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1358 Publications

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    08/28/18 | Fluorogenic Protein‐Based Strategies for Detection, Actuation, and Sensing
    Gautier A, Tebo AG
    BioEssays. 08/2018;40:1800118. doi: 10.1002/bies.201800118

    Fluorescence imaging has become an indispensable tool in cell and molecular biology. GFP‐like fluorescent proteins have revolutionized fluorescence microscopy, giving experimenters exquisite control over the localization and specificity of tagged constructs. However, these systems present certain drawbacks and as such, alternative systems based on a fluorogenic interaction between a chromophore and a protein have been developed. While these systems are initially designed as fluorescent labels, they also present new opportunities for the development of novel labeling and detection strategies. This review focuses on new labeling protocols, actuation methods, and biosensors based on fluorogenic protein systems. This review presents recently developed fluorogenic protein‐based systems made of a protein tag incorporating an external chromophore. Beyond addressing some limitations of classical fluorescent proteins, these unique systems present characteristics than can be used to creatively push the limits of biological imaging, in particular for the development of new labeling protocols, actuation methods and biosensors.

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    08/24/18 | Severing enzymes amplify microtubule arrays through lattice GTP-tubulin incorporation.
    Vemu A, Szczesna E, Zehr EA, Spector JO, Grigorieff N, Deaconescu AM, Roll-Mecak A
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 2018 Aug 24;361(6404):. doi: 10.1126/science.aau1504

    Spastin and katanin sever and destabilize microtubules. Paradoxically, despite their destructive activity they increase microtubule mass in vivo. We combined single-molecule total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy to show that the elemental step in microtubule severing is the generation of nanoscale damage throughout the microtubule by active extraction of tubulin heterodimers. These damage sites are repaired spontaneously by guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-tubulin incorporation, which rejuvenates and stabilizes the microtubule shaft. Consequently, spastin and katanin increase microtubule rescue rates. Furthermore, newly severed ends emerge with a high density of GTP-tubulin that protects them against depolymerization. The stabilization of the newly severed plus ends and the higher rescue frequency synergize to amplify microtubule number and mass. Thus, severing enzymes regulate microtubule architecture and dynamics by promoting GTP-tubulin incorporation within the microtubule shaft.

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    08/23/18 | Stepwise wiring of the Drosophila olfactory map requires specific Plexin B levels
    Li J, Guajardo R, Xu C, Wu B, Li H, Li T, Luginbuhl DJ, Xie X, Luo L
    Elife. 08/2018;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.39088

    The precise assembly of a neural circuit involves many consecutive steps. The conflict between a limited number of wiring molecules and the complexity of the neural network impels each molecule to execute multiple functions at different steps. Here, we examined the cell-type specific distribution of endogenous levels of axon guidance receptor Plexin B (PlexB) in the developing antennal lobe, the first olfactory processing center in . We found that different classes of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) express PlexB at different levels in two wiring steps - axonal trajectory choice and subsequent target selection. In line with its temporally distinct patterns, the proper levels of PlexB control both steps in succession. Genetic interactions further revealed that the effect of high-level PlexB is antagonized by its canonical partner Sema2b. Thus, PlexB plays a multifaceted role in instructing the assembly of the olfactory circuit through temporally-regulated expression patterns and expression level-dependent effects.

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    08/13/18 | Cerebellar involvement in an evidence-accumulation decision-making task
    Deverett B, Koay SA, Oostland M, Wang SS
    eLife. 08/2018;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36781

    To make successful evidence-based decisions, the brain must rapidly and accurately transform sensory inputs into specific goal-directed behaviors. Most experimental work on this subject has focused on forebrain mechanisms. Using a novel evidence-accumulation task for mice, we performed recording and perturbation studies of crus I of the lateral posterior cerebellum, which communicates bidirectionally with numerous forebrain regions. Cerebellar inactivation led to a reduction in the fraction of correct trials. Using two-photon fluorescence imaging of calcium, we found that Purkinje cell somatic activity contained choice/evidence-related information. Decision errors were represented by dendritic calcium spikes, which in other contexts are known to drive cerebellar plasticity. We propose that cerebellar circuitry may contribute to computations that support accurate performance in this perceptual decision-making task.

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    08/08/18 | Circularly Permuted Fluorogenic Proteins for the Design of Modular Biosensors.
    Tebo AG, Pimenta FM, Zoumpoulaki M, Kikuti C, Sirkia H, Plamont M, Houdusse A, Gautier A
    ACS Chemical Biology. 09/2018;13:2392 – 2397. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.8b00417

    Fluorescent reporters are essential components for the design of optical biosensors that are able to image intracellular analytes in living cells. Herein, we describe the development of circularly permuted variants of Fluorescence-Activating and absorption-Shifting Tag (FAST) and demonstrate their potential as reporting module in biosensors. Circularly permutated FAST (cpFAST) variants allow one to condition the binding and activation of a fluorogenic ligand (and thus fluorescence) to analyte recognition by coupling them with analyte-binding domains. We demonstrated their use for biosensor design by generating multicolor plug-and-play fluorogenic biosensors for imaging the intracellular levels of Ca2+ in living mammalian cells in real time.

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    06/11/18 | A cerebellar role in evidence-guided decision-making
    Deverett B, Koay SA, Oostland M, Wang SS
    bioRxiv. 06/2018:. doi: 10.1101/343095

    To make successful evidence-based decisions, the brain must rapidly and accurately transform sensory inputs into specific goal-directed behaviors. Most experimental work on this subject has focused on forebrain mechanisms. Here we show that during perceptual decision-making over a period of seconds, decision-, sensory-, and error-related information converge on the lateral posterior cerebellum in crus I, a structure that communicates bidirectionally with numerous forebrain regions. We trained mice on a novel evidence-accumulation task and demonstrated that cerebellar inactivation reduces behavioral accuracy without impairing motor parameters of action. Using two-photon calcium imaging, we found that Purkinje cell somatic activity encoded choice- and evidence-related variables. Decision errors were represented by dendritic calcium spikes, which are known to drive plasticity. We propose that cerebellar circuitry may contribute to the set of distributed computations in the brain that support accurate perceptual decision-making.

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    06/05/18 | CalmAn: An open source tool for scalable Calcium Imaging data Analysis
    Giovannucci A, Friedrich J, Gunn P, Kalfon J, Koay SA, Taxidis J, Najafi F, Gauthier JL, Zhou P, Tank DW, Chklovskii D, Pnevmatikakis EA
    bioRxiv. 06/2018:. doi: 10.1101/339564

    Advances in fluorescence microscopy enable monitoring larger brain areas in-vivo with finer time resolution. The resulting data rates require reproducible analysis pipelines that are reliable, fully automated, and scalable to datasets generated over the course of months. Here we present CaImAn, an open-source library for calcium imaging data analysis. CaImAn provides automatic and scalable methods to address problems common to pre-processing, including motion correction, neural activity identification, and registration across different sessions of data collection. It does this while requiring minimal user intervention, with good performance on computers ranging from laptops to high-performance computing clusters. CaImAn is suitable for two-photon and one-photon imaging, and also enables real-time analysis on streaming data. To benchmark the performance of CaImAn we collected a corpus of ground truth annotations from multiple labelers on nine mouse two-photon datasets. We demonstrate that CaImAn achieves near-human performance in detecting locations of active neurons.

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    06/01/18 | Proximity labeling: spatially resolved proteomic mapping for neurobiology.
    Han S, Li J, Ting AY
    Curr Opin Neurobiol. 06/2018;50:17-23. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2017.10.015

    Understanding signaling pathways in neuroscience requires high-resolution maps of the underlying protein networks. Proximity-dependent biotinylation with engineered enzymes, in combination with mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics, has emerged as a powerful method to dissect molecular interactions and the localizations of endogenous proteins. Recent applications to neuroscience have provided insights into the composition of sub-synaptic structures, including the synaptic cleft and inhibitory post-synaptic density. Here we compare the different enzymes and small-molecule probes for proximity labeling in the context of cultured neurons and tissue, review existing studies, and provide technical suggestions for the in vivo application of proximity labeling.

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    05/10/18 | Identification of a transporter complex responsible for the cytosolic entry of nitrogen-containing-bisphosphonates.
    Yu Z, Surface LE, Park CY, Horlbeck MA, Wyant GA, Abu-Remaileh M, Peterson TR, Sabatini DM, Weissman JS, O'Shea EK
    eLife. 2018 May 10;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36620

    Nitrogen-containing-bisphosphonates (N-BPs) are a class of drugs widely prescribed to treat osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases. Although previous studies have established that N-BPs function by inhibiting the mevalonate pathway in osteoclasts, the mechanism by which N-BPs enter the cytosol from the extracellular space to reach their molecular target is not understood. Here we implemented a CRISPRi-mediated genome-wide screen and identified (solute carrier family 37 member A3) as a gene required for the action of N-BPs in mammalian cells. We observed that SLC37A3 forms a complex with ATRAID (all-trans retinoic acid-induced differentiation factor), a previously identified genetic target of N-BPs. SLC37A3 and ATRAID localize to lysosomes and are required for releasing N-BP molecules that have trafficked to lysosomes through fluid-phase endocytosis into the cytosol. Our results elucidate the route by which N-BPs are delivered to their molecular target, addressing a key aspect of the mechanism of action of N-BPs that may have significant clinical relevance.

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    04/13/18 | Linking neuronal lineage and wiring specificity.
    Li H, Shuster SA, Li J, Luo L
    Neural Dev. 04/2018;13(1):5. doi: 10.1186/s13064-018-0102-0

    Brain function requires precise neural circuit assembly during development. Establishing a functional circuit involves multiple coordinated steps ranging from neural cell fate specification to proper matching between pre- and post-synaptic partners. How neuronal lineage and birth timing influence wiring specificity remains an open question. Recent findings suggest that the relationships between lineage, birth timing, and wiring specificity vary in different neuronal circuits. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the cellular, molecular, and developmental mechanisms linking neuronal lineage and birth timing to wiring specificity in a few specific systems in Drosophila and mice, and review different methods employed to explore these mechanisms.

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