09 Jul DNA-programmed proteinosomes: One step further in bottom-up synthetic biology
Biological systems are regulated through networks of highly complex behaviors. Bottom-up synthetic biology provides a means for deconvoluting the underlying architecture governing these network-based behaviours. Droplet microfluidics has been the gold standard for creating complex synthetic cells from the bottom-up. To better design such systems, it is crucial to further our understanding of reaction dynamics within the compartments. For this week’s research highligh, we have selected a recent article published in Nature Communications that employed a PDMS-based microfluidic platform to study how compartmentalization and communication affect reaction rates in synthetic cell networks.
“Herein, based on our design principle, we demonstrate spatially localised PEN DNA reactions within proteinosomes. Microfluidics was used to generate mondisperse proteinosomes encapsulating a DNA template that could support designer PEN DNA reactions. In addition, this platform was used to characterise the reaction kinetics of the autocatalytic PEN DNA reaction. Due to compartmentalisation, we observe kinetic behaviours that are not accessible in buffer solutions.“, the authors explained.
“Whilst it is still a challenge to probe the effect of compartmentalisation in biological cellular systems, the ability to build micron-sized compartments encapsulating enzyme reactions has offered an unique opportunity to address this challenge without biological complexity. Our work represents an important step in bottom-up synthetic biology approaches by combining it with quantitative approaches.“, the authors concluded.
Figures and the abstract were reproduced from Zambrano, A., Fracasso, G., Gao, M. et al. Programmable synthetic cell networks regulated by tuneable reaction rates. Nat Commun 13, 3885 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-31471-5 under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Read the original article: Programmable synthetic cell networks regulated by tuneable reaction rates