Assessment of Immunologically Relevant Dynamic Tertiary Structural Features of the HIV-1 V3 Loop Crown R2 Sequence by ab initio Folding
The crown region of different V3 loop sequences of the surface envelope glycoprotein (gp120) of HIV-1 can be structurally characterized in many cases by in silico folding of positions 10 to 22 of the loop using a state-of-the-art ab initio folding algorithm. Here we demonstrate the folding and evaluation of this region of the V3 loop from the R2 strain of HIV-1, a uniquely neutralization sensitive strain with puzzling functional properties.
Telomeres are essential for chromosome stability and the telomere G-overhang structure is essential for telomerase-mediated telomere maintenance. We have recently adopted two methods for detecting the telomere G-overhang structure in Trypanosoma brucei, which are native in-gel hybridization and ligation-mediated primer extension, which will be described.
The method presented here comprises the precise injury of live zebrafish embryos with high-energy laser pulses and the subsequent analysis of these injuries and their recovery with time. We also show how genetically labeled single or groups of skeletal muscle cells can be tracked during and after laser light induced damage.
The main highlights for our May issue include methods for measuring cognition in zero gravity, isolating mosquito immune cells, engineering recombinant SARS vaccines, and detecting tumors with thermal imaging. In addition, procedures for isolating neural stem cells from human fetal brain and culturing antigen-presenting liver cells will also be released.
Protocol for Recombinant RBD-based SARS Vaccines: Protein Preparation, Animal Vaccination and Neutralization Detection
This protocol describes a general procedure for studying recombinant receptor-binding domain (RBD)-based subunit vaccines against SARS. It includes methods for transfection and expression of RBD protein in 293T cells, immunization of mice with RBD and detection of neutralization activity of mouse sera using an established SARS pseudovirus neutralization assay.
Artificial Antigen Presenting Cell (aAPC) Mediated Activation and Expansion of Natural Killer T Cells
Here we describe a method for activating and expanding human NKT cells from bulk T cell populations using artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPC). The use of CD1d-based aAPC provides a standardized method for generating high numbers of functional NKT cells.
The amperometric technique measures dopamine release from a single cell by detecting the oxidative current produced by spontaneous dopamine oxidization. Simultaneous voltage clamp and amperometry methodology reveal the mechanistic relationship between the overall "activity" of dopamine transporter and the regulatory role of this activity on the reverse transport of dopamine.
Organotypic Collagen I Assay: A Malleable Platform to Assess Cell Behaviour in a 3-Dimensional Context
A method is described for the preparation of a 3-dimensional matrix consisting of collagen type I and primary human fibroblasts. This organotypic gel serves as a useful substrate to assess invasive cell migration because it mimics basic features of tissue stroma and is amenable to many forms of microscopy.
We have developed a cell fusion assay that quantifies SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events by activated expression of β-galactosidase.
Real-time Imaging of Heterotypic Platelet-neutrophil Interactions on the Activated Endothelium During Vascular Inflammation and Thrombus Formation in Live Mice
Here we report an experimental technique of fluorescence intravital microscopy to visualize heterotypic platelet-neutrophil interactions on the activated endothelium during vascular inflammation and thrombus formation in live mice. This microscopic technology will be valuable to study the molecular mechanism of vascular disease and to test pharmacologic agents under pathophysiological conditions.
1Research Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Memphis, TN, 2Department of Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, 3Department of Anatomy/Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
A rapid approach to investigate interactions and effects on molecular mechanisms related to the presence of antibodies in an intracellular environment is described. The method involves transfection of antibodies into live cells using a non-covalent complex formation based on a lipid formulation. The technique is adaptable to immortalized cell lines and primary cells.
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.
A Simple Protocol for Platelet-mediated Clumping of Plasmodium falciparum-infected Erythrocytes in a Resource Poor Setting
1Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, 2Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, 3Department of Microbiology, Division of Medical Parasitology, New York University School of Medicine
This method investigates the platelet-mediated clumping phenotype of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (pRBC) in clinical isolates. This is performed by isolating and co-incubating platelet-rich plasma and a suspension of pRBC.
The complete genotyping of a mouse tail sample, including tissue digestion and PCR readout, is done in one and a half hours using Sigma's SYBR Green Extract-N-Amp Tissue PCR kit.
A recently developed novel particle agglutination (PA) assay utilizing virus receptor molecule allowed a rapid and easy identification of poliovirus (PV). In this article, we will show the procedure for the PA assay for PV identification.
1Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, 2Clinical Research Laboratory, 81st Medical Group, Keesler Air Force Base
Lytic phage biosensors and antibody beads are able to discriminate between methicillin resistant (MRSA) and sensitive staphylococcus bacteria. The phages were immobilized by a Langmuir-Blodgett method onto a surface of a quartz crystal microbalance sensor and worked as broad range staphylococcus probes. Antibody beads recognize MRSA.
We present a high-throughput flow cytometric assay to determine the phagocytic activity of antigen-specific antibodies from clinical samples, utilizing fluorescent antigen-coated beads and a monocytic cell line expressing multiple Fc receptors—providing receptor usage and phagocytic activity determinations in a standardized and reproducible fashion for any antigen of interest.
FSL Constructs: A Simple Method for Modifying Cell/Virion Surfaces with a Range of Biological Markers Without Affecting their Viability
1Biotechnology Research Institute, AUT University and KODE Biotech Ltd, 2Shemyakin Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry RAS, Moscow, Russia
Function-Spacer-Lipid (FSL) constructs allow the surface characteristics of living cells and virions to be modified without loss of vitality. The method requires only simple contact of an FSL construct solution with a cell/virion and spontaneous and stable surface incorporation occurs.
1Stony Brook Children's Hospital, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 3Department of Molecular Genetics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 4Department of Microbiology, State University of New York at Stony Brook
We describe a method for generating transformed B cell lines using Epstein-Barr virus. We also illustrate a novel assay that can identify B cells destined to undergo transformation as early as three days after infection.
Engineering and Evolution of Synthetic Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Gene Therapy Vectors via DNA Family Shuffling
We demonstrate the basic technique to molecularly engineer and evolve synthetic Adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy vectors via DNA family shuffling. Moreover, we provide general guidelines and representative examples for selection and analysis of individual chimeric capsids with enhanced properties on target cells in culture or in mice.
We describe protocols for our mouse graft arteriosclerois (GA) models which involve interposition of a mouse vessel segment into a recipient of the same inbred strain. By backcrossing additional genetic changes into the vessel donor, the model can assess the effect of specific genes on GA.
1Department of Pathology, New York University Langone School of Medicine, 2Program in Molecular Pathogenesis, Marty and Helen Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine and Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, 3Laboratory of Molecular Immunogenetics, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 4Veteran Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System
This article describes a method to visualize formation of an HIV-1 envelope-induced virological synapse on glass supported planar bilayers by total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. The method can also be combined with immunofluorescence staining to detect activation and redistribution of signaling molecules that occur during HIV-1 envelope-induced virological synapse formation.
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.
We describe a single-cell high-throughput assay to measure cytotoxicity of T cells when incubated with tumor target cells. This method employs a dense, elastomeric array of sub-nanoliter wells (~100,000 wells/array) to spatially confine the T cells and target cells at defined ratios and is coupled to fluorescence microscopy to monitor effector-target conjugation and subsequent apoptosis.
1Department of Molecular Biology, University of Salzburg, 2Department of Neurology, Paracelsus Medical University, 3Department of Dermatology, Paracelsus Medical University, 4Bühlmann Laboratories, 5Christian Doppler Laboratory for Allergy Diagnosis and Therapy, University of Salzburg
Basophil activation test is a potent tool for the detection of IgE-dependent allergies in vitro. Here, an optimized protocol for basophil activation test is used to investigate drug hypersensitivity. A method for the efficient production of covalent drug-protein conjugates and their physicochemical characterization is described.
Ultrasound Targeted Microbubble Destruction (UTMD) can be used to direct site-specific delivery of bioactive molecules, including therapeutic genes, to target organs accessible to ultrasound, such as the heart and liver1-6.
Preparation and Use of Samarium Diiodide (SmI2) in Organic Synthesis: The Mechanistic Role of HMPA and Ni(II) Salts in the Samarium Barbier Reaction
A straightforward procedure for the preparation of samarium diiodide (SmI2) in THF is described. The role of two main additives namely hexamethylphosphoramide (HMPA) and Ni(acac)2 in Sm mediated reactions is demonstrated in the Sm-Barbier reaction.
Measuring Cation Transport by Na,K- and H,K-ATPase in Xenopus Oocytes by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry: An Alternative to Radioisotope Assays
We describe a method to quantify the activity of K+-countertransporting P-type ATPases by heterologous expression of the enzymes in Xenopus oocytes and measuring Rb+ or Li+ uptake into individual cells by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The method is a sensitive and safe alternative to radioisotope flux experiments facilitating complex kinetic studies.
Determining Optimal Cytotoxic Activity of Human Her2neu Specific CD8 T cells by Comparing the Cr51 Release Assay to the xCELLigence System
The chromium release assay, a common assay for detecting cytotoxic T cell activity, has several limitations. Using antigen-specific CD8 T cells and the human breast cancer tumor line, SKBR3, in the present article, an impedance-based approach was examined for the capability of detecting cell killing.
Circulating tumor cells are isolated from the blood of cancer patients without inflicting cellular damage. Isolation of tumor cells is accomplished using a bimolecular surface of E-selectin in addition to antibodies against epithelial markers. A nanotube coating specifically promotes cancer cell adhesion resulting in high capture purities.
Clinical Application of Sleeping Beauty and Artificial Antigen Presenting Cells to Genetically Modify T Cells from Peripheral and Umbilical Cord Blood
T cells expressing a CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) are infused as investigational treatment of B-cell malignancies in our first-in-human gene therapy trials. We describe genetic modification of T cells using the Sleeping Beauty (SB) system to introduce CD19-specific CAR and selective propagation on designer CD19+ artificial antigen presenting cells.
We describe the preparation of colloidal quantum dots with minimized hydrodynamic size for single-molecule fluorescence imaging. Compared to conventional quantum dots, these nanoparticles are similar in size to globular proteins and are optimized for single-molecule brightness, stability against photodegradation, and resistance to nonspecific binding to proteins and cells.
We provide a reproducible method to induce type 1 diabetes (T1D) in mice within two weeks by the adoptive transfer of islet antigen-specific, primary CD4+ T cells.
Single cell expression profiling allows the detailed gene expression analysis of individual cells. We describe methods for the isolation of cardiomyocytes, and preparing the resulting lysates for either whole transcriptome microarray or qPCR of specific targets.
Non-invasive measurements of neural activity patterns in freely behaving animals are obtained by combining neurophysiological recordings with high speed videography.
Analysis of rodent cerebrovascular anatomy plays an important role in experimental stroke research. In this context, intravascular perfusion with colored latex has been considered as a standard tool for several years. However, this technique implies distinct technical limitations, which undermine its reproducibility. Here, we describe a simple method to visualize cerebral vessels in a reproducible manner. Injection of a mixture of two commercially available carbon black inks through the left myocardial ventricle results in adequate filling of cerebral vessels with high contrast visualization. We have successfully applied this technique to identify anastomotic points between cerebral vascular territories of mice with different genetic backgrounds. We finally give evidence that this novel and simple method for vessel staining can be combined with triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining - a widely used tool to observe and analyze infarct volumes in mice.
Western blotting is an analytical technique used to detect specific proteins in a given sample of tissue homogenate or extract.
Antigens Protected Functional Red Blood Cells By The Membrane Grafting Of Compact Hyperbranched Polyglycerols
1Centre for Blood Research, University of British Columbia, 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, 3Canadian Blood Services, University of British Columbia, 4Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences Centre, University of British Columbia
The cell membrane modification of red blood cells (RBCs) with hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) is presented. Modified RBCs were characterized by aqueous two phase partitioning, osmotic fragility and complement mediated lysis. The camouflage of surface proteins and antigens was evaluated using the flow cytometry and Micro Typing System (MTS) blood phenotyping cards.
This video protocol illustrates the squash technique used in the Johansen laboratory to prepare Drosophila polytene chromosomes for antibody labeling.
Propagating and Detecting an Infectious Molecular Clone of Maedi-visna Virus that Expresses Green Fluorescent Protein
We describe a molecular clone of maedi-visna virus that expresses GFP and is fully infectious. Replication of this virus can be detected by using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.
IgY Technology: Extraction of Chicken Antibodies from Egg Yolk by Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Precipitation
1Center for Biological Security, Robert Koch-Institute, 2CICVyA - INTA Castelar, Instituto de Virología, 3Center of Molecular Immunology, Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba, 4Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Institute of Biology-Neurobiology, Free University of Berlin, 5Institut of Pharmacology, Charité-University Medicine of Berlin
This protocol describes in particular the extraction of total IgY from egg yolk by means of polyethylene glycol precipitation and gives general information about IgY technology.
A Liquid Phase Affinity Capture Assay Using Magnetic Beads to Study Protein-Protein Interaction: The Poliovirus-Nanobody Example
In this article, a simple, quantitative, liquid phase affinity capture assay is presented. It is a reliable technique based on the interaction between magnetic beads and tagged proteins (e.g. nanobodies) on one hand and the affinity between the tagged protein and a second, labeled protein (e.g. poliovirus) on the other.
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.
1Institute of Pathology, Laboratory of Molecular Tumor Pathology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 2Institute for Chemistry and Biochemistry, Free University Berlin, 3Laboratory for Functional Genomics Charité (LFGC), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 4Comprehensive Cancer Center Charité, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
This article describes the preparation of freshly obtained melanoma tissue into primary cell cultures, and how to remove contaminations of erythrocytes and fibroblasts from the tumor cells. Finally, we describe how CD133+ putative melanoma stem cells are sorted from the CD133- bulk using Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (MACS).
A Simple and Efficient Method to Detect Nuclear Factor Activation in Human Neutrophils by Flow Cytometry
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 2División de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 3Department of Immunology, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes in blood. Neutrophils possess transcriptionally regulated functions such as production of proinflammatory cytokines and inhibition of apoptosis. These functions can be studied with the method presented here, which allows detection and quantification of nuclear factors by flow cytometry in isolated nuclei
We present a novel and powerful integration of nanophotonics (QD-FRET) and microfluidics to investigate the formation of polyelectrolyte polyplexes, which is expected to provide better control and synthesis of uniform and customizable polyplexes for future nucleic acid-based therapeutics.
We describe a Flippase-induced intersectional Gal80/Gal4 repression (FINGR) method, allowing tissue-specific FLP to determine Gal80 expression patterns. Wherever Gal4 and FLP overlap, Gal4 expression is turned on (Gal80 flipped out) or off (Gal80 flipped in). The FINGR method is versatile for clonal analysis and neural circuit mapping.
A real-time screening procedure for identifying drugs that interact with G protein-gated inward rectifier K+ (GIRK) channels is described. The assay utilizes membrane potential-sensitive fluorescent dyes to measure GIRK channel activity. This technique is adaptable for use on a number of cell lines.
There is an increasing interest in understanding the immunological functions of specific subpopulations of cells in Peyer's patches (PPs), the primary inductive sites of gut-associated lymphoid tissues. Here we outline parallel protocols for preparing PP single cell preparations for flow cytometric analysis and PP cryosections for immunostaining.
Lipid Vesicle-mediated Affinity Chromatography using Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (LIMACS): a Novel Method to Analyze Protein-lipid Interaction
To test the interaction of a protein with its target lipid we used MACS and Annexin V-conjugated magnetic beads and lipid vesicles synthesized from the target lipid and Annexin V-binding phosphatidylserine. Proteins bound to the target lipid are co-purified and analyzed after elution from the beads.