University of Sussex
Armes, Helen Elizabeth Harcourt.pdf (16.09 MB)

Implementing super-resolution palm microscopy in fission yeast

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posted on 2023-06-09, 05:24 authored by Helen Elizabeth Harcourt Armes
Fluorescence microscopy is a popular biological technique because it allows the study of cells in great detail. However, the resolution achievable is limited by the diffraction properties of light, meaning that fine detail cannot be resolved. Various super-resolution microscopy methods have been developed to break this resolution limit. This thesis focuses on the single molecule localisation microscopy techniques. My host laboratory focuses on DNA replication and repair pathways using the model organism Schizosaccharomyces pombe (fission yeast). The aim of this thesis is thus to apply the technique of photo-activatable localisation microscopy (PALM) to specific biological questions in order to establish its benefits and limitations. In theory, in PALM every molecule will be imaged once and, as such, could be counted. So far this has been largely limited to membrane proteins. Using a combination of artificially created fluorescent oligomers, endogenous ribonucleotide reductase proteins tagged with mEos and computer simulations I studied the feasibility of counting highly expressed cytoplasmic proteins and assigning them to complexes of known or unknown stoichiometry. I established that density of expression is a significant limiting factor when using PALM to resolve complex stoichiometry. I thus went on to develop a variation of fluorescence correlation spectrometry to study the same protein complexes to see if we could determine their stoichiometry by diffusion speed. I established that the technique could differentiate between quite small changes in size. However the endogenous complex did not respond well to the fluorophore used so I was not able to establish its size. Using the PALM system I also studied a biological molecule, Rrp2, which was expressed at such low levels it was not possible to observe with conventional fluorescence microscopy. I established that we were able to observe this protein at endogenous levels and characterised its behaviour in response to stress.


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University of Sussex

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