We describe a methodology combining automated cell culturing with high-content imaging to visualize and quantify multiple cellular processes and structures, in a high-throughput manner. Such methods can aid in the further functional annotation of genomes as well as identify disease gene networks and potential drug targets.
This article describes a novel protocol and reagent set designed for sensitive measurement of neurotoxic effects of compounds and treatments on co-cultures of neurons and astrocytes using high content analysis. Results demonstrate that high content analysis represents an exciting novel technology for neurotoxicity assessment.
1Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute, 2Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, 3Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 4Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh
We report the development of a system for automated imaging and analysis of zebrafish transgenic embryos in multiwell plates. This demonstrates the ability to measure dose dependent effects of a small molecule, BCI, on Fibroblast Growth Factor reporter gene expression and provide technology for establishing high-throughput zebrafish chemical screens.
A high-content screening method for the identification of novel signaling competent transmembrane receptors is described. This method is amenable to large-scale automation and allows predictions about in vivo protein binding and the sub-cellular localization of protein complexes in mammalian cells.
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.
Monitoring Cleaved Caspase-3 Activity and Apoptosis of Immortalized Oligodendroglial Cells using Live-cell Imaging and Cleaveable Fluorogenic-dye Substrates Following Potassium-induced Membrane Depolarization
Live-cell imaging of caspase-3 mediated apoptosis in immortalized N19-oligodendrocyte cell cultures using the NucView 488 caspase-3 substrate. This technique is applicable for programmed cell death assays in real-time in a variety of cell types and tissues.
Bioscience Division, High Content Analysis Research and Development, Millipore Inc
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.
Ex Vivo Red Blood Cell Hemolysis Assay for the Evaluation of pH-responsive Endosomolytic Agents for Cytosolic Delivery of Biomacromolecular Drugs
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 2Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science & Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 3Interdisciplinary Materials Science Program, Vanderbilt University, 4Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 5Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 6Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University
A hemolysis assay can be used as a rapid, high-throughput screen of drug delivery systems' cytocompatibility and endosomolytic activity for intracellular cargo delivery. The assay measures the disruption of erythrocyte membranes as a function of environmental pH.
We present methods to evaluate how predation risk can alter the chemical quality of herbivore prey by inducing dietary changes to meet demands of heightened stress, and how the decomposition of carcasses from these stressed herbivores slows subsequent plant litter decomposition by soil microbes.
Here we use a human esiRNA library in a high-throughput screen for genes involved in cell division. We demonstrate how to set up and conduct an esiRNA screens, as well as how to analyze and validate the results.
1Australian Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, 2Plant Cell Biology Research Centre, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, 3CSIRO Plant Industry, Black Mountain Laboratories, 4Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Copenhagen
A technique called Comprehensive Microarray Polymer Profiling (CoMPP) for the characterisation of plant cell wall glycans is described. This method combines the specificity of monoclonal antibodies directed to defined glycan-epitopes with a miniature microarray analytical platform allowing screening of glycan occurrence in a broad range of biological contexts.
Avidity-based Extracellular Interaction Screening (AVEXIS) for the Scalable Detection of Low-affinity Extracellular Receptor-Ligand Interactions
AVEXIS is a high throughput protein interaction assay developed to systematically screen for novel extracellular receptor-ligand pairs involved in cellular recognition processes. It is specifically designed to detect transient protein interactions that are difficult to identify using other high throughput approaches.
Adhesive micropatterns that normalize cellular architecture can be used to increase sensitivity in the detection of drug effects, improve reproducibility and simplify automated image acquisition and analysis. Such technology will benefit drug/siRNA screening assays, performed on conventional cell culture supports and consequently suffering from excessive cell-to-cell variability.
1Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Methods for developing and validating a quantitative fluorescence assay for measuring the activity of inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels for high-throughput compound screening is presented.
The protocols describe the essential steps for obtaining diffraction quality crystals of a membrane protein starting from reconstitution of the protein in a lipidic cubic phase (LCP), finding initial conditions with LCP-FRAP pre-crystallization assays, setting up LCP crystallization trials and harvesting crystals.
Despite an increase in the use of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans, the study of young pediatric populations remains a challenge. We present a hands-on, step-by-step video protocol including guidelines for clinicians and researchers intending to perform (f)MRI in young children.
Pharmaceutical Business Operations, Waters Corporation
1Center for Human Genetic Research and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
We present robust biochemical and microscopic methods for studying Caenorhabditis elegans lipid stores. A rapid, simple, fixing-staining procedure for fluorescent lipid droplet imaging leverages the spectral properties of the lipophilic dye Nile red. We then present biochemical measurement of triglycerides and phospholipids using solid phase extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
Modeling Neural Immune Signaling of Episodic and Chronic Migraine Using Spreading Depression In Vitro
Migraine and its transformation to chronic migraine are immense healthcare burdens in need of improved treatment options. We seek to define how neural immune signaling modulates the susceptibility to migraine, modeled in vitro using spreading depression in hippocampal slice cultures, as a means to develop novel therapeutic targets.
1Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, 2Department of Oral Biology, University of Missouri-Kansas City-School of Dentistry, 3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Missouri Kansas City- School of Pharmacy, 4Regional Hospital, Bamenda, NWP, Cameroon, 5Mezam Polyclinic HIV/AIDS Treatment Center, Cameroon, 6Institute for Human Genetics and Biochemistry
A CD4 enumeration method, the α-test, is described which uses whole saliva to provide rapid and accurate CD4 counts. The α-test costs pennies and eliminates the need for technical training, costly reagents such as monoclonal antibodies, instrumentation, refrigeration, transport of samples, as well as collection and handling of blood.
Measuring Cation Transport by Na,K- and H,K-ATPase in Xenopus Oocytes by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry: An Alternative to Radioisotope Assays
We describe a method to quantify the activity of K+-countertransporting P-type ATPases by heterologous expression of the enzymes in Xenopus oocytes and measuring Rb+ or Li+ uptake into individual cells by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The method is a sensitive and safe alternative to radioisotope flux experiments facilitating complex kinetic studies.
Here are some highlights from the March 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
The Target ID Library is a plasmid-based, genome-wide collection of cloned cDNA used to identify miRNA targets. Here we demonstrate its use and application.
We illustrate here how to use electron cryotomography (ECT) to study the ultrastructure of bacterial cells in near-native states, to "macromolecular" (~4 nm) resolution.
1Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care, School of Medical sciences, Edith Cowan University, 2Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry, Graylands Hospital, University of Western Australia, 3McCusker Alzheimer's Research foundation, 4School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, 5Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Adelaide, 6School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University of Technology, 7School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia
This protocol outlines regular maintenance and care to maintain optimal conditions for zebrafish husbandry. The video illustrates the protocol for system maintenance, regular housing, feeding, breeding, and raising of zebrafish larvae.
A Faster, High Resolution, mtPA-GFP-based Mitochondrial Fusion Assay Acquiring Kinetic Data of Multiple Cells in Parallel Using Confocal Microscopy
1Department of Neuroscience, Center for Neuroscience Research, Tufts School of Medicine, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics & Gerontology, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, 3Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical Center
Mitochondrial fusion was measured by tracking the equilibration of photoconverted matrix-targeted GFP across the mitochondrial network over time. Thus far, only one cell could be subjected to an hour long kinetic analysis at a time. We present a method that simultaneously measures multiple cells, thereby speeding up the data collection process.
Novel host factors involved in viral infection can be identified through cell-based genome-wide loss of function RNAi screening. A Drosophila cell culture model is particularly amenable to this approach due to the ease and efficiency of RNAi. Here we demonstrate this technique using vaccinia virus as an example.
This technical article describes a standard western-blotting procedure using the commercially available NuPAGE electrophoresis Mini-Gel system from Invitrogen.
Practicing of fine needle aspiration biopsies (FNAB) by trainees is relatively challenging, due to the lack of an easily available, appropriate lesion. Preparation of an AV phantom lesion for practicing the FNAB procedure and mastering proficiency is relatively easy.
This paper describes a novel method for oral infection of mice using Listeria monocytogenes-contaminated food. The protocol can readily be adapted for use with other food borne bacterial pathogens.
Classical multivariate pattern analysis predicts sensory stimuli a subject perceives from neural activity in the corresponding cortices (e.g. visual stimuli from activity in visual cortex). Here, we apply pattern analysis cross-modally and show that sound- and touch-implying visual stimuli can be predicted from activity in auditory and somatosensory cortices, respectively.
A real-time screening procedure for identifying drugs that interact with G protein-gated inward rectifier K+ (GIRK) channels is described. The assay utilizes membrane potential-sensitive fluorescent dyes to measure GIRK channel activity. This technique is adaptable for use on a number of cell lines.
Quantitative Fitness Analysis (QFA) is a complementary series of experimental and computational methods for estimating microbial culture fitnesses. QFA estimates the effect of genetic mutations, drugs or other applied treatments on microbe growth. Experiments scaling from focussed analysis of single cultures to thousands of parallel cultures can be designed.
Portable Intermodal Preferential Looking (IPL): Investigating Language Comprehension in Typically Developing Toddlers and Young Children with Autism
A reliable home-based way to assess the language comprehension of very young typically developing children, as well as those with autism, is described. The method analyzes children's eye gaze while viewing side-by-side images but hearing an audio that matches only one image. Stimuli are designed with young participants in mind.
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.
We present a public computational web site for the analysis of genomic sequences. It detects DNA sequence patterns with various non-random nucleotide compositions. This resource also generates randomized sequences with diverse levels of complexity.
Segmentation and Measurement of Fat Volumes in Murine Obesity Models Using X-ray Computed Tomography
1Carestream Molecular Imaging, 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, 3Freimann Life Science Center, University of Notre Dame, 4Research and Development, Oncovision, GEM-Imaging S.A.
Fat content analysis is routinely conducted in studies utilizing murine obesity models. Emerging methods in small animal CT imaging and analysis are providing for longitudinal detail rich fat content analysis. Here we detail step by step procedures for performing small animal CT imaging, analysis, and visualization.
The biosynthesis of cartilaginous extracellular matrix by chondrocytes can be affected by application of mechanical stimuli. This method describes the technique of applying dynamic compressive strains to chondrocytes encapsulated in 3D constructs and the evaluation of induced changes in chondrocyte metabolism.
The structure and process for measuring student learning outcomes through customizable assessment rubrics is discussed and applied to a doctoral nursing education program.
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.
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.
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.
Bicelles are lipid/amphiphile mixtures that maintain membrane proteins (MPs) within a lipid bilayer but have unique phase behavior that facilitates high-throughput screening by crystallization robots. This technique has successfully produced a number of high-resolution structures from both prokaryotic and eukaryotic sources. This video describes protocols for generating the lipidic bicelle mixture, incorporating MPs into the bicelle mixture, setting up crystallizations trials (manually as well as robotically) and harvesting crystals from the medium.
A combinatorial functional screening method for gaining insights into the impacts of the molecular composition of microenvironments on cellular functions is described. The method takes advantage of existing microarray-based technologies to generate arrays of defined combinatorial microenvironments that support cell adhesion and functional analysis.
Using RNA-mediated Interference Feeding Strategy to Screen for Genes Involved in Body Size Regulation in the Nematode C. elegans
1Department of Science, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City Universtiy of New York (CUNY), 2Department of Biology, Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY), 3Biochemistry Program, The Graduate Center, Queens College, The City University of New York (CUNY)
We demonstrate how to use the RNAi feeding technique to knock down target genes and score body size phenotype in C. elegans. This method could be used for a large scale screen to identify potential genetic components of interest, such as those involved in body size regulation by DBL-1/TGF-β signaling.
This video demonstrates how to measure cell invasion through cell culture inserts using a fluorescence-based methodology.
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.
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.
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.