Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 2895 Views Jun 5, 2020
The study of host/pathogen interactions at the cellular level during Plasmodium intra-erythrocytic cycle requires differential extraction techniques aiming to analyze the different compartments of the infected cell. Various protocols have been proposed in the literature to study specific compartments and/or membranes in the infected erythrocyte. The task remains delicate despite the use of enzymes or detergents theoretically capable of degrading specific membranes inside the infected cell.

The remit of this protocol is to propose a method to isolate the erythrocyte cytosol and ghosts from the other compartments of the infected cell via a percoll gradient. Also, the lysis of the erythrocyte membrane is done using equinatoxin II, which has proven to be more effective at erythrocyte lysis regardless of the cell infection status, compared to the commonly used streptolysin. The parasitophorous vacuole (PV) content is collected after saponin lysis, before recovering membrane and parasite cytosol proteins by Triton X-100 lysis. The lysates thus obtained are analyzed by Western blot to assess the accuracy of the various extraction steps. This protocol allows the separation of the host compartment from the parasite compartments (PV and parasite), leading to potential studies of host proteins as well as parasite proteins exported to the host cell.
1 Q&A 3901 Views Nov 5, 2019
Oral mucositis is a common complication of cancer chemotherapy treatment. Because of the lack of relevant oral mucositis experimental models, it is not clear how chemotherapeutic agents injure the oral mucosa and if commensal microorganisms accelerate tissue damage. We developed an organotypic oral mucosa model that mimics cellular responses commonly associated with cytotoxic chemotherapy. The organotypic model consists of multilayer oral epithelial cells growing over a collagen type I matrix, with embedded fibroblasts. Treatment of organotypic constructs with the chemotherapeutic agent, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), leads to major histopathologic changes resembling mucositis, such as DNA synthesis inhibition, increased apoptosis and cytoplasmic vacuolation. Candida albicans formed mucosal biofilms on these tissues and augmented the inflammatory responses to 5-FU. This model can be used in further mechanistic studies of oral mucositis and associated opportunistic infections.
0 Q&A 5407 Views Jan 20, 2019
Alcohol consumption has diverse and well-documented effects on the human immune system and its ability to defend against infective agents. While pulmonary related infections can occur in healthy humans, binge alcohol use is recognized as a major health risk factor (Nelson et al., 1991). Although binge alcohol consumption has been considered as a risk factor for the development of pulmonary infections, no experimental studies have investigated the outcomes of a single binge alcohol exposure during infection. A key assay to assess the effects of a single binge alcohol exposure on the interactions between bacteria and alveolar macrophage is a binge alcohol intracellular invasion and killing assay. MH-S alveolar macrophages (AMs) are exposed to a single binge alcohol dose prior to infection for 3 h. The macrophage monolayer is then infected to allow for engulfment, followed by removal of extracellular bacteria to assess the intracellular killing capacity of infected macrophages over time. We have utilized this assay to demonstrate that low alcohol exposure significantly suppressed the uptake and killing of less virulent Burkholderia thailandensis (B. thailandensis) by AMs. More recently we found that activated AMs with interferon (IFN)-γ incubated in alcohol (0.08%) for 3 h prior to infection showed significantly lower bacterial uptake at 2 and 8 h post infection, which lead to B. thailandensis survival and a ~2.5-fold replication increase compared to controls (Jimenez et al., 2017). These results provide insights into binge alcohol consumption, a culturally prevalent risk factor, as a predisposing factor for pulmonary bacterial infections. This assay can be adapted to other bacterial species and host cell types to assess tissue specific effects of alcohol during infection.
0 Q&A 7879 Views Jul 5, 2018
The stable HBV-transfected cell lines, which based on stable integration of replication-competent HBV genome into hepatic cells, are widely used in basic research and antiviral drug evaluation against HBV. However, previous reported strategies to generate HBV-replicating cell lines, which primarily rely on random integration of exogenous DNA by plasmid transfection, are inefficient and time-consuming. We newly developed an all-in-one Sleeping Beauty transposon system (denoted pTSMP-HBV vector) for robust generation of stable HBV-replicating cell lines of different genotype. The pTSMP-HBV vector contains HBV 1.3-copy genome and dual selection markers (mCherry and puromycin resistance gene), allowing rapid enrichment of stably-transfected cells via red fluorescence-activated cell sorting and puromycin antibiotic selection. In this protocol, we described the detailed procedure for constructing the HBV-replicating stable cells and systematically evaluating HBV replication and viral protein expression profiles of these cells.
0 Q&A 5673 Views Apr 20, 2018
Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) is a recognized cause of acute diarrhea among both children and adults worldwide. EAEC strains are characterized by the presence of aggregative adherence fimbriae (AAF), which play a key role in pathogenesis by mediating attachment to the intestinal mucosa and by triggering host inflammatory responses. The aggregative adherence fimbria II (AAF/II) is the most important adherence factor of EAEC prototype strain 042 (EAEC042) to intestinal cells. Multiple receptors for AAF/II on epithelial cells have been identified including the transmembrane signaling mucin Muc1. This protocol describes a method to measure adherence of EAEC strains to HEK293 cells expressing the Muc1 glycoprotein.
0 Q&A 6920 Views Mar 20, 2018
The genotoxin colibactin is produced by several species of Enterobacteriaceae. This genotoxin induces DNA damage, cell cycle arrest, senescence and death in eukaryotic cells (Nougayrède et al., 2006; Taieb et al., 2016). Here we describe a method to quantify the genotoxicity of bacteria producing colibactin following a short infection of cultured mammalian cells with colibactin producing E. coli.
0 Q&A 14863 Views May 5, 2017
Listeria monocytogenes is an important Gram-positive foodborne pathogen that is a particular problem in ready-to-eat food. It has an ability to survive in harsh conditions like refrigeration temperatures and high salt concentrations and is known to cross intestinal, placental and blood-brain barriers. Several cancerous cell lines like cervical, liver, dendritic, intestinal and macrophages have been used to study in vitro propagation and survival of listeria in human cells. Human intestinal epithelial cells have been used to study how listeria crosses the intestinal barrier and cause infection. The protocol in this articles describes the procedures to grow Caco-2 cells, maintain cells and use them for adhesion and invasion assays. During adhesion assay the cells are incubated with listeria for 30 min but in invasion assay the cell growth is arrested at several time points after infection to monitor the growth and survival rate of listeria in cells.
0 Q&A 11090 Views Apr 5, 2017
Exosomes are membranous extracellular nanovesicles of endocytic origin. Exosomes are known to carry host and pathogen-derived genomic, proteomic, lipidomic cargos and other extraneous molecules. Exosomes are secreted by diverse cell types into the extracellular milieu and are subsequently internalized by recipient neighboring or distal cells. Upon internalization, exosomes condition recipient cells by donating their cargos and/or activating various signal transduction pathways, consequently regulating physiological and pathophysiological processes. Exosomes facilitate intercellular communication, modulate cellular phenotype, and regulate microbial pathogenesis. We have previously shown that semen exosomes (SE) inhibit HIV-1 replication in various cell types. Here, we describe detailed protocols for characterizing SE. This protocol can be adapted or modified and used for evaluation of other extracellular vesicles of interest.
1 Q&A 10819 Views Mar 5, 2017
Membrane fusion is vital for entry of enveloped viruses into host cells as well as for direct viral cell-to-cell spread. To understand the fusion mechanism in more detail, we use an infection free system whereby fusion can be induced by a minimal set of the alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus (PrV) glycoproteins gB, gH and gL. Here, we describe an optimized protocol of a transient transfection based fusion assay to quantify cell-cell fusion induced by the PrV glycoproteins.
0 Q&A 13208 Views Dec 5, 2016
Viral pseudotyped particles (pp) are enveloped virus particles, typically derived from retroviruses or rhabdoviruses, that harbor heterologous envelope glycoproteins on their surface and a genome lacking essential genes. These synthetic viral particles are safer surrogates of native viruses and acquire the tropism and host entry pathway characteristics governed by the heterologous envelope glycoprotein used. They have proven to be very useful tools used in research with many applications, such as enabling the study of entry pathways of enveloped viruses and to generate effective gene-delivery vectors. The basis for their generation lies in the capacity of some viruses, such as murine leukemia virus (MLV), to incorporate envelope glycoproteins of other viruses into a pseudotyped virus particle. These can be engineered to contain reporter genes such as luciferase, enabling quantification of virus entry events upon pseudotyped particle infection with susceptible cells. Here, we detail a protocol enabling generation of MLV-based pseudotyped particles, using the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) spike (S) as an example of a heterologous envelope glycoprotein to be incorporated. We also describe how these particles are used to infect susceptible cells and to perform a quantitative infectivity readout by a luciferase assay.

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