A synthetic metabolic network for physicochemical homeostasis

Tjeerd Pols, Hendrik R. Sikkema, Bauke F. Gaastra, Jacopo Frallicciardi, Wojciech M. Śmigiel, Shubham Singh and Bert Poolman

Jul 29, 2019

Received Date: 20th July 19

One of the grand challenges in chemistry is the construction of functional out-of-equilibrium networks, which are typical of living cells. Building such a system from molecular components requires control over the formation and degradation of the interacting chemicals and homeostasis of the internal physical-chemical conditions. The provision and consumption of ATP lies at the heart of this challenge.  We report the in vitroconstruction in vesicles of a pathway for sustained ATP production that is maintained away from equilibrium by control of energy dissipation. We maintain a constant level of ATP with varying load on the system. The pathway enables us to control the transmembrane fluxes of osmolytes and to demonstrate basic physicochemical homeostasis. Our work demonstrates metabolic energy conservation and cell volume regulatory mechanisms in a cell-like system at a level of complexity minimally needed for life.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature