Coating DNA with a topical steroid might make for more effective therapeutic gene delivery, according to bioengineers at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers have shown that a common anti-inflammatory steroid, wrapped around a strand of DNA, can prevent the immune responses commonly associated with gene-transfer techniques.
Studies of the technique, performed in animal models, are presented in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Gene Therapy, available online now.
"The steroid coating not only allows the gene to be taken up into a cell more easily, but the steroid itself also prevents the sort of inflammatory immune response seen in gene transfer therapy," said Scott Diamond, senior author and professor of bioengineering at Penn and associate director of Penn Institute for Medicine and Engineering. "The concept paves the way to coupling therapeutic gene delivery with a pharamacological agent, an approach that mitigates some of the drawbacks to the gene-delivery techniques in use now."
Greg Lester | University of Pennsylvania
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