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Research group Verhaagen
Publication year 2020
Published in PLoS Biology
Authors Jelmer Willems, Arthur P H de Jong, Nicky Scheefhals, Eline Mertens, Lisa A E Catsburg, Rogier B Poorthuis, Fred De Winter, J. Verhaagen, Frank J Meye, Harold D MacGillavry

The correct subcellular distribution of proteins establishes the complex morphology and function of neurons. Fluorescence microscopy techniques are invaluable to investigate subcellular protein distribution, but they suffer from the limited ability to efficiently and reliably label endogenous proteins with fluorescent probes. We developed ORANGE: Open Resource for the Application of Neuronal Genome Editing, which mediates targeted genomic integration of epitope tags in rodent dissociated neuronal culture, in organotypic slices, and in vivo. ORANGE includes a knock-in library for in-depth investigation of endogenous protein distribution, viral vectors, and a detailed two-step cloning protocol to develop knock-ins for novel targets. Using ORANGE with (live-cell) superresolution microscopy, we revealed the dynamic nanoscale organization of endogenous neurotransmitter receptors and synaptic scaffolding proteins, as well as previously uncharacterized proteins. Finally, we developed a mechanism to create multiple knock-ins in neurons, mediating multiplex imaging of endogenous proteins. Thus, ORANGE enables quantification of expression, distribution, and dynamics for virtually any protein in neurons at nanoscale resolution.

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