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Open Access Exploring Barrier Mechanisms Relevant for Drug Therapy

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Membranes play an important role in the compartmentalization of cells and organs. Up to 500 different lipids have been reported to be present in different biological membranes. The origin and meaning of this diversity is not well understood. Membranes mediate the necessary separation between organizational units, but also provide the possibility to connect them. Overcoming the membrane barriers within the body is a major task for any therapeutic agent. The research of the Wunderli group is concentrated on elucidating the basis of drug–membrane interaction and permeation processes, on unraveling the mechanism of action of multi-substrate membrane transporters such as the multi-drug resistance protein P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and on the modulation of paracellular diffusion. Three major projects are pursued: (1) drug–membrane interaction and permeation studies with liposomes of different lipid composition; (2) studies on the mechanism of action of the P-gp with proteoliposomes; (3) modulation of the tight junctions (TJs) of cell barriers to enhance the paracellular transport of hydrophilic therapeutic entities, e.g. peptides.

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Keywords: LIPID MEMBRANES; MULTI-DRUG RESISTANCE; PARTITIONING; PERMEATION; TIGHT JUNCTIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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