Cationic carbosilane dendrimers and oligonucleotide binding: an energetic affair†
Generation 2 cationic carbosilane dendrimers hold great promise as internalizing agents for gene therapy as they present low toxicity and retain and internalize the genetic material as an oligonucleotide or siRNA. In this work we carried out complete in silico structural and energetical characterization of the interactions of a set of G2 carbosilane dendrimers, showing different affinity towards two single strand oligonucleotide (ODN) sequences in vitro. Our simulations predict that these four dendrimers and the relevant ODN complexes are characterized by similar size and shape, and that the molecule-specific ODN binding ability can be rationalized only by considering a critical molecular design parameter: the normalized effective binding energy ΔGbind,eff/Neff, i.e. the performance of each active individual dendrimer branch directly involved in a binding interaction.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Dendritic Polymers for Smart Drug Delivery Applications