The current protocol describes the use of lentiviral particles for the delivery of short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) to both human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) as well as neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from hESCs at high efficiency. Lentiviral particles were generated by co-transfecting HEK293T cells using entry vectors (carrying shRNAs) along with packaging plasmids (pAX and pMD2.G) using the low-cost cationic polymer polyethylenimine (PEI). Viral particles were concentrated using ultracentrifugation, which resulted in average titers above 5 x 107. Both hESCs and NPCs could be infected at high efficiencies using these lentiviral particles, as shown by puromycin selection and stable expression in hESCs, as well as transient GFP expression in NPCs. Furthermore, western blot analysis showed a significant reduction in the expression of genes targeted by shRNAs. In addition, the cells retained their pluripotency as well as differentiation potential, as evidenced by their subsequent differentiation into different lineages of CNS. The current protocol deals with the delivery of shRNAs; however, the same approach could be used for the ectopic expression of cDNAs for overexpression studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)