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Articles by Haodong Chen in JoVE

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Quantitative Analysis of Chromatin Proteomes in Disease

1Department of Anesthesiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 2Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 3Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 4Department of Internal Medicine, Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute, University of Utah

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Advances in mass spectrometry have allowed the high throughput analysis of protein expression and modification in a host of tissues. Combined with subcellular fractionation and disease models, quantitative mass spectrometry and bioinformatics can reveal new properties in biological systems. The method described herein analyzes chromatin-associated proteins in the setting of heart disease and is readily applicable to other in vivo models of human disease.

Other articles by Haodong Chen on PubMed

An Indole-3-acetic Acid Carboxyl Methyltransferase Regulates Arabidopsis Leaf Development

Auxin is central to many aspects of plant development; accordingly, plants have evolved several mechanisms to regulate auxin levels, including de novo auxin biosynthesis, degradation, and conjugation to sugars and amino acids. Here, we report the characterization of an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant, IAA carboxyl methyltransferase1-dominant (iamt1-D), which displayed dramatic hyponastic leaf phenotypes caused by increased expression levels of the IAMT1 gene. IAMT1 encodes an indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) carboxyl methyltransferase that converts IAA to methyl-IAA ester (MeIAA) in vitro, suggesting that methylation of IAA plays an important role in regulating plant development and auxin homeostasis. Whereas both exogenous IAA and MeIAA inhibited primary root and hypocotyl elongation, MeIAA was much more potent than IAA in a hypocotyl elongation assay, indicating that IAA activities could be effectively regulated by methylation. IAMT1 was spatially and temporally regulated during the development of both rosette and cauline leaves. Changing expression patterns and/or levels of IAMT1 often led to dramatic leaf curvature phenotypes. In iamt1-D, the decreased expression levels of TCP genes, which are known to regulate leaf curvature, may partially account for the curly leaf phenotype. The identification of IAMT1 and the elucidation of its role in Arabidopsis leaf development have broad implications for auxin-regulated developmental process.

Arabidopsis CULLIN4 Forms an E3 Ubiquitin Ligase with RBX1 and the CDD Complex in Mediating Light Control of Development

Repression of photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana requires activity of the COP9 signalosome (CSN), CDD, and COP1 complexes, but how these three complexes work in concert to accomplish this important developmental switch has remained unknown. Here, we demonstrate that Arabidopsis CULLIN4 (CUL4) associates with the CDD complex and a common catalytic subunit to form an active E3 ubiquitin ligase both in vivo and in vitro. The partial loss of function of CUL4 resulted in a constitutive photomorphogenic phenotype with respect to morphogenesis and light-regulated gene expression. Furthermore, CUL4 exhibits a synergistic genetic interaction with COP10 and DET1. Therefore, this CUL4-based E3 ligase is essential for the repression of photomorphogenesis. This CUL4-based E3 ligase appears to associate physically with COP1 E3 ligase and positively regulates the COP1-dependent degradation of photomorphogenesis-promoting transcription factors, whereas the CSN controls the biochemical modification of CUL4 essential for E3 activity. Thus, this study suggests a biochemical activity connection between CSN and CDD complexes in their cooperation with COP1 in orchestrating the repression of photomorphogenesis.

Plant Biology Research Comes of Age in China

Characterization of Arabidopsis and Rice DWD Proteins and Their Roles As Substrate Receptors for CUL4-RING E3 Ubiquitin Ligases

A subset of WD40 proteins that contain a DWD motif (for DDB1 binding WD40) is reported to act as substrate receptors for DDB1-CUL4-ROC1 (for Damaged DNA Binding 1-Cullin 4-Regulator of Cullins 1) based E3 ubiquitin ligases in humans. Here, we report 85 Arabidopsis thaliana and 78 rice (Oryza sativa) proteins containing the conserved 16-amino acid DWD motif. We show by yeast two-hybrid and in vivo coimmunoprecipitation that 11 Arabidopsis DWD proteins directly interact with DDB1 and thus may serve as substrate receptors for the DDB1-CUL4 machinery. We further examine whether the DWD protein PRL1 (for Pleiotropic Regulatory Locus 1) may act as part of a CUL4-based E3 ligase. PRL1 directly interacts with DDB1, and prl1 and cul4cs mutants exhibited similar phenotypes, including altered responses to a variety of stimuli. Moreover, AKIN10 (for Arabidopsis SNF1 Kinase Homolog 10) was degraded more slowly in cell extracts of prl1 and cul4cs than in cell extracts of the wild type. Thus, both genetic and biochemical analyses support the conclusion that PRL1 is the substrate receptor of a CUL4-ROC1-DDB1-PRL1 E3 ligase involved in the degradation of AKIN10. This work adds a large new family to the current portfolio of plant E3 ubiquitin ligases.

Arabidopsis DDB1-CUL4 ASSOCIATED FACTOR1 Forms a Nuclear E3 Ubiquitin Ligase with DDB1 and CUL4 That is Involved in Multiple Plant Developmental Processes

The human DDB1-CUL4 ASSOCIATED FACTOR (DCAF) proteins have been reported to interact directly with UV-DAMAGED DNA BINDING PROTEIN1 (DDB1) through the WDxR motif in their WD40 domain and function as substrate-recognition receptors for CULLIN4-based E3 ubiquitin ligases. Here, we identified and characterized a homolog of human DCAF1/VprBP in Arabidopsis thaliana. Yeast two-hybrid analysis demonstrated the physical interaction between DCAF1 and DDB1 from Arabidopsis, which is likely mediated via the WD40 domain of DCAF1 that contains two WDxR motifs. Moreover, coimmunoprecipitation assays showed that DCAF1 associates with DDB1, RELATED TO UBIQUITIN-modified CUL4, and the COP9 signalosome in vivo but not with CULLIN-ASSOCIATED and NEDDYLATION-DISSOCIATED1, CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1), or the COP10-DET1-DDB1 complex, supporting the existence of a distinct Arabidopsis CUL4 E3 ubiquitin ligase, the CUL4-DDB1-DCAF1 complex. Transient expression of fluorescently tagged DCAF1, DDB1, and CUL4 in onion epidermal cells showed their colocalization in the nucleus, consistent with the notion that the CUL4-DDB1-DCAF1 complex functions as a nuclear E3 ubiquitin ligase. Genetic and phenotypic analysis of two T-DNA insertion mutants of DCAF1 showed that embryonic development of the dcaf1 homozygote is arrested at the globular stage, indicating that DCAF1 is essential for plant embryogenesis. Reducing the levels of DCAF1 leads to diverse developmental defects, implying that DCAF1 might be involved in multiple developmental pathways.

Arabidopsis CULLIN4-damaged DNA Binding Protein 1 Interacts with CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1-SUPPRESSOR OF PHYA Complexes to Regulate Photomorphogenesis and Flowering Time

CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1) possesses E3 ligase activity and promotes degradation of key factors involved in the light regulation of plant development. The finding that CULLIN4 (CUL4)-Damaged DNA Binding Protein1 (DDB1) interacts with DDB1 binding WD40 (DWD) proteins to act as E3 ligases implied that CUL4-DDB1 may associate with COP1-SUPPRESSOR OF PHYA (SPA) protein complexes, since COP1 and SPAs are DWD proteins. Here, we demonstrate that CUL4-DDB1 physically associates with COP1-SPA complexes in vitro and in vivo, likely via direct interaction of DDB1 with COP1 and SPAs. The interactions between DDB1 and COP1, SPA1, and SPA3 were disrupted by mutations in the WDXR motifs of MBP-COP1, His-SPA1, and His-SPA3. CUL4 cosuppression mutants enhanced weak cop1 photomorphogenesis and flowered early under short days. Early flowering of short day-grown cul4 mutants correlated with increased FLOWERING LOCUS T transcript levels, whereas CONSTANS transcript levels were not altered. De-etiolated1 and COP1 can bind DDB1 and may work with CUL4-DDB1 in distinct complexes, but they mediate photomorphogenesis in concert. Thus, a series of CUL4-DDB1-COP1-SPA E3 ligase complexes may mediate the repression of photomorphogenesis and, possibly, of flowering time.

Rapid and Reliable Detection of 11 Food-borne Pathogens Using Thin-film Biosensor Chips

Traditional methods for identifying food-borne pathogens are time-consuming and laborious, so it is necessary to develop innovative methods for the rapid identification of food-borne pathogens. Here, we report the development of silicon-based optical thin-film biosensor chips for sensitive detection of 11 food-borne pathogens. Briefly, aldehyde-labeled probes were arrayed and covalently attached to a hydrazine-derivatized chip surface, and then, biotinylated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplicons were hybridized with the probes. After washing and brief incubation with an antibiotin immunoglobulin G-horseradish peroxidase conjugate and a precipitable horseradish peroxidase substrate, biotinylated chains bound to the probes were visualized as a color change on the chip surface (gold to blue/purple). Highly sensitive and accurate examination of PCR fragment targets can be completed within 30 min. This assay is extremely robust, sensitive, specific, and economical and can be adapted to different throughputs. Thus, a rapid, sensitive, and reliable technique for detecting 11 food-borne pathogens was successfully developed.

Detection of Six Genetically Modified Maize Lines Using Optical Thin-film Biosensor Chips

As more and more genetically modified organisms (GMO) are commercialized, efficient and inexpensive assays are required for their quick detection. An event-specific detection strategy based on the unique and specific sequences of integration junctions is useful because of its high specificity. This study developed a system for detecting six GM maize lines (Bt11, Bt176, GA21, MON810, NK603, and T25) using optical silicon thin-film biosensor chips. Aldehyde-labeled probes were arrayed and covalently attached to a hydrazine-derivatized chip surface. Biotinylated PCR amplicons were then hybridized with the probes. After washing and brief incubation with an anti-biotin IgG horseradish peroxidase conjugate and a precipitable horseradish peroxidase substrate, biotinylated PCR amplicons perfectly matched with the probes can be visualized by the color change on the chip surface (gold to blue/purple). This assay is extremely robust, exhibits high sensitivity and specificity, and is flexible from low through moderate to high throughput.

Specialized Compartments of Cardiac Nuclei Exhibit Distinct Proteomic Anatomy

As host to the genome, the nucleus plays a critical role as modulator of cellular phenotype. To understand the totality of proteins that regulate this organelle, we used proteomics to characterize the components of the cardiac nucleus. Following purification, cardiac nuclei were fractionated into biologically relevant fractions including acid-soluble proteins, chromatin-bound molecules and nucleoplasmic proteins. These distinct subproteomes were characterized by liquid chromatography-tandem MS. We report a cardiac nuclear proteome of 1048 proteins--only 146 of which are shared between the distinct subcompartments of this organelle. Analysis of genomic loci encoding these molecules gives insights into local hotspots for nuclear protein regulation. High mass accuracy and complementary analytical techniques allowed the discrimination of distinct protein isoforms, including 54 total histone variants, 17 of which were distinguished by unique peptide sequences and four of which have never been detected at the protein level. These studies are the first unbiased analysis of cardiac nuclear subcompartments and provide a foundation for exploration of this organelle's proteomes during disease.

Development and Application of a Set of Breeder-friendly SNP Markers for Genetic Analyses and Molecular Breeding of Rice (Oryza Sativa L.)

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most abundant DNA markers in plant genomes. In this study, based on 54,465 SNPs between the genomes of two Indica varieties, Minghui 63 (MH63) and Zhenshan 97 (ZS97) and additional 20,705 SNPs between the MH63 and Nipponbare genomes, we identified and confirmed 1,633 well-distributed SNPs by PCR and Sanger sequencing. From these, a set of 372 SNPs were further selected to analyze the patterns of genetic diversity in 300 representative rice inbred lines from 22 rice growing countries worldwide. Using this set of SNPs, we were able to uncover the well-known Indica-Japonica subspecific differentiation and geographic differentiations within Indica and Japonica. Furthermore, our SNP results revealed some common and contrasting patterns of the haplotype diversity along different rice chromosomes in the Indica and Japonica accessions, which suggest different evolutionary forces possibly acting in specific regions of the rice genome during domestication and evolution of rice. Our results demonstrated that this set of SNPs can be used as anchor SNPs for large scale genotyping in rice molecular breeding research involving Indica-Japonica and Indica-Indica crosses.

Fabrication and in Vivo Osteogenesis of Biomimetic Poly(propylene Carbonate) Scaffold with Nanofibrous Chitosan Network in Macropores for Bone Tissue Engineering

A biomimetic poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC) porous scaffold with nanofibrous chitosan network within macropores (PPC/CSNFs) for bone tissue engineering was fabricated by a dual solid-liquid phase separation technique. PPC scaffold with interconnected solid pore wall structure was prepared by the first phase separation, which showed a high porosity of 91.9% and a good compressive modulus of 14.2 ± 0.56 MPa, respectively. By the second phase separation, nanofibrous chitosan of 50-500 nm in diameter was formed in the macropores with little influence on the pore structure and the mechanical properties of PPC scaffold. The nanofibrous chitosan content was calculated to be 9.78% by elemental analysis. After incubation in SBF for 14 days, more apatite crystals were deposited on the pore surface as well as the nanofibrous chitosan surface of PPC/CSNFs scaffold compared with PPC scaffold. The in vitro culture of bone mesenchymal stem cells showed that PPC/CSNFs scaffold exhibited a better cell viability than PPC scaffold. After implantation in rabbits for 16 weeks, the defect was entirely repaired by PPC/CSNFs scaffold, as opposed to the incomplete healing for PPC scaffold. It indicated that PPC/CSNFs scaffold showed a faster in vivo osteogenesis rate than PPC scaffold. Hereby, PPC/CSNFs scaffold will be a potential candidate for bone tissue engineering.

Quantitative Analysis of the Chromatin Proteome in Disease Reveals Remodeling Principles and Identifies High Mobility Group Protein B2 As a Regulator of Hypertrophic Growth

A fundamental question in biology is how genome-wide changes in gene expression are enacted in response to a finite stimulus. Recent studies have mapped changes in nucleosome localization, have determined the binding preferences for individual transcription factors, and shown that the genome adopts a non-random structure in vivo. What remains unclear is how global changes in the proteins bound to DNA alter chromatin structure and gene expression. We have addressed this question in the mouse heart, a system in which global gene expression and massive phenotypic changes occur without cardiac cell division, making the mechanisms of chromatin remodeling centrally important. To determine factors controlling genomic plasticity, we used mass spectrometry to measure chromatin-associated proteins. We have characterized the abundance of 305 chromatin-associated proteins in normal cells and measured changes in 108 proteins that accompany progression of heart disease. These studies were conducted on a high mass accuracy instrument and confirmed in multiple biological replicates, facilitating statistical analysis and allowing us to interrogate the data bioinformatically for modules of proteins involved in similar processes. Our studies reveal general principles for global shifts in chromatin accessibility: altered linker to core histone ratio; differing abundance of chromatin structural proteins; and reprogrammed histone post-translational modifications. Using siRNA-mediated loss-of-function in isolated cells, we demonstrate that the non-histone chromatin structural protein HMGB2 (but not HMGB1) suppresses pathologic cell growth in vivo and controls a gene expression program responsible for hypertrophic cell growth. Our findings reveal the basis for alterations in chromatin structure necessary for genome-wide changes in gene expression. These studies have fundamental implications for understanding how global chromatin remodeling occurs with specificity and accuracy, demonstrating that isoform-specific alterations in chromatin structural proteins can impart these features.

Basic Leucine Zipper Transcription Factor OsbZIP16 Positively Regulates Drought Resistance in Rice

Abiotic stress has been shown to limit the growth, development, and productivity of crops. Here, we characterized the function of a rice bZIP transcription factor OsbZIP16 in drought stress. Expression of OsbZIP16 was dramatically induced under drought conditions. Transient expression and transactivation assays demonstrated that OsbZIP16 was localized in the nucleus and had transactivation activity. At both the seedling and tillering stages, transgenic rice plants overexpressing OsbZIP16 exhibited significantly improved drought resistance, which was positively correlated with the observed expression levels of OsbZIP16. Representative downstream drought-inducible genes were observed to have significantly higher expression levels in transgenic rice plants than in the wild type plants under drought conditions. OsbZIP16 was shown to be induced by exogenous ABA treatment, while overexpression of OsbZIP16 was observed to make transgenic plants more sensitive to ABA than wild type plants were. Transcriptome analysis identified a number of differentially expressed genes between wild type plants and plants overexpressing OsbZIP16, many of which are involved in stress response according to their gene ontologies. Overall, our findings suggest that OsbZIP16 positively regulates drought resistance in rice.

Features of Endogenous Cardiomyocyte Chromatin Revealed by Super-resolution STED Microscopy

Despite the extensive knowledge of the functional unit of chromatin-the nucleosome-for which structural information exists at the atomic level, little is known about the endogenous structure of eukaryotic genomes. Chromosomal capture techniques and genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation and next generation sequencing have provided complementary insight into global features of chromatin structure, but these methods do not directly measure structural features of the genome in situ. This lack of insight is particularly troublesome in terminally differentiated cells which must reorganize their genomes for large scale gene expression changes in the absence of cell division. For example, cardiomyocytes, which are fully committed and reside in interphase, are capable of massive gene expression changes in response to physiological stimuli, but the global changes in chromatin structure that enable such transcriptional changes are unknown. The present study addressed this problem utilizing super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy to directly measure chromatin features in mammalian cells. We demonstrate that immunolabeling of histone H3 coupled with STED imaging reveals chromatin domains on a scale of 40-70 nm, several folds better than the resolution of conventional confocal microscopy. An analytical workflow is established to detect changes in chromatin structure following acute stimuli and used to investigate rearrangements in cardiomyocyte genomes following agonists that induce cellular hypertrophy. This approach is readily adaptable to investigation of other nuclear features using a similar antibody-based labeling technique and enables direct measurements of chromatin domain changes in response to physiological stimuli.

Structural Considerations for Chromatin State Models with Transcription As a Functional Readout

Lacking from the rapidly evolving field of chromatin regulation is a discrete model of chromatin states. We propose that each state in such a model should meet two conditions: a structural component and a quantifiable effect on transcription. The practical benefits to the field of a model with greater than two states (including one with six states, as described herein) would be to improve interpretation of data from disparate organ systems, to reflect temporal and developmental dynamics and to integrate the, at present, conceptually and experimentally disparate analyses of individual genetic loci (in vitro or using single gene approaches) and genome-wide features (including ChlP-seq, chromosomal capture and mRNA expression via microarrays/sequencing).

Arabidopsis FHY3 and HY5 Positively Mediate Induction of COP1 Transcription in Response to Photomorphogenic UV-B Light

As sessile organisms, higher plants have evolved the capacity to sense and interpret diverse light signals to modulate their development. In Arabidopsis thaliana, low-intensity and long-wavelength UV-B light is perceived as an informational signal to mediate UV-B-induced photomorphogenesis. Here, we report that the multifunctional E3 ubiquitin ligase, CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENESIS1 (COP1), a known key player in UV-B photomorphogenic responses, is also a UV-B-inducible gene. Two transcription factors, FAR-RED ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL3 (FHY3) and ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL5 (HY5), directly bind to distinct regulatory elements within the COP1 promoter, which are essential for the induction of the COP1 gene mediated by photomorphogenic UV-B signaling. Absence of FHY3 results in impaired UV-B-induced hypocotyl growth and reduced tolerance against damaging UV-B. Thus, FHY3 positively regulates UV-B-induced photomorphogenesis by directly activating COP1 transcription, while HY5 promotes COP1 expression via a positive feedback loop. Furthermore, FHY3 and HY5 physically interact with each other, and this interaction is diminished by UV-B. Together, our findings reveal that COP1 gene expression in response to photomorphogenic UV-B is controlled by a combinatorial regulation of FHY3 and HY5, and this UV-B-specific working mode of FHY3 and HY5 is distinct from that in far-red light and circadian conditions.

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