Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 2731 Views Oct 20, 2020
Eukaryote nuclear genomes predominantly replicate through multiple replication origins. The number of replication origins activated per chromosome during the S-phase duration may vary according to many factors, but the predominant one is replication stress. Several studies have applied different approaches to estimate the number and map the positions of the replication origins in various organisms. However, without a parameter to restrict the minimum of necessary origins, less sensitive techniques may suggest conflicting results. The estimation of the minimum number of replication origins (MO) per chromosome is an innovative method that allows the establishment of a threshold, which serves as a parameter for genomic approaches that map origins. For this, the MO can be easily obtained through a formula that requires as parameters: chromosome size, S-phase duration, and replication rate. The chromosome size for any organism can be acquired in genomic databanks (such as NCBI), the S-phase duration can be estimated by monitoring DNA replication, and the replication rate is obtained through the DNA combing approach. The estimation of MO is a simple, quick, and easy method that provides a new methodological framework to assist studies of mapping replication origins in any organism.
0 Q&A 8714 Views Apr 20, 2015
Antiviral agents for the suppression of hepatitis B virus (HBV) have been used for treating chronic hepatitis B. However, the emergence of drug-resistant HBV is still a major problem for antiviral treatment. To identify and characterize the drug-resistant HBV, the construction of HBV replicon and in vitro drug susceptibility assay are essential. Here we describe the experimental methods to study drug-resistant HBV.
0 Q&A 10196 Views Sep 5, 2014
The genomes of species of Escherichia coli (E. coli) show an extraordinary amount of diversity, which include commensal strains and strains belonging to different pathovars. Many strains of E. coli, which can cause mild or severe pathologies in humans, have a commensal ancestor. Understanding the evolutionary changes that can lead to a transition from commensal to pathogen is an important task, which requires integration of different methodologies. One method is experimental evolution of bacteria, in controlled environments, that mimic some of the selective pressures, likely to be important during the transition to pathogenesis. The success of such a transition will depend, at least partially, on ability of E. coli to adapt to the presence of cells of the immune system. Here, we describe a protocol for performing experimental evolution of a commensal strain of E. coli, a derivative of the well studied K12, under the constant selective pressure imposed by cells of the innate immune system, specifically RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cell line.
0 Q&A 11563 Views Sep 5, 2014
Bacteria can adapt very rapidly to novel selective pressures. In the transition from commensalism to pathogenicity bacteria have to face and adapt to the host immune system. Specifically, the antagonistic interaction imposed by one of the first line of defense of innate immunity cells, macrophages, on commensal bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), can lead to its rapid adaptation. Such adaptation is characterized by the emergence of clones with mutations that allow them to better escape macrophage phagocytosis. Here, we describe how to quantify the amount of fitness increase of bacterial clones that evolved under the constant selective pressure of macrophages, from a murine cell line RAW 264.7. The most widely used assay for measuring fitness changes along an evolutionary laboratory experiment is a competitive fitness assay. This assay consists of determining how fast an evolved strain outcompetes the ancestral in a competition where each starts at equal frequency. The strains compete in the same environment of the evolution experiment and if the evolved strain has acquired strong beneficial mutations it will become significantly overrepresented in repeated competitive fitness assays.
0 Q&A 8410 Views Aug 20, 2014
This protocol has been designed to measure the in-vitro DNA polymerization activity in crude cell extracts of the Antarctic bacterium Pseudomonas syrinagae Lz4W. This bacterium can grow at 4 °C with optimum growth rate at 22 °C. The slow growth rate of the bacterium observed at low temperature (4 °C) compared to higher temperature (22 °C) can be attributed to the reduced rate of DNA replication at low temperature. Here we describe a protocol which we have used to quantify the in vitro DNA polymerization of cell extracts at two different temperatures.
0 Q&A 8633 Views Mar 20, 2014
This protocol is a simple method for evaluating mutation frequency during African swine fever virus (ASFV) replication, although it could be used also for other DNA viruses (poxvirus, herpesvirus, mimivirus, etc) with minor modifications. In the original Carrascosa et al. (1982), the protocol was carried out with two cloned viruses, BA71Vc (a purified clone from BA71V wild type strain) and vΔpolX (lacking the reparative polymerase, pol X, gene), and two different cell types that can be infected by ASFV, Vero cells and swine macrophages. To facilitate the sequence comparison, a genome fragment containing the B646L gene was amplified by PCR and blunt-end cloned. This gene codes for the major capsid protein (p72) and multiple sequences can be found in the database, so the mutations found could be compared with natural gene variations. The cloned fragment can be either sequenced directly from bacteria colonies or from miniprep purified DNA.

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