Coupling of Ligands to the Liposome Surface by Click Chemistry. Methods in Molecular Biology 2017, 1522, 93-106.

Click chemistry represents a new bioconjugation strategy that can be used to conveniently attach various ligands to the surface of preformed liposomes. This efficient and chemoselective reaction involves a Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition which can be performed under mild experimental conditions in aqueous media. Here we describe the application of a model click reaction to the conjugation, in a single step, of unprotected alpha-1-thiomannosyl ligands, functionalized with an azide group, to liposomes containing a terminal alkyne-functionalized lipid anchor. Excellent coupling yields have been obtained in the presence of bathophenanthroline disulfonate, a water soluble copper-ion chelator, acting as a catalyst. No vesicle leakage is triggered by this conjugation reaction and the coupled mannose ligands are exposed at the surface of the liposomes. The major limitation of Cu(I)-catalyzed click reactions is that this conjugation is restricted to liposomes made of saturated (phospho)lipids. To circumvent that constraint, an example of alternative copper-free azide-alkyne click reaction has been developed. Molecular tools and results are presented here.