Quantitative FRET analysis with the E0GFP-mCherry fluorescent protein pair

Lorenzo Albertazzi, Daniele Arosio, Laura Marchetti, Fernanda Ricci, Fabio Beltram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescent proteins (FPs) is a powerful tool to investigate protein-protein interaction and even protein modifications in living cells. Here, we analyze the E 0GFP-mCherry pair and show that it can yield a reproducible quantitative determination of the energy transfer efficiency both in vivo and in vitro. The photophysics of the two proteins is reported and shows good spectral overlap (Förster radius R0 = 51 Å), low crosstalk between acceptor and donor channels, and independence of the emission spectra from pH and halide ion concentration. Acceptor photobleaching (APB) and one- and two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) are used to quantitatively determine FRET efficiency values. A FRET standard is introduced based on a tandem construct comprising donor and acceptor together with a 20 amino acid long cleavable peptidic linker. Reference values are obtained via enzymatic cleavage of the linker and are used as benchmarks for APB and FLIM data. E0GFP-mCherry shows ideal properties for FLIM detection of FRET and yields high accuracy both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the recently introduced phasor approach to FLIM is shown to yield straightforward and accurate two-photon FRET efficiency data even in suboptimal experimental conditions. The consistence of these results with the reference method (both in vitro and in vivo) reveals that this new pair can be used for very effective quantitative FRET imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-297
Number of pages11
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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