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Sample records for actin network growth

  1. Spontaneous polarization in an interfacial growth model for actin filament networks with a rigorous mechanochemical coupling.

    PubMed

    John, Karin; Caillerie, Denis; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2014-11-01

    Many processes in eukaryotic cells, including cell motility, rely on the growth of branched actin networks from surfaces. Despite its central role the mechanochemical coupling mechanisms that guide the growth process are poorly understood, and a general continuum description combining growth and mechanics is lacking. We develop a theory that bridges the gap between mesoscale and continuum limit and propose a general framework providing the evolution law of actin networks growing under stress. This formulation opens an area for the systematic study of actin dynamics in arbitrary geometries. Our framework predicts a morphological instability of actin growth on a rigid sphere, leading to a spontaneous polarization of the network with a mode selection corresponding to a comet, as reported experimentally. We show that the mechanics of the contact between the network and the surface plays a crucial role, in that it determines directly the existence of the instability. We extract scaling laws relating growth dynamics and network properties offering basic perspectives for new experiments on growing actin networks. PMID:25493815

  2. A variational approach to the growth dynamics of pre-stressed actin filament networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-01

    In order to model the growth dynamics of elastic bodies with residual stresses a thermodynamically consistent approach is needed such that the cross-coupling between growth and mechanics can be correctly described. In the present work we apply a variational principle to the formulation of the interfacial growth dynamics of dendritic actin filament networks growing from biomimetic beads, an experimentally well studied system, where the buildup of residual stresses governs the network growth. We first introduce the material model for the network via a strain energy density for an isotropic weakly nonlinear elastic material and then derive consistently from this model the dynamic equations for the interfaces, i.e. for a polymerizing internal interface in contact with the bead and a depolymerizing external interface directed towards the solvent. We show that (i) this approach automatically preserves thermodynamic symmetry-properties, which is not the case for the often cited ‘rubber-band-model’ (Sekimoto et al 2004 Eur. Phys. J. E 13 247–59, Plastino et al 2004 Eur. Biophys. J. 33 310–20) and (ii) leads to a robust morphological instability of the treadmilling network interfaces. The nature of the instability depends on the interplay of the two dynamic interfaces. Depending on the biochemical conditions the network envelope evolves into a comet-like shape (i.e. the actin envelope thins out at one side and thickens on the opposite side of the bead) via a varicose instability or it breaks the symmetry via higher order zigzag modes. We conclude that morphological instabilities due to mechano-chemical coupling mechanisms and the presences of mechancial pre-stresses can play a major role in locally organizing the cytoskeleton of living cells.

  3. A variational approach to the growth dynamics of pre-stressed actin filament networks.

    PubMed

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-21

    In order to model the growth dynamics of elastic bodies with residual stresses a thermodynamically consistent approach is needed such that the cross-coupling between growth and mechanics can be correctly described. In the present work we apply a variational principle to the formulation of the interfacial growth dynamics of dendritic actin filament networks growing from biomimetic beads, an experimentally well studied system, where the buildup of residual stresses governs the network growth. We first introduce the material model for the network via a strain energy density for an isotropic weakly nonlinear elastic material and then derive consistently from this model the dynamic equations for the interfaces, i.e. for a polymerizing internal interface in contact with the bead and a depolymerizing external interface directed towards the solvent. We show that (i) this approach automatically preserves thermodynamic symmetry-properties, which is not the case for the often cited 'rubber-band-model' (Sekimoto et al 2004 Eur. Phys. J. E 13 247-59, Plastino et al 2004 Eur. Biophys. J. 33 310-20) and (ii) leads to a robust morphological instability of the treadmilling network interfaces. The nature of the instability depends on the interplay of the two dynamic interfaces. Depending on the biochemical conditions the network envelope evolves into a comet-like shape (i.e. the actin envelope thins out at one side and thickens on the opposite side of the bead) via a varicose instability or it breaks the symmetry via higher order zigzag modes. We conclude that morphological instabilities due to mechano-chemical coupling mechanisms and the presences of mechancial pre-stresses can play a major role in locally organizing the cytoskeleton of living cells. PMID:27420637

  4. Tau co-organizes dynamic microtubule and actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Elie, Auréliane; Prezel, Elea; Guérin, Christophe; Denarier, Eric; Ramirez-Rios, Sacnicte; Serre, Laurence; Andrieux, Annie; Fourest-Lieuvin, Anne; Blanchoin, Laurent; Arnal, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    The crosstalk between microtubules and actin is essential for cellular functions. However, mechanisms underlying the microtubule-actin organization by cross-linkers remain largely unexplored. Here, we report that tau, a neuronal microtubule-associated protein, binds to microtubules and actin simultaneously, promoting in vitro co-organization and coupled growth of both networks. By developing an original assay to visualize concomitant microtubule and actin assembly, we show that tau can induce guided polymerization of actin filaments along microtubule tracks and growth of single microtubules along actin filament bundles. Importantly, tau mediates microtubule-actin co-alignment without changing polymer growth properties. Mutagenesis studies further reveal that at least two of the four tau repeated motifs, primarily identified as tubulin-binding sites, are required to connect microtubules and actin. Tau thus represents a molecular linker between microtubule and actin networks, enabling a coordination of the two cytoskeletons that might be essential in various neuronal contexts. PMID:25944224

  5. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    PubMed

    Ennomani, Hajer; Letort, Gaëlle; Guérin, Christophe; Martiel, Jean-Louis; Cao, Wenxiang; Nédélec, François; De La Cruz, Enrique M; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2016-03-01

    Actomyosin contractility plays a central role in a wide range of cellular processes, including the establishment of cell polarity, cell migration, tissue integrity, and morphogenesis during development. The contractile response is variable and depends on actomyosin network architecture and biochemical composition. To determine how this coupling regulates actomyosin-driven contraction, we used a micropatterning method that enables the spatial control of actin assembly. We generated a variety of actin templates and measured how defined actin structures respond to myosin-induced forces. We found that the same actin filament crosslinkers either enhance or inhibit the contractility of a network, depending on the organization of actin within the network. Numerical simulations unified the roles of actin filament branching and crosslinking during actomyosin contraction. Specifically, we introduce the concept of "network connectivity" and show that the contractions of distinct actin architectures are described by the same master curve when considering their degree of connectivity. This makes it possible to predict the dynamic response of defined actin structures to transient changes in connectivity. We propose that, depending on the connectivity and the architecture, network contraction is dominated by either sarcomeric-like or buckling mechanisms. More generally, this study reveals how actin network contractility depends on its architecture under a defined set of biochemical conditions. PMID:26898468

  6. Dynamics of active actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, Simone

    2014-03-01

    Local mechanical and structural properties of a eukaryotic cell are determined by its cytoskeleton. To adapt to their environment, cells rely on constant self-organized rearrangement processes of their actin cytoskeleton. To shed light on the principles underlying these dynamic self-organization processes we investigate a minimal reconstituted active system consisting of actin filaments, crosslinking molecules and molecular motor filaments. Using quantitative fluorescence microscopy and image analysis, we show, that these minimal model systems exhibit a generic structure formation mechanism. The competition between force generation by molecular motors and the stabilization of the network by crosslinking proteins results in a highly dynamic reorganization process which is characterized by anomalous transport dynamics with a superdiffusive behavior also found in intracellular dynamics. In vitro, these dynamics are governed by chemical and physical parameters that alter the balance of motor and crosslinking proteins, such as pH. These findings can be expected to have broad implications in our understanding of cytoskeletal regulation in vivo.

  7. Actin Dynamics in Growth Cone Motility and Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Timothy M.; Letourneau, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    Motile growth cones lead growing axons through developing tissues to synaptic targets. These behaviors depend on the organization and dynamics of actin filaments that fill the growth cone leading margin (peripheral (P-) domain). Actin filament organization in growth cones is regulated by actin-binding proteins that control all aspects of filament assembly, turnover, interactions with other filaments and cytoplasmic components, and participation in producing mechanical forces. Actin filament polymerization drives protrusion of sensory filopodia and lamellipodia, and actin filament connections to the plasma membrane link the filament network to adhesive contacts of filopodia and lamellipodia with other surfaces. These contacts stabilize protrusions and transduce mechanical forces generated by actomyosin activity into traction that pulls an elongating axon along the path towards its target. Adhesive ligands and extrinsic guidance cues bind growth cone receptors and trigger signaling activities involving Rho GTPases, kinases, phosphatases, cyclic nucleotides and [Ca++] fluxes. These signals regulate actin binding proteins to locally modulate actin polymerization, interactions and force transduction to steer the growth cone leading margin towards the sources of attractive cues and away from repellent guidance cues. PMID:24164353

  8. A dynamic formin-dependent deep F-actin network in axons

    PubMed Central

    Ganguly, Archan; Tang, Yong; Wang, Lina; Ladt, Kelsey; Loi, Jonathan; Dargent, Bénédicte; Leterrier, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Although actin at neuronal growth cones is well-studied, much less is known about actin organization and dynamics along axon shafts and presynaptic boutons. Using probes that selectively label filamentous-actin (F-actin), we found focal “actin hotspots” along axons—spaced ∼3–4 µm apart—where actin undergoes continuous assembly/disassembly. These foci are a nidus for vigorous actin polymerization, generating long filaments spurting bidirectionally along axons—a phenomenon we call “actin trails.” Super-resolution microscopy reveals intra-axonal deep actin filaments in addition to the subplasmalemmal “actin rings” described recently. F-actin hotspots colocalize with stationary axonal endosomes, and blocking vesicle transport diminishes the actin trails, suggesting mechanistic links between vesicles and F-actin kinetics. Actin trails are formin—but not Arp2/3—dependent and help enrich actin at presynaptic boutons. Finally, formin inhibition dramatically disrupts synaptic recycling. Collectively, available data suggest a two-tier F-actin organization in axons, with stable “actin rings” providing mechanical support to the plasma membrane and dynamic "actin trails" generating a flexible cytoskeletal network with putative physiological roles. PMID:26216902

  9. Arp2/3 complex-dependent actin networks constrain myosin II function in driving retrograde actin flow.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qing; Zhang, Xiao-Feng; Pollard, Thomas D; Forscher, Paul

    2012-06-25

    The Arp2/3 complex nucleates actin filaments to generate networks at the leading edge of motile cells. Nonmuscle myosin II produces contractile forces involved in driving actin network translocation. We inhibited the Arp2/3 complex and/or myosin II with small molecules to investigate their respective functions in neuronal growth cone actin dynamics. Inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex with CK666 reduced barbed end actin assembly site density at the leading edge, disrupted actin veils, and resulted in veil retraction. Strikingly, retrograde actin flow rates increased with Arp2/3 complex inhibition; however, when myosin II activity was blocked, Arp2/3 complex inhibition now resulted in slowing of retrograde actin flow and veils no longer retracted. Retrograde flow rate increases induced by Arp2/3 complex inhibition were independent of Rho kinase activity. These results provide evidence that, although the Arp2/3 complex and myosin II are spatially segregated, actin networks assembled by the Arp2/3 complex can restrict myosin II-dependent contractility with consequent effects on growth cone motility. PMID:22711700

  10. Mechanical Detection of a Long-Range Actin Network Emanating from a Biomimetic Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bussonnier, Matthias; Carvalho, Kevin; Lemière, Joël; Joanny, Jean-François; Sykes, Cécile; Betz, Timo

    2014-01-01

    Actin is ubiquitous globular protein that polymerizes into filaments and forms networks that participate in the force generation of eukaryotic cells. Such forces are used for cell motility, cytokinesis, and tissue remodeling. Among those actin networks, we focus on the actin cortex, a dense branched network beneath the plasma membrane that is of particular importance for the mechanical properties of the cell. Here we reproduce the cellular cortex by activating actin filament growth on a solid surface. We unveil the existence of a sparse actin network that emanates from the surface and extends over a distance that is at least 10 times larger than the cortex itself. We call this sparse actin network the “actin cloud” and characterize its mechanical properties with optical tweezers. We show, both experimentally and theoretically, that the actin cloud is mechanically relevant and that it should be taken into account because it can sustain forces as high as several picoNewtons (pN). In particular, it is known that in plant cells, actin networks similar to the actin cloud have a role in positioning the nucleus; in large oocytes, they play a role in driving chromosome movement. Recent evidence shows that such networks even prevent granule condensation in large cells. PMID:25140420

  11. Aluminum Induces Rigor within the Actin Network of Soybean Cells.

    PubMed Central

    Grabski, S.; Schindler, M.

    1995-01-01

    Aluminum is toxic to both plants and animals. Root growth and pollen-tube extension are inhibited after aluminum stress in acidic environments. Incubation of cultured neurons with aluminum results in the formation of neurofibrillar tangles reminiscent of the neural pathology observed in Alzheimer's disease. The present communication demonstrates that aluminum induces a rapid and dramatic increase in the rigidity of the actin network in soybean (Glycine max) root cells. This rigidity can be prevented by either co-incubation with sodium fluoride or magnesium, or pretreatment with cytochalasin D. It is proposed that the growth-inhibitory activity and cytotoxicity of aluminum in plants may be a consequence of a global rigor that is induced within the actin network. This rigor may result from the formation of nonhydrolyzable [Al3+-ADP] or [Al3+-ATP] complexes whose binding to actin/myosin can modify contraction. Additionally, Al3+-mediated interference with the normal kinetics of F-actin filament assembly/disassembly could precipitate subsequent disorganization of associated cytoskeletal structures and promote altered expression of cytoskeletal proteins. PMID:12228515

  12. Curvature and torsion in growing actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaevitz, Joshua W.; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2008-06-01

    Intracellular pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Rickettsia rickettsii move within a host cell by polymerizing a comet-tail of actin fibers that ultimately pushes the cell forward. This dense network of cross-linked actin polymers typically exhibits a striking curvature that causes bacteria to move in gently looping paths. Theoretically, tail curvature has been linked to details of motility by considering force and torque balances from a finite number of polymerizing filaments. Here we track beads coated with a prokaryotic activator of actin polymerization in three dimensions to directly quantify the curvature and torsion of bead motility paths. We find that bead paths are more likely to have low rather than high curvature at any given time. Furthermore, path curvature changes very slowly in time, with an autocorrelation decay time of 200 s. Paths with a small radius of curvature, therefore, remain so for an extended period resulting in loops when confined to two dimensions. When allowed to explore a three-dimensional (3D) space, path loops are less evident. Finally, we quantify the torsion in the bead paths and show that beads do not exhibit a significant left- or right-handed bias to their motion in 3D. These results suggest that paths of actin-propelled objects may be attributed to slow changes in curvature, possibly associated with filament debranching, rather than a fixed torque.

  13. Encoding Mechano-Memories in Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foucard, Louis; Majumdar, Sayantan; Levine, Alex; Gardel, Margaret

    The ability of cells to sense and adapt to external mechanical stimuli is vital to many of its biological functions. A critical question is therefore to understand how mechanosensory mechanisms arise in living matter, with implications in both cell biology and smart materials design. Experimental work has demonstrated that the mechanical properties of semiflexible actin networks in Eukaryotic cells can be modulated (either transiently or irreversibly) via the application of external forces. Previous work has also shown with a combination of numerical simulations and analytic calculations shows that the broken rotational symmetry of the filament orientational distribution in semiflexible networks leads to dramatic changes in the mechanical response. Here we demonstrate with a combination of numerical and analytic calculations that the observed long-lived mechano-memory in the actin networks arise from changes in the nematic order of the constituent filaments. These stress-induced changes in network topology relax slowly under zero stress and can be observed through changes in the nonlinear mechanics. Our results provide a strategy for designing a novel class of materials and demonstrate a new putative mechanism of mechanical sensing in eukaryotic cells.

  14. Nonequilibrium-Driven Motion in Actin Networks: Comet Tails and Moving Beads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burroughs, N. J.; Marenduzzo, D.

    2007-06-01

    We present 3D dynamic Monte-Carlo simulations of the growth of an actin network close to an obstacle coated with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP), an inducer of actin branching. Our simulations incorporate both elasticity and relaxation of the actin tail, thus allowing for local network compression. Whilst steady state motility derives mainly from polymerization at the leading edge, nonthermal stored elastic energy and retrograde flow are observed in a thin slab of material close to the obstacle. We observe a crossover from steady to hopping bead motion as the branching rate is decreased.

  15. Mechanics of composite actin networks: in vitro and cellular perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2014-03-01

    Actin filaments and associated actin binding proteins play an essential role in governing the mechanical properties of eukaryotic cells. Even though cells have multiple actin binding proteins (ABPs) that exist simultaneously to maintain the structural and mechanical integrity of the cellular cytoskeleton, how these proteins work together to determine the properties of actin networks is not well understood. The ABP, palladin, is essential for the integrity of cell morphology and movement during development. Palladin coexists with alpha-actinin in stress fibers and focal adhesions and binds to both actin and alpha-actinin. To obtain insight into how mutually interacting actin crosslinking proteins modulate the properties of actin networks, we have characterized the micro-structure and mechanics of actin networks crosslinked with palladin and alpha-actinin. Our studies on composite networks of alpha-actinin/palladin/actin show that palladin and alpha-actinin synergistically determine network viscoelasticity. We have further examined the role of palladin in cellular force generation and mechanosensing. Traction force microscopy revealed that TAFs are sensitive to substrate stiffness as they generate larger forces on substrates of increased stiffness. Contrary to expectations, knocking down palladin increased the forces generated by cells, and also inhibited the ability to sense substrate stiffness for very stiff gels. This was accompanied by significant differences in the actin organization and adhesion dynamics of palladin knock down cells. Perturbation experiments also suggest altered myosin activity in palladin KD cells. Our results suggest that the actin crosslinkers such as palladin and myosin motors coordinate for optimal cell function and to prevent aberrant behavior as in cancer metastasis.

  16. Actin network disassembly powers dissemination of Listeria monocytogenes.

    PubMed

    Talman, Arthur M; Chong, Ryan; Chia, Jonathan; Svitkina, Tatyana; Agaisse, Hervé

    2014-01-01

    Several bacterial pathogens hijack the actin assembly machinery and display intracellular motility in the cytosol of infected cells. At the cell cortex, intracellular motility leads to bacterial dissemination through formation of plasma membrane protrusions that resolve into vacuoles in adjacent cells. Here, we uncover a crucial role for actin network disassembly in dissemination of Listeria monocytogenes. We found that defects in the disassembly machinery decreased the rate of actin tail turnover but did not affect the velocity of the bacteria in the cytosol. By contrast, defects in the disassembly machinery had a dramatic impact on bacterial dissemination. Our results suggest a model of L. monocytogenes dissemination in which the disassembly machinery, through local recycling of the actin network in protrusions, fuels continuous actin assembly at the bacterial pole and concurrently exhausts cytoskeleton components from the network distal to the bacterium, which enables membrane apposition and resolution of protrusions into vacuoles. PMID:24155331

  17. Characterization of actin filament deformation in response to actively driven microspheres propagated through entangled actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falzone, Tobias; Blair, Savanna; Robertson-Anderson, Rae

    2014-03-01

    The semi-flexible biopolymer actin is a ubiquitous component of nearly all biological organisms, playing an important role in many biological processes such as cell structure and motility, cancer invasion and metastasis, muscle contraction, and cell signaling. Concentrated actin networks possess unique viscoelastic properties that have been the subject of much theoretical and experimental work. However, much is still unknown regarding the correlation of the applied stress on the network to the induced filament strain at the molecular level. Here, we use dual optical traps alongside fluorescence microscopy to carry out active microrheology measurements that link mechanical stress to structural response at the micron scale. Specifically, we actively drive microspheres through entangled actin networks while simultaneously measuring the force the surrounding filaments exert on the sphere and visualizing the deformation and subsequent relaxation of fluorescent labeled filaments within the network. These measurements, which provide much needed insight into the link between stress and strain in actin networks, are critical for clarifying our theoretical understanding of the complex viscoelastic behavior exhibited in actin networks.

  18. Computer Simulations of Mechano-Chemical Networks Choreographing Actin Dynamics in Cell Motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuravlev, Pavel I.; Hu, Longhua; Papoian, Garegin A.

    In eukaryotic cells, cell motility is largely driven by self-assembly and growth of filamentous networks comprised of actin. Numerous proteins regulate actin network dynamics either biochemically, or through mechanical interactions. This regulation is rather complex, intricately coordinated both spatially and temporally. Although experiments in vivo and in vitro have provided a trove of structural and biochemical information about actin-based cell motility processes, experimental data is not always easy to interpret unambiguously, sometimes various interpretations being in contradiction with each other. Hence, mathematical modeling approaches are necessary for providing a physical foundation for interpreting and guiding experiments. In particular, computer simulations based on physicochemical interactions provide a systems-level description of protrusion dynamics. In this contribution, we review recent progress in modeling actin-based cell motility using detailed computer simulations. We elaborate on the way actin network dynamics is determined by the interplay between chemical reactions, mechanical feedbacks, and transport bottlenecks. We also discuss the role of inherent randomness of elementary chemical reactions in determining the dynamical behavior of the mechano-chemical network controlling actin polymerization and growth.

  19. Competition of two distinct actin networks for actin defines a bistable switch for cell polarization

    PubMed Central

    Lomakin, Alexis J.; Lee, Kun-Chun; Han, Sangyoon J.; Bui, D A.; Davidson, Michael; Mogilner, Alex; Danuser, Gaudenz

    2015-01-01

    Symmetry-breaking polarization enables functional plasticity of cells and tissues and is yet not well understood. Here we show that epithelial cells, hard-wired to maintain a static morphology and to preserve tissue organization, can spontaneously switch to a migratory polarized phenotype upon relaxation of the actomyosin cytoskeleton. We find that myosin-II engages actin in the formation of cortical actomyosin bundles and thus makes it unavailable for deployment in the process of dendritic growth normally driving cell motility. At low contractility regimes epithelial cells polarize in a front-back manner due to emergence of actin retrograde flows powered by dendritic polymerization of actin. Coupled to cell movement, the flows transport myosin-II from the front to the back of the cell, where the motor locally “locks” actin in contractile bundles. This polarization mechanism could be employed by embryonic and cancer epithelial cells in microenvironments where high contractility-driven cell motion is inefficient. PMID:26414403

  20. Formation of actin networks in microfluidic concentration gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strelnikova, Natalja; Herren, Florian; Schoenenberger, Cora-Ann; Pfohl, Thomas

    2016-05-01

    The physical properties of cytoskeletal networks are contributors in a number of mechanical responses of cells including cellular deformation and locomotion, and are crucial for the proper action of living cells. Local chemical gradients modulate cytoskeletal functionality including the interactions of the cytoskeleton with other cellular components. Actin is a major constituent of the cytoskeleton. Introducing a microfluidic-based platform, we explored the impact of concentration gradients on the formation and structural properties of actin networks. Microfluidics-controlled flow-free steady state experimental conditions allow for the generation of chemical gradients of different profiles, such as linear or step-like. We discovered specific features of actin networks emerging in defined gradients. In particular, we analyzed the effects of spatial conditions on network properties, bending rigidities of network links, and the network elasticity.

  1. Anillin Regulates Neuronal Migration and Neurite Growth by Linking RhoG to the Actin Cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Tian, Dong; Diao, Min; Jiang, Yuxiang; Sun, Lingfei; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Zhucheng; Huang, Shanjin; Ou, Guangshuo

    2015-05-01

    Neuronal migration and neurite growth are essential events in neural development, but it remains unclear how guidance cues are transduced through receptors to the actin cytoskeleton, which powers these processes. We report that a cytokinetic scaffold protein, Anillin, is redistributed to the leading edge of the C. elegans Q neuroblast during cell migration and neurite growth. To bypass the requirement for Anillin in cytokinesis, we used the somatic CRISPR-Cas9 technique to generate conditional mutations in Anillin. We demonstrate that Anillin regulates cell migration and growth cone extension by stabilizing the F-actin network at the leading edge. Our biochemical analysis shows that the actin-binding domain of Anillin is sufficient to stabilize F-actin by antagonizing the F-actin severing activity of Cofilin. We further uncover that the active form of RhoG/MIG-2 directly binds to Anillin and recruits it to the leading edge. Our results reveal a novel pathway in which Anillin transduces the RhoG signal to the actin cytoskeleton during neuronal migration and neurite growth. PMID:25843030

  2. 3D Actin Network Centerline Extraction with Multiple Active Contours

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescence microscopy is frequently used to study two and three dimensional network structures formed by cytoskeletal polymer fibers such as actin filaments and actin cables. While these cytoskeletal structures are often dilute enough to allow imaging of individual filaments or bundles of them, quantitative analysis of these images is challenging. To facilitate quantitative, reproducible and objective analysis of the image data, we propose a semi-automated method to extract actin networks and retrieve their topology in 3D. Our method uses multiple Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) that are automatically initialized at image intensity ridges and then evolve along the centerlines of filaments in the network. SOACs can merge, stop at junctions, and reconfigure with others to allow smooth crossing at junctions of filaments. The proposed approach is generally applicable to images of curvilinear networks with low SNR. We demonstrate its potential by extracting the centerlines of synthetic meshwork images, actin networks in 2D Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy images, and 3D actin cable meshworks of live fission yeast cells imaged by spinning disk confocal microscopy. Quantitative evaluation of the method using synthetic images shows that for images with SNR above 5.0, the average vertex error measured by the distance between our result and ground truth is 1 voxel, and the average Hausdorff distance is below 10 voxels. PMID:24316442

  3. Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Composite Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret; Shin, Jennifer; Mahadevan, L.; Matsudaira, Paul; Weitz, D. A.

    2003-03-01

    There exits a family of actin-binding proteins (ABPs) and each protein has a distinct function for bundling, networking, gelating, capping, or simply binding to actin. Whether actin serves as a structural or motile component, its mechanical properties are determined by its degree and kinds of association with different ABPs and these properties are often closely related to its functional needs. For instance, in a cell actin is highly crosslinked with multiple ABPs (fimbrin, alpha-actinin, etc.) to generate thrust and strength for locomotion. In the acrosomal reaction of horseshoe crab sperm, actin exists as a bundle of preassembled filaments crosslinked with scruin to form a rigid structure to penetrate into an egg without yielding. We study the effects three different ABPs (scruin,fimbrin and alpha-actinin) have on the rheology and microstructure of actin networks using multiparticle tracking, imaging, and bulk rheology. From these experiments we can deduce how an evolving microstructure affects the bulk rheological properties and the role different concentrations and kinds of ABPs have in these changes.

  4. The role of actin networks in cellular mechanosensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azatov, Mikheil

    Physical processes play an important role in many biological phenomena, such as wound healing, organ development, and tumor metastasis. During these processes, cells constantly interact with and adapt to their environment by exerting forces to mechanically probe the features of their surroundings and generating appropriate biochemical responses. The mechanisms underlying how cells sense the physical properties of their environment are not well understood. In this thesis, I present my studies to investigate cellular responses to the stiffness and topography of the environment. In order to sense the physical properties of their environment, cells dynamically reorganize the structure of their actin cytoskeleton, a dynamic network of biopolymers, altering the shape and spatial distribution of protein assemblies. Several observations suggest that proteins that crosslink actin filaments may play an important role in cellular mechanosensitivity. Palladin is an actin-crosslinking protein that is found in the lamellar actin network, stress fibers and focal adhesions, cellular structures that are critical for mechanosensing of the physical environment. By virtue of its close interactions with these structures in the cell, palladin may play an important role in cell mechanics. However, the role of actin crosslinkers in general, and palladin in particular, in cellular force generation and mechanosensing is not well known. I have investigated the role of palladin in regulating the plasticity of the actin cytoskeleton and cellular force generation in response to alterations in substrate stiffness. I have shown that the expression levels of palladin modulate the forces exerted by cells and their ability to sense substrate stiffness. Perturbation experiments also suggest that palladin levels in cells altered myosin motor activity. These results suggest that the actin crosslinkers, such as palladin, and myosin motors coordinate for optimal cell function and to prevent aberrant

  5. Mechanism of Actin Network Attachment to Moving Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Co, Carl; Wong, Derek T.; Gierke, Sarah; Chang, Vicky; Taunton, Jack

    2007-01-01

    Summary Actin filament networks exert protrusive and attachment forces on membranes and thereby drive membrane deformation and movement. Here, we show that N-WASP WH2 domains play a previously unanticipated role in vesicle movement by transiently attaching actin filament barbed ends to the membrane. To dissect the attachment mechanism, we reconstituted the propulsive motility of lipid-coated glass beads using purified soluble proteins. N-WASP WH2 mutants assembled actin comet tails and initiated movement, but the comet tails catastrophically detached from the membrane. When presented on the surface of a lipid-coated bead, WH2 domains were sufficient to maintain comet tail attachment. In v-Src-transformed fibroblasts, N-WASP WH2 mutants were severely defective in the formation of circular podosome arrays. In addition to creating an attachment force, interactions between WH2 domains and barbed ends may locally amplify signals for dendritic actin nucleation. PMID:17350575

  6. Actin filament turnover drives leading edge growth during myelin sheath formation in the central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Sebastian; Snaidero, Nicolas; Mitkovski, Mišo; Velte, Caroline; Brückner, Bastian R.; Alexopoulos, Ioannis; Czopka, Tim; Jung, Sang Y.; Rhee, Jeong S.; Janshoff, Andreas; Witke, Walter; Schaap, Iwan A.T.; Lyons, David A.; Simons, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Summary During central nervous system development, oligodendrocytes wrap their plasma membrane around axons to generate multi-lamellar myelin sheaths. To drive growth at the leading edge of myelin at the interface with the axon, mechanical forces are necessary, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. Using an interdisciplinary approach that combines morphological, genetic and biophysical analyses, we identified a key role for actin filament network turnover in myelin growth. At the onset of myelin biogenesis, F-actin is redistributed to the leading edge, where its polymerization-based forces push out non-adhesive and motile protrusions. F-actin disassembly converts protrusions into sheets by reducing surface tension and in turn inducing membrane spreading and adhesion. We identified the actin depolymerizing factor ADF/Cofilin1, which mediates high F-actin turnover rates, as essential factor in this process. We propose that F-actin turnover is the driving force in myelin wrapping by regulating repetitive cycles of leading edge protrusion and spreading. PMID:26166299

  7. Talin can crosslink actin filaments into both networks and bundles.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; Robson, R M; Schmidt, J M; Stromer, M H

    1996-01-17

    The talin-actin interaction was examined by using negative staining and cosedimentation assays. At pH 6.4 and low ionic strength, talin extensively crosslinked actin filaments into both networks and bundles. The bundles consist of parallel actin filaments with a center-to-center distance of 13 nm, and talin crossbridges spaced at 36-nm intervals along the bundles. As pH was increased stepwise from 6.4 to 7.3, talin's bundling activity was decreased first, then its networking activity. Qualitatively similar results were obtained at pH 6.4 by increasing ionic strength. Chemical crosslinking indicated talin was present as a dimer from pH 6.4 to 7.3, with or without added KC1. The results show that talin can interact directly with actin filaments by formation of actin filament networks and bundles, with the bundles more sensitive to dissolution by increase in pH or ionic strength. PMID:8561791

  8. Actomyosin contractility spatiotemporally regulates actin network dynamics in migrating cells.

    PubMed

    Okeyo, Kennedy Omondi; Adachi, Taiji; Sunaga, Junko; Hojo, Masaki

    2009-11-13

    Coupling interactions among mechanical and biochemical factors are important for the realization of various cellular processes that determine cell migration. Although F-actin network dynamics has been the focus of many studies, it is not yet clear how mechanical forces generated by actomyosin contractility spatiotemporally regulate this fundamental aspect of cell migration. In this study, using a combination of fluorescent speckle microscopy and particle imaging velocimetry techniques, we perturbed the actomyosin system and examined quantitatively the consequence of actomyosin contractility on F-actin network flow and deformation in the lamellipodia of actively migrating fish keratocytes. F-actin flow fields were characterized by retrograde flow at the front and anterograde flow at the back of the lamellipodia, and the two flows merged to form a convergence zone of reduced flow intensity. Interestingly, activating or inhibiting actomyosin contractility altered network flow intensity and convergence, suggesting that network dynamics is directly regulated by actomyosin contractility. Moreover, quantitative analysis of F-actin network deformation revealed that the deformation was significantly negative and predominant in the direction of cell migration. Furthermore, perturbation experiments revealed that the deformation was a function of actomyosin contractility. Based on these results, we suggest that the actin cytoskeletal structure is a mechanically self-regulating system, and we propose an elaborate pathway for the spatiotemporal self-regulation of the actin cytoskeletal structure during cell migration. In the proposed pathway, mechanical forces generated by actomyosin interactions are considered central to the realization of the various mechanochemical processes that determine cell motility. PMID:19665125

  9. Viscoelastic properties of actin networks influence material transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Weirich, Kimberly; Gardel, Margaret

    2015-03-01

    Directed flows of cytoplasmic material are important in a variety of biological processes including assembly of a mitotic spindle, retraction of the cell rear during migration, and asymmetric cell division. Networks of cytoskeletal polymers and molecular motors are known to be involved in these events, but how the network mechanical properties are tuned to perform such functions is not understood. Here, we construct networks of either semiflexible actin filaments or rigid bundles with varying connectivity. We find that solutions of rigid rods, where unimpeded sliding of filaments may enhance transport in comparison to unmoving tracks, are the fastest at transporting network components. Entangled solutions of semiflexible actin filaments also transport material, but the entanglements provide resistance. Increasing the elasticity of the actin networks with crosslinking proteins slows network deformation further. However, the length scale of correlated transport in these networks is increased. Our results reveal how the rigidity and connectivity of biopolymers allows material transport to occur over time and length scales required for physiological processes. This work was supported by the U. Chicago MRSEC

  10. Actin turnover-dependent fast dissociation of capping protein in the dendritic nucleation actin network: evidence of frequent filament severing.

    PubMed

    Miyoshi, Takushi; Tsuji, Takahiro; Higashida, Chiharu; Hertzog, Maud; Fujita, Akiko; Narumiya, Shuh; Scita, Giorgio; Watanabe, Naoki

    2006-12-18

    Actin forms the dendritic nucleation network and undergoes rapid polymerization-depolymerization cycles in lamellipodia. To elucidate the mechanism of actin disassembly, we characterized molecular kinetics of the major filament end-binding proteins Arp2/3 complex and capping protein (CP) using single-molecule speckle microscopy. We have determined the dissociation rates of Arp2/3 and CP as 0.048 and 0.58 s(-1), respectively, in lamellipodia of live XTC fibroblasts. This CP dissociation rate is three orders of magnitude faster than in vitro. CP dissociates slower from actin stress fibers than from the lamellipodial actin network, suggesting that CP dissociation correlates with actin filament dynamics. We found that jasplakinolide, an actin depolymerization inhibitor, rapidly blocked the fast CP dissociation in cells. Consistently, the coexpression of LIM kinase prolonged CP speckle lifetime in lamellipodia. These results suggest that cofilin-mediated actin disassembly triggers CP dissociation from actin filaments. We predict that filament severing and end-to-end annealing might take place fairly frequently in the dendritic nucleation actin arrays. PMID:17178911

  11. Initial stem cell adhesion on porous silicon surface: molecular architecture of actin cytoskeleton and filopodial growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collart-Dutilleul, Pierre-Yves; Panayotov, Ivan; Secret, Emilie; Cunin, Frédérique; Gergely, Csilla; Cuisinier, Frédéric; Martin, Marta

    2014-10-01

    The way cells explore their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) during development and migration is mediated by lamellipodia at their leading edge, acting as an actual motor pulling the cell forward. Lamellipodia are the primary area within the cell of actin microfilaments (filopodia) formation. In this work, we report on the use of porous silicon (pSi) scaffolds to mimic the ECM of mesenchymal stem cells from the dental pulp (DPSC) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. Our atomic force microscopy (AFM), fluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) results show that pSi promoted the appearance of lateral filopodia protruding from the DPSC cell body and not only in the lamellipodia area. The formation of elongated lateral actin filaments suggests that pores provided the necessary anchorage points for protrusion growth. Although MCF-7 cells displayed a lower presence of organized actin network on both pSi and nonporous silicon, pSi stimulated the formation of extended cell protrusions.

  12. Coupled actin-lamin biopolymer networks and protecting DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tao; Rocklin, D. Zeb; Mao, Xiaoming; Schwarz, J. M.

    The mechanical properties of cells are largely determined by networks of semiflexible biopolymers forming the cytoskeleton. Similarly, the mechanical properties of cell nuclei are also largely determined by networks of semiflexible biopolymers forming the nuclear cytoskeleton. In particular, a network of filamentous lamin sits just inside the inner nuclear membrane to presumably protect the heart of the cell nucleus--the DNA. It has been demonstrated over the past decade that the actin cytoskeletal biopolymer network and the lamin biopolymer network are coupled via a sequence of proteins bridging the outer and inner nuclear membranes, known as the LINC complex. We, therefore, probe the consequences of such a coupling in a model biopolymer network system via numerical simulations to understand the resulting deformations in the lamin network in response to perturbations in the actin cytoskeletal network. We find, for example, that the force transmission across the coupled system can depend sensitively on the concentration of LINC complexes. Such study could have implications for mechanical mechanisms of the regulation of transcription since DNA couples to lamin via lamin-binding domains so that deformations in the lamin network may result in deformations in the DNA.

  13. Viral Replication Protein Inhibits Cellular Cofilin Actin Depolymerization Factor to Regulate the Actin Network and Promote Viral Replicase Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Kovalev, Nikolay; de Castro Martín, Isabel Fernández; Barajas, Daniel; Risco, Cristina; Nagy, Peter D.

    2016-01-01

    RNA viruses exploit host cells by co-opting host factors and lipids and escaping host antiviral responses. Previous genome-wide screens with Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) in the model host yeast have identified 18 cellular genes that are part of the actin network. In this paper, we show that the p33 viral replication factor interacts with the cellular cofilin (Cof1p), which is an actin depolymerization factor. Using temperature-sensitive (ts) Cof1p or actin (Act1p) mutants at a semi-permissive temperature, we find an increased level of TBSV RNA accumulation in yeast cells and elevated in vitro activity of the tombusvirus replicase. We show that the large p33 containing replication organelle-like structures are located in the close vicinity of actin patches in yeast cells or around actin cable hubs in infected plant cells. Therefore, the actin filaments could be involved in VRC assembly and the formation of large viral replication compartments containing many individual VRCs. Moreover, we show that the actin network affects the recruitment of viral and cellular components, including oxysterol binding proteins and VAP proteins to form membrane contact sites for efficient transfer of sterols to the sites of replication. Altogether, the emerging picture is that TBSV, via direct interaction between the p33 replication protein and Cof1p, controls cofilin activities to obstruct the dynamic actin network that leads to efficient subversion of cellular factors for pro-viral functions. In summary, the discovery that TBSV interacts with cellular cofilin and blocks the severing of existing filaments and the formation of new actin filaments in infected cells opens a new window to unravel the way by which viruses could subvert/co-opt cellular proteins and lipids. By regulating the functions of cofilin and the actin network, which are central nodes in cellular pathways, viruses could gain supremacy in subversion of cellular factors for pro-viral functions. PMID:26863541

  14. ROP Gtpase–Dependent Dynamics of Tip-Localized F-Actin Controls Tip Growth in Pollen Tubes

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Ying; Wu, Guang; Yang, Zhenbiao

    2001-01-01

    Tip-growing pollen tubes provide a useful model system to study polar growth. Although roles for tip-focused calcium gradient and tip-localized Rho-family GTPase in pollen tube growth is established, the existence and function of tip-localized F-actin have been controversial. Using the green fluorescent protein–tagged actin-binding domain of mouse talin, we found a dynamic form of tip-localized F-actin in tobacco pollen tubes, termed short actin bundles (SABs). The dynamics of SABs during polar growth in pollen tubes is regulated by Rop1At, a Rop GTPase belonging to the Rho family. When overexpressed, Rop1At transformed SAB into a network of fine filaments and induced a transverse actin band behind the tip, leading to depolarized growth. These changes were due to ectopic Rop1At localization to the apical region of the plasma membrane and were suppressed by guanine dissociation inhibitor overexpression, which removed ectopically localized Rop1At. Rop GTPase–activating protein (RopGAP1) overexpression, or Latrunculin B treatments, also recovered normal actin organization and tip growth in Rop1At-overexpressing tubes. Moreover, overexpression of RopGAP1 alone disrupted SABs and inhibited growth. Finally, SAB oscillates and appears at the tip before growth. Together, these results indicate that the dynamics of tip actin are essential for tip growth and provide the first direct evidence to link Rho GTPase to actin organization in controlling cell polarity and polar growth in plants. PMID:11238457

  15. Actin Filament Elongation in Arp2/3-derived Networks is Controlled by Three Distinct Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Michelot, Alphée; Grassart, Alexandre; Okreglak, Voytek; Costanzo, Michael; Boone, Charles; Drubin, David G.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Spatial and temporal control of actin filament barbed end elongation is crucial for force generation by actin networks. In this study, genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry were used to reveal three complementary mechanisms that regulate actin filament barbed end elongation in Arp2/3-derived networks. Aip1 inhibits elongation of aged ADP-actin filaments decorated with cofilin, and together with capping protein (CP), maintains a high level of assembly-competent actin species. We identified Abp1 and Aim3 as two additional proteins that work together to inhibit barbed end elongation. Abp1/Aim3 collaborates with CP to control elongation of newly assembled ATP-actin filaments to organize filament polarity within actin networks. Thus, three distinct mechanisms control filament elongation in different regions of Arp2/3 networks, maintaining pools of assembly-competent actin species while ensuring proper filament polarity and facilitating force production. PMID:23333351

  16. Actin filament elongation in Arp2/3-derived networks is controlled by three distinct mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Michelot, Alphée; Grassart, Alexandre; Okreglak, Voytek; Costanzo, Michael; Boone, Charles; Drubin, David G

    2013-01-28

    Spatial and temporal control of actin filament barbed end elongation is crucial for force generation by actin networks. In this study, genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry were used to reveal three complementary mechanisms that regulate actin filament barbed end elongation in Arp2/3-derived networks. Aip1 inhibits elongation of aged ADP-actin filaments decorated with cofilin and, together with capping protein (CP), maintains a high level of assembly-competent actin species. We identified Abp1 and Aim3 as two additional proteins that work together to inhibit barbed end elongation. Abp1/Aim3 collaborates with CP to control elongation of newly assembled ATP-actin filaments to organize filament polarity within actin networks. Thus, three distinct mechanisms control filament elongation in different regions of Arp2/3 networks, maintaining pools of assembly-competent actin species while ensuring proper filament polarity and facilitating force production. PMID:23333351

  17. Interaction between Calcium and Actin in Guard Cell and Pollen Signaling Networks

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Dong-Hua; Acharya, Biswa R.; Liu, Wei; Zhang, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Calcium (Ca2+) plays important roles in plant growth, development, and signal transduction. It is a vital nutrient for plant physical design, such as cell wall and membrane, and also serves as a counter-cation for biochemical, inorganic, and organic anions, and more particularly, its concentration change in cytosol is a ubiquitous second messenger in plant physiological signaling in responses to developmental and environmental stimuli. Actin cytoskeleton is well known for its importance in cellular architecture maintenance and its significance in cytoplasmic streaming and cell division. In plant cell system, the actin dynamics is a process of polymerization and de-polymerization of globular actin and filamentous actin and that acts as an active regulator for calcium signaling by controlling calcium evoked physiological responses. The elucidation of the interaction between calcium and actin dynamics will be helpful for further investigation of plant cell signaling networks at molecular level. This review mainly focuses on the recent advances in understanding the interaction between the two aforementioned signaling components in two well-established model systems of plant, guard cell, and pollen. PMID:27137395

  18. Bacterial actin and tubulin homologs in cell growth and division.

    PubMed

    Busiek, Kimberly K; Margolin, William

    2015-03-16

    In contrast to the elaborate cytoskeletal machines harbored by eukaryotic cells, such as mitotic spindles, cytoskeletal structures detectable by typical negative stain electron microscopy are generally absent from bacterial cells. As a result, for decades it was thought that bacteria lacked cytoskeletal machines. Revolutions in genomics and fluorescence microscopy have confirmed the existence not only of smaller-scale cytoskeletal structures in bacteria, but also of widespread functional homologs of eukaryotic cytoskeletal proteins. The presence of actin, tubulin, and intermediate filament homologs in these relatively simple cells suggests that primitive cytoskeletons first arose in bacteria. In bacteria such as Escherichia coli, homologs of tubulin and actin directly interact with each other and are crucial for coordinating cell growth and division. The function and direct interactions between these proteins will be the focus of this review. PMID:25784047

  19. Polymorphism of Cross-Linked Actin Networks in Giant Vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limozin, Laurent; Sackmann, Erich

    2002-09-01

    Actin networks cross-linked by natural linkers α-actinin and filamin are generated in giant vesicles by polymerization through ionophore-mediated influx of Mg2+. α-actinin induces the formation of randomly linked networks at 25 °C which transform at <15 °C into spiderweblike gels or ringlike bundles depending on the vesicle size. Muscle filamin forms ringlike structures under all experimental conditions which can supercoil by subsequent Mg2+ addition. The polymorphism is rationalized in terms of recent models of bivalent ion coupled semiflexible polyelectrolytes and by considering the topology of the linkers.

  20. Branching influences force-velocity curves and length fluctuations in actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansda, Deepak Kumar; Sen, Shamik; Padinhateeri, Ranjith

    2014-12-01

    We investigate collective dynamics of branched actin networks growing against a rigid movable wall constrained by a resistive force. Computing the force velocity relations, we show that the stall force of such networks depends not only on the average number of filaments touching the wall, but also on the amount of fluctuation of the leading edge of the network. These differences arise due to differences in the network architecture, namely, distance between two adjacent branching points and the initial distance of the starting filament from the wall, with their relative magnitudes influencing the nature of the force velocity curves (convex versus concave). We also show that the introduction of branching results in nonmonotonic diffusion constant, a quantity that measures the growth in length fluctuation of the leading edge of the network, as a function of externally applied force. Together our results demonstrate how the collective dynamics of a branched network differs from that of a parallel filament network.

  1. Invadosomes - shaping actin networks to follow mechanical cues.

    PubMed

    Kedziora, Katarzyna M; Isogai, Tadamoto; Jalink, Kees; Innocenti, Metello

    2016-01-01

    Invadosomes are actin-based protrusions formed by cells in response to obstacles in their microenvironment, especially basement membranes and dense interstitial matrices. A versatile set of proteins controls assembly and dynamics of the actin networks at invadosomes and adhesive molecules link them with the extracellular matrix. Furthermore, polarized delivery of proteases makes invadosomes degradative. Therefore, invadosomes have been classically viewed as specialized protrusions involved in cell migration and remodeling of the microenvironment. Recent discoveries have considerably broadened this picture by showing that invadosomes respond to traction forces and can self-organize into dynamic arrays capable of following the topography of the substrate. Although these findings suggest that invadosomes may function as mechanosensors, this possibility has not been critically evaluated. In this review, we first summarize the organization and dynamics of actin in invadosomes and their superstructures with emphasis on force-production mechanisms. Next, we outline our current understanding of how mechanical cues impinge on invadosomes and modify their behavior. From this perspective, we provide an outlook of the outstanding open questions and the main challenges in the field. PMID:27100494

  2. Actin-binding proteins: the long road to understanding the dynamic landscape of cellular actin networks.

    PubMed

    Lappalainen, Pekka

    2016-08-15

    The actin cytoskeleton supports a vast number of cellular processes in nonmuscle cells. It is well established that the organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton are controlled by a large array of actin-binding proteins. However, it was only 40 years ago that the first nonmuscle actin-binding protein, filamin, was identified and characterized. Filamin was shown to bind and cross-link actin filaments into higher-order structures and contribute to phagocytosis in macrophages. Subsequently many other nonmuscle actin-binding proteins were identified and characterized. These proteins regulate almost all steps of the actin filament assembly and disassembly cycles, as well as the arrangement of actin filaments into diverse three-dimensional structures. Although the individual biochemical activities of most actin-regulatory proteins are relatively well understood, knowledge of how these proteins function together in a common cytoplasm to control actin dynamics and architecture is only beginning to emerge. Furthermore, understanding how signaling pathways and mechanical cues control the activities of various actin-binding proteins in different cellular, developmental, and pathological processes will keep researchers busy for decades. PMID:27528696

  3. Mesoscopic model for filament orientation in growing actin networks: the role of obstacle geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weichsel, Julian; Schwarz, Ulrich S.

    2013-03-01

    Propulsion by growing actin networks is a universal mechanism used in many different biological systems, ranging from the sheet-like lamellipodium of crawling animal cells to the actin comet tails induced by certain bacteria and viruses in order to move within their host cells. Although the core molecular machinery for actin network growth is well preserved in all of these cases, the geometry of the propelled obstacle varies considerably. During recent years, filament orientation distribution has emerged as an important observable characterizing the structure and dynamical state of the growing network. Here we derive several continuum equations for the orientation distribution of filaments growing behind stiff obstacles of various shapes and validate the predicted steady state orientation patterns by stochastic computer simulations based on discrete filaments. We use an ordinary differential equation approach to demonstrate that for flat obstacles of finite size, two fundamentally different orientation patterns peaked at either ±35° or +70°/0°/ - 70° exhibit mutually exclusive stability, in agreement with earlier results for flat obstacles of very large lateral extension. We calculate and validate phase diagrams as a function of model parameters and show how this approach can be extended to obstacles with piecewise straight contours. For curved obstacles, we arrive at a partial differential equation in the continuum limit, which again is in good agreement with the computer simulations. In all cases, we can identify the same two fundamentally different orientation patterns, but only within an appropriate reference frame, which is adjusted to the local orientation of the obstacle contour. Our results suggest that two fundamentally different network architectures compete with each other in growing actin networks, irrespective of obstacle geometry, and clarify how simulated and electron tomography data have to be analyzed for non-flat obstacle geometries.

  4. Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in Helicobacter pylori-induced migration and invasive growth of gastric epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Dynamic rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton is a significant hallmark of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infected gastric epithelial cells leading to cell migration and invasive growth. Considering the cellular mechanisms, the type IV secretion system (T4SS) and the effector protein cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) of H. pylori are well-studied initiators of distinct signal transduction pathways in host cells targeting kinases, adaptor proteins, GTPases, actin binding and other proteins involved in the regulation of the actin lattice. In this review, we summarize recent findings of how H. pylori functionally interacts with the complex signaling network that controls the actin cytoskeleton of motile and invasive gastric epithelial cells. PMID:22044652

  5. The Effect of Crosslinking on the Microscale Stress Response and Molecular Deformations in Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurmessa, Bekele; Fitzpatrick, Robert; Valdivia, Jonathon; Anderson, Rae M. R.

    Actin, the most abundant protein in eukaryotic cells, is a semi-flexible biopolymer in the cytoskeleton that plays a crucial structural and mechanical role in cell stability, motion and replication, as well as muscle contraction. Most of these mechanically driven structural changes in cells stem from the complex viscoelastic nature of entangled actin networks and the presence of a myriad of proteins that cross-link actin filaments. Despite their importance, the mechanical response of actin networks is not yet well understood, particularly at the molecular level. Here, we use optical trapping - coupled with fluorescence microscopy - to characterize the microscale stress response and induced filament deformations in entangled and cross-linked actin networks subject to localized mechanical perturbations. In particular, we actively drive a microsphere 10 microns through an entangled or cross- linked actin network at a constant speed and measure the resistive force that the deformed actin filaments exert on the bead during and following strain. We simultaneously visualize and track individual sparsely-labeled actin filaments to directly link force response to molecular deformations, and map the propagation of the initially localized perturbation field throughout the rest of the network (~100 um). By varying the concentration of actin and cross-linkers we directly determine the role of crosslinking and entanglements on the length and time scales of stress propagation, molecular deformation and relaxation mechanisms in actin networks.

  6. Competition for actin between two distinct F-actin networks defines a bistable switch for cell polarization.

    PubMed

    Lomakin, Alexis J; Lee, Kun-Chun; Han, Sangyoon J; Bui, Duyen A; Davidson, Michael; Mogilner, Alex; Danuser, Gaudenz

    2015-11-01

    Symmetry-breaking polarization enables functional plasticity of cells and tissues and is yet not well understood. Here we show that epithelial cells, hard-wired to maintain a static morphology and to preserve tissue organization, can spontaneously switch to a migratory polarized phenotype after relaxation of the actomyosin cytoskeleton. We find that myosin II engages actin in the formation of cortical actomyosin bundles and thus makes it unavailable for deployment in the process of dendritic growth normally driving cell motility. Under low-contractility regimes, epithelial cells polarize in a front-back manner owing to the emergence of actin retrograde flows powered by dendritic polymerization of actin. Coupled to cell movement, the flows transport myosin II from the front to the back of the cell, where the motor locally 'locks' actin in contractile bundles. This polarization mechanism could be employed by embryonic and cancer epithelial cells in microenvironments where high-contractility-driven cell motion is inefficient. PMID:26414403

  7. Dynamics of Actin Cables in Polarized Growth of the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus nidulans

    PubMed Central

    Bergs, Anna; Ishitsuka, Yuji; Evangelinos, Minoas; Nienhaus, G. U.; Takeshita, Norio

    2016-01-01

    Highly polarized growth of filamentous fungi requires a continuous supply of proteins and lipids to the hyphal tip. This transport is managed by vesicle trafficking via the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons and their associated motor proteins. Particularly, actin cables originating from the hyphal tip are essential for hyphal growth. Although, specific marker proteins have been developed to visualize actin cables in filamentous fungi, the exact organization and dynamics of actin cables has remained elusive. Here, we observed actin cables using tropomyosin (TpmA) and Lifeact fused to fluorescent proteins in living Aspergillus nidulans hyphae and studied the dynamics and regulation. GFP tagged TpmA visualized dynamic actin cables formed from the hyphal tip with cycles of elongation and shrinkage. The elongation and shrinkage rates of actin cables were similar and approximately 0.6 μm/s. Comparison of actin markers revealed that high concentrations of Lifeact reduced actin dynamics. Simultaneous visualization of actin cables and microtubules suggests temporally and spatially coordinated polymerization and depolymerization between the two cytoskeletons. Our results provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of ordered polarized growth regulated by actin cables and microtubules. PMID:27242709

  8. Dynamics of Actin Cables in Polarized Growth of the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus nidulans.

    PubMed

    Bergs, Anna; Ishitsuka, Yuji; Evangelinos, Minoas; Nienhaus, G U; Takeshita, Norio

    2016-01-01

    Highly polarized growth of filamentous fungi requires a continuous supply of proteins and lipids to the hyphal tip. This transport is managed by vesicle trafficking via the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons and their associated motor proteins. Particularly, actin cables originating from the hyphal tip are essential for hyphal growth. Although, specific marker proteins have been developed to visualize actin cables in filamentous fungi, the exact organization and dynamics of actin cables has remained elusive. Here, we observed actin cables using tropomyosin (TpmA) and Lifeact fused to fluorescent proteins in living Aspergillus nidulans hyphae and studied the dynamics and regulation. GFP tagged TpmA visualized dynamic actin cables formed from the hyphal tip with cycles of elongation and shrinkage. The elongation and shrinkage rates of actin cables were similar and approximately 0.6 μm/s. Comparison of actin markers revealed that high concentrations of Lifeact reduced actin dynamics. Simultaneous visualization of actin cables and microtubules suggests temporally and spatially coordinated polymerization and depolymerization between the two cytoskeletons. Our results provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of ordered polarized growth regulated by actin cables and microtubules. PMID:27242709

  9. Force Feedback Controls Motor Activity and Mechanical Properties of Self-Assembling Branched Actin Networks.

    PubMed

    Bieling, Peter; Li, Tai-De; Weichsel, Julian; McGorty, Ryan; Jreij, Pamela; Huang, Bo; Fletcher, Daniel A; Mullins, R Dyche

    2016-01-14

    Branched actin networks--created by the Arp2/3 complex, capping protein, and a nucleation promoting factor--generate and transmit forces required for many cellular processes, but their response to force is poorly understood. To address this, we assembled branched actin networks in vitro from purified components and used simultaneous fluorescence and atomic force microscopy to quantify their molecular composition and material properties under various forces. Remarkably, mechanical loading of these self-assembling materials increases their density, power, and efficiency. Microscopically, increased density reflects increased filament number and altered geometry but no change in average length. Macroscopically, increased density enhances network stiffness and resistance to mechanical failure beyond those of isotropic actin networks. These effects endow branched actin networks with memory of their mechanical history that shapes their material properties and motor activity. This work reveals intrinsic force feedback mechanisms by which mechanical resistance makes self-assembling actin networks stiffer, stronger, and more powerful. PMID:26771487

  10. Actin-myosin network is required for proper assembly of influenza virus particles

    SciTech Connect

    Kumakura, Michiko; Kawaguchi, Atsushi Nagata, Kyosuke

    2015-02-15

    Actin filaments are known to play a central role in cellular dynamics. After polymerization of actin, various actin-crosslinking proteins including non-muscle myosin II facilitate the formation of spatially organized actin filament networks. The actin-myosin network is highly expanded beneath plasma membrane. The genome of influenza virus (vRNA) replicates in the cell nucleus. Then, newly synthesized vRNAs are nuclear-exported to the cytoplasm as ribonucleoprotein complexes (vRNPs), followed by transport to the beneath plasma membrane where virus particles assemble. Here, we found that, by inhibiting actin-myosin network formation, the virus titer tends to be reduced and HA viral spike protein is aggregated on the plasma membrane. These results indicate that the actin-myosin network plays an important role in the virus formation. - Highlights: • Actin-myosin network is important for the influenza virus production. • HA forms aggregations at the plasma membrane in the presence of blebbistatin. • M1 is recruited to the budding site through the actin-myosin network.

  11. The F-BAR protein Hof1 tunes formin activity to sculpt actin cables during polarized growth

    PubMed Central

    Graziano, Brian R.; Yu, Hoi-Ying E.; Alioto, Salvatore L.; Eskin, Julian A.; Ydenberg, Casey A.; Waterman, David P.; Garabedian, Mikael; Goode, Bruce L.

    2014-01-01

    Asymmetric cell growth and division rely on polarized actin cytoskeleton remodeling events, the regulation of which is poorly understood. In budding yeast, formins stimulate the assembly of an organized network of actin cables that direct polarized secretion. Here we show that the Fer/Cip4 homology–Bin amphiphysin Rvs protein Hof1, which has known roles in cytokinesis, also functions during polarized growth by directly controlling the activities of the formin Bnr1. A mutant lacking the C-terminal half of Hof1 displays misoriented and architecturally altered cables, along with impaired secretory vesicle traffic. In vitro, Hof1 inhibits the actin nucleation and elongation activities of Bnr1 without displacing the formin from filament ends. These effects depend on the Src homology 3 domain of Hof1, the formin homology 1 (FH1) domain of Bnr1, and Hof1 dimerization, suggesting a mechanism by which Hof1 “restrains” the otherwise flexible FH1-FH2 apparatus. In vivo, loss of inhibition does not alter actin levels in cables but, instead, cable shape and functionality. Thus Hof1 tunes formins to sculpt the actin cable network. PMID:24719456

  12. Arabidopsis RIC1 Severs Actin Filaments at the Apex to Regulate Pollen Tube Growth

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Zhenzhen; Shi, Haifan; Chen, Binqing; Zhang, Ruihui; Huang, Shanjin; Fu, Ying

    2015-01-01

    Pollen tubes deliver sperms to the ovule for fertilization via tip growth. The rapid turnover of F-actin in pollen tube tips plays an important role in this process. In this study, we demonstrate that Arabidopsis thaliana RIC1, a member of the ROP-interactive CRIB motif-containing protein family, regulates pollen tube growth via its F-actin severing activity. Knockout of RIC1 enhanced pollen tube elongation, while overexpression of RIC1 dramatically reduced tube growth. Pharmacological analysis indicated that RIC1 affected F-actin dynamics in pollen tubes. In vitro biochemical assays revealed that RIC1 directly bound and severed F-actin in the presence of Ca2+ in addition to interfering with F-actin turnover by capping F-actin at the barbed ends. In vivo, RIC1 localized primarily to the apical plasma membrane (PM) of pollen tubes. The level of RIC1 at the apical PM oscillated during pollen tube growth. The frequency of F-actin severing at the apex was notably decreased in ric1-1 pollen tubes but was increased in pollen tubes overexpressing RIC1. We propose that RIC1 regulates F-actin dynamics at the apical PM as well as the cytosol by severing F-actin and capping the barbed ends in the cytoplasm, establishing a novel mechanism that underlies the regulation of pollen tube growth. PMID:25804540

  13. Cdc42 and Actin Control Polarized Expression of TI-VAMP Vesicles to Neuronal Growth Cones and Their Fusion with the Plasma MembraneV⃞

    PubMed Central

    Alberts, Philipp; Rudge, Rachel; Irinopoulou, Theano; Danglot, Lydia; Gauthier-Rouvière, Cécile; Galli, Thierry

    2006-01-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin-insensitive vesicle-associated membrane protein (TI-VAMP)-mediated fusion of intracellular vesicles with the plasma membrane is crucial for neurite outgrowth, a pathway not requiring synaptobrevin-dependent exocytosis. Yet, it is not known how the TI-VAMP membrane trafficking pathway is regulated or how it is coordinated with cytoskeletal dynamics within the growth cone that guide neurite outgrowth. Here, we demonstrate that TI-VAMP, but not synaptobrevin 2, concentrates in the peripheral, F-actin-rich region of the growth cones of hippocampal neurons in primary culture. Its accumulation correlates with and depends upon the presence of F-actin. Moreover, acute stimulation of actin remodeling by homophilic activation of the adhesion molecule L1 induces a site-directed, actin-dependent recruitment of the TI-VAMP compartment. Expression of a dominant-positive mutant of Cdc42, a key regulator of cell polarity, stimulates formation of F-actin- and TI-VAMP-rich filopodia outside the growth cone. Furthermore, we report that Cdc42 activates exocytosis of pHLuorin tagged TI-VAMP in an actin-dependent manner. Collectively, our data suggest that Cdc42 and regulated assembly of the F-actin network control the accumulation and exocytosis of TI-VAMP-containing membrane vesicles in growth cones to coordinate membrane trafficking and actin remodeling during neurite outgrowth. PMID:16381811

  14. Initial stem cell adhesion on porous silicon surface: molecular architecture of actin cytoskeleton and filopodial growth

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The way cells explore their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) during development and migration is mediated by lamellipodia at their leading edge, acting as an actual motor pulling the cell forward. Lamellipodia are the primary area within the cell of actin microfilaments (filopodia) formation. In this work, we report on the use of porous silicon (pSi) scaffolds to mimic the ECM of mesenchymal stem cells from the dental pulp (DPSC) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. Our atomic force microscopy (AFM), fluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) results show that pSi promoted the appearance of lateral filopodia protruding from the DPSC cell body and not only in the lamellipodia area. The formation of elongated lateral actin filaments suggests that pores provided the necessary anchorage points for protrusion growth. Although MCF-7 cells displayed a lower presence of organized actin network on both pSi and nonporous silicon, pSi stimulated the formation of extended cell protrusions. PMID:25386101

  15. Comparative analysis of tools for live cell imaging of actin network architecture

    PubMed Central

    Belin, Brittany J; Goins, Lauren M; Mullins, R Dyche

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Fluorescent derivatives of actin and actin-binding domains are powerful tools for studying actin filament architecture and dynamics in live cells. Growing evidence, however, indicates that these probes are biased, and their cellular distribution does not accurately reflect that of the cytoskeleton. To understand the strengths and weaknesses of commonly used live-cell probes—fluorescent protein fusions of actin, Lifeact, F-tractin, and actin-binding domains from utrophin—we compared their distributions in cells derived from various model organisms. We focused on five actin networks: the peripheral cortex, lamellipodial and lamellar networks, filopodial bundles, and stress fibers. Using phalloidin as a standard, we identified consistent biases in the distribution of each probe. The localization of F-tractin is the most similar to that of phalloidin but induces organism-specific changes in cell morphology. Both Lifeact and GFP-actin concentrate in lamellipodial actin networks but are excluded from lamellar networks and filopodia. In contrast, the full utrophin actin-binding domain (Utr261) binds filaments of the lamellum but only weakly localizes to lamellipodia, while a shorter variant (Utr230) is restricted to the most stable subpopulations of actin filaments: cortical networks and stress fibers. In some cells, Utr230 also detects Golgi-associated filaments, previously detected by immunofluorescence but not visible by phalloidin staining. Consistent with its localization, Utr230 exhibits slow rates of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) compared to F-tractin, Utr261 and Lifeact, suggesting that it may be more useful for FRAP- and photo-activation-based studies of actin network dynamics. PMID:26317264

  16. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

    Solar keratosis; Sun-induced skin changes - keratosis; Keratosis - actinic (solar) ... Some actinic keratoses become squamous cell skin cancer . Have your health care provider look at all skin growths as soon as you find them. Your provider will ...

  17. Hierarchical Cross-linked F-actin Networks: Understanding Structure and Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirst, Linda; Nguyen, Lam

    2009-11-01

    The protein, F-actin provides us with an interesting system in which to investigate the assembly properties of semi-flexible filaments in the presence of cross-linkers. Recently it was observed that F-actin, in the presence of the cross-linker alpha-actinin at high molar ratios will generate a novel hierarchical network of filament bundles. We investigate this system using coarse-grained molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, confocal microscopy and x-ray scattering. We have studied the F-actin/alpha-actinin system in detail with different actin conc. (C) and alpha-actinin/actin molar ratios (gamma). Confocal microscopy and analysis shows that the assembled systems fall into one of 3 phases depending on C and gamma: (1) loosely connected network of F-actin and bundles, (2) loosely connected network of dense domains and (3) uniform network of bundles. This can be explained and replicated using MD simulation. We have also examined different types of cross-linkers to represent the proteins, fascin and filamin. Results show that phase formation is related to the flexibility in binding between F-actin and cross-linkers. This degree of freedom, possible with longer cross-linkers allows the formation of branch points and thus bundle networks.

  18. Passive and active microrheology for cross-linked F-actin networks in vitro.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyungsuk; Ferrer, Jorge M; Nakamura, Fumihiko; Lang, Matthew J; Kamm, Roger D

    2010-04-01

    Actin filament (F-actin) is one of the dominant structural constituents in the cytoskeleton. Orchestrated by various actin-binding proteins (ABPs), F-actin is assembled into higher-order structures such as bundles and networks that provide mechanical support for the cell and play important roles in numerous cellular processes. Although mechanical properties of F-actin networks have been extensively studied, the underlying mechanisms for network elasticity are not fully understood, in part because different measurements probe different length and force scales. Here, we developed both passive and active microrheology techniques using optical tweezers to estimate the mechanical properties of F-actin networks at a length scale comparable to cells. For the passive approach we tracked the motion of a thermally fluctuating colloidal sphere to estimate the frequency-dependent complex shear modulus of the network. In the active approach, we used an optical trap to oscillate an embedded microsphere and monitored the response in order to obtain network viscoelasticity over a physiologically relevant force range. While both active and passive measurements exhibit similar results at low strain, the F-actin network subject to high strain exhibits non-linear behavior which is analogous to the strain-hardening observed in macroscale measurements. Using confocal and total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy, we also characterize the microstructure of reconstituted F-actin networks in terms of filament length, mesh size and degree of bundling. Finally, we propose a model of network connectivity by investigating the effect of filament length on the mechanical properties and structure. PMID:19883801

  19. A synaptic F-actin network controls otoferlin-dependent exocytosis in auditory inner hair cells

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, Philippe FY; Bouleau, Yohan; Petit, Christine; Dulon, Didier

    2015-01-01

    We show that a cage-shaped F-actin network is essential for maintaining a tight spatial organization of Cav1.3 Ca2+ channels at the synaptic ribbons of auditory inner hair cells. This F-actin network is also found to provide mechanosensitivity to the Cav1.3 channels when varying intracellular hydrostatic pressure. Furthermore, this F-actin mesh network attached to the synaptic ribbons directly influences the efficiency of otoferlin-dependent exocytosis and its sensitivity to intracellular hydrostatic pressure, independently of its action on the Cav1.3 channels. We propose a new mechanistic model for vesicle exocytosis in auditory hair cells where the rate of vesicle recruitment to the ribbons is directly controlled by a synaptic F-actin network and changes in intracellular hydrostatic pressure. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10988.001 PMID:26568308

  20. A synaptic F-actin network controls otoferlin-dependent exocytosis in auditory inner hair cells.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Philippe Fy; Bouleau, Yohan; Petit, Christine; Dulon, Didier

    2015-01-01

    We show that a cage-shaped F-actin network is essential for maintaining a tight spatial organization of Cav1.3 Ca(2+) channels at the synaptic ribbons of auditory inner hair cells. This F-actin network is also found to provide mechanosensitivity to the Cav1.3 channels when varying intracellular hydrostatic pressure. Furthermore, this F-actin mesh network attached to the synaptic ribbons directly influences the efficiency of otoferlin-dependent exocytosis and its sensitivity to intracellular hydrostatic pressure, independently of its action on the Cav1.3 channels. We propose a new mechanistic model for vesicle exocytosis in auditory hair cells where the rate of vesicle recruitment to the ribbons is directly controlled by a synaptic F-actin network and changes in intracellular hydrostatic pressure. PMID:26568308

  1. F-Actin Organization and Pollen Tube Tip Growth in Arabidopsis Are Dependent on the Gametophyte-Specific Armadillo Repeat Protein ARO1[W

    PubMed Central

    Gebert, Marina; Dresselhaus, Thomas; Sprunck, Stefanie

    2008-01-01

    The signal-mediated and spatially controlled assembly and dynamics of actin are crucial for maintaining shape, motility, and tip growth of eukaryotic cells. We report that a novel Armadillo repeat protein in Arabidopsis thaliana, ARMADILLO REPEAT ONLY1 (ARO1), is of fundamental importance for polar growth and F-actin organization in tip-growing pollen tubes. ARO1 is specifically expressed in the vegetative cell of pollen as well as in the egg cell. ARO1-GFP (for green fluorescent protein) fusion proteins accumulate most notably in pollen tube tips and partially colocalize with F-actin in the shank of pollen tubes. ARO1 knockout results in a highly disorganized actin cytoskeleton, growth depolarization, and ultimately tube growth arrest. Tip-localized ARO1-GFP is spatially shifted toward the future site of tip growth, indicating a role of ARO1 in the signaling network controlling tip growth and regulating actin organization. After the pollen tube discharges its contents into the receptive synergid, ARO1-GFP colocalizes with emerging F-actin structures near the site of sperm cell fusion, suggesting additional participation in the mechanism of sperm cell tracking toward the female gametes. The variable localization of ARO1 in the cytoplasm, the nucleus, and at the plasma membrane, however, indicates a multifunctional role like that of β-catenin/Armadillo and the p120 catenins. PMID:18931021

  2. Real-Time Dynamics of Emerging Actin Networks in Cell-Mimicking Compartments

    PubMed Central

    Deshpande, Siddharth; Pfohl, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the cytoskeletal functionality and its relation to other cellular components and properties is a prominent question in biophysics. The dynamics of actin cytoskeleton and its polymorphic nature are indispensable for the proper functioning of living cells. Actin bundles are involved in cell motility, environmental exploration, intracellular transport and mechanical stability. Though the viscoelastic properties of actin-based structures have been extensively probed, the underlying microstructure dynamics, especially their disassembly, is not fully understood. In this article, we explore the rich dynamics and emergent properties exhibited by actin bundles within flow-free confinements using a microfluidic set-up and epifluorescence microscopy. After forming entangled actin filaments within cell-sized quasi two-dimensional confinements, we induce their bundling using three different fundamental mechanisms: counterion condensation, depletion interactions and specific protein-protein interactions. Intriguingly, long actin filaments form emerging networks of actin bundles via percolation leading to remarkable properties such as stress generation and spindle-like intermediate structures. Simultaneous sharing of filaments in different links of the network is an important parameter, as short filaments do not form networks but segregated clusters of bundles instead. We encounter a hierarchical process of bundling and its subsequent disassembly. Additionally, our study suggests that such percolated networks are likely to exist within living cells in a dynamic fashion. These observations render a perspective about differential cytoskeletal responses towards numerous stimuli. PMID:25785606

  3. Two distinct actin networks mediate traction oscillations to confer mechanosensitivity of focal adhesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhanghan; Plotnikov, Sergey; Waterman, Clare; Liu, Jian

    Cells sense the mechanical stiffness of their extracellular matrix (ECM) by exerting traction force through focal adhesions (FAs), which are integrin-based protein assemblies. Strikingly, FA-mediated traction forces oscillate in time and space and govern durotaxis - the tendency of most cell types to migrate toward stiffer ECM. The underlying mechanism of this intriguing oscillation of FA traction force is unknown. Combing theory and experiment, we develop a model of FA growth, which integrates coordinated contributions of a branched actin network and stress fibers in the process. We show that retrograde flux of branched actin network contributes to a traction peak near the FA distal tip and that stress fiber-mediated actomyosin Contractility generates a second traction peak near the FA center. Formin-mediated stress fiber elongation negatively feeds back with actomyosin Contractility, resulting in the central traction peak oscillation. This underpins observed spatio-temporal patterns of the FA traction, and broadens the ECM stiffness range, over which FAs could accurately adapt with traction force generation. Our findings shed light on the fundamental mechanism of FA mechanosensing and hence durotaxis.

  4. EXTRACTION AND ANALYSIS OF ACTIN NETWORKS BASED ON OPEN ACTIVE CONTOUR MODELS

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Ojkic, Nikola; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2011-01-01

    Network structures formed by actin filaments are present in many kinds of fluorescence microscopy images. In order to quantify the conformations and dynamics of such actin filaments, we propose a fully automated method to extract actin networks from images and analyze network topology. The method handles well intersecting filaments and, to some extent, overlapping filaments. First we automatically initialize a large number of Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) from ridge points detected by searching for plus-to-minus sign changes in the gradient map of the image. These initial SOACs then elongate simultaneously along the bright center-lines of filaments by minimizing an energy function. During their evolution, they may merge or stop growing, thus forming a network that represents the topology of the filament ensemble. We further detect junction points in the network and break the SOACs at junctions to obtain “SOAC segments”. These segments are then re-grouped using a graph-cut spectral clustering method to represent the configuration of actin filaments. The proposed approach is generally applicable to extracting intersecting curvilinear structures in noisy images. We demonstrate its potential using two kinds of data: (1) actin filaments imaged by Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM) in vitro; (2) actin cytoskeleton networks in fission yeast imaged by spinning disk confocal microscopy. PMID:21822463

  5. EXTRACTION AND ANALYSIS OF ACTIN NETWORKS BASED ON OPEN ACTIVE CONTOUR MODELS.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ting; Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Ojkic, Nikola; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2011-03-30

    Network structures formed by actin filaments are present in many kinds of fluorescence microscopy images. In order to quantify the conformations and dynamics of such actin filaments, we propose a fully automated method to extract actin networks from images and analyze network topology. The method handles well intersecting filaments and, to some extent, overlapping filaments. First we automatically initialize a large number of Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) from ridge points detected by searching for plus-to-minus sign changes in the gradient map of the image. These initial SOACs then elongate simultaneously along the bright center-lines of filaments by minimizing an energy function. During their evolution, they may merge or stop growing, thus forming a network that represents the topology of the filament ensemble. We further detect junction points in the network and break the SOACs at junctions to obtain "SOAC segments". These segments are then re-grouped using a graph-cut spectral clustering method to represent the configuration of actin filaments. The proposed approach is generally applicable to extracting intersecting curvilinear structures in noisy images. We demonstrate its potential using two kinds of data: (1) actin filaments imaged by Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM) in vitro; (2) actin cytoskeleton networks in fission yeast imaged by spinning disk confocal microscopy. PMID:21822463

  6. Actin kinetics shapes cortical network structure and mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsche, Marco; Erlenkämper, Christoph; Moeendarbary, Emad; Charras, Guillaume; Kruse, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    The actin cortex of animal cells is the main determinant of cellular mechanics. The continuous turnover of cortical actin filaments enables cells to quickly respond to stimuli. Recent work has shown that most of the cortical actin is generated by only two actin nucleators, the Arp2/3 complex and the formin Diaph1. However, our understanding of their interplay, their kinetics, and the length distribution of the filaments that they nucleate within living cells is poor. Such knowledge is necessary for a thorough comprehension of cellular processes and cell mechanics from basic polymer physics principles. We determined cortical assembly rates in living cells by using single-molecule fluorescence imaging in combination with stochastic simulations. We find that formin-nucleated filaments are, on average, 10 times longer than Arp2/3-nucleated filaments. Although formin-generated filaments represent less than 10% of all actin filaments, mechanical measurements indicate that they are important determinants of cortical elasticity. Tuning the activity of actin nucleators to alter filament length distribution may thus be a mechanism allowing cells to adjust their macroscopic mechanical properties to their physiological needs. PMID:27152338

  7. Analysis of the local organization and dynamics of cellular actin networks.

    PubMed

    Luo, Weiwei; Yu, Cheng-han; Lieu, Zi Zhao; Allard, Jun; Mogilner, Alex; Sheetz, Michael P; Bershadsky, Alexander D

    2013-09-30

    Actin filaments, with the aid of multiple accessory proteins, self-assemble into a variety of network patterns. We studied the organization and dynamics of the actin network in nonadhesive regions of cells bridging fibronectin-coated adhesive strips. The network was formed by actin nodes associated with and linked by myosin II and containing the formin disheveled-associated activator of morphogenesis 1 (DAAM1) and the cross-linker filamin A (FlnA). After Latrunculin A (LatA) addition, actin nodes appeared to be more prominent and demonstrated drift-diffusion motion. Superresolution microscopy revealed that, in untreated cells, DAAM1 formed patches with a similar spatial arrangement to the actin nodes. Node movement (diffusion coefficient and velocity) in LatA-treated cells was dependent on the level and activity of myosin IIA, DAAM1, and FlnA. Based on our results, we developed a computational model of the dynamic formin-filamin-actin asters that can self-organize into a contractile actomyosin network. We suggest that such networks are critical for connecting distant parts of the cell to maintain the mechanical coherence of the cytoplasm. PMID:24081490

  8. Branching and capping determine the force-velocity relationships of branching actin networks.

    PubMed

    Smith, Daniel B; Liu, Jian

    2013-02-01

    A branching actin network is the major engine that drives cell motility. A measure of the effectiveness of an engine is the velocity the engine is able to produce at a given resistance-the force-velocity relationship. Concave force-velocity relationships consist of a force-insensitive region, indicative of an adaptive response. In contrast, convex force-velocity relationships would reflect a passive response. Even in in vitro experiments, branching actin networks can exhibit both concave and convex force-velocity curves. However, the exact mechanism that can explain both force-velocity curves is not yet known. We carried out an agent-based stochastic simulation to explore such a mechanism. We discovered an emergent behavior of a branching actin network: Upon resistance, it remodels itself by increasing the number of filaments growing in contact with the load. The remodeling is favored by branching events and limited by capping. The force-velocity relationship hinges on the relative time-scale between the intrinsic kinetics of the branching actin network and the loading. Shortly after encountering resistance (∼seconds), the force-velocity relationship of the actin network is always convex, as it does not have enough time to remodel itself. A concave force-velocity relationship requires network remodeling at longer time-scales (∼tens of seconds to minutes) and the faster branching event relative to capping. Furthermore, our model explains the observed hysteresis in the force-velocity relationship of actin networks. Our model thus establishes a unified mechanism that can account for both convex and concave force-velocity relationships observed in branching actin networks. PMID:23358606

  9. Orientational order of the lamellipodial actin network as demonstrated in living motile cells.

    PubMed

    Verkhovsky, Alexander B; Chaga, Oleg Y; Schaub, Sébastien; Svitkina, Tatyana M; Meister, Jean-Jacques; Borisy, Gary G

    2003-11-01

    Lamellipodia of crawling cells represent both the motor for cell advance and the primary building site for the actin cytoskeleton. The organization of actin in the lamellipodium reflects actin dynamics and is of critical importance for the mechanism of cell motility. In previous structural studies, the lamellipodial actin network was analyzed primarily by electron microscopy (EM). An understanding of lamellipodial organization would benefit significantly if the EM data were complemented and put into a kinetic context by establishing correspondence with structural features observable at the light microscopic level in living cells. Here, we use an enhanced phase contrast microscopy technique to visualize an apparent long-range diagonal actin meshwork in the advancing lamellipodia of living cells. Visualization of this meshwork permitted a correlative light and electron microscopic approach that validated the underlying organization of lamellipodia. The linear features in the light microscopic meshwork corresponded to regions of greater actin filament density. Orientation of features was analyzed quantitatively and compared with the orientation of actin filaments at the EM level. We infer that the light microscopic meshwork reflects the orientational order of actin filaments which, in turn, is related to their branching angle. PMID:13679520

  10. Orientational Order of the Lamellipodial Actin Network as Demonstrated in Living Motile CellsV⃞

    PubMed Central

    Verkhovsky, Alexander B.; Chaga, Oleg Y.; Schaub, Sébastien; Svitkina, Tatyana M.; Meister, Jean-Jacques; Borisy, Gary G.

    2003-01-01

    Lamellipodia of crawling cells represent both the motor for cell advance and the primary building site for the actin cytoskeleton. The organization of actin in the lamellipodium reflects actin dynamics and is of critical importance for the mechanism of cell motility. In previous structural studies, the lamellipodial actin network was analyzed primarily by electron microscopy (EM). An understanding of lamellipodial organization would benefit significantly if the EM data were complemented and put into a kinetic context by establishing correspondence with structural features observable at the light microscopic level in living cells. Here, we use an enhanced phase contrast microscopy technique to visualize an apparent long-range diagonal actin meshwork in the advancing lamellipodia of living cells. Visualization of this meshwork permitted a correlative light and electron microscopic approach that validated the underlying organization of lamellipodia. The linear features in the light microscopic meshwork corresponded to regions of greater actin filament density. Orientation of features was analyzed quantitatively and compared with the orientation of actin filaments at the EM level. We infer that the light microscopic meshwork reflects the orientational order of actin filaments which, in turn, is related to their branching angle. PMID:13679520

  11. In vitro studies of actin filament and network dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Mullins, R Dyche; Hansen, Scott D

    2013-01-01

    Now that many genomes have been sequenced, a central concern of cell biology is to understand how the proteins they encode work together to create living matter. In vitro studies form an essential part of this program because understanding cellular functions of biological molecules often requires isolating them and reconstituting their activities. In particular, many elements of the actin cytoskeleton were first discovered by biochemical methods and their cellular functions deduced from in vitro experiments. We highlight recent advances that have come from in vitro studies, beginning with studies of actin filaments, and ending with multi-component reconstitutions of complex actin-based processes, including force-generation and cell spreading. We describe both scientific results and the technical innovations that made them possible. PMID:23267766

  12. A single charge in the actin binding domain of fascin can independently tune the linear and non-linear response of an actin bundle network.

    PubMed

    Maier, M; Müller, K W; Heussinger, C; Köhler, S; Wall, W A; Bausch, A R; Lieleg, O

    2015-05-01

    Actin binding proteins (ABPs) not only set the structure of actin filament assemblies but also mediate the frequency-dependent viscoelastic moduli of cross-linked and bundled actin networks. Point mutations in the actin binding domain of those ABPs can tune the association and dissociation dynamics of the actin/ABP bond and thus modulate the network mechanics both in the linear and non-linear response regime. We here demonstrate how the exchange of a single charged amino acid in the actin binding domain of the ABP fascin triggers such a modulation of the network rheology. Whereas the overall structure of the bundle networks is conserved, the transition point from strain-hardening to strain-weakening sensitively depends on the cross-linker off-rate and the applied shear rate. Our experimental results are consistent both with numerical simulations of a cross-linked bundle network and a theoretical description of the bundle network mechanics which is based on non-affine bending deformations and force-dependent cross-link dynamics. PMID:26004635

  13. Actin-dependent vacuolar occupancy of the cell determines auxin-induced growth repression

    PubMed Central

    Scheuring, David; Löfke, Christian; Krüger, Falco; Kittelmann, Maike; Eisa, Ahmed; Hughes, Louise; Smith, Richard S.; Hawes, Chris; Schumacher, Karin; Kleine-Vehn, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    The cytoskeleton is an early attribute of cellular life, and its main components are composed of conserved proteins. The actin cytoskeleton has a direct impact on the control of cell size in animal cells, but its mechanistic contribution to cellular growth in plants remains largely elusive. Here, we reveal a role of actin in regulating cell size in plants. The actin cytoskeleton shows proximity to vacuoles, and the phytohormone auxin not only controls the organization of actin filaments but also impacts vacuolar morphogenesis in an actin-dependent manner. Pharmacological and genetic interference with the actin–myosin system abolishes the effect of auxin on vacuoles and thus disrupts its negative influence on cellular growth. SEM-based 3D nanometer-resolution imaging of the vacuoles revealed that auxin controls the constriction and luminal size of the vacuole. We show that this actin-dependent mechanism controls the relative vacuolar occupancy of the cell, thus suggesting an unanticipated mechanism for cytosol homeostasis during cellular growth. PMID:26715743

  14. A microstructurally informed model for the mechanical response of three-dimensional actin networks

    PubMed Central

    KWON, R.Y.; LEW, A.J.; JACOBS, C.R.

    2008-01-01

    We propose a class of microstructurally informed models for the linear elastic mechanical behavior of cross-linked polymer networks such as the actin cytoskeleton. Salient features of the models include the possibility to represent anisotropic mechanical behavior resulting from anisotropic filament distributions, and a power-law scaling of the mechanical properties with the filament density. Mechanical models within the class are parameterized by seven different constants. We demonstrate a procedure for determining these constants using finite element models of three-dimensional actin networks. Actin filaments and cross-links were modeled as elastic rods, and the networks were constructed at physiological volume fractions and at the scale of an image voxel. We show the performance of the model in estimating the mechanical behavior of the networks over a wide range of filament densities and degrees of anisotropy. PMID:18568835

  15. Arabidopsis FIMBRIN5, an Actin Bundling Factor, Is Required for Pollen Germination and Pollen Tube Growth[W

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Youjun; Yan, Jin; Zhang, Ruihui; Qu, Xiaolu; Ren, Sulin; Chen, Naizhi; Huang, Shanjin

    2010-01-01

    Actin cables in pollen tubes serve as molecular tracks for cytoplasmic streaming and organelle movement and are formed by actin bundling factors like villins and fimbrins. However, the precise mechanisms by which actin cables are generated and maintained remain largely unknown. Fimbrins comprise a family of five members in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we characterized a fimbrin isoform, Arabidopsis FIMBRIN5 (FIM5). Our results show that FIM5 is required for the organization of actin cytoskeleton in pollen grains and pollen tubes, and FIM5 loss-of-function associates with a delay of pollen germination and inhibition of pollen tube growth. FIM5 decorates actin filaments throughout pollen grains and tubes. Actin filaments become redistributed in fim5 pollen grains and disorganized in fim5 pollen tubes. Specifically, actin cables protrude into the extreme tips, and their longitudinal arrangement is disrupted in the shank of fim5 pollen tubes. Consequently, the pattern and velocity of cytoplasmic streaming were altered in fim5 pollen tubes. Additionally, loss of FIM5 function rendered pollen germination and tube growth hypersensitive to the actin-depolymerizing drug latrunculin B. In vitro biochemical analyses indicated that FIM5 exhibits actin bundling activity and stabilizes actin filaments. Thus, we propose that FIM5 regulates actin dynamics and organization during pollen germination and tube growth via stabilizing actin filaments and organizing them into higher-order structures. PMID:21098731

  16. Analysis of the local organization and dynamics of cellular actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Weiwei; Yu, Cheng-han; Lieu, Zi Zhao; Allard, Jun; Mogilner, Alex; Sheetz, Michael P.

    2013-01-01

    A ctin filaments, with the aid of multiple accessory proteins, self-assemble into a variety of network patterns. We studied the organization and dynamics of the actin network in nonadhesive regions of cells bridging fibronectin-coated adhesive strips. The network was formed by actin nodes associated with and linked by myosin II and containing the formin disheveled-associated activator of morphogenesis 1 (DAAM1) and the cross-linker filamin A (FlnA). After Latrunculin A (LatA) addition, actin nodes appeared to be more prominent and demonstrated drift-diffusion motion. Superresolution microscopy revealed that, in untreated cells, DAAM1 formed patches with a similar spatial arrangement to the actin nodes. Node movement (diffusion coefficient and velocity) in LatA-treated cells was dependent on the level and activity of myosin IIA, DAAM1, and FlnA. Based on our results, we developed a computational model of the dynamic formin-filamin-actin asters that can self-organize into a contractile actomyosin network. We suggest that such networks are critical for connecting distant parts of the cell to maintain the mechanical coherence of the cytoplasm. PMID:24081490

  17. Interdependence of endomembrane trafficking and actin dynamics during polarized growth of Arabidopsis pollen tubes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During polarized growth of pollen tubes, endomembrane trafficking and actin polymerization are two critical processes that establish membrane/wall homeostasis and maintain growth polarity. Fine-tuned interactions between these two processes are therefore necessary but poorly understood. To better un...

  18. Surface adsorption and hopping cause probe-size-dependent microrheology of actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jun; Tang, Jay X.

    2011-04-01

    A network of filaments formed primarily by the abundant cytoskeletal protein actin gives animal cells their shape and elasticity. The rheological properties of reconstituted actin networks have been studied by tracking micron-sized probe beads embedded within the networks. We investigate how microrheology depends on surface properties of probe particles by varying the stickiness of their surface. For this purpose, we chose carboxylate polystyrene (PS) beads, silica beads, bovine serum albumin (BSA) -coated PS beads, and polyethylene glycol (PEG) -grafted PS beads, which show descending stickiness to actin filaments, characterized by confocal imaging and microrheology. Probe size dependence of microrheology is observed for all four types of beads. For the slippery PEG beads, particle-tracking microrheology detects weaker networks using smaller beads, which tend to diffuse through the network by hopping from one confinement “cage” to another. This trend is reversed for the other three types of beads, for which microrheology measures stiffer networks for smaller beads due to physisorption of nearby filaments to the bead surface. We explain the probe size dependence with two simple models. We also evaluate depletion effect near nonadsorption bead surface using quantitative image analysis and discuss the possible impact of depletion on microrheology. Analysis of these effects is necessary in order to accurately define the actin network rheology both in vitro and in vivo.

  19. Mechanics of actin networks crosslinked with mutant human α-actinin-4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volkmer, Sabine; Blair, Daniel; Kasza, Karen; Weitz, David

    2007-03-01

    Globular actin can be polymerized in vitro to form F-actin in the presence of various binding proteins. These networks often exhibit dramatic nonlinear rheological response to imposed strains. We study the rheological properties of F-actin networks crosslinked with human α-actinin-4. A single genetic mutation of the α-actinin-4 protein is associated with focal and segmented glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a genetic disorder which leads to renal failure. Mechanically, the mutant crosslinker has an increased binding strength compared to the wild type. We will show that human α-actinin-4, displays a unique stiffening response. Moreover, we also demonstrate that a single point mutation dramatically effects the inherent relaxation time of the crosslinked network.

  20. Formation of regularly spaced networks as a general feature of actin bundle condensation by entropic forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Florian; Strehle, Dan; Schnauß, Jörg; Käs, Josef

    2015-04-01

    Biopolymer networks contribute mechanical integrity as well as functional organization to living cells. One of their major constituents, the protein actin, is present in a large variety of different network architectures, ranging from extensive networks to densely packed bundles. The shape of the network is directly linked to its mechanical properties and essential physiological functions. However, a profound understanding of architecture-determining mechanisms and their physical constraints remains elusive. We use experimental bottom-up systems to study the formation of confined actin networks by entropic forces. Experiments based on molecular crowding as well as counterion condensation reveal a generic tendency of homogeneous filament solutions to aggregate into regular actin bundle networks connected by aster-like centers. The network architecture is found to critically rely on network formation history. Starting from identical biochemical compositions, we observe drastic changes in network architecture as a consequence of initially biased filament orientation or mixing-induced perturbations. Our experiments suggest that the tendency to form regularly spaced bundle networks is a rather general feature of isotropic, homogeneous filament solutions subject to uniform attractive interactions. Due to the fundamental nature of the considered interactions, we expect that the investigated type of network formation further implies severe physical constraints for cytoskeleton self-organization on the more complex level of living cells.

  1. Kv3.3 Channels Bind Hax-1 and Arp2/3 to Assemble a Stable Local Actin Network that Regulates Channel Gating.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yalan; Zhang, Xiao-Feng; Fleming, Matthew R; Amiri, Anahita; El-Hassar, Lynda; Surguchev, Alexei A; Hyland, Callen; Jenkins, David P; Desai, Rooma; Brown, Maile R; Gazula, Valeswara-Rao; Waters, Michael F; Large, Charles H; Horvath, Tamas L; Navaratnam, Dhasakumar; Vaccarino, Flora M; Forscher, Paul; Kaczmarek, Leonard K

    2016-04-01

    Mutations in the Kv3.3 potassium channel (KCNC3) cause cerebellar neurodegeneration and impair auditory processing. The cytoplasmic C terminus of Kv3.3 contains a proline-rich domain conserved in proteins that activate actin nucleation through Arp2/3. We found that Kv3.3 recruits Arp2/3 to the plasma membrane, resulting in formation of a relatively stable cortical actin filament network resistant to cytochalasin D that inhibits fast barbed end actin assembly. These Kv3.3-associated actin structures are required to prevent very rapid N-type channel inactivation during short depolarizations of the plasma membrane. The effects of Kv3.3 on the actin cytoskeleton are mediated by the binding of the cytoplasmic C terminus of Kv3.3 to Hax-1, an anti-apoptotic protein that regulates actin nucleation through Arp2/3. A human Kv3.3 mutation within a conserved proline-rich domain produces channels that bind Hax-1 but are impaired in recruiting Arp2/3 to the plasma membrane, resulting in growth cones with deficient actin veils in stem cell-derived neurons. PMID:26997484

  2. Arabidopsis Microtubule-Destabilizing Protein 25 Functions in Pollen Tube Growth by Severing Actin Filaments[W

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Tao; Liu, Xiaomin; Li, Jiejie; Sun, Jingbo; Song, Leina; Mao, Tonglin

    2014-01-01

    The formation of distinct actin filament arrays in the subapical region of pollen tubes is crucial for pollen tube growth. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the organization and dynamics of the actin filaments in this region remain to be determined. This study shows that Arabidopsis thaliana MICROTUBULE-DESTABILIZING PROTEIN25 (MDP25) has the actin filament–severing activity of an actin binding protein. This protein negatively regulated pollen tube growth by modulating the organization and dynamics of actin filaments in the subapical region of pollen tubes. MDP25 loss of function resulted in enhanced pollen tube elongation and inefficient fertilization. MDP25 bound directly to actin filaments and severed individual actin filaments, in a manner that was dramatically enhanced by Ca2+, in vitro. Analysis of a mutant that bears a point mutation at the Ca2+ binding sites demonstrated that the subcellular localization of MDP25 was determined by cytosolic Ca2+ level in the subapical region of pollen tubes, where MDP25 was disassociated from the plasma membrane and moved into the cytosol. Time-lapse analysis showed that the F-actin-severing frequency significantly decreased and a high density of actin filaments was observed in the subapical region of mdp25-1 pollen tubes. This study reveals a mechanism whereby calcium enhances the actin filament–severing activity of MDP25 in the subapical region of pollen tubes to modulate pollen tube growth. PMID:24424096

  3. Coupling actin dynamics to phase-field in modeling neural growth.

    PubMed

    Najem, Sara; Grant, Martin

    2015-06-14

    In this paper we model the growth of a neural cell together with the actin dynamics taking place at its growing region by constructing a phase-field model. This is done by assigning auxiliary fields to different constituents of the cell in order to differentiate them. Specifically, the inner and outer regions of the neural cell are described by ϕ = 1 and ϕ = 0 respectively, whereas the inside and outside of its leading edge are portrayed by ψ = 1 and ψ = 0. This formulation inherently locates the boundary, which is required to determine the evolution of the underlying actin dynamics. Therefore, it provides an alternative to boundary tracking algorithms. Then the equations governing the molecular workings of the cell specifically those of actin are modified in order to satisfy their corresponding boundary conditions. PMID:25943025

  4. Critical forces for actin filament buckling and force transmission influence transport in actomyosin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Gardel, Margaret

    Viscoelastic networks of biopolymers coordinate the motion of intracellular objects during transport. These networks have nonlinear mechanical properties due to events such as filament buckling or breaking of cross-links. The influence of such nonlinear properties on the time and length scales of transport is not understood. Here, we use in vitro networks of actin and the motor protein myosin II to clarify how intracellular forces regulate active diffusion. We observe two transitions in the mean-squared displacement of cross-linked actin with increasing motor concentration. The first is a sharp transition from initially subdiffusive to diffusive-like motion that requires filament buckling but does not cause net contraction of the network. Further increase of the motor density produces a second transition to network rupture and ballistic actin transport. This corresponds with an increase in the correlation of motion and thus may be caused when forces propagate far enough for global motion. We conclude that filament buckling and overall network contraction require different amounts of force and produce distinct transport properties. These nonlinear transitions may act as mechanical switches that can be turned on to produce observed motion within cells.

  5. On the organization of self-assembled actin networks in giant vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limozin, L.; Bärmann, M.; Sackmann, E.

    2003-04-01

    We studied the formation of actin scaffolds in giant vesicles of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC). Polymerization of actin was induced at low ionic strength through ionophore-mediated influx of Mg^{2+} (2 mM). The spatial organization of the filamentous actin was visualized by confocal and epifluorescence microscopy as a function of the filaments length and membrane composition, by including various amounts of cholesterol or lipids with neutral and positively charged polyethyleneglycol headgroups (PEG lipopolymers). In vesicles of pure DMPC, the newly polymerized actin adsorbs to the membrane and forms a thin shell. In the presence of 2.5 mol% lipopolymers or of cholesterol at a molar fraction x=0.37, formation of a thin adsorbed film is impeded. A fuzzy cortex is predominantly formed in vesicles of diameter d smaller than the filament persistence length (dleq 15 μm) while for larger vesicles a homogeneous network formation is favoured in the bulk of the vesicle. The fuzzy-cortex formation is interpreted as a consequence of the reduction of the bending energy if the actin filaments accumulate close to the vesicle wall.

  6. Arabidopsis VILLIN5, an Actin Filament Bundling and Severing Protein, Is Necessary for Normal Pollen Tube Growth[W

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua; Qu, Xiaolu; Bao, Chanchan; Khurana, Parul; Wang, Qiannan; Xie, Yurong; Zheng, Yiyan; Chen, Naizhi; Blanchoin, Laurent; Staiger, Christopher J.; Huang, Shanjin

    2010-01-01

    A dynamic actin cytoskeleton is essential for pollen germination and tube growth. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the organization and turnover of the actin cytoskeleton in pollen remain poorly understood. Villin plays a key role in the formation of higher-order structures from actin filaments and in the regulation of actin dynamics in eukaryotic cells. It belongs to the villin/gelsolin/fragmin superfamily of actin binding proteins and is composed of six gelsolin-homology domains at its core and a villin headpiece domain at its C terminus. Recently, several villin family members from plants have been shown to sever, cap, and bundle actin filaments in vitro. Here, we characterized a villin isovariant, Arabidopsis thaliana VILLIN5 (VLN5), that is highly and preferentially expressed in pollen. VLN5 loss-of-function retarded pollen tube growth and sensitized actin filaments in pollen grains and tubes to latrunculin B. In vitro biochemical analyses revealed that VLN5 is a typical member of the villin family and retains a full suite of activities, including barbed-end capping, filament bundling, and calcium-dependent severing. The severing activity was confirmed with time-lapse evanescent wave microscopy of individual actin filaments in vitro. We propose that VLN5 is a major regulator of actin filament stability and turnover that functions in concert with oscillatory calcium gradients in pollen and therefore plays an integral role in pollen germination and tube growth. PMID:20807879

  7. Prestressed F-actin networks cross-linked by hinged filamins replicate mechanical properties of cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, M. L.; Nakamura, F.; Hartwig, J. H.; Crocker, J. C.; Stossel, T. P.; Weitz, D. A.

    2006-02-01

    We show that actin filaments, shortened to physiological lengths by gelsolin and cross-linked with recombinant human filamins (FLNs), exhibit dynamic elastic properties similar to those reported for live cells. To achieve elasticity values of comparable magnitude to those of cells, the in vitro network must be subjected to external prestress, which directly controls network elasticity. A molecular requirement for the strain-related behavior at physiological conditionsis a flexible hinge found in FLNa and some FLNb molecules. Basic physical properties of the in vitro filamin-F-actin network replicate the essential mechanical properties of living cells. This physical behavior could accommodate passive deformation and internal organelle trafficking at low strains yet resist externally or internally generated high shear forces. cytoskeleton | cell mechanics | nonlinear rheology

  8. Bidirectional interactions between NOX2-type NADPH oxidase and the F-actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones.

    PubMed

    Munnamalai, Vidhya; Weaver, Cory J; Weisheit, Corinne E; Venkatraman, Prahatha; Agim, Zeynep Sena; Quinn, Mark T; Suter, Daniel M

    2014-08-01

    NADPH oxidases are important for neuronal function but detailed subcellular localization studies have not been performed. Here, we provide the first evidence for the presence of functional NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2)-type complex in neuronal growth cones and its bidirectional relationship with the actin cytoskeleton. NADPH oxidase inhibition resulted in reduced F-actin content, retrograde F-actin flow, and neurite outgrowth. Stimulation of NADPH oxidase via protein kinase C activation increased levels of hydrogen peroxide in the growth cone periphery. The main enzymatic NADPH oxidase subunit NOX2/gp91(phox) localized to the growth cone plasma membrane and showed little overlap with the regulatory subunit p40(phox) . p40(phox) itself exhibited colocalization with filopodial actin bundles. Differential subcellular fractionation revealed preferential association of NOX2/gp91(phox) and p40(phox) with the membrane and the cytoskeletal fraction, respectively. When neurite growth was evoked with beads coated with the cell adhesion molecule apCAM, we observed a significant increase in colocalization of p40(phox) with NOX2/gp91(phox) at apCAM adhesion sites. Together, these findings suggest a bidirectional functional relationship between NADPH oxidase activity and the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones, which contributes to the control of neurite outgrowth. We have previously shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are critical for actin organization and dynamics in neuronal growth cones as well as neurite outgrowth. Here, we report that the cytosolic subunit p40(phox) of the NOX2-type NADPH oxidase complex is partially associated with F-actin in neuronal growth cones, while ROS produced by this complex regulates F-actin dynamics and neurite growth. These findings provide evidence for a bidirectional relationship between NADPH oxidase activity and the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones. PMID:24702317

  9. The spatial response of nonlinear strain propagation in response to actively driven microspheres through entangled actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falzone, Tobias; Blair, Savanna; Robertson-Anderson, Rae

    2015-03-01

    The semiflexible biopolymer actin, a ubiquitous component of nearly all biological organisms, plays an important role in many mechanically-driven processes such as muscle contraction, cancer invasion and cell motility. As such, entangled actin networks, which possess unique and complex viscoelastic properties, have been the subject of much theoretical and experimental work. However, due to this viscoelastic complexity, much is still unknown regarding the correlation of the applied stress on actin networks to the induced filament strain at the molecular and micro scale. Here, we use simultaneous optical trapping and fluorescence microscopy to characterize the link between applied microscopic forces and strain propagation as a function of strain rate and concentration. Specifically, we track fiduciary markers on entangled actin filaments before, during and after actively driving embedded microspheres through the network. These measurements provide much needed insight into the molecular-level dynamics connecting stress and strain in semiflexible polymer networks.

  10. Stabilization of actin bundles by a dynamin 1/cortactin ring complex is necessary for growth cone filopodia.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Hiroshi; Abe, Tadashi; Satoh, Ayano; Okazaki, Nana; Tago, Shota; Kobayashi, Kinue; Yoshida, Yumi; Oda, Yoshiya; Watanabe, Masami; Tomizawa, Kazuhito; Matsui, Hideki; Takei, Kohji

    2013-03-01

    Dynamin GTPase, a key molecule in endocytosis, mechanically severs the invaginated membrane upon GTP hydrolysis. Dynamin functions also in regulating actin cytoskeleton, but the mechanisms are yet to be defined. Here we show that dynamin 1, a neuronal isoform of dynamin, and cortactin form ring complexes, which twine around F-actin bundles and stabilize them. By negative-staining EM, dynamin 1-cortactin complexes appeared as "open" or "closed" rings depending on guanine nucleotide conditions. By pyrene actin assembly assay, dynamin 1 stimulated actin assembly in mouse brain cytosol. In vitro incubation of F-actin with both dynamin 1 and cortactin led to the formation of long and thick actin bundles, on which dynamin 1 and cortactin were periodically colocalized in puncta. A depolymerization assay revealed that dynamin 1 and cortactin increased the stability of actin bundles, most prominently in the presence of GTP. In rat cortical neurons and human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y, both dynamin 1 and cortactin localized on actin filaments and the bundles at growth cone filopodia as revealed by immunoelectron microscopy. In SH-SY5Y cell, acute inhibition of dynamin 1 by application of dynamin inhibitor led to growth cone collapse. Cortactin knockdown also reduced growth cone filopodia. Together, our results strongly suggest that dynamin 1 and cortactin ring complex mechanically stabilizes F-actin bundles in growth cone filopodia. Thus, the GTPase-dependent mechanochemical enzyme property of dynamin is commonly used both in endocytosis and regulation of F-actin bundles by a dynamin 1-cortactin complex. PMID:23467367

  11. AKAP220 manages apical actin networks that coordinate aquaporin-2 location and renal water reabsorption.

    PubMed

    Whiting, Jennifer L; Ogier, Leah; Forbush, Katherine A; Bucko, Paula; Gopalan, Janani; Seternes, Ole-Morten; Langeberg, Lorene K; Scott, John D

    2016-07-26

    Filtration through the kidney eliminates toxins, manages electrolyte balance, and controls water homeostasis. Reabsorption of water from the luminal fluid of the nephron occurs through aquaporin-2 (AQP2) water pores in principal cells that line the kidney-collecting duct. This vital process is impeded by formation of an "actin barrier" that obstructs the passive transit of AQP2 to the plasma membrane. Bidirectional control of AQP2 trafficking is managed by hormones and signaling enzymes. We have discovered that vasopressin-independent facets of this homeostatic mechanism are under the control of A-Kinase Anchoring Protein 220 (AKAP220; product of the Akap11 gene). CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and imaging approaches show that loss of AKAP220 disrupts apical actin networks in organoid cultures. Similar defects are evident in tissue sections from AKAP220-KO mice. Biochemical analysis of AKAP220-null kidney extracts detected reduced levels of active RhoA GTPase, a well-known modulator of the actin cytoskeleton. Fluorescent imaging of kidney sections from these genetically modified mice revealed that RhoA and AQP2 accumulate at the apical surface of the collecting duct. Consequently, these animals are unable to appropriately dilute urine in response to overhydration. We propose that membrane-proximal signaling complexes constrained by AKAP220 impact the actin barrier dynamics and AQP2 trafficking to ensure water homeostasis. PMID:27402760

  12. Emergence of Large-Scale Cell Morphology and Movement from Local Actin Filament Growth Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Lacayo, Catherine I; Pincus, Zachary; VanDuijn, Martijn M; Wilson, Cyrus A; Fletcher, Daniel A; Gertler, Frank B; Mogilner, Alex; Theriot, Julie A

    2007-01-01

    phenotypes as large-scale consequences of kinetic contributions of VASP to actin filament growth and protection from capping at the leading edge. This work shows that the local effects of actin-remodeling proteins on cytoskeletal dynamics and organization can manifest as global modifications of the shape and behavior of migrating cells and that mathematical modeling can elucidate these large-scale cell behaviors from knowledge of detailed multiscale protein interactions. PMID:17760506

  13. Arp2/3 complex ATP hydrolysis promotes lamellipodial actin network disassembly but is dispensable for assembly

    PubMed Central

    Ingerman, Elena; Hsiao, Jennifer Ying

    2013-01-01

    We examined the role of ATP hydrolysis by the Arp2/3 complex in building the leading edge of a cell by studying the effects of hydrolysis defects on the behavior of the complex in the lamellipodial actin network of Drosophila S2 cells and in a reconstituted, in vitro, actin-based motility system. In S2 cells, nonhydrolyzing Arp2 and Arp3 subunits expanded and delayed disassembly of lamellipodial actin networks and the effect of mutant subunits was additive. Arp2 and Arp3 ATP hydrolysis mutants remained in lamellipodial networks longer and traveled greater distances from the plasma membrane, even in networks still containing wild-type Arp2/3 complex. In vitro, wild-type and ATP hydrolysis mutant Arp2/3 complexes each nucleated actin and built similar dendritic networks. However, networks constructed with Arp2/3 hydrolysis-defective mutants were more resistant to disassembly by cofilin. Our results indicate that ATP hydrolysis on both Arp2 and Arp3 contributes to dissociation of the complex from the actin network but is not strictly necessary for lamellipodial network disassembly. PMID:23439681

  14. Actin Interacting Protein1 and Actin Depolymerizing Factor Drive Rapid Actin Dynamics in Physcomitrella patens[W

    PubMed Central

    Augustine, Robert C.; Pattavina, Kelli A.; Tüzel, Erkan; Vidali, Luis; Bezanilla, Magdalena

    2011-01-01

    The remodeling of actin networks is required for a variety of cellular processes in eukaryotes. In plants, several actin binding proteins have been implicated in remodeling cortical actin filaments (F-actin). However, the extent to which these proteins support F-actin dynamics in planta has not been tested. Using reverse genetics, complementation analyses, and cell biological approaches, we assessed the in vivo function of two actin turnover proteins: actin interacting protein1 (AIP1) and actin depolymerizing factor (ADF). We report that AIP1 is a single-copy gene in the moss Physcomitrella patens. AIP1 knockout plants are viable but have reduced expansion of tip-growing cells. AIP1 is diffusely cytosolic and functions in a common genetic pathway with ADF to promote tip growth. Specifically, ADF can partially compensate for loss of AIP1, and AIP1 requires ADF for function. Consistent with a role in actin remodeling, AIP1 knockout lines accumulate F-actin bundles, have fewer dynamic ends, and have reduced severing frequency. Importantly, we demonstrate that AIP1 promotes and ADF is essential for cortical F-actin dynamics. PMID:22003077

  15. Post-polymerization crosstalk between the actin cytoskeleton and microtubule network.

    PubMed

    Joo, E Emily; Yamada, Kenneth M

    2016-05-01

    Cellular cytoskeletal systems play many pivotal roles in living organisms by controlling cell shape, division, and migration, which ultimately govern morphology, physiology, and functions of animals. Although the cytoskeletal systems are distinct and play different roles, there is growing evidence that these diverse cytoskeletal systems coordinate their functions with each other. This coordination between cytoskeletal systems, often termed cytoskeletal crosstalk, has been identified when the dynamic state of one individual system affects the other system. In this review, we briefly describe some well-established examples of crosstalk between cytoskeletal systems and then introduce a newly discovered form of crosstalk between the actin cytoskeleton and microtubule network that does not appear to directly alter polymerization or depolymerization of either system. The biological impact and possible significance of this post-polymerization crosstalk between actin and microtubules will be discussed in detail. PMID:27058810

  16. Stress Enhanced Gelation in α-Actinin-4 Cross-linked Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Norman; Broedersz, Chase; Depken, Martin; Becker, Daniel; Pollak, Martin; Mackintosh, Frederick; Weitz, David

    2012-02-01

    A hallmark of biopolymer networks is their exquisite sensitivity to stress, demonstrated for example, by pronounced nonlinear elastic stiffening. Typically, they also yield under increased static load, providing a mechanism to achieve fluid-like behavior. In this talk, I will demonstrate an unexpected dynamical behavior in biopolymer networks consisting of F-actin cross-linked by a physiological actin binding protein, α-Actinin-4. Applied stress actually enhances gelation of these networks by delaying the onset of structural relaxation and network flow, thereby extending the regime of solid-like behavior to much lower frequencies. By using human kidney disease-associated mutant cross-linkers with varying binding affinities, we propose a molecular origin for this stress-enhanced gelation: It arises from the increased binding affinity of the cross-linker under load, characteristic of catch-bond-like behavior. This property may have important biological implications for intracellular mechanics, representing as it does a qualitatively new class of material behavior.

  17. F-actin cross-linking enhances the stability of force generation in disordered actomyosin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Wonyeong; Murrell, Michael P.; Kim, Taeyoon

    2015-12-01

    Myosin molecular motors and actin cross-linking proteins (ACPs) are known to mediate the generation and transmission of mechanical forces within the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton that drive major cellular processes such as cell division and migration. However, how motors and ACPs interact collectively over diverse timescales to modulate the time-dependent mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton remains unclear. In this study, we present a three-dimensional agent-based computational model of the cortical actomyosin network to quantitatively determine the effects of motor activity and the density and kinetics of ACPs on the accumulation and maintenance of mechanical tension within a disordered actomyosin network. We found that motors accumulate large stress quickly by behaving as temporary cross-linkers although this stress is relaxed over time unless there are sufficient passive ACPs to stabilize the network. Stabilization by ACPs helps motors to generate forces up to their maximum potential, leading to significant enhancement of the efficiency and stability of stress generation. Thus, we demonstrated that the force-dependent kinetics of ACP dissociation plays a critical role for the accumulation and sustainment of stress and the structural remodeling of networks.

  18. Motion in partially and fully cross-linked F-actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, Eliza; Ehrlicher, Allen; Weitz, David

    2012-02-01

    Single molecule experiments have measured stall forces and procession rates of molecular motors on isolated cytoskeletal fibers in Newtonian fluids. But in the cell, these motors are transporting cargo through a highly complex cytoskeletal network. To compare these single molecule results to the forces exerted by motors within the cell, an evaluation of the response of the cytoskeletal network is needed. Using magnetic tweezers and fluorescence confocal microscopy we observe and quantify the relationship between bead motion and filament response in F-actin networks both partially and fully cross-linked with filamin We find that when the transition from full to partial cross-linking is brought about by a decrease in cross-linker concentration there is a simultaneous decline in the elasticity of the network, but the response of the bead remains qualitatively similar. However, when the cross-linking is reduced through a shortening of the F-actin filaments the bead response is completely altered. The characteristics of the altered bead response will be discussed here.

  19. In β-actin knockouts, epigenetic reprogramming and rDNA transcription inactivation lead to growth and proliferation defects.

    PubMed

    Almuzzaini, Bader; Sarshad, Aishe A; Rahmanto, Aldwin S; Hansson, Magnus L; Von Euler, Anne; Sangfelt, Olle; Visa, Neus; Farrants, Ann-Kristin Östlund; Percipalle, Piergiorgio

    2016-08-01

    Actin and nuclear myosin 1 (NM1) are regulators of transcription and chromatin organization. Using a genome-wide approach, we report here that β-actin binds intergenic and genic regions across the mammalian genome, associated with both protein-coding and rRNA genes. Within the rDNA, the distribution of β-actin correlated with NM1 and the other subunits of the B-WICH complex, WSTF and SNF2h. In β-actin(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), we found that rRNA synthesis levels decreased concomitantly with drops in RNA polymerase I (Pol I) and NM1 occupancies across the rRNA gene. Reintroduction of wild-type β-actin, in contrast to mutated forms with polymerization defects, efficiently rescued rRNA synthesis underscoring the direct role for a polymerization-competent form of β-actin in Pol I transcription. The rRNA synthesis defects in the β-actin(-/-) MEFs are a consequence of epigenetic reprogramming with up-regulation of the repressive mark H3K4me1 (monomethylation of lys4 on histone H3) and enhanced chromatin compaction at promoter-proximal enhancer (T0 sequence), which disturb binding of the transcription factor TTF1. We propose a novel genome-wide mechanism where the polymerase-associated β-actin synergizes with NM1 to coordinate permissive chromatin with Pol I transcription, cell growth, and proliferation.-Almuzzaini, B., Sarshad, A. A. , Rahmanto, A. S., Hansson, M. L., Von Euler, A., Sangfelt, O., Visa, N., Farrants, A.-K. Ö., Percipalle, P. In β-actin knockouts, epigenetic reprogramming and rDNA transcription inactivation lead to growth and proliferation defects. PMID:27127100

  20. Bidirectional interactions between NOX2-type NADPH oxidase and the F-actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones

    PubMed Central

    Munnamalai, Vidhya; Weaver, Cory J.; Weisheit, Corinne E.; Venkatraman, Prahatha; Agim, Zeynep Sena; Quinn, Mark T.; Suter, Daniel M.

    2014-01-01

    NADPH oxidases are important for neuronal function but detailed subcellular localization studies have not been performed. Here, we provide the first evidence for the presence of functional NOX2-type NADPH oxidase complex in neuronal growth cones and its bidirectional relationship with the actin cytoskeleton. NADPH oxidase inhibition resulted in reduced F-actin content, retrograde F-actin flow, and neurite outgrowth. Stimulation of NADPH oxidase via protein kinase C activation increased levels of hydrogen peroxide in the growth cone periphery. The main enzymatic NADPH oxidase subunit NOX2/gp91phox localized to the growth cone plasma membrane and showed little overlap with the regulatory subunit p40phox. p40phox itself exhibited co-localization with filopodial actin bundles. Differential subcellular fractionation revealed preferential association of NOX2/gp91phox and p40phox with the membrane and the cytoskeletal fraction, respectively. When neurite growth was evoked with beads coated with the cell adhesion molecule apCAM, we observed a significant increase in co-localization of p40phox with NOX2/gp91phox at apCAM adhesion sites. Together, these findings suggest a bidirectional functional relationship between NADPH oxidase activity and the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones, which contributes to the control of neurite outgrowth. PMID:24702317

  1. STAR syndrome-associated CDK10/Cyclin M regulates actin network architecture and ciliogenesis.

    PubMed

    Guen, Vincent J; Gamble, Carly; Perez, Dahlia E; Bourassa, Sylvie; Zappel, Hildegard; Gärtner, Jutta; Lees, Jacqueline A; Colas, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    CDK10/CycM is a protein kinase deficient in STAR (toe Syndactyly, Telecanthus and Anogenital and Renal malformations) syndrome, which results from mutations in the X-linked FAM58A gene encoding Cyclin M. The biological functions of CDK10/CycM and etiology of STAR syndrome are poorly understood. Here, we report that deficiency of CDK10/Cyclin M promotes assembly and elongation of primary cilia. We establish that this reflects a key role for CDK10/Cyclin M in regulation of actin network organization, which is known to govern ciliogenesis. In an unbiased screen, we identified the RhoA-associated kinase PKN2 as a CDK10/CycM phosphorylation substrate. We establish that PKN2 is a bone fide regulator of ciliogenesis, acting in a similar manner to CDK10/CycM. We discovered that CDK10/Cyclin M binds and phosphorylates PKN2 on threonines 121 and 124, within PKN2's core RhoA-binding domain. Furthermore, we demonstrate that deficiencies in CDK10/CycM or PKN2, or expression of a non-phosphorylatable version of PKN2, destabilize both the RhoA protein and the actin network architecture. Importantly, we established that ectopic expression of RhoA is sufficient to override the induction of ciliogenesis resulting from CDK10/CycM knockdown, indicating that RhoA regulation is critical for CDK10/CycM's negative effect on ciliogenesis. Finally, we show that kidney sections from a STAR patient display dilated renal tubules and abnormal, elongated cilia. Altogether, these results reveal CDK10/CycM as a key regulator of actin dynamics and a suppressor of ciliogenesis through phosphorylation of PKN2 and promotion of RhoA signaling. Moreover, they suggest that STAR syndrome is a ciliopathy. PMID:27104747

  2. An affine continuum mechanical model for cross-linked F-actin networks with compliant linker proteins.

    PubMed

    Holzapfel, Gerhard A; Unterberger, Michael J; Ogden, Ray W

    2014-10-01

    Cross-linked actin networks are important building blocks of the cytoskeleton. In order to gain deeper insight into the interpretation of experimental data on actin networks, adequate models are required. In this paper we introduce an affine constitutive network model for cross-linked F-actin networks based on nonlinear continuum mechanics, and specialize it in order to reproduce the experimental behavior of in vitro reconstituted model networks. The model is based on the elastic properties of single filaments embedded in an isotropic matrix such that the overall properties of the composite are described by a free-energy function. In particular, we are able to obtain the experimentally determined shear and normal stress responses of cross-linked actin networks typically observed in rheometer tests. In the present study an extensive analysis is performed by applying the proposed model network to a simple shear deformation. The single filament model is then extended by incorporating the compliance of cross-linker proteins and further extended by including viscoelasticity. All that is needed for the finite element implementation is the constitutive model for the filaments, the linkers and the matrix, and the associated elasticity tensor in either the Lagrangian or Eulerian formulation. The model facilitates parameter studies of experimental setups such as micropipette aspiration experiments and we present such studies to illustrate the efficacy of this modeling approach. PMID:25043658

  3. Two approaches to glassy dynamics and diffusion on actin filament networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snider, Joseph

    In spite of mass effort to understand glasses, basic features are still not completely known. Even whether or not glasses, as in windows, bottles, etc., are solids or liquids is not settled, let alone their thermodynamics. To make some headway in understanding glasses, this dissertation will take two distinct approaches. First, a direct simulation of a glassy system will be performed and compared to experiments, and from this the thermodynamics will be found. Second, rather than looking directly at a specific system, a general energy landscape appropriate for glass will be considered, and a new numeric technique to exactly calculate thermodynamic quantities will be presented and applied. The second part of this thesis will study diffusion on actin filament networks. Intracellular molecular motor-driven transport is essential for such diverse processes as mitosis, neuronal function, and mitochondrial transport. In vitro studies clarify these motors' function at the single molecule level but fail to elucidate how effective transport emerges from the collective behavior of multiple motors on a filamentary network. We investigate how the combined system of Myosin-V (MV) motors plus actin filaments is used to transport pigment granules in Xenopus melanophores. By analyzing single particle tracking data, we construct simulations and test a hypothesis that cells regulate transport by controlling how often granules switch from one filament to another, rather than, for example, altering motor activity at the single molecule level.

  4. Elastic Coupling of Nascent apCAM Adhesions to Flowing Actin Networks

    PubMed Central

    Mejean, Cecile O.; Schaefer, Andrew W.; Buck, Kenneth B.; Kress, Holger; Shundrovsky, Alla; Merrill, Jason W.; Dufresne, Eric R.; Forscher, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Adhesions are multi-molecular complexes that transmit forces generated by a cell’s acto-myosin networks to external substrates. While the physical properties of some of the individual components of adhesions have been carefully characterized, the mechanics of the coupling between the cytoskeleton and the adhesion site as a whole are just beginning to be revealed. We characterized the mechanics of nascent adhesions mediated by the immunoglobulin-family cell adhesion molecule apCAM, which is known to interact with actin filaments. Using simultaneous visualization of actin flow and quantification of forces transmitted to apCAM-coated beads restrained with an optical trap, we found that adhesions are dynamic structures capable of transmitting a wide range of forces. For forces in the picoNewton scale, the nascent adhesions’ mechanical properties are dominated by an elastic structure which can be reversibly deformed by up to 1 µm. Large reversible deformations rule out an interface between substrate and cytoskeleton that is dominated by a number of stiff molecular springs in parallel, and favor a compliant cross-linked network. Such a compliant structure may increase the lifetime of a nascent adhesion, facilitating signaling and reinforcement. PMID:24039928

  5. Self-Organized Gels in DNA/F-Actin Mixtures without Crosslinkers: Networks of Induced Nematic Domains with Tunable Density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Ghee Hwee; Butler, John C.; Zribi, Olena V.; Smalyukh, Ivan I.; Angelini, Thomas E.; Purdy, Kirstin R.; Golestanian, Ramin; Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2008-11-01

    We examine mixtures of DNA and filamentous actin (F-actin) as a model system of like-charged rigid rods and flexible chains. Confocal microscopy reveals the formation of elongated nematic F-actin domains reticulated via defect-free vertices into a network embedded in a mesh of random DNA. Synchrotron x-ray scattering results indicate that the DNA mesh squeezes the F-actin domains into a nematic state with an interactin spacing that decreases with increasing DNA concentration as dactin∝ρDNA-1/2. Interestingly, the system changes from a counterion-controlled regime to a depletion-controlled regime with added salt, with drastic consequences for the osmotic pressure induced phase behavior.

  6. Activation of myosin V-based motility and F-actin-dependent network formation of endoplasmic reticulum during mitosis.

    PubMed

    Wollert, Torsten; Weiss, Dieter G; Gerdes, Hans-Hermann; Kuznetsov, Sergei A

    2002-11-25

    It is widely believed that microtubule- and F-actin-based transport of cytoplasmic organelles and membrane fusion is down-regulated during mitosis. Here we show that during the transition of Xenopus egg extracts from interphase to metaphase myosin V-driven movement of small globular vesicles along F-actin is strongly inhibited. In contrast, the movement of ER and ER network formation on F-actin is up-regulated in metaphase extracts. Our data demonstrate that myosin V-driven motility of distinct organelles is differently controlled during the cell cycle and suggest an active role of F-actin in partitioning, positioning, and membrane fusion of the ER during cell division. PMID:12438410

  7. Growth inhibition and changes in morphology and actin distribution in Acetabularia acetabulum by phalloidin and phalloidin derivatives.

    PubMed

    Sawitzky, H; Hanfstingl, U; Faulstich, H

    2003-03-01

    Effects on morphology and microfilament structure caused by phalloidin, phallacidin, and some semisynthetic phalloidin derivatives were studied in vegetative cells of the green alga Acetabularia acetabulum (L.) Silva. All phalloidin derivatives (except for phalloidin itself) caused growth stop of the alga after 1 day and (except for the fluorescein-labeled phalloidin) death of the cells after 4-7 days. Hair whorl tip growth and morphology as screened by light microscopy, as well as microfilament structure in tips, suggested that growth stop is correlated with a disorganization of actin filaments similar to that recently described for jasplakinolide (H. Sawitzky, S. Liebe, J. Willingale-Theune, D. Menzel, European Journal of Cell Biology 78: 424-433, 1999). Using rabbit muscle actin as a model target protein, we found that the toxic effects in vivo did not correlate with actin affinity values, suggesting that permeation through membranes must play a role. Indeed, the most lipophilic phalloidin derivatives benzoylphalloidin and dithiolanophalloidin were the most active in causing growth stop at ca. 100 microM. In comparison to the concentration of jasplakinolide required to cause similar effects (<3 microM), the two most active phalloidin derivatives exhibited an activity ca. 30 times lower. Nonetheless, lipophilic phalloidin derivatives can be used in algae, and probably also other cells, to modulate actin dynamics in vivo. In addition, we found that the fluorescent fluorescein isothiocyanate-phalloidin is able to enter living algal cells and stains actin structures brightly. Since it does not suppress actin dynamics, we suggest fluorescein isothiocyanate-phalloidin as a tool for studying rearrangements of actin structures in live cells, e.g., by confocal laser scanning microscopy. PMID:12664285

  8. How capping protein enhances actin filament growth and nucleation on biomimetic beads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruizhe; Carlsson, Anders E.

    2015-12-01

    Capping protein (CP), which caps the growing ends of actin filaments, accelerates actin-based motility. Recent experiments on biomimetic beads have shown that CP also enhances the rate of actin filament nucleation. Proposed explanations for these phenomena include (i) the actin funneling hypothesis (AFH), in which the presence of CP increases the free-actin concentration, and (ii) the monomer gating model, in which CP binding to actin filament barbed ends makes more monomers available for filament nucleation. To establish how CP increases the rates of filament elongation and nucleation on biomimetic beads, we perform a quantitative modeling analysis of actin polymerization, using rate equations that include actin filament nucleation, polymerization and capping, as modified by monomer depletion near the surface of the bead. With one adjustable parameter, our simulation results match previously measured time courses of polymerized actin and filament number. The results support a version of the AFH where CP increases the local actin monomer concentration at the bead surface, but leaves the global free-actin concentration nearly constant. Because the rate of filament nucleation increases with the monomer concentration, the increased local monomer concentration enhances actin filament nucleation. We derive a closed-form formula for the characteristic CP concentration where the local free-actin concentration reaches half the bulk value, and find it to be comparable to the global Arp2/3 complex concentration. We also propose an experimental protocol for distinguishing branching nucleation of filaments from spontaneous nucleation.

  9. Shortening actin filaments cause force generation in actomyosin network to change from contractile to extensile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Nitin; Gardel, Margaret

    Motor proteins in conjunction with filamentous proteins convert biochemical energy into mechanical energy which serves a number of cellular processes including cell motility, force generation and intracellular cargo transport. In-vitro experiments suggest that the forces generated by kinesin motors on microtubule bundles are extensile in nature whereas myosin motors on actin filaments are contractile. It is not clear how qualitatively similar systems can show completely different behaviors in terms of the nature of force generation. In order to answer this question, we carry out in vitro experiments where we form quasi 2D filamentous actomyosin networks and vary the length of actin filaments by adding capping protein. We show that when filaments are much shorter than their typical persistence length (approximately 10 microns), the forces generated are extensile and we see active nematic defect propagation, as seen in the microtubule-kinesin system. Based on this observation, we claim that the rigidity of rods plays an important role in dictating the nature of force generation in such systems. In order to understand this transition, we selectively label individual filaments and find that longer filaments show considerable bending and buckling, making them difficult to slide and extend along their length.

  10. Cytoarchitecture of Kirsten sarcoma virus-transformed rat kidney fibroblasts: butyrate-induced reorganization within the actin microfilament network.

    PubMed

    Ryan, M P; Higgins, P J

    1988-10-01

    Murine sarcoma virus-transformed rat fibroblasts (KNRK cells) undergo marked cytoarchitectural reorganization during in vitro exposure to sodium-n-butyrate (NaB) resulting in restoration of (1) a more typical fibroblastoid morphology, (2) proper cell-to-cell orientation, and (3) substratum adherence. Augmented cell spreading, involving greater than 90% of the population, was a function of culture density and time of exposure to NaB (2 mM final concentration). Induced cell spreading reflected a 2.5- to 3.0-fold increase in both total cellular actin content and deposition of actin into the detergent-resistant cytoskeleton. Cytoskeletal actin deposition in response to NaB was accompanied by the formation of occasionally dense, parallel alignments of F-actin-containing microfilaments and by a dramatic increase in the size and incidence of actin-enriched membrane ruffles. Long-term NaB-treated cells exhibited parallel orientations of microfilaments similar to those found in untransformed fibroblasts. Increased cytoskeletal actin occurred within 24 hr of NaB exposure, correlating with the initial reorganization of actin-containing microfilaments detected microscopically, and reflected concomitant 3-fold increases in cellular alpha-actinin and fibronectin content. In contrast, the amount of vimentin, tropomyosin, and tubulin in NaB-treated cells was significantly decreased. NaB-induced morphologic restructuring of sarcoma virus-transformed fibroblasts, thus, impacts on all three basic cytoskeletal systems. Selective increases, however, were evident in particular cytoskeletal proteins (actin, alpha-actinin, fibronectin) implicated in microfilament networking and cell spreading. PMID:2844835

  11. The Disruption of the Cytoskeleton during Semaphorin 3A induced Growth Cone Collapse Correlates with Differences in Actin Organization and Associated Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jacquelyn A; Bridgman, Paul C

    2010-01-01

    Repulsive guidance cues induce growth cone collapse or collapse and retraction. Collapse results from disruption and loss of the actin cytoskeleton. Actin rich regions of growth cones contain binding proteins that influence filament organization, such as Arp2/3, cortactin, and fascin, but little is known about the role that these proteins play in collapse. Here we show that Semaphorin 3A (Sema 3A), which is repulsive to mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons, has unequal effects on actin binding proteins and their associated filaments. The immunofluorescence staining intensity of Arp-2 and cortactin decreases relative to total protein, while in unextracted growth cones fascin increases. Fascin and myosin IIB staining redistribute and show increased overlap. The degree of actin filament loss during collapse correlates with filament superstructures detected by rotary shadow electron microscopy. Collapse results in the loss of branched f-actin meshworks, while actin bundles are partially retained to varying degrees. Taken together with the known affects of Sema 3A on actin, this suggests a model for collapse that follows a sequence; depolymerization of actin meshworks followed by partial depolymerization of fascin associated actin bundles and their movement to the neurite to complete collapse. The relocated fascin associated actin bundles may provide the substrate for actomyosin contractions that produce retraction. PMID:19513995

  12. Actin binding and proline rich motifs of CR16 play redundant role in growth of vrp1Delta cells.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lei; Rajmohan, Rajamuthiah; Yu, Shangjuan; Thanabalu, Thirumaran

    2007-05-25

    CR16, (Glucocorticoid-regulated) belongs to the verprolin family of proteins which are characterized by the presence of a V domain (verprolin) at the N-terminal. Expression of CR16 suppressed the growth and endocytosis defect of vrp1Delta strain without correcting the actin patch polarization defect. The V domain of CR16 is critical for suppression of the growth defect of vrp1Delta strain but not for localisation to cortical actin patches. Mutations in the actin binding motif alone did not abolish the activity of CR16 but the mutations in combination with deletion of N-terminal proline rich motif abolished the ability of CR16 to suppress the growth defect. This suggests that the V domain of CR16 has two functionally redundant motifs and either one of these motifs is sufficient for suppressing the growth defect of vrp1Delta strain. This is in contrast to the observation that both WIP and WIRE require the actin binding motif for their activity. PMID:17418095

  13. A network of spectrin and plectin surrounds the actin cuffs of apical tubulobulbar complexes in the rat.

    PubMed

    Aristaeus de Asis, Marc; Pires, Manuel; Lyon, Kevin; Vogl, A Wayne

    2013-07-01

    Tubulobulbar complexes (TBCs) are actin-related endocytic structures that internalize intercellular junctions in the seminiferous epithelium. The structures consist of elongate tubular projections of the attached plasma membranes of two adjacent cells that project into Sertoli cells. This double membrane core is cuffed by a dentritic actin network and is capped at its end by a clathrin-coated pit. Here we explore the possibility that elements of the spectrin cytoskeleton are associated with clusters of tubulobulbar complexes that develop at adhesion junctions between late spermatids and Sertoli cells at the apex of the epithelium, and extend what is known about the distribution of plectin at the sites. Cryo-sections of perfusion-fixed testes and apical processes of Sertoli cells mechanically dissociated from perfusion-fixed testes were probed for spectrin, EPB41, and actin and analyzed using conventional fluorescence microscopy and confocal microscopy. Data sets from confocal microscopy were analyzed further in three-dimensional reconstructions using computer software. Additional apical Sertoli cell processes were probed for plectin and analyzed using conventional fluorescence microscopy. Antibodies generated against elements of the spectrin cytoskeleton react with material around and between the actin cuffs of tubulobulbar complexes, but appear excluded from the actin cuffs themselves. A similar staining pattern occurs with a probe for plectin. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed the staining patterns observed by fluourescence microscopy. Based on our results, we suggest that a network of spectrin and plectin forms a scaffold around tubulobulbar complexes that may provide support for the actin network that cuffs each complex and also link adjacent complexes together. PMID:24381803

  14. A network of spectrin and plectin surrounds the actin cuffs of apical tubulobulbar complexes in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Aristaeus de Asis, Marc; Pires, Manuel; Lyon, Kevin; Vogl, A Wayne

    2013-01-01

    Tubulobulbar complexes (TBCs) are actin-related endocytic structures that internalize intercellular junctions in the seminiferous epithelium. The structures consist of elongate tubular projections of the attached plasma membranes of two adjacent cells that project into Sertoli cells. This double membrane core is cuffed by a dentritic actin network and is capped at its end by a clathrin-coated pit. Here we explore the possibility that elements of the spectrin cytoskeleton are associated with clusters of tubulobulbar complexes that develop at adhesion junctions between late spermatids and Sertoli cells at the apex of the epithelium, and extend what is known about the distribution of plectin at the sites. Cryo-sections of perfusion-fixed testes and apical processes of Sertoli cells mechanically dissociated from perfusion-fixed testes were probed for spectrin, EPB41, and actin and analyzed using conventional fluorescence microscopy and confocal microscopy. Data sets from confocal microscopy were analyzed further in three-dimensional reconstructions using computer software. Additional apical Sertoli cell processes were probed for plectin and analyzed using conventional fluorescence microscopy. Antibodies generated against elements of the spectrin cytoskeleton react with material around and between the actin cuffs of tubulobulbar complexes, but appear excluded from the actin cuffs themselves. A similar staining pattern occurs with a probe for plectin. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed the staining patterns observed by fluourescence microscopy. Based on our results, we suggest that a network of spectrin and plectin forms a scaffold around tubulobulbar complexes that may provide support for the actin network that cuffs each complex and also link adjacent complexes together. PMID:24381803

  15. Arabidopsis CROLIN1, a Novel Plant Actin-binding Protein, Functions in Cross-linking and Stabilizing Actin Filaments*

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Honglei; Li, Jisheng; Zhu, Jingen; Fan, Tingting; Qian, Dong; Zhou, Yuelong; Wang, Jiaojiao; Ren, Haiyun; Xiang, Yun; An, Lizhe

    2013-01-01

    Higher order actin filament structures are necessary for cytoplasmic streaming, organelle movement, and other physiological processes. However, the mechanism by which the higher order cytoskeleton is formed in plants remains unknown. In this study, we identified a novel actin-cross-linking protein family (named CROLIN) that is well conserved only in the plant kingdom. There are six isovariants of CROLIN in the Arabidopsis genome, with CROLIN1 specifically expressed in pollen. In vitro biochemical analyses showed that CROLIN1 is a novel actin-cross-linking protein with binding and stabilizing activities. Remarkably, CROLIN1 can cross-link actin bundles into actin networks. CROLIN1 loss of function induces pollen germination and pollen tube growth hypersensitive to latrunculin B. All of these results demonstrate that CROLIN1 may play an important role in stabilizing and remodeling actin filaments by binding to and cross-linking actin filaments. PMID:24072702

  16. Sustainable growth in complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tessone, C. J.; Geipel, M. M.; Schweitzer, F.

    2011-12-01

    Based on the analysis of the dependency network in 18 Java projects, we develop a novel model of network growth which considers both preferential attachment and the addition of new nodes with a heterogeneous distribution of their initial degree, k0. Empirically we find that the cumulative distributions of initial and final degrees in the network follow power law behaviours: 1-P(k0)~k01-α, and 1-P(k)~k1-γ, respectively. For the total number of links as a function of the network size, we find empirically K(N)~Nβ, where βin[1.25, 2] (for small N), while converging to β~1 for large N. This indicates a transition from a growth regime with increasing network density towards a sustainable regime, which prevents a collapse due to ever increasing dependencies. Our theoretical framework allows us to predict relations between the exponents α, β, γ, which also link issues of software engineering and developer activity. These relations are verified by means of computer simulations and empirical investigations. They indicate that the growth of real Open Source Software networks occurs on the edge between two regimes, which are dominated either by the initial degree distribution of added nodes, or by the preferential attachment mechanism. Hence, the heterogeneous degree distribution of newly added nodes, found empirically, is essential to describe the laws of sustainable growth in networks.

  17. A novel protein kinase gene ssp1+ is required for alteration of growth polarity and actin localization in fission yeast.

    PubMed Central

    Matsusaka, T; Hirata, D; Yanagida, M; Toda, T

    1995-01-01

    Temperature-sensitive suppressor mutants were isolated from two fission yeast mutants defective in cell shape control: ppe1, encoding a type 2A-like protein phosphatase, and sts5, one of 11 staurosporine-supersensitive mutants. Complementation tests showed that suppression was due to two chromosomal loci, ssp1 and ssp2. Cells of the ssp1 mutant grown at the restrictive temperature arrested uniformly with an elongated cell body and a 2C content of DNA. Interestingly, these mutant cells grew only in a monopolar manner. At a specific point in the G2 phase of the cell cycle, wild-type cells exhibit a drastic alteration in growth polarity, from mono- to bipolar. This change coincides with the distribution of cortical actin from one end of the cell to both ends. In the ssp1 mutant cells, cortical actin was localized only at one end, suggesting that the mutant fails to change growth polarity. Nucleotide sequence determination showed that ssp1+ encodes a novel protein kinase. Ectopic overexpression of ssp1+ resulted in an altered cell morphology and cortical actin was randomly dispersed within the cells. Immunocytological analysis revealed that the protein was primarily localized in the cytoplasm and that half of the protein existed in an insoluble fraction. These results show that the dynamics of actin-based growth polarity during the cell cycle are regulated, at least in part, by a novel set of protein kinases and phosphatases. Images PMID:7628434

  18. Network growth approach to macroevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Shao-Meng; Chen, Yong; Zhang, Pan

    2007-07-01

    We propose a novel network growth model coupled with the competition interaction to simulate macroevolution. Our work shows that competition plays an important role in macroevolution and it is more rational to describe the interaction between species by network structures. Our model presents a complete picture of the development of phyla and the splitting process. It is found that periodic mass extinction occurred in our networks without any extraterrestrial factors and the lifetime distribution of species is very close to the fossil record. We also perturb networks with two scenarios of mass extinctions on different hierarchic levels in order to study their recovery.

  19. Genome-wide RNAi screen for nuclear actin reveals a network of cofilin regulators

    PubMed Central

    Dopie, Joseph; Rajakylä, Eeva K.; Joensuu, Merja S.; Huet, Guillaume; Ferrantelli, Evelina; Xie, Tiao; Jäälinoja, Harri; Jokitalo, Eija; Vartiainen, Maria K.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Nuclear actin plays an important role in many processes that regulate gene expression. Cytoplasmic actin dynamics are tightly controlled by numerous actin-binding proteins, but regulation of nuclear actin has remained unclear. Here, we performed a genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen in Drosophila cells to identify proteins that influence either nuclear polymerization or import of actin. We validate 19 factors as specific hits, and show that Chinmo (known as Bach2 in mammals), SNF4Aγ (Prkag1 in mammals) and Rab18 play a role in nuclear localization of actin in both fly and mammalian cells. We identify several new regulators of cofilin activity, and characterize modulators of both cofilin kinases and phosphatase. For example, Chinmo/Bach2, which regulates nuclear actin levels also in vivo, maintains active cofilin by repressing the expression of the kinase Cdi (Tesk in mammals). Finally, we show that Nup98 and lamin are candidates for regulating nuclear actin polymerization. Our screen therefore reveals new aspects of actin regulation and links nuclear actin to many cellular processes. PMID:26021350

  20. Genome-wide RNAi screen for nuclear actin reveals a network of cofilin regulators.

    PubMed

    Dopie, Joseph; Rajakylä, Eeva K; Joensuu, Merja S; Huet, Guillaume; Ferrantelli, Evelina; Xie, Tiao; Jäälinoja, Harri; Jokitalo, Eija; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2015-07-01

    Nuclear actin plays an important role in many processes that regulate gene expression. Cytoplasmic actin dynamics are tightly controlled by numerous actin-binding proteins, but regulation of nuclear actin has remained unclear. Here, we performed a genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen in Drosophila cells to identify proteins that influence either nuclear polymerization or import of actin. We validate 19 factors as specific hits, and show that Chinmo (known as Bach2 in mammals), SNF4Aγ (Prkag1 in mammals) and Rab18 play a role in nuclear localization of actin in both fly and mammalian cells. We identify several new regulators of cofilin activity, and characterize modulators of both cofilin kinases and phosphatase. For example, Chinmo/Bach2, which regulates nuclear actin levels also in vivo, maintains active cofilin by repressing the expression of the kinase Cdi (Tesk in mammals). Finally, we show that Nup98 and lamin are candidates for regulating nuclear actin polymerization. Our screen therefore reveals new aspects of actin regulation and links nuclear actin to many cellular processes. PMID:26021350

  1. Dynamic light-scattering study on changes in mobility of chromaffin granules in actin network with its assembly and Ca2+-dependent disassembly by gelsolin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujime, Satoru; Miyamoto, Shigeaki; Funatsu, Takashi; Ishiwata, S.

    1993-06-01

    As a final stage of cell signal transduction, secretory cells release hormones by exocytosis. Before secretory granules contact with the cell membrane for fusion, an actin network barrier must dissociate as a prelude. In order to elucidate dynamical behaviors of secretory granules in actin network, in vitro assembly and disassembly processes of actin networks were examined by means of dynamic light-scattering spectroscopy. We studied actin polymerization in the presence of chromaffin granules isolated from bovine adrenal medullae, and found that the entanglement of actin filaments rapidly formed cages which confined granules in them. We also studied the effect of gelsolin, one of the actin-severing proteins, on the network of actin filaments performed in the presence of chromaffin granules. It turned out that the cages which confined granules rapidly disappeared when gelsolin was added in the presence of free Ca2+ ions. Semiquantitative analyses of dynamic light-scattering spectra permitted us to estimate the changes in the mobility (or translational diffusion coefficient) of chromaffin granules in the actin network with its assembly and Ca2+-dependent disassembly by gelsolin. Based on the present results and some pieces of evidence in literature, a model is proposed for biophysical situations before, during, and after an exocytotic event.

  2. Formin-Dependent Synaptic Growth; Evidence that Dlar Signals via Diaphanous to Modulate Synaptic Actin and Dynamic Pioneer Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Pawson, Catherine; Eaton, Benjamin A.; Davis, Graeme W.

    2008-01-01

    The diaphanous gene is the founding member of a family of Diaphanous Related Formin proteins (DRF). We identified diaphanous in a screen for genes that are necessary for the normal growth and stabilization of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here we demonstrate that diaphanous mutations perturb synaptic growth at the NMJ. Diaphanous protein is present both pre- and postsynaptically. However, genetic rescue experiments in combination with additional genetic interaction experiments support the conclusion that dia is necessary presynaptically for normal NMJ growth. We then document defects in both the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons in dia mutant nerve terminals. In so doing, we define and characterize a population of dynamic pioneer microtubules within the NMJ that are distinct from the bundled core of microtubules identified by the MAP1b-like protein Futsch. Defects in both synaptic actin and dynamic pioneer MTs are correlated with impaired synaptic growth in dia mutants. Finally, we present genetic evidence that Dia functions downstream of the presynaptic receptor tyrosine phosphatase Dlar and the Rho-type GEF trio to control NMJ growth. Based upon the established function of DRFs as Rho-GTPase dependent regulators of the cell cytoskeleton, we propose a model in which Diaphanous links receptor tyrosine phosphatase signaling at the plasma membrane to growth-dependent modulation of the synaptic actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. PMID:18971454

  3. Plant pathogenic bacteria target the actin microfilament network involved in the trafficking of disease defense components

    PubMed Central

    Jelenska, Joanna; Kang, Yongsung; Greenberg, Jean T

    2014-01-01

    Cells of infected organisms transport disease defense-related molecules along actin filaments to deliver them to their sites of action to combat the pathogen. To accommodate higher demand for intracellular traffic, plant F-actin density increases transiently during infection or treatment of Arabidopsis with pathogen-associated molecules. Many animal and plant pathogens interfere with actin polymerization and depolymerization to avoid immune responses. Pseudomonas syringae, a plant extracellular pathogen, injects HopW1 effector into host cells to disrupt the actin cytoskeleton and reduce vesicle movement in order to elude defense responses. In some Arabidopsis accessions, however, HopW1 is recognized and causes resistance via an actin-independent mechanism. HopW1 targets isoform 7 of vegetative actin (ACT7) that is regulated by phytohormones and environmental factors. We hypothesize that dynamic changes of ACT7 filaments are involved in plant immunity. PMID:25551177

  4. Signaling Network Triggers and Membrane Physical Properties Control the Actin Cytoskeleton-Driven Isotropic Phase of Cell Spreading

    PubMed Central

    Rangamani, Padmini; Fardin, Marc-Antoine; Xiong, Yuguang; Lipshtat, Azi; Rossier, Olivier; Sheetz, Michael P.; Iyengar, Ravi

    2011-01-01

    Cell spreading is regulated by signaling from the integrin receptors that activate intracellular signaling pathways to control actin filament regulatory proteins. We developed a hybrid model of whole-cell spreading in which we modeled the integrin signaling network as ordinary differential equations in multiple compartments, and cell spreading as a three-dimensional stochastic model. The computed activity of the signaling network, represented as time-dependent activity levels of the actin filament regulatory proteins, is used to drive the filament dynamics. We analyzed the hybrid model to understand the role of signaling during the isotropic phase of fibroblasts spreading on fibronectin-coated surfaces. Simulations showed that the isotropic phase of spreading depends on integrin signaling to initiate spreading but not to maintain the spreading dynamics. Simulations predicted that signal flow in the absence of Cdc42 or WASP would reduce the spreading rate but would not affect the shape evolution of the spreading cell. These predictions were verified experimentally. Computational analyses showed that the rate of spreading and the evolution of cell shape are largely controlled by the membrane surface load and membrane bending rigidity, and changing information flow through the integrin signaling network has little effect. Overall, the plasma membrane acts as a damper such that only ∼5% of the actin dynamics capability is needed for isotropic spreading. Thus, the biophysical properties of the plasma membrane can condense varying levels of signaling network activities into a single cohesive macroscopic cellular behavior. PMID:21320428

  5. Reversible mechano-memory in sheared cross-linked actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majumdar, Sayantan; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2015-03-01

    Is it possible to control the shear modulus of a material mechanically? We reconstitute a network of actin filaments cross-linked with Filamin A and show that the system has remarkable property to respond under shear in a deformation history dependent manner. When a large shear stress pulse is applied to the system, the system remembers the direction of deformation long after the stress pulse is removed. For the next loading cycle, shear response of the system becomes anisotropic; if the applied pulse direction is same as the previous one, the system behaves like a viscoelastic solid but a transient liquefaction is observed if the pulse direction is reversed. Imaging and normal force measurements under shear suggest that this anisotropic response comes from stretching and bending dominated deformation directions induced by the large shear deformation giving rise to a direction dependent mechano-memory. The long time scale over which the memory effect persists has relevance in various deformations in cellular and multicellular systems. S.M. acknowledges support from a Kadanoff-Rice Post Doctoral fellowship from MRSEC, University of Chicago.

  6. The Apical Actin Fringe Contributes to Localized Cell Wall Deposition and Polarized Growth in the Lily Pollen Tube1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Rounds, Caleb M.; Hepler, Peter K.; Winship, Lawrence J.

    2014-01-01

    In lily (Lilium formosanum) pollen tubes, pectin, a major component of the cell wall, is delivered through regulated exocytosis. The targeted transport and secretion of the pectin-containing vesicles may be controlled by the cortical actin fringe at the pollen tube apex. Here, we address the role of the actin fringe using three different inhibitors of growth: brefeldin A, latrunculin B, and potassium cyanide. Brefeldin A blocks membrane trafficking and inhibits exocytosis in pollen tubes; it also leads to the degradation of the actin fringe and the formation of an aggregate of filamentous actin at the base of the clear zone. Latrunculin B, which depolymerizes filamentous actin, markedly slows growth but allows focused pectin deposition to continue. Of note, the locus of deposition shifts frequently and correlates with changes in the direction of growth. Finally, potassium cyanide, an electron transport chain inhibitor, briefly stops growth while causing the actin fringe to completely disappear. Pectin deposition continues but lacks focus, instead being delivered in a wide arc across the pollen tube tip. These data support a model in which the actin fringe contributes to the focused secretion of pectin to the apical cell wall and, thus, to the polarized growth of the pollen tube. PMID:25037212

  7. Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) 23 gene transcription depends on actin cytoskeleton reorganization.

    PubMed

    Fajol, Abul; Honisch, Sabina; Zhang, Bingbing; Schmidt, Sebastian; Alkahtani, Saad; Alarifi, Saud; Lang, Florian; Stournaras, Christos; Föller, Michael

    2016-03-01

    FGF23 regulates renal phosphate and vitamin D metabolism. Loss of FGF23 results in massive calcification and rapid aging. FGF23 production is stimulated by 1,25(OH)2 D3 and NFκB signaling. Here, we report that treatment of UMR106 osteoblast-like cells with 1,25(OH)2 D3 , inducing Fgf23 transcription, resulted in actin polymerization which was blocked by NFκB inhibitor wogonin. Interestingly, 1,25(OH)2 D3 -induced Fgf23 gene transcription was abolished by the actin microfilament-disrupting agent cytochalasin B, as well as by the inhibition of actin-regulating Rac1/PAK1 signaling. Our results provide strong evidence that actin redistribution regulated by the Rac1/PAK1 pathway participates in 1,25(OH)2 D3 -induced Fgf23 gene transcription. PMID:26878191

  8. The Arabidopsis Wave Complex: Mechanisms Of Localized Actin Polymerization And Growth

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel Szymanski

    2012-10-23

    The objective of this project was to discover the protein complexes and control mechanisms that determine the location of actin filament roadways in plant cells. Our work provided the first molecular description of protein complexes that are converted from inactive complexes to active actin filament nucleators in the cell. These discoveries provided a conceptual framework to control to roadways in plant cells that determine the location and delivery of plant metabolites and storage molecules that are relevant to the bioenergy economy.

  9. Actinic Keratosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... rashes clinical tools newsletter | contact Share | Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis) Information for adults A A A Actinic ... the touch. Overview Actinic keratoses, also known as solar keratoses, are small rough or scaly areas of ...

  10. Mena/VASP and αII-Spectrin complexes regulate cytoplasmic actin networks in cardiomyocytes and protect from conduction abnormalities and dilated cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In the heart, cytoplasmic actin networks are thought to have important roles in mechanical support, myofibrillogenesis, and ion channel function. However, subcellular localization of cytoplasmic actin isoforms and proteins involved in the modulation of the cytoplasmic actin networks are elusive. Mena and VASP are important regulators of actin dynamics. Due to the lethal phenotype of mice with combined deficiency in Mena and VASP, however, distinct cardiac roles of the proteins remain speculative. In the present study, we analyzed the physiological functions of Mena and VASP in the heart and also investigated the role of the proteins in the organization of cytoplasmic actin networks. Results We generated a mouse model, which simultaneously lacks Mena and VASP in the heart. Mena/VASP double-deficiency induced dilated cardiomyopathy and conduction abnormalities. In wild-type mice, Mena and VASP specifically interacted with a distinct αII-Spectrin splice variant (SH3i), which is in cardiomyocytes exclusively localized at Z- and intercalated discs. At Z- and intercalated discs, Mena and β-actin localized to the edges of the sarcomeres, where the thin filaments are anchored. In Mena/VASP double-deficient mice, β-actin networks were disrupted and the integrity of Z- and intercalated discs was markedly impaired. Conclusions Together, our data suggest that Mena, VASP, and αII-Spectrin assemble cardiac multi-protein complexes, which regulate cytoplasmic actin networks. Conversely, Mena/VASP deficiency results in disrupted β-actin assembly, Z- and intercalated disc malformation, and induces dilated cardiomyopathy and conduction abnormalities. PMID:23937664

  11. Src64 controls a novel actin network required for proper ring canal formation in the Drosophila male germline.

    PubMed

    Eikenes, Åsmund Husabø; Malerød, Lene; Lie-Jensen, Anette; Sem Wegner, Catherine; Brech, Andreas; Liestøl, Knut; Stenmark, Harald; Haglund, Kaisa

    2015-12-01

    In many organisms, germ cells develop as cysts in which cells are interconnected via ring canals (RCs) as a result of incomplete cytokinesis. However, the molecular mechanisms of incomplete cytokinesis remain poorly understood. Here, we address the role of tyrosine phosphorylation of RCs in the Drosophila male germline. We uncover a hierarchy of tyrosine phosphorylation within germline cysts that positively correlates with RC age. The kinase Src64 is responsible for mediating RC tyrosine phosphorylation, and loss of Src64 causes a reduction in RC diameter within germline cysts. Mechanistically, we show that Src64 controls an actin network around the RCs that depends on Abl and the Rac/SCAR/Arp2/3 pathway. The actin network around RCs is required for correct RC diameter in cysts of developing germ cells. We also identify that Src64 is required for proper germ cell differentiation in the Drosophila male germline independent of its role in RC regulation. In summary, we report that Src64 controls actin dynamics to mediate proper RC formation during incomplete cytokinesis during germline cyst development in vivo. PMID:26628094

  12. The Stationary-Phase Cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Display Dynamic Actin Filaments Required for Processes Extending Chronological Life Span

    PubMed Central

    Lejskova, Renata; Malcova, Ivana

    2015-01-01

    Stationary-growth-phase Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cultures consist of nondividing cells that undergo chronological aging. For their successful survival, the turnover of proteins and organelles, ensured by autophagy and the activation of mitochondria, is performed. Some of these processes are engaged in by the actin cytoskeleton. In S. cerevisiae stationary-phase cells, F actin has been shown to form static aggregates named actin bodies, subsequently cited to be markers of quiescence. Our in vivo analyses revealed that stationary-phase cultures contain cells with dynamic actin filaments, besides the cells with static actin bodies. The cells with dynamic actin displayed active endocytosis and autophagy and well-developed mitochondrial networks. Even more, stationary-phase cell cultures grown under calorie restriction predominantly contained cells with actin cables, confirming that the presence of actin cables is linked to successful adaptation to stationary phase. Cells with actin bodies were inactive in endocytosis and autophagy and displayed aberrations in mitochondrial networks. Notably, cells of the respiratory activity-deficient cox4Δ strain displayed the same mitochondrial aberrations and actin bodies only. Additionally, our results indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction precedes the formation of actin bodies and the appearance of actin bodies corresponds to decreased cell fitness. We conclude that the F-actin status reflects the extent of damage that arises from exponential growth. PMID:26351139

  13. The Spatial Distribution of the Exocyst and Actin Cortical Patches Is Sufficient To Organize Hyphal Tip Growth

    PubMed Central

    Caballero-Lima, David; Kaneva, Iliyana N.; Watton, Simon P.

    2013-01-01

    In the hyphal tip of Candida albicans we have made detailed quantitative measurements of (i) exocyst components, (ii) Rho1, the regulatory subunit of (1,3)-β-glucan synthase, (iii) Rom2, the specialized guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) of Rho1, and (iv) actin cortical patches, the sites of endocytosis. We use the resulting data to construct and test a quantitative 3-dimensional model of fungal hyphal growth based on the proposition that vesicles fuse with the hyphal tip at a rate determined by the local density of exocyst components. Enzymes such as (1,3)-β-glucan synthase thus embedded in the plasma membrane continue to synthesize the cell wall until they are removed by endocytosis. The model successfully predicts the shape and dimensions of the hyphae, provided that endocytosis acts to remove cell wall-synthesizing enzymes at the subapical bands of actin patches. Moreover, a key prediction of the model is that the distribution of the synthase is substantially broader than the area occupied by the exocyst. This prediction is borne out by our quantitative measurements. Thus, although the model highlights detailed issues that require further investigation, in general terms the pattern of tip growth of fungal hyphae can be satisfactorily explained by a simple but quantitative model rooted within the known molecular processes of polarized growth. Moreover, the methodology can be readily adapted to model other forms of polarized growth, such as that which occurs in plant pollen tubes. PMID:23666623

  14. miR-34/449 control apical actin network formation during multiciliogenesis through small GTPase pathways

    PubMed Central

    Chevalier, Benoît; Adamiok, Anna; Mercey, Olivier; Revinski, Diego R.; Zaragosi, Laure-Emmanuelle; Pasini, Andrea; Kodjabachian, Laurent; Barbry, Pascal; Marcet, Brice

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate multiciliated cells (MCCs) contribute to fluid propulsion in several biological processes. We previously showed that microRNAs of the miR-34/449 family trigger MCC differentiation by repressing cell cycle genes and the Notch pathway. Here, using human and Xenopus MCCs, we show that beyond this initial step, miR-34/449 later promote the assembly of an apical actin network, required for proper basal bodies anchoring. Identification of miR-34/449 targets related to small GTPase pathways led us to characterize R-Ras as a key regulator of this process. Protection of RRAS messenger RNA against miR-34/449 binding impairs actin cap formation and multiciliogenesis, despite a still active RhoA. We propose that miR-34/449 also promote relocalization of the actin binding protein Filamin-A, a known RRAS interactor, near basal bodies in MCCs. Our study illustrates the intricate role played by miR-34/449 in coordinating several steps of a complex differentiation programme by regulating distinct signalling pathways. PMID:26381333

  15. miR-34/449 control apical actin network formation during multiciliogenesis through small GTPase pathways.

    PubMed

    Chevalier, Benoît; Adamiok, Anna; Mercey, Olivier; Revinski, Diego R; Zaragosi, Laure-Emmanuelle; Pasini, Andrea; Kodjabachian, Laurent; Barbry, Pascal; Marcet, Brice

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate multiciliated cells (MCCs) contribute to fluid propulsion in several biological processes. We previously showed that microRNAs of the miR-34/449 family trigger MCC differentiation by repressing cell cycle genes and the Notch pathway. Here, using human and Xenopus MCCs, we show that beyond this initial step, miR-34/449 later promote the assembly of an apical actin network, required for proper basal bodies anchoring. Identification of miR-34/449 targets related to small GTPase pathways led us to characterize R-Ras as a key regulator of this process. Protection of RRAS messenger RNA against miR-34/449 binding impairs actin cap formation and multiciliogenesis, despite a still active RhoA. We propose that miR-34/449 also promote relocalization of the actin binding protein Filamin-A, a known RRAS interactor, near basal bodies in MCCs. Our study illustrates the intricate role played by miR-34/449 in coordinating several steps of a complex differentiation programme by regulating distinct signalling pathways. PMID:26381333

  16. Modulation of cargo release from dense core granules by size and actin network.

    PubMed

    Felmy, Felix

    2007-08-01

    During regulated fusion of secretory granules with the plasma membrane, a fusion pore first opens and then dilates. The dilating pore allows cargo proteins from the dense core to be released into the extracellular space. Using real-time evanescent field fluorescence microscopy of live PC12 cells, it was determined how rapidly proteins of different sizes escape from single granules after fusion. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)-Venus is released 40-fold slower than the three times smaller neuropeptide Y [NPY-monomeric GFP (mGFP)]. An NPY bearing two mGFPs in tandem [NPY-(mGFP)(2)] as an intermediate-sized fusion probe is released most slowly. Although, the time-course of release varies substantially for a given probe. Coexpression of beta-actin, actin-related protein 3 or mAbp1 slowed the release of the two larger cargo molecules but did not affect release of NPY-mGFP or of the granule-membrane-bound probe Vamp-pHluorin. Additionally, high concentrations of cytochalasin D slowed release of the tPA-Venus. Together these results suggest that fusion pore dilation is not the only determinate of release time-course and that actin rearrangements similar to those mediating actin-mediated motility influences the time-course of release without directly interfering with the granule membrane to cell membrane connection. PMID:17506863

  17. Actin from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Greer, C; Schekman, R

    1982-01-01

    Inhibition of DNase I activity has been used as an assay to purify actin from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast actin). The final fraction, obtained after a 300-fold purification, is approximately 97% pure as judged by sodium dodecyl sulfate-gel electrophoresis. Like rabbit skeletal muscle actin, yeast actin has a molecular weight of about 43,000, forms 7-nm-diameter filaments when polymerization is induced by KCl or Mg2+, and can be decorated with a proteolytic fragment of muscle myosin (heavy meromyosin). Although heavy meromyosin ATPase activity is stimulated by rabbit muscle and yeast actins to approximately the same Vmax (2 mmol of Pi per min per mumol of heavy meromyosin), half-maximal activation (Kapp) is obtained with 14 micro M muscle actin, but requires approximately 135 micro M yeast actin. This difference suggests a low affinity of yeast actin for muscle myosin. Yeast and muscle filamentous actin respond similarly to cytochalasin and phalloidin, although the drugs have no effect on S. cerevisiae cell growth. Images PMID:6217414

  18. Force Generation by Endocytic Actin Patches in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E.; Bayly, Philip V.

    2014-01-01

    Membrane deformation during endocytosis in yeast is driven by local, templated assembly of a sequence of proteins including polymerized actin and curvature-generating coat proteins such as clathrin. Actin polymerization is required for successful endocytosis, but it is not known by what mechanisms actin polymerization generates the required pulling forces. To address this issue, we develop a simulation method in which the actin network at the protein patch is modeled as an active gel. The deformation of the gel is treated using a finite-element approach. We explore the effects and interplay of three different types of force driving invagination: 1), forces perpendicular to the membrane, generated by differences between actin polymerization rates at the edge of the patch and those at the center; 2), the inherent curvature of the coat-protein layer; and 3), forces parallel to the membrane that buckle the coat protein layer, generated by an actomyosin contractile ring. We find that with optimistic estimates for the stall stress of actin gel growth and the shear modulus of the actin gel, actin polymerization can generate almost enough force to overcome the turgor pressure. In combination with the other mechanisms, actin polymerization can the force over the critical value. PMID:24739159

  19. Myofibril growth during cardiac hypertrophy is regulated through dual phosphorylation and acetylation of the actin capping protein CapZ.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ying-Hsi; Warren, Chad M; Li, Jieli; McKinsey, Timothy A; Russell, Brenda

    2016-08-01

    The mechanotransduction signaling pathways initiated in heart muscle by increased mechanical loading are known to lead to long-term transcriptional changes and hypertrophy, but the rapid events for adaptation at the sarcomeric level are not fully understood. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that actin filament assembly during cardiomyocyte growth is regulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs) of CapZβ1. In rapidly hypertrophying neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) stimulated by phenylephrine (PE), two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DGE) of CapZβ1 revealed a shift toward more negative charge. Consistent with this, mass spectrometry identified CapZβ1 phosphorylation on serine-204 and acetylation on lysine-199, two residues which are near the actin binding surface of CapZβ1. Ectopic expression of dominant negative PKCɛ (dnPKCɛ) in NRVMs blunted the PE-induced increase in CapZ dynamics, as evidenced by the kinetic constant (Kfrap) of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), and concomitantly reduced phosphorylation and acetylation of CapZβ1. Furthermore, inhibition of class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) increased lysine-199 acetylation on CapZβ1, which increased Kfrap of CapZ and stimulated actin dynamics. Finally, we show that PE treatment of NRVMs results in decreased binding of HDAC3 to myofibrils, suggesting a signal-dependent mechanism for the regulation of sarcomere-associated CapZβ1 acetylation. Taken together, this dual regulation through phosphorylation and acetylation of CapZβ1 provides a novel model for the regulation of myofibril growth during cardiac hypertrophy. PMID:27185186

  20. Actin Mechanics and Fragmentation*

    PubMed Central

    De La Cruz, Enrique M.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2015-01-01

    Cell physiological processes require the regulation and coordination of both mechanical and dynamical properties of the actin cytoskeleton. Here we review recent advances in understanding the mechanical properties and stability of actin filaments and how these properties are manifested at larger (network) length scales. We discuss how forces can influence local biochemical interactions, resulting in the formation of mechanically sensitive dynamic steady states. Understanding the regulation of such force-activated chemistries and dynamic steady states reflects an important challenge for future work that will provide valuable insights as to how the actin cytoskeleton engenders mechanoresponsiveness of living cells. PMID:25957404

  1. Cortactin involvement in the keratinocyte growth factor and fibroblast growth factor 10 promotion of migration and cortical actin assembly in human keratinocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Ceccarelli, Simona; Cardinali, Giorgia; Aspite, Nicaela; Picardo, Mauro; Marchese, Cinzia; Torrisi, Maria Rosaria; Mancini, Patrizia . E-mail: patrizia.mancini@uniroma1.it

    2007-05-15

    Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF/FGF7) and fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10/KGF2) regulate keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation by binding to the tyrosine kinase KGF receptor (KGFR). KGF induces keratinocyte motility and cytoskeletal rearrangement, whereas a direct role of FGF10 on keratinocyte migration is not clearly established. Here we analyzed the motogenic activity of FGF10 and KGF on human keratinocytes. Migration assays and immunofluorescence of actin cytoskeleton revealed that FGF10 is less efficient than KGF in promoting migration and exerts a delayed effect in inducing lamellipodia and ruffles formation. Both growth factors promoted phosphorylation and subsequent membrane translocation of cortactin, an F-actin binding protein involved in cell migration; however, FGF10-induced cortactin phosphorylation was reduced, more transient and delayed with respect to that promoted by KGF. Cortactin phosphorylation induced by both growth factors was Src-dependent, while its membrane translocation and cell migration were blocked by either Src and PI3K inhibitors, suggesting that both pathways are involved in KGF- and FGF10-dependent motility. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated downregulation of cortactin inhibited KGF- and FGF10-induced migration. These results indicate that cortactin is involved in keratinocyte migration promoted by both KGF and FGF10.

  2. ARF6 promotes the formation of Rac1 and WAVE-dependent ventral F-actin rosettes in breast cancer cells in response to epidermal growth factor.

    PubMed

    Marchesin, Valentina; Montagnac, Guillaume; Chavrier, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Coordination between actin cytoskeleton assembly and localized polarization of intracellular trafficking routes is crucial for cancer cell migration. ARF6 has been implicated in the endocytic recycling of surface receptors and membrane components and in actin cytoskeleton remodeling. Here we show that overexpression of an ARF6 fast-cycling mutant in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer-derived cells to mimick ARF6 hyperactivation observed in invasive breast tumors induced a striking rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton at the ventral cell surface. This phenotype consisted in the formation of dynamic actin-based podosome rosette-like structures expanding outward as wave positive for F-actin and actin cytoskeleton regulatory components including cortactin, Arp2/3 and SCAR/WAVE complexes and upstream Rac1 regulator. Ventral rosette-like structures were similarly induced in MDA-MB-231 cells in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation and to Rac1 hyperactivation. In addition, interference with ARF6 expression attenuated activation and plasma membrane targeting of Rac1 in response to EGF treatment. Our data suggest a role for ARF6 in linking EGF-receptor signaling to Rac1 recruitment and activation at the plasma membrane to promote breast cancer cell directed migration. PMID:25799492

  3. Growth of a Dendritic Channel Network (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothman, D.; Abrams, D. M.; Devauchelle, O.; Petroff, A. P.; Lobkovsky, A. E.; Straub, K. M.; McElroy, B.; Mohrig, D. C.; Kudrolli, A.

    2009-12-01

    Dendritic channel networks are a ubiquitous feature of Earth's topography. A half century of work has detailed their scale-invariant geometry. But relatively little is known about how such networks grow, especially in natural settings at geologic time scales. This talk addresses the growth of a particularly simple class of channel networks: those which drain groundwater. We focus on a pristine field site in the Florida Panhandle, in which channels extending for kilometers have been incised vertically through tens of meters of ancient beach sands. We first show how the flow of subsurface water interacts with the planform geometry of the network. Ground-penetrating radar images of the water table shape near a highly-ramified section of the network provide a qualitative view of groundwater focusing. Noting that the water table represents a balance between water input via rain and water flowing into the channel network, we solve for the steady state shape of the water table around the entire network and the associated water fluxes. Comparison of predicted and measured fluxes shows that the ramified structure of the Florida network is consistent with uniformly forced unstable growth through a homogeneous medium. In other words, the dendritic pattern results intrinsically from growth dynamics rather than geologic heterogeneity. We then use these observations to show that the growth of groundwater-driven networks can be described by two linear response laws. Remarkably, one of these growth laws is reversible, which allows us to reconstruct network history and estimate network age. A particularly striking feature of the Florida network is the existence of a characteristic length scale between channels. Our theory predicts how this length scale evolves, thereby linking network growth to geometric form. Reference: D. M. Abrams, A. E. Lobkovsky, A. P. Petroff, K. M. Straub, B. McElroy, D. C. Mohrig, A. Kudrolli, and D. H. Rothman,, Growth laws for channel networks incised by

  4. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and the actin network are not required for the stimulation of glucose transport caused by mitochondrial uncoupling: comparison with insulin action.

    PubMed Central

    Tsakiridis, T; Vranic, M; Klip, A

    1995-01-01

    In L6 myotubes insulin stimulates glucose transport through the translocation of glucose transporters GLUT1, GLUT3 and GLUT4 from intracellular stores to the plasma membrane. An intact actin network and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity are required for this process. Glucose transport is also stimulated by the mitochondrial ATP-production uncoupler dinitrophenol. We show here that, in serum-depleted myotubes, dinitrophenol induced translocation of GLUT1 and GLUT4, but not GLUT3. This response was not affected by inhibiting phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase or disassembling the actin network. Insulin, but not dinitrophenol, caused tyrosine phosphorylation of several polypeptides, including the insulin-receptor substrate-1 and mitogen-activated protein kinase. Similarly, insulin, but not dinitrophenol, caused actin reorganization, which was inhibited by wortmannin. We conclude that insulin and dinitrophenol stimulate glucose transport by different mechanisms. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:7619042

  5. Regulation of water flow by actin-binding protein-induced actin gelatin.

    PubMed Central

    Ito, T; Suzuki, A; Stossel, T P

    1992-01-01

    Actin filaments inhibit osmotically driven water flow (Ito, T., K.S. Zaner, and T.P. Stossel. 1987. Biophys. J. 51: 745-753). Here we show that the actin gelation protein, actin-binding protein (ABP), impedes both osmotic shrinkage and swelling of an actin filament solution and reduces markedly the concentration of actin filaments required for this inhibition. These effects depend on actin filament immobilization, because the ABP concentration that causes initial impairment of water flow by actin filaments corresponds to the gel point measured viscometrically and because gelsolin, which noncovalently severs actin filaments, solates actin gels and restores water flow in a solution of actin cross-linked by ABP. Since ABP gels actin filaments in the periphery of many eukaryotic cells, such actin networks may contribute to physiological cell volume regulation. PMID:1318095

  6. Plectin reinforces vascular integrity by mediating crosstalk between the vimentin and the actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Osmanagic-Myers, Selma; Rus, Stefanie; Wolfram, Michael; Brunner, Daniela; Goldmann, Wolfgang H.; Bonakdar, Navid; Fischer, Irmgard; Reipert, Siegfried; Zuzuarregui, Aurora; Walko, Gernot; Wiche, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mutations in the cytoskeletal linker protein plectin result in multisystemic diseases affecting skin and muscle with indications of additional vascular system involvement. To study the mechanisms underlying vascular disorders, we established plectin-deficient endothelial cell and mouse models. We show that apart from perturbing the vimentin cytoskeleton of endothelial cells, plectin deficiency leads to severe distortions of adherens junctions (AJs), as well as tight junctions, accompanied by an upregulation of actin stress fibres and increased cellular contractility. Plectin-deficient endothelial cell layers were more leaky and showed reduced mechanical resilience in fluid-shear stress and mechanical stretch experiments. We suggest that the distorted AJs and upregulated actin stress fibres in plectin-deficient cells are rooted in perturbations of the vimentin cytoskeleton, as similar phenotypes could be mimicked in wild-type cells by disruption of vimentin filaments. In vivo studies in endothelium-restricted conditional plectin-knockout mice revealed significant distortions of AJs in stress-prone aortic arch regions and increased pulmonary vascular leakage. Our study opens a new perspective on cytoskeleton-controlled vascular permeability, where a plectin-organized vimentin scaffold keeps actomyosin contractility ‘in-check’ and maintains AJ homeostasis. PMID:26519478

  7. Plectin reinforces vascular integrity by mediating crosstalk between the vimentin and the actin networks.

    PubMed

    Osmanagic-Myers, Selma; Rus, Stefanie; Wolfram, Michael; Brunner, Daniela; Goldmann, Wolfgang H; Bonakdar, Navid; Fischer, Irmgard; Reipert, Siegfried; Zuzuarregui, Aurora; Walko, Gernot; Wiche, Gerhard

    2015-11-15

    Mutations in the cytoskeletal linker protein plectin result in multisystemic diseases affecting skin and muscle with indications of additional vascular system involvement. To study the mechanisms underlying vascular disorders, we established plectin-deficient endothelial cell and mouse models. We show that apart from perturbing the vimentin cytoskeleton of endothelial cells, plectin deficiency leads to severe distortions of adherens junctions (AJs), as well as tight junctions, accompanied by an upregulation of actin stress fibres and increased cellular contractility. Plectin-deficient endothelial cell layers were more leaky and showed reduced mechanical resilience in fluid-shear stress and mechanical stretch experiments. We suggest that the distorted AJs and upregulated actin stress fibres in plectin-deficient cells are rooted in perturbations of the vimentin cytoskeleton, as similar phenotypes could be mimicked in wild-type cells by disruption of vimentin filaments. In vivo studies in endothelium-restricted conditional plectin-knockout mice revealed significant distortions of AJs in stress-prone aortic arch regions and increased pulmonary vascular leakage. Our study opens a new perspective on cytoskeleton-controlled vascular permeability, where a plectin-organized vimentin scaffold keeps actomyosin contractility 'in-check' and maintains AJ homeostasis. PMID:26519478

  8. Rictor/mTORC2 regulates blood-testis barrier dynamics via its effects on gap junction communications and actin filament network

    PubMed Central

    Mok, Ka-Wai; Mruk, Dolores D.; Lee, Will M.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2013-01-01

    In the mammalian testis, coexisting tight junctions (TJs), basal ectoplasmic specializations, and gap junctions (GJs), together with desmosomes near the basement membrane, constitute the blood-testis barrier (BTB). The most notable feature of the BTB, however, is the extensive network of actin filament bundles, which makes it one of the tightest blood-tissue barriers. The BTB undergoes restructuring to facilitate the transit of preleptotene spermatocytes at stage VIII-IX of the epithelial cycle. Thus, the F-actin network at the BTB undergoes cyclic reorganization via a yet-to-be explored mechanism. Rictor, the key component of mTORC2 that is known to regulate actin cytoskeleton, was shown to express stage-specifically at the BTB in the seminiferous epithelium. Its expression was down-regulated at the BTB in stage VIII-IX tubules, coinciding with BTB restructuring at these stages. Using an in vivo model, a down-regulation of rictor at the BTB was also detected during adjudin-induced BTB disruption, illustrating rictor expression is positively correlated with the status of the BTB integrity. Indeed, the knockdown of rictor by RNAi was found to perturb the Sertoli cell TJ-barrier function in vitro and the BTB integrity in vivo. This loss of barrier function was accompanied by changes in F-actin organization at the Sertoli cell BTB in vitro and in vivo, associated with a loss of interaction between actin and α-catenin or ZO-1. Rictor knockdown by RNAi was also found to impede Sertoli cell-cell GJ communication, disrupting protein distribution (e.g., occludin, ZO-1) at the BTB, illustrating that rictor is a crucial BTB regulator.—Mok, K., Mruk, D. D., Lee, W. M., Cheng, C. Y. Rictor/mTORC2 regulates blood-testis barrier dynamics via its effects on gap junction communications and actin filament network. PMID:23288930

  9. Dysfunctional connections between the nucleus and the actin and microtubule networks in laminopathic models.

    PubMed

    Hale, Christopher M; Shrestha, Arun L; Khatau, Shyam B; Stewart-Hutchinson, P J; Hernandez, Lidia; Stewart, Colin L; Hodzic, Didier; Wirtz, Denis

    2008-12-01

    Laminopathies encompass a wide array of human diseases associated to scattered mutations along LMNA, a single gene encoding A-type lamins. How such genetic alterations translate to cellular defects and generate such diverse disease phenotypes remains enigmatic. Recent work has identified nuclear envelope proteins--emerin and the linker of the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex--which connect the nuclear lamina to the cytoskeleton. Here we quantitatively examine the composition of the nuclear envelope, as well as the architecture and functions of the cytoskeleton in cells derived from two laminopathic mouse models, including Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (Lmna(L530P/L530P)) and Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (Lmna(-/-)). Cells derived from the overtly aphenotypical model of X-linked Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (Emd(-/y)) were also included. We find that the centrosome is detached from the nucleus, preventing centrosome polarization in cells under flow--defects that are mediated by the loss of emerin from the nuclear envelope. Moreover, while basal actin and focal adhesion structure are mildly affected, RhoA activation, cell-substratum adhesion, and cytoplasmic elasticity are greatly lowered, exclusively in laminopathic models in which the LINC complex is disrupted. These results indicate a new function for emerin in cell polarization and suggest that laminopathies are not directly associated with cells' inability to polarize, but rather with cytoplasmic softening and weakened adhesion mediated by the disruption of the LINC complex across the nuclear envelope. PMID:18790843

  10. Myosins, Actin and Autophagy.

    PubMed

    Kruppa, Antonina J; Kendrick-Jones, John; Buss, Folma

    2016-08-01

    Myosin motor proteins working together with the actin cytoskeleton drive a wide range of cellular processes. In this review, we focus on their roles in autophagy - the pathway the cell uses to ensure homeostasis by targeting pathogens, misfolded proteins and damaged organelles for degradation. The actin cytoskeleton regulated by a host of nucleating, anchoring and stabilizing proteins provides the filament network for the delivery of essential membrane vesicles from different cellular compartments to the autophagosome. Actin networks have also been implicated in structurally supporting the expanding phagophore, moving autophagosomes and enabling efficient fusion with the lysosome. Only a few myosins have so far been shown to play a role in autophagy. Non-muscle myosin IIA functions in the early stages delivering membrane for the initial formation of the autophagosome, whereas myosin IC and myosin VI are involved in the final stages providing specific membranes for autophagosome maturation and its fusion with the lysosome. PMID:27146966

  11. Bistability in the Rac1, PAK, and RhoA Signaling Network Drives Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics and Cell Motility Switches

    PubMed Central

    Byrne, Kate M.; Monsefi, Naser; Dawson, John C.; Degasperi, Andrea; Bukowski-Wills, Jimi-Carlo; Volinsky, Natalia; Dobrzyński, Maciej; Birtwistle, Marc R.; Tsyganov, Mikhail A.; Kiyatkin, Anatoly; Kida, Katarzyna; Finch, Andrew J.; Carragher, Neil O.; Kolch, Walter; Nguyen, Lan K.; von Kriegsheim, Alex; Kholodenko, Boris N.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Dynamic interactions between RhoA and Rac1, members of the Rho small GTPase family, play a vital role in the control of cell migration. Using predictive mathematical modeling, mass spectrometry-based quantitation of network components, and experimental validation in MDA-MB-231 mesenchymal breast cancer cells, we show that a network containing Rac1, RhoA, and PAK family kinases can produce bistable, switch-like responses to a graded PAK inhibition. Using a small chemical inhibitor of PAK, we demonstrate that cellular RhoA and Rac1 activation levels respond in a history-dependent, bistable manner to PAK inhibition. Consequently, we show that downstream signaling, actin dynamics, and cell migration also behave in a bistable fashion, displaying switches and hysteresis in response to PAK inhibition. Our results demonstrate that PAK is a critical component in the Rac1-RhoA inhibitory crosstalk that governs bistable GTPase activity, cell morphology, and cell migration switches. PMID:27136688

  12. Bistability in the Rac1, PAK, and RhoA Signaling Network Drives Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics and Cell Motility Switches.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Kate M; Monsefi, Naser; Dawson, John C; Degasperi, Andrea; Bukowski-Wills, Jimi-Carlo; Volinsky, Natalia; Dobrzyński, Maciej; Birtwistle, Marc R; Tsyganov, Mikhail A; Kiyatkin, Anatoly; Kida, Katarzyna; Finch, Andrew J; Carragher, Neil O; Kolch, Walter; Nguyen, Lan K; von Kriegsheim, Alex; Kholodenko, Boris N

    2016-01-27

    Dynamic interactions between RhoA and Rac1, members of the Rho small GTPase family, play a vital role in the control of cell migration. Using predictive mathematical modeling, mass spectrometry-based quantitation of network components, and experimental validation in MDA-MB-231 mesenchymal breast cancer cells, we show that a network containing Rac1, RhoA, and PAK family kinases can produce bistable, switch-like responses to a graded PAK inhibition. Using a small chemical inhibitor of PAK, we demonstrate that cellular RhoA and Rac1 activation levels respond in a history-dependent, bistable manner to PAK inhibition. Consequently, we show that downstream signaling, actin dynamics, and cell migration also behave in a bistable fashion, displaying switches and hysteresis in response to PAK inhibition. Our results demonstrate that PAK is a critical component in the Rac1-RhoA inhibitory crosstalk that governs bistable GTPase activity, cell morphology, and cell migration switches. PMID:27136688

  13. Membrane Tension Acts Through PLD2 and mTORC2 to Limit Actin Network Assembly During Neutrophil Migration

    PubMed Central

    Diz-Muñoz, Alba; Thurley, Kevin; Chintamen, Sana; Altschuler, Steven J.; Fletcher, Daniel A.; Weiner, Orion D.

    2016-01-01

    For efficient polarity and migration, cells need to regulate the magnitude and spatial distribution of actin assembly. This process is coordinated by reciprocal interactions between the actin cytoskeleton and mechanical forces. Actin polymerization-based protrusion increases tension in the plasma membrane, which in turn acts as a long-range inhibitor of actin assembly. These interactions form a negative feedback circuit that limits the magnitude of membrane tension in neutrophils and prevents expansion of the existing front and the formation of secondary fronts. It has been suggested that the plasma membrane directly inhibits actin assembly by serving as a physical barrier that opposes protrusion. Here we show that efficient control of actin polymerization-based protrusion requires an additional mechanosensory feedback cascade that indirectly links membrane tension with actin assembly. Specifically, elevated membrane tension acts through phospholipase D2 (PLD2) and the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) to limit actin nucleation. In the absence of this pathway, neutrophils exhibit larger leading edges, higher membrane tension, and profoundly defective chemotaxis. Mathematical modeling suggests roles for both the direct (mechanical) and indirect (biochemical via PLD2 and mTORC2) feedback loops in organizing cell polarity and motility—the indirect loop is better suited to enable competition between fronts, whereas the direct loop helps spatially organize actin nucleation for efficient leading edge formation and cell movement. This circuit is essential for polarity, motility, and the control of membrane tension. PMID:27280401

  14. Membrane Tension Acts Through PLD2 and mTORC2 to Limit Actin Network Assembly During Neutrophil Migration.

    PubMed

    Diz-Muñoz, Alba; Thurley, Kevin; Chintamen, Sana; Altschuler, Steven J; Wu, Lani F; Fletcher, Daniel A; Weiner, Orion D

    2016-06-01

    For efficient polarity and migration, cells need to regulate the magnitude and spatial distribution of actin assembly. This process is coordinated by reciprocal interactions between the actin cytoskeleton and mechanical forces. Actin polymerization-based protrusion increases tension in the plasma membrane, which in turn acts as a long-range inhibitor of actin assembly. These interactions form a negative feedback circuit that limits the magnitude of membrane tension in neutrophils and prevents expansion of the existing front and the formation of secondary fronts. It has been suggested that the plasma membrane directly inhibits actin assembly by serving as a physical barrier that opposes protrusion. Here we show that efficient control of actin polymerization-based protrusion requires an additional mechanosensory feedback cascade that indirectly links membrane tension with actin assembly. Specifically, elevated membrane tension acts through phospholipase D2 (PLD2) and the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) to limit actin nucleation. In the absence of this pathway, neutrophils exhibit larger leading edges, higher membrane tension, and profoundly defective chemotaxis. Mathematical modeling suggests roles for both the direct (mechanical) and indirect (biochemical via PLD2 and mTORC2) feedback loops in organizing cell polarity and motility-the indirect loop is better suited to enable competition between fronts, whereas the direct loop helps spatially organize actin nucleation for efficient leading edge formation and cell movement. This circuit is essential for polarity, motility, and the control of membrane tension. PMID:27280401

  15. GhCFE1A, a dynamic linker between the ER network and actin cytoskeleton, plays an important role in cotton fibre cell initiation and elongation

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Fenni; Wang, Haihai; Wang, Xinyu; Han, Libo; Ma, Yinping; Wang, Sen; Feng, Zhidi; Niu, Xiaowei; Cai, Caiping; Kong, Zhaosheng; Zhang, Tianzhen; Guo, Wangzhen

    2015-01-01

    Fibre cell initiation and elongation is critical for cotton fibre development. However, little is known about the regulation of initiation and elongation during fibre cell development. Here, the regulatory role of a novel protein GhCFE1A was uncovered. GhCFE1A is preferentially expressed at initiation and rapid elongation stages during fibre development; in addition, much higher expression of GhCFE1A was detected at the fibre initiation stage in fibreless cotton mutants than in the fibre-bearing TM-1 wild-type. Importantly, overexpression of GhCFE1A in cotton not only delayed fibre cell elongation but also significantly reduced the density of lint and fuzz fibre initials and stem trichomes. Yeast two-hybrid assay showed that GhCFE1A interacted with several actin proteins, and the interaction was further confirmed by co-sedimentation assay. Interestingly, a subcellular localization assay showed that GhCFE1A resided on the cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network and co-localized with actin cables. Moreover, the density of F-actin filaments was shown to be reduced in GhCFE1A-overexpressing fibres at the rapid elongation stage compared with the wild-type control. Taken together, the results demonstrate that GhCFE1A probably functions as a dynamic linker between the actin cytoskeleton and the ER network, and plays an important role in fibre cell initiation and elongation during cotton fibre development. PMID:25609828

  16. GhCFE1A, a dynamic linker between the ER network and actin cytoskeleton, plays an important role in cotton fibre cell initiation and elongation.

    PubMed

    Lv, Fenni; Wang, Haihai; Wang, Xinyu; Han, Libo; Ma, Yinping; Wang, Sen; Feng, Zhidi; Niu, Xiaowei; Cai, Caiping; Kong, Zhaosheng; Zhang, Tianzhen; Guo, Wangzhen

    2015-04-01

    Fibre cell initiation and elongation is critical for cotton fibre development. However, little is known about the regulation of initiation and elongation during fibre cell development. Here, the regulatory role of a novel protein GhCFE1A was uncovered. GhCFE1A is preferentially expressed at initiation and rapid elongation stages during fibre development; in addition, much higher expression of GhCFE1A was detected at the fibre initiation stage in fibreless cotton mutants than in the fibre-bearing TM-1 wild-type. Importantly, overexpression of GhCFE1A in cotton not only delayed fibre cell elongation but also significantly reduced the density of lint and fuzz fibre initials and stem trichomes. Yeast two-hybrid assay showed that GhCFE1A interacted with several actin proteins, and the interaction was further confirmed by co-sedimentation assay. Interestingly, a subcellular localization assay showed that GhCFE1A resided on the cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network and co-localized with actin cables. Moreover, the density of F-actin filaments was shown to be reduced in GhCFE1A-overexpressing fibres at the rapid elongation stage compared with the wild-type control. Taken together, the results demonstrate that GhCFE1A probably functions as a dynamic linker between the actin cytoskeleton and the ER network, and plays an important role in fibre cell initiation and elongation during cotton fibre development. PMID:25609828

  17. Steric Effects Induce Geometric Remodeling of Actin Bundles in Filopodia.

    PubMed

    Dobramysl, Ulrich; Papoian, Garegin A; Erban, Radek

    2016-05-10

    Filopodia are ubiquitous fingerlike protrusions, spawned by many eukaryotic cells, to probe and interact with their environments. Polymerization dynamics of actin filaments, comprising the structural core of filopodia, largely determine their instantaneous lengths and overall lifetimes. The polymerization reactions at the filopodial tip require transport of G-actin, which enter the filopodial tube from the filopodial base and diffuse toward the filament barbed ends near the tip. Actin filaments are mechanically coupled into a tight bundle by cross-linker proteins. Interestingly, many of these proteins are relatively short, restricting the free diffusion of cytosolic G-actin throughout the bundle and, in particular, its penetration into the bundle core. To investigate the effect of steric restrictions on G-actin diffusion by the porous structure of filopodial actin filament bundle, we used a particle-based stochastic simulation approach. We discovered that excluded volume interactions result in partial and then full collapse of central filaments in the bundle, leading to a hollowed-out structure. The latter may further collapse radially due to the activity of cross-linking proteins, hence producing conical-shaped filament bundles. Interestingly, electron microscopy experiments on mature filopodia indeed frequently reveal actin bundles that are narrow at the tip and wider at the base. Overall, our work demonstrates that excluded volume effects in the context of reaction-diffusion processes in porous networks may lead to unexpected geometric growth patterns and complicated, history-dependent dynamics of intermediate metastable configurations. PMID:27166814

  18. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... example, if you work outdoors) Had many severe sunburns early in life Are older Symptoms Actinic keratosis ... and tanning salons. Other things to know about sun exposure: Sun exposure is stronger in or near surfaces ...

  19. Actinic Cheilitis

    MedlinePlus

    ... is a precancerous condition related to cumulative lifetime sun exposure. The lower lip is most often affected. Individuals ... Wearing barrier clothing (eg, wide-brimmed hats) and sunscreen-containing lip balms can aid in preventing actinic ...

  20. HopW1 from Pseudomonas syringae Disrupts the Actin Cytoskeleton to Promote Virulence in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Cecchini, Nicolas M.; Li, Yujie; Lee, Min Woo; Kovar, David R.; Greenberg, Jean T.

    2014-01-01

    A central mechanism of virulence of extracellular bacterial pathogens is the injection into host cells of effector proteins that modify host cellular functions. HopW1 is an effector injected by the type III secretion system that increases the growth of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae on the Columbia accession of Arabidopsis. When delivered by P. syringae into plant cells, HopW1 causes a reduction in the filamentous actin (F-actin) network and the inhibition of endocytosis, a known actin-dependent process. When directly produced in plants, HopW1 forms complexes with actin, disrupts the actin cytoskeleton and inhibits endocytosis as well as the trafficking of certain proteins to vacuoles. The C-terminal region of HopW1 can reduce the length of actin filaments and therefore solubilize F-actin in vitro. Thus, HopW1 acts by disrupting the actin cytoskeleton and the cell biological processes that depend on actin, which in turn are needed for restricting P. syringae growth in Arabidopsis. PMID:24968323

  1. A chemo-mechanical constitutive model for transiently cross-linked actin networks and a theoretical assessment of their viscoelastic behaviour.

    PubMed

    Fallqvist, B; Kroon, M

    2013-04-01

    Biological materials can undergo large deformations and also show viscoelastic behaviour. One such material is the network of actin filaments found in biological cells, giving the cell much of its mechanical stiffness. A theory for predicting the relaxation behaviour of actin networks cross-linked with the cross-linker α-actinin is proposed. The constitutive model is based on a continuum approach involving a neo-Hookean material model, modified in terms of concentration of chemically activated cross-links. The chemical model builds on work done by Spiros (Doctoral thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 1998) and has been modified to respond to mechanical stress experienced by the network. The deformation is split into a viscous and elastic part, and a thermodynamically motivated rate equation is assigned for the evolution of viscous deformation. The model predictions were evaluated for stress relaxation tests at different levels of strain and found to be in good agreement with experimental results for actin networks cross-linked with α-actinin. PMID:22623110

  2. ROCK1 via LIM kinase regulates growth, maturation and actin based functions in mast cells

    PubMed Central

    Kapur, Reuben; Shi, Jianjian; Ghosh, Joydeep; Munugalavadla, Veerendra; Sims, Emily; Martin, Holly; Wei, Lei; Mali, Raghuveer Singh

    2016-01-01

    Understanding mast cell development is essential due to their critical role in regulating immunity and autoimmune diseases. Here, we show how Rho kinases (ROCK) regulate mast cell development and can function as therapeutic targets for treating allergic diseases. Rock1 deficiency results in delayed maturation of bone marrow derived mast cells (BMMCs) in response to IL-3 stimulation and reduced growth in response to stem cell factor (SCF) stimulation. Further, integrin-mediated adhesion and migration, and IgE-mediated degranulation are all impaired in Rock1-deficient BMMCs. To understand the mechanism behind altered mast cell development in Rock1−/− BMMCs, we analyzed the activation of ROCK and its downstream targets including LIM kinase (LIMK). We observed reduced activation of ROCK, LIMK, AKT and ERK1/2 in Rock1-deficient BMMCs in response to SCF stimulation. Further, loss of either Limk1 or Limk2 also demonstrated altered BMMC maturation and growth; combined deletion of both Limk1 and Limk2 resulted in further reduction in BMMC maturation and growth. In passive cutaneous anaphylaxis model, deficiency of Rock1 or treatment with ROCK inhibitor Fasudil protected mice against IgE-mediated challenge. Our results identify ROCK/LIMK pathway as a novel therapeutic target for treating allergic diseases involving mast cells. PMID:26943578

  3. Actin polymerization or myosin contraction: two ways to build up cortical tension for symmetry breaking.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Kevin; Lemière, Joël; Faqir, Fahima; Manzi, John; Blanchoin, Laurent; Plastino, Julie; Betz, Timo; Sykes, Cécile

    2013-01-01

    Cells use complex biochemical pathways to drive shape changes for polarization and movement. One of these pathways is the self-assembly of actin filaments and myosin motors that together produce the forces and tensions that drive cell shape changes. Whereas the role of actin and myosin motors in cell polarization is clear, the exact mechanism of how the cortex, a thin shell of actin that is underneath the plasma membrane, can drive cell shape changes is still an open question. Here, we address this issue using biomimetic systems: the actin cortex is reconstituted on liposome membranes, in an 'outside geometry'. The actin shell is either grown from an activator of actin polymerization immobilized at the membrane by a biotin-streptavidin link, or built by simple adsorption of biotinylated actin filaments to the membrane, in the presence or absence of myosin motors. We show that tension in the actin network can be induced either by active actin polymerization on the membrane via the Arp2/3 complex or by myosin II filament pulling activity. Symmetry breaking and spontaneous polarization occur above a critical tension that opens up a crack in the actin shell. We show that this critical tension is reached by growing branched networks, nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex, in a concentration window of capping protein that limits actin filament growth and by a sufficient number of motors that pull on actin filaments. Our study provides the groundwork to understanding the physical mechanisms at work during polarization prior to cell shape modifications. PMID:24062578

  4. Organized F-actin is essential for normal trichome morphogenesis in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed Central

    Szymanski, D B; Marks, M D; Wick, S M

    1999-01-01

    Actin microfilaments form a three-dimensional cytoskeletal network throughout the cell and constitute an essential throughway for organelle and vesicle transport. Development of Arabidopsis trichomes, unicellular structures derived from the epidermis, is being used as a genetic system in which to study actin-dependent growth in plant cells. The present study indicates that filamentous actin (F-actin) plays an important role during Arabidopsis trichome morphogenesis. For example, immunolocalization of actin filaments during trichome morphogenesis identified rearrangements of the cytoskeletal structure during the development of the mature cell. Moreover, pharmacological experiments indicate that there are distinct requirements for actin- and microtubule-dependent function during trichome morphogenesis. The F-actin-disrupting drug cytochalasin D does not affect the establishment of polarity during trichome development; however, maintenance and coordination of the normal pattern of cell growth are very sensitive to this drug. In contrast, oryzalin, an agent that depolymerizes microtubules, severely inhibits cell polarization. Furthermore, cytochalasin D treatment phenocopies a known class of mutations that cause distorted trichome morphology. Results of an analysis of cell shape and microfilament structure in wild-type, mutant, and drug-treated trichomes are consistent with a role for actin in the maintenance and coordination of an established growth pattern. PMID:10590162

  5. Steady-state nuclear actin levels are determined by export competent actin pool.

    PubMed

    Skarp, Kari-Pekka; Huet, Guillaume; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2013-10-01

    A number of studies in the last decade have irrevocably promoted actin into a fully fledged member of the nuclear compartment, where it, among other crucial tasks, facilitates transcription and chromatin remodeling. Changes in nuclear actin levels have been linked to different cellular processes: decreased nuclear actin to quiescence and increased nuclear actin to differentiation. Importin 9 and exportin 6 transport factors are responsible for the continuous nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of actin, but the mechanisms, which result in modulated actin levels, have not been characterized. We find that in cells growing under normal growth conditions, the levels of nuclear actin vary considerably from cell to cell. To understand the basis for this, we have extensively quantified several cellular parameters while at the same time recording the import and export rates of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged actin. Surprisingly, our dataset shows that the ratio of nuclear to cytoplasmic fluorescence intensity, but not nuclear shape, size, cytoplasm size, or their ratio, correlates negatively with both import and export rate of actin. This suggests that high-nuclear actin content is maintained by both diminished import and export. The high nuclear actin containing cells still show high mobility of actin, but it is not export competent, suggesting increased binding of actin to nuclear complexes. Creation of such export incompetent actin pool would ensure enough actin is retained in the nucleus and make it available for the various nuclear functions described for actin. PMID:23749625

  6. Actinic reticuloid

    SciTech Connect

    Marx, J.L.; Vale, M.; Dermer, P.; Ragaz, A.; Michaelides, P.; Gladstein, A.H.

    1982-09-01

    A 58-year-old man has his condition diagnosed as actinic reticuloid on the basis of clinical and histologic findings and phototesting data. He had clinical features resembling mycosis fungoides in light-exposed areas. Histologic findings disclosed a bandlike infiltrate with atypical mononuclear cells in the dermis and scattered atypical cells in the epidermis. Electron microscopy disclosed mononuclear cells with bizarre, convoluted nuclei, resembling cerebriform cells of Lutzner. Phototesting disclosed a diminished minimal erythemal threshold to UV-B and UV-A. Microscopic changes resembling actinic reticuloid were reproduced in this patient 24 and 72 hours after exposure to 15 minimal erythemal doses of UV-B.

  7. Mesoscopic model of actin-based propulsion.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jie; Mogilner, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Two theoretical models dominate current understanding of actin-based propulsion: microscopic polymerization ratchet model predicts that growing and writhing actin filaments generate forces and movements, while macroscopic elastic propulsion model suggests that deformation and stress of growing actin gel are responsible for the propulsion. We examine both experimentally and computationally the 2D movement of ellipsoidal beads propelled by actin tails and show that neither of the two models can explain the observed bistability of the orientation of the beads. To explain the data, we develop a 2D hybrid mesoscopic model by reconciling these two models such that individual actin filaments undergoing nucleation, elongation, attachment, detachment and capping are embedded into the boundary of a node-spring viscoelastic network representing the macroscopic actin gel. Stochastic simulations of this 'in silico' actin network show that the combined effects of the macroscopic elastic deformation and microscopic ratchets can explain the observed bistable orientation of the actin-propelled ellipsoidal beads. To test the theory further, we analyze observed distribution of the curvatures of the trajectories and show that the hybrid model's predictions fit the data. Finally, we demonstrate that the model can explain both concave-up and concave-down force-velocity relations for growing actin networks depending on the characteristic time scale and network recoil. To summarize, we propose that both microscopic polymerization ratchets and macroscopic stresses of the deformable actin network are responsible for the force and movement generation. PMID:23133366

  8. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton results in the promotion of gravitropism in inflorescence stems and hypocotyls of Arabidopsis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yamamoto, Kazuyoshi; Kiss, John Z.

    2002-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is hypothesized to play a major role in gravity perception and transduction mechanisms in roots of plants. To determine whether actin microfilaments (MFs) are involved in these processes in stem-like organs, we studied gravitropism in Arabidopsis inflorescence stems and hypocotyls. Localization studies using Alexa Fluor-phalloidin in conjugation with confocal microscopy demonstrated a longitudinally and transversely oriented actin MF network in endodermal cells of stems and hypocotyls. Latrunculin B (Lat-B) treatment of hypocotyls caused depolymerization of actin MFs in endodermal cells and a significant reduction of hypocotyl growth rates. Actin MFs in Lat-B-treated inflorescence stems also were disrupted, but growth rates were not affected. Despite disruption of the actin cytoskeleton in these two organs, Lat-B-treated stems and hypocotyls exhibited a promotion of gravitropic curvature in response to reorientation. In contrast, Lat-B reduced gravitropic curvature in roots but also reduced the growth rate. Thus, in contrast to prevailing hypotheses, our results suggest that actin MFs are not a necessary component of gravitropism in inflorescence stems and hypocotyls. Furthermore, this is the first study to demonstrate a prominent actin MF network in endodermal cells in the putative gravity-perceiving cells in stems.

  9. β1 and β3 Integrins Cooperate to Induce Syndecan-4-Containing Cross-linked Actin Networks in Human Trabecular Meshwork Cells

    PubMed Central

    Filla, Mark S.; Woods, Anne; Kaufman, Paul L.; Peters, Donna M.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose To characterize the molecular composition of cross-linked actin networks (CLANs) and the regulation of their formation by integrins in normal human trabecular meshwork (TM) cells. CLANs have been observed in steroid-treated and glaucomatous TM cells and have been suggested to contribute to decreased outflow facility by altering the contractility of the TM. Methods Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to identify molecular components of CLANs and quantitate CLAN formation in HTM cells plated on coverslips coated with various extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins (fibronectin, types I and IV collagen, and vitronectin), vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, or activating antibodies against β1, β3, or α2β1 integrins. These integrin antibodies were also used as soluble ligands. Results CLAN vertices contained the actin-binding proteins α-actinin and filamin and the signaling molecules syndecan-4 and PIP2. CLANs lacked Arp3 and cortactin. CLAN formation was dependent on the ECM substrate and was significantly higher on fibronectin and VCAM-1 compared with vitronectin, types I or IV collagen. Adsorbed β1 integrin antibodies also induced CLANs, whereas adsorbed β3 or α2β1 integrin antibodies did not. Soluble β3 integrin antibodies, however, induced CLANs and actually enhanced CLAN formation in cells spread on fibronectin, VCAM-1, type I or type IV collagen, or β1 integrin antibodies. Conclusions CLANs are unique actin-branched networks whose formation can be regulated by β1 and β3 integrin signaling pathways. Thus, integrin-mediated signaling events can modulate the organization of the actin cytoskeleton in TM cells and hence could participate in regulating cytoskeletal events previously demonstrated to be involved in controlling outflow facility. PMID:16639003

  10. Bidirectional actin transport is influenced by microtubule and actin stability.

    PubMed

    Chetta, Joshua; Love, James M; Bober, Brian G; Shah, Sameer B

    2015-11-01

    Local and long-distance transport of cytoskeletal proteins is vital to neuronal maintenance and growth. Though recent progress has provided insight into the movement of microtubules and neurofilaments, mechanisms underlying the movement of actin remain elusive, in large part due to rapid transitions between its filament states and its diverse cellular localization and function. In this work, we integrated live imaging of rat sensory neurons, image processing, multiple regression analysis, and mathematical modeling to perform the first quantitative, high-resolution investigation of GFP-actin identity and movement in individual axons. Our data revealed that filamentous actin densities arise along the length of the axon and move short but significant distances bidirectionally, with a net anterograde bias. We directly tested the role of actin and microtubules in this movement. We also confirmed a role for actin densities in extension of axonal filopodia, and demonstrated intermittent correlation of actin and mitochondrial movement. Our results support a novel mechanism underlying slow component axonal transport, in which the stability of both microtubule and actin cytoskeletal components influence the mobility of filamentous actin. PMID:26043972

  11. The polarity protein Inturned links NPHP4 to Daam1 to control the subapical actin network in multiciliated cells

    PubMed Central

    Yasunaga, Takayuki; Hoff, Sylvia; Schell, Christoph; Helmstädter, Martin; Kretz, Oliver; Kuechlin, Sebastian; Yakulov, Toma A.; Engel, Christina; Müller, Barbara; Bensch, Robert; Ronneberger, Olaf; Huber, Tobias B.; Lienkamp, Soeren S.

    2015-01-01

    Motile cilia polarization requires intracellular anchorage to the cytoskeleton; however, the molecular machinery that supports this process remains elusive. We report that Inturned plays a central role in coordinating the interaction between cilia-associated proteins and actin-nucleation factors. We observed that knockdown of nphp4 in multiciliated cells of the Xenopus laevis epidermis compromised ciliogenesis and directional fluid flow. Depletion of nphp4 disrupted the subapical actin layer. Comparison to the structural defects caused by inturned depletion revealed striking similarities. Furthermore, coimmunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that the two proteins interact with each other and that Inturned mediates the formation of ternary protein complexes between NPHP4 and DAAM1. Knockdown of daam1, but not formin-2, resulted in similar disruption of the subapical actin web, whereas nphp4 depletion prevented the association of Inturned with the basal bodies. Thus, Inturned appears to function as an adaptor protein that couples cilia-associated molecules to actin-modifying proteins to rearrange the local actin cytoskeleton. PMID:26644512

  12. The polarity protein Inturned links NPHP4 to Daam1 to control the subapical actin network in multiciliated cells.

    PubMed

    Yasunaga, Takayuki; Hoff, Sylvia; Schell, Christoph; Helmstädter, Martin; Kretz, Oliver; Kuechlin, Sebastian; Yakulov, Toma A; Engel, Christina; Müller, Barbara; Bensch, Robert; Ronneberger, Olaf; Huber, Tobias B; Lienkamp, Soeren S; Walz, Gerd

    2015-12-01

    Motile cilia polarization requires intracellular anchorage to the cytoskeleton; however, the molecular machinery that supports this process remains elusive. We report that Inturned plays a central role in coordinating the interaction between cilia-associated proteins and actin-nucleation factors. We observed that knockdown of nphp4 in multiciliated cells of the Xenopus laevis epidermis compromised ciliogenesis and directional fluid flow. Depletion of nphp4 disrupted the subapical actin layer. Comparison to the structural defects caused by inturned depletion revealed striking similarities. Furthermore, coimmunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that the two proteins interact with each other and that Inturned mediates the formation of ternary protein complexes between NPHP4 and DAAM1. Knockdown of daam1, but not formin-2, resulted in similar disruption of the subapical actin web, whereas nphp4 depletion prevented the association of Inturned with the basal bodies. Thus, Inturned appears to function as an adaptor protein that couples cilia-associated molecules to actin-modifying proteins to rearrange the local actin cytoskeleton. PMID:26644512

  13. Waves of actin and microtubule polymerization drive microtubule-based transport and neurite growth before single axon formation

    PubMed Central

    Winans, Amy M; Collins, Sean R; Meyer, Tobias

    2016-01-01

    Many developing neurons transition through a multi-polar state with many competing neurites before assuming a unipolar state with one axon and multiple dendrites. Hallmarks of the multi-polar state are large fluctuations in microtubule-based transport into and outgrowth of different neurites, although what drives these fluctuations remains elusive. We show that actin waves, which stochastically migrate from the cell body towards neurite tips, direct microtubule-based transport during the multi-polar state. Our data argue for a mechanical control system whereby actin waves transiently widen the neurite shaft to allow increased microtubule polymerization to direct Kinesin-based transport and create bursts of neurite extension. Actin waves also require microtubule polymerization, arguing that positive feedback links these two components. We propose that actin waves create large stochastic fluctuations in microtubule-based transport and neurite outgrowth, promoting competition between neurites as they explore the environment until sufficient external cues can direct one to become the axon. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12387.001 PMID:26836307

  14. Plasma membrane-associated SCAR complex subunits promote cortical F-actin accumulation and normal growth characteristics in Arabidopsis roots

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ARP2/3 complex, a highly conserved nucleator of F-actin polymerization, and its activator, the SCAR complex, have been shown to play important roles in leaf epidermal cell morphogenesis in Arabidopsis. However, the intracellular site(s) and function(s) of SCAR complex and ARP2/3 complex-depende...

  15. Vrp1p-Las17p interaction is critical for actin patch polarization but is not essential for growth or fluid phase endocytosis in S. cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Wong, Ming Hwa; Meng, Lei; Rajmohan, Rajamuthiah; Yu, Shangjuan; Thanabalu, Thirumaran

    2010-12-01

    Vrp1p (yeast WIP) forms a protein complex with Las17p (yeast WASP), however the physiological significance of the interaction has not been fully characterized. Vrp1p residues, (788)MPKPR(792) are essential for Vrp1p-Las17p interaction. While C-Vrp1p(364-817) complements all the defects of the vrp1Δ strain, C-Vrp1p(364-817)(5A) ((788)AAAAA(792)) does not complement any of the defects, due to its inability to localize to cortical patches. Targeting C-Vrp1p(364-817)(5A) to membranes using CAAX motif (C-Vrp1p(364-817)(5A)-CAAX) rescued the growth and endocytosis defect but not the actin patch polarization defect of vrp1Δ. Vrp1p can localize to cortical patches, either by binding to Las17p through LBD (Las17 Binding Domain, Vrp1p(760-817)) or independent of Las17p through residues in N-Vrp1p(1-364). Unlike Vrp1p, Vrp1p(5A) localizes poorly to cortical patches and complements all the defects of vrp1Δ strain except actin patch polarization at elevated temperature. N-Vrp1p(1-364) complements all the defects of vrp1Δ strain except the actin patch polarization defect while N-Vrp1p(1-364)-LBD fusion protein complements all the defects. Thus our results show that while both Vrp1p and Las17p are essential for many cellular processes, the two proteins do not necessarily have to bind to each other to carry out these cellular functions. However, Las17p-Vrp1p interaction is essential for actin patch polarization at elevated temperature. PMID:20816901

  16. Actin dynamics: from nanoscale to microscale.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Anders E

    2010-01-01

    The dynamic nature of actin in cells manifests itself constantly. Polymerization near the cell edge is balanced by depolymerization in the interior, externally induced actin polymerization is followed by depolymerization, and spontaneous oscillations of actin at the cell periphery are frequently seen. I discuss how mathematical modeling relates quantitative measures of actin dynamics to the rates of underlying molecular level processes. The dynamic properties addressed include the rate of actin assembly at the leading edge of a moving cell, the disassembly rates of intracellular actin networks, the polymerization time course in externally stimulated cells, and spontaneous spatiotemporal patterns formed by actin. Although several aspects of actin assembly have been clarified by increasingly sophisticated models, our understanding of rapid actin disassembly is limited, and the origins of nonmonotonic features in externally stimulated actin polymerization remain unclear. Theory has generated several concrete, testable hypotheses for the origins of spontaneous actin waves and cell-edge oscillations. The development and use of more biomimetic systems applicable to the geometry of a cell will be key to obtaining a quantitative understanding of actin dynamics in cells. PMID:20462375

  17. Optogenetic control of PIP3: PIP3 is sufficient to induce the actin-based active part of growth cones and is regulated via endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Kakumoto, Toshiyuki; Nakata, Takao

    2013-01-01

    Phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) is highly regulated in a spatiotemporal manner and plays multiple roles in individual cells. However, the local dynamics and primary functions of PIP3 in developing neurons remain unclear because of a lack of techniques for manipulating PIP3 spatiotemporally. We addressed this issue by combining optogenetic control and observation of endogenous PIP3 signaling. Endogenous PIP3 was abundant in actin-rich structures such as growth cones and "waves", and PIP3-rich plasma membranes moved actively within growth cones. To study the role of PIP3 in developing neurons, we developed a PI3K photoswitch that can induce production of PIP3 at specific locations upon blue light exposure. We succeeded in producing PIP3 locally in mouse hippocampal neurons. Local PIP3 elevation at neurite tips did not induce neurite elongation, but it was sufficient to induce the formation of filopodia and lamellipodia. Interestingly, ectopic PIP3 elevation alone activated membranes to form actin-based structures whose behavior was similar to that of growth-cone-like "waves". We also found that endocytosis regulates effective PIP3 concentration at plasma membranes. These results revealed the local dynamics and primary functions of PIP3, providing fundamental information about PIP3 signaling in neurons. PMID:23951027

  18. Synthetic peptides that cause F-actin bundling and block actin depolymerization

    DOEpatents

    Sederoff, Heike; Huber, Steven C; Larabell, Carolyn A

    2011-10-18

    Synthetic peptides derived from sucrose synthase, and having homology to actin and actin-related proteins, sharing a common motif, useful for causing acting bundling and preventing actin depolymerization. Peptides exhibiting the common motif are described, as well as specific synthetic peptides which caused bundled actin and inhibit actin depolymerization. These peptides can be useful for treating a subject suffering from a disease characterized by cells having neoplastic growth, for anti-cancer therapeutics, delivered to subjects solely, or concomitantly or sequentially with other known cancer therapeutics. These peptides can also be used for stabilizing microfilaments in living cells and inhibiting growth of cells.

  19. Visualization of prosomes (MCP-proteasomes), intermediate filament and actin networks by "instantaneous fixation" preserving the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Arcangeletti, C; Sütterlin, R; Aebi, U; De Conto, F; Missorini, S; Chezzi, C; Scherrer, K

    1997-06-01

    A new "instantaneous" fixation/extraction procedure, yielding good preservation of intermediate filaments (IFs) and actin filaments when applied at 37 degrees C, has been explored to reexamine the relationships of the prosomes to the cytoskeleton. Prosomes are protein complexes of variable subunit composition, including occasionally a small RNA, which were originally observed as trans-acting factors in untranslated mRNPs. Constituting also the proteolytic core of the 26S proteasomes, they are also called "multicatalytic proteinase (MCP) complexes" or "20S-Proteasomes." In Triton X-100-extracted epithelial, fibroblastic, and muscle cells, prosome particles were found associated primarily with the IFs (Olink-Coux et al., 1994). Application of "instantaneous fixation" has now led to the new observation that a major fraction of prosome particles, composed of specific sets of subunits, is distributed in variable proportions between the IFs and the microfilament/ stress fiber system in PtK1 epithelial cells and human fibroblasts. Electron microscopy using gold-labeled antibodies confirms this dual localization on classical whole mounts and on cells exposed to instantaneous fixation. In contrast to the resistance of the prosome-IF association, a variable fraction of the prosome particles is released from the actin cytoskeleton by Triton X-100 when applied prior to fixation. Moreover, in vitro copolymerization of prosomes with G-actin made it possible to observe "ladder-like" filamentous structures in the electron microscope, in which the prosome particles, like the "rungs of a ladder," laterally crosslink two or more actin filaments in a regular pattern. These results demonstrate that prosomes are bound in the cell not only to IFs but also to the actin cytoskeleton and, furthermore, not only within large M(r) complexes (possibly mRNPs and/or 26S proteasomes), but also directly, as individual prosome particles. PMID:9216087

  20. Employment Growth through Labor Flow Networks

    PubMed Central

    Guerrero, Omar A.; Axtell, Robert L.

    2013-01-01

    It is conventional in labor economics to treat all workers who are seeking new jobs as belonging to a labor pool, and all firms that have job vacancies as an employer pool, and then match workers to jobs. Here we develop a new approach to study labor and firm dynamics. By combining the emerging science of networks with newly available employment micro-data, comprehensive at the level of whole countries, we are able to broadly characterize the process through which workers move between firms. Specifically, for each firm in an economy as a node in a graph, we draw edges between firms if a worker has migrated between them, possibly with a spell of unemployment in between. An economy's overall graph of firm-worker interactions is an object we call the labor flow network (LFN). This is the first study that characterizes a LFN for an entire economy. We explore the properties of this network, including its topology, its community structure, and its relationship to economic variables. It is shown that LFNs can be useful in identifying firms with high growth potential. We relate LFNs to other notions of high performance firms. Specifically, it is shown that fewer than 10% of firms account for nearly 90% of all employment growth. We conclude with a model in which empirically-salient LFNs emerge from the interaction of heterogeneous adaptive agents in a decentralized labor market. PMID:23658682

  1. Employment growth through labor flow networks.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Omar A; Axtell, Robert L

    2013-01-01

    It is conventional in labor economics to treat all workers who are seeking new jobs as belonging to a labor pool, and all firms that have job vacancies as an employer pool, and then match workers to jobs. Here we develop a new approach to study labor and firm dynamics. By combining the emerging science of networks with newly available employment micro-data, comprehensive at the level of whole countries, we are able to broadly characterize the process through which workers move between firms. Specifically, for each firm in an economy as a node in a graph, we draw edges between firms if a worker has migrated between them, possibly with a spell of unemployment in between. An economy's overall graph of firm-worker interactions is an object we call the labor flow network (LFN). This is the first study that characterizes a LFN for an entire economy. We explore the properties of this network, including its topology, its community structure, and its relationship to economic variables. It is shown that LFNs can be useful in identifying firms with high growth potential. We relate LFNs to other notions of high performance firms. Specifically, it is shown that fewer than 10% of firms account for nearly 90% of all employment growth. We conclude with a model in which empirically-salient LFNs emerge from the interaction of heterogeneous adaptive agents in a decentralized labor market. PMID:23658682

  2. Rho, nuclear actin, and actin-binding proteins in the regulation of transcription and gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Rajakylä, Eeva Kaisa; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2014-01-01

    Actin cytoskeleton is one of the main targets of Rho GTPases, which act as molecular switches on many signaling pathways. During the past decade, actin has emerged as an important regulator of gene expression. Nuclear actin plays a key role in transcription, chromatin remodeling, and pre-mRNA processing. In addition, the “status” of the actin cytoskeleton is used as a signaling intermediate by at least the MKL1-SRF and Hippo-pathways, which culminate in the transcriptional regulation of cytoskeletal and growth-promoting genes, respectively. Rho GTPases may therefore regulate gene expression by controlling either cytoplasmic or nuclear actin dynamics. Although the regulation of nuclear actin polymerization is still poorly understood, many actin-binding proteins, which are downstream effectors of Rho, are found in the nuclear compartment. In this review, we discuss the possible mechanisms and key proteins that may mediate the transcriptional regulation by Rho GTPases through actin. PMID:24603113

  3. Rho, nuclear actin, and actin-binding proteins in the regulation of transcription and gene expression.

    PubMed

    Rajakylä, Eeva Kaisa; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2014-01-01

    Actin cytoskeleton is one of the main targets of Rho GTPases, which act as molecular switches on many signaling pathways. During the past decade, actin has emerged as an important regulator of gene expression. Nuclear actin plays a key role in transcription, chromatin remodeling, and pre-mRNA processing. In addition, the "status" of the actin cytoskeleton is used as a signaling intermediate by at least the MKL1-SRF and Hippo-pathways, which culminate in the transcriptional regulation of cytoskeletal and growth-promoting genes, respectively. Rho GTPases may therefore regulate gene expression by controlling either cytoplasmic or nuclear actin dynamics. Although the regulation of nuclear actin polymerization is still poorly understood, many actin-binding proteins, which are downstream effectors of Rho, are found in the nuclear compartment. In this review, we discuss the possible mechanisms and key proteins that may mediate the transcriptional regulation by Rho GTPases through actin. PMID:24603113

  4. The Mitotic Exit Network and Cdc14 phosphatase initiate cytokinesis by counteracting CDK phosphorylations and blocking polarised growth

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Diaz, Alberto; Nkosi, Pedro Junior; Murray, Stephen; Labib, Karim

    2012-01-01

    Polarisation of the actin cytoskeleton must cease during cytokinesis, to support efficient assembly and contraction of the actomyosin ring at the site of cell division, but the underlying mechanisms are still understood poorly in most species. In budding yeast, the Mitotic Exit Network (MEN) releases Cdc14 phosphatase from the nucleolus during anaphase, leading to the inactivation of mitotic forms of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) and the onset of septation, before G1-CDK can be reactivated and drive re-polarisation of the actin cytoskeleton to a new bud. Here, we show that premature inactivation of mitotic CDK, before release of Cdc14, allows G1-CDK to divert the actin cytoskeleton away from the actomyosin ring to a new site of polarised growth, thereby delaying progression through cytokinesis. Our data indicate that cells normally avoid this problem via the MEN-dependent release of Cdc14, which counteracts all classes of CDK-mediated phosphorylations during cytokinesis and blocks polarised growth. The dephosphorylation of CDK targets is therefore central to the mechanism by which the MEN and Cdc14 initiate cytokinesis and block polarised growth during late mitosis. PMID:22872148

  5. Demonstration in vivo of the role of Arabidopsis PLIM2 actin-binding proteins during pollination.

    PubMed

    Sudo, Keisuke; Park, Jong-In; Sakazono, Satomi; Masuko-Suzuki, Hiromi; Osaka, Masaaki; Kawagishi, Mizuho; Fujita, Kotomi; Maruoka, Mayumi; Nanjo, Hikaru; Suzuki, Go; Suwabe, Keita; Watanabe, Masao

    2013-01-01

    In plant reproduction, pollination is the initial key process in bringing together the male and female gametophytes. When a pollen grain lands on the surface of the stigma, information is exchanged between the pollen and stigmatic cell to determine whether the pollen grain will be accepted or rejected. If it is accepted, the stigmatic papilla cell supplies water and other resources to the pollen for germination and pollen tube elongation. Cellular processes involving actin are essential for pollen germination and tube growth, and actin-binding proteins regulate these processes by interacting with actin filaments to assemble cytoskeletal structures and actin networks. LIM proteins, which belong to a subfamily of cysteine-rich proteins, are a family of actin-binding proteins in plants, and are considered to be important for formation of the actin cytoskeleton and maintenance of its dynamics. Although the physiological and biochemical characteristics of LIMs have been elucidated in vitro in a variety of cell types, their exact role in pollen germination and pollen tube growth during pollination remained unclear. In this manuscript, we focus on the pollen-specific LIM proteins, AtPLIM2a and AtPLIM2c, and define their biological function during pollination in Arabidopsis thaliana. The atplim2a/atplim2c double knockdown RNAi plants showed a reduced pollen germination, approximately one-fifth of wild type, and slower pollen tube growth in the pistil, that is 80.4 μm/hr compared to 140.8 μm/hr in wild type. These defects led to an occasional unfertilized ovule at the bottom of the silique in RNAi plants. Our data provide direct evidence of the biological function of LIM proteins during pollination as actin-binding proteins, modulating cytoskeletal structures and actin networks, and their consequent importance in seed production. PMID:24694391

  6. Actinic Prurigo.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Carreón, Alma Angélica; Rodríguez-Lobato, Erika; Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, Georgina; Cuevas-González, Juan Carlos; Mancheno-Valencia, Alexandra; Solís-Arias, Martha Patricia; Vega-Memije, María Elisa; Hojyo-Tomoka, María Teresa; Domínguez-Soto, Luciano

    2015-01-01

    Actinic prurigo is an idiopathic photodermatosis that affects the skin, as well as the labial and conjunctival mucosa in indigenous and mestizo populations of Latin America. It starts predominantly in childhood, has a chronic course, and is exacerbated with solar exposure. Little is known of its pathophysiology, including the known mechanisms of the participation of HLA-DR4 and an abnormal immunologic response with increase of T CD4+ lymphocytes. The presence of IgE, eosinophils, and mast cells suggests that it is a hypersensitivity reaction (likely type IVa or b). The diagnosis is clinical, and the presence of lymphoid follicles in the mucosal histopathologic study of mucosa is pathognomonic. The best available treatment to date is thalidomide, despite its secondary effects. PMID:26861426

  7. Downregulation of the DNA repair enzyme apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 stimulates transforming growth factor-β1 production and promotes actin rearrangement.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Yuri; Yamamori, Tohru; Yasui, Hironobu; Inanami, Osamu

    2015-05-22

    The DNA repair enzyme apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) plays a central role in base excision repair and functions as a reductive activator of various transcription factors. Multiple other functionalities have been ascribed to APE1 in addition to these major functions. A recent study showed that APE1 knockdown upregulated the expression of a set of genes related to extracellular matrix (ECM) production, indicating an additional novel biological role for this enzyme. Based on this finding, we have investigated the effect of APE1 downregulation on ECM-related gene expression and its biological consequences. Endogenous APE1 expression was downregulated in human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells and human lung carcinoma A549 cells using siRNA. When the expression of six ECM-related genes (TGFB1, LAMC1, FN1, COL1A1, COL3A1, and COL4A1) was evaluated, we found that APE1 knockdown upregulated the expression of TGFB1 in both cell lines. APE1 downregulation promoted actin rearrangement, inducing F-actin accumulation in HeLa cells and the dissipation of stress fibers in A549 cells. We also discovered that APE1 knockdown enhanced cellular motility in A549 cells, which was suppressed by the inhibition of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 signaling. These results suggested that APE1 controls the organization of actin cytoskeleton through the regulation of TGF-β1 expression, providing novel insights into the biological significance of APE1. PMID:25858321

  8. [Actinic Keratosis].

    PubMed

    Dejaco, D; Hauser, U; Zelger, B; Riechelmann, H

    2015-07-01

    Actinic keratosis is a cutaneous lesion characterized by proliferation of atypical epidermal keratinocytes due to prolonged exposure to exogenous factors such as ultraviolet radiation. AKs are in-situ-squamous cell carcinomas (PEC) of the skin. AK typically presents as erythematous, scaly patch or papule (classic AK), occasionally as thick, adherent scale on an erythematous base. Mostly fair-skinned adults are affected. AKs typically occur in areas of frequent sun exposure (balding scalp, face, "H-region", lateral neck, décolleté, dorsum of the hand and lower extremities). Actinic Cheilitis is the term used for AKs appearing on the lips. The diagnosis of AK is based on clinical examination including inspection and palpation. The typical palpable rough surface of AK often precedes a visible lesion. Dermoscopy may provide additional information. If diagnosis is uncertain and invasion suspected, biopsy and histopathologic evaluation should be performed. The potential for progression to invasive PECs mandates therapeutic intervention. Treatment options include topical and systemic therapies. Topical therapies are classified into physical, medical and combined physical-chemical approaches and a sequential combination of treatment modalities is possible. Topical-physical cryotherapy is the treatment of choice for isolated, non-hypertrophic AK. Topical-medical treatment, e. g. 5-fluoruracil (5FU) cream or Imiquomod or Ingenolmebutat application is used for multiple, non-hypertrophic AKs. For hypertrophic AKs, a dehorning pretreatment with salicinated vaseline is recommended. Isolated hypertrophic AKs often need cryotherapy with prolonged freezing time or several consecutive applications. Sequentially combined approaches are recommended for multiple, hypertrophic AKs. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) as example for a combined physical-chemical approach is an established treatment for multiple, non-hypertrophic and hypertrophic AKs. Prevention includes avoidance of sun and

  9. Coordination of Actin- and Microtubule-Based Cytoskeletons Supports Transport of Spermatids and Residual Bodies/Phagosomes During Spermatogenesis in the Rat Testis.

    PubMed

    Tang, Elizabeth I; Lee, Will M; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-04-01

    Germ cell transport across the seminiferous epithelium during spermatogenesis requires the intricate coordination of cell junctions, signaling proteins, and both actin- and microtubule (MT)-based cytoskeletons. Although the involvement of cytoskeletons in germ cell transport has been suggested, the precise mechanism(s) remains elusive. Based on growing evidence that actin and MT interactions underlie fundamental cellular processes, such as cell motility, it is unlikely that actin- and MT-based cytoskeletons work independently to regulate germ cell transport in the testis. Using rats treated with adjudin, a potential male contraceptive that disrupts spermatid adhesion and transport in the testis, as a study model, we show herein that actin- and MT-based cytoskeletons are both necessary for transport of spermatids and residual bodies/phagosomes across the seminiferous epithelium in adult rat testes. Analysis of intratubular expression of F-actin and tubulin revealed disruption of both actin and MT networks, concomitant with misdirected spermatids and phagosomes in rats treated with adjudin. Actin regulatory proteins, epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8 and actin-related protein 3, were mislocalized and down-regulated at the actin-rich anchoring junction between germ and Sertoli cells (apical ectoplasmic specialization) after adjudin treatment. Nonreceptor tyrosine kinase p-FAK-Tyr(407), known to regulate F-actin nucleation via actin-related protein 3, was also mislocalized and down-regulated at the apical ectoplasmic specialization, corroborating the observation of actin cytoskeleton disruption. Additionally, spatiotemporal expression of MT regulatory protein end-binding protein 1, shown to be involved in MT-actin cross talk herein, was also disrupted after adjudin treatment. In summary, spermatid/phagosome transport across the epithelium during spermatogenesis requires the coordination between actin- and MT-based cytoskeletons. PMID:26894662

  10. Elasticity, adhesion and actin based propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopinathan, Ajay

    2006-03-01

    When a cells crawls, its shape re-organizes via polymerization and depolymerization of actin filaments. The growing ends of the filaments are oriented towards the outside of the cell, and their polymerization pushes the cell membrane forwards. The same mechanism comes into play when the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes infects a cell. The bacterium hijacks the host cell's actin machinery to create an actin network (the actin comet tail) that propels the bacterium through cells and into neighboring cells. We propose a mechanism for how polymerization gives rise to motility that incorporates the effects of inhomogeneous polymerization. We treat the actin comet tail as an elastic continuum tethered to the rear of the bacterium. The interplay of polymerization and tethering gives rise to inhomogeneous stresses calculated with a finite element analysis. We quantitatively reproduce many distinctive features of actin propulsion that have been observed experimentally, including stepped motion, hopping, tail shape and the propulsion of flat surfaces.

  11. Actin as Deathly Switch? How Auxin Can Suppress Cell-Death Related Defence

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Xiaoli; Riemann, Michael; Liu, Qiong; Nick, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Plant innate immunity is composed of two layers – a basal immunity, and a specific effector-triggered immunity, which is often accompanied by hypersensitive cell death. Initiation of cell death depends on a complex network of signalling pathways. The phytohormone auxin as central regulator of plant growth and development represents an important component for the modulation of plant defence. In our previous work, we showed that cell death is heralded by detachment of actin from the membrane. Both, actin response and cell death, are triggered by the bacterial elicitor harpin in grapevine cells. In this study we investigated, whether harpin-triggered actin bundling is necessary for harpin-triggered cell death. Since actin organisation is dependent upon auxin, we used different auxins to suppress actin bundling. Extracellular alkalinisation and transcription of defence genes as the basal immunity were examined as well as cell death. Furthermore, organisation of actin was observed in response to pharmacological manipulation of reactive oxygen species and phospholipase D. We find that induction of defence genes is independent of auxin. However, auxin can suppress harpin-induced cell death and also counteract actin bundling. We integrate our findings into a model, where harpin interferes with an auxin dependent pathway that sustains dynamic cortical actin through the activity of phospholipase D. The antagonism between growth and defence is explained by mutual competition for signal molecules such as superoxide and phosphatidic acid. Perturbations of the auxin-actin pathway might be used to detect disturbed integrity of the plasma membrane and channel defence signalling towards programmed cell death. PMID:25933033

  12. Actin-Depolymerizing Factor2-Mediated Actin Dynamics Are Essential for Root-Knot Nematode Infection of Arabidopsis[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Clément, Mathilde; Ketelaar, Tijs; Rodiuc, Natalia; Banora, Mohamed Youssef; Smertenko, Andrei; Engler, Gilbert; Abad, Pierre; Hussey, Patrick J.; de Almeida Engler, Janice

    2009-01-01

    Reorganization of the actin and microtubule networks is known to occur in targeted vascular parenchymal root cells upon infection with the nematode Meloidogyne incognita. Here, we show that actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) is upregulated in the giant feeding cells of Arabidopsis thaliana that develop upon nematode infection and that knockdown of a specific ADF isotype inhibits nematode proliferation. Analysis of the levels of transcript and the localization of seven ADF genes shows that five are upregulated in galls that result from the infection and that ADF2 expression is particularly increased between 14 and 21 d after nematode inoculation. Further analysis of ADF2 function in inducible RNA interference lines designed to knock down ADF2 expression reveals that this protein is required for normal cell growth and plant development. The net effect of decreased levels of ADF2 is F-actin stabilization in cells, resulting from decreased F-actin turnover. In nematode-infected plants with reduced levels of ADF2, the galls containing the giant feeding cells and growing nematodes do not develop due to the arrest in growth of the giant multinucleate feeding cells, which in turn is due to an aberrant actin network. PMID:19794115

  13. Actin age orchestrates myosin-5 and myosin-6 run lengths.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Dennis; Santos, Alicja; Kovar, David R; Rock, Ronald S

    2015-08-01

    Unlike a static and immobile skeleton, the actin cytoskeleton is a highly dynamic network of filamentous actin (F-actin) polymers that continuously turn over. In addition to generating mechanical forces and sensing mechanical deformation, dynamic F-actin networks serve as cellular tracks for myosin motor traffic. However, much of our mechanistic understanding of processive myosins comes from in vitro studies in which motility was studied on pre-assembled and artificially stabilized, static F-actin tracks. In this work, we examine the role of actin dynamics in single-molecule myosin motility using assembling F-actin and two highly processive motors, myosin-5 and myosin-6. These two myosins have distinct functions in the cell and travel in opposite directions along actin filaments [1-3]. Myosin-5 walks toward the barbed ends of F-actin, traveling to sites of actin polymerization at the cell periphery [4]. Myosin-6 walks toward the pointed end of F-actin [5], traveling toward the cell center along older segments of the actin filament. We find that myosin-5 takes 1.3- to 1.5-fold longer runs on ADP•Pi (young) F-actin, whereas myosin-6 takes 1.7- to 3.6-fold longer runs along ADP (old) F-actin. These results suggest that conformational differences between ADP•Pi and ADP F-actin tailor these myosins to walk farther toward their preferred actin filament end. Taken together, these experiments define a new mechanism by which myosin traffic may sort to different F-actin networks depending on filament age. PMID:26190073

  14. F-actin waves, actin cortex disassembly and focal exocytosis driven by actin-phosphoinositide positive feedback.

    PubMed

    Masters, Thomas A; Sheetz, Michael P; Gauthier, Nils C

    2016-04-01

    Actin polymerization is controlled by the phosphoinositide composition of the plasma membrane. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the spatiotemporal regulation of actin network organization over extended length scales are still unclear. To observe phosphoinositide-dependent cytoskeletal dynamics we combined the model system of frustrated phagocytosis, total internal reflection microscopy and manipulation of the buffer tonicity. We found that macrophages interacting with IgG-coated glass substrates formed circular F-actin waves on their ventral surface enclosing a region of plasma membrane devoid of cortical actin. Plasma membrane free of actin cortex was strongly depleted of PI(4,5)P2 , but enriched in PI(3,4)P2 and displayed a fivefold increase in exocytosis. Wave formation could be promoted by application of a hypotonic shock. The actin waves were characteristic of a bistable wavefront at the boundary between the regions of membrane containing and lacking cortical actin. Phosphoinositide modifiers and RhoGTPase activities dramatically redistributed with respect to the wavefronts, which often exhibited spatial oscillations. Perturbation of either lipid or actin cytoskeleton-related pathways led to rapid loss of both the polarized lipid distribution and the wavefront. As waves travelled over the plasma membrane, wavefront actin was seen to rapidly polymerize and depolymerize at pre-existing clusters of FcγRIIA, coincident with rapid changes in lipid composition. Thus the potential of receptors to support rapid F-actin polymerization appears to depend acutely on the local concentrations of multiple lipid species. We propose that interdependence through positive feedback from the cytoskeleton to lipid modifiers leads to coordinated local cortex remodeling, focal exocytosis, and organizes extended actin networks. PMID:26915738

  15. Pushing with actin: from cells to pathogens.

    PubMed

    Small, J Victor

    2015-02-01

    Actin polymerization is harnessed by cells to generate lamellipodia for movement and by a subclass of pathogens to facilitate invasion of their infected hosts. Using electron tomography (ET), we have shown that lamellipodia are formed via the generation of subsets of actin filaments joined by branch junctions. Image averaging produced a 2.9 nm resolution model of branch junctions in situ and revealed a close fit to the electron density map of the actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3)-actin complex in vitro. Correlated live-cell imaging and ET was also used to determine how actin networks are created and remodelled during the initiation and inhibition of protrusion in lamellipodia. Listeria, Rickettsia and viruses, such as vaccinia virus and baculovirus, exploit the actin machinery of host cells to generate propulsive actin comet tails to disseminate their infection. By applying ET, we have shown that baculovirus generates at its rear a fishbone-like array of subsets of branched actin filaments, with an average of only four filaments engaged in pushing at any one time. In both of these studies, the application of ET of negatively stained cytoskeletons for higher filament resolution and cryo-ET for preserving overall 3D morphology was crucial for obtaining a complete structure-function analysis of actin-driven propulsion. PMID:25619250

  16. New Aspects of Progesterone Interactions with the Actin Cytoskeleton and Neurosteroidogenesis in the Cerebellum and the Neuronal Growth Cone

    PubMed Central

    Wessel, Lisa; Olbrich, Laura; Brand-Saberi, Beate

    2014-01-01

    The impact of progesterone on neuronal tissues in the central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous system is of significant scientific and therapeutic interest. Glial and neuronal cells of vertebrates express steroidogenic enzymes, and are able to synthesize progesterone de novo from cholesterol. Progesterone is described to have neuroprotective, neuroreparative, anti-degenerative, and anti-apoptotic effects in the CNS and the PNS. Thus, the first clinical studies promise new therapeutic options using progesterone in the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury. Additionally, experimental data from different animal models suggest further positive effects of progesterone on neurological diseases such as cerebral ischemia, peripheral nerve injury and amyothropic lateral sclerosis. In regard to this future clinical use of progesterone, we discuss in this review the underlying physiological principles of progesterone effects in neuronal tissues. Mechanisms leading to morphological reorganizations of neurons in the CNS and PNS affected by progesterone are addressed, with special focus on the actin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, new aspects of a progesterone-dependent regulation of neurosteroidogenesis mediated by the recently described progesterone binding protein PGRMC1 in the nervous system are discussed. PMID:25141866

  17. Actin-resistant DNAse I Expression From Oncolytic Adenovirus Enadenotucirev Enhances Its Intratumoral Spread and Reduces Tumor Growth.

    PubMed

    Tedcastle, Alison; Illingworth, Sam; Brown, Alice; Seymour, Leonard W; Fisher, Kerry D

    2016-04-01

    Spread of oncolytic viruses through tumor tissue is essential to effective virotherapy. Interstitial matrix is thought to be a significant barrier to virus particle convection between "islands" of tumor cells. One way to address this is to encode matrix-degrading enzymes within oncolytic viruses, for secretion from infected cells. To test the hypothesis that extracellular DNA provides an important barrier, we assessed the ability of DNase to promote virus spread. Nonreplicating Ad5 vectors expressing actin-resistant DNase (aDNAse I), proteinase K (PK), hyaluronidase (rhPH20), and chondroitinase ABC (CABC) were injected into established DLD human colorectal adenocarcinoma xenografts, transcomplemented with a replicating Ad5 virus. Each enzyme improved oncolysis by the replicating adenovirus, with no evidence of tumor cells being shed into the bloodstream. aDNAse I and rhPH20 hyaluronidase were then cloned into conditionally-replicating group B adenovirus, Enadenotucirev (EnAd). EnAd encoding each enzyme showed significantly better antitumor efficacy than the parental virus, with the aDNAse I-expressing virus showing improved spread. Both DNase and hyaluronidase activity was still measurable 32 days postinfection. This is the first time that extracellular DNA has been implicated as a barrier for interstitial virus spread, and suggests that oncolytic viruses expressing aDNAse I may be promising candidates for clinical translation. PMID:26708004

  18. Boolean gates on actin filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siccardi, Stefano; Tuszynski, Jack A.; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a globular protein which forms long polar filaments in the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Actin networks play a key role in cell mechanics and cell motility. They have also been implicated in information transmission and processing, memory and learning in neuronal cells. The actin filaments have been shown to support propagation of voltage pulses. Here we apply a coupled nonlinear transmission line model of actin filaments to study interactions between voltage pulses. To represent digital information we assign a logical TRUTH value to the presence of a voltage pulse in a given location of the actin filament, and FALSE to the pulse's absence, so that information flows along the filament with pulse transmission. When two pulses, representing Boolean values of input variables, interact, then they can facilitate or inhibit further propagation of each other. We explore this phenomenon to construct Boolean logical gates and a one-bit half-adder with interacting voltage pulses. We discuss implications of these findings on cellular process and technological applications.

  19. Dendritic Actin Filament Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders E.

    2010-06-01

    The polymerization of actin via branching at a cell membrane containing nucleation-promoting factors is simulated using a stochastic-growth methodology. The polymerized-actin distribution displays three types of behavior: (a) traveling waves, (b) moving patches, and (c) random fluctuations. Increasing actin concentration causes a transition from patches to waves. The waves and patches move by a treadmilling mechanism not involving myosin II. The effects of downregulation of key proteins on actin wave behavior are evaluated.

  20. Analysis of Network Topologies Underlying Ethylene Growth Response Kinetics.

    PubMed

    Prescott, Aaron M; McCollough, Forest W; Eldreth, Bryan L; Binder, Brad M; Abel, Steven M

    2016-01-01

    Most models for ethylene signaling involve a linear pathway. However, measurements of seedling growth kinetics when ethylene is applied and removed have resulted in more complex network models that include coherent feedforward, negative feedback, and positive feedback motifs. The dynamical responses of the proposed networks have not been explored in a quantitative manner. Here, we explore (i) whether any of the proposed models are capable of producing growth-response behaviors consistent with experimental observations and (ii) what mechanistic roles various parts of the network topologies play in ethylene signaling. To address this, we used computational methods to explore two general network topologies: The first contains a coherent feedforward loop that inhibits growth and a negative feedback from growth onto itself (CFF/NFB). In the second, ethylene promotes the cleavage of EIN2, with the product of the cleavage inhibiting growth and promoting the production of EIN2 through a positive feedback loop (PFB). Since few network parameters for ethylene signaling are known in detail, we used an evolutionary algorithm to explore sets of parameters that produce behaviors similar to experimental growth response kinetics of both wildtype and mutant seedlings. We generated a library of parameter sets by independently running the evolutionary algorithm many times. Both network topologies produce behavior consistent with experimental observations, and analysis of the parameter sets allows us to identify important network interactions and parameter constraints. We additionally screened these parameter sets for growth recovery in the presence of sub-saturating ethylene doses, which is an experimentally-observed property that emerges in some of the evolved parameter sets. Finally, we probed simplified networks maintaining key features of the CFF/NFB and PFB topologies. From this, we verified observations drawn from the larger networks about mechanisms underlying ethylene

  1. Analysis of Network Topologies Underlying Ethylene Growth Response Kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Prescott, Aaron M.; McCollough, Forest W.; Eldreth, Bryan L.; Binder, Brad M.; Abel, Steven M.

    2016-01-01

    Most models for ethylene signaling involve a linear pathway. However, measurements of seedling growth kinetics when ethylene is applied and removed have resulted in more complex network models that include coherent feedforward, negative feedback, and positive feedback motifs. The dynamical responses of the proposed networks have not been explored in a quantitative manner. Here, we explore (i) whether any of the proposed models are capable of producing growth-response behaviors consistent with experimental observations and (ii) what mechanistic roles various parts of the network topologies play in ethylene signaling. To address this, we used computational methods to explore two general network topologies: The first contains a coherent feedforward loop that inhibits growth and a negative feedback from growth onto itself (CFF/NFB). In the second, ethylene promotes the cleavage of EIN2, with the product of the cleavage inhibiting growth and promoting the production of EIN2 through a positive feedback loop (PFB). Since few network parameters for ethylene signaling are known in detail, we used an evolutionary algorithm to explore sets of parameters that produce behaviors similar to experimental growth response kinetics of both wildtype and mutant seedlings. We generated a library of parameter sets by independently running the evolutionary algorithm many times. Both network topologies produce behavior consistent with experimental observations, and analysis of the parameter sets allows us to identify important network interactions and parameter constraints. We additionally screened these parameter sets for growth recovery in the presence of sub-saturating ethylene doses, which is an experimentally-observed property that emerges in some of the evolved parameter sets. Finally, we probed simplified networks maintaining key features of the CFF/NFB and PFB topologies. From this, we verified observations drawn from the larger networks about mechanisms underlying ethylene

  2. Plant Growth Models Using Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David

    1997-01-01

    In this paper, we descrive our motivation and approach to devloping models and the neural network architecture. Initial use of the artificial neural network for modeling the single plant process of transpiration is presented.

  3. Actin-curcumin interaction: insights into the mechanism of actin polymerization inhibition.

    PubMed

    Dhar, Gopa; Chakravarty, Devlina; Hazra, Joyita; Dhar, Jesmita; Poddar, Asim; Pal, Mahadeb; Chakrabarti, Pinak; Surolia, Avadhesha; Bhattacharyya, Bhabatarak

    2015-02-01

    Curcumin, derived from rhizomes of the Curcuma longa plant, is known to possess a wide range of medicinal properties. We have examined the interaction of curcumin with actin and determined their binding and thermodynamic parameters using isothermal titration calorimetry. Curcumin is weakly fluorescent in aqueous solution, and binding to actin enhances fluorescence several fold with a large blue shift in the emission maximum. Curcumin inhibits microfilament formation, which is similar to its role in inhibiting microtubule formation. We synthesized a series of stable curcumin analogues to examine their affinity for actin and their ability to inhibit actin self-assembly. Results show that curcumin is a ligand with two symmetrical halves, each of which possesses no activity individually. Oxazole, pyrazole, and acetyl derivatives are less effective than curcumin at inhibiting actin self-assembly, whereas a benzylidiene derivative is more effective. Cell biology studies suggest that disorganization of the actin network leads to destabilization of filaments in the presence of curcumin. Molecular docking reveals that curcumin binds close to the cytochalasin binding site of actin. Further molecular dynamics studies reveal a possible allosteric effect in which curcumin binding at the "barbed end" of actin is transmitted to the "pointed end", where conformational changes disrupt interactions with the adjacent actin monomer to interrupt filament formation. Finally, the recognition and binding of actin by curcumin is yet another example of its unique ability to target multiple receptors. PMID:25564154

  4. Conflicting attachment and the growth of bipartite networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, Chung Yin Joey; Weitz, Joshua S.

    2016-03-01

    Simple growth mechanisms have been proposed to explain the emergence of seemingly universal network structures. The widely studied model of preferential attachment assumes that new nodes are more likely to connect to highly connected nodes. Preferential attachment explains the emergence of scale-free degree distributions within complex networks. Yet it is incompatible with many network systems, particularly bipartite systems in which two distinct types of agents interact. For example, the addition of new links in a host-parasite system corresponds to the infection of hosts by parasites. Increasing connectivity is beneficial to a parasite and detrimental to a host. Therefore, the overall network connectivity is subject to conflicting pressures. Here we propose a stochastic network growth model of conflicting attachment, inspired by a particular kind of parasite-host interaction: that of viruses interacting with microbial hosts. The mechanism of network growth includes conflicting preferences to network density as well as costs involved in modifying the network connectivity according to these preferences. We find that the resulting networks exhibit realistic patterns commonly observed in empirical data, including the emergence of nestedness, modularity, and nested-modular structures that exhibit both properties. We study the role of conflicting interests in shaping network structure and assess opportunities to incorporate greater realism in linking growth process to pattern in systems governed by antagonistic and mutualistic interactions.

  5. Arabidopsis VILLIN2 and VILLIN3 are required for the generation of thick actin filament bundles and for directional organ growth.

    PubMed

    van der Honing, Hannie S; Kieft, Henk; Emons, Anne Mie C; Ketelaar, Tijs

    2012-03-01

    In plant cells, actin filament bundles serve as tracks for myosin-dependent organelle movement and play a role in the organization of the cytoplasm. Although virtually all plant cells contain actin filament bundles, the role of the different actin-bundling proteins remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of the actin-bundling protein villin in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We used Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion lines to generate a double mutant in which VILLIN2 (VLN2) and VLN3 transcripts are truncated. Leaves, stems, siliques, and roots of vln2 vln3 double mutant plants are twisted, which is caused by local differences in cell length. Microscopy analysis of the actin cytoskeleton showed that in these double mutant plants, thin actin filament bundles are more abundant while thick actin filament bundles are virtually absent. In contrast to full-length VLN3, truncated VLN3 lacking the headpiece region does not rescue the phenotype of the vln2 vln3 double mutant. Our results show that villin is involved in the generation of thick actin filament bundles in several cell types and suggest that these bundles are involved in the regulation of coordinated cell expansion. PMID:22209875

  6. Arabidopsis VILLIN2 and VILLIN3 Are Required for the Generation of Thick Actin Filament Bundles and for Directional Organ Growth[C][W

    PubMed Central

    van der Honing, Hannie S.; Kieft, Henk; Emons, Anne Mie C.; Ketelaar, Tijs

    2012-01-01

    In plant cells, actin filament bundles serve as tracks for myosin-dependent organelle movement and play a role in the organization of the cytoplasm. Although virtually all plant cells contain actin filament bundles, the role of the different actin-bundling proteins remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of the actin-bundling protein villin in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We used Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion lines to generate a double mutant in which VILLIN2 (VLN2) and VLN3 transcripts are truncated. Leaves, stems, siliques, and roots of vln2 vln3 double mutant plants are twisted, which is caused by local differences in cell length. Microscopy analysis of the actin cytoskeleton showed that in these double mutant plants, thin actin filament bundles are more abundant while thick actin filament bundles are virtually absent. In contrast to full-length VLN3, truncated VLN3 lacking the headpiece region does not rescue the phenotype of the vln2 vln3 double mutant. Our results show that villin is involved in the generation of thick actin filament bundles in several cell types and suggest that these bundles are involved in the regulation of coordinated cell expansion. PMID:22209875

  7. Actin-Regulator Feedback Interactions during Endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinxin; Galletta, Brian J; Cooper, John A; Carlsson, Anders E

    2016-03-29

    Endocytosis mediated by clathrin, a cellular process by which cells internalize membrane receptors and their extracellular ligands, is an important component of cell signaling regulation. Actin polymerization is involved in endocytosis in varying degrees depending on the cellular context. In yeast, clathrin-mediated endocytosis requires a pulse of polymerized actin and its regulators, which recruit and activate the Arp2/3 complex. In this article, we seek to identify the main protein-protein interactions that 1) cause actin and its regulators to appear in pulses, and 2) determine the effects of key mutations and drug treatments on actin and regulator assembly. We perform a joint modeling/experimental study of actin and regulator dynamics during endocytosis in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We treat both a stochastic model that grows an explicit three-dimensional actin network, and a simpler two-variable Fitzhugh-Nagumo type model. The models include a negative-feedback interaction of F-actin onto the Arp2/3 regulators. Both models explain the pulse time courses and the effects of interventions on actin polymerization: the surprising increase in the peak F-actin count caused by reduced regulator branching activity, the increase in F-actin resulting from slowing of actin disassembly, and the increased Arp2/3 regulator lifetime resulting from latrunculin treatment. In addition, they predict that decreases in the regulator branching activity lead to increases in accumulation of regulators, and we confirmed this prediction with experiments on yeast harboring mutations in the Arp2/3 regulators, using quantitative fluorescence microscopy. Our experimental measurements suggest that the regulators act quasi-independently, in the sense that accumulation of a particular regulator is most strongly affected by mutations of that regulator, as opposed to the others. PMID:27028652

  8. Computational model of polarized actin cables and cytokinetic actin ring formation in budding yeast

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Haosu; Bidone, Tamara C.

    2015-01-01

    The budding yeast actin cables and contractile ring are important for polarized growth and division, revealing basic aspects of cytoskeletal function. To study these formin-nucleated structures, we built a 3D computational model with actin filaments represented as beads connected by springs. Polymerization by formins at the bud tip and bud neck, crosslinking, severing, and myosin pulling, are included. Parameter values were estimated from prior experiments. The model generates actin cable structures and dynamics similar to those of wild type and formin deletion mutant cells. Simulations with increased polymerization rate result in long, wavy cables. Simulated pulling by type V myosin stretches actin cables. Increasing the affinity of actin filaments for the bud neck together with reduced myosin V pulling promotes the formation of a bundle of antiparallel filaments at the bud neck, which we suggest as a model for the assembly of actin filaments to the contractile ring. PMID:26538307

  9. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

    Nejedla, Michaela; Sadi, Sara; Sulimenko, Vadym; de Almeida, Francisca Nunes; Blom, Hans; Draber, Pavel; Aspenström, Pontus; Karlsson, Roger

    2016-08-01

    Profilin controls actin nucleation and assembly processes in eukaryotic cells. Actin nucleation and elongation promoting factors (NEPFs) such as Ena/VASP, formins, and WASP-family proteins recruit profilin:actin for filament formation. Some of these are found to be microtubule associated, making actin polymerization from microtubule-associated platforms possible. Microtubules are implicated in focal adhesion turnover, cell polarity establishment, and migration, illustrating the coupling between actin and microtubule systems. Here we demonstrate that profilin is functionally linked to microtubules with formins and point to formins as major mediators of this association. To reach this conclusion, we combined different fluorescence microscopy techniques, including superresolution microscopy, with siRNA modulation of profilin expression and drug treatments to interfere with actin dynamics. Our studies show that profilin dynamically associates with microtubules and this fraction of profilin contributes to balance actin assembly during homeostatic cell growth and affects micro-tubule dynamics. Hence profilin functions as a regulator of microtubule (+)-end turnover in addition to being an actin control element. PMID:27307590

  10. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 expression in baboon endometrial stromal cells: regulation by filamentous actin and requirement for de novo protein synthesis.

    PubMed

    Kim, J J; Jaffe, R C; Fazleabas, A T

    1999-02-01

    Stromal fibroblasts in the primate endometrium undergo dramatic morphological and biochemical changes in response to pregnancy. This transformation is characterized by the expression of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1). Stromal cells from the baboon endometrium of nonpregnant animals were cultured and subsequently treated with cytochalasin D to disrupt actin filaments. In response to cytochalasin D treatment, cells contracted and became rounded as early as 10 min after the initiation of treatment. When cytochalasin D was removed, cells reverted back to their original fibroblastic shape within 1 h. After cells were treated with cytochalasin D for 5 h, addition of (Bu)2cAMP and/or hormones (estradiol, medroxyprogesterone acetate, and relaxin) resulted in the expression of IGFBP-1 messenger RNA and protein within 24 h. Cells with an intact cytoskeleton did not express detectable levels of IGFBP-1 in response to hormones and/or (Bu)2cAMP. Furthermore, the addition of cycloheximide inhibited expression of IGFBP-1 in cytochalasin D-treated cells. Stromal cells were also isolated from early pregnant and simulated pregnant animals. Within 48 h, cells from both the pregnant and simulated pregnant animals produced IGFBP-1 in response to hormones and/or (Bu)2cAMP. In these studies, IGFBP-1 expression was also inhibited by cycloheximide. These studies suggest that induction of IGFBP-1 requires an intermediary protein and that alterations in the cytoskeleton may be involved. PMID:9927334

  11. [Cytoskeletal actin and its associated proteins. Some examples in Protista].

    PubMed

    Guillén, N; Carlier, M F; Brugerolle, G; Tardieux, I; Ausseil, J

    1998-06-01

    IB at the leading edge of E. histolytica. ABP-120 organizes F-actin in a network and myosin IB participates in the pseudopod formation. Similar approaches using T. vaginalis resulted in the discovery of an actin-binding protein that participate in the F-actin reorganization during adhesion of parasites to target cells. This protein is homologous to alpha-actinin from other eukaryotic cells. Finally, by using cell biology approaches, F-actin was observed in the cytoplasm as well as in the nucleus of Dinoflagellates. The recent developments in the molecular genetics of protozoa will provide new insights to understand the roles of actin-binding proteins during cytoskeleton activities. PMID:9754306

  12. Course 6: Physics of Composite Cell Membrane and Actin Based Cytoskeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sackmann, E.; Bausch, A. R.; Vonna, L.

    1 Architecture of composite cell membranes 1.1 The lipid/protein bilayer is a multicomponent smectic phase with mosaic like architecture 1.2 The spectrin/actin cytoskeleton as hyperelastic cell stabilizer 1.3 The actin cortex: Architecture and function 2 Physics of the actin based cytoskeleton 2.1 Actin is a living semiflexible polymer 2.2 Actin network as viscoelastic body 2.3 Correlation between macroscopic viscoelasticity and molecular 3 Heterogeneous actin gels in cells and biological function 3.1 Manipulation of actin gels 3.2 Control of organization and function of actin cortex by cell signalling 4 Micromechanics and microrheometry of cells 5 Activation of endothelial cells: On the possibility of formation of stress fibers as phase transition of actin-network triggered by cell signalling pathways 6 On cells as adaptive viscoplastic bodies 7 Controll of cellular protrusions controlled by actin/myosin cortex

  13. A phenomenological density-scaling approach to lamellipodial actin dynamics†

    PubMed Central

    Lewalle, Alexandre; Fritzsche, Marco; Wilson, Kerry; Thorogate, Richard; Duke, Tom; Charras, Guillaume

    2014-01-01

    The integration of protein function studied in vitro in a dynamic system like the cell lamellipodium remains a significant challenge. One reason is the apparent contradictory effect that perturbations of some proteins can have on the overall lamellipodium dynamics, depending on exact conditions. Theoretical modelling offers one approach for understanding the balance between the mechanisms that drive and regulate actin network growth and decay. Most models use a ‘bottom-up’ approach, involving explicitly assembling biochemical components to simulate observable behaviour. Their correctness therefore relies on both the accurate characterization of all the components and the completeness of the relevant processes involved. To avoid potential pitfalls due to this uncertainty, we used an alternative ‘top-down’ approach, in which measurable features of lamellipodium behaviour, here observed in two different cell types (HL60 and B16-F1), directly inform the development of a simple phenomenological model of lamellipodium dynamics. We show that the kinetics of F-actin association and dissociation scales with the local F-actin density, with no explicit location dependence. This justifies the use of a simplified kinetic model of lamellipodium dynamics that yields predictions testable by pharmacological or genetic intervention. A length-scale parameter (the lamellipodium width) emerges from this analysis as an experimentally accessible probe of network regulatory processes. PMID:25485077

  14. Distributed actin turnover in the lamellipodium and FRAP kinetics.

    PubMed

    Smith, Matthew B; Kiuchi, Tai; Watanabe, Naoki; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2013-01-01

    Studies of actin dynamics at the leading edge of motile cells with single-molecule speckle (SiMS) microscopy have shown a broad distribution of EGFP-actin speckle lifetimes and indicated actin polymerization and depolymerization over an extended region. Other experiments using FRAP with the same EGFP-actin as a probe have suggested, by contrast, that polymerization occurs exclusively at the leading edge. We performed FRAP experiments on XTC cells to compare SiMS to FRAP on the same cell type. We used speckle statistics obtained by SiMS to model the steady-state distribution and kinetics of actin in the lamellipodium. We demonstrate that a model with a single diffuse actin species is in good agreement with FRAP experiments. A model including two species of diffuse actin provides an even better agreement. The second species consists of slowly diffusing oligomers that associate to the F-actin network throughout the lamellipodium or break up into monomers after a characteristic time. Our work motivates studies to test the presence and composition of slowly diffusing actin species that may contribute to local remodeling of the actin network and increase the amount of soluble actin. PMID:23332077

  15. Actin Turnover-Mediated Gravity Response in Maize Root Apices

    PubMed Central

    Mancuso, Stefano; Barlow, Peter W; Volkmann, Dieter

    2006-01-01

    The dynamic actin cytoskeleton has been proposed to be linked to gravity sensing in plants but the mechanistic understanding of these processes remains unknown. We have performed detailed pharmacological analyses of the role of the dynamic actin cytoskeleton in gravibending of maize (Zea mays) root apices. Depolymerization of actin filaments with two drugs having different mode of their actions, cytochalasin D and latrunculin B, stimulated root gravibending. By contrast, drug-induced stimulation of actin polymerization and inhibition of actin turnover, using two different agents phalloidin and jasplakinolide, compromised the root gravibending. Importantly, all these actin drugs inhibited root growth to similar extents suggesting that high actin turnover is essential for the gravity-related growth responses rather than for the general growth process. Both latrunculin B and cytochalasin D treatments inhibited root growth but restored gravibending of the decapped root apices, indicating that there is a strong potential for effective actin-mediated gravity sensing outside the cap. This elusive gravity sensing outside the root cap is dependent not only on the high rate of actin turnover but also on weakening of myosin activities, as general inhibition of myosin ATPases induced stimulation of gravibending of the decapped root apices. Collectively, these data provide evidence for the actin turnover-mediated gravity sensing outside the root cap. PMID:19521476

  16. A statistically inferred microRNA network identifies breast cancer target miR-940 as an actin cytoskeleton regulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhajun, Ricky; Guyon, Laurent; Pitaval, Amandine; Sulpice, Eric; Combe, Stéphanie; Obeid, Patricia; Haguet, Vincent; Ghorbel, Itebeddine; Lajaunie, Christian; Gidrol, Xavier

    2015-02-01

    MiRNAs are key regulators of gene expression. By binding to many genes, they create a complex network of gene co-regulation. Here, using a network-based approach, we identified miRNA hub groups by their close connections and common targets. In one cluster containing three miRNAs, miR-612, miR-661 and miR-940, the annotated functions of the co-regulated genes suggested a role in small GTPase signalling. Although the three members of this cluster targeted the same subset of predicted genes, we showed that their overexpression impacted cell fates differently. miR-661 demonstrated enhanced phosphorylation of myosin II and an increase in cell invasion, indicating a possible oncogenic miRNA. On the contrary, miR-612 and miR-940 inhibit phosphorylation of myosin II and cell invasion. Finally, expression profiling in human breast tissues showed that miR-940 was consistently downregulated in breast cancer tissues

  17. F-actin forms mobile and unwinding ring-shaped structures in germinating Arabidopsis pollen expressing Lifeact

    PubMed Central

    Vogler, Frank; Sprunck, Stefanie

    2015-01-01

    The flowering plant pollen tube is the fastest elongating plant cell and transports the sperm cells for double fertilization. The highly dynamic formation and reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is essential for pollen germination and pollen tube growth. To drive pollen-specific expression of fluorescent marker proteins, commonly the strong Lat52 promoter is used. Here we show by quantitative fluorescent analysis that the gametophyte-specific ARO1 promoter from Arabidopsis drives an about 3.5 times weaker transgene expression than the Lat52 promoter. In one third of the pollen of F-actin-labeled ARO1p:tagRFP-T-Lifeact transgenic lines we observed mobile ring-shaped actin structures in pollen grains and pollen tubes. Pollen tube growth, transgene transmission and seed production were not affected by tagRFP-T-Lifeact expression. F-actin rings were able to integrate into emerging actin filaments and they may reflect a particular physiological state of the pollen or a readily available storage form provided for rapid actin network remodeling. PMID:26337326

  18. Regulation of cellular actin architecture by S100A10.

    PubMed

    Jung, M Juliane; Murzik, Ulrike; Wehder, Liane; Hemmerich, Peter; Melle, Christian

    2010-04-15

    Actin structures are involved in several biological processes and the disruption of actin polymerisation induces impaired motility of eukaryotic cells. Different factors are involved in regulation and maintenance of the cytoskeletal actin architecture. Here we show that S100A10 participates in the particular organisation of actin filaments. Down-regulation of S100A10 by specific siRNA triggered a disorganisation of filamentous actin structures without a reduction of the total cellular actin concentration. In contrast, the formation of cytoskeleton structures containing tubulin was unhindered in S100A10 depleted cells. Interestingly, the cellular distribution of annexin A2, an interaction partner of S100A10, was unaffected in S100A10 depleted cells. Cells lacking S100A10 showed an impaired migration activity and were unable to close a scratched wound. Our data provide first insights of S100A10 function as a regulator of the filamentous actin network. PMID:20100475

  19. Dynamic Localization of G-actin During Membrane Protrusion in Neuronal Motility

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi Wai; Vitriol, Eric A.; Shim, Sangwoo; Wise, Ariel L.; Velayutham, Radhi P.; Zheng, James Q.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Background Actin-based cell motility is fundamental for the development, function, and malignant events of eukaryotic organisms. During neural development, axonal growth cones depend on rapid assembly and disassembly of actin filaments (F-actin) for their guided extension to specific targets for wiring. Monomeric globular actin (G-actin) is the building block for F-actin but is not considered to play a direct role in spatiotemporal control of actin dynamics in cell motility. Results Here we report that a pool of G-actin dynamically localizes to the leading edge of growth cones and neuroblastoma cells to spatially elevate the G-/F-actin ratio that drives membrane protrusion and cell movement. Loss of G-actin localization leads to the cessation and retraction of membrane protrusions. Moreover, G-actin localization occurs asymmetrically in growth cones during attractive turning. Finally, we identify the actin monomer binding proteins profilin and thymosin β4 as key molecules that localize actin monomers to the leading edge of lamellipodia for their motility. Conclusions Our results suggest that dynamic localization of G-actin provides a novel mechanism to regulate the spatiotemporal actin dynamics underlying membrane protrusion in cell locomotion and growth cone chemotaxis. PMID:23746641

  20. Complex Network Theory Applied to the Growth of Kuala Lumpur's Public Urban Rail Transit Network.

    PubMed

    Ding, Rui; Ujang, Norsidah; Hamid, Hussain Bin; Wu, Jianjun

    2015-01-01

    Recently, the number of studies involving complex network applications in transportation has increased steadily as scholars from various fields analyze traffic networks. Nonetheless, research on rail network growth is relatively rare. This research examines the evolution of the Public Urban Rail Transit Networks of Kuala Lumpur (PURTNoKL) based on complex network theory and covers both the topological structure of the rail system and future trends in network growth. In addition, network performance when facing different attack strategies is also assessed. Three topological network characteristics are considered: connections, clustering and centrality. In PURTNoKL, we found that the total number of nodes and edges exhibit a linear relationship and that the average degree stays within the interval [2.0488, 2.6774] with heavy-tailed distributions. The evolutionary process shows that the cumulative probability distribution (CPD) of degree and the average shortest path length show good fit with exponential distribution and normal distribution, respectively. Moreover, PURTNoKL exhibits clear cluster characteristics; most of the nodes have a 2-core value, and the CPDs of the centrality's closeness and betweenness follow a normal distribution function and an exponential distribution, respectively. Finally, we discuss four different types of network growth styles and the line extension process, which reveal that the rail network's growth is likely based on the nodes with the biggest lengths of the shortest path and that network protection should emphasize those nodes with the largest degrees and the highest betweenness values. This research may enhance the networkability of the rail system and better shape the future growth of public rail networks. PMID:26448645

  1. Actin in Herpesvirus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Kari L.; Baines, Joel D.

    2011-01-01

    Actin is important for a variety of cellular processes, including uptake of extracellular material and intracellular transport. Several emerging lines of evidence indicate that herpesviruses exploit actin and actin-associated myosin motors for viral entry, intranuclear transport of capsids, and virion egress. The goal of this review is to explore these processes and to highlight potential future directions for this area of research. PMID:21994736

  2. Actin Rings of Power.

    PubMed

    Schwayer, Cornelia; Sikora, Mateusz; Slováková, Jana; Kardos, Roland; Heisenberg, Carl-Philipp

    2016-06-20

    Circular or ring-like actin structures play important roles in various developmental and physiological processes. Commonly, these rings are composed of actin filaments and myosin motors (actomyosin) that, upon activation, trigger ring constriction. Actomyosin ring constriction, in turn, has been implicated in key cellular processes ranging from cytokinesis to wound closure. Non-constricting actin ring-like structures also form at cell-cell contacts, where they exert a stabilizing function. Here, we review recent studies on the formation and function of actin ring-like structures in various morphogenetic processes, shedding light on how those different rings have been adapted to fulfill their specific roles. PMID:27326928

  3. Actin-Based Feedback Circuits in Cell Migration and Endocytosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinxin

    In this thesis, we study the switch and pulse functions of actin during two important cellular processes, cell migration and endocytosis. Actin is an abundant protein that can polymerize to form a dendritic network. The actin network can exert force to push or bend the cell membrane. During cell migration, the actin network behaves like a switch, assembling mostly at one end or at the other end. The end with the majority of the actin network is the leading edge, following which the cell can persistently move in the same direction. The other end, with the minority of the actin network, is the trailing edge, which is dragged by the cell as it moves forward. When subjected to large fluctuations or external stimuli, the leading edge and the trailing edge can interchange and change the direction of motion, like a motion switch. Our model of the actin network in a cell reveals that mechanical force is crucial for forming the motion switch. We find a transition from single state symmetric behavior to switch behavior, when tuning parameters such as the force. The model is studied by both stochastic simulations, and a set of rate equations that are consistent with the simulations. Endocytosis is a process by which cells engulf extracellular substances and recycle the cell membrane. In yeast cells, the actin network is transiently needed to overcome the pressure difference across the cell membrane caused by turgor pressure. The actin network behaves like a pulse, which assembles and then disassembles within about 30 seconds. Using a stochastic model, we reproduce the pulse behaviors of the actin network and one of its regulatory proteins, Las17. The model matches green fluorescence protein (GFP) experiments for wild-type cells. The model also predicts some phenotypes that modify or diminish the pulse behavior. The phenotypes are verified with both experiments performed at Washington University and with other groups' experiments. We find that several feedback mechanisms are

  4. Demonstration of prominent actin filaments in the root columella

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collings, D. A.; Zsuppan, G.; Allen, N. S.; Blancaflor, E. B.; Brown, C. S. (Principal Investigator)

    2001-01-01

    The distribution of actin filaments within the gravity-sensing columella cells of plant roots remains poorly understood, with studies over numerous years providing inconsistent descriptions of actin organization in these cells. This uncertainty in actin organization, and thus in actin's role in graviperception and gravisignaling, has led us to investigate actin arrangements in the columella cells of Zea mays L., Medicago truncatula Gaertn., Linum usitatissiilium L. and Nicotianla benthamiana Domin. Actin organization was examined using a combination of optimized immunofluorescence techniques, and an improved fluorochrome-conjugated phalloidin labeling method reliant on 3-maleimidobenzoyl-N-hydroxy-succinimide ester (MBS) cross-linking combined with glycerol permeabilization. Confocal microscopy of root sections labeled with anti-actin antibodies revealed patterns suggestive of actin throughout the columella region. These patterns included short and fragmented actin bundles, fluorescent rings around amyloplasts and intense fluorescence originating from the nucleus. Additionally, confocal microscopy of MBS-stabilized and Alexa Fluor-phalloidin-labeled root sections revealed a previously undetected state of actin organization in the columella. Discrete actin structures surrounded the amyloplasts and prominent actin cables radiated from the nuclear surface toward the cell periphery. Furthermore, the cortex of the columella cells contained fine actin bundles (or single filaments) that had a predominant transverse orientation. We also used confocal microscopy of plant roots expressing endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-targeted green fluorescent protein to demonstrate rapid ER movements within the columella cells, suggesting that the imaged actin network is functional. The successful identification of discrete actin structures in the root columella cells forms the perception and signaling.

  5. Growth, collapse, and self-organized criticality in complex networks

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yafeng; Fan, Huawei; Lin, Weijie; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Wang, Xingang

    2016-01-01

    Network growth is ubiquitous in nature (e.g., biological networks) and technological systems (e.g., modern infrastructures). To understand how certain dynamical behaviors can or cannot persist as the underlying network grows is a problem of increasing importance in complex dynamical systems as well as sustainability science and engineering. We address the question of whether a complex network of nonlinear oscillators can maintain its synchronization stability as it expands. We find that a large scale avalanche over the entire network can be triggered in the sense that the individual nodal dynamics diverges from the synchronous state in a cascading manner within a relatively short time period. In particular, after an initial stage of linear growth, the network typically evolves into a critical state where the addition of a single new node can cause a group of nodes to lose synchronization, leading to synchronization collapse for the entire network. A statistical analysis reveals that the collapse size is approximately algebraically distributed, indicating the emergence of self-organized criticality. We demonstrate the generality of the phenomenon of synchronization collapse using a variety of complex network models, and uncover the underlying dynamical mechanism through an eigenvector analysis. PMID:27079515

  6. Growth, collapse, and self-organized criticality in complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yafeng; Fan, Huawei; Lin, Weijie; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Wang, Xingang

    2016-04-01

    Network growth is ubiquitous in nature (e.g., biological networks) and technological systems (e.g., modern infrastructures). To understand how certain dynamical behaviors can or cannot persist as the underlying network grows is a problem of increasing importance in complex dynamical systems as well as sustainability science and engineering. We address the question of whether a complex network of nonlinear oscillators can maintain its synchronization stability as it expands. We find that a large scale avalanche over the entire network can be triggered in the sense that the individual nodal dynamics diverges from the synchronous state in a cascading manner within a relatively short time period. In particular, after an initial stage of linear growth, the network typically evolves into a critical state where the addition of a single new node can cause a group of nodes to lose synchronization, leading to synchronization collapse for the entire network. A statistical analysis reveals that the collapse size is approximately algebraically distributed, indicating the emergence of self-organized criticality. We demonstrate the generality of the phenomenon of synchronization collapse using a variety of complex network models, and uncover the underlying dynamical mechanism through an eigenvector analysis.

  7. The impact of capacity growth in national telecommunications networks.

    PubMed

    Lord, Andrew; Soppera, Andrea; Jacquet, Arnaud

    2016-03-01

    This paper discusses both UK-based and global Internet data bandwidth growth, beginning with historical data for the BT network. We examine the time variations in consumer behaviour and how this is statistically aggregated into larger traffic loads on national core fibre communications networks. The random nature of consumer Internet behaviour, where very few consumers require maximum bandwidth simultaneously, provides the opportunity for a significant statistical gain. The paper looks at predictions for how this growth might continue over the next 10-20 years, giving estimates for the amount of bandwidth that networks should support in the future. The paper then explains how national networks are designed to accommodate these traffic levels, and the various network roles, including access, metro and core, are described. The physical layer network is put into the context of how the packet and service layers are designed and the applications and location of content are also included in an overall network overview. The specific role of content servers in alleviating core network traffic loads is highlighted. The status of the relevant transmission technologies in the access, metro and core is given, showing that these technologies, with adequate research, should be sufficient to provide bandwidth for consumers in the next 10-20 years. PMID:26809568

  8. Growth, collapse, and self-organized criticality in complex networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yafeng; Fan, Huawei; Lin, Weijie; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Wang, Xingang

    2016-01-01

    Network growth is ubiquitous in nature (e.g., biological networks) and technological systems (e.g., modern infrastructures). To understand how certain dynamical behaviors can or cannot persist as the underlying network grows is a problem of increasing importance in complex dynamical systems as well as sustainability science and engineering. We address the question of whether a complex network of nonlinear oscillators can maintain its synchronization stability as it expands. We find that a large scale avalanche over the entire network can be triggered in the sense that the individual nodal dynamics diverges from the synchronous state in a cascading manner within a relatively short time period. In particular, after an initial stage of linear growth, the network typically evolves into a critical state where the addition of a single new node can cause a group of nodes to lose synchronization, leading to synchronization collapse for the entire network. A statistical analysis reveals that the collapse size is approximately algebraically distributed, indicating the emergence of self-organized criticality. We demonstrate the generality of the phenomenon of synchronization collapse using a variety of complex network models, and uncover the underlying dynamical mechanism through an eigenvector analysis. PMID:27079515

  9. Geometrical and Mechanical Properties Control Actin Filament Organization

    PubMed Central

    Ennomani, Hajer; Théry, Manuel; Nedelec, Francois; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The different actin structures governing eukaryotic cell shape and movement are not only determined by the properties of the actin filaments and associated proteins, but also by geometrical constraints. We recently demonstrated that limiting nucleation to specific regions was sufficient to obtain actin networks with different organization. To further investigate how spatially constrained actin nucleation determines the emergent actin organization, we performed detailed simulations of the actin filament system using Cytosim. We first calibrated the steric interaction between filaments, by matching, in simulations and experiments, the bundled actin organization observed with a rectangular bar of nucleating factor. We then studied the overall organization of actin filaments generated by more complex pattern geometries used experimentally. We found that the fraction of parallel versus antiparallel bundles is determined by the mechanical properties of actin filament or bundles and the efficiency of nucleation. Thus nucleation geometry, actin filaments local interactions, bundle rigidity, and nucleation efficiency are the key parameters controlling the emergent actin architecture. We finally simulated more complex nucleation patterns and performed the corresponding experiments to confirm the predictive capabilities of the model. PMID:26016478

  10. Nuclear F-actin formation and reorganization upon cell spreading.

    PubMed

    Plessner, Matthias; Melak, Michael; Chinchilla, Pilar; Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2015-05-01

    We recently discovered signal-regulated nuclear actin network assembly. However, in contrast to cytoplasmic actin regulation, polymeric nuclear actin structures and functions remain only poorly understood. Here we describe a novel molecular tool to visualize real-time nuclear actin dynamics by targeting the Actin-Chromobody-TagGFP to the nucleus, thus establishing a nuclear Actin-Chromobody. Interestingly, we observe nuclear actin polymerization into dynamic filaments upon cell spreading and fibronectin stimulation, both of which appear to be triggered by integrin signaling. Furthermore, we show that nucleoskeletal proteins such as the LINC (linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complex and components of the nuclear lamina couple cell spreading or integrin activation by fibronectin to nuclear actin polymerization. Spreading-induced nuclear actin polymerization results in serum response factor (SRF)-mediated transcription through nuclear retention of myocardin-related transcription factor A (MRTF-A). Our results reveal a signaling pathway, which links integrin activation by extracellular matrix interaction to nuclear actin polymerization through the LINC complex, and therefore suggest a role for nuclear actin polymerization in the context of cellular adhesion and mechanosensing. PMID:25759381

  11. Network effects in a human capital based economic growth model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaz Martins, Teresa; Araújo, Tanya; Augusta Santos, Maria; St Aubyn, Miguel

    2009-06-01

    We revisit a recently introduced agent model [ACS, 11, 99 (2008)], where economic growth is a consequence of education (human capital formation) and innovation, and investigate the influence of the agents’ social network, both on an agent’s decision to pursue education and on the output of new ideas. Regular and random networks are considered. The results are compared with the predictions of a mean field (representative agent) model.

  12. Building an artificial actin cortex on microscopic pillar arrays.

    PubMed

    Ayadi, R; Roos, W H

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells obtain their morphology and mechanical strength from the cytoskeleton and in particular from the cross-linked actin network that branches throughout the whole cell. This actin cortex lies like a quasi-two-dimensional (2D) biopolymer network just below the cell membrane, to which it is attached. In the quest for building an artificial cell, one needs to make a biomimetic model of the actin cortex and combine this in a bottom-up approach with other "synthetic" components. Here, we describe a reconstitution method for such an artificial actin cortex, which is freely suspended on top of a regular array of pillars. By this immobilization method, the actin network is only attached to a surface at discrete points and can fluctuate freely in between. By discussing the method to make the micropillars and the way to reconstitute a quasi-2D actin network on top, we show how one can study an isolated, reconstituted part of a cell. This allows the study of fundamental interaction mechanisms of actin networks, providing handles to design a functional actin cortex in an artificial cell. PMID:25997345

  13. [Actin in the wound healing process].

    PubMed

    Nowak, Dorota; Popow-Woźniak, Agnieszka; Raźnikiewicz, Linda; Malicka-Błaszkiewicz, Maria

    2009-01-01

    Wound healing is an important biological process of crucial value for organisms survival and retention of its proper functions. The recognition of molecular mechanisms of these phenomenon is still under investigation. The transition of mesenchymal fibroblasts to myofibroblasts is a key point in wound healing. The contraction ability of myofibroblast enables the shrinkage of a wound and closes its edges. Alpha smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), one of six actin isoforms, is a marker of compeletely differentiated myofibroblast. The regulation of differentiation process depends on many growth factors (especially TGF beta 1), the level of active thymosin beta 4, extracellular matrix proteins--including fibronectin, and also on specificity of microenvironment. Thymosin beta 4 is responsible for maintenance of pool of monomeric actin and actin filaments depolymerization. It can also act as a transcription factor, migration stimulator and immunomodulator, so this protein deserves for more attention in wound healing research field. PMID:19824469

  14. Network effect of knowledge spillover: Scale-free networks stimulate R&D activities and accelerate economic growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konno, Tomohiko

    2016-09-01

    We study how knowledge spillover networks affect research and development (R&D) activities and economic growth. For this purpose, we extend a Schumpeterian growth model to the one on networks that depict the knowledge spillover relationships of R&D. We show that scale-free networks stimulate R&D activities and accelerate economic growth.

  15. Network-based model of the growth of termite nests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eom, Young-Ho; Perna, Andrea; Fortunato, Santo; Darrouzet, Eric; Theraulaz, Guy; Jost, Christian

    2015-12-01

    We present a model for the growth of the transportation network inside nests of the social insect subfamily Termitinae (Isoptera, termitidae). These nests consist of large chambers (nodes) connected by tunnels (edges). The model based on the empirical analysis of the real nest networks combined with pruning (edge removal, either random or weighted by betweenness centrality) and a memory effect (preferential growth from the latest added chambers) successfully predicts emergent nest properties (degree distribution, size of the largest connected component, average path lengths, backbone link ratios, and local graph redundancy). The two pruning alternatives can be associated with different genuses in the subfamily. A sensitivity analysis on the pruning and memory parameters indicates that Termitinae networks favor fast internal transportation over efficient defense strategies against ant predators. Our results provide an example of how complex network organization and efficient network properties can be generated from simple building rules based on local interactions and contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms that come into play for the formation of termite networks and of biological transportation networks in general.

  16. Network-based model of the growth of termite nests.

    PubMed

    Eom, Young-Ho; Perna, Andrea; Fortunato, Santo; Darrouzet, Eric; Theraulaz, Guy; Jost, Christian

    2015-12-01

    We present a model for the growth of the transportation network inside nests of the social insect subfamily Termitinae (Isoptera, termitidae). These nests consist of large chambers (nodes) connected by tunnels (edges). The model based on the empirical analysis of the real nest networks combined with pruning (edge removal, either random or weighted by betweenness centrality) and a memory effect (preferential growth from the latest added chambers) successfully predicts emergent nest properties (degree distribution, size of the largest connected component, average path lengths, backbone link ratios, and local graph redundancy). The two pruning alternatives can be associated with different genuses in the subfamily. A sensitivity analysis on the pruning and memory parameters indicates that Termitinae networks favor fast internal transportation over efficient defense strategies against ant predators. Our results provide an example of how complex network organization and efficient network properties can be generated from simple building rules based on local interactions and contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms that come into play for the formation of termite networks and of biological transportation networks in general. PMID:26764747

  17. Direct dynamin–actin interactions regulate the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Changkyu; Yaddanapudi, Suma; Weins, Astrid; Osborn, Teresia; Reiser, Jochen; Pollak, Martin; Hartwig, John; Sever, Sanja

    2010-01-01

    The large GTPase dynamin assembles into higher order structures that are thought to promote endocytosis. Dynamin also regulates the actin cytoskeleton through an unknown, GTPase-dependent mechanism. Here, we identify a highly conserved site in dynamin that binds directly to actin filaments and aligns them into bundles. Point mutations in the actin-binding domain cause aberrant membrane ruffling and defective actin stress fibre formation in cells. Short actin filaments promote dynamin assembly into higher order structures, which in turn efficiently release the actin-capping protein (CP) gelsolin from barbed actin ends in vitro, allowing for elongation of actin filaments. Together, our results support a model in which assembled dynamin, generated through interactions with short actin filaments, promotes actin polymerization via displacement of actin-CPs. PMID:20935625

  18. Chemotaxis and Actin Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Hsu, Hsin-Fang; Negrete, Jose; Beta, Carsten; Pumir, Alain; Gholami, Azam; Tarantola, Marco; Westendorf, Christian; Zykov, Vladimir

    Recently, self-oscillations of the cytoskeletal actin have been observed in Dictyostelium, a model system for studying chemotaxis. Here we report experimental results on the self-oscillation mechanism and the role of regulatory proteins and myosin II. We stimulate cells rapidly and periodically by using photo un-caging of the chemoattractant in a micro-fluidic device and measured the cellular responses. We found that the response amplitude grows with stimulation strength only in a very narrow region of stimulation, after which the response amplitude reaches a plateau. Moreover, the frequency-response is not constant but rather varies with the strength of external stimuli. To understand the underlying mechanism, we analyzed the polymerization and de-polymerization time in the single cell level. Despite of the large cell-to-cell variability, we found that the polymerization time is independent of external stimuli and the de-polymerization time is prolonged as the stimulation strength increases. Our conclusions will be summarized and the role of noise in the signaling network will be discussed. German Science Foundation CRC 937.

  19. Chondramides, novel cyclodepsipeptides from myxobacteria, influence cell development and induce actin filament polymerization in the green alga Micrasterias.

    PubMed

    Holzinger, A; Lütz-Meindl, U

    2001-02-01

    The effects of chondramides A-D, new actin targeting cyclodepsipeptides from the myxobacterium Chondromyces crocatus, are probed on the unicellular green alga Micrasterias denticulata, a model organism for studies on cytomorphogenesis. All four chondramides readily enter the cells and cause severe shape malformations when applied during growth. However, the four derivatives have different lowest effective concentrations. Chondramide A: 20 microM, chondramide B: 15 microM, chondramide C: 5 microM chondramide D: 10 microM. At the ultrastructural level, chondramide C, the most effective drug, causes the appearance of abnormal, dense F-actin bundles, and a substantial increase in ER, which covers large parts of the developing semicell. Also the secondary cell wall is malformed by the drug. When chondramide C effects are investigated by means of indirect immunofluorescence, alterations of the F-actin system are also visible. Instead of the cortical F-actin network of untreated controls, distinct parts of the cell are covered by abundant F-actin aggregations. Phalloidin staining of chondramide C treated cells results in a decreased fluorescence in a time-dependent manner due to binding competitions between these drugs. F-actin polymerizing and bundling capacities of chondramides A-D are presented in Micrasterias for the first time, and may in future make this substances a useful tool for cell biological research. PMID:11169761

  20. Glutamyl Phosphate Is an Activated Intermediate in Actin Crosslinking by Actin Crosslinking Domain (ACD) Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Kudryashova, Elena; Kalda, Caitlin; Kudryashov, Dmitri S.

    2012-01-01

    Actin Crosslinking Domain (ACD) is produced by several life-threatening Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria as part of larger toxins and delivered into the cytoplasm of eukaryotic host cells via Type I or Type VI secretion systems. Upon delivery, ACD disrupts the actin cytoskeleton by catalyzing intermolecular amide bond formation between E270 and K50 residues of actin, leading to the formation of polymerization-deficient actin oligomers. Ultimately, accumulation of the crosslinked oligomers results in structural and functional failure of the actin cytoskeleton in affected cells. In the present work, we advanced in our understanding of the ACD catalytic mechanism by discovering that the enzyme transfers the gamma-phosphoryl group of ATP to the E270 actin residue, resulting in the formation of an activated acyl phosphate intermediate. This intermediate is further hydrolyzed and the energy of hydrolysis is utilized for the formation of the amide bond between actin subunits. We also determined the pH optimum for the reaction and the kinetic parameters of ACD catalysis for its substrates, ATP and actin. ACD showed sigmoidal, non-Michaelis-Menten kinetics for actin (K0.5 = 30 µM) reflecting involvement of two actin molecules in a single crosslinking event. We established that ACD can also utilize Mg2+-GTP to support crosslinking, but the kinetic parameters (KM = 8 µM and 50 µM for ATP and GTP, respectively) suggest that ATP is the primary substrate of ACD in vivo. The optimal pH for ACD activity was in the range of 7.0–9.0. The elucidated kinetic mechanism of ACD toxicity adds to understanding of complex network of host-pathogen interactions. PMID:23029200

  1. Actin-based spindle positioning: new insights from female gametes.

    PubMed

    Almonacid, Maria; Terret, Marie-Émilie; Verlhac, Marie-Hélène

    2014-02-01

    Asymmetric divisions are essential in metazoan development, where they promote the emergence of cell lineages. The mitotic spindle has astral microtubules that contact the cortex, which act as a sensor of cell geometry and as an integrator to orient cell division. Recent advances in live imaging revealed novel pools and roles of F-actin in somatic cells and in oocytes. In somatic cells, cytoplasmic F-actin is involved in spindle architecture and positioning. In starfish and mouse oocytes, newly discovered meshes of F-actin control chromosome gathering and spindle positioning. Because oocytes lack centrosomes and astral microtubules, F-actin networks are key players in the positioning of spindles by transmitting forces over long distances. Oocytes also achieve highly asymmetric divisions, and thus are excellent models to study the roles of these newly discovered F-actin networks in spindle positioning. Moreover, recent studies in mammalian oocytes provide a further understanding of the organisation of F-actin networks and their biophysical properties. In this Commentary, we present examples of the role of F-actin in spindle positioning and asymmetric divisions, with an emphasis on the most up-to-date studies from mammalian oocytes. We also address specific technical issues in the field, namely live imaging of F-actin networks and stress the need for interdisciplinary approaches. PMID:24413163

  2. Spontaneous actin dynamics in contractile rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruse, Karsten; Wollrab, Viktoria; Thiagarajan, Raghavan; Wald, Anne; Riveline, Daniel

    Networks of polymerizing actin filaments are known to be capable to self-organize into a variety of structures. For example, spontaneous actin polymerization waves have been observed in living cells in a number of circumstances, notably, in crawling neutrophils and slime molds. During later stages of cell division, they can also spontaneously form a contractile ring that will eventually cleave the cell into two daughter cells. We present a framework for describing networks of polymerizing actin filaments, where assembly is regulated by various proteins. It can also include the effects of molecular motors. We show that the molecular processes driven by these proteins can generate various structures that have been observed in contractile rings of fission yeast and mammalian cells. We discuss a possible functional role of each of these patterns. The work was supported by Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France, (ANR-10-LABX-0030-INRT) and by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through SFB1027.

  3. A syndecan-4 binding peptide derived from laminin 5 uses a novel PKCε pathway to induce cross-linked actin network (CLAN) formation in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells.

    PubMed

    Filla, Mark S; Clark, Ross; Peters, Donna M

    2014-10-01

    In this study, we examined the role(s) of syndecan-4 in regulating the formation of an actin geodesic dome structure called a cross-linked actin network (CLAN) in which syndecan-4 has previously been localized. CLANs have been described in several different cell types, but they have been most widely studied in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells where they may play a key role in controlling intraocular pressure by regulating aqueous humor outflow from the eye. In this study we show that a loss of cell surface synedcan-4 significantly reduces CLAN formation in HTM cells. Analysis of HTM cultures treated with or without dexamethasone shows that laminin 5 deposition within the extracellular matrix is increased by glucocorticoid treatment and that a laminin 5-derived, syndecan-4-binding peptide (PEP75), induces CLAN formation in TM cells. This PEP75-induced CLAN formation was inhibited by heparin and the broad spectrum PKC inhibitor Ro-31-7549. In contrast, the more specific PKCα inhibitor Gö 6976 had no effect, thus excluding PKCα as a downstream effector of syndecan-4 signaling. Analysis of PKC isozyme expression showed that HTM cells also expressed both PKCγ and PKCε. Cells treated with a PKCε agonist formed CLANs while a PKCα/γ agonist had no effect. These data suggest that syndecan-4 is essential for CLAN formation in HTM cells and that a novel PKCε-mediated signaling pathway can regulate formation of this unique actin structure. PMID:25128150

  4. A syndecan-4 binding peptide derived from laminin 5 uses a novel PKCε pathway to induce cross-linked actin network (CLAN) formation in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells

    PubMed Central

    Filla, Mark S.; Clark, Ross; Peters, Donna M.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we examined the role(s) of syndecan-4 in regulating the formation of an actin geodesic dome structure called a cross-linked actin network (CLAN) in which syndecan-4 has previously been localized. CLANs have been described in several different cell types, but they have been most widely studied in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells where they may play a key role in controlling intraocular pressure by regulating aqueous humor outflow from the eye. In this study we show that a loss of cell surface synedcan-4 significantly reduces CLAN formation in HTM cells. Analysis of HTM cultures treated with or without dexamethasone shows that laminin 5 deposition within the extracellular matrix is increased by glucocorticoid treatment and that a laminin 5-derived, syndecan-4-binding peptide (PEP75), induces CLAN formation in TM cells. This PEP75-induced CLAN formation was inhibited by heparin and the broad spectrum PKC inhibitor Ro-31-7549. In contrast, the more specific PKCα inhibitor Go 6976 had no effect, thus excluding PKCα as a downstream effector of syndecan-4 signaling. Analysis of PKC isozyme expression showed that HTM cells also expressed both PKCγ and PKCε. Cells treated with a PKCε agonist formed CLANs while a PKCα/γ agonist had no effect. These data suggest that syndecan-4 is essential for CLAN formation in HTM cells and that a novel PKCε-mediated signaling pathway can regulate formation of this unique actin structure. PMID:25128150

  5. The accelerated growth of the worldwide air transportation network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azzam, Mark; Klingauf, Uwe; Zock, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Mobility by means of air transportation has a critical impact on the global economy. Especially against the backdrop of further growth and an aggravation of the energy crisis, it is crucial to design a sustainable air transportation system. Current approaches focus on air traffic management. Nevertheless, also the historically evolved network offers great potential for an optimized redesign. But the understanding of its complex structure and development is limited, although modern network science supplies a great set of new methods and tools. So far studies analyzing air transportation as a complex network are based on divers and poor data, which are either merely regional or strongly bounded time-wise. As a result, the current state of research is rather inconsistent regarding topological coefficients and incomplete regarding network evolution. Therefore, we use the historical, worldwide OAG flight schedules data between 1979 and 2007 for our study. Through analyzing by far the most comprehensive data base so far, a better understanding of the network, its evolution and further implications is being provided. To our knowledge we present the first study to determine that the degree distribution of the worldwide air transportation network is non-stationary and is subject to densification and accelerated growth, respectively.

  6. Excitable actin dynamics in lamellipodial protrusion and retraction.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Gillian L; Petroccia, Heather M; Watanabe, Naoki; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2012-04-01

    Many animal cells initiate crawling by protruding lamellipodia, consisting of a dense network of actin filaments, at their leading edge. We imaged XTC cells that exhibit flat lamellipodia on poly-L-lysine-coated coverslips. Using active contours, we tracked the leading edge and measured the total amount of F-actin by summing the pixel intensities within a 5-μm band. We observed protrusion and retraction with period 130-200 s and local wavelike features. Positive (negative) velocities correlated with minimum (maximum) integrated actin concentration. Approximately constant retrograde flow indicated that protrusions and retractions were driven by fluctuations of the actin polymerization rate. We present a model of these actin dynamics as an excitable system in which a diffusive, autocatalytic activator causes actin polymerization; F-actin accumulation in turn inhibits further activator accumulation. Simulations of the model reproduced the pattern of actin polymerization seen in experiments. To explore the model's assumption of an autocatalytic activation mechanism, we imaged cells expressing markers for both F-actin and the p21 subunit of the Arp2/3 complex. We found that integrated Arp2/3-complex concentrations spike several seconds before spikes of F-actin concentration. This suggests that the Arp2/3 complex participates in an activation mechanism that includes additional diffuse components. Response of cells to stimulation by fetal calf serum could be reproduced by the model, further supporting the proposed dynamical picture. PMID:22500749

  7. Actin is required for IFT regulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    PubMed Central

    Avasthi, Prachee; Onishi, Masayuki; Karpiak, Joel; Yamamoto, Ryosuke; Mackinder, Luke; Jonikas, Martin C.; Sale, Winfield S.; Shoichet, Brian; Pringle, John R.; Marshall, Wallace F.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Assembly of cilia and flagella requires intraflagellar transport (IFT), a highly regulated kinesin-based transport system that moves cargo from the basal body to the tip of flagella [1]. The recruitment of IFT components to basal bodies is a function of flagellar length, with increased recruitment in rapidly growing short flagella [2]. The molecular pathways regulating IFT are largely a mystery. Since actin network disruption leads to changes in ciliary length and number, actin has been proposed to have a role in ciliary assembly. However, the mechanisms involved are unknown. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, conventional actin is found in both the cell body and the inner dynein arm complexes within flagella [3, 4]. Previous work showed that treating Chlamydomonas cells with the actin-depolymerizing compound cytochalasin D resulted in reversible flagellar shortening [5], but how actin is related to flagellar length or assembly remains unknown. Here, we utilize small-molecule inhibitors and genetic mutants to analyze the role of actin dynamics in flagellar assembly in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We demonstrate that actin plays a role in IFT recruitment to basal bodies during flagellar elongation, and that when actin is perturbed, the normal dependence of IFT recruitment on flagellar length is lost. We also find that actin is required for sufficient entry of IFT material into flagella during assembly. These same effects are recapitulated with a myosin inhibitor suggesting actin may act via myosin in a pathway by which flagellar assembly is regulated by flagellar length. PMID:25155506

  8. Actin is required for IFT regulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Avasthi, Prachee; Onishi, Masayuki; Karpiak, Joel; Yamamoto, Ryosuke; Mackinder, Luke; Jonikas, Martin C; Sale, Winfield S; Shoichet, Brian; Pringle, John R; Marshall, Wallace F

    2014-09-01

    Assembly of cilia and flagella requires intraflagellar transport (IFT), a highly regulated kinesin-based transport system that moves cargo from the basal body to the tip of flagella [1]. The recruitment of IFT components to basal bodies is a function of flagellar length, with increased recruitment in rapidly growing short flagella [2]. The molecular pathways regulating IFT are largely a mystery. Because actin network disruption leads to changes in ciliary length and number, actin has been proposed to have a role in ciliary assembly. However, the mechanisms involved are unknown. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, conventional actin is found in both the cell body and the inner dynein arm complexes within flagella [3, 4]. Previous work showed that treating Chlamydomonas cells with the actin-depolymerizing compound cytochalasin D resulted in reversible flagellar shortening [5], but how actin is related to flagellar length or assembly remains unknown. Here we utilize small-molecule inhibitors and genetic mutants to analyze the role of actin dynamics in flagellar assembly in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We demonstrate that actin plays a role in IFT recruitment to basal bodies during flagellar elongation and that when actin is perturbed, the normal dependence of IFT recruitment on flagellar length is lost. We also find that actin is required for sufficient entry of IFT material into flagella during assembly. These same effects are recapitulated with a myosin inhibitor, suggesting that actin may act via myosin in a pathway by which flagellar assembly is regulated by flagellar length. PMID:25155506

  9. Actin Polymerization is Stimulated by Actin Crosslinking Protein Palladin

    PubMed Central

    Gurung, Ritu; Yadav, Rahul; Brungardt, Joseph G.; Orlova, Albina; Egelman, Edward H.; Beck, Moriah R.

    2016-01-01

    The actin scaffold protein palladin regulates both normal cell migration and invasive cell motility, processes that require the coordinated regulation of actin dynamics. However, the potential effect of palladin on actin dynamics has remained elusive. Here we show that the actin binding immunoglobulin-like domain of palladin, which is directly responsible for both actin binding and bundling, also stimulates actin polymerization in vitro. Palladin eliminated the lag phase that is characteristic of the slow nucleation step of actin polymerization. Furthermore, palladin dramatically reduced depolymerization, slightly enhanced the elongation rate, and did not alter the critical concentration. Microscopy and in vitro crosslinking assays reveal differences in actin bundle architecture when palladin is incubated with actin before or after polymerization. These results suggest a model whereby palladin stimulates a polymerization-competent form of G-actin, akin to metal ions, either through charge neutralization or conformational changes. PMID:26607837

  10. VASP Governs Actin Dynamics by Modulating Filament Anchoring

    PubMed Central

    Trichet, Léa; Campàs, Otger; Sykes, Cécile; Plastino, Julie

    2007-01-01

    Actin filament dynamics at the cell membrane are important for cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesions and the protrusion of the leading edge. Since actin filaments must be connected to the cell membrane to exert forces but must also detach from the membrane to allow it to move and evolve, the balance between actin filament tethering and detachment at adhesion sites and the leading edge is key for cell shape changes and motility. How this fine tuning is performed in cells remains an open question, but possible candidates are the Drosophila enabled/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (Ena/VASP) family of proteins, which localize to dynamic actin structures in the cell. Here we study VASP-mediated actin-related proteins 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex-dependent actin dynamics using a substrate that mimics the fluid properties of the cell membrane: an oil-water interface. We show evidence that polymerization activators undergo diffusion and convection on the fluid surface, due to continual attachment and detachment to the actin network. These dynamics are enhanced in the presence of VASP, and we observe cycles of catastrophic detachment of the actin network from the surface, resulting in stop-and-go motion. These results point to a role for VASP in the modulation of filament anchoring, with implications for actin dynamics at cell adhesions and at the leading edge of the cell. PMID:17098798

  11. A Network Meta-Analysis of the Relative Efficacy of Treatments for Actinic Keratosis of the Face or Scalp in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Vegter, Stefan; Tolley, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Background Several treatments are available for actinic keratosis (AK) on the face and scalp. Most treatment modalities were compared to placebo and therefore little is known on their relative efficacy. Objectives To compare the different treatments for mild to moderate AK on the face and scalp available in clinical practice in Europe. Methods A network meta-analysis (NMA) was performed on the outcome “complete patient clearance”. Ten treatment modalities were included: two 5-aminolaevulinic acid photodynamic therapies (ALA-PDT), applied as gel (BF-200 ALA) or patch; methyl-aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT); three modalities with imiquimod (IMI), applied as a 4-week or 16-week course with 5% imiquimod, or a 2–3 week course with 3.75% imiquimod; cryotherapy; diclofenac 3% in 2.5% hyaluronic acid; 0.5% 5-fluorouracil (5-FU); and ingenol mebutate (IMB). The only data available for 5% 5-FU was from one small study and was determined to be too limited to be reliably included in the analysis. For BF-200 ALA and MAL-PDT, data from illumination with narrow-band lights were selected as these are typically used in clinical practice. The NMA was performed with a random-effects Bayesian model. Results 25 trials on 5,562 patients were included in the NMA. All active treatments were significantly better than placebo. BF-200 ALA showed the highest efficacy compared to placebo to achieve total patient clearance. BF-200 ALA had the highest probability to be the best treatment and the highest SUCRA score (64.8% and 92.1%), followed by IMI 5% 4 weeks (10.1% and 74.2%) and 5-FU 0.5% (7.2% and 66.8%). Conclusions This NMA showed that BF-200 ALA, using narrow-band lights, was the most efficacious treatment for mild to moderate AK on the face and scalp. This analysis is relevant for clinical decision making and health technology assessment, assisting the improved management of AK. PMID:24892649

  12. Two Functionally Distinct Sources of Actin Monomers Supply the Leading Edge of Lamellipodia

    PubMed Central

    Vitriol, Eric A.; McMillen, Laura M.; Kapustina, Maryna; Gomez, Shawn M.; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Zheng, James Q.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Lamellipodia, the sheet-like protrusions of motile cells, consist of networks of actin filaments (F-actin) regulated by the ordered assembly from and disassembly into actin monomers (G-actin). Traditionally, G-actin is thought to exist as a homogeneous pool. Here, we show that there are two functionally and molecularly distinct sources of G-actin that supply lamellipodial actin networks. G-actin originating from the cytosolic pool requires the monomer binding protein thymosin β4 (Tβ4) for optimal leading edge localization, is targeted to formins, and is responsible for creating an elevated G/F-actin ratio that promotes membrane protrusion. The second source of G-actin comes from recycled lamellipodia F-actin. Recycling occurs independently of Tβ4 and appears to regulate lamellipodia homeostasis. Tβ4-bound G-actin specifically localizes to the leading edge because it doesn’t interact with Arp2/3-mediated polymerization sites found throughout the lamellipodia. These findings demonstrate that actin networks can be constructed from multiple sources of monomers with discrete spatiotemporal functions. PMID:25865895

  13. Fragmented Romanian Sociology: Growth and Structure of the Collaboration Network

    PubMed Central

    Hâncean, Marian-Gabriel; Perc, Matjaž; Vlăsceanu, Lazăr

    2014-01-01

    Structural patterns in collaboration networks are essential for understanding how new ideas, research practices, innovation or cooperation circulate and develop within academic communities and between and within university departments. In our research, we explore and investigate the structure of the collaboration network formed by the academics working full-time within all the 17 sociology departments across Romania. We show that the collaboration network is sparse and fragmented, and that it constitutes an environment that does not promote the circulation of new ideas and innovation within the field. Although recent years have witnessed an increase in the productivity of Romanian sociologists, there is still ample room for improvement in terms of the interaction infrastructure that ought to link individuals together so that they could maximize their potentials. We also fail to discern evidence in favor of the Matthew effect governing the growth of the network, which suggests scientific success and productivity are not rewarded. Instead, the structural properties of the collaboration network are partly those of a core-periphery network, where the spread of innovation and change can be explained by structural equivalence rather than by interpersonal influence models. We also provide support for the idea that, within the observed network, collaboration is the product of homophily rather than prestige effects. Further research on the subject based on data from other countries in the region is needed to place our results in a comparative framework, in particular to discern whether the behavior of the Romanian sociologist community is unique or rather common. PMID:25409180

  14. The neuronal and actin commitment: Why do neurons need rings?

    PubMed

    Leite, Sérgio Carvalho; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-09-01

    The role of the actin cytoskeleton in neurons has been extensively studied in actin-enriched compartments such as the growth cone and dendritic spines. The recent discovery of actin rings in the axon shaft and in dendrites, together with the identification of axon actin trails, has advanced our understanding on actin organization and dynamics in neurons. However, specifically in the case of actin rings, the mechanisms regulating their nucleation and assembly, and the functions that they may exert in axons and dendrites remain largely unexplored. Here we discuss the possible structural, mechanistic and functional properties of the subcortical neuronal cytoskeleton putting the current knowledge in perspective with the information available on actin rings formed in other biological contexts, and with the organization of actin-spectrin lattices in other cell types. The detailed analysis of these novel neuronal actin ring structures, together with the elucidation of the function of actin-binding proteins in neuron biology, has a large potential to uncover new mechanisms of neuronal function under normal conditions that may have impact in our understanding of axon degeneration and regeneration. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26784007

  15. Concentration profiles of actin-binding molecules in lamellipodia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcke, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Motile cells form lamellipodia in the direction of motion, which are flat membrane protrusions containing an actin filament network. The network flows rearward relative to the leading edge of the lamellipodium due to actin polymerization at the front. Thus, actin binding molecules are subject to transport towards the rear of the cell in the bound state and diffuse freely in the unbound state. We analyze this reaction-diffusion-advection process with respect to the concentration profiles of these species and provide an analytic approximation for them. Network flow may cause a depletion zone of actin binding molecules close to the leading edge. The existence of such zone depends on the free molecule concentration in the cell body, on the ratio of the diffusion length to the distance bound molecules travel rearward with the flow before dissociating, and the ratio of the diffusion length to the width of the region with network flow and actin binding. Our calculations suggest the existence of depletion zones for the F-actin cross-linkers filamin and α-actinin in fish keratocytes (and other cell types), which is in line with the small elastic moduli of the F-actin network close to the leading edge found in measurements of the force motile cells are able to exert.

  16. Actin Automata with Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Sanz, Ramón; Adamatzky, Andy

    Actin is a globular protein which forms long polar filaments in eukaryotic. The actin filaments play the roles of cytoskeleton, motility units, information processing and learning. We model actin filament as a double chain of finite state machines, nodes, which take states “0” and “1”. The states are abstractions of absence and presence of a subthreshold charge on actin units corresponding to the nodes. All nodes update their state in parallel to discrete time. A node updates its current state depending on states of two closest neighbors in the node chain and two closest neighbors in the complementary chain. Previous models of actin automata consider momentary state transitions of nodes. We enrich the actin automata model by assuming that states of nodes depend not only on the current states of neighboring node but also on their past states. Thus, we assess the effect of memory of past states on the dynamics of acting automata. We demonstrate in computational experiments that memory slows down propagation of perturbations, decrease entropy of space-time patterns generated, transforms traveling localizations to stationary oscillators, and stationary oscillations to still patterns.

  17. Mutant Profilin Suppresses Mutant Actin-dependent Mitochondrial Phenotype in Saccharomyces cerevisiae*

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Kuo-Kuang; McKane, Melissa; Stokasimov, Ema; Rubenstein, Peter A.

    2011-01-01

    In the Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin-profilin interface, Ala167 of the actin barbed end W-loop and His372 near the C terminus form a clamp around a profilin segment containing residue Arg81 and Tyr79. Modeling suggests that altering steric packing in this interface regulates actin activity. An actin A167E mutation could increase interface crowding and alter actin regulation, and A167E does cause growth defects and mitochondrial dysfunction. We assessed whether a profilin Y79S mutation with its decreased mass could compensate for actin A167E crowding and rescue the mutant phenotype. Y79S profilin alone caused no growth defect in WT actin cells under standard conditions in rich medium and rescued the mitochondrial phenotype resulting from both the A167E and H372R actin mutations in vivo consistent with our model. Rescue did not result from effects of profilin on actin nucleotide exchange or direct effects of profilin on actin polymerization. Polymerization of A167E actin was less stimulated by formin Bni1 FH1-FH2 fragment than was WT actin. Addition of WT profilin to mixtures of A167E actin and formin fragment significantly altered polymerization kinetics from hyperbolic to a decidedly more sigmoidal behavior. Substitution of Y79S profilin in this system produced A167E behavior nearly identical to that of WT actin. A167E actin caused more dynamic actin cable behavior in vivo than observed with WT actin. Introduction of Y79S restored cable movement to a more normal phenotype. Our studies implicate the importance of the actin-profilin interface for formin-dependent actin and point to the involvement of formin and profilin in the maintenance of mitochondrial integrity and function. PMID:21956104

  18. Arabidopsis AtADF1 is functionally affected by mutations on actin binding sites.

    PubMed

    Dong, Chun-Hai; Tang, Wei-Ping; Liu, Jia-Yao

    2013-03-01

    The plant actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) binds to both monomeric and filamentous actin, and is directly involved in the depolymerization of actin filaments. To better understand the actin binding sites of the Arabidopsis thaliana L. AtADF1, we generated mutants of AtADF1 and investigated their functions in vitro and in vivo. Analysis of mutants harboring amino acid substitutions revealed that charged residues (Arg98 and Lys100) located at the α-helix 3 and forming an actin binding site together with the N-terminus are essential for both G- and F-actin binding. The basic residues on the β-strand 5 (K82/A) and the α-helix 4 (R135/A, R137/A) form another actin binding site that is important for F-actin binding. Using transient expression of CFP-tagged AtADF1 mutant proteins in onion (Allium cepa) peel epidermal cells and transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana L. plants overexpressing these mutants, we analyzed how these mutant proteins regulate actin organization and affect seedling growth. Our results show that the ADF mutants with a lower affinity for actin filament binding can still be functional, unless the affinity for actin monomers is also affected. The G-actin binding activity of the ADF plays an essential role in actin binding, depolymerization of actin polymers, and therefore in the control of actin organization. PMID:23190411

  19. The Molecular Evolution of Actin

    PubMed Central

    Hightower, Robin C.; Meagher, Richard B.

    1986-01-01

    We have investigated the molecular evolution of plant and nonplant actin genes comparing nucleotide and amino acid sequences of 20 actin genes. Nucleotide changes resulting in amino acid substitutions (replacement substitutions) ranged from 3–7% for all pairwise comparisons of animal actin genes with the following exceptions. Comparisons between higher animal muscle actin gene sequences and comparisons between higher animal cytoplasmic actin gene sequences indicated <3% divergence. Comparisons between plant and nonplant actin genes revealed, with two exceptions, 11–15% replacement substitution. In the analysis of plant actins, replacement substitution between soybean actin genes SAc1, SAc3, SAc4 and maize actin gene MAc1 ranged from 8–10%, whereas these members within the soybean actin gene family ranged from 6–9% replacement substitution. The rate of sequence divergence of plant actin sequences appears to be similar to that observed for animal actins. Furthermore, these and other data suggest that the plant actin gene family is ancient and that the families of soybean and maize actin genes have diverged from a single common ancestral plant actin gene that originated long before the divergence of monocots and dicots. The soybean actin multigene family encodes at least three classes of actin. These classes each contain a pair of actin genes that have been designated kappa (SAc1, SAc6), lambda (SAc2, SAc4) and mu (SAc3, SAc7). The three classes of soybean actin are more divergent in nucleotide sequence from one another than higher animal cytoplasmic actin is divergent from muscle actin. The location and distribution of amino acid changes were compared between actin proteins from all sources. A comparison of the hydropathy of all actin sequences, except from Oxytricha, indicated a strong similarity in hydropathic character between all plant and nonplant actins despite the greater number of replacement substitutions in plant actins. These protein sequence

  20. Nuclear and cytoplasmic actin in dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Soyer-Gobillard, M O; Ausseil, J; Géraud, M L

    1996-01-01

    Experiments using monoclonal and polyclonal anti-actin antibodies allowed us to demonstrate the presence of F- or G-actin in original protists, dinoflagellates, either by biochemistry, immunofluorescence and in TEM. SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and immunoblottings made either from total or nuclear protein extracts revealed the presence of a 44-kDa band reacting with monoclonal anti-actin antibody in two species, Prorocentrum micans and Crypthecodinium cohnii, and thus demonstrated the presence of actin in nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions. After squash preparation of P micans cells, actin was identified within the nucleus and in some regions of the cytoplasm by immunofluorescence microscopy. Labelling of both the nucleolus and the centrosome region was evident together with amorphous nucleoplasmic material surrounding the chromosomes. The use of cryosections of intact P micans and C cohnii cells for immunofluorescence along with staining with DAPI to delineate the chromosomes themselves, yielded finer resolution of the intranuclear network labelling pattern and allowed us to complete our observations, in particular on the cytoplasmic labelling. In P micans, in addition to the centrosome region, the cytoplasmic channels passing through the nucleus in dividing cells are labelled. In C cohnii, the cortex, the centrosome region, the cytoplasmic channels, the region surrounding the nucleus, the filaments linking it to the cortex and the cleavage furrow are also labelled. In the nucleus of the two species, there is a prominent "weft' of fine actin filaments in the nucleoplasm forming a matrix of varying density around the persistent chromosomes. This actin matrix, of unknown function, is most conspicuous at the end of the S-phase of the cell cycle. Fluorescent derivatives of phalloidin, used as diagnostic cytochemical probes for polymeric actin (F-actin), gave similar results. Positive TEM immunolabelling of intranuclear actin confirms its presence in the nucleoplasm, in the

  1. Fractional Dynamics of Network Growth Constrained by Aging Node Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Safdari, Hadiseh; Zare Kamali, Milad; Shirazi, Amirhossein; Khalighi, Moein; Jafari, Gholamreza; Ausloos, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    In many social complex systems, in which agents are linked by non-linear interactions, the history of events strongly influences the whole network dynamics. However, a class of “commonly accepted beliefs” seems rarely studied. In this paper, we examine how the growth process of a (social) network is influenced by past circumstances. In order to tackle this cause, we simply modify the well known preferential attachment mechanism by imposing a time dependent kernel function in the network evolution equation. This approach leads to a fractional order Barabási-Albert (BA) differential equation, generalizing the BA model. Our results show that, with passing time, an aging process is observed for the network dynamics. The aging process leads to a decay for the node degree values, thereby creating an opposing process to the preferential attachment mechanism. On one hand, based on the preferential attachment mechanism, nodes with a high degree are more likely to absorb links; but, on the other hand, a node’s age has a reduced chance for new connections. This competitive scenario allows an increased chance for younger members to become a hub. Simulations of such a network growth with aging constraint confirm the results found from solving the fractional BA equation. We also report, as an exemplary application, an investigation of the collaboration network between Hollywood movie actors. It is undubiously shown that a decay in the dynamics of their collaboration rate is found, even including a sex difference. Such findings suggest a widely universal application of the so generalized BA model. PMID:27171424

  2. Fractional Dynamics of Network Growth Constrained by Aging Node Interactions.

    PubMed

    Safdari, Hadiseh; Zare Kamali, Milad; Shirazi, Amirhossein; Khalighi, Moein; Jafari, Gholamreza; Ausloos, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    In many social complex systems, in which agents are linked by non-linear interactions, the history of events strongly influences the whole network dynamics. However, a class of "commonly accepted beliefs" seems rarely studied. In this paper, we examine how the growth process of a (social) network is influenced by past circumstances. In order to tackle this cause, we simply modify the well known preferential attachment mechanism by imposing a time dependent kernel function in the network evolution equation. This approach leads to a fractional order Barabási-Albert (BA) differential equation, generalizing the BA model. Our results show that, with passing time, an aging process is observed for the network dynamics. The aging process leads to a decay for the node degree values, thereby creating an opposing process to the preferential attachment mechanism. On one hand, based on the preferential attachment mechanism, nodes with a high degree are more likely to absorb links; but, on the other hand, a node's age has a reduced chance for new connections. This competitive scenario allows an increased chance for younger members to become a hub. Simulations of such a network growth with aging constraint confirm the results found from solving the fractional BA equation. We also report, as an exemplary application, an investigation of the collaboration network between Hollywood movie actors. It is undubiously shown that a decay in the dynamics of their collaboration rate is found, even including a sex difference. Such findings suggest a widely universal application of the so generalized BA model. PMID:27171424

  3. A probabilistic neural network approach for modeling and classification of bacterial growth/no-growth data.

    PubMed

    Hajmeer, M; Basheer, I

    2002-10-01

    In this paper, we propose to use probabilistic neural networks (PNNs) for classification of bacterial growth/no-growth data and modeling the probability of growth. The PNN approach combines both Bayes theorem of conditional probability and Parzen's method for estimating the probability density functions of the random variables. Unlike other neural network training paradigms, PNNs are characterized by high training speed and their ability to produce confidence levels for their classification decision. As a practical application of the proposed approach, PNNs were investigated for their ability in classification of growth/no-growth state of a pathogenic Escherichia coli R31 in response to temperature and water activity. A comparison with the most frequently used traditional statistical method based on logistic regression and multilayer feedforward artificial neural network (MFANN) trained by error backpropagation was also carried out. The PNN-based models were found to outperform linear and nonlinear logistic regression and MFANN in both the classification accuracy and ease by which PNN-based models are developed. PMID:12133614

  4. Wnt Signalling Promotes Actin Dynamics during Axon Remodelling through the Actin-Binding Protein Eps8

    PubMed Central

    Salinas, Patricia C.

    2015-01-01

    Upon arrival at their synaptic targets, axons slow down their growth and extensively remodel before the assembly of presynaptic boutons. Wnt proteins are target-derived secreted factors that promote axonal remodelling and synaptic assembly. In the developing spinal cord, Wnts secreted by motor neurons promote axonal remodelling of NT-3 responsive dorsal root ganglia neurons. Axon remodelling induced by Wnts is characterised by growth cone pausing and enlargement, processes that depend on the re-organisation of microtubules. However, the contribution of the actin cytoskeleton has remained unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that Wnt3a regulates the actin cytoskeleton by rapidly inducing F-actin accumulation in growth cones from rodent DRG neurons through the scaffold protein Dishevelled-1 (Dvl1) and the serine-threonine kinase Gsk3β. Importantly, these changes in actin cytoskeleton occurs before enlargement of the growth cones is evident. Time-lapse imaging shows that Wnt3a increases lamellar protrusion and filopodia velocity. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of actin assembly demonstrates that Wnt3a increases actin dynamics. Through a yeast-two hybrid screen, we identified the actin-binding protein Eps8 as a direct interactor of Dvl1, a scaffold protein crucial for the Wnt signalling pathway. Gain of function of Eps8 mimics Wnt-mediated axon remodelling, whereas Eps8 silencing blocks the axon remodelling activity of Wnt3a. Importantly, blockade of the Dvl1-Eps8 interaction completely abolishes Wnt3a-mediated axonal remodelling. These findings demonstrate a novel role for Wnt-Dvl1 signalling through Eps8 in the regulation of axonal remodeling. PMID:26252776

  5. Intranuclear Actin Regulates Osteogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Buer; Xie, Zhihui; Uzer, Gunes; Thompson, William R.; Styner, Maya; Wu, Xin; Rubin, Janet

    2016-01-01

    Depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton induces nuclear trafficking of regulatory proteins and global effects on gene transcription. We here show that in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), cytochalasin D treatment causes rapid cofilin-/importin-9-dependent transfer of G-actin into the nucleus. The continued presence of intranuclear actin, which forms rod-like structures that stain with phalloidin, is associated with induction of robust expression of the osteogenic genes osterix and osteocalcin in a Runx2-dependent manner, and leads to acquisition of osteogenic phenotype. Adipogenic differentiation also occurs, but to a lesser degree. Intranuclear actin leads to nuclear export of Yes-associated protein (YAP); maintenance of nuclear YAP inhibits Runx2 initiation of osteogenesis. Injection of cytochalasin into the tibial marrow space of live mice results in abundant bone formation within the space of 1 week. In sum, increased intranuclear actin forces MSC into osteogenic lineage through controlling Runx2 activity; this process may be useful for clinical objectives of forming bone. PMID:26140478

  6. Cortical actin networks induce spatio-temporal confinement of phospholipids in the plasma membrane--a minimally invasive investigation by STED-FCS.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Débora M; Clausen, Mathias P; Keller, Jan; Mueller, Veronika; Wu, Congying; Bear, James E; Hell, Stefan W; Lagerholm, B Christoffer; Eggeling, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Important discoveries in the last decades have changed our view of the plasma membrane organisation. Specifically, the cortical cytoskeleton has emerged as a key modulator of the lateral diffusion of membrane proteins. Cytoskeleton-dependent compartmentalised lipid diffusion has been proposed, but this concept remains controversial because this phenomenon has thus far only been observed with artefact-prone probes in combination with a single technique: single particle tracking. In this paper, we report the first direct observation of compartmentalised phospholipid diffusion in the plasma membrane of living cells using a minimally invasive, fluorescent dye labelled lipid analogue. These observations were made using optical STED nanoscopy in combination with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (STED-FCS), a technique which allows the study of membrane dynamics on a sub-millisecond time-scale and with a spatial resolution of down to 40 nm. Specifically, we find that compartmentalised phospholipid diffusion depends on the cortical actin cytoskeleton, and that this constrained diffusion is directly dependent on the F-actin branching nucleator Arp2/3. These findings provide solid evidence that the Arp2/3-dependent cortical actin cytoskeleton plays a pivotal role in the dynamic organisation of the plasma membrane, potentially regulating fundamental cellular processes. PMID:26118385

  7. Cortical actin networks induce spatio-temporal confinement of phospholipids in the plasma membrane - a minimally invasive investigation by STED-FCS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrade, Débora M.; Clausen, Mathias P.; Keller, Jan; Mueller, Veronika; Wu, Congying; Bear, James E.; Hell, Stefan W.; Lagerholm, B. Christoffer; Eggeling, Christian

    2015-06-01

    Important discoveries in the last decades have changed our view of the plasma membrane organisation. Specifically, the cortical cytoskeleton has emerged as a key modulator of the lateral diffusion of membrane proteins. Cytoskeleton-dependent compartmentalised lipid diffusion has been proposed, but this concept remains controversial because this phenomenon has thus far only been observed with artefact-prone probes in combination with a single technique: single particle tracking. In this paper, we report the first direct observation of compartmentalised phospholipid diffusion in the plasma membrane of living cells using a minimally invasive, fluorescent dye labelled lipid analogue. These observations were made using optical STED nanoscopy in combination with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (STED-FCS), a technique which allows the study of membrane dynamics on a sub-millisecond time-scale and with a spatial resolution of down to 40 nm. Specifically, we find that compartmentalised phospholipid diffusion depends on the cortical actin cytoskeleton, and that this constrained diffusion is directly dependent on the F-actin branching nucleator Arp2/3. These findings provide solid evidence that the Arp2/3-dependent cortical actin cytoskeleton plays a pivotal role in the dynamic organisation of the plasma membrane, potentially regulating fundamental cellular processes.

  8. Cortical actin networks induce spatio-temporal confinement of phospholipids in the plasma membrane – a minimally invasive investigation by STED-FCS

    PubMed Central

    Andrade, Débora M.; Clausen, Mathias P.; Keller, Jan; Mueller, Veronika; Wu, Congying; Bear, James E.; Hell, Stefan W.; Lagerholm, B. Christoffer; Eggeling, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Important discoveries in the last decades have changed our view of the plasma membrane organisation. Specifically, the cortical cytoskeleton has emerged as a key modulator of the lateral diffusion of membrane proteins. Cytoskeleton-dependent compartmentalised lipid diffusion has been proposed, but this concept remains controversial because this phenomenon has thus far only been observed with artefact-prone probes in combination with a single technique: single particle tracking. In this paper, we report the first direct observation of compartmentalised phospholipid diffusion in the plasma membrane of living cells using a minimally invasive, fluorescent dye labelled lipid analogue. These observations were made using optical STED nanoscopy in combination with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (STED-FCS), a technique which allows the study of membrane dynamics on a sub-millisecond time-scale and with a spatial resolution of down to 40 nm. Specifically, we find that compartmentalised phospholipid diffusion depends on the cortical actin cytoskeleton, and that this constrained diffusion is directly dependent on the F-actin branching nucleator Arp2/3. These findings provide solid evidence that the Arp2/3-dependent cortical actin cytoskeleton plays a pivotal role in the dynamic organisation of the plasma membrane, potentially regulating fundamental cellular processes. PMID:26118385

  9. Growth, characterization, modeling and device applications of semiconductor nanowire networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lohn, Andrew J.

    Semiconducting nanowire networks composed specifically of indium phosphide or silicon are developed with the goal of understanding their electrical, thermal and optoelectronic properties while developing scalable, manufacturable solutions to a number of problems of contemporary interest to society, with particular emphasis on direct conversion of heat to electricity. Nanowire networks are grown by metal organic chemical vapor deposition on non-single crystalline surfaces leading to highly interconnected networks of nanowires capable of long-range three-dimensional transport while retaining many of the unique properties of highly conned nanowire structures and displaying advantageous and unique properties such as mechanical flexibility. Growth of semiconducting nanowire networks is discussed in depth, especially relating to the role of the non-single crystalline surfaces from which they grow and morphological changes associated with doping. Finite element simulations suggest that the physical intersections present within a nanowire network are found to play a complex and potentially useful role in thermal transport and in electrical transport through experiment, demonstrating quantized conductance for the first time at room temperature. Electrical transport over distances far in excess of the dimensions of the individual nanowires is also studied experimentally by applying surface photovoltage techniques for the first time to nanowire networks. The theoretical model developed to analyze data from this, first of its type, experiment reveals insights that can aid in developing improved thermoelectric devices. Such thermoelectric devices were fabricated using a highly scalable and very low cost approach. Thermoelectric testing displays large series electrical resistance but Seebeck voltages comparable to its bulk counterpart. The preliminary results clearly indicate that if series electrical resistance can be decreased, nanowire networks will be an excellent candidate

  10. VASP is a processive actin polymerase that requires monomeric actin for barbed end association

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott D.

    2010-01-01

    Ena/VASP proteins regulate the actin cytoskeleton during cell migration and morphogenesis and promote assembly of both filopodial and lamellipodial actin networks. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying their cellular functions we used total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to visualize VASP tetramers interacting with static and growing actin filaments in vitro. We observed multiple filament binding modes: (1) static side binding, (2) side binding with one-dimensional diffusion, and (3) processive barbed end tracking. Actin monomers antagonize side binding but promote high affinity (Kd = 9 nM) barbed end attachment. In low ionic strength buffers, VASP tetramers are weakly processive (Koff = 0.69 s−1) polymerases that deliver multiple actin monomers per barbed end–binding event and effectively antagonize filament capping. In higher ionic strength buffers, VASP requires profilin for effective polymerase and anti-capping activity. Based on our observations, we propose a mechanism that accounts for all three binding modes and provides a model for how VASP promotes actin filament assembly. PMID:21041447

  11. Growth-arrest-specific 7C protein inhibits tumor metastasis via the N-WASP/FAK/F-actin and hnRNP U/β-TrCP/β-catenin pathways in lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Jer-Wei; Mao, Jiou-Shan; Tsai, Charng-Dar; Wu, Pei-Chen; Lin, Cuei-Jyuan; Lu, Yi-Lin; Liao, Sheng-You; Cheng, Hung-Chi; Hsu, Han-Shui

    2015-01-01

    Growth-arrest-specific 7 (GAS7) belongs to a group of adaptor proteins that coordinate the actin cytoskeleton. Among human GAS7 isoforms, only GAS7C possesses a Src homology 3 domain. We report here that GAS7C acts as a migration suppressor and can serve as a prognostic biomarker in lung cancer. GAS7C overexpression reduces lung cancer migration, whereas GAS7C knockdown enhances cancer cell migration. Importantly, ectopically overexpressed GAS7C binds tightly with N-WASP thus inactivates the fibronectin/integrin/FAK pathway, which in turn leads to the suppression of F-actin dynamics. In addition, overexpression of GAS7C sequesters hnRNP U and thus decreases the level of β-catenin protein via the β-TrCP ubiquitin-degradation pathway. The anti-metastatic effect of GAS7C overexpression was also confirmed using lung cancer xenografts. Our clinical data indicated that 23.6% (25/106) of lung cancer patients showed low expression of GAS7C mRNA which correlated with a poorer overall survival. In addition, low GAS7C mRNA expression was detected in 60.0% of metastatic lung cancer patients, indicating an association between low GAS7C expression and cancer progression. A significant inverse correlation between mRNA expression and promoter hypermethylation was also found, which suggests that the low level of GAS7C expression was partly due to promoter hypermethylation. Our results provide novel evidence that low GAS7C correlates with poor prognosis and promotes metastasis in lung cancer. Low GAS7C increases cancer cell motility by promoting N-WASP/FAK/F-actin cytoskeleton dynamics. It also enhances β-catenin stability via hnRNP U/β-TrCP complex formation. Therefore, GAS7C acts as a metastasis suppressor in lung cancer. PMID:26506240

  12. Actin Filament Segmentation Using Dynamic Programming

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Huang, Xiaolei

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a novel algorithm for actin filament segmentation in 2D TIRFM image sequences. This problem is difficult because actin filaments dynamically change shapes during their growth, and the TIRFM images are usually noisy. We ask a user to specify the two tips of a filament of interest in the first frame. We then model the segmentation problem in an image sequence as a temporal chain, where its states are tip locations; given candidate tip locations, actin filaments' body points are inferred by a dynamic programming method, which adaptively generates candidate solutions. Combining candidate tip locations and their inferred body points, the temporal chain model is efficiently optimized using another dynamic programming method. Evaluation on noisy TIRFM image sequences demonstrates the accuracy and robustness of this approach. PMID:21761674

  13. Shape-dependent control of cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis: switching between attractors in cell regulatory networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, S.; Ingber, D. E.

    2000-01-01

    Development of characteristic tissue patterns requires that individual cells be switched locally between different phenotypes or "fates;" while one cell may proliferate, its neighbors may differentiate or die. Recent studies have revealed that local switching between these different gene programs is controlled through interplay between soluble growth factors, insoluble extracellular matrix molecules, and mechanical forces which produce cell shape distortion. Although the precise molecular basis remains unknown, shape-dependent control of cell growth and function appears to be mediated by tension-dependent changes in the actin cytoskeleton. However, the question remains: how can a generalized physical stimulus, such as cell distortion, activate the same set of genes and signaling proteins that are triggered by molecules which bind to specific cell surface receptors. In this article, we use computer simulations based on dynamic Boolean networks to show that the different cell fates that a particular cell can exhibit may represent a preprogrammed set of common end programs or "attractors" which self-organize within the cell's regulatory networks. In this type of dynamic network model of information processing, generalized stimuli (e.g., mechanical forces) and specific molecular cues elicit signals which follow different trajectories, but eventually converge onto one of a small set of common end programs (growth, quiescence, differentiation, apoptosis, etc.). In other words, if cells use this type of information processing system, then control of cell function would involve selection of preexisting (latent) behavioral modes of the cell, rather than instruction by specific binding molecules. Importantly, the results of the computer simulation closely mimic experimental data obtained with living endothelial cells. The major implication of this finding is that current methods used for analysis of cell function that rely on characterization of linear signaling pathways or

  14. A synthetic mechano-growth factor E peptide promotes rat tenocyte migration by lessening cell stiffness and increasing F-actin formation via the FAK-ERK1/2 signaling pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Bingyu; Luo, Qing; Mao, Xinjian; Xu, Baiyao; Yang, Li; Ju, Yang; Song, Guanbin

    2014-03-10

    Tendon injuries are common in sports and are frequent reasons for orthopedic consultations. The management of damaged tendons is one of the most challenging problems in orthopedics. Mechano-growth factor (MGF), a recently discovered growth repair factor, plays positive roles in tissue repair through the improvement of cell proliferation and migration and the protection of cells against injury-induced apoptosis. However, it remains unclear whether MGF has the potential to accelerate tendon repair. We used a scratch wound assay in this study to demonstrate that MGF-C25E (a synthetic mechano-growth factor E peptide) promotes the migration of rat tenocytes and that this promotion is accompanied by an elevation in the expression of the following signaling molecules: focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2). Inhibitors of the FAK and ERK1/2 pathways inhibited the MGF-C25E-induced tenocyte migration, indicating that MGF-C25E promotes tenocyte migration through the FAK-ERK1/2 signaling pathway. The analysis of the mechanical properties showed that the Young's modulus of tenocytes was decreased through treatment of MGF-C25E, and an obvious formation of pseudopodia and F-actin was observed in MGF-C25E-treated tenocytes. The inhibition of the FAK or ERK1/2 signals restored the decrease in Young's modulus and inhibited the formation of pseudopodia and F-actin. Overall, our study demonstrated that MGF-C25E promotes rat tenocyte migration by lessening cell stiffness and increasing pseudopodia formation via the FAK-ERK1/2 signaling pathway. - Highlights: • Mechano-growth factor E peptide (MGF-C25E) promotes migration of rat tenocytes. • MGF-C25E activates the FAK-ERK1/2 pathway in rat tenocytes. • MGF-C25E induces the actin remodeling and the formation of pseudopodia, and decreases the stiffness in rat tenocytes. • MGF-C25E promotes tenocyte migration via altering stiffness and forming pseudopodia by the activation of the FAK-ERK1

  15. Growth-induced mass flows in fungal networks

    PubMed Central

    Heaton, Luke L. M.; López, Eduardo; Maini, Philip K.; Fricker, Mark D.; Jones, Nick S.

    2010-01-01

    Cord-forming fungi form extensive networks that continuously adapt to maintain an efficient transport system. As osmotically driven water uptake is often distal from the tips, and aqueous fluids are incompressible, we propose that growth induces mass flows across the mycelium, whether or not there are intrahyphal concentration gradients. We imaged the temporal evolution of networks formed by Phanerochaete velutina, and at each stage calculated the unique set of currents that account for the observed changes in cord volume, while minimizing the work required to overcome viscous drag. Predicted speeds were in reasonable agreement with experimental data, and the pressure gradients needed to produce these flows are small. Furthermore, cords that were predicted to carry fast-moving or large currents were significantly more likely to increase in size than cords with slow-moving or small currents. The incompressibility of the fluids within fungi means there is a rapid global response to local fluid movements. Hence velocity of fluid flow is a local signal that conveys quasi-global information about the role of a cord within the mycelium. We suggest that fluid incompressibility and the coupling of growth and mass flow are critical physical features that enable the development of efficient, adaptive biological transport networks. PMID:20538649

  16. Quantitative fluorescent speckle microscopy (QFSM) to measure actin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, Michelle C; Besson, Sebastien; Danuser, Gaudenz

    2012-10-01

    Quantitative fluorescent speckle microscopy (QFSM) is a live-cell imaging method to analyze the dynamics of macromolecular assemblies with high spatial and temporal resolution. Its greatest successes were in the analysis of actin filament and adhesion dynamics in the context of cell migration and microtubule dynamics in interphase and the meiotic/mitotic spindle. Here, focus is on the former application to illustrate the procedures of FSM imaging and the computational image processing that extracts quantitative information from these experiments. QFSM is advantageous over other methods because it measures the movement and turnover kinetics of the actin filament (F-actin) network in living cells across the entire field of view. Experiments begin with the microinjection of fluorophore-labeled actin into cells, which generate a low ratio of fluorescently labeled to endogenously unlabeled actin monomers. Spinning disk confocal or wide-field imaging then visualizes fluorophore clusters (two to eight actin monomers) within the assembled F-actin network as speckles. QFSM software identifies and computationally tracks and utilizes the location, appearance, and disappearance of speckles to derive network flows and maps of the rate of filament assembly and disassembly. PMID:23042526

  17. Ratiometric Imaging of the T-Cell Actin Cytoskeleton Reveals the Nature of Receptor-Induced Cytoskeletal Enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Smoligovets, Alexander A.; Smith, Adam W.; Groves, Jay T.

    2013-01-01

    The T-cell actin cytoskeleton mediates adaptive immune system responses to peptide antigens by physically directing the motion and clustering of T-cell receptors (TCRs) on the cell surface. When TCR movement is impeded by externally applied physical barriers, the actin network exhibits transient enrichment near the trapped receptors. The coordinated nature of the actin density fluctuations suggests that they are composed of filamentous actin, but it has not been possible to eliminate de novo polymerization at TCR-associated actin polymerizing factors as an alternative cause. Here, we use a dual-probe cytoskeleton labeling strategy to distinguish between stable and polymerizing pools of actin. Our results suggest that TCR-associated actin consists of a relatively high proportion of the stable cytoskeletal fraction and extends away from the cell membrane into the cell. This implies that actin enrichment at mechanically trapped TCRs results from three-dimensional bunching of the existing filamentous actin network. PMID:23931330

  18. A small molecule inhibitor of tropomyosin dissociates actin binding from tropomyosin-directed regulation of actin dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Bonello, Teresa T.; Janco, Miro; Hook, Jeff; Byun, Alex; Appaduray, Mark; Dedova, Irina; Hitchcock-DeGregori, Sarah; Hardeman, Edna C.; Stehn, Justine R.; Böcking, Till; Gunning, Peter W.

    2016-01-01

    The tropomyosin family of proteins form end-to-end polymers along the actin filament. Tumour cells rely on specific tropomyosin-containing actin filament populations for growth and survival. To dissect out the role of tropomyosin in actin filament regulation we use the small molecule TR100 directed against the C terminus of the tropomyosin isoform Tpm3.1. TR100 nullifies the effect of Tpm3.1 on actin depolymerisation but surprisingly Tpm3.1 retains the capacity to bind F-actin in a cooperative manner. In vivo analysis also confirms that, in the presence of TR100, fluorescently tagged Tpm3.1 recovers normally into stress fibers. Assembling end-to-end along the actin filament is thereby not sufficient for tropomyosin to fulfil its function. Rather, regulation of F-actin stability by tropomyosin requires fidelity of information communicated at the barbed end of the actin filament. This distinction has significant implications for perturbing tropomyosin-dependent actin filament function in the context of anti-cancer drug development. PMID:26804624

  19. Visualization and simulation of bubble growth in pore networks

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xuehai; Yortsos, Y.C.

    1994-03-01

    Bubble nucleation and bubble growth in porous media is an important problem encountered in processes, such as pressure depletion and boiling. To understand its basic aspects, experiments and numerical simulations in micromodel geometries were undertaken. Experiments of bubble growth by pressure depletion were carried out in 2-D etched-glass micromodels and in Hele-Shaw cells. Nucleation of bubbles and the subsequent growth of gas clusters were visualized. Contrary to the bulk or to Hele-Shaw cells, gas clusters in the micromodel have irregular and ramified shapes and share many of the features of an external invasion process (e.g. of percolation during drainage). A pore network numerical model was developed to simulate the growth of multiple gas clusters under various conditions. The model is based on the solution of the convection-diffusions equation and also accounts for capillary and viscous forces, which play an important role in determining the growth patterns. Numerical simulation resulted in good agreement with the experimental results.

  20. Electrokinetic confinement of axonal growth for dynamically configurable neural networks.

    PubMed

    Honegger, Thibault; Scott, Mark A; Yanik, Mehmet F; Voldman, Joel

    2013-02-21

    Axons in the developing nervous system are directed via guidance cues, whose expression varies both spatially and temporally, to create functional neural circuits. Existing methods to create patterns of neural connectivity in vitro use only static geometries, and are unable to dynamically alter the guidance cues imparted on the cells. We introduce the use of AC electrokinetics to dynamically control axonal growth in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. We find that the application of modest voltages at frequencies on the order of 10(5) Hz can cause developing axons to be stopped adjacent to the electrodes while axons away from the electric fields exhibit uninhibited growth. By switching electrodes on or off, we can reversibly inhibit or permit axon passage across the electrodes. Our models suggest that dielectrophoresis is the causative AC electrokinetic effect. We make use of our dynamic control over axon elongation to create an axon-diode via an axon-lock system that consists of a pair of electrode 'gates' that either permit or prevent axons from passing through. Finally, we developed a neural circuit consisting of three populations of neurons, separated by three axon-locks to demonstrate the assembly of a functional, engineered neural network. Action potential recordings demonstrate that the AC electrokinetic effect does not harm axons, and Ca(2+) imaging demonstrated the unidirectional nature of the synaptic connections. AC electrokinetic confinement of axonal growth has potential for creating configurable, directional neural networks. PMID:23314575

  1. Electrokinetic confinement of axonal growth for dynamically configurable neural networks

    PubMed Central

    Honegger, Thibault; Scott, Mark A.; Yanik, Mehmet F.; Voldman, Joel

    2013-01-01

    Axons in the developing nervous system are directed via guidance cues, whose expression varies both spatially and temporally, to create functional neural circuits. Existing methods to create patterns of neural connectivity in vitro use only static geometries, and are unable to dynamically alter the guidance cues imparted on the cells. We introduce the use of AC electrokinetics to dynamically control axonal growth in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. We find that the application of modest voltages at frequencies on the order of 105 Hz can cause developing axons to be stopped adjacent to the electrodes while axons away from the electric fields exhibit uninhibited growth. By switching electrodes on or off, we can reversibly inhibit or permit axon passage across the electrodes. Our models suggest that dielectrophoresis is the causative AC electrokinetic effect. We make use of our dynamic control over axon elongation to create an axon-diode via an axon-lock system that consists of a pair of electrode `gates' that either permit or prevent axons from passing through. Finally, we developed a neural circuit consisting of three populations of neurons, separated by three axon-locks to demonstrate the assembly of a functional, engineered neural network. Action potential recordings demonstrate that the AC electrokinetic effect does not harm axons, and Ca2+ imaging demonstrated the unidirectional nature of the synaptic connections. AC electrokinetic confinement of axonal growth has potential for creating configurable, directional neural networks. PMID:23314575

  2. Organization and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in the pollen tube

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Xiaolu; Jiang, Yuxiang; Chang, Ming; Liu, Xiaonan; Zhang, Ruihui; Huang, Shanjin

    2015-01-01

    Proper organization of the actin cytoskeleton is crucial for pollen tube growth. However, the precise mechanisms by which the actin cytoskeleton regulates pollen tube growth remain to be further elucidated. The functions of the actin cytoskeleton are dictated by its spatial organization and dynamics. However, early observations of the distribution of actin filaments at the pollen tube apex were quite perplexing, resulting in decades of controversial debate. Fortunately, due to improvements in fixation regimens for staining actin filaments in fixed pollen tubes, as well as the adoption of appropriate markers for visualizing actin filaments in living pollen tubes, this issue has been resolved and has given rise to the consensus view of the spatial distribution of actin filaments throughout the entire pollen tube. Importantly, recent descriptions of the dynamics of individual actin filaments in the apical region have expanded our understanding of the function of actin in regulation of pollen tube growth. Furthermore, careful documentation of the function and mode of action of several actin-binding proteins expressed in pollen have provided novel insights into the regulation of actin spatial distribution and dynamics. In the current review, we summarize our understanding of the organization, dynamics, and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in the pollen tube. PMID:25620974

  3. A new link between the retrograde actin flow and focal adhesions.

    PubMed

    Yamashiro, Sawako; Watanabe, Naoki

    2014-11-01

    The retrograde actin flow, continuous centripetal movement of the cell peripheral actin networks, is widely observed in adherent cells. The retrograde flow is believed to facilitate cell migration when linked to cell adhesion molecules. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge regarding the functional relationship between the retrograde actin flow and focal adhesions (FAs). We also introduce our recent study in which single-molecule speckle (SiMS) microscopy dissected the complex interactions between FAs and the local actin flow. FAs do not simply impede the actin flow, but actively attract and remodel the local actin network. Our findings provide a new insight into the mechanisms for protrusion and traction force generation at the cell leading edge. Furthermore, we discuss possible roles of the actin flow-FA interaction based on the accumulated knowledge and our SiMS study. PMID:25190817

  4. Actin dynamics and the evolution of the memory trace.

    PubMed

    Rudy, Jerry W

    2015-09-24

    The goal of this essay is to link the regulation of actin dynamics to the idea that the synaptic changes that support long-term potentiation and memory evolve in temporally overlapping stages-generation, stabilization, and consolidation. Different cellular/molecular processes operate at each stage to change the spine cytoarchitecture and, in doing so, alter its function. Calcium-dependent processes that degrade the actin cytoskeleton network promote a rapid insertion of AMPA receptors into the post synaptic density, which increases a spine's capacity to express a potentiated response to glutamate. Other post-translation events then begin to stabilize and expand the actin cytoskeleton by increasing the filament actin content of the spine and reorganizing it to be resistant to depolymerizing events. Disrupting actin polymerization during this stabilization period is a terminal event-the actin cytoskeleton shrinks and potentiated synapses de-potentiate and memories are lost. Late-arriving, new proteins may consolidate changes in the actin cytoskeleton. However, to do so requires a stabilized actin cytoskeleton. The now enlarged spine has properties that enable it to capture other newly transcribed mRNAs or their protein products and thus enable the synaptic changes that support LTP and memory to be consolidated and maintained. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory. PMID:25498985

  5. Synthesis of a 35-Member Stereoisomer Library of Bistramide A: Evaluation of Effects on Actin State, Cell Cycle and Tumor Cell Growth

    PubMed Central

    Wrona, Iwona E.; Lowe, Jason T.; Turbyville, Thomas J.; Johnson, Tanya R.; Beignet, Julien; Beutler, John A.; Panek, James S.

    2011-01-01

    Synthesis and preliminary biological evaluation of a 35-member library of bistramide A stereoisomers are reported. All eight stereoisomers of the C1-C13 tetrahydropyran fragment of the molecule were prepared utilizing crotylsilane reagents 9 and 10 in our [4+2]-annulation methodology. In addition, the four isomers of the C14-C18 γ-amino acid unit were accessed via a Lewis acid mediated crotylation reaction using both enantiomers of organosilane 11. The spiroketal subunit of bistramide A was modified at the C39-alcohol to give another point of stereochemical diversification. The fragments were coupled using standard peptide coupling protocol to provide 35 stereoisomers of the natural product. These stereochemical analogs were screened for their effects on cellular actin and cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines (UO-31 renal and SF-295 CNS). The results of these assays identified one analog, 1.21, with enhanced potency relative to the natural product, bistramide A. PMID:19191575

  6. The Actin-Binding Protein α-Adducin Is Required for Maintaining Axon Diameter.

    PubMed

    Leite, Sérgio Carvalho; Sampaio, Paula; Sousa, Vera Filipe; Nogueira-Rodrigues, Joana; Pinto-Costa, Rita; Peters, Luanne Laurel; Brites, Pedro; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-04-19

    The actin-binding protein adducin was recently identified as a component of the neuronal subcortical cytoskeleton. Here, we analyzed mice lacking adducin to uncover the function of this protein in actin rings. α-adducin knockout mice presented progressive axon enlargement in the spinal cord and optic and sciatic nerves, followed by axon degeneration and loss. Using stimulated emission depletion super-resolution microscopy, we show that a periodic subcortical actin cytoskeleton is assembled in every neuron type inspected including retinal ganglion cells and dorsal root ganglia neurons. In neurons devoid of adducin, the actin ring diameter increased, although the inter-ring periodicity was maintained. In vitro, the actin ring diameter adjusted as axons grew, suggesting the lattice is dynamic. Our data support a model in which adducin activity is not essential for actin ring assembly and periodicity but is necessary to control the diameter of both actin rings and axons and actin filament growth within rings. PMID:27068466

  7. Network growth dynamics of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) nests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gravish, Nick; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2012-02-01

    We study the construction dynamics and topology of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) nests. Fire ants in colonies of hundreds to hundreds of thousands create subterranean tunnel networks through the excavation of soil. We observed the construction of nests in a laboratory experiment. Workers were isolated from focal colony and placed in a quasi 2D, vertically oriented arena with wetted soil. We monitored nest growth using time-lapse photography. We found that nests grew linearly in time through tunnel lengthening and branching. Tunnel path length followed an extended power law distribution, P (l - l0)^β. Average degree of tunnel nodes was k = 2.17 ±0.40 and networks were cyclical. In simulation we model the nest growth as a branching and annihilating levy-flight process. We study this as a function of dimensionality (2D and 3D space considered) and step length distribution function P(ls). We find that in two-dimensions path length distribution is exponential, independent of the functional form of P(ls) consistent with a poisson spatial process while in three-dimensions P(l) = P(ls). Comparing simulation and experiment we attribute the slower than exponential tail of P(l) in experiment as a result of a behavioral component to the ant digging program.

  8. The centrosome is an actin-organizing center

    PubMed Central

    Farina, Francesca; Gaillard, Jérémie; Guérin, Christophe; Couté, Yohann; Sillibourne, James; Blanchoin, Laurent; Théry, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Microtubules and actin filaments are the two main cytoskeleton networks supporting intracellular architecture and cell polarity. The centrosome nucleates and anchors microtubules and is therefore considered to be the main microtubule-organizing center. However, recurring, yet unexplained, observations have pointed towards a connection between the centrosome and actin filaments. Here we have used isolated centrosomes to demonstrate that the centrosome can directly promote actin filament assembly. A cloud of centrosome-associated actin filaments could be identified in living cells as well. Actin-filament nucleation at the centrosome was mediated by the nucleation promoting factor WASH in combination with the Arp2/3 complex. Pericentriolar material 1 (PCM1) appeared to modulate the centrosomal actin network by regulating Arp2/3 complex and WASH recruitment to the centrosome. Hence our results reveal an additional facet of the centrosome as an intracellular organizer and provide mechanistic insights into how the centrosome can function as an actin filament-organizing center. PMID:26655833

  9. Simulation of the effect of confinement in actin ring formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adeli Koudehi, Maral; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Haosu Tang Team; Dimitrios Vavylonis Team

    Actin filaments are vital for different network structures in living cells. During cytokinesis, they form a contractile ring containing myosin motor proteins and actin filament cross-linkers to separate one cell into two cells. Recent experimental studies have quantified the bundle, ring, and network structures that form when actin filaments polymerize in confined environments in vitro, in the presence of varying concentrations of cross-linkers. In this study, we performed numerical simulations to investigate the effect of actin spherical confinement and cross-linking in ring formation. We used a spring-bead model and Brownian dynamics to simulate semiflexible actin filaments that polymerize in a confining sphere with a rate proportional to the monomer concentration. Applying the model for different size of the confining spheres shows that the probability of ring formation decreases by increasing the radius (at fixed initial monomer concentration), in agreement with prior experimental data. We describe the effect of persistence length, orientation-dependent cross-linking, and initial actin monomer concentration. Simulations show that equilibrium configurations can be reached through zipping and unzipping of actin filaments in bundles and transient ring formation.

  10. Viruses that ride on the coat-tails of actin nucleation.

    PubMed

    Newsome, Timothy P; Marzook, N Bishara

    2015-10-01

    Actin nucleation drives a diversity of critical cellular processes and the motility of a select group of viral pathogens. Vaccinia virus and baculovirus, Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus, recruit and activate the cellular actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, at the surface of virus particles thereby instigating highly localized actin nucleation. The extension of these filaments provides a mechanical force that bestows the ability to navigate the intracellular environment and promote their infectious cycles. This review outlines the viral and cellular proteins that initiate and regulate the signalling networks leading to viral modification of the actin cytoskeleton and summarizes recent insights into the role of actin-based virus transport. PMID:26459972

  11. Arabidopsis FIM5 decorates apical actin filaments and regulates their organization in the pollen tube

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Meng; Zhang, Ruihui; Qu, Xiaolu; Huang, Shanjin

    2016-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is increasingly recognized as a major regulator of pollen tube growth. Actin filaments have distinct distribution patterns and dynamic properties within different regions of the pollen tube. Apical actin filaments are highly dynamic and crucial for pollen tube growth. However, how apical actin filaments are generated and properly constructed remains an open question. Here we showed that Arabidopsis fimbrin5 (FIM5) decorates filamentous structures throughout the entire tube but is apically concentrated. Apical actin structures are disorganized to different degrees in the pollen tubes of fim5 loss-of-function mutants. Further observations suggest that apical actin structures are not constructed properly because apical actin filaments cannot be maintained at the cortex of fim5 pollen tubes. Actin filaments appeared to be more curved in fim5 pollen tubes and this was confirmed by measurements showing that the convolutedness and the rate of change of convolutedness of actin filaments was significantly increased in fim5 pollen tubes. This suggests that the rigidity of the actin filaments may be compromised in fim5 pollen tubes. Further, the apical cell wall composition is altered, implying that tip-directed vesicle trafficking events are impaired in fim5 pollen tubes. Thus, we found that FIM5 decorates apical actin filaments and regulates their organization in order to drive polarized pollen tube growth. PMID:27117336

  12. Symmetry breaking in reconstituted actin cortices.

    PubMed

    Abu Shah, Enas; Keren, Kinneret

    2014-01-01

    The actin cortex plays a pivotal role in cell division, in generating and maintaining cell polarity and in motility. In all these contexts, the cortical network has to break symmetry to generate polar cytoskeletal dynamics. Despite extensive research, the mechanisms responsible for regulating cortical dynamics in vivo and inducing symmetry breaking are still unclear. Here we introduce a reconstituted system that self-organizes into dynamic actin cortices at the inner interface of water-in-oil emulsions. This artificial system undergoes spontaneous symmetry breaking, driven by myosin-induced cortical actin flows, which appears remarkably similar to the initial polarization of the embryo in many species. Our in vitro model system recapitulates the rich dynamics of actin cortices in vivo, revealing the basic biophysical and biochemical requirements for cortex formation and symmetry breaking. Moreover, this synthetic system paves the way for further exploration of artificial cells towards the realization of minimal model systems that can move and divide.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01433.001. PMID:24843007

  13. Symmetry breaking in reconstituted actin cortices

    PubMed Central

    Abu Shah, Enas; Keren, Kinneret

    2014-01-01

    The actin cortex plays a pivotal role in cell division, in generating and maintaining cell polarity and in motility. In all these contexts, the cortical network has to break symmetry to generate polar cytoskeletal dynamics. Despite extensive research, the mechanisms responsible for regulating cortical dynamics in vivo and inducing symmetry breaking are still unclear. Here we introduce a reconstituted system that self-organizes into dynamic actin cortices at the inner interface of water-in-oil emulsions. This artificial system undergoes spontaneous symmetry breaking, driven by myosin-induced cortical actin flows, which appears remarkably similar to the initial polarization of the embryo in many species. Our in vitro model system recapitulates the rich dynamics of actin cortices in vivo, revealing the basic biophysical and biochemical requirements for cortex formation and symmetry breaking. Moreover, this synthetic system paves the way for further exploration of artificial cells towards the realization of minimal model systems that can move and divide. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01433.001 PMID:24843007

  14. Lamellipodin promotes actin assembly by clustering Ena/VASP proteins and tethering them to actin filaments

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott D; Mullins, R Dyche

    2015-01-01

    Enabled/Vasodilator (Ena/VASP) proteins promote actin filament assembly at multiple locations, including: leading edge membranes, focal adhesions, and the surface of intracellular pathogens. One important Ena/VASP regulator is the mig-10/Lamellipodin/RIAM family of adaptors that promote lamellipod formation in fibroblasts and drive neurite outgrowth and axon guidance in neurons. To better understand how MRL proteins promote actin network formation we studied the interactions between Lamellipodin (Lpd), actin, and VASP, both in vivo and in vitro. We find that Lpd binds directly to actin filaments and that this interaction regulates its subcellular localization and enhances its effect on VASP polymerase activity. We propose that Lpd delivers Ena/VASP proteins to growing barbed ends and increases their polymerase activity by tethering them to filaments. This interaction represents one more pathway by which growing actin filaments produce positive feedback to control localization and activity of proteins that regulate their assembly. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06585.001 PMID:26295568

  15. Symmetry breaking in actin gels - Implications for cellular motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Peyla, Philippe; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2007-03-01

    The physical origin of cell motility is not fully understood. Recently minimal model systems have shown, that polymerizing actin itself can produce a motile force, without the help of motor proteins. Pathogens like Shigella or Listeria use actin to propel themselves forward in their host cell. The same process can be mimicked with polystyrene beads covered with the activating protein ActA, which reside in a solution containing actin monomers. ActA induces the growth of an actin gel at the bead surface. Initially the gel grows symmetrically around the bead until a critical size is reached. Subsequently one observes a symmetry breaking and the gel starts to grow asymmetrically around the bead developing a tail of actin at one side. This symmetry breaking is accompanied by a directed movement of the bead, with the actin tail trailing behind the bead. Force generation relies on the combination of two properties: growth and elasticity of the actin gel. We study this phenomenon theoretically within the framework of a linear elasticity theory and linear flux-force relationships for the evolution of an elastic gel around a hard sphere. Conditions for a parity symmetry breaking are identified analytically and illustrated numerically with the help of a phasefield model.

  16. Coronin 1B antagonizes Cortactin and remodels Arp2/3-containing actin branches in lamellipodia

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Liang; Makhov, Alexander M.; Schafer, Dorothy A.; Bear, James E.

    2008-01-01

    Summary The dendritic actin network generated by Arp2/3 complex in lamellipodia underlies formation of protrusions, directional sensing and migration. While the generation of this network is well studied, the mechanisms regulating network disassembly are poorly understood. We report that Coronin 1B disassembles Arp2/3-containing actin filament branches by inducing Arp2/3 dissociation. This activity is antagonized by Cortactin, a filament branch stabilizer. Consistent with this biochemical competition, depletion of both proteins partially rescues defects in lamellipodial dynamics observed upon depletion of either protein alone. Coronin 1B targets actin branches in a manner that is mutually exclusive with Arp2/3 complex and alters the branch angle. We conclude that Coronin 1B replaces Arp2/3 complex at actin filament branches as the dendritic network matures and drives the turnover of branched actin networks. PMID:18775315

  17. Nuclear actin and protein 4.1: Essential interactions during nuclear assembly in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Krauss, Sharon Wald; Chen, Cynthia; Penman, Sheldon; Heald, Rebecca

    2003-06-11

    Structural protein 4.1, which has crucial interactions within the spectin-actin lattice of the human red cell membrane skeleton, also is widely distributed at diverse intracellular sites in nucleated cells. We previously showed that 4.1 is essential for assembly of functional nuclei in vitro and that the capacity of 4.1 to bind actin is required. Here we report that 4.1 and actin colocalize in mammalian cell nuclei using fluorescence microscopy and, by higher resolution cell whole mount electron microscopy, are associated on nuclear filaments. We also devised a cell-free assay using Xenopus egg extract containing fluorescent actin to follow actin during nuclear assembly. By directly imaging actin under non-perturbing conditions, the total nuclear actin population is retained and is visualized in situ relative to intact chromatin. We detected actin initially when chromatin and nuclear pores began assembling. As the nuclear lamina assembled, but preceding DNA synthesis, a discrete actin network formed throughout the nucleus. Protein 4.1 epitopes also were detected when actin began to accumulate in nuclei, producing a diffuse coincident pattern. As nuclei matured, actin was detected both coincident with and also independent of 4.1 epitopes. To test whether acquisition of nuclear actin is required for nuclear assembly, the actin inhibitor latrunculin A was added to Xenopus egg extracts during nuclear assembly. Latrunculin A strongly perturbed nuclear assembly and produced distorted nuclear structures containing neither actin nor protein 4.1. Our results suggest that actin as well as 4.1 is necessary for nuclear assembly and that 4.1-actin interactions may be critical.

  18. Staining Fission Yeast Filamentous Actin with Fluorescent Phalloidin Conjugates.

    PubMed

    Hagan, Iain M

    2016-01-01

    The Schizosaccharomyces pombe filamentous (F)-actin cytoskeleton drives cell growth, morphogenesis, endocytosis, and cytokinesis. The protocol described here reveals the distribution of F-actin in fixed cells through the use of fluorescently conjugated phalloidin. Simultaneous staining of cell wall landmarks (with calcofluor) and chromatin (with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole, or DAPI) makes this rapid staining procedure highly effective for staging cell cycle progression, monitoring morphogenetic abnormalities, and assessing the impact of environmental and genetic changes on the integrity of the F-actin cytoskeleton. PMID:27250943

  19. Evidence That an Unconventional Actin Can Provide Essential F-Actin Function and That a Surveillance System Monitors F-Actin Integrity in Chlamydomonas.

    PubMed

    Onishi, Masayuki; Pringle, John R; Cross, Frederick R

    2016-03-01

    Actin is one of the most conserved eukaryotic proteins. It is thought to have multiple essential cellular roles and to function primarily or exclusively as filaments ("F-actin"). Chlamydomonas has been an enigma, because a null mutation (ida5-1) in its single gene for conventional actin does not affect growth. A highly divergent actin gene, NAP1, is upregulated in ida5-1 cells, but it has been unclear whether NAP1 can form filaments or provide actin function. Here, we used the actin-depolymerizing drug latrunculin B (LatB), the F-actin-specific probe Lifeact-Venus, and genetic and molecular methods to resolve these issues. LatB-treated wild-type cells continue to proliferate; they initially lose Lifeact-stained structures but recover them concomitant with upregulation of NAP1. Thirty-nine LatB-sensitive mutants fell into four genes (NAP1 and LAT1-LAT3) in which we identified the causative mutations using a novel combinatorial pool-sequencing strategy. LAT1-LAT3 are required for NAP1 upregulation upon LatB treatment, and ectopic expression of NAP1 largely rescues the LatB sensitivity of the lat1-lat3 mutants, suggesting that the LAT gene products comprise a regulatory hierarchy with NAP1 expression as the major functional output. Selection of LatB-resistant revertants of a nap1 mutant yielded dominant IDA5 mutations that presumably render F-IDA5 resistant to LatB, and nap1 and lat mutations are synthetically lethal with ida5-1 in the absence of LatB. We conclude that both IDA5 and the divergent NAP1 can form filaments and redundantly provide essential F-actin functions and that a novel surveillance system, probably responding to a loss of F-actin, triggers NAP1 expression and perhaps other compensatory responses. PMID:26715672

  20. Force Generation, Polymerization Dynamics and Nucleation of Actin Filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruizhe

    We study force generation and actin filament dynamics using stochastic and deterministic methods. First, we treat force generation of bundled actin filaments by polymerization via molecular-level stochastic simulations. In the widely-used Brownian Ratchet model, actin filaments grow freely whenever the tip-obstacle gap created by thermal fluctuation exceeds the monomer size. We name this model the Perfect Brownian Ratchet (PBR) model. In the PBR model, actin monomer diffusion is treated implicitly. We perform a series of simulations based on the PBR, in which obstacle motion is treated explicitly; in most previous studies, obstacle motion has been treated implicitly. We find that the cooperativity of filaments is generally weak in the PBR model, meaning that more filaments would grow more slowly given the same force per filament. Closed-form formulas are also developed, which match the simulation results. These portable and accurate formulas provide guidance for experiments and upper and lower bounds for theoretical analyses. We also studied a variation of the PBR, called the Diffusing Brownian Ratchet (DBR) model, in which both actin monomer and obstacle diffusion are treated explicitly. We find that the growth rate of multiple filaments is even lower, compared with that in PBR. This finding challenges the widely-accepted PBR assumption and suggests that pushing the study of actin dynamics down to the sub-nanometer level yields new insights. We subsequently used a rate equation approach to model the effect of local depletion of actin monomers on the nucleation of actin filaments on biomimetic beads, and how the effect is regulated by capping protein (CP). We find that near the bead surface, a higher CP concentration increases local actin concentration, which leads to an enhanced activities of actin filaments' nucleation. Our model analysis matches the experimental results and lends support to an important but undervalued hypothesis proposed by Carlier and

  1. Nerve growth factor stimulates axon outgrowth through negative regulation of growth cone actomyosin restraint of microtubule advance

    PubMed Central

    Turney, Stephen G.; Ahmed, Mostafa; Chandrasekar, Indra; Wysolmerski, Robert B.; Goeckeler, Zoe M.; Rioux, Robert M.; Whitesides, George M.; Bridgman, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) promotes growth, differentiation, and survival of sensory neurons in the mammalian nervous system. Little is known about how NGF elicits faster axon outgrowth or how growth cones integrate and transform signal input to motor output. Using cultured mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons, we found that myosin II (MII) is required for NGF to stimulate faster axon outgrowth. From experiments inducing loss or gain of function of MII, specific MII isoforms, and vinculin-dependent adhesion-cytoskeletal coupling, we determined that NGF causes decreased vinculin-dependent actomyosin restraint of microtubule advance. Inhibition of MII blocked NGF stimulation, indicating the central role of restraint in directed outgrowth. The restraint consists of myosin IIB- and IIA-dependent processes: retrograde actin network flow and transverse actin bundling, respectively. The processes differentially contribute on laminin-1 and fibronectin due to selective actin tethering to adhesions. On laminin-1, NGF induced greater vinculin-dependent adhesion–cytoskeletal coupling, which slowed retrograde actin network flow (i.e., it regulated the molecular clutch). On fibronectin, NGF caused inactivation of myosin IIA, which negatively regulated actin bundling. On both substrates, the result was the same: NGF-induced weakening of MII-dependent restraint led to dynamic microtubules entering the actin-rich periphery more frequently, giving rise to faster elongation. PMID:26631553

  2. Role of actin in auxin transport and transduction of gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, S.; Basu, S.; Brady, S.; Muday, G.

    Transport of the plant hormone auxin is polar and the direction of the hormone movement appears to be controlled by asymmetric distribution of auxin transport protein complexes. Changes in the direction of auxin transport are believed to drive asymmetric growth in response to changes in the gravity vector. To test the possibility that asymmetric distribution of the auxin transport protein complex is mediated by attachment to the actin cytoskeleton, a variety of experimental approaches have been used. The most direct demonstration of the role of the actin cytoskeleton in localization of the protein complex is the ability of one protein in this complex to bind to affinity columns containing actin filaments. Additionally, treatments of plant tissues with drugs that fragment the actin c toskeleton reducey polar transport. In order to explore this actin interaction and the affect of gravity on auxin transport and developmental polarity, embryos of the brown alga, Fucus have been examined. Fucus zygotes are initially symmetrical, but develop asymmetry in response to environmental gradients, with light gradients being the best- characterized signal. Gravity will polarize these embryos and gravity-induced polarity is randomized by clinorotation. Auxin transport also appears necessary for environmental controls of polarity, since auxin efflux inhibitors perturb both photo- and gravity-polarization at a very discrete temporal window within six hours after fertilization. The actin cytoskeleton has previously been shown to reorganize after fertilization of Fucus embryos leading to formation of an actin patch at the site of polar outgrowth. These actin patches still form in Fucus embryos treated with auxin efflux inhibitors, yet the position of these patches is randomized. Together, these results suggest that there are connections between the actin cytoskeleton, auxin transport, and gravity oriented growth and development. (Supported by NASA Grant: NAG2-1203)

  3. Capping of the barbed ends of actin filaments by a high-affinity profilin-actin complex.

    PubMed

    DiNubile, M J; Huang, S

    1997-01-01

    . Dissociation of the tight profilactin complex may serve as a unique mechanism by which profilin helps regulate actin filament growth. PMID:9227851

  4. Complex Network Theory Applied to the Growth of Kuala Lumpur’s Public Urban Rail Transit Network

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Rui; Ujang, Norsidah; Hamid, Hussain bin; Wu, Jianjun

    2015-01-01

    Recently, the number of studies involving complex network applications in transportation has increased steadily as scholars from various fields analyze traffic networks. Nonetheless, research on rail network growth is relatively rare. This research examines the evolution of the Public Urban Rail Transit Networks of Kuala Lumpur (PURTNoKL) based on complex network theory and covers both the topological structure of the rail system and future trends in network growth. In addition, network performance when facing different attack strategies is also assessed. Three topological network characteristics are considered: connections, clustering and centrality. In PURTNoKL, we found that the total number of nodes and edges exhibit a linear relationship and that the average degree stays within the interval [2.0488, 2.6774] with heavy-tailed distributions. The evolutionary process shows that the cumulative probability distribution (CPD) of degree and the average shortest path length show good fit with exponential distribution and normal distribution, respectively. Moreover, PURTNoKL exhibits clear cluster characteristics; most of the nodes have a 2-core value, and the CPDs of the centrality’s closeness and betweenness follow a normal distribution function and an exponential distribution, respectively. Finally, we discuss four different types of network growth styles and the line extension process, which reveal that the rail network’s growth is likely based on the nodes with the biggest lengths of the shortest path and that network protection should emphasize those nodes with the largest degrees and the highest betweenness values. This research may enhance the networkability of the rail system and better shape the future growth of public rail networks. PMID:26448645

  5. Rapid non-equilibrium turnover fluidizes entangled F-actin solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCall, Patrick M.; Kovar, David R.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    The actin cytoskeleton of living cells is a semiflexible polymer network which regulates cell division, motility, and morphogenesis by controlling cell shape. These complex shape-changing processes require both mechanical deformation and remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Molecular motors generate internal forces to drive deformation, while cytoskeletal remodeling is regulated by non-equilibrium polymer turnover. Although the mechanical properties of equilibrium actin filament (F-actin) networks are well-described by theories of semiflexible polymers, these theories do not incorporate the effects of non-equilibrium turnover. To address this experimentally, we developed a model system in which both the turnover rate and the length distribution of purified F-actin can be tuned independently at steady-state through the combined action of actin regulatory proteins. Specifically we tune the concentrations of cofilin, profilin, and formin to regulate F-actin severing, recycling, and nucleation, respectively. We find that the actin turnover rate can be tuned by cofilin up to 25-fold (31 +/- 2 subunits/sec/filament). Surprisingly, changes in turnover rate have no effect on the steady-state F-actin length distribution, which is instead set by formin concentration. Passive microrheology measurements show that increased turnover leads to striking fluidization in both entangled and crosslinked networks. Non-equilibrium turnover thus enables modulation of network mechanics, which impacts force transmission and material deformation.

  6. Early Signaling in Primary T Cells Activated by Antigen Presenting Cells Is Associated with a Deep and Transient Lamellal Actin Network

    PubMed Central

    Roybal, Kole T.; Mace, Emily M.; Mantell, Judith M.; Verkade, Paul; Orange, Jordan S.; Wülfing, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Cellular signaling transduction critically depends on molecular interactions that are in turn governed by dynamic subcellular distributions of the signaling system components. Comprehensive insight into signal transduction requires an understanding of such distributions and cellular structures driving them. To investigate the activation of primary murine T cells by antigen presenting cells (APC) we have imaged more than 60 signaling intermediates during T cell stimulation with microscopy across resolution limits. A substantial number of signaling intermediates associated with a transient, wide, and actin-associated lamellum extending from an interdigitated T cell:APC interface several micrometers into the T cell, as characterized in detail here. By mapping the more than 60 signaling intermediates onto the spatiotemporal features of cell biological structures, the lamellum and other ones previously described, we also define distinct spatial and temporal characteristics of T cell signal initiation, amplification, and core signaling in the activation of primary T cells by APCs. These characteristics differ substantially from ones seen when T cells are activated using common reductionist approaches. PMID:26237050

  7. Actin-mediated motion of meiotic chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Koszul, R.; Kim, K. P.; Prentiss, M.; Kleckner, N.; Kameoka, S.

    2008-01-01

    Summary Chromosome movement is prominent during meiosis. Here, using a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches, we elucidate the basis for dynamic mid-prophase chromosome movement in budding yeast. Diverse finding reveal a process in which, at the pachytene stage, individual telomere/nuclear envelope (NE) ensembles attach passively to, and then move in concert with, nucleus-hugging actin cables that are continuous with the global cytoskeletal actin network. Other chromosomes move in concert with lead chromosome(s). The same process, in modulated form, explains the zygotene "bouquet" configuration in which, immediately preceding pachytene, chromosome ends colocalize dynamically in a restricted region of the NE. Mechanical properties of the system and biological roles of mid-prophase movement for meiosis, including recombination, are discussed. PMID:18585353

  8. Actin Skeletons at the Membrane as Liquid Crystal Elastomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Discher, Dennis; Dalhaimer, Paul; Levine, Alex; Lubensky, Tom

    2002-03-01

    Actin filaments crosslinked by proteins such as spectrin form plasma membrane networks in a number of cell-types, including the red blood cell and the outer hair cell of the inner ear. Actin filaments are stiff compared to spectrin and can be considered hard rods. We statistically simulate network phase behavior at finite temperature by Monte Carlo methods, and explore the effects of spectrin and actin length as well as isotropic and shear stresses. Relative lengths required for a zero pressure nematic phase are determined, for exmaple, and indicate structural requirements for obtaining a 2D anisotropic elastomer. Emerging studies of network elasticity examine the anisotropic state and begin to probe the relevance of hyper-soft modes to hearing.

  9. Cortactin Branches Out: Roles in Regulating Protrusive Actin Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Ammer, Amanda Gatesman; Weed, Scott A.

    2008-01-01

    Since its discovery in the early 1990’s, cortactin has emerged as a key signaling protein in many cellular processes, including cell adhesion, migration, endocytosis, and tumor invasion. While the list of cellular functions influenced by cortactin grows, the ability of cortactin to interact with and alter the cortical actin network is central to its role in regulating these processes. Recently, several advances have been made in our understanding of the interaction between actin and cortactin, providing insight into how these two proteins work together to provide a framework for normal and altered cellular function. This review examines how regulation of cortactin through post-translational modifications and interactions with multiple binding partners elicits changes in cortical actin cytoskeletal organization, impacting the regulation and formation of actin-rich motility structures. PMID:18615630

  10. Interactions between plant endomembrane systems and the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Pengwei; Hussey, Patrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Membrane trafficking, organelle movement, and morphogenesis in plant cells are mainly controlled by the actin cytoskeleton. Not all proteins that regulate the cytoskeleton and membrane dynamics in animal systems have functional homologs in plants, especially for those proteins that form the bridge between the cytoskeleton and membrane; the membrane-actin adaptors. Their nature and function is only just beginning to be elucidated and this field has been greatly enhanced by the recent identification of the NETWORKED (NET) proteins, which act as membrane-actin adaptors. In this review, we will summarize the role of the actin cytoskeleton and its regulatory proteins in their interaction with endomembrane compartments and where they potentially act as platforms for cell signaling and the coordination of other subcellular events. PMID:26106403

  11. The yin-yang of dendrite morphology: unity of actin and microtubules.

    PubMed

    Georges, Penelope C; Hadzimichalis, Norell M; Sweet, Eric S; Firestein, Bonnie L

    2008-12-01

    Actin and microtubules (MT) are targets of numerous molecular pathways that control neurite outgrowth. To generate a neuronal protrusion, coordinated structural changes of the actin and MT cytoskeletons must occur. Neurite formation occurs when actin filaments (F-actin) are destabilized, filopodia are extended, and MTs invade filopodia. This process results in either axon or dendrite formation. Axonal branching involves interplay between F-actin and MTs, with F-actin and MTs influencing polymerization, stabilization, and maintenance of each other. Our knowledge of the mechanisms regulating development of the axon, however, far eclipses our understanding of dendritic development and branching. The two classes of neurites, while fundamentally similar in their ability to elongate and branch, dramatically differ in growth rate, orientation of polarized MT bundles, and mechanisms that initiate branching. In this review, we focus on how F-actin, MTs, and proteins that link the two cytoskeletons coordinate to specifically initiate dendritic events. PMID:18987787

  12. Nuclear F-actin Formation and Reorganization upon Cell Spreading*♦

    PubMed Central

    Plessner, Matthias; Melak, Michael; Chinchilla, Pilar; Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2015-01-01

    We recently discovered signal-regulated nuclear actin network assembly. However, in contrast to cytoplasmic actin regulation, polymeric nuclear actin structures and functions remain only poorly understood. Here we describe a novel molecular tool to visualize real-time nuclear actin dynamics by targeting the Actin-Chromobody-TagGFP to the nucleus, thus establishing a nuclear Actin-Chromobody. Interestingly, we observe nuclear actin polymerization into dynamic filaments upon cell spreading and fibronectin stimulation, both of which appear to be triggered by integrin signaling. Furthermore, we show that nucleoskeletal proteins such as the LINC (linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complex and components of the nuclear lamina couple cell spreading or integrin activation by fibronectin to nuclear actin polymerization. Spreading-induced nuclear actin polymerization results in serum response factor (SRF)-mediated transcription through nuclear retention of myocardin-related transcription factor A (MRTF-A). Our results reveal a signaling pathway, which links integrin activation by extracellular matrix interaction to nuclear actin polymerization through the LINC complex, and therefore suggest a role for nuclear actin polymerization in the context of cellular adhesion and mechanosensing. PMID:25759381

  13. Electrostatic Interactions Between the Bni1p Formin FH2 Domain and Actin Influence Actin Filament Nucleation

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Joseph L.; Courtemanche, Naomi; Parton, Daniel L.; McCullagh, Martin; Pollard, Thomas D.; Voth, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Formins catalyze nucleation and growth of actin filaments. Here we study the structure and interactions of actin with the FH2 domain of budding yeast formin Bni1p. We built an all-atom model of the formin dimer on an Oda actin filament 7-mer and studied structural relaxation and inter-protein interactions by molecular dynamics simulations. These simulations produced a refined model for the FH2 dimer associated with the barbed end of the filament and revealed electrostatic interactions between the formin knob and actin target-binding cleft. Mutations of two formin residues contributing to these interactions (R1423N, K1467L or both) reduced the interaction energies between the proteins, and in coarse-grained simulations the formin lost more inter-protein contacts with an actin dimer than with an actin 7-mer. Biochemical experiments confirmed a strong influence of these mutations on Bni1p-mediated actin filament nucleation, but not elongation, suggesting that different interactions contribute to these two functions of formins. PMID:25482541

  14. Arabidopsis Actin Depolymerizing Factor4 Modulates the Stochastic Dynamic Behavior of Actin Filaments in the Cortical Array of Epidermal Cells[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Henty, Jessica L.; Bledsoe, Samuel W.; Khurana, Parul; Meagher, Richard B.; Day, Brad; Blanchoin, Laurent; Staiger, Christopher J.

    2011-01-01

    Actin filament arrays are constantly remodeled as the needs of cells change as well as during responses to biotic and abiotic stimuli. Previous studies demonstrate that many single actin filaments in the cortical array of living Arabidopsis thaliana epidermal cells undergo stochastic dynamics, a combination of rapid growth balanced by disassembly from prolific severing activity. Filament turnover and dynamics are well understood from in vitro biochemical analyses and simple reconstituted systems. However, the identification in living cells of the molecular players involved in controlling actin dynamics awaits the use of model systems, especially ones where the power of genetics can be combined with imaging of individual actin filaments at high spatial and temporal resolution. Here, we test the hypothesis that actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin contributes to stochastic filament severing and facilitates actin turnover. A knockout mutant for Arabidopsis ADF4 has longer hypocotyls and epidermal cells when compared with wild-type seedlings. This correlates with a change in actin filament architecture; cytoskeletal arrays in adf4 cells are significantly more bundled and less dense than in wild-type cells. Several parameters of single actin filament turnover are also altered. Notably, adf4 mutant cells have a 2.5-fold reduced severing frequency as well as significantly increased actin filament lengths and lifetimes. Thus, we provide evidence that ADF4 contributes to the stochastic dynamic turnover of actin filaments in plant cells. PMID:22010035

  15. Reconstitution of actin-based motility of Listeria and Shigella using pure proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisel, Thomas P.; Boujemaa, Rajaa; Pantaloni, Dominique; Carlier, Marie-France

    1999-10-01

    Actin polymerization is essential for cell locomotion and is thought to generate the force responsible for cellular protrusions. The Arp2/3 complex is required to stimulate actin assembly at the leading edge in response to signalling. The bacteria Listeria and Shigella bypass the signalling pathway and harness the Arp2/3 complex to induce actin assembly and to propel themselves in living cells. However, the Arp2/3 complex alone is insufficient to promote movement. Here we have used pure components of the actin cytoskeleton to reconstitute sustained movement in Listeria and Shigella in vitro. Actin-based propulsion is driven by the free energy released by ATP hydrolysis linked to actin polymerization, and does not require myosin. In addition to actin and activated Arp2/3 complex, actin depolymerizing factor (ADF, or cofilin) and capping protein are also required for motility as they maintain a high steady-state level of G-actin, which controls the rate of unidirectional growth of actin filaments at the surface of the bacterium. The movement is more effective when profilin, α-actinin and VASP (for Listeria) are also included. These results have implications for our understanding of the mechanism of actin-based motility in cells.

  16. Single-molecule imaging of a three-component ordered actin disassembly mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Silvia; Collins, Agnieszka; Chin, Samantha M.; Ydenberg, Casey A.; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L.

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms by which cells destabilize and rapidly disassemble filamentous actin networks have remained elusive; however, Coronin, Cofilin and AIP1 have been implicated in this process. Here using multi-wavelength single-molecule fluorescence imaging, we show that mammalian Cor1B, Cof1 and AIP1 work in concert through a temporally ordered pathway to induce highly efficient severing and disassembly of actin filaments. Cor1B binds to filaments first, and dramatically accelerates the subsequent binding of Cof1, leading to heavily decorated, stabilized filaments. Cof1 in turn recruits AIP1, which rapidly triggers severing and remains bound to the newly generated barbed ends. New growth at barbed ends generated by severing was blocked specifically in the presence of all three proteins. This activity enabled us to reconstitute and directly visualize single actin filaments being rapidly polymerized by formins at their barbed ends while simultanteously being stochastically severed and capped along their lengths, and disassembled from their pointed ends. PMID:25995115

  17. Feedback Interactions of Polymerized Actin with the Cell Membrane: Waves, Pulses, and Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

    Polymerized filaments of the protein actin have crucial functions in cell migration, and in bending the cell membrane to drive endocytosis or the formation of protrusions. The nucleation and polymerization of actin filaments are controlled by upstream agents in the cell membrane, including nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) that activate the Arp2/3 complex to form new branches on pre-existing filaments. But polymerized actin (F-actin) also feeds back on the assembly of NPFs. We explore the effects of the resulting feedback loop of F-actin and NPFs on two phenomena: actin pulses that drive endocytosis in yeast, and actin waves traveling along the membrane of several cell types. In our model of endocytosis in yeast, the actin network is grown explicitly in three dimensions, exerts a negative feedback interaction on localized patch of NPFs in the membrane, and bends the membrane by exerting a distribution of forces. This model explains observed actin and NPF pulse dynamics, and the effects of several interventions including i) NPF mutations, ii) inhibition of actin polymerization, and iii) deletion of a protein that allows F-actin to bend the cell membrane. The model predicts that mutation of the active region of an NPF will enhance the accumulation of that NPF, and we confirm this prediction by quantitative fluorescence microscopy. For actin waves, we treat a similar model, with NPFs distributed over a larger region of the cell membrane. This model naturally generates actin waves, and predicts a transition from wave behavior to spatially localized oscillations when NPFs are confined to a small region. We also predict a transition from waves to static polarization as the negative-feedback coupling between F-actin and the NPFs is reduced. Supported by NIGMS Grant R01 GM107667.

  18. Droplet formation and growth inside a polymer network: A molecular dynamics simulation study.

    PubMed

    Jung, Jiyun; Jang, Eunseon; Shoaib, Mahbubul Alam; Jo, Kyubong; Kim, Jun Soo

    2016-04-01

    We present a molecular dynamics simulation study that focuses on the formation and growth of nanoscale droplets inside polymer networks. Droplet formation and growth are investigated by the liquid-vapor phase separation of a dilute Lennard-Jones (LJ) fluid inside regularly crosslinked, polymer networks with varying mesh sizes. In a polymer network with small mesh sizes, droplet formation can be suppressed, the extent of which is dependent on the attraction strength between the LJ particles. When droplets form in a polymer network with intermediate mesh sizes, subsequent growth is significantly slower when compared with that in bulk without a polymer network. Interestingly, droplet growth beyond the initial nucleation stage occurs by different mechanisms depending on the mesh size: droplets grow mainly by diffusion and coalescence inside polymer networks with large mesh sizes (as observed in bulk), whereas Ostwald ripening becomes a more dominant mechanism for droplet growth for small mesh sizes. The analysis of droplet trajectories clearly reveals the obstruction effect of the polymer network on the movement of growing droplets, which leads to Ostwald ripening of droplets. This study suggests how polymer networks can be used to control the growth of nanoscale droplets. PMID:27059575

  19. Droplet formation and growth inside a polymer network: A molecular dynamics simulation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Jiyun; Jang, Eunseon; Shoaib, Mahbubul Alam; Jo, Kyubong; Kim, Jun Soo

    2016-04-01

    We present a molecular dynamics simulation study that focuses on the formation and growth of nanoscale droplets inside polymer networks. Droplet formation and growth are investigated by the liquid-vapor phase separation of a dilute Lennard-Jones (LJ) fluid inside regularly crosslinked, polymer networks with varying mesh sizes. In a polymer network with small mesh sizes, droplet formation can be suppressed, the extent of which is dependent on the attraction strength between the LJ particles. When droplets form in a polymer network with intermediate mesh sizes, subsequent growth is significantly slower when compared with that in bulk without a polymer network. Interestingly, droplet growth beyond the initial nucleation stage occurs by different mechanisms depending on the mesh size: droplets grow mainly by diffusion and coalescence inside polymer networks with large mesh sizes (as observed in bulk), whereas Ostwald ripening becomes a more dominant mechanism for droplet growth for small mesh sizes. The analysis of droplet trajectories clearly reveals the obstruction effect of the polymer network on the movement of growing droplets, which leads to Ostwald ripening of droplets. This study suggests how polymer networks can be used to control the growth of nanoscale droplets.

  20. ER sheet persistence is coupled to myosin 1c-regulated dynamic actin filament arrays.

    PubMed

    Joensuu, Merja; Belevich, Ilya; Rämö, Olli; Nevzorov, Ilya; Vihinen, Helena; Puhka, Maija; Witkos, Tomasz M; Lowe, Martin; Vartiainen, Maria K; Jokitalo, Eija

    2014-04-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) comprises a dynamic three-dimensional (3D) network with diverse structural and functional domains. Proper ER operation requires an intricate balance within and between dynamics, morphology, and functions, but how these processes are coupled in cells has been unclear. Using live-cell imaging and 3D electron microscopy, we identify a specific subset of actin filaments localizing to polygons defined by ER sheets and tubules and describe a role for these actin arrays in ER sheet persistence and, thereby, in maintenance of the characteristic network architecture by showing that actin depolymerization leads to increased sheet fluctuation and transformations and results in small and less abundant sheet remnants and a defective ER network distribution. Furthermore, we identify myosin 1c localizing to the ER-associated actin filament arrays and reveal a novel role for myosin 1c in regulating these actin structures, as myosin 1c manipulations lead to loss of the actin filaments and to similar ER phenotype as observed after actin depolymerization. We propose that ER-associated actin filaments have a role in ER sheet persistence regulation and thus support the maintenance of sheets as a stationary subdomain of the dynamic ER network. PMID:24523293

  1. ER sheet persistence is coupled to myosin 1c–regulated dynamic actin filament arrays

    PubMed Central

    Joensuu, Merja; Belevich, Ilya; Rämö, Olli; Nevzorov, Ilya; Vihinen, Helena; Puhka, Maija; Witkos, Tomasz M.; Lowe, Martin; Vartiainen, Maria K.; Jokitalo, Eija

    2014-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) comprises a dynamic three-dimensional (3D) network with diverse structural and functional domains. Proper ER operation requires an intricate balance within and between dynamics, morphology, and functions, but how these processes are coupled in cells has been unclear. Using live-cell imaging and 3D electron microscopy, we identify a specific subset of actin filaments localizing to polygons defined by ER sheets and tubules and describe a role for these actin arrays in ER sheet persistence and, thereby, in maintenance of the characteristic network architecture by showing that actin depolymerization leads to increased sheet fluctuation and transformations and results in small and less abundant sheet remnants and a defective ER network distribution. Furthermore, we identify myosin 1c localizing to the ER-associated actin filament arrays and reveal a novel role for myosin 1c in regulating these actin structures, as myosin 1c manipulations lead to loss of the actin filaments and to similar ER phenotype as observed after actin depolymerization. We propose that ER-associated actin filaments have a role in ER sheet persistence regulation and thus support the maintenance of sheets as a stationary subdomain of the dynamic ER network. PMID:24523293

  2. Single Filaments to Reveal the Multiple Flavors of Actin.

    PubMed

    Jégou, Antoine; Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume

    2016-05-24

    A number of key cell processes rely on specific assemblies of actin filaments, which are all constructed from nearly identical building blocks: the abundant and extremely conserved actin protein. A central question in the field is to understand how different filament networks can coexist and be regulated. Discoveries in science are often related to technical advances. Here, we focus on the ongoing single filament revolution and discuss how these techniques have greatly contributed to our understanding of actin assembly. In particular, we highlight how they have refined our understanding of the many protein-based regulatory mechanisms that modulate actin assembly. It is now becoming apparent that other factors give filaments a specific identity that determines which proteins will bind to them. We argue that single filament techniques will play an essential role in the coming years as we try to understand the many ways actin filaments can take different flavors and unveil how these flavors modulate the action of regulatory proteins. We discuss different factors known to make actin filaments distinguishable by regulatory proteins and speculate on their possible consequences. PMID:27224479

  3. Actin-based phagosome motility.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fangliang; Southwick, Frederick S; Purich, Daniel L

    2002-10-01

    Despite abundant evidence of actin's involvement at the particle internalization stage of phagocytosis, little is known about whether phagosomes undergo the same type of actin-based motility as observed with endocytic vesicles or such intracellular pathogens as Listeria and Shigella. By employing video microscopy to follow the fate of latex bead-containing phagosomes within the cytoplasm of bone marrow macrophages, we have made the novel observation of actin-based phagosome motility. Immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed that phagosomes containing IgG-opsonized, bovine serum albumin (or BSA) -coated or uncoated latex beads all formed actin-rich rocket tails that persisted only during a brief, 1-2 min period of actin-based motility. Average speeds of actin-based phagosome motility were 0.13 +/- 0.06 microm/s for IgG-coated beads, 0.14 +/- 0.04 microm/s for BSA-coated beads, and 0.11+/- 0.03 microm/s for uncoated beads. Moreover, the speeds and motile-phase duration of each type of phagosome were comparable to the behavior of pinosomes [Merrifield et al., 1999: Nat. Cell Biol. 1:72-74.]. Determination of optimal conditions for observing and analyzing actin-based phagosome motility should facilitate future investigations of phagocytosis and phagosome maturation. PMID:12211106

  4. Reorganization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton during maturation division in the Tubifex egg: possible involvement of protein kinase C.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, T

    1997-08-01

    Tubifex eggs undergo a drastic reorganization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton during metaphase of the second meiosis. At the end of the first meiosis, the egg cortex displays only scattered actin filaments and tiny dots of F-actin; during the following 90 min, cortical F-actin gradually increases in amount, becomes organized into foci that are interlinked by actin bundles, and generates a geodesic dome-like organization. In this study, we have characterized this reorganization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton. In living eggs injected with rhodamine-phalloidin at the beginning of the second meiosis, cortical actin assembly (i.e., formation of actin foci and bundles) proceeds normally, but labeled F-actin is not found to be included significantly in the formed cortical actin network, suggesting that the increase in cortical F-actin is not simply ascribable to the recruitment of preexisting actin filaments. Cortical actin assembly can be induced precociously not only by calcium ionophore A23187 but also by a phorbol ester PMA, an agonist of protein kinase C (PKC). Conversely, the formation of actin foci and bundles is inhibited by PKC antagonists, although cortical F-actin increases to some extent in the presence of these inhibitors. Similar inhibition of the cortical reorganization is elicited in eggs whose intracellular free calcium level ([Ca2+]i) has been clamped low by microinjection of a calcium chelator BAPTA. The treatment of BAPTA-injected eggs with PMA results in the formation of actin foci and bundles. An experiment with eggs injected with fluo-3 shows that [Ca2+]i increases during metaphase of the second meiosis. These results suggest that the reorganization of cortical actin during metaphase of the second meiosis requires activation of PKC, which depends on increases in [Ca2+]i. PMID:9245516

  5. F-actin buckling coordinates contractility and severing in a biomimetic actomyosin cortex

    PubMed Central

    Murrell, Michael P.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2012-01-01

    Here we develop a minimal model of the cell actomyosin cortex by forming a quasi-2D cross-linked filamentous actin (F-actin) network adhered to a model cell membrane and contracted by myosin thick filaments. Myosin motors generate both compressive and tensile stresses on F-actin and consequently induce large bending fluctuations, which reduces their effective persistence length to <1 μm. Over a large range of conditions, we show the extent of network contraction corresponds exactly to the extent of individual F-actin shortening via buckling. This demonstrates an essential role of buckling in breaking the symmetry between tensile and compressive stresses to facilitate mesoscale network contraction of up to 80% strain. Portions of buckled F-actin with a radius of curvature ∼300 nm are prone to severing and thus compressive stresses mechanically coordinate contractility with F-actin severing, the initial step of F-actin turnover. Finally, the F-actin curvature acquired by myosin-induced stresses can be further constrained by adhesion of the network to a membrane, accelerating filament severing but inhibiting the long-range transmission of the stresses necessary for network contractility. Thus, the extent of membrane adhesion can regulate the coupling between network contraction and F-actin severing. These data demonstrate the essential role of the nonlinear response of F-actin to compressive stresses in potentiating both myosin-mediated contractility and filament severing. This may serve as a general mechanism to mechanically coordinate contractility and cortical dynamics across diverse actomyosin assemblies in smooth muscle and nonmuscle cells. PMID:23213249

  6. Roles of Asp179 and Glu270 in ADP-Ribosylation of Actin by Clostridium perfringens Iota Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Belyy, Alexander; Tabakova, Irina; Lang, Alexander E.; Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens iota toxin is a binary toxin composed of the enzymatically active component Ia and receptor binding component Ib. Ia is an ADP-ribosyltransferase, which modifies Arg177 of actin. The previously determined crystal structure of the actin-Ia complex suggested involvement of Asp179 of actin in the ADP-ribosylation reaction. To gain more insights into the structural requirements of actin to serve as a substrate for toxin-catalyzed ADP-ribosylation, we engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, in which wild type actin was replaced by actin variants with substitutions in residues located on the Ia-actin interface. Expression of the actin mutant Arg177Lys resulted in complete resistance towards Ia. Actin mutation of Asp179 did not change Ia-induced ADP-ribosylation and growth inhibition of S. cerevisiae. By contrast, substitution of Glu270 of actin inhibited the toxic action of Ia and the ADP-ribosylation of actin. In vitro transcribed/translated human β-actin confirmed the crucial role of Glu270 in ADP-ribosylation of actin by Ia. PMID:26713879

  7. Formin' actin in the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Many if not most proteins can, under certain conditions, change cellular compartments, such as, for example, shuttling from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Thus, many proteins may exert functions in various and very different subcellular locations, depending on the signaling context. A large amount of actin regulatory proteins has been detected in the mammalian cell nucleus, although their potential roles are much debated and are just beginning to emerge. Recently, members of the formin family of actin nucleators were also reported to dynamically localize to the nuclear environment. Here we discuss our findings that specific diaphanous-related formins can promote nuclear actin assembly in a signal-dependent manner. PMID:24637338

  8. Bacterial actins and their diversity

    PubMed Central

    Ozyamak, Ertan; Kollman, Justin M.; Komeili, Arash

    2015-01-01

    For many years bacteria were considered rather simple organisms, but the dogmatic notion that subcellular organization is a eukaryotic trait has been overthrown for more than a decade. The discovery of homologs of the eukaryotic cytoskeletal proteins actin, tubulin, and intermediate filaments in bacteria has been instrumental in changing this view. Over the recent years we gained an incredible level of insight into the diverse family of bacterial actins and their molecular workings. Here we review the functional, biochemical and structural features of the most well-studied bacterial actins. PMID:24015924

  9. Mechanical properties of branched actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Razbin, Mohammadhosein; Falcke, Martin; Benetatos, Panayotis; Zippelius, Annette

    2015-07-01

    Cells moving on a two dimensional substrate generate motion by polymerizing actin filament networks inside a flat membrane protrusion. New filaments are generated by branching off existing ones, giving rise to branched network structures. We investigate the force-extension relation of branched filaments, grafted on an elastic structure at one end and pushing with the free ends against the leading edge cell membrane. Single filaments are modeled as worm-like chains, whose thermal bending fluctuations are restricted by the leading edge cell membrane, resulting in an effective force. Branching can increase the stiffness considerably; however the effect depends on branch point position and filament orientation, being most pronounced for intermediate tilt angles and intermediate branch point positions. We describe filament networks without cross-linkers to focus on the effect of branching. We use randomly positioned branch points, as generated in the process of treadmilling, and orientation distributions as measured in lamellipodia. These networks reproduce both the weak and strong force response of lamellipodia as measured in force-velocity experiments. We compare properties of branched and unbranched networks. The ratio of the network average of the force per branched filament to the average force per unbranched filament depends on the orientation distribution of the filaments. The ratio exhibits compression dependence and may go up to about 4.5 in networks with a narrow orientation distribution. With orientation distributions measured in lamellipodia, it is about two and essentially independent from network compression, graft elasticity and filament persistence length. PMID:26040560

  10. Mechanical properties of branched actin filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Razbin, Mohammadhosein; Falcke, Martin; Benetatos, Panayotis; Zippelius, Annette

    2015-07-01

    Cells moving on a two dimensional substrate generate motion by polymerizing actin filament networks inside a flat membrane protrusion. New filaments are generated by branching off existing ones, giving rise to branched network structures. We investigate the force-extension relation of branched filaments, grafted on an elastic structure at one end and pushing with the free ends against the leading edge cell membrane. Single filaments are modeled as worm-like chains, whose thermal bending fluctuations are restricted by the leading edge cell membrane, resulting in an effective force. Branching can increase the stiffness considerably; however the effect depends on branch point position and filament orientation, being most pronounced for intermediate tilt angles and intermediate branch point positions. We describe filament networks without cross-linkers to focus on the effect of branching. We use randomly positioned branch points, as generated in the process of treadmilling, and orientation distributions as measured in lamellipodia. These networks reproduce both the weak and strong force response of lamellipodia as measured in force-velocity experiments. We compare properties of branched and unbranched networks. The ratio of the network average of the force per branched filament to the average force per unbranched filament depends on the orientation distribution of the filaments. The ratio exhibits compression dependence and may go up to about 4.5 in networks with a narrow orientation distribution. With orientation distributions measured in lamellipodia, it is about two and essentially independent from network compression, graft elasticity and filament persistence length.

  11. Surface growth on percolation networks by a conserved-noise restricted solid-on-solid growth model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang Bub

    2016-02-01

    Surface growth by the conserved-noise restricted solid-on-solid model is investigated on diluted lattices, i.e., on percolation networks that are embedded in two spatial dimensions. The growth exponent β and the roughness exponent α are defined, respectively, by the mean-square surface width via W2(t ) ˜t2 β and the mean-square saturated width via Wsat2(L ) ˜L2 α , where L is the system size. These are measured on both an infinite network and a backbone network and the results are compared with power-counting predictions obtained using the fractional Langevin equation. While the Monte Carlo results on deterministic fractal substrates show excellent agreement with the predictions [D. H. Kim and J. M. Kim, Phys. Rev. E 84, 011105 (2011), 10.1103/PhysRevE.84.011105], the results on critical percolation networks deviate by 8%-12% from these predictions.

  12. Surface growth on percolation networks by a conserved-noise restricted solid-on-solid growth model.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang Bub

    2016-02-01

    Surface growth by the conserved-noise restricted solid-on-solid model is investigated on diluted lattices, i.e., on percolation networks that are embedded in two spatial dimensions. The growth exponent β and the roughness exponent α are defined, respectively, by the mean-square surface width via W(2)(t)∼t(2β) and the mean-square saturated width via W(sat)(2)(L)∼L(2α), where L is the system size. These are measured on both an infinite network and a backbone network and the results are compared with power-counting predictions obtained using the fractional Langevin equation. While the Monte Carlo results on deterministic fractal substrates show excellent agreement with the predictions [D. H. Kim and J. M. Kim, Phys. Rev. E 84, 011105 (2011)], the results on critical percolation networks deviate by 8%-12% from these predictions. PMID:26986299

  13. Actin Filaments Regulate Exocytosis at the Hair Cell Ribbon Synapse.

    PubMed

    Guillet, Marie; Sendin, Gaston; Bourien, Jérôme; Puel, Jean-Luc; Nouvian, Régis

    2016-01-20

    Exocytosis at the inner hair cell ribbon synapse is achieved through the functional coupling between calcium channels and glutamate-filled synaptic vesicles. Using membrane capacitance measurements, we investigated whether the actin network regulates the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles at the mouse auditory hair cell. Our results suggest that actin network disruption increases exocytosis and that actin filaments may spatially organize a subfraction of synaptic vesicles with respect to the calcium channels. Significance statement: Inner hair cells (IHCs), the auditory sensory cells of the cochlea, release glutamate onto the afferent auditory nerve fibers to encode sound stimulation. To achieve this task, the IHC relies on the recruitment of glutamate-filled vesicles that can be located in close vicinity to the calcium channels or more remotely from them. The molecular determinants responsible for organizing these vesicle pools are not fully identified. Using pharmacological tools in combination with membrane capacitance measurements, we show that actin filament disruption increases exocytosis in IHCs and that actin filaments most likely position a fraction of vesicles away from the calcium channels. PMID:26791198

  14. Direct interaction of microtubule- and actin-based transport motors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, J. D.; Brady, S. T.; Richards, B. W.; Stenolen, D.; Resau, J. H.; Copeland, N. G.; Jenkins, N. A.

    1999-01-01

    The microtubule network is thought to be used for long-range transport of cellular components in animal cells whereas the actin network is proposed to be used for short-range transport, although the mechanism(s) by which this transport is coordinated is poorly understood. For example, in sea urchins long-range Ca2+-regulated transport of exocytotic vesicles requires a microtubule-based motor, whereas an actin-based motor is used for short-range transport. In neurons, microtubule-based kinesin motor proteins are used for long-range vesicular transport but microtubules do not extend into the neuronal termini, where actin filaments form the cytoskeletal framework, and kinesins are rapidly degraded upon their arrival in neuronal termini, indicating that vesicles may have to be transferred from microtubules to actin tracks to reach their final destination. Here we show that an actin-based vesicle-transport motor, MyoVA, can interact directly with a microtubule-based transport motor, KhcU. As would be expected if these complexes were functional, they also contain kinesin light chains and the localization of MyoVA and KhcU overlaps in the cell. These results indicate that cellular transport is, in part, coordinated through the direct interaction of different motor molecules.

  15. Growth and containment of a hierarchical criminal network.

    PubMed

    Marshak, Charles Z; Rombach, M Puck; Bertozzi, Andrea L; D'Orsogna, Maria R

    2016-02-01

    We model the hierarchical evolution of an organized criminal network via antagonistic recruitment and pursuit processes. Within the recruitment phase, a criminal kingpin enlists new members into the network, who in turn seek out other affiliates. New recruits are linked to established criminals according to a probability distribution that depends on the current network structure. At the same time, law enforcement agents attempt to dismantle the growing organization using pursuit strategies that initiate on the lower level nodes and that unfold as self-avoiding random walks. The global details of the organization are unknown to law enforcement, who must explore the hierarchy node by node. We halt the pursuit when certain local criteria of the network are uncovered, encoding if and when an arrest is made; the criminal network is assumed to be eradicated if the kingpin is arrested. We first analyze recruitment and study the large scale properties of the growing network; later we add pursuit and use numerical simulations to study the eradication probability in the case of three pursuit strategies, the time to first eradication, and related costs. Within the context of this model, we find that eradication becomes increasingly costly as the network increases in size and that the optimal way of arresting the kingpin is to intervene at the early stages of network formation. We discuss our results in the context of dark network disruption and their implications on possible law enforcement strategies. PMID:26986353

  16. Growth and containment of a hierarchical criminal network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshak, Charles Z.; Rombach, M. Puck; Bertozzi, Andrea L.; D'Orsogna, Maria R.

    2016-02-01

    We model the hierarchical evolution of an organized criminal network via antagonistic recruitment and pursuit processes. Within the recruitment phase, a criminal kingpin enlists new members into the network, who in turn seek out other affiliates. New recruits are linked to established criminals according to a probability distribution that depends on the current network structure. At the same time, law enforcement agents attempt to dismantle the growing organization using pursuit strategies that initiate on the lower level nodes and that unfold as self-avoiding random walks. The global details of the organization are unknown to law enforcement, who must explore the hierarchy node by node. We halt the pursuit when certain local criteria of the network are uncovered, encoding if and when an arrest is made; the criminal network is assumed to be eradicated if the kingpin is arrested. We first analyze recruitment and study the large scale properties of the growing network; later we add pursuit and use numerical simulations to study the eradication probability in the case of three pursuit strategies, the time to first eradication, and related costs. Within the context of this model, we find that eradication becomes increasingly costly as the network increases in size and that the optimal way of arresting the kingpin is to intervene at the early stages of network formation. We discuss our results in the context of dark network disruption and their implications on possible law enforcement strategies.

  17. Multiscale Modelling for investigating single molecule effects on the mechanics of actin filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    A, Deriu Marco; C, Bidone Tamara; Laura, Carbone; Cristina, Bignardi; M, Montevecchi Franco; Umberto, Morbiducci

    2011-12-01

    This work presents a preliminary multiscale computational investigation of the effects of nucleotides and cations on the mechanics of actin filaments (F-actin). At the molecular level, Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations are employed to characterize the rearrangements of the actin monomers (G-actin) in terms of secondary structures evolution in physiological conditions. At the mesoscale level, a coarse grain (CG) procedure is adopted where each monomer is represented by means of Elastic Network Modeling (ENM) technique. At the macroscale level, actin filaments up to hundreds of nanometers are assumed as isotropic and elastic beams and characterized via Rotation Translation Block (RTB) analysis. F-actin bound to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) shows a persistence length around 5 μm, while actin filaments bound to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) have a persistence length of about 3 μm. With magnesium bound to the high affinity binding site of G-actin, the persistence length of F-actin decreases to about 2 μm only in the ADP-bound form of the filament, while the same ion has no effects, in terms of stiffness variation, on the ATP-bound form of F-actin. The molecular mechanisms behind these changes in flexibility are herein elucidated. Thus, this study allows to analyze how the local binding of cations and nucleotides on G-actin induce molecular rearrangements that transmit to the overall F-actin, characterizing shifts of mechanical properties, that can be related with physiological and pathological cellular phenomena, as cell migration and spreading. Further, this study provides the basis for upcoming investigating of network and cellular remodelling at higher length scales.

  18. ACD toxin-produced actin oligomers poison formin-controlled actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Heisler, David B.; Kudryashova, Elena; Grinevich, Dmitry O.; Suarez, Cristian; Winkelman, Jonathan D.; Birukov, Konstantin G.; Kotha, Sainath R.; Parinandi, Narasimham L.; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Kovar, David R.; Kudryashov, Dmitri S.

    2015-01-01

    The actin crosslinking domain (ACD) is an actin-specific toxin produced by several pathogens, including life-threatening spp. of Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio vulnificus, and Aeromonas hydrophila. Actin crosslinking by ACD is thought to lead to slow cytoskeleton failure owing to a gradual sequestration of actin in the form of nonfunctional oligomers. Here we found that ACD converted cytoplasmic actin into highly toxic oligomers that potently “poisoned” the ability of major actin assembly proteins, formins, to sustain actin polymerization. Thus, ACD can target the most abundant cellular protein by employing actin oligomers as secondary toxins to efficiently subvert cellular functions of actin while functioning at very low doses. PMID:26228148

  19. Epidemiology of actinic keratoses.

    PubMed

    Green, Adèle C

    2015-01-01

    The epidemiology of actinic keratoses (AKs) reflects their causation by cumulative sun exposure, with the highest prevalence seen in pale-skinned people living at low latitudes and on the most sun-exposed body sites, namely the hands, forearms and face. AKs are markers of increased risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, especially when they are numerous and have coalesced into an area of 'field cancerisation'. The major risk factors are male sex, advanced age, sun-sensitive complexion, high lifetime sun exposure and prolonged immunosuppression. Clinical counts of AKs enable the assessment and monitoring of AK burden, but accurate counting is notoriously difficult, especially when skin is severely sun damaged. AK counting has been repeatedly shown to be unreliable, even among expert dermatologists. Notwithstanding these challenges, qualitative assessment of the natural history of AKs shows a high turnover, with new lesions developing and with other lesions regressing. A very small proportion of AKs undergo malignant transformation, but the precise rate of transformation is unknown due to the inaccuracies in monitoring AK lesions over time. Primary prevention of AKs is achieved by limiting intense sun exposure through sun-protective behaviour, including seeking deep shade, wearing sun-protective clothing and applying sunscreen regularly to exposed skin, from an early age. PMID:25561199

  20. Feeling for Filaments: Quantification of the Cortical Actin Web in Live Vascular Endothelium

    PubMed Central

    Kronlage, Cornelius; Schäfer-Herte, Marco; Böning, Daniel; Oberleithner, Hans; Fels, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    Contact-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been shown to reveal cortical actin structures. Using live endothelial cells, we visualized cortical actin dynamics simultaneously by AFM and confocal fluorescence microscopy. We present a method that quantifies dynamic changes in the mechanical ultrastructure of the cortical actin web. We argue that the commonly used, so-called error signal imaging in AFM allows a qualitative, but not quantitative, analysis of cortical actin dynamics. The approach we used comprises fast force-curve-based topography imaging and subsequent image processing that enhances local height differences. Dynamic changes in the organization of the cytoskeleton network can be observed and quantified by surface roughness calculations and automated morphometrics. Upon treatment with low concentrations of the actin-destabilizing agent cytochalasin D, the cortical cytoskeleton network is thinned out and the average mesh size increases. In contrast, jasplakinolide, a drug that enhances actin polymerization, consolidates the cytoskeleton network and reduces the average mesh area. In conclusion, cortical actin dynamics can be quantified in live cells. To our knowledge, this opens a new pathway for conducting quantitative structure-function analyses of the endothelial actin web just beneath the apical plasma membrane. PMID:26287621

  1. Characterization of ring-like F-actin structure as a mechanical partner for spindle positioning in mitosis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Huan; Zhao, Qun; Jiang, Hao; Zhu, Tongge; Xia, Peng; Seffens, William; Aikhionbare, Felix; Wang, Dongmei; Dou, Zhen; Yao, Xuebiao

    2014-01-01

    Proper spindle positioning and orientation are essential for accurate mitosis which requires dynamic interactions between microtubule and actin filament (F-actin). Although mounting evidence demonstrates the role of F-actin in cortical cytoskeleton dynamics, it remains elusive as to the structure and function of F-actin-based networks in spindle geometry. Here we showed a ring-like F-actin structure surrounding the mitotic spindle which forms since metaphase and maintains in MG132-arrested metaphase HeLa cells. This cytoplasmic F-actin structure is relatively isotropic and less dynamic. Our computational modeling of spindle position process suggests a possible mechanism by which the ring-like F-actin structure can regulate astral microtubule dynamics and thus mitotic spindle orientation. We further demonstrated that inhibiting Plk1, Mps1 or Myosin, and disruption of microtubules or F-actin polymerization perturbs the formation of the ring-like F-actin structure and alters spindle position and symmetric division. These findings reveal a previously unrecognized but important link between mitotic spindle and ring-like F-actin network in accurate mitosis and enables the development of a method to theoretically illustrate the relationship between mitotic spindle and cytoplasmic F-actin. PMID:25299690

  2. New single-molecule speckle microscopy reveals modification of the retrograde actin flow by focal adhesions at nanometer scales.

    PubMed

    Yamashiro, Sawako; Mizuno, Hiroaki; Smith, Matthew B; Ryan, Gillian L; Kiuchi, Tai; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Watanabe, Naoki

    2014-04-01

    Speckle microscopy directly visualizes the retrograde actin flow, which is believed to promote cell-edge protrusion when linked to focal adhesions (FAs). However, it has been argued that, due to rapid actin turnover, the use of green fluorescent protein-actin, the lack of appropriate analysis algorithms, and technical difficulties, speckle microscopy does not necessarily report the flow velocities of entire actin populations. In this study, we developed a new, user-friendly single-molecule speckle (SiMS) microscopy using DyLight dye-labeled actin. Our new SiMS method enables in vivo nanometer-scale displacement analysis with a low localization error of ±8-8.5 nm, allowing accurate flow-velocity measurement for actin speckles with lifetime <5 s. In lamellipodia, both short- and long-lived F-actin molecules flow with the same speed, indicating they are part of a single actin network. These results do not support coexistence of F-actin populations with different flow speeds, which is referred to as the lamella hypothesis. Mature FAs, but not nascent adhesions, locally obstruct the retrograde flow. Interestingly, the actin flow in front of mature FAs is fast and biased toward FAs, suggesting that mature FAs attract the flow in front and actively remodel the local actin network. PMID:24501425

  3. Cloning and characterization of the actin gene from Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jie; Zhang, Qiong; Chang, Qing; Zhuang, Hua; Huang, Li-Li; Kang, Zhen-Sheng

    2012-06-01

    The fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, the causal agent of wheat stripe rust, is an obligate biotrophic basidiomycete. Urediniospores are the most common spore type involved in the epidemiology of this disease. Tip growth of germ tubes of germinated urediniospores is a key step during infection of wheat, but few studies have investigated it so far. Recent research has found that actin is closely associated with hyphal tip growth. In this study, we have cloned and obtained the full-length actin cDNA from P. striiformis f. sp. tritici and characterized its expression. Furthermore, actin filament (F-actin) patterns were visualized microscopically during germ tube formation. The most conspicuous actin-containing structures were actin patches. They were mainly concentrated near the hyphal tip and scattered throughout the cortex. By using cytochalasin B, we observed that depolymerization of F-actin greatly reduced the germination rate of urediniospores and disrupted the transport of vesicles to the germ tube tip, indicating that F-actin played a key role in the tip growth of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici. This work helps us to understand the tip growth mechanism of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici, and may provide a theoretical framework for designing novel pesticides. PMID:22806107

  4. Computational Tension Mapping of Adherent Cells Based on Actin Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Manifacier, Ian; Milan, Jean-Louis; Jeanneau, Charlotte; Chmilewsky, Fanny; Chabrand, Patrick; About, Imad

    2016-01-01

    Forces transiting through the cytoskeleton are known to play a role in adherent cell activity. Up to now few approaches haves been able to determine theses intracellular forces. We thus developed a computational mechanical model based on a reconstruction of the cytoskeleton of an adherent cell from fluorescence staining of the actin network and focal adhesions (FA). Our custom made algorithm converted the 2D image of an actin network into a map of contractile interactions inside a 2D node grid, each node representing a group of pixels. We assumed that actin filaments observed under fluorescence microscopy, appear brighter when thicker, we thus presumed that nodes corresponding to pixels with higher actin density were linked by stiffer interactions. This enabled us to create a system of heterogeneous interactions which represent the spatial organization of the contractile actin network. The contractility of this interaction system was then adapted to match the level of force the cell truly exerted on focal adhesions; forces on focal adhesions were estimated from their vinculin expressed size. This enabled the model to compute consistent mechanical forces transiting throughout the cell. After computation, we applied a graphical approach on the original actin image, which enabled us to calculate tension forces throughout the cell, or in a particular region or even in single stress fibers. It also enabled us to study different scenarios which may indicate the mechanical role of other cytoskeletal components such as microtubules. For instance, our results stated that the ratio between intra and extra cellular compression is inversely proportional to intracellular tension. PMID:26812601

  5. Computational Tension Mapping of Adherent Cells Based on Actin Imaging.

    PubMed

    Manifacier, Ian; Milan, Jean-Louis; Jeanneau, Charlotte; Chmilewsky, Fanny; Chabrand, Patrick; About, Imad

    2016-01-01

    Forces transiting through the cytoskeleton are known to play a role in adherent cell activity. Up to now few approaches haves been able to determine theses intracellular forces. We thus developed a computational mechanical model based on a reconstruction of the cytoskeleton of an adherent cell from fluorescence staining of the actin network and focal adhesions (FA). Our custom made algorithm converted the 2D image of an actin network into a map of contractile interactions inside a 2D node grid, each node representing a group of pixels. We assumed that actin filaments observed under fluorescence microscopy, appear brighter when thicker, we thus presumed that nodes corresponding to pixels with higher actin density were linked by stiffer interactions. This enabled us to create a system of heterogeneous interactions which represent the spatial organization of the contractile actin network. The contractility of this interaction system was then adapted to match the level of force the cell truly exerted on focal adhesions; forces on focal adhesions were estimated from their vinculin expressed size. This enabled the model to compute consistent mechanical forces transiting throughout the cell. After computation, we applied a graphical approach on the original actin image, which enabled us to calculate tension forces throughout the cell, or in a particular region or even in single stress fibers. It also enabled us to study different scenarios which may indicate the mechanical role of other cytoskeletal components such as microtubules. For instance, our results stated that the ratio between intra and extra cellular compression is inversely proportional to intracellular tension. PMID:26812601

  6. Soft viscoelastic properties of nuclear actin age oocytes due to gravitational creep.

    PubMed

    Feric, Marina; Broedersz, Chase P; Brangwynne, Clifford P

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton helps maintain structural organization within living cells. In large X. laevis oocytes, gravity becomes a dominant force and is countered by a nuclear actin network that prevents liquid-like nuclear bodies from immediate sedimentation and coalescence. However, nuclear actin's mechanical properties, and how they facilitate the stabilization of nuclear bodies, remain unknown. Using active microrheology, we find that nuclear actin forms a weak viscoelastic network, with a modulus of roughly 0.1 Pa. Embedded probe particles subjected to a constant force exhibit continuous displacement, due to viscoelastic creep. Gravitational forces also cause creep displacement of nuclear bodies, resulting in their asymmetric nuclear distribution. Thus, nuclear actin does not indefinitely support the emulsion of nuclear bodies, but only kinetically stabilizes them by slowing down gravitational creep to ~2 months. This is similar to the viability time of large oocytes, suggesting gravitational creep ages oocytes, with fatal consequences on long timescales. PMID:26577186

  7. Antagonism between Ena/VASP proteins and actin filament capping regulates fibroblast motility.

    PubMed

    Bear, James E; Svitkina, Tatyana M; Krause, Matthias; Schafer, Dorothy A; Loureiro, Joseph J; Strasser, Geraldine A; Maly, Ivan V; Chaga, Oleg Y; Cooper, John A; Borisy, Gary G; Gertler, Frank B

    2002-05-17

    Cell motility requires lamellipodial protrusion, a process driven by actin polymerization. Ena/VASP proteins accumulate in protruding lamellipodia and promote the rapid actin-driven motility of the pathogen Listeria. In contrast, Ena/VASP negatively regulate cell translocation. To resolve this paradox, we analyzed the function of Ena/VASP during lamellipodial protrusion. Ena/VASP-deficient lamellipodia protruded slower but more persistently, consistent with their increased cell translocation rates. Actin networks in Ena/VASP-deficient lamellipodia contained shorter, more highly branched filaments compared to controls. Lamellipodia with excess Ena/VASP contained longer, less branched filaments. In vitro, Ena/VASP promoted actin filament elongation by interacting with barbed ends, shielding them from capping protein. We conclude that Ena/VASP regulates cell motility by controlling the geometry of actin filament networks within lamellipodia. PMID:12086607

  8. Synthetic Chondramide A Analogues Stabilize Filamentous Actin and Block Invasion by Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii rely on actin-based motility to cross biological barriers and invade host cells. Key structural and biochemical differences in host and parasite actins make this an attractive target for small-molecule inhibitors. Here we took advantage of recent advances in the synthesis of cyclic depsipeptide compounds that stabilize filamentous actin to test the ability of chondramides to disrupt growth of T. gondii in vitro. Structural modeling of chondramide A (2) binding to an actin filament model revealed variations in the binding site between host and parasite actins. A series of 10 previously synthesized analogues (2b–k) with substitutions in the β-tyrosine moiety blocked parasite growth on host cell monolayers with EC50 values that ranged from 0.3 to 1.3 μM. In vitro polymerization assays using highly purified recombinant actin from T. gondii verified that synthetic and natural product chondramides target the actin cytoskeleton. Consistent with this, chondramide treatment blocked parasite invasion into host cells and was more rapidly effective than pyrimethamine, a standard therapeutic agent. Although the current compounds lack specificity for parasite vs host actin, these studies provide a platform for the future design and synthesis of synthetic cyclic peptide inhibitors that selectively disrupt actin dynamics in parasites. PMID:24020843

  9. Second messenger networks for accurate growth cone guidance.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Hiroki; Kamiguchi, Hiroyuki

    2015-04-01

    Growth cones are able to navigate over long distances to find their appropriate target by following guidance cues that are often presented to them in the form of an extracellular gradient. These external cues are converted into gradients of specific signaling molecules inside growth cones, while at the same time these internal signals are amplified. The amplified instruction is then used to generate asymmetric changes in the growth cone turning machinery so that one side of the growth cone migrates at a rate faster than the other side, and thus the growth cone turns toward or away from the external cue. This review examines how signal specification and amplification can be achieved inside the growth cone by multiple second messenger signaling pathways activated downstream of guidance cues. These include the calcium ion, cyclic nucleotide, and phosphatidylinositol signaling pathways. PMID:24285606

  10. Microcosm to Cosmos: The Growth of a Divisional Computer Network

    PubMed Central

    Johannes, R.S.; Kahane, Stephen N.

    1987-01-01

    In 1982, we reported the deployment of a network of microcomputers in the Division of Gastroenterology[1]. This network was based upon Corvus Systems Omninet®. Corvus was one of the very first firms to offer networking products for PC's. This PC development occurred coincident with the planning phase of the Johns Hopkins Hospital's multisegment ethernet project. A rich communications infra-structure is now in place at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions[2,3]. Shortly after the hospital development under the direction of the Operational and Clinical Systems Division (OCS) development began, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine began an Integrated Academic Information Management Systems (IAIMS) planning effort. We now present a model that uses aspects of all three planning efforts (PC networks, Hospital Information Systems & IAIMS) to build a divisional computing facility. This facility is viewed as a terminal leaf on then institutional network diagram. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that this leaf, the divisional resource in the Division of Gastroenterology (GASNET), has a rich substructure and functionality of its own, perhaps revealing the recursive nature of network architecture. The current status, design and function of the GASNET computational facility is discussed. Among the major positive aspects of this design are the sharing and centralization of MS-DOS software, the high-speed DOS/Unix link that makes available most of the our institution's computing resources.

  11. Diclofenac Topical (actinic keratosis)

    MedlinePlus

    ... growths on the skin caused by too much sun exposure). Diclofenac is in a class of medications called ... side effects.talk to your doctor before applying sunscreen or cosmetics to skin that is being treated ...

  12. Effect of Flumorph on F-Actin Dynamics in the Potato Late Blight Pathogen Phytophthora infestans.

    PubMed

    Hua, Chenlei; Kots, Kiki; Ketelaar, Tijs; Govers, Francine; Meijer, Harold J G

    2015-04-01

    Oomycetes are fungal-like pathogens that cause notorious diseases. Protecting crops against oomycetes requires regular spraying with chemicals, many with an unknown mode of action. In the 1990s, flumorph was identified as a novel crop protection agent. It was shown to inhibit the growth of oomycete pathogens including Phytophthora spp., presumably by targeting actin. We recently generated transgenic Phytophthora infestans strains that express Lifeact-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP), which enabled us to monitor the actin cytoskeleton during hyphal growth. For analyzing effects of oomicides on the actin cytoskeleton in vivo, the P. infestans Lifeact-eGFP strain is an excellent tool. Here, we confirm that flumorph is an oomicide with growth inhibitory activity. Microscopic analyses showed that low flumorph concentrations provoked hyphal tip swellings accompanied by accumulation of actin plaques in the apex, a feature reminiscent of tips of nongrowing hyphae. At higher concentrations, swelling was more pronounced and accompanied by an increase in hyphal bursting events. However, in hyphae that remained intact, actin filaments were indistinguishable from those in nontreated, nongrowing hyphae. In contrast, in hyphae treated with the actin depolymerizing drug latrunculin B, no hyphal bursting was observed but the actin filaments were completely disrupted. This difference demonstrates that actin is not the primary target of flumorph. PMID:25496300

  13. Ssp1 CaMKK: A Sensor of Actin Polarization That Controls Mitotic Commitment through Srk1 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    PubMed Central

    Giménez-Zaragoza, David; López-Avilés, Sandra; Yance-Chávez, Tula; Montserrat, Marta; Pujol, M. Jesús; Bachs, Oriol; Aligue, Rosa

    2015-01-01

    Background Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK) is required for diverse cellular functions. Mammalian CaMKK activates CaMKs and also the evolutionarily-conserved AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe CaMKK, Ssp1, is required for tolerance to limited glucose through the AMPK, Ssp2, and for the integration of cell growth and division through the SAD kinase Cdr2. Results Here we report that Ssp1 controls the G2/M transition by regulating the activity of the CaMK Srk1. We show that inhibition of Cdc25 by Srk1 is regulated by Ssp1; and also that restoring growth polarity and actin localization of ssp1-deleted cells by removing the actin-monomer-binding protein, twinfilin, is sufficient to suppress the ssp1 phenotype. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that entry into mitosis is mediated by a network of proteins, including the Ssp1 and Srk1 kinases. Ssp1 connects the network of components that ensures proper polarity and cell size with the network of proteins that regulates Cdk1-cyclin B activity, in which Srk1 plays an inhibitory role. PMID:26575035

  14. Actin-based propulsion of functionalized hard versus fluid spherical objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delatour, Vincent; Shekhar, Shashank; Reymann, Anne-Cécile; Didry, Dominique; Diêp Lê, Kim Hô; Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume; Helfer, Emmanuèle; Carlier, Marie-France

    2008-02-01

    The directed polymerization of a branched actin network against a functionalized surface drives cell protrusions and organelle propulsion in living cells. Solid microspheres or giant unilamellar vesicles, functionalized with neural Wiskott Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP), initiate the formation of a branched actin array using actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex, when placed in a motility assay reconstituted with pure proteins. These systems are useful biomimetic models of actin-based propulsion that allow to address how the interplay between the physical properties of the functionalized surface and the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton determines motile behavior. Both solid beads and deformable vesicles display either continuous or saltatory propulsive motions, which are analyzed comparatively; we show that the deformability of liposomes and the mobility of N-WASP at the lipid surface affect the dynamic and structural parameters of the actin meshwork. Our results indicate that beads and vesicles use different mechanisms to translate insertional polymerization of actin at their surface into directed movement: stress relaxation within the actin gel prevents the accumulation of filaments at the front of moving beads, while segregation of nucleators reduces actin polymerization at the front of moving vesicles.

  15. Atomic Force Microscopy and Light Scattering of Small Unilamellar Actin-Containing Liposomes

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Andre F.; Wingert, Philip; Nickels, Jonathan

    2003-01-01

    Three-dimensional networks of filamentous actin (F-actin) encapsulated inside phosphatidylcholine liposomes are currently being used in an effort to model the cytoskeleton and plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. In this article, unilamellar lipid vesicles consisting of egg yolk-derived phosphatidylcholine encapsulating monomeric actin (G-actin) were made via extrusion in low ionic strength buffer (G-buffer). Vesicle shape and structure in these dispersions was studied using a combination of fluid-tapping atomic force microscopy, and multiangle static light scattering. After subjecting the liposome dispersion to high ionic strength polymerization buffer (F-buffer) containing K+ ions, atomic force microscopy imaging and light scattering of these liposomes indicated the formation of specialized structures, including an overall liposome structure transformation from spherical to torus, disk-shaped geometries and tubular assemblies. Several atomic force microscopy control measurements were made to ascertain that the specialized structures formed were not due to free G-actin and F-actin self-assembling on the sample surface, plain liposomes exposed to G- and F-buffer, or liposomes encapsulating G-actin. Liposomes encapsulating G-actin assumed mostly thin disk shapes and some large irregularly shaped aggregates. In contrast, liposomes encapsulating polymerized actin assumed mostly torus or disk shapes along with some high aspect ratio tubular structures. PMID:12885667

  16. Immunofluorescent localization of actin in relation to transcription sites in mouse pronuclei.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, E; Besombes, D; Debey, P

    1998-07-01

    Previous biochemical and morphological studies have shown the presence of actin in the nucleus of different cell types where its role remains unclear. In this work, through fluorescence microscopy we studied the localization of actin in the nuclei of early mouse embryos with particular attention to its possible involvement in the onset of transcription occurring at the late one-cell stage. Fluorescent labelling of embryo sections showed that nuclear actin in abundant, in a non-filamentous state, in the whole nucleoplasm excluding the nucleolar precursor bodies. Immunofluorescence on permeabilized embryos revealed that insoluble nuclear actin accumulates in a few large aggregates in transcriptionally inert early one-cell embryos and progressively redistributes into many small aggregates in transcriptionally active late one-cell embryos. Interestingly, these actin aggregates clearly colocalize with transcription sites. Treatment of late one-cell embryos with cytochalasin D induces the formation of actin bundles network in the nucleoplasm but has no apparent effect on the transcriptional activity. In addition, the inhibition of transcription by alpha-amanitin does not modify the nuclear actin distribution. Hence, there does not appear to be a direct causal relationship between transcriptional activity and nuclear actin organization at the one-cell stage although nuclear actin aggregates appear associated with transcription sites. PMID:9621302

  17. Curation-Based Network Marketing: Strategies for Network Growth and Electronic Word-of-Mouth Diffusion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Church, Earnie Mitchell, Jr.

    2013-01-01

    In the last couple of years, a new aspect of online social networking has emerged, in which the strength of social network connections is based not on social ties but mutually shared interests. This dissertation studies these "curation-based" online social networks (CBN) and their suitability for the diffusion of electronic word-of-mouth…

  18. How to enhance the efficacy of health network growth.

    PubMed

    Weil, T P

    2000-01-01

    In almost every American metropolitan area, health executives are busily enhancing the efficacy of their health networks by corporately restructuring so that their organization can become a fiscally and politically powerful oligopoly or a regulated monopoly. When the formation of these alliances are initially announced by the local media, they are reported to be vehicles to enhance access, social equity and quality of care, and to reduce costs. Since an increasing number of these health networks are currently experiencing fiscal, cultural and other difficulties, it is critical to study: (a) what factors should be considered when developing an effective and efficient health network?; (b) what are the practical issues in their strategic formation and management so they eventually achieve their full potential?; and (c) why will some divestitures among these health networks occur and how will these corporate 'spin offs' impact on consumers, providers, insurers and governmental agencies? Within the next decade the United States will face some inevitable economic difficulties. At that time, enhancing access and reducing costs will become more critical issues for health networks. These alliances may then need to become more responsive to consumer pressures as the Americans shift their political proclivities from the current quasi-competitive to a more quasi-regulatory position. In this context, the use of global budgetary targets is discussed as a possible option in the United States to constrain costs, an approach used in almost all other western industrialized nations. PMID:10947565

  19. Modeling the average shortest-path length in growth of word-adjacency networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulig, Andrzej; DroŻdŻ, Stanisław; Kwapień, Jarosław; OświÈ©cimka, Paweł

    2015-03-01

    We investigate properties of evolving linguistic networks defined by the word-adjacency relation. Such networks belong to the category of networks with accelerated growth but their shortest-path length appears to reveal the network size dependence of different functional form than the ones known so far. We thus compare the networks created from literary texts with their artificial substitutes based on different variants of the Dorogovtsev-Mendes model and observe that none of them is able to properly simulate the novel asymptotics of the shortest-path length. Then, we identify the local chainlike linear growth induced by grammar and style as a missing element in this model and extend it by incorporating such effects. It is in this way that a satisfactory agreement with the empirical result is obtained.

  20. Modeling the average shortest-path length in growth of word-adjacency networks.

    PubMed

    Kulig, Andrzej; Drożdż, Stanisław; Kwapień, Jarosław; Oświȩcimka, Paweł

    2015-03-01

    We investigate properties of evolving linguistic networks defined by the word-adjacency relation. Such networks belong to the category of networks with accelerated growth but their shortest-path length appears to reveal the network size dependence of different functional form than the ones known so far. We thus compare the networks created from literary texts with their artificial substitutes based on different variants of the Dorogovtsev-Mendes model and observe that none of them is able to properly simulate the novel asymptotics of the shortest-path length. Then, we identify the local chainlike linear growth induced by grammar and style as a missing element in this model and extend it by incorporating such effects. It is in this way that a satisfactory agreement with the empirical result is obtained. PMID:25871160

  1. The Transcriptional and Gene Regulatory Network of Lactococcus lactis MG1363 during Growth in Milk

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Anne; Hansen, Morten E.; Kuipers, Oscar P.; Kilstrup, Mogens; Kok, Jan

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we examine the changes in the expression of genes of Lactococcus lactis subspecies cremoris MG1363 during growth in milk. To reveal which specific classes of genes (pathways, operons, regulons, COGs) are important, we performed a transcriptome time series experiment. Global analysis of gene expression over time showed that L. lactis adapted quickly to the environmental changes. Using upstream sequences of genes with correlated gene expression profiles, we uncovered a substantial number of putative DNA binding motifs that may be relevant for L. lactis fermentative growth in milk. All available novel and literature-derived data were integrated into network reconstruction building blocks, which were used to reconstruct and visualize the L. lactis gene regulatory network. This network enables easy mining in the chrono-transcriptomics data. A freely available website at http://milkts.molgenrug.nl gives full access to all transcriptome data, to the reconstructed network and to the individual network building blocks. PMID:23349698

  2. Geometric assortative growth model for small-world networks.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yilun

    2014-01-01

    It has been shown that both humanly constructed and natural networks are often characterized by small-world phenomenon and assortative mixing. In this paper, we propose a geometrically growing model for small-world networks. The model displays both tunable small-world phenomenon and tunable assortativity. We obtain analytical solutions of relevant topological properties such as order, size, degree distribution, degree correlation, clustering, transitivity, and diameter. It is also worth noting that the model can be viewed as a generalization for an iterative construction of Farey graphs. PMID:24578661

  3. Technical advance: identification of plant actin-binding proteins by F-actin affinity chromatography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, S.; Brady, S. R.; Kovar, D. R.; Staiger, C. J.; Clark, G. B.; Roux, S. J.; Muday, G. K.

    2000-01-01

    Proteins that interact with the actin cytoskeleton often modulate the dynamics or organization of the cytoskeleton or use the cytoskeleton to control their localization. In plants, very few actin-binding proteins have been identified and most are thought to modulate cytoskeleton function. To identify actin-binding proteins that are unique to plants, the development of new biochemical procedures will be critical. Affinity columns using actin monomers (globular actin, G-actin) or actin filaments (filamentous actin, F-actin) have been used to identify actin-binding proteins from a wide variety of organisms. Monomeric actin from zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) hypocotyl tissue was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and shown to be native and competent for polymerization to actin filaments. G-actin, F-actin and bovine serum albumin affinity columns were prepared and used to separate samples enriched in either soluble or membrane-associated actin-binding proteins. Extracts of soluble actin-binding proteins yield distinct patterns when eluted from the G-actin and F-actin columns, respectively, leading to the identification of a putative F-actin-binding protein of approximately 40 kDa. When plasma membrane-associated proteins were applied to these columns, two abundant polypeptides eluted selectively from the F-actin column and cross-reacted with antiserum against pea annexins. Additionally, a protein that binds auxin transport inhibitors, the naphthylphthalamic acid binding protein, which has been previously suggested to associate with the actin cytoskeleton, was eluted in a single peak from the F-actin column. These experiments provide a new approach that may help to identify novel actin-binding proteins from plants.

  4. Growth states of catalytic reaction networks exhibiting energy metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondo, Yohei; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2011-07-01

    All cells derive nutrition by absorbing some chemical and energy resources from the environment; these resources are used by the cells to reproduce the chemicals within them, which in turn leads to an increase in their volume. In this study we introduce a protocell model exhibiting catalytic reaction dynamics, energy metabolism, and cell growth. Results of extensive simulations of this model show the existence of four phases with regard to the rates of both the influx of resources and cell growth. These phases include an active phase with high influx and high growth rates, an inefficient phase with high influx but low growth rates, a quasistatic phase with low influx and low growth rates, and a death phase with negative growth rate. A mean field model well explains the transition among these phases as bifurcations. The statistical distribution of the active phase is characterized by a power law, and that of the inefficient phase is characterized by a nearly equilibrium distribution. We also discuss the relevance of the results of this study to distinct states in the existing cells.

  5. Growth states of catalytic reaction networks exhibiting energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Yohei; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2011-07-01

    All cells derive nutrition by absorbing some chemical and energy resources from the environment; these resources are used by the cells to reproduce the chemicals within them, which in turn leads to an increase in their volume. In this study we introduce a protocell model exhibiting catalytic reaction dynamics, energy metabolism, and cell growth. Results of extensive simulations of this model show the existence of four phases with regard to the rates of both the influx of resources and cell growth. These phases include an active phase with high influx and high growth rates, an inefficient phase with high influx but low growth rates, a quasistatic phase with low influx and low growth rates, and a death phase with negative growth rate. A mean field model well explains the transition among these phases as bifurcations. The statistical distribution of the active phase is characterized by a power law, and that of the inefficient phase is characterized by a nearly equilibrium distribution. We also discuss the relevance of the results of this study to distinct states in the existing cells. PMID:21867233

  6. A Robust Actin Filaments Image Analysis Framework.

    PubMed

    Alioscha-Perez, Mitchel; Benadiba, Carine; Goossens, Katty; Kasas, Sandor; Dietler, Giovanni; Willaert, Ronnie; Sahli, Hichem

    2016-08-01

    The cytoskeleton is a highly dynamical protein network that plays a central role in numerous cellular physiological processes, and is traditionally divided into three components according to its chemical composition, i.e. actin, tubulin and intermediate filament cytoskeletons. Understanding the cytoskeleton dynamics is of prime importance to unveil mechanisms involved in cell adaptation to any stress type. Fluorescence imaging of cytoskeleton structures allows analyzing the impact of mechanical stimulation in the cytoskeleton, but it also imposes additional challenges in the image processing stage, such as the presence of imaging-related artifacts and heavy blurring introduced by (high-throughput) automated scans. However, although there exists a considerable number of image-based analytical tools to address the image processing and analysis, most of them are unfit to cope with the aforementioned challenges. Filamentous structures in images can be considered as a piecewise composition of quasi-straight segments (at least in some finer or coarser scale). Based on this observation, we propose a three-steps actin filaments extraction methodology: (i) first the input image is decomposed into a 'cartoon' part corresponding to the filament structures in the image, and a noise/texture part, (ii) on the 'cartoon' image, we apply a multi-scale line detector coupled with a (iii) quasi-straight filaments merging algorithm for fiber extraction. The proposed robust actin filaments image analysis framework allows extracting individual filaments in the presence of noise, artifacts and heavy blurring. Moreover, it provides numerous parameters such as filaments orientation, position and length, useful for further analysis. Cell image decomposition is relatively under-exploited in biological images processing, and our study shows the benefits it provides when addressing such tasks. Experimental validation was conducted using publicly available datasets, and in osteoblasts grown in

  7. A Robust Actin Filaments Image Analysis Framework

    PubMed Central

    Alioscha-Perez, Mitchel; Benadiba, Carine; Goossens, Katty; Kasas, Sandor; Dietler, Giovanni; Willaert, Ronnie; Sahli, Hichem

    2016-01-01

    The cytoskeleton is a highly dynamical protein network that plays a central role in numerous cellular physiological processes, and is traditionally divided into three components according to its chemical composition, i.e. actin, tubulin and intermediate filament cytoskeletons. Understanding the cytoskeleton dynamics is of prime importance to unveil mechanisms involved in cell adaptation to any stress type. Fluorescence imaging of cytoskeleton structures allows analyzing the impact of mechanical stimulation in the cytoskeleton, but it also imposes additional challenges in the image processing stage, such as the presence of imaging-related artifacts and heavy blurring introduced by (high-throughput) automated scans. However, although there exists a considerable number of image-based analytical tools to address the image processing and analysis, most of them are unfit to cope with the aforementioned challenges. Filamentous structures in images can be considered as a piecewise composition of quasi-straight segments (at least in some finer or coarser scale). Based on this observation, we propose a three-steps actin filaments extraction methodology: (i) first the input image is decomposed into a ‘cartoon’ part corresponding to the filament structures in the image, and a noise/texture part, (ii) on the ‘cartoon’ image, we apply a multi-scale line detector coupled with a (iii) quasi-straight filaments merging algorithm for fiber extraction. The proposed robust actin filaments image analysis framework allows extracting individual filaments in the presence of noise, artifacts and heavy blurring. Moreover, it provides numerous parameters such as filaments orientation, position and length, useful for further analysis. Cell image decomposition is relatively under-exploited in biological images processing, and our study shows the benefits it provides when addressing such tasks. Experimental validation was conducted using publicly available datasets, and in osteoblasts

  8. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  9. Actin engine in immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Piragyte, Indre; Jun, Chang-Duk

    2012-06-01

    T cell activation and function require physical contact with antigen presenting cells at a specialized junctional structure known as the immunological synapse. Once formed, the immunological synapse leads to sustained T cell receptor-mediated signalling and stabilized adhesion. High resolution microscopy indeed had a great impact in understanding the function and dynamic structure of immunological synapse. Trends of recent research are now moving towards understanding the mechanical part of immune system, expanding our knowledge in mechanosensitivity, force generation, and biophysics of cell-cell interaction. Actin cytoskeleton plays inevitable role in adaptive immune system, allowing it to bear dynamic and precise characteristics at the same time. The regulation of mechanical engine seems very complicated and overlapping, but it enables cells to be very sensitive to external signals such as surface rigidity. In this review, we focus on actin regulators and how immune cells regulate dynamic actin rearrangement process to drive the formation of immunological synapse. PMID:22916042

  10. Synthetic polyamines: new compounds specific to actin dynamics for mammalian cell and fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Riveline, Daniel; Thiagarajan, Raghavan; Lehn, Jean-Marie; Carlier, Marie-France

    2014-01-01

    Actin is a major actor in the determination of cell shape. On the one hand, site-directed assembly/disassembly cycles of actin filaments drive protrusive force leading to lamellipodia and filopodia dynamics. Force produced by actin similarly contributes in membrane scission in endocytosis or Golgi remodeling. On the other hand, cellular processes like adhesion, immune synapse, cortex dynamics or cytokinesis are achieved by combining acto-myosin contractility and actin assembly in a complex and not fully understood manner. New chemical compounds are therefore needed to disentangle acto-myosin and actin dynamics. We have found that synthetic, cell permeant, short polyamines are promising new actin regulators in this context. They generate growth and stabilization of lamellipodia within minutes by slowing down the actin assembly/disassembly cycle and facilitating nucleation. We now report that these polyamines also slow down cytokinetic ring closure in fission yeast. This shows that these synthetic compounds are active also in yeasts, and these experiments specifically highlight that actin depolymerization is involved in the ring closure. Thus, synthetic polyamines appear to be potentially powerful agents in a quantitative approach to the role of actin in complex processes in cell biology, developmental biology and potentially cancer research. PMID:25664996

  11. F-actin distribution and function during sexual development in Eimeria maxima.

    PubMed

    Frölich, Sonja; Wallach, Michael

    2015-06-01

    To determine the involvement of the actin cytoskeleton in macrogametocyte growth and oocyst wall formation, freshly purified macrogametocytes and oocysts were stained with Oregon Green 514 conjugated phalloidin to visualize F-actin microfilaments, while Evans blue staining was used to detect type 1 wall forming bodies (WFB1s) and the outer oocyst wall. The double-labelled parasites were then analysed at various stages of sexual development using three-dimensional confocal microscopy. The results showed F-actin filaments were distributed throughout the entire cytoplasm of mature Eimeria maxima macrogametocytes forming a web-like meshwork of actin filaments linking the type 1 WFBs together into structures resembling 'beads on a string'. At the early stages of oocyst wall formation, F-actin localization changed in alignment with the egg-shaped morphology of the forming oocysts with F-actin microfilaments making direct contact with the WFB1s. In tissue oocysts, the labelled actin cytoskeleton was situated underneath the forming outer layer of the oocyst wall. Treatment of macrogametocytes in vitro with the actin depolymerizing agents, Cytochalasin D and Latrunculin, led to a reduction in the numbers of mature WFB1s in the cytoplasm of the developing macrogametocytes, indicating that the actin plays an important role in WFB1 transport and oocyst wall formation in E. maxima. PMID:25800683

  12. Synthetic polyamines: new compounds specific to actin dynamics for mammalian cell and fission yeast.

    PubMed

    Riveline, Daniel; Thiagarajan, Raghavan; Lehn, Jean-Marie; Carlier, Marie-France

    2014-01-01

    Actin is a major actor in the determination of cell shape. On the one hand, site-directed assembly/disassembly cycles of actin filaments drive protrusive force leading to lamellipodia and filopodia dynamics. Force produced by actin similarly contributes in membrane scission in endocytosis or Golgi remodeling. On the other hand, cellular processes like adhesion, immune synapse, cortex dynamics or cytokinesis are achieved by combining acto-myosin contractility and actin assembly in a complex and not fully understood manner. New chemical compounds are therefore needed to disentangle acto-myosin and actin dynamics. We have found that synthetic, cell permeant, short polyamines are promising new actin regulators in this context. They generate growth and stabilization of lamellipodia within minutes by slowing down the actin assembly/disassembly cycle and facilitating nucleation. We now report that these polyamines also slow down cytokinetic ring closure in fission yeast. This shows that these synthetic compounds are active also in yeasts, and these experiments specifically highlight that actin depolymerization is involved in the ring closure. Thus, synthetic polyamines appear to be potentially powerful agents in a quantitative approach to the role of actin in complex processes in cell biology, developmental biology and potentially cancer research. PMID:25664996

  13. TWISTED DWARF1 Mediates the Action of Auxin Transport Inhibitors on Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jinsheng; Bailly, Aurelien; Zwiewka, Marta; Sovero, Valpuri; Di Donato, Martin; Ge, Pei; Oehri, Jacqueline; Aryal, Bibek; Hao, Pengchao; Linnert, Miriam; Burgardt, Noelia Inés; Lücke, Christian; Weiwad, Matthias; Michel, Max; Weiergräber, Oliver H; Pollmann, Stephan; Azzarello, Elisa; Mancuso, Stefano; Ferro, Noel; Fukao, Yoichiro; Hoffmann, Céline; Wedlich-Söldner, Roland; Friml, Jiří; Thomas, Clément; Geisler, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Plant growth and architecture is regulated by the polar distribution of the hormone auxin. Polarity and flexibility of this process is provided by constant cycling of auxin transporter vesicles along actin filaments, coordinated by a positive auxin-actin feedback loop. Both polar auxin transport and vesicle cycling are inhibited by synthetic auxin transport inhibitors, such as 1-N-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA), counteracting the effect of auxin; however, underlying targets and mechanisms are unclear. Using NMR, we map the NPA binding surface on the Arabidopsis thaliana ABCB chaperone TWISTED DWARF1 (TWD1). We identify ACTIN7 as a relevant, although likely indirect, TWD1 interactor, and show TWD1-dependent regulation of actin filament organization and dynamics and that TWD1 is required for NPA-mediated actin cytoskeleton remodeling. The TWD1-ACTIN7 axis controls plasma membrane presence of efflux transporters, and as a consequence act7 and twd1 share developmental and physiological phenotypes indicative of defects in auxin transport. These can be phenocopied by NPA treatment or by chemical actin (de)stabilization. We provide evidence that TWD1 determines downstream locations of auxin efflux transporters by adjusting actin filament debundling and dynamizing processes and mediating NPA action on the latter. This function appears to be evolutionary conserved since TWD1 expression in budding yeast alters actin polarization and cell polarity and provides NPA sensitivity. PMID:27053424

  14. Profilin-Dependent Nucleation and Assembly of Actin Filaments Controls Cell Elongation in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Lingyan; Blanchoin, Laurent; Staiger, Christopher J.

    2016-01-01

    Actin filaments in plant cells are incredibly dynamic; they undergo incessant remodeling and assembly or disassembly within seconds. These dynamic events are choreographed by a plethora of actin-binding proteins, but the exact mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we dissect the contribution of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) PROFILIN1 (PRF1), a conserved actin monomer-binding protein, to actin organization and single filament dynamics during axial cell expansion of living epidermal cells. We found that reduced PRF1 levels enhanced cell and organ growth. Surprisingly, we observed that the overall frequency of nucleation events in prf1 mutants was dramatically decreased and that a subpopulation of actin filaments that assemble at high rates was reduced. To test whether profilin cooperates with plant formin proteins to execute actin nucleation and rapid filament elongation in cells, we used a pharmacological approach. Here, we used Small Molecule Inhibitor of Formin FH2 (SMIFH2), after validating its mode of action on a plant formin in vitro, and observed a reduced nucleation frequency of actin filaments in live cells. Treatment of wild-type epidermal cells with SMIFH2 mimicked the phenotype of prf1 mutants, and the nucleation frequency in prf1-2 mutant was completely insensitive to these treatments. Our data provide compelling evidence that PRF1 coordinates the stochastic dynamic properties of actin filaments by modulating formin-mediated actin nucleation and assembly during plant cell expansion. PMID:26574597

  15. Actin polymerization is stimulated by actin cross-linking protein palladin.

    PubMed

    Gurung, Ritu; Yadav, Rahul; Brungardt, Joseph G; Orlova, Albina; Egelman, Edward H; Beck, Moriah R

    2016-02-15

    The actin scaffold protein palladin regulates both normal cell migration and invasive cell motility, processes that require the co-ordinated regulation of actin dynamics. However, the potential effect of palladin on actin dynamics has remained elusive. In the present study, we show that the actin-binding immunoglobulin-like domain of palladin, which is directly responsible for both actin binding and bundling, also stimulates actin polymerization in vitro. Palladin eliminated the lag phase that is characteristic of the slow nucleation step of actin polymerization. Furthermore, palladin dramatically reduced depolymerization, slightly enhanced the elongation rate, and did not alter the critical concentration. Microscopy and in vitro cross-linking assays reveal differences in actin bundle architecture when palladin is incubated with actin before or after polymerization. These results suggest a model whereby palladin stimulates a polymerization-competent form of globular or monomeric actin (G-actin), akin to metal ions, either through charge neutralization or through conformational changes. PMID:26607837

  16. Interactions between the yeast SM22 homologue Scp1 and actin demonstrate the importance of actin bundling in endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Gheorghe, Dana M; Aghamohammadzadeh, Soheil; Smaczynska-de Rooij, Iwona I; Allwood, Ellen G; Winder, Steve J; Ayscough, Kathryn R

    2008-05-30

    The yeast SM22 homologue Scp1 has previously been shown to act as an actin-bundling protein in vitro. In cells, Scp1 localizes to the cortical actin patches that form as part of the invagination process during endocytosis, and its function overlaps with that of the well characterized yeast fimbrin homologue Sac6p. In this work we have used live cell imaging to demonstrate the importance of key residues in the Scp1 actin interface. We have defined two actin binding domains within Scp1 that allow the protein to both bind and bundle actin without the need for dimerization. Green fluorescent protein-tagged mutants of Scp1 also indicate that actin localization does not require the putative phosphorylation site Ser-185 to be functional. Deletion of SCP1 has few discernable effects on cell growth and morphology. However, we reveal that scp1 deletion is compensated for by up-regulation of Sac6. Furthermore, Scp1 levels are increased in the absence of sac6. The presence of compensatory pathways to up-regulate Sac6 or Scp1 levels in the absence of the other suggest that maintenance of sufficient bundling activity is critical within the cell. Analysis of cortical patch assembly and movement during endocytosis reveals a previously undetected role for Scp1 in movement of patches away from the plasma membrane. Additionally, we observe a dramatic increase in patch lifetime in a strain lacking both sac6 and scp1, demonstrating the central role played by actin-bundling proteins in the endocytic process. PMID:18400761

  17. Differential regulation of actin microfilaments by human MICAL proteins

    PubMed Central

    Giridharan, Sai Srinivas Panapakkam; Rohn, Jennifer L.; Naslavsky, Naava; Caplan, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The Drosophila melanogaster MICAL protein is essential for the neuronal growth cone machinery that functions through plexin- and semaphorin-mediated axonal signaling. Drosophila MICAL is also involved in regulating myofilament organization and synaptic structures, and serves as an actin disassembly factor downstream of plexin-mediated axonal repulsion. In mammalian cells there are three known isoforms, MICAL1, MICAL2 and MICAL3, as well as the MICAL-like proteins MICAL-L1 and MICAL-L2, but little is known of their function, and information comes almost exclusively from neural cells. In this study we show that in non-neural cells human MICALs are required for normal actin organization, and all three MICALs regulate actin stress fibers. Moreover, we provide evidence that the generation of reactive oxygen species by MICAL proteins is crucial for their actin-regulatory function. However, although MICAL1 is auto-inhibited by its C-terminal coiled-coil region, MICAL2 remains constitutively active and affects stress fibers. These data suggest differential but complementary roles for MICAL1 and MICAL2 in actin microfilament regulation. PMID:22331357

  18. Cortactin promotes exosome secretion by controlling branched actin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Seema; Hoshino, Daisuke; Hong, Nan Hyung; Kirkbride, Kellye C; Grega-Larson, Nathan E; Seiki, Motoharu; Tyska, Matthew J; Weaver, Alissa M

    2016-07-18

    Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that influence cellular behavior and enhance cancer aggressiveness by carrying bioactive molecules. The mechanisms that regulate exosome secretion are poorly understood. Here, we show that the actin cytoskeletal regulatory protein cortactin promotes exosome secretion. Knockdown or overexpression of cortactin in cancer cells leads to a respective decrease or increase in exosome secretion, without altering exosome cargo content. Live-cell imaging revealed that cortactin controls both trafficking and plasma membrane docking of multivesicular late endosomes (MVEs). Regulation of exosome secretion by cortactin requires binding to the branched actin nucleating Arp2/3 complex and to actin filaments. Furthermore, cortactin, Rab27a, and coronin 1b coordinately control stability of cortical actin MVE docking sites and exosome secretion. Functionally, the addition of purified exosomes to cortactin-knockdown cells rescued defects of those cells in serum-independent growth and invasion. These data suggest a model in which cortactin promotes exosome secretion by stabilizing cortical actin-rich MVE docking sites. PMID:27402952

  19. MICAL-Family Proteins: Complex Regulators of the Actin Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Giridharan, Sai Srinivas Panapakkam

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: The molecules interacting with CasL (MICAL) family members participate in a multitude of activities, including axonal growth cone repulsion, membrane trafficking, apoptosis, and bristle development in flies. An interesting feature of MICAL proteins is the presence of an N-terminal flavo-mono-oxygenase domain. This mono-oxygenase domain generates redox potential with which MICALs can either oxidize proteins or produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). Actin is one such protein that is affected by MICAL function, leading to dramatic cytoskeletal rearrangements. This review describes the MICAL-family members, and discusses their mechanisms of actin-binding and regulation of actin cytoskeleton organization. Recent Advances: Recent studies show that MICALs directly induce oxidation of actin molecules, leading to actin depolymerization. ROS production by MICALs also causes oxidation of collapsin response mediator protein-2, a microtubule assembly promoter, which subsequently undergoes phosphorylation. Critical Issues: MICAL proteins oxidize proteins through two mechanisms: either directly by oxidizing methionine residues or indirectly via the production of ROS. It remains unclear whether MICAL proteins employ both mechanisms or whether the activity of MICAL-family proteins might vary with different substrates. Future Directions: The identification of additional substrates oxidized by MICAL will shed new light on MICAL protein function. Additional directions include expanding studies toward the MICAL-like homologs that lack flavin adenine dinucleotide domains and oxidation activity. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 2059–2073. PMID:23834433

  20. Nonlinear elasticity of cross-linked networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Caillerie, Denis; Peyla, Philippe; Raoult, Annie; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2013-04-01

    Cross-linked semiflexible polymer networks are omnipresent in living cells. Typical examples are actin networks in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, which play an essential role in cell motility, and the spectrin network, a key element in maintaining the integrity of erythrocytes in the blood circulatory system. We introduce a simple mechanical network model at the length scale of the typical mesh size and derive a continuous constitutive law relating the stress to deformation. The continuous constitutive law is found to be generically nonlinear even if the microscopic law at the scale of the mesh size is linear. The nonlinear bulk mechanical properties are in good agreement with the experimental data for semiflexible polymer networks, i.e., the network stiffens and exhibits a negative normal stress in response to a volume-conserving shear deformation, whereby the normal stress is of the same order as the shear stress. Furthermore, it shows a strain localization behavior in response to an uniaxial compression. Within the same model we find a hierarchy of constitutive laws depending on the degree of nonlinearities retained in the final equation. The presented theory provides a basis for the continuum description of polymer networks such as actin or spectrin in complex geometries and it can be easily coupled to growth problems, as they occur, for example, in modeling actin-driven motility.

  1. What the geometry of a river network says about its growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devauchelle, Olivier; Cohen, Yossi; Seybold, Hansjoerg F.; Yi, Robert S.; Szymczak, Piotr; Rothman, Daniel H.

    2014-11-01

    The growth of a river network is governed by the flow of rainwater towards it. When the streams drain groundwater, this flow conforms to a harmonic field, thus turning the network growth into an analogue of Saffman-Taylor fingering and diffusion-limited aggregation. A theoretical description of this process should specify (i) how fast a river grows, (ii) in which direction and (iii) when it bifurcates. Simple physical reasoning suggests that a river grows along the groundwater flow lines (geodesic growth). In a harmonic field, this hypothesis sets the branching angle of the network to 72°, regardless of the other growth rules. This geometrical property appears unambiguously in nature. Inspired by fracture mechanics, we reformulate the geodesic growth in terms of local symmetry: as it cuts into the landscape, a river maintains a symmetric groundwater flow around its tip. Based on this principle, we reconstruct the history of the network by growing it backwards from its present geometry. We then use this history to infer the network's dynamics.

  2. Force Transmission in the Actin Cytoskeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret

    2012-02-01

    The ability of cells to sense and generate mechanical forces is essential to numerous aspects of their physiology, including adhesion, migration, division and differentiation. To a large degree, cellular tension is regulated by the transmission of myosin II-generated forces through the filamentous actin (F-actin) cytoskeleton. While transmission of myosin-generated stresses from the molecular to cellular length scale is well understood in the context of highly organized sarcomeres found in striated muscle, non-muscle and smooth muscle cells contain a wide variety of bundles and networks lacking sarcomeric organization. I will describe the in vitro and in vivo approaches we use to study force transmission in such disordered actomyosin assemblies. Our in vivo results are showing that highly organized stress fibers contribute surprisingly little to the overall extent of cellular tension as compared to disordered actomyosin meshworks. Our in vitro results are demonstrating the mechanisms of symmetry breaking in disordered actomyosin bundles that facilitate the formation of contractile bundles with well-defined ``contractile elements.'' These results provide insight into the self-organization of actomyosin cytoskeleton in non-muscle cells that regulate and maintain cellular tension.

  3. Inhibition of microbial growth by carbon nanotube networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olivi, Massimiliano; Zanni, Elena; de Bellis, Giovanni; Talora, Claudio; Sarto, Maria Sabrina; Palleschi, Claudio; Flahaut, Emmanuel; Monthioux, Marc; Rapino, Stefania; Uccelletti, Daniela; Fiorito, Silvana

    2013-09-01

    In the last years carbon nanotubes have attracted increasing attention for their potential applications in the biomedical field as diagnostic and therapeutic nano tools. Here we investigate the antimicrobial activity of different fully characterized carbon nanotube types (single walled, double walled and multi walled) on representative pathogen species: Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the opportunistic fungus Candida albicans. Our results show that all the carbon nanotube types possess a highly significant antimicrobial capacity, even though they have a colony forming unit capacity and induction of oxidative stress in all the microbial species to a different extent. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed that the microbial cells were wrapped or entrapped by carbon nanotube networks. Our data taken together suggest that the reduced capacity of microbial cells to forming colonies and their oxidative response could be related to the cellular stress induced by the interactions of pathogens with the CNT network.

  4. Polymer dynamics and fluid flow in actin-based cell motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theriot, Julie

    2005-03-01

    In living cells, nonequilibrium protein polymerization reactions are frequently used to convert chemical energy into mechanical energy and thereby generate useful force for cellular movements. We have examined the polymer and fluid dynamics in two biological cases where the assembly of branched actin filament networks generates force: the intracellular movement of the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, and the extension of the leading edge of skin epithelial cells during wound-healing. In both cases, net actin filament assembly occurs at the front of the network structure and net disassembly occurs at the rear. Actin protein subunits and other network components must be recycled through the fluid phase to the front of the polymerizing network in order for forward movement to continue at steady state. For actin-based movement of Listeria monocytogenes, we have found that actin recycling is not rate-limiting; instead, the speed of movement is governed by the cooperative dissociation of groups of noncovalent protein-protein bonds attaching the filamentous network to the bacterial surface. In contrast, rapid actin-based extension at the leading edge of moving epithelial cells is associated with unusual perturbations in intracellular fluid flow.

  5. The Actin Nucleator Cobl Is Controlled by Calcium and Calmodulin

    PubMed Central

    Haag, Natja; Kessels, Michael M.; Qualmann, Britta

    2015-01-01

    Actin nucleation triggers the formation of new actin filaments and has the power to shape cells but requires tight control in order to bring about proper morphologies. The regulation of the members of the novel class of WASP Homology 2 (WH2) domain-based actin nucleators, however, thus far has largely remained elusive. Our study reveals signal cascades and mechanisms regulating Cordon-Bleu (Cobl). Cobl plays some, albeit not fully understood, role in early arborization of neurons and nucleates actin by a mechanism that requires a combination of all three of its actin monomer–binding WH2 domains. Our experiments reveal that Cobl is regulated by Ca2+ and multiple, direct associations of the Ca2+ sensor Calmodulin (CaM). Overexpression analyses and rescue experiments of Cobl loss-of-function phenotypes with Cobl mutants in primary neurons and in tissue slices demonstrated the importance of CaM binding for Cobl’s functions. Cobl-induced dendritic branch initiation was preceded by Ca2+ signals and coincided with local F-actin and CaM accumulations. CaM inhibitor studies showed that Cobl-mediated branching is strictly dependent on CaM activity. Mechanistic studies revealed that Ca2+/CaM modulates Cobl’s actin binding properties and furthermore promotes Cobl’s previously identified interactions with the membrane-shaping F-BAR protein syndapin I, which accumulated with Cobl at nascent dendritic protrusion sites. The findings of our study demonstrate a direct regulation of an actin nucleator by Ca2+/CaM and reveal that the Ca2+/CaM-controlled molecular mechanisms we discovered are crucial for Cobl’s cellular functions. By unveiling the means of Cobl regulation and the mechanisms, by which Ca2+/CaM signals directly converge on a cellular effector promoting actin filament formation, our work furthermore sheds light on how local Ca2+ signals steer and power branch initiation during early arborization of nerve cells—a key process in neuronal network formation. PMID

  6. Verprolin function in endocytosis and actin organization. Roles of the Las17p (yeast WASP)-binding domain and a novel C-terminal actin-binding domain.

    PubMed

    Thanabalu, Thirumaran; Rajmohan, Rajamuthiah; Meng, Lei; Ren, Gang; Vajjhala, Parimala R; Munn, Alan L

    2007-08-01

    Vrp1p (verprolin, End5p) is the yeast ortholog of human Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)-interacting protein (WIP). Vrp1p localizes to the cortical actin cytoskeleton, is necessary for its polarization to sites of growth and is also essential for endocytosis. At elevated temperature, Vrp1p becomes essential for growth. A C-terminal Vrp1p fragment (C-Vrp1p) retains the ability to localize to the cortical actin cytoskeleton and function in actin-cytoskeleton polarization, endocytosis and growth. Here, we demonstrate that two submodules in C-Vrp1p are required for actin-cytoskeleton polarization: a novel C-terminal actin-binding submodule (CABS) that contains a novel G-actin-binding domain, which we call a verprolin homology 2 C-terminal (VH2-C) domain; and a second submodule comprising the Las17p-binding domain (LBD) that binds Las17p (yeast WASP). The LBD localizes C-Vrp1p to membranes and the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Intriguingly, the LBD is sufficient to restore endocytosis and growth at elevated temperature to Vrp1p-deficient cells. The CABS also restores these functions, but only if modified by a lipid anchor to provide membrane association. Our findings highlight the role of Las17p binding for Vrp1p membrane association, suggest general membrane association may be more important than specific targeting to the cortical actin cytoskeleton for Vrp1p function in endocytosis and cell growth, and suggest that Vrp1p binding to individual effectors may alter their physiological activity. PMID:17635585

  7. Self-organized Gels in DNA/F-Actin mixtures without Crosslinkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, John; Hwee Lai, Ghee; Zribi, Olena; Smalyukh, Ivan; Angelini, Thomas; Purdy, Kirstin; Golestanian, Ramin; Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2009-03-01

    Interactions between flexible chains and rigid rods govern a broad range of soft matter systems. As a model system of like-charged rigid rods and flexible chains, we examine mixtures of DNA and filamentous actin (F-actin). Confocal microscopy reveals the formation of elongated nematic F-actin domains reticulated via defect-free vertices into a network embedded in a mesh of random DNA. Synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) indicates that the DNA mesh squeezes the F-actin domains into a nematic state with an inter-actin spacing that decreases with increasing DNA concentration. Salt strongly influences the domain sizes and transitions the system from a counterion-controlled regime to a depletion-controlled regime, both mechanisms of which are entropic in origin.

  8. Rapid Glucose Depletion Immobilizes Active Myosin-V on Stabilized Actin Cables

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Li; Bretscher, Anthony

    2014-01-01

    Summary Polarization of eukaryotic cells requires organelles and protein complexes to be transported to their proper destinations along the cytoskeleton [1]. When nutrients are abundant, budding yeast grows rapidly transporting secretory vesicles for localized growth and actively segregating organelles [2, 3]. This is mediated by myosin-Vs transporting cargos along F-actin bundles known as actin cables [4]. Actin cables are dynamic structures regulated by assembly, stabilization and disassembly [5]. Polarized growth and actin filament dynamics consume energy. For most organisms, glucose is the preferred energy source and generally represses alternative carbon source usage [6]. Thus upon abrupt glucose depletion, yeast shuts down pathways consuming large amounts of energy, including the vacuolar-ATPase [7, 8], translation [9] and phosphoinositide metabolism [10]. Here we show that glucose withdrawal rapidly (<1 min) depletes ATP levels and the yeast myosin V, Myo2, responds by relocalizing to actin cables, making it the fastest response documented. Myo2 immobilized on cables releases its secretory cargo, defining a new rigor-like state of a myosin-V in vivo. Only actively transporting Myo2 can be converted to the rigor-like state. Glucose depletion has differential effects on the actin cytoskeleton resulting in disassembly of actin patches with concomitant inhibition of endocytosis, and strong stabilization of actin cables, thereby revealing a selective and previously unappreciated ATP requirement for actin cable disassembly. A similar response is seen in HeLa cells to ATP depletion. These findings reveal a new fast-acting energy conservation strategy halting growth by immobilizing myosin-V in a newly described state on selectively stabilized actin cables. PMID:25308080

  9. Association of actin with alpha crystallins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gopalakrishnan, S.; Boyle, D.; Takemoto, L.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    The alpha crystallins are cytosolic proteins that co-localize and co-purify with actin-containing microfilaments. Affinity column chromatography employing both covalently-coupled actin or alpha crystallin was used to demonstrate specific and saturable binding of actin with alpha crystallin. This conclusion was confirmed by direct visualization of alpha aggregates bound to actin polymerized in vitro. The significance of this interaction in relation to the functional properties of these two polypeptides will be discussed.

  10. An actin cytoskeleton with evolutionarily conserved functions in the absence of canonical actin-binding proteins

    PubMed Central

    Paredez, Alexander R.; Assaf, Zoe June; Sept, David; Timofejeva, Ljudmilla; Dawson, Scott C.; Wang, Chung-Ju Rachel; Cande, W. Z.

    2011-01-01

    Giardia intestinalis, a human intestinal parasite and member of what is perhaps the earliest-diverging eukaryotic lineage, contains the most divergent eukaryotic actin identified to date and is the first eukaryote known to lack all canonical actin-binding proteins (ABPs). We sought to investigate the properties and functions of the actin cytoskeleton in Giardia to determine whether Giardia actin (giActin) has reduced or conserved roles in core cellular processes. In vitro polymerization of giActin produced filaments, indicating that this divergent actin is a true filament-forming actin. We generated an anti-giActin antibody to localize giActin throughout the cell cycle. GiActin localized to the cortex, nuclei, internal axonemes, and formed C-shaped filaments along the anterior of the cell and a flagella-bundling helix. These structures were regulated with the cell cycle and in encysting cells giActin was recruited to the Golgi-like cyst wall processing vesicles. Knockdown of giActin demonstrated that giActin functions in cell morphogenesis, membrane trafficking, and cytokinesis. Additionally, Giardia contains a single G protein, giRac, which affects the Giardia actin cytoskeleton independently of known target ABPs. These results imply that there exist ancestral and perhaps conserved roles for actin in core cellular processes that are independent of canonical ABPs. Of medical significance, the divergent giActin cytoskeleton is essential and commonly used actin-disrupting drugs do not depolymerize giActin structures. Therefore, the giActin cytoskeleton is a promising drug target for treating giardiasis, as we predict drugs that interfere with the Giardia actin cytoskeleton will not affect the mammalian host. PMID:21444821

  11. Understanding the Scalability of Bayesian Network Inference Using Clique Tree Growth Curves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mengshoel, Ole J.

    2010-01-01

    One of the main approaches to performing computation in Bayesian networks (BNs) is clique tree clustering and propagation. The clique tree approach consists of propagation in a clique tree compiled from a Bayesian network, and while it was introduced in the 1980s, there is still a lack of understanding of how clique tree computation time depends on variations in BN size and structure. In this article, we improve this understanding by developing an approach to characterizing clique tree growth as a function of parameters that can be computed in polynomial time from BNs, specifically: (i) the ratio of the number of a BN s non-root nodes to the number of root nodes, and (ii) the expected number of moral edges in their moral graphs. Analytically, we partition the set of cliques in a clique tree into different sets, and introduce a growth curve for the total size of each set. For the special case of bipartite BNs, there are two sets and two growth curves, a mixed clique growth curve and a root clique growth curve. In experiments, where random bipartite BNs generated using the BPART algorithm are studied, we systematically increase the out-degree of the root nodes in bipartite Bayesian networks, by increasing the number of leaf nodes. Surprisingly, root clique growth is well-approximated by Gompertz growth curves, an S-shaped family of curves that has previously been used to describe growth processes in biology, medicine, and neuroscience. We believe that this research improves the understanding of the scaling behavior of clique tree clustering for a certain class of Bayesian networks; presents an aid for trade-off studies of clique tree clustering using growth curves; and ultimately provides a foundation for benchmarking and developing improved BN inference and machine learning algorithms.

  12. An integrated network of Arabidopsis growth regulators and its use for gene prioritization

    PubMed Central

    Sabaghian, Ehsan; Drebert, Zuzanna; Inzé, Dirk; Saeys, Yvan

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that govern plant growth has been an important topic in plant research, and current advances in large-scale data generation call for computational tools that efficiently combine these different data sources to generate novel hypotheses. In this work, we present a novel, integrated network that combines multiple large-scale data sources to characterize growth regulatory genes in Arabidopsis, one of the main plant model organisms. The contributions of this work are twofold: first, we characterized a set of carefully selected growth regulators with respect to their connectivity patterns in the integrated network, and, subsequently, we explored to which extent these connectivity patterns can be used to suggest new growth regulators. Using a large-scale comparative study, we designed new supervised machine learning methods to prioritize growth regulators. Our results show that these methods significantly improve current state-of-the-art prioritization techniques, and are able to suggest meaningful new growth regulators. In addition, the integrated network is made available to the scientific community, providing a rich data source that will be useful for many biological processes, not necessarily restricted to plant growth. PMID:26620795

  13. Myosin-Va and dynamic actin oppose microtubules to drive long-range organelle transport.

    PubMed

    Evans, Richard D; Robinson, Christopher; Briggs, Deborah A; Tooth, David J; Ramalho, Jose S; Cantero, Marta; Montoliu, Lluis; Patel, Shyamal; Sviderskaya, Elena V; Hume, Alistair N

    2014-08-01

    In animal cells, microtubule and actin tracks and their associated motors (dynein, kinesin, and myosin) are thought to regulate long- and short-range transport, respectively. Consistent with this, microtubules extend from the perinuclear centrosome to the plasma membrane and allow bidirectional cargo transport over long distances (>1 μm). In contrast, actin often comprises a complex network of short randomly oriented filaments, suggesting that myosin motors move cargo short distances. These observations underpin the "highways and local roads" model for transport along microtubule and actin tracks. The "cooperative capture" model exemplifies this view and suggests that melanosome distribution in melanocyte dendrites is maintained by long-range transport on microtubules followed by actin/myosin-Va-dependent tethering. In this study, we used cell normalization technology to quantitatively examine the contribution of microtubules and actin/myosin-Va to organelle distribution in melanocytes. Surprisingly, our results indicate that microtubules are essential for centripetal, but not centrifugal, transport. Instead, we find that microtubules retard a centrifugal transport process that is dependent on myosin-Va and a population of dynamic F-actin. Functional analysis of mutant proteins indicates that myosin-Va works as a transporter dispersing melanosomes along actin tracks whose +/barbed ends are oriented toward the plasma membrane. Overall, our data highlight the role of myosin-Va and actin in transport, and not tethering, and suggest a new model in which organelle distribution is determined by the balance between microtubule-dependent centripetal and myosin-Va/actin-dependent centrifugal transport. These observations appear to be consistent with evidence coming from other systems showing that actin/myosin networks can drive long-distance organelle transport and positioning. PMID:25065759

  14. Yersinia effector YopO uses actin as bait to phosphorylate proteins that regulate actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wei Lin; Grimes, Jonathan M; Robinson, Robert C

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenic Yersinia species evade host immune systems through the injection of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into phagocytic cells. One Yop, YopO, also known as YpkA, induces actin-filament disruption, impairing phagocytosis. Here we describe the X-ray structure of Yersinia enterocolitica YopO in complex with actin, which reveals that YopO binds to an actin monomer in a manner that blocks polymerization yet allows the bound actin to interact with host actin-regulating proteins. SILAC-MS and biochemical analyses confirm that actin-polymerization regulators such as VASP, EVL, WASP, gelsolin and the formin diaphanous 1 are directly sequestered and phosphorylated by YopO through formation of ternary complexes with actin. This leads to a model in which YopO at the membrane sequesters actin from polymerization while using the bound actin as bait to recruit, phosphorylate and misregulate host actin-regulating proteins to disrupt phagocytosis. PMID:25664724

  15. The catalytic domain of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase-a contributes to ITPKA-induced modulation of F-actin.

    PubMed

    Ashour, Dina Julia; Pelka, Benjamin; Jaaks, Patricia; Wundenberg, Torsten; Blechner, Christine; Zobiak, Bernd; Failla, Antonio Virgilio; Windhorst, Sabine

    2015-02-01

    Inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate-3-kinase-A (ITPKA) has been considered as an actin bundling protein because its N-terminal actin binding domain (ABD) induces formation of linear actin bundles. Since in many cancer cell lines ITPKA is essential for formation of lamellipodia, which consist of cross-linked actin filaments, here we analyzed if full length-ITPKA may induce formation of more complex actin structures. Indeed, we found that incubation of F-actin with ITPKA resulted in formation of dense, branched actin networks. Based on our result that ITPKA does not exhibit an additional C-terminal ABD, we exclude that ITPKA cross-links actin filaments by simultaneous F-actin binding with two different ABDs. Instead, stimulated-emission-depletion-microscopy and measurement of InsP3 Kinase activity give evidence that that N-terminal ABD-homodimers of ITPKA bind to F-actin while the monomeric C-termini insert between adjacent actin filaments. Thereby, they prevent formation of thick actin bundles but induce formation of thin branched actin structures. Interestingly, when embedded in this dense actin network, InsP3 Kinase activity is doubled and the product of InsP3 Kinase activity, Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 , inhibits spontaneous actin polymerization which may reflect a local negative feedback regulation of InsP3 Kinase activity. In conclusion, we demonstrate that not only the ABD of ITPKA modulates actin dynamics but reveal that the InsP3 Kinase domain substantially contributes to this process. PMID:25620569

  16. Network growth with preferential attachment for high indegree and low outdegree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sevim, Volkan; Rikvold, Per Arne

    2008-04-01

    We study the growth of a directed transportation network, such as a food web, in which links carry resources. We propose a growth process in which new nodes (or species) preferentially attach to existing nodes with high indegree (in food-web language, number of prey) and low outdegree (or number of predators). This scheme, which we call inverse preferential attachment, is intended to maximize the amount of resources available to each new node. We show that the outdegree (predator) distribution decays at least exponentially fast for large outdegree and is continuously tunable between an exponential distribution and a delta function. The indegree (prey) distribution is poissonian in the large-network limit.

  17. The Rationality of Four Metrics of Network Robustness: A Viewpoint of Robust Growth of Generalized Meshes

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaofan; Zhu, Yuanrui; Hong, Jing; Yang, Lu-Xing; Wu, Yingbo; Tang, Yuan Yan

    2016-01-01

    There are quite a number of different metrics of network robustness. This paper addresses the rationality of four metrics of network robustness (the algebraic connectivity, the effective resistance, the average edge betweenness, and the efficiency) by investigating the robust growth of generalized meshes (GMs). First, a heuristic growth algorithm (the Proximity-Growth algorithm) is proposed. The resulting proximity-optimal GMs are intuitively robust and hence are adopted as the benchmark. Then, a generalized mesh (GM) is grown up by stepwise optimizing a given measure of network robustness. The following findings are presented: (1) The algebraic connectivity-optimal GMs deviate quickly from the proximity-optimal GMs, yielding a number of less robust GMs. This hints that the rationality of the algebraic connectivity as a measure of network robustness is still in doubt. (2) The effective resistace-optimal GMs and the average edge betweenness-optimal GMs are in line with the proximity-optimal GMs. This partly justifies the two quantities as metrics of network robustness. (3) The efficiency-optimal GMs deviate gradually from the proximity-optimal GMs, yielding some less robust GMs. This suggests the limited utility of the efficiency as a measure of network robustness. PMID:27518448

  18. Ecological Network Analysis for Economic Systems: Growth and Development and Implications for Sustainable Development

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jiali; Ulanowicz, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    The quantification of growth and development is an important issue in economics, because these phenomena are closely related to sustainability. We address growth and development from a network perspective in which economic systems are represented as flow networks and analyzed using ecological network analysis (ENA). The Beijing economic system is used as a case study and 11 input–output (I-O) tables for 1985–2010 are converted into currency networks. ENA is used to calculate system-level indices to quantify the growth and development of Beijing. The contributions of each direct flow toward growth and development in 2010 are calculated and their implications for sustainable development are discussed. The results show that during 1985–2010, growth was the main attribute of the Beijing economic system. Although the system grew exponentially, its development fluctuated within only a small range. The results suggest that system ascendency should be increased in order to favor more sustainable development. Ascendency can be augmented in two ways: (1) strengthen those pathways with positive contributions to increasing ascendency and (2) weaken those with negative effects. PMID:24979465

  19. Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase-Associated Protein (PI3KAP)/XB130 Crosslinks Actin Filaments through Its Actin Binding and Multimerization Properties In Vitro and Enhances Endocytosis in HEK293 Cells.

    PubMed

    Yamanaka, Daisuke; Akama, Takeshi; Chida, Kazuhiro; Minami, Shiro; Ito, Koichi; Hakuno, Fumihiko; Takahashi, Shin-Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Actin-crosslinking proteins control actin filament networks and bundles and contribute to various cellular functions including regulation of cell migration, cell morphology, and endocytosis. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-associated protein (PI3KAP)/XB130 has been reported to be localized to actin filaments (F-actin) and required for cell migration in thyroid carcinoma cells. Here, we show a role for PI3KAP/XB130 as an actin-crosslinking protein. First, we found that the carboxyl terminal region of PI3KAP/XB130 containing amino acid residues 830-840 was required and sufficient for localization to F-actin in NIH3T3 cells, and this region is directly bound to F-actin in vitro. Moreover, actin-crosslinking assay revealed that recombinant PI3KAP/XB130 crosslinked F-actin. In general, actin-crosslinking proteins often multimerize to assemble multiple actin-binding sites. We then investigated whether PI3KAP/XB130 could form a multimer. Blue native-PAGE analysis showed that recombinant PI3KAP/XB130 was detected at 250-1200 kDa although the molecular mass was approximately 125 kDa, suggesting that PI3KAP/XB130 formed multimers. Furthermore, we found that the amino terminal 40 amino acids were required for this multimerization by co-immunoprecipitation assay in HEK293T cells. Deletion mutants of PI3KAP/XB130 lacking the actin-binding region or the multimerizing region did not crosslink actin filaments, indicating that actin binding and multimerization of PI3KAP/XB130 were necessary to crosslink F-actin. Finally, we examined roles of PI3KAP/XB130 on endocytosis, an actin-related biological process. Overexpression of PI3KAP/XB130 enhanced dextran uptake in HEK 293 cells. However, most of the cells transfected with the deletion mutant lacking the actin-binding region incorporated dextran to a similar extent as control cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PI3KAP/XB130 crosslinks F-actin through both its actin-binding region and multimerizing region and plays

  20. Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase-Associated Protein (PI3KAP)/XB130 Crosslinks Actin Filaments through Its Actin Binding and Multimerization Properties In Vitro and Enhances Endocytosis in HEK293 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yamanaka, Daisuke; Akama, Takeshi; Chida, Kazuhiro; Minami, Shiro; Ito, Koichi; Hakuno, Fumihiko; Takahashi, Shin-Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Actin-crosslinking proteins control actin filament networks and bundles and contribute to various cellular functions including regulation of cell migration, cell morphology, and endocytosis. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-associated protein (PI3KAP)/XB130 has been reported to be localized to actin filaments (F-actin) and required for cell migration in thyroid carcinoma cells. Here, we show a role for PI3KAP/XB130 as an actin-crosslinking protein. First, we found that the carboxyl terminal region of PI3KAP/XB130 containing amino acid residues 830–840 was required and sufficient for localization to F-actin in NIH3T3 cells, and this region is directly bound to F-actin in vitro. Moreover, actin-crosslinking assay revealed that recombinant PI3KAP/XB130 crosslinked F-actin. In general, actin-crosslinking proteins often multimerize to assemble multiple actin-binding sites. We then investigated whether PI3KAP/XB130 could form a multimer. Blue native-PAGE analysis showed that recombinant PI3KAP/XB130 was detected at 250–1200 kDa although the molecular mass was approximately 125 kDa, suggesting that PI3KAP/XB130 formed multimers. Furthermore, we found that the amino terminal 40 amino acids were required for this multimerization by co-immunoprecipitation assay in HEK293T cells. Deletion mutants of PI3KAP/XB130 lacking the actin-binding region or the multimerizing region did not crosslink actin filaments, indicating that actin binding and multimerization of PI3KAP/XB130 were necessary to crosslink F-actin. Finally, we examined roles of PI3KAP/XB130 on endocytosis, an actin-related biological process. Overexpression of PI3KAP/XB130 enhanced dextran uptake in HEK 293 cells. However, most of the cells transfected with the deletion mutant lacking the actin-binding region incorporated dextran to a similar extent as control cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PI3KAP/XB130 crosslinks F-actin through both its actin-binding region and multimerizing region and

  1. Pore-network study of bubble growth in porous media driven by heat transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Satik, C.; Yortsos, Y.C.

    1996-05-01

    We present experimental and theoretical investigations of vapor phase growth in pore-network models of porous media. Visualization experiments of boiling of ethyl alcohol in horizontal etched-glass micromodels were conducted. The vapor phase was observed to grow into a disordered pattern following a sequence of pressurization and pore-filling steps. At sufficiently small cluster sizes, growth occurred `one pore at a time,` leading to invasion percolation patterns. Single-bubble (cluster) growth was next simulated with a pore-network simulator that includes heat transfer (convection and conduction), and capillary and viscous forces, although not gravity. A boundary in the parameter space was delineated that separates patterns of growth dictated solely by capillarity (invasion percolation) from other patterns. The region of validity of invasion percolation was found to decrease as the supersaturation (heat flux), the capillary number, the thermal diffusivity, and the vapor cluster size increase. Implications to continuum models are discussed. 33 refs., 9 figs.

  2. Site-specific cation release drives actin filament severing by vertebrate cofilin

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hyeran; Bradley, Michael J.; Cao, Wenxiang; Zhou, Kaifeng; Grintsevich, Elena E.; Michelot, Alphée; Sindelar, Charles V.; Hochstrasser, Mark; De La Cruz, Enrique M.

    2014-01-01

    Actin polymerization powers the directed motility of eukaryotic cells. Sustained motility requires rapid filament turnover and subunit recycling. The essential regulatory protein cofilin accelerates network remodeling by severing actin filaments and increasing the concentration of ends available for elongation and subunit exchange. Although cofilin effects on actin filament assembly dynamics have been extensively studied, the molecular mechanism of cofilin-induced filament severing is not understood. Here we demonstrate that actin filament severing by vertebrate cofilin is driven by the linked dissociation of a single cation that controls filament structure and mechanical properties. Vertebrate cofilin only weakly severs Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin filaments lacking this “stiffness cation” unless a stiffness cation-binding site is engineered into the actin molecule. Moreover, vertebrate cofilin rescues the viability of a S. cerevisiae cofilin deletion mutant only when the stiffness cation site is simultaneously introduced into actin, demonstrating that filament severing is the essential function of cofilin in cells. This work reveals that site-specific interactions with cations serve a key regulatory function in actin filament fragmentation and dynamics. PMID:25468977

  3. The actin crosslinking protein palladin modulates force generation and mechanosensitivity of tumor associated fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Azatov, Mikheil; Goicoechea, Silvia M.; Otey, Carol A.; Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2016-01-01

    Cells organize actin filaments into higher-order structures by regulating the composition, distribution and concentration of actin crosslinkers. Palladin is an actin crosslinker found in the lamellar actin network and stress fibers, which are critical for mechanosensing of the environment. Palladin also serves as a molecular scaffold for α-actinin, another key actin crosslinker. By virtue of its close interactions with actomyosin structures in the cell, palladin may play an important role in cell mechanics. However, the role of palladin in cellular force generation and mechanosensing has not been studied. Here, we investigate the role of palladin in regulating the plasticity of the actin cytoskeleton and cellular force generation in response to alterations in substrate stiffness. Traction force microscopy revealed that tumor-associated fibroblasts generate larger forces on substrates of increased stiffness. Contrary to expectations, knocking down palladin increased the forces generated by cells and inhibited their ability to sense substrate stiffness for very stiff gels. This was accompanied by significant differences in actin organization, adhesion dynamics and altered myosin organization in palladin knock-down cells. Our results suggest that actin crosslinkers such as palladin and myosin motors coordinate for optimal cell function and to prevent aberrant behavior as in cancer metastasis. PMID:27353427

  4. Non-lytic, actin-based exit of intracellular parasites from C. elegans intestinal cells.

    PubMed

    Estes, Kathleen A; Szumowski, Suzannah C; Troemel, Emily R

    2011-09-01

    The intestine is a common site for invasion by intracellular pathogens, but little is known about how pathogens restructure and exit intestinal cells in vivo. The natural microsporidian parasite N. parisii invades intestinal cells of the nematode C. elegans, progresses through its life cycle, and then exits cells in a transmissible spore form. Here we show that N. parisii causes rearrangements of host actin inside intestinal cells as part of a novel parasite exit strategy. First, we show that N. parisii infection causes ectopic localization of the normally apical-restricted actin to the basolateral side of intestinal cells, where it often forms network-like structures. Soon after this actin relocalization, we find that gaps appear in the terminal web, a conserved cytoskeletal structure that could present a barrier to exit. Reducing actin expression creates terminal web gaps in the absence of infection, suggesting that infection-induced actin relocalization triggers gap formation. We show that terminal web gaps form at a distinct stage of infection, precisely timed to precede spore exit, and that all contagious animals exhibit gaps. Interestingly, we find that while perturbations in actin can create these gaps, actin is not required for infection progression or spore formation, but actin is required for spore exit. Finally, we show that despite large numbers of spores exiting intestinal cells, this exit does not cause cell lysis. These results provide insight into parasite manipulation of the host cytoskeleton and non-lytic escape from intestinal cells in vivo. PMID:21949650

  5. Non-Lytic, Actin-Based Exit of Intracellular Parasites from C. elegans Intestinal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Estes, Kathleen A.; Szumowski, Suzannah C.; Troemel, Emily R.

    2011-01-01

    The intestine is a common site for invasion by intracellular pathogens, but little is known about how pathogens restructure and exit intestinal cells in vivo. The natural microsporidian parasite N. parisii invades intestinal cells of the nematode C. elegans, progresses through its life cycle, and then exits cells in a transmissible spore form. Here we show that N. parisii causes rearrangements of host actin inside intestinal cells as part of a novel parasite exit strategy. First, we show that N. parisii infection causes ectopic localization of the normally apical-restricted actin to the basolateral side of intestinal cells, where it often forms network-like structures. Soon after this actin relocalization, we find that gaps appear in the terminal web, a conserved cytoskeletal structure that could present a barrier to exit. Reducing actin expression creates terminal web gaps in the absence of infection, suggesting that infection-induced actin relocalization triggers gap formation. We show that terminal web gaps form at a distinct stage of infection, precisely timed to precede spore exit, and that all contagious animals exhibit gaps. Interestingly, we find that while perturbations in actin can create these gaps, actin is not required for infection progression or spore formation, but actin is required for spore exit. Finally, we show that despite large numbers of spores exiting intestinal cells, this exit does not cause cell lysis. These results provide insight into parasite manipulation of the host cytoskeleton and non-lytic escape from intestinal cells in vivo. PMID:21949650

  6. A RhoA and Rnd3 cycle regulates actin reassembly during membrane blebbing.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Kana; Maeda, Fumiyo; Nagasako, Tomoya; Mochizuki, Yuki; Uchida, Seiichi; Ikenouchi, Junichi

    2016-03-29

    The actin cytoskeleton usually lies beneath the plasma membrane. When the membrane-associated actin cytoskeleton is transiently disrupted or the intracellular pressure is increased, the plasma membrane detaches from the cortex and protrudes. Such protruded membrane regions are called blebs. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying membrane blebbing are poorly understood. This study revealed that epidermal growth factor receptor kinase substrate 8 (Eps8) and ezrin are important regulators of rapid actin reassembly for the initiation and retraction of protruded blebs. Live-cell imaging of membrane blebbing revealed that local reassembly of actin filaments occurred at Eps8- and activated ezrin-positive foci of membrane blebs. Furthermore, we found that a RhoA-ROCK-Rnd3 feedback loop determined the local reassembly sites of the actin cortex during membrane blebbing. PMID:26976596

  7. A formin-nucleated actin aster concentrates cell wall hydrolases for cell fusion in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Dudin, Omaya; Bendezú, Felipe O.; Groux, Raphael; Laroche, Thierry; Seitz, Arne

    2015-01-01

    Cell–cell fusion is essential for fertilization. For fusion of walled cells, the cell wall must be degraded at a precise location but maintained in surrounding regions to protect against lysis. In fission yeast cells, the formin Fus1, which nucleates linear actin filaments, is essential for this process. In this paper, we show that this formin organizes a specific actin structure—the actin fusion focus. Structured illumination microscopy and live-cell imaging of Fus1, actin, and type V myosins revealed an aster of actin filaments whose barbed ends are focalized near the plasma membrane. Focalization requires Fus1 and type V myosins and happens asynchronously always in the M cell first. Type V myosins are essential for fusion and concentrate cell wall hydrolases, but not cell wall synthases, at the fusion focus. Thus, the fusion focus focalizes cell wall dissolution within a broader cell wall synthesis zone to shift from cell growth to cell fusion. PMID:25825517

  8. A Steric Antagonism of Actin Polymerization by a Salmonella Virulence Protein

    SciTech Connect

    Margarit,S.; Davidson, W.; Frego, L.; Stebbins, F.

    2006-01-01

    Salmonella spp. require the ADP-ribosyltransferase activity of the SpvB protein for intracellular growth and systemic virulence. SpvB covalently modifies actin, causing cytoskeletal disruption and apoptosis. We report here the crystal structure of the catalytic domain of SpvB, and we show by mass spectrometric analysis that SpvB modifies actin at Arg177, inhibiting its ATPase activity. We also describe two crystal structures of SpvB-modified, polymerization-deficient actin. These structures reveal that ADP-ribosylation does not lead to dramatic conformational changes in actin, suggesting a model in which this large family of toxins inhibits actin polymerization primarily through steric disruption of intrafilament contacts.

  9. Heterogeneity of epidermal growth factor receptor signalling networks in glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Furnari, Frank B.; Cloughesy, Timothy F.; Cavenee, Webster K.; Mischel, Paul S.

    2016-01-01

    As tumours evolve, the daughter cells of the initiating cell often become molecularly heterogeneous and develop different functional properties and therapeutic vulnerabilities. In glioblastoma (GBM), a lethal form of brain cancer, the heterogeneous expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) poses a substantial challenge for the effective use of EGFR-targeted therapies. Understanding the mechanisms that cause EGFR heterogeneity in GBM should provide better insights into how they, and possibly other amplified receptor tyrosine kinases, affect cellular signalling, metabolism and drug resistance. PMID:25855404

  10. Mechanism of Actin-Based Motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantaloni, Dominique; Le Clainche, Christophe; Carlier, Marie-France

    2001-05-01

    Spatially controlled polymerization of actin is at the origin of cell motility and is responsible for the formation of cellular protrusions like lamellipodia. The pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Shigella flexneri, which undergo actin-based propulsion, are acknowledged models of the leading edge of lamellipodia. Actin-based motility of the bacteria or of functionalized microspheres can be reconstituted in vitro from only five pure proteins. Movement results from the regulated site-directed treadmilling of actin filaments, consistent with observations of actin dynamics in living motile cells and with the biochemical properties of the components of the synthetic motility medium.

  11. Mathematical modelling and numerical simulations of actin dynamics in the eukaryotic cell.

    PubMed

    George, Uduak Z; Stéphanou, Angélique; Madzvamuse, Anotida

    2013-02-01

    The aim of this article is to study cell deformation and cell movement by considering both the mechanical and biochemical properties of the cortical network of actin filaments and its concentration. Actin is a polymer that can exist either in filamentous form (F-actin) or in monometric form (G-actin) (Chen et al. in Trends Biochem Sci 25:19-23, 2000) and the filamentous form is arranged in a paired helix of two protofilaments (Ananthakrishnan et al. in Recent Res Devel Biophys 5:39-69, 2006). By assuming that cell deformations are a result of the cortical actin dynamics in the cell cytoskeleton, we consider a continuum mathematical model that couples the mechanics of the network of actin filaments with its bio-chemical dynamics. Numerical treatment of the model is carried out using the moving grid finite element method (Madzvamuse et al. in J Comput Phys 190:478-500, 2003). Furthermore, by assuming slow deformations of the cell, we use linear stability theory to validate the numerical simulation results close to bifurcation points. Far from bifurcation points, we show that the mathematical model is able to describe the complex cell deformations typically observed in experimental results. Our numerical results illustrate cell expansion, cell contraction, cell translation and cell relocation as well as cell protrusions. In all these results, the contractile tonicity formed by the association of actin filaments to the myosin II motor proteins is identified as a key bifurcation parameter. PMID:22434394

  12. A lipid bound actin meshwork organizes liquid phase separation in model membranes

    PubMed Central

    Honigmann, Alf; Sadeghi, Sina; Keller, Jan; Hell, Stefan W; Eggeling, Christian; Vink, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The eukaryotic cell membrane is connected to a dense actin rich cortex. We present FCS and STED experiments showing that dense membrane bound actin networks have severe influence on lipid phase separation. A minimal actin cortex was bound to a supported lipid bilayer via biotinylated lipid streptavidin complexes (pinning sites). In general, actin binding to ternary membranes prevented macroscopic liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered domain formation, even at low temperature. Instead, depending on the type of pinning lipid, an actin correlated multi-domain pattern was observed. FCS measurements revealed hindered diffusion of lipids in the presence of an actin network. To explain our experimental findings, a new simulation model is proposed, in which the membrane composition, the membrane curvature, and the actin pinning sites are all coupled. Our results reveal a mechanism how cells may prevent macroscopic demixing of their membrane components, while at the same time regulate the local membrane composition. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01671.001 PMID:24642407

  13. Microtubule and Actin Interplay Drive Intracellular c-Src Trafficking.

    PubMed

    Arnette, Christopher; Frye, Keyada; Kaverina, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The proto-oncogene c-Src is involved in a variety of signaling processes. Therefore, c-Src spatiotemporal localization is critical for interaction with downstream targets. However, the mechanisms regulating this localization have remained elusive. Previous studies have shown that c-Src trafficking is a microtubule-dependent process that facilitates c-Src turnover in neuronal growth cones. As such, microtubule depolymerization lead to the inhibition of c-Src recycling. Alternatively, c-Src trafficking was also shown to be regulated by RhoB-dependent actin polymerization. Our results show that c-Src vesicles primarily exhibit microtubule-dependent trafficking; however, microtubule depolymerization does not inhibit vesicle movement. Instead, vesicular movement becomes both faster and less directional. This movement was associated with actin polymerization directly at c-Src vesicle membranes. Interestingly, it has been shown previously that c-Src delivery is an actin polymerization-dependent process that relies on small GTPase RhoB at c-Src vesicles. In agreement with this finding, microtubule depolymerization induced significant activation of RhoB, together with actin comet tail formation. These effects occurred downstream of GTP-exchange factor, GEF-H1, which was released from depolymerizing MTs. Accordingly, GEF-H1 activity was necessary for actin comet tail formation at the Src vesicles. Our results indicate that regulation of c-Src trafficking requires both microtubules and actin polymerization, and that GEF-H1 coordinates c-Src trafficking, acting as a molecular switch between these two mechanisms. PMID:26866809

  14. Microtubule and Actin Interplay Drive Intracellular c-Src Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Arnette, Christopher; Frye, Keyada; Kaverina, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The proto-oncogene c-Src is involved in a variety of signaling processes. Therefore, c-Src spatiotemporal localization is critical for interaction with downstream targets. However, the mechanisms regulating this localization have remained elusive. Previous studies have shown that c-Src trafficking is a microtubule-dependent process that facilitates c-Src turnover in neuronal growth cones. As such, microtubule depolymerization lead to the inhibition of c-Src recycling. Alternatively, c-Src trafficking was also shown to be regulated by RhoB-dependent actin polymerization. Our results show that c-Src vesicles primarily exhibit microtubule-dependent trafficking; however, microtubule depolymerization does not inhibit vesicle movement. Instead, vesicular movement becomes both faster and less directional. This movement was associated with actin polymerization directly at c-Src vesicle membranes. Interestingly, it has been shown previously that c-Src delivery is an actin polymerization-dependent process that relies on small GTPase RhoB at c-Src vesicles. In agreement with this finding, microtubule depolymerization induced significant activation of RhoB, together with actin comet tail formation. These effects occurred downstream of GTP-exchange factor, GEF-H1, which was released from depolymerizing MTs. Accordingly, GEF-H1 activity was necessary for actin comet tail formation at the Src vesicles. Our results indicate that regulation of c-Src trafficking requires both microtubules and actin polymerization, and that GEF-H1 coordinates c-Src trafficking, acting as a molecular switch between these two mechanisms. PMID:26866809

  15. Lamellipodial actin mechanically links myosin activity with adhesion-site formation.

    PubMed

    Giannone, Grégory; Dubin-Thaler, Benjamin J; Rossier, Olivier; Cai, Yunfei; Chaga, Oleg; Jiang, Guoying; Beaver, William; Döbereiner, Hans-Günther; Freund, Yoav; Borisy, Gary; Sheetz, Michael P

    2007-02-01

    Cell motility proceeds by cycles of edge protrusion, adhesion, and retraction. Whether these functions are coordinated by biochemical or biomechanical processes is unknown. We find that myosin II pulls the rear of the lamellipodial actin network, causing upward bending, edge retraction, and initiation of new adhesion sites. The network then separates from the edge and condenses over the myosin. Protrusion resumes as lamellipodial actin regenerates from the front and extends rearward until it reaches newly assembled myosin, initiating the next cycle. Upward bending, observed by evanescence and electron microscopy, results in ruffle formation when adhesion strength is low. Correlative fluorescence and electron microscopy shows that the regenerating lamellipodium forms a cohesive, separable layer of actin above the lamellum. Thus, actin polymerization periodically builds a mechanical link, the lamellipodium, connecting myosin motors with the initiation of adhesion sites, suggesting that the major functions driving motility are coordinated by a biomechanical process. PMID:17289574

  16. Soft viscoelastic properties of nuclear actin age oocytes due to gravitational creep

    PubMed Central

    Feric, Marina; Broedersz, Chase P.; Brangwynne, Clifford P.

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton helps maintain structural organization within living cells. In large X. laevis oocytes, gravity becomes a dominant force and is countered by a nuclear actin network that prevents liquid-like nuclear bodies from immediate sedimentation and coalescence. However, nuclear actin’s mechanical properties, and how they facilitate the stabilization of nuclear bodies, remain unknown. Using active microrheology, we find that nuclear actin forms a weak viscoelastic network, with a modulus of roughly 0.1 Pa. Embedded probe particles subjected to a constant force exhibit continuous displacement, due to viscoelastic creep. Gravitational forces also cause creep displacement of nuclear bodies, resulting in their asymmetric nuclear distribution. Thus, nuclear actin does not indefinitely support the emulsion of nuclear bodies, but only kinetically stabilizes them by slowing down gravitational creep to ~2 months. This is similar to the viability time of large oocytes, suggesting gravitational creep ages oocytes, with fatal consequences on long timescales. PMID:26577186

  17. Model for adhesion clutch explains biphasic relationship between actin flow and traction at the cell leading edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craig, Erin M.; Stricker, Jonathan; Gardel, Margaret; Mogilner, Alex

    2015-05-01

    Cell motility relies on the continuous reorganization of a dynamic actin-myosin-adhesion network at the leading edge of the cell, in order to generate protrusion at the leading edge and traction between the cell and its external environment. We analyze experimentally measured spatial distributions of actin flow, traction force, myosin density, and adhesion density in control and pharmacologically perturbed epithelial cells in order to develop a mechanical model of the actin-adhesion-myosin self-organization at the leading edge. A model in which the F-actin network is treated as a viscous gel, and adhesion clutch engagement is strengthened by myosin but weakened by actin flow, can explain the measured molecular distributions and correctly predict the spatial distributions of the actin flow and traction stress. We test the model by comparing its predictions with measurements of the actin flow and traction stress in cells with fast and slow actin polymerization rates. The model predicts how the location of the lamellipodium-lamellum boundary depends on the actin viscosity and adhesion strength. The model further predicts that the location of the lamellipodium-lamellum boundary is not very sensitive to the level of myosin contraction.

  18. Quantifying actin wave modulation on periodic topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guven, Can; Driscoll, Meghan; Sun, Xiaoyu; Parker, Joshua; Fourkas, John; Carlsson, Anders; Losert, Wolfgang

    2014-03-01

    Actin is the essential builder of the cell cytoskeleton, whose dynamics are responsible for generating the necessary forces for the formation of protrusions. By exposing amoeboid cells to periodic topographical cues, we show that actin can be directionally guided via inducing preferential polymerization waves. To quantify the dynamics of these actin waves and their interaction with the substrate, we modify a technique from computer vision called ``optical flow.'' We obtain vectors that represent the apparent actin flow and cluster these vectors to obtain patches of newly polymerized actin, which represent actin waves. Using this technique, we compare experimental results, including speed distribution of waves and distance from the wave centroid to the closest ridge, with actin polymerization simulations. We hypothesize the modulation of the activity of nucleation promotion factors on ridges (elevated regions of the surface) as a potential mechanism for the wave-substrate coupling. Funded by NIH grant R01GM085574.

  19. A simple growth model constructs critical avalanche networks.

    PubMed

    Abbott, L F; Rohrkemper, R

    2007-01-01

    Neurons recorded from electrode arrays show a remarkable scaling property in their bursts of spontaneous activity, referred to as "avalanches" (Beggs and Plenz, 2003, 2004). Such scaling suggests a critical property in the coupling of these circuits. We show that similar scaling laws can arise in a simple model for the growth of neuronal processes. In the model (Van Ooyen and Van Pelt, 1994, 1996), the spatial range of the processes extending from each neuron is represented by a circle that grows or shrinks as a function of the average intracellular calcium concentration. Neurons interact when the circles corresponding to their processes intersect, with a strength proportional to the area of overlap. PMID:17925237

  20. Allyl Isothiocyanate Inhibits Actin-Dependent Intracellular Transport in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Sporsheim, Bjørnar; Øverby, Anders; Bones, Atle Magnar

    2015-01-01

    Volatile allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) derives from the biodegradation of the glucosinolate sinigrin and has been associated with growth inhibition in several plants, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms of this feature remain scarcely investigated in plants. In this study, we present evidence of an AITC-induced inhibition of actin-dependent intracellular transport in A. thaliana. A transgenic line of A. thaliana expressing yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-tagged actin filaments was used to show attenuation of actin filament movement by AITC. This appeared gradually in a time- and dose-dependent manner and resulted in actin filaments appearing close to static. Further, we employed four transgenic lines with YFP-fusion proteins labeling the Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), vacuoles and peroxisomes to demonstrate an AITC-induced inhibition of actin-dependent intracellular transport of or, in these structures, consistent with the decline in actin filament movement. Furthermore, the morphologies of actin filaments, ER and vacuoles appeared aberrant following AITC-exposure. However, AITC-treated seedlings of all transgenic lines tested displayed morphologies and intracellular movements similar to that of the corresponding untreated and control-treated plants, following overnight incubation in an AITC-absent environment, indicating that AITC-induced decline in actin-related movements is a reversible process. These findings provide novel insights into the cellular events in plant cells following exposure to AITC, which may further expose clues to the physiological significance of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system. PMID:26690132

  1. Plastins regulate ectoplasmic specialization via its actin bundling activity on microfilaments in the rat testis.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Wong, Chris Kc; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-01-01

    Plastins are a family of actin binding proteins (ABPs) known to cross-link actin microfilaments in mammalian cells, creating actin microfilament bundles necessary to confer cell polarity and cell shape. Plastins also support cell movement in response to changes in environment, involved in cell/tissue growth and development. They also confer plasticity to cells and tissues in response to infection or other pathological conditions (e.g., inflammation). In the testis, the cell-cell anchoring junction unique to the testis that is found at the Sertoli cell-cell interface at the blood-testis barrier (BTB) and at the Sertoli-spermatid (e.g., 8-19 spermatids in the rat testis) is the basal and the apical ectoplasmic specialization (ES), respectively. The ES is an F-actin-rich anchoring junction constituted most notably by actin microfilament bundles. A recent report using RNAi that specifically knocks down plastin 3 has yielded some insightful information regarding the mechanism by which plastin 3 regulates the status of actin microfilament bundles at the ES via its intrinsic actin filament bundling activity. Herein, we provide a brief review on the role of plastins in the testis in light of this report, which together with recent findings in the field, we propose a likely model by which plastins regulate ES function during the epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis via their intrinsic activity on actin microfilament organization in the rat testis. PMID:26608945

  2. α-Synuclein and Its A30P Mutant Affect Actin Cytoskeletal Structure and Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Vítor L.; Bellani, Serena; Giannandrea, Maila; Yousuf, Malikmohamed; Valtorta, Flavia; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2009-01-01

    The function of α-synuclein, a soluble protein abundant in the brain and concentrated at presynaptic terminals, is still undefined. Yet, α-synuclein overexpression and the expression of its A30P mutant are associated with familial Parkinson's disease. Working in cell-free conditions, in two cell lines as well as in primary neurons we demonstrate that α-synuclein and its A30P mutant have different effects on actin polymerization. Wild-type α-synuclein binds actin, slows down its polymerization and accelerates its depolymerization, probably by monomer sequestration; A30P mutant α-synuclein increases the rate of actin polymerization and disrupts the cytoskeleton during reassembly of actin filaments. Consequently, in cells expressing mutant α-synuclein, cytoskeleton-dependent processes, such as cell migration, are inhibited, while exo- and endocytic traffic is altered. In hippocampal neurons from mice carrying a deletion of the α-synuclein gene, electroporation of wild-type α-synuclein increases actin instability during remodeling, with growth of lamellipodia-like structures and apparent cell enlargement, whereas A30P α-synuclein induces discrete actin-rich foci during cytoskeleton reassembly. In conclusion, α-synuclein appears to play a major role in actin cytoskeletal dynamics and various aspects of microfilament function. Actin cytoskeletal disruption induced by the A30P mutant might alter various cellular processes and thereby play a role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. PMID:19553474

  3. Allyl Isothiocyanate Inhibits Actin-Dependent Intracellular Transport in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Sporsheim, Bjørnar; Øverby, Anders; Bones, Atle Magnar

    2015-01-01

    Volatile allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) derives from the biodegradation of the glucosinolate sinigrin and has been associated with growth inhibition in several plants, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms of this feature remain scarcely investigated in plants. In this study, we present evidence of an AITC-induced inhibition of actin-dependent intracellular transport in A. thaliana. A transgenic line of A. thaliana expressing yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-tagged actin filaments was used to show attenuation of actin filament movement by AITC. This appeared gradually in a time- and dose-dependent manner and resulted in actin filaments appearing close to static. Further, we employed four transgenic lines with YFP-fusion proteins labeling the Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), vacuoles and peroxisomes to demonstrate an AITC-induced inhibition of actin-dependent intracellular transport of or, in these structures, consistent with the decline in actin filament movement. Furthermore, the morphologies of actin filaments, ER and vacuoles appeared aberrant following AITC-exposure. However, AITC-treated seedlings of all transgenic lines tested displayed morphologies and intracellular movements similar to that of the corresponding untreated and control-treated plants, following overnight incubation in an AITC-absent environment, indicating that AITC-induced decline in actin-related movements is a reversible process. These findings provide novel insights into the cellular events in plant cells following exposure to AITC, which may further expose clues to the physiological significance of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system. PMID:26690132

  4. Plastins regulate ectoplasmic specialization via its actin bundling activity on microfilaments in the rat testis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Wong, Chris KC; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-01-01

    Plastins are a family of actin binding proteins (ABPs) known to cross-link actin microfilaments in mammalian cells, creating actin microfilament bundles necessary to confer cell polarity and cell shape. Plastins also support cell movement in response to changes in environment, involved in cell/tissue growth and development. They also confer plasticity to cells and tissues in response to infection or other pathological conditions (e.g., inflammation). In the testis, the cell-cell anchoring junction unique to the testis that is found at the Sertoli cell-cell interface at the blood-testis barrier (BTB) and at the Sertoli-spermatid (e.g., 8–19 spermatids in the rat testis) is the basal and the apical ectoplasmic specialization (ES), respectively. The ES is an F-actin-rich anchoring junction constituted most notably by actin microfilament bundles. A recent report using RNAi that specifically knocks down plastin 3 has yielded some insightful information regarding the mechanism by which plastin 3 regulates the status of actin microfilament bundles at the ES via its intrinsic actin filament bundling activity. Herein, we provide a brief review on the role of plastins in the testis in light of this report, which together with recent findings in the field, we propose a likely model by which plastins regulate ES function during the epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis via their intrinsic activity on actin microfilament organization in the rat testis. PMID:26608945

  5. Development of a multi-classification neural network model to determine the microbial growth/no growth interface.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Navarro, Francisco; Valero, Antonio; Hervás-Martínez, César; Gutiérrez, Pedro A; García-Gimeno, Rosa M; Zurera-Cosano, Gonzalo

    2010-07-15

    Boundary models have been recognized as useful tools to predict the ability of microorganisms to grow at limiting conditions. However, at these conditions, microbial behaviour can vary, being difficult to distinguish between growth or no growth. In this paper, the data from the study of Valero et al. [Valero, A., Pérez-Rodríguez, F., Carrasco, E., Fuentes-Alventosa, J.M., García-Gimeno, R.M., Zurera, G., 2009. Modelling the growth boundaries of Staphylococcus aureus: Effect of temperature, pH and water activity. International Journal of Food Microbiology 133 (1-2), 186-194] belonging to growth/no growth conditions of Staphylococcus aureus against temperature, pH and a(w) were divided into three categorical classes: growth (G), growth transition (GT) and no growth (NG). Subsequently, they were modelled by using a Radial Basis Function Neural Network (RBFNN) in order to create a multi-classification model that was able to predict the probability of belonging at one of the three mentioned classes. The model was developed through an over sampling procedure using a memetic algorithm (MA) in order to balance in part the size of the classes and to improve the accuracy of the classifier. The multi-classification model, named Smote Memetic Radial Basis Function (SMRBF) provided a quite good adjustment to data observed, being able to correctly classify the 86.30% of training data and the 82.26% of generalization data for the three observed classes in the best model. Besides, the high number of replicates per condition tested (n=30) produced a smooth transition between growth and no growth. At the most stringent conditions, the probability of belonging to class GT was higher, thus justifying the inclusion of the class in the new model. The SMRBF model presented in this study can be used to better define microbial growth/no growth interface and the variability associated to these conditions so as to apply this knowledge to a food safety in a decision-making process. PMID

  6. Percolation mechanism drives actin gels to the critically connected state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chiu Fan; Pruessner, Gunnar

    2016-05-01

    Cell motility and tissue morphogenesis depend crucially on the dynamic remodeling of actomyosin networks. An actomyosin network consists of an actin polymer network connected by cross-linker proteins and motor protein myosins that generate internal stresses on the network. A recent discovery shows that for a range of experimental parameters, actomyosin networks contract to clusters with a power-law size distribution [J. Alvarado, Nat. Phys. 9, 591 (2013), 10.1038/nphys2715]. Here, we argue that actomyosin networks can exhibit a robust critical signature without fine-tuning because the dynamics of the system can be mapped onto a modified version of percolation with trapping (PT), which is known to show critical behavior belonging to the static percolation universality class without the need for fine-tuning of a control parameter. We further employ our PT model to generate experimentally testable predictions.

  7. The health benefits of network growth: new evidence from a national survey of older adults.

    PubMed

    Cornwell, Benjamin; Laumann, Edward O

    2015-01-01

    Scholars who study how social networks affect older adults' health are often concerned with the prospect of declining social connectedness in late life. This paper shifts the focus to older adults' tendencies to cultivate new social ties. This process of network growth can improve access to social resources, boost self-esteem, reduce loneliness, and increase physical activity. We therefore examine the link between tie cultivation and health using new longitudinal data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), which recorded changes in older adults' confidant network rosters over a period of about five years. Most respondents (81.8%) added at least one new network member during the study period, and most (59.4%) cultivated multiple new confidant relationships. Longitudinal analyses suggest that the addition of new confidants is associated with improvements in functional, self-rated, and psychological health, net of baseline connectedness as well as any network losses that occurred during the same period. Network losses were associated with physical but not psychological well-being. These findings underscore the importance of distinguishing between concurrent processes that underlie social network change in later life, and highlight the need for additional research on the mechanisms by which network change may improve health. PMID:24128674

  8. The Health Benefits of Network Growth: New Evidence from a National Survey of Older Adults*

    PubMed Central

    Cornwell, Benjamin; Laumann, Edward O.

    2013-01-01

    Scholars who study how social networks affect older adults’ health are often concerned with the prospect of declining social connectedness in late life. This paper shifts the focus to older adults’ tendencies to cultivate new social ties. This process of network growth can improve access to social resources, boost self-esteem, reduce loneliness, and increase physical activity. We therefore examine the link between tie cultivation and health using new longitudinal data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), which recorded changes in older adults’ confidant network rosters over a period of about five years. Most respondents (81.8%) added at least one new network member during the study period, and most (59.4%) cultivated multiple new confidant relationships. Longitudinal analyses suggest that the addition of new confidants is associated with improvements in functional, self-rated, and psychological health, net of baseline connectedness as well as any network losses that occurred during the same period. Network losses were associated with physical but not psychological well-being. These findings underscore the importance of distinguishing between concurrent processes that underlie social network change in later life, and highlight the need for additional research on the mechanisms by which network change may improve health. PMID:24128674

  9. Application of GA in optimization of pore network models generated by multi-cellular growth algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamshidi, Saeid; Boozarjomehry, Ramin Bozorgmehry; Pishvaie, Mahmoud Reza

    2009-10-01

    In pore network modeling, the void space of a rock sample is represented at the microscopic scale by a network of pores connected by throats. Construction of a reasonable representation of the geometry and topology of the pore space will lead to a reliable prediction of the properties of porous media. Recently, the theory of multi-cellular growth (or L-systems) has been used as a flexible tool for generation of pore network models which do not require any special information such as 2D SEM or 3D pore space images. In general, the networks generated by this method are irregular pore network models which are inherently closer to the complicated nature of the porous media rather than regular lattice networks. In this approach, the construction process is controlled only by the production rules that govern the development process of the network. In this study, genetic algorithm has been used to obtain the optimum values of the uncertain parameters of these production rules to build an appropriate irregular lattice network capable of the prediction of both static and hydraulic information of the target porous medium.

  10. Emergence of hierarchy in cost-driven growth of spatial networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louf, Rémi; Jensen, Pablo; Barthelemy, Marc

    2013-05-01

    One of the most important features of spatial networks-such as transportation networks, power grids, the Internet, and neural networks-is the existence of a cost associated with the length of links. Such a cost has a profound influence on the global structure of these networks, which usually display a hierarchical spatial organization. The link between local constraints and large-scale structure is not elucidated, however, and we introduce here a generic model for the growth of spatial networks based on the general concept of cost-benefit analysis. This model depends essentially on a single scale and produces a family of networks that range from the star graph to the minimum spanning tree and are characterized by a continuously varying exponent. We show that spatial hierarchy emerges naturally, with structures composed of various hubs controlling geographically separated service areas, and appears as a large-scale consequence of local cost-benefit considerations. Our model thus provides the basic building blocks for a better understanding of the evolution of spatial networks and their properties. We also find that, surprisingly, the average detour is minimal in the intermediate regime as a result of a large diversity in link lengths. Finally, we estimate the important parameters for various world railway networks and find that, remarkably, they all fall in this intermediate regime, suggesting that spatial hierarchy is a crucial feature for these systems and probably possesses an important evolutionary advantage.

  11. Role of gelsolin in actin depolymerization of adherent human neutrophils.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, J S; Coburn, J P; Tauber, A I; Zaner, K S

    1997-01-01

    Human neutrophils generally function adherent to an extracellular matrix. We have previously reported that upon adhesion to laminin- or fibronectin-coated, but not uncoated, plastic there is a depolymerization of actin in neutrophils. This phenomenon was not affected by inhibitors of the more well-studied components of the signal transduction pathway, specifically, pertussis toxin, an inhibitor of G-proteins, H-7 or staurosporine, inhibitors of protein kinase C, or herbimycin A, an inhibitor of nonreceptor tyrosine kinase. We therefore focused our attention on actin-binding proteins and measured the changes in the partitioning of gelsolin between the Triton X-100-soluble and -insoluble cellular fractions which occur upon neutrophil adhesion by means of quantitating anti-gelsolin antibody binding to aliquots of these fractions. It was found that approximately 90% of the total cellular gelsolin was found in the Triton X-100-soluble fraction in suspended cells, but that upon adherence to either fibronectin- or laminin-coated plastic about 40% of the soluble gelsolin could be detected in the insoluble fraction. This effect was not observed in cells adherent to uncoated plastic, wherein more than 90% of the gelsolin was found in the soluble fraction. Results of immunofluorescence microscopy of these cell preparations was consistent with this data. A gelsolin translocation to the insoluble cellular actin network may account for a part of the observed actin depolymerization. Images PMID:9017600

  12. Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced actin glutathionylation controls actin dynamics in neutrophils

    PubMed Central

    Sakai, Jiro; Li, Jingyu; Subramanian, Kulandayan K.; Mondal, Subhanjan; Bajrami, Besnik; Hattori, Hidenori; Jia, Yonghui; Dickinson, Bryan C.; Zhong, Jia; Ye, Keqiang; Chang, Christopher J; Ho, Ye-Shih; Zhou, Jun; Luo, Hongbo R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The regulation of actin dynamics is pivotal for cellular processes such as cell adhesion, migration, and phagocytosis, and thus is crucial for neutrophils to fulfill their roles in innate immunity. Many factors have been implicated in signal-induced actin polymerization, however the essential nature of the potential negative modulators are still poorly understood. Here we report that NADPH oxidase-dependent physiologically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) negatively regulate actin polymerization in stimulated neutrophils via driving reversible actin glutathionylation. Disruption of glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1), an enzyme that catalyzes actin deglutathionylation, increased actin glutathionylation, attenuated actin polymerization, and consequently impaired neutrophil polarization, chemotaxis, adhesion, and phagocytosis. Consistently, Grx1-deficient murine neutrophils showed impaired in vivo recruitment to sites of inflammation and reduced bactericidal capability. Together, these results present a physiological role for glutaredoxin and ROS- induced reversible actin glutathionylation in regulation of actin dynamics in neutrophils. PMID:23159440

  13. The cutaneous epidermal growth factor network: Can it be translated clinically to stimulate hair growth?

    PubMed

    Alexandrescu, Doru T; Kauffman, C Lisa; Dasanu, Constantin A

    2009-01-01

    The influences exerted by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on the skin act at multiple levels, which involve compartments that normally express EGFR. These include the basal and suprabasal layers of the epidermis, sebaceous glands, and the outer root sheath of the hair follicles. The physiological roles of EGFR ensure epidermal renewal and integrity, along with a gatekeeping and function and hair growth stimulation functions. Important cellular functions that are altered during EGF receptor blocking therapy consist of epidermal differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and migration, with an overall dominating effect of inducing growth arrest and terminal differentiation of the keratinocytes in the basal layers. The effects of EGFR blockage on the hair cycle include terminal differentiation of the hair follicle, which in certain cases may be associated with trichomegaly. Trichomegaly of the eyelashes may occur as an isolated occurrence or, frequently, as part of a generalized phenomenon that may be associated with the use of the EGFR inhibitors. Molecular changes associated with EGFR blockage are discussed, relevant to their association with hair growth. Modulation of Akt, AP2alpha, CDK4, Notch-1, p27KIP1, and Hedgehog expression are involved in the initiation of the hair cycle and inducement of the anagen phase, followed by proliferation and differentiation of the hair follicles. Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors have been developed as therapeutic molecules directed against cancer; in these regimens the knowledge of EGF receptor signaling functions has been translated into significant clinical results. However, among their various collateral effects on the skin, hair growth is observed to occur in certain patients. A particular "wavy" hair phenotype is observed during the pharmacological EGFR receptor blockade, just as in murine transgenic models that carry loss of function of TGF-alpha or EGFR genes. A better characterization of the

  14. Physical and Biological Regulation of Neuron Regenerative Growth and Network Formation on Recombinant Dragline Silks

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wenwen; He, Jiuyang; Jones, Justin; Lewis, Randolph V.; Kaplan, David L.

    2015-01-01

    Recombinant spider silks produced in transgenic goat milk were studied as cell culture matrices for neuronal growth. Major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) supported neuronal growth, axon extension and network connectivity, with cell morphology comparable to the gold standard poly-lysine. In addition, neurons growing on MaSp1 films had increased neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) expression at both mRNA and protein levels. The results indicate that MaSp1 films present useful surface charge and substrate stiffness to support the growth of primary rat cortical neurons. Moreover, a putative neuron-specific surface binding sequence GRGGL within MaSp1 may contribute to the biological regulation of neuron growth. These findings indicate that MaSp1 could regulate neuron growth through its physical and biological features. This dual regulation mode of MaSp1 could provide an alternative strategy for generating functional silk materials for neural tissue engineering. PMID:25701039

  15. Profilin Interaction with Actin Filament Barbed End Controls Dynamic Instability, Capping, Branching, and Motility

    PubMed Central

    Pernier, Julien; Shekhar, Shashank; Jegou, Antoine; Guichard, Bérengère; Carlier, Marie-France

    2016-01-01

    Summary Cell motility and actin homeostasis depend on the control of polarized growth of actin filaments. Profilin, an abundant regulator of actin dynamics, supports filament assembly at barbed ends by binding G-actin. Here, we demonstrate how, by binding and destabilizing filament barbed ends at physiological concentrations, profilin also controls motility, cell migration, and actin homeostasis. Profilin enhances filament length fluctuations. Profilin competes with Capping Protein at barbed ends, which generates a lower amount of profilin-actin than expected if barbed ends were tightly capped. Profilin competes with barbed end polymerases, such as formins and VopF, and inhibits filament branching by WASP-Arp2/3 complex by competition for filament barbed ends, accounting for its as-yet-unknown effects on motility and metastatic cell migration observed in this concentration range. In conclusion, profilin is a major coordinator of polarized growth of actin filaments, controlled by competition between barbed end cappers, trackers, destabilizers, and filament branching machineries. PMID:26812019

  16. Molecular Architecture of Synaptic Actin Cytoskeleton in Hippocampal Neurons Reveals a Mechanism of Dendritic Spine Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Korobova, Farida

    2010-01-01

    Excitatory synapses in the brain play key roles in learning and memory. The formation and functions of postsynaptic mushroom-shaped structures, dendritic spines, and possibly of presynaptic terminals, rely on actin cytoskeleton remodeling. However, the cytoskeletal architecture of synapses remains unknown hindering the understanding of synapse morphogenesis. Using platinum replica electron microscopy, we characterized the cytoskeletal organization and molecular composition of dendritic spines, their precursors, dendritic filopodia, and presynaptic boutons. A branched actin filament network containing Arp2/3 complex and capping protein was a dominant feature of spine heads and presynaptic boutons. Surprisingly, the spine necks and bases, as well as dendritic filopodia, also contained a network, rather than a bundle, of branched and linear actin filaments that was immunopositive for Arp2/3 complex, capping protein, and myosin II, but not fascin. Thus, a tight actin filament bundle is not necessary for structural support of elongated filopodia-like protrusions. Dynamically, dendritic filopodia emerged from densities in the dendritic shaft, which by electron microscopy contained branched actin network associated with dendritic microtubules. We propose that dendritic spine morphogenesis begins from an actin patch elongating into a dendritic filopodium, which tip subsequently expands via Arp2/3 complex-dependent nucleation and which length is modulated by myosin II-dependent contractility. PMID:19889835

  17. A random growth model for power grids and other spatially embedded infrastructure networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Paul; Heitzig, Jobst; Kurths, Jürgen

    2014-09-01

    We propose a model to create synthetic networks that may also serve as a narrative of a certain kind of infrastructure network evolution. It consists of an initialization phase with the network extending tree-like for minimum cost and a growth phase with an attachment rule giving a trade-off between cost-optimization and redundancy. Furthermore, we implement the feature of some lines being split during the grid's evolution. We show that the resulting degree distribution has an exponential tail and may show a maximum at degree two, suitable to observations of real-world power grid networks. In particular, the mean degree and the slope of the exponential decay can be controlled in partial independence. To verify to which extent the degree distribution is described by our analytic form, we conduct statistical tests, showing that the hypothesis of an exponential tail is well-accepted for our model data.

  18. A random growth model for power grids and other spatially embedded infrastructure networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Paul; Heitzig, Jobst; Kurths, Jürgen

    2014-10-01

    We propose a model to create synthetic networks that may also serve as a narrative of a certain kind of infrastructure network evolution. It consists of an initialization phase with the network extending tree-like for minimum cost and a growth phase with an attachment rule giving a trade-off between cost-optimization and redundancy. Furthermore, we implement the feature of some lines being split during the grid's evolution. We show that the resulting degree distribution has an exponential tail and may show a maximum at degree two, suitable to observations of real-world power grid networks. In particular, the mean degree and the slope of the exponential decay can be controlled in partial independence. To verify to which extent the degree distribution is described by our analytic form, we conduct statistical tests, showing that the hypothesis of an exponential tail is well-accepted for our model data.

  19. The Design of MACs (Minimal Actin Cortices)

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Sven K; Heinemann, Fabian; Chwastek, Grzegorz; Schwille, Petra

    2013-01-01

    The actin cell cortex in eukaryotic cells is a key player in controlling and maintaining the shape of cells, and in driving major shape changes such as in cytokinesis. It is thereby constantly being remodeled. Cell shape changes require forces acting on membranes that are generated by the interplay of membrane coupled actin filaments and assemblies of myosin motors. Little is known about how their interaction regulates actin cell cortex remodeling and cell shape changes. Because of the vital importance of actin, myosin motors and the cell membrane, selective in vivo experiments and manipulations are often difficult to perform or not feasible. Thus, the intelligent design of minimal in vitro systems for actin-myosin-membrane interactions could pave a way for investigating actin cell cortex mechanics in a detailed and quantitative manner. Here, we present and discuss the design of several bottom-up in vitro systems accomplishing the coupling of actin filaments to artificial membranes, where key parameters such as actin densities and membrane properties can be varied in a controlled manner. Insights gained from these in vitro systems may help to uncover fundamental principles of how exactly actin-myosin-membrane interactions govern actin cortex remodeling and membrane properties for cell shape changes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:24039068

  20. Affinity chromatography of immobilized actin and myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Bottomley, R C; Trayer, I P

    1975-01-01

    Actin and myosin were immobilized by coupling them to agarose matrices. Both immobilized G-actin and immobilized myosin retain most of the properties of the proteins in free solution and are reliable over long periods of time. Sepharose-F-actin, under the conditions used in this study, has proved unstable and variable in its properties. Sepharose-G-actin columns were used to bind heavy meromyosin and myosin subfragment 1 specifically and reversibly. The interaction involved is sensitive to variation in ionic strength, such that myosin itself is not retained by the columns at the high salt concentration required for its complete solubilization. Myosin, rendered soluble at low ionic strength by polyalanylation, will interact successfully with the immobilized actin. The latter can distinguish between active and inactive fractions of the proteolytic and polyalanyl myosin derivatives, and was used in the preparation of these molecules. The complexes formed between the myosin derivatives and Sepharose-G-actin can be dissociated by low concentrations of ATP, ADP and pyrophosphate in both the presence and the absence of Mg2+. The G-actin columns were used to evaluate the results of chemical modifications of myosin subfragments on their interactions with actin. F-Actin in free solution is bound specifically and reversibly to columns of insolubilized myosin. Thus, with elution by either ATP or pyrophosphate, actin has been purified in one step from extracts of acetone-dried muscle powder. PMID:241335

  1. The interaction of vinculin with actin.

    PubMed

    Golji, Javad; Mofrad, Mohammad R K

    2013-04-01

    Vinculin can interact with F-actin both in recruitment of actin filaments to the growing focal adhesions and also in capping of actin filaments to regulate actin dynamics. Using molecular dynamics, both interactions are simulated using different vinculin conformations. Vinculin is simulated either with only its vinculin tail domain (Vt), with all residues in its closed conformation, with all residues in an open I conformation, and with all residues in an open II conformation. The open I conformation results from movement of domain 1 away from Vt; the open II conformation results from complete dissociation of Vt from the vinculin head domains. Simulation of vinculin binding along the actin filament showed that Vt alone can bind along the actin filaments, that vinculin in its closed conformation cannot bind along the actin filaments, and that vinculin in its open I conformation can bind along the actin filaments. The simulations confirm that movement of domain 1 away from Vt in formation of vinculin 1 is sufficient for allowing Vt to bind along the actin filament. Simulation of Vt capping actin filaments probe six possible bound structures and suggest that vinculin would cap actin filaments by interacting with both S1 and S3 of the barbed-end, using the surface of Vt normally occluded by D4 and nearby vinculin head domain residues. Simulation of D4 separation from Vt after D1 separation formed the open II conformation. Binding of open II vinculin to the barbed-end suggests this conformation allows for vinculin capping. Three binding sites on F-actin are suggested as regions that could link to vinculin. Vinculin is suggested to function as a variable switch at the focal adhesions. The conformation of vinculin and the precise F-actin binding conformation is dependent on the level of mechanical load on the focal adhesion. PMID:23633939

  2. p70 S6 kinase and actin dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Ip, Carman K.M.; Wong, Alice S.T.

    2012-01-01

    p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K), a member of the AGC serine/threonine kinase family, was initially identified as a key player, together with its downstream effector S6, in the regulation of cellular growth and survival. The p70S6K protein has emerged in recent years as a multifunctional protein which also regulates the actin cytoskeleton and thus plays a role in cell migration. This new function is through two important activities of p70S6K, namely actin cross-linking and Rac1 and Cdc42 activation. The testis is critically dependent on an intricate balance of fundamental cellular processes such as adhesion, migration, and differentiation. It is increasingly evident that Rho GTPases and actin binding proteins play fundamental roles in regulating spermatogenesis within the testis. In this review, we will discuss current findings of p70S6K in the control of actin cytoskeleton dynamics. In addition, the potential role of p70S6K in spermatogenesis and testicular function will be highlighted. PMID:22553489

  3. Altered resting-state whole-brain functional networks of neonates with intrauterine growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Batalle, Dafnis; Muñoz-Moreno, Emma; Tornador, Cristian; Bargallo, Nuria; Deco, Gustavo; Eixarch, Elisenda; Gratacos, Eduard

    2016-04-01

    The feasibility to use functional MRI (fMRI) during natural sleep to assess low-frequency basal brain activity fluctuations in human neonates has been demonstrated, although its potential to characterise pathologies of prenatal origin has not yet been exploited. In the present study, we used intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) as a model of altered neurodevelopment due to prenatal condition to show the suitability of brain networks to characterise functional brain organisation at neonatal age. Particularly, we analysed resting-state fMRI signal of 20 neonates with IUGR and 13 controls, obtaining whole-brain functional networks based on correlations of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in 90 grey matter regions of an anatomical atlas (AAL). Characterisation of the networks obtained with graph theoretical features showed increased network infrastructure and raw efficiencies but reduced efficiency after normalisation, demonstrating hyper-connected but sub-optimally organised IUGR functional brain networks. Significant association of network features with neurobehavioral scores was also found. Further assessment of spatiotemporal dynamics displayed alterations into features associated to frontal, cingulate and lingual cortices. These findings show the capacity of functional brain networks to characterise brain reorganisation from an early age, and their potential to develop biomarkers of altered neurodevelopment. PMID:26927726

  4. Formin 1 Regulates Ectoplasmic Specialization in the Rat Testis Through Its Actin Nucleation and Bundling Activity.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D; Wong, Chris K C; Han, Daishu; Lee, Will M; Cheng, C Yan

    2015-08-01

    During spermatogenesis, developing spermatids and preleptotene spermatocytes are transported across the adluminal compartment and the blood-testis barrier (BTB), respectively, so that spermatids line up near the luminal edge to prepare for spermiation, whereas preleptotene spermatocytes enter the adluminal compartment to differentiate into late spermatocytes to prepare for meiosis I/II. These cellular events involve actin microfilament reorganization at the testis-specific, actin-rich Sertoli-spermatid and Sertoli-Sertoli cell junction called apical and basal ectoplasmic specialization (ES). Formin 1, an actin nucleation protein known to promote actin microfilament elongation and bundling, was expressed at the apical ES but limited to stage VII of the epithelial cycle, whereas its expression at the basal ES/BTB stretched from stage III to stage VI, diminished in stage VII, and was undetectable in stage VIII tubules. Using an in vitro model of studying Sertoli cell BTB function by RNA interference and biochemical assays to monitor actin bundling and polymerization activity, a knockdown of formin 1 in Sertoli cells by approximately 70% impeded the tight junction-permeability function. This disruptive effect on the tight junction barrier was mediated by a loss of actin microfilament bundling and actin polymerization capability mediated by changes in the localization of branched actin-inducing protein Arp3 (actin-related protein 3), and actin bundling proteins Eps8 (epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8) and palladin, thereby disrupting cell adhesion. Formin 1 knockdown in vivo was found to impede spermatid adhesion, transport, and polarity, causing defects in spermiation in which elongated spermatids remained embedded into the epithelium in stage IX tubules, mediated by changes in the spatiotemporal expression of Arp3, Eps8, and palladin. In summary, formin 1 is a regulator of ES dynamics. PMID:25901598

  5. Mechanosensitive kinetic preference of actin-binding protein to actin filament

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, Yasuhiro; Adachi, Taiji

    2016-04-01

    The kinetic preference of actin-binding proteins to actin filaments is altered by external forces on the filament. Such an altered kinetic preference is largely responsible for remodeling the actin cytoskeletal structure in response to intracellular forces. During remodeling, actin-binding proteins and actin filaments interact under isothermal conditions, because the cells are homeostatic. In such a temperature homeostatic state, we can rigorously and thermodynamically link the chemical potential of actin-binding proteins to stresses on the actin filaments. From this relationship, we can construct a physical model that explains the force-dependent kinetic preference of actin-binding proteins to actin filaments. To confirm the model, we have analyzed the mechanosensitive alternation of the kinetic preference of Arp2/3 and cofilin to actin filaments. We show that this model captures the qualitative responses of these actin-binding proteins to the forces, as observed experimentally. Moreover, our theoretical results demonstrate that, depending on the structural parameters of the binding region, actin-binding proteins can show different kinetic responses even to the same mechanical signal tension, in which the double-helix nature of the actin filament also plays a critical role in a stretch-twist coupling of the filament.

  6. The Continuing Growth of Global Cooperation Networks in Research: A Conundrum for National Governments.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Caroline S; Park, Han Woo; Leydesdorff, Loet

    2015-01-01

    Global collaboration continues to grow as a share of all scientific cooperation, measured as coauthorships of peer-reviewed, published papers. The percent of all scientific papers that are internationally coauthored has more than doubled in 20 years, and they account for all the growth in output among the scientifically advanced countries. Emerging countries, particularly China, have increased their participation in global science, in part by doubling their spending on R&D; they are increasingly likely to appear as partners on internationally coauthored scientific papers. Given the growth of connections at the international level, it is helpful to examine the phenomenon as a communications network and to consider the network as a new organization on the world stage that adds to and complements national systems. When examined as interconnections across the globe over two decades, a global network has grown denser but not more clustered, meaning there are many more connections but they are not grouping into exclusive 'cliques'. This suggests that power relationships are not reproducing those of the political system. The network has features an open system, attracting productive scientists to participate in international projects. National governments could gain efficiencies and influence by developing policies and strategies designed to maximize network benefits-a model different from those designed for national systems. PMID:26196296

  7. The Continuing Growth of Global Cooperation Networks in Research: A Conundrum for National Governments

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Caroline S.; Park, Han Woo; Leydesdorff, Loet

    2015-01-01

    Global collaboration continues to grow as a share of all scientific cooperation, measured as coauthorships of peer-reviewed, published papers. The percent of all scientific papers that are internationally coauthored has more than doubled in 20 years, and they account for all the growth in output among the scientifically advanced countries. Emerging countries, particularly China, have increased their participation in global science, in part by doubling their spending on R&D; they are increasingly likely to appear as partners on internationally coauthored scientific papers. Given the growth of connections at the international level, it is helpful to examine the phenomenon as a communications network and to consider the network as a new organization on the world stage that adds to and complements national systems. When examined as interconnections across the globe over two decades, a global network has grown denser but not more clustered, meaning there are many more connections but they are not grouping into exclusive ‘cliques’. This suggests that power relationships are not reproducing those of the political system. The network has features an open system, attracting productive scientists to participate in international projects. National governments could gain efficiencies and influence by developing policies and strategies designed to maximize network benefits—a model different from those designed for national systems. PMID:26196296

  8. A Co-Association Network Analysis of the Genetic Determination of Pig Conformation, Growth and Fatness

    PubMed Central

    Puig-Oliveras, Anna; Ballester, Maria; Corominas, Jordi; Revilla, Manuel; Estellé, Jordi; Fernández, Ana I.; Ramayo-Caldas, Yuliaxis; Folch, Josep M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Several QTLs have been identified for major economically relevant traits in livestock, such as growth and meat quality, revealing the complex genetic architecture of these traits. The use of network approaches considering the interactions of multiple molecules and traits provides useful insights into the molecular underpinnings of complex traits. Here, a network based methodology, named Association Weight Matrix, was applied to study gene interactions and pathways affecting pig conformation, growth and fatness traits. Results The co-association network analysis underpinned three transcription factors, PPARγ, ELF1, and PRDM16 involved in mesoderm tissue differentiation. Fifty-four genes in the network belonged to growth-related ontologies and 46 of them were common with a similar study for growth in cattle supporting our results. The functional analysis uncovered the lipid metabolism and the corticotrophin and gonadotrophin release hormone pathways among the most important pathways influencing these traits. Our results suggest that the genes and pathways here identified are important determining either the total body weight of the animal and the fat content. For instance, a switch in the mesoderm tissue differentiation may determinate the age-related preferred pathways being in the puberty stage those related with the miogenic and osteogenic lineages; on the contrary, in the maturity stage cells may be more prone to the adipocyte fate. Hence, our results demonstrate that an integrative genomic co-association analysis is a powerful approach for identifying new connections and interactions among genes. Conclusions This work provides insights about pathways and key regulators which may be important determining the animal growth, conformation and body proportions and fatness traits. Molecular information concerning genes and pathways here described may be crucial for the improvement of genetic breeding programs applied to pork meat production. PMID:25503799

  9. Logistic growth for the Nuzi cuneiform tablets: Analyzing family networks in ancient Mesopotamia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueda, Sumie; Makino, Kumi; Itoh, Yoshiaki; Tsuchiya, Takashi

    2015-03-01

    We reconstruct the published year of each cuneiform tablet of the Nuzi society in ancient Mesopotamia. The tablets are on land transaction, marriage, loan, slavery contracts, etc. The number of tablets seems to increase by logistic growth. It may show the dynamics of concentration of lands or other properties into few powerful families in a period of about sixty years and most of them are in about thirty years. We reconstruct family trees and social networks of Nuzi and estimate the published years of cuneiform tablets consistently with the trees and networks, formulating least squares problems with linear inequality constraints.

  10. WAVE binds Ena/VASP for enhanced Arp2/3 complex–based actin assembly

    PubMed Central

    Havrylenko, Svitlana; Noguera, Philippe; Abou-Ghali, Majdouline; Manzi, John; Faqir, Fahima; Lamora, Audrey; Guérin, Christophe; Blanchoin, Laurent; Plastino, Julie

    2015-01-01

    The WAVE complex is the main activator of the Arp2/3 complex for actin filament nucleation and assembly in the lamellipodia of moving cells. Other important players in lamellipodial protrusion are Ena/VASP proteins, which enhance actin filament elongation. Here we examine the molecular coordination between the nucleating activity of the Arp2/3 complex and the elongating activity of Ena/VASP proteins for the formation of actin networks. Using an in vitro bead motility assay, we show that WAVE directly binds VASP, resulting in an increase in Arp2/3 complex–based actin assembly. We show that this interaction is important in vivo as well, for the formation of lamellipodia during the ventral enclosure event of Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis. Ena/VASP's ability to bind F-actin and profilin-complexed G-actin are important for its effect, whereas Ena/VASP tetramerization is not necessary. Our data are consistent with the idea that binding of Ena/VASP to WAVE potentiates Arp2/3 complex activity and lamellipodial actin assembly. PMID:25355952

  11. A role for actin arcs in the leading edge advance of migrating cells

    PubMed Central

    Burnette, Dylan T.; Manley, Suliana; Sengupta, Prabuddha; Sougrat, Rachid; Davidson, Michael W.; Kachar, Bechara; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The migration of epithelial cells requires coordination of two actin modules at the leading edge: one in the lamellipodium and one in the lamella. How the two modules connect mechanistically to regulate directed edge motion is not understood. Using a combination of live-cell imaging and photoactivation approaches, we demonstrate that the actin network of the lamellipodium evolves spatio-temporally into the lamella. This occurs during the retraction phase of edge motion when myosin II redistributes to the cell edge and condenses the lamellipodial-actin into an arc-like bundle (i.e., actin arc) parallel to the edge. The newly formed actin arc moves rearward and couples to focal adhesions as it enters the lamella. We propose net edge extension occurs by nascent focal adhesions advancing the site at which new actin arcs slow down and form the base of the next protrusion event. The actin arc thus serves as a structural element underlying the temporal and spatial connection between the lamellipodium and lamella to drive directed cell motion. PMID:21423177

  12. Quantifying morphological features of actin cytoskeletal filaments in plant cells based on mathematical morphology.

    PubMed

    Kimori, Yoshitaka; Hikino, Kazumi; Nishimura, Mikio; Mano, Shoji

    2016-01-21

    By quantifying the morphological properties of biological structures, we can better evaluate complex shapes and detect subtle morphological changes in organisms. In this paper, we propose a shape analysis method based on morphological image processing, and apply it to image analysis of actin cytoskeletal filaments in root hair cells of Arabidopsis thaliana. In plant cells, the actin cytoskeletal filaments have critical roles in various cellular processes such as vesicle trafficking and organelle motility. The dynamics of vesicles and organelles in plant cells depend on actin cytoskeletal filaments, regulating cell division and cell enlargement. To better understand the actin-dependent organelle motility, we attempted to quantify the organization of actin filaments in the root hair cells of the root hair defective 3 (rhd3) mutant. RHD3 is involved in actin organization, and its defect has been reported to affect the dynamics of various vesicles and organelles. We measured three shape features of the actin filaments in wild-type and mutant plants. One feature (thickness) was depicted on a grayscale; the others (describing the complexity of the filament network patterns in two-dimensional space) were depicted as binary features. The morphological phenotypes of the cytoskeletal filaments clearly differed between wild-type and mutant. Subtle variations of filament morphology among the mutants were detected and statistically quantified. PMID:26551157

  13. Functional interdependence between septin and actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Katja; Nichols, Benjamin J

    2004-01-01

    Background Septin2 is a member of a highly conserved GTPase family found in fungi and animals. Septins have been implicated in a diversity of cellular processes including cytokinesis, formation of diffusion barriers and vesicle trafficking. Septin2 partially co-localises with actin bundles in mammalian interphase cells and Septin2-filamentmorphology depends upon an intact actin cytoskeleton. How this interaction is regulated is not known. Moreover, evidence that Septin2 is remodelled or redistributed in response to other changes in actin organisation is lacking. Results Septin2 filaments are associated with actin fibres, but Septin2 is not associated with actin at the leading edge of moving cells or in ruffles where actin is highly dynamic. Rather, Septin2 is spatially segregated from these active areas and forms O- and C-shaped structures, similar to those previously observed after latrunculin treatment. FRAP experiments showed that all assemblies formed by Septin2 are highly dynamic with a constant exchange of Septin2 in and out of these structures, and that this property is independent of actin. A combination of RNAi experiments and expression of truncated forms of Septin2 showed that Septin2 plays a significant role in stabilising or maintaining actin bundles. Conclusion We show that Septin2 can form dynamic structures with differing morphologies in living cells, and that these morphologies are dependent on the functional state of the actin cytoskeleton. Our data provide a link between the different morphological states of Septin2 and functions of Septin2 in actin-dynamics, and are consistent with the model proposed by Kinoshita and colleagues, that Septin2 filaments play a role in stabilisation of actin stress fibres thus preventing actin turnover. PMID:15541171

  14. Calcium control of Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Greer, C; Schekman, R

    1982-01-01

    Low levels of Ca2+ dramatically influence the polymerization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin in KCl. The apparent critical concentration for polymerization (C infinity) increases eightfold in the presence of 0.1 mM Ca2+. This effect is rapidly reversed by the addition of ethylene glycol bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N'-tetraacetic acid or of 0.1 mM Mg2+. Furthermore, the addition of Ca2+ to polymerized actin causes a reversible increase in the apparent C infinity. In the presence of Ca2+, at actin concentrations below the apparent C infinity, particles of 15 to 50 nm in diameter are seen instead of filaments. These particles are separated from soluble actin when Ca2+-treated filamentous actin is sedimented at high speed; both the soluble and particulate fractions retain Ca2+-sensitive polymerization. The Ca2+ effect is S. cerevisiae actin-specific: the C infinity for rabbit muscle actin is not affected by the presence of Ca2+ and S. cerevisiae actin. Ca2+ may act directly on S. cerevisiae actin to control the assembly state in vivo. Images PMID:6757718

  15. Dynamic actin gene family evolution in primates.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Liucun; Zhang, Ying; Hu, Yijun; Wen, Tieqiao; Wang, Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Actin is one of the most highly conserved proteins and plays crucial roles in many vital cellular functions. In most eukaryotes, it is encoded by a multigene family. Although the actin gene family has been studied a lot, few investigators focus on the comparison of actin gene family in relative species. Here, the purpose of our study is to systematically investigate characteristics and evolutionary pattern of actin gene family in primates. We identified 233 actin genes in human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, gibbon, rhesus monkey, and marmoset genomes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that actin genes in the seven species could be divided into two major types of clades: orthologous group versus complex group. Codon usages and gene expression patterns of actin gene copies were highly consistent among the groups because of basic functions needed by the organisms, but much diverged within species due to functional diversification. Besides, many great potential pseudogenes were found with incomplete open reading frames due to frameshifts or early stop codons. These results implied that actin gene family in primates went through "birth and death" model of evolution process. Under this model, actin genes experienced strong negative selection and increased the functional complexity by reproducing themselves. PMID:23841080

  16. Stochastic model of profilin-actin polymerization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horan, Brandon; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    A driving factor in cell motility and other processes that involve changes of cell shape is the rapid polymerization of actin subunits into long filaments. This process is regulated by profilin, a protein which binds to actin subunits and regulates elongation of actin filaments. Whether profilin stimulates polymerization by coupling to hydrolysis of ATP-bound actin is debated. Previous studies have proposed indirect coupling to ATP hydrolysis using rate equations, but did not include the effects of fluctuations that are important near the critical concentration. We developed stochastic simulations using the Gillespie algorithm to study single filament elongation at the barbed end in the presence of profilin. We used recently measured rate constants and estimated the rate of profilin binding to the barbed end such that detailed balance is satisfied. Fast phosphate release at the tip of the filament was accounted for. The elongation rate and length diffusivity as functions of profilin and actin concentration were calculated and used to extract the critical concentrations of free actin and of total actin. We show under what conditions profilin leads to an increase in the critical concentration of total actin but a decrease in the critical concentration of free actin.

  17. Non-Contact Plant Growth Measurement Method and System Based on Ubiquitous Sensor Network Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Suk, Jinweon; Kim, Seokhoon; Ryoo, Intae

    2011-01-01

    This paper proposes a non-contact plant growth measurement system using infrared sensors based on the ubiquitous sensor network (USN) technology. The proposed system measures plant growth parameters such as the stem radius of plants using real-time non-contact methods, and generates diameter, cross-sectional area and thickening form of plant stems using this measured data. Non-contact sensors have been used not to cause any damage to plants during measurement of the growth parameters. Once the growth parameters are measured, they are transmitted to a remote server using the sensor network technology and analyzed in the application program server. The analyzed data are then provided for administrators and a group of interested users. The proposed plant growth measurement system has been designed and implemented using fixed-type and rotary-type infrared sensor based measurement methods and devices. Finally, the system performance is compared and verified with the measurement data that have been obtained by practical field experiments. PMID:22163849

  18. Emergence of hierarchy in cost-driven growth of spatial networks

    PubMed Central

    Louf, Rémi; Jensen, Pablo; Barthelemy, Marc

    2013-01-01

    One of the most important features of spatial networks—such as transportation networks, power grids, the Internet, and neural networks—is the existence of a cost associated with the length of links. Such a cost has a profound influence on the global structure of these networks, which usually display a hierarchical spatial organization. The link between local constraints and large-scale structure is not elucidated, however, and we introduce here a generic model for the growth of spatial networks based on the general concept of cost–benefit analysis. This model depends essentially on a single scale and produces a family of networks that range from the star graph to the minimum spanning tree and are characterized by a continuously varying exponent. We show that spatial hierarchy emerges naturally, with structures composed of various hubs controlling geographically separated service areas, and appears as a large-scale consequence of local cost–benefit considerations. Our model thus provides the basic building blocks for a better understanding of the evolution of spatial networks and their properties. We also find that, surprisingly, the average detour is minimal in the intermediate regime as a result of a large diversity in link lengths. Finally, we estimate the important parameters for various world railway networks and find that, remarkably, they all fall in this intermediate regime, suggesting that spatial hierarchy is a crucial feature for these systems and probably possesses an important evolutionary advantage. PMID:23674674

  19. Plant actin cytoskeleton re-modeling by plant parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Engler, Janice de Almeida; Rodiuc, Natalia; Smertenko, Andrei; Abad, Pierre

    2010-03-01

    The cytoskeleton is an important component of the plant's defense mechanism against the attack of pathogenic organisms. Plants however, are defenseless against parasitic root-knot and cyst nematodes and respond to the invasion by the development of a special feeding site that supplies the parasite with nutrients required for the completion of its life cycle. Recent studies of nematode invasion under treatment with cytoskeletal drugs and in mutant plants where normal functions of the cytoskeleton have been affected, demonstrate the importance of the cytoskeleton in the establishment of a feeding site and successful nematode reproduction. It appears that in the case of microfilaments, nematodes hijack the intracellular machinery that regulates actin dynamics and modulate the organization and properties of the actin filament network. Intervening with this process reduces the nematode infection efficiency and inhibits its life cycle. This discovery uncovers a new pathway that can be exploited for the protection of plants against nematodes. PMID:20038822

  20. Actin microfilaments in presumptive statocytes of root caps and coleoptiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, R. G.; Sack, F. D.

    1990-01-01

    Rhodamine-phalloidin was used to determine the distribution of actin microfilament bundles (mfb) in cells thought to be the site of gravity perception (statocytes) in coleoptiles and root caps of Zea mays and Hordeum vulgare. In coleoptile cells, amyloplasts were usually observed in close proximity to thick mfb, which often appeared to divide into finer mfb adjacent to individual amyloplasts. The nucleus in these cells was surrounded by an extensive network of mfb, which were connected to thicker transvacuolar mfb. Columella cells of the root cap contained an extensive reticulum of fine mfb throughout the protoplast, but lacked the much thicker mfb seen in coleoptile cells. The distribution and extent of mfb observed in fixed cells correlates with patterns of streaming and amyloplast movement seen in living cells. A possible role for actin mfb in the perception of gravity is discussed.

  1. Spontaneous symmetry breaking for geometrical trajectories of actin-based motility in three dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Fu-Lai; Leung, Kwan-tai; Chen, Hsuan-Yi

    2016-07-01

    Actin-based motility is important for many cellular processes. In this article we extend our previous studies of an actin-propelled circular disk in two dimensions to an actin-propelled spherical bead in three dimensions. We find that for an achiral load the couplings between the motion of the load and the actin network induce a series of bifurcations, starting with a transition from rest to moving state, followed by a transition from straight to planar curves, and finally a further transition from motion in a plane to one with torsion. To address the intriguing, experimentally observed chiral motility of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, we also study the motility of a spherical load with a built-in chirality. For such a chiral load, stable circular trajectories are no longer found in numerical simulations. Instead, helical trajectories with handedness that depends on the chirality of the load are found. Our results reveal the relation between the symmetry of actin network and the trajectories of actin-propelled loads.

  2. Spontaneous symmetry breaking for geometrical trajectories of actin-based motility in three dimensions.

    PubMed

    Wen, Fu-Lai; Leung, Kwan-Tai; Chen, Hsuan-Yi

    2016-07-01

    Actin-based motility is important for many cellular processes. In this article we extend our previous studies of an actin-propelled circular disk in two dimensions to an actin-propelled spherical bead in three dimensions. We find that for an achiral load the couplings between the motion of the load and the actin network induce a series of bifurcations, starting with a transition from rest to moving state, followed by a transition from straight to planar curves, and finally a further transition from motion in a plane to one with torsion. To address the intriguing, experimentally observed chiral motility of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, we also study the motility of a spherical load with a built-in chirality. For such a chiral load, stable circular trajectories are no longer found in numerical simulations. Instead, helical trajectories with handedness that depends on the chirality of the load are found. Our results reveal the relation between the symmetry of actin network and the trajectories of actin-propelled loads. PMID:27575158

  3. Myosin VI small insert isoform maintains exocytosis by tethering secretory granules to the cortical actin

    PubMed Central

    Tomatis, Vanesa M.; Papadopulos, Andreas; Malintan, Nancy T.; Martin, Sally; Wallis, Tristan; Gormal, Rachel S.; Kendrick-Jones, John; Buss, Folma

    2013-01-01

    Before undergoing neuroexocytosis, secretory granules (SGs) are mobilized and tethered to the cortical actin network by an unknown mechanism. Using an SG pull-down assay and mass spectrometry, we found that myosin VI was recruited to SGs in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Interfering with myosin VI function in PC12 cells reduced the density of SGs near the plasma membrane without affecting their biogenesis. Myosin VI knockdown selectively impaired a late phase of exocytosis, consistent with a replenishment defect. This exocytic defect was selectively rescued by expression of the myosin VI small insert (SI) isoform, which efficiently tethered SGs to the cortical actin network. These myosin VI SI–specific effects were prevented by deletion of a c-Src kinase phosphorylation DYD motif, identified in silico. Myosin VI SI thus recruits SGs to the cortical actin network, potentially via c-Src phosphorylation, thereby maintaining an active pool of SGs near the plasma membrane. PMID:23382463

  4. A yeast TCP-1-like protein is required for actin function in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Vinh, D B; Drubin, D G

    1994-01-01

    We previously identified the ANC2 gene in a screen for mutations that enhance the defects caused by yeast actin mutations. Here we report that ANC2 is an essential gene that encodes a member of the TCP-1 family. TCP-1-related proteins are subunits of cytosolic heteromeric protein complexes referred to as chaperonins. These complexes can bind to newly synthesized actin and tubulin in vitro and can convert these proteins into an assembly-competent state. We show that anc2-1 mutants contain abnormal and disorganized actin structures, are defective in cellular morphogenesis, and are hypersensitive to the microtubule inhibitor benomyl. Furthermore, overexpression of wild-type Anc2p ameliorates defects in actin organization and cell growth caused by actin overproduction. Mutations in BIN2 and BIN3, two other genes that encode TCP-1-like proteins, also enhance the phenotypes of actin mutants. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that TCP-1-like proteins are required for actin and tubulin function in vivo. Images PMID:7916461

  5. Polarized Exocytosis Induces Compensatory Endocytosis by Sec4p-Regulated Cortical Actin Polymerization.

    PubMed

    Johansen, Jesper; Alfaro, Gabriel; Beh, Christopher T

    2016-08-01

    Polarized growth is maintained by both polarized exocytosis, which transports membrane components to specific locations on the cell cortex, and endocytosis, which retrieves these components before they can diffuse away. Despite functional links between these two transport pathways, they are generally considered to be separate events. Using live cell imaging, in vivo and in vitro protein binding assays, and in vitro pyrene-actin polymerization assays, we show that the yeast Rab GTPase Sec4p couples polarized exocytosis with cortical actin polymerization, which induces endocytosis. After polarized exocytosis to the plasma membrane, Sec4p binds Las17/Bee1p (yeast Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein [WASp]) in a complex with Sla1p and Sla2p during actin patch assembly. Mutations that inactivate Sec4p, or its guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Sec2p, inhibit actin patc