Liquid–liquid phase separation in human health and diseases

Emerging evidence suggests that liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) represents a vital and ubiquitous phenomenon underlying the formation of membraneless organelles in eukaryotic cells (also known as biomolecular condensates or droplets). Recent studies have revealed evidences that indicate that LLPS plays a vital role in human health and diseases. In this review, we describe our current understanding of LLPS and summarize its physiological functions. We further describe the role of LLPS in the development of human diseases. Additionally, we review the recently developed methods for studying LLPS.

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Fig: History of the discovery and development of LLPS. Representative milestone findings promoting the development of LLPS are enumerated in the figure

Although LLPS research is in its infancy—but is fast-growing—it is clear that LLPS plays an essential role in the development of pathophysiological conditions. This highlights the need for an overview of the recent advances in the field to translate our current knowledge regarding LLPS into therapeutic discoveries.

Wang, B., Zhang, L., Dai, T. et al. Liquid–liquid phase separation in human health and diseases. Sig Transduct Target Ther 6, 290 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41392-021-00678-1

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