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Jiang, Qian; Yue, Dong; Nie, Yu; Xu, Xianghui; He, Yiyan; Zhang, Shiyong; Wagner, Ernst; Gu, Zhongwei (2016): Specially-Made Lipid-Based Assemblies for Improving Transmembrane Gene Delivery: Comparison of Basic Amino Acid Residue Rich Periphery. In: Molecular Pharmaceutics, Vol. 13, No. 6: pp. 1809-1821
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Cationic lipid based assemblies provide a promising platform for effective gene condensation into nano sized particles, and the peripheral properties of the assemblies are vital for complexation and interaction with physical barriers. Here, we report three cationic twin head lipids, and each of them contains a dioleoyl-glutamate hydrophobic tail and a twin polar head of lysine, arginine, or histidine. Such lipids were proven to self-assemble in aqueous solution with well-defined nanostructures and residual amino-, guanidine-, or imidazole-rich periphery, showing strong buffering capacity and good liquidity. The assemblies with arginine (RL) or lysine (KL) periphery exhibited positive charges (similar to+35 mV) and complete condensation of pDNA into nanosized complexes (similar to 120 nm). In contrast, assemblies composed of histidine-rich lipids (HL) showed relatively low cationic electric potential (similar to+10 mV) and poor DNA binding ability. As expected, the designed RL assemblies with guanidine-rich periphery enhanced the in vitro gene transfection up to 190-fold as compared with the golden standard PEI25k and Lipofectamine 2000, especially in the presence of serum. Meanwhile, interaction with cell and endo/lysosome membrane also revealed the superiority of RL complexes, that the guanidine-rich surface efficiently promoted transmembrane process in cellular internalization and endosomal disruption. More importantly, RL complexes also succeeded beyond others in vivo with significantly (similar to 7-fold) enhanced expression in HepG2 tumor xenografts in mice, as well as stronger green fluorescence protein imaging in isolated tumors and tumor frozen sections.