Scanning two-photon fluctuation correlation spectroscopy: particle counting measurements for detection of molecular aggregation
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/s0006-3495(96)79242-1
Scanning fluctuation correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is an experimental technique capable of measuring particle number concentrations by monitoring spontaneous equilibrium fluctuations in the local concentration of a fluorescent species in a small (femtoliter) subvolume of a sample. The method can be used to detect molecular aggregation for dilute, submicromolar samples by directly "counting particles". We introduce the application of two-photon excitation to scanning FCS and discuss its important advantages for this technique. We demonstrate the capability of measuring particle number concentrations in solution, first with dilute samples of monodisperse 7-nm and 15-nm radius latex spheres, and then with B phycoerythrin. The detection of multiple species in a single sample is shown, using mixtures containing both sphere sizes. The method is then applied to study protein aggregation in solution. We monitor the concentration-dependent association/ dissociation equilibrium for glycogen phosphorylase A and malate dehydrogenase. The measured dissociation constants, 430 nM and 144 nM respectively, are in good agreement with previously published values. In addition, oligomer dissociation induced by pH titration from pH 8 to pH 5.0 is detectable for the enyme phosphofructokinase. The possibility of measuring dissociation kinetics by scanning two-photon FCS is also demonstrated using phosphofructokinase.