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Journal of microscopy

An icosahedral virus as a fluorescent calibration standard: a method for counting protein molecules in cells by fluorescence microscopy.


PMID 28328099

Abstract

The ability to replace genes coding for cellular proteins with DNA that codes for fluorescent protein-tagged versions opens the way to counting the number of molecules of each protein component of macromolecular assemblies in vivo by measuring fluorescence microscopically. Converting fluorescence to absolute numbers of molecules requires a fluorescent standard whose molecular composition is known precisely. In this report, the construction, properties and mode of using a set of fluorescence calibration standards are described. The standards are based on an icosahedral virus engineered to contain exactly 240 copies of one of seven different fluorescent proteins. Two applications of the fluorescent standards to counting molecules in the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii are described. Methods for improving the preciseness of the measurements and minimizing potential inaccuracies are emphasized.

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P5413
Poly(ethylene glycol), for molecular biology, average mol wt 8,000