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  • Topics>One step forward in the reassembly of cells: Success in preparation of additive-free cell extract in same intracellular concentration as the original cell

One step forward in the reassembly of cells: Success in preparation of additive-free cell extract in same intracellular concentration as the original cell

Once the cell, the base unit of living organisms, is broken down, it cannot be reconstituted back to its original living state. What are the reasons for not being able to return to the living state? Are there conditions applicable for a return? Research has been conducted to answer these questions in which Researcher Kei Fujiwara and Associate Professor Shin-ichiro M. Nomura, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, has been successful in in vitro processing of cell extract with nearly equivalent concentration with the original disassembled cells.

The cell extract was prepared this time without any additives, using evaporation to densify to a close level as the intracellular environment. Cell extract obtained using this method had the same ability as the original cell to produce protein from DNA. We found that the ability to produce protein increases but once the concentration reaches a level close to the intracellular concentrations, the reverse process occurs. The research results clearly show the in vitro environment is clearly different from the microscopic intracellular environment, not only from the standpoint of artificial additives and concentration levels.

Establishing the reasons for the results will pave the way for creating the basic conditions necessary for the cell extracts to actually return to the cell state. The research results were published on Jan 10, 2013 in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. The paper's title is "Condensation of an Additive-Free Cell Extract to Mimic the Conditions of Live Cells." (Freely downloadable in : http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0054155 )


[Contact]
Researcher Kei Fujiwara
Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University
Address: 6-6-1 Aoba Aramaki Aoba-ku Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8579, Japan
TEL/FAX: +81-22-795-6910
E-mail: fujiwara*molbot.mech.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)

Associate Professor Shinichiro M. Nomura
Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University
E-mail: nomura*molbot.mech.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)
update: 2013.01.15