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Novel ortho ester-based, pH-sensitive cationic lipids for gene delivery in vitro and in vivo
Journal of Liposome Research
  • Xin Guo, University of the Pacific
  • Lucie Gagne
  • Haigang Chen, University of the Pacific
  • Francis C. Szoka, Jr., University of California, San Francisco
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Context: Cationic lipoplexes are less toxic than viral gene vectors and more convenient to prepare but their efficiencies of gene delivery are generally lower. Objective: To develop ortho ester-based, pH-sensitive lipoplexes for efficient gene delivery both in cultured cells and in vivo. Materials and methods: A novel cationic and acid-labile lipid (DOC) containing a cationic headgroup and a cholesterol-derived lipid tail joined together by an acid-labile ortho ester linker was designed and synthesized. DOC was formulated into liposomes with the conical helper lipid DOPE, and then into lipoplexes with plasmid DNA encoding a luciferase reporter gene. The physicochemical properties of the lipoplexes (size, surface charge and pH-sensitivity) were characterized. Gene delivery by DOC/DOPE/DNA lipoplexes was also evaluated in CV-1 cells and in CD-i mice following intratracheal injection. Lipoplexes consisting of the acid-stable cationic lipid DC-Chol were characterized as a control. Results: DOC formed cationic lipoplexes with DOPE and DNA. After incubation at acidic pH 4.6, DOC/DOPE/DNA lipoplexes lost their positive charges and aggregated with one another as a result of DOC hydrolysis. Both in CV-1 cell culture and in CD-1 mice, DOC/DOPE/DNA lipoplexes increased the luciferase gene expression by 5- to 10-fold compared with the analogous but acid-stable DC-Chol/DOPE/DNA lipoplexes. Discussion and conclusion: Incorporation of an acid-labile ortho ester linker into a cationic lipid is a viable approach to enhance gene delivery by the corresponding lipoplexes both in cultured cells and in vivo
Citation Information
Xin Guo, Lucie Gagne, Haigang Chen and Francis C. Szoka. "Novel ortho ester-based, pH-sensitive cationic lipids for gene delivery in vitro and in vivo" Journal of Liposome Research Vol. 24 Iss. 2 (2013) p. 90 - 98 ISSN: 0898-2104
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