Liquid Biomolecular Condensates and Viral Lifecycles: Review and Perspectives.

Temitope Akhigbe EtiborMaria João Amorim


Viruses are highly dependent on the host they infect. Their dependence triggers processes of virus-host co-adaptation, enabling viruses to explore host resources whilst escaping immunity. Scientists have tackled viral-host interplay at differing levels of complexity-in individual hosts, organs, tissues and cells-and seminal studies advanced our understanding about viral lifecycles, intra- or inter-species transmission, and means to control infections. Recently, it emerged as important to address the physical properties of the materials in biological systems; membrane-bound organelles are only one of many ways to separate molecules from the cellular milieu. By achieving a type of compartmentalization lacking membranes known as biomolecular condensates, biological systems developed alternative mechanisms of controlling reactions. The identification that many biological condensates display liquid properties led to the proposal that liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) drives their formation. The concept of LLPS is a paradigm shift in cellular structure and organization. There is an unprecedented momentum to revisit long-standing questions in virology and to explore novel antiviral strategies. In the first part of this review, we ...Continue Reading


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