Nejat Düzgüneş: 0000-0001-6159-1391
A novel lipidic vector composed of DOTAP/Chol liposomes, asialofetuin (AF), protamine sulfate and DNA has been developed. The resulting protamine-AF-lipoplexes improved significantly the levels of gene expression in cultured cells and in the liver upon i.v. administration. Lipoplexes containing the optimal amount of AF (1 μg/μg DNA) showed a 16-fold higher transfection activity in HepG2 cells than non-targeted (plain) complexes. The uptake by cells having asialoglycoprotein receptors (ASGPr) on their plasma membrane was decreased by the addition of free AF, indicating that AF-lipoplexes were taken up specifically by cells via ASGPr-mediated endocytosis. Results from transfections performed in cells defective in ASGPr, ie HeLa cells, confirmed this mechanism. By addition of the condensing peptide, protamine sulfate, smaller complexes were obtained, which enhanced even more the uptake of AF-complexes in HepG2 cells and in the liver. The optimal amount of protamine was 0.4 μg/μg DNA, and gene expression was about 5-fold over that obtained with AF-lipoplexes in the absence of the peptide, and 75-fold higher than that with plain conventional lipoplexes. Protamine-AF-lipoplexes increased by a factor of 12 luciferase gene expression in the liver of mice administered systemically via the tail vein, compared to plain complexes. In summary, our findings extend the scope of previous studies where AF-lipoplexes were used to Introduce DNA into hepatocytes. The combination of targeting and protamine condensation obviated the need for partial hepatectomy, commonly required to obtain efficient gene delivery in this organ. Since protamine sulfate has been proven to be non-toxic in humans, the novel liver-specific vector described here may be useful for the delivery of clinically important genes to this organ.
Arangoa, M. A.,
Tros de Ilarduya, C.
Increased receptor-mediated gene delivery to the liver by protamine-enhanced-asialofetuin-lipoplexes.
Gene Therapy, 10(1), 5–14.
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