HFSP (Human Frontier Science Program): "Structure and biophysics of disordered domains mediating RNP granules: from atoms to cells"
Every cell contains functional organelles, each with a specific task. In cells, different organelles are typically separated from the surrounding cellular milieu by membranes or barriers. RNP (ribonucleotide) granules are an exception. This class of cellular organelles – containing RNA and disordered proteins are so-called “membraneless organelles”, and they have gained much attention because of their relation to protein aggregates seen in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate their formation and stability are still unclear. The goal of this Human Frontiers in Science Program project is to create a novel molecular analytical toolbox and experimental protocols to quantify the protein-protein interactions and structural changes in RNP granules using a multiscale spectroscopic approach.