Reversible Kinetic Trapping of FUS Biomolecular Condensates. Academic Article uri icon


  • Formation of membrane-less organelles by self-assembly of disordered proteins can be triggered by external stimuli such as pH, salt, or temperature. These organelles, called biomolecular condensates, have traditionally been classified as liquids, gels, or solids with limited subclasses. Here, the authors show that a thermal trigger can lead to formation of at least two distinct liquid condensed phases of the fused in sarcoma low complexity (FUS LC) domain. Forming FUS LC condensates directly at low temperature leads to formation of metastable, kinetically trapped condensates that show arrested coalescence, escape from which to untrapped condensates can be achieved via thermal annealing. Using experimental and computational approaches, the authors find that molecular structure of interfacial FUS LC in kinetically trapped condensates is distinct (more -sheet like) compared to untrapped FUS LC condensates. Moreover, molecular motion within kinetically trapped condensates is substantially slower compared to that in untrapped condensates thereby demonstrating two unique liquid FUS condensates. Controlling condensate thermodynamic state, stability, and structure with a simple thermal switch may contribute to pathological protein aggregate stability and provides a facile method to trigger condensate mixing for biotechnology applications.

published proceedings

  • Adv Sci (Weinh)

altmetric score

  • 8.55

author list (cited authors)

  • Chatterjee, S., Kan, Y., Brzezinski, M., Koynov, K., Regy, R. M., Murthy, A. C., ... Parekh, S. H.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Chatterjee, Sayantan||Kan, Yelena||Brzezinski, Mateusz||Koynov, Kaloian||Regy, Roshan Mammen||Murthy, Anastasia C||Burke, Kathleen A||Michels, Jasper J||Mittal, Jeetain||Fawzi, Nicolas L||Parekh, Sapun H

publication date

  • February 2022