Author(s): Oberholzer T, Albrizio M, Luisi PL, Oberholzer T, Albrizio M, Luisi PL, Oberholzer T, Albrizio M, Luisi PL, Oberholzer T, Albrizio M, Luisi PL
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Compartmentalization of biochemical reactions within a spherically closed bilayer is an important step in the molecular evolution of cells. Liposomes are the most suitable structures to model this kind of chemistry. We have used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to demonstrate that complex biochemical reactions such as DNA replication can be carried out inside these compartments. RESULTS: We describe the first example of DNA amplification by the PCR occurring inside liposomes composed of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), or of a mixture of POPC and phosphatidylserine. We show that these liposomes are stable even under the high temperature conditions used for PCR. Although only a very small fraction of liposomes contains all eight different reagents together, a significant amount of DNA is produced which can be observed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. CONCLUSIONS: This work shows that it is possible to carry out complex biochemical reactions within liposomes, which may be germane to the question of the origin of living cells. We have established the parameters and conditions that are critical for carrying out this complex reaction within the liposome compartment.
This article was published in Chem Biol
and referenced in Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology