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Journal Article

Vesicle constriction by rings of Janus nanoparticles and aggregates of curved proteins


Bahrami,  Amir Houshang
Department of Theoretical Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Bahrami, A., & Bahrami, A. H. (2019). Vesicle constriction by rings of Janus nanoparticles and aggregates of curved proteins. Nanotechnology, 30(34): 345101. doi:10.1088/1361-6528/ab1ed5.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-B4D3-3
Membrane constriction and associated scission by proteins and nano structures are crucial to many processes in cellular and synthetic biology. We report mechanical constriction of vesicles by rings of adsorbed Janus nanoparticles that represent synthetic nano structures and mimic contractile proteins, and by aggregates of curved crescents that mimic scaffold proteins. Membrane energetics from Monte Carlo simulations and simulated annealing of the elastic membrane model confirms spontaneous vesicle constriction by aggregates of sufficiently-curved crescents of various lengths and by rings of Janus nanoparticles with a variety of ring lengths, particle sizes, and particle area fractions. We show that shorter rings of smaller particles with higher area fractions reinforce the constriction by increasing the energetic drive towards the constricted vesicle with smaller constriction radius. We demonstrate that vesicle constriction by crescent aggregates strongly depends on the crescent curvature. In contrast to aggregates of sufficiently-curved crescents that are capable of inducing full vesicle constriction, those of near flat crescents with negligible curvature leave the vesicle unconstricted. Our results offer promising perspectives for designing membrane-constricting nano structures such as nanoparticle aggregates and clusters of synthetic curved proteins such as DNA origami scaffolds with applications in synthetic biology. Our findings reveal the significant contribution of highly-curved F-BAR domains to cell division and explain how contractile protein rings such as dynamin GTPase, actomyosin rings, and endosomal sorting complexes required for transport constrict the membrane.