Coupled membrane lipid miscibility and phosphotyrosine-driven protein condensation phase transitions


Jean K. Chung, William Y. C. Huang, Catherine B. Carbone, Laura M. Nocka, Atul N. Parikh, Ronald D. Vale, J. T. Groves, Biophysical Journal 120, 1257-1265, 2021

Lipid miscibility phase separation has long been considered to be a central element of cell membrane organization. More recently, protein condensation phase transitions, into three-dimensional droplets or in two-dimensional lattices on membrane surfaces, have emerged as another important organizational principle within cells. Here, we reconstitute the linker for activation of T cells (LAT):growth-factor-receptor-bound protein 2 (Grb2):son of sevenless (SOS) protein condensation on the surface of giant unilamellar vesicles capable of undergoing lipid phase separations. Our results indicate that the assembly of the protein condensate on the membrane surface can drive lipid phase separation. This phase transition occurs isothermally and is governed by tyrosine phosphorylation on LAT. Furthermore, we observe that the induced lipid phase separation drives localization of the SOS substrate, K-Ras, into the LAT:Grb2:SOS protein condensate.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.09.017