A synthetic channel that efficiently inserts into mammalian cell membranes and destroys cancer cells
Despite the fact that a large number of synthetic channels have been developed in the last three decades, few of them can function in mammalian cell membranes because of their weak membrane insertion abilities. This study describes a tubular molecule with terminal positively charged amino groups that displays a strong ability to insert into lipid bilayers composed of phosphatidylcholine and consequently forming unimolecular transmembrane channels. It has been demonstrated that the insertion of the channel into the phosphatidylcholine bilayers was driven by the electrostatic interaction between the positively charged amino groups of the channel molecules and the negatively charged phosphate groups of the lipid molecules. The high affinity of the channels for lipid bilayers led to efficient mammalian cell membrane insertion. The channels showed high effective activity against HepG2 cancer cells at concentrations above 5.1 μM.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Artificial Water Channels