Single synthetic cell microreactor for the fundamental understanding of NOS enzymatic activity and its implication in system biology

Abstract : Nitric oxide (NO) has been identified as an important chemical messenger in cells and living organisms. Understanding the mechanism involved in NO production by NO-synthase is of fundamental importance. Mimicking basic cell functions by encapsulating NO-synthase in a controlled and confined cell like environment, could help provide information about the enzyme. Polymersomes resulting from the self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers were used as the synthetic cell like microreactor. To this end, three major challenges were addressed in this thesis: (1) controlling species release and concentration inside the microreactor, (2) measuring the enzyme response by NO detection and (3) controlling enzymatic reactions in space and time inside a microreactor. Light was used as the exogenous stimulus to induce release; its application is instantaneous, non-invasive and easy to control spatially and temporally. Two different ways to release species via light excitation were explored. The first strategy involves destabilization of nanopolymersomes by block separation, induced by copolymer photocleavage. The second strategy was to induce fast osmotic pressure increase of the polymersomes internal medium, resulting in bursting and species release. In order to monitor NO production by NO-synthase in different parts of the microreactor, hydrophobic and hydrophilic fluorescent NO probes have been synthesized and studied showing excellent correlation with NO concentration. The release of species inside microreactor was finally achieved in order to control enzymatic reaction.
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Louis Beauté. Single synthetic cell microreactor for the fundamental understanding of NOS enzymatic activity and its implication in system biology. Polymers. Université de Bordeaux, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019BORD0069⟩. ⟨tel-02179366⟩

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