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88 Janelia Publications

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    04/01/20 | 3D ATAC-PALM: super-resolution imaging of the accessible genome.
    Xie L, Dong P, Chen X, Hsieh TS, Banala S, De Marzio M, English BP, Qi Y, Jung SK, Kieffer-Kwon K, Legant WR, Hansen AS, Schulmann A, Casellas R, Zhang B, Betzig E, Lavis LD, Chang HY, Tjian R, Liu Z
    Nature Methods. 2020 Apr 01;17(4):430-6. doi: 10.1038/s41592-020-0775-2

    To image the accessible genome at nanometer scale in situ, we developed three-dimensional assay for transposase-accessible chromatin-photoactivated localization microscopy (3D ATAC-PALM) that integrates an assay for transposase-accessible chromatin with visualization, PALM super-resolution imaging and lattice light-sheet microscopy. Multiplexed with oligopaint DNA–fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), RNA–FISH and protein fluorescence, 3D ATAC-PALM connected microscopy and genomic data, revealing spatially segregated accessible chromatin domains (ACDs) that enclose active chromatin and transcribed genes. Using these methods to analyze genetically perturbed cells, we demonstrated that genome architectural protein CTCF prevents excessive clustering of accessible chromatin and decompacts ACDs. These results highlight 3D ATAC-PALM as a useful tool to probe the structure and organizing mechanism of the genome.

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    01/01/20 | Aurora B functions at the apical surface after specialized cytokinesis during morphogenesis in C. elegans.
    Bai X, Melesse M, Sorensen Turpin CG, Sloan D, Chen C, Wang W, Lee P, Simmons JR, Nebenfuehr B, Mitchell D, Klebanow LR, Mattson N, Betzig E, Chen B, Cheerambathur D, Bembenek JN
    Development. 2020 Jan;147(1):1-16. doi: 10.1242/dev.181099

    While cytokinesis has been intensely studied, the way it is executed during development is not well understood, despite a long-standing appreciation that various aspects of cytokinesis vary across cell and tissue types. To address this, we investigated cytokinesis during the invariant embryonic divisions and found several reproducibly altered parameters at different stages. During early divisions, furrow ingression asymmetry and midbody inheritance is consistent, suggesting specific regulation of these events. During morphogenesis, we found several unexpected alterations to cytokinesis including apical midbody migration in polarizing epithelial cells of the gut, pharynx and sensory neurons. Aurora B kinase, which is essential for several aspects of cytokinesis, remains apically localized in each of these tissues after internalization of midbody ring components. Aurora B inactivation disrupts cytokinesis and causes defects in apical structures, even if inactivated post-mitotically. Therefore, cytokinesis is implemented in a specialized way during epithelial polarization and Aurora B has a new role in the formation of the apical surface.

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    01/17/20 | Correlative three-dimensional super-resolution and block-face electron microscopy of whole vitreously frozen cells.
    Hoffman DP, Shtengel G, Xu CS, Campbell KR, Freeman M, Wang L, Milkie DE, Pasolli HA, Iyer N, Bogovic JA, Stabley DR, Shirinifard A, Pang S, Peale D, Schaefer K, Pomp W, Chang C, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Kirchhausen T, Solecki DJ, Betzig E, Hess HF
    Science. 2020 Jan 17;367(6475):. doi: 10.1126/science.aaz5357

    Within cells, the spatial compartmentalization of thousands of distinct proteins serves a multitude of diverse biochemical needs. Correlative super-resolution (SR) fluorescence and electron microscopy (EM) can elucidate protein spatial relationships to global ultrastructure, but has suffered from tradeoffs of structure preservation, fluorescence retention, resolution, and field of view. We developed a platform for three-dimensional cryogenic SR and focused ion beam-milled block-face EM across entire vitreously frozen cells. The approach preserves ultrastructure while enabling independent SR and EM workflow optimization. We discovered unexpected protein-ultrastructure relationships in mammalian cells including intranuclear vesicles containing endoplasmic reticulum-associated proteins, web-like adhesions between cultured neurons, and chromatin domains subclassified on the basis of transcriptional activity. Our findings illustrate the value of a comprehensive multimodal view of ultrastructural variability across whole cells.

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    01/11/20 | Tiled reconstruction improves structured illumination microscopy.
    Hoffman DP, Betzig E
    bioRxiv. 2020 Jan 11:. doi: 10.1101/2020.01.06.895318

    Structured illumination microscopy (SIM) is widely used for fast, long-term, live-cell super-resolution imaging. However, SIM images can contain substantial artifacts if the sample does not conform to the underlying assumptions of the reconstruction algorithm. Here we describe a simple, easy to implement, process that can be combined with any reconstruction algorithm to alleviate many common SIM reconstruction artifacts and briefly discuss possible extensions.

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    09/02/19 | Software for lattice light-sheet imaging of FRET biosensors, illustrated with a new Rap1 biosensor.
    O’Shaughnessy EC, Stone OJ, LaFosse PK, Azoitei ML, Tsygankov D, Heddleston JM, Legant WR, Wittchen ES, Burridge K, Elston TC, Betzig E, Chew T, Adalsteinsson D, Hahn KM
    The Journal of Cell Biology. 2019 Sep 2;218(9):3153-3160. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201903019

    Lattice light-sheet microscopy (LLSM) is valuable for its combination of reduced photobleaching and outstanding spatiotemporal resolution in 3D. Using LLSM to image biosensors in living cells could provide unprecedented visualization of rapid, localized changes in protein conformation or posttranslational modification. However, computational manipulations required for biosensor imaging with LLSM are challenging for many software packages. The calculations require processing large amounts of data even for simple changes such as reorientation of cell renderings or testing the effects of user-selectable settings, and lattice imaging poses unique challenges in thresholding and ratio imaging. We describe here a new software package, named ImageTank, that is specifically designed for practical imaging of biosensors using LLSM. To demonstrate its capabilities, we use a new biosensor to study the rapid 3D dynamics of the small GTPase Rap1 in vesicles and cell protrusions.

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    07/01/19 | Augmin accumulation on long-lived microtubules drives amplification and kinetochore-directed growth.
    David AF, Roudot P, Legant WR, Betzig E, Danuser G, Gerlich DW
    Journal of Cell Biology. 2019 Jul 01;218(7):2150-68. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201805044

    Dividing cells reorganize their microtubule cytoskeleton into a bipolar spindle, which moves one set of sister chromatids to each nascent daughter cell. Early spindle assembly models postulated that spindle pole-derived microtubules search the cytoplasmic space until they randomly encounter a kinetochore to form a stable attachment. More recent work uncovered several additional, centrosome-independent microtubule generation pathways, but the contributions of each pathway to spindle assembly have remained unclear. Here, we combined live microscopy and mathematical modeling to show that most microtubules nucleate at noncentrosomal regions in dividing human cells. Using a live-cell probe that selectively labels aged microtubule lattices, we demonstrate that the distribution of growing microtubule plus ends can be almost entirely explained by Augmin-dependent amplification of long-lived microtubule lattices. By ultrafast 3D lattice light-sheet microscopy, we observed that this mechanism results in a strong directional bias of microtubule growth toward individual kinetochores. Our systematic quantification of spindle dynamics reveals highly coordinated microtubule growth during kinetochore fiber assembly.

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    06/27/19 | High-resolution imaging reveals how the spindle midzone impacts chromosome movement.
    Pamula MC, Carlini L, Forth S, Verma P, Suresh S, Legant WR, Khodjakov A, Betzig E, Kapoor TM
    The Journal of Cell Biology. 27 Jun 2019;218(8):2529-44. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201904169

    In the spindle midzone, microtubules from opposite half-spindles form bundles between segregating chromosomes. Microtubule bundles can either push or restrict chromosome movement during anaphase in different cellular contexts, but how these activities are achieved remains poorly understood. Here, we use high-resolution live-cell imaging to analyze individual microtubule bundles, growing filaments, and chromosome movement in dividing human cells. Within bundles, filament overlap length marked by the cross-linking protein PRC1 decreases during anaphase as chromosome segregation slows. Filament ends within microtubule bundles appear capped despite dynamic PRC1 turnover and submicrometer proximity to growing microtubules. Chromosome segregation distance and rate are increased in two human cell lines when microtubule bundle assembly is prevented via PRC1 knockdown. Upon expressing a mutant PRC1 with reduced microtubule affinity, bundles assemble but chromosome hypersegregation is still observed. We propose that microtubule overlap length reduction, typically linked to pushing forces generated within filament bundles, is needed to properly restrict spindle elongation and position chromosomes within daughter cells.

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    04/26/19 | Dynamic super-resolution structured illumination imaging in the living brain.
    Turcotte R, Liang Y, Tanimoto M, Zhang Q, Li Z, Koyama M, Betzig E, Ji N
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2019 Apr 26;116(19):9586-91. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1819965116

    Cells in the brain act as components of extended networks. Therefore, to understand neurobiological processes in a physiological context, it is essential to study them in vivo. Super-resolution microscopy has spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit, thus promising to provide structural and functional insights that are not accessible with conventional microscopy. However, to apply it to in vivo brain imaging, we must address the challenges of 3D imaging in an optically heterogeneous tissue that is constantly in motion. We optimized image acquisition and reconstruction to combat sample motion and applied adaptive optics to correcting sample-induced optical aberrations in super-resolution structured illumination microscopy (SIM) in vivo. We imaged the brains of live zebrafish larvae and mice and observed the dynamics of dendrites and dendritic spines at nanoscale resolution.

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    03/19/19 | Cytoskeletal control of antigen-dependent T cell activation.
    Colin-York H, Javanmardi Y, Skamrahl M, Kumari S, Chang VT, Khuon S, Taylor A, Chew T, Betzig E, Moeendarbary E, Cerundolo V, Eggeling C, Fritzsche M
    Cell Reports. 2019 Mar 19;26(12):3369-3379.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.02.074

    Cytoskeletal actin dynamics is essential for T cell activation. Here, we show evidence that the binding kinetics of the antigen engaging the T cell receptor influences the nanoscale actin organization and mechanics of the immune synapse. Using an engineered T cell system expressing a specific T cell receptor and stimulated by a range of antigens, we found that the peak force experienced by the T cell receptor during activation was independent of the unbinding kinetics of the stimulating antigen. Conversely, quantification of the actin retrograde flow velocity at the synapse revealed a striking dependence on the antigen unbinding kinetics. These findings suggest that the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton actively adjusted to normalize the force experienced by the T cell receptor in an antigen-specific manner. Consequently, tuning actin dynamics in response to antigen kinetics may thus be a mechanism that allows T cells to adjust the lengthscale and timescale of T cell receptor signaling.

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    03/07/19 | Cytoskeletal actin patterns shape mast cell activation.
    Colin-York H, Li D, Korobchevskaya K, Chang VT, Betzig E, Eggeling C, Fritzsche M
    Communications Biology. 2019;2:93. doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0322-9

    Activation of immune cells relies on a dynamic actin cytoskeleton. Despite detailed knowledge of molecular actin assembly, the exact processes governing actin organization during activation remain elusive. Using advanced microscopy, we here show that Rat Basophilic Leukemia (RBL) cells, a model mast cell line, employ an orchestrated series of reorganization events within the cortical actin network during activation. In response to IgE antigen-stimulation of FCε receptors (FCεR) at the RBL cell surface, we observed symmetry breaking of the F-actin network and subsequent rapid disassembly of the actin cortex. This was followed by a reassembly process that may be driven by the coordinated transformation of distinct nanoscale F-actin architectures, reminiscent of self-organizing actin patterns. Actin patterns co-localized with zones of Arp2/3 nucleation, while network reassembly was accompanied by myosin-II activity. Strikingly, cortical actin disassembly coincided with zones of granule secretion, suggesting that cytoskeletal actin patterns contribute to orchestrate RBL cell activation.

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