Phospholipid‐detergent conjugates are proposed as fusogenic carriers for gene delivery. Eleven compounds are prepared and their properties are investigated. The ability of the conjugates to promote fusion with a negatively charged model membrane is determined. Their DNA delivery efficiency and cytotoxicity are assessed in vitro. Lipoplexes are administered in the mouse lung, and transgene expression Indeterminate inflammatory activity are measured. The results show that conjugation of 1,2‐dioleoyl‐sn‐glycero‐3‐phosphocholine (DOPC) with C12E4 produces a carrier that can efficiently deliver DNA to cells, with negligible ¬associated toxicity. Fusogenicity of the conjugates shows good correlation with in vitro transfection efficiency and crucially depends on the length of the polyether moiety of the detergent. Finally, DOPC‐C12E4 reveals highly potent for in vivo DNA delivery and favorably compares to GL67A, the current golden standard for gene delivery to the airway, opening the way for further promising developments.
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