[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signaling mediated by the epidermal growth factor (EGF) is crucial in tissue development, homeostasis and tumorigenesis. EGF is mitogenic at picomolar concentrations and is known to bind its receptor on high affinity binding sites depending of the oligomerization state of the receptor (monomer or dimer). In spite of these observations, the cellular response induced by EGF has been mainly characterized for nanomolar concentrations of the growth factor, and a clear definition of the cellular response to circulating (picomolar) concentrations is still lacking. We investigated Ca2+ signaling, an early event in EGF responses, in response to picomolar doses in COS-7 cells where the monomer/dimer equilibrium is unaltered by the synthesis of exogenous EGFR. Using the fluo5F Ca2+ indicator, we found that picomolar concentrations of EGF induced in 50% of the cells a robust oscillatory Ca2+ signal quantitatively similar to the Ca2+ signal induced by nanomolar concentrations. However, responses to nanomolar and picomolar concentrations differed in their underlying mechanisms as the picomolar EGF response involved essentially plasma membrane Ca2+ channels that are not activated by internal Ca2+ store depletion, while the nanomolar EGF response involved internal Ca2+ release. Moreover, while the picomolar EGF response was modulated by charybdotoxin-sensitive K+ channels, the nanomolar response was insensitive to the blockade of these ion channels.
PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106803. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106803 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We argue that standard thermodynamic considerations and scaling laws show that a single cell cannot substantially raise its temperature by endogenous thermogenesis. This statement seriously questions the interpretations of recent work reporting temperature heterogeneities measured in single living cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the early stages of cell-cell interactions occurring between living biological samples, imaging methods with appropriate spatiotemporal resolution are required. Among the techniques currently available, those based on optical trapping are promising. Methods to image trapped objects, however, in general suffer from a lack of three-dimensional resolution, due to technical constraints. Here, we have developed an original setup comprising two independent modules: holographic optical tweezers, which offer a versatile and precise way to move multiple objects simultaneously but independently, and a confocal microscope that provides fast three-dimensional image acquisition. The optical decoupling of these two modules through the same objective gives users the possibility to easily investigate very early steps in biological interactions. We illustrate the potential of this setup with an analysis of infection by the fungus Drechmeria coniospora of different developmental stages of Caenorhabditis elegans. This has allowed us to identify specific areas on the nematode's surface where fungal spores adhere preferentially. We also quantified this adhesion process for different mutant nematode strains, and thereby derive insights into the host factors that mediate fungal spore adhesion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
The adaptive immune response to pathogen invasion requires the stimulation of lymphocytes by antigen-presenting cells. We hypothesized that investigating the dynamics of the T lymphocyte activation by monitoring intracellular calcium fluctuations might help explain the high specificity and selectivity of this phenomenon. However, the quantitative and exhaustive analysis of calcium fluctuations by video microscopy in the context of cell-to-cell contact is a tough challenge. To tackle this, we developed a complete solution named MAAACS (Methods for Automated and Accurate Analysis of Cell Signals), in order to automate the detection, cell tracking, raw data ordering and analysis of calcium signals. Our algorithm revealed that, when in contact with antigen-presenting cells, T lymphocytes generate oscillating calcium signals and not a massive and sustained calcium response as was originally thought. We anticipate our approach providing many more new insights into the molecular mechanisms triggering adaptive immunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphocytes form cell-cell connections by various mechanisms, including intercellular networks through actin-supported long-range plasma membrane (PM) extensions, termed tunneling nanotubes (TNTs). In this study, we tested in vitro whether TNTs form between human antigen-presenting B cells and T cells following cell contact and whether they enable the transfer of PM-associated proteins, such as green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged H-Ras (GFP-H-Ras). To address this question, we employed advanced techniques, including cell trapping by optical tweezers and live-cell imaging by 4D spinning-disk confocal microscopy. First, we showed that TNTs can form after optically trapped conjugated B and T cells are being pulled apart. Next, we determined by measuring fluorescence recovery after photobleaching that GFP-H-Ras diffuses freely in the membrane of TNTs that form spontaneously between B and T cells during coculturing. Importantly, by 4D time-lapse imaging, we showed that GFP-H-Ras-enriched PM patches accumulate at the junction between TNTs and the T-cell body and subsequently transfer to the T-cell surface. Furthermore, the PM patches adopted by T cells were enriched for another B-cell-derived transmembrane receptor, CD86. As predicted, the capacity of GFP-H-Ras to transfer between B and T cells, during coculturing, was dependent on its normal post-transcriptional lipidation and consequent PM anchorage. In summary, our data indicate that TNTs connecting B and T cells provide a hitherto undescribed route for the transfer of PM patches containing, for example, H-Ras from B to T cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While intrinsic Brownian agitation within a lipid bilayer does homogenize the molecular distribution, the extremely diverse composition of the plasma membrane, in contrast, favors the development of inhomogeneity due to the propensity of such a system to minimize its total free energy. Precisely, deciphering such inhomogeneous organization with appropriate spatiotemporal resolution remains, however, a challenge. In accordance with its ability to accurately measure diffusion parameters, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) has been developed in association with innovative experimental strategies to monitor modes of molecular lateral confinement within the plasma membrane of living cells. Here, we describe a method, namely spot variation FCS (svFCS), to decipher the dynamics of the plasma membrane organization. The method is based on questioning the relationship between the diffusion time τ(d) and the squared waist of observation w(2). Theoretical models have been developed to predict how geometrical constraints such as the presence of adjacent or isolated domains affect the svFCS observations. These investigations have allowed significant progress in the characterization of cell membrane lateral organization at the suboptical level, and have provided, for instance, compelling evidence for the in vivo existence of raft nanodomains.
Methods in enzymology 01/2013; 519:277-302. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-405539-1.00010-5 · 2.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our goal is to obtain a comprehensive description of molecular processes occurring at cellular membranes in different biological functions. We aim at characterizing the complex organization and dynamics of the plasma membrane at single-molecule level, by developing analytic tools dedicated to Single-Particle Tracking (SPT) at high density: Multiple-Target Tracing (MTT). Single-molecule videomicroscopy, offering millisecond and nanometric resolution, allows a detailed representation of membrane organization by accurately mapping descriptors such as cell receptors localization, mobility, confinement or interactions. We revisited SPT, both experimentally and algorithmically. Experimental aspects included optimizing setup and cell labeling, with a particular emphasis on reaching the highest possible labeling density, in order to provide a dynamic snapshot of molecular dynamics as it occurs within the membrane. Algorithmic issues concerned each step used for rebuilding trajectories: peaks detection, estimation and reconnection, addressed by specific tools from image analysis. Implementing deflation after detection allows rescuing peaks initially hidden by neighboring, stronger peaks. Of note, improving detection directly impacts reconnection, by reducing gaps within trajectories. Performances have been evaluated using Monte-Carlo simulations for various labeling density and noise values, which typically represent the two major limitations for parallel measurements at high spatiotemporal resolution. The nanometric accuracy obtained for single molecules, using either successive on/off photoswitching or non-linear optics, can deliver exhaustive observations. This is the basis of nanoscopy methods such as STORM, PALM, RESOLFT or STED, which may often require imaging fixed samples. The central task is the detection and estimation of diffraction-limited peaks emanating from single-molecules. Hence, providing adequate assumptions such as handling a constant positional accuracy instead of Brownian motion, MTT is straightforwardly suited for nanoscopic analyses. Furthermore, MTT can fundamentally be used at any scale: not only for molecules, but also for cells or animals, for instance. Hence, MTT is a powerful tracking algorithm that finds applications at molecular and cellular scales.
Journal of Visualized Experiments 01/2012; DOI:10.3791/3599 · 1.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Steady-state polarization-resolved fluorescence imaging is used to analyze the molecular orientational order behavior of rigidly labeled major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) proteins and lipid probes in cell membranes of living cells. These fluorescent probes report the orientational properties of proteins and their surrounding lipid environment. We present a statistical study of the molecular orientational order, modeled as the width of the angular distribution of the molecules, for the proteins in the cell endomembrane and plasma membrane, as well as for the lipid probes in the plasma membrane. We apply this methodology on cells after treatments affecting the actin and microtubule networks. We find in particular opposite orientational order changes of proteins and lipid probes in the plasma membrane as a response to the cytoskeleton disruption. This suggests that MHC I orientational order is governed by its interaction with the cytoskeleton, whereas the plasma membrane lipid order is governed by the local cell membrane morphology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The T cell antigen receptor is functionally coupled to many kinases and adaptor proteins. Analysis of the spatiotemporal organization of the T cell antigen receptor signaling cascade suggests that adaptor-containing intracellular vesicles are essential for proper signal propagation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Performing label free coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) and stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) in endoscope imaging is a challenge, with huge potential clinical benefit. To date, this goal has remained inaccessible because of the inherent coherent Raman noise that is generated in the fiber itself. By developing double-clad hollow core photonic crystal fiber, we demonstrate coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering and stimulated Raman scattering in an 'endoscope-like' scheme. Both the excitation beams and the collected CARS and SRS signals travel through the same fiber. No CARS and SRS signals are generated within the hollow core fiber even for temporally overlapping pump and Stokes beams, leading to excellent image quality. The CARS and SRS signals generated in the sample are coupled back into a high numerical aperture multimode cladding surrounding the central photonic crystal cladding. We demonstrate this scheme by imaging molecular vibrational bonds of organic crystal deposited on a glass surface.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resolving the dynamical interplay of proteins and lipids in the live-cell plasma membrane represents a central goal in current cell biology. Superresolution concepts have introduced a means of capturing spatial heterogeneity at a nanoscopic length scale. Similar concepts for detecting dynamical transitions (superresolution chronoscopy) are still lacking. Here, we show that recently introduced spot-variation fluorescence correlation spectroscopy allows for sensing transient confinement times of membrane constituents at dramatically improved resolution. Using standard diffraction-limited optics, spot-variation fluorescence correlation spectroscopy captures signatures of single retardation events far below the transit time of the tracer through the focal spot. We provide an analytical description of special cases of transient binding of a tracer to pointlike traps, or association of a tracer with nanodomains. The influence of trap mobility and the underlying binding kinetics are quantified. Experimental approaches are suggested that allow for gaining quantitative mechanistic insights into the interaction processes of membrane constituents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cell tolerance to self is partly ensured by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-specific inhibitory receptors on NK cells, which dampen their reactivity when engaged. However, NK cells that do not detect self MHC class I are not autoreactive. We used dynamic fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to show that MHC class I-independent NK cell tolerance in mice was associated with the presence of hyporesponsive NK cells in which both activating and inhibitory receptors were confined in an actin meshwork at the plasma membrane. In contrast, the recognition of self MHC class I by inhibitory receptors "educated" NK cells to become fully reactive, and activating NK cell receptors became dynamically compartmentalized in membrane nanodomains. We propose that the confinement of activating receptors at the plasma membrane is pivotal to ensuring the self-tolerance of NK cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the assets and constraints of using optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) to perform point scanning nonlinear microscopy and spectroscopy with special emphasis on coherent Raman spectroscopy. The different possible configurations starting with one OPO and two OPOs are described in detail and with comments that are intended to be practically useful for the user. Explicit examples on test samples such as nonlinear organic crystal, polystyrene beads, and fresh mouse tissues are given. Special emphasis is given to background-free coherent Raman anti-Stokes scattering (CARS) imaging, including CARS hyperspectral imaging in a fully automated mode with commercial OPOs.