Transfection ability and intracellular DNA pathway of nanostructured gene-delivery systems

Nano Lett. 2008 Aug;8(8):2432-6. doi: 10.1021/nl801379y. Epub 2008 Jul 9.


Considerable efforts have been devoted to the design of structured materials with functional properties. Polyelectrolyte multilayer films are now a well-established nanostructured concept with numerous potential applications, in particular as biomaterial coatings. This technique allows the preparation of nanostructured architectures exhibiting specific properties for cell-activation control and local drug delivery. In this study, we used a multilayered system made of poly-(l-lysine)/hyaluronic acid (PLL/HA) as a reservoir for active DNA complexes with nonviral gene-delivery vectors, PLL, beta-cyclodextrin (CD), and PLL-CD. When embedded into the multilayered films, the transfection efficiencies of the DNA complexes and the cell viability were improved. The highest transfection efficiency was obtained with the PLL-CD/plasmid DNA (pDNA) complexes. We found that this high transfection efficiency was related to an efficient internalization of the complexes in the cell cytoplasm and selected nuclei domains through a nonendocytotic pathway. For the first time, we report the intracellular pathway of the pDNA in complexes incorporated into the multilayered system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA / metabolism*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Transfection / methods*


  • DNA