Modulating Lysosomal pH through Innovative Multimerized Succinic Acid-Based Nucleolipid Derivatives

Bioconjug Chem. 2023 Mar 15;34(3):572-580. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.3c00041. Epub 2023 Feb 28.


The multimerization of active compounds has emerged as a successful approach, mainly to address the multivalency of numerous biological targets. Regarding the pharmaceutical prospect, carrying several active ingredient units on the same synthetic scaffold was a practical approach to enhance drug delivery or biological activity with a lower global concentration. Various examples have highlighted better in vivo stability and therapeutic efficiency through sustained action over monomeric molecules. The synthesis strategy aims to covalently connect biologically active monomers to a central core using simple and efficient reaction steps. Despite extensive studies reporting carbohydrate or even peptide multimerization developed for therapeutic activities, very few are concerned with nucleic acid derivatives. In the context of our efforts to build non-viral nucleolipid (NL)-based nanocarriers to restore lysosomal acidification defects, we report here a straightforward synthesis of tetrameric NLs, designed as prodrugs that are able to release no more than one but four biocompatible succinic acid units. The use of oil-in-water nanoemulsion-type vehicles allowed the development of lipid nanosystems crossing the membranes of human neuroblastoma cells. Biological evaluations have proved the effective release of the acid within the lysosome of a genetic and cellular model of Parkinson's disease through the recovery of an optimal lysosomal pH associated with a remarkably fourfold lower concentration of active ingredients than with the corresponding monomers. Overall, these results suggest the feasibility, the therapeutic opportunity, and the better tolerance of multimeric compounds compared to only monomer molecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lysosomes
  • Prodrugs*
  • Succinic Acid*


  • Succinic Acid
  • Prodrugs