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Cancer Gene Ther. 2000 Apr;7(4):644-52.

Ovarian carcinoma cells are effectively transfected by polyethylenimine (PEI) derivatives.

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Laboratoire de Chimie Génétique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7514, Faculté de Pharmacie de Strasbourg, Illkirch, France.


As a prerequisite to nonviral gene therapy approaches of ovarian carcinoma, we evaluated the possibility of transfecting established tumor cell lines (SKOV3, IGROV1) as well as primary mesothelial and tumor cells by various polyethylenimine (PEI) derivatives. Several PEI-based vectors were able to effectively transfect these cells, as shown by high luciferase expression levels (10(8) to 10(9) relative light units per milligram of cell protein) that corresponded with 25-50% of green fluorescent protein-positive cells after 24 hours. However, unpredictable differences were observed among the vectors and cell types that a posteriori justified the screening procedure. We also showed that cells that were not transfected after the first experiment remained transfectable in a subsequent transfection experiment to a level similar to that of the initial population. This experiment does not support the emergence of a transfection-resistant cell population and opens the door to multiple therapeutic gene deliveries. Although efficacy and cell targeting still remain to be improved, PEI derivatives appear to be promising molecules for the development of nonviral gene therapy of ovarian carcinoma.

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