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Successful transfection of plasmid DNA (pDNA) requires intranuclear internalization of pDNA effectively and the nuclear envelope appears to be one of the critical intracellular barriers for polymer mediated pDNA delivery. Polyethylenimine (PEI), as the classic cationic polymer, compact the negatively charged pDNA tightly and make up stable polyplexes. The polyplexes are too large to enter the nuclear through nuclear pores and it is believed that the nuclear envelope breakdown in mitosis could facilitate the nuclear entry of polyplexes. To jump the nuclear envelope barrier, we used a selective and reversible CDK1 inhibitor RO-3306 to control the G2/M transition of the cell cycle and increased the proportion of mitotic cells which have disappeared nuclear envelope during transfection. Herein, we show that RO-3306 remarkably increases the transfection efficiency of PEI polyplexes through enhanced nuclear localization of PEI and pDNA. However, RO-3306 is less effective to the charge-reversal polymer poly[(2-acryloyl)ethyl(p-boronic acid benzyl)diethylammonium bromide] (B-PDEAEA) which responses to cellular stimuli and releases free pDNA in cytoplasm. Our findings not only offer new opportunities for improving non-viral based gene delivery but also provide theoretical support for the rational design of novel functional polymers for gene delivery. We also report current data showing that RO-3306 synergizes TRAIL gene induced apoptosis in cancer cells. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Xuefei Zhou, Xiangrui Liu, Bingxiang Zhao, Xin Liu, Dingcheng Zhu, Nasha Qiu, Quan Zhou, Ying Piao, Zhuxian Zhou, Jianbin Tang, Youqing Shen. Jumping the nuclear envelop barrier: Improving polyplex-mediated gene transfection efficiency by a selective CDK1 inhibitor RO-3306. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society. 2016 Jul 28;234:90-7

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PMID: 27212103

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