Biomacromolecules, Vol.19, No.7, 2483-2495, 2018
Effects of the Physicochemical, Colloidal, and Biological Characteristics of Different Polymer Structures between alpha-Poly(L-lysine) and epsilon-Poly(L-lysine) on Polymeric Gene Delivery
Though alpha-poly(L-lysine) (APL) has been well-studied in gene delivery, epsilon-poly(L-lysine) (EPL) with same repeating unit of L-lysine but different structure has been rarely investigated. This study compared various effects of their different structures in gene delivery processes. EPL showed less cytotoxicity and more proton buffering capacity for endosomal release than APL. Also, EPL/pDNA polyplexes represented higher nucleus preference than APL/pDNA polyplexes. However, EPL had weaker affinities with pDNA than APL, leading to formation of larger EPL/pDNA complexes with less compactness and successively faster decomplexation. The resultant difference of their pDNA binding affinity caused lower cellular uptake and lower transfection efficiency of EPL/pDNA complexes than APL/pDNA complexes. Thus, this study confirmed that various effects of gene delivery processes are changed by chemical structure of polymeric gene carriers. Especially, despite the low transfection efficiency of EPL-based polyplexes, the study found potentials of EPL in cytocompatibility, endosomal release, and nuclear import.