Structurally Programmed Assembly of Translation Initiation Nanoplex for Superior mRNA Delivery

TitleStructurally Programmed Assembly of Translation Initiation Nanoplex for Superior mRNA Delivery
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsLi, J, Wang, W, He, Y, Li, Y, Yan, EZ, Zhang, K, Irvine, DJ, Hammond, PT
JournalAcs Nano
Pagination2531 - 2544
Date Published2017/03//
ISBN Number1936-0851
Keywordscap-binding protein, cells, eIF4E, expression kinetics, factor 4e, in-vivo, mRNA, n-substituted polyaspartamides, nanoplex, nucleic acid delivery, phosphorylation, side-chain, transfection

Messenger RNA (mRNA) represents a promising class of nucleic-acid-based therapeutics. While numerous nanocarriers have been developed for mRNA delivery, the inherent labile nature of mRNA results in a very low transfection efficiency and poor expression of desired protein. Here we preassemble the mRNA translation initiation structure through an inherent molecular recognition between 7-methylguanosine (m(7)G)-capped mRNA and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) protein to form ribonucleoproteins (RNPs), thereby mimicking the first step of protein synthesis inside cells. Subsequent electrostatic stabilization of RNPs with structurally tunable cationic carriers leads to nanosized complexes (nanoplexes), which elicit high levels of mRNA transfection in different cell types by enhancing intracellular mRNA stability and protein synthesis. By investigating a family of synthetic polypeptides bearing different side group arrangements of cationic charge, we find that the molecular structure modulates the nanoscale distance between the mRNA strand and the eIF4E protein inside the nanoplex, which directly impacts the enhancement of mRNA transfection. To demonstrate the biomedical potential of this approach, we use this approach to introduce mRNA/eIF4E nanoplexes to murine dendritic cells, resulting in increased activation of cytotoxic CD8 T cells ex vivo. More importantly, eIF4E enhances gene expression in lungs following a systemic delivery of luciferase mRNA/eIF4E in mice. Collectively, this bioinspired molecular assembly method could lead to a new paradigm of gene delivery.

Short TitleACS Nano