Virtual-'Light-Sheet' Single-Molecule Localisation Microscopy Enables Quantitative Optical Sectioning for Super-Resolution Imaging
Adam T. Watson
Thomas J. Etheridge
Antony M. Carr
Steven F. Lee
- Single-molecule super-resolution microscopy allows imaging of fluorescently-tagged proteins in live cells with a precision well below that of the diffraction limit. Here, we demonstrate 3D sectioning with single-molecule super-resolution microscopy by making use of the fitting information that is usually discarded to reject fluorophores that emit from above or below a virtual-'light-sheet', a thin volume centred on the focal plane of the microscope. We describe an easy-to-use routine (implemented as an open-source ImageJ plug-in) to quickly analyse a calibration sample to define and use such a virtual light-sheet. In addition, the plug-in is easily usable on almost any existing 2D super-resolution instrumentation. This optical sectioning of super-resolution images is achieved by applying well-characterised width and amplitude thresholds to diffraction-limited spots that can be used to tune the thickness of the virtual light-sheet. This allows qualitative and quantitative imaging improvements: by rejecting out-of-focus fluorophores, the super-resolution image gains contrast and local features may be revealed; by retaining only fluorophores close to the focal plane, virtual-'light-sheet' single-molecule localisation microscopy improves the probability that all emitting fluorophores will be detected, fitted and quantitatively evaluated.
How to switch a master switch
- The crystal structure of a nucleotide exchange factor in white blood cells reveals an autoinhibitory mechanism that reinforces the switch-like behaviour of the signalling protein Ras.
Research organism: Human
MPGES-1-derived PGE2 suppresses CD80 expression on tumor-associated phagocytes to inhibit anti-tumor immune responses in breast cancer
Lisa Katharina Sha
Heinfried H. Radeke
Andreas von Knethen
- Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) favors multiple aspects of tumor development and immune evasion. Therefore, microsomal prostaglandin E synthase (mPGES-1/-2), is a potential target for cancer therapy. We explored whether inhibiting mPGES-1 in human and mouse models of breast cancer affects tumor-associated immunity. A new model of breast tumor spheroid killing by human PBMCs was developed. In this model, tumor killing required CD80 expression by tumor-associated phagocytes to trigger cytotoxic T cell activation. Pharmacological mPGES-1 inhibition increased CD80 expression, whereas addition of PGE2, a prostaglandin E2 receptor 2 (EP2) agonist, or activation of signaling downstream of EP2 reduced CD80 expression. Genetic ablation of mPGES-1 resulted in markedly reduced tumor growth in PyMT mice. Macrophages of mPGES-1-/- PyMT mice indeed expressed elevated levels of CD80 compared to their wildtype counterparts. CD80 expression in tumor-spheroid infiltrating mPGES-1-/- macrophages translated into antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell activation. In conclusion, mPGES-1 inhibition elevates CD80 expression by tumor-associated phagocytes to restrict tumor growth. We propose that mPGES-1 inhibition in combination with immune cell activation might be part of a therapeutic strategy to overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.
Light-induced helix movements in channelrhodopsin-2
- Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a cation-selective light-gated channel from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Nagel G, Szellas T, Huhn W, Kateriya S, Adeishvili N, Berthold P, et al. Channelrhodopsin-2, a directly light-gated cation-selective membrane channel. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2003;100:13940-5), which has become a powerful tool in optogenetics. Two-dimensional crystals of the slow photocycling C128T ChR2 mutant were exposed to 473 nm light and rapidly frozen to trap the open state. Projection difference maps at 6Å resolution show the location, extent and direction of light-induced conformational changes in ChR2 during the transition from the closed state to the ion-conducting open state. Difference peaks indicate that transmembrane helices (TMHs) TMH2, TMH6 and TMH7 reorient or rearrange during the photocycle. No major differences were found near TMH3 and TMH4 at the dimer interface. While conformational changes in TMH6 and TMH7 are known from other microbial-type rhodopsins, our results indicate that TMH2 has a key role in light-induced channel opening and closing in ChR2.
The association of late-acting snoRNPs with human pre-ribosomal complexes requires the RNA helicase DDX21
Katherine E. Sloan
Matthias S. Leisegang
Ana S. Ramírez
Nicholas J. Watkins
Markus T. Bohnsack
- Translation fidelity and efficiency require multiple ribosomal (r)RNA modifications that are mostly mediated by small nucleolar (sno)RNPs during ribosome production. Overlapping basepairing of snoRNAs with pre-rRNAs often necessitates sequential and efficient association and dissociation of the snoRNPs, however, how such hierarchy is established has remained unknown so far. Here, we identify several late-acting snoRNAs that bind pre-40S particles in human cells and show that their association and function in pre-40S complexes is regulated by the RNA helicase DDX21. We map DDX21 crosslinking sites on pre-rRNAs and show their overlap with the basepairing sites of the affected snoRNAs. While DDX21 activity is required for recruitment of the late-acting snoRNAs SNORD56 and SNORD68, earlier snoRNAs are not affected by DDX21 depletion. Together, these observations provide an understanding of the timing and ordered hierarchy of snoRNP action in pre-40S maturation and reveal a novel mode of regulation of snoRNP function by an RNA helicase in human cells.
Charge reduction and thermodynamic stabilization of substrate RNAs inhibit RNA editing
Andreas J. Reuss
H. Ulrich Göringer
- African trypanosomes cause a parasitic disease known as sleeping sickness. Mitochondrial transcript maturation in these organisms requires a RNA editing reaction that is characterized by the insertion and deletion of U-nucleotides into otherwise non-functional mRNAs. Editing represents an ideal target for a parasite-specific therapeutic intervention since the reaction cycle is absent in the infected host. In addition, editing relies on a macromolecular protein complex, the editosome, that only exists in the parasite. Therefore, all attempts to search for editing interfering compounds have been focused on molecules that bind to proteins of the editing machinery. However, in analogy to other RNA-driven biochemical pathways it should be possible to stall the reaction by targeting its substrate RNAs. Here we demonstrate inhibition of editing by specific aminoglycosides. The molecules bind into the major groove of the gRNA/pre-mRNA editing substrates thereby causing a stabilization of the RNA molecules through charge compensation and an increase in stacking. The data shed light on mechanistic details of the editing process and identify critical parameters for the development of new trypanocidal compounds.
Electron paramagnetic resonance with shaped microwave pulses
Philipp Emanuel Spindler
- Pulsed Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is the most powerful tool to investigate structural properties and dynamics of paramagnetic substances. Up to date the electron spin is almost exclusively manipulated by rectangular shaped microwave pulses generated with switches. These pulses are unselective which means they excite outside their nominal bandwidth which is in most cases shallow compared to the overall spectral width of the spin system. Shaped pulses which are widely applied in NMR promise higher bandwidth and selectivity. The use of amplitude and phase modulated pulses was not possible for EPR due to the three orders of magnitude faster timescale compared to NMR. In this work, for the first time, an AWG (arbitrary waveform generator) operating with a 1 ns time resolution and 14 bit amplitude resolution was implemented into a commercial Bruker pulsed EPR spectrometer.
First results were obtained with broadband excitation pulses derived by optimum control theory (OCT). The OCT-pulse used excites transverse magnetization with 98% efficiency over a more than four times larger bandwidth than common rectangular pulse generating the same 1 B field. The benefit of such a pulse was demonstrated for magnitude FT-EPR spectroscopy on organic radicals in liquid phase.
Due to Spectrometer deadtime an FID cannot be observed for most inhomogeneous spin systems. For that reason prefocused pulses have been evaluated for their applicability to EPR spectroscopy. OCT-derived prefocused pulses can be understood as a compact Hahn Echo sequence in one monolithic pulse. Here, two problems have been encountered. 1) The limited bandwidth of the active and passive microwave components in the excitation path as well as microwave resonator cause linear distortions of the pulse shape which results in inferior pulse performance. This could be circumvented by measuring the impulse response function of the whole spin excitation path and including this information in the pulse optimization procedure. 2) Anisotropic hyperfine interaction which was not taken into account during the pulse optimization also caused efficiency losses.
PELDOR spectroscopy is a valuable tool to measure distance distributions between two or more paramagnetic centers in the range from 2-8 nm. It is demonstrated that the S/N ratio of PELDOR experiments can be substantially increased by substituting the rectangular shaped pump pulse by an adiabatic inversion pulse. The damping of the dipolar oscillations introduced by the prolonged pump pulse towards shorter distances could be circumvented by introducing a second time reversed pump pulse.
By substituting the refocused echo of the well-known 4-pulse PELDOR with a CPMG sequence the dipolar evolution time and thus the validity of PELDOR experiments would be increased. To achieve the maximum dipolar evolution time in a CPMG PELDOR for each refocusing pulse one pump pulse has to be applied. This could only be achieved with the new adiabatic inversion pulses since multiple inversions with efficiency close to one are not possible with rectangular pulses. Even with adiabatic pump pulses a reduced efficiency was observed due to hardware limitations thus limiting the sequence to three refocusing pulses. An iterative method was developed to remove the residual dipolar signals attributed to the reduced inversion efficiency.
The new 7-pulse CPMG PELDOR sequence enabled measuring reliable distance distributions between the protomers of the trimeric betaine transporter BetP. With these it could be shown that the asymmetries found for the 2 and 3-dimensional crystal structures are even larger in frozen detergent.
Eukaryotic LYR proteins interact with mitochondrial protein complexes
- In eukaryotic cells, mitochondria host ancient essential bioenergetic and biosynthetic pathways. LYR (leucine/tyrosine/arginine) motif proteins (LYRMs) of the Complex1_LYR-like superfamily interact with protein complexes of bacterial origin. Many LYR proteins function as extra subunits (LYRM3 and LYRM6) or novel assembly factors (LYRM7, LYRM8, ACN9 and FMC1) of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) core complexes. Structural insights into complex I accessory subunits LYRM6 and LYRM3 have been provided by analyses of EM and X-ray structures of complex I from bovine and the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, respectively. Combined structural and biochemical studies revealed that LYRM6 resides at the matrix arm close to the ubiquinone reduction site. For LYRM3, a position at the distal proton-pumping membrane arm facing the matrix space is suggested. Both LYRMs are supposed to anchor an acyl-carrier protein (ACPM) independently to complex I. The function of this duplicated protein interaction of ACPM with respiratory complex I is still unknown. Analysis of protein-protein interaction screens, genetic analyses and predicted multi-domain LYRMs offer further clues on an interaction network and adaptor-like function of LYR proteins in mitochondria.
A proteomic study of mitotic phase-specific interactors of EB1 reveals a role for SXIP-mediated protein interactions in anaphase onset.
Judith E. Simon
Viji M. Draviam
- Microtubules execute diverse mitotic events that are spatially and temporally separated; the underlying regulation is poorly understood. By combining drug treatments, large-scale immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we report the first comprehensive map of mitotic phase-specific protein interactions of the microtubule-end binding protein, EB1. EB1 interacts with some, but not all, of its partners throughout mitosis. We show that the interaction of EB1 with Astrin-SKAP complex, a key regulator of chromosome segregation, is enhanced during prometaphase, compared to anaphase. We find that EB1 and EB3, another EB family member, can interact directly with SKAP, in an SXIP-motif dependent manner. Using an SXIP defective mutant that cannot interact with EB, we uncover two distinct pools of SKAP at spindle microtubules and kinetochores. We demonstrate the importance of SKAP's SXIP-motif in controlling microtubule growth rates and anaphase onset, without grossly disrupting spindle function. Thus, we provide the first comprehensive map of temporal changes in EB1 interactors during mitosis and highlight the importance of EB protein interactions in ensuring normal mitosis.
Selective Lentiviral Gene Delivery to CD133-Expressing Human Glioblastoma Stem Cells
N. Sumru Bayin
Aram S. Modrek
Christian J. Buchholz
Moses V. Chao
Dimitris G. Placantonakis
- Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a deadly primary brain malignancy. Glioblastoma stem cells (GSC), which have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into tumor lineages, are believed to cause tumor recurrence due to their resistance to current therapies. A subset of GSCs is marked by cell surface expression of CD133, a glycosylated pentaspan transmembrane protein. The study of CD133-expressing GSCs has been limited by the relative paucity of genetic tools that specifically target them. Here, we present CD133-LV, a lentiviral vector presenting a single chain antibody against CD133 on its envelope, as a vehicle for the selective transduction of CD133-expressing GSCs. We show that CD133-LV selectively transduces CD133+ human GSCs in dose-dependent manner and that transduced cells maintain their stem-like properties. The transduction efficiency of CD133-LV is reduced by an antibody that recognizes the same epitope on CD133 as the viral envelope and by shRNA-mediated knockdown of CD133. Conversely, the rate of transduction by CD133-LV is augmented by overexpression of CD133 in primary human GBM cultures. CD133-LV selectively transduces CD133-expressing cells in intracranial human GBM xenografts in NOD.SCID mice, but spares normal mouse brain tissue, neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells and primary human astrocytes. Our findings indicate that CD133-LV represents a novel tool for the selective genetic manipulation of CD133-expressing GSCs, and can be used to answer important questions about how these cells contribute to tumor biology and therapy resistance.