Rosen, Michael October 7th, 2020 Butler Seminar Series
“Cellular Organization Through Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation”
Abstract: Biomolecular condensates are two- and three-dimensional compartments in eukaryotic cells that concentrate specific collections of proteins and nucleic acids without an encapsulating membrane. Many condensates behave as dynamic liquids, and are believed to form through liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) driven by interactions between multivalent macromolecules. In my talk I will discuss a new direction in the lab focused on understanding how multivalent interactions among nucleosomes may afford organization and dynamic regulation of chromatin through LLPS. These behaviors may contribute to formation of functionally distinct compartments in the eukaryotic nucleus, which are important to processes including gene regulation and DNA repair. If time permits, I will also discuss our ongoing work to understand how the macroscopic properties of natural, many-component condensates arise from the physical properties and interactions of their constituents.