Current Biotechnology

Pabulo Henrique Rampelotto  
Center of Biotechnology and PPGBCM
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Porto Alegre, RS


Applications of Extremophilic Archaeal Lipids in the Field of Nanocarriers for Oral/Topical Drug Delivery

Author(s): Thierry Benvegnu, Loïc Lemiègre, Sylvain Dalençon and Jelena Jeftić

Affiliation: Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, 11 Allée de Beaulieu, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France.


Extreme environments are mainly occupied by Archaea that contain in their cytoplasmic membrane unique mono- and bi-polar ether lipids that exhibit extraordinary resistance towards chemical and/or enzymatic degradation, over a wide range of pH values, extreme temperatures, and high salt concentrations. The archaeal core lipid structures show considerable variation within the various subgroups of the Archaea, but there are groupings of structural types that can be associated with the three principal archaeal phenotypes. These unusual lipids play a key role in the adaptation of the halophilic, methanogenic, (hyper)thermophilic/thermoacidophilic Archaea to extreme habitats by optimizing membrane composition and properties in direct response to the growth conditions of the organisms. The uniqueness of archaeal lipid structures and functions within membranes has prompted a great deal of interest in the use of natural lipids or synthetic analogues as innovative materials for the development of biotechnological applications. In this review, recent uses of diether-type and tetraether-type lipids as nanocarriers in the drug delivery field are discussed, with special attention to the promising oral/topical administration routes.

Keywords: Archaeal lipids, archaeosome, extremophile, nanocarriers, oral/topical drug delivery, vaccine.

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Article Details

Page: [294 - 303]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/18722083113076660026