Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

There is currently intense interest in the idea that many membraneless organelles might assemble through phase separation of their constituent molecules into biomolecular 'condensates' that have liquid-like properties. This idea is intuitively appealing, especially for complex organelles such as centrosomes, where a liquid-like structure would allow the many constituent molecules to diffuse and interact with one another efficiently. I discuss here recent studies that either support the concept of a liquid-like centrosome or suggest that centrosomes are assembled upon a more solid, stable scaffold. I suggest that it may be difficult to distinguish between these possibilities. I argue that the concept of biomolecular condensates is an important advance in cell biology, with potentially wide-ranging implications, but it seems premature to conclude that centrosomes, and perhaps other membraneless organelles, are necessarily best described as liquid-like phase-separated condensates.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Cell Biol

Publication Date



PCM, biomolecular condensates, cell division, centriole, centrosome, mitosis, phase separation