New GATEWAY vectors for high throughput analyses of protein-protein interactions by bimolecular fluorescence complementation

Mol Plant. 2009 Sep;2(5):1051-8. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssp040. Epub 2009 Jun 19.


Complex protein interaction networks constitute plant metabolic and signaling systems. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) is a suitable technique to investigate the formation of protein complexes and the localization of protein-protein interactions in planta. However, the generation of large plasmid collections to facilitate the exploration of complex interaction networks is often limited by the need for conventional cloning techniques. Here, we report the implementation of a GATEWAY vector system enabling large-scale combination and investigation of candidate proteins in BiFC studies. We describe a set of 12 GATEWAY-compatible BiFC vectors that efficiently permit the combination of candidate protein pairs with every possible N- or C-terminal sub-fragment of S(CFP)3A or Venus, respectively, and enable the performance of multicolor BiFC (mcBiFC). We used proteins of the plant molybdenum metabolism, in that more than 20 potentially interacting proteins are assumed to form the cellular molybdenum network, as a case study to establish the functionality of the new vectors. Using these vectors, we report the formation of the molybdopterin synthase complex by interaction of Arabidopsis proteins Cnx6 and Cnx7 detected by BiFC as well as the simultaneous formation of Cnx6/Cnx6 and Cnx6/Cnx7 complexes revealed by mcBiFC. Consequently, these GATEWAY-based BiFC vector systems should significantly facilitate the large-scale investigation of complex regulatory networks in plant cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins / chemistry
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics*
  • Luminescent Measurements / methods*
  • Luminescent Proteins / chemistry*
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Tobacco / genetics
  • Tobacco / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Plant Proteins