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naked DNA [keywords]
- Close-field electroporation gene delivery using the cochlear implant electrode array enhances the bionic ear. [Journal Article]
- Sci Transl Med 2014 Apr 23; 6(233):233ra54.
The cochlear implant is the most successful bionic prosthesis and has transformed the lives of people with profound hearing loss. However, the performance of the "bionic ear" is still largely constrained by the neural interface itself. Current spread inherent to broad monopolar stimulation of the spiral ganglion neuron somata obviates the intrinsic tonotopic mapping of the cochlear nerve. We show in the guinea pig that neurotrophin gene therapy integrated into the cochlear implant improves its performance by stimulating spiral ganglion neurite regeneration. We used the cochlear implant electrode array for novel "close-field" electroporation to transduce mesenchymal cells lining the cochlear perilymphatic canals with a naked complementary DNA gene construct driving expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter. The focusing of electric fields by particular cochlear implant electrode configurations led to surprisingly efficient gene delivery to adjacent mesenchymal cells. The resulting BDNF expression stimulated regeneration of spiral ganglion neurites, which had atrophied 2 weeks after ototoxic treatment, in a bilateral sensorineural deafness model. In this model, delivery of a control GFP-only vector failed to restore neuron structure, with atrophied neurons indistinguishable from unimplanted cochleae. With BDNF therapy, the regenerated spiral ganglion neurites extended close to the cochlear implant electrodes, with localized ectopic branching. This neural remodeling enabled bipolar stimulation via the cochlear implant array, with low stimulus thresholds and expanded dynamic range of the cochlear nerve, determined via electrically evoked auditory brainstem responses. This development may broadly improve neural interfaces and extend molecular medicine applications.
- Gold nanoparticles enhanced electroporation for mammalian cell transfection. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- J Biomed Nanotechnol 2014 Jun; 10(6):982-92.
Electroporation figured prominently as an effective nonviral gene delivery approach for its balance on the transfection efficiency and cell viability, no restrictions of probe or cell type, and operation simplicity. The commercial electroporation systems have been widely adopted in the past two decades while still carry drawbacks associated with the high applied electric voltage, unsatisfied delivery efficiency, and/or low cell viability. By adding highly conductive gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in electroporation solution, we demonstrated enhanced electroporation performance (i.e., better DNA delivery efficiency and higher cell viability) on mammalian cells from two different aspects: the free, naked AuNPs reduce the resistance of the electroporation solution so that the local pulse strength on cells was enhanced; targeting AuNPs (e.g., Tf-AuNPs) were brought to the cell membrane to work as virtual microelectrodes to porate cells with limited area from many different sites. The enhancement was confirmed with leukemia cells in both a commercial batch electroporation system and a home-made flow-through system using pWizGFP plasmid DNA probes. Such enhancement depends on the size, concentration, and the mixing ratio of free AuNPs/Tf-AuNPs. An equivalent mixture of free AuNPs and Tf-AuNPs exhibited the best enhancement with the transfection efficiency increased 2-3 folds at minimum sacrifice of cell viability. This new delivery concept, the combination of nanoparticles and electroporation technologies, may stimulate various in vitro and in vivo biomedical applications which rely on the efficient delivery of nucleic acids, anticancer drugs, or other therapeutic materials.
- A Mycobacterium bovis BCG-Naked DNA Prime-Boost Vaccination Strategy Induced CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-Cell Response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis Immunogens. [Journal Article]
- J Immunol Res 2014.:395626.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection is still a major global public health problem. Presently the only tuberculosis (TB) vaccine available is Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), although it fails to adequately protect against pulmonary TB in adults. To solve this problem, the development of a new effective vaccine is urgently desired. BCG-prime DNA-booster vaccinations strategy has been shown to induce greater protection against tuberculosis (TB) than BCG alone. Some studies have demonstrated that the two genes (Rv1769 and Rv1772) are excellent T-cell antigens and could induce T-cell immune responses. In this research, we built BCG-C or BCG-P prime-recombination plasmid PcDNA3.1-Rv1769 or PcDNA3.1-Rv1772 boost vaccinations strategy to immunize BALB/c mice and evaluated its immunogenicity. The data suggests that the BCG-C+3.1-72 strategy could elicit the most long-lasting and strongest Th1-type cellular immune responses and the BCG-C+3.1-69 strategy could induce the high level CD8+ T-cell response at certain time points. These findings support the ideas that the prime-boost strategy as a combination of vaccines may be better than a single vaccine for protection against tuberculosis.
- The "naked coral" hypothesis revisited - evidence for and against scleractinian monophyly. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(4):e94774.
The relationship between Scleractinia and Corallimorpharia, Orders within Anthozoa distinguished by the presence of an aragonite skeleton in the former, is controversial. Although classically considered distinct groups, some phylogenetic analyses have placed the Corallimorpharia within a larger Scleractinia/Corallimorpharia clade, leading to the suggestion that the Corallimorpharia are "naked corals" that arose via skeleton loss during the Cretaceous from a Scleractinian ancestor. Scleractinian paraphyly is, however, contradicted by a number of recent phylogenetic studies based on mt nucleotide (nt) sequence data. Whereas the "naked coral" hypothesis was based on analysis of the sequences of proteins encoded by a relatively small number of mt genomes, here a much-expanded dataset was used to reinvestigate hexacorallian phylogeny. The initial observation was that, whereas analyses based on nt data support scleractinian monophyly, those based on amino acid (aa) data support the "naked coral" hypothesis, irrespective of the method and with very strong support. To better understand the bases of these contrasting results, the effects of systematic errors were examined. Compared to other hexacorallians, the mt genomes of "Robust" corals have a higher (A+T) content, codon usage is far more constrained, and the proteins that they encode have a markedly higher phenylalanine content, leading us to suggest that mt DNA repair may be impaired in this lineage. Thus the "naked coral" topology could be caused by high levels of saturation in these mitochondrial sequences, long-branch effects or model violations. The equivocal results of these extensive analyses highlight the fundamental problems of basing coral phylogeny on mitochondrial sequence data.
- Stability and activity of hydroxyethyl starch-coated polyplexes in frozen solutions or lyophilizates. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Pharm 2014 Apr 9.
Despite their great potential, gene delivery polyplexes have a number of limitations, including their tendencyfor aggregation in vivo or upon storage. In previous studies, we could show that hydroxyethyl starch (HES)-decoration of polyplexes reduces aggregation in vitro and in vivo. The current study investigates the ability of HES-decoration to improve the stability of polyplexes upon storage as frozen-liquid or lyophilizate, and uses naked polyplexes or PEGylated ones as controls. For this purpose, freeze-thaw (FT) experiments of the polyplexes were conducted in the presence of standard excipients (glucose, sucrose or trehalose). Dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements showed that HES-decoration imparted better stability when glucose was used, while both HES and PEG were effective in inhibiting aggregation in the presence of trehalose or sucrose. In contrast, the lyophilized HES-coated polyplexes were more stable than the PEGylated ones as shown by DLS, even after storage for 10 weeks at elevated temperature. Evaluation of the gene transfer efficiency of the stored samples showed no negative effect of storage, except for the lyophilized naked polyplexes. In general, this study shows that, while both HES- or PEG-coats could prevent aggregation under frozen-liquid storage, the HES-coat resulted in superior protective effect upon lyophilization, with possible advantages for in vivo application. In summary, our developed HES-coats provided effective cryo- and lyo-protection to the DNA polyplexes.
- Superparamagnetic nanoparticle delivery of DNA vaccine. [Journal Article]
- Methods Mol Biol 2014.:181-94.
The efficiency of delivery of DNA vaccines is often relatively low compared to protein vaccines. The use of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) to deliver genes via magnetofection shows promise in improving the efficiency of gene delivery both in vitro and in vivo. In particular, the duration for gene transfection especially for in vitro application can be significantly reduced by magnetofection compared to the time required to achieve high gene transfection with standard protocols. SPIONs that have been rendered stable in physiological conditions can be used as both therapeutic and diagnostic agents due to their unique magnetic characteristics. Valuable features of iron oxide nanoparticles in bioapplications include a tight control over their size distribution, magnetic properties of these particles, and the ability to carry particular biomolecules to specific targets. The internalization and half-life of the particles within the body depend upon the method of synthesis. Numerous synthesis methods have been used to produce magnetic nanoparticles for bioapplications with different sizes and surface charges. The most common method for synthesizing nanometer-sized magnetite Fe3O4 particles in solution is by chemical coprecipitation of iron salts. The coprecipitation method is an effective technique for preparing a stable aqueous dispersions of iron oxide nanoparticles. We describe the production of Fe3O4-based SPIONs with high magnetization values (70 emu/g) under 15 kOe of the applied magnetic field at room temperature, with 0.01 emu/g remanence via a coprecipitation method in the presence of trisodium citrate as a stabilizer. Naked SPIONs often lack sufficient stability, hydrophilicity, and the capacity to be functionalized. In order to overcome these limitations, polycationic polymer was anchored on the surface of freshly prepared SPIONs by a direct electrostatic attraction between the negatively charged SPIONs (due to the presence of carboxylic groups) and the positively charged polymer. Polyethylenimine was chosen to modify the surface of SPIONs to assist the delivery of plasmid DNA into mammalian cells due to the polymer's extensive buffering capacity through the "proton sponge" effect.
- Electroporation-based DNA delivery technology: methods for gene electrotransfer to skin. [Journal Article]
- Methods Mol Biol 2014.:115-22.
DNA delivery to for example skin and muscle can easily be performed with electroporation. The method is efficient, feasible, and inexpensive and the future possibilities are numerous. Here we present our protocol for gene transfection to mouse skin using naked plasmid DNA and electric pulses.
- Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assays for Detecting Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in Milk Powders. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Food Sci 2014 Apr 2.
Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is a Gram-negative foodborne pathogen that causes several diseases, such as enteritis, septicemia, and reactive arthritis. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay targeting the 16S-23S rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was developed to detect Y. pseudotuberculosis in milk powder. The DNA amplification could be completed in 1 h, and detected by produced white precipitate visible to naked eyes. The detection limit of LAMP assay was 10(0) fg/reaction for genomic DNA, and 10(0) CFU/100 g milk powder coupled with 12 h enrichment. LAMP assay is 100 times more sensitive than conventional polymerase chain reaction method for detecting Y. pseudotuberculosis, and correctly identified 18 cases of Y. pseudotuberculosis contaminations from 236 commercial milk powder products. In conclusion, the developed LAMP assay may facilitate rapid detection of Y. pseudotuberculosis contaminations in agricultural and food products.Rapid and accurate detection of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in milk products.
- Combination of MIDGE-Th1 DNA vaccines with the cationic lipid SAINT-18: Studies on formulation, biodistribution and vector clearance. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Vaccine 2014 Mar 25.
We have previously shown that the combination of MIDGE-Th1 DNA vectors with the cationic lipid SAINT-18 increases the immune response to the encoded antigen in mice. Here, we report on experiments to further optimize and characterize this approach. We evaluated different formulations of MIDGE-Th1 vectors with SAINT-18 by assessing their influence on the transfection efficiency in cell culture and on the immune response in mice. We found that high amounts of SAINT-18 in formulations with a w/w ratio MIDGE Th1/SAINT-18 of 1:4.8 are beneficial for cell transfection in vitro. In contrast, the formulation of HBsAg-encoding MIDGE-Th1 DNA vectors with the lowest amount of SAINT-18 (w/w ratio MIDGE Th1/SAINT-18 of 1:0.5) resulted in the highest serum IgG1 and IgG2a levels after intradermal immunization of mice. Consequently, latter formulation was selected for a comparative biodistribution study in rats. Following intradermal administration of both naked and formulated MIDGE-Th1 DNA, the vectors localized primarily at the site of injection. Vector DNA levels decreased substantially over the two months duration of the study. When administered in combination with SAINT-18, the vectors were found in significantly higher amounts in draining lymph nodes in comparison to administration of naked MIDGE-Th1 DNA. We propose that the high immune responses induced by MIDGE-Th1/SAINT-18 lipoplexes are mediated by enhanced transfection of cells in vivo, resulting in stronger antigen expression and presentation. Importantly, the combination of MIDGE-Th1 vectors with SAINT-18 was well tolerated in mice and rats and is expected to be safe in human clinical applications.
- The Murine Intravaginal HSV-2 Challenge Model for Investigation of DNA Vaccines. [Journal Article]
- Methods Mol Biol 2014.:305-27.
DNA vaccines have been licensed in veterinary medicine and have promise for humans. This format is relatively immunogenic in mice and guinea pigs, the two principle HSV-2 animal models, permitting rapid assessment of vectors, antigens, adjuvants, and delivery systems. Limitations include the relatively poor immunogenicity of naked DNA in humans and the profound differences in HSV-2 pathogenesis between host species. Herein, we detail lessons learned over the last few years investigating candidate DNA vaccines in the progesterone-primed female mouse vaginal model of HSV-2 infection as a guide to investigators in the field.