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Physics of Biomolecular Condensates in the cell

Vejleder: John H. Ipsen

 Projet description

During the past decade a previously unknown organizing principle of the cell has been uncovered by the so called Biomolecular Condensates (BC), which appear as droplets of selected macromolecules (typically proteins, peptides and RNA) in dilute solution. They first caught major attention since many of the proteins involved in neurodegerative deceases form BCs in cytoplasmic buffer solution, e.g. malfunction of the RNA-binding protein FUS (Fused in Sarcoma) involved, which is involved in development of Amyotrofic Lateral Sklerose (ALS). In the recent years it has become clear that BCs are involved in many other functions in the cell, e.g. the viral proteins responsible for packing the RNA of SARS-Cov2 form BCs. The physics behind this phase separation phenomena is non-trivial and no consensus has been reach about the appropriate physical modeling of it. The majority of theoretical and simulational characterization of BC structures are based on Flory-Huggins theory of polymer solutions. However, many experimental aspects of BC does not fit with this picture. The project will go through the experimental background and the various model approaches for the description of BCs.

Institut for Fysik, Kemi og Farmaci Syddansk Universitet

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Sidst opdateret: 03.09.2021