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199 Publications

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    09/04/19 | Isomeric tuning yields bright and targetable red Ca indicators.
    Deo C, Sheu S, Seo J, Clapham DE, Lavis LD
    Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2019 Sep 04;141(35):13734-13738. doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b06092

    Targeting small-molecule fluorescent indicators using genetically encoded protein tags yields new hybrid sensors for biological imaging. Optimization of such systems requires redesign of the synthetic indicator to allow cell-specific targeting without compromising the photophysical properties or cellular performance of the small-molecule probe. We developed a bright and sensitive Ca indicator by systematically exploring the relative configuration of dye and chelator, which can be targeted using the HaloTag self-labeling tag system. Our "isomeric tuning" approach is generalizable, yielding a far-red targetable indicator to visualize Ca fluxes in the primary cilium.

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    09/02/19 | Idiosyncratic choice bias in decision tasks naturally emerges from neuronal network dynamics.
    Lebovich L, Darshan R, Lavi Y, Hansel D, Loewenstein Y
    Nature Human Behavior. 2019 Sep 02;3(11):1190-1202. doi: 10.1101/284877

    Idiosyncratic tendency to choose one alternative over others in the absence of an identified reason, is a common observation in two-alternative forced-choice experiments. It is tempting to account for it as resulting from the (unknown) participant-specific history and thus treat it as a measurement noise. Indeed, idiosyncratic choice biases are typically considered as nuisance. Care is taken to account for them by adding an ad-hoc bias parameter or by counterbalancing the choices to average them out. Here we quantify idiosyncratic choice biases in a perceptual discrimination task and a motor task. We report substantial and significant biases in both cases. Then, we present theoretical evidence that even in idealized experiments, in which the settings are symmetric, idiosyncratic choice bias is expected to emerge from the dynamics of competing neuronal networks. We thus argue that idiosyncratic choice bias reflects the microscopic dynamics of choice and therefore is virtually inevitable in any comparison or decision task.

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    09/02/19 | Software for lattice light-sheet imaging of FRET biosensors, illustrated with a new Rap1 biosensor.
    O’Shaughnessy EC, Stone OJ, LaFosse PK, Azoitei ML, Tsygankov D, Heddleston JM, Legant WR, Wittchen ES, Burridge K, Elston TC, Betzig E, Chew T, Adalsteinsson D, Hahn KM
    The Journal of Cell Biology. 2019 Sep 2;218(9):3153-3160. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201903019

    Lattice light-sheet microscopy (LLSM) is valuable for its combination of reduced photobleaching and outstanding spatiotemporal resolution in 3D. Using LLSM to image biosensors in living cells could provide unprecedented visualization of rapid, localized changes in protein conformation or posttranslational modification. However, computational manipulations required for biosensor imaging with LLSM are challenging for many software packages. The calculations require processing large amounts of data even for simple changes such as reorientation of cell renderings or testing the effects of user-selectable settings, and lattice imaging poses unique challenges in thresholding and ratio imaging. We describe here a new software package, named ImageTank, that is specifically designed for practical imaging of biosensors using LLSM. To demonstrate its capabilities, we use a new biosensor to study the rapid 3D dynamics of the small GTPase Rap1 in vesicles and cell protrusions.

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    09/01/19 | A neuron-glia Co-culture system for studying intercellular lipid transport.
    Ioannou MS, Liu Z, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Curr Protoc Cell Biol. 2019 Sep 01;84(1):e95. doi: 10.1002/cpcb.95

    Neurons and glia operate in a highly coordinated fashion in the brain. Although glial cells have long been known to supply lipids to neurons via lipoprotein particles, new evidence reveals that lipid transport between neurons and glia is bidirectional. Here, we describe a co-culture system to study transfer of lipids and lipid-associated proteins from neurons to glia. The assay entails culturing neurons and glia on separate coverslips, pulsing the neurons with fluorescently labeled fatty acids, and then incubating the coverslips together. As astrocytes internalize and store neuron-derived fatty acids in lipid droplets, analyzing the number, size, and fluorescence intensity of lipid droplets containing the fluorescent fatty acids provides an easy and quantifiable measure of fatty acid transport. © 2019 The Authors.

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    09/01/19 | BigStitcher: reconstructing high-resolution image datasets of cleared and expanded samples.
    Hörl D, Rojas Rusak F, Preusser F, Tillberg P, Randel N, Chhetri RK, Cardona A, Keller PJ, Harz H, Leonhardt H, Treier M, Preibisch S
    Nature Methods. 2019 Sep;16(9):870-74. doi: 10.1038/s41592-019-0501-0

    Light-sheet imaging of cleared and expanded samples creates terabyte-sized datasets that consist of many unaligned three-dimensional image tiles, which must be reconstructed before analysis. We developed the BigStitcher software to address this challenge. BigStitcher enables interactive visualization, fast and precise alignment, spatially resolved quality estimation, real-time fusion and deconvolution of dual-illumination, multitile, multiview datasets. The software also compensates for optical effects, thereby improving accuracy and enabling subsequent biological analysis.

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    09/01/19 | Cellular localization of tolyporphins, unusual tetrapyrroles, in a microbial photosynthetic community determined using hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscopy.
    Barnhart-Dailey M, Zhang Y, Zhang R, Anthony SM, Aaron JS, Miller ES, Lindsey JS, Timlin JA
    Photosynthesis Research. 2019 Sep 1;141(3):259-71. doi: 10.1007/s11120-019-00625-w

    The cyanobacterial culture HT-58-2, composed of a filamentous cyanobacterium and accompanying community bacteria, produces chlorophyll a as well as the tetrapyrrole macrocycles known as tolyporphins. Almost all known tolyporphins (A-M except K) contain a dioxobacteriochlorin chromophore and exhibit an absorption spectrum somewhat similar to that of chlorophyll a. Here, hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscopy was employed to noninvasively probe the locale of tolyporphins within live cells under various growth conditions (media, illumination, culture age). Cultures grown in nitrate-depleted media (BG-11 vs. nitrate-rich, BG-11) are known to increase the production of tolyporphins by orders of magnitude (rivaling that of chlorophyll a) over a period of 30-45 days. Multivariate curve resolution (MCR) was applied to an image set containing images from each condition to obtain pure component spectra of the endogenous pigments. The relative abundances of these components were then calculated for individual pixels in each image in the entire set, and 3D-volume renderings were obtained. At 30 days in media with or without nitrate, the chlorophyll a and phycobilisomes (combined phycocyanin and phycobilin components) co-localize in the filament outer cytoplasmic region. Tolyporphins localize in a distinct peripheral pattern in cells grown in BG-11 versus a diffuse pattern (mimicking the chlorophyll a localization) upon growth in BG-11. In BG-11, distinct puncta of tolyporphins were commonly found at the septa between cells and at the end of filaments. This work quantifies the relative abundance and envelope localization of tolyporphins in single cells, and illustrates the ability to identify novel tetrapyrroles in the presence of chlorophyll a in a photosynthetic microorganism within a non-axenic culture.

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    08/29/19 | Differential nanoscale organisation of LFA-1 modulates T cell migration.
    Shannon MJ, Pineau J, Griffié J, Aaron J, Peel T, Williamson DJ, Zamoyska R, Cope AP, Cornish GH, Owen DM
    Journal of Cell Science. 2019 Aug 29;132(7):1-28. doi: 10.1242/jcs.232991
    08/27/19 | Constraining computational models using electron microscopy wiring diagrams.
    Litwin-Kumar A, Turaga SC
    Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2019 Aug 27;58:94-100. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2019.07.007

    Numerous efforts to generate "connectomes," or synaptic wiring diagrams, of large neural circuits or entire nervous systems are currently underway. These efforts promise an abundance of data to guide theoretical models of neural computation and test their predictions. However, there is not yet a standard set of tools for incorporating the connectivity constraints that these datasets provide into the models typically studied in theoretical neuroscience. This article surveys recent approaches to building models with constrained wiring diagrams and the insights they have provided. It also describes challenges and the need for new techniques to scale these approaches to ever more complex datasets.

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    08/13/19 | Bright and photostable chemigenetic indicators for extended in vivo voltage imaging.
    Abdelfattah AS, Kawashima T, Singh A, Novak O, Liu H, Shuai Y, Huang Y, Campagnola L, Seeman SC, Yu J, Zheng J, Grimm JB, Patel R, Friedrich J, Mensh BD, Paninski L, Macklin JJ, Murphy GJ, Podgorski K, Lin B, Chen T, Turner GC, Liu Z, Koyama M, Svoboda K, Ahrens MB, Lavis LD, Schreiter ER
    Science. 2019 Aug 13;365(6454):699-704. doi: 10.1126/science.aav6416

    Imaging changes in membrane potential using genetically encoded fluorescent voltage indicators (GEVIs) has great potential for monitoring neuronal activity with high spatial and temporal resolution. Brightness and photostability of fluorescent proteins and rhodopsins have limited the utility of existing GEVIs. We engineered a novel GEVI, "Voltron", that utilizes bright and photostable synthetic dyes instead of protein-based fluorophores, extending the combined duration of imaging and number of neurons imaged simultaneously by more than tenfold relative to existing GEVIs. We used Voltron for in vivo voltage imaging in mice, zebrafish, and fruit flies. In mouse cortex, Voltron allowed single-trial recording of spikes and subthreshold voltage signals from dozens of neurons simultaneously, over 15 min of continuous imaging. In larval zebrafish, Voltron enabled the precise correlation of spike timing with behavior.

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    08/15/19 | Time-variant SRC kinase activation determines endothelial permeability response.
    Klomp JE, Shaaya M, Matsche J, Rebiai R, Aaron JS, Collins KB, Huyot V, Gonzalez AM, Muller WA, Chew T, Malik AB, Karginov AV
    Cell Chemical Biology. 2019 Aug 15;26(8):1081-94. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2019.04.007

    In the current model of endothelial barrier regulation, the tyrosine kinase SRC is purported to induce disassembly of endothelial adherens junctions (AJs) via phosphorylation of VE cadherin, and thereby increase junctional permeability. Here, using a chemical biology approach to temporally control SRC activation, we show that SRC exerts distinct time-variant effects on the endothelial barrier. We discovered that the immediate effect of SRC activation was to transiently enhance endothelial barrier function as the result of accumulation of VE cadherin at AJs and formation of morphologically distinct reticular AJs. Endothelial barrier enhancement via SRC required phosphorylation of VE cadherin at Y731. In contrast, prolonged SRC activation induced VE cadherin phosphorylation at Y685, resulting in increased endothelial permeability. Thus, time-variant SRC activation differentially phosphorylates VE cadherin and shapes AJs to fine-tune endothelial barrier function. Our work demonstrates important advantages of synthetic biology tools in dissecting complex signaling systems.

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