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Methods Enzymol. 2012;509:355-67. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-391858-1.00018-6.

Genetic nanomedicine: gene delivery by targeted lipoplexes.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, University of the Pacific, San Francisco, California, USA.


Cationic liposome-DNA complexes (lipoplexes) are used for the delivery of plasmid DNA to cultured cells and various tissues in vivo. In this chapter, we describe the preparation and evaluation of plain and targeted lipoplexes, using targeting ligands, including epidermal growth factor and transferrin. Ligand-associated lipoplexes may be used to target DNA or other nucleic acid drugs to specific cells, particularly cancer cells that overexpress the receptors for the ligands. We provide examples of the enhancement of gene expression mediated by epidermal growth factor in murine and human oral squamous cell carcinoma cells, and human hepatoblastoma and rat colon adenocarcinoma cells. We also summarize the studies on the use of transferrin-lipoplexes for enhancing gene delivery to cervical carcinoma, murine colon carcinoma, and African green monkey kidney cells. We outline two animal models in which transferrin-lipoplexes have been used for antitumor therapy by delivering either the gene encoding interleukin-12 or a suicide gene: a CT26 murine colon carcinoma, and a syngeneic, orthotopic murine oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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