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Bioorg Med Chem 2013 Oct 15;21(20):6224-32

Assessment of the cellular internalization of thermolytic phosphorothioate DNA oligonucleotide prodrugs.

Jain HV, Takeda K, Tami C, Verthelyi D, Beaucage SL


The bioactivity of a CpG-containing phosphorothioate DNA oligonucleotide with thermolytic 2-(N-formyl-N-methylamino)ethyl (fma) thiophosphate groups in mice led us to investigate the parameters affecting the internalization of these thermosensitive DNA prodrugs in various cell lines. Flow cytometry and confocal microscopy analyses indicate that 5'-fluoresceinated fma-phosphorothioate DNA sequences are poorly internalized in Vero, HeLa and GC-2 cells. However, when four fma-thiophosphate groups of a 15-nucleotide long oligothymidylate prodrug are replaced with 3-(N,N-dimethylamino)prop-1-yl thiophosphate functions, internalization of the positively charged prodrug, under physiological conditions, increased fourfold in HeLa and 40-fold in Vero or GC-2 cells. No cytotoxic effects are observed in Vero cells even at an extracellular prodrug concentration of 50muM over a period of 72h. Confocal microscopy studies show that internalization of the positively charged oligothymidylate prodrug in Vero cells is time-dependent with early trafficking of the DNA sequence through endosomal vesicles and, eventually, to the nucleus of the cells. Thus, the incorporation of four 3-(N,N-dimethylamino)prop-1-yl thiophosphate groups into thermosentive fma-phosphorothioate DNA prodrugs is an attractive strategy for efficient cellular internalization of these nucleic acid-based drugs for potential therapeutic indications.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #23755885 DOI: 10.1016/j.bmc.2013.04.071
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Drugs Biologics
Entry Created: 2013-10-27