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Transmembrane signaling by a synthetic receptor in artificial cells

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Signal transduction across biological membranes is among the most important evolutionary achievements. Herein, for the design of artificial cells, we engineer fully synthetic receptors with the capacity of transmembrane signaling, using tools of chemistry. Our receptors exhibit similarity with their natural counterparts in having an exofacial ligand for signal capture, being membrane anchored, and featuring a releasable messenger molecule that performs enzyme activation as a downstream signaling event. The main difference from natural receptors is the mechanism of signal transduction, which is achieved using a self-immolative linker. The receptor scaffold is modular and can readily be re-designed to respond to diverse activation signals including biological or chemical stimuli. We demonstrate an artificial signaling cascade that achieves transmembrane enzyme activation, a hallmark of natural signaling receptors. Results of this work are relevant for engineering responsive artificial cells and interfacing them and/or biological counterparts in co-cultures.

TidsskriftNature Communications
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 24 mar. 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We wish to acknowledge funding from the Lundbeck Foundation (Grant No R164-2013-15291), the Carlsberg Foundation (Grant No. CF19-0275), the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF FNU Grant No 0135-00162B), and the Novo Nordisk Foundation (Grant No NNF20OC0062131), all to A.N.Z.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

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