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Сationic liposomes as delivery systems for nucleic acids

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Objectives. Gene therapy is based on the introduction of genetic material into cells, tissues, or organs for the treatment of hereditary or acquired diseases. A key factor in the success of gene therapy is the development of delivery systems that can efficiently transfer genetic material to the place of their therapeutic action without causing any associated side effects. Over the past 10 years, significant effort has been directed toward creating more efficient and biocompatible vectors capable of transferring nucleic acids (NAs) into cells without inducing an immune response. Cationic liposomes are among the most versatile tools for delivering NAs into cells; however, the use of liposomes for gene therapy is limited by their low specificity. This is due to the presence of various biological barriers to the complex of liposomes with NA, including instability in biological fluids, interaction with serum proteins, plasma and nuclear membranes, and endosomal degradation. This review summarizes the results of research in recent years on the development of cationic liposomes that are effective in vitro and in vivo. Particular attention is paid to the individual structural elements of cationic liposomes that determine the transfection efficiency and cytotoxicity. The purpose of this review was to provide a theoretical justification of the most promising choice of cationic liposomes for the delivery of NAs into eukaryotic cells and study the effect of the composition of cationic lipids (CLs) on the transfection efficiency in vitro.

Results. As a result of the analysis of the related literature, it can be argued that one of the most promising delivery systems of NAs is CL based on cholesterol and spermine with the addition of a helper lipid DOPE. In addition, it was found that varying the composition of cationic liposomes, the ratio of CL to NA, or the size and zeta potential of liposomes has a significant effect on the transfection efficiency.

Conclusions. Further studies in this direction should include optimization of the conditions for obtaining cationic liposomes, taking into account the physicochemical properties and established laws. It is necessary to identify mechanisms that increase the efficiency of NA delivery in vitro by searching for optimal structures of cationic liposomes, determining the ratio of lipoplex components, and studying the delivery efficiency and properties of multicomponent liposomes.

About the Authors

A. A. Mikheev
Scientific Center “Signal”
Russian Federation

Aleksey A. Mikheev, Researcher, The 4th Research Department.

8, Bolshaya Olenya ul., Moscow, 107014

E. V. Shmendel
MIREA – Russian Technological University (M.V. Lomonosov Institute of Fine Chemical Technologies)
Russian Federation

Elena V. Shmendel, Cand. of Sci. (Chemistry), Associate Professor, N.A. Preobrazhensky Department of Chemistry and Technology of Biologically Active Compounds, Medical and Organic Chemistry, M.V. Lomonosov Institute of Fine Chemical Technologies.

86, Vernadskogo pr., Moscow, 119571

E. S. Zhestovskaya
Scientific Center “Signal”
Russian Federation

Elizaveta S. Zhestovskaya, Researcher, The 1th Research and Analytical Department.

8, Bolshaya Olenya ul., Moscow, 107014

G. V. Nazarov
Scientific Center “Signal”
Russian Federation

Georgy V. Nazarov, Dr. of Sci. (Chemistry), Chief Researcher.

8, Bolshaya Olenya ul., Moscow, 107014

M. A. Maslov
MIREA – Russian Technological University (M.V. Lomonosov Institute of Fine Chemical Technologies)
Russian Federation

Mikhail A. Maslov, Dr. of Sci. (Chemistry), Director of the Institute of Fine Chemical Technologies, Professor at the N.A. Preobrazhensky Department of Chemistry and Technology of Biologically Active Compounds, Medical and Organic Chemistry, M.V. Lomonosov Institute of Fine Chemical Technologies. Scopus Author ID 7003427092

86, Vernadskogo pr., Moscow, 119571


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Supplementary files

1. Various techniques for the delivery of nucleic acids into cells are described herein. Particularly, the use of cationic liposomes was evaluated in detail. Cationic liposomes typically consist of amphiphilic cationic lipids. Neutral helper lipids may be added to cationic liposomes to enhance the transfection efficiency. The review discusses the structures and efficiency of such compounds and commercially available transfection agents.
Type Research Instrument
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2. This is to certify that the paper titled Cationic liposomes as delivery systems for nucleic acids. commissioned to Enago by Aleksey A. Mikheev, Elena V. Shmendel, Elizaveta S. Zhestovskaya, Georgy V. Nazarov, Mikhail A. Maslov has been edited for English language and spelling by Enago, an editing brand of Crimson Interactive Inc.
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Various techniques for the delivery of nucleic acids into cells are described herein. Particularly, the use of cationic liposomes was evaluated in detail. Cationic liposomes typically consist of amphiphilic cationic lipids. Neutral helper lipids may be added to cationic liposomes to enhance the transfection efficiency. The review discusses the structures and efficiency of such compounds and commercially available transfection agents.

For citation:

Mikheev A.A., Shmendel E.V., Zhestovskaya E.S., Nazarov G.V., Maslov M.A. Сationic liposomes as delivery systems for nucleic acids. Fine Chemical Technologies. 2020;15(1):7-27.

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