Cellular gene transfer mediated by influenza virosomes with encapsulated plasmid DNA

Jorgen de Jonge, Johanna M. Leenhouts, Marijke Holtrop, Pieter Schoen, Peter Scherrer, Pieter R. Cullis, Jan Wilschut, Anke Huckriede*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Reconstituted influenza virosomes (virus membrane envelopes) have been used previously to deliver pDNA (plasmid DNA) bound to their external surface to a variety of target cells. Although high transfection efficiencies can be obtained with these complexes in vitro, the virosome-associated DNA is readily accessible to nucleases and could therefore be prone to rapid degradation under in vivo conditions. In the present study, we show a new method for the production of DNA-virosomes resulting in complete protection of the DNA from nucleases. This method relies on the use of the short-chain phospholipid DCPC (dicaproylphosphatidylcholine) for solubilization of the viral membrane. The solubilized viral membrane components are mixed with pDNA and cationic lipid. Reconstitution of the viral envelopes and simultaneous encapsulation of pDNA is achieved by removal of the DCPC from the mixture through dialysis. Analysis by linear sucrose density-gradient centrifugation revealed that protein, phospholipid and pDNA physically associated to particles, which appeared as vesicles with spike proteins inserted in their membranes when analysed by electron microscopy. The DNA-virosomes retained the membrane fusion properties of the native influenza virus. The virosome-associated pDNA was completely protected from degradation by nucleases, providing evidence for the DNA being highly condensed and encapsulated in the lumen of the virosomes. DNA-virosomes, containing reporter gene constructs, transfected a variety of cell lines, with efficiencies approaching 90 %. Transfection was completely dependent on the fusogenic properties of the viral spike protein haemagglutinin. Thus, DNA-virosomes prepared by the new procedure are highly efficient vehicles for DNA delivery, offering the advantage of complete DNA protection, which is especially important for future in vivo applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-49
    Number of pages9
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Volume405
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Jul-2007

    Keywords

    • gene delivery
    • haemagglutinin
    • influenza virus
    • plasmid DNA
    • virosome
    • VIRUS ENVELOPES
    • NUCLEASE INHIBITOR
    • ADENOVIRAL VECTOR
    • NASAL EPITHELIUM
    • LIPID PARTICLES
    • CYSTIC-FIBROSIS
    • DENDRITIC CELLS
    • VIRAL VECTORS
    • DELIVERY
    • THERAPY

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