bims-fascar Biomed News
on Phase separation and cellular architecture
Issue of 2020‒08‒23
one paper selected by
Victoria Yan
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

  1. Cell. 2020 Aug 20. pii: S0092-8674(20)30945-4. [Epub ahead of print]182(4): 799-811
    Bienz M.
      Clustering of macromolecules is a fundamental cellular device underlying diverse biological processes that require high-avidity binding to effectors and substrates. Often, this involves a transition between diffuse and locally concentrated molecules akin to biophysical phase separation observable in vitro. One simple mechanistic paradigm underlying physiologically relevant phase transitions in cells is the reversible head-to-tail polymerization of hub proteins into filaments that are cross-linked by dimerization into dynamic three-dimensional molecular condensates. While many diverse folds and motifs can mediate dimerization, only two structurally distinct domains have been discovered so far to undergo head-to-tail polymerization, though these are widespread among all living kingdoms.