Biochemistry


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0 Q&A 1054 Views Mar 20, 2022

Several filamentous cyanobacteria like Nostoc differentiate specialized cells in response to changes in environmental factors, such as low light or nutrient starvation. These specialized cells are termed heterocysts and akinetes. Under conditions of nitrogen limitation, nitrogen-fixing heterocysts form in a semi-regular pattern and provide the filament with organic nitrogen compounds. Akinetes are spore-like dormant cells, which allow survival during adverse unfavorable conditions. Both cell types possess multilayered thick envelopes mainly composed of an outermost polysaccharide layer and inner layers of glycolipids, that are important for stress adaptation. To study these envelope glycolipids, a method for the isolation, separation and analysis of lipids from heterocysts and akinetes is essential. The present protocol describes a method involving the extraction of lipids from cyanobacteria using solvents and their separation and visualization on silica plates, to render analysis simple and easy. This protocol is relevant for studying mutants that are defective in glycolipid layer formation and for the comparison of glycolipid composition of heterocysts and akinetes under different environmental stresses.

0 Q&A 1318 Views Oct 20, 2021

The efficient ATP production in mitochondria relies on the highly specific organization of its double membrane. Notably, the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) displays a massive surface extension through its folding into cristae, along which concentrate respiratory complexes and oligomers of the ATP synthase. Evidence has accumulated to highlight the importance of a specific phospholipid composition of the IMM to support mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Contribution of specific phospholipids to mitochondrial ATP production is classically studied by modulating the activity of enzymes involved in their synthesis, but the interconnection of phospholipid synthesis pathways often impedes the determination of the precise role of each phospholipid. Here, we describe a protocol to specifically enrich mitochondrial membranes with cardiolipin or phosphatidylcholine, as well as a fluorescence-based method to quantify phospholipid enrichment. This method, based on the fusion of lipid vesicles with isolated mitochondria, may further allow a precise evaluation of phospholipid contribution to mitochondrial functions.

0 Q&A 2789 Views Jul 5, 2021

The diversity of lipid structures, properties, and combinations in biological tissues makes their extraction and analysis an experimental challenge. Accordingly, even for one of the simplest single-cellular fungi, the budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), numerous extraction and analysis protocols have been developed to separate and quantitate the different molecular lipid species. Among them, most are quite sophisticated and tricky to follow. Herein, we describe a yeast total lipids extraction procedure with a relatively good yield, which is appropriate for subsequent thin-layer chromatography (TLC) or liquid chromatography-mass (LC-MS) analysis. We then discuss the most widely used solvent systems to separate yeast phospholipids and neutral lipids by TLC. Finally, we describe an easy and rapid method for silica gel staining by a Coomassie Brilliant Blue-methanol mixture. The stained lipid species can then be quantitated using imaging software such as ImageJ. Overall, the methods described in this protocol are time-saving and novice-friendly.

0 Q&A 3836 Views Jul 5, 2020
Lipid rafts are distinct liquid-ordered domains of plasma membranes of most eukaryotic cells providing platform for signaling pathways. Lipid composition of rafts is critical for their structural integrity and for regulation of signaling pathways originating from rafts. Here we provide a protocol to isolate lipid rafts from cultured human and animal cells and comprehensively analyse their lipid composition.
0 Q&A 3720 Views Nov 5, 2018
Activation of inflammasomes in peritoneal macrophages and intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) leads to the release of eicosanoids. To assess the amount of eicosanoids released by IEC, lipids need to be isolated from whole tissue previous to analysis by lipid mass spectrometry or ELISA. This protocol describes how to isolate lipids from intestinal tissue for analysis by PGE2-ELISA and normalize to tissue protein content.
0 Q&A 8682 Views Oct 20, 2017
This protocol provides an easy and rapid method to prepare lipopolysaccharide from the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori for visualization on acrylamide gels by silver staining and for detecting the presence of Lewis antigens by Western blot. The silver staining is a four-step procedure, involving a 20 min-oxidation step, a 10 min-silver staining step, a 2-10 min color development step and finally a 1-min color termination step. Lipopolysaccharide from H. pylori wild-type and corresponding mutants analyzed by this method are described in a recent publication (Li et al., 2017). This crude preparation of LPS for silver staining is also applicable in other Gram-negative bacteria.
0 Q&A 6411 Views Sep 5, 2017
Sterols are essential lipids of most eukaryotic cells with multiple functions (structural, regulatory and developmental). Sterol profile of yeast cells is often determined during the studies of ergosterol synthesis mutants used to uncover a number of functions for various sterols in yeast cells. Molecular studies of ergosterol biosynthesis have been also employed to identify essential steps in the pathway against which antifungals might be developed. We present here a protocol for the isolation of non-saponifiable lipids (sterols) from Kluyveromyces lactis yeast cells and a chromatographic method for quantitative analysis of sterols in lipid extracts (HPLC) that can be performed in laboratories with standard equipment.
0 Q&A 7952 Views May 5, 2017
The protocol for obtaining electrically sealed membrane vesicles from E. coli cells is presented. Proton pumps such as Complex I, quinol oxidase, and ATPase are active in the obtained vesicles. Quality of the preparation was tested by monitoring the electric potential generated by these pumps.
0 Q&A 9250 Views Dec 5, 2016
Cell wall is a complex biopolymer on the surface of all Gram-positive bacteria. During infection, cell wall is recognized by the innate immune receptor Toll-like receptor 2 causing intense inflammation and tissue damage. In animal models, cell wall traffics from the blood stream to many organs in the body, including brain, heart, placenta and fetus. This protocol describes how to prepare purified cell wall from Streptococcus pneumoniae, detect its distribution in animal tissues, and study the tissue response using the placenta and fetal brain as examples.
0 Q&A 6976 Views Nov 20, 2016
Several membrane-perturbing agents extract lipids from membranes and, in some cases, this lipid efflux is lipid specific. In order to gain a better description of this phenomenon and to detail the intermolecular interactions that are involved, a method has been developed to characterize the extent and the specificity of membrane-lipid extraction by perturbing agents. A perturbing agent is incubated with model membranes existing as multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) and subsequently, the remaining MLVs and the small lipid/perturbing agent complexes resulting from the extraction are isolated and analysed to assess the extent and the specificity of the lipid extraction.



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