Membraneless organelles in cellular processes and neurodegeneration
Cells organize some components through the formation of membraneless compartments. These compartments positively drive distinct cell functions; however, they can also go awry to create issues in the cell, underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s). Biopolymer physics can be used to explain formation of these membraneless compartments, which form via intracellular phase separation. We integrate information from physics and cell biology to understand this relationship and will learn from a combination of readings (primary literature), lectures, and discussions with the authors of recent literature. Prerequisites: Biology 201L and recommended Biology 220.