UCSB scientists discover potential drug delivery system
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered a potential new drug delivery system. The finding is a biological mechanism for delivery of nanoparticles into tissue. The results are published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"This work is important because when giving a drug to a patient, it circulates in the blood stream, but often doesn't get into the tissue," said senior author Erkki Ruoslahti, of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research at UCSB. "This is especially true with tumors.
"We believe this method will lead to better, more efficient delivery of drugs," he said. In this study, the scientists used prostate cancer cells as their target, but the method could apply to any type of cell.
The scientists developed a peptide, a small piece of protein that can carry "cargo" for delivery into the cell. The cargo could be a nanoparticle, or even a cell. Riding on the peptide, the cargo gets out of the blood vessel and penetrates the tissue.
The drug is located at one end of the peptide. At the other is the "C terminal," which has the "motif" –– an amino acid sequence including arginine or lysine, that causes the tissue penetration. This terminal has to be open, the researchers found. The strict requirement for the C terminal led the group to coin a new name, the "C-end rule," or CendR, pronounced "sender."
Ruoslahti explained that another exciting aspect of the study is the discovery that viruses appear to use this "CendR" system to get into cells. "It's a natural system," he said. "We're not quite clear what the exact function is, but viruses appear to take advantage of it."
Ongoing research in the Ruoslahti lab is understanding how viruses use this system, and then working to develop inhibitors to prevent viruses from entering the cell.
The two first authors on the paper are Tambet Teesalu and Kazuki N. Sugahara, both of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research at UCSB. Third author Venkata Ramana Kotamraju, of the same institute, made the peptides. Ruoslahti is also affiliated with the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, Calif.
Gail Gallessich | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...