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Title: Hydrophobe Containing Polypeptoids Complex with Lipids and Induce Fusogenesis of Lipid Vesicles
The hydrophobic effect of alkyl group insertion into phospholipid bilayers is exploited in modifying and modulating vesicle structure. We show that amphiphilic polypeptoids (peptide mimics) with n-decyl side chains, which we term as hydrophobe-containing polypeptoids (HCPs), can insert the alkyl hydrophobes into the membrane bilayer of phospholipid-based vesicles. Such insertion leads to disruption of the liposomes and the formation of HCP–lipid complexes that are colloidally stable in aqueous solution. Interestingly, when these complexes are added to fresh liposomes, remnant uncomplexed hydrophobes (the n-decyl groups) bridge liposomes and fuse them. The fusion leads to the engulfing of liposomes and the formation of multilayered vesicles. The morphology of the liposome system can be changed from stopping fusion and forming clustered vesicles to the continued formation of multilayered liposomes simply by controlling the amount of the HCP–lipid complex added. The entire procedure occurs in aqueous systems without the addition of any other solvents. There are several implications to these observations including the biological relevance of mimicking fusogenic proteins such as the SNARE proteins and the development of new drug delivery technologies to impact delivery to cell organelles.
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Journal of physical chemistry
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National Science Foundation
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