Member, Stanford Cancer Institute
Magnetic particle imaging of islet transplantation in the liver and under the kidney capsule in mouse models.
Quantitative imaging in medicine and surgery
2018; 8 (2): 114–22
Islet transplantation (Tx) represents the most promising therapy to restore normoglycemia in type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients to date. As significant islet loss has been observed after the procedure, there is an urgent need for developing strategies for monitoring transplanted islet grafts. In this report we describe for the first time the application of magnetic particle imaging (MPI) for monitoring transplanted islets in the liver and under the kidney capsule in experimental animals.Pancreatic islets isolated from Papio hamadryas were labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxides (SPIOs) and used for either islet phantoms or Tx in the liver or under the kidney capsule of NOD scid mice. MPI was used to image and quantify islet phantoms and islet transplanted experimental animals post-mortem at 1 and 14 days after Tx. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to confirm the presence of labeled islets in the liver and under the kidney capsule 1 day after Tx.MPI of labeled islet phantoms confirmed linear correlation between the number of islets and the MPI signal (R2=0.988). Post-mortem MPI performed on day 1 after Tx showed high signal contrast in the liver and under the kidney capsule. Quantitation of the signal supports islet loss over time, which is normally observed 2 weeks after Tx. No MPI signal was observed in control animals. In vivo MRI confirmed the presence of labeled islets/islet clusters in liver parenchyma and under the kidney capsule one day after Tx.Here we demonstrate that MPI can be used for quantitative detection of labeled pancreatic islets in the liver and under the kidney capsule of experimental animals. We believe that MPI, a modality with no depth attenuation and zero background tissue signal could be a suitable method for imaging transplanted islet grafts.
View details for PubMedID 29675353
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5891680
Cu(I) for PET Imaging of Melanoma.
2017; 7 (1): 2574-?
At present, (64)Cu(II) labeled tracers including (64)CuCl2 have been widely applied in the research of molecular imaging and therapy. Human copper transporter 1 (hCTR1) is the major high affinity copper influx transporter in mammalian cells, and specially responsible for the transportation of Cu(I) not Cu(II). Thus, we investigated the feasible application of (64)Cu(I) for PET imaging. (64)Cu(II) was reduced to (64)Cu(I) with the existence of sodium L-ascorbate, DL-Dithiothreitol or cysteine. Cell uptake and efflux assay was investigated using B16F10 and A375 cell lines, respectively. Small animal PET and biodistribution studies were performed in both B16F10 and A375 tumor-bearing mice. Compared with (64)Cu(II), (64)Cu(I) exhibited higher cellular uptake by melanoma, which testified CTR1 specially influx of Cu(I). However, due to oxidation reaction in vivo, no significant difference between (64)Cu(I) and (64)Cu(II) was observed through PET images and biodistribution. Additionally, radiation absorbed doses for major tissues of human were calculated based on the mouse biodistribution. Radiodosimetry calculations for (64/67)Cu(I) and (64/67)Cu(II) were similar, which suggested that although melanoma were with high radiation absorbed doses, high radioactivity accumulation by liver and kidney should be noticed for the further application. Thus, (64)Cu(I) should be further studied to evaluate it as a PET imaging radiotracer.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-02691-3
View details for PubMedID 28566692
Dynamic CT imaging of volumetric changes in pulmonary nodules correlates with physical measurements of stiffness.
Radiotherapy and oncology
2017; 122 (2): 313-318
A major challenge in CT screening for lung cancer is limited specificity when distinguishing between malignant and non-malignant pulmonary nodules (PN). Malignant nodules have different mechanical properties and tissue characteristics ('stiffness') from non-malignant nodules. This study seeks to improve CT specificity by demonstrating in rats that measurements of volumetric ratios in PNs with varying composition can be determined by respiratory-gated dynamic CT imaging and that these ratios correlate with direct physical measurements of PN stiffness.Respiratory-gated MicroCT images acquired at extreme tidal volumes of 9 rats with PNs from talc, matrigel and A549 human lung carcinoma were analyzed and their volumetric ratios (δ) derived. PN stiffness was determined by measuring the Young's modulus using atomic force microscopy (AFM) for each nodule excised immediately after MicroCT imaging.There was significant correlation (p=0.0002) between PN volumetric ratios determined by respiratory-gated CT imaging and the physical stiffness of the PNs determined from AFM measurements.We demonstrated proof of concept that PN volume changes measured non-invasively correlate with direct physical measurements of stiffness. These results may translate clinically into a means of improving the specificity of CT screening for lung cancer and/or improving individual prognostic assessments based on lung tumor stiffness.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.radonc.2016.11.019
View details for PubMedID 27989402
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5319913
Near-infrared II fluorescence for imaging hindlimb vessel regeneration with dynamic tissue perfusion measurement.
Circulation. Cardiovascular imaging
2014; 7 (3): 517-525
Real-time vascular imaging that provides both anatomic and hemodynamic information could greatly facilitate the diagnosis of vascular diseases and provide accurate assessment of therapeutic effects. Here, we have developed a novel fluorescence-based all-optical method, named near-infrared II (NIR-II) fluorescence imaging, to image murine hindlimb vasculature and blood flow in an experimental model of peripheral arterial disease, by exploiting fluorescence in the NIR-II region (1000-1400 nm) of photon wavelengths.Because of the reduced photon scattering of NIR-II fluorescence compared with traditional NIR fluorescence imaging and thus much deeper penetration depth into the body, we demonstrated that the mouse hindlimb vasculature could be imaged with higher spatial resolution than in vivo microscopic computed tomography. Furthermore, imaging during 26 days revealed a significant increase in hindlimb microvascular density in response to experimentally induced ischemia within the first 8 days of the surgery (P<0.005), which was confirmed by histological analysis of microvascular density. Moreover, the tissue perfusion in the ischemic hindlimb could be quantitatively measured by the dynamic NIR-II method, revealing the temporal kinetics of blood flow recovery that resembled microbead-based blood flowmetry and laser Doppler blood spectroscopy.The penetration depth of millimeters, high spatial resolution, and fast acquisition rate of NIR-II imaging make it a useful imaging tool for murine models of vascular disease.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.113.000305
View details for PubMedID 24657826
Ex vivo Evans blue assessment of the blood brain barrier in three breast cancer brain metastasis models.
Breast cancer research and treatment
2014; 144 (1): 93-101
The limited entry of anticancer drugs into the central nervous system represents a special therapeutic challenge for patients with brain metastases and is primarily due to the blood brain barrier (BBB). Albumin-bound Evans blue (EB) dye is too large to cross the BBB but can grossly stain tissue blue when the BBB is disrupted. The course of tumor development and the integrity of the BBB were studied in three preclinical breast cancer brain metastasis (BCBM) models. A luciferase-transduced braintropic clone of MDA-231 cell line was used. Nude mice were subjected to stereotactic intracerebral inoculation, mammary fat pad-derived tumor fragment implantation, or carotid artery injections. EB was injected 30 min prior to euthanasia at various timepoints for each of the BCBM model animals. Serial bioluminescent imaging demonstrated exponential tumor growth in all models. Carotid BCBM appeared as diffuse multifocal cell clusters. EB aided the localization of metastases ex vivo. Tumor implants stained blue at 7 days whereas gross staining was not evident until day 14 in the stereotactic model and day 28 for the carotid model. EB assessment of the integrity of the BBB provides useful information relevant to drug testing in preclinical BCBM models.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s10549-014-2854-5
View details for PubMedID 24510011
Impact of a Multiple Mice Holder on Quantitation of High-Throughput MicroPET Imaging With and Without Ct Attenuation Correction.
Molecular imaging and biology
2013; 15 (5): 569-575
PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of scanning multiple mice simultaneously on image quantitation, relative to single mouse scans on both a micro-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (microPET/CT) scanner (which utilizes CT-based attenuation correction to the PET reconstruction) and a dedicated microPET scanner using an inexpensive mouse holder "hotel." METHODS: We developed a simple mouse holder made from common laboratory items that allows scanning multiple mice simultaneously. It is also compatible with different imaging modalities to allow multiple mice and multi-modality imaging. For this study, we used a radiotracer ((64)Cu-GB170) with a relatively long half-life (12.7 h), selected to allow scanning at times after tracer uptake reaches steady state. This also reduces the effect of decay between sequential imaging studies, although the standard decay corrections were performed. The imaging was also performed using a common tracer, 2-deoxy-2-[(18) F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG), although the faster decay and faster pharmacokinetics of FDG may introduce greater biological variations due to differences in injection-to-scan timing. We first scanned cylindrical mouse phantoms (50 ml tubes) both in a groups of four at a time (multiple mice mode) and then individually (single mouse mode), using microPET/CT and microPET scanners to validate the process. Then, we imaged a first set of four mice with subcutaneous tumors (C2C12Ras) in both single- and multiple-mice imaging modes. Later, a second set of four normal mice were injected with FDG and scanned 1 h post-injection. Immediately after completion of the scans, ex vivo biodistribution studies were performed on all animals to provide a "gold-standard" to compare quantitative values obtained from PET. A semi-automatic threshold-based region of interest tool was used to minimize operator variability during image analysis. RESULTS: Phantom studies showed less than 4.5 % relative error difference between the single- and multiple-mice imaging modes of PET imaging with CT-based attenuation correction and 18.4 % without CT-based attenuation correction. In vivo animal studies (n = 4) showed <5 % (for (64)Cu, p > 0.686) and <15 % (for FDG, p > 0.4 except for brain image data p = 0.029) relative mean difference with respect to percent injected dose per gram (%ID/gram) between the single- and multiple-mice microPET imaging mode when CT-based attenuation correction is performed. Without CT-based attenuation correction, we observed relative mean differences of about 11 % for (64)Cu and 15 % for FDG. CONCLUSION: Our results confirmed the potential use of a microPET/CT scanner for multiple mice simultaneous imaging without significant sacrifice in quantitative accuracy as well as in image quality. Thus, the use of the mouse "hotel" is an aid to increasing instrument throughput on small animal scanners with minimal loss of quantitative accuracy.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-012-0602-y
View details for PubMedID 23479323
In situ study of the impact of inter- and intra-reader variability on region of interest (ROI) analysis in preclinical molecular imaging.
American journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging
2013; 3 (2): 175-181
We estimated reader-dependent variability of region of interest (ROI) analysis and evaluated its impact on preclinical quantitative molecular imaging. To estimate reader variability, we used five independent image datasets acquired each using microPET and multispectral fluorescence imaging (MSFI). We also selected ten experienced researchers who utilize molecular imaging in the same environment that they typically perform their own studies. Nine investigators blinded to the data type completed the ROI analysis by drawing ROIs manually that delineate the tumor regions to the best of their knowledge and repeated the measurements three times, non-consecutively. Extracted mean intensities of voxels within each ROI are used to compute the coefficient of variation (CV) and characterize the inter- and intra-reader variability. The impact of variability was assessed through random samples iterated from normal distributions for control and experimental groups on hypothesis testing and computing statistical power by varying subject size, measured difference between groups and CV. The results indicate that inter-reader variability was 22.5% for microPET and 72.2% for MSFI. Additionally, mean intra-reader variability was 10.1% for microPET and 26.4% for MSFI. Repeated statistical testing showed that a total variability of CV < 50% may be needed to detect differences < 50% between experimental and control groups when six subjects (n = 6) or more are used and statistical power is adequate (80%). Surprisingly high variability has been observed mainly due to differences in the ROI placement and geometry drawn between readers, which may adversely affect statistical power and erroneously lead to negative study outcomes.
View details for PubMedID 23526701
- Micro-CT for Characterization of Murine CV Disease Models JACC-CARDIOVASCULAR IMAGING 2010; 3 (7): 783-785
Angiogenic Effects Despite Limited Cell Survival of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells under Ischemia
THORACIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGEON
2010; 58 (3): 136-142
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent and secrete angiogenic factors, which could help patients with occlusive arterial diseases. We hypothesize that MSCs, in comparison to fibroblasts, survive better under hypoxic conditions in vitro and in vivo. MSCs and fibroblasts from L2G mice expressing firefly luciferase and GFP were cultured in normoxic and hypoxic conditions for 24 hours. In vitro cell viability was tested by detecting apoptosis and necrosis. MSCs released higher amounts of VEGF (281.1 +/- 62.6 pg/ml) under hypoxic conditions compared to normoxia (154.9 +/- 52.3 pg/ml, p = NS), but were less tolerant to hypoxia (45 +/- 7.9%) than fibroblasts (28.1 +/- 3.6%, p = NS). A hindlimb ischemia model was created by ligating the femoral artery of 18 FVB mice. After one week, 1 x 106 cells (MSCs, fibroblasts or saline) were injected into the limb muscles of each animal (n = 6 per group). Bioluminescence measurement to assess the viability of luciferase positive cells showed significant proliferation of MSCs on day four compared to fibroblasts (p = 0.001). Three weeks after cell delivery, the capillary to muscle fiber ratio of ischemic areas was analyzed. In the MSC group, vessel density was significantly higher than in the fibroblast or control group (0.5 +/- 0.08 and 0.3 +/- 0.03). Under hypoxia, MSCs produced more VEGF compared to normal conditions and MSC transplantation into murine ischemic limbs led to an increase in vessel density, although MSC survival was limited. This study suggests that MSC transplantation may be an effective and clinically relevant tool in the therapy of occlusive arterial diseases.
View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0029-1240758
View details for Web of Science ID 000276420900001
View details for PubMedID 20379963
Revealing Biomolecular Mechanisms Through In Vivo Bioluminescence Imaging
Molecular Imaging with Reporter Genes
edited by Gambhir, S. S., Yaghoubi, S. S.
Cambridge University Press. 2010: 41–69
View details for DOI 2
Hepatocyte Growth Factor or Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Gene Transfer Maximizes Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Myocardial Salvage After Acute Myocardial Infarction
81st Annual Scientific Session of the American-Heart-Association
LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2009: S247–S254
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based regenerative strategies were investigated to treat acute myocardial infarction and improve left ventricular function.Murine AMI was induced by coronary ligation with subsequent injection of MSCs, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), or MSCs +HGF/VEGF into the border zone. Left ventricular ejection fraction was calculated using micro-computed tomography imaging after 6 months. HGF and VEGF protein injection (with or without concomitant MSC injection) significantly and similarly improved the left ventricular ejection fraction and reduced scar size compared with the MSC group, suggesting that myocardial recovery was due to the cytokines rather than myocardial regeneration. To provide sustained paracrine effects, HGF or VEGF overexpressing MSCs were generated (MSC-HGF, MSC-VEGF). MSC-HGF and MSC-VEGF showed significantly increased in vitro proliferation and increased in vivo proliferation within the border zone. Cytokine production correlated with MSC survival. MSC-HGF- and MSC-VEGF-treated animals showed smaller scar sizes, increased peri-infarct vessel densities, and better preserved left ventricular function when compared with MSCs transfected with empty vector. Murine cardiomyocytes were exposed to hypoxic in vitro conditions. The LDH release was reduced, fewer cardiomyocytes were apoptotic, and Akt activity was increased if cardiomyocytes were maintained in conditioned medium obtained from MSC-HGF or MSC-VEGF cultures.This study showed that (1) elevating the tissue levels of HGF and VEGF after acute myocardial infarction seems to be a promising reparative therapeutic approach, (2) HGF and VEGF are cardioprotective by increasing the tolerance of cardiomyocytes to ischemia, reducing cardiomyocyte apoptosis and increasing prosurvival Akt activation, and (3) MSC-HGF and MSC-VEGF are a valuable source for increased cytokine production and maximize the beneficial effect of MSC-based repair strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.843680
View details for PubMedID 19752375
siRNA silencing of keratinocyte-specific GFP expression in a transgenic mouse skin model
2009; 16 (8): 963-972
Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can be designed to specifically and potently target and silence a mutant allele, with little or no effect on the corresponding wild-type allele expression, presenting an opportunity for therapeutic intervention. Although several siRNAs have entered clinical trials, the development of siRNA therapeutics as a new drug class will require the development of improved delivery technologies. In this study, a reporter mouse model (transgenic click beetle luciferase/humanized monster green fluorescent protein) was developed to enable the study of siRNA delivery to skin; in this transgenic mouse, green fluorescent protein reporter gene expression is confined to the epidermis. Intradermal injection of siRNAs targeting the reporter gene resulted in marked reduction of green fluorescent protein expression in the localized treatment areas as measured by histology, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and intravital imaging using a dual-axes confocal fluorescence microscope. These results indicate that this transgenic mouse skin model, coupled with in vivo imaging, will be useful for development of efficient and 'patient-friendly' siRNA delivery techniques and should facilitate the translation of siRNA-based therapeutics to the clinic for treatment of skin disorders.
View details for DOI 10.1038/gt.2009.62
View details for Web of Science ID 000268916800004
View details for PubMedID 19474811
Stem Cell-Mediated Accelerated Bone Healing Observed with in Vivo Molecular and Small Animal Imaging Technologies in a Model of Skeletal Injury
JOURNAL OF ORTHOPAEDIC RESEARCH
2009; 27 (3): 295-302
Adult stem cells are promising therapeutic reagents for skeletal regeneration. We hope to validate by molecular imaging technologies the in vivo life cycle of adipose-derived multipotent cells (ADMCs) in an animal model of skeletal injury. Primary ADMCs were lentivirally transfected with a fusion reporter gene and injected intravenously into mice with bone injury or sham operation. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI), [(18)F]FHBG (9-(fluoro-hydroxy-methyl-butyl-guanine)-micro-PET, [(18)F]Fluoride ion micro-PET and micro-CT were performed to monitor stem cells and their effect. Bioluminescence microscopy and immunohistochemistry were done for histological confirmation. BLI showed ADMC's traffic from the lungs then to the injury site. BLI microscopy and immunohistochemistry confirmed the ADMCs in the bone defect. Micro-CT measurements showed increased bone healing in the cell-injected group compared to the noninjected group at postoperative day 7 (p < 0.05). Systemically administered ADMC's traffic to the site of skeletal injury and facilitate bone healing, as demonstrated by molecular and small animal imaging. Molecular imaging technologies can validate the usage of adult adipose tissue-derived multipotent cells to promote fracture healing. Imaging can in the future help establish therapeutic strategies including dosage and administration route.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jor.20736
View details for PubMedID 18752273
Regulation of maternal and fetal hemodynamics by heme oxygenase in mice
BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION
2008; 78 (4): 744-751
Heme oxygenase (HMOX) regulates vascular tone and blood pressure through the production of carbon monoxide (CO), a vasodilator derived from the heme degradation pathway. During pregnancy, the maternal circulation undergoes significant adaptations to accommodate the hemodynamic demands of the developing fetus. Our objective was to investigate the role of HMOX on maternal and fetal hemodynamics during pregnancy in a mouse model. We measured and compared maternal tissue and placental HMOX activity and endogenous CO production, represented by excreted CO and carboxyhemoglobin levels, during pregnancy (Embryonic Days 12.5-15.5) to nonpregnant controls. Micro-ultrasound was used to monitor maternal abdominal aorta diameters as well as blood flow velocities and diameters of fetal umbilical arteries. Tin mesoporphyrin, a potent HMOX inhibitor, was used to inhibit HMOX activity. Changes in maternal vascular tone were monitored by tail cuff blood pressure measurements. Effects of HMOX inhibition on placental structures were assessed by histology. We showed that maternal tissue and placental HMOX activity and CO production were significantly elevated during pregnancy. When HMOX in the placenta was inhibited, maternal and fetal hemodynamics underwent significant changes, with maternal blood pressures increasing. We concluded that increases in maternal tissue and placental HMOX activity contribute to the regulation of peripheral vascular resistance and therefore are important for the maintenance of normal maternal vascular tone and fetal hemodynamic functions during pregnancy.
View details for DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.107.064899
View details for PubMedID 18094356
Visualizing fungal infections in living mice using bioluminescent pathogenic Candida albicans strains transformed with the firefly luciferase gene
2006; 40 (2): 82-90
Animal studies with Candida albicans have provided models for understanding fungal virulence and antifungal drug development. To non-invasively monitor long-term Candida murine infections, clinical isolates were stably transformed with a codon-optimized luciferase gene to constitutively express luciferase. Chronic systemic infections were established in mice with engineered strains, and bioluminescent signals were apparent from kidneys by non-invasive imaging using charged-coupled device cameras. These infections were established in immune-competent mice, and bioluminescence was detectable in animals that showed no physiological consequence of infection, as well as those visually succumbing to the disease. Similarly, bioluminescence was measured from the vaginal tissue of mice infected vaginally. Fungal loads determined by plating vaginal lavages showed a similar pattern to the bioluminescent signals measured, and fungal infection could be detected in animals for over 30 days post infection by both modalities. The effect of the antifungal drug miconazole was tested in this model, and clearance in animals was apparent by both direct imaging and fungal load determination. The use of bioluminescence to monitor these and other models of Candida infections will greatly speed up the analysis of drug development studies, both in ease of visualizing infections and decreasing numbers of animals required to run such studies.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.micpath.2005.11.003
View details for Web of Science ID 000235912600005
View details for PubMedID 16426810
Expression of firefly luciferase in Candida albicans and its use in the selection of stable transformants
2006; 40 (2): 69-81
The infectious yeast Candida albicans is a model organism for understanding the mechanisms of fungal pathogenicity. We describe the functional expression of the firefly luciferase gene, a reporter commonly used to tag genes in many other cellular systems. Due to a non-standard codon usage by this yeast, the CUG codons were first mutated to UUG to allow functional expression. When integrated into the chromosome of C. albicans with a strong constitutive promoter, cells bioluminesce when provided with luciferin substrate in their media. When fused to the inducible promoter from the HWP1 gene, expression and bioluminescence was only detected in cultures conditioning hyphal growth. We further used the luciferase gene as a selection to isolate transformed cell lines from clinical isolates of C. albicans, using a high-density screening strategy that purifies transformed colonies by virtue of light emission. This strategy requires no drug or auxotrophic selectable marker, and we were thus able to generate stable transformants of clinical isolates that are identical to the parental strain in all aspects tested, other than their bioluminescence. The firefly luciferase gene can, therefore, be used as a sensitive reporter to analyze gene function both in laboratory and clinical isolates of this medically important yeast.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.micpath.2005.11.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000235912600004
View details for PubMedID 16427765
Molecular imaging using labeled donor tissues reveals patterns of engraftment, rejection, and survival in transplantation
2005; 80 (1): 134-139
Tissue regeneration and transplantation of solid organs involve complex processes that can only be studied in the context of the living organism, and methods of analyzing these processes in vivo are essential for development of effective transplantation and regeneration procedures. We utilized in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to noninvasively visualize engraftment, survival, and rejection of transplanted tissues from a transgenic donor mouse that constitutively expresses luciferase. Dynamic early events of hematopoietic reconstitution were accessible and engraftment from as few as 200 transplanted whole bone marrow (BM) cells resulted in bioluminescent foci in lethally irradiated, syngeneic recipients. The transplantation of autologous pancreatic Langerhans islets and of allogeneic heart revealed the tempo of transplant degeneration or immune rejection over time. This imaging approach is sensitive and reproducible, permits study of the dynamic range of the entire process of transplantation, and will greatly enhance studies across various disciplines involving transplantation.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000164347.50559.A3
View details for Web of Science ID 000230473800023
View details for PubMedID 16003245
Emission spectra of bioluminescent reporters and interaction with mammalian tissue determine the sensitivity of detection in vivo
JOURNAL OF BIOMEDICAL OPTICS
2005; 10 (4)
In vivo bioluminescence imaging depends on light emitted by luciferases in the body overcoming the effect of tissue attenuation. Understanding this relationship is essential for detection and quantification of signal. We have studied four codon optimized luciferases with different emission spectra, including enzymes from firefly (FLuc), click beetle (CBGr68, CBRed) and Renilla reniformins (hRLuc). At 25 degrees C, the in vitro lambda(max) of these reporters are 578, 543, 615, and 480 nm, respectively; at body temperature, 37 degrees C, the brightness increases and the firefly enzyme demonstrates a 34-nm spectral red shift. Spectral shifts and attenuation due to tissue effects were evaluated using a series of 20-nm bandpass filters and a cooled charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. Attenuation increased and the spectra of emitted light was red shifted for signals originating from deeper within the body relative to superficial origins. The tissue attenuation of signals from CBGr68 and hRLuc was greater than from those of Fluc and CBRed. To further probe tissue effects, broad spectral emitters were created through gene fusions between CBGr68 and CBRed. These resulted in enzymes with broader emission spectra, featuring two peaks whose intensities are differentially affected by temperature and tissue depth. These spectral measurement data allow for improved understanding of how these reporters can be used in vivo and what they can reveal about biological processes in living subjects.
View details for DOI 10.1117/1.2032388
View details for Web of Science ID 000232799200010
View details for PubMedID 16178634
In vivo bioluminescence imaging for integrated studies of infection
2004; 6 (4): 303-317
Understanding biological processes in the context of intact organ systems with fine temporal resolution has required the development of imaging strategies that reveal cellular and molecular changes in the living body. Reporter genes that confer optical signatures on a given biological process have been used widely in cell biology and have been used more recently to interrogate biological processes in living animal models of human biology and disease. The use of internal biological sources of light, luciferases, to tag cells, pathogens, and genes has proved to be a versatile tool to provide in vivo indicators that can be detected externally. The application of this technology to the study of animal models of infectious disease has not only provided insights into disease processes, but has also revealed new mechanisms by which pathogens may avoid host defences during infection.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2004.00378.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000220006600001
View details for PubMedID 15009023
Characterization of coelenterazine analogs for measurements of Renilla luciferase activity in live cells and living animals.
2004; 3 (1): 43-54
In vivo imaging of bioluminescent reporters relies on expression of light-emitting enzymes, luciferases, and delivery of chemical substrates to expressing cells. Coelenterazine (CLZN) is the substrate for a group of bioluminescent enzymes obtained from marine organisms. At present, there are more than 10 commercially available CLZN analogs. To determine which analog is most suitable for activity measurements in live cells and living animals, we characterized 10 CLZN analogs using Renilla luciferase (Rluc) as the reporter enzyme. For each analog, we monitored enzyme activity, auto-oxidation, and efficiency of cellular uptake. All CLZN analogs tested showed higher auto-oxidation signals in serum than was observed in phosphate buffer or medium, mainly as a result of auto-oxidation by binding to albumin. CLZN-f, -h, and -e analogs showed 4- to 8-fold greater Rluc activity, relative to CLZN-native, in cells expressing the enzyme from a stable integrant. In studies using living mice expressing Rluc in hepatocytes, administration of CLZN-e and -native produced the highest signal. Furthermore, distinct temporal differences in signal for each analog were revealed following intravenous or intraperitoneal delivery. We conclude that the CLZN analogs that are presently available vary with respect to hRluc utilization in culture and in vivo, and that the effective use of CLZN-utilizing enzymes in living animals depends on the selection of an appropriate substrate.
View details for PubMedID 15142411
Nat3p and Mdm20p are required for function of yeast NatB N alpha-terminal acetyltransferase and of actin and tropomyosin
JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY
2003; 278 (33): 30686-30697
NatB Nalpha-terminal acetyltransferase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae acts cotranslationally on proteins with Met-Glu- or Met-Asp- termini and subclasses of proteins with Met-Asn- and Met-Met- termini. NatB is composed of the interacting Nat3p and Mdm20p subunits, both of which are required for acetyltransferase activity. The phenotypes of nat3-Delta and mdm20-Delta mutants are identical or nearly the same and include the following: diminished growth at elevated temperatures and on hyperosmotic and nonfermentable media; diminished mating; defective actin cables formation; abnormal mitochondrial and vacuolar inheritance; inhibition of growth by DNA-damaging agents such as methyl methanesulfonate, bleomycin, camptothecin, and hydroxyurea; and inhibition of growth by the antimitotic drugs benomyl and thiabendazole. The similarity of these phenotypes to the phenotypes of certain act1 and tpm1 mutants suggests that such multiple defects are caused by the lack of acetylation of actin and tropomyosins. However, the lack of acetylation of other unidentified proteins conceivably could cause the same phenotypes. Furthermore, unacetylated actin and certain N-terminally altered actins have comparable defective properties in vitro, particularly actin-activated ATPase activity and sliding velocity.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M304690200
View details for Web of Science ID 000184658800034
View details for PubMedID 12783868
Insights into actomyosin interactions from actin mutations.
Results and problems in cell differentiation
2002; 36: 31-49
View details for PubMedID 11892282
Tryptophan fluorescence of yeast actin resolved via conserved mutations
2001; 80 (1): 427-434
Actin contains four tryptophan residues, W79, W86, W340, and W356, all located in subdomain 1 of the protein. Replacement of each of these residues with either tyrosine (W79Y and W356Y) or phenylalanine (W86F and W340F) generated viable proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which, when purified, allowed the analysis of the contribution of these residues to the overall tryptophan fluorescence of actin. The sum of the relative contributions of these tryptophans was found to account for the intrinsic fluorescence of wild-type actin, indicating that energy transfer between the tryptophans is not the main determinant of their quantum yield, and that these mutations induce little conformational change to the protein. This was borne out by virtually identical polymerization rates and similar myosin interactions of each of the mutants and the wild-type actin. In addition, these mutants allowed the dissection of the microenvironment of each tryptophan as actin undergoes conformational changes upon metal cation exchange and polymerization. Based on the relative tryptophan contributions determined from single mutants, a triple mutant of yeast actin (W79) was generated that showed small intrinsic fluorescence and should be useful for studies of actin interactions with actin-binding proteins.
View details for Web of Science ID 000166647700035
View details for PubMedID 11159413
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC1301244
Functional studies of yeast actin mutants corresponding to human cardiomyopathy mutations
JOURNAL OF MUSCLE RESEARCH AND CELL MOTILITY
2001; 22 (8): 665-674
The molecular mechanisms by which different mutations in actin lead to distinct cardiomyopathies are unknown. Here, actin mutants corresponding to alpha-cardiac actin mutations causing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy [(HCM) P164A and A331P] and dilated cardiomyopathy [(DCM) R312H and E361G] were expressed in yeast and purified for in vitro functional studies. While P164A appeared unaltered compared to wild-type (WT) actin, A331P function was impaired. A331P showed reduced stability in circular dichroism melting experiments; its monomer unfolding transition was 10 degrees C lower compared to WT actin. Additionally, in vitro filament formation was hampered, and yeast cell cultures were temperature sensitive, implying perturbations in actin-actin interactions. Filament instability of the A331P mutant actin could lead to actomyosin dysfunction observed in HCM. Yeast strains harboring the R312H mutation did not grow well in culture, suggesting that cell viability is compromised. The E361G substitution is located at an alpha-actinin binding region where the actin filament is anchored. The mutant actin, though unaltered in the in vitro motility and standard actomyosin functions, had a threefold reduction in alpha-actinin binding. This could result in impairment of force-transduction in muscle fibers, and a DCM phenotype.
View details for Web of Science ID 000176815200005
View details for PubMedID 12222827
Nonspecific weak actomyosin interactions: Relocation of charged residues in subdomain 1 of actin does not alter actomyosin function
1999; 38 (4): 1365-1370
Yeast actin mutants with relocated charged residues within subdomain 1 were constructed so we could investigate the functional importance of individual clusters of acidic residues in mediating actomyosin weak-binding states in the cross-bridge cycle. Past studies have established a functional role for three distinct pairs of charged residues within this region of yeast actin (D2/E4, D24/D25, and E99/E100); the loss of any one of these pairs resulted in the same impairment in weak actomyosin interaction and in its function. However, the specificity of myosin interaction with these sites has not yet been addressed. To investigate this, we made and analyzed two new actin mutants, 4Ac/D24A/D25A and 4Ac/E99A/E100A. In these mutants, the acidic residues of the D24/D25 or E99/E100 sites were replaced with uncharged residues (alanines) and a pair of acidic residues was inserted at the N-terminus, maintaining the overall charge density of subdomain 1. Using the in vitro motility assays, we found that the sliding and force generation properties of these mutant actins were identical to those of wild-type actin. Similarly, actin-activated ATPase activities of the mutant and wild-type actins were also indistinguishable. Additionally, the binding of S1 to these mutant actins in the presence of ATP was similar to that of wild-type actin. These results show that relocation of charged residues in subdomain 1 of actin does not affect the weak actomyosin interactions and actomyosin function.
View details for Web of Science ID 000078836500026
View details for PubMedID 9930999
Multiple functions for actin during filamentous growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL
1998; 9 (7): 1873-1889
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is dimorphic and switches from a yeast form to a pseudohyphal (PH) form when starved for nitrogen. PH cells are elongated, bud in a unipolar manner, and invade the agar substrate. We assessed the requirements for actin in mediating the dramatic morphogenetic events that accompany the transition to PH growth. Twelve "alanine scan" alleles of the single yeast actin gene (ACT1) were tested for effects on filamentation, unipolar budding, agar invasion, and cell elongation. Some act1 mutations affect all phenotypes, whereas others affect only one or two aspects of PH growth. Tests of intragenic complementation among specific act1 mutations support the phenotypic evidence for multiple actin functions in filamentous growth. We present evidence that interaction between actin and the actin-binding protein fimbrin is important for PH growth and suggest that association of different actin-binding proteins with actin mediates the multiple functions of actin in filamentous growth. Furthermore, characterization of cytoskeletal structure in wild type and act1/act1 mutants indicates that PH cell morphogenesis requires the maintenance of a highly polarized actin cytoskeleton. Collectively, this work demonstrates that actin plays a central role in fungal dimorphism.
View details for Web of Science ID 000074834500024
View details for PubMedID 9658177
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC25429
Bioremediation of uranium-bearing wastewater: Biochemical and chemical factors influencing bioprocess application
BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOENGINEERING
1997; 53 (1): 100-109
A biotechnological process for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solution utilizes enzymatically liberated phosphate ligand which precipitates with heavy metals (M) as cell-bound MHPO(4). The enzyme, a phosphatase, obeys Michaelis-Menten kinetics in resting and immobilized cells; an integrated form of the Michaelis-Menten equation was used to calculate the apparent K(m) (K(m app.)) as operating in immobilized cells in flow-through columns by a ratio method based on the use of two enzyme loadings (E(o1), E(o2)) or two input substrate concentrations (S(o1), S(o2)). The calculated K(m app.) (4.08 mM) was substituted into an equation to describe the removal of metals by immobilized cells. In operation the activity of the bioreactor was in accordance with that predicted mathematically, within 10%. The initial tests were done at neutral pH, whereas the pH of industrial wastewaters is often low; an increase in the K(m app.) at low pH was found in previous studies. Immobilized cells were challenged with acidic mine drainage wastewaters, where the limiting factors were chemical and not biochemical. Bioreactors initially lost activity in this water, but recovered to remove uranyl ion with more than 70% efficiency under steady-state conditions in the presence of competing cations and anions. Possible reasons for the bioreactor recovery are chemical crystallization factors. (c) 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997VY22600013
View details for PubMedID 18629964
Movement of yeast cortical actin cytoskeleton visualized in vivo
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
1996; 93 (9): 3886-3891
Fusion proteins between the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the cytoskeleton proteins Act1p (actin), Sac6p (yeast fimbrin homolog), and Abp1p in budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) localize to the cortical actin patches. The actin fusions could not function as the sole actin source in yeast, but fusions between the actin-binding proteins Abp1p and Sac6p complement fully the phenotypes associated with their gene deletions. Direct observation in vivo reveals that the actin cortical patches move. Movement of actin patches is constrained to the asymmetric distribution of the patches in growing cells, and this movement is greatly reduced when metabolic inhibitors such as sodium azide are added. Fusion protein-labeled patches are normally distributed during the yeast cell cycle and during mating. In vivo observation made possible the visualization of actin patches during sporulation as well.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UK55700028
View details for PubMedID 8632984
Mutational analysis of the role of hydrophobic residues in the 338-348 helix on actin in actomyosin interactions
1996; 35 (12): 3670-3676
Yeast actin mutants with alanines replacing I341 and I345 were studied to assess the role of hydrophobic residues in the alpha-helix 338-348 in interactions with myosin. In structural models of the actomyosin complex, this helix on actin was assigned a prominent role in the strong binding of myosin to actin. Substitution of I341 with alanine reduced the strong binding of actin to myosin subfragment-1 (S1) 9-fold compared to wild-type actin. In addition, the Vmax of the actin-activated S1 ATPase was reduced 4-fold with no change in the Km. In contrast, substitution of I345 with alanine had no significant effect on either the strong binding to S1 or the actin activation of S1 ATPase. The I341A actin filaments were found to slide in the in vitro motility assays at a lower mean velocity (1.6 +/- 0.4 microns/s) than wild-type actin filaments (2.6 +/- 0.3 microns/s). Only 65% of the mutant actin filaments moved in such assays in comparison to 95% of the wild-type filaments. However, addition of 2.0 mM MgADP to the motility assay buffer induced movement of all the I341A filaments at a velocity (1.6 +/- 0.1 microns/s) similar to that of wild-type actin (1.7 +/- 0.1 microns/s). The decrease in motility of the I341A actin filaments in the absence of ADP was attributed to a negative load slowing the mutant filaments and the smaller force produced by the heavy meromyosin and I341A actin system. The latter conclusion was confirmed by showing that a greater percentage of NEM-modified heavy meromyosin (external load) was required for arresting the motion of wild-type actin in the in vitro motility assay than that needed for stopping the I341A filaments.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UC04200004
View details for PubMedID 8619986
METABOLIC STUDIES OF A FRUCTOSE-INTOLERANT YEAST BY IN-VIVO P-31-NUCLEAR MAGNETIC-RESONANCE SPECTROSCOPY
1993; 9 (8): 867-873
The metabolic effects of the administration of fructose to a yeast expressing the cDNA for rat liver ketohexokinase have been investigated by 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cessation of growth suffered by the yeast on exposure to 5 and 25 mM-fructose was accompanied by a large accumulation of fructose 1-phosphate at the expense of cytoplasmic orthophosphate and nucleoside triphosphate. Shifts in resonances were consistent with a drop in cytoplasmic pH. Arresting growth with 1 mM-fructose, however, did not result in these changes, although a large accumulation of fructose 1-phosphate occurred which may have been supported by the mobilization of polyphosphates.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993LV12200006
View details for PubMedID 8212894
EXPRESSION OF RAT-LIVER KETOHEXOKINASE IN YEAST RESULTS IN FRUCTOSE INTOLERANCE
1993; 291: 179-186
Rat liver ketohexokinase (ATP:D-fructose 1-phosphotransferase; EC 220.127.116.11) was purified to homogeneity and the molecular mass of the protein was found by mass spectrometry to be 32,800 Da. The enzyme was cleaved and the amino acid sequences of seven peptides, comprising 24% of the total sequence, were determined. This sequence information was used to design oligonucleotide primers for a PCR using rat liver single-stranded cDNA as a template. The 224 bp PCR product was used as a probe to screen a rat liver cDNA library. A cDNA sequence of 1342 bp was obtained from three positive clones. This contained the entire coding region for ketohexokinase, and all seven peptides were identified in the predicted amino acid sequence. When ketohexokinase was expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using the yeast expression vector pMA91, the cells became intolerant of the presence of fructose in their growth media. The growth of an exponential-phase culture was completely arrested within 90 min by the addition of fructose to a final concentration as low as 0.1% (w/v). This response is associated with an accumulation of fructose 1-phosphate. The cDNA for ketohexokinase encodes a protein composed of 299 amino acids with a combined molecular mass of 32,728 Da. This is in close agreement with the value for the isolated protein determined by mass spectrometry. The primary structure does not show any significant homology with those of other eukaryotic hexokinases, but it contains a highly conserved region that is present in three prokaryotic phosphotransferases that have furanose substrates.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993KY08500029
View details for PubMedID 8471037
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC1132499