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Lavis Lab / Publications
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63 Publications

Showing 1-10 of 63 results
09/19/17 | Cohesin can remain associated with chromosomes during DNA replication.
Rhodes JD, Haarhuis JH, Grimm JB, Rowland BD, Lavis LD, Nasmyth KA
Cell Reports. 2017 Sep 19;20(12):2749-55. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.08.092

To ensure disjunction to opposite poles during anaphase, sister chromatids must be held together following DNA replication. This is mediated by cohesin, which is thought to entrap sister DNAs inside a tripartite ring composed of its Smc and kleisin (Scc1) subunits. How such structures are created during S phase is poorly understood, in particular whether they are derived from complexes that had entrapped DNAs prior to replication. To address this, we used selective photobleaching to determine whether cohesin associated with chromatin in G1 persists in situ after replication. We developed a non-fluorescent HaloTag ligand to discriminate the fluorescence recovery signal from labeling of newly synthesized Halo-tagged Scc1 protein (pulse-chase or pcFRAP). In cells where cohesin turnover is inactivated by deletion of WAPL, Scc1 can remain associated with chromatin throughout S phase. These findings suggest that cohesion might be generated by cohesin that is already bound to un-replicated DNA.

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09/19/17 | Synthesis of Janelia Fluor HaloTag and SNAP-Tag Ligands and Their Use in Cellular Imaging Experiments.
Grimm JB, Brown TA, English BP, Lionnet T, Lavis LD
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2017;1663:179-188. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7265-4_15

The development of genetically encoded self-labeling protein tags such as the HaloTag and SNAP-tag has expanded the utility of chemical dyes in microscopy. Intracellular labeling using these systems requires small, cell-permeable dyes with high brightness and photostability. We recently discovered a general method to improve the properties of classic fluorophores by replacing N,N-dimethylamino groups with four-membered azetidine rings to create the "Janelia Fluor" dyes. Here, we describe the synthesis of the HaloTag and SNAP-tag ligands of Janelia Fluor 549 and Janelia Fluor 646 as well as standard labeling protocols for use in ensemble and single-molecule cellular imaging.

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09/01/17 | A dynamic interplay of enhancer elements regulates Klf4 expression in naïve pluripotency.
Xie L, Torigoe SE, Xiao J, Mai DH, Li L, Davis FP, Dong P, Marie-Nelly H, Grimm J, Lavis L, Darzacq X, Cattoglio C, Liu Z, Tjian R
Genes & Development. 2017 Sep 01;31(17):1795-1808. doi: 10.1101/gad.303321.117

Transcription factor (TF)-directed enhanceosome assembly constitutes a fundamental regulatory mechanism driving spatiotemporal gene expression programs during animal development. Despite decades of study, we know little about the dynamics or order of events animating TF assembly at cis-regulatory elements in living cells and the long-range molecular "dialog" between enhancers and promoters. Here, combining genetic, genomic, and imaging approaches, we characterize a complex long-range enhancer cluster governing Krüppel-like factor 4 (Klf4) expression in naïve pluripotency. Genome editing by CRISPR/Cas9 revealed that OCT4 and SOX2 safeguard an accessible chromatin neighborhood to assist the binding of other TFs/cofactors to the enhancer. Single-molecule live-cell imaging uncovered that two naïve pluripotency TFs, STAT3 and ESRRB, interrogate chromatin in a highly dynamic manner, in which SOX2 promotes ESRRB target search and chromatin-binding dynamics through a direct protein-tethering mechanism. Together, our results support a highly dynamic yet intrinsically ordered enhanceosome assembly to maintain the finely balanced transcription program underlying naïve pluripotency.

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08/09/17 | General synthetic method for Si-Fluoresceins and Si-Rhodamines.
Grimm JB, Brown TA, Tkachuk AN, Lavis LD
ACS Central Science. 2017 Aug 09;3(9):975-85. doi: 10.1021/acscentsci.7b00247

The century-old fluoresceins and rhodamines persist as flexible scaffolds for fluorescent and fluorogenic compounds. Extensive exploration of these xanthene dyes has yielded general structure–activity relationships where the development of new probes is limited only by imagination and organic chemistry. In particular, replacement of the xanthene oxygen with silicon has resulted in new red-shifted Si-fluoresceins and Si-rhodamines, whose high brightness and photostability enable advanced imaging experiments. Nevertheless, efforts to tune the chemical and spectral properties of these dyes have been hindered by difficult synthetic routes. Here, we report a general strategy for the efficient preparation of Si-fluoresceins and Si-rhodamines from readily synthesized bis(2-bromophenyl)silane intermediates. These dibromides undergo metal/bromide exchange to give bis-aryllithium or bis(aryl Grignard) intermediates, which can then add to anhydride or ester electrophiles to afford a variety of Si-xanthenes. This strategy enabled efficient (3–5 step) syntheses of known and novel Si-fluoresceins, Si-rhodamines, and related dye structures. In particular, we discovered that previously inaccessible tetrafluorination of the bottom aryl ring of the Si-rhodamines resulted in dyes with improved visible absorbance in solution, and a convenient derivatization through fluoride-thiol substitution. This modular, divergent synthetic method will expand the palette of accessible xanthenoid dyes across the visible spectrum, thereby pushing further the frontiers of biological imaging.

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07/13/17 | Chemistry is dead. Long live chemistry!
Lavis LD
Biochemistry. 2017 Jul 13;56(39):5165-70. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00529

Chemistry, once king of fluorescence microscopy, was usurped by the field of fluorescent proteins. The increased demands of modern microscopy techniques on the “photon budget” requires better and brighter fluorophores. Here, we review the recent advances in biochemistry, protein engineering, and organic synthesis that have allowed a triumphant return of chemical dyes to modern biological imaging.

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06/29/17 | Desensitized D2 autoreceptors are resistant to trafficking.
Robinson BG, Bunzow JR, Grimm JB, Lavis LD, Dudman JT, Brown J, Neve KA, Williams JT
Scientific Reports. 2017 Jun 29;7(1):4379. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04728-z

Dendritic release of dopamine activates dopamine D2 autoreceptors, which are inhibitory G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), to decrease the excitability of dopamine neurons. This study used tagged D2 receptors to identify the localization and distribution of these receptors in living midbrain dopamine neurons. GFP-tagged D2 receptors were found to be unevenly clustered on the soma and dendrites of dopamine neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). Physiological signaling and desensitization of the tagged receptors were not different from wild type receptors. Unexpectedly, upon desensitization the tagged D2 receptors were not internalized. When tagged D2 receptors were expressed in locus coeruleus neurons, a desensitizing protocol induced significant internalization. Likewise, when tagged µ-opioid receptors were expressed in dopamine neurons they too were internalized. The distribution and lack of agonist-induced internalization of D2 receptors on dopamine neurons indicate a purposefully regulated localization of these receptors.

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06/12/17 | Visualizing long-term single-molecule dynamics in vivo by stochastic protein labeling.
Liu H, Dong P, Ioannou MS, Li L, Shea J, Pasolli HA, Grimm JB, Rivlin PK, Lavis LD, Koyama M, Liu Z
BioRxiv. 2017 Jun 12:. doi:

Our ability to unambiguously image and track individual molecules in live cells is limited by packing of multiple copies of labeled molecules within the resolution limit. Here we devise a universal genetic strategy to precisely control copy number of fluorescently labeled molecules in a cell. This system has a dynamic titration range of >10,000 fold, enabling sparse labeling of proteins expressed at different abundance levels. Combined with photostable labels, this system extends the duration of automated single-molecule tracking by 2 orders of magnitude. We demonstrate long-term imaging of synaptic vesicle dynamics in cultured neurons as well as in intact zebrafish. We found axon initial segment utilizes a "waterfall" mechanism gating synaptic vesicle transport polarity by promoting anterograde transport processivity. Long-time observation also reveals that transcription factor hops between clustered binding sites in spatially-restricted sub-nuclear regions, suggesting that topological structures in the nucleus shape local gene activities by a sequestering mechanism. This strategy thus greatly expands the spatiotemporal length scales of live-cell single-molecule measurements, enabling new experiments to quantitatively understand complex control of molecular dynamics in vivo.

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05/22/17 | Development of photostable fluorophores for molecular imaging.
Zheng Q, Lavis LD
Current Opinion in Chemical Biology. 2017 May 22;39:32-38. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2017.04.017

Advances in fluorescence microscopy promise to unlock details of biological systems with high spatiotemporal precision. These new techniques also place a heavy demand on the 'photon budget'-the number of photons one can extract from a sample. Improving the photostability of small molecule fluorophores using chemistry is a straightforward method for increasing the photon budget. Here, we review the (sometimes sparse) efforts to understand the mechanism of fluorophore photobleaching and recent advances to improve photostability through reducing the propensity for oxidation or through intramolecular triplet-state quenching. Our intent is to inspire a more thorough mechanistic investigation of photobleaching and the use of precise chemistry to improve fluorescent probes.

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05/17/17 | Unraveling cell-to-cell signaling networks with chemical biology.
Gartner ZJ, Prescher JA, Lavis LD
Nature Chemical Biology. 2017 May 17;13(6):564-568. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.2391
04/07/17 | Deconstructing behavioral neuropharmacology with cellular specificity.
Shields BC, Kahuno E, Kim C, Apostolides PF, Brown J, Lindo S, Mensh BD, Dudman JT, Lavis LD, Tadross MR
Science (New York, N.Y.). 2017 Apr 07;356(6333):. doi: 10.1126/science.aaj2161

Behavior has molecular, cellular, and circuit determinants. However, because many proteins are broadly expressed, their acute manipulation within defined cells has been difficult. Here, we combined the speed and molecular specificity of pharmacology with the cell type specificity of genetic tools. DART (drugs acutely restricted by tethering) is a technique that rapidly localizes drugs to the surface of defined cells, without prior modification of the native target. We first developed an AMPAR antagonist DART, with validation in cultured neuronal assays, in slices of mouse dorsal striatum, and in behaving mice. In parkinsonian animals, motor deficits were causally attributed to AMPARs in indirect spiny projection neurons (iSPNs) and to excess phasic firing of tonically active interneurons (TANs). Together, iSPNs and TANs (i.e., D2 cells) drove akinesia, whereas movement execution deficits reflected the ratio of AMPARs in D2 versus D1 cells. Finally, we designed a muscarinic antagonist DART in one iteration, demonstrating applicability of the method to diverse targets.

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