Synthetic Receptors for Polar Lipids
Polar lipids are a broad class of amphiphilic biomolecules that serve diverse biological roles encompassing energy storage, cell compartmentalization, and cell signaling. The first part of the chapter focuses on the structures of polar lipids and their self-assembly properties. The next section summarizes biological strategies for polar lipid recognition, and finally synthetic receptors are described. The supramolecular receptors operate by targeting the hydrophobic tail, the polar headgroup, or simultaneously both the headgroup and tail. The synthetic receptors include container molecules that accommodate the hydrophobic tail, or small molecules that use a combination of polar non-covalent, metal coordination, or reversible covalent bonds to associate with the polar headgroup. Some of the synthetic receptors have been converted into molecular imaging agents and others exhibit antimicrobial activity. The chapter concludes with a summary of the challenges in polar lipid recognition and future directions.