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      ImageJ for microscopy

      1

      BioTechniques

      Future Science Ltd

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          Automatic and quantitative measurement of protein-protein colocalization in live cells.

          We introduce a novel statistical approach that quantifies, for the first time, the amount of colocalization of two fluorescent-labeled proteins in an image automatically, removing the bias of visual interpretation. This is done by estimating simultaneously the maximum threshold of intensity for each color below which pixels do not show any statistical correlation. The sensitivity of the method was illustrated on simulated data by statistically confirming the existence of true colocalization in images with as little as 3% colocalization. This method was then tested on a large three-dimensional set of fixed cells cotransfected with CFP/YFP pairs of proteins that either co-compartmentalized, interacted, or were just randomly localized in the nucleolus. In this test, the algorithm successfully distinguished random color overlap from colocalization due to either co-compartmentalization or interaction, and results were verified by fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The accuracy and consistency of our algorithm was further illustrated by measuring, for the first time in live cells, the dissociation rate (k(d)) of the HIV-1 Rev/CRM1 export complex induced by the cytotoxin leptomycin B. Rev/CRM1 colocalization in nucleoli dropped exponentially after addition of leptomycin B at a rate of 1.25 x 10(-3) s(-1). More generally, this algorithm can be used to answer a variety of biological questions involving protein-protein interactions or co-compartmentalization and can be generalized to colocalization of more than two colors.
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            A syntaxin 1, Galpha(o), and N-type calcium channel complex at a presynaptic nerve terminal: analysis by quantitative immunocolocalization.

            Presynaptic Ca(V)2.2 (N-type) calcium channels are subject to modulation by interaction with syntaxin 1 and by a syntaxin 1-sensitive Galpha(O) G-protein pathway. We used biochemical analysis of neuronal tissue lysates and a new quantitative test of colocalization by intensity correlation analysis at the giant calyx-type presynaptic terminal of the chick ciliary ganglion to explore the association of Ca(V)2.2 with syntaxin 1 and Galpha(O). Ca(V)2.2 could be localized by immunocytochemistry (antibody Ab571) in puncta on the release site aspect of the presynaptic terminal and close to synaptic vesicle clouds. Syntaxin 1 coimmunoprecipitated with Ca(V)2.2 from chick brain and chick ciliary ganglia and was widely distributed on the presynaptic terminal membrane. A fraction of the total syntaxin 1 colocalized with the Ca(V)2.2 puncta, whereas the bulk colocalized with MUNC18-1. Galpha(O,) whether in its trimeric or monomeric state, did not coimmunoprecipitate with Ca(V)2.2, MUNC18-1, or syntaxin 1. However, the G-protein exhibited a punctate staining on the calyx membrane with an intensity that varied in synchrony with that for both Ca channels and syntaxin 1 but only weakly with MUNC18-1. Thus, syntaxin 1 appears to be a component of two separate complexes at the presynaptic terminal, a minor one at the transmitter release site with Ca(V)2.2 and Galpha(O), as well as in large clusters remote from the release site with MUNC18-1. These syntaxin 1 protein complexes may play distinct roles in presynaptic biology.
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              Quantitative digital analysis of diffuse and concentrated nuclear distributions of nascent transcripts, SC35 and poly(A).

              Digital imaging microscopy was used to analyze the spatial distribution and levels of newly synthesized RNA in relation to steady-state poly(A) RNA and to the splicing factor SC35. Transcription was monitored over time after microinjection of BrUTP and was detected using antibodies. Poly(A) RNA was detected with probes directly conjugated to fluorochromes, allowing direct detection of the hybrids. Objective methods were used to determine genuine signal. A defined threshold level to separate signal from noise was established for each nucleus. The nucleolus was used to determine poly(A) and SC35 background and the juxtanuclear cytoplasm was used for the BrUTP background. The remaining signal was segmented into high (concentrated) and low (diffuse) levels. Surprisingly, for all probes examined, most of the signal was not in concentrated areas, but rather was diffusely spread throughout the nucleoplasm. A minority (20-30%) of the SC35 signal was in concentrated areas ("speckles") and the rest was dispersed throughout the nucleoplasm. In addition, the concentrated areas had a mean intensity only twice the average. The amount and significance of the colocalization of the diffuse, or concentrated, areas of SC35 [or poly(A)] with BrUTP incorporation were analyzed. The image from one probe was translated with respect to the other in three dimensions to compare colocalization with random alignments. Both poly(A) and SC35 were found to have low colocalization with the total BrU signal. Sites of transcription were determined using an algorithm to find maxima of BrUTP signal within clusters. From 849 to as many as 3888 sites per nucleus were detected. A rim of hybridization to poly(A) coinciding with the nuclear envelope was eliminated by actinomycin treatment, suggesting that these transcripts were exiting from the nucleus. These results emphasize the importance of utilizing the full dynamic range of the image before drawing conclusions as to the distribution of nuclear components.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]McMaster Biophotonics Facility, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
                Journal
                BioTechniques
                BioTechniques
                Future Science Ltd
                0736-6205
                1940-9818
                July 2007
                July 2007
                : 43
                : 1S
                : S25-S30
                10.2144/000112517
                © 2007
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