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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2016 Mar 9;8(9):5821-32. doi: 10.1021/acsami.5b11545. Epub 2016 Feb 24.

Bioreducible Fluorinated Peptide Dendrimers Capable of Circumventing Various Physiological Barriers for Highly Efficient and Safe Gene Delivery.

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National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials, Sichuan University , Chengdu, Sichuan 610064, P. R. China.


Polymeric vectors have shown great promise in the development of safe and efficient gene delivery systems; however, only a few have been developed in clinical settings due to poor transport across multiple physiological barriers. To address this issue and promote clinical translocation of polymeric vectors, a new type of polymeric vector, bioreducible fluorinated peptide dendrimers (BFPDs), was designed and synthesized by reversible cross-linking of fluorinated low generation peptide dendrimers. Through masterly integration all of the features of reversible cross-linking, fluorination, and polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) core-based peptide dendrimers, this novel vector exhibited lots of unique features, including (i) inactive surface to resist protein interactions; (ii) virus-mimicking surface topography to augment cellular uptake; (iii) fluorination-mediated efficient cellular uptake, endosome escape, cytoplasm trafficking, and nuclear entry, and (iv) disulfide-cleavage-mediated polyplex disassembly and DNA release that allows efficient DNA transcription. Noteworthy, all of these features are functionally important and can synergistically facilitate DNA transport from solution to the nucleus. As a consequences, BFPDs showed excellent gene transfection efficiency in several cell lines (∼95% in HEK293 cells) and superior biocompatibility compared with polyethylenimine (PEI). Meanwhile BFPDs provided excellent serum resistance in gene delivery. More importantly, BFPDs offer considerable in vivo gene transfection efficiency (in muscular tissues and in HepG2 tumor xenografts), which was approximately 77-fold higher than that of PEI in luciferase activity. These results suggest bioreducible fluorinated peptide dendrimers are a new class of highly efficient and safe gene delivery vectors and should be used in clinical settings.


fluorination; gene delivery; peptide dendrimers; physiological barriers; reversible cross-linking

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