Image of the Day: Burst Your Bubble

Intracellular electrostatic exchanges between RNA and proteins create dynamic glob-like membraneless organelles.

The Scientist Staff
Jun 15, 2017

This confocal fluorescence microscopy video depicts single-stranded RNA interacting with synthetic peptides to form ribonucleoprotein granules in vitro. 

THE SCRIPPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE

  Scientists have known about membraneless intracellular ribonucleoprotein granules, but didn’t understand how they formed, according to a news release. They now know that RNA drives their formation, using “basically the same type of immiscibility phenomenon that drives oil to form droplets in water,” coauthor Ashok Deniz of the Scripps Research Institute says in the release.

See P.R. Banerjee et al., “Reentrant phase transition drives dynamic substructure formation in ribonucleoprotein droplets,” Angewandte Chemie, doi:10.1002/anie.201703191, 2017. 

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Image of the Day: Burst Your Bubble

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