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Interplay of polyethyleneimine molecular weight and oligonucleotide backbone chemistry in the dynamics of antisense activity.

ABSTRACT: The widespread utilization of gene silencing techniques, such as antisense, is impeded by the poor cellular delivery of oligonucleotides (ONs). Rational design of carriers for enhanced ON delivery demands a better understanding of the role of the vector on the extent and time course of antisense effects. The aim of this study is to understand the effects of polymer molecular weight (MW) and ON backbone chemistry on antisense activity. Complexes were prepared between branched polyethyleneimine (PEI) of various MWs and ONs of phosphodiester and phosphorothioate chemistries. We measured their physico-chemical properties and evaluated their ability to deliver ONs to cells, leading to an antisense response. Our key finding is that the antisense activity is not determined solely by PEI MW or by ON chemistry, but rather by the interplay of both factors. While the extent of target mRNA down-regulation was determined primarily by the polymer MW, dynamics were determined principally by the ON chemistry. Of particular importance is the strength of interactions between the carrier and the ON, which determines the rate at which the ONs are delivered intracellularly. We also present a mathematical model of the antisense process to highlight the importance of ON delivery to antisense down-regulation.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1935005 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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