleaved by Caspase 3, which is a key effector of apoptosis. Although apoptosis is a naturally occurring process during development, it can also be triggered in a variety of ways, including through gamma irradiation. FLIM OPT is shown here to enable apoptosis to be monitored over time, in live zebrafish larvae via changes in Caspase 3 activation following gamma irradiation at 24 hours post fertilisation. Significant apoptosis was observed at 3.5 hours post irradiation, predominantly in the head region.

Screening for Protein-protein Interactions Using Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM)

Scientific Reports. Jun, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27339025

We present a high content multiwell plate cell-based assay approach to quantify protein interactions directly in cells using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) read out by automated fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM). Automated FLIM is implemented using wide-field time-gated detection, typically requiring only 10 s per field of view (FOV). Averaging over biological, thermal and shot noise with 100's to 1000's of FOV enables unbiased quantitative analysis with high statistical power. Plotting average donor lifetime vs. acceptor/donor intensity ratio clearly identifies protein interactions and fitting to double exponential donor decay models provides estimates of interacting population fractions that, with calibrated donor and acceptor fluorescence intensities, can yield dissociation constants. We demonstrate the application to identify binding partners of MST1 kinase and estimate interaction strength among the members of the RASSF protein family, which have important roles in apoptosis via the Hippo signalling pathway. KD values broadly agree with published biochemical measurements.

Imaging of Metabolic Status in 3D Cultures with an Improved AMPK FRET Biosensor for FLIM

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland). Aug, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27548185

We describe an approach to non-invasively map spatiotemporal biochemical and physiological changes in 3D cell culture using Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) biosensors expressed in tumour spheroids. In particular, we present an improved Adenosine Monophosphate (AMP) Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) FRET biosensor, mTurquoise2 AMPK Activity Reporter (T2AMPKAR), for fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) readouts that we have evaluated in 2D and 3D cultures. Our results in 2D cell culture indicate that replacing the FRET donor, enhanced Cyan Fluorescent Protein (ECFP), in the original FRET biosensor, AMPK activity reporter (AMPKAR), with mTurquoise2 (mTq2FP), increases the dynamic range of the response to activation of AMPK, as demonstrated using the direct AMPK activator, 991. We demonstrated 3D FLIM of this T2AMPKAR FRET biosensor expressed in tumour spheroids using two-photon excitation.

Corrigendum: Screening for Protein-protein Interactions Using Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM)

Scientific Reports. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27654516

Adaptive Multiphoton Endomicroscopy Through a Dynamically Deformed Multicore Optical Fiber Using Proximal Detection

Optics Express. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27661887

This paper demonstrates multiphoton excited fluorescence imaging through a polarisation maintaining multicore fiber (PM-MCF) while the fiber is dynamically deformed using all-proximal detection. Single-shot proximal measurement of the relative optical path lengths of all the cores of the PM-MCF in double pass is achieved using a Mach-Zehnder interferometer read out by a scientific CMOS camera operating at 416 Hz. A non-linear least squares fitting procedure is then employed to determine the deformation-induced lateral shift of the excitation spot at the distal tip of the PM-MCF. An experimental validation of this approach is presented that compares the proximally measured deformation-induced lateral shift in focal spot position to an independent distally measured ground truth. The proximal measurement of deformation-induced shift in focal spot position is applied to correct for deformation-induced shifts in focal spot position during raster-scanning multiphoton excited fluorescence imaging.

Recruitment Kinetics of Tropomyosin Tpm3.1 to Actin Filament Bundles in the Cytoskeleton Is Independent of Actin Filament Kinetics

PloS One. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27977753

The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic network of filaments that is involved in virtually every cellular process. Most actin filaments in metazoa exist as a co-polymer of actin and tropomyosin (Tpm) and the function of an actin filament is primarily defined by the specific Tpm isoform associated with it. However, there is little information on the interdependence of these co-polymers during filament assembly and disassembly. We addressed this by investigating the recovery kinetics of fluorescently tagged isoform Tpm3.1 into actin filament bundles using FRAP analysis in cell culture and in vivo in rats using intracellular intravital microscopy, in the presence or absence of the actin-targeting drug jasplakinolide. The mobile fraction of Tpm3.1 is between 50% and 70% depending on whether the tag is at the C- or N-terminus and whether the analysis is in vivo or in cultured cells. We find that the continuous dynamic exchange of Tpm3.1 is not significantly impacted by jasplakinolide, unlike tagged actin. We conclude that tagged Tpm3.1 may be able to undergo exchange in actin filament bundles largely independent of the assembly and turnover of actin.

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