Mol Pharm. 2014 Sep 2;11(9):2973-88. doi: 10.1021/mp4006276. Epub 2014 Jul 30.
Gene therapy for treating inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis might be achieved using multimodular nonviral lipid-based systems. To date, most optimizations have concerned cationic lipids rather than colipids. In this study, an original archaeal tetraether derivative was used as a colipid in combination with one or the other of two monocationic amphiphiles. The liposomes obtained, termed archaeosomes, were characterized regarding lipid self-assembling properties, macroscopic/microscopic structures, DNA condensation/neutralization/relaxation abilities, and colloidal stability in the presence of serum. In addition, gene transfer experiments were conducted in mice with lipid/DNA complexes being administered via systemic or local delivery routes. Altogether, the results showed that the tetraether colipid can provide complexes with different in vivo transfection abilities depending on the lipid combination, the lipid/colipid molar ratio, and the administration route. This original colipid appears thus as an innovative modular platform endowed with properties possibly beneficial for fine-tuning of in vivo lipofection and other biomedical applications.