Octaarginine- and octalysine-modified nanoparticles have different modes of endosomal escape.

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8012, Japan.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 07/2008; 283(34):23450-61. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M709387200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present study examines the role of surface modification with an octaarginine peptide (R8) in liposomal escape from endocytic vesicles, using octalysine (K8) as a control cationic peptide; the mechanism of endosomal escape of liposomes was also investigated. Gene expression of condensed plasmid DNA encapsulated in R8-modified nanoparticles was more than 1 order of magnitude higher than that of K8-modified nanoparticles, and 2 orders of magnitude higher than gene expression using unmodified nanoparticles. The difference in gene expression could not be attributed to differences in uptake, as R8- and K8-modified liposomes were taken up primarily via macropinocytosis with comparable efficiency. The extent of R8-nanoparticle escape to the cytosol was double that of K8-nanoparticles. Suppression of endosome acidification inhibited R8-nanoparticle endosomal escape, but enhanced that of K8-nanoparticles. Using spectral imaging in live cells, we showed that R8- and K8-liposomes escaped from endocytic vesicles via fusion between the liposomes and the endosomal membrane. R8-liposomes fused efficiently at both acidic and neutral pH, whereas K8-liposomes fused only at neutral pH. Similar behavior was observed during in vitro lipid mixing and calcein-release experiments. Co-incubation of cells with distinctly labeled K8- and R8-modified nanoparticles confirmed a common uptake pathway and different rates of endosomal escape particularly at longer time intervals. Therefore, it was concluded that R8 on the liposome surface stimulates efficient escape from endocytic vesicles via a fusion mechanism that works at both neutral and acidic pH; in contrast, K8 mediates escape mainly at neutral pH.

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