To obtain efficient gene transfer by transfection, plasmid DNA can be complexed with lipid reagents to mediate efficient delivery into the cell's nucleus. This process is essential for subsequent protein expression of the gene of interest. Plasmids are small circular DNA molecules that naturally occur in bacteria, and are actually used by the bacteria to transfer genetic information. The mechanism of adding a DNA plasmid into a mammalian cell is known as plasmid transfection.
Our Invitrogen Lipofectamine Reagent–specific protocols have been optimized for efficiency, viability, and reproducibility across a broad range of cell types (see "Download protocol" links in the table below). This is often the best place to start, especially in a new cell line. If you find this doesn’t work for you specific cell type, then you can you look to our cell specific protocols for further optimization.