HA-Coated Chitosan Nanoparticles for CD44-Mediated Nucleic Acid Delivery

Abdulaziz Almalik, Philip J Day, Nicola Tirelli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    CD44, the main receptor of hyaluronic acid (HA), is overexpressed in several pathological conditions and therefore can be seen as an interesting target for therapeutic intervention. Here, an approach using HA-coated chitosan (CS)-triphosphate (TPP) nanoparticles is investigated, using CS with different molecular weight (25 and 684kDa), which influences HA presentation, and enzymatic and pH stability. In a study of nuclease stability, post-digestion of nanoparticles with chitosanase reveals that pDNA is at least partially degraded by DNAse; this may suggest that literature results overestimate the polyplex stability against nucleases. Using cells with a significantly different CD44 expression (RAW 264.7 macrophageshigh levels; K562 leukemia cellslow levels; Kelly neuroblastoma cellsabsent), the selectivity of CD44-mediated transfection is proven. Further, using luciferase pDNA and then later anti-luc siRNA, low MW CS-based nanoparticles show the best results despite a lower internalization efficiency; this effect is ascribed to a more efficient endosomal disruption and nucleic acid de-complexation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1671-1680
    Number of pages10
    JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • CD44
    • hyaluronic acid
    • macrophages
    • nanoparticles
    • receptor-mediated internalization


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