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!