Motivation: Biologistics provides data for quantitative analysis of transport (diffusion) processes and their spatio-temporal correlations in cells. Mobility of proteins is one of the few parameters necessary to describe reaction rates for gene regulation. Although understanding of diffusion-limited biochemical reactions in vivo requires mobility data for the largest possible number of proteins in their native forms, currently, there is no database that would contain the complete information about the diffusion coefficients (DCs) of proteins in a given cell type.
Results: We demonstrate a method for the determination of in vivo DCs for any molecule—regardless of its molecular weight, size and structure—in any type of cell. We exemplify the method with the database of in vivo DC for all proteins (4302 records) from the proteome of K12 strain of Escherichia coli, together with examples of DC of amino acids, sugars, RNA and DNA. The database follows from the scale-dependent viscosity reference curve (sdVRC). Construction of sdVRC for prokaryotic or eukaryotic cell requires ~20 in vivo measurements using techniques such as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) or particle tracking. The shape of the sdVRC would be different for each organism, but the mathematical form of the curve remains the same. The presented method has a high predictive power, as the measurements of DCs of several inert, properly chosen probes in a single cell type allows to determine the DCs of thousands of proteins. Additionally, obtained mobility data allow quantitative study of biochemical interactions in vivo.