Fast therapeutic DNA internalization – A high potential transfection system based on a peptide mimicking cationic lipid

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Graphical abstractThe delivery of nucleic acids into cells is a determining factor for successful gene therapy. In this study we investigate the uptake and time dependent processing of a lipid-based non-viral nucleic acid delivery system composed of a peptide-mimicking cationic lipid (N-{6-amino-1-[N-(9Z)-octadec-9-enylamino]-1-oxohexan-(2S)-2-yl}-N′-{2-[N,N-bis(2-aminoethyl)amino]ethyl}-2-hexadecylpropandiamide - OH4) and a phospholipid (1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine - DOPE). Studies by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) indicate a rapid internalization of fluorescent labelled DNA within 1 h. Furthermore, vesicular structures on the lipid surface were reported, which are associated with the application of the lipid-based non-viral vector. Time dependent investigations of the gene expression of a reporter gene encoding for enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) or luciferase in 4 different cell lines demonstrate an initial gene expression soon after 4 h followed by a boost in gene expression beginning from 12 h to 24 h. Investigations with selective blocking of endocytic pathways using low molecular weight inhibitors suggested clathrin-mediated endocytosis as main internalization route in 3 cell lines. Our research presents a new horizon in rapid gene therapy using non-viral vectors; due to the modifications of the lipid components, fast nucleic acid internalizations could be achieved using our delivery systems.

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