Glucose-containing diblock polycations exhibit molecular weight, charge, and cell-type dependence for pdna delivery

Yaoying Wu, Miao Wang, Dustin Sprouse, Adam E. Smith, Theresa M. Reineke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A series of diblock glycopolycations were created by polymerizing 2-deoxy-2-methacrylamido glucopyranose (MAG) with either a tertiary amine-containing monomer, N-[3-(N,N-dimethylamino) propyl] methacrylamide (DMAPMA), or a primary amine-containing unit, N-(2-aminoethyl) methacrylamide (AEMA). Seven structures were synthesized via aqueous reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization that varied in the block lengths of MAG, DMAPMA, and AEMA along with two homopolymer controls of DMAPMA and AEMA that lacked a MAG block. The polymers were all able to complex plasmid DNA into polyplex structures and to prevent colloidal aggregation of polyplexes in physiological salt conditions. In vitro transfection experiments were performed in both HeLa (human cervix adenocarcinoma) cells and HepG2 (human liver hepatocellular carcinoma) cells to examine the role of charge type, block length, and cell type on transfection efficiency and toxicity. The glycopolycation vehicles with primary amine blocks and PAEMA homopolymers revealed much higher transfection efficiency and lower toxicity when compared to analogs created with DMAPMA. Block length was also shown to influence cellular delivery and toxicity; as the block length of DMAPMA increased in the glycopolycation-based polyplexes, toxicity increased while transfection decreased. While the charge block played a major role in delivery, the MAG block length did not affect these cellular parameters. Lastly, cell type played a major role in efficiency. These glycopolymers revealed higher cellular uptake and transfection efficiency in HepG2 cells than in HeLa cells, while homopolycations (PAEMA and PDMAPMA) lacking the MAG blocks exhibited the opposite trend, signifying that the MAG block could aid in hepatocyte transfection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1716-1726
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 12 2014


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