Histidine-rich amphipathic peptide antibiotics promote efficient delivery of DNA into mammalian cells.

Généthon III-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Unité de Recherche Associée 1923, 1 Rue de l'Internationale, F-91002 Evry, France.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 03/2003; 100(4):1564-8. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0337677100
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Gene delivery has shown potential in a wide variety of applications, including basic research, therapies for genetic and acquired diseases, and vaccination. Most available nonviral systems have serious drawbacks such as the inability to control and scale the production process in a reproducible manner. Here, we demonstrate a biotechnologically feasible approach for gene delivery, using synthetic cationic amphipathic peptides containing a variable number of histidine residues. Gene transfer to different cell lines in vitro was achieved with an efficiency comparable to commercially available reagents. We provide evidence that the transfection efficiency depends on the number and positioning of histidine residues in the peptide as well as on the pH at which the in-plane to transmembrane transition takes place. Endosomal acidification is also required. Interestingly, even when complexed to DNA these peptides maintain a high level of antibacterial activity, opening the possibility of treating the genetic defect and the bacterial infections associated with cystic fibrosis with a single compound. Thus, this family of peptides represents a new class of agents that may have broad utility for gene transfer and gene therapy applications.


Available from: Antoine Kichler, Aug 25, 2014
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