Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried
Keynote Speaker for MaxSynBio
Hannes Mutschler obtained his M.Sc in biophysics at the Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany) and received a Ph.D. in Biology from Heidelberg University. For his postdoc on origins of life research, he joined Phil Holliger's lab at the Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry Division lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. In 2016, he became a MaxSynBio independent research group leader at Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. In November 2020 he was appointed Professor of Biomimetic Chemistry at the Technical University of Dortmund. His current research interests include bottom‐up synthetic biology, cell‐free protein synthesis as well as RNA catalysis under prebiotic conditions.
Keynote Presentation: Progress towards self-regenerating in vitro translation systems
Abstract: The bottom-up generation of chemical systems with life-like properties is a key objective of synthetic biology. Our research focuses on the assembly of self-replicating systems from existing biological parts, in particular through the in vitro reconstitution of a minimal central dogma consisting of nucleic acid replication, transcription and translation. Recently, we were able to design such a system that achieved in vitro self-replication and multicistronic expression of large synthetic plasmid ensembles with a combined length of 116,000 basepairs. This multipartite synthetic “genome” encodes the full set of Escherichia coli translation factors, all three ribosomal RNAs, an energy regeneration system, as well as RNA and DNA polymerases. Parallel to DNA replication, our system enables synthesis of at least 30 encoded translation factors, half of which are expressed in amounts equal to or greater than their respective input levels. Our system may be used as platform for the assembly, optimisation, and re-design of self-regenerating and evolvable in vitro translation systems.