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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2016 Feb;38:18-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2016.01.002. Epub 2016 Jan 30.

Molecular clustering in the cell: from weak interactions to optimized functional architectures.

Author information

1
Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, UMR7288, Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille (IBDM), case 907, 13288 Marseille, cedex 09, France. Electronic address: pierre.recouvreux@univ-amu.fr.
2
Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, UMR7288, Developmental Biology Institute of Marseille (IBDM), case 907, 13288 Marseille, cedex 09, France. Electronic address: pierre-francois.lenne@univ-amu.fr.

Abstract

Molecular components of the cell, such as lipids, proteins or RNA molecules, can associate through weak interactions and form clusters. A growing number of studies have shown that clustering of molecules is crucial for cell functions such as signal optimization and polarization. Clustering provides an intermediate level of organization between the molecular and cellular scales. Here we review recent studies focusing on how molecular clustering functions in different biological contexts, the potential importance of clustering for information processing, as well as the physical nature of cluster formation. We mainly refer to literature focusing on clusters within cell membranes, but also report findings on clusters in the cytosol, emphasizing their ubiquitous role.

PMID:
26829487
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceb.2016.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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