Main content area

Acidity-responsive gene delivery for “superfast” nuclear translocation and transfection with high efficiency

Zhu, Jing-Yi, Zeng, Xuan, Qin, Si-Yong, Wan, Shuang-Shuang, Jia, Hui-Zhen, Zhuo, Ren-Xi, Feng, Jun, Zhang, Xian-Zheng
Biomaterials 2016 v.83 pp. 79-92
bioavailability, cholesterol, excretion, genes, research, toxicity, transfection
In principle, not only efficient but rapid transfection is required since it can maximize the bioavailability of vector-carried gene prior to the cellular excretion. However, the “rapid” goal has been paid few attentions so far in the research field of vector-aided transfection. As a pioneering attempt, the present study designed a lysosome-targeting acidity-responsive nanoassembly as gene vectors, which proved the amazing potency to mediate the “Superfast” transnuclear gene transport and gene transfection with high efficiency in vitro and in vivo. The nanoassembly was constructed on the pH-reversible covalent boronic acid-diol coupling between 1,3-diol-rich oligoethylenimine (OEI-EHDO) and phenylboronic acid modified cholesterol (Chol-PBA). The rapid and efficient nuclei-tropic delivery and transfection was demonstrated to highly rely on the lysosome-acidity induced assembly destruction followed by the easy liberation of gene payloads inside cells. The nanoassembly-mediated transfection at 8 h can afford the outcome even comparable to that achieved at 48 h by the golden standard of PEI25k, and the transfection efficiency can still remain at a high level during 48 h. In contrast, time-dependent efficiency enhancement was identified for the transfections using PEI25k and OEI-EHDO as delivery vectors. Moreover, owing to the hydroxyl-rich surface, this delivery nanosystem presented strong tolerance to the serum-induced transfection inhibition that frequently occurred for the polycationic gene vectors such as PEI25k. The in vitro and in vivo results manifested the low toxicity of this bio-decomposable nanoassembly.