Artificial assembly of a minimal cell

Centro Enrico Fermi, Piazza del Viminale 1, 00184, Rome, Italy.
Molecular BioSystems (Impact Factor: 3.21). 11/2009; 5(11):1292-7. DOI: 10.1039/b906541e
Source: PubMed


Synthetic Biology approaches can assemble and/or reconstruct cell parts in synthetic compartments. A minimal cell as a model for early living cells can be artificially constructed in the laboratory resuming the main properties of a basic cell living system: a synthetic cell compartment or liposome to host a minimal metabolism based on protein synthesis, and a shell and core reproduction mechanism, all in an artificial cell assembly and remaining in the realm of minimal living. It is becoming realistic to construct artificial cells, starting from a minimal cell assembly, and deliver cell-like bioreactors to synthesize pure proteins/enzymes or isolate single pathways. These artificial cell-like systems could perform different tasks in antimicrobial drug development, drug delivery and diagnostic applications.

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    • "The creation of streamlined synthetic minimal cells will improve our understanding of life and its origins and enable production of natural and unnatural chemical entities (Forster and Church, 2006; Jewett and Forster, 2010; Murtas, 2009; Szostak et al., 2001). This is being approached from two complementary methods. "
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