Naked DNA

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Naked DNA is histone-free DNA that is passed from cell to cell during a gene transfer process called transformation or transfection. In transformation, purified or naked DNA is taken up by the recipient cell which will give the recipient cell a new characteristic or phenotype. Transfection differs from transformation since the DNA is not generally incorporated into the cell's genome, it is only transiently expressed.

In the field of DNA vaccines or genetic immunization, the term "naked DNA" was coined by Vical to mean DNA delivered free from agents which promote transfection. Research on the use of naked DNA for DNA vaccinations and gene therapy has shown some initial success, but have not yet resulted in any generally available therapy.

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