The eukaryotic CO2-concentrating organelle is liquid-like and exhibits dynamic reorganization

Freeman Rosenzweig, Elizabeth S. and Xu, Bin and Kuhn Cuellar, Luis and Martinez-Sanchez, Antonio and Schaffer, Miroslava and Strauss, Mike and Cartwright, Heather N. and Ronceray, Pierre and Plitzko, Jürgen M. and Förster, Friedrich and Wingreen, Ned S. and Engel, Benjamin D. and Mackinder, Luke C. M. and Jonikas, Martin C.. (2017) The eukaryotic CO2-concentrating organelle is liquid-like and exhibits dynamic reorganization. Cell, 171 (1). pp. 148-162.e19.

PDF - Published Version

Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/89559/

Downloads: Statistics Overview


Approximately 30%-40% of global CO2 fixation occurs inside a non-membrane-bound organelle called the pyrenoid, which is found within the chloroplasts of most eukaryotic algae. The pyrenoid matrix is densely packed with the CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco and is thought to be a crystalline or amorphous solid. Here, we show that the pyrenoid matrix of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is not crystalline but behaves as a liquid that dissolves and condenses during cell division. Furthermore, we show that new pyrenoids are formed both by fission and de novo assembly. Our modeling predicts the existence of a "magic number" effect associated with special, highly stable heterocomplexes that influences phase separation in liquid-like organelles. This view of the pyrenoid matrix as a phase-separated compartment provides a paradigm for understanding its structure, biogenesis, and regulation. More broadly, our findings expand our understanding of the principles that govern the architecture and inheritance of liquid-like organelles.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Structural Biology & Biophysics > Structural Biology and Biophysics (Engel)
UniBasel Contributors:Engel, Ben
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cell Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Related URLs:
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:29 Aug 2022 15:59
Deposited On:23 Aug 2022 08:59

Repository Staff Only: item control page