TMF1-regulated nuclear protein 1 (Trnp1) has been shown to exert potent roles in neural development affecting neural stem cell self-renewal and brain folding, but its molecular function in the nucleus is still unknown. Here, we show that Trnp1 is a low complexity protein with the capacity to phase separate. Trnp1 interacts with factors located in several nuclear membrane-less organelles, the nucleolus, nuclear speckles, and condensed chromatin. Importantly, Trnp1 co-regulates the architecture and function of these nuclear compartments in vitro and in the developing brain in vivo. Deletion of a highly conserved region in the N-terminal intrinsic disordered region abolishes the capacity of Trnp1 to regulate nucleoli and heterochromatin size, proliferation, and M-phase length; decreases the capacity to phase separate; and abrogates most of Trnp1 protein interactions. Thus, we identified Trnp1 as a novel regulator of several nuclear membrane-less compartments, a function important to maintain cells in a self-renewing proliferative state.
Keywords: heterochromatin; mitosis; nuclear speckles; nucleolus; phase-transition.
© 2020 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.