To elucidate the reasons underlying the poor penetration of non-viral vectors in tissues, relating transport properties to physico-chemical parameters of vectors may be crucial. These properties can be influenced by the presence of multiples labels that are used. Therefore utilizing a vector with minimum of labels preferably not more than one is important to studying penetration in tissues. The cell impermeant bisintercalating dye YOYO-1 was found suitable to both monitor the formation of complexes between DNA and an amphipathic peptide LK15 and, to track their penetration in HCT116 spheroids by confocal microscopy. The results revealed a limited decrease of fluorescence ascribed to the high affinity of YOYO-1 to bind DNA. The residual fluorescence of complexes can be exploited to monitor penetration into spheroids, after correction for YOYO-1 attenuation, and to revealing hyaluronidase-induced reduced binding. Hence high affinity dyes such as YOYO-1 with inefficiently quenched fluorescence may be important to establish a relation between novel medicines characteristics and penetration in tissues. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
- Confocal microscopy
- Non-viral gene delivery