Aptamers are short ribo-/deoxyribo-oligonucleotides selected by in-vitro evolution methods based on affinity for a specific target. Aptamers are molecular recognition tools with versatile therapeutic, diagnostic, and research applications. We demonstrate methods for selection of aptamers for amyloid β-protein, the causative agent of Alzheimer's disease.
1Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Brain Research Institute, Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 3Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles
Photo-induced cross-linking of unmodified proteins (PICUP) allows characterization of oligomer size distribution in metastable protein mixtures. We demonstrate application of PICUP to three representative amyloidogenic peptides the 40- and 42-residue forms of amyloid β-protein, and calcitonin, and a control peptide growth-hormone releasing factor.
One of the pathological characteristics of AD is the formation of Amyloid β protein positive neuritic plaques. In this protocol we describe two methods to detect neuritic plaques in transgenic AD model mice: immunohistochemical detection using the ABC and DAB method and fluorescent detection using thioflavin S staining method.
Biophysical and biochemical studies of interactions among membrane-embedded protein domains face many technical challenges, the first of which is obtaining appropriate study material. This article describes a protocol for producing and purifying disulfide-stabilized transmembrane peptide complexes that are suitable for structural analysis by solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other analytical applications.
We describe methods to study aspects of amylopathies in the worm C. elegans. We show how to construct worms expressing human Aβ42 in neurons and how to test their function in behavioral assays. We further show how to obtain primary neuronal cultures that can be used for pharmacological testing.
Preparation of Oligomeric β-amyloid1-42 and Induction of Synaptic Plasticity Impairment on Hippocampal Slices
One feature of Alzheimer's Disease is the elevation of Aβ1-42 peptide. Here we provide a protocol for preparing synthetic Aβ1-42 oligomers, which impairs hippocampal Long-Term Potentiation, a cellular correlate of memory. This procedure is useful for investigating mechanisms of Aβ-induced pathology and drug screening.
A method for large-scale purification of the APP intracellular domain (AICD) is described. We also describe methodology to induce in vitro AICD aggregation and visualization by atomic force microscopy. The methods described are useful for biochemical/structural characterization of the AICD and the effects of molecular chaperones on its aggregation.
Here, we describe a protocol for the purification of highly active Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ protein from yeast, which couples ATP hydrolysis to protein disaggregation. This scheme exploits a His6-tagged construct for affinity purification from E. coli followed by anion-exchange chromatography, His6-tag removal with TEV protease, and size-exclusion chromatography.
SDD-AGE is a useful technique for the detection and characterization of amyloid-like polymers in cells. Here we demonstrate an adaptation that makes this technique amenable to large-scale applications.
The intensely studied nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans can be transgenically engineered to express the human β-amyloid peptide (Aβ). Induced expression of Aβ in C. elegans muscle leads to a rapid, reproducible paralysis phenotype that can be used to monitor treatments that modulate Aβ toxicity.
Transgenic (Tg) mouse models of AD provide an excellent opportunity to investigate how and why Aβ or tau levels in CSF change as the disease progresses in human patients. Here, we demonstrate a refined cisterna magna puncture technique for serial CSF sampling from the mouse.
SDS-PAGE/Immunoblot Detection of Aβ Multimers in Human Cortical Tissue Homogenates using Antigen-Epitope Retrieval
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 2Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tsukuba University, 3Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, 4Department of Neurology, Emory University
We describe a technique for the preparation of clarified human cortical homogenates, protein separation by SDS-PAGE, antigen retrieval and immunoblotting with an antibody to the Aβ peptide. Using this protocol, we consistently detect monomeric and multimeric Aβ in cortical tissue from humans with Alzheimer's pathology.
Drosophila melanogaster larvae provide an ideal model system to investigate the mechanisms of axonal transport within larval segmental nerves. Using this procedure, 3rd instar larvae carrying various mutations can be compared to wild type larvae.
1UMR CNRS 5557 Ecologie Microbienne, Université Lyon 1, Université de Lyon, 2Département Biosciences, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 3INSERM U758, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 4Laboratoire de Génie Civil et Ingénierie Environnementale, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon
The design of a synthetic operon encoding both the secretory apparatus and the structural monomers of curli fibers is described. Overproduction of these amyloids and adherent polymers allows a measurable gain of adherence of the E. coli chassis1. Easy ways to visualize and quantify adherence are explained.
The assembly of a nearfield infrared microscope for imaging protein aggregates is described.
Determination of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Reactive Oxygen Species in Live Rat Cortical Neurons
We demonstrate application of the fluorescence indicator, TMRM, in cortical neurons to determine the relative changes in TMRM fluorescence intensity before and after application of a specific stimulus. We also show application of the fluorescence probe H2DCF-DA to assess the relative level of reactive oxygen species in cortical neurons.
1Department of Pathology, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
A new species of cellular prion protein (PrPC) has recently been identified in uninfected human brains using the methods described here. These methods can be used to isolate various PrP species, while some of them are also useful in isolating other misfolded protein aggregates from human brains.
1Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, 2Department of Anatomy, Washington University School of Medicine, 3Department of Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine
Glutamatergic synapses can switch from an active mode to a silent mode. We demonstrate that presynaptic activity status in dissociated culture of rodent neurons is visualized using a fixable form of the FM1-43 dye to visualize active synapses and immunostaining with vGluT-1 antibody to visualize all glutamate synapses.
In utero Electroporation followed by Primary Neuronal Culture for Studying Gene Function in Subset of Cortical Neurons
In utero electroporation is a valuable method for transfecting neuronal progenitor cells in vivo. Depending upon the placement of the electrodes and the developmental timepoint of electroporation, certain subsets of cortical cells can be targeted. Targeted cells can then be analyzed in vivo or in vitro for effects of genetic alteration.
Cellular viability depends on timely and efficient management of protein misfolding. Here we describe a method for visualizing the different potential fates of a misfolded protein: refolding, degradation, or sequestration in inclusions. We demonstrate the use of a folding sensor, Ubc9ts, for monitoring proteostasis and aggregation quality control in live cells using 4D microscopy.
1Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 2Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 3Genetics Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 4McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Genetics Institute, Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, University of Florida
We describe here the procedures for the extraction and purification of mRNA and metabolites from Drosophila heads. We are applying these techniques to better understand the cellular perturbations underlying neuronal degeneration. These methodologies can be easily scaled and adapted for other "omic" projects.
Structure of HIV-1 Capsid Assemblies by Cryo-electron Microscopy and Iterative Helical Real-space Reconstruction
This article describes a method to obtain a three-dimensional (3D) structure of helically assembled molecules using cryo-electron microscopy. In this protocol, we use HIV-1 capsid assemblies to illustrate the detailed 3D reconstruction procedure for achieving a density map by the iterative helical real-space reconstruction method.
Preparation of Synaptoneurosomes from Mouse Cortex using a Discontinuous Percoll-Sucrose Density Gradient
1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin, 2Department of Biochemistry, Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Wisconsin
A method to prepare translationally active, intact synaptoneurosomes (SNs) from mouse brain cortex is described. The method uses a discontinuous Percoll-sucrose density gradient allowing for the quick preparation of active SNs.
This manuscript describes three complementary protocols for assessing the toxicity of polyglutamine (polyQ)-expansion proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These protocols can easily be modified to monitor the toxicity of other misfolded proteins in yeast.
Preparation of Acute Hippocampal Slices from Rats and Transgenic Mice for the Study of Synaptic Alterations during Aging and Amyloid Pathology
1Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, 2Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 3Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
This article outlines procedures for preparing hippocampal slices from rats and transgenic mice for the study of synaptic alterations associated with brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Optic Nerve transection is a widely used model of adult CNS injury. This model is ideal for performing a number of experimental manipulations that target the retina globally or directly target the injured neuronal population of retinal ganglion cells.
Isolating primary microglia from the cellular heterogeneity of the brain is essential to investigate their role in both physiological and pathological conditions. This protocol describes a mechanical isolation and mixed cell culture technique that provides high yield and high purity, viable primary microglial cells for in vitro study and downstream applications.
An injury paradigm using the Drosophila larval ventral nerve cord to investigate central nervous system regeneration and repair is described. Stabbing followed by laser scanning confocal microscopy in time-lapse and fixed specimens, combined with quantitative analysis with purposefully developed software and genetics, are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of CNS regeneration and repair.
A minimally invasive protocol to stabilize the mouse spinal column and perform repetitive in vivo spinal cord imaging using two-photon microscopy is described. This method combines a spinal stabilization device and an anesthetic regimen to minimize respiratory-induced movements and produce raw imaging data that require no alignment or other post-processing.
Microbial biofilms are generally constituted by distinct subpopulations of specialized cells. Single-cell analysis of these subpopulations requires the use of fluorescent reporters. Here we describe a protocol to visualize and monitor several subpopulationswithin B. subtilis biofilms using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.
Determination of Lipid Raft Partitioning of Fluorescently-tagged Probes in Living Cells by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS)
1Centre de Recherche de l’Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, 2Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay, Université Paris-Sud, 3Centre de Photonique Biomédicale du Centre Laser, Université Paris-Sud
A technique to probe the lipid raft partitioning of fluorescent proteins at the plasma membrane of living cells is described. It takes advantage of the disparity in diffusion times of proteins located inside or outside of lipid rafts. Acquisition can be performed dynamically in control conditions or after drug addition.
1Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST), 2Division of Systems Medical Science, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, 3Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 4Genetic Engineering and Functional Genomics Group, Horizontal Medical Research Organization, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 5Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
A dissection technique for removal of the dentate gyrus from adult mouse under a stereomicroscope was demonstrated in this video-recorded protocol.
1Department of Pathology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 2Current Address: Department of Pathology, Wayne State University School of Medicine Detroit Medical Center, 3Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 4Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, 5Division of Neoplastic Diseases and Related Disorders, Medical College of Wisconsin
Fat pad aspiration is a preferred, minimally invasive, and low cost approach as compared to other methods to detect amyloid for diagnosis of systemic amyloidosis. This video article demonstrates a procedural outline for performing fat pad aspiration with appropriate processing of the specimen for the optimal diagnostic outcome.
Mice can swim, but many strains appear to find this activity stressful. To overcome this problem mazes have been devised where escape from shallow water is used to motivate behaviour. These have been demonstrated to support learning at least as good as the traditional and widely used Morris water maze.
1Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Florida, 2Department of Biology, University of Florida, 3Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, University of Florida, 4Genetics Institute, University of Florida
Reactive oxygen species level is elevated when cells encounter stress conditions. Here we show the example of 3'-3' diaminobenzidine staining as well as cysTMT labeling and mass spectrometry to profile the redox proteome in Pseudomonas syringae treated tomato leaves.
Mass spectrometry has proven to be a valuable tool for analyzing large protein complexes. This method enables insights into the composition, stoichiometry and overall architecture of multi-subunit assemblies. Here, we describe, step-by-step, how to perform a structural mass spectrometry analysis, and characterize macromolecular structures.
An ELISA can be easily converted to a Luminex xMAP assay and, through the benefits of multiplexing, several antibodies can be screened simultaneously to identify an optimum antibody pair, resulting in increased sensitivity and dynamic range, while reducing assay cost.
Using the GELFREE 8100 Fractionation System for Molecular Weight-Based Fractionation with Liquid Phase Recovery
The accompanying video describes the use of the GELFREE 8100 Fractionation System, which partitions complex protein samples on the basis of molecular weight and recovers the fractions in liquid phase. The video describes how the technology works, how it is used, and provides resultant data, with polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of fractionated bovine liver homogenate.
Simple and reproducible procedures are described for making three structurally distinct collagen assemblies from a common commercially available Type I collagen monomer. Native type, fibrous long spacing or segmental long spacing collagen can be constructed by varying the conditions to which the 300 nm long and 1.4 nm diameter monomer building block is exposed.
Detection of Protein Palmitoylation in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons by Immunoprecipitation and Acyl-Biotin Exchange (ABE)
The reversible addition of palmitate to proteins is an important regulator of intracellular protein trafficking. This is of particular interest in neurons where many synaptic proteins are palmitoylated. We utilize a simple biochemical method to detect palmitoylated proteins in cultured neurons, which can be adapted for multiple cell types and tissues.
This protocol demonstrates a simple single-molecule fluorescence microscopy technique for visualizing DNA replication by individual replisomes in real time.
Production of Tissue Microarrays, Immunohistochemistry Staining and Digitalization Within the Human Protein Atlas
Tissue microarrays allows for an efficient method to gain concurrent information from a multitude of tissues. Representative parts of tissues are assembled into a single paraffin block. Sections from the block are used for immunohistochemistry and analysis of protein expression patterns. Digital scanning generates corresponding images for distribution of data.
A Method to prepare Insect cells and infect them with baculovirus for the the purpose of production of recombinant mCD1d proteinand generating mCD1d tetramers.
Dopamine is distinctly regulated in the midbrain nuclei, which contain the cell bodies and dendrites of the dopamine neurons. Here we describe a dissection and sample-handling approach to maximize results, and thus conclusions and insights, on dopamine regulation in the midbrain nuclei of the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) in rodents.
Western blotting is an analytical technique used to detect specific proteins in a given sample of tissue homogenate or extract.
Guidelines for computer based structural and functional characterization of protein using the I-TASSER pipeline is described. Starting from query protein sequence, 3D models are generated using multiple threading alignments and iterative structural assembly simulations. Functional inferences are thereafter drawn based on matches to proteins with known structure and functions.
This paper describes the methodology to determine the chemotactic response of leukocytes to specific ligands and identify interactions between the cell surface receptors and cytosolic proteins using live cell imaging techniques.
Developing Custom Chinese Hamster Ovary-host Cell Protein Assays using Acoustic Membrane Microparticle Technology
Development of custom assays on the ViBE platform for more sensitive, reproducible, automated results in complex matrices is described. The universal cartridge allows assays to be easily adapted for use with custom assays. This versatility enables rapid development and validation of novel assays or automated versions of existing manual assays, exemplified in this video.
In this article, we examine the methodology and considerations relevant to the combination of TMS and fMRI to examine the effects of brain stimulation on the default network.
The differentiation of ESC coincides with cell-type specific changes in the structure and composition of chromatin. The detection of those changes provides valuable insights into the mechanisms that define stemcellness and cell differentiation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) represents a valuable method to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying stem cell differentiation.