Spatial Positioning and Chemical Coupling in Coacervate-in-Proteinosome Protocells

Richard Booth, Yan Qiao, Mei Li*, Stephen Mann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)
327 Downloads (Pure)


The integration of molecularly crowded micro-environments into membrane-enclosed protocell models represents a step towards more realistic representations of cellular structure and organization. Herein, the membrane diffusion-mediated nucleation of negatively or positively charged coacervate micro-droplets within the aqueous lumen of individual proteinosomes is used to prepare nested hybrid protocells with spatially organized and chemically coupled enzyme activities. The location and reconfiguration of the entrapped droplets are regulated by tuning the electrostatic interactions between the encapsulated coacervate and surrounding negatively charged proteinosome membrane. As a consequence, alternative modes of a cascade reaction involving membrane- and coacervate-segregated enzymes can be implemented within the coacervate-in-proteinosome protocells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9120-9124
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number27
Early online date22 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Structured keywords

  • BrisSynBio
  • Bristol BioDesign Institute


  • coacervates
  • enzymes
  • membranes
  • proteinosomes
  • self-assembly
  • Synthetic biology


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