The present article describes the steps required to isolate and characterize RNA polymerase fidelity variants of RNA viruses and how to use mutation frequency data to confirm fidelity changes in tissue culture.
Here we describe a set of DNA mutation assays that can be combined with the yeast chronological life span model to study the genes/pathways that regulate or contribute to genomic DNA instability during aging.
Here we demonstrate a simple protocol to create a random mutant library for a given target sequence. We show how this method, which is performed in vivo in Escherichia coli, can be coupled with functional selections to evolve new enzymatic activities.
A novel directed evolution method specific to the field of thermostability engineering was developed and consequently validated for bacteriolytic enzymes. After only one round of random mutagenesis, an evolved bacteriolytic enzyme, PlyC 29C3, displayed greater than twice the residual activity when compared to the wild-type protein after elevated temperature incubation.
1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, 2Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Tucson, AZ, 3Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, 4Biomedical Diagnostics and Research, Tucson, AZ, 5Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson
Reduced/absent expression of Pms2 and/or ERCC1 in entire crypts is a frequent event within 10 cm on each side of colonic adenocarcinomas, likely the basis of a field defect with high mutability and progression to cancer. Deficiency in Ku86 or CcOI is much less frequent in these field defects.
Fluorescence-microscopy Screening and Next-generation Sequencing: Useful Tools for the Identification of Genes Involved in Organelle Integrity
A fundamental quest in cell biology is to define the mechanisms that underlie the identity of the organelles that make eukaryotic cells. Here we propose a method to identify the genes responsible for the morphological and functional integrity of plant organelles using fluorescence microscopy and next-generation sequencing tools.
Assessing Somatic Hypermutation in Ramos B Cells after Overexpression or Knockdown of Specific Genes
We describe how to perform retroviral or lentiviral infections of overexpression or shRNA-containing constructs in the human Ramos B-cell line and how to measure somatic hypermutation in these cells.
1Centre of Excellence in Neuromics, CHUM Research Center and the Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal, 2Center of Excellence in Neuromics, CHU Sainte Justine and CHUM Notre-Dame Research Centers, Universite de Montreal, 3Department of Medicine, Universite de Montreal
Molecular genetic strategy for finding de novo mutations causing common disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
Generation of RNA/DNA Hybrids in Genomic DNA by Transformation using RNA-containing Oligonucleotides
This work shows how to form an RNA/DNA hybrid at the chromosomal level and reveal transfer of genetic information from RNA to genomic DNA in yeast cells.
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.
1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of RNA Molecular Biology, Rockefeller University, 2Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, 3Biozentrum der Universität Basel and Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), 4Biozentrum der Universität Basel and Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), 5Genomics Resource Center, Rockefeller University
RNA transcripts are subject to extensive posttranscriptional regulation that is mediated by a multitude of trans-acting RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). Here we present a generalizable method to identify precisely and on a transcriptome-wide scale the RNA binding sites of RBPs.
A formal demonstration of the dissection of a mouse eye, resulting in a whole mount of the retinal pigment epithelium.
Quantitative Fitness Analysis (QFA) is a complementary series of experimental and computational methods for estimating microbial culture fitnesses. QFA estimates the effect of genetic mutations, drugs or other applied treatments on microbe growth. Experiments scaling from focussed analysis of single cultures to thousands of parallel cultures can be designed.
1Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, 2Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, 3Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine
Pooled DNA sequencing is a fast and cost-effective strategy to detect rare variants associated with complex phenotypes in large cohorts. Here we describe the computational analysis of pooled, next-generation sequencing of 32 cancer-related genes using the SPLINTER software package. This method is scalable, and applicable to any phenotype of interest.
Mapping Bacterial Functional Networks and Pathways in Escherichia Coli using Synthetic Genetic Arrays
1Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 2Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto, 3Department of Biochemistry, Research and Innovation Centre, University of Regina
Systematic, large-scale synthetic genetic (gene-gene or epistasis) interaction screens can be used to explore genetic redundancy and pathway cross-talk. Here, we describe a high-throughput quantitative synthetic genetic array screening technology, termed eSGA that we developed for elucidating epistatic relationships and exploring genetic interaction networks in Escherichia coli.
Forward genetics is a powerful method to unravel the molecular level of how Toxoplasma egresses from its host cell. Protocols are provided to chemically mutagenize parasites, enrich for mutants with defects in induced egress, and validate the phenotype of cloned mutants.
There are technical obstacles to measuring current flux through multiple ion channels simultaneously, and later discerning what portion of the transmembrane current is due to each channel type. To address this need, this method presents a way to generate the IV curve of individual channel types using specific frequency components.
We developed and validated a small-footprint array of miniature chemostats built from readily available parts for low cost. Physiological and experimental evolution results were similar to larger volume chemostats. The ministat array provides a compact, inexpensive, and accessible platform for traditional chemostat experiments, functional genomics, and chemical screening applications.
Drosophila melanogaster is a genetically and behaviorally tractable model system that has been used to understand the molecular and cellular basis of many important biological processes for over a century 1. Drosophila has been well exploited to gain insights into the genetic basis of fly behavior.
Simultaneous Intracellular Recording of a Lumbar Motoneuron and the Force Produced by its Motor Unit in the Adult Mouse In vivo
This new method permits the simultaneous intracellular recording of a single adult mouse motoneuron and the measurement of the force produced by its muscle fibers. The combined investigation of the electrical and mechanical properties of motor units in normal and genetically modified animals is a breakthrough for the study of the neuromuscular system.
This is a high-throughput sperm cryopreservation protocol for zebrafish. Sperm cryopreserved using this protocol has an average of 25% fertility in subsequent vitro fertilization and is stable over many years.
The abundance of neurotransmitter receptors clustered at synapses strongly influences synaptic strength. This method quantifies fluorescently-labeled neurotransmitter receptors in three dimensions with single-synapse resolution in C. elegans, allowing hundreds of synapses to be rapidly characterized within a single sample without distortions introduced by z-plane projection.
The inoculation of Trypanosoma cruzi in fertile eggs prior to incubation renders the parasite kDNA minicircle integration in embryo cells genome. Crossbreeding reveals the vertical transfer of the mutations to progeny. The kDNA integrates into coding regions at several chromosomes and the chickens die with an inflammatory autoimmune heart disease.
Preparation of Acute Hippocampal Slices from Rats and Transgenic Mice for the Study of Synaptic Alterations during Aging and Amyloid Pathology
1Graduate Center for Gerontology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, 2Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 3Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky College of Medicine
This article outlines procedures for preparing hippocampal slices from rats and transgenic mice for the study of synaptic alterations associated with brain aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Isometric and Eccentric Force Generation Assessment of Skeletal Muscles Isolated from Murine Models of Muscular Dystrophies
1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 2Department of Physiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Dental Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Muscle function measurements contribute to the evaluation of potential therapeutics for muscle pathology, as well as to the determination of mechanisms underlying physiology of this tissue. We will demonstrate the preparation of the extensor digitorum longus and diaphragm muscles for functional testing. Protocols for isometric and eccentric contractions will be shown, as well as differences in results between dystrophic muscles, representing a pathological state, and wildtype muscles.
A technique is described for broadly opening the blood-brain barrier in the mouse using microbubbles and ultrasound. Using this technique, manganese can be administered to the mouse brain. Because manganese is an MRI contrast agent that accumulates in depolarized neurons, this approach enables imaging of neuronal activity.
Screening for mutants with phenotypic defects is a straightforward method for identifying genes that function in a given biological process. In this article we describe how to culture free living worms (e.g., Pristionchus pacificus) in the laboratory and show two different mutagenesis methods, EMS and TMP/UV.
Larval zebrafish represent the first vertebrate model system to allow simultaneous patch clamp recording from a spinal motor-neuron and target skeletal muscle. This video demonstrates the microscopic methods used to identify a segmental CaP motor-neuron and target muscle cells as well as the methodologies for recording from each cell type.
1Department of Biology, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany, 2Proteomics division, AlPlanta, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany
Site directed mutagenesis of whole plasmids is a simple way to create slightly different variations of an original plasmid. Here we demonstrate an easy and cost effective way to introduce base substitutions into a plasmid using standard reagents.
1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Health, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development, Center for Genome Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
A method of identifying unknown drivers of carcinogenesis using an unbiased approach is described. The method uses the Sleeping Beauty transposon as a random mutagen directed to specific tissues. Genomic mapping of transposon insertions that drive tumor formation identifies novel oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes
The Giant Fiber System is a simple neuronal circuit of adult Drosophila melanogaster containing the largest neurons in the fly. We describe the protocol for monitoring synaptic transmission through this pathway by recording post synaptic potentials in dorsal longitudinal (DLM) and tergotrochanteral (TTM) muscles following direct stimulation of the Giant Fiber interneurons.
1Bio-Acoustic-MEMS Laboratory in Medicine (BAMM), HST-Center for Bioengineering, Brigham and Women's, Harvard Medical School, 2Bio-Acoustic-MEMS Laboratory in Medicine (BAMM), HST-Center for Bioengineering, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 3Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 4Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Bronchial thermoplasty is a non-drug procedure for severe persistent asthma that delivers thermal energy to the airway wall in a precisely controlled manner to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle. Reducing airway smooth muscle decreases the ability of the airways to constrict, thereby reducing the frequency of asthma attacks.
We describe a protocol to identify key roles of host signaling molecules in lytic replication of a model herpesvirus, gamma herpesvirus 68 (γHV68). Utilizing genetically modified mouse strains and embryonic fibroblasts for γHV68 lytic replication, the protocol permits both phenotypic characterization and molecular interrogation of virus-host interactions in viral lytic replication.
We will demonstrate how to study the effect of a single point mutation on the function of an ion channel.
1Meakins-Christie Laboratories, Department of Medicine, McGill University, 2SCIREQ Scientific Respiratory Equipment Inc.
The present protocol provides a detailed step-by-step description of the procedures required to execute measurements of respiratory system mechanics as well as the assessment of airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine in mice using the forced oscillation technique (flexiVent; SCIREQ Inc, Montreal, Qc, Canada).
Fetal and perinatal death is a common feature when studying genetic alterations affecting cardiac development. High-frequency ultrasound imaging has improved 2-D resolution and can provide excellent information on early cardiac development and is an ideal method to detect the impact on cardiac structure and function prior to death.
Ice-Cap: A Method for Growing Arabidopsis and Tomato Plants in 96-well Plates for High-Throughput Genotyping
The Ice-Cap method allows one to grow plants in 96-well plates and non-destructively harvest root tissue from each seedling. DNA extracted from this root tissue can be used for genotyping reactions. We have found that Ice-Cap works well for Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato, and rice seedlings.
Mutagenesis and Analysis of Genetic Mutations in the GC-rich KISS1 Receptor Sequence Identified in Humans with Reproductive Disorders
1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 2Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Mutations in the kisspeptin receptor (KISS1R) are associated with reproductive disorders in patients. Here we describe how to introduce mutations of interest in the GC-rich sequence of KISS1R as well as the use of KISS1R constructs to characterize the degradation pathway of the receptor by immunoprecipitation and western blot.
This video demonstrates how to employ two neural stimulants, aldicarb and pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), in complementary ways to study synaptic function in the nematode, C. elegans. This complementary approach may also be used to shed light on evolutionarily conserved mechanisms for modulating neuronal synchrony and has implications for epilepsy and seizures.
This protocol describes the use of peptide:MHC tetramers and magnetic microbeads to isolate low frequency populations of epitope-specific T cells and analyze them by flow cytometry. This method enables the direct study of endogenous T cell populations of interest from in vivo experimental systems.
Due to the transient nature of pre-mRNA, it can be difficult to isolate and study in vivo. Here, we present a novel in vitro approach to investigate RNA-protein interactions using a synthetic oligo pool that tiles across selected regions of pre-mRNA.
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.
Optical Frequency Domain Imaging of Ex vivo Pulmonary Resection Specimens: Obtaining One to One Image to Histopathology Correlation
1Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, 2Massachusetts General Hospital, 3Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Harvard Medical School, 4Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 5Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, Harvard Medical School
A method to image ex vivo pulmonary resection specimens with optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI) and obtain precise correlation to histology is described, which is essential to developing specific OFDI interpretation criteria for pulmonary pathology. This method is applicable to other tissue types and imaging techniques to obtain precise imaging to histology correlation for accurate image interpretation and assessment. Imaging criteria established with this technique would then be applicable to image assessment in future in vivo studies.
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis depends on adaptor proteins that coordinate cargo selection and clathrin coat assembly. Here we describe procedures to study adaptor-clathrin physical interaction and live cell imaging approaches using as a model the yeast endocytic adaptor protein Sla1p.
1Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, 2Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, 3Department of Medicine, Northshore University Health Systems, 4Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, 5Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, 6Department of Biostatistics, University of Chicago
A thoracic oncology database was developed to serve as a comprehensive repository for clinical and laboratory data for the purposes of translational research. The database will serve translational cancer researchers within the Thoracic Oncology Research Program. This database is adaptable to other cancer models, as well as other human diseases.
This manuscript describes three complementary protocols for assessing the toxicity of polyglutamine (polyQ)-expansion proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These protocols can easily be modified to monitor the toxicity of other misfolded proteins in yeast.
1Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), Charité Medical Faculty and Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), 2Medical Department, Division of Cardiology, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 3Medical Department, Division of Cardiology and Angiology, Campus Mitte, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Kv channel dysfunction is associated with cardiac arrhythmias. In order to study the molecular mechanisms that lead to such arrhythmias we utilize a systematic protocol for isolation of atrial and ventricular cardiomyocytes from Kv channel ancillary subunit knockout mice. Isolated cardiomyocytes can then immediately be used for cellular electrophysiological studies, biochemical or immunofluorescence (IF) assays.
The procedure for implementing a refractive index sensor for terahertz frequencies based on a grooved parallel-plate waveguide geometry is described here. The method yields a measurement of the refractive index of a small volume of liquid through monitoring of the shift in the resonant frequency of the waveguide structure
Identification and Analysis of Mouse Erythroid Progenitors using the CD71/TER119 Flow-cytometric Assay
A flow-cytometric method for identification and molecular analysis of differentiation-stage-specific murine erythroid progenitors and precursors, directly in freshly –harvested mouse bone marrow, spleen or fetal liver. The assay relies on cell-surface markers CD71, Ter119, and cell size.