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Chang Kang H.,University of Utah | Bae Y.H.,University of Utah | Bae Y.H.,Advanced Therapeutics Research Center
Biomaterials | Year: 2011

Cationic polymers are potential intracellular carriers for small interfering RNA (siRNA). The short and rigid nature of an siRNA chain often results in larger and more loosely packed particles compared to plasmid DNA (pDNA) after complexing with carrier polycations, and in turn, poor silencing effects are seen against the target mRNAs. A helper polyanion, pDNA, was incorporated along with siRNA to form compact nanosized polyplexes. At C/A (cation/anion) ratios of 2 and 5, poly(l-lysine) (PLL)/siRNA-pGFP and PLL/siRNA-pGFP-OSDZ (oligomeric sulfadiazine (OSDZ) for endosomolysis) complexes produced particles 90-150 nm in size with a 15-45 mV surface charge, while PLL/siRNA complexes yielded particles 1-2 μm in size at the same C/A ratios. The PLL/siRNA-pGFP (C/A 2) complexes showed significantly higher specific gene silencing (50-90% vs. 10-25%) than the complexes formed at C/A 5. PLL/siRNA-pGFP-OSDZ (C/A 2) complexes improved the specific gene silencing (90%) more dramatically than PLL/siRNA-pGFP (C/A 2) complexes (50%), demonstrating a potential role for OSDZ. PLL/siRNA-pGFP-OSDZ (C/A 2) complexes sustained higher specific gene silencing compared with PLL/siRNA-pGFP (C/A 2) complexes. Other oligomeric sulfonamides (OSA) with varying pKa used in PLL/siRNA-pGFP-OSA complexes also caused effective gene silencing. The pGFP in the PLL/siRNA-pGFP complexes successfully expressed GFP protein without interfering with the siRNA. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that long pDNA helps effectively form nanosized siRNA particles and that OSA enhances specific gene silencing. In a single nucleic acid carrier formulation, co-delivery of siRNA and pDNA is feasible to maximize therapeutic effects or to include therapeutic or diagnostic functionalities. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Kang H.C.,University of Utah | Samsonova O.,University of Utah | Samsonova O.,University of Marburg | Bae Y.H.,University of Utah | Bae Y.H.,Advanced Therapeutics Research Center
Biomaterials | Year: 2010

While multidrug resistance (MDR) has been a significant issue in cancer chemotherapy, delivery resistance to various anti-cancer biotherapeutics, including genes, has not been widely recognized as a property of MDR. This study aims to provide a better understanding of the transfection characteristics of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant cells by tracing microenvironmental pHs of two representative polymer vectors: poly(l-lysine) and polyethyleneimine. Drug-sensitive breast MCF7 cells had four- to seven-times higher polymeric transfection efficiencies than their counterpart drug-resistant MCF7/ADR-RES cells. Polyplexes in MCF7/ADR-RES cells after endocytosis were exposed to a more acidic microenvironment than those in MCF7 cells; the MDR cells show faster acidification rates in endosomes/lysosomes than the drug-sensitive cells after endocytosis (in the case of PLL/pDNA complexes, ∼ pH 5.1 for MCF7/ADR-RES cells vs. ∼ pH 6.8 for MCF7 cells at 0.5 h post-transfection). More polyplexes were identified trapped in acidic subcellular compartments of MCF7/ADR-RES cells than in MCF7 cells, suggesting that they lack endosomal escaping activity. These findings demonstrate that the design of polymer-based gene delivery therapeutics should take into account the pH of subcellular compartments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Park W.,Catholic University of Korea | Park W.,University of Utah | Kim D.,University of Utah | Kang H.C.,Catholic University of Korea | And 3 more authors.
Biomaterials | Year: 2012

For long-term, sustained protein delivery, a new, star-shaped block copolymer composed of methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG), branched oligoethylenimine (bOEI), and poly (l-histidine) (pHis) was synthesized via the multi-initiation and ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of His N-carboxy anhydride (NCA) on bOEI with a PEG conjugation. The resulting mPEG-bOEI-pHis (POH) had strong buffering capacity within the neutral-to-acidic pH range and was complexed with insulin (Ins) via an electrostatic attraction plus hydrophobic interactions, resulting in the formation of a dual-interaction complex (DIC, weight ratio 2) of approximately 30-60 nm in size. This DIC tolerated high salt concentrations without destabilization, supporting the existence of hydrophobic interactions, and protected Ins from the organic solvent/water interface. The DIC in poly(lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres (PLGA MS) as a long-term Ins delivery formulation was evenly distributed via a double-emulsion method. The DIC-loaded PLGA MS offered a higher Ins loading and a lower initial burst than Ins-loaded PLGA MS. This formulation possessed near zero-order release kinetics (for at least one month). In streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats, a DIC-loaded PLGA MS formulation was able to maintain blood-glucose levels at 200-350 mg/dL for the first two weeks and even lower levels (100-200 mg/dL) for the next two weeks. Thus, a new POH polymer and its complex with a drug protein could have potential biological application as a long-term, sustained protein delivery system. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Nadithe V.,University of Utah | Mishra D.,University of Utah | Bae Y.H.,University of Utah | Bae Y.H.,Advanced Therapeutics Research Center
Biotechnology and Bioengineering | Year: 2012

The objective of this study was to investigate the efficiency of multifunctional poly(ethylene glycol)-based hemoglobin conjugates crosslinked with antioxidant enzymes for their ability to protect an oxygen carrier (hemoglobin) and insulin secreting islets from the combination of hypoxic and free radical stress under simulated transplantation conditions. In this study, RINm5F cells and isolated pancreatic islets were challenged with oxidants (H2O2 or xanthine and xanthine oxidase) and incubated with conjugates (hemoglobin-hemoglobin or superoxide dismutase-catalase-hemoglobin) in normoxia (21% oxygen) or hypoxia (6% or 1% oxygen). Hemoglobin protection, intracellular free radical activity and cell viability in RINm5F cells measured by methemoglobin, dichlorofluorescein-diacetate, and (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) assay, respectively, showed that cells were better protected by conjugates containing antioxidant enzymes. Insulin secretion from islets and qualitative confocal evaluation of viability showed beta cells were protected by conjugates containing antioxidant enzymes when exposed to induced stress. Our study suggested that antioxidant enzymes play a significant role in hemoglobin protection and thus extended cell protection. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.. Source

Kang H.C.,University of Utah | Kang H.C.,Catholic University of Korea | Samsonova O.,University of Utah | Samsonova O.,University of Marburg | And 3 more authors.
Biomaterials | Year: 2012

Although polymers, polyplexes, and cells are exposed to various extracellular and intracellular pH environments during polyplex preparation and polymeric transfection, the impact of environmental pH on polymeric transfection has not yet been investigated. This study aims to understand the influence of environmental pH on polymeric transfection by modulating the pH of the transfection medium or the culture medium. Changes in the extracellular pH affected polymeric transfection by way of complex factors such as pH-induced changes in polymer characteristics (e.g., proton buffering capacity and ionization), polyplex characteristics (e.g., size, surface charge, and decomplexation), and cellular characteristics (e.g., cellular uptake, cell cycle phases, and intracellular pH environment). Notably, acidic medium delayed endocytosis, endosomal acidification, cytosolic release, and decomplexation of polyplexes, thereby negatively affecting gene expression. However, acidic medium inhibited mitosis and reduced dilution of gene expression, resulting in increased transfection efficiency. Compared to pH 7.4 medium, acidic transfection medium reduced gene expression 1.6-7.7-fold whereas acidic culture medium enhanced transfection efficiency 2.1-2.6-fold. Polymeric transfection was affected more by the culture medium than by the transfection medium. Understanding the effects of extracellular pH during polymeric transfection may stimulate new strategies for determining effective and safe polymeric gene carriers. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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