Sequence-specific interactions determine viscoelasticity and ageing dynamics of protein condensates

This collection of articles and studies focuses on biomolecular condensates and their role in cellular biochemistry. Biomolecular condensates are assemblies of biomolecules, such as proteins and RNA, that gather together due to specific interactions between them. These assemblies have been found to play crucial roles in various cellular processes, including gene regulation, membrane remodeling, and protein aggregation.

One of the central themes in these studies is the exploration of the physical principles governing the formation and behavior of biomolecular condensates. This includes the understanding of active and passive phase transitions, which are driven by the balance of attractive and repulsive interactions between biomolecules. The studies also delve into the role of sequence features and the valence of aromatic residues in determining the phase behavior of disordered prion-like domains.

Several articles discuss the material properties of biomolecular condensates, such as viscoelasticity and shear relaxation. These properties are crucial in understanding the dynamics and fusion of biomolecular condensates, as well as their role in various cellular processes. For instance, the viscoelasticity of biomolecular condensates has been found to be crucial in regulating splicing and tumorigenesis, while the liquid-to-solid transition of certain proteins has been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases like ALS.

Another important aspect is the use of computational models and simulations to study biomolecular condensates. These models, which often employ coarse-grained representations of biomolecules, aim to provide a quantitative understanding of the behavior of biomolecular condensates under various conditions. For instance, one study presents a physics-driven coarse-grained model for biomolecular phase separation with near-quantitative accuracy.

In summary, these studies provide a comprehensive understanding of biomolecular condensates, their formation, behavior, and material properties. This knowledge is crucial for understanding various cellular processes and for developing strategies for combating diseases associated with abnormal biomolecular condensate behavior.

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