System Biosciences SBI

Hayward, CA, United States

System Biosciences SBI

Hayward, CA, United States
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Uhde-Stone C.,California State University, East Bay | Sarkar N.,System Biosciences SBI | Antes T.,System Biosciences SBI | Otoc N.,System Biosciences SBI | And 3 more authors.
RNA | Year: 2014

Significant progress in the functional understanding of microRNAs (miRNAs) has been made in mice, but a need remains to develop efficient tools for bi-allelic knockouts of miRNA in the human genome. Transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) provide an exciting platform for targeted gene ablation in cultured human cells, but bi-allelic modifications induced by TALENs alone occur at low frequency, making screening for double knockouts a tedious task. Here, we present an approach that is highly efficient in bi-allelic miRNA ablation in the human genome by combining TALENs targeting to the miRNA seed region with a homologous recombination donor vector and a positive selection strategy. A pilot test of this approach demonstrates bi-allelic miR-21 gene disruption at high frequency (∼87%) in cultured HEK293 cells. Analysis of three independent clones showed a total loss of miR-21 expression. Phenotypical analysis revealed increased miR-21 target gene expression, reduced cell proliferation, and alterations of global miRNA expression profiles. Taken together, our study reveals a feasible and efficient approach for biallelic miRNA ablation in cultured human cells and demonstrates its usefulness in elucidating miRNA function in human cells. © 2014 Uhde-Stone et al.


PubMed | System Biosciences SBI, Santa Clara University and Gilead Sciences Inc.
Type: | Journal: Biological procedures online | Year: 2016

A number of integrase defective lentiviral (IDLV) packaging systems have been developed to produce integration deficient lentiviruses for gene delivery and epichromosomal expression. However, despite their growing demand, a comparative study to systemically evaluate the performance efficiency of different mutants on virus packaging and gene expression has not been done.Site-directed mutagenesis was used to generate five integrasedeficient mutants for non-integrative lentiviral packaging (NILVP). The five mutants were then individually incorporated to make different integrase defective lentivirus plasmid packaging mix, keeping other packaging factors constant. CD511B-1, a lentivectorexpressing GFP from an EF1 promoter, was packaged with each of the five different lentivirus packaging mix to make pseudotypedviral particles. The performance and packaging efficiency of each of the integrase deficient mutants was evaluated based on GFP expression in HT1080 cells, while the wild type lentivirus packaging mix was used as a control. Of the five integrase mutant candidates, one with the highestGFP transgene expression level was chosen for further characterization. The non-integrative nature of this candidate was confirmed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and characterized using both dividing and non-dividing cells. Finally, a detailed standard protocol for NILVP using this integrase defective mutant was developed.An efficient lentiviral packaging system for producing on-integrative lentivirus was established. This system is compatible with most existing lentivectors and can be used to transduce both dividing and non-dividing cells.


Uhde-Stone C.,California State University, East Bay | Huang J.,System Biosciences SBI | Lu B.,System Biosciences SBI
Biological Procedures Online | Year: 2012

Background: Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) are a class of naturally occurring transcription effectors that recognize specific DNA sequences and modulate gene expression. The modularity of TALEs DNA binding domain enables sequence-specific perturbation and offers broad applications in genetic and epigenetic studies. Although the efficient construction of TALEs has been established, robust functional tools to assess their functions remain lacking. Results: We established a dual reporter system that was specifically designed for real-time monitoring and quantifying gene expression mediated by TALEs. We validated both sensitivity and specificity of this dual-reporter system in mammalian cells, and demonstrated that this dual reporter system is robust and potentially amenable to high throughput (HTP) applications. Conclusion: We have designed, constructed and validated a novel dual reporter system for assessing TALE mediated gene regulations. This system offers a robust and easy-to- use tool for real-time monitoring and quantifying gene expression in mammalian cells. © 2012 Uhde-Stone et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Peterson M.F.,System Biosciences SBI | Otoc N.,System Biosciences SBI | Sethi J.K.,System Biosciences SBI | Gupta A.,System Biosciences SBI | Antes T.J.,System Biosciences SBI
Methods | Year: 2015

Extracellular vesicles, including exosomes, are currently being investigated to better understand their biogenesis and biological functions. There is also a rapidly growing interest in utilizing exosomes present in patient biofluids for molecular diagnostics in the clinic. Exosomes are natural shuttles of RNA and protein cargo, making them attractive as potential therapeutic delivery vehicles. Here, we describe the methods for using the latest tools and technologies to study exosomes to better understand their roles in cell-to-cell communication, for discovery of clinical biomarkers and to engineer exosomes for therapeutic applications. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Uhde-Stone C.,California State University, East Bay | Cheung E.,System Biosciences SBI | Lu B.,System Biosciences SBI
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2014

Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) are a class of transcription factors that are readily programmable to regulate gene expression. Despite their growing popularity, little is known about binding site parameters that influence TALE-mediated gene activation in mammalian cells. We demonstrate that TALE activators modulate gene expression in mammalian cells in a position- and strand-dependent manner. To study the effects of binding site location, we engineered TALEs customized to recognize specific DNA sequences located in either the promoter or the transcribed region of reporter genes. We found that TALE activators robustly activated reporter genes when their binding sites were located within the promoter region. In contrast, TALE activators inhibited the expression of reporter genes when their binding sites were located on the sense strand of the transcribed region. Notably, this repression was independent of the effector domain utilized, suggesting a simple blockage mechanism. We conclude that TALE activators in mammalian cells regulate genes in a position- and strand-dependent manner that is substantially different from gene activation by native TALEs in plants. These findings have implications for optimizing the design of custom TALEs for genetic manipulation in mammalian cells. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Uhde-Stone C.,California State University, East Bay | Gor N.,California State University, East Bay | Chin T.,System Biosciences SBI | Huang J.,System Biosciences SBI | Lu B.,System Biosciences SBI
Biological Procedures Online | Year: 2013

Background: TALEs (transcription activator-like effectors) are powerful molecules that have broad applications in genetic and epigenetic manipulations. The simple design of TALEs, coupled with high binding predictability and specificity, is bringing genome engineering power to the standard molecular laboratory. Currently, however, custom TALE assembly is either costly or limited to few research centers, due to complicated assembly protocols, long set-up time and specific training requirements. Results: We streamlined a Golden Gate-based method for custom TALE assembly. First, by providing ready-made, quality-controlled monomers, we eliminated the procedures for error-prone and time-consuming set-up. Second, we optimized the protocol toward a fast, two-day assembly of custom TALEs, based on four thermocycling reactions. Third, we increased the versatility for diverse downstream applications by providing series of vector sets to generate both TALENs (TALE nucleases) and TALE-TFs (TALE-transcription factors) under the control of different promoters. Finally, we validated our system by assembling a number of TALENs and TALE-TFs with DNA sequencing confirmation. We further demonstrated that an assembled TALE-TF was able to transactivate a luciferase reporter gene and a TALEN pair was able to cut its target. Conclusions: We established and validated a do-it-yourself system that enables individual researchers to assemble TALENs and TALE-TFs within 2 days. The simplified TALE assembly combined with multiple choices of vectors will facilitate the broad use of TALE technology. © 2013 Uhde-Stone et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Afshari A.,California State University, East Bay | Uhde-Stone C.,California State University, East Bay | Lu B.,System Biosciences SBI
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2014

Despite their fundamental importance, the dynamics of signaling pathways in living cells remain challenging to study, due to a lack of non-invasive tools for temporal assessment of signal transduction in desired cell models. Here we report a dual-reporter strategy that enables researchers to monitor signal transduction in mammalian cells in real-time, both temporally and quantitatively. This is achieved by co-expressing green fluorescent protein and firefly luciferase in response to signaling stimuli. To display the versatility of this approach, we constructed and assessed eight unique signaling pathway reporters. We further validated the system by establishing stable NF-κB pathway reporter cell lines. Using these stable cell lines, we monitored the activity of NF-κB-mediated inflammatory pathway in real-time, both visually and quantitatively. Live visualization has the power to reveal individual cell responses and is compatible with single cell analysis, In addition, we provide evidence that this system is readily amenable to a high-throughput format. Together, our findings demonstrate the potential of the dual reporter system, which significantly improves the capacity to study signal transduction pathways in mammalian cells. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Afshari A.,California State University, East Bay | Uhde-Stone C.,California State University, East Bay | Lu B.,System Biosciences SBI
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2015

Luciferase assay has become an increasingly important technique to monitor a wide range of biological processes. However, the mainstay protocols require a luminometer to acquire and process the data, therefore limiting its application to specialized research labs.To overcome this limitation, we have developed an alternative protocol that utilizes a commonly available cooled charge-coupled device (CCCD), instead of a luminometer for data acquiring and processing. By measuring activities of different luciferases, we characterized their substrate specificity, assay linearity, signal-to-noise levels, and fold-changes via CCCD. Next, we defined the assay parameters that are critical for appropriate use of CCCD for different luciferases. To demonstrate the usefulness in cultured mammalian cells, we conducted a case study to examine NFκB gene activation in response to inflammatory signals in human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293 cells). We found that data collected by CCCD camera was equivalent to those acquired by luminometer, thus validating the assay protocol. In comparison, The CCCD-based protocol is readily amenable to live-cell and high-throughput applications, offering fast simultaneous data acquisition and visual and quantitative data presentation.In conclusion, the CCCD-based protocol provides a useful alternative for monitoring luciferase reporters. The wide availability of CCCD will enable more researchers to use luciferases to monitor and quantify biological processes. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | California State University, East Bay and System Biosciences SBI
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biochemical and biophysical research communications | Year: 2015

Luciferase assay has become an increasingly important technique to monitor a wide range of biological processes. However, the mainstay protocols require a luminometer to acquire and process the data, therefore limiting its application to specialized research labs. To overcome this limitation, we have developed an alternative protocol that utilizes a commonly available cooled charge-coupled device (CCCD), instead of a luminometer for data acquiring and processing. By measuring activities of different luciferases, we characterized their substrate specificity, assay linearity, signal-to-noise levels, and fold-changes via CCCD. Next, we defined the assay parameters that are critical for appropriate use of CCCD for different luciferases. To demonstrate the usefulness in cultured mammalian cells, we conducted a case study to examine NFB gene activation in response to inflammatory signals in human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293 cells). We found that data collected by CCCD camera was equivalent to those acquired by luminometer, thus validating the assay protocol. In comparison, The CCCD-based protocol is readily amenable to live-cell and high-throughput applications, offering fast simultaneous data acquisition and visual and quantitative data presentation. In conclusion, the CCCD-based protocol provides a useful alternative for monitoring luciferase reporters. The wide availability of CCCD will enable more researchers to use luciferases to monitor and quantify biological processes.


PubMed | System Biosciences SBI
Type: | Journal: Methods (San Diego, Calif.) | Year: 2015

Extracellular vesicles, including exosomes, are currently being investigated to better understand their biogenesis and biological functions. There is also a rapidly growing interest in utilizing exosomes present in patient biofluids for molecular diagnostics in the clinic. Exosomes are natural shuttles of RNA and protein cargo, making them attractive as potential therapeutic delivery vehicles. Here, we describe the methods for using the latest tools and technologies to study exosomes to better understand their roles in cell-to-cell communication, for discovery of clinical biomarkers and to engineer exosomes for therapeutic applications.

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