This protocol describes how to perform cell viability and fluorescence expression assays using the Tali Image-Based Cytometer.
Imaging Analysis of Neuron to Glia Interaction in Microfluidic Culture Platform (MCP)-based Neuronal Axon and Glia Co-culture System
This study describes the procedures of setting up a novel neuronal axon and (astro)glia co-culture platform. In this co-culture system, manipulation of direct interaction between a single axon (and single glial cell) becomes feasible, allowing mechanistic analysis of the mutual neuron to glial signaling.
1Unit on Neural Circuits and Adaptive Behaviors, Genes Cognition and Psychosis Program, National Institute of Mental Health, 2Department of Neuroscience, Brown University - National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program, 3Section on Synaptic Pharmacology, Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 4Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Center for the Unknown
Experience-dependent molecular changes in neurons are essential for the brain's ability to adapt in response to behavioral challenges. An in vivo two-photon imaging method is described here that allows the tracking of such molecular changes in individual cortical neurons through genetically encoded reporters.
We describe detailed procedures for the efficient transfection of plasmid DNA into the fibers of foot muscles of live mice using electroporation and the subsequent visualization of protein expression using fluorescence microscopy.
1Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, University of Wuerzburg, 2Department of Synapses - Circuits - Plasticity, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, 3Walter Brendel Centre of Experimental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich
Targeted-esterase induced dye loading (TED) supports the analysis of intracellular calcium store dynamics by fluorescence imaging. The method bases on targeting of a recombinant Carboxylesterase to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it improves the local unmasking of synthetic low-affinity Ca2+ indicator dyes in the ER lumen.
Single-molecule Imaging of Gene Regulation In vivo Using Cotranslational Activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC)
1Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 3Department of Physics, Jilin University
We describe a fluorescence microscopy method, Co-Translational Activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC), to image the production of protein molecules in live cells with single-molecule precision without perturbing the protein's functionality. This method has been used to follow the stochastic expression dynamics of a transcription factor, the λ repressor CI 1.
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.
Expression and Purification of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Attempts to express the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have, until now, yielded relatively low amounts of protein. This protocol and the associated reagents distributed via the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation should allow the preparation of milligram amounts of this 'difficult' eukaryotic membrane protein.
We have developed a cell fusion assay that quantifies SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events by activated expression of β-galactosidase.
Microbial biofilms are generally constituted by distinct subpopulations of specialized cells. Single-cell analysis of these subpopulations requires the use of fluorescent reporters. Here we describe a protocol to visualize and monitor several subpopulationswithin B. subtilis biofilms using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.
1Bernard and Shirlee Brown Glaucoma Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University, 2Institute of Human Nutrition, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, 3Omics Laboratory, University of Iowa, 4Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa
This surgical technique illustrates the injection of gene therapy vectors and stem cells into the subretinal space of the mouse eye.
Photobleaching Assays (FRAP & FLIP) to Measure Chromatin Protein Dynamics in Living Embryonic Stem Cells
We describe photobleaching methods including Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) and Fluorescence Loss In Photobleaching (FLIP) to monitor chromatin protein dynamics in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Chromatin protein dynamics, which is considered to be one of the means to study chromatin plasticity, is enhanced in pluripotent cells.
Detection of Protein Interactions in Plant using a Gateway Compatible Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) System
We have developed a technique to test protein-protein interactions in plant. A yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) is split into two non-overlapping fragments. Each fragment is cloned in-frame to a gene of interest via Gateway system, enabling expression of fusion proteins. Reconstitution of YFP signal only occurs when the inquest proteins interact.
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.
Here we describe a whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol for determining the expression and localization properties of RNAs expressed during embryogenesis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.
This technique provides a method to harvest, normalize and quantify intracellular growth of bacterial pathogens that are pre-cultivated in natural protozoan host cells prior to infections of mammalian cells. This method can be modified to accommodate a wide variety of host cells for the priming stage as well as target cell types.
We describe an in vivo fluorescence imaging protocol to monitor muscle regeneration by GFP-labeled myoblasts after transplantation into skeletal muscles of both healthy and dystrophic mice. This protocol can be adapted to study muscle regeneration by transplantation of other types of cells and in other muscular conditions as well.
The subcellular localization of proteins is important in determining the spatio-temporal regulation of cell signaling. Here, we describe bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) as a straightforward method for monitoring the spatial interactions of proteins in the cell.
Therapeutic Gene Delivery and Transfection in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells using Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-targeted Gelatin Nanoparticles
Type B gelatin-based engineered nanovectors system (GENS) was developed for systemic gene delivery and transfection in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. By modification with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) specific peptide on the surface of nanparticles, they could target on EGFR receptor and release plasmid under reducing environment, such as high intracellular glutathione concentrations.
This manuscript describes three complementary protocols for assessing the toxicity of polyglutamine (polyQ)-expansion proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These protocols can easily be modified to monitor the toxicity of other misfolded proteins in yeast.
Identifying the Effects of BRCA1 Mutations on Homologous Recombination using Cells that Express Endogenous Wild-type BRCA1
We provide a method for testing BRCA1 variants in a tissue culture based assay for homologous recombination repair of DNA damage by depleting endogenous BRCA1 protein from a cell using RNAi and replacing it with a BRCA1 point mutant that contains a coding change.
Targeting Olfactory Bulb Neurons Using Combined In Vivo Electroporation and Gal4-Based Enhancer Trap Zebrafish Lines
1Department of Biology, Pace University, 2Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 3Division of Cell Biology and Cell Physiology, Zoological Institute, Braunschweig University of Technology
The temporal and spatial resolution of genetic manipulations determines the spectrum of biological phenomena that they can perturb. Here we use temporally and spatially discrete in vivo electroporation, combined with transgenic lines of zebrafish, to induce expression of a GFP transgene specifically in neurons of the developing olfactory bulb.
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.
Culturing neural explants from dissected Xenopus laevis embryos that express fluorescent fusion proteins allows for imaging of growth cone cytoskeletal dynamics.
Specific Marking of HIV-1 Positive Cells using a Rev-dependent Lentiviral Vector Expressing the Green Fluorescent Protein
We have developed a lentiviral vector that possesses, in addition to the Tat-responsive LTR, the Rev-response element (RRE) that can regulate reporter gene expression in an HIV-1 Tat- and Rev-dependent fashion. The vector permits the specific detection of replicating HIV in living cells via the expression of GFP.
Flow Cytometric Isolation of Primary Murine Type II Alveolar Epithelial Cells for Functional and Molecular Studies
1Research Group Immune Regulation, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, 2Research Group Infection Immunology, Institute of Medical Microbiology, Otto-von-Guericke University, 3Department of Experimental Immunology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
We describe the rapid isolation of primary murine type II alveolar epithelial cells (AECII) by flow cytometric negative selection. These AECII show high viability and purity and are suitable for a wide range of functional and molecular studies regarding their role in respiratory conditions such as autoimmune or infectious diseases.
Examining the Conformational Dynamics of Membrane Proteins in situ with Site-directed Fluorescence Labeling
We will describe a method which measures the kinetics of ion transport of membrane proteins alongside site-specific analysis of conformational changes using fluorescence on single cells. This technique is adaptable to ion channels, transporters and ion pumps and can be utilized to determine distance constraints between protein subunits.
Cellular viability depends on timely and efficient management of protein misfolding. Here we describe a method for visualizing the different potential fates of a misfolded protein: refolding, degradation, or sequestration in inclusions. We demonstrate the use of a folding sensor, Ubc9ts, for monitoring proteostasis and aggregation quality control in live cells using 4D microscopy.
Live-cell Imaging of Migrating Cells Expressing Fluorescently-tagged Proteins in a Three-dimensional Matrix
Cellular processes such as cell migration have traditionally been studied on two-dimensional, stiff plastic surfaces. This report describes a technique for directly visualizing protein localization and analyzing protein dynamics in cells migrating in a more physiologically relevant, three-dimensional matrix.
Live Cell Calcium Imaging Combined with siRNA Mediated Gene Silencing Identifies Ca2+ Leak Channels in the ER Membrane and their Regulatory Mechanisms
The endoplasmic reticulum plays a key role in protein biogenesis and in calcium homeostasis. We have established an experimental system that allows us to address the role of Ca2+ leak channels and to characterize their putative regulatory mechanisms. This system involves siRNA mediated gene silencing and live cell Ca2+ imaging.
1Neural Development Group, Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK, 2Wellcome Trust Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
Imaging embryonic tissue in real-time is challenging over long periods of time. Here we present an assay for monitoring cellular and sub-cellular changes in chick spinal cord for long periods with high spatial and temporal resolution. This technique can be adapted for other regions of the nervous system and developing embryo.
Analysis of the Solvent Accessibility of Cysteine Residues on Maize rayado fino virus Virus-like Particles Produced in Nicotiana benthamiana Plants and Cross-linking of Peptides to VLPs
1Plant Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 2Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
A method to analyze the solvent accessibility of the thiol group of cysteine residues of Maize rayado fino virus (MRFV)-virus-like particles (VLPs) followed by a peptide cross-linking reaction is described. The method takes advantage of the availability of several chemical groups on the surface of the VLPs that can be targets for specific reactions.
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.
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.
Metaphase to anaphase transition is triggered through anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C)-dependent ubiquitination and subsequent destruction of cyclin B. Here, we established a system which, following pulse-chase labeling, allows monitoring cyclin B proteolysis in entire cell populations and facilitates the detection of interference by the mitotic checkpoint.
Quantitative FRET (Förster Resonance Energy Transfer) Analysis for SENP1 Protease Kinetics Determination
A novel method involving quantitative analysis of FRET (Förster Resonance Energy Transfer) signals is described for studying enzyme kinetics. KM and kcat were obtained for the hydrolysis of the catalytic domain of SENP1 (SUMO/Sentrin specific protease 1) to pre-SUMO1 (Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifier). The general principles of this quantitative-FRET-based protease kinetic study can be applied to other proteases.
A robust approach to monitor the delivery of organelles to the acidic lumen of the yeast vacuole for degradation and recycling is described. The method relies on the specific labeling of target organelles with a genetically encoded dual-emission fluorescence pH-biosensor, and visualization of individual cells using fluorescence microscopy.
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.
1Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, 2Department of Biochemistry, Protein Chip Research Center, Chungbuk National University, 3Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zurich
Droplet-based microfluidic platforms are promising candidates for high throughput experimentation since they are able to generate picoliter, self-compartmentalized vessels inexpensively at kHz rates. Through integration with fast, sensitive and high resolution fluorescence spectroscopic methods, the large amounts of information generated within these systems can be efficiently extracted, harnessed and utilized.
Optogenetic techniques have made it possible to study the contribution of specific neurons to behavior. We describe a method in larval zebrafish for activating single somatosensory neurons expressing a channelrhodopsin variant (ChEF) with a diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) laser and recording the elicited behaviors with a high-speed video camera.
Peptides from Phage Display Library Modulate Gene Expression in Mesenchymal Cells and Potentiate Osteogenesis in Unicortical Bone Defects
A phage display library was used to identify peptide sequences that target bone. The objective was to investigate the effect of these peptides on mesenchymal cell differentiation and to determine their effect on bone regeneration.
1Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, 2Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, University of Maryland, 3Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland
This article describes a biofabrication approach: deposition of stimuli-responsive polysaccharides in the presence of biased electrodes to create biocompatible films which can be functionalized with cells or proteins. We demonstrate a bench-top strategy for the generation of the films as well as their basic uses for creating interactive biofunctionalized surfaces for lab-on-a-chip applications.
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.
Lateral Diffusion and Exocytosis of Membrane Proteins in Cultured Neurons Assessed using Fluorescence Recovery and Fluorescence-loss Photobleaching
This report describes the use of live cell imaging and photobleach techniques to determine the surface expression, transport pathways and trafficking kinetics of exogenously expressed, pH-sensitive GFP-tagged proteins at the plasma membrane of neurons.
1Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 3Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 4Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
A simple and reliable method on isolation and culture of neural stem cells from discarded human fetal cortical tissue is described. Cultures derived from known human neurological disorders can be used for characterization of pathological cellular and molecular processes, as well as provide a platform to assess pharmacological efficacy.
A method is described to photoactivate single cells containing a caged fluorescent protein using two-photon absorption from a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser oscillator. To fate map the photoactivated cell, immunohistochemistry is used. This technique can be applied to any cell type.
The fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is a good model system to study basic cellular processes. Here we describe a method to perform quantitative live cell analysis of fission yeast. In this particular experiment we focus on organisation of the genome within the cell nucleus, but the method can also be used to study cytosolic factors.
Locked Nucleic Acid Flow Cytometry-fluorescence in situ Hybridization (LNA flow-FISH): a Method for Bacterial Small RNA Detection
A novel high-throughput method is described that enables the detection and relative quantitation of small RNA and mRNA expression from single bacterial cells using locked nucleic acid probes and flow cytometry-fluorescence in situ hybridization.
The abundance of neurotransmitter receptors clustered at synapses strongly influences synaptic strength. This method quantifies fluorescently-labeled neurotransmitter receptors in three dimensions with single-synapse resolution in C. elegans, allowing hundreds of synapses to be rapidly characterized within a single sample without distortions introduced by z-plane projection.
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.