The promyelocytic leukemia (pml) gene product PML is a tumor suppressor localized mainly in the nucleus of mammalian cells. In the cell nucleus, PML seeds the formation of macromolecular multiprotein complexes, known as PML nuclear bodies (PML NBs). While PML NBs have been implicated in many cellular functions including cell cycle regulation, survival and apoptosis their role as signaling hubs along major genome maintenance pathways emerged more clearly. However, despite extensive research over the past decades, the precise biochemical function of PML in these pathways is still elusive. It remains a big challenge to unify all the different previously suggested cellular functions of PML NBs into one mechanistic model. With the advent of genetically encoded fluorescent proteins it became possible to trace protein function in living specimens. In parallel, a variety of fluorescence fluctuation microscopy (FFM) approaches have been developed which allow precise determination of the biophysical and interaction properties of cellular factors at the single molecule level in living cells. In this report, we summarize the current knowledge on PML nuclear bodies and describe several fluorescence imaging, manipulation, FFM, and super-resolution techniques suitable to analyze PML body assembly and function. These include fluorescence redistribution after photobleaching, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, raster image correlation spectroscopy, ultraviolet laser microbeam-induced DNA damage, erythrocyte-mediated force application, and super-resolution microscopy approaches. Since most if not all of the microscopic equipment to perform these techniques may be available in an institutional or nearby facility, we hope to encourage more researches to exploit sophisticated imaging tools for their research in cancer biology.
Hoischen, C., Monajembashi, S., Weisshart, K., & Hemmerich, P. (2018, May 25). Multimodal light microscopy approaches to reveal structural and functional properties of promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies. Frontiers in Oncology. Frontiers Media S.A. https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2018.00125