Biochemical systems in living cells have their optimum concentration ratio among each constituent element to maintain their functionality. However, in the case of the biochemical system with complex interactions and feedbacks among elements, their activity as a system greatly changes by the concentration shift of the entire system irrespective of the concentration ratio among elements. In this study, by using a transcription-translation (TX-TL) system as the subject, we illustrate the principle of the nonlinear relationship between the system concentration and the activity of the system. Our experiment and simulation showed that shifts of the system concentration of TX-TL by dilution and concentration works as a switch of activity and demonstrated its ability to induce a biochemical system to confer the permeability of small molecules to liposomes. These results contribute to the creation of artificial cells with the switch and provide an insight into the emergence of protocells.
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