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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In vivo gene delivery to tumor cells by transferrin-streptavidin-DNA conjugate.

To target disseminated tumors in vivo, transgenes [beta-galactosidase gene, green fluorescence protein (GFP) gene, herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-TK)] were conjugated to transferrin ( Tf) by a biotin-streptavidin bridging, which is stoichiometrically controllable, and Tf receptor ( Tf-R) affinity chromatography, which selects Tf conjugates with intact receptor bindings sites from reacting with the linker. Tf-beta-galactosidase plasmid conjugate thus constructed was specifically transfected to human erythroleukemia cells (K562) via Tf-R without the aid of any lysosomotropic agents. The transfection efficiency of the conjugate was superior to those of lipofection (1% staining) and retroviral vector (5%) and slightly lower than that of adenovirus (70%). The high level of expression with our conjugate was confirmed using other tumor cells (M7609, TMK-1) whereas in normal diploid cells (HEL), which express low levels of Tf-R, expression was negligible. When GFP gene conjugates were systemically administered through the tail vein to nude mice subcutaneously inoculated with tumor, expression of GFP mRNA was found almost exclusively in tumors and to a much lesser extent in muscles, whereas GFP revealed by fluorescence microscopy was detected only in the former. To exploit a therapeutic applicability of this method, suicide gene therapy using Tf-HSV-TK gene conjugate for massively metastasized k562 tumors in severe combined immune-deficient mice was conducted, and a marked prolongation of survival and significant reduction of tumor burden were confirmed. Thus, this method could also be used for gene therapy to disseminated tumors.[1]


  1. In vivo gene delivery to tumor cells by transferrin-streptavidin-DNA conjugate. Sato, Y., Yamauchi, N., Takahashi, M., Sasaki, K., Fukaura, J., Neda, H., Fujii, S., Hirayama, M., Itoh, Y., Koshita, Y., Kogawa, K., Kato, J., Sakamaki, S., Niitsu, Y. FASEB J. (2000) [Pubmed]
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