Peptide diffusion in biomolecular condensates

Riley J. Workman, Caleb J. Huang, Gillian C. Lynch, B. Montgomery Pettitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diffusion determines the turnover of biomolecules in liquid-liquid phase-separated condensates. We considered the mean square displacement and thus the diffusion constant for simple model systems of peptides GGGGG, GGQGG, and GGVGG in aqueous solutions after phase separation by simulating atomic-level models. These solutions readily separate into aqueous and peptide-rich droplet phases. We noted the effect of the peptides being in a solvated, surface, or droplet state on the peptide's diffusion coefficients. Both sequence and peptide conformational distribution were found to influence diffusion and condensate turnover in these systems, with sequence dominating the magnitude of the differences. We found that the most compact structures for each sequence diffused the fastest in the peptide-rich condensate phase. This model result may have implications for turnover dynamics in signaling systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1668-1675
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 18 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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