Peptide-mediated DNA condensation for non-viral gene therapy

Paolo Saccardo, Antonio Villaverde, Nuria González-Montalbán

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The construction of non-viral, virus-like vehicles for gene therapy involves the functionalization of multipartite constructs with nucleic acid-binding, cationic agents. Short basic peptides, alone or as fusion proteins, are appropriate DNA binding and condensing elements, whose incorporation into gene delivery vehicles results in the formation of protein-DNA complexes of appropriate size for cell internalization and intracellular trafficking. We review here the most used cationic peptides for artificial virus construction as well as the recently implemented strategies to control the architecture and biological activities of the resulting nanosized particles. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-438
JournalBiotechnology Advances
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • Artificial viruses
  • Cationic peptides
  • DNA binding
  • Gene therapy
  • Multifunctional proteins
  • Nanoparticles
  • Protein engineering
  • Recombinant drugs


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