A novel and generic mechanism for the division of artificial cells, The success of life on earth is based on the extraordinary ability of living cells to divide into two daughter cells.

During such a process of division, the outer cell membrane must undergo a series of morphological transformations, which ultimately leads to membrane division.

Scientists have now gained unprecedented control over the transformation of this form and the separation process produced by binding to low density proteins to artificial cell membranes. A novel and generic mechanism for the division of artificial cells.

All living organisms on earth consist of individual cells. In addition, the proliferation and growth of this organism is based on the ability of each cell to divide into two daughter cells. During the process of division, the cell membrane that forms the outer edge of the cell must go through a series of morphological transformations, which ultimately leads to cell membrane division. A novel and generic mechanism for the division of artificial cells.

To control this process, cells currently rely on highly specialized protein complexes that are controlled by ATP hydrolysis. However, it turns out that controlled separation is much easier to achieve, as recently demonstrated by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. .

These cells are provided by giant lipid vesicles, the size of typical animal cells and are covered by a single lipid membrane that forms a strong and stable barrier between the inner and outer water solutions. This separation is also important for cell membranes. A novel and generic mechanism for the division of artificial cells.

In addition, vesicles and cell membranes basically have the same molecular architecture and consist of a molecular bilayer with two molecular leaflets that determine two sides of the membrane: the inner leaflets are exposed to the inner, outer leaflets of the outer solution.

On the one hand, artificial cells with wide membranous necks remain stable for days and weeks.

On the other hand, once the neck is closed, the membrane creates this narrowing power, which divides the neck and divides the artificial cell into two daughter cells.

Researchers led by Reinhard Lipovsky not only demonstrated the division of artificial cells, but also identified new mechanisms that could be used to systematically control this limited power.

For this purpose, they designed membranes whose inner and outer leaflets differ in their molecular composition and expose outer leaflets to varying protein concentrations.

The asymmetry between these two leaflets creates a preferred or spontaneous curvature that determines the shape of the artificial cell. As soon as a closed membrane is formed, spontaneous curvature also creates local constriction force, which leads to the division of these cells. A novel and generic mechanism for the division of artificial cells.

It is therefore quite surprising that the separation of artificial cells is entirely due to the mechanical properties of the membrane: the force that separates the neck of the membrane is produced directly from the asymmetry of the double layer membrane.

In this way, a simple and common mechanism for dividing artificial cells is identified. This mechanism does not depend on the exact nature of the molecular interactions that create double layer asymmetry and associated spontaneous curvature, as has been explicitly demonstrated by the use of various types of proteins.

In addition, the density of membrane-bound proteins used is quite low, so there is enough room to accommodate other proteins in artificial cell membranes.

Therefore, the membrane protein system presented here offers a promising and versatile module for a bottom-up approach of synthetic biology.

Finally, the artificial cell division process described here also sheds new light on cell division in vivo.

Although all modern cells seem to be based on complex protein machines, our ancestors of cells may have used simpler mechanisms for their division, as explained by the first study author Jan Steinkuler: Some bacteria can also divide without a known protein machine. A novel and generic mechanism for the division of artificial cells.

It has been speculated that membrane mechanics can play an important role in the final separation process. Our research shows that mechanically controlled cell division is actually possible.