Raster image cross-correlation analysis for spatiotemporal visualization of intracellular degradation activities against exogenous DNAs.
ABSTRACT: Reducing intracellular DNA degradation is critical to enhance the efficiency of gene therapy. Exogenous DNA incorporation into cells is strictly blocked by the defense machinery of intracellular nuclease activity. Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) and raster image cross-correlation spectroscopy (cross-correlation RICS; ccRICS) are image-based correlation methods. These powerful tools allow the study of spatiotemporal molecular dynamics. Here we performed spatiotemporal ccRICS analyses of fluorescent DNA and directly monitored the process of exogenous DNA degradation in living cell cytoplasm. Such direct monitors of DNA degradation allow us to determine the fate of the exogenous DNA in living cells. On comparing the process in living cells, our study shows that cytoplasmic nuclease activity differs between cell lines; therefore, we propose that the difference of nuclease activity in cytoplasm dictates a different resistance to exogenous DNA incorporation. New insight on efficient gene delivery can be provided with our study.
Project description:Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) measures the diffusion of fluorescently labelled molecules from stacks of confocal microscopy images by analysing correlations within the image. RICS enables the observation of a greater and, thus, more representative area of a biological system as compared to other single molecule approaches. Photothermal microscopy of gold nanoparticles allows long-term imaging of the same labelled molecules without photobleaching. Here, we implement RICS analysis on a photothermal microscope. The imaging of single gold nanoparticles at pixel dwell times short enough for RICS (60??s) with a piezo-driven photothermal heterodyne microscope is demonstrated (photothermal raster image correlation spectroscopy, PhRICS). As a proof of principle, PhRICS is used to measure the diffusion coefficient of gold nanoparticles in glycerol?:?water solutions. The diffusion coefficients of the nanoparticles measured by PhRICS are consistent with their size, determined by transmission electron microscopy. PhRICS was then used to probe the diffusion speed of gold nanoparticle-labelled fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) bound to heparan sulfate in the pericellular matrix of live fibroblast cells. The data are consistent with previous single nanoparticle tracking studies of the diffusion of FGF2 on these cells. Importantly, the data reveal faster FGF2 movement, previously inaccessible by photothermal tracking, and suggest that inhomogeneity in the distribution of bound FGF2 is dynamic.
Project description:Fluorescence fluctuation imaging is a powerful means to investigate dynamics, interactions, and stoichiometry of proteins inside living cells. Pulsed interleaved excitation (PIE) is the method of nanosecond alternating excitation with time-resolved detection and allows accurate, independent, and quasi-simultaneous determination of fluorescence intensities and lifetimes of different fluorophores. In this work, we combine pulsed interleaved excitation with fluctuation imaging methods (PIE-FI) such as raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) or number and brightness analysis (N&B). More specifically, we show that quantitative measurements of diffusion and molecular brightness of Venus fluorescent protein (FP) can be performed in solution with PIE-RICS and compare PIE-RICS with single-point PIE-FCS measurements. We discuss the advantages of cross-talk free dual-color PIE-RICS and illustrate its proficiency by quantitatively comparing two commonly used FP pairs for dual-color microscopy, eGFP/mCherry and mVenus/mCherry. For N&B analysis, we implement dead-time correction to the PIE-FI data analysis to allow accurate molecular brightness determination with PIE-NB. We then use PIE-NB to investigate the effect of eGFP tandem oligomerization on the intracellular maturation efficiency of the fluorophore. Finally, we explore the possibilities of using the available fluorescence lifetime information in PIE-FI experiments. We perform lifetime-based weighting of confocal images, allowing us to quantitatively determine molecular concentrations from 100 nM down to <30 pM with PIE-raster lifetime image correlation spectroscopy (RLICS). We use the fluorescence lifetime information to perform a robust dual-color lifetime-based FRET analysis of tandem fluorescent protein dimers. Lastly, we investigate the use of dual-color RLICS to resolve codiffusing FRET species from non-FRET species in cells. The enhanced capabilities and quantitative results provided by PIE-FI make it a powerful method that is broadly applicable to a large number of interesting biophysical studies.
Project description:Combining imaging with correlation spectroscopy, as in raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS), makes it possible to extract molecular translational diffusion constants and absolute concentrations, and determine intermolecular interactions from single-channel or multicolor confocal laser-scanning microscopy (CLSM) images. Region-specific RICS analysis remains very challenging because correlations are always calculated in a square region-of-interest (ROI). In this study, we describe a generalized image correlation spectroscopy algorithm that accepts arbitrarily shaped ROIs. We show that an image series can be cleaned up before arbitrary-region RICS (ARICS) analysis. We demonstrate the power of ARICS by simultaneously measuring molecular mobility in the cell membrane and the cytosol. Mobility near dynamic subcellular structures can be investigated with ARICS by generating a dynamic ROI. Finally, we derive diffusion and concentration pseudo-maps using the ARICS method. ARICS is a powerful expansion of image correlation spectroscopy with the potential of becoming the new standard for extracting biophysical parameters from confocal fluorescence images.
Project description:The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a transcription factor, which interacts with DNA and other cofactors to regulate gene transcription. Binding to other partners in the cell nucleus alters the diffusion properties of GR. Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) was applied to quantitatively characterize the diffusion properties of EGFP labeled human GR (EGFP-hGR) and its mutants in the cell nucleus. RICS is an image correlation technique that evaluates the spatial distribution of the diffusion coefficient as a diffusion map. Interestingly, we observed that the averaged diffusion coefficient of EGFP-hGR strongly and negatively correlated with its transcriptional activities in comparison to that of EGFP-hGR wild type and mutants with various transcriptional activities. This result suggests that the decreasing of the diffusion coefficient of hGR was reflected in the high-affinity binding to DNA. Moreover, the hyper-phosphorylation of hGR can enhance the transcriptional activity by reduction of the interaction between the hGR and the nuclear corepressors.
Project description:Understanding of nanoparticle-bio-interactions within living cells requires knowledge about the dynamic behavior of nanomaterials during their cellular uptake, intracellular traffic and mutual reactions with cell organelles. Here, we introduce a protocol of combined kinetic imaging techniques that enables investigation of exemplary fluorochrome-labelled nanoparticles concerning their intracellular fate. By time-lapse confocal microscopy we observe fast, dynamin-dependent uptake of polystyrene and silica nanoparticles via the cell membrane within seconds. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments reveal fast and complete exchange of the investigated nanoparticles at mitochondria, cytoplasmic vesicles or the nuclear envelope. Nuclear translocation is observed within minutes by free diffusion and active transport. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) indicate diffusion coefficients of polystyrene and silica nanoparticles in the nucleus and the cytoplasm that are consistent with particle motion in living cells based on diffusion. Determination of the apparent hydrodynamic radii by FCS and RICS shows that nanoparticles exert their cytoplasmic and nuclear effects mainly as mobile, monodisperse entities. Thus, a complete toolkit of fluorescence fluctuation microscopy is presented for the investigation of nanomaterial biophysics in subcellular microenvironments that contributes to develop a framework of intracellular nanoparticle delivery routes.
Project description:Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) is a fluorescence image analysis method for extracting the mobility, concentration, and stoichiometry of diffusing fluorescent molecules from confocal image stacks. The method works by calculating a spatial correlation function for each image and analyzing the average of those by model fitting. Rules of thumb exist for RICS image acquisitioning, yet a rigorous theoretical approach to predict the accuracy and precision of the recovered parameters has been lacking. We outline explicit expressions to reveal the dependence of RICS results on experimental parameters. In terms of imaging settings, we observed that a twofold decrease of the pixel size, e.g., from 100 to 50 nm, decreases the error on the translational diffusion constant (D) between three- and fivefold. For D = 1 ?m2 s-1, a typical value for intracellular measurements, ?25-fold lower mean-squared relative error was obtained when the optimal scan speed was used, although more drastic improvements were observed for other values of D. We proposed a slightly modified RICS calculation that allows correcting for the significant bias of the autocorrelation function at small (?50 × 50 pixels) sizes of the region of interest. In terms of sample properties, at molecular brightness E = 100 kHz and higher, RICS data quality was sufficient using as little as 20 images, whereas the optimal number of frames for lower E scaled pro rata. RICS data quality was constant over the nM-?M concentration range. We developed a bootstrap-based confidence interval of D that outperformed the classical least-squares approach in terms of coverage probability of the true value of D. We validated the theory via in vitro experiments of enhanced green fluorescent protein at different buffer viscosities. Finally, we outline robust practical guidelines and provide free software to simulate the parameter effects on recovery of the diffusion coefficient.
Project description:Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) is a powerful method for measuring molecular diffusion in live cells directly from images acquired on a laser scanning microscope. However, RICS only provides single average diffusion coefficients from regions with a lateral size on the order of few micrometers, which means that its spatial resolution is mainly limited to the cellular level. Here we introduce the local RICS (L-RICS), an easy-to-use tool that generates high resolution maps of diffusion coefficients from images acquired on a laser scanning microscope. As an application we show diffusion maps of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) within the nucleus and within the nucleolus of live cells at an effective spatial resolution of 500?nm. We find not only that diffusion in the nucleolus is slowed down compared to diffusion in the nucleoplasm, but also that diffusion in the nucleolus is highly heterogeneous.
Project description:The spatial-temporal dynamics of delivered DNA is a critical aspect influencing successful gene delivery. A comprehensive model of DNA lipoplex trafficking through live cells has yet to be demonstrated. Here the bioimaging approaches Raster Image Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS) and image-Means Square Displacement (iMSD) were applied to quantify DNA mechanical dynamics in live cells. DNA lipoplexes formed from DNA with a range of 21?bp to 5.5?kbp exhibited a similar range of motion within the cytoplasm of myoblast cells regardless of size. However, the rate of motion was dictated by the intracellular location, and DNA cluster size. This analysis demonstrated that the different transport mechanisms either had a size dependent mobility, including random diffusion, whereas other mechanisms were not influenced by the DNA size such as active transport. The transport mechanisms identified followed a spatial dependence comparable to viral trafficking of non-active transport mechanism upon cellular entry, active transport within the cytoplasm and further inactive transportation along the peri-nuclear region. This study provides the first real-time insight into the trafficking of DNA delivered through lipofection using image-based fluctuation correlation spectroscopy approaches. Thereby, gaining information with single particle sensitivity to develop a deeper understanding of DNA lipoplex delivery through the cell.
Project description:Cellular communication in multi-cellular organisms is mediated to a large extent by a multitude of cell-surface receptors that bind specific ligands. An in-depth understanding of cell signaling networks requires quantitative information on ligand-receptor interactions within living systems. In principle, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) based methods can provide such data, but live-cell applications have proven extremely challenging. Here, we have developed an integrated dual-color dual-focus line-scanning fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (2c2f lsFCS) technique that greatly facilitates live-cell and tissue experiments. Absolute ligand and receptor concentrations and their diffusion coefficients within the cell membrane can be quantified without the need to perform additional calibration experiments. We also determine the concentration of ligands diffusing in the medium outside the cell within the same experiment by using a raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) based analysis. We have applied this robust technique to study the interactions of two Wnt antagonists, Dickkopf1 and Dickkopf2 (Dkk1/2), to their cognate receptor, low-density-lipoprotein-receptor related protein 6 (LRP6), in the plasma membrane of living HEK293T cells. We obtained significantly lower affinities than previously reported using in vitro studies, underscoring the need to measure such data on living cells or tissues.
Project description:Articular cartilage is an avascular tissue; diffusive transport is critical for its homeostasis. While numerous techniques have been used to quantify diffusivity within porous, hydrated tissues and tissue engineered constructs, these techniques have suffered from issues regarding invasiveness and spatial resolution. In the present study, we implemented and compared two separate correlation spectroscopy techniques, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS), for the direct, and minimally-invasive quantification of fluorescent solute diffusion in agarose and articular cartilage. Specifically, we quantified the diffusional properties of fluorescein and Alexa Fluor 488-conjugated dextrans (3k and 10k) in aqueous solutions, agarose gels of varying concentration (i.e. 1, 3, 5%), and in different zones of juvenile bovine articular cartilage explants (i.e. superficial, middle, and deep). In agarose, properties of solute diffusion obtained via FCS and RICS were inversely related to molecule size, gel concentration, and applied strain. In cartilage, the diffusional properties of solutes were similarly dependent upon solute size, cartilage zone, and compressive strain; findings that agree with work utilizing other quantification techniques. In conclusion, this study established the utility of FCS and RICS as simple and minimally invasive techniques for quantifying microscale solute diffusivity within agarose constructs and articular cartilage explants.