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“Tissue-level probing of intracellular liquid-liquid phase separation dynamics”
Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of biopolymers recently emerged as a ubiquitous driving force for intracellular self-assembly. The resulting LLPS dynamics appear to orchestrate wide-ranging cellular mechanisms, from genome organization to cell division. Despite remarkable progress, studying and engineering intracellular LLPS remains challenging. In this talk, I will introduce our recent progress towards dissecting and programming the intracellular LLPS of intrinsically-disordered proteins (IDPs) at the tissue-level, in mammalian skin. I will explain how the biophysical lens of LLPS sheds light into the enigmatic process of skin barrier formation. Our research led to the discovery that environmentally sensitive LLPS dynamics drive skin barrier formation, unveiling LLPS as a novel therapeutic target to treat skin barrier disorders. Using skin as a model system, I will demonstrate the development of genetically encoded LLPS-sensors to probe endogenous LLPS dynamics in tissue biology. Finally, I will discuss implications in the broader context of biomolecular condensates across stratifying epithelia. My main goal is to demonstrate tools, concepts, and model systems to uncover bona fide LLPS-driven mechanisms in tissue biology.
Email: Mayra Rubio email@example.com