Coacervation-Induced Remodeling of Nanovesicles

S Mondal and Q Cui, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 14, 4532-4540 (2023).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.3c00705

Intrinsically disordered peptides can form biomolecular condensates through liquid-liquid phase separation. These condensates play diverse roles in cells, including inducing large-scale changes in membrane morphology. Here we employ coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations to identify the most salient physical principles that govern membrane remodeling by condensates. By systematically varying the interaction strengths among the polymers and lipids in our coarse-grained model, we are able to recapitulate various membrane transformations observed in different experiments. Endocytosis and exocytosis of the condensate are observed when the interpolymeric attraction is stronger than polymer- lipid interaction. We find a critical size of the condensate required to exhibit successful endocytosis. Multilamellarity and local gelation are observed when the polymer-lipid attraction is significantly stronger than the interpolymeric attraction. Our insights provide essential guidance to the design of (bio)polymers for the manipulation of membrane morphology in various applications such as drug delivery and synthetic biology.

Return to Publications page