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Plasmid DNA (pDNA) expression vectors are fundamental to all forms of non-viral gene transfer. In this review, we discuss principles of pDNA design and production including the impact of bacterially derived sequences on transgene expression and minicircle approaches to minimize their effects. The impact of inclusion of DNA elements such as scaffold matrix attachment regions (S/MARs), transcription factor (TF)-binding sites and tissue-specific promoters are described. The benefits of eliminating CG dinucleotides (CpGs) from the pDNA are also considered.

Original publication




Journal article


Gene Ther

Publication Date





165 - 171


Drug Design, Gene Expression Regulation, Gene Transfer Techniques, Genetic Vectors, Humans, Inverted Repeat Sequences, Plasmids, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Transgenes