Ubiquitination is a key posttranslational modification carried out by a set of three enzymes. Mutations of genes involved in this modification are associated with many different human diseases. Here, we describe protocols to detect protein ubiquitination in cultured cells in vivo and test tubes in vitro.
Split-Ubiquitin Based Membrane Yeast Two-Hybrid (MYTH) System: A Powerful Tool For Identifying Protein-Protein Interactions
1Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, 2Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, 3Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR), University of Toronto
MYTH allows the sensitive detection of transient and stable interactions between proteins that are expressed in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It has been successfully applied to study exogenous and yeast integral membrane proteins in order to identify their interacting partners in a high throughput manner.
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.
Quantitative FRET (Förster Resonance Energy Transfer) Analysis for SENP1 Protease Kinetics Determination
A novel method involving quantitative analysis of FRET (Förster Resonance Energy Transfer) signals is described for studying enzyme kinetics. KM and kcat were obtained for the hydrolysis of the catalytic domain of SENP1 (SUMO/Sentrin specific protease 1) to pre-SUMO1 (Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifier). The general principles of this quantitative-FRET-based protease kinetic study can be applied to other proteases.
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.
Single-molecule Imaging of Gene Regulation In vivo Using Cotranslational Activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC)
1Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 3Department of Physics, Jilin University
We describe a fluorescence microscopy method, Co-Translational Activation by Cleavage (CoTrAC), to image the production of protein molecules in live cells with single-molecule precision without perturbing the protein's functionality. This method has been used to follow the stochastic expression dynamics of a transcription factor, the λ repressor CI 1.
The surgical procedure for delivery of embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells to the ischemic hindlimb is demonstrated, with non-invasive tracking by bioluminescence imaging.
A method for RNA interference (RNAi) by injection of dsRNA into unfed ticks is described. RNAi is the most widely used gene-silencing technique in ticks where the use of other methods of genetic manipulation has been limited.
This article describes a technique for the visualization of the early events of embryogenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
With the growing interest in stem cell therapies, molecular imaging techniques are ideal for monitoring stem cell behavior after transplantation. Luciferase reporter genes have enabled non-invasive, repetitive assessment of cell survival, location, and proliferation in vivo. This video will demonstrate how to track hESC proliferation in a living mouse.
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.
Recent advances in 2-photon microscopy have enabled real-time in situ imaging of live tissues in animal models, thereby enhancing our ability to investigate cellular behavior in both physiologic and pathologic conditions. Here, we outline the preparations required to perform intravital imaging of the mouse popliteal lymph node.
Aaron Ciechanover was born in Haifa, Israel in October 1947. Ciechanover shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004 with Avram Hershko and Irwin Rose for their discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation.
Tandem affinity purification is a robust approach for the identification of protein binding partners. As proof of concept, this methodology was applied to the well-characterized translation initiation factor eIF4E to co-precipitate the host cell factors involved in translation initiation. This method is easily adapted to any cellular or viral protein.
Preparation of Oligomeric β-amyloid1-42 and Induction of Synaptic Plasticity Impairment on Hippocampal Slices
One feature of Alzheimer's Disease is the elevation of Aβ1-42 peptide. Here we provide a protocol for preparing synthetic Aβ1-42 oligomers, which impairs hippocampal Long-Term Potentiation, a cellular correlate of memory. This procedure is useful for investigating mechanisms of Aβ-induced pathology and drug screening.
Following antigen exposure, subpopulations of activated B cells undergo a process known as class switch recombination (CSR) to produce antibody isotypes with distinct effector functions. The protocol outlined in this report explains how CSR can be induced and analyzed in vitro for the purposes of studying B cell function.
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri
We demonstrate how hairy root composite plants can be used to study plant-rhizobium interactions and nodulation in the difficult-to-transform species Medicago truncatula.
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.
The abundance of neurotransmitter receptors clustered at synapses strongly influences synaptic strength. This method quantifies fluorescently-labeled neurotransmitter receptors in three dimensions with single-synapse resolution in C. elegans, allowing hundreds of synapses to be rapidly characterized within a single sample without distortions introduced by z-plane projection.
An in vivo dissection of the adult Drosophila ventral nerve cord (VNC) is demonstrated. This particular dissection method causes little damage to the VNC allowing the subsequent labeling of the giant fiber neurons with fluorescent dye for high resolution imaging.
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.
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.
A procedure for liquid-based culturing and dispensing of C. elegans strains expressing fluorescent reporter proteins is described that does not require expensive sorting equipment. This approach can be applied to numerous inducible C. elegans genes for drug discovery or biosensing of contaminants.
This article describes a method by which one can mimic in vivo development of the Drosophila mushroom body in an ex vivo culture system.
Description of a virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) method for knock-down of gene expression in Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato.
1Institute for Clinical Neurobiology, University of Wuerzburg, 2Department of Synapses - Circuits - Plasticity, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, 3Walter Brendel Centre of Experimental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich
Targeted-esterase induced dye loading (TED) supports the analysis of intracellular calcium store dynamics by fluorescence imaging. The method bases on targeting of a recombinant Carboxylesterase to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where it improves the local unmasking of synthetic low-affinity Ca2+ indicator dyes in the ER lumen.
Site Discovery Group and PhosphoScan Services Group, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.
PTMScan was developed at Cell Signaling Technology (CST) to quantitatively profile post-translational modifications (PTMs) such as phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and acetylation. Post-translationally modified peptides are isolated with motif antibodies and identified and quantified by LC tandem mass spectrometry. Using PTMScan, CST scientists have identified 10s of thousands of novel PTM sites.
Here, we present a method for the photoactivated switch of photoconvertible fluorescent proteins (PCFPs) in the living zebrafish embryo and further tracking of photoconverted protein at specific time points during development. This methodology allows monitoring of cell biological events underlying different developmental processes in a live vertebrate organism.
1Department of Cancer Biology and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2Department of Pathology and Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
RNA interference (RNAi) possesses many advantages over gene knockout and has been broadly used as a tool in gene functional studies. The invention of DNA vector-based RNAi technology has made long term and inducible gene knockdown possible, and also increased the feasibility of gene silencing in vivo.
The cranial mesenchyme undergoes dramatic morphogenic movements that likely provides a driving force for elevation of the neural folds1,2. Here we describe a simple ex vivo explant assay to characterize the cellular behaviors of the cranial mesenchyme during neurulation. This assay has numerous applications including being amenable to pharmacological manipulations and live imaging analyses.
This paper details how to use continuous-flow hypoxia chambers to generate atmospheres with defined concentrations of O2 to understand biological responses to decreased O2. This system is easy to setup and maintain, and flexible enough to suit a wide range of O2 concentrations and model systems
T-maze Forced Alternation and Left-right Discrimination Tasks for Assessing Working and Reference Memory in Mice
1Division of Systems Medical Science, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, 2Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST), 3Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
This article presents the protocol of T-maze tests using a modified automated apparatus for assessing the learning and memory functions in mice.
Adult and Embryonic Skeletal Muscle Microexplant Culture and Isolation of Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells
The micro-dissected explants technique is a robust and reliable method for isolating proliferative skeletal muscle cells from juvenile, adult or embryonic muscles as a source of skeletal muscle stem cells. Uniquely, these cells have been clonally derived to produce skeletal muscle stem cell lines used for in vivo transplantation.
Using Reverse Genetics to Manipulate the NSs Gene of the Rift Valley Fever Virus MP-12 Strain to Improve Vaccine Safety and Efficacy
The reverse genetics system for the Rift Valley fever virus MP-12 vaccine strain is a useful tool for creating additional MP-12 mutants with increased attenuation and immunogenicity. We describe the protocol to generate and characterize NSs mutant strains.
In this report, we describe how surface plasmon resonance is used to detect toxin entry into the host cytosol. This highly sensitive method can provide quantitative data on the amount of cytosolic toxin, and it can be applied to a range of toxins.
Numerous genetic manipulations and/or intramyocardial injections of genes, proteins, cells, and/or biomaterials are superimposed upon the dimension of time in studies of acute ischemia/ reperfusion injury and chronic remodeling in mice. This video illustrates the microsurgical procedures for ischemia/reperfusion, permanent coronary artery ligation, and intramyocardial injection studies.