Measurement of molecular diffusion in solution by multiphoton fluorescence photobleaching recovery.
Multiphoton fluorescence photobleaching recovery (MP-FPR) is a technique for measuring the three-dimensional (3D) mobility of fluorescent molecules with 3D spatial resolution of a few microns. A brief, intense flash of mode-locked laser light pulses excites fluorescent molecules via multiphoton excitation in an ellipsoidal focal volume and photobleaches a fraction. Because multiphoton excitation of fluorophores is intrinsically confined to the high-intensity focal volume of the illuminating beam, the bleached region is restricted to a known, three-dimensionally defined volume. Fluorescence in this focal volume is measured with multiphoton excitation, using the attenuated laser beam to measure fluorescence recovery as fresh unbleached dye diffuses in. The time course of the fluorescence recovery signal after photobleaching can be analyzed to determine the diffusion coefficient of the fluorescent species. The mathematical formulas used to fit MP-FPR recovery curves and the techniques needed to properly utilize them to acquire the diffusion coefficients of fluorescently labeled molecules within cells are presented here. MP-FPR is demonstrated on calcein in RBL-2H3 cells, using an anomalous subdiffusion model, as well as in aqueous solutions of wild-type green fluorescent protein, yielding a diffusion coefficient of 8.7 x 10(-7) cm(2)s(-1) in excellent agreement with the results of other techniques. (+info)
beta-Tubulin C354 mutations that severely decrease microtubule dynamics do not prevent nuclear migration in yeast.
Microtubule dynamics are influenced by interactions of microtubules with cellular factors and by changes in the primary sequence of the tubulin molecule. Mutations of yeast beta-tubulin C354, which is located near the binding site of some antimitotic compounds, reduce microtubule dynamicity greater than 90% in vivo and in vitro. The resulting intrinsically stable microtubules allowed us to determine which, if any, cellular processes are dependent on dynamic microtubules. The average number of cytoplasmic microtubules decreased from 3 in wild-type to 1 in mutant cells. The single microtubule effectively located the bud site before bud emergence. Although spindles were positioned near the bud neck at the onset of anaphase, the mutant cells were deficient in preanaphase spindle alignment along the mother-bud axis. Spindle microtubule dynamics and spindle elongation rates were also severely depressed in the mutants. The pattern and extent of cytoplasmic microtubule dynamics modulation through the cell cycle may reveal the minimum dynamic properties required to support growth. The ability to alter intrinsic microtubule dynamics and determine the in vivo phenotype of cells expressing the mutant tubulin provides a critical advance in assessing the dynamic requirements of an essential gene function. (+info)
Rapid microtubule-independent dynamics of Cdc20 at kinetochores and centrosomes in mammalian cells.
Cdc20 is a substrate adaptor and activator of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), the E3 ubiquitin ligase whose activity is required for anaphase onset and exit from mitosis. A green fluorescent protein derivative, Cdc20-GFP, bound to centrosomes throughout the cell cycle and to kinetochores from late prophase to late telophase. We mapped distinct domains of Cdc20 that are required for association with kinetochores and centrosomes. FRAP measurements revealed extremely rapid dynamics at the kinetochores (t1/2 = 5.1 s) and spindle poles (t1/2 = 4.7 s). This rapid turnover is independent of microtubules. Rapid transit of Cdc20 through kinetochores may ensure that spindle checkpoint signaling at unattached/relaxed kinetochores can continuously inhibit APC/CCdc20 targeting of anaphase inhibitors (securins) throughout the cell until all the chromosomes are properly attached to the mitotic spindle. (+info)
Ligand-dependent inhibition of oligomerization at the human thyrotropin receptor.
Recently, several studies have reported oligomerization of G protein-coupled receptors, although the functional implications of this phenomenon are still unclear. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and coimmunoprecipitation (COIP), we previously reported that the human thyrotropin (TSH) receptor tagged with green fluorescent protein (TSHR(GFP)) and expressed in a heterologous system was present as oligomeric complexes on the cell surface. Here, we have extended this biophysical and biochemical approach to study the regulation of such oligomeric complexes. Co-expression of TSHR(GFP) and TSHR(Myc) constructs in Chinese hamster ovary cells resulted in FRET-positive cells. The specificity of the FRET signal was verified by the absence of energy transfer in individually transfected TSHR(GFP) and TSHR(Myc):Cy3 cells cultured together and also by acceptor photobleaching. Occupation of the receptor molecule by the ligand (TSH) resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in the FRET index from 20% in the absence of TSH to <1% with 10(3) microunits/ml of TSH. Such reduction in oligomeric forms was also confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation. Exposure of TSHR(GFP/Myc) cells to forskolin or cytochalasin D caused no change in the FRET index, confirming that the decrease in the oligomeric complexes was a receptor-dependent phenomenon and free of energy or microtuble requirements. The TSH-induced decrease in TSHR oligomers was found to be secondary to dissociation of the TSHR complexes as evidenced by an increase in fluorescent intensity of photobleached spots of GFP fluorescence with 10(3) microunits/ml of TSH. These data indicated that the less active conformation of the TSHR was comprised of receptor complexes and that such complexes were dissociated on the binding of ligand. Such observations support the concept of a constitutively active TSHR dimer or monomer that is naturally inhibited by the formation of higher order complexes. Inhibition of these oligomeric forms by ligand binding returns the TSHR to an activated state. (+info)
Docking of HIV-1 Vpr to the nuclear envelope is mediated by the interaction with the nucleoporin hCG1.
The HIV-1 genome contains several genes coding for auxiliary proteins, including the small Vpr protein. Vpr affects the integrity of the nuclear envelope and participates in the nuclear translocation of the preintegration complex containing the viral DNA. Here, we show by photobleaching experiments performed on living cells expressing a Vpr-green fluorescent protein fusion that the protein shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm, but a significant fraction is concentrated at the nuclear envelope, supporting the hypothesis that Vpr interacts with components of the nuclear pore complex. An interaction between HIV-1 Vpr and the human nucleoporin CG1 (hCG1) was revealed in the yeast two-hybrid system, and then confirmed both in vitro and in transfected cells. This interaction does not involve the FG repeat domain of hCG1 but rather the N-terminal region of the protein. Using a nuclear import assay based on digitonin-permeabilized cells, we demonstrate that hCG1 participates in the docking of Vpr at the nuclear envelope. This association of Vpr with a component of the nuclear pore complex may contribute to the disruption of the nuclear envelope and to the nuclear import of the viral DNA. (+info)
Both midzone and astral microtubules are involved in the delivery of cytokinesis signals: insights from the mobility of aurora B.
To address the mechanism that coordinates cytokinesis with mitosis, we have studied the dynamics of aurora B, a chromosomal passenger protein involved in signaling cytokinesis. Photobleaching analyses indicated dynamic exchange of aurora B between a centromeric and a cytoplasmic pool before anaphase onset, and stable associations with microtubules after anaphase onset. Bleaching near centromeres upon anaphase onset affected the subsequent appearance of fluorescence along midzone microtubules, but not that near the lateral equatorial cortex, suggesting that there were centromeric-dependent and -independent pathways that transported aurora B to the equator. The former delivered centromeric aurora B along midzone microtubules, whereas the latter delivered cytoplasmic aurora B along astral microtubules. We suggest that cultured cells use midzone microtubules as the primary signaling pathway for cytokinesis, whereas embryos, with their stockpile of cytoplasmic proteins and large sizes, rely primarily on astral microtubules. (+info)
Cytosolic free Ca(2+) changes and calpain activation are required for beta integrin-accelerated phagocytosis by human neutrophils.
Phagocytosis of microbes coated with opsonins such as the complement component C3bi is the key activity of neutrophils. However, the mechanism by which opsonins enhance the rate of phagocytosis by these cells is unknown and has been difficult to study, partly because of the problem of observing and quantifying the events associated with phagocytosis. In this study, C3bi-opsonized particles were presented to neutrophils with a micromanipulator, so that the events of binding, pseudopod cup formation, engulfment, and completion of phagocytosis were clearly defined and distinguished from those involved with chemotaxis. Using this approach in combination with simultaneous phase contrast and Ca(2+) imaging, the temporal relationship between changes in cytosolic free Ca(2+) concentration and phagocytosis were correlated. Here we show that whereas small, localized Ca(2+) changes occur at the site of particle attachment and cup formation as a result of store release, rapid engulfment of the particle required a global change in cytosolic free Ca(2+) which resulted from Ca(2+) influx. This latter rise in cytosolic free Ca(2+) concentration also liberated a fraction of beta2 integrin receptors which were initially immobile on the neutrophil surface, as demonstrable by both fluorescence recovery after laser bleaching and by visualization of localized beta2 integrin labelling. Inhibitors of calpain activation prevented both the Ca(2+)-induced liberation of beta2 integrin and the rapid stage of phagocytosis, despite the persistence of the global Ca(2+) signal. Therefore, we propose that Ca(2+) activation of calpain causes beta2 integrin liberation, and that this signal plays a key role in the acceleration of beta2 integrin-mediated phagocytosis. (+info)
EB1-microtubule interactions in Xenopus egg extracts: role of EB1 in microtubule stabilization and mechanisms of targeting to microtubules.
EB1 targets to polymerizing microtubule ends, where it is favorably positioned to regulate microtubule polymerization and confer molecular recognition of the microtubule end. In this study, we focus on two aspects of the EB1-microtubule interaction: regulation of microtubule dynamics by EB1 and the mechanism of EB1 association with microtubules. Immunodepletion of EB1 from cytostatic factor-arrested M-phase Xenopus egg extracts dramatically reduced microtubule length; this was complemented by readdition of EB1. By time-lapse microscopy, EB1 increased the frequency of microtubule rescues and decreased catastrophes, resulting in increased polymerization and decreased depolymerization and pausing. Imaging of EB1 fluorescence revealed a novel structure: filamentous extensions on microtubule plus ends that appeared during microtubule pauses; loss of these extensions correlated with the abrupt onset of polymerization. Fluorescent EB1 localized to comets at the polymerizing plus ends of microtubules in cytostatic factor extracts and uniformly along the lengths of microtubules in interphase extracts. The temporal decay of EB1 fluorescence from polymerizing microtubule plus ends predicted a dissociation half-life of seconds. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching also revealed dissociation and rebinding of EB1 to the microtubule wall with a similar half-life. EB1 targeting to microtubules is thus described by a combination of higher affinity binding to polymerizing ends and lower affinity binding along the wall, with continuous dissociation. The latter is likely to be attenuated in interphase. The highly conserved effect of EB1 on microtubule dynamics suggests it belongs to a core set of regulatory factors conserved in higher organisms, and the complex pattern of EB1 targeting to microtubules could be exploited by the cell for coordinating microtubule behaviors. (+info)