In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (13)
- PLoS Genetics
- The EMBO Journal
- EMBO Molecular Medicine
- Journal of Molecular Biology
- FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- Current Biology : CB
- Journal of Biomolecular Screening
- The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
- Disease Models & Mechanisms
- Cell and Tissue Research
- Cell Reports
Articles by Tjakko J. van Ham in JoVE
Large-scale Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (Nanotomy) of Healthy and Injured Zebrafish Brain Jeroen Kuipers1, Ruby D. Kalicharan1, Anouk H. G. Wolters1, Tjakko J. van Ham*2, Ben N.G. Giepmans*1 1Cell Biology, UMC Groningen, 2Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC Rotterdam Large-scale 2D electron microscopy (EM), or nanotomy, is the tissue-wide application of nanoscale resolution EM. Here we describe a universal method for nanotomy applied to investigate the zebrafish larval brain in health and upon non-invasive brain injury.
Other articles by Tjakko J. van Ham on PubMed
C. Elegans Model Identifies Genetic Modifiers of Alpha-synuclein Inclusion Formation During Aging PLoS Genetics. Mar, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18369446 Inclusions in the brain containing alpha-synuclein are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease, but how these inclusions are formed and how this links to disease is poorly understood. We have developed a C. elegans model that makes it possible to monitor, in living animals, the formation of alpha-synuclein inclusions. In worms of old age, inclusions contain aggregated alpha- synuclein, resembling a critical pathological feature. We used genome-wide RNA interference to identify processes involved in inclusion formation, and identified 80 genes that, when knocked down, resulted in a premature increase in the number of inclusions. Quality control and vesicle-trafficking genes expressed in the ER/Golgi complex and vesicular compartments were overrepresented, indicating a specific role for these processes in alpha-synuclein inclusion formation. Suppressors include aging-associated genes, such as sir-2.1/SIRT1 and lagr-1/LASS2. Altogether, our data suggest a link between alpha-synuclein inclusion formation and cellular aging, likely through an endomembrane-related mechanism. The processes and genes identified here present a framework for further study of the disease mechanism and provide candidate susceptibility genes and drug targets for Parkinson's disease and other alpha-synuclein related disorders.
Chaperone Proteostasis in Parkinson's Disease: Stabilization of the Hsp70/alpha-synuclein Complex by Hip The EMBO Journal. Dec, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19875982 The ATP-dependent protein chaperone heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) displays broad anti-aggregation functions and has a critical function in preventing protein misfolding pathologies. According to in vitro and in vivo models of Parkinson's disease (PD), loss of Hsp70 activity is associated with neurodegeneration and the formation of amyloid deposits of alpha-synuclein (alphaSyn), which constitute the intraneuronal inclusions in PD patients known as Lewy bodies. Here, we show that Hsp70 depletion can be a direct result of the presence of aggregation-prone polypeptides. We show a nucleotide-dependent interaction between Hsp70 and alphaSyn, which leads to the aggregation of Hsp70, in the presence of ADP along with alphaSyn. Such a co-aggregation phenomenon can be prevented in vitro by the co-chaperone Hip (ST13), and the hypothesis that it might do so also in vivo is supported by studies of a Caenorhabditis elegans model of alphaSyn aggregation. Our findings indicate that a decreased expression of Hip could facilitate depletion of Hsp70 by amyloidogenic polypeptides, impairing chaperone proteostasis and stimulating neurodegeneration.
Neurodegenerative Diseases: Lessons from Genome-wide Screens in Small Model Organisms EMBO Molecular Medicine. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 20049741 Various age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, polyglutamine expansion diseases and Alzheimer's disease, are associated with the accumulation of misfolded proteins in aggregates in the brain. How and why these proteins form aggregates and cause disease is still poorly understood. Small model organisms--the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster--have been used to model these diseases and high-throughput genetic screens using these models have led to the identification of a large number of genes that modify aggregation and toxicity of the disease proteins. In this review, we revisit these models and provide a comprehensive comparison of the genetic screens performed so far. Our integrative analysis highlights alterations of a wide variety of basic cellular processes. Not all disease proteins are influenced by alterations in the same cellular processes and despite the unifying theme of protein misfolding and aggregation, the pathology of each of the age-related misfolding disorders can be induced or influenced by a disease-protein-specific subset of molecular processes.
Towards Multiparametric Fluorescent Imaging of Amyloid Formation: Studies of a YFP Model of Alpha-synuclein Aggregation Journal of Molecular Biology. Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19891973 Misfolding and aggregation of proteins are characteristics of a range of increasingly prevalent neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. In Parkinson's disease and several closely related syndromes, the protein alpha-synuclein (AS) aggregates and forms amyloid-like deposits in specific regions of the brain. Fluorescence microscopy using fluorescent proteins, for instance the yellow fluorescent protein (YFP), is the method of choice to image molecular events such as protein aggregation in living organisms. The presence of a bulky fluorescent protein tag, however, may potentially affect significantly the properties of the protein of interest; for AS in particular, its relative small size and, as an intrinsically unfolded protein, its lack of defined secondary structure could challenge the usefulness of fluorescent-protein-based derivatives. Here, we subject a YFP fusion of AS to exhaustive studies in vitro designed to determine its potential as a means of probing amyloid formation in vivo. By employing a combination of biophysical and biochemical studies, we demonstrate that the conjugation of YFP does not significantly perturb the structure of AS in solution and find that the AS-YFP protein forms amyloid deposits in vitro that are essentially identical with those observed for wild-type AS, except that they are fluorescent. Of the several fluorescent properties of the YFP chimera that were assayed, we find that fluorescence anisotropy is a particularly useful parameter to follow the aggregation of AS-YFP, because of energy migration Förster resonance energy transfer (emFRET or homoFRET) between closely positioned YFP moieties occurring as a result of the high density of the fluorophore within the amyloid species. Fluorescence anisotropy imaging microscopy further demonstrates the ability of homoFRET to distinguish between soluble, pre-fibrillar aggregates and amyloid fibrils of AS-YFP. Our results validate the use of fluorescent protein chimeras of AS as representative models for studying protein aggregation and offer new opportunities for the investigation of amyloid aggregation in vivo using YFP-tagged proteins.
Live Imaging of Apoptotic Cells in Zebrafish FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Nov, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20601526 Many debilitating diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, involve apoptosis. Several methods have been developed for visualizing apoptotic cells in vitro or in fixed tissues, but few tools are available for visualizing apoptotic cells in live animals. Here we describe a genetically encoded fluorescent reporter protein that labels apoptotic cells in live zebrafish embryos. During apoptosis, the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) is exposed on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. The calcium-dependent protein Annexin V (A5) binds PS with high affinity, and biochemically purified, fluorescently labeled A5 probes have been widely used to detect apoptosis in vitro. Here we show that secreted A5 fused to yellow fluorescent protein specifically labels apoptotic cells in living zebrafish. We use this fluorescent probe to characterize patterns of apoptosis in living zebrafish larvae and to visualize neuronal cell death at single-cell resolution in vivo.
Identification of MOAG-4/SERF As a Regulator of Age-related Proteotoxicity Cell. Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20723760 Fibrillar protein aggregates are the major pathological hallmark of several incurable, age-related, neurodegenerative disorders. These aggregates typically contain aggregation-prone pathogenic proteins, such as amyloid-beta in Alzheimer's disease and alpha-synuclein in Parkinson's disease. It is, however, poorly understood how these aggregates are formed during cellular aging. Here we identify an evolutionarily highly conserved modifier of aggregation, MOAG-4, as a positive regulator of aggregate formation in C. elegans models for polyglutamine diseases. Inactivation of MOAG-4 suppresses the formation of compact polyglutamine aggregation intermediates that are required for aggregate formation. The role of MOAG-4 in driving aggregation extends to amyloid-beta and alpha-synuclein and is evolutionarily conserved in its human orthologs SERF1A and SERF2. MOAG-4/SERF appears to act independently from HSF-1-induced molecular chaperones, proteasomal degradation, and autophagy. Our results suggest that MOAG-4/SERF regulates age-related proteotoxicity through a previously unexplored pathway, which will open up new avenues for research on age-related, neurodegenerative diseases.
Apoptotic Cells Are Cleared by Directional Migration and Elmo1- Dependent Macrophage Engulfment Current Biology : CB. May, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22503503 Apoptotic cell death is essential for development and tissue homeostasis. Failure to clear apoptotic cells can ultimately cause inflammation and autoimmunity. Apoptosis has primarily been studied by staining of fixed tissue sections, and a clear understanding of the behavior of apoptotic cells in living tissue has been elusive. Here, we use a newly developed technique to track apoptotic cells in real time as they emerge and are cleared from the zebrafish brain. We find that apoptotic cells are remarkably motile, frequently migrating several cell diameters to the periphery of living tissues. F-actin remodeling occurs in surrounding cells, but also within the apoptotic cells themselves, suggesting a cell-autonomous component of motility. During the first 2 days of development, engulfment is rare, and most apoptotic cells lyse at the brain periphery. By 3 days postfertilization, most cell corpses are rapidly engulfed by macrophages. This engulfment requires the guanine nucleotide exchange factor elmo1. In elmo1-deficient macrophages, engulfment is rare and may occur through macropinocytosis rather than directed engulfment. These findings suggest that clearance of apoptotic cells in living vertebrates is accomplished by the combined actions of apoptotic cell migration and elmo1-dependent macrophage engulfment.
An in Vivo Zebrafish Screen Identifies Organophosphate Antidotes with Diverse Mechanisms of Action Journal of Biomolecular Screening. Jan, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 22960781 Organophosphates are a class of highly toxic chemicals that includes many pesticides and chemical weapons. Exposure to organophosphates, either through accidents or acts of terrorism, poses a significant risk to human health and safety. Existing antidotes, in use for over 50 years, have modest efficacy and undesirable toxicities. Therefore, discovering new organophosphate antidotes is a high priority. Early life stage zebrafish exposed to organophosphates exhibit several phenotypes that parallel the human response to organophosphates, including behavioral deficits, paralysis, and eventual death. Here, we have developed a high-throughput zebrafish screen in a 96-well plate format to find new antidotes that counteract organophosphate-induced lethality. In a pilot screen of 1200 known drugs, we identified 16 compounds that suppress organophosphate toxicity in zebrafish. Several in vitro assays coupled with liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling enabled determination of mechanisms of action for several of the antidotes, including reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibition, cholinergic receptor antagonism, and inhibition of bioactivation. Therefore, the in vivo screen is capable of discovering organophosphate antidotes that intervene in distinct pathways. These findings suggest that zebrafish screens might be a broadly applicable approach for discovering compounds that counteract the toxic effects of accidental or malicious poisonous exposures.
Identification of Nonvisual Photomotor Response Cells in the Vertebrate Hindbrain The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Feb, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23447595 Nonvisual photosensation enables animals to sense light without sight. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of nonvisual photobehaviors are poorly understood, especially in vertebrate animals. Here, we describe the photomotor response (PMR), a robust and reproducible series of motor behaviors in zebrafish that is elicited by visual wavelengths of light but does not require the eyes, pineal gland, or other canonical deep-brain photoreceptive organs. Unlike the relatively slow effects of canonical nonvisual pathways, motor circuits are strongly and quickly (seconds) recruited during the PMR behavior. We find that the hindbrain is both necessary and sufficient to drive these behaviors. Using in vivo calcium imaging, we identify a discrete set of neurons within the hindbrain whose responses to light mirror the PMR behavior. Pharmacological inhibition of the visual cycle blocks PMR behaviors, suggesting that opsin-based photoreceptors control this behavior. These data represent the first known light-sensing circuit in the vertebrate hindbrain.
Intravital Correlated Microscopy Reveals Differential Macrophage and Microglial Dynamics During Resolution of Neuroinflammation Disease Models & Mechanisms. Jul, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24973753 Many brain diseases involve activation of resident and peripheral immune cells to clear damaged and dying neurons. Which immune cells respond in what way to cues related to brain disease, however, remains poorly understood. To elucidate these in vivo immunological events in response to brain cell death we used genetically targeted cell ablation in zebrafish. Using intravital microscopy and large-scale electron microscopy, we defined the kinetics and nature of immune responses immediately following injury. Initially, clearance of dead cells occurs by mononuclear phagocytes, including resident microglia and macrophages of peripheral origin, whereas amoeboid microglia are exclusively involved at a later stage. Granulocytes, on the other hand, do not migrate towards the injury. Remarkably, following clearance, phagocyte numbers decrease, partly by phagocyte cell death and subsequent engulfment of phagocyte corpses by microglia. Here, we identify differential temporal involvement of microglia and peripheral macrophages in clearance of dead cells in the brain, revealing the chronological sequence of events in neuroinflammatory resolution. Remarkably, recruited phagocytes undergo cell death and are engulfed by microglia. Because adult zebrafish treated at the larval stage lack signs of pathology, it is likely that this mode of resolving immune responses in brain contributes to full tissue recovery. Therefore, these findings suggest that control of such immune cell behavior could benefit recovery from neuronal damage.
Immune Cell Dynamics in the CNS: Learning from the Zebrafish Glia. May, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25557007 A major question in research on immune responses in the brain is how the timing and nature of these responses influence physiology, pathogenesis or recovery from pathogenic processes. Proper understanding of the immune regulation of the human brain requires a detailed description of the function and activities of the immune cells in the brain. Zebrafish larvae allow long-term, noninvasive imaging inside the brain at high-spatiotemporal resolution using fluorescent transgenic reporters labeling specific cell populations. Together with recent additional technical advances this allows an unprecedented versatility and scope of future studies. Modeling of human physiology and pathology in zebrafish has already yielded relevant insights into cellular dynamics and function that can be translated to the human clinical situation. For instance, in vivo studies in the zebrafish have provided new insight into immune cell dynamics in granuloma formation in tuberculosis and the mechanisms involving treatment resistance. In this review, we highlight recent findings and novel tools paving the way for basic neuroimmunology research in the zebrafish. GLIA 2015;63:719-735.
FLIPPER, a Combinatorial Probe for Correlated Live Imaging and Electron Microscopy, Allows Identification and Quantitative Analysis of Various Cells and Organelles Cell and Tissue Research. Apr, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25786736 Ultrastructural examination of cells and tissues by electron microscopy (EM) yields detailed information on subcellular structures. However, EM is typically restricted to small fields of view at high magnification; this makes quantifying events in multiple large-area sample sections extremely difficult. Even when combining light microscopy (LM) with EM (correlated LM and EM: CLEM) to find areas of interest, the labeling of molecules is still a challenge. We present a new genetically encoded probe for CLEM, named "FLIPPER", which facilitates quantitative analysis of ultrastructural features in cells. FLIPPER consists of a fluorescent protein (cyan, green, orange, or red) for LM visualization, fused to a peroxidase allowing visualization of targets at the EM level. The use of FLIPPER is straightforward and because the module is completely genetically encoded, cells can be optimally prepared for EM examination. We use FLIPPER to quantify cellular morphology at the EM level in cells expressing a normal and disease-causing point-mutant cell-surface protein called EpCAM (epithelial cell adhesion molecule). The mutant protein is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and could therefore alter ER function and morphology. To reveal possible ER alterations, cells were co-transfected with color-coded full-length or mutant EpCAM and a FLIPPER targeted to the ER. CLEM examination of the mixed cell population allowed color-based cell identification, followed by an unbiased quantitative analysis of the ER ultrastructure by EM. Thus, FLIPPER combines bright fluorescent proteins optimized for live imaging with high sensitivity for EM labeling, thereby representing a promising tool for CLEM.
A Small Molecule That Induces Intrinsic Pathway Apoptosis with Unparalleled Speed Cell Reports. Dec, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 26655912 Apoptosis is generally believed to be a process that requires several hours, in contrast to non-programmed forms of cell death that can occur in minutes. Our findings challenge the time-consuming nature of apoptosis as we describe the discovery and characterization of a small molecule, named Raptinal, which initiates intrinsic pathway caspase-dependent apoptosis within minutes in multiple cell lines. Comparison to a mechanistically diverse panel of apoptotic stimuli reveals that Raptinal-induced apoptosis proceeds with unparalleled speed. The rapid phenotype enabled identification of the critical roles of mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel function, mitochondrial membrane potential/coupled respiration, and mitochondrial complex I, III, and IV function for apoptosis induction. Use of Raptinal in whole organisms demonstrates its utility for studying apoptosis in vivo for a variety of applications. Overall, rapid inducers of apoptosis are powerful tools that will be used in a variety of settings to generate further insight into the apoptotic machinery.