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Levacic, Ana Krhac; Morys, Stephan; Kempter, Susanne; Lächelt, Ulrich and Wagner, Ernst (2017): Minicircle Versus Plasmid DNA Delivery by Receptor-Targeted Polyplexes. In: Human Gene therapy, Vol. 28, No. 10: pp. 862-874

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Due to its minimal size and lack of bacterial backbone sequences, minicircle (MC) DNA presents a promising alternative to plasmid DNA (pDNA) for non-viral gene delivery in terms of biosafety and improved gene transfer. Here, luciferase pDNA (pCMV-luc) and analogous MC DNA (MC07.CMV-luc) were formulated into polyplexes with c-Met targeted, PEG-shielded sequence-defined oligoaminoamides, or linear PEI (linPEI) as standard transfection agent. Distinct physicochemical and biological characteristics were observed for polyplexes formed with either pDNA or MC DNA as vectors. The carriers were found to dominate the shape of polyplexes, whereas the DNA type was decisive for the nanoparticle size. c-Met-targeted, tyrosine trimer-containing polyplexes were optimized into compacted rod structures with a size of 65-100nm for pDNA and 35-40nm for MC. Notably, these MC polyplexes display a lack of cell cycle dependence of transfection and a similar to 200-fold enhanced gene transfer efficiency in c-Met-positive DU145 prostate carcinoma cultures over their tyrosine-free pDNA analogues.

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