Dissociated Hippocampal Neurons Exhibit Distinct Zn2+ Dynamics in a Stimulation-Method-Dependent Manner

Feb. 26, 2020

Ionic Zn 2+ has increasingly been recognized as an important neurotransmitter and signaling ion in glutamatergic neuron pathways. Intracellular Zn 2+ transiently increases as a result of neuronal excitation, and this Zn 2+ signal is essential for neuron plasticity, but the source and regulation of the signal is still unclear...

Nutritional Zn2+ levels influence cell proliferation and intracellular Zn2+ levels.

Single cell analysis reveals multiple requirements for zinc in the mammalian cell cycle

Feb. 21, 2020

Zinc is widely recognized as essential for growth and proliferation, yet the mechanisms of how zinc deficiency arrests these processes remain enigmatic. Here we induce subtle zinc perturbations and track asynchronously cycling cells throughout division using fluorescent reporters, high throughput microscopy, and quantitative analysis. Zinc deficiency induces quiescence and resupply...

Graphs and pictures from research performed by Robin Dowell and Amy Palmer

Remodeling of Zn2+ Homeostasis Upon Differentiation of Mammary Epithelial Cells

Jan. 16, 2020

Zinc is the second most abundant transition metal in humans and an essential nutrient required for growth and development of newborns. During lactation, mammary epithelial cells differentiate into a secretory phenotype, uptake zinc from blood circulation, and export it into mother’s milk. At the cellular level, many zinc-dependent cellular processes,...

Directed evolution of FusionRed: (a) genealogy of the FusionRed mutants.

Directed evolution of excited state lifetime and brightness in FusionRed using a microfluidic sorter

Dec. 30, 2019

Green fluorescent proteins (GFP) and their blue, cyan and red counterparts offer unprecedented advantages as biological markers owing to their genetic encodability and straightforward expression in different organisms. Although significant advancements have been made towards engineering the key photo-physical properties of red fluorescent proteins (RFPs), they continue to perform sub-optimally...

GFP dimer

Intramolecular Fluorescent Protein Association in a Class of Zinc FRET Sensors Leads to Increased Dynamic Range

Oct. 29, 2019

Genetically encoded Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) sensors enable the visualization of ions, molecules, and processes in live cells. However, despite their widespread use, the molecular states that determine sensor performance are usually poorly understood, which limits efforts to improve them. We used dynamic light scattering (DLS) and time-resolved fluorescence...

Identification and characterization of molecules that inhibit Notch signaling.

Discovery of a ZIP7 inhibitor from a Notch pathway screen.

Oct. 29, 2019

The identification of activating mutations in NOTCH1 in 50% of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia has generated interest in elucidating how these mutations contribute to oncogenic transformation and in targeting the pathway. A phenotypic screen identified compounds that interfere with trafficking of Notch and induce apoptosis via an endoplasmic reticulum...

Genetically encoded Zn2+ FRET sensor measurements in resting neurons.

Intracellular Zn2+ transients modulate global gene expression in dissociated rat hippocampal neurons

Oct. 29, 2019

Zinc (Zn2+) is an integral component of many proteins and has been shown to act in a regulatory capacity in different mammalian systems, including as a neurotransmitter in neurons throughout the brain. While Zn2+ plays an important role in modulating neuronal potentiation and synaptic plasticity, little is known about the...

U bodies in hela

Riboglow improves live cell RNA imaging

Sept. 26, 2018

In a multidisciplinary study recently published in Nature Chemical Biology, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a novel tool for visualizing RNA. This project centered on a collaboration between the Palmer Lab, with expertise in live cell imaging, the Batey Lab, with expertise in RNA, and the...


Fluorescent tag allows for real-time imaging of bacterial infection

May 9, 2018

Researchers at the BioFrontiers Institute have developed a fluorescent-based approach to study virulence proteins secreted by the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen. The work was performed by the lab of Dr. Amy Palmer and recently published in Biophysical Journal. Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium which causes the foodborne illness listeriosis in approximately...

BioFrontiers' Amy Palmer studies the effects that zinc has on a wide variety of cellular processes.

Amy Palmer wins NIH Pioneer Award

Oct. 9, 2014

Few people think of metals as being vital to our health. Although most people are aware of iron, zinc is just as important, and is involved in a much wider array of biological functions. Ten percent of the proteins used to build our cells, tissues and genes are predicted to...