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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 346;

Deciphering the Functional Composition of Fusogenic Liposomes

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institute of Complex Systems (ICS-7), Biomechanics, 52425 Jülich, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Fusion)
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Cationic liposomes are frequently used as carrier particles for nucleic acid delivery. The most popular formulation is the equimolar mixture of two components, a cationic lipid and a neutral phosphoethanolamine. Its uptake pathway has been described as endocytosis. The presence of an aromatic molecule as a third component strongly influences the cellular uptake process and results in complete membrane fusion instead of endocytosis. Here, we systematically varied all three components of this lipid mixture and determined how efficiently the resulting particles fused with the plasma membrane of living mammalian cells. Our results show that an aromatic molecule and a cationic lipid component with conical molecular shape are essential for efficient fusion induction. While a neutral lipid is not mandatory, it can be used to control fusion efficiency and, in the most extreme case, to revert the uptake mechanism back to endocytosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane fusion; fusogenic liposomes; cationic lipid; aromatic compound; chromophore; neutral lipid membrane fusion; fusogenic liposomes; cationic lipid; aromatic compound; chromophore; neutral lipid

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kolašinac, R.; Kleusch, C.; Braun, T.; Merkel, R.; Csiszár, A. Deciphering the Functional Composition of Fusogenic Liposomes. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 346.

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