DNA amplification in neutral liposomes for safe and efficient gene delivery

Sangmin Lee, Heebeom Koo, Jin Hee Na, Kyung Eun Lee, Seo Young Jeong, Kuiwon Choi, Sun Hwa Kim, Ick Chan Kwon, Kwangmeyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In general, traditional gene carriers contain strong cationic charges to efficiently load anionic genes, but this cationic character also leads to destabilization of plasma membranes and causes severe cytotoxicity. Here, we developed a PCR-based nanofactory as a safe gene delivery system. A few template plasmid DNA can be amplified by PCR inside liposomes about 200 nm in diameter, and the quantity of loaded genes highly increased by more than 8.8-fold. The liposome membrane was composed of neutral lipids free from cationic charges. Consequently, this system is nontoxic, unlike other traditional cationic gene carriers. Intense red fluorescent protein (RFP) expression in CHO-K1 cells showed that the amplified genes could be successfully transfected to cells. Animal experiments with the luciferase gene also showed in vivo gene expression by our system without toxicity. We think that this PCR-based nanofactory system can overcome the toxicity problem that is the critical limitation of current gene delivery to clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4257-4267
Number of pages11
JournalACS nano
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 27


  • gene delivery
  • nanofactory
  • neutral liposomes
  • polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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