Metallohelix vectors for efficient gene delivery via cationic DNA nanoparticles.

Journal: Nucleic Acids Research
Authors: Malina J., Kostrhunova H., Novohradsky V., Scott P., Brabec V.
Year: 2022


The design of efficient and safe gene delivery vehicles remains a major challenge for the application of gene therapy. Of the many reported gene delivery systems, metal complexes with high affinity for nucleic acids are emerging as an attractive option. We have discovered that certain metallohelices—optically pure, self-assembling triple-stranded arrays of fully encapsulated Fe—act as nonviral DNA delivery vectors capable of mediating efficient gene transfection. They induce formation of globular DNA particles which protect the DNA from degradation by various restriction endonucleases, are of suitable size and electrostatic potential for efficient membrane transport and are successfully processed by cells. The activity is highly structure-dependent—compact and shorter metallohelix enantiomers are far less efficient than less compact and longer enantiomers.