Utilization of modified surfactant-associated protein B for delivery of DNA to airway cells in culture.
Pulmonary surfactant lines the airway epithelium and creates a potential barrier to successful transfection of the epithelium in vivo. Based on the functional properties of pulmonary surfactant protein B (SP-B) and the fact that this protein is neither toxic nor immunogenic in the airway, we hypothesized that SP-B could be modified to deliver DNA to airway cells. We have modified native bovine SP-B by the covalent linkage of poly(lysine) (average molecular mass of 3.3 or 10 kDa) to the N terminus of SP-B and formed complexes between a test plasmid and the modified SP-B. Transfection efficiency was determined by transfection of pulmonary adenocarcinoma cells (H441) in culture with the test plasmid pCPA-RSV followed by measurement of activity of the reporter gene encoding chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT). Transfections were performed with DNA.protein complexes using poly(lysine)10kDa-SP-B ([Lys]10kDa-SP-B) or poly(lysine)3.3kDa-SP-B ([Lys]3.3kDa-SP-B), and results were compared with transfections using unmodified poly(lysine).DNA, unmodified SP-B.DNA, or DNA only. For [Lys]10kDa-SP-B.pCPA-RSV preparations, CAT activity was readily detectable above the background of [Lys]3.3kDa-SP-B or unmodified SP-B. The SP-B-poly(lysine) conjugates were effective over a broad range of protein-to-DNA molar ratios, although they were optimal at approximately 500:1-1000:1. Transfection efficiency varied with the tested cell line but was not specific to airway cells. Addition of replication-defective adenovirus to the [Lys]10kDa-SP-B.pCPA-RSV complex enhanced CAT activity about 30-fold with respect to that produced by the [Lys]10kDa-SP-B.pCPA-RSV complex alone. This increase suggests routing of the adenoviral.[Lys]10kDa-SP-B.pCPA-RSV complex through an endosomal pathway. Effects of covalent modification on the secondary structure of SP-B were examined by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR). Results of FTIR indicated that the conformation of [Lys]10kDa-SP-B was comprised primarily of alpha-helical structure compared with a predominantly aggregated structure of unmodified poly(lysine). We conclude that poly(lysine) conjugates of SP-B effectively deliver DNA in vitro and may have utility as DNA delivery vehicles to the airway in vivo.
Baatz, JE; Bruno, MD; Ciraolo, PJ; Glasser, SW; Stripp, BR; Smyth, KL; Korfhagen, TR
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