bims-fascar Biomed News
on Phase separation and cellular architecture
Issue of 2021‒01‒10
two papers selected by
Victoria Yan
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics


  1. Trends Cell Biol. 2021 Jan 02. pii: S0962-8924(20)30248-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    de Curtis I.
      Liquid-liquid phase separation drives the formation of biomolecular condensates (BCs) for the spatiotemporal organization of several cellular processes. Recent evidences indicate that components of plasma-membrane-associated platforms form biomolecular condensates near focal adhesions (FAs), and suggest that phase separation regulates dynamic processes occurring at the front of migrating cells.
    Keywords:  biomolecular condensates; cell migration; focal adhesions; liquid–liquid phase separation; plasma-membrane-associated platforms
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tcb.2020.12.002
  2. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 ;8 618733
    Koppers M, Özkan N, Farías GG.
      Membrane-bound and membraneless organelles/biomolecular condensates ensure compartmentalization into functionally distinct units enabling proper organization of cellular processes. Membrane-bound organelles form dynamic contacts with each other to enable the exchange of molecules and to regulate organelle division and positioning in coordination with the cytoskeleton. Crosstalk between the cytoskeleton and dynamic membrane-bound organelles has more recently also been found to regulate cytoskeletal organization. Interestingly, recent work has revealed that, in addition, the cytoskeleton and membrane-bound organelles interact with cytoplasmic biomolecular condensates. The extent and relevance of these complex interactions are just beginning to emerge but may be important for cytoskeletal organization and organelle transport and remodeling. In this review, we highlight these emerging functions and emphasize the complex interplay of the cytoskeleton with these organelles. The crosstalk between membrane-bound organelles, biomolecular condensates and the cytoskeleton in highly polarized cells such as neurons could play essential roles in neuronal development, function and maintenance.
    Keywords:  ER; biomolecular condensates; cytoskeleton; membrane-bound organelles; membraneless organelles; neurons; organelle contacts; organelle dynamics
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2020.618733