Building muscles from liquids – phase separation in the Z-disc

The lab of Kristina Djinovic-Carugo and their collaborators report the first structure of FATZ-1 in complex with a-actinin, two important proteins found in the Z-disc of muscle fibers. The Z-disc is a supramolecular structure that anchors actin filaments in skeletal muscle. Intriguingly, FATZ-1, which is an intrinsically disordered protein implicated in the biogenesis of the Z-disc, also shows a propensity to form biomolecular condensates. The work raises interesting questions about the role of liquid-liquid phase separation in the formation of these structures. The study is published in Science Advances.

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