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Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2015 Nov 2;2015(11):1009-12. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot083436.

Homogenization of Mammalian Cells.

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Biocenter, Division of Cell Biology, Innsbruck Medical University, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


Homogenization is the name given to the methodological steps necessary for releasing organelles and other cellular constituents as a free suspension of intact individual components. Most homogenization procedures used for mammalian cells (e.g., cavitation pump and Dounce homogenizer) rely on mechanical force to break the plasma membrane and may be supplemented with osmotic or temperature alterations to facilitate membrane disruption. In this protocol, we describe a syringe-based homogenization method that does not require specialized equipment, is easy to handle, and gives reproducible results. The method may be adapted for cells that require hypotonic shock before homogenization. We routinely use it as part of our workflow to isolate endocytic organelles from mammalian cells.

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