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97 Janelia Publications

Showing 51-60 of 97 results
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    06/18/15 | Single molecules, cells, and super-resolution optics (Nobel Lecture).
    Betzig E
    Angewandte Chemie (International Edition in English). 2015 Jun 18:. doi: 10.1002/anie.201501003

    The resolution of a microscope is determined by the diffraction limit in classical microscopy, whereby objects that are separated by half a wavelength can no longer be visually separated. To go below the diffraction limit required several tricks and discoveries. In his Nobel Lecture, E. Betzig describes the developments that have led to modern super high-resolution microscopy.

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    06/15/15 | Direct wavefront sensing for high-resolution in vivo imaging in scattering tissue.
    Wang K, Sun W, Richie CT, Harvey BK, Betzig E, Ji N
    Nature Communications. 2015-Jun-15;6:7276. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8276

    Adaptive optics by direct imaging of the wavefront distortions of a laser-induced guide star has long been used in astronomy, and more recently in microscopy to compensate for aberrations in transparent specimens. Here we extend this approach to tissues that strongly scatter visible light by exploiting the reduced scattering of near-infrared guide stars. The method enables in vivo two-photon morphological and functional imaging down to 700 μm inside the mouse brain.

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    06/01/15 | High-resolution live imaging reveals axon-glia interactions during peripheral nerve injury and repair in zebrafish.
    Xiao Y, Faucherre A, Pola-Morell L, Heddleston JM, Liu T, Chew T, Sato F, Sehara-Fujisawa A, Kawakami K, López-Schier H
    Disease Models & Mechanisms. 2015 Jun 1;8(6):553-64. doi: 10.1242/dmm.018184

    Neural damage is a devastating outcome of physical trauma. The glia are one of the main effectors of neuronal repair in the nervous system, but the dynamic interactions between peripheral neurons and Schwann cells during injury and regeneration remain incompletely characterized. Here, we combine laser microsurgery, genetic analysis, high-resolution intravital imaging and lattice light-sheet microscopy to study the interaction between Schwann cells and sensory neurons in a zebrafish model of neurotrauma. We found that chronic denervation by neuronal ablation leads to Schwann-cell death, whereas acute denervation by axonal severing does not affect the overall complexity and architecture of the glia. Neuronal-circuit regeneration begins when Schwann cells extend bridging processes to close the injury gap. Regenerating axons grow faster and directionally after the physiological clearing of distal debris by the Schwann cells. This might facilitate circuit repair by ensuring that axons are guided through unoccupied spaces within bands of Büngner towards their original peripheral target. Accordingly, in the absence of Schwann cells, regenerating axons are misrouted, impairing the re-innervation of sensory organs. Our results indicate that regenerating axons use haptotaxis as a directional cue during the reconstitution of a neural circuit. These findings have implications for therapies aimed at neurorepair, which will benefit from preserving the architecture of the peripheral glia during periods of denervation.

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    05/21/15 | Imaging live-cell dynamics and structure at the single-molecule level.
    Liu Z, Lavis LD, Betzig E
    Molecular Cell. 2015 May 21;58(4):644-59. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2015.02.033

    Observation of molecular processes inside living cells is fundamental to a quantitative understanding of how biological systems function. Specifically, decoding the complex behavior of single molecules enables us to measure kinetics, transport, and self-assembly at this fundamental level that is often veiled in ensemble experiments. In the past decade, rapid developments in fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and fluorescent labeling techniques have enabled new experiments to investigate the robustness and stochasticity of diverse molecular mechanisms with high spatiotemporal resolution. This review discusses the concepts and strategies of structural and functional imaging in living cells at the single-molecule level with minimal perturbations to the specimen.

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    05/19/15 | Actin depletion initiates events leading to granule secretion at the immunological synapse.
    Ritter AT, Asano Y, Stinchcombe JC, Dieckmann NM, Chen B, Gawden-Bone C, van Engelenburg S, Legant W, Gao L, Davidson MW, Betzig E, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Griffiths GM
    Immunity. 2015 May 19;42(5):864-76. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.04.013

    Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) use polarized secretion to rapidly destroy virally infected and tumor cells. To understand the temporal relationships between key events leading to secretion, we used high-resolution 4D imaging. CTLs approached targets with actin-rich projections at the leading edge, creating an initially actin-enriched contact with rearward-flowing actin. Within 1 min, cortical actin reduced across the synapse, T cell receptors (TCRs) clustered centrally to form the central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC), and centrosome polarization began. Granules clustered around the moving centrosome within 2.5 min and reached the synapse after 6 min. TCR-bearing intracellular vesicles were delivered to the cSMAC as the centrosome docked. We found that the centrosome and granules were delivered to an area of membrane with reduced cortical actin density and phospholipid PIP2. These data resolve the temporal order of events during synapse maturation in 4D and reveal a critical role for actin depletion in regulating secretion.

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    04/07/15 | Asymmetric formation of coated pits on dorsal and ventral surfaces at the leading edge of motile cells and on protrusions of immobile cells.
    Kural C, Akatay AA, Gaudin R, Chen B, Legant WR, Betzig E, Kirchhausen T
    Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2015 Apr 7;26(11):2044-53. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E15-01-0055

    Clathrin/AP2-coated vesicles are the principal endocytic carriers originating at the plasma membrane. In experiments reported here, we have used spinning disk confocal and lattice light sheet microscopy to study the assembly dynamics of coated pits on the dorsal and ventral membranes of migrating U373 glioblastoma cells stably expressing AP2-EGFP and on lateral protrusions from immobile SUM159 breast carcinoma cells, gene edited to express AP2-EGFP. On U373 cells, coated pits initiated on the dorsal membrane at the front of the lamellipodium, as well as at the approximate boundary between the lamellipodium and lamella, and continued to grow as they were swept back toward the cell body; coated pits were absent from the corresponding ventral membrane. We observed a similar dorsal/ventral asymmetry on membrane protrusions from SUM159 cells. Stationary-coated pits formed and budded on the remainder of the dorsal and ventral surfaces of both types of cells. These observations support a previously proposed model that invokes net membrane deposition at the leading edge due to an imbalance between the endocytic and exocytic membrane flow at the front of a migrating cell.

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    03/30/15 | Myosin 18A coassembles with nonmuscle myosin 2 to form mixed bipolar filaments.
    Billington N, Beach JR, Heissler SM, Remmert K, Guzik-Lendrum S, Nagy A, Takagi Y, Shao L, Li D, Yang Y, Zhang Y, Barzik M, Betzig E, Hammer JA, Sellers JR
    Current Biology. 2015 Mar 30;25(7):942-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.012

    Class-18 myosins are most closely related to conventional class-2 nonmuscle myosins (NM2). Surprisingly, the purified head domains of Drosophila, mouse, and human myosin 18A (M18A) lack actin-activated ATPase activity and the ability to translocate actin filaments, suggesting that the functions of M18A in vivo do not depend on intrinsic motor activity. M18A has the longest coiled coil of any myosin outside of the class-2 myosins, suggesting that it might form bipolar filaments similar to conventional myosins. To address this possibility, we expressed and purified full-length mouse M18A using the baculovirus/Sf9 system. M18A did not form large bipolar filaments under any of the conditions tested. Instead, M18A formed an ∼65-nm-long bipolar structure with two heads at each end. Importantly, when NM2 was polymerized in the presence of M18A, the two myosins formed mixed bipolar filaments, as evidenced by cosedimentation, electron microscopy, and single-molecule imaging. Moreover, super-resolution imaging of NM2 and M18A using fluorescently tagged proteins and immunostaining of endogenous proteins showed that NM2 and M18A are present together within individual filaments inside living cells. Together, our in vitro and live-cell imaging data argue strongly that M18A coassembles with NM2 into mixed bipolar filaments. M18A could regulate the biophysical properties of these filaments and, by virtue of its extra N- and C-terminal domains, determine the localization and/or molecular interactions of the filaments. Given the numerous, fundamental cellular and developmental roles attributed to NM2, our results have far-reaching biological implications.

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    12/24/14 | 3D imaging of Sox2 enhancer clusters in embryonic stem cells.
    Liu Z, Legant WR, Chen B, Li L, Grimm JB, Lavis LD, Betzig E, Tjian R
    eLife. 2014 Dec 24;3:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.04236

    Combinatorial cis-regulatory networks encoded in animal genomes represent the foundational gene expression mechanism for directing cell-fate commitment and maintenance of cell identity by transcription factors (TFs). However, the 3D spatial organization of cis-elements and how such sub-nuclear structures influence TF activity remain poorly understood. Here, we combine lattice light-sheet imaging, single-molecule tracking, numerical simulations, and ChIP-exo mapping to localize and functionally probe Sox2 enhancer-organization in living embryonic stem cells. Sox2 enhancers form 3D-clusters that are segregated from heterochromatin but overlap with a subset of Pol II enriched regions. Sox2 searches for specific binding targets via a 3D-diffusion dominant mode when shuttling long-distances between clusters while chromatin-bound states predominate within individual clusters. Thus, enhancer clustering may reduce global search efficiency but enables rapid local fine-tuning of TF search parameters. Our results suggest an integrated model linking cis-element 3D spatial distribution to local-versus-global target search modalities essential for regulating eukaryotic gene transcription.

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    12/23/14 | Regulation of RNA granule dynamics by phosphorylation of serine-rich, intrinsically disordered proteins in C. elegans.
    Wang JT, Smith J, Chen B, Schmidt H, Rasoloson D, Paix A, Lambrus BG, Calidas D, Betzig E, Seydoux G
    eLife. 2014 Dec 23;4:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.04591

    RNA granules have been likened to liquid droplets whose dynamics depend on the controlled dissolution and condensation of internal components. The molecules and reactions that drive these dynamics in vivo are not well understood. In this study, we present evidence that a group of intrinsically disordered, serine-rich proteins regulate the dynamics of P granules in C. elegans embryos. The MEG (maternal-effect germline defective) proteins are germ plasm components that are required redundantly for fertility. We demonstrate that MEG-1 and MEG-3 are substrates of the kinase MBK-2/DYRK and the phosphatase PP2A(PPTR-½). Phosphorylation of the MEGs promotes granule disassembly and dephosphorylation promotes granule assembly. Using lattice light sheet microscopy on live embryos, we show that GFP-tagged MEG-3 localizes to a dynamic domain that surrounds and penetrates each granule. We conclude that, despite their liquid-like behavior, P granules are non-homogeneous structures whose assembly in embryos is regulated by phosphorylation.

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    10/24/14 | Lattice light-sheet microscopy: imaging molecules to embryos at high spatiotemporal resolution.
    Chen B, Legant WR, Wang K, Shao L, Milkie DE, Davidson MW, Janetopoulos C, Wu XS, Hammer JA, Liu Z, English BP, Mimori-Kiyosue Y, Romero DP, Ritter AT, Lippincott-Schwartz J, Fritz-Laylin L, Mullins RD, Mitchell DM, Bembenek JN, Reymann A, Böhme R, Grill SW, Wang JT, Seydoux G, Tulu US, Kiehart DP, Betzig E
    Science. 2014 Oct 24;346(6208):1257998. doi: 10.1126/science.1257998

    Although fluorescence microscopy provides a crucial window into the physiology of living specimens, many biological processes are too fragile, are too small, or occur too rapidly to see clearly with existing tools. We crafted ultrathin light sheets from two-dimensional optical lattices that allowed us to image three-dimensional (3D) dynamics for hundreds of volumes, often at subsecond intervals, at the diffraction limit and beyond. We applied this to systems spanning four orders of magnitude in space and time, including the diffusion of single transcription factor molecules in stem cell spheroids, the dynamic instability of mitotic microtubules, the immunological synapse, neutrophil motility in a 3D matrix, and embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. The results provide a visceral reminder of the beauty and the complexity of living systems.

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