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Open AccessArticle

Molecular Weight-Dependent Activity of Aminated Poly(α)glutamates as siRNA Nanocarriers

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Room 607, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
School of Chemistry, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2018, 10(5), 548;
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 20 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Therapy and Diagnostics)
RNA interference (RNAi) can contribute immensely to the area of personalized medicine by its ability to target any gene of interest. Nevertheless, its clinical use is limited by lack of efficient delivery systems. Polymer therapeutics can address many of the challenges encountered by the systemic delivery of RNAi, but suffer from inherent drawbacks such as polydispersity and batch to batch heterogeneity. These characteristics may have far-reaching consequences when dealing with therapeutic applications, as both the activity and the toxicity may be dependent on the length of the polymer chain. To investigate the consequences of polymers’ heterogeneity, we have synthesized two batches of aminated poly(α)glutamate polymers (PGAamine), differing in their degree of polymerization, but not in the monomer units or their conjugation. Isothermal titration calorimetry study was conducted to define the binding affinity of these polymers with siRNA. Molecular dynamics simulation revealed that Short PGAamine:siRNA polyplexes exposed a higher amount of amine moieties to the surroundings compared to Long PGAamine. This resulted in a higher zeta potential, leading to faster degradation and diminished gene silencing. Altogether, our study highlights the importance of an adequate physico-chemical characterization to elucidate the structure–function-activity relationship, for further development of tailor-designed RNAi delivery vehicles. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyplexes; siRNA delivery; physico-chemical characterization; cationic polymer; anticancer therapy; poly(α)glutamate polyplexes; siRNA delivery; physico-chemical characterization; cationic polymer; anticancer therapy; poly(α)glutamate
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Krivitsky, A.; Krivitsky, V.; Polyak, D.; Scomparin, A.; Eliyahu, S.; Gibori, H.; Yeini, E.; Pisarevsky, E.; Blau, R.; Satchi-Fainaro, R. Molecular Weight-Dependent Activity of Aminated Poly(α)glutamates as siRNA Nanocarriers. Polymers 2018, 10, 548.

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