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Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Mar;7(3):349-52.

Intracellular localization of PNA in human cells upon its introduction by electroporation.

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Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan 153-8904.


Peptide nucleic acid (PNA) is one of the most useful DNA analogs in a wide variety of gene analysis in human cells. In order to exhibit its maximal functions, PNA must be localized to a desired place (e.g., nucleus, cytoplasm and other organelles). Here, we introduced PNAs into HeLa cells by electroporation and examined their localization at various time points. The PNA which binds to the mitochondrial COII gene was initially accumulated in the nucleus, and thereafter mostly transferred to cytoplasm. This time-dependent intracellular localization of PNA is ascribed to the breakdown of the nuclear envelope in the cell division. On the other hand, another PNA that binds to telomere repeat sequence mostly remained in the nucleus, even after the cell division occurred. The retention of this PNA in the nucleus was further enhanced when it was conjugated with Cy3.

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