Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

Transmembrane transport of bicarbonate by anion receptors



The development of synthetic anion transporters is motivated by their potential application as treatment for diseases that originate from deficient anion transport by natural proteins. Transport of bicarbonate is important for crucial biological functions such as respiration and digestion. Despite this biological relevance, bicarbonate transport has not been as widely studied as chloride transport. Herein we present an overview of the synthetic receptors that have been studied as bicarbonate transporters, together with the different assays used to perform transport studies in large unilamellar vesicles. We highlight the most active transporters and comment on the nature of the functional groups present in active and inactive compounds. We also address recent mechanistic studies that have revealed different processes that can lead to net transport of bicarbonate, as well as studies reported in cells and tissues and comment on the key challenges for the further development of bicarbonate transporters.


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