Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 35, 2020
Previous Article Next Article

Dissipative self-assembly, competition and inhibition in a self-reproducing protocell model

Author affiliations

Abstract

The bottom-up synthesis of artificial, life-like systems promises to enable the study of emergent properties distinctive to life. Here, we report protocell systems generated from phase-separated building blocks. Vesicle protocells self-reproduce through a phase-transfer mechanism, catalysing their own formation. Dissipative self-assembly by the protocells is achieved when a hydrolysis step to destroy the surfactant is introduced. Competition between micelle and vesicle based replicators for a common feedstock shows that environmental conditions can control what species predominates: under basic conditions vesicles predominate, but in a neutral medium micelles are selected for via a mechanism which inhibits vesicle formation. Finally, the protocells enable orthogonal reactivity by catalysing in situ formation of an amphiphilic organocatalyst, which after incorporation into the vesicle bilayer enantioselectively forms a secondary product.

Graphical abstract: Dissipative self-assembly, competition and inhibition in a self-reproducing protocell model

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
14 May 2020
Accepted
07 Aug 2020
First published
12 Aug 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 9434-9442
Article type
Edge Article

Dissipative self-assembly, competition and inhibition in a self-reproducing protocell model

E. A. J. Post and S. P. Fletcher, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 9434
DOI: 10.1039/D0SC02768E

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements