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.
Here we describe methods to test C. elegans associative learning and short- and long-term associative memory. These population assays employ the worms abilities to chemotax toward volatile odorants, and form positive associations upon pairing food with the chemoattractant butanone. Increasing the number of conditioning periods induces long-term memory.
1Applied Bioscience Program, Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2Nursing Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 3Medical Laboratory Science Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
This study describes a novel microplate assay that measures FV coagulation activity during fibrin clot formation in human plasma which has not been reported previously. The method uses a kinetic microplate reader to continuously measure the change in absorbance at 405nm during fibrin clot formation in human plasma.
A suite of colorimetric assays is described for rapidly distinguishing protein, RNA, DNA, and reducing sugars in potentially heterogeneous biomolecular samples.
Using Luminex Corporation’s xMAP microsphere technology, we have developed the Multiplexed Fluorometric ImmunoAssay (MFIA) for serosurveillance of various laboratory animal species. The MFIA is a suspension microarray where antigen, tissue control or immunoglobulins are covalently linked to color-coded polystyrene microspheres. The MFIA testing method as well as various troubleshooting topics is addressed.
Behavior assays for measuring locomotor functions, learning, and memory abilities in Drosophila.
1Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Methods for developing and validating a quantitative fluorescence assay for measuring the activity of inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels for high-throughput compound screening is presented.
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.
The Protease Fluorescent Detection Kit is designed for the measurement of protease activity using fluorometry. It is also suitable for detection of trace amounts of protease contamination. The method is based on the proteolytic hydroysis of a proprietary formulation of a FITC-labeled casein substrate.
Enzyme-linked Immunospot Assay (ELISPOT): Quantification of Th-1 Cellular Immune Responses Against Microbial Antigens
Identification of microbial targets of adaptive immunity in idiopathic diseases can be accomplished by the use of the enzyme-linked immunospot assay.
1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama-Birmingham, 2Department of Radiation Oncology, The Ohio State University Medical School, 3Department of Cell Biology, and Pharmacology and Toxicology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, University of Alabama-Birmingham
The comet assay is an efficient way of detecting single- and double-strand breaks, including alkali-labile sites and DNA-DNA/DNA-protein cross-links on the DNA in all cells including hippocampal neurons. The method takes advantage of the differential migration of DNA in an electric field due to differences in amount of DNA damage.
Microvolume samples are quantified by a spectrophotometer system that uses natural surface tension to retain samples without the use of cuvettes or capillaries. The dynamic range of protein concentrations and speed by which they can be measured are greatly increased with this method.
Identifying Targets of Human microRNAs with the LightSwitch Luciferase Assay System using 3'UTR-reporter Constructs and a microRNA Mimic in Adherent Cells
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression and have been shown to play a role in numerous biological processes. To better understand miRNA-UTR interactions, we have created a genome-wide collection of 3 UTR luciferase reporters paired with a novel luciferase gene and assay reagent, the LightSwitch system.
Long-term Culture of Human Breast Cancer Specimens and Their Analysis Using Optical Projection Tomography
We have developed a collagen-based in vitro assay which promotes proliferation and invasion from samples of all breast cancer subtypes. Optical Projection Tomography, a three dimensional microscopy technique was utilised to visualise and quantify tumour expansion. This assay may be used to quantify drug response of individual tumour samples.
Tissue-specific analysis of a hair follicle regeneration model using lentivirus to mediate gain- or loss-of-function.
This video demonstrates how to employ two neural stimulants, aldicarb and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), in complementary ways to study synaptic function in the nematode, C. elegans. This complementary approach may also be used to shed light on evolutionarily conserved mechanisms for modulating neuronal synchrony and has implications for epilepsy and seizures.
An accurate, short, sophisticated and cheap method is described that assesses telomere length in multiple tissues and species using qRT-PCR. In addition, we will describe a simple assay to assess telomerase activity as a complementary backbone test for telomere length.
A modified 3-D in vitro system is presented in which growth characteristics of several tumor cell lines in reconstituted basement membrane correlate with the dormant or proliferative behavior of the tumor cells at a metastatic secondary site in vivo.
Use of Interferon-γ Enzyme-linked Immunospot Assay to Characterize Novel T-cell Epitopes of Human Papillomavirus
1Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 3Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Characterizing T-cell epitopes of pathogens that cause localized infections such as human papillomavirus is a challenge because of limited number of T cells in circulation. A method is described in which rare T cells were isolated and were characterized starting with a very small number of cells.
Accurate and Simple Measurement of the Pro-inflammatory Cytokine IL-1β using a Whole Blood Stimulation Assay
1Translational Immunology Section, Office of Science and Technology, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 2Translational Autoinflammatory Disease Section, Office of the Clinical Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
We describe a simple immunoassay to measure the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1 beta production, in patients presenting with autoinflammatory phenotypes. By activating cells in whole blood cultures with pathogen-associated molecular patterns, specifically with lipopolysaccharide, cytokine secretion can be conveniently evaluated in whole blood supernatants.
Eggs and the extracellular coatings around eggs frequently release peptides, proteins and small molecules that communicate with sperm to guide them to the egg thereby promoting fertilization. Using frog sperm we describe and compare two classes of assays used to detect sperm chemoattraction – sperm accumulation assays and sperm tracking assays.
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.
A method of quantitatively evaluating the chemotactic response of Caenorhabditis elegans is described. A chemotactic index (CI) was employed as a way to precisely evaluate the response of worms to certain targets, and serve as a platform of comparison between strains and compounds of interest.
In this video, we demonstrate the EpiDerm Skin Irritation test (EpiDerm SIT) developed and validated for in vitro skin irritation testing of chemicals, including cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients.
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.
γ-Herpesviruses (γ-HVs) establish life-long persistency in their host. Infection of mice with γ-HV68 provides a genetically tractable in vivo model for the characterization of the lifecycle/pathogenesis of γHVs. This protocol describes the detection and quantitation of γHV68 infection at acute and latent stages following infection by plaque-forming, infectious center, and qPCR assays.
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.
Proteins bind to filamentous actin (F-actin) through distinct actin binding modules. In this video we demonstrate the procedure of actin co-sedimentation, which is an in vitro assay routinely used to analyze proteins or specific domains that bind F-actin.
Demonstration of a rapid quantitative assay of the inhibition of blood coagulation by the low-molecular-weight-heparin, enoxaparin. The contribution of enoxaparin is assessed by removing its influence through digestion with heparinase. A fuller description of the assay is detailed in our published paper.1 The assay still requires clinical confirmation.
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2Departments of Microbiology and Medicine, and Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Rescue of influenza A viruses from plasmid DNA is a basic and essential experimental technique that allows influenza researchers to generate recombinant viruses to study multiple aspects in the biology of influenza virus, and to be used as potential vectors or vaccines.
The associated chromosome trap (ACT) assay is a novel unbiased method for identifying long-range DNA interactions. The characterization of long range DNA interactions will allow us to determine the relationship of nuclear architecture to gene expression in both normal physiology and in diseased states.
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.
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.
Recording Multicellular Behavior in Myxococcus xanthus Biofilms using Time-lapse Microcinematography
To study Myxococcus xanthus swarm behavior, we have designed a time-lapse microcinematography protocol that can be modified for different assays. It employs standard growth conditions adapted for microscopy, and yields reproducible results by the use of inexpensive, reusable silicone gaskets. We have used this method to quantify multicellular chemotaxis.
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.
Amplifying and Quantifying HIV-1 RNA in HIV Infected Individuals with Viral Loads Below the Limit of Detection by Standard Clinical Assays
Quantifying levels of HIV-1 RNA in plasma and sequencing single HIV-1 genomes from individuals with viral loads below the limit of detection (50-75 copies/ml) is difficult. Here we describe how to extract and quantify plasma viral RNA using a real time PCR assay that reliably measures HIV-1 RNA down to 0.3 copies/ml and how to amplify viral genomes by single genome sequencing, from samples with very low viral loads.
A Functional Whole Blood Assay to Measure Viability of Mycobacteria, using Reporter-Gene Tagged BCG or M.Tb (BCG lux/M.Tb lux)
We describe an alternative approach to the enumeration of mycobacteria in vitro, which uses reporter-gene tagged mycobacteria instead of colony-forming units (CFU). “Survival” of organisms as well as host response-markers are measured simultaneously, providing a low-cost, versatile and functional system for studies of host/pathogen interactions in the context of tuberculosis.
We describe a methodology combining automated cell culturing with high-content imaging to visualize and quantify multiple cellular processes and structures, in a high-throughput manner. Such methods can aid in the further functional annotation of genomes as well as identify disease gene networks and potential drug targets.
Affinity Precipitation of Active Rho-GEFs Using a GST-tagged Mutant Rho Protein (GST-RhoA(G17A)) from Epithelial Cell Lysates
1Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, 2Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, 3Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The method presented here describes an assay to follow activation of RhoA specific GDP/GTP Exchange Factors (GEFs) in cultured cells by making use of a mutant RhoA GST fusion protein that has high affinity for activated GEFs. GEFs are precipitated from cell lysates, detected by Western blotting and quantified by densitometry.
A cell death-based assay for PTI in Nicotiana benthamiana plants is described.
Osmotic Avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans: Synaptic Function of Two Genes, Orthologues of Human NRXN1 and NLGN1, as Candidates for Autism
Neurexins and neuroligins are membrane-neuron adhesion proteins which perform essential roles in synaptic differentiation and transmission. Neuroligin deficient mutants of C. elegans are defective in detecting osmotic strength, but when they also contain a mutation in the gene coding neurexin, they recover the wild type phenotype.
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.
Pharmacological and Functional Genetic Assays to Manipulate Regeneration of the Planarian Dugesia japonica
An attractive model for studying stem cell differentiation within a live animal is the planarian flatworm. Regeneration is studied by simple amputation experiments that are easily performed in a basic laboratory and are amenable to pharmacological and genetic (in vivo RNAi) manipulation as detailed by protocols in this article.
Drosophila melanogaster is a genetically and behaviorally tractable model system that has been used to understand the molecular and cellular basis of many important biological processes for over a century 1. Drosophila has been well exploited to gain insights into the genetic basis of fly behavior.
Here we describe an optimized technique to produce high-quality vitamin A/RBP complex and two real-time monitoring techniques to study vitamin A transport by STRA6, the RBP receptor.
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.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
In this issue, Oestreicher et al. show us how to isolate magnetotactic bacteria from freshwater samples, and concentrate the bacteria at one end of a glass capillary. The magnetotactic bacteria can then be visualized by light and transmission electron microscopy, and used for various other assays.
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 2Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 3Department of Microbiology and Immunology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 4Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
The phagokinetic motility track assay is a method used to assess the movement of cells. Specifically, the assay measures chemokinesis (random cell motility) over time in a quantitative manner. The assay takes advantage of the ability of cells to create a measurable track of their movement on colloidal gold-coated coverslips.
In this video article, we describe a new method allowing the construction of odorant gradients with stable and controllable geometries. We briefly illustrate how these gradients can be used to screen for olfactory defects (full and partial anosmia) and to study more subtle features of chemotaxis behavior.