PEGylated PEI-based biodegradable polymers as non-viral gene vectors
Novel functional biodegradable gene vectors, poly(l-succinimide)-g-polyethylenimines-g-poly(ethylene glycol) (PSI-g-PEI-g-PEGs) were synthesized by conjugating methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG, Mw = 750 Da) to PEI segments (Mw = 800 Da) of PSI-g-PEI. The physicochemical properties of PSI-g-PEI-g-PEGs, including buffering capability, pDNA binding ability, cytotoxicity, zeta potential and the particle size of polymer/pDNA complexes, were explored. The influence of PEGylation was discussed based on a comparative study of PSI-g-PEI-g-PEGs, PSI-g-PEI and PEI25k (Mw = 25 kDa). SEM images revealed that PSI-g-PEI-g-PEG/pDNA particles have a regular shape with the diameter ranging from 70 to 170 nm. PEGylation could suppress the aggregation occurrence between complexes, resulting in a reduction of the polymer/pDNA complex size. PSI-g-PEI-g-PEGs exhibited remarkably lower cytotoxicity compared to PSI-g-PEI and PEI25k. In 293T and HeLa cells, the obtained PSI-g-PEI-g-PEGs showed very high transfection efficiency compared to PEI25k. Fluorescent confocal microscopy demonstrated that PSI-g-PEI-g-PEGs could effectively transport pGL-3 plasmids into the nuclei of HeLa cells. Taking into account the continued high transfection efficacy and decreased toxicity after PEG modification, PSI-g-PEI-g-PEGs show great potential as the non-viral vectors for gene transfection.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 6, Issue 11, November 2010, Pages 4285–4295