Chemical Ligation Builds Synthetic Lipid Membranes | Chemical & Engineering News
  • CORRECTION: On Nov. 5., 2014, the first step of the reaction scheme in this story was corrected to include a missing CH2 group in the terminal cysteine.
Volume 92 Issue 44 | p. 41 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 3, 2014

Chemical Ligation Builds Synthetic Lipid Membranes

Technique works in water at neutral pH and is compatible with other biomolecules
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Organic SCENE, Biological SCENE
Keywords: phospholipids, native chemical ligation, chemical biology, liposomes, vesicles, drug delivery, synthetic biology

Native chemical ligation isn’t just for building big peptides anymore.The reaction, which forms amide bonds in water without enzymes, has also been used to construct nucleic acids. Now, chemists have shown that the ligation can even generate phospholipids, which then spontaneously form vesicles about the size of a skin cell (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201408538). Enzymes in nature make phospholipids with thioester precursors, and . . .

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