Directed Insertion of Light-Activated Proteorhodopsin into Asymmetric Polymersomes from an ABC Block Copolymer.

Gaitzsch, Jens; Hirschi, Stephan; Freimann, Sven; Fotiadis, Dimitrios; Meier, Wolfgang (2019). Directed Insertion of Light-Activated Proteorhodopsin into Asymmetric Polymersomes from an ABC Block Copolymer. Nano letters, 19(4), pp. 2503-2508. American Chemical Society 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b00161

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Nanoscopic artificial vesicles containing functional protein transporters are fundamental for synthetic biology. Energy-providing modules, such as proton pumps, are a basis for simple nanoreactors. We report on the first insertion of a functional transmembrane protein into asymmetric polymersomes from an ABC triblock copolymer. The polymer with the composition poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(diisopropylaminoethyl methacrylate)-poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEG-PDPA-PSS) was synthesized by sequential controlled radical polymerization. PEG and PSS are two distinctively different hydrophilic blocks, allowing for a specific orientation of our protein, the light-activated proton pump proteorhodopsin (PR), into the final proteopolymersome. A very interesting aspect of the PEG-PDPA-PSS triblock copolymers is that it allowed for simultaneous vesicle formation and oriented insertion of PR simply by adjusting the pH. The intrinsic positive charge of PR's intracellular surface was enhanced by a His-tag, which aligns readily with the negative charges of the PSS on the outside of the polymersomes. The directed insertion of PR was confirmed by a light-dependent pH change of the proteopolymersome solution, indicating the intended orientation. We have hereby demonstrated the first successful oriented insertion of a proton pump into an artificial asymmetric membrane.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Hirschi, Stephan and Fotiadis, Dimitrios José


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Chemical Society




Barbara Järmann-Bangerter

Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2019 13:15

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 06:38

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Self-assembly asymmetric membranes proteopolymersomes proteorhodopsin triblock copolymers vesicles




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