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Antisense Nucleic Acid Drug Dev. 2000 Oct;10(5):369-80.

Delivery and pathway in MCF7 cells of DNA vectorized by cationic liposomes derived from cholesterol.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Chimie Structurale et Spectroscopie Biomoléculaire, CNRS URA 1430, UFR de Médecine, Université Paris XIII, Bobigny, France.


We have investigated the delivery and the pathway in tumoral MCF7 cells of DNA carried by liposomes prepared from (trimethyl aminoethane carbamoyl cholesterol iodide (TMAE-Chol), a cholesterol-based cationic lipid with a quaternary ammonium on the polar head. The structure of DNA-liposome complexes depends on the length of DNA and on the lipid-DNA charge ratio X. Spherical beads constitute fine structures of the observed complexes even when they appear as aggregates. For oligonucleotide transfer, dissociation from liposomes after transfection, penetration of the oligonucleotides into nuclei, and a long resident time were observed. For plasmid transfer, a correlation between the variation in the transfection level and the ultrastructure of complexes was demonstrated. The results showed a cellular route of lipid/plasmid complexes from the beginning by endocytosis, entrapped into endosomes, released by the latter until entry in the perinuclear area, and then penetration of plasmids inside the nuclei resulting in the observed expression of the beta-galactosidase gene.

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