Learn More
This paper is a theoretical attempt to gain insight into the problem of how self-assembling vesicles (closed bilayer structures) could progressively turn into minimal self-producing and self-reproducing cells, i.e. into interesting candidates for (proto)biological systems. With this aim, we make use of a recently developed object-oriented platform to carry(More)
Transmembrane proton translocation in the photosynthetic membranes of the purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is driven by light and performed by two transmembrane complexes; the photosynthetic reaction center and the ubiquinol-cytochrome c oxidoreductase complex, coupled by two mobile electron carriers; the cytochrome and the quinone. This paper(More)
In previous works we have explored the dynamics of chemically reacting proto-cellular systems, under different experimental conditions and kinetic parameters, by means of our stochastic simulation platform 'ENVIRONMENT'. In this paper we, somehow, turn the question around: accepting some broad modeling assumptions, we investigate the conditions under which(More)
The wet-lab synthesis of the simplest forms of life (minimal cells) is a challenging aspect in modern synthetic biology. Quasi-cellular systems able to produce proteins directly from DNA can be obtained by encapsulating the cell-free transcription/translation system PURESYSTEM™(PS) in liposomes. It is possible to detect the intra-vesicle protein production(More)
'ENVIRONMENT' is a computational platform that has been developed in the last few years with the aim to simulate stochastically the dynamics and stability of chemically reacting protocellular systems. Here we present and describe some of its main features, showing how the stochastic kinetics approach can be applied to study the time evolution of reaction(More)
Two kinetic models describing the emergence of autopoietic chemical units are presented and discussed: the single reagent autopoietic mechanism (SRAM) and a reduced version (rSRAM). The proposed schemes are inspired to the autopoietic vesicles studied by Zepik et al (2001 Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl. 40 199-202). Deterministic and stochastic analyses are(More)
Spherical bounded structures such as those formed by surfactant aggregates (mostly micelles and vesicles), with an inside that is chemically and physically different from the outside medium, can be seen as primitive cell models. As such, they are fundamental structures for the theory of autopoiesis as originally formulated by Varela and Maturana. In(More)
In this paper, we apply a recently developed stochastic simulation platform to investigate the dynamic behaviour of minimal 'self-(re-)producing' cellular systems. In particular, we study a set of preliminary conditions for appearance of the simplest forms of autonomy in the context of lipid vesicles (more specifically, lipid-peptide vesicles) that enclose(More)
Over the last two decades, lipid compartments (liposomes, lipid-coated droplets) have been extensively used as in vitro "minimal" cell models. In particular, simple and complex biomolecular reactions have been carried out inside these self-assembled micro- and nano-sized compartments, leading to the synthesis of RNA and functional proteins inside liposomes.(More)