This paper describes the methodology to determine the chemotactic response of leukocytes to specific ligands and identify interactions between the cell surface receptors and cytosolic proteins using live cell imaging techniques.
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.
This protocol describes a rapid technique to quantify the translocation of GLUT4 from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane of cells by flow cytometry.
We demonstrate how to set up an in vitro ischemia/reperfusion model and how to evaluate the effect of stem cell therapy on postischemic cardiac cells.
The Use of Primary Human Fibroblasts for Monitoring Mitochondrial Phenotypes in the Field of Parkinson's Disease
1German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, DZNE, 2Laboratory of Functional Neurogenomics, Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen
Fibroblasts from patients carrying mutations in Parkinson's disease-causing genes represent an easily accessible ex vivo model to study disease-associated phenotypes. Live cell imaging gives the opportunity to study morphological and functional parameters in living cells. Here we describe the preparation of human fibroblasts and subsequent monitoring of mitochondrial phenotypes.
1Stony Brook Children's Hospital, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 3Department of Molecular Genetics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 4Department of Microbiology, State University of New York at Stony Brook
We describe a method for generating transformed B cell lines using Epstein-Barr virus. We also illustrate a novel assay that can identify B cells destined to undergo transformation as early as three days after infection.
This article will detail the protocol for measuring calpain activity in fixed and living cells using flow cytometry.
Cell-mediated lymphocytotoxicity (CML) assays can be used to test autoreactive responses and study mechanisms of cell death in vitro. However, using live-cell confocal microscopic imaging techniques with fluorescent dyes, the type and kinetics of cell death as well as the pathways utilized can be studied in greater detail.
Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM) as a Tool to Visualize Microinjected Molecules and their Eukaryotic Sub-cellular Targets
The CLEM technique has been adapted to analyze ultrastructural morphology of membranes, organelles, and subcellular structures affected by microinjected molecules. This method combines the powerful techniques of micromanipulation/microinjection, confocal fluorescent microscopy, and electron microscopy to allow millimeter to multi-nanometer resolution. This technique is amenable to a wide variety of applications.
Drosophila Schneider (S2) cells are an increasingly popular system for the discovery and functional analysis of genes. Our goal is to describe some of the microscopic techniques that make S2 cells such an increasingly important experimental system.
This procedure shows how to use the Gene Pulser MXcell electroporation system to rapidly and easily identify the best electroporation conditions for mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) or other primary cells. Considerations for troubleshooting are also discussed in the associated video.
Using an Automated Cell Counter to Simplify Gene Expression Studies: siRNA Knockdown of IL-4 Dependent Gene Expression in Namalwa Cells
This procedure describes a quick and easy workflow to introduce siRNA into difficult to transfect cell lines and follow gene expression by real-time PCR. Use of an automated cell counter, multi-well electroporation plate, and automated electrophoresis station provide quick and reliable results without the need for expensive robotic handling.
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.
Identification and Isolation of Slow-Dividing Cells in Human Glioblastoma Using Carboxy Fluorescein Succinimidyl Ester (CFSE)
This video protocol demonstrates the application of the fluorescent dye carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) for the identification and separation of different sub-populations of cells in human glioblastoma based on frequency of cell division.
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.
Here we demonstrate a protocol to carry out live cell staining that can be used to detect odorant receptors on the surface of HEK293T cells conveniently. In addition, it may also be used to assay for surface expression of other chemosensory receptors or GPCRs.
1Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering / Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, 2Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto
Creation of micro-tissues using cylindrical collagen gels, called modules, that contain embedded cells and which surface is coated with endothelial cells.
Microscopic imaging of live endothelial cells expressing GFP-actin allows characterization of dynamic changes in cytoskeletal structures. Unlike techniques that use fixed specimens, this method provides a detailed assessment of temporal changes in the actin cytoskeleton in the same cells before, during, and after various physical, pharmacological, or inflammatory stimuli.
Evaluation of Polymeric Gene Delivery Nanoparticles by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and High-throughput Flow Cytometry
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Institute for Nanobiotechnology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
A protocol for nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and high-throughput flow cytometry to evaluate polymeric gene delivery nanoparticles is described. NTA is utilized to characterize the nanoparticle particle size distribution and the plasmid per particle distribution. High-throughput flow cytometry enables quantitative transfection efficacy evaluation for a library of gene delivery biomaterials.
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.
Live-cell Imaging of Migrating Cells Expressing Fluorescently-tagged Proteins in a Three-dimensional Matrix
Cellular processes such as cell migration have traditionally been studied on two-dimensional, stiff plastic surfaces. This report describes a technique for directly visualizing protein localization and analyzing protein dynamics in cells migrating in a more physiologically relevant, three-dimensional matrix.
A Galvanotaxis Assay for Analysis of Neural Precursor Cell Migration Kinetics in an Externally Applied Direct Current Electric Field
In this protocol we demonstrate how to construct custom chambers that permit the application of a direct current electric field to enable time-lapse imaging of adult brain derived neural precursor cell translocation during galvanotaxis.
Live Cell Response to Mechanical Stimulation Studied by Integrated Optical and Atomic Force Microscopy
1Department of Systems Biology and Translational Medicine, College of Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Texas A&M Health Science Center, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University
This paper aims to instruct the reader in the operation of an integrated atomic force-optical imaging microscope for mechanical stimulation of live cells in culture. A step-by-step protocol is presented. A representative data set that shows live cell response to mechanical stimulation is presented.
The Neuroblast Assay: An Assay for the Generation and Enrichment of Neuronal Progenitor Cells from Differentiating Neural Stem Cell Progeny Using Flow Cytometry
This video protocol demonstrates a novel method for the generation and subsequent purification of neuronal progenitor cells from a renewable source of neural stem cells (NSCs) based on their physical (size and internal granularity) and fluorescent properties using flow cytometry technology.
Live Cell Calcium Imaging Combined with siRNA Mediated Gene Silencing Identifies Ca2+ Leak Channels in the ER Membrane and their Regulatory Mechanisms
The endoplasmic reticulum plays a key role in protein biogenesis and in calcium homeostasis. We have established an experimental system that allows us to address the role of Ca2+ leak channels and to characterize their putative regulatory mechanisms. This system involves siRNA mediated gene silencing and live cell Ca2+ imaging.
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.
This technique provides a method to harvest, normalize and quantify intracellular growth of bacterial pathogens that are pre-cultivated in natural protozoan host cells prior to infections of mammalian cells. This method can be modified to accommodate a wide variety of host cells for the priming stage as well as target cell types.
Imaging G-protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-mediated Signaling Events that Control Chemotaxis of Dictyostelium Discoideum
Here, we describe detailed live cell imaging methods for investigating chemotaxis. We present fluorescence microscopic methods to monitor spatiotemporal dynamics of signaling events in migrating cells. Measurement of signaling events permits us to further understand how a GPCR-signaling network achieves gradient sensing of chemoattractants and controls directional migration of eukaryotic cells.
The peritoneal cavity in mammals contains different immune cell populations crucial for innate immune responses. An efficient isolation method is required for biochemical and functional analyses of these cells. Here we provide a comprehensive method for the isolation of peritoneal cavity cells in the mouse.
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.
This method allows monitoring of cells in real time and quantitative measurements of different cell migration parameters such as speed, displacement, and velocity. Unlike the traditional methods, this real time approach is not based on endpoint quantitative migration measurements; instead it allows monitoring and calculating different parameters continuously.
The sialidase assay is a simple technical approach that will elucidate novel molecular mechanism(s) of TLR sensors of microbial infections and involvement in inflammatory diseases at the receptor level on the cell surface of live macrophages.
Fabrication of Micropatterned Hydrogels for Neural Culture Systems using Dynamic Mask Projection Photolithography
Simple techniques are described for the rapid production of microfabricated neural culture systems using a digital micromirror device for dynamic mask projection lithography on regular cell culture substrates. These culture systems may be more representative of natural biological architecture, and the techniques described could be adapted for numerous applications.
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.
In this video we demonstrate how our lab routinely passages HuES human embryonic stem cell lines with trypsin.
MAME Models for 4D Live-cell Imaging of Tumor: Microenvironment Interactions that Impact Malignant Progression
We have developed 3D coculture models for live-cell imaging in real-time of interactions among breast tumor cells and other cells in their microenvironment that impact progression to an invasive phenotype. These models can serve as preclinical screens for drugs to target paracrine-induced proteolytic, chemokine/cytokine and kinase pathways implicated in invasiveness.
This protocol describes the development of a microfluidic device for investigating bacterial chemotaxis in stable concentration gradients of chemoeffectors.
1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, UMR 631, Parc scientifique de Luminy, 2Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6102, Parc scientifique de Luminy, 3Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix-Marseille University, 4École Centrale Marseille, Technopôle de Château-Gombert, 5Institut Fresnel, Aix-Marseille University, 6Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 6133, Aix-Marseille University
Multiple-Target Tracing is a homemade algorithm developed for tracking individually labeled molecules within the plasma membrane of living cells. Efficiently detecting, estimating and tracing molecules over time at high-density provide a user-friendly, comprehensive tool to investigate nanoscale membrane dynamics.
Time-lapse Imaging of Primary Preneoplastic Mammary Epithelial Cells Derived from Genetically Engineered Mouse Models of Breast Cancer
1Department of Oncology, Georgetown University, 2Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, 3Stem Cell Dynamics, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, 4Department of Medicine, Georgetown University, 5Department of Nanobiomedical Science and WCU Research Center of Nanobiomedical Science, Dankook University
Time-lapse imaging is used to assess behavior of primary preneoplastic mammary epithelial cells derived from genetically engineered mouse models of breast cancer risk to determine if there are correlations between specific behavioral parameters and distinct genetic lesions.
The Scepter Cell Counter is a handheld automated device that can be used to count cells, monitor cell diameter and volume, and be used to check the health and quality of cellular populations from one culture to the next.
Generation of T lymphocytes from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells gives an alternative approach of using embryonic stem cells for T cell-based immunotherapy. The method shows that by utilizing either in vitro or in vivo induction system, iPS cells are able to differentiate into both conventional and antigen-specific T lymphocytes.
Live cell imaging is of particular utility when studying the dynamics of organelle trafficking. Here we describe a protocol for live imaging of dense-core vesicles in cultured neurons using wide-field fluorescence microscopy. This protocol is flexible and can be adapted to image other organelles such as mitochondria, endosomes, and peroxisomes.
Aplysia californica neurons develop large growth cones in culture that are excellent for high-resolution imaging of growth cone motility and guidance. Here, we present a protocol for dissection and plating of Aplysia bag cell neurons as well as for setting up a chamber for live cell imaging.
Identifying the Effects of BRCA1 Mutations on Homologous Recombination using Cells that Express Endogenous Wild-type BRCA1
We provide a method for testing BRCA1 variants in a tissue culture based assay for homologous recombination repair of DNA damage by depleting endogenous BRCA1 protein from a cell using RNAi and replacing it with a BRCA1 point mutant that contains a coding change.
A versatile plasma lithography technique has been developed to generate stable surface patterns for guiding cellular attachment. This technique can be applied to create cell networks including those that mimic natural tissues and has been used for studying several, distinct cell types.
FRET-based reporters are increasingly used to monitor kinase and phosphatase activities in live cells. Here we describe a method on how to use FRET-based reporters to assess cell cycle-dependent changes in target phosphorylation.
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.
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.
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.
Mammary tumor cells expressing luciferase are implanted subcutaneously in mice and visualized using optical imaging to monitor tumor growth and development non-invasively in a longitudinal study.