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1381 Janelia Publications

Showing 71-80 of 1381 results
03/14/18 | Fabricating optical-quality glass surfaces to study macrophage fusion.
Faust JJ, Christenson W, Doudrick K, Heddleston J, Chew T, Lampe M, Balabiyev A, Ros R, Ugarova TP
Journal of Visualized Experiments : JoVE. 2018 Mar 14(133):. doi: 10.3791/56866

Visualizing the formation of multinucleated giant cells (MGCs) from living specimens has been challenging due to the fact that most live imaging techniques require propagation of light through glass, but on glass macrophage fusion is a rare event. This protocol presents the fabrication of several optical-quality glass surfaces where adsorption of compounds containing long-chain hydrocarbons transforms glass into a fusogenic surface. First, preparation of clean glass surfaces as starting material for surface modification is described. Second, a method is provided for the adsorption of compounds containing long-chain hydrocarbons to convert non-fusogenic glass into a fusogenic substrate. Third, this protocol describes fabrication of surface micropatterns that promote a high degree of spatiotemporal control over MGC formation. Finally, fabricating glass bottom dishes is described. Examples of use of this in vitro cell system as a model to study macrophage fusion and MGC formation are shown.

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Gonen Lab
03/14/18 | Integrative structure and functional anatomy of a nuclear pore complex.
Kim SJ, Fernandez-Martinez J, Nudelman I, Shi Y, Zhang W, Raveh B, Herricks T, Slaughter BD, Hogan JA, Upla P, Chemmama IE, Pellarin R, Echeverria I, Shivaraju M, Chaudhury AS, Wang J, Williams R, Unruh JR, Greenberg CH, Jacobs EY, Yu Z, de la Cruz MJ, Mironska R, Stokes DL, Aitchison JD, Jarrold MF, Gerton JL, Ludtke SJ, Akey CW, Chait BT, Sali A, Rout MP
Nature. 2018 Mar 14:. doi: 10.1038/nature26003

Nuclear pore complexes play central roles as gatekeepers of RNA and protein transport between the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm. However, their large size and dynamic nature have impeded a full structural and functional elucidation. Here we determined the structure of the entire 552-protein nuclear pore complex of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae at sub-nanometre precision by satisfying a wide range of data relating to the molecular arrangement of its constituents. The nuclear pore complex incorporates sturdy diagonal columns and connector cables attached to these columns, imbuing the structure with strength and flexibility. These cables also tie together all other elements of the nuclear pore complex, including membrane-interacting regions, outer rings and RNA-processing platforms. Inwardly directed anchors create a high density of transport factor-docking Phe-Gly repeats in the central channel, organized into distinct functional units. This integrative structure enables us to rationalize the architecture, transport mechanism and evolutionary origins of the nuclear pore complex.

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03/13/18 | Comprehensive analysis of a cis-regulatory region reveals pleiotropy in enhancer function.
Preger-Ben Noon E, Sabarís G, Ortiz DM, Sager J, Liebowitz A, Stern DL, Frankel N
Cell Reports. 2018 Mar 13;22(11):3021-3031. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.02.073

Developmental genes can have complex cis-regulatory regions with multiple enhancers. Early work revealed remarkable modularity of enhancers, whereby distinct DNA regions drive gene expression in defined spatiotemporal domains. Nevertheless, a few reports have shown that enhancers function in multiple developmental stages, implying that enhancers can be pleiotropic. Here, we have studied the activity of the enhancers of the shavenbaby gene throughout D. melanogaster development. We found that all seven shavenbaby enhancers drive expression in multiple tissues and developmental stages. We explored how enhancer pleiotropy is encoded in two of these enhancers. In one enhancer, the same transcription factor binding sites contribute to embryonic and pupal expression, revealing site pleiotropy, whereas for a second enhancer, these roles are encoded by distinct sites. Enhancer pleiotropy may be a common feature of cis-regulatory regions of developmental genes, and site pleiotropy may constrain enhancer evolution in some cases.

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03/18/18 | Model-free quantification and visualization of colocalization in fluorescence images.
Taylor AB, Ioannou MS, Aaron J, Chew T
Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology. 2018 Mar 13:. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.23356

The spatial association between fluorescently tagged biomolecules in situ provides valuable insight into their biological relationship. Within the limits of diffraction, such association can be measured using either Pearson's Correlation Coefficient (PCC) or Spearman's Rank Coefficient (SRC), which are designed to measure linear and monotonic correlations, respectively. However, the relationship between real biological signals is often more complex than these measures assume, rendering their results difficult to interpret. Here, we have adapted methods from the field of information theory to measure the association between two probes' concentrations based on their statistical dependence. Our approach is mathematically more general than PCC or SRC, making no assumptions about the type of relationship between the probes. We show that when applied to biological images, our measures provide more intuitive results that are also more robust to outliers and the presence of multiple relationships than PCC or SRC. We also devise a display technique to highlight regions in the input images where the probes' association is higher versus lower. We expect that our methods will allow biologists to more accurately and robustly quantify and visualize the association between two probes in a pair of fluorescence images. © 2018 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

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Gonen Lab
03/12/18 | Atomic-level evidence for packing and positional amyloid polymorphism by segment from TDP-43 RRM2.
Guenther EL, Ge P, Trinh H, Sawaya MR, Cascio D, Boyer DR, Gonen T, Zhou ZH, Eisenberg DS
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 2018 Mar 12:. doi: 10.1038/s41594-018-0045-5

Proteins in the fibrous amyloid state are a major hallmark of neurodegenerative disease. Understanding the multiple conformations, or polymorphs, of amyloid proteins at the molecular level is a challenge of amyloid research. Here, we detail the wide range of polymorphs formed by a segment of human TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) as a model for the polymorphic capabilities of pathological amyloid aggregation. Using X-ray diffraction, microelectron diffraction (MicroED) and single-particle cryo-EM, we show that theDLIIKGISVHIsegment from the second RNA-recognition motif (RRM2) forms an array of amyloid polymorphs. These associations include seven distinct interfaces displaying five different symmetry classes of steric zippers. Additionally, we find that this segment can adopt three different backbone conformations that contribute to its polymorphic capabilities. The polymorphic nature of this segment illustrates at the molecular level how amyloid proteins can form diverse fibril structures.

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03/12/18 | Nociceptive interneurons control modular motor pathways to promote escape behavior in.
Burgos A, Honjo K, Ohyama T, Qian CS, Shin GJ, Gohl DM, Silies M, Tracey WD, Zlatic M, Cardona A, Grueber WB
eLife. 2018 Mar 12;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26016

Rapid and efficient escape behaviors in response to noxious sensory stimuli are essential for protection and survival. Yet, how noxious stimuli are transformed to coordinated escape behaviors remains poorly understood. Inlarvae, noxious stimuli trigger sequential body bending and corkscrew-like rolling behavior. We identified a population of interneurons in the nerve cord of, termed Down-and-Back (DnB) neurons, that are activated by noxious heat, promote nociceptive behavior, and are required for robust escape responses to noxious stimuli. Electron microscopic circuit reconstruction shows that DnBs are targets of nociceptive and mechanosensory neurons, are directly presynaptic to pre-motor circuits, and link indirectly to Goro rolling command-like neurons. DnB activation promotes activity in Goro neurons, and coincident inactivation of Goro neurons prevents the rolling sequence but leaves intact body bending motor responses. Thus, activity from nociceptors to DnB interneurons coordinates modular elements of nociceptive escape behavior.

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03/09/18 | NeuroStorm: accelerating brain science discovery in the cloud.
Kiar G, Anderson RJ, Baden A, Badea A, Bridgeford EW, Champion A, Chandrashekar J, Collman F, Duderstadt B, Evans AC, Engert F, Falk B, Glatard T, Roncal WG, Kennedy DN, Maitlin-Shepard , Marren RA, Nnaemeka O, Perlman E, Seshamani S
arXiv. 2018 Mar 09:

Neuroscientists are now able to acquire data at staggering rates across spatiotemporal scales. However, our ability to capitalize on existing datasets, tools, and intellectual capacities is hampered by technical challenges. The key barriers to accelerating scientific discovery correspond to the FAIR data principles: findability, global access to data, software interoperability, and reproducibility/re-usability. We conducted a hackathon dedicated to making strides in those steps. This manuscript is a technical report summarizing these achievements, and we hope serves as an example of the effectiveness of focused, deliberate hackathons towards the advancement of our quickly-evolving field.

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03/07/18 | cisTEM, User-friendly software for single-particle image processing.
Grant T, Rohou A, Grigorieff N
eLife. 2018 Mar 07;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.35383

We have developed new open-source software calledTEM (computational imaging system for transmission electron microscopy) for the processing of data for high-resolution electron cryo-microscopy and single-particle averaging.TEM features a graphical user interface that is used to submit jobs, monitor their progress, and display results. It implements a full processing pipeline including movie processing, image defocus determination, automatic particle picking, 2D classification, ab-initio 3D map generation from random parameters, 3D classification, and high-resolution refinement and reconstruction. Some of these steps implement newly-developed algorithms; others were adapted from previously published algorithms. The software is optimized to enable processing of typical datasets (2000 micrographs, 200k - 300k particles) on a high-end, CPU-based workstation in half a day or less, comparable to GPU-accelerated processing. Jobs can also be scheduled on large computer clusters using flexible run profiles that can be adapted for most computing environments.TEM is available for download from

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Gonen Lab
03/01/18 | From electron crystallography of 2D crystals to MicroED of 3D crystals.
Martynowycz MW, Gonen T
Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science . 2018 Mar;34:9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.cocis.2018.01.010

Electron crystallography is widespread in material science applications, but for biological samples its use has been restricted to a handful of examples where two-dimensional (2D) crystals or helical samples were studied either by electron diffraction and/or imaging. Electron crystallography in cryoEM, was developed in the mid-1970s and used to solve the structure of several membrane proteins and some soluble proteins. In 2013, a new method for cryoEM was unveiled and named Micro-crystal Electron Diffraction, or MicroED, which is essentially three-dimensional (3D) electron crystallography of microscopic crystals. This method uses truly 3D crystals, that are about a billion times smaller than those typically used for X-ray crystallography, for electron diffraction studies. There are several important differences and some similarities between electron crystallography of 2D crystals and MicroED. In this review, we describe the development of these techniques, their similarities and differences, and offer our opinion of future directions in both fields.

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02/26/18 | A robotic multidimensional directed evolution approach applied to fluorescent voltage reporters.
Piatkevich KD, Jung EE, Straub C, Linghu C, Park D, Suk H, Hochbaum DR, Goodwin D, Pnevmatikakis E, Pak N, Kawashima T, Yang C, Rhoades JL, Shemesh O, Asano S, Yoon Y, Freifeld L, Saulnier JL, Riegler C, Engert F, Hughes T, Drobizhev M, Szabo B, Ahrens MB, Flavell SW, Sabatini BL, Boyden ES
Nature Chemical Biology. 2018 Feb 26:. doi: 10.1038/s41589-018-0004-9

We developed a new way to engineer complex proteins toward multidimensional specifications using a simple, yet scalable, directed evolution strategy. By robotically picking mammalian cells that were identified, under a microscope, as expressing proteins that simultaneously exhibit several specific properties, we can screen hundreds of thousands of proteins in a library in just a few hours, evaluating each along multiple performance axes. To demonstrate the power of this approach, we created a genetically encoded fluorescent voltage indicator, simultaneously optimizing its brightness and membrane localization using our microscopy-guided cell-picking strategy. We produced the high-performance opsin-based fluorescent voltage reporter Archon1 and demonstrated its utility by imaging spiking and millivolt-scale subthreshold and synaptic activity in acute mouse brain slices and in larval zebrafish in vivo. We also measured postsynaptic responses downstream of optogenetically controlled neurons in C. elegans.

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