Journal Article

High Expression of Naked Plasmid DNA in Muscles of Young Rodents

I. Danko, P. Williams, H. Herweijer, G. Zhang, J.S. Latendresse, I. Bock and J.A. Wolff

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 6, issue 9, pages 1435-1443
Published in print September 1997 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online September 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/6.9.1435
High Expression of Naked Plasmid DNA in Muscles of Young Rodents

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There is a time window at 2 weeks of age for achieving very high levels of foreign gene expression from the intramuscular injection of naked plasmid DNA in mice and rats. The highest expression, over 1 µg of luciferase protein/muscle, was obtained in Balb/C mice using constructs containing the CMV promoter, a chimeric intron and the luc+ luciferase gene. Approximately 50% of the myofibers were intensely blue following the intramuscular injection of a β-galactosidase expression vector in 2 week old Balb/C mice. The effects of age, mouse strain and construct were multiplicative, resulting in >1000-fold greater luciferase and ∼20-fold more β-galactosidase-positive cells. These high levels of expression were unstable and were not observed in larger animals (dog, rhesus monkey). These results indicate that enormous levels of foreign gene expression can be obtained in muscle with naked DNA in vivo and will enable the temporary effects of gene function and expression in rodent muscle to be expeditiously studied.

Journal Article.  5265 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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