Science & Nature

Physicists find that organelles grow in random bursts

Physicists find that organelles grow in random bursts thumbnail
Physicists find that organelles grow in random bursts
Research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that organelles in the eukaryotic cell grow in random bursts from a limiting pool of building blocks. Credit: Shutterstock

Eukaryotic cells—the ones that make up most life as we know it, including all animals, plants and fungi—are highly structured objects.

These cells assemble and maintain their own smaller, internal bits: the membrane-bound organelles like nuclei, which store genetic information, or mitochondria, which produce chemical energy. But much remains to be learned about how they organize themselves into these spatial compartments.

Physicists at Washington University in St. Louis conducted new experiments that show that eukaryotic cells can robustly control average fluctuations in organelle size. By demonstrating that organelle sizes obey a universal scaling relationship that the scientists predict theoretically, their new framework suggests that organelles grow in random bursts from a limiting pool of building blocks.

The study was published Jan. 6 in Physical Review Letters.

“In our work, we suggest that the steps by which organelles are grown—far from being an orderly ‘brick-by-brick’ assembly—occur in stochastic bursts,” said Shankar Mukherji, assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences.

“Such bursts fundamentally limit the precision with which organelle size is controlled but also maintain noise in organelle size within a narrow window,” Mukherji said. “Burstlike growth provides a general biophysical mechanism by which cells can maintain, on average, reliable yet plastic organelle sizes.”

Organelles must be flexible enough to allow cells to grow or shrink them as environments demand. Still, the size of organelles must be maintained within certain limits. Biologists have previously identified certain molecular factors that regulate organelle sizes, but this study provides new insights into the quantitative principles underlying organelle size control.

READ:  Warp drives: Physicists give chances of faster-than-light space travel a boost

While this study used budding yeast as a model organism, the team is excited to explore how these assembly mechanisms are utilized across different species and cell types. Mukherji said that they plan to examine what these patterns of robustness can teach us about how to harness organelle assembly for bioengineering applications and how to spot defects in organelle biogenesis in the context of disease.

“The pattern of organelle size robustness is shared between budding yeast and human iPS cells,” Mukherji said. “The underlying molecular mechanisms producing these bursts are yet to be fully elucidated and are likely to be organelle-specific and potentially species-specific.”

More information:
Kiandokht Panjtan Amiri et al, Robustness and Universality in Organelle Size Control, Physical Review Letters (2023). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.130.018401

Citation:
Physicists find that organelles grow in random bursts (2023, January 6)
retrieved 9 January 2023
from https://phys.org/news/2023-01-physicists-organelles-random.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More

Learn More: science clipart,science memes,q sciences,science diet puppy food,science background,science gif,science is real,science 37,science logo,science wallpaper,science symbols,science gifts,science pick up lines,science jobs near me,science center of iowa,pescience protein,science beaker,science park high school,science bowl,science spot,science immunology,science hill ky,science synonym,science emoji,science valentines,science t shirts,science spectrum,science riddles,science notebook,science history institute,science kits for teens,science skills center high school,pescience high volume,science 37 careers,science kits for adults,q sciences login,science in german,usciences basketball,pescience pre workout,science 360,in science an educated guess is a,science uil,kscience photolab,science under evaluation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *