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However, elucidating and fully recapitulating the fundamental mechanistic aspects of membrane transformations would without doubt impact on a wide range of disciplines from biology to medicine, given that cell division is constitutive of processes from embryo development to cancer Fig. Reconstitution of cell division from the bottom up could also unravel the similarities and differences between the division machineries of different kingdoms of life.

If minimal cell division were implemented together with a positioning system, the symmetry of minimal cell division could be controlled, for example by exploiting the MinDE system or the Rho-family small GTPase Cdc42 and its corresponding GAPs or GEFs [ ]. Regardless of the precise implementation, reconstitution of a minimal division machinery will increase the versatility of synthetic cells and pave the way towards their directed evolution—something that to-date has not yet been successfully demonstrated for any reconstituted, man-made entity or proto-cell Fig.

This would not only open up entirely new avenues for bottom-up synthetic biology, but also point to how life could have emerged from inanimate matter and provoke us to revisit our current definition of cellular life. Relevance and potential applications of defining and creating a synthetic cell division machinery. A minimal model system that can recapitulate cell division will be useful to understand the mechanistic basis of the process in cells, in particular by defining the elements that are both necessary and sufficient to achieve division left side.

A minimal cell will need to be capable of dividing to mimic one of the essential characteristics of life right side , top functionalities. Once DNA or RNA replication can be successfully reconstituted in a minimal cell, both growth and division would be required to evolve these minimal cells, for example by cycles of error prone duplication of the genetic material followed by selection of a desired functionality right side , bottom. What is life? The physical aspect of the living cell and mind.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; MaxSynBio: avenues towards creating cells from the bottom up. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. The biomembrane curvature and remodeling roadmap.

Essential metabolism for a minimal cell | eLife

J Phys D Appl Phys. Systems biology of cellular membranes: a convergence with biophysics. Lipowsky R. The conformation of membranes. Coupling of bending and stretching deformations in vesicle membranes. Adv Colloid Interf Sci. Morigaki K, Tanimoto Y.

Evolution and development of model membranes for physicochemical and functional studies of the membrane lateral heterogeneity. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. How curved membranes recruit amphipathic helices and protein anchoring motifs. Nat Chem Biol. Sackmann E, Tanaka M.

Synthetic cell division via membrane-transforming molecular assemblies

Supported membranes on soft polymer cushions: fabrication, characterization and applications. Trends Biotechnol. Giant vesicles: preparations and applications. Roux A. The physics of membrane tubes: soft templates for studying cellular membranes. Soft Matter. Helfrich W. Elastic properties of lipid bilayers: theory and possible experiments.

Thermodynamics and mechanics of membrane curvature generation and sensing by proteins and lipids. Annu Rev Phys Chem.

Review ARTICLE

Spontaneous tubulation of membranes and vesicles reveals membrane tension generated by spontaneous curvature. Faraday Discuss.


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Nat Commun. Endophilin-A2 functions in membrane scission in clathrin-independent endocytosis. Nature of curvature coupling of amphiphysin with membranes depends on its bound density. The stimulatory action of amphiphysin on dynamin function is dependent on lipid bilayer curvature. EMBO J. J Cell Sci. Steric confinement of proteins on lipid membranes can drive curvature and tubulation. Membrane fission by protein crowding.


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  • Synthetic cell division: splitting membrane compartments.
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    Chapter 3 The Cellular Level of Organization

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