Understanding the function of protein complexes requires information on their molecular organization, specifically, their oligomerization level. Optical super-resolution microscopy can localize single protein complexes in cells with high precision, however, the quantification of their oligomerization level, remains a challenge. Here, we present a Quantitative Algorithm for Fluorescent Kinetics Analysis (QAFKA), that serves as a fully automated workflow for quantitative analysis of single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) data by extracting fluorophore "blinking"events. QAFKA includes an automated localization algorithm, the extraction of emission features per localization cluster, and a deep neural network-based estimator that reports the ratios of cluster types within the population. We demonstrate molecular quantification of protein monomers and dimers on simulated and experimental SMLM data. We further demonstrate that QAFKA accurately reports quantitative information on the monomer/dimer equilibrium of membrane receptors in single immobilized cells, opening the door to single-cell single-protein analysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry