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2020 - Destructing the Plasma Membrane with Activatable Vesicular DNA Nanopores

 icon vpp   Vesicle Prep Pro Publication in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces (2020)

Chen L, Liang S., Chen Y., Wu M., Zhang Y.

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces (2020) 12: 96–105


Pore-forming proteins are an agent for attack or defense in various organisms, and its cytolytic activity has medical potential in cancer therapy. Despite recent advances in mimicking these proteins by amphipathic DNA nanopores, it remains inefficient to incorporate them into lipid bilayers. Here, we present the development of vesicular DNA nanopores that can controllably open a lipid membrane. Different from previously reported DNA nanopores that randomly insert into the planar bilayers, we design on-command fusogenic liposome-incorporated transmembrane DNA nanopores (FLIPs) that bypass the direct insertion process. By steric deshielding of fusogenic liposomal supports under low pH conditions, the embedded FLIPs are transferred and perforate lipid bilayers. We find that FLIPs depolarize the plasma membrane and thereby induce pyroptosis-like cell death. We further demonstrate the use of FLIPs to inhibit tumor growth in murine tumor models, which provides a new route to cancer nanotherapy.


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