Construction of Out-of-Equilibrium Metabolic Networks in Nano- and Micrometer-Sized Vesicles

Jelmer Coenradij, Eleonora Bailoni, Bert Poolman*

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


We present a method to incorporate into vesicles complex protein networks, involving integral membrane proteins, enzymes, and fluorescence-based sensors, using purified components. This method is relevant for the design and construction of bioreactors and the study of complex out-of-equilibrium metabolic reaction networks. We start by reconstituting (multiple) membrane proteins into large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) according to a previously developed protocol. We then encapsulate a mixture of purified enzymes, metabolites, and fluorescence-based sensors (fluorescent proteins or dyes) via freeze-thaw-extrusion and remove non-incorporated components by centrifugation and/or size-exclusion chromatography. The performance of the metabolic networks is measured in real time by monitoring the ATP/ADP ratio, metabolite concentration, internal pH, or other parameters by fluorescence readout. Our membrane protein-containing vesicles of 100-400 nm diameter can be converted into giant-unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), using existing but optimized procedures. The approach enables the inclusion of soluble components (enzymes, metabolites, sensors) into micrometer-size vesicles, thus upscaling the volume of the bioreactors by orders of magnitude. The metabolic network containing GUVs are trapped in microfluidic devices for analysis by optical microscopy.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Nummer van het tijdschrift206
StatusPublished - 12-apr.-2024


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