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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. Cortical Actin Nanodynamics Determines Nitric Oxide Release in Vascular Endothelium

    PubMed Central

    Fels, Johannes; Jeggle, Pia; Kusche-Vihrog, Kristina; Oberleithner, Hans

    2012-01-01

    The release of the main vasodilator nitric oxide (NO) by the endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) is a hallmark of endothelial function. We aim at elucidating the underlying mechanism how eNOS activity depends on cortical stiffness (Кcortex) of living endothelial cells. It is hypothesized that cortical actin dynamics determines Кcortex and directly influences eNOS activity. By combined atomic force microscopy and fluorescence imaging we generated mechanical and optical sections of single living cells. This approach allows the discrimination between Кcortex and bulk cell stiffness (Кbulk) and, additionally, the simultaneous analysis of submembranous actin web dynamics. We show that Кcortex softens when cortical F-actin depolymerizes and that this shift from a gel-like stiff cortex to a soft G-actin rich layer, triggers the stiffness-sensitive eNOS activity. The results implicate that stiffness changes in the ∼100 nm phase of the submembranous actin web, without affecting Кbulk, regulate NO release and thus determines endothelial function. PMID:22844486

  4. 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.

  5. Quantification of Filamentous Actin (F-actin) Puncta in Rat Cortical Neurons.

    PubMed

    Li, Hailong; Aksenova, Marina; Bertrand, Sarah J; Mactutus, Charles F; Booze, Rosemarie

    2016-02-10

    Filamentous actin protein (F-actin) plays a major role in spinogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and synaptic stability. Changes in dendritic F-actin rich structures suggest alterations in synaptic integrity and connectivity. Here we provide a detailed protocol for culturing primary rat cortical neurons, Phalloidin staining for F-actin puncta, and subsequent quantification techniques. First, the frontal cortex of E18 rat embryos are dissociated into low-density cell culture, then the neurons grown in vitro for at least 12-14 days. Following experimental treatment, the cortical neurons are stained with AlexaFluor 488 Phalloidin (to label the dendritic F-actin puncta) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2; to validate the neuronal cells and dendritic integrity). Finally, specialized software is used to analyze and quantify randomly selected neuronal dendrites. F-actin rich structures are identified on second order dendritic branches (length range 25-75 µm) with continuous MAP2 immunofluorescence. The protocol presented here will be a useful method for investigating changes in dendritic synapse structures subsequent to experimental treatments.

  6. Quantification of Filamentous Actin (F-actin) Puncta in Rat Cortical Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, Sarah J.; Mactutus, Charles F.; Booze, Rosemarie

    2016-01-01

    Filamentous actin protein (F-actin) plays a major role in spinogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and synaptic stability. Changes in dendritic F-actin rich structures suggest alterations in synaptic integrity and connectivity. Here we provide a detailed protocol for culturing primary rat cortical neurons, Phalloidin staining for F-actin puncta, and subsequent quantification techniques. First, the frontal cortex of E18 rat embryos are dissociated into low-density cell culture, then the neurons grown in vitro for at least 12-14 days. Following experimental treatment, the cortical neurons are stained with AlexaFluor 488 Phalloidin (to label the dendritic F-actin puncta) and microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2; to validate the neuronal cells and dendritic integrity). Finally, specialized software is used to analyze and quantify randomly selected neuronal dendrites. F-actin rich structures are identified on second order dendritic branches (length range 25-75 µm) with continuous MAP2 immunofluorescence. The protocol presented here will be a useful method for investigating changes in dendritic synapse structures subsequent to experimental treatments. PMID:26889716

  7. Cortical flow aligns actin filaments to form a furrow

    PubMed Central

    Reymann, Anne-Cecile; Staniscia, Fabio; Erzberger, Anna; Salbreux, Guillaume; Grill, Stephan W

    2016-01-01

    Cytokinesis in eukaryotic cells is often accompanied by actomyosin cortical flow. Over 30 years ago, Borisy and White proposed that cortical flow converging upon the cell equator compresses the actomyosin network to mechanically align actin filaments. However, actin filaments also align via search-and-capture, and to what extent compression by flow or active alignment drive furrow formation remains unclear. Here, we quantify the dynamical organization of actin filaments at the onset of ring assembly in the C. elegans zygote, and provide a framework for determining emergent actomyosin material parameters by the use of active nematic gel theory. We characterize flow-alignment coupling, and verify at a quantitative level that compression by flow drives ring formation. Finally, we find that active alignment enhances but is not required for ring formation. Our work characterizes the physical mechanisms of actomyosin ring formation and highlights the role of flow as a central organizer of actomyosin network architecture. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17807.001 PMID:27719759

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2015-11-05

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Coordinated oscillations in cortical actin and Ca2+ correlate with cycles of vesicle secretion.

    PubMed

    Wollman, R; Meyer, T

    2012-12-01

    The actin cortex both facilitates and hinders the exocytosis of secretory granules. How cells consolidate these two opposing roles was not well understood. Here we show that antigen activation of mast cells induces oscillations in Ca(2+) and PtdIns(4,5)P(2) lipid levels that in turn drive cyclic recruitment of N-WASP and cortical actin level oscillations. Experimental and computational analysis argues that vesicle fusion correlates with the observed actin and Ca(2+) level oscillations. A vesicle secretion cycle starts with the capture of vesicles by actin when cortical F-actin levels are high, followed by vesicle passage through the cortex when F-actin levels are low, and vesicle fusion with the plasma membrane when Ca(2+) levels subsequently increase. Thus, cells employ oscillating levels of Ca(2+), PtdIns(4,5)P(2) and cortical F-actin to increase secretion efficiency, explaining how the actin cortex can function as a carrier as well as barrier for vesicle secretion.

  14. Plasma Membrane is Compartmentalized by a Self-Similar Cortical Actin Meshwork

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadegh, Sanaz; Higgins, Jenny L.; Mannion, Patrick C.; Tamkun, Michael M.; Krapf, Diego

    2017-01-01

    A broad range of membrane proteins display anomalous diffusion on the cell surface. Different methods provide evidence for obstructed subdiffusion and diffusion on a fractal space, but the underlying structure inducing anomalous diffusion has never been visualized because of experimental challenges. We addressed this problem by imaging the cortical actin at high resolution while simultaneously tracking individual membrane proteins in live mammalian cells. Our data confirm that actin introduces barriers leading to compartmentalization of the plasma membrane and that membrane proteins are transiently confined within actin fences. Furthermore, superresolution imaging shows that the cortical actin is organized into a self-similar meshwork. These results present a hierarchical nanoscale picture of the plasma membrane.

  15. Myosin VI small insert isoform maintains exocytosis by tethering secretory granules to the cortical actin.

    PubMed

    Tomatis, Vanesa M; Papadopulos, Andreas; Malintan, Nancy T; Martin, Sally; Wallis, Tristan; Gormal, Rachel S; Kendrick-Jones, John; Buss, Folma; Meunier, Frédéric A

    2013-02-04

    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 Ca(2+)-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.

  16. Requirement of cortical actin organization for bombesin, endothelin, and EGF receptor internalization.

    PubMed

    Lunn, J A; Wong, H; Rozengurt, E; Walsh, J H

    2000-12-01

    The role of actin organization in occupancy-induced receptor internalization remains poorly defined. Here we report that treatment of mouse Swiss 3T3 cells with latrunculin A, a potent inhibitor of actin polymerization (including cortical actin), inhibited the internalization of the endogenous bombesin/gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) receptor, as judged by uptake of (125)I-labeled GRP or fluorescent Cy3-labeled bombesin. In contrast, cells pretreated with cytochalasin D showed minimal inhibition of bombesin/GRP receptor internalization. Similarly, pretreatment of Swiss 3T3 cells with the potent Rho-kinase inhibitor HA-1077, at concentrations (10-20 microM) that abrogated bombesin-mediated stress fiber formation, did not significantly alter receptor-mediated internalization of (125)I-GRP. These results indicate that bombesin/GRP receptor internalization depends on latrunculin A-sensitive cortical actin rather than on rapidly turning over actin stress fibers that are disrupted by either cytochalasin D or HA-1077. The rates and total levels of internalization of the endogenously expressed endothelin A receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor were also markedly reduced by latrunculin A in Swiss 3T3 cells. The potency of latrunculin A for inhibiting G protein-coupled receptor endocytosis was comparable to that for reducing internalization of the epidermal growth factor tyrosine kinase receptor. We conclude that cortical actin structures, disrupted by latrunculin A, are necessary for occupancy-induced receptor internalization in animal cells.

  17. Actin-Binding Protein Requirement for Cortical Stability and Efficient Locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunningham, C. Casey; Gorlin, Jed B.; Kwiatkowski, David J.; Hartwig, John H.; Janmey, Paul A.; Randolph Byers, H.; Stossel, Thomas P.

    1992-01-01

    Three unrelated tumor cell lines derived from human malignant melanomas lack actin-binding protein (ABP), which cross-links actin filaments in vitro and connects these filaments to plasma membrane glycoproteins. The ABP-deficient cells have impaired locomotion and display circumferential blebbing of the plasma membrane. Expression of ABP in one of the lines after transfection restored translocational motility and reduced membrane blebbing. These findings establish that ABP functions to stabilize cortical actin in vivo and is required for efficient cell locomotion.

  18. The ATP binding cassette transporter, ABCG1, localizes to cortical actin filaments

    PubMed Central

    Pandzic, Elvis; Gelissen, Ingrid C.; Whan, Renee; Barter, Philip J.; Sviridov, Dmitri; Gaus, Katharina; Rye, Kerry-Anne; Cochran, Blake J.

    2017-01-01

    The ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 1 (ABCG1) exports cellular cholesterol to high-density lipoproteins (HDL). However, a number of recent studies have suggested ABCG1 is predominantly localised to intracellular membranes. In this study, we found that ABCG1 was organized into two distinct cellular pools: one at the plasma membrane and the other associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The plasma membrane fraction was organized into filamentous structures that were associated with cortical actin filaments. Inhibition of actin polymerization resulted in complete disruption of ABCG1 filaments. Cholesterol loading of the cells increased the formation of the filamentous ABCG1, the proximity of filamentous ABCG1 to actin filaments and the diffusion rate of membrane associated ABCG1. Our findings suggest that the actin cytoskeleton plays a critical role in the plasma membrane localization of ABCG1. PMID:28165022

  19. 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

  20. DISC1 knockdown impairs the tangential migration of cortical interneurons by affecting the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Steinecke, André; Gampe, Christin; Nitzsche, Falk; Bolz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is a risk gene for a spectrum of major mental disorders. It has been shown to regulate radial migration as well as dendritic arborization during neurodevelopment and corticogenesis. In a previous study we demonstrated through in vitro experiments that DISC1 also controls the tangential migration of cortical interneurons originating from the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE). Here we first show that DISC1 is necessary for the proper tangential migration of cortical interneurons in the intact brain. Expression of EGFP under the Lhx6 promotor allowed us to analyze exclusively interneurons transfected in the MGE after in utero electroporation. After 3 days in utero, DISC1 deficient interneurons displayed prolonged leading processes and, compared to control, fewer neurons reached the cortex. Time-lapse video microscopy of cortical feeder-layers revealed a decreased migration velocity due to a reduction of soma translocations. Immunostainings indicated that DISC1 is co-localized with F-actin in the growth cone-like structure of the leading process. DISC1 knockdown reduced F-actin levels whereas the overall actin level was not altered. Moreover, DISC1 knockdown also decreased levels of phosphorylated Girdin, which cross-links F-actin, as well as the Girdin-activator pAkt. In contrast, using time-lapse video microscopy of fluorescence-tagged tubulin and EB3 in fibroblasts, we found no effects on microtubule polymerization when DISC1 was reduced. However, DISC1 affected the acetylation of microtubules in the leading processes of MGE-derived cortical interneurons. Together, our results provide a mechanism how DISC1 might contribute to interneuron migration thereby explaining the reduced number of specific classes of cortical interneurons in some DISC1 mouse models. PMID:25071449

  1. The trinity of the cortical actin in the initiation of HIV-1 infection

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    For an infecting viral pathogen, the actin cortex inside the host cell is the first line of intracellular components that it encounters. Viruses devise various strategies to actively engage or circumvent the actin structure. In this regard, the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) exemplifies command of cellular processes to take control of actin dynamics for the initiation of infection. It has becomes increasingly evident that cortical actin presents itself both as a barrier to viral intracellular migration and as a necessary cofactor that the virus must actively engage, particularly, in the infection of resting CD4 blood T cells, the primary targets of HIV-1. The coercion of this most fundamental cellular component permits infection by facilitating entry, reverse transcription, and nuclear migration, three essential processes for the establishment of viral infection and latency in blood T cells. It is the purpose of this review to examine, in detail, the manifestation of viral dependence on the actin cytoskeleton, and present a model of how HIV utilizes actin dynamics to initiate infection. PMID:22640593

  2. A Dichotomy in Cortical Actin and Chemotactic Actin Activity between Human Memory and Naive T Cells Contributes to Their Differential Susceptibility to HIV-1 Infection*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weifeng; Guo, Jia; Yu, Dongyang; Vorster, Paul J.; Chen, WanJun; Wu, Yuntao

    2012-01-01

    Human memory and naive CD4 T cells can mainly be identified by the reciprocal expression of the CD45RO or CD45RA isoforms. In HIV-1 infection, blood CD45RO memory CD4 T cells are preferentially infected and serve as a major viral reservoir. The molecular mechanism dictating this differential susceptibility to HIV-1 remains largely obscure. Here, we report that the different susceptibility of memory and naive T cells to HIV is not determined by restriction factors such as Apobec3G or BST2. However, we observed a phenotypic distinction between human CD45RO and CD45RA resting CD4 T cells in their cortical actin density and actin dynamics. CD45RO CD4 T cells possess a higher cortical actin density and can be distinguished as CD45RO+Actinhigh. In contrast, CD45RA T cells are phenotypically CD45RA+Actinlow. In addition, the cortical actin in CD45RO memory CD4 T cells is more dynamic and can respond to low dosages of chemotactic induction by SDF-1, whereas that of naive cells cannot, despite a similar level of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 present on both cells. We further demonstrate that this difference in the cortical actin contributes to their differential susceptibility to HIV-1; resting memory but not naive T cells are highly responsive to HIV-mediated actin dynamics that promote higher levels of viral entry and early DNA synthesis in resting memory CD4 T cells. Furthermore, transient induction of actin dynamics in resting naive T cells rescues HIV latent infection following CD3/CD28 stimulation. These results suggest a key role of chemotactic actin activity in facilitating HIV-1 latent infection of these T cell subsets. PMID:22879601

  3. The formation of cortical actin arrays in human trabecular meshwork cells in response to cytoskeletal disruption.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Kaitlin C; Morgan, Joshua T; Wood, Joshua A; Sadeli, Adeline; Murphy, Christopher J; Russell, Paul

    2014-10-15

    The cytoskeleton of human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells is known to be altered in glaucoma and has been hypothesized to reduce outflow facility through contracting the HTM tissue. Latrunculin B (Lat-B) and Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitors disrupt the actin cytoskeleton and are in clinical trials as glaucoma therapeutics. We have previously reported a transient increase in HTM cell stiffness peaking at 90 min after Lat-B treatment with a return to pretreatment values after 270 min. We hypothesize that changes in actin morphology correlate with alterations in cell stiffness induced by Lat-B but this is not a general consequence of other cytoskeletal disrupting agents such as Rho kinase inhibitors. We treated HTM cells with 2 µM Lat-B or 100 µM Y-27632 and allowed the cells to recover for 30-270 min. While examining actin morphology in Lat-B treated cells, we observed striking cortical actin arrays (CAAs). The percentage of CAA positive cells (CPCs) was time dependent and exceeded 30% at 90 min and decreased after 270 min. Y-27632 treated cells exhibited few CAAs and no changes in cell stiffness. Together, these data suggest that the increase in cell stiffness after Lat-B treatment is correlated with CAAs.

  4. LIM Kinase 1 Modulates Cortical Actin and CXCR4 Cycling and Is Activated by HIV-1 to Initiate Viral Infection*

    PubMed Central

    Vorster, Paul J.; Guo, Jia; Yoder, Alyson; Wang, Weifeng; Zheng, Yanfang; Xu, Xuehua; Yu, Dongyang; Spear, Mark; Wu, Yuntao

    2011-01-01

    Almost all viral pathogens utilize a cytoskeleton for their entry and intracellular transport. In HIV-1 infection, binding of the virus to blood resting CD4 T cells initiates a temporal course of cortical actin polymerization and depolymerization, a process mimicking the chemotactic response initiated from chemokine receptors. The actin depolymerization has been suggested to promote viral intracellular migration through cofilin-mediated actin treadmilling. However, the role of the virus-mediated actin polymerization in HIV infection is unknown, and the signaling molecules involved remain unidentified. Here we describe a pathogenic mechanism for triggering early actin polymerization through HIV-1 envelope-mediated transient activation of the LIM domain kinase (LIMK), a protein that phosphorylates cofilin. We demonstrate that HIV-mediated LIMK activation is through gp120-triggered transient activation of the Rack-PAK-LIMK pathway, and that knockdown of LIMK through siRNA decreases filamentous actin, increases CXCR4 trafficking, and diminishes viral DNA synthesis. These results suggest that HIV-mediated early actin polymerization may directly regulate the CXCR4 receptor during viral entry and is involved in viral DNA synthesis. Furthermore, we also demonstrate that in resting CD4 T cells, actin polymerization can be triggered through transient treatment with a pharmacological agent, okadaic acid, that activates LIMK and promotes HIV latent infection of resting CD4 T cells. Taken together, our results suggest that HIV hijacks LIMK to control the cortical actin dynamics for the initiation of viral infection of CD4 T cells. PMID:21321123

  5. Remodelling of cortical actin where lytic granules dock at natural killer cell immune synapses revealed by super-resolution microscopy.

    PubMed

    Brown, Alice C N; Oddos, Stephane; Dobbie, Ian M; Alakoskela, Juha-Matti; Parton, Richard M; Eissmann, Philipp; Neil, Mark A A; Dunsby, Christopher; French, Paul M W; Davis, Ilan; Davis, Daniel M

    2011-09-01

    Natural Killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that secrete lytic granules to directly kill virus-infected or transformed cells across an immune synapse. However, a major gap in understanding this process is in establishing how lytic granules pass through the mesh of cortical actin known to underlie the NK cell membrane. Research has been hampered by the resolution of conventional light microscopy, which is too low to resolve cortical actin during lytic granule secretion. Here we use two high-resolution imaging techniques to probe the synaptic organisation of NK cell receptors and filamentous (F)-actin. A combination of optical tweezers and live cell confocal microscopy reveals that microclusters of NKG2D assemble into a ring-shaped structure at the centre of intercellular synapses, where Vav1 and Grb2 also accumulate. Within this ring-shaped organisation of NK cell proteins, lytic granules accumulate for secretion. Using 3D-structured illumination microscopy (3D-SIM) to gain super-resolution of ~100 nm, cortical actin was detected in a central region of the NK cell synapse irrespective of whether activating or inhibitory signals dominate. Strikingly, the periodicity of the cortical actin mesh increased in specific domains at the synapse when the NK cell was activated. Two-colour super-resolution imaging revealed that lytic granules docked precisely in these domains which were also proximal to where the microtubule-organising centre (MTOC) polarised. Together, these data demonstrate that remodelling of the cortical actin mesh occurs at the central region of the cytolytic NK cell immune synapse. This is likely to occur for other types of cell secretion and also emphasises the importance of emerging super-resolution imaging technology for revealing new biology.

  6. Convergence and extension at gastrulation require a myosin IIB dependent cortical actin network

    PubMed Central

    Skoglund, Paul; Rolo, Ana; Chen, Xuejun; Gumbiner, Barry M.; Keller, Ray

    2009-01-01

    Summary Force-producing convergence (narrowing) and extension (lengthening) of tissues by active intercalation of cells along the axis of convergence play a major role in axial morphogenesis during development of both vertebrate and invertebrate embryos, and failure of these processes in human embryos leads to embryonic defects including spina bifida and anencephaly. Here we use Xenopus laevis, a system in which the polarized cell motility that drives this active cell intercalation has been related to development of forces that close the blastopore and elongate the body axis, to examine the role of myosin IIB in convergence and extension. We find that myosin IIB is localized in the cortex of intercalating cells, and that morpholino knockdown of this myosin isoform shows that it is essential for maintenance of a stereotypical, cortical actin cytoskeleton that we visualize with time-lapse fluorescent confocal microscopy. We show that this actin network consists of foci or nodes connected by cables and is polarized relative to the embryonic axis, preferentially cyclically shortening and lengthening parallel to the axis of cell polarization, elongation, and intercalation, and also parallel to the axis of convergence forces during gastrulation. MHC-B-depletion results in disruption of this polarized cytoskeleton, loss of the polarized protrusive activity characteristic of intercalating cells, eventual loss of cell-cell and cell matrix adhesion, and dose-dependent failure of blastopore closure, arguably because of failure to develop convergence forces parallel to the myosin IIB-dependent dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton. These findings bridge the gap between a molecular-scale motor protein and tissue-scale embryonic morphogenesis. PMID:18550716

  7. The Cortical Localization of the Microtubule Orientation Protein, Kar9p, Is Dependent upon Actin and Proteins Required for Polarization

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Rita K.; Matheos, Dina; Rose, Mark D.

    1999-01-01

    In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, positioning of the mitotic spindle requires both the cytoplasmic microtubules and actin. Kar9p is a novel cortical protein that is required for the correct position of the mitotic spindle and the orientation of the cytoplasmic microtubules. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)– Kar9p localizes to a single spot at the tip of the growing bud and the mating projection. However, the cortical localization of Kar9p does not require microtubules (Miller, R.K., and M.D. Rose. 1998. J. Cell Biol. 140: 377), suggesting that Kar9p interacts with other proteins at the cortex. To investigate Kar9p's cortical interactions, we treated cells with the actin-depolymerizing drug, latrunculin-A. In both shmoos and mitotic cells, Kar9p's cortical localization was completely dependent on polymerized actin. Kar9p localization was also altered by mutations in four genes, spa2Δ, pea2Δ, bud6Δ, and bni1Δ, required for normal polarization and actin cytoskeleton functions and, of these, bni1Δ affected Kar9p localization most severely. Like kar9Δ, bni1Δ mutants exhibited nuclear positioning defects during mitosis and in shmoos. Furthermore, like kar9Δ, the bni1Δ mutant exhibited misoriented cytoplasmic microtubules in shmoos. Genetic analysis placed BNI1 in the KAR9 pathway for nuclear migration. However, analysis of kar9Δ bni1Δ double mutants suggested that Kar9p retained some function in bni1Δ mitotic cells. Unlike the polarization mutants, kar9Δ shmoos had a normal morphology and diploids budded in the correct bipolar pattern. Furthermore, Bni1p localized normally in kar9Δ. We conclude that Kar9p's function is specific for cytoplasmic microtubule orientation and that Kar9p's role in nuclear positioning is to coordinate the interactions between the actin and microtubule networks. PMID:10085294

  8. Tropomodulin3 is a novel Akt2 effector regulating insulin-stimulated GLUT4 exocytosis through cortical actin remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Chun-Yan; Bi, Xuezhi; Wu, Donghai; Kim, Jae Bum; Gunning, Peter W.; Hong, Wanjin; Han, Weiping

    2015-01-01

    Akt2 and its downstream effectors mediate insulin-stimulated GLUT4-storage vesicle (GSV) translocation and fusion with the plasma membrane (PM). Using mass spectrometry, we identify actin-capping protein Tropomodulin 3 (Tmod3) as an Akt2-interacting partner in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. We demonstrate that Tmod3 is phosphorylated at Ser71 on insulin-stimulated Akt2 activation, and Ser71 phosphorylation is required for insulin-stimulated GLUT4 PM insertion and glucose uptake. Phosphorylated Tmod3 regulates insulin-induced actin remodelling, an essential step for GSV fusion with the PM. Furthermore, the interaction of Tmod3 with its cognate tropomyosin partner, Tm5NM1 is necessary for GSV exocytosis and glucose uptake. Together these results establish Tmod3 as a novel Akt2 effector that mediates insulin-induced cortical actin remodelling and subsequent GLUT4 membrane insertion. Our findings suggest that defects in cytoskeletal remodelling may contribute to impaired GLUT4 exocytosis and glucose uptake. PMID:25575350

  9. Bsp1p/Ypr171p is an adapter that directly links some synaptojanin family members to the cortical actin cytoskeleton in yeast.

    PubMed

    Wicky, Sidonie; Frischmuth, Sabine; Singer-Krüger, Birgit

    2003-02-27

    In this study we identified a novel protein, Bsp1p, that interacts directly with two yeast synaptojanins, Sjl2p and Sjl3p, but not with Sjl1p. The interaction takes place via the Sac1/polyphosphoinositide phosphatase domain, whose conserved C-terminal region is important for binding. Subcellular localization and genetic interactions revealed a function of Bsp1p in the cortical actin cytoskeleton. A fraction of Bsp1p was found to be membrane-associated. Studies with mutants of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase, PIK1, suggested that the interaction with membranes is facilitated by phosphoinositides. We propose that Bsp1p is an adapter that links Sjl2p and Sjl3p to the cortical actin cytoskeleton.

  10. N-WASP, a novel actin-depolymerizing protein, regulates the cortical cytoskeletal rearrangement in a PIP2-dependent manner downstream of tyrosine kinases.

    PubMed Central

    Miki, H; Miura, K; Takenawa, T

    1996-01-01

    Here we identify a 65 kDa protein (N-WASP) from brain that binds the SH3 domains of Ash/Grb2. The sequence is homologous to Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP). N-WASP has several functional motifs, such as a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain and cofilin-homologous region, through which N-WASP depolymerizes actin filaments. When overexpressed in COS 7 cells, the wild-type N-WASP causes several surface protrusions where N-WASP co-localizes with actin filaments. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) treatment induces the complex formation of EGF receptors and N-WASP, and produces microspikes. On the other hand, two mutants, C38W (a point mutation in the PH domain) and deltaVCA (deletion of the actin binding domain), localize predominantly in the nucleus and do not cause a change in the cytoskeleton, irrespective of EGF treatment. Interestingly, the C38W PH domain binds less effectively to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) than the wild-type PH domain. These results suggest the importance of the PIP2 binding ability of the PH domain and the actin binding for retention in membranes. Collectively, we conclude that N-WASP transmits signals from tyrosine kinases to cause a polarized rearrangement of cortical actin filaments dependent on PIP2. Images PMID:8895577

  11. Vesicular trafficking through cortical actin during exocytosis is regulated by the Rab27a effector JFC1/Slp1 and the RhoA-GTPase-activating protein Gem-interacting protein.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jennifer L; Monfregola, Jlenia; Napolitano, Gennaro; Kiosses, William B; Catz, Sergio D

    2012-05-01

    Cytoskeleton remodeling is important for the regulation of vesicular transport associated with exocytosis, but a direct association between granular secretory proteins and actin-remodeling molecules has not been shown, and this mechanism remains obscure. Using a proteomic approach, we identified the RhoA-GTPase-activating protein Gem-interacting protein (GMIP) as a factor that associates with the Rab27a effector JFC1 and modulates vesicular transport and exocytosis. GMIP down-regulation induced RhoA activation and actin polymerization. Importantly, GMIP-down-regulated cells showed impaired vesicular transport and exocytosis, while inhibition of the RhoA-signaling pathway induced actin depolymerization and facilitated exocytosis. We show that RhoA activity polarizes around JFC1-containing secretory granules, suggesting that it may control directionality of granule movement. Using quantitative live-cell microscopy, we show that JFC1-containing secretory organelles move in areas near the plasma membrane deprived of polymerized actin and that dynamic vesicles maintain an actin-free environment in their surroundings. Supporting a role for JFC1 in RhoA inactivation and actin remodeling during exocytosis, JFC1 knockout neutrophils showed increased RhoA activity, and azurophilic granules were unable to traverse cortical actin in cells lacking JFC1. We propose that during exocytosis, actin depolymerization commences near the secretory organelle, not the plasma membrane, and that secretory granules use a JFC1- and GMIP-dependent molecular mechanism to traverse cortical actin.

  12. Ponticulin is the major high affinity link between the plasma membrane and the cortical actin network in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    Interactions between the plasma membrane and underlying actin-based cortex have been implicated in membrane organization and stability, the control of cell shape, and various motile processes. To ascertain the function of high affinity actin-membrane associations, we have disrupted by homologous recombination the gene encoding ponticulin, the major high affinity actin-membrane link in Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae. Cells lacking detectable amounts of ponticulin message and protein also are deficient in high affinity actin-membrane binding by several criteria. First, only 10-13% as much endogenous actin cosediments through sucrose and crude plasma membranes from ponticulin- minus cells, as compared with membranes from the parental strain. Second, purified plasma membranes exhibit little or no binding or nucleation of exogenous actin in vitro. Finally, only 10-30% as much endogenous actin partitions with plasma membranes from ponticulin-minus cells after these cells are mechanically unroofed with polylysine- coated coverslips. The loss of the cell's major actin-binding membrane protein appears to be surprisingly benign under laboratory conditions. Ponticulin-minus cells grow normally in axenic culture and pinocytose FITC-dextran at the same rate as do parental cells. The rate of phagocytosis of particles by ponticulin-minus cells in growth media also is unaffected. By contrast, after initiation of development, cells lacking ponticulin aggregate faster than the parental cells. Subsequent morphogenesis proceeds asynchronously, but viable spores can form. These results indicate that ponticulin is not required for cellular translocation, but apparently plays a role in cell patterning during development. PMID:8089176

  13. Cortical Actin Flow in T Cells Quantified by Spatio-temporal Image Correlation Spectroscopy of Structured Illumination Microscopy Data.

    PubMed

    Ashdown, George; Pandžić, Elvis; Cope, Andrew; Wiseman, Paul; Owen, Dylan

    2015-12-17

    Filamentous-actin plays a crucial role in a majority of cell processes including motility and, in immune cells, the formation of a key cell-cell interaction known as the immunological synapse. F-actin is also speculated to play a role in regulating molecular distributions at the membrane of cells including sub-membranous vesicle dynamics and protein clustering. While standard light microscope techniques allow generalized and diffraction-limited observations to be made, many cellular and molecular events including clustering and molecular flow occur in populations at length-scales far below the resolving power of standard light microscopy. By combining total internal reflection fluorescence with the super resolution imaging method structured illumination microscopy, the two-dimensional molecular flow of F-actin at the immune synapse of T cells was recorded. Spatio-temporal image correlation spectroscopy (STICS) was then applied, which generates quantifiable results in the form of velocity histograms and vector maps representing flow directionality and magnitude. This protocol describes the combination of super-resolution imaging and STICS techniques to generate flow vectors at sub-diffraction levels of detail. This technique was used to confirm an actin flow that is symmetrically retrograde and centripetal throughout the periphery of T cells upon synapse formation.

  14. Dual pools of actin at presynaptic terminals.

    PubMed

    Bleckert, Adam; Photowala, Huzefa; Alford, Simon

    2012-06-01

    We investigated actin's function in vesicle recycling and exocytosis at lamprey synapses and show that FM1-43 puncta and phalloidin-labeled filamentous actin (F-actin) structures are colocalized, yet recycling vesicles are not contained within F-actin clusters. Additionally, phalloidin also labels a plasma membrane-associated cortical actin. Injection of fluorescent G-actin revealed activity-independent dynamic actin incorporation into presynaptic synaptic vesicle clusters but not into cortical actin. Latrunculin-A, which sequesters G-actin, dispersed vesicle-associated actin structures and prevented subsequent labeled G-actin and phalloidin accumulation at presynaptic puncta, yet cortical phalloidin labeling persisted. Dispersal of presynaptic F-actin structures by latrunculin-A did not disrupt vesicle clustering or recycling or alter the amplitude or kinetics of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). However, it slightly enhanced release during repetitive stimulation. While dispersal of presynaptic actin puncta with latrunculin-A failed to disperse synaptic vesicles or inhibit synaptic transmission, presynaptic phalloidin injection blocked exocytosis and reduced endocytosis measured by action potential-evoked FM1-43 staining. Furthermore, phalloidin stabilization of only cortical actin following pretreatment with latrunculin-A was sufficient to inhibit synaptic transmission. Conversely, treatment of axons with jasplakinolide, which induces F-actin accumulation but disrupts F-actin structures in vivo, resulted in increased synaptic transmission accompanied by a loss of phalloidin labeling of cortical actin but no loss of actin labeling within vesicle clusters. Marked synaptic deficits seen with phalloidin stabilization of cortical F-actin, in contrast to the minimal effects of disruption of a synaptic vesicle-associated F-actin, led us to conclude that two structurally and functionally distinct pools of actin exist at presynaptic sites.

  15. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

    Solar keratosis; Sun-induced skin changes - keratosis; Keratosis - actinic (solar); Skin lesion - actinic keratosis ... likely to develop it if you: Have fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red ...

  16. 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

  17. Bacterial nucleators: actin' on actin

    PubMed Central

    Bugalhão, Joana N.; Mota, Luís Jaime; Franco, Irina S.

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a key target of numerous microbial pathogens, including protozoa, fungi, bacteria and viruses. In particular, bacterial pathogens produce and deliver virulence effector proteins that hijack actin dynamics to enable bacterial invasion of host cells, allow movement within the host cytosol, facilitate intercellular spread or block phagocytosis. Many of these effector proteins directly or indirectly target the major eukaryotic actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, by either mimicking nucleation promoting factors or activating upstream small GTPases. In contrast, this review is focused on a recently identified class of effector proteins from Gram-negative bacteria that function as direct actin nucleators. These effector proteins mimic functional activities of formins, WH2-nucleators and Ena/VASP assembly promoting factors demonstrating that bacteria have coopted the complete set of eukaryotic actin assembly pathways. Structural and functional analyses of these nucleators have revealed several motifs and/or mechanistic activities that are shared with eukaryotic actin nucleators. However, functional effects of these proteins during infection extend beyond plain actin polymerization leading to interference with other host cell functions such as vesicle trafficking, cell cycle progression and cell death. Therefore, their use as model systems could not only help in the understanding of the mechanistic details of actin polymerization but also provide novel insights into the connection between actin dynamics and other cellular pathways. PMID:26416078

  18. Actinous enigma or enigmatic actin

    PubMed Central

    Povarova, Olga I; Uversky, Vladimir N; Kuznetsova, Irina M; Turoverov, Konstantin K

    2014-01-01

    Being the most abundant protein of the eukaryotic cell, actin continues to keep its secrets for more than 60 years. Everything about this protein, its structure, functions, and folding, is mysteriously counterintuitive, and this review represents an attempt to solve some of the riddles and conundrums commonly found in the field of actin research. In fact, actin is a promiscuous binder with a wide spectrum of biological activities. It can exist in at least three structural forms, globular, fibrillar, and inactive (G-, F-, and I-actin, respectively). G-actin represents a thermodynamically instable, quasi-stationary state, which is formed in vivo as a result of the energy-intensive, complex posttranslational folding events controlled and driven by cellular folding machinery. The G-actin structure is dependent on the ATP and Mg2+ binding (which in vitro is typically substituted by Ca2+) and protein is easily converted to the I-actin by the removal of metal ions and by action of various denaturing agents (pH, temperature, and chemical denaturants). I-actin cannot be converted back to the G-form. Foldable and “natively folded” forms of actin are always involved in interactions either with the specific protein partners, such as Hsp70 chaperone, prefoldin, and the CCT chaperonin during the actin folding in vivo or with Mg2+ and ATP as it takes place in the G-form. We emphasize that the solutions for the mysteries of actin multifunctionality, multistructurality, and trapped unfolding can be found in the quasi-stationary nature of this enigmatic protein, which clearly possesses many features attributed to both globular and intrinsically disordered proteins.

  19. 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.

  20. The Yeast V159N Actin Mutant Reveals Roles for Actin Dynamics In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Belmont, Lisa D.; Drubin, David G.

    1998-01-01

    Actin with a Val 159 to Asn mutation (V159N) forms actin filaments that depolymerize slowly because of a failure to undergo a conformational change after inorganic phosphate release. Here we demonstrate that expression of this actin results in reduced actin dynamics in vivo, and we make use of this property to study the roles of rapid actin filament turnover. Yeast strains expressing the V159N mutant (act1-159) as their only source of actin have larger cortical actin patches and more actin cables than wild-type yeast. Rapid actin dynamics are not essential for cortical actin patch motility or establishment of cell polarity. However, fluid phase endocytosis is defective in act1-159 strains. act1-159 is synthetically lethal with cofilin and profilin mutants, supporting the conclusion that mutations in all of these genes impair the polymerization/ depolymerization cycle. In contrast, act1-159 partially suppresses the temperature sensitivity of a tropomyosin mutant, and the loss of cytoplasmic cables seen in fimbrin, Mdm20p, and tropomyosin null mutants, suggesting filament stabilizing functions for these actin-binding proteins. Analysis of the cables in these double-mutant cells supports a role for fimbrin in organizing cytoplasmic cables and for Mdm20p and tropomyosin in excluding cofilin from the cables. PMID:9732289

  1. 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

  2. Actinic reticuloid

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-09-01

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

  3. Reconstitution of a Minimal Actin Cortex by Coupling Actin Filaments to Reconstituted Membranes.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Sven K

    2016-01-01

    A thin layer of actin filaments in many eukaryotic cell types drives pivotal aspects of cell morphogenesis and is generally cited as the actin cortex. Myosin driven contractility and actin cytoskeleton membrane interactions form the basis of fundamental cellular processes such as cytokinesis, cell migration, and cortical flows. How the interplay between the actin cytoskeleton, the membrane, and actin binding proteins drives these processes is far from being understood. The complexity of the actin cortex in living cells and the hardly feasible manipulation of the omnipotent cellular key players, namely actin, myosin, and the membrane, are challenging in order to gain detailed insights about the underlying mechanisms. Recent progress in developing bottom-up in vitro systems where the actin cytoskeleton is combined with reconstituted membranes may provide a complementary route to reveal general principles underlying actin cortex properties. In this chapter the reconstitution of a minimal actin cortex by coupling actin filaments to a supported membrane is described. This minimal system may be very well suited to study for example protein interactions on membrane bound actin filaments in a very controlled and quantitative manner as it may be difficult to perform in living systems.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Regulation of Sodium Channel Activity by Capping of Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Shumilina, Ekaterina V.; Negulyaev, Yuri A.; Morachevskaya, Elena A.; Hinssen, Horst; Khaitlina, Sofia Yu

    2003-01-01

    Ion transport in various tissues can be regulated by the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Specifically, involvement of actin dynamics in the regulation of nonvoltage-gated sodium channels has been shown. Herein, inside-out patch clamp experiments were performed to study the effect of the heterodimeric actin capping protein CapZ on sodium channel regulation in leukemia K562 cells. The channels were activated by cytochalasin-induced disruption of actin filaments and inactivated by G-actin under ionic conditions promoting rapid actin polymerization. CapZ had no direct effect on channel activity. However, being added together with G-actin, CapZ prevented actin-induced channel inactivation, and this effect occurred at CapZ/actin molar ratios from 1:5 to 1:100. When actin was allowed to polymerize at the plasma membrane to induce partial channel inactivation, subsequent addition of CapZ restored the channel activity. These results can be explained by CapZ-induced inhibition of further assembly of actin filaments at the plasma membrane due to the modification of actin dynamics by CapZ. No effect on the channel activity was observed in response to F-actin, confirming that the mechanism of channel inactivation does not involve interaction of the channel with preformed filaments. Our data show that actin-capping protein can participate in the cytoskeleton-associated regulation of sodium transport in nonexcitable cells. PMID:12686620

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Actinic Prurigo.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Actin binding domain of filamin distinguishes posterior from anterior actin filaments in migrating Dictyostelium cells

    PubMed Central

    Shibata, Keitaro; Nagasaki, Akira; Adachi, Hiroyuki; Uyeda, Taro Q. P.

    2016-01-01

    Actin filaments in different parts of a cell interact with specific actin binding proteins (ABPs) and perform different functions in a spatially regulated manner. However, the mechanisms of those spatially-defined interactions have not been fully elucidated. If the structures of actin filaments differ in different parts of a cell, as suggested by previous in vitro structural studies, ABPs may distinguish these structural differences and interact with specific actin filaments in the cell. To test this hypothesis, we followed the translocation of the actin binding domain of filamin (ABDFLN) fused with photoswitchable fluorescent protein (mKikGR) in polarized Dictyostelium cells. When ABDFLN-mKikGR was photoswitched in the middle of a polarized cell, photoswitched ABDFLN-mKikGR rapidly translocated to the rear of the cell, even though actin filaments were abundant in the front. The speed of translocation (>3 μm/s) was much faster than that of the retrograde flow of cortical actin filaments. Rapid translocation of ABDFLN-mKikGR to the rear occurred normally in cells lacking GAPA, the only protein, other than actin, known to bind ABDFLN. We suggest that ABDFLN recognizes a certain feature of actin filaments in the rear of the cell and selectively binds to them, contributing to the posterior localization of filamin.

  13. Actin and Septin Ultrastructures at the Budding Yeast Cell Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rodal, Avital A.; Kozubowski, Lukasz; Goode, Bruce L.; Drubin, David G.; Hartwig, John H.

    2005-01-01

    Budding yeast has been a powerful model organism for studies of the roles of actin in endocytosis and septins in cell division and in signaling. However, the depth of mechanistic understanding that can be obtained from such studies has been severely hindered by a lack of ultrastructural information about how actin and septins are organized at the cell cortex. To address this problem, we developed rapid-freeze and deep-etch techniques to image the yeast cell cortex in spheroplasted cells at high resolution. The cortical actin cytoskeleton assembles into conical or mound-like structures composed of short, cross-linked filaments. The Arp2/3 complex localizes near the apex of these structures, suggesting that actin patch assembly may be initiated from the apex. Mutants in cortical actin patch components with defined defects in endocytosis disrupted different stages of cortical actin patch assembly. Based on these results, we propose a model for actin function during endocytosis. In addition to actin structures, we found that septin-containing filaments assemble into two kinds of higher order structures at the cell cortex: rings and ordered gauzes. These images provide the first high-resolution views of septin organization in cells. PMID:15525671

  14. 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

  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. MARCKS actin-binding capacity mediates actin filament assembly during mitosis in human hepatic stellate cells.

    PubMed

    Rombouts, Krista; Mello, Tommaso; Liotta, Francesco; Galli, Andrea; Caligiuri, Alessandra; Annunziato, Francesco; Pinzani, Massimo

    2012-08-15

    Cross-linking between the actin cytoskeleton and plasma membrane actin-binding proteins is a key interaction responsible for the mechanical properties of the mitotic cell. Little is known about the identity, the localization, and the function of actin filament-binding proteins during mitosis in human hepatic stellate cells (hHSC). The aim of the present study was to identify and analyze the cross talk between actin and myristoylated alanine-rich kinase C substrate (MARCKS), an important PKC substrate and actin filament-binding protein, during mitosis in primary hHSC. Confocal analysis and chromosomal fraction analysis of mitotic hHSC demonstrated that phosphorylated (P)-MARCKS displays distinct phase-dependent localizations, accumulates at the perichromosomal layer, and is a centrosomal protein belonging to the chromosomal cytosolic fraction. Aurora B kinase (AUBK), an important mitotic regulator, β-actin, and P-MARCKS concentrate at the cytokinetic midbody during cleavage furrow formation. This localization is critical since MARCKS-depletion in hHSC is characterized by a significant loss in cytosolic actin filaments and cortical β-actin that induces cell cycle inhibition and dislocation of AUBK. A depletion of AUBK in hHSC affects cell cycle, resulting in multinucleation. Quantitative live cell imaging demonstrates that the actin filament-binding capacity of MARCKS is key to regulate mitosis since the cell cycle inhibitory effect in MARCKS-depleted cells caused abnormal cell morphology and an aberrant cytokinesis, resulting in a significant increase in cell cycle time. These findings implicate that MARCKS, an important PKC substrate, is essential for proper cytokinesis and that MARCKS and its partner actin are key mitotic regulators during cell cycle in hHSC.

  17. Quantitative apical membrane proteomics reveals vasopressin-induced actin dynamics in collecting duct cells

    PubMed Central

    Loo, Chin-San; Chen, Cheng-Wei; Wang, Po-Jen; Chen, Pei-Yu; Lin, Shu-Yu; Khoo, Kay-Hooi; Fenton, Robert A.; Knepper, Mark A.; Yu, Ming-Jiun

    2013-01-01

    In kidney collecting duct cells, filamentous actin (F-actin) depolymerization is a critical step in vasopressin-induced trafficking of aquaporin-2 to the apical plasma membrane. However, the molecular components of this response are largely unknown. Using stable isotope-based quantitative protein mass spectrometry and surface biotinylation, we identified 100 proteins that showed significant abundance changes in the apical plasma membrane of mouse cortical collecting duct cells in response to vasopressin. Fourteen of these proteins are involved in actin cytoskeleton regulation, including actin itself, 10 actin-associated proteins, and 3 regulatory proteins. Identified were two integral membrane proteins (Clmn, Nckap1) and one actin-binding protein (Mpp5) that link F-actin to the plasma membrane, five F-actin end-binding proteins (Arpc2, Arpc4, Gsn, Scin, and Capzb) involved in F-actin reorganization, and two actin adaptor proteins (Dbn1, Lasp1) that regulate actin cytoskeleton organization. There were also protease (Capn1), protein kinase (Cdc42bpb), and Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 2 (Arhgef2) that mediate signal-induced F-actin changes. Based on these findings, we devised a live-cell imaging method to observe vasopressin-induced F-actin dynamics in polarized mouse cortical collecting duct cells. In response to vasopressin, F-actin gradually disappeared near the center of the apical plasma membrane while consolidating laterally near the tight junction. This F-actin peripheralization was blocked by calcium ion chelation. Vasopressin-induced apical aquaporin-2 trafficking and forskolin-induced water permeability increase were blocked by F-actin disruption. In conclusion, we identified a vasopressin-regulated actin network potentially responsible for vasopressin-induced apical F-actin dynamics that could explain regulation of apical aquaporin-2 trafficking and water permeability increase. PMID:24085853

  18. Actin dynamics in Phytophthora infestans; rapidly reorganizing cables and immobile, long-lived plaques.

    PubMed

    Meijer, Harold J G; Hua, Chenlei; Kots, Kiki; Ketelaar, Tijs; Govers, Francine

    2014-06-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic but well-organized intracellular framework that is essential for proper functioning of eukaryotic cells. Here, we use the actin binding peptide Lifeact to investigate the in vivo actin cytoskeleton dynamics in the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Lifeact-eGFP labelled thick and thin actin bundles and actin filament plaques allowing visualization of actin dynamics. All actin structures in the hyphae were cortically localized. In growing hyphae actin filament cables were axially oriented in the sub-apical region whereas in the extreme apex in growing hyphae, waves of fine F-actin polymerization were observed. Upon growth termination, actin filament plaques appeared in the hyphal tip. The distance between a hyphal tip and the first actin filament plaque correlated strongly with hyphal growth velocity. The actin filament plaques were nearly immobile with average lifetimes exceeding 1 h, relatively long when compared to the lifetime of actin patches known in other eukaryotes. Plaque assembly required ∼30 s while disassembly was accomplished in ∼10 s. Remarkably, plaque disassembly was not accompanied with internalization and the formation of endocytic vesicles. These findings suggest that the functions of actin plaques in oomycetes differ from those of actin patches present in other organisms.

  19. Why is Actin Patchy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

    2009-03-01

    The intracellular protein actin, by reversibly polymerizing into filaments, generates forces for motion and shape changes of many types of biological cells. Fluorescence imaging studies show that actin often occurs in the form of localized patches of size roughly one micrometer at the cell membrane. Patch formation is most prevalent when the free-actin concentration is low. I investigate possible mechanisms for the formation of actin patches by numerically simulating the ``dendritic nucleation'' model of actin network growth. The simulations include filament growth, capping, branching, severing, and debranching. The attachment of membrane-bound activators to actin filaments, and subsequent membrane diffusion of unattached activators, are also included. It is found that as the actin concentration increases from zero, the actin occurs in patches at lower actin concentrations, and the size of the patches increases with increasing actin concentration. At a critical value of the actin concentration, the system undergoes a transition to complete coverage. The results are interpreted within the framework of reaction-diffusion equations in two dimensions.

  20. MatMCNP

    SciTech Connect

    2015-10-19

    A code for generating MCNP material cards (MatMCNP) has been written and verified for naturally occurring, stable isotopes. The program allows for material specification as either atomic or weight percent (fractions). MatMCNP also permits the specification of enriched lithium, boron, and/or uranium. In addition to producing the material cards for MCNP, the code calculates the atomic (or number) density in atoms/barn-cm as well as the multiplier that should be used to convert neutron and gamma fluences into dose in the material specified.

  1. Effects of latrunculin B on the actin cytoskeleton and hyphal growth in Phytophthora infestans.

    PubMed

    Ketelaar, Tijs; Meijer, Harold J G; Spiekerman, Marjolein; Weide, Rob; Govers, Francine

    2012-12-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is conserved in all eukaryotes, but its functions vary among different organisms. In oomycetes, the function of the actin cytoskeleton has received relatively little attention. We have performed a bioinformatics study and show that oomycete actin genes fall within a distinct clade that is divergent from plant, fungal and vertebrate actin genes. To obtain a better understanding of the functions of the actin cytoskeleton in hyphal growth of oomycetes, we studied the actin organization in Phytophthora infestans hyphae and the consequences of treatment with the actin depolymerising drug latrunculin B (latB). This revealed that latB treatment causes a concentration dependent inhibition of colony expansion and aberrant hyphal growth. The most obvious aberrations observed upon treatment with 0.1 μM latB were increased hyphal branching and irregular tube diameters whereas at higher concentrations latB (0.5 and 1 μM) tips of expanding hyphae changed into balloon-like shapes. This aberrant growth correlated with changes in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton. In untreated hyphae, staining with fluorescently tagged phalloidin revealed two populations of actin filaments: long, axially oriented actin filament cables and cortical actin filament plaques. Two hyphal subtypes were recognized, one containing only plaques and the other containing both cables and plaques. In the latter, some hyphae had an apical zone without actin filament plaques. Upon latB treatment, the proportion of hyphae without actin filament cables increased and there were more hyphae with a short apical zone without actin filament plaques. In general, actin filament plaques were more resilient against actin depolymerisation than actin filament cables. Besides disturbing hyphal growth and actin organization, actin depolymerisation also affected the positioning of nuclei. In the presence of latB, the distance between nuclei and the hyphal tip decreased, suggesting that the actin

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Specific Mechanical and Structural Responses of Cortical and Cytosolic Cytoskeleton in Living Adherent Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurent, Valérie M.; Fodil, Redouane; Cañadas, Patrick; Planus, Emmanuelle; Isabey, Daniel

    We studied the relation between actin structural changes and cytoskeleton mechanical properties in living adherent epithelial alveolar cells, before and during actin depolymerization. The mechanical response of adherent alveolar epithelial cells was measured using magnetic twisting cytometry and a two-component model representing the cortical and the cytosolic elastic components at equilibrium. Chemiluminescent staining of the actin cytoskeleton was performed in the same living cells to estimate the intracellular actin density distribution for each cytoskeleton component. We found that (i) cytoskeleton alterations induced by actin depolymerization differed between the cortical and cytosolic cytoskeleton components (e.g., -30% and -49%, respectively, at a stress of 31 Pa) and that (ii) the concomitant change in actin distribution was also different (e.g., actin volume decrease was -7% and -19% for the cortical and cytosolic components, respectively).

  5. Quantifying the contribution of actin networks to the elastic strength of fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Ananthakrishnan, Revathi; Guck, Jochen; Wottawah, Falk; Schinkinger, Stefan; Lincoln, Bryan; Romeyke, Maren; Moon, Tess; Käs, Josef

    2006-09-21

    The structural models created to understand the cytoskeletal mechanics of cells in suspension are described here. Suspended cells can be deformed by well-defined surface stresses in an Optical Stretcher [Guck, J., Ananthakrishnan, R., Mahmood, H., Moon, T.J., Cunningham, C.C., Käs, J., 2001. The optical stretcher: a novel laser tool to micromanipulate cells. Biophys. J. 81(2), 767-784], a two-beam optical trap designed for the contact-free deformation of cells. Suspended cells have a well-defined cytoskeleton, displaying a radially symmetric actin cortical network underlying the cell membrane with no actin stress fibers, and microtubules and intermediate filaments in the interior. Based on experimental data using suspended fibroblasts, we create two structural models: a thick shell actin cortex model that describes cell deformation for a localized stress distribution on these cells and a three-layered model that considers the entire cytoskeleton when a broad stress distribution is applied. Applying the models to data, we obtain a (actin) cortical shear moduli G of approximately 220 Pa for normal fibroblasts and approximately 185 Pa for malignantly transformed fibroblasts. Additionally, modeling the cortex as a transiently crosslinked isotropic actin network, we show that actin and its crosslinkers must be co-localized into a tight shell to achieve these cortical strengths. The similar moduli values and cortical actin and crosslinker densities but different deformabilities of the normal and cancerous cells suggest that a cell's structural strength is not solely determined by cytoskeletal composition but equally importantly by (actin) cytoskeletal architecture via differing cortical thicknesses. We also find that although the interior structural elements (microtubules, nucleus) contribute to the deformed cell's exact shape via their loose coupling to the cortex, it is the outer actin cortical shell (and its thickness) that mainly determines the cell's structural

  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. Actin Polymerization is Stimulated by Actin Crosslinking Protein Palladin

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Axonal actin in action: Imaging actin dynamics in neurons.

    PubMed

    Ladt, Kelsey; Ganguly, Archan; Roy, Subhojit

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved, key cytoskeletal protein involved in numerous structural and functional roles. In neurons, actin has been intensively investigated in axon terminals-growth cones-and dendritic spines, but details about actin structure and dynamics in axon shafts have remained obscure for decades. A major barrier in the field has been imaging actin. Actin exists as soluble monomers (G-actin) as well as actin filaments (F-actin), and labeling actin with conventional fluorescent probes like GFP/RFP typically leads to a diffuse haze that makes it difficult to discern kinetic behaviors. In a recent publication, we used F-actin selective probes to visualize actin dynamics in axons, resolving striking actin behaviors that have not been described before. However, using these probes to visualize actin dynamics is challenging as they can cause bundling of actin filaments; thus, experimental parameters need to be strictly optimized. Here we describe some practical methodological details related to using these probes for visualizing F-actin dynamics in axons.

  9. [Cortical blindness].

    PubMed

    Chokron, S

    2014-02-01

    Cortical blindness refers to a visual loss induced by a bilateral occipital lesion. The very strong cooperation between psychophysics, cognitive psychology, neurophysiology and neuropsychology these latter twenty years as well as recent progress in cerebral imagery have led to a better understanding of neurovisual deficits, such as cortical blindness. It thus becomes possible now to propose an earlier diagnosis of cortical blindness as well as new perspectives for rehabilitation in children as well as in adults. On the other hand, studying complex neurovisual deficits, such as cortical blindness is a way to infer normal functioning of the visual system.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Validation of FRP Matting Requirements

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-08-01

    Civil Engineer Center to validate requirements for using Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) matting as a foreign object debris cover when repairing damaged...19 2.8.2 Type B-3 polymer glue anchor...FOD cover matting solution, Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP), was identified as a potential replacement as the USAF airfield damage repair (ADR

  13. Polycation induced actin bundles.

    PubMed

    Muhlrad, Andras; Grintsevich, Elena E; Reisler, Emil

    2011-04-01

    Three polycations, polylysine, the polyamine spermine and the polycationic protein lysozyme were used to study the formation, structure, ionic strength sensitivity and dissociation of polycation-induced actin bundles. Bundles form fast, simultaneously with the polymerization of MgATP-G-actins, upon the addition of polycations to solutions of actins at low ionic strength conditions. This indicates that nuclei and/or nascent filaments bundle due to attractive, electrostatic effect of polycations and the neutralization of repulsive interactions of negative charges on actin. The attractive forces between the filaments are strong, as shown by the low (in nanomolar range) critical concentration of their bundling at low ionic strength. These bundles are sensitive to ionic strength and disassemble partially in 100 mM NaCl, but both the dissociation and ionic strength sensitivity can be countered by higher polycation concentrations. Cys374 residues of actin monomers residing on neighboring filaments in the bundles can be cross-linked by the short span (5.4Å) MTS-1 (1,1-methanedyl bismethanethiosulfonate) cross-linker, which indicates a tight packing of filaments in the bundles. The interfilament cross-links, which connect monomers located on oppositely oriented filaments, prevent disassembly of bundles at high ionic strength. Cofilin and the polysaccharide polyanion heparin disassemble lysozyme induced actin bundles more effectively than the polylysine-induced bundles. The actin-lysozyme bundles are pathologically significant as both proteins are found in the pulmonary airways of cystic fibrosis patients. Their bundles contribute to the formation of viscous mucus, which is the main cause of breathing difficulties and eventual death in this disorder.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Dynamic actin remodeling during epithelial-mesenchymal transition depends on increased moesin expression.

    PubMed

    Haynes, Jennifer; Srivastava, Jyoti; Madson, Nikki; Wittmann, Torsten; Barber, Diane L

    2011-12-01

    Remodeling of actin filaments is necessary for epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); however, understanding of how this is regulated in real time is limited. We used an actin filament reporter and high-resolution live-cell imaging to analyze the regulated dynamics of actin filaments during transforming growth factor-β-induced EMT of mammary epithelial cells. Progressive changes in cell morphology were accompanied by reorganization of actin filaments from thin cortical bundles in epithelial cells to thick, parallel, contractile bundles that disassembled more slowly but remained dynamic in transdifferentiated cells. We show that efficient actin filament remodeling during EMT depends on increased expression of the ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) protein moesin. Cells suppressed for moesin expression by short hairpin RNA had fewer, thinner, and less stable actin bundles, incomplete morphological transition, and decreased invasive capacity. These cells also had less α-smooth muscle actin and phosphorylated myosin light chain in cortical patches, decreased abundance of the adhesion receptor CD44 at membrane protrusions, and attenuated autophosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase. Our findings suggest that increased moesin expression promotes EMT by regulating adhesion and contractile elements for changes in actin filament organization. We propose that the transciptional program driving EMT controls progressive remodeling of actin filament architectures.

  17. Cortactin promotes exosome secretion by controlling branched actin dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Sinha, Seema; Hoshino, Daisuke; Hong, Nan Hyung; Seiki, Motoharu; Tyska, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. A role for actin polymerization in persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.

    PubMed

    Fediuk, Jena; Dakshinamurti, Shyamala

    2015-03-01

    Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is defined as the failure of normal pulmonary vascular relaxation at birth. Hypoxia is known to impede postnatal disassembly of the actin cytoskeleton in pulmonary arterial myocytes, resulting in elevation of smooth muscle α-actin and γ-actin content in elastic and resistance pulmonary arteries in PPHN compared with age-matched controls. This review examines the original histological characterization of PPHN with attention to cytoskeletal structural remodeling and actin isoform abundance, reviews the existing evidence for understanding the biophysical and biochemical forces at play during neonatal circulatory transition, and specifically addresses the role of the cortical actin architecture, primarily identified as γ-actin, in the transduction of mechanical force in the hypoxic PPHN pulmonary circuit.

  19. 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.

  20. Mechanics of Biomimetic Liposomes Encapsulating an Actin Shell

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26682806

  1. Directed actin assembly and motility.

    PubMed

    Boujemaa-Paterski, Rajaa; Galland, Rémi; Suarez, Cristian; Guérin, Christophe; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a key component of the cellular architecture. However, understanding actin organization and dynamics in vivo is a complex challenge. Reconstitution of actin structures in vitro, in simplified media, allows one to pinpoint the cellular biochemical components and their molecular interactions underlying the architecture and dynamics of the actin network. Previously, little was known about the extent to which geometrical constraints influence the dynamic ultrastructure of these networks. Therefore, in order to study the balance between biochemical and geometrical control of complex actin organization, we used the innovative methodologies of UV and laser patterning to design a wide repertoire of nucleation geometries from which we assembled branched actin networks. Using these methods, we were able to reconstitute complex actin network organizations, closely related to cellular architecture, to precisely direct and control their 3D connections. This methodology mimics the actin networks encountered in cells and can serve in the fabrication of innovative bioinspired systems.

  2. 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

  3. Amplification of actin polymerization forces.

    PubMed

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-03-28

    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.

  4. Actinic keratosis. Current treatment options.

    PubMed

    Jeffes, E W; Tang, E H

    2000-01-01

    Actinic keratoses are hyperkeratotic skin lesions that represent focal abnormal proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. Some actinic keratoses evolve into squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, while others resolve spontaneously. The conversion rate of actinic keratosis to squamous cell carcinoma is not accurately known, but appears to be in the range of 0.25 to 1% per year. Although there is a low rate of conversion of actinic keratoses to squamous cell carcinoma, 60% of squamous cell carcinomas of the skin probably arise from actinic keratoses. The main cause of actinic keratoses in otherwise healthy Caucasians appears to be the sun. Therapy for actinic keratoses begins with prevention which starts with sun avoidance and physical protection. Sunprotection with sunscreens actually slows the return of actinic keratoses in patients already getting actinic keratoses. Interestingly, a few studies are available that demonstrate that a high fat diet is associated with the production of more actinic keratoses than is a low fat diet. One of the mainstays of therapy has been local destruction of the actinic keratoses with cryotherapy, and curettage and electrodesiccation. A new addition to this group of therapies to treat individual actinic keratoses is photodynamic therapy with topical aminolevulinic acid and light. In patients who have numerous actinic keratoses in an area of severely sun damaged skin, therapies which are applied to the whole actinic keratosis area are used. The goal of treating such an area of skin is to treat all of the early as well as the numerous clinically evident actinic keratoses at the same time. The classical approaches for treating areas of photodamaged skin without treating actinic keratoses individually include: the use of topically applied fluorouracil cream, dermabrasion, and cutaneous peels with various agents like trichloroacetic acid. Both topically as well as orally administered retinoids have been used to treat actinic keratoses but

  5. Formaldehyde fixation is detrimental to actin cables in glucose-depleted S. cerevisiae cells

    PubMed Central

    Vasicova, Pavla; Rinnerthaler, Mark; Haskova, Danusa; Novakova, Lenka; Malcova, Ivana; Breitenbach, Michael; Hasek, Jiri

    2016-01-01

    Actin filaments form cortical patches and emanating cables in fermenting cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This pattern has been shown to be depolarized in glucose-depleted cells after formaldehyde fixation and staining with rhodamine-tagged phalloidin. Loss of actin cables in mother cells was remarkable. Here we extend our knowledge on actin in live glucose-depleted cells co-expressing the marker of actin patches (Abp1-RFP) with the marker of actin cables (Abp140-GFP). Glucose depletion resulted in appearance of actin patches also in mother cells. However, even after 80 min of glucose deprivation these cells showed a clear network of actin cables labeled with Abp140-GFP in contrast to previously published data. In live cells with a mitochondrial dysfunction (rho0 cells), glucose depletion resulted in almost immediate appearance of Abp140-GFP foci partially overlapping with Abp1-RFP patches in mother cells. Residual actin cables were clustered in patch-associated bundles. A similar overlapping “patchy” pattern of both actin markers was observed upon treatment of glucose-deprived rho+ cells with FCCP (the inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation) and upon treatment with formaldehyde. While the formaldehyde-targeted process stays unknown, our results indicate that published data on yeast actin cytoskeleton obtained from glucose-depleted cells after fixation should be considered with caution.

  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. Rapid severing and motility of chloroplast-actin filaments are required for the chloroplast avoidance response in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Kong, Sam-Geun; Arai, Yoshiyuki; Suetsugu, Noriyuki; Yanagida, Toshio; Wada, Masamitsu

    2013-02-01

    Phototropins (phot1 and phot2 in Arabidopsis thaliana) relay blue light intensity information to the chloroplasts, which move toward weak light (the accumulation response) and away from strong light (the avoidance response). Chloroplast-actin (cp-actin) filaments are vital for mediating these chloroplast photorelocation movements. In this report, we examine in detail the cp-actin filament dynamics by which the chloroplast avoidance response is regulated. Although stochastic dynamics of cortical actin fragments are observed on the chloroplasts, the basic mechanisms underlying the disappearance (including severing and turnover) of the cp-actin filaments are regulated differently from those of cortical actin filaments. phot2 plays a pivotal role in the strong blue light-induced severing and random motility of cp-actin filaments, processes that are therefore essential for asymmetric cp-actin formation for the avoidance response. In addition, phot2 functions in the bundling of cp-actin filaments that is induced by dark incubation. By contrast, the function of phot1 is dispensable for these responses. Our findings suggest that phot2 is the primary photoreceptor involved in the rapid reorganization of cp-actin filaments that allows chloroplasts to change direction rapidly and control the velocity of the avoidance movement according to the light's intensity and position.

  8. Involvement of β- and γ-actin isoforms in actin cytoskeleton organization and migration abilities of bleb-forming human colon cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Simiczyjew, Aleksandra; Mazur, Antonina Joanna; Dratkiewicz, Ewelina; Nowak, Dorota

    2017-01-01

    Amoeboid movement is characteristic for rounded cells, which do not form strong adhesion contacts with the ECM and use blebs as migratory protrusions. It is well known that actin is the main component of mature forms of these structures, but the exact role fulfilled by non-muscle actin isoforms β- and γ- in bleb formation and migration of these cells is still not fully understood. The aim of this study was to establish the role of β- and γ-actin in migration of bleb-forming cancer cells using isoform-specific antibodies and expression of fluorescently tagged actin isoforms. We observed, after staining with monoclonal antibodies, that both actins are present in these cells in the form of a cortical ring as well as in the area of blebs. Additionally, using simultaneous expression of differentially tagged β- and γ-actin in cells, we observed that the actin isoforms are present together in a single bleb. They were involved during bleb expansion as well as retraction. Also present in the area of these protrusions formed by both isoforms were the bleb markers–ezrin and myosin II. The overexpression of β- or γ-actin led to actin cytoskeletal rearrangement followed by the growth of migration and invasion abilities of examined human colon cancer cells, LS174T line. In summary these data prove that both actin isoforms have an impact on motility of bleb-forming cancer cells. Moreover, we conclude that monoclonal antibodies directed against actin isoforms in combination with the tagged actins are good tools to study their role in important biological processes. PMID:28333953

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Myosin I contributes to the generation of resting cortical tension.

    PubMed

    Dai, J; Ting-Beall, H P; Hochmuth, R M; Sheetz, M P; Titus, M A

    1999-08-01

    The amoeboid myosin I's are required for cellular cortical functions such as pseudopod formation and macropinocytosis, as demonstrated by the finding that Dictyostelium cells overexpressing or lacking one or more of these actin-based motors are defective in these processes. Defects in these processes are concomitant with changes in the actin-filled cortex of various Dictyostelium myosin I mutants. Given that the amoeboid myosin I's possess both actin- and membrane-binding domains, the mutant phenotypes could be due to alterations in the generation and/or regulation of cell cortical tension. This has been directly tested by analyzing mutant Dictyostelium that either lacks or overexpresses various myosin I's, using micropipette aspiration techniques. Dictyostelium cells lacking only one myosin I have normal levels of cortical tension. However, myosin I double mutants have significantly reduced (50%) cortical tension, and those that mildly overexpress an amoeboid myosin I exhibit increased cortical tension. Treatment of either type of mutant with the lectin concanavalin A (ConA) that cross-links surface receptors results in significant increases in cortical tension, suggesting that the contractile activity of these myosin I's is not controlled by this stimulus. These results demonstrate that myosin I's work cooperatively to contribute substantially to the generation of resting cortical tension that is required for efficient cell migration and macropinocytosis.

  12. F-actin reorganization upon de- and rehydration in the aeroterrestrial green alga Klebsormidium crenulatum.

    PubMed

    Blaas, Kathrin; Holzinger, Andreas

    2017-03-21

    Filamentous actin (F-actin) is a dynamic network involved in many cellular processes like cell division and cytoplasmic streaming. While many studies have addressed the involvement of F-actin in different cellular processes in cultured cells, little is known on the reactions to environmental stress scenarios, where this system might have essential regulatory functions. We investigated here the de- and rehydration kinetics of breakdown and reassembly of F-actin in the streptophyte green alga Klebsormidium crenulatum. Measurements of the chlorophyll fluorescence (effective quantum yield of photosystem II [ΔF/Fm']) via pulse amplitude modulation were performed as a measure for dehydration induced shut down of physiological activity, which ceased after 141±15min at ∼84% RH. We hypothesized that there is a link between this physiological parameter and the status of the F-actin system. Indeed, 20min of dehydration (ΔF/Fm'=0) leads to a breakdown of the fine cortical F-actin network as visualized by Atto 488 phalloidin staining, and dot-like structures remained. Already 10min after rehydration a beginning reassembly of F-actin is observed, after 25min the F-actin network appeared similar to untreated controls, indicating a full recovery. These results demonstrate the fast kinetics of F-actin dis- and reassembly likely contributing to cellular reorganization upon rehydration.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Stiffness of compressed fiber mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, J. A.; Mäkinen, J. P.; Hirvonen, H.; Timonen, J.

    2000-11-01

    We investigate, using an analytical and a numerical model, the in-plane stiffness of fiber mats. A mat is modeled by randomly depositing thin linear-elastic fibers on top of each other under the influence of an external pressure. The external pressure has the effect of bending the fibers over each other. The fibers are assumed rigidly bonded at contacts. For a low external pressure the stiffness of the mat deviates from that of its two-dimensional projection only by a geometrical factor, and the effective Poisson contraction is close to zero. For higher pressures, stiffness is governed by two competing effects and a maximum appears in the stiffness. The effective Poisson ratio is clearly negative in this range. An approximative analytical description is developed for the stiffness of mats formed under low external pressure. The stiffness is given as a function of only a few parameters: the degree of bonding, the dimensions of the fibers, the elastic constants of the fiber material, and the density of fibers.

  16. HiMAT in flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) subscale research vehicle, seen here during a research flight, was flown by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, from mid 1979 to January 1983. The aircraft demonstrated advanced fighter technologies that have been used in the development of many modern high performance military aircraft. Two vehicles were used in the research program conducted jointly by NASA and the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The two vehicles, flown a total of 26 times, provided data on the use of composites, aeroelastic tailoring, close-coupled canards and winglets. They investigated the interaction of these then-new technologies upon each other. About one-half the size of a standard manned fighter and powered by a small jet engine, the HiMAT vehicles were launched from NASA's B-52 carrier aircraft at an altitude of about 45,000 feet. They were flown remotely by a NASA research pilot from a ground station with the aid of a television camera mounted in the HiMAT cockpits. Technologies tested on the HiMAT vehicles appearing later on other aircraft include the extensive use of composites common now on military and commercial aircraft; rear-mounted wing and forward canard configuration used very successfully on the X-29 research aircraft flown at Dryden; and winglets, now used on many private and commercial aircraft to lessen wingtip drag and enhance fuel savings.

  17. Sparse Coding for Alpha Matting.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jubin; Varnousfaderani, Ehsan Shahrian; Cholakkal, Hisham; Rajan, Deepu

    2016-07-01

    Existing color sampling-based alpha matting methods use the compositing equation to estimate alpha at a pixel from the pairs of foreground ( F ) and background ( B ) samples. The quality of the matte depends on the selected ( F,B ) pairs. In this paper, the matting problem is reinterpreted as a sparse coding of pixel features, wherein the sum of the codes gives the estimate of the alpha matte from a set of unpaired F and B samples. A non-parametric probabilistic segmentation provides a certainty measure on the pixel belonging to foreground or background, based on which a dictionary is formed for use in sparse coding. By removing the restriction to conform to ( F,B ) pairs, this method allows for better alpha estimation from multiple F and B samples. The same framework is extended to videos, where the requirement of temporal coherence is handled effectively. Here, the dictionary is formed by samples from multiple frames. A multi-frame graph model, as opposed to a single image as for image matting, is proposed that can be solved efficiently in closed form. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations on a benchmark dataset are provided to show that the proposed method outperforms the current stateoftheart in image and video matting.

  18. Sparse Coding for Alpha Matting.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jubin; Varnousfaderani, Ehsan; Cholakkal, Hisham; Rajan, Deepu

    2016-04-21

    Existing color sampling based alpha matting methods use the compositing equation to estimate alpha at a pixel from pairs of foreground (F) and background (B) samples. The quality of the matte depends on the selected (F,B) pairs. In this paper, the matting problem is reinterpreted as a sparse coding of pixel features, wherein the sum of the codes gives the estimate of the alpha matte from a set of unpaired F and B samples. A non-parametric probabilistic segmentation provides a certainty measure on the pixel belonging to foreground or background, based on which a dictionary is formed for use in sparse coding. By removing the restriction to conform to (F,B) pairs, this method allows for better alpha estimation from multiple F and B samples. The same framework is extended to videos, where the requirement of temporal coherence is handled effectively. Here, the dictionary is formed by samples from multiple frames. A multi-frame graph model, as opposed to a single image as for image matting, is proposed that can be solved efficiently in closed form. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations on a benchmark dataset are provided to show that the proposed method outperforms current state-of-the-art in image and video matting.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Srv2/CAP is required for polarized actin cable assembly and patch internalization during clathrin-mediated endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Toshima, Junko Y; Horikomi, Chika; Okada, Asuka; Hatori, Makiko N; Nagano, Makoto; Masuda, Atsushi; Yamamoto, Wataru; Siekhaus, Daria Elisabeth; Toshima, Jiro

    2016-01-15

    The dynamic assembly and disassembly of actin filaments is essential for the formation and transport of vesicles during endocytosis. In yeast, two types of actin structures, namely cortical patches and cytoplasmic cables, play a direct role in endocytosis, but how their interaction is regulated remains unclear. Here, we show that Srv2/CAP, an evolutionarily conserved actin regulator, is required for efficient endocytosis owing to its role in the formation of the actin patches that aid initial vesicle invagination and of the actin cables that these move along. Deletion of the SRV2 gene resulted in the appearance of aberrant fragmented actin cables that frequently moved past actin patches, the sites of endocytosis. We find that the C-terminal CARP domain of Srv2p is vitally important for the proper assembly of actin patches and cables; we also demonstrate that the N-terminal helical folded domain of Srv2 is required for its localization to actin patches, specifically to the ADP-actin rich region through an interaction with cofilin. These results demonstrate the in vivo roles of Srv2p in the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton during clathrin-mediated endocytosis.

  2. Plasma Membrane Calcium ATPase Activity Is Regulated by Actin Oligomers through Direct Interaction*

    PubMed Central

    Dalghi, Marianela G.; Fernández, Marisa M.; Ferreira-Gomes, Mariela; Mangialavori, Irene C.; Malchiodi, Emilio L.; Strehler, Emanuel E.; Rossi, Juan Pablo F. C.

    2013-01-01

    As recently described by our group, plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) activity can be regulated by the actin cytoskeleton. In this study, we characterize the interaction of purified G-actin with isolated PMCA and examine the effect of G-actin during the first polymerization steps. As measured by surface plasmon resonance, G-actin directly interacts with PMCA with an apparent 1:1 stoichiometry in the presence of Ca2+ with an apparent affinity in the micromolar range. As assessed by the photoactivatable probe 1-O-hexadecanoyl-2-O-[9-[[[2-[125I]iodo-4-(trifluoromethyl-3H-diazirin-3-yl)benzyl]oxy]carbonyl]nonanoyl]-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, the association of PMCA to actin produced a shift in the distribution of the conformers of the pump toward a calmodulin-activated conformation. G-actin stimulates Ca2+-ATPase activity of the enzyme when incubated under polymerizing conditions, displaying a cooperative behavior. The increase in the Ca2+-ATPase activity was related to an increase in the apparent affinity for Ca2+ and an increase in the phosphoenzyme levels at steady state. Although surface plasmon resonance experiments revealed only one binding site for G-actin, results clearly indicate that more than one molecule of G-actin was needed for a regulatory effect on the pump. Polymerization studies showed that the experimental conditions are compatible with the presence of actin in the first stages of assembly. Altogether, these observations suggest that the stimulatory effect is exerted by short oligomers of actin. The functional interaction between actin oligomers and PMCA represents a novel regulatory pathway by which the cortical actin cytoskeleton participates in the regulation of cytosolic Ca2+ homeostasis. PMID:23803603

  3. Plasma membrane calcium ATPase activity is regulated by actin oligomers through direct interaction.

    PubMed

    Dalghi, Marianela G; Fernández, Marisa M; Ferreira-Gomes, Mariela; Mangialavori, Irene C; Malchiodi, Emilio L; Strehler, Emanuel E; Rossi, Juan Pablo F C

    2013-08-09

    As recently described by our group, plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) activity can be regulated by the actin cytoskeleton. In this study, we characterize the interaction of purified G-actin with isolated PMCA and examine the effect of G-actin during the first polymerization steps. As measured by surface plasmon resonance, G-actin directly interacts with PMCA with an apparent 1:1 stoichiometry in the presence of Ca(2+) with an apparent affinity in the micromolar range. As assessed by the photoactivatable probe 1-O-hexadecanoyl-2-O-[9-[[[2-[(125)I]iodo-4-(trifluoromethyl-3H-diazirin-3-yl)benzyl]oxy]carbonyl]nonanoyl]-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, the association of PMCA to actin produced a shift in the distribution of the conformers of the pump toward a calmodulin-activated conformation. G-actin stimulates Ca(2+)-ATPase activity of the enzyme when incubated under polymerizing conditions, displaying a cooperative behavior. The increase in the Ca(2+)-ATPase activity was related to an increase in the apparent affinity for Ca(2+) and an increase in the phosphoenzyme levels at steady state. Although surface plasmon resonance experiments revealed only one binding site for G-actin, results clearly indicate that more than one molecule of G-actin was needed for a regulatory effect on the pump. Polymerization studies showed that the experimental conditions are compatible with the presence of actin in the first stages of assembly. Altogether, these observations suggest that the stimulatory effect is exerted by short oligomers of actin. The functional interaction between actin oligomers and PMCA represents a novel regulatory pathway by which the cortical actin cytoskeleton participates in the regulation of cytosolic Ca(2+) homeostasis.

  4. 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.

  5. Ring closure in actin polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinha, Supurna; Chattopadhyay, Sebanti

    2017-03-01

    We present an analysis for the ring closure probability of semiflexible polymers within the pure bend Worm Like Chain (WLC) model. The ring closure probability predicted from our analysis can be tested against fluorescent actin cyclization experiments. We also discuss the effect of ring closure on bend angle fluctuations in actin polymers.

  6. Dynamin-2 Regulates Fusion Pore Expansion and Quantal Release through a Mechanism that Involves Actin Dynamics in Neuroendocrine Chromaffin Cells

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23940613

  7. 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.

  8. Multiple Myosins Are Required to Coordinate Actin Assembly with Coat Compression during Compensatory Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Bement, William M.

    2007-01-01

    Actin is involved in endocytosis in organisms ranging from yeast to mammals. In activated Xenopus eggs, exocytosing cortical granules (CGs) are surrounded by actin “coats,” which compress the exocytosing compartments, resulting in compensatory endocytosis. Here, we examined the roles of two myosins in actin coat compression. Myosin-2 is recruited to exocytosing CGs late in coat compression. Inhibition of myosin-2 slows coat compression without affecting actin assembly. This differs from phenotype induced by inhibition of actin assembly, where exocytosing CGs are trapped at the plasma membrane (PM) completely. Thus, coat compression is likely driven in part by actin assembly itself, but it requires myosin-2 for efficient completion. In contrast to myosin-2, the long-tailed myosin-1e is recruited to exocytosing CGs immediately after egg activation. Perturbation of myosin-1e results in partial actin coat assembly and induces CG collapse into the PM. Intriguingly, simultaneous inhibition of actin assembly and myosin-1e prevents CG collapse. Together, the results show that myosin-1e and myosin-2 are part of an intricate machinery that coordinates coat compression at exocytosing CGs. PMID:17699600

  9. 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.

  10. Foam-mat Drying Technology: A Review.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Z; Jideani, V A

    2015-07-13

    This article reviews various aspects of foam-mat drying such as foam-mat drying processing technique, main additives used for foam-mat drying, foam-mat drying of liquid and solid foods, quality characteristics of foam-mat dried foods and economic and technical benefits for employing foam-mat drying. Foam-mat drying process is an alternative method which allows the removal of water from liquid materials and pureed materials. In this drying process, a liquid material is converted into foam that is stable by being whipped after adding an edible foaming agent. The stable foam is then spread out in sheet or mat and dried by using hot air (40 -90°C) at atmospheric pressure. Methyl cellulose (0.25 - 2%), egg white (3 - 20%), maltodextrin (0.5 - 05%) and gum Arabic (2 - 9%) are the commonly utilised additives for the foam-mat drying process at the given range, either combined together for their effectiveness or individual effect. The foam-mat drying process is suitable for heat sensitive, viscous and sticky products which cannot be dried using other forms of drying methods such as spray drying because of the state of product. More interest has developed for foam-mat drying because of the simplicity, cost effectiveness, high speed drying and improved product quality it provides.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  12. Visualizing Actin Architectures in Cells Incubated with Cell-Penetrating Peptides.

    PubMed

    He, Lin; Watson, Peter D; Jones, Arwyn T

    2015-01-01

    Defining the exact role of the actin cytoskeleton in mediating endocytosis through different pathways is a significant challenge. The general consensus is that actin has an important role in organizing the early stages of endocytosis but there is still much to learn. Actin has also been implicated in cell internalization of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). It is suggested that CPP variants such as octaarginine (R8) and the HIV Tat peptide induce actin-dependent plasma membrane perturbation and enter via macropinocytosis. Here, we describe confocal microscopy techniques that allow for high-resolution spatial characterization of the actin cytoskeleton in untreated mammalian cells and those incubated with actin-disrupting agents and CPPs. By performing X-Y-Z projection images through different regions of cells to show basal and apical profiles, we initially highlight how these techniques can be used to reveal major differences in cortical and filamentous actin organization between different cell lines. Using these techniques, we demonstrate that the actin-disrupting agent cytochalasin D rapidly changes this framework at concentrations significantly lower than is normally used. Experiments are also performed to highlight that serum starvation significantly sensitizes cells to the effects of R8 on actin-induced ruffling and lamellapodia formation. The techniques described here can be used to gain a higher level of knowledge of the organization of the actin network in individual model cell systems, how this is perturbed using commonly used actin inhibitors, and how plasma membrane reorganization can be induced by the addition of drug delivery vectors such as CPPs.

  13. 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

  14. Actin filament organization in activated mast cells is regulated by heterotrimeric and small GTP-binding proteins

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    Rat peritoneal mast cells, both intact and permeabilized, have been used widely as model secretory cells. GTP-binding proteins and calcium play a major role in controlling their secretory response. Here we have examined changes in the organization of actin filaments in intact mast cells after activation by compound 48/80, and in permeabilized cells after direct activation of GTP-binding proteins by GTP-gamma-S. In both cases, a centripetal redistribution of cellular F-actin was observed: the content of F-actin was reduced in the cortical region and increased in the cell interior. The overall F-actin content was increased. Using permeabilized cells, we show that AIF4-, an activator of heterotrimeric G proteins, induces the disassembly of F-actin at the cortex, while the appearance of actin filaments in the interior of the cell is dependent on two small GTPases, rho and rac. Rho was found to be responsible for de novo actin polymerization, presumably from a membrane-bound monomeric pool, while rac was required for an entrapment of the released cortical filaments. Thus, a heterotrimeric G-protein and the small GTPases, rho and rac, participate in affecting the changes in the actin cytoskeleton observed after activation of mast cells. PMID:8051203

  15. 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.

  16. Probing the Plant Actin Cytoskeleton during Cytokinesis and Interphase by Profilin Microinjection.

    PubMed Central

    Valster, A. H.; Pierson, E. S.; Valenta, R.; Hepler, P. K.; Emons, AMC.

    1997-01-01

    We have examined the cytological effects of microinjecting recombinant birch profilin in dividing and interphase stamen hair cells of Tradescantia virginiana. Microinjection of profilin at anaphase and telophase led to a marked effect on cytokinesis; cell plate formation was often delayed, blocked, or completely inhibited. In addition, the initial appearance of the cell plate was wrinkled, thin, and sometimes fragmented. Injection of profilin at interphase caused a thinning or the collapse of cytoplasmic strands and a retardation or inhibition of cytoplasmic streaming in a dose-dependent manner. Confocal laser scanning microscopy of rhodamine-phalloidin staining in vivo revealed that high levels of microinjected profilin induced a degradation of the actin cytoskeleton in the phragmoplast, the perinuclear zone, and the cytoplasmic strands. However, some cortical actin filaments remained intact. The data demonstrate that profilin has the ability to act as a regulator of actin-dependent events and that centrally located actin filaments are more sensitive to microinjected profilin than are cortical actin filaments. These results add new evidence supporting the hypothesis that actin filaments play a crucial role in the formation of the cell plate and provide mechanical support for the cytoplasmic strands in interphase cells. PMID:12237348

  17. Novel actin depolymerizing macrolide aplyronine A.

    PubMed

    Saito, S; Watabe, S; Ozaki, H; Kigoshi, H; Yamada, K; Fusetani, N; Karaki, H

    1996-09-01

    Aplyronine A is a macrolide isolated from Aplysia kurodai. By monitoring fluorescent intensity of pyrenyl-actin, it was found that aplyronine A inhibited both the velocity and the degree of actin polymerization. Aplyronine A also quickly depolymerized F-actin. The kinetics of depolymerization suggest that aplyronine A severs F-actin. The relationship between the concentration of total actin and F-actin at different concentrations of aplyronine A suggests that aplyronine A forms a 1:1 complex with G-actin. From these results, it is concluded that aplyronine A inhibits actin polymerization and depolymerizes F-actin by nibbling. Comparison of the chemical structure of aplyronine A and another actin-depolymerizing macrolide, mycalolide B, suggests that the side-chain but not the macrolide ring of aplyronine A may account for its actin binding and severing activity.

  18. Bacterial Actins and Their Interactors.

    PubMed

    Gayathri, Pananghat

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial actins polymerize in the presence of nucleotide (preferably ATP), form a common arrangement of monomeric interfaces within a protofilament, and undergo ATP hydrolysis-dependent change in stability of the filament-all of which contribute to performing their respective functions. The relative stability of the filament in the ADP-bound form compared to that of ATP and the rate of addition of monomers at the two ends decide the filament dynamics. One of the major differences between eukaryotic actin and bacterial actins is the variety in protofilament arrangements and dynamics exhibited by the latter. The filament structure and the polymerization dynamics enable them to perform various functions such as shape determination in rod-shaped bacteria (MreB), cell division (FtsA), plasmid segregation (ParM family of actin-like proteins), and organelle positioning (MamK). Though the architecture and dynamics of a few representative filaments have been studied, information on the effect of interacting partners on bacterial actin filament dynamics is not very well known. The chapter reviews some of the structural and functional aspects of bacterial actins, with special focus on the effect that interacting partners exert on the dynamics of bacterial actins, and how these assist them to carry out the functions within the bacterial cell.

  19. Cortical Visual Impairment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Frequently Asked Questions Español Condiciones Chinese Conditions Cortical Visual Impairment En Español Read in Chinese What is cortical visual impairment? Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is a decreased ...

  20. Actin cytoskeleton: putting a CAP on actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, V A; Theurkauf, W E

    2000-10-05

    Two recent studies have identified a Drosophila homolog of cyclase-associated protein (CAP) as a developmentally important negative regulator of actin polymerization that may also directly mediate signal transduction.

  1. Actin, microvilli, and the fertilization cone of sea urchin eggs

    PubMed Central

    1980-01-01

    Sea urchin eggs and oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage were fixed at various times after insemination, and thin sections were examined. Actin filaments can first be found in the cortical cytoplasm 1 min after insemination, and by 2 min enormous numbers of filaments are present. At these early stages, the filaments are only occasionally organized into bundles, but one end of many filaments contacts the plasma membrane. By 3 min, and even more dramatically by 5 min after insemination, the filaments become progressively more often found in bundles that lie parallel to the long axis of the microvilli and the fertilization cones. By 7 min, the bundles of filaments in the cone are maximally pronounced, with virtually all the filaments lying parallel to one another. Decoration of the filaments with subfragment 1 of myosin shows that, in both the microvilli and the cones, the filaments are unidirectionally polarized with the arrowheads pointing towards the cell center. The efflux of H+ from the eggs was measured as a function of time after insemination. The rapid phase of H+ efflux occurs at the same time as actin polymerization. From these results it appears that the formation of bundles of actin filaments in microvilli and in cones is a two-step process, involving actin polymerization to form filaments, randomly oriented but in most cases having one end in contact with the plasma membrane, followed by the zippering together of the filaments by macromolecular bridges. PMID:6893988

  2. 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.

  3. Actin dynamics and cofilin-actin rods in Alzheimer disease

    PubMed Central

    Bamburg, James R.; Bernstein, Barbara W.

    2017-01-01

    Cytoskeletal abnormalities and synaptic loss, typical of both familial and sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD), are induced by diverse stresses such as neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and energetic stress, each of which may be initiated or enhanced by proinflammatory cytokines or amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. Extracellular Aβ-containing plaques and intracellular phospho-tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles are postmortem pathologies required to confirm AD and have been the focus of most studies. However, AD brain, but not normal brain, also have increased levels of cytoplasmic rod-shaped bundles of filaments composed of ADF/cofilin-actin in a 1:1 complex (rods). Cofilin, the major ADF/cofilin isoform in mammalian neurons, severs actin filaments at low cofilin/actin ratios and stabilizes filaments at high cofilin/actin ratios. It binds cooperatively to ADP-actin subunits in F-actin. Cofilin is activated by dephosphorylation and may be oxidized in stressed neurons to form disulfide-linked dimers, required for bundling cofilin-actin filaments into stable rods. Rods form within neurites causing synaptic dysfunction by sequestering cofilin, disrupting normal actin dynamics, blocking transport, and exacerbating mitochondrial membrane potential loss. Aβ and proinflammatory cytokines induce rods through a cellular prion protein-dependent activation of NADPH oxidase and production of reactive oxygen species. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of cofilin biochemistry, rod formation, and the development of cognitive deficits. We will then discuss rod formation as a molecular pathway for synapse loss that may be common between all three prominent current AD hypotheses, thus making rods an attractive therapeutic target. PMID:26873625

  4. 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

  5. [The reorganization of actin cytoskeleton and microtubule system of human endothelial vein in the intercellular contacts formation].

    PubMed

    Shahov, A S; Dugina, V B; Alieva, I B

    2015-01-01

    Endothelial cells are tightly fitted to each other and lining the interior surface of all vessels of living organism to provide vascular permeability regulation and interchange between the blood circulating in vessels and tissue fluids of those organs in which these vessels are located. In vitro endothelial monolayer conserve it's basic barrier function which is native for vessels endothelium. Based on this fact we used endothelial cells growing in vitro as a model system in experimental studies of cytoskeletal and adhesion cell components interaction. In current paper, cultured human vein endothelial cells monolayer was used to quantify cytoskeleton alterations in the of endothelial cells from spreading and formation of the first cell-cell contacts to confluent monolayer formation. The system of actin filaments formed two different cytoskeletal structures in the cells of venous endothelium: 1) cortical actin network; 2) actin stress fibers (bundles) arranged parallel to the substrate. Two actin isoforms, β- and γ-cytoplasmic (non-muscle) actins, are expressed in endothelial cells. The bundles of actin stress fibers were detected by immunofluorescent staining with antibody against β-actin, whereas antibodies against γ-actin identified cortical and lamellar networks. For assessment of the actin cytoskeleton organization it's fluorescence intensity on the area of 10 μM2 located (1) near the free edge, and (2) in the zone of cell-cell contacts were analyzed. Fluorescence intensity of β-actin structures was higher in the areas of cell-cell contact. The fluorescence of γ-actin structures was more intensive at the leading edges of the lamellae, and was the lowest on the stable edges of the cells with formed cell-cell contacts. The endothelial monolayer formation was accompanied by microtubule system alteration: the number of microtubules increased at the cell edge, and besides the microtubules quantity in the area of already formed cell-cell contact was always

  6. F-actin and myosin II accelerate catecholamine release from chromaffin granules

    PubMed Central

    Berberian, Khajak; Torres, Alexis J; Fang, Qinghua; Kisler, Kassandra

    2009-01-01

    The roles of non-muscle myosin II and cortical actin filaments in chromaffin granule exocytosis were studied by confocal fluorescence microscopy, amperometry, and cell-attached capacitance measurements. Fluorescence imaging indicated decreased mobility of granules near the plasma membrane following inhibition of myosin II function with Blebbistatin. Slower fusion pore expansion rates and longer fusion pore lifetimes were observed after inhibition of actin polymerization using Cytochalasin-D. Amperometric recordings revealed increased amperometric spike half-widths without change in quantal size after either myosin II inhibition or actin disruption. These results suggest that actin and myosin II facilitate release from individual chromaffin granules by accelerating dissociation of catecholamines from the intragranular matrix possibly through generation of mechanical forces. PMID:19158310

  7. 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

  8. [Photodynamic therapy for actinic cheilitis].

    PubMed

    Castaño, E; Comunión, A; Arias, D; Miñano, R; Romero, A; Borbujo, J

    2009-12-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a subtype of actinic keratosis that mainly affects the lower lip and has a higher risk of malignant transformation. Its location on the labial mucosa influences the therapeutic approach. Vermilionectomy requires local or general anesthetic and is associated with a risk of an unsightly scar, and the treatment with 5-fluorouracil or imiquimod lasts for several weeks and the inflammatory reaction can be very intense. A number of authors have used photodynamic therapy as an alternative to the usual treatments. We present 3 patients with histologically confirmed actinic cheilitis treated using photodynamic therapy with methyl aminolevulinic acid as the photosensitizer and red light at 630 nm. The clinical response was good, with no recurrences after 3 to 6 months of follow-up. Our experience supports the use of photodynamic therapy as a good alternative for the treatment of actinic cheilitis.

  9. Biofilm/Mat assays for budding yeast.

    PubMed

    Cullen, Paul J

    2015-02-02

    Many microbial species form biofilms/mats under nutrient-limiting conditions, and fungal pathogens rely on this social behavior for virulence. In budding yeast, mat formation is dependent on the mucin-like flocculin Flo11, which promotes cell-to-cell and cell-to-substrate adhesion in mats. The biofilm/mat assays described here allow the evaluation of the role of Flo11 in the formation of mats. Cells are grown on surfaces with different degrees of rigidity to assess their expansion and three-dimensional architecture, and the cells are also exposed to plastic surfaces to quantify their adherence. These assays are broadly applicable to studying biofilm/mat formation in microbial species.

  10. 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.

  11. Serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase SGK1 regulates reorganization of actin cytoskeleton in mast cells upon degranulation.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Evi; Gu, Shuchen; Yang, Wenting; Münzer, Patrick; Schaller, Martin; Lang, Florian; Stournaras, Christos; Shumilina, Ekaterina

    2013-01-01

    Aggregation of the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) on mast cells (MCs) causes MC degranulation, a process that involves cortical F-actin disassembly. Actin depolymerization may be triggered by increase of cytosolic Ca(2+). Entry of Ca(2+) through the Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) channels is under powerful regulation by the serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase SGK1. Moreover, FcεRI-dependent degranulation is decreased in SGK1-deficient (sgk1(-/-)) MCs. The present study addressed whether SGK1 is required for actin cytoskeleton rearrangement in MCs and whether modulation of actin architecture could underlie decreased degranulation of sgk1(-/-) MCs. Confirming previous results, release of β-hexosaminidase reflecting FcεRI-dependent degranulation was impaired in sgk1(-/-) MCs compared with sgk1(+/+) MCs. When CRAC channels were inhibited by 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB; 50 μM), MC degranulation was strongly decreased in both sgk1(+/+) and sgk1(-/-) MCs and the difference between genotypes was abolished. Moreover, degranulation was impaired by actin-stabilizing (phallacidin) and enhanced by actin-disrupting (cytochalasin B) agents to a similar extent in sgk1(+/+) MCs and sgk1(-/-) MCs, implying a regulatory role of actin reorganization in this event. In line with this, measurements of monomeric (G) and filamentous (F) actin content by FACS analysis and Western blotting of detergent-soluble and -insoluble cell fractions indicated an increase of the G/F-actin ratio in sgk1(+/+) MCs but not in sgk1(-/-) MCs upon FcεRI ligation, an observation reflecting actin depolymerization. In sgk1(+/+) MCs, FcεRI-induced actin depolymerization was abolished by 2-APB. The observed actin reorganization was confirmed by confocal laser microscopic analysis. Our observations uncover SGK1-dependent Ca(2+) entry in mast cells as a novel mechanism regulating actin cytoskeleton.

  12. Rho GTPases, phosphoinositides, and actin

    PubMed Central

    Croisé, Pauline; Estay-Ahumada, Catherine; Gasman, Stéphane; Ory, Stéphane

    2014-01-01

    Rho GTPases are well known regulators of the actin cytoskeleton that act by binding and activating actin nucleators. They are therefore involved in many actin-based processes, including cell migration, cell polarity, and membrane trafficking. With the identification of phosphoinositide kinases and phosphatases as potential binding partners or effectors, Rho GTPases also appear to participate in the regulation of phosphoinositide metabolism. Since both actin dynamics and phosphoinositide turnover affect the efficiency and the fidelity of vesicle transport between cell compartments, Rho GTPases have emerged as critical players in membrane trafficking. Rho GTPase activity, actin remodeling, and phosphoinositide metabolism need to be coordinated in both space and time to ensure the progression of vesicles along membrane trafficking pathways. Although most molecular pathways are still unclear, in this review, we will highlight recent advances made in our understanding of how Rho-dependent signaling pathways organize actin dynamics and phosphoinositides and how phosphoinositides potentially provide negative feedback to Rho GTPases during endocytosis, exocytosis and membrane exchange between intracellular compartments. PMID:24914539

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Dissecting the actin cortex density and membrane-cortex distance in living cells by super-resolution microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clausen, M. P.; Colin-York, H.; Schneider, F.; Eggeling, C.; Fritzsche, M.

    2017-02-01

    Nanoscale spacing between the plasma membrane and the underlying cortical actin cytoskeleton profoundly modulates cellular morphology, mechanics, and function. Measuring this distance has been a key challenge in cell biology. Current methods for dissecting the nanoscale spacing either limit themselves to complex survey design using fixed samples or rely on diffraction-limited fluorescence imaging whose spatial resolution is insufficient to quantify distances on the nanoscale. Using dual-color super-resolution STED (stimulated-emission-depletion) microscopy, we here overcome this challenge and accurately measure the density distribution of the cortical actin cytoskeleton and the distance between the actin cortex and the membrane in live Jurkat T-cells. We found an asymmetric cortical actin density distribution with a mean width of 230 (+105/-125) nm. The spatial distances measured between the maximum density peaks of the cortex and the membrane were bi-modally distributed with mean values of 50  ±  15 nm and 120  ±  40 nm, respectively. Taken together with the finite width of the cortex, our results suggest that in some regions the cortical actin is closer than 10 nm to the membrane and a maximum of 20 nm in others.

  18. Periodic actin structures in neuronal axons are required to maintain microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Yue; Hahn, Ines; Webb, Stephen E.D.; Pearce, Simon P.; Prokop, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Axons are cable-like neuronal processes wiring the nervous system. They contain parallel bundles of microtubules as structural backbones, surrounded by regularly spaced actin rings termed the periodic membrane skeleton (PMS). Despite being an evolutionarily conserved, ubiquitous, highly ordered feature of axons, the function of PMS is unknown. Here we studied PMS abundance, organization, and function, combining versatile Drosophila genetics with superresolution microscopy and various functional readouts. Analyses with 11 actin regulators and three actin-targeting drugs suggest that PMS contains short actin filaments that are depolymerization resistant and sensitive to spectrin, adducin, and nucleator deficiency, consistent with microscopy-derived models proposing PMS as specialized cortical actin. Upon actin removal, we observed gaps in microtubule bundles, reduced microtubule polymerization, and reduced axon numbers, suggesting a role of PMS in microtubule organization. These effects become strongly enhanced when carried out in neurons lacking the microtubule-stabilizing protein Short stop (Shot). Combining the aforementioned actin manipulations with Shot deficiency revealed a close correlation between PMS abundance and microtubule regulation, consistent with a model in which PMS-dependent microtubule polymerization contributes to their maintenance in axons. We discuss potential implications of this novel PMS function along axon shafts for axon maintenance and regeneration. PMID:27881663

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Nucleus-associated actin in Amoeba proteus.

    PubMed

    Berdieva, Mariia; Bogolyubov, Dmitry; Podlipaeva, Yuliya; Goodkov, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    The presence, spatial distribution and forms of intranuclear and nucleus-associated cytoplasmic actin were studied in Amoeba proteus with immunocytochemical approaches. Labeling with different anti-actin antibodies and staining with TRITC-phalloidin and fluorescent deoxyribonuclease I were used. We showed that actin is abundant within the nucleus as well as in the cytoplasm of A. proteus cells. According to DNase I experiments, the predominant form of intranuclear actin is G-actin which is associated with chromatin strands. Besides, unpolymerized actin was shown to participate in organization of a prominent actin layer adjacent to the outer surface of nuclear envelope. No significant amount of F-actin was found in the nucleus. At the same time, the amoeba nucleus is enclosed in a basket-like structure formed by circumnuclear actin filaments and bundles connected with global cytoplasmic actin cytoskeleton. A supposed architectural function of actin filaments was studied by treatment with actin-depolymerizing agent latrunculin A. It disassembled the circumnuclear actin system, but did not affect the intranuclear chromatin structure. The results obtained for amoeba cells support the modern concept that actin is involved in fundamental nuclear processes that have evolved in the cells of multicellular organisms.

  5. Novel anti-HIV therapeutics targeting chemokine receptors and actin regulatory pathways.

    PubMed

    Spear, Mark; Guo, Jia; Wu, Yuntao

    2013-11-01

    The human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infects helper CD4(+) T cells, and causes CD4(+) T-cell depletion and immunodeficiency. In the past 30 years, significant progress has been made in antiretroviral therapy, and the disease has become manageable. Nevertheless, an effective vaccine is still nowhere in sight, and a cure or a functional cure awaits discovery. Among possible curative therapies, traditional antiretroviral therapy, mostly targeting viral proteins, has been proven ineffective. It is possible that targeting HIV-dependent host cofactors may offer alternatives, both for preventing HIV transmission and for forestalling disease progression. Recently, the actin cytoskeleton and its regulators in blood CD4(+) T cells have emerged as major host cofactors that could be targeted. The novel concept that the cortical actin is a barrier to viral entry and early post-entry migration has led to the nascent model of virus-host interaction at the cortical actin layer. Deciphering the cellular regulatory pathways has manifested exciting prospects for future therapeutics. In this review, we describe the study of HIV interactions with actin cytoskeleton. We also examine potential pharmacological targets that emerge from this interaction. In addition, we briefly discuss several actin pathway-based anti-HIV drugs that are currently in development or testing.

  6. Novel anti-HIV therapeutics targeting chemokine receptors and actin regulatory pathways

    PubMed Central

    Spear, Mark; Guo, Jia; Wu, Yuntao

    2013-01-01

    Summary The human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infects helper CD4+ T cells, and causes CD4+ T-cell depletion and immunodeficiency. In the past 30 years, significant progress has been made in antiretroviral therapy, and the disease has become manageable. Nevertheless, an effective vaccine is still nowhere in sight, and a cure or a functional cure awaits discovery. Among possible curative therapies, traditional antiretroviral therapy, mostly targeting viral proteins, has been proven ineffective. It is possible that targeting HIV-dependent host cofactors may offer alternatives, both for preventing HIV transmission and for forestalling disease progression. Recently, the actin cytoskeleton and its regulators in blood CD4+ T cells have emerged as major host cofactors that could be targeted. The novel concept that the cortical actin is a barrier to viral entry and early post-entry migration has led to the nascent model of virus-host interaction at the cortical actin layer. Deciphering the cellular regulatory pathways has manifested exciting prospects for future therapeutics. In this review, we describe the study of HIV interactions with actin cytoskeleton. We also examine potential pharmacological targets that emerge from this interaction. In addition, we briefly discuss several actin pathway-based anti-HIV drugs that are currently in development or testing. PMID:24117829

  7. 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.

  8. G-actin regulates rapid induction of actin nucleation by mDia1 to restore cellular actin polymers.

    PubMed

    Higashida, Chiharu; Suetsugu, Shiro; Tsuji, Takahiro; Monypenny, James; Narumiya, Shuh; Watanabe, Naoki

    2008-10-15

    mDia1 belongs to the formin family of proteins that share FH1 and FH2 domains. Although formins play a critical role in the formation of many actin-based cellular structures, the physiological regulation of formin-mediated actin assembly within the cell is still unknown. Here we show that cells possess an acute actin polymer restoration mechanism involving mDia1. By using single-molecule live-cell imaging, we found that several treatments including low-dose G-actin-sequestering drugs and unpolymerizable actin mutants activate mDia1 to initiate fast directional movement. The FH2 region, the core domain for actin nucleation, is sufficient to respond to latrunculin B (LatB) to increase its actin nucleation frequency. Simulation analysis revealed an unexpected paradoxical effect of LatB that leads to a several fold increase in free G-actin along with an increase in total G-actin. These results indicate that in cells, the actin nucleation frequency of mDia1 is enhanced not only by Rho, but also strongly through increased catalytic efficiency of the FH2 domain. Consistently, frequent actin nucleation by mDia1 was found around sites of vigorous actin disassembly. Another major actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, was not affected by the G-actin increase induced by LatB. Taken together, we propose that transient accumulation of G-actin works as a cue to promote mDia1-catalyzed actin nucleation to execute rapid reassembly of actin filaments.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Actin as deathly switch? How auxin can suppress cell-death related defence.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Actin polymerization is stimulated by actin cross-linking protein palladin.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  15. 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

  16. Formation and Destabilization of Actin Filaments with Tetramethylrhodamine-Modified Actin

    PubMed Central

    Kudryashov, Dmitry S.; Phillips, Martin; Reisler, Emil

    2004-01-01

    Actin labeling at Cys374 with tethramethylrhodamine derivatives (TMR-actin) has been widely used for direct observation of the in vitro filaments growth, branching, and treadmilling, as well as for the in vivo visualization of actin cytoskeleton. The advantage of TMR-actin is that it does not lock actin in filaments (as rhodamine-phalloidin does), possibly allowing for its use in investigating the dynamic assembly behavior of actin polymers. Although it is established that TMR-actin alone is polymerization incompetent, the impact of its copolymerization with unlabeled actin on filament structure and dynamics has not been tested yet. In this study, we show that TMR-actin perturbs the filaments structure when copolymerized with unlabeled actin; the resulting filaments are more fragile and shorter than the control filaments. Due to the increased severing of copolymer filaments, TMR-actin accelerates the polymerization of unlabeled actin in solution also at mole ratios lower than those used in most fluorescence microscopy experiments. The destabilizing and severing effect of TMR-actin is countered by filament stabilizing factors, phalloidin, S1, and tropomyosin. These results point to an analogy between the effects of TMR-actin and severing proteins on F-actin, and imply that TMR-actin may be inappropriate for investigations of actin filaments dynamics. PMID:15298916

  17. Optimal treatment of actinic keratoses

    PubMed Central

    Uhlenhake, Elizabeth E

    2013-01-01

    The most compelling reason and primary goal of treating actinic keratoses is to prevent malignant transformation into invasive squamous cell carcinoma, and although there are well established guidelines outlining treatment modalities and regimens for squamous cell carcinoma, the more commonly encountered precancerous actinic lesions have no such standard. Many options are available with variable success and patient compliance rates. Prevention of these lesions is key, with sun protection being a must in treating aging patients with sun damage as it is never too late to begin protecting the skin. PMID:23345970

  18. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. Three-dimensional structure of actin filaments and of an actin gel made with actin-binding protein.

    PubMed

    Niederman, R; Amrein, P C; Hartwig, J

    1983-05-01

    Purified muscle actin and mixtures of actin and actin-binding protein were examined in the transmission electron microscope after fixation, critical point drying, and rotary shadowing. The three-dimensional structure of the protein assemblies was analyzed by a computer-assisted graphic analysis applicable to generalized filament networks. This analysis yielded information concerning the frequency of filament intersections, the filament length between these intersections, the angle at which filaments branch at these intersections, and the concentration of filaments within a defined volume. Purified actin at a concentration of 1 mg/ml assembled into a uniform mass of long filaments which overlap at random angles between 0 degrees and 90 degrees. Actin in the presence of macrophage actin-binding protein assembled into short, straight filaments, organized in a perpendicular branching network. The distance between branch points was inversely related to the molar ratio of actin-binding protein to actin. This distance was what would be predicted if actin filaments grew at right angles off of nucleation sites on the two ends of actin-binding protein dimers, and then annealed. The results suggest that actin in combination with actin-binding protein self-assembles to form a three-dimensional network resembling the peripheral cytoskeleton of motile cells.

  20. Insulin stimulates actin comet tails on intracellular GLUT4-containing compartments in differentiated 3T3L1 adipocytes.

    PubMed

    Kanzaki, M; Watson, R T; Khan, A H; Pessin, J E

    2001-12-28

    Incubation of isolated GLUT4-containing vesicles with Xenopus oocyte extracts resulted in a guanosine 5'-[gamma-thio]triphosphate (GTP gamma S) and sodium orthovanadate stimulation of actin comet tails. The in vitro actin-based GLUT4 vesicle motility was inhibited by both latrunculin B and a dominant-interfering N-WASP mutant, N-WASP/Delta VCA. Preparations of gently sheared (broken) 3T3L1 adipocytes also displayed GTP gamma S and sodium orthovanadate stimulation of actin comet tails on GLUT4 intracellular compartments. Furthermore, insulin pretreatment of intact adipocytes prior to gently shearing also resulted in a marked increase in actin polymerization and actin comet tailing on GLUT4 vesicles. In addition, the insulin stimulation of actin comet tails was completely inhibited by Clostridum difficile toxin B, demonstrating a specific role for a Rho family member small GTP-binding protein. Expression of N-WASP/Delta VCA in intact cells had little effect on adipocyte cortical actin but partially inhibited insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation. Taken together, these data demonstrate that insulin can induce GLUT4 vesicle actin comet tails that are necessary for the efficient translocation of GLUT4 from intracellular storage sites to the plasma membrane.

  1. Actomyosin Cortical Mechanical Properties in Nonadherent Cells Determined by Atomic Force Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Cartagena-Rivera, Alexander X; Logue, Jeremy S; Waterman, Clare M; Chadwick, Richard S

    2016-06-07

    The organization of filamentous actin and myosin II molecular motor contractility is known to modify the mechanical properties of the cell cortical actomyosin cytoskeleton. Here we describe a novel method, to our knowledge, for using force spectroscopy approach curves with tipless cantilevers to determine the actomyosin cortical tension, elastic modulus, and intracellular pressure of nonadherent cells. We validated the method by measuring the surface tension of water in oil microdrops deposited on a glass surface. We extracted an average tension of T ∼ 20.25 nN/μm, which agrees with macroscopic experimental methods. We then measured cortical mechanical properties in nonadherent human foreskin fibroblasts and THP-1 human monocytes before and after pharmacological perturbations of actomyosin activity. Our results show that myosin II activity and actin polymerization increase cortex tension and intracellular pressure, whereas branched actin networks decreased them. Interestingly, myosin II activity stiffens the cortex and branched actin networks soften it, but actin polymerization has no effect on cortex stiffness. Our method is capable of detecting changes in cell mechanical properties in response to perturbations of the cytoskeleton, allowing characterization with physically relevant parameters. Altogether, this simple method should be of broad application for deciphering the molecular regulation of cell cortical mechanical properties.

  2. Antibodies to Actin in Autoimmune Neutropenia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-02-01

    protein as actin. Purified Acanthamoeba actin by anti-neutrophil antibodies in autoimmune neutropenia, comigrated with the protein and was specifically...anti-rabbit IgG were obtained from ICN Immunobiolog- formed using purified Acanthamoeba actin (gift of Dr Blair Bowers. icals, Naperville, IL. Cells...preparations𔃼 1 - was the protein recognized by these anti-neutrophil antibody 6 .2- positive sera, lgG, and F(ab’) 2. Purified Acanthamoeba actin

  3. Actin dynamics in the regulation of endothelial barrier functions and neutrophil recruitment during endotoxemia and sepsis.

    PubMed

    Schnoor, Michael; García Ponce, Alexander; Vadillo, Eduardo; Pelayo, Rosana; Rossaint, Jan; Zarbock, Alexander

    2017-02-02

    Sepsis is a leading cause of death worldwide. Increased vascular permeability is a major hallmark of sepsis. Dynamic alterations in actin fiber formation play an important role in the regulation of endothelial barrier functions and thus vascular permeability. Endothelial integrity requires a delicate balance between the formation of cortical actin filaments that maintain endothelial cell contact stability and the formation of actin stress fibers that generate pulling forces, and thus compromise endothelial cell contact stability. Current research has revealed multiple molecular pathways that regulate actin dynamics and endothelial barrier dysfunction during sepsis. These include intracellular signaling proteins of the small GTPases family (e.g., Rap1, RhoA and Rac1) as well as the molecules that are directly acting on the actomyosin cytoskeleton such as myosin light chain kinase and Rho kinases. Another hallmark of sepsis is an excessive recruitment of neutrophils that also involves changes in the actin cytoskeleton in both endothelial cells and neutrophils. This review focuses on the available evidence about molecules that control actin dynamics and regulate endothelial barrier functions and neutrophil recruitment. We also discuss treatment strategies using pharmaceutical enzyme inhibitors to target excessive vascular permeability and leukocyte recruitment in septic patients.

  4. Calcium-mediated actin reset (CaAR) mediates acute cell adaptations

    PubMed Central

    Wales, Pauline; Schuberth, Christian E; Aufschnaiter, Roland; Fels, Johannes; García-Aguilar, Ireth; Janning, Annette; Dlugos, Christopher P; Schäfer-Herte, Marco; Klingner, Christoph; Wälte, Mike; Kuhlmann, Julian; Menis, Ekaterina; Hockaday Kang, Laura; Maier, Kerstin C; Hou, Wenya; Russo, Antonella; Higgs, Henry N; Pavenstädt, Hermann; Vogl, Thomas; Roth, Johannes; Qualmann, Britta; Kessels, Michael M; Martin, Dietmar E; Mulder, Bela; Wedlich-Söldner, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Actin has well established functions in cellular morphogenesis. However, it is not well understood how the various actin assemblies in a cell are kept in a dynamic equilibrium, in particular when cells have to respond to acute signals. Here, we characterize a rapid and transient actin reset in response to increased intracellular calcium levels. Within seconds of calcium influx, the formin INF2 stimulates filament polymerization at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), while cortical actin is disassembled. The reaction is then reversed within a few minutes. This Calcium-mediated actin reset (CaAR) occurs in a wide range of mammalian cell types and in response to many physiological cues. CaAR leads to transient immobilization of organelles, drives reorganization of actin during cell cortex repair, cell spreading and wound healing, and induces long-lasting changes in gene expression. Our findings suggest that CaAR acts as fundamental facilitator of cellular adaptations in response to acute signals and stress. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19850.001 PMID:27919320

  5. 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.

  6. An actin cytoskeleton with evolutionarily conserved functions in the absence of canonical actin-binding proteins

    PubMed Central

    Paredez, Alexander R.; Assaf, Zoe June; Sept, David; Timofejeva, Ljudmilla; Dawson, Scott C.; Wang, Chung-Ju Rachel; Cande, W. Z.

    2011-01-01

    Giardia intestinalis, a human intestinal parasite and member of what is perhaps the earliest-diverging eukaryotic lineage, contains the most divergent eukaryotic actin identified to date and is the first eukaryote known to lack all canonical actin-binding proteins (ABPs). We sought to investigate the properties and functions of the actin cytoskeleton in Giardia to determine whether Giardia actin (giActin) has reduced or conserved roles in core cellular processes. In vitro polymerization of giActin produced filaments, indicating that this divergent actin is a true filament-forming actin. We generated an anti-giActin antibody to localize giActin throughout the cell cycle. GiActin localized to the cortex, nuclei, internal axonemes, and formed C-shaped filaments along the anterior of the cell and a flagella-bundling helix. These structures were regulated with the cell cycle and in encysting cells giActin was recruited to the Golgi-like cyst wall processing vesicles. Knockdown of giActin demonstrated that giActin functions in cell morphogenesis, membrane trafficking, and cytokinesis. Additionally, Giardia contains a single G protein, giRac, which affects the Giardia actin cytoskeleton independently of known target ABPs. These results imply that there exist ancestral and perhaps conserved roles for actin in core cellular processes that are independent of canonical ABPs. Of medical significance, the divergent giActin cytoskeleton is essential and commonly used actin-disrupting drugs do not depolymerize giActin structures. Therefore, the giActin cytoskeleton is a promising drug target for treating giardiasis, as we predict drugs that interfere with the Giardia actin cytoskeleton will not affect the mammalian host. PMID:21444821

  7. An actin cytoskeleton with evolutionarily conserved functions in the absence of canonical actin-binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Paredez, Alexander R; Assaf, Zoe June; Sept, David; Timofejeva, Ljudmilla; Dawson, Scott C; Wang, Chung-Ju Rachel; Cande, W Z

    2011-04-12

    Giardia intestinalis, a human intestinal parasite and member of what is perhaps the earliest-diverging eukaryotic lineage, contains the most divergent eukaryotic actin identified to date and is the first eukaryote known to lack all canonical actin-binding proteins (ABPs). We sought to investigate the properties and functions of the actin cytoskeleton in Giardia to determine whether Giardia actin (giActin) has reduced or conserved roles in core cellular processes. In vitro polymerization of giActin produced filaments, indicating that this divergent actin is a true filament-forming actin. We generated an anti-giActin antibody to localize giActin throughout the cell cycle. GiActin localized to the cortex, nuclei, internal axonemes, and formed C-shaped filaments along the anterior of the cell and a flagella-bundling helix. These structures were regulated with the cell cycle and in encysting cells giActin was recruited to the Golgi-like cyst wall processing vesicles. Knockdown of giActin demonstrated that giActin functions in cell morphogenesis, membrane trafficking, and cytokinesis. Additionally, Giardia contains a single G protein, giRac, which affects the Giardia actin cytoskeleton independently of known target ABPs. These results imply that there exist ancestral and perhaps conserved roles for actin in core cellular processes that are independent of canonical ABPs. Of medical significance, the divergent giActin cytoskeleton is essential and commonly used actin-disrupting drugs do not depolymerize giActin structures. Therefore, the giActin cytoskeleton is a promising drug target for treating giardiasis, as we predict drugs that interfere with the Giardia actin cytoskeleton will not affect the mammalian host.

  8. Actinic cheilitis in dental practice.

    PubMed

    Savage, N W; McKay, C; Faulkner, C

    2010-06-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a potentially premalignant condition involving predominantly the vermilion of the lower lip. The aim of the current paper was to review the clinical presentation of actinic cheilitis and demonstrate the development of management plans using a series of cases. These are designed to provide immediate treatment where required but also to address the medium and long-term requirements of the patient. The authors suggest that the clinical examination of lips and the assessment of actinic cheilitis and other lip pathology become a regular part of the routine soft tissue examination undertaken as a part of the periodic examination of dental patients. Early recognition of actinic cheilitis can allow the development of strategies for individual patients that prevent progression. These are based on past sun exposure, future lifestyle changes and the daily use of emollient sunscreens, broad-brimmed hats and avoidance of sun exposure during the middle of the day. This is a service that is not undertaken as a matter of routine in general medical practice as patients are not seen with the regularity of dental patients and generally not under the ideal examination conditions available in the dental surgery.

  9. Actin crosslinkers: repairing the sense of touch.

    PubMed

    Sun, Sean X; Walcott, Sam

    2010-10-26

    Cells use actin bundles infused with myosin to exert contractile forces on the extracellular environment. This active tension is essential for cellular mechanosensation. Now, the role of actin crosslinkers in stabilizing and repairing the actin bundles is coming into clearer view.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Exploring defocus matting: nonparametric acceleration, super-resolution, and off-center matting.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Neel; Matusik, Wojciech; Avidan, Shai; Pfister, Hanspeter; Freeman, William T

    2007-01-01

    Defocus matting is a fully automatic and passive method for pulling mattes from video captured with coaxial cameras that have different depths of field and planes of focus. Nonparametric sampling can accelerate the video-matting process from minutes to seconds per frame. In addition a super-resolution technique efficiently bridges the gap between mattes from high-resolution video cameras and those from low-resolution cameras. Off-center matting pulls mattes for an external high-resolution camera that doesn't share the same center of projection as the low-resolution cameras used to capture the defocus matting data.

  17. Eukaryotes in Arctic and Antarctic cyanobacterial mats.

    PubMed

    Jungblut, Anne D; Vincent, Warwick F; Lovejoy, Connie

    2012-11-01

    Cyanobacterial mats are commonly found in freshwater ecosystems throughout the polar regions. Most mats are multilayered three-dimensional structures with the filamentous cyanobacteria embedded in a gel-like matrix. Although early descriptions mentioned the presence of larger organisms including metazoans living in the mats, there have been few studies specifically focused on the microbial eukaryotes, which are often small cells with few morphological features suitable for identification by microscopy. Here, we applied 18S rRNA gene clone library analysis to identify eukaryotes in cyanobacterial mat communities from both the Antarctic and the extreme High Arctic. We identified 39 ribotypes at the level of 99% sequence similarity. These consisted of taxa within algal and other protist groups including Chlorophyceae, Prasinophyceae, Ulvophyceae, Trebouxiophyceae, Bacillariophyceae, Chrysophyceae, Ciliophora, and Cercozoa. Fungi were also recovered, as were 21 metazoan ribotypes. The eukaryotic taxa appeared habitat-specific with little overlap between lake, pond, and ice shelf communities. Some ribotypes were common to both Arctic and Antarctic mats, suggesting global dispersal of these taxa and similarity in the environmental filters acting on protist communities. Many of these eukaryotic taxa likely benefit from protected, nutrient-rich microhabitats within the cyanobacterial mat environment.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Nuclear Actin in Development and Transcriptional Reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Misu, Shinji; Takebayashi, Marina; Miyamoto, Kei

    2017-01-01

    Actin is a highly abundant protein in eukaryotic cells and dynamically changes its polymerized states with the help of actin-binding proteins. Its critical function as a constituent of cytoskeleton has been well-documented. Growing evidence demonstrates that actin is also present in nuclei, referred to as nuclear actin, and is involved in a number of nuclear processes, including transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. The contribution of nuclear actin to transcriptional regulation can be explained by its direct interaction with transcription machineries and chromatin remodeling factors and by controlling the activities of transcription factors. In both cases, polymerized states of nuclear actin affect the transcriptional outcome. Nuclear actin also plays an important role in activating strongly silenced genes in somatic cells for transcriptional reprogramming. When these nuclear functions of actin are considered, it is plausible to speculate that nuclear actin is also implicated in embryonic development, in which numerous genes need to be activated in a well-coordinated manner. In this review, we especially focus on nuclear actin's roles in transcriptional activation, reprogramming and development, including stem cell differentiation and we discuss how nuclear actin can be an important player in development and cell differentiation.

  1. Actin Dynamics: From Nanoscale to Microscale

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E.

    2010-01-01

    The dynamic nature of actin in cells manifests itself in many ways: Polymerization near the cell edge is balanced by depolymerization in the interior, externally induced actin polymerization is followed by depolymerization, and spontaneous oscillations of the cell periphery are frequently seen. I discuss how mathematical modeling relates quantitative measures of actin dynamics to the rates of underlying molecular level processes. The rate of actin incorporation at the leading edge of a moving cell is roughly consistent with existing theories, and the factors determining the characteristic time of actin polymerization are fairly well understood. However, our understanding of actin disassembly is limited, in particular the interplay between severing and depolymerization and the role of specific combinations of proteins in implementing disassembly events. The origins of cell-edge oscillations, and their possible relation to actin waves, are a fruitful area of future research. PMID:20462375

  2. Micropatterned coculture of vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells on layered electrospun fibrous mats toward blood vessel engineering.

    PubMed

    Li, Huinan; Liu, Yaowen; Lu, Jinfu; Wei, Jiaojun; Li, Xiaohong

    2015-06-01

    A major challenge in vascular engineering is the establishment of proper microenvironment to guide the spatial organization, growth, and extracellular matrix (ECM) productions of cells found in blood vessels. In the current study, micropatterned fibrous mats with distinct ridges and grooves of different width were created to load smooth muscle cells (SMCs), which were assembled by stacking on vascular endothelial cell (EC)-loaded flat fibrous mats to mimic the in vivo-like organized structure of blood vessels. SMCs were mainly distributed in the ridges, and aligned fibers in the patterned regions led to the formation of elongated cell bodies, intense actin filaments, and expressions of collagen I and α-smooth muscle actin in a parallel direction with fibers. ECs spread over the flat fibrous mats and expressed collagen IV and laminin with a cobblestone-like feature. A z-stack scanning of fluorescently stained fibrous mats indicated that SMCs effectively infiltrated into fibrous scaffolds at the depth of around 200 μm. Compared with SMCs cultured alone, the coculture with ECs enhanced the proliferation, infiltration, and cytoskeleton elongation of SMCs on patterned fibrous mats. Although the coculture of SMCs made no significant difference in the EC growth, the coculture system on patterned fibrous scaffolds promoted ECM productions of both ECs and SMCs. Thus, this patterned fibrous configuration not only offers a promising technology in the design of tissue engineering scaffolds to construct blood vessels with durable mechanical properties, but also provides a platform for patterned coculture to investigate cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions in highly organized tissues.

  3. Chlamydia trachomatis Tarp harbors distinct G and F actin binding domains that bundle actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Jiwani, Shahanawaz; Alvarado, Stephenie; Ohr, Ryan J; Romero, Adriana; Nguyen, Brenda; Jewett, Travis J

    2013-02-01

    All species of Chlamydia undergo a unique developmental cycle that transitions between extracellular and intracellular environments and requires the capacity to invade new cells for dissemination. A chlamydial protein called Tarp has been shown to nucleate actin in vitro and is implicated in bacterial entry into human cells. Colocalization studies of ectopically expressed enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-Tarp indicate that actin filament recruitment is restricted to the C-terminal half of the effector protein. Actin filaments are presumably associated with Tarp via an actin binding alpha helix that is also required for actin nucleation in vitro, but this has not been investigated. Tarp orthologs from C. pneumoniae, C. muridarum, and C. caviae harbor between 1 and 4 actin binding domains located in the C-terminal half of the protein, but C. trachomatis serovar L2 has only one characterized domain. In this work, we examined the effects of domain-specific mutations on actin filament colocalization with EGFP-Tarp. We now demonstrate that actin filament colocalization with Tarp is dependent on two novel F-actin binding domains that endow the Tarp effector with actin-bundling activity. Furthermore, Tarp-mediated actin bundling did not require actin nucleation, as the ability to bundle actin filaments was observed in mutant Tarp proteins deficient in actin nucleation. These data shed molecular insight on the complex cytoskeletal rearrangements required for C. trachomatis entry into host cells.

  4. Rapid signaling of estrogen to WAVE1 and moesin controls neuronal spine formation via the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Angel Matias; Flamini, Marina Ines; Fu, Xiao-Dong; Mannella, Paolo; Giretti, Maria Silvia; Goglia, Lorenzo; Genazzani, Andrea Riccardo; Simoncini, Tommaso

    2009-08-01

    Estrogens are important regulators of neuronal cell morphology, and this is thought to be critical for gender-specific differences in brain function and dysfunction. Dendritic spine formation is dependent on actin remodeling by the WASP-family verprolin homologous (WAVE1) protein, which controls actin polymerization through the actin-related protein (Arp)-2/3 complex. Emerging evidence indicates that estrogens are effective regulators of the actin cytoskeleton in various cell types via rapid, extranuclear signaling mechanisms. We here show that 17beta-estradiol (E2) administration to rat cortical neurons leads to phosphorylation of WAVE1 on the serine residues 310, 397, and 441 and to WAVE1 redistribution toward the cell membrane at sites of dendritic spine formation. WAVE1 phosphorylation is found to be triggered by a Galpha(i)/Gbeta protein-dependent, rapid extranuclear signaling of estrogen receptor alpha to c-Src and to the small GTPase Rac1. Rac1 recruits the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk5) that directly phosphorylates WAVE1 on the three serine residues. After WAVE1 phosphorylation by E2, the Arp-2/3 complex concentrates at sites of spine formation, where it triggers the local reorganization of actin fibers. In parallel, E2 recruits a Galpha(13)-dependent pathway to RhoA and ROCK-2, leading to activation of actin remodeling via the actin-binding protein, moesin. Silencing of WAVE1 or of moesin abrogates the increase in dendritic spines induced by E2 in cortical neurons. In conclusion, our findings indicate that the control of actin polymerization and branching via moesin or WAVE1 is a key function of estrogen receptor alpha in neurons, which may be particularly relevant for the regulation of dendritic spines.

  5. Labeling F-actin barbed ends with rhodamine-actin in permeabilized neuronal growth cones.

    PubMed

    Marsick, Bonnie M; Letourneau, Paul C

    2011-03-17

    The motile tips of growing axons are called growth cones. Growth cones lead navigating axons through developing tissues by interacting with locally expressed molecular guidance cues that bind growth cone receptors and regulate the dynamics and organization of the growth cone cytoskeleton. The main target of these navigational signals is the actin filament meshwork that fills the growth cone periphery and that drives growth cone motility through continual actin polymerization and dynamic remodeling. Positive or attractive guidance cues induce growth cone turning by stimulating actin filament (F-actin) polymerization in the region of the growth cone periphery that is nearer the source of the attractant cue. This actin polymerization drives local growth cone protrusion, adhesion of the leading margin and axonal elongation toward the attractant. Actin filament polymerization depends on the availability of sufficient actin monomer and on polymerization nuclei or actin filament barbed ends for the addition of monomer. Actin monomer is abundantly available in chick retinal and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) growth cones. Consequently, polymerization increases rapidly when free F-actin barbed ends become available for monomer addition. This occurs in chick DRG and retinal growth cones via the local activation of the F-actin severing protein actin depolymerizing factor (ADF/cofilin) in the growth cone region closer to an attractant. This heightened ADF/cofilin activity severs actin filaments to create new F-actin barbed ends for polymerization. The following method demonstrates this mechanism. Total content of F-actin is visualized by staining with fluorescent phalloidin. F-actin barbed ends are visualized by the incorporation of rhodamine-actin within growth cones that are permeabilized with the procedure described in the following, which is adapted from previous studies of other motile cells. When rhodamine-actin is added at a concentration above the critical concentration

  6. Nuclear Actin in Development and Transcriptional Reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Misu, Shinji; Takebayashi, Marina; Miyamoto, Kei

    2017-01-01

    Actin is a highly abundant protein in eukaryotic cells and dynamically changes its polymerized states with the help of actin-binding proteins. Its critical function as a constituent of cytoskeleton has been well-documented. Growing evidence demonstrates that actin is also present in nuclei, referred to as nuclear actin, and is involved in a number of nuclear processes, including transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. The contribution of nuclear actin to transcriptional regulation can be explained by its direct interaction with transcription machineries and chromatin remodeling factors and by controlling the activities of transcription factors. In both cases, polymerized states of nuclear actin affect the transcriptional outcome. Nuclear actin also plays an important role in activating strongly silenced genes in somatic cells for transcriptional reprogramming. When these nuclear functions of actin are considered, it is plausible to speculate that nuclear actin is also implicated in embryonic development, in which numerous genes need to be activated in a well-coordinated manner. In this review, we especially focus on nuclear actin’s roles in transcriptional activation, reprogramming and development, including stem cell differentiation and we discuss how nuclear actin can be an important player in development and cell differentiation. PMID:28326098

  7. MAP18 regulates the direction of pollen tube growth in Arabidopsis by modulating F-actin organization.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lei; Zhang, Yan; Kang, Erfang; Xu, Qiangyi; Wang, Miaoying; Rui, Yue; Liu, Baoquan; Yuan, Ming; Fu, Ying

    2013-03-01

    For fertilization to occur in plants, the pollen tube must be guided to enter the ovule via the micropyle. Previous reports have implicated actin filaments, actin binding proteins, and the tip-focused calcium gradient as key contributors to polar growth of pollen tubes; however, the regulation of directional pollen tube growth is largely unknown. We reported previously that Arabidopsis thaliana MICROTUBULE-ASSOCIATED PROTEIN18 (MAP18) contributes to directional cell growth and cortical microtubule organization. The preferential expression of MAP18 in pollen and in pollen tubes suggests that MAP18 also may function in pollen tube growth. In this study, we demonstrate that MAP18 functions in pollen tubes by influencing actin organization, rather than microtubule assembly. In vitro biochemical results indicate that MAP18 exhibits Ca(2+)-dependent filamentous (F)-actin-severing activity. Abnormal expression of MAP18 in map18 and MAP18 OX plants was associated with disorganization of the actin cytoskeleton in the tube apex, resulting in aberrant pollen tube growth patterns and morphologies, inaccurate micropyle targeting, and fewer fertilization events. Experiments with MAP18 mutants created by site-directed mutagenesis suggest that F-actin-severing activity is essential to the effects of MAP18 on pollen tube growth direction. Our study demonstrates that in Arabidopsis, MAP18 guides the direction of pollen tube growth by modulating actin filaments.

  8. Characterization and dynamics of cytoplasmic F-actin in higher plant endosperm cells during interphase, mitosis, and cytokinesis

    PubMed Central

    1987-01-01

    We have identified an F-actin cytoskeletal network that remains throughout interphase, mitosis, and cytokinesis of higher plant endosperm cells. Fluorescent labeling was obtained using actin monoclonal antibodies and/or rhodamine-phalloidin. Video-enhanced microscopy and ultrastructural observations of immunogold-labeled preparations illustrated microfilament-microtubule co-distribution and interactions. Actin was also identified in cell crude extract with Western blotting. During interphase, microfilament and microtubule arrays formed two distinct networks that intermingled. At the onset of mitosis, when microtubules rearranged into the mitotic spindle, microfilaments were redistributed to the cell cortex, while few microfilaments remained in the spindle. During mitosis, the cortical actin network remained as an elastic cage around the mitotic apparatus and was stretched parallel to the spindle axis during poleward movement of chromosomes. This suggested the presence of dynamic cross-links that rearrange when they are submitted to slow and regular mitotic forces. At the poles, the regular network is maintained. After midanaphase, new, short microfilaments invaded the equator when interzonal vesicles were transported along the phragmoplast microtubules. Colchicine did not affect actin distribution, and cytochalasin B or D did not inhibit chromosome transport. Our data on endosperm cells suggested that plant cytoplasmic actin has an important role in the cell cortex integrity and in the structural dynamics of the poorly understood cytoplasm- mitotic spindle interface. F-actin may contribute to the regulatory mechanisms of microtubule-dependent or guided transport of vesicles during mitosis and cytokinesis in higher plant cells. PMID:3680376

  9. Myo1c binding to submembrane actin mediates insulin-induced tethering of GLUT4 vesicles.

    PubMed

    Boguslavsky, Shlomit; Chiu, Tim; Foley, Kevin P; Osorio-Fuentealba, Cesar; Antonescu, Costin N; Bayer, K Ulrich; Bilan, Philip J; Klip, Amira

    2012-10-01

    GLUT4-containing vesicles cycle between the plasma membrane and intracellular compartments. Insulin promotes GLUT4 exocytosis by regulating GLUT4 vesicle arrival at the cell periphery and its subsequent tethering, docking, and fusion with the plasma membrane. The molecular machinery involved in GLUT4 vesicle tethering is unknown. We show here that Myo1c, an actin-based motor protein that associates with membranes and actin filaments, is required for insulin-induced vesicle tethering in muscle cells. Myo1c was found to associate with both mobile and tethered GLUT4 vesicles and to be required for vesicle capture in the total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) zone beneath the plasma membrane. Myo1c knockdown or overexpression of an actin binding-deficient Myo1c mutant abolished insulin-induced vesicle immobilization, increased GLUT4 vesicle velocity in the TIRF zone, and prevented their externalization. Conversely, Myo1c overexpression immobilized GLUT4 vesicles in the TIRF zone and promoted insulin-induced GLUT4 exposure to the extracellular milieu. Myo1c also contributed to insulin-dependent actin filament remodeling. Thus we propose that interaction of vesicular Myo1c with cortical actin filaments is required for insulin-mediated tethering of GLUT4 vesicles and for efficient GLUT4 surface delivery in muscle cells.

  10. 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).

  11. Auxins and Cytokinins as Antipodal Modulators of Elasticity within the Actin Network of Plant Cells.

    PubMed Central

    Grabski, S.; Schindler, M.

    1996-01-01

    The cytoskeleton of plant and animal cells serves as a transmitter, transducer, and effector of cell signaling mechanisms. In plants, pathways for proliferation, differentiation, intracellular vesicular transport, cell-wall biosynthesis, symbiosis, secretion, and membrane recycling depend on the organization and dynamic properties of actin- and tubulin-based structures that are either associated with the plasma membrane or traverse the cytoplasm. Recently, a new in vivo cytoskeletal assay (cell optical displacement assay) was introduced to measure the tension within subdomains (cortical, transvacuolar, and perinuclear) of the actin network in living plant cells. Cell optical displacement assay measurements within soybean (Glycine max [L.]) root cells previously demonstrated that lipophilic signals, e.g. linoleic acid and arachidonic acid or changes in cytoplasmic pH gradients, could induce significant reductions in the tension within the actin network of transvacuolar strands. In contrast, enhancement of cytoplasmic free Ca2+ resulted in an increase in tension. In the present communication we have used these measurements to show that a similar antipodal pattern of activity exists for auxins and cytokinins (in their ability to modify the tension within the actin network of plant cells). It is suggested that these growth substances exert their effect on the cytoskeleton through the activation of signaling cascades, which result in the production of lipophilic and ionic second messengers, both of which have been demonstrated to directly effect the tension within the actin network of soybean root cells. PMID:12226233

  12. Actin-interacting protein 1 controls assembly and permeability of intestinal epithelial apical junctions

    PubMed Central

    Baranwal, Somesh

    2015-01-01

    Adherens junctions (AJs) and tight junctions (TJs) are crucial regulators of the integrity and restitution of the intestinal epithelial barrier. The structure and function of epithelial junctions depend on their association with the cortical actin cytoskeleton that, in polarized epithelial cells, is represented by a prominent perijunctional actomyosin belt. The assembly and stability of the perijunctional cytoskeleton is controlled by constant turnover (disassembly and reassembly) of actin filaments. Actin-interacting protein (Aip) 1 is an emerging regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, playing a critical role in filament disassembly. In this study, we examined the roles of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of AJs and TJs in human intestinal epithelium. Aip1 was enriched at apical junctions in polarized human intestinal epithelial cells and normal mouse colonic mucosa. Knockdown of Aip1 by RNA interference increased the paracellular permeability of epithelial cell monolayers, decreased recruitment of AJ/TJ proteins to steady-state intercellular contacts, and attenuated junctional reassembly in a calcium-switch model. The observed defects of AJ/TJ structure and functions were accompanied by abnormal organization and dynamics of the perijunctional F-actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, loss of Aip1 impaired the apico-basal polarity of intestinal epithelial cell monolayers and inhibited formation of polarized epithelial cysts in 3-D Matrigel. Our findings demonstrate a previously unanticipated role of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of intestinal epithelial junctions and early steps of epithelial morphogenesis. PMID:25792565

  13. Actin dynamics in mouse fibroblasts in microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moes, Maarten J. A.; Bijvelt, Jose J.; Boonstra, Johannes

    2007-09-01

    After stimulating with the growth factor PDGF, cells exhibit abundant membrane ruffling and other morphological changes under normal gravity conditions. These morphological changes are largely determined by the actin microfilament system. Now these actin dynamics were studied under microgravity conditions in mouse fibroblasts during the DELTA mission. The aim of the present study was to describe the actin morphology in detail, to establish the effect of PDGF on actin morphology and to study the role of several actin-interacting proteins involved in introduced actin dynamics in microgravity. Identical experiments were conducted at 1G on earth as a reference. No results in microgravity were obtained due to a combination of malfunctioning hardware and unfulfilled temperature requirements.

  14. Polymerization of actin by positively charged liposomes

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    By cosedimentation, spectrofluorimetry, and electron microscopy, we have established that actin is induced to polymerize at low salt concentrations by positively charged liposomes. This polymerization occurs only at the surface of the liposomes, and thus monomers not in direct contact with the liposome remain monomeric. The integrity of the liposome membrane is necessary to maintain actin in its polymerized state since disruption of the liposome depolymerizes actin. Actin polymerized at the surface of the liposome is organized into two filamentous structures: sheets of parallel filaments in register and a netlike organization. Spectrofluorimetric analysis with the probe N- pyrenyl-iodoacetamide shows that actin is in the F conformation, at least in the environment of the probe. However, actin assembly induced by the liposome is not accompanied by full ATP hydrolysis as observed in vitro upon addition of salts. PMID:3360852

  15. 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.

  16. Reactive composite compositions and mat barriers

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Modeling actin waves in dictyostelium cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasnik, Vaibhav; Mukhopadhyay, Ranjan

    2011-03-01

    Actin networks in living cells demonstrate a high capacity for self-organization and are responsible for the formation of a variety of structures such as lamellopodia, phagocytic cups, and cleavage furrows. Recent experiments have studied actin waves formed on the surface of dictyostelium cells that have been treated with a depolymerizing agent. These waves are believed to be physiologically important, for example, for the formation of phagocytic cups. We propose and study a minimal model, based on the dendritic nucleation of actin polymers, to explain the formation of these waves. This model can be extended to study the dynamics of the coupled actin-membrane system.

  20. GPCRs and actin-cytoskeleton dynamics.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Victorio, Genaro; González-Espinosa, Claudia; Espinosa-Riquer, Zyanya P; Macías-Silva, Marina

    2016-01-01

    A multitude of physiological processes regulated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) signaling are accomplished by the participation of active rearrangements of the cytoskeleton. In general, it is common that a cross talk occurs among networks of microfilaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments in order to reach specific cell responses. In particular, actin-cytoskeleton dynamics regulate processes such as cell shape, cell division, cell motility, and cell polarization, among others. This chapter describes the current knowledge about the regulation of actin-cytoskeleton dynamic by diverse GPCR signaling pathways, and also includes some protocols combining immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy for the visualization of the different rearrangements of the actin-cytoskeleton. We report how both the S1P-GPCR/G12/13/Rho/ROCK and glucagon-GPCR/Gs/cAMP axes induce differential actin-cytoskeleton rearrangements in epithelial cells. We also show that specific actin-binding molecules, like phalloidin and LifeAct, are very useful to analyze F-actin reorganization by confocal microscopy, and also that both molecules show similar results in fixed cells, whereas the anti-actin antibody is useful to detect both the G- and F-actin, as well as their compartmentalization. Thus, it is highly recommended to utilize different approaches to investigate the regulation of actin dynamics by GPCR signaling, with the aim to get a better picture of the phenomenon under study.

  1. 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

    2016-03-07

    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.

  2. Bioinformatics study of the mangrove actin genes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basyuni, M.; Wasilah, M.; Sumardi

    2017-01-01

    This study describes the bioinformatics methods to analyze eight actin genes from mangrove plants on DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank as well as predicted the structure, composition, subcellular localization, similarity, and phylogenetic. The physical and chemical properties of eight mangroves showed variation among the genes. The percentage of the secondary structure of eight mangrove actin genes followed the order of a helix > random coil > extended chain structure for BgActl, KcActl, RsActl, and A. corniculatum Act. In contrast to this observation, the remaining actin genes were random coil > extended chain structure > a helix. This study, therefore, shown the prediction of secondary structure was performed for necessary structural information. The values of chloroplast or signal peptide or mitochondrial target were too small, indicated that no chloroplast or mitochondrial transit peptide or signal peptide of secretion pathway in mangrove actin genes. These results suggested the importance of understanding the diversity and functional of properties of the different amino acids in mangrove actin genes. To clarify the relationship among the mangrove actin gene, a phylogenetic tree was constructed. Three groups of mangrove actin genes were formed, the first group contains B. gymnorrhiza BgAct and R. stylosa RsActl. The second cluster which consists of 5 actin genes the largest group, and the last branch consist of one gene, B. sexagula Act. The present study, therefore, supported the previous results that plant actin genes form distinct clusters in the tree.

  3. Photodynamic therapy for actinic keratoses.

    PubMed

    Kalisiak, Michal S; Rao, Jaggi

    2007-01-01

    Actinic keratoses (AKs) are one of the most common conditions that are treated by dermatologists and they have the potential to progress to squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has emerged as a novel and versatile method of treating those lesions. Topical preparations of aminolevulinic acid and methyl aminolevulinate are commercially available photosensitizers, and numerous light sources may be used for photoactivation. This article focuses on practical aspects of PDT in the treatment of AKs, outcomes of relevant clinical trials, and special applications of PDT in transplant recipients and other who are predisposed to AK formation. Step-by-step descriptions of PDT sessions are presented.

  4. 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.

  5. Actin-Regulator Feedback Interactions during Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. HazMatID (trademark) Replacement Project

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-05-09

    uses FTIR spectroscopy. It has the capability to identify chemical warfare agents, explosives , toxic industrial chemicals, narcotics, and...off-the-shelf, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy ( FTIR ) instruments 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT SAR 18...replacement for the Smiths Detection HazMatIDTM on the 886H allowance standard, a search of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy ( FTIR ) instruments was

  7. HiMAT on lakebed after landing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) subscale research vehicle, seen here after landing to conclude a research flight, was flown by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, from mid 1979 to January 1983. The aircraft demonstrated advanced fighter technologies that have been used in the development of many modern high performance military aircraft. Two vehicles were used in the research program conducted jointly by NASA and the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The two vehicles, flown a total of 26 times, provided data on the use of composites, aeroelastic tailoring, close-coupled canards and winglets. They investigated the interaction of these then-new technologies upon each other. About one-half the size of a standard manned fighter and powered by a small jet engine, the HiMAT vehicles were launched from NASA's B-52 carrier aircraft at an altitude of about 45,000 feet. They were flown remotely by a NASA research pilot from a ground station with the aid of a television camera mounted in the HiMAT cockpits. Technologies tested on the HiMAT vehicles appearing later on other aircraft include the extensive use of composites common now on military and commercial aircraft; rear-mounted wing and forward canard configuration used very successfully on the X-29 research aircraft flown at Dryden; and winglets, now used on many private and commercial aircraft to lessen wingtip drag and enhance fuel savings.

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

    DOEpatents

    Sederoff, Heike [Raleigh, NC; Huber, Steven C [Savoy, IL; Larabell, Carolyn A [Berkeley, CA

    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.

  9. Growing an actin gel on spherical surfaces.

    PubMed Central

    Noireaux, V; Golsteyn, R M; Friederich, E; Prost, J; Antony, C; Louvard, D; Sykes, C

    2000-01-01

    Inspired by the motility of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, we have experimentally studied the growth of an actin gel around spherical beads grafted with ActA, a protein known to be the promoter of bacteria movement. On ActA-grafted beads F-actin is formed in a spherical manner, whereas on the bacteria a "comet-like" tail of F-actin is produced. We show experimentally that the stationary thickness of the gel depends on the radius of the beads. Moreover, the actin gel is not formed if the ActA surface density is too low. To interpret our results, we propose a theoretical model to explain how the mechanical stress (due to spherical geometry) limits the growth of the actin gel. Our model also takes into account treadmilling of actin. We deduce from our work that the force exerted by the actin gel on the bacteria is of the order of 10 pN. Finally, we estimate from our theoretical model possible conditions for developing actin comet tails. PMID:10692348

  10. 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

  11. Evaluation of Degradation of Ceramic Fiber Mat by Acoustic Emission

    SciTech Connect

    Ito, Kaita; Enoki, Manabu; Takahashi, Hidetomo

    2005-04-09

    Alumina-silica fiber mat is widely used as thermal insulator because of its good stability under high temperature environment. However, this material degrades gradually during long-term use under pressure and elevated temperature. In this study, cyclic compression tests of the mat were conducted and monitored acoustic emission (AE) of the mat both at room temperature and elevated temperature. The degradation of mat was evaluated by AE parameters.

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

    DOEpatents

    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.

  13. Evaluation of Degradation of Ceramic Fiber Mat by Acoustic Emission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Kaita; Enoki, Manabu; Takahashi, Hidetomo

    2005-04-01

    Alumina-silica fiber mat is widely used as thermal insulator because of its good stability under high temperature environment. However, this material degrades gradually during long-term use under pressure and elevated temperature. In this study, cyclic compression tests of the mat were conducted and monitored acoustic emission (AE) of the mat both at room temperature and elevated temperature. The degradation of mat was evaluated by AE parameters.

  14. 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

  15. Morphological changes in liposomes caused by polymerization of encapsulated actin and spontaneous formation of actin bundles.

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, H; Hotani, H

    1992-01-01

    Spherical giant liposomes that had encapsulated skeletal-muscle G-actin were made by swelling a dried lipid mixture of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine/cardiolipin, 1:1 (wt/wt), in a solution of G-actin/CaCl2 at 0 degree C. Polymerization of the encapsulated G-actin into actin filaments was achieved by raising the temperature to 30 degrees C. We observed the subsequent shape changes of the liposomes by dark-field and differential interference-contrast light microscopy. After approximately 40 min, which was required for completion of actin polymerization, two shapes of liposome were evident: dumbbell and disk. Elongation of the dumbbell-shaped liposomes was concomitant with actin polymerization. Polarization microscopy showed that actin filaments formed thick bundles in the liposomes and that these filaments lay contiguous to the periphery of the liposome. Localization of actin filaments in the liposomes was confirmed by observation of rhodamine phalloidin-conjugated actin filaments by fluorescence microscopy. Both dumbbell- and disk-shaped liposomes were rigid and kept their shapes as far as actin filaments were stabilized. In contrast, liposomes containing bovine serum albumin were fragile, and their shapes continually fluctuated from Brownian motion, indicating that the actin bundles served as mechanical support for the liposome shapes. Images PMID:1454846

  16. F- and G-actin homeostasis regulates mechanosensitive actin nucleation by formins.

    PubMed

    Higashida, Chiharu; Kiuchi, Tai; Akiba, Yushi; Mizuno, Hiroaki; Maruoka, Masahiro; Narumiya, Shuh; Mizuno, Kensaku; Watanabe, Naoki

    2013-04-01

    Physical force evokes rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. Signalling pathways such as tyrosine kinases, stretch-activated Ca(2+) channels and Rho GTPases are involved in force sensing. However, how signals are transduced to actin assembly remains obscure. Here we show mechanosensitive actin polymerization by formins (formin homology proteins). Cells overexpressing mDia1 increased the amount of F-actin on release of cell tension. Fluorescence single-molecule speckle microscopy revealed rapid induction of processive actin assembly by mDia1 on cell cortex deformation. mDia1 lacking the Rho-binding domain and other formins exhibited mechanosensitive actin nucleation, suggesting Rho-independent activation. Mechanosensitive actin nucleation by mDia1 required neither Ca(2+) nor kinase signalling. Overexpressing LIM kinase abrogated the induction of processive mDia1. Furthermore, s-FDAPplus (sequential fluorescence decay after photoactivation) analysis revealed a rapid actin monomer increase on cell cortex deformation. Our direct visualization of the molecular behaviour reveals a mechanosensitive actin filament regeneration mechanism in which G-actin released by actin remodelling plays a pivotal role.

  17. Lifeact: a versatile marker to visualize F-actin.

    PubMed

    Riedl, Julia; Crevenna, Alvaro H; Kessenbrock, Kai; Yu, Jerry Haochen; Neukirchen, Dorothee; Bista, Michal; Bradke, Frank; Jenne, Dieter; Holak, Tad A; Werb, Zena; Sixt, Michael; Wedlich-Soldner, Roland

    2008-07-01

    Live imaging of the actin cytoskeleton is crucial for the study of many fundamental biological processes, but current approaches to visualize actin have several limitations. Here we describe Lifeact, a 17-amino-acid peptide, which stained filamentous actin (F-actin) structures in eukaryotic cells and tissues. Lifeact did not interfere with actin dynamics in vitro and in vivo and in its chemically modified peptide form allowed visualization of actin dynamics in nontransfectable cells.

  18. Synthetic mimetics of actin-binding macrolides: rational design of actin-targeted drugs.

    PubMed

    Perrins, Richard D; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Marriott, Gerard

    2008-03-01

    Actin polymerization and dynamics are involved in a wide range of cellular processes such as cell division and migration of tumor cells. At sites of cell lysis, such as those occurring during a stroke or inflammatory lung diseases, actin is released into the serum where it polymerizes, leading to problems with clot dissolution and sputum viscosity. Therefore, drugs that target these actin-mediated processes may provide one mechanism to treat these conditions. Marine-organism-derived macrolides, such as reidispongiolide A, can bind to, sever, and inhibit polymerization of actin. Our studies show that the function of these complex macrolides resides in their tail region, whereas the head group stabilizes the actin-drug complex. Synthetic compounds derived from this tail region could therefore be used as a mimetic of the natural product, providing a range of designer compounds to treat actin-associated diseases or as probes to study actin polymerization.

  19. F-actin aggregates in transformed cells

    PubMed Central

    1981-01-01

    Polymerized actin has been found aggregated into distinctive patches inside transformed cells in culture. The F-actin-specific fluorescent probe, nitrobenzoxadiazole-phallacidin, labels these F-actin aggregates near the ventral cell surface of cells transformed by RNA or DNA tumor viruses, or by chemical mutagens, or spontaneously. Their appearance in all eight transformed cell types studied suggests their ubiquity and involvement in transformation morphology. Actin patches developed in normal rat kidney (NRK) cells transformed by a temperature-sensitive mutant of Rous sarcoma virus (LA23-NRK) within 30 min after a shift from the nonpermissive (39 degrees C) to the permissive temperature (32 degrees C). Patch appearance paralleling viral src gene expression tends to implicate pp60src kinase activity in destabilizing the cytoskeleton. However, appearance of the actin aggregates in cells not transformed by retrovirus calls for alternative mechanisms, perhaps involving an endogenous kinase, for this apparently common trait. PMID:6270163

  20. 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.

  1. Signalling Pathways Controlling Cellular Actin Organization.

    PubMed

    Steffen, Anika; Stradal, Theresia E B; Rottner, Klemens

    2017-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is essential for morphogenesis and virtually all types of cell shape changes. Reorganization is per definition driven by continuous disassembly and re-assembly of actin filaments, controlled by major, ubiquitously operating machines. These are specifically employed by the cell to tune its activities in accordance with respective environmental conditions or to satisfy specific needs.Here we sketch some fundamental signalling pathways established to contribute to the reorganization of specific actin structures at the plasma membrane. Rho-family GTPases are at the core of these pathways, and dissection of their precise contributions to actin reorganization in different cell types and tissues will thus continue to improve our understanding of these important signalling nodes. Furthermore, we will draw your attention to the emerging theme of actin reorganization on intracellular membranes, its functional relation to Rho-GTPase signalling, and its relevance for the exciting phenomenon autophagy.

  2. Two pathways regulate cortical granule translocation to prevent polyspermy in mouse oocytes.

    PubMed

    Cheeseman, Liam P; Boulanger, Jérôme; Bond, Lisa M; Schuh, Melina

    2016-12-19

    An egg must be fertilized by a single sperm only. To prevent polyspermy, the zona pellucida, a structure that surrounds mammalian eggs, becomes impermeable upon fertilization, preventing the entry of further sperm. The structural changes in the zona upon fertilization are driven by the exocytosis of cortical granules. These translocate from the oocyte's centre to the plasma membrane during meiosis. However, very little is known about the mechanism of cortical granule translocation. Here we investigate cortical granule transport and dynamics in live mammalian oocytes by using Rab27a as a marker. We show that two separate mechanisms drive their transport: myosin Va-dependent movement along actin filaments, and an unexpected vesicle hitchhiking mechanism by which cortical granules bind to Rab11a vesicles powered by myosin Vb. Inhibiting cortical granule translocation severely impaired the block to sperm entry, suggesting that translocation defects could contribute to miscarriages that are caused by polyspermy.

  3. Two pathways regulate cortical granule translocation to prevent polyspermy in mouse oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Cheeseman, Liam P.; Boulanger, Jérôme; Bond, Lisa M.; Schuh, Melina

    2016-01-01

    An egg must be fertilized by a single sperm only. To prevent polyspermy, the zona pellucida, a structure that surrounds mammalian eggs, becomes impermeable upon fertilization, preventing the entry of further sperm. The structural changes in the zona upon fertilization are driven by the exocytosis of cortical granules. These translocate from the oocyte's centre to the plasma membrane during meiosis. However, very little is known about the mechanism of cortical granule translocation. Here we investigate cortical granule transport and dynamics in live mammalian oocytes by using Rab27a as a marker. We show that two separate mechanisms drive their transport: myosin Va-dependent movement along actin filaments, and an unexpected vesicle hitchhiking mechanism by which cortical granules bind to Rab11a vesicles powered by myosin Vb. Inhibiting cortical granule translocation severely impaired the block to sperm entry, suggesting that translocation defects could contribute to miscarriages that are caused by polyspermy. PMID:27991490

  4. Evolution of cortical neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Mannan, Omar; Cheung, Amanda F P; Molnár, Zoltán

    2008-03-18

    The neurons of the mammalian neocortex are organised into six layers. By contrast, the reptilian and avian dorsal cortices only have three layers which are thought to be equivalent to layers I, V and VI of mammals. Increased repertoire of mammalian higher cognitive functions is likely a result of an expanded cortical surface area. The majority of cortical cell proliferation in mammals occurs in the ventricular zone (VZ) and subventricular zone (SVZ), with a small number of scattered divisions outside the germinal zone. Comparative developmental studies suggest that the appearance of SVZ coincides with the laminar expansion of the cortex to six layers, as well as the tangential expansion of the cortical sheet seen within mammals. In spite of great variation and further compartmentalisation in the mitotic compartments, the number of neurons in an arbitrary cortical column appears to be remarkably constant within mammals. The current challenge is to understand how the emergence and elaboration of the SVZ has contributed to increased cortical cell diversity, tangential expansion and gyrus formation of the mammalian neocortex. This review discusses neurogenic processes that are believed to underlie these major changes in cortical dimensions in vertebrates.

  5. Actin dynamics shape microglia effector functions.

    PubMed

    Uhlemann, Ria; Gertz, Karen; Boehmerle, Wolfgang; Schwarz, Tobias; Nolte, Christiane; Freyer, Dorette; Kettenmann, Helmut; Endres, Matthias; Kronenberg, Golo

    2016-06-01

    Impaired actin filament dynamics have been associated with cellular senescence. Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, are emerging as a central pathophysiological player in neurodegeneration. Microglia activation, which ranges on a continuum between classical and alternative, may be of critical importance to brain disease. Using genetic and pharmacological manipulations, we studied the effects of alterations in actin dynamics on microglia effector functions. Disruption of actin dynamics did not affect transcription of genes involved in the LPS-triggered classical inflammatory response. By contrast, in consequence of impaired nuclear translocation of phospho-STAT6, genes involved in IL-4 induced alternative activation were strongly downregulated. Functionally, impaired actin dynamics resulted in reduced NO secretion and reduced release of TNFalpha and IL-6 from LPS-stimulated microglia and of IGF-1 from IL-4 stimulated microglia. However, pathological stabilization of the actin cytoskeleton increased LPS-induced release of IL-1beta and IL-18, which belong to an unconventional secretory pathway. Reduced NO release was associated with decreased cytoplasmic iNOS protein expression and decreased intracellular arginine uptake. Furthermore, disruption of actin dynamics resulted in reduced microglia migration, proliferation and phagocytosis. Finally, baseline and ATP-induced [Ca(2+)]int levels were significantly increased in microglia lacking gelsolin, a key actin-severing protein. Together, the dynamic state of the actin cytoskeleton profoundly and distinctly affects microglia behaviours. Disruption of actin dynamics attenuates M2 polarization by inhibiting transcription of alternative activation genes. In classical activation, the role of actin remodelling is complex, does not relate to gene transcription and shows a major divergence between cytokines following conventional and unconventional secretion.

  6. Arf1 and Arf6 Promote Ventral Actin Structures formed by acute Activation of Protein Kinase C and Src

    PubMed Central

    Caviston, Juliane P.; Cohen, Lee Ann; Donaldson, Julie G.

    2016-01-01

    Arf proteins regulate membrane traffic and organelle structure. Although Arf6 is known to initiate actin-based changes in cell surface architecture, Arf1 may also function at the plasma membrane. Here we show that acute activation of protein kinase C (PKC) induced by the phorbol ester PMA led to the formation of motile actin structures on the ventral surface of Beas-2b cells, a lung bronchial epithelial cell line. Ventral actin structures also formed in PMA-treated HeLa cells that had elevated levels of Arf activation. For both cell types, formation of the ventral actin structures was enhanced by expression of active forms of either Arf1 or Arf6, and by the expression of guanine nucleotide exchange factors that activate these Arfs. By contrast, formation of these structures was blocked by inhibitors of PKC and Src, and required phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-bisphosphate, Rac, Arf6 and Arf1. Furthermore, expression of ASAP1, an Arf1 GTPase activating protein (GAP) was more effective at inhibiting the ventral actin structures than was ACAP1, an Arf6 GAP. This study adds to the expanding role for Arf1 in the periphery and identifies a requirement for Arf1, a “Golgi Arf”, in the reorganization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton on ventral surfaces, against the substratum. PMID:24916416

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Distribution of actin in spreading macrophages: a comparative study on living and fixed cells

    PubMed Central

    Amato, PA; Unanue, ER; Taylor, DL

    1983-01-01

    The distribution of actin in proteose peptone-elicited murine peritoneal macrophages is examined with fluorescent analog cytochemistry (FAC), immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy (EM). Living adherent macrophages, microinjected with 5- iodoacetamidofluorescence-labeled actin, show a rather uniform distribution of actin with punctuate and linear fluorescence in the thin peripheral areas of the cell. Apparent incorporation of a portion of linear fluorescence in the thin peripheral areas of the cell. Apparent incorporation of a portion of the microinjected actin into the cell’s actin cytoskeleton is also demonstrated when microinjected cells are subsequently examined for fluorescein fluorescence after fixation and extraction. However, a substantial perinuclear pool of actin, observed with FAC, is lost when microinjected cells are prepared for immunofluorescence using standard fixation methods. These results suggest that part of the cellular actin, possibly nonfilamentous or oligomeric, can be extracted during the normal preparative steps for immunofluorescence. When the dynamic distributin of actin structures is examined in living cells, extension of the cell’s periphery is associated with the formation of punctuate structures. The distribution of the most stable, nonextractable actin structures in fixed cells at different stages of spreading is quantified using rhodamine-labeled phalloidin and antiactin indirect immunofluorescence. At early stages, the rounded cells show cortical bands of fluorescence surrounding the nuclear region with punctuate structures directly above the plane of the attached plasma membrane. At later time periods, fully spread cells contain both punctuate and linear fluorescent structures. Adherent macrophage membranes, a preparation in which the attached membrane and membrane-cortex are isolated by shearing away the unattached plasma membrane and underlying cytoplasm, show punctuate and linear fluorescence when stained with

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Actin from pig and rat uterus.

    PubMed Central

    Elce, J S; Elbrecht, A S; Middlestadt, M U; McIntyre, E J; Anderson, P J

    1981-01-01

    Smooth-muscle actin was isolated from pig uterus and from pregnant-rat uterus. Methods involving acetone-dried powders were unsuccessful, and a column-chromatographic procedure was developed, with proteinase inhibitors and avoiding polymerization as a purification step. The yield of pure actin was 0.8--1.5 mg/g wet wt. of uterus, which should be compared with an expected yield of actin from skeletal muscle of 2--4 mg/g wet wt. The actin was pure as judged by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, and exhibited alpha-, beta-, and gamma-forms on isoelectric focusing. It possessed a blocked N-terminal amino acid residue, and its amino acid analysis conformed to those of other actins. The rat uterine actin was available only in small amounts (5--10 mg) and did not polymerize. The pig uterine actin could be obtained in amounts up to 30 mg, polymerized reversibly, and activated a skeletal myosin Mg2+-dependent ATPase. Images Fig. 2. Fig. 4. PMID:6458278

  17. Reversible stress softening of actin networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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 changes1–3. 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 extension4–8. 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. PMID:17230186

  18. Erbium laser resurfacing for actinic cheilitis.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Joel L

    2013-11-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition characterized by grayish-whitish area(s) of discoloration on the mucosal lip, often blunting the demarcation between mucosa and cutaneous lip. Actinic cheilitis is considered to be an early part of the spectrum of squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma specifically of the lip has a high rate of recurrence and metastasis through the oral cavity leading to a poor overall survival. Risk factors for the development of actinic cheilitis include chronic solar irradiation, increasing age, male gender, light skin complexion, immunosuppression, and possibly tobacco and alcohol consumption. Treatment options include topical pharmacotherapy (eg, fluorouracil, imiquimod) or procedural interventions (eg, cryotherapy, electrosurgery, surgical vermillionectomy, laser resurfacing), each with their known advantages and disadvantages. There is little consensus as to which treatment options offer the most clinical utility given the paucity of comparative clinical data. In my practice, laser resurfacing has become an important tool for the treatment of actinic cheilitis owing to its ease of use and overall safety, tolerability, and cosmetic acceptability. Herein the use of erbium laser resurfacing is described for three actinic cheilitis presentations for which I find it particularly useful: clinically prominent actinic cheilitis, biopsy-proven actinic cheilitis, and treatment of the entire lip following complete tumor excision of squamous cell carcinoma. All patients were treated with a 2940-nm erbium laser (Sciton Profile Contour Tunable Resurfacing Laser [TRL], Sciton, Inc., Palo Alto, CA).

  19. Actin dynamics: old friends with new stories.

    PubMed

    Staiger, Christopher J; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2006-12-01

    Actin dynamics, or the rapid turnover of actin filaments, play a central role in numerous cellular processes. A large and diverse cast of characters, accessory proteins known as actin-binding proteins, modulate actin dynamics. They do this by binding to the monomer pool, interacting with the side and ends of filaments, creating breaks along a filament, and generating new filaments de novo. Recent biochemical and single-filament imaging analyses of several conserved classes of plant actin-binding proteins reveal unusual and unexpected properties. Examples that are highlighted in this review include: an abundant monomer-binding protein that catalyzes nucleotide exchange; a barbed-end capping protein that is dissociated from filament ends by the signaling lipid, phosphatidic acid; a villin-like bundling protein that lacks all Ca(2+)-regulated activities; and a formin family member that is non-processive and is sufficient to generate actin filament bundles. These and other stories motivate a careful description of the properties of plant proteins in vitro as a prelude to greater insight into the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the regulation of actin dynamics in vivo.

  20. A Theoretical Study of Landing Mat Behavior

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1969-07-01

    the end joint expcrience6 progressive eeteriora- tion uc ’-o - con:r ;itaticn oL mat breaks ( rivet filure, cracking, an. curling) [l21. The weakened...Establishment, Suffield s-69-4 Oct 1969 Dutch Friction -Cone Penetrometer Exploration of Research Area at Field 5, Eglin APB, Florida *S-69-5 Apr 1969 Cracking...Tests. 66 12. Comparison of Performance for Single- Wheel Tests . . . . . . . . .. . 67 13. End Joint Moment Transfer Deficiency Based Upon Uniform

  1. Postpartum cortical blindness.

    PubMed

    Faiz, Shakeel Ahmed

    2008-09-01

    A 30-years-old third gravida with previous normal pregnancies and an unremarkable prenatal course had an emergency lower segment caesarean section at a periphery hospital for failure of labour to progress. She developed bilateral cortical blindness immediately after recovery from anesthesia due to cerebral angiopathy shown by CT and MR scan as cortical infarct cerebral angiopathy, which is a rare complication of a normal pregnancy.

  2. Pharmacological characterization of actin-binding (-)-doliculide.

    PubMed

    Foerster, Florian; Braig, Simone; Chen, Tao; Altmann, Karl-Heinz; Vollmar, Angelika M

    2014-09-15

    Natural compounds offer a broad spectrum of potential drug candidates against human malignancies. Several cytostatic drugs, which are in clinical use for decades, derive directly from natural sources or are synthetically optimized derivatives of natural lead structures. An eukaryote target molecule to which many natural derived anti-cancer drugs bind to is the microtubule network. Of similar importance for the cell is the actin cytoskeleton, responsible for cell movements, migration of cells and cytokinesis. Nature provides also a broad range of compounds directed against actin as intracellular target, but none of these actin-targeting compounds has ever been brought to clinical trials. One reason why actin-binding compounds have not yet been considered for further clinical investigations is that little is known about their pharmacological properties in cancer cells. Herein, we focused on the closer characterization of doliculide, an actin binding natural compound of marine origin in the breast cancer cell lines MCF7 and MDA-MB-231. We used fluorescence-recovery-after-photobleaching (FRAP) analysis to determine doliculide's early effects on the actin cytoskeleton and rhodamin-phalloidin staining for long-term effects on the actin CSK. After validating the disruption of the actin network, we further investigated the functional effects of doliculide. Doliculide treatment leads to inhibition of proliferation and impairs the migratory potential. Finally, we could also show that doliculide leads to the induction of apoptosis in both cell lines. Our data for the first time provide a closer characterization of doliculide in breast cancer cells and propagate doliculide for further investigations as lead structure and potential therapeutic option as actin-targeting compound.

  3. Thymosin beta4: actin regulation and more.

    PubMed

    Yarmola, Elena G; Klimenko, Evguenia S; Fujita, Go; Bubb, Michael R

    2007-09-01

    The intracellular function of thymosin beta(4) is not limited to simple sequestration of globular actin. Our recent studies revealed that thymosin beta(4) affects actin critical concentration and forms a ternary complex with actin and profilin. The consequences of this complex formation can be very significant. Our new data demonstrate that it is likely that profilin affects binding of thymosin beta(4) to actin in the ternary complex through allosteric changes in actin rather than through competition for the binding site. The N- and C-terminal thymosin beta(4) helices are known to be unstructured in aqueous solution and to adopt helical conformation in organic solvents or upon binding to actin. Osmolytes stabilize protein structure, and TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) specifically stabilizes hydrogen bonds. This increases affinity of intact thymosin beta(4) to actin significantly, but the increase is much less for thymosin beta(4) sulfoxide. Our data show that oxidation does not alter binding of profilin to form a ternary complex, and therefore it is very likely that there is no direct steric interference by methionine 6 of thymosin beta(4). Rather, since TMAO has little effect on thymosin beta(4) sulfoxide, this observation is consistent with the hypothesis that methionine oxidation prevents helix transition. The experiment with truncated versions of thymosin beta(4) also supports this hypothesis. Oxidation and formation of the helices are important for both intra- and extracellular properties of thymosin beta(4). We found that actin and, in lesser extent, profilin-actin complex protect thymosin beta(4) from oxidation.

  4. Actin as a potential target for decavanadate.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Susana; Moura, José J G; Aureliano, Manuel

    2010-12-01

    ATP prevents G-actin cysteine oxidation and vanadyl formation specifically induced by decavanadate, suggesting that the oxometalate-protein interaction is affected by the nucleotide. The ATP exchange rate is increased by 2-fold due to the presence of decavanadate when compared with control actin (3.1×10(-3) s(-1)), and an apparent dissociation constant (k(dapp)) of 227.4±25.7 μM and 112.3±8.7 μM was obtained in absence or presence of 20 μM V(10), respectively. Moreover, concentrations as low as 50 μM of decameric vanadate species (V(10)) increases the relative G-actin intrinsic fluorescence intensity by approximately 80% whereas for a 10-fold concentration of monomeric vanadate (V(1)) no effects were observed. Upon decavanadate titration, it was observed a linear increase in G-actin hydrophobic surface (2.6-fold), while no changes were detected for V(1) (0-200 μM). Taken together, three major ideas arise: i) ATP prevents decavanadate-induced G-actin cysteine oxidation and vanadate reduction; ii) decavanadate promotes actin conformational changes resulting on its inactivation, iii) decavanadate has an effect on actin ATP binding site. Once it is demonstrated that actin is a new potential target for decavanadate, being the ATP binding site a suitable site for decavanadate binding, it is proposed that some of the biological effects of vanadate can be, at least in part, explained by decavanadate interactions with actin.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Actin-based propulsion of a microswimmer.

    PubMed

    Leshansky, A M

    2006-07-01

    A simple hydrodynamic model of actin-based propulsion of microparticles in dilute cell-free cytoplasmic extracts is presented. Under the basic assumption that actin polymerization at the particle surface acts as a force dipole, pushing apart the load and the free (nonanchored) actin tail, the propulsive velocity of the microparticle is determined as a function of the tail length, porosity, and particle shape. The anticipated velocities of the cargo displacement and the rearward motion of the tail are in good agreement with recently reported results of biomimetic experiments. A more detailed analysis of the particle-tail hydrodynamic interaction is presented and compared to the prediction of the simplified model.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lila, T; Drubin, D G

    1997-02-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Role and organization of the actin cytoskeleton during cell-cell fusion.

    PubMed

    Martin, Sophie G

    2016-12-01

    Cell-cell fusion is a ubiquitous process that underlies fertilization and development of eukaryotes. This process requires fusogenic machineries to promote plasma membrane merging, and also relies on the organization of dedicated sub-cortical cytoskeletal assemblies. This review describes the role of actin structures, so called actin fusion foci, essential for the fusion of two distinct cell types: Drosophila myoblast cells, which fuse to form myotubes, and sexually differentiated cells of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which fuse to form a zygote. I describe the respective composition and organization of the two structures, discuss their proposed role in promoting plasma membrane apposition, and consider the universality of similar structures for cell-cell fusion.

  13. Regulation of actin polymerization by tropomodulin-3 controls megakaryocyte actin organization and platelet biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sui, Zhenhua; Nowak, Roberta B; Sanada, Chad; Halene, Stephanie; Krause, Diane S; Fowler, Velia M

    2015-07-23

    The actin cytoskeleton is important for platelet biogenesis. Tropomodulin-3 (Tmod3), the only Tmod isoform detected in platelets and megakaryocytes (MKs), caps actin filament (F-actin) pointed ends and binds tropomyosins (TMs), regulating actin polymerization and stability. To determine the function of Tmod3 in platelet biogenesis, we studied Tmod3(-/-) embryos, which are embryonic lethal by E18.5. Tmod3(-/-) embryos often show hemorrhaging at E14.5 with fewer and larger platelets, indicating impaired platelet biogenesis. MK numbers are moderately increased in Tmod3(-/-) fetal livers, with only a slight increase in the 8N population, suggesting that MK differentiation is not significantly affected. However, Tmod3(-/-) MKs fail to develop a normal demarcation membrane system (DMS), and cytoplasmic organelle distribution is abnormal. Moreover, cultured Tmod3(-/-) MKs exhibit impaired proplatelet formation with a wide range of proplatelet bud sizes, including abnormally large proplatelet buds containing incorrect numbers of von Willebrand factor-positive granules. Tmod3(-/-) MKs exhibit F-actin disturbances, and Tmod3(-/-) MKs spreading on collagen fail to polymerize F-actin into actomyosin contractile bundles. Tmod3 associates with TM4 and the F-actin cytoskeleton in wild-type MKs, and confocal microscopy reveals that Tmod3, TM4, and F-actin partially colocalize near the membrane of proplatelet buds. In contrast, the abnormally large proplatelets from Tmod3(-/-) MKs show increased F-actin and redistribution of F-actin and TM4 from the cortex to the cytoplasm, but normal microtubule coil organization. We conclude that F-actin capping by Tmod3 regulates F-actin organization in mouse fetal liver-derived MKs, thereby controlling MK cytoplasmic morphogenesis, including DMS formation and organelle distribution, as well as proplatelet formation and sizing.

  14. 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

  15. F-actin staining of Drosophila testes.

    PubMed

    Bonaccorsi, Silvia; Giansanti, Maria G; Cenci, Giovanni; Gatti, Maurizio

    2012-01-01

    Preparations of Drosophila testes fixed with paraformaldehyde can be stained for F-actin according to the protocol described here. This staining procedure is particularly suitable for staining the male fusome and the cytokinetic contractile ring.

  16. [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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Cross-linking study on skeletal muscle actin: properties of suberimidate-treated actin.

    PubMed

    Ohara, O; Takahashi, S; Ooi, T; Fujiyoshi, Y

    1982-06-01

    Cross-linking experiments were performed on muscle skeletal actin, using imidoesters of various chain lengths. Chemical analyses on all products except one (derived from succinimidate) show evidence of the presence of intramolecular cross-links in the molecule. The detailed properties of suberimidate-treated actin (SA) are as follows: SA contains nearly 1 mol of intramolecular cross-link per mol of actin and less than 15% of intermolecularly cross-linked products. Even at a low salt concentration, SA is polymeric, exchanges slowly its bound nucleotide with free nucleotides in solution, and shows an F-actin-type CD spectrum. Electron micrographs of SA reveal that SA exists actually as fibrous polymers in solutions of low ionic strength, although the fibers seem to be less rigid than those at high salt concentration. The F-form of SA at a high salt concentration is indistinguishable from intact F-actin. SA can bind heavy meromyosin and activate the ATPase of heavy meromyosin as observed for intact F-actin. Tropomyosin binds SA only at a high salt concentration. These results show that SA possesses the properties of F-actin even in media of low salt concentration, which are favorable for depolymerization of F-actin. Thus, we may infer that the conformation of SA is frozen in the F-state of actin by the introduction of intramolecular cross-links in the protein.

  20. Neurite outgrowth is driven by actin polymerization even in the presence of actin polymerization inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Chia, Jonathan X.; Efimova, Nadia; Svitkina, Tatyana M.

    2016-01-01

    Actin polymerization is a universal mechanism to drive plasma membrane protrusion in motile cells. One apparent exception to this rule is continuing or even accelerated outgrowth of neuronal processes in the presence of actin polymerization inhibitors. This fact, together with the key role of microtubule dynamics in neurite outgrowth, led to the concept that microtubules directly drive plasma membrane protrusion either in the course of polymerization or by motor-driven sliding. The possibility that unextinguished actin polymerization drives neurite outgrowth in the presence of actin drugs was not explored. We show that cultured hippocampal neurons treated with cytochalasin D or latrunculin B contained dense accumulations of branched actin filaments at ∼50% of neurite tips at all tested drug concentrations (1–10 μM). Actin polymerization is required for neurite outgrowth because only low concentrations of either inhibitor increased the length and/or number of neurites, whereas high concentrations inhibited neurite outgrowth. Of importance, neurites undergoing active elongation invariably contained a bright F-actin patch at the tip, whereas actin-depleted neurites never elongated, even though they still contained dynamic microtubules. Stabilization of microtubules by Taxol treatment did not stop elongation of cytochalasin–treated neurites. We conclude that actin polymerization is indispensable for neurite elongation. PMID:27682586

  1. Cardiac actin is the major actin gene product in skeletal muscle cell differentiation in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Bains, W; Ponte, P; Blau, H; Kedes, L

    1984-01-01

    We examined the expression of alpha-skeletal, alpha-cardiac, and beta- and gamma-cytoskeletal actin genes in a mouse skeletal muscle cell line (C2C12) during differentiation in vitro. Using isotype-specific cDNA probes, we showed that the alpha-skeletal actin mRNA pool reached only 15% of the level reached in adult skeletal muscle and required several days to attain this peak, which was then stably maintained. However, these cells accumulated a pool of alpha-cardiac actin six times higher than the alpha-skeletal actin mRNA peak within 24 h of the initiation of differentiation. After cells had been cultured for an additional 3 days, this pool declined to 10% of its peak level. In contrast, over 95% of the actin mRNA in adult skeletal muscle coded for alpha-actin. This suggests that C2C12 cells express a pattern of sarcomeric actin genes typical of either muscle development or regeneration and distinct from that seen in mature, adult tissue. Concurrently in the course of differentiation the beta- and gamma-cytoskeletal actin mRNA pools decreased to less than 10% of their levels in proliferating cells. The decreases in beta- and gamma-cytoskeletal actin mRNAs are apparently not coordinately regulated. Images PMID:6493226

  2. Actin-binding proteins take the reins in growth cones.

    PubMed

    Pak, Chi W; Flynn, Kevin C; Bamburg, James R

    2008-02-01

    Higher-order actin-based networks (actin superstructures) are important for growth-cone motility and guidance. Principles for generating, organizing and remodelling actin superstructures have emerged from recent findings in cell-free systems, non-neuronal cells and growth cones. This Review examines how actin superstructures are initiated de novo at the leading-edge membrane and how the spontaneous organization of actin superstructures is driven by ensembles of actin-binding proteins. How the regulation of actin-binding proteins can affect growth-cone turning and axonal regeneration is also discussed.

  3. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements of actin-phalloidin interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helms, Michael K.; French, Todd E.

    2000-03-01

    Compounds that interact with the cytoskeleton affect mobility and division, making them useful for treatment of certain types of cancer. Actin binding drugs such as the phallotoxins (small, bicyclic peptides) bind to and stabilize actin polymers (F-actin) without binding to actin monomers (G-actin). It has been shown that the intensity of fluorescently labeled phallotoxins such as fluorescein- phalloidin and rhodamine-phalloidin increases upon bind F- actin. We used LJL BioSystems' new FLAReTM technology to measure excited state lifetime changes of fluorescein- phalloidin and rhodamine-phalloidin upon binding to F- actin.

  4. 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.

  5. Actin filament curvature biases branching direction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Evan; Risca, Viviana; Chaudhuri, Ovijit; Chia, Jia-Jun; Geissler, Phillip; Fletcher, Daniel

    2012-02-01

    Actin filaments are key components of the cellular machinery, vital for a wide range of processes ranging from cell motility to endocytosis. Actin filaments can branch, and essential in this process is a protein complex known as the Arp2/3 complex, which nucleate new ``daughter'' filaments from pre-existing ``mother'' filaments by attaching itself to the mother filament. Though much progress has been made in understanding the Arp2/3-actin junction, some very interesting questions remain. In particular, F-actin is a dynamic polymer that undergoes a wide range of fluctuations. Prior studies of the Arp2/3-actin junction provides a very static notion of Arp2/3 binding. The question we ask is how differently does the Arp2/3 complex interact with a straight filament compared to a bent filament? In this study, we used Monte Carlo simulations of a surface-tethered worm-like chain to explore possible mechanisms underlying the experimental observation that there exists preferential branch formation by the Arp2/3 complex on the convex face of a curved filament. We show that a fluctuation gating model in which Arp2/3 binding to the actin filament is dependent upon a rare high-local-curvature shape fluctuation of the filament is consistent with the experimental data.

  6. Myxoma virus oncolytic efficiency can be enhanced through chemical or genetic disruption of the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Chad R; Favis, Nicole A; Agopsowicz, Kate C; Hitt, Mary M; Evans, David H

    2013-01-01

    Myxoma virus (MYXV) is one of many animal viruses that exhibit oncolytic properties in transformed human cells. Compared to orthopoxviruses like vaccinia (VACV), MYXV spreads inefficiently, which could compromise its use in treating tumors and their associated metastases. The VACV F11 protein promotes virus exit and rapid spread by inhibiting Rho signalling, which results in a disruption of cortical actin. We have previously shown that although MYXV lacks an F11 homolog, the F11L gene can be introduced into MYXV promoting the spread of this Leporipoxvirus in natural host cells. Here we show that the F11-encoding (F11L(+)) MYXV strain replicates to higher levels in a number of human cancer cells. We also show that F11L(+) MYXV induces better tumor control and prolonged survival of mice bearing MDA-MB-231 cancer cells. Furthermore, we show that this virus also spreads more efficiently from the site of growth in one injected tumor, to a second untreated tumor. While we focused mostly on the use of a modified MYXV we were able to show that the effects of F11 on MYXV growth in cancer cells could be mimicked through the use of pharmacological inhibition or siRNA-mediated silencing of key regulators of cortical actin (RhoA, RhoC, mDia1, or LIMK2). These data suggest that it may be possible to increase the oncolytic efficacy of wild-type MYXV using chemical inhibitors of RhoA/C or their downstream targets. Furthermore, since all viruses must overcome barriers to exit posed by structures like cortical actin, these findings suggest that the oncolytic activity of other viruses may be enhanced through similar strategies.

  7. Myxoma Virus Oncolytic Efficiency Can Be Enhanced Through Chemical or Genetic Disruption of the Actin Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Irwin, Chad R.; Favis, Nicole A.; Agopsowicz, Kate C.; Hitt, Mary M.; Evans, David H.

    2013-01-01

    Myxoma virus (MYXV) is one of many animal viruses that exhibit oncolytic properties in transformed human cells. Compared to orthopoxviruses like vaccinia (VACV), MYXV spreads inefficiently, which could compromise its use in treating tumors and their associated metastases. The VACV F11 protein promotes virus exit and rapid spread by inhibiting Rho signalling, which results in a disruption of cortical actin. We have previously shown that although MYXV lacks an F11 homolog, the F11L gene can be introduced into MYXV promoting the spread of this Leporipoxvirus in natural host cells. Here we show that the F11-encoding (F11L+) MYXV strain replicates to higher levels in a number of human cancer cells. We also show that F11L+ MYXV induces better tumor control and prolonged survival of mice bearing MDA-MB-231 cancer cells. Furthermore, we show that this virus also spreads more efficiently from the site of growth in one injected tumor, to a second untreated tumor. While we focused mostly on the use of a modified MYXV we were able to show that the effects of F11 on MYXV growth in cancer cells could be mimicked through the use of pharmacological inhibition or siRNA-mediated silencing of key regulators of cortical actin (RhoA, RhoC, mDia1, or LIMK2). These data suggest that it may be possible to increase the oncolytic efficacy of wild-type MYXV using chemical inhibitors of RhoA/C or their downstream targets. Furthermore, since all viruses must overcome barriers to exit posed by structures like cortical actin, these findings suggest that the oncolytic activity of other viruses may be enhanced through similar strategies. PMID:24391902

  8. In Vitro Biochemical Characterization of Cytokinesis Actin-Binding Proteins.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Dennis; Morganthaler, Alisha N; Kovar, David R; Suarez, Cristian

    2016-01-01

    Characterizing the biochemical and biophysical properties of purified proteins is critical to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms that facilitate complicated cellular processes such as cytokinesis. Here we outline in vitro assays to investigate the effects of cytokinesis actin-binding proteins on actin filament dynamics and organization. We describe (1) multicolor single-molecule TIRF microscopy actin assembly assays, (2) "bulk" pyrene actin assembly/disassembly assays, and (3) "bulk" sedimentation actin filament binding and bundling assays.

  9. MAP18 Regulates the Direction of Pollen Tube Growth in Arabidopsis by Modulating F-Actin Organization[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Lei; Zhang, Yan; Kang, Erfang; Xu, Qiangyi; Wang, Miaoying; Rui, Yue; Liu, Baoquan; Yuan, Ming; Fu, Ying

    2013-01-01

    For fertilization to occur in plants, the pollen tube must be guided to enter the ovule via the micropyle. Previous reports have implicated actin filaments, actin binding proteins, and the tip-focused calcium gradient as key contributors to polar growth of pollen tubes; however, the regulation of directional pollen tube growth is largely unknown. We reported previously that Arabidopsis thaliana MICROTUBULE-ASSOCIATED PROTEIN18 (MAP18) contributes to directional cell growth and cortical microtubule organization. The preferential expression of MAP18 in pollen and in pollen tubes suggests that MAP18 also may function in pollen tube growth. In this study, we demonstrate that MAP18 functions in pollen tubes by influencing actin organization, rather than microtubule assembly. In vitro biochemical results indicate that MAP18 exhibits Ca2+-dependent filamentous (F)-actin-severing activity. Abnormal expression of MAP18 in map18 and MAP18 OX plants was associated with disorganization of the actin cytoskeleton in the tube apex, resulting in aberrant pollen tube growth patterns and morphologies, inaccurate micropyle targeting, and fewer fertilization events. Experiments with MAP18 mutants created by site-directed mutagenesis suggest that F-actin-severing activity is essential to the effects of MAP18 on pollen tube growth direction. Our study demonstrates that in Arabidopsis, MAP18 guides the direction of pollen tube growth by modulating actin filaments. PMID:23463774

  10. 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

    2016-04-07

    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.

  11. Structure of a Longitudinal Actin Dimer Assembled by Tandem W Domains: Implications for Actin Filament Nucleation

    SciTech Connect

    Rebowski, Grzegorz; Namgoong, Suk; Boczkowska, Malgorzata; Leavis, Paul C.; Navaza, Jorge; Dominguez, Roberto

    2013-11-20

    Actin filament nucleators initiate polymerization in cells in a regulated manner. A common architecture among these molecules consists of tandem WASP homology 2 domains (W domains) that recruit three to four actin subunits to form a polymerization nucleus. We describe a low-resolution crystal structure of an actin dimer assembled by tandem W domains, where the first W domain is cross-linked to Cys374 of the actin subunit bound to it, whereas the last W domain is followed by the C-terminal pointed end-capping helix of thymosin {beta}4. While the arrangement of actin subunits in the dimer resembles that of a long-pitch helix of the actin filament, important differences are observed. These differences result from steric hindrance of the W domain with intersubunit contacts in the actin filament. We also determined the structure of the first W domain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus VopL cross-linked to actin Cys374 and show it to be nearly identical with non-cross-linked W-Actin structures. This result validates the use of cross-linking as a tool for the study of actin nucleation complexes, whose natural tendency to polymerize interferes with most structural methods. Combined with a biochemical analysis of nucleation, the structures may explain why nucleators based on tandem W domains with short inter-W linkers have relatively weak activity, cannot stay bound to filaments after nucleation, and are unlikely to influence filament elongation. The findings may also explain why nucleation-promoting factors of the Arp2/3 complex, which are related to tandem-W-domain nucleators, are ejected from branch junctions after nucleation. We finally show that the simple addition of the C-terminal pointed end-capping helix of thymosin {beta}4 to tandem W domains can change their activity from actin filament nucleation to monomer sequestration.

  12. Structure of a longitudinal actin dimer assembled by tandem w domains: implications for actin filament nucleation.

    PubMed

    Rebowski, Grzegorz; Namgoong, Suk; Boczkowska, Malgorzata; Leavis, Paul C; Navaza, Jorge; Dominguez, Roberto

    2010-10-15

    Actin filament nucleators initiate polymerization in cells in a regulated manner. A common architecture among these molecules consists of tandem WASP homology 2 domains (W domains) that recruit three to four actin subunits to form a polymerization nucleus. We describe a low-resolution crystal structure of an actin dimer assembled by tandem W domains, where the first W domain is cross-linked to Cys374 of the actin subunit bound to it, whereas the last W domain is followed by the C-terminal pointed end-capping helix of thymosin β4. While the arrangement of actin subunits in the dimer resembles that of a long-pitch helix of the actin filament, important differences are observed. These differences result from steric hindrance of the W domain with intersubunit contacts in the actin filament. We also determined the structure of the first W domain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus VopL cross-linked to actin Cys374 and show it to be nearly identical with non-cross-linked W-Actin structures. This result validates the use of cross-linking as a tool for the study of actin nucleation complexes, whose natural tendency to polymerize interferes with most structural methods. Combined with a biochemical analysis of nucleation, the structures may explain why nucleators based on tandem W domains with short inter-W linkers have relatively weak activity, cannot stay bound to filaments after nucleation, and are unlikely to influence filament elongation. The findings may also explain why nucleation-promoting factors of the Arp2/3 complex, which are related to tandem-W-domain nucleators, are ejected from branch junctions after nucleation. We finally show that the simple addition of the C-terminal pointed end-capping helix of thymosin β4 to tandem W domains can change their activity from actin filament nucleation to monomer sequestration.

  13. Flow-induced Development of Unicellular Cyanobacterial Mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, J.; Tice, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial mats/biofilms are abundant microbial growth structures throughout the history of life on Earth. Understanding the mechanisms for their morphogenesis and interactions with physical sedimentary forces are important topics that allow deeper understanding of related records. When subjected to hydrodynamic influences, mats are known to vary in morphology and structure in response to fluid shear, yet mechanistically, the underlying cellular architecture due to interactions with flow remain unexplained. Moreover, mats are found to emerge larger scale roughness elements and modified cohesive strength growing under flow. It is a mystery how and why these mat-community-level features are linked in association with modified boundary layers at the mats surface. We examined unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 in a circular flow bioreactor designed to maintain a fixed set of hydrodynamic conditions. The use of monoculture strains and unidirectional currents, while not replicating natural mat systems (almost certainly multi-species and often multi-directional currents under complex wind or tidal wave actions), helps to simplify these systems and allows for specific testing of hypotheses regarding how mats evolve distinctive morphologies induced by flow. The unique design of the reactor also makes measurements such as critical erosional shear stress of the mats possible, in addition to microscopic, macroscopic imaging and weeks of continuous mats growth monitoring. We report the finding that linear chains, filament-like cell groups were present from unicellular cyanobacterial mats growing under flow (~1-5 cm/s) and these structures are organized within ~1-3mm size streamers and ~0.5-1mm size nodular macrostructures. Ultra-small, sub-micron thick EPS strings are observed under TEM and are likely the cohesive architectural elements in mats across different fluid regimes. Mat cohesion generally grows with and adapts to increasing flow shear stress within

  14. 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.

  15. Differential microbial communities in hot spring mats from Western Thailand.

    PubMed

    Portillo, M C; Sririn, V; Kanoksilapatham, W; Gonzalez, J M

    2009-03-01

    The microbial communities of freshwater hot spring mats from Boekleung (Western Thailand) were studied. Temperatures ranged from over 50 up to 57 degrees C. Green-, red-, and yellow colored mat layers were analyzed. In order to detect the major components of the microbial communities constituting the mat as well as the microorganisms showing significant metabolic activity, samples were analyzed using DNA- and RNA-based molecular techniques, respectively. Microbial community fingerprints, performed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), revealed clear differences among mat layers. Thermophilic phototrophic microorganisms, Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi, constituted the major groups in these communities (on average 65 and 51% from DNA and RNA analyses, respectively). Other bacteria detected in the mat were Bacteroidetes, members of the Candidate Division OP10, Actinobacteria, and Planctomycetes. Differently colored mat layers showed characteristic bacterial communities and the major components of the metabolically active fraction of these communities have been identified.

  16. Pressure Sensitive Mats as Safety Devices in Danger Zones.

    PubMed

    Dąbrowski, Stanisław; Brański, Zygfryd

    1998-01-01

    Developing prototypes of pressure sensitive mats and testing their practical application were the aims of this study. Two contact plate mats were designed and constructed: rubber-rubber (R) and metal-metal (M). A recipe for rubber mixes and the production technology were prepared. Two laboratory test stands for measuring the actuating force, response time, static pressure resistance, and the durability of the mats were constructed. Computer software was written to control the operation of those test stands. Methods of testing pressure sensitive mats were based on PrDIN 31 006 (Deutsches Institut fur Normung [DIN], 1990) and EN 1760-1 (Comite Europeen de Normalisation [CEN], 1997). Both prototypes of contact plate mats were tested under laboratory and industrial conditions. The test results proved that the design was correct, the setup requirements were fulfilled, and the mats were efficient and reliable in the industrial environment.

  17. Mapping cortical mesoscopic networks of single spiking cortical or sub-cortical neurons.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Dongsheng; Vanni, Matthieu P; Mitelut, Catalin C; Chan, Allen W; LeDue, Jeffrey M; Xie, Yicheng; Chen, Andrew Cn; Swindale, Nicholas V; Murphy, Timothy H

    2017-02-04

    Understanding the basis of brain function requires knowledge of cortical operations over wide-spatial scales, but also within the context of single neurons. In vivo, wide-field GCaMP imaging and sub-cortical/cortical cellular electrophysiology were used in mice to investigate relationships between spontaneous single neuron spiking and mesoscopic cortical activity. We make use of a rich set of cortical activity motifs that are present in spontaneous activity in anesthetized and awake animals. A mesoscale spike-triggered averaging procedure allowed the identification of motifs that are preferentially linked to individual spiking neurons by employing genetically targeted indicators of neuronal activity. Thalamic neurons predicted and reported specific cycles of wide-scale cortical inhibition/excitation. In contrast, spike-triggered maps derived from single cortical neurons yielded spatio-temporal maps expected for regional cortical consensus function. This approach can define network relationships between any point source of neuronal spiking and mesoscale cortical maps.

  18. Cytoskeleton alterations in melanoma: aberrant expression of cortactin, an actin-binding adapter protein, correlates with melanocytic tumor progression

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xu-Zhi; Garcia, Marileila Varella; Li, Tian-yu; Khor, Li-Yan; Gajapathy, R Sujatha; Spittle, Cindy; Weed, Scott; Lessin, Stuart R; Wu, Hong

    2010-01-01

    Cortactin is a multidomain actin-binding protein important for the functions of cytoskeleton by regulating cortical actin dynamics. It is involved in a diverse array of basic cellular functions. Tumorigenesis and tumor progression involves alterations in actin cytoskeleton proteins. We sought to study the role of cortactin in melanocytic tumor progression using immunohistochemistry on human tissues. The results reveal quantitative differences between benign and malignant lesions. Significantly higher cortactin expression is found in melanomas than in nevi (P<0.0001), with levels greater in metastatic than in invasive melanomas (P<0.05). Qualitatively, tumor tissues often show aberrant cortactin localization at the cell periphery, corresponding to its colocalization with filamentous actin in cell cortex of cultured melanoma cells. This suggests an additional level of protein dysregulation. Furthermore, in patients with metastatic disease, high-level cortactin expression correlates with poor disease-specific survival. Our data, in conjunction with outcome data on several other types of human cancers and experimental data from melanoma cell lines, supports a potential role of aberrant cortactin expression in melanoma tumor progression and a rational for targeting key elements of actin-signaling pathway for developmental therapeutics in melanomas. PMID:19898426

  19. Cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1) promotes cofilin-induced actin dynamics in mammalian nonmuscle cells.

    PubMed

    Bertling, Enni; Hotulainen, Pirta; Mattila, Pieta K; Matilainen, Tanja; Salminen, Marjo; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2004-05-01

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are highly conserved actin monomer binding proteins present in all eukaryotes. However, the mechanism by which CAPs contribute to actin dynamics has been elusive. In mammals, the situation is further complicated by the presence of two CAP isoforms whose differences have not been characterized. Here, we show that CAP1 is widely expressed in mouse nonmuscle cells, whereas CAP2 is the predominant isoform in developing striated muscles. In cultured NIH3T3 and B16F1 cells, CAP1 is a highly abundant protein that colocalizes with cofilin-1 to dynamic regions of the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Analysis of CAP1 knockdown cells demonstrated that this protein promotes rapid actin filament depolymerization and is important for cell morphology, migration, and endocytosis. Interestingly, depletion of CAP1 leads to an accumulation of cofilin-1 into abnormal cytoplasmic aggregates and to similar cytoskeletal defects to those seen in cofilin-1 knockdown cells, demonstrating that CAP1 is required for proper subcellular localization and function of ADF/cofilin. Together, these data provide the first direct in vivo evidence that CAP promotes rapid actin dynamics in conjunction with ADF/cofilin and is required for several central cellular processes in mammals.

  20. 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.

  1. Allelopathy-mediated Competition in Microbial Mats from Antarctic Lakes.

    PubMed

    Slattery, Marc; Lesser, Michael P

    2017-02-18

    Microbial mats are vertically stratified communities that host a complex consortium of microorganisms, dominated by cyanobacteria, that compete for available nutrients and environmental niches, within these extreme habitats. The Antarctic Dry Valleys near McMurdo Sound include a series of lakes within the drainage basin that are bisected by glacial traverses. These lakes are traditionally independent, but recent increases in glacial melting have allowed two lakes (Chad and Hoare) to become connected by a meltwater stream. Microbial mats were collected from these lakes, and cultured under identical conditions at the McMurdo Station laboratory. Replicate pairings of the microbial mats exhibited consistent patterns of growth inhibition indicative of competitive dominance. Natural products were extracted from the microbial mats, and a disc diffusion assay was utilized to show that allelochemical compounds mediate competitive interactions. Both microscopy and 16S rRNA sequencing show that these mats contain significant populations of cyanobacteria known to produce allelochemicals. Two compounds were isolated from these microbial mats that might be important in the chemical ecology of these psychrophiles. In other disc:mat pairings, including extract versus mat of origin, the allelochemicals exhibited no effect. Taken together, these results indicate that Antarctic lake microbial mats can compete via allelopathy.

  2. 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.

  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. Time-resolved studies of actin organization by multivalent ions and actin-binding proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwee Lai, Ghee; Purdy, Kirstin; Bartles, James R.; Chee Lai Wong, Gerard

    2007-03-01

    Actin is one of the principal components in the eukaryotic cytoskeleton, the architecture of which is highly regulated for a wide range of biological functions. In the presence of multivalent salts or actin-binding proteins, it is known that F-actin can organize into bundles or networks. In this work, we use time-resolved confocal microscopy to study the dynamics of actin bundle growth induced by multivalent ions and by espin, a prototypical actin binding protein that is known to induce bundles. For divalent ion induced bundles, we observe a rapid lateral saturation followed by longitudinal growth of bundles, in sharp contrast to the bundling mechanism of espin, which favors finite length bundles.

  5. 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

  6. Structure of the Rigor Actin-Tropomyosin-Myosin Complex

    PubMed Central

    Behrmann, Elmar; Müller, Mirco; Penczek, Pawel A.; Mannherz, Hans Georg; Manstein, Dietmar J.; Raunser, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    The interaction of myosin with actin filaments is the central feature of muscle contraction and cargo movement along actin filaments of the cytoskeleton. Myosin converts the chemical energy stored in ATP into force and movement along actin filaments. Myosin binding to actin induces conformational changes that are coupled to the nucleotide-binding pocket and amplified by a specialized region of the motor domain for efficient force generation. Tropomyosin plays a key role in regulating the productive interaction between myosins and actin. Here, we report the 8 Å resolution structure of the actin-tropomyosin-myosin complex determined by cryo electron microscopy. The pseudo-atomic model of the complex obtained from fitting crystal structures into the map defines the large actin-myosin-tropomyosin interface and the molecular interactions between the proteins in detail and allows us to propose a structural model for tropomyosin dependent myosin binding to actin and actin-induced nucleotide release from myosin. PMID:22817895

  7. The unusual dynamics of parasite actin result from isodesmic polymerization.

    PubMed

    Skillman, Kristen M; Ma, Christopher I; Fremont, Daved H; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Cooper, John A; Sept, David; Sibley, L David

    2013-01-01

    Previous reports have indicated that parasite actins are short and inherently unstable, despite being required for motility. Here we re-examine the polymerization properties of actin in Toxoplasma gondii, unexpectedly finding that it exhibits isodesmic polymerization in contrast to the conventional nucleation-elongation process of all previously studied actins from both eukaryotes and bacteria. Polymerization kinetics of actin in T. gondii lacks both a lag phase and critical concentration, normally characteristic of actins. Unique among actins, the kinetics of assembly can be fit with a single set of rate constants for all subunit interactions, without need for separate nucleation and elongation rates. This isodesmic model accurately predicts the assembly, disassembly and the size distribution of actin filaments in T. gondii in vitro, providing a mechanistic explanation for actin dynamics in vivo. Our findings expand the repertoire of mechanisms by which actin polymerization is governed and offer clues about the evolution of self-assembling, stabilized protein polymers.

  8. 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.

  9. Crystal structure of a nuclear actin ternary complex.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-09

    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.

  10. Crystal structure of a nuclear actin ternary complex

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. The Actinome of Dictyostelium discoideum in Comparison to Actins and Actin-Related Proteins from Other Organisms

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18612387

  12. Actin and Myosin in Pea Tendrils 1

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yong-Ze; Yen, Lung-Fei

    1989-01-01

    We demonstrate here the presence of actin and myosin in pea (Pisum sativum L.) tendrils. The molecular weight of tendril actin is 43,000, the same as rabbit skeletal muscle actin. The native molecular weight of tendril myosin is about 440,000. Tendril myosin is composed of two heavy chains of molecular weight approximately 165,000 and four (two pairs) light chains of 17,000 and 15,000. At high ionic strength, the ATPase activity of pea tendril myosin is activated by K+-EDTA and Ca2+ and is inhibited by Mg2+. At low ionic strength, the Mg2+-ATPase activity of pea tendril myosin is activated by rabbit skeletal muscle F-actin. Superprecipitation occurred after incubation at room temperature when ATP was added to the crude actomyosin extract. It is suggested that the interaction of actin and myosin may play a role in the coiling movement of pea tendril. Images Figure 1 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:16666586

  13. Antibodies to actin in autoimmune haemolytic anaemia

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background In autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA), autoreactive antibodies directed against red blood cells are up-regulated, leading to erythrocyte death. Mycoplasma suis infections in pigs induce AIHA of both the warm and cold types. The aim of this study was to identify the target autoantigens of warm autoreactive IgG antibodies. Sera from experimentally M. suis-infected pigs were screened for autoreactivity. Results Actin-reactive antibodies were found in the sera of 95% of all animals tested. The reactivity was species-specific, i.e. reactivity with porcine actin was significantly higher than with rabbit actin. Sera of animals previously immunised with the M. suis adhesion protein MSG1 showed reactivity with actin prior to infection with M. suis indicating that molecular mimicry is involved in the specific autoreactive mechanism. A potentially cross-reactive epitope was detected. Conclusions This is the first report of autoreactive anti-actin antibodies involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia. PMID:20353574

  14. Dynamic buckling of actin within filopodia

    PubMed Central

    Leijnse, Natascha; Oddershede, Lene B; Bendix, Poul M

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Filopodia are active tubular structures protruding from the cell surface which allow the cell to sense and interact with the surrounding environment through repetitive elongation-retraction cycles. The mechanical behavior of filopodia has been studied by measuring the traction forces exerted on external substrates.1 These studies have revealed that internal actin flow can transduce a force across the cell surface through transmembrane linkers like integrins. In addition to the elongation-retraction behavior filopodia also exhibit a buckling and rotational behavior. Filopodial buckling in conjunction with rotation enables the cell to explore a much larger 3-dimensional space and allows for more complex, and possibly stronger, interactions with the external environment.2 Here we focus on how bending of the filopodial actin dynamically correlates with pulling on an optically trapped microsphere which acts like an external substrate attached to the filopodial tip. There is a clear correlation between presence of actin near the tip and exertion of a traction force, thus demonstrating that the traction force is transduced along the actin shaft inside the filopodium. By extending a filopodium and holding it while measuring the cellular response, we also monitor and analyze the waiting times for the first buckle observed in the fluorescently labeled actin shaft. PMID:26479403

  15. Some basic relationships between density values in cancellous and cortical bone.

    PubMed

    Zioupos, Peter; Cook, Richard B; Hutchinson, John R

    2008-01-01

    Density is a salient property of bone and plays a crucial role in determining the mechanical properties of both its cancellous and cortical structural forms. Density is defined in a number of ways at either the bone tissue (D(app), apparent) or the bone material level (D(mat), material). The concept of density is relatively simple, but measuring it in the context of bone is a complex issue. The third dimension of the problem is the concept of porosity, or BV/TV (ratio of bone material volume over tissue volume). Recent investigations from our laboratory have revealed an interdependence of D(app) and D(mat) in the cancellous bone of at least four different cohorts of human patients. To clarify the underlying causes of this behaviour, we produced here equivalent relationships from specimens originating from cortical and cancellous areas of the same bone. Plots of D(app) vs. D(mat) showed that D(mat) was not a monotonic function of increasing D(app), but instead showed a 'boomerang'-like pattern. By empirically dissecting the data in two regions for D(app) above and below a value equal to 1.3gcm(-3), we were able to objectively isolate the bone in trabecular and compact forms. Our findings may have implications not only for the segregation of bone in these two structural forms, but also for the mechanobiological and physiological processes that govern the regulation of compact and trabecular bone areas.

  16. 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.

  17. Recombinant alpha-actin for specific fluorescent labeling.

    PubMed

    Iwane, Atsuko H; Morimatsu, Masatoshi; Yanagida, Toshio

    2009-01-01

    Until recently, actin was thought to act merely as a passive track for its motility partner, myosin, during actomyosin interactions. Yet a recent report having observed dynamical conformational changes in labeled skeletal muscle alpha-actin suggests that actin has a more active role. Because the labeling technique was still immature, however, conclusions regarding the significance of the different conformations are difficult to make. Here, we describe the preparation of fully active alpha-actin obtained from a baculovirus expression system. We developed alpha-actin recombinants, of which subdomains 1 and 2 have specific sites for fluorescent probes. This specific labeling technique offers to significantly expand the information acquired from actin studies.

  18. Quantifying and localizing actin-free barbed ends in neutrophils.

    PubMed

    Glogauer, Michael

    2007-01-01

    We describe here a permeablization method that retains coupling between N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) receptor stimulation and barbed-end actin nucleation in neutrophils. Using fluorescently-tagged actin monomers, we are able to quantify and localize actin-free barbed ends generated downstream of chemoattractant receptors. Partial permeabilization of the neutrophils with the mild detergent n-octyl-beta-glucopyranoside maintains signaling from membrane receptor to the actin cytoskeleton while allowing for the introduction of inhibitors and activators of signal transduction pathways implicated in regulating actin cytoskeleton dynamics. This is a useful assay for studying signal transduction to the actin cytoskeleton in neutrophils.

  19. Selective chemical imaging of static actin in live cells.

    PubMed

    Milroy, Lech-Gustav; Rizzo, Stefano; Calderon, Abram; Ellinger, Bernhard; Erdmann, Silke; Mondry, Justine; Verveer, Peter; Bastiaens, Philippe; Waldmann, Herbert; Dehmelt, Leif; Arndt, Hans-Dieter

    2012-05-23

    We have characterized rationally designed and optimized analogues of the actin-stabilizing natural products jasplakinolide and chondramide C. Efficient actin staining was achieved in fixed permeabilized and non-permeabilized cells using different combinations of dye and linker length, thus highlighting the degree of molecular flexibility of the natural product scaffold. Investigations into synthetically accessible, non-toxic analogues have led to the characterization of a powerful cell-permeable probe to selectively image static, long-lived actin filaments against dynamic F-actin and monomeric G-actin populations in live cells, with negligible disruption of rapid actin dynamics.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Actin Out: Regulation of the Synaptic Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Spence, Erin F.; Soderling, Scott H.

    2015-01-01

    The small size of dendritic spines belies the elaborate role they play in excitatory synaptic transmission and ultimately complex behaviors. The cytoskeletal architecture of the spine is predominately composed of actin filaments. These filaments, which at first glance might appear simple, are also surprisingly complex. They dynamically assemble into different structures and serve as a platform for orchestrating the elaborate responses of the spine during spinogenesis and experience-dependent plasticity. Multiple mutations associated with human neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders involve genes that encode regulators of the synaptic cytoskeleton. A major, unresolved question is how the disruption of specific actin filament structures leads to the onset and progression of complex synaptic and behavioral phenotypes. This review will cover established and emerging mechanisms of actin cytoskeletal remodeling and how this influences specific aspects of spine biology that are implicated in disease. PMID:26453304

  3. Calcium Regulation of an Actin Spring

    PubMed Central

    Tam, Barney K.; Shin, Jennifer H.; Pfeiffer, Emily; Matsudaira, P.; Mahadevan, L.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Calcium is essential for many biological processes involved in cellular motility. However, the pathway by which calcium influences motility, in processes such as muscle contraction and neuronal growth, is often indirect and complex. We establish a simple and direct mechanochemical link that shows how calcium quantitatively regulates the dynamics of a primitive motile system, the actin-based acrosomal bundle of horseshoe crab sperm. The extension of this bundle requires the continuous presence of external calcium. Furthermore, the extension rate increases with calcium concentration, but at a given concentration, we find that the volumetric rate of extension is constant. Our experiments and theory suggest that calcium sequentially binds to calmodulin molecules decorating the actin filaments. This binding leads to a collective wave of untwisting of the actin filaments that drives bundle extension. PMID:19686660

  4. Use of palm-mat geotextiles for rainsplash erosion control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, R.; Fullen, M. A.; Davies, K.; Booth, C. A.

    2010-07-01

    Soil detachment by raindrop action (rainsplash erosion) is a very important subprocess of erosion by water. It is a particular problem in the UK as most soils are sandy or loamy sand in texture and lands have gentle to medium slope. However, few studies report potential rainsplash erosion control options under field conditions. Hence, the utilization of palm-mat geotextiles as a rainsplash erosion control technique was investigated at Hilton, east Shropshire, U.K. (52°33'5.7″ N, 2°19'18.3″ W). Geotextile-mats constructed from Borassus aethiopum (Borassus palm of West Africa) and Mauritia flexuosa (Buriti palm of South America) leaves are termed Borassus mats and Buriti mats, respectively. Two-year field experiments were conducted at Hilton to study the effects of emplacing Borassus and Buriti mats on rainsplash erosion of a loamy sand soil. Two sets (12 plots each) of experiments were established to study the effects of these mats on splash height and splash erosion. Splash height needs to be known to assess the transport mechanism of major soil fraction and its constituents on sloping land by rainsplash. In both sets, six randomly-selected plots were covered with mats, and the rest were bare. Results (during 22/01/2007‒23/01/2009; total precipitation = 1731.5 mm) show that Borassus mat-covered plots had ˜ 89% ( P < 0.001) less total splash erosion (2.97 kg m - 2 ) than bare plots (27.02 kg m - 2 ). Comparatively, mean splash height from Borassus mat-covered plots (0.12 m) was significantly ( P < 0.001) less than the bare plots, by ˜ 54%. However, Buriti mat-cover on bare plots had no significant ( P > 0.05) effect in rainsplash erosion control during that period, although plots with Buriti mats significantly ( P < 0.05) decreased splash height (by ˜ 18%) compared with bare plots (0.26 m). Buriti mats, probably due to their ˜ 43, 62 and 50% lower cover percentage (44%), mass per unit area (413 g - 2 ) and thickness (10 mm), respectively, compared with

  5. Actin and dynamin recruitment and the lack thereof at exo- and endocytotic sites in PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Felmy, Felix

    2009-06-01

    Protein recruitment during endocytosis is well characterized in fibroblasts. Since fibroblasts do not engage in regulated exocytosis, only information about protein recruitment during constitutive endocytosis is provided. Furthermore, the cortical actin of fibroblasts is characterized by stress fibers rather than a thick cortical meshwork. A cell model, which differs in these features, could provide insight into the heterogeneity of protein recruitment to constitutive and exocytosis coupled endocytotic areas. Therefore, this study investigates the sequence of protein recruitment in PC12 cells, a well documented exocytotic cell model with thick actin cortex. Using real time total-internal-reflection fluorescence microscopy it was found that at the plasma membrane steady, but not transient, dynamin-1-EGFP or -mCherry fluorescence spots that rapidly dimmed coincided with markers for constitutive endocytotic such as clathrin-LC-dsRed and transferrin-receptor-pHluorin. Clathrin-LC-dsRed and dynamin-1-EGFP were further used to determine the temporal sequence of protein recruitment to areas of constitutive endocytosis. mCherry- and EGFP-beta-actin, Arp-3-EGFP and EGFP-mAbp1 were slowly recruited before the dynamin-1-mCherry fluorescence dimmed, but their fluorescence peaked after the loss of clathrin-LC-dsRed commenced. Furthermore, mCherry-beta-actin fluorescence increased before exocytosis, indicating redistribution prior to release. Also, no average dynamin-1-mCherry recruitment was observed within 50 s to regions of exocytosis marked by NPY-mGFP. This indicates that the temporal-spatial coupling between regulated exo-and endocytosis is rather limited in PC12 cells. Furthermore, the time course of the protein recruitment to constitutive endocytotic sites might depend on the subcellular morphology such as the size of the actin cortex.

  6. Actin-binding proteins sensitively mediate F-actin bundle stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claessens, Mireille M. A. E.; Bathe, Mark; Frey, Erwin; Bausch, Andreas R.

    2006-09-01

    Bundles of filamentous actin (F-actin) form primary structural components of a broad range of cytoskeletal processes including filopodia, sensory hair cell bristles and microvilli. Actin-binding proteins (ABPs) allow the cell to tailor the dimensions and mechanical properties of the bundles to suit specific biological functions. Therefore, it is important to obtain quantitative knowledge on the effect of ABPs on the mechanical properties of F-actin bundles. Here we measure the bending stiffness of F-actin bundles crosslinked by three ABPs that are ubiquitous in eukaryotes. We observe distinct regimes of bundle bending stiffness that differ by orders of magnitude depending on ABP type, concentration and bundle size. The behaviour observed experimentally is reproduced quantitatively by a molecular-based mechanical model in which ABP shearing competes with F-actin extension/compression. Our results shed new light on the biomechanical function of ABPs and demonstrate how single-molecule properties determine mesoscopic behaviour. The bending mechanics of F-actin fibre bundles are general and have implications for cytoskeletal mechanics and for the rational design of functional materials.

  7. Multiple crystal structures of actin dimers and their implications for interactions in the actin filament

    PubMed Central

    Sawaya, Michael R.; Kudryashov, D. S.; Pashkov, Inna; Adisetiyo, Helty; Reisler, Emil; Yeates, Todd O.

    2008-01-01

    The structure of actin in its monomeric form is known at high resolution, while the structure of filamentous F-actin is only understood at considerably lower resolution. Knowing pre­cisely how the monomers of actin fit together would lead to a deeper understanding of the dynamic behavior of the actin filament. Here, a series of crystal structures of actin dimers are reported which were prepared by cross-linking in either the longitudinal or the lateral direction in the filament state. Laterally cross-linked dimers, comprised of monomers belonging to different protofilaments, are found to adopt configurations in crystals that are not related to the native structure of filamentous actin. In contrast, multiple structures of longitudinal dimers consistently reveal the same interface between monomers within a single protofilament. The re­appearance of the same longitudinal interface in multiple crystal structures adds weight to arguments that the interface visualized is similar to that in actin filaments. Highly conserved atomic interactions involving residues 199–205 and 287–291 are highlighted. PMID:18391412

  8. Sparse and powerful cortical spikes.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Jason; Houweling, Arthur R; Brecht, Michael

    2010-06-01

    Activity in cortical networks is heterogeneous, sparse and often precisely timed. The functional significance of sparseness and precise spike timing is debated, but our understanding of the developmental and synaptic mechanisms that shape neuronal discharge patterns has improved. Evidence for highly specialized, selective and abstract cortical response properties is accumulating. Singe-cell stimulation experiments demonstrate a high sensitivity of cortical networks to the action potentials of some, but not all, single neurons. It is unclear how this sensitivity of cortical networks to small perturbations comes about and whether it is a generic property of cortex. The unforeseen sensitivity to cortical spikes puts serious constraints on the nature of neural coding schemes.

  9. Actin: its cumbersome pilgrimage through cellular compartments

    PubMed Central

    Schleicher, Michael

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18438682

  10. 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

  11. 30 CFR 77.513 - Insulating mats at power switches.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Insulating mats at power switches. 77.513... COAL MINES Electrical Equipment-General § 77.513 Insulating mats at power switches. Dry wooden... switchboards and power-control switches where shock hazards exist. However, metal plates on which a...

  12. 30 CFR 77.513 - Insulating mats at power switches.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Insulating mats at power switches. 77.513... COAL MINES Electrical Equipment-General § 77.513 Insulating mats at power switches. Dry wooden... switchboards and power-control switches where shock hazards exist. However, metal plates on which a...

  13. 30 CFR 77.513 - Insulating mats at power switches.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Insulating mats at power switches. 77.513... COAL MINES Electrical Equipment-General § 77.513 Insulating mats at power switches. Dry wooden... switchboards and power-control switches where shock hazards exist. However, metal plates on which a...

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of preprocessing method on TVOC emission of car mat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Min; Jia, Li

    2013-02-01

    The effects of the mat preprocessing method on total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) emission of car mat are studied in this paper. An appropriate TVOC emission period for car mat is suggested. The emission factors for total volatile organic compounds from three kinds of new car mats are discussed. The car mats are preprocessed by washing, baking and ventilation. When car mats are preprocessed by washing, the TVOC emission for all samples tested are lower than that preprocessed in other methods. The TVOC emission is in stable situation for a minimum of 4 days. The TVOC emitted from some samples may exceed 2500μg/kg. But the TVOC emitted from washed Polyamide (PA) and wool mat is less than 2500μg/kg. The emission factors of total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) are experimentally investigated in the case of different preprocessing methods. The air temperature in environment chamber and the water temperature for washing are important factors influencing on emission of car mats.

  16. 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…

  17. 30 CFR 77.513 - Insulating mats at power switches.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Insulating mats at power switches. 77.513... COAL MINES Electrical Equipment-General § 77.513 Insulating mats at power switches. Dry wooden... switchboards and power-control switches where shock hazards exist. However, metal plates on which a...

  18. 30 CFR 77.513 - Insulating mats at power switches.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Insulating mats at power switches. 77.513... COAL MINES Electrical Equipment-General § 77.513 Insulating mats at power switches. Dry wooden... switchboards and power-control switches where shock hazards exist. However, metal plates on which a...

  19. Decavanadate interactions with actin: inhibition of G-actin polymerization and stabilization of decameric vanadate.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Susana; Manuel, Miguel; Tiago, Teresa; Duarte, Rui; Martins, Jorge; Gutiérrez-Merino, Carlos; Moura, José J G; Aureliano, Manuel

    2006-11-01

    Decameric vanadate species (V10) inhibit the rate and the extent of G-actin polymerization with an IC50 of 68+/-22 microM and 17+/-2 microM, respectively, whilst they induce F-actin depolymerization at a lower extent. On contrary, no effect on actin polymerization and depolymerization was detected for 2mM concentration of "metavanadate" solution that contains ortho and metavanadate species, as observed by combining kinetic with (51)V NMR spectroscopy studies. Although at 25 degrees C, decameric vanadate (10 microM) is unstable in the assay medium, and decomposes following a first-order kinetic, in the presence of G-actin (up to 8 microM), the half-life increases 5-fold (from 5 to 27 h). However, the addition of ATP (0.2mM) in the medium not only prevents the inhibition of G-actin polymerization by V10 but it also decreases the half-life of decomposition of decameric vanadate species from 27 to 10h. Decameric vanadate is also stabilized by the sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles, which raise the half-life time from 5 to 18h whereas no effects were observed in the presence of phosphatidylcholine liposomes, myosin or G-actin alone. It is proposed that the "decavanadate" interaction with G-actin, favored by the G-actin polymerization, stabilizes decameric vanadate species and induces inhibition of G-actin polymerization. Decameric vanadate stabilization by cytoskeletal and transmembrane proteins can account, at least in part, for decavanadate toxicity reported in the evaluation of vanadium (V) effects in biological systems.

  20. Expression of cardiac alpha-actin spares extraocular muscles in skeletal muscle alpha-actin diseases--quantification of striated alpha-actins by MRM-mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Ravenscroft, Gianina; Colley, Stephen M J; Walker, Kendall R; Clement, Sophie; Bringans, Scott; Lipscombe, Richard; Fabian, Victoria A; Laing, Nigel G; Nowak, Kristen J

    2008-12-01

    As with many skeletal muscle diseases, the extraocular muscles (EOMs) are spared in skeletal muscle alpha-actin diseases, with no ophthalmoplegia even in severely affected patients. We hypothesised that the extraocular muscles sparing in these patients was due to significant expression of cardiac alpha-actin, the alpha-actin isoform expressed in heart and foetal skeletal muscle. We have shown by immunochemistry, Western blotting and a novel MRM-mass spectrometry technique, comparable levels of cardiac alpha-actin in the extraocular muscles of human, pig and sheep to those in the heart. The sparing of extraocular muscles in skeletal muscle alpha-actin disease is thus probably due to greater levels of cardiac alpha-actin, than the negligible amounts in skeletal muscles, diluting out the effects of the mutant skeletal muscle alpha-actin.

  1. Role of microbial mats in the fossilization of soft tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilby, Philip R.; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Bernier, Paul; Gaillard, Christian

    1996-09-01

    It has been speculated that microbial mats are an important agent in the fossilization of soft tissues, particularly when apatite (Ca5[CO3, PO4]3[OH, F]) is involved. This has been tested by chemical analyses of the Jurassic limestones of Cerin, France, where phosphatized soft tissues are abundant and are associated with unequivocal microbial mats. The sedimentary distribution of P, K, and Fe following deposition was controlled by the presence of the mats. P concentrations in the mats may approach 2.5 times those elsewhere in the sediment. The highest P concentrations correlate with the occurrence of phosphatized soft tissues. This is the first analytical evidence to demonstrate a fundamental role for microbial mats in the preservation of soft-bodied fossils.

  2. Research on Bayes matting algorithm based on Gaussian mixture model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quan, Wei; Jiang, Shan; Han, Cheng; Zhang, Chao; Jiang, Zhengang

    2015-12-01

    The digital matting problem is a classical problem of imaging. It aims at separating non-rectangular foreground objects from a background image, and compositing with a new background image. Accurate matting determines the quality of the compositing image. A Bayesian matting Algorithm Based on Gaussian Mixture Model is proposed to solve this matting problem. Firstly, the traditional Bayesian framework is improved by introducing Gaussian mixture model. Then, a weighting factor is added in order to suppress the noises of the compositing images. Finally, the effect is further improved by regulating the user's input. This algorithm is applied to matting jobs of classical images. The results are compared to the traditional Bayesian method. It is shown that our algorithm has better performance in detail such as hair. Our algorithm eliminates the noise well. And it is very effectively in dealing with the kind of work, such as interested objects with intricate boundaries.

  3. Dynamic heat and moisture transfer in bulky PAN nanofiber mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borhani, Sedigheh; Etemad, Seyed Gholamreza; Ravandi, Seyed Abdolkarim Hosseini

    2011-07-01

    In this study a non-conventional electrospinning technique was designed for the production of high bulky polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofiber mats. Optimum nanofiber mats are achieved with 15 wt.% solution of PAN in dimethylformamide. Such mats result in a bulk porosity which is as high as 99.9 and a density as low as 0.84 × 10-3 g/cm3. The effect of the porosity of nanofiber mats on the air permeability and coupled heat and moisture transfer of fibers was investigated. Based on the results, high bulky nanofiber mats possess high heat and moisture transfer. Experimental data reveal that upon a slight decrease in the bulk porosity, air permeability and heat transfer decrease noticeably, while moisture transfer variation is low.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Developmental roles for Srf, cortical cytoskeleton and cell shape in epidermal spindle orientation

    PubMed Central

    Luxenburg, Chen; Pasolli, H. Amalia; Williams, Scott E.; Fuchs, Elaine

    2012-01-01

    During development, a polarized epidermal sheet undergoes stratification and differentiation to produce the skin barrier. Through mechanisms that are poorly understood, the process involves actin dynamics, spindle reorientation and Notch signalling. To elucidate how epidermal embryogenesis is governed, we conditionally targeted serum response factor (Srf), a transcription factor that is essential for epidermal differentiation. Unexpectedly, previously ascribed causative defects are not responsible for profoundly perturbed embryonic epidermis. Seeking the mechanism for this, we identified actins and their regulators that were downregulated after ablation. Without Srf, cells exhibit a diminished cortical network and in mitosis, they fail to round up, features we recapitulate with low-dose actin inhibitors in vivo and shRNA-knockdown in vitro. Altered concomitantly are phosphorylated ERM and cortical myosin-IIA, shown in vitro to establish a rigid cortical actomyosin network and elicit critical shape changes. We provide a link between these features and Srf loss, and we show that the process is physiologically relevant in skin, as reflected by defects in spindle orientation, asymmetric cell divisions, stratification and differentiation. PMID:21336301

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

    PubMed

    Miranda, Lisa; Carpentier, Sarah; Platek, Anna; Hussain, Nusrat; Gueuning, Marie-Agnès; 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(2+)-dependent AMPK activation via calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase-beta(CaMKKbeta), a known upstream kinase of AMPK. Indeed, hypertonicity-induced AMPK activation was markedly reduced by the STO-609 CaMKKbeta inhibitor, as was the increase in MLC and cofilin phosphorylation. We suggest that AMPK links osmotic stress to the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. MAT2A mutations predispose individuals to thoracic aortic aneurysms.

    PubMed

    Guo, Dong-chuan; Gong, Limin; Regalado, Ellen S; Santos-Cortez, Regie L; Zhao, Ren; Cai, Bo; Veeraraghavan, Sudha; Prakash, Siddharth K; Johnson, Ralph J; Muilenburg, Ann; Willing, Marcia; Jondeau, Guillaume; Boileau, Catherine; Pannu, Hariyadarshi; Moran, Rocio; Debacker, Julie; Bamshad, Michael J; Shendure, Jay; Nickerson, Deborah A; Leal, Suzanne M; Raman, C S; Swindell, Eric C; Milewicz, Dianna M

    2015-01-08

    Up to 20% of individuals who have thoracic aortic aneurysms or acute aortic dissections but who do not have syndromic features have a family history of thoracic aortic disease. Significant genetic heterogeneity is established for this familial condition. Whole-genome linkage analysis and exome sequencing of distant relatives from a large family with autosomal-dominant inheritance of thoracic aortic aneurysms variably associated with the bicuspid aortic valve was used for identification of additional genes predisposing individuals to this condition. A rare variant, c.1031A>C (p.Glu344Ala), was identified in MAT2A, which encodes methionine adenosyltransferase II alpha (MAT IIα). This variant segregated with disease in the family, and Sanger sequencing of DNA from affected probands from unrelated families with thoracic aortic disease identified another MAT2A rare variant, c.1067G>A (p.Arg356His). Evidence that these variants predispose individuals to thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections includes the following: there is a paucity of rare variants in MAT2A in the population; amino acids Glu344 and Arg356 are conserved from humans to zebrafish; and substitutions of these amino acids in MAT Iα are found in individuals with hypermethioninemia. Structural analysis suggested that p.Glu344Ala and p.Arg356His disrupt MAT IIα enzyme function. Knockdown of mat2aa in zebrafish via morpholino oligomers disrupted cardiovascular development. Co-transfected wild-type human MAT2A mRNA rescued defects of zebrafish cardiovascular development at significantly higher levels than mRNA edited to express either the Glu344 or Arg356 mutants, providing further evidence that the p.Glu344Ala and p.Arg356His substitutions impair MAT IIα function. The data presented here support the conclusion that rare genetic variants in MAT2A predispose individuals to thoracic aortic disease.

  11. MAT2A Mutations Predispose Individuals to Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Dong-chuan; Gong, Limin; Regalado, Ellen S.; Santos-Cortez, Regie L.; Zhao, Ren; Cai, Bo; Veeraraghavan, Sudha; Prakash, Siddharth K.; Johnson, Ralph J.; Muilenburg, Ann; Willing, Marcia; Jondeau, Guillaume; Boileau, Catherine; Pannu, Hariyadarshi; Moran, Rocio; Debacker, Julie; Bamshad, Michael J.; Shendure, Jay; Nickerson, Deborah A.; Leal, Suzanne M.; Raman, C.S.; Swindell, Eric C.; Milewicz, Dianna M.

    2015-01-01

    Up to 20% of individuals who have thoracic aortic aneurysms or acute aortic dissections but who do not have syndromic features have a family history of thoracic aortic disease. Significant genetic heterogeneity is established for this familial condition. Whole-genome linkage analysis and exome sequencing of distant relatives from a large family with autosomal-dominant inheritance of thoracic aortic aneurysms variably associated with the bicuspid aortic valve was used for identification of additional genes predisposing individuals to this condition. A rare variant, c.1031A>C (p.Glu344Ala), was identified in MAT2A, which encodes methionine adenosyltransferase II alpha (MAT IIα). This variant segregated with disease in the family, and Sanger sequencing of DNA from affected probands from unrelated families with thoracic aortic disease identified another MAT2A rare variant, c.1067G>A (p.Arg356His). Evidence that these variants predispose individuals to thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections includes the following: there is a paucity of rare variants in MAT2A in the population; amino acids Glu344 and Arg356 are conserved from humans to zebrafish; and substitutions of these amino acids in MAT Iα are found in individuals with hypermethioninemia. Structural analysis suggested that p.Glu344Ala and p.Arg356His disrupt MAT IIα enzyme function. Knockdown of mat2aa in zebrafish via morpholino oligomers disrupted cardiovascular development. Co-transfected wild-type human MAT2A mRNA rescued defects of zebrafish cardiovascular development at significantly higher levels than mRNA edited to express either the Glu344 or Arg356 mutants, providing further evidence that the p.Glu344Ala and p.Arg356His substitutions impair MAT IIα function. The data presented here support the conclusion that rare genetic variants in MAT2A predispose individuals to thoracic aortic disease. PMID:25557781

  12. 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

  13. Chlamydial TARP is a bacterial nucleator of actin.

    PubMed

    Jewett, Travis J; Fischer, Elizabeth R; Mead, David J; Hackstadt, Ted

    2006-10-17

    Chlamydia trachomatis entry into host cells results from a parasite-directed remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. A type III secreted effector, TARP (translocated actin recruiting phosphoprotein), has been implicated in the recruitment of actin to the site of internalization. To elucidate the role of TARP in actin recruitment, we identified host cell proteins that associated with recombinant GST-TARP fusions. TARP directly associated with actin, and this interaction promoted actin nucleation as determined by in vitro polymerization assays. Domain analysis of TARP identified an actin-binding domain that bears structural and primary amino acid sequence similarity to WH2 domain family proteins. In addition, a proline-rich domain was found to promote TARP oligomerization and was required for TARP-dependent nucleation of new actin filaments. Our findings reveal a mechanism by which chlamydiae induce localized cytoskeletal changes by the translocated effector TARP during entry into host cells.

  14. 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

    2012-06-08

    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.

  15. Microtubules as Platforms for Assaying Actin Polymerization In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Oelkers, J. Margit; Vinzenz, Marlene; Nemethova, Maria; Jacob, Sonja; Lai, Frank P. L.; Block, Jennifer; Szczodrak, Malgorzata; Kerkhoff, Eugen; Backert, Steffen; Schlüter, Kai; Stradal, Theresia E. B.; Small, J. Victor

    2011-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is continuously remodeled through cycles of actin filament assembly and disassembly. Filaments are born through nucleation and shaped into supramolecular structures with various essential functions. These range from contractile and protrusive assemblies in muscle and non-muscle cells to actin filament comets propelling vesicles or pathogens through the cytosol. Although nucleation has been extensively studied using purified proteins in vitro, dissection of the process in cells is complicated by the abundance and molecular complexity of actin filament arrays. We here describe the ectopic nucleation of actin filaments on the surface of microtubules, free of endogenous actin and interfering membrane or lipid. All major mechanisms of actin filament nucleation were recapitulated, including filament assembly induced by Arp2/3 complex, formin and Spir. This novel approach allows systematic dissection of actin nucleation in the cytosol of live cells, its genetic re-engineering as well as screening for new modifiers of the process. PMID:21603613

  16. Arabidopsis Villins Promote Actin Turnover at Pollen Tube Tips and Facilitate the Construction of Actin Collars[W

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Xiaolu; Zhang, Hua; Xie, Yurong; Wang, Juan; Chen, Naizhi; Huang, Shanjin

    2013-01-01

    Apical actin filaments are crucial for pollen tube tip growth. However, the specific dynamic changes and regulatory mechanisms associated with actin filaments in the apical region remain largely unknown. Here, we have investigated the quantitative dynamic parameters that underlie actin filament growth and disappearance in the apical regions of pollen tubes and identified villin as the major player that drives rapid turnover of actin filaments in this region. Downregulation of Arabidopsis thaliana VILLIN2 (VLN2) and VLN5 led to accumulation of actin filaments at the pollen tube apex. Careful analysis of single filament dynamics showed that the severing frequency significantly decreased, and the lifetime significantly increased in vln2 vln5 pollen tubes. These results indicate that villin-mediated severing is critical for turnover and departure of actin filaments originating in the apical region. Consequently, the construction of actin collars was affected in vln2 vln5 pollen tubes. In addition to the decrease in severing frequency, actin filaments also became wavy and buckled in the apical cytoplasm of vln2 vln5 pollen tubes. These results suggest that villin confers rigidity upon actin filaments. Furthermore, an observed decrease in skewness of actin filaments in the subapical region of vln2 vln5 pollen tubes suggests that villin-mediated bundling activity may also play a role in the construction of actin collars. Thus, our data suggest that villins promote actin turnover at pollen tube tips and facilitate the construction of actin collars. PMID:23715472

  17. 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.

  18. Modulation of N-cadherin junctions and their role as epicenters of differentiation-specific actin regulation in the developing lens.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Michelle; Zhang, Liping; Zhai, Ni; Cader, Ahmad; Chan, Yim; Nowak, Roberta B; Fowler, Velia M; Menko, A Sue

    2011-01-15

    Extensive elongation of lens fiber cells is a central feature of lens morphogenesis. Our study investigates the role of N-cadherin junctions in this process in vivo. We investigate both the molecular players involved in N-cadherin junctional maturation and the subsequent function of these junctions as epicenters for the assembly of an actin cytoskeleton that drives morphogenesis. We present the first evidence of nascent cadherin junctions in vivo, and show that they are a prominent feature along lateral interfaces of undifferentiated lens epithelial cells. Maturation of these N-cadherin junctions, required for lens cell differentiation, preceded organization of a cortical actin cytoskeleton along the cells' lateral borders, but was linked to recruitment of α-catenin and dephosphorylation of N-cadherin-linked β-catenin. Biochemical analysis revealed differentiation-specific recruitment of actin regulators cortactin and Arp3 to maturing N-cadherin junctions of differentiating cells, linking N-cadherin junctional maturation with actin cytoskeletal assembly during fiber cell elongation. Blocking formation of mature N-cadherin junctions led to reduced association of α-catenin with N-cadherin, prevented organization of actin along lateral borders of differentiating lens fiber cells and blocked their elongation. These studies provide a molecular link between N-cadherin junctions and the organization of an actin cytoskeleton that governs lens fiber cell morphogenesis in vivo.

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

    PubMed

    Lagrue, Kathryn; Carisey, Alex; Morgan, David J; Chopra, Rajesh; Davis, Daniel M

    2015-07-02

    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.

  1. Actin-aggregating Cucurbitacins from Physocarpus capitatus

    PubMed Central

    Maloney, Katherine N.; Fujita, Masaki; Eggert, Ulrike S.; Schroeder, Frank C.; Field, Christine M.; Mitchison, Timothy J.; Clardy, Jon

    2009-01-01

    Bioassay-guided fractionation of Physocarpus capitatus yielded two new cucurbitacins (3 and 4) along with the known cucurbitacin F (1) and dihydrocucurbitacin F (2). Preliminary mechanism of action studies indicate that the cucurbitacins cause actin aggregates and inhibit cell division. PMID:18959442

  2. Genetics Home Reference: actin-accumulation myopathy

    MedlinePlus

    ... fibers and are important for muscle contraction. Attachment (binding) and release of the overlapping thick and thin filaments allows them to move relative to each other so that the muscles can contract. ACTA1 gene mutations that cause actin-accumulation myopathy ...

  3. Molecular Basis of Actin Nucleation Factor Cooperativity

    PubMed Central

    Zeth, Kornelius; Pechlivanis, Markos; Samol, Annette; Pleiser, Sandra; Vonrhein, Clemens; Kerkhoff, Eugen

    2011-01-01

    The distinct actin nucleation factors of the Spir and formin subgroup families cooperate in actin nucleation. The Spir/formin cooperativity has been identified to direct two essential steps in mammalian oocyte maturation, the asymmetric spindle positioning and polar body extrusion during meiosis. Understanding the nature and regulation of the Spir/Fmn cooperation is an important requirement to comprehend mammalian reproduction. Recently we dissected the structural elements of the Spir and Fmn family proteins, which physically link the two actin nucleation factors. The trans-regulatory interaction is mediated by the Spir kinase non-catalytic C-lobe domain (KIND) and the C-terminal formin Spir interaction motif (FSI). The interaction inhibits formin nucleation activity and enhances the Spir activity. To get insights into the molecular mechanism of the Spir/Fmn interaction, we determined the crystal structure of the KIND domain alone and in complex with the C-terminal Fmn-2 FSI peptide. Together they confirm the proposed structural homology of the KIND domain to the protein kinase fold and reveal the basis of the Spir/formin interaction. The complex structure showed a large interface with conserved and positively charged residues of the Fmn FSI peptide mediating major contacts to an acidic groove on the surface of KIND. Protein interaction studies verified the electrostatic nature of the interaction. The data presented here provide the molecular basis of the Spir/formin interaction and give a first structural view into the mechanisms of actin nucleation factor cooperativity. PMID:21705804

  4. Curvature and torsion in growing actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Shaevitz, Joshua W; Fletcher, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:18560043

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Functional synergy of actin filament cross-linking proteins.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Yiider; Schafer, Benjamin W; Almo, Steven C; Wirtz, Denis

    2002-07-12

    The organization of filamentous actin (F-actin) in resilient networks is coordinated by various F-actin cross-linking proteins. The relative tolerance of cells to null mutations of genes that code for a single actin cross-linking protein suggests that the functions of those proteins are highly redundant. This apparent functional redundancy may, however, reflect the limited resolution of available assays in assessing the mechanical role of F-actin cross-linking/bundling proteins. Using reconstituted F-actin networks and rheological methods, we demonstrate how alpha-actinin and fascin, two F-actin cross-linking/bundling proteins that co-localize along stress fibers and in lamellipodia, could synergistically enhance the resilience of F-actin networks in vitro. These two proteins can generate microfilament arrays that "yield" at a strain amplitude that is much larger than each one of the proteins separately. F-actin/alpha-actinin/fascin networks display strain-induced hardening, whereby the network "stiffens" under shear deformations, a phenomenon that is non-existent in F-actin/fascin networks and much weaker in F-actin/alpha-actinin networks. Strain-hardening is further enhanced at high rates of deformation and high concentrations of actin cross-linking proteins. A simplified model suggests that the optimum results of the competition between the increased stiffness of bundles and their decreased density of cross-links. Our studies support a re-evaluation of the notion of functional redundancy among cytoskeletal regulatory proteins.

  9. 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.

  10. Synthetic actin-binding domains reveal compositional constraints for function.

    PubMed

    Lorenzi, Maria; Gimona, Mario

    2008-01-01

    The actin-binding domains of many proteins consist of a canonical type 1/type 2 arrangement of the structurally conserved calponin homology domain. Using the actin-binding domain of alpha-actinin-1 as a scaffold we have generated synthetic actin-binding domains by altering position and composition of the calponin homology domains. We show that the presence of two calponin homology domains alone and in the context of an actin-binding domain is not sufficient for actin-binding, and that both single and homotypic type 2 calponin homology domain tandems fail to bind to actin in vitro and in transfected cells. In contrast, single and tandem type 1 calponin homology domain arrays bind actin directly but result in defective turnover rates on actin filaments, and in aberrant actin bundling when introduced into the full-length alpha-actinin molecule. An actin-binding domain harboring the calponin homology domains in an inverted position, however, functions both in isolation and in the context of the dimeric alpha-actinin molecule. Our data demonstrate that the dynamics and specificity of actin-binding via actin-binding domains requires both the filament binding properties of the type 1, and regulation by type 2 calponin homology domains, and appear independent of their position.

  11. 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.

  12. Actin organization in chick embryo fibroblasts after influenza virus infection. I. Isolation and characterization of actin from chick embryo cells.

    PubMed

    Krizanová, O; Závodská, E; Solariková, L; Ciampor, F; Kocisková, D

    1984-05-01

    Comparison of two starting materials for actin purification has shown that preparation of actin from aceton-dried cytoskeleton was more effective than from native chick embryos (CE). The isolated actin formed a single band of Mr = 42-43000 in SDS-PAGE; less purified samples revealed additional faint bands. G form of actin (non-polymerized) inhibited the activity of DNase I, electron microscopy showed actin filaments and bundles formed upon its polymerization. The freshly purified homogeneous actin has not lost its DNase I-inhibiting activity when incubated for 60 min at 35 degrees or 45 degrees C. Older or less purified actin samples kept under similar conditions showed 18-25% decrease of their DNase I-inhibiting activity and a loss of their polymerization ability. Digestion with trypsin caused a decrease of DNase I-inhibiting activity of fresh as well as for older actin samples.

  13. 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.

  14. ACTIN DEPOLYMERIZING FACTOR4 regulates actin dynamics during innate immune signaling in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Henty-Ridilla, Jessica L; Li, Jiejie; Day, Brad; Staiger, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    Conserved microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) are sensed by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on cells of plants and animals. MAMP perception typically triggers rearrangements to actin cytoskeletal arrays during innate immune signaling. However, the signaling cascades linking PRR activation by MAMPs to cytoskeleton remodeling are not well characterized. Here, we developed a system to dissect, at high spatial and temporal resolution, the regulation of actin dynamics during innate immune signaling in plant cells. Within minutes of MAMP perception, we detected changes to single actin filament turnover in epidermal cells treated with bacterial and fungal MAMPs. These MAMP-induced alterations phenocopied an ACTIN DEPOLYMERIZING FACTOR4 (ADF4) knockout mutant. Moreover, actin arrays in the adf4 mutant were unresponsive to a bacterial MAMP, elf26, but responded normally to the fungal MAMP, chitin. Together, our data provide strong genetic and cytological evidence for the inhibition of ADF activity regulating actin remodeling during innate immune signaling. This work is the first to directly link an ADF/cofilin to the cytoskeletal rearrangements elicited directly after pathogen perception in plant or mammalian cells.

  15. Actin, actin-related proteins and profilin in diatoms: a comparative genomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Aumeier, Charlotte; Polinski, Ellen; Menzel, Diedrik

    2015-10-01

    Diatoms are heterokont unicellular algae with a widespread distribution throughout all aquatic habitats. Research on diatoms has advanced significantly over the last decade due to available genetic transformation methods and publicly available genome databases. Yet up to now, proteins involved in the regulation of the cytoskeleton in diatoms are largely unknown. Consequently, this work focuses on actin and actin-related proteins (ARPs) encoded in the diatom genomes of Thalassiosira pseudonana, Thalassiosira oceanica, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Fragilariopsis cylindrus and Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries. Our comparative genomic study revealed that most diatoms possess only a single conventional actin and a small set of ARPs. Among these are the highly conserved cytoplasmic Arp1 protein and the nuclear Arp4 as well as Arp6. Diatom genomes contain genes coding for two structurally different homologues of Arp4 that might serve specific functions. All diatom species examined here lack ARP2 and ARP3 proteins, suggesting that diatoms are not capable of forming the Arp2/3 complex, which is essential in most eukaryotes for actin filament branching and plus-end dynamics. Interestingly, none of the sequenced representatives of the Bacillariophyta phylum code for profilin. Profilin is an essential actin-binding protein regulating the monomer actin pool and is involved in filament plus-end dynamics. This is the first report of organisms not containing profilin.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Spatial control of the actin cytoskeleton in Drosophila epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Baum, B; Perrimon, N

    2001-10-01

    The actin cytoskeleton orders cellular space and transduces many of the forces required for morphogenesis. Here we combine genetics and cell biology to identify genes that control the polarized distribution of actin filaments within the Drosophila follicular epithelium. We find that profilin and cofilin regulate actin-filament formation throughout the cell cortex. In contrast, CAP-a Drosophila homologue of Adenylyl Cyclase Associated Proteins-functions specifically to limit actin-filament formation catalysed by Ena at apical cell junctions. The Abl tyrosine kinase also collaborates in this process. We therefore propose that CAP, Ena and Abl act in concert to modulate the subcellular distribution of actin filaments in Drosophila.

  7. Control of Cortical Rigidity by the Cytoskeleton: Emerging Roles for Septins

    PubMed Central

    Gilden, Julia; Krummel, Matthew F.

    2010-01-01

    The cortex is the outermost region of the cell, comprising all of the elements from the plasma membrane to the cortical actin cytoskeleton that cooperate to maintain the cell’s shape and topology. In eukaryotes without cell walls, this cortex governs the contact between their plasma membranes and the environment and thereby influences cell shape, motility, and signaling. It is therefore of considerable interest to understand how cells control their cortices, both globally and with respect to small sub-domains. Here we review the current understanding of this control, including the regulation of cell shape by balances of outward hydrostatic pressure and cortical tension. The actomyosin cytoskeleton is the canonical regulator of cortical rigidity and indeed many would consider the cortex to comprise the actin cortex nearly exclusively. However, this actomyosin array is intimately linked to the membrane, for example via ERM and PIP2 proteins. Additionally, the lipid membrane likely undergoes rigidification by other players, such as BAR proteins. Recent data also indicates that the septin cytoskeleton may play a formidable and more direct role in stabilization of membranes, particularly in contexts where cells receive limited external stabilization from their environments. Here, we review how septins may play this role, drawing on their physical form, their ability to directly bind and modify membranes and actomyosin, and their interactions with vesicular machinery. Deficiencies and alterations in the nature of the septin cytoskeleton may thus be relevant in multiple disease settings. PMID:20540086

  8. The actin cytoskeleton inhibits pore expansion during PIV5 fusion protein-promoted cell-cell fusion

    SciTech Connect

    Wurth, Mark A.; Schowalter, Rachel M.; Smith, Everett Clinton; Moncman, Carole L.; Ellis Dutch, Rebecca; McCann, Richard O.

    2010-08-15

    Paramyxovirus fusion (F) proteins promote both virus-cell fusion, required for viral entry, and cell-cell fusion, resulting in syncytia formation. We used the F-actin stabilizing drug, jasplakinolide, and the G-actin sequestrant, latrunculin A, to examine the role of actin dynamics in cell-cell fusion mediated by the parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) F protein. Jasplakinolide treatment caused a dose-dependent increase in cell-cell fusion as measured by both syncytia and reporter gene assays, and latrunculin A treatment also resulted in fusion stimulation. Treatment with jasplakinolide or latrunculin A partially rescued a fusion pore opening defect caused by deletion of the PIV5 F protein cytoplasmic tail, but these drugs had no effect on fusion inhibited at earlier stages by either temperature arrest or by a PIV5 heptad repeat peptide. These data suggest that the cortical actin cytoskeleton is an important regulator of fusion pore enlargement, an energetically costly stage of viral fusion protein-mediated membrane merger.

  9. 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.

  10. Cortical commands in active touch.

    PubMed

    Brecht, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The neocortex is an enormous network of extensively interconnected neurons. It has become clear that the computations performed by individual cortical neurons will critically depend on the quantitative composition of cortical activity. Here we discuss quantitative aspects of cortical activity and modes of cortical processing in the context of rodent active touch. Through in vivo whole-cell recordings one observes widespread subthreshold and very sparse evoked action potential (AP) activity in the somatosensory cortex both for passive whisker deflection in anaesthetized animals and during active whisker movements in awake animals. Neurons of the somatosensory cortex become either suppressed during whisking or activated by an efference copy of whisker movement signal that depolarize cells at certain phases of the whisking cycle. To probe the read out of cortical motor commands we applied intracellular stimulation in rat whisker motor cortex. We find that APs in individual cortical neurons can evoke long sequences of small whisker movements. The capacity of an individual neuron to evoke movements is most astonishing given the large number of neurons in whisker motor cortex. Thus, few cortical APs may suffice to control motor behaviour and such APs can be translated into action with the utmost precision. We conclude that there is very widespread subthreshold cortical activity and very sparse, highly specific cortical AP activity.

  11. Association of actin filaments with axonal microtubule tracts.

    PubMed

    Bearer, E L; Reese, T S

    1999-02-01

    Axoplasmic organelles move on actin as well as microtubules in vitro and axons contain a large amount of actin, but little is known about the organization and distribution of actin filaments within the axon. Here we undertake to define the relationship of the microtubule bundles typically found in axons to actin filaments by applying three microscopic techniques: laser-scanning confocal microscopy of immuno-labeled squid axoplasm; electronmicroscopy of conventionally prepared thin sections; and electronmicroscopy of touch preparations-a thin layer of axoplasm transferred to a specimen grid and negatively stained. Light microscopy shows that longitudinal actin filaments are abundant and usually coincide with longitudinal microtubule bundles. Electron microscopy shows that microfilaments are interwoven with the longitudinal bundles of microtubules. These bundles maintain their integrity when neurofilaments are extracted. Some, though not all microfilaments decorate with the S1 fragment of myosin, and some also act as nucleation sites for polymerization of exogenous actin, and hence are definitively identified as actin filaments. These actin filaments range in minimum length from 0.5 to 1.5 microm with some at least as long as 3.5 microm. We conclude that the microtubule-based tracks for fast organelle transport also include actin filaments. These actin filaments are sufficiently long and abundant to be ancillary or supportive of fast transport along microtubules within bundles, or to extend transport outside of the bundle. These actin filaments could also be essential for maintaining the structural integrity of the microtubule bundles.

  12. Actin filaments as dynamic reservoirs for Drp1 recruitment

    PubMed Central

    Hatch, Anna L.; Ji, Wei-Ke; Merrill, Ronald A.; Strack, Stefan; Higgs, Henry N.

    2016-01-01

    Drp1 is a dynamin-family GTPase recruited to mitochondria and peroxisomes, where it oligomerizes and drives membrane fission. Regulation of mitochondrial Drp1 recruitment is not fully understood. We previously showed that Drp1 binds actin filaments directly, and actin polymerization is necessary for mitochondrial Drp1 oligomerization in mammals. Here we show the Drp1/actin interaction displays unusual properties that are influenced by several factors. At saturation, only a fraction Drp1 binds actin filaments, and the off-rate of actin-bound Drp1 is significantly increased by unbound Drp1. GDP and GTP accelerate and decelerate Drp1/actin binding dynamics, respectively. Actin has a biphasic effect on Drp1 GTP hydrolysis, increasing at low actin:Drp1 ratio but returning to baseline at high ratio. Drp1 also bundles filaments. Bundles have reduced dynamics but follow the same trends as single filaments. Drp1 preferentially incorporates into bundles at higher ionic strength. We measure Drp1 concentration to be ∼0.5 μM in U2OS cell cytosol, suggesting the actin-binding affinity measured here (Kd = 0.6 μM) is in the physiologically relevant range. The ability of Drp1 to bind actin filaments in a highly dynamic manner provides potential for actin filaments to serve as reservoirs of oligomerization-competent Drp1 that can be accessed for mitochondrial fission. PMID:27559132

  13. 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

  14. Dendritic Actin Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

    2010-03-01

    Reversible polymerization of the intracellular protein actin into semiflexible filaments is crucial for cell motion and environmental sensing. Recent studies have shown that polymerized actin can spontaneously form traveling waves and/or moving patches. I investigate possible mechanisms for such phenomena by numerically simulating the ``dendritic nucleation'' model of actin network growth. The simulations treat the growth of an actin network on a flat portion of a cell membrane, using a stochastic-growth method which calculates an explicit three-dimensional network structure. The calculations treat processes including filament growth, capping, branching, severing, and Brownian motion. The dynamics of membrane proteins stimulating actin polymerization are also included: they diffuse in the membrane, and detach/deactivate in the presence of polymerized actin. The simulations show three types of polymerized-actin behavior: 1) traveling waves, 2) coherently moving patches, and 3) random fluctuations with occasional moving patches. Wave formation is favored at low free-actin concentrations by a long reattachment time for the membrane proteins, and by weakness of the attractive interaction between filaments and the membrane. Raising the free-actin concentration results in a randomly varying distribution of polymerized actin. Lowering the free-actin concentration below the optimal value for waves causes the waves to break up into patches which, however, move coherently. Effects of similar magnitude are predicted when other intracellular protein concentrations are varied. Diffusion of the membrane proteins slows the waves, and, if fast enough, stops them completely, resulting in the formation of a static spot.

  15. Geometrical and Mechanical Properties Control Actin Filament Organization

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Geometrical and mechanical properties control actin filament organization.

    PubMed

    Letort, Gaëlle; Politi, Antonio Z; Ennomani, Hajer; Théry, Manuel; Nedelec, Francois; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2015-05-01

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

  17. Cytoplasmic Actin: Purification and Single Molecule Assembly Assays

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott D.; Zuchero, J. Bradley; Mullins, R. Dyche

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is essential to all eukaryotic cells. In addition to playing important structural roles, assembly of actin into filaments powers diverse cellular processes, including cell motility, cytokinesis, and endocytosis. Actin polymerization is tightly regulated by its numerous cofactors, which control spatial and temporal assembly of actin as well as the physical properties of these filaments. Development of an in vitro model of actin polymerization from purified components has allowed for great advances in determining the effects of these proteins on the actin cytoskeleton. Here we describe how to use the pyrene actin assembly assay to determine the effect of a protein on the kinetics of actin assembly, either directly or as mediated by proteins such as nucleation or capping factors. Secondly, we show how fluorescently labeled phalloidin can be used to visualize the filaments that are created in vitro to give insight into how proteins regulate actin filament structure. Finally, we describe a method for visualizing dynamic assembly and disassembly of single actin filaments and fluorescently labeled actin binding proteins using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. PMID:23868587

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-08

    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.

  19. Evidence for filamentous actin in ookinetes of a malarial parasite.

    PubMed

    Siden-Kiamos, Inga; Louis, Christos; Matuschewski, Kai

    2012-02-01

    Extracellular stages of apicomplexan parasites utilize their own actin myosin motor machinery for gliding locomotion, penetration of cell barriers, and host cell invasion. Thus far, filamentous actin could not be visualized by standard microscopic techniques in vivo. Here, we describe the generation of a novel peptide antibody against the divergent amino-terminal portion of the major Plasmodium isoform, actin I. We show that our antiserum, termed Ab-actinI-I, is conformation-specific. In motile ookinetes it recognizes actin in rod-like structures, which are sensitive to inhibitors interfering with actin polymerization. The average size of the rods is 600 nm, which is considerably longer than what has been detected in in vitro studies of actin filaments.

  20. 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

  1. Confinement induces actin flow in a meiotic cytoplasm

    PubMed Central

    Pinot, Mathieu; Steiner, Villier; Dehapiot, Benoit; Yoo, Byung-Kuk; Chesnel, Franck; Blanchoin, Laurent; Kervrann, Charles; Gueroui, Zoher

    2012-01-01

    In vivo, F-actin flows are observed at different cell life stages and participate in various developmental processes during asymmetric divisions in vertebrate oocytes, cell migration, or wound healing. Here, we show that confinement has a dramatic effect on F-actin spatiotemporal organization. We reconstitute in vitro the spontaneous generation of F-actin flow using Xenopus meiotic extracts artificially confined within a geometry mimicking the cell boundary. Perturbations of actin polymerization kinetics or F-actin nucleation sites strongly modify the network flow dynamics. A combination of quantitative image analysis and biochemical perturbations shows that both spatial localization of F-actin nucleators and actin turnover play a decisive role in generating flow. Interestingly, our in vitro assay recapitulates several symmetry-breaking processes observed in oocytes and early embryonic cells. PMID:22753521

  2. New Insights into Mechanism and Regulation of Actin Capping Protein

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, John A.; Sept, David

    2008-01-01

    The heterodimeric actin capping protein, referred to here as “CP,” is an essential element of the actin cytoskeleton, binding to the barbed ends of actin filaments and regulating their polymerization. In vitro, CP has a critical role in the dendritic nucleation process of actin assembly mediated by Arp2/3 complex, and in vivo, CP is important for actin assembly and actin-based process of morphogenesis and differentiation. Recent studies have provided new insight into the mechanism of CP binding the barbed end, which raises new possibilities for the dynamics of CP and actin in cells. In addition, a number of molecules that bind and regulate CP have been discovered, suggesting new ideas for how CP may integrate into diverse processes of cell physiology. PMID:18544499

  3. Actin-interacting Protein 1 Promotes Disassembly of Actin-depolymerizing Factor/Cofilin-bound Actin Filaments in a pH-dependent Manner*

    PubMed Central

    Nomura, Kazumi; Hayakawa, Kimihide; Tatsumi, Hitoshi; Ono, Shoichiro

    2016-01-01

    Actin-interacting protein 1 (AIP1) is a conserved WD repeat protein that promotes disassembly of actin filaments when actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin is present. Although AIP1 is known to be essential for a number of cellular events involving dynamic rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton, the regulatory mechanism of the function of AIP1 is unknown. In this study, we report that two AIP1 isoforms from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, known as UNC-78 and AIPL-1, are pH-sensitive in enhancement of actin filament disassembly. Both AIP1 isoforms only weakly enhance disassembly of ADF/cofilin-bound actin filaments at an acidic pH but show stronger disassembly activity at neutral and basic pH values. However, a severing-defective mutant of UNC-78 shows pH-insensitive binding to ADF/cofilin-decorated actin filaments, suggesting that the process of filament severing or disassembly, but not filament binding, is pH-dependent. His-60 of AIP1 is located near the predicted binding surface for the ADF/cofilin-actin complex, and an H60K mutation of AIP1 partially impairs its pH sensitivity, suggesting that His-60 is involved in the pH sensor for AIP1. These biochemical results suggest that pH-dependent changes in AIP1 activity might be a novel regulatory mechanism of actin filament dynamics. PMID:26747606

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Fission Yeast Myosin-I, Myo1p, Stimulates Actin Assembly by Arp2/3 Complex and Shares Functions with Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wei-Lih; Bezanilla, Magdalena; Pollard, Thomas D.

    2000-01-01

    Fission yeast myo1+ encodes a myosin-I with all three tail homology domains (TH1, 2, 3) found in typical long-tailed myosin-Is. Myo1p tail also contains a COOH-terminal acidic region similar to the A-domain of WASp/Scar proteins and other fungal myosin-Is. Our analysis shows that Myo1p and Wsp1p, the fission yeast WASp-like protein, share functions and cooperate in controlling actin assembly. First, Myo1p localizes to cortical patches enriched at tips of growing cells and at sites of cell division. Myo1p patches partially colocalize with actin patches and are dependent on an intact actin cytoskeleton. Second, although deletion of myo1+ is not lethal, Δmyo1 cells have actin cytoskeletal defects, including loss of polarized cell growth, delocalized actin patches, and mating defects. Third, additional disruption of wsp1+ is synthetically lethal, suggesting that these genes may share functions. In mapping the domains of Myo1p tail that share function with Wsp1p, we discovered that a Myo1p construct with just the head and TH1 domains is sufficient for cortical localization and to rescue all Δmyo1 defects. However, it fails to rescue the Δmyo1 Δwsp1 lethality. Additional tail domains, TH2 and TH3, are required to complement the double mutant. Fourth, we show that a recombinant Myo1p tail binds to Arp2/3 complex and activates its actin nucleation activity. PMID:11076964

  12. Enigma interacts with adaptor protein with PH and SH2 domains to control insulin-induced actin cytoskeleton remodeling and glucose transporter 4 translocation.

    PubMed

    Barrès, Romain; Grémeaux, Thierry; Gual, Philippe; Gonzalez, Teresa; Gugenheim, Jean; Tran, Albert; Le Marchand-Brustel, Yannick; Tanti, Jean-François

    2006-11-01

    APS (adaptor protein with PH and SH2 domains) initiates a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-independent pathway involved in insulin-stimulated glucose transport. We recently identified Enigma, a PDZ and LIM domain-containing protein, as a partner of APS and showed that APS-Enigma complex plays a critical role in actin cytoskeleton organization in fibroblastic cells. Because actin rearrangement is important for insulin-induced glucose transporter 4 (Glut 4) translocation, we studied the potential involvement of Enigma in insulin-induced glucose transport in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Enigma mRNA was expressed in differentiated adipocytes and APS and Enigma were colocalized with cortical actin. Expression of an APS mutant unable to bind Enigma increased the insulin-induced Glut 4 translocation to the plasma membrane. By contrast, overexpression of Enigma inhibited insulin-stimulated glucose transport and Glut 4 translocation without alterations in proximal insulin signaling. This inhibitory effect was prevented with the deletion of the LIM domains of Enigma. Using time-lapse fluorescent microscopy of green fluorescent protein-actin, we demonstrated that the overexpression of Enigma altered insulin-induced actin rearrangements, whereas the expression of Enigma without its LIM domains was without effect. A physiological link between increased expression of Enigma and an alteration in insulin-induced glucose uptake was suggested by the increase in Enigma mRNA expression in adipose tissue of diabetic obese patients. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that the interaction between APS and Enigma is involved in insulin-induced Glut 4 translocation by regulating cortical actin remodeling and raise the possibility that modification of APS/Enigma ratio could participate in the alteration of insulin-induced glucose uptake in adipose tissue.

  13. Actin-mediated motion of meiotic chromosomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Capture of microtubule plus-ends at the actin cortex promotes axophilic neuronal migration by enhancing microtubule tension in the leading process

    PubMed Central

    Hutchins, B. Ian; Wray, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Microtubules are a critical part of neuronal polarity and leading process extension, thus microtubule movement plays an important role in neuronal migration. However, the dynamics of microtubules during the forward movement of the nucleus into the leading process (nucleokinesis) is unclear and may be dependent on the cell type and mode of migration used. In particular, little is known about cytoskeletal changes during axophilic migration, commonly used in anteroposterior neuronal migration. We recently showed that leading process actin flow in migrating GnRH neurons is controlled by a signaling cascade involving IP3 receptors, CaMKK, AMPK, and RhoA. In the present study, microtubule dynamics were examined in GnRH neurons. Failure of the migration of these cells leads to the neuroendocrine disorder Kallmann Syndrome. Microtubules translocated forward along the leading process shaft during migration, but reversed direction and moved toward the nucleus when migration stalled. Blocking calcium release through IP3 receptors halted migration and induced the same reversal of microtubule translocation, while blocking cortical actin flow prevented microtubules from translocating toward the distal leading process. Super-resolution imaging revealed that microtubule plus-end tips are captured at the actin cortex through calcium-dependent mechanisms. This work shows that cortical actin flow draws the microtubule network forward through calcium-dependent capture in order to promote nucleokinesis, revealing a novel mechanism engaged by migrating neurons to facilitate movement. PMID:25505874

  15. Mapping cortical mesoscopic networks of single spiking cortical or sub-cortical neurons

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Dongsheng; Vanni, Matthieu P; Mitelut, Catalin C; Chan, Allen W; LeDue, Jeffrey M; Xie, Yicheng; Chen, Andrew CN; Swindale, Nicholas V; Murphy, Timothy H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the basis of brain function requires knowledge of cortical operations over wide-spatial scales, but also within the context of single neurons. In vivo, wide-field GCaMP imaging and sub-cortical/cortical cellular electrophysiology were used in mice to investigate relationships between spontaneous single neuron spiking and mesoscopic cortical activity. We make use of a rich set of cortical activity motifs that are present in spontaneous activity in anesthetized and awake animals. A mesoscale spike-triggered averaging procedure allowed the identification of motifs that are preferentially linked to individual spiking neurons by employing genetically targeted indicators of neuronal activity. Thalamic neurons predicted and reported specific cycles of wide-scale cortical inhibition/excitation. In contrast, spike-triggered maps derived from single cortical neurons yielded spatio-temporal maps expected for regional cortical consensus function. This approach can define network relationships between any point source of neuronal spiking and mesoscale cortical maps. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19976.001 PMID:28160463

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Antifouling Electrospun Nanofiber Mats Functionalized with Polymer Zwitterions.

    PubMed

    Kolewe, Kristopher W; Dobosz, Kerianne M; Rieger, Katrina A; Chang, Chia-Chih; Emrick, Todd; Schiffman, Jessica D

    2016-10-06

    In this study, we exploit the excellent fouling resistance of polymer zwitterions and present electrospun nanofiber mats surface functionalized with poly(2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine) (polyMPC). This zwitterionic polymer coating maximizes the accessibility of the zwitterion to effectively limit biofouling on nanofiber membranes. Two facile, scalable methods yielded a coating on cellulose nanofibers: (i) a two-step sequential deposition featuring dopamine polymerization followed by the physioadsorption of polyMPC, and (ii) a one-step codeposition of polydopamine (PDA) with polyMPC. While the sequential and codeposited nanofiber mat assemblies have an equivalent average fiber diameter, hydrophilic contact angle, surface chemistry, and stability, the topography of nanofibers prepared by codeposition were smoother. Protein and microbial antifouling performance of the zwitterion modified nanofiber mats along with two controls, cellulose (unmodified) and PDA coated nanofiber mats were evaluated by dynamic protein fouling and prolonged bacterial exposure. Following 21 days of exposure to bovine serum albumin, the sequential nanofiber mats significantly resisted protein fouling, as indicated by their 95% flux recovery ratio in a water flux experiment, a 300% improvement over the cellulose nanofiber mats. When challenged with two model microbes Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus for 24 h, both zwitterion modifications demonstrated superior fouling resistance by statistically reducing microbial attachment over the two controls. This study demonstrates that, by decorating the surfaces of chemically and mechanically robust cellulose nanofiber mats with polyMPC, we can generate high performance, free-standing nanofiber mats that hold potential in applications where antifouling materials are imperative, such as tissue engineering scaffolds and water purification technologies.

  19. PI(3,5)P2 controls endosomal branched actin dynamics by regulating cortactin–actin interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Nan Hyung; Qi, Aidong

    2015-01-01

    Branched actin critically contributes to membrane trafficking by regulating membrane curvature, dynamics, fission, and transport. However, how actin dynamics are controlled at membranes is poorly understood. Here, we identify the branched actin regulator cortactin as a direct binding partner of phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) and demonstrate that their interaction promotes turnover of late endosomal actin. In vitro biochemical studies indicated that cortactin binds PI(3,5)P2 via its actin filament-binding region. Furthermore, PI(3,5)P2 competed with actin filaments for binding to cortactin, thereby antagonizing cortactin activity. These findings suggest that PI(3,5)P2 formation on endosomes may remove cortactin from endosome-associated branched actin. Indeed, inhibition of PI(3,5)P2 production led to cortactin accumulation and actin stabilization on Rab7+ endosomes. Conversely, inhibition of Arp2/3 complex activity greatly reduced cortactin localization to late endosomes. Knockdown of cortactin reversed PI(3,5)P2-inhibitor–induced actin accumulation and stabilization on endosomes. These data suggest a model in which PI(3,5)P2 binding removes cortactin from late endosomal branched actin networks and thereby promotes net actin turnover. PMID:26323691

  20. 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

  1. Calcium regulation of actin crosslinking is important for function of the actin cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium.

    PubMed

    Furukawa, Ruth; Maselli, Andrew; Thomson, Susanne A M; Lim, Rita W L; Stokes, John V; Fechheimer, Marcus

    2003-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is sensitive to changes in calcium, which affect contractility, actin-severing proteins, actin-crosslinking proteins and calmodulin-regulated enzymes. To dissect the role of calcium control on the activity of individual proteins from effects of calcium on other processes, calcium-insensitive forms of these proteins were prepared and introduced into living cells to replace a calcium-sensitive form of the same protein. Crosslinking and bundling of actin filaments by the Dictyostelium 34 kDa protein is inhibited in the presence of micromolar free calcium. A modified form of the 34 kDa protein with mutations in the calcium binding EF hand (34 kDa deltaEF2) was prepared using site-directed mutagenesis and expressed in E. coli. Equilibrium dialysis using [(45)Ca]CaCl(2) revealed that the wild-type protein is able to bind one calcium ion with a Kd of 2.4 microM. This calcium binding is absent in the 34 kDa deltaEF2 protein. The actin-binding activity of the 34 kDa deltaEF2 protein was equivalent to wildtype but calcium insensitive in vitro. The wild-type and 34 kDa deltaEF2 proteins were expressed in 34-kDa-null and 34 kDa/alpha-actinin double null mutant Dictyostelium strains to test the hypothesis that calcium regulation of actin crosslinking is important in vivo. The 34 kDa deltaEF2 failed to supply function of the 34 kDa protein important for control of cell size and for normal growth to either of these 34-kDa-null strains. Furthermore, the distribution of the 34 kDa protein and actin were abnormal in cells expressing 34 kDa deltaEF2. Thus, calcium regulation of the formation and/or dissolution of crosslinked actin structures is required for dynamic behavior of the actin cytoskeleton important for cell structure and growth.

  2. Dynamics of Membranes Driven by Actin Polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Gov, Nir S.; Gopinathan, Ajay

    2006-01-01

    A motile cell, when stimulated, shows a dramatic increase in the activity of its membrane, manifested by the appearance of dynamic membrane structures such as lamellipodia, filopodia, and membrane ruffles. The external stimulus turns on membrane bound activators, like Cdc42 and PIP2, which cause increased branching and polymerization of the actin cytoskeleton in their vicinity leading to a local protrusive force on the membrane. The emergence of the complex membrane structures is a result of the coupling between the dynamics of the membrane, the activators, and the protrusive forces. We present a simple model that treats the dynamics of a membrane under the action of actin polymerization forces that depend on the local density of freely diffusing activators on the membrane. We show that, depending on the spontaneous membrane curvature associated with the activators, the resulting membrane motion can be wavelike, corresponding to membrane ruffling and actin waves, or unstable, indicating the tendency of filopodia to form. Our model also quantitatively explains a variety of related experimental observations and makes several testable predictions. PMID:16239328

  3. Novel roles for actin in mitochondrial fission.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Metallothionein immunolocalization in actinic skin nonmelanoma carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Borges Júnior, Paulo C; Ribeiro, Rosy I M A; Cardoso, Sérgio V; Berbet, Alceu L C; Rocha, Ademir; Espindola, Foued S; Loyola, Adriano M

    2007-06-01

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the most frequent skin cancer. Its pathogeny is linked to genotoxic effects of actinic radiation exposure, especially to ultraviolet wavelength. Metallothionein (MT) is a low-molecular weight protein with high affinity for heavy metal. Its intracellular function has been related to heavy metals and free-radical detoxification, although many studies linked MT to protective action against actinic mutagenesis. In other way, overexpression in malignant tumors has been related to worse prognosis. We aimed to evaluate MT immunohistochemical expression in skin cancer associated to actinic radiation. Twenty-six BCC cases, 20 SCC, and 6 normal skin fragments were investigated. Immunohistochemical assay were performed by streptavidin-biotin-peroxidase technique with standard monoclonal antibody (E9). In normal skin, immunostaining was observed in basal layer of the epithelium. In the epithelium adjacent to tumors, suprabasal layer was also intensely labeled. Mean MT immunostaining indices were 18.5+21.2% for BCC and 69.1+14.4% for SCC. This difference was statistically significant. Higher MT expression in SCC as compared with BCC suggests association with tumoral aggressiveness.

  6. Growth of branched actin networks against obstacles.

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, A E

    2001-01-01

    A method for simulating the growth of branched actin networks against obstacles has been developed. The method is based on simple stochastic events, including addition or removal of monomers at filament ends, capping of filament ends, nucleation of branches from existing filaments, and detachment of branches; the network structure for several different models of the branching process has also been studied. The models differ with regard to their inclusion of effects such as preferred branch orientations, filament uncapping at the obstacle, and preferential branching at filament ends. The actin ultrastructure near the membrane in lamellipodia is reasonably well produced if preferential branching in the direction of the obstacle or barbed-end uncapping effects are included. Uncapping effects cause the structures to have a few very long filaments that are similar to those seen in pathogen-induced "actin tails." The dependence of the growth velocity, branch spacing, and network density on the rate parameters for the various processes is quite different among the branching models. An analytic theory of the growth velocity and branch spacing of the network is described. Experiments are suggested that could distinguish among some of the branching models. PMID:11566765

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Photosynthate Partitioning and Fermentation in Hot Spring Microbial Mat Communities

    PubMed Central

    Nold, S. C.; Ward, D. M.

    1996-01-01

    Patterns of (sup14)CO(inf2) incorporation into molecular components of the thermophilic cyanobacterial mat communities inhabiting hot springs located in Yellowstone National Park and Synechococcus sp. strain C1 were investigated. Exponentially growing Synechococcus sp. strain C1 partitioned the majority of incorporated (sup14)CO(inf2) into protein, low-molecular-weight metabolites, and lipid fractions (45, 22, and 18% of total incorporated carbon, respectively). In contrast, mat cores from various hot springs predominantly accumulated polyglucose during periods of illumination (between 77 and 85% of total incorporated (sup14)CO(inf2)). Although photosynthetically active, mat photoautotrophs do not appear to be rapidly growing, since we also detected only limited synthesis of macromolecules associated with growth (i.e., protein and rRNA). To test the hypothesis that polysaccharide reserves are fermented in situ under the dark anaerobic conditions cyanobacterial mats experience at night, mat cores were prelabeled with (sup14)CO(inf2) under illuminated conditions and then transferred to dark anaerobic conditions. Radiolabel in the polysaccharide fraction decreased by 74.7% after 12 h, of which 58.5% was recovered as radiolabeled acetate, CO(inf2), and propionate. These results indicate tightly coupled carbon fixation and fermentative processes and the potential for significant transfer of carbon from primary producers to heterotrophic members of these cyanobacterial mat communities. PMID:16535472

  11. Mechanical behavior of ultralong multiwalled carbon nanotube mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deck, Christian P.; Flowers, Jason; McKee, Gregg S. B.; Vecchio, Kenneth

    2007-01-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been a subject of great interest partially due to their potential for exceptional material properties. Improvements in synthesis methods have facilitated the production of ultralong CNT mats, with lengths in the millimeter range. The increased length of these ultralong mats has, in return, opened the way to greater flexibility to probe their mechanical response. In this work, mats of dense, well-aligned, multiwalled carbon nanotubes were grown with a vapor-phase chemical vapor deposition technique using ferrocene and benzene as reactants, and subsequently tested in both tension and compression using two methods, in a thermomechanical analyzer and in situ inside a scanning electron microscope. In compression, measured stiffness was very low, due to buckling of the nanotubes. In tension, the nanotube mats behaved considerably stiffer; however, they were still more compliant than expected for nanotubes (˜1TPa). Analysis of both the growth method used and the nanotube mat fracture surface suggests that the mats grown in this method are not composed of continuous nanotubes and their strengths actually closely match those of woven nanotube yarns and ropes.

  12. Global treadmilling coordinates actin turnover and controls the size of actin networks.

    PubMed

    Carlier, Marie-France; Shekhar, Shashank

    2017-03-01

    Various cellular processes (including cell motility) are driven by the regulated, polarized assembly of actin filaments into distinct force-producing arrays of defined size and architecture. Branched, linear, contractile and cytosolic arrays coexist in vivo, and cells intricately control the number, length and assembly rate of filaments in these arrays. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies have revealed novel molecular mechanisms that regulate the number of filament barbed and pointed ends and their respective assembly and disassembly rates, thus defining classes of dynamically different filaments, which coexist in the same cell. We propose that a global treadmilling process, in which a steady-state amount of polymerizable actin monomers is established by the dynamics of each network, is responsible for defining the size and turnover of coexisting actin networks. Furthermore, signal-induced changes in the partitioning of actin to distinct arrays (mediated by RHO GTPases) result in the establishment of various steady-state concentrations of polymerizable monomers, thereby globally influencing the growth rate of actin filaments.

  13. Actin-binding Protein Drebrin Regulates HIV-1-triggered Actin Polymerization and Viral Infection*

    PubMed Central

    Gordón-Alonso, Mónica; Rocha-Perugini, Vera; Álvarez, Susana; Ursa, Ángeles; Izquierdo-Useros, Nuria; Martinez-Picado, Javier; Muñoz-Fernández, María A.; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    HIV-1 contact with target cells triggers F-actin rearrangements that are essential for several steps of the viral cycle. Successful HIV entry into CD4+ T cells requires actin reorganization induced by the interaction of the cellular receptor/co-receptor complex CD4/CXCR4 with the viral envelope complex gp120/gp41 (Env). In this report, we analyze the role of the actin modulator drebrin in HIV-1 viral infection and cell to cell fusion. We show that drebrin associates with CXCR4 before and during HIV infection. Drebrin is actively recruited toward cell-virus and Env-driven cell to cell contacts. After viral internalization, drebrin clustering is retained in a fraction of the internalized particles. Through a combination of RNAi-based inhibition of endogenous drebrin and GFP-tagged expression of wild-type and mutant forms, we establish drebrin as a negative regulator of HIV entry and HIV-mediated cell fusion. Down-regulation of drebrin expression promotes HIV-1 entry, decreases F-actin polymerization, and enhances profilin local accumulation in response to HIV-1. These data underscore the negative role of drebrin in HIV infection by modulating viral entry, mainly through the control of actin cytoskeleton polymerization in response to HIV-1. PMID:23926103

  14. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin-related protein Arp2 is involved in the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Arp2p is an essential yeast actin-related protein. Disruption of the corresponding ARP2 gene leads to a terminal phenotype characterized by the presence of a single large bud. Thus, Arp2p may be important for a late stage of the cell cycle (Schwob, E., and R.P. Martin, 1992. Nature (Lond.). 355:179-182). We have localized Arp2p by indirect immunofluorescence. Specific peptide antibodies revealed punctate staining under the plasma membrane, which partially colocalizes with actin. Temperature-sensitive arp2 mutations were created by PCR mutagenesis and selected by an ade2/SUP11 sectoring screen. One temperature-sensitive mutant that was characterized, arp2-H330L, was osmosensitive and had an altered actin cytoskeleton at a nonpermissive temperature, suggesting a role of Arp2p in the actin cytoskeleton. Random budding patterns were observed in both haploid and diploid arp2- H330L mutant cells. Endocytosis, as judged by Lucifer yellow uptake, was severely reduced in the mutant, at all temperatures. In addition, genetic interaction was observed between temperature-sensitive alleles arp2-H330L and cdc10-1. CDC10 is a gene encoding a neck filament- associated protein that is necessary for polarized growth and cytokinesis. Overall, the immunolocalization, mutant phenotypes, and genetic interaction suggest that the Arp2 protein is an essential component of the actin cytoskeleton that is involved in membrane growth and polarity, as well as in endocytosis. PMID:8698808

  15. 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

  16. Evaluating Mandibular Cortical Index Quantitatively

    PubMed Central

    Yasar, Fusun; Akgunlu, Faruk

    2008-01-01

    Objectives The aim was to assess whether Fractal Dimension and Lacunarity analysis can discriminate patients having different mandibular cortical shape. Methods Panoramic radiographs of 52 patients were evaluated for mandibular cortical index. Weighted Kappa between the observations were varying between 0.718–0.805. These radiographs were scanned and converted to binary images. Fractal Dimension and Lacunarity were calculated from the regions where best represents the cortical morphology. Results It was found that there were statistically significant difference between the Fractal Dimension and Lacunarity of radiographs which were classified as having Cl 1 and Cl 2 (Fractal Dimension P:0.000; Lacunarity P:0.003); and Cl 1 and Cl 3 cortical morphology (Fractal Dimension P:0.008; Lacunarity P:0.001); but there was no statistically significant difference between Fractal Dimension and Lacunarity of radiographs which were classified as having Cl 2 and Cl 3 cortical morphology (Fractal Dimension P:1.000; Lacunarity P:0.758). Conclusions FD and L can differentiate Cl 1 mandibular cortical shape from both Cl 2 and Cl 3 mandibular cortical shape but cannot differentiate Cl 2 from Cl 3 mandibular cortical shape on panoramic radiographs. PMID:19212535

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2014-09-08

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia: cortical or non-cortical origin.

    PubMed

    van Strien, Teun W; van Rootselaar, Anne-Fleur; Hilgevoord, Anthony A J; Linssen, Wim H J P; Groffen, Alexander J A; Tijssen, Marina A J

    2012-06-01

    Paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) is characterized by involuntary dystonia and/or chorea triggered by a sudden movement. Cases are usually familial with an autosomal dominant inheritance. Hypotheses regarding the pathogenesis of PKD focus on the controversy whether PKD has a cortical or non-cortical origin. A combined familial trait of PKD and benign familial infantile seizures has been reported as the infantile convulsions and paroxysmal choreoathetosis (ICCA) syndrome. Here, we report a family diagnosed with ICCA syndrome with an Arg217STOP mutation. The index patient showed interictal EEG focal changes compatible with paroxysmal dystonic movements of his contralateral leg. This might support cortical involvement in PKD.

  5. Photosynthetic Microbial Mats are Exemplary Sources of Diverse Biosignatures (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Des Marais, D. J.; Jahnke, L. L.

    2013-12-01

    Marine cyanobacterial microbial mats are widespread, compact, self-contained ecosystems that create diverse biosignatures and have an ancient fossil record. Within the mats, oxygenic photosynthesis provides organic substrates and O2 to the community. Both the absorption and scattering of light change the intensity and spectral composition of incident radiation as it penetrates a mat. Some phototrophs utilize infrared light near the base of the photic zone. A mat's upper layers can become highly reduced and sulfidic at night. Counteracting gradients of O2 and sulfide shape the chemical environment and provide daily-contrasting microenvironments separated on a scale of a few mm. Radiation hazards (UV, etc.), O2 and sulfide toxicity elicit motility and other physiological responses. This combination of benefits and hazards of light, O2 and sulfide promotes the allocation of various essential mat processes between light and dark periods and to various depths in the mat. Associated nonphotosynthetic communities, including anaerobes, strongly influence many of the ecosystem's overall characteristics, and their processes affect any biosignatures that enter the fossil record. A biosignature is an object, substance and/or pattern whose origin specifically requires a biological agent. The value of a biosignature depends not only on the probability of life creating it, but also on the improbability of nonbiological processes producing it. Microbial mats create biosignatures that identify particular groups of organisms and also reveal attributes of the mat ecosystem. For example, branched hydrocarbons and pigments can be diagnostic of cyanobacteria and other phototrophic bacteria, and isoprenoids can indicate particular groups of archea. Assemblages of lipid biosignatures change with depth due to changes in microbial populations and diagenetic transformations of organic matter. The 13C/12C values of organic matter and carbonates reflect isotopic discrimination by particular

  6. Sulphur cycling in a Neoarchaean microbial mat.

    PubMed

    Meyer, N R; Zerkle, A L; Fike, D A

    2017-01-27

    Multiple sulphur (S) isotope ratios are powerful proxies to understand the complexity of S biogeochemical cycling through Deep Time. The disappearance of a sulphur mass-independent fractionation (S-MIF) signal in rocks <~2.4 Ga has been used to date a dramatic rise in atmospheric oxygen levels. However, intricacies of the S-cycle before the Great Oxidation Event remain poorly understood. For example, the isotope composition of coeval atmospherically derived sulphur species is still debated. Furthermore, variation in Archaean pyrite δ(34) S values has been widely attributed to microbial sulphate reduction (MSR). While petrographic evidence for Archaean early-diagenetic pyrite formation is common, textural evidence for the presence and distribution of MSR remains enigmatic. We combined detailed petrographic and in situ, high-resolution multiple S-isotope studies (δ(34) S and Δ(33) S) using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to document the S-isotope signatures of exceptionally well-preserved, pyritised microbialites in shales from the ~2.65-Ga Lokammona Formation, Ghaap Group, South Africa. The presence of MSR in this Neoarchaean microbial mat is supported by typical biogenic textures including wavy crinkled laminae, and early-diagenetic pyrite containing <26‰ μm-scale variations in δ(34) S and Δ(33) S = -0.21 ± 0.65‰ (±1σ). These large variations in δ(34) S values suggest Rayleigh distillation of a limited sulphate pool during high rates of MSR. Furthermore, we identified a second, morphologically distinct pyrite phase that precipitated after lithification, with δ(34) S = 8.36 ± 1.16‰ and Δ(33) S = 5.54 ± 1.53‰ (±1σ). We propose that the S-MIF signature of this secondary pyrite does not reflect contemporaneous atmospheric processes at the time of deposition; instead, it formed by the influx of later-stage sulphur-bearing fluids containing an inherited atmospheric S-MIF signal and/or from magnetic isotope effects during

  7. Use of a fusion protein between GFP and an actin-binding domain to visualize transient filamentous-actin structures.

    PubMed

    Pang, K M; Lee, E; Knecht, D A

    1998-03-26

    Many important processes in eukaryotic cells involve changes in the quantity, location and the organization of actin filaments [1] [2] [3]. We have been able to visualize these changes in live cells using a fusion protein (GFP-ABD) comprising the green fluorescent protein (GFP) of Aequorea victoria and the 25 kDa highly conserved actin-binding domain (ABD) from the amino terminus of the actin cross-linking protein ABP-120 [4]. In live cells of the soil amoeba Dictyostelium that were expressing GFP-ABD, the three-dimensional architecture of the actin cortex was clearly visualized. The pattern of GFP-ABD fluorescence in these cells coincided with that of rhodamine-phalloidin, indicating that GFP-ABD specifically binds filamentous (F) actin. On the ventral surface of non-polarized vegetative cells, a broad ring of F actin periodically assembled and contracted, whereas in polarized cells there were transient punctate F-actin structures; cells cycled between the polarized and non-polarized morphologies. During the formation of pseudopods, an increase in fluorescence intensity coincided with the initial outward deformation of the membrane. This is consistent with the models of pseudopod extension that predict an increase in the local density of actin filaments. In conclusion, GFP-ABD specifically binds F actin and allows the visualization of F-actin dynamics and cellular behavior simultaneously.

  8. Actin-Dynamics in Plant Cells: The Function of Actin-Perturbing Substances: Jasplakinolide, Chondramides, Phalloidin, Cytochalasins, and Latrunculins.

    PubMed

    Holzinger, Andreas; Blaas, Kathrin

    2016-01-01

    This chapter gives 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 and 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 anticancer 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.

  9. 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

  10. An interaction between Sla1p and Sla2p plays a role in regulating actin dynamics and endocytosis in budding yeast.

    PubMed

    Gourlay, Campbell W; Dewar, Hilary; Warren, Derek T; Costa, Rosaria; Satish, Nilima; Ayscough, Kathryn R

    2003-06-15

    The importance of a dynamic actin cytoskeleton for facilitating endocytosis has been recognised for many years in budding yeast and is increasingly recognised in mammalian cells. However, the mechanism for actin recruitment and the role it plays in endocytosis is unclear. Here we show the importance of two yeast proteins in this process. We demonstrate that Sla1p and Sla2p interact in vitro and in vivo and that this interaction is mediated by the central domain of Sla2p, which includes its coiled-coil region, and by a domain of Sla1p between residues 118 and 361. Overexpression of the interacting fragment of Sla1p causes reduced fluid-phase endocytosis and, interestingly, defects in subsequent trafficking to vacuoles. We show that Sla2p is required for the polarised localisation of Sla1p in cells but not for its cortical localisation or for its overlapping localisation with actin. Generation of an Deltasla1Deltasla2 double mutant demonstrates that Sla2p is likely to act upstream of Sla1p in endocytosis, whereas sensitivity to latrunculin-A suggests that the proteins have opposite effects on actin dynamics. We propose that Sla2p recruits Sla1p to endocytic sites. Sla1p and its associated protein Pan1p then regulate actin assembly through interactions with Arp2/3 and Arp2/3-activating proteins Abp1p and Las17/Bee1p.

  11. Neuronal Dysfunction in iPSC-Derived Medium Spiny Neurons from Chorea-Acanthocytosis Patients Is Reversed by Src Kinase Inhibition and F-Actin Stabilization.

    PubMed

    Stanslowsky, Nancy; Reinhardt, Peter; Glass, Hannes; Kalmbach, Norman; Naujock, Maximilian; Hensel, Niko; Lübben, Verena; Pal, Arun; Venneri, Anna; Lupo, Francesca; De Franceschi, Lucia; Claus, Peter; Sterneckert, Jared; Storch, Alexander; Hermann, Andreas; Wegner, Florian

    2016-11-23

    Chorea-acanthocytosis (ChAc) is a fatal neurological disorder characterized by red blood cell acanthocytes and striatal neurodegeneration. Recently, severe cell membrane disturbances based on depolymerized cortical actin and an elevated Lyn kinase activity in erythrocytes from ChAc patients were identified. How this contributes to the mechanism of neurodegeneration is still unknown. To gain insight into the pathophysiology, we established a ChAc patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell model and an efficient differentiation protocol providing a large population of human striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs), the main target of neurodegeneration in ChAc. Patient-derived MSNs displayed enhanced neurite outgrowth and ramification, whereas synaptic density was similar to controls. Electrophysiological analysis revealed a pathologically elevated synaptic activity in ChAc MSNs. Treatment with the F-actin stabilizer phallacidin or the Src kinase inhibitor PP2 resulted in the significant reduction of disinhibited synaptic currents to healthy control levels, suggesting a Src kinase- and actin-dependent mechanism. This was underlined by increased G/F-actin ratios and elevated Lyn kinase activity in patient-derived MSNs. These data indicate that F-actin stabilization and Src kinase inhibition represent potential therapeutic targets in ChAc that may restore neuronal function.

  12. Liquid behavior of cross-linked actin bundles.

    PubMed

    Weirich, Kimberly L; Banerjee, Shiladitya; Dasbiswas, Kinjal; Witten, Thomas A; Vaikuntanathan, Suriyanarayanan; Gardel, Margaret L

    2017-02-28

    The actin cytoskeleton is a critical regulator of cytoplasmic architecture and mechanics, essential in a myriad of physiological processes. Here we demonstrate a liquid phase of actin filaments in the presence of the physiological cross-linker, filamin. Filamin condenses short actin filaments into spindle-shaped droplets, or tactoids, with shape dynamics consistent with a continuum model of anisotropic liquids. We find that cross-linker density controls the droplet shape and deformation timescales, consistent with a variable interfacial tension and viscosity. Near the liquid-solid transition, cross-linked actin bundles show behaviors reminiscent of fluid threads, including capillary instabilities and contraction. These data reveal a liquid droplet phase of actin, demixed from the surrounding solution and dominated by interfacial tension. These results suggest a mechanism to control organization, morphology, and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton.

  13. High Actin Concentrations in Brain Dendritic Spines and Postsynaptic Densities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matus, Andrew; Ackermann, Marcel; Pehling, Gundula; Randolph Byers, H.; Fujiwara, Keigi

    1982-12-01

    Antibodies against actin were used to corroborate the presence of actin as a major component protein of isolated brain postsynaptic densities. The same antibodies also were used as an immunohistochemical stain to study the distribution of actin in sections of intact brain tissue. This showed two major sites where actin is concentrated: smooth muscle cells around blood vessels and postsynaptic sites. In the postsynaptic area the highest concentration of actin occurs in postsynaptic densities and there also is intense staining in the surrounding cytoplasm, especially within dendritic spines. Antiactin staining was much weaker in other parts of neurons and in glial cells. The high concentration of actin in dendritic spines may be related to shape changes that these structures have been found to undergo in response to prolonged afferent stimulation.

  14. Modeling the dynamics of dendritic actin waves in living cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasnik, Vaibhav; Mukhopadhyay, Ranjan

    2014-11-01

    The actin cytoskeleton in living cells exhibits a high degree of capacity for dynamic self-organization. Recent experiments have observed propagating actin waves in Dictyostelium cells recovering from complete depolymerization of their actin cytoskeleton. The propagation of these waves appear to be dependent on a programmed recruitment of a few proteins that control actin assembly and disassembly. Such waves also arise spontaneously along the plasma membrane of the cell, and it has been suggested that actin waves enable the cell to scan a surface for particles to engulf. Based on known molecular components involved in wave propagation, we present and study a minimal reaction-diffusion model for actin wave production observed in recovering cells.

  15. F-actin retains a memory of angular order.

    PubMed Central

    Orlova, A; Egelman, E H

    2000-01-01

    Modifications can be made to F-actin that do not interfere with the binding of myosin but inhibit force generation, suggesting that actin's internal dynamics are important for muscle contraction. Observations from electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction have shown that subunits in F-actin have a relatively fixed axial rise but a variable twist. One possible explanation for this is that the actin subunits randomly exist in different discrete states of "twist, " with a significant energy barrier separating these states. This would result in very slow torsional transitions. Paracrystals impose increased order on F-actin filaments by reducing the variability in twist. By looking at filaments that have recently been dissociated from paracrystals, we find that F-actin retains a "memory" of its previous environment that persists for many seconds. This would be consistent with slow torsional transitions between discrete states of twist. PMID:10733996

  16. 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.

  17. Quantitative Evaluation of Plant Actin Cytoskeletal Organization During Immune Signaling.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yi-Ju; Day, Brad

    2017-01-01

    High spatial and temporal resolution microscopy-based methods are valuable tools for the precise real-time imaging of changes in cellular organization in response to stimulus perception. Here, we describe a quantitative method for the evaluation of the plant actin cytoskeleton during immune stimulus perception and the activation of defense signaling. As a measure of the biotic stress-induced changes in actin filament organization, we present methods for analyzing changes in actin filament organization following elicitation of pattern-triggered immunity and effector-triggered immunity. Using these methods, it is possible to not only quantitatively evaluate changes in actin cytoskeletal organization following biotic stress perception, but to also use these protocols to assess changes in actin filament organization following perception of a wide range of stimuli, including abiotic and developmental cues. As described herein, we present an example application of this method, designed to evaluate changes in actin cytoskeletal organization following pathogen perception and immune signaling.

  18. Photodynamic therapy for the treatment of actinic cheilitis.

    PubMed

    Kodama, Makiko; Watanabe, Daisuke; Akita, Yoichi; Tamada, Yasuhiko; Matsumoto, Yoshinari

    2007-10-01

    Although actinic cheilitis is a common disease, it should be treated carefully because it can undergo malignant transformation. We report a case of actinic cheilitis treated with photodynamic therapy (PDT) using 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), with satisfactory outcome in both clinical and pathological aspects. Actinic cheilitis is a pathologic condition affecting mainly the lower lip caused by long-term exposure of the lips to the UV radiation in sunlight. Analogous to actinic keratosis of the skin, actinic cheilitis is considered as a precancerous lesion and it may develop into squamous cell carcinoma. We report a case of actinic cheilitis treated with PDT using ALA, with satisfactory outcome in both clinical and pathological aspects.

  19. 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

  20. Cholesterol modulates the volume-regulated anion current in Ehrlich-Lettre ascites cells via effects on Rho and F-actin.

    PubMed

    Klausen, Thomas Kjaer; Hougaard, Charlotte; Hoffmann, Else K; Pedersen, Stine F

    2006-10-01

    The mechanisms controlling the volume-regulated anion current (VRAC) are incompletely elucidated. Here, we investigate the modulation of VRAC by cellular cholesterol and the potential involvement of F-actin, Rho, Rho kinase, and phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P(2)] in this process. In Ehrlich-Lettre ascites (ELA) cells, a current with biophysical and pharmacological properties characteristic of VRAC was activated by hypotonic swelling. A 44% increase in cellular cholesterol content had no detectable effects on F-actin organization or VRAC activity. A 47% reduction in cellular cholesterol content increased cortical and stress fiber-associated F-actin content in swollen cells. Cholesterol depletion increased VRAC activation rate and maximal current after a modest (15%), but not after a severe (36%) reduction in extracellular osmolarity. The cholesterol depletion-induced increase in maximal VRAC current was prevented by F-actin disruption using latrunculin B (LB), while the current activation rate was unaffected by LB, but dependent on Rho kinase. Rho activity was decreased by approximately 20% in modestly, and approximately 50% in severely swollen cells. In modestly swollen cells, this reduction was prevented by cholesterol depletion, which also increased isotonic Rho activity. Thrombin, which stimulates Rho and causes actin polymerization, potentiated VRAC in modestly swollen cells. VRAC activity was unaffected by inclusion of a water-soluble PtdIns(4,5)P(2) analogue or a PtdIns(4,5)P(2)-blocking antibody in the pipette, or neomycin treatment to sequester PtdIns(4,5)P(2). It is suggested that in ELA cells, F-actin and Rho-Rho kinase modulate VRAC magnitude and activation rate, respectively, and that cholesterol depletion potentiates VRAC at least in part by preventing the hypotonicity-induced decrease in Rho activity and eliciting actin polymerization.

  1. Targeting Fyn in Ras-transformed cells induces F-actin to promote adherens junction-mediated cell-cell adhesion.

    PubMed

    Fenton, Sarah E; Hutchens, Kelli A; Denning, Mitchell F

    2015-10-01

    Fyn, a member of the Src family kinases (SFK), is an oncogene in murine epidermis and is associated with cell-cell adhesion turnover and induction of cell migration. Additionally, Fyn upregulation has been reported in multiple tumor types, including cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC). Introduction of active H-Ras(G12V) into the HaCaT human keratinocyte cell line resulted in upregulation of Fyn mRNA (200-fold) and protein, while expression of other SFKs remained unaltered. Transduction of active Ras or Fyn was sufficient to induce an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in HaCaT cells. Inhibition of Fyn activity, using siRNA or the clinical SFK inhibitor Dasatinib, increased cell-cell adhesion and rapidly (5-60 min) increased levels of cortical F-actin. Fyn inhibition with siRNA or Dasatinib also induced F-actin in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, which have elevated Fyn. F-actin co-localized with adherens junction proteins, and Dasatinib-induced cell-cell adhesion could be blocked by Cytochalasin D, indicating that F-actin polymerization was a key initiator of cell-cell adhesion through the adherens junction. Conversely, inhibiting cell-cell adhesion with low Ca(2+) media did not block Dasatinib-induced F-actin polymerization. Inhibition of the Rho effector kinase ROCK blocked Dasatinib-induced F-actin and cell-cell adhesion, implicating relief of Rho GTPase inhibition as a mechanism of Dasatinib-induced cell-cell adhesion. Finally, topical Dasatinib treatment significantly reduced total tumor burden in the SKH1 mouse model of UV-induced skin carcinogenesis. Together these results identify the promotion of actin-based cell-cell adhesion as a newly described mechanism of action for Dasatinib and suggest that Fyn inhibition may be an effective therapeutic approach in treating cSCC.

  2. 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

  3. Helical buckling of actin inside filopodia generates traction.

    PubMed

    Leijnse, Natascha; Oddershede, Lene B; Bendix, Poul M

    2015-01-06

    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.

  4. Dendritic Actin Filament Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E

    2010-01-01

    The polymerization of actin via branching at a cell membrane containing nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) is simulated using a stochastic-growth methodology. The polymerized-actin distribution displays three types of behavior: a) traveling waves, b) moving patches, and c) random fluctuations. Increasing actin concentration causes a transition from patches to waves. The waves and patches move by a treadmilling mechanism which does not require myosin II. The effects of downregulation of key proteins on actin wave behavior are evaluated. PMID:20867207

  5. Biomimetic systems for studying actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Upadhyaya, Arpita; van Oudenaarden, Alexander

    2003-09-16

    Actin polymerization provides a major driving force for eukaryotic cell motility. Successive intercalation of monomeric actin subunits between the plasma membrane and the filamentous actin network results in protrusions of the membrane enabling the cell to move or to change shape. One of the challenges in understanding eukaryotic cell motility is to dissect the elementary biochemical and biophysical steps that link actin polymerization to mechanical force generation. Recently, significant progress was made using biomimetic, in vitro systems that are inspired by the actin-based motility of bacterial pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. Polystyrene microspheres and synthetic phospholipid vesicles coated with proteins that initiate actin polymerization display motile behavior similar to Listeria, mimicking the leading edge of lamellipodia and filopodia. A major advantage of these biomimetic systems is that both biochemical and physical parameters can be controlled precisely. These systems provide a test bed for validating theoretical models on force generation and polarity establishment resulting from actin polymerization. In this review, we discuss recent experimental progress using biomimetic systems propelled by actin polymerization and discuss these results in the light of recent theoretical models on actin-based motility.

  6. What we talk about when we talk about nuclear actin

    PubMed Central

    Belin, Brittany J; Mullins, R Dyche

    2013-01-01

    In the cytoplasm, actin filaments form crosslinked networks that enable eukaryotic cells to transport cargo, change shape, and move. Actin is also present in the nucleus but, in this compartment, its functions are more cryptic and controversial. If we distill the substantial literature on nuclear actin down to its essentials, we find four, recurring, and more-or-less independent, claims: (1) crosslinked networks of conventional actin filaments span the nucleus and help maintain its structure and organize its contents; (2) assembly or contraction of filaments regulates specific nuclear events; (3) actin monomers moonlight as subunits of chromatin remodeling complexes, independent of their ability to form filaments; and (4) modified actin monomers or oligomers, structurally distinct from canonical, cytoskeletal filaments, mediate nuclear events by unknown mechanisms. We discuss the evidence underlying these claims and as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Next, we describe our recent work, in which we built probes specific for nuclear actin and used them to describe the form and distribution of actin in somatic cell nuclei. Finally, we discuss how different forms of nuclear actin may play different roles in different cell types and physiological contexts. PMID:23934079

  7. Myosin Vs organize actin cables in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Lo Presti, Libera; Chang, Fred; Martin, Sophie G.

    2012-01-01

    Myosin V motors are believed to contribute to cell polarization by carrying cargoes along actin tracks. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Myosin Vs transport secretory vesicles along actin cables, which are dynamic actin bundles assembled by the formin For3 at cell poles. How these flexible structures are able to extend longitudinally in the cell through the dense cytoplasm is unknown. Here we show that in myosin V (myo52 myo51) null cells, actin cables are curled, bundled, and fail to extend into the cell interior. They also exhibit reduced retrograde flow, suggesting that formin-mediated actin assembly is impaired. Myo52 may contribute to actin cable organization by delivering actin regulators to cell poles, as myoV∆ defects are partially suppressed by diverting cargoes toward cell tips onto microtubules with a kinesin 7–Myo52 tail chimera. In addition, Myo52 motor activity may pull on cables to provide the tension necessary for their extension and efficient assembly, as artificially tethering actin cables to the nuclear envelope via a Myo52 motor domain restores actin cable extension and retrograde flow in myoV mutants. Together these in vivo data reveal elements of a self-organizing system in which the motors shape their own tracks by transporting cargoes and exerting physical pulling forces. PMID:23051734

  8. A structural study of F-actin - filamin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahrens-Braunstein, Ashley; Nguyen, Lam; Hirst, Linda

    2010-03-01

    The cell's ability to move and contract is attributed to the semi-flexible filamentous protein, F -actin, one of the three filaments in the cytoskeleton. Actin bundling can be formed by a cross-linking actin binding protein (ABP) filamin. By examining filamin's cross-linking abilities at different concentrations and molar ratios, we can study the flexibility, structure and multiple network formations created when cross-linking F-actin with this protein. We have studied the phase diagram of this protein system using fluorescence microscopy, analyzing the network structures observed in the context of a coarse grained molecular dynamics simulation carried out by our group.

  9. Correlative nanoscale imaging of actin filaments and their complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Shivani; Zhu, Huanqi; Grintsevich, Elena E.; Reisler, Emil; Gimzewski, James K.

    2013-06-01

    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.

  10. WH2 domain: a small, versatile adapter for actin monomers.

    PubMed

    Paunola, Eija; Mattila, Pieta K; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2002-02-20

    The actin cytoskeleton plays a central role in many cell biological processes. The structure and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton are regulated by numerous actin-binding proteins that usually contain one of the few known actin-binding motifs. WH2 domain (WASP homology domain-2) is a approximately 35 residue actin monomer-binding motif, that is found in many different regulators of the actin cytoskeleton, including the beta-thymosins, ciboulot, WASP (Wiskott Aldrich syndrome protein), verprolin/WIP (WASP-interacting protein), Srv2/CAP (adenylyl cyclase-associated protein) and several uncharacterized proteins. The most highly conserved residues in the WH2 domain are important in beta-thymosin's interactions with actin monomers, suggesting that all WH2 domains may interact with actin monomers through similar interfaces. Our sequence database searches did not reveal any WH2 domain-containing proteins in plants. However, we found three classes of these proteins: WASP, Srv2/CAP and verprolin/WIP in yeast and animals. This suggests that the WH2 domain is an ancient actin monomer-binding motif that existed before the divergence of fungal and animal lineages.

  11. Traveling waves in actin dynamics and cell motility

    PubMed Central

    Allard, Jun; Mogilner, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Much of current understanding of cell motility arose from studying steady treadmilling of actin arrays. Recently, there have been a growing number of observations of a more complex, non-steady, actin behavior, including self-organized waves. It is becoming clear that these waves result from activation and inhibition feedbacks in actin dynamics acting on different scales, but the exact molecular nature of these feedbacks and respective roles of biomechanics and biochemistry are still unclear. Here, we review recent advances achieved in experimental and theoretical studies of actin waves and discuss mechanisms and physiological significance of wavy protrusions. PMID:22985541

  12. 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

  13. Interaction of calponin with actin and its functional implications.

    PubMed Central

    Kołakowski, J; Makuch, R; Stepkowski, D; Dabrowska, R

    1995-01-01

    Titration of F-actin with calponin causes the formation of two types of complexes. One, at saturation, contains a lower ratio of calponin to actin (0.5:1) and is insoluble at physiological ionic strength. The another is soluble, with a higher ratio of calponin to actin (1:1). Electron microscopy revealed that the former complex consists of paracrystalline bundles of actin filaments, whereas the latter consists of separate filaments. Ca(2+)-calmodulin causes dissociation of bundles with simultaneous increase in the number of separate calponin-containing filaments. Further increase in the calmodulin concentration results in full release of calponin from actin filaments. In motility assays, calponin, when added together with ATP to actin filaments complexed with immobilized myosin, evoked a decrease in both the number and velocity of moving actin filaments. Addition of calponin to actin filaments before their binding to myosin resulted in a formation of actin filament bundles which were dissociated by ATP. Images Figure 2 PMID:7864810

  14. Microcosm experiments of oil degradation by microbial mats.

    PubMed

    de Oteyza, Tirso García; Grimalt, Joan O; Llirós, Marc; Esteve, Isabel

    2006-03-15

    Several microcosm experiments were run in parallel to evaluate the efficiency of microbial mats for crude oil degradation as compared with physico-chemical weathering. The oils used in the experiments constituted representative examples of those currently used for commercial purposes. One was aliphatic and of low viscosity (33.4 American Petroleum Institute degrees, degrees API) and the other was predominantly aromatic, with high sulphur content (ca. 2.7%) and viscosity (16.6 degrees API). After crude oil introduction, the microcosms were kept under cyclic changes in water level to mimic coastal tidal movements. The transformations observed showed that water weathering leads to more effective and rapid elimination of low molecular weight hydrocarbons than microbial mat metabolism, e.g. n-alkanes with chain length shorter than n-pentadecane or n-heptadecane, regular isoprenoid hydrocarbons with chain length lower than C16 or C18 or lower molecular weight naphthalenes. Microbial mats preserved these hydrocarbons from volatilization and water washing. However, hydrocarbons of lower volatility such as the C24-C30 n-alkanes or containing nitrogen atoms, e.g. carbazoles, were eliminated in higher proportion by microbial mats than by water weathering. The strong differences in composition between the two oils used for the experiments were also reflected in significant differences between water weathering and microbial mat biodegradation. Higher oil viscosity seemed to hinder the former but not the later.

  15. Stress-strain dependence for soy-protein nanofiber mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khansari, S.; Sinha-Ray, S.; Yarin, A. L.; Pourdeyhimi, B.

    2012-02-01

    Soy protein/nylon 6 monolithic and core-shell nanofibers were solution-blown and collected on a rotating drum as fiber mats. Tensile tests of rectangular strips of these mats revealed their stress-strain dependences. These dependences were linear at low strains which correspond to their elastic behavior. Then, a plastic-like nonlinearity sets in, which is followed by catastrophic rupture. Parameters such as Young's modulus, yield stress, and specific strain energy were measured. The results were rationalized in the framework of the phenomenological elastic-plastic model, as well as a novel micromechanical model (the latter attributes plasticity to bond rapture between the individual overstressed fibers in the mat). Besides, the effects of stretching history, rate of stretching, and winding velocity of the collector drum on the strength-related parameters are studied. The results for soy protein/nylon 6 nanofiber mats are also compared to those for solution blown pure nylon 6 mats, which were produced and tested in the same way.

  16. Angiosperm phylogeny based on matK sequence information.

    PubMed

    Hilu, Khidir W; Borsch, Thomas; Müller, Kai; Soltis, Douglas E; Soltis, Pamela S; Savolainen, Vincent; Chase, Mark W; Powell, Martyn P; Alice, Lawrence A; Evans, Rodger; Sauquet, Hervé; Neinhuis, Christoph; Slotta, Tracey A B; Rohwer, Jens G; Campbell, Christopher S; Chatrou, Lars W

    2003-12-01

    Plastid matK gene sequences for 374 genera representing all angiosperm orders and 12 genera of gymnosperms were analyzed using parsimony (MP) and Bayesian inference (BI) approaches. Traditionally, slowly evolving genomic regions have been preferred for deep-level phylogenetic inference in angiosperms. The matK gene evolves approximately three times faster than the widely used plastid genes rbcL and atpB. The MP and BI trees are highly congruent. The robustness of the strict consensus tree supercedes all individual gene analyses and is comparable only to multigene-based phylogenies. Of the 385 nodes resolved, 79% are supported by high jackknife values, averaging 88%. Amborella is sister to the remaining angiosperms, followed by a grade of Nymphaeaceae and Austrobaileyales. Bayesian inference resolves Amborella + Nymphaeaceae as sister to the rest, but with weak (0.42) posterior probability. The MP analysis shows a trichotomy sister to the Austrobaileyales representing eumagnoliids, monocots + Chloranthales, and Ceratophyllum + eudicots. The matK gene produces the highest internal support yet for basal eudicots and, within core eudicots, resolves a crown group comprising Berberidopsidaceae/Aextoxicaceae, Santalales, and Caryophyllales + asterids. Moreover, matK sequences provide good resolution within many angiosperm orders. Combined analyses of matK and other rapidly evolving DNA regions with available multigene data sets have strong potential to enhance resolution and internal support in deep level angiosperm phylogenetics and provide additional insights into angiosperm evolution.

  17. Documentation generator application for MatLab source codes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niton, B.; Pozniak, K. T.; Romaniuk, R. S.

    2011-06-01

    The UML, which is a complex system modeling and description technology, has recently been expanding its uses in the field of formalization and algorithmic approach to such systems like multiprocessor photonic, optoelectronic and advanced electronics carriers; distributed, multichannel measurement systems; optical networks, industrial electronics, novel R&D solutions. The paper describes a realization of an application for documenting MatLab source codes. There are presented own novel solution based on Doxygen program which is available on the free license, with accessible source code. The used supporting tools for parser building were Bison and Flex. There are presented the practical results of the documentation generator. The program was applied for exemplary MatLab codes. The documentation generator application is used for design of large optoelectronic and electronic measurement and control systems. The paper consists of three parts which describe the following components of the documentation generator for photonic and electronic systems: concept, MatLab application and VHDL application. This is part two which describes the MatLab application. MatLab is used for description of the measured phenomena.

  18. Counting viruses and bacteria in photosynthetic microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Carreira, Cátia; Staal, Marc; Middelboe, Mathias; Brussaard, Corina P D

    2015-03-01

    Viral abundances in benthic environments are the highest found in aquatic systems. Photosynthetic microbial mats represent benthic environments with high microbial activity and possibly high viral densities, yet viral abundances have not been examined in such systems. Existing extraction procedures typically used in benthic viral ecology were applied to the complex matrix of microbial mats but were found to inefficiently extract viruses. Here, we present a method for extraction and quantification of viruses from photosynthetic microbial mats using epifluorescence microscopy (EFM) and flow cytometry (FCM). A combination of EDTA addition, probe sonication, and enzyme treatment applied to a glutaraldehyde-fixed sample resulted in a substantially higher viral (5- to 33-fold) extraction efficiency and reduced background noise compared to previously published methods. Using this method, it was found that in general, intertidal photosynthetic microbial mats harbor very high viral abundances (2.8 × 10(10) ± 0.3 × 10(10) g(-1)) compared with benthic habitats (10(7) to 10(9) g(-1)). This procedure also showed 4.5- and 4-fold-increased efficacies of extraction of viruses and bacteria, respectively, from intertidal sediments, allowing a single method to be used for the microbial mat and underlying sediment.

  19. Mating-type genes and MAT switching in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Haber, James E

    2012-05-01

    Mating type in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is determined by two nonhomologous alleles, MATa and MATα. These sequences encode regulators of the two different haploid mating types and of the diploids formed by their conjugation. Analysis of the MATa1, MATα1, and MATα2 alleles provided one of the earliest models of cell-type specification by transcriptional activators and repressors. Remarkably, homothallic yeast cells can switch their mating type as often as every generation by a highly choreographed, site-specific homologous recombination event that replaces one MAT allele with different DNA sequences encoding the opposite MAT allele. This replacement process involves the participation of two intact but unexpressed copies of mating-type information at the heterochromatic loci, HMLα and HMRa, which are located at opposite ends of the same chromosome-encoding MAT. The study of MAT switching has yielded important insights into the control of cell lineage, the silencing of gene expression, the formation of heterochromatin, and the regulation of accessibility of the donor sequences. Real-time analysis of MAT switching has provided the most detailed description of the molecular events that occur during the homologous recombinational repair of a programmed double-strand chromosome break.

  20. Electrospun chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol nanofibre mats for wound healing.

    PubMed

    Charernsriwilaiwat, Natthan; Rojanarata, Theerasak; Ngawhirunpat, Tanasait; Opanasopit, Praneet

    2014-04-01

    Chitosan (CS) aqueous salt blended with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibre mats was prepared by electrospinning. CS was dissolved with hydroxybenzotriazole (HOBt), thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) in distilled water without the use of toxic or hazardous solvents. The CS aqueous salts were blended with PVA at different weight ratios, and the effect of the solution ratios was investigated. The morphologies and mechanical and swelling properties of the generated fibres were analysed. Indirect cytotoxicity studies indicated that the CS/PVA nanofibre mats were non-toxic to normal human fibroblast cells. The CS-HOBt/PVA and CS-EDTA/PVA nanofibre mats demonstrated satisfactory antibacterial activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, and an in vivo wound healing test showed that the CS-EDTA/PVA nanofibre mats performed better than gauze in decreasing acute wound size during the first week after tissue damage. In conclusion, the biodegradable, biocompatible and antibacterial CS-EDTA/PVA nanofibre mats have potential for use as wound dressing materials.

  1. Arp2/3 complex and actin dynamics are required for actin-based mitochondrial motility in yeast

    PubMed Central

    Boldogh, Istvan R.; Yang, Hyeong-Cheol; Nowakowski, W. Dan; Karmon, Sharon L.; Hays, Lara G.; Yates, John R.; Pon, Liza A.

    2001-01-01

    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. PMID:11248049

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment of Actin FS and Actin FSL sensitivity to specific clotting factor deficiencies.

    PubMed

    Lawrie, A S; Kitchen, S; Purdy, G; Mackie, I J; Preston, F E; Machin, S J

    1998-06-01

    We present a two centre study designed to assess the sensitivity of Actin FS and Actin FSL to deficiencies of factor VIII, IX, XI or XII. The study was undertaken at two centres to avoid bias due to the investigations being undertaken on one analyser. Samples from patients with a factor VIII (n = 36, F VIII = < 1.0-50 iu/dl), factor IX (n = 22, F IX = 2-48 iu/dl), factor XI (n = 23, F XI = 5-50 u/dl) or a factor XII (n = 18, F XII = 1-50 u/dl) deficient state were studied. Activated partial thromboplastin times (APTT) were determined using two batches of Actin FS and of Actin FSL; comparison of APTT results between centres was facilitated by the conversion of clotting times to ratios (test divided by geometric mean normal clotting time). APTT ratios were considered to be elevated if greater than two standard deviations above the mean normal. The factor deficient status of each sample was verified by assaying all samples for factors VIII, IX, XI and XII. Clotting factor assays were performed on a Sysmex CA-1000 fitted with research software, which permitted the auto-dilution and testing of three serial dilution of both a reference preparation and each patient's sample. Assay results were calculated using parallel-line Bioassay principles. This procedure allowed for variation in clotting times due to the effect of temporal drift of any of the reagents within the assay system. Actin FS and Actin FSL demonstrate acceptable sensitivity to factor VIII deficiency, however, both reagents failed to detect a large proportion of factor XI (17.4% and 30.4% of samples, respectively) and factor XII (66.7% and 72.2%, respectively) deficiencies. The detection rate with Actin FSL for factor IX deficiency was also poor (36.4% not detected). As factor IX and XI deficiencies are both associated with haemorrhagic disorders, the inability of these reagents to detect such abnormalities gave cause for concern.

  5. Human CAP1 is a key factor in the recycling of cofilin and actin for rapid actin turnover.

    PubMed

    Moriyama, Kenji; Yahara, Ichiro

    2002-04-15

    Cofilin-ADF (actin-depolymerizing factor) is an essential driver of actin-based motility. We discovered two proteins, p65 and p55, that are components of the actin-cofilin complex in a human HEK293 cell extract and identified p55 as CAP1/ASP56, a human homologue of yeast CAP/SRV2 (cyclase-associated protein). CAP is a bifunctional protein with an N-terminal domain that binds to Ras-responsive adenylyl cyclase and a C-terminal domain that inhibits actin polymerization. Surprisingly, we found that the N-terminal domain of CAP1, but not the C-terminal domain, is responsible for the interaction with the actin-cofilin complex. The N-terminal domain of CAP1 was also found to accelerate the depolymerization of F-actin at the pointed end, which was further enhanced in the presence of cofilin and/or the C-terminal domain of CAP1. Moreover, CAP1 and its C-terminal domain were observed to facilitate filament elongation at the barbed end and to stimulate ADP-ATP exchange on G-actin, a process that regenerates easily polymerizable G-actin. Although cofilin inhibited the nucleotide exchange on G-actin even in the presence of the C-terminal domain of CAP1, its N-terminal domain relieved this inhibition. Thus, CAP1 plays a key role in speeding up the turnover of actin filaments by effectively recycling cofilin and actin and through its effect on both ends of actin filament.

  6. Inverse-Leidenfrost phenomenon on nanofiber mats on hot surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weickgenannt, Christina M.; Zhang, Yiyun; Sinha-Ray, Suman; Roisman, Ilia V.; Gambaryan-Roisman, Tatiana; Tropea, Cameron; Yarin, Alexander L.

    2011-09-01

    The Leidenfrost effect is a technically and industrially important phenomenon that severely restricts heat removal from high-heat-flux surfaces. A simple remedy to the Leidenfrost effect is provided by polymer nanofiber mats created and deposited by electrospinning on stainless steel surfaces. The influence of nanofiber mats on hydrodynamics and cooling efficiency of single drop impact onto hot surfaces has been investigated experimentally. The evolution of the drops has been recorded by a high-speed complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor camera, whereas the cooling temperature was measured by a thermocouple. A remarkable phenomenon was discovered: a mat of polymer nanofibers electrospun onto a heater surface can completely suppress the Leidenfrost effect, thereby increasing the rate of heat removal from the surface to the liquid drops significantly. The “inverse-Leidenfrost” effect is described qualitatively and quantitatively, providing clear physical reasons for the observed behavior.

  7. Pressure Mapping Mat for Tele-Home Care Applications

    PubMed Central

    Saenz-Cogollo, Jose Francisco; Pau, Massimiliano; Fraboni, Beatrice; Bonfiglio, Annalisa

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we present the development of a mat-like pressure mapping system based on a single layer textile sensor and intended to be used in home environments for monitoring the physical condition of persons with limited mobility. The sensor is fabricated by embroidering silver-coated yarns on a light cotton fabric and creating pressure-sensitive resistive elements by stamping the conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) at the crossing points of conductive stitches. A battery-operated mat prototype was developed and includes the scanning circuitry and a wireless communication module. A functional description of the system is presented together with a preliminary experimental evaluation of the mat prototype in the extraction of plantar pressure parameters. PMID:26978369

  8. The MATS Satellite Mission - Tomographic Perspectives on the Mesosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karlsson, B.; Gumbel, J.

    2015-12-01

    Tomography in combination with space-borne limb imaging opens exciting new ways of probing atmospheric structures. MATS (Mesospheric Airglow/Aerosol Tomography and Spectroscopy) is a new Swedish satellite mission that applies these ideas to the mesosphere. MATS science questions focus 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. This poster introduces instrument and analysis ideas, and discusses scientific perspectives and connections to other missions. MATS is being prepared for a launch in 2018.

  9. Myosin IIIB uses an actin-binding motif in its espin-1 cargo to reach the tips of actin protrusions.

    PubMed

    Merritt, Raymond C; Manor, Uri; Salles, Felipe T; Grati, M'hamed; Dose, Andrea C; Unrath, William C; Quintero, Omar A; Yengo, Christopher M; Kachar, Bechara

    2012-02-21

    Myosin IIIA (MYO3A) targets actin protrusion tips using a motility mechanism dependent on both motor and tail actin-binding activity [1]. We show that myosin IIIB (MYO3B) lacks tail actin-binding activity and is unable to target COS7 cell filopodia tips, yet is somehow able to target stereocilia tips. Strikingly, when MYO3B is coexpressed with espin-1 (ESPN1), a MYO3A cargo protein endogenously expressed in stereocilia [2], MYO3B targets and carries ESPN1 to COS7 filopodia tips. We show that this tip localization is lost when we remove the ESPN1 C terminus actin-binding site. We also demonstrate that, like MYO3A [2], MYO3B can elongate filopodia by transporting ESPN1 to the polymerizing end of actin filaments. The mutual dependence of MYO3B and ESPN1 for tip localization reveals a novel mechanism for the cell to regulate myosin tip localization via a reciprocal relationship with cargo that directly participates in actin binding for motility. Our results are consistent with a novel form of motility for class III myosins that requires both motor and tail domain actin-binding activity and show that the actin-binding tail can be replaced by actin-binding cargo. This study also provides a framework to better understand the late-onset hearing loss phenotype in patients with MYO3A mutations.

  10. 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

  11. Dexamethasone alters F-actin architecture and promotes cross-linked actin network formation in human trabecular meshwork tissue.

    PubMed

    Clark, Abbot F; Brotchie, Daniel; Read, A Thomas; Hellberg, Peggy; English-Wright, Sherry; Pang, Iok-Hou; Ethier, C Ross; Grierson, Ian

    2005-02-01

    Elevated intraocular pressure is an important risk factor for the development of glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness. This ocular hypertension is due to increased hydrodynamic resistance to the drainage of aqueous humor through specialized outflow tissues, including the trabecular meshwork (TM) and the endothelial lining of Schlemm's canal. We know that glucocorticoid therapy can cause increased outflow resistance and glaucoma in susceptible individuals, that the cytoskeleton helps regulate aqueous outflow resistance, and that glucocorticoid treatment alters the actin cytoskeleton of cultured TM cells. Our purpose was to characterize the actin cytoskeleton of cells in outflow pathway tissues in situ, to characterize changes in the cytoskeleton due to dexamethasone treatment in situ, and to compare these with changes observed in cell culture. Human ocular anterior segments were perfused with or without 10(-7) M dexamethasone, and F-actin architecture was investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy. We found that outflow pathway cells contained stress fibers, peripheral actin staining, and occasional actin "tangles." Dexamethasone treatment caused elevated IOP in several eyes and increased overall actin staining, with more actin tangles and the formation of cross-linked actin networks (CLANs). The actin architecture in TM tissues was remarkably similar to that seen in cultured TM cells. Although CLANs have been reported previously in cultured cells, this is the first report of CLANs in tissue. These cytoskeletal changes may be associated with