It has been hypothesized that interaction of Bcl-2 and Bax may regulate apoptosis. The spatial and temporal interaction of Bcl-2 and Bax at the single cell level has not, however, been demonstrated. To achieve this goal, we have developed two-fusion FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer). Using green fluorescent protein (GFP)-Bax and blue fluorescent protein (BFP)- Bcl-2 fusion proteins coexpressed in the same cell, we demonstrate a direct interaction between Bcl-2 and Bax in individual mitochondria. Mitochondrially localized cytochrome c-GFP and BFP-Bcl-2 showed little or no FRET, while nuclear-localized GFP-human papillomavirus E6 and BFP-Bcl-2 did not interact when coexpressed in the same cell. These findings indicate that two-fusion FRET provides an opportunity to examine the interaction between two different proteins coexpressed in single intact mammalian cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-552
Number of pages6
JournalNature Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998


  • Apoptosis
  • Microscopy
  • Protein interactions


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