Cell cycle synchronization of animal cells and nuclei by centrifugal elutriation

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Synchronization of cells and nuclei is a powerful technique for the exact study of regulatory mechanisms and for understanding cell cycle events. Counterflow centrifugal elutriation is a biophysical cell separation technique in which cell size and sedimentation density differences of living cells are exploited to isolate subpopulations in various stages of cell cycle. Here, a protocol is described for the separation of phase-enriched subpopulations from exponentially growing Chinese hamster ovary cells at high-resolution power of elutriation. The efficiency of elutriation is confirmed by measuring the DNA content fluorimetrically and by flow cytometry. The resolution power of elutriation is demonstrated by the ability to fractionate nuclei of murine pre-B cells. The installation and elutriation by collecting 16-30 synchronized fractions, including particle size analysis, can be achieved in 4-5 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-673
Number of pages11
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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