Organellar glue: new technique to stick organelles together

September 30, 2022

Modification of communication between organelles might be achieved

In cells, various organelles are considered to work by approaching and contacting each other to exchange the molecules/metabolites. Artificial regulation of the interaction between organelles would benefit analyses of metabolite transport and interaction between organelles; however, such a technique has yet to be available.

A research group of Utsunomiya University, the RIKEN CSRS, and Kyoto University artificially adhered chloroplasts together in living plant (Egeria densa) cells using the bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) widely used in the analyses of protein interactions in vivo. They also found that the aggregates of chloroplasts contain other organelles, such as mitochondria and peroxisomes. This novel technique is named “organellar glue” because organelles form a clump as if they were glued together.

Using the organellar glue developed in this study would make it possible to analyze interactions and metabolite transport between organelles in detail. In the future, this glue would contribute to creating valuable plants in which amounts of various molecules/metabolites communicated between organelles are adjusted by modifying the physical contact between organelles.

Original article
ACS Synthetic Biology doi:10.1021/acssynbio.2c00367
S. Ichikawa, S. Kato, Y. Fujii, K. Ishikawa, K. Numata, Y. Kodama,
"Organellar Glue: A Molecular Tool to Artificially Control Chloroplast-Chloroplast Interactions".
Keiji Numata
Team Leader
Biomacromolecules Research Team