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TAT-LHRH conjugated low molecular weight chitosan as a gene carrier specific for hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Authors Liu L, Dong X, Zhu D, Song L, Zhang H, Leng X

Received 27 January 2014

Accepted for publication 12 April 2014

Published 10 June 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 2879—2889


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Lanxia Liu, Xia Dong, Dunwan Zhu, Liping Song, Hailing Zhang, Xigang G Leng

Laboratory of Bioengineering, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Biomedical Materials, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: To develop a chitosan-based nonviral gene carrier capable of delivering genes specifically into hepatoma cells, a bifunctional peptide composed of the TAT (transactivator of transcription) peptide and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) was conjugated with low molecular weight chitosan, resulting in a TAT-LHRH-chitosan conjugate (TLC). TLC/DNA nanoparticles (TLCDNPs) were characterized by agarose gel retardation, atomic force microscopy, and dynamic light scattering analysis. In vitro targeting specificity and transfection efficiency were analyzed with a GE IN Cell Analyzer 2000 High-Content Cellular Analysis System. The results demonstrated that TLC had stronger DNA condensing power than unmodified chitosan, and that TLCDNPs were of roughly round shape with average diameter of 70–85 nm and zeta potential of +30 mV and were relatively stable in solution. The in vitro study demonstrated TLC was highly selective for hepatoma cells and essentially nontoxic.

Keywords: nanoparticles, cancer treatment, gene therapy, hepatoma, targeted gene delivery

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