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.
This article describes the administration of lux-tagged bacteria to mice and subsequent in vivo analysis using IVIS bioluminescence imaging.
Here we describe a light-dark preference test for Drosophila larva. This assay provides information about innate and circadian regulation of light sensing and processing photobehavior.
The light/dark transition test is one of the most widely used tests to measure anxiety-like behavior in mice. Here, we present a movie that shows detailed procedures on how we conduct the test.
We have identified the placenta as a major hematopoietic organ during development. We found that hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are both generated and expanded in the placenta in unique microenvironmental niches. Here, we describe experimental techniques required for isolation and visualization of HSCs in the mouse placenta.
Monitoring Cell-autonomous Circadian Clock Rhythms of Gene Expression Using Luciferase Bioluminescence Reporters
Circadian clocks function within individual cells, i.e., they are cell-autonomous. Here, we describe methods for generating cell-autonomous clock models using non-invasive, luciferase-based real-time bioluminescence technology. Reporter cells provide tractable, functional model systems for studying circadian biology.
This article describes GFP-based fluorescence in vivo assays that separately quantify homologous recombination and nonhomologous end joining in mammalian cells.
Microbial biofilms are generally constituted by distinct subpopulations of specialized cells. Single-cell analysis of these subpopulations requires the use of fluorescent reporters. Here we describe a protocol to visualize and monitor several subpopulationswithin B. subtilis biofilms using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.
Identifying Targets of Human microRNAs with the LightSwitch Luciferase Assay System using 3'UTR-reporter Constructs and a microRNA Mimic in Adherent Cells
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression and have been shown to play a role in numerous biological processes. To better understand miRNA-UTR interactions, we have created a genome-wide collection of 3 UTR luciferase reporters paired with a novel luciferase gene and assay reagent, the LightSwitch system.
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.
With the growing interest in stem cell therapies, molecular imaging techniques are ideal for monitoring stem cell behavior after transplantation. Luciferase reporter genes have enabled non-invasive, repetitive assessment of cell survival, location, and proliferation in vivo. This video will demonstrate how to track hESC proliferation in a living mouse.
Quantitative Comparison of cis-Regulatory Element (CRE) Activities in Transgenic Drosophila melanogaster
Phenotypic variation for traits can result from mutations in cis-regulatory element (CRE) sequences that control gene expression patterns. Methods derived for use in Drosophila melanogaster can quantitatively compare the levels of spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression mediated by modified or naturally occurring CRE variants.
The surgical procedure for delivery of embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells to the ischemic hindlimb is demonstrated, with non-invasive tracking by bioluminescence imaging.
1Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, 2Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 3Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Emerson College, 4Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard
This procedure describes a method for the isolation and culture of the murine organ of Corti with or without the spiral limbus and spiral ganglion neurons. We also demonstrate a method for the expression of an exogenous reporter gene in the organ of Corti explant by electroporation.
1BioSciences Division, Guild Associates, Inc., 2Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, 3Department of Craniofacial Biology, Medical University of South Carolina
A simple method for the identification of priority bacterial pathogens is to use genetically engineered reporter phage. These reporter phage, which are specific to their particular host species, are capable of rapidly transducing a bioluminescent signal response to host cells. Herein, we describe the use of reporter phage for the detection of Yersinia pestis.
Herein we describe the methods to construct, visualize, and quantify the bioluminescent reactions of both firefly and renilla luciferase enzymes expressed in metastatic breast cancer cells during their growth and metastasis in vivo.
We describe a protocol using C. elegans and RNAi feeding libraries that allows automated measurement of multiple parameters such as fluorescence, size and opacity of individual worms in a population. We give one example of a screen to identify genes involved in anti-fungal innate immunity in C. elegans.
Gene function can be obscured in loss-of-function experiments if there is compensation by another gene. The zebrafish model provides a relatively high-throughput means to reveal such functional redundancy in living embryos.
Analysis of the Solvent Accessibility of Cysteine Residues on Maize rayado fino virus Virus-like Particles Produced in Nicotiana benthamiana Plants and Cross-linking of Peptides to VLPs
1Plant Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 2Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
A method to analyze the solvent accessibility of the thiol group of cysteine residues of Maize rayado fino virus (MRFV)-virus-like particles (VLPs) followed by a peptide cross-linking reaction is described. The method takes advantage of the availability of several chemical groups on the surface of the VLPs that can be targets for specific reactions.
The overall goal of this video is to show how to perform targeted retinal injection and in ovo electroporation of DNA/RNA constructs into the chick embryonic retina at the Hamburger and Hamilton stage 22-23, which is about embryonic day 4 (E4). This technique is very useful to study gene expression, gene regulation, and morphological change in developing chick retina.
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.
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.
1Program in Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 2Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Baylor College of Medicine, 3Department of Immunology and Pathology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, 4Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, 5Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, 6Program in Cell and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, 7Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, 8Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
We describe a method to genetically modify primary human T cells with a transgene using the non-viral piggyBac transposon system. T cells modified to using the piggyBac transposon system exhibit stable transgene expression.
A Parasite Rescue and Transformation Assay for Antileishmanial Screening Against Intracellular Leishmania donovani Amastigotes in THP1 Human Acute Monocytic Leukemia Cell Line
A parasite-rescue and transformation assay with THP1 cells infected in vitro with Leishmania donovani has been optimized for anti-leishmanial drug screening. The assay involves differentiation of THP1 cells, infection with promastigotes, treatment with test drugs, controlled lysis of the infected macrophages, rescue of amastigotes, transformation to promastigotes and monitoring promastigote growth and proliferation with a fluorometric assay.
1Bernard and Shirlee Brown Glaucoma Laboratory, Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University, 2Institute of Human Nutrition, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, 3Omics Laboratory, University of Iowa, 4Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Iowa
This surgical technique illustrates the injection of gene therapy vectors and stem cells into the subretinal space of the mouse eye.
Split-Ubiquitin Based Membrane Yeast Two-Hybrid (MYTH) System: A Powerful Tool For Identifying Protein-Protein Interactions
1Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, 2Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 3Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR), University of Toronto
MYTH allows the sensitive detection of transient and stable interactions between proteins that are expressed in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It has been successfully applied to study exogenous and yeast integral membrane proteins in order to identify their interacting partners in a high throughput manner.
Mosaic Analysis of Gene Function in Postnatal Mouse Brain Development by Using Virus-based Cre Recombination
1Neuroscience Graduate Program, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, 3Department of Cell and Neurobiology, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
An in vivo method to test gene function in postnatal brain is described. Recombinant AAVs expressing Cre and/or a fluorescent protein are injected into neonatal mouse brain. Mosaic gene inactivation and sparse neuronal labeling are achieved, allowing rapid analysis of gene function in processes critical to neural circuit development.
1Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, 2Molecular Neurobiology Program, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, 3Department of Otolaryngology, New York University School of Medicine, 4Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, 5Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, New York University School of Medicine, 6Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, 7Center for Neural Science, New York University School of Medicine
The protocol describes an efficient and reproducible model system to study herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) latency and reactivation. The assay employs homogenous sympathetic neuron cultures and allows for the molecular dissection of virus-neuron interactions using a variety of tools including RNA interference and expression of recombinant proteins.
A Practical Approach to Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping: A Visual Guide to Mark and Track Cells In Vivo
Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping (GIFM) marks and tracks cells with fine spatial and temporal control in vivo and elucidates how cells from a specific genetic lineage contribute to developing and adult tissues. Demonstrated here are the techniques required to fate map E12.5 mouse embryos for epifluorescent and explant analysis.
We report an efficient and simple method to isolate embryos at early stages of development from Arabidopsis thaliana seeds. Up to 40 embryos can be isolated in 1 hr to 4 hr, depending on the downstream application. The procedure is suitable for transcriptome, DNA methylation, reporter gene expression, immunostaining and fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses.
A non-invasive means to evaluate the success of myoblast transplantation is described. The method takes advantage of a unified fusion reporter gene composed of genes whose expression can be imaged with different imaging modalities. Here, we make use of a fluc reporter gene sequence to target cells via bioluminescence imaging.
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.
1Genetic Engineering and Functional Genomics Unit, Frontier Technology Center, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 2Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science Division of Systems Medicine, Fujita Health University
The elevated plus maze test is one of the most widely used tests for measuring anxiety-like behavior in mice. Here, we present a movie showing the detailed procedures for conducting the test.
A vertical, T-maze olfactometer is described for assaying the behavioral response of arthropods. The olfactometer allows the experimenter to measure choices performed by test subjects when subjected to two potential odor fields. Both attraction to and repulsion from odorants can be measured with this device.
Laser Microdissection Applied to Gene Expression Profiling of Subset of Cells from the Drosophila Wing Disc
Laser microdissection was applied to analyse gene expression profiling in specific compartments of Drosophila wing disc subjected to localised RNAi in vivo. RNA extracted from equivalent areas of silenced and unsilenced compartments was analysed by quantitative RT-PCR to determine comparative gene expression profiling within the context of native tissue microecology.
Electroporation of the Hindbrain to Trace Axonal Trajectories and Synaptic Targets in the Chick Embryo
How neuronal networks are established in the embryonic brain is a fundamental question in developmental neurobiology. Here we combined an electroporation technique with novel genetic tools, such as Cre/Lox–plasmids and PiggyBac-mediated DNA transposition system in the avian hindbrain to label dorsal interneurons and track their axonal projections and synaptic targets at various developmental stages.
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.
Methods for bioluminescence imaging of bacterial infections in living animals are decribed. Pathogens are modified to express luciferase allowing optical whole body imaging of infections in live animals. Animal models can be infected with luciferase expressing pathogens and the resulting course of disease visualized in real-time by bioluminescence imaging.
1Institute for Cell Engineering Neuroregeneration and Stem Cell Programs, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Departments of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
In utero survival surgery in mice permits the molecular manipulation of gene expression during development. Here we describe the use of high-frequency ultrasound imaging to guide the injection of retroviral vectors into the mouse brain at embryonic day (E) 9.5.
Modified Yeast-Two-Hybrid System to Identify Proteins Interacting with the Growth Factor Progranulin
We have modified the conventional yeast two-hybrid screening, an effective genetic tool in identifying protein interaction. This modification markedly shortens the process, reduces the workload, and most importantly, reduces the number of false positives. In addition, this approach is reproducible and reliable.
An efficient procedure to assess the oligomerization propensity of single-pass transmembrane domains (TMDs) is described. Chimeric proteins consisting of the TMD fused to ToxR are expressed in an E. coli reporter strain. TMD-induced oligomerization causes dimerization of ToxR, activation of transcription and production of the reporter protein, -galactosidase.
Here, we describe procedures for studying changes in phagocytosis-induced gene expression with a luciferase-based reporter gene approach using the Dual-GloTM Luciferase Assay System from Promega.
Methods for using alphavirus transducing systems to express fluorescent reporters in vitro and in adult mosquitoes are described. This technique may be adapted to express any protein of interest in lieu of or in addition to a reporter.
Engineering and Evolution of Synthetic Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Gene Therapy Vectors via DNA Family Shuffling
We demonstrate the basic technique to molecularly engineer and evolve synthetic Adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy vectors via DNA family shuffling. Moreover, we provide general guidelines and representative examples for selection and analysis of individual chimeric capsids with enhanced properties on target cells in culture or in mice.
We describe a novel red fluorescent protein (RFP) reporter that is expressed specifically in the Drosophila eye. We detail a methodology for dissection of the eye imaginal disc and how this reporter can be used to aid in the dissection and identification of specific cell types in the developing eye.
A procedure for liquid-based culturing and dispensing of C. elegans strains expressing fluorescent reporter proteins is described that does not require expensive sorting equipment. This approach can be applied to numerous inducible C. elegans genes for drug discovery or biosensing of contaminants.
To understand a link between the immune response and behavior, we describe a method to measure locomotor behavior in Drosophila during bacterial infection as well as the ability of flies to mount an immune response by monitoring survival, bacterial load, and real-time activity of a key regulator of innate immunity, NFκB.
Parasitoid (parasitic) wasps constitute a major class of natural enemies of many insects including Drosophila melanogaster. We will introduce the techniques to propagate these parasites in Drosophila spp. and demonstrate how to analyze their effects on immune tissues of Drosophila larvae.
We report a method for introduction, tracking and quantitative analysis of GFP expression in plant cells. This method utilizes a custom-designed robotics system for semi-continuous image collection from large numbers of samples, over time. We also demonstrate the use of ImageJ and ImageReady for analysis of image series.
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.