Sequence-dependent material properties of biomolecular condensates and their relation to dilute phase conformations. Academic Article uri icon


  • Material properties of phase-separated biomolecular condensates, enriched with disordered proteins, dictate many cellular functions. Contrary to the progress made in understanding the sequence-dependent phase separation of proteins, little is known about the sequence determinants of condensate material properties. Using the hydropathy scale and Martini models, we computationally decipher these relationships for charge-rich disordered protein condensates. Our computations yield dynamical, rheological, and interfacial properties of condensates that are quantitatively comparable with experimentally characterized condensates. Interestingly, we find that the material properties of model and natural proteins respond similarly to charge segregation, despite different sequence compositions. Molecular interactions within the condensates closely resemble those within the single-chain ensembles. Consequently, the material properties strongly correlate with molecular contact dynamics and single-chain structural properties. We demonstrate the potential to harness the sequence characteristics of disordered proteins for predicting and engineering the material properties of functional condensates, with insights from the dilute phase properties.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 8.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Sundaravadivelu Devarajan, D., Wang, J., Szaa-Mendyk, B., Rekhi, S., Nikoubashman, A., Kim, Y. C., & Mittal, J.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Sundaravadivelu Devarajan, Dinesh||Wang, Jiahui||Szała-Mendyk, Beata||Rekhi, Shiv||Nikoubashman, Arash||Kim, Young C||Mittal, Jeetain

publication date

  • March 2024