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0 Q&A 10815 Views Apr 5, 2014
The autophagy protein, LC3 represents a reliable characteristic marker for autophagosomal structures. The initial LC3 is processed by the cysteine protease autophagy-related gene 4 (Atg4) at its C terminus in order to create LC3-I generally localized in the cytoplasm. Afterwards LC3-I is conjugated with phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) to become LC3-PE or LC3-II predominantly localised on the autophagosomal membranes (outer and inner). Autolysosomal content of LC3-II is very low as upon autophago/lysosomal fusion it is either cleaved off from the outer membrane by Atg4 or degraded together with the inner membrane by the lysosomal activity. Therefore GFP-LC3 and mCherry-GFP-LC3 might be visualized by conventional or confocal fluorescence microscopy (FM). In this situation mCherry-GFP-LC3 or GFP-LC3 cytoplasmic pool is visualized as a homogeneously dispersed signal and mCherry-GFP-LC3-II or GFP-LC3-II containing autophagosomes are detected as punctae formations. The number of punctae may be used as marker of autophagosomal abundance. In general we recommend counting the average number of GFP-LC3 punctae per cell.
0 Q&A 25907 Views Apr 5, 2014
Flow cytometry allows very sensitive and reliable high-throughput analysis of autophagic flux. This methodology permits to screen cells in flow and capture multi-component images. Using this technology autophagic flux may be analysed accurately in both suspension as well as adherent cells upon trypsinization independent of how heterogeneous the autophagosomal content might be. The method is based on Cyto-ID staining of autophagic compartments (pre-autophagosomes, autophagosomes, and autophagolysosomes) in live cells using Cyto-ID® Autophagy Detection Kit. Autophagic compartments are intermediate constituents of a dynamic lysosomal degradation process and their intracellular abundance at a particular time point is a function of the established equilibrium between their generation and degradation. Determination of autophagic flux facilitates the discrimination between early induction of autophagosome formation and late inhibition of autophagosome maturation as both results in an ultimate increase in autophagosomal presence. Cyto-ID assay is based on the usage of a specific dye that selectively stains autophagic compartments and therefore allows determination of autophagic flux as accumulation of stained compartments in basic or activated conditions [rapamycin (1-5 µmol/L), PP242 (1-5 µmol/L) or Hanks’ Balanced Salt Solution containing 6 mmol/L glucose (starvation medium)] after blockage of autophagolysosomal degradation using lysosomotropic compounds such as ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) (10-20 mmol/L) or chloroquine (CQ) (5-10 µmol/L). ΔMFI Cyto-ID = MFI Cyto-ID (+CQ/NH4Cl) - MFI Cyto-ID (-CQ/NH4Cl).
0 Q&A 12900 Views Apr 5, 2014
Flow cytometry allows very sensitive and reliable high-throughput analysis of autophagic flux. This methodology permits to screen cells in flow and capture multi-component images. Using this technology autophagic flux may be analysed accurately in both suspension as well as adherent cells upon trypsinization independent of how heterogeneous the LC3 punctae content might be. The method is based on the fact that intra-cellularly expressed LC3-GFP serves as a potential autophagic substrate for degradation. Therefore changes in total intracellular LC3-GFP fluorescence intensity is used as an indicator of cellular autophagic activity in living cells. Increased autophagic flux is expected to result in a progressive delivery of LC3-GFP to autolysosome where this substrate undergoes degradation. Therefore, enhanced autophagic flux is detected as a decreased total cellular GFP signal. On the other hand an inhibition of autophagic flux independent of the stage (autophagosome formation, maturation or acidification) leads to accumulation of undegraded LC3-GFP and may be detected as an enhanced intracellular GFP signal. (Caution: This methodology is based on the assumption that LC3-GFP is expressed constitutively by the model system. Data from analysis of substances or conditions influencing cellular LC3-GFP expression should be interpreted with care.)



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