Publications by authors named "Renee L Hastings"

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Designer Condensates: A Toolkit for the Biomolecular Architect.

J Mol Biol 2021 Feb 1:166837. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

Protein phase separation has emerged as a novel paradigm to explain the biogenesis of membraneless organelles and other so-called biomolecular condensates. While the implication of this physical phenomenon within cell biology is providing us with novel ways for understanding how cells compartmentalize biochemical reactions and encode function in such liquid-like assemblies, the newfound appreciation of this process also provides immense opportunities for designing and sculpting biological matter. Here, we propose that understanding the cell's instruction manual of phase separation will enable bioengineers to begin creating novel functionalized biological materials and unprecedented tools for synthetic biology. We present FASE as the synthesis of the existing sticker-spacer framework, which explains the physical driving forces underlying phase separation, with quintessential principles of Scandinavian design. FASE serves both as a designer condensates catalogue and construction manual for the aspiring (membraneless) biomolecular architect. Our approach aims to inspire a new generation of bioengineers to rethink phase separation as an opportunity for creating reactive biomaterials with unconventional properties and to encode novel biological function in living systems. Although still in its infancy, several studies highlight how designer condensates have immediate and widespread potential applications in industry and medicine.
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February 2021