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Characterizing DNA Condensation by Structurally Different Chitosans of Variable Gene Transfer Efficacy

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journal contribution
posted on 08.06.2009 by Nina K. Reitan, Gjertrud Maurstad, Catharina de Lange Davies, Sabina P. Strand
Chitosan can be used as a nonviral gene delivery vector for which DNA condensation and transfection efficacy strongly depend on structural parameters. In this study, we characterized the condensation of DNA by three molecularly tailored chitosans, including linear, trisaccharide substituted-, and self-branched trisaccharide substituted chitosan oligomers. No significant differences could be detected in the hydrodynamic diameters formed by the various chitosans as analyzed by dynamic light scattering. However, atomic force microscopy revealed that self-branched chitosan formed complexes with a higher ratio of globules to rods, and the heights of both globules and rods were larger than for complexes formed by the other chitosans. Using an amino/phosphate ratio of 10, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy measurements showed that self-branched chitosan exhibited a lower fraction (30%) of bound chitosan than the other chitosans. YOYO-1 was a superior fluorescent DNA-label compared to Cy5 and PicoGreen, since labeling with YOYO-1 had least effect on the size and structure of the complexes.

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