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Bioinformatics 2005 Aug 1;21(15):3248-54

A quantitative determination of multi-protein interactions by the analysis of confocal images using a pixel-by-pixel assessment algorithm.

Goucher DR, Wincovitch SM, Garfield SH, Carbone KM, Malik TH

Malik TH, US FDA, DVP, OVRR, Ctr Biol Evaluat & Res, Bethesda, MD 20892 USA US FDA, DVP, OVRR, Ctr Biol Evaluat & Res, Bethesda, MD 20892 USA NCI, Expt Carcinogenesis Lab, Bethesda, MD 20892 USA Johns Hopkins Univ, Sch Med, Dept Psychiat, Baltimore, MD 21205 USA Johns Hopkins Univ, Dept Med, Baltimore, MD 21205 USA


MOTIVATION: Recent advances in confocal microscopy have allowed scientists to assess the expression, and to some extent, the interaction/colocalization of multiple molecules within cells and tissues. In some instances, accurately quantifying the colocalization of two or more proteins may be critical. This can require the acquisition of multiple Z plane images (Z stacks) throughout a specimen and, as such, we report here the successful development of a freeware, open-source image analysis tool, IMAJIN_COLOC, developed in PERL (v. 5.8, build 806), using the PERLMagick libraries (ImageMagick). Using a pixel-by-pixel analysis algorithm, IMAJIN_COLOC can analyze images for antigen expression (any number of colors) and can measure all possible combinations of colocalization for up to three colors by analyzing a Z stack gallery acquired for each sample. The simultaneous (i.e. in a single pass) analysis of three-color colocalization, and batch analysis capabilities are distinctive features of this program. RESULTS: A control image, containing known individual and colocalized pixel counts, was used to validate the accuracy of IMAJIN_COLOC. As further validation, pixel counts and colocalization values from the control image were compared to those obtained with the software packaged with the Zeiss laser-scanning microscope (LSM AIM, version 3.2). The values from both programs were found to be identical. To demonstrate the applicability of this program in addressing novel biological questions, we examined the role of neurons in eliciting an immune reaction in response to viral infection. Specifically, we successfully examined expression of the chemokine RANTES in measles virus (MV) infected hippocampal neurons and quantified changes in RANTES production throughout the disease period. The resultant quantitative data were also evaluated visually, using a gif image created during the analysis. AVAILABILITY: PERL (ActivePerl, version 5.8) is available at activestate.com; the PERLMagick libraries are available at imagemagick.org, and IMAJIN_COLOC, the source code and user documentation can be downloaded from http://www.fda.gov/cber/research/imaging/imageanalysis.htm.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #15947019
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-04 Entry Last Modified: 2012-08-29