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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2017 May;18(5):285-298. doi: 10.1038/nrm.2017.7. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

Biomolecular condensates: organizers of cellular biochemistry.

Author information

1
Department of Biophysics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.
2
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, 01307 Dresden, Germany.

Abstract

Biomolecular condensates are micron-scale compartments in eukaryotic cells that lack surrounding membranes but function to concentrate proteins and nucleic acids. These condensates are involved in diverse processes, including RNA metabolism, ribosome biogenesis, the DNA damage response and signal transduction. Recent studies have shown that liquid-liquid phase separation driven by multivalent macromolecular interactions is an important organizing principle for biomolecular condensates. With this physical framework, it is now possible to explain how the assembly, composition, physical properties and biochemical and cellular functions of these important structures are regulated.

PMID:
28225081
DOI:
10.1038/nrm.2017.7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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