livMatS Colloquium | Dr. Evan Spruijt (Radboud University - Institute for Molecules and Materials) | Assembly at the surface of biomolecular condensates
Biomolecular condensates play an important role in cellular organization. The surface of condensates plays an important role in governing the exchange of molecules between condensates and their surroundings, the stability of condensates against coalescence and functional interactions with cell membranes. However, the mechanisms underlying these interactions are not well understood, because key surface properties remain undetermined. We present a new method to determine the surface charge of condensates, and show a surprising effect of ATP on the condensate surface. We further show how these findings can be used to understand and prevent the assembly and amyloid formation of α-synuclein at the surface of condensates, and in transmembrane delivery using coacervates by either endocytosis or direct membrane penetration.
Evan Spruijt is Associate professor at the Institute for Molecules and Materials, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He is an expert in the physical chemistry of biomolecular condensates and coacervate protocells, and his group investigates the roles of coacervates in the origin of life and in cellular organization and disease. After his PhD at Wageningen University (2012), he worked as a postdoc with David Quéré (ESPCI Paris) and Hagan Bayley (Oxford). In 2017, he started his group in Nijmegen and received funding from ERC StG, NWO Vidi and an HFSP Research Grant. His group currently focusses on coacervates as catalytic compartments and their role in membrane remodelling.