Cell Biology


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0 Q&A 700 Views Mar 5, 2024

Here, we describe immunofluorescent (IF) staining assay of 3D cell culture colonoids isolated from mice colon as described previously. Primary cultures developed from isolated colonic stem cells are called colonoids. Immunofluorescence can be used to analyze the distribution of proteins, glycans, and small molecules—both biological and non-biological ones. Four-day-old colonoid cell cultures grown on Lab-Tek 8-well plate are fixed by paraformaldehyde. Fixed colonoids are then subjected to antigen retrieval and blocking followed by incubation with primary antibody. A corresponding secondary antibody tagged with desired fluorescence is used to visualize primary antibody–marked protein. Counter staining to stain actin filaments and nucleus to assess cell structure and DNA in nucleus is performed by choosing the other two contrasting fluorescences. IF staining of colonoids can be utilized to visualize molecular markers of cell behavior. This technique can be used for translation research by isolating colonoids from colitis patients’ colons, monitoring the biomarkers, and customizing their treatments.

Key features

• Analysis of molecular markers of cell behavior.

Protocol to visualize proteins in 3D cell culture.

• This protocol requires colonoids isolated from mice colon grown on matrigel support.

• Protocol requires at least eight days to complete.

Graphical overview

0 Q&A 561 Views Feb 5, 2023

In addition to cytosolic protein synthesis, mitochondria also utilize another translation system that is tailored for mRNAs encoded in the mitochondrial genome. The importance of mitochondrial protein synthesis has been exemplified by the diverse diseases associated with in organello translation deficiencies. Various methods have been developed to monitor mitochondrial translation, such as the classic method of labeling newly synthesized proteins with radioisotopes and the more recent ribosome profiling. However, since these methods always assess the average cell population, measuring the mitochondrial translation capacity in individual cells has been challenging. To overcome this issue, we recently developed mito-fluorescent noncanonical amino acid tagging (FUNCAT) fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), which labels nascent peptides generated by mitochondrial ribosomes with a methionine analog, L-homopropargylglycine (HPG), conjugates the peptides with fluorophores by an in situ click reaction, and detects the signal in individual cells by FACS equipment. With this methodology, the hidden heterogeneity of mitochondrial translation in cell populations can be addressed.

0 Q&A 2043 Views Jul 20, 2022

Employing a novel mouse model of immune related adverse events (irAEs) induced by combination of anti-PD1 and anti-CTLA-4 antibodies, we visualized immune infiltration into the liver, lung, pancreas, and colon. Here, we describe the avidin-biotin conjugate (ABC) method used to stain T cells (CD4 and CD8), B cells (CD19), macrophages (F4/80), and cells bound by the in vivo administered rat anti-mouse antibodies for chromogenic immunohistochemistry (IHC). Using a biotinylated goat anti-rat antibody, we detected the localization of cells bound to the in vivo antibodies for PD-1 and CTLA-4. IHC has advantages over other techniques, namely antibody availability, resistance to photobleaching, and greater sensitivity. Additionally, detection and localization of in vivo antibodies can be used in mice models to infer their therapeutic efficacy, stability, and function.

Graphical abstract:

0 Q&A 2510 Views Oct 5, 2021

Although the advent of genetically-encoded fluorescent markers, such as the green fluorescent protein (GFP; Chalfie et al., 1994), has enabled convenient visualization of gene expression in vivo, this method is generally not effective for detecting post-translational modifications because they are not translated from DNA sequences. Genetically-encoded, fluorescently-tagged transgene products can also be misleading for observing expression patterns because transgenes may lack endogenous regulatory DNA elements needed for precise regulation of expression that could result in over or under expression. Fluorescently-tagged proteins created by CRISPR genome editing are less prone to defective expression patterns because the loci retain endogenous DNA elements that regulate their transcription (Nance and Frøkjær-Jensen, 2019). However, even CRISPR alleles encoding heritable fluorescently-tagged protein markers can result in defects in function or localization of the gene product if the fluorescent tag obstructs or otherwise interferes with important protein interaction domains or affects the protein structure.

Indirect immunofluorescence is a method for detecting endogenous gene expression or post-translational modifications without the need for transgenesis or genome editing. Here, we present a reliable protocol in which C. elegans nematodes are fixed, preserved, and permeabilized for staining with a primary antibody to bind proteins or post-translational modifications, which are then labeled with a secondary antibody conjugated to a fluorescent dye. Use of this method may be limited by the availability of (or ability to generate) a primary antibody that binds the epitope of interest in fixed animals. Thousands of animals are simultaneously subjected to a series of chemical treatments and washes in a single centrifuge tube, allowing large numbers of identically-treated stained animals to be examined. We have successfully used this protocol (O’Hagan et al., 2011 and 2017; Power et al., 2020) to preserve and detect post-translational modifications of tubulin in C. elegans ciliated sensory neurons and to detect non-modified endogenous protein (Topalidou and Chalfie, 2011).

0 Q&A 3957 Views Feb 20, 2021

Loss of function studies shed significant light on the involvement of a gene or gene product in different cellular processes. Short hairpin RNA (shRNA) mediated RNA interference (RNAi) is a classical yet straightforward technique frequently used to knock down a gene for assessing its function. Similar perturbations in gene expression can be achieved by siRNA, microRNA, or CRISPR-Cas9 methods also. In Drosophila genetics, the UAS-GAL4 system is utilized to express RNAi and make ubiquitous and tissue-specific knockdowns possible. The UAS-GAL4 system borrows genetic components of S. cerevisiae, hence rule out the possibility of accidental expression of the system. In particular, this technique uses a target-specific shRNA, and the expression of the same is governed by the upstream activating sequence (UAS). Controlled expression of GAL4, regulated by specific promoters, can drive the interfering RNA expression ubiquitously or in a tissue-specific manner. The knockdown efficiency is measured by RNA isolation and semiquantitative RT-PCR reaction followed by agarose gel electrophoresis. We have employed immunostaining procedure also to assess knockdown efficiency.

RNAi provides researchers with an option to decrease the gene product levels (equivalent to hypomorph condition) and study the outcomes. UAS-GAL4 based RNAi method provides spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression and helps deduce the function of a gene required during early developmental stages also.

0 Q&A 3216 Views Jul 20, 2020
Members of the claudin family of tight junction proteins regulate paracellular permeability and modulate cell signaling. During junction remodeling, these proteins are selectively inserted into or retrieved from the tight junctions, but the control and coordination of these processes remain incompletely understood. Visualization of claudins allows the assessment of changes in their localization and abundance. We use the described protocol to stain claudin-2, but it can also be adapted to stain any tight junction protein. We found that using methanol for fixing allows the best preservation of claudin-2 both at the membrane and in cytoplasmic vesicles. Staining is done using a claudin-2 specific primary and a fluorescently labelled secondary antibody, along with DAPI to label nuclei. The samples are then imaged using confocal microscopy, and a z-stack is obtained allowing visualization of both junctional and intracellular claudin-2. Total claudin-2 signal can be quantified after 3D reconstruction of the images using the Imaris software.
0 Q&A 3079 Views Mar 5, 2020
Superoxide dismutases (SODs) act as a primary defence against reactive oxygen species (ROS) by converting superoxide anion radicals (O2-) into molecular oxygen (O2) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Members of this enzyme family include CuZnSODs, MnSODs, FeSODs, and NiSODs, depending on the nature of the cofactor that is required for proper activity. Most eukaryotes, including yeast, possess CuZnSOD and MnSOD. This protocol aims at assessing the activity of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae MnSOD Sod2p from cellular extracts using nitroblue tetrazolium staining. This method can be used to estimate the cellular bioavailability of Mn2+ as well as to evaluate the redox state of the cell.
0 Q&A 4855 Views Jun 20, 2019
This protocol aims to visualize the filamentous actin network in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We improved fixed-cell labeling conditions using the F-actin probe, phalloidin. We created a Chlamydomonas-optimized protocol by halving the phalloidin incubation time, electing for optimal fixation conditions, and selecting for a healthy cell population. This phalloidin protocol is quick, effective, and is the only labeling method to date that allows for reliable actin filament detection in fixed vegetative Chlamydomonas cells. This method reveals previously unidentified actin structures in Chlamydomonas and novel insights into cytoskeletal dynamics.
0 Q&A 7968 Views Apr 20, 2019
Protein synthesis is one of the most fundamental biological processes to maintain cellular proteostasis. Azidohomoalaine (AHA) is a non-radioactive and “clickable” amino acid analog of methionine which can be incorporated into newly synthesized proteins. Thus, AHA-labeled nascent proteins can be detected and quantified through fluorescent labeling by "click" chemistry. Here we describe a protocol to measure protein synthesis by AHA labeling and flow cytometry. Taking advantage of gating different cell populations, we provide a typical example of the flow cytometric-based analysis of protein synthesis during the cell cycle. While we used mouse B cells in this protocol this method can be readily applied to any cell types and organisms.
0 Q&A 7931 Views Jan 20, 2019
Activation of type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors by endogenous, exogenous (cannabis derivatives) or synthetic cannabinoids (i.e., CP 55.940, Win-2) has a wide variety of behavioral effects due to the presence of CB1 receptors in the brain. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemical techniques have been crucial for defining the CB1 receptor expression and localization at the cellular level. Nevertheless, more advanced methods are needed to reveal the precise topography of CB1 receptors in the brain, especially in unsuspected sites such as other cell types and organelles with low receptor expression (e.g., glutamatergic neurons, astrocytes, mitochondria). High-resolution immunoelectron microscopy provides a more precise detection method for the subcellular localization of CB1 receptors in the brain. Herein, we describe a single pre-embedding immunogold method for electron microscopy based on the use of specific CB1 receptor antibodies and silver-intensified 1.4 nm gold-labeled Fab' fragments, and a combined pre-embedding immunogold and immunoperoxidase method that employs biotinylated secondary antibodies and avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex for the simultaneous localization of CB1 receptors and protein markers of specific brain cells or synapses (e.g., GFAP, GLAST, IBA-1, PSD-95, gephyrin). In addition, a post-embedding immunogold method is also described and compared to the pre-embedding labeling procedure. These methods provide a relatively easy and useful approach for revealing the subcellular localization of low amounts of CB1 receptors in glutamatergic synapses, astrocytes, neuronal and astrocytic mitochondria in the brain.

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