Cationic lipo-thiophosphoramidates for gene delivery: synthesis, physico-chemical characterization and gene transfection activity – comparison with lipo-phosphoramidates†
The synthesis of cationic lipo-thiophosphoramidates, a new family of cationic lipids designed for gene delivery, is reported herein. This new class of lipids is less polar than its oxygenated equivalent the lipo-phosphoramidates. Fluorescence anisotropy and FRET were used to determine the fluidity and fusogenicity of the lipo-phosphoramidates 3a–b and lipo-thiophosphoramidates 7a–b. The determination of both the size and the zeta potential of the nano-objects (liposomes and lipoplexes) and the determination of the DNA binding ability of the liposomes have completed the physico-chemical characterizations of the cationic lipids studied. Finally, the cationic lipids 3a–b and 7a–c have been evaluated as synthetic vectors for gene transfection into a variety of mammalian cell lines. The lipo-thiophosphoramidate 7a proved to be an efficient and low toxicity synthetic vector even when used at low lipid to DNA charge ratios.