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Tight Junction Modulators: Promising Candidates for Drug Delivery

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Recent advances in genomic drug development and high-throughput technologies, such as combinatorial chemistry, high throughput screening and in silico screening, are making it easier to screen compounds with pharmaceutical activity. Drugs developed by genomic and throughput technologies traverse the epithelial and endothelial membranes. Although the paracellular pathway is a potent drug delivery route for these drugs, few strategies for their delivery have been developed because tight junctions (TJs), which exist between adjacent cells, strictly regulate the movement of solutes. Recent progress in biology of TJs has provided new insights into the biochemical and functional structure of TJs, and into the roles that occludin, claudins and tricellulin play in regulating TJ barriers. Novel strategies based on TJ-components for delivering drugs through the paracellular pathway have been developed. In this review, we discuss drug delivery through the paracellular route within the context of biology of TJs, as well as future directions of TJ-component-based drug delivery systems.
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Keywords: Tight junction; claudin; drug delivery; paracellular route

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Bio-Functional Molecular Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Suita,Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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