Charge-neutral DNA nanoparticles have been developed in which single molecules of DNA are compacted to their minimal possible size. We speculated that the small size of these DNA nanoparticles may facilitate gene transfer in postmitotic cells, permitting nuclear uptake across the 25-nm nuclear membrane pore. To determine whether DNA nanoparticles can transfect nondividing cells, growth-arrested neuroblastoma and hepatoma cells were transfected with DNA/liposome mixtures encoding luciferase. In both models, growth-arrested cells were robustly transfected by compacted DNA (6,900 -360-fold more than naked DNA). To evaluate mechanisms responsible for enhanced transfection, HuH-7 cells were microinjected with naked or compacted plasmids encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein. Cytoplasmic microinjection of DNA nanoparticles generated a ϳ10-fold improvement in transgene expression as compared with naked DNA; this enhancement was reversed by the nuclear pore inhibitor, wheat germ agglutinin. To determine the upper size limit for gene transfer, DNA nanoparticles of various sizes were microinjected into the cytoplasm. A marked decrease in transgene expression was observed as the minor ellipsoidal diameter approached 25 nm. In summary, suitably sized DNA nanoparticles productively transfect growth arrested cells by traversing the nuclear membrane pore.Although nonviral gene transfer methods transfect dividing cells, these technologies fail to transfect most postmitotic cells (1-10), with the principal exceptions of naked DNA gene transfer into muscle (11) and large volume hydrodynamic gene transfer into liver (12, 13). In dividing cells, nuclear membrane disintegration during mitosis allows plasmid DNA to enter the nucleus prior to membrane reformation. Otherwise, the intact nuclear membrane restricts transfer of naked DNA into the nucleus. The nuclear membrane pore (NMP) 1 has an internal channel diameter of 25 nm (14, 15) and does not permit naked DNA to effectively cross into the nucleus, probably due to the extended size of hydrated DNA and its negative charge density (4,16,17). The NMP does permit passive transfer of gold particles less than 9 -10 nm in diameter and linear DNA fragments up to ϳ300 bp (18 -22) as well as facilitated transport of proteins and small DNA segments (up to ϳ1 kbp) having nuclear localization signals (7,(22)(23)(24)(25)(26)(27)(28). The relative inefficiency of naked DNA, liposome-DNA complexes, and protein-and polymer-based DNA conjugates to transfect nondividing cells productively remains a significant barrier for in vivo gene therapy. Electrostatic interactions between polycationic polymers and DNA can result in conjugates consisting of one or more molecules of DNA and a sufficient number of polycations to produce a nearly charge-neutral complex (29 -31). The ratio of positive to negative charges, buffer components, polycation counterion, DNA concentration, and pH, among other variables, influence the composition, size, and shape of these DNA conjugates (29,32). Based on specific fo...
DNA can be compacted using polyethylene glycol-substituted poly-L-lysine into discrete unimolecular (with respect to DNA) nanoparticles with minor diameter < 20 nm that are stable in normal saline for at least 23 months at 4 degrees C. We compared the activity of firefly luciferase in lungs of C57BL/6 mice that received 100 microg compacted plasmid in 25 microl saline (shown to be the optimal dose) via intratracheal or intranasal instillation with levels in animals given 100 microg naked plasmid or in untreated mice. Mice dosed with compacted DNA nanoparticles had peak activity of luciferase in lung at 2 days postinstillation, which declined in log-linear fashion with a half-life of 1.4 days. Luciferase activity in animals dosed with naked DNA was 200-fold less. Addition of polyethylene glycol to the complex was necessary for efficient gene transfer and animals that received DNA compacted with unmodified poly-L-lysine did not exhibit luciferase activity above background. Immunohistochemical staining for bacterial beta-galactosidase 2 days after administration of a compacted lacZ expression plasmid (n = 8) revealed expression predominantly in the dependent portions of the right lungs of mice, in alveolar and airway epithelial cells, though macrophages and sometimes endothelial cells also were transfected. No staining for beta-galactosidase was observed in uninjected animals (n = 4) or those dosed with naked lacZ plasmid (n = 7). Tissue survey for transgene expression shows expression only in lung and trachea following intranasal administration. Stable compacted DNA nanoparticles transfer exogenous genes to airway epithelium and show promise for lung gene therapy.
A double-blind, dose escalation gene transfer trial was conducted in subjects with cystic fibrosis (CF), among whom placebo (saline) or compacted DNA was superfused onto the inferior turbinate of the right or left nostril. The vector consisted of single molecules of plasmid DNA carrying the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator- encoding gene compacted into DNA nanoparticles, using polyethylene glycol-substituted 30-mer lysine peptides. Entry criteria included age greater than 18 years, FEV1 exceeding 50% predicted, and basal nasal potential difference (NPD) isoproterenol responses (> or = -5 mV) that are typical for subjects with classic CF. Twelve subjects were enrolled: 2 in dose level I (DLI) (0.8 mg DNA), 4 in DLII (2.67 mg), and 6 in DLIII (8.0 mg). The primary trial end points were safety and tolerability, and secondary gene transfer end points were assessed. In addition to routine clinical assessments and laboratory tests, subjects were serially evaluated for serum IL-6, complement, and C-reactive protein; nasal washings were taken for cell counts, protein, IL-6, and IL-8; and pulmonary function and hearing tests were performed. No serious adverse events occurred, and no events were attributed to compacted DNA. There was no association of serum or nasal washing inflammatory mediators with administration of compacted DNA. Day 14 vector polymerase chain reaction analysis showed a mean value in DLIII nasal scraping samples of 0.58 copy per cell. Partial to complete NPD isoproterenol responses were observed in eight subjects: one of two in DLI, three of four in DLII, and four of six in DLIII. Corrections persisted for as long as 6 days (1 subject to day 28) after gene transfer. In conclusion, compacted DNA nanoparticles can be safely administered to the nares of CF subjects, with evidence of vector gene transfer and partial NPD correction.
Originating in the Andes, the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) was imported to Europe in the 16th century. At present, it is an important crop plant cultivated all over the world, and its production and consumption continue to increase. This popular vegetable is known as a major source of important nutrients including lycopene, bcarotene, flavonoids and vitamin C as well as hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives. Since the discovery that lycopene has anti-oxidative, anti-cancer properties, interest in tomatoes has grown rapidly. The development of genetic engineering tools and plant biotechnology has opened great opportunities for engineering tomato plants. This review presents examples of successful tissue culture and genetically modified tomatoes which resistance to a range of environmental stresses improved, along with fruit quality. Additionally, a successful molecular farming model was established.
Nanoparticles consisting of single molecules of DNA condensed with polyethylene glycol-substituted lysine 30-mers efficiently transfect lung epithelium following intrapulmonary administration. Nanoparticles formulated with lysine polymers having different counterions at the time of DNA mixing have distinct geometric shapes: trifluoroacetate or acetate counterions produce ellipsoids or rods, respectively. Based on intracytoplasmic microinjection studies, nanoparticle ellipsoids having a minimum diameter less than the 25 nm nuclear membrane pore efficiently transfect nondividing cells. This 25 nm size restriction corresponds to a 5.8 kbp plasmid when compacted into spheroids, whereas the 8-11 nm diameter of rod-like particles is smaller than the nuclear pore diameter. In mice, up to 50% of lung cells are transfected after dosing with a rod-like compacted 6.9 kbp lacZ expression plasmid, and correction of the CFTR chloride channel was observed in humans following intranasal administration of a rod-like compacted 8.3 kbp plasmid. To further investigate the potential size and shape limitations of DNA nanoparticles for in vivo lung delivery, reporter gene activity of ellipsoidal and rod-like compacted luciferase plasmids ranging in size between 5.3 and 20.2 kbp was investigated. Equivalent molar reporter gene activities were observed for each formulation, indicating that microinjection size limitations do not apply to the in vivo gene transfer setting. Gene Therapy (2006) The structural features of gene transfer complexes can be optimized to facilitate efficient gene transfer in vivo. We have developed nanoparticles consisting of single molecules of plasmid DNA condensed with polyethylene glycol (PEG)-substituted lysine peptides.1 The volume, shape and size dimensions of these DNA nanoparticles depend on several parameters, including plasmid size and the lysine counterion present at the time of DNA mixing.2 For example, lysine polymers containing trifluoroacetate and acetate counterions result in the formation of ellipsoidal and rod-like nanoparticles, with the volume of these complexes closely predicted by the partial specific volumes of the constituent components. 1,2For ellipsoidal nanoparticles, microinjection studies indicated a size limitation for nuclear access and transgene expression, with nanoparticles having a minor diameter approaching 25 nm having decreased efficiency. This 25 nm size restriction corresponds to a 5.8 kbp plasmid when compacted into spheroids. In contrast, the diameter of rod-like nanoparticles ranges between 8 and 11 nm for a series of plasmid sizes, whereas the length of the rod is linearly proportional to the plasmid molecular weight. Because the nuclear membrane pore diameter is approximately 25 nm, these data suggested a size dimension that may limit nuclear transit in these microinjection studies. For intrapulmonary delivery of DNA nanoparticles in mice, efficient gene transfer has been observed for larger plasmids using rod-like formulations. For example, up to 50% of lung cells ar...
Nanoparticles containing DNA compacted with poly-l-lysine modified on an N-terminal cysteine with polyethylene glycol can effectively transfect cells of the airway epithelium when applied by the luminal route. To evaluate the toxicity of these nanoparticles, we administered 10 and 100 microg DNA compacted into nanoparticles suspended in normal saline by the intranasal route to mice and determined the pulmonary and systemic responses to this challenge, compared to administration of saline alone, and in some experiments, compared to administration of naked DNA, Escherichia coli genomic DNA, or lipofectin-complexed naked DNA. There was no systemic response to either dose of nanoparticles in serum chemistries, hematologic parameters, serum complement, IL-6, or MIP-2 levels or in the activity, growth, and grooming of the mice. Nanoparticles containing 10 microg DNA induced responses comparable to saline in all measures, including BAL cell counts and differentials and cytokine levels and histology. However, mice dosed with 100 microg DNA in nanoparticles had modest increases in BAL neutrophils 48 and 72 h after dosing, modest increases in BAL IL-6 and KC beginning 24 and 48 h, respectively, after dosing, and, on histology of the lung, a trace to 1+ mononuclear cell infiltrates about the pulmonary veins at 48 h, which were markedly reduced by 10 days and gone by 28 days after dosing. BAL neutrophil and cytokine responses were no greater than those entrained by naked DNA for up to 24 h. However, compared to administration of only 10 microg E. coli genomic DNA, the response to compacted DNA was much less. A low dose of lipofectin-complexed DNA (5 microg DNA) induced the same response as 20-fold higher doses of DNA nanoparticles. These data indicate that DNA nanoparticles have no measurable toxic effect at a dose of 10 microg and a very modest effect, which is not limiting, at a dose of 100 microg, which gives maximal gene expression. This favorable toxicity profile encourages development of stabilized compacted DNA for airway administration.
Our study failed to demonstrate any clear advantage of routine postoperative immunonutrition in patients undergoing elective upper gastrointestinal surgery. Both enteral and parenteral treatment options showed similar efficacy, tolerance, and effects on protein synthesis. Parenteral nutrition composed according to contemporary rules showed similar efficiency to enteral nutrition. However, because of its cost-efficiency, enteral therapy should be considered as the treatment of choice in all patients requiring nutritional therapy.
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