We recently proposed a novel gene regulation system responding to specifically and abnormally activated intracellular enzymes in diseased cells. In the present study, we focused on protein kinase C (PKC)α, which is hyper-activated in most tumor cells, as a trigger for transgene regulation. We prepared cationic copolymers comprising hydrophilic and neutral polymers in main chains and cationic peptide substrates with different contents in side chains. Our copolymer with high peptide content (> 3 mol%) condensed with pDNA more weakly than with poly(l-lysine) (pLL) having a similar molecular weight, but gene suppression was nearly identical to that of pLL, probably due to the steric hindrance of the main chains in our copolymer. Steric hindrance of the main chains barely affected the phosphorylation reaction of the pendant peptide. In cell and mouse experiments, higher gene expression was observed in complexes of pDNA with copolymers pended PKCα-specific substrate peptide than that in complexes with negative copolymers pended peptide substituted phosphorylation site of serine residues with alanine. These results indicate that our system can recognize intracellular PKCα as a trigger to regulate transgene expression, and may be useful for tumor gene therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science