Here, we present a method for the photoactivated switch of photoconvertible fluorescent proteins (PCFPs) in the living zebrafish embryo and further tracking of photoconverted protein at specific time points during development. This methodology allows monitoring of cell biological events underlying different developmental processes in a live vertebrate organism.
This protocol describes a general approach to perform photoconversion of fluorescent proteins on a confocal laser scanning microscope. We describe procedures for the photoconversion of puried protein samples, as well as for dual-probe optical highlighting in live cells with mOrange2 and Dronpa.
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.
In this video, we demonstrate visualization of PKC translocation in living cells using fluorescently tagged PKCs.
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.
Here we demonstrate the protocols for performing single-molecule fluorescence microscopy on living bacterial cells to enable functional molecular complexes to be detected, tracked and quantified.
Monitoring Plasmid Replication in Live Mammalian Cells over Multiple Generations by Fluorescence Microscopy
A method of observing individual DNA molecules in live cells is described. The technique is based on the binding of a fluorescently tagged lac repressor protein to binding sites engineered into the DNA of interest. This method can be adapted to follow many recombinant DNAs in live cells over time.
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.
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.
1Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute, DSO National Laboratories, 2Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, 3Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Taking advantage of the advancements in fluorophore development and imaging technology, a simple method of Alexa Fluor labeling of dengue virus was devised to visualize the early interactions between virus and cell.
Monitoring Dynamic Changes In Mitochondrial Calcium Levels During Apoptosis Using A Genetically Encoded Calcium Sensor
This protocol describes a method for real-time measurement of mitochondrial calcium fluxes by fluorescent imaging. The method takes advantage of a circularly permutated YFP-based dual-excitation ratiometric calcium sensor (ratiometric pericam-mt) selectively expressed in mitochondria.
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.
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.
To study the mutualism between Xenorhabdus bacteria and Steinernema nematodes, methods were developed to monitor bacterial presence and location within nematodes. The experimental approach, which can be applied to other systems, entails engineering bacteria to express the green fluorescent protein and visualizing, using fluorescence microscopy bacteria within the transparent nematode.
Development, Expansion, and In vivo Monitoring of Human NK Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs) and and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
This protocol describes the development, expansion, and in vivo imaging of NK cells derived from hESCs and iPSCs.
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.
Single-cell electroporation (SCE) is a specialized technique allowing delivery of DNA or other macromolecules into individual cells within intact tissue, including in vivo preparations. Here we detail the procedure for SCE of a fluorescent dye or plasmid DNA into neurons within the intact brain of the Xenopus laevis tadpole.
Time-lapse Live Imaging of Clonally Related Neural Progenitor Cells in the Developing Zebrafish Forebrain
The present video demonstrates a method which takes advantage of the combination of electroporation and confocal microscopy to perform live imaging on individual neural progenitor cells in the developing zebrafish forebrain. In vivo analysis of the development of forebrain neural progenitor cells at a clonal level can be achieved in this way.
Neuromodulation and Mitochondrial Transport: Live Imaging in Hippocampal Neurons over Long Durations
We describe a protocol that allows imaging of mitochondria in living neurons via fluorescence microscopy over long durations. Imaging over extended periods is accomplished through lentivirus-mediated expression of a mitochondrially targeted fluorescent protein and use of an inexpensive stage-top incubator that was designed and built in our laboratory.
Models of tumor cell invasion into three-dimensional extracellular matrix better reflect the in vivo situation than two-dimensional motility assays. Using matrix invasion assays combined with confocal imaging of fluorescently-labeled cells, detailed information on invasion modes and the distinct contributions of leading versus following cells can be obtained.
Two-photon imaging has uncovered lymphocyte motility and cellular interactions within the lymph node under basal conditions and durring an immune response 1. Here, we demonstrate adoptive transfer of T cells, isolation of lymph nodes, and imaging motility of CD4+ T cells in the explanted lymph node.
Live Cell Cycle Analysis of Drosophila Tissues using the Attune Acoustic Focusing Cytometer and Vybrant DyeCycle Violet DNA Stain
A protocol for cell cycle analysis of live Drosophila tissues using the Attune Acoustic Focusing Cytometer is described. This protocol simultaneously provides information about relative cell size, cell number, DNA content and cell type via lineage tracing or tissue specific expression of fluorescent proteins in vivo.
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.
1Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Yeshiva University, 2Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Yeshiva University, 3Hubrecht Institute-KNAW and University Medical Center Utrecht
Intravital photoswitching and tracking of Dendra2-labeled tumor cells through the Mammary Imaging Window is a technique which allows us to image the metastatic behavior of tumor cells in chosen tumor microenvironments over a timescale of days.
Multiphoton microscopy allows control of low energy photons with deep optical penetration and reduced phototoxicity. We describe the use of this technology for live cell labeling in zebrafish embryos. This protocol can be readily adapted for photo-induction of various light-responsive molecules.
An Orthotopic Model of Serous Ovarian Cancer in Immunocompetent Mice for in vivo Tumor Imaging and Monitoring of Tumor Immune Responses
1Penn Ovarian Cancer Research Center, Center for Research on Reproduction and Womans Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania-School of Medicine, 2Women's Cancer Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center
To study in vivo tumor growth and tumor microenvironment, we used a syngeneic and orthotopic mouse model of ovarian cancer in immunocompetent animals. We transduced a mouse tumor cell line (MOV1) with Katushka fluorescent protein (MOV1KAT) and here we show its orthotopic implantation in ovary and in vivo imaging.
FRET Microscopy for Real-time Monitoring of Signaling Events in Live Cells Using Unimolecular Biosensors
Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy is a powerful technique for real-time monitoring of signaling events in live cells using various biosensors as reporters. Here we describe how to build a customized epifluorescence FRET imaging system from commercially available components and how to use it for FRET experiments.
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.
1Lehrstuhl für Biomolekulare Sensoren, Technische Universität München, 2Center for Integrated Protein Science (Munich) at the Institute of Neuroscience, Technische Universität München, 3TUM Institute for Advanced Study and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Technische Universität München, 4Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Technische Universität München
Visualizing individual cells in densely packed tissues, such as terminal Schwann cells (SCs) at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), is challenging. "Sequential photo-bleaching" allows delineating single terminal SCs, for instance in the triangularis sterni muscle explant, a convenient nerve-muscle preparation, where sequential bleaching can be combined with time-lapse imaging and post-hoc immunostainings.
In vivo Quantification of G Protein Coupled Receptor Interactions using Spectrally Resolved Two-photon Microscopy
By employing a spectrally resolved two-photon microscopy imaging system, pixel-level maps of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) efficiencies are obtained for cells expressing membrane receptors hypothesized to form homo-oligomeric complexes. From the FRET efficiency maps, we are able to estimate stoichiometric information about the oligomer complex under study.
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.
1College of Nursing, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University, 2College of Science and Engineering, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University
An automated method for identifying suitable hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) media to be used in the process of protein purification is presented. The method utilizes a medium-pressure liquid chromatography system including automated buffer blending, dynamic sample loop injection, sequential column selection, multi-wavelength analysis, and split fraction eluate collection.
We describe a super-resolution imaging method to probe the structural organization of the bacterial FtsZ-ring, an essential apparatus for cell division. This method is based on quantitative analyses of photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) images and can be applied to other bacterial cytoskeletal proteins.
We present a protocol for freezing and cryosectioning yeast communities to observe internal patterns of fluorescent cells. The method relies on methanol-fixing and OCT-embedding to preserve the spatial distribution of cells without inactivating fluorescent proteins within a community.
American biochemist Roger Tsien shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Martin Chalfie and Osamu Shimomura for their discovery and development of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). Tsien dramatically improved the wild-type GFP resulting in increased fluorescence, increased photostability, and a shift in the major excitation peak to 488 nm (matching FITC).
Here we describe a basic protocol to image and quantify the mitotic timing of live mammalian tissue culture cells after siRNA transfection.
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.
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.
A method for isolating specific cell types from plant material is demonstrated. This technique employs transgenic marker lines expressing fluorescent proteins in particular cell types, cellular dissociation and Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting. Additionally, a growth setup is established here that facilitates treatment of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings prior to cell sorting.
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 Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Center for the Physics of Living Cells, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
This article describes the procedure for preparing a fluorescently-labeled version of bacteriophage lambda, infection of E. coli bacteria, following the infection outcome under the microscope, and analysis of infection results.
DiI-Labeling of DRG Neurons to Study Axonal Branching in a Whole Mount Preparation of Mouse Embryonic Spinal Cord
The stereotyped projections of sensory afferents into the rodent spinal cord offer an easily accessible experimental system to study axonal branching through the tracing of single axons.
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.
With its small transparent body, well-documented neuroanatomy and a host of amenable genetic techniques and reagents, C. elegans makes an ideal model organism for in vivo neuronal imaging using relatively simple, low-cost techniques. Here we describe single neuron imaging within intact adult animals using genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicators.
American Biologist Martin Chalfie shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Roger Tsien and Osamu Shimomura for their discovery and development of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). Chalfie subcloned the coding sequence of GFP and expressed it in both E. coli and C. elegans, demonstrating for the first time that no other factor was required for GFP luminescence.
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.
Visualizing Cell-to-cell Transfer of HIV using Fluorescent Clones of HIV and Live Confocal Microscopy
1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Immunology Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 2NSF Center for Biophotonics, University of California, Davis, 3Structural and Computational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
This visualized experiment is a guide for utilizing a fluorescent molecular clone of HIV for live confocal imaging experiments.
The generation of aligned myocardial tissue is a key requirement for adapting the recent advances in stem cell biology to clinically useful purposes. Herein we describe a microcontact printing approach for the precise control of cell shape and function. Using highly purified populations of embryonic stem cell derived cardiac progenitors, we then generate anisotropic functional myocardial tissue.
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 novel high-content chemically induced inflammation assay aiming at the identification of immune-modulatory bioactives. We have successfully combined automated microscopy with custom developed software scripts enabling automated quantification of the inflammatory response as well as further data processing, analysis, mining, and storage.