Using FLIM-FRET for Characterizing Spatial Interactions in the Spindle

Ems-McClung SC, Walczak CE

Methods Mol Biol . 2022;2415:221-243. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1904-9_17.
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Proper spindle assembly and the attachment of chromosomes to the spindle are key for the accurate segregation of chromosomes to daughter cells. Errors in these processes can lead to aneuploidy, which is a hallmark of cancer. Understanding the mechanisms that drive spindle assembly will provide fundamental insights into how accurate chromosome segregation is achieved. One challenge in elucidating the complexities of spindle assembly is to visualize protein interactions in space and time. The Xenopus egg extract system has been a valuable tool to probe protein function during spindle assembly in vitro. Tagging proteins with fluorescent proteins and utilizing fluorescence-based approaches, such as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), have provided visual clues about the mechanics of spindle assembly and its regulators. However, elucidating how spindle assembly factors are spatially regulated is still challenging. Combining the egg extract system and visual FRET approaches provides a powerful tool to probe the processes involved in spindle assembly. Here we describe how a FLIM-FRET biosensor can be used to study protein-protein interactions in spindles assembled in Xenopus egg extracts. This approach should be readily adaptable to a wide variety of proteins to allow for new insights into the regulation of spindle assembly.



Ems-McClung SC, Walczak CE. Using FLIM-FRET for Characterizing Spatial Interactions in the Spindle. Methods Mol Biol. 2022;2415:221-243. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1904-9_17. PMID: 34972958; PMCID: PMC8740612.