Cyclic stretch-induced reorganization of the cytoskeleton and its role in enhanced gene transfer

R. C. Geiger, W. Taylor, M. R. Glucksberg, D. A. Dean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Cyclic stretch is known to alter a number of cellular and subcellular processes, including those involved in nonviral gene delivery. We have previously shown that moderate equibiaxial cyclic stretch (10% change in basement membrane area, 0.5Hz, 50% duty cycle) of human pulmonary A549 cells enhances gene transfer and expression of reporter plasmid DNA in vitro, and that this phenomena may be due to alterations in cytoplasmic trafficking. Although the path by which plasmid DNA travels through the cytoplasm toward the nucleus is not well understood, the cytoskeleton and the constituents of the cytoplasm are known to significantly hinder macromolecular diffusion. Using biochemical techniques and immunofluorescence microscopy, we show that both the microfilament and microtubule networks are significantly reorganized by equibiaxial cyclic stretch. Prevention of this reorganization through the use of cytoskeletal stabilizing compounds mitigates the stretch-induced increase in gene expression, however, depolymerization in the absence of stretch is not sufficient to increase gene expression. These results suggest that cytoskeletal reorganization plays an important role in stretch-induced gene transfer and expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-731
Number of pages7
JournalGene therapy
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Actin
  • Electroporation
  • Microtubule
  • Plasmid
  • Trafficking
  • Transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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