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Life 2015, 5(1), 651-675; doi:10.3390/life5010651

From Vesicles to Protocells: The Roles of Amphiphilic Molecules

Department of Physics, Tohoku University, Aoba, Sendai 980-8578, Japan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Pasquale Stano and Fabio Mavelli
Received: 11 October 2014 / Revised: 11 February 2015 / Accepted: 24 February 2015 / Published: 2 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protocells - Designs for Life)

Abstract

It is very challenging to construct protocells from molecular assemblies. An important step in this challenge is the achievement of vesicle dynamics that are relevant to cellular functions, such as membrane trafficking and self-reproduction, using amphiphilic molecules. Soft matter physics will play an important role in the development of vesicles that have these functions. Here, we show that simple binary phospholipid vesicles have the potential to reproduce the relevant functions of adhesion, pore formation and self-reproduction of vesicles, by coupling the lipid geometries (spontaneous curvatures) and the phase separation. This achievement will elucidate the pathway from molecular assembly to cellular life. View Full-Text
Keywords: protocell; vesicle; deformation; spontaneous curvature; phase separation; adhesion; pore formation; self-reproduction protocell; vesicle; deformation; spontaneous curvature; phase separation; adhesion; pore formation; self-reproduction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sakuma, Y.; Imai, M. From Vesicles to Protocells: The Roles of Amphiphilic Molecules. Life 2015, 5, 651-675.

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