Structure-Function Correlation of Aminated Poly(α)glutamate as siRNA Nanocarriers

Biomacromolecules. 2016 Sep 12;17(9):2787-800. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.6b00555. Epub 2016 Aug 2.


It has been two decades since cationic polymers were introduced to the world of oligonucleotides delivery. However, the optimal physicochemical properties to make them a successful delivery vehicle are yet unknown. An ideal system became particularly interesting and necessary with the introduction of RNA interference as a promising therapeutic approach. Such nanocarrier should overcome challenges such as low plasma stability, poor cellular internalization and endosomal escape to induce gene silencing. To that end, we synthesized a library of biodegradable aminated poly(α)glutamate varied by amine moieties. In an attempt to elucidate the structure-function relationship, our polyplexes were physicochemically characterized and their silencing activity and cytotoxicity were evaluated. We found several structures that demonstrated improved cellular internalization. These candidates silenced gene expression to less than 50% of their initial levels, while being safe to cells and mice. Based on our research, an improved and promising tailor-designed siRNA delivery platform can be developed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amines / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Polyglutamic Acid / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / genetics


  • Amines
  • Drug Carriers
  • Polymers
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Polyglutamic Acid
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein