2021
Breunig, M. ; Merkle, J. ; Melzer, M.K. ; Heller, S. ; Seufferlein, T. ; Meier, M. ; Hohwieler, M. ; Kleger, A.
STAR Protoc. 2:100913 (2021)
The recapitulation of human developmental processes and pathological manifestations requires access to specific cell types and precursor stages during embryogenesis and disease. Here, we describe a scalable in vitro differentiation protocol to guide human pluripotent stem cells stepwise into pancreatic duct-like organoids. The protocol mimics pancreatic duct development and was successfully used to model the onset and progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; the approach is suitable for multiple downstream applications. However, the protocol is cost- and time-intensive. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Breunig et al. (2021).
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Ardila Riveros, J.C. ; Blöchinger, A. ; Atwell, S. ; Moussus, M. ; Compera, N. ; Rajabnia, O. ; Georgiev, T. ; Lickert, H. ; Meier, M. ; Lickert, H.
Lab Chip 21, 4685-4695 (2021)
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can serve as an unlimited source to rebuild organotypic tissues in vitro. Successful engineering of functional cell types and complex organ structures outside the human body requires knowledge of the chemical, temporal, and spatial microenvironment of their in vivo counterparts. Despite an increased understanding of mouse and human embryonic development, screening approaches are still required for the optimization of stem cell differentiation protocols to gain more functional mature cell types. The liver, lung, pancreas, and digestive tract originate from the endoderm germ layer. Optimization and specification of the earliest differentiation step, which is the definitive endoderm (DE), is of central importance for generating cell types of these organs because off-target cell types will propagate during month-long cultivation steps and reduce yields. Here, we developed a microfluidic large-scale integration (mLSI) chip platform for combined automated three-dimensional (3D) cell culturing and high-throughput imaging to investigate anterior/posterior patterns occurring during hiPSC differentiation into DE cells. Integration of 3D cell cultures with a diameter of 150 μm was achieved using a U-shaped pneumatic membrane valve, which was geometrically optimized and fluidically characterized. Upon parallelization of 32 fluidically individually addressable cell culture unit cells with a total of 128 3D cell cultures, complex and long-term DE differentiation protocols could be automated. Real-time bright-field imaging was used to analyze cell growth during DE differentiation, and immunofluorescence imaging on optically cleared 3D cell cultures was used to determine the DE differentiation yield. By systematically alternating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and WNT signaling agonist concentrations and temporal stimulation, we showed that even under similar DE differentiation yields, there were patterning differences in the 3D cell cultures, indicating possible differentiation differences between established DE protocols. The automated mLSI chip platform with the general analytical workflow for 3D stem cell cultures offers the optimization of in vitro generation of various cell types for cell replacement therapies.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Merkle, J. ; Breunig, M. ; Schmid, M. ; Allgöwer, C. ; Krüger, J. ; Melzer, M.K. ; Bens, S. ; Siebert, R. ; Perkhofer, L. ; Azoitei, N. ; Seufferlein, T. ; Heller, S. ; Meier, M. ; Müller, M. ; Kleger, A. ; Hohwieler, M.
Cancers 13:5139 (2021)
Patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide a unique platform to study hereditary disorders and predisposition syndromes by resembling germline mutations of affected individuals and by their potential to differentiate into nearly every cell type of the human body. We employed plucked human hair from two siblings with a family history of cancer carrying a pathogenic CDKN2A variant, P16-p.G101W/P14-p.R115L, to generate patient-specific iPSCs in a cancer-prone ancestry for downstream analytics. The differentiation capacity to pancreatic progenitors and to pancreatic duct-like organoids (PDLOs) according to a recently developed protocol remained unaffected. Upon inducible expression of KRASG12D using a piggyBac transposon system in CDKN2A-mutated PDLOs, we revealed structural and molecular changes in vitro, including disturbed polarity and epithelial-to-mesenchymal (EMT) transition. CDKN2A-mutated KRASG12D PDLO xenotransplants formed either a high-grade precancer lesion or a partially dedifferentiated PDAC-like tumor. Intriguingly, P14/P53/P21 and P16/RB cell-cycle checkpoint controls have been only partly overcome in these grafts, thereby still restricting the tumorous growth. Hereby, we provide a model for hereditary human pancreatic cancer that enables dissection of tumor initiation and early development starting from patient-specific CDKN2A-mutated pluripotent stem cells.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Siehler, J. ; Blöchinger, A. ; Meier, M. ; Lickert, H.
Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 20, 920–940 (2021)
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that affects more than 460 million people worldwide. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is caused by autoimmune destruction of β-cells, whereas type 2 diabetes (T2D) is caused by a hostile metabolic environment that leads to β-cell exhaustion and dysfunction. Currently, first-line medications treat the symptomatic insulin resistance and hyperglycaemia, but do not prevent the progressive decline of β-cell mass and function. Thus, advanced therapies need to be developed that either protect or regenerate endogenous β-cell mass early in disease progression or replace lost β-cells with stem cell-derived β-like cells or engineered islet-like clusters. In this Review, we discuss the state of the art of stem cell differentiation and islet engineering, reflect on current and future challenges in the area and highlight the potential for cell replacement therapies, disease modelling and drug development using these cells. These efforts in stem cell and regenerative medicine will lay the foundations for future biomedical breakthroughs and potentially curative treatments for diabetes.
Review
Review
Compera, N. ; Atwell, S. ; Wirth, J. ; Wolfrum, B. ; Meier, M.
Lab Chip 21, 2986-2996 (2021)
Microfluidic large-scale integration (mLSI) technology enables the automation of two-dimensional (2D) cell culture processes in a highly parallel manner. Despite the wide range of biological applications of mLSI chips, manufacturing limitations of the central functional element, the pneumatic membrane valve (PMV), make the technology inaccessible for integrating tissue cultures and organoids with dimensions larger than tens of microns. In this study, we developed microtechnology processes to upscale PMVs for mLSI chips by combining 3D printing and soft lithography. Therefore, we developed a robust soft lithography protocol for the production of polydimethylsiloxane chips with PMVs from 3D-printed acrylate and wax molds. While scaled-up PMVs manufactured from acrylate-printed molds exhibited channel profiles with staircases, owing to the inherent 3D stereolithography printing process, PMVs manufactured from reflowed wax molds exhibited a semi-half-rounded channel profile. PMVs with different channel profiles showed closing pressures between 130 and 22.5 kPa, respectively. We demonstrated the functionality of the scaled-up PMVs by forming and maintaining 3D cell cultures from mouse fibroblasts (NIH3T3), human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), and human adipose-derived adult stem cells (hASCs), with a narrow size distribution between 124 and 136 μm. Further, parallel and serial design of PMVs on an mLSI chip is used to first form and culture 3D cell cultures before fusing them within a defined flow process. Unit cell designs with upscaled PMVs enabled parallel formation, culturing, trapping, retrieval, and fusion of 3D cell cultures. Thus, the presented additive manufacturing strategy for mLSI chips will foster new developments for highly parallel 3D cell culture screening applications.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Wiedenmann, S. ; Breunig, M. ; Merkle, J. ; von Toerne, C. ; Georgiev, T. ; Moussus, M. ; Schulte, L.N. ; Seufferlein, T. ; Sterr, M. ; Lickert, H. ; Weissinger, S.E. ; Möller, P. ; Hauck, S.M. ; Hohwieler, M. ; Kleger, A. ; Meier, M.
Nat. Bio. Eng. 5, 897-913 (2021)
Creating in vitro models of diseases of the pancreatic ductal compartment requires a comprehensive understanding of the developmental trajectories of pancreas-specific cell types. Here we report the single-cell characterization of the differentiation of pancreatic duct-like organoids (PDLOs) from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) on a microwell chip that facilitates the uniform aggregation and chemical induction of hiPSC-derived pancreatic progenitors. Using time-resolved single-cell transcriptional profiling and immunofluorescence imaging of the forming PDLOs, we identified differentiation routes from pancreatic progenitors through ductal intermediates to two types of mature duct-like cells and a few non-ductal cell types. PDLO subpopulations expressed either mucins or the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, and resembled human adult duct cells. We also used the chip to uncover ductal markers relevant to pancreatic carcinogenesis, and to establish PDLO co-cultures with stellate cells, which allowed for the study of epithelial-mesenchymal signalling. The PDLO microsystem could be used to establish patient-specific pancreatic duct models.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Moussus, M. ; Meier, M.
Lab Chip 21, 2557-2564 (2021)
High-resolution live imaging promises new insights into the cellular and molecular dynamics of the plant root system in response to external cues. Microfluidic platforms are valuable analytical tools that combine the precise spatial and temporal control of culture conditions with live-imaging capabilities. However, complexity in the fabrication and operations of current plant microfluidic platforms limits their use to a few technologically-focused laboratories. Here, we design and characterize an easy-to-implement 3D printed open microfluidic platform for Arabidopsis thaliana roots. Our biocompatibility study identified a suitable material for the platform production and an established drought stress assay validates the reliability of our stereolithography (SLA)-based next generation RootChip.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Breunig, M. ; Merkle, J. ; Wagner, M. ; Melzer, M.K. ; Barth, T.F.E. ; Engleitner, T. ; Krumm, J. ; Wiedenmann, S. ; Cohrs, C.M. ; Perkhofer, L. ; Jain, G. ; Krüger, J. ; Hermann, P.C. ; Schmid, M. ; Madácsy, T. ; Varga, A. ; Griger, J. ; Azoitei, N. ; Müller, M. ; Wessely, O. ; Robey, P.G. ; Heller, S. ; Dantes, Z. ; Reichert, M. ; Günes, C. ; Bolenz, C. ; Kuhn, F. ; Maléth, J. ; Speier, S. ; Liebau, S. ; Sipos, B. ; Kuster, B. ; Seufferlein, T. ; Rad, R. ; Meier, M. ; Hohwieler, M. ; Kleger, A.
Cell Stem Cell 28, 1105-1124.e19 (2021)
Personalized in vitro models for dysplasia and carcinogenesis in the pancreas have been constrained by insufficient differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into the exocrine pancreatic lineage. Here, we differentiate hPSCs into pancreatic duct-like organoids (PDLOs) with morphological, transcriptional, proteomic, and functional characteristics of human pancreatic ducts, further maturing upon transplantation into mice. PDLOs are generated from hPSCs inducibly expressing oncogenic GNAS, KRAS, or KRAS with genetic covariance of lost CDKN2A and from induced hPSCs derived from a McCune-Albright patient. Each oncogene causes a specific growth, structural, and molecular phenotype in vitro. While transplanted PDLOs with oncogenic KRAS alone form heterogenous dysplastic lesions or cancer, KRAS with CDKN2A loss develop dedifferentiated pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas. In contrast, transplanted PDLOs with mutant GNAS lead to intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia-like structures. Conclusively, PDLOs enable in vitro and in vivo studies of pancreatic plasticity, dysplasia, and cancer formation from a genetically defined background.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Ansarullah ; Jain, C. ; Far, F.F. ; Homberg, S. ; Wißmiller, K. ; von Hahn, F. ; Raducanu, A. ; Schirge, S. ; Sterr, M. ; Bilekova, S. ; Siehler, J. ; Wiener, J. ; Oppenländer, L. ; Morshedi, A. ; Bastidas-Ponce, A. ; Collden, G. ; Irmler, M. ; Beckers, J. ; Feuchtinger, A. ; Grzybek, M. ; Ahlbrecht, C. ; Feederle, R. ; Plettenburg, O. ; Müller, T.D. ; Meier, M. ; Tschöp, M.H. ; Coskun, Ü. ; Lickert, H.
Nature 592:E1 (2021)
In this Article, the affiliations for author Ünal Coskun were incorrect. They should be ‘German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Neuherberg, Germany’, ‘Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden of Helmholtz Center Munich, Technical University Dresden, Dresden, Germany’ and ‘Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and University Clinic Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University Dresden, Dresden, Germany’ (affiliations 2, 10 and 14, respectively), and not ‘Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany’ (affiliation 5). The original Article has been corrected online.
Ruiz Ojeda, F.J. ; Wang, J. ; Bäcker, T. ; Krueger, M. ; Zamani, S. ; Rosowski, S. ; Gruber, T. ; Onogi, Y. ; Feuchtinger, A. ; Schulz, T.J. ; Fässler, R. ; Müller, T.D. ; García-Cáceres, C. ; Meier, M. ; Blüher, M. ; Ussar, S.
Mol. Metab. 45:101147 (2021)
Objective: Reorganization of the extracellular matrix is a prerequisite for healthy adipose tissue expansion, whereas fibrosis is a key feature of adipose dysfunction and inflammation. However, very little is known about the direct effects of impaired cell–matrix interaction in adipocyte function and insulin sensitivity. The objective of this study was to determine whether integrin activity can regulate insulin sensitivity in adipocytes and thereby systemic metabolism. Methods: We characterized integrin activity in adipose tissue and its consequences on whole-body metabolism using adipose-selective deletion of β1 integrin (Itgb1adipo-cre) and Kindlin-2 (Kind2adipo-cre) in mice. Results: We demonstrate that integrin signaling regulates white adipocyte insulin action and systemic metabolism. Consequently, loss of adipose integrin activity, similar to loss of adipose insulin receptors, results in a lipodystrophy-like phenotype and systemic insulin resistance. However, brown adipose tissue of Kind2adipo-cre and Itgb1adipo-cre mice is chronically hyperactivated and has increased substrate delivery, reduced endothelial basement membrane thickness, and increased endothelial vesicular transport. Conclusions: Thus, we establish integrin-extracellular matrix interactions as key regulators of white and brown adipose tissue function and whole-body metabolism.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Ansarullah ; Jain, C. ; Far, F.F. ; Homberg, S. ; Wissmiller, K. ; Gräfin von Hahn, F. ; Raducanu, A. ; Schirge, S. ; Sterr, M. ; Bilekova, S. ; Siehler, J. ; Wiener, J. ; Oppenländer, L. ; Morshedi, A. ; Bastidas-Ponce, A. ; Collden, G. ; Irmler, M. ; Beckers, J. ; Feuchtinger, A. ; Grzybek, M. ; Ahlbrecht, C. ; Feederle, R. ; Plettenburg, O. ; Müller, T.D. ; Meier, M. ; Tschöp, M.H. ; Coskun, Ü. ; Lickert, H.
Nature 590, 326–331 (2021)
Resistance to insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) in pancreatic β-cells causes overt diabetes in mice; thus, therapies that sensitize β-cells to insulin may protect patients with diabetes against β-cell failure1–3. Here we identify an inhibitor of insulin receptor (INSR) and IGF1 receptor (IGF1R) signalling in mouse β-cells, which we name the insulin inhibitory receptor (inceptor; encoded by the gene Iir). Inceptor contains an extracellular cysteine-rich domain with similarities to INSR and IGF1R4, and a mannose 6-phosphate receptor domain that is also found in the IGF2 receptor (IGF2R)5. Knockout mice that lack inceptor (Iir−/−) exhibit signs of hyperinsulinaemia and hypoglycaemia, and die within a few hours of birth. Molecular and cellular analyses of embryonic and postnatal pancreases from Iir−/− mice showed an increase in the activation of INSR–IGF1R in Iir−/− pancreatic tissue, resulting in an increase in the proliferation and mass of β-cells. Similarly, inducible β-cell-specific Iir−/− knockout in adult mice and in ex vivo islets led to an increase in the activation of INSR–IGF1R and increased proliferation of β-cells, resulting in improved glucose tolerance in vivo. Mechanistically, inceptor interacts with INSR–IGF1R to facilitate clathrin-mediated endocytosis for receptor desensitization. Blocking this physical interaction using monoclonal antibodies against the extracellular domain of inceptor resulted in the retention of inceptor and INSR at the plasma membrane to sustain the activation of INSR–IGF1R in β-cells. Together, our findings show that inceptor shields insulin-producing β-cells from constitutive pathway activation, and identify inceptor as a potential molecular target for INSR–IGF1R sensitization and diabetes therapy.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2020
Wiener, J. ; Kokotek, D. ; Rosowski, S. ; Lickert, H. ; Meier, M.
Sci. Rep. 10:1457 (2020)
Oligonucleotide-conjugated antibodies have gained importance for their use in protein diagnostics. The possibility to transfer the readout signal from the protein to the DNA level with an oligonucleotide-conjugated antibody increased the sensitivity of protein assays by orders of magnitude and enabled new multiplexing strategies. A bottleneck in the generation of larger oligonucleotide-conjugated antibody panels is the low conjugation yield between antibodies and oligonucleotides, as well as the lack of product purification methods. In this study, we combined a non-site-directed antibody conjugation technique using copper-free click chemistry with ion-exchange chromatography to obtain purified single and double oligonucleotide-conjugated antibodies. We optimized the click conjugation reaction of antibodies with oligonucleotides by evaluating crosslinker, reaction temperature, duration, oligonucleotide length, and secondary structure. As a result, we were able to achieve conjugation yields of 30% at a starting quantity as low as tens of nanograms of antibody, which makes the approach applicable for a wide variety of protein analytical assays. In contrast to previous non-site-directed conjugation methods, we also optimized the conjugation reaction for antibody specificity, confirmed by testing with knockout cell lines. The advantages of using single or double oligonucleotide-conjugated antibodies in regards to signal noise reduction are shown within immunofluorescence, proximity ligation assays, and single cell CITE-seq experiments.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2019
Karakus, U. ; Thamamongood, T. ; Ciminski, K. ; Ran, W. ; Günther, S.C. ; Pohl, M.O. ; Eletto, D. ; Jeney, C. ; Hoffmann, D. ; Reiche, S. ; Schinköthe, J. ; Ulrich, R. ; Wiener, J. ; Hayes, M.G.B. ; Chang, M.W. ; Hunziker, A. ; Yángüez, E. ; Aydillo, T. ; Krammer, F. ; Oderbolz, J. ; Meier, M. ; Oxenius, A. ; Halenius, A. ; Zimmer, G. ; Benner, C. ; Hale, B.G. ; García-Sastre, A. ; Beer, M. ; Schwemmle, M. ; Stertz, S.
Nature 567, 109-112 (2019)
Zoonotic influenza A viruses of avian origin can cause severe disease in individuals, or even global pandemics, and thus pose a threat to human populations. Waterfowl and shorebirds are believed to be the reservoir for all influenza A viruses, but this has recently been challenged by the identification of novel influenza A viruses in bats(1,2). The major bat influenza A virus envelope glycoprotein, haemagglutinin, does not bind the canonical influenza A virus receptor, sialic acid or any other glycan(1,3,4), despite its high sequence and structural homology with conventional haemagglutinins. This functionally uncharacterized plasticity of the bat influenza A virus haemagglutinin means the tropism and zoonotic potential of these viruses has not been fully determined. Here we show, using transcriptomic profiling of susceptible versus non-susceptible cells in combination with genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screening, that the major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) human leukocyte antigen DR isotype (HLA-DR) is an essential entry determinant for bat influenza A viruses. Genetic ablation of the HLA-DR alpha a-chain rendered cells resistant to infection by bat influenza A virus, whereas ectopic expression of the HLA-DR complex in non-susceptible cells conferred susceptibility. Expression of MHC-II from different bat species, pigs, mice or chickens also conferred susceptibility to infection. Notably, the infection of mice with bat influenza A virus resulted in robust virus replication in the upper respiratory tract, whereas mice deficient for MHC-II were resistant. Collectively, our data identify MHC-II as a crucial entry mediator for bat influenza A viruses in multiple species, which permits a broad vertebrate tropism.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2018
Schneider, N. ; Gäbelein, C. ; Wiener, J. ; Georgiev, T. ; Gobet, N. ; Weber, W. ; Meier, M.
ACS Chem. Biol. 13, 3049-3053 (2018)
We here present a method that combines genetic code expansion with CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering to label endogenously expressed proteins with high spatiotemporal resolution. The method exploits the use of an orthogonal tRNA/tRNA synthetase pair in conjugation with noncanonical amino acids to create stop codon read through events. To demonstrate the functionality of the method, we pulse labeled endogenous β-actin and tumor protein p53 with a minimally invasive HA tag at their C-termini. Targeting the protein label with a proximity ligation assay plus real time imaging facilitates seamless quantification of the protein synthesis rate and spatial localization at the single cell level. The presented approach does not interfere with any physiological control of cellular expression, nor did we observe any perturbation of endogenous protein functions.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2017
Schneider, N. ; Meier, M.
RNA 23, 250-256 (2017)
Padlock probes are single-stranded DNA molecules that are circularized upon hybridization to their target sequence by a DNA ligase. In the following, the circulated padlock probes are amplified and detected with fluorescently labeled probes complementary to the amplification product. The hallmark of padlock probe assays is a high detection specificity gained by the ligation reaction. Concomitantly, the ligation reaction is the largest drawback for a quantitative in situ detection of mRNAs due to the low affinities of common DNA or RNA ligases to RNA-DNA duplex strands. Therefore, current protocols require that mRNAs be reverse transcribed to DNA before detection with padlock probes. Recently, it was found that the DNA ligase from Paramecium bursaria Chlorella virus 1 (PBCV-1) is able to efficiently ligate RNA-splinted DNA. Hence, we designed a padlock probe assay for direct in situ detection of mRNAs using the PBCV-1 DNA ligase. Experimental single-cell data were used to optimize and characterize the efficiency of mRNA detection with padlock probes. Our results demonstrate that the PBCV-1 DNA ligase overcomes the efficiency limitation of current protocols for direct in situ mRNA detection, making the PBCV-1 DNA ligase an attractive tool to simplify in situ ligation sequencing applications.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Santisteban, T.S. ; Rabajania, O. ; Kalinina, I. ; Robinson, S. ; Meier, M.
Lab Chip 18, 153-161 (2017)
Spheroids are three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures that aim to bridge the gap between the use of whole animals and cellular monolayers. Microfluidics is regarded as an enabling technology to actively control the chemical environment of 3D cell cultures. Although a wide variety of platforms have been developed to handle spheroid cultures, the development of analytical systems for spheroids remains a major challenge. In this study, we engineered a microfluidic large-scale integration (mLSI) chip platform for tissue-clearing and imaging. To enable handling and culturing of spheroids on mLSI chips, with diameters within hundreds of microns, we first developed a general rapid prototyping procedure, which allows scaling up of the size of pneumatic membrane valves (PMV). The presented prototyping method makes use of milled poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) molds for obtaining semi-circular microchannels with heights up to 750 μm. Semi-circular channel profiles are required for the functioning of the commonly used PMVs in normally open configuration. Height limits to tens of microns for this channel profile on photolithographic molds have hampered the application of 3D tissue models on mLSI chips. The prototyping technique was applied to produce an mLSI chip for miniaturization, automation, and integration of the steps involved in the tissue clearing method CLARITY, including spheroid fixation, acrylamide hydrogel infiltration, temperature-initiated hydrogel polymerization, lipid extraction, and immuno-fluorescence staining of the mitochondrial protein COX-IV, and metabolic enzyme GAPDH. Precise fluidic control over the liquids in the spheroid culturing chambers allowed implementation of a local hydrogel polymerization reaction, exclusively within the spheroid tissue. Hydrogel-embedded spheroids undergo swelling and shrinkage depending on the pH of the surrounding buffer solution. A pH-jump from 8.5 to 5.5 shrinks the hydrogel-embedded spheroid volume by 108% with a rate constant of 0.36 min. The process is reversible upon increasing the pH, with the rate constant for the shrinkage being -0.12 min. Repetitive cycling of the pH induces an osmotic flow within the hydrogel-embedded spheroid. Thirty cycles, performed in a total time interval of 10 minutes on-chip, reduced the clearing time of a hydrogel-embedded spheroid (with a diameter of 200 μm) from 14 days to 5 hours. Therefore, we developed a physicochemical method to decrease the clearing time of hydrogel-embedded tissues. While the osmotic pump mechanism is an alternative to electrophoretic forces for decreasing tissue clearing times, the integration of the CLARITY method on chip could enable high throughput imaging with 3D tissue cultures.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2016
Ketterer, S. ; Gladis, L. ; Kozica, A. ; Meier, M.
Nucleic Acids Res. 44, 5983-5992 (2016)
A set of 12 fluorogenic glycine riboswitches with different thermodynamic and kinetic response properties was engineered. For the design of functional riboswitches, a three-part RNA approach was applied based on the idea of linking a RNA sensor, transmitter and actuator part together. For the RNA sensor and actuator part, we used the tandem glycine aptamer structure from Bacillus subtillis, and fluorogenic aptamer Spinach, respectively. To achieve optimal signal transduction from the sensor to the actuator, a riboswitch library with variable transmitter was screened with a microfluidic large-scale integration chip. This allowed us to establish the complete thermodynamic binding profiles of the riboswitch library. Glycine dissociation constants of the 12 strong fluorescence response riboswitches varied between 99.7 and 570 μM. Furthermore, the kinetic glycine binding (k(on)), and dissociation (k(off)) rates, and corresponding energy barriers of the 10 strongest fluorescence response riboswitches were determined with the same chip platform. k(on) and k(off) were in the order of 10(-3)s(-1) and 10(-2)s(-1), respectively. Conclusively, we demonstrate that systematic screening of synthetic and natural linked RNA parts with microfluidic chip technology is an effective approach to rapidly generate fluorogenic metabolite riboswitches with a broad range of biophysical response properties.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Wu, X. ; Schneider, N. ; Platen, A. ; Mitra, I. ; Blazek, M. ; Zengerle, R. ; Schüle, R. ; Meier, M.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 113, E4143-E4150 (2016)
Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central kinase integrating nutrient, energy, and metabolite signals. The kinase forms two distinct complexes: mTORC1 and mTORC2. mTORC1 plays an essential but undefined regulatory function for regeneration of adipose tissue. Analysis of mTOR in general is hampered by the complexity of regulatory mechanisms, including protein interactions and/or phosphorylation, in an ever-changing cellular microenvironment. Here, we developed a microfluidic large-scale integration chip platform for culturing and differentiating human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) in 128 separated microchambers under standardized nutrient conditions over 3 wk. The progression of the stem cell differentiation was measured by determining the lipid accumulation rates in hASC cultures. For in situ protein analytics, we developed a multiplex in situ proximity ligation assay (mPLA) that can detect mTOR in its two complexes selectively in single cells and implemented it on the same chip. With this combined technology, it was possible to reveal that the mTORC1 is regulated in its abundance, phosphorylation state, and localization in coordination with lysosomes during adipogenesis. High-content image analysis and parameterization of the in situ PLA signals in over 1 million cells cultured on four individual chips showed that mTORC1 and lysosomes are temporally and spatially coordinated but not in its composition during adipogenesis.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2015
Blazek, M. ; Santisteban, T.S. ; Zengerle, R. ; Meier, M.
Lab Chip 15, 726-734 (2015)
In the present study, we developed a microfluidic large-scale integration (mLSI) platform for the temporal and chemical control of cell cultures to study fast kinetics of protein phosphorylation. For in situ protein analysis the mLSI chip integrates the Proximity Ligation Assay (PLA). To investigate cell-signaling events with a time resolution of a few seconds we first engineered and optimized the fluidic layout of the chip with 128 individual addressable cell culture chambers. The functionality of the cell culture operations and PLA is demonstrated by the determination of the minimum cell sample size for obtaining robust quantitative PLA signals at the single-cell level. We show that at least 350 cells per assay condition are required to statistically evaluate single cell PLA data. In the following we used the PLA chip with over 500 hundred cells per condition to record sequential phosphorylation reactions of the canonical protein kinase within the Akt pathway, which is activated in various human cancer types. This was achieved by stimulating mouse fibroblast cell cultures with either the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) or insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Fluidic cell stimulation pulses of 5 seconds were followed by precisely time shifted cell fixation pulses to obtain a temporal resolution of 10 seconds. PLA was then performed on all fixed arrays of cell cultures to extract the characteristic phosphorylation times at the single cell level for either the PDGF, or IGF-1 receptor and the Akt and GSK3β kinases. Characteristic phosphorylation times for the receptors were between 13 and 35 seconds, whereas for downstream kinases between 25 and 200 seconds. Thus we could reveal a molecular order of the phosphorylation reactions during the signal transduction through the Akt pathway. In dependence of the stimulus we found a temporal difference for the characteristic phosphorylation time of 20 and 150 seconds for the Ser-473 and Thr-308 residues on the Akt kinase, respectively. Temporal alteration of sequential phosphorylation reactions on Akt has been proposed as molecular mechanism to differentiate between stimuli and biophysically determined in the present study.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Ketterer, S. ; Fuchs, D. ; Weber, W. ; Meier, M.
Nucleic Acids Res. 43, 9564-9572 (2015)
Fluorogenic RNAs that are based on the complex formed by 3,5-difluoro-4-hydroxybenzylidene imidazolinone (DFHBI) derivatives and the RNA aptamer named Spinach were used to engineer a new generation of in vitro and in vivo sensors for bioanalytics. With the resolved crystal structure of the RNA/small molecule complex, the engineering map becomes available, but comprehensive information regarding the thermodynamic profile of the molecule is missing. Here, we reconstructed the full thermodynamic binding and stability landscapes between DFHBI and a truncated sequence of first-generation Spinach. For this purpose, we established a systematic screening procedure for single- and double-point mutations on a microfluidic large-scale integrated chip platform for 87-nt long RNAs. The thermodynamic profile with single base resolution was used to engineer an improved fluorogenic spinach generation via a directed rather than evolutional approach.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Blazek, M. ; Roth, G. ; Zengerle, R. ; Meier, M.
Methods Mol. Biol. 1346, 169-184 (2015)
The proximity ligation assay (PLA) is a technique that can be used to characterize proteins, protein-protein interactions, and protein modifications at the single-cell level. Image-based in situ detection of proteins using PLA is a quantitative method with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity. The miniaturization and parallelization of the PLA onto a microfluidic chip and concurrent use of an automated cell-culture system increase the throughput of this technology. Here, we describe the performance of PLA on a microfluidic chip. We provide protocols for on-chip cell culture, time-shifted cell stimulation and fixation, PLA implementation, and computational image analysis in order to achieve single-cell resolution. As a proof of concept, we studied the phosphorylation of Akt in response to stimulation with platelet-derived growth factor.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Ketterer, S. ; Hövermann, D. ; Guebeli, R.J. ; Bartels-Burgahn, F. ; Riewe, D. ; Altmann, T. ; Zurbriggen, M.D. ; Junker, B. ; Weber, W. ; Meier, M.
Anal. Chem. 87, 8034 (2015)
Beyer, H.M. ; Gonschorek, P. ; Samodelov, S.L. ; Meier, M. ; Weber, W. ; Zurbriggen, M.D.
PLoS ONE 10:e0137652 (2015)
Assembly cloning is increasingly replacing conventional restriction enzyme and DNA-ligase-dependent cloning methods for reasons of efficiency and performance. Here, we describe AQUA (advanced quick assembly), a simple and versatile seamless assembly cloning approach. We demonstrate the applicability and versatility of AQUA Cloning in selected proof-of-principle applications including targeted insertion-, deletion- and site-directed point-mutagenesis, and combinatorial cloning. Furthermore, we show the one pot de novo assembly of multiple DNA fragments into a single circular plasmid encoding a complex light- and chemically-regulated Boolean A NIMPLY B logic operation. AQUA Cloning harnesses intrinsic in vivo processing of linear DNA fragments with short regions of homology of 16 to 32 bp mediated by Escherichia coli. It does not require any kits, enzymes or preparations of reagents and is the simplest assembly cloning protocol to date.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2014
Santisteban, T.S. ; Zengerle, R. ; Meier, M.
RSC Adv. 4, 48012-48016 (2014)
We present a method to fabricate through-holes between 10 to 180 μm between polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layers of microfluidic large-scale integration platforms. Therefore we employed standard PDMS spin-coating processes onto silicon molds with microstructures formed from SU-8 and AZ photoresists. Our approach is based on the modification of the surface polarity of the PDMS prototyping molds by a 250 nm thick layer of octafluorocyclobutane (C4F8), which resulted in a contact angle of 125 ± 3° for water. This super hydrophobic surface repelled PDMS from microstructures protruding out of the spin coated PDMS layer. Subsequently, we applied and characterized the C4F8coating for the robust fabrication of interlayer connectors between PDMS membranes of 40 μm thickness. To enable embedding of through-holes, perforations and/or cavities in very thin layers of PDMS (<20 μm) we mixed PDMS with a PDMS based silicone oil to reduce its viscosity. In contrast to previous attempts to lower the viscosity of PDMS using organic solvents, the silicone oil cross-linked to PDMS and was thus, unable to freely diffuse into the polymerized PDMS. This reduces the risk for bleeding of hazardous components in biological applications. Finally, we manufactured a three layer mLSI chip with integrated cavities for catching fluorescently labeled beads and cells. The presented process parameters can easily be adapted to specific needs in the fabrication of multi-layer PDMS arrangements by following the systematic parameter screening. This journal is
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Ketterer, S. ; Hövermann, D. ; Guebeli, R.J. ; Bartels-Burgahn, F. ; Riewe, D. ; Altmann, T. ; Zurbriggen, M.D. ; Junker, B. ; Weber, W. ; Meier, M.
Anal. Chem. 86, 12152-12158 (2014)
Steadily growing demands for identification and quantification of cellular metabolites in higher throughput have brought a need for new analytical technologies. Here, we developed a synthetic biological sensor system for quantifying metabolites from biological cell samples. For this, bacterial transcription factors were exploited, which bind to or dissociate from regulatory DNA elements in response to physiological changes in the cellular metabolite concentration range. Representatively, the bacterial pyruvate dehydrogenase (PdhR), trehalose (TreR), and l-arginine (ArgR) repressor proteins were functionalized to detect pyruvate, trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P), and arginine concentration in solution. For each transcription factor the mutual binding behavior between metabolite and DNA, their working range, and othogonality were determined. High-throughput, parallel processing, and automation were achieved through integration of the metabolic sensor system on a microfluidic large-scale integration (mLSI) chip platform. To demonstrate the functionality of the integrated metabolic sensor system, we measured diurnal concentration changes of pyruvate and the plant signaling molecule T6P within cell etxracts of Arabidopsis thaliana rosettes. The transcription factor sensor system is of generic nature and extendable on the microfluidic chip.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Gobet, N. ; Ketterer, S. ; Meier, M.
PLoS ONE 9:e112629 (2014)
Here, we present an in silico, analytical procedure for designing and testing orthogonal DNA templates for multiplexing of the proximity ligation assay (PLA). PLA is a technology for the detection of protein interactions, post-translational modifications, and protein concentrations. To enable multiplexing of the PLA, the target information of antibodies was encoded within the DNA template of a PLA, where each template comprised four single-stranded DNA molecules. Our DNA design procedure followed the principles of minimizing the free energy of DNA cross-hybridization. To validate the functionality, orthogonality, and efficiency of the constructed template libraries, we developed a high-throughput solid-phase rolling-circle amplification assay and solid-phase PLA on a microfluidic platform. Upon integration on a microfluidic chip, 640 miniaturized pull-down assays for oligonucleotides or antibodies could be performed in parallel together with steps of DNA ligation, isothermal amplification, and detection under controlled microenvironments. From a large computed PLA template library, we randomly selected 10 template sets and tested all DNA combinations for cross-reactivity in the presence and absence of antibodies. By using the microfluidic chip application, we determined rapidly the false-positive rate of the design procedure, which was less than 1%. The combined theoretical and experimental procedure is applicable for high-throughput PLA studies on a microfluidic chip.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2013
Blazek, M. ; Betz, C. ; Hall, M.N. ; Reth, M. ; Zengerle, R. ; Meier, M.
Mol. Cell. Proteomics 12, 3898-907 (2013)
Here, we present the full integration of a proximity ligation assay (PLA) on a microfluidic chip for systematic cell signaling studies. PLA is an in situ technology for the detection of protein interaction, post-translational modification, concentration, and cellular location with single-molecule resolution. Analytical performance advances on chip are achieved, including full automation of the biochemical PLA steps, target multiplexing, and reduction of antibody consumption by 2 orders of magnitude relative to standard procedures. In combination with a microfluidic cell-culturing platform, this technology allows one to gain control over 128 cell culture microenvironments. We demonstrate the use of the combined cell culture and protein analytic assay on chip by characterizing the Akt signaling pathway upon PDGF stimulation. Signal transduction is detected by monitoring the phosphorylation states of Akt, GSK-3β, p70S6K, S6, Erk1/2, and mTOR and the cellular location of FoxO3a in parallel with the PLA. Single-cell PLA results revealed for Akt and direct targets of Akt a maximum activation time of 4 to 8 min upon PDGF stimulation. Activation times for phosphorylation events downward in the Akt signaling pathway including the phosphorylation of S6, p70S6K, and mTOR are delayed by 8 to 10 min or exhibit a response time of at least 1 h. Quantitative confirmation of the Akt phosphorylation signal was determined with the help of a mouse embryonic fibroblast cell line deficient for rictor. In sum, this work with a miniaturized PLA chip establishes a biotechnological tool for general cell signaling studies and their dynamics relevant for a broad range of biological inquiry.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Ketterer, S. ; Hoevermann, D. ; Weber, W. ; Meier, M.
In: (17th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, 27-31 October 2013, Freiburg). 2013. 868-870
Advances in metabolomics rely on quantification, investigation, optimization and streamlining new analytical appli- cations for small biomolecules. In this work a microfluidic large-scale integration chip pl atform for the characterization and use of biological proteins as sensors for metabolites is de veloped. Representatively, we selected the bacterial tran- scriptional regulator for the pyruvate dehydrogenase gene (PdhR) to tailor a synthetic assay for the metabolite pyruvate on chip [1]. PdhR belongs to a large family of transcriptional regulators, which either bind or dissociate from the DNA recognition sequence in dependence of cellular metabolite concentration. In here, this thermodynamic linked binding property of PdhR is exploited to measure pyruvate concentrations in high parallel fashion.
Meier, M. ; Sit, R.V. ; Quake, S.R.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110, 477-482 (2013)
Despite the enormous proliferation of bacterial genome data, surprisingly persistent collections of bacterial proteins have resisted functional annotation. In a typical genome, roughly 30% of genes have no assigned function. Many of these proteins are conserved across a large number of bacterial genomes. To assign a putative function to these conserved proteins of unknown function, we created a physical interaction map by measuring biophysical interaction of these proteins. Binary protein--protein interactions in the model organism Streptococcus pneumoniae (TIGR4) are measured with a microfluidic high-throughput assay technology. In some cases, informatic analysis was used to restrict the space of potential binding partners. In other cases, we performed in vitro proteome-wide interaction screens. We were able to assign putative functions to 50 conserved proteins of unknown function that we studied with this approach.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2012
Meier, M. ; Sit, R.V. ; Pan, W. ; Quake, S.R.
Anal. Chem. 84, 9572-9578 (2012)
The standard procedure to increase microfluidic chip performance is to grow the number of parallel test systems on the chip. This process is accompanied by miniaturizing biochemical workflows and micromechanical elements, which is often a major challenge for both engineering fields. In this work, we show that it is possible to substantially increase the runtime performance of a microfluidic affinity assay for protein interactions by simultaneously engineering fluid logics and assay chemistry. For this, synergistic effects between the micro- and chemical architecture of the chip are exploited. The presented strategy of reducing the runtime rather than size and volume of the mechanical elements and biological reagent compartments will, in general, be of importance for future analytical test systems on microfluidic chips to overcome performance barriers.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Martin, L. ; Meier, M. ; Lyons, S.M. ; Sit, R.V. ; Marzluff, W.F. ; Quake, S.R. ; Chang, H.Y.
Nat. Methods 9, 1192-1194 (2012)
We present RNA-mechanically induced trapping of molecular interactions (RNA-MITOMI), a microfluidic platform that allows integrated synthesis and functional assays for programmable RNA libraries. The interaction of a comprehensive library of RNA mutants with stem-loop-binding protein precisely defined the RNA structural and sequence features that govern affinity. The functional motif reconstructed in a single experiment on our platform uncovers new binding specificities and enriches interpretation of phylogenetic data.
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
Grossmann, G. ; Meier, M. ; Cartwright, H.N. ; Sosso, D. ; Quake, S.R. ; Ehrhardt, D.W. ; Frommer, W.B.
J. Vis. Exp. (2012)
The root functions as the physical anchor of the plant and is the organ responsible for uptake of water and mineral nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfate and trace elements that plants acquire from the soil. If we want to develop sustainable approaches to producing high crop yield, we need to better understand how the root develops, takes up a wide spectrum of nutrients, and interacts with symbiotic and pathogenic organisms. To accomplish these goals, we need to be able to explore roots in microscopic detail over time periods ranging from minutes to days. We developed the RootChip, a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)- based microfluidic device, which allows us to grow and image roots from Arabidopsis seedlings while avoiding any physical stress to roots during preparation for imaging(1) (Figure 1). The device contains a bifurcated channel structure featuring micromechanical valves to guide the fluid flow from solution inlets to each of the eight observation chambers(2). This perfusion system allows the root microenvironment to be controlled and modified with precision and speed. The volume of the chambers is approximately 400 nl, thus requiring only minimal amounts of test solution. Here we provide a detailed protocol for studying root biology on the RootChip using imaging-based approaches with real time resolution. Roots can be analyzed over several days using time lapse microscopy. Roots can be perfused with nutrient solutions or inhibitors, and up to eight seedlings can be analyzed in parallel. This system has the potential for a wide range of applications, including analysis of root growth in the presence or absence of chemicals, fluorescence-based analysis of gene expression, and the analysis of biosensors, e.g. FRET nanosensors(3).
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2011
Grossmann, G. ; Guo, W.J. ; Ehrhardt, D.W. ; Frommer, W.B. ; Sit, R.V. ; Quake, S.R. ; Meier, M.
Plant Cell 23, 4234-4240 (2011)
Studying development and physiology of growing roots is challenging due to limitations regarding cellular and subcellular analysis under controlled environmental conditions. We describe a microfluidic chip platform, called RootChip, that integrates live-cell imaging of growth and metabolism of Arabidopsis thaliana roots with rapid modulation of environmental conditions. The RootChip has separate chambers for individual regulation of the microenvironment of multiple roots from multiple seedlings in parallel. We demonstrate the utility of The RootChip by monitoring time-resolved growth and cytosolic sugar levels at subcellular resolution in plants by a genetically encoded fluorescence sensor for glucose and galactose. The RootChip can be modified for use with roots from other plant species by adapting the chamber geometry and facilitates the systematic analysis of root growth and metabolism from multiple seedlings, paving the way for large-scale phenotyping of root metabolism and signaling.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2010
Meier, M. ; Seelig, J.
Biophys. J. 98, 1529-1538 (2010)
The effect of nonionic detergents of the n-alkyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside class on the ordering of lipid bilayers and the dynamics of membrane-embedded peptides were investigated with 2H- and 31P-NMR. 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine was selectively deuterated at methylene segments C-2, C-7, and C-16 of the two fatty acyl chains. Two trans-membrane helices, WALP-19 and glycophorin A(71-98), were synthesized with Ala-d3 in the central region of the alpha-helix. n-Alkyl-beta-D-glucopyranosides with alkyl chains with 6, 7, 8, and 10 carbon atoms were added at increasing concentrations to the lipid membrane. The bilayer structure is retained up to a detergent/lipid molar ratio of 1:1. The insertion of the detergents leads to a selective disordering of the lipids. The headgroup region remains largely unaffected; the fatty acyl chain segments parallel to the detergent alkyl chain are only modestly disordered (10-20%), whereas lipid segments beyond the methyl terminus of the detergent show a decrease of up to 50%. The change in the bilayer order profile corresponds to an increase in bilayer entropy. Insertion of detergents into the lipid bilayers is completely entropy-driven. The entropy change accompanying lipid disorder is equivalent in magnitude to the hydrophobic effect. Ala-d3 deuterated WALP-19 and GlycA(71-97) were incorporated into bilayers of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine at a peptide/lipid molar ratio of 1:100 and measured above the 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine gel/liquid-crystal phase transition. Well-resolved 2H-NMR quadrupole splittings were observed for the two trans-membrane helices, revealing a rapid rotation of the CD3 methyl rotor superimposed on an additional rotation of the whole peptide around the bilayer normal. The presence of detergent fluidizes the membrane and produces magnetic alignment of bilayer domains but does not produce essential changes in the peptide conformation or dynamics.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
Meier, M. ; Gerber, D. ; Quake, S.
Biophys. J. 98, 1, 741a (2010)
Meeting abstract
Meeting abstract
Meier, M. ; Lucchetta, E.M. ; Ismagilov, R.F.
Lab Chip 10, 2147-2153 (2010)
In this article, we developed a "plant on a chip" microfluidic platform that can control the local chemical environment around live roots of Arabidopsis thaliana with high spatial resolution using multi-laminar flow. We characterized the flow profile around the Arabidopsis root, and verified that the shear forces within the device ( approximately 10 dyne cm(-2)) did not impede growth of the roots. Our platform was able to deliver stimuli to the root at a spatial resolution of 10-800 microm. Further, the platform was validated by exposing desired regions of the root with a synthetic auxin derivative, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), and its inhibitor N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA). The response to the stimuli was observed using a DR5::GFP Arabidopsis line, where GFP expression is coupled to the auxin response regulator DR5. GFP expression in the root matched the position of the flow-focused stream containing 2,4-D. When the regions around the 2,4-D stimulus were exposed to the auxin transport inhibitor NPA, the active and passive transport mechanisms of auxin could be differentiated, as NPA blocks active cell-to-cell transport of auxin. Finally, we demonstrated that local 2,4-D stimulation in a approximately 10 microm root segment enhanced morphological changes such as epidermal hair growth. These experiments were proof-of-concept and agreed with the results expected based on known root biology, demonstrating that this "root on a chip" platform can be used to test how root development is affected by any chemical component of interest, including nitrogen, phosphate, salts, and other plant hormones.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2009
Meier, M. ; Kennedy-Darling, J. ; Choi, H.S. ; Sisodia, S.S. ; Ismagilov, R.F.
Biophys. J. 96, 1, 218A (2009)
Meeting abstract
Meeting abstract
Meier, M. ; Kennedy-Darling, J. ; Choi, S.H. ; Norstrom, E.M. ; Sisodia, S.S. ; Ismagilov, R.F.
Angew. Chem.-Int. Edit. 121, 1515-1517 (2009)
Sonstiges: Meinungsartikel
Other: Opinion
2008
Meier, M. ; Seelig, J.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 1017-1024 (2008)
The most abundant structural element in protein aggregates is the beta-sheet. Designed peptides that fold into a beta-sheet structure upon binding to lipid membranes are useful models to elucidate the thermodynamic characteristics of the random coil <-->beta-structure transition. Here, we examine the effect of strand length on the random coil <--> beta-sheet transition of the (KIGAKI)n peptide with the total chain length varying between 7 and 30 amino acids. The beta-sheet content of the peptides in the presence and absence of membranes was measured with circular dichroism spectroscopy. The peptides were titrated with small unilamellar lipid vesicles, and the thermodynamic binding parameters were determined with isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Membrane binding includes at least two processes, namely (i) the transfer of the peptide from the aqueous phase to the lipid surface and (ii) the conformational change from a random coil conformation to a beta-sheet structure. CD spectroscopy and ITC analysis demonstrate that beta-sheet formation depends cooperatively on the peptide chain length with a distinct increase in beta-structure for n > 10-12. Binding to the lipid membrane is an entropy-driven process as the binding enthalpy is always endothermic. The contribution of the beta-sheet folding reaction to the overall process was determined with analogues of the KIGAKI repeat where two adjacent amino acids were replaced by their D-enantiomers. The folding reaction for peptides with n >or= 12 is characterized by a negative free folding energy of DeltaG(degree)beta approximately equal -0.15 kcal/mol per amino acid residue. The folding step proper is exothermic with DeltaH(degree)(beta) approximately equal -0.2 to -0.6 kcal/mol per residue and counteracted by a negative entropy term TDeltaS(degree)(beta) = -0.1 to -0.5 kcal/mol per residue, depending on the chain length (18
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2007
Meier, M.
, Diss., 2007, 149 S.
This thesis aimed at improving our understanding of the thermodynamic and structural aspects of peptide aggregation processes at membrane surfaces. For this purpose we investigated a class of model peptides, which form a [beta]-sheet structure upon binding to membrane surfaces. Binding of peptides with the repeating sequence of KIGAKI to anionic membrane surfaces was chosen as model system to characterize the transition from a random coil to [beta]-sheet structure. Evidence is brought that the process of intermolecular [beta]-sheets formation by the KIGAKI peptides is a suitable model system for a peptide aggregation process at membrane surfaces. In order to understand this aggregation process, thermodynamic parameters of (KIGAKI)3 binding to lipid membranes were determined directly by isothermal titration calorimetry. For a description of the peptide binding data a theoretical binding model was developed and evaluated with the drug verapamil. It is shown that the binding model, which is based on the Gouy-Chapman theory, can be used in a general way to describe electrostatic attraction and repulsion of charged molecules to lipid membranes under a variety of environmental conditions. Nevertheless, binding of peptides to lipid membranes is more complex as simply considering electrostatic attraction of the peptide to the membrane. Thermodynamic binding parameters of (KIGAKI)3 to lipid membranes, obtained by ITC, combines mainly two reactions, the intrinsic binding and [beta]-sheet folding process. Separation of both subprocesses from the overall thermodynamic binding process could be achieved by varying the extent of [beta]-sheet formation due to substitution of two adjacent D amino acids within the peptide sequence. Double D amino acid substitution leads to a local disturbance of the [beta]-sheet structure, where the extent of the [beta]-sheet formation is dependent on the number and position of the double D amino acid substitution. With this approach it was possible to determine for the first time a full thermodynamic profile of the random coil to [beta]-sheet transition for a peptide in a membrane environment and concomitantly these parameters are the first clearly defined parameters of a peptide aggregation reaction. Beta sheet folds in proteins tend to be distinctively smaller than current models predict for [beta]-sheets in protein and peptide aggregates. To reveal differences between the [beta]-sheet folding reaction in a native and aggregated protein, we extended the study and determined the length dependence of the [beta]-sheet folding reaction. Thermodynamic parameters of the [beta]-sheet folding reaction for KIGAKI peptide with different lengths were determined in analogy to (KIGAKI)3. A linear length stabilization effect could be demonstrated for KIGAKI [beta]-sheet structure. Furthermore, for [beta]-sheets shorter than 10 residues the folding reaction is driven by entropy, whereas for longer [beta]-sheets the folding reaction is driven by enthalpy. Underlying length dependence of the thermodynamic driving forces of [beta]-sheet folding reaction is therefore the most important finding of this work since it reveals an important difference in the folding reaction between native and aggregating [beta]-sheets. Furthermore, the double D amino acid substitution strategy opens a new way to systematically resolve the characteristic [beta]-sheet-aggregation at membrane surfaces, as for example for the Alzheimer peptide. Beside thermodynamics of the [beta]-sheet folding process we also studied the dynamics and size of the extended [beta]-sheet structure of KIGAKI at the membrane surface by deuterium solid state NMR. It is revealed that the [beta]-sheet structure formed by the (KIGAKI)3 peptide is large and rigid and therefore inevitably extended at the membrane surface. Perturbation of the membrane integrity, due to peptide binding and [beta]-sheet formation are not observed. In turn, these findings weaken the theories that peptide aggregates at the membrane surface mediating cell death by disrupting the cell membrane. As a new approach to study extended [beta]-sheet structures at membrane surfaces, the (KIGAKI)3 and Alzheimer peptide were encapsulated in reverse micelles and dissolved in a low viscosity solvent. Within the reverse micelles KIGAKI peptides adopted their characteristic [beta]-sheet structure. Promising NMR results show that the reverse micelles technique is an interesting alternative for the structure analysis of membrane peptide and protein aggregates. The last part of this thesis dealt with the partitioning process of xenon in lipid membranes. NMR spectroscopic analysis of the chemical shift behavior of 129Xe in lipid suspension offered a new method to determine partitioning coefficients of xenon in lipid membrane samples, like blood and tissue samples, which are of particular interest for various medical applications of xenon. Additionally, our data provide new aspects of the anesthetic properties of xenon. In particular, we demonstrated that lipid molecules maintained their structure upon xenon partitioning, which suggests that structural changes of the lipid molecules are not necessary to mediate anesthesia.
Meier, M. ; Seelig, J.
J. Mol. Biol. 369, 277-289 (2007)
Biologically important peptides such as the Alzheimer peptide Abeta(1-40) display a reversible random coil <==>beta-structure transition at anionic membrane surfaces. In contrast to the well-studied random coil left arrow over right arrow alpha-helix transition of amphipathic peptides, there is a dearth on information on the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of the random coil left arrow over right arrow beta-structure transition. Here, we present a new method to quantitatively analyze the thermodynamic parameters of the membrane-induced beta-structure formation. We have used the model peptide (KIGAKI)(3) and eight analogues in which two adjacent amino acids were substituted by their d-enantiomers. The positions of the d,d pairs were shifted systematically along the three identical segments of the peptide chain. The beta-structure content of the peptides was measured in solution and when bound to anionic lipid membranes with circular dichroism spectroscopy. The thermodynamic binding parameters were determined with isothermal titration calorimetry and the binding isotherms were analysed by combining a surface partition equilibrium with the Gouy-Chapman theory. The thermodynamic parameters were found to be linearly correlated with the extent of beta-structure formation. beta-Structure formation at the membrane surface is characterized by an enthalpy change of DeltaH(beta)=-0.23 kcal/mol per residue, an entropy change of DeltaS(beta)=-0.24 cal/mol K residue and a free energy change of DeltaG(beta)=-0.15 kcal/mol residue. An increase in temperature induces an unfolding of beta-structure. The residual free energy of membrane-induced beta-structure formation is close to that of membrane-induced alpha-helix formation.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2006
Meier, M. ; Blatter, X.L. ; Seelig, A. ; Seelig, J.
Biophys. J. 91, 2943-2955 (2006)
Verapamil and amlodipine are calcium ion influx inhibitors of wide clinical use. They are partially charged at neutral pH and exhibit amphiphilic properties. The noncharged species can easily cross the lipid membrane. We have measured with solid-state NMR the structural changes induced by verapamil upon incorporation into phospholipid bilayers and have compared them with earlier data on amlodipine and nimodipine. Verapamil and amlodipine produce a rotation of the phosphocholine headgroup away from the membrane surface and a disordering of the fatty acid chains. We have determined the thermodynamics of verapamil partitioning into neutral and negatively charged membranes with isothermal titration calorimetry. Verapamil undergoes a pK-shift of DeltapK(a) = 1.2 units in neutral lipid membranes and the percentage of the noncharged species increases from 5% to 45%. Verapamil partitioning is increased for negatively charged membranes and the binding isotherms are strongly affected by the salt concentration. The electrostatic screening can be explained with the Gouy-Chapman theory. Using a functional phosphate assay we have measured the affinity of verapamil, amlodipine, and nimodipine for P-glycoprotein, and have calculated the free energy of drug binding from the aqueous phase to the active center of P-glycoprotein in the lipid phase. By combining the latter results with the lipid partitioning data it was possible, for the first time, to determine the true affinity of the three drugs for the P-glycoprotein active center if the reaction takes place exclusively in the lipid matrix.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article
2005
Meier, M. ; Fink, A. ; Brunner, E.
J. Phys. Chem. B 109, 3494-3498 (2005)
Reverse micelles currently gain increasing interest in chemical technology. They also become important in biomolecular NMR due to their ability to host biomolecules such as proteins. In the present paper, a procedure for the preparation of high-pressure NMR samples containing reverse micelles dissolved in supercritical xenon is presented. These reverse micelles are formed by sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate (AOT). For the first time, NMR spectroscopy could be applied to reverse micelles in supercritical xenon. The AOT/H(2)O/Xe system was studied as a function of experimental parameters such as xenon pressure, water content, and salt concentration. Optimum conditions for reverse micelle formation in supercritical xenon could be determined. It is, furthermore, demonstrated that biomolecules such as amino acids and proteins can be incorporated into the reverse micelles dissolved in supercritical xenon.
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Scientific Article