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Mechanisms for active regulation of biomolecular condensates

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Zwicker,  David
Max Planck Research Group Theory of Biological Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Kirschbaum,  Jan
Max Planck Research Group Theory of Biological Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Söding, J., Zwicker, D., Sohrabi-Jahromi, S., Böhning, M., & Kirschbaum, J. (2020). Mechanisms for active regulation of biomolecular condensates. Trends in Cell Biology, 30(1), 4-14. doi:10.1016/j.tcb.2019.10.006.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-7561-A
Abstract
Liquid-liquid phase separation is a key organizational principle in eukaryotic cells, on par with intracellular membranes. It allows cells to concentrate specific proteins into condensates, increasing reaction rates and achieving switch-like regulation. We propose two active mechanisms that can explain how cells regulate condensate formation and size. In both, the cell regulates the activity of an enzyme, often a kinase, that adds post-translational modifications to condensate proteins. In enrichment inhibition, the enzyme enriches in the condensate and weakens interactions, as seen in stress granules (SGs), Cajal bodies, and P granules. In localization-induction, condensates form around immobilized enzymes that strengthen interactions, as observed in DNA repair, transmembrane signaling, and microtubule assembly. These models can guide studies into the many emerging roles of biomolecular condensates.