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Nat Chem. 2017 Jun 23;9(7):653-659. doi: 10.1038/nchem.2802.

Placing and shaping liposomes with reconfigurable DNA nanocages.

Zhang Z1,2, Yang Y1,2, Pincet F1,2,3, Llaguno MC1, Lin C1,2.

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Department of Cell Biology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.
Nanobiology Institute, Yale University; West Haven, Connecticut 06516, USA.
Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, Ecole Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, Université Paris Diderot Sorbonne Paris Cité, Sorbonne Universités UPMC Univ Paris 06, CNRS, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France.


The diverse structure and regulated deformation of lipid bilayer membranes are among a cell's most fascinating features. Artificial membrane-bound vesicles, known as liposomes, are versatile tools for modelling biological membranes and delivering foreign objects to cells. To fully mimic the complexity of cell membranes and optimize the efficiency of delivery vesicles, controlling liposome shape (both statically and dynamically) is of utmost importance. Here we report the assembly, arrangement and remodelling of liposomes with designer geometry: all of which are exquisitely controlled by a set of modular, reconfigurable DNA nanocages. Tubular and toroid shapes, among others, are transcribed from DNA cages to liposomes with high fidelity, giving rise to membrane curvatures present in cells yet previously difficult to construct in vitro. Moreover, the conformational changes of DNA cages drive membrane fusion and bending with predictable outcomes, opening up opportunities for the systematic study of membrane mechanics.

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