Wood C, Huff J, Marshall W, Yu EQ

SPIE. 2011 Feb 22


To measure protein interactions, diffusion properties, and local concentrations in single cells, Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) is a well-established and widely accepted method. However, measurements can take a long time and are laborious. Therefore investigations are typically limited to tens or a few hundred cells. We developed an automated system to overcome these limitations and make FCS available for High Content Screening (HCS). We acquired data in an auto-correlation screen of more than 4000 of the 6000 proteins of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae , tagged with eGFP and expanded the HCS to use cross-correlation between eGFP and mCherry tagged proteins to screen for molecular interactions. We performed all high-content FCS screens (HCS-FCS) in a 96 well plate format. The system is based on an extended Carl Zeiss fluorescence correlation spectrometer ConfoCor 3 attached to a confocal microscope LSM 510. We developed image-processing software to control these hardware components. The confocal microscope obtained overview images and we developed an algorithm to search for and detect single cells. At each cell, we positioned a laser beam at a well-defined point and recorded the fluctuation signal. We used automatic scoring of the signal for quality control. All data was stored and organized in a database based on the open source Open Microscopy Environment (OME) platform. To analyze the data we used the image processing language IDL and the open source statistical software package R.