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Folic Acid Linked Chondroitin Sulfate-Polyethyleneimine Copolymer Based Gene Delivery System

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In our previous study, chondroitin sulfate-polyethylenimine copolymers (CP) have been synthesized and confirmed as potential gene delivery vectors. Efficient gene transfection is realized by chondroitin sulfate (ChS) that promotes CD44-mediated endocytosis and enhances the cellular uptake of CP/pDNA polyplexes besides clathrin-mediated endocytosis. In this study, the CP was functionalized with a folic acid (FA) molecule. This ancillary ligand allows polyplexes to bind with folate receptors (FR) in addition to the CD44 receptor. We conjugated FA-linked polyethylene glycol (FA-PEG) onto CP (FPCP) for tumor targeting and also synthesized mPEG-CP (MPCP) for comparison. The in vitro cell tests of polymer/pDNA polyplexes were done in FR-expressed U87 and FR-deficient A549 cells. The polymers exhibited less cytotoxicity than PEI-10K as well as PEI-25K against U87 and A549 cells. The transfection efficiency of FPCP/pDNA was higher than those of MPCP/pDNA and CP/pDNA. The cellular uptake pathways of FPCP/pDNA were tested in the cells in the presence of different endocytic chemical inhibitors. The CD44-, folate-, and caveolae-mediated pathways are involved in internalization of FPCP/pDNA. Recognition of FPCP to those receptors on the tumor surface is beneficial for enhanced cellular uptake of FPCP/pDNA, resulting in higher transgene expression than CP/pDNA and MPCP/pDNA.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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