Lipid tail protrusions mediate the insertion of nanoparticles into model cell membranes

Reid C. Van Lehn, Maria Ricci, Paulo H J Silva, Patrizia Andreozzi, Javier Reguera, Kislon Voïtchovsky, Francesco Stellacci, Alfredo Alexander-Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent work has demonstrated that charged gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) protected by an amphiphilic organic monolayer can spontaneously insert into the core of lipid bilayers to minimize the exposure of hydrophobic surface area to water. However, the kinetic pathway to reach the thermodynamically stable transmembrane configuration is unknown. Here, we use unbiased atomistic simulations to show the pathway by which AuNPs spontaneously insert into bilayers and confirm the results experimentally on supported lipid bilayers. The critical step during this process is hydrophobic-hydrophobic contact between the core of the bilayer and the monolayer of the AuNP that requires the stochastic protrusion of an aliphatic lipid tail into solution. This last phenomenon is enhanced in the presence of high bilayer curvature and closely resembles the putative pre-stalk transition state for vesicle fusion. To the best of our knowledge, this work provides the first demonstration of vesicle fusion-like behaviour in an amphiphilic nanoparticle system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4482
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 21 2014

Fingerprint

Lipid bilayers
Lipid Bilayers
Cell membranes
Nanoparticles
lipids
insertion
Monolayers
Fusion reactions
Cell Membrane
inserts
Lipids
nanoparticles
fusion
Gold
Demonstrations
Kinetics
Water
curvature
gold
kinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Van Lehn, R. C., Ricci, M., Silva, P. H. J., Andreozzi, P., Reguera, J., Voïtchovsky, K., ... Alexander-Katz, A. (2014). Lipid tail protrusions mediate the insertion of nanoparticles into model cell membranes. Nature Communications, 5, [4482]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5482

Lipid tail protrusions mediate the insertion of nanoparticles into model cell membranes. / Van Lehn, Reid C.; Ricci, Maria; Silva, Paulo H J; Andreozzi, Patrizia; Reguera, Javier; Voïtchovsky, Kislon; Stellacci, Francesco; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 4482, 21.07.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Lehn, RC, Ricci, M, Silva, PHJ, Andreozzi, P, Reguera, J, Voïtchovsky, K, Stellacci, F & Alexander-Katz, A 2014, 'Lipid tail protrusions mediate the insertion of nanoparticles into model cell membranes', Nature Communications, vol. 5, 4482. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5482
Van Lehn RC, Ricci M, Silva PHJ, Andreozzi P, Reguera J, Voïtchovsky K et al. Lipid tail protrusions mediate the insertion of nanoparticles into model cell membranes. Nature Communications. 2014 Jul 21;5. 4482. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms5482
Van Lehn, Reid C. ; Ricci, Maria ; Silva, Paulo H J ; Andreozzi, Patrizia ; Reguera, Javier ; Voïtchovsky, Kislon ; Stellacci, Francesco ; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo. / Lipid tail protrusions mediate the insertion of nanoparticles into model cell membranes. In: Nature Communications. 2014 ; Vol. 5.
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