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.
- hyaluronic acid
- receptor-mediated internalization