DNA Vaccines pp 127-136 | Cite as

Identification of Compartments Involved in Mammalian Subcellular Trafficking Pathways by Indirect Immunofluorescence

  • Anne Doody
  • David Putnam
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine™ book series (MIMM, volume 127)


A characteristic of a successful DNA vaccine is its trafficking to the nucleus where it can be transcribed. Plasmid DNA coupled to a delivery vector must enter the cell, navigate its way through endocytic compartments, and ultimately reach the nucleus. Currently, the precise pathway taken by plasmid DNA is not clear. Understanding how plasmid DNA interacts with the cell and which path it follows to reach the nucleus will aid in the rational design of improved delivery vectors. Achieving this goal requires a means by which to monitor the subcellular trafficking of plasmid DNA and delivery vectors. Presented here are methods for identifying various endocytic compartments involved in mammalian subcellular trafficking pathways using indirect immunofluorescence. Together with labeled delivery vectors and/or plasmid DNA, these methods can aid in the understanding of the trafficking pathways involved in DNA delivery, and contribute to the rational design of more efficient delivery vectors.

Key Words

Trafficking subcellular trafficking immunofluorescence endocytosis endosomes lysosomes trans-Golgi network gene delivery 


  1. 1.
    Maxfield, F. R. and McGraw, T. E. (2004) Endocytic recycling. Nat. Rev. Molec. Cell Biol. 5, 121–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Watson, P., Jones, A. T., and Stephens, D. J. (2005). Intracellular trafficking pathways and drug delivery: fluorescence imaging of living and fixed cells. Adv. Drug Del. Rev. 57, 43–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Doody
    • 1
  • David Putnam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringCornell UniversityIthaca

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