PloS one

A magnetic nanoparticle-based multiple-gene delivery system for transfection of porcine kidney cells.

PMID 25048709


Superparamagnetic nanoparticles are promising candidates for gene delivery into mammalian somatic cells and may be useful for reproductive cloning using the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique. However, limited investigations of their potential applications in animal genetics and breeding, particularly multiple-gene delivery by magnetofection, have been performed. Here, we developed a stable, targetable and convenient system for delivering multiple genes into the nuclei of porcine somatic cells using magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles as gene carriers. After surface modification by polyethylenimine, the spherical magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles showed strong binding affinity for DNA plasmids expressing the genes encoding a green (DNAGFP) or red (DNADsRed) fluorescent protein. At weight ratios of DNAGFP or DNADsRed to magnetic nanoparticles lower than or equal to 10∶1 or 5∶1, respectively, the DNA molecules were completely bound by the magnetic nanoparticles. Atomic force microscopy analyses confirmed binding of the spherical magnetic nanoparticles to stretched DNA strands up to several hundred nanometers in length. As a result, stable and efficient co-expression of GFP and DsRed in porcine kidney PK-15 cells was achieved by magnetofection. The results presented here demonstrate the potential application of magnetic nanoparticles as an attractive delivery system for animal genetics and breeding studies.