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7 Janelia Publications

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    11/18/11 | Facile and general synthesis of photoactivatable xanthene dyes.
    Wysocki LM, Grimm JB, Tkachuk AN, Brown TA, Betzig E, Lavis LD
    Angewandte Chemie. 2011 Nov 18;50:11206-9. doi: 10.1002/anie.201104571

    Despite the apparent simplicity of the xanthene fluorophores, the preparation of caged derivatives with free carboxy groups remains a synthetic challenge. A straightforward and flexible strategy for preparing rhodamine and fluorescein derivatives was developed using reduced, “leuco” intermediates.

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    11/01/11 | Pupil-segmentation-based adaptive optical microscopy with full-pupil illumination.
    Milkie DE, Betzig E, Ji N
    Optics Letters. 2011 Nov 1;36(21):4206-8. doi: 10.1364/OL.36.004206

    Optical aberrations deteriorate the performance of microscopes. Adaptive optics can be used to improve imaging performance via wavefront shaping. Here, we demonstrate a pupil-segmentation based adaptive optical approach with full-pupil illumination. When implemented in a two-photon fluorescence microscope, it recovers diffraction-limited performance and improves imaging signal and resolution.

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    05/01/11 | Rapid three-dimensional isotropic imaging of living cells using Bessel beam plane illumination.
    Planchon TA, Gao L, Milkie DE, Davidson MW, Galbraith JA, Galbraith CG, Betzig E
    Nature Methods. 2011 May;8(5):417-23. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1586

    A key challenge when imaging living cells is how to noninvasively extract the most spatiotemporal information possible. Unlike popular wide-field and confocal methods, plane-illumination microscopy limits excitation to the information-rich vicinity of the focal plane, providing effective optical sectioning and high speed while minimizing out-of-focus background and premature photobleaching. Here we used scanned Bessel beams in conjunction with structured illumination and/or two-photon excitation to create thinner light sheets (<0.5 μm) better suited to three-dimensional (3D) subcellular imaging. As demonstrated by imaging the dynamics of mitochondria, filopodia, membrane ruffles, intracellular vesicles and mitotic chromosomes in live cells, the microscope currently offers 3D isotropic resolution down to \~{}0.3 μm, speeds up to nearly 200 image planes per second and the ability to noninvasively acquire hundreds of 3D data volumes from single living cells encompassing tens of thousands of image frames.

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    05/01/11 | Rapid three-dimensional isotropic imaging of living cells using Bessel beam plane illumination. (With commentary)
    Planchon TA, Gao L, Milkie DE, Davidson MW, Galbraith JA, Galbraith CG, Betzig E
    Nature Methods. 2011 May;8(5):417-23. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1586

    A key challenge when imaging living cells is how to noninvasively extract the most spatiotemporal information possible. Unlike popular wide-field and confocal methods, plane-illumination microscopy limits excitation to the information-rich vicinity of the focal plane, providing effective optical sectioning and high speed while minimizing out-of-focus background and premature photobleaching. Here we used scanned Bessel beams in conjunction with structured illumination and/or two-photon excitation to create thinner light sheets (<0.5 μm) better suited to three-dimensional (3D) subcellular imaging. As demonstrated by imaging the dynamics of mitochondria, filopodia, membrane ruffles, intracellular vesicles and mitotic chromosomes in live cells, the microscope currently offers 3D isotropic resolution down to \~{}0.3 μm, speeds up to nearly 200 image planes per second and the ability to noninvasively acquire hundreds of 3D data volumes from single living cells encompassing tens of thousands of image frames.

    Commentary: Plane illumination microscopy has proven to be a powerful tool for studying multicellular organisms and their development at single cell resolution. However, the light sheets employed are usually too thick to provide much benefit for imaging organelles within single cultured cells. Here we introduce the use of scanned Bessel beams to create much thinner light sheets better suited to long-term dynamic live cell imaging. Such light sheets not only minimize photobleaching and phototoxicity at the sub-cellular level, but also provide axial resolution enhancement, yielding isotropic three dimensional spatial resolution. Numerous movies are provided to demonstrate the wealth of 4D information (x,y,x,t) that can be obtained from single living cells by the method. Besides providing an attractive alternative to spinning disk, AOD-driven, or line scan confocal microscopes for high speed live cell imaging, the Bessel microscope might serve as a valuable platform for superresolution microscopy (PALM, structured Illumination, or RESOLFT), since confinement of the excitation to the focal plane makes far better use of the limited fluorescence photon budget than does the traditional epi-illumination configuration.

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    03/15/11 | Subnuclear segregation of genes and core promoter factors in myogenesis. (With commentary)
    Yao J, Fetter RD, Hu P, Betzig E, Tjian R
    Genes & Development. 2011 Mar 15;25(6):569-80. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100640108

    Recent findings implicate alternate core promoter recognition complexes in regulating cellular differentiation. Here we report a spatial segregation of the alternative core factor TAF3, but not canonical TFIID subunits, away from the nuclear periphery, where the key myogenic gene MyoD is preferentially localized in myoblasts. This segregation is correlated with the differential occupancy of TAF3 versus TFIID at the MyoD promoter. Loss of this segregation by modulating either the intranuclear location of the MyoD gene or TAF3 protein leads to altered TAF3 occupancy at the MyoD promoter. Intriguingly, in differentiated myotubes, the MyoD gene is repositioned to the nuclear interior, where TAF3 resides. The specific high-affinity recognition of H3K4Me3 by the TAF3 PHD (plant homeodomain) finger appears to be required for the sequestration of TAF3 to the nuclear interior. We suggest that intranuclear sequestration of core transcription components and their target genes provides an additional mechanism for promoter selectivity during differentiation.

    Commentary: Jie Yao in Bob Tijan’s lab used a combination of confocal microscopy and dual label PALM in thin sections cut from resin-embedded cells to show that certain core transcription components and their target genes are spatially segregated in myoblasts, but not in differentiated myotubes, suggesting that such spatial segregation may play a role in guiding cellular differentiation.

     

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    01/01/11 | Probing tension and dynamics in actomyosin mediated cell shape change.
    Higgins CD, Tulu US, Gao L, Betzig E, Kiehart DP, Goldstein B
    Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2011;22:
    01/01/11 | Pupil-segmentation-based adaptive optics for microscopy.
    Ji N, Milkie DE, Betzig E
    Proceedings of SPIE. 2011;7931:79310I. doi: 10.1117/12.876398

    Inhomogeneous optical properties of biological samples make it difficult to obtain diffraction-limited resolution in depth. Correcting the sample-induced optical aberrations needs adaptive optics (AO). However, the direct wavefront-sensing approach commonly used in astronomy is not suitable for most biological samples due to their strong scattering of light. We developed an image-based AO approach that is insensitive to sample scattering. By comparing images of the sample taken with different segments of the pupil illuminated, local tilt in the wavefront is measured from image shift. The aberrated wavefront is then obtained either by measuring the local phase directly using interference or with phase reconstruction algorithms similar to those used in astronomical AO. We implemented this pupil-segmentation-based approach in a two-photon fluorescence microscope and demonstrated that diffraction-limited resolution can be recovered from nonbiological and biological samples.

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