Researchers at the University of Basel succeeded in developing capsules capable of producing the bio-molecule glucose-6-phosphate that plays an important role in metabolic processes. The researchers were able to produce the metabolite in conditions very similar to the biochemical reaction inside natural cells. The results have been published in the scientific journal Chemical Communications.
Metabolic processes inside living organisms involve a large variety of bio-molecules. These molecules are produced by specific enzymatic reactions. One example of such a bio-molecule is glucose-6-phosphate, a metabolite that is involved in important metabolic processes.
It is central in the degradation of carbohydrates and can also be converted further into specific molecules responsible for storing energy within an organism. If such bio-molecules can be produced directly inside living cells, new perspectives in the treatment of disease would open up.
Nanocapsules produce glucose-6-phosphate
Researchers led by Prof. Cornelia Palivan from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Basel have designed bio-catalytic capsules that contain the active enzyme phosphoglucomutase and can produce and release glucose-6-phosphate.
To start the reaction, the substrate required for the reaction has to be able to enter the capsule. The researchers thus inserted a pore protein synthesized at ETH Zurich in the walls of the capsules. These pores are the entry door for the substrate and the exit for the product glucose-6-phosphate, while the enzyme remains encapsulated and protected against degradation.
The developed nanocapsules are less than 200 nanometers in size, which means they can be taken up by cells, an important prerequisite for future testing and application.
Unlike other approaches that use organic solvents, the researchers develop their capsules in conditions very similar to those in nature. “Our approach is always to be as nature-like as possible,” says Palivan “so we can preserve the intrinsic bio-functionality of the enzymes and pore proteins.”
In a next step, the researchers will now test the capsules on cells, to see if they are taken up and then produce glucose-6-phosphate inside the cell.
Mihai Lomora, Gesine Gunkel-Grabole, Shiksha Mantri and Cornelia G. Palivan
Bio-catalytic nanocompartments for in situ production of glucose-6-phosphate
Chemical Communications (2017), doi: 10.1039/C7CC04739H
Cornelia G. Palivan, University of Basel, Department of Chemistry, Tel. +41 61 267 38 39, email: Cornelia.Palivan@unibas.ch
Gesine Gunkel-Grabode, University of Basel, Department of Chemistry, Tel. +41 61 207 38 43, email: Gesine.Gunkel@unibas.ch
Cornelia Niggli | Universität Basel
What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine