Immature egg cells use functional amyloids to bundle contents

Updated: Jan 16

by Elvan Boke

How do oocytes (eggs) protect their contents for decades in the body, so that they can still make a healthy organism after fertilization? In this video, Elvan Boke tells you about the Balbiani body, a part of the egg that may be key to protecting its contents for the future. This video is an abstract for her recent publication in the journal Cell, "Amyloid-like self-assembly of a cellular compartment," which was a collaboration between the lab of Tim Mitchison at Harvard and the lab of Tony Hyman at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.

Elvan carried out this work as a postdoc in the Mitchison lab, and she is now starting her own lab at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona.

Related resources

• Read an editorial Elvan & Tim wrote for the journal Cell Cycle, "The balbiani body and the concept of physiological amyloids."

Watch a video about another paper from the Hyman lab on the formation of the bad kind of amyloid-like aggregates that lead to disease.

Watch Louise Jawerth's Science Sketch on the concept of phase transitions in cells.

#proteins #frogs #cytoplasm #cell #phaseseparation