Title: "Seeing protein motion in living cells with nanometer resolution and (ideally) with ~ millisecond temporal resolution."
Speaker: Paul Selvin, Professor, Biological Physics, The Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.
We have developed several techniques that can be used to study neurons, and separately, molecular motors. In neurons, the AMPA Receptors (AMPARs) are the primary receptors that enable a neuron to communicate with another neuron. During learning, the number of AMPAR increases, and likewise, during forgetting the number decreases. During neuropathies, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, the AMPARs inexorably decrease. We are interested in seeing the dynamics and the number of AMPAR both with learning (called Long Term Potentiation, or LTP) and with AD on living brain slices. Because the AMPARs are in the synapses, where the dimensions are < 30 nm or-so, we need to do this with super-resolution. We have developed several new labeling techniques—using antibodies, fragments of antibodies, new chemical cross-linkers—combined with several new techniques which go by the name of FIONA, STORM, and PAINT, that can get the appropriate resolution on living brain slices and neurons. Separately, when combined with nitrogen-vacancy centers (NV-centers), sometimes with photonic cavities, dynamics at millisecond resolution of molecular motors is possible. Finally, we also show that MINFLUX, another technique recently acquired by UIUC, can get nanometer resolution on neurons and has the potential for millisecond resolution with molecular motors.