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The Eukaryotic CO2-Concentrating Organelle Is Liquid-like and Exhibits Dynamic Reorganization

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Kuhn Cuellar,  Luis
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Martinez-Sanchez,  Antonio
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Schaffer,  Miroslava
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Strauss,  Mike
Scientific Service Groups, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Plitzko,  Jürgen M.
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Förster,  Friedrich
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Engel,  Benjamin D.
Baumeister, Wolfgang / Molecular Structural Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Freeman Rosenzweig, E. S., Xu, B., Kuhn Cuellar, L., Martinez-Sanchez, A., Schaffer, M., Strauss, M., et al. (2017). The Eukaryotic CO2-Concentrating Organelle Is Liquid-like and Exhibits Dynamic Reorganization. Cell, 171(1), 148-162.e19. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2017.08.008.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-780F-A
Abstract
Approximately 30%-40% of global CO2 fixation occurs inside a non-membrane-bound organelle called the pyrenoid, which is found within the chloroplasts of most eukaryotic algae. The pyrenoid matrix is densely packed with the CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco and is thought to be a crystalline or amorphous solid. Here, we show that the pyrenoid matrix of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is not crystalline but behaves as a liquid that dissolves and condenses during cell division. Furthermore, we show that new pyrenoids are formed both by fission and de novo assembly. Our modeling predicts the existence of a "magic number'' effect associated with special, highly stable heterocomplexes that influences phase separation in liquid-like organelles. This view of the pyrenoid matrix as a phase-separated compartment provides a paradigm for understanding its structure, biogenesis, and regulation. More broadly, our findings expand our understanding of the principles that govern the architecture and inheritance of liquid-like organelles.