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A Fissionable Artificial Eukaryote-like Cell Model

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posted on 05.07.2017, 00:00 by Wei Zong, Shenghua Ma, Xunan Zhang, Xuejing Wang, Qingchuan Li, Xiaojun Han
The use of artificial cells has attracted considerable attention in various fields from biotechnology to medicine. Here, we develop a cell-sized vesicle-in-vesicle (VIV) structure containing a separate inner vesicle (IV) that can be loaded with DNA. We use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to successfully amplify the amount of DNA confined to the IV. Subsequent osmotic stress-induced fission of a mother VIV into two daughter VIVs successfully divides the IV content while keeping it confined to the IV of the daughter VIVs. The fission rate was estimated to be ∼20% quantified by fluorescence microscope. Our VIV structure represents a step forward toward construction of an advanced, fissionable cell model.