Octaarginine-modified chitosan as a nonviral gene delivery vector: properties and in vitro transfection efficiency
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Protein transduction domains (PTD) have been identified to have the capacity to facilitate molecular cargo to translocate through cell membrane. This study aims to utilize the cell membrane penetrating ability of octaarginine oligopeptide, a simplified prototype of the PTD, to enhance the transfection efficiency of chitosan. Octaarginine-modified chitosan (R8-CS) was synthesized as a gene transfer carrier by carbodiimide chemistry. The structure and composition of R8-CSs were characterized using FTIR and 1H NMR. Agarose gel electrophoresis assay showed that R8-CS could efficiently condense the DNA. The particle size of R8-CS/DNA complexes were determined to be around 100–200 nm. The nanoparticle complexes exhibited a spherical and compact morphology. R8-CS demonstrated higher transfection activity and lower cytotoxicity as compared to the unmodified chitosan and also showed good serum resistance.
KeywordsGene delivery Chitosan Octaarginine Nanomedicine
This project was partially supported by Hong Kong RGC (HKU7147/07E) and Hong Kong Innovation Technology Commission ITF-GHP 009-06. The authors also acknowledge the support from HKU Seed Funding Programme (200811159133).
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