PRAGUE The Pavel Jungwirth team of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Republic's Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with colleagues from the Czech Republic and Germany, described an unknown mechanism of passive peptide transport to cells without an intermediary. The easy drug transport directly into the cells is one of the goals of the pharmaceutical industry. The Institute informed it in the press release today. The results of the investigation were published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS).
The ability of short peptides to penetrate cells was first seen in HIV studies and is now being used to transport drugs to cells. So far, most times it is done through a transport bag, the so-called vesicle, which separates the cell membrane and surrounds the substance transported. From the bag, the healing molecule must be released again, which, according to scientists, can be a technical complication for the effective transportation of drugs.
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Peptides can also pass into cells without passive energy assistance. Jungwirth's team, using fluorescence and electron microscopy and simulations of molecular computers, discovered a mechanism that is based on membrane fusion induced by the transported peptides themselves. However, according to Jungwirth, the practical use of discovery can only be speculated.
Jungwirth has been working with his team for a long time in the molecular processes of the cell membrane, opening new possibilities to control these processes and potentially more efficient forms of transporting drug molecules to the place of action.
Jungwirth has published more than 280 works in international magazines, including Science, Nature Chemistry and PNAS. He is also editor of The Journal of Physical Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society. He also popularizes science in Respekt, Czech Radio and Czech Television.