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BMC Plant Biology (1)
Moon, Joong Ho (2)
Ko, Yoon-Joo (1)
Mendez, Eladio (1)
Nguyen, Alien (1)
Silva, Asitha T (1)
Verchot, Jeanmarie (1)
Ye, Changming (1)
Year of Publication
Controlled aggregation in conjugated polymer nanoparticles via organic acid treatments
Understanding and controlling aggregation structures of conjugated polymers (CPs) in aqueous solutions is critical to improving the physical and photophysical properties of CPs for biological applications. Here, we present spectroscopic evidence, including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic results, that different organic acid treatment induces different aggregation structures and photophysical properties of CPs in water. Conjugated polymer nanoparticles (CPNs) were fabricated by treating a non-aqueous soluble, primary amine-containing poly(phenylene ethynylene) (PPE-NH2) with organic acids followed by dialysis. CPNs formed by acetic acid (AA) treatment (CPN-AAs) exhibit characteristics of loose aggregation with minimal π-π stacking, while CPNs formed by tartaric acid (TA) treatment (CPN-TAs) exhibit a high degree of π-π stacking among PPE-NH2 chains. The controlled aggregation for a specific application was demonstrated by comparing the fluorescence quenching abilities of the CPN-AAs and the CPN-TAs. A doubled Stern-Volmer constant was obtained from the densely packed CPN-TAs compared to that of the loosely aggregated CPN-AAs.
Conjugated polymer nanoparticles for effective siRNA delivery to tobacco BY-2 protoplasts
Silva, Asitha T
BMC Plant Biology
Post transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) is a mechanism harnessed by plant biologists to knock down gene expression. siRNAs contribute to PTGS that are synthesized from mRNAs or viral RNAs and function to guide cellular endoribonucleases to target mRNAs for degradation. Plant biologists have employed electroporation to deliver artificial siRNAs to plant protoplasts to study gene expression mechanisms at the single cell level. One drawback of electroporation is the extensive loss of viable protoplasts that occurs as a result of the transfection technology.
We employed fluorescent conjugated polymer nanoparticles (CPNs) to deliver siRNAs and knockdown a target gene in plant protoplasts. CPNs are non toxic to protoplasts, having little impact on viability over a 72 h period. Microscopy and flow cytometry reveal that CPNs can penetrate protoplasts within 2 h of delivery. Cellular uptake of CPNs/siRNA complexes were easily monitored using epifluorescence microscopy. We also demonstrate that CPNs can deliver siRNAs targeting specific genes in the cellulose biosynthesis pathway (NtCesA-1a and NtCesA-1b).
While prior work showed that NtCesA-1 is a factor involved in cell wall synthesis in whole plants, we demonstrate that the same gene plays an essential role in cell wall regeneration in isolated protoplasts. Cell wall biosynthesis is central to cell elongation, plant growth and development. The experiments presented here shows that NtCesA is also a factor in cell viability. We show that CPNs are valuable vehicles for delivering siRNAs to plant protoplasts to study vital cellular pathways at the single cell level.
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