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Characteristics of Cell-Penetrating Peptide/Nucleic Acid Nanoparticles
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Neurochemistry. University of Tartu, Estonia.
2016 (English)In: Molecular Pharmaceutics, ISSN 1543-8384, E-ISSN 1543-8392, Vol. 13, no 1, 172-179 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nucleic acids are highly promising candidates for the treatment of various genetic diseases. However, due to the large size and negative charge, nucleic acids are not efficiently taken up by cells, and thus, their clinical potential remains limited so far. Therefore, various delivery vehicles have been designed to assist the cellular uptake of nucleic acids. Among these, cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have gained increasing popularity as efficient and nontoxic delivery vectors. CPPs can be coupled to nucleic acids either by covalent or noncovalent association. Noncovalent coupling, which is based on the formation of nanoparticle-like nanocomplexes (NP), has received much attention in recent years, and the number of studies employing the strategy is explosively increasing due to the high therapeutic potential. However, the properties of CPP/nucleic acid NPs have not been characterized in sufficient detail yet. We performed a comprehensive analysis of the size and morphology of nucleic acid nanoparticles with novel transfection peptides, PepFects (PFs) and NickFects (NFs), using negative staining transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, we examined whether the attachment of fluorescence or (nano)gold label to nucleic acid affects the nanocomplex formation or its morphology. We demonstrated that transportan-10-based new generation CPPs from PF and NF families condense nucleic acids to NPs of homogeneous size and shape. The size and shape of assembled nanoparticles depend on the type of the complexed nucleic acid and the sequence of the used peptide, whereas the label on the nucleic acid does not influence the gross characteristics of formed NPs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 13, no 1, 172-179 p.
Keyword [en]
cell-penetrating peptide, nucleic acid delivery, noncovalent strategy, negative staining, transmission electron microscopy
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy) Pharmacology and Toxicology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124915DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.5b00598ISI: 000367866200018PubMedID: 26561739OAI: diva2:891230
Available from: 2016-01-06 Created: 2016-01-06 Last updated: 2016-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Langel, Ülo
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Department of Neurochemistry
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Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMedical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)Pharmacology and Toxicology

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