Polyethylenimine architecture-dependent metabolic imprints and perturbation of cellular redox homeostasis

Arnaldur Hall, Ladan Parhamifar, Marina Krarup Lange, Kathrine Damm Meyle, May Sanderhoff, Helene Andersen, Martin Roursgaard, Anna Karina Larsen, Per Bo Jensen, Claus Christensen, Jiri Bartek, Seyed Moein Moghimi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Polyethylenimines (PEIs) are among the most efficient polycationic non-viral transfectants. PEI architecture and size not only modulate transfection efficiency, but also cytotoxicity. However, the underlying mechanisms of PEI-induced multifaceted cell damage and death are largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the central mechanisms of PEI architecture- and size-dependent perturbations of integrated cellular metabolomics involve destabilization of plasma membrane and mitochondrial membranes with consequences on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), glycolytic flux and redox homeostasis that ultimately modulate cell death. In comparison to linear PEI, the branched architectures induced greater plasma membrane destabilization and were more detrimental to glycolytic activity and OXPHOS capacity as well as being a more potent inhibitor of the cytochrome c oxidase. Accordingly, the branched architectures caused a greater lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and ATP depletion, activated AMP kinase (AMPK) and disturbed redox homeostasis through diminished availability of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), reduced antioxidant capacity of glutathione (GSH) and increased burden of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The differences in metabolic and redox imprints were further reflected in the transfection performance of the polycations, but co-treatment with the GSH precursor N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) counteracted redox dysregulation and increased the number of viable transfected cells. Integrated biomembrane integrity and metabolomic analysis provides a rapid approach for mechanistic understanding of multifactorial polycation-mediated cytotoxicity, and could form the basis for combinatorial throughput platforms for improved design and selection of safer polymeric vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-342
Number of pages15
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Volume1847
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2015

Keywords

  • Bioenergetics
  • Cell death
  • Glycolytic flux
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polyethylenimine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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