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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Nov 15;128(45):14430-1.

Membrane activation: selective vesicle fusion via small molecule recognition.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


We report herein the induction of selective vesicle fusion with biological recognition motifs not natively associated with lipid bilayer fusion, thus broadening the scope of recognition-guided membrane activation. Our system employs vancomycin glycopeptide, coupled to the antimicrobial peptide magainin, and D-Ala-D-Ala-OH dipeptide coupled to a phospholipid derivative, as surface-bound fusogens. Fusion was characterized by dynamic light scattering and FRET experiments with lipid bound fluorophores. We have demonstrated here that appropriately designed membrane anchored molecular recognition motifs have the biomimetic ability to activate specific membrane mergers; this principle has resonance with goals in targeted chemical delivery and nanoscale compartmentalized chemistry.

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