Mitochondriotropic liposomes

J Liposome Res. 2005;15(1-2):49-58. doi: 10.1081/lpr-64958.


Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to a large variety of human disorders, ranging from neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases, obesity, and diabetes to ischemia-reperfusion injury and cancer. Increasing pharmacological efforts toward therapeutic interventions have been made leading to the emergence of "Mitochondrial Medicine" as a new field of biomedical research. The identification of molecular mitochondrial drug targets in combination with the development of methods for selectively delivering biologically active molecules to the site of mitochondria will eventually launch a multitude of new therapies for the treatment of mitochondria-related diseases, which are based either on the selective protection, repair, or eradication of cells. Yet, while tremendous efforts are being undertaken to identify new mitochondrial drugs and drug targets, the development of mitochondria-specific drug carrier systems is lagging behind. To ensure a high efficiency of current and future mitochondrial therapeutics, delivery systems need to be developed, which are able to selectively transport biologically active molecules to and into mitochondria within living human cells. In this study we present the first data demonstrating that conventional liposomes can be rendered mitochondria-specific via the attachment of known mitochondriotropic residues to the liposomal surface.

MeSH terms

  • Bromides / chemistry
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Liposomes* / chemistry
  • Liposomes* / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / chemistry
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / chemistry
  • Stearic Acids / chemistry


  • Bromides
  • Liposomes
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Stearic Acids
  • stearyl-triphenylphosphonium bromide
  • triphenylphosphine