Cassidy Katelyn

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  • Article
    Phosphoregulation provides specificity to biomolecular condensates in the cell cycle and cell polarity
    (Rockefeller University Press, 2020-07-06) Gerbich, Therese M. ; McLaughlin, Grace A. ; Cassidy, Katelyn ; Gerber, Scott ; Adalsteinsson, David ; Gladfelter, Amy S.
    Biomolecular condensation is a way of organizing cytosol in which proteins and nucleic acids coassemble into compartments. In the multinucleate filamentous fungus Ashbya gossypii, the RNA-binding protein Whi3 regulates the cell cycle and cell polarity through forming macromolecular structures that behave like condensates. Whi3 has distinct spatial localizations and mRNA targets, making it a powerful model for how, when, and where specific identities are established for condensates. We identified residues on Whi3 that are differentially phosphorylated under specific conditions and generated mutants that ablate this regulation. This yielded separation of function alleles that were functional for either cell polarity or nuclear cycling but not both. This study shows that phosphorylation of individual residues on molecules in biomolecular condensates can provide specificity that gives rise to distinct functional identities in the same cell.