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  1. May 2019
    1. containing 50 mM Tris, pH 7.5, 10 mM magnesium chloride, 1 mM dithiothreitol, and 100 11M p_32p] ATP (6000 Cilmmol) using 6 Ilg of Myelin Basic Protein. Kinase assays were also performed using "syntide-2" a small peptide substrate (PLARTLSV AGLPGKK) custom synthesized by Peptron, South Korea, and has been used as a substrate for plant CDPKs and CaMKs (Harmon et al., 1994; Hashimoto and Soderling, 1987; Yoo and Harmon, 1996). Reactions were performed in the presence of 2 mM calcium chloride or 2 mM EGTA (0 mM Ca2+) for 40 min at 30°C. When MBP was used as the substrate, reactions were stopped by boiling the assay mix for 5 min in Lammeli's buffer followed by SDS-PAGE. Phosphate incorporation was adjudged by autoradiography of SDS-PAGE gels. When Syntide-2 was used as substrate, reactions were stopped by spotting the reaction mix on P81 phosphocellulose paper (Millipore). The paper strips were air dried followed by washing with 75 mM ortho-phosphoric acid. Phosphate incorporation was assessed by scintillation counting of the P81 paper. In PfCDPK4 inhibition assays, peptide inhibitors were preincubated with proteins in a kinase assay buffer at 25°C for 30-60 min prior to the addition of substrate and ATP
    2. The catalytic activity of recombinant PfCDPK4 (and its mutants), as well as irnrnunoprecipitated PfCDPK4 from parasite lysate, was assayed in a buffer
    3. ssay of Protein Kinase Activity
    1. esterification of the dye. Basal fluorescence was measured in a fluorimeter (BMG Fluostar Optima spectrofluorimeter) at an excitation of 480 nm and an emission of 520 nm. Appropriate treatments were initiated and kinetic fluorescence measurements were performed with the temperature being maintained at 3 7°C. At the end of each experiment, a calibration was performed to convert the fluorescence values into absolute calcium concentration using the following formula: where, Kt is the dissociation constant of Ca2+ -Fluo3-AM complex (325 nM), and F represents the fluorescence intensity of cells, Fmax represents the maximum fluorescence (obtained by treating cells with 1 f.!M Ca2+ ionophore A234187 in the presence of 4 mM CaCh), and Fmin corresponds to the minimum fluorescence (obtained by treating cells with 4 mM EGTA)
    2. Cytosolic free Ca2+ was measured using the fluorescent Ca2+ indicator Fluo3-AM. THP-1 macrophages were harvested and resuspended in Kreb's buffer (118 mM NaCl, 25 mM NaHC03, 4.8 mM KCl, 1.2 mM KH2P04, 1.2 mM MgS04, 11 mM glucose, 1.5 mM CaCh.2H20). Fluo3-AM was added at a final concentration of 0.5 J.LM alongwith 1 J.LM Pluronic acid F-127 to aid in dispersal of the dye. The cells were subjected to constant mixing by end-to-end rotation and incubated with the dye for 20 min at room temperature following which the cells were pelleted and resuspended in fresh Kreb' s buffer and incubated for further 15 min to allow complete de-
    3. Intracellular free Ca2+ assay
    1. M Tris-HCI pH 8.8, containing 4% stacking gels in O.I25 M Tris-HCI pH 6.8. The gels were run in SDS-PAGE running buffer at a constant current of 40 rnA Proteins were visualized by staining the gels with Coomassie brilliant blue.
    2. The purified proteins were analysed by SDS-PAGE as described by Laemmli ( 1970). Restrictocin and its mutants were analysed on 12.5% resolving gels in 0.375
    3. SDS-PAGE
    1. Following electrophoretic resolution of total RNA, the gels were blotted on to GeneScreen membrane as described by Maniatis et al., 1982 ) .. The RNA gel to be used for blotting was not stained with ethidium bromide. The blotting was performed in 20 X sse or 20 X SSPE, OIN.
    2. Northern blot.
    3. bands seen in the DNA size marker, were marked with a ball -point pen at the places where small holes had been pierced in the gel earlier ( see above ). Thus it was easy to monitor the size of the fragments showing hybridisation to the probe. The gel was then peeled off and the membrane w~shed in 6 X sse with gentle rocking for 10 minutes to wash away any residual agarose sticking to the membrane. After air drying at room temperature, the membrane was baked at so0e for two hours. The baked filter was stored at room temperature in a dessicator, if not used immediately. The dehydrated gel was restained in water containing 0.5 ug I ml ethidium bromide for 30 minutes and examined on a short wave UV transilluminator to check for the presence of any DNA fragments that escaped blotting. The absence of any residual bands indicated that the transfer was complete.
    4. Restriction fragments of DNA resolved on agarose gel were transferred to nylon membrane ( GeneScreen or GeneScreen Plus by the capillary blotting procedure of Southern ( 1975 ) as described by Maniatis et al., ( 1982 ) . After the completion of electrophoresis, the gel was stained and photographed as described earlier. Position of the various bands obtained in the DNA size marker lane were marked by piercing small holes at the two ends of each band in the gel with a yellow tip. The gel was then denatured, neutralised and blotted essentially as described by Maniatis et al., ( 1982 ) . Locally available coarse absorbent paper was used to make the paper towels of the appropriate size. In case of genomic DNA from mammalian cells, the agarose gel was first treated with 0.25 M HCl for 10 minutes, followed by the rest of the procedure as mentioned above. The transfer buffer was 20 X SSPE in all cases. To prevent the absorption of fluid from the 3 MM paper under the gel directly to the blotting paper atop the nylon membrane, the gel was surrounded with polythene sheets to minimise the direct contact between the blotting paper and the 3 MM paper placed under the gel. The blotting was performed for 18 -24 hours. After the transfer was over, the paper towels and the 3 MM papers on top of the nylon filter were peeled off. The gel along with the attached membrane, was turned over and kept on a clean sheet of 3 MM paper with the gel side up. The position of the gel slots was marked with a ball -point pen. Also, the positions of the
    5. southern blot.
    6. Colony lifts were performed essentially as described by Maniatis et al. , 1982 ) . Recombinant colonies were grown 0/N at 37°C to have well separated colonies. The colonies were overlaid with 80 mm diameter nitrocellulose filter circles BA 85, S & S and after the filter became wet throughout, it was peeled off in a single, smooth motion, avoiding the smearing of the bacterial colonies. The plate was reincubated at 37°C for a few hours to regenerate the colonies. The colonies transferred to the filter were lysed to bind the liberated DNA to the nitrocellulose.
    7. Colony lifts.
    8. Transfer of DNA.
    9. Imrnobilisation of DNA L RNA on~ solid support.
    1. incubations were carried out for I h at RT and each incubation was followed by three washings with PBS containing 0.1% Tween-20 (PBST). Post-blocking, the membranes were incubated with 1:1000 dilution ofMA-813 ascites (for detection ofr-bmZP1), MA-451 ascites (for detection of r-dZP3) or rabbit polyclonal anti-r-rG antibodies (for detection of r-rG), followed by an incubation with 1:5000 dilution of goat anti-mouse or goat anti-rabbit immunoglobulins conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (HRPO) (Pierce) respectively. The blots were developed with 0.6% (w/v) 4-chloro-1-naphthol in 50 mM PBS containing 25% methanol and 0.06% H202• The reaction was stopped by extensive washing with double distilled water
    2. The cells (2 - 4 x 1 06) transfected with plasmid DNA were resuspended in minimum volume of 2X sample buffer (0.0625 M Tris, pH 6.8, 2% SDS, 10% glycerol, 5% P-mercaptoethanol, and 0.001% bromophenol blue). The samples were boiled for 10 min and resolved on a 0.1% SDS-1 0% PAGE (Laemmli, 1970). The expression of recombinant proteins was analyzed by Western Blot. The proteins were electrophoretically transferred to 0.45 J.lm nitrocellulose membrane 0/N at a constant current of 30 rnA (milliampere) in Tris-Giycine buffer (25 mM of Tris-HCl and 200 mM glycine) containing 20% methanol (Towbin et al., 1979). Post-transfer, the membranes were washed once with PBS and non-specific sites were blocked with 3% BSA in PBS for 90 min at RT. All the subsequent
    3. Analysis of expressed recombinant protein by immunoblot
    4. COS-I cells were seeded at a density of 2.5 x 105 cells per well in a 6-well tissue culture plate and transfected with plasmid DNA essentially as described above. After 48 h incubation, cells Were trypsinized and counted in a hemocytometer. Cells ( ~ 1 06) were washed twice with PBS and fixed with 0.4% paraformaldehyde in PBS followed by all washings and incubations with respective primary and secondary antibodies in presence of 0.1% Saponin. Antibody concentrations used were same as in indirect immunofluorescence assay. After the final wash, cells were resuspended in PBS and samples were run on an Elite ESP flow cytometer (Coulter Electronics, Hialeh, FL, USA) and data analyzed using WinMDI (version 2.8) software. Cells stained with just secondary antibody were used to account for the background fluorescence. Cells tranfected with VR 1020 vector and probed with primary antibody were used as negative control.
    5. Analysis of mammalian cells, transfected in vitro with the plasmid DNA, by flow cytometry
    6. To investigate if the expressed protein was membrane bound or cytosolic, cells were fixed in 3. 7% paraformaldehyde followed by all washings and incubations with primary and secondary antibodies either in presence or absence of 0.1% Saponin and processed for indirect immunofluorescence as described above.
    7. Localization of the expressed recombinant protein in COS-1 cells
    8. albumin (BSA) in PBS for 2 hat 4°C. For detection of r-bmZPI, a murine monoclonal antibody (MAb), MA-813, generated against E. coli expressed r-bmZP1 (Govind et al., 2000), was used as the primary antibody. The cells were incubated with 1 :500 dilution of MA-813 ascites fluid for 2 hat 4°C. Cells were washed 5 times with PBS and incubated for 1 h with a 1:800 dilution of goat anti-mouse Ig-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) conjugate (Sigma) at 4°C. After washing with PBS, coverslips with the cells were mounted in glycerol : PBS (9 : 1 ), and examined under an Optiphot fluorescent microscope (Nikon, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan). For detecting r-dZP3, MAb, MA-451 (1 :500 dilution of ascites fluid), generated against porcine ZP3f3 (a homologue of dZP3) and immunlogically cross-reactive with dZP3 (Santhanam et al., 1998) was used. For detecting r-rG, rabbit polyclonal antibodies (1:1000 dilution) against E. coli expressed r-rG, was used as primary antibody. The polyclonal antibody was provided by Dr. Sangeeta Choudhury, Project Associate, Gamete Antigen Laboratory, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi. Goat anti-mouse immunoglobulins-FITC conjugate (1 :800) and goat anti-rabbit immunoglobulins-FITC conjugate (1 :2000; Pierce) were used for detecting anti-dZP3 and anti-rG antibodies respectively
    9. Initial standardization of transfection conditions was done using VRbmZPl plasmid DNA and COS-I mammalian cell line. In brief, cells were cultured in T-25 tissue culture flasks in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium (DMEM) supplemented with 10% fetal calf serum (FCS) at 37°C with 5% C02. For subculturing, cells were trypsinized (0.5% trypsin + 0.2% EDTA in DMEM without FCS), centrifuged at 250 X g for 10 min, resuspended in DMEM supplemented with 10% FCS and aliquoted into T-25 flasks. For transfection, cells were seeded on coverslips in a 24-well tissue culture plate at a density of 5x 104 cells/well, a day prior to transfection. To standardize in vitro transfection conditions for optimum expression of bmZP1, varying amount of plasmid DNA was mixed with lipofectamine in DMEM devoid ofFCS (final reaction volume 200 f.!l) and incubated at RT for 45 min. The cells on the coverslips were washed twice with plain DMEM devoid of FCS. DNA-Iipofectamine complex was added dropwise to the cells and the plate incubated for 8 h at 3 7°C in humidified atmosphere of 5% C02• Subsequently, 1 ml of DMEM containing 10% FCS was added per well and cells allowed to grow for 48 h. After incubation, cells were processed for visualization of r-bmZPl by indirect immunofluorescence assay. Cells were washed twice with phosphate buffer saline (PBS; 50 mM Phosphate and 150 mM NaCI, pH 7.4), fixed in chilled methanol (-20°C) for 3 min and blocked with 3% bovine serum
    10. Detection of the expressed recombinant protein following i11 vitro transfection of mammalian cells with the plasmid DNA.
    11. 6000 X g for 15 min at 4°C. Plasmid DNA was purified from the pellet using QIAGEN DNA purification kit according to the manufacturer's instructions. The purified plasmid DNA (1.5 -2.0 mg/ml) was dissolved in autoclaved double distilled water and stored in aliquots (500 f.!l each) at -20°C until further use.
    12. A single colony of the respective clones was picked up from a freshly streaked LB + Kan (50 f.!g/ml) plate, inoculated into 5 ml of LB + Kan medium and incubated for 8 hat 37°C with vigorous shaking (-250 rpm). Subsequently, 500 fll of this primary culture was inoculated into 500 ml LB+ Kan and grown at 37°C 0/N. The culture was centrifuged at
    13. Purification of plasmid DNA in large amount
    14. N-VITRO TRANSFECTION OF MAMMALIAN CELLS WITH V ARlO US PLASMID DNA CONSTRUCTS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF EXPRESSED RECOMBINANT PROTEINS
    1. After transfection the cells were harvested and RNA was isolated from the celllysates using Trizol reagent (Invitrogen) and purified according to the manufacturer's directions. Briefly, the cells were lysed directly in the culture dish by adding 1ml of Trizol reagent to each well. The homogenized sample was incubated at room temperature for 5 min to permit complete dissociation of the nucleoprotein complexes. For purifying the RNA, 200pl of chloroform was added, the tubes were shaken vigorously for 15 seconds and incubated at room temperature for 2-3 min. Tubes were centrifuged at 12,000 ref for 15 min at 40C. The aqueous phase was collected, mixed with 500pl isopropanol and incubated at room temperature for 10 min. Centrifugation was carried out at 12,000 ref for 10 min at 40C. The supernatant was carefully removed and the RNA pellet was washed with 1ml of 70% ethanol by vortexing and then centrifuging at 7500 ref for 5 min. The pellet was air dried and dissolved in 20pl of NFW.
    2. RNA isolation from celllysates
    1. hydrolysis of the non-fluorescent derivative dichlorodihydrofluorescein. In the presence of an appropriate oxidant, dichlorodihydrofluorescein is oxidised to the highly fluorescent 2, 7 -dichlorofluorescein. Log phase cultures were taken and dead cells pelleted at 129 x g for 5 min at RT. The live cells were resuspended in fresh phenol red-free DMEM containing 10% FBS to get a cell density of 107 cells per mL. The cells were loaded with the dye (Stock solution prepared in DMSO to a final concentration of 1pg/pL) by incubating every 107 cells with 2pL of stock solution for 15 to 20 min on an end to end shaker at RT and then washed with medium. The cells were incubated for another 15 min to allow de-esterification to occur. 200pL was aliquotted into each well of a black plate and a basal reading taken at 485nm/ 520nm. Subsequently stained cells were exposed to appropriate treatments and fluorescence monitored at appropriate intervals of time. For each experiment, measurements were prepared in quadruplets and expressed as arbitrary f1uorescence intensity units (AFU)
    2. CM-H2DCFDA (5-(and-6)-chloromethyl -21,7'-dichlorodihydro fluorescein diacetate, acetyl ester) has been used as a detector of ROS as described previously (Mukherjee et al., 2002).This probe is a non-polar, non-fluorescent dye that diffuses readily into cells, where it is trapped by
    3. Assay for measuring intracellular ROS
    4. Ultra competent cells were prepared by using the method described by Inoue (Inoue et al., 1990). Briefly, the DH5-a cells were grown in the SOB culture medium (20gm/L Tryptone, 5 gm/L Yeast extract, 0.5 gm/L Sodium chloride, 2.5 mM Potassium chloride and 10mM Magnesium chloride, pH 7.0) at 18°C till the O.D.6oo of 0.55 was attained. The flasks were then shifted to ice-water bath for 10 min. The cells were harvested by centrifugation at 3220 x g, all media was discarded and the cell pellet was resuspended in Inoue transformation buffer (55mM Manganese chloride, 15mM Calcium chloride, 250mM Potassium chloride, 10mM PIPES, pH 6. 7). The suspension was centrifuged at 3220 x g, the buffer discarded and cell pellet was resuspended in fresh Inoue transformation buffer. DMSO (1.5mL/20mL of buffer) was added and the cells were frozen at -70°C. Cells were checked for transformation efficiency and were used if transformation efficiency was above 5 X 108 transformed colonies / Jlg of DNA
    5. Preparation of ultra-competent cells of E. coli DHS-a