Microvolume samples are quantified by a spectrophotometer system that uses natural surface tension to retain samples without the use of cuvettes or capillaries. The dynamic range of protein concentrations and speed by which they can be measured are greatly increased with this method.
This paper demonstrates methods for the isolation, purification and detection of exosomes, as well as techniques for analysis of their molecular content. These methods are adaptable for exosome isolation from both cell culture media and biological fluids, and can beyond analysis of molecular content also be useful in functional studies.
1Center for Proteomics, Smith College, 2Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, 3Department of Chemistry, Smith College, 4Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Proteomics, Smith College
A straight-forward set of methods to isolate and determine the identity of the most abundant proteins expressed in skeletal muscle. About 800 spots are discerned on a two-dimensional gel from 10 mg muscle; this allows for the determination of gender-specific protein expression. These methods will give equivalent results in most tissues.
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Ion mobility-mass spectrometry is an emerging gas-phase technology that separates ions, based on their collision cross-section and mass. The method provides three-dimensional information on the overall topology and shape of protein complexes. Here, we outline a basic procedure for instrument setting and optimization, calibration of drift times, and data interpretation.
Developing Custom Chinese Hamster Ovary-host Cell Protein Assays using Acoustic Membrane Microparticle Technology
Development of custom assays on the ViBE platform for more sensitive, reproducible, automated results in complex matrices is described. The universal cartridge allows assays to be easily adapted for use with custom assays. This versatility enables rapid development and validation of novel assays or automated versions of existing manual assays, exemplified in this video.
The accuracy and sensitivity of protein determination by the rapid and convenient Bradford assay is compromised by intrinsic nonlinearity. We show a simple linearization procedure that greatly increases the accuracy, improves the sensitivity of the assay about 10-fold, and significantly reduces interference by detergents.
Here we demonstrate the protocols for performing single-molecule fluorescence microscopy on living bacterial cells to enable functional molecular complexes to be detected, tracked and quantified.
1Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 3Department of Pediatrics and Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
A reliable method for the RNA isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa recovered from murine cecums is described. The RNA recovered is of sufficient quantity and quality for subsequent qPCR, transcription profiling, and RNA Seq experiments. This technique can be adapted for RNA isolation of other intestinal microbes.
Collecting Variable-concentration Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Datasets in Order to Determine Binding Mechanisms
ITC is a powerful tool for studying the binding of a ligand to its host. In complex systems however, several models may fit the data equally well. The method described here provides a means to elucidate the appropriate binding model for complex systems and extract the corresponding thermodynamic parameters.
Concentration Determination of Nucleic Acids and Proteins Using the Micro-volume Bio-spec Nano Spectrophotometer
This communication presents data on the accuracy and reproducibility of the BioSpec-nano UV-VIS spectrophotometer for dsDNA and protein quantitation. Even with ultra-small volumes (1 to 2 L), reproducibility is excellent, while the automated wiping function improves throughput and results in minimal carryover for more precise results.
A method is described for the preparation of single living photoreceptor cells from different vertebrate species for fluorescence imaging. The method can be used to image the fluorescence of endogenous fluorophores, such as NADH or vitamin A, or that of exogenously added fluorescent dyes sensitive to Ca2+ or other factors.
1Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, 2Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt
Here we present an electrophysiological method based on solid supported membranes with focus on its applications for the characterization of electrogenic membrane transporters.
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).
Here we describe an optimized technique to produce high-quality vitamin A/RBP complex and two real-time monitoring techniques to study vitamin A transport by STRA6, the RBP receptor.
Determination of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Reactive Oxygen Species in Live Rat Cortical Neurons
We demonstrate application of the fluorescence indicator, TMRM, in cortical neurons to determine the relative changes in TMRM fluorescence intensity before and after application of a specific stimulus. We also show application of the fluorescence probe H2DCF-DA to assess the relative level of reactive oxygen species in cortical neurons.
A method of using solid-state nanopores to monitor the non-specific adsorption of proteins onto an inorganic surface is described. The method employs the resistive-pulse principle, allowing for the adsorption to be probed in real-time and at the single-molecule level. Because the process of single protein adsorption is far from equilibrium, we propose the employment of parallel arrays of synthetic nanopores, enabling for the quantitative determination of the apparent first-order reaction rate constant of protein adsorption as well as and the Langmuir adsorption constant.
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.
A method to measure the persistence length or flexural rigidity of biopolymers is described. The method uses a kinesin-driven microtubule gliding assay to experimentally determine the persistence length of individual microtubules and is adaptable to actin-based gliding assays.
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.
1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Inter-University Centre for Medical Technology Stuttgart-Tübingen (IZST), Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, 2Department of Cell and Tissue Engineering, Fraunhofer Institute of Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) Stuttgart, Germany, 3Department for Medical Interfacial Engineering (IGVT), University of Stuttgart, Germany, 4Institute of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Julius-Maximillians University, Würzburg, Germany
Raman spectroscopy is a suitable technique for the non-contact, label-free analysis of living cells, tissue-engineered constructs and native tissues. Source-specific spectral fingerprints can be generated and analyzed using multivariate analysis.
Here we propose simple methods to induce hypoxia in cell cultures and simple tests to evaluate the hypoxic status of the cultures.
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).
A suite of colorimetric assays is described for rapidly distinguishing protein, RNA, DNA, and reducing sugars in potentially heterogeneous biomolecular samples.
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.
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.
We present principles of oxygen measurements by phosphorescence quenching and review design of porphyrin-based dendritic nanosensors for oxygen imaging in biological systems.
Monitoring Dynamic Changes In Mitochondrial Calcium Levels During Apoptosis Using A Genetically Encoded Calcium Sensor
This protocol describes a method for real-time measurement of mitochondrial calcium fluxes by fluorescent imaging. The method takes advantage of a circularly permutated YFP-based dual-excitation ratiometric calcium sensor (ratiometric pericam-mt) selectively expressed in mitochondria.
1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 3Center for Advanced Genomics Technology, Boston University, 4Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine, 5Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 6CNR (National Research Council), Istituto di Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare
Quantitative, high-throughput, real-time, and label-free biomolecular detection (DNA, protein, etc.) on SiO2 surfaces can be achieved using a simple interferometric technique which relies on LED illumination, minimal optical components, and a camera. The Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS) is inexpensive, simple to use, and amenable to microarray formats.
Detection of Signaling Effector-Complexes Downstream of BMP4 Using in situ PLA, a Proximity Ligation Assay
Here we show how to use Proximity Ligation Assay (PLA), with a combination of antibodies to visualize Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling in fixed cells. This technique allowed us to follow the nuclear accumulation of endogenous BMP activated effector-complexes and quantify their levels over time under BMP4 stimulation.
Quantitative, Real-time Analysis of Base Excision Repair Activity in Cell Lysates Utilizing Lesion-specific Molecular Beacons
1Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 3Department of Experimental Therapy, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 4Department of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health
We describe a method for the quantitative, real-time measurement of DNA glycosylase and AP endonuclease activities in cell nuclear lysates. The assay yields rates of DNA Repair activity amenable to kinetic analysis and is adaptable for quantification of DNA Repair activity in tissue and tumor lysates or with purified proteins.
Application of Stopped-flow Kinetics Methods to Investigate the Mechanism of Action of a DNA Repair Protein
Msh2-Msh6 is responsible for initiating repair of replication errors in DNA. Here we present a transient kinetics approach towards understanding how this critical protein works. The report illustrates stopped-flow experiments for measuring the coupled DNA binding and ATPase kinetics underlying Msh2-Msh6 mechanism of action in DNA repair.
Xenopus embryonic epithelia are an ideal model system to study cell behaviors such as polarity development and shape change during epithelial morphogenesis. Traditional histology of fixed samples is increasingly being complemented by live-cell confocal imaging. Here we demonstrate methods to isolate frog tissues and visualize live epithelial cells and their cytoskeleton using live-cell confocal microscopy.
Thermo Scientific NanoDrop Products, Wilmington, Delaware
The use of NanoDrop microvolume systems as practical and efficient alternatives to traditional nucleic acid quantitation methodology is described through the demonstration of two microvolume nucleic acid quantitation protocols.
Plant viral nanoparticles (VNPs) are promising platforms for applications in biomedicine. Here, we describe the procedures for plant VNP propagation, purification, characterization, and bioconjugation. Finally, we show the application of VNPs for tumor homing and imaging using a mouse xenograft model and fluorescence imaging.
With its small transparent body, well-documented neuroanatomy and a host of amenable genetic techniques and reagents, C. elegans makes an ideal model organism for in vivo neuronal imaging using relatively simple, low-cost techniques. Here we describe single neuron imaging within intact adult animals using genetically encoded fluorescent calcium indicators.
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.
This article provides a detailed and visual description of a methodology for collecting and measuring biochemical inflammatory and nociceptive mediators at the surgical wound site following cesarean delivery. This human bioassay has been used to determine correlations between wound and serum cytokine concentrations and drug-mediated changes in wound cytokines, chemokines and neuropetides.
Genetic crosses of rodent malaria parasites are performed by feeding two genetically distinct parasites to mosquitoes. Recombinant progeny are cloned from mouse blood after allowing mosquitoes to bite infected mice. This video shows how to produce genetic crosses of Plasmodium yoelii and is applicable to other rodent malaria parasites.
MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry was successfully utilized to monitor the amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange in protein kinase Pak2 activation.
Visualisation and Quantification of Intracellular Interactions of Neisseria meningitidis and Human α-actinin by Confocal Imaging
Neisseria meningitidis (Nm), a gram negative human-specific respiratory pathogen, can bind to human α-actinin. Here we present a protocol for visualisation of colocalisation of the bacterium with intracellular α-actinin after bacterial entry into human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs).
Examining the Conformational Dynamics of Membrane Proteins in situ with Site-directed Fluorescence Labeling
We will describe a method which measures the kinetics of ion transport of membrane proteins alongside site-specific analysis of conformational changes using fluorescence on single cells. This technique is adaptable to ion channels, transporters and ion pumps and can be utilized to determine distance constraints between protein subunits.
An ELISA can be easily converted to a Luminex xMAP assay and, through the benefits of multiplexing, several antibodies can be screened simultaneously to identify an optimum antibody pair, resulting in increased sensitivity and dynamic range, while reducing assay cost.
Imaging G-protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-mediated Signaling Events that Control Chemotaxis of Dictyostelium Discoideum
Here, we describe detailed live cell imaging methods for investigating chemotaxis. We present fluorescence microscopic methods to monitor spatiotemporal dynamics of signaling events in migrating cells. Measurement of signaling events permits us to further understand how a GPCR-signaling network achieves gradient sensing of chemoattractants and controls directional migration of eukaryotic cells.
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.
1Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Yeshiva University, 2Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Yeshiva University, 3Hubrecht Institute-KNAW and University Medical Center Utrecht
Intravital photoswitching and tracking of Dendra2-labeled tumor cells through the Mammary Imaging Window is a technique which allows us to image the metastatic behavior of tumor cells in chosen tumor microenvironments over a timescale of days.