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.
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Essential metabolism for a minimal cell | eLife
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Synthetic cell division via membrane-transforming molecular assemblies
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