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.
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.
Preparation and Use of HIV-1 Infected Primary CD4+ T-Cells as Target Cells in Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxic Assays
Cytotoxicity assays to measure natural killer cell lytic responses to HIV-infected cells is limited by the purity of the target cells. We demonstrate here the isolation of a highly purified population of HIV-1 infected primary T-cell blasts by taking advantage of HIV-1 s ability to down-modulate CD4.
An In vitro Co-infection Model to Study Plasmodium falciparum-HIV-1 Interactions in Human Primary Monocyte-derived Immune Cells
We have developed an in vitro malaria-HIV-1 co-infection model to study the impact of Plasmodium falciparum on the HIV-1 replicative cycle in human primary monocyte-derived macrophages. This versatile system can easily be adapted to other primary cell types susceptible to HIV-1 infection.
Amplifying and Quantifying HIV-1 RNA in HIV Infected Individuals with Viral Loads Below the Limit of Detection by Standard Clinical Assays
Quantifying levels of HIV-1 RNA in plasma and sequencing single HIV-1 genomes from individuals with viral loads below the limit of detection (50-75 copies/ml) is difficult. Here we describe how to extract and quantify plasma viral RNA using a real time PCR assay that reliably measures HIV-1 RNA down to 0.3 copies/ml and how to amplify viral genomes by single genome sequencing, from samples with very low viral loads.
HIV tropism can be inferred from the V3 region of the viral envelope. V3 is PCR amplified in triplicate using nested RT-PCR, sequenced, and interpreted using bioinformatic software. Samples with with 1 or more sequence(s) with low g2P scores are classified as non-R5 virus.
1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 2Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, 3Shared Resource-DNA/RNA Peptide, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope
Several 2’-Fluoro RNA aptamers against HIV-1Ba-L gp120 with nanomole affinity are isolated from a RNA library by in vitro SELEX procedure. A new dual inhibitory function anti-gp120 aptamer-siRNA chimera is created and shows considerable promise for systemic anti-HIV therapy.
Uncoating is an essential step in the early phase of the HIV-1 life cycle and is defined as the disassembly of the capsid shell and the release of the viral ribonucleoprotein complex (vRNP). Here, we demonstrate techniques for isolating intact cores from HIV-1 virions and for quantifying their uncoating in vitro.
1Institute of Virology, University of Cologne, 2Max Planck Institute for Informatics, 3Institute for Immune genetics, 4Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectiology, University of Duesseldorf, 5Department of Dermatology, University of Essen, 6Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cologne, 7Augustinerinnen Hospital
The prediction of the coreceptor usage of HIV-1 is required for the administration of a new class of antiretroviral drugs, i.e. coreceptor antagonists. It can be performed by sequence analysis of the env gene and subsequent interpretation through an internet based interpretation system (geno2pheno[coreceptor]).
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.
1Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital, 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, McGill University, 3Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University
A fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method was developed to visually detect viral genomic RNA using fluorescence microscopy. A probe is made with specificity to the viral RNA that can then be identified using a combination of hybridization and immunofluorescence techniques. This technique offers the advantage of identifying the localization of the viral RNA or DNA at steady-state, providing information on the control of intracellular virus trafficking events.
Determination of Molecular Structures of HIV Envelope Glycoproteins using Cryo-Electron Tomography and Automated Sub-tomogram Averaging
1Laboratory of Cell Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2The Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge, 3National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 4Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 5William Fremd High School, 6University of Virginia, 7Duke University, 8Yale University, 9University of Notre Dame, 10Washington University in St. Louis, 11Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 12Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
The protocol describes a high-throughput approach to determining structures of membrane proteins using cryo-electron tomography and 3D image processing. It covers the details of specimen preparation, data collection, data processing and interpretation, and concludes with the production of a representative target for the approach, the HIV-1 Envelope glycoprotein. These computational procedures are designed in a way that enables researchers and students to work remotely and contribute to data processing and structural analysis.
We present a high-throughput flow cytometric assay to determine the phagocytic activity of antigen-specific antibodies from clinical samples, utilizing fluorescent antigen-coated beads and a monocytic cell line expressing multiple Fc receptors—providing receptor usage and phagocytic activity determinations in a standardized and reproducible fashion for any antigen of interest.
Anti-retroviral therapy to treat HIV/AIDS is monitored in South Africa on a large scale. Flow cytometry is combined for haematology (CD45), immunology (CD4) and viral-load linked CD38 assay. Recorded at NHLS-SA laboratories, Johannesburg, these modern methods are cost-efficient with heightened local internal quality control, serving as role-models for resource-limited diagnostics.
Our experiment will show how to perform a sequencing analysis of bacterial species translocating in peripheral blood of HIV positive patients.
Nanoparticles of indinavir, ritonavir, efavirenz and atazanavir were manufactured using wet milling, homogenization and ultrasonication. These nanoformulations, collectively termed nanoformulated antiretroviral therapy (nanoART), assessed macrophage-based drug delivery. Monocyte-derived macrophage nanoART uptake, retention and sustained release were determined. These preliminary studies suggest the potential of nanoART for clinical use.
Current HIV-1 strategies act to suppress the viral life cycle but do not effectively eradicate infection. Here, we demonstrate that an engineered recombinase can efficiently excise integrated HIV-1 proviral DNA from the genome of infected cells.
Here we report the generation of Tre recombinase through directed, molecular evolution. Tre recombinase recognizes a pre-defined target sequence within the LTR sequences of the HIV-1 provirus, resulting in the excision and eradication of the provirus from infected human cells. While still in its infancy, directed molecular evolution will allow the creation of custom enzymes that will serve as tools of molecular surgery and molecular medicine.
1Department of Pathology, New York University Langone School of Medicine, 2Program in Molecular Pathogenesis, Marty and Helen Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine and Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, 3Laboratory of Molecular Immunogenetics, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 4Veteran Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System
This article describes a method to visualize formation of an HIV-1 envelope-induced virological synapse on glass supported planar bilayers by total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. The method can also be combined with immunofluorescence staining to detect activation and redistribution of signaling molecules that occur during HIV-1 envelope-induced virological synapse formation.
A Thin-skull Window Technique for Chronic Two-photon In vivo Imaging of Murine Microglia in Models of Neuroinflammation
We describe a method for repeatedly visualizing murine microglia and circulating monocytes in vivo over hours, days or weeks using transcranial two-photon microscopy. We demonstrate how to prepare a thinned-skull window that allows intermittent observation of quiescent microglia that can be activated by adjacent stereotactic injection of the HIV-1 regulatory protein Tat.
1Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 2UCLA AIDS Institute, 3Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, 4Department of Medical and Molecular Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 5Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
The generation and characterization of tumor specific T cells using humanized mice is described here. Human thymic tissue and genetically modified human hematopoietic stem cells are transplanted into immunocompromised mice. This results in the reconstitution of an engineered human immune system allowing for in vivo examination of anti-tumor immune responses.
Enzyme-linked Immunospot Assay (ELISPOT): Quantification of Th-1 Cellular Immune Responses Against Microbial Antigens
Identification of microbial targets of adaptive immunity in idiopathic diseases can be accomplished by the use of the enzyme-linked immunospot assay.
Assessment of Immunologically Relevant Dynamic Tertiary Structural Features of the HIV-1 V3 Loop Crown R2 Sequence by ab initio Folding
The crown region of different V3 loop sequences of the surface envelope glycoprotein (gp120) of HIV-1 can be structurally characterized in many cases by in silico folding of positions 10 to 22 of the loop using a state-of-the-art ab initio folding algorithm. Here we demonstrate the folding and evaluation of this region of the V3 loop from the R2 strain of HIV-1, a uniquely neutralization sensitive strain with puzzling functional properties.
A Functional Whole Blood Assay to Measure Viability of Mycobacteria, using Reporter-Gene Tagged BCG or M.Tb (BCG lux/M.Tb lux)
We describe an alternative approach to the enumeration of mycobacteria in vitro, which uses reporter-gene tagged mycobacteria instead of colony-forming units (CFU). “Survival” of organisms as well as host response-markers are measured simultaneously, providing a low-cost, versatile and functional system for studies of host/pathogen interactions in the context of tuberculosis.
Here are some highlights from the December 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Use of Interferon-γ Enzyme-linked Immunospot Assay to Characterize Novel T-cell Epitopes of Human Papillomavirus
1Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 3Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Characterizing T-cell epitopes of pathogens that cause localized infections such as human papillomavirus is a challenge because of limited number of T cells in circulation. A method is described in which rare T cells were isolated and were characterized starting with a very small number of cells.
To make lentiviruses, DNA vectors are transfected into human 293 cells. After harvest and concentrating the supernatant, virus titer is determined by fluorescence expression with a flow cytometer.
A screening method to detect oxidative cellular environments is to measure the oxidation of CM-H2DCFDA. Once oxidized within a cell, CM-H2DCFDA changes from non-fluorescent into a fluorescent compound. This change in fluorescence is measured by flow cytometry and indicates the number of cells in an oxidative environment.
We demonstrate the utility of multicolor flow cytometry for detailed phenotypic and functional characterization of total as well as memory subsets of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in rhesus macaques, the ideal model for HIV/AIDS vaccine studies.
Structure of HIV-1 Capsid Assemblies by Cryo-electron Microscopy and Iterative Helical Real-space Reconstruction
This article describes a method to obtain a three-dimensional (3D) structure of helically assembled molecules using cryo-electron microscopy. In this protocol, we use HIV-1 capsid assemblies to illustrate the detailed 3D reconstruction procedure for achieving a density map by the iterative helical real-space reconstruction method.
In this protocol we describe production, purification and titration of lentiviral vectors. We provide an example of lentiviral vector-mediated gene delivery in primary cultured neurons and astrocytes. Our methods may also apply to other cell types in vitro and in vivo.
Expansion of Embryonic and Adult Neural Stem Cells by In Utero Electroporation or Viral Stereotaxic Injection
Controlling the expansion of somatic stem cells is a major factor hampering their study and use in therapy. Here we describe a system to temporally control neural stem cells expansion during development and adulthood, which can be used to increase the number of neurons generated in the mouse brain.
We describe a single-cell high-throughput assay to measure cytotoxicity of T cells when incubated with tumor target cells. This method employs a dense, elastomeric array of sub-nanoliter wells (~100,000 wells/array) to spatially confine the T cells and target cells at defined ratios and is coupled to fluorescence microscopy to monitor effector-target conjugation and subsequent apoptosis.
Bioimaging methods used to assess cell biodistribution of nanoparticles are applicable for therapeutic and diagnostic monitoring of nanoformulated compounds. The methods described herein are sensitive and specific when assessed by histological coregistration. The methodologies provide a translational pathway from rodent to human applications.
Protocol for Recombinant RBD-based SARS Vaccines: Protein Preparation, Animal Vaccination and Neutralization Detection
This protocol describes a general procedure for studying recombinant receptor-binding domain (RBD)-based subunit vaccines against SARS. It includes methods for transfection and expression of RBD protein in 293T cells, immunization of mice with RBD and detection of neutralization activity of mouse sera using an established SARS pseudovirus neutralization assay.
Lensless On-chip Imaging of Cells Provides a New Tool for High-throughput Cell-Biology and Medical Diagnostics
Lensfree on-chip imaging and characterization of cells is illustrated. This on-chip cell imaging approach provides a compact and cost-effective tool for medical diagnostics and high-throughput cell biology applications, making it especially suitable for resource poor settings.
A Technique to Simultaneously Visualize Virus-Specific CD8+ T Cells and Virus-Infected Cells In situ
A technique combining in situ tetramer staining and in situ hybridization (ISTH) enables visualization, mapping and analysis of the spatial proximity of virus-specific CD8+ T cells to their virus-infected targets, and determination of the quantitative relationships between these immune effectors and targets to infection outcomes.
Multiplex Detection of Bacteria in Complex Clinical and Environmental Samples using Oligonucleotide-coupled Fluorescent Microspheres
We describe a multiplex method for the detection of microorganisms within a sample using oligonucleotide-coupled fluorescent beads. Amplicon from all organisms within a sample is hybridized to a panel of probe-coupled beads. A Luminex or Bio-Plex instrument is used to query each bead for bead type and hybridization signal.
Monitoring of Ubiquitin-proteasome Activity in Living Cells Using a Degron (dgn)-destabilized Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-based Reporter Protein
A method to monitor ubiquitin-proteasome activity in living cells is described. A degron-destabilized GFP- (GFP-dgn) and a stable GFP-dgnFS fusion protein are generated and transduced into the cell using a lentiviral expression vector. This technique allows to generate a stable GFP-dgn/GFP-dgnFS expressing cell line in which ubiquitin-proteasome activity can be easily assessed using epifluorescence or flow cytometry.
1The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, 2Laboratorio de Investigacion de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, 3Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 4Wellcome Trust Centre for Clinical Tropical Medicine, Imperial College London
The microscopic-observation drug-susceptibility (MODS) assay is a low-cost, low-tech tool for high-performance detection of tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB). This video describes the MODS liquid media culture method.
The Xpert MTB/RIF test integrates sample decontamination, hands-free operation, on-board sample processing, and ultra-sensitive hemi-nested PCR for the simultaneous detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin resistance, either in expectorated sputum or concentrated sputum sediments, in approximately two hours. Testing is standardized and requires only moderate laboratory infrastructure and training.
Tandem affinity purification is a robust approach for the identification of protein binding partners. As proof of concept, this methodology was applied to the well-characterized translation initiation factor eIF4E to co-precipitate the host cell factors involved in translation initiation. This method is easily adapted to any cellular or viral protein.
We describe a rapid methodology to isolate and culture hippocampal and cortical neurons from rodent embryos. This protocol allows us to perform experiments in which nearly pure neuronal cultures are required.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine, 2Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, 3Healthcare System, Veterans Affairs New York Harbor
Skin tattooing is a potent and safe way to delivery DNA vaccine intradermally. Here, a DNA plasmid encoding EGFP is delivered by tattooing to the skin of a laboratory mouse, and the expression of EGFP in the skin cells is then inspected by confocal microscopy.
Packaging HIV- or FIV-based Lentivector Expression Constructs & Transduction of VSV-G Pseudotyped Viral Particles
Lentiviral expression vectors are the most effective vehicles for stably expressing different effector molecules or reporter constructs in dividing and non-dividing mammalian cells and whole organisms. Here we provide a protocol on how to package lentivector expression constructs in pseudoviral particles and to transduce target cells using the pseudoviral particles.
Fabrication of Electrochemical-DNA Biosensors for the Reagentless Detection of Nucleic Acids, Proteins and Small Molecules
1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Of California Santa Barbara, 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Program in BioMolecular Science and Engineering, University Of California Santa Barbara
"E-DNA" sensors, reagentless, electrochemical biosensors that perform well even when challenged directly in blood and other complex matrices, have been adapted to the detection of a wide range of nucleic acid, protein and small molecule analytes. Here we present a general procedure for the fabrication and use of such sensors.
The technical aspects of performing LIPS (Luciferase Immunoprecipitation Systems) are described. The overall approach involves expressing chimeric genes encoding antigens fused to Renilla luciferase (Ruc) in mammalian cells. Crude Ruc-antigen extracts are then prepared and, without purification, employed in immunoprecipitation assays to quantify antibodies.
1Department of Cancer Biology and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2Department of Pathology and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
RNA interference (RNAi) possesses many advantages over gene knockout and has been broadly used as a tool in gene functional studies. The invention of DNA vector-based RNAi technology has made long term and inducible gene knockdown possible, and also increased the feasibility of gene silencing in vivo.
Detection of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Haematological Malignancy Patients by using Lateral-flow Technology
A rapid and accurate point-of-care test for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis is presented. It takes advantage of lateral-flow technology using a specific monoclonal antibody that binds to an Aspergillus antigen secreted during pulmonary infections. The assay is compatible with serum and brochoalveolar lavage and represents a novel adjunct test for disease diagnosis.