Enhanced transfection efficiency and improved cell survival after electroporation of G2/M-synchronized cells and treatment with sodium butyrate

Nucleic Acids Res. 1989 May 25;17(10):3959-71. doi: 10.1093/nar/17.10.3959.


To achieve high transfection efficiency in human fibroblasts with good preservation of proliferative capacity we developed an electroporation procedure that combines two distinct modalities: use of recipient cells synchronized in the late G2/mitotic phase of the cell cycle and treatment of cells post-electroporation with 5 mM butyrate. This combination enabled reduction of plasmid DNA concentration and electroporation voltage, both associated with cytotoxicity, while greatly enhancing transfection efficiencies. Although the method was primarily developed for transient expression it was also found to improve stable expression. This procedure should have wide applicability, particularly in studies seeking to identify DNA sequences that lead to inhibition of DNA synthesis and proliferation in human fibroblasts and other cells refractory to transfection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Butyrates / pharmacology*
  • Butyric Acid
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Cell Survival* / drug effects
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Genes
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Plasmids
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / genetics*
  • Transfection*


  • Butyrates
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Butyric Acid