Education & Certifications
BA, University of California, Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology
Voltage-sensitive fluorophores enable the direct visualization of membrane potential changes in living systems. To pair the speed and sensitivity of chemical synthesized fluorescent indicators with cell-type specific genetic methods, we here develop Rhodamine-based Voltage Reporters (RhoVR) that can be covalently tethered to genetically-encoded, self-labeling enzymes. These chemical-genetic hybrids feature a photoinduced electron transfer (PeT) triggered RhoVR voltage-sensitive indicator coupled to a chloroalkane HaloTag ligand through a long, water-soluble polyethyleneglycol (PEG) linker (RhoVR-Halos). When applied to cells, RhoVR-Halos selectively and covalently bind to surface-expressed HaloTag enzyme on genetically modified cells. RhoVR-Halos maintain high voltage sensitivities-up to 34% ΔF/F per 100 mV-and fast response times typical of untargeted RhoVRs, while gaining the selectivity typical of genetically encodable voltage indicators. We show that RhoVR-Halos can record action potentials in single trials from cultured rat hippocampal neurons and can be used in concert with green-fluorescent Ca2+ indicators like GCaMP to provide simultaneous voltage and Ca2+ imaging. In brain slice, RhoVR-Halos provide exquisite labeling of defined cells and can be imaged using epifluorescence, confocal, or two-photon microscopy. Using high-speed epifluorescence microscopy, RhoVR-Halos provide a read out of action potentials from labeled cortical neurons in rat brain slice, without the need for trial averaging. These results demonstrate the potential of hybrid chemical-genetic voltage indicators to combine the optical performance of small-molecule chromophores with the inherent selectivity of genetically-encodable systems, permitting imaging modalities inaccessible to either technique individually.
View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.9b12265
View details for PubMedID 31829585
Signaling by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) on intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) is critical for intestinal homeostasis. To visualize epithelial expression of individual TLRs in vivo, we generated five strains of reporter mice. These mice revealed that TLR expression varied dramatically along the length of the intestine. Indeed, small intestine (SI) IECs expressed low levels of multiple TLRs that were highly expressed by colonic IECs. TLR5 expression was restricted to Paneth cells in the SI epithelium. Intestinal organoid experiments revealed that TLR signaling in Paneth cells or colonic IECs induced a core set of host defense genes, but this set did not include antimicrobial peptides, which instead were induced indirectly by inflammatory cytokines. This comprehensive blueprint of TLR expression and function in IECs reveals unexpected diversity in the responsiveness of IECs to microbial stimuli, and together with the associated reporter strains, provides a resource for further study of innate immunity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2018.07.016
View details for Web of Science ID 000444909600021
View details for PubMedID 30170812
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6152941
Cortical gamma oscillations have been implicated in a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and circuit-level phenomena. However, the circuit mechanisms of gamma-band generation and synchronization across cortical space remain uncertain. Using optogenetic patterned illumination in acute brain slices of mouse visual cortex, we define a circuit composed of layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal cells and somatostatin (SOM) interneurons that phase-locks ensembles across the retinotopic map. The network oscillations generated here emerge from non-periodic stimuli, and are stimulus size-dependent, coherent across cortical space, narrow band (30 Hz), and depend on SOM neuron but not parvalbumin (PV) neuron activity; similar to visually induced gamma oscillations observed in vivo. Gamma oscillations generated in separate cortical locations exhibited high coherence as far apart as 850 μm, and lateral gamma entrainment depended on SOM neuron activity. These data identify a circuit that is sufficient to mediate long-range gamma-band coherence in the primary visual cortex.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.28569
View details for Web of Science ID 000426060000001
View details for PubMedID 29480803
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5826269