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Biomaterials. 2018 Sep;178:559-569. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.03.050. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Facile synthesis of semi-library of low charge density cationic polyesters from poly(alkylene maleate)s for efficient local gene delivery.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Biomass Chemical Engineering of Ministry of Education and Center for Bionanoengineering, College of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Biomass Chemical Engineering of Ministry of Education and Center for Bionanoengineering, College of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. Electronic address: zhouzx@zju.edu.cn.
3
Key Laboratory of Biomass Chemical Engineering of Ministry of Education and Center for Bionanoengineering, College of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. Electronic address: shenyq@zju.edu.cn.

Abstract

Cationic polymers are one of the main non-viral vectors for gene therapy, but their applications are hindered by the toxicity and inefficient transfection, particularly in the presence of serum or other biological fluids. While rational design based on the current understanding of gene delivery process has produced various cationic polymers with improved overall transfection, high-throughput parallel synthesis of libraries of cationic polymers seems a more effective strategy to screen out efficacious polymers. Herein, we demonstrate a novel platform for parallel synthesis of low cationic charge-density polyesters for efficient gene delivery. Unsaturated polyester poly(alkylene maleate) (PAM) readily underwent Michael-addition reactions with various mercaptamines to produce polyester backbones with pendant amine groups, poly(alkylene maleate mercaptamine)s (PAMAs). Variations of the alkylenes in the backbone and the mercaptamines on the side chain produced PAMAs with tunable hydrophobicity and DNA-condensation ability, the key parameters dominating transfection efficiency of the resulting polymer/DNA complexes (polyplexes). A semi-library of such PAMAs was exampled from 7 alkylenes and 18 mercaptamines, from which a lead PAMA, G-1, synthesized from poly(1,4-phenylene bis(methylene) maleate) and N,N-dimethylcysteamine, showed remarkable transfection efficiency even in the presence of serum, owing to its efficient lysosome-circumventing cellular uptake. Furthermore, G-1 polyplexes efficiently delivered the suicide gene pTRAIL to intraperitoneal tumors and elicited effective anticancer activity.

KEYWORDS:

Degradable cationic polymers; Gene delivery; Low charge density; Non-viral vector; Parallel synthesis; Polymer library

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