Synthetic membrane could lead to self-replicating artificial cells

A synthetic membrane that contains key proteins used in cell division could one day help artificial cells replicate themselves

Technology 30 May 2022

artificial membrane

Proteins involved in cell division assemble themselves in the artificial membrane

Wagner et al. Fig 6. Advanced Materials/Wiley-VCH GmbH

An artificial cell membrane with machinery for cell division is a key step towards building a synthetic cell from the bottom-up with the ability to replicate itself.

Synthetic cell membranes now being built in the lab have many of the properties of real cell membranes, but they have lacked a “divisome”, a group of proteins responsible for contorting the cell’s membrane into hourglass-like shapes to prepare for division.

Now, César Rodriguez-Emmenegger at the Leibniz Institute for Interactive …

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