, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 41–48 | Cite as

A practical approach for intracellular protein delivery

  • Claire O. Weill
  • Stéphanie Biri
  • Abdennaji Adib
  • Patrick Erbacher
Method in Cell Science


Protein delivery represents a powerful tool for experiments in live cells including studies of protein-protein interactions, protein interference with blocking antibodies, intracellular trafficking and protein or peptide biological functions. Most available reagents dedicated to the protein delivery allow efficient crossing of the plasma membrane. Nevertheless, the major disadvantage for these reagents is a weak release of the delivered protein into the cytoplasm. In this publication we demonstrate efficient protein delivery with a non-peptide based reagent, in human epithelial carcinoma HeLa cells and primary human skin fibroblasts. Using a fluorescent protein in combination with fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-assisted cell sorting analysis, we show that the delivered protein is indeed released effectively in the cytoplasm, as expected for a dedicated carrier. Furthermore, we present a step-by-step method to optimize conditions for successful intracellular protein delivery.


Intracellular release Live cells Non-viral technology Protein delivery Synthetic delivery reagent 



Bovine serum albumin


Cell-penetrating peptide


Dynamic light scattering


Fluorescence-assisted cell sorting


Protein transduction domain





We are grateful to Drs C. Muller and J. Peluso for their help in FACS analysis and to Drs J.-P. Behr and J.-F. Williamson for critical reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire O. Weill
    • 1
  • Stéphanie Biri
    • 1
  • Abdennaji Adib
    • 1
  • Patrick Erbacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Polyplus-transfection, R&D DepartmentIllkirch CedexFrance

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