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Targeted Perturbation of Nuclear Envelope Integrity with Vapor Nanobubble-Mediated Photoporation

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posted on 12.07.2018, 00:00 by Gaëlle Houthaeve, Ranhua Xiong, Joke Robijns, Bert Luyckx, Yasmine Beulque, Toon Brans, Coen Campsteijn, Sangram K. Samal, Stephan Stremersch, Stefaan C. De Smedt, Kevin Braeckmans, Winnok H. De Vos
The nuclear envelope (NE) has long been considered to dismantle only during mitosis. However, recent observations in cancer cells and laminopathy patient cells have revealed that the NE can also transiently rupture during interphase, thereby perturbing cellular homeostasis. Although NE ruptures are promoted by mechanical force and the loss of lamins, their stochastic nature and variable frequency preclude the study of their direct downstream consequences. We have developed a method based on vapor nanobubble-mediated photoporation that allows for deliberately inducing NE ruptures in a spatiotemporally controlled manner. Our method relies on wide-field laser illumination of perinuclear gold nanoparticles, resulting in the formation of short-lived vapor nanobubbles that inflict minute mechanical damage to the NE, thus creating small pores. We demonstrate that perinuclear localization of gold nanoparticles can be achieved after endocytic uptake or electroporation-facilitated delivery and that both strategies result in NE rupture upon laser irradiation. Furthermore, we prove that photoporation-induced nuclear ruptures are transient and recapitulate hallmarks of spontaneous NE ruptures that occur in A-type lamin-depleted cells. Finally, we show that the same approach can be used to promote influx of macromolecules that are too large to passively migrate through the NE. Thus, by providing unprecedented control over nuclear compartmentalization, nuclear photoporation offers a powerful tool for both fundamental cell biology research and drug delivery applications.