Building an Artificial Plant Cell Wall on a Lipid Bilayer by Assembling Polysaccharides and Engineered Proteins

Simona Notova, Nathan Cannac, Luca Rabagliati, Maeva Touzard, Josselin Mante, Yotam Navon, Liliane Coche-Guérente, Olivier Lerouxel, Laurent Heux, Anne Imberty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The cell wall constitutes a fundamental structural component of plant cells, providing them with mechanical resistance and flexibility. Mimicking this wall is a critical step in the conception of an experimental model of the plant cell. The assembly of cellulose/hemicellulose in the form of cellulose nanocrystals and xyloglucans as a representative model of the plant cell wall has already been mastered; however, these models lacked the pectin component. In this work, we used an engineered chimeric protein designed for bridging pectin to the cellulose/hemicellulose network, therefore achieving the assembly of complete cell wall mimics. We first engineered a carbohydrate-binding module from Ruminococcus flavefaciens able to bind oligogalacturonan, resulting in high-affinity polygalacturonan receptors with Kdin the micromolar range. A Janus protein, with cell wall gluing property, was then designed by assembling this carbohydrate-binding module with a Ralstonia solanacearum lectin specific for fucosylated xyloglucans. The resulting supramolecular architecture is able to bind fucose-containing xyloglucans and homogalacturonan, ensuring high affinity for both. A two-dimensional assembly of an artificial plant cell wall was then built first on synthetic polymer and then on the supported lipid bilayer. Such an artificial cell wall can serve as a basis for the development of plant cell mechanical models and thus deepen the understanding of the principles underlying various aspects of plant cells and tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3516-3528
Number of pages13
JournalACS Synthetic Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • carbohydrate-binding protein
  • lectin
  • plant cell wall
  • protein engineering
  • synthetic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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