Bacterial spores as particulate carriers for gene gun delivery of plasmid DNA

Luana R.M.M. Aps, Milene B. Tavares, Julio H.K. Rozenfeld, M. Teresa Lamy, Luís C.S. Ferreira, Mariana O. Diniz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Bacillus subtilis spores represent a suitable platform for the adsorption of proteins, enzymes and viral particles at physiological conditions. In the present work, we demonstrate that purified spores can also adsorb DNA on their surface after treatment with cationic molecules. In addition, we demonstrate that DNA-coated B. subtilis spores can be used as particulate carriers and act as an alternative to gold microparticles for the biolistic (gene gun) administration of plasmid DNA in mice. Gene gun delivery of spores pre-treated with DODAB (dioctadecyldimethylammonium bromide) allowed efficient plasmid DNA absorption and induced protein expression levels similar to those obtained with gold microparticles. More importantly, we demonstrated that a DNA vaccine adsorbed on spores can be loaded into biolistic cartridges and efficiently delivered into mice, which induced specific cellular and antibody responses. Altogether, these data indicate that B. subtilis spores represent a simple and low cost alternative for the in vivo delivery of DNA vaccines by the gene gun technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
StatePublished - Jun 20 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Biolistic
  • DNA vaccine
  • Gene gun
  • Spores

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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