ReceptorLight: High-end light microscopy elucidates membrane receptor function
In the CRC/TR 166 ReceptorLight high-end light microscopy techniques with highest spatial and time resolution are applied and further developed to gain deeper insight into the function of membrane receptors. Following the binding of so-called ligands, membrane receptors generate signals that control the cells of an organism in a multifaceted manner. In the past years new light microscopy methods have provided essentially new insights into the function of membrane receptors, for example into the rates of ligand binding to and the conformational changes within the membrane receptors. Concerning the localization of the receptors, a spatial resolution in the range of 20 nm has been reached, which is far below the optical diffraction limit reported by Ernst Abbe.
The working groups in Jena and Würzburg contributing to ReceptorLight bundle their methodological expertise in the field of high-end microscopy with that in the fields of physiology and biophysics of membrane receptors. This collaboration aims to generate new insight into the function and distribution of diverse membrane receptors, and in parallel, to induce the development of new high-end light-microscopy methods. The 21 projects will use e.g. super-resolution microscopy, 3-dimensional two photon calcium imaging, single-molecule strategies, tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, confocal patch-clamp fluorometry, Förster resonance energy transfer analyses and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy as well as combinations thereof.
These methods and complex mathematical algorithms for the analysis of the data will be used by the participants of ReceptorLight in close collaboration.
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