Investigating the mechanotransduction by two-photon fluorescence microscopy measurement of intracellular free energy of binding
Author(s)Abdul Rahim, Nur Aida
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Roger D. Kamm.
MetadataShow full item record
Force, due either to haemodynamic shear stress or relayed directly to the cell through adhesion complexes, is transmitted and translated into biological signals. This process is known as mechanotransduction. Extensive studies have been carried out on the signaling pathways involved in mechanotransduction. However, the mechanism(s) of mechanotransduction has yet to be fully understood. This thesis focuses on the measurement of the intracellular binding constant between focal adhesion proteins of interest, GFP-Paxillin and FAT-mCherry, using two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy and the utility of it as a measure of protein conformational change. The hypothesis tested is that force-induced changes in protein conformation alter inter-protein binding affinity. A comprehensive toolkit that utilizes fluorescence microscopy techniques, Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) and its corollary, Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM), as well as Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), was developed. A procedure by which low photon counts cell data from FLIM could be included in global analysis fits and be corrected for was developed. This results in the recovery of maximum information from cellular data. Successful intracellular FCS measurements were combined with FLIM global analysis data to calculate the free energy of binding between GFP-Paxillin and FAT-mCherry. Results demonstrate that inter-cell heterogeneity exists and likely gives rise to differences in measured AIG. The application of these measurement techniques to cells experiencing 10% step strain shows that inter-protein binding is tighter upon stretch application. The source of this change is not clear, though Tyr phosphorylation has been ruled out by biochemical disruption of kinase activity.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (p. 99-108).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology