PCR has emerged as a common technique in many molecular biology laboratories. Provided here is a quick guide to several conventional PCR protocols. Because each reaction is a unique experiment, optimal conditions required to generate a product vary. Understanding the variables in a reaction will greatly enhance troubleshooting efficiency, thereby increasing the chance to obtain the desired result.
The LookOut Mycoplasma PCR Detection Kit utilizes the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is established as the method of choice for highest sensitivity in the detection of Mycoplasma, Acholeplasma, and Ureaplasma contamination in cell cultures and other cell culture derived biologicals.
Here we demonstrate a simple protocol to create a random mutant library for a given target sequence. We show how this method, which is performed in vivo in Escherichia coli, can be coupled with functional selections to evolve new enzymatic activities.
The Direct PCR approach presented here facilitates PCR amplification directly from small amounts of unpurified plant and animal tissue.
We present a method of targeted ancient DNA sequence retrieval, which we used to reconstruct the complete mitochondrial genomes of five Neandertal individuals. Comparison of these sequences with present day humans suggests that Neandertals had a long term low effective population size.
An efficient genome-wide single gene mutation method has been established using Streptococcus sanguinis as a model organism. This method has achieved via high throughput recombinant PCRs and transformations.
1Regenerative Biology, Morgridge Institute for Research, 2Department of Cell & Regenerative Biology, University of Wisconsin, 3Department of Molecular, Cellular, & Regenerative Biology, University of California
Here we describe a method for preparation of both single read and paired end Illumina mRNA-Seq sequencing libraries for gene expression analysis based on T7 linear RNA amplification. This protocol requires only 10 nanograms of starting total RNA and generates highly consistent libraries representing whole transcripts.
1Department of Biology, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany, 2Proteomics division, AlPlanta, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany
Site directed mutagenesis of whole plasmids is a simple way to create slightly different variations of an original plasmid. Here we demonstrate an easy and cost effective way to introduce base substitutions into a plasmid using standard reagents.
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.
Quantitative, Real-time Analysis of Base Excision Repair Activity in Cell Lysates Utilizing Lesion-specific Molecular Beacons
1Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 3Department of Experimental Therapy, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 4Department of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health
We describe a method for the quantitative, real-time measurement of DNA glycosylase and AP endonuclease activities in cell nuclear lysates. The assay yields rates of DNA Repair activity amenable to kinetic analysis and is adaptable for quantification of DNA Repair activity in tissue and tumor lysates or with purified proteins.
1Program in Gene Function and Expression, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 4Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Mathematics, Harvard University, 5Department of Applied Mathematics, Harvard University, 6Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 7Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, 8Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Hi-C method allows unbiased, genome-wide identification of chromatin interactions (1). Hi-C couples proximity ligation and massively parallel sequencing. The resulting data can be used to study genomic architecture at multiple scales: initial results identified features such as chromosome territories, segregation of open and closed chromatin, and chromatin structure at the megabase scale.
1Institute of Virology, University of Cologne, 2Max Planck Institute for Informatics, 3Institute for Immune genetics, 4Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectiology, University of Duesseldorf, 5Department of Dermatology, University of Essen, 6Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cologne, 7Augustinerinnen Hospital
The prediction of the coreceptor usage of HIV-1 is required for the administration of a new class of antiretroviral drugs, i.e. coreceptor antagonists. It can be performed by sequence analysis of the env gene and subsequent interpretation through an internet based interpretation system (geno2pheno[coreceptor]).
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.
Genome assemblies based on massively parallel DNA sequencing technologies are usually highly fragmented. The development of physical chromosome maps can potentially improve genome assemblies. Here, we demonstrate innovative approaches to chromosome preparation, fluorescent in situ hybridization, and imaging that significantly increase throughput of the physical map development.
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.
In this article we describe a simple method for the harvesting of single cells from rat primary neuronal cultures and subsequent transcriptome analysis using aRNA amplification. This approach is generalizable to any cell type.
The EpiMark 5-hmC and 5-mC Analysis Kit can be used to analyze and quantitate 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine within a spe cific locus. The kit distinguishes 5-mC from 5-hmC by the addition of glucose to the hydroxyl group of 5-hmC via an enzymatic reaction utilizing β-glucosyltransferase (T4-BGT). When 5-hmC occurs In the context of CCGG, this modification converts a cleavable MspI site to a non-cleavable site.
A rapid and affordable way to extract quality malaria parasite and vector DNA from mosquito specimens is described. Capitalizing on chelating properties of Chelex resin, the simple method enables genotyping of malaria parasites in mosquito mid-gut and salivary gland phases, as well as molecular identification of the Anopheles sibling species by PCR.
The inoculation of Trypanosoma cruzi in fertile eggs prior to incubation renders the parasite kDNA minicircle integration in embryo cells genome. Crossbreeding reveals the vertical transfer of the mutations to progeny. The kDNA integrates into coding regions at several chromosomes and the chickens die with an inflammatory autoimmune heart disease.
The fate of the replisome following a collision with a head-on RNA polymerase (RNAP) is unknown. We find that the replisome stalls upon collision with a head-on RNAP, but resumes elongation after displacing the RNAP from DNA. Mfd promotes replication restart by facilitating displacement of the RNAP after the collision.
In this protocol, gene expression in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is changed after exposure to oxidative stress induced by the addition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), an oxidizing agent.
This protocol demonstrates a simple single-molecule fluorescence microscopy technique for visualizing DNA replication by individual replisomes in real time.
DNA Fingerprinting of Mycobacterium leprae Strains Using Variable Number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) - Fragment Length Analysis (FLA)
Leprosy, caused by Mycobacterium leprae, is still endemic in many places. In order to learn about the spread and mode of transmission of leprosy, it is important to determine which strain of M. leprae has infected a patient. Variable numbers of tandem repeats (VNTR) typing is one such method.
Chromatin Interaction Analysis with Paired-End Tag Sequencing (ChIA-PET) for Mapping Chromatin Interactions and Understanding Transcription Regulation
1Genome Institute of Singapore, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore, 2A*STAR-Duke-NUS Neuroscience Research Partnership, Singapore, 3Department of Biochemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Chromatin Interaction Analysis by Paired-End Tag Sequencing (ChIA-PET) is a method for de novo detection of chromatin interactions, for better understanding of transcriptional control.
A novel directed evolution method specific to the field of thermostability engineering was developed and consequently validated for bacteriolytic enzymes. After only one round of random mutagenesis, an evolved bacteriolytic enzyme, PlyC 29C3, displayed greater than twice the residual activity when compared to the wild-type protein after elevated temperature incubation.
Gene microarrays are powerful tools in gene expression profiling at a genome-wide level. This technology has application in a variety of biological disciplines including developmental biology and toxicology. In this video, we detail a protocol for global gene expression analysis using a comprehensive oligonucleotide microarray platform for the zebrafish.
We present a noninvasive sampling approach to efficiently collect hair samples from elusive small mammals, as shown for the American pika. We demonstrate the utility of this method by extracting DNA from sampled hair and amplifying several types of molecular markers commonly used in studies of wildlife ecology and conservation.
1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University
We describe a novel method to perform DNA replication via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thermal convection is harnessed to continuously shuttle reagents between denaturing, annealing, and extension conditions by maintaining opposing surfaces of the reactor at constant temperature. This inherently simple design promises to make rapid PCR more accessible.
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world. Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the main risk factor for cataract development. An animal model of far UVR-B induced cataract was developed. In this article we describe methods for investigation of cataract formation: exposure to UVR, quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry.
Assessing Somatic Hypermutation in Ramos B Cells after Overexpression or Knockdown of Specific Genes
We describe how to perform retroviral or lentiviral infections of overexpression or shRNA-containing constructs in the human Ramos B-cell line and how to measure somatic hypermutation in these cells.
In ovo Electroporation of miRNA-based Plasmids in the Developing Neural Tube and Assessment of Phenotypes by DiI Injection in Open-book Preparations
A method by which gene expression in the neural tube can be downregulated in a cell type-specific, traceable manner is described. We demonstrate how in ovo electroporation of microRNA-based plasmids that elicit spatiotemporally controlled RNA interference can be used to investigate commissural axon guidance in the developing neural tube.
Among the three mosquito genera, namely Anopheles, Aedes, and Culex, physical genome mapping techniques were established only for Anopheles, whose members possess readable polytene chromosomes. For the genera of Aedes and Culex, however, cytogenetic mapping remains challenging because of the poor quality of polytene chromosomes. Here we present a universal protocol for obtaining high-quality preparations of mitotic chromosomes and an optimized FISH protocol for all three genera of mosquitoes.
CRISPR/Cas systems mediate adaptive immunity in Bacteria and Archaea. Many Cas proteins are proposed to act as endoribonucleases acting on crRNA precursors of varying length. Here we illustrate three different approaches to generate pre-crRNA substrates for the biochemical analysis of Cas endonuclease activity.
We describe a method for observing real time replication of individual DNA molecules mediated by proteins of the bacteriophage replication system.
1Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto, 2Division of Urology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada, 3Department of Anatomic Pathology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada, 4Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Quantitative Real Time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is a rapid and sensitive method to investigate the expression levels of various microRNA (miRNA) molecules in tumor samples. Using this method expression of hundreds of different miRNA molecules can be amplified, quantified, and analyzed from the same cDNA template.
1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 2Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3Shared Resource-DNA/RNA Peptide, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
Several 2’-Fluoro RNA aptamers against HIV-1Ba-L gp120 with nanomole affinity are isolated from a RNA library by in vitro SELEX procedure. A new dual inhibitory function anti-gp120 aptamer-siRNA chimera is created and shows considerable promise for systemic anti-HIV therapy.
A major impediment to biochemical analyses of ribosomes containing nascent peptidyl-tRNAs has been the presence of other ribosomes in the same samples, ribosomes not involved in the translation of the specific mRNA sequence being analyzed. We developed a simple methodology to purify, exclusively, the ribosomes containing the nascent peptidyl-tRNA of interest.
A ribosomal RNA (rRNA) depletion protocol was developed to enrich messenger RNA (mRNA) for RNA-seq of the mosquito gut metatranscriptome. Sample specific rRNA probes, which were used to remove rRNA via subtraction, were created from the mosquito and its gut microbes. Performance of the protocol can result in the removal of approximately 90-99% of rRNA.
Protocol for Vaccinia infection of HeLa cells and analysis of host and viral gene expression. Part 2 of 3.
TransFLP — A Method to Genetically Modify Vibrio cholerae Based on Natural Transformation and FLP-recombination
A quick method to modify the genome of V. cholerae is described. These modifications include the deletion of single genes, gene clusters and genomic islands as well as the integration of short sequences (e.g. promoter elements or affinity-tag sequences). The method is based on the natural transformation and FLP-recombination.
We present a method for generating cDNA from environmental mRNA. In general, total RNA is first collected from the environment, rRNA is selectively removed, mRNA is selectively amplified, and cDNA synthesized from the enriched mRNA pool is sequenced. Recovered sequences can be annotated using standard bioinformatics techniques to identify the expressed genes.
HIV tropism can be inferred from the V3 region of the viral envelope. V3 is PCR amplified in triplicate using nested RT-PCR, sequenced, and interpreted using bioinformatic software. Samples with with 1 or more sequence(s) with low g2P scores are classified as non-R5 virus.
Efforts to isolate the catalytic subunit of telomerase, TERT, in sufficient quantities for structural studies, have been met with limited success for more than a decade. Here, we present methods for the isolation of the recombinant Tribolium castaneum TERT (TcTERT) and the reconstitution of the active T. castaneum telomerase ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex in vitro.
A High Throughput in situ Hybridization Method to Characterize mRNA Expression Patterns in the Fetal Mouse Lower Urogenital Tract
Here, we describe an efficient high throughput in situ hybridization (ISH) method for visualizing patterns of mRNA expression in developing fetal mouse prostate tissue sections. The method can be easily adapted to visualize mRNA expression patterns in other mouse tissues or in tissues from other species.
1Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, 3Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine
Pooled DNA sequencing is a fast and cost-effective strategy to detect rare variants associated with complex phenotypes in large cohorts. Here we describe the computational analysis of pooled, next-generation sequencing of 32 cancer-related genes using the SPLINTER software package. This method is scalable, and applicable to any phenotype of interest.
1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Health, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development, Center for Genome Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
A method of identifying unknown drivers of carcinogenesis using an unbiased approach is described. The method uses the Sleeping Beauty transposon as a random mutagen directed to specific tissues. Genomic mapping of transposon insertions that drive tumor formation identifies novel oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes
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.
Recently high-throughput sequencing technology has greatly increased sensitivity of Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiment and prompted its application using purified cells or dissected tissue. Here we delineate a method to use ChIP technique with Drosophila tissue, which can address the endogenous chromatin state in a well-characterized biological system.
We describe a robust method for chromatin immunoprecipitation using primary T cells. The method is founded on standard approaches, but uses a specific set of conditions and reagents that improve efficiency for limited a quantities of cells. Importantly, a detailed description of the data analysis phase is presented.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Illinois Chicago - UIC, 2Research Unit on Biomedical Informatics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 3Genome Technology Core, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Here we are presenting a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) procedure for genome-wide location analysis of protein isoforms that differ in a histone-binding domain. We are applying it to ChIP-Seq analysis to identify the targets of the KDM5A/JARID1A/RBP2 histone demethylase.