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Preparation Of PH-sensitive Poly(glycidol) Derivatives With Varying Hydrophobicities: Their Ability To Sensitize Stable Liposomes To PH.

Naoki Sakaguchi, Chie Kojima, A. Harada, K. Kono
Published 2008 · Chemistry, Medicine

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We have previously shown that modification with succinylated poly(glycidol) (SucPG) provides stable egg yolk phosphatidylcholine (EYPC) liposomes with pH-sensitive fusogenic property. Toward production of efficient pH-sensitive liposomes, in this study, we newly prepared three carboxylated poly(glycidol) derivatives with varying hydrophobicities by reacting poly(glycidol) with glutaric anhydride, 3-methylglutaric anhydride, and 1,2-cyclohexanedicarboxylic anhydride, respectively, designated as GluPG, MGluPG, and CHexPG. Correlation between side-chain structures of these polymers and their respective abilities to sensitize stable liposomes to pH was investigated. These polymers are soluble in water at neutral pH but became water-insoluble in weakly acidic conditions. The pH at which the polymer precipitated was higher in the order SucPG < GluPG < MGluPG < CHexPG, which is consistent with the number of carbon atoms of these polymers' side chains. Although CHexPG destabilized EYPC liposomes even at neutral pH, attachment of other polymers provided pH-sensitive properties to the liposomes. The liposomes bearing polymers with higher hydrophobicity exhibited more intense responses, such as content release and membrane fusion, at mildly acidic pH and achieved more efficient cytoplasmic delivery of membrane-impermeable dye molecules. As a result, modification with appropriate hydrophobicity, MGluPG, produced highly potent pH-sensitive liposomes, which might be useful for efficient cytoplasmic delivery of bioactive molecules, such as proteins and genes.

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