SmartFlare Paper Revisions

Not too long after publishing version 1 of the SmartFlare paper at Science Open, we received a couple of very helpful reviews. We’ve been working on the points made by the reviewers to improve the manuscript for version 2 (coming very shortly!). Below are some thoughts on a couple of the comments and a quick update on some new data in the works.

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Direct Microinjection of SmartFlares

We’ve so far, not seen any response of the VEGF SmartFlares to treatment of our cells with DMOG. Combined with the punctate distribution of the signal, we have no evidence that the SmartFlares make it to the cytosol in 18 hours. As we’re not sure if the problem lies in the SmartFlares or the delivery, I microinjected the SmartFlares directly into the cells thus bypassing the need for endosomal uptake.

Microinjection
Image Courtesy of the Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging

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Source of chloroquine-induced vacuoles

In a recent post, I was musing about why the SmartFlares weren’t in the swollen chloroquine-induced vacuoles. Out of interest more than anything, I did a quick experiment to see what would happen if I pre-labelled the endocytic pathway with one coloured dextran, then added in a second with the chloroquine.

2015-06-22-schemeHere’s what happened:

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Discussion Points from SmartFlare Group Meeting

I recently discussed the SmartFlare project at a joint Sée and Lévy Group Meeting, partially extolling the virtues of Open Science but mostly focussing on the data acquired so far and some of the proposed experiments.

By Andreas E. Neuhold[CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Regarding the SmartFlare project, the three big questions that formed the basis of the talk were:

  • Why do only some cells take up SmartFlares?
  • Where are the SmartFlares?
  • Why are the VEGF and Scrambled SmartFlares fluorescent in puncta?

Below are some of the interesting points that were made during the meeting. Replies at the time (as best as I can remember them) in green:

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Interpretation of chloroquine results

The last post highlighted some of the results of using chloroquine to investigate the localisation and functionality of the SmartFlares. This post will deal solely with the interpretation of those results.

2015-06-10-chloroquine

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Discussion Points from Honours Project Report

With the Undergraduate project reports now marked, Gemma has kindly agreed to post her project report on the blog. You can find a pdf of the report here.

As most of the methods and results are already on the blog, a slightly abridged and edited version of the discussion section is replicated below:

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