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Keywords:

  • Confocal Microscopy;
  • Colocalization;
  • Fluorescent Microscopy;
  • Biomolecules;
  • Molecular Interactions;
  • High resolution microscopy

Summary

The spatial relationship, or degree of colocalization, between two or more types of molecules in live cells is commonly detected using fluorescence microscopy. This spatial distribution can be used to estimate the interaction between fluorescently labelled molecules. These interactions are usually quantified by analysing the correlation and/or the overlap between images, using the Pearson's and Manders’ coefficients, respectively. However, the correlation and overlap coefficients are parameters not designed to quantify molecular interactions. Here we propose a new colocalization coefficient specifically designed to quantify the interactions between molecules. In well-defined thermodynamic ensembles, this coefficient can in principle be used to calculate relevant statistical thermodynamic quantities such as binding free energies.