Divalent metal ions boost effect of nucleic acids delivered by cell-penetrating peptides [article]

Maria Maloverjan, Kart Padari, Aare Abroi, Ana Rebane, Margus Pooga
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are promising tools for transfection of various substances, including nucleic acids, into cells. The aim of current work was to search for novel safe and effective approaches for enhancing transfection efficiency of nanoparticles formed of CPP and splice-correcting oligonucleotide (SCO) without increasing the concentration of peptide. We analyzed an effect of inclusion of calcium and magnesium ions into nanoparticles on CPP-mediated transfection in cell culture.
more » ... We also studied the mechanism of such transfection as well as its efficiency, applicability in case of different cell lines, nucleic acid types and peptides, and possible limitations. We discovered a strong positive effect of these ions on transfection efficiency of SCO, that translated to enhanced synthesis of functional reporter protein. We observed significant changes in intracellular distribution and trafficking of nanoparticles formed with addition of the ions, without increasing cytotoxicity. We propose a novel strategy of preparing CPP-oligonucleotide nanoparticles with enhanced efficiency and, thus, higher therapeutic potential. Our discovery may be translated to primary cell cultures and, possibly, in vivo studies, in the aim to increase CPP-mediated transfection efficiency and likelihood of using CPPs in clinics.
doi:10.1101/2021.12.09.471911 fatcat:nb7d3v7ahzdevgjjuv6uotup4m