Synthetic transporters for sulfate: a new method for the direct detection of lipid bilayer sulfate transport

Nathalie Busschaert, Louise E. Karagiannidis, Marco Wenzel, Cally J. E. Haynes, Neil J. Wells, Philip G. Young, Damjan Makuc, Janez Plavec, Katrina A. Jolliffe, Philip A. Gale
  • Chemical Science, January 2014, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • DOI: 10.1039/c3sc52006d

Lipid bilayer sulfate transport mediated by small molecules

What is it about?

Sulfate is an important anion in biological systems. We have shown for the first time that small molecules can bind to sulfate and allow it to diffuse across lipid bilayer membranes. This was previously thought impossible as sulfate is very strongly bound to water. We have used 33S NMR experiments to confirm sulfate transport.

Why is it important?

From a biological perspective, sulfate is one of the most abundant anions in human plasma and is the major sulfur source in many organisms. Sulfate transporters are therefore important biological proteins and misregulation of sulfate transport is present in a number of disease states. For example, defects in the diastrophic dysplasia sulfate transporter (DTDST) can lead to various chondrodysplasia due to insufficient sulfation of cartilage proteoglycans.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Philip Gale, Katrina Jolliffe, and Janez Plavec