Articles by Philbert Ip in JoVE
Simple Elimination of Background Fluorescence in Formalin-Fixed Human Brain Tissue for Immunofluorescence Microscopy Yulong Sun1, Philbert Ip2, Avijit Chakrabartty1,2 1Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, 2Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto Background autofluorescence of biological samples often complicates fluorescence-based imaging techniques, especially in aged human postmitotic tissues. This protocol describes how autofluorescence from these samples can be effectively removed using a commercially available light emitting diode light source to photobleach the sample prior to immunostaining.
Other articles by Philbert Ip on PubMed
ALS-causing SOD1 Mutations Promote Production of Copper-deficient Misfolded Species Journal of Molecular Biology. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21549128 Point mutations scattered throughout the sequence of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause a subset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases. SOD1 is a homodimer in which each subunit binds one copper atom and one zinc atom. Inclusions containing misfolded SOD1 are seen in motor neurons of SOD1-associated ALS cases. The mechanism by which these diverse mutations cause misfolding and converge on the same disease is still not well understood. Previously, we developed several time-resolved techniques to monitor structural changes in SOD1 as it unfolds in guanidine hydrochloride. By measuring the rates of Cu and Zn release using an absorbance-based assay, dimer dissociation through chemical cross-linking, and β-barrel conformation changes by tryptophan fluorescence, we established that wild-type SOD1 unfolds by a branched pathway involving a Zn-deficient monomer as the dominant intermediate of the major pathway, and with various metal-loaded and Cu-deficient dimers populated along the minor pathway. We have now compared the unfolding pathway of wild-type SOD1 with those of A4V, G37R, G85R, G93A, and I113T ALS-associated mutant SOD1. The kinetics of unfolding of the mutants were generally much faster than those of wild type. However, all of the mutants utilize the minority pathway to a greater extent than the wild-type protein, leading to greater populations of Cu-deficient intermediates and decreases in Zn-deficient intermediates relative to the wild-type protein. The greater propensity of the mutants to populate Cu-deficient states potentially implicates these species as a pathogenic form of SOD1 in SOD1-associated ALS and provides a novel target for therapeutic intervention.
Wild-type Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase Stabilizes Mutant Variants by Heterodimerization Neurobiology of Disease. Feb, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24200866 Mutations in the gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) are responsible for a subset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases presumably by the acquisition of as yet unknown toxic properties. Additional overexpression of wild-type SOD1 in mutant SOD1 transgenic mice did not improve but rather accelerated the disease course. Recently, it was documented that the presence of wild-type SOD1 (SOD(WT)) reduced the aggregation propensity of mutant SOD1 by the formation of heterodimers between mutant and SOD1(WT) and that these heterodimers displayed at least a similar toxicity in cellular and animal models. In this study we investigated the biochemical and biophysical properties of obligate SOD1 dimers that were connected by a peptide linker. Circular dichroism spectra indicate an increased number of unstructured residues in SOD1 mutants. However, SOD1(WT) stabilized the folding of heterodimers compared to mutant homodimers as evidenced by an increase in resistance against proteolytic degradation. Heterodimerization also reduced the affinity of mutant SOD1 to antibodies detecting misfolded SOD1. In addition, the formation of obligate dimers resulted in a detection of substantial dismutase activity even of the relatively labile SOD1(G85R) mutant. These data indicate that soluble, dismutase-active SOD1 dimers might contribute at least partially to mutant SOD1 toxicity.
Quercitrin and Quercetin 3-β-d-glucoside As Chemical Chaperones for the A4V SOD1 ALS-causing Mutant Protein Engineering, Design & Selection : PEDS. May, 2017 | Pubmed ID: 28475686 In many cases of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), mutant forms of the Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase protein (SOD1) misfold and aggregate in motor neurons. Monomers of the normally homodimeric SOD1 have been found in patient tissue, presymptomatic mouse models of ALS, and in vitro misfolding assays which suggests that monomerization might be an early step in the pathological SOD1 misfolding pathway. In this study, we targeted the dimer interface with small molecules that might act as chemical chaperones to stabilize the native dimer and prevent downstream misfolding and aggregation. We performed a computational screen with a library of ~4400 drugs and natural compounds that were docked to two pockets around the SOD1 dimer interface. Of the resultant hits, seven were tested for misfolding and aggregation inhibition activity with A4V mutant SOD1. Quercitrin, quercetin-3-β-d-glucoside (Q3BDG), and, to a markedly lesser extent, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) were found to combat misfolding and aggregation induced by hydrogen peroxide, a physiologically relevant stress, as assessed by a gel-based assay and 8-anilinonaphthalene-1-suflonic acid (ANS) fluorescence. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and a colourimetric assay determined that these molecules directly bind A4V SOD1. Based on these findings, we speculate that quercitrin and Q3BDG may be potential therapeutic inhibitors of misfolding and aggregation in SOD1-associated ALS.