I’m currently at MBL, teaching microscopy in the Physiology course, hence the reduced rate of posting. Not surprisingly there’s been a lot of discussion about microscopy, including a great talk from Hari Shroff (about which more later). Today we had a talk from John Allen, standing in for Mike Davidson. John gave a very nice overview of the state of the art in the fluorescent protein field. Most of what was covered is published and reasonably well known, but I did learn about a recent paper for a quantitative way of assessing fluorescent protein aggregation by fusing proteins to an ER membrane protein. Protein aggregation restructures the ER into smooth-ER like whorls that can be detected by imaging; the amount of such structures correlates with the aggregation of fluorescent proteins . How well this correlates with protein function in other contexts remains to be seen, but a systematic assay for fluorescent protein aggregation potential is very welcome.
- L.M. Costantini, M. Fossati, M. Francolini, and E.L. Snapp, "Assessing the tendency of fluorescent proteins to oligomerize under physiologic conditions.", Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark), 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22289035