Imaging Analysis of Neuron to Glia Interaction in Microfluidic Culture Platform (MCP)-based Neuronal Axon and Glia Co-culture System
This study describes the procedures of setting up a novel neuronal axon and (astro)glia co-culture platform. In this co-culture system, manipulation of direct interaction between a single axon (and single glial cell) becomes feasible, allowing mechanistic analysis of the mutual neuron to glial signaling.
A reliable and useful approach to detect histone modifications on specific plant genes is described. The approach combines chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and real-time quantitative PCR. It allows detection of histone modifications on specific genes with a role in diverse physiological processes.
This protocol describes a simple and inexpensive way to quantify the activity of cis-regulatory elements (i.e., enhancer/promoters) in living mouse retinas via explant electroporation. DNA preparation, retinal dissection, electroporation, retinal explant culture, and post-fixation analysis and quantification are described.
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.
Analysis of the Development of a Morphological Phenotype as a Function of Protein Concentration in Budding Yeast
Gene deletion and protein overexpression are common methods for studying functions of proteins. In this article, we describe a protocol for analysis of phenotype development as a function of protein concentration at population and single-cell levels in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
1Lehrstuhl für Biomolekulare Sensoren, Technische Universität München, 2Center for Integrated Protein Science (Munich) at the Institute of Neuroscience, Technische Universität München, 3TUM Institute for Advanced Study and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Technische Universität München, 4Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Technische Universität München
Visualizing individual cells in densely packed tissues, such as terminal Schwann cells (SCs) at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), is challenging. "Sequential photo-bleaching" allows delineating single terminal SCs, for instance in the triangularis sterni muscle explant, a convenient nerve-muscle preparation, where sequential bleaching can be combined with time-lapse imaging and post-hoc immunostainings.
Live Cell Imaging of Bacillus subtilis and Streptococcus pneumoniae using Automated Time-lapse Microscopy
This protocol provides a step-by-step procedure to monitor single cell behavior of different bacteria in time using automated fluorescence time-lapse microscopy. Furthermore, we provide guidelines how to analyze the microscopy images.
TransFLP — A Method to Genetically Modify Vibrio cholerae Based on Natural Transformation and FLP-recombination
A quick method to modify the genome of V. cholerae is described. These modifications include the deletion of single genes, gene clusters and genomic islands as well as the integration of short sequences (e.g. promoter elements or affinity-tag sequences). The method is based on the natural transformation and FLP-recombination.
This is a protocol to prepare and maintain a neocortical slice preparation in organotypic culture for the purpose of making electrical recordings from pyramidal neurons.
This article depicts the recording of individual cells from fluorescently tagged neuronal populations in the intact mouse retina. By using two-photon infrared excitation transgenetically labeled cells were targeted for patch-clamp recording to study their light responses, receptive field properties, and morphology.
1Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 2Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 3Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children's Hospital
The development of optogenetics now provides the means to precisely stimulate genetically defined neurons and circuits, both in vitro and in vivo. Here we describe the assembly and implantation of a fiber optic for chronic photostimulation of brain tissue.
A sustainable auto regulating bacterial system for the remediation of oil pollutions was designed using standard interchangeable DNA parts (BioBricks). An engineered E. coli strain was used to degrade alkanes via β-oxidation in toxic aqueous environments. The respective enzymes from different species showed alkane degradation activity. Additionally, an increased tolerance to n-hexane was achieved by introducing genes from alkane-tolerant bacteria.
1Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 2Precisionary Instruments Inc., 3Departments of Molecular & Human Genetics and Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), 4Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children's Hospital
Here we describe a rapid and simple method to image fluorescently labeled cells in semi-thick brain slices. By fixing, slicing, and optically clearing brain tissue we describe how standard epifluorescent or confocal imaging can be used to visualize individual cells and neuronal networks within intact nervous tissue.
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.
We describe a method for imaging response to anti-cancer treatment in vivo and at single cell resolution.
Monitoring of Ubiquitin-proteasome Activity in Living Cells Using a Degron (dgn)-destabilized Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-based Reporter Protein
A method to monitor ubiquitin-proteasome activity in living cells is described. A degron-destabilized GFP- (GFP-dgn) and a stable GFP-dgnFS fusion protein are generated and transduced into the cell using a lentiviral expression vector. This technique allows to generate a stable GFP-dgn/GFP-dgnFS expressing cell line in which ubiquitin-proteasome activity can be easily assessed using epifluorescence or flow cytometry.
The fate of the replisome following a collision with a head-on RNA polymerase (RNAP) is unknown. We find that the replisome stalls upon collision with a head-on RNAP, but resumes elongation after displacing the RNAP from DNA. Mfd promotes replication restart by facilitating displacement of the RNAP after the collision.
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.
1UMR CNRS 5557 Ecologie Microbienne, Université Lyon 1, Université de Lyon, 2Département Biosciences, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 3INSERM U758, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 4Laboratoire de Génie Civil et Ingénierie Environnementale, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon
The design of a synthetic operon encoding both the secretory apparatus and the structural monomers of curli fibers is described. Overproduction of these amyloids and adherent polymers allows a measurable gain of adherence of the E. coli chassis1. Easy ways to visualize and quantify adherence are explained.
Identification of Growth Inhibition Phenotypes Induced by Expression of Bacterial Type III Effectors in Yeast
In this video, we describe a procedure for the expression of bacterial type III effectors in yeast and the identification of effector-induced growth inhibition phenotypes. Such phenotypes can be subsequently exploited to elucidate effector functions and targets.
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.
Using Reverse Genetics to Manipulate the NSs Gene of the Rift Valley Fever Virus MP-12 Strain to Improve Vaccine Safety and Efficacy
The reverse genetics system for the Rift Valley fever virus MP-12 vaccine strain is a useful tool for creating additional MP-12 mutants with increased attenuation and immunogenicity. We describe the protocol to generate and characterize NSs mutant strains.
We describe a low cost, high throughput method to screen for fungal endoglucanase activity in E. coli. The method relies on a simple visual readout of substrate degradation, does not require enzyme purification, and is highly scalable. This allows for the rapid screening of large libraries of enzyme variants.
This whole mount in situ hybridization protocol discusses critical steps that ensure reproducible high quality results for gene expression studies in E8.5-E11.5 day old mouse embryos.
The method presented here comprises the precise injury of live zebrafish embryos with high-energy laser pulses and the subsequent analysis of these injuries and their recovery with time. We also show how genetically labeled single or groups of skeletal muscle cells can be tracked during and after laser light induced damage.
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.
1Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, 2Department of Neurology, University of Cincinnati
In Parkinson's disease and movement disorders in general, sensitive and reliable behavioral assays are essential for testing novel potential therapeutics. Here, we describe a manageable battery of sensorimotor tests for mice that are sensitive to varying degrees of injury to the nigrostriatal system and useful for preclinical studies.
We demonstrate a chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) method to identify factor interactions at tissue-specific genes during or after the onset of tissue-specific gene expression in mouse embryonic tissue. This protocol should be widely applicable for the study of tissue-specific gene activation as it occurs during normal embryonic development.
A quick and efficient method to integrate foreign DNA of interest into pre-made acceptor strains, termed landing pad strains, is described. The method allows site-specific integration of a DNA cassette into the engineered landing pad locus of a given strain, through conjugation and expression of the ΦC31 integrase.
This article describes an optimized sequence of events for multimodal imaging of cellular grafts in rodent brain using: (i) in vivo bioluminescence and magnetic resonance imaging, and (ii) post mortem histological analysis. Combining these imaging modalities on a single animal allows cellular graft evaluation with high resolution, sensitivity and specificity.
Vacuolar and cytosolic pH can be measured in live yeast (S. cerevisiae) cells using ratiometric fluorescent dyes localized to specific cellular compartments. We describe procedures for measuring vacuolar pH with BCECF-AM, which localizes to the vacuole in yeast, and cytosolic pH with a cytosolic ratiometric pH-sensitive GFP (yeast pHluorin).
CRISPR/Cas systems mediate adaptive immunity in Bacteria and Archaea. Many Cas proteins are proposed to act as endoribonucleases acting on crRNA precursors of varying length. Here we illustrate three different approaches to generate pre-crRNA substrates for the biochemical analysis of Cas endonuclease activity.
In vitro tRNA Methylation Assay with the Entamoeba histolytica DNA and tRNA Methyltransferase Dnmt2 (Ehmeth) Enzyme
This protocol describes the preparation of a synthetic tRNA substrate for the Entamoeba histolytica DNA/tRNA methyltransferase 2 (Dnmt2) homolog Ehmeth and the measure of its methyltransferase activity. This experimental approach can be used for investigating the activity of other Dnmt2 proteins.
Here we describe a whole-mount fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol for determining the expression and localization properties of RNAs expressed during embryogenesis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.
In this protocol a method to measure intracellular protein refolding after heat shock is described. This method can be used to study foldases like molecular chaperones and their co-factors or compounds able to influence their activity. Firefly luciferase activity is used as reporter to measure chaperone refolding activity.
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.
In ovo Electroporation of miRNA-based Plasmids in the Developing Neural Tube and Assessment of Phenotypes by DiI Injection in Open-book Preparations
A method by which gene expression in the neural tube can be downregulated in a cell type-specific, traceable manner is described. We demonstrate how in ovo electroporation of microRNA-based plasmids that elicit spatiotemporally controlled RNA interference can be used to investigate commissural axon guidance in the developing neural tube.
This method describes high yield in vitro synthesis of both capped and uncapped mRNA from a linearized plasmid containing the Gaussia luciferase (GLuc) gene. The RNA is purified and a fraction of the uncapped RNA is enzymatically capped using the Vaccinia virus capping enzyme. In the final step, the mRNA is transfected into HeLa cells and cell culture supernatants are assayed for luciferase activity.
A Cell Free Assay System Estimating the Neutralizing Capacity of GM-CSF Antibody using Recombinant Soluble GM-CSF Receptor
1Bioscience Medical Research Center, Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital, 2First department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyorin University, 3Neosilk Laboratory, Immuno Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd.
We designed a cell-free receptor binding assay in order to estimate the binding of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to the receptors. It enables us to evaluate competitive inhibition of biotinylated GM-CSF binding to soluble GM-CSF receptor alpha by GM-CSF autoantibody with excellent reproducibility.
A protocol for preparation of robust, small-scale HeLa nuclear extracts is described. This protocol is valuable for assays that require use of small populations of cells, such as cells treated with drugs or RNAi. The method should be applicable to a wide variety of gene expression assays and other cell types, including patient cells.
Application of a C. elegans Dopamine Neuron Degeneration Assay for the Validation of Potential Parkinson's Disease Genes
This video demonstrates how to use C. elegans to assess dopaminergic neuron neurodegeneration as a model for Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, genetic screens are used to identify factors that either enhance degeneration or are neuroprotective.
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.
Genetic studies in yeast can be employed to investigate the molecular and cellular functions of human genes in cellular DNA metabolism. Methods are described for the genetic characterization of the human WRN gene product defective in the premature aging disorder Werner syndrome in functionally conserved pathways using yeast as a tractable model system.
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
We describe a Flippase-induced intersectional Gal80/Gal4 repression (FINGR) method, allowing tissue-specific FLP to determine Gal80 expression patterns. Wherever Gal4 and FLP overlap, Gal4 expression is turned on (Gal80 flipped out) or off (Gal80 flipped in). The FINGR method is versatile for clonal analysis and neural circuit mapping.
1Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, University of Wuerzburg, 2Department of Synapses - Circuits - Plasticity, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, 3Walter Brendel Centre of Experimental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich
Targeted-esterase induced dye loading (TED) supports the analysis of intracellular calcium store dynamics by fluorescence imaging. The method bases on targeting of a recombinant Carboxylesterase to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it improves the local unmasking of synthetic low-affinity Ca2+ indicator dyes in the ER lumen.
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
We describe methods to study aspects of amylopathies in the worm C. elegans. We show how to construct worms expressing human Aβ42 in neurons and how to test their function in behavioral assays. We further show how to obtain primary neuronal cultures that can be used for pharmacological testing.
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.
A clear, standardized method for dissection and isolation of the zebrafish heart at multiple developmental stages are described. Annotation and quantification techniques are also discussed.