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1391 Janelia Publications

Showing 1-10 of 1391 results
08/13/18 | Triggered cell-cell fusion assay for cytoplasmic and organelle intermixing studies.
Feliciano D, Nixon-Abell J, Lippincott-Schwartz J
Current Protocols in Cell Biology. 2018 Aug 13:e61. doi: 10.1002/cpcb.61

Different multicellular organisms undergo cell-cell fusion to form functional syncytia that support specialized functions necessary for proper development and survival. For years, monitoring the structural consequences of this process using live-cell imaging has been challenging due to the unpredictable timing of cell fusion events in tissue systems. Here we present a triggered vesicular stomatitis virus G-protein (VSV-G)-mediated cell-cell fusion assay that can be used to synchronize fusion between cells. This allows the study of cellular changes that occur during cell fusion. The process is induced using a fast wash of low pH isotonic buffer, promoting the fusion of plasma membranes of two or more adjacent cells within seconds. This approach is suitable for studying mixing of small cytoplasmic molecules between fusing cells as well as changes in organelle distribution and dynamics. © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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The central complex, a set of neuropils in the center of the insect brain, plays a crucial role in spatial aspects of sensory integration and motor control. Stereotyped neurons interconnect these neuropils with one another and with accessory structures. We screened over 5000 Drosophila melanogaster GAL4 lines for expression in two neuropils, the noduli (NO) of the central complex and the asymmetrical body (AB), and used multicolor stochastic labelling to analyze the morphology, polarity and organization of individual cells in a subset of the GAL4 lines that showed expression in these neuropils. We identified nine NO and three AB cell types and describe them here. The morphology of the NO neurons suggests that they receive input primarily in the lateral accessory lobe and send output to each of the six paired noduli. We demonstrate that the AB is a bilateral structure which exhibits asymmetry in size between the left and right bodies. We show that the AB neurons directly connect the AB to the central complex and accessory neuropils, that they target both the left and right ABs, and that one cell type preferentially innervates the right AB. We propose that the AB be considered a central complex neuropil in Drosophila. Finally, we present highly restricted GAL4 lines for most identified protocerebral bridge, NO and AB cell types. These lines, generated using the split-GAL4 method, will facilitate anatomical studies, behavioral assays, and physiological experiments. 

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08/06/18 | Inverse-response Ca2+ indicators for optogenetic visualization of neuronal inhibition.
Zhao Y, Bushey D, Zhao Y, Schreiter ER, Harrison DJ, Wong AM, Campbell RE
Scientific Reports. 2018 Aug 06;8(1):11758. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30080-x

We have developed a series of yellow genetically encoded Ca indicators for optical imaging (Y-GECOs) with inverted responses to Ca and apparent dissociation constants (K') ranging from 25 to 2400 nM. To demonstrate the utility of this affinity series of Ca indicators, we expressed the four highest affinity variants (K's = 25, 63, 121, and 190 nM) in the Drosophila medulla intrinsic neuron Mi1. Hyperpolarization of Mi1 by optogenetic stimulation of the laminar monopolar neuron L1 produced a decrease in intracellular Ca in layers 8-10, and a corresponding increase in Y-GECO fluorescence. These experiments revealed that lower K' was associated with greater increases in fluorescence, but longer delays to reach the maximum signal change due to slower off-rate kinetics.

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08/06/18 | Robustness of spike deconvolution for neuronal calcium imaging.
Pachitariu M, Stringer C, Harris KD
The Journal of Neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2018 Aug 06:. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3339-17.2018

Calcium imaging is a powerful method to record the activity of neural populations in many species, but inferring spike times from calcium signals is a challenging problem. We compared multiple approaches using multiple datasets with ground truth electrophysiology, and found that simple non-negative deconvolution (NND) outperformed all other algorithms on out-of-sample test data. We introduce a novel benchmark applicable to recordings without electrophysiological ground truth, based on the correlation of responses to two stimulus repeats, and used this to show that unconstrained NND also outperformed the other algorithms when run on "zoomed out" datasets of ∼10,000 cell recordings from the visual cortex of mice of either sex. Finally, we show that NND-based methods match the performance of a supervised method based on convolutional neural networks, while avoiding some of the biases of such methods, and at much faster running times. We therefore recommend that spikes be inferred from calcium traces using simple NND, due to its simplicity, efficiency and accuracy.The experimental method that currently allows for recordings of the largest numbers of cells simultaneously is two-photon calcium imaging. However, use of this powerful method requires that neuronal firing times be inferred correctly from the large resulting datasets. Previous studies have claimed that complex supervised learning algorithms outperform simple deconvolution methods at this task. Unfortunately, these studies suffered from several problems and biases. When we repeated the analysis, using the same data and correcting these problems, we found that simpler spike inference methods perform better. Even more importantly, we found that supervised learning methods can introduce artifactual structure into spike trains, that can in turn lead to erroneous scientific conclusions. Of the algorithms we evaluated, we found that an extremely simple method performed best in all circumstances tested, was much faster to run, and was insensitive to parameter choices, making incorrect scientific conclusions much less likely.

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08/06/18 | Structure of the mouse TRPC4 ion channel.
Duan J, Li J, Zeng B, Chen G, Peng X, Zhang Y, Wang J, Clapham DE, Li Z, Zhang J
Nature Communications. 2018 Aug 06;9(1):3102. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05247-9

Members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels conduct cations into cells. They mediate functions ranging from neuronally mediated hot and cold sensation to intracellular organellar and primary ciliary signaling. Here we report a cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of TRPC4 in its unliganded (apo) state to an overall resolution of 3.3 Å. The structure reveals a unique architecture with a long pore loop stabilized by a disulfide bond. Beyond the shared tetrameric six-transmembrane fold, the TRPC4 structure deviates from other TRP channels with a unique cytosolic domain. This unique cytosolic N-terminal domain forms extensive aromatic contacts with the TRP and the C-terminal domains. The comparison of our structure with other known TRP structures provides molecular insights into TRPC4 ion selectivity and extends our knowledge of the diversity and evolution of the TRP channels.

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08/02/18 | Expansion Microscopy: Protocols for Imaging Proteins and RNA in Cells and Tissues.
Asano SM, Gao R, Wassie AT, Tillberg PW, Chen F, Boyden ES
Current Protocols in Cell Biology. 2018 Aug 02:e56. doi: 10.1002/cpcb.56

Expansion microscopy (ExM) is a recently developed technique that enables nanoscale-resolution imaging of preserved cells and tissues on conventional diffraction-limited microscopes via isotropic physical expansion of the specimens before imaging. In ExM, biomolecules and/or fluorescent labels in the specimen are linked to a dense, expandable polymer matrix synthesized evenly throughout the specimen, which undergoes 3-dimensional expansion by ∼4.5 fold linearly when immersed in water. Since our first report, versions of ExM optimized for visualization of proteins, RNA, and other biomolecules have emerged. Here we describe best-practice, step-by-step ExM protocols for performing analysis of proteins (protein retention ExM, or proExM) as well as RNAs (expansion fluorescence in situ hybridization, or ExFISH), using chemicals and hardware found in a typical biology lab. Furthermore, a detailed protocol for handling and mounting expanded samples and for imaging them with confocal and light-sheet microscopes is provided. © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Cardona LabFetter Lab
08/02/18 | MDN brain descending neurons coordinately activate backward and inhibit forward locomotion.
Carreira-Rosario A, Zarin AA, Clark MQ, Manning L, Fetter RD, Cardona A, Doe CQ
eLife. 2018 Aug 02;7:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.38554

Command-like descending neurons can induce many behaviors, such as backward locomotion, escape, feeding, courtship, egg-laying, or grooming (we define 'command-like neuron' as a neuron whose activation elicits or 'commands' a specific behavior). In most animals it remains unknown how neural circuits switch between antagonistic behaviors: via top-down activation/inhibition of antagonistic circuits or via reciprocal inhibition between antagonistic circuits. Here we use genetic screens, intersectional genetics, circuit reconstruction by electron microscopy, and functional optogenetics to identify a bilateral pair of larval 'mooncrawler descending neurons' (MDNs) with command-like ability to coordinately induce backward locomotion and block forward locomotion; the former by stimulating a backward-active premotor neuron, and the latter by disynaptic inhibition of a forward-specific premotor neuron. In contrast, direct monosynaptic reciprocal inhibition between forward and backward circuits was not observed. Thus, MDNs coordinate a transition between antagonistic larval locomotor behaviors. Interestingly, larval MDNs persist into adulthood, where they can trigger backward walking. Thus, MDNs induce backward locomotion in both limbless and limbed animals.

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08/01/18 | Interacting organelles.
Cohen S, Valm AM, Lippincott-Schwartz J
Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2018 Aug;53:84-91. doi: 10.1016/

Eukaryotic cells are organized into membrane-bound organelles. These organelles communicate with one another through vesicular trafficking pathways and membrane contact sites (MCSs). MCSs are sites of close apposition between two or more organelles that play diverse roles in the exchange of metabolites, lipids and proteins. Organelle interactions at MCSs also are important for organelle division and biogenesis. For example, the division of several organelles, including mitochondria and endosomes, seem to be regulated by contacts with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Moreover, the biogenesis of autophagosomes and peroxisomes involves contributions from the ER and multiple other cellular compartments. Thus, organelle-organelle interactions allow cells to alter the shape and activities of their membrane-bound compartments, allowing them to cope with different developmental and environmental conditions.

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07/30/18 | The actin cytoskeletal architecture of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cells suppresses invasion.
Padilla-Rodriguez M, Parker SS, Adams DG, Westerling T, Puleo JI, Watson AW, Hill SM, Noon M, Gaudin R, Aaron J, Tong D, Roe DJ, Knudsen B, Mouneimne G
Nature Communications. 2018 Jul 30;9(1):2980. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05367-2

Estrogen promotes growth of estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast tumors. However, epidemiological studies examining the prognostic characteristics of breast cancer in postmenopausal women receiving hormone replacement therapy reveal a significant decrease in tumor dissemination, suggesting that estrogen has potential protective effects against cancer cell invasion. Here, we show that estrogen suppresses invasion of ER+ breast cancer cells by increasing transcription of the Ena/VASP protein, EVL, which promotes the generation of suppressive cortical actin bundles that inhibit motility dynamics, and is crucial for the ER-mediated suppression of invasion in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, despite its benefits in suppressing tumor growth, anti-estrogenic endocrine therapy decreases EVL expression and increases local invasion in patients. Our results highlight the dichotomous effects of estrogen on tumor progression and suggest that, in contrast to its established role in promoting growth of ER+ tumors, estrogen has a significant role in suppressing invasion through actin cytoskeletal remodeling.

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07/24/18 | The ESCRT-III protein CHMP1A mediates secretion of sonic hedgehog on a distinctive subtype of extracellular vesicles.
Coulter ME, Dorobantu CM, Lodewijk GA, Delalande F, Cianferani S, Ganesh VS, Smith RS, Lim ET, Xu CS, Pang S, Wong ET, Lidov HG, Calicchio ML, Yang E, Gonzalez DM, Schlaeger TM, Mochida GH, Hess H, Lee WA, Lehtinen MK, Kirchhausen T, Haussler D, Jacobs FM, Gaudin R, Walsh CA
Cell Reports. 2018 Jul 24;24(4):973-986.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.06.100

Endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) complex proteins regulate biogenesis and release of extracellular vesicles (EVs), which enable cell-to-cell communication in the nervous system essential for development and adult function. We recently showed human loss-of-function (LOF) mutations in ESCRT-III member CHMP1A cause autosomal recessive microcephaly with pontocerebellar hypoplasia, but its mechanism was unclear. Here, we show Chmp1a is required for progenitor proliferation in mouse cortex and cerebellum and progenitor maintenance in human cerebral organoids. In Chmp1a null mice, this defect is associated with impaired sonic hedgehog (Shh) secretion and intraluminal vesicle (ILV) formation in multivesicular bodies (MVBs). Furthermore, we show CHMP1A is important for release of an EV subtype that contains AXL, RAB18, and TMED10 (ART) and SHH. Our findings show CHMP1A loss impairs secretion of SHH on ART-EVs, providing molecular mechanistic insights into the role of ESCRT proteins and EVs in the brain.

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