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In Situ Monitoring of Membrane Protein Insertion into Block Copolymer Vesicle Membranes and Their Spreading via Potential-Assisted Approach

: Mirzaei Garakani, T.; Liu, Z.; Glebe, U.; Gehrmann, J.; Lazar, J.; Mertens, M.A.S.; Möller, M.; Hamzelui, N.; Zhu, L.; Schnakenberg, U.; Böker, A.; Schwaneberg, U.


ACS applied materials & interfaces 11 (2019), Nr.32, S.29276-29289
ISSN: 1944-8244
ISSN: 0013-936X
ISSN: 1944-8252
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Synthosomes are polymer vesicles with transmembrane proteins incorporated into block copolymer membranes. They have been used for selective transport in or out of the vesicles as well as catalysis inside the compartments. However, both the insertion process of the membrane protein, forming nanopores, and the spreading of the vesicles on planar substrates to form solid-supported biomimetic membranes have been rarely studied yet. Herein, we address these two points and, first, shed light on the real-time monitoring of protein insertion via isothermal titration calorimetry. Second, the spreading process on different solid supports, namely, SiO2, glass, and gold, via different techniques like spin- and dip-coating as well as a completely new approach of potential-assisted spreading on gold surfaces was studied. While inhomogeneous layers occur via traditional methods, our proposed potential-assisted strategy to induce adsorption of positively charged vesicles by applying negative potential on the electrode leads to remarkable vesicle spreading and their further fusion to form more homogeneous planar copolymer films on gold. The polymer vesicles in our study are formed from amphiphilic copolymers poly(2-methyl oxazoline)-block-poly(dimethylsiloxane)-block-poly(2-methyl oxazoline) (PMOXA-b-PDMS-b-PMOXA). Engineered variants of the transmembrane protein ferric hydroxamate uptake protein component A (FhuA), one of the largest β-barrel channel proteins, are used as model nanopores. The incorporation of FhuA Δ1-160 is shown to facilitate the vesicle spreading process further. Moreover, high accessibility of cysteine inside the channel was proven by linkage of a fluorescent dye inside the engineered variant FhuA ΔCVFtev and hence preserved functionality of the channels after spreading. The porosity and functionality of the spread synthosomes on the gold plates have been examined by studying the passive ion transport response in the presence of Li+ and ClO4– ions and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis. Our approach to form solid-supported biomimetic membranes via the potential-assisted strategy could be important for the development of new (bio-) sensors and membranes.