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33 Janelia Publications

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    04/25/18 | A novel sheet-like virus particle array is a hallmark of Zika virus infection.
    Liu J, Kline BA, Kenny TA, Smith DR, Soloveva V, Beitzel B, Pang S, Lockett S, Hess HF, Palacios G, Kuhn JH, Sun MG, Zeng X
    Emerging Microbes & Infections. 2018 Apr 25;7(1):69. doi: 10.1038/s41426-018-0071-8

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging flavivirus that caused thousands of human infections in recent years. Compared to other human flaviviruses, ZIKV replication is not well understood. Using fluorescent, transmission electron, and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy, we examined ZIKV replication dynamics in Vero 76 cells and in the brains of infected laboratory mice. We observed the progressive development of a perinuclear flaviviral replication factory both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, we illustrated the ZIKV lifecycle from particle cell entry to egress. ZIKV particles assembled and aggregated in an induced convoluted membrane structure and ZIKV strain-specific membranous vesicles. While most mature virus particles egressed via membrane budding, some particles also likely trafficked through late endosomes and egressed through membrane abscission. Interestingly, we consistently observed a novel sheet-like virus particle array consisting of a single layer of ZIKV particles. Our study further defines ZIKV replication and identifies a novel hallmark of ZIKV infection.

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    07/18/17 | A connectome of a learning and memory center in the adult Drosophila brain.
    Takemura S, Aso Y, Hige T, Wong AM, Lu Z, Xu CS, Rivlin PK, Hess HF, Zhao T, Parag T, Berg S, Huang G, Katz WT, Olbris DJ, Plaza SM, Umayam LA, Aniceto R, Chang L, Lauchie S, et al
    eLife. 2017 Jul 18;6:e26975. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26975

    Understanding memory formation, storage and retrieval requires knowledge of the underlying neuronal circuits. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is the major site of associative learning. We reconstructed the morphologies and synaptic connections of all 983 neurons within the three functional units, or compartments, that compose the adult MB’s α lobe, using a dataset of isotropic 8-nm voxels collected by focused ion-beam milling scanning electron microscopy. We found that Kenyon cells (KCs), whose sparse activity encodes sensory information, each make multiple en passant synapses to MB output neurons (MBONs) in each compartment. Some MBONs have inputs from all KCs, while others differentially sample sensory modalities. Only six percent of KC>MBON synapses receive a direct synapse from a dopaminergic neuron (DAN). We identified two unanticipated classes of synapses, KC>DAN and DAN>MBON. DAN activation produces a slow depolarization of the MBON in these DAN>MBON synapses and can weaken memory recall.

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    05/30/17 | Contacts between the endoplasmic reticulum and other membranes in neurons.
    Wu Y, Whiteus C, Xu CS, Hayworth KJ, Weinberg RJ, Hess HF, De Camilli P
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2017 May 30;114(24):E4859-67. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1701078114

    Close appositions between the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and other intracellular membranes have important functions in cell physiology. These include lipid homeostasis, regulation of Ca(2+) dynamics, and control of organelle biogenesis and dynamics. Although these membrane contacts have previously been observed in neurons, their distribution and abundance have not been systematically analyzed. Here, we have used focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy to generate 3D reconstructions of intracellular organelles and their membrane appositions involving the ER (distance ≤30 nm) in different neuronal compartments. ER-plasma membrane (PM) contacts were particularly abundant in cell bodies, with large, flat ER cisternae apposed to the PM, sometimes with a notably narrow lumen (thin ER). Smaller ER-PM contacts occurred throughout dendrites, axons, and in axon terminals. ER contacts with mitochondria were abundant in all compartments, with the ER often forming a network that embraced mitochondria. Small focal contacts were also observed with tubulovesicular structures, likely to be endosomes, and with sparse multivesicular bodies and lysosomes found in our reconstructions. Our study provides an anatomical reference for interpreting information about interorganelle communication in neurons emerging from functional and biochemical studies.

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    05/13/17 | Enhanced FIB-SEM systems for large-volume 3D imaging.
    Xu CS, Hayworth KJ, Lu Z, Grob P, Hassan AM, García-Cerdán JG, Niyogi KK, Nogales E, Weinberg RJ, Hess HF
    eLife. 2017 May 13;6:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.25916

    Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) can automatically generate 3D images with superior z-axis resolution, yielding data that needs minimal image registration and related post-processing. Obstacles blocking wider adoption of FIB-SEM include slow imaging speed and lack of long-term system stability, which caps the maximum possible acquisition volume. Here we present techniques that accelerate image acquisition while greatly improving FIB-SEM reliability, allowing the system to operate for months and generating continuously imaged volumes > 10(6) µm(3). These volumes are large enough for connectomics, where the excellent z resolution can help in tracing of small neuronal processes and accelerate the tedious and time-consuming human proofreading effort. Even higher resolution can be achieved on smaller volumes. We present example data sets from mammalian neural tissue, Drosophila brain, and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to illustrate the power of this novel high-resolution technique to address questions in both connectomics and cell biology.

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    04/06/17 | Diverse protocols for correlative super-resolution fluorescence imaging and electron microscopy of chemically fixed samples.
    Kopek BG, Paez-Segala MG, Shtengel G, Sochacki KA, Sun MG, Wang Y, Xu CS, Van Engelenburg SB, Taraska JW, Looger LL, Hess HF
    Nature Protocols. 2017 May;12(5):916-946. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2017.017

    Our groups have recently developed related approaches for sample preparation for super-resolution imaging within endogenous cellular environments using correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM). Four distinct techniques for preparing and acquiring super-resolution CLEM data sets for aldehyde-fixed specimens are provided, including Tokuyasu cryosectioning, whole-cell mount, cell unroofing and platinum replication, and resin embedding and sectioning. The choice of the best protocol for a given application depends on a number of criteria that are discussed in detail. Tokuyasu cryosectioning is relatively rapid but is limited to small, delicate specimens. Whole-cell mount has the simplest sample preparation but is restricted to surface structures. Cell unroofing and platinum replication creates high-contrast, 3D images of the cytoplasmic surface of the plasma membrane but is more challenging than whole-cell mount. Resin embedding permits serial sectioning of large samples but is limited to osmium-resistant probes, and is technically difficult. Expected results from these protocols include super-resolution localization (∼10-50 nm) of fluorescent targets within the context of electron microscopy ultrastructure, which can help address cell biological questions. These protocols can be completed in 2-7 d, are compatible with a number of super-resolution imaging protocols, and are broadly applicable across biology.

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    10/28/16 | Increased spatiotemporal resolution reveals highly dynamic dense tubular matrices in the peripheral ER.
    Nixon-Abell J, Obara CJ, Weigel AV, Li D, Legant WR, Xu C, Pasolli HA, Harvey K, Hess HF, Betzig E, Blackstone C, Lippincott-Schwartz J
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 2016 Oct 28;354(6311):433-46. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf3928

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an expansive, membrane-enclosed organelle that plays crucial roles in numerous cellular functions. We used emerging superresolution imaging technologies to clarify the morphology and dynamics of the peripheral ER, which contacts and modulates most other intracellular organelles. Peripheral components of the ER have classically been described as comprising both tubules and flat sheets. We show that this system consists almost exclusively of tubules at varying densities, including structures that we term ER matrices. Conventional optical imaging technologies had led to misidentification of these structures as sheets because of the dense clustering of tubular junctions and a previously uncharacterized rapid form of ER motion. The existence of ER matrices explains previous confounding evidence that had indicated the occurrence of ER “sheet” proliferation after overexpression of tubular junction–forming proteins.

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    06/18/16 | Macular telangiectasia type 1 managed with long-term aflibercept therapy.
    Kovach JL, Hess HF, Rosenfeld PJ
    Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging Retina. 2016 Jun;47(6):593-5. doi: 10.3928/23258160-20160601-14

    A 60-year-old man diagnosed with macular telangiectasia type 1 (MacTel 1) was treated for 3 years with monthly aflibercept (Eylea; Regeneron, Tarrytown, NY) and serially imaged with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. When administered monthly, aflibercept appeared to have a beneficial effect on macular edema secondary to MacTel 1. Visual acuity preservation despite minimal chronic macular edema could be attributed to the lack of significant photoreceptor disruption.

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    12/11/15 | Synthesis of a far-red photoactivatable silicon-containing rhodamine for super-resolution microscopy.
    Grimm JB, Klein T, Kopek BG, Shtengel G, Hess HF, Sauer M, Lavis LD
    Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). 2015 Dec 11;55(5):1723-7. doi: 10.1002/anie.201509649

    The rhodamine system is a flexible framework for building small-molecule fluorescent probes. Changing N-substitution patterns and replacing the xanthene oxygen with a dimethylsilicon moiety can shift the absorption and fluorescence emission maxima of rhodamine dyes to longer wavelengths. Acylation of the rhodamine nitrogen atoms forces the molecule to adopt a nonfluorescent lactone form, providing a convenient method to make fluorogenic compounds. Herein, we take advantage of all of these structural manipulations and describe a novel photoactivatable fluorophore based on a Si-containing analogue of Q-rhodamine. This probe is the first example of a "caged" Si-rhodamine, exhibits higher photon counts compared to established localization microscopy dyes, and is sufficiently red-shifted to allow multicolor imaging. The dye is a useful label for super-resolution imaging and constitutes a new scaffold for far-red fluorogenic molecules.

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    11/03/15 | Synaptic circuits and their variations within different columns in the visual system of Drosophila.
    Takemura S, Xu CS, Lu Z, Rivlin PK, Parag T, Olbris DJ, Plaza S, Zhao T, Katz WT, Umayam L, Weaver C, Hess HF, Horne JA, Nunez-Iglesias J, Aniceto R, Chang L, Lauchie S, Nasca A, Ogundeyi O, Sigmund C, Takemura S, Tran J, Langille C, Le Lacheur K, McLin S, Shinomiya A, Chklovskii DB, Meinertzhagen IA, Scheffer LK
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015 Nov 3;112(44):13711-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1509820112

    We reconstructed the synaptic circuits of seven columns in the second neuropil or medulla behind the fly's compound eye. These neurons embody some of the most stereotyped circuits in one of the most miniaturized of animal brains. The reconstructions allow us, for the first time to our knowledge, to study variations between circuits in the medulla's neighboring columns. This variation in the number of synapses and the types of their synaptic partners has previously been little addressed because methods that visualize multiple circuits have not resolved detailed connections, and existing connectomic studies, which can see such connections, have not so far examined multiple reconstructions of the same circuit. Here, we address the omission by comparing the circuits common to all seven columns to assess variation in their connection strengths and the resultant rates of several different and distinct types of connection error. Error rates reveal that, overall, <1% of contacts are not part of a consensus circuit, and we classify those contacts that supplement (E+) or are missing from it (E-). Autapses, in which the same cell is both presynaptic and postsynaptic at the same synapse, are occasionally seen; two cells in particular, Dm9 and Mi1, form ≥20-fold more autapses than do other neurons. These results delimit the accuracy of developmental events that establish and normally maintain synaptic circuits with such precision, and thereby address the operation of such circuits. They also establish a precedent for error rates that will be required in the new science of connectomics.

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    10/14/15 | The 2015 super-resolution microscopy roadmap.
    Hell SW, Sahl SJ, Bates M, Zhuang X, Heintzmann R, Booth MJ, Bewersdorf J, Shtengel G, Hess HF, Tinnefeld P
    Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. 2015 Oct 14;48:443001. doi: 10.1088/0022-3727/48/44/443001

    Far-field optical microscopy using focused light is an important tool in a number of scientific disciplines including chemical, (bio)physical and biomedical research, particularly with respect to the study of living cells and organisms. Unfortunately, the applicability of the optical microscope is limited, since the diffraction of light imposes limitations on the spatial resolution of the image. Consequently the details of, for example, cellular protein distributions, can be visualized only to a certain extent. Fortunately, recent years have witnessed the development of 'super-resolution' far-field optical microscopy (nanoscopy) techniques such as stimulated emission depletion (STED), ground state depletion (GSD), reversible saturated optical (fluorescence) transitions (RESOLFT), photoactivation localization microscopy (PALM), stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), structured illumination microscopy (SIM) or saturated structured illumination microscopy (SSIM), all in one way or another addressing the problem of the limited spatial resolution of far-field optical microscopy. While SIM achieves a two-fold improvement in spatial resolution compared to conventional optical microscopy, STED, RESOLFT, PALM/STORM, or SSIM have all gone beyond, pushing the limits of optical image resolution to the nanometer scale. Consequently, all super-resolution techniques open new avenues of biomedical research. Because the field is so young, the potential capabilities of different super-resolution microscopy approaches have yet to be fully explored, and uncertainties remain when considering the best choice of methodology. Thus, even for experts, the road to the future is sometimes shrouded in mist. The super-resolution optical microscopy roadmap of Journal of Physics D: Applied Physicsaddresses this need for clarity. It provides guidance to the outstanding questions through a collection of short review articles from experts in the field, giving a thorough discussion on the concepts underlying super-resolution optical microscopy, the potential of different approaches, the importance of label optimization (such as reversible photoswitchable proteins) and applications in which these methods will have a significant impact.

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