Peptide-Oleate Complexes Create Novel Membrane-Bound Compartments

Jesper S. Hansen, Tuan Hiep Tran, Michele Cavalera, Sanchari Paul, Arunima Chaudhuri, Karin Lindkvist-Petersson, James C.S. Ho, Catharina Svanborg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A challenging question in evolutionary theory is the origin of cell division and plausible molecular mechanisms involved. Here, we made the surprising observation that complexes formed by short alpha-helical peptides and oleic acid can create multiple membrane-enclosed spaces from a single lipid vesicle. The findings suggest that such complexes may contain the molecular information necessary to initiate and sustain this process. Based on these observations, we propose a new molecular model to understand protocell division.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3083-3093
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Free keywords

  • cell division
  • giant unilamellar vesicles
  • oleic acid
  • peptides
  • peptide–oleate complexes
  • phospholipids
  • protocells


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