Document Detail

Synthetic biology of minimal systems.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19635039     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
"Synthetic biology" is a concept that has developed together with, or slightly after, "systems biology". But while systems biology aims at the full understanding of large systems by integrating more and more details into their models, synthetic biology phrases different questions, namely: what particular biological function could be obtained with a certain known subsystem of reduced complexity; can this function be manipulated or engineered in artificial environments or genetically modified organisms; and if so, how? The most prominent representation of synthetic biology has so far been microbial engineering by recombinant DNA technology, employing modular concepts known from information technology. However, there are an increasing number of biophysical groups who follow similar strategies of dissecting cellular processes and networks, trying to identify functional minimal modules that could then be combined in a bottom-up approach towards biology. These modules are so far not as particularly defined by their impact on DNA processing, but rather influenced by core fields of biophysics, such as cell mechanics and membrane dynamics. This review will give an overview of some classical and some quite new biophysical strategies for constructing minimal systems of certain cellular modules. We will show that with recent advances in understanding of cytoskeletal and membrane elements, the time might have come to experimentally challenge the concept of a minimal cell.
Petra Schwille; Stefan Diez
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Critical reviews in biochemistry and molecular biology     Volume:  44     ISSN:  1549-7798     ISO Abbreviation:  Crit. Rev. Biochem. Mol. Biol.     Publication Date:    2009 Jul-Aug
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-07-28     Completed Date:  2009-09-29     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8903774     Medline TA:  Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  223-42     Citation Subset:  IM    
Biophysics/BIOTEC, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Biophysical Phenomena*
Cell Membrane / physiology
Circadian Rhythm
Cytoskeleton / physiology
Models, Biological
Systems Biology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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