Incompetence of preovulatory mouse oocytes to undergo cortical granule exocytosis following induced calcium oscillations. (1/2131)

Immature oocytes of many species are incompetent to undergo cortical granule (CG) exocytosis upon fertilization. In mouse eggs, CG exocytosis is dependent primarily on an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-mediated elevation of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i). While deficiencies upstream of [Ca2+]i release are known, this study examined whether downstream deficiencies also contribute to the incompetence of preovulatory mouse oocytes to release CGs. The experimental strategy was to bypass upstream deficiencies by inducing normal, fertilization-like [Ca2+]i oscillations in fully grown, germinal vesicle (GV) stage oocytes and determine if the extent of CG exocytosis was restored to levels observed in mature, metaphase II (MII)-stage eggs. Because IP3 does not stimulate a normal Ca2+ response in GV-stage oocytes, three alternate methods were used to induce oscillations: thimerosal treatment, electroporation, and sperm factor injection. Long-lasting oscillations from thimerosal treatment resulted in 64 and 10% mean CG release at the MII and GV stages, respectively (P < 0.001). Three electrical pulses induced mean [Ca2+]i elevations of approximately 730 and 650 nM in MII- and GV-stage oocytes, respectively, and 31% CG release in MII-stage eggs and 9% in GV-stage oocytes (P < 0.001). Sperm factor microinjection resulted in 86% CG release in MII-stage eggs, while similarly treated GV-stage oocytes exhibited < 1% CG release (P < 0.001). Taken together, these results demonstrate a deficiency downstream of [Ca2+]i release which is developmentally regulated in the 12 h prior to ovulation.  (+info)

Mechanisms of double-strand-break repair during gene targeting in mammalian cells. (2/2131)

In the present study, the mechanism of double-strand-break (DSB) repair during gene targeting at the chromosomal immunoglobulin mu-locus in a murine hybridoma was examined. The gene-targeting assay utilized specially designed insertion vectors genetically marked in the region of homology to the chromosomal mu-locus by six diagnostic restriction enzyme site markers. The restriction enzyme markers permitted the contribution of vector-borne and chromosomal mu-sequences in the recombinant product to be determined. The use of the insertion vectors in conjunction with a plating procedure in which individual integrative homologous recombination events were retained for analysis revealed several important features about the mammalian DSB repair process:The presence of the markers within the region of shared homology did not affect the efficiency of gene targeting. In the majority of recombinants, the vector-borne marker proximal to the DSB was absent, being replaced with the corresponding chromosomal restriction enzyme site. This result is consistent with either formation and repair of a vector-borne gap or an "end" bias in mismatch repair of heteroduplex DNA (hDNA) that favored the chromosomal sequence. Formation of hDNA was frequently associated with gene targeting and, in most cases, began approximately 645 bp from the DSB and could encompass a distance of at least 1469 bp. The hDNA was efficiently repaired prior to DNA replication. The repair of adjacent mismatches in hDNA occurred predominantly on the same strand, suggesting the involvement of a long-patch repair mechanism.  (+info)

Protrusive growth from giant liposomes driven by actin polymerization. (3/2131)

Development of protrusions in the cell is indispensable in the process of cell motility. Membrane protrusion has long been suggested to occur as a result of actin polymerization immediately beneath the cell membrane at the leading edge, but elucidation of the mechanism is insufficient because of the complexity of the cell. To study the mechanism, we prepared giant liposomes containing monomeric actin (100 or 200 microM) and introduced KCl into individual liposomes by an electroporation technique. On the electroporation, the giant liposomes deformed. Most importantly, protrusive structure grew from the liposomes containing 200 microM actin at rates (ranging from 0.3 to 0.7 micrometer/s) similar to those obtained in the cell. The deformation occurred in a time range (30 approximately 100 s) similar to that of actin polymerization monitored in a cuvette (ca. 50 s). Concomitant with deformation, Brownian motion of micron-sized particles entrapped in the liposomes almost ceased. From these observations, we conclude that actin polymerization in the liposomes caused the protrusive formation.  (+info)

Transfection of small numbers of human endothelial cells by electroporation and synthetic amphiphiles. (4/2131)

OBJECTIVES: This study compared the efficiency of electroporation and synthetic amphiphiles. (SAINT-2pp/DOPE) in transfecting small numbers of human endothelial cells. METHODS AND RESULTS: Optimal transfection conditions were tested and appeared to be 400 V and 960 microF for electroporation and a 10:1 ratio for concentrations of SAINT-2pp/DOPE: plasmid. Using these conditions, cell concentrations were lowered step-wise and we were able to transfect as few as one thousand cells with both methods. For detection of transfection of a small number of cells a sensitive assay was needed (Luciferase). A plasmid containing the neomycin resistance gene was used to determine the transfection rate expressed in colony forming units by counting colonies after selection. At low plasmid concentrations this transfection rate was within the same range for both electroporation and SAINT-2pp/DOPE transfection. Fluorescent in situ hybridisation of metaphase chromosomes of transfected endothelial cells using the plasmid as a probe showed that stable integration was possible with both methods. CONCLUSIONS: Electroporation and a synthetic amphiphile, SAINT-2pp, provide the possibility of transfecting small numbers of cells resulting in stable integration of low plasmid concentrations. The availability of this technology is important in order to obtain functional endothelial cell lines from various human blood vessels for research purposes.  (+info)

Chemical transformations in individual ultrasmall biomimetic containers. (5/2131)

Individual phospholipid vesicles, 1 to 5 micrometers in diameter, containing a single reagent or a complete reaction system, were immobilized with an infrared laser optical trap or by adhesion to modified borosilicate glass surfaces. Chemical transformations were initiated either by electroporation or by electrofusion, in each case through application of a short (10-microsecond), intense (20 to 50 kilovolts per centimeter) electric pulse delivered across ultramicroelectrodes. Product formation was monitored by far-field laser fluorescence microscopy. The ultrasmall characteristic of this reaction volume led to rapid diffusional mixing that permits the study of fast chemical kinetics. This technique is also well suited for the study of reaction dynamics of biological molecules within lipid-enclosed nanoenvironments that mimic cell membranes.  (+info)

Development of nuclear transfer and parthenogenetic rabbit embryos activated with inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. (6/2131)

The present study was carried out to evaluate the effects of different activation protocols, enucleation methods, and culture media on the development of parthenogenetic and nuclear transfer (NT) rabbit embryos. Electroporation of 25 mM inositol 1,4, 5-trisphosphate (IP3) in calcium- and magnesium-free PBS immediately induced a single intracellular calcium transient in 6 out of 14 metaphase II-stage rabbit oocytes evaluated during a 10-min recording period. The percentage of oocytes treated with IP3 followed by 6-dimethylaminopurine (IP3 + DMAP) that cleaved (83.9%) and reached the blastocyst stage (50%) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those activated with multiple pulses (61.6% and 30.1%, respectively) or treated with ionomycin + DMAP (52.9% and 5.7%, respectively). Development of IP3 + DMAP-activated rabbit oocytes and in vivo-fertilized zygotes in different culture media was studied. Development of activated oocytes to the blastocyst stage in Earle's balanced salt solution (EBSS) supplemented with MEM nonessential amino acids, basal medium Eagle amino acids, 1 mM L-glutamine, 0.4 mM sodium pyruvate, and 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) (EBSS-complete) (40.6%) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those that developed in either Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's medium (DMEM)/RPMI + 10% FBS (15.5%) or CR1aa + 10% FBS (4%) medium. In addition, 100% of in vivo-fertilized rabbit zygotes developed to the blastocyst stage in EBSS-complete. A third set of experiments was carried out to study the efficiency of blind versus stained (Hoechst 33342) enucleation of oocytes. Twenty-nine of 48 blind enucleated and IP3 + DMAP-activated oocytes cleaved (60.4%), and 15 (31.2%) subsequently reached the blastocyst stage, whereas 9 of 52 oocytes enucleated using epifluorescence (17.3%) cleaved, and none of these reached the blastocyst stage. When the above parameters that yielded the highest blastocysts were combined in an NT experiment using adult rabbit fibroblast nuclei, 72.2% (39 of 54) of the fused nuclear transplant embryos cleaved and 29.6% (16 of 54) reached the blastocyst stage.  (+info)

Polarized targeting of epithelial cell proteins in thyrocytes and MDCK cells. (7/2131)

Polarized trafficking signals may be interpreted differently in different cell types. In this study, we have compared the polarized trafficking of different proteins expressed endogenously in primary porcine thyroid epithelial cells to similar proteins expressed in MDCK cells. As in MDCK cells, NH4Cl treatment of filter-grown thyrocytes caused mis-sorted soluble proteins to exhibit enhanced secretion to the apical medium. In independent studies, thrombospondin 1 (a thyroid basolaterally secreted protein) was secreted basolaterally from MDCK cells. Likewise, the 5'-deiodinase (a thyroid basolateral membrane protein) encoded by the DIO1 gene was also distributed basolaterally in transfected MDCK cells. Consistent with previous reports, when the secretion of human growth hormone (an unglycosylated regulated secretory protein) was examined from transfected MDCK cells, the release was nonpolarized. However, transfected thyrocytes secreted growth hormone apically in a manner dependent upon zinc addition. Moreover, two additional regulated secretory proteins expressed in thyrocytes, thyroglobulin (the major endogenous glycoprotein) and parathyroid hormone (an unglycosylated protein expressed transiently), were secreted apically even in the absence of zinc. We hypothesize that while cellular mechanisms for interpreting polarity signals are generally similar between thyrocytes and MDCK cells, thyrocytes allow for specialized packaging of regulated secretory proteins for apical delivery, which does not require glycosylation but may involve availability of certain ions as well as appropriate intracellular compartmentation.  (+info)

High-efficiency gene transfer into skeletal muscle mediated by electric pulses. (8/2131)

Gene delivery to skeletal muscle is a promising strategy for the treatment of muscle disorders and for the systemic secretion of therapeutic proteins. However, present DNA delivery technologies have to be improved with regard to both the level of expression and interindividual variability. We report very efficient plasmid DNA transfer in muscle fibers by using square-wave electric pulses of low field strength (less than 300 V/cm) and of long duration (more than 1 ms). Contrary to the electropermeabilization-induced uptake of small molecules into muscle fibers, plasmid DNA has to be present in the tissue during the electric pulses, suggesting a direct effect of the electric field on DNA during electrotransfer. This i.m. electrotransfer method increases reporter and therapeutic gene expression by several orders of magnitude in various muscles in mouse, rat, rabbit, and monkey. Moreover, i.m. electrotransfer strongly decreases variability. Stability of expression was observed for at least 9 months. With a pCMV-FGF1 plasmid coding for fibroblast growth factor 1, this protein was immunodetected in the majority of muscle fibers subjected to the electric pulses. DNA electrotransfer in muscle may have broad applications in gene therapy and in physiological, pharmacological, and developmental studies.  (+info)