Tracking protein aggregation and mislocalization in cells with flow cytometry

Nat Methods. 2012 Mar 18;9(5):467-70. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1930.


We applied pulse-shape analysis (PulSA) to monitor protein localization changes in mammalian cells by flow cytometry. PulSA enabled high-throughput tracking of protein aggregation, translocation from the cytoplasm to the nucleus and trafficking from the plasma membrane to the Golgi as well as stress-granule formation. Combining PulSA with tetracysteine-based oligomer sensors in a cell model of Huntington's disease enabled further separation of cells enriched with monomers, oligomers and inclusion bodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Huntingtin Protein
  • Huntington Disease / metabolism*
  • Inclusion Bodies / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport


  • HTT protein, human
  • Huntingtin Protein
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins