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

The use of chitosan as a condensing agent to enhance emulsion-mediated gene transfer.

Previously we have formulated a new cationic emulsion, composed of 3beta [N-(N',N'-dimethylaminoethane) carbamoyl] cholesterol and dioleoylphosphatidyl ethanolamine, castor oil and Tween 80, and it efficiently delivered plasmid DNA into various cancer cells with low toxicity. Chitosan is a natural cationic polysaccharide and is able to form polyelectrolyte complexes with DNA, in which the DNA is condensed and protected against nuclease degradation. Based on these facts, chitosan was used as a condensing agent to enhance the transfection efficiency of cationic emulsion-mediated gene delivery vehicle. The particle size, zeta potential and transmission electron micrographs of DNA/emulsion complexes were observed before and after condensation by chitosan. In vitro transfection efficiency of naked or precondensed DNA/emulsion (pcDNA/E) complexes was investigated in human hepatoma cells (HepG2) using flow cytometer, confocal microscope and western blot. In addition, in vivo gene transfer was also evaluated as GFP mRNA expression by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The size of transfection complexes was reduced after the condensation of DNA by chitosan. Moreover, when the pcDNA/E complexes were administered into the mice, the GFP mRNA expression was prolonged in liver and lung until day 6. These results suggest that the use of chitosan enhance the in vitro transfection efficiency and extend in vivo gene transfer.[1]


  1. The use of chitosan as a condensing agent to enhance emulsion-mediated gene transfer. Lee, M.K., Chun, S.K., Choi, W.J., Kim, J.K., Choi, S.H., Kim, A., Oungbho, K., Park, J.S., Ahn, W.S., Kim, C.K. Biomaterials (2005) [Pubmed]
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