Polar accumulation of the metabolic sensory histidine kinases DcuS and CitA in Escherichia coli.
This study introduces a method to detect individual oxygen molecules by fluorescence microscopy of single hemocyanins. These respiratory proteins from a tarantula bind oxygen with high affinity. A spectrometric signature of the oxygenated protein is transferred to an attached fluorescence label, which can be detected at the single-molecule level. This technique opens new perspectives for the development of small and sensitive oxygen sensors as well as for the investigation of cooperative oxygen binding in respiratory proteins.