We describe two methods for conditional trans-complementation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) assembly and the completion of the full viral life cycle, which rely on heterokaryon formation. These techniques are suitable to screen for cell lines that express dominant restriction factors, which preclude production of infectious HCV progeny.
Introducing a gene of interest into a cell is a powerful method for elucidating its function in vivo. This protocol describes an efficient method of transfecting a culture of human neural stem/precursor cells (hNSPCs) using the Nucleofector electroporation apparatus made by Amaxa.
Protocol for Recombinant RBD-based SARS Vaccines: Protein Preparation, Animal Vaccination and Neutralization Detection
This protocol describes a general procedure for studying recombinant receptor-binding domain (RBD)-based subunit vaccines against SARS. It includes methods for transfection and expression of RBD protein in 293T cells, immunization of mice with RBD and detection of neutralization activity of mouse sera using an established SARS pseudovirus neutralization assay.
Transfection and Mutagenesis of Target Genes in Mosquito Cells by Locked Nucleic Acid-modified Oligonucleotides
Oligonucleotides can be used to site specifically substitute a single nucleotide of transfected target genes in both Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi cells.
We have developed a cell fusion assay that quantifies SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events by activated expression of β-galactosidase.
Despite recent advancements in genetic modification, transfection of human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) remains a capricious process. To our knowledge, systematic and efficient methods to transfect human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have not been reported. Here, we describe robust protocols to efficiently transfect and nucleofect human iPSCs.
1Research Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Memphis, TN, 2Department of Neurology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, 3Department of Anatomy/Neurobiology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
A rapid approach to investigate interactions and effects on molecular mechanisms related to the presence of antibodies in an intracellular environment is described. The method involves transfection of antibodies into live cells using a non-covalent complex formation based on a lipid formulation. The technique is adaptable to immortalized cell lines and primary cells.
Noroviruses are a major cause of gastroenteritis yet molecular techniques for their characterisation are still relatively new. Here we report two different reverse genetics approaches for the efficient recovery of murine norovirus (MNV), the only member of this genus which can be propagated in cell culture.
Here we demonstrate a protocol to carry out live cell staining that can be used to detect odorant receptors on the surface of HEK293T cells conveniently. In addition, it may also be used to assay for surface expression of other chemosensory receptors or GPCRs.
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.
This procedure shows how to use the Gene Pulser MXcell electroporation system to rapidly and easily identify the best electroporation conditions for mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) or other primary cells. Considerations for troubleshooting are also discussed in the associated video.
Packaging HIV- or FIV-based Lentivector Expression Constructs & Transduction of VSV-G Pseudotyped Viral Particles
Lentiviral expression vectors are the most effective vehicles for stably expressing different effector molecules or reporter constructs in dividing and non-dividing mammalian cells and whole organisms. Here we provide a protocol on how to package lentivector expression constructs in pseudoviral particles and to transduce target cells using the pseudoviral particles.
We present our optimized high-throughput nucleofection protocol as an efficient way of transfecting primary human monocyte-derived dendritic cells with either plasmid DNA or siRNA without causing cell maturation. We further provide evidence for successful siRNA silencing of targeted gene RIG-I at both the mRNA and protein levels.
We describe a method for preparing DNA coated gold bullets and demonstrate the use of such bullets to biolistically transfect neurons in cultured hippocampal slices.
This protocol describes how to image protein-protein interactions using a FRET-based proximity assay.
A flexible and efficient method for the characterization of cell type-specific protein localization and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling is described. This heterokaryon approach uses fluorescently-labeled fusion proteins to image protein localizations after cell fusion. The protocol is amenable to steady-state localizations or more dynamic determinations based on live cell imaging.
Identifying Targets of Human microRNAs with the LightSwitch Luciferase Assay System using 3'UTR-reporter Constructs and a microRNA Mimic in Adherent Cells
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression and have been shown to play a role in numerous biological processes. To better understand miRNA-UTR interactions, we have created a genome-wide collection of 3 UTR luciferase reporters paired with a novel luciferase gene and assay reagent, the LightSwitch system.
Monitoring Cell-autonomous Circadian Clock Rhythms of Gene Expression Using Luciferase Bioluminescence Reporters
Circadian clocks function within individual cells, i.e., they are cell-autonomous. Here, we describe methods for generating cell-autonomous clock models using non-invasive, luciferase-based real-time bioluminescence technology. Reporter cells provide tractable, functional model systems for studying circadian biology.
Evaluation of Polymeric Gene Delivery Nanoparticles by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and High-throughput Flow Cytometry
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Institute for Nanobiotechnology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
A protocol for nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and high-throughput flow cytometry to evaluate polymeric gene delivery nanoparticles is described. NTA is utilized to characterize the nanoparticle particle size distribution and the plasmid per particle distribution. High-throughput flow cytometry enables quantitative transfection efficacy evaluation for a library of gene delivery biomaterials.
A non-invasive means to evaluate the success of myoblast transplantation is described. The method takes advantage of a unified fusion reporter gene composed of genes whose expression can be imaged with different imaging modalities. Here, we make use of a fluc reporter gene sequence to target cells via bioluminescence imaging.
Propagating and Detecting an Infectious Molecular Clone of Maedi-visna Virus that Expresses Green Fluorescent Protein
We describe a molecular clone of maedi-visna virus that expresses GFP and is fully infectious. Replication of this virus can be detected by using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry.
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2Departments of Microbiology and Medicine, and Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Rescue of influenza A viruses from plasmid DNA is a basic and essential experimental technique that allows influenza researchers to generate recombinant viruses to study multiple aspects in the biology of influenza virus, and to be used as potential vectors or vaccines.
This article describes GFP-based fluorescence in vivo assays that separately quantify homologous recombination and nonhomologous end joining in mammalian cells.
Therapeutic Gene Delivery and Transfection in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells using Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-targeted Gelatin Nanoparticles
Type B gelatin-based engineered nanovectors system (GENS) was developed for systemic gene delivery and transfection in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. By modification with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) specific peptide on the surface of nanparticles, they could target on EGFR receptor and release plasmid under reducing environment, such as high intracellular glutathione concentrations.
Here we describe a protocol based only on cell infection, which improves the efficiency of recombinant parvovirus production by more than 100 fold in comparison to other protocols in use. This protocol relies on the use of a novel adenovirus 5-based helper containing the parvovirus VP transcription unit (Ad-VP).
An efficient system of structure and function analysis of a gene in an ex vivo culture of splenic B-lymphocytes is described. This method takes advantage of recombinant retroviral production in a helper free, ecotrophic packaging cell line. Stable, heritable expression of a gene of interest within primary lymphocytes is achieved leading to generation of surface antibodies on B cells undergoing class switch recombination.
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.
SNAP-tag and CLIP-tag protein labeling systems enable the specific, covalent attachment of molecules, including fluorescent dyes, to a protein of interest in live cells. Once cloned and expressed, the tagged protein can be used with a variety of substrates for numerous downstream applications without having to clone again.
The subcellular localization of proteins is important in determining the spatio-temporal regulation of cell signaling. Here, we describe bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) as a straightforward method for monitoring the spatial interactions of proteins in the cell.
Here we describe a basic protocol to image and quantify the mitotic timing of live mammalian tissue culture cells after siRNA transfection.
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.
Here we use a human esiRNA library in a high-throughput screen for genes involved in cell division. We demonstrate how to set up and conduct an esiRNA screens, as well as how to analyze and validate the results.
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.
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.
This procedure describes how to establish primary hematopoietic cell cultures from murine bone marrow and is followed by transfection using the Gene Pulser MXCell electroporation system.
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).
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.
We present a protocol to produce antigen-specific mouse T-cells using retroviral transduction
Identifying the Effects of BRCA1 Mutations on Homologous Recombination using Cells that Express Endogenous Wild-type BRCA1
We provide a method for testing BRCA1 variants in a tissue culture based assay for homologous recombination repair of DNA damage by depleting endogenous BRCA1 protein from a cell using RNAi and replacing it with a BRCA1 point mutant that contains a coding change.
In this video, we demonstrate visualization of PKC translocation in living cells using fluorescently tagged PKCs.
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.
This technique demonstrates an efficient way to prepare replication-defective retroviral stocks encoding a human oncogene, and subsequently used for induction of myeloproliferative disease in the mouse model.
Monitoring Cleaved Caspase-3 Activity and Apoptosis of Immortalized Oligodendroglial Cells using Live-cell Imaging and Cleaveable Fluorogenic-dye Substrates Following Potassium-induced Membrane Depolarization
Live-cell imaging of caspase-3 mediated apoptosis in immortalized N19-oligodendrocyte cell cultures using the NucView 488 caspase-3 substrate. This technique is applicable for programmed cell death assays in real-time in a variety of cell types and tissues.
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.
1Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 3Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 4Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital
A simple and reliable method on isolation and culture of neural stem cells from discarded human fetal cortical tissue is described. Cultures derived from known human neurological disorders can be used for characterization of pathological cellular and molecular processes, as well as provide a platform to assess pharmacological efficacy.
An in vitro model for genetic study of axon regeneration using cultured adult mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons is described. The method includes a re-suspension/re-plating step to allow axon re-growth from neurons undergoing genetic manipulation. This approach is especially useful for loss-of-function studies of axon regeneration using RNAi-based protein knockdown.
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.
We will demonstrate how to study the effect of a single point mutation on the function of an ion channel.
Visualizing Cell-to-cell Transfer of HIV using Fluorescent Clones of HIV and Live Confocal Microscopy
1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Immunology Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 2NSF Center for Biophotonics, University of California, Davis, 3Structural and Computational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
This visualized experiment is a guide for utilizing a fluorescent molecular clone of HIV for live confocal imaging experiments.
This protocol outlines the steps required to dissect, transfect via electroporation and culture mouse hippocampal and cortical neurons. Short-term cultures may be used for studies of axon outgrowth and guidance, while long-term cultures can be used for studies of synaptogenesis and dendritic spine analysis.