30 Jun 2022 13:00

Paper "Dendrimersome synthetic cells harbor cell division machinery of bacteria"


Professor Petra Schwille, Director of the Department Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany and ECLT fellow, is co-author of this interesting paper published in "Advanced Materials"

"Dendrimersome synthetic cells harbor cell division machinery of bacteria"
Anna M. Wagner, Hiromune Eto, Anton Joseph, Shunshi Kohyama, Tamás Haraszti, Ricardo A. Zamora, Mariia Vorobii, Marina I. Giannotti, Petra Schwille, Cesar Rodriguez-Emmenegger

The integration of active cell machinery with synthetic building blocks is the bridge towards developing synthetic cells with biological functions and beyond. Self-replication is one of the most important tasks of living systems, and various complex machineries exist to execute it. In E. coli, a contractile division ring is positioned to mid-cell by concentration oscillations of self-organizing proteins (MinCDE), where it severs membrane and cell wall. So far, the reconstitution of any cell division machinery has been exclusively tied to liposomes. Here we show the reconstitution of a rudimentary bacterial divisome in fully synthetic bicomponent dendrimersomes. By tuning the membrane composition, the interaction of biological machinery with synthetic membranes can be tailored to reproduce its dynamic behavior. This constitutes an important breakthrough in the assembly of synthetic cells with biological elements, as tuning of membrane-divisome interactions is the key to engineer emergent biological behavior from the bottom-up.

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