Novel cationic amphiphilic derivatives from vernonia oil: Synthesis and self-aggregation into bilayer vesicles, nanoparticles, and DNA complexants

S. Grinberg, C. Linder, V. Kolot, T. Waner, Z. Wiesman, E. Shaubi, E. Heldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Self-assembling nanostructures were prepared from novel cationic amphiphilic compounds synthesized from vernonia oil, a natural epoxydized triglyceride. The presence of a 12,13-epoxy group on the CIS unsaturated fatty acid, vernolic acid, which is the main constituent of vernonia oil, permitted the synthesis of novel amphiphilic derivatives with a hydrogen-bonding hydroxyl and a cationic headgroup moiety on adjacent carbon atoms. The amphiphiles were prepared in a two-stage synthesis that comprised opening of the epoxy groups with a haloacetic acid, followed by quaternization of the halo group with a tertiary amine containing a C12 aliphatic chain. Intact vernonia oil as the starting material gave a triple-headed cationic amphiphile, containing three vernolic acid derived moieties connected through a glycerol backbone. A single-headed amphiphile with two alkyl chains and a single quaternary ammonium headgroup was synthesized from the methyl ester of vernolic acid as the starting material. The triple-headed derivative could form nonencapsulating structures. Cholesterol was required in the formulation (1:1) to make spherical vesicles that could encapsulate a water-soluble marker. The single-headed derivative, however, formed spherical encapsulating vesicles without cholesterol. TEM, NMR, and FT-IR were used to characterize the vesicles, and molecular structure vs morphology relationships were postulated on the basis of these data. The triple-headed amphiphile also formed a DNA complex that was highly resistant to hydrolysis by DNase. This amphiphile-DNA complex was used as vector for gene transfer in cell culture demonstrating efficient DNA transfection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7638-7645
Number of pages8
JournalLangmuir
Volume21
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Aug 2005

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