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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Invited Review Article: Advanced light microscopy for biological space research.
Rev Sci Instrum
PUBLISHED: 11-03-2014
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As commercial space flights have become feasible and long-term extraterrestrial missions are planned, it is imperative that the impact of space travel and the space environment on human physiology be thoroughly characterized. Scrutinizing the effects of potentially detrimental factors such as ionizing radiation and microgravity at the cellular and tissue level demands adequate visualization technology. Advanced light microscopy (ALM) is the leading tool for non-destructive structural and functional investigation of static as well as dynamic biological systems. In recent years, technological developments and advances in photochemistry and genetic engineering have boosted all aspects of resolution, readout and throughput, rendering ALM ideally suited for biological space research. While various microscopy-based studies have addressed cellular response to space-related environmental stressors, biological endpoints have typically been determined only after the mission, leaving an experimental gap that is prone to bias results. An on-board, real-time microscopical monitoring device can bridge this gap. Breadboards and even fully operational microscope setups have been conceived, but they need to be rendered more compact and versatile. Most importantly, they must allow addressing the impact of gravity, or the lack thereof, on physiologically relevant biological systems in space and in ground-based simulations. In order to delineate the essential functionalities for such a system, we have reviewed the pending questions in space science, the relevant biological model systems, and the state-of-the art in ALM. Based on a rigorous trade-off, in which we recognize the relevance of multi-cellular systems and the cellular microenvironment, we propose a compact, but flexible concept for space-related cell biological research that is based on light sheet microscopy.
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Hsp90 is involved in the regulation of cytosolic precursor protein abundance in tomato.
Mol Plant
PUBLISHED: 10-23-2014
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Cytosolic chaperones are involved in the regulation of cellular protein homeostasis in general. Members of the heat stress protein 70 and 90 (Hsp70 or Hsp90) families assist the transport of preproteins to organelles such as chloroplasts or mitochondria. In addition, Hsp70 was described to be involved in the degradation of chloroplast preproteins that accumulate in the cytosol. Because a similar function has not been established for Hsp90, we analyzed the influences of Hsp90 and Hsp70 on the protein abundance in the cellular context using an in vivo system based on mesophyll protoplasts. We observed a differential behavior of preproteins in respect to the cytosolic chaperone dependent regulation. Some preproteins like pOE33 show a high dependence on Hsp90, whereas the abundance of preproteins like pSSU is more strongly dependent on Hsp70. The E3 ligase Chip appears to have a more general role in the control of cytosolic protein abundance. We discuss why the different reaction modes are comparable to the cytosolic unfolded protein response.
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Tissue-culture light sheet fluorescence microscopy (TC-LSFM) allows long-term imaging of three-dimensional cell cultures under controlled conditions.
Integr Biol (Camb)
PUBLISHED: 09-03-2014
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Fluorescence long-term imaging of cellular processes in three-dimensional cultures requires the control of media supply, temperature, and pH, as well as minimal photodamage. We describe a system based on a light sheet fluorescence microscope (LSFM), which is optimized for long-term, multi-position imaging of three-dimensional in-gel cell cultures. The system integrates a stable culture condition control system in the optical path of the light-sheet microscope. A further essential element is a biocompatible agarose container suitable for the LSFM, in which any cell type can be cultured in different gel matrices. The TC-LSFM allows studying any in vitro cultured cell type reacting to, dividing in, or migrating through a three-dimensional extracellular matrix (ECM) gel. For this reason we called it "tissue culture-LSFM" (TC-LSFM). The TC-LSFM system allows fast imaging at multiple locations within a millimeter-sized ECM gel. This increases the number of analyzed events and allows testing population effects. As an example, we show the maturation of a cyst of MDCK (canine kidney epithelial) cells over a period of three days. Moreover, we imaged, tracked, and analyzed MDCK cells during the first five days of cell aggregate formation and discovered a remarkable heterogeneity in cell cycle lengths and an interesting cell death pattern. Thus, TC-LSFM allows performing new long-term assays assessing cellular behavior in three-dimensional ECM-gel cultures. For example migration, invasion or differentiation in epithelial cell systems, stem cells, as well as cancer cells can be investigated.
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Imaging MDCK cysts with a single (selective) plane illumination microscope.
Cold Spring Harb Protoc
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2014
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In modern biology, most optical imaging technologies are applied to two-dimensional cell culture systems. However, investigation of physiological context requires specimens that display the complex three-dimensional (3D) relationship of cells that occurs in tissue sections and in naturally developing organisms. The imaging of highly scattering multicellular specimens presents a number of challenges, including limited optical penetration depth, phototoxicity, and fluorophore bleaching. Light-sheet-based fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) overcomes many drawbacks of conventional fluorescence microscopy by using an orthogonal/azimuthal fluorescence arrangement with independent sets of lenses for illumination and detection. The specimen is illuminated from the side with a thin light sheet that overlaps with the focal plane of a wide-field fluorescence microscope. Optical sectioning and minimal phototoxic damage or photobleaching outside a small volume close to the focal plane are intrinsic properties of LSFM. The principles of LSFM are implemented in the single (or selective) plane illumination microscope (SPIM). Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cysts grown in extracellular matrix (ECM) hydrogels provide a useful model system for studies of 3D cell biology. Here, we describe protocols for growing MDCK cysts within 3D type I collagen or reconstituted basement membrane (Matrigel) and for imaging these cysts by SPIM.
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Imaging cellular spheroids with a single (selective) plane illumination microscope.
Cold Spring Harb Protoc
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2014
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In modern biology, most optical imaging technologies are applied to two-dimensional cell culture systems. However, investigation of physiological context requires specimens that display the complex three-dimensional (3D) relationship of cells that occurs in tissue sections and in naturally developing organisms. The imaging of highly scattering multicellular specimens presents a number of challenges, including limited optical penetration depth, phototoxicity, and fluorophore bleaching. Light-sheet-based fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) overcomes many drawbacks of conventional fluorescence microscopy by using an orthogonal/azimuthal fluorescence arrangement with independent sets of lenses for illumination and detection. The specimen is illuminated from the side with a thin light sheet that overlaps with the focal plane of a wide-field fluorescence microscope. Optical sectioning and minimal phototoxic damage or photobleaching outside a small volume close to the focal plane are intrinsic properties of LSFM. The principles of LSFM are implemented in the single (or selective) plane illumination microscope (SPIM). Cellular spheroids are spherical aggregations of hundreds to thousands of cells and they provide a useful model system for studies of 3D cell biology. Here we describe a protocol for imaging cellular spheroids by SPIM.
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Light-sheet-based fluorescence microscopy for three-dimensional imaging of biological samples.
Cold Spring Harb Protoc
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2014
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In modern biology, most optical imaging technologies are applied to two-dimensional cell culture systems; that is, they are used in a cellular context that is defined by hard and flat surfaces. However, a physiological context is not found in single cells cultivated on coverslips. It requires the complex three-dimensional (3D) relationship of cells cultivated in extracellular matrix (ECM) gels, tissue sections, or in naturally developing organisms. In fact, the number of applications of 3D cell cultures in basic research as well as in drug discovery and toxicity testing has been increasing over the past few years. Unfortunately, the imaging of highly scattering multicellular specimens is still challenging. The main issues are the limited optical penetration depth, the phototoxicity, and the fluorophore bleaching. Light-sheet-based fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) overcomes many drawbacks of conventional fluorescence microscopy by using an orthogonal/azimuthal fluorescence arrangement with independent sets of lenses for illumination and detection. The basic idea is to illuminate the specimen from the side with a thin light sheet that overlaps with the focal plane of a wide-field fluorescence microscope. Optical sectioning and minimal phototoxic damage or photobleaching outside a small volume close to the focal plane are intrinsic properties of LSFM. We discuss the basic principles of LSFM and methods for the preparation, embedding, and imaging of 3D specimens used in the life sciences in an implementation of LSFM known as the single (or selective) plane illumination microscope (SPIM).
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Trans -Golgi network localized small GTPase RabA1d is involved in cell plate formation and oscillatory root hair growth.
BMC Plant Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-10-2014
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BackgroundSmall Rab GTPases are important regulators of vesicular trafficking in plants. AtRabA1d, a member of the RabA1 subfamily of small GTPases, was previously found in the vesicle-rich apical dome of growing root hairs suggesting a role during tip growth; however, its specific intracellular localization and role in plants has not been well described.ResultsThe transient expression of 35S::GFP:RabA1d construct in Allium porrum and Nicotiana benthamiana revealed vesicular structures, which were further corroborated in stable transformed Arabidopsis thaliana plants. GFP-RabA1d colocalized with the trans-Golgi network marker mCherry-VTI12 and with early FM4-64-labeled endosomal comparments. Late endosomes and endoplasmic reticulum labeled with FYVE-DsRed and ER-DsRed, respectively, were devoid of GFP-RabA1d. The accumulation of GFP-RabA1d in the core of brefeldin A (BFA)-induced-compartments and the quantitative upregulation of RabA1d protein levels after BFA treatment confirmed the association of RabA1d with early endosomes/TGN and its role in vesicle trafficking. Light-sheet microscopy revealed involvement of RabA1d in root development. In root cells, GFP-RabA1d followed cell plate expansion consistently with cytokinesis-related vesicular trafficking and membrane recycling. GFP-RabA1d accumulated in disc-like structures of nascent cell plates, which progressively evolved to marginal ring-like structures of the growing cell plates. During root hair growth and development, GFP-RabA1d was enriched at root hair bulges and at the apical dome of vigorously elongating root hairs. Importantly, GFP-RabA1d signal intensity exhibited an oscillatory behavior in-phase with tip growth. Progressively, this tip localization dissapeared in mature root hairs suggesting a link between tip localization of RabA1d and root hair elongation. Our results support a RabA1d role in events that require vigorous membrane trafficking.ConclusionsRabA1d is located in early endosomes/TGN and is involved in vesicle trafficking. RabA1d participates in both cell plate formation and root hair oscillatory tip growth. The specific GFP-RabA1d subcellular localization confirms a correlation between its specific spatio-temporal accumulation and local vesicle trafficking requirements during cell plate and root hair formation.
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Quantifying the autophagy-triggering effects of drugs in cell spheroids with live fluorescence microscopy.
Methods Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2014
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We present a 3D assay for the quantification of the autophagic flux in live cell spheroids by using the fluorescent reporter mRFP-GFP-LC3. The protocol describes the formation of the spheroids from the astrocytoma cell line U343, live long-term 3D fluorescence imaging of drug-treated spheroids, and the image processing workflow required to extract quantitative data on the autophagic flux.
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Non-invasive long-term fluorescence live imaging of Tribolium castaneum embryos.
Development
PUBLISHED: 05-06-2014
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Insect development has contributed significantly to our understanding of metazoan development. However, most information has been obtained by analyzing a single species, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Embryonic development of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum differs fundamentally from that of Drosophila in aspects such as short-germ development, embryonic leg development, extensive extra-embryonic membrane formation and non-involuted head development. Although Tribolium has become the second most important insect model organism, previous live imaging attempts have addressed only specific questions and no long-term live imaging data of Tribolium embryogenesis have been available. By combining light sheet-based fluorescence microscopy with a novel mounting method, we achieved complete, continuous and non-invasive fluorescence live imaging of Tribolium embryogenesis at high spatiotemporal resolution. The embryos survived the 2-day or longer imaging process, developed into adults and produced fertile progeny. Our data document all morphogenetic processes from the rearrangement of the uniform blastoderm to the onset of regular muscular movement in the same embryo and in four orientations, contributing significantly to the understanding of Tribolium development. Furthermore, we created a comprehensive chronological table of Tribolium embryogenesis, integrating most previous work and providing a reference for future studies. Based on our observations, we provide evidence that serosa window closure and serosa opening, although deferred by more than 1 day, are linked. All our long-term imaging datasets are available as a resource for the community. Tribolium is only the second insect species, after Drosophila, for which non-invasive long-term fluorescence live imaging has been achieved.
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Live imaging of Arabidopsis development.
Methods Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 04-11-2014
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Live cell imaging is an essential methodology for studying the structure, dynamics, and functions of cells in a living plant under normal or stressed growth conditions. Arabidopsis thaliana is perfectly amenable to various live microscopy techniques. In this chapter, we provide guidelines to design live-imaging experiments. We discuss specifically the respective advantage of each microscopy technique, the choice of reporter, and the preparation of the sample. Detailed protocols for imaging of shoot and roots are provided.
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Identification of autophagy as a longevity-assurance mechanism in the aging model Podospora anserina.
Autophagy
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2014
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The filamentous ascomycete Podospora anserina is a well-established aging model in which a variety of different pathways, including those involved in the control of respiration, ROS generation and scavenging, DNA maintenance, proteostasis, mitochondrial dynamics, and programmed cell death have previously been demonstrated to affect aging and life span. Here we address a potential role of autophagy. We provide data demonstrating high basal autophagy levels even in strains cultivated under noninduced conditions. By monitoring an N-terminal fusion of EGFP to the fungal LC3 homolog PaATG8 over the lifetime of the fungus on medium with and without nitrogen supplementation, respectively, we identified a significant increase of GFP puncta in older and in nitrogen-starved cultures suggesting an induction of autophagy during aging. This conclusion is supported by the demonstration of an age-related and autophagy-dependent degradation of a PaSOD1-GFP reporter protein. The deletion of Paatg1, which leads to the lack of the PaATG1 serine/threonine kinase active in early stages of autophagy induction, impairs ascospore germination and development and shortens life span. Under nitrogen-depleted conditions, life span of the wild type is increased almost 4-fold. In contrast, this effect is annihilated in the Paatg1 deletion strain, suggesting that the ability to induce autophagy is beneficial for this fungus. Collectively, our data identify autophagy as a longevity-assurance mechanism in P. anserina and as another surveillance pathway in the complex network of pathways affecting aging and development. These findings provide perspectives for the elucidation of the mechanisms involved in the regulation of individual pathways and their interactions.
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Live imaging and quantitative analysis of gastrulation in mouse embryos using light-sheet microscopy and 3D tracking tools.
Nat Protoc
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2014
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This protocol describes how to observe gastrulation in living mouse embryos by using light-sheet microscopy and computational tools to analyze the resulting image data at the single-cell level. We describe a series of techniques needed to image the embryos under physiological conditions, including how to hold mouse embryos without agarose embedding, how to transfer embryos without air exposure and how to construct environmental chambers for live imaging by digital scanned light-sheet microscopy (DSLM). Computational tools include manual and semiautomatic tracking programs that are developed for analyzing the large 4D data sets acquired with this system. Note that this protocol does not include details of how to build the light-sheet microscope itself. Time-lapse imaging ends within 12 h, with subsequent tracking analysis requiring 3-6 d. Other than some mouse-handling skills, this protocol requires no advanced skills or knowledge. Light-sheet microscopes are becoming more widely available, and thus the techniques outlined in this paper should be helpful for investigating mouse embryogenesis.
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3D high-content screening for the identification of compounds that target cells in dormant tumor spheroid regions.
Exp. Cell Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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Cancer cells in poorly vascularized tumor regions need to adapt to an unfavorable metabolic microenvironment. As distance from supplying blood vessels increases, oxygen and nutrient concentrations decrease and cancer cells react by stopping cell cycle progression and becoming dormant. As cytostatic drugs mainly target proliferating cells, cancer cell dormancy is considered as a major resistance mechanism to this class of anti-cancer drugs. Therefore, substances that target cancer cells in poorly vascularized tumor regions have the potential to enhance cytostatic-based chemotherapy of solid tumors. With three-dimensional growth conditions, multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS) reproduce several parameters of the tumor microenvironment, including oxygen and nutrient gradients as well as the development of dormant tumor regions. We here report the setup of a 3D cell culture compatible high-content screening system and the identification of nine substances from two commercially available drug libraries that specifically target cells in inner MCTS core regions, while cells in outer MCTS regions or in 2D cell culture remain unaffected. We elucidated the mode of action of the identified compounds as inhibitors of the respiratory chain and show that induction of cell death in inner MCTS core regions critically depends on extracellular glucose concentrations. Finally, combinational treatment with cytostatics showed increased induction of cell death in MCTS. The data presented here shows for the first time a high-content based screening setup on 3D tumor spheroids for the identification of substances that specifically induce cell death in inner tumor spheroid core regions. This validates the approach to use 3D cell culture screening systems to identify substances that would not be detectable by 2D based screening in otherwise similar culture conditions.
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A spatial accommodation by neighboring cells is required for organ initiation in Arabidopsis.
Science
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2014
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Lateral root formation in plants can be studied as the process of interaction between chemical signals and physical forces during development. Lateral root primordia grow through overlying cell layers that must accommodate this incursion. Here, we analyze responses of the endodermis, the immediate neighbor to an initiating lateral root. Endodermal cells overlying lateral root primordia lose volume, change shape, and relinquish their tight junction-like diffusion barrier to make way for the emerging lateral root primordium. Endodermal feedback is absolutely required for initiation and growth of lateral roots, and we provide evidence that this is mediated by controlled volume loss in the endodermis. We propose that turgidity and rigid cell walls, typical of plants, impose constraints that are specifically modified for a given developmental process.
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Recent advances in 2D and 3D in vitro systems using primary hepatocytes, alternative hepatocyte sources and non-parenchymal liver cells and their use in investigating mechanisms of hepatotoxicity, cell signaling and ADME.
Patricio Godoy, Nicola J Hewitt, Ute Albrecht, Melvin E Andersen, Nariman Ansari, Sudin Bhattacharya, Johannes Georg Bode, Jennifer Bolleyn, Christoph Borner, Jan Böttger, Albert Braeuning, Robert A Budinsky, Britta Burkhardt, Neil R Cameron, Giovanni Camussi, Chong-Su Cho, Yun-Jaie Choi, J Craig Rowlands, Uta Dahmen, Georg Damm, Olaf Dirsch, María Teresa Donato, Jian Dong, Steven Dooley, Dirk Drasdo, Rowena Eakins, Karine Sá Ferreira, Valentina Fonsato, Joanna Fraczek, Rolf Gebhardt, Andrew Gibson, Matthias Glanemann, Chris E P Goldring, Maria José Gómez-Lechón, Geny M M Groothuis, Lena Gustavsson, Christelle Guyot, David Hallifax, Seddik Hammad, Adam Hayward, Dieter Häussinger, Claus Hellerbrand, Philip Hewitt, Stefan Hoehme, Hermann-Georg Holzhütter, J Brian Houston, Jens Hrach, Kiyomi Ito, Hartmut Jaeschke, Verena Keitel, Jens M Kelm, B Kevin Park, Claus Kordes, Gerd A Kullak-Ublick, Edward L Lecluyse, Peng Lu, Jennifer Luebke-Wheeler, Anna Lutz, Daniel J Maltman, Madlen Matz-Soja, Patrick McMullen, Irmgard Merfort, Simon Messner, Christoph Meyer, Jessica Mwinyi, Dean J Naisbitt, Andreas K Nüssler, Peter Olinga, Francesco Pampaloni, Jingbo Pi, Linda Pluta, Stefan A Przyborski, Anup Ramachandran, Vera Rogiers, Cliff Rowe, Celine Schelcher, Kathrin Schmich, Michael Schwarz, Bijay Singh, Ernst H K Stelzer, Bruno Stieger, Regina Stöber, Yuichi Sugiyama, Ciro Tetta, Wolfgang E Thasler, Tamara Vanhaecke, Mathieu Vinken, Thomas S Weiss, Agata Widera, Courtney G Woods, Jinghai James Xu, Kathy M Yarborough, Jan G Hengstler.
Arch. Toxicol.
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2013
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This review encompasses the most important advances in liver functions and hepatotoxicity and analyzes which mechanisms can be studied in vitro. In a complex architecture of nested, zonated lobules, the liver consists of approximately 80 % hepatocytes and 20 % non-parenchymal cells, the latter being involved in a secondary phase that may dramatically aggravate the initial damage. Hepatotoxicity, as well as hepatic metabolism, is controlled by a set of nuclear receptors (including PXR, CAR, HNF-4?, FXR, LXR, SHP, VDR and PPAR) and signaling pathways. When isolating liver cells, some pathways are activated, e.g., the RAS/MEK/ERK pathway, whereas others are silenced (e.g. HNF-4?), resulting in up- and downregulation of hundreds of genes. An understanding of these changes is crucial for a correct interpretation of in vitro data. The possibilities and limitations of the most useful liver in vitro systems are summarized, including three-dimensional culture techniques, co-cultures with non-parenchymal cells, hepatospheres, precision cut liver slices and the isolated perfused liver. Also discussed is how closely hepatoma, stem cell and iPS cell-derived hepatocyte-like-cells resemble real hepatocytes. Finally, a summary is given of the state of the art of liver in vitro and mathematical modeling systems that are currently used in the pharmaceutical industry with an emphasis on drug metabolism, prediction of clearance, drug interaction, transporter studies and hepatotoxicity. One key message is that despite our enthusiasm for in vitro systems, we must never lose sight of the in vivo situation. Although hepatocytes have been isolated for decades, the hunt for relevant alternative systems has only just begun.
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Lateral root morphogenesis is dependent on the mechanical properties of the overlaying tissues.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2013
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In Arabidopsis, lateral root primordia (LRPs) originate from pericycle cells located deep within the parental root and have to emerge through endodermal, cortical, and epidermal tissues. These overlaying tissues place biomechanical constraints on the LRPs that are likely to impact their morphogenesis. This study probes the interplay between the patterns of cell division, organ shape, and overlaying tissues on LRP morphogenesis by exploiting recent advances in live plant cell imaging and image analysis. Our 3D/4D image analysis revealed that early stage LRPs exhibit tangential divisions that create a ring of cells corralling a population of rapidly dividing cells at its center. The patterns of division in the latter population of cells during LRP morphogenesis are not stereotypical. In contrast, statistical analysis demonstrated that the shape of new LRPs is highly conserved. We tested the relative importance of cell division pattern versus overlaying tissues on LRP morphogenesis using mutant and transgenic approaches. The double mutant aurora1 (aur1) aur2 disrupts the pattern of LRP cell divisions and impacts its growth dynamics, yet the new organs dome shape remains normal. In contrast, manipulating the properties of overlaying tissues disrupted LRP morphogenesis. We conclude that the interaction with overlaying tissues, rather than the precise pattern of divisions, is most important for LRP morphogenesis and optimizes the process of lateral root emergence.
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An auxin transport mechanism restricts positive orthogravitropism in lateral roots.
Curr. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2013
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As soon as a seed germinates, plant growth relates to gravity to ensure that the root penetrates the soil and the shoot expands aerially. Whereas mechanisms of positive and negative orthogravitropism of primary roots and shoots are relatively well understood, lateral organs often show more complex growth behavior. Lateral roots (LRs) seemingly suppress positive gravitropic growth and show a defined gravitropic set-point angle (GSA) that allows radial expansion of the root system (plagiotropism). Despite its eminent importance for root architecture, it so far remains completely unknown how lateral organs partially suppress positive orthogravitropism. Here we show that the phytohormone auxin steers GSA formation and limits positive orthogravitropism in LR. Low and high auxin levels/signaling lead to radial or axial root systems, respectively. At a cellular level, it is the auxin transport-dependent regulation of asymmetric growth in the elongation zone that determines GSA. Our data suggest that strong repression of PIN4/PIN7 and transient PIN3 expression limit auxin redistribution in young LR columella cells. We conclude that PIN activity, by temporally limiting the asymmetric auxin fluxes in the tip of LRs, induces transient, differential growth responses in the elongation zone and, consequently, controls root architecture.
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High-resolution deep imaging of live cellular spheroids with light-sheet-based fluorescence microscopy.
Cell Tissue Res.
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2013
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Conventional two-dimensional cell monolayers do not provide the geometrical, biochemical and mechanical cues found in real tissues. Cells in real tissues interact through chemical and mechanical stimuli with adjacent cells and via the extracellular matrix. Such a highly interconnected communication network extends along all three dimensions. This architecture is lost in two-dimensional cultures. Therefore, at least in many cases, two-dimensional cell monolayers do not represent a suitable in vitro tool to characterize accurately the biology of real tissues. Many studies performed over the last few years have demonstrated that the differences between three-dimensional and two-dimensional cultured cells are striking at the morphological and molecular levels and that three-dimensional cell cultures can be employed in order to shrink the gap between real tissues and in vitro cell models. End-point and long-term imaging of cellular and sub-cellular processes with fluorescence microscopy provides direct insight into the physiological behavior of three-dimensional cell cultures and their response to chemical or mechanical stimulation. Fluorescence imaging of three-dimensional cell cultures sets new challenges and imposes specific requirements concerning the choice of a suitable microscopy technique. Deep penetration into the specimen, high imaging speed and ultra-low intensity of the excitation light are key requirements. Light-sheet-based fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) offers a favorable combination of these requirements and is therefore currently established as the technique of choice for the study of three-dimensional cell cultures. This review illustrates the benefits of cellular spheroids in the life sciences and suggests that LSFM is essential for investigations of cellular and sub-cellular dynamic processes in three-dimensions over time and space.
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Quantitative 3D cell-based assay performed with cellular spheroids and fluorescence microscopy.
Methods Cell Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2013
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Cell-based assays are essential in both basic research and drug discovery. Three-dimensional cellular spheroids are more realistic models of tumors and healthy tissues compared to standard two-dimensional cultures. Employing spheroids improves the reliability and the physiological significance of cell-based assays. We present a detailed drug assay protocol performed with live cellular spheroids. We employ automated epifluorescence live microscopy to investigate the effects of drugs on the spheroids over several days. We describe the spheroid preparation, manipulation, live fluorescence imaging, and data processing. We quantify the autophagy-triggering effects of the drugs (-)-Gossypol and Rapamycin in glioma cell spheroids. The formation of the autophagosomes and the fusion of the autophagosomes with lysosomes in the treated spheroids are monitored over time and space with a mRFP:GFP:LC3 fusion protein.
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Role of N-Cadherin cis and trans Interfaces in the Dynamics of Adherens Junctions in Living Cells.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Cadherins, Ca(2+)-dependent adhesion molecules, are crucial for cell-cell junctions and remodeling. Cadherins form inter-junctional lattices by the formation of both cis and trans dimers. Here, we directly visualize and quantify the spatiotemporal dynamics of wild-type and dimer mutant N-cadherin interactions using time-lapse imaging of junction assembly, disassembly and a FRET reporter to assess Ca(2+)-dependent interactions. A trans dimer mutant (W2A) and a cis mutant (V81D/V174D) exhibited an increased Ca(2+)-sensitivity for the disassembly of trans dimers compared to the WT, while another mutant (R14E) was insensitive to Ca(2+)-chelation. Time-lapse imaging of junction assembly and disassembly, monitored in 2D and 3D (using cellular spheroids), revealed kinetic differences in the different mutants as well as different behaviors in the 2D and 3D environment. Taken together, these data provide new insights into the role that the cis and trans dimers play in the dynamic interactions of cadherins.
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Live imaging of whole mouse embryos during gastrulation: migration analyses of epiblast and mesodermal cells.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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During gastrulation in the mouse embryo, dynamic cell movements including epiblast invagination and mesodermal layer expansion lead to the establishment of the three-layered body plan. The precise details of these movements, however, are sometimes elusive, because of the limitations in live imaging. To overcome this problem, we developed techniques to enable observation of living mouse embryos with digital scanned light sheet microscope (DSLM). The achieved deep and high time-resolution images of GFP-expressing nuclei and following 3D tracking analysis revealed the following findings: (i) Interkinetic nuclear migration (INM) occurs in the epiblast at embryonic day (E)6 and 6.5. (ii) INM-like migration occurs in the E5.5 embryo, when the epiblast is a monolayer and not yet pseudostratified. (iii) Primary driving force for INM at E6.5 is not pressure from neighboring nuclei. (iv) Mesodermal cells migrate not as a sheet but as individual cells without coordination.
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Three-dimensional Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging with a Single Plane Illumination Microscope provides an improved signal to noise ratio.
Opt Express
PUBLISHED: 10-15-2011
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We designed a widefield frequency domain Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM)setup, which is based on a Single Plane Illumination Microscope (SPIM). A SPIM provides an inherent optical sectioning capability and reduces photobleaching compared to conventional widefield and confocal fluorescence microscopes. The lifetime precision of the FLIM was characterized with Rhodamine 6G solutions of different quencher concentrations [KI]. We demonstrate the high spatial resolution of the SPIM-FLIM combination in the intensity domain as well as in the lifetime domain with latex bead samples and multiple recordings of three-dimensional live Madine-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cysts. We estimate that the bleaching rate after 600 images have been recorded is below 5%.
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Digital scanned laser light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (DSLM) of zebrafish and Drosophila embryonic development.
Cold Spring Harb Protoc
PUBLISHED: 10-05-2011
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Embryonic development is one of the most complex processes encountered in biology. In vertebrates and higher invertebrates, a single cell transforms into a fully functional organism comprising several tens of thousands of cells, arranged in tissues and organs that perform impressive tasks. In vivo observation of this biological process at high spatiotemporal resolution and over long periods of time is crucial for quantitative developmental biology. Importantly, such recordings must be realized without compromising the physiological development of the specimen. In digital scanned laser light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (DSLM), a specimen is rapidly scanned with a thin sheet of light while fluorescence is recorded perpendicular to the axis of illumination with a camera. Combining light-sheet technology and fast laser scanning, DSLM delivers quantitative data for entire embryos at high spatiotemporal resolution. Compared with confocal and two-photon fluorescence microscopy, DSLM exposes the embryo to at least three orders of magnitude less light energy, but still provides up to 50 times faster imaging speeds and a 10-100-fold higher signal-to-noise ratio. By using automated image processing algorithms, DSLM images of embryogenesis can be converted into a digital representation. These digital embryos permit following cells as a function of time, revealing cell fate as well as cell origin. By means of such analyses, developmental building plans of tissues and organs can be determined in a whole-embryo context. This article presents a sample preparation and imaging protocol for studying the development of whole zebrafish and Drosophila embryos using DSLM.
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High-resolution live imaging of plant growth in near physiological bright conditions using light sheet fluorescence microscopy.
Plant J.
PUBLISHED: 08-04-2011
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Most plant growth occurs post-embryonically and is characterized by the constant and iterative formation of new organs. Non-invasive time-resolved imaging of intact, fully functional organisms allows studies of the dynamics involved in shaping complex organisms. Conventional and confocal fluorescence microscopy suffer from limitations when whole living organisms are imaged at single-cell resolution. We applied light sheet-based fluorescence microscopy to overcome these limitations and study the dynamics of plant growth. We designed a special imaging chamber in which the plant is maintained vertically under controlled illumination with its leaves in the air and its root in the medium. We show that minimally invasive, multi-color, three-dimensional imaging of live Arabidopsis thaliana samples can be achieved at organ, cellular and subcellular scales over periods of time ranging from seconds to days with minimal damage to the sample. We illustrate the capabilities of the method by recording the growth of primary root tips and lateral root primordia over several hours. This allowed us to quantify the contribution of cell elongation to the early morphogenesis of lateral root primordia and uncover the diurnal growth rhythm of lateral roots. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach at varying spatial and temporal scales by following the division of plant cells as well as the movement of single endosomes in live growing root samples. This multi-dimensional approach will have an important impact on plant developmental and cell biology and paves the way to a truly quantitative description of growth processes at several scales.
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A novel laser nanosurgery approach supports de novo Golgi biogenesis in mammalian cells.
J. Cell. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 03-08-2011
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The Golgi complex has a central role in the secretory pathway of all higher organisms. To explain the synthesis of its unique stacked structure in mammalian cells, two major models have been proposed. One suggests that it is synthesized de novo from the endoplasmic reticulum. The second model postulates a pre-existing Golgi template that serves as a scaffold for its biogenesis. To test these hypotheses directly, we have developed an approach in which we deplete the Golgi complex from living cells by laser nanosurgery, and subsequently analyze the Golgi-depleted karyoplast using time-lapse and electron microscopy. We show that biosynthetic transport is blocked after Golgi depletion, but is restored 12 hours later. This recovery of secretory transport coincides with an ordered assembly of stacked Golgi structures, and we also observe the appearance of matrix proteins before that of Golgi enzymes. Functional experiments using RNA interference-mediated knockdown of GM130 further demonstrate the importance of the matrix during Golgi biogenesis. By contrast, the centrosome, which can also be removed by laser nanosurgery and is not reformed within the considered time frame, is not required for this process. Altogether, our data provide evidence that de novo Golgi biogenesis can occur in mammalian cells.
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Viscoelastic response of contractile filament bundles.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2011
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The actin cytoskeleton of adherent tissue cells often condenses into filament bundles contracted by myosin motors, so-called stress fibers, which play a crucial role in the mechanical interaction of cells with their environment. Stress fibers are usually attached to their environment at the endpoints, but possibly also along their whole length. We introduce a theoretical model for such contractile filament bundles which combines passive viscoelasticity with active contractility. The model equations are solved analytically for two different types of boundary conditions. A free boundary corresponds to stress fiber contraction dynamics after laser surgery and results in good agreement with experimental data. Imposing cyclic varying boundary forces allows us to calculate the complex modulus of a single stress fiber.
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Dynamic recruitment of licensing factor Cdt1 to sites of DNA damage.
J. Cell. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2011
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For genomic integrity to be maintained, the cell cycle and DNA damage responses must be linked. Cdt1, a G1-specific cell-cycle factor, is targeted for proteolysis by the Cul4-Ddb1(Cdt2) ubiquitin ligase following DNA damage. Using a laser nanosurgery microscope to generate spatially restricted DNA damage within the living cell nucleus, we show that Cdt1 is recruited onto damaged sites in G1 phase cells, within seconds of DNA damage induction. PCNA, Cdt2, Cul4, DDB1 and p21(Cip1) also accumulate rapidly to damaged sites. Cdt1 recruitment is PCNA-dependent, whereas PCNA and Cdt2 recruitment are independent of Cdt1. Fitting of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching profiles to an analytic reaction-diffusion model shows that Cdt1 and p21(Cip1) exhibit highly dynamic binding at the site of damage, whereas PCNA appears immobile. Cdt2 exhibits both a rapidly exchanging and an apparently immobile subpopulation. Our data suggest that PCNA provides an immobile binding interface for dynamic Cdt1 interactions at the site of damage, which leads to rapid Cdt1 recruitment to damaged DNA, preceding Cdt1 degradation.
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ImFCS: a software for imaging FCS data analysis and visualization.
Opt Express
PUBLISHED: 12-18-2010
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The multiplexing of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), especially in imaging FCS using fast, sensitive array detectors, requires the handling of large amounts of data. One can easily collect in excess of 100,000 FCS curves a day, too many to be treated manually. Therefore, ImFCS, an open-source software which relies on standard image files was developed and provides a wide range of options for the calculation of spatial and temporal auto- and cross-correlations, as well as differences in Cross-Correlation Functions (?CCF). ImFCS permits fitting of standard models to correlation functions and provides optimized histograms of fitted parameters. Applications include the measurement of diffusion and flow with Imaging Total Internal Reflection FCS (ITIR-FCS) and Single Plane Illumination Microscopy FCS (SPIM-FCS) in biologically relevant samples. As a compromise between ITIR-FCS and SPIM-FCS, we extend the applications to Imaging Variable Angle-FCS (IVA-FCS) where sub-critical oblique illumination provides sample sectioning close to the cover slide.
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Madin-Darby canine kidney cells are increased in aerobic glycolysis when cultured on flat and stiff collagen-coated surfaces rather than in physiological 3-D cultures.
Proteomics
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2010
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We investigate the influence of the dimensionality and the biochemistry of the culture system on the cellular functionality by analyzing the protein expression levels in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells grown in 3-D and 2-D substrates. We cultured MDCK cells on a hard and flat 2-D uncoated plastic surface, on a 2-D collagen-coated plastic surface and in 3-D collagen gel and employed 2-D gel electrophoresis, MALDI-TOF-MS, and LC-MS/MS analysis to identify the differentially regulated proteins. We found significant differences in the expression of antioxidant proteins, actin-binding proteins, glycolytic enzymes, and heat-shock proteins/chaperons among the three types of cultures. While MDCK cells cultured in 3-D collagen up-regulate antioxidant proteins and proteins involved in the dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton, 2-D collagen-coated plastic surfaces induce the up-regulation of glycolytic enzymes. Our data shows that the culture conditions have profound effects on the physiology of the cell. Culture in 3-D collagen induces a differentiated polarized phenotype. In contrast, collagen-coated 2-D substrates favor a tumor-like phenotype with increased glycolysis. Thus, the suitability of 2-D cultures to study the physiological behavior of cells, especially in drug discovery, bioprocessing, and toxicology, should be carefully reconsidered.
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Single plane illumination fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (SPIM-FCS) probes inhomogeneous three-dimensional environments.
Opt Express
PUBLISHED: 07-01-2010
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The life sciences require new highly sensitive imaging tools, which allow the quantitative measurement of molecular parameters within a physiological three-dimensional (3D) environment. Therefore, we combined single plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) with camera based fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). SPIM-FCS provides contiguous particle number and diffusion coefficient images with a high spatial resolution in homo- and heterogeneous 3D specimens and live zebrafish embryos. Our SPIM-FCS recorded up to 4096 spectra within 56 seconds at a laser power of 60 microW without damaging the embryo. This new FCS modality provides more measurements per time and more, less photo-toxic measurements per sample than confocal based methods. In essence, SPIM-FCS offers new opportunities to observe biomolecular interactions quantitatively and functions in a highly multiplexed manner within a physiologically relevant 3D environment.
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Digital scanned laser light sheet fluorescence microscopy.
Cold Spring Harb Protoc
PUBLISHED: 05-05-2010
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Modern applications in the life sciences are frequently based on in vivo imaging of biological specimens, a domain for which light microscopy approaches are typically best suited. Often, quantitative information must be obtained from large multicellular organisms on the cellular or even subcellular level and with a good temporal resolution. However, this usually requires a combination of conflicting features: high imaging speed, low photobleaching, and low phototoxicity in the specimen, good three-dimensional (3D) resolution, an excellent signal-to-noise ratio, and multiple-view imaging capability. The latter feature refers to the capability of recording a specimen along multiple directions, which is crucial for the imaging of large specimens with strong light-scattering or light-absorbing tissue properties. An imaging technique that fulfills these requirements is essential for many key applications: For example, studying fast cellular processes over long periods of time, imaging entire embryos throughout development, or reconstructing the formation of morphological defects in mutants. Here, we discuss digital scanned laser light sheet fluorescence microscopy (DSLM) as a novel tool for quantitative in vivo imaging in the post-genomic era and show how this emerging technique relates to the currently most widely applied 3D microscopy techniques in biology: confocal fluorescence microscopy and two-photon microscopy.
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Membrane invaginations reveal cortical sites that pull on mitotic spindles in one-cell C. elegans embryos.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-25-2010
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Asymmetric positioning of the mitotic spindle in C. elegans embryos is mediated by force-generating complexes that are anchored at the plasma membrane and that pull on microtubules growing out from the spindle poles. Although asymmetric distribution of the force generators is thought to underlie asymmetric positioning of the spindle, the number and location of the force generators has not been well defined. In particular, it has not been possible to visualize individual force generating events at the cortex. We discovered that perturbation of the acto-myosin cortex leads to the formation of long membrane invaginations that are pulled from the plasma membrane toward the spindle poles. Several lines of evidence show that the invaginations, which also occur in unperturbed embryos though at lower frequency, are pulled by the same force generators responsible for spindle positioning. Thus, the invaginations serve as a tool to localize the sites of force generation at the cortex and allow us to estimate a lower limit on the number of cortical force generators within the cell.
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Fast, high-contrast imaging of animal development with scanned light sheet-based structured-illumination microscopy.
Nat. Methods
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2010
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Recording light-microscopy images of large, nontransparent specimens, such as developing multicellular organisms, is complicated by decreased contrast resulting from light scattering. Early zebrafish development can be captured by standard light-sheet microscopy, but new imaging strategies are required to obtain high-quality data of late development or of less transparent organisms. We combined digital scanned laser light-sheet fluorescence microscopy with incoherent structured-illumination microscopy (DSLM-SI) and created structured-illumination patterns with continuously adjustable frequencies. Our method discriminates the specimen-related scattered background from signal fluorescence, thereby removing out-of-focus light and optimizing the contrast of in-focus structures. DSLM-SI provides rapid control of the illumination pattern, exceptional imaging quality and high imaging speeds. We performed long-term imaging of zebrafish development for 58 h and fast multiple-view imaging of early Drosophila melanogaster development. We reconstructed cell positions over time from the Drosophila DSLM-SI data and created a fly digital embryo.
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A macrodomain-containing histone rearranges chromatin upon sensing PARP1 activation.
Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-10-2009
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Poly-ADP-ribosylation is a post-translational modification catalyzed by PARP enzymes with roles in transcription and chromatin biology. Here we show that distinct macrodomains, including those of histone macroH2A1.1, are recruited to sites of PARP1 activation induced by laser-generated DNA damage. Chemical PARP1 inhibitors, PARP1 knockdown and mutation of ADP-ribose-binding residues in macroH2A1.1 abrogate macrodomain recruitment. Notably, histone macroH2A1.1 senses PARP1 activation, transiently compacts chromatin, reduces the recruitment of DNA damage factor Ku70-Ku80 and alters gamma-H2AX patterns, whereas the splice variant macroH2A1.2, which is deficient in poly-ADP-ribose binding, does not mediate chromatin rearrangements upon PARP1 activation. The structure of the macroH2A1.1 macrodomain in complex with ADP-ribose establishes a poly-ADP-ribose cap-binding function and reveals conformational changes in the macrodomain upon ligand binding. We thus identify macrodomains as modules that directly sense PARP activation in vivo and establish macroH2A histones as dynamic regulators of chromatin plasticity.
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Three-dimensional tissue models for drug discovery and toxicology.
Recent Pat Biotechnol
PUBLISHED: 06-13-2009
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Launching a new drug on the market is an extremely time-consuming and expensive process. The total costs from the lab bench to the patients bedside are in the range of $800 million for each new compound. Innovative pre-clinical assays are urgently needed to select the most promising drug candidates. High-throughput molecular screening does not provide information on the effects on cellular functions. Testing on animals is expensive, ethically controversial, and poorly predictive of the response in humans. Conventional two-dimensional (2D) cellular assays do not accurately reflect the drug response in vivo. To overcome these limitations, biotechnologists are developing three-dimensional (3D) cultures. 3D cultures provide more accurate compound screening and can eliminate toxic and ineffective substances at an early stage. Moreover, 3D cultures can accomplish the 3R agenda (refinement, reduction, and replacement) for the replacement of toxicity testing on animals. We provide an up-to-date overview on the patents in the field.
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Nlcam modulates midline convergence during anterior neural plate morphogenesis.
Dev. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 05-12-2009
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During development, different cell types must undergo distinct morphogenetic programs so that tissues develop the right dimensions in the appropriate place. In early eye morphogenesis, retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) move first towards the midline, before turning around to migrate out into the evaginating optic vesicles. Neighbouring forebrain cells, however, converge rapidly and then remain at the midline. These differential behaviours are regulated by the transcription factor Rx3. Here, we identify a downstream target of Rx3, the Ig-domain protein Nlcam, and characterise its role in regulating cell migration during the initial phase of optic vesicle morphogenesis. Through sophisticated live imaging and comprehensive cell tracking experiments in zebrafish, we show that ectopic expression of Nlcam in RPCs, as is observed in Rx3 mutants, causes enhanced convergence of these cells. Expression levels of Nlcam therefore regulate the migratory properties of RPCs. Our results provide evidence that the two phases of optic vesicle morphogenesis: slowed convergence and outward-directed migration, are under different genetic control. We propose that Nlcam forms part of the guidance machinery directing rapid midline migration of forebrain precursors, where it is normally expressed, and that its ectopic expression upon loss of Rx3 imparts these migratory characteristics upon RPCs.
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Mechanosensing in actin stress fibers revealed by a close correlation between force and protein localization.
J. Cell. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 04-28-2009
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The mechanics of the actin cytoskeleton have a central role in the regulation of cells and tissues, but the details of how molecular sensors recognize deformations and forces are elusive. By performing cytoskeleton laser nanosurgery in cultured epithelial cells and fibroblasts, we show that the retraction of stress fibers (SFs) is restricted to the proximity of the cut and that new adhesions form at the retracting end. This suggests that SFs are attached to the substrate. A new computational model for SFs confirms this hypothesis and predicts the distribution and propagation of contractile forces along the SF. We then analyzed the dynamics of zyxin, a focal adhesion protein present in SFs. Fluorescent redistribution after laser nanosurgery and drug treatment shows a high correlation between the experimentally measured localization of zyxin and the computed localization of forces along SFs. Correlative electron microscopy reveals that zyxin is recruited very fast to intermediate substrate anchor points that are highly tensed upon SF release. A similar acute localization response is found if SFs are mechanically perturbed with the cantilever of an atomic force microscope. If actin bundles are cut by nanosurgery in living Drosophila egg chambers, we also find that zyxin redistribution dynamics correlate to force propagation and that zyxin relocates at tensed SF anchor points, demonstrating that these processes also occur in living organisms. In summary, our quantitative analysis shows that force and protein localization are closely correlated in stress fibers, suggesting a very direct force-sensing mechanism along actin bundles.
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Quantitative in vivo imaging of entire embryos with Digital Scanned Laser Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy.
Curr. Opin. Neurobiol.
PUBLISHED: 02-23-2009
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The observation of biological processes in their natural in vivo context is a key requirement for quantitative experimental studies in the life sciences. In many instances, it will be crucial to achieve high temporal and spatial resolution over long periods of time without compromising the physiological development of the specimen. Here, we discuss the principles underlying light sheet-based fluorescence microscopes. The most recent implementation DSLM is a tool optimized to deliver quantitative data for entire embryos at high spatio-temporal resolution. We compare DSLM to the two established light microscopy techniques: confocal and two-photon fluorescence microscopy. DSLM provides up to 50 times higher imaging speeds and a 10-100 times higher signal-to-noise ratio, while exposing the specimens to at least three orders of magnitude less light energy than confocal and two-photon fluorescence microscopes. We conclude with a perspective for future development.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.