Coiled coil driven membrane fusion between cyclodextrin vesicles and liposomes†
Controlled fusion events between natural membranes composed of phospholipids with synthetic unnatural membranes will yield valuable fundamental information on the mechanism of membrane fusion. Here, fusion between vastly different phospholipid liposomes and cyclodextrin amphiphile based vesicles (CDVs) controlled by a pair of coiled coil forming lipidated peptides was investigated. Fusion events were characterized using lipid and content mixing assays and the resulting hybrid assemblies were characterized with cryo-TEM imaging. The secondary/quaternary structure of the lipidated peptides at the membrane interface was studied using circular dichroism spectroscopy. This is the first example of targeted fusion between natural and non-natural bilayer membranes and the in situ formation of hybrid CDV–liposome structures is of interest as it yields fundamental information about the mechanism through which fusion proceeds.