Low-complexity proteins undergo phase separation in vitro, forming hydrogels or liquid droplets. Whether these form in vivo , and under what conditions, is still unclear. In this issue, Hennig et al. (2015. J. Cell Biol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201504117 ) show that formation of the paraspeckle, a nuclear body that regulates gene expression, requires low-complexity prion-like domains (PLDs) within paraspeckle proteins. The same proteins were shown to form hydrogels, shedding light on the role of “functional aggregation” in nuclear substructure.