4 years ago

Controlled membrane translocation provides a mechanism for signal transduction and amplification

Controlled membrane translocation provides a mechanism for signal transduction and amplification
Maria Ciaccia, Nicholas H. Williams, Christopher A. Hunter, Flore Keymeulen, Matthew J. Langton
Transmission and amplification of chemical signals across lipid bilayer membranes is of profound significance in many biological processes, from the development of multicellular organisms to information processing in the nervous system. In biology, membrane-spanning proteins are responsible for the transmission of chemical signals across membranes, and signal transduction is often associated with an amplified signalling cascade. The ability to reproduce such processes in artificial systems has potential applications in sensing, controlled drug delivery and communication between compartments in tissue-like constructs of synthetic vesicles. Here we describe a mechanism for transmitting a chemical signal across a membrane based on the controlled translocation of a synthetic molecular transducer from one side of a lipid bilayer membrane to the other. The controlled molecular motion has been coupled to the activation of a catalyst on the inside of a vesicle, which leads to a signal-amplification process analogous to the biological counterpart.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2678

DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2678

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