Different-Length Hydrazone Activated Polymers for Plasmid DNA Condensation and Cellular Transfection

Juan M. Priegue, Irene Lostalé-Seijo, Daniel Crisan, Juan R. Granja, Francisco Fernández-Trillo, Javier Montenegro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
195 Downloads (Pure)


The recent advances in genetic engineering demand the development of conceptually new methods to prepare and identify efficient vectors for the intracellular delivery of different nucleotide payloads ranging from short single-stranded oligonucleotides to larger plasmid double-stranded circular DNAs. Although many challenges still have to be overcome, polymers hold great potential for intracellular nucleotide delivery and gene therapy. We here develop and apply the postpolymerization modification of polyhydrazide scaffolds, with different degree of polymerization, for the preparation of amphiphilic polymeric vehicles for the intracellular delivery of a circular plasmid DNA. The hydrazone formation reactions with a mixture of cationic and hydrophobic aldehydes proceed in physiologically compatible aqueous conditions, and the resulting amphiphilic polyhydrazones are directly combined with the biological cargo without any purification step. This methodology allowed the preparation of stable polyplexes with a suitable size and zeta potential to achieve an efficient encapsulation and intracellular delivery of the DNA cargo. Simple formulations that performed with efficiencies and cell viabilities comparable to the current gold standard were identified. Furthermore, the internalization mechanism was studied via internalization experiments in the presence of endocytic inhibitors and fluorescence microscopy. The results reported here confirmed that the polyhydrazone functionalization is a suitable strategy for the screening and identification of customized polymeric vehicles for the delivery of different nucleotide cargos.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2638-2649
Issue number7
Early online date13 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


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