Cell-free reconstitution of multi-condensate assemblies

Methods Enzymol. 2021;646:83-113. doi: 10.1016/bs.mie.2020.07.004. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


Biomolecular condensates (BCs) are intracellular condensates that form by phase separation of proteins and RNA from the nucleoplasm or cytoplasm. BCs often form complex assemblies where compositionally distinct condensates wet each other without mixing. In this chapter, we describe methods to reconstitute multi-condensate assemblies from purified components. We include protocols to express, purify, label, and analyze the dynamics of proteins and RNAs that drive multi-condensate assembly. Analysis of the condensation and wetting behaviors of condensates in cell-free reconstituted systems can be used to define the molecular interactions that regulate BCs in cells.

Keywords: FRAP; Fluorescence labeling; Image analysis; Inclusion bodies; MBP; Maltose binding protein; Phase separation; Protein purification; RNA condensate.

MeSH terms

  • Cytoplasm
  • Proteins*
  • RNA*


  • Proteins
  • RNA