Cancer Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 3844 Views Aug 20, 2020
Electric Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) is an automated method that can be used to quantify processes such as cell attachment, growth, migration and barrier functions (i.e., the properties of tight junctions). The method provides simultaneous information on cell number and tight junction function by detecting electric parameters of cells grown on electrodes. Samples are probed with small alternating current (AC) over a range of frequencies, and changes in capacitance and impedance are measured over time. Capacitance reflects the degree of electrode coverage by cells, that correlates with cell number, and can be used to assess cell proliferation or migration. Impedance values inform about barrier function. Obtaining real-time simultaneous information on these parameters is unique to this system and is of great value for addressing fundamental questions such as the role of tight junction proteins in cell growth and migration. This protocol describes the use of ECIS to follow cell growth and tight junction-dependent barrier generation in tubular epithelial cells. We used this method to explore how depleting claudin-2, a tight junction protein affects tubular cell growth and barrier function. During the process, cells are transfected with control or claudin-2-specific siRNA, and 24h later plated on electrodes. ECIS automatically collects information on cell growth and barrier as the monolayer develops. The data are initially analyzed using the ECIS software and exported into a graph software for further processing.
0 Q&A 4814 Views Nov 5, 2019
Advances in fluorescence microscopy (FM), electron microscopy (EM), and correlative light and EM (CLEM) offer unprecedented opportunities for studying diverse proteins and nanostructures involved in fundamental cell biology. It is now possible to visualize and quantify the spatial organization of cellular proteins and other macromolecules by FM, EM, and CLEM. However, tagging and tracking cellular proteins across size scales is restricted by the scarcity of methods for attaching appropriate reporter chemistries to target proteins. Namely, there are few genetic tags compatible with EM. To overcome these issues we developed Versatile Interacting Peptide (VIP) tags, genetically-encoded peptide tags that can be used to image proteins by fluorescence and EM. VIPER, a VIP tag, can be used to label cellular proteins with bright, photo-stable fluorophores for FM or electron-dense nanoparticles for EM. In this Bio-Protocol, we provide an instructional guide for implementing VIPER for imaging a cell-surface receptor by CLEM. This protocol is complemented by two other Bio-Protocols outlining the use of VIPER (Doh et al., 2019a and 2019b).
0 Q&A 4313 Views Nov 5, 2019
Genetically-encoded tags are useful tools for multicolor and multi-scale cellular imaging. Versatile Interacting Peptide (VIP) tags, such as VIPER, are new genetically-encoded tags that can be used in various imaging applications. VIP tags consist of a coiled-coil heterodimer, with one peptide serving as the genetic tag and the other (“probe peptide”) delivering a reporter compatible with imaging. Heterodimer formation is rapid and specific, allowing proteins to be selectively labeled for live-cell and fixed-cell imaging. In this Bio-Protocol, we include a detailed guide for implementing the VIPER technology for imaging receptors on live cells and intracellular targets in fixed cells. This protocol is complemented by two other Bio-Protocols outlining the use of VIPER (Doh et al., 2019a and 2019b).
0 Q&A 4230 Views Nov 5, 2019
Versatile Interacting Peptide (VIP) tags are a new class of genetically-encoded tag designed for imaging cellular proteins by fluorescence and electron microscopy. In 2018, we reported the VIPER tag (Doh et al., 2018), which contains two elements: a genetically-encoded peptide tag (i.e., CoilE) and a probe peptide (i.e., CoilR). These two peptides deliver contrast to a protein of interest by forming a specific, high-affinity heterodimer. The probe peptide was designed with a single cysteine residue for site-specific modification via thiol-maleimide chemistry. This feature can be used to attach a variety of biophysical reporters to the peptide, including bright fluorophores for fluorescence microscopy or electron-dense nanoparticles for electron microscopy. In this Bio-Protocol, we describe our methods for expressing and purifying recombinant CoilR. Additionally, we describe protocols for making fluorescent or biotinylated probe peptides for labeling CoilE-tagged cellular proteins. This protocol is complemented by two other Bio-Protocols outlining the use of VIPER (Doh et al., 2019a and 2019b).
2 Q&A 56496 Views Jun 5, 2012
Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) is used to study DNA cell content. Propidium iodide (PI) intercalates into double-stranded nucleic acids and fluoresces. It is excluded by viable cells but can penetrate cell membranes of dying or dead cells. Thus PI staining is included in immunofluorescent staining protocols to identify dead cells. DNA staining can be used to study the cell cycle. Relative DNA content shows the proportion of cells in G1, G2 and S phases. Apoptotic cells show characteristic smear on DNA staining. Here a protocol to stain cells by PI is described.

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