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Targeting Lipopolyplexes Using Bifunctional Peptides Incorporating Hydrophobic Spacer Amino Acids: Synthesis, Transfection, and Biophysical Studies

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journal contribution
posted on 21.11.2007, 00:00 by Michael A. Pilkington-Miksa, Michele J. Writer, Supti Sarkar, Qing-Hai Meng, Suzie E. Barker, Parviz Ayazi Shamlou, Helen C. Hailes, Stephen L. Hart, Alethea B. Tabor
We have developed efficient synthetic routes to two hydrophobic amino acids, suitably protected for solid-phase peptide synthesis, and have successfully synthesized peptides containing these or other hydrophobic amino acids as spacers between a Lys16 moiety and an integrin-targeting motif. These peptides have in turn been used to formulate a range of lipopolyplex vectors with Lipofectin and plasmid DNA. The transfection efficiencies of these vectors and their aggregation behavior in buffers and in serum have been studied. We have shown that vectors containing peptides incorporating long linkers that are entirely hydrophobic are less efficient transfection agents. However, linkers of equivalent length that are in part hydrophobic show improved transfection properties, which is probably due to the improved accessibility of the integrin-binding motif.