A J Verkleij

Cellular Dynamics International, Madison, Wisconsin, United States

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Publications (436)1432.44 Total impact

  • U. Ziese · W. J. Geerts · T. P. Van Der Krift · A. J. Verkleij · A. J. Koster ·
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    ABSTRACT: Transmission electron microscopy images acquired under tilted-beam conditions experience an image shift as a function of defocus settings - a fact that is exploited as a method for defocus determination in most of the automated tomography data collection systems. Although the method was shown to be highly accurate for a large variety of specimens, we point out that in its original design it can strictly only be applied to images of untilted samples. The application to tilted samples and thus in automated electron tomography is impaired mainly due to a defocus change across the images, resulting in reduced accuracy. In this communication we present a method that can be used to improve the accuracy of the basic autofocusing procedures currently used in systems for automated electron tomography.
    Journal of Microscopy 12/2012; 211:179-85. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Correlative fluorescence and electron microscopy has become an indispensible tool for research in cell biology. The integrated Laser and Electron Microscope (iLEM) combines a Fluorescence Microscope (FM) and a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) within one set-up. This unique imaging tool allows for rapid identification of a region of interest with the FM, and subsequent high resolution TEM imaging of this area. Sample preparation is one of the major challenges in correlative microscopy of a single specimen; it needs to be apt for both FM and TEM imaging. For iLEM, the performance of the fluorescent probe should not be impaired by the vacuum of the TEM. In this technical note, we have compared the fluorescence intensity of six fluorescent probes in a dry, oxygen free environment relative to their performance in water. We demonstrate that the intensity of some fluorophores is strongly influenced by its surroundings, which should be taken into account in the design of the experiment. Furthermore, a freeze-substitution and Lowicryl resin embedding protocol is described that yields excellent membrane contrast in the TEM but prevents quenching of the fluorescent immuno-labeling. The embedding protocol results in a single specimen preparation procedure that performs well in both FM and TEM. Such procedures are not only essential for the iLEM, but also of great value to other correlative microscopy approaches.
    Journal of Structural Biology 09/2012; 180(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jsb.2012.09.002 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the possibility of vitrifying temperature-sensitive lipid phases as well as (small) biological specimens. From a suspension of unilamellar vesicles, prepared from dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine (DPPC), thin aqueous films were formed at various temperatures. With cryo-electron microscopy vesicles were found to be smooth, rippled and faceted or faceted only, depending on the temperature of thin-film formation (318, 312 and 296 K respectively). The morphology and the electron diffraction patterns indicate that membranes can by physically fixed by vitrification in their high-temperature configuration and studied at low temperature by cryo-electron microscopy. This finding suggests that it may also be possible to preserve, in their original state, the more complex membrane systems found in living organisms by initiating rapid-cooling at a physiological temperature. This was explored by vitrification of thin films formed on specimen grids with (human) blood platelets adhering to collagen fibres. Low-temperature observation with an acceleration voltage of 120 kV revealed subcellular details. More details were observed when using higher accelerating voltages (200 and 300 kV) of the electron beam. The results presented in this paper illustrate the great potential of cryo-electron microscopy in the study of membrane dynamics, both in relatively simple model membrane systems and in more complex biological membrane systems.
    Journal of Microscopy 08/2011; 161(2):253 - 262. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2818.1991.tb03088.x · 2.33 Impact Factor

  • Microscopy and Microanalysis 07/2011; 17:644-645. DOI:10.1017/S1431927611004090 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pattern of plant organ initiation at the shoot apical meristem (SAM), termed phyllotaxis, displays regularities that have long intrigued botanists and mathematicians alike. In the SAM, the central zone (CZ) contains a population of stem cells that replenish the surrounding peripheral zone (PZ), where organs are generated in regular patterns. These patterns differ between species and may change in response to developmental or environmental cues [1]. Expression analysis of auxin efflux facilitators of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) family combined with modeling of auxin transport has indicated that organ initiation is associated with intracellular polarization of PIN proteins and auxin accumulation [2-10]. However, regulators that modulate PIN activity to determine phyllotactic patterns have hitherto been unknown. Here we reveal that three redundantly acting PLETHORA (PLT)-like AP2 domain transcription factors control shoot organ positioning in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Loss of PLT3, PLT5, and PLT7 function leads to nonrandom, metastable changes in phyllotaxis. Phyllotactic changes in plt3plt5plt7 mutants are largely attributable to misregulation of PIN1 and can be recapitulated by reducing PIN1 dosage, revealing that PLT proteins are key regulators of PIN1 activity in control of phyllotaxis.
    Current biology: CB 06/2011; 21(13):1123-8. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2011.05.009 · 9.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been shown to be a valid cancer target for antibody-based therapy. At present, several anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies have been successfully used, such as cetuximab and matuzumab. X-ray crystallography data show that these antibodies bind to different epitopes on the ecto-domain of EGFR, providing a rationale for the combined use of these two antibody specificities. We have previously reported on the successful isolation of antagonistic anti-EGFR nanobodies. In our study, we aimed to improve the efficacy of these molecules by combining nanobodies with specificities similar to both cetuximab and matuzumab into a single biparatopic molecule. Carefully designed phage nanobody selections resulted in two sets of nanobodies that specifically blocked the binding of either matuzumab or cetuximab to EGFR and that did not compete for each others' binding. A combination of nanobodies from both epitope groups into the biparatopic nanobody CONAN-1 was shown to block EGFR activation more efficiently than monovalent or bivalent (monospecific) nanobodies. In addition, this biparatopic nanobody potently inhibited EGF-dependent cell proliferation. Importantly, in an in vivo model of athymic mice bearing A431 xenografts, CONAN-1 inhibited tumour outgrowth with an almost similar potency as the whole mAb cetuximab, despite the fact that CONAN-1 is devoid of an Fc portion that could mediate immune effector functions. Compared to therapy using bivalent, monospecific nanobodies, CONAN-1 was clearly more potent in tumour growth inhibition. These results show that the rational design of biparatopic nanobody-based anticancer therapeutics may yield potent lead molecules for further development.
    International Journal of Cancer 04/2011; 129(8):2013-24. DOI:10.1002/ijc.26145 · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immuno-transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is the technique of choice for high-resolution localization of proteins in fixed specimen. Here we introduce 2 novel methods for the fixation of sections from cryo-immobilized samples that result in excellent ultrastructural preservation. These high-speed fixation techniques, both called VIS2FIX, allow for a reduction in sample preparation time from at least 1 week to only 8 h. The methods were validated in immuno-TEM experiments on THP-1 monocytes, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK-II) cells. The fixation and retention of neutral lipids is demonstrated, offering unique prospects for the application of immuno-TEM in the lipidomics field. Furthermore, the VIS2FIX methods were successfully employed in correlative fluorescence and electron microscopy.
    Traffic 03/2011; 12(7):806-14. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0854.2011.01199.x · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There has been a long standing desire to produce thick (up to 500 nm) cryo-sections of fully hydrated cells and tissue for high-resolution analysis in their natural state by cryo-transmission electron microscopy. Here, we present a method that can successfully produce sections (lamellas in FIB-SEM terminology) of fully hydrated, unstained cells from high-pressure frozen samples by focused ion beam (FIB) milling. The samples are therefore placed in thin copper tubes and vitrified by high-pressure freezing. For transfer, handling and subsequent milling, the tubes are placed in a novel connective device (ferrule) that protects the sample from devitrification and contamination and passes through all operation steps. A piezo driven sample positioning stage (cryo-nano-bench, CNB) with three degrees of freedom was additionally developed to enable accurate milling of frozen-hydrated lamellas. With the CNB, high-pressure frozen samples can be milled to produce either thin lamellas (<100 nm), for direct imaging by high-resolution cryo-TEM or thicker lamellas (300-500 nm) for cryo-electron tomography. The sample remains vitreous throughout the process by using the presented tools and methods. The results are an important step towards investigating larger cells and even tissue in there natural state which in the end will enable us to gain better insights into cellular processes.
    Journal of Structural Biology 11/2010; 172(2):180-90. DOI:10.1016/j.jsb.2010.07.004 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current activation model of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) predicts that binding of EGF results in dimerization and oligomerization of EGFR leading to the allosteric activation of the intracellular tyrosine kinase. Little is known about the regulatory mechanism of receptor oligomerization. In this study, we have employed Forster resonance energy transfer between identical fluorophores (homo-FRET) to monitor the dimerization and oligomerization state of the EGFR before and after receptor activation. Our data show that in the absence of ligand, approximately 40% of the EGFR molecules is present as inactive dimers or predimers. The monomer/predimer ratio was not affected by a deletion of the intracellular domain. Ligand binding induced the formation of receptor oligomers, which were found both in the plasma membrane and in intracellular structures. Ligand-induced oligomerization required tyrosine kinase activity and nine different tyrosine kinase substrate residues. This indicates, that the binding of signaling molecules to activated EGFRs results in EGFR oligomerization. Induction of EGFR predimer or preoligomers using EGFR fused to the FK506 Binding Protein (FKBP) did not affect signaling but was found to enhance EGF-induced receptor internalization. Our data show, that EGF receptor oligomerization is the result of EGFR signaling and enhances EGFR internalization.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2010; · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current activation model of the EGF receptor (EGFR) predicts that binding of EGF results in dimerization and oligomerization of the EGFR, leading to the allosteric activation of the intracellular tyrosine kinase. Little is known about the regulatory mechanism of receptor oligomerization. In this study, we have employed FRET between identical fluorophores (homo-FRET) to monitor the dimerization and oligomerization state of the EGFR before and after receptor activation. Our data show that, in the absence of ligand, ∼40% of the EGFR molecules were present as inactive dimers or predimers. The monomer/predimer ratio was not affected by deletion of the intracellular domain. Ligand binding induced the formation of receptor oligomers, which were found in both the plasma membrane and intracellular structures. Ligand-induced oligomerization required tyrosine kinase activity and nine different tyrosine kinase substrate residues. This indicates that the binding of signaling molecules to activated EGFRs results in EGFR oligomerization. Induction of EGFR predimers or pre-oligomers using the EGFR fused to the FK506-binding protein did not affect signaling but was found to enhance EGF-induced receptor internalization. Our data show that EGFR oligomerization is the result of EGFR signaling and enhances EGFR internalization.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2010; 285(50):39481-9. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.164731 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, the perception of Z-disc function has changed from a passive anchor for myofilaments that allows transmission of force, to a dynamic multicomplex structure, capable of sensing and transducing extracellular signals. Here, we describe a new Z-disc protein, which we named CHAP (cytoskeletal heart-enriched actin-associated protein), expressed in differentiating heart and skeletal muscle in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, in addition to its sarcomeric localization, CHAP was also able to translocate to the nucleus. CHAP was associated with filamentous actin in the cytoplasm and the nucleus when expressed ectopically in vitro, but in rat neonatal cardiomyocytes, CHAP disrupted the subcellular localization of alpha-actinin, another Z-disc protein. More importantly, knockdown of CHAP in zebrafish resulted in aberrant cardiac and skeletal muscle development and function. These findings suggest that CHAP is a critical component of the sarcomere with an important role in muscle development.
    Journal of Cell Science 03/2010; 123(Pt 7):1141-50. DOI:10.1242/jcs.063859 · 5.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aclar, a copolymer film with properties very similar to those of tissue culture plastic, is a versatile substrate to grow cells for light (including fluorescence) and electron microscopic applications in combination with both chemical fixation and cryoimmobilization. In this paper, we describe complete procedures to perform correlative light and electron microscopy using Aclar as substrate for the culture of cell monolayers to be finally embedded in plastic. First, we developed straightforward, efficient and flexible ways to mark the surface of the Aclar to create substrates to locate cells first at the light microscopy and then the electron microscopy level. All the methods enable the user to self-design gridded Aclar pieces, according to the purpose of the experiments, and create a large number of substrates in a short time. Second, we confirmed that marked Aclar supports the normal growth and morphology of cells. Third, we validated the correlative light and electron microscopy procedure using Aclar. This validation was done for the high-resolution analysis of endothelial cells using transmission electron microscopy and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy in combination with the use of fluorescence, phase contrast and/or bright field microscopy to map areas of interest at low resolution. The methods that we present are diverse, easy to implement and highly reproducible, and emphasize the versatility of Aclar as a cell growth substrate for diverse microscopic applications.
    Journal of Microscopy 02/2010; 237(2):208-20. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2818.2009.03329.x · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Caveolae are invaginations of the plasma membrane involved in multiple cellular processes, including transcytosis. In this paper we present an extensive 3-D electron tomographic study of the endothelial caveolar system in situ. Analysis of large cellular volumes of (high-pressure frozen, freeze-substituted and epon-embedded) human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) provided a notable view on the architecture of the caveolar system that comprises--as confirmed by 3-D immunolabeling for caveolin of 'intact' cells--bona fide caveolae, free plasmalemmal vesicles, racemose invaginations and free multi-caveolar bodies. Application of template matching to tomograms allowed the 3-D localization of caveolar membrane coatings in a robust manner. In this way we observed that bona fide endothelial caveolae, cryofixed and embedded in their cellular context, show a spiral organization of the coating as shown in the past for chemically fixed and freeze-etched caveolae from fibroblasts. Meticulous 3-D analysis further revealed that the coatings are distributed in triads of spirals over the caveolar bulb and neck. Remarkably, this coating distribution is consistently present over the membranes of the other members of the caveolar system in HUVECs. The novel observations that we present clarify the ultrastructural complexity of the 'intact' caveolar system, setting a detailed morphological basis for its functional diversity.
    Traffic 01/2010; 11(1):138-50. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0854.2009.01008.x · 4.35 Impact Factor
  • A.V. Agronskaja · H.C. Gerritsen · A J Verkleij · A.J. Koster ·
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    ABSTRACT: An apparatus for observing a sample (1) with a TEM column and an optical high resolution scanning microscope (10). The sample position when observing the sample with the TEM column differs from the sample position when observing the sample with the optical microscope in that in the latter case the sample is tilted towards the light-optical microscope. By using an optical microscope of the scanning type, and preferably using monochromatic light, the lens elements (11) of the optical microscope facing the sample position can be sufficiently small to be positioned between the pole faces (8A, 8B) of the (magnetic) particle-optical objective lens (7). This is in contrast with the objective lens systems conventionally used in optical microscopes, which show a large diameter. Furthermore the optical microscope, or at least the parts (11) close to the sample, may be retractable so as to free space when imaging in TEM mode
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    ABSTRACT: Specialized cell types exploit endosomal trafficking to deliver protein cargoes to cell type-specific lysosome-related organelles (LROs), but how endosomes are specified for this function is not known. In this study, we show that the clathrin adaptor AP-1 and the kinesin motor KIF13A together create peripheral recycling endosomal subdomains in melanocytes required for cargo delivery to maturing melanosomes. In cells depleted of AP-1 or KIF13A, a subpopulation of recycling endosomes redistributes to pericentriolar clusters, resulting in sequestration of melanosomal enzymes like Tyrp1 in vacuolar endosomes and consequent inhibition of melanin synthesis and melanosome maturation. Immunocytochemistry, live cell imaging, and electron tomography reveal AP-1- and KIF13A-dependent dynamic close appositions and continuities between peripheral endosomal tubules and melanosomes. Our results reveal that LRO protein sorting is coupled to cell type-specific positioning of endosomes that facilitate endosome-LRO contacts and are required for organelle maturation.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 10/2009; 187(2):247-64. DOI:10.1083/jcb.200907122 · 9.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transplantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CM) for cardiac regeneration is hampered by the formation of fibrotic tissue around the grafts, preventing electrophysiological coupling. Investigating this process, we found that: (1) beating hESC-CM in vitro are embedded in collagens, laminin and fibronectin, which they bind via appropriate integrins; (2) after transplantation into the mouse heart, hESC-CM continue to secrete collagen IV, XVIII and fibronectin; (3) integrin expression on hESC-CM largely matches the matrix type they encounter or secrete in vivo; (4) co-transplantation of hESC-derived endothelial cells and/or cardiac progenitors with hESC-CM results in the formation of functional capillaries; and (5) transplanted hESC-CM survive and mature in vivo for at least 24 weeks. These results form the basis of future developments aiming to reduce the adverse fibrotic reaction that currently complicates cell-based therapies for cardiac disease, and to provide an additional clue towards successful engraftment of cardiomyocytes by co-transplanting endothelial cells. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00018-009-0179-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 10/2009; 67(2):277-90. DOI:10.1007/s00018-009-0179-z · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In endothelial cells specifically, cPLA2alpha translocates from the cytoplasm to the Golgi complex in response to cell confluence. Considering the link between confluence and cell-cell junction formation, and the emerging role of cPLA2alpha in intracellular trafficking, we tested whether Golgi-associated cPLA2alpha is involved in the trafficking of junction proteins. Here, we show that the redistribution of cPLA2alpha from the cytoplasm to the Golgi correlates with adherens junction maturation and occurs before tight junction formation. Disruption of adherens junctions using a blocking anti-VE-cadherin antibody reverses the association of cPLA2alpha with the Golgi. Silencing of cPLA2alpha and inhibition of cPLA2alpha enzymatic activity using various inhibitors result in the diminished presence of the transmembrane junction proteins VE-cadherin, occludin, and claudin-5 at cell-cell contacts, and in their accumulation at the Golgi. Altogether, our data support the idea that VE-cadherin triggers the relocation of cPLA2alpha to the Golgi and that in turn, Golgi-associated cPLA2alpha regulates the transport of transmembrane junction proteins through or from the Golgi, thereby controlling the integrity of endothelial cell-cell junctions.
    Molecular biology of the cell 09/2009; 20(19). DOI:10.1091/mbc.E08-02-0210 · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of the sol-gel transitions and liquid crystal phase transitions in aqueous suspensions of positively charged colloidal gibbsite platelets at pH 4-5 over a wide range of particle concentrations (50-600 g/L) and salt concentrations (10(-4)-10(-1) M NaCl). A detailed sol-gel diagram was established by oscillatory rheological experiments. These demonstrate the presence of kinetically arrested states both at high and at low salt concentrations, enclosing a sol region. Birefringence and iridescence show that in the sol state nematic and hexagonal columnar liquid crystal phases are formed. The gel and liquid crystal structures are studied in further detail using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryo-focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (cryo-FIB-SEM). The gel formed at high salt concentration shows signatures of a sponge-like structure and does not display birefringence. In the sol region, by lowering the salt concentration and/or increasing the gibbsite concentration, the nematic phase gradually transforms from the discotic nematic (ND) into the columnar nematic (NC) with much stronger side-to-side interparticle correlations. Subsequently, this NC structure can be either transformed into the hexagonal columnar phase or arrested into a birefringent repulsive gel state with NC structure.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 09/2009; 113(34):11604-13. DOI:10.1021/jp903783b · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anammox bacteria are members of the phylum Planctomycetes that oxidize ammonium anaerobically and produce a significant part of the atmosphere's dinitrogen gas. They contain a unique bacterial organelle, the anammoxosome, which is the locus of anammox catabolism. While studying anammox cell and anammoxosome division with transmission electron microscopy including electron tomography, we observed a cell division ring in the outermost compartment of dividing anammox cells. In most Bacteria, GTP hydrolysis drives the tubulin-analogue FtsZ to assemble into a ring-like structure at the cell division site where it functions as a scaffold for the molecular machinery that performs cell division. However, the genome of the anammox bacterium 'Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis' does not encode ftsZ. Genomic analysis of open reading frames with potential GTPase activity indicated a possible novel cell division ring gene: kustd1438, which was unrelated to ftsZ. Immunogold localization specifically localized kustd1438 to the cell division ring. Genomic analyses of other members of the phyla Planctomycetes and Chlamydiae revealed no putative functional homologues of kustd1438, suggesting that it is specific to anammox bacteria. Electron tomography also revealed that the bacterial organelle was elongated along with the rest of the cell and divided equally among daughter cells during the cell division process.
    Molecular Microbiology 09/2009; 73(6):1009-19. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06841.x · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atherogenesis is a pathological condition in which changes in the ultrastructure and in the localization of proteins occur within the vasculature during all stages of the disease. To gain insight in those changes, high-resolution imaging is necessary. Some of these changes will only be present in a small number of cells, positioned in a ‘sea’ of non-affected cells. To localize this relatively small number of cells, there is a need to first navigate through a large area of the sample and subsequently zoom in onto the area of interest. This approach enables the study of specific cells within their in vivo environment and enables the study of (possible) interactions of these cells with their surrounding cells/environment. The study of a sample in a correlative way using light and electron microscopy is a promising approach to achieve this; however, it is very laborious and additional ultrastructural techniques might be very valuable to find the places of interest. In this report we show that the focused ion beam-scanning electron microscope is a powerful tool to study biological specimens in a correlative way. With this microscope one can scan for the area of interest at low magnification, in this case the atherosclerotic plaque, and subsequently zoom in, for further analysis on an ultrastructural level, rendering valuable and detailed two- and three-dimensional information of, in this case, the endothelial cells and the vessel wall. Moreover, in combination with pre-embedment labelling of surface exposed antigens, the method allows insight into the 3D distribution of these markers.
    Journal of Microscopy 09/2009; 235(3):336-47. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2818.2009.03274.x · 2.33 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

16k Citations
1,432.44 Total Impact Points


  • 2010
    • Cellular Dynamics International
      Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • 1972-2010
    • Utrecht University
      • • Division of Biomolecular Imaging
      • • Department of Cell Biology
      • • Division of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis
      • • Institute of Biomembranes
      • • Division of Biochemistry
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2009
    • University of Washington Seattle
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2008
    • Radboud University Nijmegen
      • Department of Microbiology
      Nijmegen, Provincie Gelderland, Netherlands
  • 1980-2007
    • Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2005
    • Université du Québec
      Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • 1995
    • Delft University of Technology
      Delft, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1990
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1988
    • UCLA Cardiovascular Research Laboratory
      Los Angeles, California, United States