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Imaging beyond the super-resolution limits using ultrastructure expansion microscopy

Venue: Milkyway/Andromeda conference room, Alfa building, floor 2, SciLifeLab in Solna

Speaker: Davide Gambarotto, Dept of Cell Biology, University of Geneve, Switzerland

For decades, electron microscopy (EM) was the only method able to reveal the ultrastructure of cellular organelles and molecular complexes because of the diffraction limit of optical microscopy. In recent past, the emergence of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy enabled the visualization of cellular structures with so far unmatched spatial resolution approaching virtually molecular dimensions. Despite these technological advances, currently super-resolution microscopy does not permit the same resolution level as provided by electron microscopy, impeding the attribution of a protein to an ultrastructural element. Here, we report a novel method of near-native expansion microscopy (UltraExM), enabling the visualization of preserved ultrastructures of macromolecular assemblies with subdiffraction-resolution by standard optical microscopy. UltraExM revealed for the first time the ultrastructural localization of tubulin glutamylation in centrioles. Combined with super-resolution microscopy, UltraExM unveiled the centriolar chirality, an ultrastructural signature, which was only visualizable by electron microscopy.

Host: ALM facility Hans Blom & David Unnersjö-Jess