Analysis of protein interactions in situ by proximity ligation assays

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2014;377:111-26. doi: 10.1007/82_2013_334.

Abstract

The fate of the cell is governed by interactions among proteins, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules. It is vital to look at these interactions in a cellular environment if we want to increase our understanding of cellular processes. Herein we will describe how the in situ proximity ligation assay (in situ PLA) can be used to visualize protein interactions in fixed cells and tissues. In situ PLA is a novel technique that uses DNA, together with DNA modifying processes such as ligation, cleavage, and polymerization, as tools to create surrogate markers for protein interactions of interest. Different in situ PLA designs make it possible not only to detect protein-protein interactions but also post-translational modifications and interactions of proteins with nucleic acids. Flexibility in DNA probe design and the multitude of different DNA modifying enzymes provide the basis for modifications of the method to make it suitable to use in many applications. Furthermore, examples of how in situ PLA can be combined with other methods for a comprehensive view of the cellular activity status are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*

Substances

  • Proteins
  • DNA