Liposome mediated gene transfer

Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology, Albany Medical College, New York 12208.
BioTechniques (Impact Factor: 2.95). 07/1988; 6(7):682-90.
Source: PubMed


Liposomes, artificial membrane vesicles, are being intensively studied for their usefulness as delivery vehicles in vitro and in vivo. Substantial progress has been made in the development of procedures for liposome preparation, targeting and delivery of contents. The broad flexibility now available in the design of the structure and composition of liposomes, coupled to recent reports of liposome mediated gene transfer in animals, suggest that liposome technology is now poised to be utilized in the creation of custom-designed cell-type-specific gene transfer vehicles.

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    • "Observations in the early 1990s that in vitro and in vivo gene transfer of recombinant DNA by a variety of techniques leading to protein expression formed the basis for the first DNA vaccine candidates testing in rodents and non-human primates (NHP). Some of these approaches included retroviral gene transfer, using DNA formulations with liposomes and calcium phosphase-co-precipitated DNA [1] [2]. Research done by Wolff et al. [3] showed direct intramuscular inoculation of plasmid DNA encoding several unique reporter genes could induce protein expression. "
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    • "These cells are then activated and migrate to the draining lymph nodes for antigen presentation [2] [6]. A number of approaches [2] [3] to more effective use of DNA vaccines in terms of potency or type of immune responses have been proposed, and include 'gene gun' delivery [7] that appears to favour the development of the immunoglobulin (Ig)G 1 isotype, cationic lipid complexes reported [8] [9] to function as adjuvants, delivery via cochleates that are claimed [10] to promote cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses, a variety of microparticles [11] [12] that can control the type of immunity to the expressed antigens, the use of attenuated bacteria [2] (for instance, Shigella flexneri ) transformed with a plasmid DNA vaccine that is delivered and expressed in mucosal surfaces [13] and, more recently , the use of polyoma virus replicon-based DNA vaccine that allows the latter to replicate [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Liposome-entrapped DNA has been shown to enhance the potency of DNA vaccines, possibly by facilitating uptake of the plasmid by antigen-presenting cells (APC). In this paper, we have investigated the influence of the liposomal composition and surface charge on such potency. Plasmid DNA pRc/CMV HBS encoding the S (small) region of hepatitis B surface antigen was entrapped within cationic liposomes of various compositions and surface charges with high efficiency (88-97% of the amount used) by the dehydration-rehydration method that generates dehydration-rehydration vesicles (DRV). Cryo-electron microscopy revealed that DNA-containing DRV (DRV(DNA)) were multilamellar. In immunisation studies, female Balb/c mice were given two to four intramuscular injections of 10 microg naked or liposome-entrapped pRc/CMV HBS and bled at time intervals. Results indicate that the lipid composition of the DRV(DNA) influences the strength of the humoural response (immunoglobulin (Ig)G subclasses) with inclusion of dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE) or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in the liposomal structure contributing to greater responses. DRV(DNA) in which the DOPE or PE were omitted or substituted with cholesterol led to significant reduction of humoural responses against the encoded antigen. Replacing phosphatidylcholine (PC) in the DRV(DNA) with the high-melting distearoyl phosphatidylcholine also contributed to lower responses. In other experiments, IgG responses were monitored in mice immunised with pRc/CMV HBS entrapped in DRV composed of PC and DOPE as before but incorporating increasing amounts of DOTAP (1-16 micromol). Maximal IgG responses were observed at 10 weeks after the first of four injections and suggested a trend of higher responses when 4 or 8 micromol DOTAP was present in the DRV(DNA) formulation. Cell-mediated immunity (measured in terms of endogenous antigen-specific splenic interferon-gamma) in mice immunised with pRc/CMV HBS entrapped in liposomes composed of PC, DOPE and DOTAP (16:8:4 molar ratio) was much greater than in animals treated with naked plasmid. These results indicate that liposome-mediated DNA immunisation is more effective than the use of naked DNA, and also suggest that the presence of fusogenic phosphatidylethanolamine in DRV in conjunction with a low-melting phosphatidylcholine and an appropriate content of cationic lipid might contribute to more effective liposomal DNA vaccines. The notion that liposomes improve immune responses to the plasmid-encoded vaccine by facilitating the latter's uptake by APC was supported by the observation that in Balb/c mice injected intramuscularly with liposome-entrapped pCMV. Enhanced green fluorescent protein, expression of the gene in terms of fluorescence intensity in the draining lymph nodes, was much greater than in animals treated with the naked plasmid.
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    • "Lipofection refers to the use of artificial phospholipid vesicles or liposomes to deliver DNA (Mannino and Gould-Fogerite, 1988). Encapsulation within a lipid vesicle protects the DNA from hydrolysis and allows transport across the plasma membrane to occur. "
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    ABSTRACT: Gene therapy has moved beyond the pre-clinical stage to the treatment of a variety of inherited and acquired diseases. For such therapy to be successful, genes must be efficiently delivered to target cells and gene products must be expressed for prolonged periods of time without toxic effects to the host. This may be achieved by means of an in vivo strategy where genes are transferred directly into a host cell, or by means of an ex vivo approach through which cells are removed, cultured, targeted for gene delivery, and grafted back to the host. Several obstacles continue to delay safe and effective clinical application of gene therapy in a variety of target cells. The limited survival of transplanted cells, transient expression of transferred genes, and difficulties in targeting stem cells are technical issues requiring further investigation. Epidermal and oral keratinocytes are potential vehicles for gene therapy. Several features of these tissues can be utilized to achieve delivery of therapeutic gene products for local or systemic delivery. These qualities include: (1) the presence of stem cells; (2) the cell-, strata-, and site-specific regulation of keratinocyte gene expression; (3) tissue accessibility; and (4) secretory capacity. Such features can be exploited by the use of gene therapy strategies to facilitate: (1) identification, enrichment, and targeting of stem cells to ensure the continued presence of the transferred gene; (2) high-level and persistent transgene expression using keratinocyte-specific promoters; (3) tissue access needed for culture and grafting for ex vivo therapy and direct in vivo gene transfer; (4) secretion of transgene product for local or systemic delivery; and (5) monitoring of genetically modified tissue and removal if treatment termination is required. Optimal gene therapy strategies are being tested in a variety of tissues to treat dominant and recessive genetic disorders as well as acquired diseases such as neoplasia and infectious disease. This experience provides a basis for the application of such clinical studies to a spectrum of diseases effecting epidermal and oral keratinocytes. Gene therapy is in an early stage yet holds great promise for its ultimate clinical application.
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