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86 Janelia Publications

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    07/10/18 | Aberrant calcium signaling in astrocytes inhibits neuronal excitability in a human Down syndrome stem cell model.
    Tian L, Or G, Wang Y, Shi G, Wang Y, Sun J, Papadopoulos S, Broussard G, Unger E, Deng W, Weick J, Bhattacharyya A, Chen C, Yu G, Looger LL
    Cell Reports. 2018 Jul 10;24(2):355-65. doi: 10.1101/247585

    Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder that causes cognitive impairment. The staggering effects associated with an extra copy of human chromosome 21 (HSA21) complicates mechanistic understanding of DS pathophysiology. We examined the neuron-astrocyte interplay in a fully recapitulated HSA21 trisomy cellular model differentiated from DS-patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). By combining calcium imaging with genetic approaches, we discovered the functional defects of DS astroglia and their effects on neuronal excitability. Compared with control isogenic astroglia, DS astroglia exhibited more-frequent spontaneous calcium fluctuations, which reduced the excitability of co-cultured neurons. Furthermore, suppressed neuronal activity could be rescued by abolishing astrocytic spontaneous calcium activity either chemically by blocking adenosine-mediated signaling or genetically by knockdown of inositol triphosphate (IP3) receptors or S100B, a calcium binding protein coded on HSA21. Our results suggest a mechanism by which DS alters the function of astrocytes, which subsequently disturbs neuronal excitability.

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    06/28/18 | Kilohertz frame-rate two-photon tomography.
    Kazemipour A, Novak O, Flickinger D, Marvin JS, King J, Borden P, Druckmann S, Svoboda K, Looger LL, Podgorski K
    bioRxiv. 2018 Jun 28:. doi: 10.1101/357269

    Point-scanning two-photon microscopy enables high-resolution imaging within scattering specimens such as the mammalian brain, but sequential acquisition of voxels fundamentally limits imaging speed. We developed a two-photon imaging technique that scans lines of excitation across a focal plane at multiple angles and uses prior information to recover high-resolution images at over 1.4 billion voxels per second. Using a structural image as a prior for recording neural activity, we imaged visually-evoked and spontaneous glutamate release across hundreds of dendritic spines in mice at depths over 250 microns and frame-rates over 1 kHz. Dendritic glutamate transients in anaesthetized mice are synchronized within spatially-contiguous domains spanning tens of microns at frequencies ranging from 1-100 Hz. We demonstrate high-speed recording of acetylcholine and calcium sensors, 3D single-particle tracking, and imaging in densely-labeled cortex. Our method surpasses limits on the speed of raster-scanned imaging imposed by fluorescence lifetime.

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    05/21/18 | Extant fold-switching proteins are widespread.
    Porter LL, Looger LL
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2018 May 21;115(23):5968-73. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1800168115

    A central tenet of biology is that globular proteins have a unique 3D structure under physiological conditions. Recent work has challenged this notion by demonstrating that some proteins switch folds, a process that involves remodeling of secondary structure in response to a few mutations (evolved fold switchers) or cellular stimuli (extant fold switchers). To date, extant fold switchers have been viewed as rare byproducts of evolution, but their frequency has been neither quantified nor estimated. By systematically and exhaustively searching the Protein Data Bank (PDB), we found ∼100 extant fold-switching proteins. Furthermore, we gathered multiple lines of evidence suggesting that these proteins are widespread in nature. Based on these lines of evidence, we hypothesized that the frequency of extant fold-switching proteins may be underrepresented by the structures in the PDB. Thus, we sought to identify other putative extant fold switchers with only one solved conformation. To do this, we identified two characteristic features of our ∼100 extant fold-switching proteins, incorrect secondary structure predictions and likely independent folding cooperativity, and searched the PDB for other proteins with similar features. Reassuringly, this method identified dozens of other proteins in the literature with indication of a structural change but only one solved conformation in the PDB. Thus, we used it to estimate that 0.5-4% of PDB proteins switch folds. These results demonstrate that extant fold-switching proteins are likely more common than the PDB reflects, which has implications for cell biology, genomics, and human health.

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    04/01/18 | Functional Imaging and Optogenetics in Drosophila.
    Simpson JH, Looger LL
    Genetics. 2018 Apr;208(4):1291-1309. doi: 10.1534/genetics.117.300228

    Understanding how activity patterns in specific neural circuits coordinate an animal's behavior remains a key area of neuroscience research. Genetic tools and a brain of tractable complexity make a premier model organism for these studies. Here, we review the wealth of reagents available to map and manipulate neuronal activity with light.

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    12/15/17 | Stability, affinity and chromatic variants of the glutamate sensor iGluSnFR.
    Marvin JS, Scholl B, Wilson DE, Podgorski K, Kazemipour A, Mueller JA, Schoch-McGovern S, Wang SS, Quiroz FJ, Rebola N, Bao H, Little JP, Tkachuk AN, Hantman AW, Chapman ER, Dietrich D, DiGregorio DA, Fitzpatrick D, Looger LL
    bioRxiv. 2017 Dec 15:235176. doi: 10.1101/235176

    Single-wavelength fluorescent reporters allow visualization of specific neurotransmitters with high spatial and temporal resolution. We report variants of the glutamate sensor iGluSnFR that are functionally brighter; can detect sub-micromolar to millimolar concentrations of glutamate; and have blue, green or yellow emission profiles. These variants allow in vivo imaging where original-iGluSnFR was too dim, reveal glutamate transients at individual spine heads, and permit kilohertz imaging with inexpensive, powerful fiber lasers.

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    08/01/17 | Genetically encoded biosensors.
    Marvin JS, Looger LL, Lee RT, Schreiter ER
    USPTO. 2017 Aug 01;B2:

    The present disclosure provides, inter alia, genetically encoded recombinant peptide biosensors comprising analyte-binding framework portions and signaling portions, wherein the signaling portions are present within the framework portions at sites or amino acid positions that undergo a conformational change upon interaction of the framework portion with an analyte.

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    06/12/17 | Neural signatures of dynamic stimulus selection in Drosophila.
    Sun Y, Nern A, Franconville R, Dana H, Schreiter ER, Looger LL, Svoboda K, Kim DS, Hermundstad AM, Jayaraman V
    Nature Neuroscience. 2017 Jun 12;20(8):1104-13. doi: 10.1038/nn.4581

    Many animals orient using visual cues, but how a single cue is selected from among many is poorly understood. Here we show that Drosophila ring neurons—central brain neurons implicated in navigation—display visual stimulus selection. Using in vivo two-color two-photon imaging with genetically encoded calcium indicators, we demonstrate that individual ring neurons inherit simple-cell-like receptive fields from their upstream partners. Stimuli in the contralateral visual field suppressed responses to ipsilateral stimuli in both populations. Suppression strength depended on when and where the contralateral stimulus was presented, an effect stronger in ring neurons than in their upstream inputs. This history-dependent effect on the temporal structure of visual responses, which was well modeled by a simple biphasic filter, may determine how visual references are selected for the fly's internal compass. Our approach highlights how two-color calcium imaging can help identify and localize the origins of sensory transformations across synaptically connected neural populations.

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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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    03/15/17 | Confirmation of five novel susceptibility loci for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and integrated network analysis of 82 SLE susceptibility loci.
    Molineros JE, Yang W, Zhou X, Sun C, Okada Y, Zhang H, Heng Chua K, Lau Y, Kochi Y, Suzuki A, Yamamoto K, Ma J, Bang S, Lee H, Kim K, Bae S, Zhang H, Shen N, Looger LL, Nath SK
    Human Molecular Genetics. 2017 Mar 15;26(6):1205-1216. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx026

    We recently identified ten novel SLE susceptibility loci in Asians and uncovered several additional suggestive loci requiring further validation. This study aimed to replicate five of these suggestive loci in a Han Chinese cohort from Hong Kong, followed by meta-analysis (11,656 cases and 23,968 controls) on previously reported Asian and European populations, and to perform bioinformatic analyses on all 82 reported SLE loci to identify shared regulatory signatures. We performed a battery of analyses for these five loci, as well as joint analyses on all 82 SLE loci. All five loci passed genome-wide significance: MYNN (rs10936599, Pmeta = 1.92 × 10-13, OR = 1.14), ATG16L2 (rs11235604, Pmeta = 8.87 × 10 -12, OR = 0.78), CCL22 (rs223881, Pmeta = 5.87 × 10-16, OR = 0.87), ANKS1A (rs2762340, Pmeta = 4.93 × 10-15, OR = 0.87) and RNASEH2C (rs1308020, Pmeta = 2.96 × 10-19, OR = 0.84) and co-located with annotated gene regulatory elements. The novel loci share genetic signatures with other reported SLE loci, including effects on gene expression, transcription factor binding, and epigenetic characteristics. Most (56%) of the correlated (r2 > 0.8) SNPs from the 82 SLE loci were implicated in differential expression (9.81 × 10-198 < P < 5 × 10-3) of cis-genes. Transcription factor binding sites for p53, MEF2A and E2F1 were significantly (P < 0.05) over-represented in SLE loci, consistent with apoptosis playing a critical role in SLE. Enrichment analysis revealed common pathways, gene ontology, protein domains, and cell type-specific expression. In summary, we provide evidence of five novel SLE susceptibility loci. Integrated bioinformatics using all 82 loci revealed that SLE susceptibility loci share many gene regulatory features, suggestive of conserved mechanisms of SLE etiopathogenesis.

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    03/01/17 | All-optical functional synaptic connectivity mapping in acute brain slices using CaMPARI.
    Zolnik TA, Sha F, Johenning F, Schreiter ER, Looger LL, Larkum ME, Sachdev RN
    The Journal of Physiology. 2017 Mar 01;595(5):1465-77. doi: 10.1113/JP273116

    The calcium-modulated photoactivatable ratiometric integrator CaMPARI (Fosque et al., 2015) facilitates the study of neural circuits by permanently marking cells active during user-specified temporal windows. Permanent marking enables measurement of signals from large swathes of tissue and easy correlation of activity with other structural or functional labels. One potential application of CaMPARI is labeling neurons postsynaptic to specific populations targeted for optogenetic stimulation, giving rise to all-optical functional connectivity mapping. Here, we characterized the response of CaMPARI to several common types of neuronal calcium signals in mouse acute cortical brain slices. Our experiments show that CaMPARI is effectively converted by both action potentials and sub-threshold synaptic inputs, and that conversion level is correlated to synaptic strength. Importantly, we found that conversion rate can be tuned: it is linearly related to light intensity. At low photoconversion light levels CaMPARI offers a wide dynamic range due to slower conversion rate; at high light levels conversion is more rapid and more sensitive to activity. Finally, we employed CaMPARI and optogenetics for functional circuit mapping in ex vivo acute brain slices, which preserve in vivo-like connectivity of axon terminals. With a single light source, we stimulated channelrhodopsin-2-expressing long-range posteromedial (POm) thalamic axon terminals in cortex and induced CaMPARI conversion in recipient cortical neurons. We found that POm stimulation triggers robust photoconversion of layer 5 cortical neurons and weaker conversion of layer 2/3 neurons. Thus, CaMPARI enables network-wide, tunable, all-optical functional circuit mapping that captures supra- and sub-threshold depolarization. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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