22. June 2022
New publi­ca­tion by Kerstin Göpfrich
© Hector Fellow Academy

Paper by Kerstin Göpfrich published in the journal Nature Chemistry

The use of synthetic cells in study­ing cellu­lar mecha­nisms in a highly controlled and pre-defined setting creates great value for under­stand­ing nature as well as devel­op­ing new thera­peu­tic approaches.

Kerstin Göpfrich, who received the 2021 Hector Research Career Devel­op­ment Award, and other scien­tists from the Max Planck Insti­tute for Medical Research and the 2nd Insti­tute of Physics at the Univer­sity of Stuttgart were now able to take the next step towards synthetic cells: They intro­duced functional DNA-based cytoskele­tons into cell-sized compart­ments. Cytoskele­tons are essen­tial compo­nents of each cell that control their shape, inter­nal organi­za­tion and other vital functions such as trans­port of molecules between differ­ent parts of the cell. Upon incor­po­rat­ing the cytoskele­tons into the synthetic droplets, the researchers also showed function­al­ity such as trans­port of molecules or assem­bly and disas­sem­bly upon certain triggers.

“It is excit­ing that we can also trigger the assem­bly of the DNA cytoskele­ton with ATP – the same molecule cells use to power differ­ent mecha­nisms”, says Kerstin Göpfrich.

Congrat­u­la­tions Kerstin Göpfrich!