Mechanical Frustration of Phase Separation in the Cell Nucleus by Chromatin

Yaojun Zhang, Daniel S.W. Lee, Yigal Meir, Clifford P. Brangwynne, Ned S. Wingreen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Liquid-liquid phase separation is a fundamental mechanism underlying subcellular organization. Motivated by the striking observation that optogenetically generated droplets in the nucleus display suppressed coarsening dynamics, we study the impact of chromatin mechanics on droplet phase separation. We combine theory and simulation to show that cross-linked chromatin can mechanically suppress droplets' coalescence and ripening, as well as quantitatively control their number, size, and placement. Our results highlight the role of the subcellular mechanical environment on condensate regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number258102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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