A DNA-programmed liposome fusion cascade

Philipp M G Löffler, Oliver Ries, Alexander Rabe, Anders Hauge Okholm, Rasmus P Thomsen, Jørgen Kjems, Stefan Vogel

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Chemically engineered and functionalized nanoscale compartments are used in bottom-up synthetic biology to construct compartmentalized chemical processes. Progressively more complex designs demand spatial and temporal control over entrapped species. Here, we address this demand with a DNA-encoded design for the successive fusion of multiple liposome populations. Three individual stages of fusion are induced by orthogonally hybridizing sets of membrane-anchored oligonucleotides. Each fusion event leads to efficient content mixing and transfer of the recognition unit for the subsequent stage. In contrast to fusion-protein-dependent eukaryotic vesicle processing, this artificial fusion cascade exploits the versatile encoding potential of DNA hybridization and is generally applicable to small and giant unilamellar vesicles. This platform could thus enable numerous applications in artificial cellular systems and liposome-based synthetic pathways.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Issue number43
Pages (from-to)13228–13231
Publication statusPublished - 16. Oct 2017


  • Journal Article
  • self-assembly
  • liposomes
  • giant unilamellar vesicles
  • membrane fusion
  • vesicles
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Lipids/chemistry
  • Liposomes/chemistry
  • Rhodamines/chemistry
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • DNA/chemistry

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