Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanoreactors for Reaction Cascades

20.08.2007
Nanoscopic bubbles with plastic membrane and built-in enzymes for multistep one-pot reactions

Living cells are highly complex synthetic machines: Numerous multistep reactions run simultaneously side by side and with unbelievable efficiency and specificity.

For these mainly enzymatic reactions to work so well collectively, nature makes use of a variety of concepts. One of the most important of these is division into compartments. Enzymes are not only separated spatially, but also positioned in specific locations within the cell. Researchers from the Netherlands, led by Jan C. M. van Hest and Alan E. Rowan, have now developed an approach to copy this idea, as they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

They constructed nanoreactors by controlled positioning of two different enzymes in the central water reservoir or the plastic membrane of synthetic nanoscopic bubbles. In combination with a third enzyme in the surrounding solution, this system has made it possible to run three different enzymatic reactions simultaneously, without interference, in a “one-pot” reaction.

... more about:
»Membrane »bubbles »enzyme »polymersomes

To mimic a cellular environment, the scientists produced nanoscopic bubbles surrounded by a membrane made of a special plastic. The plastic is a block copolymer that is analogous to a lipid, the natural building block of cell membranes, in its structure, with a water-friendly “head” and a water-repellent “tail”. In analogy to liposomes, which are made from lipids, these bubbles are called polymersomes. Thanks to nearly limitless possibilities in the production of these plastic membranes, the spectrum of properties displayed by polymersomes can be precisely tailored.

The researchers produced their polymersomes such that they let small molecules pass through while forming a barrier to larger ones. This allows enzymes to be trapped inside the polymersomes (in the water reservoir) while the smaller substrate or product molecules pass through unhindered.

To demonstrate the potential of their “nanoreactors”, the researchers bound the enzyme horseradish peroxidase into the membrane itself. Within the water reservoir, they trapped the enzyme glucose oxidase. The surrounding solution contained the enzyme lipase B. Glucose molecules with four acetyl groups attached were added as the substrate. In the first step, the lipase B split off the acetyl groups. The resulting glucose could cross the membrane, where it encountered the glucose oxidase and was oxidized by it. This reaction formed hydrogen peroxide, which is just what the horseradish peroxidase was waiting for in order to convert the sample substrate ABTS (2,2’-azinobis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid))—also contained in the solution—into its radical cation.

Author: Jan C. M. van Hest, Radboud University, Nijmegen (The Netherlands), http://www.ru.nl/bio-orgchem/people/current_group/prof_dr_ir_jan_c_m/

Title: Positional Assembly of Enzymes in Polymersome Nanoreactors for Cascade Reactions

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.200701125

Jan C. M. van Hest | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.ru.nl/bio-orgchem/people/current_group/prof_dr_ir_jan_c_m/

Further reports about: Membrane bubbles enzyme polymersomes

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>