• Authors: Nothisen, M., Bagilet, J., Behr, J. P., Remy, J. S., Kotera, M.
  • Year: 2016
  • Journal: Mol Pharm 13 2718-28
  • Applications: in vitro / siRNA / INTERFERin
  • Cell type: A549
    Description: Human lung carcinoma cells, type II pneumocytes
    Known as: A-549


Cells were transfected with 10 nM of siRNA using INTERFERin according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Oligospermine-siRNA conjugates are able to induce efficient luciferase gene silencing upon carrier-free transfection. These conjugates are readily accessible by a versatile automated chemistry that we developed using a DMT-spermine phosphoramidite reagent. In this article, we used this chemistry to study a wide range of structural modifications of the oligospermine-siRNA conjugates, i.e., variation of conjugate positions and introduction of chemical modifications to increase nuclease resistance. At first we examined gene silencing activity of a series of siRNA-tris(spermine) conjugates with and without chemical modifications in standard carrier assisted conditions. The three spermine units attached at one of the two ends of the sense strand or at the 3'-end of the antisense strand are compatible with gene silencing activity whereas attachment of spermine units at the 5'-end of the antisense strand abolished the activity. 2'-O-Methylated nucleotides introduced in the sense strand are compatible while not in the antisense strand. Thiophosphate links could be used without activity loss at the 3'-end of both strands and at the 5'-end of the sense strand to conjugate oligospermine. Consequently a series of oligospermine-siRNA conjugates containing 15 to 45 spermines units in various configurations were chosen, prepared, and examined in carrier-free conditions. Attachment of 30 spermine units singly at the 5'-end of the sense strand provides the most potent carrier-free siRNA. Longevity of luciferase gene silencing was studied using oligospermine-siRNA conjugates. Five day long efficiency with more than 80% gene expression knockdown was observed upon transfection without vector. Oligospermine-siRNA conjugates targeting cell-constitutive natural lamin A/C gene were prepared. Efficient gene silencing was observed upon carrier-free transfection of siRNA conjugates containing 20 or 30 spermine residues grafted at the 5'-end of the sense strand.