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Parkinson D.Y.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Epperly L.R.,University of California at San Francisco | Epperly L.R.,National Center for X ray Tomography | McDermott G.,University of California at San Francisco | And 8 more authors.
Methods in Molecular Biology

Soft X-ray microscopy is ideally suited to visualizing and quantifying biological cells. Specimens, including eukaryotic cells, are imaged intact, unstained and fully hydrated, and therefore visualized in a near-native state. The contrast in soft X-ray microscopy is generated by the differential attenuation of X-rays by the molecules in the specimen-water is relatively transmissive to this type of illumination compared to carbon and nitrogen. The attenuation of X-rays by the specimen follows the Beer-Lambert law, and therefore both linear and a quantitative measure of thickness and chemical species present at each point in the cell. In this chapter, we will describe the procedures and computational methods that lead to 50 nm (or better) tomographic reconstructions of cells using soft X-ray microscope data, and the subsequent segmentation and analysis of these volumetric reconstructions. In addition to being a high-fidelity imaging modality, soft X-ray tomography is relatively high-throughput; a complete tomographic data set can be collected in a matter of minutes. This new modality is being applied to imaging cells that range from small prokaryotes to stem cells obtained from mammalian tissues. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Smith E.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Smith E.A.,National Center for X ray Tomography | Cinquin B.P.,University of California at San Francisco | Cinquin B.P.,National Center for X ray Tomography | And 10 more authors.

Correlated imaging is the process of imaging a specimen with two complementary modalities, and then combining the two data sets to create a highly informative, composite view. A recent implementation of this concept has been the combination of soft x-ray tomography (SXT) with fluorescence cryogenic microscopy (FCM). SXT-FCM is used to visualize cells that are held in a near-native, cryopreserved. The resultant images are, therefore, highly representative of both the cellular architecture and molecular organization in vivo. SXT quantitatively visualizes the cell and sub-cellular structures; FCM images the spatial distribution of fluorescently labeled molecules. Here, we review the characteristics of SXT-FCM, and briefly discuss how this method compares with existing correlative imaging techniques. We also describe how the incorporation of a cryo-rotation stage into a cryogenic fluorescence microscope allows acquisition of fluorescence cryogenic tomography (FCT) data. FCT is optimally suited for correlation with SXT, since both techniques image the specimen in 3-D, potentially with similar, isotropic spatial resolution. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Smith E.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Smith E.A.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Smith E.A.,National Center for X ray Tomography | McDermott G.,University of California at San Francisco | And 13 more authors.
Biophysical Journal

Soft x-ray tomography (SXT) is increasingly being recognized as a valuable method for visualizing and quantifying the ultrastructure of cryopreserved cells. Here, we describe the combination of SXT with cryogenic confocal fluorescence tomography (CFT). This correlative approach allows the incorporation of molecular localization data, with isotropic precision, into high-resolution three-dimensional (3-D) SXT reconstructions of the cell. CFT data are acquired first using a cryogenically adapted confocal light microscope in which the specimen is coupled to a high numerical aperture objective lens by an immersion fluid. The specimen is then cryo-transferred to a soft x-ray microscope (SXM) for SXT data acquisition. Fiducial markers visible in both types of data act as common landmarks, enabling accurate coalignment of the two complementary tomographic reconstructions. We used this method to identify the inactive X chromosome (Xi) in female v-abl transformed thymic lymphoma cells by localizing enhanced green fluorescent protein-labeled macroH2A with CFT. The molecular localization data were used to guide segmentation of Xi in the SXT reconstructions, allowing characterization of the Xi topological arrangement in near-native state cells. Xi was seen to adopt a number of different topologies with no particular arrangement being dominant. © 2014 Biophysical Society. Source

Le Gros M.A.,University of California at San Francisco | Le Gros M.A.,National Center for X ray Tomography | Le Gros M.A.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Mcdermott G.,University of California at San Francisco | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Synchrotron Radiation

Beamline 2.1 (XM-2) is a transmission soft X-ray microscope in sector 2 of the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. XM-2 was designed, built and is now operated by the National Center for X-ray Tomography as a National Institutes of Health Biomedical Technology Research Resource. XM-2 is equipped with a cryogenic rotation stage to enable tomographic data collection from cryo-preserved cells, including large mammalian cells. During data collection the specimen is illuminated with 'water window' X-rays (284-543eV). Illuminating photons are attenuated an order of magnitude more strongly by biomolecules than by water. Consequently, differences in molecular composition generate quantitative contrast in images of the specimen. Soft X-ray tomography is an information-rich three-dimensional imaging method that can be applied either as a standalone technique or as a component modality in correlative imaging studies. © 2014 International Union of Crystallography. Source

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