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Ground State Depletion Super-resolution Imaging in Mammalian Cells.

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Advances in fluorescent microscopy and cell biology are intimately correlated, with the enhanced ability to visualize cellular events often leading to dramatic leaps in our understanding of how cells function. The development and availability of super-resolution microscopy has considerably extended the limits of optical resolution from ~250-20 nm. Biologists are no longer limited to describing molecular interactions in terms of colocalization within a diffraction limited area, rather it is now possible to visualize the dynamic interactions of individual molecules. Here, we outline a protocol for the visualization and quantification of cellular proteins by ground-state depletion microscopy for fixed cell imaging. We provide examples from two different membrane proteins, an element of the endoplasmic reticulum translocon, sec61β, and a plasma membrane-localized voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ channel (CaV1.2). Discussed are the specific microscope parameters, fixation methods, photo-switching buffer formulation, and pitfalls and challenges of image processing.

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