Spatial organization in proteinaceous membrane-stabilized coacervate protocells

Junbo Li, Xiaoman Liu, Loai K.E.A. Abdelmohsen (Corresponding author), David S. Williams (Corresponding author), Xin Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

As a model protocell, the membrane-free coacervate microdroplet is widely utilized in functional studies to provide insights into the physicochemical properties of the cell and to engineer cytomimetic soft technologies; however, the lack of a discrete membrane contributes to its instability and limits further application. Herein, a strategy is developed to fabricate a hybrid protocell based on the self-assembly of a proteinaceous membrane at the surface of coacervate microdroplets driven by a combination of electrostatic adhesion and steric/hydrophilic surface buoyancy. The semipermeable proteinaceous membrane can enhance coacervate stability obviously without compromising sequestration behavior. Significantly, such hybrid protocells demonstrate spatial organization whereby various functional enzymes can be located in discrete regions, which facilitates an on/off modulation for a cascade enzymatic reaction along with enhanced chemical communication between subpopulations.

LanguageEnglish
Article number1902893
Number of pages9
JournalSmall
Volume15
Issue number36
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019

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Artificial Cells
Membranes
Buoyancy
Static Electricity
Self assembly
Electrostatics
Adhesion
Enzymes
Modulation
Engineers
Communication

Keywords

  • coacervate
  • proteinaceous membranes
  • proteinosomes
  • protocells
  • spatial organization

Cite this

Li, Junbo ; Liu, Xiaoman ; Abdelmohsen, Loai K.E.A. ; Williams, David S. ; Huang, Xin. / Spatial organization in proteinaceous membrane-stabilized coacervate protocells. In: Small. 2019 ; Vol. 15, No. 36.
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Spatial organization in proteinaceous membrane-stabilized coacervate protocells. / Li, Junbo; Liu, Xiaoman; Abdelmohsen, Loai K.E.A. (Corresponding author); Williams, David S. (Corresponding author); Huang, Xin.

In: Small, Vol. 15, No. 36, 1902893, 07.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Li,Junbo

AU - Liu,Xiaoman

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AU - Huang,Xin

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AB - As a model protocell, the membrane-free coacervate microdroplet is widely utilized in functional studies to provide insights into the physicochemical properties of the cell and to engineer cytomimetic soft technologies; however, the lack of a discrete membrane contributes to its instability and limits further application. Herein, a strategy is developed to fabricate a hybrid protocell based on the self-assembly of a proteinaceous membrane at the surface of coacervate microdroplets driven by a combination of electrostatic adhesion and steric/hydrophilic surface buoyancy. The semipermeable proteinaceous membrane can enhance coacervate stability obviously without compromising sequestration behavior. Significantly, such hybrid protocells demonstrate spatial organization whereby various functional enzymes can be located in discrete regions, which facilitates an on/off modulation for a cascade enzymatic reaction along with enhanced chemical communication between subpopulations.

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Li J, Liu X, Abdelmohsen LKEA, Williams DS, Huang X. Spatial organization in proteinaceous membrane-stabilized coacervate protocells. Small. 2019 Jul;15(36). 1902893. Available from, DOI: 10.1002/smll.201902893