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  • Total internal reflection STED microscopy. 21747490

    Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy achieves diffraction-unlimited resolution in far-field fluorescence microscopy well below 100 nm. As common for (single-lens) far-field microscopy techniques, the lateral resolution is better than the axial sectioning capabilities. Here we present the first implementation of total internal reflection (TIR) illumination into STED microscopy which limits fluorophore excitation to ~70 nm in the vicinity of the cover slip while simultaneously providing ~50 nm lateral resolution. We demonstrate the performance of this new microscope technique with fluorescent bead test samples as well as immuno-stained microtubules. Total internal reflection STED microscopy provides superior axial sectioning capabilities with the potential to reduce photo-bleaching and photo-damage in live cell imaging.
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    Anti-Tubulin Antibody, beta, clone KMX-1
  • Transgenic mice carrying a human mutant superoxide dismutase transgene develop neuronal cytoskeletal pathology resembling human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis lesions. 8610185

    Mutations in the human Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase gene (SOD1) are found in 20% of kindreds with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Transgenic mice (line G1H) expressing a human SOD1 containing a mutation of Gly-93 -->> Ala (G93A) develop a motor neuron disease similar to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but transgenic mice (line N1029) expressing a wild-type human SOD1 transgene do not. Because neurofilament (NF)-rich inclusions in spinal motor neurons are characteristic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we asked whether mutant G1H and/or N1029 mice develop similar NF lesions. NF inclusions (i.e., spheroids, Lewy body-like inclusions) were first detected in spinal cord motor neurons of the G1H mice at 82 days of age about the time these mice first showed clinical evidence of disease. Other neuronal intermediate filament proteins (alpha-internexin, peripherin) also accumulated in these spheroids. The onset of accumulations of ubiquitin immunoreactivity in the G1H mice paralleled the emergence of vacuoles and NF-rich spheroids in neurons, but they did not colocalize exclusively with spheroids. In contrast, NF inclusions were not seen in the N1029 mice until they were 132 days old, and ubiquitin immunoreactivity was not increased in the N1029 mice even at 199 days of age. Astrocytosis in spinal cord was associated with a marked increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity in the G1H mice, but not in the N1029 mice. Finally, comparative studies revealed a striking similarity between the cytoskeletal pathology in the G1H transgenic mice and in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These findings link a specific SOD1 mutation with alterations in the neuronal cytoskeleton of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Thus, neuronal cytoskeletal abnormalities may be implicated in the pathogenesis of human familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
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    Anti-Neurofilament NF-H Antibody, clone TA51
  • Tumour-specific arginine vasopressin promoter activation in small-cell lung cancer. 10471042

    Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) can produce numerous mitogenic neuropeptides, which are not found in normal respiratory epithelium. Arginine vasopressin is detected in up to two-thirds of SCLC tumours whereas normal physiological expression is essentially restricted to the hypothalamus. This presents the opportunity to identify elements of the gene promoter which could be exploited for SCLC-specific targeting. A series of human vasopressin 5' promoter fragments (1048 bp, 468 bp and 199 bp) were isolated and cloned upstream of a reporter gene. These were transfected into a panel of ten cell lines, including SCLC with high or low endogenous vasopressin transcription, non-SCLC and bronchial epithelium. All these fragments directed reporter gene expression in the five SCLC cell lines, but had negligible activity in the control lines. The level of reporter gene expression reflected the level of endogenous vasopressin production, with up to 4.9-fold (s.d. 0.34) higher activity than an SV40 promoter. The elements required for this strong, restricted, SCLC-specific promoter activity are contained within the 199-bp fragment. Further analysis of this region indicated involvement of E-box transcription factor binding sites, although tumour-specificity was retained by a 65-bp minimal promoter fragment. These data show that a short region of the vasopressin promoter will drive strong expression in SCLC in vitro and raise the possibility of targeting gene therapy to these tumours.
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    Anti-Vasopressin Antibody