Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 276 Views Feb 5, 2024

Enzyme immobilization offers a number of advantages that improve biocatalysis; however, finding a proper way to immobilize enzymes is often a challenging task. Implanting enzymes in metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) via co-crystallization, also known as biomineralization, provides enhanced reusability and stability with minimal perturbation and substrate selectivity to the enzyme. Currently, there are limited metal–ligand combinations with a proper protocol guiding the experimental procedures. We have recently explored 10 combinations that allow custom immobilization of enzymes according to enzyme stability and activity in different metals/ligands. Here, as a follow-up of that work, we present a protocol for how to carry out custom immobilization of enzymes using the available combinations of metal ions and ligands. Detailed procedures to prepare metal ions, ligands, and enzymes for their co-crystallization, together with characterization and assessment, are discussed. Precautions for each experimental step and result analysis are highlighted as well. This protocol is important for enzyme immobilization in various research and industrial fields.

Key features

• A wide selection of metal ions and ligands allows for the immobilization of enzymes in metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) via co-crystallization.

• Step-by-step enzyme immobilization procedure via co-crystallization of metal ions, organic linkers, and enzymes.

• Practical considerations and experimental conditions to synthesize the enzyme@MOF biocomposites are discussed.

• The demonstrated method can be generalized to immobilize other enzymes and find other metal ion/ligand combinations to form MOFs in water and host enzymes.

Graphical overview

0 Q&A 839 Views Aug 20, 2023

This protocol describes a method for detecting and quantifying calcium ions in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and cytoplasm of cultured cells using fluorescent reporter proteins and ImageJ software. Genetically engineered fluorescent reporter proteins, such as G-CEPIA1er and GCaMP6f, localize to intracellular regions of interest (i.e., ER and cytoplasm) and emit green fluorescence upon binding to calcium ions. In this way, the fluorescence brightness of cells transfected with expression vectors for these reporters reflects the calcium ion concentration in each intracellular region. Here, we describe procedures for observing cultured cells expressing these fluorescent reporters under a fluorescence microscope, analyzing the obtained image using the free image analysis software ImageJ (, and determining the average fluorescence brightness of multiple cells present in the image. The current method allows us to quickly and easily quantify calcium ions on an image containing multiple cells and to determine whether there are relative differences in intracellular calcium ion concentration among experiments with different conditions.

Key features

• Detection and quantification of calcium ions in the ER and cytoplasm using fluorescent reporter proteins

• Quick and easy verification of measurement results using ImageJ

• Simultaneous comparison between various experimental conditions (drug treatment, mutants, etc.)

0 Q&A 922 Views Nov 20, 2022

Ion homeostasis is a fundamental regulator of cellular processes and depends upon lipid membranes, which function as ion permeability barriers. Ionophores facilitate ion transport across cell membranes and offer a way to manipulate cellular ion composition. Here, we describe a calcein quenching assay based on large unilamellar vesicles that we used to evaluate divalent cation transport of the ionophore 4-Br-A23187. This assay can be used to study metal transport by ionophores and membrane proteins, under well-defined conditions.

Graphical abstract:

0 Q&A 2568 Views Nov 5, 2020
The Xenopus oocyte is a powerful system for the exogenous expression and functional characterization of plant membrane transport proteins. Until now, a number of potassium transporters and channels have been identified in oocytes expression system by the two-electrode voltage clamp technology. It is difficult to characterize K+/H+ anti-transporters, especially, electroneutral transporter. The K+ efflux assay system enables easy, fast, large-scale measurement of the transporters activity without two-electrode voltage clamp technology. This protocol describes a technique to measure the efflux activity of potassium transporter in oocytes expressing system.
0 Q&A 2799 Views Oct 20, 2020
Salivary metabolomics have provided the potentials to detect both oral and systemic diseases. Capillary electrophoresis time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (CE-TOFMS) enables the identification and quantification of various charged metabolites. This method has been employed to biomarker discoveries using human saliva samples, especially for various types of cancers. The untargeted analysis contributes to finding new biomarkers. i.e., the analysis of all detectable signals including both known and unknown metabolites extends the coverage of metabolite to be observed. However, the observed data includes thousands of peaks. Besides, non-linear migration time fluctuation and skewed peaks are caused by the sample condition. The presented pretreatment protocols of saliva samples enhance the reproducibility of migration time drift, which facilitates the matching peaks across the samples and also results in reproducible absolute concentrations of the detected metabolites. The described protocols are utilized not only for saliva but for any liquid samples with slight modifications.
0 Q&A 2392 Views Aug 20, 2020
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been perceived over decades as a highly valuable model organism for the investigation of ion homeostasis. Indeed, many of the genes and biological systems that function in yeast ion homeostasis are conserved throughout unicellular eukaryotes to humans. In this context, measurement of the yeast cellular ionic content provides information regarding yeast response to gene deletion or exposure to chemicals for instance. We propose here a protocol that we tested for the analysis of 12 elements (Ba2+, Ca2+, Cd2+, Co2+, Cu2+, Fe2+, K+, Mg2+, Mn2+, Na+, Ni2+, Zn2+) in yeast using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES). This technique enables determination of the cellular content of numerous ions from one biological sample.
0 Q&A 4743 Views Apr 5, 2020
Diverse and complex molecular recognitions are central elements of signal transduction cascades. The strength and nature of these interaction modes can be determined by different experimental approaches. Among those, Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) offers certain advantages by providing binding constants and thermodynamic parameters from titration series without a need to label or immobilize one or more interaction partners. Furthermore, second messenger homeostasis involving Ca2+-ions requires in particular knowledge about stoichiometries and affinities of Ca2+-binding to Ca2+-sensor proteins or Ca2+-dependent regulators, which can be obtained by employing ITC. We used ITC to measure these parameters for a set of neuronal Ca2+-sensor proteins operating in photoreceptor cells. Here, we present a step wise protocol to (a) measure Ca2+ interaction with the Ca2+-sensor guanylate cyclase-activating protein 1, (b) to design an ITC experiment and prepare samples, (c) to remove Ca2+ nearly completely from Ca2+ binding proteins without using a chelating agent like EGTA.
0 Q&A 2332 Views Mar 20, 2020
Rats are highly social animals, and mainly communicate with one another in two ways: through ultrasonic vocalizations and pheromones. Most research on pheromones has been dedicated those regarding sexual behavior, but more recently pheromones which signal danger to conspecifics have been identified in rodents. In fact, rats are capable of communicating information regarding a specific fear to a companion with which they share a cage. If a rat is trained to associate a previously neutral odor with a foot shock and then pair housed with another rat, the companion will also display a fear response specific to the trained odor, despite never being shocked itself. This communication relies on pheromones; presenting soiled bedding from a shocked rat to an individually housed naïve rat produces the same fear response in the naïve rat. The current protocol describes how to produce this phenomenon in adult Sprague Dawley rats. It is simple and easily reproduced, requires minimal equipment, and may be completed within one week.
0 Q&A 5582 Views Feb 5, 2020
Calcium (Ca2+) imaging aims at investigating the dynamic changes in live cells of its concentration ([Ca2+]) in different pathophysiological conditions. Ca2+ is an ubiquitous and versatile intracellular signal that modulates a large variety of cellular functions thanks to a cell type-specific toolkit and a complex subcellular compartmentalization.

Many Ca2+ sensors are presently available (chemical and genetically encoded) that can be specifically targeted to different cellular compartments. Using these probes, it is now possible to monitor Ca2+ dynamics of living cells not only in the cytosol but also within specific organelles. The choice of a specific sensor depends on the experimental design and the spatial and temporal resolution required.

Here we describe the use of novel Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based fluorescent Ca2+ probes to dynamically and quantitatively monitor the changes in cytosolic and mitochondrial [Ca2+] in a variety of cell types and experimental conditions. FRET-based sensors have the enormous advantage of being ratiometric, a feature that makes them particularly suitable for quantitative and in vivo applications.
0 Q&A 4699 Views Apr 5, 2019
We describe a protocol to measure the contribution of humidity on cell death during the effector-triggered immunity (ETI), the plant immune response triggered by the recognition of pathogen effectors by plant resistance genes. This protocol quantifies tissue cell death by measuring ion leakage due to loss of membrane integrity during the hypersensitive response (HR), the ETI-associated cell death. The method is simple and short enough to handle many biological replicates, which improves the power of test of statistical significance. The protocol is easily applicable to other environmental cues, such as light and temperature, or treatment with chemicals.

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to allow the storage of cookies on your computer.