Journal of pharmaceutical sciences

Stearylated INF7 peptide enhances endosomal escape and gene expression of PEGylated nanoparticles both in vitro and in vivo.

PMID 22086751


We previously reported on a stearylated INF7 peptide (str-INF7), which enhances the endosomal escape of an octaarginine (R8)-modified liposomal particle encapsulating plasmid DNA (pDNA) in a fusion-independent manner. This study examined whether this peptide derivative enhanced the endosomal escape and gene expression of PEGylated liposomes encapsulating pDNA. We used a PEGylated, R8-modified multifunctional envelope-type nanodevice (R8-MEND) as a model for PEGylated liposomes. Polyethylene glycol 2000 (PEG2000) attached to two different anchors, distearoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DSPE-PEG) or dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE-PEG), was used to modify the R8-MEND in the presence or absence of two different concentrations of str-INF7. Modification of the PEGylated R8-MEND with str-INF7 resulted in luciferase gene expression levels in HeLa cells that were 73-fold and 24-fold higher than the corresponding value for an unmodified MEND in the case of DSPE-PEG and DMPE-PEG, respectively. The endosomal escape of the PEGylated R8-MEND was improved by str-INF7, as confirmed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Furthermore, modification with str-INF7 enhanced the hepatic gene expression of the R8-MEND modified with DSPE-PEG and DMPE-PEG by 95-fold and 1885-fold, respectively, after intravenous injection in mice. Collectively, these data demonstrate that str-INF7 can be a useful device for enhancing the endosomal escape even for PEGylated liposomes encapsulating pDNA.