News of the WeekBiochemistry

Chemical Tags Speed Delivery Into Cells

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Science  07 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5463, pp. 28-29
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5463.28b

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SAN FRANCISCO-- In order to pass through the bloodstream, drugs must be water soluble, yet once they have reached their destination, they need a very different kind of chemistry to dissolve through the fatty membrane surrounding cells. At a meeting of the American Chemical Society here last week, researchers reported discovering a small chemical tag that allows compounds access to the interior of cells. The researchers are initially focusing on linking their tag to drugs that can be applied locally, such as topical creams to treat skin diseases, which could make a profound difference for patients suffering from psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions.