Berchel, M., Le Gall, T., Couthon-Gourvès, H., Haelters, J.P., Montier, T., Midoux, P., Lehn, P. and Jaffrès, PA.
Biochimie 94 (1) 33-41
Lipophophoramidates constitute a class of synthetic vectors which were especially designed for gene delivery. In this family of compounds, the phosphorus functional group links two lipid chains to a spacer ended by a polar headgroup. Such vectors, which can readily be obtained, offer an alternative to the numerous examples of glycerolipid-based vectors that have been more exhaustively studied. Since the pioneering work describing this series of synthetic vectors, several chemical modifications have been proposed with the aim of correlating the molecular structure with the gene transfection efficacy. It has indeed been observed that some modifications which may be considered as minor at first glance, actually have important consequences on both the transfection efficacy and cytotoxic side effects. We herein discuss the modification of the structure of lipophosphoramidates, in particular of their lipidic part and of the nature of the cationic polar head which may be constituted by a trimethylammonium, trimethylphosphonium or trimethylarsonium motif. We also report that, as well as the in vitro transfection efficacy which governs the selection of the most promising vectors for in vivo studies, other aspects related to the synthetic pathway must be also considered for the development of new synthetic vectors (such as modularity of the synthesis, scaling-up).