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1.  Age-Dependent Labeling and Imaging of Insulin Secretory Granules 
Diabetes  2013;62(11):3687-3696.
Insulin is stored within the secretory granules of pancreatic β-cells, and impairment of its release is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Preferential exocytosis of newly synthesized insulin suggests that granule aging is a key factor influencing insulin secretion. Here, we illustrate a technology that enables the study of granule aging in insulinoma cells and β-cells of knock-in mice through the conditional and unequivocal labeling of insulin fused to the SNAP tag. This approach, which overcomes the limits encountered with previous strategies based on radiolabeling or fluorescence timer proteins, allowed us to formally demonstrate the preferential release of newly synthesized insulin and reveal that the motility of cortical granules significantly changes over time. Exploitation of this approach may enable the identification of molecular signatures associated with granule aging and unravel possible alterations of granule turnover in diabetic β-cells. Furthermore, the method is of general interest for the study of membrane traffic and aging.
doi:10.2337/db12-1819
PMCID: PMC3806613  PMID: 23929935
2.  Random and targeted transgene insertion in C. elegans using a modified Mosl transposon 
Nature methods  2014;11(5):529-534.
We have generated a recombinant Mos1 transposon that can insert up to 45 kb transgenes into the C. elegans genome. The minimal Mos1 transposon (miniMos) is 550 bp long and inserts DNA into the genome at high frequency (~60% of injected animals). Genetic and antibiotic markers can be used for selection and the transposon is active in C. elegans isolates and C. briggsae. We have used the miniMos transposon to generate six universal MosSCI landing sites that allow targeted transgene insertion with a single targeting vector into permissive expression sites on all autosomes. We have also generated two collections of strains: A set of bright fluorescent insertions that are useful as dominant, genetic balancers and a set of lacO insertions to track genome position.
doi:10.1038/nmeth.2889
PMCID: PMC4126194  PMID: 24820376
3.  Efficient Bayesian-based multiview deconvolution 
Nature methods  2014;11(6):645-648.
Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy is able to image large specimens with high resolution by capturing the samples from multiple angles. Multiview deconvolution can substantially improve the resolution and contrast of the images, but its application has been limited owing to the large size of the data sets. Here we present a Bayesian-based derivation of multiview deconvolution that drastically improves the convergence time, and we provide a fast implementation using graphics hardware.
doi:10.1038/nmeth.2929
PMCID: PMC4153441  PMID: 24747812
4.  A genome scale resource for in vivo tag-based protein function exploration in C. elegans 
Cell  2012;150(4):855-866.
Understanding the in vivo dynamics of protein localization and their physical interactions is important for many problems in Biology. To enable systematic protein function interrogation in a multicelluar context, we built a genome-scale transgenic platform for in vivo expression of fluorescent and affinity tagged proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans under endogenous cis regulatory control. The platform combines computer-assisted transgene design, massively parallel DNA engineering and next generation sequencing to generate a resource of 14637 genomic DNA transgenes, which covers 73% of the proteome. The multipurpose tag used allows any protein of interest to be localized in vivo or affinity purified using standard tag-based assays. We illustrate the utility of the resource by systematic chromatin immunopurification and automated 4D imaging, which produced detailed DNA binding and cell/tissue distribution maps for key transcription factor proteins
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.08.001
PMCID: PMC3979301  PMID: 22901814
5.  Direct Cloning of Isogenic Murine DNA in Yeast and Relevance of Isogenicity for Targeting in Embryonic Stem Cells 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74207.
Efficient gene targeting in embryonic stem cells requires that modifying DNA sequences are identical to those in the targeted chromosomal locus. Yet, there is a paucity of isogenic genomic clones for human cell lines and PCR amplification cannot be used in many mutation-sensitive applications. Here, we describe a novel method for the direct cloning of genomic DNA into a targeting vector, pRTVIR, using oligonucleotide-directed homologous recombination in yeast. We demonstrate the applicability of the method by constructing functional targeting vectors for mammalian genes Uhrf1 and Gfap. Whereas the isogenic targeting of the gene Uhrf1 showed a substantial increase in targeting efficiency compared to non-isogenic DNA in mouse E14 cells, E14-derived DNA performed better than the isogenic DNA in JM8 cells for both Uhrf1 and Gfap. Analysis of 70 C57BL/6-derived targeting vectors electroporated in JM8 and E14 cell lines in parallel showed a clear dependence on isogenicity for targeting, but for three genes isogenic DNA was found to be inhibitory. In summary, this study provides a straightforward methodological approach for the direct generation of isogenic gene targeting vectors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074207
PMCID: PMC3772885  PMID: 24058528
6.  A Transcriptional Program Promotes Remodeling of GABAergic Synapses in Caenorhabditis elegans 
Although transcription factors are known to regulate synaptic plasticity, downstream genes that contribute to neural circuit remodeling are largely undefined. In C. elegans, GABAergic Dorsal D (DD) motor neuron synapses are relocated to new sites during larval development. This remodeling program is blocked in Ventral D (VD) GABAergic motor neurons by the COUP-TF homologue, UNC-55. We exploited this UNC-55 function to identify downstream synaptic remodeling genes that encode a diverse array of protein types including ion channels, cytoskeletal components and transcription factors. We show that one of these targets, the Iroquois-like homeodomain protein, IRX-1, functions as a key regulator of remodeling in DD neurons. Our discovery of irx-1 as an unc-55-regulated target defines a transcriptional pathway that orchestrates an intricate synaptic remodeling program. Moreover, the well-established roles of these conserved transcription factors in mammalian neural development suggest that a similar cascade may also control synaptic plasticity in more complex nervous systems.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3181-11.2011
PMCID: PMC3229156  PMID: 22031882
7.  Targeted isolation of cloned genomic regions by recombineering for haplotype phasing and isogenic targeting 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;39(20):e137.
Studying genetic variations in the human genome is important for understanding phenotypes and complex traits, including rare personal variations and their associations with disease. The interpretation of polymorphisms requires reliable methods to isolate natural genetic variations, including combinations of variations, in a format suitable for downstream analysis. Here, we describe a strategy for targeted isolation of large regions (∼35 kb) from human genomes that is also applicable to any genome of interest. The method relies on recombineering to fish out target fosmid clones from pools and thereby circumvents the laborious need to plate and screen thousands of individual clones. To optimize the method, a new highly recombineering-efficient bacterial host, including inducible TrfA for fosmid copy number amplification, was developed. Various regions were isolated from human embryonic stem cell lines and a personal genome, including highly repetitive and duplicated ones. The maternal and paternal alleles at the MECP2/IRAK 1 loci were distinguished based on identification of novel allele-specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms in regulatory regions. Additionally, we applied further recombineering to construct isogenic targeting vectors for patient-specific applications. These methods will facilitate work to understand the linkage between personal variations and disease propensity, as well as possibilities for personal genome surgery.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkr668
PMCID: PMC3203589  PMID: 21852329
8.  Integrative Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome by the modENCODE Project 
Gerstein, Mark B. | Lu, Zhi John | Van Nostrand, Eric L. | Cheng, Chao | Arshinoff, Bradley I. | Liu, Tao | Yip, Kevin Y. | Robilotto, Rebecca | Rechtsteiner, Andreas | Ikegami, Kohta | Alves, Pedro | Chateigner, Aurelien | Perry, Marc | Morris, Mitzi | Auerbach, Raymond K. | Feng, Xin | Leng, Jing | Vielle, Anne | Niu, Wei | Rhrissorrakrai, Kahn | Agarwal, Ashish | Alexander, Roger P. | Barber, Galt | Brdlik, Cathleen M. | Brennan, Jennifer | Brouillet, Jeremy Jean | Carr, Adrian | Cheung, Ming-Sin | Clawson, Hiram | Contrino, Sergio | Dannenberg, Luke O. | Dernburg, Abby F. | Desai, Arshad | Dick, Lindsay | Dosé, Andréa C. | Du, Jiang | Egelhofer, Thea | Ercan, Sevinc | Euskirchen, Ghia | Ewing, Brent | Feingold, Elise A. | Gassmann, Reto | Good, Peter J. | Green, Phil | Gullier, Francois | Gutwein, Michelle | Guyer, Mark S. | Habegger, Lukas | Han, Ting | Henikoff, Jorja G. | Henz, Stefan R. | Hinrichs, Angie | Holster, Heather | Hyman, Tony | Iniguez, A. Leo | Janette, Judith | Jensen, Morten | Kato, Masaomi | Kent, W. James | Kephart, Ellen | Khivansara, Vishal | Khurana, Ekta | Kim, John K. | Kolasinska-Zwierz, Paulina | Lai, Eric C. | Latorre, Isabel | Leahey, Amber | Lewis, Suzanna | Lloyd, Paul | Lochovsky, Lucas | Lowdon, Rebecca F. | Lubling, Yaniv | Lyne, Rachel | MacCoss, Michael | Mackowiak, Sebastian D. | Mangone, Marco | McKay, Sheldon | Mecenas, Desirea | Merrihew, Gennifer | Miller, David M. | Muroyama, Andrew | Murray, John I. | Ooi, Siew-Loon | Pham, Hoang | Phippen, Taryn | Preston, Elicia A. | Rajewsky, Nikolaus | Rätsch, Gunnar | Rosenbaum, Heidi | Rozowsky, Joel | Rutherford, Kim | Ruzanov, Peter | Sarov, Mihail | Sasidharan, Rajkumar | Sboner, Andrea | Scheid, Paul | Segal, Eran | Shin, Hyunjin | Shou, Chong | Slack, Frank J. | Slightam, Cindie | Smith, Richard | Spencer, William C. | Stinson, E. O. | Taing, Scott | Takasaki, Teruaki | Vafeados, Dionne | Voronina, Ksenia | Wang, Guilin | Washington, Nicole L. | Whittle, Christina M. | Wu, Beijing | Yan, Koon-Kiu | Zeller, Georg | Zha, Zheng | Zhong, Mei | Zhou, Xingliang | Ahringer, Julie | Strome, Susan | Gunsalus, Kristin C. | Micklem, Gos | Liu, X. Shirley | Reinke, Valerie | Kim, Stuart K. | Hillier, LaDeana W. | Henikoff, Steven | Piano, Fabio | Snyder, Michael | Stein, Lincoln | Lieb, Jason D. | Waterston, Robert H.
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2010;330(6012):1775-1787.
We systematically generated large-scale data sets to improve genome annotation for the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a key model organism. These data sets include transcriptome profiling across a developmental time course, genome-wide identification of transcription factor–binding sites, and maps of chromatin organization. From this, we created more complete and accurate gene models, including alternative splice forms and candidate noncoding RNAs. We constructed hierarchical networks of transcription factor–binding and microRNA interactions and discovered chromosomal locations bound by an unusually large number of transcription factors. Different patterns of chromatin composition and histone modification were revealed between chromosome arms and centers, with similarly prominent differences between autosomes and the X chromosome. Integrating data types, we built statistical models relating chromatin, transcription factor binding, and gene expression. Overall, our analyses ascribed putative functions to most of the conserved genome.
doi:10.1126/science.1196914
PMCID: PMC3142569  PMID: 21177976
9.  A Widespread Distribution of Genomic CeMyoD Binding Sites Revealed and Cross Validated by ChIP-Chip and ChIP-Seq Techniques 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e15898.
Identifying transcription factor binding sites genome-wide using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-based technology is becoming an increasingly important tool in addressing developmental questions. However, technical problems associated with factor abundance and suitable ChIP reagents are common obstacles to these studies in many biological systems. We have used two completely different, widely applicable methods to determine by ChIP the genome-wide binding sites of the master myogenic regulatory transcription factor HLH-1 (CeMyoD) in C. elegans embryos. The two approaches, ChIP-seq and ChIP-chip, yield strongly overlapping results revealing that HLH-1 preferentially binds to promoter regions of genes enriched for E-box sequences (CANNTG), known binding sites for this well-studied class of transcription factors. HLH-1 binding sites were enriched upstream of genes known to be expressed in muscle, consistent with its role as a direct transcriptional regulator. HLH-1 binding was also detected at numerous sites unassociated with muscle gene expression, as has been previously described for its mouse homolog MyoD. These binding sites may reflect several additional functions for HLH-1, including its interactions with one or more co-factors to activate (or repress) gene expression or a role in chromatin organization distinct from direct transcriptional regulation of target genes. Our results also provide a comparison of ChIP methodologies that can overcome limitations commonly encountered in these types of studies while highlighting the complications of assigning in vivo functions to identified target sites.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015898
PMCID: PMC3012110  PMID: 21209968
10.  Systematic Characterization of Human Protein Complexes Identifies Chromosome Segregation Proteins 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2010;328(5978):593-599.
Chromosome segregation and cell division are essential, highly ordered processes that depend on numerous protein complexes. Results from recent RNA interference (RNAi) screens indicate that the identity and composition of these protein complexes is incompletely understood. Using gene tagging on bacterial artificial chromosomes, protein localization and tandem affinity purification-mass spectrometry, the MitoCheck consortium has analyzed about 100 human protein complexes, many of which had not or only incompletely been characterized. This work has led to the discovery of previously unknown, evolutionarily conserved subunits of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C) and the γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC), large complexes which are essential for spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. The approaches we describe here are generally applicable to high throughput follow-up analyses of phenotypic screens in mammalian cells.
doi:10.1126/science.1181348
PMCID: PMC2989461  PMID: 20360068
11.  BAC TransgeneOmics 
Nature methods  2008;5(5):409-415.
The interpretation of genome sequences requires reliable and standardized methods to assess protein function at high throughput. Here we describe a fast and reliable pipeline to study protein function in mammalian cells based on protein tagging in bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs). The large size of the BAC transgenes ensures the presence of most, if not all, regulatory elements and results in expression that closely matches that of the endogenous gene. We show that BAC transgenes can be rapidly and reliably generated using 96-well-format recombineering. After stable transfection of these transgenes into human tissue culture cells or mouse embryonic stem cells, the localization, protein-protein and/or protein-DNA interactions of the tagged protein are studied using generic, tag-based assays. The same high-throughput approach will be generally applicable to other model systems.
doi:10.1038/nmeth.1199
PMCID: PMC2871289  PMID: 18391959
12.  Genome-Wide Identification of Binding Sites Defines Distinct Functions for Caenorhabditis elegans PHA-4/FOXA in Development and Environmental Response 
PLoS Genetics  2010;6(2):e1000848.
Transcription factors are key components of regulatory networks that control development, as well as the response to environmental stimuli. We have established an experimental pipeline in Caenorhabditis elegans that permits global identification of the binding sites for transcription factors using chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing. We describe and validate this strategy, and apply it to the transcription factor PHA-4, which plays critical roles in organ development and other cellular processes. We identified thousands of binding sites for PHA-4 during formation of the embryonic pharynx, and also found a role for this factor during the starvation response. Many binding sites were found to shift dramatically between embryos and starved larvae, from developmentally regulated genes to genes involved in metabolism. These results indicate distinct roles for this regulator in two different biological processes and demonstrate the versatility of transcription factors in mediating diverse biological roles.
Author Summary
The C. elegans transcription factor PHA-4 is a member of the highly conserved FOXA family of transcription factors. These factors act as master regulators of organ development by controlling how genes are turned off and on as tissues are formed. Additionally they regulate genes in response to nutrient levels and control both longevity and survival of the organism. However, the extent to which these factors control similar or distinct gene targets for each of these functions is unknown. For this reason, we have used the technique of chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP–Seq), to define the target binding sites of PHA-4 on a genome-wide scale, when it is either functioning as an organ identity regulator or in response to environmental stress. Our data clearly demonstrate distinct sets of biologically relevant target genes for the transcription factor PHA-4 under these two different conditions. Not only have we defined PHA-4 targets, but we established an experimental ChIP–Seq pipeline to facilitate the identification of binding sites for many transcription factors in the future.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000848
PMCID: PMC2824807  PMID: 20174564
13.  The histone 3 lysine 36 methyltransferase, SET2, is involved in transcriptional elongation 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(10):2475-2482.
Existing evidence indicates that SET2, the histone 3 lysine 36 methyltransferase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a transcriptional repressor. Here we show by five main lines of evidence that SET2 is involved in transcriptional elongation. First, most, if not all, subunits of the RNAP II holoenzyme co-purify with SET2. Second, all of the co-purifying RNAP II subunit, RPO21, was phosphorylated at serines 5 and 2 of the C-terminal domain (CTD) tail, indicating that the SET2 association is specific to either the elongating or SSN3 repressed forms (or both) of RNAP II. Third, the association of SET2 with CTD phosphorylated RPO21 remained in the absence of ssn3. Fourth, in the absence of ssn3, mRNA production from gal1 required SET2. Fifth, SET2 was detected on gal1 by in vivo crosslinking after, but not before, the induction of transcription. Similarly, SET2 physically associated with the transcribed region of pdr5 but was not detected on gal1 or pdr5 promoter regions. Since SET2 is also a histone methyltransferase, these results suggest a role for histone 3 lysine 36 methylation in transcriptional elongation.
PMCID: PMC156053  PMID: 12736296

Results 1-13 (13)