Preprint Highlight: Cell free expression in proteinosomes prepared from native protein-PNIPAAm conjugates

Highlighted By: Jacqueline De Lora, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research

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Significance Statement:

  • Developing cell-free transcription and translation systems is a key challenge in engineering synthetic cells. While lipid-derived compartmentalization of such systems has been achieved, other synthetic cellular platforms such as proteinosomes with enhanced material properties for stabilization, flexibility of use, and integration with higher-order cellular architectures, would be beneficial.
  • The authors propose a simplified methodology for proteinosome fabrication using conjugates of bovine serum albumin-Poly(N-isopropylacrylaminde) that are compatible with cell-free expression systems. They use microscopy to demonstrate DNA and mRNA retention within porous proteinosomes while proteins diffuse freely.  
  • The proposed technology to compartmentalize functional transcription and translation machinery within proteinosomes enables creative synthetic cell architectures with the benefit of diffusive molecular transport. These findings will provide new insights into the central dogma of biology and influence applications in cell engineering.

Read the Preprint:

Cell free expression in proteinosomes prepared from native protein-PNIPAAm conjugates
Mengfei Gao, Dishi Wang, Weihua Leng, Michaela Wilsch-Bräuninger, JonathanSchulte, Nina Morgner, Dietmar Appelhans, T-Y. Dora Tang



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