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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.7554/ELIFE.64252

In vivo reconstitution finds multivalent RNA-RNA interactions as drivers of mesh-like condensates.

02 Mar 2021-eLife (eLife Sciences Publications Limited)-Vol. 10
Abstract: Liquid-like condensates have been thought to be sphere-like. Recently, various condensates with filamentous morphology have been observed in cells. One such condensate is the TIS granule network that shares a large surface area with the rough endoplasmic reticulum and is important for membrane protein trafficking. It has been unclear how condensates with mesh-like shapes but dynamic protein components are formed. In vitro and in vivo reconstitution experiments revealed that the minimal components are a multivalent RNA-binding protein that concentrates RNAs that are able to form extensive intermolecular mRNA-mRNA interactions. mRNAs with large unstructured regions have a high propensity to form a pervasive intermolecular interaction network that acts as condensate skeleton. The underlying RNA matrix prevents full fusion of spherical liquid-like condensates, thus driving the formation of irregularly shaped membraneless organelles. The resulting large surface area may promote interactions at the condensate surface and at the interface with other organelles.

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19 results found

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1098/RSOB.210137
16 Jun 2021-Open Biology
Abstract: A guiding principle of biology is that biochemical reactions must be organized in space and time. One way this spatio-temporal organization is achieved is through liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), which generates biomolecular condensates. These condensates are dynamic and reactive, and often contain a complex mixture of proteins and nucleic acids. In this review, we discuss how underlying physical and chemical processes generate internal condensate architectures. We then outline the diverse condensate architectures that are observed in biological systems. Finally, we discuss how specific condensate organization is critical for specific biological functions.

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15 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1134/S0026893321030080
30 May 2021-Molecular Biology
Abstract: Spatial organization of protein biosynthesis in the eukaryotic cell has been studied for more than fifty years, thus many facts have already been included in textbooks. According to the classical view, mRNA transcripts encoding secreted and transmembrane proteins are translated by ribosomes associated with endoplasmic reticulum membranes, while soluble cytoplasmic proteins are synthesized on free polysomes. However, in the last few years, new data has emerged, revealing selective translation of mRNA on mitochondria and plastids, in proximity to peroxisomes and endosomes, in various granules and at the cytoskeleton (actin network, vimentin intermediate filaments, microtubules and centrosomes). There are also long-standing debates about the possibility of protein synthesis in the nucleus. Localized translation can be determined by targeting signals in the synthesized protein, nucleotide sequences in the mRNA itself, or both. With RNA-binding proteins, many transcripts can be assembled into specific RNA condensates and form RNP particles, which may be transported by molecular motors to the sites of active translation, form granules and provoke liquid-liquid phase separation in the cytoplasm, both under normal conditions and during cell stress. The translation of some mRNAs occurs in specialized "translation factories," assemblysomes, transperons and other structures necessary for the correct folding of proteins, interaction with functional partners and formation of oligomeric complexes. Intracellular localization of mRNA has a significant impact on the efficiency of its translation and presumably determines its response to cellular stress. Compartmentalization of mRNAs and the translation machinery also plays an important role in viral infections. Many viruses provoke the formation of specific intracellular structures, virus factories, for the production of their proteins. Here we review the current concepts of the molecular mechanisms of transport, selective localization and local translation of cellular and viral mRNAs, their effects on protein targeting and topogenesis, and on the regulation of protein biosynthesis in different compartments of the eukaryotic cell. Special attention is paid to new systems biology approaches, providing new cues to the study of localized translation.

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Topics: Stress granule (63%), MRNA transport (60%), Protein biosynthesis (60%) ... show more

5 Citations

Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2020.05.08.084749
Xueer Jiang1, Dac Bang Tam Ho1, Karan Mahe1, Jennielee Mia1  +4 moreInstitutions (2)
10 May 2020-bioRxiv
Abstract: Mitotic centrosomes are complex membraneless organelles that guide the formation of mitotic spindles to ensure faithful cell division. They are formed by timely expansion of the pericentriolar material (PCM) around the centrioles at the onset of mitosis. How PCM proteins are recruited and held together without a lipid membrane remains elusive. Here we found that endogenously expressed pericentrin (PCNT), a conserved PCM scaffold protein, condenses into liquid-like granules during early mitosis in cultured human cells. Furthermore, the N-terminal segment of PCNT, enriched with conserved coiled-coils and low-complexity regions (LCRs), undergoes phase separation. These PCNT 9condensates9 selectively recruit PCM components and nucleate microtubules in cells. We propose that coiled-coils and LCRs, two prevalent sequence features in the centrosomal proteome, are preserved under evolutionary pressure to drive phase separation, a process that bestows upon the centrosome a distinct material property critical for its assembly and functions.

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Topics: Pericentriolar material (64%), PCNT (61%), Centrosome (59%) ... show more

4 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1242/JCS.258897
Xueer Jiang1, Dac Bang Tam Ho1, Karan Mahe1, Jennielee Mia1  +5 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: At the onset of mitosis, centrosomes expand the pericentriolar material (PCM) to maximize their microtubule-organizing activity. This step, termed centrosome maturation, ensures proper spindle organization and faithful chromosome segregation. However, as the centrosome expands, how PCM proteins are recruited and held together without membrane enclosure remains elusive. We found that endogenously expressed pericentrin (PCNT), a conserved PCM scaffold protein, condenses into dynamic granules during late G2/early mitosis before incorporating into mitotic centrosomes. Furthermore, the N-terminal portion of PCNT, enriched with conserved coiled-coils (CCs) and low-complexity regions (LCRs), phase separates into dynamic condensates that selectively recruit PCM proteins and nucleate microtubules in cells. We propose that CCs and LCRs, two prevalent sequence features in the centrosomal proteome, are preserved under evolutionary pressure in part to mediate liquid-liquid phase separation, a process that bestows upon the centrosome distinct properties critical for its assembly and functions.

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Topics: Pericentriolar material (64%), Centrosome (62%), PCNT (60%) ... show more

3 Citations

Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.06.22.449254
22 Jun 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: Membrane-less organelles, by localizing and regulating complex biochemical reactions, are ubiquitous functional subunits of intracellular organization. They include a variety of nuclear and cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein (RNP) condensates, such as nucleoli, P-bodies, germ granules and stress granules. While is it now recognized that specific RNA and protein families are critical for the biogenesis of RNP condensates, how these molecular constituents determine condensate size and morphology is unknown. To circumvent the biochemical complexity of endogenous RNP condensates, the use of programmable tools to reconstitute condensate formation with minimal constituents can be instrumental. Here we report a methodology to form RNA-containing condensates in living cells with controlled RNA and protein composition. Our bioengineered condensates are made of ArtiGranule scaffolds undergoing liquid-liquid phase separation in cells and programmed to specifically recruit a unique RNA species. We found that RNAs localized on condensate surface, either as isolated RNA molecules or as a homogenous corona of RNA molecules around the condensate. This simplified system allowed us to demonstrate that the size of the condensates scales with RNA surface density, the higher the RNA density is, the smaller and more frequent the condensates are. Our observations suggest a mechanism based on physical constraints, provided by RNAs localized on condensate surface, that limit condensate growth and coalescence.

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Topics: RNA (57%), Nucleolus (52%), Stress granule (50%)

3 Citations


75 results found

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/BIOINFORMATICS/BTQ033
Aaron R. Quinlan1, Ira M. Hall1Institutions (1)
15 Mar 2010-Bioinformatics
Abstract: Motivation: Testing for correlations between different sets of genomic features is a fundamental task in genomics research. However, searching for overlaps between features with existing webbased methods is complicated by the massive datasets that are routinely produced with current sequencing technologies. Fast and flexible tools are therefore required to ask complex questions of these data in an efficient manner. Results: This article introduces a new software suite for the comparison, manipulation and annotation of genomic features in Browser Extensible Data (BED) and General Feature Format (GFF) format. BEDTools also supports the comparison of sequence alignments in BAM format to both BED and GFF features. The tools are extremely efficient and allow the user to compare large datasets (e.g. next-generation sequencing data) with both public and custom genome annotation tracks. BEDTools can be combined with one another as well as with standard UNIX commands, thus facilitating routine genomics tasks as well as pipelines that can quickly answer intricate questions of large genomic datasets. Availability and implementation: BEDTools was written in C++. Source code and a comprehensive user manual are freely available at

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Topics: Software suite (52%), Source code (50%)

14,088 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1126/SCIENCE.1225829
17 Aug 2012-Science
Abstract: Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems provide bacteria and archaea with adaptive immunity against viruses and plasmids by using CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) to guide the silencing of invading nucleic acids. We show here that in a subset of these systems, the mature crRNA that is base-paired to trans-activating crRNA (tracrRNA) forms a two-RNA structure that directs the CRISPR-associated protein Cas9 to introduce double-stranded (ds) breaks in target DNA. At sites complementary to the crRNA-guide sequence, the Cas9 HNH nuclease domain cleaves the complementary strand, whereas the Cas9 RuvC-like domain cleaves the noncomplementary strand. The dual-tracrRNA:crRNA, when engineered as a single RNA chimera, also directs sequence-specific Cas9 dsDNA cleavage. Our study reveals a family of endonucleases that use dual-RNAs for site-specific DNA cleavage and highlights the potential to exploit the system for RNA-programmable genome editing.

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Topics: Trans-activating crRNA (78%), CRISPR/Cpf1 (64%), Cas9 (63%) ... show more

10,148 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1186/1748-7188-6-26
Abstract: Background Secondary structure forms an important intermediate level of description of nucleic acids that encapsulates the dominating part of the folding energy, is often well conserved in evolution, and is routinely used as a basis to explain experimental findings. Based on carefully measured thermodynamic parameters, exact dynamic programming algorithms can be used to compute ground states, base pairing probabilities, as well as thermodynamic properties.

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2,808 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/BF00818163
Abstract: Computer codes for computation and comparison of RNA secondary structures, the Vienna RNA package, are presented, that are based on dynamic programming algorithms and aim at predictions of structures with minimum free energies as well as at computations of the equilibrium partition functions and base pairing probabilities. An efficient heuristic for the inverse folding problem of RNA is introduced. In addition we present compact and efficient programs for the comparison of RNA secondary structures based on tree editing and alignment. All computer codes are written in ANSI C. They include implementations of modified algorithms on parallel computers with distributed memory. Performance analysis carried out on an Intel Hypercube shows that parallel computing becomes gradually more and more efficient the longer the sequences are.

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Topics: Intel iPSC (54%), Nucleic acid secondary structure (52%), Distributed memory (52%) ... show more

2,060 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NRM.2017.7
Abstract: In addition to membrane-bound organelles, eukaryotic cells feature various membraneless compartments, including the centrosome, the nucleolus and various granules. Many of these compartments form through liquid–liquid phase separation, and the principles, mechanisms and regulation of their assembly as well as their cellular functions are now beginning to emerge. 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.

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Topics: Biological phase (52%), Ribosome biogenesis (51%)

1,988 Citations

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