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Can polymeric vesicles that confine enzymatic reactions act as simplified organelles?

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2011
Author Tanner P., Egli S., Balasubramanian V., Onaca O., Palivan C. G., Meier W.,
Project Nanostructured Polymers
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Febs Letters
Volume (Issue) 585(11)
Page(s) 1699 - 1706
Title of proceedings Febs Letters
DOI 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.05.003


In various pathological conditions an advantage may be gained by reinforcing an intrinsic organismal response. This can be achieved, for example, by enzyme replacement therapy, which can amplify specific, intrinsic activities of the organelles. In this respect, polymeric nanoreactors composed of vesicles that encapsulate an enzyme or a combination of enzymes in their cavities represent a novel approach in therapeutic applications because they behave like simplified organelles. As compartments, polymeric vesicles possess a membrane that is more stable than the corresponding lipid membrane of liposomes, with the dual role of protecting enzymes and simultaneously allowing them to act in situ. A complex scenario of requirements must be fulfilled by enzyme-containing polymeric nanoreactors if they are to function under biological conditions and serve to model organelles. Nanoreactors are described here in terms of the existing models and the challenges faced in developing artificial organelles for therapeutic applications. We will focus on describing how polymeric vesicles can be used to provide a protected compartment for enzymatic reactions, and serve as simplified organelles inside cells. (C) 2011 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.