Recent studies invoke phase separation as a mechanism underlying the formation of ‘transcriptional condensates’. However, similarities between transcriptional condensates and the previously introduced ‘transcription factories’ model raise the question of what distinguishes the two models. One crucial aspect to consider is the contribution of intrinsically disordered regions in transcription-relevant factors.
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The work of K.R. on phase separation is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in Priority Program 2191 ‘Molecular Mechanisms of Functional Phase Separation’ via grant RI1283/16-1. A.P. is also supported by the DFG via the Priority Program 2202 ‘Spatial Genome Architecture in Development and Disease’ (Project 422389065) and the TRR81 Collaborative Research Center (Project 109546710).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Rippe, K., Papantonis, A. RNA polymerase II transcription compartments: from multivalent chromatin binding to liquid droplet formation?. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41580-021-00401-6