ERK signaling dissolves ERF repression condensates in living embryos.

TitleERK signaling dissolves ERF repression condensates in living embryos.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsWeaver, CJ, Patel, AL, Shvartsman, SY, Levine, MS, Treen, N
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published2022 Mar 01
KeywordsAnimals, Ciona, Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases, Humans, Repressor Proteins, Signal Transduction

<p>Phase separation underlies the organization of the nucleus, including the biogenesis of nucleoli and the packaging of heterochromatin. Here we explore the regulation of transcription factor condensates involved in gene repression by ERK signaling in gastrulating embryos of a simple proto-vertebrate (). ERK signaling induces nuclear export of the transcriptional repressor Ets-2 repressive factor (ERF), which has been linked to various human developmental disorders. Using high-resolution imaging, we show that ERF is localized within discrete nuclear condensates that dissolve upon ERK activation. Interestingly, we observe dynamic pulses of assembly and dissociation during interphase, providing visualization of a nuclear phase separation process regulated by cell signaling. We discuss the implications of these observations for producing sharp on/off switches in gene activity and suppressing noise in cell-cell signaling events.</p>

Alternate JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
PubMed ID35217620
PubMed Central IDPMC8892517
Grant ListR01 NS076542 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States