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Bertsche, U. ; Mader, A.C.L.* ; Zimmermann, U.Z.*

Nuclear membrane fusion in electrofused mammalian cells.

Biochim. Biophys. Acta-Biomembr. 939, 509-522 (1988)
Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
Fusion of nuclei was studied in electrofused cells using staining procedures and DNA flow cytometry. Homogeneous and heterogeneous electrofusion of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells. Muntjac cells and V79-S181 cells were performed in balanced-salt solutions at low temperature. Incubation of the cells subjected to electrofusion in fusion media for about 2 h was required to complete cell fusion and, in particular, nuclear membrane fusion. Under optimum electrofusion conditions it was found that fusion of nuclei is a very frequent event. Half of the fused cells (about 30 to 50% of the field-exposed cells) underwent nuclear membrane fusion. It is shown that the high frequency of nuclear membrane fusion in electrofused, unsynchronised cells resulted from intracellular dielectrophoresis occurring during cell alignment. In accordance with theory, maximum nuclear membrane fusion was observed using alignment fields of between 1 and 4 MHz (depending on the cell species), that is above the frequencies at which the plasmalemma capacity no longer shielded the cell interior from participation in the conduction process. In this frequency range a potential difference can be built up across the nuclear membrane leading to repositioning of the nuclei into the contact zone of the plasmalemmas of two attached cells. This intracellular dielectrophoresis apparently facilitated fusion of nuclei once intermingling of the plasma membranes had occurred. It was further demonstrated that exponentially growing cells showed higher cell fusion rates than cells taken from the unfed plateau phase. One, but not the only reason, might be the higher ATP content of exponentially growing cells compared to cells of the plateau phase. Addition of external ATP to plateau phase cells during electrofusion resulted, in accordance with this assumption, in an increase of fusion frequency, whereas ATP had apparently no effect on the fusion yield of exponentially growing cells. G1 cells obtained by mitotic selection after nocodazole-induced blockage in metaphase also showed higher cellular and nuclear membrane fusion yields than exponentially growing cells. Most importantly, it could be demonstrated both experimentally and theoretically that electrofusion of cells in a dielectrophoretically aligned chain is controlled by a simple law of probability resulting predominantly in fusion of two cells independent of the number of cells in the chain. The likelihood of fusion of various numbers of cells in a chain is given by the appropriate power of the probability of two-cell fusion. These experimental and theoretical findings could explain why electrofusion leads to a high number of hybrids despite the fact that cell chains normally consist of more than two cells.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords (ehrlich Ascites Tumor Cell) ; (muntjac Cell) ; (v79-s181 Cell) ; Electrofusion ; Membrane Fusion
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0005-2736
e-ISSN 1879-2642
Quellenangaben Volume: 939, Issue: 3, Pages: 509-522 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Elsevier
Reviewing status Peer reviewed