The P Granules of C. elegans: A Genetic Model for the Study of RNA–Protein Condensates

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44 Scopus citations


P granules are RNA/protein condensates in the germline of Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic analyses have begun to identify the proteins that regulate P granule assembly in the cytoplasm of zygotes. Among them, the RGG-domain protein PGL-3, the intrinsically disordered protein MEG-3, and the RNA helicase LAF-1 all bind and phase separate with RNA in vitro. We discuss how RNA-induced phase separation, competition with other RNA-binding proteins, and reversible phosphorylation contribute to the asymmetric localization of P granules in the cytoplasm of newly fertilized embryos. P granules contain RNA silencing complexes that monitor the germline transcriptome and may provide an RNA memory of germline gene expression across generations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4702-4710
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of molecular biology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018


  • C. elegans
  • Germline condensates
  • P granules
  • RNA granules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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