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Eva Arnspang Christensen is the associate professor and head of the team in molecular biofotonics at the department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology and a young researcher. She has already shown remarkable results in research by using super-resolution photomedicated microscopy techniques to visualize how proteins are organized in both living and fixed cell membranes. She is active in the measurement of membrane protein diffusion coefficients, which is the most direct tool to see if changes in membrane lipid compositions result in altered diffusion of proteins. She has published five articles on diffusion with k-Space Image Correlation Spectroscopy (kICS) applied to membrane proteins and lipids, including a method paper in collaboration with researchers at McGill University, Montreal Canada.
Single particle localization and live tracking in cells are essential to reveal nanoscale regulation of proteins. The water channel aquaporin-3 (AQP3) is important for the renal ability to concentrate urine but little is known regarding plasma membrane regulation of AQP3 in response to short-term hormone mediated urine concentration facilitated by increased levels of cAMP. Super resolution Photoactivatable Localization Microscopy (PALM) with quantitative Pair Correlation analysis (PC-PALM) revealed cAMP mediated nanoscale clustering of AQP3 in the plasma membrane upon cAMP stimulation. Novel power spectral analysis of live-PALM image sequences of tracks lasting 5 frames revealed that while the measured diffusion coefficients of AQP3 were identical between control and cAMP stimulated cells, the confinement radius increased significantly for long trajectories, in qualitative agreement with the results from PC-PALM analysis. Thus fixed and live PALM measurements revealed a change in AQP3 plasma membrane nano-organization upon cAMP stimulation, indicating short-term hormone regulation of AQP3 at the nanoscale level. This regulation of nano-organization may play an important physiological function in regulation of urine concentration and body water homeostasis.