Cell Biology

Slowing down to a standstill

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Science  13 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6287, pp. 784-785
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6287.784-b

Various cells and organisms can enter a state of dormancy, which allows them to wait out hard times. Joyner et al. and Munder et al. looked at how yeast cells change the fundamental characteristics of their cytosol in order to achieve a state of suspended animation. A drop in glucose or reduced adenosine triphosphate levels leads to a sort of stiffening of the cytosol, reducing the mobility of intracellular proteins and organelles. The cytoplasm actually turns from a liquid-like to a solid-like state. This relative immobility helps the cells survive until growth conditions improve and normal activities can resume.

eLife 5, e09347, e09376 (2016).

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