Cell Biology


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0 Q&A 577 Views Feb 5, 2024

Macrophages are at the center of innate immunity and iron metabolism. In the case of an infection, macrophages adapt their cellular iron metabolism to deprive iron from invading bacteria to combat intracellular bacterial proliferation. A concise evaluation of the cellular iron content upon an infection with bacterial pathogens and diverse cellular stimuli is necessary to identify underlying mechanisms concerning iron homeostasis in macrophages. For the characterization of cellular iron levels during infection, we established an in vitro infection model where the murine macrophage cell line J774A.1 is infected with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S.tm), the mouse counterpart to S. enterica serovar Typhi, under normal and iron-overload conditions using ferric chloride (FeCl3) treatment. To evaluate the effect of infection and iron stimulation on cellular iron levels, the macrophages are stained with FerroOrange. This fluorescent probe specifically detects Fe2+ ions and its fluorescence can be quantified photometrically in a plate reader. Importantly, FerroOrange fluorescence does not increase with chelated iron or other bivalent metal ions. In this protocol, we present a simple and reliable method to quantify cellular Fe2+ levels in cultured macrophages by applying a highly specific fluorescence probe (FerroOrange) in a TECAN Spark microplate reader. Compared to already established techniques, our protocol allows assessing cellular iron levels in innate immune cells without the use of radioactive iron isotopes or extensive sample preparation, exposing the cells to stress.

Key features

• Easy quantification of Fe2+ in cultured macrophages with a fluorescent probe.

• Analysis of iron in living cells without the need for fixation.

• Performed on a plate reader capable of 540 nm excitation and 585 nm emission by trained employees for handling biosafety level 2 bacteria.

Graphical overview

0 Q&A 5419 Views Jun 5, 2023

Cycloheximide (CHX) is a small molecule derived from Streptomyces griseus that acts as fungicide. As a ribosome inhibitor, CHX can restrict the translation elongation of eukaryotic protein synthesis. Once protein synthesis is inhibited by CHX, the level of intracellular proteins decreases by degradation through the proteasome or lysosome system. Thus, the CHX chase assay is widely recognized and used to observe intracellular protein degradation and to determine the half-life of a given protein in eukaryotes. Here, we present a complete experimental procedure of the CHX chase assay.

Graphical overview

0 Q&A 2122 Views Apr 5, 2022

Macropinocytosis is an evolutionarily conserved process, which is characterized by the formation of membrane ruffles and the uptake of extracellular fluid. We recently demonstrated a role for CYFIP-related Rac1 Interactor (CYRI) proteins in macropinocytosis. High-molecular weight dextran (70kDa or higher) has generally been used as a marker for macropinocytosis because it is too large to fit in smaller endocytic vesicles, such as those of clathrin or caveolin-mediated endocytosis. Through the use of an image-based dextran uptake assay, we showed that cells lacking CYRI proteins internalise less dextran compared to their wild-type counterparts. Here, we will describe a step-by-step experimentation procedure to detect internalised dextran in cultured cells, and an image pipeline to analyse the acquired images, using the open-access software ImageJ/Fiji. This protocol is detailed yet simple and easily adaptable to different treatment conditions, and the analysis can also be automated for improved processing speed.

0 Q&A 2199 Views Dec 20, 2021

Reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species (RONS) are involved in programmed cell death in the context of numerous degenerative and chronic diseases. In particular, the ability of cells to maintain redox homeostasis is necessary for an adaptive cellular response to adverse conditions that can cause damage to proteins and DNA, resulting in apoptosis and genetic mutations. Here, we focus on the 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFH2-DA) assay to detect RONS. Although this fluorescence-based assay is widely utilized due to its high sensitivity to detect changes in cellular redox status that allow measuring alterations in RONS over time, its validity has been a matter of controversy. If correctly carried out, its limitations are understood and results are correctly interpreted, the DCFH2-DA assay is a valuable tool for cell-based studies.

0 Q&A 3811 Views Sep 20, 2020
As one of the main energy metabolism organs, kidney has been proved to have high energy requirements and are more inclined to fatty acid metabolism as the main energy source. Long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenases (LCAD) and beta-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (beta-HAD), key enzymes involved in fatty acid oxidation, has been identified as the substrate of acetyltransferase GCN5L1 and deacetylase Sirt3. Acetylation levels of LCAD and beta-HAD regulate its enzymes activity and thus affect fatty acid oxidation rate. Moreover, immunoprecipitation is a key assay for the detection of LCAD and beta-HAD acetylation levels. Here we describe a protocol of immunoprecipitation of acetyl-lysine and western blotting of LCAD and beta-HAD in palmitic acid treated HK-2 cells (human renal tubular epithelial cells). The scheme provides the readers with clear steps so that this method could be applied to detect the acetylation level of various proteins.
0 Q&A 4887 Views Jul 5, 2020
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are formed mainly by bacteria fermenting undigested carbohydrates in the colon, they are based on the number of carbon atoms in the carbon chain. Organic fatty acids with less than 6 carbon atoms are called short-chain fatty acids. SCFAs are closely related to various aspects of the human body, so more and more researchers concentrate on SCFAs. This protocol describes, a direct injection gas chromatography detection method with a pretreatment method for extracting SCFA from mice feces by combining acidification. The corresponding sample limit of quantization (LOQ) and limit of detection (LOD) are 0.8-1.0 mg/L and 0.5-0.8 mg/L, respectively. The correlation coefficient of calibration curve is greater than 0.999. The recovery rate of the spiked standard is 80%-102%. This method can be used to analyze and determine SCFAs in mice feces. Therefore, this is an economical, effective and reproducible method for SCFAs measurement in mice samples.
0 Q&A 4033 Views Apr 5, 2020
Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a stress responsive enzyme that metabolizes heme and releases free iron, carbon monoxide (CO), and biliverdin (BV), which rapidly undergoes conversion to bilirubin (BL). Estimation of bilirubin is the basis of HO-1 assay. HO-1 activity is widely employed to determine antioxidant response of cells under different physiological stress environment. Intra-macrophage infection often acts as such a stress inducer and measurement of HO-1 activity in infected cells indicates the ability of pathogens towards modulating oxidative response of host. The present protocol describes analysis of HO-1 activity in infected macrophages by spectrophotometric method, which is much less complex and therefore advantageous over other methods like high-performance liquid chromatography, radiochemical methods and detection of CO by gas chromatography. The main steps include: (1) Preparation of macrophage microsomal fraction containing HO-1 (2) Isolation of rat liver cytosolic fraction containing biliverdin reductase and (3) Assessment of heme oxygenase-1 activity by spectrophotometric detection of bilirubin. This method provides a simple and sensitive approach to measure cellular antioxidant response under infected condition.
0 Q&A 5103 Views Feb 20, 2019
Cryopreservation is commonly used for the storage of cells, tissues, organs or 3D cell-based products using ultra-low temperatures, which involves the immersion in liquid nitrogen for their long-term preservation. The cryopreservation of several microencapsulated cells is usually performed by the slow freezing with the dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a cryoprotectant agent (CPA). In this study, we cryopreserved several microencapsulated cells with the natural, non-toxic low molecular-weight hyaluronan (LMW-HA) at 5% and DMSO 10% solution assessing cell viability and metabolic activity after thawing. The cryopreservation of microencapsulated D1 mesenchymal stem cells (D1MSC) and murine myoblast cells (C2C12) with the LMW-HA 5% presented similar outcomes after thawing compared to the DMSO solution, showing the low molecular weight hyaluronan as a natural, non-toxic CPA that can be used preventing the DMSO related adverse effects after the implantation of the cryopreserved cell-based products.
0 Q&A 13093 Views Oct 20, 2018
Murine pharmacokinetics (PK) represents the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of drugs from the body, which helps to guide clinical studies, ultimately resulting in more effective drug treatment. The purpose of this protocol is to describe a serial bleeding protocol, obtaining blood samples at six time points from single mouse to yield a complete PK profile. This protocol has proved to be rapid, highly repeatable, and relatively easy to acquire. Comparing with the conventional PK studies, this method not only dramatically reduces animal usage, but also decreases sample variation obtained from different animals.
0 Q&A 6574 Views Sep 5, 2018
Using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to analyze the citric acid cycle (CAC) and related intermediates (such as glutamate, glutamine, GABA, and aspartate) is an analytical approach to identify unexpected correlations between apparently related and unrelated pathways of energy metabolism. Intermediates can be as expressed as their absolute concentrations or relative ratios by using known amounts of added reference standards to the sample. GC-MS can also distinguish between heavy labeled molecules (2H- or 13C-labeled) and the naturally occurring most abundant molecules. Applications using tracers can also assess the turnover of specific metabolic pools under various physiological and pathological conditions as well as for pathway discovery.

The following protocol is a relatively simple method that is not only sensitive for small concentrations of metabolic intermediates but can also be used in vivo or in vitro to determine the integrity of various metabolic pathways, such as flux changes within specific metabolite pools. We used this protocol to determine the role of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (Pck1) gene in mouse macrophage cells to determine the percent contribution from a precursor of 13C labeled glucose into specific CAC metabolite pools.

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