Visualizing the functional interactions of biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids is key to understanding cellular life on the molecular scale. Spatial proximity is often used as a proxy for the direct interaction of biomolecules. However, current techniques to visualize spatial proximity are either limited by spatial resolution, dynamic range, or lack of single-molecule sensitivity. Here, we introduce Proximity-PAINT (pPAINT), a variation of the super-resolution microscopy technique DNA-PAINT. pPAINT uses a split-docking-site configuration to detect spatial proximity with high sensitivity, low false-positive rates, and tunable detection distances. We benchmark and optimize pPAINT using designer DNA nanostructures and demonstrate its cellular applicability by visualizing the spatial proximity of alpha- and beta-tubulin in microtubules using super-resolution detection.
Keywords: DNA-PAINT; Protein-Protein interactions; Proximity detection; Single Molecule Imaging; Super-resolution microscopy.
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