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Controlled Delivery of Plasmid DNA and siRNA to Intracellular Targets Using Ketalized Polyethylenimine

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journal contribution
posted on 11.02.2008, 00:00 authored by Min Suk Shim, Young Jik Kwon
A new polyethylenimine (PEI)-derived biodegradable polymer was synthesized as a nonviral gene carrier. Branches of PEI were ketalized, and capabilities of nucleic acid condensation and delivery efficiency of the modified polymers were compared with ones of unketalized PEI. Ketalized PEI was able to efficiently compact both plasmid DNA and siRNA into nucleic acids/ketalized PEI polyplexes with a range of 80–200 nm in diameter. Nucleic acids were efficiently dissociated from the polyplexes made of ketalized PEI upon hydrolysis. In vitro study also demonstrated that ketalization enhanced transfection efficiency of the polyplexes while reducing cytotoxicity, even at high N/P ratios. Interestingly, transfection efficiency was found to be inversely proportional to molecular weights of ketalized PEI, while RNA interference was observed in the opposite way. This study implies that selective delivery of plasmid DNA and siRNA to the nucleus and the cytoplasm can be achieved by tailoring the structures of polymeric gene carriers.