Navigation Links
Nanopore opens new cellular doorway for drug transport

A living cell is built with barriers to keep things out and researchers are constantly trying to find ways to smuggle molecules in.‬ ‪Professor Giovanni Maglia (Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology, KU Leuven) and his team have engineered a biological nanopore that acts as a selective revolving door through a cell's lipid membrane. The nanopore could potentially be used in gene therapy and targeted drug delivery.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

All living cells are enclosed by a lipid membrane that separates the interior of the cell from the outside environment. The influx of molecules through the cell membrane is tightly regulated by membrane proteins that act as specific doorways for the trafficking of ions and nutrients. Membrane proteins can also be used by cells as weapons. Such proteins attack a cell by making holes nanopores in 'enemy' cell membranes. Ions and molecules leak from the holes, eventually causing cell death.‬‬

‪Researchers are now trying to use nanopores to smuggle DNA or proteins across membranes. Once inside a cell, the DNA molecule could re-programme the cell for a particular action. Professor Maglia explains: "‪We are now able to engineer biological nanopores, but the difficult part is to precisely control the passage of molecules through the nanopores' doorways. We do not want the nanopore to let everything in. Rather, we want to limit entry to specific genetic information in specific cells." ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

‪Professor Maglia and his team succeeded in engineering a nanopore that works like a revolving door for DNA molecules. "We have introduced a selective DNA revolving door atop of the nanopore. Specific DNA keys in solution hybridise to the DNA door and are transported across the nanopore. A second DNA key on the other side of the nanopore then releases the desired genetic information. A new cycle can then begin with another piece of DNA as long as it has the correct key. In this way, the nanopore acts simultaneously as a filter and a conveyor belt." ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

"In other words, we have engineered a selective transport system that can be used in the future to deliver medication into the cell. This could be of particular use in gene therapy, which involves introducing genetic material into degenerated cells in order to disable or re-programme them. It could also be used in targeted drug delivery, which involves administering medication directly into the cell. The possibilities are promising."‬‬


Contact: Giovanni Maglia
KU Leuven

Related biology news :

1. DNA prefers to dive head first into nanopores
2. Temp-controlled nanopores may allow detailed blood analysis
3. New NIH awards focus on nanopore technology for DNA sequencing
4. 3-D RNA modeling opens scientific doors
5. Press accreditation opens for World Series of Science
6. Understanding why some people have propensity to disease
7. Major osteoporosis meeting opens in São Paulo
8. Next-generation sequencing technology opens doors to discoveries
9. Media registration opens for Neuroscience 2012, worlds largest brain science meeting
10. Cell research opens new avenues in combating neurodegenerative diseases
11. OpenStax Colleges free textbooks will save students $1 million this fall
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Nanopore opens new cellular doorway for drug transport
(Date:10/8/2015)... , October 8, 2015 ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on ... the Wocket® smart wallet announces that revenues for ... approximately $410,000 compared with $113,00 for the three ... 9 months ended September 30, 2015 were approximately ...
(Date:10/5/2015)... , October 5, 2015 ... company update for NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ), ... commerce market. --> ) ... Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ), a biometric authentication company ... SoundView Technology Group ( ) ...
(Date:9/30/2015)... Sept. 30, 2015  The global glucose monitoring device and ... So says a new report on the industry from Kalorama ... dominate the market, followed by continuous glucose monitoring and sensor ... the market for these products in its latest report, ... , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... JACKSONVILLE, Florida , October 13, 2015 ... company specializing in the development of innovative peptide and ... & metastatic disease, will be a featured presenting company ... at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in ... --> TapImmune, Inc. (TPIV), a clinical-stage immunotherapy ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Generex Biotechnology Corporation ( ... into a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with MediTemp Ltd. ... developed a proprietary cooling technology designed to improve sperm quality ... the United States and three million men in ... and 44 diagnosed as infertile.  For 42% of those men, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Clinovo recently appointed Jeff Parr and Ed Donaldson to ... data solutions business. , Jeff Parr has spent the past decade providing quality management ... Thermo Fisher, and Ab Sciex to name a few. He is based in ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Proove ... to announce their partnership with the Keck Medicine of the University of ... , The T.R.O.J.A.N. Study (Therapeutic Evaluation to Research Clinical Objectives Linking Genotypic and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: