Gene delivery system based on highly specific recognition of surface-vimentin with N-acetylglucosamine immobilized polyethylenimine

Sun Jung Kim, Hirohiko Ise, Mitsuaki Goto, Kenta Komura, Chong Su Cho, Toshihiro Akaike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


Gene and drug-delivery systems that use immobilization of carbohydrates are useful for the specific targeting of lectin-expressing tissues. Here, we report that N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) with polyethylenimine (GlcNAc-PEI) specifically interacted with vimentin-expressing cells such as 293FT and HeLa cells. Recently, the intermediate filaments vimentin and desmin have been reported to have GlcNAc-binding lectin-like properties on the cell surface. Therefore, GlcNAc-conjugated agents can be targeted to vimentin- and desmin-expressing cells and tissues. Vimentin-expressing 293FT and HeLa cells were efficiently transfected with green fluorescent protein and luciferase genes by using GlcNAc-PEI; the expression of these genes in vimentin-knockdown cells were low. Confocal microscopic analysis showed that GlcNAc-PEI complexes interacted with vimentin on the cell surface of HeLa cells. These results demonstrate that GlcNAc-PEI/DNA complexes were specifically taken up by 293FT and HeLa cells via vimentin. We suggest that this gene-delivery system could be used to target various vimentin-expressing cells such as fibroblasts and tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3471-3480
Number of pages10
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials

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