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1339 Janelia Publications

Showing 41-50 of 1339 results
02/14/18 | Synthetic and genetically encoded fluorescent neural activity indicators.
Deo C, Lavis LD
Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2018 Feb 14;50:101-108. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.01.003

The ultimate goal of neuroscience is to relate the complex activity of cells and cell-networks to behavior and cognition. This requires tools and techniques to visualize neuronal activity. Fluorescence microscopy is an ideal tool to measure activity of cells in the brain due to the high sensitivity of the technique and the growing portfolio of optical hardware and fluorescent sensors. Here, we give a chemist's perspective on the recent progress of fluorescent activity indicators that enable the measurement of cellular events in the living brain. We discuss advances in both chemical and genetically encoded sensors and look forward to hybrid indicators, which incorporate synthetic organic dyes into genetically encoded protein constructs.

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02/13/18 | Measuring integrin conformational change on the cell surface with super-resolution microscopy.
Moore TI, Aaron J, Chew T, Springer TA
Cell Reports. 2018 Feb 13;22(7):1903-1912. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.01.062

We use super-resolution interferometric photoactivation and localization microscopy (iPALM) and a constrained photoactivatable fluorescent protein integrin fusion to measure the displacement of the head of integrin lymphocyte function-associated 1 (LFA-1) resulting from integrin conformational change on the cell surface. We demonstrate that the distance of the LFA-1 head increases substantially between basal and ligand-engaged conformations, which can only be explained at the molecular level by integrin extension. We further demonstrate that one class of integrin antagonist maintains the bent conformation, while another antagonist class induces extension. Our molecular scale measurements on cell-surface LFA-1 are in excellent agreement with distances derived from crystallographic and electron microscopy structures of bent and extended integrins. Our distance measurements are also in excellent agreement with a previous model of LFA-1 bound to ICAM-1 derived from the orientation of LFA-1 on the cell surface measured using fluorescence polarization microscopy.

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02/08/18 | Image co-localization - co-occurrence versus correlation.
Aaron JS, Taylor AB, Chew T
Journal of Cell Science. 2018 Feb 08;131(3):. doi: 10.1242/jcs.211847

Fluorescence image co-localization analysis is widely utilized to suggest biomolecular interaction. However, there exists some confusion as to its correct implementation and interpretation. In reality, co-localization analysis consists of at least two distinct sets of methods, termed co-occurrence and correlation. Each approach has inherent and often contrasting strengths and weaknesses. Yet, neither one can be considered to always be preferable for any given application. Rather, each method is most appropriate for answering different types of biological question. This Review discusses the main factors affecting multicolor image co-occurrence and correlation analysis, while giving insight into the types of biological behavior that are better suited to one approach or the other. Further, the limits of pixel-based co-localization analysis are discussed in the context of increasingly popular super-resolution imaging techniques.

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02/07/18 | Cell type-specific variation of somatotopic precision across corticostriatal projections.
Hooks BM, Papale AE, Paletzki R, Feroze M, Eastwood BS, Couey JJ, Winnubst J, Chandrashekar J, Gerfen CR
bioRxiv. 2018 Feb 7:. doi: 10.1101/261446

The striatum shows general topographic organization and regional differences in behavioral functions. How corticostriatal topography differs across cortical areas and cell types to support these distinct functions is unclear. This study contrasted corticostriatal projections from two layer 5 cell types, intratelencephalic (IT-type) and pyramidal tract (PT-type) neurons, using viral vectors expressing fluorescent reporters in Cre-driver mice. Long-range corticostriatal projections from sensory and motor cortex are somatotopic, with a decreasing somatotopic specificity as injections move from sensory to motor and frontal areas. Somatotopic organization differs between IT-type and PT-type neurons, including injections in the same site, with IT-type neurons having higher somatotopic stereotypy than PT-type neurons. Furthermore, IT-type projections from interconnected cortical areas have stronger correlations in corticostriatal targeting than PT-type projections do. Thus, as predicted by a long-standing basal ganglia model, corticostriatal projections of interconnected cortical areas form parallel circuits in basal ganglia-thalamus-cortex loops.

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02/01/18 | Structure-based inhibitors of tau aggregation.
Seidler PM, Boyer DR, Rodriguez JA, Sawaya MR, Cascio D, Murray K, Gonen T, Eisenberg DS
Nature Chemistry. 2018 Feb;10(2):170-176. doi: 10.1038/nchem.2889

Aggregated tau protein is associated with over 20 neurological disorders, which include Alzheimer's disease. Previous work has shown that tau's sequence segments VQIINK and VQIVYK drive its aggregation, but inhibitors based on the structure of the VQIVYK segment only partially inhibit full-length tau aggregation and are ineffective at inhibiting seeding by full-length fibrils. Here we show that the VQIINK segment is the more powerful driver of tau aggregation. Two structures of this segment determined by the cryo-electron microscopy method micro-electron diffraction explain its dominant influence on tau aggregation. Of practical significance, the structures lead to the design of inhibitors that not only inhibit tau aggregation but also inhibit the ability of exogenous full-length tau fibrils to seed intracellular tau in HEK293 biosensor cells into amyloid. We also raise the possibility that the two VQIINK structures represent amyloid polymorphs of tau that may account for a subset of prion-like strains of tau.

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02/18/18 | Transport and sorting in the Golgi complex: multiple mechanisms sort diverse cargo.
Boncampain G, Weigel AV
Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2018 Feb ;50:. doi: 10.1016/

At the center of the secretory pathway, the Golgi complex ensures correct processing and sorting of cargos toward their final destination. Cargos are diverse in topology, function and destination. A remarkable feature of the Golgi complex is its ability to sort and process these diverse cargos destined for secretion, the cell surface, the lysosome, or retained within the secretory pathway. Just as these cargos are diverse so also are their sorting requirements and thus, their trafficking route. There is no one-size-fits-all sorting scheme in the Golgi. We propose a coexistence of models to reconcile these diverse needs. We review examples of differential sorting mediated by proteins and lipids. Additionally, we highlight recent technological developments that have potential to uncover new modes of transport.

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01/29/18 | Visualizing transcription factor dynamics in living cells.
Liu Z, Tjian R
The Journal of Cell Biology. 2018 Jan 29:. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201710038

The assembly of sequence-specific enhancer-binding transcription factors (TFs) at cis-regulatory elements in the genome has long been regarded as the fundamental mechanism driving cell type-specific gene expression. However, despite extensive biochemical, genetic, and genomic studies in the past three decades, our understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying enhancer-mediated gene regulation remains incomplete. Recent advances in imaging technologies now enable direct visualization of TF-driven regulatory events and transcriptional activities at the single-cell, single-molecule level. The ability to observe the remarkably dynamic behavior of individual TFs in live cells at high spatiotemporal resolution has begun to provide novel mechanistic insights and promises new advances in deciphering causal-functional relationships of TF targeting, genome organization, and gene activation. In this review, we review current transcription imaging techniques and summarize converging results from various lines of research that may instigate a revision of models to describe key features of eukaryotic gene regulation.

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01/23/18 | A preferred curvature-based continuum mechanics framework for modeling embryogenesis.
Khairy K, Lemon WC, Amat F, Keller PJ
Biophysical Journal. 2018 Jan 23;114(2):267-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.11.015

Mechanics plays a key role in the development of higher organisms. However, understanding this relationship is complicated by the difficulty of modeling the link between local forces generated at the subcellular level and deformations observed at the tissue and whole-embryo levels. Here we propose an approach first developed for lipid bilayers and cell membranes, in which force-generation by cytoskeletal elements enters a continuum mechanics formulation for the full system in the form of local changes in preferred curvature. This allows us to express and solve the system using only tissue strains. Locations of preferred curvature are simply related to products of gene expression. A solution, in that context, means relaxing the system’s mechanical energy to yield global morphogenetic predictions that accommodate a tendency toward the local preferred curvature, without a need to explicitly model force-generation mechanisms at the molecular level. Our computational framework, which we call SPHARM-MECH, extends a 3D spherical harmonics parameterization known as SPHARM to combine this level of abstraction with a sparse shape representation. The integration of these two principles allows computer simulations to be performed in three dimensions on highly complex shapes, gene expression patterns, and mechanical constraints. We demonstrate our approach by modeling mesoderm invagination in the fruit-fly embryo, where local forces generated by the acto-myosin meshwork in the region of the future mesoderm lead to formation of a ventral tissue fold. The process is accompanied by substantial changes in cell shape and long-range cell movements. Applying SPHARM-MECH to whole-embryo live imaging data acquired with light-sheet microscopy reveals significant correlation between calculated and observed tissue movements. Our analysis predicts the observed cell shape anisotropy on the ventral side of the embryo and suggests an active mechanical role of mesoderm invagination in supporting the onset of germ-band extension.

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01/23/18 | The Chlamydia type III effector TarP alters the dynamics and organization of host focal adhesions.
Pedrosa AT, Nogueira AT, Thwaites TR, Aaron J, Chew T, Carabeo RA
bioRxiv. 2018 Jan 23:. doi: 10.1101/250563

Bacterial infection of mucosal epithelial cells triggers cell exfoliation to limit the dissemination of infection within the tissue. Therefore, mucosal pathogens must possess strategies to counteract cell extrusion in response to infection. Chlamydia trachomatis spends most of its intracellular development in the non-infectious form. Thus, premature host cell extrusion is detrimental to the pathogen. We demonstrate that C. trachomatis alters the dynamics of focal adhesions. Live-cell microscopy showed that focal adhesions in C. trachomatis-infected cells displayed increased stability. In contrast, focal adhesions in mock-infected cells readily disassembled upon inhibition of myosin II by blebbisttin. Super-resolution microscopy revealed a reorganization of paxillin and FAK in infected cells. Ectopically expressed type III effector TarP localized to focal adhesions, leading to their stabilization and reorganization in a vinculin-dependent manner. Overall, the results indicate that C. trachomatis possesses a dedicated mechanism to regulate host cell focal adhesion dynamics.

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01/16/18 | A genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator based on circularly permutated sea anemone red fluorescent protein eqFP578.
Shen Y, Dana H, Abdelfattah AS, Patel R, Shea J, Molina RS, Rawal B, Rancic V, Chang Y, Wu L, Chen Y, Qian Y, Wiens MD, Hambleton N, Ballanyi K, Hughes TE, Drobizhev M, Kim DS, Koyama M, Schreiter ER, Campbell RE
BMC Biology. 2018 Jan 16;16(1):9. doi: 10.1186/s12915-018-0480-0

BACKGROUND: Genetically encoded calcium ion (Ca2+) indicators (GECIs) are indispensable tools for measuring Ca2+ dynamics and neuronal activities in vitro and in vivo. Red fluorescent protein (RFP)-based GECIs have inherent advantages relative to green fluorescent protein-based GECIs due to the longer wavelength light used for excitation. Longer wavelength light is associated with decreased phototoxicity and deeper penetration through tissue. Red GECI can also enable multicolor visualization with blue- or cyan-excitable fluorophores.

RESULTS: Here we report the development, structure, and validation of a new RFP-based GECI, K-GECO1, based on a circularly permutated RFP derived from the sea anemone Entacmaea quadricolor. We have characterized the performance of K-GECO1 in cultured HeLa cells, dissociated neurons, stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes, organotypic brain slices, zebrafish spinal cord in vivo, and mouse brain in vivo.

CONCLUSION: K-GECO1 is the archetype of a new lineage of GECIs based on the RFP eqFP578 scaffold. It offers high sensitivity and fast kinetics, similar or better than those of current state-of-the-art indicators, with diminished lysosomal accumulation and minimal blue-light photoactivation. Further refinements of the K-GECO1 lineage could lead to further improved variants with overall performance that exceeds that of the most highly optimized red GECIs.

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