Transcription factor condensates and signaling driven transcription

Nucleus. 2023 Dec;14(1):2205758. doi: 10.1080/19491034.2023.2205758.


Transcription Factor (TF) condensates are a heterogenous mix of RNA, DNA, and multiple co-factor proteins capable of modulating the transcriptional response of the cell. The dynamic nature and the spatial location of TF-condensates in the 3D nuclear space is believed to provide a fast response, which is on the same pace as the signaling cascade and yet ever-so-specific in the crowded environment of the nucleus. However, the current understanding of how TF-condensates can achieve these feet so quickly and efficiently is still unclear. In this review, we draw parallels with other protein condensates and share our speculations on how the nucleus uses these TF-condensates to achieve high transcriptional specificity and fidelity. We discuss the various constituents of TF-condensates, their properties, and the known and unknown functions of TF-condensates with a particular focus on steroid signaling-induced transcriptional programs.

Keywords: Transcription; chromatin; condensates; histones; super-enhancers.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA* / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors* / metabolism


  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA
  • Chromatin

Grants and funding

The work was supported by Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, under project no.12-R&D-TFR-5.04-0800 and intramural funds from NCBS-TIFR (to DN), Welcome-IA (IA/1/14/2/501539) (to DN) and DST core grant (CRG/2019/005714) (to DN). DN acknowledges the support from the EMBO Young Investigator program. RM is supported by the TIFR-NCBS graduate program.