University of Jyväskylä

From a simple artificial anion carrier to a cure of cystic fibrosis?

Dr. Jurček characterised the structure of this molecule’s complex.
Dr. Jurček characterised the structure of this molecule’s complex.
An international research team led by Professor Anthony P. Davis (School of Chemistry) and Dr. David N. Sheppard (School of Physiology and Pharmacology) both from the University of Bristol, UK, together with Dr. Ondřej Jurček from the group of Acad. Prof. Kari Rissanen of the University of Jyväskylä have recently published an exciting biological study on efficient, non-toxic anion carriers.  This work was reported in Nature Chemistry, DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2384, and might have important implications for sufferers of certain genetic diseases.

The transport of anions across the cell membranes has become an important goal for supramolecular chemists. A particular hope is that such artificial anion carriers can be used to replace the activity of natural anion channels which are missing or defective in a number of genetic disorders, most notably, the widespread life-shortening disease cystic fibrosis.

A large number of anion carriers were prepared in the laboratory of Prof. A. P. Davis and studied for their activity using a new biological test. One of the molecules proved highly active, while showing almost no toxicity. Dr. Jurček helped to characterise the structure of this molecule’s complex with a chloride ion, which is presented in the article.

This collaboration is a nice example of a result of research visit supported by University of Jyväskylä mobility grant, due to which Dr. Jurček was able to spend two months in the laboratories of Prof. A. P. Davis in Bristol in 2014.

Further information:

Professor Anthony P. Davis, University of Bristol, tel. +44 (0) 177 954 6334,

Professor David N. Sheppard, University of Bristol, tel. +44 (0) 117 331 2290

Dr. Ondřej Jurček, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 45 885 7363,

DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2384

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