N-isopropyl-acrylamide conjugated polyglycerol as a delivery vehicle for in vitro sirna transfection
Nicolini, Anthony Michael
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Gene expression knockdown using RNA interference has dramatically altered the ability to silence target genes without the need for a creation of a genetic knockout. The pitfalls surrounding successful siRNA gene expression knockdown fall in the broad category of delivery. This work focuses on the use of N-isopropyl-acrylamide conjugated polyglycerol (PGNIPAM) as a novel cationic vector of in vitro and possible in vivo delivery of siRNA. The hyper-branched structure of the PGNIPAM molecule bears a biocompatible core with cationic subunits on the surface, providing a less toxic alternative to other cationic polymers used in the past. Further PGNIPAM shows excellent binding and release characteristics over other comparable molecules and systems. Activity of the siRNA requires access to the cell cytoplasm, which in turn requires passage of the siRNA through the cell membrane and release into the internal environment with no degradation. PGNIPAM has shown the ability to traverse the endocytic pathway and release the siRNA directly into the cytoplasm where it can interact with cellular machinery. Knockdown of known oncogene survivin was observed in vitro both through mRNA expression reduction as well as through protein reduction in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Additionally, early stage animal work with a human breast cancer model shows positive results for coupled treatment of tumors using siRNA against survivin and doxorubicin, an anticancer drug. PGNIPAM offers a safer alternative to other cationic delivery systems and has shown improvement over standard modes of knockdown from commercial products.