Fast Screening of Protein-Protein Interactions Using Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET-) Based Fluorescence Plate Reader Assay in Live Cells

Durhan S. T., Sezer E. N., SON Ç. D., KÜÇÜK BALOĞLU F.

APPLIED SPECTROSCOPY, vol.77, no.3, pp.292-302, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 77 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/00037028221140914
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Compendex, EMBASE, INSPEC, MEDLINE, Metadex
  • Page Numbers: pp.292-302
  • Keywords: Protein-protein interactions, Forster resonance energy transfer, FRET, confocal microscopy, microplate reader, Gap43, live cells, MICROSCOPY
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) have great importance for intracellular signal transduction and sustaining the homeostasis of an organism. Thus, the identification of PPIs is necessary to better understand the downstream signaling functions of the proteins in healthy and pathological conditions. Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescent proteins (FPs) is a powerful tool for detecting PPIs in living cells. In literature, FRET analysis methods such as donor photobleaching (FLIM), acceptor photobleaching, spectral imaging, and the three-filter cube method (sensitized emission) are abundantly applied to investigate PPIs; however, they require various expensive instrumentations, and their calculation methods are very time consuming. Since confocal microscopy applications and live cell-based techniques of FRET are very costly, scientists sometimes prefer plate readers for FRET experiments. However, plate reader applications also have many disadvantages and considerations compared to confocal fluorescence microscopy, and complex calculation procedures should be performed. To overcome these problems, we propose a FRET-based high-throughput assay method with a standard monochromator-based microplate reader, which is generally available in most biochemistry laboratories, and an alternative calculation procedure. This rapid, low cost, and effective analysis method enables the scientists to prescreen PPIs in living cells as a preliminary study and quick glance at the experiment before preparing the whole experimental setup with the expensive instrumentations. Additionally, the alternative calculation procedure provides the FRET area comparison without complex bleed-through calculations in a non-conventional manner by shortening the analysis processes with this quick and uncomplicated spectral representation.