In vivo gene delivery and expression by bacteriophage lambda vectors
Lankes, H.A.; Zanghi, C.N.; Santos, K.; Capella, C.; Duke, C.M.P.; Dewhurst, S.
Journal of Applied Microbiology 102(5): 1337-1349
ISSN/ISBN: 1364-5072 PMID: 17448169 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2006.03182.x
Bacteriophage vectors have potential as gene transfer and vaccine delivery vectors because of their low cost, safety and physical stability. However, little is known concerning phage-mediated gene transfer in mammalian hosts. We therefore performed experiments to examine phage-mediated gene transfer in vivo. Mice were inoculated with recombinant lambda phage containing a mammalian expression cassette encoding firefly luciferase (luc). Efficient, dose-dependent in vivo luc expression was detected, which peaked within 24 h of delivery and declined to undetectable levels within a week. Display of an integrin-binding peptide increased cellular internalization of phage in vitro and enhanced phage-mediated gene transfer in vivo. Finally, in vivo depletion of phagocytic cells using clodronate liposomes had only a minor effect on the efficiency of phage-mediated gene transfer. Unmodified lambda phage particles are capable of transducing mammalian cells in vivo, and may be taken up -- at least in part -- by nonphagocytic mechanisms. Surface modifications that enhance phage uptake result in more efficient in vivo gene transfer. These experiments shed light on the mechanisms involved in phage-mediated gene transfer in vivo, and suggest new approaches that may enhance the efficiency of this process.