When methyl 4,6-O-(p-nitrobenzylidene)-α-D-glucopyranoside (p-NO 2Glu) was dissolved in water, p-NO2Glu molecules self-assembled to form a fiber (elemental fiber), and as a result, the solution became a partially transparent gel. When an equal (or more) amount of DNA was added to the gel, a white and crystalline gel was obtained. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy coupled with TEM and confocal microscopy suggested that DNA was included in the gel fibers made of p-NO2Glu molecules. The results imply that p-NO2Glu molecules are self-assembled to form an elemental fiber and these elemental fibers and DNA are twisted together to form higher hierarchic fibers. When the complexed gel made of plasmid DNA (pDNA) and p-NO2Glu was added to E. coli T7 S30 extract solution, the pDNA had less expression ability compared with naked one. When we added methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCyD), the expression rate was recovered with increasing added amount of MβCyD. The present paper shows inclusion and controlled release of DNA from a novel supporting material of DNA and that technology could play an important role in the development of localized approaches to gene therapy.
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