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1.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC4085668  PMID: 24078077
2.  Role of CCL19/21 and its possible signaling through CXCR3 in development of metallophillic macrophages in the mouse thymus 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2011;135(6):593-601.
We have already shown that metallophilic macrophages, which represent an important component in the thymus physiology, are lacking in lymphotoxin-β receptor-deficient mice. However, further molecular requirements for the development and correct tissue positioning of these cells are unknown. To this end, we studied a panel of mice deficient in different chemokine ligand or receptor genes. In contrast to normal mice, which have these cells localized in the thymic cortico-medullary zone (CMZ) as a distinct row positioned between the cortex and medulla, in plt/plt (paucity of lymph node T cells) mice lacking the functional CCL19/CCL21 chemokines, metallophilic macrophages are not present in the thymic tissue. Interestingly, in contrast to CCL19/21-deficient thymus, metallophilic macrophages are present in CCR7-deficient thymus. However, these cells are not appropriately located in the CMZ, but are mostly crowded in central parts of thymic medulla. The double staining revealed that these metallophillic macrophages are CCR7-negative and CXCR3-positive. In the CXCL13-deficient thymus, the number, morphology and localization of metallophilic macrophages are normal. Thus, our study shows that, CCL19/21and its possible signaling through CXCR3 are required for the development of thymic metallophilic macrophages, whereas the CXCL13-CXCR5 signaling is not necessary.
PMCID: PMC4233136  PMID: 21611855
Chemokines; Chemokine receptors; Thymus; Metallophilic Macrophages; Dendritic cells; Mouse
3.  Foreword 
PMCID: PMC4220537  PMID: 24928602
4.  Isolated human uterine telocytes: immunocytochemistry and electrophysiology of T-type calcium channels 
Recently, telocytes (TCs) were described as a new cell type in the interstitial space of many organs, including myometrium. TCs are cells with very long, distinctive extensions named telopodes (Tps). It is suggested that TCs play a major role in intercellular signaling, as well as in morphogenesis, especially in morphogenetic bioelectrical signaling. However, TC plasma membrane is yet unexplored regarding the presence and activity of ion channels and pumps. Here, we used a combination of in vitro immunofluorescence and patch-clamp technique to characterize T-type calcium channels in TCs. Myometrial TCs were identified in cell culture (non-pregnant and pregnant myometrium) as cells having very long Tps and which were positive for CD34 and platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α. Immunofluorescence analysis of the subfamily of T-type (transient) calcium channels CaV3.1 and CaV3.2 presence revealed the expression of these ion channels on the cell body and Tps of non-pregnant and pregnant myometrium TCs. The expression in TCs from the non-pregnant myometrium is less intense, being confined to the cell body for CaV3.2, while CaV3.1 was expressed both on the cell body and in Tps. Moreover, the presence of T-type calcium channels in TCs from non-pregnant myometrium is also confirmed by applying brief ramp depolarization protocols. In conclusion, our results show that T-type calcium channels are present in TCs from human myometrium and could participate in the generation of endogenous bioelectric signals responsible for the regulation of the surrounding cell behavior, during pregnancy and labor.
PMCID: PMC4286651  PMID: 25212658
Telocytes; Human myometrium; T-type calcium channels; CaV3.1; CaV3.2
5.  The expression and function of gelatinolytic activity at the rat neuromuscular junction upon physical exercise 
The gelatinases MMP-9 and MMP-2 have been implicated in skeletal muscle adaptation to training; however, their specific role(s) in the different muscle types are only beginning to be unraveled. Recently, we found that treadmill running increased the activity and/or expression of these enzymes in myonuclei and in activated satellite cells of the soleus (Sol), but not extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles on the fifth day of training of adult rats. Here, we asked whether the gelatinases can be involved in physical exercise-induced adaptation of the neuromuscular compartment. To determine the subcellular localization of the gelatinolytic activity, we used high-resolution in situ zymography and immunofluorescence techniques. In both control and trained muscles, strong gelatinolytic activity was associated with myelin sheaths within intramuscular nerve twigs. In EDL, but not Sol, there was an increase in the gelatinolytic activity at the postsynaptic domain of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). The increased activity was found within punctate structures situated in the vicinity of synaptic cleft of the NMJ, colocalizing with a marker of endoplasmic reticulum. Our results support the hypothesis that the gelatinolytic activity at the NMJ may be involved in NMJ plasticity.
PMCID: PMC4298673  PMID: 25212659
Matrix metalloproteinase; Exercise; Neuromuscular junction; Nerve; Skeletal muscle; Rat
6.  Murine CLCA5 is uniquely expressed in distinct niches of airway epithelial cells 
The murine mCLCA5 protein is a member of the chloride channel regulators, calcium-activated (CLCA) family and is suspected to play a role in airway mucus cell differentiation. Although mCLCA5 mRNA was previously found in total lung extracts, the expressing cells and functions in the naive murine respiratory tract are unknown. Therefore, mCLCA5 protein expression was identified by immunohistochemistry and confocal laser scanning microscopy using entire lung sections of naive mice. Moreover, we determined mRNA levels of functionally related genes (mClca3, mClca5, Muc5ac and Muc5b) and quantified mCLCA5-, mCLCA3- and CC10-positive cells and periodic acid-Schiff-positive mucus cells in naive, PBS-treated or Staphylococcus aureus-infected mice. We also investigated mCLCA5 protein expression in Streptococcus pneumoniae and influenza virus lung infection models. Finally, we determined species-specific differences in the expression patterns of the murine mCLCA5 and its human and porcine orthologs, hCLCA2 and pCLCA2. The mCLCA5 protein is uniquely expressed in highly select bronchial epithelial cells and submucosal glands in naive mice, consistent with anatomical locations of progenitor cell niches. Under conditions of challenge (PBS, S. aureus, S. pneumoniae, influenza virus), mRNA and protein expression strongly declined with protein recovery only in models retaining intact epithelial cells. In contrast to mice, human and porcine bronchial epithelial cells do not express their respective mCLCA5 orthologs and submucosal glands had fewer expressing cells, indicative of fundamental differences in mice versus humans and pigs.
PMCID: PMC4317516  PMID: 25212661
Airway epithelial cell; Murine lung; mCLCA3; Mucus cell metaplasia; Translational medicine
7.  Vasculogenic and hematopoietic cellular progenitors are scattered within the prenatal mouse heart 
Vasculogenesis and hematopoiesis are co-localized in the embryonic body, but precise phenotypes of the cells contributing to these processes are not defined. The aim of this study was to characterize phenotypic profiles and location of putative vasculogenic and hematopoietic cellular progenitors in the embryonic mouse heart. Confocal microscopy, as well as ultrastructural and stereomicroscopic analyses, was performed on immunohistochemical whole-mount-stained or sectioned hearts at stages 11.5–14 dpc. A FASC analysis was conducted to quantify putative vasculogenic and hematopoietic cells. We found subepicardial blood islands in the form of foci of accumulation of cells belonging to erythroblastic and megakaryocytic lineages at various stages of maturation, exhibiting phenotypes: GATA2+/CD41+, GATA2−/CD41+, GATA2+/CD71−, GATA2−/CD71+, Fli1+/CD71+, Fli1−/CD71+, with a majority of cells expressing the Ter119 antigen, but none of them expressing Flk1. The subepicardium and the outflow tract endothelium were recognized to be the areas where progenitor cells were scattered or adjoining the endothelial cells. These progenitor cells were characterized as possessing the following antigens: CD45+/Fli1+, CD41+/Flk1+, Flk1+/Fli1+. A FACS analysis demonstrated that the CD41/Flk1 double-positive population of cells constituted 2.68 % of total cell population isolated from 12.5 dpc hearts. Vessels and tubules were positive for CD31, Flk1, Fli1, Tie2, including blood islands endothelia. The endocardial wall endothelia were found to function as an anchoring apparatus for megakaryocytes releasing platelets into the cardiac cavities. Phenotypic characteristics of vasculogenic (Flk1+/Fli1+) and hematopoietic (GATA2+/CD71+, CD41+/GATA2+) progenitors, as well as the putative hemogenic endothelium (Flk1+/CD41+) in embryonic mouse hearts, have been presented. Cardiac blood islands, the subepicardium and endothelium of the outflow tract cushions have been defined as areas where these progenitor cells can be found.
PMCID: PMC4298664  PMID: 25201347
Vasculogenesis; Hematopoiesis; Embryonic mouse heart; Blood islands; Hemogenic endothelium
8.  Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) co-localizes with receptor activator of NF-KB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) in lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1)-positive vesicles in rat osteoblasts and osteocytes 
Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) is well known as an osteoclast marker; however, a recent study from our group demonstrated enhanced number of TRAP + osteocytes as well as enhanced levels of TRAP located to intracellular vesicles in osteoblasts and osteocytes in experimental osteoporosis in rats. Such vesicles were especially abundant in osteoblasts and osteocytes in cancellous bone as well as close to bone surface and intracortical remodeling sites. To further investigate TRAP in osteoblasts and osteocytes, long bones from young, growing rats were examined. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy displayed co-localization of TRAP with receptor activator of NF-KB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) in hypertrophic chondrocytes and diaphyseal osteocytes with Pearson’s correlation coefficient ≥0.8. Transmission electron microscopy showed co-localization of TRAP and RANKL in lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1) + vesicles in osteoblasts and osteocytes supporting the results obtained by confocal microscopy. Recent in vitro data have demonstrated OPG as a traffic regulator for RANKL to LAMP1 + secretory lysosomes in osteoblasts and osteocytes, which seem to serve as temporary storage compartments for RANKL. Our in situ observations indicate that TRAP is located to RANKL-/OPG-positive secretory lysosomes in osteoblasts and osteocytes, which may have implications for osteocyte regulation of osteoclastogenesis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-014-1272-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4298672  PMID: 25201349
TRAP; RANKL; OPG; LAMP1; Osteoblast; Osteocyte
9.  The Golgi puppet master – COG complex at center stage of membrane trafficking interactions 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2013;140(3):271-283.
The central organelle within the secretory pathway is the Golgi apparatus, a collection of flattened membranes organized into stacks. The cisternal maturation model of intra-Golgi transport depicts Golgi cisternae that mature from cis to medial to trans by receiving resident proteins, such as glycosylation enzymes via retrograde vesicle-mediated recycling. The conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex, a multi-subunit tethering complex of the CATCHR (complexes associated with tethering containing helical rods) family, organizes vesicle targeting during intra-Golgi retrograde transport. The COG complex both physically, and functionally, interacts with all classes of molecules maintaining intra-Golgi trafficking, namely SNAREs, SNARE-interacting proteins, Rabs, coiled-coil tethers, vesicular coats and molecular motors. In this report we will review the current state of the COG interactome and analyze possible scenarios for the molecular mechanism of the COG orchestrated vesicle targeting, which plays a central role in maintaining glycosylation homeostasis in all eukaryotic cells.
PMCID: PMC3748202  PMID: 23839779
COG; Golgi; SNARE; Rab; Tether; membrane trafficking
10.  Golgi as an MTOC: making microtubules for its own good 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2013;140(3):361-367.
In cells, microtubules (MTs) are nucleated at MT-organizing centers (MTOCs). The centrosome-based MTOCs organize radial MT arrays which are often not optimal for polarized trafficking. A recently discovered subset of non-centrosomal MTs nucleated at the Golgi has proven to be indispensable for the Golgi organization, post-Golgi trafficking and cell polarity. Here, we summarize the history of this discovery, known molecular prerequisites of MT nucleation at the Golgi and unique functions of Golgi-derived MTs.
PMCID: PMC3748218  PMID: 23821162
Golgi; microtubules; CLASP; AKAP450; microtubule-organizing center; cell polarity
11.  A Three-Stage Model of Golgi Structure and Function 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2013;140(3):239-249.
The Golgi apparatus contains multiple classes of cisternae that differ in structure, composition, and function, but there is no consensus about the number and definition of these classes. A useful way to classify Golgi cisternae is according to the trafficking pathways by which the cisternae import and export components. By this criterion, we propose that Golgi cisternae can be divided into three classes that correspond to functional stages of maturation. First, cisternae at the cisternal assembly stage receive COPII vesicles from the ER and recycle components to the ER in COPI vesicles. At this stage, new cisternae are generated. Second, cisternae at the carbohydrate synthesis stage exchange material with one another via COPI vesicles. At this stage, most of the glycosylation and polysaccharide synthesis reactions occur. Third, cisternae at the carrier formation stage produce clathrin-coated vesicles and exchange material with endosomes. At this stage, biosynthetic cargo proteins are packaged into various transport carriers, and the cisternae ultimately disassemble. Discrete transitions occur as a cisterna matures from one stage to the next. Within each stage, the structure and composition of a cisterna can evolve, but the trafficking pathways remain unchanged. This model offers a unified framework for understanding the properties of the Golgi in diverse organisms.
PMCID: PMC3779436  PMID: 23881164
Golgi; cisternal maturation; COPI; clathrin; compartmentation; secretory pathway
12.  Accommodation of large cargo within Golgi cisternae 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2013;140(3):261-269.
In mammalian cells, the Golgi complex has an elaborate structure consisting of stacked, flattened cisternal membranes collected into a ribbon in the center of the cell. Amazingly, the flattened cisternae can rapidly dilate to accommodate large cargo as it traffics through the organelle. The mechanism by which this occurs is unknown. Exocytosis of large cargo is essential for many physiological processes, including collagen and lipoprotein secretion, and defects in the process lead to disease. In addition, enveloped viruses that bud into the endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi complex must also be transported through Golgi cisternae for secretion from the infected cell. This review summarizes our understanding of intra-Golgi transport of large cargo, and outlines current questions open for experimentation.
PMCID: PMC3756474  PMID: 23821163
Golgi complex; cisternae; large cargo; exocytosis; coronavirus
Histochemistry and cell biology  2013;140(3):285-295.
Copper is essential for a variety of important biological processes as a cofactor and regulator of many enzymes. Incorporation of copper into the secreted and plasma membrane-targeted cuproenzymes takes place in Golgi, a compartment central for normal copper homeostasis. The Golgi complex harbors copper-transporting ATPases, ATP7A and ATP7B, that transfer copper from the cytosol into Golgi lumen for incorporation into copper-dependent enzymes. The Golgi complex also sends these ATPases to appropriate post-Golgi destinations to ensure correct Cu fluxes in the body and to avoid potentially toxic copper accumulation. Mutations in ATP7A or ATP7B or in the proteins that regulate their trafficking affect their exit from Golgi or subsequent retrieval to this organelle. This, in turn, disrupts the homeostatic Cu balance, resulting in copper deficiency (Menkes disease) or copper overload (Wilson disease). Research over the last decade has yielded significant insights into the enzymatic properties and cell biology of the copper-ATPases. However, the mechanisms through which the Golgi regulates trafficking of ATP7A/7B and, therefore, maintain Cu homeostasis remain unclear. This review summarizes current data on the role of the Golgi in Cu metabolism and outlines questions and challenges that should be addressed to understand ATP7A and ATP7B trafficking mechanisms in health and disease.
PMCID: PMC3977151  PMID: 23846821
Golgi complex; copper homeostasis; copper ATPases; membrane trafficking
14.  Antibodies for immunolabeling by light and electron microscopy: not for the faint hearted 
Histochemistry and Cell Biology  2014;142(4):347-360.
Reliable antibodies represent crucial tools in the arsenal of the cell biologist and using them to localize antigens for immunocytochemistry is one of their most important applications. However, antibody–antigen interactions are much more complex and unpredictable than suggested by the old ‘lock and key’ analogy, and the goal of trying to prove that an antibody is specific is far more difficult than is generally appreciated. Here, we discuss the problems associated with the very complicated issue of trying to establish that an antibody (and the results obtained with it) is specific for the immunolabeling approaches used in light or electron microscopy. We discuss the increasing awareness that significant numbers of commercial antibodies are often not up to the quality required. We provide guidelines for choosing and testing antibodies in immuno-EM. Finally, we describe how quantitative EM methods can be used to identify reproducible patterns of antibody labeling and also extract specific labeling distributions.
PMCID: PMC4160575  PMID: 25151300
Antibodies/Specificity; Immunocytochemistry; Stereology/Quantitation; Commercial antibodies; Light microscopy/EM
15.  Gustatory sensory cells express a receptor responsive to protein breakdown products (GPR92) 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2013;140(2):137-145.
The ingestion of dietary protein is of vital importance for the maintenance of fundamental physiological processes. The taste modality umami, with its prototype stimulus, glutamate, is considered to signal the protein content of food. Umami was thought to be mediated by the heterodimeric amino acid receptor, T1R1+T1R3. Based on knockout studies, additional umami receptors are likely to exist. In addition to amino acids, certain peptides can also elicit and enhance umami taste suggesting that protein breakdown products may contribute to umami taste. The recently deorphanized peptone receptor, GPR92 (also named GPR93; LPAR5), is expressed in gastric enteroendocrine cells where it responds to protein hydrolysates. Therefore, it was of immediate interest to investigate if the receptor GPR92 is expressed in gustatory sensory cells. Using immunohistochemical approaches we found that a large population of cells in murine taste buds was labeled with a GPR92-antibody. A molecular phenotyping of GPR92-cells revealed that the vast majority of GPR92-immunoreactive cells express PLCβ2 and can therefore be classified as type II cells. More detailed analyses have shown that GPR92 is expressed in the majority of T1R1-positive taste cells. These results indicate that umami cells may respond not only to amino acids but also to peptides in protein hydrolysates.
PMCID: PMC3770352  PMID: 23436159
GPR92; GPR93; LPAR5; gustatory sensory cells; protein breakdown products; receptors; T1R1; taste
16.  Chagasic megacolon: enteric neurons and related structures 
Histochemistry and Cell Biology  2014;142(3):235-244.
Megacolon, the irreversible dilation of a colonic segment, is a structural sign associated with various gastrointestinal disorders. In its hereditary, secondary form (e.g. in Hirschsprung’s disease), dilation occurs in an originally healthy colonic segment due to an anally located, aganglionic zone. In contrast, in chronic Chagas’ disease, the dilated segment itself displays pathohistological changes, and the earliest and most prominent being found was massive loss of myenteric neurons. This neuron loss was partial and selective, i.e. some neurons containing neuronal nitric oxide synthase and/or vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) were spared from neuron death. This disproportionate survival of inhibitory neurons, however, did not completely correlate with the calibre change along the surgically removed, megacolonic segments. A better correlation was observed as to potentially contractile muscle tissue elements and the interstitial cells of Cajal. Therefore, the decreased densities of α-smooth muscle actin- and c-kit-immunoreactive profiles were estimated along resected megacolonic segments. Their lowest values were observed in the megacolonic zones itself, whereas less pronounced decreases were found in the non-dilated, transitional zones (oral and anal to dilation). In contrast to the myenteric plexus, the submucosal plexus displayed only a moderate neuron loss. Neurons co-immunoreactive for VIP and calretinin survived disproportionately. As a consequence, these neurons may have contributed to maintain the epithelial barrier and allowed the chagasic patients to survive for decades, despite their severe disturbance of colonic motility. Due to its neuroprotective and neuroeffectory functions, VIP may play a key role in the development and duration of chagasic megacolon.
PMCID: PMC4133073  PMID: 25059649
Chagas; Enteric nervous system; Hirschsprung; Megacolon; Vasoactive intestinal peptide
17.  Differential basolateral–apical distribution of scavenger receptor, class B, type I in cultured cells and the liver 
Histochemistry and Cell Biology  2014;142(6):645-655.
The high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor, scavenger receptor class B, type I (SR-BI), mediates selective cholesteryl ester uptake into the liver, which finally results in cholesterol secretion into the bile. Despite several reports, the distribution of hepatic SR-BI between the sinusoidal and canalicular membranes is still under debate. We present immunohistological data using specific markers showing that the bulk of SR-BI is present in sinusoidal membranes and, to a lesser extent, in canalicular membranes in murine and human liver sections. In addition, SR-BI was detected in preparations of rat liver canalicular membranes. We also compared the in vivo findings to HepG2 cells, a widely used in vitro hepatocyte model. Interestingly, SR-BI was enriched in bile canalicular-like (BC-like) structures in polarized HepG2 cells, which were cultivated either conventionally to form a monolayer or in Matrigel to form three-dimensional structures. Fluorescently labeled HDL was transported into close proximity of BC-like structures, whereas HDL labeled with the fluorescent cholesterol analog BODIPY-cholesterol was clearly detected within these structures. Importantly, similarly to human and mouse liver, SR-BI was localized in basolateral membranes in three-dimensional liver microtissues from primary human liver cells. Our results demonstrate that SR-BI is highly enriched in sinusoidal membranes and is also found in canalicular membranes. There was no significant basolateral–apical redistribution of hepatic SR-BI in fasting and refeeding experiments in mice. Furthermore, in vitro studies in polarized HepG2 cells showed explicit differences as SR-BI was highly enriched in BC-like structures. These structures are, however, functional and accumulated HDL-derived cholesterol. Thus, biological relevant model systems should be employed when investigating SR-BI distribution in vitro.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00418-014-1251-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4241236  PMID: 25059650
SR-BI; Cholesterol; HDL; Canalicular membranes; HepG2; BODIPY-cholesterol
18.  Nuclear actin filaments recruit cofilin and actin-related protein 3, and their formation is connected with a mitotic block 
Histochemistry and Cell Biology  2014;142(2):139-152.
Although actin monomers polymerize into filaments in the cytoplasm, the form of actin in the nucleus remains elusive. We searched for the form and function of β-actin fused to nuclear localization signal and to enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EN-actin). Our results reveal that EN-actin is either dispersed in the nucleoplasm (homogenous EN-actin) or forms bundled filaments in the nucleus (EN-actin filaments). Formation of such filaments was not connected with increased EN-actin levels. Among numerous actin-binding proteins tested, only cofilin is recruited to the EN-actin filaments. Overexpression of EN-actin causes increase in the nuclear levels of actin-related protein 3 (Arp3). Although Arp3, a member of actin nucleation complex Arp2/3, is responsible for EN-actin filament nucleation and bundling, the way cofilin affects nuclear EN-actin filaments dynamics is not clear. While cells with homogenous EN-actin maintained unaffected mitosis during which EN-actin re-localizes to the plasma membrane, generation of nuclear EN-actin filaments severely decreases cell proliferation and interferes with mitotic progress. The introduction of EN-actin manifests in two mitotic-inborn defects—formation of binucleic cells and generation of micronuclei—suggesting that cells suffer aberrant cytokinesis and/or impaired chromosomal segregation. In interphase, nuclear EN-actin filaments passed through chromatin region, but do not co-localize with either chromatin remodeling complexes or RNA polymerases I and II. Surprisingly presence of EN-actin filaments was connected with increase in the overall transcription levels in the S-phase by yet unknown mechanism. Taken together, EN-actin can form filaments in the nucleus which affect important cellular processes such as transcription and mitosis.
PMCID: PMC4110419  PMID: 25002125
Nuclear actin; Transcription; Mitosis; Actin-related protein 3; Cofilin
20.  Progress in quantitative single-molecule localization microscopy 
With the advent of single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) techniques, intracellular proteins can be imaged at unprecedented resolution with high specificity and contrast. These techniques can lead to a better understanding of cell functioning, as they allow, among other applications, counting the number of molecules of a protein specie in a single cell, studying the heterogeneity in protein spatial organization, and probing the spatial interactions between different protein species. However, the use of these techniques for accurate quantitative measurements requires corrections for multiple inherent sources of error, including: overcounting due to multiple localizations of a single fluorophore (i.e., photoblinking), undercounting caused by incomplete photoconversion, uncertainty in the localization of single molecules, sample drift during the long imaging time, and inaccurate image registration in the case of dual-color imaging. In this paper, we review recent efforts that address some of these sources of error in quantitative SMLM and give examples in the context of photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM).
PMCID: PMC4072926  PMID: 24748502
Single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM); Photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM); Fluorescent protein; Co-localization; Single-molecule counting; Quantitative microscopy; Cluster analysis
21.  Optimized delivery of fluorescently labeled proteins in live bacteria using electroporation 
Histochemistry and Cell Biology  2014;142(1):113-124.
Studying the structure and dynamics of proteins in live cells is essential to understanding their physiological activities and mechanisms, and to validating in vitro characterization. Improvements in labeling and imaging technologies are starting to allow such in vivo studies; however, a number of technical challenges remain. Recently, we developed an electroporation-based protocol for internalization, which allows biomolecules labeled with organic fluorophores to be introduced at high efficiency into live E. coli (Crawford et al. in Biophys J 105 (11):2439–2450, 2013). Here, we address important challenges related to internalization of proteins, and optimize our method in terms of (1) electroporation buffer conditions; (2) removal of dye contaminants from stock protein samples; and (3) removal of non-internalized molecules from cell suspension after electroporation. We illustrate the usability of the optimized protocol by demonstrating high-efficiency internalization of a 10-kDa protein, the ω subunit of RNA polymerase. Provided that suggested control experiments are carried out, any fluorescently labeled protein of up to 60 kDa could be internalized using our method. Further, we probe the effect of electroporation voltage on internalization efficiency and cell viability and demonstrate that, whilst internalization increases with increased voltage, cell viability is compromised. However, due to the low number of damaged cells in our samples, the major fraction of loaded cells always corresponds to non-damaged cells. By taking care to include only viable cells into analysis, our method allows physiologically relevant studies to be performed, including in vivo measurements of protein diffusion, localization and intramolecular dynamics via single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer.
PMCID: PMC4072925  PMID: 24696085
Electroporation; Single-molecule fluorescence; Live-cell imaging; Organic fluorophores
22.  Expression of flotillins in the human placenta: potential implications for placental transcytosis 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2012;139(3):487-500.
A proteomics survey of human placental syncytiotrophoblast (ST) apical plasma membranes revealed peptides corresponding with flotillin-1 (FLOT1) and flotillin-2 (FLOT2). The flotillins belong to a class of lipid microdomain-associated integral membrane proteins that have been implicated in clathrin- and caveolar-independent endocytosis. In the present study, we characterized the expression of the flotillin proteins within the human placenta. FLOT1 and FLOT2 were coexpressed in placental lysates and BeWo human trophoblast cells. Immunofluorescence microscopy of first-trimester and term placentas revealed that both proteins were more prominent in villous endothelial cells and cytotrophoblasts (CTs) than the ST. Correspondingly, forskolin-induced fusion in BeWo cells resulted in a decrease in FLOT1 and FLOT2, suggesting that flotillin protein expression is reduced following trophoblast syncytialization. The flotillin proteins co-localized with a marker of fluid-phase pinocytosis, and knockdown of FLOT1 and/or FLOT2 expression resulted in decreased endocytosis of cholera toxin B subunit. We conclude that FLOT1 and FLOT2 are abundantly coexpressed in term villous placental CTs and endothelial cells, and in comparison, expression of these proteins in the ST is reduced. These findings suggest that flotillin-dependent endocytosis is unlikely to be a major pathway in the ST, but may be important in the CT and endothelium.
PMCID: PMC3574205  PMID: 23064789
flotillin-1; flotillin-2; placenta; trophoblast; endothelium; endocytosis
23.  Postnatal Neural Precursor Cell Regions in the Rostral Subventricular Zone, Hippocampal Subgranular Zone and Cerebellum of the Dog (Canis lupus familiaris) 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2012;139(3):415-429.
Identification of neural stem and progenitor cells (NPCs) in vitro and in vivo is essential to the use of developmental and disease models of neurogenesis. The dog is a valuable large animal model for multiple neurodegenerative diseases and is more closely matched to humans than rodents with respect to brain organization and complexity. It is therefore important to determine whether immunohistochemical markers associated with NPCs in humans and rodents are also appropriate for the dog. The NPC markers CD15, CD133, nestin, GFAP and phosphacan (DSD-1) were evaluated in situ in the canine rostral telencephalon, hippocampal dentate gyrus, and cerebellum at different postnatal time-points. Positive staining results were interpreted in the context of region and cellular morphology. Our results showed that neurospheres and cells within the rostral subventricular zone (SVZ), dentate gyrus subgranular zone (SGZ), and white matter tracts of the cerebellum were immunopositive for CD15, nestin and GFAP. Neurospheres and the cerebellum were immunonegative for CD133, whereas CD133 staining was present in the postnatal rostral SVZ. Anti-phosphacan antibody staining delineated the neurogenic niches of the rostral lateral ventricle SVZ and the hippocampal SGZ. Positive staining for phosphacan was also noted in white matter tracts of the cerebellum and within the Purkinje layer. Our results showed that in the dog these markers were associated with regions shown to be neurogenic in rodents and primates.
PMCID: PMC3574211  PMID: 23192285
Dog; Neural precursor cells; Postnatal neurogenesis; Subventricular Zone; Subgranular Zone; Cerebellum
24.  Emetine optimally facilitates nascent chain puromycylation and potentiates the RiboPuromycylation Method (RPM) applied to inert cells 
Histochemistry and cell biology  2012;139(3):501-504.
We previously described the RiboPuromyclation method (RPM) to visualize and quantitate translating ribosomes in fixed and permeabilized cells by standard immunofluorescence. RPM is based on puromycylation of nascent chains bound to translating ribosomes followed by detection of puromycylated nascent chains with a puromycin-specific mAb. We now demonstrate that emetine optimally enhances nascent chain puromycylation, and describe a modified RPM protocol for identifying ribosome-bound nascent chains in metabolically inert permeabilized cells.
PMCID: PMC3574230  PMID: 23229864
ribopuromycylation; puromycin; translation; ribosome
25.  Effect of overexpression of β- and γ-actin isoforms on actin cytoskeleton organization and migration of human colon cancer cells 
Histochemistry and Cell Biology  2014;142(3):307-322.
Actins are eukaryotic proteins, which are involved in diverse cellular functions including muscle contraction, cell motility, adhesion and maintenance of cell shape. Cytoplasmic actin isoforms β and γ are ubiquitously expressed and essential for cell functioning. However, their unique contributions are not very well understood. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of β- and γ-actin overexpression on the migration capacity and actin cytoskeleton organization of human colon adenocarcinoma BE cells. In cells overexpressing β- or γ-actin, distinct cytoskeletal actin rearrangements were observed under the laser scanning confocal microscope. Overexpressed actins localized at the submembranous region of the cell body, especially near to the leading edge and on the tips of pseudopodia. The cells transfected with plasmids containing cDNA for β- or γ-actin were characterized by increased migration and invasion capacities. However, the migration velocity was statistically significantly higher only in the case of γ-actin overexpressing cells. In conclusion, the increased level of β- or γ-actin leads to actin cytoskeletal remodeling followed by an increase in migration and invasion capacities of human colon BE cells. These data suggest that expression of both actin isoforms has an impact on cancer cell motility, with the subtle predominance of γ-actin, and may influence invasiveness of human colon cancer.
PMCID: PMC4133152  PMID: 24682235
Actin isoforms; Cancer cells invasion; Migration

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