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Stable, resealable pores formed in sea urchin eggs by electric discharge (electroporation) permit substrate loading for assay of enzymes in vivo.

Authors
  • Swezey, R R
  • Epel, D
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cell regulation
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1989
Volume
1
Issue
1
Pages
65–74
Identifiers
PMID: 2519619
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We describe a simple electroporation procedure for loading suspensions of unfertilized sea urchin eggs with impermeant small molecules under conditions that allow close to 90% successful fertilization and development. Poration is carried out in a low-Ca2+ medium that mimicks the intracellular milieu. The induced pores remain open for several minutes in this medium, allowing loading of the cells; resealing is achieved by adding back millimolar calcium ions to the medium. While the pores are open, an influx of exogenous molecules and efflux of endogenous metabolites takes place, and the eggs can lose up to 40% of their ATP content and still survive. Introduced metabolites are utilized by the cells, e.g., introduced 3H-thymidine is incorporated into DNA. This procedure will be useful for loading impermeant substrates into eggs, permitting in vivo assessment of metabolism, and also for introducing other interesting impermeant molecules, such as inhibitors, fluorescent indicators, etc. Though the details may differ, the principle of electroporation in an intracellular-like medium may prove to be useful for loading other cell types with minimal loss of viability.

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