B. A. McNally, A. V. Koulov, T. N. Lambert, B. D. Smith, J. B. Joos, A. L. Sisson, J. P. Clare, V. Sgarlata, L. W. Judd, G. Magro, A. P. Davis*
Chloride transport by a series of steroid-based “cholapod” receptors/carriers was studied in vesicles. The principal method involved preincorporation of the cholapods in the vesicle membranes, and the use of lucigenin fluorescence quenching to detect inward-transported Cl−. The results showed a partial correlation between anion affinity and transport activity, in that changes at the steroidal 7 and 12 positions affected both properties in concert. However, changes at the steroidal 3-position yielded irregular effects. Among the new steroids investigated the bis-p-nitrophenylthiourea 3 showed unprecedented activity, giving measurable transport through membranes with a transporter/lipid ratio of 1:250 000 (an average of <2 transporter molecules per vesicle). Increasing transporter lipophilicity had no effect, and positively charged steroids had low activity. The p-nitrophenyl monourea 25 showed modest but significant activity. Measurements using a second method, requiring the addition of transporters to preformed vesicle suspensions, implied that transporter delivery was problematic in some cases. A series of measurements employing membranes of different thicknesses provided further evidence that the cholapods act as mobile anion carriers.