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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Sep 18;135(37):13885-91. doi: 10.1021/ja4059525. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

Site-specific antibody-polymer conjugates for siRNA delivery.

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Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute , La Jolla, California 92037, United States.


We describe here the development of site-specific antibody-polymer conjugates (APCs) for the selective delivery of small interference RNAs (siRNAs) to target cells. APCs were synthesized in good yields by conjugating an aminooxy-derivatized cationic block copolymer to an anti-HER2 Fab or full-length IgG by means of genetically encoded p-acetyl phenylalanine (pAcF). The APCs all showed binding affinity comparable to that of HER2 as their native counterparts and no significant cellular cytotoxicity. Mutant S202-pAcF Fab and Q389-pAcF IgG polymer conjugates specifically delivered siRNAs to HER2(+) cells and mediated potent gene silencing at both the mRNA and protein levels. However, a mutant A121-pAcF IgG polymer conjugate, despite its high binding affinity to HER2 antigen, did not induce a significant RNA interference response in HER2(+) cells, presumably due to steric interference with antigen binding and internalization. These results highlight the importance of conjugation site on the activity of antibody-polymer-based therapeutics and suggest that such chemically defined APCs may afford a useful targeted delivery platform for siRNAs or other nucleic acid-based therapies.

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