A chitosan derivative, 6-amino-6-deoxy chitosan (6ACT), was galactosylated and was investigated as a gene carrier. A series of galactose-modified 6ACT (Gal-6ACT) with degrees of substitution (d.s.) ranging from 3% to 50% per pyranose were prepared by reductive alkylation with lactose. DNA retardation assays showed that the electrostatic interaction between Gal-6ACT and plasmid DNA was not changed by galactose modification up to 50% per pyranose of 6ACT. Gal-6ACT with a d.s. of 38% was bound to galactose-recognizing lectin, RCA120. A significant increase in transfection efficiency for HepG2 cells was observed at degree of substitutions ranging from 18% to 50% and at N/P values ranging from 1.5 to 2.5. Under optimum conditions, Gal-6ACT showed about 10 times higher efficiency than 6ACT. However, a slight uptake by the galactose receptors on hepatocytes was observed by flow cytometric analysis. Moreover, Gal-6ACT with a d.s. of 38% mediated efficient gene transfer into both A549 and HeLa cells lacking the galactose receptor. These results suggest that the enhancement of transfection efficiency of Gal-6ACT was not due to the increase of receptor-mediated cellular uptake. In addition, the enhanced gene transfer efficiency was not specific to the galactose modification because the efficiency of glucose-modified 6ACT for HepG2 cells was similar as that of Gal-6ACT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry