Cyto-friendly polymerization at cell surface modulates cell fate by clustering cell-surface receptor
Lots of strategies, e.g. multivalent synthetic polymers, have been developed to control the spatial distribution of cell-surface receptors, thus modulating the cell function and fate in a custom-tailored manner. However, clustering cell-surface receptor via multivalent synthetic polymers is highly dependent on the structure as well as the ligand-density of polymers, which may impose difficulties on the synthesis of polymers with high density of ligands. Here, we pioneered to utilize a cyto-friendly polymerization at cell surface to cluster cell-surface receptors. As a proof of concept, anti-CD20 aptamer conjugated macromer was initially synthesized, which was then efficiently and stably introduced onto the Raji cell surface via ligand-receptor interaction. With the assistance of an initiator, i.e. ammonium peroxysulfate (APS), the macromer bound onto Raji cell surface polymerized, inducing the clustering of CD20 receptors, thereby triggering cell apoptosis. This cell-surface polymerization induced cell-surface receptor crosslinking could be alternatively applied in modulating fates and functions of other cells, especially those mediated by spatial distribution of cell-surface receptors, such as T cell activation. Our work opens new possibilities in the area of chemical biology to some extent.