RESEARCH >> Theme: ion transport across lipid bilayers



A new research project developed in the EMNS Lab deals with ion transport across lipid membranes using supramolecular carriers.

#1 Anion transport across lipid membranes by supramolecular receptors


Channel-forming membrane proteins are responsible for the transport of charged species through cell membranes. Dysfunction in ion transport is the cause of numerous diseases, of which cystic fibrosis is probably the most well-known. It is possible to compensate for the defect or under-expressed membrane protein channel activity by using synthetic molecules which can carry anions through the lipid bilayer. Our goal is to study the thermodynamics, kinetics, and structural parameters of anion carriers inside lipid bilayer membranes in order to highlight the key parameters governing the efficiency of organic receptors as transporters. We use both state-of-the-art physical organic chemistry and biophysical methods, such as advanced NMR techniques, microcalorimetry and fluorescence spectroscopy, to obtain an extensive understanding of the transport phenomenon and propose new rules for the design of the next generation of anion transporters.



Heads: Dr Hennie Valkenier & Prof. Kristin Bartik

Co-workers/researchers: Ir Glenn Grauwels

Collaborations: Prof. Tony Davis (University of Bristol), Prof. Ivan Jabin (ULB)

Funding: FNRS (Post-doctoral and PhD fellowships)


A folding decalin tetra-urea for transmembrane anion transport

H. Valkenier, C. M. Dias, C. P. Butts, A. P. Davis, Tetrahedron, in press (2017).

Tilting and Tumbling in Transmembrane Anion Carriers: Activity Tuning through n-Alkyl Substitution

S. J. Edwards, I. Marques, C. M. Dias, R. A. Tromans, N. R. Lees, V. Félix, H. Valkenier, A. P. Davis, Chem. Eur. J., 22, 2004-2011 (2016).

Efficient, non-toxic anion transport by synthetic carriers in cells and epithelia

H. Li, H. Valkenier, L. W. Judd, P. R. Brotherhood, S. Hussain, J. A. Cooper, O. Jurček, H. A. Sparkes, D. N. Sheppard, A. P. Davis, Nature Chemistry 8, 24-31 (2016).

Preorganized Bis-Thioureas as Powerful Anion Carriers: Chloride Transport by Single Molecules in Large Unilamellar Vesicles

H. Valkenier, L.W. Judd, H. Li, S. Hussain, D.N. Sheppard, A.P. Davis, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 12507-12512 (2014).



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