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Dual-responsive polyplexes with enhanced disassembly and endosomal escape for efficient delivery of siRNA.

Biomaterials (2018-02-13)
Jia Zhu, Mingxi Qiao, Qi Wang, Yuqing Ye, Shuang Ba, Jingjing Ma, Haiyang Hu, Xiuli Zhao, Dawei Chen
ABSTRACT

Despite the extracellular barriers for siRNA delivery have been overcome by utilizing advanced nanoparticle delivery systems, the key intracellular barriers after internalization including efficient disassembly of siRNA and endosomal escape still remains challenging. To address the issues, we developed a unique pH- and redox potential-responsive polyplex delivery system based on the copolymer of mPEG-b-PLA-PHis-ssPEI1.8 k, which is composed of a pH-responsive copolymer of PEG-b-PLA-PHis (Mw 5 k) and a branched PEI (Mw1.8 k) linked with redox cleavable disulfide bond. The copolymer showed excellent siRNA complexation and protection abilities against endogenous substances at the relatively low N/P ratio of 6. The siRNA release from the polyplexes (N/P 6) was markedly increased from 13.62% to 58.67% under conditions simulating the endosomal microenvironment. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) test also indicated a higher disassembly extent of siRNA from the copolymer. The accelerated siRNA release from the polyplexes was markedly restrained when the N/P ratio was raised above 10 due to the increasing of electrostatic interactions. The efficient endosomal escape of siRNA after internalization was confirmed by confocal microscopy, which was attributed to the cleavaged PEI chains inducing membrane destabilization, the "proton sponge effect" of PHis and PEI as well as the relative small size of after disassembly. The enhanced disassembly and endosomal escape were elucidated as the leading cause for polyplexes (N/P 6) showed more efficient Bcl-2 silencing (85.45%) than those polyplexes with higher N/P ratios (N/P 10 and 15). In vivo results further demonstrated that polyplexes (N/P 6) delivery of siBcl-2 significantly inhibited the MCF-7 breast tumor growth as compared to its counterparts. The incorporation of convertible non-electrical interactions at a balance with electrostatic interactions in complexation siRNA has been demonstrated as an effective strategy to achieve efficient disassembly from stable polyplexes. Moreover, polyplexes equipped with the enhanced disassembly and endosomal escape provides a new potential way to tackle the intracellular delivery bottleneck for siRNA delivery.

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Sigma-Aldrich
3-(2-Pyridyldithio)propionic acid N-hydroxysuccinimide ester, ≥95%, powder