Live-Cell FRET Imaging Reveals a Role of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Activity Dynamics in Thymocyte Motility


Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) plays critical roles in T cell development in the thymus. Nevertheless, the dynamics of ERK activity and the role of ERK in regulating thymocyte motility remain largely unknown due to technical limitations. To visualize ERK activity in thymocytes, we here developed knockin reporter mice expressing a Förster/fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based biosensor for ERK from the ROSA26 locus. Live imaging of thymocytes isolated from the reporter mice revealed that ERK regulates thymocyte motility in a subtype-specific manner. Negative correlation between ERK activity and motility was observed in CD4/CD8 double-positive thymocytes and CD8 single-positive thymocytes, but not in CD4 single-positive thymocytes. Interestingly, however, the temporal deviations of ERK activity from the average correlate with the motility of CD4 single-positive thymocytes. Thus, live-cell FRET imaging will open a window to understanding the dynamic nature and the diverse functions of ERK signaling in T cell biology.


  • iScience

    iScience 10 98-113, 2018-12-21

    Elsevier BV

Citations (3)*help

See more


See more

Related Projects

See more


Report a problem

Back to top