Improved Encapsulation of DNA in pH-Sensitive Liposomes for Transfection
AbstractA simple method has been developed to prepare liposomes containing large amounts of DNA. The procedure consisted of three cycles of freeze-thawing a mixture of sonicated liposomes and DNA. The encapsulation efficiency depended on the size of DNA. For a small plasmid (2.7 kb), approximately 40% of input DNA was entrapped with an efficiency of 16 μgDNA/μmol lipid. For larger plasmids, the encapsulation efficiency decreased considerably. Transfection of cultured mouse L929 cells mediated by the DNA-containing liposomes was assayed with a plasmid containing the E. coli chloramphenicol acetyl transferase gene. The transfection activity of the liposome was primarily determined by its pH sensitivity. Acid-sensitive liposomes transfected cells efficiently, whereas pH-insensitive liposomes were much less active. The level of the expression of the exogenous gene in the treated cells could be further modulated by protein kinase C (PKC) activators that were incorporated into the liposomal membrane as a minor lipid component. Transfection conditions were optimized with respect to DNA, lipid, and PKC activator concentrations. The results of the current study may help the use of liposomal delivery system for applications in gene therapy.