AFM visualization of sub-50 nm polyplex disposition to the nuclear pore complex without compromising the integrity of the nuclear envelope

Helene Andersen, Ladan Parhamifar, A. Christy Hunter, Victor Shahin, S. Moein Moghimi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been questioned as to whether polyplexes in the cytoplasm can reach the nuclear compartment and if so in what form. By applying atomic force microscopy (AFM) to the nuclear envelope and the nuclear pore complexes, we demonstrate that disposition of polyethylenimine (PEI)/DNA polyplexes that were microinjected into the oocytes of Xenopus laevis, as an example of a non-dividing cell, is exclusive to the nuclear pore complex (NPC). AFM images show NPCs clogged only with sub-50 nm polyplexes. This mode of disposition neither altered the morphology/integrity of the nuclear membrane nor the NPC. AFM images further show polyplexes on the nucleoplasmic side of the envelope, presumably indicating species in transit. Transmission electron microscopy studies of ruptured nuclei from transfected human cell lines demonstrate the presence of sub-50 nm particles resembling polyplexes in morphology compared with control preparations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Volume244
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 28 2016

Keywords

  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Nuclear envelope
  • Nuclear pore complex
  • Nucleic acid delivery
  • Oocytes
  • Polyethylenimine
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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