Modeling Enzymatic Pathways in Giant Lipid Vesicles

F. Mavelli [1], E. Altamura [1], P. Stano [2],
[1] University “Aldo Moro”, Chemistry Department, Bari, Italy
[2] Science Department, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy

Giant vesicles (GVs) are artificial chemical systems largely used as cell models, since they are micrometer-sized closed compartments bounded by a semi-permeable membrane, which in turn is composed by self-assembling amphiphiles. By opportunely engineering the lipid membrane and by entrapping cascade-reaction enzymes inside GVs, it is possible to design micro-sized reactors where metabolic pathways of biotechnological interest can take place sustained by external substrate feeding. Modeling these supramolecular reacting systems is of great interest both to better understand the dynamics of enzymatic reactions in confined space, but also to improve the design and the implementation of new metabolic micro-reactors. In this contribution, a deterministic 3D modeling approach is applied to a three-enzyme metabolic pathway as a case study and the theoretical outcomes are contrasted with confocal microscopy analysis.