1Departments of Pathology and Cell Biology, and Neuroscience, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Here we present two techniques for manipulating gene expression in murine retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) by in utero and ex vivo electroporation. These techniques enable one to examine how alterations in gene expression affect RGC development, axon guidance, and functional properties.
Herein we describe the methods to construct, visualize, and quantify the bioluminescent reactions of both firefly and renilla luciferase enzymes expressed in metastatic breast cancer cells during their growth and metastasis in vivo.
1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 2Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3Shared Resource-DNA/RNA Peptide, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
Several 2’-Fluoro RNA aptamers against HIV-1Ba-L gp120 with nanomole affinity are isolated from a RNA library by in vitro SELEX procedure. A new dual inhibitory function anti-gp120 aptamer-siRNA chimera is created and shows considerable promise for systemic anti-HIV therapy.
The Logic, Experimental Steps, and Potential of Heterologous Natural Product Biosynthesis Featuring the Complex Antibiotic Erythromycin A Produced Through E. coli
The heterologous biosynthesis of erythromycin A through E. coli includes the following experimental steps: 1) genetic transfer; 2) heterologous reconstitution; and 3) product analysis. Each step will be explained in the context of the motivation, potential, and challenges in producing therapeutic natural products using E. coli as a surrogate host.
We seek to define the neural immune signaling responsible for cold-preconditioning as means to identify novel targets for therapeutics development to protect brain before injury onset. We present strategies for such work that require biological systems, experimental manipulations plus technical capacities that are highly reproducible and sensitive.
Methods for using alphavirus transducing systems to express fluorescent reporters in vitro and in adult mosquitoes are described. This technique may be adapted to express any protein of interest in lieu of or in addition to a reporter.
1Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, 2Molecular Neurobiology Program, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, 3Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, 4Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, 5Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, New York University School of Medicine, 6Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, 7Center for Neural Science, New York University School of Medicine
The protocol describes an efficient and reproducible model system to study herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) latency and reactivation. The assay employs homogenous sympathetic neuron cultures and allows for the molecular dissection of virus-neuron interactions using a variety of tools including RNA interference and expression of recombinant proteins.
An Analytical Tool-box for Comprehensive Biochemical, Structural and Transcriptome Evaluation of Oral Biofilms Mediated by Mutans Streptococci
1Center for Oral Biology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 2State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Sichuan University, 3Department of General Medicine, Glostrup Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark, 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center
Biofilms formed on tooth surfaces are highly complex and exposed to constant innate and exogenous environmental challenges, which modulate their architecture, physiology and transcriptome. We developed a toolbox to examine the composition, structural organization and gene expression of oral biofilms, which can be adapted to other areas of biofilm research.
This article will focus on the generation of human hepatic endoderm from human embryonic stem cell populations.
Following antigen exposure, subpopulations of activated B cells undergo a process known as class switch recombination (CSR) to produce antibody isotypes with distinct effector functions. The protocol outlined in this report explains how CSR can be induced and analyzed in vitro for the purposes of studying B cell function.
A sustainable auto regulating bacterial system for the remediation of oil pollutions was designed using standard interchangeable DNA parts (BioBricks). An engineered E. coli strain was used to degrade alkanes via β-oxidation in toxic aqueous environments. The respective enzymes from different species showed alkane degradation activity. Additionally, an increased tolerance to n-hexane was achieved by introducing genes from alkane-tolerant bacteria.
We describe two methods for conditional trans-complementation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) assembly and the completion of the full viral life cycle, which rely on heterokaryon formation. These techniques are suitable to screen for cell lines that express dominant restriction factors, which preclude production of infectious HCV progeny.
The generation of aligned myocardial tissue is a key requirement for adapting the recent advances in stem cell biology to clinically useful purposes. Herein we describe a microcontact printing approach for the precise control of cell shape and function. Using highly purified populations of embryonic stem cell derived cardiac progenitors, we then generate anisotropic functional myocardial tissue.
A Parasite Rescue and Transformation Assay for Antileishmanial Screening Against Intracellular Leishmania donovani Amastigotes in THP1 Human Acute Monocytic Leukemia Cell Line
A parasite-rescue and transformation assay with THP1 cells infected in vitro with Leishmania donovani has been optimized for anti-leishmanial drug screening. The assay involves differentiation of THP1 cells, infection with promastigotes, treatment with test drugs, controlled lysis of the infected macrophages, rescue of amastigotes, transformation to promastigotes and monitoring promastigote growth and proliferation with a fluorometric assay.
Oct4GiP Reporter Assay to Study Genes that Regulate Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Maintenance and Self-renewal
We describe a fluorescence reporter assay to quickly identify and characterize genes that regulate mouse embryonic stem cell maintenance and self-renewal.
1Department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, California State University Channel Islands, 2Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3The Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
A three-dimensional clonogenic assay that allows pancreatic-like progenitors to differentiate into insulin-expressing colonies is described. This method takes advantage of semi-solid media containing methylcellulose, Matrigel and growth factors, in which single progenitors proliferate and differentiate in vitro, permitting quantification of the number of functional progenitors in a population.
Adult and Embryonic Skeletal Muscle Microexplant Culture and Isolation of Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells
The micro-dissected explants technique is a robust and reliable method for isolating proliferative skeletal muscle cells from juvenile, adult or embryonic muscles as a source of skeletal muscle stem cells. Uniquely, these cells have been clonally derived to produce skeletal muscle stem cell lines used for in vivo transplantation.
A protocol for preparation of robust, small-scale HeLa nuclear extracts is described. This protocol is valuable for assays that require use of small populations of cells, such as cells treated with drugs or RNAi. The method should be applicable to a wide variety of gene expression assays and other cell types, including patient cells.
Generating induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines produces lines of differing developmental potential even when they pass standard tests for pluripotency. Here we describe a protocol to produce mice derived entirely from iPSCs, which defines the iPSC lines as possessing full pluripotency1.
This whole mount in situ hybridization protocol discusses critical steps that ensure reproducible high quality results for gene expression studies in E8.5-E11.5 day old mouse embryos.
This method describes high yield in vitro synthesis of both capped and uncapped mRNA from a linearized plasmid containing the Gaussia luciferase (GLuc) gene. The RNA is purified and a fraction of the uncapped RNA is enzymatically capped using the Vaccinia virus capping enzyme. In the final step, the mRNA is transfected into HeLa cells and cell culture supernatants are assayed for luciferase activity.
Modified Yeast-Two-Hybrid System to Identify Proteins Interacting with the Growth Factor Progranulin
We have modified the conventional yeast two-hybrid screening, an effective genetic tool in identifying protein interaction. This modification markedly shortens the process, reduces the workload, and most importantly, reduces the number of false positives. In addition, this approach is reproducible and reliable.
Here we describe an assay that employs the power of microinjection coupled with fluorescent in situ hybridization in order to accurately measure the nuclear export kinetics of mRNA in mammalian somatic cells.
The identification of brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs), the rare cells within a heterogeneous tumor possessing stem cell properties, provides new insights into human brain tumor pathogenesis. We have refined specific culture conditions to enrich for BTICs, and we routinely use flow cytometry to further enrich these populations. Self-renewal assays and transcript analysis by single cell RT-PCR can subsequently be performed on these isolated cells.
A Cell Free Assay System Estimating the Neutralizing Capacity of GM-CSF Antibody using Recombinant Soluble GM-CSF Receptor
1Bioscience Medical Research Center, Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital, 2First department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyorin University, 3Neosilk Laboratory, Immuno Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd.
We designed a cell-free receptor binding assay in order to estimate the binding of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to the receptors. It enables us to evaluate competitive inhibition of biotinylated GM-CSF binding to soluble GM-CSF receptor alpha by GM-CSF autoantibody with excellent reproducibility.
Modeling Neural Immune Signaling of Episodic and Chronic Migraine Using Spreading Depression In Vitro
Migraine and its transformation to chronic migraine are immense healthcare burdens in need of improved treatment options. We seek to define how neural immune signaling modulates the susceptibility to migraine, modeled in vitro using spreading depression in hippocampal slice cultures, as a means to develop novel therapeutic targets.
Monitoring Cell-autonomous Circadian Clock Rhythms of Gene Expression Using Luciferase Bioluminescence Reporters
Circadian clocks function within individual cells, i.e., they are cell-autonomous. Here, we describe methods for generating cell-autonomous clock models using non-invasive, luciferase-based real-time bioluminescence technology. Reporter cells provide tractable, functional model systems for studying circadian biology.
1Banting and Best Department of Medical Research and Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 2Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto, 3Donnelly Sequencing Centre, University of Toronto, 4Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, 5Stanford Genome Technology Center, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University, 6Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto
We have developed comprehensive, unbiased genome-wide screens to understand gene-drug and gene-environment interactions. Methods for screening these mutant collections are presented.
A rotating cell culture system that allows epithelial cells to grow under physiological conditions resulting in 3-D cellular aggregate formation is described. The aggregates generated display in vivo-like characteristics not observed in conventional culture models and serve as a more accurate organotypic model system for a multitude of scientific investigations.
Phenotypic Analysis and Isolation of Murine Hematopoietic Stem Cells and Lineage-committed Progenitors
A method to analyse the distribution of bone marrow hematopoietic progenitors in flow cytometry as well as to efficiently isolate highly purified hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is described. The isolation procedure is essentially based on magnetic enrichment of c-Kit+ cells and cell sorting to purify HSCs for cellular and molecular studies.
Mouse Islet of Langerhans Isolation using a Combination of Purified Collagenase and Neutral Protease
1Department of Pediatrics and the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2VITACYTE, LLC, 3Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 4Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine
A detailed description of mouse islet isolation is described using the technique of in situ pancreatic ductal cannulation and perfusion of a combination of purified collagenase and neutral protease.
Isolation and culture of myofibers is the gold standard in vitro system to study the transition of satellite cells through quiescence, activation and differentiation. Importantly, the single myofiber culture system preserves the myofiber/stem cell association, which is an essential component of the muscle stem cell niche.
The ECIS/Taxis system is an automated, real-time assay that measures cellular chemotaxis. In this assay, cells move beneath a layer of agarose to arrive at a target electrode. Cellular movement is measured by the onset of resistance to AC current 0.
Development, Expansion, and In vivo Monitoring of Human NK Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) and and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
This protocol describes the development, expansion, and in vivo imaging of NK cells derived from hESCs and iPSCs.
The present article describes the steps required to isolate and characterize RNA polymerase fidelity variants of RNA viruses and how to use mutation frequency data to confirm fidelity changes in tissue culture.
Single-molecule Imaging of Gene Regulation In vivo Using Cotranslational Activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC)
1Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 3Department of Physics, Jilin University
We describe a fluorescence microscopy method, Co-Translational Activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC), to image the production of protein molecules in live cells with single-molecule precision without perturbing the protein's functionality. This method has been used to follow the stochastic expression dynamics of a transcription factor, the λ repressor CI 1.
An In vitro Co-infection Model to Study Plasmodium falciparum-HIV-1 Interactions in Human Primary Monocyte-derived Immune Cells
We have developed an in vitro malaria-HIV-1 co-infection model to study the impact of Plasmodium falciparum on the HIV-1 replicative cycle in human primary monocyte-derived macrophages. This versatile system can easily be adapted to other primary cell types susceptible to HIV-1 infection.
Quantitative Measurement of Invadopodia-mediated Extracellular Matrix Proteolysis in Single and Multicellular Contexts
We describe the prototypical method for producing microscope coverslips coated with fluorescent gelatin for visualizing invadopodia-mediated matrix degradation. Computational techniques using available software are presented for quantifying the resultant levels of matrix proteolysis by single cells within a mixed population and for multicellular groups encompassing entire microscopic fields.
Peptides from Phage Display Library Modulate Gene Expression in Mesenchymal Cells and Potentiate Osteogenesis in Unicortical Bone Defects
A phage display library was used to identify peptide sequences that target bone. The objective was to investigate the effect of these peptides on mesenchymal cell differentiation and to determine their effect on bone regeneration.
Here we describe a whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol for determining the expression and localization properties of RNAs expressed during embryogenesis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.
Generation of T lymphocytes from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells gives an alternative approach of using embryonic stem cells for T cell-based immunotherapy. The method shows that by utilizing either in vitro or in vivo induction system, iPS cells are able to differentiate into both conventional and antigen-specific T lymphocytes.
In vivo Bioluminescence Imaging of Tumor Hypoxia Dynamics of Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis in a Mouse Model
1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 3Department of Radiation Oncology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine
Bioluminescence imaging of hypoxia inducible factor-1α activity is applied to monitor intracranial tumor hypoxia development in a breast cancer brain metastasis mouse model.
Microinjection is a well-established and effective method for introducing foreign substances into fertilized zebrafish embryos. Here, we demonstrate a robust microinjection technique for performing mRNA overexpression, and morpholino oligonucleotide gene knockdown studies in zebrafish.
The Solaris qPCR Gene Expression Assays are novel pre-designed qPCR primer/probe combinations designed to simplify the qPCR process without sacrificing the specificity and robustness of the assay.
Protein Membrane Overlay Assay: A Protocol to Test Interaction Between Soluble and Insoluble Proteins in vitro
Testing protein-protein interaction is indispensable for dissection of protein functionality. Here, we introduce an in vitro protein-protein binding assay to probe a membrane-immobilized protein with a soluble protein. This assay provides a reliable method to test interaction between an insoluble protein and a protein in solution.
This article describes GFP-based fluorescence in vivo assays that separately quantify homologous recombination and nonhomologous end joining in mammalian cells.
Combination of genomics, co-expression gene analysis and the identification of target compounds via metabolism give gene functional annotation.
The in situ hybridization protocol described here allows a direct localization of mRNA and small RNA expression at the cellular level with high sensitivity and specificity. The procedure is optimized for paraffin-embedded plant tissue sections, is applicable to a wide range of plants and tissues, and can be completed within ten days.
This study describes the development of an in vitro electroporation technique that allows for the manipulation of gene expression in the lower rhombic lip of midgestation embryos.
A Tetracycline-regulated Cell Line Produces High-titer Lentiviral Vectors that Specifically Target Dendritic Cells
Here, we use retroviral transduction and concatemeric transfection to create a cell line that can express the components of a lentiviral vector (LV) in the absence of tetracycline. This LV encodes GFP and is pseudotyped with a glycoprotein, SVGmu, which is specific for a receptor on dendritic cells.