Data from: Advanced Surface Passivation for High-Sensitivity Studies of Biomolecular Condensates

Published: 23 May 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/t4yjmnngs9.1


Biomolecular condensates are cellular compartments that concentrate biomolecules without an encapsulating membrane. In recent years, significant advances have been made in the understanding of condensates through biochemical reconstitution and microscopic detection of these structures. Quantitative visualization and biochemical assays of biomolecular condensates rely on surface passivation to minimize background and artifacts due to condensate adhesion. However, the challenge of undesired interactions between condensates and glass surfaces, which can alter material properties and impair observational accuracy, remains a critical hurdle. Here, we introduce an efficient, generically applicable, and simple passivation method employing self-assembly of the surfactant Pluronic F127 (PF127). The method greatly reduces nonspecific binding across a range of condensates systems for both phase-separated droplets and biomolecules in dilute phase. Additionally, by integrating PF127 passivation with the Biotin-NeutrAvidin system, we achieve controlled multi-point attachment of condensates to surfaces. This not only preserves condensate properties but also facilitates long-time FRAP imaging and high-precision single-molecule analyses. Using this method, we have explored the dynamics of polySIM molecules within polySUMO/polySIM condensates at the single-molecule level. Our observations suggest a potential heterogeneity in the distribution of available polySIM-binding sites within the condensates.



University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas


Passivation, Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation, Biomolecular Condensates


Welch Foundation


Howard Hughes Medical Institute