Molecular Shape of the Cationic Lipid Controls the Structure of Cationic Lipid/Dioleylphosphatidylethanolamine-DNA Complexes and the Efficiency of Gene Delivery

Jarmila S̆misterová, Anno Wagenaar, Marc C. A. Stuart, Evgeny Polushkin, Gerrit ten Brinke, Ron Hulst, Jan B. F. N. Engberts, Dick Hoekstra
2001 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
Pyridinium amphiphiles, abbreviated as SAINT, are highly efficient vectors for delivery of DNA into cells. Within a group of structurally related compounds that differ in transfection capacity, we have investigated the role of the shape and structure of the pyridinium molecule on the stability of bilayers formed from a given SAINT and dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE) and on the polymorphism of SAINT/DOPE-DNA complexes. Using electron microscopy and small angle x-ray scattering, a
more » ... ship was established between the structure, stability, and morphology of the lipoplexes and their transfection efficiency. The structure with the lowest ratio of the cross-sectional area occupied by polar over hydrophobic domains (SAINT-2) formed the most unstable bilayers when mixed with DOPE and tended to convert into the hexagonal structure. In SAINT-2-containing lipoplexes, a hexagonal topology was apparent, provided that DOPE was present and complex assembly occurred in 150 mM NaCl. If not, a lamellar phase was obtained, as for lipoplexes prepared from geometrically more balanced SAINT structures. The hexagonal topology strongly promotes transfection efficiency, whereas a strongly reduced activity is seen for complexes displaying the lamellar topology. We conclude that in the DOPE-containing complexes the molecular shape and the nonbilayer preferences of the cationic lipid control the topology of the lipoplex and thereby the transfection efficiency.
doi:10.1074/jbc.m106199200 pmid:11583999 fatcat:idbyhwk2orha3cr6ja6bivhaui