Release of Plasmid-DNC from PEI/DNA Particles
The cationic polymer polyethylenimine (PEI) spontaneously forms complexes with DNA that efficiently transfect mammalian cells. To study the reversibility of the DNA/PEI interaction in vitro, preformed complexes were diluted with varying amounts of plasmid DNA and RNA. The released plasmid DNA was visualized by gel electrophoresis. With this simple assay we determined the kinetics of the release of plasmid DNA. Even at very low concentrations RNA instantaneously replaced most of the plasmid DNA in the complex, whereas DNA-mediated release takes up to one day. The results of these in vitro experiments are important for understanding the transport and release of plasmid DNA from PEI/DNA particles after transfection of cells.
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