Integrin-Functionalised Giant Unilamellar Vesicles via Gel-Assisted Formation: Good Practices and Pitfalls
IJMS. 2021-06-13; 22(12): 6335
Giant unilamellar vesicles (GUV) are powerful tools to explore physics and biochemistry of the cell membrane in controlled conditions. For example, GUVs were extensively used to probe cell adhesion, but often using non-physiological linkers, due to the difficulty of incorporating transmembrane adhesion proteins into model membranes. Here we describe a new protocol for making GUVs incorporating the transmembrane protein integrin using gel-assisted swelling. We report an optimised protocol, enumerating the pitfalls encountered and precautions to be taken to maintain the robustness of the protocol. We characterise intermediate steps of small proteoliposome formation and the final formed GUVs. We show that the integrin molecules are successfully incorporated and are functional.