Nanotube-Enabled Vesicle-Vesicle Communication: A Computational Model

LY Zhang and XQ Wang, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 6, 2530-2537 (2015).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.5b00755

Cell-to-cell communications via the tunneling nanotubes or gap junction channels are vital for the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms. Instead of these intrinsic communication pathways, how to design artificial communication channels between cells remains a challenging but interesting problem. Here, we perform dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations to analyze the interaction between rotational nanotubes (RNTs) and vesicles so as to provide a novel design mechanism for cell-to-cell communication. Simulation results have demonstrated that the RNTs are capable of generating local disturbance and promote vesicle translocation toward the RNTs. Through ligand pattern designing on the RNTs, we can find a suitable nanotube candidate with a specific ligand coating pattern for forming the RNT-vesicle network. The results also show that a RNT can act as a bridged channel between vesicles, which facilitates substance transfer. Our findings provide useful guidelines for the molecular design of patterned RNTs for creating a synthetic channel between cells.

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