Plant structural vulnerability is important for peptidebased gene delivery

January 22, 2019

Will contribute to the creation of plant transformants

RIKEN CSRS researchers have clarified the permeation pathway for a gene delivery system that uses a non-viral gene carrier with a cell-penetrating peptide. Such non-viral systems are attracting attention as an alternative to viral vectors.

Researchers compared gene delivery permeation pathways in different plants using a complex of plasmid DNA and a fusion peptide consisting of a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) and a polycationic peptide. They found that the complex was taken up via root hairs in tobacco and through leaf stomata in Arabidopsis, suggesting that peptide permeation routes may differ by plant species. Tobacco root hair cells and Arabidopsis stomata cells have thin cell walls compared to other plant tissues, and these thinner cell walls are known to be structurally weak. These findings indicate that fusion peptides are easily incorporated into structurally fragile cells.

Since gene delivery for transformation of plant cells has proven difficult to date, these research results provide a useful guide for effectively determining target tissues suitable for gene delivery. It is expected that these results will provide improved peptide-based gene delivery efficiency that will lead to the creation of a wide variety of plant transformants.

Original article
Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-018-36466-1
K. Midorikawa, Y. Kodama, K. Numata,
"Vacuum/Compression Infiltration-mediated Permeation Pathway of a Peptide-pDNA Complex as a Non-Viral Carrier for Gene Delivery in Planta".
Keiko Midorikawa; Postdoctoral Researcher
Yutaka Kodama; Visiting Scientist
Keiji Numata; Team Leader
Biomacromolecules Research Team