Function moves biomolecular condensates in phase space

Marina Feric, Tom Misteli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Phase separation underlies the formation of biomolecular condensates. We hypothesize the cellular processes that occur within condensates shape their structural features. We use the example of transcription to discuss structure–function relationships in condensates. Various types of transcriptional condensates have been reported across the evolutionary spectrum in the cell nucleus as well as in mitochondrial and bacterial nucleoids. In vitro and in vivo observations suggest that transcriptional activity of condensates influences their supramolecular structure, which in turn affects their function. Condensate organization thus becomes driven by differences in miscibility among the DNA and proteins of the transcription machinery and the RNA transcripts they generate. These considerations are in line with the notion that cellular processes shape the structural properties of condensates, leading to a dynamic, mutual interplay between structure and function in the cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2200001
JournalBioEssays
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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