Folic acid-decorated polyamidoamine dendrimer mediates selective uptake and high expression of genes in head and neck cancer cells

Leyuan Xu, Shannon Kittrell, W. Andrew Yeudall, Hu Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Aim: Folic acid (FA)-decorated polyamidoamine dendrimer G4 (G4-FA) was synthesized and studied for targeted delivery of genes to head and neck cancer cells expressing high levels of folate receptors (FRs). Methods: Cellular uptake, targeting specificity, cytocompatibility and transfection efficiency were evaluated. Results: G4-FA competes with free FA for the same binding site. G4-FA facilitates the cellular uptake of DNA plasmids in a FR-dependent manner and selectively delivers plasmids to FR-high cells, leading to enhanced gene expression. Conclusion: G4-FA is a suitable vector to deliver genes selectively to head and neck cancer cells. The fundamental understandings of G4-FA as a vector and its encouraging transfection results for head and neck cancer cells provided support for its further testing in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2959-2973
Number of pages15
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016



  • PAMAM dendrimer
  • folate receptor targeting
  • gene therapy
  • head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this