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Cationic Liposomes for Gene Delivery: Novel Cationic Lipids and Enhancement by Proteins and Peptides

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Cationic liposome-DNA complexes, also called “lipoplexes”, constitute a potentially viable alternative to viral vectors for the delivery of therapeutic genes. Here we review the mechanisms of lipoplex-mediated gene delivery, the barriers to efficient gene expression, and novel cationic lipids used for transfection. We also describe methods for enhancing gene transfer via the use of proteins, including transferrin, albumin and asialofetuin, and synthetic peptides, including GALA and nuclear localization signal peptides. We underscore the importance of understanding the mechanisms of cytoplasmic and nuclear entry of DNA and its dissociation from lipoplexes. We emphasize that the in vitro transfection activity of new lipoplex constructs should be tested in the presence of high serum concentrations to emulate in vivo conditions.

Keywords: cationic lipids; cationic liposome-dna complexes; cationic liposomes; gene delivery; lipoplex-mediated gene delivery; lipoplexes

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: 2003-07-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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