Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New substances accelerate drug transport into cells

Date:
September 8, 2011
Source:
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Summary:
Biologists have discovered means for speeding the transport of the active ingredients of drugs into live cells that might allow drastically reducing drug dosages in the future.

Biologists at the Technische Universität Darmstadt have discovered means for speeding the transport of the active ingredients of drugs into live cells that might allow drastically reducing drug dosages in the future.

Related Articles


Drugs do not exhibit their effects until they have been taken up by the associated cells of the organ involved and become available for metabolism there. Although there are numerous, widely differing types of cells, every cell, regardless of its type, is enclosed by a membrane that is permeable by particular substances or particulates only. Biomedical researchers have thus been urgently seeking new means for selectively introducing drugs into cells. Prof. Cristina Cardoso and Dr. Henry D. Herce, of the TU‑Darmstadt's Biology Dept. have recently made significant progress in that direction in that they have found means for substantially accelerating the transport of substances, particularly water-soluble substances, through cell membranes.

The Darmstadt biologists have been working with short protein chains that drill their way through cell membranes for that past several years. Such miniscule proteins, termed "cell-penetrating peptides" (CPPs), may serve as a sort of vehicle for active ingredients of drugs that simply attach themselves to CPPs and are dragged along with the latter into cells.

Cyclic proteins transport drugs faster

In an article that has just appeared in the international journal Nature Communications, the Darmstadt biologists have shown that cyclic proteins represent particularly good vehicles, since both their transport rates and transport speeds are much greater than those of linear-chain CPPs. In practice, what that means is that, in the future, both drug dosages and the time lags until drugs begin to exhibit their effects might be drastically reduced.

For example, the tiny protein TAT is a flexible, linear chain, whose "backbone" has various, lateral branches appended to it. Its backbone has a rather large number of degrees of freedom, i.e., is highly flexible, as are its lateral branches. Investigations conducted by the Darmstadt group have shown that transport through cell membranes is greatly enhanced by a less-flexible, cyclic structure of the transporting vehicle, since the critical factor appears to be that the guanidinium groups in its lateral branches should be spaced at the greatest-possible intervals, which is more likely to occur in the case of a cyclic structure, where the vehicle's backbone forms a closed loop and the guanidinium groups thus extend radially outward from the loop. For example, cyclic TAT penetrated cell membranes fifteen minutes sooner than the usual, linear-chain TAT, where closure of the chain improved transport efficiency in the case of both TAT and other arginine-rich CPPs.

In the future, the biologists at the TU‑Darmstadt plan to study the transport of particular, water-soluble, active ingredients. Remaining to be clarified are how cells deal with cyclic, nano-scale transporters, namely, whether the latter are ejected by cells, decomposed by them, or simply retained by them unchanged, and, finally, whether their studies, which were conducted on cells kept under artificial conditions, will be confirmed by in vivo investigations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Technische Universität Darmstadt. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gisela Lättig-Tünnemann, Manuel Prinz, Daniel Hoffmann, Joachim Behlke, Caroline Palm-Apergi, Ingo Morano, Henry D. Herce, M. Cristina Cardoso. Backbone rigidity and static presentation of guanidinium groups increases cellular uptake of arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptides. Nature Communications, 2011; 2: 453 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1459

Cite This Page:

Technische Universität Darmstadt. "New substances accelerate drug transport into cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907075759.htm>.
Technische Universität Darmstadt. (2011, September 8). New substances accelerate drug transport into cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907075759.htm
Technische Universität Darmstadt. "New substances accelerate drug transport into cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907075759.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins