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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(12), 28912-28930; doi:10.3390/ijms161226142

Cell Penetrating Peptide Conjugated Chitosan for Enhanced Delivery of Nucleic Acid

Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mark L. Richter
Received: 4 November 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 27 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Penetrating Peptides)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [973 KB, uploaded 4 December 2015]   |  


Gene therapy is an emerging therapeutic strategy for the cure or treatment of a spectrum of genetic disorders. Nevertheless, advances in gene therapy are immensely reliant upon design of an efficient gene carrier that can deliver genetic cargoes into the desired cell populations. Among various nonviral gene delivery systems, chitosan-based carriers have gained increasing attention because of their high cationic charge density, excellent biocompatibility, nearly nonexistent cytotoxicity, negligible immune response, and ideal ability to undergo chemical conjugation. However, a major shortcoming of chitosan-based carriers is their poor cellular uptake, leading to inadequate transfection efficiency. The intrinsic feature of cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) for transporting diverse cargoes into multiple cell and tissue types in a safe manner suggests that they can be conjugated to chitosan for improving its transfection efficiency. In this review, we briefly discuss CPPs and their classification, and also the major mechanisms contributing to the cellular uptake of CPPs and cargo conjugates. We also discuss immense improvements for the delivery of nucleic acids using CPP-conjugated chitosan-based carriers with special emphasis on plasmid DNA and small interfering RNA. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; gene delivery; cell penetrating peptides (CPPs); cellular uptake; nonviral vector; transfection chitosan; gene delivery; cell penetrating peptides (CPPs); cellular uptake; nonviral vector; transfection

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Layek, B.; Lipp, L.; Singh, J. Cell Penetrating Peptide Conjugated Chitosan for Enhanced Delivery of Nucleic Acid. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 28912-28930.

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