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Scripps Research Institute other research news

May 31, 1994 7:00 AM UTC

Scientists at Scripps (La Jolla, Calif.) published a means to make nanotubes, artificial pores that may allow new avenues for delivery of gene therapy, antisense and other drugs through the cell membrane. Moreover, the pore formers themselves could be tailored to serve as specific antibiotics.

In Nature, the researchers described self-assembling ion channels made from stacks of peptide rings, which conducted ions at a rate comparable to naturally occurring channel formers, such as gramicidin A and amphotericin B. The peptide spontaneously assembles into tubes that span the membrane when it is introduced into a lipid bilayer in sufficient concentration. ...