PRAGUE Tim Pavel Jungwirth from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry from the Czech Republic Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with colleagues from the Czech Republic and Germany, has described an unknown mechanism of passive peptide transport to cells without intermediaries. The transportation of drugs that are easy directly into cells is one of the goals of the pharmaceutical industry. The Institute informed in a press release today. The results of the study were published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS).
The ability of short peptides to penetrate into cells was first seen in HIV studies and is now used to transport drugs to cells. So far, this is most often done through a transport bag, called vesicles, which separates from the cell membrane and surrounds the substance being transported. From the bag, healing molecules must be released again, which according to scientists, might be a technical complication for the effective transport of drugs.
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Peptides can also enter cells without the help of passive energy. Jungwirth's team, using fluorescence and electron microscopy and computer molecular simulations, has found a mechanism based on membrane fusion caused by the delivered peptide itself. However, according to Jungwirth, the practical use of inventions can only be speculated.
Jungwirth has worked with his team for a long time on molecular processes in cell membranes, opening up new possibilities for controlling this process, and possibly more efficient ways to transport drug molecules to the site of action.
Jungwirth has published more than 280 works in international journals including Science, Natural Chemistry, and PNAS. He is also an editor of The Journal of Physical Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society. He also popularized science on Respekt, Czech Radio, and Czech Television.