Phase separation in genome organization across evolution

Marina Feric, Tom Misteli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Phase separation is emerging as a paradigm to explain the self-assembly and organization of membraneless bodies in the cell. Recent advances show that this principle also extends to nucleoprotein complexes, including DNA-based structures. We discuss here recent observations on the role of phase separation in genome organization across the evolutionary spectrum from bacteria to mammals. These findings suggest that molecular interactions amongst DNA-binding proteins evolved to form a variety of biomolecular condensates with distinct material properties that affect genome organization and function. We suggest that phase separation contributes to genome organization across evolution and that the resulting phase behavior of genomes may underlie regulatory mechanisms and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-685
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Volume31
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology

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