Enhanced uptake and siRNA-mediated knockdown of a biologically relevant gene using cyclodextrin polyrotaxane

Ideal cationic polymers for siRNA delivery could result in its enhanced cellular internalization, escape from endosomal degradation, and rapid release in cell cytoplasm, to facilitate knockdown of the target gene. In this study, we have investigated the ability of an in-house synthesized cationic polyrotaxane to bind siRNA into nanometric complexes. This polymer, which had earlier shown improved transfection of model siRNA (luciferase), was used to improve the cellular internalization of the siRNA molecule with therapeutic implications. In cellular assays, the polymer enhanced the knockdown of a gene involved in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis, when the nanocomplexes were compared with free siRNA. The efficacy and cellular non-toxicity of this polymer encourage its further exploitation in animal models of tuberculosis and other intracellular bacterial infections.