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Sample records for actin cortical mat

  1. 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

  2. Active Chemical Thermodynamics promoted by activity of cortical actin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Bhaswati; Chaudhuri, Abhishek; Gowrishankar, Kripa; Rao, Madan

    2011-03-01

    The spatial distribution and dynamics of formation and breakup of the nanoclusters of cell surface proteins is controlled by the active remodeling dynamics of the underlying cortical actin. To explain these observations, we have proposed a novel mechanism of nanoclustering, involving the transient binding to and advection along constitutively occuring ``asters'' of cortical actin. We study the consequences of such active actin-based clustering, in the context of chemical reactions involving conformational changes of cell surface proteins. We find that the active remodeling of cortical actin, can give rise to a dramatic increase in efficiency and extent of conformational spread, even at low levels of expression at the cell surface. We define a activity temperature (τa) arising due to actin activities which can be used to describe chemical thermodynamics of the system. We plot TTT (time-temparature-transformation) curves and compute the Arrhenius factors which depend on τa . With this, the active asters can be treated as enzymes whose enzymatic reaction rate can be related to the activity.

  3. State transitions of actin cortices in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Tzer Han; Keren, Kinneret; Mackintosh, Fred; Schmidt, Christoph; Fakhri, Nikta

    Most animal cells are enveloped by a thin layer of actin cortex which governs the cell mechanics. A functional cortex must be rigid to provide mechanical support while being flexible to allow for rapid restructuring events such as cell division. To satisfy these requirements, the actin cortex is highly dynamic with fast actin turnover and myosin-driven contractility. The regulatory mechanism responsible for the transition between a mechanically stable state and a restructuring state is not well understood. Here, we develop a technique to map the dynamics of reconstituted actin cortices in emulsion droplets using IR fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). By increasing crosslinker concentration, we find that a homogeneous cortex transitions to an intermediate state with broken rotational symmetry and a globally contractile state which further breaks translational symmetry. We apply this new dynamic mapping technique to cortices of live starfish oocytes in various developmental stages. To identify the regulatory mechanism for steady state transitions, we subject the oocytes to actin and myosin disrupting drugs.

  4. Cortical actin regulation modulates vascular contractility and compliance in veins

    PubMed Central

    Saphirstein, Robert J; Gao, Yuan Z; Lin, Qian Qian; Morgan, Kathleen G

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The literature on arterial mechanics is extensive, but far less is known about mechanisms controlling mechanical properties of veins. We use here a multi-scale approach to identify subcellular sources of venous stiffness. Portal vein tissue displays a severalfold decrease in passive stiffness compared to aortic tissues. The α-adrenergic agonist phenylephrine (PE) increased tissue stress and stiffness, both attenuated by cytochalasin D (CytoD) and PP2, inhibitors of actin polymerization and Src activity, respectively. We quantify, for the first time, cortical cellular stiffness in freshly isolated contractile vascular smooth muscle cells using magnetic microneedle technology. Cortical stiffness is significantly increased by PE and CytoD inhibits this increase but, surprisingly, PP2 does not. No detectable change in focal adhesion size, measured by immunofluorescence of FAK and zyxin, accompanies the PE-induced changes in cortical stiffness. Probing with phospho-specific antibodies confirmed activation of FAK/Src and ERK pathways and caldesmon phosphorylation. Thus, venous tissue stiffness is regulated both at the level of the smooth muscle cell cortex, via cortical actin polymerization, and by downstream smooth muscle effectors of Src/ERK signalling pathways. These findings identify novel potential molecular targets for the modulation of venous capacitance and venous return in health and disease. Key points Most cardiovascular research focuses on arterial mechanisms of disease, largely ignoring venous mechanisms. Here we examine ex vivo venous stiffness, spanning tissue to molecular levels, using biomechanics and magnetic microneedle technology, and show for the first time that venous stiffness is regulated by a molecular actin switch within the vascular smooth muscle cell in the wall of the vein. This switch connects the contractile apparatus within the cell to adhesion structures and facilitates stiffening of the vessel wall, regulating blood flow return

  5. 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

  6. Feeling for Filaments: Quantification of the Cortical Actin Web in Live Vascular Endothelium.

    PubMed

    Kronlage, Cornelius; Schäfer-Herte, Marco; Böning, Daniel; Oberleithner, Hans; Fels, Johannes

    2015-08-18

    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.

  7. Alteration of the Cortical Actin Cytoskeleton Deregulates Ca2+ Signaling, Monospermic Fertilization, and Sperm Entry

    PubMed Central

    Puppo, A.; Chun, Jong T.; Gragnaniello, Giovanni; Garante, Ezio; Santella, Luigia

    2008-01-01

    Background When preparing for fertilization, oocytes undergo meiotic maturation during which structural changes occur in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that lead to a more efficient calcium response. During meiotic maturation and subsequent fertilization, the actin cytoskeleton also undergoes dramatic restructuring. We have recently observed that rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton induced by actin-depolymerizing agents, or by actin-binding proteins, strongly modulate intracellular calcium (Ca2+) signals during the maturation process. However, the significance of the dynamic changes in F-actin within the fertilized egg has been largely unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings We have measured changes in intracellular Ca2+ signals and F-actin structures during fertilization. We also report the unexpected observation that the conventional antagonist of the InsP3 receptor, heparin, hyperpolymerizes the cortical actin cytoskeleton in postmeiotic eggs. Using heparin and other pharmacological agents that either hypo- or hyperpolymerize the cortical actin, we demonstrate that nearly all aspects of the fertilization process are profoundly affected by the dynamic restructuring of the egg cortical actin cytoskeleton. Conclusions/Significance Our findings identify important roles for subplasmalemmal actin fibers in the process of sperm-egg interaction and in the subsequent events related to fertilization: the generation of Ca2+ signals, sperm penetration, cortical granule exocytosis, and the block to polyspermy. PMID:18974786

  8. Diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins is influenced by the activity of dynamic cortical actin.

    PubMed

    Saha, Suvrajit; Lee, Il-Hyung; Polley, Anirban; Groves, Jay T; Rao, Madan; Mayor, Satyajit

    2015-11-01

    Molecular diffusion at the surface of living cells is believed to be predominantly driven by thermal kicks. However, there is growing evidence that certain cell surface molecules are driven by the fluctuating dynamics of cortical cytoskeleton. Using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we measure the diffusion coefficient of a variety of cell surface molecules over a temperature range of 24-37 °C. Exogenously incorporated fluorescent lipids with short acyl chains exhibit the expected increase of diffusion coefficient over this temperature range. In contrast, we find that GPI-anchored proteins exhibit temperature-independent diffusion over this range and revert to temperature-dependent diffusion on cell membrane blebs, in cells depleted of cholesterol, and upon acute perturbation of actin dynamics and myosin activity. A model transmembrane protein with a cytosolic actin-binding domain also exhibits the temperature-independent behavior, directly implicating the role of cortical actin. We show that diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins also becomes temperature dependent when the filamentous dynamic actin nucleator formin is inhibited. However, changes in cortical actin mesh size or perturbation of branched actin nucleator Arp2/3 do not affect this behavior. Thus cell surface diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins and transmembrane proteins that associate with actin is driven by active fluctuations of dynamic cortical actin filaments in addition to thermal fluctuations, consistent with expectations from an "active actin-membrane composite" cell surface.

  9. Diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins is influenced by the activity of dynamic cortical actin

    PubMed Central

    Saha, Suvrajit; Lee, Il-Hyung; Polley, Anirban; Groves, Jay T.; Rao, Madan; Mayor, Satyajit

    2015-01-01

    Molecular diffusion at the surface of living cells is believed to be predominantly driven by thermal kicks. However, there is growing evidence that certain cell surface molecules are driven by the fluctuating dynamics of cortical cytoskeleton. Using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we measure the diffusion coefficient of a variety of cell surface molecules over a temperature range of 24–37°C. Exogenously incorporated fluorescent lipids with short acyl chains exhibit the expected increase of diffusion coefficient over this temperature range. In contrast, we find that GPI-anchored proteins exhibit temperature-independent diffusion over this range and revert to temperature-dependent diffusion on cell membrane blebs, in cells depleted of cholesterol, and upon acute perturbation of actin dynamics and myosin activity. A model transmembrane protein with a cytosolic actin-binding domain also exhibits the temperature-independent behavior, directly implicating the role of cortical actin. We show that diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins also becomes temperature dependent when the filamentous dynamic actin nucleator formin is inhibited. However, changes in cortical actin mesh size or perturbation of branched actin nucleator Arp2/3 do not affect this behavior. Thus cell surface diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins and transmembrane proteins that associate with actin is driven by active fluctuations of dynamic cortical actin filaments in addition to thermal fluctuations, consistent with expectations from an “active actin-membrane composite” cell surface. PMID:26378258

  10. Spatiotemporal regulation of chemical reaction kinetics of cell surface molecules by active remodeling of cortical actin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Bhaswati; Chaudhuri, Abhishek; Gowrishankar, Kripa; Mayor, Satyajit; Rao, Madan

    2010-03-01

    Cell surface proteins such as lipid tethered GPI-anchored proteins and Ras-proteins are distributed as monomers and nanoclusters on the surface of living cells. Recent work from our laboratory suggests that the spatial distribution and dynamics of formation and breakup of these nanoclusters is controlled by the active remodeling dynamics of the underlying cortical actin. To explain these observations, we propose a novel mechanism of nanoclustering, involving the transient binding to and advection along constitutively occuring ``asters'' of cortical actin. Here we study the consequences of such active actin based clustering, in the context of chemical reactions involving conformational changes of cell surface proteins. We find that active remodeling of cortical actin, can give rise to a dramatic increase in the reaction efficiency and output levels. In general, such actin driven clustering of membrane proteins could be a cellular mechanism to spatiotemporally regulate and amplify local chemical reaction rates, in the context of signalling and endocytosis.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Cytoskeletal proteins in cortical development and disease: actin associated proteins in periventricular heterotopia

    PubMed Central

    Lian, Gewei; Sheen, Volney L.

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton regulates many important cellular processes in the brain, including cell division and proliferation, migration, and cytokinesis and differentiation. These developmental processes can be regulated through actin dependent vesicle and organelle movement, cell signaling, and the establishment and maintenance of cell junctions and cell shape. Many of these processes are mediated by extensive and intimate interactions of actin with cellular membranes and proteins. Disruption in the actin cytoskeleton in the brain gives rise to periventricular heterotopia (PH), a malformation of cortical development, characterized by abnormal neurons clustered deep in the brain along the lateral ventricles. This disorder can give rise to seizures, dyslexia and psychiatric disturbances. Anatomically, PH is characterized by a smaller brain (impaired proliferation), heterotopia (impaired initial migration) and disruption along the neuroependymal lining (impaired cell-cell adhesion). Genes causal for PH have also been implicated in actin-dependent processes. The current review provides mechanistic insight into actin cytoskeletal regulation of cortical development in the context of this malformation of cortical development. PMID:25883548

  14. Insulin-induced cortical actin remodeling promotes GLUT4 insertion at muscle cell membrane ruffles

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Peter; Khayat, Zayna A.; Huang, Carol; Patel, Nish; Ueyama, Atsunori; Klip, Amira

    2001-01-01

    Insulin stimulates glucose uptake by recruiting glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) from an intracellular compartment to the cell surface; this phenomenon is defective in type 2 diabetes. Here we examine the involvement of actin filaments in GLUT4 translocation and their possible defects in insulin resistance, using L6 myotubes expressing myc-tagged GLUT4. Insulin caused membrane ruffling, a dynamic distortion of the myotube dorsal surface. Fluorescence microscopy and immunogold staining of surface GLUT4myc coupled to backscatter electron microscopy revealed a high density of this protein in membrane ruffles. The t-SNAREs syntaxin4 and SNAP-23 were also abundant in these regions. Below the membrane, GLUT4 and the vesicular protein VAMP2, but not VAMP3, colocalized with the actin structures supporting the membrane ruffles. GLUT4myc externalization and membrane ruffles were reduced by jasplakinolide and by swinholide-A, drugs that affect actin filament stability and prevent actin branching, respectively. Insulin resistance generated by prolonged (24 hours) exposure of myotubes to high glucose and insulin diminished the acute insulin-dependent remodeling of cortical actin and GLUT4myc translocation, reminiscent of the effect of swinholide-A. We propose that GLUT4 vesicle incorporation into the plasma membrane involves insulin-dependent cortical actin remodeling and that defective actin remodeling contributes to insulin resistance. PMID:11489930

  15. Cortical instability drives periodic supracellular actin pattern formation in epithelial tubes.

    PubMed

    Hannezo, Edouard; Dong, Bo; Recho, Pierre; Joanny, Jean-François; Hayashi, Shigeo

    2015-07-14

    An essential question of morphogenesis is how patterns arise without preexisting positional information, as inspired by Turing. In the past few years, cytoskeletal flows in the cell cortex have been identified as a key mechanism of molecular patterning at the subcellular level. Theoretical and in vitro studies have suggested that biological polymers such as actomyosin gels have the property to self-organize, but the applicability of this concept in an in vivo setting remains unclear. Here, we report that the regular spacing pattern of supracellular actin rings in the Drosophila tracheal tubule is governed by a self-organizing principle. We propose a simple biophysical model where pattern formation arises from the interplay of myosin contractility and actin turnover. We validate the hypotheses of the model using photobleaching experiments and report that the formation of actin rings is contractility dependent. Moreover, genetic and pharmacological perturbations of the physical properties of the actomyosin gel modify the spacing of the pattern, as the model predicted. In addition, our model posited a role of cortical friction in stabilizing the spacing pattern of actin rings. Consistently, genetic depletion of apical extracellular matrix caused strikingly dynamic movements of actin rings, mirroring our model prediction of a transition from steady to chaotic actin patterns at low cortical friction. Our results therefore demonstrate quantitatively that a hydrodynamical instability of the actin cortex can trigger regular pattern formation and drive morphogenesis in an in vivo setting.

  16. Cortical instability drives periodic supracellular actin pattern formation in epithelial tubes

    PubMed Central

    Hannezo, Edouard; Dong, Bo; Recho, Pierre; Joanny, Jean-François; Hayashi, Shigeo

    2015-01-01

    An essential question of morphogenesis is how patterns arise without preexisting positional information, as inspired by Turing. In the past few years, cytoskeletal flows in the cell cortex have been identified as a key mechanism of molecular patterning at the subcellular level. Theoretical and in vitro studies have suggested that biological polymers such as actomyosin gels have the property to self-organize, but the applicability of this concept in an in vivo setting remains unclear. Here, we report that the regular spacing pattern of supracellular actin rings in the Drosophila tracheal tubule is governed by a self-organizing principle. We propose a simple biophysical model where pattern formation arises from the interplay of myosin contractility and actin turnover. We validate the hypotheses of the model using photobleaching experiments and report that the formation of actin rings is contractility dependent. Moreover, genetic and pharmacological perturbations of the physical properties of the actomyosin gel modify the spacing of the pattern, as the model predicted. In addition, our model posited a role of cortical friction in stabilizing the spacing pattern of actin rings. Consistently, genetic depletion of apical extracellular matrix caused strikingly dynamic movements of actin rings, mirroring our model prediction of a transition from steady to chaotic actin patterns at low cortical friction. Our results therefore demonstrate quantitatively that a hydrodynamical instability of the actin cortex can trigger regular pattern formation and drive morphogenesis in an in vivo setting. PMID:26077909

  17. Polarized Exocytosis Induces Compensatory Endocytosis by Sec4p-Regulated Cortical Actin Polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, Jesper; Alfaro, Gabriel; Beh, Christopher T.

    2016-01-01

    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 patch formation, whereas the activating sec4-Q79L mutation accelerates patch assembly. In vitro assays of Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization established that GTPγS-Sec4p overrides Sla1p inhibition of Las17p-dependent actin nucleation. These results support a model in which Sec4p relocates along the plasma membrane from polarized sites of exocytic vesicle fusion to nascent sites of endocytosis. Activated Sec4p then promotes actin polymerization and triggers compensatory endocytosis, which controls surface expansion and kinetically refines cell polarization. PMID:27526190

  18. Zygotically controlled F-actin establishes cortical compartments to stabilize furrows during Drosophila cellularization

    PubMed Central

    Sokac, Anna Marie; Wieschaus, Eric

    2009-01-01

    Summary Cortical compartments partition proteins and membrane at the cell surface to define regions of specialized function. Here we ask how cortical compartments arise along the plasma membrane furrows that cellularize the early Drosophila embryo, and investigate the influence that this compartmentalization has on furrow ingression. We find that the zygotic gene product Nullo aids the establishment of discrete cortical compartments, called furrow canals, which form at the tip of incipient furrows. Upon nullo loss-of-function, proteins that are normally restricted to adjacent lateral regions of the furrow, such as Neurotactin and Discs large, spread into the furrow canals. At the same time, cortical components that should concentrate in furrow canals, such as Myosin 2 (Zipper) and Anillin (Scraps), are missing from some furrows. Depletion of these cortical components from the furrow canal compartments precipitates furrow regression. Contrary to previous models, we find that furrow compartmentalization does not require cell-cell junctions that border the furrow canals. Instead, compartmentalization is disrupted by treatments that reduce levels of cortical F-actin. Because the earliest uniform phenotype detected in nullo mutants is reduced levels of F-actin at furrow canals, we propose that Nullo compartmentalizes furrows via its regulation of Factin, thus stabilizing furrows and insuring their ingression to complete cellularization. PMID:18460582

  19. 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

  20. Cortical actin filament organization in developing and functioning stomatal complexes of Zea mays and Triticum turgidum.

    PubMed

    Panteris, Emmanuel; Galatis, Basil; Quader, Hartmut; Apostolakos, Panagiotis

    2007-07-01

    Cortical actin filament (AF) organization was studied in detail in developing stomatal complexes of the grasses Zea mays and Triticum turgidum. AF arrays during the whole stomatal complex development are dynamic, partly following the pattern of cortical microtubule (MT) organization. They also exhibit particular patterns of organization, spatially and temporarily restricted. Among AF arrays, the radial ones that underlie young guard cell (GC) periclinal walls, those that line the bulbous GC ends and the AF ring at the junction between subsidiary cells (SCs) and GCs are described here for the first time. Although many similarities in cortical AF organization exist among the stomatal cells of both plants studied, considerable differences have also been observed between them. Our data reveal that the expanding areas of stomatal cell walls are lined by distinct cortical AF aggregations that probably protect the plasmalemma against mechanical stresses. Experimental AF disruption does not seem to affect detectably stomatal cell morphogenesis. Moreover, the structural and experimental data of this study revealed that, in contrast to the elliptical stomata, in the dumbbell-shaped ones the AFs and MTs seem not to be involved in the mechanism of opening and closing of the stomatal pore.

  1. Periventricular Heterotopia: Shuttling of Proteins through Vesicles and Actin in Cortical Development and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Sheen, Volney L.

    2012-01-01

    During cortical development, proliferating neural progenitors exhibit polarized apical and basolateral membranes that are maintained by tightly controlled and membrane-specific vesicular trafficking pathways. Disruption of polarity through impaired delivery of proteins can alter cell fate decisions and consequent expansion of the progenitor pool, as well as impact the integrity of the neuroependymal lining. Loss of neuroependymal integrity disrupts radial glial scaffolding and alters initial neuronal migration from the ventricular zone. Vesicle trafficking is also required for maintenance of lipid and protein cycling within the leading and trailing edge of migratory neurons, as well as dendrites and synapses of mature neurons. Defects in this transport machinery disrupt neuronal identity, migration, and connectivity and give rise to a malformation of cortical development termed as periventricular heterotopia (PH). PH is characterized by a reduction in brain size, ectopic clusters of neurons localized along the lateral ventricle, and epilepsy and dyslexia. These anatomical anomalies correlate with developmental impairments in neural progenitor proliferation and specification, migration from loss of neuroependymal integrity and neuronal motility, and aberrant neuronal process extension. Genes causal for PH regulate vesicle-mediated endocytosis along an actin cytoskeletal network. This paper explores the role of these dynamic processes in cortical development and disease. PMID:24278701

  2. A resilient formin-derived cortical actin meshwork in the rear drives actomyosin-based motility in 2D confinement

    PubMed Central

    Ramalingam, Nagendran; Franke, Christof; Jaschinski, Evelin; Winterhoff, Moritz; Lu, Yao; Brühmann, Stefan; Junemann, Alexander; Meier, Helena; Noegel, Angelika A.; Weber, Igor; Zhao, Hongxia; Merkel, Rudolf; Schleicher, Michael; Faix, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Cell migration is driven by the establishment of disparity between the cortical properties of the softer front and the more rigid rear allowing front extension and actomyosin-based rear contraction. However, how the cortical actin meshwork in the rear is generated remains elusive. Here we identify the mDia1-like formin A (ForA) from Dictyostelium discoideum that generates a subset of filaments as the basis of a resilient cortical actin sheath in the rear. Mechanical resistance of this actin compartment is accomplished by actin crosslinkers and IQGAP-related proteins, and is mandatory to withstand the increased contractile forces in response to mechanical stress by impeding unproductive blebbing in the rear, allowing efficient cell migration in two-dimensional-confined environments. Consistently, ForA supresses the formation of lateral protrusions, rapidly relocalizes to new prospective ends in repolarizing cells and is required for cortical integrity. Finally, we show that ForA utilizes the phosphoinositide gradients in polarized cells for subcellular targeting. PMID:26415699

  3. Filopodial retraction force is generated by cortical actin dynamics and controlled by reversible tethering at the tip

    PubMed Central

    Bornschlögl, Thomas; Romero, Stéphane; Vestergaard, Christian L.; Joanny, Jean-François; Van Nhieu, Guy Tran; Bassereau, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    Filopodia are dynamic, finger-like plasma membrane protrusions that sense the mechanical and chemical surroundings of the cell. Here, we show in epithelial cells that the dynamics of filopodial extension and retraction are determined by the difference between the actin polymerization rate at the tip and the retrograde flow at the base of the filopodium. Adhesion of a bead to the filopodial tip locally reduces actin polymerization and leads to retraction via retrograde flow, reminiscent of a process used by pathogens to invade cells. Using optical tweezers, we show that filopodial retraction occurs at a constant speed against counteracting forces up to 50 pN. Our measurements point toward retrograde flow in the cortex together with frictional coupling between the filopodial and cortical actin networks as the main retraction-force generator for filopodia. The force exerted by filopodial retraction, however, is limited by the connection between filopodial actin filaments and the membrane at the tip. Upon mechanical rupture of the tip connection, filopodia exert a passive retraction force of 15 pN via their plasma membrane. Transient reconnection at the tip allows filopodia to continuously probe their surroundings in a load-and-fail manner within a well-defined force range. PMID:24198333

  4. Nanoscopy of filamentous actin in cortical dendrites of a living mouse.

    PubMed

    Willig, Katrin I; Steffens, Heinz; Gregor, Carola; Herholt, Alexander; Rossner, Moritz J; Hell, Stefan W

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate superresolution fluorescence microscopy (nanoscopy) of protein distributions in a mammalian brain in vivo. Stimulated emission depletion microscopy reveals the morphology of the filamentous actin in dendritic spines down to 40 μm in the molecular layer of the visual cortex of an anesthetized mouse. Consecutive recordings at 43-70 nm resolution reveal dynamical changes in spine morphology.

  5. 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

  6. The Nucleocapsid Domain of Gag Is Dispensable for Actin Incorporation into HIV-1 and for Association of Viral Budding Sites with Cortical F-Actin

    PubMed Central

    Stauffer, Sarah; Rahman, Sheikh Abdul; de Marco, Alex; Carlson, Lars-Anders; Glass, Bärbel; Oberwinkler, Heike; Herold, Nikolas; Briggs, John A. G.; Müller, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Actin and actin-binding proteins are incorporated into HIV-1 particles, and F-actin has been suggested to bind the NC domain in HIV-1 Gag. Furthermore, F-actin has been frequently observed in the vicinity of HIV-1 budding sites by cryo-electron tomography (cET). Filamentous structures emanating from viral buds and suggested to correspond to actin filaments have been observed by atomic force microscopy. To determine whether the NC domain of Gag is required for actin association with viral buds and for actin incorporation into HIV-1, we performed comparative analyses of virus-like particles (VLPs) obtained by expression of wild-type HIV-1 Gag or a Gag variant where the entire NC domain had been replaced by a dimerizing leucine zipper [Gag(LZ)]. The latter protein yielded efficient production of VLPs with near-wild-type assembly kinetics and size and exhibited a regular immature Gag lattice. Typical HIV-1 budding sites were detected by using cET in cells expressing either Gag or Gag(LZ), and no difference was observed regarding the association of buds with the F-actin network. Furthermore, actin was equally incorporated into wild-type HIV-1 and Gag- or Gag(LZ)-derived VLPs, with less actin per particle observed than had been reported previously. Incorporation appeared to correlate with the relative intracellular actin concentration, suggesting an uptake of cytosol rather than a specific recruitment of actin. Thus, the NC domain in HIV-1 Gag does not appear to have a role in actin recruitment or actin incorporation into HIV-1 particles. IMPORTANCE HIV-1 particles bud from the plasma membrane, which is lined by a network of actin filaments. Actin was found to interact with the nucleocapsid domain of the viral structural protein Gag and is incorporated in significant amounts into HIV-1 particles, suggesting that it may play an active role in virus release. Using electron microscopy techniques, we previously observed bundles of actin filaments near HIV-1 buds

  7. A High Fat Diet Increases Bone Marrow Adipose Tissue (MAT) But Does Not Alter Trabecular or Cortical Bone Mass in C57BL/6J Mice.

    PubMed

    Doucette, Casey R; Horowitz, Mark C; Berry, Ryan; MacDougald, Ormond A; Anunciado-Koza, Rea; Koza, Robert A; Rosen, Clifford J

    2015-09-01

    Obesity has been associated with high bone mineral density (BMD) but a greater propensity to fracture. Some obese individuals have increased marrow adipose tissue (MAT), but the impact of MAT on bone turnover remains controversial, as do changes in BMD associated with a high fat diet (HFD). In this study we hypothesized that MAT volume would increase in response to HFD but would be independent of changes in BMD. Hence, we fed C57BL/6J (B6) male mice at 3 weeks of age either a high fat diet (60 kcal %) or regular diet (10 kcal %) for 12 weeks (n = 10/group). We measured MAT volume by osmium staining and micro-CT (µCT) as well as bone parameters by µCT, histomorphometry, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. We also performed a short-term pilot study using 13-week-old B6 males and females fed a HFD (58 kcal %) for 2 weeks (n = 3/sex). Both long- and short-term HFD feedings were associated with high MAT volume, however, femoral trabecular bone volume fraction (BV/TV), bone formation rate and cortical bone mass were not altered in the long-term study. In the short-term pilot study, areal BMD was unchanged after 2 weeks of HFD. We conclude that, for B6 mice fed a HFD starting at wean or 13 weeks of age, MAT increases whereas bone mass is not altered. More studies are needed to define the mechanism responsible for the rapid storage of energy in the marrow and its distinction from other adipose depots. PMID:25663195

  8. 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.

  9. Regulation of cell shape, wing hair initiation and the actin cytoskeleton by Trc/Fry and Wts/Mats complexes.

    PubMed

    Fang, Xiaolan; Adler, Paul N

    2010-05-15

    The two NDR kinase family genes in Drosophila are tricornered (trc) and warts (wts). Previous studies on trc have focused on its role in the morphogenesis of extensions of epidermal cells and in dendrite branching and tiling. Studies on wts have focused on its roles as a tumor suppressor, in controlling photoreceptor type and in the maintenance of dendrites. Here we examine and compare the function of these genes in wing cells prior to their terminal differentiation. Mutations in these genes lead to changes in cell shape, cellular levels of F-actin, the timing of differentiation, and the expression of multiple wing hairs and DE-Cadherin. We showed that the effects of wts on all of these processes appear to be mediated by its regulation of the Yorkie transcription factor. We also provide evidence that trc regulates the expression of DE-cadherin and mwh. In addition, we showed that the effects on cell shape and the timing of differentiation appear to be not linked to changes in relative growth rate of cells compared to their neighbors.

  10. Regulation of cell shape, wing hair initiation and the actin cytoskeleton by Trc/Fry and Wts/Mats complexes

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Xiaolan; Adler, Paul N.

    2010-01-01

    The two NDR kinase family genes in Drosophila are tricornered (trc) and warts (wts). Previous studies on trc have focused on its role in the morphogenesis of extensions of epidermal cells and in dendrite branching and tiling. Studies on wts have focused on its roles as a tumor suppressor, in controlling photoreceptor type and in the maintenance of dendrites. Here we examine and compare the function of these genes in wing cells prior to their terminal differentiation. Mutations in these genes lead to changes in cell shape, cellular levels of F-actin, the timing of differentiation, and the expression of multiple wing hairs and DE-Cadherin. We showed that the effects of wts on all of these processes appear to be mediated by its regulation of the Yorkie transcription factor. We also provide evidence that trc regulates the expression of DE-cadherin and mwh. In addition, we showed that the effects on cell shape and the timing of differentiation appear to not be linked to changes in relative growth rate of cells compared to their neighbors. PMID:20211163

  11. Cortical F-actin, the exocytic mode, and neuropeptide release in mouse chromaffin cells is regulated by myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate and myosin II.

    PubMed

    Doreian, Bryan W; Fulop, Tiberiu G; Meklemburg, Robert L; Smith, Corey B

    2009-07-01

    Adrenal medullary chromaffin cells are innervated by the sympathetic splanchnic nerve and translate graded sympathetic firing into a differential hormonal exocytosis. Basal sympathetic firing elicits a transient kiss-and-run mode of exocytosis and modest catecholamine release, whereas elevated firing under the sympathetic stress response results in full granule collapse to release catecholamine and peptide transmitters into the circulation. Previous studies have shown that rearrangement of the cell actin cortex regulates the mode of exocytosis. An intact cortex favors kiss-and-run exocytosis, whereas disrupting the cortex favors the full granule collapse mode. Here, we investigate the specific roles of two actin-associated proteins, myosin II and myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate (MARCKS) in this process. Our data demonstrate that MARCKS phosphorylation under elevated cell firing is required for cortical actin disruption but is not sufficient to elicit peptide transmitter exocytosis. Our data also demonstrate that myosin II is phospho-activated under high stimulation conditions. Inhibiting myosin II activity prevented disruption of the actin cortex, full granule collapse, and peptide transmitter release. These results suggest that phosphorylation of both MARCKS and myosin II lead to disruption of the actin cortex. However, myosin II, but not MARCKS, is required for the activity-dependent exocytosis of the peptide transmitters.

  12. A synthetic lethal screen identifies a role for the cortical actin patch/endocytosis complex in the response to nutrient deprivation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Care, Alison; Vousden, Katherine A; Binley, Katie M; Radcliffe, Pippa; Trevethick, Janet; Mannazzu, Ilaria; Sudbery, Peter E

    2004-01-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae whi2Delta cells are unable to halt cell division in response to nutrient limitation and are sensitive to a wide variety of stresses. A synthetic lethal screen resulted in the isolation of siw mutants that had a phenotype similar to that of whi2Delta. Among these were mutations affecting SIW14, FEN2, SLT2, and THR4. Fluid-phase endocytosis is severely reduced or abolished in whi2Delta, siw14Delta, fen2Delta, and thr4Delta mutants. Furthermore, whi2Delta and siw14Delta mutants produce large actin clumps in stationary phase similar to those seen in prk1Delta ark1Delta mutants defective in protein kinases that regulate the actin cytoskeleton. Overexpression of SIW14 in a prk1Delta strain resulted in a loss of cortical actin patches and cables and was lethal. Overexpression of SIW14 also rescued the caffeine sensitivity of the slt2 mutant isolated in the screen, but this was not due to alteration of the phosphorylation state of Slt2. These observations suggest that endocytosis and the organization of the actin cytoskeleton are required for the proper response to nutrient limitation. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that rvs161Delta, sla1Delta, sla2Delta, vrp1Delta, ypt51Delta, ypt52Delta, and end3Delta mutations, which disrupt the organization of the actin cytoskeleton and/or reduce endocytosis, have a phenotype similar to that of whi2Delta mutants. PMID:15020461

  13. 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 ...

  14. Analysis of Cortical Flow Models In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Benink, Hélène A.; Mandato, Craig A.; Bement, William M.

    2000-01-01

    Cortical flow, the directed movement of cortical F-actin and cortical organelles, is a basic cellular motility process. Microtubules are thought to somehow direct cortical flow, but whether they do so by stimulating or inhibiting contraction of the cortical actin cytoskeleton is the subject of debate. Treatment of Xenopus oocytes with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) triggers cortical flow toward the animal pole of the oocyte; this flow is suppressed by microtubules. To determine how this suppression occurs and whether it can control the direction of cortical flow, oocytes were subjected to localized manipulation of either the contractile stimulus (PMA) or microtubules. Localized PMA application resulted in redirection of cortical flow toward the site of application, as judged by movement of cortical pigment granules, cortical F-actin, and cortical myosin-2A. Such redirected flow was accelerated by microtubule depolymerization, showing that the suppression of cortical flow by microtubules is independent of the direction of flow. Direct observation of cortical F-actin by time-lapse confocal analysis in combination with photobleaching showed that cortical flow is driven by contraction of the cortical F-actin network and that microtubules suppress this contraction. The oocyte germinal vesicle serves as a microtubule organizing center in Xenopus oocytes; experimental displacement of the germinal vesicle toward the animal pole resulted in localized flow away from the animal pole. The results show that 1) cortical flow is directed toward areas of localized contraction of the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton; 2) microtubules suppress cortical flow by inhibiting contraction of the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton; and 3) localized, microtubule-dependent suppression of actomyosin-based contraction can control the direction of cortical flow. We discuss these findings in light of current models of cortical flow. PMID:10930453

  15. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

    Solar keratosis; Sun-induced skin changes - keratosis; Keratosis - actinic (solar) ... Actinic keratosis is caused by exposure to sunlight. You are more likely to develop it if you: Have fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair Had a ...

  16. Actin filament organization of foot processes in vertebrate glomerular podocytes.

    PubMed

    Ichimura, Koichiro; Kurihara, Hidetake; Sakai, Tatsuo

    2007-09-01

    We investigated the actin filament organization and immunolocalization of actin-binding proteins (alpha-actinin and cortactin) in the podocyte foot processes of eight vertebrate species (lamprey, carp, newt, frog, gecko, turtle, quail, and rat). Three types of actin cytoskeleton were found in these foot processes. (1) A cortical actin network with cortactin filling the space between the plasma membrane and the other actin cytoskeletons described below was found in all of the species examined here. The data indicated that the cortical actin network was the minimal essential actin cytoskeleton for the formation and maintenance of the foot processes in vertebrate podocytes. (2) An actin bundle with alpha-actinin existing along the longitudinal axis of foot process above the level of slit diaphragms was only observed in quail and rat. (3) An actin fascicle consisting of much fewer numbers of actin filaments than that of the actin bundle was observed in the species other than quail and rat, but at various frequencies. These findings suggest that the actin bundle is an additional actin cytoskeleton reflecting a functional state peculiar to quail and rat glomeruli. Considering the higher intraglomerular pressure and the extremely thin filtration barrier in birds and mammals, the foot processes probably mainly protect the thinner filtration barrier from the higher internal pressure occurring in quail and rat glomeruli. Therefore, we consider that the actin bundle plays a crucial role in the mechanical protection of the filtration barrier. Moreover, the actin fascicle may be a potential precursor of the actin bundle.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. The actin cytoskeleton in endothelial cell phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Prasain, Nutan; Stevens, Troy

    2009-01-01

    Endothelium forms a semi-permeable barrier that separates blood from the underlying tissue. Barrier function is largely determined by cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions that define the limits of cell borders. Yet, such cell-cell and cell-matrix tethering is critically reliant upon the nature of adherence within the cell itself. Indeed, the actin cytoskeleton fulfills this essential function, to provide a strong, dynamic intracellular scaffold that organizes integral membrane proteins with the cell’s interior, and responds to environmental cues to orchestrate appropriate cell shape. The actin cytoskeleton is comprised of three distinct, but interrelated structures, including actin cross-linking of spectrin within the membrane skeleton, the cortical actin rim, and actomyosin-based stress fibers. This review addresses each of these actin-based structures, and discusses cellular signals that control the disposition of actin in different endothelial cell phenotypes. PMID:19028505

  20. A new F-actin structure in fungi: actin ring formation around the cell nucleus of Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Kopecká, Marie; Kawamoto, Susumu; Yamaguchi, Masashi

    2013-04-01

    The F-actin cytoskeleton of Cryptococcus neoformans is known to comprise actin cables, cortical patches and cytokinetic ring. Here, we describe a new F-actin structure in fungi, a perinuclear F-actin collar ring around the cell nucleus, by fluorescent microscopic imaging of rhodamine phalloidin-stained F-actin. Perinuclear F-actin rings form in Cryptococcus neoformans treated with the microtubule inhibitor Nocodazole or with the drug solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or grown in yeast extract peptone dextrose (YEPD) medium, but they are absent in cells treated with Latrunculin A. Perinuclear F-actin rings may function as 'funicular cabin' for the cell nucleus, and actin cables as intracellular 'funicular' suspending nucleus in the central position in the cell and moving nucleus along the polarity axis along actin cables.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Reconstitution and Protein Composition Analysis of Endocytic Actin Patches

    PubMed Central

    Michelot, Alphée; Costanzo, Michael; Sarkeshik, Ali; Boone, Charles; Yates, John R.; Drubin, David G.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Background Clathrin-actin-mediated endocytosis in yeast involves the progressive assembly of at least 60 different proteins at cortical sites. More than half of these proteins are involved in the assembly of a branched network of actin filaments to provide the forces required for plasma membrane invagination. Results To gain insights into the regulation of endocytic actin patch dynamics, we developed an in vitro actin assembly assay using microbeads functionalized with the nucleation promoting factor (NPF) Las17 (yeast WASP). When incubated in a yeast extract, these beads assembled actin networks and a significant fraction became motile. Multi dimensional Protein Identification Technology (MudPIT) showed that the recruitment of actin binding proteins to these Las17-derived actin networks is selective. None of the proteins known to exclusively regulate the in vivo formation of actin cables or the actin contractile ring were identified. Intriguingly, our analysis also identified components of three other cortical structures, eisosomes, PIK patches and the TORC2 complex, establishing intriguing biochemical connections between four different yeast cortical complexes. Finally, we identified Aim3 as a regulator of actin dynamics at endocytic sites. Conclusions WASP is sufficient to trigger assembly of actin networks composed selectively of actin-patch proteins. These experiments establish that the protein composition of different F-actin structures is determined by the protein factor that initiates the network. The identification of binding partners revealed new biochemical connections between WASP derived networks and other cortical complexes and identified Aim3 as a novel regulator of the endocytic actin patch. PMID:21035341

  4. Archean Microbial Mat Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tice, Michael M.; Thornton, Daniel C. O.; Pope, Michael C.; Olszewski, Thomas D.; Gong, Jian

    2011-05-01

    Much of the Archean record of microbial communities consists of fossil mats and stromatolites. Critical physical emergent properties governing the evolution of large-scale (centimeters to meters) topographic relief on the mat landscape are (a) mat surface roughness relative to the laminar sublayer and (b) cohesion. These properties can be estimated for fossil samples under many circumstances. A preliminary analysis of Archean mat cohesion suggests that mats growing in shallow marine environments from throughout this time had cohesions similar to those of modern shallow marine mats. There may have been a significant increase in mat strength at the end of the Archean.

  5. Actinic Keratoses

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

    Actinic keratoses are common intra-epidermal neoplasms that lie on a continuum with squamous cell carcinoma. Tightly linked to ultraviolet irradiation, they occur in areas of chronic sun exposure, and early treatment of these lesions may prevent their progression to invasive disease. A large variety of effective treatment modalities exist, and the optimal therapeutic choice is dependent on a variety of patient- and physician-associated variables. Many established and more recent approaches are discussed in this review with a focus on efficacy and administration techniques. Several previously experimental options, such as imiquimod and photodynamic therapy, have become incorporated as first-line options for the treatment of actinic keratoses, while combination treatment strategies have been gaining in popularity. The goal of all therapies is to ultimately limit the morbidity and mortality of squamous cell carcinoma. (J Clin Aesthetic Dermatol. 2009;2(7):43–48.) PMID:20729970

  6. Resemblance of actin-binding protein/actin gels to covalently crosslinked networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janmey, Paul A.; Hvidt, Søren; Lamb, Jennifer; Stossel, Thomas P.

    1990-05-01

    THE maintainance of the shape of cells is often due to their surface elasticity, which arises mainly from an actin-rich cytoplasmic cortex1,2. On locomotion, phagocytosis or fission, however, these cells become partially fluid-like. The finding of proteins that can bind to actin and control the assembly of, or crosslink, actin filaments, and of intracellular messages that regulate the activities of some of these actin-binding proteins, indicates that such 'gel sol' transformations result from the rearrangement of cortical actin-rich networks3. Alternatively, on the basis of a study of the mechanical properties of mixtures of actin filaments and an Acanthamoeba actin-binding protein, α-actinin, it has been proposed that these transformations can be accounted for by rapid exchange of crosslinks between actin filaments4: the cortical network would be solid when the deformation rate is greater than the rate of crosslink exchange, but would deform or 'creep' when deformation is slow enough to permit crosslinker molecules to rearrange. Here we report, however, that mixtures of actin filaments and actin-binding protein (ABP), an actin crosslinking protein of many higher eukaryotes, form gels Theologically equivalent to covalently crosslinked networks. These gels do not creep in response to applied stress on a time scale compatible with most cell-surface movements. These findings support a more complex and controlled mechanism underlying the dynamic mechanical properties of cortical cytoplasm, and can explain why cells do not collapse under the constant shear forces that often exist in tissues.

  7. The pros and cons of common actin labeling tools for visualizing actin dynamics during Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Spracklen, Andrew J.; Fagan, Tiffany N.; Lovander, Kaylee E.; Tootle, Tina L.

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is required for both development and tissue homeostasis. While fixed image analysis has provided significant insight into such events, a complete understanding of cytoskeletal dynamics requires live imaging. Numerous tools for the live imaging of actin have been generated by fusing the actin-binding domain from an actin-interacting protein to a fluorescent protein. Here we comparatively assess the utility of three such tools – Utrophin, Lifeact, and F-tractin – for characterizing the actin remodeling events occurring within the germline-derived nurse cells during Drosophila mid-oogenesis or follicle development. Specifically, we used the UAS/GAL4 system to express these tools at different levels and in different cells, and analyzed these tools for effects on fertility, alterations in the actin cytoskeleton, and ability to label filamentous actin (F-actin) structures by both fixed and live imaging. While both Utrophin and Lifeact robustly label F-actin structures within the Drosophila germline, when strongly expressed they cause sterility and severe actin defects including cortical actin breakdown resulting in multi-nucleate nurse cells, early F-actin filament and aggregate formation during stage 9 (S9), and disorganized parallel actin filament bundles during stage 10B (S10B). However, by using a weaker germline GAL4 driver in combination with a higher temperature, Utrophin can label F-actin with minimal defects. Additionally, strong Utrophin expression within the germline causes F-actin formation in the nurse cell nuclei and germinal vesicle during mid-oogenesis. Similarly, Lifeact expression results in nuclear F-actin only within the germinal vesicle. F-tractin expresses at a lower level than the other two labeling tools, but labels cytoplasmic F-actin structures well without causing sterility or striking actin defects. Together these studies reveal how critical it is to evaluate the utility of each actin labeling

  8. The pros and cons of common actin labeling tools for visualizing actin dynamics during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Spracklen, Andrew J; Fagan, Tiffany N; Lovander, Kaylee E; Tootle, Tina L

    2014-09-15

    Dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is required for both development and tissue homeostasis. While fixed image analysis has provided significant insight into such events, a complete understanding of cytoskeletal dynamics requires live imaging. Numerous tools for the live imaging of actin have been generated by fusing the actin-binding domain from an actin-interacting protein to a fluorescent protein. Here we comparatively assess the utility of three such tools--Utrophin, Lifeact, and F-tractin--for characterizing the actin remodeling events occurring within the germline-derived nurse cells during Drosophila mid-oogenesis or follicle development. Specifically, we used the UAS/GAL4 system to express these tools at different levels and in different cells, and analyzed these tools for effects on fertility, alterations in the actin cytoskeleton, and ability to label filamentous actin (F-actin) structures by both fixed and live imaging. While both Utrophin and Lifeact robustly label F-actin structures within the Drosophila germline, when strongly expressed they cause sterility and severe actin defects including cortical actin breakdown resulting in multi-nucleate nurse cells, early F-actin filament and aggregate formation during stage 9 (S9), and disorganized parallel actin filament bundles during stage 10B (S10B). However, by using a weaker germline GAL4 driver in combination with a higher temperature, Utrophin can label F-actin with minimal defects. Additionally, strong Utrophin expression within the germline causes F-actin formation in the nurse cell nuclei and germinal vesicle during mid-oogenesis. Similarly, Lifeact expression results in nuclear F-actin only within the germinal vesicle. F-tractin expresses at a lower level than the other two labeling tools, but labels cytoplasmic F-actin structures well without causing sterility or striking actin defects. Together these studies reveal how critical it is to evaluate the utility of each actin labeling tool

  9. Mat2exo

    SciTech Connect

    2012-09-11

    MAT2EXO is a program which translates mesh data from Matlab mat-file format to Exodus II format. This tool is the inverse of the commonly used tool exo2mat which translates Exodus II data to the Matlab mat-file format. These tools provide a means for preprocessing an Exodus II model file or postprocessing an Exodus II results file using Matlab

  10. [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

  11. Shape control of lipid bilayer membranes by confined actin bundles.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Feng-Ching; Koenderink, Gijsje Hendrika

    2015-12-01

    In living cells, lipid membranes and biopolymers determine each other's conformation in a delicate force balance. Cellular polymers such as actin filaments are strongly confined by the plasma membrane in cell protrusions such as lamellipodia and filopodia. Conversely, protrusion formation is facilitated by actin-driven membrane deformation and these protrusions are maintained by dense actin networks or bundles of actin filaments. Here we investigate the mechanical interplay between actin bundles and lipid bilayer membranes by reconstituting a minimal model system based on cell-sized liposomes with encapsulated actin filaments bundled by fascin. To address the competition between the deformability of the membrane and the enclosed actin bundles, we tune the bundle stiffness (through the fascin-to-actin molar ratio) and the membrane rigidity (through protein decoration). Using confocal microscopy and quantitative image analysis, we show that actin bundles deform the liposomes into a rich set of morphologies. For liposomes having a small membrane bending rigidity, the actin bundles tend to generate finger-like membrane protrusions that resemble cellular filopodia. Stiffer bundles formed at high crosslink density stay straight in the liposome body, whereas softer bundles formed at low crosslink density are bent and kinked. When the membrane has a large bending rigidity, membrane protrusions are suppressed. In this case, membrane enclosure forces the actin bundles to organize into cortical rings, to minimize the energy cost associated with filament bending. Our results highlight the importance of taking into account mechanical interactions between the actin cytoskeleton and the membrane to understand cell shape control.

  12. The Actin Cortex: A Bridge between Cell Shape and Function.

    PubMed

    Chalut, Kevin J; Paluch, Ewa K

    2016-09-26

    The cortical actin network controls many animal cell shape changes by locally modulating cortical tension. Recent work has provided insight into cortex components and regulators. However, how the network is reorganized in response to cellular signaling, and the role reorganization may play during cell state changes, remain to be determined. PMID:27676427

  13. Oscillatory increases in alkalinity anticipate growth and may regulate actin dynamics in pollen tubes of lily.

    PubMed

    Lovy-Wheeler, Alenka; Kunkel, Joseph G; Allwood, Ellen G; Hussey, Patrick J; Hepler, Peter K

    2006-09-01

    Lily (Lilium formosanum or Lilium longiflorum) pollen tubes, microinjected with a low concentration of the pH-sensitive dye bis-carboxyethyl carboxyfluorescein dextran, show oscillating pH changes in their apical domain relative to growth. An increase in pH in the apex precedes the fastest growth velocities, whereas a decline follows growth, suggesting a possible relationship between alkalinity and cell extension. A target for pH may be the actin cytoskeleton, because the apical cortical actin fringe resides in the same region as the alkaline band in lily pollen tubes and elongation requires actin polymerization. A pH-sensitive actin binding protein, actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF), together with actin-interacting protein (AIP) localize to the cortical actin fringe region. Modifying intracellular pH leads to reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, especially in the apical domain. Acidification causes actin filament destabilization and inhibits growth by 80%. Upon complete growth inhibition, the actin fringe is the first actin cytoskeleton component to disappear. We propose that during normal growth, the pH increase in the alkaline band stimulates the fragmenting activity of ADF/AIP, which in turn generates more sites for actin polymerization. Increased actin polymerization supports faster growth rates and a proton influx, which inactivates ADF/AIP, decreases actin polymerization, and retards growth. As pH stabilizes and increases, the activity of ADF/AIP again increases, repeating the cycle of events. PMID:16920777

  14. 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

  15. IFT88 influences chondrocyte actin organization and biomechanics

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Z.; Wann, A.K.T.; Thompson, C.L.; Hassen, A.; Wang, W.; Knight, M.M.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Objectives Primary cilia are microtubule based organelles which control a variety of signalling pathways important in cartilage development, health and disease. This study examines the role of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) protein, IFT88, in regulating fundamental actin organisation and mechanics in articular chondrocytes. Methods The study used an established chondrocyte cell line with and without hypomorphic mutation of IFT88 (IFT88orpk). Confocal microscopy was used to quantify F-actin and myosin IIB organisation. Viscoelastic cell and actin cortex mechanics were determined using micropipette aspiration with actin dynamics visualised in live cells transfected with LifeACT-GFP. Results IFT88orpk cells exhibited a significant increase in acto-myosin stress fibre organisation relative to wild-type (WT) cells in monolayer and an altered response to cytochalasin D. Rounded IFT88orpk cells cultured in suspension exhibited reduced cortical actin expression with reduced cellular equilibrium modulus. Micropipette aspiration resulted in reduced membrane bleb formation in IFT88orpk cells. Following membrane blebbing, IFT88orpk cells exhibited slower reformation of the actin cortex. IFT88orpk cells showed increased actin deformability and reduced cortical tension confirming that IFT regulates actin cortex mechanics. The reduced cortical tension is also consistent with the reduced bleb formation. Conclusions This study demonstrates for the first time that the ciliary protein IFT88 regulates fundamental actin organisation and the stiffness of the actin cortex leading to alterations in cell deformation, mechanical properties and blebbing in an IFT88 chondrocyte cell line. This adds to the growing understanding of the role of primary cilia and IFT in regulating cartilage biology. PMID:26493329

  16. 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

  17. ProMat

    SciTech Connect

    2008-06-12

    ProMAT is a software tool for statistically analyzing data from enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay microarray experiments. The software estimates standard curves, sample protein concentrations and their uncertainties for multiple assays. ProMAT generates a set of comprehensive figures for assessing results and diagnosing process quality. The tool is available for Windows or Mac, and is distributed as open-source Java and R code

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. A morphometric analysis of adrenocortical actin localized by immunoelectron microscopy: the effect of adrenocorticotropin.

    PubMed

    Loesser, K E; Malamed, S

    1987-10-01

    The localization of actin and the effect of ACTH on its concentration was examined in freshly isolated rat adrenocortical cells. Lowicryl K4M-embedded cells were used for the immunoelectron localization of actin; gold was used as a label for immunoreactive sites. Actin was at least 4 times as concentrated at the cortical cytoplasm as in the lipid droplets and at least 5 times as concentrated in the microvilli as in the lipid droplets. ACTH stimulation approximately doubled the concentration of actin in the cortical cytoplasm and increased by 50% the concentration of actin in the microvilli. The microvillar contribution to the cell surface area was 40% higher in ACTH-stimulated cells than it was in unstimulated cells. These results provide quantitative evidence suggesting that actin and the microvilli participate in steroid secretion by the adrenocortical cell.

  1. The architecture of actin filaments and the ultrastructural location of actin-binding protein in the periphery of lung macrophages.

    PubMed

    Hartwig, J H; Shevlin, P

    1986-09-01

    A highly branched filament network is the principal structure in the periphery of detergent-extracted cytoskeletons of macrophages that have been spread on a surface and either freeze or critical point dried, and then rotary shadowed with platinum-carbon. This array of filaments completely fills lamellae extended from the cell and bifurcates to form 0.2-0.5 micron thick layers on the top and bottom of the cell body. Reaction of the macrophage cytoskeletons with anti-actin IgG and with anti-IgG bound to colloidal gold produces dense staining of these filaments, and incubation with myosin subfragment 1 uniformly decorates these filaments, identifying them as actin. 45% of the total cellular actin and approximately 70% of actin-binding protein remains in the detergent-insoluble cell residue. The soluble actin is not filamentous as determined by sedimentation analysis, the DNAase I inhibition assay, and electron microscopy, indicating that the cytoskeleton is not fragmented by detergent extraction. The spacing between the ramifications of the actin network is 94 +/- 47 nm and 118 +/- 72 nm in cytoskeletons prepared for electron microscopy by freeze drying and critical point drying, respectively. Free filament ends are rare, except for a few which project upward from the body of the network or which extend down to the substrate. Filaments of the network intersect predominantly at right angles to form either T-shaped and X-shaped overlaps having striking perpendicularity or else Y-shaped intersections composed of filaments intersecting at 120-130 degrees angles. The actin filament concentration in the lamellae is high, with an average value of 12.5 mg/ml. The concentration was much more uniform in freeze-dried preparations than in critical point-dried specimens, indicating that there is less collapse associated with the freezing technique. The orthogonal actin network of the macrophage cortical cytoplasm resembles actin gels made with actin-binding protein. Reaction of

  2. Lateral Membrane Diffusion Modulated by a Minimal Actin Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Heinemann, Fabian; Vogel, Sven K.; Schwille, Petra

    2013-01-01

    Diffusion of lipids and proteins within the cell membrane is essential for numerous membrane-dependent processes including signaling and molecular interactions. It is assumed that the membrane-associated cytoskeleton modulates lateral diffusion. Here, we use a minimal actin cortex to directly study proposed effects of an actin meshwork on the diffusion in a well-defined system. The lateral diffusion of a lipid and a protein probe at varying densities of membrane-bound actin was characterized by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). A clear correlation of actin density and reduction in mobility was observed for both the lipid and the protein probe. At high actin densities, the effect on the protein probe was ∼3.5-fold stronger compared to the lipid. Moreover, addition of myosin filaments, which contract the actin mesh, allowed switching between fast and slow diffusion in the minimal system. Spot variation FCS was in accordance with a model of fast microscopic diffusion and slower macroscopic diffusion. Complementing Monte Carlo simulations support the analysis of the experimental FCS data. Our results suggest a stronger interaction of the actin mesh with the larger protein probe compared to the lipid. This might point toward a mechanism where cortical actin controls membrane diffusion in a strong size-dependent manner. PMID:23561523

  3. 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

  4. Biogeochemistry of Microbial Mats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenizi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The hierarchical organization of microbial ecosystems determines the rates of processes that shape Earth's environment, define the stage upon which major evolutionary events occurred, and create biosignatures in sediments and atmospheres. In cyanobacterial mats, oxygenic photosynthesis provides energy, organic substrates and oxygen to the ecosystem. Incident light changes with depth in the mat, both in intensity and spectral composition, and counteracting gradients of oxygen and sulfide shape the chemical microenvironment. A combination of benefits and hazards of light, oxygen and sulfide promotes the allocation of the various essential mat processes between light and dark periods and to various depths in the mat. Microliters produce hydrogen, small organic acids, nitrogen and sulfur species. Such compounds fuel a flow of energy and electrons in these ecosystems and thus shape interactions between groups of microorganisms. Coordinated observations of population distribution, abundance, and activity for an entire community are making fundamental questions in ecology accessible. These questions address those factors that sustain the remarkable diversity of microorganisms that are now being revealed by molecular techniques. These questions also target the processes that shape the various kinds of biosignatures that we will seek, both in ancient rocks from Earth and Mars, and in atmospheres of distant planets beyond our Solar System.

  5. Dynamin at actin tails.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunkyung; De Camilli, Pietro

    2002-01-01

    Dynamin, the product of the shibire gene of Drosophila, is a GTPase critically required for endocytosis. Some studies have suggested a functional link between dynamin and the actin cytoskeleton. This link is of special interest, because there is evidence implicating actin dynamics in endocytosis. Here we show that endogenous dynamin 2, as well as green fluorescence protein fusion proteins of both dynamin 1 and 2, is present in actin comets generated by Listeria or by type I PIP kinase (PIPK) overexpression. In PIPK-induced tails, dynamin is further enriched at the interface between the tails and the moving organelles. Dynamin mutants harboring mutations in the GTPase domain inhibited nucleation of actin tails induced by PIPK and moderately reduced their speed. Although dynamin localization to the tails required its proline-rich domain, expression of a dynamin mutant lacking this domain also diminished tail formation. In addition, this mutant disrupted a membrane-associated actin scaffold (podosome rosette) previously shown to include dynamin. These findings suggest that dynamin is part of a protein network that controls nucleation of actin from membranes. At endocytic sites, dynamin may couple the fission reaction to the polymerization of an actin pool that functions in the separation of the endocytic vesicles from the plasma membrane. PMID:11782545

  6. 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

  7. Dynacortin is a novel actin bundling protein that localizes to dynamic actin structures.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Douglas N; Ocon, Stephani S; Rock, Ronald S; Spudich, James A

    2002-03-15

    Dynacortin is a novel protein that was discovered in a genetic suppressor screen of a Dictyostelium discoideum cytokinesis-deficient mutant cell line devoid of the cleavage furrow actin bundling protein, cortexillin I. While dynacortin is highly enriched in the cortex, particularly in cell-surface protrusions, it is excluded from the cleavage furrow cortex during cytokinesis. Here, we describe the biochemical characterization of this new protein. Purified dynacortin is an 80-kDa dimer with a large 5.7-nm Stokes radius. Dynacortin cross-links actin filaments into parallel arrays with a mole ratio of one dimer to 1.3 actin monomers and a 3.1 microm K(d). Using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, GFP-dynacortin and the actin bundling protein coronin-GFP are seen to concentrate in highly dynamic cortical structures with assembly and disassembly half-lives of about 15 s. These results indicate that cells have evolved different actin-filament cross-linking proteins with complementary cellular distributions that collaborate to orchestrate complex cell shape changes.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Drebrin attenuates the interaction between actin and myosin-V.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Ryoki; Katoh, Kaoru; Takahashi, Ayumi; Xie, Ce; Oseki, Koushi; Watanabe, Michitoshi; Igarashi, Michihiro; Nakamura, Akio; Kohama, Kazuhiro

    2007-07-27

    Drebrin-A is an actin-binding protein localized in the dendritic spines of mature neurons, and has been suggested to affect spine morphology [K. Hayashi, T. Shirao, Change in the shape of dendritic spines caused by overexpression of drebrin in cultured cortical neurons, J. Neurosci. 19 (1999) 3918-3925]. However, no biochemical analysis of drebrin-A has yet been reported. In this study, we purified drebrin-A using a bacterial expression system, and characterized it in vitro. Drebrin-A bound to actin filaments with a stoichiometry of one drebrin molecule to 5-6 actin molecules. Furthermore, drebrin-A decreased the Mg-ATPase activity of myosin V. In vitro motility assay revealed that the attachment of F-actin to glass surface coated with myosin-V was decreased by drebrin-A, but once F-actin attached to the surface, the sliding speed of F-actin was unaffected by the presence of drebrin A. These findings suggest that drebrin-A may affect spine dynamics, vesicle transport, and other myosin-V-driven motility in neurons through attenuating the interaction between actin and myosin-V.

  11. 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

  12. Calmodulin immunolocalization to cortical microtubules is calcium independent

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, D.D.; Cyr, R.J.

    1992-12-31

    Calcium affects the stability of cortical microtubules (MTs) in lysed protoplasts. This calmodulin (CaM)-mediated interaction may provide a mechanism that serves to integrate cellular behavior with MT function. To test the hypothesis that CaM associates with these MTs, monoclonal antibodies were produced against CaM, and one (designated mAb1D10), was selected for its suitability as an immunocytochemical reagent. It is shown that CaM associates with the cortical Mats of cultured carrot (Daucus carota L.) and tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum L.) cells. Inasmuch as CaM interacts with calcium and affects the behavior of these Mats, we hypothesized that calcium would alter this association. To test this, protoplasts containing taxol-stabilized Mats were lysed in the presence of various concentrations of calcium and examined for the association of Cam with cortical Mats. At 1 {mu}M calcium, many protoplasts did not have CaM in association with the cortical Mats, while at 3.6 {mu}M calcium, this association was completely abolished. The results are discussed in terms of a model in which CaM associates with Mats via two types of interactions; one calcium dependent and one independent.

  13. Calmodulin immunolocalization to cortical microtubules is calcium independent

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, D.D.; Cyr, R.J.

    1992-01-01

    Calcium affects the stability of cortical microtubules (MTs) in lysed protoplasts. This calmodulin (CaM)-mediated interaction may provide a mechanism that serves to integrate cellular behavior with MT function. To test the hypothesis that CaM associates with these MTs, monoclonal antibodies were produced against CaM, and one (designated mAb1D10), was selected for its suitability as an immunocytochemical reagent. It is shown that CaM associates with the cortical Mats of cultured carrot (Daucus carota L.) and tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum L.) cells. Inasmuch as CaM interacts with calcium and affects the behavior of these Mats, we hypothesized that calcium would alter this association. To test this, protoplasts containing taxol-stabilized Mats were lysed in the presence of various concentrations of calcium and examined for the association of Cam with cortical Mats. At 1 [mu]M calcium, many protoplasts did not have CaM in association with the cortical Mats, while at 3.6 [mu]M calcium, this association was completely abolished. The results are discussed in terms of a model in which CaM associates with Mats via two types of interactions; one calcium dependent and one independent.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Actin polymerization and intracellular solvent flow in cell surface blebbing

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    The cortical actin gel of eukaryotic cells is postulated to control cell surface activity. One type of protrusion that may offer clues to this regulation are the spherical aneurysms of the surface membrane known as blebs. Blebs occur normally in cells during spreading and alternate with other protrusions, such as ruffles, suggesting similar protrusive machinery is involved. We recently reported that human melanoma cell lines deficient in the actin filament cross-linking protein, ABP-280, show prolonged blebbing, thus allowing close study of blebs and their dynamics. Blebs expand at different rates of volume increase that directly predict the final size achieved by each bleb. These rates decrease as the F-actin concentration of the cells increase over time after plating on a surface, but do so at lower concentrations in ABP-280 expressing cells. Fluorescently labeled actin and phalloidin injections of blebbing cells indicate that a polymerized actin structure is not present initially, but appears later and is responsible for stopping further bleb expansion. Therefore, it is postulated that blebs occur when the fluid-driven expansion of the cell membrane is sufficiently rapid to initially outpace the local rate of actin polymerization. In this model, the rate of intracellular solvent flow driving this expansion decreases as cortical gelation is achieved, whether by factors such as ABP-280, or by concentrated actin polymers alone, thereby leading to decreased size and occurrence of blebs. Since the forces driving bleb extension would always be present in a cell, this process may influence other cell protrusions as well. PMID:7790356

  17. Mechanics of Biomimetic Liposomes Encapsulating an Actin Shell.

    PubMed

    Guevorkian, Karine; Manzi, John; Pontani, Léa-Lætitia; Brochard-Wyart, Françoise; Sykes, Cécile

    2015-12-15

    Cell-shape changes are insured by a thin, dynamic, cortical layer of cytoskeleton underneath the plasma membrane. How this thin cortical structure impacts the mechanical properties of the whole cell is not fully understood. Here, we study the mechanics of liposomes or giant unilamellar vesicles, when a biomimetic actin cortex is grown at the inner layer of the lipid membrane via actin-nucleation-promoting factors. Using a hydrodynamic tube-pulling technique, we show that tube dynamics is clearly affected by the presence of an actin shell anchored to the lipid bilayer. The same force pulls much shorter tubes in the presence of the actin shell compared to bare membranes. However, in both cases, we observe that the dynamics of tube extrusion has two distinct features characteristic of viscoelastic materials: rapid elastic elongation, followed by a slower elongation phase at a constant rate. We interpret the initial elastic regime by an increase of membrane tension due to the loss of lipids into the tube. Tube length is considerably shorter for cortex liposomes at comparable pulling forces, resulting in a higher spring constant. The presence of the actin shell seems to restrict lipid mobility, as is observed in the corral effect in cells. The viscous regime for bare liposomes corresponds to a leakout of the internal liquid at constant membrane tension. The presence of the actin shell leads to a larger friction coefficient. As the tube is pulled from a patchy surface, membrane tension increases locally, leading to a Marangoni flow of lipids. As a conclusion, the presence of an actin shell is revealed by its action that alters membrane mechanics.

  18. Redundant Mechanisms Recruit Actin into the Contractile Ring in Silkworm Spermatocytes

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wei; Foss, Margit; Tseng, Kuo-Fu; Zhang, Dahong

    2008-01-01

    Cytokinesis is powered by the contraction of actomyosin filaments within the newly assembled contractile ring. Microtubules are a spindle component that is essential for the induction of cytokinesis. This induction could use central spindle and/or astral microtubules to stimulate cortical contraction around the spindle equator (equatorial stimulation). Alternatively, or in addition, induction could rely on astral microtubules to relax the polar cortex (polar relaxation). To investigate the relationship between microtubules, cortical stiffness, and contractile ring assembly, we used different configurations of microtubules to manipulate the distribution of actin in living silkworm spermatocytes. Mechanically repositioned, noninterdigitating microtubules can induce redistribution of actin at any region of the cortex by locally excluding cortical actin filaments. This cortical flow of actin promotes regional relaxation while increasing tension elsewhere (normally at the equatorial cortex). In contrast, repositioned interdigitating microtubule bundles use a novel mechanism to induce local stimulation of contractility anywhere within the cortex; at the antiparallel plus ends of central spindle microtubules, actin aggregates are rapidly assembled de novo and transported laterally to the equatorial cortex. Relaxation depends on microtubule dynamics but not on RhoA activity, whereas stimulation depends on RhoA activity but is largely independent of microtubule dynamics. We conclude that polar relaxation and equatorial stimulation mechanisms redundantly supply actin for contractile ring assembly, thus increasing the fidelity of cleavage. PMID:18767903

  19. Compositions of constructed microbial mats

    DOEpatents

    Bender, Judith A.; Phillips, Peter C.

    1999-01-01

    Compositions and methods of use of constructed microbial mats, comprising cyanobacteria and purple autotrophic bacteria and an organic nutrient source, in a laminated structure, are described. The constructed microbial mat is used for bioremediation of different individual contaminants and for mixed or multiple contaminants, and for production of beneficial compositions and molecules.

  20. M.A.T. Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wildman, Louis

    A proposal is presented for developing a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at California State University, Bakersfield. The criteria for a MAT program are examined by outlining existing programs at: (1) Harvard Graduate School; (2) University of California, Berkeley; (3) Portland State University; (4) Stanford University; (5) University of…

  1. Hospital use of decontaminating mats.

    PubMed

    Marchetti, M G; Finzi, G; Cugini, P; Manfrini, M; Salvatorelli, G

    2003-09-01

    Decontaminating mats made of several layers of adhesive sheets (water-based acrylic 6 g/m2) supplemented with a bactericidal agent (3-1 benzoisothiazolin) at a concentration of 25% were placed in the passages providing access to the operating rooms of an orthopaedic service. Contact plates containing tryptone soy agar were used to assess bacterial concentration at specific points in front of and beyond the mats. For trolley passageways two areas were defined: central and lateral paths, corresponding to the areas walked upon by the personnel pushing the trolleys and to the paths covered by the trolley wheels, respectively. In order to exclude a simple mechanical effect, a comparison of bacterial loads at defined sites beyond the mats was carried out in the presence and in the absence of decontaminating mats. Bacterial colony counts in the presence of decontaminating mats were substantially and statistically significantly reduced compared with the absence of mats. The lower mean number of colony-forming units detected at points located beyond the mats parallels this finding; this difference is also statistically significant. We thus conclude that decontaminating mats are potentially useful in decreasing micro-organism carry-over due to personnel or the passage of trolleys into areas at high risk of infection such as operating rooms.

  2. MueMat Multicrid Toolbox

    2010-11-23

    MueMat is intended for the research and development of multigrid algorithms used in the solution of sparse linear systems arising from systems of partial differential equations. The software can generate example linear systems and provides short programs to demonstrate the various interfaces for creating, accessing, and applying the solvers. MueMat currently includes two types of algebraic multigrid methods and many commonly used smoothers. However, the software is intended to be extensible, and new methods canmore » be incorporated easily. MueMat also allows for advanced usage, such as combining multiple methods and segregated solves. The library supports point and block access to matrix data. MueMat has been designed for use within the programming environment of the Mathworks program MATLAB®. All algorithms and methods in MueMat have been or will be published in the open scientific literature.« less

  3. MueMat Multicrid Toolbox

    SciTech Connect

    2010-11-23

    MueMat is intended for the research and development of multigrid algorithms used in the solution of sparse linear systems arising from systems of partial differential equations. The software can generate example linear systems and provides short programs to demonstrate the various interfaces for creating, accessing, and applying the solvers. MueMat currently includes two types of algebraic multigrid methods and many commonly used smoothers. However, the software is intended to be extensible, and new methods can be incorporated easily. MueMat also allows for advanced usage, such as combining multiple methods and segregated solves. The library supports point and block access to matrix data. MueMat has been designed for use within the programming environment of the Mathworks program MATLAB®. All algorithms and methods in MueMat have been or will be published in the open scientific literature.

  4. Amplification of actin polymerization forces

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton drives many essential processes in vivo, using molecular motors and actin assembly as force generators. We discuss here the propagation of forces caused by actin polymerization, highlighting simple configurations where the force developed by the network can exceed the sum of the polymerization forces from all filaments. PMID:27002174

  5. Molecular and biochemical characterization of a novel actin bundling protein in Acanthamoeba

    PubMed Central

    Alafag, Joanna It-itan; Moon, Eun-Kyung; Hong, Yeon-Chul; Chung, Dong-Il

    2006-01-01

    Actin binding proteins play key roles in cell structure and movement particularly as regulators of the assembly, stability and localization of actin filaments in the cytoplasm. In the present study, a cDNA clone encoding an actin bundling protein named as AhABP was isolated from Acanthamoeba healyi, a causative agent of granulomatous amebic encephalitis. This clone exhibited high similarity with genes of Physarum polycephalum and Dictyostelium discoideum, which encode actin bundling proteins. Domain search analysis revealed the presence of essential conserved regions, i.e., an active actin binding site and 2 putative calcium binding EF-hands. Transfected amoeba cells demonstrated that AhABP is primarily localized in phagocytic cups, peripheral edges, pseudopods, and in cortical cytoplasm where actins are most abundant. Moreover, AhABP after the deletion of essential regions formed ellipsoidal inclusions within transfected cells. High-speed co-sedimentation assays revealed that AhABP directly interacted with actin in the presence of up to 10 µM of calcium. Under the electron microscope, thick parallel bundles were formed by full length AhABP, in contrast to the thin actin bundles formed by constructs with deletion sites. In the light of these results, we conclude that AhABP is a novel actin bundling protein that is importantly associated with actin filaments in the cytoplasm. PMID:17170575

  6. Whole Cell Model of Actin Diffusion and Reaction based on Single Molecule Speckle Microscopy Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillen, Laura; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Vavylonis Group Team

    It is debated whether transport of actin across the cell by diffusion alone is sufficiently fast to account for the rapid reorganization of actin filaments at the leading edge of motile cells. In order to investigate this question, we created a 3D model of the whole cell that includes reaction and diffusion of actin using a particle Monte Carlo method. For the lamellipodium of the simulated cell we use the model by Smith et al. Biophys. J 104:247 (2013), which includes two diffuse pools of actin, one which is slowly diffusing and the other which diffuses more quickly, as well as a pool of filamentous actin undergoing retrograde flow towards the cell center. We adjusted this model to fit a circular geometry around the whole cell. We also consider actin in the cell center which is either diffusing or in stationary filamentous form, representing cortical actin or actin in stress fibers. The local rates of polymerization and the lifetime distributions of polymerized actin were estimated from single molecule speckle microscopy experiments by the group of N. Watanabe. With this model we are able to simulate prior experiments that monitored the redistribution of actin after photoactivation or fluorescence recovery after photobleaching in various parts of the cell. We find that transport by diffusion is sufficient to fit these data, without the need for an active transport mechanism, however significant concentration gradients may develop at steady state.

  7. Drosophila Fascin is a novel downstream target of prostaglandin signaling during actin remodeling.

    PubMed

    Groen, Christopher M; Spracklen, Andrew J; Fagan, Tiffany N; Tootle, Tina L

    2012-12-01

    Although prostaglandins (PGs)-lipid signals produced downstream of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes-regulate actin cytoskeletal dynamics, their mechanisms of action are unknown. We previously established Drosophila oogenesis, in particular nurse cell dumping, as a new model to determine how PGs regulate actin remodeling. PGs, and thus the Drosophila COX-like enzyme Pxt, are required for both the parallel actin filament bundle formation and the cortical actin strengthening required for dumping. Here we provide the first link between Fascin (Drosophila Singed, Sn), an actin-bundling protein, and PGs. Loss of either pxt or fascin results in similar actin defects. Fascin interacts, both pharmacologically and genetically, with PGs, as reduced Fascin levels enhance the effects of COX inhibition and synergize with reduced Pxt levels to cause both parallel bundle and cortical actin defects. Conversely, overexpression of Fascin in the germline suppresses the effects of COX inhibition and genetic loss of Pxt. These data lead to the conclusion that PGs regulate Fascin to control actin remodeling. This novel interaction has implications beyond Drosophila, as both PGs and Fascin-1, in mammalian systems, contribute to cancer cell migration and invasion.

  8. Control of actin-based motility through localized actin binding.

    PubMed

    Banigan, Edward J; Lee, Kun-Chun; Liu, Andrea J

    2013-12-01

    A wide variety of cell biological and biomimetic systems use actin polymerization to drive motility. It has been suggested that an object such as a bacterium can propel itself by self-assembling a high concentration of actin behind it, if it is repelled by actin. However, it is also known that it is essential for the moving object to bind actin. Therefore, a key question is how the actin tail can propel an object when it both binds and repels the object. We present a physically consistent Brownian dynamics model for actin-based motility that includes the minimal components of the dendritic nucleation model and allows for both attractive and repulsive interactions between actin and a moveable disc. We find that the concentration gradient of filamentous actin generated by polymerization is sufficient to propel the object, even with moderately strong binding interactions. Additionally, actin binding can act as a biophysical cap, and may directly control motility through modulation of network growth. Overall, this mechanism is robust in that it can drive motility against a load up to a stall pressure that depends on the Young's modulus of the actin network and can explain several aspects of actin-based motility.

  9. Live cell imaging reveals structural associations between the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Sampathkumar, Arun; Lindeboom, Jelmer J; Debolt, Seth; Gutierrez, Ryan; Ehrhardt, David W; Ketelaar, Tijs; Persson, Staffan

    2011-06-01

    In eukaryotic cells, the actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletal networks are dynamic structures that organize intracellular processes and facilitate their rapid reorganization. In plant cells, actin filaments (AFs) and MTs are essential for cell growth and morphogenesis. However, dynamic interactions between these two essential components in live cells have not been explored. Here, we use spinning-disc confocal microscopy to dissect interaction and cooperation between cortical AFs and MTs in Arabidopsis thaliana, utilizing fluorescent reporter constructs for both components. Quantitative analyses revealed altered AF dynamics associated with the positions and orientations of cortical MTs. Reorganization and reassembly of the AF array was dependent on the MTs following drug-induced depolymerization, whereby short AFs initially appeared colocalized with MTs, and displayed motility along MTs. We also observed that light-induced reorganization of MTs occurred in concert with changes in AF behavior. Our results indicate dynamic interaction between the cortical actin and MT cytoskeletons in interphase plant cells. PMID:21693695

  10. Live Cell Imaging Reveals Structural Associations between the Actin and Microtubule Cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis [W] [OA

    PubMed Central

    Sampathkumar, Arun; Lindeboom, Jelmer J.; Debolt, Seth; Gutierrez, Ryan; Ehrhardt, David W.; Ketelaar, Tijs; Persson, Staffan

    2011-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, the actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletal networks are dynamic structures that organize intracellular processes and facilitate their rapid reorganization. In plant cells, actin filaments (AFs) and MTs are essential for cell growth and morphogenesis. However, dynamic interactions between these two essential components in live cells have not been explored. Here, we use spinning-disc confocal microscopy to dissect interaction and cooperation between cortical AFs and MTs in Arabidopsis thaliana, utilizing fluorescent reporter constructs for both components. Quantitative analyses revealed altered AF dynamics associated with the positions and orientations of cortical MTs. Reorganization and reassembly of the AF array was dependent on the MTs following drug-induced depolymerization, whereby short AFs initially appeared colocalized with MTs, and displayed motility along MTs. We also observed that light-induced reorganization of MTs occurred in concert with changes in AF behavior. Our results indicate dynamic interaction between the cortical actin and MT cytoskeletons in interphase plant cells. PMID:21693695

  11. Guardians of the actin monomer.

    PubMed

    Xue, Bo; Robinson, Robert C

    2013-01-01

    Actin is a universal force provider in eukaryotic cells. Biological processes harness the pressure generated from actin polymerization through dictating the time, place and direction of filament growth. As such, polymerization is initiated and maintained via tightly controlled filament nucleation and elongation machineries. Biological systems integrate force into their activities through recruiting and activating these machineries. In order that actin function as a common force generating polymerization motor, cells must maintain a pool of active, polymerization-ready monomeric actin, and minimize extemporaneous polymerization. Maintenance of the active monomeric actin pool requires the recycling of actin filaments, through depolymerization, nucleotide exchange and reloading of the polymerization machineries, while the levels of monomers are constantly monitored and supplemented, when needed, via the access of a reserve pool of monomers and through gene expression. Throughout its monomeric life, actin needs to be protected against gratuitous nucleation events. Here, we review the proteins that act as custodians of monomeric actin. We estimate their levels on a tissue scale, and calculate the implied concentrations of each actin complex based on reported binding affinities. These estimations predict that monomeric actin is rarely, if ever, alone. Thus, the guardians keep the volatility of actin in check, so that its explosive power is only released in the controlled environments of the nucleation and polymerization machineries. PMID:24268205

  12. Actin stress in cell reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jun; Wang, Yuexiu; Sachs, Frederick; Meng, Fanjie

    2014-01-01

    Cell mechanics plays a role in stem cell reprogramming and differentiation. To understand this process better, we created a genetically encoded optical probe, named actin–cpstFRET–actin (AcpA), to report forces in actin in living cells in real time. We showed that stemness was associated with increased force in actin. We reprogrammed HEK-293 cells into stem-like cells using no transcription factors but simply by softening the substrate. However, Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell reprogramming required, in addition to a soft substrate, Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog expression. Replating the stem-like cells on glass led to redifferentiation and reduced force in actin. The actin force probe was a FRET sensor, called cpstFRET (circularly permuted stretch sensitive FRET), flanked by g-actin subunits. The labeled actin expressed efficiently in HEK, MDCK, 3T3, and bovine aortic endothelial cells and in multiple stable cell lines created from those cells. The viability of the cell lines demonstrated that labeled actin did not significantly affect cell physiology. The labeled actin distribution was similar to that observed with GFP-tagged actin. We also examined the stress in the actin cross-linker actinin. Actinin force was not always correlated with actin force, emphasizing the need for addressing protein specificity when discussing forces. Because actin is a primary structural protein in animal cells, understanding its force distribution is central to understanding animal cell physiology and the many linked reactions such as stress-induced gene expression. This new probe permits measuring actin forces in a wide range of experiments on preparations ranging from isolated proteins to transgenic animals. PMID:25422450

  13. Fluorescent actin analogs with a high affinity for profilin in vitro exhibit an enhanced gradient of assembly in living cells

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    Constitutive centripetal transport of the actin-based cytoskeleton has been detected in cells spreading on a substrate, locomoting fibroblasts and keratocytes, and non-locomoting serum-deprived fibroblasts. These results suggest a gradient of actin assembly, highest in the cortex at the cytoplasm-membrane interface and lowest in the non-cortical perinuclear cytoplasm. We predicted that such a gradient would be maintained in part by phosphoinositide-regulated actin binding proteins because the intracellular free Ca2+ and pH are low and spatially constant in serum-deprived cells. The cytoplasm-membrane interface presents one surface where the assembly of actin is differentially regulated relative to the non-cortical cytoplasm. Several models, based on in vitro biochemistry, propose that phosphoinositide-regulated actin binding proteins are involved in local actin assembly. To test these models in living cells using imaging techniques, we prepared a new fluorescent analog of actin that bound profilin, a protein that interacts with phosphoinositides and actin-monomers in a mutually exclusive manner, with an order of magnitude greater affinity (Kd = 3.6 microM) than cys-374-labeled actin (Kd > 30 microM), yet retained the ability to inhibit DNase I. Hence, we were able to directly compare the distribution and activity of a biochemical mutant of actin with an analog possessing closer to wild-type activity. Three-dimensional fluorescence microscopy of the fluorescent analog of actin with a high affinity for profilin revealed that it incorporated into cortical cytoplasmic fibers and was also distributed diffusely in the non- cortical cytoplasm consistent with a bias of actin assembly near the surface of the cell. Fluorescence ratio imaging revealed that serum- deprived and migrating fibroblasts concentrated the new actin analog into fibers up to four-fold in the periphery and leading edge of these cells, respectively, relative to a soluble fluorescent dextran volume marker

  14. Actin dynamics in living mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Ballestrem, C; Wehrle-Haller, B; Imhof, B A

    1998-06-01

    The actin cytoskeleton maintains the cellular architecture and mediates cell movements. To explore actin cytoskeletal dynamics, the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) was fused to human &bgr ;-actin. The fusion protein was incorporated into actin fibers which became depolymerized upon cytochalasin B treatment. This functional EGFP-actin construct enabled observation of the actin cytoskeleton in living cells by time lapse fluorescence microscopy. Stable expression of the construct was obtained in mammalian cell lines of different tissue origins. In stationary cells, actin rich, ring-like structured 'actin clouds' were observed in addition to stress fibers. These ruffle-like structures were found to be involved in the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. In migratory cells, EGFP-actin was found in the advancing lamellipodium. Immobile actin spots developed in the lamellipodium and thin actin fibers formed parallel to the leading edge. Thus EGFP-actin expressed in living cells unveiled structures involved in the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton.

  15. Cleavage furrow: timing of emergence of contractile ring actin filaments and establishment of the contractile ring by filament bundling in sea urchin eggs.

    PubMed

    Mabuchi, I

    1994-07-01

    Cleavage furrow formation at the first cell division of sea urchin and sand dollar eggs was investigated in detail by fluorescence staining of actin filaments with rhodamine-phalloidin of either whole eggs or isolated egg cortices. Cortical actin filaments were clustered at anaphase and then the clusters became fibrillar at the end of anaphase. The timing when the contractile ring actin filaments appear was precisely determined in the course of mitosis: accumulation of the contractile ring actin filaments at the equatorial cell cortex is first noticed at the beginning of telophase (shortly before furrow formation), when the chromosomal vesicles are fusing with each other. The accumulated actin filaments were not well organized at the early stage but were organized into parallel bundles as the furrowing progressed. The bundles were finally fused into a tightly packed filament belt. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)-binding sites were distributed on the surface of the egg in a manner similar to the actin filaments after anaphase. The WGA-binding sites became accumulated in the contractile ring together with the contractile ring actin filaments, indicating an intimate relationship between these sites and actin filament-anchoring sites on the plasma membrane. Myosin also appeared in the contractile ring together with the actin filaments. The 'cleavage stimulus', a signal hypothesized by Rappaport (reviewed by R. Rappaport (1986) Int. Rev. Cytol. 105, 245-281) was suggested to induce aggregation or bundling of the actin filaments in the cortical layer.

  16. Fluctuation Analysis of Centrosomes Reveals a Cortical Function of Kinesin-1

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, Franziska; Gummalla, Maheshwar; Künneke, Lutz; Lv, Zhiyi; Zippelius, Annette; Aspelmeier, Timo; Grosshans, Jörg

    2015-01-01

    The actin and microtubule networks form the dynamic cytoskeleton. Network dynamics is driven by molecular motors applying force onto the networks and the interactions between the networks. Here we assay the dynamics of centrosomes in the scale of seconds as a proxy for the movement of microtubule asters. With this assay we want to detect the role of specific motors and of network interaction. During interphase of syncytial embryos of Drosophila, cortical actin and the microtubule network depend on each other. Centrosomes induce cortical actin to form caps, whereas F-actin anchors microtubules to the cortex. In addition, lateral interactions between microtubule asters are assumed to be important for regular spatial organization of the syncytial embryo. The functional interaction between the microtubule asters and cortical actin has been largely analyzed in a static manner, so far. We recorded the movement of centrosomes at 1 Hz and analyzed their fluctuations for two processes—pair separation and individual movement. We found that F-actin is required for directional movements during initial centrosome pair separation, because separation proceeds in a diffusive manner in latrunculin-injected embryos. For assaying individual movement, we established a fluctuation parameter as the deviation from temporally and spatially slowly varying drift movements. By analysis of mutant and drug-injected embryos, we found that the fluctuations were suppressed by both cortical actin and microtubules. Surprisingly, the microtubule motor Kinesin-1 also suppressed fluctuations to a similar degree as F-actin. Kinesin-1 may mediate linkage of the microtubule (+)-ends to the actin cortex. Consistent with this model is our finding that Kinesin-1-GFP accumulates at the cortical actin caps. PMID:26331244

  17. 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

  18. The nitrate reductase inhibitor, tungsten, disrupts actin microfilaments in Zea mays L.

    PubMed

    Adamakis, Ioannis-Dimosthenis S; Panteris, Emmanuel; Eleftheriou, Eleftherios P

    2014-05-01

    Tungsten is a widely used inhibitor of nitrate reductase, applied to diminish the nitric oxide levels in plants. It was recently shown that tungsten also has heavy metal attributes. Since information about the toxic effects of tungsten on actin is limited, and considering that actin microfilaments are involved in the entry of tungsten inside plant cells, the effects of tungsten on them were studied in Zea mays seedlings. Treatments with sodium tungstate for 3, 6, 12 or 24 h were performed on intact seedlings and seedlings with truncated roots. Afterwards, actin microfilaments in meristematic root and leaf tissues were stained with fluorescent phalloidin, and the specimens were examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy. While the actin microfilament network was well organized in untreated seedlings, in tungstate-treated ones it was disrupted in a time-dependent manner. In protodermal root cells, the effects of tungsten were stronger as cortical microfilaments were almost completely depolymerized and the intracellular ones appeared highly bundled. Fluorescence intensity measurements confirmed the above results. In the meristematic leaf tissue of intact seedlings, no depolymerization of actin microfilaments was noticed. However, when root tips were severed prior to tungstate application, both cortical and endoplasmic actin networks of leaf cells were disrupted and bundled after 24 h of treatment. The differential response of root and leaf tissues to tungsten toxicity may be due to differential penetration and absorption, while the effects on actin microfilaments could not be attributed to the nitric oxide depletion by tungsten.

  19. Aluminum toxicity studies in Vaucheria longicaulis var. macounii (Xanthophyta, Tribophyceae). II. Effects on the F-actin array.

    PubMed

    Alessa, L; Oliveira, L

    2001-06-01

    In this study, we test the hypothesis that exposure to environmentally significant concentrations of aluminum (Al, 80 µM) causes the microfilament array of Vaucheria longicaulis var. macounii vegetative filaments to become fragmented and disorganized. Changes in F-actin organization following treatment of vegetative filaments by Al are examined using vital staining with fluorescein phalloidin. In the cortical cytoplasm of the apical zone of pH 7.5 and pH 4.5 control cells, axially aligned bundles of F-actin lead to a region of diffuse, brightly stained material. Dimly stained focal masses are noted deeper in the cytoplasm of the apical zone whereas they are absent from the zone of vacuolation. The F-actin array is visualized in the cortical cytoplasm of the region of the cell, distal to the apical tip, which exhibits vigorous cytoplasmic streaming (zone of vacuolation) as long, axially aligned bundles with which chloroplasts and mitochondria associate. Thirty minutes following treatment with aluminum, and for the next 8-16 h, the F-actin array is progressively disorganized. The longitudinally aligned F-actin array becomes fragmented. Aggregates of F-actin, such as short rods, amorphous and stellate F-actin focal masses, curved F-actin bundles and F-actin rings replace the control array. Each of these structures may occur in association with chloroplasts or independently with no apparent association with organelles. Images are recorded which indicate that F-actin rings not associated with organelles may self-assemble by successive bundling of F-actin fragments. The fragmentation and bundling of F-actin in cells of V. longicaulis upon treatment with aluminum resembles those reported after diverse forms of cell disturbance and supports the hypothesis that aluminum-induced changes in the F-actin array may be a calcium-mediated response to stress.

  20. Actin-cytoskeleton rearrangement modulates proton-induced uptake

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Dov, Nadav; Korenstein, Rafi

    2013-04-15

    Recently it has been shown that elevating proton concentration at the cell surface stimulates the formation of membrane invaginations and vesicles accompanied by an enhanced uptake of macromolecules. While the initial induction of inward membrane curvature was rationalized in terms of proton-based increase of charge asymmetry across the membrane, the mechanisms underlying vesicle formation and its scission are still unknown. In light of the critical role of actin in vesicle formation during endocytosis, the present study addresses the involvement of cytoskeletal actin in proton-induced uptake (PIU). The uptake of dextran-FITC is used as a measure for the factual fraction of inward invaginations that undergo scission from the cell's plasma membrane. Our findings show that the rate of PIU in suspended cells is constant, whereas the rate of PIU in adherent cells is gradually increased in time, saturating at the level possessed by suspended cells. This is consistent with pH induced gradual degradation of stress-fibers in adherent cells. Wortmannin and calyculin-A are able to elevate PIU by 25% in adherent cells but not in suspended cells, while cytochalasin-D, rapamycin and latrunculin-A elevate PIU both in adherent and suspended cells. However, extensive actin depolymerization by high concentrations of latrunculin-A is able to inhibit PIU. We conclude that proton-induced membrane vesiculation is restricted by the actin structural resistance to the plasma membrane bending. Nevertheless, a certain degree of cortical actin restructuring is required for the completion of the scission process. - Highlights: ► Acidification of cells' exterior enhances uptake of macromolecules by the cells. ► Disruption of actin stress fibers leads to enhancement of proton induced uptake. ► Extensive depolymerization of cellular actin attenuates proton-induced uptake.

  1. Characterization of Ring-Like F-Actin Structure as a Mechanical Partner for Spindle Positioning in Mitosis

    PubMed Central

    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. 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

  3. Nicotiana tabacum actin-depolymerizing factor 2 is involved in actin-driven, auxin-dependent patterning.

    PubMed

    Durst, Steffen; Nick, Peter; Maisch, Jan

    2013-08-15

    Polar transport of auxin has been identified as a central element of pattern formation. To address the underlying cellular mechanisms, we use the tobacco cell line (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Bright Yellow 2; BY-2) as model. We showed previously that cell divisions within a cell file are synchronized by polar auxin flow, linked to the organization of actin filaments (AF) which, in turn, is modified via actin-binding proteins (ABPs). From a preparatory study for disturbed division synchrony in cell lines overexpressing different ABPs, we identified the actin depolymerizing factor 2 (ADF2). A cell line overexpressing GFP-NtADF2 was specifically affected in division synchrony. The cell division pattern could be rescued by addition of Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) or by phalloidin. These observations allow to draw first conclusions on the pathway linking auxin signalling via actin reorganization to synchronized cell division placing the regulation of cortical actin turnover by ADF2 into the focus. PMID:23545293

  4. Primary granule exocytosis in human neutrophils is regulated by Rac-dependent actin remodeling.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Troy; Lo, Andrea; Logan, Michael R; Lacy, Paige; Eitzen, Gary

    2008-11-01

    The actin cytoskeleton regulates exocytosis in all secretory cells. In neutrophils, Rac2 GTPase has been shown to control primary (azurophilic) granule exocytosis. In this report, we propose that Rac2 is required for actin cytoskeletal remodeling to promote primary granule exocytosis. Treatment of neutrophils with low doses (< or = 10 microM) of the actin-depolymerizing drugs latrunculin B (Lat B) or cytochalasin B (CB) enhanced both formyl peptide receptor- and Ca(2+) ionophore-stimulated exocytosis. Higher concentrations of CB or Lat B, or stabilization of F-actin with jasplakinolide (JP), inhibited primary granule exocytosis measured as myeloperoxidase release but did not affect secondary granule exocytosis determined by lactoferrin release. These results suggest an obligatory role for F-actin disassembly before primary granule exocytosis. However, lysates from secretagogue-stimulated neutrophils showed enhanced actin polymerization activity in vitro. Microscopic analysis showed that resting neutrophils contain significant cortical F-actin, which was redistributed to sites of primary granule translocation when stimulated. Exocytosis and actin remodeling was highly polarized when cells were primed with CB; however, polarization was reduced by Lat B preincubation, and both polarization and exocytosis were blocked when F-actin was stabilized with JP. Treatment of cells with the small molecule Rac inhibitor NSC23766 also inhibited actin remodeling and primary granule exocytosis induced by Lat B/fMLF or CB/fMLF, but not by Ca(2+) ionophore. Therefore, we propose a role for F-actin depolymerization at the cell cortex coupled with Rac-dependent F-actin polymerization in the cell cytoplasm to promote primary granule exocytosis.

  5. Cortical and cytoplasmic flow polarity in early embryonic cells of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    We have examined the cortex of Caenorhabditis elegans eggs during pseudocleavage (PC), a period of the first cell cycle which is important for the generation of asymmetry at first cleavage (Strome, S. 1989. Int. Rev. Cytol. 114: 81-123). We have found that directed, actin dependent, cytoplasmic, and cortical flow occurs during this period coincident with a rearrangement of the cortical actin cytoskeleton (Strome, S. 1986. J. Cell Biol. 103: 2241-2252). The flow velocity (4-7 microns/min) is similar to previously determined particle movements driven by cortical actin flows in motile cells. We show that directed flows occur in one of the daughters of the first division that itself divides asymmetrically, but not in its sister that divides symmetrically. The cortical and cytoplasmic events of PC can be mimicked in other cells during cytokinesis by displacing the mitotic apparatus with the microtubule polymerization inhibitor nocodazole. In all cases, the polarity of the resulting cortical and cytoplasmic flows correlates with the position of the attenuated mitotic spindle formed. These cortical flows are also accompanied by a change in the distribution of the cortical actin network. The polarity of this redistribution is similarly correlated with the location of the attenuated spindle. These observations suggest a mechanism for generating polarized flows of cytoplasmic and cortical material during embryonic cleavages. We present a model for the events of PC and suggest how the poles of the mitotic spindle mediate the formation of the contractile ring during cytokinesis in C. elegans. PMID:8509454

  6. Capillography of Mats of Nanofibers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noca, Flavio; Sansom, Elijah; Zhou, Jijie; Gharib, Mory

    2008-01-01

    Capillography (from the Latin capillus, 'hair', and the Greek graphein, to write ) is a recently conceived technique for forming mats of nanofibers into useful patterns. The concept was inspired by experiments on carpetlike mats of multiwalled carbon nanotubes. Capillography may have the potential to be a less-expensive, less-time-consuming alternative to electron-beam lithography as a means of nanoscale patterning for the fabrication of small devices and instruments. In capillography, one exploits the lateral capillary forces exerted on small objects that pierce the surface of a liquid. If the small objects are identical, then the forces are always attractive. Two examples of the effects of such forces are the agglomeration of small particles floating on the surface of a pond and the drawing together of hairs of a wet paintbrush upon removal of the brush from water. Because nanoscale objects brought into contact remain stuck together indefinitely due to Van der Waals forces, patterns formed by capillography remain even upon removal of the liquid. For the experiments on the mats of carbon nanotubes, a surfactant solution capable of wetting carbon nanotubes (which are ultra-hydrophobic) was prepared. The mats were wetted with the solution, then dried. Once the mats were dry, it was found that the nanotubes had become ordered into various patterns, including nestlike indentations, trenches, and various combinations thereof. It may be possible to exploit such ordering effects through controlled wetting and drying of designated portions of mats of carbon nanotubes (and, perhaps, mats of nanofibers of other materials) to obtain patterns similar to those heretofore formed by use of electron-beam lithography. For making patterns that include nestlike indentations, it has been conjectured that it could be possible to control the nesting processes by use of electrostatic fields. Further research is needed to understand the physics of the patterning processes in order to

  7. Early events of fertilization in sea urchin eggs are sensitive to actin-binding organic molecules.

    PubMed

    Chun, Jong T; Limatola, Nunzia; Vasilev, Filip; Santella, Luigia

    2014-08-01

    We previously demonstrated that many aspects of the intracellular Ca(2+) increase in fertilized eggs of starfish are significantly influenced by the state of the actin cytoskeleton. In addition, the actin cytoskeleton appeared to play comprehensive roles in modulating cortical granules exocytosis and sperm entry during the early phase of fertilization. In the present communication, we have extended our work to sea urchin which is believed to have bifurcated from the common ancestor in the phylogenetic tree some 500 million years ago. To corroborate our earlier findings in starfish, we have tested how the early events of fertilization in sea urchin eggs are influenced by four different actin-binding drugs that promote either depolymerization or stabilization of actin filaments. We found that all the actin drugs commonly blocked sperm entry in high doses and significantly reduced the speed of the Ca(2+) wave. At low doses, however, cytochalasin B and phalloidin increased the rate of polyspermy. Overall, certain aspects of Ca(2+) signaling in these eggs were in line with the morphological changes induced by the actin drugs. That is, the time interval between the cortical flash and the first Ca(2+) spot at the sperm interaction site (the latent period) was significantly prolonged in the eggs pretreated with cytochalasin B or latrunculin A, whereas the Ca(2+) decay kinetics after the peak was specifically attenuated in the eggs pretreated with jasplakinolide or phalloidin. In addition, the sperm interacting with the eggs pretreated with actin drugs often generated multiple Ca(2+) waves, but tended to fail to enter the egg. Thus, our results indicated that generation of massive Ca(2+) waves is neither indicative of sperm entry nor sufficient for cortical granules exocytosis in the inseminated sea urchin eggs, whereas the structure and functionality of the actin cytoskeleton are the major determining factors in the two processes.

  8. Molecular ecology of microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Bolhuis, Henk; Cretoiu, Mariana Silvia; Stal, Lucas J

    2014-11-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep and fluctuating physicochemical microgradients, that are the result of the ever changing environmental conditions and of the microorganisms' own activities, give rise to a plethora of potential niches resulting in the formation of one of the most diverse microbial ecosystems known to date. For several decades, microbial mats have been studied extensively and more recently molecular biological techniques have been introduced that allowed assessing and investigating the diversity and functioning of these systems. These investigations also involved metagenomics analyses using high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing. Here, we summarize some of the latest developments in metagenomic analysis of three representative phototrophic microbial mat types (coastal, hot spring, and hypersaline). We also present a comparison of the available metagenomic data sets from mats emphasizing the major differences between them as well as elucidating the overlap in overall community composition. PMID:25109247

  9. Molecular ecology of microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Bolhuis, Henk; Cretoiu, Mariana Silvia; Stal, Lucas J

    2014-11-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep and fluctuating physicochemical microgradients, that are the result of the ever changing environmental conditions and of the microorganisms' own activities, give rise to a plethora of potential niches resulting in the formation of one of the most diverse microbial ecosystems known to date. For several decades, microbial mats have been studied extensively and more recently molecular biological techniques have been introduced that allowed assessing and investigating the diversity and functioning of these systems. These investigations also involved metagenomics analyses using high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing. Here, we summarize some of the latest developments in metagenomic analysis of three representative phototrophic microbial mat types (coastal, hot spring, and hypersaline). We also present a comparison of the available metagenomic data sets from mats emphasizing the major differences between them as well as elucidating the overlap in overall community composition.

  10. Dynamin-2 regulates fusion pore expansion and quantal release through a mechanism that involves actin dynamics in neuroendocrine chromaffin cells.

    PubMed

    González-Jamett, Arlek M; Momboisse, Fanny; Guerra, María José; Ory, Stéphane; Báez-Matus, Ximena; Barraza, Natalia; Calco, Valerie; Houy, Sébastien; Couve, Eduardo; Neely, Alan; Martínez, Agustín D; Gasman, Stéphane; Cárdenas, Ana M

    2013-01-01

    Over the past years, dynamin has been implicated in tuning the amount and nature of transmitter released during exocytosis. However, the mechanism involved remains poorly understood. Here, using bovine adrenal chromaffin cells, we investigated whether this mechanism rely on dynamin's ability to remodel actin cytoskeleton. According to this idea, inhibition of dynamin GTPase activity suppressed the calcium-dependent de novo cortical actin and altered the cortical actin network. Similarly, expression of a small interfering RNA directed against dynamin-2, an isoform highly expressed in chromaffin cells, changed the cortical actin network pattern. Disruption of dynamin-2 function, as well as the pharmacological inhibition of actin polymerization with cytochalasine-D, slowed down fusion pore expansion and increased the quantal size of individual exocytotic events. The effects of cytochalasine-D and dynamin-2 disruption were not additive indicating that dynamin-2 and F-actin regulate the late steps of exocytosis by a common mechanism. Together our data support a model in which dynamin-2 directs actin polymerization at the exocytosis site where both, in concert, adjust the hormone quantal release to efficiently respond to physiological demands.

  11. Retinoids and glucocorticoids have opposite effects on actin cytoskeleton rearrangement in hippocampal HT22 cells.

    PubMed

    Hélène, Roumes; Julie, Brossaud; Aloïs, Lemelletier; Marie-Pierre, Moisan; Véronique, Pallet; Anabelle, Redonnet; Jean-Benoît, Corcuff

    2016-02-01

    A chronic excess of glucocorticoids elicits deleterious effects in the hippocampus. Conversely, retinoic acid plays a major role in aging brain plasticity. As synaptic plasticity depends on mechanisms related to cell morphology, we investigated the involvement of retinoic acid and glucocorticoids in the remodelling of the HT22 neurons actin cytoskeleton. Cells exhibited a significantly more elongated shape with retinoic acid and a rounder shape with dexamethasone; retinoic acid reversed the effects of dexamethasone. Actin expression and abundance were unchanged by retinoic acid or dexamethasone but F-actin organization was dramatically modified. Indeed, retinoic acid and dexamethasone increased (70 ± 7% and 176 ± 5%) cortical actin while retinoic acid suppressed the effect of dexamethasone (90 ± 6%). Retinoic acid decreased (-22 ± 9%) and dexamethasone increased (134 ± 16%) actin stress fibres. Retinoic acid also suppressed the effect of dexamethasone (-21 ± 7%). Spectrin is a key protein in the actin network remodelling. Its abundance was decreased by retinoic acid and increased by dexamethasone (-21 ± 11% and 52 ± 10%). However, retinoic acid did not modify the effect of dexamethasone (48 ± 7%). Calpain activity on spectrin was increased by retinoic acid and decreased by dexamethasone (26 ± 14% and -57 ± 5%); retinoic acid mildly but significantly modified the effect of dexamethasone (-44 ± 7%). The calpain inhibitor calpeptin suppressed the effects of retinoic acid and dexamethasone on cell shape and actin stress fibres remodelling but did not modify the effects on cortical actin. Retinoic acid and dexamethasone have a dramatic but mainly opposite effect on actin cytoskeleton remodelling. These effects originate, at least partly, from calpain activity.

  12. 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

  13. Patterning and lifetime of plasma membrane-localized cellulose synthase is dependent on actin organization in Arabidopsis interphase cells.

    PubMed

    Sampathkumar, Arun; Gutierrez, Ryan; McFarlane, Heather E; Bringmann, Martin; Lindeboom, Jelmer; Emons, Anne-Mie; Samuels, Lacey; Ketelaar, Tijs; Ehrhardt, David W; Persson, Staffan

    2013-06-01

    The actin and microtubule cytoskeletons regulate cell shape across phyla, from bacteria to metazoans. In organisms with cell walls, the wall acts as a primary constraint of shape, and generation of specific cell shape depends on cytoskeletal organization for wall deposition and/or cell expansion. In higher plants, cortical microtubules help to organize cell wall construction by positioning the delivery of cellulose synthase (CesA) complexes and guiding their trajectories to orient newly synthesized cellulose microfibrils. The actin cytoskeleton is required for normal distribution of CesAs to the plasma membrane, but more specific roles for actin in cell wall assembly and organization remain largely elusive. We show that the actin cytoskeleton functions to regulate the CesA delivery rate to, and lifetime of CesAs at, the plasma membrane, which affects cellulose production. Furthermore, quantitative image analyses revealed that actin organization affects CesA tracking behavior at the plasma membrane and that small CesA compartments were associated with the actin cytoskeleton. By contrast, localized insertion of CesAs adjacent to cortical microtubules was not affected by the actin organization. Hence, both actin and microtubule cytoskeletons play important roles in regulating CesA trafficking, cellulose deposition, and organization of cell wall biogenesis. PMID:23606596

  14. Actin Depletion Initiates Events Leading to Granule Secretion at the Immunological Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Ritter, Alex T.; Asano, Yukako; Stinchcombe, Jane C.; Dieckmann, N.M.G.; Chen, Bi-Chang; Gawden-Bone, C.; van Engelenburg, Schuyler; Legant, Wesley; Gao, Liang; Davidson, Michael W.; Betzig, Eric; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Griffiths, Gillian M.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) use polarized secretion to rapidly destroy virally infected and tumor cells. To understand the temporal relationships between key events leading to secretion, we used high-resolution 4D imaging. CTLs approached targets with actin-rich projections at the leading edge, creating an initially actin-enriched contact with rearward-flowing actin. Within 1 min, cortical actin reduced across the synapse, T cell receptors (TCRs) clustered centrally to form the central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC), and centrosome polarization began. Granules clustered around the moving centrosome within 2.5 min and reached the synapse after 6 min. TCR-bearing intracellular vesicles were delivered to the cSMAC as the centrosome docked. We found that the centrosome and granules were delivered to an area of membrane with reduced cortical actin density and phospholipid PIP2. These data resolve the temporal order of events during synapse maturation in 4D and reveal a critical role for actin depletion in regulating secretion. PMID:25992860

  15. ON TEACHING ARCELLANA'S "THE MATS".

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ANDERSON, TOMMY R.

    FRANCISCO ARCELLANA'S "THE MATS," LIKE ANY WELL-CONSTRUCTED SHORT STORY, CAN SERVE AS AN IMPORTANT TEACHING DEVICE IN GUIDING STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE LEARNING ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE, TO READ WITH UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION, THE TECHNIQUES OF CONVERTING VERBALS BACK INTO VERBS, REPLACING ALL PRONOUNS WITH THEIR ANTECEDENTS IN PARALLEL…

  16. Merlin/ERM proteins establish cortical asymmetry and centrosome position

    PubMed Central

    Hebert, Alan M.; DuBoff, Brian; Casaletto, Jessica B.; Gladden, Andrew B.; McClatchey, Andrea I.

    2012-01-01

    The ability to generate asymmetry at the cell cortex underlies cell polarization and asymmetric cell division. Here we demonstrate a novel role for the tumor suppressor Merlin and closely related ERM proteins (Ezrin, Radixin, and Moesin) in generating cortical asymmetry in the absence of external cues. Our data reveal that Merlin functions to restrict the cortical distribution of the actin regulator Ezrin, which in turn positions the interphase centrosome in single epithelial cells and three-dimensional organotypic cultures. In the absence of Merlin, ectopic cortical Ezrin yields mispositioned centrosomes, misoriented spindles, and aberrant epithelial architecture. Furthermore, in tumor cells with centrosome amplification, the failure to restrict cortical Ezrin abolishes centrosome clustering, yielding multipolar mitoses. These data uncover fundamental roles for Merlin/ERM proteins in spatiotemporally organizing the cell cortex and suggest that Merlin's role in restricting cortical Ezrin may contribute to tumorigenesis by disrupting cell polarity, spindle orientation, and, potentially, genome stability. PMID:23249734

  17. Activator-inhibitor coupling between Rho signaling and actin assembly make the cell cortex an excitable medium

    PubMed Central

    Bement, William M.; Leda, Marcin; Moe, Alison M.; Kita, Angela M.; Larson, Matthew E.; Golding, Adriana E.; Pfeuti, Courtney; Su, Kuan-Chung; Miller, Ann L.; Goryachev, Andrew B.; von Dassow, George

    2016-01-01

    Animal cell cytokinesis results from patterned activation of the small GTPase Rho, which directs assembly of actomyosin in the equatorial cortex. Cytokinesis is restricted to a portion of the cell cycle following anaphase onset in which the cortex is responsive to signals from the spindle. We show that shortly after anaphase onset oocytes and embryonic cells of frogs and echinoderms exhibit cortical waves of Rho activity and F-actin polymerization. The waves are modulated by cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) activity and require the Rho GEF (guanine nucleotide exchange factor), Ect2. Surprisingly, during wave propagation, while Rho activity elicits F-actin assembly, F-actin subsequently inactivates Rho. Experimental and modeling results show that waves represent excitable dynamics of a reaction diffusion system with Rho as the activator and F-actin the inhibitor. We propose that cortical excitability explains fundamental features of cytokinesis including its cell cycle regulation. PMID:26479320

  18. 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.

  19. Reversible Membrane Pearling in Live Cells upon Destruction of the Actin Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Heinrich, Doris; Ecke, Mary; Jasnin, Marion; Engel, Ulrike; Gerisch, Günther

    2014-01-01

    Membrane pearling in live cells is observed when the plasma membrane is depleted of its support, the cortical actin network. Upon efficient depolymerization of actin, pearls of variable size are formed, which are connected by nanotubes of ∼40 nm diameter. We show that formation of the membrane tubes and their transition into chains of pearls do not require external tension, and that they neither depend on microtubule-based molecular motors nor pressure generated by myosin-II. Pearling thus differs from blebbing. The pearling state is stable as long as actin is prevented from polymerizing. When polymerization is restored, the pearls are retracted into the cell, indicating continuity of the membrane. Our data suggest that the alternation of pearls and strings is an energetically favored state of the unsupported plasma membrane, and that one of the functions of the actin cortex is to prevent the membrane from spontaneously assuming this configuration. PMID:24606932

  20. Structural, Mechanical, and Dynamical Variability of the Actin Cortex in Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Eghiaian, Frédéric; Rigato, Annafrancesca; Scheuring, Simon

    2015-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, an actin-based cortex lines the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane, endowing the cells with crucial mechanical and functional properties. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to study the structural dynamics of the actin cortex at high lateral resolution in living cells. Here, we performed atomic force microscopy time-lapse imaging and mechanical mapping of actin in the cortex of living cells at high lateral and temporal resolution. Cortical actin filaments adopted discernible arrangements, ranging from large parallel bundles with low connectivity to a tight meshwork of short filaments. Mixing of these architectures resulted in attuned cortex networks with specific connectivity, mechanical responses, and marked differences in their dynamic behavior. PMID:25809247

  1. Captivating New Roles of F-Actin Cortex in Exocytosis and Bulk Endocytosis in Neurosecretory Cells.

    PubMed

    Meunier, Frédéric A; Gutiérrez, Luis M

    2016-09-01

    The cortical actin network is a tight array of filaments located beneath the plasma membrane. In neurosecretory cells, secretory vesicles are recruited on this network via a small insert isoform of myosin VI in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Upon secretagogue stimulation, myosin II mediates a relaxation of the actin network leading to synchronous translocation of bound or caged vesicles to the plasma membrane where they undergo exocytosis. F-actin is also recruited to secretory sites, where structural changes are detected immediately preceding and following exocytic events. Here we examine the mechanism underpinning the astonishing multifunctionality of this network in the various stages of vesicular exocytosis and compensatory bulk endocytosis. We propose a theoretical framework incorporating critical roles of the actin network in coupling these processes. PMID:27474993

  2. Regulation of an Actin Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tam, Barney; Shin, Jennifer; Brau, Ricardo; Lang, Matthew; Mahadevan, L.; Matsudaira, Paul

    2006-03-01

    To produce motion, cells rely on the conversion of potential energy into mechanical work. One such example is the dramatic process involving the acrosome reaction of Limulus sperm, whereby a 60 μm-long bundle of actin filaments straightens from a coiled conformation to extend out of the cell in five seconds. This cellular engine and the motion it produces represent a third type of actin-based motility fundamentally different from polymerization or myosin-driven processes. The motive force for this extension originates from stored elastic energy in the overtwisted, pre-formed coil---much like a compressed mechanical spring. When the actin bundle untwists, this energy is converted to mechanical work powering the extension. We report on experiments probing the regulation of this actin spring by extracellular calcium. We find that extracellular calcium needs to be present for the spring to activate, and that calcium regulates the velocity of the extension.

  3. 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.

  4. Three's company: the fission yeast actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Kovar, David R; Sirotkin, Vladimir; Lord, Matthew

    2011-03-01

    How the actin cytoskeleton assembles into different structures to drive diverse cellular processes is a fundamental cell biological question. In addition to orchestrating the appropriate combination of regulators and actin-binding proteins, different actin-based structures must insulate themselves from one another to maintain specificity within a crowded cytoplasm. Actin specification is particularly challenging in complex eukaryotes where a multitude of protein isoforms and actin structures operate within the same cell. Fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe possesses a single actin isoform that functions in three distinct structures throughout the cell cycle. In this review we explore recent studies in fission yeast that help unravel how different actin structures operate in cells.

  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. Structural insights into de novo actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    Summary Many cellular functions depend on rapid and localized actin polymerization/depolymerization. Yet, the de novo polymerization of actin in cells is kinetically unfavorable because of the instability of polymerization intermediates (small actin oligomers) and the actions of actin monomer binding proteins. Cells use filament nucleation and elongation factors to initiate and sustain polymerization. Structural biology is beginning to shed light on the diverse mechanisms by which these unrelated proteins initiate polymerization, undergo regulation, and mediate the transition of monomeric actin onto actin filaments. A prominent role is played by the W domain, which in some of these proteins occurs in tandem repeats that recruit multiple actin subunits. Pro-rich regions are also abundant and mediate the binding of profilin-actin complexes, which are the main source of polymerization competent actin in cells. Filament nucleation and elongation factors frequently interact with Rho family GTPases, which relay signals from membrane receptors to regulate actin cytoskeleton remodeling. PMID:20096561

  7. F-actin cytoskeleton and the fate of organelles in chromaffin cells.

    PubMed

    Villanueva, José; Gimenez-Molina, Yolanda; Viniegra, Salvador; Gutiérrez, Luis M

    2016-06-01

    In addition to playing a fundamental structural role, the F-actin cytoskeleton in neuroendocrine chromaffin cells has a prominent influence on governing the molecular mechanism and regulating the secretory process. Performing such roles, the F-actin network might be essential to first transport, and later locate the cellular organelles participating in the secretory cycle. Chromaffin granules are transported from the internal cytosolic regions to the cell periphery along microtubular and F-actin structures. Once in the cortical region, they are embedded in the F-actin network where these vesicles experience restrictions in motility. Similarly, mitochondria transport is affected by both microtubule and F-actin inhibitors and suffers increasing motion restrictions when they are located in the cortical region. Therefore, the F-actin cortex is a key factor in defining the existence of two populations of cortical and perinuclear granules and mitochondria which could be distinguished by their different location and mobility. Interestingly, other important organelles for controlling intracellular calcium levels, such as the endoplasmic reticulum network, present clear differences in distribution and much lower mobility than chromaffin vesicles and mitochondria. Nevertheless, both mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum appear to distribute in the proximity of secretory sites to fulfill a pivotal role, forming triads with calcium channels ensuring the fine tuning of the secretory response. This review presents the contributions that provide the basis for our current view regarding the influence that F-actin has on the distribution of organelles participating in the release of catecholamines in chromaffin cells, and summarizes this knowledge in simple models. In chromaffin cells, organelles such as granules and mitochondria distribute forming cortical and perinuclear populations whereas others like the ER present homogenous distributions. In the present review we discuss

  8. ProMAT: protein microarray analysis tool

    SciTech Connect

    White, Amanda M.; Daly, Don S.; Varnum, Susan M.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Bollinger, Nikki; Zangar, Richard C.

    2006-04-04

    Summary: ProMAT is a software tool for statistically analyzing data from ELISA microarray experiments. The software estimates standard curves, sample protein concentrations and their uncertainties for multiple assays. ProMAT generates a set of comprehensive figures for assessing results and diagnosing process quality. The tool is available for Windows or Mac, and is distributed as open-source Java and R code. Availability: ProMAT is available at http://www.pnl.gov/statistics/ProMAT. ProMAT requires Java version 1.5.0 and R version 1.9.1 (or more recent versions) which are distributed with the tool.

  9. F-actin marks the rhizoid pole in living Pelvetia compressa zygotes.

    PubMed

    Alessa, L; Kropf, D L

    1999-01-01

    Spatial and temporal changes in F-actin during polarity establishment in Pelvetia compressa zygotes were investigated using vital staining with rhodamine phalloidin (RP). F-actin was localized to a patch in the cortex of young zygotes. When unilateral light was applied to induce a growth axis (photopolarization) in a population of zygotes, the cortical F-actin patches localized at the shaded pole (rhizoid pole of growth axis). Treatments that prevented photopolarization prevented localization of F-actin patches to the shaded pole. When the direction of the light treatment was reversed, the previous growth axis was abandoned and a new axis was established in the opposite direction. The F-actin patch repositioned to the new rhizoid pole within minutes of light reversal, indicating that F-actin was an immediate marker of the nascent growth axis. Repositioning probably occurred by disassembly of the initial patch and reassembly of a new one. The patch grew in size as zygotes developed, eventually becoming a ring just prior to rhizoid outgrowth. The rhizoid emerged at the site of the F-actin ring and, following germination, the ring was located in the subapical zone of the elongating tip.

  10. Tissue Expression and Actin Binding of a Novel N-Terminal Utrophin Isoform

    PubMed Central

    Zuellig, Richard A.; Bornhauser, Beat C.; Amstutz, Ralf; Constantin, Bruno; Schaub, Marcus C.

    2011-01-01

    Utrophin and dystrophin present two large proteins that link the intracellular actin cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix via the C-terminal-associated protein complex. Here we describe a novel short N-terminal isoform of utrophin and its protein product in various rat tissues (N-utro, 62 kDa, amino acids 1–539, comprising the actin-binding domain plus the first two spectrin repeats). Using different N-terminal recombinant utrophin fragments, we show that actin binding exhibits pronounced negative cooperativity (affinity constants K1 = ∼5 × 106 and K2 = ∼1 × 105 M−1) and is Ca2+-insensitive. Expression of the different fragments in COS7 cells and in myotubes indicates that the actin-binding domain alone binds exlusively to actin filaments. The recombinant N-utro analogue binds in vitro to actin and in the cells associates to the membranes. The results indicate that N-utro may be responsible for the anchoring of the cortical actin cytoskeleton to the membranes in muscle and other tissues. PMID:22228988

  11. Hypersaline Microbial Mat Lipid Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Embaye, Tsegereda; Turk, Kendra A.; Summons, Roger E.

    2002-01-01

    Lipid biomarkers and compound specific isotopic abundances are powerful tools for studies of contemporary microbial ecosystems. Knowledge of the relationship of biomarkers to microbial physiology and community structure creates important links for understanding the nature of early organisms and paleoenvironments. Our recent work has focused on the hypersaline microbial mats in evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Specific biomarkers for diatoms, cyanobacteria, archaea, green nonsulfur (GNS), sulfate reducing, sulfur oxidizing and methanotrophic bacteria have been identified. Analyses of the ester-bound fatty acids indicate a highly diverse microbial community, dominated by photosynthetic organisms at the surface. The delta C-13 of cyanobacterial biomarkers such as the monomethylalkanes and hopanoids are consistent with the delta C-13 measured for bulk mat (-10%o), while a GNS biomarker, wax esters (WXE), suggests a more depleted delta C-13 for GNS biomass (-16%o). This isotopic relationship is different than that observed in mats at Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park (YSNP) where GNS appear to grow photoheterotrophic ally. WXE abundance, while relatively low, is most pronounced in an anaerobic zone just below the cyanobacterial layer. The WXE isotope composition at GN suggests that these bacteria utilize photoautotrophy incorporating dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) via the 3-hydroxypropionate pathway using H2S or H2.

  12. Polymerization of Actin from Maize Pollen.

    PubMed Central

    Yen, L. F.; Liu, X.; Cai, S.

    1995-01-01

    Here we describe the in vitro polymerization of actin from maize (Zea mays) pollen. The purified actin from maize pollen reported in our previous paper (X. Liu, L.F. Yen [1992] Plant Physiol 99: 1151-1155) is biologically active. In the presence of ATP, KCl, and MgCl2 the purified pollen actin polymerized into filaments. During polymerization the spectra of absorbance at 232 nm increased gradually. Polymerization of pollen actin was evidently accompanied by an increase in viscosity of the pollen actin solution. Also, the specific viscosity of pollen F-actin increased in a concentration-dependent manner. The ultraviolet difference spectrum of pollen actin is very similar to that of rabbit muscle actin. The activity of myosin ATPase from rabbit muscle was activated 7-fold by the polymerized pollen actin (F-actin). The actin filaments were visualized under the electron microscope as doubly wound strands of 7 nm diameter. If cytochalasin B was added before staining, no actin filaments were observed. When actin filaments were treated with rabbit heavy meromyosin, the actin filaments were decorated with an arrowhead structure. These results imply that there is much similarity between pollen and muscle actin. PMID:12228343

  13. Cofilin-mediated actin dynamics promotes actin bundle formation during Drosophila bristle development

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jing; Wang, Heng; Guo, Xuan; Chen, Jiong

    2016-01-01

    The actin bundle is an array of linear actin filaments cross-linked by actin-bundling proteins, but its assembly and dynamics are not as well understood as those of the branched actin network. Here we used the Drosophila bristle as a model system to study actin bundle formation. We found that cofilin, a major actin disassembly factor of the branched actin network, promotes the formation and positioning of actin bundles in the developing bristles. Loss of function of cofilin or AIP1, a cofactor of cofilin, each resulted in increased F-actin levels and severe defects in actin bundle organization, with the defects from cofilin deficiency being more severe. Further analyses revealed that cofilin likely regulates actin bundle formation and positioning by the following means. First, cofilin promotes a large G-actin pool both locally and globally, likely ensuring rapid actin polymerization for bundle initiation and growth. Second, cofilin limits the size of a nonbundled actin-myosin network to regulate the positioning of actin bundles. Third, cofilin prevents incorrect assembly of branched and myosin-associated actin filament into bundles. Together these results demonstrate that the interaction between the dynamic dendritic actin network and the assembling actin bundles is critical for actin bundle formation and needs to be closely regulated. PMID:27385345

  14. Cofilin-mediated actin dynamics promotes actin bundle formation during Drosophila bristle development.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jing; Wang, Heng; Guo, Xuan; Chen, Jiong

    2016-08-15

    The actin bundle is an array of linear actin filaments cross-linked by actin-bundling proteins, but its assembly and dynamics are not as well understood as those of the branched actin network. Here we used the Drosophila bristle as a model system to study actin bundle formation. We found that cofilin, a major actin disassembly factor of the branched actin network, promotes the formation and positioning of actin bundles in the developing bristles. Loss of function of cofilin or AIP1, a cofactor of cofilin, each resulted in increased F-actin levels and severe defects in actin bundle organization, with the defects from cofilin deficiency being more severe. Further analyses revealed that cofilin likely regulates actin bundle formation and positioning by the following means. First, cofilin promotes a large G-actin pool both locally and globally, likely ensuring rapid actin polymerization for bundle initiation and growth. Second, cofilin limits the size of a nonbundled actin-myosin network to regulate the positioning of actin bundles. Third, cofilin prevents incorrect assembly of branched and myosin-associated actin filament into bundles. Together these results demonstrate that the interaction between the dynamic dendritic actin network and the assembling actin bundles is critical for actin bundle formation and needs to be closely regulated.

  15. Cell-scale dynamic recycling and cortical flow of the actin–myosin cytoskeleton for rapid cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Yumura, Shigehiko; Itoh, Go; Kikuta, Yumi; Kikuchi, Takeomi; Kitanishi-Yumura, Toshiko; Tsujioka, Masatsune

    2013-01-01

    Summary Actin and myosin II play major roles in cell migration. Whereas pseudopod extension by actin polymerization has been intensively researched, less attention has been paid to how the rest of the actin cytoskeleton such as the actin cortex contributes to cell migration. In this study, cortical actin and myosin II filaments were simultaneously observed in migrating Dictyostelium cells under total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. The cortical actin and myosin II filaments remained stationary with respect to the substratum as the cells advanced. However, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments and direct observation of filaments showed that they rapidly turned over. When the cells were detached from the substratum, the actin and myosin filaments displayed a vigorous retrograde flow. Thus, when the cells migrate on the substratum, the cortical cytoskeleton firmly holds the substratum to generate the motive force instead. The present studies also demonstrate how myosin II localizes to the rear region of the migrating cells. The observed dynamic turnover of actin and myosin II filaments contributes to the recycling of their subunits across the whole cell and enables rapid reorganization of the cytoskeleton. PMID:23430058

  16. The Role of Plasmalemmal-Cortical Anchoring on the Stability of Transmembrane Electropores

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, S. M.; Ji, Z.; Rockweiler, N. B.; Hahn, A. R.; Booske, J. H.; Hagness, S. C.

    2009-01-01

    The structure of eukaryotic cells is maintained by a network of filamentous actin anchored subjacently to the plasma membrane. This structure is referred to as the actin cortex. We present a locally constrained surface tension model for electroporation in order to address the influence of plasmalemmal-cortical anchoring on electropore dynamics. This model predicts that stable electropores are possible under certain conditions. The existence of stable electropores has been suggested in several experimental studies. The electropore radius at which stability is achieved is a function of the characteristic radii of locally constrained regions about the plasma membrane. This model opens the possibility of using actin-modifying compounds to physically manipulate cortical density, thereby manipulating electroporation dynamics. It also underscores the need to improve electroporation models further by incorporating the influence of trans-electropore ionic and aqueous flow, cortical flexibility, transmembrane protein mobility, and active cellular wound healing mechanisms. PMID:20490371

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Gβ Regulates Coupling between Actin Oscillators for Cell Polarity and Directional Migration.

    PubMed

    Hoeller, Oliver; Toettcher, Jared E; Cai, Huaqing; Sun, Yaohui; Huang, Chuan-Hsiang; Freyre, Mariel; Zhao, Min; Devreotes, Peter N; Weiner, Orion D

    2016-02-01

    For directional movement, eukaryotic cells depend on the proper organization of their actin cytoskeleton. This engine of motility is made up of highly dynamic nonequilibrium actin structures such as flashes, oscillations, and traveling waves. In Dictyostelium, oscillatory actin foci interact with signals such as Ras and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) to form protrusions. However, how signaling cues tame actin dynamics to produce a pseudopod and guide cellular motility is a critical open question in eukaryotic chemotaxis. Here, we demonstrate that the strength of coupling between individual actin oscillators controls cell polarization and directional movement. We implement an inducible sequestration system to inactivate the heterotrimeric G protein subunit Gβ and find that this acute perturbation triggers persistent, high-amplitude cortical oscillations of F-actin. Actin oscillators that are normally weakly coupled to one another in wild-type cells become strongly synchronized following acute inactivation of Gβ. This global coupling impairs sensing of internal cues during spontaneous polarization and sensing of external cues during directional motility. A simple mathematical model of coupled actin oscillators reveals the importance of appropriate coupling strength for chemotaxis: moderate coupling can increase sensitivity to noisy inputs. Taken together, our data suggest that Gβ regulates the strength of coupling between actin oscillators for efficient polarity and directional migration. As these observations are only possible following acute inhibition of Gβ and are masked by slow compensation in genetic knockouts, our work also shows that acute loss-of-function approaches can complement and extend the reach of classical genetics in Dictyostelium and likely other systems as well. PMID:26890004

  1. Yeast Rsp5 ubiquitin ligase affects the actin cytoskeleton in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed

    Kaminska, Joanna; Spiess, Matthias; Stawiecka-Mirota, Marta; Monkaityte, Rasa; Haguenauer-Tsapis, Rosine; Urban-Grimal, Daniele; Winsor, Barbara; Zoladek, Teresa

    2011-12-01

    Yeast Rsp5 ubiquitin ligase is involved in several cellular processes, including endocytosis. Actin patches are sites of endocytosis, a process involving actin assembly and disassembly. Here we show Rsp5 localization in cortical patches and demonstrate its involvement in actin cytoskeleton organization and dynamics. We found that the Rsp5-F1-GFP2 N-terminal fragment and full length GFP-Rsp5 were recruited to peripheral patches that temporarily co-localized with Abp1-mCherry, a marker of actin patches. Actin cytoskeleton organization was defective in a strain lacking RSP5 or overexpressing RSP5, and this phenotype was accompanied by morphological abnormalities. Overexpression of RSP5 caused hypersensitivity of cells to Latrunculin A, an actin-depolymerizing drug and was toxic to cells lacking Las17, an activator of actin nucleation. Moreover, Rsp5 was required for efficient actin polymerization in a whole cell extract based in vitro system. Rsp5 interacted with Las17 and Las17-binding proteins, Lsb1 and Lsb2, in a GST-Rsp5-WW2/3 pull down assay. Rsp5 ubiquitinated Lsb1-HA and Lsb2-HA without directing them for degradation. Overexpression of RSP5 increased the cellular level of HA-Las17 in wild type and in lsb1Δ lsb2Δ strains in which the basal level of Las17 was already elevated. This increase was prevented in a strain devoid of Las17-binding protein Sla1 which is also a target of Rsp5 ubiquitination. Thus, Rsp5 together with Lsb1, Lsb2 and Sla1 regulate the level of Las17, an important activator of actin polymerization. PMID:22000681

  2. Gβ Regulates Coupling between Actin Oscillators for Cell Polarity and Directional Migration

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Huaqing; Sun, Yaohui; Huang, Chuan-Hsiang; Freyre, Mariel; Zhao, Min; Devreotes, Peter N.; Weiner, Orion D.

    2016-01-01

    For directional movement, eukaryotic cells depend on the proper organization of their actin cytoskeleton. This engine of motility is made up of highly dynamic nonequilibrium actin structures such as flashes, oscillations, and traveling waves. In Dictyostelium, oscillatory actin foci interact with signals such as Ras and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) to form protrusions. However, how signaling cues tame actin dynamics to produce a pseudopod and guide cellular motility is a critical open question in eukaryotic chemotaxis. Here, we demonstrate that the strength of coupling between individual actin oscillators controls cell polarization and directional movement. We implement an inducible sequestration system to inactivate the heterotrimeric G protein subunit Gβ and find that this acute perturbation triggers persistent, high-amplitude cortical oscillations of F-actin. Actin oscillators that are normally weakly coupled to one another in wild-type cells become strongly synchronized following acute inactivation of Gβ. This global coupling impairs sensing of internal cues during spontaneous polarization and sensing of external cues during directional motility. A simple mathematical model of coupled actin oscillators reveals the importance of appropriate coupling strength for chemotaxis: moderate coupling can increase sensitivity to noisy inputs. Taken together, our data suggest that Gβ regulates the strength of coupling between actin oscillators for efficient polarity and directional migration. As these observations are only possible following acute inhibition of Gβ and are masked by slow compensation in genetic knockouts, our work also shows that acute loss-of-function approaches can complement and extend the reach of classical genetics in Dictyostelium and likely other systems as well. PMID:26890004

  3. 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.

  4. Bacterial contamination control mats: a comparative study.

    PubMed Central

    Meddick, H. M.

    1977-01-01

    The ability of six different types of contamination control mats currently in use at the entrances to theatre suites and other clean areas to remove bacteria-carrying particles from theatre trolley wheeels was compared. Marked differences in the effectiveness of this property were obtained; and all mats showed some disadvantages. Modification of one of the mats has resulted in improved efficiency under working conditions. Images Plate 1 PMID:267665

  5. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kelpsch, Daniel J; Groen, Christopher M; Fagan, Tiffany N; Sudhir, Sweta; Tootle, Tina L

    2016-10-01

    Drosophila oogenesis provides a developmental system with which to study nuclear actin. During Stages 5-9, nuclear actin levels are high in the oocyte and exhibit variation within the nurse cells. Cofilin and Profilin, which regulate the nuclear import and export of actin, also localize to the nuclei. Expression of GFP-tagged Actin results in nuclear actin rod formation. These findings indicate that nuclear actin must be tightly regulated during oogenesis. One factor mediating this regulation is Fascin. Overexpression of Fascin enhances nuclear GFP-Actin rod formation, and Fascin colocalizes with the rods. Loss of Fascin reduces, whereas overexpression of Fascin increases, the frequency of nurse cells with high levels of nuclear actin, but neither alters the overall nuclear level of actin within the ovary. These data suggest that Fascin regulates the ability of specific cells to accumulate nuclear actin. Evidence indicates that Fascin positively regulates nuclear actin through Cofilin. Loss of Fascin results in decreased nuclear Cofilin. In addition, Fascin and Cofilin genetically interact, as double heterozygotes exhibit a reduction in the number of nurse cells with high nuclear actin levels. These findings are likely applicable beyond Drosophila follicle development, as the localization and functions of Fascin and the mechanisms regulating nuclear actin are widely conserved.

  6. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kelpsch, Daniel J; Groen, Christopher M; Fagan, Tiffany N; Sudhir, Sweta; Tootle, Tina L

    2016-10-01

    Drosophila oogenesis provides a developmental system with which to study nuclear actin. During Stages 5-9, nuclear actin levels are high in the oocyte and exhibit variation within the nurse cells. Cofilin and Profilin, which regulate the nuclear import and export of actin, also localize to the nuclei. Expression of GFP-tagged Actin results in nuclear actin rod formation. These findings indicate that nuclear actin must be tightly regulated during oogenesis. One factor mediating this regulation is Fascin. Overexpression of Fascin enhances nuclear GFP-Actin rod formation, and Fascin colocalizes with the rods. Loss of Fascin reduces, whereas overexpression of Fascin increases, the frequency of nurse cells with high levels of nuclear actin, but neither alters the overall nuclear level of actin within the ovary. These data suggest that Fascin regulates the ability of specific cells to accumulate nuclear actin. Evidence indicates that Fascin positively regulates nuclear actin through Cofilin. Loss of Fascin results in decreased nuclear Cofilin. In addition, Fascin and Cofilin genetically interact, as double heterozygotes exhibit a reduction in the number of nurse cells with high nuclear actin levels. These findings are likely applicable beyond Drosophila follicle development, as the localization and functions of Fascin and the mechanisms regulating nuclear actin are widely conserved. PMID:27535426

  7. Archaean metabolic evolution of microbial mats

    PubMed Central

    Nisbet, E. G.; Fowler, C. M. R.

    1999-01-01

    Microbial mats of coexisting bacteria and archaea date back to the early Archaean: many of the major steps in early evolution probably took place within them. The earliest mats may have formed as biofilms of cooperative chemolithotrophs in hyperthermophile settings, with microbial exploitation of diversifying niches. Anoxygenic photosynthesis using bacteriochlorophyll could have allowed mats, including green gliding bacteria, to colonize anaerobic shallow-water mesothermophile habitats. Exploitation of the Calvin–Benson cycle by purple bacteria allowed diversification of microbial mats, with some organisms in more aerobic habitats, while green sulphur bacteria specialized in anaerobic niches. Cyanobacterial evolution led to more complex mats and plankton, allowing widespread colonization of the globe and the creation of further aerobic habitat. Microbial mat structure may reflect this evolutionary development in broad terms, with anaerobic lower levels occupied by archaeal and bacterial respirers, fermenters and green bacteria, while the higher levels contain aerobic purple bacteria and are dominated by cyanobacteria. A possible origin of eukaryotes is from a fusion of symbiotic partners living across a redox boundary in a mat. The geological record of Archaean mats may be present as isotopic fingerprints: with the presence of cyanobacteria, mats may have had a nearly modern structure as early as 3.5 Ga ago (1 Ga = 109 years).

  8. MatLab Script and Functional Programming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaykhian, Gholam Ali

    2007-01-01

    MatLab Script and Functional Programming: MatLab is one of the most widely used very high level programming languages for scientific and engineering computations. It is very user-friendly and needs practically no formal programming knowledge. Presented here are MatLab programming aspects and not just the MatLab commands for scientists and engineers who do not have formal programming training and also have no significant time to spare for learning programming to solve their real world problems. Specifically provided are programs for visualization. The MatLab seminar covers the functional and script programming aspect of MatLab language. Specific expectations are: a) Recognize MatLab commands, script and function. b) Create, and run a MatLab function. c) Read, recognize, and describe MatLab syntax. d) Recognize decisions, loops and matrix operators. e) Evaluate scope among multiple files, and multiple functions within a file. f) Declare, define and use scalar variables, vectors and matrices.

  9. Dynamic actin controls polarity induction de novo in protoplasts.

    PubMed

    Zaban, Beatrix; Maisch, Jan; Nick, Peter

    2013-02-01

    Cell polarity and axes are central for plant morphogenesis. To study how polarity and axes are induced de novo, we investigated protoplasts of tobacco Nicotiana tabacum cv. BY-2 expressing fluorescently-tagged cytoskeletal markers. We standardized the system to such a degree that we were able to generate quantitative data on the temporal patterns of regeneration stages. The synthesis of a new cell wall marks the transition to the first stage of regeneration, and proceeds after a long preparatory phase within a few minutes. During this preparatory phase, the nucleus migrates actively, and cytoplasmic strands remodel vigorously. We probed this system for the effect of anti-cytoskeletal compounds, inducible bundling of actin, RGD-peptides, and temperature. Suppression of actin dynamics at an early stage leads to aberrant tripolar cells, whereas suppression of microtubule dynamics produces aberrant sausage-like cells with asymmetric cell walls. We integrated these data into a model, where the microtubular cytoskeleton conveys positional information between the nucleus and the membrane controlling the release or activation of components required for cell wall synthesis. Cell wall formation is followed by the induction of a new cell pole requiring dynamic actin filaments, and the new cell axis is manifested as elongation growth perpendicular to the orientation of the aligned cortical microtubules.

  10. Bentonite mat demonstration. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Serrato, M.G.

    1994-12-30

    The Bentonite Mat Demonstration was developed to provide the Environmental Restoration Department with field performance characteristics and engineering data for an alternative closure cover system configuration. The demonstration was initiated in response to regulatory concerns regarding the use of an alternative cover system for future design configurations. These design considerations are in lieu of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Recommended Design for Closure Cover Systems and specifically a single compacted kaolin clay layer with a hydraulic conductivity of 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}7} cm/sec. This alternative configuration is a composite geosynthetic material hydraulic barrier consisting from bottom to top: 2 ft compacted sandy clay layer (typical local Savannah River Site soil type) that is covered by a bentonite mat--geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) and is overlaid by a 40 mil High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) geomembrane--flexible membrane liner. This effort was undertaken to obtain and document the necessary field performance/engineering data for future designs and meet regulatory technical requirements for an alternative cover system configuration. The composite geosynthetic materials hydraulic barrier is the recommended alternative cover system configuration for containment of hazardous and low level radiological waste layers that have a high potential of subsidence to be used at the Savannah River Site (SRS). This alternative configuration mitigates subsidence effects in providing a flexible, lightweight cover system to maintain the integrity of the closure. The composite geosynthetic materials hydraulic barrier is recommended for the Sanitary Landfill and Low Level Radiological Waste Disposal Facility (LLRWDF) Closures.

  11. The reconstitution of actin polymerization on liposomes.

    PubMed

    Stamnes, Mark; Xu, Weidong

    2010-01-01

    Membrane-associated actin polymerization is of considerable interest due to its role in cell migration and the motility of intracellular organelles. Intensive research efforts are underway to investigate the physiological role of membrane-associated actin as well as the regulation and mechanics of actin assembly. Branched actin polymerization on membranes is catalyzed by the Arp2/3 complex. Signaling events leading to the activation of the guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-binding protein Cdc42 stimulate Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization. We have studied the role of Cdc42 at the Golgi apparatus in part by reconstituting actin polymerization on isolated Golgi membranes and on liposomes. In this manner, we showed that cytosolic proteins are sufficient for actin assembly on a phospholipid bilayer. Here we describe methods for the cell-free reconstitution of membrane-associated actin polymerization using liposomes and brain cytosol.

  12. Dynamic actin structures stabilized by profilin.

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, T; Theriot, J A; Dise, K R; Tomaselli, G F; Goldschmidt-Clermont, P J

    1994-01-01

    We describe the production and analysis of clonal cell lines in which we have overexpressed human profilin, a small ubiquitous actin monomer binding protein, to assess the role of profilin on actin function in vivo. The concentration of filamentous actin is increased in cells with higher profilin levels, and actin filament half-life measured in these cells is directly proportional to the steady-state profilin concentration. The distribution of actin filaments is altered by profilin overexpression. While parallel actin bundles crossing the cells are virtually absent in cells overexpressing profilin, the submembranous actin network of these cells is denser than in control cells. These results suggest that in vivo profilin regulates the stability, and thereby distribution, of specific dynamic actin structures. Images PMID:8108438

  13. Rho-GTPase effector ROCK phosphorylates cofilin in actin-meditated cytokinesis during mouse oocyte meiosis.

    PubMed

    Duan, Xing; Liu, Jun; Dai, Xiao-Xin; Liu, Hong-Lin; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Wang, Zhen-Bo; Wang, Qiang; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2014-02-01

    During oocyte meiosis, a spindle forms in the central cytoplasm and migrates to the cortex. Subsequently, the oocyte extrudes a small body and forms a highly polarized egg; this process is regulated primarily by actin. ROCK is a Rho-GTPase effector that is involved in various cellular functions, such as stress fiber formation, cell migration, tumor cell invasion, and cell motility. In this study, we investigated possible roles for ROCK in mouse oocyte meiosis. ROCK was localized around spindles after germinal vesicle breakdown and was colocalized with cytoplasmic actin and mitochondria. Disrupting ROCK activity by RNAi or an inhibitor resulted in cell cycle progression and polar body extrusion failure. Time-lapse microscopy showed that this may have been due to spindle migration and cytokinesis defects, as chromosomes segregated but failed to extrude a polar body and then realigned. Actin expression at oocyte membranes and in cytoplasm was significantly decreased after these treatments. Actin caps were also disrupted, which was confirmed by a failure to form cortical granule-free domains. The mitochondrial distribution was also disrupted, which indicated that mitochondria were involved in the ROCK-mediated actin assembly. In addition, the phosphorylation levels of Cofilin, a downstream molecule of ROCK, decreased after disrupting ROCK activity. Thus, our results indicated that a ROCK-Cofilin-actin pathway regulated meiotic spindle migration and cytokinesis during mouse oocyte maturation.

  14. Capping protein beta is required for actin cytoskeleton organisation and cell migration during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ogienko, Anna A; Karagodin, Dmitry A; Lashina, Valentina V; Baiborodin, Sergey I; Omelina, Eugeniya S; Baricheva, Elina M

    2013-02-01

    Capping protein (CP) is a well-characterised actin-binding protein important for regulation of actin filament (AF) assembly. CP caps the barbed end of AFs, inhibiting the addition and loss of actin monomers. In Drosophila melanogaster, the gene encoding CP β-subunit is named capping protein beta (cpb; see Hopmann et al. [1996] J Cell Biol 133: 1293-305). The cpb level is reduced in the Drosophila bristle actin cytoskeleton and becomes disorganised with abnormal morphology. A reduced level of the CP protein in ovary results in disruption of oocyte determination, and disturbance of nurse cell (NC) cortical integrity and dumping. We describe novel defects appearing in cpb mutants during oogenesis, in which cpb plays an important role in border and centripetal follicle cell migration, ring canal development and cytoplasmic AF formation. The number of long cytoplasmic AFs was dramatically reduced in cpb hypomorphs and abnormal actin aggregates was seen on the inner side of NC membranes. A hypothesis to explain the formation of abnormal short-cut cytoplasmic AFs and actin aggregates in the cpb mutant NCs was proffered, along with a discussion of the reasons for 'dumpless' phenotype formation in the mutants.

  15. Effects of mat characteristics on plantar pressure patterns and perceived mat properties during landing in gymnastics.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Soriano, Pedro; Llana-Belloch, Salvador; Morey-Klapsing, Gaspar; Perez-Turpin, Jose Antonio; Cortell-Tormo, Juan Manuel; van den Tillaar, Roland

    2010-11-01

    Shock absorption and stability during landings is provided by both, gymnast ability and mat properties. The aims of this study were to determine the influence of different mat constructions on their energy absorption and stability capabilities, and to analyse how these properties affect gymnast's plantar pressures as well as subjective mat perception during landing. Six mats were tested using a standard mechanical drop test. In addition, plantar pressures and subjective perception during landing were obtained from 15 expert gymnasts. The different mats influenced plantar pressures and gymnasts' subjective perception during landing of gymnasts. Significant correlations between plantar pressures at the medial metatarsal and lateral metatarsal zones of the gymnasts' feet with the different shock absorption characteristics of the mats were found. However, subjective perception tests were not able to discriminate mat functionality between the six mats as no significant correlations between the mechanical mat properties with the subjective perception of these properties were found. This study demonstrated that plantar pressures are a useful tool for discriminating different landing mats. Using similar approaches, ideally including kinematics as well, could help us in our understanding about the influences of different mats upon gymnast-mat interaction. PMID:21309299

  16. 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.

  17. Actin in hair cells and hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Meghan C; Belyantseva, Inna A; Friderici, Karen H; Friedman, Thomas B

    2012-06-01

    Hereditary deafness is genetically heterogeneous such that mutations of many different genes can cause hearing loss. This review focuses on the evidence and implications that several of these deafness genes encode actin-interacting proteins or actin itself. There is a growing appreciation of the contribution of the actin interactome in stereocilia development, maintenance, mechanotransduction and malfunction of the auditory system.

  18. Patterning and Lifetime of Plasma Membrane-Localized Cellulose Synthase Is Dependent on Actin Organization in Arabidopsis Interphase Cells1[W

    PubMed Central

    Sampathkumar, Arun; Gutierrez, Ryan; McFarlane, Heather E.; Bringmann, Martin; Lindeboom, Jelmer; Emons, Anne-Mie; Samuels, Lacey; Ketelaar, Tijs; Ehrhardt, David W.; Persson, Staffan

    2013-01-01

    The actin and microtubule cytoskeletons regulate cell shape across phyla, from bacteria to metazoans. In organisms with cell walls, the wall acts as a primary constraint of shape, and generation of specific cell shape depends on cytoskeletal organization for wall deposition and/or cell expansion. In higher plants, cortical microtubules help to organize cell wall construction by positioning the delivery of cellulose synthase (CesA) complexes and guiding their trajectories to orient newly synthesized cellulose microfibrils. The actin cytoskeleton is required for normal distribution of CesAs to the plasma membrane, but more specific roles for actin in cell wall assembly and organization remain largely elusive. We show that the actin cytoskeleton functions to regulate the CesA delivery rate to, and lifetime of CesAs at, the plasma membrane, which affects cellulose production. Furthermore, quantitative image analyses revealed that actin organization affects CesA tracking behavior at the plasma membrane and that small CesA compartments were associated with the actin cytoskeleton. By contrast, localized insertion of CesAs adjacent to cortical microtubules was not affected by the actin organization. Hence, both actin and microtubule cytoskeletons play important roles in regulating CesA trafficking, cellulose deposition, and organization of cell wall biogenesis. PMID:23606596

  19. 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

  20. Yersinia effector YopO uses actin as bait to phosphorylate proteins that regulate actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Lee, Wei Lin; Grimes, Jonathan M; Robinson, Robert C

    2015-03-01

    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.

  1. Annexin A2–dependent actin bundling promotes secretory granule docking to the plasma membrane and exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Gabel, Marion; Delavoie, Franck; Demais, Valérie; Royer, Cathy; Bailly, Yannick; Vitale, Nicolas; Bader, Marie-France

    2015-01-01

    Annexin A2, a calcium-, actin-, and lipid-binding protein involved in exocytosis, mediates the formation of lipid microdomains required for the structural and spatial organization of fusion sites at the plasma membrane. To understand how annexin A2 promotes this membrane remodeling, the involvement of cortical actin filaments in lipid domain organization was investigated. 3D electron tomography showed that cortical actin bundled by annexin A2 connected docked secretory granules to the plasma membrane and contributed to the formation of GM1-enriched lipid microdomains at the exocytotic sites in chromaffin cells. When an annexin A2 mutant with impaired actin filament–bundling activity was expressed, the formation of plasma membrane lipid microdomains and the number of exocytotic events were decreased and the fusion kinetics were slower, whereas the pharmacological activation of the intrinsic actin-bundling activity of endogenous annexin A2 had the opposite effects. Thus, annexin A2–induced actin bundling is apparently essential for generating active exocytotic sites. PMID:26323692

  2. Mimicking the mechanical properties of the cell cortex by the self-assembly of an actin cortex in vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Tianzhi; Srivastava, Vasudha; Ren, Yixin; Robinson, Douglas N.

    2014-04-01

    The composite of the actin cytoskeleton and plasma membrane plays important roles in many biological events. Here, we employed the emulsion method to synthesize artificial cells with biomimetic actin cortex in vesicles and characterized their mechanical properties. We demonstrated that the emulsion method provides the flexibility to adjust the lipid composition and protein concentrations in artificial cells to achieve the desired size distribution, internal microstructure, and mechanical properties. Moreover, comparison of the cortical elasticity measured for reconstituted artificial cells to that of real cells, including those manipulated using genetic depletion and pharmacological inhibition, strongly supports that actin cytoskeletal proteins are dominant over lipid molecules in cortical mechanics. Our study indicates that the assembly of biological systems in artificial cells with purified cellular components provides a powerful way to answer biological questions.

  3. An MAT Program to Meet Future Needs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shuman, R. Baird

    1981-01-01

    The history of Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs is outlined. The areas in which teaching shortages continue to exist are identified and MAT programs are urged to work to alleviate these shortages. Teacher shortages for prison inmates, youngsters with reading and language handicaps, and ghetto children are described. (MLW)

  4. User's guide to the MATS data

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S. )

    1990-08-01

    Data collected for the 37 Mesoscale Transport Studies (MATS) experiments are available on a single, double-sided, high-density (1.2MB), IBM-formatted, 5.25 in. floppy disk (MATS disk). Standard ASCII characters are used. This report discusses how to install this disk, symbols used, format of the ratio, and the sample experiment.

  5. Nonwoven glass fiber mat reinforces polyurethane adhesive

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roseland, L. M.

    1967-01-01

    Nonwoven glass fiber mat reinforces the adhesive properties of a polyurethane adhesive that fastens hardware to exterior surfaces of aluminum tanks. The mat is embedded in the uncured adhesive. It ensures good control of the bond line and increases the peel strength.

  6. Calcium and actin in the saga of awakening oocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Santella, Luigia Limatola, Nunzia; Chun, Jong T.

    2015-04-24

    The interaction of the spermatozoon with the egg at fertilization remains one of the most fascinating mysteries of life. Much of our scientific knowledge on fertilization comes from studies on sea urchin and starfish, which provide plenty of gametes. Large and transparent, these eggs have served as excellent model systems for studying egg activation and embryo development in seawater, a plain natural medium. Starfish oocytes allow the study of the cortical, cytoplasmic and nuclear changes during the meiotic maturation process, which can also be triggered in vitro by hormonal stimulation. These morphological and biochemical changes ensure successful fertilization of the eggs at the first metaphase. On the other hand, sea urchin eggs are fertilized after the completion of meiosis, and are particularly suitable for the study of sperm–egg interaction, early events of egg activation, and embryonic development, as a large number of mature eggs can be fertilized synchronously. Starfish and sea urchin eggs undergo abrupt changes in the cytoskeleton and ion fluxes in response to the fertilizing spermatozoon. The plasma membrane and cortex of an egg thus represent “excitable media” that quickly respond to the stimulus with the Ca{sup 2+} swings and structural changes. In this article, we review some of the key findings on the rapid dynamic rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton in the oocyte/egg cortex upon hormonal or sperm stimulation and their roles in the modulation of the Ca{sup 2+} signals and in the control of monospermic fertilization. - Highlights: • Besides microtubules, microfilaments may anchor the nucleus to oocyte surface. • The cortical Ca{sup 2+} flash and wave at fertilization mirror electrical membrane change. • Artificial egg activation lacks microvilli extension in the perivitelline space. • Calcium is necessary but not sufficient for cortical granules exocytosis. • Actin cytoskeleton modulates Ca{sup 2+} release at oocyte maturation

  7. Investigation of VEGGIE Root Mat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Subbiah, Arun M.

    2013-01-01

    VEGGIE is a plant growth facility that utilizes the phenomenon of capillary action as its primary watering system. A cloth made of Meta Aramid fiber, known as Nomex is used to wick water up from a reservoir to the bottom of the plants roots. This root mat system is intended to be low maintenance with no moving parts and requires minimal crew interface time. Unfortunately, the water wicking rates are inconsistent throughout the plant life cycle, thus causing plants to die. Over-wicking of water occurs toward the beginning of the cycle, while under-wicking occurs toward the middle. This inconsistency of wicking has become a major issue, drastically inhibiting plant growth. The primary objective is to determine the root cause of the inconsistent wicking through experimental testing. Suspect causes for the capillary water column to break include: a vacuum effect due to a negative pressure gradient in the water reservoir, contamination of material due to minerals in water and back wash from plant fertilizer, induced air bubbles while using syringe refill method, and material limitations of Nomex's ability to absorb and retain water. Experimental testing will be conducted to systematically determine the cause of under and over-wicking. Pressure gages will be used to determine pressure drop during the course of the plant life cycle and during the water refill process. A debubbler device will be connected to a root mat in order to equalize pressure inside the reservoir. Moisture and evaporation tests will simultaneously be implemented to observe moisture content and wicking rates over the course of a plant cycle. Water retention tests will be performed using strips of Nomex to determine materials wicking rates, porosity, and absorptivity. Through these experimental tests, we will have a better understanding of material properties of Nomex, as well as determine the root cause of water column breakage. With consistent test results, a forward plan can be achieved to resolve

  8. Flat laminated microbial mat communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franks, Jonathan; Stolz, John F.

    2009-10-01

    Flat laminated microbial mats are complex microbial ecosystems that inhabit a wide range of environments (e.g., caves, iron springs, thermal springs and pools, salt marshes, hypersaline ponds and lagoons, methane and petroleum seeps, sea mounts, deep sea vents, arctic dry valleys). Their community structure is defined by physical (e.g., light quantity and quality, temperature, density and pressure) and chemical (e.g., oxygen, oxidation/reduction potential, salinity, pH, available electron acceptors and donors, chemical species) parameters as well as species interactions. The main primary producers may be photoautotrophs (e.g., cyanobacteria, purple phototrophs, green phototrophs) or chemolithoautophs (e.g., colorless sulfur oxidizing bacteria). Anaerobic phototrophy may predominate in organic rich environments that support high rates of respiration. These communities are dynamic systems exhibiting both spatial and temporal heterogeneity. They are characterized by steep gradients with microenvironments on the submillimeter scale. Diel oscillations in the physical-chemical profile (e.g., oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, pH) and species distribution are typical for phototroph-dominated communities. Flat laminated microbial mats are often sites of robust biogeochemical cycling. In addition to well-established modes of metabolism for phototrophy (oxygenic and non-oxygenic), respiration (both aerobic and anaerobic), and fermentation, novel energetic pathways have been discovered (e.g., nitrate reduction couple to the oxidation of ammonia, sulfur, or arsenite). The application of culture-independent techniques (e.g., 16S rRNA clonal libraries, metagenomics), continue to expand our understanding of species composition and metabolic functions of these complex ecosystems.

  9. In vivo dynamics of the F-actin-binding protein neurabin-II.

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, D J; Banting, G

    2000-01-01

    Neurabin-II (spinophilin) is a ubiquitously expressed F-actin-binding protein containing an N-terminal actin-binding domain, a PDZ (PSD95/discs large/ZO-1) domain and a C-terminal domain predicted to form a coiled-coil structure. We have stably expressed a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged version of neurabin-II in PC12 cells, and characterized the in vivo dynamics of this actin-binding protein using confocal fluorescence microscopy. We show that GFP-neurabin-II localizes to actin filaments, especially at cortical sites and areas underlying sites of active membrane remodelling. GFP-neurabin-II labels only a subset of F-actin within these cells, as indicated by rhodamine-phalloidin staining. Both actin filaments and small, highly motile structures within the cell body are seen. Photobleaching experiments show that GFP-neurabin-II also exhibits highly dynamic behaviour when bound to actin filaments. Latrunculin B treatment results in rapid relocalization of GFP-neurabin-II to the cytosol, whereas cytochalasin D treatment causes the collapse of GFP-neurabin-II fluorescence to intensely fluorescent foci of F-actin within the cell body. This collapse is reversed on cytochalasin D removal, recovery from which is greatly accelerated by stimulation of cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF). Furthermore, we show that this EGF-induced relocalization of GFP-neurabin-II is dependent on the activity of the small GTPase Rac1 but not the activity of ADP-ribosylation factor 6. PMID:10620493

  10. The MAT1-1:MAT1-2 ratio of Sporothrix globosa isolates in Japan.

    PubMed

    Kano, Rui; Tsui, Clement K-M; Hamelin, Richard C; Anzawa, Kazushi; Mochizuki, Takashi; Nishimoto, Katsutaro; Hiruma, Masataro; Kamata, Hiroshi; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko

    2015-02-01

    In order to understand the reproductive biology of pathogenic species in the Sporothrix schenckii complex, we characterized the partial mating type (MAT1-1) loci of Sporothrix schenckii, as well as the S. globosa MAT1-1-1 gene, which encoded 262 amino acid sequences. The data confirmed that the MAT1-1 locus of S. globosa was divergent from the MAT1-2 locus of the opposite mating type, suggesting that the fungus is heterothallic. To determine the mating type ratio of 20 isolates from Japanese patients, we analyzed the MAT loci by specific PCR amplification of MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 genes. The MAT1-1-1 was detected in 5 isolates but not in the other 15 isolates with the presence of MAT1-2-1. The MAT1-1:1-2 ratio of S. globosa isolates in Japan was estimated to be 1:3. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the sequences of the MAT1-1-1 were identical among S. globosa isolates but different from S. schenckii and Ophiostoma montium.

  11. 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.

  12. F-actin mechanics control spindle centring in the mouse zygote

    PubMed Central

    Chaigne, Agathe; Campillo, Clément; Voituriez, Raphaël; Gov, Nir S.; Sykes, Cécile; Verlhac, Marie-Hélène; Terret, Marie-Emilie

    2016-01-01

    Mitotic spindle position relies on interactions between astral microtubules nucleated by centrosomes and a rigid cortex. Some cells, such as mouse oocytes, do not possess centrosomes and astral microtubules. These cells rely only on actin and on a soft cortex to position their spindle off-centre and undergo asymmetric divisions. While the first mouse embryonic division also occurs in the absence of centrosomes, it is symmetric and not much is known on how the spindle is positioned at the exact cell centre. Using interdisciplinary approaches, we demonstrate that zygotic spindle positioning follows a three-step process: (1) coarse centring of pronuclei relying on the dynamics of an F-actin/Myosin-Vb meshwork; (2) fine centring of the metaphase plate depending on a high cortical tension; (3) passive maintenance at the cell centre. Altogether, we show that F-actin-dependent mechanics operate the switch between asymmetric to symmetric division required at the oocyte to embryo transition. PMID:26727405

  13. F-actin mechanics control spindle centring in the mouse zygote

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaigne, Agathe; Campillo, Clément; Voituriez, Raphaël; Gov, Nir S.; Sykes, Cécile; Verlhac, Marie-Hélène; Terret, Marie-Emilie

    2016-01-01

    Mitotic spindle position relies on interactions between astral microtubules nucleated by centrosomes and a rigid cortex. Some cells, such as mouse oocytes, do not possess centrosomes and astral microtubules. These cells rely only on actin and on a soft cortex to position their spindle off-centre and undergo asymmetric divisions. While the first mouse embryonic division also occurs in the absence of centrosomes, it is symmetric and not much is known on how the spindle is positioned at the exact cell centre. Using interdisciplinary approaches, we demonstrate that zygotic spindle positioning follows a three-step process: (1) coarse centring of pronuclei relying on the dynamics of an F-actin/Myosin-Vb meshwork; (2) fine centring of the metaphase plate depending on a high cortical tension; (3) passive maintenance at the cell centre. Altogether, we show that F-actin-dependent mechanics operate the switch between asymmetric to symmetric division required at the oocyte to embryo transition.

  14. F-actin mechanics control spindle centring in the mouse zygote.

    PubMed

    Chaigne, Agathe; Campillo, Clément; Voituriez, Raphaël; Gov, Nir S; Sykes, Cécile; Verlhac, Marie-Hélène; Terret, Marie-Emilie

    2016-01-01

    Mitotic spindle position relies on interactions between astral microtubules nucleated by centrosomes and a rigid cortex. Some cells, such as mouse oocytes, do not possess centrosomes and astral microtubules. These cells rely only on actin and on a soft cortex to position their spindle off-centre and undergo asymmetric divisions. While the first mouse embryonic division also occurs in the absence of centrosomes, it is symmetric and not much is known on how the spindle is positioned at the exact cell centre. Using interdisciplinary approaches, we demonstrate that zygotic spindle positioning follows a three-step process: (1) coarse centring of pronuclei relying on the dynamics of an F-actin/Myosin-Vb meshwork; (2) fine centring of the metaphase plate depending on a high cortical tension; (3) passive maintenance at the cell centre. Altogether, we show that F-actin-dependent mechanics operate the switch between asymmetric to symmetric division required at the oocyte to embryo transition. PMID:26727405

  15. The actin of muscle and fibroblasts.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, P J

    1976-01-01

    The isolation and quantification of an 18-residue peptide from the N-terminal region of chicken actin was used to quantify the amount of actin in acetone-dried powders of chicken breast muscle and chicken-embryo fibroblasts. Either isotope dilution or double labelling can be used for peptide quantification. About 17% of the protein of chicken breast muscle was estimated to be actin. However, only 0.25% of the protein of chicken-embryo fibroblasts was determined to be actin by quantification of this peptide. The actin content of fibroblasts may be low or the amino acid sequences of muscle and fibroblast actin may differ in the N-terminal region. The methodology used can be extended to examine whether other regions of muscle actin sequence are present in fibroblasts or other cell types. PMID:938480

  16. 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.

  17. Actin-Based Transport Adapts Polarity Domain Size to Local Cellular Curvature.

    PubMed

    Bonazzi, Daria; Haupt, Armin; Tanimoto, Hirokazu; Delacour, Delphine; Salort, Delphine; Minc, Nicolas

    2015-10-19

    Intracellular structures and organelles such as the nucleus, the centrosome, or the mitotic spindle typically scale their size to cell size [1]. Similarly, cortical polarity domains built around the active form of conserved Rho-GTPases, such as Cdc42p, exhibit widths that may range over two orders of magnitudes in cells with different sizes and shapes [2-6]. The establishment of such domains typically involves positive feedback loops based on reaction-diffusion and/or actin-mediated vesicle transport [3, 7, 8]. How these elements may adapt polarity domain size to cellular geometry is not known. Here, by tracking the width of successive oscillating Cdc42-GTP domains in fission yeast spores [9], we find that domain width scales with local cell-surface radii of curvature over an 8-fold range, independently of absolute cell volume, surface, or Cdc42-GTP concentration. This local scaling requires formin-nucleated cortical actin cables and the fusion of secretory vesicles transported along these cables with the membrane. These data suggest that reaction-diffusion may set a minimal domain size and that secretory vesicle transport along actin cables may dilute and extend polarity domains to adapt their size to local cell-surface curvature. This work reveals that actin networks may act as micrometric curvature sensors and uncovers a generic morphogenetic principle for how polarity domains define their size according to cell morphologies. PMID:26441355

  18. Actin-Based Transport Adapts Polarity Domain Size to Local Cellular Curvature.

    PubMed

    Bonazzi, Daria; Haupt, Armin; Tanimoto, Hirokazu; Delacour, Delphine; Salort, Delphine; Minc, Nicolas

    2015-10-19

    Intracellular structures and organelles such as the nucleus, the centrosome, or the mitotic spindle typically scale their size to cell size [1]. Similarly, cortical polarity domains built around the active form of conserved Rho-GTPases, such as Cdc42p, exhibit widths that may range over two orders of magnitudes in cells with different sizes and shapes [2-6]. The establishment of such domains typically involves positive feedback loops based on reaction-diffusion and/or actin-mediated vesicle transport [3, 7, 8]. How these elements may adapt polarity domain size to cellular geometry is not known. Here, by tracking the width of successive oscillating Cdc42-GTP domains in fission yeast spores [9], we find that domain width scales with local cell-surface radii of curvature over an 8-fold range, independently of absolute cell volume, surface, or Cdc42-GTP concentration. This local scaling requires formin-nucleated cortical actin cables and the fusion of secretory vesicles transported along these cables with the membrane. These data suggest that reaction-diffusion may set a minimal domain size and that secretory vesicle transport along actin cables may dilute and extend polarity domains to adapt their size to local cell-surface curvature. This work reveals that actin networks may act as micrometric curvature sensors and uncovers a generic morphogenetic principle for how polarity domains define their size according to cell morphologies.

  19. Concomitant binding of Afadin to LGN and F-actin directs planar spindle orientation.

    PubMed

    Carminati, Manuel; Gallini, Sara; Pirovano, Laura; Alfieri, Andrea; Bisi, Sara; Mapelli, Marina

    2016-02-01

    Polarized epithelia form by oriented cell divisions in which the mitotic spindle aligns parallel to the epithelial plane. To orient the mitotic spindle, cortical cues trigger the recruitment of NuMA-dynein-based motors, which pull on astral microtubules via the protein LGN. We demonstrate that the junctional protein Afadin is required for spindle orientation and correct epithelial morphogenesis of Caco-2 cysts. Molecularly, Afadin binds directly and concomitantly to F-actin and to LGN. We determined the crystallographic structure of human Afadin in complex with LGN and show that it resembles the LGN-NuMA complex. In mitosis, Afadin is necessary for cortical accumulation of LGN and NuMA above the spindle poles, in an F-actin-dependent manner. Collectively, our results depict Afadin as a molecular hub governing the enrichment of LGN and NuMA at the cortex. To our knowledge, Afadin is the first-described mechanical anchor between dynein and cortical F-actin. PMID:26751642

  20. Evidence for a species of nuclear actin distinct from cytoplasmic and muscles actins.

    PubMed

    Bremer, J W; Busch, H; Yeoman, L C

    1981-03-31

    Nuclear actin (protein BJ) has been isolated from the chromatin of Novikoff hepatoma ascites cells and purified to homogeneity by selective extraction, Sepharose CL-6B chromatography, and preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A comparison of nuclear and cytoplasmic actins from Novikoff hepatoma cells and rabbit muscle actin was made by amino acid analysis, isoelectric focusing/sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and two-dimensional peptide mapping procedures. By these criteria, all of the proteins compared are actins, but each is chemically distinct. It was concluded, therefore, that nuclear actin is similar to, but not identical with, cytoplasmic actin isolated from Novikoff hepatoma cells. A striking similarity in peptide charge and migration as shown by peptide map analysis was observed for nuclear and rabbit skeletal muscle actins. This may indicate that nuclear actin has the capacity for contractile function. In addition, the actins synthesized in Novikoff hepatoma cells may results from more than two structural genes.

  1. The EH-domain-containing protein Pan1 is required for normal organization of the actin cytoskeleton in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Tang, H Y; Cai, M

    1996-01-01

    Normal cell growth and division in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae involve dramatic and frequent changes in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton. Previous studies have suggested that the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton in accordance with cell cycle progression is controlled, directly or indirectly, by the cyclin-dependent kinase Cdc28. Here we report that by isolating rapid-death mutants in the background of the Start-deficient cdc28-4 mutation, the essential yeast gene PAN1, previously thought to encode the yeast poly(A) nuclease, is identified as a new factor required for normal organization of the actin cytoskeleton. We show that at restrictive temperature, the pan1 mutant exhibited abnormal bud growth, failed to maintain a proper distribution of the actin cytoskeleton, was unable to reorganize actin the cytoskeleton during cell cycle, and was defective in cytokinesis. The mutant also displayed a random pattern of budding even at permissive temperature. Ectopic expression of PAN1 by the GAL promoter caused abnormal distribution of the actin cytoskeleton when a single-copy vector was used. Immunofluorescence staining revealed that the Pan1 protein colocalized with the cortical actin patches, suggesting that it may be a filamentous actin-binding protein. The Pan1 protein contains an EF-hand calcium-binding domain, a putative Src homology 3 (SH3)-binding domain, a region similar to the actin cytoskeleton assembly control protein Sla1, and two repeats of a newly identified protein motif known as the EH domain. These findings suggest that Pan1, recently recognized as not responsible for the poly(A) nuclease activity (A. B. Sachs and J. A. Deardorff, erratum, Cell 83:1059, 1995; R. Boeck, S. Tarun, Jr., M. Rieger, J. A. Deardorff, S. Muller-Auer, and A. B. Sachs, J. Biol. Chem. 271:432-438, 1996), plays an important role in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton in S. cerevisiae. PMID:8756649

  2. Mechanical and structural assessment of cortical and deep cytoskeleton reveals substrate-dependent alveolar macrophage remodeling.

    PubMed

    Féréol, S; Fodil, R; Laurent, V M; Planus, E; Louis, B; Pelle, G; Isabey, D

    2008-01-01

    The sensitivity of alveolar macrophages to substrate properties has been described in a recent paper (Féréol et al., Cell Motil. Cytoskel. 63 (2006), 321-340). It is presently re-analyzed in terms of F-actin structure (assessed from 3D-reconstructions in fixed cells) and mechanical properties (assessed by Magnetic Twisting Cytometry experiments in living cells) of cortical and deep cytoskeleton structures for rigid plastic (Young Modulus: 3 MPa) or glass (70 MPa) substrates and a soft (approximately 0.1 kPa) confluent monolayer of alveolar epithelial cells. The cortical cytoskeleton component (lowest F-actin density) is represented by the rapid and softer viscoelastic compartment while the deep cytoskeleton component (intermediate F-actin density) is represented by the slow and stiffer compartment. Stiffness of both cortical and deep cytoskeleton is significantly decreased when soft confluent monolayer of alveolar epithelial cells replace the rigid plastic substrate while F-actin reconstructions reveal a consistent actin cytoskeleton remodeling observable on both cytoskeleton components.

  3. Effects of polar cortical cytoskeleton and unbalanced cortical surface tension on intercellular bridge thinning during cytokinesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Li; An, Mei-Wen; Li, Xiao-Na; Yang, Fang; Liu, Yang

    2011-12-01

    To probe the contributions of polar cortical cytoskeleton and the surface tension of daughter cells to intercellular bridge thinning dynamics during cytokinesis, we applied cytochalasin D (CD) or colchicine (COLC) in a highly localized manner to polar regions of dividing normal rat kidney (NRK) cells. We observed cellular morphological changes and analyzed the intercellular bridge thinning trajectories of dividing cells with different polar cortical characteristics. Global blebbistatin (BS) application was used to obtain cells losing active contractile force groups. Our results show that locally released CD or colchicine at the polar region caused inhibition of cytokinesis before ingression. Similar treatment at phases after ingression allowed completion of cytokinesis but dramatically influenced the trajectories of intercellular bridge thinning. Disturbing single polar cortical actin induced transformation of the intercellular bridge thinning process, and polar cortical tension controlled deformation time of intercellular bridges. Our study provides a feasible framework to induce and analyze the effects of local changes in mechanical properties of cellular components on single cellular cytokinesis.

  4. Microbial communities and exopolysaccharides from Polynesian mats.

    PubMed

    Rougeaux, H; Guezennec, M; Che, L M; Payri, C; Deslandes, E; Guezennec, J

    2001-03-01

    Microbial mats present in two shallow atolls of French Polynesia were characterized by high amounts of exopolysaccharides associated with cyanobacteria as the predominating species. Cyanobacteria were found in the first centimeters of the gelatinous mats, whereas deeper layers showing the occurrence of the sulfate reducers Desulfovibrio and Desulfobacter species as determined by the presence of specific biomarkers. Exopolysaccharides were extracted from these mats and partially characterized. All fractions contained both neutral sugars and uronic acids with a predominance of the former. The large diversity in monosaccharides can be interpreted as the result of exopolymer biosynthesis by either different or unidentified cyanobacterial species. PMID:14961381

  5. The function of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter ABCB1 is not susceptible to actin disruption.

    PubMed

    Meszaros, Peter; Hummel, Ina; Klappe, Karin; Draghiciu, Oana; Hoekstra, Dick; Kok, Jan W

    2013-02-01

    Previously we have shown that the activity of the multidrug transporter ABCC1 (multidrug resistance protein 1), and its localization in lipid rafts, depends on cortical actin (Hummel I, Klappe K, Ercan C, Kok JW. Mol. Pharm. 2011 79, 229-40). Here we show that the efflux activity of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family member ABCB1 (P-glycoprotein), did not depend on actin, neither in ABCB1 over expressing murine National Institutes of Health (NIH) 3T3 MDR1 G185 cells nor in human SK-N-FI cells, which endogenously express ABCB1. Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton, upon treatment of the cells with latrunculin B or cytochalasin D, caused severe changes in cell and membrane morphology, and concomitant changes in the subcellular distribution of ABCB1, as revealed by confocal laser scanning and electron microscopy. Nevertheless, irrespective of actin perturbation, the cell surface pool of ABCB1 remained unaltered. In NIH 3T3 MDR1 G185 cells, ABCB1 is partly localized in detergent-free lipid rafts, which partitioned in two different density gradient regions, both enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids. Interestingly, disruption of the actin cytoskeleton did not change the density gradient distribution of ABCB1. Our data demonstrate that the functioning of ABCB1 as an efflux pump does not depend on actin, which is due to its distribution in both cell surface-localized non-raft membrane areas and lipid raft domains, which do not depend on actin stabilization.

  6. Open Conformation of Ezrin Bound to Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-Bisphosphate and to F-actin Revealed by Neutron Scattering*

    PubMed Central

    Jayasundar, Jayant James; Ju, Jeong Ho; He, Lilin; Liu, Dazhi; Meilleur, Flora; Zhao, Jinkui; Callaway, David J. E.; Bu, Zimei

    2012-01-01

    Ezrin is a member of the ezrin-radixin-moesin family (ERM) of adapter proteins that are localized at the interface between the cell membrane and the cortical actin cytoskeleton, and they regulate a variety of cellular functions. The structure representing a dormant and closed conformation of an ERM protein has previously been determined by x-ray crystallography. Here, using contrast variation small angle neutron scattering, we reveal the structural changes of the full-length ezrin upon binding to the signaling lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) and to F-actin. Ezrin binding to F-actin requires the simultaneous binding of ezrin to PIP2. Once bound to F-actin, the opened ezrin forms more extensive contacts with F-actin than generally depicted, suggesting a possible role of ezrin in regulating the interfacial structure and dynamics between the cell membrane and the underlying actin cytoskeleton. In addition, using gel filtration, we find that the conformational opening of ezrin in response to PIP2 binding is cooperative, but the cooperativity is disrupted by a phospho-mimic mutation S249D in the 4.1-ezrin/radixin/moesin (FERM) domain of ezrin. Using surface plasmon resonance, we show that the S249D mutation weakens the binding affinity and changes the kinetics of 4.1-ERM to PIP2 binding. The study provides the first structural view of the activated ezrin bound to PIP2 and to F-actin. PMID:22927432

  7. 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

  8. The PCH Family Member MAYP/PSTPIP2 Directly Regulates F-Actin Bundling and Enhances Filopodia Formation and Motility in MacrophagesD⃞V⃞

    PubMed Central

    Chitu, Violeta; Pixley, Fiona J.; Macaluso, Frank; Larson, Daniel R.; Condeelis, John; Yeung, Yee-Guide; Stanley, E. Richard

    2005-01-01

    Macrophage actin-associated tyrosine phosphorylated protein (MAYP) belongs to the Pombe Cdc15 homology (PCH) family of proteins involved in the regulation of actin-based functions including cell adhesion and motility. In mouse macrophages, MAYP is tyrosine phosphorylated after activation of the colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R), which also induces actin reorganization, membrane ruffling, cell spreading, polarization, and migration. Because MAYP associates with F-actin, we investigated the function of MAYP in regulating actin organization in macrophages. Overexpression of MAYP decreased CSF-1–induced membrane ruffling and increased filopodia formation, motility and CSF-1-mediated chemotaxis. The opposite phenotype was observed with reduced expression of MAYP, indicating that MAYP is a negative regulator of CSF-1–induced membrane ruffling and positively regulates formation of filopodia and directional migration. Overexpression of MAYP led to a reduction in total macrophage F-actin content but was associated with increased actin bundling. Consistent with this, purified MAYP bundled F-actin and regulated its turnover in vitro. In addition, MAYP colocalized with cortical and filopodial F-actin in vivo. Because filopodia are postulated to increase directional motility by acting as environmental sensors, the MAYP-stimulated increase in directional movement may be at least partly explained by enhancement of filopodia formation. PMID:15788569

  9. The carboxyl terminus of the alpha-subunit of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel binds to F-actin.

    PubMed

    Mazzochi, Christopher; Bubien, James K; Smith, Peter R; Benos, Dale J

    2006-03-10

    The activity of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is modulated by F-actin. However, it is unknown if there is a direct interaction between alpha-ENaC and actin. We have investigated the hypothesis that the actin cytoskeleton directly binds to the carboxyl terminus of alpha-ENaC using a combination of confocal microscopy, co-immunoprecipitation, and protein binding studies. Confocal microscopy of Madin-Darby canine kidney cell monolayers stably transfected with wild type, rat isoforms of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-ENaC revealed co-localization of alpha-ENaC with the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton both at the apical membrane and within the subapical cytoplasm. F-actin was found to co-immunoprecipitate with alpha-ENaC from whole cell lysates of this cell line. Gel overlay assays demonstrated that F-actin specifically binds to the carboxyl terminus of alpha-ENaC. A direct interaction between F-actin and the COOH terminus of alpha-ENaC was further corroborated by F-actin co-sedimentation studies. This is the first study to report a direct and specific biochemical interaction between F-actin and ENaC. PMID:16356937

  10. Interplay between kinesin-1 and cortical dynein during axonal outgrowth and microtubule organization in Drosophila neurons.

    PubMed

    del Castillo, Urko; Winding, Michael; Lu, Wen; Gelfand, Vladimir I

    2015-12-28

    In this study, we investigated how microtubule motors organize microtubules in Drosophila neurons. We showed that, during the initial stages of axon outgrowth, microtubules display mixed polarity and minus-end-out microtubules push the tip of the axon, consistent with kinesin-1 driving outgrowth by sliding antiparallel microtubules. At later stages, the microtubule orientation in the axon switches from mixed to uniform polarity with plus-end-out. Dynein knockdown prevents this rearrangement and results in microtubules of mixed orientation in axons and accumulation of microtubule minus-ends at axon tips. Microtubule reorganization requires recruitment of dynein to the actin cortex, as actin depolymerization phenocopies dynein depletion, and direct recruitment of dynein to the membrane bypasses the actin requirement. Our results show that cortical dynein slides 'minus-end-out' microtubules from the axon, generating uniform microtubule arrays. We speculate that differences in microtubule orientation between axons and dendrites could be dictated by differential activity of cortical dynein.

  11. Multiple actin binding domains of Ena/VASP proteins determine actin network stiffening.

    PubMed

    Gentry, Brian S; van der Meulen, Stef; Noguera, Philippe; Alonso-Latorre, Baldomero; Plastino, Julie; Koenderink, Gijsje H

    2012-11-01

    Vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (Ena/VASP) is an actin binding protein, important for actin dynamics in motile cells and developing organisms. Though VASP's main activity is the promotion of barbed end growth, it has an F-actin binding site and can form tetramers, and so could additionally play a role in actin crosslinking and bundling in the cell. To test this activity, we performed rheology of reconstituted actin networks in the presence of wild-type VASP or mutants lacking the ability to tetramerize or to bind G-actin and/or F-actin. We show that increasing amounts of wild-type VASP increase network stiffness up to a certain point, beyond which stiffness actually decreases with increasing VASP concentration. The maximum stiffness is 10-fold higher than for pure actin networks. Confocal microscopy shows that VASP forms clustered actin filament bundles, explaining the reduction in network elasticity at high VASP concentration. Removal of the tetramerization site results in significantly reduced bundling and bundle clustering, indicating that VASP's flexible tetrameric structure causes clustering. Removing either the F-actin or the G-actin binding site diminishes VASP's effect on elasticity, but does not eliminate it. Mutating the F-actin and G-actin binding site together, or mutating the F-actin binding site and saturating the G-actin binding site with monomeric actin, eliminates VASP's ability to increase network stiffness. We propose that, in the cell, VASP crosslinking confers only moderate increases in linear network elasticity, and unlike other crosslinkers, VASP's network stiffening activity may be tuned by the local concentration of monomeric actin.

  12. The actin cytoskeleton of chemotactic amoebae operates close to the onset of oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westendorf, Christian; Negrete, Jose, Jr.; Bae, Albert; Sandmann, Rabea; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Beta, Carsten

    2013-03-01

    We report evidence that the actin machinery of chemotactic Dictyostelium cells operates close to an oscillatory instability. The averaged F-actin response of many cells to a short-time pulse of cAMP is reminiscent of a damped oscillation. At the single-cell level, however, the response dynamics ranged from short, strongly damped responses to slowly decaying, weakly damped oscillations. Furthermore, in a small subpopulation, we observed self-sustained oscillations in the cortical F-actin concentration. We systematically exposed a large number of cells to periodic pulse trains. The results indicate a resonance peak at periodic inputs of around 20 s. We propose a delayed feedback model that explains our experimental findings based on a time-delay in the actin regulatory network. To quantitatively test the model, we performed stimulation experiments with cells that express GFP-tagged fusion proteins of Coronin and Aip1. These served as markers of the F-actin disassembly process and thus allow us to estimate the delay time. Based on this independent estimate, our model predicts an intrinsic period of 20 s, which agrees with the resonance observed experimentally. Financial support by the Max-Planck Society and the DFG (SFB 937).

  13. Possible interrelationship between changes in F-actin and myosin II, protein phosphorylation, and cell volume regulation in Ehrlich ascites tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, S F; Hoffmann, E K

    2002-07-01

    Osmotic shrinkage of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells (EATC) elicited translocation of myosin II from the cytosol to the cortical region, and swelling elicits concentration of myosin II in the Golgi region. Rho kinase and p38 both appeared to be involved in shrinkage-induced myosin II reorganization. In contrast, the previously reported shrinkage-induced actin polymerization [Pedersen et al. (1999) Exp. Cell Res. 252, 63-74] was independent of Rho kinase, p38, myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), and protein kinase C (PKC), which thus do not exert their effects on the shrinkage-activated transporters via effects on F-actin. The subsequent F-actin depolymerization, however, appeared MLCK- and PKC-dependent, and the initial swelling-induced F-actin depolymerization was MLCK-dependent; both effects were apparently secondary to kinase-mediated effects on cell volume changes. NHE1 in EATC is activated both by osmotic shrinkage and by the serine/threonine phosphatase inhibitor Calyculin A (CL-A). Both stimuli caused Rho kinase-dependent myosin II relocation to the cortical cytoplasm, but in contrast to the shrinkage-induced F-actin polymerization, CL-A treatment elicited a slight F-actin depolymerization. Moreover, Rho kinase inhibition did not significantly affect NHE1 activation, neither by shrinkage nor by CL-A. Implications for the possible interrelationship between changes in F-actin and myosin II, protein phosphorylation, and cell volume regulation are discussed. PMID:12061817

  14. SHIP-2 forms a tetrameric complex with filamin, actin, and GPIb-IX-V: localization of SHIP-2 to the activated platelet actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Dyson, Jennifer M; Munday, Adam D; Kong, Anne M; Huysmans, Richard D; Matzaris, Maria; Layton, Meredith J; Nandurkar, Harshal H; Berndt, Michael C; Mitchell, Christina A

    2003-08-01

    The platelet receptor for the von Willebrand factor (VWF) glycoprotein Ib-IX-V (GPIb-IX-V) complex mediates platelet adhesion at sites of vascular injury. The cytoplasmic tail of the GPIbalpha subunit interacts with the actin-binding protein, filamin, anchoring the receptor in the cytoskeleton. In motile cells, the second messenger phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5 trisphosphate (PtdIns(3,4,5)P3) induces submembraneous actin remodeling. The inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase, Src homology 2 domain-containing inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase-2 (SHIP-2), hydrolyzes PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 forming phosphatidylinositol 3,4 bisphosphate (PtdIns(3,4)P2) and regulates membrane ruffling via complex formation with filamin. In this study we investigate the intracellular location and association of SHIP-2 with filamin, actin, and the GPIb-IX-V complex in platelets. Immunoprecipitation of SHIP-2 from the Triton-soluble fraction of unstimulated platelets demonstrated association between SHIP-2, filamin, actin, and GPIb-IX-V. SHIP-2 associated with filamin or GPIb-IX-V was active and demonstrated PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 5-phosphatase activity. Following thrombin or VWF-induced platelet activation, detection of the SHIP-2, filamin, and receptor complex decreased in the Triton-soluble fraction, although in control studies the level of SHIP-2, filamin, or GPIb-IX-V immunoprecipitated by their respective antibodies did not change following platelet activation. In activated platelets spreading on a VWF matrix, SHIP-2 localized intensely with actin at the central actin ring and colocalized with actin and filamin at filopodia and lamellipodia. In spread platelets, GPIb-IX-V localized to the center of the platelet and showed little colocalization with filamin at the plasma membrane. These studies demonstrate a functionally active complex between SHIP-2, filamin, actin, and GPIb-IX-V that may orchestrate the localized hydrolysis of PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 and thereby regulate cortical and submembraneous actin.

  15. Cyanobacterial mats: Microanalysis of community metabolism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Y.; Bermudes, D.; Fischer, U.; Haddad, R.; Prufert, L.; Scheulderman-Suylen, T.; Shaw, T.

    1985-01-01

    The microbial communities in two sites were studied using several approaches: (1) light microscopy; (2) the measurement of microprofiles of oxygen and sulfide at the surface of the microbial mat; (3) the study of diurnal variation of oxygen and sulfides; (4) in situ measurement of photosynthesis and sulfate reduction and study of the coupling of these two processes; (5) measurement of glutathione in the upper layers of the microbial mat as a possible oxygen quencher; (6) measurement of reduced iron as a possible intermediate electron donor along the established redoxcline in the mats; (7) measurement of dissolved phosphate as an indicator of processes of break down of organic matter in these systems; and (8) measurement of carbon dioxide in the interstitial water and its delta C-13 in an attempt to understand the flow of CO2 through the systems. Microbial processes of primary production and initial degradation at the most active zone of the microbial mat were analyzed.

  16. Thermal actuation of graphene oxide nanoribbon mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Jiyoung; Kozlov, Mikhail E.; Carretero-González, Javier; Castillo-Martínez, Elizabeth; Baughman, Ray H.

    2011-03-01

    Graphene oxide nanoribbons (GOr), obtained by chemically unzipping multi-walled carbon nanotubes, were assembled into macroscopic mats by vacuum filtration. These mats exhibited up to 1.6% reversible contraction when electrically heated at ambient. The experimentally derived work capacity of the mats was about 40 J/kg, which is similar to that of natural muscle. It was limited by the mechanical strength of mats and can be increased upon optimization of their preparation conditions. X-ray diffraction measurements indicated reversible changes in the interplanar spacing of GOr layers during heating. These dimensional changes can be associated with reversible adsorption/desorption of water molecules between GOr layers and used in thermally-driven high performance artificial muscles and moisture sensors.

  17. Protein phosphatase 2A, a potential regulator of actin dynamics and actin-based organelle motility in the green alga Acetabularia.

    PubMed

    Menzel, D; Vugrek, O; Frank, S; Elsner-Menzel, C

    1995-06-01

    The giant, unicellular alga Acetabularia is a well known experimental model for the study of actin-dependent intracellular organelle motility. In the cyst stage, however, which is equivalent to the gametophytic stage, organelles are immobile, even though an actin cytoskeleton is present. The reason for the lack of organelle motility at this stage has not been known. To test the hypothesis that organelle motility could be under the control of posttranslational modification by protein phosphorylation, we have treated cysts with submicromolar concentrations of okadaic acid or calyculin A, both potent inhibitors of serine/threonine protein phosphatases (ser/thr-PPases). The effects were dramatic: Instead of linear actin bundles typical for control cysts, circular arrays of actin bundles formed in the cortical cyst cytoplasm. Concomitant with the formation of these action rings, the cytoplasmic layers beneath the rings began to slowly rotate in a continuous and uniform counter-clockwise fashion. This effect suggests that protein phosphorylation acts on the actin cytoskeleton at two levels: (1) It changes the assembly properties of the actin filament system to the extent that novel cytoskeletal configurations are formed and (2) it raises the activity of putative motor proteins involved in the rotational movements to levels sufficiently high to support motility at a stage when organelle motility does not normally occur. Northern blot analysis of cyst stage-mRNA using probes specific to protein phosphatase type 1 (PP1) and type 2A (PP2A) reveals that PP2A is strongly expressed at this developmental stage whereas PP1 is not detectable, suggesting that PP2A is the likely target to the protein phosphatase inhibitors.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. Nonwoven filtration mat production by electrospinning method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lackowski, M.; Krupa, A.; Jaworek, A.

    2011-06-01

    The filtration of nanoparticles and submicron particles is an important problem in industry and health protection. One of the methods which can be used to solve this problem is to use nonwoven nanofibrous filters. The process of producing filtration mats of different thickness by electrospinning is presented in the paper. The experimental results on filtration properties of nanofibrous filter mat, including the efficiency of removal of cigarette smoke particles from a gas are also presented.

  19. Bioremediation of oil by marine microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Yehuda

    2002-12-01

    Cyanobacterial mats developing in oil-contaminated sabkhas along the African coasts of the Gulf of Suez and in the pristine Solar Lake, Sinai, were collected for laboratory studies. Samples of both mats showed efficient degradation of crude oil in the light, followed by development of an intense bloom of Phormidium spp. and Oscillatoria spp. Isolated cyanobacterial strains, however, did not degrade crude oil in axenic cultures. Strains of sulfate-reducing bacteria and aerobic heterotrophs were capable of degrading model compounds of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Results indicate that degradation of oil was done primarily by aerobic heterotrophic bacteria. The oxygenic photosynthesis of oil-insensitive cyanobacteria supplied the molecular oxygen for the efficient aerobic metabolism of organisms, such as Marinobacter sp. The diurnal shifts in environmental conditions at the mat surface, from highly oxic conditions in the light to anaerobic sulfide-rich habitat in the dark, may allow the combined aerobic and anaerobic degradation of crude oil at the mat surface. Hence, coastal cyanobacterial mats may be used for the degradation of coastline oil spills. Oxygen microelectrodes detected a significant inhibition of photosynthetic activity subsequent to oil addition. This prevailed for a few hours and then rapidly recovered. In addition, shifts in bacterial community structure following exposure to oil were determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of PCR-amplified fractions of 16S rRNA from eubacteria, cyanobacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Since the mats used for the present study were obtained from oil-contaminated environments, they were believed to be preequilibrated for petroleum remediation. The mesocosm system at Eilat provided a unique opportunity to study petroleum degradation by mats formed under different salinities (up to 21%). These mats, dominated by cyanobacteria, can serve as close analogues to the sabkhas contaminated during the

  20. Filopodia-like actin cables position nuclei in association with perinuclear actin in Drosophila nurse cells.

    PubMed

    Huelsmann, Sven; Ylänne, Jari; Brown, Nicholas H

    2013-09-30

    Controlling the position of the nucleus is vital for a number of cellular processes from yeast to humans. In Drosophila nurse cells, nuclear positioning is crucial during dumping, when nurse cells contract and expel their contents into the oocyte. We provide evidence that in nurse cells, continuous filopodia-like actin cables, growing from the plasma membrane and extending to the nucleus, achieve nuclear positioning. These actin cables move nuclei away from ring canals. When nurse cells contract, actin cables associate laterally with the nuclei, in some cases inducing nuclear turning so that actin cables become partially wound around the nuclei. Our data suggest that a perinuclear actin meshwork connects actin cables to nuclei via actin-crosslinking proteins such as the filamin Cheerio. We provide a revised model for how actin structures position nuclei in nurse cells, employing evolutionary conserved machinery.

  1. Persistent nuclear actin filaments inhibit transcription by RNA polymerase II.

    PubMed

    Serebryannyy, Leonid A; Parilla, Megan; Annibale, Paolo; Cruz, Christina M; Laster, Kyle; Gratton, Enrico; Kudryashov, Dmitri; Kosak, Steven T; Gottardi, Cara J; de Lanerolle, Primal

    2016-09-15

    Actin is abundant in the nucleus and it is clear that nuclear actin has important functions. However, mystery surrounds the absence of classical actin filaments in the nucleus. To address this question, we investigated how polymerizing nuclear actin into persistent nuclear actin filaments affected transcription by RNA polymerase II. Nuclear filaments impaired nuclear actin dynamics by polymerizing and sequestering nuclear actin. Polymerizing actin into stable nuclear filaments disrupted the interaction of actin with RNA polymerase II and correlated with impaired RNA polymerase II localization, dynamics, gene recruitment, and reduced global transcription and cell proliferation. Polymerizing and crosslinking nuclear actin in vitro similarly disrupted the actin-RNA-polymerase-II interaction and inhibited transcription. These data rationalize the general absence of stable actin filaments in mammalian somatic nuclei. They also suggest a dynamic pool of nuclear actin is required for the proper localization and activity of RNA polymerase II.

  2. Orchestration of microtubules and the actin cytoskeleton in trichome cell shape determination by a plant-unique kinesin

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Juan; Han, Libo; Feng, Zhidi; Wang, Guangda; Liu, Weiwei; Ma, Yinping; Yu, Yanjun; Kong, Zhaosheng

    2015-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (F-actin) function cooperatively to regulate plant cell morphogenesis. However, the mechanisms underlying the crosstalk between these two cytoskeletal systems, particularly in cell shape control, remain largely unknown. In this study, we show that introduction of the MyTH4-FERM tandem into KCBP (kinesin-like calmodulin-binding protein) during evolution conferred novel functions. The MyTH4 domain and the FERM domain in the N-terminal tail of KCBP physically bind to MTs and F-actin, respectively. During trichome morphogenesis, KCBP distributes in a specific cortical gradient and concentrates at the branching sites and the apexes of elongating branches, which lack MTs but have cortical F-actin. Further, live-cell imaging and genetic analyses revealed that KCBP acts as a hub integrating MTs and actin filaments to assemble the required cytoskeletal configuration for the unique, polarized diffuse growth pattern during trichome cell morphogenesis. Our findings provide significant insights into the mechanisms underlying cytoskeletal regulation of cell shape determination. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09351.001 PMID:26287478

  3. 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.

  4. Contribution of nuclear actin to transcription regulation.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Shota; Yamamoto, Koji; Harata, Masahiko

    2015-06-01

    Actin, an integral component of the cytoskeleton, plays crucial roles in a variety of cell functions, including cell migration, adhesion, polarity and shape change. Studies performed during the last couple of decades have revealed that the actin also exists in the nucleus. However, the function and properties of nuclear actin remained elusive so far. Recently, we showed that an actin tagged with EYFP and fused with a nuclear localization signal (EYFP-NLS-actin) formed visible filamentous (F)-actin bundles in cells. To obtain further details about the individual genes that are affected by the nuclear actin, we have used the microarray analysis to determine the changes in the expression levels of RNAs in HeLa cells as a result of EYFP-NLS-actin expression. Our results suggest that the nuclear actin plays a role in the activation of genes rather than their repression. The data has been deposited in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database under the accession number GSE59799.

  5. Phosphorylation and actin activation of brain myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Barylko, B; Sobieszek, A

    1983-01-01

    A method is described for obtaining brain myosin that shows significant actin activation, after phosphorylation with chicken gizzard myosin light chain kinase. Myosin with this activity could be obtained only via the initial purification of brain actomyosin. The latter complex, isolated by a method similar to that used for smooth muscle, contained actin, myosin, tropomyosin of the non-muscle type and another actin-binding protein of approximately 100,000 daltons. From the presence of a specific myosin light chain kinase and phosphatase in brain tissue it is suggested that the regulation of actin-myosin interaction operates via phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of myosin. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 3. PMID:11894951

  6. 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.

  7. Force of an actin spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Jennifer; Mahadevan, L.; Matsudaira, Paul

    2003-03-01

    The acrosomal process of the horseshoe crab sperm is a novel mechanochemical molecular spring that converts its elastic stain energy to mechanical work upon the chemical activation by Ca2+. Twisted and bent, the initial state of the acrosomal bundle features a high degree of complexity in its structure and the energy is believed to be stored in the highly strained actin filaments as an elastic potential energy. When activated, the bundle relaxes from the coil of the highly twisted and bent filaments to its straight conformation at a mean velocity of 15um/s. The mean extension velocity increases dramatically from 3um/s to 27um/s when temperature of the medium is changed from 9.6C to 32C (respective viscosities of 1.25-0.75cp), yet it exhibits a very weak dependence on changes in the medium viscosity (1cp-33cp). These experiments suggest that the uncoiling of the actin spring should be limited not by the viscosity of the medium but by the unlatching events of involved proteins at a molecular level. Unlike the viscosity-limited processes, where force is directly related to the rate of the reaction, a direct measurement is required to obtain the spring force of the acrosomal process. The extending acrosomal bundle is forced to push against a barrier and its elastic buckling response is analyzed to measure the force generated during the uncoiling.

  8. Effect of alpha-actinin on actin structure. Actin ATPase activity.

    PubMed

    Singh, I; Goll, D E; Robson, R M

    1981-08-28

    Alpha-Actinin increases the ATPase activity of actin by up to 84%, depending un pH, divalent cations present and the added Mg2+: ATP ratio. Dithiothreitol decreases actin ATPase activity approx. 20% but does not reduce the ability of alpha-actinin to increase actin ATP activity. Increasing amounts of added alpha-actinin up to 1 mos alpha-actinin to 49 mol actin cause in increasing increment in actin ATPase activity, but adding alpha-actinin beyond 1 mol alpha-actinin to 49 mol actin elicits only small additional increments in activity. Actin ATPase activity ranges from approx 100 nmol Pi/mg actin per h (4.3 mol Pi/mol actin per h) at high levels (10 mM) of ATP in the presence of lower amounts (1 mM) of added mg2+ to approx. 12.5 nmol Pi/mg actin per h (0.52 mol Pi/mol actin per h) at high pH (8.5) or at low levels (0.5-1.0 mM) of ATP in the presence of higher amounts (10 mM) of added Mg2+ ATp uncomplexed with Mg2+ inhibits the ability of alpha-actinin to increase F-actin ATPase activity. Activities with different divalent cations showed that the actin ATPase in these studies, which was 1/100 as great as Mg2+-modified actomyosin ATPase activity, was not due to trace amounts of myosin contaminating the actin preparations. The results are consistent with the concept that alpha-actinin can alter the structure of actin monomers. PMID:6456018

  9. Change in the actin-myosin subfragment 1 interaction during actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Chaussepied, P; Kasprzak, A A

    1989-12-01

    To better characterize the conformational differences of G- and F-actin, we have compared the interaction between G- and F-actin with myosin subfragment 1 (S1) which had part of its F-actin binding site (residues 633-642) blocked by a complementary peptide or "antipeptide" (Chaussepied, P., and Morales, M. F. (1988) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 85, 7471-7475). Light scattering, sedimentation, and electron microscopy measurements showed that, with the antipeptide covalently attached to the S1 heavy chain, S1 was not capable of inducing G-actin polymerization in the absence of salt. Moreover, the antipeptide-carrying S1 did not change the fluorescence polarization of 5-[2-(iodoacetyl)-aminoethyl]aminonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid (1,5-IAEDANS)-labeled G-actin or of 1,5-IAEDANS-labeled actin dimer, compared to the control S1. This result, interpreted as a lack of interaction between G-actin and antipeptide-carrying S1, was confirmed further by the following experiments: in the presence of G-actin, antipeptide.S1 heavy chain was not protected against trypsin and papain proteolysis, and G-actin could not be cross-linked to antipeptide.S1 by 1-ethyl-3[-3-(dimethylamino)propyl]carbodiimide. In contrast, similar experiments showed that antipeptide.S1 was able to interact with nascent F-actin and with F-actin. Thus, blocking the stretch 633-642 of S1 heavy chain by the antipeptide strongly inhibits G-actin-S1 interaction but only slightly alters F-actin-S1 contact. We, therefore postulate that this stretch of skeletal S1 heavy chain is essential for G-actin-S1 interaction and that the G-F transformation generates new S1 binding site(s) on the actin molecule.

  10. Unconventional actin conformations localize on intermediate filaments in mitosis

    SciTech Connect

    Hubert, Thomas; Vandekerckhove, Joel; Gettemans, Jan

    2011-03-04

    Research highlights: {yields} Unconventional actin conformations colocalize with vimentin on a cage-like structure in metaphase HEK 293T cells. {yields} These conformations are detected with the anti-actin antibodies 1C7 ('lower dimer') and 2G2 ('nuclear actin'), but not C4 (monomeric actin). {yields} Mitotic unconventional actin cables are independent of filamentous actin or microtubules. {yields} Unconventional actin colocalizes with vimentin on a nocodazole-induced perinuclear dense mass of cables. -- Abstract: Different structural conformations of actin have been identified in cells and shown to reside in distinct subcellular locations of cells. In this report, we describe the localization of actin on a cage-like structure in metaphase HEK 293T cells. Actin was detected with the anti-actin antibodies 1C7 and 2G2, but not with the anti-actin antibody C4. Actin contained in this structure is independent of microtubules and actin filaments, and colocalizes with vimentin. Taking advantage of intermediate filament collapse into a perinuclear dense mass of cables when microtubules are depolymerized, we were able to relocalize actin to such structures. We hypothesize that phosphorylation of intermediate filaments at mitosis entry triggers the recruitment of different actin conformations to mitotic intermediate filaments. Storage and partition of the nuclear actin and antiparallel 'lower dimer' actin conformations between daughter cells possibly contribute to gene transcription and transient actin filament dynamics at G1 entry.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Probing the actin-auxin oscillator

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The directional transport of the plant hormone auxin depends on transcellular gradients of auxin-efflux carriers that continuously cycle between plasma membrane and intracellular compartments. This cycling has been proposed to depend on actin filaments. However, the role of actin for the polarity of auxin transport has been disputed. To get insight into this question, actin bundling was induced by overexpression of the actin-binding domain of talin in tobacco BY-2 cells and in rice plants. This bundling can be reverted by addition of auxins, which allows to address the role of actin organization on the flux of auxin. In both systems, the reversion of a normal actin configuration can be restored by addition of exogenous auxins and this fully restores the respective auxin-dependent functions. These findings lead to a model of a self-referring regulatory circuit between polar auxin transport and actin organization. To further dissect the actin-auxin oscillator, we used photoactivated release of caged auxin in tobacco cells to demonstrate that auxin gradients can be manipulated at a subcellular level. PMID:20023411

  14. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 micro­tubule dynamics. Hence profilin functions as a regulator of microtubule (+)-end turnover in addition to being an actin control element. PMID:27307590

  15. Actin cytoskeleton redox proteome oxidation by cadmium

    PubMed Central

    Go, Young-Mi; Orr, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Epidemiological studies associate environmental cadmium (Cd) exposure with the risk of lung diseases. Although mechanisms are not fully elucidated, several studies demonstrate Cd effects on actin and actin-associated proteins. In a recent study of Cd at concentrations similar to environmental exposures, we found that redox-dependent inflammatory signaling by NF-κB was sensitive to the actin-disrupting agent, cytochalasin D. The goal of the present study was to use mass spectrometry-based redox proteomics to investigate Cd effects on the actin cytoskeleton proteome and related functional pathways in lung cells at low environmental concentrations. The results showed that Cd under conditions that did not alter total protein thiols or glutathione redox state caused significant oxidation of peptidyl Cys of proteins regulating actin cytoskeleton. Immunofluorescence microscopy of lung fibroblasts and pulmonary artery endothelial cells showed that low-dose Cd exposure stimulated filamentous actin formation and nuclear localization of destrin, an actin-depolymerizing factor. Taken together, the results show that redox states of peptidyl Cys in proteins associated with actin cytoskeleton pathways are selectively oxidized in lung by Cd at levels thought to occur from environmental exposure. PMID:24077948

  16. Colchicine activates actin polymerization by microtubule depolymerization.

    PubMed

    Jung, H I; Shin, I; Park, Y M; Kang, K W; Ha, K S

    1997-06-30

    Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts were treated with the microtubule-disrupting agent colchicine to study any interaction between microtubule dynamics and actin polymerization. Colchicine increased the amount of filamentous actin (F-actin), in a dose- and time-dependent manner with a significant increase at 1 h by about 130% over control level. Confocal microscopic observation showed that colchicine increased F-actin contents by stress fiber formation without inducing membrane ruffling. Colchicine did not activate phospholipase C and phospholipase D, whereas lysophosphatidic acid did, indicating that colchicine may have a different mechanism of actin polymerization regulation from LPA. A variety of microtubule-disrupting agents stimulated actin polymerization in Swiss 3T3 and Rat-2 fibroblasts as did colchicine, but the microtubule-stabilizing agent taxol inhibited actin polymerization induced by the above microtubule-disrupting agents. In addition, colchicine-induced actin polymerization was blocked by two protein phosphatase inhibitors, okadaic acid and calyculin A. These results suggest that microtubule depolymerization activates stress fiber formation by serine/threonine dephosphorylation in fibroblasts. PMID:9264034

  17. Formin DAAM1 Organizes Actin Filaments in the Cytoplasmic Nodal Actin Network

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Weiwei; Lieu, Zi Zhao; Manser, Ed; Bershadsky, Alexander D.; Sheetz, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

    A nodal cytoplasmic actin network underlies actin cytoplasm cohesion in the absence of stress fibers. We previously described such a network that forms upon Latrunculin A (LatA) treatment, in which formin DAAM1 was localized at these nodes. Knock down of DAAM1 reduced the mobility of actin nodes but the nodes remained. Here we have investigated DAAM1 containing nodes after LatA washout. DAAM1 was found to be distributed between the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane. The membrane binding likely occurs through an interaction with lipid rafts, but is not required for F-actin assembly. Interesting the forced interaction of DAAM1 with plasma membrane through a rapamycin-dependent linkage, enhanced F-actin assembly at the cell membrane (compared to the cytoplasm) after the LatA washout. However, immediately after addition of both rapamycin and LatA, the cytoplasmic actin nodes formed transiently, before DAAM1 moved to the membrane. This was consistent with the idea that DAAM1 was initially anchored to cytoplasmic actin nodes. Further, photoactivatable tracking of DAAM1 showed DAAM1 was immobilized at these actin nodes. Thus, we suggest that DAAM1 organizes actin filaments into a nodal complex, and such nodal complexes seed actin network recovery after actin depolymerization. PMID:27760153

  18. 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

  19. Integration of linear and dendritic actin nucleation in Nck-induced actin comets

    PubMed Central

    Borinskaya, Sofya; Velle, Katrina B.; Campellone, Kenneth G.; Talman, Arthur; Alvarez, Diego; Agaisse, Hervé; Wu, Yi I.; Loew, Leslie M.; Mayer, Bruce J.

    2016-01-01

    The Nck adaptor protein recruits cytosolic effectors such as N-WASP that induce localized actin polymerization. Experimental aggregation of Nck SH3 domains at the membrane induces actin comet tails—dynamic, elongated filamentous actin structures similar to those that drive the movement of microbial pathogens such as vaccinia virus. Here we show that experimental manipulation of the balance between unbranched/branched nucleation altered the morphology and dynamics of Nck-induced actin comets. Inhibition of linear, formin-based nucleation with the small-molecule inhibitor SMIFH2 or overexpression of the formin FH1 domain resulted in formation of predominantly circular-shaped actin structures with low mobility (actin blobs). These results indicate that formin-based linear actin polymerization is critical for the formation and maintenance of Nck-dependent actin comet tails. Consistent with this, aggregation of an exclusively branched nucleation-promoting factor (the VCA domain of N-WASP), with density and turnover similar to those of N-WASP in Nck comets, did not reconstitute dynamic, elongated actin comets. Furthermore, enhancement of branched Arp2/3-mediated nucleation by N-WASP overexpression caused loss of the typical actin comet tail shape induced by Nck aggregation. Thus the ratio of linear to dendritic nucleation activity may serve to distinguish the properties of actin structures induced by various viral and bacterial pathogens. PMID:26609071

  20. Integration of linear and dendritic actin nucleation in Nck-induced actin comets.

    PubMed

    Borinskaya, Sofya; Velle, Katrina B; Campellone, Kenneth G; Talman, Arthur; Alvarez, Diego; Agaisse, Hervé; Wu, Yi I; Loew, Leslie M; Mayer, Bruce J

    2016-01-15

    The Nck adaptor protein recruits cytosolic effectors such as N-WASP that induce localized actin polymerization. Experimental aggregation of Nck SH3 domains at the membrane induces actin comet tails--dynamic, elongated filamentous actin structures similar to those that drive the movement of microbial pathogens such as vaccinia virus. Here we show that experimental manipulation of the balance between unbranched/branched nucleation altered the morphology and dynamics of Nck-induced actin comets. Inhibition of linear, formin-based nucleation with the small-molecule inhibitor SMIFH2 or overexpression of the formin FH1 domain resulted in formation of predominantly circular-shaped actin structures with low mobility (actin blobs). These results indicate that formin-based linear actin polymerization is critical for the formation and maintenance of Nck-dependent actin comet tails. Consistent with this, aggregation of an exclusively branched nucleation-promoting factor (the VCA domain of N-WASP), with density and turnover similar to those of N-WASP in Nck comets, did not reconstitute dynamic, elongated actin comets. Furthermore, enhancement of branched Arp2/3-mediated nucleation by N-WASP overexpression caused loss of the typical actin comet tail shape induced by Nck aggregation. Thus the ratio of linear to dendritic nucleation activity may serve to distinguish the properties of actin structures induced by various viral and bacterial pathogens. PMID:26609071

  1. Xenopus egg cytoplasm with intact actin.

    PubMed

    Field, Christine M; Nguyen, Phuong A; Ishihara, Keisuke; Groen, Aaron C; Mitchison, Timothy J

    2014-01-01

    We report optimized methods for preparing Xenopus egg extracts without cytochalasin D, that we term "actin-intact egg extract." These are undiluted egg cytoplasm that contains abundant organelles, and glycogen which supplies energy, and represents the least perturbed cell-free cytoplasm preparation we know of. We used this system to probe cell cycle regulation of actin and myosin-II dynamics (Field et al., 2011), and to reconstitute the large, interphase asters that organize early Xenopus embryos (Mitchison et al., 2012; Wühr, Tan, Parker, Detrich, & Mitchison, 2010). Actin-intact Xenopus egg extracts are useful for analysis of actin dynamics, and interaction of actin with other cytoplasmic systems, in a cell-free system that closely mimics egg physiology, and more generally for probing the biochemistry and biophysics of the egg, zygote, and early embryo. Detailed protocols are provided along with assays used to check cell cycle state and tips for handling and storing undiluted egg extracts.

  2. Crystal structure of an archaeal actin homolog.

    PubMed

    Roeben, Annette; Kofler, Christine; Nagy, István; Nickell, Stephan; Hartl, F Ulrich; Bracher, Andreas

    2006-04-21

    Prokaryotic homologs of the eukaryotic structural protein actin, such as MreB and ParM, have been implicated in determination of bacterial cell shape, and in the segregation of genomic and plasmid DNA. In contrast to these bacterial actin homologs, little is known about the archaeal counterparts. As a first step, we expressed a predicted actin homolog of the thermophilic archaeon Thermoplasma acidophilum, Ta0583, and determined its crystal structure at 2.1A resolution. Ta0583 is expressed as a soluble protein in T.acidophilum and is an active ATPase at physiological temperature. In vitro, Ta0583 forms sheets with spacings resembling the crystal lattice, indicating an inherent propensity to form filamentous structures. The fold of Ta0583 contains the core structure of actin and clearly belongs to the actin/Hsp70 superfamily of ATPases. Ta0583 is approximately equidistant from actin and MreB on the structural level, and combines features from both eubacterial actin homologs, MreB and ParM. The structure of Ta0583 co-crystallized with ADP indicates that the nucleotide binds at the interface between the subdomains of Ta0583 in a manner similar to that of actin. However, the conformation of the nucleotide observed in complex with Ta0583 clearly differs from that in complex with actin, but closely resembles the conformation of ParM-bound nucleotide. On the basis of sequence and structural homology, we suggest that Ta0583 derives from a ParM-like actin homolog that was once encoded by a plasmid and was transferred into a common ancestor of Thermoplasma and Ferroplasma. Intriguingly, both genera are characterized by the lack of a cell wall, and therefore Ta0583 could have a function in cellular organization.

  3. Probing actin incorporation into myofibrils using Asp11 and His73 actin mutants.

    PubMed

    Xia, D; Peng, B; Sesok, D A; Peng, I

    1993-01-01

    We used a cell free system Bouché et al.: J. Cell Biol. 107:587-596, 1988] to study the incorporation of actin into myofibrils. We used alpha-skeletal muscle actin and actins with substitutions of either His73 [Solomon and Rubenstein: J. Biol.Chem. 262:11382, 1987], or Asp11 [Solomon et al.: J. Biol. Chem. 263:19662, 1988]. Actins were translated in reticulocyte lysate and incubated with myofibrils. The incorporated wild type actin could be cross-linked into dimers using N,N'-1,4-phenylenebismaleimide (PBM), indicating that the incorporated actin is actually inserted into the thin filaments of the myofibril. The His73 mutants incorporated to the same extent as wild type actin and was also cross-linked with PBM. Although some of the Asp11 mutants co-assembled with carrier actin, only 1-3% of the Asp11 mutant actins incorporated after 2 min and did not increase after 2 hr. Roughly 17% of wild type actin incorporated after 2 min and 31% after 2 hr. ATP increased the release of wild type actin from myofibrils, but did not increase the release of Asp11 mutants. We suggest that (1) the incorporation of wild type and His73 mutant actins was due to a physiological process whereas association of Asp11 mutants with myofibrils was non-specific, (2) the incorporation of wild type actin involved a rapid initial phase, followed by a slower phase, and (3) since some of the Asp11 mutants can co-assemble with wild type actin, the ability to self-assemble was not sufficient for incorporation into myofibrils. Thus, incorporation probably includes interaction between actin and a thin filament associated protein. We also showed that incorporation occurred at actin concentrations which would cause disassembly of F-actin. Since the myofibrils did not show large scale disassembly but incorporated actin, filament stability and monomer incorporation are likely to be mediated by actin associated proteins of the myofibril. PMID:8287497

  4. Convoluted Plasma Membrane Domains in the Green Alga Chara are Depleted of Microtubules and Actin Filaments.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Aniela; Hoeftberger, Margit; Hoepflinger, Marion C; Schmalbrock, Sarah; Bulychev, Alexander; Foissner, Ilse

    2015-10-01

    Charasomes are convoluted plasma membrane domains in the green alga Chara australis. They harbor H(+)-ATPases involved in acidification of the medium, which facilitates carbon uptake required for photosynthesis. In this study we investigated the distribution of cortical microtubules and cortical actin filaments in relation to the distribution of charasomes. We found that microtubules and actin filaments were largely lacking beneath the charasomes, suggesting the absence of nucleating and/or anchoring complexes or an inhibitory effect on polymerization. We also investigated the influence of cytoskeleton inhibitors on the light-dependent growth and the darkness-induced degradation of charasomes. Inhibition of cytoplasmic streaming by cytochalasin D significantly inhibited charasome growth and delayed charasome degradation, whereas depolymerization of microtubules by oryzalin or stabilization of microtubules by paclitaxel had no effect. Our data indicate that the membrane at the cytoplasmic surface of charasomes has different properties in comparison with the smooth plasma membrane. We show further that the actin cytoskeleton is necessary for charasome growth and facilitates charasome degradation presumably via trafficking of secretory and endocytic vesicles, respectively. However, microtubules are required neither for charasome growth nor for charasome degradation. PMID:26272553

  5. Convoluted Plasma Membrane Domains in the Green Alga Chara are Depleted of Microtubules and Actin Filaments.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Aniela; Hoeftberger, Margit; Hoepflinger, Marion C; Schmalbrock, Sarah; Bulychev, Alexander; Foissner, Ilse

    2015-10-01

    Charasomes are convoluted plasma membrane domains in the green alga Chara australis. They harbor H(+)-ATPases involved in acidification of the medium, which facilitates carbon uptake required for photosynthesis. In this study we investigated the distribution of cortical microtubules and cortical actin filaments in relation to the distribution of charasomes. We found that microtubules and actin filaments were largely lacking beneath the charasomes, suggesting the absence of nucleating and/or anchoring complexes or an inhibitory effect on polymerization. We also investigated the influence of cytoskeleton inhibitors on the light-dependent growth and the darkness-induced degradation of charasomes. Inhibition of cytoplasmic streaming by cytochalasin D significantly inhibited charasome growth and delayed charasome degradation, whereas depolymerization of microtubules by oryzalin or stabilization of microtubules by paclitaxel had no effect. Our data indicate that the membrane at the cytoplasmic surface of charasomes has different properties in comparison with the smooth plasma membrane. We show further that the actin cytoskeleton is necessary for charasome growth and facilitates charasome degradation presumably via trafficking of secretory and endocytic vesicles, respectively. However, microtubules are required neither for charasome growth nor for charasome degradation.

  6. Convoluted Plasma Membrane Domains in the Green Alga Chara are Depleted of Microtubules and Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Sommer, Aniela; Hoeftberger, Margit; Hoepflinger, Marion C.; Schmalbrock, Sarah; Bulychev, Alexander; Foissner, Ilse

    2015-01-01

    Charasomes are convoluted plasma membrane domains in the green alga Chara australis. They harbor H+-ATPases involved in acidification of the medium, which facilitates carbon uptake required for photosynthesis. In this study we investigated the distribution of cortical microtubules and cortical actin filaments in relation to the distribution of charasomes. We found that microtubules and actin filaments were largely lacking beneath the charasomes, suggesting the absence of nucleating and/or anchoring complexes or an inhibitory effect on polymerization. We also investigated the influence of cytoskeleton inhibitors on the light-dependent growth and the darkness-induced degradation of charasomes. Inhibition of cytoplasmic streaming by cytochalasin D significantly inhibited charasome growth and delayed charasome degradation, whereas depolymerization of microtubules by oryzalin or stabilization of microtubules by paclitaxel had no effect. Our data indicate that the membrane at the cytoplasmic surface of charasomes has different properties in comparison with the smooth plasma membrane. We show further that the actin cytoskeleton is necessary for charasome growth and facilitates charasome degradation presumably via trafficking of secretory and endocytic vesicles, respectively. However, microtubules are required neither for charasome growth nor for charasome degradation. PMID:26272553

  7. Dynamics of an actin spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riera, Christophe; Mahadevan, L.; Shin, Jennifer; Matsudaira, Paul

    2003-03-01

    The acrosome of the sperm of the horseshoe crab (Limulus Polyphemus) is an unusual actin based system that shows a spectacular dynamical transition in the presence of Ca++ that is present in abundance in the neighborhood of the egg. During this process, the bundle, which is initially bent and twisted uncoils and becomes straight in a matter of a few seconds. Based on microstructural data, we propose a model for the dynamics of uncoiling that is best represented by a triple-well potential corresponding to the different structural arrangements of the supertwisted filaments. Each of the false, true and coiled states corresponds to a local minimum of the energy, with the true state being the one with the lowest energy. Using an evolution equation derived by balancing torques, we investigate the nucleation and propagation of the phase transition and compare the results with those of experiments. Our model quantifies the hypothesis that the acrosomal bundle behaves like a mechano-chemical spring.

  8. F-actin-myosin II inhibitors affect chromaffin granule plasma membrane distance and fusion kinetics by retraction of the cytoskeletal cortex.

    PubMed

    Villanueva, José; Torres, Vanesa; Torregrosa-Hetland, Cristina J; Garcia-Martinez, Virginia; López-Font, Inmaculada; Viniegra, Salvador; Gutiérrez, Luis M

    2012-10-01

    Chromaffin cell catecholamines are released when specialized secretory vesicles undergo exocytotic membrane fusion. Evidence indicates that vesicle supply and fusion are controlled by the activity of the cortical F-actin-myosin II network. To study in detail cell cortex and vesicle interactions, we use fluorescent labeling with GFP-lifeact and acidotropic dyes in confocal and evanescent wave microscopy. These techniques provide structural details and dynamic images of chromaffin granules caged in a complex cortical structure. Both the movement of cortical structures and granule motion appear to be linked, and this motion can be restricted by the myosin II-specific inhibitor, blebbistatin, and the F-actin stabilizer, jasplakinolide. These treatments also affect the position of the vesicles in relation to the plasma membrane, increasing the distance between them and the fusion sites. Consequently, we observed slower single vesicle fusion kinetics in treated cells after neutralization of acridine orange-loaded granules during exocytosis. Increasing the distance between the granules and the fusion sites appears to be linked to the retraction of the F-actin cytoskeleton when treated with jasplakinolide. Thus, F-actin-myosin II inhibitors appear to slow granule fusion kinetics by altering the position of vesicles after relaxation of the cortical network.

  9. Reactive composite compositions and mat barriers

    DOEpatents

    Langton, Christine A.; Narasimhan, Rajendran; Karraker, David G.

    2001-01-01

    A hazardous material storage area has a reactive multi-layer composite mat which lines an opening into which a reactive backfill and hazardous material are placed. A water-inhibiting cap may cover the hazardous material storage area. The reactive multi-layer composite mat has a backing onto which is placed an active layer which will neutralize or stabilize hazardous waste and a fronting layer so that the active layer is between the fronting and backing layers. The reactive backfill has a reactive agent which can stabilize or neutralize hazardous material and inhibit the movement of the hazardous material through the hazardous material storage area.

  10. Nitrogen cycle in microbial mats: completely unknown?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coban, O.; Bebout, B.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial mats are thought to have originated around 3.7 billion years ago, most likely in the areas around submarine hydrothermal vents, which supplied a source of energy in the form of reduced chemical species from the Earth's interior. Active hydrothermal vents are also believed to exist on Jupiter's moon Europa, Saturn's moon Enceladus, and on Mars, earlier in that planet's history. Microbial mats have been an important force in the maintenance of Earth's ecosystems and the first photosynthesis was also originated there. Microbial mats are believed to exhibit most, if not all, biogeochemical processes that exist in aquatic ecosystems, due to the presence of different physiological groups of microorganisms therein. While most microbially mediated biogeochemical transformations have been shown to occur within microbial mats, the nitrogen cycle in the microbial mats has received very little study in spite of the fact that nitrogen usually limits growth in marine environments. We will present the first results in the determination of a complete nitrogen budget for a photosynthetic microbial mat. Both in situ sources and sinks of nitrogen in photosynthetic microbial mats are being measured using stable isotope techniques. Our work has a particular focus on recently described, but poorly understood, processes, e.g., anammox and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, and an emphasis on understanding the role that nitrogen cycling may play in generating biogenic nitrogen isotopic signatures and biomarker molecules. Measurements of environmental controls on nitrogen cycling should offer insight into the nature of co-evolution of these microbial communities and their planets of origin. Identifying the spatial (microscale) as well as temporal (diel and seasonal) distribution of nitrogen transformations, e.g., rates of nitrification and denitrification, within mats, particularly with respect to the distribution of photosynthetically-produced oxygen, is anticipated. The results

  11. Actin depolymerizing factor controls actin turnover and gliding motility in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Simren; Sibley, L. David

    2011-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites rely on actin-based gliding motility to move across the substratum, cross biological barriers, and invade their host cells. Gliding motility depends on polymerization of parasite actin filaments, yet ∼98% of actin is nonfilamentous in resting parasites. Previous studies suggest that the lack of actin filaments in the parasite is due to inherent instability, leaving uncertain the role of actin-binding proteins in controlling dynamics. We have previously shown that the single allele of Toxoplasma gondii actin depolymerizing factor (TgADF) has strong actin monomer–sequestering and weak filament-severing activities in vitro. Here we used a conditional knockout strategy to investigate the role of TgADF in vivo. Suppression of TgADF led to accumulation of actin-rich filaments that were detected by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Parasites deficient in TgADF showed reduced speed of motility, increased aberrant patterns of motion, and inhibition of sustained helical gliding. Lack of TgADF also led to severe defects in entry and egress from host cells, thus blocking infection in vitro. These studies establish that the absence of stable actin structures in the parasite are not simply the result of intrinsic instability, but that TgADF is required for the rapid turnover of parasite actin filaments, gliding motility, and cell invasion. PMID:21346192

  12. Reversible stress softening of actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaudhuri, Ovijit; Parekh, Sapun H.; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2007-01-01

    The mechanical properties of cells play an essential role in numerous physiological processes. Organized networks of semiflexible actin filaments determine cell stiffness and transmit force during mechanotransduction, cytokinesis, cell motility and other cellular shape changes. Although numerous actin-binding proteins have been identified that organize networks, the mechanical properties of actin networks with physiological architectures and concentrations have been difficult to measure quantitatively. Studies of mechanical properties in vitro have found that crosslinked networks of actin filaments formed in solution exhibit stress stiffening arising from the entropic elasticity of individual filaments or crosslinkers resisting extension. Here we report reversible stress-softening behaviour in actin networks reconstituted in vitro that suggests a critical role for filaments resisting compression. Using a modified atomic force microscope to probe dendritic actin networks (like those formed in the lamellipodia of motile cells), we observe stress stiffening followed by a regime of reversible stress softening at higher loads. This softening behaviour can be explained by elastic buckling of individual filaments under compression that avoids catastrophic fracture of the network. The observation of both stress stiffening and softening suggests a complex interplay between entropic and enthalpic elasticity in determining the mechanical properties of actin networks.

  13. Actin-Mediated Endocytosis Limits Intracellular Cr Accumulation and Cr Toxicity during Chromate Stress

    PubMed Central

    Holland, Sara L.; Avery, Simon V.

    2009-01-01

    Chromate toxicity is well documented, but the underlying toxic mechanism(s) has yet to be fully elucidated. Following a Cr toxicity screen against > 6000 heterozygous yeast mutants, here we show that Cr resistance requires normal function of the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, Cr-stressed yeast cells exhibited an increased number of actin patches, the sites of endocytosis. This was coincident with a marked stimulation of endocytosis following Cr exposure. Genetic dissection of actin nucleation from endocytosis revealed that endocytosis, specifically, was required for Cr resistance. A series of further endocytosis mutants (sac6Δ, chc1Δ, end3Δ) exhibited elevated Cr sensitivity. These mutants also showed markedly elevated cellular Cr accumulation, explaining their sensitivities. In wild-type cells, an initial endocytosis-independent phase of Cr uptake was followed by an endocytosis-dependent decline in Cr accumulation. The results indicate that actin-mediated endocytosis is required to limit Cr accumulation and toxicity. It is proposed that this involves ubiquitin-dependent endocytic inactivation of a plasma membrane Cr transporter(s). We showed that such an action was not dependent on the transporters that have been characterized to date, the sulfate (and chromate) permeases Sul1p and Sul2p. PMID:19628586

  14. Claudin 28b and F-actin are involved in rainbow trout gill pavement cell tight junction remodeling under osmotic stress.

    PubMed

    Sandbichler, Adolf Michael; Egg, Margit; Schwerte, Thorsten; Pelster, Bernd

    2011-05-01

    Permeability of rainbow trout gill pavement cells cultured on permeable supports (single seeded inserts) changes upon exposure to freshwater or treatment with cortisol. The molecular components of this change are largely unknown, but tight junctions that regulate the paracellular pathway are prime candidates in this adaptational process. Using differential display polymerase chain reaction we found a set of 17 differentially regulated genes in trout pavement cells that had been exposed to freshwater apically for 24 h. Five genes were related to the cell-cell contact. One of these genes was isolated and identified as encoding claudin 28b, an integral component of the tight junction. Immunohistochemical reactivity to claudin 28b protein was concentrated in a circumferential ring colocalized to the cortical F-actin ring. To study the contribution of this isoform to changes in transepithelial resistance and Phenol Red diffusion under apical hypo-or hyperosmotic exposure we quantified the fluorescence signal of this claudin isoform in immunohistochemical stainings together with the fluorescence of phalloidin-probed F-actin. Upon hypo-osmotic stress claudin 28b fluorescence and epithelial tightness remained stable. Under hyperosmotic stress, the presence of claudin 28b at the junction significantly decreased, and epithelial tightness was severely reduced. Cortical F-actin fluorescence increased upon hypo-osmotic stress, whereas hyperosmotic stress led to a separation of cortical F-actin rings and the number of apical crypt-like pores increased. Addition of cortisol to the basolateral medium attenuated cortical F-actin separation and pore formation during hyperosmotic stress and reduced claudin 28b in junctions except after recovery of cells from exposure to freshwater. Our results showed that short-term salinity stress response in cultured trout gill cells was dependent on a dynamic remodeling of tight junctions, which involves claudin 28b and the supporting F-actin ring.

  15. Synaptotagmin 1 causes phosphatidyl inositol lipid-dependent actin remodeling in cultured non-neuronal and neuronal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Johnsson, Anna-Karin; Karlsson, Roger

    2012-01-15

    Here we demonstrate that a dramatic actin polymerizing activity caused by ectopic expression of the synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin 1 that results in extensive filopodia formation is due to the presence of a lysine rich sequence motif immediately at the cytoplasmic side of the transmembrane domain of the protein. This polybasic sequence interacts with anionic phospholipids in vitro, and, consequently, the actin remodeling caused by this sequence is interfered with by expression of a phosphatidyl inositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP2)-targeted phosphatase, suggesting that it intervenes with the function of PIP2-binding actin control proteins. The activity drastically alters the behavior of a range of cultured cells including the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y and primary cortical mouse neurons, and, since the sequence is conserved also in synaptotagmin 2, it may reflect an important fine-tuning role for these two proteins during synaptic vesicle fusion and neurotransmitter release.

  16. Actinic Granuloma with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Phasukthaworn, Ruedee; Chanprapaph, Kumutnart; Vachiramon, Vasanop

    2016-01-01

    Actinic granuloma is an uncommon granulomatous disease, characterized by annular erythematous plaque with central clearing predominately located on sun-damaged skin. The pathogenesis is not well understood, ultraviolet radiation is recognized as precipitating factor. We report a case of a 52-year-old woman who presented with asymptomatic annular erythematous plaques on the forehead and both cheeks persisting for 2 years. The clinical presentation and histopathologic findings support the diagnosis of actinic granuloma. During that period of time, she also developed focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. The association between actinic granuloma and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis needs to be clarified by further studies. PMID:27293392

  17. Binding of actin to lens alpha crystallins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gopalakrishnan, S.; Takemoto, L.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1992-01-01

    Actin has been coupled to a cyanogen bromide-activated Sepharose 4B column, then tested for binding to alpha, beta, and gamma crystallin preparations from the bovine lens. Alpha, but not beta or gamma, crystallins bound to the actin affinity column in a time dependent and saturable manner. Subfractionation of the alpha crystallin preparation into the alpha-A and alpha-B species, followed by incubation with the affinity column, demonstrated that both species bound approximately the same. Together, these studies demonstrate a specific and saturable binding of lens alpha-A and alpha-B with actin.

  18. Dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Gressin, Laurène; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Cellular processes, including morphogenesis, polarization, and motility, rely on a variety of actin-based structures. Although the biochemical composition and filament organization of these structures are different, they often emerge from a common origin. This is possible because the actin structures are highly dynamic. Indeed, they assemble, grow, and disassemble in a time scale of a second to a minute. Therefore, the reorganization of a given actin structure can promote the formation of another. Here, we discuss such transitions and illustrate them with computer simulations. PMID:26989473

  19. Evidence for physical and functional interactions among two Saccharomyces cerevisiae SH3 domain proteins, an adenylyl cyclase-associated protein and the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed Central

    Lila, T; Drubin, D G

    1997-01-01

    In a variety of organisms, a number of proteins associated with the cortical actin cytoskeleton contain SH3 domains, suggesting that these domains may provide the physical basis for functional interactions among structural and regulatory proteins in the actin cytoskeleton. We present evidence that SH3 domains mediate at least two independent functions of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin-binding protein Abp1p in vivo. Abp1p contains a single SH3 domain that has recently been shown to bind in vitro to the adenylyl cyclase-associated protein Srv2p. Immunofluorescence analysis of Srv2p subcellular localization in strains carrying mutations in either ABP1 or SRV2 reveals that the Abp1p SH3 domain mediates the normal association of Srv2p with the cortical actin cytoskeleton. We also show that a site in Abp1p itself is specifically bound by the SH3 domain of the actin-associated protein Rvs167p. Genetic analysis provides evidence that Abp1p and Rvs167p have functions that are closely interrelated. Abp1 null mutations, like rvs167 mutations, result in defects in sporulation and reduced viability under certain suboptimal growth conditions. In addition, mutations in ABP1 and RVS167 yield similar profiles of genetic "synthetic lethal" interactions when combined with mutations in genes encoding other cytoskeletal components. Mutations which specifically disrupt the SH3 domain-mediated interaction between Abp1p and Srv2p, however, show none of the shared phenotypes of abp1 and rvs167 mutations. We conclude that the Abp1p SH3 domain mediates the association of Srv2p with the cortical actin cytoskeleton, and that Abp1p performs a distinct function that is likely to involve binding by the Rvs167p SH3 domain. Overall, work presented here illustrates how SH3 domains can integrate the activities of multiple actin cytoskeleton proteins in response to varying environmental conditions. Images PMID:9190214

  20. Cortical State and Attention

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kenneth D.; Thiele, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Preface The brain continuously adapts its processing machinery to behavioural demands. To achieve this it rapidly modulates the operating mode of cortical circuits, controlling the way information is transformed and routed. This article will focus on two experimental approaches by which the control of cortical information processing has been investigated: the study of state-dependent cortical processing in rodents, and attention in the primate visual system. Both processes involve a modulation of low-frequency activity fluctuations and spiking correlation, and are mediated by common receptor systems. We suggest that selective attention involves processes similar to state change, operating at a local columnar level to enhance the representation of otherwise nonsalient features while suppressing internally generated activity patterns. PMID:21829219

  1. Bacillamides from a hypersaline microbial mat bacterium.

    PubMed

    Socha, Aaron M; Long, Richard A; Rowley, David C

    2007-11-01

    Chemical studies of a Bacillus endophyticus isolated from a Bahamian hypersaline microbial mat led to the isolation of bacillamides B and C, new tryptamide thiazole metabolites. Bioassay-guided fractionation using a HPLC-UV-MS bioassay technique enabled the detection of these trace fermentation products, and their total structures were elucidated by combined spectroscopic techniques.

  2. 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

  3. Cortical dynamics revisited.

    PubMed

    Singer, Wolf

    2013-12-01

    Recent discoveries on the organisation of the cortical connectome together with novel data on the dynamics of neuronal interactions require an extension of classical concepts on information processing in the cerebral cortex. These new insights justify considering the brain as a complex, self-organised system with nonlinear dynamics in which principles of distributed, parallel processing coexist with serial operations within highly interconnected networks. The observed dynamics suggest that cortical networks are capable of providing an extremely high-dimensional state space in which a large amount of evolutionary and ontogenetically acquired information can coexist and be accessible to rapid parallel search.

  4. Correlation between polymerizability and conformation in scallop beta-like actin and rabbit skeletal muscle alpha-actin.

    PubMed

    Khaitlina, S; Antropova, O; Kuznetsova, I; Turoverov, K; Collins, J H

    1999-08-01

    In order to investigate the structural basis for functional differences among actin isoforms, we have compared the polymerization properties and conformations of scallop adductor muscle beta-like actin and rabbit skeletal muscle alpha-actin. Polymerization of scallop Ca(2+)-actin was slower than that of skeletal muscle Ca(2+)-actin. Cleavage of the actin polypeptide chain between Gly-42 and Val-43 with Escherichia coli protease ECP 32 impaired the polymerization of scallop Mg(2+)-actin to a greater extent than skeletal muscle Mg(2+)-actin. When monomeric scallop and skeletal muscle Ca(2+)-actins were subjected to limited proteolysis with trypsin, subtilisin, or ECP 32, no differences in the conformation of actin subdomain 2 were detected. At the same time, local differences in the conformations of scallop and skeletal muscle actin subdomains 1 were revealed as intrinsic fluorescence differences. Replacement of tightly bound Ca(2+) with Mg(2+) resulted in more extensive proteolysis of segment 61-69 of scallop actin than in the case of skeletal muscle actin. Furthermore, segment 61-69 was more accessible to proteolysis with subtilisin in polymerized scallop Ca(2+)-actin than in polymerized skeletal muscle Ca(2+)-actin, indicating that, in the polymeric form, the nucleotide-containing cleft is in a more open conformation in beta-like scallop actin than in skeletal muscle alpha-actin. We suggest that this difference between scallop and skeletal muscle actins is due to a less efficient shift of scallop actin subdomain 2 to the position it has in the polymer. The possible consequences of amino acid substitutions in actin subdomain 1 in the allosteric regulation of the actin cleft, and hence in the different stabilities of polymers formed by different actins, are discussed. PMID:10415117

  5. Method for production of carbon nanofiber mat or carbon paper

    SciTech Connect

    Naskar, Amit K.

    2015-08-04

    Method for the preparation of a non-woven mat or paper made of carbon fibers, the method comprising carbonizing a non-woven mat or paper preform (precursor) comprised of a plurality of bonded sulfonated polyolefin fibers to produce said non-woven mat or paper made of carbon fibers. The preforms and resulting non-woven mat or paper made of carbon fiber, as well as articles and devices containing them, and methods for their use, are also described.

  6. Structural Differences Explain Diverse Functions of Plasmodium Actins

    PubMed Central

    Vahokoski, Juha; Martinez, Silvia Muñico; Ignatev, Alexander; Lepper, Simone; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Sidén-Kiamos, Inga; Sachse, Carsten; Kursula, Inari

    2014-01-01

    Actins are highly conserved proteins and key players in central processes in all eukaryotic cells. The two actins of the malaria parasite are among the most divergent eukaryotic actins and also differ from each other more than isoforms in any other species. Microfilaments have not been directly observed in Plasmodium and are presumed to be short and highly dynamic. We show that actin I cannot complement actin II in male gametogenesis, suggesting critical structural differences. Cryo-EM reveals that Plasmodium actin I has a unique filament structure, whereas actin II filaments resemble canonical F-actin. Both Plasmodium actins hydrolyze ATP more efficiently than α-actin, and unlike any other actin, both parasite actins rapidly form short oligomers induced by ADP. Crystal structures of both isoforms pinpoint several structural changes in the monomers causing the unique polymerization properties. Inserting the canonical D-loop to Plasmodium actin I leads to the formation of long filaments in vitro. In vivo, this chimera restores gametogenesis in parasites lacking actin II, suggesting that stable filaments are required for exflagellation. Together, these data underline the divergence of eukaryotic actins and demonstrate how structural differences in the monomers translate into filaments with different properties, implying that even eukaryotic actins have faced different evolutionary pressures and followed different paths for developing their polymerization properties. PMID:24743229

  7. Cortical Flow-Driven Shapes of Nonadherent Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callan-Jones, A. C.; Ruprecht, V.; Wieser, S.; Heisenberg, C. P.; Voituriez, R.

    2016-01-01

    Nonadherent polarized cells have been observed to have a pearlike, elongated shape. Using a minimal model that describes the cell cortex as a thin layer of contractile active gel, we show that the anisotropy of active stresses, controlled by cortical viscosity and filament ordering, can account for this morphology. The predicted shapes can be determined from the flow pattern only; they prove to be independent of the mechanism at the origin of the cortical flow, and are only weakly sensitive to the cytoplasmic rheology. In the case of actin flows resulting from a contractile instability, we propose a phase diagram of three-dimensional cell shapes that encompasses nonpolarized spherical, elongated, as well as oblate shapes, all of which have been observed in experiment.

  8. Genetics Home Reference: actin-accumulation myopathy

    MedlinePlus

    ... 7(3):160-8. Citation on PubMed Laing NG, Dye DE, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Richard G, Monnier ... Vigneron J, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Beggs AH, Laing NG. Mutations in the skeletal muscle alpha-actin gene ...

  9. [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

  10. Structural Dynamics of an Actin Spring

    PubMed Central

    Mahadevan, L.; Riera, C.S.; Shin, Jennifer H.

    2011-01-01

    Actin-based motility in cells is usually associated with either polymerization/depolymerization in the presence of cross-linkers or contractility in the presence of myosin motors. Here, we focus on a third distinct mechanism involving actin in motility, seen in the dynamics of an active actin spring that powers the acrosomal reaction of the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) sperm. During this process, a 60-μm bent and twisted bundle of cross-linked actin uncoils and becomes straight in a few seconds in the presence of Ca2+. This straightening, which occurs at a constant velocity, allows the acrosome to forcefully penetrate the egg. Synthesizing ultrastructural information with the kinetics, energetics, and imaging of calcium binding allows us to construct a dynamical theory for this mechanochemical engine consistent with our experimental observations. It also illuminates the general mechanism by which energy may be stored in conformational changes and released cooperatively in ordered macromolecular assemblies. PMID:21320427

  11. Mechanics model for actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yuan

    2009-02-01

    We present here a mechanics model for the force generation by actin polymerization. The possible adhesions between the actin filaments and the load surface, as well as the nucleation and capping of filament tips, are included in this model on top of the well-known elastic Brownian ratchet formulation. A closed form solution is provided from which the force-velocity relationship, summarizing the mechanics of polymerization, can be drawn. Model predictions on the velocity of moving beads driven by actin polymerization are consistent with experiment observations. This model also seems capable of explaining the enhanced actin-based motility of Listeria monocytogenes and beads by the presence of Vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein, as observed in recent experiments.

  12. Mechanics model for actin-based motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yuan

    2009-02-01

    We present here a mechanics model for the force generation by actin polymerization. The possible adhesions between the actin filaments and the load surface, as well as the nucleation and capping of filament tips, are included in this model on top of the well-known elastic Brownian ratchet formulation. A closed form solution is provided from which the force-velocity relationship, summarizing the mechanics of polymerization, can be drawn. Model predictions on the velocity of moving beads driven by actin polymerization are consistent with experiment observations. This model also seems capable of explaining the enhanced actin-based motility of Listeria monocytogenes and beads by the presence of Vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein, as observed in recent experiments.

  13. Nematic textures in F-actin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, P.; Roy, J.; Chakrabarti, N.; Basu, S.; Das, U.

    2002-05-01

    Actin filaments, which are protein polymers occurring abundantly and ubiquitously in muscle and nonmuscle cells, are known to align in a shear flow, and with an external magnetic field. They form a nematic liquid crystal of the athermal type at a low concentration. Typical defects and textures of the nematic actin liquid crystal are described in this work. The generation of well-aligned nematic single crystals has been reported, in the vicinity of an air-water interface, with the actin filaments spontaneously aligning normal to the interface. Away from the air-water interface nematic single crystal domains are due to the alignment of the actin filaments parallel to the glass surface. The twist-bend nature of the disclination line of integral strength (m=1) has been attributed to the relative magnitudes of the anisotropic curvature elastic constants, which reflect the filaments' semirigidity.

  14. Actinic review of EUV masks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldmann, Heiko; Ruoff, Johannes; Harnisch, Wolfgang; Kaiser, Winfried

    2010-04-01

    Management of mask defects is a major challenge for the introduction of EUV for HVM production. Once a defect has been detected, its printing impact needs to be predicted. Potentially the defect requires some repair, the success of which needs to be proven. This defect review has to be done with an actinic inspection system that matches the imaging conditions of an EUV scanner. During recent years, several concepts for such an aerial image metrology system (AIMS™) have been proposed. However, until now no commercial solution exists for EUV. Today, advances in EUV optics technology allow envisioning a solution that has been discarded before as unrealistic. We present this concept and its technical cornerstones.While the power requirement for the EUV source is less demanding than for HVM lithography tools, radiance, floor space, and stability are the main criteria for source selection. The requirement to emulate several generations of EUV scanners demands a large flexibility for the ilumination and imaging systems. New critical specifications to the EUV mirrors in the projection microscope can be satisfied using our expertise from lithographic mirrors. In summary, an EUV AIMS™ meeting production requirements seems to be feasible.

  15. Elasticity of F-actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret Lise

    This thesis presents a study of the elasticity and microstructure of three filamentous actin (F-actin) based materials. Using bulk rheology, microrheology, multiple particle tracking and imaging techniques, we study the microscopic origins of the mechanical properties of F-actin networks. We briefly introduce aspects of F-actin and rheology essential to provide a background for and motivate this thesis in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2, we describe the materials and methods used. An introduction to microrheology is given in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4, we study solutions of entangled F-actin. We elucidate the microscopic origins of bulk elasticity using microrheology techniques. We also show that multiple particle tracking can also probe the dynamics of the F-actin solution microstructure. We explore the effect of rigid, incompliant chemical cross-links between actin filaments in Chapter 5. We explore changes in the network microstructure as the concentration of cross-links is varied. We find that the elastic stiffness of these networks is extremely sensitive to small changes in cross-link density. Despite this large variation, the linear viscoelasticity of all networks can be scaled onto a universal master curve; this scaling reveals that the mechanical dissipation of the networks is due to thermal fluctuations of F-actin. At large stresses, the mechanical stiffness of these networks diverges. The form of this stress stiffening response is consistent with the non-linear force extension of a single semi-flexible polymer. Thus, over a large range of conditions, the linear and nonlinear mechanical response of rigidly cross-linked networks is entropic in origin. Finally, at very low cross-link and filament densities, we observe a transition to a qualitatively different type of elasticity; this is consistent with a transition to an enthalpic network elasticity dominated by bending of F-actin. In Chapter 6, we study the elastic properties of F-actin networks assembled with a

  16. Mechanism of Actin Filament Bundling by Fascin

    SciTech Connect

    Jansen, Silvia; Collins, Agnieszka; Yang, Changsong; Rebowski, Grzegorz; Svitkina, Tatyana; Dominguez, Roberto

    2013-03-07

    Fascin is the main actin filament bundling protein in filopodia. Because of the important role filopodia play in cell migration, fascin is emerging as a major target for cancer drug discovery. However, an understanding of the mechanism of bundle formation by fascin is critically lacking. Fascin consists of four {beta}-trefoil domains. Here, we show that fascin contains two major actin-binding sites, coinciding with regions of high sequence conservation in {beta}-trefoil domains 1 and 3. The site in {beta}-trefoil-1 is located near the binding site of the fascin inhibitor macroketone and comprises residue Ser-39, whose phosphorylation by protein kinase C down-regulates actin bundling and formation of filopodia. The site in {beta}-trefoil-3 is related by pseudo-2-fold symmetry to that in {beta}-trefoil-1. The two sites are {approx}5 nm apart, resulting in a distance between actin filaments in the bundle of {approx}8.1 nm. Residue mutations in both sites disrupt bundle formation in vitro as assessed by co-sedimentation with actin and electron microscopy and severely impair formation of filopodia in cells as determined by rescue experiments in fascin-depleted cells. Mutations of other areas of the fascin surface also affect actin bundling and formation of filopodia albeit to a lesser extent, suggesting that, in addition to the two major actin-binding sites, fascin makes secondary contacts with other filaments in the bundle. In a high resolution crystal structure of fascin, molecules of glycerol and polyethylene glycol are bound in pockets located within the two major actin-binding sites. These molecules could guide the rational design of new anticancer fascin inhibitors.

  17. Actin: its cumbersome pilgrimage through cellular compartments.

    PubMed

    Schleicher, Michael; Jockusch, Brigitte M

    2008-06-01

    In this article, we follow the history of one of the most abundant, most intensely studied proteins of the eukaryotic cells: actin. We report on hallmarks of its discovery, its structural and functional characterization and localization over time, and point to present days' knowledge on its position as a member of a large family. We focus on the rather puzzling number of diverse functions as proposed for actin as a dual compartment protein. Finally, we venture on some speculations as to its origin.

  18. Sarcomeric Pattern Formation by Actin Cluster Coalescence

    PubMed Central

    Friedrich, Benjamin M.; Fischer-Friedrich, Elisabeth; Gov, Nir S.; Safran, Samuel A.

    2012-01-01

    Contractile function of striated muscle cells depends crucially on the almost crystalline order of actin and myosin filaments in myofibrils, but the physical mechanisms that lead to myofibril assembly remains ill-defined. Passive diffusive sorting of actin filaments into sarcomeric order is kinetically impossible, suggesting a pivotal role of active processes in sarcomeric pattern formation. Using a one-dimensional computational model of an initially unstriated actin bundle, we show that actin filament treadmilling in the presence of processive plus-end crosslinking provides a simple and robust mechanism for the polarity sorting of actin filaments as well as for the correct localization of myosin filaments. We propose that the coalescence of crosslinked actin clusters could be key for sarcomeric pattern formation. In our simulations, sarcomere spacing is set by filament length prompting tight length control already at early stages of pattern formation. The proposed mechanism could be generic and apply both to premyofibrils and nascent myofibrils in developing muscle cells as well as possibly to striated stress-fibers in non-muscle cells. PMID:22685394

  19. Visualization of Cortical Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grinvald, Amiram

    2003-03-01

    Recent progress in studies of cortical dynamics will be reviewed including the combination of real time optical imaging based on voltage sensitive dyes, single and multi- unit recordings, LFP, intracellular recordings and microstimulation. To image the flow of neuronal activity from one cortical site to the next, in real time, we have used optical imaging based on newly designed voltage sensitive dyes and a Fuji 128x 128 fast camera which we modified. A factor of 20-40 fold improvement in the signal to noise ratio was obtained with the new dye during in vivo imaging experiments. This improvements has facilitates the exploration of cortical dynamics without signal averaging in the millisecond time domain. We confirmed that the voltage sensitive dye signal indeed reflects membrane potential changes in populations of neurons by showing that the time course of the intracellular activity recorded intracellularly from a single neuron was highly correlated in many cases with the optical signal from a small patch of cortex recorded nearby. We showed that the firing of single cortical neurons is not a random process but occurs when the on-going pattern of million of neurons is similar to the functional architecture map which correspond to the tuning properties of that neuron. Chronic optical imaging, combined with electrical recordings and microstimulation, over a long period of times of more than a year, was successfully applied also to the study of higher brain functions in the behaving macaque monkey.

  20. Cortical thinning in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

    Ly, Martina; Motzkin, Julian C.; Philippi, Carissa L.; Kirk, Gregory R.; Newman, Joseph P.; Kiehl, Kent A.; Koenigs, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Objective Psychopathy is a personality disorder associated with severely antisocial behavior and a host of cognitive and affective deficits. The neuropathological basis of the disorder has not been clearly established. Cortical thickness is a sensitive measure of brain structure that has been used to identify neurobiological abnormalities in a number of psychiatric disorders. The purpose of this study is to evaluate cortical thickness and corresponding functional connectivity in criminal psychopaths. Method Using T1 MRI data, we computed cortical thickness maps in a sample of adult male prison inmates selected based on psychopathy diagnosis (n=21 psychopathic inmates, n=31 non-psychopathic inmates). Using rest-fMRI data from a subset of these inmates (n=20 psychopathic inmates, n=20 non-psychopathic inmates), we then computed functional connectivity within networks exhibiting significant thinning among psychopaths. Results Relative to non-psychopaths, psychopaths exhibited significantly thinner cortex in a number of regions, including left insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral precentral gyrus, bilateral anterior temporal cortex, and right inferior frontal gyrus. These neurostructural differences were not due to differences in age, IQ, or substance abuse. Psychopaths also exhibited a corresponding reduction in functional connectivity between left insula and left dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Conclusions Psychopathy is associated with a distinct pattern of cortical thinning and reduced functional connectivity. PMID:22581200

  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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Ecophysiological Changes in Microbial Mats Incubated in a Greenhouse Collaboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Brad; DesMarais, David J.; GarciaPichel, Ferran; Hogan, Mary; Jahnke, Linda; Keller, Richard M.; Miller, Scott R.

    2001-01-01

    Microbial mats are modern examples of the earliest microbial communities known. Among the best studied are microbial mats growing in hypersaline ponds managed for the production of salt by Exportadora de Sal, S.A. de C.V., Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico. In May, 2001, we collected mats from Ponds 4 and 5 in this system and returned them to Ames Research Center, where they have been maintained for a period of over nine months. We report here on both the ecophysiological changes occurring in the mats over that period of time as well as the facility in which they were incubated. Mats (approximately 1 sq. meter total area) were incubated in a greenhouse facility modified to provide the mats with natural levels of visible and ultraviolet radiation as well as constantly flowing, temperature-controlled water. Two replicated treatments were maintained, a 'high salinity' treatment (about 120 ppt) and a 'low salinity' treatment (about 90 ppt). Rates of net biological activity (e.g., photosynthesis, respiration, trace gas production) in the mats were relatively constant over the several months, and were similar to rates of activity measured in the field. However, over the course of the incubation, mats in both treatments changed in physical appearance. The most obvious change was that mats in the higher salinity treatments developed a higher proportion of carotenoid pigments (relative to chlorophyll), resulting in a noticeably orange color in the high salinity mats. This trend is also seen in the natural salinity gradient present at the field site. Changes in the community composition of the mats, as assayed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), as well as biomarker compounds produced in the mats were also monitored. The degree to which the mats kept in the greenhouse changed from the originally collected mats, as well as differences between high and low salinity mats will be discussed. Additional information is contained in the original extended

  5. 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

  6. Astronaut Thomas Mattingly performs EVA during Apollo 16 transearth coast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, performs extravehicular activity (EVA) during the Apollo 16 transearth coast. mattingly is assisted by Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot. Mattingly inspected the SIM bay of the Service Module, and retrieved film from the Mapping and Panoramic cameras. Mattingly is wearing the helmet of Astronaut John W. Young, commander. The helmet's lunar extravehicular visor assembly helped protect Mattingly's eyes frmo the bright sun. This view is a frame from motion picture film exposed by a 16mm Maurer camera.

  7. Interactions of actin, myosin, and an actin-binding protein of chronic myelogenous leukemia leukocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Boxer, L A; Stossel, T P

    1976-01-01

    Actin, myosin, and a high molecular weight actin-binding protein were purified from chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) leukocytes. CML leukocyte actin resembled skeletal muscle and other cytoplasmic actins by its subunit molecular weight, by its ability to polymerize in the presence of salts, and to activate the Mg2+-ATPase activity of rabbit skeletal muscle myosin. CML leukocyte myosin was similar to other vertebrate cytoplasmic myosins in having heavy chains and two light subunits. However, its apparent heavy-chain molecular weight and Stokes radius suggested that it was variably degraded during purification. Purified CML leukocyte myosin had average specific EDTA- AND Ca2+-activated ATPase activities of 125 and 151 nmol Pi released/mg protein per min, respectively and low specific Mg2+-ATPase activity. The Mg2+-ATPase activity of CML myosin was increased 200-fold by rabbit skeletal muscle F-actin, but the specific activity relative to that of actin-activated rabbit skeletal muscle myosin was low. CML leukocyte myosin, like other vertebrate cytoplasmic myosins, formed filaments in 0.1 M KCl solutions. Reduced and denatured CML leukocyte-actin-binding protein had a single high molecular weight subunit like a recently described actin-binding protein of rabbit pulmonary macrophages which promotes the polymerization and gelation of actin. Cytoplasmic extracts of CML leukocytes prepared with ice-cold 0.34-M sucrose solutions containing Mg2+-ATP, dithiothreitol, and EDTA at pH 7.0 underwent rapid gelation when warmed to 25 degrees C. Initially, the gel could be liquified by cooling to ice-bath temperature. With time, warmed cytoplasmic extract gels shrunk ("contracted") into aggregates. The following findings indicated that CML leukocyte actin-binding protein promoted the temperature-dependent gelation of actin in the cytoplasmic extracts and that CML leukocyte myosin was involved in the contraction of the actin gels: (a) Cytoplasmic extract gels initially contained

  8. The kinesin-like proteins, KAC1/2, regulate actin dynamics underlying chloroplast light-avoidance in Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Shen, Zhiyuan; Liu, Yen-Chen; Bibeau, Jeffrey P; Lemoi, Kyle P; Tüzel, Erkan; Vidali, Luis

    2015-01-01

    In plants, light determines chloroplast position; these organelles show avoidance and accumulation responses in high and low fluence-rate light, respectively. Chloroplast motility in response to light is driven by cytoskeletal elements. The actin cytoskeleton mediates chloroplast photorelocation responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. In contrast, in the moss Physcomitrella patens, both, actin filaments and microtubules can transport chloroplasts. Because of the surprising evidence that two kinesin-like proteins (called KACs) are important for actin-dependent chloroplast photorelocation in vascular plants, we wanted to determine the cytoskeletal system responsible for the function of these proteins in moss. We performed gene-specific silencing using RNA interference in P. patens. We confirmed existing reports using gene knockouts, that PpKAC1 and PpKAC2 are required for chloroplast dispersion under uniform white light conditions, and that the two proteins are functionally equivalent. To address the specific cytoskeletal elements responsible for motility, this loss-of-function approach was combined with cytoskeleton-targeted drug studies. We found that, in P. patens, these KACs mediate the chloroplast light-avoidance response in an actin filament-dependent, rather than a microtubule-dependent manner. Using correlation-decay analysis of cytoskeletal dynamics, we found that PpKAC stabilizes cortical actin filaments, but has no effect on microtubule dynamics.

  9. HAP1 helps to regulate actin-based transport of insulin-containing granules in pancreatic β cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiyong; Peng, Ting; Wu, Hongnian; He, Jun; Li, He

    2015-07-01

    Huntingtin-associated protein 1 (HAP1) is enriched in neurons and binds to polyglutamine-expanded huntingtin. It consists of two alternatively spliced isoforms, HAP1A and HAP1B, which differ only in their short C-terminal sequences. Both HAP1A and HAP1B have been also detected in pancreatic β cells, where the loss of HAP1 impairs glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Here, we use time-lapse laser scanning confocal microscopy to provide direct evidence that HAP1A, but not HAP1B, co-localizes and co-migrates with insulin-containing vesicles and actin-based myosin Va motor protein in the INS-1 pancreatic β cell line. Knocking down HAP1 expression using small interfering RNA significantly inhibited actin-based transport of insulin vesicles following glucose stimulation. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated interaction between HAP1A, myosin Va, and phogrin, a transmembrane protein in insulin-containing vesicles. Stimulating INS-1 cells with glucose increased the association of HAP1A with myosin Va, while silencing HAP1 expression reduced the association of myosin Va with phogrin after glucose stimulation, without affecting levels of myosin Va or actin. Our results provide real-time evidence in living cells that HAP1 may help regulate transport of insulin-containing secretory granules along cortical actin filaments. This also raises the possibility that HAP1 may play an important role in actin-based secretory vesicle trafficking in neurons. PMID:25744490

  10. ChemMatCARS Data Archive

    DOE Data Explorer

    ChemMatCARS is a high-brilliance national synchrotron x-ray facility dedicated primarily to static and dynamic condensed matter chemistry and materials science. The scientific focus of the facility includes the study of surface and interfacial properties of liquids and solids as well as their bulk structure at atomic, molecular and mesoscopic length scales with high spatial and energy resolution. Experimental techniques supported by the facility include: 1) Liquid Surface X-ray Scattering; 2) Solid Surface X-ray Scattering; 3) Time-Resolved Crystallography; 4) Micro-Crystal Diffraction; 5) Small and Wide-angle X-ray Scattering. The data archive referenced here contains data for various components along the beamline within the First Optics Enclosure and is intended to be input or parameter data. See the Science Nuggets at http://cars9.uchicago.edu/chemmat/pages/nuggets.html for leads to some of the research conducted at the ChemMatCARS beamline.

  11. Bioflumology: Microbial mat growth in flumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Airo, A.; Weigert, S.; Beck, C.

    2014-04-01

    The emergence of oxygenic photosynthesis resulted in a transformational change of Earth's geochemical cycles and the subsequent evolution of life. However, it remains vigorously debated when this metabolic ability had evolved in cyanobacteria. This is largely because studies of Archean microfossil morphology, molecular biomarkers, and isotopic characteristics are frequently ambiguous. However, the high degree of morphological similarities between modern photosynthetic and Archean fossil mats has been interpreted to indicate phototactic microbial behavior or oxygenic photosynthesis. In order to better evaluate the relationship between mat morphology and metabolism, we here present a laboratory set-up for conducting month-long experiments in several sterilizable circular flumes designed to allow single-species cyanobacterial growth under adjustable fluid-flow conditions and protected from contamination.

  12. Microbial mats: an ecological niche for fungi

    PubMed Central

    Cantrell, Sharon A.; Duval-Pérez, Lisabeth

    2013-01-01

    Fungi were documented in tropical hypersaline microbial mats and their role in the degradation of complex carbohydrates (exopolymeric substance – EPS) was explored. Fungal diversity is higher during the wet season with Acremonium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium among the more common genera. Diversity is also higher in the oxic layer and in young and transient mats. Enrichments with xanthan (a model EPS) show that without antibiotics (full community) degradation is faster than enrichments with antibacterial (fungal community) and antifungal (bacterial community) agents, suggesting that degradation is performed by a consortium of organisms (bacteria and fungi). The combined evidence from all experiments indicates that bacteria carried out approximately two-third of the xanthan degradation. The pattern of degradation is similar between seasons and layers but degradation is faster in enrichments from the wet season. The research suggests that fungi thrive in these hypersaline consortia and may participate in the carbon cycle through the degradation of complex carbohydrates. PMID:23577004

  13. The effects of mats on back and leg fatigue.

    PubMed

    Kim, J Y; Stuart-Buttle, C; Marras, W S

    1994-02-01

    Prolonged standing is common in many industrial workplaces. It is also quite common for workers to complain of discomfort in the back and legs as a result of prolonged standing. Mats are often provided for the worker to relieve this fatigue. However, there is no quantitative evidence that these mats relieve leg and back fatigue. Five subjects were asked to stand on a concrete surface and two mat surfaces for prolonged periods of time. Spectral electromyographic analyses indicated that mats reduced localized muscle fatigue in the erector spinae muscle only. Furthermore, this fatigue reduction occurred only with the more compressible of the two mats tested. These results imply that localized muscular fatigue in the leg may not be relieved with 'anti-fatigue' mats, and some of these mats only benefit the back. PMID:15676945

  14. Defining a core set of actin cytoskeletal proteins critical for actin-based motility of Rickettsia.

    PubMed

    Serio, Alisa W; Jeng, Robert L; Haglund, Cat M; Reed, Shawna C; Welch, Matthew D

    2010-05-20

    Many Rickettsia species are intracellular bacterial pathogens that use actin-based motility for spread during infection. However, while other bacteria assemble actin tails consisting of branched networks, Rickettsia assemble long parallel actin bundles, suggesting the use of a distinct mechanism for exploiting actin. To identify the underlying mechanisms and host factors involved in Rickettsia parkeri actin-based motility, we performed an RNAi screen targeting 115 actin cytoskeletal genes in Drosophila cells. The screen delineated a set of four core proteins-profilin, fimbrin/T-plastin, capping protein, and cofilin--as crucial for determining actin tail length, organizing filament architecture, and enabling motility. In mammalian cells, these proteins were localized throughout R. parkeri tails, consistent with a role in motility. Profilin and fimbrin/T-plastin were critical for the motility of R. parkeri but not Listeria monocytogenes. Our results highlight key distinctions between the evolutionary strategies and molecular mechanisms employed by bacterial pathogens to assemble and organize actin. PMID:20478540

  15. SelR reverses Mical-mediated oxidation of actin to regulate F-actin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Hung, Ruei-Jiun; Spaeth, Christopher S; Yesilyurt, Hunkar Gizem; Terman, Jonathan R

    2013-12-01

    Actin's polymerization properties are markedly altered by oxidation of its conserved Met 44 residue. Mediating this effect is a specific oxidation-reduction (redox) enzyme, Mical, that works with Semaphorin repulsive guidance cues and selectively oxidizes Met 44. We now find that this actin-regulatory process is reversible. Employing a genetic approach, we identified a specific methionine sulfoxide reductase (MsrB) enzyme SelR that opposes Mical redox activity and Semaphorin-Plexin repulsion to direct multiple actin-dependent cellular behaviours in vivo. SelR specifically catalyses the reduction of the R isomer of methionine sulfoxide (methionine-R-sulfoxide) to methionine, and we found that SelR directly reduced Mical-oxidized actin, restoring its normal polymerization properties. These results indicate that Mical oxidizes actin stereospecifically to generate actin Met-44-R-sulfoxide (actin(Met(R)O-44)), and also implicate the interconversion of specific Met/Met(R)O residues as a precise means to modulate protein function. Our results therefore uncover a specific reversible redox actin regulatory system that controls cell and developmental biology.

  16. Commander Mattingly prepares meal on middeck

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Commander Mattingly, wearing flight coveralls, opens beverage container using a pair of scissors in front of middeck lockers (covered with spacecrew supplies, meal tray assemblies, and additional food items). Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) and control panel ML86B appear on port side wall. CFES is designed to separate biological materials according to their surface electrical charges as they pass through an electrical field.

  17. The Archaea of a Hypersaline Microbial Mat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, C.; Spear, J. R.; Pace, N. R.

    2006-12-01

    The overarching goal of this work is to describe and understand the organismal composition within the domain Archaea for the microbial ecosystem of a hypersaline microbial mat. Sea salt is crystallized by solar evaporation at North America's largest saltworks, the Exportadora de Sal, in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur. Sea water flows through a series of evaporative basins with an increase in salinity until saturation is reached and halite crystallization begins. Several of these ponds are underlined with thick microbial mats. To date, it has not been known what kinds of organisms comprise these complex microbial ecosystems. Here, we report a survey of the stratified microbial communities for the distribution of representatives of Archaea in layers of the mats. This survey uses molecular approaches, based on cloning and sequencing of SSU rRNA genes for phylogenetic analyses, to determine the nature and extent of archaeal diversity that constitute these ecosystems. We compiled an altogether new phylogenetic backbone for the domain Archaea and placed representative sequences from this hypersaline analysis onto that framework. Analyses to date indicate the ubiquitous dominance of uncultured organisms of phylogenetic kinds not generally thought to be associated with hypersaline environments. Collectively, the results indicate that the diversity of life is extensive even in this seemingly inhospitable "extreme" environment.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Septins promote F-actin ring formation by crosslinking actin filaments into curved bundles.

    PubMed

    Mavrakis, Manos; Azou-Gros, Yannick; Tsai, Feng-Ching; Alvarado, José; Bertin, Aurélie; Iv, Francois; Kress, Alla; Brasselet, Sophie; Koenderink, Gijsje H; Lecuit, Thomas

    2014-04-01

    Animal cell cytokinesis requires a contractile ring of crosslinked actin filaments and myosin motors. How contractile rings form and are stabilized in dividing cells remains unclear. We address this problem by focusing on septins, highly conserved proteins in eukaryotes whose precise contribution to cytokinesis remains elusive. We use the cleavage of the Drosophila melanogaster embryo as a model system, where contractile actin rings drive constriction of invaginating membranes to produce an epithelium in a manner akin to cell division. In vivo functional studies show that septins are required for generating curved and tightly packed actin filament networks. In vitro reconstitution assays show that septins alone bundle actin filaments into rings, accounting for the defects in actin ring formation in septin mutants. The bundling and bending activities are conserved for human septins, and highlight unique functions of septins in the organization of contractile actomyosin rings.

  20. Arabidopsis ACTIN-DEPOLYMERIZING FACTOR7 Severs Actin Filaments and Regulates Actin Cable Turnover to Promote Normal Pollen Tube Growth[W

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yiyan; Xie, Yurong; Jiang, Yuxiang; Qu, Xiaolu; Huang, Shanjin

    2013-01-01

    Actin filaments are often arranged into higher-order structures, such as the longitudinal actin cables that generate the reverse fountain cytoplasmic streaming pattern present in pollen tubes. While several actin binding proteins have been implicated in the generation of these cables, the mechanisms that regulate their dynamic turnover remain largely unknown. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana ACTIN-DEPOLYMERIZING FACTOR7 (ADF7) is required for turnover of longitudinal actin cables. In vitro biochemical analyses revealed that ADF7 is a typical ADF that prefers ADP-G-actin over ATP-G-actin. ADF7 inhibits nucleotide exchange on actin and severs filaments, but its filament severing and depolymerizing activities are less potent than those of the vegetative ADF1. ADF7 primarily decorates longitudinal actin cables in the shanks of pollen tubes. Consistent with this localization pattern, the severing frequency and depolymerization rate of filaments significantly decreased, while their maximum lifetime significantly increased, in adf7 pollen tube shanks. Furthermore, an ADF7–enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion with defective severing activity but normal G-actin binding activity could not complement adf7, providing compelling evidence that the severing activity of ADF7 is vital for its in vivo functions. These observations suggest that ADF7 evolved to promote turnover of longitudinal actin cables by severing actin filaments in pollen tubes. PMID:24058157

  1. Purification and Characterization of Actin from Maize Pollen 1

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiong; Yen, Lung-Fei

    1992-01-01

    Pollen is an excellent source of actin for biochemical and physiological studies of the actomyosin system in higher plants. We have developed an efficient method to prepare relatively high levels of actin from the pollen of maize (Zea mays L.). The procedures of purification include acetone powder preparation, saturated ammonium sulfate fractionation, diethylaminoethyl-cellulose chromatography, a cycle of polymerization-depolymerization, and Sephacryl S-200 gel filtration. The average yield of actin is 19 milligrams per 100 grams of pollen grains extracted. This is comparable with those of Acanthamoeba castellanii and human platelets. The purified pollen actin is electrophoretically homogeneous and its molecular mass is 42 kilodaltons. The amino acid composition and circular dichroism spectrum of pollen actin are identical to those of muscle actin. The actin purified from pollen is able to polymerize to F-actin. The pollen F-actin activated the activity of the muscle myosin ATPase sevenfold. ImagesFigure 1Figure 2 PMID:16668982

  2. 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

  3. Sensing actin dynamics: Structural basis for G-actin-sensitive nuclear import of MAL

    SciTech Connect

    Hirano, Hidemi; Matsuura, Yoshiyuki

    2011-10-22

    Highlights: {yields} MAL has a bipartite NLS that binds to Imp{alpha} in an extended conformation. {yields} Mutational analyses verified the functional significance of MAL-Imp{alpha} interactions. {yields} Induced folding and NLS-masking by G-actins inhibit nuclear import of MAL. -- Abstract: The coordination of cytoskeletal actin dynamics with gene expression reprogramming is emerging as a crucial mechanism to control diverse cellular processes, including cell migration, differentiation and neuronal circuit assembly. The actin-binding transcriptional coactivator MAL (also known as MRTF-A/MKL1/BSAC) senses G-actin concentration and transduces Rho GTPase signals to serum response factor (SRF). MAL rapidly shuttles between the cytoplasm and the nucleus in unstimulated cells but Rho-induced depletion of G-actin leads to MAL nuclear accumulation and activation of transcription of SRF:MAL-target genes. Although the molecular and structural basis of actin-regulated nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of MAL is not understood fully, it is proposed that nuclear import of MAL is mediated by importin {alpha}/{beta} heterodimer, and that G-actin competes with importin {alpha}/{beta} for the binding to MAL. Here we present structural, biochemical and cell biological evidence that MAL has a classical bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLS) in the N-terminal 'RPEL' domain containing Arg-Pro-X-X-X-Glu-Leu (RPEL) motifs. The NLS residues of MAL adopt an extended conformation and bind along the surface groove of importin-{alpha}, interacting with the major- and minor-NLS binding sites. We also present a crystal structure of wild-type MAL RPEL domain in complex with five G-actins. Comparison of the importin-{alpha}- and actin-complexes revealed that the binding of G-actins to MAL is associated with folding of NLS residues into a helical conformation that is inappropriate for importin-{alpha} recognition.

  4. Incorporation of mammalian actin into microfilaments in plant cell nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Paves, Heiti; Truve, Erkki

    2004-01-01

    Background Actin is an ancient molecule that shows more than 90% amino acid homology between mammalian and plant actins. The regions of the actin molecule that are involved in F-actin assembly are largely conserved, and it is likely that mammalian actin is able to incorporate into microfilaments in plant cells but there is no experimental evidence until now. Results Visualization of microfilaments in onion bulb scale epidermis cells by different techniques revealed that rhodamine-phalloidin stained F-actin besides cytoplasm also in the nuclei whereas GFP-mouse talin hybrid protein did not enter the nuclei. Microinjection of fluorescently labeled actin was applied to study the presence of nuclear microfilaments in plant cells. Ratio imaging of injected fluorescent rabbit skeletal muscle actin and phalloidin staining of the microinjected cells showed that mammalian actin was able to incorporate into plant F-actin. The incorporation occurred preferentially in the nucleus and in the perinuclear region of plant cells whereas part of plant microfilaments, mostly in the periphery of cytoplasm, did not incorporate mammalian actin. Conclusions Microinjected mammalian actin is able to enter plant cell's nucleus, whereas incorporation of mammalian actin into plant F-actin occurs preferentially in the nucleus and perinuclear area. PMID:15102327

  5. The EGF receptor is an actin-binding protein

    PubMed Central

    1992-01-01

    In a number of recent studies it has been shown that in vivo part of the EGF receptor (EGFR) population is associated to the actin filament system. In this paper we demonstrate that the purified EGFR can be cosedimented with purified filamentous actin (F-actin) indicating a direct association between EGFR and actin. A truncated EGFR, previously shown not to be associated to the cytoskeleton, was used as a control and this receptor did not cosediment with actin filaments. Determination of the actin-binding domain of the EGFR was done by measuring competition of either a polyclonal antibody or synthetic peptides on EGFR cosedimentation with F-actin. A synthetic peptide was made homologous to amino acid residues 984-996 (HL-33) of the EGFR which shows high homology with the actin-binding domain of Acanthamoeba profilin. A polyclonal antibody raised against HL-33 was found to prevent cosedimentation of EGFR with F-actin. This peptide HL-33 was shown to bind directly to actin in contrast with a synthetic peptide homologous to residues 1001-1013 (HL-34). During cosedimentation, HL-33 competed for actin binding of the EGFR and HL-34 did not, indicating that the EGFR contains one actin-binding site. These results demonstrate that the EGFR is an actin-binding protein which binds to actin via a domain containing amino acids residues 984-996. PMID:1383230

  6. Crystal structure of a nuclear actin ternary complex.

    PubMed

    Cao, Tingting; Sun, Lingfei; Jiang, Yuxiang; Huang, Shanjin; Wang, Jiawei; Chen, Zhucheng

    2016-08-01

    Actin polymerizes and forms filamentous structures (F-actin) in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. It also exists in the nucleus and regulates various nucleic acid transactions, particularly through its incorporation into multiple chromatin-remodeling complexes. However, the specific structure of actin and the mechanisms that regulate its polymeric nature inside the nucleus remain unknown. Here, we report the crystal structure of nuclear actin (N-actin) complexed with actin-related protein 4 (Arp4) and the helicase-SANT-associated (HSA) domain of the chromatin remodeler Swr1. The inner face and barbed end of N-actin are sequestered by interactions with Arp4 and the HSA domain, respectively, which prevents N-actin from polymerization and binding to many actin regulators. The two major domains of N-actin are more twisted than those of globular actin (G-actin), and its nucleotide-binding pocket is occluded, freeing N-actin from binding to and regulation by ATP. These findings revealed the salient structural features of N-actin that distinguish it from its cytoplasmic counterpart and provide a rational basis for its functions and regulation inside the nucleus. PMID:27457955

  7. The actinome of Dictyostelium discoideum in comparison to actins and actin-related proteins from other organisms.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Jayabalan M; Fey, Petra; Ramalingam, Nagendran; Liu, Xiao I; Rohlfs, Meino; Noegel, Angelika A; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Glöckner, Gernot; Schleicher, Michael

    2008-07-09

    Actin belongs to the most abundant proteins in eukaryotic cells which harbor usually many conventional actin isoforms as well as actin-related proteins (Arps). To get an overview over the sometimes confusing multitude of actins and Arps, we analyzed the Dictyostelium discoideum actinome in detail and compared it with the genomes from other model organisms. The D. discoideum actinome comprises 41 actins and actin-related proteins. The genome contains 17 actin genes which most likely arose from consecutive gene duplications, are all active, in some cases developmentally regulated and coding for identical proteins (Act8-group). According to published data, the actin fraction in a D. discoideum cell consists of more than 95% of these Act8-type proteins. The other 16 actin isoforms contain a conventional actin motif profile as well but differ in their protein sequences. Seven actin genes are potential pseudogenes. A homology search of the human genome using the most typical D. discoideum actin (Act8) as query sequence finds the major actin isoforms such as cytoplasmic beta-actin as best hit. This suggests that the Act8-group represents a nearly perfect actin throughout evolution. Interestingly, limited data from D. fasciculatum, a more ancient member among the social amoebae, show different relationships between conventional actins. The Act8-type isoform is most conserved throughout evolution. Modeling of the putative structures suggests that the majority of the actin-related proteins is functionally unrelated to canonical actin. The data suggest that the other actin variants are not necessary for the cytoskeleton itself but rather regulators of its dynamical features or subunits in larger protein complexes.

  8. Purely Cortical Anaplastic Ependymoma

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Flávio Ramalho; Zanini, Marco Antônio; Ducati, Luis Gustavo; Vital, Roberto Bezerra; de Lima Neto, Newton Moreira; Gabarra, Roberto Colichio

    2012-01-01

    Ependymomas are glial tumors derived from ependymal cells lining the ventricles and the central canal of the spinal cord. It may occur outside the ventricular structures, representing the extraventicular form, or without any relationship of ventricular system, called ectopic ependymona. Less than fifteen cases of ectopic ependymomas were reported and less than five were anaplastic. We report a rare case of pure cortical ectopic anaplastic ependymoma. PMID:23119204

  9. Purely cortical anaplastic ependymoma.

    PubMed

    Romero, Flávio Ramalho; Zanini, Marco Antônio; Ducati, Luis Gustavo; Vital, Roberto Bezerra; de Lima Neto, Newton Moreira; Gabarra, Roberto Colichio

    2012-01-01

    Ependymomas are glial tumors derived from ependymal cells lining the ventricles and the central canal of the spinal cord. It may occur outside the ventricular structures, representing the extraventicular form, or without any relationship of ventricular system, called ectopic ependymona. Less than fifteen cases of ectopic ependymomas were reported and less than five were anaplastic. We report a rare case of pure cortical ectopic anaplastic ependymoma.

  10. Impact of Carbon Nanomaterials on Actin Polymerization.

    PubMed

    Dong, Ying; Sun, Haiyan; Li, Xu; Li, Xin; Zhao, Lina

    2016-03-01

    Many nanomaterials have entered people's daily lives and impact the normal process of biological entities consequently. As one kind of the important nanomaterials, carbon based nanomaterials have invoked a lot of concerns from scientific researches because of their unique physicochemical properties. In eukaryotes, actin is the most abundantly distributed protein in both cytoplasm and cell nucleus, and closely controls the cell proliferation and mobility. Recently, many investigations have found some carbon based nanomaterials can affect actin cytoskeleton remarkably, including fullerenes derivatives, carbon nanotubes, graphene and its derivatives. However, these interaction processes are complicated and the underlying mechanism is far from being understood clearly. In this review, we discussed the different mechanisms of carbon nanomaterials impact on actin polymerization into three pathways, as triggering the signaling pathways from carbon nanomaterials outside of cells, increasing the production of reactive oxygen species from carbon nanomaterials inside of cells and direct interaction from carbon nanomaterials inside of cells. As a result, the dimension and size of carbon nanomaterials play a key role in regulation of actin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, we forecasted the possible investigation strategy for meeting the challenges of the future study on this topic. We hope the findings are helpful in understanding the molecular mechanism in carbon nanomaterials regulating actin polymerization, and provide new insight in novel nanomedicine development for inhibition tumor cell migration. PMID:27455649

  11. Posterior Cortical Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Crutch, Sebastian J; Lehmann, Manja; Schott, Jonathan M; Rabinovici, Gil D; Rossor, Martin N; Fox, Nick C

    2013-01-01

    Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome that is characterized by a progressive decline in visuospatial, visuoperceptual, literacy and praxic skills. The progressive neurodegeneration affecting parietal, occipital and occipito-temporal cortices which underlies PCA is attributable to Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the majority of patients. However, alternative underlying aetiologies including Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and prion disease have also been identified, and not all PCA patients have atrophy on clinical imaging. This heterogeneity has led to diagnostic and terminological inconsistencies, caused difficulty comparing studies from different centres, and limited the generalizability of clinical trials and investigations of factors driving phenotypic variability. Significant challenges remain in identifying the factors associated with both the selective vulnerability of posterior cortical regions and the young age of onset seen in PCA. Greater awareness of the syndrome and agreement over the correspondence between syndrome-and disease-level classifications are required in order to improve diagnostic accuracy, research study design and clinical management. PMID:22265212

  12. Cortical PAR polarity proteins promote robust cytokinesis during asymmetric cell division

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, Shawn N.; Davies, Tim; Zhuravlev, Yelena; Dumont, Julien; Shirasu-Hiza, Mimi

    2016-01-01

    Cytokinesis, the physical division of one cell into two, is thought to be fundamentally similar in most animal cell divisions and driven by the constriction of a contractile ring positioned and controlled solely by the mitotic spindle. During asymmetric cell divisions, the core polarity machinery (partitioning defective [PAR] proteins) controls the unequal inheritance of key cell fate determinants. Here, we show that in asymmetrically dividing Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, the cortical PAR proteins (including the small guanosine triphosphatase CDC-42) have an active role in regulating recruitment of a critical component of the contractile ring, filamentous actin (F-actin). We found that the cortical PAR proteins are required for the retention of anillin and septin in the anterior pole, which are cytokinesis proteins that our genetic data suggest act as inhibitors of F-actin at the contractile ring. Collectively, our results suggest that the cortical PAR proteins coordinate the establishment of cell polarity with the physical process of cytokinesis during asymmetric cell division to ensure the fidelity of daughter cell formation. PMID:26728855

  13. Structural Transitions of F-Actin:Espin Bundles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purdy, Kirstin; Bartles, James; Wong, Gerard

    2006-03-01

    Espin is an actin bundling protein involved in the formation of the parallel bundles of filamentous actin in hair cell stereocilia. Mutations in espin are implicated in deafness phenotypes in mice and humans. We present measurements of the F-actin structures induced by wild type and by mutated espin obtained via small angle x-ray scattering and fluorescence microscopy. We found that wild type espin induced a paracrystalline hexagonal array of twisted F-actin, whereas the mutated espin only condensed the F-actin into a nematic-like phase. The possibility of coexisting nematic and bundled actin in mixtures containing both mutant and wild type espins was also investigated.

  14. Tetraspanin CD82 Inhibits Protrusion and Retraction in Cell Movement by Attenuating the Plasma Membrane-Dependent Actin Organization

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wei M.; Zhang, Feng; Moshiach, Simon; Zhou, Bin; Huang, Chao; Srinivasan, Kamalakkannan; Khurana, Seema; Zheng, Yi; Lahti, Jill M.; Zhang, Xin A.

    2012-01-01

    To determine how tetraspanin KAI1/CD82, a tumor metastasis suppressor, inhibits cell migration, we assessed which cellular events critical for motility are altered by KAI1/CD82 and how KAI1/CD82 regulates these events. We found that KAI1/CD82-expressing cells typically exhibited elongated cellular tails and diminished lamellipodia. Live imaging demonstrated that the polarized protrusion and retraction of the plasma membrane became deficient upon KAI1/CD82 expression. The deficiency in developing these motility-related cellular events was caused by poor formations of actin cortical network and stress fiber and by aberrant dynamics in actin organization. Rac1 activity was reduced by KAI1/CD82, consistent with the diminution of lamellipodia and actin cortical network; while the growth factor-stimulated RhoA activity was blocked by KAI1/CD82, consistent with the loss of stress fiber and attenuation in cellular retraction. Upon KAI1/CD82 expression, Rac effector cofilin was not enriched at the cell periphery to facilitate lamellipodia formation while Rho kinase exhibited a significantly lower activity leading to less retraction. Phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-biphosphate, which initiates actin polymerization from the plasma membrane, became less detectable at the cell periphery in KAI1/CD82-expressing cells. Moreover, KAI1/CD82-induced phenotypes likely resulted from the suppression of multiple signaling pathways such as integrin and growth factor signaling. In summary, at the cellular level KAI1/CD82 inhibited polarized protrusion and retraction events by disrupting actin reorganization; at the molecular level, KAI1/CD82 deregulated Rac1, RhoA, and their effectors cofilin and Rho kinase by perturbing the plasma membrane lipids. PMID:23251627

  15. Nuclear actin and lamins in viral infections.

    PubMed

    Cibulka, Jakub; Fraiberk, Martin; Forstova, Jitka

    2012-03-01

    Lamins are the best characterized cytoskeletal components of the cell nucleus that help to maintain the nuclear shape and participate in diverse nuclear processes including replication or transcription. Nuclear actin is now widely accepted to be another cytoskeletal protein present in the nucleus that fulfills important functions in the gene expression. Some viruses replicating in the nucleus evolved the ability to interact with and probably utilize nuclear actin for their replication, e.g., for the assembly and transport of capsids or mRNA export. On the other hand, lamins play a role in the propagation of other viruses since nuclear lamina may represent a barrier for virions entering or escaping the nucleus. This review will summarize the current knowledge about the roles of nuclear actin and lamins in viral infections.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Signaling of the p21-activated kinase (PAK1) coordinates insulin-stimulated actin remodeling and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Tunduguru, Ragadeepthi; Chiu, Tim T; Ramalingam, Latha; Elmendorf, Jeffrey S; Klip, Amira; Thurmond, Debbie C

    2014-11-15

    Skeletal muscle accounts for ∼ 80% of postprandial glucose clearance, and skeletal muscle glucose clearance is crucial for maintaining insulin sensitivity and euglycemia. Insulin-stimulated glucose clearance/uptake entails recruitment of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) to the plasma membrane (PM) in a process that requires cortical F-actin remodeling; this process is dysregulated in Type 2 Diabetes. Recent studies have implicated PAK1 as a required element in GLUT4 recruitment in mouse skeletal muscle in vivo, although its underlying mechanism of action and requirement in glucose uptake remains undetermined. Toward this, we have employed the PAK1 inhibitor, IPA3, in studies using L6-GLUT4-myc muscle cells. IPA3 fully ablated insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation to the PM, corroborating the observation of ablated insulin-stimulated GLUT4 accumulation in the PM of skeletal muscle from PAK1(-/-) knockout mice. IPA3-treatment also abolished insulin-stimulated glucose uptake into skeletal myotubes. Mechanistically, live-cell imaging of myoblasts expressing the F-actin biosensor LifeAct-GFP treated with IPA3 showed blunting of the normal insulin-induced cortical actin remodeling. This blunting was underpinned by a loss of normal insulin-stimulated cofilin dephosphorylation in IPA3-treated myoblasts. These findings expand upon the existing model of actin remodeling in glucose uptake, by placing insulin-stimulated PAK1 signaling as a required upstream step to facilitate actin remodeling and subsequent cofilin dephosphorylation. Active, dephosphorylated cofilin then provides the G-actin substrate for continued F-actin remodeling to facilitate GLUT4 vesicle translocation for glucose uptake into the skeletal muscle cell.

  19. Dissecting the contribution of actin and vimentin intermediate filaments to mechanical phenotype of suspended cells using high-throughput deformability measurements and computational modeling.

    PubMed

    Gladilin, Evgeny; Gonzalez, Paula; Eils, Roland

    2014-08-22

    Mechanical cell properties play an important role in many basic biological functions, including motility, adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. There is a growing body of evidence that the mechanical cell phenotype can be used for detection and, possibly, treatment of various diseases, including cancer. Understanding of pathological mechanisms requires investigation of the relationship between constitutive properties and major structural components of cells, i.e., the nucleus and cytoskeleton. While the contribution of actin und microtubules to cellular rheology has been extensively studied in the past, the role of intermediate filaments has been scarcely investigated up to now. Here, for the first time we compare the effects of drug-induced disruption of actin and vimentin intermediate filaments on mechanical properties of suspended NK cells using high-throughput deformability measurements and computational modeling. Although, molecular mechanisms of actin and vimentin disruption by the applied cytoskeletal drugs, Cytochalasin-D and Withaferin-A, are different, cell softening in both cases can be attributed to reduction of the effective density and stiffness of filament networks. Our experimental data suggest that actin and vimentin deficient cells exhibit, in average, 41% and 20% higher deformability in comparison to untreated control. 3D Finite Element simulation is performed to quantify the contribution of cortical actin and perinuclear vimentin to mechanical phenotype of the whole cell. Our simulation provides quantitative estimates for decreased filament stiffness in drug-treated cells and predicts more than two-fold increase of the strain magnitude in the perinuclear vimentin layer of actin deficient cells relatively to untreated control. Thus, the mechanical function of vimentin becomes particularly essential in motile and proliferating cells that have to dynamically remodel the cortical actin network. These insights add functional cues to frequently

  20. Human Muscle LIM Protein Dimerizes along the Actin Cytoskeleton and Cross-Links Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Céline; Moreau, Flora; Moes, Michèle; Luthold, Carole; Dieterle, Monika; Goretti, Emeline; Neumann, Katrin; Steinmetz, André

    2014-01-01

    The muscle LIM protein (MLP) is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein playing important roles in the regulation of myocyte remodeling and adaptation to hypertrophic stimuli. Missense mutations in human MLP or its ablation in transgenic mice promotes cardiomyopathy and heart failure. The exact function(s) of MLP in the cytoplasmic compartment and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we provide evidence that MLP autonomously binds to, stabilizes, and bundles actin filaments (AFs) independently of calcium and pH. Using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, we have shown how MLP cross-links actin filaments into both unipolar and mixed-polarity bundles. Quantitative analysis of the actin cytoskeleton configuration confirmed that MLP substantially promotes actin bundling in live myoblasts. In addition, bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assays revealed MLP self-association. Remarkably, BiFC complexes mostly localize along actin filament-rich structures, such as stress fibers and sarcomeres, supporting a functional link between MLP self-association and actin cross-linking. Finally, we have demonstrated that MLP self-associates through its N-terminal LIM domain, whereas it binds to AFs through its C-terminal LIM domain. Together our data support that MLP contributes to the maintenance of cardiomyocyte cytoarchitecture by a mechanism involving its self-association and actin filament cross-linking. PMID:24934443

  1. Fatal congenital myopathy with actin filament deposits.

    PubMed

    Bornemann, A; Petersen, M B; Schmalbruch, H

    1996-07-01

    We present the clinical and morphological findings in a case of progressive congenital myopathy. The symptoms present at birth included severe general muscular hypotonia, diffuse muscular atrophy, arthrogryposis, absence of spontaneous movements, and left ventricular hypertrophy. A biopsy specimen taken from the gastrocnemius muscle when the patient was 2 weeks old revealed deposits which consisted of actin filaments as shown by electron microscopy. The infant was occasionally respirator dependent but was mostly able to breathe unassisted. At the age of 5 months he died of respiratory failure. The actin filament deposits may explain the clinical findings.

  2. Actin Age Orchestrates Myosin-5 and Myosin-6 Runlengths

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Summary 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 where 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 the 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 towards the barbed ends of F-actin, traveling to sites of actin polymerization at the cell periphery [4]. Myosin-6 walks towards the pointed end of F-actin [5], traveling towards 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, while 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

  3. Functional adaptation between yeast actin and its cognate myosin motors.

    PubMed

    Stark, Benjamin C; Wen, Kuo-Kuang; Allingham, John S; Rubenstein, Peter A; Lord, Matthew

    2011-09-01

    We employed budding yeast and skeletal muscle actin to examine the contribution of the actin isoform to myosin motor function. While yeast and muscle actin are highly homologous, they exhibit different charge density at their N termini (a proposed myosin-binding interface). Muscle myosin-II actin-activated ATPase activity is significantly higher with muscle versus yeast actin. Whether this reflects inefficiency in the ability of yeast actin to activate myosin is not known. Here we optimized the isolation of two yeast myosins to assess actin function in a homogenous system. Yeast myosin-II (Myo1p) and myosin-V (Myo2p) accommodate the reduced N-terminal charge density of yeast actin, showing greater activity with yeast over muscle actin. Increasing the number of negative charges at the N terminus of yeast actin from two to four (as in muscle) had little effect on yeast myosin activity, while other substitutions of charged residues at the myosin interface of yeast actin reduced activity. Thus, yeast actin functions most effectively with its native myosins, which in part relies on associations mediated by its outer domain. Compared with yeast myosin-II and myosin-V, muscle myosin-II activity was very sensitive to salt. Collectively, our findings suggest differing degrees of reliance on electrostatic interactions during weak actomyosin binding in yeast versus muscle. Our study also highlights the importance of native actin isoforms when considering the function of myosins. PMID:21757693

  4. Actin nucleators in the nucleus: an emerging theme.

    PubMed

    Weston, Louise; Coutts, Amanda S; La Thangue, Nicholas B

    2012-08-01

    Actin is an integral component of the cytoskeleton, forming a plethora of macromolecular structures that mediate various cellular functions. The formation of such structures relies on the ability of actin monomers to associate into polymers, and this process is regulated by actin nucleation factors. These factors use monomeric actin pools at specific cellular locations, thereby permitting rapid actin filament formation when required. It has now been established that actin is also present in the nucleus, where it is implicated in chromatin remodelling and the regulation of eukaryotic gene transcription. Notably, the presence of typical actin filaments in the nucleus has not been demonstrated directly. However, studies in recent years have provided evidence for the nuclear localisation of actin nucleation factors that promote cytoplasmic actin polymerisation. Their localisation to the nucleus suggests that these proteins mediate collaboration between the cytoskeleton and the nucleus, which might be dependent on their ability to promote actin polymerisation. The nature of this cooperation remains enigmatic and it will be important to elucidate the physiological relevance of the link between cytoskeletal actin networks and nuclear events. This Commentary explores the current evidence for the nuclear roles of actin nucleation factors. Furthermore, the implication of actin-associated proteins in relaying exogenous signals to the nucleus, particularly in response to cellular stress, will be considered.

  5. Dynamic Regulation of Sarcomeric Actin Filaments in Striated Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Ono, Shoichiro

    2010-01-01

    In striated muscle, the actin cytoskeleton is differentiated into myofibrils. Actin and myosin filaments are organized in sarcomeres and specialized for producing contractile forces. Regular arrangement of actin filaments with uniform length and polarity is critical for the contractile function. However, the mechanisms of assembly and maintenance of sarcomeric actin filaments in striated muscle are not completely understood. Live imaging of actin in striated muscle has revealed that actin subunits within sarcomeric actin filaments are dynamically exchanged without altering overall sarcomeric structures. A number of regulators for actin dynamics have been identified, and malfunction of these regulators often result in disorganization of myofibril structures or muscle diseases. Therefore, proper regulation of actin dynamics in striated muscle is critical for assembly and maintenance of functional myofibrils. Recent studies have suggested that both enhancers of actin dynamics and stabilizers of actin filaments are important for sarcomeric actin organization. Further investigation of the regulatory mechanism of actin dynamics in striated muscle should be a key to understanding how myofibrils develop and operate. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:20737540

  6. Reduced myelin basic protein and actin-related gene expression in visual cortex in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Paul R; Eastwood, Sharon L; Harrison, Paul J

    2012-01-01

    Most brain gene expression studies of schizophrenia have been conducted in the frontal cortex or hippocampus. The extent to which alterations occur in other cortical regions is not well established. We investigated primary visual cortex (Brodmann area 17) from the Stanley Neuropathology Consortium collection of tissue from 60 subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, or controls. We first carried out a preliminary array screen of pooled RNA, and then used RT-PCR to quantify five mRNAs which the array identified as differentially expressed in schizophrenia (myelin basic protein [MBP], myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein [MOG], β-actin [ACTB], thymosin β-10 [TB10], and superior cervical ganglion-10 [SCG10]). Reduced mRNA levels were confirmed by RT-PCR for MBP, ACTB and TB10. The MBP reduction was limited to transcripts containing exon 2. ACTB and TB10 mRNAs were also decreased in bipolar disorder. None of the transcripts were altered in subjects with major depression. Reduced MBP mRNA in schizophrenia replicates findings in other brain regions and is consistent with oligodendrocyte involvement in the disorder. The decreases in expression of ACTB, and the actin-binding protein gene TB10, suggest changes in cytoskeletal organisation. The findings confirm that the primary visual cortex shows molecular alterations in schizophrenia and extend the evidence for a widespread, rather than focal, cortical pathophysiology.

  7. Actin3 promoter reveals undulating F-actin bundles at shanks and dynamic F-actin meshworks at tips of tip-growing pollen tubes.

    PubMed

    Jásik, Ján; Mičieta, Karol; Siao, Wei; Voigt, Boris; Stuchlík, Stanislav; Schmelzer, Elmon; Turňa, Ján; Baluška, František

    2016-01-01

    The dynamic actin cytoskeleton of pollen tubes is both the driver of the tip growth and the organizer of cell polarity. In order to understand this fast re-arranging cytoskeletal system, we need reliable constructs expressed under relevant promoters. Here we are reporting that the Lifeact reporter, expressed under the pollen-specific Actin3 promoter, visualizes very dynamic F-actin elements both in germinating pollen grains and tip-growing pollen tubes. Importantly, we have documented very active actin polymerization at the cell periphery, especially in the bulging area during pollen germination and in the apical clear zone. Expression of the Lifeact reporter under control of the pollen-specific Actin3 promoter revealed 2 new aspects: (i) long F-actin bundles in pollen tube shanks are dynamic, showing undulating movements, (ii) subapical 'actin collars' or 'fringes' are absent.

  8. Actin3 promoter reveals undulating F-actin bundles at shanks and dynamic F-actin meshworks at tips of tip-growing pollen tubes

    PubMed Central

    Jásik, Ján; Mičieta, Karol; Siao, Wei; Voigt, Boris; Stuchlík, Stanislav; Schmelzer, Elmon; Turňa, Ján; Baluška, František

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The dynamic actin cytoskeleton of pollen tubes is both the driver of the tip growth and the organizer of cell polarity. In order to understand this fast re-arranging cytoskeletal system, we need reliable constructs expressed under relevant promoters. Here we are reporting that the Lifeact reporter, expressed under the pollen-specific Actin3 promoter, visualizes very dynamic F-actin elements both in germinating pollen grains and tip-growing pollen tubes. Importantly, we have documented very active actin polymerization at the cell periphery, especially in the bulging area during pollen germination and in the apical clear zone. Expression of the Lifeact reporter under control of the pollen-specific Actin3 promoter revealed 2 new aspects: (i) long F-actin bundles in pollen tube shanks are dynamic, showing undulating movements, (ii) subapical ‘actin collars’ or ‘fringes’ are absent. PMID:26980067

  9. Cortical Clefts and Cortical Bumps: A Continuous Spectrum

    PubMed Central

    Furruqh, Farha; Thirunavukarasu, Suresh; Vivekandan, Ravichandran

    2016-01-01

    Cortical ‘clefts’ (schizencephaly) and cortical ‘bumps’ (polymicrogyria) are malformations arising due to defects in postmigrational development of neurons. They are frequently encountered together, with schizencephalic clefts being lined by polymicrogyria. We present the case of an eight-year-old boy who presented with seizures. Imaging revealed closed lip schizencephaly, polymicrogyria and a deep ‘incomplete’ cleft lined by polymicrogyria not communicating with the lateral ventricle. We speculate that hypoperfusion or ischaemic cortical injury during neuronal development may lead to a spectrum of malformations ranging from polymicrogyria to incomplete cortical clefts to schizencephaly. PMID:27630923

  10. Cortical Clefts and Cortical Bumps: A Continuous Spectrum.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Asthik; Furruqh, Farha; Thirunavukarasu, Suresh; Vivekandan, Ravichandran

    2016-07-01

    Cortical 'clefts' (schizencephaly) and cortical 'bumps' (polymicrogyria) are malformations arising due to defects in postmigrational development of neurons. They are frequently encountered together, with schizencephalic clefts being lined by polymicrogyria. We present the case of an eight-year-old boy who presented with seizures. Imaging revealed closed lip schizencephaly, polymicrogyria and a deep 'incomplete' cleft lined by polymicrogyria not communicating with the lateral ventricle. We speculate that hypoperfusion or ischaemic cortical injury during neuronal development may lead to a spectrum of malformations ranging from polymicrogyria to incomplete cortical clefts to schizencephaly. PMID:27630923

  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

    Many processes, cell motility being an example, require cells to remodel the actin cytoskeleton in response to both intracellular and extracellular signals. Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton involves the rapid disassembly and reassembly of actin filaments, a phenomenon regulated by the action of particular actin-binding proteins. In recent years, an interest in studying actin regulation in unicellular organisms has arisen. Parasitic protozoan are among these organisms and studies of the cytoskeleton functions of these protozoan are relevant related to either cell biology or pathogenicity. To discuss recent data in this field, a symposium concerning "Actin and actin-binding proteins in protists" was held on May 8-11 in Paris, France, during the XXXV meeting of the French Society of Protistology. As a brief summary of the symposium we report here findings concerning the in vitro actin dynamic assembly, as well as the characterization of several actin-binding proteins from the parasitic protozoan Entamoeba histolytica, Trichomonas vaginalis and Plasmodium knowlesi. In addition, localization of actin in non-pathogen protists such as Prorocentrum micans and Crypthecodinium cohnii is also presented. The data show that some actin-binding proteins facilitate organization of filaments into higher order structures as pseudopods, while others have regulatory functions, indicating very particular roles for actin-binding proteins. One of the proteins discussed during the symposium, the actin depolymerizing factor ADF, was shown to enhance the treadmilling rate of actin filaments. In vitro, ADF binds to the ADP-bound forms of G-actin and F-actin, thereby participating in and changing the rate of actin assembly. Biochemical approaches allowed the identification of a protein complex formed by HSP/C70-cap32-34 which might also be involved in depolymerization of F-actin in P. knowlesi. Molecular and cellular approaches were used to identify proteins such as ABP-120 and myosin

  12. AMP-activated protein kinase induces actin cytoskeleton reorganization in epithelial cells

    SciTech Connect

    Miranda, Lisa; Carpentier, Sarah; Platek, Anna; Hussain, Nusrat; Gueuning, Marie-Agnes; Vertommen, Didier; Ozkan, Yurda; Sid, Brice; Hue, Louis; Courtoy, Pierre J.; Rider, Mark H.; Horman, Sandrine

    2010-06-04

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a known regulator of cellular and systemic energy balance, is now recognized to control cell division, cell polarity and cell migration, all of which depend on the actin cytoskeleton. Here we report the effects of A769662, a pharmacological activator of AMPK, on cytoskeletal organization and signalling in epithelial Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. We show that AMPK activation induced shortening or radiation of stress fibers, uncoupling from paxillin and predominance of cortical F-actin. In parallel, Rho-kinase downstream targets, namely myosin regulatory light chain and cofilin, were phosphorylated. These effects resembled the morphological changes in MDCK cells exposed to hyperosmotic shock, which led to Ca{sup 2+}-dependent AMPK activation via calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase-{beta}(CaMKK{beta}), a known upstream kinase of AMPK. Indeed, hypertonicity-induced AMPK activation was markedly reduced by the STO-609 CaMKK{beta} inhibitor, as was the increase in MLC and cofilin phosphorylation. We suggest that AMPK links osmotic stress to the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton.

  13. Dachsous1b cadherin regulates actin and microtubule cytoskeleton during early zebrafish embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Li-Villarreal, Nanbing; Forbes, Meredyth M.; Loza, Andrew J.; Chen, Jiakun; Ma, Taylur; Helde, Kathryn; Moens, Cecilia B.; Shin, Jimann; Sawada, Atsushi; Hindes, Anna E.; Dubrulle, Julien; Schier, Alexander F.; Longmore, Gregory D.; Marlow, Florence L.; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2015-01-01

    Dachsous (Dchs), an atypical cadherin, is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of planar cell polarity, tissue size and cell adhesion. In humans, DCHS1 mutations cause pleiotropic Van Maldergem syndrome. Here, we report that mutations in zebrafish dchs1b and dchs2 disrupt several aspects of embryogenesis, including gastrulation. Unexpectedly, maternal zygotic (MZ) dchs1b mutants show defects in the earliest developmental stage, egg activation, including abnormal cortical granule exocytosis (CGE), cytoplasmic segregation, cleavages and maternal mRNA translocation, in transcriptionally quiescent embryos. Later, MZdchs1b mutants exhibit altered dorsal organizer and mesendodermal gene expression, due to impaired dorsal determinant transport and Nodal signaling. Mechanistically, MZdchs1b phenotypes can be explained in part by defective actin or microtubule networks, which appear bundled in mutants. Accordingly, disruption of actin cytoskeleton in wild-type embryos phenocopied MZdchs1b mutant defects in cytoplasmic segregation and CGE, whereas interfering with microtubules in wild-type embryos impaired dorsal organizer and mesodermal gene expression without perceptible earlier phenotypes. Moreover, the bundled microtubule phenotype was partially rescued by expressing either full-length Dchs1b or its intracellular domain, suggesting that Dchs1b affects microtubules and some developmental processes independent of its known ligand Fat. Our results indicate novel roles for vertebrate Dchs in actin and microtubule cytoskeleton regulation in the unanticipated context of the single-celled embryo. PMID:26160902

  14. The actin cytoskeleton as a sensor and mediator of apoptosis

    PubMed Central

    Desouza, Melissa; Gunning, Peter W.; Stehn, Justine R.

    2012-01-01

    Apoptosis is an important biological process required for the removal of unwanted or damaged cells. Mounting evidence implicates the actin cytoskeleton as both a sensor and mediator of apoptosis. Studies also suggest that actin binding proteins (ABPs) significantly contribute to apoptosis and that actin dynamics play a key role in regulating apoptosis signaling. Changes in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton has been attributed to the process of malignant transformation and it is hypothesized that remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton may enable tumor cells to evade normal apoptotic signaling. This review aims to illuminate the role of the actin cytoskeleton in apoptosis by systematically analyzing how actin and ABPs regulate different apoptosis pathways and to also highlight the potential for developing novel compounds that target tumor-specific actin filaments. PMID:22880146

  15. CNS myelin wrapping is driven by actin disassembly.

    PubMed

    Zuchero, J Bradley; Fu, Meng-Meng; Sloan, Steven A; Ibrahim, Adiljan; Olson, Andrew; Zaremba, Anita; Dugas, Jason C; Wienbar, Sophia; Caprariello, Andrew V; Kantor, Christopher; Leonoudakis, Dmitri; Leonoudakus, Dmitri; Lariosa-Willingham, Karen; Kronenberg, Golo; Gertz, Karen; Soderling, Scott H; Miller, Robert H; Barres, Ben A

    2015-07-27

    Myelin is essential in vertebrates for the rapid propagation of action potentials, but the molecular mechanisms driving its formation remain largely unknown. Here we show that the initial stage of process extension and axon ensheathment by oligodendrocytes requires dynamic actin filament assembly by the Arp2/3 complex. Unexpectedly, subsequent myelin wrapping coincides with the upregulation of actin disassembly proteins and rapid disassembly of the oligodendrocyte actin cytoskeleton and does not require Arp2/3. Inducing loss of actin filaments drives oligodendrocyte membrane spreading and myelin wrapping in vivo, and the actin disassembly factor gelsolin is required for normal wrapping. We show that myelin basic protein, a protein essential for CNS myelin wrapping whose role has been unclear, is required for actin disassembly, and its loss phenocopies loss of actin disassembly proteins. Together, these findings provide insight into the molecular mechanism of myelin wrapping and identify it as an actin-independent form of mammalian cell motility.

  16. Actin network architecture can determine myosin motor activity.

    PubMed

    Reymann, Anne-Cécile; Boujemaa-Paterski, Rajaa; Martiel, Jean-Louis; Guérin, Christophe; Cao, Wenxiang; Chin, Harvey F; De La Cruz, Enrique M; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2012-06-01

    The organization of actin filaments into higher-ordered structures governs eukaryotic cell shape and movement. Global actin network size and architecture are maintained in a dynamic steady state through regulated assembly and disassembly. Here, we used experimentally defined actin structures in vitro to investigate how the activity of myosin motors depends on network architecture. Direct visualization of filaments revealed myosin-induced actin network deformation. During this reorganization, myosins selectively contracted and disassembled antiparallel actin structures, while parallel actin bundles remained unaffected. The local distribution of nucleation sites and the resulting orientation of actin filaments appeared to regulate the scalability of the contraction process. This "orientation selection" mechanism for selective contraction and disassembly suggests how the dynamics of the cellular actin cytoskeleton can be spatially controlled by actomyosin contractility.

  17. Cortical Basal Ganglionic Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Scarmeas, Nikolaos; Chin, Steven S.; Marder, Karen

    2011-01-01

    In this case study, we describe the symptoms, neuropsychological testing, and brain pathology of a retired mason's assistant with cortical basal ganglionic degeneration (CBGD). CBGD is an extremely rare neurodegenerative disease that is categorized under both Parkinsonian syndromes and frontal lobe dementias. It affects men and women nearly equally, and the age of onset is usually in the sixth decade of life. CBGD is characterized by Parkinson's-like motor symptoms and by deficits of movement and cognition, indicating focal brain pathology. Neuronal cell loss is ultimately responsible for the neurological symptoms. PMID:14602941

  18. Utilization of paramagnetic relaxation enhancements for structural analysis of actin-binding proteins in complex with actin

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shuxian; Umemoto, Ryo; Tamura, Yuki; Kofuku, Yutaka; Uyeda, Taro Q. P.; Nishida, Noritaka; Shimada, Ichio

    2016-01-01

    Actin cytoskeleton dynamics are controlled by various actin binding proteins (ABPs) that modulate the polymerization of the monomeric G-actin and the depolymerization of filamentous F-actin. Although revealing the structures of the actin/ABP complexes is crucial to understand how the ABPs regulate actin dynamics, the X-ray crystallography and cryoEM methods are inadequate to apply for the ABPs that interact with G- or F-actin with lower affinity or multiple binding modes. In this study, we aimed to establish the alternative method to build a structural model of G-actin/ABP complexes, utilizing the paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) experiments. Thymosin β4 (Tβ4) was used as a test case for validation, since its structure in complex with G-actin was reported recently. Recombinantly expressed G-actin, containing a cysteine mutation, was conjugated with a nitroxyl spin label at the specific site. Based on the intensity ratio of the 1H-15N HSQC spectra of Tβ4 in the complex with G-actin in the paramagnetic and diamagnetic states, the distances between the amide groups of Tβ4 and the spin label of G-actin were estimated. Using the PRE-derived distance constraints, we were able to compute a well-converged docking structure of the G-actin/Tβ4 complex that shows great accordance with the reference structure. PMID:27654858

  19. Lenalidomide augments actin remodeling and lowers NK-cell activation thresholds

    PubMed Central

    Lagrue, Kathryn; Carisey, Alex; Morgan, David J.; Chopra, Rajesh

    2015-01-01

    As multiple myeloma (MM) progresses, natural killer (NK)-cell responses decline against malignant plasma cells. The immunomodulatory drug lenalidomide is widely used for treatment of MM but its influence on NK-cell biology is unclear. Here, we report that lenalidomide lowers the threshold for NK-cell activation, causing a 66% decrease in the 50% effective concentration (EC50) for activation through CD16, and a 38% decrease in EC50 for NK group 2 member D (NKG2D)–mediated activation, allowing NK cells to respond to lower doses of ligand. In addition, lenalidomide augments NK-cell responses, causing a twofold increase in the proportion of primary NK cells producing interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and a 20-fold increase in the amount of IFN-γ produced per cell. Importantly, lenalidomide did not trigger IFN-γ production in unstimulated NK cells. Thus, lenalidomide enhances the NK-cell arm of the immune response, without activating NK cells inappropriately. Of particular clinical importance, lenalidomide also allowed NK cells to be activated by lower doses of rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) widely used to treat B-cell malignancies. This supports combined use of lenalidomide and rituximab in a clinical setting. Finally, superresolution microscopy revealed that lenalidomide increased the periodicity of cortical actin at immune synapses, resulting in an increase in the area of the actin mesh predicted to be penetrable to vesicles containing IFN-γ. NK cells from MM patients also responded to lenalidomide in this way. This indicates that nanometer-scale rearrangements in cortical actin, a recently discovered step in immune synapse assembly, are a potential new target for therapeutic compounds. PMID:26002964

  20. Xenopus laevis actin-depolymerizing factor/cofilin: a phosphorylation- regulated protein essential for development

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Two cDNAs, isolated from a Xenopus laevis embryonic library, encode proteins of 168 amino acids, both of which are 77% identical to chick cofilin and 66% identical to chick actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF), two structurally and functionally related proteins. These Xenopus ADF/cofilins (XADs) differ from each other in 12 residues spread throughout the sequence but do not differ in charge. Purified GST- fusion proteins have pH-dependent actin-depolymerizing and F-actin- binding activities similar to chick ADF and cofilin. Similarities in the developmental and tissue specific expression, embryonic localization, and in the cDNA sequence of the noncoding regions, suggest that the two XACs arise from allelic variants of the pseudotetraploid X. laevis. Immunofluorescence localization of XAC in oocyte sections with an XAC-specific monoclonal antibody shows it to be diffuse in the cortical cytoplasm. After fertilization, increased immunostaining is observed in two regions: along the membrane, particularly that of the vegetal hemisphere, and at the interface between the cortical and animal hemisphere cytoplasm. The cleavage furrow and the mid-body structure are stained at the end of first cleavage. Neuroectoderm derived tissues, notochord, somites, and epidermis stain heavily either continuously or transiently from stages 18-34. A phosphorylated form of XAC (pXAC) was identified by 2D Western blotting, and it is the only species found in oocytes. Dephosphorylation of >60% of the pXAC occurs within 30 min after fertilization. Injection of one blastomere at the 2 cell stage, either with constitutively active XAC or with an XAC inhibitory antibody, blocked cleavage of only the injected blastomere in a concentration- dependent manner without inhibiting nuclear division. The cleavage furrow of eggs injected with constitutively active XAC completely regressed. Blastomeres injected with neutralized antibody developed normally. These results suggest that XAC is necessary for

  1. Interaction of profilin with the barbed end of actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Courtemanche, Naomi; Pollard, Thomas D

    2013-09-17

    Profilin binds not only to actin monomers but also to the barbed end of the actin filament, where it inhibits association of subunits. To address open questions about the interactions of profilin with barbed ends, we measured the effects of a wide range of concentrations of Homo sapiens profilin 1 on the rate of elongation of individual skeletal muscle actin filaments by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Much higher concentrations of profilin were required to stop elongation by AMP-PNP-actin monomers than ADP-actin monomers. High concentrations of profilin depolymerized barbed ends at a rate much faster than the spontaneous dissociation rates of Mg-ATP-, Mg-AMP-PNP-, Mg-ADP-Pi-, and Mg-ADP-actin subunits. Fitting a thermodynamic model to these data allowed us to determine the affinities of profilin and profilin-actin for barbed ends and the influence of the nucleotide bound to actin on these interactions. Profilin has a much higher affinity for ADP-actin filament barbed ends (Kd = 1 μM) than AMP-PNP-actin filament barbed ends (Kd = 226 μM). ADP-actin monomers associated with profilin bind to ADP-actin filament barbed ends 10% as fast as free ADP-actin monomers, but bound profilin does not affect the rate of association of AMP-PNP-actin monomers with barbed ends. The differences in the affinities of AMP-PNP- and ADP-bound barbed ends for profilin and profilin-actin suggest that conformations of barbed end subunits differ from those of monomers and change upon nucleotide hydrolysis and phosphate release. A structural model revealed minor steric clashes between profilin and actin subunits at the barbed end that explain the biochemical results.

  2. Actin of Beta vulgaris seedlings under the clinorotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozeko, L. Ye.

    We study the influence of altered gravity on actin expression in roots of Beta vulguris seedlings grown on the horizontal clinostat (2 rpm) from seed germination for three days. It is shown that the total actin quantity was not influenced. Three actin isoforms are revealed; a relative protein quantity of these isoforms was similar both in clinorotated seedlings and in ones grown in norm. This point to stable expression of actin under the altered gravity conditions.

  3. Bioremediation of metals, organic and mixed contaminants with microbial mats

    SciTech Connect

    Bender, J.

    1995-12-31

    Microbial mats are natural heterotrophic and autotrophic communities dominated by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). They are self-organized laminated structures annealed tightly together by slimy secretions from various microbial components. The surface slime of the mats effectively immobilizes the ecosystem to a variety of substrates, thereby stabilizing the most efficient internal microbial structure. Cyanobacteria mats are generated for bioremediation applications by enriching a water surface with ensiled grass clippings. These constructed mats have been used to reduce selenate to elemental selenium, remove Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, Co, Cr, Fe and Mn from water and to remove Pb from sediments of shallow laboratory ponds. Uranium, U{sup 238}, was removed from groundwater samples at the rate of 3.19 Mg/m{sup 2}/h. Degradation of recalcitrant organic contaminants by mats is relatively rapid under both dark and light conditions. The following contaminants have been degraded in water and/or soil media by constructed mats: TNT, chrysene, naphthalene, hexadecane, phenanthrene, PCB, TCE, pulp and paper mill wastes, and three pesticides: chlordane, carbofuran and paraquat. Radio-labeled experiments with mat-treated carbofuran, petroleum distillates, TNT, chlordane, PCB and TCE show that these compounds are mineralized by the constructed mats. Mats applied to mixed contaminant solutions (TCE + Zn and TNT + pb) sequestered the metal while mineralizing the TCE. Remediation rates of the organic and inorganic components were the same in mixed solution as they were in single application.

  4. Reduced Gas Cycling in Microbial Mats: Implications for Early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoehler, Tori M.; Bebout, Brad M.; DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    For more than half the history of life on Earth, biological productivity was dominated by photosynthetic microbial mats. During this time, mats served as the preeminent biological influence on earth's surface and atmospheric chemistry and also as the primary crucible for microbial evolution. We find that modern analogs of these ancient mat communities generate substantial quantities of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane. Escape of these gases from the biosphere would contribute strongly to atmospheric evolution and potentially to the net oxidation of earth's surface; sequestration within the biosphere carries equally important implications for the structure, function, and evolution of anaerobic microbial communities within the context of mat biology.

  5. Formin-mediated actin polymerization cooperates with Mushroom body defect (Mud)–Dynein during Frizzled–Dishevelled spindle orientation

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Christopher A.; Manning, Laurina; Lu, Michelle S.; Golub, Ognjen; Doe, Chris Q.; Prehoda, Kenneth E.

    2013-01-01

    Summary To position the mitotic spindle, cytoskeletal components must be coordinated to generate cortical forces on astral microtubules. Although the dynein motor is common to many spindle orientation systems, ‘accessory pathways’ are often also required. In this work, we identified an accessory spindle orientation pathway in Drosophila that functions with Dynein during planar cell polarity, downstream of the Frizzled (Fz) effector Dishevelled (Dsh). Dsh contains a PDZ ligand and a Dynein-recruiting DEP domain that are both required for spindle orientation. The Dsh PDZ ligand recruits Canoe/Afadin and ultimately leads to Rho GTPase signaling mediated through RhoGEF2. The formin Diaphanous (Dia) functions as the Rho effector in this pathway, inducing F-actin enrichment at sites of cortical Dsh. Chimeric protein experiments show that the Dia–actin accessory pathway can be replaced by an independent kinesin (Khc73) accessory pathway for Dsh-mediated spindle orientation. Our results define two ‘modular’ spindle orientation pathways and show an essential role for actin regulation in Dsh-mediated spindle orientation. PMID:23868974

  6. CLIC proteins, ezrin, radixin, moesin and the coupling of membranes to the actin cytoskeleton: a smoking gun?

    PubMed

    Jiang, Lele; Phang, Juanita M; Yu, Jiang; Harrop, Stephen J; Sokolova, Anna V; Duff, Anthony P; Wilk, Krystyna E; Alkhamici, Heba; Breit, Samuel N; Valenzuela, Stella M; Brown, Louise J; Curmi, Paul M G

    2014-02-01

    The CLIC proteins are a highly conserved family of metazoan proteins with the unusual ability to adopt both soluble and integral membrane forms. The physiological functions of CLIC proteins may include enzymatic activity in the soluble form and anion channel activity in the integral membrane form. CLIC proteins are associated with the ERM proteins: ezrin, radixin and moesin. ERM proteins act as cross-linkers between membranes and the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Both CLIC and ERM proteins are controlled by Rho family small GTPases. CLIC proteins, ERM and Rho GTPases act in a concerted manner to control active membrane processes including the maintenance of microvillar structures, phagocytosis and vesicle trafficking. All of these processes involve the interaction of membranes with the underlying cortical actin cytoskeleton. The relationships between Rho GTPases, CLIC proteins, ERM proteins and the membrane:actin cytoskeleton interface are reviewed. Speculative models are proposed involving the formation of localised multi-protein complexes on the membrane surface that assemble via multiple weak interactions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Reciprocal influences between cell cytoskeleton and membrane channels, receptors and transporters. Guest Editor: Jean Claude Hervé.

  7. Formin-mediated actin polymerization cooperates with Mushroom body defect (Mud)-Dynein during Frizzled-Dishevelled spindle orientation.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Christopher A; Manning, Laurina; Lu, Michelle S; Golub, Ognjen; Doe, Chris Q; Prehoda, Kenneth E

    2013-10-01

    To position the mitotic spindle, cytoskeletal components must be coordinated to generate cortical forces on astral microtubules. Although the dynein motor is common to many spindle orientation systems, 'accessory pathways' are often also required. In this work, we identified an accessory spindle orientation pathway in Drosophila that functions with Dynein during planar cell polarity, downstream of the Frizzled (Fz) effector Dishevelled (Dsh). Dsh contains a PDZ ligand and a Dynein-recruiting DEP domain that are both required for spindle orientation. The Dsh PDZ ligand recruits Canoe/Afadin and ultimately leads to Rho GTPase signaling mediated through RhoGEF2. The formin Diaphanous (Dia) functions as the Rho effector in this pathway, inducing F-actin enrichment at sites of cortical Dsh. Chimeric protein experiments show that the Dia-actin accessory pathway can be replaced by an independent kinesin (Khc73) accessory pathway for Dsh-mediated spindle orientation. Our results define two 'modular' spindle orientation pathways and show an essential role for actin regulation in Dsh-mediated spindle orientation.

  8. 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.

  9. Viscoelastic properties of actin-coated membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfer, E.; Harlepp, S.; Bourdieu, L.; Robert, J.; Mackintosh, F. C.; Chatenay, D.

    2001-02-01

    In living cells, cytoskeletal filaments interact with the plasma membrane to form structures that play a key role in cell shape and mechanical properties. To study the interaction between these basic components, we designed an in vitro self-assembled network of actin filaments attached to the outer surface of giant unilamellar vesicles. Optical tweezers and single-particle tracking experiments are used to study the rich dynamics of these actin-coated membranes (ACM). We show that microrheology studies can be carried out on such an individual microscopic object. The principle of the experiment consists in measuring the thermally excited position fluctuations of a probe bead attached biochemically to the membrane. We propose a model that relates the power spectrum of these thermal fluctuations to the viscoelastic properties of the membrane. The presence of the actin network modifies strongly the membrane dynamics with respect to a fluid, lipid bilayer one. It induces first a finite (ω=0) two-dimensional (2D) shear modulus G02D~0.5 to 5 μN/m in the membrane plane. Moreover, the frequency dependence at high frequency of the shear modulus [G'2D(f )~f0.85+/-0.07] and of the bending modulus (κACM(f)~f0.55+/-0.21) demonstrate the viscoelastic behavior of the composite membrane. These results are consistent with a common exponent of 0.75 for both moduli as expected from our model and from prior measurements on actin solutions.

  10. Endothelial actin-binding proteins and actin dynamics in leukocyte transendothelial migration.

    PubMed

    Schnoor, Michael

    2015-04-15

    The endothelium is the first barrier that leukocytes have to overcome during recruitment to sites of inflamed tissues. The leukocyte extravasation cascade is a complex multistep process that requires the activation of various adhesion molecules and signaling pathways, as well as actin remodeling, in both leukocytes and endothelial cells. Endothelial adhesion molecules, such as E-selectin or ICAM-1, are connected to the actin cytoskeleton via actin-binding proteins (ABPs). Although the contribution of receptor-ligand interactions to leukocyte extravasation has been studied extensively, the contribution of endothelial ABPs to the regulation of leukocyte adhesion and transendothelial migration remains poorly understood. This review focuses on recently published evidence that endothelial ABPs, such as cortactin, myosin, or α-actinin, regulate leukocyte extravasation by controlling actin dynamics, biomechanical properties of endothelia, and signaling pathways, such as GTPase activation, during inflammation. Thus, ABPs may serve as targets for novel treatment strategies for disorders characterized by excessive leukocyte recruitment.

  11. Partitioning of cortical and deep cytoskeleton responses from transient magnetic bead twisting.

    PubMed

    Laurent, Valérie M; Fodil, Redouane; Cañadas, Patrick; Féréol, Sophie; Louis, Bruno; Planus, Emmanuelle; Isabey, Daniel

    2003-11-01

    We attempted to estimate in living adherent epithelial alveolar cells, the degree of structural and mechanical heterogeneity by considering two individualized cytoskeleton components, i.e., a submembranous "cortical" cytoskeleton and a "deep" cytoskeleton (CSK). F-actin structure characterizing each CSK component was visualized from spatial reconstructions at low and high density, respectively, especially in a 10-microm-cubic neighborhood including the bead. Specific mechanical properties (Young elastic and viscous modulus E and n) were revealed after partitioning the magnetic twisting cytometry response using a double viscoelastic "solid" model with asymmetric plastic relaxation. Results show that the cortical CSK response is a faster (tau1 < or = 0.7 s), softer (E1: 63-109 Pa), moderately viscous (n1: 7- 18 Pas), slightly tensed, and easily damaged structure compared to the deep CSK structure which appears slower (tau2 approximately 1/2 min), stiffer (E2: 95-204 Pa), highly viscous (n2: 760-1967 Pa s), more tensed, and fully elastic, while exhibiting a larger stress hardening behavior. Adding drug depolymerizing actin filaments decreased predominantly the deep CSK stiffness. By contrast, an agent altering cell-matrix interactions affected essentially the cortical CSK stiffness. We concluded that partitioning the CSK within cortical and deep structures is largely consistent with their respective functional activities.

  12. Recombinant Probes Reveal Dynamic Localization of CaMKIIα within Somata of Cortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Rudy J.; Roberts, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    In response to NMDA receptor stimulation, CaMKIIα moves rapidly from a diffuse distribution within the shafts of neuronal dendrites to a clustered postsynaptic distribution. However, less is known about CaMKIIα localization and trafficking within neuronal somata. Here we use a novel recombinant probe capable of labeling endogenous CaMKIIα in living rat neurons to examine its localization and trafficking within the somata of cortical neurons. This probe, which was generated using an mRNA display selection, binds to endogenous CaMKIIα at high affinity and specificity following expression in rat cortical neurons in culture. In ∼45% of quiescent cortical neurons, labeled clusters of CaMKIIα 1–4 μm in diameter were present. Upon exposure to glutamate and glycine, CaMKIIα clusters disappeared in a Ca2+-dependent manner within seconds. Moreover, minutes after the removal of glutamate and glycine, the clusters returned to their original configuration. The clusters, which also appear in cortical neurons in sections taken from mouse brains, contain actin and disperse upon exposure to cytochalasin D, an actin depolymerizer. In conclusion, within the soma, CaMKII localizes and traffics in a manner that is distinct from its localization and trafficking within the dendrites. PMID:24005308

  13. Time in Cortical Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Shadlen, Michael N.; Jazayeri, Mehrdad; Nobre, Anna C.; Buonomano, Dean V.

    2015-01-01

    Time is central to cognition. However, the neural basis for time-dependent cognition remains poorly understood. We explore how the temporal features of neural activity in cortical circuits and their capacity for plasticity can contribute to time-dependent cognition over short time scales. This neural activity is linked to cognition that operates in the present or anticipates events or stimuli in the near future. We focus on deliberation and planning in the context of decision making as a cognitive process that integrates information across time. We progress to consider how temporal expectations of the future modulate perception. We propose that understanding the neural basis for how the brain tells time and operates in time will be necessary to develop general models of cognition. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Time is central to cognition. However, the neural basis for time-dependent cognition remains poorly understood. We explore how the temporal features of neural activity in cortical circuits and their capacity for plasticity can contribute to time-dependent cognition over short time scales. We propose that understanding the neural basis for how the brain tells time and operates in time will be necessary to develop general models of cognition. PMID:26468192

  14. Actin cytoskeleton demonstration in Trichomonas vaginalis and in other trichomonads.

    PubMed

    Brugerolle, G; Bricheux, G; Coffe, G

    1996-01-01

    The flagellate form of Trichomonas vaginalis (T v) transforms to amoeboid cells upon adherence to converslips. They grow and their nuclei divide without undergoing cytokinesis, yielding giant cells and a monolayer of T v F-actin was demonstrated in Trichomonas vaginalis by fluorescence microscopy using phalloidin and an anti-actin mAb which labelled the cytoplasm of both the flagellate and amoeboid forms. Comparative electrophoresis and immunoblotting established that the actin band has the same 42 kDa as muscle actin, but 2-D electrophoresis resolved the actin band into four spots; the two major spots observed were superimposable with major muscle actin isoforms. Electron microscopy demonstrated an ectoplasmic microfibrillar layer along the adhesion zone of amoeboid T v adhering to coverslips. Immunogold staining, using anti-actin monoclonal antibodies demonstrated that this layer was mainly composed of actin microfilaments. A comparative immunoblotting study comprising seven trichomonad species showed that all trichomonads studied expressed actin. The mAb Sigma A-4700 specific for an epitope on the actin C-terminal sequence labelled only actin of Trichomonas vaginalis, Tetratrichomonas gallinarum. Trichomitus batrachorum and Hypotrichomonas acosta, but not the actin of Tritrichomonas foetus, Tritrichomonas augusta and Monocercomonas sp. This discrimination between a 'trichomonas branch' and a 'tritrichomonas branch' is congruent with inferred sequence phylogeny from SSu rRNA and with classical phylogeny of trichomonads. PMID:9175265

  15. Actin-organising properties of the muscular dystrophy protein myotilin.

    PubMed

    von Nandelstadh, Pernilla; Grönholm, Mikaela; Moza, Monica; Lamberg, Arja; Savilahti, Harri; Carpén, Olli

    2005-10-15

    Myotilin is a sarcomeric Z-disc protein that binds F-actin directly and bundles actin filaments, although it does not contain a conventional actin-binding domain. Expression of mutant myotilin leads to sarcomeric alterations in the dominantly inherited limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 1A and in myofibrillar myopathy/desmin-related myopathy. Together, with previous in vitro studies, this indicates that myotilin has an important function in the assembly and maintenance of Z-discs. This study characterises further the interaction between myotilin and actin. Functionally important regions in myotilin were identified by actin pull-down and yeast two-hybrid assays and with a novel strategy that combines in vitro DNA transposition-based peptide insertion mutagenesis with phenotype analysis in yeast cells. The shortest fragment to bind actin was the second Ig domain together with a short C-terminal sequence. Concerted action of the first and second Ig domain was, however, necessary for the functional activity of myotilin, as verified by analysis of transposon mutants, actin binding and phenotypic effect in mammalian cells. Furthermore, the Ig domains flanked with N- and C-terminal regions were needed for actin-bundling, indicating that the mere actin-binding sequence was insufficient for the actin-regulating activity. None of the four known disease-associated mutations altered the actin-organising ability. These results, together with previous studies in titin and kettin, identify the Ig domain as an actin-binding unit.

  16. Prostaglandins temporally regulate cytoplasmic actin bundle formation during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Spracklen, Andrew J; Kelpsch, Daniel J; Chen, Xiang; Spracklen, Cassandra N; Tootle, Tina L

    2014-02-01

    Prostaglandins (PGs)--lipid signals produced downstream of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes--regulate actin dynamics in cell culture and platelets, but their roles during development are largely unknown. Here we define a new role for Pxt, the Drosophila COX-like enzyme, in regulating the actin cytoskeleton--temporal restriction of actin remodeling during oogenesis. PGs are required for actin filament bundle formation during stage 10B (S10B). In addition, loss of Pxt results in extensive early actin remodeling, including actin filaments and aggregates, within the posterior nurse cells of S9 follicles; wild-type follicles exhibit similar structures at a low frequency. Hu li tai shao (Hts-RC) and Villin (Quail), an actin bundler, localize to all early actin structures, whereas Enabled (Ena), an actin elongation factor, preferentially localizes to those in pxt mutants. Reduced Ena levels strongly suppress early actin remodeling in pxt mutants. Furthermore, loss of Pxt results in reduced Ena localization to the sites of bundle formation during S10B. Together these data lead to a model in which PGs temporally regulate actin remodeling during Drosophila oogenesis by controlling Ena localization/activity, such that in S9, PG signaling inhibits, whereas at S10B, it promotes Ena-dependent actin remodeling.

  17. Unconventional actins and actin-binding proteins in human protozoan parasites.

    PubMed

    Gupta, C M; Thiyagarajan, S; Sahasrabuddhe, A A

    2015-06-01

    Actin and its regulatory proteins play a key role in several essential cellular processes such as cell movement, intracellular trafficking and cytokinesis in most eukaryotes. While these proteins are highly conserved in higher eukaryotes, a number of unicellular eukaryotic organisms contain divergent forms of these proteins which have highly unusual biochemical and structural properties. Here, we review the biochemical and structural properties of these unconventional actins and their core binding proteins which are present in commonly occurring human protozoan parasites.

  18. Frequency and amplitude control of cortical oscillations by phosphoinositide waves.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Ding; Xiao, Shengping; Guo, Su; Lin, Qingsong; Nakatsu, Fubito; Wu, Min

    2016-03-01

    Rhythmicity is prevalent in the cortical dynamics of diverse single and multicellular systems. Current models of cortical oscillations focus primarily on cytoskeleton-based feedbacks, but information on signals upstream of the actin cytoskeleton is limited. In addition, inhibitory mechanisms--especially local inhibitory mechanisms, which ensure proper spatial and kinetic controls of activation--are not well understood. Here, we identified two phosphoinositide phosphatases, synaptojanin 2 and SHIP1, that function in periodic traveling waves of rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) mast cells. The local, phase-shifted activation of lipid phosphatases generates sequential waves of phosphoinositides. By acutely perturbing phosphoinositide composition using optogenetic methods, we showed that pulses of PtdIns(4,5)P2 regulate the amplitude of cyclic membrane waves while PtdIns(3,4)P2 sets the frequency. Collectively, these data suggest that the spatiotemporal dynamics of lipid metabolism have a key role in governing cortical oscillations and reveal how phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K) activity could be frequency-encoded by a phosphatase-dependent inhibitory reaction. PMID:26751515

  19. FMNL3 FH2-actin structure gives insight into formin-mediated actin nucleation and elongation

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, Morgan E; Heimsath, Ernest G; Gauvin, Timothy J; Higgs, Henry N; Kull, F Jon

    2012-12-09

    Formins are actin-assembly factors that act in a variety of actin-based processes. The conserved formin homology 2 (FH2) domain promotes filament nucleation and influences elongation through interaction with the barbed end. FMNL3 is a formin that induces assembly of filopodia but whose FH2 domain is a poor nucleator. The 3.4-Å structure of a mouse FMNL3 FH2 dimer in complex with tetramethylrhodamine-actin uncovers details of formin-regulated actin elongation. We observe distinct FH2 actin-binding regions; interactions in the knob and coiled-coil subdomains are necessary for actin binding, whereas those in the lasso-post interface are important for the stepping mechanism. Biochemical and cellular experiments test the importance of individual residues for function. This structure provides details for FH2-mediated filament elongation by processive capping and supports a model in which C-terminal non-FH2 residues of FMNL3 are required to stabilize the filament nucleus.

  20. Cortical dynamics during cell motility are regulated by CRL3(KLHL21) E3 ubiquitin ligase.

    PubMed

    Courtheoux, Thibault; Enchev, Radoslav I; Lampert, Fabienne; Gerez, Juan; Beck, Jochen; Picotti, Paola; Sumara, Izabela; Peter, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Directed cell movement involves spatial and temporal regulation of the cortical microtubule (Mt) and actin networks to allow focal adhesions (FAs) to assemble at the cell front and disassemble at the rear. Mts are known to associate with FAs, but the mechanisms coordinating their dynamic interactions remain unknown. Here we show that the CRL3(KLHL21) E3 ubiquitin ligase promotes cell migration by controlling Mt and FA dynamics at the cell cortex. Indeed, KLHL21 localizes to FA structures preferentially at the leading edge, and in complex with Cul3, ubiquitylates EB1 within its microtubule-interacting CH-domain. Cells lacking CRL3(KLHL21) activity or expressing a non-ubiquitylatable EB1 mutant protein are unable to migrate and exhibit strong defects in FA dynamics, lamellipodia formation and cortical plasticity. Our study thus reveals an important mechanism to regulate cortical dynamics during cell migration that involves ubiquitylation of EB1 at focal adhesions. PMID:27641145

  1. Cortical dynamics during cell motility are regulated by CRL3KLHL21 E3 ubiquitin ligase

    PubMed Central

    Courtheoux, Thibault; Enchev, Radoslav I.; Lampert, Fabienne; Gerez, Juan; Beck, Jochen; Picotti, Paola; Sumara, Izabela; Peter, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Directed cell movement involves spatial and temporal regulation of the cortical microtubule (Mt) and actin networks to allow focal adhesions (FAs) to assemble at the cell front and disassemble at the rear. Mts are known to associate with FAs, but the mechanisms coordinating their dynamic interactions remain unknown. Here we show that the CRL3KLHL21 E3 ubiquitin ligase promotes cell migration by controlling Mt and FA dynamics at the cell cortex. Indeed, KLHL21 localizes to FA structures preferentially at the leading edge, and in complex with Cul3, ubiquitylates EB1 within its microtubule-interacting CH-domain. Cells lacking CRL3KLHL21 activity or expressing a non-ubiquitylatable EB1 mutant protein are unable to migrate and exhibit strong defects in FA dynamics, lamellipodia formation and cortical plasticity. Our study thus reveals an important mechanism to regulate cortical dynamics during cell migration that involves ubiquitylation of EB1 at focal adhesions. PMID:27641145

  2. Cortical dynamics during cell motility are regulated by CRL3(KLHL21) E3 ubiquitin ligase.

    PubMed

    Courtheoux, Thibault; Enchev, Radoslav I; Lampert, Fabienne; Gerez, Juan; Beck, Jochen; Picotti, Paola; Sumara, Izabela; Peter, Matthias

    2016-09-19

    Directed cell movement involves spatial and temporal regulation of the cortical microtubule (Mt) and actin networks to allow focal adhesions (FAs) to assemble at the cell front and disassemble at the rear. Mts are known to associate with FAs, but the mechanisms coordinating their dynamic interactions remain unknown. Here we show that the CRL3(KLHL21) E3 ubiquitin ligase promotes cell migration by controlling Mt and FA dynamics at the cell cortex. Indeed, KLHL21 localizes to FA structures preferentially at the leading edge, and in complex with Cul3, ubiquitylates EB1 within its microtubule-interacting CH-domain. Cells lacking CRL3(KLHL21) activity or expressing a non-ubiquitylatable EB1 mutant protein are unable to migrate and exhibit strong defects in FA dynamics, lamellipodia formation and cortical plasticity. Our study thus reveals an important mechanism to regulate cortical dynamics during cell migration that involves ubiquitylation of EB1 at focal adhesions.

  3. Three-Dimensional Balance of Cortical Tension and Axial Contractility Enables Fast Amoeboid Migration

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-González, Begoña; Meili, Ruedi; Bastounis, Effie; Firtel, Richard A.; Lasheras, Juan C.; del Álamo, Juan C.

    2015-01-01

    Fast amoeboid migration requires cells to apply mechanical forces on their surroundings via transient adhesions. However, the role these forces play in controlling cell migration speed remains largely unknown. We used three-dimensional force microscopy to measure the three-dimensional forces exerted by chemotaxing Dictyostelium cells, and examined wild-type cells as well as mutants with defects in contractility, internal F-actin crosslinking, and cortical integrity. We showed that cells pull on their substrate adhesions using two distinct, yet interconnected mechanisms: axial actomyosin contractility and cortical tension. We found that the migration speed increases when axial contractility overcomes cortical tension to produce the cell shape changes needed for locomotion. We demonstrated that the three-dimensional pulling forces generated by both mechanisms are internally balanced by an increase in cytoplasmic pressure that allows cells to push on their substrate without adhering to it, and which may be relevant for amoeboid migration in complex three-dimensional environments. PMID:25692587

  4. Stromatolites, Metals, Statistics and Microbial Mats: A Complex Interplay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spear, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    Initially thought to be relatively 'simple' ecosystems for study, microbial mats have long been considered ideal for any number of research questions. Microbial mats can be found in any number of environments, both natural and manmade, and are typically dependent upon the physiochemical environment for their structure, maintenance and longevity. Ultimately, these and other parameters govern community whereby a microbial mat provides overall ecosystem services to their environment. On the edge of a hotspring in Yellowstone National Park we have found an active microbial mat community that can form a laminated, lithified, accretionary structure that is likely the best example of a living and growing stromatolite. In the outfall channel of the sulfidic Stinking Spring, Utah, we have found examples of both naturally occurring laminated and floating mats where the carbon flux is controlled by abiotic degassing of CO2 rather than metabolism. δ13C-bicarbonate uptake experiments reveal an autotrophic growth rate of 0 - 0.16%/day while δ13C-acetate reveals a higher heterotrophic growth rate of 0.03 - 0.65%/day, which highlights the role of heterotrophs in these mats. Similar growth experiments on Little Hot Creek, California laminated microbial mats reveal a trend for top-down microbial growth with similar microbial taxonomy and diversity to other mat-types. Of a curious note is that incubation experiments with Little Hot Creek mats reveals the importance of particular metals in mat structure and function. Statistically, alpha- and beta-diversity metrics are often used to characterize microbial communities in such systems, but from an analysis of a wastewater treatment system, Hill diversities can better interpret the effective number of species to produce an ecologically intuitive quantity to better understand a microbial mat ecosystem.

  5. Structure of a Bud6/actin complex reveals a novel WH2-like actin monomer recruitment motif

    PubMed Central

    Park, Eunyoung; Graziano, Brian R.; Zheng, Wei; Garabedian, Mikael; Goode, Bruce L.; Eck, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY In budding yeast, the actin-binding protein Bud6 cooperates with formins Bni1 and Bnr1 to catalyze the assembly of actin filaments. The nucleation-enhancing activity of Bud6 requires both a “core” domain that binds to the formin and a “flank” domain that binds monomeric actin. Here we describe the structure of the Bud6 flank domain in complex with actin. Two helices in Bud6flank interact with actin; one binds in a groove at the barbed-end of the actin monomer in a manner closely resembling the helix of WH2 domains, a motif found in many actin nucleation factors. The second helix rises along the face of actin. Mutational analysis verifies the importance of these Bud6-actin contacts for nucleation-enhancing activity. The Bud6 binding site on actin overlaps with that of the formin FH2 domain and is also incompatible with inter-subunit contacts in F-actin, suggesting that Bud6 interacts only transiently with actin monomers during filament nucleation. PMID:26118535

  6. Structure of a Bud6/Actin Complex Reveals a Novel WH2-like Actin Monomer Recruitment Motif.

    PubMed

    Park, Eunyoung; Graziano, Brian R; Zheng, Wei; Garabedian, Mikael; Goode, Bruce L; Eck, Michael J

    2015-08-01

    In budding yeast, the actin-binding protein Bud6 cooperates with formins Bni1 and Bnr1 to catalyze the assembly of actin filaments. The nucleation-enhancing activity of Bud6 requires both a "core" domain that binds to the formin and a "flank" domain that binds monomeric actin. Here, we describe the structure of the Bud6 flank domain in complex with actin. Two helices in Bud6(flank) interact with actin; one binds in a groove at the barbed end of the actin monomer in a manner closely resembling the helix of WH2 domains, a motif found in many actin nucleation factors. The second helix rises along the face of actin. Mutational analysis verifies the importance of these Bud6-actin contacts for nucleation-enhancing activity. The Bud6 binding site on actin overlaps with that of the formin FH2 domain and is also incompatible with inter-subunit contacts in F-actin, suggesting that Bud6 interacts only transiently with actin monomers during filament nucleation.

  7. The origin and evolution of green algal and plant actins.

    PubMed

    An, S S; Möpps, B; Weber, K; Bhattacharya, D

    1999-02-01

    The Viridiplantae are subdivided into two groups: the Chlorophyta, which includes the Chlorophyceae, Trebouxiophyceae, Ulvophyceae, and Prasinophyceae; and the Streptophyta, which includes the Charophyceae and all land plants. Within the Streptophyta, the actin genes of the angiosperms diverge nearly simultaneously from each other before the separation of monocots and dicots. Previous evolutionary analyses have provided limited insights into the gene duplications that have produced these complex gene families. We address the origin and diversification of land plant actin genes by studying the phylogeny of actins within the green algae, ferns, and fern allies. Partial genomic sequences or cDNAs encoding actin were characterized from Cosmarium botrytis (Zygnematales), Selaginella apoda (Selaginellales), Anemia phyllitidis (Polypodiales), and Psilotum triquetrum (Psilotales). Selaginella contains at least two actin genes. One sequence (Ac2) diverges within a group of fern sequences that also includes the Psilotum Ac1 actin gene and one gymnosperm sequence (Cycas revoluta Cyc3). This clade is positioned outside of the angiosperm actin gene radiation. The second Selaginella sequence (Ac1) is the sister to all remaining land plant actin sequences, although the internal branches in this portion of the tree are very short. Use of complete actin-coding regions in phylogenetic analyses provides support for the separation of angiosperm actins into two classes. N-terminal "signature" sequence analyses support these groupings. One class (VEG) includes actin genes that are often expressed in vegetative structures. The second class (REP) includes actin genes that trace their ancestry within the vegetative actins and contains members that are largely expressed in reproductive structures. Analysis of intron positions within actin genes shows that sequences from both Selaginella and Cosmarium contain the conserved 20-3, 152-1, and 356-3 introns found in many members of the

  8. Demonstration of prominent actin filaments in the root columella.

    PubMed

    Collings, D A; Zsuppan, G; Allen, N S; Blancaflor, E B

    2001-02-01

    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. PMID:11289604

  9. Exploring the Stability Limits of Actin and Its Suprastructures

    PubMed Central

    Rosin, Christopher; Erlkamp, Mirko; Ecken, Julian von der; Raunser, Stefan; Winter, Roland

    2014-01-01

    Actin is the main component of the microfilament system in eukaryotic cells and can be found in distinct morphological states. Global (G)-actin is able to assemble into highly organized, supramolecular cellular structures known as filamentous (F)-actin and bundled (B)-actin. To evaluate the structure and stability of G-, F-, and B-actin over a wide range of temperatures and pressures, we used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in combination with differential scanning and pressure perturbation calorimetry, small-angle x-ray scattering, laser confocal scanning microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Our analysis was designed to provide new (to our knowledge) insights into the stabilizing forces of actin self-assembly and to reveal the stability of the actin polymorphs, including in conditions encountered in extreme environments. In addition, we sought to explain the limited pressure stability of actin self-assembly observed in vivo. G-actin is not only the least temperature-stable but also the least pressure-stable actin species. Under abyssal conditions, where temperatures as low as 1–4°C and pressures up to 1 kbar are reached, G-actin is hardly stable. However, the supramolecular assemblies of actin are stable enough to withstand the extreme conditions usually encountered on Earth. Beyond ∼3–4 kbar, filamentous structures disassemble, and beyond ∼4 kbar, complete dissociation of F-actin structures is observed. Between ∼1 and 2 kbar, some disordering of actin assemblies commences, in agreement with in vivo observations. The limited pressure stability of the monomeric building block seems to be responsible for the suppression of actin assembly in the kbar pressure range. PMID:25517163

  10. 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.

  11. Cortico-cortical communication dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Roland, Per E.; Hilgetag, Claus C.; Deco, Gustavo

    2014-01-01

    In principle, cortico-cortical communication dynamics is simple: neurons in one cortical area communicate by sending action potentials that release glutamate and excite their target neurons in other cortical areas. In practice, knowledge about cortico-cortical communication dynamics is minute. One reason is that no current technique can capture the fast spatio-temporal cortico-cortical evolution of action potential transmission and membrane conductances with sufficient spatial resolution. A combination of optogenetics and monosynaptic tracing with virus can reveal the spatio-temporal cortico-cortical dynamics of specific neurons and their targets, but does not reveal how the dynamics evolves under natural conditions. Spontaneous ongoing action potentials also spread across cortical areas and are difficult to separate from structured evoked and intrinsic brain activity such as thinking. At a certain state of evolution, the dynamics may engage larger populations of neurons to drive the brain to decisions, percepts and behaviors. For example, successfully evolving dynamics to sensory transients can appear at the mesoscopic scale revealing how the transient is perceived. As a consequence of these methodological and conceptual difficulties, studies in this field comprise a wide range of computational models, large-scale measurements (e.g., by MEG, EEG), and a combination of invasive measurements in animal experiments. Further obstacles and challenges of studying cortico-cortical communication dynamics are outlined in this critical review. PMID:24847217

  12. Actin-Binding Protein 1 Regulates B Cell Receptor-Mediated Antigen Processing and Presentation in Response to B Cell Receptor Activation1

    PubMed Central

    Onabajo, Olusegun O.; Seeley, Margaret K.; Kale, Amruta; Qualmann, Britta; Kessels, Michael; Han, Jin; Tan, Tse-Hua; Song, Wenxia

    2010-01-01

    The BCR serves as both signal transducer and Ag transporter. Binding of Ags to the BCR induces signaling cascades and Ag processing and presentation, two essential cellular events for B cell activation. BCR-initiated signaling increases BCR-mediated Ag-processing efficiency by increasing the rate and specificity of Ag transport. Previous studies showed a critical role for the actin cytoskeleton in these two processes. In this study, we found that actin-binding protein 1 (Abp1/HIP-55/SH3P7) functioned as an actin-binding adaptor protein, coupling BCR signaling and Ag-processing pathways with the actin cytoskeleton. Gene knockout of Abp1 and overexpression of the Src homology 3 domain of Abp1 inhibited BCR-mediated Ag internalization, consequently reducing the rate of Ag transport to processing compartments and the efficiency of BCR-mediated Ag processing and presentation. BCR activation induced tyrosine phosphorylation of Abp1 and translocation of both Abp1 and dynamin 2 from the cytoplasm to plasma membrane, where they colocalized with the BCR and cortical F-actin. Mutations of the two tyrosine phosphorylation sites of Abp1 and depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton interfered with BCR-induced Abp1 recruitment to the plasma membrane. The inhibitory effect of a dynamin proline-rich domain deletion mutant on the recruitment of Abp1 to the plasma membrane, coimmunoprecipitation of dynamin with Abp1, and coprecipitation of Abp1 with GST fusion of the dyanmin proline-rich domain demonstrate the interaction of Abp1 with dynamin 2. These results demonstrate that the BCR regulates the function of Abp1 by inducing Abp1 phosphorylation and actin cytoskeleton rearrangement, and that Abp1 facilitates BCR-mediated Ag processing by simultaneously interacting with dynamin and the actin cytoskeleton. The Journal of Immunology, 2008, 180: 6685–6695. PMID:18453588

  13. Wide-ranging effects of eight cytochalasins and latrunculin A and B on intracellular motility and actin filament reorganization in characean internodal cells.

    PubMed

    Foissner, Ilse; Wasteneys, Geoffrey O

    2007-04-01

    Numerous forms of cytochalasins have been identified and, although they share common biological activity, they may differ considerably in potency. We investigated the effects of cytochalasins A, B, C, D, E, H and J and dihydrocytochalasin B in an ideal experimental system for cell motility, the giant internodal cells of the characean alga Nitella pseudoflabellata. Cytochalasins D (60 microM) and H (30 microM) were found to be most suited for fast and reversible inhibition of actin-based motility, while cytochalasins A and E arrested streaming at lower concentrations but irreversibly. We observed no clear correlation between the ability of cytochalasins to inhibit motility and the actual disruption of the subcortical actin bundle tracks on which myosin-dependent motility occurs. Indeed, the actin bundles remained intact at the time of streaming cessation and disassembled only after one to several days' treatment. Even when applied at concentrations lower than that required to inhibit cytoplasmic streaming, all of the cytochalasins induced reorganization of the more labile cortical actin filaments into actin patches, swirling clusters or short rods. Latrunculins A and B arrested streaming only after disrupting the subcortical actin bundles, a process requiring relatively high concentrations (200 microM) and very long treatment periods of >1 d. Latrunculins, however, worked synergistically with cytochalasins. A 1 h treatment with 15 nM latrunculin A and 4 microM cytochalasin D induced reversible fragmentation of subcortical actin bundles and arrested cytoplasmic streaming. Our findings provide insights into the mechanisms by which cytochalasins and latrunculins interfere with characean actin to inhibit motility.

  14. Host-cell-dependent role of actin cytoskeleton during the replication of a human strain of influenza A virus.

    PubMed

    Arcangeletti, M C; De Conto, F; Ferraglia, F; Pinardi, F; Gatti, R; Orlandini, G; Covan, S; Motta, F; Rodighiero, I; Dettori, G; Chezzi, C

    2008-01-01

    This study was aimed at investigating the possible involvement of the actin cytoskeleton in the modulation of host permissiveness to A/NWS/33 human influenza virus infection in two mammalian (MDCK and LLC-MK2) cell lines in vitro. During the early stages of infection, no appreciable association between incoming NWS/33 virions and cortical actin was detectable in the permissive MDCK model by confocal microscopy, while extensive colocalization and a slower infection progression were observed in LLC-MK2 cells. In the latter model, we also demonstrated the inability of the virus to carry out multiple replication cycles, irrespective of the presence of cleaved HA subunits in the released virions. Treatment with the actin-depolymerizing agent cytochalasin D significantly increased the infection efficiency in LLC-MK2 cells, while a detrimental effect was observed in the MDCK cell line. Our data suggest a selective role of the actin network in inducing a restriction to influenza virus replication, mostly depending on its molecular organization, the host cell type and virus replication phase. PMID:18488136

  15. α-catenin, vinculin, and F-actin in strengthening E-cadherin cell–cell adhesions and mechanosensing

    PubMed Central

    Dufour, Sylvie; Mège, René-Marc; Thiery, Jean Paul

    2013-01-01

    Classical cadherins play a crucial role in establishing intercellular adhesion, regulating cortical tension, and maintaining mechanical coupling between cells. The mechanosensitive regulation of intercellular adhesion strengthening depends on the recruitment of adhesion complexes at adhesion sites and their anchoring to the actin cytoskeleton. Thus, the molecular mechanisms coupling cadherin-associated complexes to the actin cytoskeleton are actively being studied, with a particular focus on α-catenin and vinculin. We have recently addressed the role of these proteins by analyzing the consequences of their depletion and the expression of α-catenin mutants in the formation and strengthening of cadherin-mediated adhesions. We have used the dual pipette assay to measure the forces required to separate cell doublets formed in suspension. In this commentary, we briefly summarize the current knowledge on the role of α-catenin and vinculin in cadherin-actin cytoskeletal interactions. These data shed light on the tension-dependent contribution of α-catenin and vinculin in a mechanoresponsive complex that promotes the connection between cadherin and the actin cytoskeleton and their requirement in the development of adhesion strengthening. PMID:23739176

  16. Actin nucleation and elongation factors: mechanisms and interplay.

    PubMed

    Chesarone, Melissa A; Goode, Bruce L

    2009-02-01

    Cells require actin nucleators to catalyze the de novo assembly of filaments and actin elongation factors to control the rate and extent of polymerization. Nucleation and elongation factors identified to date include Arp2/3 complex, formins, Ena/VASP, and newcomers Spire, Cobl, and Lmod. Here, we discuss recent advances in understanding their activities and mechanisms and new evidence for their cooperation and interaction in vivo. Earlier models had suggested that different nucleators function independently to assemble distinct actin arrays. However, more recent observations indicate that the construction of most cellular actin networks depends on the activities of multiple actin assembly-promoting factors working in concert.

  17. Modeling cortical circuits.

    SciTech Connect

    Rohrer, Brandon Robinson; Rothganger, Fredrick H.; Verzi, Stephen J.; Xavier, Patrick Gordon

    2010-09-01

    The neocortex is perhaps the highest region of the human brain, where audio and visual perception takes place along with many important cognitive functions. An important research goal is to describe the mechanisms implemented by the neocortex. There is an apparent regularity in the structure of the neocortex [Brodmann 1909, Mountcastle 1957] which may help simplify this task. The work reported here addresses the problem of how to describe the putative repeated units ('cortical circuits') in a manner that is easily understood and manipulated, with the long-term goal of developing a mathematical and algorithmic description of their function. The approach is to reduce each algorithm to an enhanced perceptron-like structure and describe its computation using difference equations. We organize this algorithmic processing into larger structures based on physiological observations, and implement key modeling concepts in software which runs on parallel computing hardware.

  18. Cortical plasticity and rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Moucha, Raluca; Kilgard, Michael P

    2006-01-01

    The brain is constantly adapting to environmental and endogenous changes (including injury) that occur at every stage of life. The mechanisms that regulate neural plasticity have been refined over millions of years. Motivation and sensory experience directly shape the rewiring that makes learning and neurological recovery possible. Guiding neural reorganization in a manner that facilitates recovery of function is a primary goal of neurological rehabilitation. As the rules that govern neural plasticity become better understood, it will be possible to manipulate the sensory and motor experience of patients to induce specific forms of plasticity. This review summarizes our current knowledge regarding factors that regulate cortical plasticity, illustrates specific forms of reorganization induced by control of each factor, and suggests how to exploit these factors for clinical benefit.

  19. Matting of hair: what is the role of conditioners?

    PubMed

    Rigopoulos, D; Kontochristopoulos, G; Kalogirou, O; Gregoriou, S; Katsambas, A

    2006-03-01

    Matting of the hair is a very rare and multifactorial condition affecting usually women. We present three female patients with matting of the hair as a result of the shampoo used. In all three cases, cutting of the affected hair was unavoidable. PMID:16503900

  20. MAT@USC Candidates and Latino English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lomeli, Cynthia Leticia

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to further understand the perceptions of MAT@USC teacher candidates and how their perceptions and previous experiences affect the educational experiences of Latino English language learners. Three questions were developed to guide this study: (1) What are the perceptions of MAT@USC candidates in selected courses…

  1. User`s guide to the MATS data

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, S.

    1990-08-01

    Data collected for the 37 Mesoscale Transport Studies (MATS) experiments are available on a single, double-sided, high-density (1.2MB), IBM-formatted, 5.25 in. floppy disk (MATS disk). Standard ASCII characters are used. This report discusses how to install this disk, symbols used, format of the ratio, and the sample experiment.

  2. Use of constructed mixed microbial mats for landfill leachate treatment

    SciTech Connect

    Goodroad, L.; Bender, J.; Phillips, P.

    1995-12-31

    BIOMAT{trademark} (Mats) is a system of constructed microbial mats which are natural heterotrophic and autotrophic communities dominated by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Mats constructed with specific microbial components have been developed for various bioremediation applications: removal of metals, organic degradation, removal of radionuclides, treatment of mixed contaminants, biological treatment ponds, and soil remediation. Based on the potential applications of the constructed microbial mat system, a pilot scale leachate treatment system has been constructed at the Waste Management, Inc. Outer Loop RDF near Louisville, KY in conjunction with M.A.T.S., Inc. The system consists of two lined lagoons with various constructed mat configurations. Changes in leachate chemistry including: pH, dissolved oxygen, color, nitrate/nitrite and ammonium concentration were monitored on influent and effluent leachate streams and within the pilot system to determine operational characteristics of the constructed microbial mat system. The M.A.T.S., Inc. treatment system is expected to reduce capital costs for leachate treatment plants, decrease leachate treatment operating costs, and create a {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} self-contained image for landfills.

  3. Compositions and method of use of constructed microbial mats

    DOEpatents

    Bender, Judith A.; Phillips, Peter C.

    1997-01-01

    Compositions and methods of use of constructed microbial mats, comprising cyanobacteria and purple autotrophic bacteria and an organic nutrient source, in a laminated structure, are described. The constructed microbial mat is used for bioremediation of different individual contaminants and for mixed or multiple contaminants, and for production of beneficial compositions and molecules.

  4. Microbial mats for multiple applications in aquaculture and bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Bender, Judith; Phillips, Peter

    2004-09-01

    Microbial mats occur in nature as stratified communities of cyanobacteria and bacteria, but they can be cultured on large-scale and manipulated for a variety of functions. They are complex systems, but require few external inputs. The functional uses of mats broadly cover the areas of aquaculture and bioremediation. Preliminary research also points to promising uses in agriculture and energy production. Regarding aquaculture, mats were shown to produce protein, via nitrogen fixation, and were capable of supplying nutrition to tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Current research is examining the role of mats in the nitrification of nutrient-enriched effluents from aquaculture. Most research has addressed bioremediation, within which two majors categories of contaminants were examined: metals and radionuclides, and organic contaminants. Mats sequester or precipitate metals/radionuclides by surface absorption or by conditioning the surrounding chemical environment, thus bioconcentrating the metal/radionuclide in a small volume. Organic contaminants are degraded and may be completely mineralized. For agriculture mats hold promise as a soil amendment and nitrogen fertilizer. The use of mats in biohydrogen production has been verified, but is in a preliminary phase of development. We propose a comprehensive closed system based on microbial mats for aquaculture and waste management.

  5. Direct Observation of Tropomyosin Binding to Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, William M.; Lehman, William; Moore, Jeffrey R.

    2015-01-01

    Tropomyosin is an elongated α-helical coiled-coil that binds to seven consecutive actin subunits along the long-pitch helix of actin filaments. Once bound, tropomyosin polymerizes end-to-end and both stabilizes F-actin and regulates access of various actin binding proteins including myosin in muscle and non-muscle cells. Single tropomyosin molecules bind weakly to F-actin with millimolar Kd, whereas the end-to-end linked tropomyosin associates with about a one thousand-fold greater affinity. Despite years of study, the assembly mechanism of tropomyosin onto actin filaments remains unclear. In the current study, we used total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy to directly monitor the cooperative binding of fluorescently labeled tropomyosin molecules to phalloidin-stabilized actin filaments. We find that tropomyosin molecules assemble from multiple growth sites following random low affinity binding of single molecules to actin. As the length of the tropomyosin chain increases, the probability of detachment decreases, which leads to further chain growth. Tropomyosin chain extension is linearly dependent on tropomyosin concentration, occurring at approximately 100 monomers/(μM*s). The random tropomyosin binding to F-actin leads to discontinuous end-to-end association where gaps in the chain continuity smaller than the required seven sequential actin monomers are available. Direct observation of tropomyosin detachment revealed the number of gaps in actin-bound tropomyosin, the time course of gap annealing, and the eventual filament saturation process. PMID:26033920

  6. Actin in xenopus oocytes: II. intracellular distribution and polymerizability

    PubMed Central

    Merriam, RW; Clark, TG

    1978-01-01

    The largest oocytes of Xenopus Laevis were broken open in the absence of shearing forces which might transfer actin from particulate to supernatant fractions. Particulate and postmitochondrial supernatant fractions were prepared by centrifugation. SDS-electrophoretic fractionation on polyacrylamide gels and quantitative scanning techniques were used to separate actin and to assay its amount in cellular fractions. The actin has been identified in electrophoretograms by its molecular weight and its binding to DNase I. oocytes contain 1.4-1.7 {um}g of actin per cell, of which up to 88 percent is recovered in the postmitochondrial supernate under a variety of conditions. In the soluble fraction, it represents about 8.8 percent of the total protein. Its concentration in native cytoplasm was directly assayed at 4.1 mg/ml. There is no detectable actin that can be transferred from the particulate to the soluble phase by neutral detergents or ionic conditions that would depolymerize muscle actin. Centrifugation of the soluble oocyte fractions showed that 75-95 percent of the actin can not be sedimented under forces that would pellet filamentous actin. Addition of potassium and magnesium to the cytoplasm, to concentrations that would polymerize muscle actin, does not increase the amount of sedimentable actin. Roughly one-third of the soluble actin is recovered from Sephadex columns at about the position of monomer. About two- thirds is in complexes of 100,000 daltons or greater. PMID:565782

  7. 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.

  8. Bundling actin filaments from membranes: some novel players

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Clément

    2012-01-01

    Progress in live-cell imaging of the cytoskeleton has significantly extended our knowledge about the organization and dynamics of actin filaments near the plasma membrane of plant cells. Noticeably, two populations of filamentous structures can be distinguished. On the one hand, fine actin filaments which exhibit an extremely dynamic behavior basically characterized by fast polymerization and prolific severing events, a process referred to as actin stochastic dynamics. On the other hand, thick actin bundles which are composed of several filaments and which are comparatively more stable although they constantly remodel as well. There is evidence that the actin cytoskeleton plays critical roles in trafficking and signaling at both the cell cortex and organelle periphery but the exact contribution of actin bundles remains unclear. A common view is that actin bundles provide the long-distance tracks used by myosin motors to deliver their cargo to growing regions and accordingly play a particularly important role in cell polarization. However, several studies support that actin bundles are more than simple passive highways and display multiple and dynamic roles in the regulation of many processes, such as cell elongation, polar auxin transport, stomatal and chloroplast movement, and defense against pathogens. The list of identified plant actin-bundling proteins is ever expanding, supporting that plant cells shape structurally and functionally different actin bundles. Here I review the most recently characterized actin-bundling proteins, with a particular focus on those potentially relevant to membrane trafficking and/or signaling. PMID:22936939

  9. A second Las17 monomeric actin-binding motif functions in Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization during endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Feliciano, Daniel; Tolsma, Thomas O; Farrell, Kristen B; Aradi, Al; Di Pietro, Santiago M

    2015-04-01

    During clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME), actin assembly provides force to drive vesicle internalization. Members of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) family play a fundamental role stimulating actin assembly. WASP family proteins contain a WH2 motif that binds globular actin (G-actin) and a central-acidic motif that binds the Arp2/3 complex, thus promoting the formation of branched actin filaments. Yeast WASP (Las17) is the strongest of five factors promoting Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization during CME. It was suggested that this strong activity may be caused by a putative second G-actin-binding motif in Las17. Here, we describe the in vitro and in vivo characterization of such Las17 G-actin-binding motif (LGM) and its dependence on a group of conserved arginine residues. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, GST-pulldown, fluorescence polarization and pyrene-actin polymerization assays, we show that LGM binds G-actin and is necessary for normal Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization in vitro. Live-cell fluorescence microscopy experiments demonstrate that LGM is required for normal dynamics of actin polymerization during CME. Further, LGM is necessary for normal dynamics of endocytic machinery components that are recruited at early, intermediate and late stages of endocytosis, as well as for optimal endocytosis of native CME cargo. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments show that LGM has relatively lower potency compared to the previously known Las17 G-actin-binding motif, WH2. These results establish a second G-actin-binding motif in Las17 and advance our knowledge on the mechanism of actin assembly during CME.

  10. The Potential Roles of Actin in The Nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Falahzadeh, Khadijeh; Banaei-Esfahani, Amir; Shahhoseini, Maryam

    2015-01-01

    Over the past few decades, actin’s presence in the nucleus has been demonstrated. Actin is a key protein necessary for different nuclear processes. Although actin is well known for its functional role in dynamic behavior of the cytoskeleton, emerging studies are now highlighting new roles for actin. At the present time there is no doubt about the presence of actin in the nucleus. A number of studies have uncovered the functional involvement of actin in nuclear processes. Actin as one of the nuclear components has its own structured and functional rules, such as nuclear matrix association, chromatin remodeling, transcription by RNA polymerases I, II, III and mRNA processing. In this historical review, we attempt to provide an overview of our current understanding of the functions of actin in the nucleus. PMID:25870830

  11. 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

  12. Amyloid precursor-like protein 2 (APLP2) affects the actin cytoskeleton and increases pancreatic cancer growth and metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Sheinin, Yuri; Naslavsky, Naava; Pan, Zenggang; Smith, Brittney L.; Peters, Haley L.; Radhakrishnan, Prakash; McKenna, Nicole R.; Giridharan, Sai Srinivas Panapakkam; Haridas, Dhanya; Kaur, Sukhwinder; Hollingsworth, Michael A.; MacDonald, Richard G.; Meza, Jane L.; Caplan, Steve; Batra, Surinder K.; Solheim, Joyce C.

    2015-01-01

    Amyloid precursor-like protein 2 (APLP2) is aberrantly expressed in pancreatic cancer. Here we showed that APLP2 is increased in pancreatic cancer metastases, particularly in metastatic lesions found in the diaphragm and intestine. Examination of matched human primary tumor-liver metastasis pairs showed that 38.1% of the patients had positive APLP2 expression in both the primary tumor and the corresponding liver metastasis. Stable knock-down of APLP2 expression (with inducible shRNA) in pancreatic cancer cells reduced the ability of these cells to migrate and invade. Loss of APLP2 decreased cortical actin and increased intracellular actin filaments in pancreatic cancer cells. Down-regulation of APLP2 decreased the weight and metastasis of orthotopically transplanted pancreatic tumors in nude mice. PMID:25576918

  13. Modeling F-actin cortex influence on the secretory properties of neuroendocrine cells

    PubMed Central

    Gil, Amparo

    2011-01-01

    Chromaffin cells are considered as one of the most valuable models to study regulated exocytosis. In these cells, like in other neuroendocrine systems, an intricate cortical cytoskeleton acts as a retentive network impeding vesicle access to plasma membrane. Therefore, during stimulation this structure suffers a transient reorganization allowing active transport of vesicles toward secretory sites. Interestingly, a combination of confocal microscopy studies and mathematical modeling is showing us new aspects of the influence of cortical cytoskeleton in shaping the secretory properties of excitable cells. In this new vision the F-actin-myosin II cortical cytoskeleton is organized forming polygonal cages with the molecular machinery of exocytosis composed by SNARE proteins and voltage-dependent calcium channels associating with its border. In this way the cytoskeleton not only holds together the essential elements acting during secretion, but we proposed that could also act as a structural factor opposing to the free diffusion of the calcium signal and therefore sustains high levels of the intracellular signal triggering exocytosis. PMID:21966558

  14. Essential and nonredundant roles for Diaphanous formins in cortical microtubule capture and directed cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Daou, Pascale; Hasan, Salma; Breitsprecher, Dennis; Baudelet, Emilie; Camoin, Luc; Audebert, Stéphane; Goode, Bruce L.; Badache, Ali

    2014-01-01

    Formins constitute a large family of proteins that regulate the dynamics and organization of both the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. Previously we showed that the formin mDia1 helps tether microtubules at the cell cortex, acting downstream of the ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase. Here we further study the contributions of mDia1 and its two most closely related formins, mDia2 and mDia3, to cortical microtubule capture and ErbB2-dependent breast carcinoma cell migration. We find that depletion of each of these three formins strongly disrupts chemotaxis without significantly affecting actin-based structures. Further, all three formins are required for formation of cortical microtubules in a nonredundant manner, and formin proteins defective in actin polymerization remain active for microtubule capture. Using affinity purification and mass spectrometry analysis, we identify differential binding partners of the formin-homology domain 2 (FH2) of mDia1, mDia2, and mDia3, which may explain their nonredundant roles in microtubule capture. The FH2 domain of mDia1 specifically interacts with Rab6-interacting protein 2 (Rab6IP2). Further, mDia1 is required for cortical localization of Rab6IP2, and concomitant depletion of Rab6IP2 and IQGAP1 severely disrupts cortical capture of microtubules, demonstrating the coinvolvement of mDia1, IQGAP1, and Rab6IP2 in microtubule tethering at the leading edge. PMID:24403606

  15. Partial Depletion of Gamma-Actin Suppresses Microtubule Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Po'uha, Sela T; Honore, Stephane; Braguer, Diane; Kavallaris, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Actin and microtubule interactions are important for many cellular events, however these interactions are poorly described. Alterations in γ-actin are associated with diseases such as hearing loss and cancer. Functional investigations demonstrated that partial depletion of γ-actin affects cell polarity and induces resistance to microtubule-targeted agents. To determine whether γ-actin alterations directly affect microtubule dynamics, microtubule dynamic instability was analyzed in living cells following partial siRNA depletion of γ-actin. Partial depletion of γ-actin suppresses interphase microtubule dynamics by 17.5% due to a decrease in microtubule shortening rates and an increase in microtubule attenuation. γ-Actin partial depletion also increased distance-based microtubule catastrophe and rescue frequencies. In addition, knockdown of γ-actin delayed mitotic progression, partially blocking metaphase–anaphase transition and inhibiting cell proliferation. Interestingly, in the presence of paclitaxel, interphase microtubule dynamics were further suppressed by 24.4% in the γ-actin knockdown cells, which is comparable to 28.8% suppression observed in the control siRNA treated cells. Paclitaxel blocked metaphase–anaphase transition in both the γ-actin knockdown cells and the control siRNA cells. However, the extent of mitotic arrest was much higher in the control cells (28.4%), compared to the γ-actin depleted cells (8.5%). Therefore, suppression of microtubule dynamics by partial depletion of γ-actin is associated with marked delays in metaphase-anaphase transition and not mitotic arrest. This is the first demonstration that γ-actin can modulate microtubule dynamics by reducing the microtubule shortening rate, promoting paused/attenuated microtubules, and increasing transition frequencies suggesting a mechanistic link between γ-actin and microtubules. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc PMID:23335583

  16. Distinct Functional Interactions between Actin Isoforms and Nonsarcomeric Myosins

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Mirco; Diensthuber, Ralph P.; Chizhov, Igor; Claus, Peter; Heissler, Sarah M.; Preller, Matthias; Taft, Manuel H.; Manstein, Dietmar J.

    2013-01-01

    Despite their near sequence identity, actin isoforms cannot completely replace each other in vivo and show marked differences in their tissue-specific and subcellular localization. Little is known about isoform-specific differences in their interactions with myosin motors and other actin-binding proteins. Mammalian cytoplasmic β- and γ-actin interact with nonsarcomeric conventional myosins such as the members of the nonmuscle myosin-2 family and myosin-7A. These interactions support a wide range of cellular processes including cytokinesis, maintenance of cell polarity, cell adhesion, migration, and mechano-electrical transduction. To elucidate differences in the ability of isoactins to bind and stimulate the enzymatic activity of individual myosin isoforms, we characterized the interactions of human skeletal muscle α-actin, cytoplasmic β-actin, and cytoplasmic γ-actin with human myosin-7A and nonmuscle myosins-2A, -2B and -2C1. In the case of nonmuscle myosins-2A and -2B, the interaction with either cytoplasmic actin isoform results in 4-fold greater stimulation of myosin ATPase activity than was observed in the presence of α-skeletal muscle actin. Nonmuscle myosin-2C1 is most potently activated by β-actin and myosin-7A by γ-actin. Our results indicate that β- and γ-actin isoforms contribute to the modulation of nonmuscle myosin-2 and myosin-7A activity and thereby to the spatial and temporal regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics. FRET-based analyses show efficient copolymerization abilities for the actin isoforms in vitro. Experiments with hybrid actin filaments show that the extent of actomyosin coupling efficiency can be regulated by the isoform composition of actin filaments. PMID:23923011

  17. Chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments in solar saltern microbial mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villanueva, Joan; Grimalt, Joan O.; de Wit, Rutger; Keely, Brendan J.; Maxwell, James R.

    1994-11-01

    The distributions of carotenoids, chlorophylls, and their degradation products have been studied in two microbial mat systems developed in the calcite and calcite/gypsum evaporite domains of a solar saltern system. Phormidium valderianum and Microcoleus chthonoplastes are the dominant cyanobacterial species, respectively, and large amounts of Chloroflexus-like bacteria occur in the carbonate/gypsum mat. In both systems, the major pigments are chlorophyll a, zeaxanthin, β-carotene and myxoxanthophyll, which originate from these mat-building cyanobacteria. This common feature contrasts with differences in other pigments that are specific for each mat community. Thus, chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin, reflecting diatom inputs, are only found in the calcite mat, whereas the calcite/gypsum mat contains high concentrations of bacteriochlorophylls c produced by the multicellular green filamentous bacteria. In both cases, the depth concentration profiles (0-30 and 0-40 mm) show a relatively good preservation of the cyanobacterial carotenoids, zeaxanthin, β-carotene, myxoxanthophyll, and echinenone. This contrasts with the extensive biodegradation of cyanobacterial remains observed microscopically. Fucoxanthin in the calcite mat is also transformed at a faster rate than the cyanobacterial carotenoids. Chlorophyll a, the major pigment in both mats, exhibits different transformation pathways. In the calcite/gypsum mat, it is transformed via C-13 2 carbomethoxy defunctionalization prior to loss of the phytyl chain, leading to the formation of pyrophaeophytin a and, subsequently, pyrophaeophorbide a. On the other hand, the occurrence of the enzyme chlorophyllase, attributed to diatoms in the calcite mat, gives rise to extensive phytyl hydrolysis, with the formation of chlorophyllide a, pyrophaeophorbide a and, in minor proportion, phaeophorbide a. Studies of the sources of the photosynthetic pigments and of their transformation pathways in such simplified ecosystems provide a

  18. Benthic Marine Cyanobacterial Mat Ecosystems: Biogeochemistry and Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats are complete ecosystems that can include processes of primary production, diagenesis and lithification. Light sustains oxygenic photosynthesis, which in turn provides energy, organic matter and oxygen to the community. Due to both absorption and scattering phenomena, incident light is transformed with depth in the mat, both in intensity and spectral composition. Mobile photo synthesizers optimize their position with respect to this light gradient. When photosynthesis ceases at night, the upper layers of the mat become reduced and sulfidic. Counteracting gradients of oxygen and sulfide combine to provide daily-contrasting environments separated on a scale of a few mm. The functional complexity of mats, coupled with the highly proximal and ordered spatial arrangement of biota, offers the potential for a staggering number of interactions. At a minimum, the products of each functional group of microorganisms affect the other groups both positively and negatively. For example, cyanobacteria generate organic matter (potential substrates) but also oxygen (a toxin for many anaerobes). Anaerobic activity recycles nutrients to the photosynthesizers but also generates potentially toxic sulfide. The combination of benefits and hazards of light, oxygen and sulfide promotes the allocation of the various essential mat processes between light and dark periods, and to various depths in the mat. Observations of mats have produced numerous surprises. For example, obligately anaerobic processes can occur in the presence of abundant oxygen, highly reduced gases are produced in the presence of abundant sulfate, meiofauna thrive at high sulfide concentrations, and the mats' constituent populations respond to environmental changes in complex ways. While photosynthetic bacteria dominate the biomass and productivity of the mat, nonphotosynthetic, anaerobic processes constitute the ultimate biological filter on the ecosystem's emergent biosignatures, including those

  19. Elastic-plastic behavior of non-woven fibrous mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silberstein, Meredith N.; Pai, Chia-Ling; Rutledge, Gregory C.; Boyce, Mary C.

    2012-02-01

    Electrospinning is a novel method for creating non-woven polymer mats that have high surface area and high porosity. These attributes make them ideal candidates for multifunctional composites. Understanding the mechanical properties as a function of fiber properties and mat microstructure can aid in designing these composites. Further, a constitutive model which captures the membrane stress-strain behavior as a function of fiber properties and the geometry of the fibrous network would be a powerful design tool. Here, mats electrospun from amorphous polyamide are used as a model system. The elastic-plastic behavior of single fibers are obtained in tensile tests. Uniaxial monotonic and cyclic tensile tests are conducted on non-woven mats. The mat exhibits elastic-plastic stress-strain behavior. The transverse strain behavior provides important complementary data, showing a negligible initial Poisson's ratio followed by a transverse:axial strain ratio greater than -1:1 after an axial strain of 0.02. A triangulated framework has been developed to emulate the fibrous network structure of the mat. The micromechanically based model incorporates the elastic-plastic behavior of single fibers into a macroscopic membrane model of the mat. This representative volume element based model is shown to capture the uniaxial elastic-plastic response of the mat under monotonic and cyclic loading. The initial modulus and yield stress of the mat are governed by the fiber properties, the network geometry, and the network density. The transverse strain behavior is linked to discrete deformation mechanisms of the fibrous mat structure including fiber alignment, fiber bending, and network consolidation. The model is further validated in comparison to experiments under different constrained axial loading conditions and found to capture the constraint effect on stiffness, yield, post-yield hardening, and post-yield transverse strain behavior. Due to the direct connection between

  20. Caffeine relaxes smooth muscle through actin depolymerization.

    PubMed

    Tazzeo, Tracy; Bates, Genevieve; Roman, Horia Nicolae; Lauzon, Anne-Marie; Khasnis, Mukta D; Eto, Masumi; Janssen, Luke J

    2012-08-15

    Caffeine is sometimes used in cell physiological studies to release internally stored Ca(2+). We obtained evidence that caffeine may also act through a different mechanism that has not been previously described and sought to examine this in greater detail. We ruled out a role for phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibition, since the effect was 1) not reversed by inhibiting PKA or adenylate cyclase; 2) not exacerbated by inhibiting PDE4; and 3) not mimicked by submillimolar caffeine nor theophylline, both of which are sufficient to inhibit PDE. Although caffeine is an agonist of bitter taste receptors, which in turn mediate bronchodilation, its relaxant effect was not mimicked by quinine. After permeabilizing the membrane using β-escin and depleting the internal Ca(2+) store using A23187, we found that 10 mM caffeine reversed tone evoked by direct application of Ca(2+), suggesting it functionally antagonizes the contractile apparatus. Using a variety of molecular techniques, we found that caffeine did not affect phosphorylation of myosin light chain (MLC) by MLC kinase, actin-filament motility catalyzed by MLC kinase, phosphorylation of CPI-17 by either protein kinase C or RhoA kinase, nor the activity of MLC-phosphatase. However, we did obtain evidence that caffeine decreased actin filament binding to phosphorylated myosin heads and increased the ratio of globular to filamentous actin in precontracted tissues. We conclude that, in addition to its other non-RyR targets, caffeine also interferes with actin function (decreased binding by myosin, possibly with depolymerization), an effect that should be borne in mind in studies using caffeine to probe excitation-contraction coupling in smooth muscle.

  1. Summertime actinic lichenoid eruption (lichen planus actinicus).

    PubMed

    Isaacson, D; Turner, M L; Elgart, M L

    1981-04-01

    A patient with an unusual lichenoid photosensitive eruption is presented. The features differentiating this entity from classic lichen planus, lupus erythematosus, and polymorphous light eruption are discussed. Phototesting confirmed the provocative influence of sunlight. We prefer the name "summertime actinic lichenoid eruption" to that of "lichen planus subtropicus" or "lichen planus actinicus," since this condition is not confined to subtropical countries, and, although light appears to initiate the eruption, its exact relationship to lichen planus is unclear.

  2. Viscoelastic properties of actin-coated membranes.

    PubMed

    Helfer, E; Harlepp, S; Bourdieu, L; Robert, J; MacKintosh, F C; Chatenay, D

    2001-02-01

    In living cells, cytoskeletal filaments interact with the plasma membrane to form structures that play a key role in cell shape and mechanical properties. To study the interaction between these basic components, we designed an in vitro self-assembled network of actin filaments attached to the outer surface of giant unilamellar vesicles. Optical tweezers and single-particle tracking experiments are used to study the rich dynamics of these actin-coated membranes (ACM). We show that microrheology studies can be carried out on such an individual microscopic object. The principle of the experiment consists in measuring the thermally excited position fluctuations of a probe bead attached biochemically to the membrane. We propose a model that relates the power spectrum of these thermal fluctuations to the viscoelastic properties of the membrane. The presence of the actin network modifies strongly the membrane dynamics with respect to a fluid, lipid bilayer one. It induces first a finite (omega=0) two-dimensional (2D) shear modulus G(0)(2D) approximately 0.5 to 5 microN/m in the membrane plane. Moreover, the frequency dependence at high frequency of the shear modulus [G(')(2D)(f ) approximately f(0.85+/-0.07)] and of the bending modulus (kappa(ACM)(f) approximately f(0.55+/-0.21)) demonstrate the viscoelastic behavior of the composite membrane. These results are consistent with a common exponent of 0.75 for both moduli as expected from our model and from prior measurements on actin solutions.

  3. Novel roles for actin in mitochondrial fission

    PubMed Central

    Hatch, Anna L.; Gurel, Pinar S.; Higgs, Henry N.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mitochondrial dynamics, including fusion, fission and translocation, are crucial to cellular homeostasis, with roles in cellular polarity, stress response and apoptosis. Mitochondrial fission has received particular attention, owing to links with several neurodegenerative diseases. A central player in fission is the cytoplasmic dynamin-related GTPase Drp1, which oligomerizes at the fission site and hydrolyzes GTP to drive membrane ingression. Drp1 recruitment to the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) is a key regulatory event, which appears to require a pre-constriction step in which the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondrion interact extensively, a process termed ERMD (ER-associated mitochondrial division). It is unclear how ER–mitochondrial contact generates the force required for pre-constriction or why pre-constriction leads to Drp1 recruitment. Recent results, however, show that ERMD might be an actin-based process in mammals that requires the ER-associated formin INF2 upstream of Drp1, and that myosin II and other actin-binding proteins might be involved. In this Commentary, we present a mechanistic model for mitochondrial fission in which actin and myosin contribute in two ways; firstly, by supplying the force for pre-constriction and secondly, by serving as a coincidence detector for Drp1 binding. In addition, we discuss the possibility that multiple fission mechanisms exist in mammals. PMID:25217628

  4. Virulent Burkholderia species mimic host actin polymerases to drive actin-based motility

    PubMed Central

    Benanti, Erin L.; Nguyen, Catherine M.; Welch, Matthew D.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei are bacterial pathogens that cause melioidosis and glanders, while their close relative B. thailandensis is nonpathogenic. All use the trimeric autotransporter BimA to facilitate actin-based motility, host cell fusion and dissemination. Here, we show that BimA orthologs mimic different host actin-polymerizing proteins. B. thailandensis BimA activates the host Arp2/3 complex. In contrast, B. pseudomallei and B. mallei BimA mimic host Ena/VASP actin polymerases in their ability to nucleate, elongate and bundle filaments by associating with barbed ends, as well as in their use of WH2 motifs and oligomerization for activity. Mechanistic differences among BimA orthologs resulted in distinct actin filament organization and motility parameters, which affected the efficiency of cell fusion during infection. Our results identify bacterial Ena/VASP mimics and reveal that pathogens imitate the full spectrum of host actin-polymerizing pathways, suggesting that mimicry of different polymerization mechanisms influences key parameters of infection. PMID:25860613

  5. Virulent Burkholderia species mimic host actin polymerases to drive actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Benanti, Erin L; Nguyen, Catherine M; Welch, Matthew D

    2015-04-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei are bacterial pathogens that cause melioidosis and glanders, whereas their close relative B. thailandensis is non-pathogenic. All use the trimeric autotransporter BimA to facilitate actin-based motility, host cell fusion, and dissemination. Here, we show that BimA orthologs mimic different host actin-polymerizing proteins. B. thailandensis BimA activates the host Arp2/3 complex. In contrast, B. pseudomallei and B. mallei BimA mimic host Ena/VASP actin polymerases in their ability to nucleate, elongate, and bundle filaments by associating with barbed ends, as well as in their use of WH2 motifs and oligomerization for activity. Mechanistic differences among BimA orthologs resulted in distinct actin filament organization and motility parameters, which affected the efficiency of cell fusion during infection. Our results identify bacterial Ena/VASP mimics and reveal that pathogens imitate the full spectrum of host actin-polymerizing pathways, suggesting that mimicry of different polymerization mechanisms influences key parameters of infection.

  6. 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

  7. Computational Study of the Binding Mechanism of Actin-Depolymerizing Factor 1 with Actin in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xue; Dong, Chun-Hai; Yang, Jian Ming; Yao, Xiao Jun

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved protein. It plays important roles in cellular function and exists either in the monomeric (G-actin) or polymeric form (F-actin). Members of the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin protein family bind to both G-actin and F-actin and play vital roles in actin dynamics by manipulating the rates of filament polymerization and depolymerization. It has been reported that the S6D and R98A/K100A mutants of actin-depolymerizing factor 1 (ADF1) in Arabidopsis thaliana decreased the binding affinity of ADF for the actin monomer. To investigate the binding mechanism and dynamic behavior of the ADF1–actin complex, we constructed a homology model of the AtADF1–actin complex based on the crystal structure of AtADF1 and the twinfilin C-terminal ADF-H domain in a complex with a mouse actin monomer. The model was then refined for subsequent molecular dynamics simulations. Increased binding energy of the mutated system was observed using the Molecular Mechanics Generalized Born Surface Area and Poisson–Boltzmann Surface Area (MM-GB/PBSA) methods. To determine the residues that make decisive contributions to the ADF1 actin-binding affinity, per-residue decomposition and computational alanine scanning analyses were performed, which provided more detailed information on the binding mechanism. Root-mean-square fluctuation and principal component analyses confirmed that the S6D and R98A/K100A mutants induced an increased conformational flexibility. The comprehensive molecular insight gained from this study is of great importance for understanding the binding mechanism of ADF1 and G-actin. PMID:27414648

  8. Computational Study of the Binding Mechanism of Actin-Depolymerizing Factor 1 with Actin in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Du, Juan; Wang, Xue; Dong, Chun-Hai; Yang, Jian Ming; Yao, Xiao Jun

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved protein. It plays important roles in cellular function and exists either in the monomeric (G-actin) or polymeric form (F-actin). Members of the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin protein family bind to both G-actin and F-actin and play vital roles in actin dynamics by manipulating the rates of filament polymerization and depolymerization. It has been reported that the S6D and R98A/K100A mutants of actin-depolymerizing factor 1 (ADF1) in Arabidopsis thaliana decreased the binding affinity of ADF for the actin monomer. To investigate the binding mechanism and dynamic behavior of the ADF1-actin complex, we constructed a homology model of the AtADF1-actin complex based on the crystal structure of AtADF1 and the twinfilin C-terminal ADF-H domain in a complex with a mouse actin monomer. The model was then refined for subsequent molecular dynamics simulations. Increased binding energy of the mutated system was observed using the Molecular Mechanics Generalized Born Surface Area and Poisson-Boltzmann Surface Area (MM-GB/PBSA) methods. To determine the residues that make decisive contributions to the ADF1 actin-binding affinity, per-residue decomposition and computational alanine scanning analyses were performed, which provided more detailed information on the binding mechanism. Root-mean-square fluctuation and principal component analyses confirmed that the S6D and R98A/K100A mutants induced an increased conformational flexibility. The comprehensive molecular insight gained from this study is of great importance for understanding the binding mechanism of ADF1 and G-actin. PMID:27414648

  9. A Recombinationally Repressed Region between Mat2 and Mat3 Loci Shares Homology to Centromeric Repeats and Regulates Directionality of Mating-Type Switching in Fission Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Grewal, SIS.; Klar, AJS.

    1997-01-01

    Cells of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe switch mating type by replacing genetic information at the transcriptionally active mat1 locus with sequences copied from one of two closely linked silent loci, mat2-P or mat3-M. By a process referred to as directionality of switching, cells predominantly switch to the opposite mat1 allele; the mat1-P allele preferentially recombines with mat3, while mat1-M selects the mat2. In contrast to efficient recombination at mat1, recombination within the adjoining mat2-mat3 interval is undetectable. We defined the role of sequences between mat2 and mat3, designated the K-region, in directionality as well as recombinational suppression. Cloning and sequencing analysis revealed that a part of the K-region is homologous to repeat sequences present at centromeres, which also display transcriptional and recombinational suppression. Replacement of 7.5 kb of the K-region with the ura4(+) gene affected directionality in a variegated manner. Analysis of the swi6-mod locus, which was previously shown to affect directionality, in KΔ::ura4(+) strains suggested the existence of at least two overlapping directionality mechanisms. Our work furthers the model that directionality is regulated by cell-type-specific organization of the heterochromatin-like structure in the mating-type region and provides evidence that the K-region contributes to silencing of the mat2-mat3 interval. PMID:9258669

  10. Interplay between kinesin-1 and cortical dynein during axonal outgrowth and microtubule organization in Drosophila neurons

    PubMed Central

    del Castillo, Urko; Winding, Michael; Lu, Wen; Gelfand, Vladimir I

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we investigated how microtubule motors organize microtubules in Drosophila neurons. We showed that, during the initial stages of axon outgrowth, microtubules display mixed polarity and minus-end-out microtubules push the tip of the axon, consistent with kinesin-1 driving outgrowth by sliding antiparallel microtubules. At later stages, the microtubule orientation in the axon switches from mixed to uniform polarity with plus-end-out. Dynein knockdown prevents this rearrangement and results in microtubules of mixed orientation in axons and accumulation of microtubule minus-ends at axon tips. Microtubule reorganization requires recruitment of dynein to the actin cortex, as actin depolymerization phenocopies dynein depletion, and direct recruitment of dynein to the membrane bypasses the actin requirement. Our results show that cortical dynein slides ‘minus-end-out’ microtubules from the axon, generating uniform microtubule arrays. We speculate that differences in microtubule orientation between axons and dendrites could be dictated by differential activity of cortical dynein. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10140.001 PMID:26615019

  11. 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.

  12. Tropomyosin - master regulator of actin filament function in the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Gunning, Peter W; Hardeman, Edna C; Lappalainen, Pekka; Mulvihill, Daniel P

    2015-08-15

    Tropomyosin (Tpm) isoforms are the master regulators of the functions of individual actin filaments in fungi and metazoans. Tpms are coiled-coil parallel dimers that form a head-to-tail polymer along the length of actin filaments. Yeast only has two Tpm isoforms, whereas mammals have over 40. Each cytoskeletal actin filament contains a homopolymer of Tpm homodimers, resulting in a filament of uniform Tpm composition along its length. Evidence for this 'master regulator' role is based on four core sets of observation. First, spatially and functionally distinct actin filaments contain different Tpm isoforms, and recent data suggest that members of the formin family of actin filament nucleators can specify which Tpm isoform is added to the growing actin filament. Second, Tpms regulate whole-organism physiology in terms of morphogenesis, cell proliferation, vesicle trafficking, biomechanics, glucose metabolism and organ size in an isoform-specific manner. Third, Tpms achieve these functional outputs by regulating the interaction of actin filaments with myosin motors and actin-binding proteins in an isoform-specific manner. Last, the assembly of complex structures, such as stress fibers and podosomes involves the collaboration of multiple types of actin filament specified by their Tpm composition. This allows the cell to specify actin filament function in time and space by simply specifying their Tpm isoform composition.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Effect of Tropomyosin on Formin-Bound Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Ujfalusi, Zoltán; Vig, Andrea; Hild, Gábor; Nyitrai, Miklós

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Formins are conservative proteins with important roles in the regulation of the microfilament system in eukaryotic cells. Previous studies showed that the binding of formins to actin made the structure of actin filaments more flexible. Here, the effects of tropomyosin on formin-induced changes in actin filaments were investigated using fluorescence spectroscopic methods. The temperature dependence of the Förster-type resonance energy transfer showed that the formin-induced increase of flexibility of actin filaments was diminished by the binding of tropomyosin to actin. Fluorescence anisotropy decay measurements also revealed that the structure of flexible formin-bound actin filaments was stabilized by the binding of tropomyosin. The stabilizing effect reached its maximum when all binding sites on actin were occupied by tropomyosin. The effect of tropomyosin on actin filaments was independent of ionic strength, but became stronger as the magnesium concentration increased. Based on these observations, we propose that in cells there is a molecular mechanism in which tropomyosin binding to actin plays an important role in forming mechanically stable actin filaments, even in the case of formin-induced rapid filament assembly. PMID:18931257

  16. 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

  17. The Yeast Actin Cytoskeleton: from Cellular Function to Biochemical Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Moseley, James B.; Goode, Bruce L.

    2006-01-01

    All cells undergo rapid remodeling of their actin networks to regulate such critical processes as endocytosis, cytokinesis, cell polarity, and cell morphogenesis. These events are driven by the coordinated activities of a set of 20 to 30 highly conserved actin-associated proteins, in addition to many cell-specific actin-associated proteins and numerous upstream signaling molecules. The combined activities of these factors control with exquisite precision the spatial and temporal assembly of actin structures and ensure dynamic turnover of actin structures such that cells can rapidly alter their cytoskeletons in response to internal and external cues. One of the most exciting principles to emerge from the last decade of research on actin is that the assembly of architecturally diverse actin structures is governed by highly conserved machinery and mechanisms. With this realization, it has become apparent that pioneering efforts in budding yeast have contributed substantially to defining the universal mechanisms regulating actin dynamics in eukaryotes. In this review, we first describe the filamentous actin structures found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (patches, cables, and rings) and their physiological functions, and then we discuss in detail the specific roles of actin-associated proteins and their biochemical mechanisms of action. PMID:16959963

  18. Tropomyosin - master regulator of actin filament function in the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Gunning, Peter W; Hardeman, Edna C; Lappalainen, Pekka; Mulvihill, Daniel P

    2015-08-15

    Tropomyosin (Tpm) isoforms are the master regulators of the functions of individual actin filaments in fungi and metazoans. Tpms are coiled-coil parallel dimers that form a head-to-tail polymer along the length of actin filaments. Yeast only has two Tpm isoforms, whereas mammals have over 40. Each cytoskeletal actin filament contains a homopolymer of Tpm homodimers, resulting in a filament of uniform Tpm composition along its length. Evidence for this 'master regulator' role is based on four core sets of observation. First, spatially and functionally distinct actin filaments contain different Tpm isoforms, and recent data suggest that members of the formin family of actin filament nucleators can specify which Tpm isoform is added to the growing actin filament. Second, Tpms regulate whole-organism physiology in terms of morphogenesis, cell proliferation, vesicle trafficking, biomechanics, glucose metabolism and organ size in an isoform-specific manner. Third, Tpms achieve these functional outputs by regulating the interaction of actin filaments with myosin motors and actin-binding proteins in an isoform-specific manner. Last, the assembly of complex structures, such as stress fibers and podosomes involves the collaboration of multiple types of actin filament specified by their Tpm composition. This allows the cell to specify actin filament function in time and space by simply specifying their Tpm isoform composition. PMID:26240174

  19. Sequence and comparative genomic analysis of actin-related proteins.

    PubMed

    Muller, Jean; Oma, Yukako; Vallar, Laurent; Friederich, Evelyne; Poch, Olivier; Winsor, Barbara

    2005-12-01

    Actin-related proteins (ARPs) are key players in cytoskeleton activities and nuclear functions. Two complexes, ARP2/3 and ARP1/11, also known as dynactin, are implicated in actin dynamics and in microtubule-based trafficking, respectively. ARP4 to ARP9 are components of many chromatin-modulating complexes. Conventional actins and ARPs codefine a large family of homologous proteins, the actin superfamily, with a tertiary structure known as the actin fold. Because ARPs and actin share high sequence conservation, clear family definition requires distinct features to easily and systematically identify each subfamily. In this study we performed an in depth sequence and comparative genomic analysis of ARP subfamilies. A high-quality multiple alignment of approximately 700 complete protein sequences homologous to actin, including 148 ARP sequences, allowed us to extend the ARP classification to new organisms. Sequence alignments revealed conserved residues, motifs, and inserted sequence signatures to define each ARP subfamily. These discriminative characteristics allowed us to develop ARPAnno (http://bips.u-strasbg.fr/ARPAnno), a new web server dedicated to the annotation of ARP sequences. Analyses of sequence conservation among actins and ARPs highlight part of the actin fold and suggest interactions between ARPs and actin-binding proteins. Finally, analysis of ARP distribution across eukaryotic phyla emphasizes the central importance of nuclear ARPs, particularly the multifunctional ARP4.

  20. Dissociation of F-actin induced by hydrostatic pressure.

    PubMed

    Garcia, C R; Amaral Júnior, J A; Abrahamsohn, P; Verjovski-Almeida, S

    1992-11-01

    F-actin purified from rabbit skeletal muscle undergoes reversible dissociation when subjected to hydrostatic pressures up to 240 MPa. Dissociation and reversibility were detected by the following procedures: fluorescence spectral changes observed under pressure, when either intrinsic tryptophan or pyrenyl emission of N-(1-pyrenyl)iodoacetamide-labeled actin were monitored; electron microscopy of samples fixed under pressure; size-exclusion HPLC of pressurized actin. The effect of pressure upon F-actin that had been polymerized in the presence of either Mg2+, Ca2+ or K+ was studied. The standard volume changes for the association of actin subunits, calculated from pressure/dissociation curves were 74 +/- 14 ml/mol for Mg-F-actin, 79 +/- 12 ml/mol for Ca-F-actin and 328 +/- 63 ml/mol for K-F-actin, indicating that actin subunits are packed differently in the polymer depending on which cation is present. All pressure/dissociation data could be fitted by a model for dissociation of a dimer, which suggests that in the F-actin filament there is a predominant intersubunit interaction interface, most likely the head-to-tail intrastrand interaction between two subunits which repeats itself along the polymer. A tenfold change in total protein concentration from 20 micrograms to 200 micrograms/ml Mg-F-actin did not cause a change in the pressure required for half-maximal dissociation. This indicates a heterogeneity of free energy of association among actin monomers in the Mg-F-actin polymer, suggesting that, in addition to the predominant intersubunit interaction, the disordered interactions in the filament significantly contribute to the heterogeneity of microenvironments in the interface between the subunits. PMID:1425683

  1. Fibroblast-mediated contraction in actinically exposed and actinically protected aging skin

    SciTech Connect

    Marks, M.W.; Morykwas, M.J.; Wheatley, M.J. )

    1990-08-01

    The changes in skin morphology over time are a consequence of both chronologic aging and the accumulation of environmental exposure. Through observation, we know that actinic radiation intensifies the apparent aging of skin. We have investigated the effects of aging and actinic radiation on the ability of fibroblasts to contract collagen-fibroblast lattices. Preauricular and postauricular skin samples were obtained from eight patients aged 49 to 74 undergoing rhytidectomy. The samples were kept separate, and the fibroblasts were grown in culture. Lattices constructed with preauricular fibroblasts consistently contracted more than lattices containing postauricular fibroblasts. The difference in amount of contraction in 7 days between sites was greatest for the younger patients and decreased linearly as donor age increased (r = -0.96). This difference may be due to preauricular fibroblasts losing their ability to contract a lattice as aging skin is exposed to more actinic radiation.

  2. Photorhabdus luminescens toxins ADP-ribosylate actin and RhoA to force actin clustering.

    PubMed

    Lang, Alexander E; Schmidt, Gudula; Schlosser, Andreas; Hey, Timothy D; Larrinua, Ignacio M; Sheets, Joel J; Mannherz, Hans G; Aktories, Klaus

    2010-02-26

    The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens is mutualistically associated with entomopathogenetic nematodes. These nematodes invade insect larvae and release the bacteria from their intestine, which kills the insects through the action of toxin complexes. We elucidated the mode of action of two of these insecticidal toxins from P. luminescens. We identified the biologically active components TccC3 and TccC5 as adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosyltransferases, which modify unusual amino acids. TccC3 ADP-ribosylated threonine-148 of actin, resulting in actin polymerization. TccC5 ADP-ribosylated Rho guanosine triphosphatase proteins at glutamine-61 and glutamine-63, inducing their activation. The concerted action of both toxins inhibited phagocytosis of target insect cells and induced extensive intracellular polymerization and clustering of actin. Several human pathogenic bacteria produce related toxins. PMID:20185726

  3. First insights into fern matK phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Li-Yaung; Li, Fay-Wei; Chiou, Wen-Liang; Wang, Chun-Neng

    2011-06-01

    MatK, the only maturase gene in the land plant plastid genome, is a very popular phylogenetic marker that has been extensively applied in reconstructing angiosperm phylogeny. However, the use of matK in fern phylogeny is largely unknown, due to difficulties with amplification: ferns have lost the flanking trnK exons, typically the region used for designing stable priming sites. We developed primers that are either universal or lineage-specific that successfully amplify matK across all fern families. To evaluate whether matK is as powerful a phylogenetic marker in ferns as in angiosperms, we compared its sequence characteristics and phylogenetic performance to those of rbcL and atpA. Among these three genes, matK has the highest variability and substitution evenness, yet shows the least homoplasy. Most importantly, applying matK in fern phylogenetics better resolved relationships among families, especially within eupolypods I and II. Here we demonstrate the power of matK for fern phylogenetic reconstruction, as well as provide primers and extensive sequence data that will greatly facilitate future evolutionary studies of ferns.

  4. Potential for bioremediating using constructed mixed microbial mats

    SciTech Connect

    Goodroad, L.; Bender, J.; Phillips, P.; Gould, J.; Saha, G.; Rodriguez-Eaton, S.; Vatcharapijarn, Y.; Lee, R.; Word, J.

    1994-12-31

    Microbial mats are natural heterotrophic and autotrophic communities dominated by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). They are self-organized laminated structures annealed tightly together by slimy secretions from various Microbial components. The surface slime of the mats effectively immobilizes the ecosystem to a variety of substrates, thereby stabilizing the most efficient internal microbial structure. Constructed microbial mats can be generated rapidly by enriching a water surface with ensiled grass clippings. These constructed mats are durable, tolerant to a variety of toxins and resilient under changing environmental conditions. The mats can he designed for specific tasks by inoculating the cyanobacteria/silage with selected microorganisms. Mats constructed with specific microbial components have been developed for various bioremediation applications: removal of metals, organic degradation, treatment of mixed contaminants, biological treatment ponds, and soil remediation. Constructed mats offer a broad range of mechanisms related to the sequestration of heavy metals, the biodegradation of recalcitrant organic compounds, and the remediation of mixed organic/inorganic contaminants such as TCE and carbofuran with heavy metals.

  5. The MAT locus genes play different roles in sexual reproduction and pathogenesis in Fusarium graminearum.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Qian; Hou, Rui; Juanyu; Zhang; Ma, Jiwen; Wu, Zhongshou; Wang, Guanghui; Wang, Chenfang; Xu, Jin-Rong

    2013-01-01

    Sexual reproduction plays a critical role in the infection cycle of Fusarium graminearum because ascospores are the primary inoculum. As a homothallic ascomycete, F. graminearum contains both the MAT1-1 and MAT1-2-1 loci in the genome. To better understand their functions and regulations in sexual reproduction and pathogenesis, in this study we assayed the expression, interactions, and mutant phenotypes of individual MAT locus genes. Whereas the expression of MAT1-1-1 and MAT12-1 rapidly increased after perithecial induction and began to decline after 1 day post-perithecial induction (dpi), the expression of MAT1-1-2 and MAT1-1-3 peaked at 4 dpi. MAT1-1-2 and MAT1-1-3 had a similar expression profile and likely are controlled by a bidirectional promoter. Although none of the MAT locus genes were essential for perithecium formation, all of them were required for ascosporogenesis in self-crosses. In outcrosses, the mat11-1-2 and mat11-1-3 mutants were fertile but the mat1-1-1 and mat1-2-1 mutants displayed male- and female-specific defects, respectively. The mat1-2-1 mutant was reduced in FgSO expression and hyphal fusion. Mat1-1-2 interacted with all other MAT locus transcription factors, suggesting that they may form a protein complex during sexual reproduction. Mat1-1-1 also interacted with FgMcm1, which may play a role in controlling cell identity and sexual development. Interestingly, the mat1-1-1 and mat1-2-1 mutants were reduced in virulence in corn stalk rot assays although none of the MAT locus genes was important for wheat infection. The MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 genes may play a host-specific role in colonization of corn stalks. PMID:23826182

  6. The MAT Locus Genes Play Different Roles in Sexual Reproduction and Pathogenesis in Fusarium graminearum

    PubMed Central

    Juanyu; Zhang; Ma, Jiwen; Wu, Zhongshou; Wang, Guanghui; Wang, Chenfang; Xu, Jin-Rong

    2013-01-01

    Sexual reproduction plays a critical role in the infection cycle of Fusarium graminearum because ascospores are the primary inoculum. As a homothallic ascomycete, F. graminearum contains both the MAT1-1 and MAT1-2-1 loci in the genome. To better understand their functions and regulations in sexual reproduction and pathogenesis, in this study we assayed the expression, interactions, and mutant phenotypes of individual MAT locus genes. Whereas the expression of MAT1-1-1 and MAT12-1 rapidly increased after perithecial induction and began to decline after 1 day post-perithecial induction (dpi), the expression of MAT1-1-2 and MAT1-1-3 peaked at 4 dpi. MAT1-1-2 and MAT1-1-3 had a similar expression profile and likely are controlled by a bidirectional promoter. Although none of the MAT locus genes were essential for perithecium formation, all of them were required for ascosporogenesis in self-crosses. In outcrosses, the mat11-1-2 and mat11-1-3 mutants were fertile but the mat1-1-1 and mat1-2-1 mutants displayed male- and female-specific defects, respectively. The mat1-2-1 mutant was reduced in FgSO expression and hyphal fusion. Mat1-1-2 interacted with all other MAT locus transcription factors, suggesting that they may form a protein complex during sexual reproduction. Mat1-1-1 also interacted with FgMcm1, which may play a role in controlling cell identity and sexual development. Interestingly, the mat1-1-1 and mat1-2-1 mutants were reduced in virulence in corn stalk rot assays although none of the MAT locus genes was important for wheat infection. The MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 genes may play a host-specific role in colonization of corn stalks. PMID:23826182

  7. The MAT locus genes play different roles in sexual reproduction and pathogenesis in Fusarium graminearum.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Qian; Hou, Rui; Juanyu; Zhang; Ma, Jiwen; Wu, Zhongshou; Wang, Guanghui; Wang, Chenfang; Xu, Jin-Rong

    2013-01-01

    Sexual reproduction plays a critical role in the infection cycle of Fusarium graminearum because ascospores are the primary inoculum. As a homothallic ascomycete, F. graminearum contains both the MAT1-1 and MAT1-2-1 loci in the genome. To better understand their functions and regulations in sexual reproduction and pathogenesis, in this study we assayed the expression, interactions, and mutant phenotypes of individual MAT locus genes. Whereas the expression of MAT1-1-1 and MAT12-1 rapidly increased after perithecial induction and began to decline after 1 day post-perithecial induction (dpi), the expression of MAT1-1-2 and MAT1-1-3 peaked at 4 dpi. MAT1-1-2 and MAT1-1-3 had a similar expression profile and likely are controlled by a bidirectional promoter. Although none of the MAT locus genes were essential for perithecium formation, all of them were required for ascosporogenesis in self-crosses. In outcrosses, the mat11-1-2 and mat11-1-3 mutants were fertile but the mat1-1-1 and mat1-2-1 mutants displayed male- and female-specific defects, respectively. The mat1-2-1 mutant was reduced in FgSO expression and hyphal fusion. Mat1-1-2 interacted with all other MAT locus transcription factors, suggesting that they may form a protein complex during sexual reproduction. Mat1-1-1 also interacted with FgMcm1, which may play a role in controlling cell identity and sexual development. Interestingly, the mat1-1-1 and mat1-2-1 mutants were reduced in virulence in corn stalk rot assays although none of the MAT locus genes was important for wheat infection. The MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 genes may play a host-specific role in colonization of corn stalks.

  8. Using Intact Iron Microbial Mats to Gain Insights Into Mat Ecology and Geochemical Niche at the Microbial Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glazer, B. T.; Chan, C. S. Y.; Mcallister, S.; Leavitt, A.; Emerson, D.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial mats are formed by microorganisms working in coordinated symbiosis, often benefitting the community by controlling the local geochemical or physical environment. Thus, the ecology of the mat depends on the individual roles of microbes organized into niches within a larger architecture. Chemolithotrophic Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) form distinctive Fe oxyhydroxide biominerals which constitute the building blocks of the mat. However, the majority of our progress has been in understanding the overall community structure. Understanding the physical mat structure on the microbial scale is important to unraveling FeOB evolution, the biogeochemistry and ecology of Fe-rich habitats, and ultimately interpreting FeOB biosignatures in the rock record. Mats in freshwater and marine environments contain strikingly similar biomineral morphologies, yet they are formed by phylogenetically distinct microorganisms. This suggests that the overall architecture and underlying genetics of freshwater and marine mats has evolved to serve particular roles specific to Fe oxidation. Thus, we conducted a comparative study of Fe seep freshwater mats and marine hydrothermal mats. We have developed a new approach to sampling Fe mats in order to preserve the delicate structure for analysis by confocal and scanning electron microscopy. Our analyses of these intact mats show that freshwater and marine mats are similarly initiated by a single type of structure-former. These ecosystem engineers form either a hollow sheath or a twisted stalk biomineral during mat formation, with a highly directional structure. These microbes appear to be the vanguard organisms that anchor the community within oxygen/Fe(II) gradients, further allowing for community succession in the mat interior as evidenced by other mineralized morphologies. Patterns in biomineral thickness and directionality were indicative of redox gradients and temporal changes in the geochemical environment. These observations show that

  9. Manganese Influences Carbonate Precipitation in a Laminated Microbial Mat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krusor, M.; Grim, S. L.; Wilmeth, D.; Johnson, H.; Berelson, W.; Stevenson, B. S.; Stamps, B. W.; Corsetti, F. A.; Spear, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Investigating mineralization within modern microbial mats informs our interpretation of ancient microbialites and the mineralization process. Microbial mats in Little Hot Creek (LHC), California contain 4 distinct layers with different microbiota. Each layer of the mat is supersaturated with regard to calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which increases with depth. Total organic carbon decreases with depth through the mat. We used 13C-labeled bicarbonate incubations of each mat layer to calculate growth rates of organic carbon and CaCO3 within the mat. Incubations were also amended with Mn or Mg to test their effect on rates of CaCO3 and organic carbon formation. The Mn-amended top layer increased CaCO3 precipitation and organic carbon growth. Mn increased organic carbon production in the lowest layer to a lesser extent, but not growth of CaCO3. Mn addition had no effect on growth rates in the two intervening layers. Mg amendment stimulated only organic carbon formation in the top layer, with little to no effect on the lower layers or overall CaCO3 formation. We attribute the elevated CaCO3 precipitation noted after Mn addition to increased oxygenic photosynthetic activity. Oxygenic photosynthesis requires Mn as an enzyme cofactor and promotes carbonate precipitation. We propose that the phototrophic community was responsible for most of the CaCO3 precipitation in the upper layer. Phototrophs gradually moved upwards for optimal access to sunlight, and as the mat grew, "tenant" microorganisms inhabited the lower carbonate layers while the "builders" remained on top. The relatively constant percentages of inorganic carbon below the top layer combined with observed minimal CaCO3 precipitation under laboratory conditions suggest that additional research into potential metabolisms that impact carbonate formation would be informative. These results improve our understanding of the linkages between microbial metabolisms, carbonate precipitation in microbial mats, and the potential

  10. Spatial integration and cortical dynamics.

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, C D; Das, A; Ito, M; Kapadia, M; Westheimer, G

    1996-01-01

    Cells in adult primary visual cortex are capable of integrating information over much larger portions of the visual field than was originally thought. Moreover, their receptive field properties can be altered by the context within which local features are presented and by changes in visual experience. The substrate for both spatial integration and cortical plasticity is likely to be found in a plexus of long-range horizontal connections, formed by cortical pyramidal cells, which link cells within each cortical area over distances of 6-8 mm. The relationship between horizontal connections and cortical functional architecture suggests a role in visual segmentation and spatial integration. The distribution of lateral interactions within striate cortex was visualized with optical recording, and their functional consequences were explored by using comparable stimuli in human psychophysical experiments and in recordings from alert monkeys. They may represent the substrate for perceptual phenomena such as illusory contours, surface fill-in, and contour saliency. The dynamic nature of receptive field properties and cortical architecture has been seen over time scales ranging from seconds to months. One can induce a remapping of the topography of visual cortex by making focal binocular retinal lesions. Shorter-term plasticity of cortical receptive fields was observed following brief periods of visual stimulation. The mechanisms involved entailed, for the short-term changes, altering the effectiveness of existing cortical connections, and for the long-term changes, sprouting of axon collaterals and synaptogenesis. The mutability of cortical function implies a continual process of calibration and normalization of the perception of visual attributes that is dependent on sensory experience throughout adulthood and might further represent the mechanism of perceptual learning. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8570604

  11. Water flow and solute transport in floating fen root mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stofberg, Sija F.; EATM van der Zee, Sjoerd

    2015-04-01

    Floating fens are valuable wetlands, found in North-Western Europe, that are formed by floating root mats when old turf ponds are colonized by plants. These terrestrialization ecosystems are known for their biodiversity and the presence of rare plant species, and the root mats reveal different vegetation zones at a small scale. The vegetation zones are a result of strong gradients in abiotic conditions, including groundwater dynamics, nutrients and pH. To prevent irreversible drought effects such as land subsidence and mineralization of peat, water management involves import of water from elsewhere to maintain constant surface water levels. Imported water may have elevated levels of salinity during dry summers, and salt exposure may threaten the vegetation. To assess the risk of exposure of the rare plant species to salinity, the hydrology of such root mats must be understood. Physical properties of root mats have scarcely been investigated. We have measured soil characteristics, hydraulic conductivity, vertical root mat movement and groundwater dynamics in a floating root mat in the nature reserve Nieuwkoopse Plassen, in the Netherlands. The root mat mostly consists of roots and organic material, in which the soil has a high saturated water content, and strongly varies in its stage of decomposition. We have found a distinct negative correlation between degree of decomposition and hydraulic conductivity, similar to observations for bogs in the literature. Our results show that the relatively young, thin edge of the root mat that colonizes the surface water has a high hydraulic conductivity and floats in the surface water, resulting in very small groundwater fluctuations within the root mat. The older part of the root mat, that is connected to the deeper peat layers is hydrologically more isolated and the material has a lower conductivity. Here, the groundwater fluctuates strongly with atmospheric forcing. The zones of hydraulic properties and vegetation, appear to

  12. Electrospun graphene-ZnO nanofiber mats for photocatalysis applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Seongpil; Joshi, Bhavana N.; Lee, Min Wook; Kim, Na Young; Yoon, Sam S.

    2014-03-01

    Graphene-decorated zinc oxide (G-ZnO) nanofibers were fabricated, for the first time, by electrospinning. The effect of graphene concentration on the properties of G-ZnO mats were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and thermo gravimetric analysis. The G-ZnO mats decorated with 0.5 wt.% of graphene showed excellent photocatalytic activity through degradation of methylene blue under UV irradiation. The highest photocatalytic activity (80% degradation) was observed for 0.5 wt.% G-ZnO mats annealed at 400 °C after 4 h of UV irradiation.

  13. Protocyanobacteria: Oxygenic and Anoxygenic photosynthesis in mat-forming bacteria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Y.

    1985-01-01

    The oldest record of life is preserved in prePhanerozoic stromatolites dated 3500 million years old and is most likely of filamentous mat-forming cyanobacteria. The sedimentary records of cyanobacterial mats in stromatolites are the most abundant record of life throughout the prePhanerozoic. Stromatolites persisted into the Phanerozoic Eon, yet they become much less pronounced relative to earlier ones. The abundance and persistence of cyanobacterial mats throughout most of geological time point to the evolutionary success of these kinds of microbial communities and their possible role in the evolution of the earth and atmosphere.

  14. Actin-Dynamics in Plant Cells: The Function of Actin Perturbing Substances Jasplakinolide, Chondramides, Phalloidin, Cytochalasins, and Latrunculins

    PubMed Central

    Holzinger, Andreas; Blaas, Kathrin

    2016-01-01

    This chapter will give an overview of the most common F-actin perturbing substances, that are used to study actin dynamics in living plant cells in studies on morphogenesis, motility, organelle movement or when apoptosis has to be induced. These substances can be divided into two major subclasses – F-actin stabilizing and polymerizing substances like jasplakinolide, chondramides and F-actin severing compounds like chytochalasins and latrunculins. Jasplakinolide was originally isolated form a marine sponge, and can now be synthesized and has become commercially available, which is responsible for its wide distribution as membrane permeable F-actin stabilizing and polymerizing agent, which may even have anti-cancer activities. Cytochalasins, derived from fungi show an F-actin severing function and many derivatives are commercially available (A, B, C, D, E, H, J), also making it a widely used compound for F-actin disruption. The same can be stated for latrunculins (A, B), derived from red sea sponges, however the mode of action is different by binding to G-actin and inhibiting incorporation into the filament. In the case of swinholide a stable complex with actin dimers is formed resulting also in severing of F-actin. For influencing F-actin dynamics in plant cells only membrane permeable drugs are useful in a broad range. We however introduce also the phallotoxins and synthetic derivatives, as they are widely used to visualize F-actin in fixed cells. A particular uptake mechanism has been shown for hepatocytes, but has also been described in siphonal giant algae. In the present chapter the focus is set on F-actin dynamics in plant cells where alterations in cytoplasmic streaming can be particularly well studied; however methods by fluorescence applications including phalloidin- and antibody staining as well as immunofluorescence-localization of the inhibitor drugs are given. PMID:26498789

  15. Identification of sucrose synthase as an actin-binding protein

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winter, H.; Huber, J. L.; Huber, S. C.; Davies, E. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    Several lines of evidence indicate that sucrose synthase (SuSy) binds both G- and F-actin: (i) presence of SuSy in the Triton X-100-insoluble fraction of microsomal membranes (i.e. crude cytoskeleton fraction); (ii) co-immunoprecipitation of actin with anti-SuSy monoclonal antibodies; (iii) association of SuSy with in situ phalloidin-stabilized F-actin filaments; and (iv) direct binding to F-actin, polymerized in vitro. Aldolase, well known to interact with F-actin, interfered with binding of SuSy, suggesting that a common or overlapping binding site may be involved. We postulate that some of the soluble SuSy in the cytosol may be associated with the actin cytoskeleton in vivo.

  16. Spatial control of actin polymerization during neutrophil chemotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, Orion D.; Servant, Guy; Welch, Matthew D.; Mitchison, Timothy J.; Sedat, John W.; Bourne, Henry R.

    2010-01-01

    Neutrophils respond to chemotactic stimuli by increasing the nucleation and polymerization of actin filaments, but the location and regulation of these processes are not well understood. Here, using a permeabilized-cell assay, we show that chemotactic stimuli cause neutrophils to organize many discrete sites of actin polymerization, the distribution of which is biased by external chemotactic gradients. Furthermore, the Arp2/3 complex, which can nucleate actin polymerization, dynamically redistributes to the region of living neutrophils that receives maximal chemotactic stimulation, and the least-extractable pool of the Arp2/3 complex co-localizes with sites of actin polymerization. Our observations indicate that chemoattractant-stimulated neutrophils may establish discrete foci of actin polymerization that are similar to those generated at the posterior surface of the intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. We propose that asymmetrical establishment and/or maintenance of sites of actin polymerization produces directional migration of neutrophils in response to chemotactic gradients. PMID:10559877

  17. Reliable amplification of actin genes facilitates deep-level phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Voigt, K; Wöstemeyer, J

    2000-09-01

    The gene for actin as a highly conserved and functionally essential genetic element is developing into a major tool for phylogenetic analysis within a broad organismic range. We therefore propose a set of universally applicable primers that allow reliable amplification of actin genes. For primer construction the amino acid sequences of 57 actin genes comprising fungi, animals, plants and protists were analysed, aligned and used for the definition of six well-conserved regions which are suitable as priming sites in PCR amplification experiments. Ten primers were designed for specific in vitro amplification of actin gene fragments from a wide range of microorganisms. The corresponding gene fragments provide a strong basis to isolate nearly complete actin genes for further molecular characterization and for establishing phylogenies based on actin gene trees.

  18. Actin Depolymerization Drives Actomyosin Ring Contraction during Budding Yeast Cytokinesis

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Inês Mendes; Rubinstein, Boris; Kucharavy, Andrei; Unruh, Jay R.; Li, Rong

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Actin filaments and myosin-II are evolutionarily conserved force generating components of the contractile ring during cytokinesis. Here we show that in budding yeast actin filament depolymerization plays a major role in actomyosin ring constriction. Cofilin mutation or chemically stabilizing actin filaments attenuates actomyosin ring constriction. Deletion of myosin-II motor domain or the myosin regulatory light chain reduced the contraction rate and also the rate of actin depolymerization in the ring. We constructed a quantitative microscopic model of actomyosin ring constriction via filament sliding driven by both actin depolymerization and myosin-II motor activity. Model simulations based on experimental measurements supports the notion that actin depolymerization is the predominant mechanism for ring constriction. The model predicts invariability of total contraction time irrespective of the initial ring size as originally reported for C elegans embryonic cells. This prediction was validated in yeast cells of different sizes due to having different ploidies. PMID:22698284

  19. Measuring F-actin properties in dendritic spines

    PubMed Central

    Koskinen, Mikko; Hotulainen, Pirta

    2014-01-01

    During the last decade, numerous studies have demonstrated that the actin cytoskeleton plays a pivotal role in the control of dendritic spine shape. Synaptic stimulation rapidly changes the actin dynamics and many actin regulators have been shown to play roles in neuron functionality. Accordingly, defects in the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in neurons have been implicated in memory disorders. Due to the small size of spines, it is difficult to detect changes in the actin structures in dendritic spines by conventional light microscopy imaging. Instead, to know how tightly actin filaments are bundled together, and how fast the filaments turnover, we need to use advanced microscopy techniques, such as fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), photoactivatable green fluorescent protein (PAGFP) fluorescence decay and fluorescence anisotropy. Fluorescence anisotropy, which measures the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two GFP fluorophores, has been proposed as a method to measure the level of actin polymerization. Here, we propose a novel idea that fluorescence anisotropy could be more suitable to study the level of actin filament bundling instead of actin polymerization. We validate the method in U2OS cell line where the actin structures can be clearly distinguished and apply to analyze how actin filament organization in dendritic spines changes during neuronal maturation. In addition to fluorescence anisotropy validation, we take a critical look at the properties and limitations of FRAP and PAGFP fluorescence decay methods and offer our proposals for the analysis methods for these approaches. These three methods complement each other, each providing additional information about actin dynamics and organization in dendritic spines. PMID:25140131

  20. Myosins 1 and 6, myosin light chain kinase, actin and microtubules cooperate during antibody-mediated internalisation and trafficking of membrane-expressed viral antigens in feline infectious peritonitis virus infected monocytes.

    PubMed

    Dewerchin, Hannah L; Desmarets, Lowiese M; Noppe, Ytse; Nauwynck, Hans J

    2014-02-12

    Monocytes infected with feline infectious peritonitis virus, a coronavirus, express viral proteins in their plasma membranes. Upon binding of antibodies, these proteins are quickly internalised through a new clathrin- and caveolae-independent internalisation pathway. By doing so, the infected monocytes can escape antibody-dependent cell lysis. In the present study, we investigated which kinases and cytoskeletal proteins are of importance during internalisation and subsequent intracellular transport. The experiments showed that myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) and myosin 1 are crucial for the initiation of the internalisation. With co-localisation stainings, it was found that MLCK and myosin 1 co-localise with antigens even before internalisation started. Myosin 6 co-localised with the internalising complexes during passage through the cortical actin, were it might play a role in moving or disintegrating actin filaments, to overcome the actin barrier. One minute after internalisation started, vesicles had passed the cortical actin, co-localised with microtubules and association with myosin 6 was lost. The vesicles were further transported over the microtubules and accumulated at the microtubule organising centre after 10 to 30 min. Intracellular trafficking over microtubules was mediated by MLCK, myosin 1 and a small actin tail. Since inhibiting MLCK with ML-7 was so efficient in blocking the internalisation pathway, this target can be used for the development of a new treatment for FIPV.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Correlative nanoscale imaging of actin filaments and their complexes

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Huanqi; Grintsevich, Elena E.; Reisler, Emil

    2014-01-01

    Actin remodeling is an area of interest in biology in which correlative microscopy can bring a new way to analyze protein complexes at the nanoscale. Advances in EM, X-ray diffraction, fluorescence, and single molecule techniques have provided a wealth of information about the modulation of the F-actin structure and its regulation by actin binding proteins (ABPs). Yet, there are technological limitations of these approaches to achieving quantitative molecular level information on the structural and biophysical changes resulting from ABPs interaction with F-actin. Fundamental questions about the actin structure and dynamics and how these determine the function of ABPs remain unanswered. Specifically, how local and long-range structural and conformational changes result in ABPs induced remodeling of F-actin needs to be addressed at the single filament level. Advanced, sensitive and accurate experimental tools for detailed understanding of ABP–actin interactions are much needed. This article discusses the current understanding of nanoscale structural and mechanical modulation of F-actin by ABPs at the single filament level using several correlative microscopic techniques, focusing mainly on results obtained by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) analysis of ABP–actin complexes. PMID:23727693

  4. Human cytoplasmic actin proteins are encoded by a multigene family

    SciTech Connect

    Engel, J.; Gunning, P.; Kedes, L.

    1982-06-01

    The authors characterized nine human actin genes that they isolated from a library of cloned human DNA. Measurements of the thermal stability of hybrids formed between each cloned actin gene and ..cap alpha..-, ..beta..-, and ..gamma..-actin mRNA demonstrated that only one of the clones is most homologous to sarcomeric actin mRNA, whereas the remaining eight clones are most homologous to cytoplasmic actin mRNA. By the following criteria they show that these nine clones represent nine different actin gene loci rather than different alleles or different parts of a single gene: (i) the restriction enzyme maps of the coding regions are dissimilar; (ii) each clone contains sufficient coding region to encode all or most of an entire actin gene; and (iii) each clone contains sequences homologous to both the 5' and 3' ends of the coding region of a cloned chicken ..beta..-actin cDNA. They conclude, therefore, that the human cytoplasmic actin proteins are encoded by a multigene family.

  5. Solubilization of native actin monomers from human erythrocyte membranes.

    PubMed

    Tilley, L; Dwyer, M; Ralston, G B

    1986-01-01

    Up to 50% of the actin in erythrocyte membranes can be solubilized at low ionic strength in a form capable of inhibiting DNAse I, in the presence of 0.4 mM ATP and 0.05 mM calcium. In the absence of calcium and ATP, actin is released but is apparently rapidly denatured. Solubilization of G-actin increases with temperature up to 37 degrees C. At higher temperatures, actin is released rapidly but quickly loses its ability to inhibit DNAse I. PMID:3789986

  6. An unconventional form of actin in protozoan hemoflagellate, Leishmania.

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Prabodh; Sahasrabuddhe, Amogh A; Kumar, Ashutosh; Mitra, Kalyan; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran; Gupta, Chhitar M

    2008-08-15

    Leishmania actin was cloned, overexpressed in baculovirus-insect cell system, and purified to homogeneity. The purified protein polymerized optimally in the presence of Mg2+ and ATP, but differed from conventional actins in its following properties: (i) it did not polymerize in the presence of Mg2+ alone, (ii) it polymerized in a restricted range of pH 7.0-8.5, (iii) its critical concentration for polymerization was found to be 3-4-fold lower than of muscle actin, (iv) it predominantly formed bundles rather than single filaments at pH 8.0, (v) it displayed considerably higher ATPase activity during polymerization, (vi) it did not inhibit DNase-I activity, and (vii) it did not bind the F-actin-binding toxin phalloidin or the actin polymerization disrupting agent Latrunculin B. Computational and molecular modeling studies revealed that the observed unconventional behavior of Leishmania actin is related to the diverged amino acid stretches in its sequence, which may lead to changes in the overall charge distribution on its solvent-exposed surface, ATP binding cleft, Mg2+ binding sites, and the hydrophobic loop that is involved in monomer-monomer interactions. Phylogenetically, it is related to ciliate actins, but to the best of our knowledge, no other actin with such unconventional properties has been reported to date. It is therefore suggested that actin in Leishmania may serve as a novel target for design of new antileishmanial drugs. PMID:18539603

  7. Actin in dendritic spines: connecting dynamics to function

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Dendritic spines are small actin-rich protrusions from neuronal dendrites that form the postsynaptic part of most excitatory synapses and are major sites of information processing and storage in the brain. Changes in the shape and size of dendritic spines are correlated with the strength of excitatory synaptic connections and heavily depend on remodeling of its underlying actin cytoskeleton. Emerging evidence suggests that most signaling pathways linking synaptic activity to spine morphology influence local actin dynamics. Therefore, specific mechanisms of actin regulation are integral to the formation, maturation, and plasticity of dendritic spines and to learning and memory. PMID:20457765

  8. Helical buckling of actin inside filopodia generates traction

    PubMed Central

    Leijnse, Natascha; Oddershede, Lene B.; Bendix, Poul M.

    2015-01-01

    Cells can interact with their surroundings via filopodia, which are membrane protrusions that extend beyond the cell body. Filopodia are essential during dynamic cellular processes like motility, invasion, and cell–cell communication. Filopodia contain cross-linked actin filaments, attached to the surrounding cell membrane via protein linkers such as integrins. These actin filaments are thought to play a pivotal role in force transduction, bending, and rotation. We investigated whether, and how, actin within filopodia is responsible for filopodia dynamics by conducting simultaneous force spectroscopy and confocal imaging of F-actin in membrane protrusions. The actin shaft was observed to periodically undergo helical coiling and rotational motion, which occurred simultaneously with retrograde movement of actin inside the filopodium. The cells were found to retract beads attached to the filopodial tip, and retraction was found to correlate with rotation and coiling of the actin shaft. These results suggest a previously unidentified mechanism by which a cell can use rotation of the filopodial actin shaft to induce coiling and hence axial shortening of the filopodial actin bundle. PMID:25535347

  9. Force generation by endocytic actin patches in budding yeast.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Anders E; Bayly, Philip V

    2014-04-15

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Correlative nanoscale imaging of actin filaments and their complexes.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Shivani; Zhu, Huanqi; Grintsevich, Elena E; Reisler, Emil; Gimzewski, James K

    2013-07-01

    Actin remodeling is an area of interest in biology in which correlative microscopy can bring a new way to analyze protein complexes at the nanoscale. Advances in EM, X-ray diffraction, fluorescence, and single molecule techniques have provided a wealth of information about the modulation of the F-actin structure and its regulation by actin binding proteins (ABPs). Yet, there are technological limitations of these approaches to achieving quantitative molecular level information on the structural and biophysical changes resulting from ABPs interaction with F-actin. Fundamental questions about the actin structure and dynamics and how these determine the function of ABPs remain unanswered. Specifically, how local and long-range structural and conformational changes result in ABPs induced remodeling of F-actin needs to be addressed at the single filament level. Advanced, sensitive and accurate experimental tools for detailed understanding of ABP-actin interactions are much needed. This article discusses the current understanding of nanoscale structural and mechanical modulation of F-actin by ABPs at the single filament level using several correlative microscopic techniques, focusing mainly on results obtained by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) analysis of ABP-actin complexes.

  12. Scribble tracker: a matting-based approach for robust tracking.

    PubMed

    Fan, Jialue; Shen, Xiaohui; Wu, Ying

    2012-08-01

    Model updating is a critical problem in tracking. Inaccurate extraction of the foreground and background information in model adaptation would cause the model to drift and degrade the tracking performance. The most direct yet difficult solution to the drift problem is to obtain accurate boundaries of the target. We approach such a solution by proposing a novel model adaptation framework based on the combination of matting and tracking. In our framework, coarse tracking results automatically provide sufficient and accurate scribbles for matting, which makes matting applicable in a tracking system. Meanwhile, accurate boundaries of the target can be obtained from matting results even when the target has large deformation. An effective model combining short-term features and long-term appearances is further constructed and successfully updated based on such accurate boundaries. The model can successfully handle occlusion by explicit inference. Extensive experiments show that our adaptation scheme largely avoids model drift and significantly outperforms other discriminative tracking models. PMID:22745003

  13. A Modular Sensorized Mat for Monitoring Infant Posture

    PubMed Central

    Donati, Marco; Cecchi, Francesca; Bonaccorso, Filippo; Branciforte, Marco; Dario, Paolo; Vitiello, Nicola

    2014-01-01

    We present a novel sensorized mat for monitoring infant's posture through the measure of pressure maps. The pressure-sensitive mat is based on an optoelectronic technology developed in the last few years at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna: a soft silicone skin cover, which constitutes the mat, participates in the transduction principle and provides the mat with compliance. The device has a modular structure (with a minimum of one and a maximum of six sub-modules, and a total surface area of about 1 m2) that enables dimensional adaptation of the pressure-sensitive area to different specific applications. The system consists of on-board electronics for data collection, pre-elaboration, and transmission to a remote computing unit for analysis and posture classification. In this work we present a complete description of the sensing apparatus along with its experimental characterization and validation with five healthy infants. PMID:24385029

  14. BIOGEOCHEMICAL STUDIES OF PHOTOSYNTHETIC MICROBIAL MATS AND THEIR BIOTA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David; Discipulo, M.; Turk, K.; Londry, K. L.

    2005-01-01

    Photosynthetic microbial mats offer an opportunity to define holistic functionality at the millimeter scale. At the same time. their biogeochemistry contributes to environmental processes on a planetary scale. These mats are possibly direct descendents of the most ancient biological communities; communities in which oxygenic photosynthesis might have been invented. Mats provide one of the best natural systems to study how microbial populations associate to control dynamic biogeochemical gradients. These are self- sustaining, complete ecosystems in which light energy absorbed over a dial (24 hour) cycle drives the synthesis of spatially-organized, diverse biomass. Tightly-coupled microorganisms in the mat have specialized metabolisms that catalyze transformations of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and a host of other elements.

  15. Microbial mats and the early evolution of life.

    PubMed

    Des Marais, D J

    1990-05-01

    Microbial mats have descended from perhaps the oldest and most widespread biological communities known. Mats harbor microbes that are crucial for studies of bacterial phylogeny and physiology. They illustrate how several oxygen-sensitive biochemical processes have adapted to oxygen, and they show how life adapted to dry land long before the rise of plants. The search for the earliest grazing protists and metazoa in stromatolites is aided by observations of mats: in them, organic compounds characteristic of ancient photosynthetic protists can be identified. Recent mat studies suggest that the 13C/12C increase observed over geological time in stromatolitic organic matter was driven at least in part by a long-term decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

  16. Microbial mats and the early evolution of life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Des Marais, D. J.

    1990-01-01

    Microbial mats have descended from perhaps the oldest and most widespread biological communities known. Mats harbor microbes that are crucial for studies of bacterial phylogeny and physiology. They illustrate how several oxygen-sensitive biochemical processes have adapted to oxygen, and they show how life adapted to dry land long before the rise of plants. The search for the earliest grazing protists and metazoa in stromatolites is aided by observations of mats: in them, organic compounds characteristic of ancient photosynthetic protists can be identified. Recent mat studies suggest that the 13C/12C increase observed over geological time in stromatolitic organic matter was driven at least in part by a long-term decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

  17. The MATS satellite mission - tomographic perspectives on the mesosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Ole Martin; Gumbel, Jörg; Megner, Linda; Murtagh, Donal P.; Ivchenko, Nickolay

    2016-04-01

    MATS (Mesospheric Airglow/Aerosol Tomography and Spectroscopy) is a Swedish satellite mission scheduled for launch in 2019. MATS science focuses on mesospheric wave activity and noctilucent clouds. Primary measurement targets are O2 Atmospheric band dayglow and nightglow in the near infrared (759-767 nm) and sunlight scattered from noctilucent clouds in the ultraviolet (270-300 nm). While tomography provides horizontally and vertically resolved data, spectroscopy allows analysis in terms of mesospheric composition, temperature and cloud properties. During 2015, the design of the MATS instrument was finalized, and the first complete instrument design will be shown in this presentation. As a part of this work, simulated measurements were performed and inverted using a 3 dimensional tomographic algorithm based on the optimal estimation method. As a result, the first quantitative estimation of the instruments capabilities and performance figures can now be presented, and hence give a more accurate picture of the scientific opportunities that the MATS mission provides.

  18. Fabrication of nanofiber mats from electrospinning of functionalized polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oktay, Burcu; Kayaman-Apohan, Nilhan; Erdem-Kuruca, Serap

    2014-08-01

    Electrospinning technique enabled us to prepare nanofibers from synthetic and natural polymers. In this study, it was aimed to fabricate electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) based nanofibers by reactive electrospinning process. To improve endurance of fiber toward to many solvents, PVA was functionalized with photo-crosslinkable groups before spinning. Afterward PVA was crosslinked by UV radiation during electrospinning process. The nanofiber mats were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that homogenous, uniform and crosslinked PVA nanofibers in diameters of about 200 nm were obtained. Thermal stability of the nanofiber mat was investigated with thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Also the potential use of this nanofiber mats for tissue engineering was examined. Osteosarcoma (Saos) cells were cultured on the nanofiber mats.

  19. Microbial mats and modern stromatolites in Shark Bay, Western Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golubic, S.

    1985-01-01

    Distribution, external morphology, texture, and microbial composition of microbial mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia, have been studied and reviewed along a composite representative profile starting from the permanently submerged zone, across the zones of periodic flooding, toward permanently emerged land and coastal dunes. The following nine types of algal mats have been recognized: colloform, gelatinous, smooth, pincushion, tufted, mamillate, film, reticulate, and blister. Solar ponds represent a particular environment. The mat types represent microbial communities that are characterized by one or more dominant microorganisms. The colonization and stabilization of loose sediment is carried out by a microbial assemblage of generalists that prepare the ground for later replacement and succession by specialized microflora. Lithification of microbial mats takes place periodically, mainly during the austral summer. This process is destructive for the microbial community but increases the preservation potential of the stromatolitic structures.

  20. Arp2/3 complex and actin dynamics are required for actin-based mitochondrial motility in yeast.

    PubMed

    Boldogh, I R; Yang, H C; Nowakowski, W D; Karmon, S L; Hays, L G; Yates, J R; Pon, L A

    2001-03-13

    The Arp2/3 complex is implicated in actin polymerization-driven movement of Listeria monocytogenes. Here, we find that Arp2p and Arc15p, two subunits of this complex, show tight, actin-independent association with isolated yeast mitochondria. Arp2p colocalizes with mitochondria. Consistent with this result, we detect Arp2p-dependent formation of actin clouds around mitochondria in intact yeast. Cells bearing mutations in ARP2 or ARC15 genes show decreased velocities of mitochondrial movement, loss of all directed movement and defects in mitochondrial morphology. Finally, we observe a decrease in the velocity and extent of mitochondrial movement in yeast in which actin dynamics are reduced but actin cytoskeletal structure is intact. These results support the idea that the movement of mitochondria in yeast is actin polymerization driven and that this movement requires Arp2/3 complex.

  1. Visualization of Actin Cytoskeletal Dynamics in Fixed and Live Drosophila Egg Chambers.

    PubMed

    Groen, Christopher M; Tootle, Tina L

    2015-01-01

    Visualization of actin cytoskeletal dynamics is critical for understanding the spatial and temporal regulation of actin remodeling. Drosophila oogenesis provides an excellent model system for visualizing the actin cytoskeleton. Here, we present methods for imaging the actin cytoskeleton in Drosophila egg chambers in both fixed samples by phalloidin staining and in live egg chambers using transgenic actin labeling tools.

  2. Commander Mattingly tangles with NOSL experiment on aft flight deck

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Commander Mattingly uses Nighttime / Daytime Optical Survey of Lightning (NOSL) experiment on aft flight deck. Cables connecting the data recorder to 16mm data aquisition camera (DAC), electronic package, and optical sensor package become tangled as Mattingly points NOSL instrument out overhead aft flight deck window. His cap is also lost amidst the maze of wiring, tape recorder, and camera equipment onboard the Earth-orbiting Columbia, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 102.

  3. Nitrification and Nitrifying Bacteria in a Coastal Microbial Mat.

    PubMed

    Fan, Haoxin; Bolhuis, Henk; Stal, Lucas J

    2015-01-01

    The first step of nitrification, the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite, can be performed by ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) or ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). We investigated the presence of these two groups in three structurally different types of coastal microbial mats that develop along the tidal gradient on the North Sea beach of the Dutch barrier island Schiermonnikoog. The abundance and transcription of amoA, a gene encoding for the alpha subunit of ammonia monooxygenase that is present in both AOA and AOB, were assessed and the potential nitrification rates in these mats were measured. The potential nitrification rates in the three mat types were highest in autumn and lowest in summer. AOB and AOA amoA genes were present in all three mat types. The composition of the AOA and AOB communities in the mats of the tidal and intertidal stations, based on the diversity of amoA, were similar and clustered separately from the supratidal microbial mat. In all three mats AOB amoA genes were significantly more abundant than AOA amoA genes. The abundance of neither AOB nor AOA amoA genes correlated with the potential nitrification rates, but AOB amoA transcripts were positively correlated with the potential nitrification rate. The composition and abundance of amoA genes seemed to be partly driven by salinity, ammonium, temperature, and the nitrate/nitrite concentration. We conclude that AOB are responsible for the bulk of the ammonium oxidation in these coastal microbial mats. PMID:26648931

  4. The biogeochemistry of microbial mats, stromatolites and the ancient biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desmarais, D. J.; Canfield, D. E.

    1991-01-01

    Stromatolites offer an unparalleled geologic record of early life, because they constitute the oldest and most abundant recognizable remains of microbial ecosystems. Microbial mats are living homologs of stromatolites; thus, the physiology of the microbiota as well as the processes which create those features of mats (e.g., biomarker organic compounds, elemental and stable isotopic compositions) which are preserved in the ancient record. Observations of the carbon isotopic composition (delta C-13) of stromatolites and microbial mats were made and are consistent with the hypothesis that atmospheric CO2 concentrations have declined by at least one to two orders of magnitude during the past 2.5 Ga. Whereas delta C-13 values of carbonate carbon average about 0 permil during both the early and mid-Proterozoic, the delta C-13 values of stromatolitic organic matter increase from an average of -35 between 2.0 and 2.6 Ga ago to an average of about -28 about 1.0 Ga ago. Modern microbial mats in hypersaline environments have delta C-13 values typically in the range of -5 to -9, relative to an inorganic bicarbonate source at 0 permil. Both microbial mats and pur cultures of cyanobacteria grown in waters in near equilibrium with current atmospheric CO2 levels exhibit minimal discrimination against C-13. In contrast, hot spring cyanobacterial mats or cyanobacterial cultures grown under higher CO2 levels exhibit substantially greater discrimination. If care is taken to compare modern mats with stromatolites from comparable environments, it might be possible to estimate ancient levels of atmospheric CO2. In modern microbial mats, a tight coupling exists between photosynthetic organic carbon production and subsequent carbon oxidation, mostly by sulfate reduction. The rate of one process fuels a high rate of the other, with much of the sulfate reduction occurring within the same depth interval as oxygenic photosynthesis. Other aspects of this study are presented.

  5. Nitrification and Nitrifying Bacteria in a Coastal Microbial Mat

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Haoxin; Bolhuis, Henk; Stal, Lucas J.

    2015-01-01

    The first step of nitrification, the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite, can be performed by ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) or ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). We investigated the presence of these two groups in three structurally different types of coastal microbial mats that develop along the tidal gradient on the North Sea beach of the Dutch barrier island Schiermonnikoog. The abundance and transcription of amoA, a gene encoding for the alpha subunit of ammonia monooxygenase that is present in both AOA and AOB, were assessed and the potential nitrification rates in these mats were measured. The potential nitrification rates in the three mat types were highest in autumn and lowest in summer. AOB and AOA amoA genes were present in all three mat types. The composition of the AOA and AOB communities in the mats of the tidal and intertidal stations, based on the diversity of amoA, were similar and clustered separately from the supratidal microbial mat. In all three mats AOB amoA genes were significantly more abundant than AOA amoA genes. The abundance of neither AOB nor AOA amoA genes correlated with the potential nitrification rates, but AOB amoA transcripts were positively correlated with the potential nitrification rate. The composition and abundance of amoA genes seemed to be partly driven by salinity, ammonium, temperature, and the nitrate/nitrite concentration. We conclude that AOB are responsible for the bulk of the ammonium oxidation in these coastal microbial mats. PMID:26648931

  6. A Mechanism for Actin Filament Severing by Malaria Parasite Actin Depolymerizing Factor 1 via a Low Affinity Binding Interface*

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Wilson; Webb, Andrew I.; Olshina, Maya A.; Infusini, Giuseppe; Tan, Yan Hong; Hanssen, Eric; Catimel, Bruno; Suarez, Cristian; Condron, Melanie; Angrisano, Fiona; NebI, Thomas; Kovar, David R.; Baum, Jake

    2014-01-01

    Actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilins are essential regulators of actin turnover in eukaryotic cells. These multifunctional proteins facilitate both stabilization and severing of filamentous (F)-actin in a concentration-dependent manner. At high concentrations ADF/cofilins bind stably to F-actin longitudinally between two adjacent actin protomers forming what is called a decorative interaction. Low densities of ADF/cofilins, in contrast, result in the optimal severing of the filament. To date, how these two contrasting modalities are achieved by the same protein remains uncertain. Here, we define the proximate amino acids between the actin filament and the malaria parasite ADF/cofilin, PfADF1 from Plasmodium falciparum. PfADF1 is unique among ADF/cofilins in being able to sever F-actin but do so without stable filament binding. Using chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry (XL-MS) combined with structure reconstruction we describe a previously overlooked binding interface on the actin filament targeted by PfADF1. This site is distinct from the known binding site that defines decoration. Furthermore, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy imaging of single actin filaments confirms that this novel low affinity site is required for F-actin severing. Exploring beyond malaria parasites, selective blocking of the decoration site with human cofilin (HsCOF1) using cytochalasin D increases its severing rate. HsCOF1 may therefore also use a decoration-independent site for filament severing. Thus our data suggest that a second, low affinity actin-binding site may be universally used by ADF/cofilins for actin filament severing. PMID:24371134

  7. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity.

    PubMed

    Ha, Phuc T; Renslow, Ryan S; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N; Lindemann, Stephen R; Fredrickson, James K; Call, Douglas R; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that variation in the

  8. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity.

    PubMed

    Ha, Phuc T; Renslow, Ryan S; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N; Lindemann, Stephen R; Fredrickson, James K; Call, Douglas R; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that variation in the

  9. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Phuc T.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N.; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Fredrickson, James K.; Call, Douglas R.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that variation in the

  10. Introduction of impermeable actin-staining molecules to mammalian cells by optoporation

    PubMed Central

    Dhakal, Kamal; Black, Bryan; Mohanty, Samarendra

    2014-01-01

    The selective insertion of foreign materials, such as fluorescent markers or plasmids, into living cells has been a challenging problem in cell biology due to the cell membrane's selective permeability. However, it is often necessary that researchers insert such materials into cells for various dynamical and/or drug delivery studies. This problem becomes even more challenging if the study is to be limited to specific cells within a larger population, since other transfection methods, such as viral transfection and lipofection, are not realizable with a high degree of spatial selectivity. Here, we have used a focused femtosecond laser beam to create a small transient hole in the cellular membrane (optoporation) in order to inject nanomolar concentrations of rhodamine phalloidin (an impermeable dye molecule for staining filamentous actin) into targeted living mammalian cells (both HEK and primary cortical neurons). Following optoporation, the dye bound to the intracellular actin network and rise in fluorescence intensity was observed. Theoretical dynamics of the dye's diffusion is discussed, and numerical simulations of diffusion time constants are found to match well with experimental values. PMID:25315642

  11. Methane Production by Microbial Mats Under Low Sulfate Concentrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Hoehler, Tori M.; Thamdrup, Bo; Albert, Dan; Carpenter, Steven P.; Hogan, Mary; Turk, Kendra; DesMarais, David J.

    2003-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats collected in hypersaline salterns were incubated in a greenhouse under low sulfate concentrations ([SO4]) and examined for their primary productivity and emissions of methane and other major carbon species. Atmospheric greenhouse warming by gases such as carbon dioxide and methane must have been greater during the Archean than today in order to account for a record of moderate to warm paleoclemates, despite a less luminous early sun. It has been suggested that decreased levels of oxygen and sulfate in Archean oceans could have significantly stimulated microbial methanogenesis relative to present marine rates, with a resultant increase in the relative importance of methane in maintaining the early greenhouse. We maintained modern microbial mats, models of ancient coastal marine communities, in artificial brine mixtures containing both modern [SO4=] (ca. 70 mM) and "Archean" [SO4] (less than 0.2 mM). At low [SO4], primary production in the mats was essentially unaffected, while rates of sulfate reduction decreased by a factor of three, and methane fluxes increased by up to ten-fold. However, remineralization by methanogenesis still amounted to less than 0.4 % of the total carbon released by the mats. The relatively low efficiency of conversion of photosynthate to methane is suggested to reflect the particular geometry and chemical microenvironment of hypersaline cyanobacterial mats. Therefore, such mats w-ere probably relatively weak net sources of methane throughout their 3.5 Ga history, even during periods of low- environmental levels oxygen and sulfate.

  12. Cyanobacterial reuse of extracellular organic carbon in microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Rhona K; Mayali, Xavier; Lee, Jackson Z; Craig Everroad, R; Hwang, Mona; Bebout, Brad M; Weber, Peter K; Pett-Ridge, Jennifer; Thelen, Michael P

    2016-05-01

    Cyanobacterial organic matter excretion is crucial to carbon cycling in many microbial communities, but the nature and bioavailability of this C depend on unknown physiological functions. Cyanobacteria-dominated hypersaline laminated mats are a useful model ecosystem for the study of C flow in complex communities, as they use photosynthesis to sustain a more or less closed system. Although such mats have a large C reservoir in the extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), the production and degradation of organic carbon is not well defined. To identify extracellular processes in cyanobacterial mats, we examined mats collected from Elkhorn Slough (ES) at Monterey Bay, California, for glycosyl and protein composition of the EPS. We found a prevalence of simple glucose polysaccharides containing either α or β (1,4) linkages, indicating distinct sources of glucose with differing enzymatic accessibility. Using proteomics, we identified cyanobacterial extracellular enzymes, and also detected activities that indicate a capacity for EPS degradation. In a less complex system, we characterized the EPS of a cyanobacterial isolate from ES, ESFC-1, and found the extracellular composition of biofilms produced by this unicyanobacterial culture were similar to that of natural mats. By tracing isotopically labeled EPS into single cells of ESFC-1, we demonstrated rapid incorporation of extracellular-derived carbon. Taken together, these results indicate cyanobacteria reuse excess organic carbon, constituting a dynamic pool of extracellular resources in these mats. PMID:26495994

  13. Cyanobacterial reuse of extracellular organic carbon in microbial mats

    PubMed Central

    Stuart, Rhona K; Mayali, Xavier; Lee, Jackson Z; Craig Everroad, R; Hwang, Mona; Bebout, Brad M; Weber, Peter K; Pett-Ridge, Jennifer; Thelen, Michael P

    2016-01-01

    Cyanobacterial organic matter excretion is crucial to carbon cycling in many microbial communities, but the nature and bioavailability of this C depend on unknown physiological functions. Cyanobacteria-dominated hypersaline laminated mats are a useful model ecosystem for the study of C flow in complex communities, as they use photosynthesis to sustain a more or less closed system. Although such mats have a large C reservoir in the extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), the production and degradation of organic carbon is not well defined. To identify extracellular processes in cyanobacterial mats, we examined mats collected from Elkhorn Slough (ES) at Monterey Bay, California, for glycosyl and protein composition of the EPS. We found a prevalence of simple glucose polysaccharides containing either α or β (1,4) linkages, indicating distinct sources of glucose with differing enzymatic accessibility. Using proteomics, we identified cyanobacterial extracellular enzymes, and also detected activities that indicate a capacity for EPS degradation. In a less complex system, we characterized the EPS of a cyanobacterial isolate from ES, ESFC-1, and found the extracellular composition of biofilms produced by this unicyanobacterial culture were similar to that of natural mats. By tracing isotopically labeled EPS into single cells of ESFC-1, we demonstrated rapid incorporation of extracellular-derived carbon. Taken together, these results indicate cyanobacteria reuse excess organic carbon, constituting a dynamic pool of extracellular resources in these mats. PMID:26495994

  14. Invasive algal mats degrade coral reef physical habitat quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, Jonathan A.; Smith, Celia M.; Richmond, Robert H.

    2012-03-01

    Invasive species alter the ecology of marine ecosystems through a variety of mechanisms or combination of mechanisms. This study documented critical physical parameters altered by the invasive red macroalga Gracilaria salicornia in situ, including: reduced irradiance, increased sedimentation, and marked variation in diurnal dissolved oxygen and pH cycles in Kāne'ohe Bay, O'ahu, Hawai'i. Paired studies showed that algal mats reduced irradiance by 99% and doubled sediment accumulation. Several mats developed hypoxia and hyperoxia in the extreme minima and maxima, though there was no statistical difference detected in the mean or the variability of dissolved oxygen between different 30 min time points of 24 h cycles between algal mat-open reef pairs. The algal mat significantly acidified the water under the algal mat by decreasing pH by 0.10-0.13 pH units below open reef pH. A minimum of pH 7.47 occurred between 14 and 19 h after sunrise. Our combined results suggest that mats of G. salicornia can alter various physical parameters on a fine scale and time course not commonly detected. These changes in parameters give insight into the underlying basis for negative impact, and suggest new ways in which the presence of invasive species leads to decline of coral reef ecosystems.

  15. [9-hydroxy-risperidone (9OHRIS) prevents stress-induced β-actin overexpression in rat hippocampus].

    PubMed

    Kalman, Sara; Pakaski, Magdolna; Szucs, Szabina; Kalman, Janos; Fazekas, Orsike; Santha, Petra; Szabo, Gyula; Janka, Zoltan; Kalman, Janos

    2010-09-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most frequent form of neurodegenerative dementias. The aetiology and the exact pathomechanism of AD is not known, but stress has been considered recently in the aetiology. Beside the abnormal metabolism of the amyloid protein precursor (APP), the hyperactivity of the mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1) involved in the hyperphosphorylation of the tau proteins, which are considered the major component of neurofibrillary tangles, in addition to β-actin, being involved in synaptogenesis and neuronal plasticity, are all considered important contributors to the development of AD specific neuropathological changes. The chief aim of our present investigation was to examine the effect of stress on the expression of APP, MAPK1 and β-actin mRNAs in the rat hippocampus and cortex. The effect of 9-hydroxy-risperidone (9OHRIS) on the transcription of these genes was also examined. Adult, male Wistar rats were exposed to chronic immobilization stress for 3 weeks. The 9OHRIS (4 mg/bwkg) was administred by gastric tube. Four groups were formed depending on the treatment: (1) control, (2) stress, (3) 9OHRIS, (4) stress and parallel 9OHRIS treatment (n=5-6). The expression of APP, MAPK1, β-actin mRNAs from the perfused brain samples was measured with real-time PCR technique. The β-actin mRNA was significantly overexpressed in the hippocampus after 3 weeks of stress treatment. On the other hand, the stress induced hippocampal β-actin mRNA overexpression was repressed by the 9OHRIS treatment. There were no changes in the cortical or hippocampal expression of APP and MAPK1 mRNAs after neither the stress nor the 9OHRIS treatments. These results emphasize the importance of the stress induced β-actin expression in rat hippocampus. The stress induced alterations in the β-actin RNA expression could be associated with neuronal plasticity and adaptional processes, which could be modified by the 9OHRIS treatment. Our findings indicate that a second

  16. Le matérialisme scientifique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meunier, Jean-François

    2004-03-01

    De nos jours, il arrive quotidiennement aux grands hommes d'avoir à fréquenter d'ignorants mortels épris d'une conviction maladive que la science est la grande responsable de tous les maux du monde. Évidemment sans physique atomique, il n'y aurait pas eu d'Hiroshima et sans révolution industrielle, pas de pollution et etc. Cependant, ces accusations envers le progrès technique sont tout à fait injustes, irréfléchies et, j'irai même jusqu'à dire, irresponsables, puisque le calcul, i.e. la planification, même la plus élémentaire, est ce qui caractérise le mieux, pragmatiquement, la société humaine. À mon avis, les problèmes sociaux tireraient plutôt leur origine de sciences sociales irréalistes, qui, concrètment, inspireraient ou serviraient d'alibis à ceux qui détiennent véritablement le pouvoir. Dans cet article, je tenterai donc de démontrer la meilleure véracité et efficacité du matérialisme scientifique. Cette doctrine, dont Mario Bunge est le plus illustre représentant, s'appuy sur les résultats théoriques et expérimentaux des sciences factuelles ainsi que sur l'exactitude logique des mathématiques, utilisées ici comme langage universel de l'expression des idées. Cette conception philosophique qui s'inspire principalement du modèle des théories physiques, stipule que les réalités sociales sont, comme tout autre réalité, matérielles, mathématisables et représentables comme des systèmes en interaction. En fait, le modèle des physiciens ayant historiquement fait ses preuves en matière de testabilité et de cohérence interne est proposé d'être appliquer aux sciences sociales, aujourd'hui scindées des sciences dites pures sous l'inspiration des pseudo penseurs néo-kantiens, phénoménologiques et post-moderne. Cette nouvelle approche permettrait ainsi d'évoluer plus exactement vers une compréhension des bases sociales et biologiques du comportement humain afin de développer une éthique sans cesse plus r

  17. 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

  18. CASEIN KINASE1-LIKE PROTEIN2 Regulates Actin Filament Stability and Stomatal Closure via Phosphorylation of Actin Depolymerizing Factor.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shuangshuang; Jiang, Yuxiang; Zhao, Yang; Huang, Shanjin; Yuan, Ming; Zhao, Yanxiu; Guo, Yan

    2016-06-01

    The opening and closing of stomata are crucial for plant photosynthesis and transpiration. Actin filaments undergo dynamic reorganization during stomatal closure, but the underlying mechanism for this cytoskeletal reorganization remains largely unclear. In this study, we identified and characterized Arabidopsis thaliana casein kinase 1-like protein 2 (CKL2), which responds to abscisic acid (ABA) treatment and participates in ABA- and drought-induced stomatal closure. Although CKL2 does not bind to actin filaments directly and has no effect on actin assembly in vitro, it colocalizes with and stabilizes actin filaments in guard cells. Further investigation revealed that CKL2 physically interacts with and phosphorylates actin depolymerizing factor 4 (ADF4) and inhibits its activity in actin filament disassembly. During ABA-induced stomatal closure, deletion of CKL2 in Arabidopsis alters actin reorganization in stomata and renders stomatal closure less sensitive to ABA, whereas deletion of ADF4 impairs the disassembly of actin filaments and causes stomatal closure to be more sensitive to ABA Deletion of ADF4 in the ckl2 mutant partially recues its ABA-insensitive stomatal closure phenotype. Moreover, Arabidopsis ADFs from subclass I are targets of CKL2 in vitro. Thus, our results suggest that CKL2 regulates actin filament reorganization and stomatal closure mainly through phosphorylation of ADF. PMID:27268429

  19. Swi6, a Gene Required for Mating-Type Switching, Prohibits Meiotic Recombination in the Mat2-Mat3 ``cold Spot'' of Fission Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Klar, AJS.; Bonaduce, M. J.

    1991-01-01

    Mitotic interconversion of the mating-type locus (mat1) of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is initiated by a double-strand break at mat1. The mat2 and mat3 loci act as nonrandom donors of genetic information for mat1 switching such that switches occur primarily (or only) to the opposite mat1 allele. Location of the mat1 ``hot spot'' for transposition should be contrasted with the ``cold spot'' of meiotic recombination located within the adjoining mat2-mat3 interval. That is, meiotic interchromosomal recombination in mat2, mat3 and the intervening 15-kilobase region does not occur at all. swi2 and swi6 switching-deficient mutants possess the normal level of double-strand break at mat1, yet they fail to switch efficiently. By testing for meiotic recombination in the cold spot, we found the usual lack of recombination in a swi2 mutant but a significant level of recombination in a swi6 mutant. Therefore, the swi6 gene function is required to keep the donor loci inert for interchromosomal recombination. This finding, combined with the additional result that switching primarily occurs intrachromosomally, suggests that the donor loci are made accessible for switching by folding them onto mat1, thus causing the cold spot of recombination. PMID:1783290

  20. 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

  1. RhoA-mediated FMNL1 regulates GM130 for actin assembly and phosphorylates MAPK for spindle formation in mouse oocyte meiosis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Fei; Zhang, Liang; Duan, Xing; Zhang, Guang-Li; Wang, Zhen-Bo; Wang, Qiang; Xiong, Bo; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2015-01-01

    Formin-like 1 (FMNL1) is a member of Formin family proteins which are the actin nucleators. Although FMNL1 activities have been shown to be essential for cell adhesion, cytokinesis, cell polarization and migration in mitosis, the functional roles of mammalian FMNL1 during oocyte meiosis remain uncertain. In this study, we investigated the functions of FMNL1 in mouse oocytes using specific morpholino (MO) microinjection and live cell imaging. Immunofluorescent staining showed that in addition to its cytoplasmic distribution, FMNL1 was primarily localized at the spindle poles after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). FMNL1 knockdown caused the low rate of polar body extrusion and resulted in large polar bodies. Time-lapse microscopic and immunofluorescence intensity analysis indicated that this might be due to the aberrant actin expression levels. Cortical polarity was disrupted as shown by a loss of actin cap and cortical granule free domain (CGFD) formation, which was confirmed by a failure of meiotic spindle positioning. And this might be the reason for the large polar body formation. Spindle formation was also disrupted, which might be due to the abnormal localization of p-MAPK. These results indicated that FMNL1 affected both actin dynamics and spindle formation for the oocyte polar body extrusion. Moreover, FMNL1 depletion resulted in aberrant localization and expression patterns of a cis-Golgi marker protein, GM130. Finally, we found that the small GTPase RhoA might be the upstream regulator of FMNL1. Taken together, our data indicate that FMNL1 is required for spindle organization and actin assembly through a RhoA-FMNL1-GM130 pathway during mouse oocyte meiosis. PMID:26083584

  2. RhoA-mediated FMNL1 regulates GM130 for actin assembly and phosphorylates MAPK for spindle formation in mouse oocyte meiosis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Zhang, Liang; Duan, Xing; Zhang, Guang-Li; Wang, Zhen-Bo; Wang, Qiang; Xiong, Bo; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2015-01-01

    Formin-like 1 (FMNL1) is a member of Formin family proteins which are the actin nucleators. Although FMNL1 activities have been shown to be essential for cell adhesion, cytokinesis, cell polarization and migration in mitosis, the functional roles of mammalian FMNL1 during oocyte meiosis remain uncertain. In this study, we investigated the functions of FMNL1 in mouse oocytes using specific morpholino (MO) microinjection and live cell imaging. Immunofluorescent staining showed that in addition to its cytoplasmic distribution, FMNL1 was primarily localized at the spindle poles after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). FMNL1 knockdown caused the low rate of polar body extrusion and resulted in large polar bodies. Time-lapse microscopic and immunofluorescence intensity analysis indicated that this might be due to the aberrant actin expression levels. Cortical polarity was disrupted as shown by a loss of actin cap and cortical granule free domain (CGFD) formation, which was confirmed by a failure of meiotic spindle positioning. And this might be the reason for the large polar body formation. Spindle formation was also disrupted, which might be due to the abnormal localization of p-MAPK. These results indicated that FMNL1 affected both actin dynamics and spindle formation for the oocyte polar body extrusion. Moreover, FMNL1 depletion resulted in aberrant localization and expression patterns of a cis-Golgi marker protein, GM130. Finally, we found that the small GTPase RhoA might be the upstream regulator of FMNL1. Taken together, our data indicate that FMNL1 is required for spindle organization and actin assembly through a RhoA-FMNL1-GM130 pathway during mouse oocyte meiosis. PMID:26083584

  3. A circuit for motor cortical modulation of auditory cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Anders; Schneider, David M; Takatoh, Jun; Sakurai, Katsuyasu; Wang, Fan; Mooney, Richard

    2013-09-01

    Normal hearing depends on the ability to distinguish self-generated sounds from other sounds, and this ability is thought to involve neural circuits that convey copies of motor command signals to various levels of the auditory system. Although such interactions at the cortical level are believed to facilitate auditory comprehension during movements and drive auditory hallucinations in pathological states, the synaptic organization and function of circuitry linking the motor and auditory cortices remain unclear. Here we describe experiments in the mouse that characterize circuitry well suited to transmit motor-related signals to the auditory cortex. Using retrograde viral tracing, we established that neurons in superficial and deep layers of the medial agranular motor cortex (M2) project directly to the auditory cortex and that the axons of some of these deep-layer cells also target brainstem motor regions. Using in vitro whole-cell physiology, optogenetics, and pharmacology, we determined that M2 axons make excitatory synapses in the auditory cortex but exert a primarily suppressive effect on auditory cortical neuron activity mediated in part by feedforward inhibition involving parvalbumin-positive interneurons. Using in vivo intracellular physiology, optogenetics, and sound playback, we also found that directly activating M2 axon terminals in the auditory cortex suppresses spontaneous and stimulus-evoked synaptic activity in auditory cortical neurons and that this effect depends on the relative timing of motor cortical activity and auditory stimulation. These experiments delineate the structural and functional properties of a corticocortical circuit that could enable movement-related suppression of auditory cortical activity. PMID:24005287

  4. ERB master archival tape specification no. T 134081 ERB MAT, revision 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The Earth radiation budget (ERB)MAT tapes are generated by the ERB MATGEN software using the IBM 3081 computer system operated by the Science and Applications Computer Center at Goddard Space Flight Center. All MAT's are 9-track and MAT data are in ascending time order. The gross tape format for NIMBUS year-1 and year-2 MAT's is different from the format of MAT's starting with year-3. The MATs from the first two years are to contain one day's worth of data while all other MATs are to contain multiple day's worth of data stacked onto the tapes.

  5. Actin and Endocytosis in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Goode, Bruce L.; Eskin, Julian A.; Wendland, Beverly

    2015-01-01

    Endocytosis, the process whereby the plasma membrane invaginates to form vesicles, is essential for bringing many substances into the cell and for membrane turnover. The mechanism driving clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) involves > 50 different protein components assembling at a single location on the plasma membrane in a temporally ordered and hierarchal pathway. These proteins perform precisely choreographed steps that promote receptor recognition and clustering, membrane remodeling, and force-generating actin-filament assembly and turnover to drive membrane invagination and vesicle scission. Many critical aspects of the CME mechanism are conserved from yeast to mammals and were first elucidated in yeast, demonstrating that it is a powerful system for studying endocytosis. In this review, we describe our current mechanistic understanding of each step in the process of yeast CME, and the essential roles played by actin polymerization at these sites, while providing a historical perspective of how the landscape has changed since the preceding version of the YeastBook was published 17 years ago (1997). Finally, we discuss the key unresolved issues and where future studies might be headed. PMID:25657349

  6. 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.

  7. Actin Foci Adhesion of D. discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanders, Bret; Paneru, Govind

    2014-03-01

    Amoeboid migration is a fast (10 μm min-1) integrin-independent mode of migration that is important with D. discoideum, leukocytes, and breast cancer cells. It is poorly understood, but depends on the establishment of adhesive contacts to the substrate where the cell transmits traction forces. In pre-aggregative D. discoideum, a model system for learning about amoeboid migration, these adhesive contacts are discrete complexes that are known as actin-foci. They have an area of ~ 0.5 μm2 and a lifetime of ~ 20 s. This talk will present measurements of the adhesive character of actin foci that have been obtained using a submicron force transducer that was designed for this purpose. Results on the rupture stresses and lifetimes of individual acting foci under nano-newton level forces will be described in the context of a general theory for cellular adhesion. This theory depends on, essentially, three cellular properties: the membrane-medium surface tension, the number density of adhesion receptors in the membrane, and the receptor-substrate potential energy surface. Therefore, the use of the transducer to determine the surface tension will be presented, as well.

  8. Actin binding proteins, spermatid transport and spermiation.

    PubMed

    Qian, Xiaojing; Mruk, Dolores D; Cheng, Yan-Ho; Tang, Elizabeth I; Han, Daishu; Lee, Will M; Wong, Elissa W P; Cheng, C Yan

    2014-06-01

    The transport of germ cells across the seminiferous epithelium is composed of a series of cellular events during the epithelial cycle essential to the completion of spermatogenesis. Without the timely transport of spermatids during spermiogenesis, spermatozoa that are transformed from step 19 spermatids in the rat testis fail to reach the luminal edge of the apical compartment and enter the tubule lumen at spermiation, thereby arriving the epididymis for further maturation. Step 19 spermatids and/or sperms that remain in the epithelium beyond stage VIII of the epithelial cycle will be removed by the Sertoli cell via phagocytosis to form phagosomes and be degraded by lysosomes, leading to subfertility and/or infertility. However, the biology of spermatid transport, in particular the final events that lead to spermiation remain elusive. Based on recent data in the field, we critically evaluate the biology of spermiation herein by focusing on the actin binding proteins (ABPs) that regulate the organization of actin microfilaments at the Sertoli-spermatid interface, which is crucial for spermatid transport during this event. The hypothesis we put forth herein also highlights some specific areas of research that can be pursued by investigators in the years to come.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Drebrin Inhibits Cofilin-Induced Severing of F-Actin

    PubMed Central

    Grintsevich, Elena E.; Reisler, Emil

    2015-01-01

    Molecular cross-talk between neuronal drebrin A and cofilin is believed to be a part of the activity-dependent cytoskeleton-modulating pathway in dendritic spines. Impairments in this pathway are implicated also in synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and normal aging. However, up to now the molecular interplay between cofilin and drebrin has not been elucidated. TIRF microscopy and solution experiments revealed that full length drebrin A or its actin binding core (Drb1-300) inhibits, but do not abolish cofilin-induced severing of actin filaments. Cosedimentation experiments showed that F-actin can be fully occupied with combination of these two proteins. The dependence of cofilin binding on fractional saturation of actin filaments with drebrin suggests direct competition between these two proteins for F-actin binding. This implies that cofilin and drebrin can either overcome or reverse the allosteric changes in F-actin induced by the competitor’s binding. The ability of cofilin to displace drebrin from actin filaments is pH dependent and is facilitated at acidic pH (6.8). Pre-steady state kinetic experiments reveal that both binding and dissociation of drebrin to/from actin filaments is faster than that reported for cooperative binding of cofilin. We found, that drebrin displacement by cofilin is greatly inhibited when actin severing is abolished, which might be linked to the cooperativity of drebrin binding to actin filaments. Our results contribute to molecular understanding of the competitive interactions of drebrin and cofilin with actin filaments. PMID:25047716

  12. Computational Analysis of Viscoelastic Properties of Crosslinked Actin Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Taeyoon; Hwang, Wonmuk; Lee, Hyungsuk; Kamm, Roger D.

    2009-01-01

    Mechanical force plays an important role in the physiology of eukaryotic cells whose dominant structural constituent is the actin cytoskeleton composed mainly of actin and actin crosslinking proteins (ACPs). Thus, knowledge of rheological properties of actin networks is crucial for understanding the mechanics and processes of cells. We used Brownian dynamics simulations to study the viscoelasticity of crosslinked actin networks. Two methods were employed, bulk rheology and segment-tracking rheology, where the former measures the stress in response to an applied shear strain, and the latter analyzes thermal fluctuations of individual actin segments of the network. It was demonstrated that the storage shear modulus (G′) increases more by the addition of ACPs that form orthogonal crosslinks than by those that form parallel bundles. In networks with orthogonal crosslinks, as crosslink density increases, the power law exponent of G′ as a function of the oscillation frequency decreases from 0.75, which reflects the transverse thermal motion of actin filaments, to near zero at low frequency. Under increasing prestrain, the network becomes more elastic, and three regimes of behavior are observed, each dominated by different mechanisms: bending of actin filaments, bending of ACPs, and at the highest prestrain tested (55%), stretching of actin filaments and ACPs. In the last case, only a small portion of actin filaments connected via highly stressed ACPs support the strain. We thus introduce the concept of a ‘supportive framework,’ as a subset of the full network, which is responsible for high elasticity. Notably, entropic effects due to thermal fluctuations appear to be important only at relatively low prestrains and when the average crosslinking distance is comparable to or greater than the persistence length of the filament. Taken together, our results suggest that viscoelasticity of the actin network is attributable to different mechanisms depending on the amount

  13. Computational analysis of viscoelastic properties of crosslinked actin networks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Taeyoon; Hwang, Wonmuk; Lee, Hyungsuk; Kamm, Roger D

    2009-07-01

    Mechanical force plays an important role in the physiology of eukaryotic cells whose dominant structural constituent is the actin cytoskeleton composed mainly of actin and actin crosslinking proteins (ACPs). Thus, knowledge of rheological properties of actin networks is crucial for understanding the mechanics and processes of cells. We used Brownian dynamics simulations to study the viscoelasticity of crosslinked actin networks. Two methods were employed, bulk rheology and segment-tracking rheology, where the former measures the stress in response to an applied shear strain, and the latter analyzes thermal fluctuations of individual actin segments of the network. It was demonstrated that the storage shear modulus (G') increases more by the addition of ACPs that form orthogonal crosslinks than by those that form parallel bundles. In networks with orthogonal crosslinks, as crosslink density increases, the power law exponent of G' as a function of the oscillation frequency decreases from 0.75, which reflects the transverse thermal motion of actin filaments, to near zero at low frequency. Under increasing prestrain, the network becomes more elastic, and three regimes of behavior are observed, each dominated by different mechanisms: bending of actin filaments, bending of ACPs, and at the highest prestrain tested (55%), stretching of actin filaments and ACPs. In the last case, only a small portion of actin filaments connected via highly stressed ACPs support the strain. We thus introduce the concept of a 'supportive framework,' as a subset of the full network, which is responsible for high elasticity. Notably, entropic effects due to thermal fluctuations appear to be important only at relatively low prestrains and when the average crosslinking distance is comparable to or greater than the persistence length of the filament. Taken together, our results suggest that viscoelasticity of the actin network is attributable to different mechanisms depending on the amount of

  14. Targeting the actin cytoskeleton: selective antitumor action via trapping PKCɛ

    PubMed Central

    Foerster, F; Braig, S; Moser, C; Kubisch, R; Busse, J; Wagner, E; Schmoeckel, E; Mayr, D; Schmitt, S; Huettel, S; Zischka, H; Mueller, R; Vollmar, A M

    2014-01-01

    Targeting the actin cytoskeleton (CSK) of cancer cells offers a valuable strategy in cancer therapy. There are a number of natural compounds that interfere with the actin CSK, but the mode of their cytotoxic action and, moreover, their tumor-specific mechanisms are quite elusive. We used the myxobacterial compound Chondramide as a tool to first elucidate the mechanisms of cytotoxicity of actin targeting in breast cancer cells (MCF7, MDA-MB-231). Chondramide inhibits cellular actin filament dynamics shown by a fluorescence-based analysis (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP)) and leads to apoptosis characterized by phosphatidylserine exposure, release of cytochrome C from mitochondria and finally activation of caspases. Chondramide enhances the occurrence of mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) by affecting known MPT modulators: Hexokinase II bound to the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) translocated from the outer mitochondrial membrane to the cytosol and the proapoptotic protein Bad were recruited to the mitochondria. Importantly, protein kinase C-ɛ (PKCɛ), a prosurvival kinase possessing an actin-binding site and known to regulate the hexokinase/VDAC interaction as well as Bad phosphorylation was identified as the link between actin CSK and apoptosis induction. PKCɛ, which was found overexpressed in breast cancer cells, accumulated in actin bundles induced by Chondramide and lost its activity. Our second goal was to characterize the potential tumor-specific action of actin-binding agents. As the nontumor breast epithelial cell line MCF-10A in fact shows resistance to Chondramide-induced apoptosis and notably express low level of PKCɛ, we suggest that trapping PKCɛ via Chondramide-induced actin hyperpolymerization displays tumor cell specificity. Our work provides a link between targeting the ubiquitously occurring actin CSK and selective inhibition of pro-tumorigenic PKCɛ, thus setting the stage for actin-stabilizing agents as

  15. Hedgehog signaling regulates E-cadherin expression for the maintenance of the actin cytoskeleton and tight junctions.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Chang; Ogle, Sally A; Schumacher, Michael A; Schilling, Neal; Tokhunts, Robert A; Orr-Asman, Melissa A; Miller, Marian L; Robbins, David J; Hollande, Frederic; Zavros, Yana

    2010-12-01

    In the stomach, strictly regulated cell adherens junctions are crucial in determining epithelial cell differentiation. Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) regulates epithelial cell differentiation in the adult stomach. We sought to identify whether Shh plays a role in regulating adherens junction protein E-cadherin as a mechanism for epithelial cell differentiation. Mouse nontumorigenic gastric epithelial (IMGE-5) cells treated with Hedgehog signaling inhibitor cyclopamine and anti-Shh 5E1 antibody or transduced with short hairpin RNA against Skinny Hedgehog (IMGE-5(Ski)) were cultured. A mouse model expressing a parietal cell-specific deletion of Shh (HKCre/Shh(KO)) was used to identify further changes in adherens and tight junctions. Inhibition of Hedgehog signaling in IMGE-5 cells caused loss of E-cadherin expression accompanied by disruption of F-actin cortical expression and relocalization of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1). Loss of E-cadherin was also associated with increased proliferation in IMGE-5(Ski) cells and increased expression of the mucous neck cell lineage marker MUC6. Compared with membrane-expressed E-cadherin and ZO-1 protein in controls, dissociation of E-cadherin/β-catenin and ZO-1/occludin protein complexes was observed in HKCre/Shh(KO) mice. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Hedgehog signaling regulates E-cadherin expression that is required for the maintenance of F-actin cortical expression and stability of tight junction protein ZO-1.

  16. Self-organization of chemoattractant waves in Dictyostelium depends on F-actin and cell–substrate adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Fukujin, Fumihito; Nakajima, Akihiko; Shimada, Nao; Sawai, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, travelling waves of extracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) self-organize in cell populations and direct aggregation of individual cells to form multicellular fruiting bodies. In contrast to the large body of studies that addressed how movement of cells is determined by spatial and temporal cues encoded in the dynamic cAMP gradients, how cell mechanics affect the formation of a self-generated chemoattractant field has received less attention. Here, we show, by live cell imaging analysis, that the periodicity of the synchronized cAMP waves increases in cells treated with the actin inhibitor latrunculin. Detail analysis of the extracellular cAMP-induced transients of cytosolic cAMP (cAMP relay response) in well-isolated cells demonstrated that their amplitude and duration were markedly reduced in latrunculin-treated cells. Similarly, in cells strongly adhered to a poly-l-lysine-coated surface, the response was suppressed, and the periodicity of the population-level oscillations was markedly lengthened. Our results suggest that cortical F-actin is dispensable for the basic low amplitude relay response but essential for its full amplification and that this enhanced response is necessary to establish high-frequency signalling centres. The observed F-actin dependence may prevent aggregation centres from establishing in microenvironments that are incompatible with cell migration. PMID:27358278

  17. Self-organization of chemoattractant waves in Dictyostelium depends on F-actin and cell-substrate adhesion.

    PubMed

    Fukujin, Fumihito; Nakajima, Akihiko; Shimada, Nao; Sawai, Satoshi

    2016-06-01

    In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, travelling waves of extracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) self-organize in cell populations and direct aggregation of individual cells to form multicellular fruiting bodies. In contrast to the large body of studies that addressed how movement of cells is determined by spatial and temporal cues encoded in the dynamic cAMP gradients, how cell mechanics affect the formation of a self-generated chemoattractant field has received less attention. Here, we show, by live cell imaging analysis, that the periodicity of the synchronized cAMP waves increases in cells treated with the actin inhibitor latrunculin. Detail analysis of the extracellular cAMP-induced transients of cytosolic cAMP (cAMP relay response) in well-isolated cells demonstrated that their amplitude and duration were markedly reduced in latrunculin-treated cells. Similarly, in cells strongly adhered to a poly-l-lysine-coated surface, the response was suppressed, and the periodicity of the population-level oscillations was markedly lengthened. Our results suggest that cortical F-actin is dispensable for the basic low amplitude relay response but essential for its full amplification and that this enhanced response is necessary to establish high-frequency signalling centres. The observed F-actin dependence may prevent aggregation centres from establishing in microenvironments that are incompatible with cell migration. PMID:27358278

  18. Myosin Va facilitates the distribution of secretory granules in the F-actin rich cortex of PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Rüdiger; Kögel, Tanja; Kuznetsov, Sergei A; Salm, Thorsten; Schlicker, Oliver; Hellwig, Andrea; Hammer, John A; Gerdes, Hans-Hermann

    2003-04-01

    Neuroendocrine secretory granules, the storage organelles for neuropeptides and hormones, are formed at the trans-Golgi network, stored inside the cell and exocytosed upon stimulation. Previously, we have reported that newly formed secretory granules of PC12 cells are transported in a microtubule-dependent manner from the trans-Golgi network to the F-actin-rich cell cortex, where they undergo short directed movements and exhibit a homogeneous distribution. Here we provide morphological and biochemical evidence that myosin Va is associated with secretory granules. Expression of a dominant-negative tail domain of myosin Va in PC12 cells led to an extensive clustering of secretory granules close to the cell periphery, a loss of their cortical restriction and a strong reduction in their motility in the actin cortex. Based on this data we propose a model that implies a dual transport system for secretory granules: after microtubule-dependent delivery to the cell periphery, secretory granules exhibit a myosin Va-dependent transport leading to their restriction and even dispersal in the F-actin-rich cortex of PC12 cells. PMID:12615975

  19. Cytotoxic effects of incense particles in relation to oxidative stress, the cell cycle and F-actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Hsiao-Chi; Jones, Tim; Chen, Tzu-Tao; BéruBé, Kelly

    2013-07-18

    Epidemiological studies have suggested that combustion-derived smoke, such as that produced during incense burning, is a deleterious air pollutant. It is capable of initiating oxidative stress and mutation; however, the related apoptotic processes remain unclear. In order to elucidate the biologic