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116 Publications

Showing 71-80 of 116 results
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    08/03/16 | Real-time imaging of Huntingtin aggregates diverting target search and gene transcription.
    Li L, Liu H, Dong P, Li D, Legant WR, Grimm JB, Lavis LD, Betzig E, Tjian R, Liu Z
    eLife. 2016 Aug 03;5:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.17056

    The presumptive altered dynamics of transient molecular interactions in vivo contributing to neurodegenerative diseases have remained elusive. Here, using single-molecule localization microscopy, we show that disease-inducing Huntingtin (mHtt) protein fragments display three distinct dynamic states in living cells - 1) fast diffusion, 2) dynamic clustering and 3) stable aggregation. Large, stable aggregates of mHtt exclude chromatin and form 'sticky' decoy traps that impede target search processes of key regulators involved in neurological disorders. Functional domain mapping based on super-resolution imaging reveals an unexpected role of aromatic amino acids in promoting protein-mHtt aggregate interactions. Genome-wide expression analysis and numerical simulation experiments suggest mHtt aggregates reduce transcription factor target site sampling frequency and impair critical gene expression programs in striatal neurons. Together, our results provide insights into how mHtt dynamically forms aggregates and disrupts the finely-balanced gene control mechanisms in neuronal cells.

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    07/11/16 | Evaluation of the Ser-His dipeptide, a putative catalyst of amide and ester hydrolysis.
    MacDonald MJ, Lavis LD, Hilvert D, Gellman SH
    Organic Letters. 2016 Jul 11:. doi: 10.1021/acs.orglett.6b01279

    Efficient hydrolysis of amide bonds has long been a reaction of interest for organic chemists. The rate constants of proteases are unmatched by those of any synthetic catalyst. It has been proposed that a dipeptide containing serine and histidine is an effective catalyst of amide hydrolysis, based on an apparent ability to degrade a protein. The capacity of the Ser-His dipeptide to catalyze the hydrolysis of several discrete ester and amide substrates is investigated using previously described conditions. This dipeptide does not catalyze the hydrolysis of amide or unactivated ester groups in any of the substrates under the conditions evaluated.

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    05/24/16 | Design and synthesis of a calcium-sensitive photocage.
    Heckman LM, Grimm JB, Schreiter ER, Kim C, Verdecia MA, Shields BC, Lavis LD
    Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 2016 May 24:. doi: 10.1002/anie.201602941

    Photolabile protecting groups (or "photocages") enable precise spatiotemporal control of chemical functionality and facilitate advanced biological experiments. Extant photocages exhibit a simple input-output relationship, however, where application of light elicits a photochemical reaction irrespective of the environment. Herein, we refine and extend the concept of photolabile groups, synthesizing the first Ca(2+) -sensitive photocage. This system functions as a chemical coincidence detector, releasing small molecules only in the presence of both light and elevated [Ca(2+) ]. Caging a fluorophore with this ion-sensitive moiety yields an "ion integrator" that permanently marks cells undergoing high Ca(2+) flux during an illumination-defined time period. Our general design concept demonstrates a new class of light-sensitive material for cellular imaging, sensing, and targeted molecular delivery.

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    05/05/16 | Real-time quantification of single RNA translation dynamics in living cells.
    Morisaki T, Lyon K, DeLuca KF, DeLuca JG, English BP, Zhang Z, Lavis LD, Grimm JB, Viswanathan S, Looger LL
    Science. 2016 May 05;352(6292):1425-9. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf0899

    Although mRNA translation is a fundamental biological process, it has never been imaged in real-time with single molecule precision in vivo. To achieve this, we developed Nascent Chain Tracking (NCT), a technique that uses multi-epitope tags and antibody-based fluorescent probes to quantify single mRNA protein synthesis dynamics. NCT reveals an elongation rate of ~10 amino acids per second, with initiation occurring stochastically every ~30 s. Polysomes contain ~1 ribosome every 200-900 nucleotides and are globular rather than elongated in shape. By developing multi-color probes, we show most polysomes act independently; however, a small fraction (~5%) form complexes in which two distinct mRNAs can be translated simultaneously. The sensitivity and versatility of NCT make it a powerful new tool for quantifying mRNA translation kinetics.

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    05/03/16 | RNA Polymerase II cluster dynamics predict mRNA output in living cells.
    Cho W, Jayanth N, English BP, Inoue T, Andrews JO, Conway W, Grimm JB, Spille J, Lavis LD, Lionnet T, Cisse II
    eLife. 2016 May 03;5:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.13617

    Protein clustering is a hallmark of genome regulation in mammalian cells. However, the dynamic molecular processes involved make it difficult to correlate clustering with functional consequences in vivo. We developed a live-cell super-resolution approach to uncover the correlation between mRNA synthesis and the dynamics of RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) clusters at a gene locus. For endogenous β-actin genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts, we observe that short-lived (~8 s) Pol II clusters correlate with basal mRNA output. During serum stimulation, a stereotyped increase in Pol II cluster lifetime correlates with a proportionate increase in the number of mRNAs synthesized. Our findings suggest that transient clustering of Pol II may constitute a pre-transcriptional regulatory event that predictably modulates nascent mRNA output.

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    04/06/16 | Steroid receptors reprogram FoxA1 occupancy through dynamic chromatin transitions.
    Swinstead EE, Miranda TB, Paakinaho V, Baek S, Goldstein I, Hawkins M, Karpova TS, Ball D, Mazza D, Lavis LD, Grimm JB, Morisaki T, Grøntved L, Presman DM, Hager GL
    Cell. 2016 Apr 6:. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.02.067

    The estrogen receptor (ER), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and forkhead box protein 1 (FoxA1) are significant factors in breast cancer progression. FoxA1 has been implicated in establishing ER-binding patterns though its unique ability to serve as a pioneer factor. However, the molecular interplay between ER, GR, and FoxA1 requires further investigation. Here we show that ER and GR both have the ability to alter the genomic distribution of the FoxA1 pioneer factor. Single-molecule tracking experiments in live cells reveal a highly dynamic interaction of FoxA1 with chromatin in vivo. Furthermore, the FoxA1 factor is not associated with detectable footprints at its binding sites throughout the genome. These findings support a model wherein interactions between transcription factors and pioneer factors are highly dynamic. Moreover, at a subset of genomic sites, the role of pioneer can be reversed, with the steroid receptors serving to enhance binding of FoxA1.

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    03/07/16 | High-density three-dimensional localization microscopy across large volumes.
    Legant WR, Shao L, Grimm JB, Brown TA, Milkie DE, Avants BB, Lavis LD, Betzig E
    Nature Methods. 2016 Mar 7:. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.3797

    Extending three-dimensional (3D) single-molecule localization microscopy away from the coverslip and into thicker specimens will greatly broaden its biological utility. However, because of the limitations of both conventional imaging modalities and conventional labeling techniques, it is a challenge to localize molecules in three dimensions with high precision in such samples while simultaneously achieving the labeling densities required for high resolution of densely crowded structures. Here we combined lattice light-sheet microscopy with newly developed, freely diffusing, cell-permeable chemical probes with targeted affinity for DNA, intracellular membranes or the plasma membrane. We used this combination to perform high-localization precision, ultrahigh-labeling density, multicolor localization microscopy in samples up to 20 μm thick, including dividing cells and the neuromast organ of a zebrafish embryo. We also demonstrate super-resolution correlative imaging with protein-specific photoactivable fluorophores, providing a mutually compatible, single-platform alternative to correlative light-electron microscopy over large volumes.

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    02/17/16 | Virginia Orange: A versatile, red-shifted fluorescein scaffold for single- and dual-input fluorogenic probes.
    Grimm JB, Gruber TD, Ortiz G, Brown TA, Lavis LD
    Bioconjugate Chemistry. 2016 Feb 17;27(2):474-80. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.5b00566

    Fluorogenic molecules are important tools for biological and biochemical research. The majority of fluorogenic compounds have a simple input-output relationship, where a single chemical input yields a fluorescent output. Development of new systems where multiple inputs converge to yield an optical signal could refine and extend fluorogenic compounds by allowing greater spatiotemporal control over the fluorescent signal. Here, we introduce a new red-shifted fluorescein derivative, Virginia Orange, as an exceptional scaffold for single- and dual-input fluorogenic molecules. Unlike fluorescein, installation of a single masking group on Virginia Orange is sufficient to fully suppress fluorescence, allowing preparation of fluorogenic enzyme substrates with rapid, single-hit kinetics. Virginia Orange can also be masked with two independent moieties; both of these masking groups must be removed to induce fluorescence. This allows facile construction of multi-input fluorogenic probes for sophisticated sensing regimes and genetic targeting of latent fluorophores to specific cellular populations.

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    01/20/16 | A platform for brain-wide imaging and reconstruction of individual neurons.
    Economo MN, Clack NG, Lavis LD, Gerfen CR, Svoboda K, Myers EW, Chandrashekar J
    eLife. 2016 Jan 20;5:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.10566

    The structure of axonal arbors controls how signals from individual neurons are routed within the mammalian brain. However, the arbors of very few long-range projection neurons have been reconstructed in their entirety, as axons with diameters as small as 100 nm arborize in target regions dispersed over many millimeters of tissue. We introduce a platform for high-resolution, three-dimensional fluorescence imaging of complete tissue volumes that enables the visualization and reconstruction of long-range axonal arbors. This platform relies on a high-speed two-photon microscope integrated with a tissue vibratome and a suite of computational tools for large-scale image data. We demonstrate the power of this approach by reconstructing the axonal arbors of multiple neurons in the motor cortex across a single mouse brain.

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    12/11/15 | Synthesis of a far-red photoactivatable silicon-containing rhodamine for super-resolution microscopy.
    Grimm JB, Klein T, Kopek BG, Shtengel G, Hess HF, Sauer M, Lavis LD
    Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 2015 Dec 11;55(5):1723-7. doi: 10.1002/anie.201509649

    The rhodamine system is a flexible framework for building small-molecule fluorescent probes. Changing N-substitution patterns and replacing the xanthene oxygen with a dimethylsilicon moiety can shift the absorption and fluorescence emission maxima of rhodamine dyes to longer wavelengths. Acylation of the rhodamine nitrogen atoms forces the molecule to adopt a nonfluorescent lactone form, providing a convenient method to make fluorogenic compounds. Herein, we take advantage of all of these structural manipulations and describe a novel photoactivatable fluorophore based on a Si-containing analogue of Q-rhodamine. This probe is the first example of a "caged" Si-rhodamine, exhibits higher photon counts compared to established localization microscopy dyes, and is sufficiently red-shifted to allow multicolor imaging. The dye is a useful label for super-resolution imaging and constitutes a new scaffold for far-red fluorogenic molecules.

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