Spontaneous driving forces give rise to protein-RNA condensates with coexisting phases and complex material properties.

TitleSpontaneous driving forces give rise to protein-RNA condensates with coexisting phases and complex material properties.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBoeynaems, S., A. S. Holehouse, V. Weinhardt, D. Kovacs, J. Van Lindt, C. Larabell, L. Van Den Bosch, R. Das, P. S. Tompa, R. V. Pappu, and A. D. Gitler
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Volume116
Issue16
Pagination7889-7898
Date Published2019 Apr 16
ISSN1091-6490
Abstract

Phase separation of multivalent protein and RNA molecules underlies the biogenesis of biomolecular condensates such as membraneless organelles. In vivo, these condensates encompass hundreds of distinct types of molecules that typically organize into multilayered structures supporting the differential partitioning of molecules into distinct regions with distinct material properties. The interplay between driven (active) versus spontaneous (passive) processes that are required for enabling the formation of condensates with coexisting layers of distinct material properties remains unclear. Here, we deploy systematic experiments and simulations based on coarse-grained models to show that the collective interactions among the simplest, biologically relevant proteins and archetypal RNA molecules are sufficient for driving the spontaneous emergence of multilayered condensates with distinct material properties. These studies yield a set of rules regarding homotypic and heterotypic interactions that are likely to be relevant for understanding the interplay between active and passive processes that control the formation of functional biomolecular condensates.

DOI10.1073/pnas.1821038116
Alternate JournalProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PubMed ID30926670
PubMed Central IDPMC6475405
Grant ListP30 NS069375 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
P41 GM103445 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R35 NS097263 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
U01 DA040582 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
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