3 years ago

pH-Responsive, Lysine-Based, Hyperbranched Polymers Mimicking Endosomolytic Cell-Penetrating Peptides for Efficient Intracellular Delivery

pH-Responsive, Lysine-Based, Hyperbranched Polymers Mimicking Endosomolytic Cell-Penetrating Peptides for Efficient Intracellular Delivery
Rongjun Chen, Shiqi Wang
The insufficient delivery of biomacromolecular therapeutic agents into the cytoplasm of mammalian cells remains a major barrier to their pharmaceutical applications. Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are considered as potential carriers for cytoplasmic delivery of macromolecular drugs. However, due to the positive charge of most CPPs, strong nonspecific cell membrane bindings may lead to relatively high toxicity. In this study, we report a series of anionic, CPP-mimicking, lysine-based hyperbranched polymers, which caused complete membrane disruption at late endosomal pH while remaining nonlytic at physiological pH. The pH-responsive conformational alterations and the multivalency effect of the hyperbranched structures were demonstrated to effectively facilitate their interaction with cell membranes, thus leading to significantly enhanced membrane-lytic activity compared with their linear counterpart. The unique structures and pH-responsive cell-penetrating abilities make the novel hyperbranched polymers promising candidates for cytoplasmic delivery of biomacromolecular payloads.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00054

DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00054

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