Research Center Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain

Göttingen, Germany

Research Center Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain

Göttingen, Germany
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Bunt G.,University of Gottingen | Wouters F.S.,University of Gottingen | Wouters F.S.,Research Center Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain
Biophysical Reviews | Year: 2017

Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a powerful tool for the visualization of molecular signaling events such as protein activities and interactions in cells. In its different implementations, FRET microscopy has been mainly used for monitoring single events. Recently, there has been a trend of extending FRET imaging towards the simultaneous detection of multiple events and interactions. The concomitant increase in experimental complexity requires a deeper understanding of the biophysical background of FRET. The presence of multiple acceptors for one donor affects the well-known formalism for FRET between two molecules, increasing distance sensitivity through mechanisms that have become known as the ‘antenna’ and ‘surplus’ effect. We will discuss the nature of these effects and present the imaging methods that have been used to unravel the combined transfer rates in the multi-protein interactions of multiplexed FRET experiments. Multiplexing strategies are becoming invaluable analytical tools for the elucidation of biological complexes and for the visualization of decision points in cellular signaling networks in physiological and pathological conditions. © 2017, The Author(s).


Hammer C.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine | Stepniak B.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine | Schneider A.,University of Gottingen | Schneider A.,Research Center Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain | And 26 more authors.
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2013

In 2007, a multifaceted syndrome, associated with anti-NMDA receptor autoantibodies (NMDAR-AB) of immunoglobulin-G isotype, has been described, which variably consists of psychosis, epilepsy, cognitive decline and extrapyramidal symptoms. Prevalence and significance of NMDAR-AB in complex neuropsychiatric disease versus health, however, have remained unclear. We tested sera of 2817 subjects (1325 healthy, 1081 schizophrenic, 263 Parkinson and 148 affective-disorder subjects) for presence of NMDAR-AB, conducted a genome-wide genetic association study, comparing AB carriers versus non-carriers, and assessed their influenza AB status. For mechanistic insight and documentation of AB functionality, in vivo experiments involving mice with deficient blood-brain barrier (ApoE-/-) and in vitro endocytosis assays in primary cortical neurons were performed. In 10.5% of subjects, NMDAR-AB (NR1 subunit) of any immunoglobulin isotype were detected, with no difference in seroprevalence, titer or in vitro functionality between patients and healthy controls. Administration of extracted human serum to mice influenced basal and MK-801-induced activity in the open field only in ApoE-/- mice injected with NMDAR-AB-positive serum but not in respective controls. Seropositive schizophrenic patients with a history of neurotrauma or birth complications, indicating an at least temporarily compromised blood-brain barrier, had more neurological abnormalities than seronegative patients with comparable history. A common genetic variant (rs524991, P=6.15E-08) as well as past influenza A (P=0.024) or B (P=0.006) infection were identified as predisposing factors for NMDAR-AB seropositivity. The >10% overall seroprevalence of NMDAR-AB of both healthy individuals and patients is unexpectedly high. Clinical significance, however, apparently depends on association with past or present perturbations of blood-brain barrier function.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 3 September 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.110.


Ziomkiewicz I.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry | Ziomkiewicz I.,Copenhagen University | Loman A.,University of Gottingen | Loman A.,University Marseille Luminey | And 8 more authors.
Cytometry Part A | Year: 2013

We have revealed a reorientation of ectodomain I of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR; ErbB1; Her1) in living CHO cells expressing the receptor, upon binding of the native ligand EGF. The state of the unliganded, nonactivated EGFR was compared to that exhibited after ligand addition in the presence of a kinase inhibitor that prevents endocytosis but does not interfere with binding or the ensuing conformational rearrangements. To perform these experiments, we constructed a transgene EGFR with an acyl carrier protein sequence between the signal peptide and the EGFR mature protein sequence. This protein, which behaves similarly to wild-type EGFR with respect to EGF binding, activation, and internalization, can be labeled at a specific serine in the acyl carrier tag with a fluorophore incorporated into a 4′-phosphopantetheine (P-pant) conjugate transferred enzymatically from the corresponding CoA derivative. By measuring Förster resonance energy transfer between a molecule of Atto390 covalently attached to EGFR in this manner and a novel lipid probe NR12S distributed exclusively in the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, we determined the apparent relative separation of ectodomain I from the membrane under nonactivating and activating conditions. The data indicate that the unliganded domain I of the EGFR receptor is situated much closer to the membrane before EGF addition, supporting the model of a self-inhibited configuration of the inactive receptor in quiescent cells. © 2013 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.


Yin G.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry | Lopes da Fonseca T.,University of Gottingen | Eisbach S.E.,University of Gottingen | Anduaga A.M.,University of Leicester | And 18 more authors.
Neurobiology of Disease | Year: 2014

Alpha-synuclein (αS) misfolding is associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) but little is known about the mechanisms underlying αS toxicity. Increasing evidence suggests that defects in membrane transport play an important role in neuronal dysfunction. Here we demonstrate that the GTPase Rab8a interacts with αS in rodent brain. NMR spectroscopy reveals that the C-terminus of αS binds to the functionally important switch region as well as the C-terminal tail of Rab8a. In line with a direct Rab8a/αS interaction, Rab8a enhanced αS aggregation and reduced αS-induced cellular toxicity. In addition, Rab8 - the Drosophila ortholog of Rab8a - ameliorated αS-oligomer specific locomotor impairment and neuron loss in fruit flies. In support of the pathogenic relevance of the αS-Rab8a interaction, phosphorylation of αS at S129 enhanced binding to Rab8a, increased formation of insoluble αS aggregates and reduced cellular toxicity. Our study provides novel mechanistic insights into the interplay of the GTPase Rab8a and αS cytotoxicity, and underscores the therapeutic potential of targeting this interaction. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Li W.,Research Center Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain | Li W.,University of Gottingen | Stein S.C.,University of Gottingen | Gregor I.,University of Gottingen | And 2 more authors.
Optics Express | Year: 2015

We developed a stand-alone cryostat with optical access to the sample which can be adapted to any epi-fluorescence microscope for single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging. The cryostat cools the sample to a cryogenic temperature of 89 K, and allows for imaging single molecules using an air objective with a numerical aperture of 0.7. An important property of this system is its excellent thermal and mechanical stability, enabling long-time observations of samples over several hours with negligible drift. Using this system, we performed photo-bleaching studies of Atto647N dye molecules, and find an improvement of the photostability of these molecules by more than two orders of magnitude. The resulting increased photon numbers of several millions allow for single-molecule localization accuracy of sub-nanometer. © 2014 Optical Society of America.


Isbaner S.,University of Gottingen | Karedla N.,University of Gottingen | Karedla N.,Research Center Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain | Ruhlandt D.,University of Gottingen | And 5 more authors.
Optics Express | Year: 2016

We present a comprehensive theory of dead-time effects on Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) as used for fluorescence lifetime measurements, and develop a correction algorithm to remove these artifacts. We apply this algorithm to fluorescence lifetime measurements as well as to Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM), where rapid data acquisition is necessarily connected with high count rates. There, dead-time effects cannot be neglected, and lead to distortions in the observed lifetime image. The algorithm is quite general and completely independent of the particular nature of the measured signal. It can also be applied to any other single-event counting measurement with detector and/or electronics dead-time. © 2016 Optical Society of America.


Stein S.C.,University of Gottingen | Huss A.,University of Gottingen | Huss A.,Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience | Hahnel D.,University of Gottingen | And 4 more authors.
Optics Express | Year: 2015

Stochastic Optical Fluctuation Imaging (SOFI) is a superresolution fluorescence microscopy technique which allows to enhance the spatial resolution of an image by evaluating the temporal fluctuations of blinking fluorescent emitters. SOFI is not based on the identification and localization of single molecules such as in the widely used Photoactivation Localization Microsopy (PALM) or Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM), but computes a superresolved image via temporal cumulants from a recorded movie. A technical challenge hereby is that, when directly applying the SOFI algorithm to a movie of raw images, the pixel size of the final SOFI image is the same as that of the original images, which becomes problematic when the final SOFI resolution is much smaller than this value. In the past, sophisticated cross-correlation schemes have been used for tackling this problem. Here, we present an alternative, exact, straightforward, and simple solution using an interpolation scheme based on Fourier transforms. We exemplify the method on simulated and experimental data. © 2015 Optical Society of America.


Deeg A.A.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Reiner A.M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Schmidt F.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Schueder F.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 9 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2015

Background Special diphenyl-pyrazole compounds and in particular anle138b were found to reduce the progression of prion and Parkinson's disease in animal models. The therapeutic impact of these compounds was attributed to the modulation of α-synuclein and prion-protein aggregation related to these diseases. Methods Photophysical and photochemical properties of the diphenyl-pyrazole compounds anle138b, anle186b and sery313b and their interaction with monomeric and aggregated α-synuclein were studied by fluorescence techniques. Results The fluorescence emission of diphenyl-pyrazole is strongly increased upon incubation with α-synuclein fibrils, while no change in fluorescence emission is found when brought in contact with monomeric α-synuclein. This points to a distinct interaction between diphenyl-pyrazole and the fibrillar structure with a high binding affinity (Kd = 190 ± 120 nM) for anle138b. Several α-synuclein proteins form a hydrophobic binding pocket for the diphenyl-pyrazole compound. A UV-induced dehalogenation reaction was observed for anle138b which is modulated by the hydrophobic environment of the fibrils. Conclusion Fluorescence of the investigated diphenyl-pyrazole compounds strongly increases upon binding to fibrillar α-synuclein structures. Binding at high affinity occurs to hydrophobic pockets in the fibrils. General significance The observed particular fluorescence properties of the diphenyl-pyrazole molecules open new possibilities for the investigation of the mode of action of these compounds in neurodegenerative diseases. The high binding affinity to aggregates and the strong increase in fluorescence upon binding make the compounds promising fluorescence markers for the analysis of aggregation-dependent epitopes. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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