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Self-assembly of Deinococcus radiodurans bacteria

DISCOVERIES (ISSN 2359–7232), 2017, January-March issue


Bernadotte A, Semenova V, Musial VAM, Kasprzykowska A, Zubarev RA. Self-assembly of Deinococcus radiodurans supports nanocell scenario of life origin. Discoveries 2017, Jan-Mar; 5(1): e72 DOI: 10.15190/d.2017.2

Submitted: March 27th, 2017; Accepted: March 30th, 2017; Published: May 8th, 2017;

 GO BACK to 2017, January-March issue


Self-assembly of Deinococcus radiodurans supports nanocell scenario of life origin

Alexandra Bernadotte (1, 3), Valeriya Semenova (1), Vitor A. M. Musial (1), Anna Kasprzykowska (1), Roman A. Zubarev (1,2,*)

(1) Division of Physiological Chemistry I, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Scheeles väg 2, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

(2) SciLifeLab, Stockholm, Sweden

(3) Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gory 1-2, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation.

*Correspondence to: Roman A. Zubarev, PhD, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Scheeles väg 2, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden; Phone: +46 8 524 87594; E-mail: roman.zubarev@ki.se;


In many origin-of-life scenarios, first a kit of elements and simple compounds emerges, then a primitive membrane and then a nanocell with a minimal genome is self-assembled, which then proceeds to multiply by copying itself while mutating. Testing this scenario, we selected Deinococcus Radiodurans known for its exceptional self-repair properties as a model system, separated its bacterial lysis into DNA, RNA and protein fractions, while lipids were used for liposome formation. The fractions were sealed in glass tubes individually and in combinations and stored for three weeks. Upon seeding on Petri dishes, the fractions containing liposomes together with nucleic acid and/or proteins gave in total 19 colonies of Deinococcus radiodurans (confirmed by proteomics), while liposome-free fractions as well as liposome-only fractions gave no colonies. The self-assembly of viable cells from essentially dead mixtures validates the lyposome-based origin-of-life scenario.

Access full text of the manuscript here:   Suppl. Information (pdf)


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