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Sample records for actin cortical mat

  1. Symmetry breaking in reconstituted actin cortices.

    PubMed

    Abu Shah, Enas; Keren, Kinneret

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Symmetry breaking in reconstituted actin cortices

    PubMed Central

    Abu Shah, Enas; Keren, Kinneret

    2014-01-01

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

  3. The Design of MACs (Minimal Actin Cortices)

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Sven K; Heinemann, Fabian; Chwastek, Grzegorz; Schwille, Petra

    2013-01-01

    The actin cell cortex in eukaryotic cells is a key player in controlling and maintaining the shape of cells, and in driving major shape changes such as in cytokinesis. It is thereby constantly being remodeled. Cell shape changes require forces acting on membranes that are generated by the interplay of membrane coupled actin filaments and assemblies of myosin motors. Little is known about how their interaction regulates actin cell cortex remodeling and cell shape changes. Because of the vital importance of actin, myosin motors and the cell membrane, selective in vivo experiments and manipulations are often difficult to perform or not feasible. Thus, the intelligent design of minimal in vitro systems for actin-myosin-membrane interactions could pave a way for investigating actin cell cortex mechanics in a detailed and quantitative manner. Here, we present and discuss the design of several bottom-up in vitro systems accomplishing the coupling of actin filaments to artificial membranes, where key parameters such as actin densities and membrane properties can be varied in a controlled manner. Insights gained from these in vitro systems may help to uncover fundamental principles of how exactly actin-myosin-membrane interactions govern actin cortex remodeling and membrane properties for cell shape changes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:24039068

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Alix regulates cortical actin and the spatial distribution of endosomes.

    PubMed

    Cabezas, Alicia; Bache, Kristi G; Brech, Andreas; Stenmark, Harald

    2005-06-15

    Alix/AIP1 is a proline-rich protein that has been implicated in apoptosis, endocytic membrane trafficking and viral budding. To further elucidate the functions of Alix, we used RNA interference to specifically suppress its expression. Depletion of Alix caused a striking redistribution of early endosomes from a peripheral to a perinuclear location. The redistribution of endosomes did not affect transferrin recycling or degradation of endocytosed epidermal growth factor receptors, although the uptake of transferrin was mildly reduced when Alix was downregulated. Quantitative immunoelectron microscopy showed that multivesicular endosomes of Alix-depleted cells contained normal amounts of CD63, whereas their levels of lysobisphosphatidic acid were reduced. Alix depletion also caused an accumulation of unusual actin structures that contained clathrin and cortactin, a protein that couples membrane dynamics to the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Our results suggest that Alix functions in the actin-dependent intracellular positioning of endosomes, but that it is not essential for endocytic recycling or for trafficking of membrane proteins between early and late endosomes in non-polarised cells. PMID:15914539

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shimizu, T

    1997-08-01

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

  14. Astral microtubules physically redistribute cortical actin filaments to the incipient contractile ring.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    Prior to cell cleavage, cytokinetic proteins are recruited into the nascent actomyosin contractile ring, paving the way for formation of a functional cleavage furrow. Interactions between spindle microtubules and the cell cortex may play a critical role in this recruitment, since microtubules have been shown to affect distribution and activation of cytokinetic proteins within the cortex. However, direct evidence for physical interaction between microtubules and the cortex has been lacking. Here, we probed the physical connection between astral microtubules and cortical actin filaments, by micromanipulating the fluorescently tagged cytoskeleton in living spermatocytes of the grasshopper Melanoplus femurrubrum. When microtubules were tugged with a microneedle, they in turn pulled on cortical actin filaments, interrupting the filaments' journey toward the equator. Further displacement of the actin dragged the cell membrane inward, demonstrating that the cortical actin network physically linked spindle microtubules to the cell membrane. Regional disruption of the connection by breaking spindle microtubules prevented actin accumulation in a segment of the ring, which locally inhibited furrowing. We propose a model in which dynamic astral microtubules physically redistribute cortical actin into the incipient contractile ring. PMID:23027710

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Before undergoing neuroexocytosis, secretory granules (SGs) are mobilized and tethered to the cortical actin network by an unknown mechanism. Using an SG pull-down assay and mass spectrometry, we found that myosin VI was recruited to SGs in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Interfering with myosin VI function in PC12 cells reduced the density of SGs near the plasma membrane without affecting their biogenesis. Myosin VI knockdown selectively impaired a late phase of exocytosis, consistent with a replenishment defect. This exocytic defect was selectively rescued by expression of the myosin VI small insert (SI) isoform, which efficiently tethered SGs to the cortical actin network. These myosin VI SI–specific effects were prevented by deletion of a c-Src kinase phosphorylation DYD motif, identified in silico. Myosin VI SI thus recruits SGs to the cortical actin network, potentially via c-Src phosphorylation, thereby maintaining an active pool of SGs near the plasma membrane. PMID:23382463

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

    PubMed Central

    Lian, Gewei; Sheen, Volney L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Polarized growth is maintained by both polarized exocytosis, which transports membrane components to specific locations on the cell cortex, and endocytosis, which retrieves these components before they can diffuse away. Despite functional links between these two transport pathways, they are generally considered to be separate events. Using live cell imaging, in vivo and in vitro protein binding assays, and in vitro pyrene-actin polymerization assays, we show that the yeast Rab GTPase Sec4p couples polarized exocytosis with cortical actin polymerization, which induces endocytosis. After polarized exocytosis to the plasma membrane, Sec4p binds Las17/Bee1p (yeast Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein [WASp]) in a complex with Sla1p and Sla2p during actin patch assembly. Mutations that inactivate Sec4p, or its guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Sec2p, inhibit actin 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. 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

  1. Fixed endothelial cells exhibit physiologically relevant nanomechanics of the cortical actin web.

    PubMed

    Grimm, Kai Bodo; Oberleithner, Hans; Fels, Johannes

    2014-05-30

    It has been unknown whether cells retain their mechanical properties after fixation. Therefore, this study was designed to compare the stiffness properties of the cell cortex (the 50-100 nm thick zone below the plasma membrane) before and after fixation. Atomic force microscopy was used to acquire force indentation curves from which the nanomechanical cell properties were derived. Cells were pretreated with different concentrations of actin destabilizing agent cytochalasin D, which results in a gradual softening of the cell cortex. Then cells were studied 'alive' or 'fixed'. We show that the cortical stiffness of fixed endothelial cells still reports functional properties of the actin web qualitatively comparable to those of living cells. Myosin motor protein activity, tested by blebbistatin inhibition, can only be detected, in terms of cortical mechanics, in living but not in fixed cells. We conclude that fixation interferes with motor proteins while maintaining a functional cortical actin web. Thus, fixation of cells opens up the prospect of differentially studying the actions of cellular myosin and actin. PMID:24786855

  2. Fixed endothelial cells exhibit physiologically relevant nanomechanics of the cortical actin web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodo Grimm, Kai; Oberleithner, Hans; Fels, Johannes

    2014-05-01

    It has been unknown whether cells retain their mechanical properties after fixation. Therefore, this study was designed to compare the stiffness properties of the cell cortex (the 50-100 nm thick zone below the plasma membrane) before and after fixation. Atomic force microscopy was used to acquire force indentation curves from which the nanomechanical cell properties were derived. Cells were pretreated with different concentrations of actin destabilizing agent cytochalasin D, which results in a gradual softening of the cell cortex. Then cells were studied ‘alive’ or ‘fixed’. We show that the cortical stiffness of fixed endothelial cells still reports functional properties of the actin web qualitatively comparable to those of living cells. Myosin motor protein activity, tested by blebbistatin inhibition, can only be detected, in terms of cortical mechanics, in living but not in fixed cells. We conclude that fixation interferes with motor proteins while maintaining a functional cortical actin web. Thus, fixation of cells opens up the prospect of differentially studying the actions of cellular myosin and actin.

  3. 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

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

    2012-10-12

    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(+)Actin(high). In contrast, CD45RA T cells are phenotypically CD45RA(+)Actin(low). 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

    Cortical actin filament (AF) organization was studied in detail in developing stomatal complexes of the grasses Zea mays and Triticum turgidum. AF arrays during the whole stomatal complex development are dynamic, partly following the pattern of cortical microtubule (MT) organization. They also exhibit particular patterns of organization, spatially and temporarily restricted. Among AF arrays, the radial ones that underlie young guard cell (GC) periclinal walls, those that line the bulbous GC ends and the AF ring at the junction between subsidiary cells (SCs) and GCs are described here for the first time. Although many similarities in cortical AF organization exist among the stomatal cells of both plants studied, considerable differences have also been observed between them. Our data reveal that the expanding areas of stomatal cell walls are lined by distinct cortical AF aggregations that probably protect the plasmalemma against mechanical stresses. Experimental AF disruption does not seem to affect detectably stomatal cell morphogenesis. Moreover, the structural and experimental data of this study revealed that, in contrast to the elliptical stomata, in the dumbbell-shaped ones the AFs and MTs seem not to be involved in the mechanism of opening and closing of the stomatal pore. PMID:17443701

  6. Yeast Formins Bni1 and Bnr1 Utilize Different Modes of Cortical Interaction during the Assembly of Actin Cables

    PubMed Central

    Buttery, Shawnna M.; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2007-01-01

    The budding yeast formins Bni1 and Bnr1 control the assembly of actin cables. These formins exhibit distinct patterns of localization and polymerize two different populations of cables: Bni1 in the bud and Bnr1 in the mother cell. We generated a functional Bni1-3GFP that improved the visualization of Bni1 in vivo at endogenous levels. Bni1 exists as speckles in the cytoplasm, some of which colocalize on actin cables. These Bni1 speckles display linear, retrograde-directed movements. Loss of polymerized actin or specifically actin cables abolished retrograde movement, and resulted in depletion of Bni1 speckles from the cytoplasm, with enhanced targeting of Bni1 to the bud tip. Mutations that impair the actin assembly activity of Bni1 abolished the movement of Bni1 speckles, even when actin cables were present. In contrast, Bnr1-GFP or 3GFP-Bnr1 did not detectably associate with actin cables and was not observed as cytoplasmic speckles. Finally, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching demonstrated that Bni1 was very dynamic, exchanging between polarized sites and the cytoplasm, whereas Bnr1 was confined to the bud neck and did not exchange with a cytoplasmic pool. In summary, our results indicate that formins can have distinct modes of cortical interaction during actin cable assembly. PMID:17344480

  7. Gem GTPase acts upstream Gmip/RhoA to regulate cortical actin remodeling and spindle positioning during early mitosis.

    PubMed

    Andrieu, Guillaume; Quaranta, Muriel; Leprince, Corinne; Cuvillier, Olivier; Hatzoglou, Anastassia

    2014-11-01

    Gem is a small guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-binding protein within the Ras superfamily, involved in the regulation of voltage-gated calcium channel activity and cytoskeleton reorganization. Gem overexpression leads to stress fiber disruption, actin and cell shape remodeling and neurite elongation in interphase cells. In this study, we show that Gem plays a crucial role in the regulation of cortical actin cytoskeleton that undergoes active remodeling during mitosis. Ectopic expression of Gem leads to cortical actin disruption and spindle mispositioning during metaphase. The regulation of spindle positioning by Gem involves its downstream effector Gmip. Knockdown of Gmip rescued Gem-induced spindle phenotype, although both Gem and Gmip accumulated at the cell cortex. In addition, we implicated RhoA GTPase as an important effector of Gem/Gmip signaling. Inactivation of RhoA by overexpressing dominant-negative mutant prevented normal spindle positioning. Introduction of active RhoA rescued the actin and spindle positioning defects caused by Gem or Gmip overexpression. These findings demonstrate a new role of Gem/Gmip/RhoA signaling in cortical actin regulation during early mitotic stages. PMID:25173885

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. The cortical actin determines different susceptibility of naïve and memory CD4+ T cells to HIV-1 cell-to-cell transmission and infection.

    PubMed

    Permanyer, Marc; Pauls, Eduardo; Badia, Roger; Esté, José A; Ballana, Ester

    2013-01-01

    Memory CD4+ T cells are preferentially infected by HIV-1 compared to naïve cells. HIV-1 fusion and entry is a dynamic process in which the cytoskeleton plays an important role by allowing virion internalization and uncoating. Here, we evaluate the role of the cortical actin in cell-to-cell transfer of virus antigens and infection of target CD4+ T cells. Using different actin remodeling compounds we demonstrate that efficiency of HIV-internalization was proportional to the actin polymerization of the target cell. Naïve (CD45RA+) and memory (CD45RA-) CD4+ T cells could be phenotypically differentiated by the degree of cortical actin density and their capacity to capture virus. Thus, the higher cortical actin density of memory CD4+ T cells was associated to increased efficiency of HIV-antigen internalization and the establishment of a productive infection. Conversely, the lower cortical actin density in naïve CD4+ T cells restricted viral antigen transfer and consequently HIV-1 infection. In conclusion, the cortical actin density differentially affects the susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in naïve and memory CD4+ T cells by modulating the efficiency of HIV antigen internalization. PMID:24244453

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Large-scale imaging of subcellular calcium dynamics of cortical neurons with G-CaMP6-actin.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Chiaki; Ohkura, Masamichi; Nakai, Junichi; Matsuki, Norio; Ikegaya, Yuji; Sasaki, Takuya

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the information processing performed by a single neuron requires the monitoring of physiological dynamics from a variety of subcellular compartments including dendrites and axons. In this study, we showed that the expression of a fusion protein, consisting of a Ca²⁺ indicator protein (G-CaMP6) and a cytoskeleton protein (actin), enabled large-scale recording of Ca²⁺ dynamics from hundreds of postsynaptic spines and presynaptic boutons in a cortical pyramidal cell. At dendritic spines, G-CaMP6-actin had the potential to detect localized Ca²⁺ activity triggered by subthreshold synaptic inputs. Back-propagating action potentials reliably induced Ca²⁺ fluorescent increases in all spines. At axonal boutons, G-CaMP6-actin reported action potential trains propagating along axonal collaterals. The detectability of G-CaMP6-actin should contribute toward a deeper understanding of neural network architecture and dynamics at the level of individual synapses. PMID:24468806

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Novel Protein Kinases Ark1p and Prk1p Associate with and Regulate the Cortical Actin Cytoskeleton in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Cope, M.Jamie T.V.; Yang, Shirley; Shang, Ching; Drubin, David G.

    1999-01-01

    Ark1p (actin regulating kinase 1) was identified as a yeast protein that binds to Sla2p, an evolutionarily conserved cortical actin cytoskeleton protein. Ark1p and a second yeast protein, Prk1p, contain NH2-terminal kinase domains that are 70% identical. Together with six other putative kinases from a number of organisms, these proteins define a new protein kinase family that we have named the Ark family. Lack of both Ark1p and Prk1p resulted in the formation of large cytoplasmic actin clumps and severe defects in cell growth. These defects were rescued by wild-type, but not by kinase-dead versions of the proteins. Elevated levels of either Ark1p or Prk1p caused a number of actin and cell morphological defects that were not observed when the kinase-dead versions were overexpressed instead. Ark1p and Prk1p were shown to localize to actin cortical patches, making these two kinases the first signaling proteins demonstrated to be patch components. These results suggest that Ark1p and Prk1p may be downstream effectors of signaling pathways that control actin patch organization and function. Furthermore, results of double-mutant analyses suggest that Ark1p and Prk1p function in overlapping but distinct pathways that regulate the cortical actin cytoskeleton. PMID:10087264

  15. Drosophila sosie functions with βH-Spectrin and actin organizers in cell migration, epithelial morphogenesis and cortical stability

    PubMed Central

    Urwyler, Olivier; Cortinas-Elizondo, Fabiola; Suter, Beat

    2012-01-01

    Summary Morphogenesis in multicellular organisms requires the careful coordination of cytoskeletal elements, dynamic regulation of cell adhesion and extensive cell migration. sosie (sie) is a novel gene required in various morphogenesis processes in Drosophila oogenesis. Lack of sie interferes with normal egg chamber packaging, maintenance of epithelial integrity and control of follicle cell migration, indicating that sie is involved in controlling epithelial integrity and cell migration. For these functions sie is required both in the germ line and in the soma. Consistent with this, Sosie localizes to plasma membranes in the germ line and in the somatic follicle cells and is predicted to present an EGF-like domain on the extracellular side. Two positively charged residues, C-terminal to the predicted transmembrane domain (on the cytoplasmic side), are required for normal plasma membrane localization of Sosie. Because sie also contributes to normal cortical localization of βH-Spectrin, it appears that cortical βH-Spectrin mediates some of the functions of sosie. sie also interacts with the genes coding for the actin organizers Filamin and Profilin and, in the absence of sie function, F-actin is less well organized and nurse cells frequently fuse. PMID:23213377

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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 Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22438581

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Actinic Keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  4. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  8. Actinic Cheilitis

    MedlinePlus

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Fabrication Of Ceramic Mats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collins, Earl R., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Process to make mats of fine zirconia filaments proposed. Ceramic mats formed by sintering mats of partially dried filaments extruded from slurry of ceramic powder, binder, and solvent. Mats of fine zirconia fibers easier to ball-mill than commercially available zirconia powder.

  12. Human inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase isoform B (IP3KB) is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein specifically enriched at cortical actin filaments and at invaginations of the nuclear envelope.

    PubMed

    Nalaskowski, Marcus M; Fliegert, Ralf; Ernst, Olga; Brehm, Maria A; Fanick, Werner; Windhorst, Sabine; Lin, Hongying; Giehler, Susanne; Hein, Jamin; Lin, Yuan-Na; Mayr, Georg W

    2011-02-11

    Recent studies have shown that inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase isoform B (IP3KB) possesses important roles in the development of immune cells. IP3KB can be targeted to multiple cellular compartments, among them nuclear localization and binding in close proximity to the plasma membrane. The B isoform is the only IP3K that is almost ubiquitously expressed in mammalian cells. Detailed mechanisms of its targeting regulation will be important in understanding the role of Ins(1,4,5)P(3) phosphorylation on subcellular calcium signaling and compartment-specific initiation of pathways leading to regulatory active higher phosphorylated inositol phosphates. Here, we identified an exportin 1-dependent nuclear export signal ((134)LQRELQNVQV) and characterized the amino acids responsible for nuclear localization of IP3KB ((129)RKLR). These two targeting domains regulate the amount of nuclear IP3KB in cells. We also demonstrated that the localization of IP3KB at the plasma membrane is due to its binding to cortical actin structures. Intriguingly, all three of these targeting activities reside in one small polypeptide segment (amino acids 104-165), which acts as a multitargeting domain (MTD). Finally, a hitherto unknown subnuclear localization of IP3KB could be demonstrated in rapidly growing H1299 cells. IP3KB is specifically enriched at nuclear invaginations extending perpendicular between the apical and basal surface of the nucleus of these flat cells. Such nuclear invaginations are known to be involved in Ins(1,4,5)P(3)-mediated Ca(2+) signaling of the nucleus. Our findings indicate that IP3KB not only regulates cytoplasmic Ca(2+) signals by phosphorylation of subplasmalemmal and cytoplasmic Ins(1,4,5)P(3) but may also be involved in modulating nuclear Ca(2+) signals generated from these nuclear envelope invaginations. PMID:21148483

  13. Archean Microbial Mat Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  14. Actinic Prurigo.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. [Actinic Keratosis].

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  16. Mat2exo

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ammer, Amanda Gatesman; Weed, Scott A.

    2008-01-01

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

  20. ProMat

    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

  1. Myosin motors fragment and compact membrane-bound actin filaments

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Sven K; Petrasek, Zdenek; Heinemann, Fabian; Schwille, Petra

    2013-01-01

    Cell cortex remodeling during cell division is a result of myofilament-driven contractility of the cortical membrane-bound actin meshwork. Little is known about the interaction between individual myofilaments and membrane-bound actin filaments. Here we reconstituted a minimal actin cortex to directly visualize the action of individual myofilaments on membrane-bound actin filaments using TIRF microscopy. We show that synthetic myofilaments fragment and compact membrane-bound actin while processively moving along actin filaments. We propose a mechanism by which tension builds up between the ends of myofilaments, resulting in compressive stress exerted to single actin filaments, causing their buckling and breakage. Modeling of this mechanism revealed that sufficient force (∼20 pN) can be generated by single myofilaments to buckle and break actin filaments. This mechanism of filament fragmentation and compaction may contribute to actin turnover and cortex reorganization during cytokinesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00116.001 PMID:23326639

  2. Actin in Herpesvirus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Kari L.; Baines, Joel D.

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Actin from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Greer, C; Schekman, R

    1982-01-01

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

  4. Actin Rings of Power.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-20

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

  5. Lateral Membrane Diffusion Modulated by a Minimal Actin Cortex

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Direct dynamin–actin interactions regulate the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Actin Polymerization is Stimulated by Actin Crosslinking Protein Palladin

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Actin Automata with Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Sanz, Ramón; Adamatzky, Andy

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  12. The Molecular Evolution of Actin

    PubMed Central

    Hightower, Robin C.; Meagher, Richard B.

    1986-01-01

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

  13. Actin-binding protein G (AbpG) participates in modulating the actin cytoskeleton and cell migration in Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Wei-Chi; Wang, Liang-Chen; Pang, Te-Ling; Chen, Mei-Yu

    2015-01-01

    Cell migration is involved in various physiological and pathogenic events, and the complex underlying molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. The simple eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum displays chemotactic locomotion in stages of its life cycle. By characterizing a Dictyostelium mutant defective in chemotactic responses, we identified a novel actin-binding protein serving to modulate cell migration and named it actin-binding protein G (AbpG); this 971–amino acid (aa) protein contains an N-terminal type 2 calponin homology (CH2) domain followed by two large coiled-coil regions. In chemoattractant gradients, abpG− cells display normal directional persistence but migrate significantly more slowly than wild-type cells; expressing Flag-AbpG in mutant cells eliminates the motility defect. AbpG is enriched in cortical/lamellipodial regions and colocalizes well with F-actin; aa 401–600 and aa 501–550 fragments of AbpG show the same distribution as full-length AbpG. The aa 501–550 region of AbpG, which is essential for AbpG to localize to lamellipodia and to rescue the phenotype of abpG− cells, is sufficient for binding to F-actin and represents a novel actin-binding protein domain. Compared with wild-type cells, abpG− cells have significantly higher F-actin levels. Collectively our results suggest that AbpG may participate in modulating actin dynamics to optimize cell locomotion. PMID:25609090

  14. Actin-binding protein G (AbpG) participates in modulating the actin cytoskeleton and cell migration in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Lin, Wei-Chi; Wang, Liang-Chen; Pang, Te-Ling; Chen, Mei-Yu

    2015-03-15

    Cell migration is involved in various physiological and pathogenic events, and the complex underlying molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. The simple eukaryote Dictyostelium discoideum displays chemotactic locomotion in stages of its life cycle. By characterizing a Dictyostelium mutant defective in chemotactic responses, we identified a novel actin-binding protein serving to modulate cell migration and named it actin-binding protein G (AbpG); this 971-amino acid (aa) protein contains an N-terminal type 2 calponin homology (CH2) domain followed by two large coiled-coil regions. In chemoattractant gradients, abpG(-) cells display normal directional persistence but migrate significantly more slowly than wild-type cells; expressing Flag-AbpG in mutant cells eliminates the motility defect. AbpG is enriched in cortical/lamellipodial regions and colocalizes well with F-actin; aa 401-600 and aa 501-550 fragments of AbpG show the same distribution as full-length AbpG. The aa 501-550 region of AbpG, which is essential for AbpG to localize to lamellipodia and to rescue the phenotype of abpG(-) cells, is sufficient for binding to F-actin and represents a novel actin-binding protein domain. Compared with wild-type cells, abpG(-) cells have significantly higher F-actin levels. Collectively our results suggest that AbpG may participate in modulating actin dynamics to optimize cell locomotion. PMID:25609090

  15. Cortactin promotes exosome secretion by controlling branched actin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Seema; Hoshino, Daisuke; Hong, Nan Hyung; Kirkbride, Kellye C; Grega-Larson, Nathan E; Seiki, Motoharu; Tyska, Matthew J; Weaver, Alissa M

    2016-07-18

    Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that influence cellular behavior and enhance cancer aggressiveness by carrying bioactive molecules. The mechanisms that regulate exosome secretion are poorly understood. Here, we show that the actin cytoskeletal regulatory protein cortactin promotes exosome secretion. Knockdown or overexpression of cortactin in cancer cells leads to a respective decrease or increase in exosome secretion, without altering exosome cargo content. Live-cell imaging revealed that cortactin controls both trafficking and plasma membrane docking of multivesicular late endosomes (MVEs). Regulation of exosome secretion by cortactin requires binding to the branched actin nucleating Arp2/3 complex and to actin filaments. Furthermore, cortactin, Rab27a, and coronin 1b coordinately control stability of cortical actin MVE docking sites and exosome secretion. Functionally, the addition of purified exosomes to cortactin-knockdown cells rescued defects of those cells in serum-independent growth and invasion. These data suggest a model in which cortactin promotes exosome secretion by stabilizing cortical actin-rich MVE docking sites. PMID:27402952

  16. Intranuclear Actin Regulates Osteogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Myosins, Actin and Autophagy.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Verprolin function in endocytosis and actin organization. Roles of the Las17p (yeast WASP)-binding domain and a novel C-terminal actin-binding domain.

    PubMed

    Thanabalu, Thirumaran; Rajmohan, Rajamuthiah; Meng, Lei; Ren, Gang; Vajjhala, Parimala R; Munn, Alan L

    2007-08-01

    Vrp1p (verprolin, End5p) is the yeast ortholog of human Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)-interacting protein (WIP). Vrp1p localizes to the cortical actin cytoskeleton, is necessary for its polarization to sites of growth and is also essential for endocytosis. At elevated temperature, Vrp1p becomes essential for growth. A C-terminal Vrp1p fragment (C-Vrp1p) retains the ability to localize to the cortical actin cytoskeleton and function in actin-cytoskeleton polarization, endocytosis and growth. Here, we demonstrate that two submodules in C-Vrp1p are required for actin-cytoskeleton polarization: a novel C-terminal actin-binding submodule (CABS) that contains a novel G-actin-binding domain, which we call a verprolin homology 2 C-terminal (VH2-C) domain; and a second submodule comprising the Las17p-binding domain (LBD) that binds Las17p (yeast WASP). The LBD localizes C-Vrp1p to membranes and the cortical actin cytoskeleton. Intriguingly, the LBD is sufficient to restore endocytosis and growth at elevated temperature to Vrp1p-deficient cells. The CABS also restores these functions, but only if modified by a lipid anchor to provide membrane association. Our findings highlight the role of Las17p binding for Vrp1p membrane association, suggest general membrane association may be more important than specific targeting to the cortical actin cytoskeleton for Vrp1p function in endocytosis and cell growth, and suggest that Vrp1p binding to individual effectors may alter their physiological activity. PMID:17635585

  1. 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. PMID:26682806

  2. Schip1 Is a Novel Podocyte Foot Process Protein that Mediates Actin Cytoskeleton Rearrangements and Forms a Complex with Nherf2 and Ezrin

    PubMed Central

    Perisic, Ljubica; Rodriguez, Patricia Q.; Hultenby, Kjell; Sun, Ying; Lal, Mark; Betsholtz, Christer; Uhlén, Mathias; Wernerson, Annika; Hedin, Ulf; Pikkarainen, Timo; Tryggvason, Karl; Patrakka, Jaakko

    2015-01-01

    Background Podocyte foot process effacement accompanied by actin cytoskeleton rearrangements is a cardinal feature of many progressive human proteinuric diseases. Results By microarray profiling of mouse glomerulus, SCHIP1 emerged as one of the most highly enriched transcripts. We detected Schip1 protein in the kidney glomerulus, specifically in podocytes foot processes. Functionally, Schip1 inactivation in zebrafish by morpholino knock-down results in foot process disorganization and podocyte loss leading to proteinuria. In cultured podocytes Schip1 localizes to cortical actin-rich regions of lamellipodia, where it forms a complex with Nherf2 and ezrin, proteins known to participate in actin remodeling stimulated by PDGFβ signaling. Mechanistically, overexpression of Schip1 in vitro causes accumulation of cortical F-actin with dissolution of transversal stress fibers and promotes cell migration in response to PDGF-BB stimulation. Upon actin disassembly by latrunculin A treatment, Schip1 remains associated with the residual F-actin-containing structures, suggesting a functional connection with actin cytoskeleton possibly via its interaction partners. A similar assay with cytochalasin D points to stabilization of cortical actin cytoskeleton in Schip1 overexpressing cells by attenuation of actin depolymerisation. Conclusions Schip1 is a novel glomerular protein predominantly expressed in podocytes, necessary for the zebrafish pronephros development and function. Schip1 associates with the cortical actin cytoskeleton network and modulates its dynamics in response to PDGF signaling via interaction with the Nherf2/ezrin complex. Its implication in proteinuric diseases remains to be further investigated. PMID:25807495

  3. Interactions between the yeast SM22 homologue Scp1 and actin demonstrate the importance of actin bundling in endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Gheorghe, Dana M; Aghamohammadzadeh, Soheil; Smaczynska-de Rooij, Iwona I; Allwood, Ellen G; Winder, Steve J; Ayscough, Kathryn R

    2008-05-30

    The yeast SM22 homologue Scp1 has previously been shown to act as an actin-bundling protein in vitro. In cells, Scp1 localizes to the cortical actin patches that form as part of the invagination process during endocytosis, and its function overlaps with that of the well characterized yeast fimbrin homologue Sac6p. In this work we have used live cell imaging to demonstrate the importance of key residues in the Scp1 actin interface. We have defined two actin binding domains within Scp1 that allow the protein to both bind and bundle actin without the need for dimerization. Green fluorescent protein-tagged mutants of Scp1 also indicate that actin localization does not require the putative phosphorylation site Ser-185 to be functional. Deletion of SCP1 has few discernable effects on cell growth and morphology. However, we reveal that scp1 deletion is compensated for by up-regulation of Sac6. Furthermore, Scp1 levels are increased in the absence of sac6. The presence of compensatory pathways to up-regulate Sac6 or Scp1 levels in the absence of the other suggest that maintenance of sufficient bundling activity is critical within the cell. Analysis of cortical patch assembly and movement during endocytosis reveals a previously undetected role for Scp1 in movement of patches away from the plasma membrane. Additionally, we observe a dramatic increase in patch lifetime in a strain lacking both sac6 and scp1, demonstrating the central role played by actin-bundling proteins in the endocytic process. PMID:18400761

  4. Tobacco Arp3 is localized to actin-nucleating sites in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Maisch, Jan; Fišerová, Jindřiška; Fischer, Lukáš; Nick, Peter

    2009-01-01

    The polarity of actin is a central determinant of intracellular transport in plant cells. To visualize actin polarity in living plant cells, the tobacco homologue of the actin-related protein 3 (ARP3) was cloned and a fusion with the red fluorescent protein (RFP) was generated. Upon transient expression of these fusions in the tobacco cell line BY-2 (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Bright Yellow 2), punctate structures were observed near the nuclear envelope and in the cortical plasma. These dots could be shown to decorate actin filaments by expressing RFP–ARP3 in a marker line, where actin was tagged by GFP (green fluorescent protein)–FABD (fimbrin actin-binding domain 2). When actin filaments were disrupted by latrunculin B or by prolonged cold treatment, and subsequently allowed to recover, the actin filaments reformed from the RFP–ARP3 structures, that therefore represented actin nucleation sites. The intracellular distribution of these sites was followed during the formation of pluricellular files, and it was observed that the density of RFP–ARP3 increased in the apex of the polarized, terminal cells of a file, whereas it was equally distributed in the central cells of a file. These findings are interpreted in terms of position-dependent differences of actin organization. PMID:19129161

  5. TAGLN2 regulates T cell activation by stabilizing the actin cytoskeleton at the immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Na, Bo-Ra; Kim, Hye-Ran; Piragyte, Indre; Oh, Hyun-Mee; Kwon, Min-Sung; Akber, Uroos; Lee, Hyun-Su; Park, Do-Sim; Song, Woo Keun; Park, Zee-Yong; Im, Sin-Hyeog; Rho, Mun-Chual; Hyun, Young-Min; Kim, Minsoo

    2015-01-01

    The formation of an immunological synapse (IS) requires tight regulation of actin dynamics by many actin polymerizing/depolymerizing proteins. However, the significance of actin stabilization at the IS remains largely unknown. In this paper, we identify a novel function of TAGLN2—an actin-binding protein predominantly expressed in T cells—in stabilizing cortical F-actin, thereby maintaining F-actin contents at the IS and acquiring LFA-1 (leukocyte function-associated antigen-1) activation after T cell receptor stimulation. TAGLN2 blocks actin depolymerization and competes with cofilin both in vitro and in vivo. Knockout of TAGLN2 (TAGLN2−/−) reduced F-actin content and destabilized F-actin ring formation, resulting in decreased cell adhesion and spreading. TAGLN2−/− T cells displayed weakened cytokine production and cytotoxic effector function. These findings reveal a novel function of TAGLN2 in enhancing T cell responses by controlling actin stability at the IS. PMID:25869671

  6. Beta and gamma-cytoplasmic actins display distinct distribution and functional diversity.

    PubMed

    Dugina, Vera; Zwaenepoel, Ingrid; Gabbiani, Giulio; Clément, Sophie; Chaponnier, Christine

    2009-08-15

    Using newly generated monoclonal antibodies, we have compared the distribution of beta- and gamma-cytoplasmic actin in fibroblastic and epithelial cells, in which they play crucial roles during various key cellular processes. Whereas beta-actin is preferentially localized in stress fibers, circular bundles and at cell-cell contacts, suggesting a role in cell attachment and contraction, gamma-actin displays a more versatile organization, according to cell activities. In moving cells, gamma-actin is mainly organized as a meshwork in cortical and lamellipodial structures, suggesting a role in cell motility; in stationary cells, gamma-actin is also recruited into stress fibers. beta-actin-depleted cells become highly spread, display broad protrusions and reduce their stress-fiber content; by contrast, gamma-actin-depleted cells acquire a contractile phenotype with thick actin bundles and shrinked lamellar and lamellipodial structures. Moreover, beta- and gamma-actin depleted fibroblasts exhibit distinct changes in motility compared with their controls, suggesting a specific role for each isoform in cell locomotion. Our results reveal new aspects of beta- and gamma-actin organization that support their functional diversity. PMID:19638415

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillen, Laura; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Vavylonis Group Team

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

  8. 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.

  9. M.A.T. Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wildman, Louis

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

  10. MueMat Multicrid Toolbox

    SciTech Connect

    2010-11-23

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

  11. MueMat Multicrid Toolbox

    2010-11-23

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

  12. Mathematical modelling and numerical simulations of actin dynamics in the eukaryotic cell.

    PubMed

    George, Uduak Z; Stéphanou, Angélique; Madzvamuse, Anotida

    2013-02-01

    The aim of this article is to study cell deformation and cell movement by considering both the mechanical and biochemical properties of the cortical network of actin filaments and its concentration. Actin is a polymer that can exist either in filamentous form (F-actin) or in monometric form (G-actin) (Chen et al. in Trends Biochem Sci 25:19-23, 2000) and the filamentous form is arranged in a paired helix of two protofilaments (Ananthakrishnan et al. in Recent Res Devel Biophys 5:39-69, 2006). By assuming that cell deformations are a result of the cortical actin dynamics in the cell cytoskeleton, we consider a continuum mathematical model that couples the mechanics of the network of actin filaments with its bio-chemical dynamics. Numerical treatment of the model is carried out using the moving grid finite element method (Madzvamuse et al. in J Comput Phys 190:478-500, 2003). Furthermore, by assuming slow deformations of the cell, we use linear stability theory to validate the numerical simulation results close to bifurcation points. Far from bifurcation points, we show that the mathematical model is able to describe the complex cell deformations typically observed in experimental results. Our numerical results illustrate cell expansion, cell contraction, cell translation and cell relocation as well as cell protrusions. In all these results, the contractile tonicity formed by the association of actin filaments to the myosin II motor proteins is identified as a key bifurcation parameter. PMID:22434394

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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

  15. Characterization of ring-like F-actin structure as a mechanical partner for spindle positioning in mitosis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Huan; Zhao, Qun; Jiang, Hao; Zhu, Tongge; Xia, Peng; Seffens, William; Aikhionbare, Felix; Wang, Dongmei; Dou, Zhen; Yao, Xuebiao

    2014-01-01

    Proper spindle positioning and orientation are essential for accurate mitosis which requires dynamic interactions between microtubule and actin filament (F-actin). Although mounting evidence demonstrates the role of F-actin in cortical cytoskeleton dynamics, it remains elusive as to the structure and function of F-actin-based networks in spindle geometry. Here we showed a ring-like F-actin structure surrounding the mitotic spindle which forms since metaphase and maintains in MG132-arrested metaphase HeLa cells. This cytoplasmic F-actin structure is relatively isotropic and less dynamic. Our computational modeling of spindle position process suggests a possible mechanism by which the ring-like F-actin structure can regulate astral microtubule dynamics and thus mitotic spindle orientation. We further demonstrated that inhibiting Plk1, Mps1 or Myosin, and disruption of microtubules or F-actin polymerization perturbs the formation of the ring-like F-actin structure and alters spindle position and symmetric division. These findings reveal a previously unrecognized but important link between mitotic spindle and ring-like F-actin network in accurate mitosis and enables the development of a method to theoretically illustrate the relationship between mitotic spindle and cytoplasmic F-actin. PMID:25299690

  16. 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. PMID:26604224

  17. Redistribution of actin during assembly and reassembly of the contractile ring in grasshopper spermatocytes.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

    Cytokinesis in animal cells requires the assembly of an actomyosin contractile ring to cleave the cell. The ring is highly dynamic; it assembles and disassembles during each cell cleavage, resulting in the recurrent redistribution of actin. To investigate this process in grasshopper spermatocytes, we mechanically manipulated the spindle to induce actin redistribution into ectopic contractile rings, around reassembled lateral spindles. To enhance visualization of actin, we folded the spindle at its equator to convert the remnants of the partially assembled ring into a concentrated source of actin. Filaments from the disintegrating ring aligned along reorganizing spindle microtubules, suggesting that their incorporation into the new ring was mediated by microtubules. We tracked incorporation by speckling actin filaments with Qdots and/or labeling them with Alexa 488-phalloidin. The pattern of movement implied that actin was transported along spindle microtubules, before entering the ring. By double-labeling dividing cells, we imaged actin filaments moving along microtubules near the contractile ring. Together, our findings indicate that in one mechanism of actin redistribution, actin filaments are transported along spindle microtubule tracks in a plus-end-directed fashion. After reaching the spindle midzone, the filaments could be transported laterally to the ring. Notably, actin filaments undergo a dramatic trajectory change as they enter the ring, implying the existence of a pulling force. Two other mechanisms of actin redistribution, cortical flow and de novo assembly, are also present in grasshopper, suggesting that actin converges at the nascent contractile ring from diffuse sources within the cytoplasm and cortex, mediated by spindle microtubules. PMID:19287500

  18. 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

  19. Mechanoaccumulative Elements of the Mammalian Actin Cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Schiffhauer, Eric S; Luo, Tianzhi; Mohan, Krithika; Srivastava, Vasudha; Qian, Xuyu; Griffis, Eric R; Iglesias, Pablo A; Robinson, Douglas N

    2016-06-01

    To change shape, divide, form junctions, and migrate, cells reorganize their cytoskeletons in response to changing mechanical environments [1-4]. Actin cytoskeletal elements, including myosin II motors and actin crosslinkers, structurally remodel and activate signaling pathways in response to imposed stresses [5-9]. Recent studies demonstrate the importance of force-dependent structural rearrangement of α-catenin in adherens junctions [10] and vinculin's molecular clutch mechanism in focal adhesions [11]. However, the complete landscape of cytoskeletal mechanoresponsive proteins and the mechanisms by which these elements sense and respond to force remain to be elucidated. To find mechanosensitive elements in mammalian cells, we examined protein relocalization in response to controlled external stresses applied to individual cells. Here, we show that non-muscle myosin II, α-actinin, and filamin accumulate to mechanically stressed regions in cells from diverse lineages. Using reaction-diffusion models for force-sensitive binding, we successfully predicted which mammalian α-actinin and filamin paralogs would be mechanoaccumulative. Furthermore, a "Goldilocks zone" must exist for each protein where the actin-binding affinity must be optimal for accumulation. In addition, we leveraged genetic mutants to gain a molecular understanding of the mechanisms of α-actinin and filamin catch-bonding behavior. Two distinct modes of mechanoaccumulation can be observed: a fast, diffusion-based accumulation and a slower, myosin II-dependent cortical flow phase that acts on proteins with specific binding lifetimes. Finally, we uncovered cell-type- and cell-cycle-stage-specific control of the mechanosensation of myosin IIB, but not myosin IIA or IIC. Overall, these mechanoaccumulative mechanisms drive the cell's response to physical perturbation during proper tissue development and disease. PMID:27185555

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Opposing Roles for Actin in Cdc42p PolarizationD⃞

    PubMed Central

    Irazoqui, Javier E.; Howell, Audrey S.; Theesfeld, Chandra L.; Lew, Daniel J.

    2005-01-01

    In animal and fungal cells, the monomeric GTPase Cdc42p is a key regulator of cell polarity that itself exhibits a polarized distribution in asymmetric cells. Previous work showed that in budding yeast, Cdc42p polarization is unaffected by depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton (Ayscough et al., J. Cell Biol. 137, 399–416, 1997). Surprisingly, we now report that unlike complete actin depolymerization, partial actin depolymerization leads to the dispersal of Cdc42p from the polarization site in unbudded cells. We provide evidence that dispersal is due to endocytosis associated with cortical actin patches and that actin cables are required to counteract the dispersal and maintain Cdc42p polarity. Thus, although Cdc42p is initially polarized in an actin-independent manner, maintaining that polarity may involve a reinforcing feedback between Cdc42p and polarized actin cables to counteract the dispersing effects of actin-dependent endocytosis. In addition, we report that once a bud has formed, polarized Cdc42p becomes more resistant to dispersal, revealing an unexpected difference between unbudded and budded cells in the organization of the polarization site. PMID:15616194

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    A chronic excess of glucocorticoids elicits deleterious effects in the hippocampus. Conversely, retinoic acid plays a major role in aging brain plasticity. As synaptic plasticity depends on mechanisms related to cell morphology, we investigated the involvement of retinoic acid and glucocorticoids in the remodelling of the HT22 neurons actin cytoskeleton. Cells exhibited a significantly more elongated shape with retinoic acid and a rounder shape with dexamethasone; retinoic acid reversed the effects of dexamethasone. Actin expression and abundance were unchanged by retinoic acid or dexamethasone but F-actin organization was dramatically modified. Indeed, retinoic acid and dexamethasone increased (70 ± 7% and 176 ± 5%) cortical actin while retinoic acid suppressed the effect of dexamethasone (90 ± 6%). Retinoic acid decreased (-22 ± 9%) and dexamethasone increased (134 ± 16%) actin stress fibres. Retinoic acid also suppressed the effect of dexamethasone (-21 ± 7%). Spectrin is a key protein in the actin network remodelling. Its abundance was decreased by retinoic acid and increased by dexamethasone (-21 ± 11% and 52 ± 10%). However, retinoic acid did not modify the effect of dexamethasone (48 ± 7%). Calpain activity on spectrin was increased by retinoic acid and decreased by dexamethasone (26 ± 14% and -57 ± 5%); retinoic acid mildly but significantly modified the effect of dexamethasone (-44 ± 7%). The calpain inhibitor calpeptin suppressed the effects of retinoic acid and dexamethasone on cell shape and actin stress fibres remodelling but did not modify the effects on cortical actin. Retinoic acid and dexamethasone have a dramatic but mainly opposite effect on actin cytoskeleton remodelling. These effects originate, at least partly, from calpain activity. PMID:26748244

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Actin-based phagosome motility.

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Activator-inhibitor coupling between Rho signalling and actin assembly makes the cell cortex an excitable medium.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-11-01

    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, although Rho activity elicits F-actin assembly, F-actin subsequently inactivates Rho. Experimental and modelling 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

  9. Formin' actin in the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Many if not most proteins can, under certain conditions, change cellular compartments, such as, for example, shuttling from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Thus, many proteins may exert functions in various and very different subcellular locations, depending on the signaling context. A large amount of actin regulatory proteins has been detected in the mammalian cell nucleus, although their potential roles are much debated and are just beginning to emerge. Recently, members of the formin family of actin nucleators were also reported to dynamically localize to the nuclear environment. Here we discuss our findings that specific diaphanous-related formins can promote nuclear actin assembly in a signal-dependent manner. PMID:24637338

  10. Bacterial actins and their diversity

    PubMed Central

    Ozyamak, Ertan; Kollman, Justin M.; Komeili, Arash

    2015-01-01

    For many years bacteria were considered rather simple organisms, but the dogmatic notion that subcellular organization is a eukaryotic trait has been overthrown for more than a decade. The discovery of homologs of the eukaryotic cytoskeletal proteins actin, tubulin, and intermediate filaments in bacteria has been instrumental in changing this view. Over the recent years we gained an incredible level of insight into the diverse family of bacterial actins and their molecular workings. Here we review the functional, biochemical and structural features of the most well-studied bacterial actins. PMID:24015924

  11. 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…

  12. Sparse Coding for Alpha Matting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 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.

  13. Reversible membrane pearling in live cells upon destruction of the actin cortex.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Eghiaian, Frédéric; Rigato, Annafrancesca; Scheuring, Simon

    2015-01-01

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

  15. ACD toxin-produced actin oligomers poison formin-controlled actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Heisler, David B.; Kudryashova, Elena; Grinevich, Dmitry O.; Suarez, Cristian; Winkelman, Jonathan D.; Birukov, Konstantin G.; Kotha, Sainath R.; Parinandi, Narasimham L.; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Kovar, David R.; Kudryashov, Dmitri S.

    2015-01-01

    The actin crosslinking domain (ACD) is an actin-specific toxin produced by several pathogens, including life-threatening spp. of Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio vulnificus, and Aeromonas hydrophila. Actin crosslinking by ACD is thought to lead to slow cytoskeleton failure owing to a gradual sequestration of actin in the form of nonfunctional oligomers. Here we found that ACD converted cytoplasmic actin into highly toxic oligomers that potently “poisoned” the ability of major actin assembly proteins, formins, to sustain actin polymerization. Thus, ACD can target the most abundant cellular protein by employing actin oligomers as secondary toxins to efficiently subvert cellular functions of actin while functioning at very low doses. PMID:26228148

  16. Interactions between the Yeast SM22 Homologue Scp1 and Actin Demonstrate the Importance of Actin Bundling in Endocytosis*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Gheorghe, Dana M.; Aghamohammadzadeh, Soheil; Rooij, Iwona I. Smaczynska-de; Allwood, Ellen G.; Winder, Steve J.; Ayscough, Kathryn R.

    2008-01-01

    The yeast SM22 homologue Scp1 has previously been shown to act as an actin-bundling protein in vitro. In cells, Scp1 localizes to the cortical actin patches that form as part of the invagination process during endocytosis, and its function overlaps with that of the well characterized yeast fimbrin homologue Sac6p. In this work we have used live cell imaging to demonstrate the importance of key residues in the Scp1 actin interface. We have defined two actin binding domains within Scp1 that allow the protein to both bind and bundle actin without the need for dimerization. Green fluorescent protein-tagged mutants of Scp1 also indicate that actin localization does not require the putative phosphorylation site Ser-185 to be functional. Deletion of SCP1 has few discernable effects on cell growth and morphology. However, we reveal that scp1 deletion is compensated for by up-regulation of Sac6. Furthermore, Scp1 levels are increased in the absence of sac6. The presence of compensatory pathways to up-regulate Sac6 or Scp1 levels in the absence of the other suggest that maintenance of sufficient bundling activity is critical within the cell. Analysis of cortical patch assembly and movement during endocytosis reveals a previously undetected role for Scp1 in movement of patches away from the plasma membrane. Additionally, we observe a dramatic increase in patch lifetime in a strain lacking both sac6 and scp1, demonstrating the central role played by actin-bundling proteins in the endocytic process. PMID:18400761

  17. Epidemiology of actinic keratoses.

    PubMed

    Green, Adèle C

    2015-01-01

    The epidemiology of actinic keratoses (AKs) reflects their causation by cumulative sun exposure, with the highest prevalence seen in pale-skinned people living at low latitudes and on the most sun-exposed body sites, namely the hands, forearms and face. AKs are markers of increased risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, especially when they are numerous and have coalesced into an area of 'field cancerisation'. The major risk factors are male sex, advanced age, sun-sensitive complexion, high lifetime sun exposure and prolonged immunosuppression. Clinical counts of AKs enable the assessment and monitoring of AK burden, but accurate counting is notoriously difficult, especially when skin is severely sun damaged. AK counting has been repeatedly shown to be unreliable, even among expert dermatologists. Notwithstanding these challenges, qualitative assessment of the natural history of AKs shows a high turnover, with new lesions developing and with other lesions regressing. A very small proportion of AKs undergo malignant transformation, but the precise rate of transformation is unknown due to the inaccuracies in monitoring AK lesions over time. Primary prevention of AKs is achieved by limiting intense sun exposure through sun-protective behaviour, including seeking deep shade, wearing sun-protective clothing and applying sunscreen regularly to exposed skin, from an early age. PMID:25561199

  18. Chemotaxis and Actin Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. 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

  20. Intersectin-2L Regulates Caveola Endocytosis Secondary to Cdc42-mediated Actin Polymerization*

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Irene K.; Predescu, Dan N.; Sharma, Tiffany; Knezevic, Ivana; Malik, Asrar B.; Predescu, Sanda

    2009-01-01

    Here we addressed the role of intersectin-2L (ITSN-2L), a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the Rho GTPase Cdc42, in the mechanism of caveola endocytosis in endothelial cells (ECs). Immunoprecipitation and co-localization studies showed that ITSN-2L associates with members of the Cdc42-WASp-Arp2/3 actin polymerization pathway. Expression of Dbl homology-pleckstrin homology (DH-PH) region of ITSN-2L (DH-PHITSN-2L) induced specific activation of Cdc42, resulting in formation of extensive filopodia, enhanced cortical actin, as well as a shift from G-actin to F-actin. The “catalytically dead” DH-PH domain reversed these effects and induced significant stress fiber formation, without a detectable shift in actin pools. A biotin assay for caveola internalization indicated a significant decrease in the uptake of biotinylated proteins in DH-PHITSN-2L-transfected cells compared with control and 1 μm jasplakinolide-treated cells. ECs depleted of ITSN-2L by small interfering RNA, however, showed decreased Cdc42 activation and actin remodeling similar to the defective DH-PH, resulting in 62% increase in caveola-mediated uptake compared with controls. Thus, ITSN-2L, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Cdc42, regulates different steps of caveola endocytosis in ECs by controlling the temporal and spatial actin polymerization and remodeling sub-adjacent to the plasma membrane. PMID:19622753

  1. Intersectin-2L regulates caveola endocytosis secondary to Cdc42-mediated actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Klein, Irene K; Predescu, Dan N; Sharma, Tiffany; Knezevic, Ivana; Malik, Asrar B; Predescu, Sanda

    2009-09-18

    Here we addressed the role of intersectin-2L (ITSN-2L), a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the Rho GTPase Cdc42, in the mechanism of caveola endocytosis in endothelial cells (ECs). Immunoprecipitation and co-localization studies showed that ITSN-2L associates with members of the Cdc42-WASp-Arp2/3 actin polymerization pathway. Expression of Dbl homology-pleckstrin homology (DH-PH) region of ITSN-2L (DH-PH(ITSN-2L)) induced specific activation of Cdc42, resulting in formation of extensive filopodia, enhanced cortical actin, as well as a shift from G-actin to F-actin. The "catalytically dead" DH-PH domain reversed these effects and induced significant stress fiber formation, without a detectable shift in actin pools. A biotin assay for caveola internalization indicated a significant decrease in the uptake of biotinylated proteins in DH-PH(ITSN-2L)-transfected cells compared with control and 1 microM jasplakinolide-treated cells. ECs depleted of ITSN-2L by small interfering RNA, however, showed decreased Cdc42 activation and actin remodeling similar to the defective DH-PH, resulting in 62% increase in caveola-mediated uptake compared with controls. Thus, ITSN-2L, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Cdc42, regulates different steps of caveola endocytosis in ECs by controlling the temporal and spatial actin polymerization and remodeling sub-adjacent to the plasma membrane. PMID:19622753

  2. An Actin Filament Population Defined by the Tropomyosin Tpm3.1 Regulates Glucose Uptake

    PubMed Central

    Kee, Anthony J.; Yang, Lingyan; Lucas, Christine A.; Greenberg, Michael J.; Martel, Nick; Leong, Gary M.; Hughes, William E.; Cooney, Gregory J.; James, David E.; Ostap, E. Michael; Han, Weiping; Gunning, Peter W.; Hardeman, Edna C.

    2016-01-01

    Actin has an ill-defined role in the trafficking of GLUT4 glucose transporter vesicles to the plasma membrane (PM). We have identified novel actin filaments defined by the tropomyosin Tpm3.1 at glucose uptake sites in white adipose tissue (WAT) and skeletal muscle. In Tpm 3.1-overexpressing mice, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was increased; while Tpm3.1-null mice they were more sensitive to the impact of high-fat diet on glucose uptake. Inhibition of Tpm3.1 function in 3T3-L1 adipocytes abrogates insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake. In WAT, the amount of filamentous actin is determined by Tpm3.1 levels and is paralleled by changes in exocyst component (sec8) and Myo1c levels. In adipocytes, Tpm3.1 localizes with MyoIIA, but not Myo1c, and it inhibits Myo1c binding to actin. We propose that Tpm3.1 determines the amount of cortical actin that can engage MyoIIA and generate contractile force, and in parallel limits the interaction of Myo1c with actin filaments. The balance between these actin filament populations may determine the efficiency of movement and/or fusion of GLUT4 vesicles with the PM. PMID:25783006

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Actin engine in immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Piragyte, Indre; Jun, Chang-Duk

    2012-06-01

    T cell activation and function require physical contact with antigen presenting cells at a specialized junctional structure known as the immunological synapse. Once formed, the immunological synapse leads to sustained T cell receptor-mediated signalling and stabilized adhesion. High resolution microscopy indeed had a great impact in understanding the function and dynamic structure of immunological synapse. Trends of recent research are now moving towards understanding the mechanical part of immune system, expanding our knowledge in mechanosensitivity, force generation, and biophysics of cell-cell interaction. Actin cytoskeleton plays inevitable role in adaptive immune system, allowing it to bear dynamic and precise characteristics at the same time. The regulation of mechanical engine seems very complicated and overlapping, but it enables cells to be very sensitive to external signals such as surface rigidity. In this review, we focus on actin regulators and how immune cells regulate dynamic actin rearrangement process to drive the formation of immunological synapse. PMID:22916042

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  16. Bacterial contamination control mats: a comparative study.

    PubMed Central

    Meddick, H. M.

    1977-01-01

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

  17. 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

    2016-06-01

    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. PMID:27276270

  18. GLUTAMATE-INDUCED Ca2+ INFLUX IN THIRD-ORDER NEURONS OF SALAMANDER RETINA IS REGULATED BY THE ACTIN CYTOSKELETON

    PubMed Central

    AKOPIAN, A.; SZIKRA, T.; CRISTOFANILLI, M.; KRIZAJ, D.

    2010-01-01

    Ligand-gated ion channels (ionotropic receptors) link to the cortical cytoskeleton via specialized scaffold proteins and thereby to appropriate signal transduction pathways in the cell. We studied the role of filamentous actin in the regulation of Ca influx through glutamate receptor-activated channels in third-order neurons of salamander retina. Staining by Alexa-Fluor 488-phalloidin, to visualize polymerized actin, we show localization of filamentous actin in neurites, and the membrane surrounding the cell soma. With Ca2+ imaging we found that in dissociated neurons, depolymerization of filamentous actin by latrunculin A, or cytochalasin D significantly reduced glutamate-induced intracellular Ca2+ accumulation to 53±7% of control value. Jasplakinolide, a stabilizer of filamentous actin, by itself slightly increased the glutamate-induced Ca2+ signal and completely attenuated the inhibitory effect when applied in combination with actin depolymerizing agents. These results indicate that in salamander retinal neurons the actin cytoskeleton regulates Ca2+ influx through ionotropic glutamate receptor-activated channels, suggesting regulatory roles for filamentous actin in a number of Ca2+-dependent physiological and pathological processes. PMID:16359816

  19. 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.

  20. Association of actin with alpha crystallins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    The alpha crystallins are cytosolic proteins that co-localize and co-purify with actin-containing microfilaments. Affinity column chromatography employing both covalently-coupled actin or alpha crystallin was used to demonstrate specific and saturable binding of actin with alpha crystallin. This conclusion was confirmed by direct visualization of alpha aggregates bound to actin polymerized in vitro. The significance of this interaction in relation to the functional properties of these two polypeptides will be discussed.

  1. 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

  2. Non-equilibrium phase transition in reconstituted acto-myosin cortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fakhri, Nikta; Abu Shah, Enas; Malik-Garbi, Maya; Mackintosh, Fred C.; Keren, Kinneret; Schmidt, Christoph F.

    2015-03-01

    The cortical actin cytoskeleton is a quasi 2-D active material in which dynamics are dominated by rapid actin turnover and myosin-driven contractility. Here we present a reconstituted model system that emulates these processes in artificial cell-like compartments. By tuning physical and chemical parameters, we induce a non-equilibrium phase transition. We characterize the local dynamics of these reconstituted cortices by tracking embedded single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). We create high-resolution maps of the contractile actomyosin flows in a homogenous and during transition to an inhomogeneous steady state. We find evidence that connectivity percolation drives the non-equilibrium phase transition.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  5. Actin dynamics: from nanoscale to microscale.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Anders E

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  7. The Actin-binding Domain of Cortactin is Dynamic and Unstructured and Affects Lateral and Longitudinal Contacts in F-actin

    PubMed Central

    Shvetsov, Alexander; Berkane, Emir; Chereau, David; Dominguez, Roberto; Reisler, Emil

    2011-01-01

    Cortactin is an F-actin- and Arp2/3 complex-binding protein, implicated in the regulation of cytoskeleton dynamics and cortical actin-assembly. The actin-binding domain of cortactin consists of a 6.5 tandem repeat of a 37-amino acid sequence known as the cortactin repeat (residues 80-325). Using a combination of structure prediction, circular dichroism and cysteine crosslinking, we tested a recently published three-dimensional model of the cortactin molecule in which the cortactin repeat is folded as a globular helical domain (Zhang et al., 2007). We show that the cortactin repeat is unstructured in solution. Thus, wild type and mutant constructs of the cortactin repeat, containing pairs of cysteines at positions 112 and 246, 83 and 112, 83 and 246, and 83 and 306, could be readily crosslinked with reagents of varying lengths (0–9.6 Å). Using yeast actin cysteine mutants, we also show that cortactin inhibits disulfide and dibromobimane crosslinking across the lateral and longitudinal interfaces of actin subunits in the filament, suggesting a weakening of inter-subunits contacts. Our results are in disagreement with the proposed model of the cortactin molecule and have important implications for our understanding of cortactin regulation of cytoskeleton dynamics. PMID:19089942

  8. The actin-binding domain of cortactin is dynamic and unstructured and affects lateral and longitudinal contacts in F-actin.

    PubMed

    Shvetsov, Alexander; Berkane, Emir; Chereau, David; Dominguez, Roberto; Reisler, Emil

    2009-02-01

    Cortactin is an F-actin- and Arp2/3 complex-binding protein, implicated in the regulation of cytoskeleton dynamics and cortical actin-assembly. The actin-binding domain of cortactin consists of a 6.5 tandem repeat of a 37-amino acid sequence known as the cortactin repeat (residues 80-325). Using a combination of structure prediction, circular dichroism, and cysteine crosslinking, we tested a recently published three-dimensional model of the cortactin molecule in which the cortactin repeat is folded as a globular helical domain [Zhang et al., 2007, Mol Cell 27:197-213]. We show that the cortactin repeat is unstructured in solution. Thus, wild type and mutant constructs of the cortactin repeat, containing pairs of cysteines at positions 112 and 246, 83 and 112, 83 and 246, and 83 and 306, could be readily crosslinked with reagents of varying lengths (0-9.6 A). Using yeast actin cysteine mutants, we also show that cortactin inhibits disulfide and dibromobimane crosslinking across the lateral and longitudinal interfaces of actin subunits in the filament, suggesting a weakening of intersubunits contacts. Our results are in disagreement with the proposed model of the cortactin molecule and have important implications for our understanding of cortactin regulation of cytoskeleton dynamics. PMID:19089942

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenic Yersinia species evade host immune systems through the injection of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into phagocytic cells. One Yop, YopO, also known as YpkA, induces actin-filament disruption, impairing phagocytosis. Here we describe the X-ray structure of Yersinia enterocolitica YopO in complex with actin, which reveals that YopO binds to an actin monomer in a manner that blocks polymerization yet allows the bound actin to interact with host actin-regulating proteins. SILAC-MS and biochemical analyses confirm that actin-polymerization regulators such as VASP, EVL, WASP, gelsolin and the formin diaphanous 1 are directly sequestered and phosphorylated by YopO through formation of ternary complexes with actin. This leads to a model in which YopO at the membrane sequesters actin from polymerization while using the bound actin as bait to recruit, phosphorylate and misregulate host actin-regulating proteins to disrupt phagocytosis. PMID:25664724

  10. 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

  11. Myosin VIII associates with microtubule ends and together with actin plays a role in guiding plant cell division

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shu-Zon; Bezanilla, Magdalena

    2014-01-01

    Plant cells divide using the phragmoplast, a microtubule-based structure that directs vesicles secretion to the nascent cell plate. The phragmoplast forms at the cell center and expands to reach a specified site at the cell periphery, tens or hundreds of microns distant. The mechanism responsible for guiding the phragmoplast remains largely unknown. Here, using both moss and tobacco, we show that myosin VIII associates with the ends of phragmoplast microtubules and together with actin plays a role in guiding phragmoplast expansion to the cortical division site. Our data lead to a model whereby myosin VIII links phragmoplast microtubules to the cortical division site via actin filaments. Myosin VIII's motor activity along actin provides a molecular mechanism for steering phragmoplast expansion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03498.001 PMID:25247701

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, D J; Banting, G

    2000-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. CADM1 Controls Actin Cytoskeleton Assembly and Regulates Extracellular Matrix Adhesion in Human Mast Cells

    PubMed Central

    Moiseeva, Elena P.; Straatman, Kees R.; Leyland, Mark L.; Bradding, Peter

    2014-01-01

    CADM1 is a major receptor for the adhesion of mast cells (MCs) to fibroblasts, human airway smooth muscle cells (HASMCs) and neurons. It also regulates E-cadherin and alpha6beta4 integrin in other cell types. Here we investigated a role for CADM1 in MC adhesion to both cells and extracellular matrix (ECM). Downregulation of CADM1 in the human MC line HMC-1 resulted not only in reduced adhesion to HASMCs, but also reduced adhesion to their ECM. Time-course studies in the presence of EDTA to inhibit integrins demonstrated that CADM1 provided fast initial adhesion to HASMCs and assisted with slower adhesion to ECM. CADM1 downregulation, but not antibody-dependent CADM1 inhibition, reduced MC adhesion to ECM, suggesting indirect regulation of ECM adhesion. To investigate potential mechanisms, phosphotyrosine signalling and polymerisation of actin filaments, essential for integrin-mediated adhesion, were examined. Modulation of CADM1 expression positively correlated with surface KIT levels and polymerisation of cortical F-actin in HMC-1 cells. It also influenced phosphotyrosine signalling and KIT tyrosine autophosphorylation. CADM1 accounted for 46% of surface KIT levels and 31% of F-actin in HMC-1 cells. CADM1 downregulation resulted in elongation of cortical actin filaments in both HMC-1 cells and human lung MCs and increased cell rigidity of HMC-1 cells. Collectively these data suggest that CADM1 is a key adhesion receptor, which regulates MC net adhesion, both directly through CADM1-dependent adhesion, and indirectly through the regulation of other adhesion receptors. The latter is likely to occur via docking of KIT and polymerisation of cortical F-actin. Here we propose a stepwise model of adhesion with CADM1 as a driving force for net MC adhesion. PMID:24465823

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. Actin polymerization stabilizes α4β1 integrin anchors that mediate monocyte adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Henry; Hyduk, Sharon J.; Wong, Janice C.; Digby, Genevieve; Arora, Pamma D.; Cano, Adrianet Puig; Hartwig, John; McCulloch, Christopher A.

    2012-01-01

    Leukocytes arrested on inflamed endothelium via integrins are subjected to force imparted by flowing blood. How leukocytes respond to this force and resist detachment is poorly understood. Live-cell imaging with Lifeact-transfected U937 cells revealed that force triggers actin polymerization at upstream α4β1 integrin adhesion sites and the adjacent cortical cytoskeleton. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that this culminates in the formation of structures that anchor monocyte adhesion. Inhibition of actin polymerization resulted in cell deformation, displacement, and detachment. Transfection of dominant-negative constructs and inhibition of function or expression revealed key signaling steps required for upstream actin polymerization and adhesion stabilization. These included activation of Rap1, phosphoinositide 3-kinase γ isoform, and Rac but not Cdc42. Thus, rapid signaling and structural adaptations enable leukocytes to stabilize adhesion and resist detachment forces. PMID:22472442

  1. 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

  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. Quantifying actin wave modulation on periodic topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guven, Can; Driscoll, Meghan; Sun, Xiaoyu; Parker, Joshua; Fourkas, John; Carlsson, Anders; Losert, Wolfgang

    2014-03-01

    Actin is the essential builder of the cell cytoskeleton, whose dynamics are responsible for generating the necessary forces for the formation of protrusions. By exposing amoeboid cells to periodic topographical cues, we show that actin can be directionally guided via inducing preferential polymerization waves. To quantify the dynamics of these actin waves and their interaction with the substrate, we modify a technique from computer vision called ``optical flow.'' We obtain vectors that represent the apparent actin flow and cluster these vectors to obtain patches of newly polymerized actin, which represent actin waves. Using this technique, we compare experimental results, including speed distribution of waves and distance from the wave centroid to the closest ridge, with actin polymerization simulations. We hypothesize the modulation of the activity of nucleation promotion factors on ridges (elevated regions of the surface) as a potential mechanism for the wave-substrate coupling. Funded by NIH grant R01GM085574.

  4. Activity-driven relaxation of the cortical actomyosin II network synchronizes Munc18-1-dependent neurosecretory vesicle docking.

    PubMed

    Papadopulos, Andreas; Gomez, Guillermo A; Martin, Sally; Jackson, Jade; Gormal, Rachel S; Keating, Damien J; Yap, Alpha S; Meunier, Frederic A

    2015-01-01

    In neurosecretory cells, secretory vesicles (SVs) undergo Ca(2+)-dependent fusion with the plasma membrane to release neurotransmitters. How SVs cross the dense mesh of the cortical actin network to reach the plasma membrane remains unclear. Here we reveal that, in bovine chromaffin cells, SVs embedded in the cortical actin network undergo a highly synchronized transition towards the plasma membrane and Munc18-1-dependent docking in response to secretagogues. This movement coincides with a translocation of the cortical actin network in the same direction. Both effects are abolished by the knockdown or the pharmacological inhibition of myosin II, suggesting changes in actomyosin-generated forces across the cell cortex. Indeed, we report a reduction in cortical actin network tension elicited on secretagogue stimulation that is sensitive to myosin II inhibition. We reveal that the cortical actin network acts as a 'casting net' that undergoes activity-dependent relaxation, thereby driving tethered SVs towards the plasma membrane where they undergo Munc18-1-dependent docking. PMID:25708831

  5. Modulation of Prion Formation, Aggregation, and Toxicity by the Actin Cytoskeleton in Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Ganusova, Elena E.; Ozolins, Laura N.; Bhagat, Srishti; Newnam, Gary P.; Wegrzyn, Renee D.; Sherman, Michael Y.; Chernoff, Yury O.

    2006-01-01

    Self-perpetuating protein aggregates transmit prion diseases in mammals and heritable traits in yeast. De novo prion formation can be induced by transient overproduction of the corresponding prion-forming protein or its prion domain. Here, we demonstrate that the yeast prion protein Sup35 interacts with various proteins of the actin cortical cytoskeleton that are involved in endocytosis. Sup35-derived aggregates, generated in the process of prion induction, are associated with the components of the endocytic/vacuolar pathway. Mutational alterations of the cortical actin cytoskeleton decrease aggregation of overproduced Sup35 and de novo prion induction and increase prion-related toxicity in yeast. Deletion of the gene coding for the actin assembly protein Sla2 is lethal in cells containing the prion isoforms of both Sup35 and Rnq1 proteins simultaneously. Our data are consistent with a model in which cytoskeletal structures provide a scaffold for generation of large aggregates, resembling mammalian aggresomes. These aggregates promote prion formation. Moreover, it appears that the actin cytoskeleton also plays a certain role in counteracting the toxicity of the overproduced potentially aggregating proteins. PMID:16382152

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  8. Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced actin glutathionylation controls actin dynamics in neutrophils

    PubMed Central

    Sakai, Jiro; Li, Jingyu; Subramanian, Kulandayan K.; Mondal, Subhanjan; Bajrami, Besnik; Hattori, Hidenori; Jia, Yonghui; Dickinson, Bryan C.; Zhong, Jia; Ye, Keqiang; Chang, Christopher J; Ho, Ye-Shih; Zhou, Jun; Luo, Hongbo R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The regulation of actin dynamics is pivotal for cellular processes such as cell adhesion, migration, and phagocytosis, and thus is crucial for neutrophils to fulfill their roles in innate immunity. Many factors have been implicated in signal-induced actin polymerization, however the essential nature of the potential negative modulators are still poorly understood. Here we report that NADPH oxidase-dependent physiologically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) negatively regulate actin polymerization in stimulated neutrophils via driving reversible actin glutathionylation. Disruption of glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1), an enzyme that catalyzes actin deglutathionylation, increased actin glutathionylation, attenuated actin polymerization, and consequently impaired neutrophil polarization, chemotaxis, adhesion, and phagocytosis. Consistently, Grx1-deficient murine neutrophils showed impaired in vivo recruitment to sites of inflammation and reduced bactericidal capability. Together, these results present a physiological role for glutaredoxin and ROS- induced reversible actin glutathionylation in regulation of actin dynamics in neutrophils. PMID:23159440

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  10. Mesoscopic model of actin-based propulsion.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jie; Mogilner, Alex

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Affinity chromatography of immobilized actin and myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Bottomley, R C; Trayer, I P

    1975-01-01

    Actin and myosin were immobilized by coupling them to agarose matrices. Both immobilized G-actin and immobilized myosin retain most of the properties of the proteins in free solution and are reliable over long periods of time. Sepharose-F-actin, under the conditions used in this study, has proved unstable and variable in its properties. Sepharose-G-actin columns were used to bind heavy meromyosin and myosin subfragment 1 specifically and reversibly. The interaction involved is sensitive to variation in ionic strength, such that myosin itself is not retained by the columns at the high salt concentration required for its complete solubilization. Myosin, rendered soluble at low ionic strength by polyalanylation, will interact successfully with the immobilized actin. The latter can distinguish between active and inactive fractions of the proteolytic and polyalanyl myosin derivatives, and was used in the preparation of these molecules. The complexes formed between the myosin derivatives and Sepharose-G-actin can be dissociated by low concentrations of ATP, ADP and pyrophosphate in both the presence and the absence of Mg2+. The G-actin columns were used to evaluate the results of chemical modifications of myosin subfragments on their interactions with actin. F-Actin in free solution is bound specifically and reversibly to columns of insolubilized myosin. Thus, with elution by either ATP or pyrophosphate, actin has been purified in one step from extracts of acetone-dried muscle powder. PMID:241335

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Uncoupling of gate and fence functions of MDCK cells by the actin-depolymerizing reagent mycalolide B.

    PubMed

    Takakuwa, R; Kokai, Y; Kojima, T; Akatsuka, T; Tobioka, H; Sawada, N; Mori, M

    2000-06-15

    The tight junction serves as a paracellular gate to seal the paracellular space of apposing cells and as a molecular fence to prevent diffusion of membrane proteins and lipids in epithelial cells. Although involvement of the actin cytoskeleton has been considered to be important in these two functions, it remains to be elucidated whether both functions are regulated in a coupled manner or differentially by actin. Treatment of highly polarized MDCK cells with mycalolide B (MB), a recently developed actin-depolymerizing reagent, induced a decrease of transepithelial resistance in a dose- and time-dependent manner with reversibility when the reagent was washed out. Changes in cytoskeletal actin, such as a reduction of cortical actin, irregularity of stress fibers, and punctated actin aggregates, were observed after MB treatment. However, the fence function, as studied by diffusion of apically labeled sphingomyelin/BSA complex, remained intact in the MB-treated MDCK cells. Localization of junctional molecules and apical marker proteins such as E-cadherin, ZO-1, and 114-kDa protein was shown to be unaffected. Furthermore, freeze-fracture study showed apparent tight junction strands. Collectively, MB treatment abolished the paracellular gate but not the fence function of MDCK cells, suggesting that cytoskeletal actin may play differential roles in the gate and fence functions of the tight junction. PMID:10837137

  14. The interaction of vinculin with actin.

    PubMed

    Golji, Javad; Mofrad, Mohammad R K

    2013-04-01

    Vinculin can interact with F-actin both in recruitment of actin filaments to the growing focal adhesions and also in capping of actin filaments to regulate actin dynamics. Using molecular dynamics, both interactions are simulated using different vinculin conformations. Vinculin is simulated either with only its vinculin tail domain (Vt), with all residues in its closed conformation, with all residues in an open I conformation, and with all residues in an open II conformation. The open I conformation results from movement of domain 1 away from Vt; the open II conformation results from complete dissociation of Vt from the vinculin head domains. Simulation of vinculin binding along the actin filament showed that Vt alone can bind along the actin filaments, that vinculin in its closed conformation cannot bind along the actin filaments, and that vinculin in its open I conformation can bind along the actin filaments. The simulations confirm that movement of domain 1 away from Vt in formation of vinculin 1 is sufficient for allowing Vt to bind along the actin filament. Simulation of Vt capping actin filaments probe six possible bound structures and suggest that vinculin would cap actin filaments by interacting with both S1 and S3 of the barbed-end, using the surface of Vt normally occluded by D4 and nearby vinculin head domain residues. Simulation of D4 separation from Vt after D1 separation formed the open II conformation. Binding of open II vinculin to the barbed-end suggests this conformation allows for vinculin capping. Three binding sites on F-actin are suggested as regions that could link to vinculin. Vinculin is suggested to function as a variable switch at the focal adhesions. The conformation of vinculin and the precise F-actin binding conformation is dependent on the level of mechanical load on the focal adhesion. PMID:23633939

  15. The PCH family member MAYP/PSTPIP2 directly regulates F-actin bundling and enhances filopodia formation and motility in macrophages.

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-01

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

  16. Microbial communities and exopolysaccharides from Polynesian mats.

    PubMed

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

    2001-03-01

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

  17. Mechanosensitive kinetic preference of actin-binding protein to actin filament

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, Yasuhiro; Adachi, Taiji

    2016-04-01

    The kinetic preference of actin-binding proteins to actin filaments is altered by external forces on the filament. Such an altered kinetic preference is largely responsible for remodeling the actin cytoskeletal structure in response to intracellular forces. During remodeling, actin-binding proteins and actin filaments interact under isothermal conditions, because the cells are homeostatic. In such a temperature homeostatic state, we can rigorously and thermodynamically link the chemical potential of actin-binding proteins to stresses on the actin filaments. From this relationship, we can construct a physical model that explains the force-dependent kinetic preference of actin-binding proteins to actin filaments. To confirm the model, we have analyzed the mechanosensitive alternation of the kinetic preference of Arp2/3 and cofilin to actin filaments. We show that this model captures the qualitative responses of these actin-binding proteins to the forces, as observed experimentally. Moreover, our theoretical results demonstrate that, depending on the structural parameters of the binding region, actin-binding proteins can show different kinetic responses even to the same mechanical signal tension, in which the double-helix nature of the actin filament also plays a critical role in a stretch-twist coupling of the filament.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22918957

  19. 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. PMID:22918957

  20. 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).

  1. Distinct impact of targeted actin cytoskeleton reorganization on mechanical properties of normal and malignant cells.

    PubMed

    Efremov, Yu M; Dokrunova, A A; Efremenko, A V; Kirpichnikov, M P; Shaitan, K V; Sokolova, O S

    2015-11-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is substantially modified in cancer cells because of changes in actin-binding protein abundance and functional activity. As a consequence, cancer cells have distinctive motility and mechanical properties, which are important for many processes, including invasion and metastasis. Here, we studied the effects of actin cytoskeleton alterations induced by specific nucleation inhibitors (SMIFH2, CK-666), cytochalasin D, Y-27632 and detachment from the surface by trypsinization on the mechanical properties of normal Vero and prostate cancer cell line DU145. The Young's modulus of Vero cells was 1300±900 Pa, while the prostate cancer cell line DU145 exhibited significantly lower Young's moduli (600±400 Pa). The Young's moduli exhibited a log-normal distribution for both cell lines. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells demonstrated diverse viscoelastic behavior and different responses to actin cytoskeleton reorganization. They were more resistant to specific formin-dependent nucleation inhibition, and reinforced their cortical actin after detachment from the substrate. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mechanobiology. PMID:25970206

  2. 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

  3. Characterization and in vitro evaluation of electrospun chitosan/polycaprolactone blend fibrous mat for skin tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Tilak; Shabeena, E A; Vinod, D; Kumary, T V; Anil Kumar, P R

    2015-01-01

    The electrospinning technique allows engineering biomimetic scaffolds within micro to nanoscale range mimicking natural extracellular matrix (ECM). Chitosan (CS) and polycaprolactone (PCL) were dissolved in a modified solvent mixture consisting of formic acid and acetone (3:7) and mixed in different weight ratios to get chitosan-polycaprolactone [CS-PCL] blend solutions. The CS-PCL blend polymer was electrospun in the same solvent system and compared with PCL. The physicochemical characterization of the electrospun fibrous mats was done using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), tensile test, swelling properties, water contact angle (WCA) analysis, surface profilometry and thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA). The CS-PCL fibrous mat showed decreased hydrophobicity. The CS-PCL mats also showed improved swelling property, tensile strength, thermal stability and surface roughness. The cytocompatibility of the CS-PCL and PCL fibrous mats were examined using mouse fibroblast (L-929) cell line by direct contact and cellular activity with extract of materials confirmed non-cytotoxic nature. The potential of CS-PCL and PCL fibrous mats as skin tissue engineering scaffolds were assessed by cell adhesion, viability, proliferation and actin distribution using human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and L-929 cell lines. Results indicate that CS-PCL is a better scaffold for attachment and proliferation of keratinocytes and is a potential material for skin tissue engineering. PMID:25578706

  4. Tropomyosin-1 protects transformed alveolar epithelial cells against cigaret smoke extract through the stabilization of F-actin-dependent cell-cell junctions.

    PubMed

    Gagat, Maciej; Grzanka, Dariusz; Izdebska, Magdalena; Sroka, Wiktor Dariusz; Hałas-Wiśniewska, Marta; Grzanka, Alina

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the study was to estimate the effect of tropomyosin-1-based structural stabilization of F-actin in transformed human alveolar epithelial line H1299 cells subjected to high oxidative stress induced by cigaret smoke extract. We demonstrated here that cigaret smoke extract induces cell shrinking and detachment as a consequence of F-actin cytoskeleton degradation in H1299 cells not overexpressing tropomyosin-1. Furthermore, the treatment of these cells with cigaret smoke extract resulted in the loss of peripheral localization of ZO-1 and initiated apoptosis. In contrast, structural stabilization of F-actin, by overexpression of tropomyosin-1, preserved cell to cell interactions through the attenuation of cortical actin organization into thin fibers and thus protected these cells against oxidative stress-induced degradation of actin cytoskeleton and cell death. In conclusion, we suggest that structural stabilization of thin cortical F-actin fibers increases link between tight junctions proteins and actin cytoskeleton and thus protects H1299 cells against cigaret smoke extract. PMID:26805581

  5. Elasticity, adhesion and actin based propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopinathan, Ajay

    2006-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Functional interdependence between septin and actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Katja; Nichols, Benjamin J

    2004-01-01

    Background Septin2 is a member of a highly conserved GTPase family found in fungi and animals. Septins have been implicated in a diversity of cellular processes including cytokinesis, formation of diffusion barriers and vesicle trafficking. Septin2 partially co-localises with actin bundles in mammalian interphase cells and Septin2-filamentmorphology depends upon an intact actin cytoskeleton. How this interaction is regulated is not known. Moreover, evidence that Septin2 is remodelled or redistributed in response to other changes in actin organisation is lacking. Results Septin2 filaments are associated with actin fibres, but Septin2 is not associated with actin at the leading edge of moving cells or in ruffles where actin is highly dynamic. Rather, Septin2 is spatially segregated from these active areas and forms O- and C-shaped structures, similar to those previously observed after latrunculin treatment. FRAP experiments showed that all assemblies formed by Septin2 are highly dynamic with a constant exchange of Septin2 in and out of these structures, and that this property is independent of actin. A combination of RNAi experiments and expression of truncated forms of Septin2 showed that Septin2 plays a significant role in stabilising or maintaining actin bundles. Conclusion We show that Septin2 can form dynamic structures with differing morphologies in living cells, and that these morphologies are dependent on the functional state of the actin cytoskeleton. Our data provide a link between the different morphological states of Septin2 and functions of Septin2 in actin-dynamics, and are consistent with the model proposed by Kinoshita and colleagues, that Septin2 filaments play a role in stabilisation of actin stress fibres thus preventing actin turnover. PMID:15541171

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

    PubMed Central

    Rajakylä, Eeva Kaisa; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rajakylä, Eeva Kaisa; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2014-01-01

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

  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. Calcium control of Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Greer, C; Schekman, R

    1982-01-01

    Low levels of Ca2+ dramatically influence the polymerization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin in KCl. The apparent critical concentration for polymerization (C infinity) increases eightfold in the presence of 0.1 mM Ca2+. This effect is rapidly reversed by the addition of ethylene glycol bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N'-tetraacetic acid or of 0.1 mM Mg2+. Furthermore, the addition of Ca2+ to polymerized actin causes a reversible increase in the apparent C infinity. In the presence of Ca2+, at actin concentrations below the apparent C infinity, particles of 15 to 50 nm in diameter are seen instead of filaments. These particles are separated from soluble actin when Ca2+-treated filamentous actin is sedimented at high speed; both the soluble and particulate fractions retain Ca2+-sensitive polymerization. The Ca2+ effect is S. cerevisiae actin-specific: the C infinity for rabbit muscle actin is not affected by the presence of Ca2+ and S. cerevisiae actin. Ca2+ may act directly on S. cerevisiae actin to control the assembly state in vivo. Images PMID:6757718

  13. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Pushing with actin: from cells to pathogens.

    PubMed

    Small, J Victor

    2015-02-01

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

  15. Dynamic actin gene family evolution in primates.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Liucun; Zhang, Ying; Hu, Yijun; Wen, Tieqiao; Wang, Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Actin is one of the most highly conserved proteins and plays crucial roles in many vital cellular functions. In most eukaryotes, it is encoded by a multigene family. Although the actin gene family has been studied a lot, few investigators focus on the comparison of actin gene family in relative species. Here, the purpose of our study is to systematically investigate characteristics and evolutionary pattern of actin gene family in primates. We identified 233 actin genes in human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, gibbon, rhesus monkey, and marmoset genomes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that actin genes in the seven species could be divided into two major types of clades: orthologous group versus complex group. Codon usages and gene expression patterns of actin gene copies were highly consistent among the groups because of basic functions needed by the organisms, but much diverged within species due to functional diversification. Besides, many great potential pseudogenes were found with incomplete open reading frames due to frameshifts or early stop codons. These results implied that actin gene family in primates went through "birth and death" model of evolution process. Under this model, actin genes experienced strong negative selection and increased the functional complexity by reproducing themselves. PMID:23841080

  16. Stochastic model of profilin-actin polymerization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horan, Brandon; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    A driving factor in cell motility and other processes that involve changes of cell shape is the rapid polymerization of actin subunits into long filaments. This process is regulated by profilin, a protein which binds to actin subunits and regulates elongation of actin filaments. Whether profilin stimulates polymerization by coupling to hydrolysis of ATP-bound actin is debated. Previous studies have proposed indirect coupling to ATP hydrolysis using rate equations, but did not include the effects of fluctuations that are important near the critical concentration. We developed stochastic simulations using the Gillespie algorithm to study single filament elongation at the barbed end in the presence of profilin. We used recently measured rate constants and estimated the rate of profilin binding to the barbed end such that detailed balance is satisfied. Fast phosphate release at the tip of the filament was accounted for. The elongation rate and length diffusivity as functions of profilin and actin concentration were calculated and used to extract the critical concentrations of free actin and of total actin. We show under what conditions profilin leads to an increase in the critical concentration of total actin but a decrease in the critical concentration of free actin.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Nonwoven filtration mat production by electrospinning method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  19. Mattingly and Hartsfield Salute President Regan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Columbia Space Shuttle astronauts Commander Thomas K. Mattingly, foreground, and Pilot Henry W. Hartsfield salute President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, as the astronauts begin the customary walk-around inspection of the orbiter after landing. Mattingly and Hartsfield were the first to land the Shuttle on a concrete runway. The landing proved that the shuttle could return safely to a precisely targeted location on Earth.

  20. 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. PMID:17388202

  1. 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. PMID:22630054

  2. Effects of F/G-actin ratio and actin turn-over rate on NADPH oxidase activity in microglia

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Most in vivo studies that have addressed the role of actin dynamics in NADPH oxidase function in phagocytes have used toxins to modulate the polymerization state of actin and mostly effects on actin has been evaluated by end point measurements of filamentous actin, which says little about actin dynamics, and without consideration for the subcellular distribution of the perturbed actin cytoskeleton. Results Here, we in addition to toxins use conditional expression of the major actin regulatory protein LIM kinase-1 (LIMK1), and shRNA knock-down of cofilin to modulate the cellular F/G-actin ratio in the Ra2 microglia cell line, and we use Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching (FRAP) in β-actin-YFP-transduced cells to obtain a dynamic measure of actin recovery rates (actin turn-over rates) in different F/G-actin states of the actin cytoskeleton. Our data demonstrate that stimulated NADPH oxidase function was severely impaired only at extreme actin recovery rates and F/G-actin ratios, and surprisingly, that any moderate changes of these parameters of the actin cytoskeleton invariably resulted in an increased NADPH oxidase activity. Conclusion moderate actin polymerization and depolymerization both increase the FMLP and PMA-stimulated NADPH oxidase activity of microglia, which is directly correlated with neither actin recovery rate nor F/G- actin ratio. Our results indicate that NADPH oxidase functions in an enhanced state of activity in stimulated phagocytes despite widely different states of the actin cytoskeleton. PMID:20825680

  3. 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.

  4. Dynamics of active actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, Simone

    2014-03-01

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

  5. Loss of CD73-mediated actin polymerization promotes endometrial tumor progression

    PubMed Central

    Bowser, Jessica L.; Blackburn, Michael R.; Shipley, Gregory L.; Molina, Jose G.; Dunner, Kenneth; Broaddus, Russell R.

    2015-01-01

    Ecto-5′-nucleotidase (CD73) is central to the generation of extracellular adenosine. Previous studies have highlighted a detrimental role for extracellular adenosine in cancer, as it dampens T cell–mediated immune responses. Here, we determined that, in contrast to other cancers, CD73 is markedly downregulated in poorly differentiated and advanced-stage endometrial carcinoma compared with levels in normal endometrium and low-grade tumors. In murine models, CD73 deficiency led to a loss of endometrial epithelial barrier function, and pharmacological CD73 inhibition increased in vitro migration and invasion of endometrial carcinoma cells. Given that CD73-generated adenosine is central to regulating tissue protection and physiology in normal tissues, we hypothesized that CD73-generated adenosine in endometrial carcinoma induces an innate reflex to protect epithelial integrity. CD73 associated with cell-cell contacts, filopodia, and membrane zippers, indicative of involvement in cell-cell adhesion and actin polymerization–dependent processes. We determined that CD73-generated adenosine induces cortical actin polymerization via adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) induction of a Rho GTPase CDC42–dependent conformational change of the actin-related proteins 2 and 3 (ARP2/3) actin polymerization complex member N-WASP. Cortical F-actin elevation increased membrane E-cadherin, β-catenin, and Na+K+ ATPase. Together, these findings reveal that CD73-generated adenosine promotes epithelial integrity and suggest why loss of CD73 in endometrial cancer allows for tumor progression. Moreover, our data indicate that the role of CD73 in cancer is more complex than previously described. PMID:26642367

  6. Actin-Regulator Feedback Interactions during Endocytosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1981-08-28

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2011-10-18

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

  9. Extracellular signaling cues for nuclear actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Plessner, Matthias; Grosse, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Contrary to cytoplasmic actin structures, the biological functions of nuclear actin filaments remain largely enigmatic. Recent progress in the field, however, has determined nuclear actin structures in somatic cells either under steady state conditions or in response to extracellular signaling cues. These actin structures differ in size and shape as well as in their temporal appearance and dynamics. Thus, a picture emerges that suggests that mammalian cells may have different pathways and mechanisms to assemble nuclear actin filaments. Apart from serum- or LPA-triggered nuclear actin polymerization, integrin activation by extracellular matrix interaction was recently implicated in nuclear actin polymerization through the linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex. Some of these extracellular cues known so far appear to converge at the level of nuclear formin activity and subsequent regulation of myocardin-related transcription factors. Nevertheless, as the precise signaling events are as yet unknown, the regulation of nuclear actin polymerization may be of significant importance for different cellular functions as well as disease conditions caused by altered nuclear dynamics and architecture. PMID:26059398

  10. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Actin cytoskeleton redox proteome oxidation by cadmium

    PubMed Central

    Go, Young-Mi; Orr, Michael

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Actin motility: formin a SCAry tail.

    PubMed

    Alberts, Art; Way, Michael

    2011-01-11

    A new biochemical analysis has revealed that the Rickettsia bacterial protein Sca2--recently shown to be essential for virulence and actin-dependent motility--assembles actin filaments using a mechanism that functionally resembles the processive elongation tactics used by formins. PMID:21215933

  13. Effect of ATP on actin filament stiffness.

    PubMed

    Janmey, P A; Hvidt, S; Oster, G F; Lamb, J; Stossel, T P; Hartwig, J H

    1990-09-01

    Actin is an adenine nucleotide-binding protein and an ATPase. The bound adenine nucleotide stabilizes the protein against denaturation and the ATPase activity, although not required for actin polymerization, affects the kinetics of this assembly Here we provide evidence for another effect of adenine nucleotides. We find that actin filaments made from ATP-containing monomers, the ATPase activity of which hydrolyses ATP to ADP following polymerization, are stiff rods, whereas filaments prepared from ADP-monomers are flexible. ATP exchanges with ADP in such filaments and stiffens them. Because both kinds of actin filaments contain mainly ADP, we suggest the alignment of actin monomers in filaments that have bound and hydrolysed ATP traps them conformationally and stores elastic energy. This energy would be available for release by actin-binding proteins that transduce force or sever actin filaments. These data support earlier proposals that actin is not merely a passive cable, but has an active mechanochemical role in cell function. PMID:2168523

  14. Myelination: actin disassembly leads the way

    PubMed Central

    Samanta, Jayshree; Salzer, James L.

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms that drive the spiral wrapping of the myelin sheath around axons are poorly understood. Two papers in this issue of Developmental Cell demonstrate that actin disassembly, rather than actin assembly, predominates during oligodendrocyte maturation and is critical for the genesis of the central myelin sheath. PMID:26218317

  15. Colchicine activates actin polymerization by microtubule depolymerization.

    PubMed

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

    1997-06-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Lappalainen, Pekka

    2016-08-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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. PMID:24630119

  19. 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. PMID:25989853

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Holzinger, A; Lütz-Meindl, U

    2001-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. Carbon and Oxygen Budgets of Subtidal and Intertidal Cyanobacterial Mats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

    Intertidal cyanobacterial mats (Lyngbya-dominated) are contrasted with mats (Microcoleus-dominated) that grow in subtidal (0.7m water depth) hypersaline (90-110 permil) environments. In benthic chamber experiments conducted in Oct., 1999, mats exhibited greater net uptake of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from overlying water during the daylight period than Microcoleus mats (e.g., 200 vs 120 mmol C/m. at 26 deg C, respectively). Net DIC release at night was similar for both mats (approx. 80 mmol C/m). Daytime net O2 release by Lyngby mats exceeded that by Microcoleus mats (150 vs 100 mmol O2/m), and O2 uptake at night was comparable for both mats (60-80 mmol O2/m). Nonphotosynthetic populations are more prominent within the subtidal versus intertidal mats, and accordingly exhibited greater internal 02 uptake and DIC production during the day. Over 24 hours, Lyngby-dominated mats exhibited greater net uptake of DIC than subtidal Microcoleus mats, consistent with these intertidal mats being "pioneer" communities that constantly recover from periodic physical disruption in energetic environments. The Microcoleus-dominated mats achieve steady-state mat thicknesses by balancing primary production against diagenetic decomposition of cellular and extracellular organic constituents.

  7. Pharmacology of cortical inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Krnjević, K.; Randić, Mirjana; Straughan, D. W.

    1966-01-01

    1. We have studied the effects of various pharmacological agents on the cortical inhibitory process described in the previous two papers (Krnjević, Randić & Straughan, 1966a, b); the drugs were mostly administered directly by iontophoresis from micropipettes and by systemic injection (I.V.). 2. Strychnine given by iontophoresis or by the application of a strong solution to the cortical surface potentiated excitatory effects, but very large iontophoretic doses also depressed neuronal firing. Subconvulsive and even convulsive systemic doses had little or no effect at the cortical level. There was no evidence, with any method of application, that strychnine directly interferes with the inhibitory process. 3. Tetanus toxin, obtained from two different sources and injected into the cortex 12-48 hr previously, also failed to block cortical inhibition selectively. As with strychnine, there was some evidence of increased responses to excitatory inputs. 4. Other convulsant drugs which failed to block cortical inhibition included picrotoxin, pentamethylene tetrazole, thiosemicarbazide, longchain ω-amino acids and morphine. 5. The inhibition was not obviously affected by cholinomimetic agents or by antagonists of ACh. 6. α- and β-antagonists of adrenergic transmission were also ineffective. 7. Cortical inhibition was fully developed in the presence of several general anaesthetics, including ether, Dial, pentobarbitone, Mg and chloralose. A temporary reduction in inhibition which is sometimes observed after systemic doses of pentobarbitone, is probably secondary to a fall in blood pressure. 8. Several central excitants such as amphetamine, caffeine and lobeline also failed to show any specific antagonistic action on cortical inhibition. 9. In view of the possibility that GABA is the chemical agent mediating cortical inhibition, an attempt was made to find a selective antagonist of its depressant action on cortical neurones. None of the agents listed above, nor any other

  8. Binding of WIP to Actin Is Essential for T Cell Actin Cytoskeleton Integrity and Tissue Homing

    PubMed Central

    Massaad, Michel J.; Oyoshi, Michiko K.; Kane, Jennifer; Koduru, Suresh; Alcaide, Pilar; Nakamura, Fumihiko; Ramesh, Narayanaswamy; Luscinskas, Francis W.; Hartwig, John

    2014-01-01

    The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) is important for actin polymerization in T cells and for their migration. WASp-interacting protein (WIP) binds to and stabilizes WASp and also interacts with actin. Cytoskeletal and functional defects are more severe in WIP−/− T cells, which lack WASp, than in WASp−/− T cells, suggesting that WIP interaction with actin may be important for T cell cytoskeletal integrity and function. We constructed mice that lack the actin-binding domain of WIP (WIPΔABD mice). WIPΔABD associated normally with WASp but not F-actin. T cells from WIPΔABD mice had normal WASp levels but decreased cellular F-actin content, a disorganized actin cytoskeleton, impaired chemotaxis, and defective homing to lymph nodes. WIPΔABD mice exhibited a T cell intrinsic defect in contact hypersensitivity and impaired responses to cutaneous challenge with protein antigen. Adoptively transferred antigen-specific CD4+ T cells from WIPΔABD mice had decreased homing to antigen-challenged skin of wild-type recipients. These findings show that WIP binding to actin, independently of its binding to WASp, is critical for the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton in T cells and for their migration into tissues. Disruption of WIP binding to actin could be of therapeutic value in T cell-driven inflammatory diseases. PMID:25246631

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. Nuclear actin and myosins in adenovirus infection.

    PubMed

    Fuchsova, Beata; Serebryannyy, Leonid A; de Lanerolle, Primal

    2015-11-01

    Adenovirus serotypes have been shown to cause drastic changes in nuclear organization, including the transcription machinery, during infection. This ability of adenovirus to subvert transcription in the host cell facilitates viral replication. Because nuclear actin and nuclear myosin I, myosin V and myosin VI have been implicated as direct regulators of transcription and important factors in the replication of other viruses, we sought to determine how nuclear actin and myosins are involved in adenovirus infection. We first confirmed reorganization of the host's transcription machinery to viral replication centers. We found that nuclear actin also reorganizes to sites of transcription through the intermediate but not the advanced late phase of viral infection. Furthermore, nuclear myosin I localized with nuclear actin and sites of transcription in viral replication centers. Intriguingly, nuclear myosins V and VI, which also reorganized to viral replication centers, exhibited different localization patterns, suggesting specialized roles for these nuclear myosins. Finally, we assessed the role of actin in adenovirus infection and found both cytoplasmic and nuclear actin likely play roles in adenovirus infection and replication. Together our data suggest the involvement of actin and multiple myosins in the nuclear replication and late viral gene expression of adenovirus. PMID:26226218

  11. 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). PMID:24196339

  12. Reactive composite compositions and mat barriers

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-01-01

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

  13. Qualification of HiMAT flight systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, A. F.; Sheets, S. G.

    1980-01-01

    The highly maneuverable aircraft technology (HiMAT) remotely piloted research vehicle is discussed with emphasis on the advanced composite and metallic structures, digital fly-by-wire controls, and digitally implemented integrated propulsion control systems. Techniques used to qualify the systems for flight are examined. Computation and simulation of the HiMAT system are investigated in relation to Cyber-Varian simulation. The techniques used in flight qualification are complicated by ground based flight critical systems and severe onboard volume constraints imposed by the scale design.

  14. 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

  15. RPRV research focus on HiMAT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lockenour, J. L.; Layton, G. P.

    1976-01-01

    A review is presented of the F-15 Remotely Piloted Research Vehicle (RPRV) project. The F-15 RPRV is air-launched from a B-52 at 50,000 ft. Following launch a series of research maneuvers are performed during an unpowered descent to a recovery altitude. Another RPRV program considered is the Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology (HiMAT) program. This program is designed to use RPRVs to speed the technology transition from wind tunnel to flight and to reduce the cost of aeronautical experiments. It is pointed out that HiMAT will make extensive use of composite materials.

  16. Cell-sized liposomes reveal how actomyosin cortical tension drives shape change.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Kevin; Tsai, Feng-Ching; Tsai, Feng C; Lees, Edouard; Voituriez, Raphaël; Koenderink, Gijsje H; Sykes, Cecile

    2013-10-01

    Animal cells actively generate contractile stress in the actin cortex, a thin actin network beneath the cell membrane, to facilitate shape changes during processes like cytokinesis and motility. On the microscopic scale, this stress is generated by myosin molecular motors, which bind to actin cytoskeletal filaments and use chemical energy to exert pulling forces. To decipher the physical basis for the regulation of cell shape changes, here, we use a cell-like system with a cortex anchored to the outside or inside of a liposome membrane. This system enables us to dissect the interplay between motor pulling forces, cortex-membrane anchoring, and network connectivity. We show that cortices on the outside of liposomes either spontaneously rupture and relax built-up mechanical stress by peeling away around the liposome or actively compress and crush the liposome. The decision between peeling and crushing depends on the cortical tension determined by the amount of motors and also on the connectivity of the cortex and its attachment to the membrane. Membrane anchoring strongly affects the morphology of cortex contraction inside liposomes: cortices contract inward when weakly attached, whereas they contract toward the membrane when strongly attached. We propose a physical model based on a balance of active tension and mechanical resistance to rupture. Our findings show how membrane attachment and network connectivity are able to regulate actin cortex remodeling and membrane-shape changes for cell polarization. PMID:24065829

  17. The Actin Binding Domain of βI-Spectrin Regulates the Morphological and Functional Dynamics of Dendritic Spines

    PubMed Central

    Nestor, Michael W.; Cai, Xiang; Stone, Michele R.; Bloch, Robert J.; Thompson, Scott M.

    2011-01-01

    Actin microfilaments regulate the size, shape and mobility of dendritic spines and are in turn regulated by actin binding proteins and small GTPases. The βI isoform of spectrin, a protein that links the actin cytoskeleton to membrane proteins, is present in spines. To understand its function, we expressed its actin-binding domain (ABD) in CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slice cultures. The ABD of βI-spectrin bundled actin in principal dendrites and was concentrated in dendritic spines, where it significantly increased the size of the spine head. These effects were not observed after expression of homologous ABDs of utrophin, dystrophin, and α-actinin. Treatment of slice cultures with latrunculin-B significantly decreased spine head size and decreased actin-GFP fluorescence in cells expressing the ABD of α-actinin, but not the ABD of βI-spectrin, suggesting that its presence inhibits actin depolymerization. We also observed an increase in the area of GFP-tagged PSD-95 in the spine head and an increase in the amplitude of mEPSCs at spines expressing the ABD of βI-spectrin. The effects of the βI-spectrin ABD on spine size and mEPSC amplitude were mimicked by expressing wild-type Rac3, a small GTPase that co-immunoprecipitates specifically with βI-spectrin in extracts of cultured cortical neurons. Spine size was normal in cells co-expressing a dominant negative Rac3 construct with the βI-spectrin ABD. We suggest that βI-spectrin is a synaptic protein that can modulate both the morphological and functional dynamics of dendritic spines, perhaps via interaction with actin and Rac3. PMID:21297961

  18. Actin cytoskeleton organization regulated by the PAK family of protein kinases.

    PubMed

    Eby, J J; Holly, S P; van Drogen, F; Grishin, A V; Peter, M; Drubin, D G; Blumer, K J

    1998-08-27

    Cdc42, Rac1 and other Rho-type GTPases regulate gene expression, cell proliferation and cytoskeletal architecture [1,2]. A challenge is to identify the effectors of Cdc42 and Rac1 that mediate these biological responses. Protein kinases of the p21-activated kinase (PAK) family bind activated Rac1 and Cdc42, and switch on mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathways; however, their roles in regulating actin cytoskeleton organization have not been clearly established [3-5]. Here, we show that mutants of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacking the PAK homologs Ste20 and Cla4 exhibit actin cytoskeletal defects, in vivo and in vitro, that resemble those of cdc42-1 mutants. Moreover, STE20 overexpression suppresses cdc42-1 growth defects and cytoskeletal defects in vivo, and Ste20 kinase corrects the actin-assembly defects of permeabilized cdc42-1 cells in vitro. Thus, PAKs are effectors of Cdc42 in pathways that regulate the organization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton. PMID:9742399

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Binding of actin to lens alpha crystallins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The scaffolding protein IQGAP1 co-localizes with actin at the cytoplasmic face of the nuclear envelope: implications for cytoskeletal regulation

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    IQGAP1 is an important cytoskeletal regulator, known to act at the plasma membrane to bundle and cap actin filaments, and to tether the cortical actin meshwork to microtubules via plus-end binding proteins. Here we describe the novel subcellular localization of IQGAP1 at the cytoplasmic face of the nuclear envelope, where it co-located with F-actin. The IQGAP1 and F-actin staining overlapped that of microtubules at the nuclear envelope, revealing a pattern strikingly similar to that observed at the plasma membrane. In detergent-extracted cells IQGAP1 was retained at cytoskeletal structures at the nuclear envelope. This finding has new implications for involvement of IQGAP1 in cell polarization and migration events and potentially in cell cycle-associated nuclear envelope assembly/disassembly. PMID:22964981

  6. 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. PMID:25964668

  7. Nuclear actin levels as an important transcriptional switch

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Nuclear actin levels have recently been linked to different cellular fates, suggesting that actin could act as a switch between altered transcriptional states. Here we discuss our latest results on the mechanisms by which nuclear actin levels are regulated and their implications to the functional significance of nuclear actin. PMID:22771994

  8. Genetics Home Reference: actin-accumulation myopathy

    MedlinePlus

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

  9. Actin expression in trypanosomatids (Euglenozoa: Kinetoplastea).

    PubMed

    Souza, Ligia Cristina Kalb; Pinho, Rosana Elisa Gonçalves Gonçalves; Lima, Carla Vanessa de Paula; Fragoso, Stênio Perdigão; Soares, Maurilio José

    2013-08-01

    Heteroxenic and monoxenic trypanosomatids were screened for the presence of actin using a mouse polyclonal antibody produced against the entire sequence of the Trypanosoma cruzi actin gene, encoding a 41.9 kDa protein. Western blot analysis showed that this antibody reacted with a polypeptide of approximately 42 kDa in the whole-cell lysates of parasites targeting mammals (T. cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major), insects (Angomonas deanei, Crithidia fasciculata, Herpetomonas samuelpessoai and Strigomonas culicis) and plants (Phytomonas serpens). A single polypeptide of approximately 42 kDa was detected in the whole-cell lysates of T. cruzi cultured epimastigotes, metacyclic trypomastigotes and amastigotes at similar protein expression levels. Confocal microscopy showed that actin was expressed throughout the cytoplasm of all the tested trypanosomatids. These data demonstrate that actin expression is widespread in trypanosomatids. PMID:23903980

  10. Actin expression in trypanosomatids (Euglenozoa: Kinetoplastea)

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Ligia Cristina Kalb; Pinho, Rosana Elisa Gonçalves Gonçalves; Lima, Carla Vanessa de Paula; Fragoso, Stênio Perdigão; Soares, Maurilio José

    2013-01-01

    Heteroxenic and monoxenic trypanosomatids were screened for the presence of actin using a mouse polyclonal antibody produced against the entire sequence of the Trypanosoma cruzi actin gene, encoding a 41.9 kDa protein. Western blot analysis showed that this antibody reacted with a polypeptide of approximately 42 kDa in the whole-cell lysates of parasites targeting mammals (T. cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major), insects (Angomonas deanei, Crithidia fasciculata, Herpetomonas samuelpessoai and Strigomonas culicis) and plants (Phytomonas serpens). A single polypeptide of approximately 42 kDa was detected in the whole-cell lysates of T. cruzi cultured epimastigotes, metacyclic trypomastigotes and amastigotes at similar protein expression levels. Confocal microscopy showed that actin was expressed throughout the cytoplasm of all the tested trypanosomatids. These data demonstrate that actin expression is widespread in trypanosomatids. PMID:23903980

  11. [Actin in the wound healing process].

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Mechanics model for actin-based motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yuan

    2009-02-01

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

  13. Structural dynamics of an actin spring.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-16

    Actin-based motility in cells is usually associated with either polymerization/depolymerization in the presence of cross-linkers or contractility in the presence of myosin motors. Here, we focus on a third distinct mechanism involving actin in motility, seen in the dynamics of an active actin spring that powers the acrosomal reaction of the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) sperm. During this process, a 60-μm bent and twisted bundle of cross-linked actin uncoils and becomes straight in a few seconds in the presence of Ca(2+). This straightening, which occurs at a constant velocity, allows the acrosome to forcefully penetrate the egg. Synthesizing ultrastructural information with the kinetics, energetics, and imaging of calcium binding allows us to construct a dynamical theory for this mechanochemical engine consistent with our experimental observations. It also illuminates the general mechanism by which energy may be stored in conformational changes and released cooperatively in ordered macromolecular assemblies. PMID:21320427

  14. Actinic review of EUV masks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  15. The actin cytoskeleton in presynaptic assembly.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Jessica C; Stavoe, Andrea K H; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Dramatic morphogenetic processes underpin nearly every step of nervous system development, from initial neuronal migration and axon guidance to synaptogenesis. Underlying this morphogenesis are dynamic rearrangements of cytoskeletal architecture. Here we discuss the roles of the actin cytoskeleton in the development of presynaptic terminals, from the elaboration of terminal arbors to the recruitment of presynaptic vesicles and active zone components. The studies discussed here underscore the importance of actin regulation at every step in neuronal circuit assembly. PMID:23628914

  16. Mechanism of Actin Filament Bundling by Fascin

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-07

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Naskar, Amit K.

    2015-08-04

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

  18. 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.

  19. The Bacterial Actin-Like Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Carballido-López, Rut

    2006-01-01

    Recent advances have shown conclusively that bacterial cells possess distant but true homologues of actin (MreB, ParM, and the recently uncovered MamK protein). Despite weak amino acid sequence similarity, MreB and ParM exhibit high structural homology to actin. Just like F-actin in eukaryotes, MreB and ParM assemble into highly dynamic filamentous structures in vivo and in vitro. MreB-like proteins are essential for cell viability and have been implicated in major cellular processes, including cell morphogenesis, chromosome segregation, and cell polarity. ParM (a plasmid-encoded actin homologue) is responsible for driving plasmid-DNA partitioning. The dynamic prokaryotic actin-like cytoskeleton is thought to serve as a central organizer for the targeting and accurate positioning of proteins and nucleoprotein complexes, thereby (and by analogy to the eukaryotic cytoskeleton) spatially and temporally controlling macromolecular trafficking in bacterial cells. In this paper, the general properties and known functions of the actin orthologues in bacteria are reviewed. PMID:17158703

  20. 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 platforms, insulating mats, or other electrically nonconductive material shall be kept in place at...

  1. 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 platforms, insulating mats, or other electrically nonconductive material shall be kept in place at...

  2. 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 platforms, insulating mats, or other electrically nonconductive material shall be kept in place at...

  3. 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 platforms, insulating mats, or other electrically nonconductive material shall be kept in place at...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Molecular mechanisms and functional implications of polarized actin remodeling at the T cell immunological synapse

    PubMed Central

    Le Floc’h, Audrey; Huse, Morgan

    2014-01-01

    Transient, specialized cell-cell interactions play a central role in leukocyte function by enabling specific intercellular communication in the context of a highly dynamic systems level response. The dramatic structural changes required for the formation of these contacts are driven by rapid and precise cytoskeletal remodeling events. In recent years, the immunological synapse that forms between a T lymphocyte and its antigen-presenting target cell has emerged as an important model system for understanding immune cell interactions. In this review, we discuss how regulators of the cortical actin cytoskeleton control synaptic architecture and in this way specify T cell function. PMID:25355055

  7. Cortical State and Attention

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kenneth D.; Thiele, Alexander

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Cortical motion deafness.

    PubMed

    Ducommun, Christine Y; Michel, Christoph M; Clarke, Stephanie; Adriani, Michela; Seeck, Margitta; Landis, Theodor; Blanke, Olaf

    2004-09-16

    The extent to which the auditory system, like the visual system, processes spatial stimulus characteristics such as location and motion in separate specialized neuronal modules or in one homogeneously distributed network is unresolved. Here we present a patient with a selective deficit for the perception and discrimination of auditory motion following resection of the right anterior temporal lobe and the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (STG). Analysis of stimulus identity and location within the auditory scene remained intact. In addition, intracranial auditory evoked potentials, recorded preoperatively, revealed motion-specific responses selectively over the resected right posterior STG, and electrical cortical stimulation of this region was experienced by the patient as incoming moving sounds. Collectively, these data present a patient with cortical motion deafness, providing evidence that cortical processing of auditory motion is performed in a specialized module within the posterior STG. PMID:15363389

  9. 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.

  10. Cortical Flow-Driven Shapes of Nonadherent Cells.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

    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. PMID:26824569

  11. Nuclear and cytoplasmic actin in dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

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

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Cortical dynamics revisited.

    PubMed

    Singer, Wolf

    2013-12-01

    Recent discoveries on the organisation of the cortical connectome together with novel data on the dynamics of neuronal interactions require an extension of classical concepts on information processing in the cerebral cortex. These new insights justify considering the brain as a complex, self-organised system with nonlinear dynamics in which principles of distributed, parallel processing coexist with serial operations within highly interconnected networks. The observed dynamics suggest that cortical networks are capable of providing an extremely high-dimensional state space in which a large amount of evolutionary and ontogenetically acquired information can coexist and be accessible to rapid parallel search. PMID:24139950

  13. 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

  14. The actin cytoskeleton coordinates the signal transduction and antigen processing functions of the B cell antigen receptor

    PubMed Central

    LIU, Chaohong; FALLEN, Margaret K.; MILLER, Heather; UPADHYAYA, Arpita; SONG, Wenxia

    2014-01-01

    The B cell antigen receptor (BCR) is the sensor on the B cell surface that surveys foreign molecules (antigen) in our bodies and activates B cells to generate antibody responses upon encountering cognate antigen. The binding of antigen to the BCR induces signaling cascades in the cytoplasm, which provides the first signal for B cell activation. Subsequently, BCRs internalize and target bound antigen to endosomes, where antigen is processed into T cell recognizable forms. T helper cells generate the second activation signal upon binding to antigen presented by B cells. The optimal activation of B cells requires both signals, thereby depending on the coordination of BCR signaling and antigen transport functions. Antigen binding to the BCR also induces rapid remodeling of the cortical actin network of B cells. While being initiated and controlled by BCR signaling, recent studies reveal that this actin remodeling is critical for both the signaling and antigen processing functions of the BCR, indicating a role for actin in coordinating these two pathways. Here we will review previous and recent studies on actin reorganization during BCR activation and BCR-mediated antigen processing, and discuss how actin remodeling translates BCR signaling into rapid antigen uptake and processing while providing positive and negative feedback to BCR signaling. PMID:24999354

  15. Capping Protein Modulates the Dynamic Behavior of Actin Filaments in Response to Phosphatidic Acid in Arabidopsis[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiejie; Henty-Ridilla, Jessica L.; Huang, Shanjin; Wang, Xia; Blanchoin, Laurent; Staiger, Christopher J.

    2012-01-01

    Remodeling of actin filament arrays in response to biotic and abiotic stimuli is thought to require precise control over the generation and availability of filament ends. Heterodimeric capping protein (CP) is an abundant filament capper, and its activity is inhibited by membrane signaling phospholipids in vitro. How exactly CP modulates the properties of filament ends in cells and whether its activity is coordinated by phospholipids in vivo is not well understood. By observing directly the dynamic behavior of individual filament ends in the cortical array of living Arabidopsis thaliana epidermal cells, we dissected the contribution of CP to actin organization and dynamics in response to the signaling phospholipid, phosphatidic acid (PA). Here, we examined three cp knockdown mutants and found that reduced CP levels resulted in more dynamic activity at filament ends, and this significantly enhanced filament-filament annealing and filament elongation from free ends. The cp mutants also exhibited more dense actin filament arrays. Treatment of wild-type cells with exogenous PA phenocopied the actin-based defects in cp mutants, with an increase in the density of filament arrays and enhanced annealing frequency. These cytoskeletal responses to exogenous PA were completely abrogated in cp mutants. Our data provide compelling genetic evidence that the end-capping activity of CP is inhibited by membrane signaling lipids in eukaryotic cells. Specifically, CP acts as a PA biosensor and key transducer of fluxes in membrane signaling phospholipids into changes in actin cytoskeleton dynamics. PMID:22960908

  16. Phospholipase Cη2 Activation Redirects Vesicle Trafficking by Regulating F-actin*

    PubMed Central

    Yamaga, Masaki; Kielar-Grevstad, D. Michelle; Martin, Thomas F. J.

    2015-01-01

    PI(4,5)P2 localizes to sites of dense core vesicle exocytosis in neuroendocrine cells and is required for Ca2+-triggered vesicle exocytosis, but the impact of local PI(4,5)P2 hydrolysis on exocytosis is poorly understood. Previously, we reported that Ca2+-dependent activation of phospholipase Cη2 (PLCη2) catalyzes PI(4,5)P2 hydrolysis, which affected vesicle exocytosis by regulating the activities of the lipid-dependent priming factors CAPS (also known as CADPS) and ubiquitous Munc13-2 in PC12 cells. Here we describe an additional role for PLCη2 in vesicle exocytosis as a Ca2+-dependent regulator of the actin cytoskeleton. Depolarization of neuroendocrine PC12 cells with 56 or 95 mm KCl buffers increased peak Ca2+ levels to ∼400 or ∼800 nm, respectively, but elicited similar numbers of vesicle exocytic events. However, 56 mm K+ preferentially elicited the exocytosis of plasma membrane-resident vesicles, whereas 95 mm K+ preferentially elicited the exocytosis of cytoplasmic vesicles arriving during stimulation. Depolarization with 95 mm K+ but not with 56 mm K+ activated PLCη2 to catalyze PI(4,5)P2 hydrolysis. The decrease in PI(4,5)P2 promoted F-actin disassembly, which increased exocytosis of newly arriving vesicles. Consistent with its role as a Ca2+-dependent regulator of the cortical actin cytoskeleton, PLCη2 localized with F-actin filaments. The results highlight the importance of PI(4,5)P2 for coordinating cytoskeletal dynamics with vesicle exocytosis and reveal a new role for PLCη2 as a Ca2+-dependent regulator of F-actin dynamics and vesicle trafficking. PMID:26432644

  17. Cofilin-induced cooperative conformational changes of actin subunits revealed using cofilin-actin fusion protein

    PubMed Central

    Umeki, Nobuhisa; Hirose, Keiko; Uyeda, Taro Q. P.

    2016-01-01

    To investigate cooperative conformational changes of actin filaments induced by cofilin binding, we engineered a fusion protein made of Dictyostelium cofilin and actin. The filaments of the fusion protein were functionally similar to actin filaments bound with cofilin in that they did not bind rhodamine-phalloidin, had quenched fluorescence of pyrene attached to Cys374 and showed enhanced susceptibility of the DNase loop to cleavage by subtilisin. Quantitative analyses of copolymers made of different ratios of the fusion protein and control actin further demonstrated that the fusion protein affects the structure of multiple neighboring actin subunits in copolymers. Based on these and other recent related studies, we propose a mechanism by which conformational changes induced by cofilin binding is propagated unidirectionally to the pointed ends of the filaments, and cofilin clusters grow unidirectionally to the pointed ends following this path. Interestingly, the fusion protein was unable to copolymerize with control actin at pH 6.5 and low ionic strength, suggesting that the structural difference between the actin moiety in the fusion protein and control actin is pH-sensitive. PMID:26842224

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Cortical thinning in psychopathy

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Tau co-organizes dynamic microtubule and actin networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Structural Basis of Actin Filament Nucleation by Tandem W Domains

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiaorui; Ni, Fengyun; Tian, Xia; Kondrashkina, Elena; Wang, Qinghua; Ma, Jianpeng

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Spontaneous nucleation of actin is very inefficient in cells. To overcome this barrier, cells have evolved a set of actin filament nucleators to promote rapid nucleation and polymerization in response to specific stimuli. However, the molecular mechanism of actin nucleation remains poorly understood. This is hindered largely by the fact that actin nucleus, once formed, rapidly polymerizes into filament, thus making it impossible to capture stable multisubunit actin nucleus. Here, we report an effective double-mutant strategy to stabilize actin nucleus by preventing further polymerization. Employing this strategy, we solved the crystal structure of AMPPNP-actin in complex with the first two tandem W domains of Cordon-bleu (Cobl), a potent actin filament nucleator. Further sequence comparison and functional studies suggest that the nucleation mechanism of Cobl is probably shared by the p53 cofactor JMY, but not Spire. Moreover, the double-mutant strategy opens the way for atomic mechanistic study of actin nucleation and polymerization. PMID:23727244

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-02-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Actin microfilaments are associated with the migrating nucleus and the cell cortex in the green alga Micrasterias. Studies on living cells.

    PubMed

    Meindl, U; Zhang, D; Hepler, P K

    1994-07-01

    Rhodamine-phalloidin or FITC-phalloidin has been injected in small amounts into living, developing cells of Micrasterias denticulata and the stained microfilaments visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The results reveal that two different actin filament systems are present in a growing cell: a cortical actin network that covers the inner surface of the cell and is extended far into the tips of the lobes in both the growing and the nongrowing semicell; it is also associated with the surface of the chloroplast. The second actin system ensheathes the nucleus at the isthmus-facing side during nuclear migration. Its arrangement corresponds to that of the microtubule system that has been described in earlier electron microscopic investigations. The spatial correspondence between the distribution of actin filaments and microtubules suggests a cooperation between both cytoskeleton elements in generating the motive force for nuclear migration. The function of the cortical actin network is not yet clear. It may be involved in processes like transport and fusion of secretory vesicles and may also function in shaping and anchoring the chloroplast. PMID:7983159

  9. The natural product cucurbitacin E inhibits depolymerization of actin filaments

    PubMed Central

    Sörensen, Pia M.; Iacob, Roxana E.; Fritzsche, Marco; Engen, John R.; Brieher, William M.; Charras, Guillaume; Eggert, Ulrike S.

    2012-01-01

    Although small molecule actin modulators have been widely used as research tools, only one cell permeable small molecule inhibitor of actin depolymerization (jasplakinolide) is commercially available. We report that the natural product cucurbitacin E inhibits actin depolymerization and show that its mechanism of action is different from jasplakinolide. In assays using pure fluorescently labeled actin, cucurbitacin E specifically affected depolymerization without affecting polymerization. It inhibited actin depolymerization at sub-stoichiometric concentrations up to 1:6 cucurbitacin:actin E. Cucurbitacin E specifically binds to filamentous actin (F-actin) forming a covalent bond at residue Cys257, but not to monomeric actin (G-actin). Based on its compatibility with phalloidin staining, we show that cucurbitacin E occupies a different binding site on actin filaments. Using loss of fluorescence after localized photoactivation, we found that cucurbitacin E inhibited actin depolymerization in live cells. Cucurbitacin E is a widely available plant-derived natural product, making it a useful tool to study actin dynamics in cells and actin-based processes such as cytokinesis. PMID:22724897

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

    PubMed Central

    Paves, Heiti; Truve, Erkki

    2004-01-01

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

  11. Actin-dependent mechanisms in AMPA receptor trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Hanley, Jonathan G.

    2014-01-01

    The precise regulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) number and subtype at the synapse is crucial for the regulation of excitatory neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity and the consequent formation of appropriate neural circuits for learning and memory. AMPAR trafficking involves the dynamic processes of exocytosis, endocytosis and endosomal recycling, all of which involve the actin cytoskeleton. The actin cytoskeleton is highly dynamic and highly regulated by an abundance of actin-binding proteins and upstream signaling pathways that modulate actin polymerization and depolymerization. Actin dynamics generate forces that manipulate membranes in the process of vesicle biogenesis, and also for propelling vesicles through the cytoplasm to reach their destination. In addition, trafficking mechanisms exploit more stable aspects of the actin cytoskeleton by using actin-based motor proteins to traffic vesicular cargo along actin filaments. Numerous studies have shown that actin dynamics are critical for AMPAR localization and function. The identification of actin-binding proteins that physically interact with AMPAR subunits, and research into their mode of action is starting to shed light on the mechanisms involved. Such proteins either regulate actin dynamics to modulate mechanical forces exerted on AMPAR-containing membranes, or associate with actin filaments to target or transport AMPAR-containing vesicles to specific subcellular regions. In addition, actin-regulatory proteins that do not physically interact with AMPARs may influence AMPAR trafficking by regulating the local actin environment in the dendritic spine. PMID:25429259

  12. Crystal structure of a nuclear actin ternary complex.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. The Archaea of a Hypersaline Microbial Mat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  14. Supercoiling of f-actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Lednev, V V; Popp, D

    1990-05-01

    In the X-ray diffraction pattern from oriented gels of actin-containing filaments sampling of layer lines indicating the development of a well-ordered pseudo-hexagonal lattice within the gels at interfilament spacings as large as 13 nm is observed. This value exceeds by 3 nm the largest estimate of an external diameter of pure f-actin. The development of layer line sampling is always accompanied by: (i) the appearance of strong forbidden meridional reflections on the 5.9- and 5.1-nm layer lines; (ii) a drastic intensification of the first (expected) 2.75-nm meridional reflection by a factor of about 4; (iii) the appearance of streaks, connecting near-meridional reflections on the 5.9-, 5.1-, and 37-nm layer lines; and (iv) a slight decrease in the number of subunits per turn of the basic f-actin helix. All these features strongly indicate that f-actin filaments are supercoiled and make regular local contacts between themselves, which may lead to periodic distortions of the mobile external domain in the actin subunits. PMID:2261308

  15. Impact of Carbon Nanomaterials on Actin Polymerization.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. Novel methods for the quantification of changes in actin organization in chondrocytes using fluorescent imaging and linear profiling.

    PubMed

    Qusous, Ala; Parker, Eleanor; Geewan, Corinne; Kapasi, Arva; Getting, Stephen J; Hucklebridge, Frank; Keshavarz, Tajalli; Kerrigan, Mark J P

    2012-07-01

    We present three novel reproducible methodologies for the quantification of changes in actin organization from microscope images. Striation and integrative analysis were devised for the investigation of trans-cellular filaments and F-actin localization, respectively, in response to physiological or mechanical actin-modulatory conditions. Additionally, the Parker-Qusous (PQ) formula was developed as a measure of total quantity of F-actin, independent of cell volume changes, whereby fluorescence intensity was divided by the cube root of cell volume, squared. Values obtained were quantified in Mauricean Units (Mu; pixel/μm(3)). Upon isolation, there was a 49% decrease in total F-actin fluorescence from 1.91 ± 0.16 pixel/μm(3) (Mu) to 0.95 ± 0.55 Mu, whereas upon culture, an apparent increase in total fluorescence was deemed insignificant due to an increase in average cell volume, with a rise, however, in striation units (StU) from 1 ± 1 to 5 ± 1 StU/cell, and a decrease in percentage cortical fluorescence to 30.45% ± 1.52% (P = 7.8 × 10(-5)). Freshly isolated chondrocytes exhibited a decrease in total F-actin fluorescence to 0.61 ± 0.05 Mu and 0.32 ± 0.02 Mu, 10 min posthypertonic and hypotonic challenges, respectively. Regulatory volume decrease was inhibited in the presence of REV5901 with maintenance of actin levels at 1.15 Mu. Following mechanical impact in situ, there was a reduction in total F-actin fluorescence to 0.95 ± 0.08 Mu and 0.74 ± 0.06 Mu under isotonic and hypotonic conditions, respectively, but not under hypertonic conditions. We report simple methodologies for quantification of changes in actin organization, which will further our understanding of the role of actin in various cellular stress responses. These techniques can be applied to better quantify changes in localization of various proteins using fluorescent labeling. PMID:22514026

  17. 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.

  18. Actin Filament Segmentation Using Dynamic Programming

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Huang, Xiaolei

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Ionic wave propagation along actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Tuszyński, J A; Portet, S; Dixon, J M; Luxford, C; Cantiello, H F

    2004-04-01

    We investigate the conditions enabling actin filaments to act as electrical transmission lines for ion flows along their lengths. We propose a model in which each actin monomer is an electric element with a capacitive, inductive, and resistive property due to the molecular structure of the actin filament and viscosity of the solution. Based on Kirchhoff's laws taken in the continuum limit, a nonlinear partial differential equation is derived for the propagation of ionic waves. We solve this equation in two different regimes. In the first, the maximum propagation velocity wave is found in terms of Jacobi elliptic functions. In the general case, we analyze the equation in terms of Fisher-Kolmogoroff modes with both localized and extended wave characteristics. We propose a new signaling mechanism in the cell, especially in neurons. PMID:15041636

  20. 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.

  1. Guanine Nucleotides in the Meiotic Maturation of Starfish Oocytes: Regulation of the Actin Cytoskeleton and of Ca2+ Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Kyozuka, Keiichiro; Chun, Jong T.; Puppo, Agostina; Gragnaniello, Gianni; Garante, Ezio; Santella, Luigia

    2009-01-01

    Background Starfish oocytes are arrested at the first prophase of meiosis until they are stimulated by 1-methyladenine (1-MA). The two most immediate responses to the maturation-inducing hormone are the quick release of intracellular Ca2+ and the accelerated changes of the actin cytoskeleton in the cortex. Compared with the later events of oocyte maturation such as germinal vesicle breakdown, the molecular mechanisms underlying the early events involving Ca2+ signaling and actin changes are poorly understood. Herein, we have studied the roles of G-proteins in the early stage of meiotic maturation. Methodology/Principal Findings By microinjecting starfish oocytes with nonhydrolyzable nucleotides that stabilize either active (GTPγS) or inactive (GDPβS) forms of G-proteins, we have demonstrated that: i) GTPγS induces Ca2+ release that mimics the effect of 1-MA; ii) GDPβS completely blocks 1-MA-induced Ca2+; iii) GDPβS has little effect on the amplitude of the Ca2+ peak, but significantly expedites the initial Ca2+ waves induced by InsP3 photoactivation, iv) GDPβS induces unexpectedly striking modification of the cortical actin networks, suggesting a link between the cytoskeletal change and the modulation of the Ca2+ release kinetics; v) alteration of cortical actin networks with jasplakinolide, GDPβS, or actinase E, all led to significant changes of 1-MA-induced Ca2+ signaling. Conclusions/Significance Taken together, these results indicate that G-proteins are implicated in the early events of meiotic maturation and support our previous proposal that the dynamic change of the actin cytoskeleton may play a regulatory role in modulating intracellular Ca2+ release. PMID:19617909

  2. 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. PMID:19066940

  3. The actin binding protein adseverin regulates osteoclastogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hassanpour, Siavash; Jiang, Hongwei; Wang, Yongqiang; Kuiper, Johannes W P; Glogauer, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Adseverin (Ads), a member of the Gelsolin superfamily of actin binding proteins, regulates the actin cytoskeleton architecture by severing and capping existing filamentous actin (F-actin) strands and nucleating the assembly of new F-actin filaments. Ads has been implicated in cellular secretion, exocytosis and has also been shown to regulate chondrogenesis and megakaryoblastic leukemia cell differentiation. Here we report for the first time that Ads is involved in regulating osteoclastogenesis (OCG). Ads is induced during OCG downstream of RANK-ligand (RANKL) stimulation and is highly expressed in mature osteoclasts. The D5 isoform of Ads is not involved in regulating OCG, as its expression is not induced in response to RANKL. Three clonal Ads knockdown RAW264.7 (RAW) macrophage cell lines with varying degrees of Ads expression and OCG deficiency were generated. The most drastic OCG defect was noted in the clonal cell line with the greatest degree of Ads knockdown as indicated by a lack of TRAcP staining and multinucleation. RNAi mediated knockdown of Ads in osteoclast precursors resulted in distinct morphological changes characterized by altered F-actin distribution and increased filopodia formation. Ads knockdown precursor cells experienced enhanced migration while fusion of knockdown precursors cells was limited. Transient reintroduction of de novo Ads back into the knockdown system was capable of rescuing TRAcP expression but not osteoclast multinucleation most likely due to the transient nature of Ads expression. This preliminary study allows us to conclude that Ads is a RANKL induced early regulator of OCG with a potential role in pre-osteoclast differentiation and fusion. PMID:25275604

  4. The Actin Binding Protein Adseverin Regulates Osteoclastogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yongqiang; Kuiper, Johannes W. P.; Glogauer, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Adseverin (Ads), a member of the Gelsolin superfamily of actin binding proteins, regulates the actin cytoskeleton architecture by severing and capping existing filamentous actin (F-actin) strands and nucleating the assembly of new F-actin filaments. Ads has been implicated in cellular secretion, exocytosis and has also been shown to regulate chondrogenesis and megakaryoblastic leukemia cell differentiation. Here we report for the first time that Ads is involved in regulating osteoclastogenesis (OCG). Ads is induced during OCG downstream of RANK-ligand (RANKL) stimulation and is highly expressed in mature osteoclasts. The D5 isoform of Ads is not involved in regulating OCG, as its expression is not induced in response to RANKL. Three clonal Ads knockdown RAW264.7 (RAW) macrophage cell lines with varying degrees of Ads expression and OCG deficiency were generated. The most drastic OCG defect was noted in the clonal cell line with the greatest degree of Ads knockdown as indicated by a lack of TRAcP staining and multinucleation. RNAi mediated knockdown of Ads in osteoclast precursors resulted in distinct morphological changes characterized by altered F-actin distribution and increased filopodia formation. Ads knockdown precursor cells experienced enhanced migration while fusion of knockdown precursors cells was limited. Transient reintroduction of de novo Ads back into the knockdown system was capable of rescuing TRAcP expression but not osteoclast multinucleation most likely due to the transient nature of Ads expression. This preliminary study allows us to conclude that Ads is a RANKL induced early regulator of OCG with a potential role in pre-osteoclast differentiation and fusion. PMID:25275604

  5. F-actin Severing Facilitates Distinct Mechanisms of Stress Relaxation in the Actin Cytoskeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Taeyoon; Jung, Wonyeong; Murrell, Michael

    Rheological behaviors of actin cytoskeleton play an important role in physiological processes including cell migration and division. The actin cytoskeleton shows a wide variety of viscoelastic responses to external mechanical cues, such as strain-stiffening and stress relaxation. It has been hypothesized that the stress relaxation originates mainly from transient nature of cross-linkers that connect pairs of F-actins. By contrast, potential impacts of rich F-actin dynamics to the stress relaxation have been neglected in most previous studies. Here, using a computational model, we demonstrated that severing of F-actins induced by buckling during strain-stiffening can facilitate a very distinct mode of stress relaxation in the actin cytoskeleton from that induced by the transient cross-linkers. We also explored conditions where the severing-induced stress relaxation becomes prominent. This finding provides a more complete understanding of rheological behaviors of the actin cytoskeleton. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation (1434013-CMMI and 1434095-CMMI).

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

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

  8. Calcium and actin in the saga of awakening oocytes.

    PubMed

    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(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(2+) signals and in the control of monospermic fertilization. PMID:25998739

  9. 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.

  10. Reduced Myelin Basic Protein and Actin-Related Gene Expression in Visual Cortex in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Most brain gene expression studies of schizophrenia have been conducted in the frontal cortex or hippocampus. The extent to which alterations occur in other cortical regions is not well established. We investigated primary visual cortex (Brodmann area 17) from the Stanley Neuropathology Consortium collection of tissue from 60 subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, or controls. We first carried out a preliminary array screen of pooled RNA, and then used RT-PCR to quantify five mRNAs which the array identified as differentially expressed in schizophrenia (myelin basic protein [MBP], myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein [MOG], β-actin [ACTB], thymosin β-10 [TB10], and superior cervical ganglion-10 [SCG10]). Reduced mRNA levels were confirmed by RT-PCR for MBP, ACTB and TB10. The MBP reduction was limited to transcripts containing exon 2. ACTB and TB10 mRNAs were also decreased in bipolar disorder. None of the transcripts were altered in subjects with major depression. Reduced MBP mRNA in schizophrenia replicates findings in other brain regions and is consistent with oligodendrocyte involvement in the disorder. The decreases in expression of ACTB, and the actin-binding protein gene TB10, suggest changes in cytoskeletal organisation. The findings confirm that the primary visual cortex shows molecular alterations in schizophrenia and extend the evidence for a widespread, rather than focal, cortical pathophysiology. PMID:22675524

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

    PubMed

    Jordan, Shawn N; Davies, Tim; Zhuravlev, Yelena; Dumont, Julien; Shirasu-Hiza, Mimi; Canman, Julie C

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-04

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

  14. Actin Filaments in Mature Guard Cells Are Radially Distributed and Involved in Stomatal Movement.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, M.; Hepler, P. K.; Eun, S. O.; Ha, K. S.; Lee, Y.

    1995-01-01

    Stomatal movements, which regulate gas exchange in plants, involve pronounced changes in the shape and volume of the guard cell. To test whether the changes are regulated by actin filaments, we visualized microfilaments in mature guard cells and examined the effects of actin antagonists on stomatal movements. Immunolocalization on fixed cells and microinjection of fluorescein isothiocyanate-phalloidin into living guard cells of Commelina communis L. showed that cortical microfilaments were radially distributed, fanning out from the stomatal pore site, resembling the known pattern of microtubules. Treatment of epidermal peels with phalloidin prior to stabilizing microfilaments with m-maleimidobenzoyl N-hydroxysuccimimide caused dense packing of radial microfilaments and an accumulation of actin around many organelles. Both stomatal closing induced by abscisic acid and opening under light were inhibited. Treatment of guard cells with cytochalasin D abolished the radial pattern of microfilaments; generated sparse, poorly oriented arrays; and caused partial opening of dark-closed stomata. These results suggest that microfilaments participate in stomatal aperture regulation. PMID:12228654

  15. Antiobesity Action of ACAM by Modulating the Dynamics of Cell Adhesion and Actin Polymerization in Adipocytes.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Kazutoshi; Eguchi, Jun; Hida, Kazuyuki; Nakatsuka, Atsuko; Katayama, Akihiro; Sakurai, Miwa; Choshi, Haruki; Furutani, Masumi; Ogawa, Daisuke; Takei, Kohji; Otsuka, Fumio; Wada, Jun

    2016-05-01

    Coxsackie virus and adenovirus receptor-like membrane protein (CLMP) was identified as the tight junction-associated transmembrane protein of epithelial cells with homophilic binding activities. CLMP is also recognized as adipocyte adhesion molecule (ACAM), and it is upregulated in mature adipocytes in rodents and humans with obesity. Here, we present that aP2 promoter-driven ACAM transgenic mice are protected from obesity and diabetes with the prominent reduction of adipose tissue mass and smaller size of adipocytes. ACAM is abundantly expressed on plasma membrane of mature adipocytes and associated with formation of phalloidin-positive polymerized form of cortical actin (F-actin). By electron microscopy, the structure of zonula adherens with an intercellular space of ∼10-20 nm was observed with strict parallelism of the adjoining cell membranes over distances of 1-20 μm, where ACAM and γ-actin are abundantly expressed. The formation of zonula adherens may increase the mechanical strength, inhibit the adipocyte hypertrophy, and improve the insulin sensitivity. PMID:26956488

  16. Actin cables and the exocyst form two independent morphogenesis pathways in the fission yeast.

    PubMed

    Bendezú, Felipe O; Martin, Sophie G

    2011-01-01

    Cell morphogenesis depends on polarized exocytosis. One widely held model posits that long-range transport and exocyst-dependent tethering of exocytic vesicles at the plasma membrane sequentially drive this process. Here, we describe that disruption of either actin-based long-range transport and microtubules or the exocyst did not abolish polarized growth in rod-shaped fission yeast cells. However, disruption of both actin cables and exocyst led to isotropic growth. Exocytic vesicles localized to cell tips in single mutants but were dispersed in double mutants. In contrast, a marker for active Cdc42, a major polarity landmark, localized to discreet cortical sites even in double mutants. Localization and photobleaching studies show that the exocyst subunits Sec6 and Sec8 localize to cell tips largely independently of the actin cytoskeleton, but in a cdc42 and phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP₂)-dependent manner. Thus in fission yeast long-range cytoskeletal transport and PIP₂-dependent exocyst represent parallel morphogenetic modules downstream of Cdc42, raising the possibility of similar mechanisms in other cell types. PMID:21148300

  17. Bacterial lipopolysaccharide induces actin reorganization, intercellular gap formation, and endothelial barrier dysfunction in pulmonary vascular endothelial cells: concurrent F-actin depolymerization and new actin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Goldblum, S E; Ding, X; Brann, T W; Campbell-Washington, J

    1993-10-01

    Bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) influences pulmonary vascular endothelial barrier function in vitro. We studied whether LPS regulates endothelial barrier function through actin reorganization. Postconfluent bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cell monolayers were exposed to Escherichia coli 0111:B4 LPS 10 ng/ml or media for up to 6 h and evaluated for: 1) transendothelial 14C-albumin flux, 2) F-actin organization with fluorescence microscopy, 3) F-actin quantitation by spectrofluorometry, and 4) monomeric G-actin levels by the DNAse 1 inhibition assay. LPS induced increments in 14C-albumin flux (P < 0.001) and intercellular gap formation at > or = 2-6 h. During this same time period the endothelial F-actin pool was not significantly changed compared to simultaneous media controls. Mean (+/- SE) G-actin (micrograms/mg total protein) was significantly (P < 0.002) increased compared to simultaneous media controls at 2, 4, and 6 h but not at 0.5 or 1 h. Prior F-actin stabilization with phallicidin protected against the LPS-induced increments in G-actin (P = 0.040) as well as changes in barrier function (P < 0.0001). Prior protein synthesis inhibition unmasked an LPS-induced decrement in F-actin (P = 0.0044), blunted the G-actin increment (P = 0.010), and increased LPS-induced changes in endothelial barrier function (P < 0.0001). Therefore, LPS induces pulmonary vascular endothelial F-actin depolymerization, intercellular gap formation, and barrier dysfunction. Over the same time period, LPS increased total actin (P < 0.0001) and new actin synthesis (P = 0.0063) which may be a compensatory endothelial cell response to LPS-induced F-actin depolymerization. PMID:8408232

  18. 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

  19. Malformations of cortical development

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Trudy; Atefy, Ramin; Sheen, Volney

    2012-01-01

    Background Malformations of cortical development (MCD) are increasingly recognized as an important cause of epilepsy and developmental delay. MCD encompass a wide spectrum of disorders with various underlying genetic etiologies and clinical manifestations. High resolution imaging has dramatically improved our recognition of MCD. Review Summary This review will provide a brief overview of the stages of normal cortical development, including neuronal proliferation, neuroblast migration, and neuronal organization. Disruptions at various stages lead to characteristic MCD. Disorders of neurogenesis give rise to microcephaly (small brain) or macrocephaly (large brain). Disorders of early neuroblast migration give rise to periventricular heterotopia (neurons located along the ventricles), whereas abnormalities later in migration lead to lissencephaly (smooth brain) or subcortical band heterotopia (smooth brain with a band of heterotopic neurons under the cortex). Abnormal neuronal migration arrest give rise to over-migration of neurons in cobblestone lissencephaly. Lastly, disorders of neuronal organization cause polymicrogyria (abnormally small gyri and sulci). This review will also discuss the known genetic mutations and potential mechanisms that contribute to these syndromes. Conclusion Identification of various gene mutations has not only given us greater insight into some of the pathophysiologic basis of MCD, but also an understanding of the processes involved in normal cortical development. PMID:18469675

  20. CNS myelin wrapping is driven by actin disassembly.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-27

    Myelin is essential in vertebrates for the rapid propagation of action potentials, but the molecular mechanisms driving its formation remain largely unknown. Here we show that the initial stage of process extension and axon ensheathment by oligodendrocytes requires dynamic actin filament assembly by the Arp2/3 complex. Unexpectedly, subsequent myelin wrapping coincides with the upregulation of actin disassembly proteins and rapid disassembly of the oligodendrocyte actin cytoskeleton and does not require Arp2/3. Inducing loss of actin filaments drives oligodendrocyte membrane spreading and myelin wrapping in vivo, and the actin disassembly factor gelsolin is required for normal wrapping. We show that myelin basic protein, a protein essential for CNS myelin wrapping whose role has been unclear, is required for actin disassembly, and its loss phenocopies loss of actin disassembly proteins. Together, these findings provide insight into the molecular mechanism of myelin wrapping and identify it as an actin-independent form of mammalian cell motility. PMID:26166300

  1. The Interaction of Caldesmon with the COOH Terminus of Actin*

    PubMed Central

    Crosbie, Rachelle; Adams, Susan; Chalovich, Joseph M.; Reisler, Emil

    2005-01-01

    Caldesmon interacts with the NH2-terminal region of actin. It is now shown in airfuge centrifugation experiments that modification of the penultimate cysteine residue of actin significantly weakens its binding to caldesmon both in the presence and absence of tropomyosin. Furthermore, as revealed by fluorescence measurements, caldesmon increases the exposure of the COOH-terminal region of actin to the solvent. This effect of caldesmon, like its inhibitory effect on actomyosin ATPase activity, is enhanced in the presence of tropomyosin. Proteolytic removal of the last three COOH-terminal residues of actin, containing the modified cysteine residue, restores the normal binding between caldesmon and actin. These results establish a correlation between the binding of caldesmon to actin and the conformation of the COOH-terminal region of actin and suggest an indirect rather than direct interaction between caldesmon and this part of actin. PMID:1939062

  2. 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

  3. MODULATION OF N-CADHERIN JUNCTIONS AND THEIR ROLE AS EPICENTERS OF DIFFERENTIATION-SPECIFIC ACTIN REGULATION IN THE DEVELOPING LENS

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 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. PMID:20969840

  4. 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.

  5. Dendritic Actin Filament Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders E.

    2010-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Actin-aggregating cucurbitacins from Physocarpus capitatus.

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. A short splicing isoform of afadin suppresses the cortical axon branching in a dominant-negative manner.

    PubMed

    Umeda, Kentaro; Iwasawa, Nariaki; Negishi, Manabu; Oinuma, Izumi

    2015-05-15

    Precise wiring patterns of axons are among the remarkable features of neuronal circuit formation, and establishment of the proper neuronal network requires control of outgrowth, branching, and guidance of axons. R-Ras is a Ras-family small GTPase that has essential roles in multiple phases of axonal development. We recently identified afadin, an F-actin-binding protein, as an effector of R-Ras mediating axon branching through F-actin reorganization. Afadin comprises two isoforms--l-afadin, having the F-actin-binding domain, and s-afadin, lacking the F-actin-binding domain. Compared with l-afadin, s-afadin, the short splicing variant of l-afadin, contains RA domains but lacks the F-actin-binding domain. Neurons express both isoforms; however, the function of s-afadin in brain remains unknown. Here we identify s-afadin as an endogenous inhibitor of cortical axon branching. In contrast to the abundant and constant expression of l-afadin throughout neuronal development, the expression of s-afadin is relatively low when cortical axons branch actively. Ectopic expression and knockdown of s-afadin suppress and promote branching, respectively. s-Afadin blocks the R-Ras-mediated membrane translocation of l-afadin and axon branching by inhibiting the binding of l-afadin to R-Ras. Thus s-afadin acts as a dominant-negative isoform in R-Ras-afadin-regulated axon branching. PMID:25808489

  10. Non-Straub type actin from molluscan catch muscle.

    PubMed

    Shelud'ko, Nikolay S; Girich, Ulyana V; Lazarev, Stanislav S; Vyatchin, Ilya G

    2016-05-27

    We have developed a method of obtaining natural actin from smooth muscles of the bivalves on the example of the Сrenomytilus grayanus catch muscle. The muscles were previously rigorized to prevent a loss of thin filaments during homogenization and washings. Thin filaments were isolated with a low ionic strength solution in the presence of ATP and sodium pyrophosphate. Surface proteins of thin filaments-tropomyosin, troponin, calponin and some minor actin-binding proteins-were dissociated from actin filaments by increasing the ionic strength to 0.6 M KCL. Natural fibrillar actin obtained in that way depolymerizes easily in low ionic strength solutions commonly used for the extraction of Straub-type actin from acetone powder. Purification of natural actin was carried out by the polymerization-depolymerization cycle. The content of inactivated actin remaining in the supernatant is much less than at a similar purification of Straub-type actin. A comparative investigation was performed between the natural mussel actin and the Straub-type rabbit skeletal actin in terms of the key properties of actin: polymerization, activation of Mg-ATPase activity of myosin, and the electron-microscopic structure of actin polymers. PMID:27120462

  11. Transformation of actin-encapsulating liposomes induced by cytochalasin D.

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, H; Kinosita, K

    1994-01-01

    Liposomes encapsulating actin filaments were prepared by swelling at 0 degrees C lipid film consisting of a mixture of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine and cardiolipin (equal amounts by weight) in 100 microM rabbit skeletal muscle actin and 0.5 mM CaCl2 followed by polymerization of actin at 30 degrees C. Liposomes initially assumed either disk or dumbbell shape, but when cytochalasin D was added to the medium surrounding the liposomes, they were found to become spindle shaped. Liposomes containing bovine serum albumin that were given cytochalasin D and actin-containing liposomes that were given dimethylformamide, the solvent for cytochalasin D, did not transform. These results indicated actin-cytochalasin interaction is involved in the transformation process. Falling-ball viscometry and sedimentation analysis of actin solution indicated that cytochalasin cleaved actin filaments and caused depolymerization. The observation of polarized fluorescence of encapsulated actin labeled with acrylodan indicated that the actin filaments in the transformed liposomes aligned along the long axis of the liposomes. Because the actin filaments in the disk- or dumbbell-shaped liposomes formed bundles running along the liposome contour, the transformation was likely to be accompanied by the change in the actin filament arrangement in the liposomes, which was induced by actin-cytochalasin interaction. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 PMID:7948706

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

    PubMed

    Brugerolle, G; Bricheux, G; Coffe, G

    1996-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Tailor-Made Ezrin Actin Binding Domain to Probe Its Interaction with Actin In-Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Shrivastava, Rohini; Köster, Darius; Kalme, Sheetal; Mayor, Satyajit; Neerathilingam, Muniasamy

    2015-01-01

    Ezrin, a member of the ERM (Ezrin/Radixin/Moesin) protein family, is an Actin-plasma membrane linker protein mediating cellular integrity and function. In-vivo study of such interactions is a complex task due to the presence of a large number of endogenous binding partners for both Ezrin and Actin. Further, C-terminal actin binding capacity of the full length Ezrin is naturally shielded by its N-terminal, and only rendered active in the presence of Phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) or phosphorylation at the C-terminal threonine. Here, we demonstrate a strategy for the design, expression and purification of constructs, combining the Ezrin C-terminal actin binding domain, with functional elements such as fusion tags and fluorescence tags to facilitate purification and fluorescence microscopy based studies. For the first time, internal His tag was employed for purification of Ezrin actin binding domain based on in-silico modeling. The functionality (Ezrin-actin interaction) of these constructs was successfully demonstrated by using Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy. This design can be extended to other members of the ERM family as well. PMID:25860910

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-09

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott D.

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Neutrophil actin dysfunction is a genetic disorder associated with partial impairment of neutrophil actin assembly in three family members.

    PubMed Central

    Southwick, F S; Dabiri, G A; Stossel, T P

    1988-01-01

    A male infant with a severe neutrophil motility disorder and poorly polymerizable actin in PMN extracts was reported over a decade ago to have neutrophil actin dysfunction (NAD) (1974. N. Engl. J. Med. 291:1093-1099). Polymerized actin (F-actin) content of fixed and permeabilized intact neutrophils from the father, mother, and sister of the NAD index case have been measured using nitrobenzoxadiazole-phallacidin, a fluorescent compound which binds specifically to actin filaments. F-actin content of unstimulated PMN from all three family members was significantly lower than unstimulated control PMN (mean 23.6 +/- 0.4 SEM fluorescent units vs. 32.6 +/- 0.6 for controls). After stimulation with the chemotactic peptide FMLP, maximal F-actin content of NAD family member PMN was below that of controls (52.7 +/- 1.3 vs. 72.6 +/- 1.8). F-actin content of detergent insoluble cytoskeletons after stimulation with FMLP was also significantly lower in PMN from NAD family members as compared with controls (21 +/- 6% vs. 73 +/- 8%). PMN extracts from the father and mother, when treated with 0.6 M KCl, polymerized half as much actin as controls. Whereas diisopropylfluorophosphate treatment of normal PMN decreased actin polymerizability in cell extracts, this treatment increased the assembly of actin in parental PMN extract. Addition of purified actin to NAD extracts failed to reveal an abnormal actin polymerization inhibitory activity, and no obvious structural defect in actin purified from the father's PMNs was noted by HPLC and two dimensional thin layer chromatography of tryptic digests. The present studies of actin assembly in intact PMNs confirm that NAD is associated with a true defect in PMN actin assembly and is a genetic disorder that is recessively inherited. Images PMID:3183050

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Rudy J.; Roberts, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Cortical basal ganglionic degeneration.

    PubMed

    Scarmeas, N; Chin, S S; Marder, K

    2001-10-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-25

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

  7. Orthogonal (transverse) arrangements of actin in endothelia and fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Curtis, Adam; Aitchison, Gregor; Tsapikouni, Theodora

    2006-01-01

    Though actin filaments running across the cell (transverse actin) have been occasionally reported for epithelial cells in groups and for cells growing on fibres, there has been no report heretofore of transverse actin in cells grown on planar substrata. This paper describes evidence in support of this possibility derived from actin staining, polarization microscopy and force measurements. The paper introduces two new methods for detecting the orientation and activity of contractile elements in cells. The orthogonal actin is most obvious in cells grown on groove ridge structures, but can be detected in cells grown on flat surfaces. PMID:17015307

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. A complex gene superfamily encodes actin in petunia.

    PubMed Central

    Baird, W V; Meagher, R B

    1987-01-01

    We have shown by several independent criteria that actin is encoded by a very large and complex superfamily of genes in Petunia. Several cDNA and genomic probes encoding actins from diverse organisms (Dictyostelium, Drosophila, chicken and soybean) hybridize to hundreds of restriction fragments in the petunia genome. Actin-hybridizing sequences were isolated from a petunia genomic library at a rate of at least 200 per genome equivalent. Twenty randomly selected actin-hybridizing clones were characterized in more detail. DNA sequence data from four representative and highly divergent clones, PAc2, PAc3, PAc4 and PAc7, demonstrate that these actin-like sequences are related to functional actin genes. Intron positions typical of other known plant actin genes are conserved in these clones. Four of six clones analyzed (PAc1, PAc2, PAc3, PAc4) hybridize to leaf mRNA of the same size (1.7 kb) as that reported for other plant actin mRNAs and to a slightly smaller mRNA species (1.5 kb). Five distinct subfamilies of actin-related genes were characterized which varied in size from a few members to several dozen members. It is clear from our data that other actin gene subfamilies must also exist within the genome. Possible mechanisms of actin gene amplification and genome turnover are discussed. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. PMID:3428258

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Bundling actin filaments from membranes: some novel players

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Clément

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Tropomyosin diffusion over actin subunits facilitates thin filament assembly

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Stefan; Rynkiewicz, Michael J.; Moore, Jeffrey R.; Lehman, William

    2016-01-01

    Coiled-coil tropomyosin binds to consecutive actin-subunits along actin-containing thin filaments. Tropomyosin molecules then polymerize head-to-tail to form cables that wrap helically around the filaments. Little is known about the assembly process that leads to continuous, gap-free tropomyosin cable formation. We propose that tropomyosin molecules diffuse over the actin-filament surface to connect head-to-tail to partners. This possibility is likely because (1) tropomyosin hovers loosely over the actin-filament, thus binding weakly to F-actin and (2) low energy-barriers provide tropomyosin freedom for 1D axial translation on F-actin. We consider that these unique features of the actin-tropomyosin interaction are the basis of tropomyosin cable formation. PMID:26798831

  18. The Structural Basis of Actin Organization by Vinculin and Metavinculin.

    PubMed

    Kim, Laura Y; Thompson, Peter M; Lee, Hyunna T; Pershad, Mihir; Campbell, Sharon L; Alushin, Gregory M

    2016-01-16

    Vinculin is an essential adhesion protein that links membrane-bound integrin and cadherin receptors through their intracellular binding partners to filamentous actin, facilitating mechanotransduction. Here we present an 8.5-Å-resolution cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction and pseudo-atomic model of the vinculin tail (Vt) domain bound to F-actin. Upon actin engagement, the N-terminal "strap" and helix 1 are displaced from the Vt helical bundle to mediate actin bundling. We find that an analogous conformational change also occurs in the H1' helix of the tail domain of metavinculin (MVt) upon actin binding, a muscle-specific splice isoform that suppresses actin bundling by Vt. These data support a model in which metavinculin tunes the actin bundling activity of vinculin in a tissue-specific manner, providing a mechanistic framework for understanding metavinculin mutations associated with hereditary cardiomyopathies. PMID:26493222

  19. 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

  20. Regulation of cellular actin architecture by S100A10.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-15

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

  1. Time in Cortical Circuits

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Salinas, Patricia C.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Distinct Functional Interactions between Actin Isoforms and Nonsarcomeric Myosins

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Isolation and characterization of six different chicken actin genes.

    PubMed Central

    Chang, K S; Zimmer, W E; Bergsma, D J; Dodgson, J B; Schwartz, R J

    1984-01-01

    Genes representing six different actin isoforms were isolated from a chicken genomic library. Cloned actin cDNAs as well as tissue-specific mRNAs enriched in different actin species were used as hybridization probes to group individual actin genomic clones by their relative thermal stability. Restriction maps showed that these actin genes were derived from separate and nonoverlapping regions of genomic DNA. Of the six isolated genes, five included sequences from both the 5' and 3' ends of the actin-coding area. Amino acid sequence analysis from both the NH2- and COOH-terminal regions provided for the unequivocal identification of these genes. The striated isoforms were represented by the isolated alpha-skeletal, alpha-cardiac, and alpha-smooth muscle actin genes. The nonmuscle isoforms included the beta-cytoplasmic actin gene and an actin gene fragment which lacked the 5' coding and flanking sequence; presumably, this region of DNA was removed from this gene during construction of the genomic library. Unexpectedly, a third nonmuscle chicken actin gene was found which resembled the amphibian type 5 actin isoform (J. Vandekerckhove, W. W. Franke, and K. Weber, J. Mol. Biol., 152:413-426). This nonmuscle actin type has not been previously detected in warm-blooded vertebrates. We showed that interspersed, repeated DNA sequences closely flanked the alpha-skeletal, alpha-cardiac, beta-, and type 5-like actin genes. The repeated DNA sequences which surround the alpha-skeletal actin-coding regions were not related to repetitious DNA located on the other actin genes. Analysis of genomic DNA blots showed that the chicken actin multigene family was represented by 8 to 10 separate coding loci. The six isolated actin genes corresponded to 7 of 11 genomic EcoRI fragments. Only the alpha-smooth muscle actin gene was shown to be split by an EcoRI site. Thus, in the chicken genome each actin isoform appeared to be encoded by a single gene. Images PMID:6513927

  6. Magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction (MAT-MI).

    PubMed

    Xu, Yuan; He, Bin

    2005-11-01

    We report our theoretical and experimental investigations on a new imaging modality, magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction (MAT-MI). In MAT-MI, the sample is located in a static magnetic field and a time-varying (micros) magnetic field. The time-varying magnetic field induces an eddy current in the sample. Consequently, the sample will emit ultrasonic waves by the Lorentz force. The ultrasonic signals are collected around the object to reconstruct images related to the electrical impedance distribution in the sample. MAT-MI combines the good contrast of electrical impedance tomography with the good spatial resolution of sonography. MAT-MI has two unique features due to the solenoid nature of the induced electrical field. Firstly, MAT-MI could provide an explicit or simple quantitative reconstruction algorithm for the electrical impedance distribution. Secondly, it promises to eliminate the shielding effects of other imaging modalities in which the current is applied directly with electrodes. In the theoretical part, we provide formulae for both the forward and inverse problems of MAT-MI and estimate the signal amplitude in biological tissues. In the experimental part, the experimental setup and methods are introduced and the signals and the image of a metal object by means of MAT-MI are presented. The promising pilot experimental results suggest the feasibility of the proposed MAT-MI approach. PMID:16237248

  7. 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.

  8. Pilot Bill Dana in HiMAT cockpit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) simulator was used from 1978 to 1983. The HiMAT was a remotely piloted research vehicle built to develop high-performance fighter technology that included advanced structures, and integrated controls and propulsion systems. The simulator was used in support of the flight program.

  9. Magnetoacoustic Tomography with Magnetic Induction (MAT-MI)

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yuan; He, Bin

    2007-01-01

    We report our theoretical and experimental investigations on a new imaging modality, magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction (MAT-MI). In MAT-MI, the sample is located in a static magnetic field and a time-varying (μs ) magnetic field. The time-varying magnetic field induces eddy current in the sample. Consequently, the sample will emit ultrasonic waves by the Lorentz force. The ultrasonic signals are collected around the object to reconstruct images related with the electrical impedance distribution in the sample. MAT-MI combines the good contrast of electrical impedance tomography with the good spatial resolution of sonography. In principle, MAT-MI mainly has two unique features due to the solenoid nature of the induced electrical field. Firstly, MAT-MI could provide explicit or simple quantitative reconstruction algorithm for the electrical impedance distribution. Secondly, it promises to eliminate the shielding effects of other imaging modalities in which the current is applied directly with electrodes. In the theoretical part, we provide the formulas for both the forward and inverse problems of MAT-MI and estimate the signal amplitude in biological tissues. In the experimental part, the experiment setup and methods are introduced and the signals and the image of a metal object by means of MAT-MI are presented. The promising pilot experimental results suggest the feasibility of the proposed MAT-MI approach. PMID:16237248

  10. 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…

  11. DEMONSTRATION OF INPUFF WITH THE MATS DATA BASE

    EPA Science Inventory

    An integrated puff model, INPUFF, is evaluated using the MATS data base. A description of the model is provided outlining the salient characteristics. A brief description of the MATS data base, which consists of 14 SF6 tracer releases with associated meteorology, is also provided...

  12. Actinic keratoses: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Fenske, Neil Alan; Spencer, James; Adam, Friedman

    2010-05-01

    Actinic keratoses (AKs) are cutaneous neoplasms composed of proliferations of cytologically aberrant, epidermal keratinocytes caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Combining the evidence that AKs are the second most common reason for visits to the dermatologist and it is generally believed that they should be treated, it is no surprise that the direct cost of the management of actinic keratoses in the United States (U.S.) is exceedingly high. There are currently numerous treatment modalities with more on the way as there is a demand for formulating newer, cheaper, less painful and less invasive means. The future of AK treatment involves both the continued investigation of current novel therapies, as well as the development of new treatment modalities. PMID:20518359

  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. Regulation of actin nucleation and autophagosome formation.

    PubMed

    Coutts, Amanda S; La Thangue, Nicholas B

    2016-09-01

    Autophagy is a process of self-eating, whereby cytosolic constituents are enclosed by a double-membrane vesicle before delivery to the lysosome for degradation. This is an important process which allows for recycling of nutrients and cellular components and thus plays a critical role in normal cellular homeostasis as well as cell survival during stresses such as starvation or hypoxia. A large number of proteins regulate various stages of autophagy in a complex and still incompletely understood series of events. In this review, we will discuss recent studies which provide a growing body of evidence that actin dynamics and proteins that influence actin nucleation play an important role in the regulation of autophagosome formation and maturation. PMID:27147468

  15. Coupling of rotational cortical flow, asymmetric midbody positioning, and spindle rotation mediates dorsoventral axis formation in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Singh, Deepika; Pohl, Christian

    2014-02-10

    Cortical flows mediate anteroposterior polarization in Caenorhabditis elegans by generating two mutually exclusive membrane domains. However, factors downstream of anteroposterior polarity that establish the dorsoventral axis remain elusive. Here, we show that rotational cortical flow orthogonal to the anteroposterior axis during the division of the AB blastomere in the two-cell embryo positions the cytokinetic midbody remnant of the previous division asymmetrically at the future ventral side of the embryo. In the neighboring P1 blastomere, astral microtubules contact a transient PAR-2-dependent actin coat that forms asymmetrically onto the midbody remnant-P1 interface. Ablation of the midbody remnant or perturbation of rotational cortical flow reveals that microtubule-midbody remnant contacts are crucial for P1 spindle rotation and dorsoventral axis formation. Thus, our findings suggest a mechanism for dorsoventral patterning that relies on coupling of anteroposterior polarity, rotational cortical flow, midbody remnant positioning, and spindle orientation. PMID:24525186

  16. Caffeine relaxes smooth muscle through actin depolymerization.

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-15

    Caffeine is sometimes used in cell physiological studies to release internally stored Ca(2+). We obtained evidence that caffeine may also act through a different mechanism that has not been previously described and sought to examine this in greater detail. We ruled out a role for phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibition, since the effect was 1) not reversed by inhibiting PKA or adenylate cyclase; 2) not exacerbated by inhibiting PDE4; and 3) not mimicked by submillimolar caffeine nor theophylline, both of which are sufficient to inhibit PDE. Although caffeine is an agonist of bitter taste receptors, which in turn mediate bronchodilation, its relaxant effect was not mimicked by quinine. After permeabilizing the membrane using β-escin and depleting the internal Ca(2+) store using A23187, we found that 10 mM caffeine reversed tone evoked by direct application of Ca(2+), suggesting it functionally antagonizes the contractile apparatus. Using a variety of molecular techniques, we found that caffeine did not affect phosphorylation of myosin light chain (MLC) by MLC kinase, actin-filament motility catalyzed by MLC kinase, phosphorylation of CPI-17 by either protein kinase C or RhoA kinase, nor the activity of MLC-phosphatase. However, we did obtain evidence that caffeine decreased actin filament binding to phosphorylated myosin heads and increased the ratio of globular to filamentous actin in precontracted tissues. We conclude that, in addition to its other non-RyR targets, caffeine also interferes with actin function (decreased binding by myosin, possibly with depolymerization), an effect that should be borne in mind in studies using caffeine to probe excitation-contraction coupling in smooth muscle. PMID:22683573

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments in solar saltern microbial mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-11-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Gelsolin mediates calcium-dependent disassembly of Listeria actin tails

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Laura; Arnaudeau, Serge; Gibson, Bruce; Li, Wei; Krause, Ryoko; Hao, Binghua; Bamburg, James R.; Lew, Daniel P.; Demaurex, Nicolas; Southwick, Frederick

    2005-01-01

    The role of intracellular Ca2+ in the regulation of actin filament assembly and disassembly has not been clearly defined. We show that reduction of intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) to <40 nM in Listeria monocytogenes-infected, EGFP–actin-transfected Madin–Darby canine kidney cells results in a 3-fold lengthening of actin filament tails. This increase in tail length is the consequence of marked slowing of the actin filament disassembly rate, without a significant change in assembly rate. The Ca2+-sensitive actin-severing protein gelsolin concentrates in the Listeria rocket tails at normal resting [Ca2+]i and disassociates from the tails when [Ca2+]i is lowered. Reduction in [Ca2+]i also blocks the severing activity of gelsolin, but not actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin microinjected into Listeria-infected cells. In Xenopus extracts, Listeria tail lengths are also calcium-sensitive, markedly shortening on addition of calcium. Immunodepletion of gelsolin, but not Xenopus ADF/cofilin, eliminates calcium-sensitive actin-filament shortening. Listeria tail length is also calcium-insensitive in gelsolin-null mouse embryo fibroblasts. We conclude that gelsolin is the primary Ca2+-sensitive actin filament recycling protein in the cell and is capable of enhancing Listeria actin tail disassembly at normal resting [Ca2+]i (145 nM). These experiments illustrate the unique and complementary functions of gelsolin and ADF/cofilin in the recycling of actin filaments. PMID:15671163

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

    PubMed

    Leite, Sérgio Carvalho; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-09-01

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

  11. Excitable actin dynamics in lamellipodial protrusion and retraction.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

    Actin-related proteins (ARPs) are key players in cytoskeleton activities and nuclear functions. Two complexes, ARP2/3 and ARP1/11, also known as dynactin, are implicated in actin dynamics and in microtubule-based trafficking, respectively. ARP4 to ARP9 are components of many chromatin-modulating complexes. Conventional actins and ARPs codefine a large family of homologous proteins, the actin superfamily, with a tertiary structure known as the actin fold. Because ARPs and actin share high sequence conservation, clear family definition requires distinct features to easily and systematically identify each subfamily. In this study we performed an in depth sequence and comparative genomic analysis of ARP subfamilies. A high-quality multiple alignment of approximately 700 complete protein sequences homologous to actin, including 148 ARP sequences, allowed us to extend the ARP classification to new organisms. Sequence alignments revealed conserved residues, motifs, and inserted sequence signatures to define each ARP subfamily. These discriminative characteristics allowed us to develop ARPAnno (http://bips.u-strasbg.fr/ARPAnno), a new web server dedicated to the annotation of ARP sequences. Analyses of sequence conservation among actins and ARPs highlight part of the actin fold and suggest interactions between ARPs and actin-binding proteins. Finally, analysis of ARP distribution across eukaryotic phyla emphasizes the central importance of nuclear ARPs, particularly the multifunctional ARP4. PMID:16195354

  13. Actin is required for IFT regulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-11-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Grewal, SIS.; Klar, AJS.

    1997-01-01

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

  20. Structure of the F-actin-tropomyosin complex.

    PubMed

    von der Ecken, Julian; Müller, Mirco; Lehman, William; Manstein, Dietmar J; Penczek, Pawel A; Raunser, Stefan

    2015-03-01

    Filamentous actin (F-actin) is the major protein of muscle thin filaments, and actin microfilaments are the main component of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Mutations in different actin isoforms lead to early-onset autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing loss, familial thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections, and multiple variations of myopathies. In striated muscle fibres, the binding of myosin motors to actin filaments is mainly regulated by tropomyosin and troponin. Tropomyosin also binds to F-actin in smooth muscle and in non-muscle cells and stabilizes and regulates the filaments there in the absence of troponin. Although crystal structures for monomeric actin (G-actin) are available, a high-resolution structure of F-actin is still missing, hampering our understanding of how disease-causing mutations affect the function of thin muscle filaments and microfilaments. Here we report the three-dimensional structure of F-actin at a resolution of 3.7 Å in complex with tropomyosin at a resolution of 6.5 Å, determined by electron cryomicroscopy. The structure reveals that the D-loop is ordered and acts as a central region for hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions that stabilize the F-actin filament. We clearly identify map density corresponding to ADP and Mg(2+) and explain the possible effect of prominent disease-causing mutants. A comparison of F-actin with G-actin reveals the conformational changes during filament formation and identifies the D-loop as their key mediator. We also confirm that negatively charged tropomyosin interacts with a positively charged groove on F-actin. Comparison of the position of tropomyosin in F-actin-tropomyosin with its position in our previously determined F-actin-tropomyosin-myosin structure reveals a myosin-induced transition of tropomyosin. Our results allow us to understand the role of individual mutations in the genesis of actin- and tropomyosin-related diseases and will serve as a strong foundation for the targeted

  1. Actin depolymerisation and crosslinking join forces with myosin II to contract actin coats on fused secretory vesicles.

    PubMed

    Miklavc, Pika; Ehinger, Konstantin; Sultan, Ayesha; Felder, Tatiana; Paul, Patrick; Gottschalk, Kay-Eberhard; Frick, Manfred

    2015-03-15

    In many secretory cells actin and myosin are specifically recruited to the surface of secretory granules following their fusion with the plasma membrane. Actomyosin-dependent compression of fused granules is essential to promote active extrusion of cargo. However, little is known about molecular mechanisms regulating actin coat formation and contraction. Here, we provide a detailed kinetic analysis of the molecules regulating actin coat contraction on fused lamellar bodies in primary alveolar type II cells. We demonstrate that ROCK1 and myosin light chain kinase 1 (MLCK1, also known as MYLK) translocate to fused lamellar bodies and activate myosin II on actin coats. However, myosin II activity is not sufficient for efficient actin coat contraction. In addition, cofilin-1 and α-actinin translocate to actin coats. ROCK1-dependent regulated actin depolymerisation by cofilin-1 in cooperation with actin crosslinking by α-actinin is essential for complete coat contraction. In summary, our data suggest a complementary role for regulated actin depolymerisation and crosslinking, and myosin II activity, to contract actin coats and drive secretion. PMID:25637593

  2. 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. PMID:26498789

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Spatial control of actin polymerization during neutrophil chemotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, Orion D.; Servant, Guy; Welch, Matthew D.; Mitchison, Timothy J.; Sedat, John W.; Bourne, Henry R.

    2010-01-01

    Neutrophils respond to chemotactic stimuli by increasing the nucleation and polymerization of actin filaments, but the location and regulation of these processes are not well understood. Here, using a permeabilized-cell assay, we show that chemotactic stimuli cause neutrophils to organize many discrete sites of actin polymerization, the distribution of which is biased by external chemotactic gradients. Furthermore, the Arp2/3 complex, which can nucleate actin polymerization, dynamically redistributes to the region of living neutrophils that receives maximal chemotactic stimulation, and the least-extractable pool of the Arp2/3 complex co-localizes with sites of actin polymerization. Our observations indicate that chemoattractant-stimulated neutrophils may establish discrete foci of actin polymerization that are similar to those generated at the posterior surface of the intracellular bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. We propose that asymmetrical establishment and/or maintenance of sites of actin polymerization produces directional migration of neutrophils in response to chemotactic gradients. PMID:10559877

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Monitoring Survival and Preservation of Recent Cyanobacterial Mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chacon, Elizabeth; Negron-Mendoza, Alicia; Camargo, Claudia

    2010-05-01

    Through geobiological evolution cyanobacterial mats have played a fundamental role through the development of early microbial carbonate ecosystems and through the sustainment of major biogeochemical cycling in the biosphere; nonetheless their sedimentary record is relatively modest in comparison with their biological impact; this apparent under-representation in the fossil record may be due to their intrinsic poor preservation potential but also to our inability to recognize some subtle microbial signatures. Modern studies on cyanobacterial mats involve high-tech molecular approaches to identify, analyze and even quantify the genetic diversity of ancient and modern microbial mats, yet the physical changes of mats, their survival and preservation potential, remain almost unknown and experimentally poorly explored. If we are going to succeed in the astrobiological quest for traces of life we should develop integrated methods and diagnostic features to address biosignatures at both, the phenotypic and genotypic levels when possible. The correct recognition and interpretation of biosignatures in this emerging field needs, aside these fine molecular tools, plain experimental approaches to test microbial resistance, survival and preservation potential of microbial mats after exposure to diagenetic changes. In this work we study some effects on fresh slices of cyanobacterial mats and cultures of specific external simulated agents that normally occur during diagenesis such as dehydratation, heat, abrasion or pressure among others. Samples from different cyanobacterial communities associated to carbonates collected from different rivers and falls around Mexico were subjected to same lab procedures. Physical and textural changes were monitored through microscopic analysis where cell integrity and mat cohesiveness were analyzed before and after treatment. Preliminary results show that mats enriched in halite and clay sediments were preferentially preserved; however those mats

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Electrophoresis and orientation of F-actin in agarose gels.

    PubMed Central

    Borejdo, J; Ortega, H

    1989-01-01

    F-Actin was electrophoresed on agarose gels. In the presence of 2 mM MgCl2 and above pH 8.5 F-actin entered 1% agarose; when the electric field was 2.1 V/cm and the pH was 8.8, F-actin migrated through a gel as a single band at a rate of 2.5 mm/h. Labeling of actin with fluorophores did not affect its rate of migration, but an increase in ionic strength slowed it down. After the electrophoresis actin was able to bind phalloidin and heavy meromyosin (HMM) and it activated Mg2+-dependent ATPase activity of HMM. The mobility of F-actin increased with the rise in pH. Acto-S-1 complex was also able to migrate in agarose at basic pH, but at a lower rate than F-actin alone. The orientation of fluorescein labeled F-actin and of fluorescein labeled S-1 which formed rigor bonds with F-actin was measured during the electrophoresis by the fluorescence detected linear dichroism method. The former showed little orientation, probably because the dye was mobile on the surface of actin, but we were able to measure the orientation of the absorption dipole of the dye bound to S-1 which was attached to F-actin, and found that it assumed an orientation largely parallel to the direction of the electric field. These results show that actin can migrate in agarose gels in the F form and that it is oriented during the electrophoresis. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 PMID:2528384

  16. Measuring F-actin properties in dendritic spines

    PubMed Central

    Koskinen, Mikko; Hotulainen, Pirta

    2014-01-01

    During the last decade, numerous studies have demonstrated that the actin cytoskeleton plays a pivotal role in the control of dendritic spine shape. Synaptic stimulation rapidly changes the actin dynamics and many actin regulators have been shown to play roles in neuron functionality. Accordingly, defects in the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in neurons have been implicated in memory disorders. Due to the small size of spines, it is difficult to detect changes in the actin structures in dendritic spines by conventional light microscopy imaging. Instead, to know how tightly actin filaments are bundled together, and how fast the filaments turnover, we need to use advanced microscopy techniques, such as fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), photoactivatable green fluorescent protein (PAGFP) fluorescence decay and fluorescence anisotropy. Fluorescence anisotropy, which measures the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two GFP fluorophores, has been proposed as a method to measure the level of actin polymerization. Here, we propose a novel idea that fluorescence anisotropy could be more suitable to study the level of actin filament bundling instead of actin polymerization. We validate the method in U2OS cell line where the actin structures can be clearly distinguished and apply to analyze how actin filament organization in dendritic spines changes during neuronal maturation. In addition to fluorescence anisotropy validation, we take a critical look at the properties and limitations of FRAP and PAGFP fluorescence decay methods and offer our proposals for the analysis methods for these approaches. These three methods complement each other, each providing additional information about actin dynamics and organization in dendritic spines. PMID:25140131

  17. Ca2+-calmodulin regulates fesselin-induced actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Schroeter, Mechthild; Chalovich, Joseph M

    2004-11-01

    Fesselin is a proline-rich actin-binding protein that was isolated from avian smooth muscle. Fesselin bundles actin and accelerates actin polymerization by facilitating nucleation. We now show that this polymerization of actin can be regulated by Ca(2+)-calmodulin. Fesselin was shown to bind to immobilized calmodulin in the presence of Ca(2+). The fesselin-calmodulin interaction was confirmed by a Ca(2+)-dependent increase in 2-(4-maleimidoanilino)naphthalene-6-sulfonic acid (MIANS) fluorescence upon addition of fesselin to MIANS-labeled wheat germ calmodulin. The affinity was estimated to be approximately 10(9) M(-1). The affinity of Ca(2+)-calmodulin to the fesselin F-actin complex was approximately 10(8) M(-1). Calmodulin binding to fesselin appeared to be functionally significant. In the presence of fesselin and calmodulin, the polymerization of actin was Ca(2+)-dependent. Ca(2+)-free calmodulin either had no effect or enhanced the ability of fesselin to accelerate actin polymerization. Ca(2+)-calmodulin not only reversed the stimulatory effect of fesselin but reduced the rate of polymerization below that observed in the absence of fesselin. While Ca(2+)-calmodulin had a large effect on the interaction of fesselin with G-actin, the effect on F-actin was small. Neither the binding of fesselin to F-actin nor the subsequent bundling of F-actin was greatly affected by Ca(2+)-calmodulin. Fesselin may function as an actin-polymerizing factor that is regulated by Ca(2+) levels. PMID:15504050

  18. A Robust Actin Filaments Image Analysis Framework.

    PubMed

    Alioscha-Perez, Mitchel; Benadiba, Carine; Goossens, Katty; Kasas, Sandor; Dietler, Giovanni; Willaert, Ronnie; Sahli, Hichem

    2016-08-01

    The cytoskeleton is a highly dynamical protein network that plays a central role in numerous cellular physiological processes, and is traditionally divided into three components according to its chemical composition, i.e. actin, tubulin and intermediate filament cytoskeletons. Understanding the cytoskeleton dynamics is of prime importance to unveil mechanisms involved in cell adaptation to any stress type. Fluorescence imaging of cytoskeleton structures allows analyzing the impact of mechanical stimulation in the cytoskeleton, but it also imposes additional challenges in the image processing stage, such as the presence of imaging-related artifacts and heavy blurring introduced by (high-throughput) automated scans. However, although there exists a considerable number of image-based analytical tools to address the image processing and analysis, most of them are unfit to cope with the aforementioned challenges. Filamentous structures in images can be considered as a piecewise composition of quasi-straight segments (at least in some finer or coarser scale). Based on this observation, we propose a three-steps actin filaments extraction methodology: (i) first the input image is decomposed into a 'cartoon' part corresponding to the filament structures in the image, and a noise/texture part, (ii) on the 'cartoon' image, we apply a multi-scale line detector coupled with a (iii) quasi-straight filaments merging algorithm for fiber extraction. The proposed robust actin filaments image analysis framework allows extracting individual filaments in the presence of noise, artifacts and heavy blurring. Moreover, it provides numerous parameters such as filaments orientation, position and length, useful for further analysis. Cell image decomposition is relatively under-exploited in biological images processing, and our study shows the benefits it provides when addressing such tasks. Experimental validation was conducted using publicly available datasets, and in osteoblasts grown in

  19. 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

  20. Visualization of actin filaments and monomers in somatic cell nuclei.

    PubMed

    Belin, Brittany J; Cimini, Beth A; Blackburn, Elizabeth H; Mullins, R Dyche

    2013-04-01

    In addition to its long-studied presence in the cytoplasm, actin is also found in the nuclei of eukaryotic cells. The function and form (monomer, filament, or noncanonical oligomer) of nuclear actin are hotly debated, and its localization and dynamics are largely unknown. To determine the distribution of nuclear actin in live somatic cells and evaluate its potential functions, we constructed and validated fluorescent nuclear actin probes. Monomeric actin probes concentrate in nuclear speckles, suggesting an interaction of monomers with RNA-processing factors. Filamentous actin probes recognize discrete structures with submicron lengths that are excluded from chromatin-rich regions. In time-lapse movies, these actin filament structures exhibit one of two types of mobility: 1) diffusive, with an average diffusion coefficient of 0.06-0.08 μm(2)/s, or (2) subdiffusive, with a mobility coefficient of 0.015 μm(2)/s. Individual filament trajectories exhibit features of particles moving within a viscoelastic mesh. The small size of nuclear actin filaments is inconsistent with a role in micron-scale intranuclear transport, and their localization suggests that they do not participate directly in chromatin-based processes. Our results instead suggest that actin filaments form part of a large, viscoelastic structure in the nucleoplasm and may act as scaffolds that help organize nuclear contents. PMID:23447706

  1. Human cytoplasmic actin proteins are encoded by a multigene family

    SciTech Connect

    Engel, J.; Gunning, P.; Kedes, L.

    1982-06-01

    The authors characterized nine human actin genes that they isolated from a library of cloned human DNA. Measurements of the thermal stability of hybrids formed between each cloned actin gene and ..cap alpha..-, ..beta..-, and ..gamma..-actin mRNA demonstrated that only one of the clones is most homologous to sarcomeric actin mRNA, whereas the remaining eight clones are most homologous to cytoplasmic actin mRNA. By the following criteria they show that these nine clones represent nine different actin gene loci rather than different alleles or different parts of a single gene: (i) the restriction enzyme maps of the coding regions are dissimilar; (ii) each clone contains sufficient coding region to encode all or most of an entire actin gene; and (iii) each clone contains sequences homologous to both the 5' and 3' ends of the coding region of a cloned chicken ..beta..-actin cDNA. They conclude, therefore, that the human cytoplasmic actin proteins are encoded by a multigene family.

  2. 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

  3. Structure and Mechanics of Actin Cortex Contained in Vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limozin, Laurent; Roth, Alexander; Sackmann, Erich

    2003-03-01

    We designed giant phospholipid vesicles containing actin filaments as an elementary mechanical cell model. G-actin is polymerized inside the vesicles through ionophore-mediated Mg++ entry and the filaments are bound electrostatically to the membrane through lipids with amino-polyethyleneglycol (PEG) headgroups forming a shell beneath the membrane. The density of this cortex is varied by changing the initial actin concentration. A magnetic micrometric bead attached on the top of a sedimented vesicle is pulled vertically while horizontal and vertical displacements of the bead are simulatenously tracked by microscopy. Linear response allows to determine the bending and shear moduli of the actin-membrane complexe.

  4. Force Generation by Endocytic Actin Patches in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E.; Bayly, Philip V.

    2014-01-01

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

  5. An unconventional form of actin in protozoan hemoflagellate, Leishmania.

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Prabodh; Sahasrabuddhe, Amogh A; Kumar, Ashutosh; Mitra, Kalyan; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran; Gupta, Chhitar M

    2008-08-15

    Leishmania actin was cloned, overexpressed in baculovirus-insect cell system, and purified to homogeneity. The purified protein polymerized optimally in the presence of Mg2+ and ATP, but differed from conventional actins in its following properties: (i) it did not polymerize in the presence of Mg2+ alone, (ii) it polymerized in a restricted range of pH 7.0-8.5, (iii) its critical concentration for polymerization was found to be 3-4-fold lower than of muscle actin, (iv) it predominantly formed bundles rather than single filaments at pH 8.0, (v) it displayed considerably higher ATPase activity during polymerization, (vi) it did not inhibit DNase-I activity, and (vii) it did not bind the F-actin-binding toxin phalloidin or the actin polymerization disrupting agent Latrunculin B. Computational and molecular modeling studies revealed that the observed unconventional behavior of Leishmania actin is related to the diverged amino acid stretches in its sequence, which may lead to changes in the overall charge distribution on its solvent-exposed surface, ATP binding cleft, Mg2+ binding sites, and the hydrophobic loop that is involved in monomer-monomer interactions. Phylogenetically, it is related to ciliate actins, but to the best of our knowledge, no other actin with such unconventional properties has been reported to date. It is therefore suggested that actin in Leishmania may serve as a novel target for design of new antileishmanial drugs. PMID:18539603

  6. VASP Governs Actin Dynamics by Modulating Filament Anchoring

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Solubilization of native actin monomers from human erythrocyte membranes.

    PubMed

    Tilley, L; Dwyer, M; Ralston, G B

    1986-01-01

    Up to 50% of the actin in erythrocyte membranes can be solubilized at low ionic strength in a form capable of inhibiting DNAse I, in the presence of 0.4 mM ATP and 0.05 mM calcium. In the absence of calcium and ATP, actin is released but is apparently rapidly denatured. Solubilization of G-actin increases with temperature up to 37 degrees C. At higher temperatures, actin is released rapidly but quickly loses its ability to inhibit DNAse I. PMID:3789986

  8. Electrostatics control actin filament nucleation and elongation kinetics.

    PubMed

    Crevenna, Alvaro H; Naredi-Rainer, Nikolaus; Schönichen, André; Dzubiella, Joachim; Barber, Diane L; Lamb, Don C; Wedlich-Söldner, Roland

    2013-04-26

    The actin cytoskeleton is a central mediator of cellular morphogenesis, and rapid actin reorganization drives essential processes such as cell migration and cell division. Whereas several actin-binding proteins are known to be regulated by changes in intracellular pH, detailed information regarding the effect of pH on the actin dynamics itself is still lacking. Here, we combine bulk assays, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy techniques, and theory to comprehensively characterize the effect of pH on actin polymerization. We show that both nucleation and elongation are strongly enhanced at acidic pH, with a maximum close to the pI of actin. Monomer association rates are similarly affected by pH at both ends, although dissociation rates are differentially affected. This indicates that electrostatics control the diffusional encounter but not the dissociation rate, which is critical for the establishment of actin filament asymmetry. A generic model of protein-protein interaction, including electrostatics, explains the observed pH sensitivity as a consequence of charge repulsion. The observed pH effect on actin in vitro agrees with measurements of Listeria propulsion in pH-controlled cells. pH regulation should therefore be considered as a modulator of actin dynamics in a cellular environment. PMID:23486468

  9. 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

  10. Myosin Vs organize actin cables in fission yeast.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    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

  11. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24517254

  12. A Mechanism for Actin Filament Severing by Malaria Parasite Actin Depolymerizing Factor 1 via a Low Affinity Binding Interface*

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Wilson; Webb, Andrew I.; Olshina, Maya A.; Infusini, Giuseppe; Tan, Yan Hong; Hanssen, Eric; Catimel, Bruno; Suarez, Cristian; Condron, Melanie; Angrisano, Fiona; NebI, Thomas; Kovar, David R.; Baum, Jake

    2014-01-01

    Actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilins are essential regulators of actin turnover in eukaryotic cells. These multifunctional proteins facilitate both stabilization and severing of filamentous (F)-actin in a concentration-dependent manner. At high concentrations ADF/cofilins bind stably to F-actin longitudinally between two adjacent actin protomers forming what is called a decorative interaction. Low densities of ADF/cofilins, in contrast, result in the optimal severing of the filament. To date, how these two contrasting modalities are achieved by the same protein remains uncertain. Here, we define the proximate amino acids between the actin filament and the malaria parasite ADF/cofilin, PfADF1 from Plasmodium falciparum. PfADF1 is unique among ADF/cofilins in being able to sever F-actin but do so without stable filament binding. Using chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry (XL-MS) combined with structure reconstruction we describe a previously overlooked binding interface on the actin filament targeted by PfADF1. This site is distinct from the known binding site that defines decoration. Furthermore, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy imaging of single actin filaments confirms that this novel low affinity site is required for F-actin severing. Exploring beyond malaria parasites, selective blocking of the decoration site with human cofilin (HsCOF1) using cytochalasin D increases its severing rate. HsCOF1 may therefore also use a decoration-independent site for filament severing. Thus our data suggest that a second, low affinity actin-binding site may be universally used by ADF/cofilins for actin filament severing. PMID:24371134

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  14. BIOGEOCHEMICAL STUDIES OF PHOTOSYNTHETIC MICROBIAL MATS AND THEIR BIOTA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David; Discipulo, M.; Turk, K.; Londry, K. L.

    2005-01-01

    Photosynthetic microbial mats offer an opportunity to define holistic functionality at the millimeter scale. At the same time. their biogeochemistry contributes to environmental processes on a planetary scale. These mats are possibly direct descendents of the most ancient biological communities; communities in which oxygenic photosynthesis might have been invented. Mats provide one of the best natural systems to study how microbial populations associate to control dynamic biogeochemical gradients. These are self- sustaining, complete ecosystems in which light energy absorbed over a dial (24 hour) cycle drives the synthesis of spatially-organized, diverse biomass. Tightly-coupled microorganisms in the mat have specialized metabolisms that catalyze transformations of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and a host of other elements.

  15. Microbial mats and the early evolution of life

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The actin-binding ERM protein Moesin directly regulates spindle assembly and function during mitosis.

    PubMed

    Vilmos, Péter; Kristó, Ildikó; Szikora, Szilárd; Jankovics, Ferenc; Lukácsovich, Tamás; Kari, Beáta; Erdélyi, Miklós

    2016-06-01

    Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin proteins are highly conserved, actin-binding cytoskeletal proteins that play an essential role in microvilli formation, T-cell activation, and tumor metastasis by linking actin filaments to the plasma membrane. Recent studies demonstrated that the only Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin protein of Drosophila melanogaster, Moesin, is involved in mitotic spindle function through stabilizing cell shape and microtubules at the cell cortex. We previously observed that Moesin localizes to the mitotic spindle; hence, we tested for the biological significance of this surprising localization and investigated whether it plays a direct role in spindle function. To separate the cortical and spindle functions of Moesin during mitosis we combined cell biological and genetic methods. We used early Drosophila embryos, in which mitosis occurs in the absence of a cell cortex, and found in vivo evidence for the direct requirement of Moesin in mitotic spindle assembly and function. We also found that the accumulation of Moesin precedes the construction of the microtubule spindle, and the fusiform structure formed by Moesin persists even after the microtubules have disassembled. PMID:27006187

  19. 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

  20. CASEIN KINASE1-LIKE PROTEIN2 Regulates Actin Filament Stability and Stomatal Closure via Phosphorylation of Actin Depolymerizing Factor.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shuangshuang; Jiang, Yuxiang; Zhao, Yang; Huang, Shanjin; Yuan, Ming; Zhao, Yanxiu; Guo, Yan

    2016-06-01

    The opening and closing of stomata are crucial for plant photosynthesis and transpiration. Actin filaments undergo dynamic reorganization during stomatal closure, but the underlying mechanism for this cytoskeletal reorganization remains largely unclear. In this study, we identified and characterized Arabidopsis thaliana casein kinase 1-like protein 2 (CKL2), which responds to abscisic acid (ABA) treatment and participates in ABA- and drought-induced stomatal closure. Although CKL2 does not bind to actin filaments directly and has no effect on actin assembly in vitro, it colocalizes with and stabilizes actin filaments in guard cells. Further investigation revealed that CKL2 physically interacts with and phosphorylates actin depolymerizing factor 4 (ADF4) and inhibits its activity in actin filament disassembly. During ABA-induced stomatal closure, deletion of CKL2 in Arabidopsis alters actin reorganization in stomata and renders stomatal closure less sensitive to ABA, whereas deletion of ADF4 impairs the disassembly of actin filaments and causes stomatal closure to be more sensitive to ABA Deletion of ADF4 in the ckl2 mutant partially recues its ABA-insensitive stomatal closure phenotype. Moreover, Arabidopsis ADFs from subclass I are targets of CKL2 in vitro. Thus, our results suggest that CKL2 regulates actin filament reorganization and stomatal closure mainly through phosphorylation of ADF. PMID:27268429

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-18

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

  2. Differential Actin-regulatory Activities of Tropomodulin1 and Tropomodulin3 with Diverse Tropomyosin and Actin Isoforms*

    PubMed Central

    Yamashiro, Sawako; Gokhin, David S.; Sui, Zhenhua; Bergeron, Sarah E.; Rubenstein, Peter A.; Fowler, Velia M.

    2014-01-01

    Tropomodulins (Tmods) are F-actin pointed end capping proteins that interact with tropomyosins (TMs) and cap TM-coated filaments with higher affinity than TM-free filaments. Here, we tested whether differences in recognition of TM or actin isoforms by Tmod1 and Tmod3 contribute to the distinct cellular functions of these Tmods. We found that Tmod3 bound ∼5-fold more weakly than Tmod1 to α/βTM, TM5b, and TM5NM1. However, surprisingly, Tmod3 was as effective as Tmod1 at capping pointed ends of skeletal muscle α-actin (αsk-actin) filaments coated with α/βTM, TM5b, or TM5NM1. Tmod3 only capped TM-coated αsk-actin filaments more weakly than Tmod1 in the presence of recombinant αTM2, which is unacetylated at its NH2 terminus, binds F-actin weakly, and has a disabled Tmod-binding site. Moreover, both Tmod1 and Tmod3 were similarly effective at capping pointed ends of platelet β/cytoplasmic γ (γcyto)-actin filaments coated with TM5NM1. In the absence of TMs, both Tmod1 and Tmod3 had similarly weak abilities to nucleate β/γcyto-actin filament assembly, but only Tmod3 could sequester cytoplasmic β- and γcyto-actin (but not αsk-actin) monomers and prevent polymerization under physiological conditions. Thus, differences in TM binding by Tmod1 and Tmod3 do not appear to regulate the abilities of these Tmods to cap TM-αsk-actin or TM-β/γcyto-actin pointed ends and, thus, are unlikely to determine selective co-assembly of Tmod, TM, and actin isoforms in different cell types and cytoskeletal structures. The ability of Tmod3 to sequester β- and γcyto-actin (but not αsk-actin) monomers in the absence of TMs suggests a novel function for Tmod3 in regulating actin remodeling or turnover in cells. PMID:24644292

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. The biogeochemistry of microbial mats, stromatolites and the ancient biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desmarais, D. J.; Canfield, D. E.

    1991-01-01

    Stromatolites offer an unparalleled geologic record of early life, because they constitute the oldest and most abundant recognizable remains of microbial ecosystems. Microbial mats are living homologs of stromatolites; thus, the physiology of the microbiota as well as the processes which create those features of mats (e.g., biomarker organic compounds, elemental and stable isotopic compositions) which are preserved in the ancient record. Observations of the carbon isotopic composition (delta C-13) of stromatolites and microbial mats were made and are consistent with the hypothesis that atmospheric CO2 concentrations have declined by at least one to two orders of magnitude during the past 2.5 Ga. Whereas delta C-13 values of carbonate carbon average about 0 permil during both the early and mid-Proterozoic, the delta C-13 values of stromatolitic organic matter increase from an average of -35 between 2.0 and 2.6 Ga ago to an average of about -28 about 1.0 Ga ago. Modern microbial mats in hypersaline environments have delta C-13 values typically in the range of -5 to -9, relative to an inorganic bicarbonate source at 0 permil. Both microbial mats and pur cultures of cyanobacteria grown in waters in near equilibrium with current atmospheric CO2 levels exhibit minimal discrimination against C-13. In contrast, hot spring cyanobacterial mats or cyanobacterial cultures grown under higher CO2 levels exhibit substantially greater discrimination. If care is taken to compare modern mats with stromatolites from comparable environments, it might be possible to estimate ancient levels of atmospheric CO2. In modern microbial mats, a tight coupling exists between photosynthetic organic carbon production and subsequent carbon oxidation, mostly by sulfate reduction. The rate of one process fuels a high rate of the other, with much of the sulfate reduction occurring within the same depth interval as oxygenic photosynthesis. Other aspects of this study are presented.

  5. Nitrification and Nitrifying Bacteria in a Coastal Microbial Mat.

    PubMed

    Fan, Haoxin; Bolhuis, Henk; Stal, Lucas J

    2015-01-01

    The first step of nitrification, the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite, can be performed by ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) or ammonium-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). We investigated the presence of these two groups in three structurally different types of coastal microbial mats that develop along the tidal gradient on the North Sea beach of the Dutch barrier island Schiermonnikoog. The abundance and transcription of amoA, a gene encoding for the alpha subunit of ammonia monooxygenase that is present in both AOA and AOB, were assessed and the potential nitrification rates in these mats were measured. The potential nitrification rates in the three mat types were highest in autumn and lowest in summer. AOB and AOA amoA genes were present in all three mat types. The composition of the AOA and AOB communities in the mats of the tidal and intertidal stations, based on the diversity of amoA, were similar and clustered separately from the supratidal microbial mat. In all three mats AOB amoA genes were significantly more abundant than AOA amoA genes. The abundance of neither AOB nor AOA amoA genes correlated with the potential nitrification rates, but AOB amoA transcripts were positively correlated with the potential nitrification rate. The composition and abundance of amoA genes seemed to be partly driven by salinity, ammonium, temperature, and the nitrate/nitrite concentration. We conclude that AOB are responsible for the bulk of the ammonium oxidation in these coastal microbial mats. PMID:26648931

  6. 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

  7. Actin Foci Adhesion of D. discoideum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanders, Bret; Paneru, Govind

    2014-03-01

    Amoeboid migration is a fast (10 μm min-1) integrin-independent mode of migration that is important with D. discoideum, leukocytes, and breast cancer cells. It is poorly understood, but depends on the establishment of adhesive contacts to the substrate where the cell transmits traction forces. In pre-aggregative D. discoideum, a model system for learning about amoeboid migration, these adhesive contacts are discrete complexes that are known as actin-foci. They have an area of ~ 0.5 μm2 and a lifetime of ~ 20 s. This talk will present measurements of the adhesive character of actin foci that have been obtained using a submicron force transducer that was designed for this purpose. Results on the rupture stresses and lifetimes of individual acting foci under nano-newton level forces will be described in the context of a general theory for cellular adhesion. This theory depends on, essentially, three cellular properties: the membrane-medium surface tension, the number density of adhesion receptors in the membrane, and the receptor-substrate potential energy surface. Therefore, the use of the transducer to determine the surface tension will be presented, as well.

  8. Encoding Mechano-Memories in Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  9. Force Transmission in the Actin Cytoskeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret

    2012-02-01

    The ability of cells to sense and generate mechanical forces is essential to numerous aspects of their physiology, including adhesion, migration, division and differentiation. To a large degree, cellular tension is regulated by the transmission of myosin II-generated forces through the filamentous actin (F-actin) cytoskeleton. While transmission of myosin-generated stresses from the molecular to cellular length scale is well understood in the context of highly organized sarcomeres found in striated muscle, non-muscle and smooth muscle cells contain a wide variety of bundles and networks lacking sarcomeric organization. I will describe the in vitro and in vivo approaches we use to study force transmission in such disordered actomyosin assemblies. Our in vivo results are showing that highly organized stress fibers contribute surprisingly little to the overall extent of cellular tension as compared to disordered actomyosin meshworks. Our in vitro results are demonstrating the mechanisms of symmetry breaking in disordered actomyosin bundles that facilitate the formation of contractile bundles with well-defined ``contractile elements.'' These results provide insight into the self-organization of actomyosin cytoskeleton in non-muscle cells that regulate and maintain cellular tension.

  10. Actin and Endocytosis in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Goode, Bruce L.; Eskin, Julian A.; Wendland, Beverly

    2015-01-01

    Endocytosis, the process whereby the plasma membrane invaginates to form vesicles, is essential for bringing many substances into the cell and for membrane turnover. The mechanism driving clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) involves > 50 different protein components assembling at a single location on the plasma membrane in a temporally ordered and hierarchal pathway. These proteins perform precisely choreographed steps that promote receptor recognition and clustering, membrane remodeling, and force-generating actin-filament assembly and turnover to drive membrane invagination and vesicle scission. Many critical aspects of the CME mechanism are conserved from yeast to mammals and were first elucidated in yeast, demonstrating that it is a powerful system for studying endocytosis. In this review, we describe our current mechanistic understanding of each step in the process of yeast CME, and the essential roles played by actin polymerization at these sites, while providing a historical perspective of how the landscape has changed since the preceding version of the YeastBook was published 17 years ago (1997). Finally, we discuss the key unresolved issues and where future studies might be headed. PMID:25657349

  11. How cofilin severs an actin filament.

    PubMed

    De La Cruz, Enrique M

    2009-05-15

    The actin regulatory protein, cofilin, promotes actin assembly dynamics by severing filaments and increasing the number of ends from which subunits add and dissociate. Recent studies provide biophysical descriptions of cooperative filament interactions in energetic, mechanical and structural terms. A one-dimensional Ising model with nearest-neighbor interactions permits thermodynamic analysis of cooperative binding and indicates that one or a few cofilin molecules can sever a filament. Binding and cooperative interactions are entropically driven. A significant fraction of the binding free energy results from the linked dissociation of filament-associated ions (polyelectrolyte effect), which modulate filament structure, stability and mechanics. The remaining binding free energy and essentially all of the cooperative free energy arise from the enhanced conformational dynamics of the cofilactin complex. Filament mechanics are modulated by cofilin such that cofilin-saturated filaments are approximately 10- to 20-fold more compliant in bending and twisting than bare filaments. Cofilin activity is well described by models in which discontinuities in topology, mechanics and conformational dynamics generate stress concentration and promote fracture at junctions of bare and decorated segments, analogous to the grain boundary fracture of crystalline materials and the thermally driven formation of shear transformation zones in colloidal glass. PMID:20700473

  12. Actin binding proteins, spermatid transport and spermiation*

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Xiaojing; Mruk, Dolores D.; Cheng, Yan-Ho; Tang, Elizabeth I.; Han, Daishu; Lee, Will M.; Wong, Elissa W. P.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2014-01-01

    The transport of germ cells across the seminiferous epithelium is composed of a series of cellular events during the epithelial cycle essential to the completion of spermatogenesis. Without the timely transport of spermatids during spermiogenesis, spermatozoa that are transformed from step 19 spermatids in the rat testis fail to reach the luminal edge of the apical compartment and enter the tubule lumen at spermiation, thereby entering the epididymis for further maturation. Step 19 spermatids and/or sperms that remain in the epithelium will be removed by the Sertoli cell via phagocytosis to form phagosomes and be degraded by lysosomes, leading to subfertility and/or infertility. However, the biology of spermatid transport, in particular the final events that lead to spermiation remain elusive. Based on recent data in the field, we critically evaluate the biology of spermiation herein by focusing on the actin binding proteins (ABPs) that regulate the organization of actin microfilaments at the Sertoli-spermatid interface, which is crucial for spermatid transport during this event. The hypothesis we put forth herein also highlights some specific areas of research that can be pursued by investigators in the years to come. PMID:24735648

  13. Drebrin inhibits cofilin-induced severing of F-actin.

    PubMed

    Grintsevich, Elena E; Reisler, Emil

    2014-08-01

    Molecular cross-talk between neuronal drebrin A and cofilin is believed to be a part of the activity-dependent cytoskeleton-modulating pathway in dendritic spines. Impairments in this pathway are implicated also in synaptic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and normal aging. However, up to now the molecular interplay between cofilin and drebrin has not been elucidated. TIRF microscopy and solution experiments revealed that full length drebrin A or its actin binding core (Drb1-300) inhibits, but do not abolish cofilin-induced severing of actin filaments. Cosedimentation experiments showed that F-actin can be fully occupied with combination of these two proteins. The dependence of cofilin binding on fractional saturation of actin filaments with drebrin suggests direct competition between these two proteins for F-actin binding. This implies that cofilin and drebrin can either overcome or reverse the allosteric changes in F-actin induced by the competitor's binding. The ability of cofilin to displace drebrin from actin filaments is pH dependent and is facilitated at acidic pH (6.8). Pre-steady state kinetic experiments reveal that both binding and dissociation of drebrin to/from actin filaments is faster than that reported for cooperative binding of cofilin. We found, that drebrin displacement by cofilin is greatly inhibited when actin severing is abolished, which might be linked to the cooperativity of drebrin binding to actin filaments. Our results contribute to molecular understanding of the competitive interactions of drebrin and cofilin with actin filaments. PMID:25047716

  14. Targeting the actin cytoskeleton: selective antitumor action via trapping PKCɛ.

    PubMed

    Foerster, F; Braig, S; Moser, C; Kubisch, R; Busse, J; Wagner, E; Schmoeckel, E; Mayr, D; Schmitt, S; Huettel, S; Zischka, H; Mueller, R; Vollmar, A M

    2014-01-01

    Targeting the actin cytoskeleton (CSK) of cancer cells offers a valuable strategy in cancer therapy. There are a number of natural compounds that interfere with the actin CSK, but the mode of their cytotoxic action and, moreover, their tumor-specific mechanisms are quite elusive. We used the myxobacterial compound Chondramide as a tool to first elucidate the mechanisms of cytotoxicity of actin targeting in breast cancer cells (MCF7, MDA-MB-231). Chondramide inhibits cellular actin filament dynamics shown by a fluorescence-based analysis (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP)) and leads to apoptosis characterized by phosphatidylserine exposure, release of cytochrome C from mitochondria and finally activation of caspases. Chondramide enhances the occurrence of mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) by affecting known MPT modulators: Hexokinase II bound to the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) translocated from the outer mitochondrial membrane to the cytosol and the proapoptotic protein Bad were recruited to the mitochondria. Importantly, protein kinase C-ɛ (PKCɛ), a prosurvival kinase possessing an actin-binding site and known to regulate the hexokinase/VDAC interaction as well as Bad phosphorylation was identified as the link between actin CSK and apoptosis induction. PKCɛ, which was found overexpressed in breast cancer cells, accumulated in actin bundles induced by Chondramide and lost its activity. Our second goal was to characterize the potential tumor-specific action of actin-binding agents. As the nontumor breast epithelial cell line MCF-10A in fact shows resistance to Chondramide-induced apoptosis and notably express low level of PKCɛ, we suggest that trapping PKCɛ via Chondramide-induced actin hyperpolymerization displays tumor cell specificity. Our work provides a link between targeting the ubiquitously occurring actin CSK and selective inhibition of pro-tumorigenic PKCɛ, thus setting the stage for actin-stabilizing agents as

  15. Targeting the actin cytoskeleton: selective antitumor action via trapping PKCɛ

    PubMed Central

    Foerster, F; Braig, S; Moser, C; Kubisch, R; Busse, J; Wagner, E; Schmoeckel, E; Mayr, D; Schmitt, S; Huettel, S; Zischka, H; Mueller, R; Vollmar, A M

    2014-01-01

    Targeting the actin cytoskeleton (CSK) of cancer cells offers a valuable strategy in cancer therapy. There are a number of natural compounds that interfere with the actin CSK, but the mode of their cytotoxic action and, moreover, their tumor-specific mechanisms are quite elusive. We used the myxobacterial compound Chondramide as a tool to first elucidate the mechanisms of cytotoxicity of actin targeting in breast cancer cells (MCF7, MDA-MB-231). Chondramide inhibits cellular actin filament dynamics shown by a fluorescence-based analysis (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP)) and leads to apoptosis characterized by phosphatidylserine exposure, release of cytochrome C from mitochondria and finally activation of caspases. Chondramide enhances the occurrence of mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) by affecting known MPT modulators: Hexokinase II bound to the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) translocated from the outer mitochondrial membrane to the cytosol and the proapoptotic protein Bad were recruited to the mitochondria. Importantly, protein kinase C-ɛ (PKCɛ), a prosurvival kinase possessing an actin-binding site and known to regulate the hexokinase/VDAC interaction as well as Bad phosphorylation was identified as the link between actin CSK and apoptosis induction. PKCɛ, which was found overexpressed in breast cancer cells, accumulated in actin bundles induced by Chondramide and lost its activity. Our second goal was to characterize the potential tumor-specific action of actin-binding agents. As the nontumor breast epithelial cell line MCF-10A in fact shows resistance to Chondramide-induced apoptosis and notably express low level of PKCɛ, we suggest that trapping PKCɛ via Chondramide-induced actin hyperpolymerization displays tumor cell specificity. Our work provides a link between targeting the ubiquitously occurring actin CSK and selective inhibition of pro-tumorigenic PKCɛ, thus setting the stage for actin-stabilizing agents as

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity.

    PubMed

    Ha, Phuc T; Renslow, Ryan S; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N; Lindemann, Stephen R; Fredrickson, James K; Call, Douglas R; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that variation in the

  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. Disruption of photoautotrophic intertidal mats by filamentous fungi.

    PubMed

    Carreira, Cátia; Staal, Marc; Falkoski, Daniel; de Vries, Ronald P; Middelboe, Mathias; Brussaard, Corina P D

    2015-08-01

    Ring-like structures, 2.0-4.8 cm in diameter, observed in photosynthetic microbial mats on the Wadden Sea island Schiermonnikoog (the Netherlands) showed to be the result of the fungus Emericellopsis sp. degrading the photoautotrophic top layer of the mat. The mats were predominantly composed of cyanobacteria and diatoms, with large densities of bacteria and viruses both in the top photosynthetic layer and in the underlying sediment. The fungal attack cleared the photosynthetic layer; however, no significant effect of the fungal lysis on the bacterial and viral abundances could be detected. Fungal-mediated degradation of the major photoautotrophs could be reproduced by inoculation of non-infected mat with isolated Emericellopsis sp., and with an infected ring sector. Diatoms were the first re-colonizers followed closely by cyanobacteria that after about 5 days dominated the space. The study demonstrated that the fungus Emericellopsis sp. efficiently degraded a photoautotrophic microbial mat, with potential implications for mat community composition, spatial structure and productivity. PMID:25728280

  20. Cyanobacterial reuse of extracellular organic carbon in microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Rhona K; Mayali, Xavier; Lee, Jackson Z; Craig Everroad, R; Hwang, Mona; Bebout, Brad M; Weber, Peter K; Pett-Ridge, Jennifer; Thelen, Michael P

    2016-05-01

    Cyanobacterial organic matter excretion is crucial to carbon cycling in many microbial communities, but the nature and bioavailability of this C depend on unknown physiological functions. Cyanobacteria-dominated hypersaline laminated mats are a useful model ecosystem for the study of C flow in complex communities, as they use photosynthesis to sustain a more or less closed system. Although such mats have a large C reservoir in the extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), the production and degradation of organic carbon is not well defined. To identify extracellular processes in cyanobacterial mats, we examined mats collected from Elkhorn Slough (ES) at Monterey Bay, California, for glycosyl and protein composition of the EPS. We found a prevalence of simple glucose polysaccharides containing either α or β (1,4) linkages, indicating distinct sources of glucose with differing enzymatic accessibility. Using proteomics, we identified cyanobacterial extracellular enzymes, and also detected activities that indicate a capacity for EPS degradation. In a less complex system, we characterized the EPS of a cyanobacterial isolate from ES, ESFC-1, and found the extracellular composition of biofilms produced by this unicyanobacterial culture were similar to that of natural mats. By tracing isotopically labeled EPS into single cells of ESFC-1, we demonstrated rapid incorporation of extracellular-derived carbon. Taken together, these results indicate cyanobacteria reuse excess organic carbon, constituting a dynamic pool of extracellular resources in these mats. PMID:26495994

  1. 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.

  2. [Cortical control of saccades].

    PubMed

    Pierrot-Deseilligny, C

    1989-01-01

    Among saccades triggered by the cerebral cortex, visually guided saccades are the best known and their cortical control is reviewed here. Only two immediately supra-reticular structures are able to trigger saccades (whatever their type): the frontal eye fields (FEF) and the superior colliculus (SC). These structures control two parallel excitatory pathways, which can replace each other in the event of lesion. Experimental findings have suggested that the colliculo-reticular pathway would, in the normal state, play the main role in the triggering of reflexive visually guided saccades. Furthermore experimental and clinical data suggest that the SC would receive an excitatory afference from the posterior part of the intraparietal sulcus, which could be involved in the triggering of these saccades. The parietal lobe could influence the SC by increasing the pre-excitation due to the onset of the visual target. There are also inhibitory pathways which prevent saccades, in particular during fixation. Two groups of tonic neurons inhibit the excitatory pathways. These are the omnipause neurons and the neurons of the substantia nigra (pars reticulata), which project upon the premotor reticular formations and the SC respectively. The pathways projecting upon these 2 types of neurons are multiple and still little known. Nevertheless, some arguments suggest that the frontal lobe partly controls inhibition. These arguments are based on a somewhat disinhibited triggering of reflexive visually guided saccades in focal or degenerative (progressive supranuclear palsy) frontal lesions. The prefrontal cortex could be involved in inhibition control, and it could act functionally above the FEF. PMID:2682934

  3. Swi6, a Gene Required for Mating-Type Switching, Prohibits Meiotic Recombination in the Mat2-Mat3 ``cold Spot'' of Fission Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Klar, AJS.; Bonaduce, M. J.

    1991-01-01

    Mitotic interconversion of the mating-type locus (mat1) of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is initiated by a double-strand break at mat1. The mat2 and mat3 loci act as nonrandom donors of genetic information for mat1 switching such that switches occur primarily (or only) to the opposite mat1 allele. Location of the mat1 ``hot spot'' for transposition should be contrasted with the ``cold spot'' of meiotic recombination located within the adjoining mat2-mat3 interval. That is, meiotic interchromosomal recombination in mat2, mat3 and the intervening 15-kilobase region does not occur at all. swi2 and swi6 switching-deficient mutants possess the normal level of double-strand break at mat1, yet they fail to switch efficiently. By testing for meiotic recombination in the cold spot, we found the usual lack of recombination in a swi2 mutant but a significant level of recombination in a swi6 mutant. Therefore, the swi6 gene function is required to keep the donor loci inert for interchromosomal recombination. This finding, combined with the additional result that switching primarily occurs intrachromosomally, suggests that the donor loci are made accessible for switching by folding them onto mat1, thus causing the cold spot of recombination. PMID:1783290

  4. ERB master archival tape specification no. T 134081 ERB MAT, revision 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The Earth radiation budget (ERB)MAT tapes are generated by the ERB MATGEN software using the IBM 3081 computer system operated by the Science and Applications Computer Center at Goddard Space Flight Center. All MAT's are 9-track and MAT data are in ascending time order. The gross tape format for NIMBUS year-1 and year-2 MAT's is different from the format of MAT's starting with year-3. The MATs from the first two years are to contain one day's worth of data while all other MATs are to contain multiple day's worth of data stacked onto the tapes.

  5. Yeast studies reveal moonlighting functions of the ancient actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Sattlegger, Evelyn; Chernova, Tatiana A; Gogoi, Neeku M; Pillai, Indu V; Chernoff, Yury O; Munn, Alan L

    2014-08-01

    Classic functions of the actin cytoskeleton include control of cell size and shape and the internal organization of cells. These functions are manifest in cellular processes of fundamental importance throughout biology such as the generation of cell polarity, cell migration, cell adhesion, and cell division. However, studies in the unicellular model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker's yeast) are giving insights into other functions in which the actin cytoskeleton plays a critical role. These include endocytosis, control of protein translation, and determination of protein 3-dimensional shape (especially conversion of normal cellular proteins into prions). Here, we present a concise overview of these new "moonlighting" roles for the actin cytoskeleton and how some of these roles might lie at the heart of important molecular switches. This is an exciting time for researchers interested in the actin cytoskeleton. We show here how studies of actin are leading us into many new and exciting realms at the interface of genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology. While many of the pioneering studies have been conducted using yeast, the conservation of the actin cytoskeleton and its component proteins throughout eukaryotes suggests that these new roles for the actin cytoskeleton may not be restricted to yeast cells but rather may reflect new roles for the actin cytoskeleton of all eukaryotes. PMID:25138357

  6. Yeast studies reveal moonlighting functions of the ancient actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Sattlegger, Evelyn; Chernova, Tatiana A.; Gogoi, Neeku M.; Pillai, Indu V.; Chernoff, Yury O.; Munn, Alan L.

    2014-01-01

    Classic functions of the actin cytoskeleton include control of cell size and shape and the internal organisation of cells. These functions are manifest in cellular processes of fundamental importance throughout biology such as the generation of cell polarity, cell migration, cell adhesion and cell division. However, studies in the unicellular model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker's yeast) are giving insights into other functions in which the actin cytoskeleton plays a critical role. These include endocytosis, control of protein translation and determination of protein 3-dimensional shape (especially conversion of normal cellular proteins into prions). Here we present a concise overview of these new "moonlighting" roles for the actin cytoskeleton and how some of these roles might lie at the heart of important molecular switches. This is an exciting time for researchers interested in the actin cytoskeleton. We show here how studies of actin are leading us into many new and exciting realms at the interface of genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. While many of the pioneering studies have been conducted using yeast, the conservation of the actin cytoskeleton and its component proteins throughout eukaryotes suggests that these new roles for the actin cytoskeleton may not be restricted to yeast cells but rather may reflect new roles for the actin cytoskeleton of all eukaryotes. PMID:25138357

  7. Deafness and espin-actin self-organization in stereocilia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2009-03-01

    Espins are F-actin-bundling proteins associated with large parallel actin bundles found in hair cell stereocilia in the ear, as well as brush border microvilli and Sertoli cell junctions. We examine actin bundle structures formed by different wild-type espin isoforms, fragments, and naturally-occurring human espin mutants linked to deafness and/or vestibular dysfunction. The espin-actin bundle structure consisted of a hexagonal arrangement of parallel actin filaments in a non-native twist state. We delineate the structural consequences caused by mutations in espin's actin-bundling module. For espin mutation with a severely damaged actin-bundling module, which are implicated in deafness in mice and humans, oriented nematic-like actin filament structures, which strongly impinges on bundle mechanical stiffness. Finally, we examine what makes espin different, via a comparative study of bundles formed by espin and those formed by fascin, a prototypical bundling protein found in functionally different regions of the cell, such as filopodia.

  8. Filament assembly by Spire: key residues and concerted actin binding.

    PubMed

    Rasson, Amy S; Bois, Justin S; Pham, Duy Stephen L; Yoo, Haneul; Quinlan, Margot E

    2015-02-27

    The most recently identified class of actin nucleators, WASp homology domain 2 (WH2) nucleators, use tandem repeats of monomeric actin-binding WH2 domains to facilitate actin nucleation. WH2 domains are involved in a wide variety of actin regulatory activities. Structurally, they are expected to clash with interprotomer contacts within the actin filament. Thus, the discovery of their role in nucleation was surprising. Here we use Drosophila Spire (Spir) as a model system to investigate both how tandem WH2 domains can nucleate actin and what differentiates nucleating WH2-containing proteins from their non-nucleating counterparts. We found that the third WH2 domain in Spir (Spir-C or SC) plays a unique role. In the context of a short nucleation construct (containing only two WH2 domains), placement of SC in the N-terminal position was required for the most potent nucleation. We found that the native organization of the WH2 domains with respect to each other is necessary for binding to actin with positive cooperativity. We identified two residues within SC that are critical for its activity. Using this information, we were able to convert a weak synthetic nucleator into one with activity equal to a native Spir construct. Lastly, we found evidence that SC binds actin filaments, in addition to monomers. PMID:25234086

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

    PubMed

    Rudy, Jerry W

    2015-09-24

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

  10. Filament Assembly by Spire: Key Residues and Concerted Actin Binding

    PubMed Central

    Rasson, Amy S.; Bois, Justin S.; Pham, Duy Stephen L.; Yoo, Haneul; Quinlan, Margot E.

    2014-01-01

    The most recently identified class of actin nucleators, WASp Homology domain 2 (WH2) – nucleators, use tandem repeats of monomeric actin-binding WH2 domains to facilitate actin nucleation. WH2 domains are involved in a wide variety of actin regulatory activities. Structurally, they are expected to clash with interprotomer contacts within the actin filament. Thus, the discovery of their role in nucleation was surprising. Here we use Drosophila Spire (Spir) as a model system to investigate both how tandem WH2 domains can nucleate actin and what differentiates nucleating WH2-containing proteins from their non-nucleating counterparts. We found that the third WH2 domain in Spir (Spir-C or Sc), plays a unique role. In the context of a short nucleation construct (containing only two WH2 domains), placement of Sc in the N-terminal position was required for the most potent nucleation. We found that the native organization of the WH2 domains with respect to each other is necessary for binding to actin with positive cooperativity. We identified two residues within Sc that are critical for its activity. Using this information we were able to convert a weak synthetic nucleator into one with activity equal to a native Spir construct. Lastly, we found evidence that Sc binds actin filaments, in addition to monomers. PMID:25234086

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  12. Actin Interacts with Dengue Virus 2 and 4 Envelope Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Jitoboam, Kunlakanya; Phaonakrop, Narumon; Libsittikul, Sirikwan; Thepparit, Chutima; Roytrakul, Sittiruk; Smith, Duncan R.

    2016-01-01

    Dengue virus (DENV) remains a significant public health problem in many tropical and sub-tropical countries worldwide. The DENV envelope (E) protein is the major antigenic determinant and the protein that mediates receptor binding and endosomal fusion. In contrast to some other DENV proteins, relatively few cellular interacting proteins have been identified. To address this issue a co-immuoprecipitation strategy was employed. The predominant co-immunoprecipitating proteins identified were actin and actin related proteins, however the results suggested that actin was the only bona fide interacting partner. Actin was shown to interact with the E protein of DENV 2 and 4, and the interaction between actin and DENV E protein was shown to occur in a truncated DENV consisting of only domains I and II. Actin was shown to decrease during infection, but this was not associated with a decrease in gene transcription. Actin-related proteins also showed a decrease in expression during infection that was not transcriptionally regulated. Cytoskeletal reorganization was not observed during infection, suggesting that the interaction between actin and E protein has a cell type specific component. PMID:27010925

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

    PubMed

    Ayadi, R; Roos, W H

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Bending Flexibility of Actin Filaments during Motor-Induced Sliding

    PubMed Central

    Vikhorev, Petr G.; Vikhoreva, Natalia N.; Månsson, Alf

    2008-01-01

    Muscle contraction and other forms of cell motility occur as a result of cyclic interactions between myosin molecules and actin filaments. Force generation is generally attributed to ATP-driven structural changes in myosin, whereas a passive role is ascribed to actin. However, some results challenge this view, predicting structural changes in actin during motor activity, e.g., when the actin filaments slide on a myosin-coated surface in vitro. Here, we analyzed statistical properties of the sliding filament paths, allowing us to detect changes of this type. It is interesting to note that evidence for substantial structural changes that led to increased bending flexibility of the filaments was found in phalloidin-stabilized, but not in phalloidin-free, actin filaments. The results are in accordance with the idea that a high-flexibility structural state of actin is a prerequisite for force production, but not the idea that a low-to-high flexibility transition of the actin filament should be an important component of the force-generating step per se. Finally, our data challenge the general view that phalloidin-stabilized filaments behave as native actin filaments in their interaction with myosin. This has important implications, since phalloidin stabilization is a routine procedure in most studies of actomyosin function. PMID:18835897

  15. G-actin guides p53 nuclear transport: potential contribution of monomeric actin in altered localization of mutant p53

    PubMed Central

    Saha, Taniya; Guha, Deblina; Manna, Argha; Panda, Abir Kumar; Bhat, Jyotsna; Chatterjee, Subhrangsu; Sa, Gaurisankar

    2016-01-01

    p53 preserves genomic integrity by restricting anomaly at the gene level. Till date, limited information is available for cytosol to nuclear shuttling of p53; except microtubule-based trafficking route, which utilizes minus-end directed motor dynein. The present study suggests that monomeric actin (G-actin) guides p53 traffic towards the nucleus. Histidine-tag pull-down assay using purified p53(1–393)-His and G-actin confirms direct physical association between p53 and monomeric G-actin. Co-immunoprecipitation data supports the same. Confocal imaging explores intense perinuclear colocalization between p53 and G-actin. To address atomistic details of the complex, constraint-based docked model of p53:G-actin complex was generated based on crystal structures. MD simulation reveals that p53 DNA-binding domain arrests very well the G-actin protein. Docking benchmark studies have been carried out for a known crystal structure, 1YCS (complex between p53DBD and BP2), which validates the docking protocol we adopted. Co-immunoprecipitation study using “hot-spot” p53 mutants suggested reduced G-actin association with cancer-associated p53 conformational mutants (R175H and R249S). Considering these findings, we hypothesized that point mutation in p53 structure, which diminishes p53:G-actin complexation results in mutant p53 altered subcellular localization. Our model suggests p53Arg249 form polar-contact with Arg357 of G-actin, which upon mutation, destabilizes p53:G-actin interaction and results in cytoplasmic retention of p53R249S. PMID:27601274

  16. G-actin guides p53 nuclear transport: potential contribution of monomeric actin in altered localization of mutant p53.

    PubMed

    Saha, Taniya; Guha, Deblina; Manna, Argha; Panda, Abir Kumar; Bhat, Jyotsna; Chatterjee, Subhrangsu; Sa, Gaurisankar

    2016-01-01

    p53 preserves genomic integrity by restricting anomaly at the gene level. Till date, limited information is available for cytosol to nuclear shuttling of p53; except microtubule-based trafficking route, which utilizes minus-end directed motor dynein. The present study suggests that monomeric actin (G-actin) guides p53 traffic towards the nucleus. Histidine-tag pull-down assay using purified p53(1-393)-His and G-actin confirms direct physical association between p53 and monomeric G-actin. Co-immunoprecipitation data supports the same. Confocal imaging explores intense perinuclear colocalization between p53 and G-actin. To address atomistic details of the complex, constraint-based docked model of p53:G-actin complex was generated based on crystal structures. MD simulation reveals that p53 DNA-binding domain arrests very well the G-actin protein. Docking benchmark studies have been carried out for a known crystal structure, 1YCS (complex between p53DBD and BP2), which validates the docking protocol we adopted. Co-immunoprecipitation study using "hot-spot" p53 mutants suggested reduced G-actin association with cancer-associated p53 conformational mutants (R175H and R249S). Considering these findings, we hypothesized that point mutation in p53 structure, which diminishes p53:G-actin complexation results in mutant p53 altered subcellular localization. Our model suggests p53Arg249 form polar-contact with Arg357 of G-actin, which upon mutation, destabilizes p53:G-actin interaction and results in cytoplasmic retention of p53R249S. PMID:27601274

  17. Self-organization of chemoattractant waves in Dictyostelium depends on F-actin and cell-substrate adhesion.

    PubMed

    Fukujin, Fumihito; Nakajima, Akihiko; Shimada, Nao; Sawai, Satoshi

    2016-06-01

    In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, travelling waves of extracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) self-organize in cell populations and direct aggregation of individual cells to form multicellular fruiting bodies. In contrast to the large body of studies that addressed how movement of cells is determined by spatial and temporal cues encoded in the dynamic cAMP gradients, how cell mechanics affect the formation of a self-generated chemoattractant field has received less attention. Here, we show, by live cell imaging analysis, that the periodicity of the synchronized cAMP waves increases in cells treated with the actin inhibitor latrunculin. Detail analysis of the extracellular cAMP-induced transients of cytosolic cAMP (cAMP relay response) in well-isolated cells demonstrated that their amplitude and duration were markedly reduced in latrunculin-treated cells. Similarly, in cells strongly adhered to a poly-l-lysine-coated surface, the response was suppressed, and the periodicity of the population-level oscillations was markedly lengthened. Our results suggest that cortical F-actin is dispensable for the basic low amplitude relay response but essential for its full amplification and that this enhanced response is necessary to establish high-frequency signalling centres. The observed F-actin dependence may prevent aggregation centres from establishing in microenvironments that are incompatible with cell migration. PMID:27358278

  18. Myosin Va facilitates the distribution of secretory granules in the F-actin rich cortex of PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Rüdiger; Kögel, Tanja; Kuznetsov, Sergei A; Salm, Thorsten; Schlicker, Oliver; Hellwig, Andrea; Hammer, John A; Gerdes, Hans-Hermann

    2003-04-01

    Neuroendocrine secretory granules, the storage organelles for neuropeptides and hormones, are formed at the trans-Golgi network, stored inside the cell and exocytosed upon stimulation. Previously, we have reported that newly formed secretory granules of PC12 cells are transported in a microtubule-dependent manner from the trans-Golgi network to the F-actin-rich cell cortex, where they undergo short directed movements and exhibit a homogeneous distribution. Here we provide morphological and biochemical evidence that myosin Va is associated with secretory granules. Expression of a dominant-negative tail domain of myosin Va in PC12 cells led to an extensive clustering of secretory granules close to the cell periphery, a loss of their cortical restriction and a strong reduction in their motility in the actin cortex. Based on this data we propose a model that implies a dual transport system for secretory granules: after microtubule-dependent delivery to the cell periphery, secretory granules exhibit a myosin Va-dependent transport leading to their restriction and even dispersal in the F-actin-rich cortex of PC12 cells. PMID:12615975

  19. Self-organization of chemoattractant waves in Dictyostelium depends on F-actin and cell–substrate adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Fukujin, Fumihito; Nakajima, Akihiko; Shimada, Nao; Sawai, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, travelling waves of extracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) self-organize in cell populations and direct aggregation of individual cells to form multicellular fruiting bodies. In contrast to the large body of studies that addressed how movement of cells is determined by spatial and temporal cues encoded in the dynamic cAMP gradients, how cell mechanics affect the formation of a self-generated chemoattractant field has received less attention. Here, we show, by live cell imaging analysis, that the periodicity of the synchronized cAMP waves increases in cells treated with the actin inhibitor latrunculin. Detail analysis of the extracellular cAMP-induced transients of cytosolic cAMP (cAMP relay response) in well-isolated cells demonstrated that their amplitude and duration were markedly reduced in latrunculin-treated cells. Similarly, in cells strongly adhered to a poly-l-lysine-coated surface, the response was suppressed, and the periodicity of the population-level oscillations was markedly lengthened. Our results suggest that cortical F-actin is dispensable for the basic low amplitude relay response but essential for its full amplification and that this enhanced response is necessary to establish high-frequency signalling centres. The observed F-actin dependence may prevent aggregation centres from establishing in microenvironments that are incompatible with cell migration. PMID:27358278

  20. Plekhh2, a novel podocyte protein downregulated in human focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, is involved in matrix adhesion and actin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Perisic, Ljubica; Lal, Mark; Hulkko, Jenny; Hultenby, Kjell; Önfelt, Björn; Sun, Ying; Dunér, Fredrik; Patrakka, Jaakko; Betsholtz, Christer; Uhlen, Mathias; Brismar, Hjalmar; Tryggvason, Karl; Wernerson, Annika; Pikkarainen, Timo

    2012-11-01

    Pleckstrin homology domain-containing, family H (with MyTH4 domain), member 2 (Plekhh2) is a 1491-residue intracellular protein highly enriched in renal glomerular podocytes for which no function has been ascribed. Analysis of renal biopsies from patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis revealed a significant reduction in total podocyte Plekhh2 expression compared to controls. Sequence analysis indicated a putative α-helical coiled-coil segment as the only recognizable domain within the N-terminal half of the polypeptide, while the C-terminal half contains two PH, a MyTH4, and a FERM domain. We identified a phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate consensus-binding site in the PH1 domain required for Plekhh2 localization to peripheral regions of cell lamellipodia. The N-terminal half of Plekkh2 is not necessary for lamellipodial targeting but mediates self-association. Yeast two-hybrid screening showed that Plekhh2 directly interacts through its FERM domain with the focal adhesion protein Hic-5 and actin. Plekhh2 and Hic-5 coprecipitated and colocalized at the soles of podocyte foot processes in situ and Hic-5 partially relocated from focal adhesions to lamellipodia in Plekhh2-expressing podocytes. In addition, Plekhh2 stabilizes the cortical actin cytoskeleton by attenuating actin depolymerization. Our findings suggest a structural and functional role for Plekhh2 in the podocyte foot processes. PMID:22832517

  1. End4p/Sla2p interacts with actin-associated proteins for endocytosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Wesp, A; Hicke, L; Palecek, J; Lombardi, R; Aust, T; Munn, A L; Riezman, H

    1997-11-01

    end4-1 was isolated as a temperature-sensitive endocytosis mutant. We cloned and sequenced END4 and found that it is identical to SLA2/MOP2. This gene is required for growth at high temperature, viability in the absence of Abp1p, polarization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton, and endocytosis. We used a mutational analysis of END4 to correlate in vivo functions with regions of End4p and we found that two regions of End4p participate in endocytosis but that the talin-like domain of End4p is dispensable. The N-terminal domain of End4p is required for growth at high temperature, endocytosis, and actin organization. A central coiled-coil domain of End4p is necessary for formation of a soluble sedimentable complex. Furthermore, this domain has an endocytic function that is redundant with the function(s) of ABP1 and SRV2. The endocytic function of Abp1p depends on its SH3 domain. In addition we have isolated a recessive negative allele of SRV2 that is defective for endocytosis. Combined biochemical, functional, and genetic analysis lead us to propose that End4p may mediate endocytosis through interaction with other actin-associated proteins, perhaps Rvs167p, a protein essential for endocytosis. PMID:9362070

  2. Response of Quiescent Cerebral Cortical Astrocytes to Nanofibrillar Scaffold Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayres, Virginia; Mujdat Tiryaki, Volkan; Xie, Kan; Ahmed, Ijaz; Shreiber, David I.

    2013-03-01

    We present results of an investigation to examine the hypothesis that the extracellular environment can trigger specific signaling cascades with morphological consequences. Differences in the morphological responses of quiescent cerebral cortical astrocytes cultured on the nanofibrillar matrices versus poly-L-lysine functionalized glass and Aclar, and unfunctionalized Aclar surfaces were demonstrated using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and phalloidin staining of F-actin. The differences and similarities of the morphological responses were consistent with differences and similarities of the surface polarity and surface roughness of the four surfaces investigated in this work, characterized using contact angle and AFM measurements. The three-dimensional capability of AFM was also used to identify differences in cell spreading. An initial quantitative immunolabeling study further identified significant differences in the activation of the Rho GTPases: Cdc42, Rac1, and RhoA, which are upstream regulators of the observed morphological responses: filopodia, lamellipodia, and stress fiber formation. The results support the hypothesis that the extracellular environment can trigger preferential activation of members of the Rho GTPase family with demonstrable morphological consequences for cerebral cortical astrocytes. The support of NSF PHY-095776 is acknowledged.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinxin

    In this thesis, we study the switch and pulse functions of actin during two important cellular processes, cell migration and endocytosis. Actin is an abundant protein that can polymerize to form a dendritic network. The actin network can exert force to push or bend the cell membrane. During cell migration, the actin network behaves like a switch, assembling mostly at one end or at the other end. The end with the majority of the actin network is the leading edge, following which the cell can persistently move in the same directio