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Peptide based self-replicating coacervate protocells

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PEPREP project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PEPREP project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PEPREP" about.

coacervation    one    concentrate    catalyzing    building    coacervate    ligation    irreversible    collection    stabilizing    protocells    imine    preliminary    directed    reversible    chemical    biology    pigments    inanimate    indicate    replication    cross    prebiotic    form    native    unstable    repeated    peptide    chains    spontaneous    life    mechanism    model    compartments    chemistry    inherently    cycling    radically    create    spontaneously    periodic    lacking    disulfide    self    alkene    stable    inorganic    nucleotides    coacervates    bonds    blocks    temperature    droplets    protocell    valuable    ph    dimerized    aromatic    dimerization    recondensed    prebiotically    insights    dimerize    templating    recognition    fundamental    molecules    nanoparticles    questions    solution    potent    naturally    plausible    rna    peptides    designed    yielding    dissolved    metathesis    lipid    origin    concentrating    template    elementary    microreactor    replicating    bond    ionic   

Project "PEPREP" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 6525 EZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 187˙572 €
 EC max contribution 187˙572 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-07-16   to  2021-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

One of the most fundamental questions in chemistry and biology is how a self-replicating protocell could form from collection of inanimate molecules. Self-replicating RNA molecules in lipid compartments have been widely studied, but these systems are inherently unstable and a plausible mechanism for their spontaneous formation and repeated replication is still lacking. Here, I propose to use coacervation of self-templating peptides as a radically new approach to create stable self-replicating protocells. We will use short peptide building blocks with aromatic and ionic side chains that are designed for self- or cross-recognition. The building blocks can dimerize through reversible or irreversible chemical bond formation, including disulfide, imine, alkene (metathesis) and peptide (native chemical ligation) bonds. Preliminary results indicate that these peptides spontaneously form coacervate droplets when dimerized. The coacervates enhance the self-replication by naturally concentrating the peptide building blocks, catalyzing the template-directed peptide dimerization and stabilizing the product. By periodic cycling of the solution temperature or pH, the coacervate protocells can be dissolved and recondensed, yielding an elementary system of self-replicating protocells. These coacervate protocells not only concentrate peptides, but also nucleotides, inorganic nanoparticles and pigments, creating a potent microreactor for prebiotic chemistry. Developing these model system will provide valuable insights in new prebiotically plausible pathways to self-replication and the origin of life.

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The information about "PEPREP" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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