Silencing RNA (siRNA) technologies attract significant interest as a therapeutic tool for a large number of diseases. However, the medical translation of this technology is hampered by the lack of effective delivery vehicles for siRNAs in cytosol that prevent their degradation in the bloodstream. The use of molecular complexes based on polyamines have great potential for siRNA delivery as polyamines can protect the siRNA during circulation and at the same time favor siRNA translocation in cytosol. Here, nanoparticles are prepared by complexation of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and siRNA varying the ratio of nitrogen groups from PAH to phosphate groups from siRNA (N/P ratio). Nanoparticles are characterized by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. The stability of complexes of green rhodamine labelled PAH (G-PAH) and Cy5 labelled siRNA (R-siRNA) at different pHs and in cell media is studied by fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy (FCCS). FCCS studies show that the nanoparticles are stable at physiological pH and in cell media but they disassemble at acidic pH. An optimal N/P ratio of 2 is identified in terms of stability in media, degradation at endosomal pH and toxicity. The intracellular fate of the complexes is studied following uptake in A549 cells. The cross-correlation between G-PAH and R-siRNA decreases substantially 24 h after uptake, while diffusion times of siRNA decrease indicating that the complexes disassemble, liberating the siRNAs. The release of siRNAs into the cytosol is confirmed with parallel confocal laser scanning microscopy. Flow cytometry studies show that PAH/siRNA nanoparticles are effective at silencing green fluorescent protein expression at low N/P ratios at which polyethylenimine/siRNA shows no significant silencing.
Self-assembly of poly(allylamine)/siRNA nanoparticles, their intracellular fate and siRNA delivery / Di Silvio, D.; Martinez-Moro, M.; Salvador, C.; de los Angeles Ramirez, M.; Caceres-Velez, P. R.; Ortore, M. G.; Dupin, D.; Andreozzi, P.; Moya, S. E.. - In: JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE. - ISSN 0021-9797. - STAMPA. - 557:(2019), pp. 757-766. [10.1016/j.jcis.2019.09.082]