The actin binding protein girdin is a cytosolic protein that is required for actin remodeling to trigger cell migration in various tissues. Girdin is phosphorylated by both receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinases at tyrosine 1798. Omori et al. developed site- and phosphorylation status-specific antibodies against human girdin at tyrosine-1798 (pY1798), which specifically bind to phosphorylated tyrosine-1798, but not to unphosphorylated tyrosine-1798. pY1798 antibodies have been used to specifically label tuft cells (TCs) that are present in mammalian gastrointestinal tissues, but the function of these cells is unclear. This protocol allows the robust visualization of TCs in the jejunum using pY1798 antibodies and immunofluorescence. To ensure successful and simple TC visualization, this protocol includes two histological techniques: production of free-floating cryosections from gelatin-filled jejunum tissue, and low-temperature antigen retrieval at 50 °C for 3 h. Filling the jejunum with gelatin maintains the shape of free-floating sections throughout the staining procedure, whereas low-temperature antigen retrieval ensures robust signals from TCs. Successful use of this protocol results in pY1798 staining of TCs distributed from villus tip to crypt. Stained TCs have a spool-shaped soma and fluorescent signals condense at the lumenal tip, which corresponds to the protruding 'tuft.' Phalloidin staining colocalized with pY1798-positive TCs at the thickened brush border, and corresponds to a rootlet mass extending from the TC tuft. This protocol could be used to examine TCs in human biopsy samples collected with gastrointestinal endoscopes. Furthermore, TCs were recently reported to accumulate following parasite infection in mice, suggesting that this protocol could have applications for diagnosis of parasite infections in the human gut.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)