Photons in - numbers out: perspectives in quantitative fluorescence microscopy for in situ protein counting

The full understanding of cellular functions requires information about protein numbers for various biomolecular assemblies and their dynamics, which can be partly accessed by super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. Yet, many protein assemblies and cellular structures remain below the accessible resolution on the order of tens of nanometers thereby evading direct observation of processes, like self-association or oligomerization, that are crucial for many cellular functions. Over the recent years, several approaches have been developed addressing concentrations and copy numbers of biomolecules in cellular samples for specific applications. This has been achieved by new labeling strategies and improved sample preparation as well as advancements in super-resolution and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. So far, none of the methods has reached a level of general and versatile usability due to individual advantages and limitations. In this article, important requirements of an ideal quantitative microscopy approach of general usability are outlined and discussed in the context of existing methods including sample preparation and labeling quality which are essential for the robustness and reliability of the methods and future applications in cell biology.

Published in:
Methods And Applications In Fluorescence, 7, 1, 012003
Jan 01 2019

 Record created 2019-01-31, last modified 2019-04-15

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