PerspectiveBiophysics

Can phase separation buffer cellular noise?

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  24 Jan 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6476, pp. 364-365
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba0446

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Scientists have long marveled at the ability of complex patterns to emerge from seemingly chaotic origins. In biology, each cell must circumvent the stochastic nature, or noise, inherent to chemical reactions and molecular diffusion. This noise introduces large fluctuations in messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein concentrations, which might be deleterious to processes such as biosynthesis, macroscale organization, and self-replication. Noise may be decreased through compartmentalization, including liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), a process underlying the formation of membraneless compartments (1, 2). On page 464 of this issue, Klosin et al. (3) provide evidence that LLPS can buffer noise in cells and may play a role in stabilizing various biological circuits.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science