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Title Sogang University Successfully Produces an Artificial Cell that Photosynthesizes by Itself
Writer sogpr Date 2018-06-27 Views 1558

Sogang University Successfully Produces an Artificial Cell that Photosynthesizes by Itself

- By reassembling the protein of living thing, cell of auto-metabolism activity has been created -


▲ Prof. Shin Kwanwoo


The research team led by Prof. Shin Kwanwoo of the Department of Chemistry succeeded in producing artificial cell that has the identical form and function with living cell and that produces energy by light. The artificial cell converts energy via photosynthesis, produces ATP by mitochondria, and synthesizes substances in cell by using the produced ATP.


This success in research has been published in the international journal of Nature Biotechnology on May 28 and introduced in the Nature journal.


□ Information on Paper

- Title: Photosynthetic artificial organelles sustain and control ATP-dependent reactions in a protocellular system

- Main Author: Prof. Shin Kwanwoo (corresponding author, Sogang University), Prof. Kevin Parker (corresponding author, Harvard University), Prof. Ahn Tae Kyu (corresponding author, Sungkyunkwan University), Prof. Jung Kwang Hwan (corresponding author, Sogang University), Dr. Lee Keel Yong (the primary author, Sogang University-Harvard University)


The research team made artificial cell by extracting photointerconversion protein from bacteria and photosynthesis protein from plants and reassembling them in the similar format of cell.


The developed cell produces ATP, which is a substance that is utilized as a source for energy in all metabolism activities for various growth and reproduction in cell, synthesizes cytoskeleton that forms movement and shape of cell, and reacts to light. Aforementioned characteristics are similar to those of a living cell in the primitive form.


Prof. Shin Kwanwoo said that “The outcome of research is very innovative and we made a cell that is close to a living thing,” and he added that “this showed the potential that we can create a living thing that can adapt to the external environment and grow,” on the meaning of the research.


▲ Figure


[Details of Figure ]

A. Artificial cell that the cytoskeleton protein in cell is grown

B. Movement of artificial cell created by cytoskeleton protein via photosynthesis in cell membrane

C and D. Cell cytoskeleton protein induced by photosynthesis in mitochondria and cell membrane, and the mimetic diagram that controls the phenomenon


A. Internal structure of an artificial cell that the cytoskeleton protein has grown by ATP induced by photosynthesis (red: artificial cell membrane, green: cytoskeleton)

B. Movement of a cell that a certain location of cell membrane is transformed by light

C. Mimetic diagram of inserting artificial mitochondria into the artificial cell membrane

D. Mimetic diagram of synthesizing cytoskeleton protein in artificial cell by producing ATP by light


▲ Figure Artificial Cell that synthesizes Cytoskeleton locally in cell via photosynthesis


[Details of Figure ]

Mimetic diagram of a change and of a movement of the structure of cell membrane that local synthesis of cytoskeleton protein is done by ATP generated by endoplasmic reticulum that is similar to that of mitochondria that does artificial photosynthesis and is surrounded by cell membrane (left) and fluorescence microscope (right)