- 4:50 PM

Efficient Nuclear Delivery of Antisense Oligo-Nucleotides by Neutral, Self-Porating Polymersomes

Younghoon Kim1, Manu Tewari1, David Pajeroski1, Shamik Sen1, Williams Jason2, Shashank Sirsi2, Gordon Lutz2, and Dennis E. Discher1. (1) Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 220 South 33rd Street, Room 112 Towne Bldg., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6391, (2) Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Drexel University, Mail Stop 488, 245 N. 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192

Delivery of antisense oligonucleotides, AON, presents many of the same challenges as delivery of any nucleic acid: charge, stability, cell uptake, endolysosomal escape, and entry into the nucleus. Here we demonstrate efficient delivery of AON after loading into bio-degradable polymer vesicles or ‘polymersomes'. We focus on AON delivery to muscle cells in vitro and in vivo because of the emergence of AON in therapeutic strategies directed at muscular dystrophies. To first clarify uptake kinetics without the complications of typical multi-layered myotube cultures, we use micro-patterned C2C12 cells and show efficient uptake of AON-polymersomes. The bio-degradable polymersomes break down and foster AON escape with the binding of fluorescent-AON into the nuclear spliceosomes. Intramuscular injections of the Polymersome-AON into the hind-limbs of mdx-dystrophic mice show more efficient nuclear uptake than AON alone and also lead to dystrophin expression in the mdx mice. In sum, these neutral, degradable carriers of AON show promise in vivo.