Document Type


Version Deposited

Published Version

Publication Date


Publication Title

Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology




Electroporation-based technologies using microsecond pulsed electric field (µsPEF) exposures are established as laboratory and clinical tools that permeabilize cell membranes. We demonstrate a µsPEF bioeffect on nucleocytoplasmic import and export of enzymes that regulate genetic expression, histone deacetylases (HDAC) -4 and -5. Their μsPEF-induced nucleocytoplasmic transport depends on presence and absence of extracellular calcium ions (Ca2+) for both MCF7 and CHO-K1 cells. Exposure to 1, 10, 30 and 50 consecutive square wave pulses at 1 Hz and of 100 µs duration with 1.45 kV/cm magnitude leads to translocation of endogenous HDAC4 and HDAC5. We posit that by eliciting a rise in intracellular Ca2+ concentration, a signaling pathway involving kinases, such as Ca2+/CaM-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), is activated. This cascade causes nuclear export and import of HDAC4 and HDAC5. The potential of µsPEF exposures to control nucleocytoplasmic transport unlocks future opportunities in epigenetic modification.


© 2022 Safaei and Thompson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.