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Confinement effect on hydrolysis in small lipid vesicles

Woods, Ben; Thompson, Katherine C; Szita, Nicolas; Chen, Shu; Milanesi, Lilia; Tomas, Salvador; (2023) Confinement effect on hydrolysis in small lipid vesicles. Chemical Science , 14 (10) pp. 2616-2623. 10.1039/d2sc05747f. Green open access

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Abstract

In living organisms most chemical reactions take place within the confines of lipid-membrane bound compartments, while confinement within the bounds of a lipid membrane is thought to be a key step in abiogenesis. In previous work we demonstrated that confinement in the aqueous cavity of a lipid vesicle affords protection against hydrolysis, a phenomenon that we term here confinement effect (Ce) and that we attributed to the interaction with the lipid membrane. Here, we show that both the size and the shape of the cavity of the vesicle modulate the Ce. We link this observation to the packing of the lipid following changes in membrane curvature, and formulate a mathematical model that relates the Ce to the radius of a spherical vesicle and the packing parameter of the lipids. These results suggest that the shape of the compartment where a molecule is located plays a major role in controlling the chemical reactivity of non-enzymatic reactions. Moreover, the mathematical treatment we propose offers a useful tool for the design of vesicles with predictable reaction rates of the confined molecules, e.g., drug delivery vesicles with confined prodrugs. The results also show that a crude form of signal transduction, devoid of complex biological machinery, can be achieved by any external stimuli that drastically changes the structure of the membrane, like the osmotic shocks used in the present work.

Type: Article
Title: Confinement effect on hydrolysis in small lipid vesicles
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1039/d2sc05747f
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1039/d2sc05747f
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Chemistry, Multidisciplinary, Chemistry
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10166565
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