Events Daily

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Rational Design of Multicomponent Biomolecular Condensates
William Jacobs, Princeton University
Event Type: Physics Dept Colloquium
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: 726 Broadway, 940, CCPP Seminar
Abstract: Biology provides numerous examples of phase-separated protein andnucleic acid condensates, which establish distinct compartments forspatially organizing biomolecules within living cells. This mechanismof spatial organization relies on the ability of biomolecular systemsto produce complex phase diagrams by tuning the interactions amongmolecules in a multicomponent mixture. To reproduce this behavior insynthetic systems, it is essential that we identify design rules thatmap the sequences of individual biomolecules to the emergent phasebehavior of multicomponent systems. In this talk, I will describerecent theoretical and computational advances towards the goal ofdesigning fully programmable, synthetic multiphase condensates. Theseresults take the form of scaling relations that bound the complexityof phase diagrams that can be achieved in various biomolecularsystems, as well as optimization algorithms for designing biomolecularmixtures that can spontaneously assemble into prescribed multiphasecondensates. I will also discuss how nucleation pathways forbiomolecular condensate assembly can be rationally designed, providinga mechanism for achieving precise spatiotemporal control ofmulticomponent, multiphase systems. Taken together, these designrules provide a deeper understanding of the limits ofphase-separation-mediated spatial organization in biological systemsand establish practical strategies for engineering fully programmablemultiphase condensates.