Towards a synthetic cell cycle
Recent developments in synthetic biology may bring the bottom-up generation of a synthetic cell within reach. A key feature of a living synthetic cell is a functional cell cycle, in which DNA replication and segregation as well as cell growth and division are well integrated. Here, we describe different approaches to recreate these processes in a synthetic cell, based on natural systems and/or synthetic alternatives. Although some individual machineries have recently been established, their integration and control in a synthetic cell cycle remain to be addressed. In this Perspective, we discuss potential paths towards an integrated synthetic cell cycle. A key feature of living cells is the cell cycle. In this Perspective, the authors explore attempts to recreate this process and what is still required for an integrated synthetic cell cycle.