Biomolecular condensates form via coupled associative and segregative phase transitions of multivalent associative macromolecules. Phase separation coupled to percolation is one example of such transitions. Here, we characterize molecular and mesoscale structural descriptions of condensates formed by intrinsically disordered prion-like low complexity domains (PLCDs). These systems conform to sticker-and-spacers architectures. Stickers are cohesive motifs that drive associative interactions through reversible crosslinking and spacers affect the cooperativity of crosslinking and overall macromolecular solubility. Our computations reproduce experimentally measured sequence-specific phase behaviors of PLCDs. Within simulated condensates, networks of reversible inter-sticker crosslinks organize PLCDs into small-world topologies. The overall dimensions of PLCDs vary with spatial location, being most expanded at and preferring to be oriented perpendicular to the interface. Our results demonstrate that even simple condensates with one type of macromolecule feature inhomogeneous spatial organizations of molecules and interfacial features that likely prime them for biochemical activity.
|State||Published - Dec 2022|