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