Special Issue "The Physicochemical Basis of Intracellular Phase Separation"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2022) | Viewed by 2064
Recent years have witnessed the discovery of intracellular phase separation (ISP) as a ubiquitous phenomenon in the living world. Phase separation in aqueous solutions has been known for a long time in mixtures of polymers, polyelectrolytes, and proteins. However, it was only in 2009 that a similar phenomenon was observed in living cells, and following this, studies identified intrinsically disordered proteins and RNA as the main actors in this process. Surprisingly, this phenomenon was found to have an unknown but major regulatory role in several biological functions including, but not limited to, signaling pathways, RNA processing, and DNA expression. In addition, it was found to be involved in the onset of devastating pathologies such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. The maturation of several viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, is also linked to ISP. Its double role in health and disease highlights the importance of understanding the physicochemical basis of this process. This will aid both in our understanding of life at the molecular level and in the development of more effective drugs to combat several diseases. Although some advances have been achieved in this area, a complete understanding of the interactions that regulate this process remains elusive.
This Special Issue welcomes contributions that focus on the forces and mechanisms that underlie phase separation inside living cells.
Dr. João C. Marcos
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Liquid–liquid phase separation
- Intrinsically disordered proteins
- Biomolecular condensates
- Molecular interactions
- RNA–protein interactions