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Polyethylenimine as a Promising Vector for Targeted siRNA Delivery

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 2 ]


Surendra Nimesh Pages 121-130 (10)


Recent discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) technology for gene therapy has triggered explosive research efforts towards development of small interfering RNA (siRNA) as therapeutic modality for gene silencing. Owing to its large molecular weight (~13 kDa), polyanionic nature (~40 negative phosphate groups) and rapid enzymatic degradation, delivery of siRNA remains an unresolved issue. Hence, there arises a need of an appropriate delivery vector to overcome the intrinsic, poor intracellular uptake and limited in vitro and in vivo stability. Amongst the various non-viral delivery vectors, the application of polymeric vectors such as polyethylenimine (PEI) or its derivatives has attracted much attention due to its high transfection efficiency and ease of manipulation. PEI has been extensively investigated for DNA delivery, only recently this polymer has been employed for siRNA delivery. This review will focus on studies done on PEI to deliver siRNA, with emphasis on the targeted, self-assembled polymeric nanoparticles with promising potential to evolve as therapeutic tool in gene therapy.


Cationic, degradation, delivery, nanoparticles, polyethylenimine, polymer, siRNA


Laboratory of Biochemical Neuroendocrinology, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, 110 West Pine Ave, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1R7

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