In many cases, nonviral particle-mediated gene delivery is highly dependent on the cell cycle status of transfected cells. Here we compare particle-mediated delivery with linear polyethylenimine (PEI) and physical transfer of DNA by electroporation with branched PEI and lipofection for their ability to transfect cells at different stages of the cell cycle. In contrast to other particle-mediated delivery methods (using Lipofectamine or branched PEI) linear PEI led to only small differences (within 1 log unit) in gene transfer between HeLa cells transfected in G1 and those in S/G2. Parallel transfections (lipofection or branched PEI) resulted in 2 to > 3 log-unit differences in luciferase expression between cells transfected in G1 and S/G2. Gene transfer by electroporation also revealed hardly any cell cycle dependence and displayed completely different expression kinetics. Reporter gene expression is already very high 3 hours after electroporation with roughly the same level of reporter gene expression in all cell cycle phases. We suggest that DNA electroporation and DNA transfection with linear PEI particles have improved nuclear import characteristics relative to the other tested DNA delivery systems.
Brunner, S., Fürtbauer, E., Sauer, T., Kursa, M., & Wagner, E. (2002). Overcoming the nuclear barrier: Cell cycle independent nonviral gene transfer with linear polyethylenimine or electroporation. Molecular Therapy, 5(1), 80–86. https://doi.org/10.1006/mthe.2001.0509