A Calcium Bioluminescence Assay for Functional Analysis of Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and Tick (Rhipicephalus microplus) G Protein-coupled Receptors
This protocol provides instructions for clonal-cell line selection and a calcium bioluminescence assay to analyze the structure-activity relationships of synthesized arthropod neuropeptides on their cognate GPCRs. This assay can be used for receptor deorphanization and structure-activity relationship studies for synthetic analog design and peptide/drug-lead discovery.
1Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Methods for developing and validating a quantitative fluorescence assay for measuring the activity of inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels for high-throughput compound screening is presented.
Experimental Methods for Testing the Effects of Neurotrophic Peptide, ADNF-9, Against Alcohol-induced Apoptosis during Pregnancy in C57BL/6 Mice
The experimental designs proposed here focus on studying the effects of alcohol exposure in apoptosis and the application of neurotrophic peptide during pregnancy in fetal brain. A detailed description from the breeding to the collection of fetal brains is described. Techniques for determination of apoptosis are also described in detail.
Assessment of Immunologically Relevant Dynamic Tertiary Structural Features of the HIV-1 V3 Loop Crown R2 Sequence by ab initio Folding
The crown region of different V3 loop sequences of the surface envelope glycoprotein (gp120) of HIV-1 can be structurally characterized in many cases by in silico folding of positions 10 to 22 of the loop using a state-of-the-art ab initio folding algorithm. Here we demonstrate the folding and evaluation of this region of the V3 loop from the R2 strain of HIV-1, a uniquely neutralization sensitive strain with puzzling functional properties.
An accurate, short, sophisticated and cheap method is described that assesses telomere length in multiple tissues and species using qRT-PCR. In addition, we will describe a simple assay to assess telomerase activity as a complementary backbone test for telomere length.
We will demonstrate how to study the effect of a single point mutation on the function of an ion channel.
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.
We describe a method for the affinity-tagged purification of recombinant proteins using liquid-handling robotics. This method is generally applicable to the small-scale purification of soluble His-tagged proteins in a high-throughput format.
Normal adult vascularized mammalian tissue that lacks physiologic angiogenesis and that has not been exposed to surgical intervention is used to study: (i) the initiation and development of angiogenesis following intraperitoneal administration of test agents; and (ii) modification of angiogenesis following systemic administration of selected test agents.
Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 is a large multidomain kinase, mutations in which are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease. Analysis of the kinase activity of this protein has proven to be a crucial tool in understanding the biology and dysfunction of this protein. In this paper, in vitro assaying of the kinase activity of LRRK2 and a selection of its mutants is described, providing an experimental system to examine phosphorylation of putative substrates and potential dysfunction of LRRK2 in disease.
Determination of Molecular Structures of HIV Envelope Glycoproteins using Cryo-Electron Tomography and Automated Sub-tomogram Averaging
1Laboratory of Cell Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2The Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit, University of Cambridge, 3National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 4Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 5William Fremd High School, 6University of Virginia, 7Duke University, 8Yale University, 9University of Notre Dame, 10Washington University in St. Louis, 11Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 12Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
The protocol describes a high-throughput approach to determining structures of membrane proteins using cryo-electron tomography and 3D image processing. It covers the details of specimen preparation, data collection, data processing and interpretation, and concludes with the production of a representative target for the approach, the HIV-1 Envelope glycoprotein. These computational procedures are designed in a way that enables researchers and students to work remotely and contribute to data processing and structural analysis.
An Analytical Tool-box for Comprehensive Biochemical, Structural and Transcriptome Evaluation of Oral Biofilms Mediated by Mutans Streptococci
1Center for Oral Biology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 2State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, Sichuan University, 3Department of General Medicine, Glostrup Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark, 4Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center
Biofilms formed on tooth surfaces are highly complex and exposed to constant innate and exogenous environmental challenges, which modulate their architecture, physiology and transcriptome. We developed a toolbox to examine the composition, structural organization and gene expression of oral biofilms, which can be adapted to other areas of biofilm research.
1Department of Children's Clinical Neurophysiology, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, 2Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, 3Department of Pediatrics, Helsinki University Hospital, University of Helsinki, 4Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki
This video explains the background theory of the neonatal EEG activity and the sensory responses, followed by a live demonstration of their recording in neonatal intensive care unit.
Targeted Labeling of Neurons in a Specific Functional Micro-domain of the Neocortex by Combining Intrinsic Signal and Two-photon Imaging
A method is described for labeling neurons with fluorescent dyes in predetermined functional micro-domains of the neocortex. First, intrinsic signal optical imaging is used to obtain a functional map. Then two-photon microscopy is used to label and image neurons within a micro-domain of the map.
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 protocol for the purification of highly active Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ protein from yeast, which couples ATP hydrolysis to protein disaggregation. This scheme exploits a His6-tagged construct for affinity purification from E. coli followed by anion-exchange chromatography, His6-tag removal with TEV protease, and size-exclusion chromatography.
In animals with large identified neurons (e.g. mollusks), analysis of motor pools is done using intracellular techniques1,2,3,4. Recently, we developed a technique to extracellularly stimulate and record individual neurons in Aplysia californica5. We now describe a protocol for using this technique to uniquely identify and characterize motor neurons within a motor pool.
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.
Membrane Potentials, Synaptic Responses, Neuronal Circuitry, Neuromodulation and Muscle Histology Using the Crayfish: Student Laboratory Exercises
The experiments demonstrate an easy approach for students to gain experience in examining muscle structure, synaptic responses, the effects of ion gradients and permeability on membrane potentials. Also, a sensory-CNS-motor-muscle circuit is presented to show a means to test effects of compounds on a neuronal circuit.
The primary purpose of this experiment is to understand how primary sensory neurons convey information of joint movements and positions as proprioceptive information for an animal. An additional objective of this report is present the anatomy of the preparation by dissection and viewing of neurons under a dissecting microscope.
1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 4Research Medicine, Veterans Affairs TVHS, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Zebrafish has emerged as a powerful in vivo platform for phenotype-based drug screens and chemical genetic analysis. Here, we demonstrate a simple, practical method for large-scale screening of small molecules using zebrafish embryos.
Demonstration of a rapid quantitative assay of the inhibition of blood coagulation by the low-molecular-weight-heparin, enoxaparin. The contribution of enoxaparin is assessed by removing its influence through digestion with heparinase. A fuller description of the assay is detailed in our published paper.1 The assay still requires clinical confirmation.
This video demonstrates the surgical preparation and procedures needed to study the contractile responses of the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle preparation in situ. This preparation allows measurement of skeletal muscle contractile properties under physiological conditions. The animal is anesthetized and the muscle is separated from surrounding tissue at its distal end. The Achilles tendon is attached to a force transducer, allowing measurement of the muscle’s contractile response at 37 degrees C with an intact circulation.
1Applied Bioscience Program, Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2Nursing Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 3Medical Laboratory Science Program, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
This study describes a novel microplate assay that measures FV coagulation activity during fibrin clot formation in human plasma which has not been reported previously. The method uses a kinetic microplate reader to continuously measure the change in absorbance at 405nm during fibrin clot formation in human plasma.
We have developed a method for simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging and electrophysiological recording in the rodent brain, providing a platform for the investigation of the relationship between neural activity and the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) MRI signal.
This article will review methods that can be used to determine circadian function and light responsiveness in mice.
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.
1Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, 2Department of Oral Biology, University of Missouri-Kansas City-School of Dentistry, 3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Missouri Kansas City- School of Pharmacy, 4Regional Hospital, Bamenda, NWP, Cameroon, 5Mezam Polyclinic HIV/AIDS Treatment Center, Cameroon, 6Institute for Human Genetics and Biochemistry
A CD4 enumeration method, the α-test, is described which uses whole saliva to provide rapid and accurate CD4 counts. The α-test costs pennies and eliminates the need for technical training, costly reagents such as monoclonal antibodies, instrumentation, refrigeration, transport of samples, as well as collection and handling of blood.
Here are some highlights from the April 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
This paper illustrates an innovative visual approach (photovoice or photo-elicitation) to achieve fair process in clinical care for patients living with chronic health conditions, illuminate gaps in clinical knowledge, forge better therapeutic relationships, and identify patient-centered goals and possibilities for healing.
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.
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.
1Optics Division, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania, 3Neuroprotection Research Laboratory, Departments of Radiology and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 4Departments of Neurosciences and Radiology, University of California
We present an experimental procedure for measuring the partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) in cerebral vasculature based on oxygen-dependent quenching of phosphorescence. Animal preparation and imaging procedures were outlined for both large field of view CCD-based imaging of pO2 in rats and 2-photon excitation based imaging of pO2 in mice.
A method for estimating the affinity constant of an agonist for the active state (Kb) of a G protein-coupled receptor is described. The analysis provides absolute or relative measures of Kb depending on whether constitutive receptor activation is measurable. Our method applies to various responses downstream from receptor activation.
Experimental Manipulation of Body Size to Estimate Morphological Scaling Relationships in Drosophila
Morphological scaling relationships capture and describe organismal shape. We present a method to measure morphological scaling relationships across the natural range of body sizes in fully metamorphic insects. Using a simple diet manipulation we increase the distribution of trait sizes, permitting the accurate description of how shape and size co-vary.
We present a novel and powerful integration of nanophotonics (QD-FRET) and microfluidics to investigate the formation of polyelectrolyte polyplexes, which is expected to provide better control and synthesis of uniform and customizable polyplexes for future nucleic acid-based therapeutics.
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.
We demonstrate a dark-field microscopy method based on Gabor-like filtering to measure subcellular dynamics within single living cells. The technique is sensitive to alterations in the structure of organelles, such as mitochondrial fragmentation.
1Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of New Jersey, 2Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology, Collège de France, 3Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howards Hughes Medical Institute, 4Deptartment of Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
We describe methods for large-scale recording of multiple single units and local field potential in behaving rodents with silicon probes. Drive fabrication, probe attachment to the drive and probe implantation processes are illustrated in sufficient details for easy replication.
Simultaneous Electroencephalography, Real-time Measurement of Lactate Concentration and Optogenetic Manipulation of Neuronal Activity in the Rodent Cerebral Cortex
A procedure is described for manipulating the activity of cerebral cortical pyramidal neurons optogenetically while the electroencephalogram, electromyogram, and cerebral lactate concentration are monitored. Experimental recordings are performed on cable-tethered mice while they undergo spontaneous sleep/wake cycles. Optogenetic equipment is assembled in our laboratory; recording equipment is commercially available.
Determining Optimal Cytotoxic Activity of Human Her2neu Specific CD8 T cells by Comparing the Cr51 Release Assay to the xCELLigence System
The chromium release assay, a common assay for detecting cytotoxic T cell activity, has several limitations. Using antigen-specific CD8 T cells and the human breast cancer tumor line, SKBR3, in the present article, an impedance-based approach was examined for the capability of detecting cell killing.
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.
1Institute for Solid State Research, IFW-Dresden, 2Institute of Metal Physics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 3Diamond Light Source LTD, 4Department of Physics, University of Johannesburg, 5CNR-SPIN, and Dipartimento di Fisica "E. R. Caianiello", Università di Salerno, 6Institute of Physics of Complex Matter, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
The overall goal of this method is to determine the low-energy electronic structure of solids at ultra-low temperatures using Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation.
This article describes the administration of lux-tagged bacteria to mice and subsequent in vivo analysis using IVIS bioluminescence imaging.
A method to process human mammary surgical discard material is described. Processed tissue, in the form of organoids, can be stored frozen indefinitely or placed in culture for long-term growth. This method enables experimental examination of normal human epithelial cell biology, and the effects of exogenous perturbations.
Operant drug self-administration and conditioned place preference (CPP) procedures are expansively used in research to model various components of drug reinforcement, consumption, and addiction in humans. In this report, we combined traditional CPP and self-administration methods as a novel approach to studying drug reinforcement and addiction in rats.
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.
Characterization of the Isolated, Ventilated, and Instrumented Mouse Lung Perfused with Pulsatile Flow
The following protocol outlines the process of isolating, ventilating and instrumenting mouse lungs to measure steady or pulsatile pulmonary vascular pressure-flow relationships in order to quantify the effects of blood flow, airflow, airway changes and vascular changes on right ventricular afterload.
Reduction in Left Ventricular Wall Stress and Improvement in Function in Failing Hearts using Algisyl-LVR
This article describes procedures for implanting a novel hydrogel in failing hearts and quantifying its effect on left ventricular wall stress and function. These procedures have been successfully applied in dogs and humans.
A method to precisely generate and to comprehensively characterize morphology of filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger is described, which allows the mathematical correlation of morphological appearance and productivity.