Adding Dynamic Biomolecule Signaling to Hydrogel Systems via Tethered Photolabile Cell-Adhesive Proteins.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Sequential biochemical signaling events direct key native tissue processes including disease progression, wound healing and angiogenesis, and tissue regeneration. While in vitro modeling of these processes is critical to understanding endogenous tissue behavior and improving therapeutic outcomes, current models inadequately recapitulate the dynamism of these signaling events. Even the most advanced current synthetic tissue culture constructs are restricted in their capability to sequentially add and remove the same molecule to model transient signaling. Here, we developed a genetically encoded method for reversible biochemical signaling within poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogels for greater accuracy of modeling tissue regeneration within a reductionist environment. We designed and implemented a recombinant protein with a SpyCatcher domain connected to a cell-adhesive RGDS peptide domain by a light-cleavable domain known as PhoCl. This protein was shown to bind to SpyTag-functionalized PEG-matrices via SpyTag-SpyCatcher isopeptide bonding to present RGDS adhesive ligands to cells. Upon 405 nm light exposure, the PhoCl domain was cleaved to subsequently release the RGDS peptide, which diffused out of the matrix. This system was implemented to confer reversible adhesion of 3T3 fibroblasts to the PEG-based hydrogel surface in 2D culture (73.36 ± 21.47% cell removal upon cell-compatible light exposure) and temporal control over cell spreading over time in 3D culture within cell-degradable PEG-based hydrogels, demonstrating the capability of this system to present dynamic signaling events to cells toward modeling native tissue processes within in a controlled, ECM-mimetic matrix.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chapla, R; Hammer, JA; West, JL

Published Date

  • January 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 208 - 217

PubMed ID

  • 34870965

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2373-9878

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2373-9878

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c01181


  • eng