Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) (Meth Mol Biol )

Publisher: Humana Press


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    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), Methods in molecular biology
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For the clinical application of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), it is critical to develop novel culture techniques that completely exclude the use of animal feeder cells and enzyme treatments used in conventional hPSC culture systems. Here, we describe a novel culture method using a porous membrane that allows to maintain stable attachment and expansion of hPSCs, obviates the need for enzyme treatment, and also reduces feeder layer contamination.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence implicated several long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) in gene expression in cis or trans through regulating the local chromosomal architecture. However, the mechanisms underlying the lncRNA mediated silencing of multiple genes remain unknown. We believe that Microcell Mediated Chromosome Transfer (MMCT) is a suitable approach for functional analysis of lncRNAs and nuclear dynamics. MMCT is a unique research technique that can be generally used to transfer a single chromosome from one mammalian cell to another. Transferred chromosomes can be stably maintained as functioning in the recipient cells. Since there is no size limit to introducing genomic locus, an approach using the chromosome transfer technique is suitable for functional analysis of a large chromosomal domain. Here we describe a general strategy of MMCT, applications of which have potential to be an alternative tool of existing gene delivery system.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1262:277-289.
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    ABSTRACT: Characterizing the three-dimensional organization of chromosomes is a fundamental goal in molecular biology and will be critical to understand how gene expression is regulated by distal regulatory sequences such as enhancers. Chromosome conformation capture (3C) techniques have recently revealed that the interactions between regulatory elements appear to occur in the context of topologically associating domains (TADs), each spanning few hundreds kilobases, within which the chromatin fiber preferentially interacts. However, 3C-based data represent average interaction probabilities of the chromatin fiber over millions of cells. To understand how variable chromatin conformation is within each TAD, one needs to employ single-cell techniques such as 3D DNA FISH. Given the small size of TADs however (typically <1 Mb), classical DNA FISH design needs to be adapted to achieve high genomic and spatial resolution. Here, we describe a high-resolution 3D DNA FISH approach we recently developed, based on a combination of short plasmid probes and computational correction of optical aberrations. We describe probe design and generation and the 3D DNA FISH procedure. We further discuss how to optimize microscope settings and to implement calibration-bead-assisted computational corrections in order to achieve 50 nm resolution in two-color distance measurements between probes that can be as close as 50 kb along the genome.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1262:37-53.
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    ABSTRACT: The growth of a plant cell encompasses a complex set of subcellular components interacting in a highly coordinated fashion. Ultimately, these activities create specific cell wall structural domains that regulate the prime force of expansion, internally generated turgor pressure. The precise organization of the polymeric networks of the cell wall around the protoplast also contributes to the direction of growth, the shape of the cell, and the proper positioning of the cell in a tissue. In essence, plant cell expansion represents the foundation of development. Most studies of plant cell expansion have focused primarily upon late divergent multicellular land plants and specialized cell types (e.g., pollen tubes, root hairs). Here, we describe a unicellular green alga, Penium margaritaceum (Penium), which can serve as a valuable model organism for understanding cell expansion and the underlying mechanics of the cell wall in a single plant cell.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1242:1-21.
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    ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived embryoid body (EB) is a unique model for studying vascular development, in that it provides a three-dimensional microenvironment that mimics an in vivo milieu. When using gene-targeting EBs to study certain defects in vascular morphogenesis, it is necessary to determine whether the defect is due to the intrinsic loss of the gene in endothelial cells (EC) or rather due to the lack of surrounding factors that would typically promote vascular development. Here we describe a chimeric EB vessel development model, in which the utilization of the PECAM-GFP reporter gene in wild-type ESCs allows for the introduction of "normal" extracellular factors formed by its parallel differentiation to the gene-deletion EC that might otherwise be devoid of these factors.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1214:215-24.
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer death worldwide. Hepatocarcinogenesis is a complex, multistep process. It is now recognized that HCC is a both genetic and epigenetic disease; genetic and epigenetic components cooperate at all stages of hepatocarcinogenesis. Epigenetic changes involve aberrant DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications and aberrant expression of microRNAs all of which can affect the expression of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and other tumor-related genes and alter the pathways in cancer development. Several risk factors for HCC, including hepatitis B and C virus infections and exposure to the chemical carcinogen aflatoxin B1 have been found to influence epigenetic changes. Their interactions could play an important role in the initiation and progression of HCC. Discovery and detection of biomarkers for epigenetic changes is a promising area for early diagnosis and risk prediction of HCC.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1238:709-31.
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    ABSTRACT: The key to successful transformation of American chestnut is having the correct combination of explant tissue, selectable markers, a very robust DNA delivery system, and a reliable regeneration system. The most important components of this transformation protocol for American chestnut are the following: starting out with rapidly dividing somatic embryos, treating the embryos gently throughout the Agrobacterium inoculation and cocultivation steps, doing the cocultivation step in desiccation plates, and finally transferring the embryos into temporary-immersion bioreactors for selection. None of these departures from standard Agrobacterium transformation protocols is sufficient by itself to achieve transgenic American chestnut, but each component makes a difference, resulting in a highly robust protocol.The average transformation efficiency that can be expected using the described protocol is approximately 170 stable embryogenic transformation events per gram of somatic embryo tissue, a considerable improvement over the 20 transformation events per gram we reported in 2006 (Maynard et al. American chestnut (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.) Agrobacterium protocols, 2nd ed., 2006). We have regenerated nearly 100 of these events, containing 23 different gene constructs, into whole plants. As of the fall of 2013, we had a total of 1,275 transgenic chestnut trees planted at eight locations in New York State and one in Virginia. Based on a combination of field-trial inoculations, greenhouse small-stem inoculations, and detached-leaf assays, we have identified three transgenes that produce stronger resistance to chestnut blight than non-transgenic American chestnut. Depending on the transgene and the event, this resistance can be either intermediate between American chestnut and Chinese chestnut, approximately equal to or even higher than the resistance naturally found in Chinese chestnut.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1224:143-61.
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    ABSTRACT: The production of sufficient quantities of homogenous protein not only is an essential prelude for structural investigations but also represents a rate-limiting step for many human functional studies. Although technologies for expression of recombinant proteins and complexes have been improved tremendously, in many cases, protein production remains a challenge and can be associated with considerable investment. This chapter describes simple and efficient protocols for expression screening and optimization of protein production in insect cells using the baculovirus expression system. We describe the procedure, starting from the cloning of a gene of interest into an expression transfer baculovirus vector, followed by generation of the recombinant virus by homologous recombination, evaluation of protein expression, and scale-up. Handling of insect cell cultures and preparation of bacmid for co-transfection are also detailed.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1258:181-205.
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    ABSTRACT: Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is an important oilseed crop grown in India, China, Korea, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, South America, and several countries of Africa. Sesame seeds are rich in oil, proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and folic acid. Nearly 70 % of the world's sesame is processed into oil and meal, while the remainder is channeled to food and confectionery industries. Production of sesame is limited by several fungal diseases, water logging, salinity, and shattering of seed capsules during harvest. Introgression of useful genes from wild species into cultigens by conventional breeding has not been successful due to postfertilization barriers. The only alternative for the improvement of S. indicum is to transfer genes from other sources through genetic transformation techniques. Here, we describe a simple, fast, and reproducible method for the Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of S. indicum which may be employed for the transfer of desirable traits into this economically important oilseed crop.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1224:37-45.
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    ABSTRACT: Here we introduce the multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) methodology and software package for detecting and characterizing epistasis in genetic association studies. We provide a general overview of the method and then highlight some of the key functions of the open-source MDR software package that is freely distributed. We end with a few examples of published studies of complex human diseases that have used MDR.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1253:301-14.
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    ABSTRACT: We present a Monte Carlo simulation environment for modelling complex biological molecular interaction networks and for the design, validation, and quantitative analysis of FRAP assays to study these. The program is straightforward in its implementation and can be instructed through an intuitive script language. The simulation tool fits very well in a systems biology research setting that aims to maintain an interactive cycle of experiment-driven modelling and model-driven experimentation: the model and the experiment are in the same simulation. The full program can be obtained by request to the authors.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1251:109-33.
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy of the pleura associated with asbestos exposure. Incidence of MPM is expected to increase over the course of next decade in both Europe and the developing countries. Although significant progress has been made in terms of etiology and pathogenesis of this disease, currently available therapeutic options have not significantly improved the survival outcome of patients on standard chemotherapeutic regimens. Integrity of the cellular DNA is often altered in many cancers. Understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate cellular DNA alterations to facilitate cancer initiation and development has potential to allow better design of cancer cell inhibitory strategies. In this context, there is a need to explore the gamut of "omics" strategies to provide a comprehensive epigenetics profile for MPM. This chapter discusses the functional genomics and epigenetic patterns observed by various investigators studying MPM patient populations on global fronts, and attempts to present a holistic approach in combating this insidious disease. Here we provide investigators in this field with novel insights and methodologies used in other types of cancers that might have profound impact in the early detection, prognosis and potential therapeutic strategies for MPM.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1238:235-47.
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter presents a novel online method to audit predictive models using a Bayesian perspective. The auditing model has been specifically designed for Decision Support Systems (DSSs) suited for clinical or research environments. Taking as starting point the working diagnosis supplied by the clinician, this method compares and evaluates the predictive skills of those models able to answer to that diagnosis. The approach consists in calculating the posterior odds of a model through the composition of a prior odds, a static odds, and a dynamic odds. To do so, this method estimates the posterior odds from the cases that the comparing models had in common during the design stage and from the cases already viewed by the DSS after deployment in the clinical site. In addition, if an ontology of the classes is available, this method can audit models answering related questions, which offers a reinforcement to the decisions the user already took and gives orientation on further diagnostic steps.The main technical novelty of this approach lies in the design of an audit model adapted to suit the decision workflow of a clinical environment. The audit model allows deciding what is the classifier that best suits each particular case under evaluation and allows the detection of possible misbehaviours due to population differences or data shifts in the clinical site. We show the efficacy of our method for the problem of brain tumor diagnosis with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS).
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1246:39-56.
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    ABSTRACT: Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC) is a major cancer worldwide. Research in this field is needed to identify biomarkers that can be used for early detection of the disease as well as new approaches to its treatment. Epigenetic biomarkers provide an opportunity to understand liver cancer etiology and evaluate novel epigenetic inhibitors for treatment. Traditionally, liver cirrhosis, proteomic biomarkers, and the presence of hepatitis viruses have been used for the detection and diagnosis of liver cancer. Promising results from microRNA (miRNA) profiling and hypermethylation of selected genes have raised hopes of identifying new biomarkers. Some of these epigenetic biomarkers may be useful in risk assessment and for screening populations to identify who is likely to develop cancer. Challenges and opportunities in the field are discussed in this chapter.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1238:65-76.
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    ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) (Thomson, Science 282:1145-1147, 1998; Takahashi et al. Cell 131:861-872, 2007), collectively referred to as pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), are currently used in disease modeling to address questions specific to humans and to complement our insight gained from model organisms (Soldner et al. Cell 146:318-331, 2011; Soldner and Jaenisch, Science 338:1155-1156, 2012). Recently, genetic engineering using site-specific nucleases has been established in hPSCs (Hockemeyer et al. Nat Biotechnol 27:851-857, 2009; Hockemeyer et al., Nat Biotechnol 29:731-734, 2011; Zou et al., Cell Stem Cell 5:97-110, 2011; Yusa et al., Nature 478:391-394, 2011; DeKelver et al., Genome Res 20:1133-1142, 2010), allowing a level of genetic control previously limited to model systems. Thus, we can now perform targeted gene knockouts, generate tissue-specific cell lineage reporters, overexpress genes from a defined locus, and introduce and repair single point mutations in hPSCs. This ability to genetically engineer pluripotent stem cells will significantly facilitate the study of human disease in a defined genetic context. Here we outline protocols for efficient gene targeting in hPSCs.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1239:267-80.
  • Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1246:v-viii.
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    ABSTRACT: Alternative Splicing (AS) is the molecular phenomenon whereby multiple transcripts are produced from the same gene locus. As a consequence, it is responsible for the expansion of eukaryotic transcriptomes. Aberrant AS is involved in the onset and progression of several human diseases. Therefore, the characterization of exon-intron structure of a gene and the detection of corresponding transcript isoforms is an extremely relevant biological task. Nonetheless, the computational prediction of AS events and the repertoire of alternative transcripts is yet a challenging issue.Hereafter we introduce PIntron, a software package to predict the exon-intron structure and the full-length isoforms of a gene given a genomic region and a set of transcripts (ESTs and/or mRNAs). The software is open source and available at . PIntron has been designed for (and extensively tested on) a standard workstation without requiring dedicated expensive hardware. It easily manages large genomic regions and more than 20,000 ESTs, achieving good accuracy as shown in an experimental evaluation performed on 112 well-annotated genes selected from the ENCODE human regions used as training set in the EGASP competition.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1269:173-88.
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    ABSTRACT: Mast cells play a key role in allergy and inflammation processes as part of the immune response. The activation of mast cells via antigen binding and cross-linking of IgE receptors initiates the onset of dramatic calcium (Ca(2+)) mobilization dynamics that promote the release of mediators of inflammation and allergy. Ca(2+) signaling in mast cells has been studied extensively using a variety of research tools and techniques. In these studies, a large number of proteins have been identified to participate in various stages of these processes.Here we describe single-cell imaging as an important approach for examining Ca(2+) signaling and exocytosis in mast cells. Single-cell imaging tools have advanced significantly over the last 10 years, in part due to improvements in microscope technology and in part due to the development of a new generation of Ca(2+) indicators and genetically encoded Ca(2+) sensors. The single-cell imaging techniques described here provide the spatial and temporal resolution required to decipher the signaling events that are critical for mast cell functions.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2015; 1220:347-63.