Received November 21, 2008; Revision received February 3, 2009
Nonviral vectors such as complexes of plasmid DNA with cationic lipids known as lipoplexes are considered as an attractive alternative to virus-based delivery systems. Unlike viruses, lipoplexes do not suffer from immunological and mutational hazards, though the efficiency of lipoplexes is often not sufficient for therapeutic purposes and require higher level of transfection than achieved until now. A number of critical steps responsible for transfection efficiency are discussed here. They include processes of lipoplexes formation, interaction with cell surface, their internalization into cell, and DNA release and delivery into the nucleus. All these processes should be thoroughly studied to be able to enhance the transfection efficacy.
KEY WORDS: liposomes, cationic lipids, transfection, nonviral vectors, lipoplexes