Effective plasmid DNA and small interfering RNA delivery to diseased human brain microvascular endothelial cells

H. Slanina, M. Schmutzler, M. Christodoulides, K. S. Kim, A. Schubert-Unkmeir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Expression of exogenous DNA or small interfering RNA (siRNA) in vitro is significantly affected by the particular delivery system utilized. In this study, we evaluated the transfection efficiency of plasmid DNA and siRNA into human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) and meningioma cells, which constitute the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier, a target of meningitis-causing pathogens. Chemical transfection methods and various lipofection reagents including Lipofectamin™, FuGene™, or jetPRIME®, as well as physical transfection methods and electroporation techniques were applied. To monitor the transfection efficiencies, HBMEC and meningioma cells were transfected with the reporter plasmid pTagGFP2-actin vector, and efficiency of transfection was estimated by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. We established protocols based on electroporation using Cell Line Nucleofector® Kit V with the Amaxa® Nucleofector® II system from Lonza and the Neon® Transfection system from Invitrogen resulting in up to 41 and 82% green fluorescent protein-positive HBMEC, respectively. Optimal transfection solutions, pulse programs and length were evaluated. We furthermore demonstrated that lipofection is an efficient method to transfect meningioma cells with a transfection efficiency of about 81%. Finally, we applied the successful electroporation protocols to deliver synthetic siRNA to HBMEC and analyzed the role of the actin-binding protein cortactin in Neisseria meningitidis pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-257
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Electroporation
  • Human brain microvascular endothelial cells
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Plasmid DNA
  • Small interfering RNA
  • Transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


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