Correlating Gene Transfection Efficiency and the Physical Properties of Various Cationic Poly(methacrylate) Systems
Author(s)Tan, J. F.; Too, Heng-Phon; Hatton, T. Alan; Tam, K. C.
Transfection efficiencies of several polymeric gene carriers were compared and correlated quantitatively to the amounts of cellular accumulation of plasmid DNA and to the expression of mRNA by quantitative real time PCR. Three cationic methacrylate polymer systems with similar chemical structure were used in this study, namely: poly(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (PDMA) homopolymer, PEO-b-PDMA copolymer and PEO-b-poly(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (PEO-b-PDEA) copolymer. Despite their similar chemical structures, their transfection efficiencies were significantly different. PEO-b-PDEA copolymer was significantly less efficient as gene carrier compared to both PDMA and PEO-b-PDMA systems. Results from quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR), cytotoxicity and Zeta potential measurements showed correlations between the physical properties of the polymers and the efficiencies of cellular uptake of the transgene and transfections. In the case of PEO-b-PDEA system, cytotoxicity was due primarily to the excess polymers that did not participate in the DNA binding. In addition, the inability of the polymer/DNA complexes to interact with cell effectively was identified as the main barrier for high efficiency of transfection. This study demonstrated that the use of quantitative real-time PCR in combination with other physical characterization techniques can provide greater insights into the transfection barrier at different cellular levels.
Molecular Engineering of Biological and Chemical Systems (MEBCS)
Quantitative real time PCR, transfection efficiency, methacrylate polymer