Articles by Cameron A. Smurthwaite in JoVE
Genetic Barcoding with Fluorescent Proteins for Multiplexed Applications Cameron A. Smurthwaite1, Wesley Williams1, Alexandra Fetsko1, Darin Abbadessa1, Zachary D. Stolp1, Connor W. Reed1, Andre Dharmawan1, Roland Wolkowicz1 1Department of Biology, San Diego State University Since the discovery of the green fluorescent protein gene, fluorescent proteins have impacted molecular cell biology. This protocol describes how expression of distinct fluorescent proteins through genetic engineering is used for barcoding individual cells. The procedure enables tracking distinct populations in a cell mixture, which is ideal for multiplexed applications.
Other articles by Cameron A. Smurthwaite on PubMed
Fluorescent Genetic Barcoding in Mammalian Cells for Enhanced Multiplexing Capabilities in Flow Cytometry Cytometry. Part A : the Journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology. Jan, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24700576 The discovery of the green fluorescent protein from Aequorea victoria has revolutionized the field of cell and molecular biology. Since its discovery a growing panel of fluorescent proteins, fluorophores and fluorescent-coupled staining methodologies, have expanded the analytical capabilities of flow cytometry. Here, we exploit the power of genetic engineering to barcode individual cells with genes encoding fluorescent proteins. For genetic engineering, we utilize retroviral technology, which allows for the expression of ectopic genetic information in a stable manner in mammalian cells. We have genetically barcoded both adherent and nonadherent cells with different fluorescent proteins. Multiplexing power was increased by combining both the number of distinct fluorescent proteins, and the fluorescence intensity in each channel. Moreover, retroviral expression has proven to be stable for at least a 6-month period, which is critical for applications such as biological screens. We have shown the applicability of fluorescent barcoded multiplexing to cell-based assays that rely themselves on genetic barcoding, or on classical staining protocols. Fluorescent genetic barcoding gives the cell an inherited characteristic that distinguishes it from its counterpart. Once cell lines are developed, no further manipulation or staining is required, decreasing time, nonspecific background associated with staining protocols, and cost. The increasing number of discovered and/or engineered fluorescent proteins with unique absorbance/emission spectra, combined with the growing number of detection devices and lasers, increases multiplexing versatility, making fluorescent genetic barcoding a powerful tool for flow cytometry-based analysis.
Evolution of TNF-induced Apoptosis Reveals 550 My of Functional Conservation Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24927546 The Precambrian explosion led to the rapid appearance of most major animal phyla alive today. It has been argued that the complexity of life has steadily increased since that event. Here we challenge this hypothesis through the characterization of apoptosis in reef-building corals, representatives of some of the earliest animals. Bioinformatic analysis reveals that all of the major components of the death receptor pathway are present in coral with high-predicted structural conservation with Homo sapiens. The TNF receptor-ligand superfamilies (TNFRSF/TNFSF) are central mediators of the death receptor pathway, and the predicted proteome of Acropora digitifera contains more putative coral TNFRSF members than any organism described thus far, including humans. This high abundance of TNFRSF members, as well as the predicted structural conservation of other death receptor signaling proteins, led us to wonder what would happen if corals were exposed to a member of the human TNFSF (HuTNFα). HuTNFα was found to bind directly to coral cells, increase caspase activity, cause apoptotic blebbing and cell death, and finally induce coral bleaching. Next, immortalized human T cells (Jurkats) expressing a functional death receptor pathway (WT) and a corresponding Fas-associated death domain protein (FADD) KO cell line were exposed to a coral TNFSF member (AdTNF1) identified and purified here. AdTNF1 treatment resulted in significantly higher cell death (P < 0.0001) in WT Jurkats compared with the corresponding FADD KO, demonstrating that coral AdTNF1 activates the H. sapiens death receptor pathway. Taken together, these data show remarkable conservation of the TNF-induced apoptotic response representing 550 My of functional conservation.
A Multiplexed Cell-Based Assay for the Identification of Modulators of Pre-Membrane Processing As a Target Against Dengue Virus Journal of Biomolecular Screening. Feb, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25724189 The DenV pre-membrane protein (prM) is a crucial chaperone for the viral envelope protein, preventing premature fusion with vesicles during viral export. prM molecules in immature particles are cleaved by host proteases, leading to mature fusogenic virions. Blockade of prM cleavage would restrict fusion and represents a novel druggable opportunity against DenV. We have thus established a cell-based platform to monitor prM processing that relies on an engineered two-tag scaffold that travels to the cell surface through the secretory pathway. The assay discriminates between a single cell-surface tag when prM is cleaved and two tags when it is not, as detected through fluorescent-coupled antibodies by flow cytometry. The assay, miniaturized into a 96-well plate format, was multiplexed with the HIV-1 envelope boundary, also cleaved in the same pathway. A pilot screen against 1280 compounds was executed, leading to the identification of a potential active and corroborating the robustness of our assay for large-scale screening. We describe for the first time a cell-based assay that monitors DenV prM processing within the classical secretory pathway, which was exploited to identify a potential novel drug against DenV.