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Title: Phase separation in biology and disease; current perspectives and open questions
Authors: Boeynaems, Steven
Chong, Shasha
Gsponer, Jörg
Holt, Liam
Milovanovic, Dragomir
Mitrea, Diana M.
Mueller-Cajar, Oliver
Portz, Bede
Reilly, John F.
Reinkemeier, Christopher D.
Sabari, Benjamin R.
Sanulli, Serena
Shorter, James
Sontag, Emily
Strader, Lucia
Stachowiak, Jeanne
Weber, Stephanie C.
White, Michael
Zhang, Huaiying
Zweckstetter, Markus
Elbaum-Garfinkle, Shana
Kriwacki, Richard
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2023
Source: Boeynaems, S., Chong, S., Gsponer, J., Holt, L., Milovanovic, D., Mitrea, D. M., Mueller-Cajar, O., Portz, B., Reilly, J. F., Reinkemeier, C. D., Sabari, B. R., Sanulli, S., Shorter, J., Sontag, E., Strader, L., Stachowiak, J., Weber, S. C., White, M., Zhang, H., ...Kriwacki, R. (2023). Phase separation in biology and disease; current perspectives and open questions. Journal of Molecular Biology, 435(5), 167971-.
Journal: Journal of molecular biology 
Abstract: In the past almost 15 years, we witnessed the birth of a new scientific field focused on the existence, formation, biological functions, and disease associations of membraneless bodies in cells, now referred to as biomolecular condensates. Pioneering studies from several laboratories [reviewed in1-3] supported a model wherein biomolecular condensates associated with diverse biological processes form through the process of phase separation. These and other findings that followed have revolutionized our understanding of how biomolecules are organized in space and time within cells to perform myriad biological functions, including cell fate determination, signal transduction, endocytosis, regulation of gene expression and protein translation, and regulation of RNA metabolism. Further, condensates formed through aberrant phase transitions have been associated with numerous human diseases, prominently including neurodegeneration and cancer. While in some cases, rigorous evidence supports links between formation of biomolecular condensates through phase separation and biological functions, in many others such links are less robustly supported, which has led to rightful scrutiny of the generality of the roles of phase separation in biology and disease.4-7 During a week-long workshop in March 2022 at the Telluride Science Research Center (TSRC) in Telluride, Colorado, ∼25 scientists addressed key questions surrounding the biomolecular condensates field. Herein, we present insights gained through these discussions, addressing topics including, roles of condensates in diverse biological processes and systems, and normal and disease cell states, their applications to synthetic biology, and the potential for therapeutically targeting biomolecular condensates.
ISSN: 0022-2836
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2023.167971
Schools: School of Biological Sciences 
Rights: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SBS Journal Articles

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