International journal of pharmaceutics

Possible enhancing mechanisms for gene transfer activity of glucuronylglucosyl-β-cyclodextrin/dendrimer conjugate.

PMID 22306427


We previously reported that glucuronylglucosyl-β-cyclodextrin (GUG-β-CyD) conjugate with polyamidoamine starburst dendrimer (GUG-β-CDE conjugate) with the average degree of substitution (DS) of cyclodextrin (CyD) of 1.8 (GUG-β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.8)), showed remarkably higher gene transfer activity than α-CyD/dendrimer conjugate (α-CDE conjugate (DS 1.2)) and β-CyD/dendrimer conjugate (β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.3)) in vitro and in vivo. In this study, to clarify the enhancing mechanism for high gene transfer activity of GUG-β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.8), we investigated the physicochemical properties, cellular uptake, endosomal escape and nuclear translocation of the plasmid DNA (pDNA) complexes as well as pDNA release from the complexes. The particle size, ζ-potential and cellular uptake of GUG-β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.8)/pDNA complex were mostly comparable to those of α-CDE conjugate (DS 1.2) and β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.3). Meanwhile, GUG-β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.8)/pDNA complex was likely to have high endosomal escaping ability and nuclear localization ability in A549 and RAW264.7 cells. In addition, the pDNA condensation and decondensation abilities of GUG-β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.8) were lower and higher than that of α-CDE conjugate (DS 1.2) or β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.3), respectively. These results suggest that high gene transfer activity of GUG-β-CDE conjugate (DS 1.8) could be, at least in part, attributed to high endosomal escaping ability, nuclear localization ability and suitable pDNA release from its complex.