Mechanical Frustration of Phase Separation in the Cell Nucleus by Chromatin.

TitleMechanical Frustration of Phase Separation in the Cell Nucleus by Chromatin.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsZhang, Y, Lee, DSW, Meir, Y, Brangwynne, CP, Wingreen, NS
JournalPhys Rev Lett
Date Published2021 Jun 25
KeywordsBiomechanical Phenomena, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Nucleus, Chromatin, Humans, Models, Chemical, Phase Transition, Surface Properties, Thermodynamics

Liquid-liquid phase separation is a fundamental mechanism underlying subcellular organization. Motivated by the striking observation that optogenetically generated droplets in the nucleus display suppressed coarsening dynamics, we study the impact of chromatin mechanics on droplet phase separation. We combine theory and simulation to show that cross-linked chromatin can mechanically suppress droplets' coalescence and ripening, as well as quantitatively control their number, size, and placement. Our results highlight the role of the subcellular mechanical environment on condensate regulation.

Alternate JournalPhys Rev Lett
PubMed ID34241518
PubMed Central IDPMC8604804
Grant ListR01 GM082938 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R01 GM140032 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U01 DA040601 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States