• Lectin-mediated protocell crosslinking to mimic cell-cell junctions and adhesion.

Lectin-mediated protocell crosslinking to mimic cell-cell junctions and adhesion.

Scientific reports (2018-02-02)
Sarah Villringer, Josef Madl, Taras Sych, Christina Manner, Anne Imberty, Winfried Römer

Cell adhesion is a crucial feature of all multicellular organisms, as it allows cells to organise themselves into tissues to carry out specific functions. Here, we present a mimetic approach that uses multivalent lectins with opposing binding sites to crosslink glycan-functionalised giant unilamellar vesicles. The crosslinking process drives the progression from contact puncta into elongated protocellular junctions, which form the vesicles into polygonal clusters resembling tissues. Due to their carbohydrate specificity, different lectins can be engaged in parallel with both natural and synthetic glycoconjugates to generate complex interfaces with distinct lectin domains. In addition, the formation of protocellular junctions can be combined with adhesion to a functionalised support by other ligand-receptor interactions to render increased stability against fluid flow. Furthermore, we consider that adhesion is a complex process of attraction and repulsion by doping the vesicles with a PEG-modified lipid, and demonstrate a dose-dependent decrease of lectin binding and formation of protocellular junctions. We suggest that the engineering of prototissues through lectin-glycan interactions is an important step towards synthetic minimal tissues and in designing artificial systems to reconstruct the fundamental functions of biology.

Product Number
Product Description

1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine, ≥99%
1,2-Dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, lyophilized powder