Live imaging of apoptotic cells in zebrafish
ABSTRACT Many debilitating diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, involve apoptosis. Several methods have been developed for visualizing apoptotic cells in vitro or in fixed tissues, but few tools are available for visualizing apoptotic cells in live animals. Here we describe a genetically encoded fluorescent reporter protein that labels apoptotic cells in live zebrafish embryos. During apoptosis, the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) is exposed on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. The calcium-dependent protein Annexin V (A5) binds PS with high affinity, and biochemically purified, fluorescently labeled A5 probes have been widely used to detect apoptosis in vitro. Here we show that secreted A5 fused to yellow fluorescent protein specifically labels apoptotic cells in living zebrafish. We use this fluorescent probe to characterize patterns of apoptosis in living zebrafish larvae and to visualize neuronal cell death at single-cell resolution in vivo.
SourceAvailable from: Jin wuk Lee
Dataset: Multiwall carbon
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ABSTRACT: The conserved phosphatidylserine receptor (PSR) was first identified as a receptor for phosphatidylserine, an 'eat-me' signal exposed by apoptotic cells. However, several studies suggest that PSR may also act as an arginine demethylase, a lysyl hydroxylase, or an RNA-binding protein through its N-terminal JmjC domain. How PSR might execute drastically different biochemical activities, and whether they are physiologically significant, remain unclear. Here we report that a lysine-rich motif in the extracellular domain of PSR-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans PSR, mediates specific phosphatidylserine binding in vitro and clearance of apoptotic cells in vivo. This motif also mediates phosphatidylserine-induced oligomerization of PSR-1, suggesting a mechanism by which PSR-1 activates phagocytosis. Mutations in the phosphatidylserine-binding motif, but not in its Fe(II) binding site critical for the JmjC activity, abolish PSR-1 phagocytic function. Moreover, PSR-1 enriches and clusters around apoptotic cells during apoptosis. These results establish that PSR-1 is a conserved, phosphatidylserine-recognizing phagocyte receptor.Nature Communications 01/2015; 6:5717. DOI:10.1038/ncomms6717 · 10.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that establish nephron segments are poorly understood. The zebrafish embryonic kidney, or pronephros, is a simplified yet conserved genetic model to study this renal development process because its nephrons contain segments akin to other vertebrates, including the proximal convoluted and straight tubules (PCT, PST). The zebrafish pronephros is also associated with the corpuscles of Stannius (CS), endocrine glands that regulate calcium and phosphate homeostasis, but whose ontogeny from renal progenitors is largely mysterious. Initial patterning of zebrafish renal progenitors in the intermediate mesoderm involves the formation of rostral and caudal domains, the former being reliant on retinoic acid (RA) signaling, and the latter being repressed by elevated RA levels. Here, using expression profiling to gain new insights into nephrogenesis, we discovered that the gene single minded family bHLH transcription factor 1a (sim1a) is dynamically expressed in the renal progenitors—first marking the caudal domain, then becoming restricted to the proximal segments, and finally exhibiting specific CS expression. In loss of function studies, sim1a knockdown expanded the PCT and abrogated both the PST and CS populations. Conversely, overexpression of sim1a expanded the PST and CS, while it reduced the PCT. These results show that sim1a activity is necessary and sufficient to induce PST and CS fates, and suggest that sim1a may inhibit PCT fate and/or negotiate the PCT/PST boundary. Interestingly, the sim1a expression domain in renal progenitors is responsive to altered levels of RA, suggesting that RA regulates sim1a, directly or indirectly, during nephrogenesis. sim1a deficient embryos treated with exogenous RA formed nephrons with predominant PCT segments that lacked the enlarged PST observed in RA treated wild-types, indicating that RA is not sufficient to rescue the PST in the absence of sim1a expression. Alternately, when sim1a knockdowns were exposed to the RA biosynthesis inhibitor diethylaminobenzaldehyde (DEAB), the CS was abrogated rather than expanded as in DEAB treated wild-types, demonstrating that sim1a is required for CS formation even in the absence of the repressive effects of RA. Taken together, these data reveal previously unappreciated roles for sim1a in nephron proximal tubule and CS patterning, and are consistent with the model that sim1a acts downstream of RA to mitigate the formation of these lineages. Thus, our study identifies an essential gene for teleost CS formation, and provides novel insights into the genetic pathways that dictate zebrafish nephron segmentation.Developmental Biology 03/2015; 399(1):100-116. DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.12.020 · 3.64 Impact Factor