Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 1369 Views Oct 5, 2022
The quantification of plant hormones and related gene expression is essential to improve the understanding of the molecular regulation of plant growth and development. However, plant hormone quantification is still challenging due to extremely low endogenous levels and high chemical diversity. In this study, we present a convenient extraction protocol that enables the simultaneous extraction of both phytohormones and RNA from the same sample in a small quantity (approximately 10 mg). Using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC–MS/MS), this protocol provides a method to quantify 13 phytohormones and their derivatives from four classes (cytokinin, auxin, abscisic acid, and gibberellin) at the speed of 14 min per sample.

0 Q&A 4555 Views Aug 5, 2019
Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a well-established chemical mediator for the generation of the fever at the hypothalamus of the brain. PGE2 mediates fever generation via PGE receptor 3 (i.e., EP3) on neurons in the preoptic area. The role of PGE2 has been analyzed by measuring PGE2 concentration in cerebrospinal fluid (Ccsf); however, local PGE2 concentration at the hypothalamus may not necessarily be consistent with Ccsf. In this protocol, we introduce our method to measure directly the alteration in PGE2 concentration in interstitial fluid in the hypothalamus (Cisf) of awake (free-moving) mice using a microdialysis technique. Male mice (c57BL/6J) were anesthetized and fixed in the stereotaxic instrument, and a microdialysis probe was inserted into the hypothalamus through a guide cannula. On the fifth postoperative day, Cisf was monitored in free-moving mice that were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). PGE2 and other eicosanoids recovered in Krebs-Ringer phosphate buffer and defused through a microdialysis probe were extracted into ethyl acetate/formic acid and then quantified with LC-MS/MS. Our method is useful to understand the role of key regulators of prostaglandin concentration such as those of transporters, which have been unappreciated in inflammation-based brain diseases.
0 Q&A 3604 Views May 5, 2019
Small blood volumes commonly obtained from small mammals during field studies are only sufficient for a single biochemical assay. In this study, we used blood collected from a population of wild eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) and developed modified methods to improve analytical selectivity and sensitivity required for measuring markers of oxidative stress using small blood volumes. Specifically, we proposed a modified malondialdehyde (MDA) analysis protocol by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and also optimized both the uric acid independent ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and hypochlorous acid shock capacity (HASC) assays. We present methods in which a total volume of less than 60 μl of plasma is required to obtain a comprehensive portrait of an individual’s oxidative profile.
0 Q&A 6327 Views Feb 20, 2019
Biogenic volatile compounds (VCs) mediate various types of crucial intra- and inter-species interactions in plants, animals, and microorganisms owing to their ability to travel through air, liquid, and porous soils. To study how VCs produced by Verticillium dahliae, a soilborne fungal pathogen, affect plant growth and development, we slightly modified a method previously used to study the effect of bacterial VCs on plant growth. The method involves culturing microbial cells and plants in I plate to allow only VC-mediated interaction. The modified protocol is simple to set up and produces reproducible results, facilitating studies on this poorly explored form of plant-fungal interactions. We also optimized conditions for extracting and identifying fungal VCs using solid phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
0 Q&A 6673 Views Apr 20, 2018
The human body is colonized by vast communities of microbes, collectively known as microbiota, or microbiome. Although microbes colonize every surface of our bodies that is exposed to the external environment, the biggest collection of microbes colonizing humans and other mammals can be found in the gastrointestinal tract. Given the fact that the human gut is colonized by several hundred microbial species, our group hypothesized that the chemical diversity of this environment should be significant, and that many of the molecules present in that environment would have important signaling roles. Therefore, we devised a protocol to extract these molecules from human feces and test their signaling properties. Potentially bioactive extracts can be tested through addition to culture medium and analyses of bacterial growth and gene expression, among other properties. The protocol described herein provides an easy and rapid method for the extraction and testing of metabolites from fecal samples using Salmonella enterica as a model organism. This protocol can also be adapted to the extraction of small molecules from other matrices, such as cultured mammalian cells, tissues, body fluids, and axenic microbial cultures, and the resulting extracts can be tested against various microbial species.

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