Author(s): Chen G, Ma B, Wang Y, Gong S. A universal GSH-responsive nanoplatform for the delivery of DNA, mRNA, and Cas9/sgRNA ribonucleoprotein. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Jun 6;10(22):18515-18523. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b03496. Epub 2018 May 25. PMID 29798662
The long-sought promise of gene therapy for the treatment of human diseases remains unfulfilled, largely hindered by the lack of an efficient and safe delivery vehicle. In this study, we have developed a universal glutathione-responsive nanoplatform for the efficient delivery of negatively charged genetic biomacromolecules. The cationic block copolymer, poly(aspartic acid-(2-aminoethyl disulfide)-(4-imidazolecarboxylic acid))-poly(ethylene glycol), bearing imidazole residues and disulfide bonds, can form polyplexes with negatively charged DNA, mRNA, and Cas9/sgRNA ribonucleoprotein (RNP) through electrostatic interactions, which enable efficient cellular uptake, endosomal escape, and cytosol unpacking of the payloads. To facilitate the nuclear transport of DNA and RNP, the nuclear localization signal peptide was integrated into the DNA or RNP polyplexes. All three polyplex systems were fully characterized and optimized in vitro. Their relatively high transfection efficiency and low cytotoxicity, as well as convenient surface functionalization merit further investigation.