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

Nuclear localization signal peptides enhance cationic liposome-mediated gene therapy.

The use of genes as therapeutic drugs will likely involve non-viral delivery systems. While traditionally less effective for gene expression, the advantages of a non-viral delivery system include ease of production, lower toxicity, and no risk of infection. However, most non-viral systems do not incorporate a mechanism for gene transport into the nucleus. Nuclear localization signal peptides can combine the increased expression of viral delivery systems with the safety and ease of preparation of non-viral delivery systems. A novel non-viral delivery vehicle consisting of a conglomerate of a synthetic nuclear localization signal peptide derived from the SV40 virus, a luciferase encoding PGL3 plasmid, and a cationic lipid DOTAP:DOPE (1:1 w/w) liposome was transfected into SKnSH mammalian neuroblastoma cells. A three-fold increase in luciferase expression was seen with the delivery system containing a NLS peptide over cationic liposome controls. Examination of the factors that limit the rate of transgene expression can potentially lead to the discovery of new ways to improve the efficiency and efficacy of nonviral methods of gene therapy.[1]


  1. Nuclear localization signal peptides enhance cationic liposome-mediated gene therapy. Aronsohn, A.I., Hughes, J.A. Journal of drug targeting. (1998) [Pubmed]
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