The success of medical threatments with DNA and silencing interference RNA is strongly related to the design of efficient delivery technologies. Cationic polymers represent an attractive strategy to serve as nucleic-acid carriers with the envisioned advantages of efficient complexation, low cost, ease of production, well-defined size, and low polydispersity index. However, the balance between efficacy and toxicity (safety) of these polymers is a challenge and in need of improvement. With the aim of designing more effective polycationic-based gene carriers, many parameters such as carrier morphology, size, molecular weight, surface chemistry, and flexibility/rigidity ratio need to be taken into consideration. In the present work, the binding mechanism of three cationic polymers (polyarginine, polylysine and polyethyleneimine) to a model siRNA target is computationally investigated at the atomistic level. In order to better understand the polycationic carrier-siRNA interactions, replica exchange molecular dynamic simulations were carried out to provide an exhaustive exploration of all the possible binding sites, taking fully into account the siRNA flexibility together with the presence of explicit solvent and ions. Moreover, well-tempered metadynamics simulations were employed to elucidate how molecular geometry, polycation flexibility, and charge neutralization affect the siRNA-polycations free energy landscape in term of low-energy binding modes and unbinding free energy barriers. Significant differences among polymer binding modes have been detected, revealing the advantageous binding properties of polyarginine and polylysine compared to polyethyleneimine.
Free energy landscape of siRNA-polycation complexation: Elucidating the effect of molecular geometry, polymer flexibility, and charge neutralization / Grasso, G.; Deriu, M. A.; Patrulea, V.; Borchard, G.; Moller, M.; Danani, A.. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 12:10(2017), pp. e0186816-19.
|Titolo:||Free energy landscape of siRNA-polycation complexation: Elucidating the effect of molecular geometry, polymer flexibility, and charge neutralization|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186816|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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