Transport of oligonucleotides across natural and model membranes

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1994 Jun 29;1197(2):95-108. doi: 10.1016/0304-4157(94)90001-9.


Oligo- and polynucleotides can not diffuse through lipid membrane, however they are taken up by eukaryotic cells by endocytosis mediated by the nucleic acid specific receptors. The compounds find some way to escape from endosomes and reach nucleic acids in both cell nucleus and cytoplasm. Oligonucleotides bind to a few cell surface proteins which take part in the virus-cell interaction and in the development of immune response. Interaction of nucleic acids with cell surface proteins may play a role in development of some pathologies. The biological role of this interaction is unclear. Efficient delivery of oligonucleotides into eukaryotic cells can be achieved in some conditions by natural mechanisms and by using artificial carriers--membrane vehicles and cationic polymer micelles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Erythrocyte Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotides / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Receptors, Cell Surface