Synthesis of cholesteryl polyamine carbamates: pK(a) studies and condensation of calf thymus DNA

A J Geall, R J Taylor, M E Earll, M A W Eaton, Ian S Blagbrough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)


Novel polyamine carbamates have been designed and prepared from cholesterol. Our synthesis uses an orthogonal protection strategy based upon trifluoroacetyl and Boc-protecting groups. These unsymmetrical polyamine carbamates have been prepared from symmetrical (e.g., spermine and thermine) polyamines. Detailed interpretations of H-1 and C-13 NMR spectroscopic data led to the unambiguous assignment of these polyamine carbamates. These target conjugates contain a variety of positive charges distributed along methylene chains. Their pK(a)s have been determined potentiometrically for conjugates substituted with up to five amino functional groups. Condensation of calf thymus DNA into particles was monitored using light scattering at 320 nm. Salt-dependent binding affinity for calf thymus DNA was determined using an ethidium bromide fluorescence quenching assay. These cholesteryl polyamine carbamates are models for lipoplex formation with respect to gene delivery (lipofection), a key first step in gene therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-326
Number of pages13
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


Cite this