Efficient active transport of gene nanocarriers to the cell nucleus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

325 Scopus citations


The intracellular transport of therapeutic gene carriers is poorly understood, limiting the rational design of efficient new vectors. We used live-cell real-time multiple particle tracking to quantify the intracellular transport of hundreds of individual nonviral DNA nanocarriers with 5-nm and 33-ms resolution. Unexpected parallels between several of nature's most efficient DNA viruses and nonviral polyethylenimine/DNA nanocomplexes were revealed to include motor protein-driven transport through the cytoplasm toward the nucleus on microtubules. Active gene carrier transport led to efficient perinuclear accumulation within minutes. The results provide direct evidence to dispute the common belief that the efficiency of nonviral gene carriers is dramatically reduced because of the need for their relatively slow random diffusion through the cell cytoplasm to the nucleus and, instead, focuses the attention of rational carrier design on overcoming barriers downstream of perinuclear accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3878-3882
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Efficient active transport of gene nanocarriers to the cell nucleus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this