News Column

Findings from Department of Medicine Broaden Understanding of Gene Therapy

May 29, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Gene Therapy Weekly -- Investigators publish new report on Biotechnology. According to news reporting out of Zhejiang, People's Republic of China, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "Polyethylenimine (PEI) is widely applied in non-viral gene delivery vectors. PEI with high molecular weight is highly effective in gene transfection but is high cytotoxic."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the Department of Medicine, "Conversely, PEI with low molecular weight displays lower cytotoxicity but less delivering efficiency. To overcome this issue, a novel copolymer with mannosylated, a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP), grafting into PEI with molecular weight of 1800 (Man-PEI1800-CPP) were prepared in this study to target antigen-presenting cells (APCs) with mannose receptors and enhance transfection efficiency with grafting CPP. The copolymer was characterized by H-1 NMR and FTIR. Spherical nanoparticles were formed with diameters of about 80-250 nm by mixing the copolymer and DNA at various charge ratios of copolymer/DNA(N/P). Gel retardation assays indicated that Man-PEI1800-CPP polymers efficiently condensed DNA at low N/P ratios. Cytotoxicity studies showed that Man-PEI1800-CPP/DNA complexes maintained in a high percentage of cell viability compared to the PEI with molecular weight of 25 k (PEI25k). Laser scan confocal microscopy and flow cytometry confirmed that Man-PEI1800-CPP/DNA complexes resulted in higher cell uptake efficiency on DC2.4 cells than on Hela cells line. The transfection efficiency of Man-PEI1800-CPP was significantly higher than that of PEI25k on DC2.4 cells. More importantly, the complexes were mainly distributed in the epidermis and dermis of skin and targeted on splenocytes after percutaneous coating based on micro-needles in vivo."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "These results indicated that Man-PEI1800-CPP was a potential APCs targeted of non-virus vector for gene therapy."

For more information on this research see: A mannosylated cell-penetrating peptide-graft-polyethylenimine as a gene delivery vector. Biomaterials, 2014;35(13):4236-4246. Biomaterials can be contacted at: Elsevier Sci Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, Oxon, England. (Elsevier -; Biomaterials -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting Y. Hu, Wenzhou Med Univ, Dept. of Med, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China. Additional authors for this research include B.H. Xu, Q.X. Ji, D. Shou, X.Y. Sun, J.J. Xu, J.Q. Gao and W.Q. Liang (see also Biotechnology).

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Biotechnology, Zhejiang, Peptides, Proteins, Viral DNA, Proteomics, DNA Research, Gene Therapy, Bioengineering, People's Republic of China

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Source: Gene Therapy Weekly