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2020 - Ionophore constructed from non-covalent assembly of a G-quadruplex and liponucleoside transports K+-ion across biological membranes

icon pap  Port-a-Patch and   icon vpp   Vesicle Prep Pro publication in Nature Communications (2020)

Debnath M., Chakraborty S., Kumar Y.P., Chaudhuri R., Jana B., Dash J.

Nature Communications (2020) 11, Article number: 469


The selective transport of ions across cell membranes, controlled by membrane proteins, is critical for a living organism. DNA-based systems have emerged as promising artificial ion transporters. However, the development of stable and selective artificial ion transporters remains a formidable task. We herein delineate the construction of an artificial ionophore using a telomeric DNA G-quadruplex (h-TELO) and a lipophilic guanosine (MG). MG stabilizes h-TELO by non-covalent interactions and, along with the lipophilic side chain, promotes the insertion of h-TELO within the hydrophobic lipid membrane. Fluorescence assays, electrophysiology measurements and molecular dynamics simulations reveal that MG/h-TELO preferentially transports K+-ions in a stimuli-responsive manner. The preferential K+-ion transport is presumably due to conformational changes of the ionophore in response to different ions. Moreover, the ionophore transports K+-ions across CHO and K-562 cell membranes. This study may serve as a design principle to generate selective DNA-based artificial transporters for therapeutic applications.

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