Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 2179 Views Oct 5, 2020
Investigation of bacterial gene regulation upon environmental changes is still a challenging task. For example, Vibrio cholerae, a pathogen of the human gastrointestinal tract, faces diverse transient conditions in different compartments upon oral ingestion. Genetic reporter systems have been demonstrated to be extremely powerful tools to unravel gene regulation events in complex conditions, but so far focused mainly on gene induction. Herein, we describe the TetR-controlled recombination-based in vivo expression technology TRIVET, which allows detection of gene silencing events. TRIVET resembles a modified variant of the in vivo expression technology (IVET) as well as recombination-based in vivo expression technology (RIVET), which were used to identify conditional gene induction in several bacteria during host colonization. Like its predecessors, TRIVET is a single cell based reporter system, which allows the analysis of bacterial gene repression in a spatiotemporal manner via phenotypical changes in the resistance profile. Briefly, a promoterless tetR (encoding the transcriptional repressor TetR) can be integrated randomly into the bacterial genome via transposon mutagenesis or site-specific downstream of a promoter of interest via homologous recombination. Reduction of transcriptional expression of TetR results in a de-repression of the TetR-controlled resolvase TnpR, which in turn leads to excision of an antibiotic resistance cassette (also known as res-cassette) and altered resistance profile observable via streaking on ampicillin and kanamycin plates. This alteration can then be quantified as the ratio between resistant and non-resistant isolates. Furthermore, the newly introduced second reporter gene, a promoterless phoA (encoding the alkaline phosphatase PhoA) offers an additional validation step of the results via an independent colorimetric assay to measure enzyme activity. The protocol presented herein also offers an approach to identify the gene locus in case of the random screen for gene repression as well as a quantification of the conditional repression of a gene of interest. Although the current protocol is established for gene repression during host colonization, it can likely be adapted to study gene silencing under various conditions faced by a bacterium.
0 Q&A 4105 Views Jun 5, 2020
Parasites of the genus Leishmania infect the mammalian hosts, including mice and humans and cause cutaneous or visceral leishmaniasis depending upon the parasite species transmitted by the vector sandfly. Leishmania amazonensis is one of the Leishmania species responsible for the cutaneous form of the disease. We have inoculated with these parasites the ear dermis of mice. RNA preparations were performed from fragmented tissues using a buffer containing guanidin isothiocynate (RLT buffer, RNeasy Mini Kit, Qiagen, SAS, France) and β-mercaptoethanol. Both reagents facilitate the isolation of intact RNA from tissues and the use of the RNeasy Kits present with several advantages that facilitate the isolation of pure non-degraded total RNA: i) This method allows to avoid the presence of phenol in the RNA extraction buffer, commonly used in alternative protocols; ii) Moreover Diethylpyrocarbonate (DEPC) treatment of glassware, to avoid RNAses contamination of the samples, is not required with this protocol; iii) Finally, it is a fast procedure and the isolated total RNA may be concentrated in a small volume thus facilitating its use for downstream experimental procedures.
0 Q&A 3148 Views Apr 20, 2020
Asthma is a global problem that affects millions of individuals. An increased risk of respiratory viral and bacterial infections is one of the complications of asthma. We recently reported that mice with ovalbumin-induced allergic airway disease (AAD) are protected against influenza-Streptococcus pneumoniae co-infection. Here, we describe in detail a protocol on how to induce AAD and influenza-S. pneumoniae co-infection in mice and to evaluate the specific roles of asthma on immunity to viral and bacterial pathogens in the hope of translating findings to benefit asthmatic individuals.
0 Q&A 3970 Views Aug 5, 2019
Candida albicans is a leading human fungal pathogen that uses several metabolic adaptations to escape immune cells and causes systemic disease. Here, we describe a protocol for measuring one of these adaptations, the ability to thrive in hypoxic niches. Hypoxia was generated after successful subdermal infection with C. albicans in a murine infection model. Hypoxia was measured using a fluorescent dye for carbonic anhydrase 9, a host enzyme active under hypoxic conditions. Emitted fluorescence was subsequently quantified using an IVIS system. This protocol was optimized for the use in subdermal infection in mice but has the potential to be adapted to other models of fungal infection.
0 Q&A 12732 Views Nov 20, 2018
Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) are a product of the fermentation of resistant starches and dietary fibers by the gut microbiota. The most important SCFA are acetate (C2), propionate (C3) and butyrate (C4). These metabolites are formed and absorbed in the colon and then transported through the hepatic vein to the liver. SCFAs are more concentrated in the intestinal lumen than in the serum. Butyrate is largely consumed in the gut epithelium, propionate in the liver and acetate in the periphery. SCFAs act on many cells including components of the immune system and epithelial cells by two main mechanisms: activation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and inhibition of histone deacetylase. Considering the association between changes in SCFA concentrations and the development of diseases, methods to quantify these acids in different biological samples are important. In this study, we describe a protocol using gas chromatography to quantify SCFAs in the serum, feces and colonic luminal content. Separation of compounds was performed using a DB-23 column (60 m x 0.25 mm internal diameter [i.d.]) coated with a 0.15 µm thick layer of 80.2% 1-methylnaphatalene. This method has a good linear range (15-10,000 µg/ml). The precision (relative standard deviation [RSD]) is less than 15.0% and the accuracy (error relative [ER]) is within ± 15.0%. The extraction efficiency was higher than 97.0%. Therefore, this is cost effective and reproducible method for SCFA measurement in feces and serum.
0 Q&A 8534 Views Jan 5, 2018
Alterations in diet and gut microbial ecology underlie the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D). In the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse, we found high concentrations of bacterial metabolites acetate and butyrate in blood and faeces correlated with protection from disease. We reconstituted germ free (GF) NOD mice with fecal bacteria from protected NOD mice fed with high acetate- and butyrate-yielding diets, to test whether the transferred gut microbiota protect against the development of T1D. GF NOD mice that received a microbiota shaped by high acetate- but not butyrate-yielding diet showed a marked protection against diabetes. This fecal transplantation assay demonstrated the potential for a dietary technology to reshape the gut microbiota that enables specific bacteria to transfer protection against T1D.
0 Q&A 8863 Views Dec 20, 2017
The oral microbiome has been implicated as a trigger for immune responsiveness in the oral cavity, particularly in the setting of the inflammatory disease periodontitis. The protocol presented here is aimed at characterizing the oral microbiome in murine models at steady state and during perturbations of immunity or physiology. Herein, we describe murine oral microbiome sampling procedures, processing of low biomass samples and subsequent microbiome characterization based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
0 Q&A 8803 Views Sep 5, 2017
Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in human lung epithelial A549 cells induces filopodia, cellular protrusions consisting of F-actin, that extend to neighboring uninfected cells (Mehedi et al., 2016). High-resolution imaging via stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy revealed filamentous RSV particles along these filopodia, suggesting that filopodia facilitate RSV cell-to-cell spread (Mehedi et al., 2016). In this protocol, we describe how to fix, permeabilize, immunostain, and mount RSV-infected A549 cells for STED imaging. We show that STED increases resolution compared to confocal microscopy, which can be further improved by image processing using deconvolution software.
0 Q&A 7039 Views Jan 20, 2016
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can cause both acute and chronic disease in human liver with potentially high risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The host range of non-human primates susceptible to this virus is limited. Therefore, experimental studies with human hepatocyte-chimeric mice provide an invaluable source of information regarding the biology and pathogenesis of HBV. This section describes the protocol for infection of the human hepatocyte-chimeric mice with HBV. In addition, it has recently been shown that HBV replication can be suppressed by exogenous expression of viral epsilon RNA (εRNA; Sato et al., 2015), which serves as an encapsidation signal (Bartenschlager et al., 1992). Based upon this finding, we also describe the protocol for the liposome-mediated delivery of a plasmid encoding εRNA to liver in these chimeric mice.
0 Q&A 7640 Views Oct 5, 2015
This protocol describes the quantification of all expressed T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) gene products within sorted (by flow cytometry) EBV and CMV-specific memory CD8+ T-cell populations using a template-switch anchored reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to allow the storage of cookies on your computer.