Lateral diffusion contributes to FRET from lanthanide-tagged membrane proteins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Diffusion can enhance Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) when donors or acceptors diffuse distances that are similar to the distances separating them during the donor's excited state lifetime. Lanthanide donors remain in the excited state for milliseconds, which makes them useful for time-resolved FRET applications but also allows time for diffusion to enhance energy transfer. Here we show that diffusion dramatically enhances FRET between membrane proteins labeled with lanthanide donors. This phenomenon complicates interpretation of experiments that use long-lived donors to infer association or proximity of mobile membrane proteins, but also offers a method of monitoring diffusion in membrane domains in real time in living cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-248
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2015


  • Diffusion
  • FRET
  • GPCR
  • GPI-anchored proteins
  • HTRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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