Glycoligands, sugar-based molecules able to complex metal cations, constitute a new class of molecules with great potential for biological and biochemical applications. To analyze their behaviour in a biological environment, we have synthesized an intrinsically fluorescent glycoligand and analyzed its trafficking in both living (U937 human cancer cells) and artificial (giant unilamellar vesicles) cell systems. We have found that this ligand has moderate cytotoxicity accompanied by specific accumulation in both living and reconstituted membranes, which it can cross to reach inner compartments.
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