Collecting Variable-concentration Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Datasets in Order to Determine Binding Mechanisms
ITC is a powerful tool for studying the binding of a ligand to its host. In complex systems however, several models may fit the data equally well. The method described here provides a means to elucidate the appropriate binding model for complex systems and extract the corresponding thermodynamic parameters.
Monitoring Equilibrium Changes in RNA Structure by 'Peroxidative' and 'Oxidative' Hydroxyl Radical Footprinting
This protocol describes how to quantify the Mg(II)-dependent formation of RNA tertiary structure by two methods of hydroxyl radical footprinting.
A general protocol for the use of isothermal titration calorimetry to monitor the binding thermodynamics for biological systems with moderate binding affinities is presented.
The 3DNA software package is a popular and versatile bioinformatics tool with capabilities to analyze, construct, and visualize three-dimensional nucleic acid structures. This article presents detailed protocols for a subset of new and popular features available in 3DNA, applicable to both individual structures and ensembles of related structures.
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.
RNA polymerase II transcriptional kinetics are measured on specific genes in living cells. mRNAs transcribed from the gene of interest are fluorescently tagged and using Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) the in vivo kinetics of transcriptional elongation are obtained.
The biarsenical dyes FlAsH and ReAsH bind specifically to tetracysteine motifs in proteins and can selectively label proteins in live cells. Recently this labeling strategy has been used to develop sensors for different protein conformations or oligomeric states. We describe the labeling approach and methods to quantitatively analyze binding.
Adhesion Frequency Assay for In Situ Kinetics Analysis of Cross-Junctional Molecular Interactions at the Cell-Cell Interface
An adhesion frequency assay for measuring receptor-ligand interaction kinetics when both molecules are anchored on the surfaces of the interacting cells is described. This mechanically-based assay is exemplified using a micropipette-pressurized human red blood cell as adhesion sensor and integrin αLβ2 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 as interacting receptors and ligands.
The Importance of Correct Protein Concentration for Kinetics and Affinity Determination in Structure-function Analysis
We apply label-free protein interaction analysis using Biacore X100 for structure-function analysis of the binding of several cystatin B mutants to papain through kinetic characterization. Calibration-free concentration analysis (CFCA) measures the concentration of protein with retained binding activity without the need for a standard curve. We show that confirmation of concentrations using CFCA increases the reliability of the kinetic analysis and that kinetic constants can reliably be determined even if the activity of a recombinant protein is reduced.
1Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, 2Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt
Here we present an electrophysiological method based on solid supported membranes with focus on its applications for the characterization of electrogenic membrane transporters.
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.
Assessing Neurodegenerative Phenotypes in Drosophila Dopaminergic Neurons by Climbing Assays and Whole Brain Immunostaining
Here we describe two assays that have been established to study age-dependent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Drosophila: the climbing/startle-induced negative geotaxis assay which allows to study the functional effects of DA neurons degeneration and the tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining which is used to identify and count DA neurons in whole brain mounts.
An in vitro model for cerebral malaria sequestration is described1. Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells are selected for binding to immortalized human brain microvascular endothelial cells. The selected parasites show a distinct phenotype. The selection process can be applied using various P. falciparum strains and endothelial cell lines.
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.
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.
1Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research, RWTH Aachen University, 2Institute for Textile Technology and Mechanical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 3Institute for Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz-Institute of RWTH Aachen University, 4Department of Experimental Molecular Imaging, RWTH Aachen University, 5Department of Oral and Maxillofacila Surgery, RWTH Aachen University
A model of stent implantation in mouse carotid artery is described. Compared to other similar methods, this procedure is very rapid, simple and accessible, offering the possibility to study in a convenient way the vascular wall reaction to different drug-eluting stents and the molecular mechanisms of restenosis.
Computed Tomography-guided Time-domain Diffuse Fluorescence Tomography in Small Animals for Localization of Cancer Biomarkers
1Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, 3Darmouth Medical School, Dartmouth College, 4School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
Diffuse fluorescence tomography offers a relatively low-cost and potentially high-throughout approach to preclinical in vivo tumor imaging. The methodology of optical data collection, calibration, and image reconstruction is presented for a computed tomography-guided non-contact time-domain system using fluorescent targeting of the tumor biomarker epidermal growth factor receptor in a mouse glioma model.
Biochemical Reconstitution of Steroid Receptor•Hsp90 Protein Complexes and Reactivation of Ligand Binding
1College of Nursing, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University, 2College of Science and Engineering, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University, 3School of Medicine, University of Washington
An in vitro method for preparing functional glucocorticoid receptor (GR)•hsp90 protein complexes from purified proteins and cellular lysates is described. The method utilizes immunoadsorption of recombinant GR followed by salt-stripping and protein complex reconstitution. The importance of cofactors and buffer conditions are discussed, as are potential method applications.
Quantitative Analyses of all Influenza Type A Viral Hemagglutinins and Neuraminidases using Universal Antibodies in Simple Slot Blot Assays
1Centre for Vaccine Evaluation, Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate, HPFB, Health canada, 2National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products, The State Food and Drug Administration, Beijing, 3Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, 4Microbiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, 5National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada
A simple slot blot method was developed for the quantification of influenza viral hemagglutinin and neuraminidase using universal antibodies targeting their most conserved sequences identified through bioinformatics analyses. This innovative approach may provide a useful alternative to quantitative determination of all viral hemagglutinin and neuraminidase.
1Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics, Stony Brook University, 2Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 3Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Texas at Dallas
Our Bayesian Change Point (BCP) algorithm builds on state-of-the-art advances in modeling change-points via Hidden Markov Models and applies them to chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIPseq) data analysis. BCP performs well in both broad and punctate data types, but excels in accurately identifying robust, reproducible islands of diffuse histone enrichment.
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.
1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 3Center for Advanced Genomics Technology, Boston University, 4Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine, 5Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 6CNR (National Research Council), Istituto di Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare
Quantitative, high-throughput, real-time, and label-free biomolecular detection (DNA, protein, etc.) on SiO2 surfaces can be achieved using a simple interferometric technique which relies on LED illumination, minimal optical components, and a camera. The Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS) is inexpensive, simple to use, and amenable to microarray formats.
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis depends on adaptor proteins that coordinate cargo selection and clathrin coat assembly. Here we describe procedures to study adaptor-clathrin physical interaction and live cell imaging approaches using as a model the yeast endocytic adaptor protein Sla1p.
Here we describe a new quantitative proteomics technique for identifying protein complexes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In this study, we have used the SILAC method together with affinity purification followed by tandem mass spectrometry to identify with high specificity the binding partners of an ER protein, Scs2p.
1Neural Regeneration Laboratory and Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, 2Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University
Here, we describe how to produce, expand, and immunolabel postnatal hippocampal neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in three-dimensional (3D) culture. Next, using hybrid visualization technologies, we demonstrate how digital images of immunolabelled cryosections can be used to reconstruct and map the spatial position of immunopositive cells throughout the entire 3D neurosphere.
An efficient approach for preparing nanofibers decorated with functional groups capable of specifically interacting with proteins is described. The approach first requires the preparation of a polymer functionalized with the appropriate functional group. The functional polymer is fabricated into nanofibers by electrospinning. The effectiveness of the binding of the nanofibers with a protein is studied by confocal microscopy.
This protocol utilizes a pull down assay to determine the levels of active RhoC GTPase within cells.
Chemically-blocked Antibody Microarray for Multiplexed High-throughput Profiling of Specific Protein Glycosylation in Complex Samples
1Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Thomas Jefferson University, 3Drexel University College of Medicine, 4Van Andel Research Institute, 5Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, Serome Biosciences Inc.
In this study, we describe an improved protocol for a multiplexed high-throughput antibody microarray with lectin detection method that can be used in glycosylation profiling of specific proteins. This protocol features new reliable reagents and significantly reduces the time, cost, and lab equipment requirements as compared to the previous procedure.
This paper describes different methods of growing Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms on cultured human airway epithelial cells. These protocols can be adapted to study different aspects of biofilm formation, including visualization of the biofilm, staining of the biofilm, measuring the colony forming units (CFU) of the biofilm, and studying biofilm cytotoxicity.
This protocol describes the use of peptide:MHC tetramers and magnetic microbeads to isolate low frequency populations of epitope-specific T cells and analyze them by flow cytometry. This method enables the direct study of endogenous T cell populations of interest from in vivo experimental systems.
Here are some highlights from the July 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
The mouse model of cecal ligation and puncture as a valuable tool for the study of human sepsis.
Testing Protozoacidal Activity of Ligand-lytic Peptides Against Termite Gut Protozoa in vitro (Protozoa Culture) and in vivo (Microinjection into Termite Hindgut)
We present procedures for demonstrating that ligands bind to the surface membrane of the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the gut of Formosan subterranean termites using fluorescent microscopy and that ligands coupled with lytic peptides kill these protozoa in vitro (anaerobic protozoa culture) and in vivo (injection into the termite hindgut).
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.
MamA is a unique Magnetosome associated protein which was shown to be involved in magnetosome activation. Here we present the purification protocol of MamA deletion mutant (MamAΔ41) from M. magneticum AMB-1.
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.
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.
1Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 2Cardiovascular Research Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 3Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine
Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), an epithelial chloride channel, has been reported to interact with various proteins and regulate important cellular processes; among them the CFTR PDZ motif-mediated interactions have been well documented. This protocol describes methods we developed to assemble a PDZ-dependent CFTR macromolecular signaling complex in vitro.
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.
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 3D culture system for hematopoiesis is described using human cord blood and leukemic bone marrow cells. The method is based on the use of a porous synthetic polyurethane scaffold coated with extracellular matrix proteins. This scaffold is adaptable to accommodate a wide range of cells.
The current article describes a rapid protocol to efficiently isolate mononuclear cells from brain and spinal cord tissues that can be effectively utilized for flow cytometric analyses.
Avidity-based Extracellular Interaction Screening (AVEXIS) for the Scalable Detection of Low-affinity Extracellular Receptor-Ligand Interactions
AVEXIS is a high throughput protein interaction assay developed to systematically screen for novel extracellular receptor-ligand pairs involved in cellular recognition processes. It is specifically designed to detect transient protein interactions that are difficult to identify using other high throughput approaches.
This report provides a visual depiction of parallel-plate flow chamber analysis for studying leukocyte endothelial interactions under physiologic shear stress. This method is particularly useful for investigating the role of endothelial (E)-selectin and leukocyte E-selectin ligands that trigger leukocyte rolling on endothelial cell surfaces.
Avian Influenza Surveillance with FTA Cards: Field Methods, Biosafety, and Transportation Issues Solved
A method to preserve, detect and sequence RNA from Avian Influenza Viruses was validated and extended using natural faecal samples from birds. This technique removes the necessity of maintaining a cool chain and handling of infectious viruses and can be applied in a 96-well high-throughput setup.
Recently developed imaging techniques using near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) may help elucidate the role the lymphatic system plays in cancer metastasis, immune response, wound repair, and other lymphatic-associated diseases.
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.
1Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science, and Nutrition , The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University
Ice binding proteins (IBPs), also known as antifreeze proteins, inhibit ice growth and are a promising additive for use in the cryopreservation of tissues. The main tool used to investigate IBPs is the nanoliter osmometer. We developed a home-designed cooling stage mounted on an optical microscope and controlled using a custom-built LabVIEW routine. The nanoliter osmometer described here manipulated the sample temperature in an ultra-sensitive manner.
1Laboratory for NeuroRegeneration and Repair, Department of Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tuebingen, 2Graduate School for Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, University of Tuebingen
We present a method for chromatin immunoprecipitation from dorsal root ganglia tissue following axonal injury. The approach can be used to identify specific transcription factor binding sites and epigenetic modification of histone and DNA important for the regeneration of injured axons in both the peripheral and central nervous system.
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.