Gene transfer via reversible plasmid condensation with cysteine-flanked, internally spaced arginine-rich peptides.

VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA.
Human Gene Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.62). 10/2003; 14(13):1225-33. DOI: 10.1089/104303403767740768
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nonviral gene transfer offers biosafety, stability, and expense advantages over viruses; however, it has suffered from poor efficiency. Because arginine-rich peptides facilitate uptake of macromolecules such as proteins, liposomes, and iron nanoparticles, we explored their potential in enhancing plasmid DNA delivery. In their unmodified form, known protein transduction sequences, including hepta-arginine and Tat(47-57), failed to support effective gene delivery. However, by flanking a core of consecutive arginines with amino- and carboxy-terminal cysteines in vitro gene transfer was observed. Furthermore, interspersing arginines with glycine and histidine residues achieved reversible plasmid condensation and dramatically increased transfection levels in a variety of cell types. Unlike most available cationic homopolymers that function only in vitro, these new peptides also increased gene expression in both murine and human tissue in vivo. Thus, cysteine-flanked, internally spaced arginine-rich (CFIS-R) peptides represent a new approach to efficient nonviral plasmid delivery using rationally designed protein transduction domains.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Polyethylenimine (PEI), a cationic polymer, has been widely studied and shown great promise as an efficient gene delivery vehicle. Likewise, the HIV-1 Tat peptide, a cell-permeable peptide, has been successfully used for intracellular gene delivery. To improve the favorable properties of these two vectors, we combine PEI with the modified Tat peptide sequence bearing histidine and cysteine residues (mTat). In vitro mTat/PEI-mediated transfection was evaluated by luciferase expression plasmid in two cell types. mTat/PEI produced significant improvement (≈5-fold) in transfection efficiency of both cell lines with little cytotoxicity when compared to mTat alone, PEI alone, or four commercial reagents. The particle size of mTat/PEI/DNA complex was significantly smaller than mTat or PEI alone, and it was correlated with higher transfection efficiency. Filipin III, an inhibitor of caveolae-mediated endocytosis, significantly inhibited mTat/PEI transfection. In contrast, chlorpromazine, an inhibitor of clathrin-mediated endocytosis, did not. This suggested caveolae-mediated endocytosis as the transfection mechanism. Furthermore, the results of in vivo studies showed that animals administered mTat/PEI/DNA intramuscularly had significantly higher and longer luciferase expression (≈7 months) than those with mTat/DNA, PEI/DNA, or DNA alone, without any associated toxicity. The combination of mTat with PEI could significantly improve transfection efficiency, expanding the potential use as a non-viral gene vector both in vitro and in vivo.
    Biomaterials 11/2013; · 8.31 Impact Factor
  • Tetrahedron 06/2013; 69(36):7529-7550. · 2.82 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lack of safe, efficient and controllable methods for delivering therapeutic genes appears to be the most important factor preventing human gene therapy. Safety issues encountered with viral vectors have prompted substantial attention to in vivo investigations with non-viral vectors throughout the past decade. However, developing non-viral vectors with effectiveness comparable to viral ones has been a challenge. The strategy of designing multifunctional synthetic carriers targeting several extra- and intracellular barriers in the gene transfer pathway has emerged as a promising approach to improving the efficacy of gene delivery systems. This review will explain how sophisticated synthetic vectors can be created by combining conventional polycationic vectors such as polyethylenimine and basic amino acid peptides with additional polymers and peptides that are designed to overcome potential barriers to the gene delivery process.
    International Journal of Pharmaceutics 09/2013; · 3.99 Impact Factor