NS5A Transfection with either Bodipy or ER Tracker staining

WEHI 231 cells were transfected with NS5A-mCherry according to this protocol:

Project: Regulation of Phosphotidylinositol-4-phosphate by Ttc7 and its role in plasma cell differentiation and autoantibody production

Purpose: To transfect WEHI 231 cells with the Hepatitis C protein NS5A-mCherry.


Experimental Design: WEHI 231 cells were transfected using the BTX T820 Electrosquareporator. See below for protocol

Materials: 15 mL conical tube, transfection buffer, WEHI 231 media, 6 well culture plate, WEHI 231 cells, centrifuge, transfection cuvettes.

1. To start obtain a cell count, for this transfection 6 million cells were needed. Spin down the necessary volume of cells and wash twice with 5 mL of 1X PBS (for cell culture).

2. Resuspend cells in transfection buffer, each transfection should be resuspended in 1.5mL of transfection buffer. 3 mL of transfection buffer is needed (1.5 for mock transfection, 1.5 for NS5A-mCherry). Aliquot the 1.5 mL of cells resuspended in transfection buffer to 1.5mL eppindorf tubes.

3. Plasmid preparation- at this step plasmid will be added to the eppindorf tube of cells. For 6 million cells, 2 ug of plasmid is needed. To calculate the volume of plasmid needed: NS5A-mCherry concentration is  296ng/uL. (2X10-6g/1)(1/296X10-9g)= 6.75 uL At this point add the necessary volume of plasmid to the respective eppindorf tubes.

*double the amount of plasmid was used*

4. Transfer contents of eppindorf tubes to respective cuvettes. Immediately put cells on ice and electroporate. WEHI 231 cells are electroporated at the following settings: 1 pulse, low voltage (LV), 50msec, 170V. After electroporation return to ice and bring back to culture hood.

5. The electroporation leaves a white lipid residue at the top of each cuvette, remove this or avoid it when transferring the contents of the cuvettes to the 6 well plate. Add 1.5 mL of media to each well. Allow cells to incubate and recover for 24 hours.

6. After 24 hours stimulate the cells with anti-IgM for one hour.

7. To harvest cells transfer 1.5mL of the contents of each well to an eppindorf tube (this half of the procedure is not done under sterile conditions). Centrifuge cells at 1000 g for 5 min. While cells are centrifuging dilute both ER Tracker and Bodipy in Hanks HBBS (different solutions) by adding 1 uL of dye to 1 mL of Hanks. Stain for 20 minutes, centrifuge cells to remove stain. Wash twice with 500 uL of PBS.

*This dye dilution results in a 1 ug/mL concentration*

8. To fix cells add 150 uL of 2% Paraformaldehyde. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 10 min. Centrifuge PF off of the cells. Turn centrifuge up to 1500 g, fixed cells need a little higher g. Pour of PF in designated waste. Wash cells with 500 uL PBS.

9. Stain cells with DAPI. DAPI stock comes at 1 mg/mL. 1 ug/mL is necessary for cell staining. To dilute DAPI add 1 uL of DAPI to 1 mL of PBS. Add 200 uL of 1 ug/mL DAPI to each eppindorf tube. Cover and let sit for 20 min.

10. Centrifuge off DAPI stain, leave approx. 50 uL to resuspend cells in. 10 uL of cells will be used to mount on slide.

11. Add one drop (approx. 10 uL) of Molecular Probes ProLong Gold Antifade reagent to each well on slide. Add 10 uL of cells to each well. Add coverslip, secure in place with clear nail polish. Let slides sit overnight. It most likley will take about a week for the cells to completely set.

12. Use confocal microscope to view cells.



To come, the computer with the confocal imaging software currently has a virus. Images to come!


To resuspend cells it is best to either flick the tubes to resuspend the pellet, or run the tube up and down a tube holder rather than using a pipetter. This prevents tearing of the cells.

This experiment has been repeated for a total of 3 times.

Sample Storage Location:

In slide box in Michaela Sangillos lab drawer.

File Locations: