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Pharm Res. 1997 Jul;14(7):853-9.

Cationic lipid-based gene delivery systems: pharmaceutical perspectives.

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GENE MEDICINE, INC., The Woodlands, Texas 77381-4248, USA.


Gene delivery systems are designed to control the location of administered therapeutic genes within a patient's body. Successful in vivo gene transfer may require (i) the condensation of plasmid and its protection from nuclease degradation, (ii) cellular interaction and internalization of condensed plasmid, (iii) escape of plasmid from endosomes (if endocytosis is involved), and (iv) plasmid entry into cell nuclei. Expression plasmids encoding a therapeutic protein can be, for instance, complexed with cationic liposomes or micelles in order to achieve effective in vivo gene transfer. A thorough knowledge of pharmaceutics and drug delivery, bio-engineering, as well as cell and molecular biology is required to design optimal systems for gene therapy. This mini-review provides a critical discussion on cationic lipid-based gene delivery systems and their possible uses as pharmaceuticals.

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