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Axial Growth and Fusion of Liposome Regulated by Macromolecular Crowding and Confinement

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journal contribution
posted on 05.05.2015, 00:00 by Yun Liu, Lin Zhu, Jingfa Yang, Jianbo Sun, Jiang Zhao, Dehai Liang
The endomembrane system, including the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, and endosomes, is located in the crowded intracellular environment. An understanding of the cellular structure and functions requires knowledge of how macromolecular crowding and confinement affect the activity of membrane and its proteins. Using negatively charged liposome and the peptide K3L8K3 as a model system, we studied the aggregation behavior of liposome in a matrix of polyacrylamide and hyaluronic acid. Without matrix, the liposomes form spherical aggregates in the presence of K3L8K3. However, they orient in one dimension and fuse into a tube up to 40 μm long in the matrix. The growth of the tube is via end-to-end connection. This anisotropic growth is mainly due to the macromolecular confinement provided by the polymer network. The study of the interactions between liposome and peptide in the crowded environment helps to reveal the mechanism of membrane-related processes in vivo.