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How can macromolecular crowding inhibit biological reactions? The enhanced formation of DNA nanoparticles.

Hou, Sen; Trochimczyk, Piotr; Sun, Lili; Wisniewska, Agnieszka; Kalwarczyk, Tomasz; Zhang, Xuzhu; Wielgus-Kutrowska, Beata; Bzowska, Agnieszka; Holyst, Robert.
Sci Rep; 6: 22033, 2016 Feb 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26903405
In contrast to the already known effect that macromolecular crowding usually promotes biological reactions, solutions of PEG 6k at high concentrations stop the cleavage of DNA by HindIII enzyme, due to the formation of DNA nanoparticles. We characterized the DNA nanoparticles and probed the prerequisites for their formation using multiple techniques such as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, fluorescence analytical ultracentrifugation etc. In >25% PEG 6k solution, macromolecular crowding promotes the formation of DNA nanoparticles with dimensions of several hundreds of nanometers. The formation of DNA nanoparticles is a fast and reversible process. Both plasmid DNA (2686 bp) and double-stranded/single-stranded DNA fragment (66 bp/nt) can form nanoparticles. We attribute the enhanced nanoparticle formation to the depletion effect of macromolecular crowding. This study presents our idea to enhance the formation of DNA nanoparticles by macromolecular crowding, providing the first step towards a final solution to efficient gene therapy.