Toxicity of DNA in transfection???

EK anybody at
Fri Jun 20 23:42:50 EST 2003

"Sze Wah Agnes CHAN" <chansw3 at> wrote in message
news:3EFBF3C5 at
> Dear All,
> I always hear that "DNA is toxic" to cells during transfection.  I'm
> WHY and HOW it is toxic?  I mean the mechanism of the toxicity?  Does the
> toxicity depend on the DNA sequence?  Or just the "DNA chemistry"?  I
> looking it up but couldn't find the answer anywhere.  Any pointer anyone?
> Thanks in advance.
> A puzzled "transfector",
> Agnes
> ---

I also read about toxicity of DNA if it is too much of it delivered during
transfection. I figure the reason behind might be that either decomposition
of extra DNA consumes a lot of reducing power of the cells, rendering them
more susceptible to toxic effect of transfection reagents (or shock related
to electroporation), or excess DNA is being katabolized to toxic products,
like purines and down to uric acid (not sure though if these are toxic;
pyrimidines are being degraded to mostly nontoxic compounds... like
barbiturate - again, not sure about toxicity :-)). I remember though a while
ago someone here suggested a more detailed and expertly sounding


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