Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA introduced directly into cell nucleus using protein nanodisks

Date:
January 12, 2011
Source:
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a novel gene therapy method using particles measuring only a few nanometers which encapsulate genetic material and introduce themselves directly into the cell nucleus. The nanodisks, as researchers have named the particles, travel rapidly to the interior of the cell until reaching the nucleus, thus increasing the efficiency of the gene transfer process.

Researchers have discovered a novel gene therapy method using particles measuring only a few nanometers which encapsulate genetic material and introduce themselves directly into the cell nucleus. The nanodisks, as researchers have named the particles, travel rapidly to the interior of the cell until reaching the nucleus, thus increasing the efficiency of the gene transfer process.

Related Articles


One of the challenges of gene therapy -- a set of methodologies aimed at treating several nucleic acid diseases (DNA or RNA) -- is to assure that this material arrives directly to the nucleus of the cell without losing a substantial amount along the way and without producing any undesired side effects. With this aim, scientists experiment with the use of different types of vectors, molecules capable of transporting genetic material to the correct place. Presently, natural "deactivated" viruses are the most commonly used vectors in clinical trials, their side effects however often limit therapeutic application.

One of the most promising alternatives in this field is the use of artificial viruses. These viruses can be constructed through genetic engineering by assembling minute protein structures made up of peptides, the building blocks of proteins.

The team of scientists, led by Antonio Villaverde, lecturer of the Department of Genetics and Microbiology, researcher at the UAB Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine and of the Biomedical Research Networking Center in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), demonstrated that the peptide R9, formed by a specific type of amino-acid (arginine), can encapsulate genetic material, assemble itself with other identical molecules to form nanoparticles and enter directly into the cell nucleus to release the material it contains. The nanoparticles have the shape of a disk, with a diameter measuring 20 nanometres and a height of 3 nm.

The study was published recently in the journals Biomaterials and Nanomedicine and describes how scientists studied the performance of R9 nanodisks in the interior of the cells using confocal microscopy techniques provided by the UAB Microscopy Service and applied by Dr Mňnica Roldán. The images show that once the cell membrane is passed, particles travel directly to the nucleus at a rate of 0.0044 micrometres per second, ten times faster than if they dispersed passively in the interior. Nanoparticles accumulate in the interior of the nucleus and not in the cytoplasm -- the thick liquid between the cell membrane and nucleus -- and therefore increase their level of effectiveness. One of the photos was selected by the journal Biomaterials as one of the 12 images of the year 2010.

Participating in this discovery were researchers from the Institute of Material Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), and the Technical University of Catalonia. The discovery represents a new category of nanoparticles offering therapeutic benefits. According to Dr Esther Vázquez, director of the project, "nanodisks assemble automatically, move rapidly, remain stable and travel to the interior of the nucleus. This makes them a promising tool as a prototype for the safe administration of nucleic acids and functional proteins."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Esther Vázquez, Rafael Cubarsi, Ugutz Unzueta, Mónica Roldán, Joan Domingo-Espín, Neus Ferrer-Miralles, Antonio Villaverde. Internalization and kinetics of nuclear migration of protein-only, arginine-rich nanoparticles. Biomaterials, 2010; 31 (35): 9333 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.08.065

Cite This Page:

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "DNA introduced directly into cell nucleus using protein nanodisks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132529.htm>.
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. (2011, January 12). DNA introduced directly into cell nucleus using protein nanodisks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132529.htm
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "DNA introduced directly into cell nucleus using protein nanodisks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110111132529.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) — Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins