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Bioorg Med Chem. 2013 Jun 1;21(11):3105-13. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2013.03.048. Epub 2013 Apr 1.

Novel imidazole-functionalized cyclen cationic lipids: synthesis and application as non-viral gene vectors.

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Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology (Ministry of Education), College of Chemistry, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, PR China.


A series of novel 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecanes (cyclen)-based cationic lipids bearing histidine imidazole group 10a-10e were synthesized. These amphiphilic molecules have different hydrophobic tails (long chain, cholesterol or α-tocopherol) and various type of linking groups (ether, carbamate or ester). These molecules were used as non-viral gene delivery vectors, and their structure-activity relationships were investigated. As expected, the imidazole group could largely improve the buffering capabilities comparing to cyclen. The liposomes formed from 10 and dioleoylphosphatidyl ethanolamine (DOPE) could bind and condense plasmid DNA into nanoparticles with proper size and zeta-potentials. Comparing with Lipofectamine 2000, the formed lipoplexes gave lower transfected cells proportion, but higher fluorescence intensity, indicating their good intracellular delivering ability. Furthermore, results indicate that transfection efficiency of the cationic lipids is influenced by not only the hydrophobic tails but also the linking group. The cyclen-based cationic lipid with α-tocopherol hydrophobic tail and an ester linkage could give the highest transfection efficiency in the presence of serum.

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