Molecular profiling of single organelles for quantitative analysis of cellular heterogeneity.
ABSTRACT: Recent developments in Raman spectroscopy instrumentation and data processing algorithms have led to the emergence of Ramanomics - an independent discipline with unprecedented capabilities to map the distribution of distinct molecular groups in live cells. Here, we introduce a method for probing the absolute concentrations of proteins, RNA and lipids in single organelles of live cultured cells by biomolecular component analysis using microRaman data. We found significant cell-to-cell variations in the molecular profiles of organelles, thus providing a physiologically relevant set of markers of cellular heterogeneity. At the same cell the molecular profiles of different organelles can strongly correlate, reflecting tight coordination of their functions. This correlation was significant in WI-38 diploid fibroblasts and weak in HeLa cells, indicating profound differences in the regulation of biochemical processes in these cell lines.
Project description:To advance an understanding of cellular regulation and function it is crucial to identify molecular contents in cellular organelles, which accommodate specific biochemical processes. Toward achievement of this goal, we applied micro-Raman-Biomolecular Component Analysis assay for molecular profiling of major organelles in live cells. We used this assay for comparative analysis of proteins 3D conformation and quantification of proteins, RNA, and lipids concentrations in nucleoli, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria of WI 38 diploid lung fibroblasts and HeLa cancer cells. Obtained data show substantial differences in the concentrations and conformations of proteins in the studied organelles. Moreover, differences in the intraorganellar concentrations of RNA and lipids between these cell lines were found. We report the biological significance of obtained macromolecular profiles and advocate for micro-Raman BCA assay as a valuable proteomics tool.
Project description:Raman microspectroscopy is a rapidly developing technique, which has an unparalleled potential for in situ proteomics, lipidomics, and metabolomics, due to its remarkable capability to analyze the molecular composition of live cells and single cellular organelles. However, the scope of Raman spectroscopy for bio-applications is limited by a lack of software tools for express-analysis of biomolecular composition based on Raman spectra. In this study, we have developed the first software toolbox for immediate analysis of intracellular Raman spectra using a powerful biomolecular component analysis (BCA) algorithm. Our software could be easily integrated with commercial Raman spectroscopy instrumentation, and serve for precise analysis of molecular content in major cellular organelles, including nucleoli, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and mitochondria of either live or fixed cells. The proposed software may be applied in broad directions of cell science, and serve for further advancement and standardization of Raman spectroscopy.
Project description:Detailed studies of lipids in biological systems, including their role in cellular structure, metabolism, and disease development, comprise an increasingly prominent discipline called lipidomics. However, the conventional lipidomics tools, such as mass spectrometry, cannot investigate lipidomes until they are extracted, and thus they cannot be used for probing the lipid distribution nor for studying in live cells. Furthermore, conventional techniques rely on the lipid extraction from relatively large samples, which averages the data across the cellular populations and masks essential cell-to-cell variations. Further advancement of the discipline of lipidomics critically depends on the capability of high-resolution lipid profiling in live cells and, potentially, in single organelles. Here we report a micro-Raman assay designed for single-organelle lipidomics. We demonstrate how Raman microscopy can be used to measure the local intracellular biochemical composition and lipidome hallmarks-lipid concentration and unsaturation level, cis/trans isomer ratio, sphingolipids and cholesterol levels in live cells-with a sub-micrometer resolution, which is sufficient for profiling of subcellular structures. These lipidome data were generated by a newly developed biomolecular component analysis software, which provides a shared platform for data analysis among different research groups. We outline a robust, reliable, and user-friendly protocol for quantitative analysis of lipid profiles in subcellular structures. This method expands the capabilities of Raman-based lipidomics toward the analysis of single organelles within either live or fixed cells, thus allowing an unprecedented measure of organellar lipid heterogeneity and opening new quantitative ways to study the phenotypic variability in normal and diseased cells.
Project description:Nuclear organelles are viscous droplets, created by concentration-dependent condensation and liquid-liquid phase separation of soluble proteins. Nuclear organelles have been actively investigated for their role in cellular regulation and disease. However, these studies are highly challenging to perform in live cells, and therefore, their physico-chemical properties are still poorly understood. In this study, we describe a fluorescence lifetime imaging approach for real-time monitoring of protein condensation in nuclear organelles of live cultured cells. This approach unravels surprisingly large cyclic changes in concentration of proteins in major nuclear organelles including nucleoli, nuclear speckles, Cajal bodies, as well as in the clusters of heterochromatin. Remarkably, protein concentration changes are synchronous for different organelles of the same cells. We propose a molecular mechanism responsible for synchronous accumulations of proteins in the nuclear organelles. This mechanism can serve for general regulation of cellular metabolism and contribute to coordination of gene expression.
Project description:Cell-to-cell communication engages signaling and spatiotemporal reorganization events driven by highly context-dependent and dynamic intercellular interactions, which are difficult to capture within heterogeneous primary cell cultures. Here, we present a straightforward correlative imaging approach utilizing commonly available instrumentation to sample large numbers of cell-cell interaction events, allowing qualitative and quantitative characterization of rare functioning cell-conjugates based on calcium signals. We applied this approach to examine a previously uncharacterized immunological synapse, investigating autologous human blood CD4+ T cells and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) forming functional conjugates in vitro. Populations of signaling conjugates were visualized, tracked and analyzed by combining live imaging, calcium recording and multivariate statistical analysis. Correlative immunofluorescence was added to quantify endogenous molecular recruitments at the cell-cell junction. By analyzing a large number of rare conjugates, we were able to define calcium signatures associated with different states of CD4+ T cell-MDM interactions. Quantitative image analysis of immunostained conjugates detected the propensity of endogenous T cell surface markers and intracellular organelles to polarize towards cell-cell junctions with high and sustained calcium signaling profiles, hence defining immunological synapses. Overall, we developed a broadly applicable approach enabling detailed single cell- and population-based investigations of rare cell-cell communication events with primary cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Lipid droplets are a class of eukaryotic cell organelles for storage of neutral fat such as triacylglycerol (TAG) and cholesterol ester (CE). We and others have recently reported that lysosome-related organelles (LROs) are not fat storage structures in the nematode C. elegans. We also reported the formation of enlarged lipid droplets in a class of peroxisomal fatty acid ?-oxidation mutants. In the present study, we seek to provide further evidence on the organelle nature and biophysical properties of fat storage structures in wild-type and mutant C. elegans. RESULTS: In this study, we provide biochemical, histological and ultrastructural evidence of lipid droplets in wild-type and mutant C. elegans that lack lysosome related organelles (LROs). The formation of lipid droplets and the targeting of BODIPY fatty acid analogs to lipid droplets in live animals are not dependent on lysosomal trafficking or peroxisome dysfunction. However, the targeting of Nile Red to lipid droplets in live animals occurs only in mutants with defective peroxisomes. Nile Red labelled-lipid droplets are characterized by a fluorescence emission spectrum distinct from that of Nile Red labelled-LROs. Moreover, we show that the recently developed post-fix Nile Red staining method labels lipid droplets exclusively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate lipid droplets as ubiquitous fat storage organelles and provide a unified explanation for previous studies on fat labelling methods in C. elegans. These results have important applications to the studies of fat storage and lipid droplet regulation in the powerful genetic system, C. elegans.
Project description:Cells chemically isolate molecules in compartments to both facilitate and regulate their interactions. In addition to membrane-encapsulated compartments, cells can form proteinaceous and membraneless organelles, including nucleoli, Cajal and PML bodies, and stress granules. The principles that determine when and why these structures form have remained elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the disordered tails of Ddx4, a primary constituent of nuage or germ granules, form phase-separated organelles both in live cells and in vitro. These bodies are stabilized by patterned electrostatic interactions that are highly sensitive to temperature, ionic strength, arginine methylation, and splicing. Sequence determinants are used to identify proteins found in both membraneless organelles and cell adhesion. Moreover, the bodies provide an alternative solvent environment that can concentrate single-stranded DNA but largely exclude double-stranded DNA. We propose that phase separation of disordered proteins containing weakly interacting blocks is a general mechanism for forming regulated, membraneless organelles.
Project description:In most eukaryotic cells, microtubules and filamentous actin (F-actin) provide tracks on which intracellular organelles move using molecular motors. Here we report that cytoplasmic movement of both mitochondria and lysosomes is slowed by F-actin meshwork formation in pancreatic duct epithelial cells (PDEC). Mitochondria and lysosomes were labeled with fluorescent Mitotracker Red CMXRos and Lysotracker Red DND-99, respectively, and their movements were monitored using epi-fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Mitochondria and lysosomes moving actively at rest stopped rapidly within several seconds after an intracellular Ca(2+) rise induced by activation of P2Y(2) purinergic receptors. The 'freezing' of the organelles was inhibited by blocking the Ca(2+) rise or by pretreatment with latrunculin B, an inhibitor of F-actin formation. Indeed, this freezing effect on the organelles was accompanied by the formation of F-actin in the whole cytoplasm as stained with Alexa 488-phalloidin in fixed PDEC. For real-time monitoring of F-actin formation in live cells, we expressed sGFP-fimbrin actin binding domain2 (fABD2) in PDEC. Rapid recruitment of the fluorescent probe near the nucleus and lysosomes suggested dense F-actin formation around intracellular structures. The development of F-actin paralleled that of organelle freezing. We conclude that rapid Ca(2+)-dependent F-actin formation physically restrains intracellular organelles and reduces their mobility non-selectively in PDEC.
Project description:The isolation of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the development of spectral variants over the past decade have begun to reveal the dynamic nature of protein trafficking and organelle motility. In planta analyses of this dynamic process have typically been limited to only two organelles or proteins at a time in only a few cell types.We generated a transgenic Arabidopsis plant that contains four spectrally different fluorescent proteins. Nuclei, plastids, mitochondria and plasma membranes were genetically tagged with cyan, red, yellow and green fluorescent proteins, respectively. In addition, methods to track nuclei, mitochondria and chloroplasts and quantify the interaction between these organelles at a submicron resolution were developed. These analyzes revealed that N-ethylmaleimide disrupts nuclear-mitochondrial but not nuclear-plastids interactions in root epidermal cells of live Arabidopsis seedlings.We developed a tool and associated methods for analyzing the complex dynamic of organelle-organelle interactions in real time in planta. Homozygous transgenic Arabidopsis (Kaleidocell) is available through Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center.
Project description:Intracellular transport of membrane organelles occurs along microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (AFs). Although transport along each type of the cytoskeletal tracks is well characterized, the switching between the two types of transport is poorly understood because it cannot be observed directly in living cells. To gain insight into the regulation of the switching of membrane organelles between the two major transport systems, we developed a novel approach that combines live cell imaging with computational modeling. Using this approach, we measured the parameters that determine how fast membrane organelles switch back and forth between MTs and AFs (the switching rate constants) and compared these parameters during different signaling states. We show that regulation involves a major change in a single parameter: the transferring rate from AFs onto MTs. This result suggests that MT transport is the defining factor whose regulation determines the choice of the cytoskeletal tracks during the transport of membrane organelles.