High interfacial activity of a transmembrane protein leads to nano-thin walled micro-compartments


Congratulations to Himanshu, Ulrich, Deepak and Julia on their recent publication!

Generation of micro compartiments Royal Society of Chemistry

Protein-polymer conjugates have several applications in the field of biotechnology, medicine and nanotechnology. One example of conjugates is based on the transmembrane protein ferric hydroxamate uptake protein component A, FhuA, an outer membrane protein of Escherichia coli. These conjugates present properties such as high interfacial activity, which can be utilized for generation of Pickering emulsions. Instead of surfactant molecules, the conjugate particles are able to stabilize emulsions. We generated Pickering emulsions for the first time with the transmembrane protein FhuA. Stable micro-compartments made of these Pickering emulsions were later crosslinked by a newly synthesized UV-crosslinkable monomer, 3,4-dimethyl maleic imidobutyl acrylate, DMMIBA, to polymer chains. Characterization of the micro-compartments with scanning force microscopy determined membrane thickness of 11.1 ± 0.6 nm and fluorescent microscopy revealed the stability of the micro-compartments even after treatment with ethanol. These micro-compartments have potential application for drug delivery systems and bring us closer to the possibility of protein-polymer membrane generation, within which properties of membrane can be altered by temperature and pH stimuli.

Access information of this article can be found under Publications and patents and

Charan H., Glebe U., Anand D., Kinzel J., Zhu L., Bocola M., Mirzaei Garakani T., Schwaneberg U., Böker A. (2017) Nano-thin walled micro-compartments from transmembrane protein-polymer conjugates, Soft Matter 13, 2866-2875. [DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02520J.]