Encapsulation, Visualization and Expression of Genes with Biomimetically Mineralized Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8 (ZIF-8)

Arpita Poddar, José J Conesa, Kang Liang, Sudip Dhakal, Philipp Reineck, Gary Bryant, Eva Pereiro, Raffaele Ricco, Heinz Amenitsch, Christian Doonan, Xavier Mulet, Cara M Doherty, Paolo Falcaro, Ravi Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent work in biomolecule-metal-organic framework (MOF) composites has proven to be an effective strategy for the protection of proteins. However, for other biomacromolecules such as nucleic acids, the encapsulation into nano MOFs and the related characterizations are in their infancy. Herein, encapsulation of a complete gene-set in zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) MOFs and cellular expression of the gene delivered by the nano MOF composites are reported. Using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmid (plGFP) as a proof-of-concept genetic macromolecule, successful transfection of mammalian cancer cells with plGFP for up to 4 days is shown. Cell transfection assays and soft X-ray cryo-tomography (cryo-SXT) demonstrate the feasibility of DNA@MOF biocomposites as intracellular gene delivery vehicles. Expression occurs over relatively prolonged time points where the cargo nucleic acid is released gradually in order to maintain sustained expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1902268
Number of pages7
JournalSmall
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2019

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