Fluorescence-microscopy Screening and Next-generation Sequencing: Useful Tools for the Identification of Genes Involved in Organelle Integrity
A fundamental quest in cell biology is to define the mechanisms that underlie the identity of the organelles that make eukaryotic cells. Here we propose a method to identify the genes responsible for the morphological and functional integrity of plant organelles using fluorescence microscopy and next-generation sequencing tools.
Screening for mutants with phenotypic defects is a straightforward method for identifying genes that function in a given biological process. In this article we describe how to culture free living worms (e.g., Pristionchus pacificus) in the laboratory and show two different mutagenesis methods, EMS and TMP/UV.
The rapid development, small size and transparency of zebrafish are tremendous advantages for the study of innate immune control of infection1-4. Here we demonstrate techniques for infecting zebrafish larvae using the fungal pathogen Candida albicans by microinjection, methodology recently used to implicate phagocyte NADPH oxidase activity in control of fungal dimorphism5.
The purpose of this video is to demonstrate procedures for obtaining healthy, intact hair cells from the inner ear organs of adult zebrafish and then using them for patch clamp studies aimed at characterizing the biophysical properties of their voltage-gated channels.
Biomaterials Research Group, University of Bayreuth
Spider silk fibers display extraordinary mechanical properties. Engineered Araneus diadematus Fibroin 4 (eADF4) can be processed into nonwoven meshes using electrospinning. Here, the eADF4 nonwoven meshes are used to improve the performance of air filtering devices.
The frog Xenopus laevis provides an attractive alternative non-mammalian model for exploring the ability of heat shock protein such as gp96 to promote antigen-specific CD8 T cell responses. We present methods to study in vivo facilitation of cross-presentation of skin and tumor antigens by gp96.
Continuously-stirred Anaerobic Digester to Convert Organic Wastes into Biogas: System Setup and Basic Operation
Laboratory-scale anaerobic digesters allow scientists to research new ways of optimizing existing applications of anaerobic biotechnology and to evaluate the methane producing potential of various organic wastes. This article introduces a generalized model for the construction, inoculation, operation, and monitoring of a laboratory-scale continuously stirred anaerobic digester.
Cut-loading: A Useful Tool for Examining the Extent of Gap Junction Tracer Coupling Between Retinal Neurons
An easy and convenient method to determine the extent of gap junction tracer coupling between retinal neurons is described. This technique enables one to investigate the function of the electrical synapses between neurons in the intact retina under different illumination conditions and at different times of the day and night.
This protocol describes how resin embedded brain tissue can be prepared and imaged in the three dimensions in the focussed ion beam, scanning electron microscope.
In newt, the lens regenerates always from the dorsal iris by transdifferentiation of the iris pigmented epithelial cells (IPEs). Here we describe a procedure to culture dorsal and ventral newt IPE cells and their implantation to the newt eye. The implanted cells are then studied by tissue sectioning and immunohistochemistry.
Forward genetics is a powerful method to unravel the molecular level of how Toxoplasma egresses from its host cell. Protocols are provided to chemically mutagenize parasites, enrich for mutants with defects in induced egress, and validate the phenotype of cloned mutants.
Nano-fEM: Protein Localization Using Photo-activated Localization Microscopy and Electron Microscopy
We describe a method to localize fluorescently tagged proteins in electron micrographs. Fluorescence is first localized using photo-activated localization microscopy on ultrathin sections. These images are then aligned to electron micrographs of the same section.
Isolation of Native Soil Microorganisms with Potential for Breaking Down Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films Used in Agriculture
1Biology Department, Western Washington University, 2Washington State University Northwestern Research and Extension Center, 3Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University
Plastic films labeled "biodegradable" are commercially available for agricultural use as mulches. Tillage represents an attractive disposal method, but degradation under field conditions is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to develop methods for isolating native soil fungi and bacteria that colonize plastic mulch films after field burial.
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.
1Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 2Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 3California NanoSystems Institute, University of California at Los Angeles, 4Nuclear Medicine, PET Center, Shanghai Medical Collegea, Fudan University, 5Electronics and Information Engineering, College of Electronics and Information Engineering, Wuhan Textile University
A facile, one-pot synthesis of N-succinimidyl-4-[18F]fluorobenzoate ([18F]SFB) was developed based on a non-aqueous, three-step radiochemical process. Using microwave heating, the entire procedure can be completed in less than 30 min, or 60 min with further purification by preparative HPLC. The decay-corrected radiochemical yields (RCYs) were 35-5% (n > 30).
Microwave-assisted Intramolecular Dehydrogenative Diels-Alder Reactions for the Synthesis of Functionalized Naphthalenes/Solvatochromic Dyes
Microwave-assisted intramolecular dehydrogenative Diels-Alder (DA) reactions provide concise access to functionalized cyclopenta[b]naphthalene building blocks. The utility of this methodology is demonstrated by one-step conversion of the dehydrogenative DA cycloadducts into novel solvatochromic fluorescent dyes via Buchwald-Hartwig palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions.
Plant biomass is a major carbon-neutral renewable resource that could be used for the production of biofuels. Plant biomass consists mainly of cell walls, a structurally complex composite material termed lignocellulosics. Here we describe a protocol for a comprehensive analysis of the content and composition of the polyphenolic lignin.
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 limiting factor in the use of the adult Drosophila eye to study neurodegeneration and cell biology is the difficult imaging of intracellular processes. We describe the dissection of single ommatidia to generate a bona-fide primary neuronal cell culture, which can be subject to drug treatment and advanced imaging.
Determination of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Reactive Oxygen Species in Live Rat Cortical Neurons
We demonstrate application of the fluorescence indicator, TMRM, in cortical neurons to determine the relative changes in TMRM fluorescence intensity before and after application of a specific stimulus. We also show application of the fluorescence probe H2DCF-DA to assess the relative level of reactive oxygen species in cortical neurons.
Comprehensive Compositional Analysis of Plant Cell Walls (Lignocellulosic biomass) Part II: Carbohydrates
Plant biomass is a major carbon-neutral renewable resource that could be used for the production of biofuels. Plant biomass consists mainly of cell walls, a structurally complex composite material termed lignocellulosics. Here we describe a protocol for a comprehensive analysis of the content and composition of wall derived carbohydrates.
A sustainable auto regulating bacterial system for the remediation of oil pollutions was designed using standard interchangeable DNA parts (BioBricks). An engineered E. coli strain was used to degrade alkanes via β-oxidation in toxic aqueous environments. The respective enzymes from different species showed alkane degradation activity. Additionally, an increased tolerance to n-hexane was achieved by introducing genes from alkane-tolerant bacteria.
A New High Sensitivity Tandem Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer for Quantitative LC/MS/MS Analysis of Low Exposure Pharmaceuticals - ADVERTISEMENT
Pharmaceutical Business Operations, Waters Corporation
A simplified yet accurate method to collect and stain mosquito hemocytes is described. Our method combines the simplicity of perfusion with the accuracy of high injection techniques to isolate clean preparations of hemocytes in Aedes mosquitoes. This method facilitates studies requiring knowledge of the types of hemocytes and their abundance.
Concentration of Metabolites from Low-density Planktonic Communities for Environmental Metabolomics using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
1Biosphere Oriented Biology Research Unit, RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, 2Graduate School of Nanobioscience, Yokohama City University, 3Advanced NMR Metabomics Research Team, RIKEN Plant Science Center, 4Graduate School of Bioagricultural Science, Nagoya University
A method for metabolite extraction from microbial planktonic communities is presented. Whole community sampling is achieved by filtration onto specially prepared filters. After lyophilization, aqueous-soluble metabolites are extracted. This approach allows for application of environmental metabolomics to trans-omics investigations of natural or experimental microbial communities.
Multiphoton microscopy of whole mouse organs is possible by optically clearing the organ before imaging, but not all protocols preserve the fluorescent signal of fluorescent proteins. Using an optical clearing method with ethanol-based dehydration and benzyl alcohol:benzyl benzoate clearing, we show high-resolution multiphoton images of whole mouse brain expressing YFP.
The mouse model of cecal ligation and puncture as a valuable tool for the study of human sepsis.
Bilateral Common Carotid Artery Occlusion as an Adequate Preconditioning Stimulus to Induce Early Ischemic Tolerance to Focal Cerebral Ischemia
Department of Neurology, Center for Stroke Research Berlin, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
There is accumulating evidence, that ischemic preconditioning (PC) – a non-damaging ischemic challenge to the brain - confers a transient protection to a subsequent damaging ischemic insult. We established bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) as a preconditioning stimulus to induce early ischemic tolerance (IT) to transient focal cerebral ischemia (induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion, MCAO) in C57Bl6/J mice.
Genetic studies in yeast can be employed to investigate the molecular and cellular functions of human genes in cellular DNA metabolism. Methods are described for the genetic characterization of the human WRN gene product defective in the premature aging disorder Werner syndrome in functionally conserved pathways using yeast as a tractable model system.
The inner ear sensory epithelium of adult zebrafish is a good model system for understanding the mechanisms of hair cell regeneration in adult vertebrates. This protocol demonstrates the fine dissection of the epithelia, through which we can get tissue samples for studying the regenerative events at cellular and subcellular levels.
Pharmaceutical Business Operations, Waters Corporation
The VisioTracker is an automated system for the quantitative analysis of visual performance of larval and small adult fish based on the recording of eye movements. It features full control over visual stimulus properties and real-time analysis, enabling high-throughput research in fields such as visual system development and function, pharmacology, neural circuit studies and sensorimotor integration.
1Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, 3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Kettering University, 43Scan, 5Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University
The full process from brain specimen preparation to serial sectioning imaging using the Knife-Edge Scanning Microscope, to data visualization and analysis is described. This technique is currently used to acquire mouse brain data, but it is applicable to other organs, other species.
Assessing Two-dimensional Crystallization Trials of Small Membrane Proteins for Structural Biology Studies by Electron Crystallography
Evaluating two-dimensional (2D) crystallization trials for the formation of ordered membrane protein arrays is a highly critical and difficult task in electron crystallography. Here we describe our approach in screening for and identifying 2D crystals of predominantly small membrane proteins in the range of 15 – 90kDa.
This article will describe the procedure for synthesizing a hydrophobically modified Nafion enzyme immobilization membrane and how to immobilize proteins and/or enzymes within the membrane and test their specific activity.
Immunohistochemical Staining of B7-H1 (PD-L1) on Paraffin-embedded Slides of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Tissue
1The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Department of Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Department of Dermatology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 6Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, 7The Skip Viragh Center for Pancreatic Cancer, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 8Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
B7-H1 (PD-L1) and its binding to PD-1 provide a major tumor-induced immunosuppressive signal in the tumor’s microenvironment. An immunohistochemical staining technique to characterize the expression and localization of B7-H1 in pancreatic adenocarcinoma is described here.
This video shows how to surgically obstruct the guinea pig's endolymphatic duct to produce endolymphatic hydrops.
Here we demonstrate a protocol to carry out live cell staining that can be used to detect odorant receptors on the surface of HEK293T cells conveniently. In addition, it may also be used to assay for surface expression of other chemosensory receptors or GPCRs.
A method for the determination of acetate kinase activity is described. This assay utilizes a direct reaction for determining enzyme activity and kinetics of acetate kinase in the acetate-forming direction with different phosphoryl acceptors. Furthermore, this method can be utilized for assaying other acetyl phosphate or acetyl-CoA utilizing enzymes.
Contrast Ultrasound Targeted Treatment of Gliomas in Mice via Drug-Bearing Nanoparticle Delivery and Microvascular Ablation
Insonation of microbubbles is a promising strategy for tumor ablation at reduced time-averaged acoustic powers, as well as for the targeted delivery of therapeutics. The purpose of the present study is to develop low duty cycle ultrasound pulsing strategies and nanocarriers to maximize non-thermal microvascular ablation and payload delivery to subcutaneous C6 gliomas.
Live Imaging of Cell Motility and Actin Cytoskeleton of Individual Neurons and Neural Crest Cells in Zebrafish Embryos
1Genetics Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This protocol describes imaging of individual neurons or neural crest cells in living zebrafish embryos. This method is used to examine cellular behaviors and actin localization using fluorescence confocal time-lapse microscopy.
This protocol describes a procedure for identifying and dissecting organs from the adult zebrafish.
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.
1Departments of Neurology, Columbia University, 2Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Columbia University, 3Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, 4eMolecules, Inc., 5Departments of Neurology and Physiology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, 6Division of Molecular Therapeutics, New York Psychiatric Institute
A new means to measure neurotransmission optically using fluorescent dopamine analogs.
In this report, we describe how surface plasmon resonance is used to detect toxin entry into the host cytosol. This highly sensitive method can provide quantitative data on the amount of cytosolic toxin, and it can be applied to a range of toxins.
1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VU University Medical Center, 3Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University
Transparent zebrafish embryos have proved useful model hosts to visualize and functionally study interactions between innate immune cells and intracellular bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella typhimurium and Mycobacterium marinum. Micro-injection of bacteria and multi-color fluorescence imaging are essential techniques involved in the application of zebrafish embryo infection models.
The Use of Primary Human Fibroblasts for Monitoring Mitochondrial Phenotypes in the Field of Parkinson's Disease
1German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, DZNE, 2Laboratory of Functional Neurogenomics, Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen
Fibroblasts from patients carrying mutations in Parkinson's disease-causing genes represent an easily accessible ex vivo model to study disease-associated phenotypes. Live cell imaging gives the opportunity to study morphological and functional parameters in living cells. Here we describe the preparation of human fibroblasts and subsequent monitoring of mitochondrial phenotypes.
Filamentous occlusion of the Middle cerebral artery is a common model for studying ischemic stroke in mice.
A novel approach that allows the high-resolution analysis of cancer cell interactions with exogenous hyaluronic acid (HA) is described. Patterned surfaces are fabricated by combining carbodiimide chemistry and microcontact printing.
A simple method is provided that allows for the rapid extraction and analysis of multiple plant hormones from small tissue samples. The procedure uses vapor phase extraction as the solemn purification step. Samples are analyzed by GC/MS with chemical ionization that produces mainly (M+1)+ ions.