We previously reported a direct cytoplasmic transfer method using a microfluidic device, in which cell fusion was induced through a microslit (slit-through-fusion) by the Sendai virus envelope (HVJ-E) to prevent nuclear mixing. However, the method was impractical due to low efficiency of slit-through-fusion formation and insufficient prevention of nuclear mixing. The purpose of this study was to establish an efficient method for inducing slit-through-fusion without nuclear mixing. We hypothesized that modulation of cytoskeletal component can decrease nuclear migration through the microslit considering its functions. Here we report that supplementation with Y-27632, a specific ROCK inhibitor, significantly enhances cell fusion induction and prevention of nuclear mixing. Supplementation with Y-27632 increased the formation of slit-through-fusion efficiency by more than twofold. Disruption of F-actin by Y-27632 prevented nuclear migration between fused cells through the microslit. These two effects of Y-27632 led to promotion of the slit-through-fusion without nuclear mixing with a 16.5-fold higher frequency compared to our previous method (i.e., cell fusion induction by HVJ-E without supplementation with Y-27632). We also confirmed that mitochondria were successfully transferred to the fusion partner under conditions of Y-27632 supplementation. These findings demonstrate the practicality of our cell fusion system in producing direct cytoplasmic transfer between live cells.
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