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Extracellular Ca2+-sensing fluorescent protein biosensor based on a collagen-binding domain

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The importance of extracellular gradients of biomolecules is increasingly appreciated in the processes of tissue development and regeneration, in health and disease. In particular, the dynamics of extracellular calcium concentration is rarely studied. Here, we present a low affinity Ca2+ biosensor based on Twitch-2B fluorescent protein fused with the cellulose- and collagen-binding peptides. These recombinant chimeric proteins can bind cellulose and collagen scaffolds and enable scaffold-based biosensing of Ca2+ in the proximity of cells in live 3D tissue models. We found that the Twitch-2B mutant is compatible with intensity-based ratiometric and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) measurement formats, under one- and two-photon excitation modes. Furthermore, the donor fluorescence lifetime of the biosensor displays response to [Ca2+] over a range of similar to 2-2.5 ns, making it attractive for multiplexed FLIM assays. To evaluate the performance of this biosensor in physiological measurements, we applied it to the live Lgr5-GFP mouse intestinal organoid culture and measured its responses to the changes in extracellular Ca2+ upon chelation with EGTA. When combined with spectrally resolved FLIM of lipid droplets using Nile red dye, we observed changes in cytoplasmic and basal membrane-associated lipid droplet composition in response to the extracellular Ca2+ depletion, suggesting that the intestinal epithelium can respond to and compensate such treatment. Altogether, our results demonstrate Twitch-2B as a prospective Ca2+ sensor for multiplexed FLIM analysis in a complex 3D tissue environment.
Journal: ACS APPLIED BIO MATERIALS
ISSN: 2576-6422
Issue: 8
Volume: 3
Pages: 5310 - 5321
Publication year:2020