Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Vis Exp. 2009 Oct 19;(32). pii: 1520. doi: 10.3791/1520.

DNA transfection of mammalian skeletal muscles using in vivo electroporation.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

Abstract

A growing interest in cell biology is to express transgenically modified forms of essential proteins (e.g. fluorescently tagged constructs and/or mutant variants) in order to investigate their endogenous distribution and functional relevance. An interesting approach that has been implemented to fulfill this objective in fully differentiated cells is the in vivo transfection of plasmids by various methods into specific tissues such as liver, skeletal muscle, and even the brain. We present here a detailed description of the steps that must be followed in order to efficiently transfect genetic material into fibers of the flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) and interosseus (IO) muscles of adult mice using an in vivo electroporation approach. The experimental parameters have been optimized so as to maximize the number of muscle fibers transfected while minimizing tissue damages that may impair the quality and quantity of the proteins expressed in individual fibers. We have verified that the implementation of the methodology described in this paper results in a high yield of soluble proteins, i.e. EGFP and ECFP, calpain, FKBP12, beta2a-DHPR, etc. ; structural proteins, i.e. minidystrophin and alpha-actinin; and membrane proteins, i.e. alpha1s-DHPR, RyR1, cardiac Na/Ca(2+) exchanger , NaV1.4 Na channel, SERCA1, etc., when applied to FDB, IO and other muscles of mice and rats. The efficient expression of some of these proteins has been verified with biochemical and functional evidence. However, by far the most common confirmatory approach used by us are standard fluorescent microscopy and 2-photon laser scanning microscopy (TPLSM), which permit to identify not only the overall expression, but also the detailed intracellular localization, of fluorescently tagged protein constructs. The method could be equally used to transfect plasmids encoding for the expression of proteins of physiological relevance (as shown here), or for interference RNA (siRNA) aiming to suppress the expression of normally expressed proteins (not tested by us yet). It should be noted that the transfection of FDB and IO muscle fibers is particularly relevant for the investigation of mammalian muscle physiology since fibers enzymatically dissociated from these muscles are currently one of the most suitable models to investigate basic mechanisms of excitability and excitation-contraction coupling under current or voltage clamp conditions.

PMID:
19841615
PMCID:
PMC2793085
DOI:
10.3791/1520
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for MyJove Corporation Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center