bims-fascar Biomed News
on Phase separation and cellular architecture
Issue of 2020‒10‒18
two papers selected by
Victoria Yan
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics


  1. Dev Cell. 2020 Oct 12. pii: S1534-5807(20)30712-7. [Epub ahead of print]55(1): 69-83
    Emenecker RJ, Holehouse AS, Strader LC.
      The plant cell internal environment is a dynamic, intricate landscape composed of many intracellular compartments. Cells organize some cellular components through formation of biomolecular condensates-non-stoichiometric assemblies of protein and/or nucleic acids. In many cases, phase separation appears to either underly or contribute to the formation of biomolecular condensates. Many canonical membraneless compartments within animal cells form in a manner that is at least consistent with phase separation, including nucleoli, stress granules, Cajal bodies, and numerous additional bodies, regulated by developmental and environmental stimuli. In this Review, we examine the emerging roles for phase separation in plants. Further, drawing on studies carried out in other organisms, we identify cellular phenomenon in plants that might also arise via phase separation. We propose that plants make use of phase separation to a much greater extent than has been previously appreciated, implicating phase separation as an evolutionarily ancient mechanism for cellular organization.
    Keywords:  biomolecular condensates; condensates; phase separation; phase separation in plants
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2020.09.010
  2. Emerg Top Life Sci. 2020 Oct 13. pii: ETLS20190174. [Epub ahead of print]
    Wiegand T, Hyman AA.
      The cellular cytoskeleton self-organizes by specific monomer-monomer interactions resulting in the polymerization of filaments. While we have long thought about the role of polymerization in cytoskeleton formation, we have only begun to consider the role of condensation in cytoskeletal organization. In this review, we highlight how the interplay between polymerization and condensation leads to the formation of the cytoskeleton.
    Keywords:  condensates; cytoskeleton; intracellular organization; phase separation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1042/ETLS20190174