This content will become publicly available on May 26, 2023
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
In the pursuit of understanding life, model membranes made of phospholipids were envisaged decades ago as a platform for the bottom-up study of biological processes. Micron-sized lipid vesicles have gained great acceptance as their bilayer membrane resembles the natural cell membrane. Important biological events involving membranes, such as membrane protein insertion, membrane fusion, and intercellular communication, will be highlighted in this review with recent research updates. We will first review different lipid bilayer platforms used for incorporation of integral membrane proteins and challenges associated with their functional reconstitution. We next discuss different methods for reconstitution of membrane fusion and compare their fusion efficiency. Lastly, we will highlight the importance and challenges of intercellular communication between synthetic cells and synthetic cells-to-natural cells. We will summarize the review by highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with studying membrane–membrane interactions and possible future research directions.
Self-associating split fluorescent proteins (FPs) are split FPs whose two fragments spontaneously associate to form a functional FP. They have been widely used for labeling proteins, scaffolding protein assembly and detecting cell-cell contacts. Recently developments have expanded the palette of self-associating split FPs beyond the original split GFP1-10/11. However, these new ones have suffered from suboptimal fluorescence signal after complementation. Here, by investigating the complementation process, we have demonstrated two approaches to improve split FPs: assistance through SpyTag/SpyCatcher interaction and directed evolution. The latter has yielded two split sfCherry3 variants with substantially enhanced overall brightness, facilitating the tagging of endogenous proteins by gene editing. Based on sfCherry3, we have further developed a new red-colored trans-synaptic marker called Neuroligin-1 sfCherry3 Linker Across Synaptic Partners (NLG-1 CLASP) for multiplexed visualization of neuronal synapses in living
C. elegans, demonstrating its broad applications.
null (Ed.)Abstract Cell-free gene expression (CFE) systems from crude cellular extracts have attracted much attention for biomanufacturing and synthetic biology. However, activating membrane-dependent functionality of cell-derived vesicles in bacterial CFE systems has been limited. Here, we address this limitation by characterizing native membrane vesicles in Escherichia coli- based CFE extracts and describing methods to enrich vesicles with heterologous, membrane-bound machinery. As a model, we focus on bacterial glycoengineering. We first use multiple, orthogonal techniques to characterize vesicles and show how extract processing methods can be used to increase concentrations of membrane vesicles in CFE systems. Then, we show that extracts enriched in vesicle number also display enhanced concentrations of heterologous membrane protein cargo. Finally, we apply our methods to enrich membrane-bound oligosaccharyltransferases and lipid-linked oligosaccharides for improving cell-free N- linked and O -linked glycoprotein synthesis. We anticipate that these methods will facilitate on-demand glycoprotein production and enable new CFE systems with membrane-associated activities.
Cell-like hybrids from natural and synthetic amphiphiles provide a platform to engineer functions of synthetic cells and protocells. Cell membranes and vesicles prepared from human cell membranes are relatively unstable in vitro and therefore are difficult to study. The thicknesses of biological membranes and vesicles self-assembled from amphiphilic Janus dendrimers, known as dendrimersomes, are comparable. This feature facilitated the coassembly of functional cell-like hybrid vesicles from giant dendrimersomes and bacterial membrane vesicles generated from the very stable bacterial
Escherichia colicell after enzymatic degradation of its outer membrane. Human cells are fragile and require only mild centrifugation to be dismantled and subsequently reconstituted into vesicles. Here we report the coassembly of human membrane vesicles with dendrimersomes. The resulting giant hybrid vesicles containing human cell membranes, their components, and Janus dendrimers are stable for at least 1 y. To demonstrate the utility of cell-like hybrid vesicles, hybrids from dendrimersomes and bacterial membrane vesicles containing YadA, a bacterial adhesin protein, were prepared. The latter cell-like hybrids were recognized by human cells, allowing for adhesion and entry of the hybrid bacterial vesicles into human cells in vitro.
Fragment antigen-binding domains (Fabs) from anti-Frizzled and anti-LRP6 monoclonal antibodies were conjugated using SpyTag–SpyCatcher chemistry via a one-pot reaction. The resulting synthetic heterodimeric agonist outperformed the natural ligand, Wnt-3a, in activating canonical Wnt signaling in mammalian cells. This approach should be broadly applicable to activate receptor-mediated cellular signaling.