Nanosecond electric pulses penetrate the nucleus and enhance speckle formation

Nianyong Chen, Allen L. Garner, George Chen, Yu Jing, Yuping Deng, R. James Swanson, Juergen F. Kolb, Stephen J. Beebe, Ravindra P. Joshi, Karl H. Schoenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Nanosecond electric pulses generate nanopores in the interior membranes of cells and modulate cellular functions. Here, we used confocal microscopy and flow cytometry to observe Smith antigen antibody (Y12) binding to nuclear speckles, known as small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs) or intrachromatin granule clusters (IGCs), in Jurkat cells following one or five 10 ns, 150 kV/cm pulses. Using confocal microscopy and flow cytometry, we observed changes in nuclear speckle labeling that suggested a disruption of pre-messenger RNA splicing mechanisms. Pulse exposure increased the nuclear speckled substructures by ∼2.5-fold above basal levels while the propidium iodide (PI) uptake in pulsed cells was unchanged. The resulting nuclear speckle changes were also cell cycle dependent. These findings suggest that 10 ns pulses directly influenced nuclear processes, such as the changes in the nuclear RNA-protein complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-225
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 14 2007


  • Intracellular electromanipulation
  • Nanosecond electric pulses
  • Nuclear speckles
  • Nucleus
  • Small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles/intrachromatin granule clusters


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