Förster transfer recovery reveals that phospholamban exchanges slowly from pentamers but rapidly from the SERCA regulatory complex

Seth L. Robia, Kenneth S. Campbell, Eileen M. Kelly, Zhanjia Hou, Deborah L. Winters, David D. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Phospholamban (PLB) or the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase (SERCA) were fused to cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) and coexpressed with PLB fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). The expressed fluorescently tagged proteins were imaged using epifluorescence and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. YFP fluorescence was selectively bleached by a focused laser beam. CFP fluorescence at the targeted site increased after YFP photobleaching, indicating fluorescence resonance energy transfer between CFP-SERCA/CFP-PLB and YFP-PLB. The increased donor fluorescence relaxed back toward baseline as a result of donor diffusion and exchange of bleached YFP-PLB for unbleached YFP-PLB, which restored fluorescence resonance energy transfer. Requenching of CFP donors, termed Förster transfer recovery (FTR), was quantified as an index of the rate of PLB subunit exchange from the PLB:SERCA and PLB:PLB membrane complexes. PLB subunit exchange from the PLB:SERCA regulatory complex was rapid, showing diffusion-limited FTR (τ=1.4 second). Conversely, PLB:PLB oligomeric complexes were found to be stable on a much longer time scale. Despite free lateral diffusion in the membrane, they showed no FTR over 80 seconds. Mutation of PLB position 40 from isoleucine to alanine (I40A-PLB) did not abolish PLB:PLB energy transfer, but destabilization of the PLB:PLB complex was apparent from an increased FTR rate (τ=8.4 seconds). Oligomers of I40A-PLB were stabilized by oxidative crosslinking of transmembrane cysteines with diamide. We conclude that PLB exchanges rapidly from its regulatory complex with the SERCA pump, whereas subunit exchange from the PLB oligomeric complex is slow and does not occur on the time scale of the cardiac cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Crosslinking
  • FRET
  • Phospholamban
  • TIRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Förster transfer recovery reveals that phospholamban exchanges slowly from pentamers but rapidly from the SERCA regulatory complex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this