Roche's xCELLigence System and FuGENE® HD Transfection Reagent minimize cytotoxic effects in the detection of bax-induced apoptosis

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Transfection is a way to transiently or permanently deliver nucleic acids into eukaryotic cells to study functional effects in response to altered gene expression and for protein production. In a recent study (1) the xCELLigence System for cellular analysis from Roche Applied Science (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) was used to compare cytotoxic effects of different transfection reagents in the specific monitoring and detection of bax-induced cell death.

Liposomal and non-liposomal transfection reagents are the most commonly used carriers for nucleic acid transfer into mammalian cells. However, most transfection reagents exhibit considerable cytotoxic and other side effects on cells. Such cellular off-target responses, if not carefully evaluated, may lead to misinterpretation of results and inaccurate conclusions.

In contrast to the findings for other reagents, FuGENE® HD Transfection Reagent was shown to produce only minimal side effects, while maintaining high transfection efficiency. As a result, FuGENE® HD Transfection Reagent allowed researchers to study the impact of the apoptosis-inducing bax protein, whereas the cytotoxicity and off-target effects of other reagents made it impossible to distinguish the impact of the bax protein from the impact of the transfection reagent itself.

The xCELLigence System monitors cellular events in real time without the incorporation of labels. The System measures electrical impedance across interdigitated micro-electrodes integrated on the bottom of a tissue culture E-Plate. The impedance measurement provides quantitative information about the biological status of the cells, including cell number, viability, and morphology. A wide range of cell-based assays for both high throughput screening and research laboratory environments can be performed on the xCELLigence System.


1. Fila C: Functional Analysis of Side Effects of Transfection Reagents in the Context of Bax-induced Apoptosis. Cellular Analysis Application Note No. 3, 2009; 1-12
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