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Issue 6, 2007
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Dishevelled: a protein that functions in living cells by phase separating

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Abstract

We review experimental work on a protein called Dishevelled. The unusual name derives from the fact that some mutations in Dishevelled cause fruit flies to develop with misaligned hairs on their bodies. Dishevelled apparently phase separates inside the cytosol of cells. As mutant variants of this protein that cannot phase separate also cannot perform their biological function, phase separation appears to be functional. The mechanism by which Dishevelled functions is poorly understood. We suggest that physical scientists may be able to contribute to the effort to understand how Dishevelled functions, by applying their knowledge of phase separation behaviour. We start to do this by comparing the predictions of a simple model of phase separation to the experimental data.

Graphical abstract: Dishevelled: a protein that functions in living cells by phase separating

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Dec 2006, accepted on 26 Feb 2007 and first published on 21 Mar 2007


Article type: Emerging Area
DOI: 10.1039/B618126K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2007,3, 680-684

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    Dishevelled: a protein that functions in living cells by phase separating

    R. P. Sear, Soft Matter, 2007, 3, 680
    DOI: 10.1039/B618126K

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