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1457 Janelia Publications

Showing 61-70 of 1457 results
08/15/18 | Optimization of fluorophores for chemical tagging and immunohistochemistry of Drosophila neurons.
Meissner GW, Grimm JB, Johnston RM, Sutcliffe B, Ng J, Jefferis GS, Cachero S, Lavis LD, Malkesman O
PLoS One. 2018 Aug 15;13(8):e0200759. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200759

The use of genetically encoded 'self-labeling tags' with chemical fluorophore ligands enables rapid labeling of specific cells in neural tissue. To improve the chemical tagging of neurons, we synthesized and evaluated new fluorophore ligands based on Cy, Janelia Fluor, Alexa Fluor, and ATTO dyes and tested these with recently improved Drosophila melanogaster transgenes. We found that tissue clearing and mounting in DPX substantially improves signal quality when combined with specific non-cyanine fluorophores. We compared and combined this labeling technique with standard immunohistochemistry in the Drosophila brain.

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08/14/18 | Structure of the mammalian TRPM7, a magnesium channel required during embryonic development.
Duan J, Li Z, Li J, Hulse RE, Santa-Cruz A, Valinsky WC, Abiria SA, Krapivinsky G, Zhang J, Clapham DE
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2018 Aug 14;115(35):E8201-10. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1810719115

The transient receptor potential ion channel subfamily M, member 7 (TRPM7), is a ubiquitously expressed protein that is required for mouse embryonic development. TRPM7 contains both an ion channel and an α-kinase. The channel domain comprises a nonselective cation channel with notable permeability to Mg and Zn Here, we report the closed state structures of the mouse TRPM7 channel domain in three different ionic conditions to overall resolutions of 3.3, 3.7, and 4.1 Å. The structures reveal key residues for an ion binding site in the selectivity filter, with proposed partially hydrated Mg ions occupying the center of the conduction pore. In high [Mg], a prominent external disulfide bond is found in the pore helix, which is essential for ion channel function. Our results provide a structural framework for understanding the TRPM1/3/6/7 subfamily and extend the knowledge base upon which to study the diversity and evolution of TRP channels.

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08/13/18 | High-dimensional geometry of population responses in visual cortex.
Stringer C, Pachitariu M, Steinmetz NA, Carandini M, Harris KD
bioRxiv. 2018 Aug 13:. doi: 10.1101/374090

A neuronal population encodes information most efficiently when its activity is uncorrelated and high-dimensional, and most robustly when its activity is correlated and lower-dimensional. Here, we analyzed the correlation structure of natural image coding, in large visual cortical populations recorded from awake mice. Evoked population activity was high dimensional, with correlations obeying an unexpected power-law: the n-th principal component variance scaled as 1/n. This was not inherited from the 1/f spectrum of natural images, because it persisted after stimulus whitening. We proved mathematically that the variance spectrum must decay at least this fast if a population code is smooth, i.e. if small changes in input cannot dominate population activity. The theory also predicts larger power-law exponents for lower-dimensional stimulus ensembles, which we validated experimentally. These results suggest that coding smoothness represents a fundamental constraint governing correlations in neural population codes.

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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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08/07/18 | Inhibitory control of prefrontal cortex by the claustrum.
Jackson J, Karnani MM, Zemelman BV, Burdakov D, Lee AK
Neuron. 2018 Aug 07;99(5):1029-39. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.07.031

The claustrum is a small subcortical nucleus that has extensive excitatory connections with many cortical areas. While the anatomical connectivity from the claustrum to the cortex has been studied intensively, the physiological effect and underlying circuit mechanisms of claustrocortical communication remain elusive. Here we show that the claustrum provides strong, widespread, and long-lasting feedforward inhibition of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) sufficient to silence ongoing neural activity. This claustrocortical feedforward inhibition was predominantly mediated by interneurons containing neuropeptide Y, and to a lesser extent those containing parvalbumin. Therefore, in contrast to other long-range excitatory inputs to the PFC, the claustrocortical pathway is designed to provide overall inhibition of cortical activity. This unique circuit organization allows the claustrum to rapidly and powerfully suppress cortical networks and suggests a distinct role for the claustrum in regulating cognitive processes in prefrontal circuits.

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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;38(37):7976-85. 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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