DNA-based Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation

Liquid-liquid phase separation that leads to the formation of membranelles organelles has emerged as an important organizing principle in cellular biology. Despite having no enclosing membrane structures, RNA and proteins frequently localize biomolecules into micron-scale liquid-like droplets, examples including germ granules, tau proteins, nucleoli, and more. The liquid microstructures formation of such structures can also indicate loss of protein functions that can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as tau protein and Alzheimer's disease. We use DNA nanotechnology to engineer multi-arm molecules capable of forming liquid phase separation. The unique control over DNA molecules, the structure of the molecules, and the forming sequence offer unprecedented reach over parameter space.