We describe a method to separate organelles by density in living Drosophila embryos. Embryos are embedded in agar and centrifuged. This technique yields reproducible separation of major organelles along the anterior-posterior embryo axis. This method facilitates colocalization experiments and yields organelle fractions for biochemical analysis and transplantation experiments.
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.
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.
In situ patch clamp recordings are used for electrophysiological characterization of neurons in intact circuitry. In the Drosophila genetic model patch clamping is difficult because the CNS is small and surrounded by a robust sheath. This article describes the procedure to remove the sheath and clean neurons for subsequent patch clamp recordings.
We use the patch-clamp technique to measure GABA-activated single-channel currents (GABAA channels, GABAA receptors) and the synaptic and tonic currents they generate in neurons. Activation of the channels decreases neuronal excitability in health and disease 1,2,3,4.
Identification of mechanisms underlying muscle damage is crucial. Here we present the histological technique for preparing paraffin-embedded and frozen sections of Drosophila thoracic muscles. This allows analysis of muscle morphology and localization of protein and other muscle cell components.
Differential Imaging of Biological Structures with Doubly-resonant Coherent Anti-stokes Raman Scattering (CARS)
A combination of three single wavelength short-pulsed lasers is used to generate coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and doubly-resonant CARS (DR-CARS). The difference between these signals provides enhanced sensitivity for otherwise difficult to detect coherent Raman signals, enabling imaging of weak Raman scatterers.
Here we describe a method for the isolation of hepatic stellate cells from mouse liver. For stellate cell purification, mouse livers are digested in situ and in vitro by pronase-collagenase treatment prior to density gradient centrifugation. This technique yields highly pure hepatic stellate cells.
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.
Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) has emerged as a key technique to image the environment and interaction of specific proteins and dyes in living cells. FLIM of fluorescent molecular rotors allows mapping of viscosity in living cells.
1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 2American University in Washington, D.C., 3Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Primary hepatocytes provide a valuable tool to evaluate biochemical, molecular, and metabolic functions in a physiologically relevant experimental system. We describe a reliable protocol for rat in situ liver perfusion, which consistently generates viable hepatocytes up to 1.0 × 108 cells per preparation with cell viability between 88 ~ 96%.
This is a protocol to isolate active full length Kinesin from Drosophila embryos for single-molecule biophysical studies. We show how to collect embryos, make the embryo lysate, and then polymerize microtubules (MTs). Kinesin is purified by immobilizing it on the MTs, spinning down the Kinesin-MT complexes, and then releasing the kinesin from the MTs via ATP addition.
Construction of a High Resolution Microscope with Conventional and Holographic Optical Trapping Capabilities
The system described herein employs a traditional optical trap as well as an independent holographic optical trapping line, capable of creating and manipulating multiple traps. This allows for the creation of complex geometric arrangements of refractive particles while also permitting simultaneous high-speed, high-resolution measurements of the activity of biological enzymes.
Synthesis of Phase-shift Nanoemulsions with Narrow Size Distributions for Acoustic Droplet Vaporization and Bubble-enhanced Ultrasound-mediated Ablation
Phase-shift nanoemulsions (PSNE) can be vaporized using high intensity focused ultrasound to enhance localized heating and improve thermal ablation in tumors. In this report, the preparation of stable PSNE with a narrow size distribution is described. Furthermore, the impact of vaporized PSNE on ultrasound-mediated ablation is demonstrated in tissue-mimicking phantoms.
This protocol details a method for the quantitative measure of peptide translocation into large unilamellar lipid vesicles. This method also provides information about the rate of membrane translocation and can be used to identify peptides that efficiently and spontaneously cross lipid bilayers.
Lipid Vesicle-mediated Affinity Chromatography using Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (LIMACS): a Novel Method to Analyze Protein-lipid Interaction
To test the interaction of a protein with its target lipid we used MACS and Annexin V-conjugated magnetic beads and lipid vesicles synthesized from the target lipid and Annexin V-binding phosphatidylserine. Proteins bound to the target lipid are co-purified and analyzed after elution from the beads.
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.
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.
Atmospheric-pressure Molecular Imaging of Biological Tissues and Biofilms by LAESI Mass Spectrometry
Laser ablation electrospray ionization (LAESI) is an atmospheric-pressure ion source for mass spectrometry. In the imaging mode, a mid-infrared laser probes the distributions of molecules across a tissue section or a biofilm. This technique presents a new approach for diverse bioanalytical studies carried out under native experimental conditions.
Gramicidin-based Fluorescence Assay; for Determining Small Molecules Potential for Modifying Lipid Bilayer Properties
We introduce a fast fluorescence-based assay that monitors the rate of fluorescence quenching as a measure of gramicidin channel activity. The gramicidin channels are used as molecular force transducers to monitor changes in lipid bilayer properties as sensed by bilayer spanning proteins.
Fluorescent nanoparticles produced in our lab are used for imaging ion concentrations and ion fluxes in biological systems such as cells during signaling and interstitial fluid during physiological homeostasis.
We demonstrate FRET between conjugated polymer polydiacetylene (PDA) and fluorophore attached to the surface of PDA liposomes for the sensing of biomolecules. PDA liposomes also contained receptor molecules on their surfaces for biomolecules to be used as probes. Ligand-receptor interactions lead to changes in the FRET efficiency between the fluorophore and PDA which is the basis of the sensing mechanism.
Aqueous two-phase systems were used to simultaneously pattern multiple populations of cells. This fast and easy method for cell patterning takes advantage of the phase separation of aqueous solutions of dextran and polyethylene glycol and the interfacial tension that exists between the two polymer solutions.
Combining monodisperse drop generation with inertial ordering of cells and particles, we describe a method to encapsulate a desired number of cells or particles in a single drop at kHz rates. We demonstrate efficiencies twice exceeding those of unordered encapsulation for single- and double-particle drops.
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.
A novel microfluidic system has been developed using the phenomenon of passive pumping and a user controlled fluid delivery system. This microfluidic system has the potential to be used in a wide variety of biological applications given its low cost, ease of use, volumetric precision, high speed, repeatability and automation.
Digital Microfluidics is a technique characterized by the manipulation of discrete droplets (~nL - mL) on an array of electrodes by the application of electrical fields. It is well-suited for carrying out rapid, sequential, miniaturized automated biochemical assays. Here, we report a platform capable of automating several proteomic processing steps.
Arabidopsis thaliana Polar Glycerolipid Profiling by Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) Coupled with Gas-Liquid Chromatography (GLC)
Composition of polar lipid extracts and the fatty acid composition of individual glycerolipids are determined in a simple and robust lipid profiling experiment. For this purpose, glycerolipids are isolated by thin layer chromatography and subjected to transmethylation of their acyl groups. Fatty acyl methylesters are quantified by gas-liquid chromatography.
Cellular Lipid Extraction for Targeted Stable Isotope Dilution Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Analysis
This protocol will demonstrate the extraction and analysis of free and esterified bioactive fatty acids from cells. Fatty acids are accurately quantified using stable isotope dilution, chiral liquid chromatography, electron capture atmospheric chemical ionization multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (SID-LC-ECAPCI-MRM/MS).
Nanodiscs are small discoid particles that incorporate membrane proteins into a small patch of phospholipid bilayer. We provide a visual protocol that shows the step-by-step incorporation of the MalFGK2 transporter into a disc.
1Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, 2Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt
Here we present an electrophysiological method based on solid supported membranes with focus on its applications for the characterization of electrogenic membrane transporters.
Thermo Scientific NanoDrop Products, Wilmington, Delaware
The use of NanoDrop microvolume systems as practical and efficient alternatives to traditional nucleic acid quantitation methodology is described through the demonstration of two microvolume nucleic acid quantitation protocols.
Department of Biology, Concordia University
We describe a new quantitative lipidomics method for identifying numerous lipid species in yeast using survey-scan electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI/MS). This method exceeds currently available methods for lipid identification and quantification in the ability to resolve various molecular forms of lipids, sensitivity, and speed.
Herein is described the procedure implemented in the Caffrey Membrane Structural and Functional Biology Group to set up manually crystallization trials of membrane proteins in lipidic mesophases.
This video article details the experimental procedure for obtaining the Gibbs free energy of membrane protein folding by tryptophan fluorescence.
Biochemically-defined large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) are a convenient model system to analyze BCL-2 family interactions with immediate implications in better understanding the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. A method to produce LUVs, along with standard BCL-2 family protein combinations and controls to examine LUV permeabilization, are presented.
Ultrasound Targeted Microbubble Destruction (UTMD) can be used to direct site-specific delivery of bioactive molecules, including therapeutic genes, to target organs accessible to ultrasound, such as the heart and liver1-6.
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.
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.
FSL Constructs: A Simple Method for Modifying Cell/Virion Surfaces with a Range of Biological Markers Without Affecting their Viability
1Biotechnology Research Institute, AUT University and KODE Biotech Ltd, 2Shemyakin Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry RAS, Moscow, Russia
Function-Spacer-Lipid (FSL) constructs allow the surface characteristics of living cells and virions to be modified without loss of vitality. The method requires only simple contact of an FSL construct solution with a cell/virion and spontaneous and stable surface incorporation occurs.
Oct4GiP Reporter Assay to Study Genes that Regulate Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Maintenance and Self-renewal
We describe a fluorescence reporter assay to quickly identify and characterize genes that regulate mouse embryonic stem cell maintenance and self-renewal.
Supported planar bilayers are powerful tools that can be used to model the molecular interactions in an immunological synapse. Here, we show methods for anchoring cell adhesion proteins known to modulate synapse formation to the upper leaflet of the lipid bilyer and visualize synapse formation using TIRF microscopy.
1Undergraduate Program, Rice University, 2Proteomics Facility, Department of Pathology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 3Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 4University of Texas Graduate School of Biological Sciences at Houston
A specific and sensitive method to gain insight into the expression profile of glycosphingolipid antigens in immune organs and cells is described. The method takes advantage of the ion trap mass spectrometry allowing step-wise fragmentation of glycosphingolipid molecules for structural analysis in comparison to chemically synthesized standards.
We have developed a flow cytometer using laser induced ultrasound to detect circulating melanoma cells as an early indicator of metastatic disease.
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.
Zebrafish represent a powerful vertebrate model that has been under-utilised for metabolic studies. Here we describe a rapid way to measure the in vivo metabolic profile of developing zebrafish that allows the comparison of different mitochondrial function parameters between genetically or pharmacologically manipulated embryos, thereby increasing the applicability of this organism.
We present an in vitro, two-color fluorescence assay to visualize the fusion of single virus particles with a fluid target bilayer. By labeling viral particles with fluorophores that differentially stain the viral membrane and its interior, we are able to monitor the kinetics of hemifusion and pore formation.
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.
For many scientific studies requiring a biological and chemical analysis of cell populations the cells must be in a high state of purity. Fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) is a superior method in which to obtain pure cell populations.
This protocol describes an extrusion method for preparing lipid vesicles of sub-micron sizes with a high degree of homogeneity. This method uses a pressure-controlled system with controlled nitrogen flow rates for liposome preparation. The lipid preparation1,2, liposome extrusion, and size characterization will be presented herein.