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November 26, 2021 Friday 01:37:34 PM IST

How Nucleoli Exist as Stable Droplets within the Nucleus?

Recent studies on cells and nucleus shows that the nucleoli, which is present within the cell, exist as multiple liquid droplets. This seemed to be puzzling for the researchers undertaken the study because under normal conditions, multiple droplets should eventually fuse together into one large droplet.

Genetic material in a cell’s nucleus is stored in the form of chromosomes. Inside the nucleus along with this genetic material, nucleoli is also present which is are clusters of proteins and RNA which is required for the ribosomes. 

 MIT chemists by using computer simulations have made a discovery on how these bodies interact with chromosomes in the nucleus, and how those interactions help the nucleoli exist as stable droplets within the nucleus. This model have inspired the researchers to think that the genome may have gel-like features that could help the system to code. Using the new model, the researchers were able to observe the formation of nucleoli droplets. They found that if they modeled the nucleolar components on their own, with no chromatin, they would eventually fuse into one large droplet, as expected. When chromatin was introduced into the model, it was observed that the nucleoli formed multiple droplets, just as they do in living cells.