Author(s): Kurihara K, , Okura Y, Matsuo M, Toyota T,
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Abstract Self-organized lipid structures (protocells) have been proposed as an intermediate between nonliving material and cellular life. Synthetic production of model protocells can demonstrate the potential processes by which living cells first arose. While we have previously described a giant vesicle (GV)-based model protocell in which amplification of DNA was linked to self-reproduction, the ability of a protocell to recursively self-proliferate for multiple generations has not been demonstrated. Here we show that newborn daughter GVs can be restored to the status of their parental GVs by pH-induced vesicular fusion of daughter GVs with conveyer GVs filled with depleted substrates. We describe a primitive model cell cycle comprising four discrete phases (ingestion, replication, maturity and division), each of which is selectively activated by a specific external stimulus. The production of recursive self-proliferating model protocells represents a step towards eventual production of model protocells that are able to mimic evolution.
This article was published in Nat Commun
and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry