Role of temperature-independent lipoplex-cell membrane interactions in the efficiency boost of multicomponent lipoplexes.
ABSTRACT: Multicomponent lipoplexes have recently emerged as especially promising transfection candidates, as they are from 10 to 100 times more efficient than binary complexes usually employed for gene delivery purposes. Previously, we investigated a number of chemical-physical properties of DNA-lipid complexes that were proposed to affect transfection efficiency (TE) of lipoplexes, such as nanoscale structure, size, surface potential, DNA-protection ability and DNA release from complexes upon interaction with cellular lipids. Although some minor differences between multicomponent and binary lipoplexes were found, they did not correlate clearly with efficiency. Instead, here we show that a marked difference between the cell internalization mechanism of binary and multicomponent lipoplexes does exist. Multicomponent lipoplexes significantly transfect cells at 4?°C, when endocytosis does not take place suggesting that they can enter cells via a temperature-independent mechanism. Confocal fluorescence microscopy experiments showed the existence of a correlation between endosomal escape and TE. Multicomponent lipoplexes exhibited a distinctive ability of endosomal escape and release DNA into the nucleus, whereas, poorly efficient binary lipoplexes exhibited minor, if any, endosomal rupture ability and remained confined in perinuclear late endosomes. Stopped-flow mixing measurements showed that the fusion rates of multicomponent cationic liposomes with anionic vesicles, used as model systems of cell membranes, were definitely shorter than those of binary liposomes. As either lipoplex uptake and endosomal escape involve fusion between lipoplex and cellular membranes, we suggest that a mechanism of lipoplex-cellular membrane interaction, driven by lipid mixing between cationic and anionic cellular lipids, does explain the TE boost of multicomponent lipoplexes.
Project description:Cationic lipids are used for delivering nucleic acids (lipoplexes) into cells for both therapeutic and biological applications. A better understanding of the identified key-steps, including endocytosis, endosomal escape and nuclear delivery is required for further developments to improve their efficacy. Here, we developed a labelling protocol using aminated nanoparticles as markers for plasmid DNA to examine the intracellular route of lipoplexes in cell lines using transmission electron microscopy. Morphological changes of lipoplexes, membrane reorganizations and endosomal membrane ruptures were observed allowing the understanding of the lipoplex mechanism until the endosomal escape mediated by cationic lipids. The study carried out on two cationic lipids, bis(guanidinium)-tris(2-aminoethyl)amine-cholesterol (BGTC) and dioleyl succinyl paramomycin (DOSP), showed two pathways of endosomal escape that could explain their different transfection efficiencies. For BGTC, a partial or complete dissociation of DNA from cationic lipids occurred before endosomal escape while for DOSP, lipoplexes remained visible within ruptured vesicles suggesting a more direct pathway for DNA release and endosome escape. In addition, the formation of new multilamellar lipid assemblies was noted, which could result from the interaction between cationic lipids and cellular compounds. These results provide new insights into DNA transfer pathways and possible implications of cationic lipids in lipid metabolism.
Project description:Designer multicomponent lipoplexes have recently emerged as especially promising transfection candidates, since they are from 10 to 100 times more efficient than binary complexes usually employed for gene delivery purposes. Here, we show, for the first time, that after internalization binary complexes of lower transfection potency remain in compact perinuclear endosomes, while multicomponent systems have intrinsic endosomal rupture properties that allow plasmid DNA to escape from endosomes with extremely high efficiency. Endosomal rupture results in an extraordinarily homogeneous distribution of unbound plasmid DNA throughout the cytoplasm and in the nucleus.
Project description:Multifunctional, lipopolyplex formulations comprising a mixture of cationic liposomes and cationic, receptor-targeting peptides have potential use in gene therapy applications. Lipopolyplex formulations described here are typically far more efficient transfection agents than binary lipoplex or polyplex formulations. It has been shown previously that the peptide component mediates both DNA packaging and targeting of the nanoparticle while in this report we investigate the contribution of the lipid component. We hypothesised that the lipid components synergise with the peptides in the transfection process by promoting endosomal escape after lipid bilayer fusion. Lipopolyplexes were prepared with cationic liposomes comprising DOTAP with either neutral lipid DOPE or DOPC. DOPE promotes fusogenic, inverted hexagonal lipid structures while DOPC promotes more stable laminar structures. Lipopolyplexes containing DOPE showed substantially higher transfection efficiency than those formulated with DOPC, both in vitro and in vivo. DOPE-containing lipopolyplexes showed rapid endosomal trafficking and nuclear accumulation of DNA while DOPC-containing formulations remained within the late endo-lysosomal compartments. These findings are consistent with previous finding for the role of DOPE in lipoplexes and support the hypothesis regarding the function of the lipid components in lipopolyplexes. These findings will help to inform future lipopolyplex design, strategies and clinical development processes.
Project description:Lipopolyplexes are of widespread interest for gene therapy due to their multifunctionality and high transfection efficiencies. Here we compared the biological and biophysical properties of a lipopolyplex formulation with its lipoplex and polyplex equivalents to assess the role of the lipid and peptide components in the formation and function of the lipopolyplex formulation. We show that peptide efficiently packaged plasmid DNA forming spherical, highly cationic nanocomplexes that are taken up efficiently by cells. However, transgene expression was poor, most likely due to endosomal degradation since the polyplex lacks membrane trafficking properties. In addition the strong peptide-DNA interaction may prevent plasmid release from the complex and so limit plasmid DNA availability. Lipid/DNA lipoplexes, on the other hand, produced aggregated masses that showed poorer cellular uptake than the polyplex but contrastingly greater levels of transgene expression. This may be due to the greater ability of lipoplexes relative to polyplexes to promote endosomal escape. Lipopolyplex formulations formed spherical, cationic nanocomplexes with efficient cellular uptake and significantly enhanced transfection efficiency. The lipopolyplexes combined the optimal features of lipoplexes and polyplexes showing optimal cell uptake, endosomal escape and availability of plasmid for transcription, thus explaining the synergistic increase in transfection efficiency.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Formulation of DNA/cationic lipid complexes (lipoplexes) designed for nucleic acid delivery mostly results in positively charged particles which are thought to enter cells by endocytosis. We recently developed a lipoplex formulation called Neutraplex that allows preparation of both cationic and anionic stable complexes with similar lipid content and ultrastructure.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>To assess whether the global net charge could influence cell uptake and activity of the transported oligonucleotides (on), we prepared lipoplexes with positive and negative charges and compared: (i) their physicochemical properties by zeta potential analysis and dynamic light scattering, (ii) their cell uptake by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, and (iii) the biological activity of the transported ON using a splicing correction assay. We show that positively or negatively charged lipoplexes enter cells cells using both temperature-dependent and -independent uptake mechanisms. Specifically, positively charged lipoplexes predominantly use a temperature-dependent transport when cells are incubated OptiMEM medium. Anionic lipoplexes favour an energy-independent transport and show higher ON activity than cationic lipoplexes in presence of serum. However, lipoplexes with high positive global net charge and OptiMEM medium give the highest uptake and ON activity levels.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These findings suggest that, in addition to endocytosis, lipoplexes may enter cell via a temperature-independent mechanism, which could be mediated by lipid mixing. Such characteristics might arise from the specific lipoplex ultrastructure and should be taken into consideration when developing lipoplexes designed for in vivo or ex vivo nucleic acid transfer.
Project description:In this study, we developed anionic polymer-coated liposome/siRNA complexes (lipoplexes) with chondroitin sulfate C (CS), poly-l-glutamic acid (PGA) and poly-aspartic acid (PAA) for siRNA delivery by intravenous injection, and evaluated the biodistribution and gene silencing effect in mice. The sizes of CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes were about 200?nm and their ?-potentials were negative. CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes did not induce agglutination after mixing with erythrocytes. In terms of biodistribution, siRNAs after intravenous administration of cationic lipoplexes were largely observed in the lungs, but those of CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes were in both the liver and the kidneys, indicating that siRNA might be partially released from the anionic polymer-coated lipoplexes in the blood circulation and accumulate in the kidney, although the lipoplexes can prevent the agglutination with blood components. To increase the association between siRNA and cationic liposome, we used cholesterol-modified siRNA (siRNA-Chol) for preparation of the lipoplexes. When CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes of siRNA-Chol were injected into mice, siRNA-Chol was mainly observed in the liver, not in the kidneys. In terms of the suppression of gene expression in vivo, apolipoprotein B (ApoB) mRNA in the liver was significantly reduced 48?h after single intravenous injection of PGA-coated lipoplex of ApoB siRNA-Chol (2.5?mg?siRNA/kg), but not cationic, CS- and PAA-coated lipoplexes. In terms of toxicity after intravenous injection, CS-, PGA- and PAA-coated lipoplexes did not increase GOT and GPT concentrations in blood. From these findings, PGA coatings for cationic lipoplex of siRNA-Chol might produce a systemic vector of siRNA to the liver.
Project description:For efficient delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) to the target diseased site in vivo, it is important to design suitable vehicles to control the blood circulation of siRNA. It has been shown that surface modification of cationic liposome/siRNA complexes (lipoplexes) with polyethylene glycol (PEG) could enhance the circulation time of lipoplexes. However, the first injection of PEGylated lipoplexes in vivo induces accelerated blood clearance and enhances hepatic accumulation of the following injected PEGylated lipoplexes, which is known as the accelerated blood clearance (ABC) phenomenon. Herein, we developed zwitterionic poly(carboxybetaine) (PCB) modified lipoplexes for the delivery of siRNA therapeutics, which could avoid protein adsorption and enhance the stability of lipoplexes as that for PEG. Quite different from the PEGylation, the PCBylated lipoplexes could avoid ABC phenomenon, which extended the blood circulation time and enhanced the tumor accumulation of lipoplexes in vivo. After accumulation in tumor site, the PCBylation could promote the cellular uptake and endosomal/lysosomal escape of lipoplexes due to its unique chemical structure and pH-sensitive ability. With excellent tumor accumulation, cellular uptake and endosomal/lysosomal escape abilities, the PCBylated lipoplexes significantly inhibited tumor growth and induced tumor cell apoptosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:During the course of gene transfection, the interaction kinetics between liposomes and DNA is speculated to play very important role for blood stability, cellular uptake, DNA release and finally transfection efficiency. RESULTS:As cationic peptide liposomes exhibited great gene transfer activities both in vitro and in vivo, two peptide lipids, containing a tri-ornithine head (LOrn3) and a mono-ornithine head (LOrn1), were chosen to further clarify the process of liposome-mediated gene delivery in this study. The results show that the electrostatically-driven binding between DNA and liposomes reached nearly 100% at equilibrium, and high affinity of LOrn3 to DNA led to fast binding rate between them. The binding process between LOrn3 and DNA conformed to the kinetics equation: y?=?1.663631?×?exp (-?0.003427x)?+?6.278163. Compared to liposome LOrn1, the liposome LOrn3/DNA lipoplex exhibited a faster and more uniform uptake in HeLa cells, as LOrn3 with a tri-ornithine peptide headgroup had a stronger interaction with the negatively charged cell membrane than LOrn1. The efficient endosomal escape of DNA from LOrn3 lipoplex was facilitated by the acidity in late endosomes, resulting in broken carbamate bonds, as well as the "proton sponge effect" of the lipid. CONCLUSIONS:The interaction kinetics is a key factor for DNA transfection efficiency. This work provided insights into peptide lipid-mediated DNA delivery that could guide the development of the next generation of delivery systems for gene therapeutics.
Project description:The use of non-viral vectors for in vivo gene therapy could drastically increase safety, whilst reducing the cost of preparing the vectors. A promising approach to non-viral vectors makes use of DNA/cationic liposome complexes (lipoplexes) to deliver the genetic material. Here we use coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying efficient DNA transfer from lipoplexes. Our computational fusion experiments of lipoplexes with endosomal membrane models show two distinct modes of transfection: parallel and perpendicular. In the parallel fusion pathway, DNA aligns with the membrane surface, showing very quick release of genetic material shortly after the initial fusion pore is formed. The perpendicular pathway also leads to transfection, but release is slower. We further show that the composition and size of the lipoplex, as well as the lipid composition of the endosomal membrane, have a significant impact on fusion efficiency in our models.
Project description:An acid-degradable polymer-caged lipoplex (PCL) platform consisting of a cationic lipoplex core and a biocompatible, pH-responsive polymer shell has been developed for the effective delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) through a combination of facile loading, rapid acid-triggered release, cellular internalization, and effective endosomal escape. In vitro testing of this degradable PCL delivery platform reveals ?45- and ?2.5-fold enhancement of enhanced green fluorescent protein knockdown in cancer cells in comparison to either free siRNA or siRNA-loaded non-acid-degradable lipoplex formulations, respectively.