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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Jul 9;6(13):10393-407. doi: 10.1021/am501928p. Epub 2014 Jun 13.

Cleavable PEGylation and hydrophobic histidylation of polylysine for siRNA delivery and tumor gene therapy.

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Laboratory of Oral Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine, Department of Prosthodontics, School of Stomatology, Tongji University , Shanghai, China.


Polylysine with cleavable PEGylation and hydrophobic histidylation (mPEG-SS-Lysn-r-Hism) was designed and developed for efficient siRNA delivery and tumor therapy. mPEG-SS-Lysn-r-Hism was used to carry and deliver small interfering RNA (siRNA) for silencing endogenous vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and inhibiting tumor growth in HepG2 tumor-bearing mice. In this gene vector, histidine(Bzl) was selected for hydrophobic histidylation for the proton sponge ability of the imidazole ring and hydrophobic benzyl group. Cleavable PEGylation was introduced for in vivo circulation as well as selective PEG detachment in response to intracellular reduction condition in order to release the genetic payload. PEG detachment induced gene release was supported by agarose gel electrophoresis retardation assay, undertaken in the intracellular relevant reduction condition. In vitro transfection evaluation of histidylated copolymers, using pEGFP as genetic model, indicated significantly higher GFP expression than unmodified counterparts, comparable to the gold standard PEI. The efficacy of hydrophobic histidylation was found to be pronounced in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). In vivo application of the VEGF-siRNA package by tailored mPEG-SS-Lysn-r-Hism showed distinct tumor suppression in terms of macroscopic tumor volume and molecular analysis.

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