Macromolecular Crowding In Vitro, In Vivo, and In Between
Rivas G, Minton AP.
Trends Biochem Sci 2016 Nov.; 41: 970.
iochemical processes take place in heterogeneous and highly volume-occupied or crowded environments that can considerably influence the reactivity and distribution of participating macromolecules. We summarize here the thermodynamic consequences of excluded-volume and long-range nonspecific intermolecular interactions for macromolecular reactions in volume-occupied media. In addition, we summarize and compare the information content of studies of crowding in vitro and in vivo. We emphasize the importance of characterizing the behavior not only of labeled tracer macromolecules but also the composition and behavior of unlabeled macromolecules in the immediate vicinity of the tracer. Finally, we propose strategies for extending quantitative analyses of crowding in simple model systems to increasingly complex media up to and including intact cells.
PubMed: 27669651. Doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2016.08.013