Current HIV-1 strategies act to suppress the viral life cycle but do not effectively eradicate infection. Here, we demonstrate that an engineered recombinase can efficiently excise integrated HIV-1 proviral DNA from the genome of infected cells.
The advent of site-specific recombinase (SSR) technology and the Cre/lox system has led to numerous advances in molecular biology, and has proven itself as a valuable tool for assessing gene function in transgenic animals. This interview discusses the mechanism of site specific recombination by Cyclization recombinase (Cre) and how the use of this enzyme has led to the development of conditional mutagenesis, which has significant advantages over traditional knock out strategies.
Crystal structure of protein–DNA complexes can provide insight into protein function, mechanism, as well as, the nature of the specific interaction. Here, we report how to optimize the length, sequence and ends of duplex DNA for co-crystallization with Escherichia coli SeqA, a negative regulator of replication initiation.
Protein transduction enables the direct delivery of biologically active proteins into cells. In contrast to conventional methods such as DNA transfection or viral transduction this non-invasive paradigm allows highly efficient cellular manipulation in a titratable manner circumventing cellular toxicity and the risk of oncogenic transformation by permanent genetic modification.
We demonstrate a minimally invasive technique referred to as neonatal subventricular zone electroporation. The technique consists of injecting plasmid DNA into the lateral ventricles of neonatal pups and applying electrical current to deliver and genetically manipulate neural stem cells
Adenovirus-mediated Genetic Removal of Signaling Molecules in Cultured Primary Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts
In this video we use an adenovirus carrying the Cre recombinase gene to infect primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts carrying a floxed Rac1 allele.
Here we report the generation of Tre recombinase through directed, molecular evolution. Tre recombinase recognizes a pre-defined target sequence within the LTR sequences of the HIV-1 provirus, resulting in the excision and eradication of the provirus from infected human cells. While still in its infancy, directed molecular evolution will allow the creation of custom enzymes that will serve as tools of molecular surgery and molecular medicine.
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.
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
A gene transfer method into the developing mouse brain is described by using a unique surgical method and special shape of electrodes. This unique technique allows transfection of plasmid DNA temporally and spatially, which will aid many neuroscientists in studying brain development.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science Program, Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation, University of Wisconsin-Madison
A method to track cell fusion in living organisms over time is described. The approach utilizes Cre-LoxP recombination to induce luciferase expression upon cell fusion. The luminescent signal generated can be detected in living organisms using biophotonic imaging systems with a sensitivity of detection of ˜1,000 cells in peripheral tissues.
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.
We demonstrate an in vivo electroporation protocol for transfecting single or small clusters of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and other retinal cell types in postnatal mice over a wide range of ages. The ability to label and genetically manipulate postnatal RGCs in vivo is a powerful tool for developmental studies.
Visualization and Genetic Manipulation of Dendrites and Spines in the Mouse Cerebral Cortex and Hippocampus using In utero Electroporation
1Division of Molecular Neurobiology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, 2Confocal and Image Analysis Laboratory, National Institute for Medical Research, 3Physiopathologie de la plasticité neuronale, Neurocentre Magendie, Université de Bordeaux
This article describes in detail a protocol to electroporate in utero the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus at E14.5 in mice. We also show that this is a valuable method to study dendrites and spines in these two cerebral regions.
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Pittsburgh
The ability to produce transgenes for Caenorhabditis elegans using genomic DNA carried by fosmids is particularly attractive as all of the native regulatory elements are retained. Described is a simple and robust procedure for the production of transgenes via recombineering with the galK selectable marker.
An efficient genome-wide single gene mutation method has been established using Streptococcus sanguinis as a model organism. This method has achieved via high throughput recombinant PCRs and transformations.
1Département Nociception et Douleur, Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 2Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Columbia University, 3Department of Anesthesiology, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences
Viral vectors allow for targeted gene manipulation. We demonstrate a method for conditional gene expression or ablation in the mouse spinal cord, using stereotaxic injection of a viral vector into the dorsal horn, a prominent site of synaptic contact between primary somatosensory afferents and neurons of the central nervous system.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, 2Department of Medical Genetics, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
In utero electroporation allows for rapid gene delivery in a spatially- and temporally-controlled manner in the developing central nervous system (CNS). Here we describe a highly adaptable in utero electroporation protocol that can be used to deliver expression constructs into multiple embryonic CNS domains, including the telencephalon, diencephalon and retina.
1School of Medical Sciences, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, 2Translational Neuroscience Facility and Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, 3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University
Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAVs) vectors are becoming increasingly valuable for in vivo studies in animals. We describe how rAAVs can be produced in the laboratory and how these vectors can be titered to give an accurate reading of the number of infectious particles produced.
Engineering and Evolution of Synthetic Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Gene Therapy Vectors via DNA Family Shuffling
We demonstrate the basic technique to molecularly engineer and evolve synthetic Adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy vectors via DNA family shuffling. Moreover, we provide general guidelines and representative examples for selection and analysis of individual chimeric capsids with enhanced properties on target cells in culture or in mice.
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.
The EpiMark 5-hmC and 5-mC Analysis Kit can be used to analyze and quantitate 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine within a spe cific locus. The kit distinguishes 5-mC from 5-hmC by the addition of glucose to the hydroxyl group of 5-hmC via an enzymatic reaction utilizing β-glucosyltransferase (T4-BGT). When 5-hmC occurs In the context of CCGG, this modification converts a cleavable MspI site to a non-cleavable site.
A Practical Approach to Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping: A Visual Guide to Mark and Track Cells In Vivo
Genetic Inducible Fate Mapping (GIFM) marks and tracks cells with fine spatial and temporal control in vivo and elucidates how cells from a specific genetic lineage contribute to developing and adult tissues. Demonstrated here are the techniques required to fate map E12.5 mouse embryos for epifluorescent and explant analysis.
1Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 3Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 4Center for High-Throughput Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 5Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
A method for the incorporation of plasmid DNA into murine retinal cells for the purpose of performing either gain- or loss of function studies in vivo is presented. This method capitalizes on the transient increase in permeability of cell plasma membranes induced by the application of an external electrical field.
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.
Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) is an inflammatory reaction mediated by CCR7- effector memory T (TEM) lymphocytes. Here we demonstrate how to activate antigen-specific TEM cells, induce adoptive DTH in Lewis rats and monitor the inflammatory response.
Remote Magnetic Navigation for Accurate, Real-time Catheter Positioning and Ablation in Cardiac Electrophysiology Procedures
This report provides a detailed description of a new remote navigation system based on magnetic driven forces, which has been recently introduced as a new robotic tool for human cardiac electrophysiology procedures.
Generation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Peripheral Blood Using the STEMCCA Lentiviral Vector
1Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM), Boston University School of Medicine, 2Department of Hematology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Here we show a simple and effective protocol for the generation of human iPSCs from 3-4 ml of peripheral blood using a single lentiviral reprogramming vector. Reprogramming of readily available blood cells promises to accelerate the utilization of iPSC technology by making it accessible to a broader research community.
We describe a robust method for chromatin immunoprecipitation using primary T cells. The method is founded on standard approaches, but uses a specific set of conditions and reagents that improve efficiency for limited a quantities of cells. Importantly, a detailed description of the data analysis phase is presented.
A straight-forward and robust method to identify potential regulatory motifs in co-regulated genes is presented. SCOPE does not require any user parameters and returns motifs that represent excellent candidates for regulatory signals. The identification of such regulatory signals helps to understand the underlying biology.
High efficiency, Site-specific Transfection of Adherent Cells with siRNA Using Microelectrode Arrays (MEA)
The article details the protocol for site-specific transfection of scrambled sequence of siRNA in an adherent mammalian cell culture using a microelectrode array (MEA).
Time-lapse Fluorescence Imaging of Arabidopsis Root Growth with Rapid Manipulation of The Root Environment Using The RootChip
1Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 2Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 3Departments of Applied Physics and Bioengineering, Stanford University, 4Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) and Center for Biological Signaling Studies (BIOSS), University of Freiburg
This article provides a protocol for cultivation of Arabidopsis seedlings in the RootChip, a microfluidic imaging platform that combines automated control of growth conditions with microscopic root monitoring and FRET-based measurement of intracellular metabolite levels.
Investigating Tissue- and Organ-specific Phytochrome Responses using FACS-assisted Cell-type Specific Expression Profiling in Arabidopsis thaliana
The molecular basis of spatial-specific phytochrome responses is being investigated using transgenic plants that exhibit tissue- and organ-specific phytochrome deficiencies. The isolation of specific cells exhibiting induced phytochrome chromophore depletion by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting followed by microarray analyses is being utilized to identify genes involved in spatial-specific phytochrome responses.
Growing some flax varieties under nutrient stress results in genomic variation within a subset of the genome and phenotypic variation. A complex insertion at a specific site is associated with growth under various nutrient regimes and with changes in gene expression around this site.
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.
Mosaic Analysis of Gene Function in Postnatal Mouse Brain Development by Using Virus-based Cre Recombination
1Neuroscience Graduate Program, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, University of Southern California, 3Department of Cell and Neurobiology, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
An in vivo method to test gene function in postnatal brain is described. Recombinant AAVs expressing Cre and/or a fluorescent protein are injected into neonatal mouse brain. Mosaic gene inactivation and sparse neuronal labeling are achieved, allowing rapid analysis of gene function in processes critical to neural circuit development.
Optimized System for Cerebral Perfusion Monitoring in the Rat Stroke Model of Intraluminal Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
Cerebral perfusion monitoring has been demonstrated to improve accuracy in ischemic stroke models. Technical difficulties often limit the use of this essential tool for cerebrovascular research. In this video, an optimized system is shown to obtain a single or multi-site hemodynamic monitoring during intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats.
This video demonstrates 2-color whole mount in situ hybridization, a method by which the spatial and temporal expression pattern of 2 different genes can be visualized in young chick embryos. This method was originally introduced by David Wilkinson, Domingos Henrique, Phil Ingham and David Ish -Horowicz.
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.
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.
A technique to collect and measure surgical wound biochemical mediators at specific time points.
Here we develop the tools necessary for ex vivo live imaging to trace single cell divisions in the mouse E8.5 neuroepithelium
A method for producing Arabidopsis leaf protoplasts that are compatible with fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), allowing for studies of specific cell populations. This method is compatible with any Arabidopsis line that expresses GFP in a subset of cells.
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.
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.
This article describes an experimental approach for dynamic regulation of cell-cell interactions between adherent cells on a micrometer scale. Manipulation of intercellular communication between hepatocytes and stromal cell is demonstrated. The developed platform enables investigation of cell-cell interactions in a variety of biological processes, including development and pathogenesis.
The monitoring of extracellular neurotransmitter levels in distinct brain regions of freely moving animals offers insights on the link between neurotransmitter release and behavior. In vivo microdialysis coupled with electrochemical detection provides excellent anatomical and chemical resolution; and information on how basal neurotransmission is altered by pharmacological or physiological manipulations.
Behavioural Pharmacology in Classical Conditioning of the Proboscis Extension Response in Honeybees (Apis mellifera)
We demonstrate how to implement a behavioral pharmacology method in an appetitive olfactory conditioning paradigm in honeybees (Apis mellifera) by systemic application of drugs. This method allows investigation of the mechanisms underlying learning and memory formation in a simple and reliable way.
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.
1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, 2Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah
Cilia-generated fluid flow in Kupffer’s Vesicle (KV) controls left-right patterning of the zebrafish embryo. Here, we describe a technique to modulate gene function specifically in KV cells. In addition, we show how to deliver fluorescent beads into KV to visualize fluid flow.