Giving Liposomes the Shock Treatment

  • Author: Nancy McGuire
  • Published: 25 June 2015
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Langmuir/ACS Publications
  • Associated Societies: American Chemical Society (ACS), USA
thumbnail image: Giving Liposomes the Shock Treatment

Giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) are used as a model system for cell membranes, but challenges in incorporating proteins into the vesicles have limited their use in studying proteomembrane interactions.

Frederic Pincet, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris, France, and colleagues used osmotic shock as a simple method to break open protein-containing liposomes (proteoliposomes) and re-form them into larger vesicles. The GUVs are formed by hydrating the small dried proteoliposomes with pure water.

The method works under physiological conditions and with high protein concentrations. It allows precise control of the protein density, but does not permit controlling the orientation of the incorporated protein. The proteins remain functional after they are incorporated into the GUVs. First-generation vesicles can be put through multiple drying and rehydration cycles to form even larger vesicles. 

The researchers successfully incorporated two types of membrane protein and a channel protein into GUVs using this method. Production costs are low, and the resulting GUVs can be separated and micromanipulated easily.


Article Views: 1739

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission. more

CONNECT: on Facebook on Twitter on YouTube on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter

A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH