Transferrin-polycation-DNA complexes: the effect of polycations on the structure of the complex and DNA delivery to cells

Wagner, E., Cotten, M. , Foisner, R. and Birnstiel, M.L. (1991) Transferrin-polycation-DNA complexes: the effect of polycations on the structure of the complex and DNA delivery to cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 88(10), pp. 4255-4259. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.88.10.4255) (PMID:2034670) (PMCID:PMC51637)

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Abstract

We have previously described a gene delivery system based upon the receptor-mediated endocytosis of DNA complexed with transferrin-polycation conjugates. This delivery system has been found to be very effective for both the internalization and the expression of genetic material in cells that have many transferrin receptors. Upon scrutinization of the parameters involved in this method, which we have termed transferrinfection, we note two important features of the process: the polycation in polycation-transferrin conjugates, as expected, serves to attach the transferrin moiety to the DNA and, in addition, the polycation functions to condense the DNA into a doughnut structure. Electron microscopic analysis of a range of poorly active to highly active transferrinfection samples reveals a strong correlation between DNA condensation and cellular DNA uptake. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the transfection activity of the DNA complex can be increased by addition of free polycation as long as a sufficient quantity of polycation-transferrin conjugates remains in the complex to ensure its binding to the cellular receptor.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cotten, Professor Matthew
Authors: Wagner, E., Cotten, M., Foisner, R., and Birnstiel, M.L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
ISSN (Online):1091-6490

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