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0 Q&A 215 Views Jul 5, 2024

Diseases caused by trypanosomatid parasites remain a significant unmet medical need for millions of people globally. Trypanosomatid parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi and subspecies of Trypanosoma brucei cause Chagas disease and human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), respectively. Although efforts to find novel treatments have been successful for HAT, Chagas disease is still treated with decades-old therapies that suffer from long treatment durations and severe safety concerns. We recently described the identification and characterization of the cyanotriazole compound class that kills trypanosomes, in vitro and in vivo, by selective inhibition of the trypanosome nuclear topoisomerase II enzyme. To evaluate whether inhibition of the topoisomerase II enzyme led to parasite death due to lethal double-strand DNA breaks, we developed assays for detecting DNA damage in both intracellular amastigotes of T. cruzi and bloodstream-form T. brucei by using the canonical DNA damage marker γH2A. Herein, this article describes the protocols for detecting DNA damage using an immunofluorescence assessment of γH2A by microscopy in trypanosome parasites.

0 Q&A 3331 Views Mar 20, 2021

Detection of live African swine fever virus (ASFV) has historically relied on the use of primary swine macrophages (PSM). PSM do not replicate and have to be isolated fresh from donor swine. We previously identified that a MA-104 cells (ATCC #CRL-2378.1), a commercially available cell line isolated from African green monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) kidney epithelial cells, supports the detection of ASFV from field samples with a sensitivity comparable to that of primary swine macrophages. Collection of swine blood or lungs is time costing, which is often not readily available in most veterinary diagnostic laboratories. MA-104 cells could thus be used as substitute for primary swine macrophages to save significant lead time by avoiding the production of primary swine macrophages.

0 Q&A 3652 Views Feb 20, 2021

The formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) is thought to play a critical role in infections and propagating sterile inflammation. Histone citrullination is an essential and early step in NETs formation, detectable prior to the formation of the hallmark extracellular DNA-scaffolded strands. In addition to the classical microscopy method, new technologies are being developed for studies of NETs and their detection, both for research and clinical purposes. Classical microscopy studies of NETs are subjective, low throughput and semi-quantitative, and limited in their ability to capture the early steps. We have developed this novel Imaging Flow Cytometry (IFC) method that specifically identifies and quantifies citrullination of histone H4 as a NETs marker and its relationship with other alterations at nuclear and cellular level. These include nuclear decondensation and super-condensation, multi-lobulated nuclei versus 1-lobe nuclei and cell membrane damage. NETs markers can be quantified following variable periods of treatment with NETs inducers, prior to the formation of the specific extracellular DNA-scaffolded strands. Because these high throughput image-based cell analysis features can be performed with statistical rigor, this protocol is suited for both experimental and clinical applications as well as clinical evaluations of NETosis as a biomarker.

0 Q&A 7242 Views Aug 5, 2019
The essential peptidoglycan (PG) layer surrounds the cytoplasmic membrane in nearly all bacteria. It is needed to maintain the shape of the cell and protect it from lysis due to high turgor. Growth of the PG layer is a complex process that involves the activities of PG synthases and hydrolases during elongation and cell division. PG growth sites can be labeled by the recently developed fluorescent D-amino acid (FDAA) probes in a range of different bacteria. FDAAs are incorporated into PG by DD-transpeptidases (Penicillin-binding proteins, PBPs) or, if present, LD-transpeptidase (LDTs). Long-pulse in situ labeling of E. coli cells with the FDAA 7-hydroxycoumarincarbonylamino-D-alanine (HADA) is expected to result in a uniform label at the side wall of cells and enhanced label at cell division sites due to the intense PG synthesis. However, we observed reduced label at mid-cell when labeling E. coli cells with HADA. We reasoned that probe incorporated at cell division sites may be removed by PG hydrolases and modified the labeling protocol to better preserve PG-incorporated HADA for fluorescence microscopy. Here, we report the optimized HADA-labeling protocol by which cells retain an enhanced HADA signal at the division septum.
0 Q&A 3540 Views Aug 5, 2019
Endocytosis is an intracellular trafficking pathway that occurs in nutrient uptake, signal transduction and reconstruction of cell polarity and is conserved in eukaryotic cells. In fungi, endocytosis plays crucial roles in the physiology of hyphal growth and pathogenicity. vidence for endocytosis in filamentous fungi is detected by the membrane-selective dyes FM4-64. Cells of a range of filamentous fungal species readily take up these dyes. However, the method for endocytosis detection has not been well established in Magnaporthe oryzae. Here, we provide a protocol for tracking endocytosis in Magnaporthe oryzae.
0 Q&A 10911 Views Oct 20, 2018
Membrane fluidity is a key parameter of bacterial membranes that undergoes quick adaptation in response to environmental challenges and has recently emerged as an important factor in the antibacterial mechanism of membrane-targeting antibiotics. The specific level of membrane fluidity is not uniform across the bacterial cell membrane. Rather, specialized microdomains associated with different cellular functions can exhibit fluidity values that significantly deviate from the average. Assessing changes in the overall membrane fluidity and formation of membrane microdomains is therefore pivotal to understand both the functional organization of the bacterial cell membrane as well as antibiotic mechanisms. Here we describe how two fluorescent membrane dyes, laurdan and DiIC12, can be employed to assess membrane fluidity in living bacteria. We focus on Bacillus subtilis, since this organism has been relatively well-studied with respect to membrane domains. However, we also describe how these assays can be adapted for other bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
0 Q&A 6240 Views Aug 5, 2018
Programmed cell death (PCD) guides the transition between key developmental stages in many organisms. PCD also remains an important fate for many organisms upon exposure to different stress conditions. Therefore, an insight into the progression of PCD during the execution of a biological phenomenon can yield significant details of the underlying mechanism. Apoptosis, as well as apoptosis-like programmed cell death, constitutes one of the forms of PCD in higher and lower eukaryotes respectively. Flipping of phosphatidylserine (PS) from the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane to the outer leaflet is among the different hallmarks of apoptosis/apoptosis-like PCD that marks the initiation of the said cell death event. This flipping can be detected through staining of the target cells using annexin V-FITC that binds specifically to PS. In Ustilago maydis the staining of the externally exposed PS by annexin V-FITC is difficult due to the presence of cell wall. The key to such staining, therefore, relies on the gentle removal of the cell wall without significantly altering the underlying plasma membrane architecture/topology. This protocol highlights the dependence of the PS staining on the extent of protoplastation of the stressed cells in Ustilago maydis.
0 Q&A 5795 Views Aug 5, 2018
Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic organisms that carry out oxygenic photosynthesis. The fresh water cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 is a model organism for the study of photosynthesis and gene regulation, and for biotechnological applications. Besides several freshwater cyanobacteria, S. elongatus 7942 also contains multiple chromosomal copies per cell at all stages of its cell cycle. Here, we describe a method for the direct visualization of multicopy chromosomes in S. elongatus 7942 by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).
0 Q&A 9212 Views Jun 5, 2017
Phototaxis is a mechanism that allows cyanobacteria to respond to fluctuations in the quality and quantity of illumination by moving either towards or away from a light source. Phototactic movement on low concentration agar or agarose plates can be analyzed at macroscopic and microscopic scales representing group behavior and single cell motility, respectively. Here, we describe a detailed procedure for phototaxis assays on both scales using the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.
0 Q&A 7469 Views Jan 5, 2017
One of the most successful fluorescent proteins, used as a reporter of gene expression in many bacterial, plant and animals, is green fluorescent protein and its modified forms, which also function well in cyanobacteria. However, these fluorescent proteins do not allow rapid and economical quantitation of the reporter gene product, as does the popular reporter gene lacZ, encoding the enzyme β-galactosidase. We provide here a protocol for the in situ localization of β-galactosidase activity in cyanobacterial cells. This allows the same strain to be used for both a simple, quantitative, colorimetric assay with the substrate ortho-nitrophenyl-β-galactoside (ONPG) and for sensitive, fluorescence-based, cell-type localization of gene expression using 5-dodecanolyaminofluorescein di-β-D-galactopyranoside (C12-FDG).

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