Minimal Synthetic Cells to Study Integrin-Mediated Adhesion

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 12472 –12478, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201503184

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., online article

To shed light on cell-adhesion-related molecular pathways, synthetic cells offer the unique advantage of a well-controlled model system with reduced molecular complexity. Herein, we show that liposomes with the reconstituted platelet integrin αIIbβ3 as the adhesion-mediating transmembrane protein are a functional minimal cell model for studying cellular adhesion mechanisms in a defined environment. The interaction of these synthetic cells with various extracellular matrix proteins was analyzed using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring. The data indicated that integrin was functionally incorporated into the lipid vesicles, thus enabling integrin-specific adhesion of the engineered liposomes to fibrinogen- and fibronectin-functionalized surfaces. Then, we were able to initiate the detachment of integrin liposomes from these surfaces in the presence of the peptide GRGDSP, a process that is even faster with our newly synthesized peptide mimetic SN529, which specifically inhibits the integrin αIIbβ3.


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