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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001 Aug 1;164(3):486-93.

Structural alterations of gene complexes by cystic fibrosis sputum.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


Gene complexes with optimal physicochemical characteristics for cystic fibrosis (CF) gene therapy in vitro may become inactive in vivo as a result of destruction upon interaction with CF mucus. Therefore, we examined in this study to what extent main sputum components (linear DNA, mucin, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol, and albumin) may disintegrate lipoplexes. We found that mixing linear DNA with lipoplexes, in concentration ratios as occurs in the mucus of patients with CF in clinical studies with lipoplexes, drastically altered the surface charge and size of our lipoplexes and resulted in the liberation of plasmid DNA from the lipoplexes. These concentration ratios occur in vivo when the DNA concentration in the sputum becomes > 2.7 mg/ml, a quite realistic concentration even in patients without acute exacerbations. Lipoplexes brought in contact with native CF sputa at clinically relevant concentration ratios dissociated when the DNA concentration in the sputa was > 2.7 mg/ml. However, when the linear DNA was degraded by recombinant human deoxyribonuclease I before lipoplexes were added, the linear DNA did not cause any dissociation of the lipoplexes. Addition of albumin and mucin to the lipoplexes in a clinically relevant concentration ratio changed the surface charge of the lipoplexes to negative, however, without release of plasmid DNA. Mucin, dipalmitoylglycerophosphocholine, and dipalmitoylglycerophosphoglycerol did not cause any change in lipoplex properties at clinically relevant concentration ratios.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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