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Amino Acid-Substituted Gemini Surfactant-Based Nanoparticles as Safe and Versatile Gene Delivery Agents

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Gene based therapy represents an important advance in the treatment of diseases that heretofore have had either no treatment or cure. To capitalize on the true potential of gene therapy, there is a need to develop better delivery systems that can protect these therapeutic biomolecules and deliver them safely to the target sites. Recently, we have designed and developed a series of novel amino acid-substituted gemini surfactants with the general chemical formula C12H25(CH3)2N+- (CH2)3-N(AA)-(CH2)3-N+(CH3)2-C12H25 (AA= glycine, lysine, glycyl-lysine and, lysyl-lysine). These compounds were synthesized and tested in rabbit epithelial cells using a model plasmid and a helper lipid. Plasmid/gemini/lipid (P/G/L) nanoparticles formulated using these novel compounds achieved higher gene expression than the nanoparticles containing the parent unsubstituted compound. In this study, we evaluated the cytotoxicity of P/G/L nanoparticles and explored the relationship between transfection efficiency/toxicity and their physicochemical characteristics (such as size, binding properties, etc.). An overall low toxicity is observed for all complexes with no significant difference among substituted and unsubstituted compounds. An interesting result revealed by the dye exclusion assay suggests a more balanced protection of the DNA by the glycine and glycyl-lysine substituted compounds. Thus, the higher transfection efficiency is attributed to the greater biocompatibility and flexibility of the amino acid/peptide-substituted gemini surfactants and demonstrates the feasibility of using amino acid-substituted gemini surfactants as gene carriers for the treatment of diseases affecting epithelial tissue.





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Keywords: Amino acid-substituted; DOPE; FACS; cytotoxicity; gemini surfactants; gene delivery; glycyl-lysine; non-viral; physicochemical properties; triplicates

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The aim of Current Drug Delivery is to publish peer-reviewed articles, short communications, short and in-depth reviews in the rapidly developing field of drug delivery. Modern drug research aims to build in delivery properties of a drug at the design phase, however in many cases this ideal cannot be met and the development of delivery systems becomes as important as the development as the drugs themselves.

    The journal aims to cover the latest outstanding developments in drug and vaccine delivery employing physical, physico-chemical and chemical methods. The drugs include a wide range of bioactive compounds from simple pharmaceuticals to peptides, proteins, nucleotides, nucleosides and sugars. The journal will also report progress in the fields of transport routes and mechanisms including efflux proteins and multi-drug resistance.

    The journal is essential for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug design, development and delivery.
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