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.
Supported planar bilayers are powerful tools that can be used to model the molecular interactions in an immunological synapse. Here, we show methods for anchoring cell adhesion proteins known to modulate synapse formation to the upper leaflet of the lipid bilyer and visualize synapse formation using TIRF microscopy.
Gramicidin-based Fluorescence Assay; for Determining Small Molecules Potential for Modifying Lipid Bilayer Properties
We introduce a fast fluorescence-based assay that monitors the rate of fluorescence quenching as a measure of gramicidin channel activity. The gramicidin channels are used as molecular force transducers to monitor changes in lipid bilayer properties as sensed by bilayer spanning proteins.
Planar lipid bilayers, also called artificial lipid bilayers, allow you to study ion-conducting channels in a well-defined environment. Here, we demonstrate the individual steps needed to prepare the bilayer chamber, the electrodes and how to test that the bilayer is suitable for single-channel measurements.
We present an in vitro, two-color fluorescence assay to visualize the fusion of single virus particles with a fluid target bilayer. By labeling viral particles with fluorophores that differentially stain the viral membrane and its interior, we are able to monitor the kinetics of hemifusion and pore formation.
A TIRF Microscopy Technique for Real-time, Simultaneous Imaging of the TCR and its Associated Signaling Proteins
The compartmentalization of proteins either within the plasma membrane or into intracellular locations is one regulatory mechanism that can greatly influence signaling outcomes; hence, to understand signaling it is important to study the spatial and temporal behavior of the proteins involved. We describe here a TIRF microscopy based system to study signal transduction in T cells, but is broadly applicable.
Bicelles are lipid/amphiphile mixtures that maintain membrane proteins (MPs) within a lipid bilayer but have unique phase behavior that facilitates high-throughput screening by crystallization robots. This technique has successfully produced a number of high-resolution structures from both prokaryotic and eukaryotic sources. This video describes protocols for generating the lipidic bicelle mixture, incorporating MPs into the bicelle mixture, setting up crystallizations trials (manually as well as robotically) and harvesting crystals from the medium.
Membrane protein function is regulated by the cell membrane lipid composition. This video-article details how to form a patch using bilayer patch electrodes, as well as how to use gramicidin channels as reporters of altered membrane properties.
Ex Vivo Red Blood Cell Hemolysis Assay for the Evaluation of pH-responsive Endosomolytic Agents for Cytosolic Delivery of Biomacromolecular Drugs
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 2Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science & Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 3Interdisciplinary Materials Science Program, Vanderbilt University, 4Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 5Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 6Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University
A hemolysis assay can be used as a rapid, high-throughput screen of drug delivery systems' cytocompatibility and endosomolytic activity for intracellular cargo delivery. The assay measures the disruption of erythrocyte membranes as a function of environmental pH.
Electrospun scaffolds can be processed post production for tissue engineering applications. Here we describe methods for spinning complex scaffolds (by consecutive spinning), for making thicker scaffolds (by multi-layering using heat or vapour annealing), for achieving sterility (aseptic production or sterilisation post production) and for achieving appropriate biomechanical properties.
Nanodiscs are small discoid particles that incorporate membrane proteins into a small patch of phospholipid bilayer. We provide a visual protocol that shows the step-by-step incorporation of the MalFGK2 transporter into a disc.
Microcontact printing is used extensively to pattern proteins and other molecules on material surfaces. We demonstrate the basic steps of this process, stamping patterns of fibronectin onto glass.
This protocol focuses on utilizing the inherent ability of stem cells to take cue from their surrounding extracellular matrix and be induced to differentiate into multiple phenotypes. This methods manuscript extends our description and characterization of a model utilizing a bilayered hydrogel, composed of PEG-fibrin and collagen, to simultaneously co-differentiate adipose-derived stem cells1.
We describe experimental details of the synthesis of patterned and reconfigurable particles from two dimensional (2D) precursors. This methodology can be used to create particles in a variety of shapes including polyhedra and grasping devices at length scales ranging from the micro to centimeter scale.
Matrix-assisted Autologous Chondrocyte Transplantation for Remodeling and Repair of Chondral Defects in a Rabbit Model
1Department of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, Klinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München, 2Department of Radiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München, 3Institute of Experimental Oncology and Therapy Research, Klinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München, 4Department of Radiology, Uniklinik Köln
An experimental technique for the treatment of chondral defects in the rabbit's knee joint is described. The implantation of autologous chondrocytes seeded on a matrix is a well-accepted method for the remodeling and repair of articular cartilage lesions providing satisfying long-term results. Matrix-assisted autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) offers a standardized and clinically established implantation method.
This video article details the experimental procedure for obtaining the Gibbs free energy of membrane protein folding by tryptophan fluorescence.
We demonstrate FRET between conjugated polymer polydiacetylene (PDA) and fluorophore attached to the surface of PDA liposomes for the sensing of biomolecules. PDA liposomes also contained receptor molecules on their surfaces for biomolecules to be used as probes. Ligand-receptor interactions lead to changes in the FRET efficiency between the fluorophore and PDA which is the basis of the sensing mechanism.
This video shows techniques for labeling of human embryonic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells with fluorescent dyes. This technique can be used for an in vivo tracking of transplanted stem cells with optical imaging and for histopathological correlations with fluorescence microscopy.
External electric field induces a voltage on the membrane of a cell, termed the induced membrane voltage (ΔΦ). By using the potentiometric dye di-8-ANEPPS, it is possible to measure the ΔΦ noninvasively. This video shows the protocol for measuring ΔΦ using di-8-ANEPPS.
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.
1Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Research service, 151, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 3Departments of Medicine, Urology at David Geffen School of Medicine and Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Gentics, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), 4Division of Infectious Diseases, 111F, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Health Care System
An efficient method to assess surface-exposure of leptospiral proteins is described. The method is specifically designed to avoid disruption of the fragile outer membrane of leptospiral cells. This technique requires employment of several negative controls to assess the integrity of the outer membrane and specificity of antibody reaction.
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.
Solid-phase Submonomer Synthesis of Peptoid Polymers and their Self-Assembly into Highly-Ordered Nanosheets
A simple and general manual peptoid synthesis method involving basic equipment and commercially available reagents is outlined, enabling peptoids to be easily synthesized in most laboratories. The synthesis, purification and characterization of an amphiphilic peptoid 36mer is described, as well as its self-assembly into highly-ordered nanosheets.
The protocols describe the essential steps for obtaining diffraction quality crystals of a membrane protein starting from reconstitution of the protein in a lipidic cubic phase (LCP), finding initial conditions with LCP-FRAP pre-crystallization assays, setting up LCP crystallization trials and harvesting crystals.
Here we describe a quick and simple method to measure cell stiffness. The general principle of this approach is to measure membrane deformation in response to well-defined negative pressure applied through a micropipette to the cell surface. This method provides a powerful tool to study biomechanical properties of substrate-attached cells.
Arabidopsis thaliana Polar Glycerolipid Profiling by Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) Coupled with Gas-Liquid Chromatography (GLC)
Composition of polar lipid extracts and the fatty acid composition of individual glycerolipids are determined in a simple and robust lipid profiling experiment. For this purpose, glycerolipids are isolated by thin layer chromatography and subjected to transmethylation of their acyl groups. Fatty acyl methylesters are quantified by gas-liquid chromatography.
Optimized Staining and Proliferation Modeling Methods for Cell Division Monitoring using Cell Tracking Dyes
1Department of Flow and Image Cytometry, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, 2Flow Cytometry & Cell Sorting Resource Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, 3SciGro, Inc., 4Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Successful use of cell tracking dyes to monitor immune cell function and proliferation involves several critical steps. We describe methods for: 1) obtaining bright, uniform, reproducible label-ing with membrane dyes; 2) selecting fluorochromes and data acquisition conditions; and 3) choosing a model to quantify cell proliferation based on dye dilution.
Harvesting and Cryo-cooling Crystals of Membrane Proteins Grown in Lipidic Mesophases for Structure Determination by Macromolecular Crystallography
Herein is described procedures implemented in the Caffrey Membrane Structural and Functional Biology Group to harvest and cryo-cool membrane protein crystals grown in lipidic cubic and sponge phases for use in structure determination using macromolecular X-ray crystallography.
Herein is described the procedure implemented in the Caffrey Membrane Structural and Functional Biology Group to set up manually crystallization trials of membrane proteins in lipidic mesophases.
1Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 3Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 4Center for High-Throughput Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 5Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
A method for the incorporation of plasmid DNA into murine retinal cells for the purpose of performing either gain- or loss of function studies in vivo is presented. This method capitalizes on the transient increase in permeability of cell plasma membranes induced by the application of an external electrical field.
Quantitative Analysis of Synaptic Vesicle Pool Replenishment in Cultured Cerebellar Granule Neurons using FM Dyes
A live fluorescence imaging technique to quantify the replenishment and mobilisation of specific synaptic vesicle (SV) pools in central nerve terminals is described. Two rounds of SV recycling are monitored in the same nerve terminals providing an internal control.
We use the patch-clamp technique to measure GABA-activated single-channel currents (GABAA channels, GABAA receptors) and the synaptic and tonic currents they generate in neurons. Activation of the channels decreases neuronal excitability in health and disease 1,2,3,4.
A simple microfluidic device has been developed to perform anesthetic free in vivo imaging of C. elegans, intact Drosophila larvae and zebrafish larvae. The device utilizes a deformable PDMS membrane to immobilize these model organisms in order to perform time lapse imaging of numerous processes such as heart beat, cell division and sub-cellular neuronal transport. We demonstrate the use of this device and show examples of different types of data collected from different model systems.
1Department of Physics, Clemson University, 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, East Carolina University, 3Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, 4Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies, Clemson University
Graphene offers potential as a coating material for biomedical implants. In this study we demonstrate a method for coating nitinol alloys with nanometer thick layers of graphene and determine how graphene may influence implant response.
This protocol details a method for the quantitative measure of peptide translocation into large unilamellar lipid vesicles. This method also provides information about the rate of membrane translocation and can be used to identify peptides that efficiently and spontaneously cross lipid bilayers.
This protocol describes an extrusion method for preparing lipid vesicles of sub-micron sizes with a high degree of homogeneity. This method uses a pressure-controlled system with controlled nitrogen flow rates for liposome preparation. The lipid preparation1,2, liposome extrusion, and size characterization will be presented herein.
An efficient procedure to assess the oligomerization propensity of single-pass transmembrane domains (TMDs) is described. Chimeric proteins consisting of the TMD fused to ToxR are expressed in an E. coli reporter strain. TMD-induced oligomerization causes dimerization of ToxR, activation of transcription and production of the reporter protein, -galactosidase.
A method to process human mammary surgical discard material is described. Processed tissue, in the form of organoids, can be stored frozen indefinitely or placed in culture for long-term growth. This method enables experimental examination of normal human epithelial cell biology, and the effects of exogenous perturbations.
In this video we demonstrate efficient electrofusion of cells in vitro by means of modified adherence method using electroporation and the subsequent detection of fused cells visualization with fluorescence microscopy.
In this article we describe the use of magnetic tweezers to study the effect of force on enzymatic proteolysis at the single molecule level in a highly parallelizable manner.
Differential Imaging of Biological Structures with Doubly-resonant Coherent Anti-stokes Raman Scattering (CARS)
A combination of three single wavelength short-pulsed lasers is used to generate coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and doubly-resonant CARS (DR-CARS). The difference between these signals provides enhanced sensitivity for otherwise difficult to detect coherent Raman signals, enabling imaging of weak Raman scatterers.