Gene delivery into malignant cells in vivo by a conjugated adenovirus/DNA complex

Dao M. Nguyen, Sandra A. Wiehle, Jack A. Roth, Richard J. Cristiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Current viral delivery systems suffer from disadvantages that may limit the rate at which therapeutic gene expressing constructs can be tested both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, our focus was to develop a simple gene delivery system for the rapid and reproducible testing of therapeutic genes in cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. We report here that a delivery system based on using a conjugated adenovirus in complex form with a DNA plasmid can be used for not only delivering genes in vitro but also for efficient and reproducible delivery in vivo. Replication defective adenoviral particles were chemically modified by covalent attachment of poly-L-lysine (PLL) to the viral capsid, allowing for direct interaction with DNA. The adenovirus/PLL conjugate (Adv/PLL) was used to deliver the plasmid pCMV/β-gal to several different cancer cell lines (i.e., lung, cervical) in vitro and resulted in transduction efficiencies as high as 52% as determined by histochemical staining. On direct intralesional injection of the Adv/PLL/DNA complex into subcutaneous tumors, transduction efficiencies greater than 35% could also be achieved. As a result, this system provides a simple method for delivering and testing therapeutic genes in cells both in vitro and in vivo, prior to the further development of gene therapy vectors for both malignant and benign disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalCancer gene therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • β-galactosidase
  • Adenovirus/DNA complex
  • Cancer
  • Gene therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics


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