It is widely understood that mechanical forces in the body can influence cell differentiation and proliferation. Here we present a video protocol demonstrating the use of a custom-built bioreactor for delivering uniaxial cyclic tensile strain to stem cells cultured on flexible micropatterned substrates.
Protein Membrane Overlay Assay: A Protocol to Test Interaction Between Soluble and Insoluble Proteins in vitro
Testing protein-protein interaction is indispensable for dissection of protein functionality. Here, we introduce an in vitro protein-protein binding assay to probe a membrane-immobilized protein with a soluble protein. This assay provides a reliable method to test interaction between an insoluble protein and a protein in solution.
An inexpensive, high throughput method for simultaneous detection of up to 43 molecular targets is described. Applications of mPCR/RLB include microbial typing and detection of multiple pathogens from clinical samples.
This technical article describes a standard western-blotting procedure using the commercially available NuPAGE electrophoresis Mini-Gel system from Invitrogen.
A protocol for separating inner and outer membranes from Francisella tularensis by spheroplasting, osmotic lysis, and sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation.
Here we describe a quick and simple method to measure cell stiffness. The general principle of this approach is to measure membrane deformation in response to well-defined negative pressure applied through a micropipette to the cell surface. This method provides a powerful tool to study biomechanical properties of substrate-attached cells.
This video demonstrates New culture, a method by which chick embryos are cultured outside the egg for up to 24 hr. This method enables one to study early development (primitive streak to 14 som.), a period corresponding to E7-9 in mouse. Applications of this technique include electroporation, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.
SDS-PAGE/Immunoblot Detection of Aβ Multimers in Human Cortical Tissue Homogenates using Antigen-Epitope Retrieval
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 2Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tsukuba University, 3Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, 4Department of Neurology, Emory University
We describe a technique for the preparation of clarified human cortical homogenates, protein separation by SDS-PAGE, antigen retrieval and immunoblotting with an antibody to the Aβ peptide. Using this protocol, we consistently detect monomeric and multimeric Aβ in cortical tissue from humans with Alzheimer's pathology.
Solution-suspendable gold nanotubes with controlled dimensions can be synthesized by electrochemical deposition in porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes using a hydrophobic polymer core. Gold nanotubes and nanotube arrays hold promise for applications in plasmonic biosensing, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, photo-thermal heating, ionic and molecular transport, microfluidics, catalysis and electrochemical sensing.
Biophysical Assays to Probe the Mechanical Properties of the Interphase Cell Nucleus: Substrate Strain Application and Microneedle Manipulation
1Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, 2Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology & Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
We present two independent, microscope-based tools to measure the induced nuclear and cytoskeletal deformations in single, living adherent cells in response to global or localized strain application. These techniques are used to determine nuclear stiffness (i.e., deformability) and to probe intracellular force transmission between the nucleus and the cytoskeleton.
Three-dimensional Cell Culture Model for Measuring the Effects of Interstitial Fluid Flow on Tumor Cell Invasion
Interstitial fluid flow is elevated in solid tumors and can modulate tumor cell invasion. Here we describe a technique to apply interstitial fluid flow to cells embedded in a matrix and then measure its effects on cell invasion. This technique can be easily adapted to study other systems.
Assessing Two-dimensional Crystallization Trials of Small Membrane Proteins for Structural Biology Studies by Electron Crystallography
Evaluating two-dimensional (2D) crystallization trials for the formation of ordered membrane protein arrays is a highly critical and difficult task in electron crystallography. Here we describe our approach in screening for and identifying 2D crystals of predominantly small membrane proteins in the range of 15 – 90kDa.
The Use of Reverse Phase Protein Arrays (RPPA) to Explore Protein Expression Variation within Individual Renal Cell Cancers
1Edinburgh Urological Cancer Group, University of Edinburgh, 2School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, 3Division of Pathology, University of Edinburgh, 4MRC Human Genetics Unit, MRC IGMM, University of Edinburgh, 5Department of Pathology, Western General Hospital, 6Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit, University of Edinburgh, 7St Bartholomew's Cancer Institute, Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, Queen Mary University of London
RPPA enables the protein expression of hundreds of samples, printed on nitrocellulose slides to be interrogated simultaneously, using fluorescently labelled antibodies. This technique has been applied to study the effect of drug treatment heterogeneity within clear cell renal carcinoma.
We demonstrate protocols for manufacturing and automating elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based microvalve arrays that need no extra energy to close and feature photolithographically defined precise volumes. A parallel subnanoliter-volume mixer and an integrated microfluidic perfusion system are presented.
Western blotting is an analytical technique used to detect specific proteins in a given sample of tissue homogenate or extract.
Measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the gold standard for kidney function assessment. Here we describe a high-throughput method which allows the determination of GFR in conscious mice by using a single bolus injection, determination of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-inulin in plasma and calculation of GFR by a two-phase exponential decay model.
Quantitative Analyses of all Influenza Type A Viral Hemagglutinins and Neuraminidases using Universal Antibodies in Simple Slot Blot Assays
1Centre for Vaccine Evaluation, Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate, HPFB, Health canada, 2National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products, The State Food and Drug Administration, Beijing, 3Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, 4Microbiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, 5National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada
A simple slot blot method was developed for the quantification of influenza viral hemagglutinin and neuraminidase using universal antibodies targeting their most conserved sequences identified through bioinformatics analyses. This innovative approach may provide a useful alternative to quantitative determination of all viral hemagglutinin and neuraminidase.
Described here are protocols used to visualize the dynamic process of MG53-mediated cell membrane repair in whole animals and at the cellular level. These methods can be applied to investigate the cell biology of plasma membrane resealing and regenerative medicine.
Array Group, Assay Department, R&D Systems, Inc.
Proteome Profiler antibody arrays are a convenient and cost efficient way to screen for changes in receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) phosphorylation without performing numerous immunoprecipitation (IP) Westerns. The ARY001 Human RTK array allows for the qualitative measurement of multiple RTKs in a single sample using chemiluminescence detection.
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.
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.
1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, University of Washington, 2Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, University of Washington
The chicken auditory brainstem is comprised of nuclei responsible for binaural sound processing. A single coronal slice preparation maintains the entire circuitry while the cultured approach provides a unique preparation to study the development of neuronal structure and auditory function at the molecular, cellular and network levels.
1Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 2Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 3Sheba Cancer Research Center, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, 4Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
The fallopian tube (FT) is emerging as an alternative site of origin for serous ovarian carcinoma (SOC). This protocol describes a novel method for the isolation and ex vivo culture of fallopian tube epithelial cells. This system recapitulates the in vivo epithelium and allows the study of SOC pathogenesis.
We have developed a cell fusion assay that quantifies SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events by activated expression of β-galactosidase.
Here we present an electrophysiological method based on solid supported membranes with focus on its applications for the characterization of electrogenic membrane transporters.
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.
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.
High-Efficiency Transduction of Liver Cancer Cells by Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Serotype 3 Vectors
In this article, we describe the identification of the adeno-associated virus serotype 3 (AAV3) as the most efficient vector for targeting human liver cancer cells.
In this protocol, we describe the dissection of placentae from the mouse on pregnancy d10.5, followed by isolation of trophoblast cells using a Percoll gradient. We then demonstrate use of the isolated cells in a matrigel invasion assay.
Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 is a large multidomain kinase, mutations in which are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease. Analysis of the kinase activity of this protein has proven to be a crucial tool in understanding the biology and dysfunction of this protein. In this paper, in vitro assaying of the kinase activity of LRRK2 and a selection of its mutants is described, providing an experimental system to examine phosphorylation of putative substrates and potential dysfunction of LRRK2 in disease.
The localization and distribution of proteins provide important information for understanding their cellular functions. The superior spatial resolution of electron microscopy (EM) can be used to determine the subcellular localization of a given antigen following immunohistochemistry. For tissues of the central nervous system (CNS), preserving structural integrity while maintaining antigenicity has been especially difficult in EM studies. Here, we adopt a procedure that has been used to preserve structures and antigens in the CNS to study and characterize synaptic proteins in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.
The fate of an individual embryonic cell can be influenced by inherited molecules and/or by signals from neighboring cells. Utilizing fate maps of the cleavage stage Xenopus embryo, single blastomeres can be identified for culture in isolation to assess the contributions of inherited molecules versus cell-cell interactions.
Membrane Potentials, Synaptic Responses, Neuronal Circuitry, Neuromodulation and Muscle Histology Using the Crayfish: Student Laboratory Exercises
The experiments demonstrate an easy approach for students to gain experience in examining muscle structure, synaptic responses, the effects of ion gradients and permeability on membrane potentials. Also, a sensory-CNS-motor-muscle circuit is presented to show a means to test effects of compounds on a neuronal circuit.
External electric field induces a voltage on the membrane of a cell, termed the induced membrane voltage (ΔΦ). By using the potentiometric dye di-8-ANEPPS, it is possible to measure the ΔΦ noninvasively. This video shows the protocol for measuring ΔΦ using di-8-ANEPPS.
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.
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.
Herein is described a robotic approach to high-throughput crystallization of membrane proteins in lipidic mesophases for use in structure determination using macromolecular X-ray crystallography. Three robots capable of handling the viscous and sticky protein-laden mesophase integral to the method are introduced.
Multi-parameter Measurement of the Permeability Transition Pore Opening in Isolated Mouse Heart Mitochondria
A spectrofluorometric protocol for the measurement of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening in isolated mouse heart mitochondria is presented here. The assay involves the simultaneous measurement of mitochondria Ca2+ handling, mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial volume. The procedure for obtaining high-quality and functional heart mitochondria is also described.
Once a gene is identified as potentially refractory for malaria, it must be evaluated for its role in preventing Plasmodium infections within the mosquito. This protocol illustrates how the extent of plasmodium infections of mosquitoes can be assayed. The techniques for preparing the gametocyte culture, membrane feeding mosquitoes human blood, and assaying viral titers in the mosquito midgut are demonstrated.
Expression, Detergent Solubilization, and Purification of a Membrane Transporter, the MexB Multidrug Resistance Protein
In this protocol we demonstrate the expression, solubilization, and purification of a recombinantly expressed membrane protein, MexB, as a soluble protein detergent complex. MexB is a multidrug resistance membrane transporter from the opportunistic bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
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.
Organotypic Slice Culture of GFP-expressing Mouse Embryos for Real-time Imaging of Peripheral Nerve Outgrowth
We present a method to prepare organotypic slices of mid-gestation mouse embryos for the cultivation and time-lapse imaging of peripheral nerve outgrowth.
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.
An Analytical Tool that Quantifies Cellular Morphology Changes from Three-dimensional Fluorescence Images
1Medications Development, Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, 2Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, University of California, San Francisco, 3Translational Research Institute and the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
We developed a software platform that utilizes Imaris Neuroscience, ImarisXT and MATLAB to measure the changes in morphology of an undefined shape taken from three-dimensional confocal fluorescence of single cells. This novel approach can be used to quantify changes in cell shape following receptor activation and therefore represents a possible additional tool for drug discovery.
Isolation of Cerebrospinal Fluid from Rodent Embryos for use with Dissected Cerebral Cortical Explants
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 2Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Institute for Neuroscience, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 3Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 4Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston Children's Hospital, 5Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
The ventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathes the neuroepithelial and cerebral cortical progenitor cells during early brain development in the embryo. Here we describe the method developed to isolate ventricular CSF from rodent embryos of different ages in order to investigate its biological function. In addition, we demonstrate our cerebral cortical explant dissection and culture technique that allows for explant growth with minimal volumes of culture medium or CSF.
This is intended as an introduction to patch clamp recording from Xenopus laevis oocytes. It covers vitelline membrane removal, formation of a gigaohm seal (gigaseal), and the optional conversion of the patch to the outside-out topology.
The organoptypic hippocampal slice culture model is an in vitro model used to examine neuronal injury in a variety of paradigms. In this article, we describe the methods for generating slice cultures and quantifying neuronal injury.
This protocol describes a rapid technique to quantify the translocation of GLUT4 from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane of cells by flow cytometry.
An Organotypic Slice Assay for High-Resolution Time-Lapse Imaging of Neuronal Migration in the Postnatal Brain
This protocol describes an organotypic slice assay optimized for the postnatal brain and high-resolution time-lapse imaging of neuroblast migration in the rostral migratory stream.