Quantitatively Imaging Chromosomes by Correlated Cryo-Fluorescence and Soft X-Ray Tomographies

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TitleQuantitatively Imaging Chromosomes by Correlated Cryo-Fluorescence and Soft X-Ray Tomographies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSmith E A, McDermott G, Do M, Leung K, Panning B, Le Gros M A, Larabell C A
Journal TitleBiophysical Journal
Journal Date10/21/
ISBN Number0006-3495

Soft x-ray tomography (SXT) is increasingly being recognized as a valuable method for visualizing and quantifying the ultrastructure of cryopreserved cells. Here, we describe the combination of SXT with cryogenic confocal fluorescence tomography (CFT). This correlative approach allows the incorporation of molecular localization data, with isotropic precision, into high-resolution three-dimensional (3-D) SXT reconstructions of the cell. CFT data are acquired first using a cryogenically adapted confocal light microscope in which the specimen is coupled to a high numerical aperture objective lens by an immersion fluid. The specimen is then cryo-transferred to a soft x-ray microscope (SXM) for SXT data acquisition. Fiducial markers visible in both types of data act as common landmarks, enabling accurate coalignment of the two complementary tomographic reconstructions. We used this method to identify the inactive X chromosome (Xi) in female v-abl transformed thymic lymphoma cells by localizing enhanced green fluorescent protein-labeled macroH2A with CFT. The molecular localization data were used to guide segmentation of Xi in the SXT reconstructions, allowing characterization of the Xi topological arrangement in near-native state cells. Xi was seen to adopt a number of different topologies with no particular arrangement being dominant.