Several cellular processes depend on networks of proteins assembled at specific sites near the plasma membrane. Scaffold proteins assemble these networks by recruiting relevant molecules. The scaffold protein ERC1/ELKS and its partners promote cell migration and invasion, and assemble into dynamic networks at the protruding edge of cells. Here by electron microscopy and single molecule analysis we identify ERC1 as an extended flexible dimer. We found that ERC1 scaffolds form cytoplasmic condensates with a behavior that is consistent with liquid phases that are modulated by a predicted disordered region of ERC1. These condensates specifically host partners of a network relevant to cell motility, including liprin-α1, which was unnecessary for the formation of condensates, but influenced their dynamic behavior. Phase separation at specific sites of the cell periphery may represent an elegant mechanism to control the assembly and turnover of dynamic scaffolds needed for the spatial localization and processing of molecules.
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