Protein Phase Separation: A New Phase in Cell Biology

Steven Boeynaems, Simon Alberti, Nicolas L. Fawzi, Tanja Mittag, Magdalini Polymenidou, Frederic Rousseau, Joost Schymkowitz, James Shorter, Benjamin Wolozin, Ludo Van Den Bosch, Peter Tompa, Monika Fuxreiter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

271 Citations (Scopus)


Cellular compartments and organelles organize biological matter. Most well-known organelles are separated by a membrane boundary from their surrounding milieu. There are also many so-called membraneless organelles and recent studies suggest that these organelles, which are supramolecular assemblies of proteins and RNA molecules, form via protein phase separation. Recent discoveries have shed light on the molecular properties, formation, regulation, and function of membraneless organelles. A combination of techniques from cell biology, biophysics, physical chemistry, structural biology, and bioinformatics are starting to help establish the molecular principles of an emerging field, thus paving the way for exciting discoveries, including novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of age-related disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-435
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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    Boeynaems, S., Alberti, S., Fawzi, N. L., Mittag, T., Polymenidou, M., Rousseau, F., Schymkowitz, J., Shorter, J., Wolozin, B., Van Den Bosch, L., Tompa, P., & Fuxreiter, M. (2018). Protein Phase Separation: A New Phase in Cell Biology. Trends in Cell Biology, 28(6), 420-435.