Bioactive cell-like hybrids from dendrimersomes with a human cell membrane and its components.


Institute of Computational Molecular Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122; [Email] [Email] [Email]


Cell-like hybrids from natural and synthetic amphiphiles provide a platform to engineer functions of synthetic cells and protocells. Cell membranes and vesicles prepared from human cell membranes are relatively unstable in vitro and therefore are difficult to study. The thicknesses of biological membranes and vesicles self-assembled from amphiphilic Janus dendrimers, known as dendrimersomes, are comparable. This feature facilitated the coassembly of functional cell-like hybrid vesicles from giant dendrimersomes and bacterial membrane vesicles generated from the very stable bacterial Escherichia coli cell after enzymatic degradation of its outer membrane. Human cells are fragile and require only mild centrifugation to be dismantled and subsequently reconstituted into vesicles. Here we report the coassembly of human membrane vesicles with dendrimersomes. The resulting giant hybrid vesicles containing human cell membranes, their components, and Janus dendrimers are stable for at least 1 y. To demonstrate the utility of cell-like hybrid vesicles, hybrids from dendrimersomes and bacterial membrane vesicles containing YadA, a bacterial adhesin protein, were prepared. The latter cell-like hybrids were recognized by human cells, allowing for adhesion and entry of the hybrid bacterial vesicles into human cells in vitro.


bacterial adhesin,bacterial membrane,coassembly,hybrid vesicles,mammalian cell,