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J Phys Chem B. 2013 Nov 7;117(44):13767-74. doi: 10.1021/jp406973t. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Stopped-flow kinetic studies of poly(amidoamine) dendrimer-calf thymus DNA to form dendriplexes.

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Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur , West Bengal 721302 India.


Poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers are known to be highly efficient nonviral carriers in gene delivery. Dendrimer-mediated transfection is known to be a function of the dendrimer to DNA charge ratio as well as the size of the dendrimer. In the present study, the binding kinetics of four PAMAM dendrimers (G1, G2, G3, and G4) with calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA) has been studied using stopped-flow fluorescence spectroscopy. The effect of dendrimer-to-DNA charge ratio and dendrimer generation on the binding kinetics was investigated. In most cases, the results of dendrimer-CT-DNA binding can be explained by a two-step reaction mechanism: a rapid electrostatic binding between the dendrimer and DNA, followed by a conformational change of the dendrimer-DNA complex that ultimately leads to DNA condensation. It was observed that the charge ratio on the dendrimer and the DNA phosphate groups, as well as the dendrimer generation (size), has a marked effect on the kinetics of binding between the DNA and the dendrimers. The rate constant (k'1) of the first step was much higher compared to that of the second step (k'2), and both were found to increase with an increase in dendrimer concentration. Among the four generations of dendrimers, G4 exhibited significantly faster binding kinetics compared to the three smaller generation dendrimers.

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