DiscussionFLIM is commonly used as a means of reading out Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescent fusion proteins in cells. Using the FLIM plate reader to investigate large populations of cells per experimental condition without significant user input has allowed statistically significant results to be obtained in FRET experiments that present relatively small changes in mean fluorescent lifetime. This capability has been applied to investigations of FOXM1 SUMOylation in response to anthracycline treatment, and to studies of the spatiotemporal activation profiles of small GTPases. Furthermore, the FLIM plate reader allows FLIM-FRET to be applied to protein-protein interaction screening. The application of the instrument to screening RASSF proteins for interaction with MST1 is discussed.
The FLIM plate reader was also configured to utilise ultraviolet excitation radiation and optimised for the measurement of autofluorescence lifetime for label-free assays of biological samples. Experiments investigating the autofluorescence lifetime of live cells under the influence of metabolic modulators are presented alongside the design considerations necessary when using UV excitation for HCA-FLIM.