How phase separation helps segregation of genetic material

Like oil drops in water, the process of phase separation into condensate is now recognized as essential for the compartmentalization of cell components in the absence of a membrane. Using advanced fluorescence microscopy techniques and molecular genetics coupled to theoretical physics, Jérome Rech, Céline Mathieu-Demazière et Jean Yves Bouet du LMGM have collaborated with researchers from the Centre de Biochimie Structurale de Montpellier (CBS) and theoretical physicists from the Laboratoire Charles Coulomb in Montpellier (L2C) and they show that molecular motors allow the separation and positioning of condensates carrying genetic material inside the cell. These results, published in Molecular Cell, describe a new active mechanism that transports, divides, moves and positions condensates and thus ensures their transmission during cell division.











© Antoine Le Gall & Marcelo Nollmann

Figure : (Left) Partition complexes visualized by super-resolution microscopy (PALM), and classified by single particle analysis. (Center) Reconstruction of the 3D structure of ParB droplets. (Right) Diagram of the ParB droplet formation process.



ATP-Driven Separation of Liquid Phase Condensates in Bacteria
GuilhasB,  WalterJC,  Rech J,  DavidG,  Ole WalliserN,  PalmeriJ,  Mathieu-DemaziereC,  ParmeggianiA,  BouetJY,  Le GallA,  NollmannM
Molecular Cell 16 July 2020.


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Jean-Yves BOUET