Background: Haplosclerid marine sponges produce pore forming polyalkylpyridinium salts ( poly-APS), which can be used to deliver macromolecules into cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the delivery of DNA, siRNA and lucifer yellow into cells mediated by poly-APS and its potential mechanisms as compared with other lipofection systems ( lipofectamine and N-4, N(9-)dioleoylspermine (LipoGen)). DNA condensation was evaluated and HEK 293 and HtTA HeLa cells were used to investigate pore formation and intracellular delivery of cDNA, siRNA and lucifer yellow.
Results: Poly-APS and LipoGen were both found to be highly efficient DNA condensing agents. Fura-2 calcium imaging was used to measure calcium transients indicative of cell membrane pore forming activity. Calcium transients were evoked by poly-APS but not LipoGen and lipofectamine. The increases in intracellular calcium produced by poly-APS showed temperature sensitivity with greater responses being observed at 12 C compared to 21 C. Similarly, delivery of lucifer yellow into cells with poly-APS was enhanced at lower temperatures. Transfection with cDNA encoding for the expression enhanced green fluorescent protein was also evaluated at 12 C with poly-APS, lipofectamine and LipoGen. Intracellular delivery of siRNA was achieved with knockdown in beta-actin expression when lipofectamine and LipoGen were used as transfection reagents. However, intracellular delivery of siRNA was not achieved with poly-APS.
Conclusion: Poly-APS mediated pore formation is critical to its activity as a transfection reagent, but lipofection systems utilise distinct mechanisms to enable delivery of DNA and siRNA into cells.
- gene delivery