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pH-responsive magnesium- and carbonate-substituted apatite nano-crystals for efficient and cell-targeted delivery of transgenes

Author(s): Ezharul Hoque Chowdhury

Journal: Open Journal of Genetics
ISSN 2162-4453

Volume: 03;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 38;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Gene Therapy; Nanoparticles; Particle Dissolution; Ca/Mgpi; Carbonate Apatite; Endosome | Nucleus; Gene Expression

The short half-lives due to the enzymatic degradation in blood, the lack of tissue targetability and the incapability to passively diffuse across the plasma membrane and smoothly traffic across the harsh intracelluar environment are the major shortcomings for nucleic acid-based potential therapeutics, such as recombinant plasmid and antisense oligonucleotides or small interferring RNA (siRNA). Plasmid DNA containing a gene of interest could have immense impact as a promising therapeutic drug for treating genetic as well as acquired human diseases at the molecular level with high level of efficacy and precision. Thus both viral and non-viral synthetic vectors have been developed in the past decades to address the aforementioned challenges of naked DNA. While in the viral particles plasmid DNA is integrated into the viral genome, in most non-viral cases the DNA being anionic in nature is electrostatically associated with a cationic lipid or polymer forming lipoplex or polyplex, respectively, or a cationized inorganic gold, silica or iron oxide particle. Due to the potential immunogenicity and carcinogenicity issues with the viral particles, non-viral vectors have drawn much more attention for the clinical evaluation. However, the main concern of using non-biodegradable particles, specially the inorganic ones, is the adverse effects owing to their long term interactions with body components. We have recently developed biodegradable pH-sensitive inorganic nanoparticles of Mg/CaPi and carbonate apatite for efficient transgene delivery to primary, cancer and embryonic stem cells, by virtue of their high affinity binding with the DNA, ability to contact the cell membrane by ionic or ligand-receptor interactions and fast dissolution kinectis in endosomal acidic pH facilitating release of the DNA from the dissolving particles and also from the endosomes.
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