Prof. Maeshima’s comment on the role of phase separation in transcription, “New door to understanding transcription, open with caution.” was published in the April 15 issue of Molecular Cell (Cell Press).
In recent years, a principle called “liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS)” has been in the limelight in cell biology. It is thought that LLPS can increase the concentration of specific molecules in cells and create membrane-less structures “droplets”, making it possible to control cellular functions spatially and temporally. Because of this trend, many researchers claim that the intracellular assembly of various molecules is a droplet.
This time, while Prof. Maeshima admits that LLPS is an exciting new concept in cell biology, he argues that there is a lack of tools to prove the existence of “droplets” in the cell and that careful research based on the observation of individual molecule behavior is required.