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IONP-PLL: a novel non-viral vector for efficient gene delivery

Authors


Abstract

Background

Non-viral methods of gene delivery have been an attractive alternative to virus-based gene therapy. However, the vectors that are currently available have drawbacks limiting their therapeutic application.

Methods

We have developed a self-assembled non-viral gene carrier, poly-L-lysine modified iron oxide nanoparticles (IONP-PLL), which is formed by modifying poly-L-lysine to the surface of iron oxide nanoparticles. The ability of IONP-PLL to bind DNA was determined by ratio-dependent retardation of DNA in the agarose gel and co-sedimentation assay. In vitro cytotoxic effects were quantified by MTT assay. The transfection efficiency in vitro was evaluated by delivering exogenous DNA to different cell lines using IONP-PLL. Intravenous injection of IONP-PLL/DNA complexes into mice was evaluated as a gene delivery system for gene therapy. The PGL2-control gene encoding firefly luciferase and the EGFP-C2 gene encoding green fluorescent protein were used as marker genes.

Results

IONP-PLL could bind and protect DNA. In contrast to PLL and cationic liposomes, IONP-PLL described here was less cytotoxic in a broad range of concentrations. In the current study, we have demonstrated that IONP-PLL can deliver exogenous gene to cells in vitro and in vivo. After intravenous injection, IONP-PLL transferred reporter gene EGFP-C2 to lung, brain, spleen and kidney. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that IONP-PLL transferred exogenous DNA across the blood-brain barrier to the glial cells and neuron of brain.

Conclusions

IONP-PLL, a low-toxicity vector, appears to have potential for fundamental research and genetic therapy in vitro and in vivo, especially for gene therapy of CNS disease. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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