Single-molecule super-resolution fluorescence microscopy conducted in vitrified samples at cryogenic temperatures offers enhanced localization precision due to reduced photobleaching rates, a chemical-free and rapid fixation method, and the potential of correlation with cryogenic electron microscopy. Achieving cryogenic super-resolution microscopy requires the ability to control the sparsity of emissive labels at cryogenic temperatures. Obtaining this control presents a key challenge for the development of this technique. In this work, we identify a red photoactivatable protein, PAmKate, which remains activatable at cryogenic temperatures. We characterize its activation as a function of temperature and find that activation is efficient at cryogenic and room temperatures. We perform cryogenic super-resolution experiments in situ, labeling PopZ, a protein known to assemble into a microdomain at the poles of the model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. We find improved localization precision at cryogenic temperatures compared to room temperature by a factor of 4, attributable to reduced photobleaching.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry