Genetically Controlled Fusion, Exocytosis and Fission of Artificial Vesicles

Eva Bönzli, Maik Hadorn, Davide De Lucrezia, Mikkel Girke Jørgensen, Peter Eggenberger Hotz, Martin Hanczyc, Tetsuya Yomo

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearch

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Artificial vesicles represent ideal candidates as a model for artificial cells. It was shown that artificial genetic programs and the required cellular machinery (cell-free expression systems) can be incorporated into vesicles and allow the synthesis of proteins. Vesicles were shown to fuse if a special class of viral proteins, termed fusogenic peptides, were added to the external medium. In the present work, we intend to develop genetically controlled fusion, fission and exocytosis of vesicles by the synthesis of peptides within vesicles. First, we enclosed synthesized peptides in vesicles to induce in a next step fusion of adjacent vesicles, fission and exocytosis of nested vesicles. Second, we will replace the peptides by an enclosed cell-free expression system to internally synthesize fusion peptides. To control the gene expression, different mechanisms are available, e.g. addition of transcription factors. Changes in the pH are reported to control the activity of the fusion peptides. So far, we successfully enclosed a commercially available cell-free system and expressed eGFP in vesicles as a proof of principle. Furthermore, we optimized the already established protocol to produce nested vesicles in the presence of peptides. This project may present a step towards personalized drug delivery. Specific drugs or prodrugs enclosed into vesicles may be released upon an external signal related to a disease, e.g. a tumor, to activate gene expression and synthesis of fusion peptides to induce fusion, fission and exocytosis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2. Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2. Feb 2012
EventInternational Congress on Personalized Medicine - Florence, Italy
Duration: 2. Feb 20125. Feb 2012


ConferenceInternational Congress on Personalized Medicine


  • gene expression
  • vesicles
  • exocytosis
  • fission
  • fusion


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