PEG-conjugated PAMAM Dendrimers Mediate Efficient Intramuscular Gene Expression
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Generations 5 and 6 (G5 and G6) poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers have been shown to be highly efficient nonviral carriers in in vitro gene delivery. However, their high toxicity and unsatisfied in vivo efficacy limit their applications. In this study, to improve their characteristics as gene delivery carriers, polyethylene glycol (PEG, molecular weight 5,000) was conjugated to G5 and G6 PAMAM dendrimers (PEG-PAMAM) at three different molar ratios of 4%, 8%, and 15% (PEG to surface amine per PAMAM dendrimer molecular). Compared with unconjugated PAMAM dendrimers, PEG conjugation significantly decreased the in vitro and in vivo cytotoxicities and hemolysis of G5 and G6 dendrimers, especially at higher PEG molar ratios. Among all of the PEG-PAMAM dendrimers, 8% PEG-conjugated G5 and G6 dendrimers (G5-8% PEG, G6-8% PEG) resulted in the most efficient muscular gene expression when polyplexes were injected intramuscularly to the quadriceps of neonatal mice. Consistent with the in vivo results, these two 8% PEG-conjugated PAMAM dendrimers could also mediate the highest in vitro transfection in 293A cells. Therefore, G5-8% PEG and G6-8% PEG possess a great potential for gene delivery both in vivo and in vitro.
Key wordsintramuscular gene delivery PAMAM dendrimer PEG conjugation toxicity
Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium
fetal bovine serum
PAMAM dendrimer at generation 5
PAMAM dendrimer at generation 6
plasmid enhanced green fluorescent protein
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30500197).
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