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.
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.
Novel host factors involved in viral infection can be identified through cell-based genome-wide loss of function RNAi screening. A Drosophila cell culture model is particularly amenable to this approach due to the ease and efficiency of RNAi. Here we demonstrate this technique using vaccinia virus as an example.
Oncolytic viruses are promising for cancer therapeutics. The ability to ascertain the infectability of live tissue specimens obtained from patients prior to treatment is a unique advantage of this therapeutic approach. This protocol describes how to process tissues for ex vivo infection with oncolytic virus and subsequent viral quantification.
Protocol for Vaccinia infection of HeLa cells and analysis of host and viral gene expression. Part 1 of 3.
Protocol for Vaccinia infection of HeLa cells and analysis of host and viral gene expression. Part 2 of 3.
Protocol for Vaccinia infection of HeLa cells and analysis of host and viral gene expression. Part 3 describes the process of fluorescently labeling the amplified RNA from both host and viral samples by amino allyl coupling of dyes. Part 3 of 3.
Application of a NMDA Receptor Conductance in Rat Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons Using the Dynamic Clamp Technique
In this video, we demonstrate how to apply a conductance into a dopaminergic neuron recorded in the whole cell configuration in rat brain slices. This technique is called the dynamic clamp.
A method of tracing synaptically connected neurons is described. We use TVA specificity of an upstream cell to probe whether a cell population of interest receives synaptic input from genetically defined cell types.
Amplifying and Quantifying HIV-1 RNA in HIV Infected Individuals with Viral Loads Below the Limit of Detection by Standard Clinical Assays
Quantifying levels of HIV-1 RNA in plasma and sequencing single HIV-1 genomes from individuals with viral loads below the limit of detection (50-75 copies/ml) is difficult. Here we describe how to extract and quantify plasma viral RNA using a real time PCR assay that reliably measures HIV-1 RNA down to 0.3 copies/ml and how to amplify viral genomes by single genome sequencing, from samples with very low viral loads.
Ice-Cap: A Method for Growing Arabidopsis and Tomato Plants in 96-well Plates for High-Throughput Genotyping
The Ice-Cap method allows one to grow plants in 96-well plates and non-destructively harvest root tissue from each seedling. DNA extracted from this root tissue can be used for genotyping reactions. We have found that Ice-Cap works well for Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato, and rice seedlings.
This publication describes how to use the Agilent Fish Species Identification System to identify the species of a fish by extracting DNA and performing PCR and RFLP analysis.
We demonstrate the assembly and application of a molecular-scale device powered by a topoisomerase protein. The construct is a bio-molecular sensor which labels two major types of DNA breaks in tissue sections by attaching two different fluorophores to their ends.
Dissociating cells from specific tissue types requires specific parameters for tissue aggitation to obtain a high volume of viable, culturable cells. The Miltenyi gentleMACS Dissociator optimizes this task with a simple, practical protocol. In this publication the use of this apparatus on nerual tissue is explained.
Due to the hard chorion and soft embryos, manipulation of medaka embryos is more involved than in zebrafish. This video shows step-by-step procedures for how to manipulate medaka embryos, including dechorionation, mounting in agarose for imaging and cell transplantation for the production of chimeras. These procedures are essential to use medaka and zebrafish in a laboratory to take full advantage of their complementary features for the genetic dissection of vertebrate genome functions.
Mouse Islet of Langerhans Isolation using a Combination of Purified Collagenase and Neutral Protease
1Department of Pediatrics and the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2VITACYTE, LLC, 3Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 4Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine
A detailed description of mouse islet isolation is described using the technique of in situ pancreatic ductal cannulation and perfusion of a combination of purified collagenase and neutral protease.
Animal caps overexpressing gene product(s) are transplanted to the flank of developing Xenopus laevis embryos in order to establish whether tissue is determined.
Monitoring the Reductive and Oxidative Half-Reactions of a Flavin-Dependent Monooxygenase using Stopped-Flow Spectrophotometry
We describe the use of a stopped-flow instrument to investigate both the reductive and oxidative half-reactions of Aspergillus fumigatus siderophore A (SidA), a flavin-dependent monooxygenase. We then show the spectra corresponding to the species in the reaction of SidA and we calculate the rate constants for their formation.
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.
1Research Service, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 2Department of Urology, The David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 3GeneFluidics, 4Division of Infectious Diseases, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 5Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles
We describe an electrochemical sensor assay method for rapid bacterial detection and identification. The assay involves a sensor array functionalized with DNA oligonucleotide capture probes for ribosomal RNA (rRNA) species-specific sequences. Sandwich hybridization of target rRNA with the capture probe and a horseradish peroxidase-linked DNA oligonucleotide detector probe produces a measurable amperometric current.
Establishment of Microbial Eukaryotic Enrichment Cultures from a Chemically Stratified Antarctic Lake and Assessment of Carbon Fixation Potential
Microbial eukaryotes are both a source of photosynthetically-derived carbon and top predatory species in permanently ice-covered Antarctic lakes. This report describes an enrichment culture approach to isolate metabolically versatile microbial eukaryotes from the Antarctic lake, Lake Bonney, and assesses inorganic carbon fixation potential using a radioisotope assay for Ribulose-1,5-bisphophate carboxylase oxygenase (RubisCO) activity.
HIV tropism can be inferred from the V3 region of the viral envelope. V3 is PCR amplified in triplicate using nested RT-PCR, sequenced, and interpreted using bioinformatic software. Samples with with 1 or more sequence(s) with low g2P scores are classified as non-R5 virus.
Larval zebrafish represent the first vertebrate model system to allow simultaneous patch clamp recording from a spinal motor-neuron and target skeletal muscle. This video demonstrates the microscopic methods used to identify a segmental CaP motor-neuron and target muscle cells as well as the methodologies for recording from each cell type.
Use of Interferon-γ Enzyme-linked Immunospot Assay to Characterize Novel T-cell Epitopes of Human Papillomavirus
1Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 3Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Characterizing T-cell epitopes of pathogens that cause localized infections such as human papillomavirus is a challenge because of limited number of T cells in circulation. A method is described in which rare T cells were isolated and were characterized starting with a very small number of cells.
In this report we describe a method for the isolation and culture of the progenitor cell niche from the embryonic mouse kidney that can be used to study signaling pathways regulating stem/progenitor cells of the developing kidney. These cultured cells are highly accessible to small molecule and recombinant protein treatment, and importantly also to viral transduction, which allows efficient manipulation of candidate pathways.
Laser Capture Microdissection of Enriched Populations of Neurons or Single Neurons for Gene Expression Analysis After Traumatic Brain Injury
We describe how to use laser capture microdissection (LCM) to obtain enriched populations of hippocampal neurons or single neurons from frozen sections of the injured rat brain for subsequent gene expression analysis using quantitative real time PCR and/or whole-genome microarrays.
A method to visualize and quantify F-actin barbed ends in neuronal growth cones is described. After culturing neurons on glass coverslips, cells are permeabilized with a saponin-containing solution. Then, a short incubation with the saponin buffer containing rhodamine-actin incorporates fluorescent actin onto free actin barbed ends.
This video demonstrates the preparation of primary neuronal cultures from the brains of late stage Drosophila pupae. Views of live cultures show neurite outgrowth and imaging of calcium levels using Fura-2.
A Functional Whole Blood Assay to Measure Viability of Mycobacteria, using Reporter-Gene Tagged BCG or M.Tb (BCG lux/M.Tb lux)
We describe an alternative approach to the enumeration of mycobacteria in vitro, which uses reporter-gene tagged mycobacteria instead of colony-forming units (CFU). “Survival” of organisms as well as host response-markers are measured simultaneously, providing a low-cost, versatile and functional system for studies of host/pathogen interactions in the context of tuberculosis.
Quantitative Fitness Analysis (QFA) is a complementary series of experimental and computational methods for estimating microbial culture fitnesses. QFA estimates the effect of genetic mutations, drugs or other applied treatments on microbe growth. Experiments scaling from focussed analysis of single cultures to thousands of parallel cultures can be designed.
This article will describe the procedure for synthesizing a hydrophobically modified Nafion enzyme immobilization membrane and how to immobilize proteins and/or enzymes within the membrane and test their specific activity.
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.
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.
We have developed a cell fusion assay that quantifies SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events by activated expression of β-galactosidase.
The activity of the inducible lysine decarboxylase is monitored by reacting the substrate L-lysine and the product cadaverine with 2,4,6-trinitrobenzensulfonic acid to form adducts that have differential solubility in toluene.
Identification and Characterization of Protein Glycosylation using Specific Endo- and Exoglycosidases
Using specific glycosidases to remove sugars from glycoproteins followed by SDS-PAGE is a valuable method to detect glycan modifications on protein samples and is a good choice for initial glycobiology studies. Changes following deglycosylation can be detected as shifts in gel mobility or by staining with glycan sensitive reagents.
1Department of Chemistry, City College of New York, City University of New York Graduate Center and Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies, 2Department of Chemical Engineering, City College of New York
Aerial plant organs are protected by the cuticle, a supramolecular biopolyester-wax assembly. We present protocols to monitor selective removal of epi- and intracuticular waxes from tomato fruit cuticles on molecular and micro scales by solid-state NMR and atomic force microscopy, respectively, and to assess the cross-linking capacity of engineered cuticular biopolyesters.
An efficient procedure to assess the oligomerization propensity of single-pass transmembrane domains (TMDs) is described. Chimeric proteins consisting of the TMD fused to ToxR are expressed in an E. coli reporter strain. TMD-induced oligomerization causes dimerization of ToxR, activation of transcription and production of the reporter protein, -galactosidase.
By combining a polished and reinforced thin-skull (PoRTS) cranial window and glioblastoma (GBM) cell injection, we can observe glioma initiation and growth from injected GBM cells in the brain of a live mouse longitudinally.
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.
GENPLAT (GLBRC Enzyme Platform) is an automated platform for discovery and optimization of enzyme cocktails for biomass degradation. It can be adapted to multiple feedstocks and mixtures of enzymes containing multiple components.
A novel directed evolution method specific to the field of thermostability engineering was developed and consequently validated for bacteriolytic enzymes. After only one round of random mutagenesis, an evolved bacteriolytic enzyme, PlyC 29C3, displayed greater than twice the residual activity when compared to the wild-type protein after elevated temperature incubation.
In this video, we demonstrate the steps required to run a brain-computer interface experiment, including setting up the EEG cap, calibrating the system, and training the user to move a cursor in two dimensions using imagined movements.
Many infections elicit a strong CTL response, but occasionally, the quantity of responding cells does not correlate to control of the pathogen1. One measure of CTL quality is their ability to kill specifically2. CFSE labeling of target cells can be used to investigate this CTL response quality in vivo3,4.
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.
Bioluminescence Imaging for Assessment of Immune Responses Following Implantation of Engineered Heart Tissue (EHT)
1Transplant and Stem Cell Immunobiology Lab (TSI) and CVRC, University Hospital Hamburg, University Heart Center Hamburg, 2Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Heart Center Hamburg, 3CT Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine
This video demonstrates the use of in vivo bioluminescence imaging to study immune responses after implantation of Engineered Heart Tissue (EHT) in rats.
This article describes a protocol for inducing psychological stress in participants, which enables researchers to measure psychological, physiological and neuroendocrine responses to stress within single participants or between groups.
The CompoZr Custom Zinc-Finger Nuclease (ZFN) Service enables precise genome editing in any organism or cell line at any locus defined by the user. This article describes the process for the design, manufacture, validation and implementation of the CompoZr Custom ZFN Service.
Analysis of rodent cerebrovascular anatomy plays an important role in experimental stroke research. In this context, intravascular perfusion with colored latex has been considered as a standard tool for several years. However, this technique implies distinct technical limitations, which undermine its reproducibility. Here, we describe a simple method to visualize cerebral vessels in a reproducible manner. Injection of a mixture of two commercially available carbon black inks through the left myocardial ventricle results in adequate filling of cerebral vessels with high contrast visualization. We have successfully applied this technique to identify anastomotic points between cerebral vascular territories of mice with different genetic backgrounds. We finally give evidence that this novel and simple method for vessel staining can be combined with triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining - a widely used tool to observe and analyze infarct volumes in mice.
Proteases break peptide bonds. In the lab, it is often necessary to measure and/or compare the activity of proteases. Sigma's non-specific protease activity assay may be used as a standardized procedure to determine the activity of proteases.