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2019 - Barcoding biological reactions with DNA-functionalized vesicles

icon vpp   Vesicle Prep Pro Pre-Publication in BioRxiv (2019)

Peruzzi J.A., Jacobs, ML., Vu T.Q., Kamat N.P.

BioRxiv (2019) doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/672287


Targeted vesicle fusion is a promising approach to selectively control interactions between vesicle compartments and would enable the initiation of biological reactions in complex aqueous environments. Here, we explore how two features of vesicle membranes, DNA tethers and phase-segregated membranes, promote fusion between specific vesicle populations. We show that membrane phase-segregation provides an energetic driver for membrane fusion that increases the efficiency of DNA-mediated fusion events. Using this system, we show that orthogonality provided by DNA tethers allows us to direct fusion and delivery of DNA cargo to specific vesicle populations. We then demonstrate that vesicle fusion between DNA-tethered vesicles can be used to initiate in vitro protein expression that leads to the synthesis of model soluble and membrane proteins. The ability to engineer orthogonal fusion events between DNA-tethered vesicles will provide a new strategy to control the spatio-temporal dynamics of cell-free reactions, expanding opportunities to engineer artificial cellular systems.

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