Evaluation of PEG-Transferrin-PEI Nanocomplex as a Gene Delivery Agent

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Polyethylenimine (PEI) has been shown to be an efficient nonviral delivery vector. To improve its specificity and reduce its cytotoxicity, PEI should be modified. Transferrin (Tf) is a cell-binding ligand and Tf-receptors are expressed in malignant cells. Modification of cationic polymer by polyethylene glycol (PEG) can reduce the protein interaction and cell cytotoxicity of delivery vectors. We have synthesized PEG-Tf-PEI conjugate as an efficient and safe carrier of plasmid DNA (pDNA). Nanocomplexes of conjugates with pDNA were characterized by measuring the particle size and the surface charge. Transfection efficiency of nanocomplexes in Jurkat cells was improved and cytotoxicity was decreased compared with those of PEI complex. This was due to a reduction in the membrane damaging effect via shielding of the positive charge on the nanocomplex surface by PEG.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2011.4863

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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