Environmental auditing is an important tool to ensure consistent and effective cleaning. Our pilot study compared an alcohol-based fluorescent marking product and an adenosine-5'-triphosphate bioluminescence product for use in an environmental auditing program to determine which product was more practical and acceptable to users.
Trunk neural crest cells delaminate from the dorsal neural tube as an uninterrupted sheet; however, they convert into segmentally organized streams before migrating through the somitic territory. These neural crest cell streams join the segmental trajectories of pathfinding spinal motor axons, suggesting that interactions between these two cell types might be important for neural crest cell migration. Here, we show that in the zebrafish embryo migration of both neural crest cells and motor axons is temporally synchronized and spatially restricted to the center of the somite, but that motor axons are dispensable for segmental neural crest cell migration. Instead, we find that muscle-specific receptor kinase (MuSK) and its putative ligand Wnt11r are crucial for restricting neural crest cell migration to the center of each somite. Moreover, we find that blocking planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling in somitic muscle cells also results in non-segmental neural crest cell migration. Using an F-actin biosensor we show that in the absence of MuSK neural crest cells fail to retract non-productive leading edges, resulting in non-segmental migration. Finally, we show that MuSK knockout mice display similar neural crest cell migration defects, suggesting a novel, evolutionarily conserved role for MuSK in neural crest migration. We propose that a Wnt11r-MuSK dependent, PCP-like pathway restricts neural crest cells to their segmental path.
The manipulation of the cationic lipid structures to increase polynucleotide binding and delivery properties, while also minimizing associated cytotoxicity, has been a principal strategy for developing next-generation transfection agents. The polar (DNA binding) and hydrophobic domains of transfection lipids have been extensively studied; however, the linking domain comprising the substructure used to tether the polar and hydrophobic domains has attracted considerably less attention as an optimization variable. Here, we examine the use of an oxime ether as the linking domain. Hydrophobic oxime ethers were readily assembled via click chemistry by oximation of hydrophobic aldehydes using an aminooxy salt. A facile ligation reaction delivered the desired compounds with hydrophobic domain asymmetry. Using the MCF-7 breast cancer, H1792 lung cancer and PAR C10 salivary epithelial cell lines, our findings show that lipoplexes derived from oxime ether lipids transfect in the presence of serum at higher levels than commonly used liposome formulations, based on both luciferase and green fluorescent protein (GFP) assays. Given the biological compatibility of oxime ethers and their ease of formation, this functional group should find significant application as a linking domain in future designs of transfection vectors.
The RASSF1A tumor suppressor binds and activates proapoptotic MST kinases. The Salvador adaptor protein couples MST kinases to the LATS kinases to form the hippo pathway. Upon activation by RASSF1A, LATS1 phosphorylates the transcriptional regulator YAP, which binds to p73 and activates its proapoptotic effects. However, although serving as an adaptor for MST and LATS, Salvador can also bind RASSF1A. The functional role of the RASSF1A/Salvador interaction is unclear. Although Salvador is a novel tumor suppressor in Drosophila and mice, its role in human systems remains largely unknown. Here we show that Salvador promotes apoptosis in human cells and that Salvador inactivation deregulates the cell cycle and enhances the transformed phenotype. Moreover, we show that although the salvador gene is seldom mutated or epigenetically inactivated in human cancers, it is frequently down-regulated posttranscriptionally. Surprisingly, we also find that although RASSF1A requires the presence of Salvador for full apoptotic activity and to activate p73, this effect does not require a direct interaction of RASSF1A with MST kinases or the activation of the hippo pathway. Thus, we confirm a role for Salvador as a human tumor suppressor and RASSF1A effector and show that Salvador allows RASSF1A to modulate p73 independently of the hippo pathway.
Functionalization of iron oxide nanoparticles with quaternary ammonium ion-based aminooxy and oxime ether substrates provides a flexible route for generating magnetic gene delivery vectors. Using the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line, our findings show that pDNA magnetoplexes derived from the lipid-coated nanoparticle formulation dMLP transfect in the presence of 10% serum with or without magnetic assistance at significantly higher levels than a commonly used cationic liposome formulation, based on luciferase assay. The present ion-pairing, click chemistry approach furnishes Fe(3)O(4) nanoparticles with lipid layers. The resultant magnetic nanovectors serve as transfection enhancers for otherwise transfection-inactive materials.
The role of classic morphogens such as Sonic hedgehog (Shh) as axon guidance cues has been reported in a variety of vertebrate organisms (Charron and Tessier-Lavigne  Development 132:2251-2262). In this work, we provide the first evidence that Xenopus sonic hedgehog (Xshh) signaling is involved in guiding retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons along the optic tract. Xshh is expressed in the brain during retinal axon extension, adjacent to these axons in the ventral diencephalon. Retinal axons themselves express Patched 1 and Smoothened co-receptors during RGC axon growth. Blocking Shh signaling causes abnormal ventral pathfinding, and targeting errors at the optic tectum. Misexpression of exogenous N-Shh peptide in vivo also causes pathfinding errors. Retinal axons grown in culture respond to N-Shh in a dose-dependent manner, either by decreasing extension at lower concentrations, or retracting axons in the presence of higher doses. These data suggest that Shh signaling is required for normal RGC axon pathfinding and tectal targeting in the developing visual system of Xenopus. We propose that Shh serves as a ventral optic tract repellent that helps to define the caudal boundary for retinal axons in the diencephalon, and that this signaling is also required for initial target recognition at the optic tectum.
RASSF2 is a novel proapoptotic effector of K-Ras. Inhibition of RASSF2 expression enhances the transforming effects of K-Ras, and epigenetic inactivation of RASSF2 is frequently detected in mutant Ras-containing primary tumors. Thus, RASSF2 is implicated as a tumor suppressor whose inactivation facilitates transformation by disconnecting apoptotic responses from Ras. The mechanism of action of RASSF2 is not known. Here we show that RASSF2 forms a direct and endogenous complex with the prostate apoptosis response protein 4 (PAR-4) tumor suppressor. This interaction is regulated by K-Ras and is essential for the full apoptotic effects of PAR-4. RASSF2 is primarily a nuclear protein, and shuttling of PAR-4 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus is essential for its function. We show that RASSF2 modulates the nuclear translocation of PAR-4 in prostate tumor cells, providing a mechanism for its biological effects. Thus, we identify the first tumor suppressor signaling pathway emanating from RASSF2, we identify a novel mode of action of a RASSF protein, and we provide an explanation for the extraordinarily high frequency of RASSF2 inactivation we have observed in primary prostate tumors.
One of the earliest events in neuromuscular junction (NMJ) development is the accumulation of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) at the center of muscle cells. The unplugged/MuSK (muscle specific tyrosine kinase) gene is essential to initiate AChR clustering but also to restrict approaching growth cones to the muscle center, thereby coordinating pre- and postsynaptic development. To determine how unplugged/MuSK signaling coordinates these two processes, we examined the temporal and spatial requirements of unplugged/MuSK in zebrafish embryos using heat-shock inducible transgenes. Here, we show that despite its expression in muscle cells from the time they differentiate, unplugged/MuSK activity is first required just prior to the appearance of AChR clusters to simultaneously induce AChR accumulation and to guide motor axons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that ectopic expression of unplugged/MuSK throughout the muscle membrane results in wildtype-like AChR prepattern and neuromuscular synapses in the central region of muscle cells. We propose that AChR prepatterning and axonal guidance are spatio-temporally coordinated through common unplugged/MuSK signals, and that additional factor(s) restrict unplugged/MuSK signaling to a central muscle zone critical for establishing mid-muscle synaptogenesis.
NORE1A (RASSF5) is a proapoptotic Ras effector that is frequently inactivated by promoter methylation in human tumors. It is structurally related to the RASSF1A tumor suppressor and is itself implicated as a tumor suppressor. In the presence of activated Ras, NORE1A is a potent inducer of apoptosis. However, when expressed at lower levels in the absence of activated Ras, NORE1A seems to promote cell cycle arrest rather than apoptosis. The mechanisms underlying NORE1A action are poorly understood. We have used microarray analysis of an inducible NORE1A system to screen for physiologic signaling targets of NORE1A action. Using this approach, we have identified several potential signaling pathways modulated by NORE1A. In particular, we identify the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(CIP1) as a target for NORE1A activation and show that it is a vital component of NORE1A-mediated growth inhibition. In primary human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), loss of NORE1A expression is frequent and correlates tightly with loss of p21(CIP1) expression. NORE1A down-regulation in HCC also correlates with poor prognosis, enhanced proliferation, survival, and angiogenic tumor characteristics. Experimental inactivation of NORE1A results in the loss of p21(CIP1) expression and promotes proliferation. The best characterized activator of p21(CIP1) is the p53 master tumor suppressor. Further experiments showed that NORE1A activates p21(CIP1) via promoting p53 nuclear localization. Thus, we define the molecular basis of NORE1A-mediated growth inhibition and implicate NORE1A as a potential component of the ill-defined connection between Ras and p53.
Evidence has accumulated implicating complement activation in the pathogenesis of acute post-hypoxic-ischemic cerebral injury in infants who develop hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). However, the relationship between complement activation and subsequent neurological impairment is not known. We tested the hypothesis that in human neonates, post-hypoxic-ischemic complement activation within the central nervous system is positively associated with the acquisition of subsequent neurodevelopmental abnormalities. This prospective study included 18 full-term infants diagnosed with HIE following resuscitation at birth and seven control infants. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples were obtained from all infants in the first 24 hours of life as part of routine investigations to exclude sepsis and meningitis. Concentrations of terminal complement complexes (TCC), complement component 9 (C9), and albumin were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in all CSF samples. Neurological examination and Denver Developmental Screening Test II were performed at 6 and 12 months of life. Of the 18 HIE subjects, nine died, six survived with significant neurological impairment, and three had normal neurological outcomes. In the CSF of the 15 HIE infants who died or survived with abnormal outcomes, the mean concentration of TCC was increased compared with controls (p = 0.026) and the mean C9 concentration appeared to be decreased but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.056). Similar to the TCC concentration, the concentration of albumin in the CSF was significantly increased in infants with abnormal outcomes (p = 0.005). This study indicates that complement activation following resuscitation at birth, as manifested by increased TCC in the CNS, is positively correlated with the combination of the development of subsequent neurological sequelae and death. Further study incorporating larger sample sizes will be required to confirm this association. This step is essential before clinical trials of complement inhibitors can be justified in human neonates who suffer birth asphyxia.
Early during neuromuscular development, acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) accumulate at the center of muscle fibers, precisely where motor growth cones navigate and synapses eventually form. Here, we show that Wnt11r binds to the zebrafish unplugged/MuSK ectodomain to organize this central muscle zone. In the absence of such a zone, prepatterned AChRs fail to aggregate and, as visualized by live-cell imaging, growth cones stray from their central path. Using inducible unplugged/MuSK transgenes, we show that organization of the central muscle zone is dispensable for the formation of neural synapses, but essential for AChR prepattern and motor growth cone guidance. Finally, we show that blocking noncanonical dishevelled signaling in muscle fibers disrupts AChR prepatterning and growth cone guidance. We propose that Wnt ligands activate unplugged/MuSK signaling in muscle fibers to restrict growth cone guidance and AChR prepatterns to the muscle center through a mechanism reminiscent of the planar cell polarity pathway.
Seven dinucleotide and one trinucleotide polymorphic microsatellite loci were isolated from the mite Coccipolipus hippodamiae. This mite is an ectoparasite of coccinellid beetles (ladybirds), principally the European two-spot ladybird Adalia bipunctata, where it causes sterility in the female host. Levels of genetic diversity were assessed using 32 mites from Warsaw, Poland. We observed moderate variability, with the number of alleles per locus varying between 2 and 4, and observed and expected heterozygosities ranging from 0.031 to 0.267 and between 0.062 and 0.526, respectively. This is the first description of microsatellite loci from the genus Coccipolipus and these loci are currently being employed to answer fundamental questions about the epidemiology of C. hippodamiae infections on A. bipunctata.
In zebrafish, the MuSK receptor initiates neuromuscular synapse formation by restricting presynaptic growth cones and postsynaptic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) to the center of skeletal muscle cells. Increasing evidence suggests a role for Wnts in this process, yet how muscle cells respond to Wnt signals is unclear. Here, we show that in vivo, wnt11r and wnt4a initiate MuSK translocation from muscle membranes to recycling endosomes and that this transition is crucial for AChR accumulation at future synaptic sites. Moreover, we demonstrate that components of the planar cell polarity pathway colocalize to recycling endosomes and that this localization is MuSK dependent. Knockdown of several core components disrupts MuSK translocation to endosomes, AChR localization and axonal guidance. We propose that Wnt-induced trafficking of the MuSK receptor to endosomes initiates a signaling cascade to align pre- with postsynaptic elements. Collectively, these findings suggest a general mechanism by which Wnt signals shape synaptic connectivity through localized receptor endocytosis.
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