A basic protocol for the separation of DNA fragments using agarose gel electrophoresis is described.
Denaturing urea polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is used to separate single-stranded DNA or RNA up to a limit of 500 nucleotides. Urea in combination with heat denatures samples and unstructured single strands migrate within the gel matrix according to their molecular weight.
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.
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.
Here we describe a protocol for isolating subsets of precursor B-cells from umbilical cord blood. A sufficient quantity and quality of nucleic acids may be extracted from the cells and used in subsequent assays utilizing DNA or RNA.
DNA stable-isotope probing is a cultivation-independent method to identify and characterize active communities of microorganisms that are capable of utilizing specific substrates. Assimilation of substrate enriched in heavy isotope leads to incorporation of labelled atoms into microbial biomass. Density gradient ultracentrifugation retrieves labelled DNA for downstream molecular analyses.
A Practical and Novel Method to Extract Genomic DNA from Blood Collection Kits for Plasma Protein Preservation
1Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Health Care of Atlanta, 2Division of Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Health Care of Atlanta
We are describing a new method of isolating genomic DNA from whole blood collected for plasma/serology. After plasma collection, the compacted blood is usually discarded. Our novel method represents a significant improvement over existing methods and makes DNA and plasma available from a single collection, without requesting additional blood.
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.
Crystal structure of protein–DNA complexes can provide insight into protein function, mechanism, as well as, the nature of the specific interaction. Here, we report how to optimize the length, sequence and ends of duplex DNA for co-crystallization with Escherichia coli SeqA, a negative regulator of replication initiation.
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.
Extracting DNA from the Gut Microbes of the Termite (Zootermopsis Angusticollis) and Visualizing Gut Microbes
This video illustrates the technique for extracting DNA from the species of microbes resident in the termite hindgut. The preparation of a wet mount slide, which is useful for visualizing the gut microbial community is also illustrated, and a tour through the species-rich gut environment is given.
We provide an improved protocol for extracting high molecular weight DNA from hypersaline microbial mats. Microbial cells are separated from the mat matrix prior to DNA extraction and purification. This enhances the concentrations, quality, and size of the DNA. The protocol may be used for other refractory samples.
A protocol for separation of embryo facial ectoderm and mesenchyme is described. We use Dispase II to treat whole embryos first, dissect whole facial prominences out, and then separate the facial ectoderm and mesenchyme.
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).
Isotachophoresis (ITP) is a robust electrokinetic separation and preconcentration technique with applications ranging from toxin detection to sample preparation. We review the physical principles of ITP and the methodology of applying this technique to two specific example applications: separation and detection of small molecules and purification of nucleic acids from cell culture lysate.
Separation of Single-stranded DNA, Double-stranded DNA and RNA from an Environmental Viral Community Using Hydroxyapatite Chromatography
We describe an efficient method to separate single-stranded DNA, double-stranded DNA and RNA molecules from environmental viral communities. Nucleic acids are fractionated using hydroxyapatite chromatography with increasing concentrations of phosphate-containing buffers. This method permits the isolation of all viral nucleic acid types from environmental samples.
Genetic associations often remain unexplained at a functional level. This method aims to assess the effect of phenotype-associated genetic markers on gene expression by analyzing cells heterozygous for transcribed SNPs. The technology allows accurate measurement by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to quantify allele-specific primer extension products.
Optimized Analysis of DNA Methylation and Gene Expression from Small, Anatomically-defined Areas of the Brain
A streamlined workflow to study DNA methylation and gene expression changes upon early-life stress is shown. Starting from maternal separation of newborn mice and isolation of discrete brain tissues, we represent a protocol to simultaneously isolate DNA and RNA from brain tissue punches for subsequent bisulfite sequencing and RT-PCR analysis.
1Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, 2London Regional Cancer Program, Children's Health Research Institute, and Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
Determining the cell cycle position of a population of cells, or understanding how signals affect proliferation, can be readily measured by flow cytometry using this protocol. We report a simple experimental approach to staining cells and quantifying their position in the cell cycle.
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.
1Centro de Biología Celular y Molecular de Enfermedades, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT AIP), 2Acharya Nagarjuna University, 3Departamento de Medios y Creativo, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT AIP)
The paramagnetic properties of hemozoin are used to isolate late stages of Plasmodium falciparum-infected red blood cells growing in culture. The method is simple and fast and does not affect the subsequent invasive capabilities of the parasites.
1Department of Physical Electronics, Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois, 4Department of Cell Research and Immunology, Tel Aviv University
Magnetic modulation biosensing system is utilized to rapidly, sensitively and simply detect biological assays, such as DNA molecules and proteins.
Isolation of Ribosome Bound Nascent Polypeptides in vitro to Identify Translational Pause Sites Along mRNA
A technique to identify translational pause sites on mRNA is described. This procedure is based on isolation of nascent polypeptides accumulating on ribosomes during in vitro translation of a target mRNA, followed by the size analysis of the nascent chains using a denaturing gel electrophoresis.
We describe here a technique that is now routinely used to isolate stably bound ribosome nascent chain complexes (RNCs). This technique takes advantage of the discovery that a 17 amino acid long SecM "arrest sequence" can halt translation elongation in a prokaryotic (E. coli) system, when inserted into (or fused to the C-terminus) of virtually any protein.
Tracking subtle changes in the progression and kinetics of cell cycle stages can be accomplished by use of a combination of metabolic labeling of nucleic acids with BrdU and total genomic DNA staining via Propidium Iodide. This method avoids the need of chemical synchronization of cycling cells, thereby preventing the introduction of non-specific DNA damage, which in turn affects cell cycle progression.
Cardiac nuclei are isolated via density sedimentation and immunolabeled with antibodies against pericentriolar material 1 (PCM-1) to identify and sort cardiomyocyte nuclei by flow cytometry.
Combined Immunofluorescence and DNA FISH on 3D-preserved Interphase Nuclei to Study Changes in 3D Nuclear Organization
1Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, 2New York University Center for Health Informatics and Bioinformatics, 3NYU Cancer Institute, 4Department of Pathology and Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine
Here we describe a protocol for simultaneous detection of histone modifications by immunofluorescence and DNA sequences by DNA FISH followed by 3D microscopy and analyses (3D immuno-DNA FISH).
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.
We describe a method for observing real time replication of individual DNA molecules mediated by proteins of the bacteriophage replication system.
Ice-Cap: A Method for Growing Arabidopsis and Tomato Plants in 96-well Plates for High-Throughput Genotyping
The Ice-Cap method allows one to grow plants in 96-well plates and non-destructively harvest root tissue from each seedling. DNA extracted from this root tissue can be used for genotyping reactions. We have found that Ice-Cap works well for Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato, and rice seedlings.
This protocol demonstrates a simple single-molecule fluorescence microscopy technique for visualizing DNA replication by individual replisomes in real time.
Due to the transient nature of pre-mRNA, it can be difficult to isolate and study in vivo. Here, we present a novel in vitro approach to investigate RNA-protein interactions using a synthetic oligo pool that tiles across selected regions of pre-mRNA.
1Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 2Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 3Genetics Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 4McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Genetics Institute, Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, University of Florida
We describe here the procedures for the extraction and purification of mRNA and metabolites from Drosophila heads. We are applying these techniques to better understand the cellular perturbations underlying neuronal degeneration. These methodologies can be easily scaled and adapted for other "omic" projects.
We demonstrate a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) method to identify factor interactions at tissue-specific genes during or after the onset of tissue-specific gene expression in mouse embryonic tissue. This protocol should be widely applicable for the study of tissue-specific gene activation as it occurs during normal embryonic development.
An Allelotyping PCR for Identifying Salmonella enterica serovars Enteritidis, Hadar, Heidelberg, and Typhimurium
We describe a multiplex PCR for the rapid detection of Salmonella enterica serovars Enteritidis, Hadar, Heidelberg, and Typhimurium. Specific Salmonella serovars can be identified by targeting a multiplex PCR to genes and sequences unique to the O-antigen biosynthesis cluster and flagellin of a given serovar. Serovar is assigned then to a Salmonella isolate based on the appearance of specific, size amplicons (PCR product) corresponding to the target allele.
Our experiment will show how to perform a sequencing analysis of bacterial species translocating in peripheral blood of HIV positive patients.
A protocol for separating inner and outer membranes from Francisella tularensis by spheroplasting, osmotic lysis, and sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation.
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.
Aqueous two-phase systems were used to simultaneously pattern multiple populations of cells. This fast and easy method for cell patterning takes advantage of the phase separation of aqueous solutions of dextran and polyethylene glycol and the interfacial tension that exists between the two polymer solutions.
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.
Construction of a fosmid library with environmental genomic DNA isolated from the vertical depth continuum of a seasonally hypoxic fjord is described. The resulting clone library is picked into 384-well plates and archived for downstream sequencing and functional screening by the application of an automated colony picking system.
We present a protocol to produce antigen-specific mouse T-cells using retroviral transduction
1Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, 2Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 3Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Emerson College, 4Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard
This procedure describes a method for the isolation and culture of the murine organ of Corti with or without the spiral limbus and spiral ganglion neurons. We also demonstrate a method for the expression of an exogenous reporter gene in the organ of Corti explant by electroporation.
Direct intranuclear injection of cDNA is an effective transfection technique for post-mitotic cells. This method provides high levels of heterologous protein expression from single or multiple cDNA constructs and enables protein function to be studied in a physiologically relevant environment with a variety of single cell assays.
Radical-based biomimetic chemistry has been applied to building-up libraries necessary for biomarker development.
We report a method for introduction, tracking and quantitative analysis of GFP expression in plant cells. This method utilizes a custom-designed robotics system for semi-continuous image collection from large numbers of samples, over time. We also demonstrate the use of ImageJ and ImageReady for analysis of image series.
Affinity Purification of Influenza Virus Ribonucleoprotein Complexes from the Chromatin of Infected Cells
Influenza viruses replicate their RNA genome in association with host-cell chromatin. Here, we present a method to purify intact viral ribonucleoprotein complexes from the chromatin of infected cells. Purified viral complexes can be analyzed by both Western blot and primer extension of protein and RNA content, respectively.
We have recently reported a novel approach for generating fluorogenic DNAzyme probes that can be applied to set up a simple, "mix-and-read" fluorescent assay for bacterial detection. These special DNA probes catalyze the cleavage of a chromophore-modified DNA-RNA chimeric substrate in the presence of crude extracellular mixture (CEM) produced by a specific bacterium, thereby translating bacterial detection into fluorescence signal generation. In this report we will describe key experimental procedures where a specific DNAzyme probe denoted "RFD-EC1" is employed for the detection of the model bacterium, Escherichia coli (E. coli).
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.
High Throughput MicroRNA Profiling: Optimized Multiplex qRT-PCR at Nanoliter Scale on the Fluidigm Dynamic ArrayTM IFCs
1The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California San Francisco, 2Center for Reproductive Sciences, University of California San Francisco, 3Department of Urology, University of California San Francisco, 4Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California San Francisco, 5Fluidigm Corporation, Fluidigm Corporation, 6Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, 7UCSF - Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco
Here we describe an optimized multiplex reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) protocol in combination with a microfluidic platform as a cost and time effective high-throughput screening tool for microRNA (miRNA) expression levels, especially when working with limited amounts of sample.