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Monitoring of different signalling enzymes in a single assay using multiplex biosensing provides a multidimensional workspace to elucidate biological processes, signalling pathway crosstalk, and determine precise sequence of events at the single living cell level. In this study, we interrogate the complexity in cAMP/PKA-MAPK/ERK1&2 crosstalk by using multi-parameter biosensing experiments to correlate biochemical activities simultaneously in time and space. Using a single excitation wavelength dual colour FLIM method we are able to detect fluorescence lifetime images of two donors to simultaneously measure PKA and ERK1&2 kinase activities in the same cellular localization by using FRET biosensors. To this end, we excite two FRET donors mTFP1 and LSSmOrange with a 440 nm wavelength and we alleviate spectral bleed-through associated limitations with the very dim-fluorescent acceptor ShadowG for mTFP1 and the red-shifted mKate2 for LSSmOrange. The simultaneous recording of PKA and ERK1&2 kinase activities reveals concomitant EGF-mediated activations of both kinases in HeLa cells. Under these conditions the subsequent Forskolin-induced cAMP release reverses the transient increase of EGF-mediated ERK1&2 kinase activity while reinforcing PKA activation. Here we propose a validated methodology for multiparametric kinase biosensing in living cells using FRET-FLIM.

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Biosensing Techniques, Cyclic AMP, Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases, Cytological Techniques, Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer, Fluorescent Dyes, HeLa Cells, Humans, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1, Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3, Optical Imaging, Signal Transduction