Efficient gene transfer by sequential treatment of mammalian cells with DEAE-dextran and deoxyribonucleic acid

Exp Cell Res. 1989 Oct;184(2):546-51. doi: 10.1016/0014-4827(89)90353-4.


A variation of the classical DEAE-dextran method of gene transfer was developed for efficient transfection of HeLa cells with plasmid DNA. A brief exposure of the cells to medium containing DEAE-dextran was found to be sufficient for subsequent uptake of pRSVcat and to be superior to cocultivation of the cells with DEAE-dextran plus DNA. This sequential method of gene transfer is nontoxic and yielded up to 60% of HeLa cells positive for a surface protein encoded by the transfected sequence. The implications of this sequential transfection technique regarding the mechanisms of gene transfer are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DEAE-Dextran / pharmacology*
  • DNA / pharmacology*
  • Dextrans / pharmacology*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Transfection / drug effects*


  • Dextrans
  • DNA
  • DEAE-Dextran