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Spotlight: MVL5/GMO Delivery System for siRNA/DNA

March 23, 2016


The therapeutic promise of gene therapy in treating and altering disease states has provided significant motivation in developing improved methods to deliver genes to cells [1,2]. Currently, two major classes of gene delivery vectors exist: viral and synthetic [1]. Viral vectors including retroviruses and adenoviruses have the advantage of high gene transfer efficiency; however, significant safety concerns have prompted research into non-viral alternatives [1]. Synthetic (non-viral) vectors such as those based on multivalent cationic lipids are desirable as transfection systems because of their low potential immunogenicity, easy preparation, and the ability to transfer very large pieces of nucleic acids, in addition to their improved safety [1,2]. Studies from Dr. Cyrus Safinya’s laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara, identified one such two-component system composed of one multivalent cationic lipid (MVL5) and one neutral lipid (glycerol mono-oleate, GMO) [2,3].  The MVL5/GMO transfection system is a formulation for transfecting plasmid DNA and siRNA into a wide range of eukaryotic cells [2,3]. MVL5 and GMO form cationic liposomes, which when complexed with DNA or siRNA forms a promising nonviral vector for gene delivery and silencing applications, respectively [2,3]. The high charge density due to MVL5 combined with neutral GMO, which favors the cubic phase, optimizes membrane charge density and pore formation, enabling efficient cytosolic siRNA delivery and effective, specific gene silencing [2,3]. Additionally, this multivalent cationic lipid vector system exhibits high transfection efficiency, even in the presence of serum [2]. This is advantageous in cell culture applications for its ease of use and its elimination of the potentially adverse affects of serum starvation on the cell cycle [2]. Most importantly, high transfection efficiency in the presence of serum may predict high transfection efficiency in vivo [2]. The MVL5/GMO transfection system is now available as a kit from Avanti. The delivery system for siRNA/DNA (catalog #640009) is supplied as a lipid blend containing MVL5 and GMO and is sufficient to produce 1 mL of 1mM stock solution of vesicles. The MVL5/GMO multivalent cationic lipid vector system has been found to outperform other benchmark commercially available formulations in vitro, particularly in the presence of serum [2]. What are you waiting for? Improve your transfection efficiency today!


[1] Ewert KK, Ahmad A, Bouxsein NF, Evans HM, Safinya CR. Non-viral gene delivery with cationic liposome-DNA complexes. Methods Mol Biol. 2008;433:159-75.

[2] Chan, C-L., Ewert, K.K., Majzoub, R.N., Hwu, Y-K, Liang, K.S., Leal, C., Safinya, C. Optimizing cationic and neutral lipids for efficient gene delivery at high serum content. The Journal of Gene Medicine, 2014, 16:84-96.

[3] Leal, C., Ewert, K.K., Shirazi, R.S., Bouxsein, N.F., Safinya, C. Nanogyroids Incorporating Multivalent Lipids: Enhanced Membrane Charge and Pore Forming Ability for Gene Silencing. Langmuir, 2011, 27(12):7691–7697.