Biophysics Journal Club

Direct observation of structure and dynamics during phase separation of an elastomeric protein

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 1:00 PM
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Biophysics Journal Club
Direct observation of structure and dynamics during phase separation of an elastomeric protein

Miranda Schmidt
Department of Physics, SFU

June 7, 2017 at 1:00pm in P8445.2

Synopsis


Sean E. Reichheld, Lisa D. Muiznieks, Fred W. Keeley, and Simon Sharpe
PNAS 114, E4408 – Published 30 May 2017

Significance:
An increasing number of proteins have been shown to undergo liquid–liquid phase separation in response to changes in their environment, resulting in formation of a dense protein-rich phase (coacervate), and plays an important role in several systems regulating the growth and development of cells and tissues. Determining the effects of phase separation on protein structure and dynamics is critical for understanding how it modulates protein function. However, structural studies have been limited by the intrinsic disorder and decreased mobility of coacervated proteins. We report direct observation of protein structure and dynamics during the phase transition of an elastomeric protein. Despite large changes in dynamics, coacervation has little effect on protein structure, such that intrinsic disorder is retained.