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Studying the Ancient Archaeal Cdv Cell Division Machinery for Synthetic Cells

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All living organisms share the need to replicate and proliferate to ensure the survival of their species. In prokaryotes, this is generally guaranteed by a process of cell division where a mother cell is split into two equally sized daughter cells, and it is a complex and heterogeneous process across all the different species. When looking into the Crenarchaea phylum of the archaea, we find a very particular set of proteins that are responsible for orchestrating this process of cell division: the Cdv system. This system is closely related to the ESCRT machinery, which is also responsible for cell division and many other membrane deforming processes in eukaryotes. This close similarity is one of the many common traits that point towards a common origin between archaea and eukaryotes. Although the eukaryotic machinery has been thoroughly and extensively studied, very little is known about the archaeal division system. For this reason, in this work we aimed at better understanding these archaeal proteins, making use of in vitro techniques, with the long-term view of using them to build a synthetic cell form the bottom up...