The coordinated growth of cells and their organelles is a fundamental and poorly understood problem, with implications for processes ranging from embryonic development to oncogenesis. Recent experiments have shed light on the cell size–dependent assembly of membrane-less cytoplasmic and nucleoplasmic structures, including ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules and other intracellular bodies. Many of these structures behave as condensed liquid-like phases of the cytoplasm/nucleoplasm. The phase transitions that appear to govern their assembly exhibit an intrinsic dependence on cell size, and may explain the size scaling reported for a number of structures. This size scaling could, in turn, play a role in cell growth and size control.

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