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Biomacromolecules. 2007 May;8(5):1425-35. Epub 2007 Apr 11.

Poly(L-lysine)-graft-chitosan copolymers: synthesis, characterization, and gene transfection effect.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022, People's Republic of China.


Polypeptide/polysaccharide graft copolymers poly(L-lysine)-graft-chitosan (PLL-g-Chi) were prepared by ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of epsilon-benzoxycarbonyl L-lysine N-carboxyanhydrides (Z-L-lysine NCA) in the presence of 6-O-triphenylmethyl chitosan. The PLL-g-Chi copolymers were thoroughly characterized by 1H NMR, 13C NMR, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The number-average degree of polymerization of PLL grafted onto the chitosan backbone could be adjusted by controlling the feed ratio of NCA to 6-O-triphenylmethyl chitosan. The particle size of the complexes formed from the copolymer and calf thymus DNA was measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS). It was found in the range of 120 approximately 340 nm. The gel retardation electrophoresis showed that the PLL-g-Chi copolymers possessed better plasmid DNA-binding ability than chitosan. The gene transfection effect in HEK 293T cells of the copolymers was evaluated, and the results showed that the gene transfection ability of the copolymer was better than that of chitosan and was dependent on the PLL grafting ratio. The PLL-g-Chi copolymers could be used as effective gene delivery vectors.

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