Advanced fluorescence imaging of in situ protein aggregation.
The aggregation of intrinsically disordered proteins is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. Although we currently have a good molecular level understanding on how protein aggregation occurs in vitro, the details of its self-assembly in live cells are still mainly unknown. During the last ten years, we have witnessed the rapid development of advanced imaging techniques, especially super-resolution and fluorescence lifetime-based microscopy, in different areas of cell biology. These methods have been revolutionising our understanding of how proteins aggregate, providing unprecedented high spatial-temporal resolution which permits us to capture the kinetics of aggregate seeding and expansion, the motion and distribution of individual aggregates within the cells, and its structural change. In this article, we will review the study of in situ protein aggregation using advanced imaging techniques, with the focus on protein aggregate structure and its assembly dynamics.