Gene Transfer Enhancement by Alkylcarboxylation of Poly(propylenimine)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Pharmaceutical Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Among synthetic carriers, dendrimers with the more flexible structure have attracted a great deal of researchers’ attention in the field of gene delivery. Followed by the promising results upon hydrophobic modification on polymeric structures in our laboratory, alkylcarboxylated poly (propylenimine)-based carriers were synthesized by nucleophilic substitution of amines with alkyl moieties and were further characterized for their physicochemical and biological characteristics for plasmid DNA delivery. Although not noticeably effective gene transfer activity for hexanoate- and hexadecanoate-modified series was observed, but alkylation by decanoic acid significantly improved the transfection efficiency of the final constructs up to 60 fold in comparison with unmodified poly(propylenimine) (PPI). PPI modified by 10-bromodecanoic acid at 50% grafting, showed significantly higher gene expression at c/p ratio of 2 compared to Superfect as positive control. 
Overall, modification of PPI with 50% primary amines grafting with 10-bromodecanoic acid could increase the transfection efficiency which is occurred at lower c/p ratio when compared to Superfect, i.e. less amount of modified vector is required to exhibit the same efficiency as Superfect. Therefore, the obtained constructs seem to be safer carriers for long-term gene therapy applications.


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