Photochemical enhancement of transgene expression by polymeric micelles incorporating plasmid DNA and dendrimer-based photosensitizer

Nobuhiro Nishiyama, Arnida, Woo Dong Jang, Kotoe Date, Kanjiro Miyata, Kazunori Kataoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The development of synthetic gene carriers has recently received much attention; however, they might lack the ability to control the transgene expression. The use of external stimuli for enhancement of the transgene expression may be a promising approach for the site-directed transfection in vivo. In this regard, a new technology of "photochemical internalization (PCI)" has recently been reported, in which the endosomal escape of gene carriers is assisted by photodamage of the endosomal membrane with co-incubating photosensitizers. To apply this technology for systemic gene delivery, the development of appropriate carrier systems for both the plasmid DNA (pDNA) and photosensitizer is of crucial importance. Also, the photocytotoxicity accompanied by the photochemical enhancement of the gene expression may need to be reduced. In this study, the combinational formulation of polymeric micelles incorporating pDNA and a dendrimer-based photosensitizer (DP) (dendrimer phthalocyanine (DPc)) was applied in the PCI-mediated transfection in vitro and then, estimating its potential utility for in vivo applications. The PCI using the polymeric micelle system achieved a remarkable photochemical enhancement of the transgene expression while maintaining an approximate 80% cell viability over a wide range of the DPc concentrations and light doses. Thus, this system may be promising for in vivo PCI-mediated gene delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-424
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of drug targeting
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to express their gratefulness to the Health and Labor Sciences Research Grants in Research on Advanced Medical Technology in Nanomedicine Area from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW), Japan. Also, they wish to express their thanks for the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology and the Project on the Materials Development for Innovative Nano-Drug Delivery Systems from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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