Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 1925 Views Dec 20, 2021

DNA replication always encounters numerous endogenous and exogenous stresses during the cell cycle. Measuring the cell responses to stress has primarily relied on cell survival and incorporation of radioactive dNTPs, which is limited in resolution. A higher resolution is required to monitor how replication and repair respond to these stresses. This protocol describes a procedure to monitor the length of new synthesized DNA in a single molecular resolution called DNA fiber assay. The fiber assay relies on labeling of nascent DNA with the nucleoside analog 5-Chloro-2'-deoxyuridine (CldU) and 5-Iodo-2'-deoxyuridine (IdU). We can visualize the labeled nascent DNA in single molecular resolution by immunostaining. By measuring labeled DNA length, the assay permits interrogation of replication speed at given conditions, end processing at the reversed fork, and fork restart after repair.

0 Q&A 4651 Views Mar 5, 2020
The ability to rapidly assemble and prototype cellular circuits is vital for biological research and its applications in biotechnology and medicine. The Mammalian ToolKit (MTK) is a Golden Gate-based cloning toolkit for fast, reproducible and versatile assembly of large DNA vectors and their implementation in mammalian models. The MTK consists of a curated library of characterized, modular parts that can be assembled into transcriptional units and further weaved into complex circuits. These circuits are easily repurposed and introduced in mammalian cells by different methods.
0 Q&A 4202 Views Feb 20, 2020
Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 (hereafter Anabaena) is a model cyanobacterium to study nitrogen fixation, cellular differentiation and several other key biological functions that are analogous in plants. As with any other organism, many genes in Anabaena encode an essential life function and hence cannot be deleted, causing a bottleneck in the elucidation of its genomic function. Antisense RNA (asRNA) mediated approach renders the study of essential genes possible by suppressing (but not completely eliminating) expression of the target gene, thus allowing them to function to some extent. Recently, we have successfully implemented this approach using the strong endogenous promoter of the psbA1 gene (D1 subunit of Photosystem II) introduced into a high-copy replicative plasmid (pAM1956) to suppress the transcript level of the target gene alr0277 (encoding a sigma factor, SigJ/Alr0277) in Anabaena. This protocol represents an efficient and easy procedure to further explore the functional genomics, expanding the scope of basic and applied research in these ecologically important cyanobacteria.
0 Q&A 7112 Views Jul 20, 2019
The in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity of new metallodrugs either as Small Bioactive Molecules (SBAMs) or Conjugates of Metals with Drugs (CoMeDs) is evaluated by the micronucleus test and the Allium cepa assay, respectively. Fetal lung fibroblast cells (MRC-5), normal human corneal epithelial cells (HCEC) and immortalized human keratinocytes cells (HaCaT) were incubated with solutions of SBAMs or CoMeDs at their IC50 values for 48 h (the concentration of a compound which is required to inhibit the cells growth by 50% in relation to the non-treated cells). The micronucleus abundance percentage towards the corresponding one, of the non-treated cells indicates the in vitro genotoxicity of the formulations. The in vivo Allium cepa test comprises the exposing of the plant Allium cepa roots to an SBAMs or a CoMeDs solution for 48 h. The percentages of the mitotic index, the chromosome aberrations, the nuclear abnormalities and the presence of the micronucleus are calculated indicating the in vivo genotoxicity of the agent.
1 Q&A 18334 Views Jun 5, 2017
Genome stability is continuously challenged by a wide range of DNA damaging factors. To promote a correct DNA repair and cell survival, cells orchestrate a coordinated and finely tuned cascade of events collectively known as the DNA Damage Response (DDR). Ultra Violet (UV) rays are among the main environmental sources of DNA damage and a well recognized cancer risk factor. UV rays induce the formation of toxic cyclobutane-type pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and [6-4]pyrimidine-pyrimidone (6-4PP) photoproducts which trigger the activation of the intra-S phase cell cycle checkpoint (Kaufmann, 2010) aimed at preventing replication fork collapse, late origin firing, and stabilizing fragile sites (Branzei and Foiani, 2009). To monitor the activation of the intra-S phase checkpoint in response to UV type C (UVC) exposure, the DNA fiber assay can be used to analyse the new origin firing and DNA synthesis rate (Jackson et al., 1998; Merrick et al., 2004; Alfano et al., 2016). The DNA fiber assay technique was conceived in the 90s and then further developed through the use of thymidine analogues (such as CldU and IdU), which are incorporated into the nascent DNA strands. By treating the cells in sequential mode with these analogues, which can be visualized through specific antibodies carrying different fluorophores, it is possible to monitor the replication fork activity and assess how this is influenced by UV radiations or others agents.
0 Q&A 12722 Views Jun 5, 2017
The DNA combing method allows the analysis of DNA replication at the level of individual DNA molecules stretched along silane-coated glass coverslips. Before DNA extraction, ongoing DNA synthesis is labeled with halogenated analogues of thymidine. Replication tracks are visualized by immunofluorescence using specific antibodies. Unlike biochemical and NGS-based methods, DNA combing provides unique information on cell-to-cell variations in DNA replication profiles, including initiation and elongation. Finally, this assay can be used to monitor the effect of DNA lesions on fork progression, arrest and restart.
0 Q&A 10699 Views Apr 5, 2016
This effective, robust protocol generates glass coverslips coated with biotin-functionalized polyethylene glycol (PEG), making the glass surface resistant to non-specific absorption of biomolecules, and permitting immobilization of biomolecules for subsequent single-molecule tracking of biochemical reactions. The protocol can be completed in one day, and the coverslips can be stored for at least 1 month. We have confirmed that the PEG surfaces prepared according to the protocol are resistant to non-specific adsorption by a wide range of biomolecules (bacterial, mitochondrial, and human transcription factors, DNA, and RNA) and biological buffers.

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