Programmable synthetic biomolecular condensates for cellular control

TitleProgrammable synthetic biomolecular condensates for cellular control
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsDai, Y, Farag, M, Lee, D, Zeng, X, Kim, K, Son, H-in, Guo, X, Su, J, Peterson, N, Mohammed, J, Ney, M, Shapiro, DMark, Pappu, RV, Chilkoti, A, You, L
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Date Published02/2023

The formation of biomolecular condensates mediated by a coupling of associative and segregative phase transitions plays a critical role in controlling diverse cellular functions in nature. This has inspired the use of phase transitions to design synthetic systems. While design rules of phase transitions have been established for many synthetic intrinsically disordered proteins, most efforts have focused on investigating their phase behaviors in a test tube. Here, we present a rational engineering approach to program the formation and physical properties of synthetic condensates to achieve intended cellular functions. We demonstrate this approach through targeted plasmid sequestration and transcription regulation in bacteria and modulation of a protein circuit in mammalian cells. Our approach lays the foundation for engineering designer condensates for synthetic biology applications.

Short TitleNat Chem Biol