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Methods in Cell Biology

R Buđa, K Vukušić, I M Tolić
The mitotic spindle is a highly organized and dynamic structure required for segregation of the genetic material into two daughter cells. Although most of the individual players involved in building the spindle have been characterized in vitro, a general understanding of how all of the spindle players act together in vivo is still missing. Hence, in recent years, experiments have focused on introducing mechanical perturbations of the spindle on a micron scale, thereby providing insight into its function and organization, as well as into forces acting in the spindle...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
H Tanimoto, N Minc
The proper positioning of microtubule (MT) asters underlies fundamental processes such as nuclear centration, cell polarity, division positioning, and embryogenesis. In large eggs and early blastomeres, MT asters may exhibit long range motions with atypical speed and precision to target their functional position. The biophysical mechanisms regulating such motions remain however largely unknown. The centration of sperm asters in sea urchin embryos is a stereotypical example of such aster long range motion. In this chapter, we describe methods developed in this system to (1) quantify sperm aster 3-D motion with confocal microscopy and automated image analysis and (2) severe a portion of astral MTs with a UV laser...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
A Picco, M Kaksonen
Endocytosis is a complex and dynamic process that involves dozens of different proteins to define the site of endocytosis, form a membrane invagination, and pinch off a membrane vesicle into the cytoplasm. Fluorescent light microscopy is a powerful tool to visualize the dynamic behaviors of the proteins taking part in the endocytic process. The resolution of light microscopy is, however, a serious limitation. Here, we detail a fluorescence microscope method that we have developed to visualize the dynamics of the clathrin-mediated endocytic protein machinery in yeast cells...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
P Singh, A Das, R Li
Diverse cellular functions require the establishment of cell polarity. Although the morphological manifestation of cell polarity can be complex, common principles and conserved regulatory pathways can be studied leveraging the powerful genetic tools in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A vast array of genetic and cell biological tools and interdisciplinary approaches have been employed to understand the establishment and maintenance of cell polarity in budding yeast. These tools enabled the identification of key molecular components, their mechanisms of action, and the pathway governing the spatiotemporal properties of cell polarity...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
T Stanislas, O Hamant, J Traas
Although many molecular regulators of morphogenesis have been identified in plants, it remains largely unknown how the molecular networks influence local cell shape and how cell growth, form, and position are coordinated during tissue and organ formations. So far, analyses of gene function in morphogenesis have mainly focused on the qualitative analysis of phenotypes, often providing limited mechanistic insight into how particular factors act. For this reason, there has been a growing interest in mathematical and computational models to formalize and test hypotheses...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
K Guevorkian, J-L Maître
Cell and tissue mechanical properties are paramount in controlling morphogenesis. Microaspiration techniques allow measuring the absolute values of mechanical properties in space and time in vivo. Here, we explain how to build a microaspiration setup that can be used for both cellular and tissue scale measurements. At the cellular scale, microaspiration allows the mapping in space and time of surface tensions of individual interfaces within a tissue to understand the forces shaping it. At the tissue scale, microaspiration can be used to measure macroscopic mechanical properties such as the viscoelasticity and tissue surface tension that regulate the dynamics of tissue deformation...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
G Guglielmi, S De Renzis
Morphogenesis of multicellular organisms is driven by changes in cell behavior, which happen at precise locations and defined developmental stages. Therefore, the studying of morphogenetic events would greatly benefit from tools that allow the perturbation of cell activity with spatial and temporal precision. We recently developed an optogenetic approach to modulate cell contractility with cellular precision and on fast (seconds) timescales during Drosophila embryogenesis. We present here a protocol to handle genetically engineered photosensitive Drosophila embryos and achieve light-mediated inhibition of apical constriction during tissue invagination...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
M Rauzi
Tissue morphogenesis is governed by mechanical forces generated by cell cytoskeletal networks. It has been shown that subcellular forces are responsible for cell shape changes. Nevertheless cells in a developing organism do not act in isolation: cells contact and adhere one another, and forces are transmitted from cell-to-cell throughout tissues. Understanding how forces are integrated at the tissue level and finally at the full animal scale is nowadays a major challenge that will allow shedding new light on how embryo morphogenesis takes place...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
B Aigouy, C Collinet, M Merkel, A Sagner
Morphogenesis of an epithelial tissue emerges from the behavior of its constituent cells, including changes in shape, rearrangements, and divisions. In many instances the directionality of these cellular events is controlled by the polarized distribution of specific molecular components. In recent years, our understanding of morphogenesis and polarity highly benefited from advances in genetics, microscopy, and image analysis. They now make it possible to measure cellular dynamics and polarity with unprecedented precision for entire tissues throughout their development...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
C Cadart, E Zlotek-Zlotkiewicz, L Venkova, O Thouvenin, V Racine, M Le Berre, S Monnier, M Piel
Volume is a basic physical property of cells; however, it has been poorly investigated in cell biology so far, mostly because it is difficult to measure it precisely. Recently, large efforts were made to experimentally measure mammalian cell size and used mass, density, or volume as proxies for cell size. Here, we describe a method enabling cell volume measurements for single living cells. The method is based on the principle of fluorescent dye exclusion and can be easily implemented in cell biology laboratories...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
S Mailfert, Y Hamon, N Bertaux, H-T He, D Marguet
Due to the intrinsic molecular Brownian agitation within plasma membrane and the vast diversity of membrane components, it is expected that the plasma membrane organization is highly heterogeneous with the formation of local complex multicomponent assemblies of lipids and proteins on different time scales. Still, deciphering this lateral organization on living cells and on the appropriate length and temporal scales has been challenging but is crucial to advance our knowledge on the biological function of the plasma membrane...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
D S Wiley, S E Redfield, L I Zon
Zebrafish chemical screening allows for an in vivo assessment of small molecule modulation of biological processes. Compound toxicities, chemical alterations by metabolism, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, and modulation of cell niches can be studied with this method. Furthermore, zebrafish screening is straightforward and cost effective. Zebrafish provide an invaluable platform for novel therapeutic discovery through chemical screening.
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
J M Gansner, M Dang, M Ammerman, L I Zon
Tissue or cell transplantation is an invaluable technique with a multitude of applications including studying the developmental potential of certain cell populations, dissecting cell-environment interactions, and identifying stem cells. One key technical requirement for performing transplantation assays is the capability of distinguishing the transplanted donor cells from the endogenous host cells and tracing the donor cells over time. The zebrafish has emerged as an excellent model organism for performing transplantation assays, thanks in part to the transparency of embryos and even adults when pigment mutants are employed...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
E Melancon, S Gomez De La Torre Canny, S Sichel, M Kelly, T J Wiles, J F Rawls, J S Eisen, K Guillemin
All animals are ecosystems with resident microbial communities, referred to as microbiota, which play profound roles in host development, physiology, and evolution. Enabled by new DNA sequencing technologies, there is a burgeoning interest in animal-microbiota interactions, but dissecting the specific impacts of microbes on their hosts is experimentally challenging. Gnotobiology, the study of biological systems in which all members are known, enables precise experimental analysis of the necessity and sufficiency of microbes in animal biology by deriving animals germ-free (GF) and inoculating them with defined microbial lineages...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
K R Astell, D Sieger
Glioblastoma is the most frequent and aggressive primary malignant brain tumor. Gliomas exhibit high genetic diversity in addition to complex and variable clinical features. Glioblastoma tumors are highly resistant to multimodal therapies and there is significant patient mortality within the first two years after prognosis. At present clinical treatments are palliative, not curative. Glioblastomas contain a high number of microglia and infiltrating macrophages, which are positively correlated with glioma grade and invasiveness...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
S He, C-B Jing, A T Look
The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a well-established, invaluable model system for the study of human cancers. The genetic pathways that drive oncogenesis are highly conserved between zebrafish and humans, and multiple unique attributes of the zebrafish make it a tractable tool for analyzing the underlying cellular processes that give rise to human disease. In particular, the high conservation between human and zebrafish hematopoiesis (Jing & Zon, 2011) has stimulated the development of zebrafish models for human hematopoietic malignancies to elucidate molecular pathogenesis and to expedite the preclinical investigation of novel therapies...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
M N Hayes, D M Langenau
Sarcoma is a type of cancer affecting connective, supportive, or soft tissue of mesenchymal origin. Despite rare incidence in adults (<1%), over 15% of pediatric cancers are sarcoma. Sadly, both adults and children with relapsed or metastatic disease have devastatingly high rates of mortality. Current treatment options for sarcoma include surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy; however, significant limitations exist with respect to the efficacy of these strategies. Strong impetus has been placed on the development of novel therapies and preclinical models for uncovering mechanisms involved in the development, progression, and therapy resistance of sarcoma...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
H R Kim, D Greenald, A Vettori, E Markham, K Santhakumar, F Argenton, F van Eeden
Oxygen is a central molecule in the development of multicellular life, allowing efficient energy generation. Inadequate oxygen supply requires rapid adaptations to prevent cellular damage and the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway plays a central role in this adaptation. Numerous diseases and disease processes are influenced by hypoxia and the HIF pathway. One component, von Hippel Lindau (VHL), is a well-known tumor suppressor, which acts at least in part via regulating HIF signaling. The zebrafish has become a central vertebrate model organism in which developmental and disease processes can be studied...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
L Chen, A Groenewoud, C Tulotta, E Zoni, M Kruithof-de Julio, G van der Horst, G van der Pluijm, B Ewa Snaar-Jagalska
Lethal and incurable bone metastasis is one of the main causes of death in multiple types of cancer. A small subpopulation of cancer stem/progenitor-like cells (CSCs), also known as tumor-initiating cells from heterogenetic cancer is considered to mediate bone metastasis. Although over the past decades numerous studies have been performed in different types of cancer, it is still difficult to track small numbers of CSCs during the onset of metastasis. With use of noninvasive high-resolution imaging, transparent zebrafish embryos can be employed to dynamically visualize cancer progression and reciprocal interaction with stroma in a living organism...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
B Blanco-Sánchez, A Clément, J B Phillips, M Westerfield
Eye and inner ear diseases are the most common sensory impairments that greatly impact quality of life. Zebrafish have been intensively employed to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying eye and inner ear development. The zebrafish visual and vestibulo-acoustic systems are very similar to these in humans, and although not yet mature, they are functional by 5days post-fertilization (dpf). In this chapter, we show how the zebrafish has significantly contributed to the field of biomedical research and how researchers, by establishing disease models and meticulously characterizing their phenotypes, have taken the first steps toward therapies...
2017: Methods in Cell Biology
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