Systematic optimization of square-wave electroporation conditions for bovine primary fibroblasts
BACKGROUND:Gene transfer by electroporation is an established method for the non-viral mediated transfection of mammalian cells. Primary cells pose a particular challenge for electroporation-mediated gene transfer, since they are more vulnerable than immortalized cells, and have a limited proliferative capacity. Improving the gene transfer by using square wave electroporation in difficult to transfect cells, like bovine fetal fibroblasts, is a prerequisite for transgenic and further downstream experiments. RESULTS:Here, bovine fetal fibroblasts were used for square-wave electroporation experiments in which the following parameters were systematically tested: electroporation buffer, electroporation temperature, pulse voltage, pulse duration, pulse number, cuvette type and plasmid DNA amount. For the experiments a commercially available square-wave generator was applied. Post electroporation, the bovine fetal fibroblasts were observed after 24 h for viability and reporter expression. The best results were obtained with a single 10 millisecond square-wave pulse of 400 V using 10 μg supercoiled plasmid DNA and 0.3 × 106 cells in 100 μl of Opti-MEM medium in 4 mm cuvettes. Importantly, the electroporation at room temperature was considerably better than with pre-cooled conditions. CONCLUSIONS:The optimized electroporation conditions will be relevant for gene transfer experiments in bovine fetal fibroblasts to obtain genetically engineered donor cells for somatic cell nuclear transfer and for reprogramming experiments in this species.