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.
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).
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.
1NMR Surgical Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Shriners Burn Institute, 3Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center of Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School, 4Molecular Surgery Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
This technique enables the use of high-resolution magic angle spinning proton MR spectroscopy (HRMAS 1H-MRS) for molecular characterization of live Drosophila melanogaster with a conventional 14.1 tesla spectrometer equipped with an HRMAS probe.
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.
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.
A method is described to measure biochemical markers of neonatal hypoxia-ischemia. The approach utilizes high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS).
Radical-based biomimetic chemistry has been applied to building-up libraries necessary for biomarker development.
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.
Contrast Ultrasound Targeted Treatment of Gliomas in Mice via Drug-Bearing Nanoparticle Delivery and Microvascular Ablation
Insonation of microbubbles is a promising strategy for tumor ablation at reduced time-averaged acoustic powers, as well as for the targeted delivery of therapeutics. The purpose of the present study is to develop low duty cycle ultrasound pulsing strategies and nanocarriers to maximize non-thermal microvascular ablation and payload delivery to subcutaneous C6 gliomas.
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.
Untargeted Metabolomics from Biological Sources Using Ultraperformance Liquid Chromatography-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-HRMS)
Untargeted metabolomics provides a hypothesis generating snapshot of a metabolic profile. This protocol will demonstrate the extraction and analysis of metabolites from cells, serum, or tissue. A range of metabolites are surveyed using liquid-liquid phase extraction, microflow ultraperformance liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC-HRMS) coupled to differential analysis software.
1Research Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Memphis, TN, 2Department of Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, 3Department of Anatomy/Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
A rapid approach to investigate interactions and effects on molecular mechanisms related to the presence of antibodies in an intracellular environment is described. The method involves transfection of antibodies into live cells using a non-covalent complex formation based on a lipid formulation. The technique is adaptable to immortalized cell lines and primary cells.
Quantitative Assessment of Immune Cells in the Injured Spinal Cord Tissue by Flow Cytometry: a Novel Use for a Cell Purification Method
1Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, University of California, 2Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of California, 3Anatomy & Neurobiology, University of California, 4Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, University of California, 5Section of Molecular Biology, University of California, 6Reeve-Irvine Research Center, University of California
Quantification of cellular inflammation in the injured/pathological CNS by flow cytometry is complicated by lipid/myelin debris that can have similar size and granulation to cells, decreasing sensitivity/accuracy. We have advanced a cell preparation method to remove myelin debris and improve cell detection by flow cytometry in the injured spinal cord.
Numerous recent studies have identified mutations in synaptic proteins associated with brain pathologies. Primary cultured cortical neurons offer great flexibility in examining the effects of these disease-associated proteins on dendritic spine morphology and motility.
The intraluminal middle cerebral occlusion model in mice is herein presented. The extent of cerebral infarct is evaluated by a neurologic score and cresyl violet staining, an alternative staining to TTC, offering the great advantage to test in parallel many interest markers.
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.
In order to understand the molecular mechanisms of the ethanol-induced developmental damage, we have developed a zebrafish model of ethanol exposure and are exploring the physical, cellular, and genetic alterations that occur after ethanol exposure1. We then seek to find potential interventions and rapidly test them in this animal model.
Quantitative Analysis of Synaptic Vesicle Pool Replenishment in Cultured Cerebellar Granule Neurons using FM Dyes
A live fluorescence imaging technique to quantify the replenishment and mobilisation of specific synaptic vesicle (SV) pools in central nerve terminals is described. Two rounds of SV recycling are monitored in the same nerve terminals providing an internal control.
Noroviruses are a major cause of gastroenteritis yet molecular techniques for their characterisation are still relatively new. Here we report two different reverse genetics approaches for the efficient recovery of murine norovirus (MNV), the only member of this genus which can be propagated in cell culture.
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.
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.
In this report, we describe how surface plasmon resonance is used to detect toxin entry into the host cytosol. This highly sensitive method can provide quantitative data on the amount of cytosolic toxin, and it can be applied to a range of toxins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This video article details the experimental procedure for obtaining the Gibbs free energy of membrane protein folding by tryptophan fluorescence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Membrane protein function is regulated by the cell membrane lipid composition. This video-article details how to form a patch using bilayer patch electrodes, as well as how to use gramicidin channels as reporters of altered membrane properties.
In order to study the changes of nociceptive intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENFs) in painful neuropathies (PN), we developed protocols that could directly examine three-dimensional morphological changes observed in nociceptive IENFs. Three-dimensional analysis of IENFs has the potential to evaluate the morphological changes of IENF in PN.
Determination of Lipid Raft Partitioning of Fluorescently-tagged Probes in Living Cells by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS)
1Centre de Recherche de l’Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière, Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, 2Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay, Université Paris-Sud, 3Centre de Photonique Biomédicale du Centre Laser, Université Paris-Sud
A technique to probe the lipid raft partitioning of fluorescent proteins at the plasma membrane of living cells is described. It takes advantage of the disparity in diffusion times of proteins located inside or outside of lipid rafts. Acquisition can be performed dynamically in control conditions or after drug addition.
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.
Planar lipid bilayers, also called artificial lipid bilayers, allow you to study ion-conducting channels in a well-defined environment. Here, we demonstrate the individual steps needed to prepare the bilayer chamber, the electrodes and how to test that the bilayer is suitable for single-channel measurements.
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.
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.
1Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - FHCRC, 2Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, 3Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 4Genome BC Proteomics Centre, University of Victoria, 5Plasma Proteome Institute
Stable Isotope Standards and Capture by Anti-Peptide Antibodies (SISCAPA) couples affinity enrichment of peptides with stable isotope dilution mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) to provide quantitative measurement of peptides as surrogates for their respective proteins. Here we describe the protocol using magnetic particles in a partially automated format.
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.