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Z Naturforsch C J Biosci. 2017 Jul 14;72(7-8):293-301. doi: 10.1515/znc-2016-0172.

PEGylation potentiates hepatoma cell targeted liposome-mediated in vitro gene delivery via the asialoglycoprotein receptor.


Hepatocellular carcinoma is a burgeoning health issue in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia where it is most prevalent. The search for gene medicine treatment modalities for this condition represents a novel departure from current treatment options and is gaining momentum. Here we report on nonPEGylated and on sterically stabilized PEGylated cationic liposomes decorated with D-galacto moieties linked to 24.1 Å spacers for asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGP-R)-targeted vehiculation of pCMV-luc plasmid DNA. Cargo DNA is fully liposome associated at N/P ratio=3:1 and is partially protected from the effects of serum nucleases. Moreover, at this ratio, lipoplex dimensions (89-97 nm) are compatible with the requirements for extravasation in vivo. Ethidium displacement assays show that the reporter DNA is in a less condensed state when bound to PEGylated liposomes than with nonPEGylated liposomes. PEGylated lipoplexes were well tolerated by both HEK293 (ASGP-R-negative) and HepG2 (ASGP-R-positive) cell lines and delivered DNA to the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 by ASGP-R mediation at levels three-fold greater than nonPEGylated lipoplexes. PEGylated ASGP-R-targeted liposomes reported in this study possess the required characteristics for hepatotropic gene delivery and may be considered for further application in vivo.


HepG2 cells; asialoglycoprotein receptor; gene delivery; lipoplexes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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