[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In addition to enhancing or repressing transcription, steroid hormone receptors rapidly transduce kinase activation signals. On ligand engagement, an N-terminus-truncated splice isoform of estrogen receptor (ER) α, ER46, triggers membrane-initiated signals, resulting in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activation and endothelial NO production. The orientation of ER46 at the plasma membrane is incompletely defined. With the use of ecliptic pHluorin-fused ER46, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy in live human endothelial cells illustrates that ER46 can topologically conform to a type I transmembrane protein structure. Mutation of isoleucine-386 at the center of ER46's transmembrane hydrophobic core prevents membrane spanning, obscures the N-terminal ectodomain, and effects a marked reduction in membrane-impermeant estrogen binding with diminished rapid eNOS activation and NO production, despite maintained genomic induction of an estrogen response element-luciferase reporter. Thus there exist pools of transmembrane steroid hormone receptors that are efficient signaling molecules and potential novel therapeutic targets.
Molecular biology of the cell 09/2011; 22(22):4415-23. · 5.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy excites a thin evanescent field which theoretically decays exponentially. Each TIRF image is actually the projection of a 3-D volume and hence cannot alone produce an accurate localization of structures in the z-dimension, however, it provides greatly improved axial resolution for biological samples. Multiple angle-TIRF microscopy allows controlled variation of the incident angle of the illuminating laser beam, thus generating a set of images of different penetration depths with the potential to reconstruct the 3-D volume of the sample. With the ultimate goal to quantify important biological parameters of microtubules, we present a method to reconstruct 3-D position and orientation of microtubules based on multi-angle TIRF data, as well as experimental calibration of the actual decay function of the evanescent field at each angle. We validate our method using computer simulations, by creating a phantom simulating the curvilinear characteristics of microtubules and project the artificially constructed volume into a set of TIRF image for different penetration depth. The reconstructed depth information for the phantom data is shown to be accurate and robust to noise. We apply our method to microtubule TIRF images of PtK(2) cells in vivo. By comparing microtubule curvatures of the reconstruction results and several electron microscopy (EM) images of vertically sliced sample of microtubules, we find that the curvature statistics of our reconstruction agree well with the ground truth (EM data). Quantifying the distribution of microtubule curvature reveals an interesting discovery that microtubules can buckle and form local bendings of considerably small radius of curvature which is also visually spotted on the EM images, while microtubule bendings on a larger scale generally have a much larger radius and cannot bear the stress of a large curvature. The presented method has the potential to provide a reliable tool for 3-D reconstruction and tracking of microtubules.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fluorescence imaging methods that push or break the diffraction limit of resolution (approximately 200 nm) have grown explosively. These super-resolution nanoscopy techniques include: stimulated emission depletion (STED), Pointillism microscopy [(fluorescence) photoactivation localization microscopy/stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, or (F)PALM/STORM], structured illumination, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM), and those that combine multiple modalities. Each affords unique strengths in lateral and axial resolution, speed, sensitivity, and fluorophore compatibility. We examine the optical principles and design of these new instruments and their ability to see more detail with greater sensitivity--down to single molecules with tens of nanometers resolution. Nanoscopes have revealed transient intermediate states of organelles and molecules in living cells and have led to new discoveries but also biological controversies. We highlight common unifying principles behind nanoscopy such as the conversion of a subset of probes between states (ground or excited) and the use of scanning (ordered or stochastic). We emphasize major advances, biological applications, and promising new developments.
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology 11/2010; 26:285-314. · 17.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MOTIVATION: Designing mathematical tools that can formally describe the dynamics of complex intracellular processes remains a challenge. Live cell imaging reveals changes in the cellular states, but current simple approaches extract only minimal information of a static snapshot. RESULTS: We implemented a novel approach for analyzing organelle behavior in live cell imaging data based on hidden Markov models (HMMs) and showed that it can determine the number and evolution of distinct cellular states involved in a biological process. We analyzed insulin-mediated exocytosis of single Glut4-vesicles, a process critical for blood glucose homeostasis and impaired in type II diabetes, by using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM). HMM analyses of movie sequences of living cells reveal that insulin controls spatial and temporal dynamics of exocytosis via the exocyst, a putative tethering protein complex. Our studies have validated the proof-of-principle of HMM for cellular imaging and provided direct evidence for the existence of complex spatial-temporal regulation of exocytosis in non-polarized cells. We independently confirmed insulin-dependent spatial regulation by using static spatial statistics methods. Conclusion: We propose that HMM-based approach can be exploited in a wide avenue of cellular processes, especially those where the changes of cellular states in space and time may be highly complex and non-obvious, such as in cell polarization, signaling and developmental processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylinositol (PI) 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P(2)) and its phosphorylated product PI 3,4,5-triphosphate (PI(3,4,5)P(3)) are two major phosphoinositides concentrated at the plasma membrane. Their levels, which are tightly controlled by kinases, phospholipases, and phosphatases, regulate a variety of cellular functions, including clathrin-mediated endocytosis and receptor signaling. In this study, we show that the inositol 5-phosphatase SHIP2, a negative regulator of PI(3,4,5)P(3)-dependent signaling, also negatively regulates PI(4,5)P(2) levels and is concentrated at endocytic clathrin-coated pits (CCPs) via interactions with the scaffold protein intersectin. SHIP2 is recruited early at the pits and dissociates before fission. Both knockdown of SHIP2 expression and acute production of PI(3,4,5)P(3) shorten CCP lifetime by enhancing the rate of pit maturation, which is consistent with a positive role of both SHIP2 substrates, PI(4,5)P(2) and PI(3,4,5)P(3), on coat assembly. Because SHIP2 is a negative regulator of insulin signaling, our findings suggest the importance of the phosphoinositide metabolism at CCPs in the regulation of insulin signal output.
The Journal of Cell Biology 08/2010; 190(3):307-15. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a type I receptor tyrosine kinase, the deregulation of which has been implicated in a variety of human carcinomas. EGFR signalling is preceded by receptor dimerization, typically thought to result from a ligand-induced conformational change in the ectodomain that exposes a loop (dimerization arm) required for receptor association. Ligand binding may also trigger allosteric changes in the cytoplasmic domain of the receptor that is crucial for signalling. Despite these insights, ensemble-averaging approaches have not determined the precise mechanism of receptor activation in situ. Using quantum-dot-based optical tracking of single molecules combined with a novel time-dependent diffusivity analysis, here we present the dimerization dynamics of individual EGFRs on living cells. Before ligand addition, EGFRs spontaneously formed finite-lifetime dimers kinetically stabilized by their dimerization arms. The dimers were primed both for ligand binding and for signalling, such that after EGF addition they rapidly showed a very slow diffusivity state that correlated with activation. Although the kinetic stability of unliganded dimers was in principle sufficient for EGF-independent activation, ligand binding was still required for signalling. Interestingly, dimers were enriched in the cell periphery in an actin- and receptor-expression-dependent fashion, resulting in a peripheral enhancement of EGF-induced signalling that may enable polarized responses to growth factors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analyzing the morphological appearance and the spatial distribution of large dense-core vesicles (granules) in the cell cytoplasm is central to the understanding of regulated exocytosis. This paper is concerned with the automatic detection of granules and the statistical analysis of their spatial locations in different cell groups. We model the locations of granules of a given cell as a realization of a finite spatial point process and the point patterns associated with the cell groups as replicated point patterns of different spatial point processes. First, an algorithm to segment the granules using electron microscopy images is proposed. Second, the relative locations of the granules with respect to the plasma membrane are characterized by two functional descriptors: the empirical cumulative distribution function of the distances from the granules to the plasma membrane and the density of granules within a given distance to the plasma membrane. The descriptors of the different cells for each group are compared using bootstrap procedures. Our results show that these descriptors and the testing procedure allow discriminating between control and treated cells. The application of these novel tools to studies of secretion should help in the analysis of diseases associated with dysfunctional secretion, such as diabetes.
IEEE/ACM transactions on computational biology and bioinformatics / IEEE, ACM 01/2010; 7(1):2-11. · 2.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the ultimate goal to quantify important biological parameters of microtubules, we present a method to estimate the 3D positions of microtubules from multi-angle TIRF data based on the calibrated decay profiles for each angle. Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) Microscopy images are actually projections of 3D volumes and hence cannot alone produce an accurate localization of structures in the z-dimension, however, they provide greatly improved axial resolution for biological samples. Multiple angle-TIRF microscopy allows controlled variation of the incident angle of the illuminating laser beam, thus generating a set of images of different penetration depths with the potential to estimate the 3D volume of the sample. Our approach incorporates prior information about intensity and geometric smoothness. We validate our method using computer simulated phantom data and test its robustness to noise. We apply our method to TIRF images of microtubules in PTK2 cells and compare the distribution of the microtubule curvatures with electron microscopy (EM) images.
Medical image computing and computer-assisted intervention : MICCAI ... International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention. 01/2010; 13(Pt 2):538-45.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal migration is essential for proper development of the cerebral cortex. As a first step, a postmitotic cell extends its leading process, presumably by adding new membrane at the growing tip, which would enable directed locomotion. The goal of the present study was to determine if biosynthetic exocytic pathway is polarized in migrating cells and whether polarized exocytosis promotes directed cell migration. A promising candidate for controlling the spatial sites of vesicle tethering and fusion at the plasma membrane is a protein complex called the exocyst. We found that cell migration in a wound assay, as well as cortical neuronal migration during embryonic development was impaired when the exocyst was disturbed. By combining TIRF microscopy and a stochastic model of exocytosis, we found that vesicle exocytosis is preferentially distributed close to the leading edge of polarized cells, that the exocytic process is organized into hotspots, and that the polarized delivery of vesicles and their clustering in hotspots depend on the intact exocyst complex. The exocyst complex seems to achieve this spatial regulation by determining the sites at the membrane where secretory vesicles tether. Thus, our study supports the notion that polarized membrane traffic regulated by the exocyst is an essential component of cell migration and that its deficit may lead to cortical abnormalities involving cortical neuronal malpositioning.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2009; 106(27):11342-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent identification of several novel endocytic compartments has challenged our current understanding of the topological and functional organization of the endocytic pathway. Using quantitative single vesicle imaging and acute manipulation of phosphoinositides we show that APPL endosomes, which participate in growth factor receptor trafficking and signaling, represent an early endocytic intermediate common to a subset of clathrin derived endocytic vesicles and macropinosomes. Most APPL endosomes are precursors of classical PI3P positive endosomes, and PI3P plays a critical role in promoting this conversion. Depletion of PI3P causes a striking reversion of Rab5 positive endosomes to the APPL stage, and results in enhanced growth factor signaling. These findings reveal a surprising plasticity of the early endocytic pathway. Importantly, PI3P functions as a switch to dynamically regulate maturation and signaling of APPL endosomes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM) allows us to image fluorescenttagged proteins near the plasma membrane of living cells with high spatial-temporal resolution. Using TIRFM imaging of GFP-tagged clathrin endocytic proteins, areas of fluorescence are observed as overlapping spots of different sizes and durations. Standard procedures to measure protein-protein colocalization of dual labeled samples threshold the original graylevel images to segment areas covered by different proteins. This binary logic is not appropriate as it leaves a free tuning parameter which can influence the conclusions. Moreover, these procedures rely on simple statistical analysis based on correlation coefficients or visual inspection. We propose a probabilistic model to examine spatial-temporal dependencies. Image sequences of two proteins are modeled as a realization of a bivariate fuzzy temporal random set. Spatial-temporal dependencies are described by means of the pair-correlation function and the K-function and are tested using a Monte Carlo test. Five simulated image sequences were used to validate the performance of the procedure. Spatial and spatial-temporal dependencies were generated using a linked pairs model and a Poisson cluster model for the germs. To demonstrate the applicability in addressing current biological questions, we applied the procedure to fluorescent-tagged proteins involved in endocytosis (Clathrin, Hip1R, Epsin, and Caveolin). Results show that this procedure allows biologists to automatically quantify dependencies between molecules in a more formal and robust way. Image sequences and a Matlab toolbox for simulation and testing are available at http://www.uv.es/tracs/.
Journal of computational biology: a journal of computational molecular cell biology 12/2008; 15(9):1221-36. · 1.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Analyzing spatio-temporal dependencies between different types of events is highly relevant to numerous biological phenomena (e.g. signalling and trafficking) especially as advances in probes and microscopy have facilitated imaging of dynamic processes in living cells. For many types of events, the segmented areas can overlap spatially and temporally forming random clumps. In this paper, we model binary image sequences of two different event types as a realization of a bivariate temporal random set and propose a non-parametric approach to quantify spatial and spatio-temporal interrelations using the pair-correlation, cross-covariance and the Ripley IK functions. Based on these summary statistics we propose a randomization procedure to test independence between event types by applying random toroidal shifts and Monte Carlo tests. A simulation study assessed the performance of the proposed estimators and showed that these statistics capture the spatio-temporal dependencies accurately. The estimation of the spatio-temporal interval of interactions was also obtained. The method was successfully applied to analyze the interdependencies of several endocytic proteins using image sequences of living cells and validated the procedure as a new way to automatically quantify dependencies between proteins in a formal and robust manner.
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence 10/2008; 30(9):1659-71. · 4.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microtubules are tubular biopolymers of the cytoplasm. They play numerous critical roles in a cell such as providing mechanical support and structural tracks for the anchoring and transport of chromosomes, organelles, and vesicles. They also form the microtubule assembly, which is critical for the coordination of mitosis and cell migration. The most dynamic part of the assembly are the microtubule outer, plus, tips located close to the cortex of the cell. Abnormal function of the assembly has been implicated in cell pathology such as neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. To date the study of the dynamics of the microtubule assembly is often performed qualitatively by visual inspection or quantitatively by manual annotation of the locations of the tips over time in an image sequence, which is very tedious. In this work we have developed a method to automatically track microtubule tips so as to enable a more extensive and higher throughput quantitative study of the microtubule assembly. Our approach first uses the entire image sequence to estimate the region in which a tip oscillates. In that region a tip feature is computed for all time and subsequently used to form the tip trajectory. Last, we evaluate our method with phantom as well as real data. The real data show fluorescently tagged living cells imaged with epifluorescent microscopy or confocal microscopy.
Medical image analysis 06/2008; 12(6):689-702. · 3.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ca2+ influx through plasma membrane lesions triggers a rapid repair process that was previously shown to require the exocytosis of lysosomal organelles (Reddy, A., E. Caler, and N. Andrews. 2001. Cell. 106:157-169). However, how exocytosis leads to membrane resealing has remained obscure, particularly for stable lesions caused by pore-forming proteins. In this study, we show that Ca2+-dependent resealing after permeabilization with the bacterial toxin streptolysin O (SLO) requires endocytosis via a novel pathway that removes SLO-containing pores from the plasma membrane. We also find that endocytosis is similarly required to repair lesions formed in mechanically wounded cells. Inhibition of lesion endocytosis (by sterol depletion) inhibits repair, whereas enhancement of endocytosis through disruption of the actin cytoskeleton facilitates resealing. Thus, endocytosis promotes wound resealing by removing lesions from the plasma membrane. These findings provide an important new insight into how cells protect themselves not only from mechanical injury but also from microbial toxins and pore-forming proteins produced by the immune system.
The Journal of Cell Biology 04/2008; 180(5):905-14. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Podosomes are dynamic actin-rich structures composed of a dense F-actin core surrounded by a cloud of more diffuse F-actin. Src performs one or more unique functions in osteoclasts (OCLs), and podosome belts and bone resorption are impaired in the absence of Src. Using Src(-/-) OCLs, we investigated the specific functions of Src in the organization and dynamics of podosomes. We found that podosome number and the podosome-associated actin cloud were decreased in Src(-/-) OCLs. Videomicroscopy and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis revealed that the life span of Src(-/-) podosomes was increased fourfold and that the rate of actin flux in the core was decreased by 40%. Thus, Src regulates the formation, structure, life span, and rate of actin polymerization in podosomes and in the actin cloud. Rescue of Src(-/-) OCLs with Src mutants showed that both the kinase activity and either the SH2 or the SH3 binding domain are required for Src to restore normal podosome organization and dynamics. Moreover, inhibition of Src family kinase activities in Src(-/-) OCLs by Src inhibitors or by expressing dominant-negative Src(K295M) induced the formation of abnormal podosomes. Thus, Src is an essential regulator of podosome structure, dynamics and organization.
Molecular biology of the cell 02/2008; 19(1):394-404. · 5.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Par3 is a PDZ protein important for the formation of junctional complexes in epithelial cells. We have identified an additional role for Par3 in membrane biogenesis. Although Par3 was not required for maintaining polarized apical or basolateral membrane domains, at the apical surface, Par3 was absolutely essential for the growth and elongation of the primary cilium. The activity reflected its ability to interact with kinesin-2, the microtubule motor responsible for anterograde transport of intraflagellar transport particles to the tip of the growing cilium. The Par3 binding partners Par6 and atypical protein kinase C interacted with the ciliary membrane component Crumbs3 and we show that the PDZ binding motif of Crumbs3 was necessary for its targeting to the ciliary membrane. Thus, the Par complex likely serves as an adaptor that couples the vectorial movement of at least a subset of membrane proteins to microtubule-dependent transport during ciliogenesis.
The Journal of Cell Biology 01/2008; 179(6):1133-40. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the inositol 5-phosphatase OCRL are responsible for Lowe syndrome, whose manifestations include mental retardation and renal Fanconi syndrome. OCRL has been implicated in membrane trafficking, but disease mechanisms remain unclear. We show that OCRL visits late-stage, endocytic clathrin-coated pits and binds the Rab5 effector APPL1 on peripheral early endosomes. The interaction with APPL1, which is mediated by the ASH-RhoGAP-like domains of OCRL and is abolished by disease mutations, provides a link to protein networks implicated in the reabsorptive function of the kidney and in the trafficking and signaling of growth factor receptors in the brain. Crystallographic studies reveal a role of the ASH-RhoGAP-like domains in positioning the phosphatase domain at the membrane interface and a clathrin box protruding from the RhoGAP-like domain. Our results support a role of OCRL in the early endocytic pathway, consistent with the predominant localization of its preferred substrates, PI(4,5)P(2) and PI(3,4,5)P(3), at the cell surface.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P(2)], a phosphoinositide concentrated predominantly in the plasma membrane, binds endocytic clathrin adaptors, many of their accessory factors, and a variety of actin-regulatory proteins. Here we have used fluorescent fusion proteins and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to investigate the effect of acute PI(4,5)P(2) breakdown on the dynamics of endocytic clathrin-coated pit components and of the actin regulatory complex, Arp2/3. PI(4,5)P(2) breakdown was achieved by the inducible recruitment to the plasma membrane of an inositol 5-phosphatase module through the rapamycin/FRB/FKBP system or by treatment with ionomycin. PI(4,5)P(2) depletion resulted in a dramatic loss of clathrin puncta, which correlated with a massive dissociation of endocytic adaptors from the plasma membrane. Remaining clathrin spots at the cell surface had only weak fluorescence and were static over time. Dynamin and the p20 subunit of the Arp2/3 actin regulatory complex, which were concentrated at late-stage clathrin-coated pits and in lamellipodia, also dissociated from the plasma membrane, and these changes correlated with an arrest of motility at the cell edge. These findings demonstrate the critical importance of PI(4,5)P(2) in clathrin coat dynamics and Arp2/3-dependent actin regulation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2007; 104(10):3793-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor