1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 3Center for Biophotonics, University of California, Davis
In this work we explain the fabrication and use of a microfluidic mixer capable of mixing two solutions in ~8 μs. We also demonstrate the use of these mixers with spectroscopic detection using UV fluorescence and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET).
In this interview, Dr. Lindquist describes relationships between protein folding, prion diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. The problem of the protein folding is at the core of the modern biology. In addition to their traditional biochemical functions, proteins can mediate transfer of biological information and therefore can be considered a genetic material. This recently discovered function of proteins has important implications for studies of human disorders. Dr. Lindquist also describes current experimental approaches to investigate the mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases based on genetic studies in model organisms.
Isolation of Ribosome Bound Nascent Polypeptides in vitro to Identify Translational Pause Sites Along mRNA
A technique to identify translational pause sites on mRNA is described. This procedure is based on isolation of nascent polypeptides accumulating on ribosomes during in vitro translation of a target mRNA, followed by the size analysis of the nascent chains using a denaturing gel electrophoresis.
This video article details the experimental procedure for obtaining the Gibbs free energy of membrane protein folding by tryptophan fluorescence.
The biarsenical dyes FlAsH and ReAsH bind specifically to tetracysteine motifs in proteins and can selectively label proteins in live cells. Recently this labeling strategy has been used to develop sensors for different protein conformations or oligomeric states. We describe the labeling approach and methods to quantitatively analyze binding.
We describe here a technique that is now routinely used to isolate stably bound ribosome nascent chain complexes (RNCs). This technique takes advantage of the discovery that a 17 amino acid long SecM "arrest sequence" can halt translation elongation in a prokaryotic (E. coli) system, when inserted into (or fused to the C-terminus) of virtually any protein.
Cellular viability depends on timely and efficient management of protein misfolding. Here we describe a method for visualizing the different potential fates of a misfolded protein: refolding, degradation, or sequestration in inclusions. We demonstrate the use of a folding sensor, Ubc9ts, for monitoring proteostasis and aggregation quality control in live cells using 4D microscopy.
Guidelines for computer based structural and functional characterization of protein using the I-TASSER pipeline is described. Starting from query protein sequence, 3D models are generated using multiple threading alignments and iterative structural assembly simulations. Functional inferences are thereafter drawn based on matches to proteins with known structure and functions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The protocol describes protein expression using the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. The preparation of electrocompetent yeast cells, transformation of the vector with the gene of interest into P. pastoris and yeast DNA purification are also performed. Western blot analysis and protein purification build the last steps in this protein expression protocol.
Mitochondria-associated ER Membranes (MAMs) and Glycosphingolipid Enriched Microdomains (GEMs): Isolation from Mouse Brain
This procedure illustrates how to isolate from the adult mouse brain the mitochondria-associated ER membranes or MAMs and the glycosphingolipid-enriched microdomain fractions from MAMs and mitochondrial preparations.
Robert Huber, 1988 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, looks to the rising generation of scientists for an “Einstein of biology” to solve the folding problem, one of sciences great mysteries.
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.
The Logic, Experimental Steps, and Potential of Heterologous Natural Product Biosynthesis Featuring the Complex Antibiotic Erythromycin A Produced Through E. coli
The heterologous biosynthesis of erythromycin A through E. coli includes the following experimental steps: 1) genetic transfer; 2) heterologous reconstitution; and 3) product analysis. Each step will be explained in the context of the motivation, potential, and challenges in producing therapeutic natural products using E. coli as a surrogate host.
A Convenient and General Expression Platform for the Production of Secreted Proteins from Human Cells
In the post-human genomics era, the availability of recombinant proteins in native conformations is crucial to structural, functional and therapeutic research and development. Here, we describe a test- and large-scale protein expression system in human embryonic kidney 293T cells that can be used to produce a variety of recombinant proteins.
Chemically-blocked Antibody Microarray for Multiplexed High-throughput Profiling of Specific Protein Glycosylation in Complex Samples
1Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Thomas Jefferson University, 3Drexel University College of Medicine, 4Van Andel Research Institute, 5Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, Serome Biosciences Inc.
In this study, we describe an improved protocol for a multiplexed high-throughput antibody microarray with lectin detection method that can be used in glycosylation profiling of specific proteins. This protocol features new reliable reagents and significantly reduces the time, cost, and lab equipment requirements as compared to the previous procedure.
Monitoring Equilibrium Changes in RNA Structure by 'Peroxidative' and 'Oxidative' Hydroxyl Radical Footprinting
This protocol describes how to quantify the Mg(II)-dependent formation of RNA tertiary structure by two methods of hydroxyl radical footprinting.
Measuring Cation Transport by Na,K- and H,K-ATPase in Xenopus Oocytes by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry: An Alternative to Radioisotope Assays
We describe a method to quantify the activity of K+-countertransporting P-type ATPases by heterologous expression of the enzymes in Xenopus oocytes and measuring Rb+ or Li+ uptake into individual cells by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The method is a sensitive and safe alternative to radioisotope flux experiments facilitating complex kinetic studies.
The 3DNA software package is a popular and versatile bioinformatics tool with capabilities to analyze, construct, and visualize three-dimensional nucleic acid structures. This article presents detailed protocols for a subset of new and popular features available in 3DNA, applicable to both individual structures and ensembles of related structures.
Biochemical Reconstitution of Steroid Receptor•Hsp90 Protein Complexes and Reactivation of Ligand Binding
1College of Nursing, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University, 2College of Science and Engineering, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University, 3School of Medicine, University of Washington
An in vitro method for preparing functional glucocorticoid receptor (GR)•hsp90 protein complexes from purified proteins and cellular lysates is described. The method utilizes immunoadsorption of recombinant GR followed by salt-stripping and protein complex reconstitution. The importance of cofactors and buffer conditions are discussed, as are potential method applications.
A novel and highly efficient two-step affinity chromatography protocol has been developed and is described in detail. The method is based on a small purification tag with two inherent affinities and is applicable to a wide range of target proteins with different properties.
The ITS2 Database is a workbench for phylogenetic inference simultaneously considering sequence and secondary structure of the internal transcribed spacer 2. This includes data collection with accurate annotation, structure prediction, multiple sequence-structure alignment and fast tree calculation. In a nutshell, this workbench simplifies first phylogenetic analyses to a few clicks.
Fabrication of Electrochemical-DNA Biosensors for the Reagentless Detection of Nucleic Acids, Proteins and Small Molecules
1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Of California Santa Barbara, 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Program in BioMolecular Science and Engineering, University Of California Santa Barbara
"E-DNA" sensors, reagentless, electrochemical biosensors that perform well even when challenged directly in blood and other complex matrices, have been adapted to the detection of a wide range of nucleic acid, protein and small molecule analytes. Here we present a general procedure for the fabrication and use of such sensors.
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.
Solid-phase Submonomer Synthesis of Peptoid Polymers and their Self-Assembly into Highly-Ordered Nanosheets
A simple and general manual peptoid synthesis method involving basic equipment and commercially available reagents is outlined, enabling peptoids to be easily synthesized in most laboratories. The synthesis, purification and characterization of an amphiphilic peptoid 36mer is described, as well as its self-assembly into highly-ordered nanosheets.
In this article we describe the use of magnetic tweezers to study the effect of force on enzymatic proteolysis at the single molecule level in a highly parallelizable manner.
MamA is a unique Magnetosome associated protein which was shown to be involved in magnetosome activation. Here we present the purification protocol of MamA deletion mutant (MamAΔ41) from M. magneticum AMB-1.
1Program in Gene Function and Expression, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 4Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Mathematics, Harvard University, 5Department of Applied Mathematics, Harvard University, 6Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 7Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, 8Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Hi-C method allows unbiased, genome-wide identification of chromatin interactions (1). Hi-C couples proximity ligation and massively parallel sequencing. The resulting data can be used to study genomic architecture at multiple scales: initial results identified features such as chromosome territories, segregation of open and closed chromatin, and chromatin structure at the megabase scale.
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.
This protocol describes the production of KLRG1 tetramer, which is a powerful tool for the analysis of KLRG1 ligands.
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.
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.
A suite of colorimetric assays is described for rapidly distinguishing protein, RNA, DNA, and reducing sugars in potentially heterogeneous biomolecular samples.
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.
Identification and Characterization of Protein Glycosylation using Specific Endo- and Exoglycosidases
Using specific glycosidases to remove sugars from glycoproteins followed by SDS-PAGE is a valuable method to detect glycan modifications on protein samples and is a good choice for initial glycobiology studies. Changes following deglycosylation can be detected as shifts in gel mobility or by staining with glycan sensitive reagents.
Biophysical and biochemical studies of interactions among membrane-embedded protein domains face many technical challenges, the first of which is obtaining appropriate study material. This article describes a protocol for producing and purifying disulfide-stabilized transmembrane peptide complexes that are suitable for structural analysis by solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other analytical applications.
The Importance of Correct Protein Concentration for Kinetics and Affinity Determination in Structure-function Analysis
We apply label-free protein interaction analysis using Biacore X100 for structure-function analysis of the binding of several cystatin B mutants to papain through kinetic characterization. Calibration-free concentration analysis (CFCA) measures the concentration of protein with retained binding activity without the need for a standard curve. We show that confirmation of concentrations using CFCA increases the reliability of the kinetic analysis and that kinetic constants can reliably be determined even if the activity of a recombinant protein is reduced.
Expression and Purification of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Protein in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Attempts to express the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae have, until now, yielded relatively low amounts of protein. This protocol and the associated reagents distributed via the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation should allow the preparation of milligram amounts of this 'difficult' eukaryotic membrane protein.
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.
Nano-fEM: Protein Localization Using Photo-activated Localization Microscopy and Electron Microscopy
We describe a method to localize fluorescently tagged proteins in electron micrographs. Fluorescence is first localized using photo-activated localization microscopy on ultrathin sections. These images are then aligned to electron micrographs of the same section.
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.
Optimized Transfection Strategy for Expression and Electrophysiological Recording of Recombinant Voltage-Gated Ion Channels in HEK-293T Cells
Reliable method for highly efficient in vitro expression and subsequent electrophysiological recording of recombinant voltage-gated ion channels in cultured human embryonic kidney cells (HEK-293T).
Ex utero Electroporation and Whole Hemisphere Explants: A Simple Experimental Method for Studies of Early Cortical Development
This protocol describes an improved explant procedure that involves ex utero electroporation, dissection and culture of entire cerebral hemispheres from the embryonic mouse. The preparation facilitates pharmacological studies and assays of gene function during early cortical development.
A method for the determination of acetate kinase activity is described. This assay utilizes a direct reaction for determining enzyme activity and kinetics of acetate kinase in the acetate-forming direction with different phosphoryl acceptors. Furthermore, this method can be utilized for assaying other acetyl phosphate or acetyl-CoA utilizing enzymes.
The methodology for fabricating synthetic vocal fold models is described. The models are life-sized and mimic the multi-layer structure of the human vocal folds. Results show the models to self-oscillate at pressures comparable to lung pressure and demonstrate flow-induced vibratory responses that are similar to those of human vocal folds.
We describe experimental details of the synthesis of patterned and reconfigurable particles from two dimensional (2D) precursors. This methodology can be used to create particles in a variety of shapes including polyhedra and grasping devices at length scales ranging from the micro to centimeter scale.
Application of a Mouse Ligated Peyer’s Patch Intestinal Loop Assay to Evaluate Bacterial Uptake by M cells
M cells in a specialized follicle-associated epithelium covering Peyer’s patches play an important role for the mucosal immunosurveillance in gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Here we described the evaluation method for bacterial transcytosis by M cells in vivo. This method provides a method to understand M-cell function in the immune system.