A partially self-regenerating synthetic cell

Barbora Lavickova, Nadanai Laohakunakorn, Sebastian J. Maerkl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Self-regeneration is a fundamental function of all living systems. Here we demonstrate partial molecular self-regeneration in a synthetic cell. By implementing a minimal transcription-translation system within microfluidic reactors, the system is able to regenerate essential protein components from DNA templates and sustain synthesis activity for over a day. By quantitating genotype-phenotype relationships combined with computational modeling we find that minimizing resource competition and optimizing resource allocation are both critically important for achieving robust system function. With this understanding, we achieve simultaneous regeneration of multiple proteins by determining the required DNA ratios necessary for sustained self-regeneration. This work introduces a conceptual and experimental framework for the development of a self-replicating synthetic cell.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6340
JournalNature Communications
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2020

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