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J Vis Exp 2023 Jun 02;196:. doi: 10.3791/65311.
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Functional Site-Directed Fluorometry in Native Cells to Study Skeletal Muscle Excitability.

Bibollet H , Bennett DF , Schneider MF , Hernández-Ochoa EO .

Functional site-directed fluorometry has been the technique of choice to investigate the structure-function relationship of numerous membrane proteins, including voltage-gated ion channels. This approach has been used primarily in heterologous expression systems to simultaneously measure membrane currents, the electrical manifestation of the channels' activity, and fluorescence measurements, reporting local domain rearrangements. Functional site-directed fluorometry combines electrophysiology, molecular biology, chemistry, and fluorescence into a single wide-ranging technique that permits the study of real-time structural rearrangements and function through fluorescence and electrophysiology, respectively. Typically, this approach requires an engineered voltage-gated membrane channel that contains a cysteine that can be tested by a thiol-reactive fluorescent dye. Until recently, the thiol-reactive chemistry used for the site-directed fluorescent labeling of proteins was carried out exclusively in Xenopus oocytes and cell lines, restricting the scope of the approach to primary non-excitable cells. This report describes the applicability of functional site-directed fluorometry in adult skeletal muscle cells to study the early steps of excitation-contraction coupling, the process by which muscle fiber electrical depolarization is linked to the activation of muscle contraction. The present protocol describes the methodologies to design and transfect cysteine-engineered voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (CaV1.1) into muscle fibers of the flexor digitorum brevis of adult mice using in vivo electroporation and the subsequent steps required for functional site-directed fluorometry measurements. This approach can be adapted to study other ion channels and proteins. The use of functional site-directed fluorometry of mammalian muscle is particularly relevant to studying basic mechanisms of excitability.

PubMed ID: 37335112
Article link: J Vis Exp
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