They find a way to insert drugs into cells

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researchers from Spanish and German centers published this Wednesday in the journal Nature a novel mechanism with which drugs could be introduced into human cells.

This system is responsible for carrying bioactive substances into the cell using boron compounds with superchaotropic properties.

This new vehicle transport of drugs into the cell breaks the “amphiphilic” dogma established until now and opens a new path in the field of research, which could favor the effectiveness of drugs.

The team of researchers is made up of scientists from the Singular Center for Research in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Materials (CiQUS), of the University of Santiago de Compostela, and Jacobs University (Germany).

molecular vehicles

According to CiQUS, this new class of molecular vehicles to administer drugs that transcends the amphiphilic dogma are “boron clusters with a spherical shape, negative charge and excellent solubility in water”.

The key, the researchers point out, lies in its “superchaotropic nature”, a property that allows them to “disorder the water molecules and thus dehydrate the cargo they carry” in order to cross the hydrophobic membrane.

The group led by Professor Werner Nau (Jacobs University) studies the behavior of boron clusters in membrane models based on artificial vesicles.

The boron clusters substituted with bromine groups presented an ideal chaotropic balance to transport substances through the membrane without causing damage. These compounds interact with the molecules to be transported in a completely new way, without the need to aggregate with it or encapsulate it.

“The new vehicles have very particular transport properties” comments Andrea Barba-Bon, researcher of the German team and first co-author of the study.

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They have managed to stain the intracellular skeleton

Barba-Bon also points out that “unlike traditional amphiphilic compounds, the order in which the clusters and molecules that we want to transport to the vesicles are added, or even the type of membrane, have a minimal effect on their effectiveness” .

CiQUS researchers have managed to bring different hydrophilic charges inside cellsincluding phalloidin – a molecule commonly used as a biochemical marker of the cytoskeleton – to the cytosol inside cells, thereby staining the intracellular skeleton of different cell types.

“We have identified an entirely new class of vehicles that could be used to carry different drugs into cells. Superchaotropic anions are a new tool, totally different from those that existed to date, to be able to internalize hydrophilic substances in the cell whose potential has only just begun to be explored” explains Guilia Salluce, doctoral candidate in the group of USC professor Javier Montenegro, who also appears as the first co-author of the study.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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