These are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information. For more information, please see our FAQs.
Preprints are manuscripts made publicly available before they have been submitted for formal peer review and publication. They might contain new research findings or data. Preprints can be a draft or final version of an author's research but must not have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.
submitted on 20.01.2020 and posted on 21.01.2020by Carsten Donau, Fabian Späth, Marilyne Sosson, Brigitte Kriebisch, Fabian Schnitter, Marta Tena-Solsona, Hyun-Seo Kang, Elia Salibi, Michael Sattler, Hannes Mutschler, Job Boekhoven
Membraneless organelles like stress granules are active liquid-liquid phase-separated droplets that are involved in many intracellular processes. Their active and dynamic behavior is often regulated by ATP-dependent reactions. However, how exactly membraneless organelles control their dynamic composition remains poorly understood. Herein, we present a model for membraneless organelles based on RNA-containing active coacervate droplets regulated by a fuel-driven reaction cycle. These droplets emerge when fuel is present, but decay without. Moreover, we find these droplets can transiently up-concentrate functional RNA, and that this up-take is accelerated by the chemical reaction cycle. Finally, we show that in their pathway towards decay, these droplets self-divide asymmetrically. Self-division combined with emergence, decay, rapid exchange of building blocks, and functionality are all hallmarks of life, and we believe that our work could be a stepping stone towards its synthesis.