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Light-triggered enzymatic reactions in nested vesicle reactors

OPEN Nature communications | 17 Mar 2018

JW Hindley, Y Elani, CM McGilvery, S Ali, CL Bevan, RV Law and O Ces
Abstract
Cell-sized vesicles have tremendous potential both as miniaturised pL reaction vessels and in bottom-up synthetic biology as chassis for artificial cells. In both these areas the introduction of light-responsive modules affords increased functionality, for example, to initiate enzymatic reactions in the vesicle interior with spatiotemporal control. Here we report a system composed of nested vesicles where the inner compartments act as phototransducers, responding to ultraviolet irradiation through diacetylene polymerisation-induced pore formation to initiate enzymatic reactions. The controlled release and hydrolysis of a fluorogenic β-galactosidase substrate in the external compartment is demonstrated, where the rate of reaction can be modulated by varying ultraviolet exposure time. Such cell-like nested microreactor structures could be utilised in fields from biocatalysis through to drug delivery.
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Concepts
Shutter speed, Adenosine triphosphate, Sterilization, Enzymes, DNA, Chemical reaction, Catalysis, Enzyme
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