Lectin conjugate directed gene transfer to airway epithelial cells

Weining N. Yin, Pi Wan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Many cell surface receptors contain covalently linked carbohydrates recognizable by lectins. This study examined the feasibility of using lectins as gene delivery vectors. Polylysine (PL) and histone (His) conjugates of concanavalin A (Con A), Maackia amurensis agglutinin (MAA), Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA), and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), were employed to deliver pCMVlacZ to human airway epithelial cells (CFT1). As compared to the control (=1.0), the β-galactosidase activities expressed in CFT1 cells transfected with lectin-PL/His-DNA containing 5 μg/ml conjugate and 10 μg/ml DNA were: Con A-His, 7.7; SNA-His, 3.5; Con A-PL, 2.4; WGA-PL/His, 1.3; others, 1.0. The efficiency of gene transfer directed by Con A-His was dose dependent between 2.5 and 10 μg/ml of the conjugate. The maximal β-galactosidase activity expressed relative to the control was 42 obtained using 10 μg/ml conjugate. These results demonstrate that lectin-PL/His conjugates can be used as vectors to transfer genes to airway epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-833
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 30 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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