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Sample records for actin filament network

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Gardel, Margaret

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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Nitin; Gardel, Margaret

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weichsel, Julian; Schwarz, Ulrich S.

    2013-03-01

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

  6. Mechanical output of myosin II motors is regulated by myosin filament size and actin network mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Alberts, Jonathan; Gardel, Margaret; Munro, Edwin

    2013-03-01

    The interactions of bipolar myosin II filaments with actin arrays are a predominate means of generating forces in numerous physiological processes including muscle contraction and cell migration. However, how the spatiotemporal regulation of these forces depends on motor mechanochemistry, bipolar filament size, and local actin mechanics is unknown. Here, we simulate myosin II motors with an agent-based model in which the motors have been benchmarked against experimental measurements. Force generation occurs in two distinct regimes characterized either by stable tension maintenance or by stochastic buildup and release; transitions between these regimes occur by changes to duty ratio and myosin filament size. The time required for building force to stall scales inversely with the stiffness of a network and the actin gliding speed of a motor. Finally, myosin motors are predicted to contract a network toward stiffer regions, which is consistent with experimental observations. Our representation of myosin motors can be used to understand how their mechanical and biochemical properties influence their observed behavior in a variety of in vitro and in vivo contexts.

  7. Multiscale impact of nucleotides and cations on the conformational equilibrium, elasticity and rheology of actin filaments and crosslinked networks.

    PubMed

    Bidone, Tamara Carla; Kim, Taeyoon; Deriu, Marco A; Morbiducci, Umberto; Kamm, Roger D

    2015-10-01

    Cells are able to respond to mechanical forces and deformations. The actin cytoskeleton, a highly dynamic scaffolding structure, plays an important role in cell mechano-sensing. Thus, understanding rheological behaviors of the actin cytoskeleton is critical for delineating mechanical behaviors of cells. The actin cytoskeleton consists of interconnected actin filaments (F-actin) that form via self-assembly of actin monomers. It has been shown that molecular changes of the monomer subunits impact the rigidity of F-actin. However, it remains inconclusive whether or not the molecular changes can propagate to the network level and thus alter the rheological properties of actin networks. Here, we focus on how cation binding and nucleotide state tune the molecular conformation and rigidity of F-actin and a representative rheological behavior of actin networks, strain-stiffening. We employ a multiscale approach by combining established computational techniques: molecular dynamics, normal mode analysis and Brownian dynamics. Our findings indicate that different combinations of nucleotide (ATP, ADP or ADP-Pi) and cation [Formula: see text] or [Formula: see text] at one or multiple sites) binding change the molecular conformation of F-actin by varying inter- and intra-strand interactions which bridge adjacent subunits between and within F-actin helical strands. This is reflected in the rigidity of actin filaments against bending and stretching. We found that differences in extension and bending rigidity of F-actin induced by cation binding to the low-, intermediate- and high-affinity sites vary the strain-stiffening response of actin networks crosslinked by rigid crosslinkers, such as scruin, whereas they minimally impact the strain-stiffening response when compliant crosslinkers, such as filamin A or [Formula: see text]-actinin, are used.

  8. Multiscale impact of nucleotides and cations on the conformational equilibrium, elasticity and rheology of actin filaments and crosslinked networks.

    PubMed

    Bidone, Tamara Carla; Kim, Taeyoon; Deriu, Marco A; Morbiducci, Umberto; Kamm, Roger D

    2015-10-01

    Cells are able to respond to mechanical forces and deformations. The actin cytoskeleton, a highly dynamic scaffolding structure, plays an important role in cell mechano-sensing. Thus, understanding rheological behaviors of the actin cytoskeleton is critical for delineating mechanical behaviors of cells. The actin cytoskeleton consists of interconnected actin filaments (F-actin) that form via self-assembly of actin monomers. It has been shown that molecular changes of the monomer subunits impact the rigidity of F-actin. However, it remains inconclusive whether or not the molecular changes can propagate to the network level and thus alter the rheological properties of actin networks. Here, we focus on how cation binding and nucleotide state tune the molecular conformation and rigidity of F-actin and a representative rheological behavior of actin networks, strain-stiffening. We employ a multiscale approach by combining established computational techniques: molecular dynamics, normal mode analysis and Brownian dynamics. Our findings indicate that different combinations of nucleotide (ATP, ADP or ADP-Pi) and cation [Formula: see text] or [Formula: see text] at one or multiple sites) binding change the molecular conformation of F-actin by varying inter- and intra-strand interactions which bridge adjacent subunits between and within F-actin helical strands. This is reflected in the rigidity of actin filaments against bending and stretching. We found that differences in extension and bending rigidity of F-actin induced by cation binding to the low-, intermediate- and high-affinity sites vary the strain-stiffening response of actin networks crosslinked by rigid crosslinkers, such as scruin, whereas they minimally impact the strain-stiffening response when compliant crosslinkers, such as filamin A or [Formula: see text]-actinin, are used. PMID:25708806

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

    PubMed

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-21

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-01

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

  12. The Interaction of Arp2/3 Complex with Actin: Nucleation, High Affinity Pointed End Capping, and Formation of Branching Networks of Filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyche Mullins, R.; Heuser, John A.; Pollard, Thomas D.

    1998-05-01

    The Arp2/3 complex is a stable assembly of seven protein subunits including two actin-related proteins (Arp2 and Arp3) and five novel proteins. Previous work showed that this complex binds to the sides of actin filaments and is concentrated at the leading edges of motile cells. Here, we show that Arp2/3 complex purified from Acanthamoeba caps the pointed ends of actin filaments with high affinity. Arp2/3 complex inhibits both monomer addition and dissociation at the pointed ends of actin filaments with apparent nanomolar affinity and increases the critical concentration for polymerization at the pointed end from 0.6 to 1.0 μ M. The high affinity of Arp2/3 complex for pointed ends and its abundance in amoebae suggest that in vivo all actin filament pointed ends are capped by Arp2/3 complex. Arp2/3 complex also nucleates formation of actin filaments that elongate only from their barbed ends. From kinetic analysis, the nucleation mechanism appears to involve stabilization of polymerization intermediates (probably actin dimers). In electron micrographs of quick-frozen, deep-etched samples, we see Arp2/3 bound to sides and pointed ends of actin filaments and examples of Arp2/3 complex attaching pointed ends of filaments to sides of other filaments. In these cases, the angle of attachment is a remarkably constant 70 ± 7 degrees. From these in vitro biochemical properties, we propose a model for how Arp2/3 complex controls the assembly of a branching network of actin filaments at the leading edge of motile cells.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ichimura, Koichiro; Kurihara, Hidetake; Sakai, Tatsuo

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hansen, Scott D; Mullins, R Dyche

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Actin filament organization in the fish keratocyte lamellipodium

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    From recent studies of locomoting fish keratocytes it was proposed that the dynamic turnover of actin filaments takes place by a nucleation- release mechanism, which predicts the existence of short (less than 0.5 microns) filaments throughout the lamellipodium (Theriot, J. A., and T. J. Mitchison. 1991. Nature (Lond.). 352:126-131). We have tested this model by investigating the structure of whole mount keratocyte cytoskeletons in the electron microscope and phalloidin-labeled cells, after various fixations, in the light microscope. Micrographs of negatively stained keratocyte cytoskeletons produced by Triton extraction showed that the actin filaments of the lamellipodium are organized to a first approximation in a two-dimensional orthogonal network with the filaments subtending an angle of around 45 degrees to the cell front. Actin filament fringes grown onto the front edge of keratocyte cytoskeletons by the addition of exogenous actin showed a uniform polarity when decorated with myosin subfragment-1, consistent with the fast growing ends of the actin filaments abutting the anterior edge. A steady drop in filament density was observed from the mid- region of the lamellipodium to the perinuclear zone and in images of the more posterior regions of lower filament density many of the actin filaments could be seen to be at least several microns in length. Quantitative analysis of the intensity distribution of fluorescent phalloidin staining across the lamellipodium revealed that the gradient of filament density as well as the absolute content of F-actin was dependent on the fixation method. In cells first fixed and then extracted with Triton, a steep gradient of phalloidin staining was observed from the front to the rear of the lamellipodium. With the protocol required to obtain the electron microscope images, namely Triton extraction followed by fixation, phalloidin staining was, significantly and preferentially reduced in the anterior part of the lamellipodium. This

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

    PubMed

    Jégou, Antoine; Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume

    2016-05-24

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

  19. Actin filament nucleation and elongation factors--structure-function relationships.

    PubMed

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2009-01-01

    The spontaneous and unregulated polymerization of actin filaments is inhibited in cells by actin monomer-binding proteins such as profilin and Tbeta4. Eukaryotic cells and certain pathogens use filament nucleators to stabilize actin polymerization nuclei, whose formation is rate-limiting. Known filament nucleators include the Arp2/3 complex and its large family of nucleation promoting factors (NPFs), formins, Spire, Cobl, VopL/VopF, TARP and Lmod. These molecules control the time and location for polymerization, and additionally influence the structures of the actin networks that they generate. Filament nucleators are generally unrelated, but with the exception of formins they all use the WASP-Homology 2 domain (WH2 or W), a small and versatile actin-binding motif, for interaction with actin. A common architecture, found in Spire, Cobl and VopL/VopF, consists of tandem W domains that bind three to four actin subunits to form a nucleus. Structural considerations suggest that NPFs-Arp2/3 complex can also be viewed as a specialized form of tandem W-based nucleator. Formins are unique in that they use the formin-homology 2 (FH2) domain for interaction with actin and promote not only nucleation, but also processive barbed end elongation. In contrast, the elongation function among W-based nucleators has been "outsourced" to a dedicated family of proteins, Eva/VASP, which are related to WASP-family NPFs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-02-01

    The distribution of actin filaments within the gravity-sensing columella cells of plant roots remains poorly understood, with studies over numerous years providing inconsistent descriptions of actin organization in these cells. This uncertainty in actin organization, and thus in actin's role in graviperception and gravisignaling, has led us to investigate actin arrangements in the columella cells of Zea mays L., Medicago truncatula Gaertn., Linum usitatissiilium L. and Nicotianla benthamiana Domin. Actin organization was examined using a combination of optimized immunofluorescence techniques, and an improved fluorochrome-conjugated phalloidin labeling method reliant on 3-maleimidobenzoyl-N-hydroxy-succinimide ester (MBS) cross-linking combined with glycerol permeabilization. Confocal microscopy of root sections labeled with anti-actin antibodies revealed patterns suggestive of actin throughout the columella region. These patterns included short and fragmented actin bundles, fluorescent rings around amyloplasts and intense fluorescence originating from the nucleus. Additionally, confocal microscopy of MBS-stabilized and Alexa Fluor-phalloidin-labeled root sections revealed a previously undetected state of actin organization in the columella. Discrete actin structures surrounded the amyloplasts and prominent actin cables radiated from the nuclear surface toward the cell periphery. Furthermore, the cortex of the columella cells contained fine actin bundles (or single filaments) that had a predominant transverse orientation. We also used confocal microscopy of plant roots expressing endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-targeted green fluorescent protein to demonstrate rapid ER movements within the columella cells, suggesting that the imaged actin network is functional. The successful identification of discrete actin structures in the root columella cells forms the perception and signaling. PMID:11289604

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hartwig, J H; Shevlin, P

    1986-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

  6. Actin filament bundling by fimbrin is important for endocytosis, cytokinesis, and polarization in fission yeast.

    PubMed

    Skau, Colleen T; Courson, David S; Bestul, Andrew J; Winkelman, Jonathan D; Rock, Ronald S; Sirotkin, Vladimir; Kovar, David R

    2011-07-29

    Through the coordinated action of diverse actin-binding proteins, cells simultaneously assemble actin filaments with distinct architectures and dynamics to drive different processes. Actin filament cross-linking proteins organize filaments into higher order networks, although the requirement of cross-linking activity in cells has largely been assumed rather than directly tested. Fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe assembles actin into three discrete structures: endocytic actin patches, polarizing actin cables, and the cytokinetic contractile ring. The fission yeast filament cross-linker fimbrin Fim1 primarily localizes to Arp2/3 complex-nucleated branched filaments of the actin patch and by a lesser amount to bundles of linear antiparallel filaments in the contractile ring. It is unclear whether Fim1 associates with bundles of parallel filaments in actin cables. We previously discovered that a principal role of Fim1 is to control localization of tropomyosin Cdc8, thereby facilitating cofilin-mediated filament turnover. Therefore, we hypothesized that the bundling ability of Fim1 is dispensable for actin patches but is important for the contractile ring and possibly actin cables. By directly visualizing actin filament assembly using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, we determined that Fim1 bundles filaments in both parallel and antiparallel orientations and efficiently bundles Arp2/3 complex-branched filaments in the absence but not the presence of actin capping protein. Examination of cells exclusively expressing a truncated version of Fim1 that can bind but not bundle actin filaments revealed that bundling activity of Fim1 is in fact important for all three actin structures. Therefore, fimbrin Fim1 has diverse roles as both a filament "gatekeeper" and as a filament cross-linker.

  7. Fatal congenital myopathy with actin filament deposits.

    PubMed

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

    1996-07-01

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

  8. Reversible stress softening of actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Unconventional actin conformations localize on intermediate filaments in mitosis

    SciTech Connect

    Hubert, Thomas; Vandekerckhove, Joel; Gettemans, Jan

    2011-03-04

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

  11. Actin Filaments Regulate Exocytosis at the Hair Cell Ribbon Synapse.

    PubMed

    Guillet, Marie; Sendin, Gaston; Bourien, Jérôme; Puel, Jean-Luc; Nouvian, Régis

    2016-01-20

    Exocytosis at the inner hair cell ribbon synapse is achieved through the functional coupling between calcium channels and glutamate-filled synaptic vesicles. Using membrane capacitance measurements, we investigated whether the actin network regulates the exocytosis of synaptic vesicles at the mouse auditory hair cell. Our results suggest that actin network disruption increases exocytosis and that actin filaments may spatially organize a subfraction of synaptic vesicles with respect to the calcium channels. Significance statement: Inner hair cells (IHCs), the auditory sensory cells of the cochlea, release glutamate onto the afferent auditory nerve fibers to encode sound stimulation. To achieve this task, the IHC relies on the recruitment of glutamate-filled vesicles that can be located in close vicinity to the calcium channels or more remotely from them. The molecular determinants responsible for organizing these vesicle pools are not fully identified. Using pharmacological tools in combination with membrane capacitance measurements, we show that actin filament disruption increases exocytosis in IHCs and that actin filaments most likely position a fraction of vesicles away from the calcium channels. PMID:26791198

  12. 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

  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.

  14. 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.

  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. Single turnovers of fluorescent ATP bound to bipolar myosin filament during actin filaments sliding.

    PubMed

    Maruta, Takahiro; Kobatake, Takahiro; Okubo, Hiroyuki; Chaen, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    The nucleotide turnover rates of bipolar myosin thick filament along which actin filament slides were measured by the displacement of prebound fluorescent ATP analog 2'(3')-O-[N-[2-[(Cy3)]amindo]ethyl] carbamoyl]-adenosine 5' triphosphate (Cy3-EDA-ATP) upon flash photolysis of caged ATP. The fluorescence of the thick filament where actin filament slides decayed with two exponential processes. The slower rate constant was the same as that without actin filament. Along bipolar myosin thick filament, actin filaments slide at a fast speed towards the central bare zone (forward), but more slowly away from the bare zone (backward). The displacement rate constant of fluorescent ATP from the myosin filament where actin filament moved forward was 5.0 s(-1), whereas the rate constant where the actin filament slid backward was 1.7 s(-1). These findings suggest that the slow ADP release rate is responsible for the slow backward sliding movement.

  17. Site-specific cation release drives actin filament severing by vertebrate cofilin

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Hyeran; Bradley, Michael J.; Cao, Wenxiang; Zhou, Kaifeng; Grintsevich, Elena E.; Michelot, Alphée; Sindelar, Charles V.; Hochstrasser, Mark; De La Cruz, Enrique M.

    2014-01-01

    Actin polymerization powers the directed motility of eukaryotic cells. Sustained motility requires rapid filament turnover and subunit recycling. The essential regulatory protein cofilin accelerates network remodeling by severing actin filaments and increasing the concentration of ends available for elongation and subunit exchange. Although cofilin effects on actin filament assembly dynamics have been extensively studied, the molecular mechanism of cofilin-induced filament severing is not understood. Here we demonstrate that actin filament severing by vertebrate cofilin is driven by the linked dissociation of a single cation that controls filament structure and mechanical properties. Vertebrate cofilin only weakly severs Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin filaments lacking this “stiffness cation” unless a stiffness cation-binding site is engineered into the actin molecule. Moreover, vertebrate cofilin rescues the viability of a S. cerevisiae cofilin deletion mutant only when the stiffness cation site is simultaneously introduced into actin, demonstrating that filament severing is the essential function of cofilin in cells. This work reveals that site-specific interactions with cations serve a key regulatory function in actin filament fragmentation and dynamics. PMID:25468977

  18. Side-binding proteins modulate actin filament dynamics.

    PubMed

    Crevenna, Alvaro H; Arciniega, Marcelino; Dupont, Aurélie; Mizuno, Naoko; Kowalska, Kaja; Lange, Oliver F; Wedlich-Söldner, Roland; Lamb, Don C

    2015-01-01

    Actin filament dynamics govern many key physiological processes from cell motility to tissue morphogenesis. A central feature of actin dynamics is the capacity of filaments to polymerize and depolymerize at their ends in response to cellular conditions. It is currently thought that filament kinetics can be described by a single rate constant for each end. In this study, using direct visualization of single actin filament elongation, we show that actin polymerization kinetics at both filament ends are strongly influenced by the binding of proteins to the lateral filament surface. We also show that the pointed-end has a non-elongating state that dominates the observed filament kinetic asymmetry. Estimates of flexibility as well as effects on fragmentation and growth suggest that the observed kinetic diversity arises from structural alteration. Tuning elongation kinetics by exploiting the malleability of the filament structure may be a ubiquitous mechanism to generate a rich variety of cellular actin dynamics. PMID:25706231

  19. Cytoplasmic intermediate filaments mediate actin-driven positioning of the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Dupin, Isabelle; Sakamoto, Yasuhisa; Etienne-Manneville, Sandrine

    2011-03-15

    The localization of the nucleus is precisely regulated, and defects in nuclear positioning are observed in diseases such as lissencephaly, cerebellar ataxia and dysplasia. We show here that cytoplasmic intermediate filaments are essential players in actin-dependent positioning of the nucleus. The actin retrograde flow is relayed by a flow of intermediate filaments that accumulate asymmetrically around the nuclear envelope. Perturbations of the intermediate filament network alter positioning of the nucleus in both migrating and immobile astrocytes. This function of intermediate filaments might be crucial for regulating cell motility, in particular in tumor cells expressing high levels of cytoplasmic intermediate filaments.

  20. Dynamic Regulation of Sarcomeric Actin Filaments in Striated Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Ono, Shoichiro

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Actin network architecture can determine myosin motor activity.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  2. Effect of Tropomyosin on Formin-Bound Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Courtemanche, Naomi; Pollard, Thomas D

    2013-09-17

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

  5. Positioning and stretching of actin filaments by electric fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wigge, Christoph; Hinssen, Horst; Reiss, Günter; Herth, Simone

    2010-06-01

    The alignment of biological filaments on surfaces offers a high potential for controllable geometries in lab-on-a-chip-structures and micrototal analysis systems. Actin is a polar filamentous protein with a diameter of 7-8 nm that can be manipulated with strong electric fields. It is demonstrated that with the use of microelectrodes or nanoelectrodes and electric fields of 20 kV/m single actin filaments can be manipulated, stretched, and positioned between gold electrodes.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruizhe

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

  8. Direct Observation of Tropomyosin Binding to Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Elasticity of F-actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret Lise

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

  11. Axon initial segment cytoskeleton comprises a multiprotein submembranous coat containing sparse actin filaments

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Steven L.; Korobova, Farida

    2014-01-01

    The axon initial segment (AIS) of differentiated neurons regulates action potential initiation and axon–dendritic polarity. The latter function depends on actin dynamics, but actin structure and functions at the AIS remain unclear. Using platinum replica electron microscopy (PREM), we have characterized the architecture of the AIS cytoskeleton in mature and developing hippocampal neurons. The AIS cytoskeleton assembly begins with bundling of microtubules and culminates in formation of a dense, fibrillar–globular coat over microtubule bundles. Immunogold PREM revealed that the coat contains a network of known AIS proteins, including ankyrin G, spectrin βIV, neurofascin, neuronal cell adhesion molecule, voltage-gated sodium channels, and actin filaments. Contrary to existing models, we find neither polarized actin arrays, nor dense actin meshworks in the AIS. Instead, the AIS contains two populations of sparse actin filaments: short, stable filaments and slightly longer dynamic filaments. We propose that stable actin filaments play a structural role for formation of the AIS diffusion barrier, whereas dynamic actin may promote AIS coat remodeling. PMID:24711503

  12. Bundling of actin filaments by elongation factor 1 alpha inhibits polymerization at filament ends

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Elongation factor 1 alpha (EF1 alpha) is an abundant protein that binds aminoacyl-tRNA and ribosomes in a GTP-dependent manner. EF1 alpha also interacts with the cytoskeleton by binding and bundling actin filaments and microtubules. In this report, the effect of purified EF1 alpha on actin polymerization and depolymerization is examined. At molar ratios present in the cytosol, EF1 alpha significantly blocks both polymerization and depolymerization of actin filaments and increases the final extent of actin polymer, while at high molar ratios to actin, EF1 alpha nucleates actin polymerization. Although EF1 alpha binds actin monomer, this monomer-binding activity does not explain the effects of EF1 alpha on actin polymerization at physiological molar ratios. The mechanism for the inhibition of polymerization is related to the actin-bundling activity of EF1 alpha. Both ends of the actin filament are inhibited for polymerization and both bundling and the inhibition of actin polymerization are affected by pH within the same physiological range; at high pH both bundling and the inhibition of actin polymerization are reduced. Additionally, it is seen that the binding of aminoacyl-tRNA to EF1 alpha releases EF1 alpha's inhibiting effect on actin polymerization. These data demonstrate that EF1 alpha can alter the assembly of F-actin, a filamentous scaffold on which non- membrane-associated protein translation may be occurring in vivo. PMID:8947553

  13. Moving and stationary actin filaments are involved in spreading of postmitotic PtK2 cells

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    We have investigated spreading of postmitotic PtK2 cells and the behavior of actin filaments in this system by time-lapse microscopy and photoactivation of fluorescence. During mitosis PtK2 cells round up and at cytokinesis the daughter cells spread back to regain their interphase morphology. Normal spreading edges are quite homogenous and are not comprised of two distinct areas (lamellae and lamellipodia) as found in moving edges of interphase motile cells. Spreading edges are connected to a network of long, thin, actin-rich fibers called retraction fibers. A role for retraction fibers in spreading was tested by mechanical disruption of fibers ahead of a spreading edge. Spreading is inhibited over the region of disruption, but not over neighboring intact fibers. Using photoactivation of fluorescence to mark actin filaments, we have determined that the majority of actin filaments move forward in spreading edges at the same rate as the edge. As far as we are aware, this is the first time that forward movement of a cell edge has been correlated with forward movement of actin filaments. In contrast, actin filaments in retraction fibers remain stationary with respect to the substrate. Thus there are at least two dynamic populations of actin polymer in spreading postmitotic cells. This is supported by the observation that actin filaments in some spreading edges not only move forward, but also separate into two fractions or broaden with time. A small fraction of postmitotic cells have a spreading edge with a distinct lamellipodium. In these edges, marked actin polymer fluxes backward with respect to substrate. We suggest that forward movement of actin filaments may participate in generating force for spreading in postmitotic cells and perhaps more generally for cell locomotion. PMID:8349733

  14. Multiscale Modelling for investigating single molecule effects on the mechanics of actin filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    A, Deriu Marco; C, Bidone Tamara; Laura, Carbone; Cristina, Bignardi; M, Montevecchi Franco; Umberto, Morbiducci

    2011-12-01

    This work presents a preliminary multiscale computational investigation of the effects of nucleotides and cations on the mechanics of actin filaments (F-actin). At the molecular level, Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations are employed to characterize the rearrangements of the actin monomers (G-actin) in terms of secondary structures evolution in physiological conditions. At the mesoscale level, a coarse grain (CG) procedure is adopted where each monomer is represented by means of Elastic Network Modeling (ENM) technique. At the macroscale level, actin filaments up to hundreds of nanometers are assumed as isotropic and elastic beams and characterized via Rotation Translation Block (RTB) analysis. F-actin bound to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) shows a persistence length around 5 μm, while actin filaments bound to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) have a persistence length of about 3 μm. With magnesium bound to the high affinity binding site of G-actin, the persistence length of F-actin decreases to about 2 μm only in the ADP-bound form of the filament, while the same ion has no effects, in terms of stiffness variation, on the ATP-bound form of F-actin. The molecular mechanisms behind these changes in flexibility are herein elucidated. Thus, this study allows to analyze how the local binding of cations and nucleotides on G-actin induce molecular rearrangements that transmit to the overall F-actin, characterizing shifts of mechanical properties, that can be related with physiological and pathological cellular phenomena, as cell migration and spreading. Further, this study provides the basis for upcoming investigating of network and cellular remodelling at higher length scales.

  15. Single turnovers of fluorescent ATP bound to bipolar myosin filament during actin filaments sliding

    PubMed Central

    Maruta, Takahiro; Kobatake, Takahiro; Okubo, Hiroyuki; Chaen, Shigeru

    2013-01-01

    The nucleotide turnover rates of bipolar myosin thick filament along which actin filament slides were measured by the displacement of prebound fluorescent ATP analog 2′(3′)-O-[N-[2-[(Cy3)]amindo]ethyl] carbamoyl]-adenosine 5′ triphosphate (Cy3-EDA-ATP) upon flash photolysis of caged ATP. The fluorescence of the thick filament where actin filament slides decayed with two exponential processes. The slower rate constant was the same as that without actin filament. Along bipolar myosin thick filament, actin filaments slide at a fast speed towards the central bare zone (forward), but more slowly away from the bare zone (backward). The displacement rate constant of fluorescent ATP from the myosin filament where actin filament moved forward was 5.0 s−1, whereas the rate constant where the actin filament slid backward was 1.7 s−1. These findings suggest that the slow ADP release rate is responsible for the slow backward sliding movement. PMID:27493536

  16. High Speed Depolymerization at Actin Filament Ends Jointly Catalyzed by Twinfilin and Srv2/CAP

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Adam B.; Collins, Agnieszka; Goode, Bruce L.

    2015-01-01

    Purified actin filaments depolymerize slowly, and cytosolic conditions strongly favor actin assembly over disassembly, which has left our understanding of how actin filaments are rapidly turned over in vivo incomplete 1,2. One mechanism for driving filament disassembly is severing by factors such as Cofilin. However, even after severing, pointed end depolymerization remains slow and unable to fully account for observed rates of actin filament turnover in vivo. Here we describe a mechanism by which Twinfilin and Cyclase-associated protein work in concert to accelerate depolymerization of actin filaments by 3-fold and 17-fold at their barbed and pointed ends, respectively. This mechanism occurs even under assembly conditions, allowing reconstitution and direct visualization of individual filaments undergoing tunable, accelerated treadmilling. Further, we use specific mutations to demonstrate that this activity is critical for Twinfilin function in vivo. These findings fill a major gap in our knowledge of mechanisms, and suggest that depolymerization and severing may be deployed separately or together to control the dynamics and architecture of distinct actin networks. PMID:26458246

  17. Mechanical Heterogeneity Favors Fragmentation of Strained Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    De La Cruz, Enrique M.; Martiel, Jean-Louis; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    We present a general model of actin filament deformation and fragmentation in response to compressive forces. The elastic free energy density along filaments is determined by their shape and mechanical properties, which were modeled in terms of bending, twisting, and twist-bend coupling elasticities. The elastic energy stored in filament deformation (i.e., strain) tilts the fragmentation-annealing reaction free-energy profile to favor fragmentation. The energy gradient introduces a local shear force that accelerates filament intersubunit bond rupture. The severing protein, cofilin, renders filaments more compliant in bending and twisting. As a result, filaments that are partially decorated with cofilin are mechanically heterogeneous (i.e., nonuniform) and display asymmetric shape deformations and energy profiles distinct from mechanically homogenous (i.e., uniform), bare actin, or saturated cofilactin filaments. The local buckling strain depends on the relative size of the compliant segment as well as the bending and twisting rigidities of flanking regions. Filaments with a single bare/cofilin-decorated boundary localize energy and force adjacent to the boundary, within the compliant cofilactin segment. Filaments with small cofilin clusters were predicted to fragment within the compliant cofilactin rather than at boundaries. Neglecting contributions from twist-bend coupling elasticity underestimates the energy density and gradients along filaments, and thus the net effects of filament strain to fragmentation. Spatial confinement causes compliant cofilactin segments and filaments to adopt higher deformation modes and store more elastic energy, thereby promoting fragmentation. The theory and simulations presented here establish a quantitative relationship between actin filament fragmentation thermodynamics and elasticity, and reveal how local discontinuities in filament mechanical properties introduced by regulatory proteins can modulate both the severing efficiency

  18. Clamped-filament elongation model for actin-based motors.

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Richard B; Purich, Daniel L

    2002-01-01

    Although actin-based motility drives cell crawling and intracellular locomotion of organelles and certain pathogens, the underlying mechanism of force generation remains a mystery. Recent experiments demonstrated that Listeria exhibit episodes of 5.4-nm stepwise motion corresponding to the periodicity of the actin filament subunits, and extremely small positional fluctuations during the intermittent pauses [S. C. Kuo and J. L. McGrath. 2000. Nature. 407:1026-1029]. These findings suggest that motile bacteria remain firmly bound to actin filament ends as they elongate, a behavior that appears to rule out previous models for actin-based motility. We propose and analyze a new mechanochemical model (called the "Lock, Load & Fire" mechanism) for force generation by means of affinity-modulated, clamped-filament elongation. During the locking step, the filament's terminal ATP-containing subunit binds tightly to a clamp situated on the surface of a motile object; in the loading step, actin.ATP monomer(s) bind to the filament end, an event that triggers the firing step, wherein ATP hydrolysis on the clamped subunit attenuates the filament's affinity for the clamp. This last step initiates translocation of the new ATP-containing terminus to the clamp, whereupon another cycle begins anew. This model explains how surface-tethered filaments can grow while exerting flexural or tensile force on the motile surface. Moreover, stochastic simulations of the model reproduce the signature motions of Listeria. This elongation motor, which we term actoclampin, exploits actin's intrinsic ATPase activity to provide a simple, high-fidelity enzymatic reaction cycle for force production that does not require elongating filaments to dissociate from the motile surface. This mechanism may operate whenever actin polymerization is called upon to generate the forces that drive cell crawling or intracellular organelle motility. PMID:11806905

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  20. Computational Analysis of Viscoelastic Properties of Crosslinked Actin Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Taeyoon; Hwang, Wonmuk; Lee, Hyungsuk; Kamm, Roger D.

    2009-01-01

    Mechanical force plays an important role in the physiology of eukaryotic cells whose dominant structural constituent is the actin cytoskeleton composed mainly of actin and actin crosslinking proteins (ACPs). Thus, knowledge of rheological properties of actin networks is crucial for understanding the mechanics and processes of cells. We used Brownian dynamics simulations to study the viscoelasticity of crosslinked actin networks. Two methods were employed, bulk rheology and segment-tracking rheology, where the former measures the stress in response to an applied shear strain, and the latter analyzes thermal fluctuations of individual actin segments of the network. It was demonstrated that the storage shear modulus (G′) increases more by the addition of ACPs that form orthogonal crosslinks than by those that form parallel bundles. In networks with orthogonal crosslinks, as crosslink density increases, the power law exponent of G′ as a function of the oscillation frequency decreases from 0.75, which reflects the transverse thermal motion of actin filaments, to near zero at low frequency. Under increasing prestrain, the network becomes more elastic, and three regimes of behavior are observed, each dominated by different mechanisms: bending of actin filaments, bending of ACPs, and at the highest prestrain tested (55%), stretching of actin filaments and ACPs. In the last case, only a small portion of actin filaments connected via highly stressed ACPs support the strain. We thus introduce the concept of a ‘supportive framework,’ as a subset of the full network, which is responsible for high elasticity. Notably, entropic effects due to thermal fluctuations appear to be important only at relatively low prestrains and when the average crosslinking distance is comparable to or greater than the persistence length of the filament. Taken together, our results suggest that viscoelasticity of the actin network is attributable to different mechanisms depending on the amount

  1. Computational analysis of viscoelastic properties of crosslinked actin networks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Taeyoon; Hwang, Wonmuk; Lee, Hyungsuk; Kamm, Roger D

    2009-07-01

    Mechanical force plays an important role in the physiology of eukaryotic cells whose dominant structural constituent is the actin cytoskeleton composed mainly of actin and actin crosslinking proteins (ACPs). Thus, knowledge of rheological properties of actin networks is crucial for understanding the mechanics and processes of cells. We used Brownian dynamics simulations to study the viscoelasticity of crosslinked actin networks. Two methods were employed, bulk rheology and segment-tracking rheology, where the former measures the stress in response to an applied shear strain, and the latter analyzes thermal fluctuations of individual actin segments of the network. It was demonstrated that the storage shear modulus (G') increases more by the addition of ACPs that form orthogonal crosslinks than by those that form parallel bundles. In networks with orthogonal crosslinks, as crosslink density increases, the power law exponent of G' as a function of the oscillation frequency decreases from 0.75, which reflects the transverse thermal motion of actin filaments, to near zero at low frequency. Under increasing prestrain, the network becomes more elastic, and three regimes of behavior are observed, each dominated by different mechanisms: bending of actin filaments, bending of ACPs, and at the highest prestrain tested (55%), stretching of actin filaments and ACPs. In the last case, only a small portion of actin filaments connected via highly stressed ACPs support the strain. We thus introduce the concept of a 'supportive framework,' as a subset of the full network, which is responsible for high elasticity. Notably, entropic effects due to thermal fluctuations appear to be important only at relatively low prestrains and when the average crosslinking distance is comparable to or greater than the persistence length of the filament. Taken together, our results suggest that viscoelasticity of the actin network is attributable to different mechanisms depending on the amount of

  2. Auxin Stimulates Its Own Transport by Shaping Actin Filaments1

    PubMed Central

    Nick, Peter; Han, Min-Jung; An, Gyeunhung

    2009-01-01

    The directional transport of the plant hormone auxin has been identified as central element of axis formation and patterning in plants. This directionality of transport depends on gradients, across the cell, of auxin-efflux carriers that continuously cycle between plasma membrane and intracellular compartments. This cycling has been proposed to depend on actin filaments. However, the role of actin for the polarity of auxin transport has been disputed. The organization of actin, in turn, has been shown to be under control of auxin. By overexpression of the actin-binding protein talin, we have generated transgenic rice (Oryza sativa) lines, where actin filaments are bundled to variable extent and, in consequence, display a reduced dynamics. We show that this bundling of actin filaments correlates with impaired gravitropism and reduced longitudinal transport of auxin. We can restore a normal actin configuration by addition of exogenous auxins and restore gravitropism as well as polar auxin transport. This rescue is mediated by indole-3-acetic acid and 1-naphthyl acetic acid but not by 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. We interpret these findings in the context of a self-referring regulatory circuit between polar auxin transport and actin organization. This circuit might contribute to the self-amplification of auxin transport that is a central element in current models of auxin-dependent patterning. PMID:19633235

  3. Actin filaments elongate from their membrane-associated ends

    PubMed Central

    Tilney, LG; Bonder, EM; DeRosier, DJ

    1981-01-01

    In limulus sperm an actin filament bundle 55 mum in length extends from the acrosomal vacuole membrane through a canal in the nucleus and then coils in a regular fashion around the base of the nucleus. The bundle expands systematically from 15 filaments near the acrosomal vacuole to 85 filaments at the basal end. Thin sections of sperm fixed during stages in spermatid maturation reveal that the filament bundle begins to assemble on dense material attached to the acrosomal vacuole membrane. In micrographs fo these early stages in maturation, short bundles are seen extending posteriorly from the dense material. The significance is that these short, developing bundles have about 85 filaments, suggesting that the 85-filament end of the bundle is assembled first. By using filament bundles isolated and incubated in vitro with G actin from muscle, we can determine the end “preferred” for addition of actin monomers during polymerization. The end that would be associated with the acrosomal vacuole membrane, a membrane destined to be continuous with the plasma membrane, is preferred about 10 times over the other, thicker end. Decoration of the newly polymerized portions of the filament bundle with subfragment 1 of myosin reveals that the arrowheads point away from the acrosomal vacuole membrane, as is true of other actin filament bundles attached to membranes. From these observations we conclude that the bundle is nucleated from the dense material associated with the acrosomal vacuole and that monomers are added to the membrane-associated end. As monomers are added at the dense material, the thick first-made end of the filament bundle is pushed down through the nucleus where, upon reaching the base of the nucleus, it coils up. Tapering is brought about by the capping of the peripheral filaments in the bundle. PMID:7197276

  4. Correlative nanoscale imaging of actin filaments and their complexes

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Huanqi; Grintsevich, Elena E.; Reisler, Emil

    2014-01-01

    Actin remodeling is an area of interest in biology in which correlative microscopy can bring a new way to analyze protein complexes at the nanoscale. Advances in EM, X-ray diffraction, fluorescence, and single molecule techniques have provided a wealth of information about the modulation of the F-actin structure and its regulation by actin binding proteins (ABPs). Yet, there are technological limitations of these approaches to achieving quantitative molecular level information on the structural and biophysical changes resulting from ABPs interaction with F-actin. Fundamental questions about the actin structure and dynamics and how these determine the function of ABPs remain unanswered. Specifically, how local and long-range structural and conformational changes result in ABPs induced remodeling of F-actin needs to be addressed at the single filament level. Advanced, sensitive and accurate experimental tools for detailed understanding of ABP–actin interactions are much needed. This article discusses the current understanding of nanoscale structural and mechanical modulation of F-actin by ABPs at the single filament level using several correlative microscopic techniques, focusing mainly on results obtained by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) analysis of ABP–actin complexes. PMID:23727693

  5. Correlative nanoscale imaging of actin filaments and their complexes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    Actin remodeling is an area of interest in biology in which correlative microscopy can bring a new way to analyze protein complexes at the nanoscale. Advances in EM, X-ray diffraction, fluorescence, and single molecule techniques have provided a wealth of information about the modulation of the F-actin structure and its regulation by actin binding proteins (ABPs). Yet, there are technological limitations of these approaches to achieving quantitative molecular level information on the structural and biophysical changes resulting from ABPs interaction with F-actin. Fundamental questions about the actin structure and dynamics and how these determine the function of ABPs remain unanswered. Specifically, how local and long-range structural and conformational changes result in ABPs induced remodeling of F-actin needs to be addressed at the single filament level. Advanced, sensitive and accurate experimental tools for detailed understanding of ABP-actin interactions are much needed. This article discusses the current understanding of nanoscale structural and mechanical modulation of F-actin by ABPs at the single filament level using several correlative microscopic techniques, focusing mainly on results obtained by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) analysis of ABP-actin complexes.

  6. Bidirectional Interplay between Vimentin Intermediate Filaments and Contractile Actin Stress Fibers.

    PubMed

    Jiu, Yaming; Lehtimäki, Jaakko; Tojkander, Sari; Cheng, Fang; Jäälinoja, Harri; Liu, Xiaonan; Varjosalo, Markku; Eriksson, John E; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2015-06-16

    The actin cytoskeleton and cytoplasmic intermediate filaments contribute to cell migration and morphogenesis, but the interplay between these two central cytoskeletal elements has remained elusive. Here, we find that specific actin stress fiber structures, transverse arcs, interact with vimentin intermediate filaments and promote their retrograde flow. Consequently, myosin-II-containing arcs are important for perinuclear localization of the vimentin network in cells. The vimentin network reciprocally restricts retrograde movement of arcs and hence controls the width of flat lamellum at the leading edge of the cell. Depletion of plectin recapitulates the vimentin organization phenotype of arc-deficient cells without affecting the integrity of vimentin filaments or stress fibers, demonstrating that this cytoskeletal cross-linker is required for productive interactions between vimentin and arcs. Collectively, our results reveal that plectin-mediated interplay between contractile actomyosin arcs and vimentin intermediate filaments controls the localization and dynamics of these two cytoskeletal systems and is consequently important for cell morphogenesis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-27

    During CNS development, oligodendrocytes wrap their plasma membrane around axons to generate multilamellar myelin sheaths. To drive growth at the leading edge of myelin at the interface with the axon, mechanical forces are necessary, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. Using an interdisciplinary approach that combines morphological, genetic, and biophysical analyses, we identified a key role for actin filament network turnover in myelin growth. At the onset of myelin biogenesis, F-actin is redistributed to the leading edge, where its polymerization-based forces push out non-adhesive and motile protrusions. F-actin disassembly converts protrusions into sheets by reducing surface tension and in turn inducing membrane spreading and adhesion. We identified the actin depolymerizing factor ADF/cofilin1, which mediates high F-actin turnover rates, as an essential factor in this process. We propose that F-actin turnover is the driving force in myelin wrapping by regulating repetitive cycles of leading edge protrusion and spreading.

  8. Involvement of actin filaments in rhizoid morphogenesis of Spirogyra.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Katsuhisa; Shimmen, Teruo

    2009-01-01

    The role of actin filaments in rhizoid morphogenesis was studied in Spirogyra. When the algal filaments were severed, new terminal cells started tip growth and finally formed rhizoids. Actin inhibitors, latrunculin B and cytochalasin D, reversibly inhibited the process. A mesh-like structure of actin filaments (AFs) was formed at the tip region. Gd(3+) inhibited tip growth and decreased AFs in the tip region. Either a decrease in turgor pressure or lowering of the external Ca(2+) concentration also induced similar results. It was suggested that the mesh-like AF structure is indispensable for the elongation of rhizoids. A possible organization mechanism of the mesh-like AF structure was discussed.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Rheology of Vimentin Intermediate Filament Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Huayin

    2012-02-01

    A cell's ability to function is highly dependent on its structure and material properties - its capacity to withstand and respond to forces in its environment. The cytoskeleton, which largely determines the cellular mechanical properties, is comprised of biopolymer networks, including filamentous actin, microtubules, and intermediate filaments (IF). Intermediate filaments are much less studied than actin and microtubules. They are much more varied and specialized as well, and have been suggested as being an important platform in mechanotransduction processes in cells. It is thought that they can withstand very high strains and exhibit strain stiffening behavior. We are characterizing vimentin, a type III IF that is found in all vertebrate cells, using rheological techniques. Vimentin elasticity increases upon addition of multivalent cations, which act like molecular crosslinkers. By varying the concentration of cations, we can extract valuable information about how the networks assemble and function.

  14. Structural Modeling and Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Actin Filament

    SciTech Connect

    Splettstoesser, Thomas; Holmes, Kenneth; Noe, Frank; Smith, Jeremy C

    2011-01-01

    Actin is a major structural protein of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton and enables cell motility. Here, we present a model of the actin filament (F-actin) that not only incorporates the global structure of the recently published model by Oda et al. but also conserves internal stereochemistry. A comparison is made using molecular dynamics simulation of the model with other recent F-actin models. A number of structural determents such as the protomer propeller angle, the number of hydrogen bonds, and the structural variation among the protomers are analyzed. The MD comparison is found to reflect the evolution in quality of actin models over the last 6 years. In addition, simulations of the model are carried out in states with both ADP or ATP bound and local hydrogen-bonding differences characterized.

  15. Calcium Regulation Of Actin Filament Speed In Vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamadrid, M. A.; Gordon, A. M.; Chase, P. B.; Chen, Y.; Luo, Z.

    1998-03-01

    Using an in-vitro motility assay, we have studied the Ca regulation of the gliding speed of actin filaments with regulatory proteins troponin and tropomyosin. In skeletal muscle, Ca binding to the troponin/tropomyosin system serves as the switch which enables a myosin head to bind to actin and create a power stroke. Fluorescently labeled filaments were observed using video fluorescence microscopy and speeds measured for different calcium concentrations and ionic strengths. In contrast to F-actin (for which speed was unaffected by [Ca]), the speed increased with increasing [Ca] in a non-linear manner. By comparing the behavior of short and long filaments, we also found that there was no length dependence to the observed non-zero speeds, but filaments shorter than 3 um had a higher tendency to undergo stop-go motion. Analysis of the data in the context of protein friction suggests that Ca affects not only the number of binding motors but also the lifetime of the strong binding state between actin and myosin.

  16. 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.

  17. The Switch-associated Protein 70 (SWAP-70) Bundles Actin Filaments and Contributes to the Regulation of F-actin Dynamics*

    PubMed Central

    Chacón-Martínez, Carlos Andrés; Kiessling, Nadine; Winterhoff, Moritz; Faix, Jan; Müller-Reichert, Thomas; Jessberger, Rolf

    2013-01-01

    Coordinated assembly and disassembly of actin into filaments and higher order structures such as stress fibers and lamellipodia are fundamental for cell migration and adhesion. However, the precise spatiotemporal regulation of F-actin structures is not completely understood. SWAP-70, a phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate-interacting, F-actin-binding protein, participates in actin rearrangements through yet unknown mechanisms. Here, we show that SWAP-70 is an F-actin-bundling protein that oligomerizes through a Gln/Glu-rich stretch within a coiled-coil region. SWAP-70 bundles filaments in parallel and anti-parallel fashion through its C-terminal F-actin binding domain and delays dilution-induced F-actin depolymerization. We further demonstrate that SWAP-70 co-localizes and directly interacts with cofilin, an F-actin severing and depolymerization factor, and contributes to the regulation of cofilin activity in vivo. In line with these activities, upon stem cell factor stimulation, murine bone marrow-derived mast cells lacking SWAP-70 display aberrant regulation of F-actin and actin free barbed ends dynamics. Moreover, proper stem cell factor-dependent cofilin activation via dephosphorylation and subcellular redistribution into a detergent-resistant cytoskeletal compartment also require SWAP-70. Together, these findings reveal an important role of SWAP-70 in the dynamic spatiotemporal regulation of F-actin networks. PMID:23921380

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruizhe; Carlsson, Anders E.

    2015-12-01

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

  19. Actin filaments on myosin beds: The velocity distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourdieu, L.; Magnasco, M. O.; Winkelmann, D. A.; Libchaber, A.

    1995-12-01

    In vitro studies of actin filaments sliding on a myosin-coated surface are analyzed, filament by filament, at a sampling rate of 30 per second. For each filament, the mean arc length coordinate is computed and histograms of instantaneous velocities, along the arc length, are established. Two types of motion are observed, depending on the experimental conditions. The first one is characterized by a homogeneous flow, with well defined velocities. In this regime, specific defects are a constitutive part of the flow. It is observed at high temperature, at high myosin coverage, and with a particular mode of attachment of myosin to the surface. The second regime shows no clear velocity selection, but a broadband distribution. It is characterized by high friction and is observed at low temperature or low myosin density. (c) 1995 The American Physical Society

  20. Evolutionarily Divergent, Unstable Filamentous Actin Is Essential for Gliding Motility in Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Skillman, Kristen M.; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Khan, Asis; Tang, Keliang; Sept, David; Sibley, L. David

    2011-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites rely on a novel form of actin-based motility called gliding, which depends on parasite actin polymerization, to migrate through their hosts and invade cells. However, parasite actins are divergent both in sequence and function and only form short, unstable filaments in contrast to the stability of conventional actin filaments. The molecular basis for parasite actin filament instability and its relationship to gliding motility remain unresolved. We demonstrate that recombinant Toxoplasma (TgACTI) and Plasmodium (PfACTI and PfACTII) actins polymerized into very short filaments in vitro but were induced to form long, stable filaments by addition of equimolar levels of phalloidin. Parasite actins contain a conserved phalloidin-binding site as determined by molecular modeling and computational docking, yet vary in several residues that are predicted to impact filament stability. In particular, two residues were identified that form intermolecular contacts between different protomers in conventional actin filaments and these residues showed non-conservative differences in apicomplexan parasites. Substitution of divergent residues found in TgACTI with those from mammalian actin resulted in formation of longer, more stable filaments in vitro. Expression of these stabilized actins in T. gondii increased sensitivity to the actin-stabilizing compound jasplakinolide and disrupted normal gliding motility in the absence of treatment. These results identify the molecular basis for short, dynamic filaments in apicomplexan parasites and demonstrate that inherent instability of parasite actin filaments is a critical adaptation for gliding motility. PMID:21998582

  1. 3D Actin Network Centerline Extraction with Multiple Active Contours

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Dynamic actin cycling through mitochondrial subpopulations locally regulates the fission–fusion balance within mitochondrial networks

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Andrew S.; Wong, Yvette C.; Simpson, Cory L.; Holzbaur, Erika L. F.

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria form interconnected networks that dynamically remodel in response to cellular needs. Using live-cell imaging, we investigate the role of the actin cytoskeleton in regulating mitochondrial fission and fusion. We identify cycling of actin filaments onto and off of subsets of cellular mitochondria. The association of actin filaments with mitochondrial subpopulations is transient; actin quickly disassembles, then reassembles around a distinct subpopulation, efficiently cycling through all cellular mitochondria within 14 min. The focal assembly of actin induces local, Drp1-dependent fragmentation of the mitochondrial network. On actin disassembly, fragmented mitochondria undergo rapid fusion, leading to regional recovery of the tubular mitochondrial network. Cycling requires dynamic actin polymerization and is blocked by inhibitors of both Arp2/3 and formins. We propose that cyclic assembly of actin onto mitochondria modulates the fission/fusion balance, promotes network remodelling and content mixing, and thus may serve as an essential mechanism regulating mitochondrial network homeostasis. PMID:27686185

  5. Actin filament dynamics impacts keratinocyte stem cell maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Nanba, Daisuke; Toki, Fujio; Matsushita, Natsuki; Matsushita, Sachi; Higashiyama, Shigeki; Barrandon, Yann

    2013-01-01

    Cultured human epidermal keratinocyte stem cells (holoclones) are crucial for regenerative medicine for burns and genetic disorders. In serial culture, holoclones progressively lose their proliferative capacity to become transient amplifying cells with limited growth (paraclones), a phenomenon termed clonal conversion. Although it negatively impacts the culture lifespan and the success of cell transplantation, little is known on the molecular mechanism underlying clonal conversion. Here, we show that holoclones and paraclones differ in their actin filament organization, with actin bundles distributed radially in holoclones and circumferentially in paraclones. Moreover, actin organization sets the stage for a differing response to epidermal growth factor (EGF), since EGF signalling induces a rapid expansion of colony size in holoclones and a significant reduction in paraclones. Furthermore, inhibition of PI3K or Rac1 in holoclones results in the reorganization of actin filaments in a pattern that is similar to that of paraclones. Importantly, continuous Rac1 inhibition in holoclones results in clonal conversion and reduction of growth potential. Together, our data connect loss of stem cells to EGF-induced colony dynamics governed by Rac1. PMID:23554171

  6. Actin filaments growing against a barrier with fluctuating shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadhu, Raj Kumar; Chatterjee, Sakuntala

    2016-06-01

    We study force generation by a set of parallel actin filaments growing against a nonrigid obstacle, in the presence of an external load. The filaments polymerize by either moving the whole obstacle, with a large energy cost, or by causing local distortion in its shape which costs much less energy. The nonrigid obstacle also has local thermal fluctuations due to which its shape can change with time and we describe this using fluctuations in the height profile of a one-dimensional interface with Kardar-Parisi-Zhang dynamics. We find the shape fluctuations of the barrier strongly affect the force generation mechanism. The qualitative nature of the force-velocity curve is crucially determined by the relative time scale of filament and barrier dynamics. The height profile of the barrier also shows interesting variation with the external load. Our analytical calculations within mean-field theory show reasonable agreement with our simulation results.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Fluorescence microscopy techniques for characterizing the microscale mechanical response of entangled actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

    Actin filaments are semiflexible polymers that display complex viscoelastic properties when entangled in networks. In order to characterize the molecular-level physical and mechanical properties of entangled actin networks it is important to know the in-network length distribution and the response of entangled filaments to local forcing. Here we describe two single-molecule microscopy protocols developed to investigate these properties. Using confocal fluorescence microscopy and ImageJ image analysis we have developed a protocol to accurately measure the in-network actin length distribution. To characterize the deformation of actin filaments in response to perturbation, we trap micron size beads embedded in the network with optical tweezers and propagate the beads through the entangled filaments while simultaneously recording images of fluorescent-labeled filaments in the network. A sparse number of labeled filaments dispersed throughout the network allow us to visualize the movement of individual filaments during perturbation. Analysis of images taken during forcing is carried out using a combination of vector mapping and skeletonization techniques to directly reveal the deformation and subsequent relaxation modes induced in entangled actin filaments by microscale strains. We also determine the dependence of deformation modes on the relative filament position relative to the strain.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2014-03-01

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

  16. Modeling of the motion of the actin filament on the myosin motility assays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Yuan; Shelley, Mike

    2007-11-01

    In motility assays, cytoskeletal actin filaments (actin filaments) glide over a surface coated with motor proteins, and the different modes of motion provide a simple measure of the force exerted by the motor proteins (Bourdieu, 1995). Motivated by these experiments, we consider the actin filament as a slender, elastic filament immersed in Stokesian flow, driven by a tangential forcing that mimics the force by the motor proteins. We find qualitative agreement on several points between our analysis and simulations and experimental observations. Furthermore, we study the correlation between filament transport and the characteristics of motion with the spatial pattern of motor protein density.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Bacterial actin MreB forms antiparallel double filaments

    PubMed Central

    van den Ent, Fusinita; Izoré, Thierry; Bharat, Tanmay AM; Johnson, Christopher M; Löwe, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Filaments of all actin-like proteins known to date are assembled from pairs of protofilaments that are arranged in a parallel fashion, generating polarity. In this study, we show that the prokaryotic actin homologue MreB forms pairs of protofilaments that adopt an antiparallel arrangement in vitro and in vivo. We provide an atomic view of antiparallel protofilaments of Caulobacter MreB as apparent from crystal structures. We show that a protofilament doublet is essential for MreB's function in cell shape maintenance and demonstrate by in vivo site-specific cross-linking the antiparallel orientation of MreB protofilaments in E. coli. 3D cryo-EM shows that pairs of protofilaments of Caulobacter MreB tightly bind to membranes. Crystal structures of different nucleotide and polymerisation states of Caulobacter MreB reveal conserved conformational changes accompanying antiparallel filament formation. Finally, the antimicrobial agents A22/MP265 are shown to bind close to the bound nucleotide of MreB, presumably preventing nucleotide hydrolysis and destabilising double protofilaments. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02634.001 PMID:24843005

  19. Assembly and Turnover of Short Actin Filaments by the Formin INF2 and Profilin*

    PubMed Central

    Gurel, Pinar S.; A, Mu; Guo, Bingqian; Shu, Rui; Mierke, Dale F.; Higgs, Henry N.

    2015-01-01

    INF2 (inverted formin 2) is a formin protein with unique biochemical effects on actin. In addition to the common formin ability to accelerate actin nucleation and elongation, INF2 can also sever filaments and accelerate their depolymerization. Although we understand key attributes of INF2-mediated severing, we do not understand the mechanism by which INF2 accelerates depolymerization subsequent to severing. Here, we show that INF2 can create short filaments (<60 nm) that continuously turn over actin subunits through a combination of barbed end elongation, severing, and WH2 motif-mediated depolymerization. This pseudo-steady state condition occurs whether starting from actin filaments or monomers. The rate-limiting step of the cycle is nucleotide exchange of ADP for ATP on actin monomers after release from the INF2/actin complex. Profilin addition has two effects: 1) to accelerate filament turnover 6-fold by accelerating nucleotide exchange and 2) to shift the equilibrium toward polymerization, resulting in longer filaments. In sum, our findings show that the combination of multiple interactions of INF2 with actin can work in concert to increase the ATP turnover rate of actin. Depending on the ratio of INF2:actin, this increased flux can result in rapid filament depolymerization or maintenance of short filaments. We also show that high concentrations of cytochalasin D accelerate ATP turnover by actin but through a different mechanism from that of INF2. PMID:26124273

  20. Assembly and turnover of short actin filaments by the formin INF2 and profilin.

    PubMed

    Gurel, Pinar S; A, Mu; Guo, Bingqian; Shu, Rui; Mierke, Dale F; Higgs, Henry N

    2015-09-11

    INF2 (inverted formin 2) is a formin protein with unique biochemical effects on actin. In addition to the common formin ability to accelerate actin nucleation and elongation, INF2 can also sever filaments and accelerate their depolymerization. Although we understand key attributes of INF2-mediated severing, we do not understand the mechanism by which INF2 accelerates depolymerization subsequent to severing. Here, we show that INF2 can create short filaments (<60 nm) that continuously turn over actin subunits through a combination of barbed end elongation, severing, and WH2 motif-mediated depolymerization. This pseudo-steady state condition occurs whether starting from actin filaments or monomers. The rate-limiting step of the cycle is nucleotide exchange of ADP for ATP on actin monomers after release from the INF2/actin complex. Profilin addition has two effects: 1) to accelerate filament turnover 6-fold by accelerating nucleotide exchange and 2) to shift the equilibrium toward polymerization, resulting in longer filaments. In sum, our findings show that the combination of multiple interactions of INF2 with actin can work in concert to increase the ATP turnover rate of actin. Depending on the ratio of INF2:actin, this increased flux can result in rapid filament depolymerization or maintenance of short filaments. We also show that high concentrations of cytochalasin D accelerate ATP turnover by actin but through a different mechanism from that of INF2.

  1. Vinculin Is a Dually Regulated Actin Filament Barbed End-capping and Side-binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Le Clainche, Christophe; Dwivedi, Satya Prakash; Didry, Dominique; Carlier, Marie-France

    2010-01-01

    The focal adhesion protein vinculin is an actin-binding protein involved in the mechanical coupling between the actin cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. An autoinhibitory interaction between the N-terminal head (Vh) and the C-terminal tail (Vt) of vinculin masks an actin filament side-binding domain in Vt. The binding of several proteins to Vh disrupts this intramolecular interaction and exposes the actin filament side-binding domain. Here, by combining kinetic assays and microscopy observations, we show that Vt inhibits actin polymerization by blocking the barbed ends of actin filaments. In low salt conditions, Vt nucleates actin filaments capped at their barbed ends. We determined that the interaction between vinculin and the barbed end is characterized by slow association and dissociation rate constants. This barbed end capping activity requires C-terminal amino acids of Vt that are dispensable for actin filament side binding. Like the side-binding domain, the capping domain of vinculin is masked by an autoinhibitory interaction between Vh and Vt. In contrast to the side-binding domain, the capping domain is not unmasked by the binding of a talin domain to Vh and requires the dissociation of an additional autoinhibitory interaction. Finally, we show that vinculin and the formin mDia1, which is involved in the processive elongation of actin filaments in focal adhesions, compete for actin filament barbed ends. PMID:20484056

  2. Genetic deletion of ABP-120 alters the three-dimensional organization of actin filaments in Dictyostelium pseudopods

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    This study extends the observations on the defects in pseudopod formation of ABP-120+ and ABP-120- cells by a detailed morphological and biochemical analysis of the actin based cytoskeleton. Both ABP-120+ and ABP-120- cells polymerize the same amount of F-actin in response to stimulation with cAMP. However, unlike ABP-120+ cells, ABP-120- cells do not incorporate actin into the Triton X-100-insoluble cytoskeleton at 30-50 s, the time when ABP-120 is incorporated into the cytoskeleton and when pseudopods are extended after cAMP stimulation in wild-type cells. By confocal and electron microscopy, pseudopods extended by ABP- 120- cells are not as large or thick as those produced by ABP-120+ cells and in the electron microscope, an altered filament network is found in pseudopods of ABP-120- cells when compared to pseudopods of ABP-120+ cells. The actin filaments found in areas of pseudopods in ABP- 120+ cells either before or after stimulation were long, straight, and arranged into space filling orthogonal networks. Protrusions of ABP-120- cells are less three-dimensional, denser, and filled with multiple foci of aggregated filaments consistent with collapse of the filament network due to the absence of ABP-120-mediated cross-linking activity. The different organization of actin filaments may account for the diminished size of protrusions observed in living and fixed ABP-120- cells compared to ABP-120+ cells and is consistent with the role of ABP- 120 in regulating pseudopod extension through its cross-linking of actin filaments. PMID:7876307

  3. Actions of cytochalasins on the organization of actin filaments and microtubules in a neuronal growth cone

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    Actions of cytochalasin B (CB) on cytoskeletons and motility of growth cones from cultured Aplysia neurons were studied using a rapid flow perfusion chamber and digital video light microscopy. Living growth cones were observed using differential interference contrast optics and were also fixed at various time points to assay actin filament (F- actin) and microtubule distributions. Treatment with CB reversibly blocked motility and eliminated most of the phalloidin-stainable F- actin from the leading lamella. The loss of F-actin was nearly complete within 2-3 min of CB application and was largely reversed within 5-6 min of CB removal. The loss and recovery of F-actin were found to occur with a very distinctive spatial organization. Within 20-30 s of CB application, F-actin networks receded from the entire peripheral margin of the lamella forming a band devoid of F-actin. This band widened as F- actin receded at rates of 3-6 microns/min. Upon removal of CB, F-actin began to reappear within 20-30 s. The initial reappearance of F-actin took two forms: a coarse isotropic matrix of F-actin bundles throughout the lamella, and a denser matrix along the peripheral margin. The denser peripheral matrix then expanded in width, extending centrally to replace the coarse matrix at rates again between 3-6 microns/min. These results suggest that actin normally polymerizes at the leading edge and then flows rearward at a rate between 3-6 microns/min. CB treatment was also observed to alter the distribution of microtubules, assayed by antitubulin antibody staining. Normally, microtubules are restricted to the neurite shaft and a central growth cone domain. Within approximately 5 min after CB application, however, microtubules began extending into the lamellar region, often reaching the peripheral margin. Upon removal of CB, the microtubules were restored to their former central localization. The timing of these microtubule redistributions is consistent with their being secondary to

  4. Stretching Actin Filaments within Cells Enhances their Affinity for the Myosin II Motor Domain

    PubMed Central

    Uyeda, Taro Q. P.; Iwadate, Yoshiaki; Umeki, Nobuhisa; Nagasaki, Akira; Yumura, Shigehiko

    2011-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that the myosin II motor domain (S1) preferentially binds to specific subsets of actin filaments in vivo, we expressed GFP-fused S1 with mutations that enhanced its affinity for actin in Dictyostelium cells. Consistent with the hypothesis, the GFP-S1 mutants were localized along specific portions of the cell cortex. Comparison with rhodamine-phalloidin staining in fixed cells demonstrated that the GFP-S1 probes preferentially bound to actin filaments in the rear cortex and cleavage furrows, where actin filaments are stretched by interaction with endogenous myosin II filaments. The GFP-S1 probes were similarly enriched in the cortex stretched passively by traction forces in the absence of myosin II or by external forces using a microcapillary. The preferential binding of GFP-S1 mutants to stretched actin filaments did not depend on cortexillin I or PTEN, two proteins previously implicated in the recruitment of myosin II filaments to stretched cortex. These results suggested that it is the stretching of the actin filaments itself that increases their affinity for the myosin II motor domain. In contrast, the GFP-fused myosin I motor domain did not localize to stretched actin filaments, which suggests different preferences of the motor domains for different structures of actin filaments play a role in distinct intracellular localizations of myosin I and II. We propose a scheme in which the stretching of actin filaments, the preferential binding of myosin II filaments to stretched actin filaments, and myosin II-dependent contraction form a positive feedback loop that contributes to the stabilization of cell polarity and to the responsiveness of the cells to external mechanical stimuli. PMID:22022566

  5. Srv2/cyclase-associated protein forms hexameric shurikens that directly catalyze actin filament severing by cofilin

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhry, Faisal; Breitsprecher, Dennis; Little, Kristin; Sharov, Grigory; Sokolova, Olga; Goode, Bruce L.

    2013-01-01

    Actin filament severing is critical for the dynamic turnover of cellular actin networks. Cofilin severs filaments, but additional factors may be required to increase severing efficiency in vivo. Srv2/cyclase-associated protein (CAP) is a widely expressed protein with a role in binding and recycling actin monomers ascribed to domains in its C-terminus (C-Srv2). In this paper, we report a new biochemical and cellular function for Srv2/CAP in directly catalyzing cofilin-mediated severing of filaments. This function is mediated by its N-terminal half (N-Srv2), and is physically and genetically separable from C-Srv2 activities. Using dual-color total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, we determined that N-Srv2 stimulates filament disassembly by increasing the frequency of cofilin-mediated severing without affecting cofilin binding to filaments. Structural analysis shows that N-Srv2 forms novel hexameric star-shaped structures, and disrupting oligomerization impairs N-Srv2 activities and in vivo function. Further, genetic analysis shows that the combined activities of N-Srv2 and Aip1 are essential in vivo. These observations define a novel mechanism by which the combined activities of cofilin and Srv2/CAP lead to enhanced filament severing and support an emerging view that actin disassembly is controlled not by cofilin alone, but by a more complex set of factors working in concert. PMID:23135996

  6. Myosin and Tropomyosin Stabilize the Conformation of Formin-nucleated Actin Filaments*

    PubMed Central

    Ujfalusi, Zoltán; Kovács, Mihály; Nagy, Nikolett T.; Barkó, Szilvia; Hild, Gábor; Lukács, András; Nyitrai, Miklós; Bugyi, Beáta

    2012-01-01

    The conformational elasticity of the actin cytoskeleton is essential for its versatile biological functions. Increasing evidence supports that the interplay between the structural and functional properties of actin filaments is finely regulated by actin-binding proteins; however, the underlying mechanisms and biological consequences are not completely understood. Previous studies showed that the binding of formins to the barbed end induces conformational transitions in actin filaments by making them more flexible through long range allosteric interactions. These conformational changes are accompanied by altered functional properties of the filaments. To get insight into the conformational regulation of formin-nucleated actin structures, in the present work we investigated in detail how binding partners of formin-generated actin structures, myosin and tropomyosin, affect the conformation of the formin-nucleated actin filaments using fluorescence spectroscopic approaches. Time-dependent fluorescence anisotropy and temperature-dependent Förster-type resonance energy transfer measurements revealed that heavy meromyosin, similarly to tropomyosin, restores the formin-induced effects and stabilizes the conformation of actin filaments. The stabilizing effect of heavy meromyosin is cooperative. The kinetic analysis revealed that despite the qualitatively similar effects of heavy meromyosin and tropomyosin on the conformational dynamics of actin filaments the mechanisms of the conformational transition are different for the two proteins. Heavy meromyosin stabilizes the formin-nucleated actin filaments in an apparently single step reaction upon binding, whereas the stabilization by tropomyosin occurs after complex formation. These observations support the idea that actin-binding proteins are key elements of the molecular mechanisms that regulate the conformational and functional diversity of actin filaments in living cells. PMID:22753415

  7. 3D Filament Network Segmentation with Multiple Active Contours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2014-03-01

    Fluorescence microscopy is frequently used to study two and three dimensional network structures formed by cytoskeletal polymer fibers such as actin filaments and microtubules. While these cytoskeletal structures are often dilute enough to allow imaging of individual filaments or bundles of them, quantitative analysis of these images is challenging. To facilitate quantitative, reproducible and objective analysis of the image data, we developed a semi-automated method to extract actin networks and retrieve their topology in 3D. Our method uses multiple Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) that are automatically initialized at image intensity ridges and then evolve along the centerlines of filaments in the network. SOACs can merge, stop at junctions, and reconfigure with others to allow smooth crossing at junctions of filaments. The proposed approach is generally applicable to images of curvilinear networks with low SNR. We demonstrate its potential by extracting the centerlines of synthetic meshwork images, actin networks in 2D TIRF Microscopy images, and 3D actin cable meshworks of live fission yeast cells imaged by spinning disk confocal microscopy.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Profilin-Dependent Nucleation and Assembly of Actin Filaments Controls Cell Elongation in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Lingyan; Blanchoin, Laurent; Staiger, Christopher J.

    2016-01-01

    Actin filaments in plant cells are incredibly dynamic; they undergo incessant remodeling and assembly or disassembly within seconds. These dynamic events are choreographed by a plethora of actin-binding proteins, but the exact mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we dissect the contribution of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) PROFILIN1 (PRF1), a conserved actin monomer-binding protein, to actin organization and single filament dynamics during axial cell expansion of living epidermal cells. We found that reduced PRF1 levels enhanced cell and organ growth. Surprisingly, we observed that the overall frequency of nucleation events in prf1 mutants was dramatically decreased and that a subpopulation of actin filaments that assemble at high rates was reduced. To test whether profilin cooperates with plant formin proteins to execute actin nucleation and rapid filament elongation in cells, we used a pharmacological approach. Here, we used Small Molecule Inhibitor of Formin FH2 (SMIFH2), after validating its mode of action on a plant formin in vitro, and observed a reduced nucleation frequency of actin filaments in live cells. Treatment of wild-type epidermal cells with SMIFH2 mimicked the phenotype of prf1 mutants, and the nucleation frequency in prf1-2 mutant was completely insensitive to these treatments. Our data provide compelling evidence that PRF1 coordinates the stochastic dynamic properties of actin filaments by modulating formin-mediated actin nucleation and assembly during plant cell expansion. PMID:26574597

  10. Profilin Interaction with Actin Filament Barbed End Controls Dynamic Instability, Capping, Branching, and Motility

    PubMed Central

    Pernier, Julien; Shekhar, Shashank; Jegou, Antoine; Guichard, Bérengère; Carlier, Marie-France

    2016-01-01

    Summary Cell motility and actin homeostasis depend on the control of polarized growth of actin filaments. Profilin, an abundant regulator of actin dynamics, supports filament assembly at barbed ends by binding G-actin. Here, we demonstrate how, by binding and destabilizing filament barbed ends at physiological concentrations, profilin also controls motility, cell migration, and actin homeostasis. Profilin enhances filament length fluctuations. Profilin competes with Capping Protein at barbed ends, which generates a lower amount of profilin-actin than expected if barbed ends were tightly capped. Profilin competes with barbed end polymerases, such as formins and VopF, and inhibits filament branching by WASP-Arp2/3 complex by competition for filament barbed ends, accounting for its as-yet-unknown effects on motility and metastatic cell migration observed in this concentration range. In conclusion, profilin is a major coordinator of polarized growth of actin filaments, controlled by competition between barbed end cappers, trackers, destabilizers, and filament branching machineries. PMID:26812019

  11. Unidirectional movement of an actin filament taking advantage of temperature gradients.

    PubMed

    Kawaguchi, Tomoaki; Honda, Hajime

    2007-01-01

    An actin filament with heat acceptors attached to its Cys374 residue in each actin monomer could move unidirectionally even under heat pulsation alone, while in the total absence of both ATP and myosin. The prime driver for the movement was temperature gradients operating between locally heated portions on an actin filament and its cooler surroundings. In this report, we investigated how the mitigation of the temperature gradients induces a unidirectional movement of an actin filament. We then observed the transversal fluctuations of the filament in response to heat pulsation and their transition into longitudinally unidirectional movement. The transition was significantly accelerated when Cys374 and Lys336 were simultaneously excited within an actin monomer. These results suggest that the mitigation of the temperature gradients within each actin monomer first went through the energy transformation to transversal fluctuations of the filament, and then followed by the transformation further down to longitudinal movements of the filament. The faster mitigation of temperature gradients within actin monomer helps build up the transition from the transversal to longitudinal movements of the filament by coordinating the interaction between the neighboring monomers. PMID:17030086

  12. Effects of intermediate filaments on actin-based motility of Listeria monocytogenes.

    PubMed

    Giardini, P A; Theriot, J A

    2001-12-01

    How does subcellular architecture influence the intracellular movements of large organelles and macromolecular assemblies? To investigate the effects of mechanical changes in cytoplasmic structure on intracellular motility, we have characterized the actin-based motility of the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes in normal mouse fibroblasts and in fibroblasts lacking intermediate filaments. The apparent diffusion coefficient of L. monocytogenes was two-fold greater in vimentin-null fibroblasts than in wild-type fibroblasts, indicating that intermediate filaments significantly restrict the Brownian motion of bacteria. However, the mean speed of L. monocytogenes actin-based motility was statistically identical in vimentin-null and wild-type cells. Thus, environmental drag is not rate limiting for bacterial motility. Analysis of the temporal variations in speed measurements indicated that bacteria in vimentin-null cells displayed larger fluctuations in speed than did trajectories in wild-type cells. Similarly, the presence of the vimentin meshwork influenced the turning behavior of the bacteria; in the vimentin-null cells, bacteria made sharper turns than they did in wild-type cells. Taken together, these results suggest that a network of intermediate filaments constrains bacterial movement and operates over distances of several microns to reduce fluctuations in motile behavior.

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

    PubMed

    Mabuchi, I

    1994-07-01

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

  14. Probing the dynamic responses of individual actin filaments under fluidic mechanical stimulation via microfluidics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Chao-Min; Yang, Chung-Yao; Kim, YongTae; LeDuc, Philip R.

    2013-05-01

    Herein, we demonstrate an easy-to-handle approach that employs a combination of microcurvilinear flow and fluorescence microscopy for probing the dynamic responses of individual synthesized actin filaments. We observed morphological changes of single actin filaments with different spatiotemporal responses when they were elongated with rotation or underwent significant bending during fluidic shear stress, and found that they may initially increase their curvature but then start releasing the external force immediately thereafter. Our approach allowed us to visibly examine the dynamic responses of individual actin filaments under simultaneous forces of rotation and elongation, as well as bending resulting from fluidic shear stress.

  15. Fluorescence energy transfer between Cys-10 residues in F-actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Miki, M; Barden, J A; Hambly, B D; dos Remedios, C G

    1986-05-01

    Fluorescence energy transfer was measured between Cys-10 residues in an F-actin filament using 5-[2-((iodoacetyl)amino)-ethyl]aminonaphthalene-1-sulphonic acid (1,5-IAEDANS) as a fluorescence energy donor and 4-dimethylaminophenylazophenyl-4'-maleimide (DABMI) as the acceptor. Both labels were covalently attached to Cys-10 residues in an F-actin filament. Taking the helical structure of the F-actin filament into consideration, the radial coordinate of Cys-10 was calculated to be 23 A. This corresponds to a distance between adjacent sites along the long pitch helix of 56.1 A and along the genetic helix of 53.3 A.

  16. Banding and polarity of actin filaments in interphase and cleaving cells

    PubMed Central

    1980-01-01

    Heavy meromyosin (HMM) decoration of actin filaments was used to detect the polarity of microfilaments in interphase and cleaving rat kangaroo (PtK2) cells. Ethanol at -20 degrees C was used to make the cells permeable to HMM followed by tannic acid-glutaraldehyde fixation for electron microscopy. Uniform polarity of actin filaments was observed at cell junctions and central attachment plaques with the HMM arrowheads always pointing away from the junction or plaque. Stress fibers were banded in appearance with their component microfilaments exhibiting both parallel and antiparallel orientation with respect to one another. Identical banding of microfilament bundles was also seen in cleavage furrows with the same variation in filament polarity as found in stress fibers. Similarly banded fibers were not seen outside the cleavage furrow in mitotic cells. By the time that a mid-body was present, the actin filaments in the cleavage furrow were no longer in banded fibers. The alternating dark and light bands of both the stress fibers and cleavage furrow fibers are approximately equal in length, each measuring approximately 0.16 micrometer. Actin filaments were present in both bands, and individual decorated filaments could sometimes be traced through four band lengths. Undecorated filaments, 10 nm in diameter, could often be seen within the light bands. A model is proposed to explain the arrangement of filaments in stress fibers and cleavage furrows based on the striations observed with tannic acid and the polarity of the actin filaments. PMID:6995468

  17. Structural basis of thymosin-β4/profilin exchange leading to actin filament polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Bo; Leyrat, Cedric; Grimes, Jonathan M.; Robinson, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    Thymosin-β4 (Tβ4) and profilin are the two major sequestering proteins that maintain the pool of monomeric actin (G-actin) within cells of higher eukaryotes. Tβ4 prevents G-actin from joining a filament, whereas profilin:actin only supports barbed-end elongation. Here, we report two Tβ4:actin structures. The first structure shows that Tβ4 has two helices that bind at the barbed and pointed faces of G-actin, preventing the incorporation of the bound G-actin into a filament. The second structure displays a more open nucleotide binding cleft on G-actin, which is typical of profilin:actin structures, with a concomitant disruption of the Tβ4 C-terminal helix interaction. These structures, combined with biochemical assays and molecular dynamics simulations, show that the exchange of bound actin between Tβ4 and profilin involves both steric and allosteric components. The sensitivity of profilin to the conformational state of actin indicates a similar allosteric mechanism for the dissociation of profilin during filament elongation. PMID:25313062

  18. 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

  19. Stabilization of actin filaments prevents germinal vesicle breakdown and affects microtubule organization in Xenopus oocytes.

    PubMed

    Okada, Iyo; Fujiki, Saburo; Iwase, Shohei; Abe, Hiroshi

    2012-05-01

    In Xenopus oocytes, extremely giant nuclei, termed germinal vesicles, contain a large amount of actin filaments most likely for mechanical integrity. Here, we show that microinjection of phalloidin, an F-actin-stabilizing drug, prevents the germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) in oocytes treated with progesterone. These nuclei remained for more 12 h after control oocytes underwent GVBD. Immunostaining showed significant elevation of actin in the remaining nuclei and many actin filament bundles in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, microtubules formed unusual structures in both nuclei and cytoplasm of phalloidin-injected oocytes stimulated by progesterone. Cytoplasmic microtubule arrays and intranuclear microtubules initially formed in phalloidin-injected oocytes as control oocytes exhibited white maturation spots; these structures gradually disappeared and finally converged upon intranuclear short bundles when control oocytes completed maturation. In contrast, treatment of oocytes with jasplakinolide, a cell membrane-permeable actin filament-stabilizing drug, did not affect GVBD. This drug preferentially induced accumulation of actin filaments at the cortex without any increase in cytoplasmic actin staining. Based on these results, intranuclear and cytoplasmic actin filament dynamics appear to be required for the completion of GVBD and critically involved in the regulation of microtubule assembly during oocyte maturation in Xenopus laevis. PMID:22422719

  20. 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

  1. ER transport on actin filaments in squid giant axon: implications for signal transduction at synapse.

    PubMed

    Langford, G M

    1999-12-01

    The smooth endoplasmic reticulum (S-ER) is transported on actin filaments in the giant axon of the squid. The identity of the myosin motors that transport S-ER in the squid giant axon has been determined. Our recent studies have shown that the motor for movement of S-ER vesicles on actin filaments is Myosin-V (1). These findings grew out of a series of studies that began with the initial observation that vesicles in the giant axon of the squid move on both microtubules and actin filaments (2). These initial studies documented the ability of individual vesicles to move from microtubules to actin filaments and led to the development of the dual filament model of vesicle transport (3, 4). The model proposes that long-range movement of vesicles occurs on microtubules and short-range movement on actin filaments. S-ER vesicles were identified as the major population of vesicles in the axon that use myosin-V for movement on actin filaments. The S-ER is the primary site of calcium storage, and it regulates the local cytosolic calcium concentration. Calcium release from the S-ER in neurons couples electrical excitation to signal transduction cascades. The signaling cascades triggered by the release of calcium from S-ER in dendritic spines are postulated to initiate the cellular mechanisms that lead to learning and memory.

  2. Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Composite Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-03-01

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

  3. Structural characterization of a capping protein interaction motif defines a family of actin filament regulators

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez-Valladares, Maria; Kim, Taekyung; Kannan, Balakrishnan; Tung, Alvin; Aguda, Adeleke H; Larsson, Mårten; Cooper, John A; Robinson, Robert C

    2011-01-01

    Capping protein (CP) regulates actin dynamics by binding the barbed ends of actin filaments. Removal of CP may be one means to harness actin polymerization for processes such as cell movement and endocytosis. Here we structurally and biochemically investigated a CP interaction (CPI) motif present in the otherwise unrelated proteins CARMIL and CD2AP. The CPI motif wraps around the stalk of the mushroom-shaped CP at a site distant from the actin-binding interface, which lies on the top of the mushroom cap. We propose that the CPI motif may act as an allosteric modulator, restricting CP to a low-affinity, filament-binding conformation. Structure-based sequence alignments extend the CPI motif–containing family to include CIN85, CKIP-1, CapZIP and a relatively uncharacterized protein, WASHCAP (FAM21). Peptides comprising these CPI motifs are able to inhibit CP and to uncap CP-bound actin filaments. PMID:20357771

  4. Possible association of actin filaments with chloroplasts of spinach mesophyll cells in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed

    Kumatani, T; Sakurai-Ozato, N; Miyawaki, N; Yokota, E; Shimmen, T; Terashima, I; Takagi, S

    2006-11-01

    In palisade mesophyll cells of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) kept under low-intensity white light, chloroplasts were apparently immobile and seemed to be surrounded by fine bundles of actin filaments. High-intensity blue light induced actin-dependent chloroplast movement concomitant with the appearance of a couple of long, straight bundles of actin filaments in each cell, whereas high-intensity red light was essentially ineffective in inducing these responses. The actin organization observed under low-intensity white light has been postulated to function in anchoring chloroplasts at proper intracellular positions through direct interaction with the chloroplasts. Intact chloroplasts, which retained their outer envelopes, were isolated after homogenization of leaves and Percoll centrifugation. No endogenous actin was detected by immunoblotting in the final intact-chloroplast fraction prepared from the leaves kept under low-intensity white light or in darkness. In cosedimentation assays with exogenously added skeletal muscle filamentous actin, however, actin was detected in the intact-chloroplast fraction precipitated after low-speed centrifugation. The association of actin with chloroplasts was apparently dependent on incubation time and chloroplast density. After partial disruption of the outer envelope of isolated chloroplasts by treatment with trypsin, actin was no longer coprecipitated. The results suggest that chloroplasts in spinach leaves can directly interact with actin, and that this interaction may be involved in the regulation of intracellular positioning of chloroplasts.

  5. F actin bundles in Drosophila bristles. I. Two filament cross-links are involved in bundling

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    Transverse sections though Drosophila bristles reveal 7-11 nearly round, plasma membrane-associated bundles of actin filaments. These filaments are hexagonally packed and in a longitudinal section they show a 12-nm periodicity in both the 1.1 and 1.0 views. From earlier studies this periodicity is attributable to cross-links and indicates that the filaments are maximally cross-linked, singed mutants also have 7-11 bundles, but the bundles are smaller, flattened, and the filaments within the bundles are randomly packed (not hexagonal); no periodicity can be detected in longitudinal sections. Another mutant, forked (f36a), also has 7-11 bundles but even though the bundles are very small, the filaments within them are hexagonally packed and display a 12-nm periodicity in longitudinal section. The singed-forked double mutant lacks filament bundles. Thus there are at least two species of cross-links between adjacent actin filaments. Hints of why two species of cross-links are necessary can be gleaned by studying bristle formation. Bristles sprout with only microtubules within them. A little later in development actin filaments appear. At early stages the filaments in the bundles are randomly packed. Later the filaments in the bundles become hexagonally packed and maximally cross-linked. We consider that the forked proteins may be necessary early in development to tie the filaments together in a bundle so that they can be subsequently zippered together by fascin (the singed gene product). PMID:7622563

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kumakura, Michiko; Kawaguchi, Atsushi Nagata, Kyosuke

    2015-02-15

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

  7. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases.

    PubMed

    Robert, Amélie; Herrmann, Harald; Davidson, Michael W; Gelfand, Vladimir I

    2014-07-01

    Intermediate filaments (IFs) form a dense and dynamic network that is functionally associated with microtubules and actin filaments. We used the GFP-tagged vimentin mutant Y117L to study vimentin-cytoskeletal interactions and transport of vimentin filament precursors. This mutant preserves vimentin interaction with other components of the cytoskeleton, but its assembly is blocked at the unit-length filament (ULF) stage. ULFs are easy to track, and they allow a reliable and quantifiable analysis of movement. Our results show that in cultured human vimentin-negative SW13 cells, 2% of vimentin-ULFs move along microtubules bidirectionally, while the majority are stationary and tightly associated with actin filaments. Rapid motor-dependent transport of ULFs along microtubules is enhanced ≥ 5-fold by depolymerization of actin cytoskeleton with latrunculin B. The microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin ULFs is further regulated by Rho-kinase (ROCK) and p21-activated kinase (PAK): ROCK inhibits ULF transport, while PAK stimulates it. Both kinases act on microtubule transport independently of their effects on actin cytoskeleton. Our study demonstrates the importance of the actin cytoskeleton to restrict IF transport and reveals a new role for PAK and ROCK in the regulation of IF precursor transport.-Robert, A., Herrmann, H., Davidson, M. W., and Gelfand, V. I. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases.

  8. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases

    PubMed Central

    Robert, Amélie; Herrmann, Harald; Davidson, Michael W.; Gelfand, Vladimir I.

    2014-01-01

    Intermediate filaments (IFs) form a dense and dynamic network that is functionally associated with microtubules and actin filaments. We used the GFP-tagged vimentin mutant Y117L to study vimentin-cytoskeletal interactions and transport of vimentin filament precursors. This mutant preserves vimentin interaction with other components of the cytoskeleton, but its assembly is blocked at the unit-length filament (ULF) stage. ULFs are easy to track, and they allow a reliable and quantifiable analysis of movement. Our results show that in cultured human vimentin-negative SW13 cells, 2% of vimentin-ULFs move along microtubules bidirectionally, while the majority are stationary and tightly associated with actin filaments. Rapid motor-dependent transport of ULFs along microtubules is enhanced ≥5-fold by depolymerization of actin cytoskeleton with latrunculin B. The microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin ULFs is further regulated by Rho-kinase (ROCK) and p21-activated kinase (PAK): ROCK inhibits ULF transport, while PAK stimulates it. Both kinases act on microtubule transport independently of their effects on actin cytoskeleton. Our study demonstrates the importance of the actin cytoskeleton to restrict IF transport and reveals a new role for PAK and ROCK in the regulation of IF precursor transport.—Robert, A., Herrmann, H., Davidson, M. W., and Gelfand, V. I. Microtubule-dependent transport of vimentin filament precursors is regulated by actin and by the concerted action of Rho- and p21-activated kinases. PMID:24652946

  9. The effects of formins on the conformation of subdomain 1 in actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Ujfalusi, Zoltán; Barkó, Szilvia; Hild, Gábor; Nyitrai, Miklós

    2010-01-21

    In this study we investigated the effects of formins on the conformation of actin filaments by using the method of fluorescence quenching. Actin was labelled with IAEDANS at Cys(374) and the quencher was acrylamide. The results showed that formin binding induced structural changes in the subdomain 1 of actin protomers which were reflected by greater quenching constants (K(SV)). Simultaneously the fraction of the fluorophore population accessible for the quencher (alpha) decreased. These observations suggest that the conformational distribution characteristic for the actin protomers became broader after the binding of formins, for which the structural framework was provided by a more flexible protein matrix in the microenvironment of the label. The effects of formins depended on the formin:actin molar ratio, and also on the ionic strength of the medium. These observations are in agreement with previous results and underline the importance of the intramolecular conformational changes induced by formins in the structure of actin filaments.

  10. Molecular mechanism of Ena/VASP-mediated actin-filament elongation.

    PubMed

    Breitsprecher, Dennis; Kiesewetter, Antje K; Linkner, Joern; Vinzenz, Marlene; Stradal, Theresia E B; Small, John Victor; Curth, Ute; Dickinson, Richard B; Faix, Jan

    2011-02-01

    Ena/VASP proteins are implicated in a variety of fundamental cellular processes including axon guidance and cell migration. In vitro, they enhance elongation of actin filaments, but at rates differing in nearly an order of magnitude according to species, raising questions about the molecular determinants of rate control. Chimeras from fast and slow elongating VASP proteins were generated and their ability to promote actin polymerization and to bind G-actin was assessed. By in vitro TIRF microscopy as well as thermodynamic and kinetic analyses, we show that the velocity of VASP-mediated filament elongation depends on G-actin recruitment by the WASP homology 2 motif. Comparison of the experimentally observed elongation rates with a quantitative mathematical model moreover revealed that Ena/VASP-mediated filament elongation displays a saturation dependence on the actin monomer concentration, implying that Ena/VASP proteins, independent of species, are fully saturated with actin in vivo and generally act as potent filament elongators. Moreover, our data showed that spontaneous addition of monomers does not occur during processive VASP-mediated filament elongation on surfaces, suggesting that most filament formation in cells is actively controlled.

  11. Fullerenol Nanoparticles with Structural Activity Induce Variable Intracellular Actin Filament Morphologies.

    PubMed

    Jin, Junjiang; Dong, Ying; Wang, Ying; Xia, Lin; Gu, Weihong; Bai, Xue; Chang, Yanan; Zhang, Mingyi; Chen, Kui; Li, Juan; Zhao, Lina; Xing, Gengmei

    2016-06-01

    Fullerenol nanoparticles are promising for various biological applications; many studies have shown that they induce variable and diverse biological effects including side effects. Separation and purification of two fractions of fullerenols has demonstrated that they have varied chemical structures on the surfaces of their carbon cages. Actin is an important structural protein that is able to transform functional structures under varied physiological conditions. We assessed the abilities of the two fractions of fullerenols to attach to actin and induce variable morphological features in actin filament structures. Specifically the fullerenol fraction with a surface electric charge of -1.913 ± 0.008q (x10(-6) C) has percentages of C-OH and C=O on the carbon cage of 16.14 ± 0.60 and 17.55 ± 0.69. These features allow it to form intermolecular hydrogen bonds with actin at a stoichiometric ratio of four fullerenols per actin subunit. Molecular simulations revealed these specific binding sites and binding modes in atomic details in the interaction between the active fullerenol and actin filament. Conversely, these interactions were not possible for the other fraction of fullerenol with that percentages of C-OH and C=O on the carbon cage were 15.59 ± 0.01 and 1.94 ± 0.11. Neither sample induced appreciable cytotoxicity or acute cell death. After entering cells, active fullerenol binding to actin induces variable morphological features and may transform ATP-actin to ADP-actin. These changes facilitate the binding of ADF/cofilin, allowing cofilin to sever actin filaments to form cofilin/actin/fullerenol rods. Our findings suggest that fullerenol with structural activity binding disturbs actin filament structure, which may inhibit locomotion of cell or induce chronic side effects in to cells. PMID:27319217

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Disruption of the keratin filament network during epithelial cell division.

    PubMed Central

    Lane, E B; Goodman, S L; Trejdosiewicz, L K

    1982-01-01

    The behaviour of keratin filaments during cell division was examined in a wide range of epithelial lines from several species. Almost half of them show keratin disruption as described previously: by immunofluorescence, filaments are replaced during mitosis by a 'speckled' pattern of discrete cytoplasmic dots. In the electron microscope these ' speckles ' are seen as granules around the cell periphery, just below the actin cortical mesh, with no detectable 10 nm filament structure inside them and no keratin filament bundles in the rest of the cytoplasm. A time course of the filament reorganization was constructed from double immunofluorescence data; filaments are disrupted in prophase, and the filament network is intact again by cytokinesis. The phenomenon is restricted to cells rich in keratin filaments, such as keratinocytes; it is unrelated to the co-existence of vimentin in many of these cells, and vimentin is generally maintained as filaments while the keratin is restructured. Some resistance to the effect may be conferred by an extended cycle time. Filament reorganization takes place within minutes, so that a reversible mechanism seems more likely than one involving de novo protein synthesis, at this metabolically quiet stage of the cell cycle. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. PMID:6202508

  14. Coordination of the Filament Stabilizing Versus Destabilizing Activities of Cofilin Through its Secondary Binding Site on Actin

    PubMed Central

    Aggeli, Dimitra; Kish-Trier, Erik; Lin, Meng Chi; Haarer, Brian; Cingolani, Gino; Cooper, John A.; Wilkens, Stephan; Amberg, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Cofilin is a ubiquitous modulator of actin cytoskeleton dynamics that can both stabilize and destabilize actin filaments depending on its concentration and/or the presence of regulatory co-factors. Three charge-reversal mutants of yeast cofilin, located in cofilin’s filament-specific secondary binding site, were characterized in order to understand why disruption of this site leads to enhanced filament disassembly. Crystal structures of the mutants showed that the mutations specifically affect the secondary actin-binding interface, leaving the primary binding site unaltered. The mutant cofilins show enhanced activity compared to wild-type cofilin in severing and disassembling actin filaments. Electron microscopy and image analysis revealed long actin filaments in the presence of wild-type cofilin, while the mutants induced many short filaments, consistent with enhanced severing. Real-time fluorescence microscopy of labeled actin filaments confirmed that the mutants, unlike wild-type cofilin, were functioning as constitutively active severing proteins. In cells, the mutant cofilins delayed endocytosis, which depends on rapid actin turnover. We conclude that mutating cofilin’s secondary actin-binding site increases cofilin’s ability to sever and depolymerize actin filaments. We hypothesize that activators of cofilin severing, like Aip1p, may act by disrupting the interface between cofilin’s secondary actin-binding site and the actin filament. PMID:24943913

  15. Actin-crosslinking protein regulation of filament movement in motility assays: a theoretical model.

    PubMed Central

    Janson, L W; Taylor, D L

    1994-01-01

    The interaction of single actin filaments on a myosin-coated coverslip has been modeled by several authors. One model adds a component of "frictional drag" by myosin heads that oppose movement of the actin filaments. We have extended this concept by including the resistive drag from actin crosslinking proteins to understand better the relationship among crosslinking number, actin-myosin force generation, and motility. The validity of this model is supported by agreement with the experimental results from a previous study in which crosslinking proteins were added with myosin molecules under otherwise standard motility assay conditions. The theoretical relationship provides a means to determine many physical parameters that characterize the interaction between a single actin filament and a single actin-crosslinking molecule (various types). In particular, the force constant of a single filamin molecule is calculated as 1.105 pN, approximately 3 times less than a driving myosin head (3.4 pN). Knowledge of this parameter and others derived from this model allows a better understanding of the interaction between myosin and the actin/actin-binding protein cytoskeleton and the role of actin-binding proteins in the regulation and modulation of motility. PMID:7811954

  16. Allosteric regulation by cooperative conformational changes of actin filaments drives mutually exclusive binding with cofilin and myosin

    PubMed Central

    Ngo, Kien Xuan; Umeki, Nobuhisa; Kijima, Saku T.; Kodera, Noriyuki; Ueno, Hiroaki; Furutani-Umezu, Nozomi; Nakajima, Jun; Noguchi, Taro Q. P.; Nagasaki, Akira; Tokuraku, Kiyotaka; Uyeda, Taro Q. P.

    2016-01-01

    Heavy meromyosin (HMM) of myosin II and cofilin each binds to actin filaments cooperatively and forms clusters along the filaments, but it is unknown whether the two cooperative bindings are correlated and what physiological roles they have. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that HMM-GFP and cofilin-mCherry each bound cooperatively to different parts of actin filaments when they were added simultaneously in 0.2 μM ATP, indicating that the two cooperative bindings are mutually exclusive. In 0.1 mM ATP, the motor domain of myosin (S1) strongly inhibited the formation of cofilin clusters along actin filaments. Under this condition, most actin protomers were unoccupied by S1 at any given moment, suggesting that transiently bound S1 alters the structure of actin filaments cooperatively and/or persistently to inhibit cofilin binding. Consistently, cosedimentation experiments using copolymers of actin and actin-S1 fusion protein demonstrated that the fusion protein affects the neighboring actin protomers, reducing their affinity for cofilin. In reciprocal experiments, cofilin-actin fusion protein reduced the affinity of neighboring actin protomers for S1. Thus, allosteric regulation by cooperative conformational changes of actin filaments contributes to mutually exclusive cooperative binding of myosin II and cofilin to actin filaments, and presumably to the differential localization of both proteins in cells. PMID:27762277

  17. Enhancing the staggered fluctuations of an actin filament sliding on Chara myosin.

    PubMed

    Hatori, Kuniyuki; Okeno, Yusuke; Honda, Hajime; Shimada, Katsuhiko; Matsuno, Koichiro

    2004-06-01

    We examined both longitudinal and transversal fluctuations of displacements of an actin filament sliding upon Chara myosin molecules. Although the magnitude of transversal fluctuations remained rather independent of ATP concentration, the longitudinal ones were found to increase their magnitude as the concentration increased. In addition, the longitudinal fluctuations gradually increased as the sliding velocity of the filament increased.

  18. Intermonomer flexibility of Ca- and Mg-actin filaments at different pH values.

    PubMed

    Hild, Gábor; Nyitrai, Miklós; Somogyi, Béla

    2002-02-01

    The fluorescence resonance energy transfer parameter, f, is defined as the efficiency of the energy transfer normalized by the quantum yield of the donor in the presence of acceptor. It is possible to characterize the flexibility of the protein matrix between the appropriate fluorescent probes by monitoring the temperature dependence of f. The intermonomer flexibility of the Ca-actin and Mg-actin filaments was characterized by using this method at pH values of 6.5 and 7.4. The protomers were labeled on Cys374 with donor [N-(((iodoacetyl)amino)ethyl)-5-naphthylamine-1-sulfonate; IAEDANS] or acceptor [5-(iodoacetamido)fluorescein; IAF] molecules. The temperature profile of f suggested that the intermonomer flexibility of actin filaments was larger at pH 7.4 than pH 6.5 in the case of Mg-F-actin while this difference was absent in the case of Ca-F-actin. More rigid intermonomer connection was identified at both pH values between the protomers of Mg-F-actin compared to the Ca-F-actin. The results were further supported by time dependent fluorescence measurements made on IAEDANS and IAF labeled Mg- and Ca-actin filaments at pH 6.5 and 7.4. Our spectroscopic results may suggest that the altered function of muscle following the change of pH within the muscle cells under physiological or pathological conditions might be affected by the modified dynamic properties of the magnesium saturated actin filaments. The change of the intracellular pH does not have an effect on the intermonomer flexibility of the Ca-actin filaments.

  19. Broken Detailed Balance of Filament Dynamics in Active Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladrow, J.; Fakhri, N.; MacKintosh, F. C.; Schmidt, C. F.; Broedersz, C. P.

    2016-06-01

    Myosin motor proteins drive vigorous steady-state fluctuations in the actin cytoskeleton of cells. Endogenous embedded semiflexible filaments such as microtubules, or added filaments such as single-walled carbon nanotubes are used as novel tools to noninvasively track equilibrium and nonequilibrium fluctuations in such biopolymer networks. Here, we analytically calculate shape fluctuations of semiflexible probe filaments in a viscoelastic environment, driven out of equilibrium by motor activity. Transverse bending fluctuations of the probe filaments can be decomposed into dynamic normal modes. We find that these modes no longer evolve independently under nonequilibrium driving. This effective mode coupling results in nonzero circulatory currents in a conformational phase space, reflecting a violation of detailed balance. We present predictions for the characteristic frequencies associated with these currents and investigate how the temporal signatures of motor activity determine mode correlations, which we find to be consistent with recent experiments on microtubules embedded in cytoskeletal networks.

  20. The role of actin networks in cellular mechanosensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azatov, Mikheil

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

  1. The Actin Filament-Binding Protein Coronin Regulates Motility in Plasmodium Sporozoites

    PubMed Central

    Bane, Kartik S.; Singer, Mirko; Reinig, Miriam; Klug, Dennis; Heiss, Kirsten; Baum, Jake; Mueller, Ann-Kristin; Frischknecht, Friedrich

    2016-01-01

    Parasites causing malaria need to migrate in order to penetrate tissue barriers and enter host cells. Here we show that the actin filament-binding protein coronin regulates gliding motility in Plasmodium berghei sporozoites, the highly motile forms of a rodent malaria-causing parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. Parasites lacking coronin show motility defects that impair colonization of the mosquito salivary glands but not migration in the skin, yet result in decreased transmission efficiency. In non-motile sporozoites low calcium concentrations mediate actin-independent coronin localization to the periphery. Engagement of extracellular ligands triggers an intracellular calcium release followed by the actin-dependent relocalization of coronin to the rear and initiation of motility. Mutational analysis and imaging suggest that coronin organizes actin filaments for productive motility. Using coronin-mCherry as a marker for the presence of actin filaments we found that protein kinase A contributes to actin filament disassembly. We finally speculate that calcium and cAMP-mediated signaling regulate a switch from rapid parasite motility to host cell invasion by differentially influencing actin dynamics. PMID:27409081

  2. Three-dimensional architecture of actin filaments in Listeria monocytogenes comet tails

    PubMed Central

    Jasnin, Marion; Asano, Shoh; Gouin, Edith; Hegerl, Reiner; Plitzko, Jürgen M.; Villa, Elizabeth; Cossart, Pascale; Baumeister, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    The intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is capable of remodelling the actin cytoskeleton of its host cells such that “comet tails” are assembled powering its movement within cells and enabling cell-to-cell spread. We used cryo-electron tomography to visualize the 3D structure of the comet tails in situ at the level of individual filaments. We have performed a quantitative analysis of their supramolecular architecture revealing the existence of bundles of nearly parallel hexagonally packed filaments with spacings of 12–13 nm. Similar configurations were observed in stress fibers and filopodia, suggesting that nanoscopic bundles are a generic feature of actin filament assemblies involved in motility; presumably, they provide the necessary stiffness. We propose a mechanism for the initiation of comet tail assembly and two scenarios that occur either independently or in concert for the ensuing actin-based motility, both emphasizing the role of filament bundling. PMID:24306931

  3. Molecular dynamics simulation of a myosin subfragment-1 docking with an actin filament.

    PubMed

    Masuda, Tadashi

    2013-09-01

    Myosins are typical molecular motor proteins, which convert the chemical energy of ATP into mechanical work. The fundamental mechanism of this energy conversion is still unknown. To explain the experimental results observed in molecular motors, Masuda has proposed a theory called the "Driven by Detachment (DbD)" mechanism for the working principle of myosins. Based on this theory, the energy used during the power stroke of the myosins originates from the attractive force between a detached myosin head and an actin filament, and does not directly arise from the energy of ATP. According to this theory, every step in the myosin working process may be reproduced by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, except for the ATP hydrolysis step. Therefore, MD simulations were conducted to reproduce the docking process of a myosin subfragment-1 (S1) against an actin filament. A myosin S1 directed toward the barbed end of an actin filament was placed at three different positions by shifting it away from the filament axis. After 30 ns of MD simulations, in three cases out of ten trials on average, the myosin made a close contact with two actin monomers by changing the positions and the orientation of both the myosin and the actin as predicted in previous studies. Once the docking was achieved, the distance between the myosin and the actin showed smaller fluctuations, indicating that the docking is stable over time. If the docking was not achieved, the myosin moved randomly around the initial position or moved away from the actin filament. MD simulations thus successfully reproduced the docking of a myosin S1 with an actin filament. By extending the similar MD simulations to the other steps of the myosin working process, the validity of the DbD theory may be computationally demonstrated.

  4. The impact of tropomyosins on actin filament assembly is isoform specific.

    PubMed

    Janco, Miro; Bonello, Teresa T; Byun, Alex; Coster, Adelle C F; Lebhar, Helene; Dedova, Irina; Gunning, Peter W; Böcking, Till

    2016-07-01

    Tropomyosin (Tpm) is an α helical coiled-coil dimer that forms a co-polymer along the actin filament. Tpm is involved in the regulation of actin's interaction with binding proteins as well as stabilization of the actin filament and its assembly kinetics. Recent studies show that multiple Tpm isoforms also define the functional properties of distinct actin filament populations within a cell. Subtle structural variations within well conserved Tpm isoforms are the key to their functional specificity. Therefore, we purified and characterized a comprehensive set of 8 Tpm isoforms (Tpm1.1, Tpm1.12, Tpm1.6, Tpm1.7, Tpm1.8, Tpm2.1, Tpm3.1, and Tpm4.2), using well-established actin co-sedimentation and pyrene fluorescence polymerization assays. We observed that the apparent affinity (Kd(app)) to filamentous actin varied in all Tpm isoforms between ∼0.1-5 μM with similar values for both, skeletal and cytoskeletal actin filaments. The data did not indicate any correlation between affinity and size of Tpm molecules, however high molecular weight (HMW) isoforms Tpm1.1, Tpm1.6, Tpm1.7 and Tpm2.1, showed ∼3-fold higher cooperativity compared to low molecular weight (LMW) isoforms Tpm1.12, Tpm1.8, Tpm3.1, and Tpm4.2. The rate of actin filament elongation in the presence of Tpm2.1 increased, while all other isoforms decreased the elongation rate by 27-85 %. Our study shows that the biochemical properties of Tpm isoforms are finely tuned and depend on sequence variations in alternatively spliced regions of Tpm molecules.

  5. The impact of tropomyosins on actin filament assembly is isoform specific.

    PubMed

    Janco, Miro; Bonello, Teresa T; Byun, Alex; Coster, Adelle C F; Lebhar, Helene; Dedova, Irina; Gunning, Peter W; Böcking, Till

    2016-07-01

    Tropomyosin (Tpm) is an α helical coiled-coil dimer that forms a co-polymer along the actin filament. Tpm is involved in the regulation of actin's interaction with binding proteins as well as stabilization of the actin filament and its assembly kinetics. Recent studies show that multiple Tpm isoforms also define the functional properties of distinct actin filament populations within a cell. Subtle structural variations within well conserved Tpm isoforms are the key to their functional specificity. Therefore, we purified and characterized a comprehensive set of 8 Tpm isoforms (Tpm1.1, Tpm1.12, Tpm1.6, Tpm1.7, Tpm1.8, Tpm2.1, Tpm3.1, and Tpm4.2), using well-established actin co-sedimentation and pyrene fluorescence polymerization assays. We observed that the apparent affinity (Kd(app)) to filamentous actin varied in all Tpm isoforms between ∼0.1-5 μM with similar values for both, skeletal and cytoskeletal actin filaments. The data did not indicate any correlation between affinity and size of Tpm molecules, however high molecular weight (HMW) isoforms Tpm1.1, Tpm1.6, Tpm1.7 and Tpm2.1, showed ∼3-fold higher cooperativity compared to low molecular weight (LMW) isoforms Tpm1.12, Tpm1.8, Tpm3.1, and Tpm4.2. The rate of actin filament elongation in the presence of Tpm2.1 increased, while all other isoforms decreased the elongation rate by 27-85 %. Our study shows that the biochemical properties of Tpm isoforms are finely tuned and depend on sequence variations in alternatively spliced regions of Tpm molecules. PMID:27420374

  6. Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase-Associated Protein (PI3KAP)/XB130 Crosslinks Actin Filaments through Its Actin Binding and Multimerization Properties In Vitro and Enhances Endocytosis in HEK293 Cells.

    PubMed

    Yamanaka, Daisuke; Akama, Takeshi; Chida, Kazuhiro; Minami, Shiro; Ito, Koichi; Hakuno, Fumihiko; Takahashi, Shin-Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Actin-crosslinking proteins control actin filament networks and bundles and contribute to various cellular functions including regulation of cell migration, cell morphology, and endocytosis. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-associated protein (PI3KAP)/XB130 has been reported to be localized to actin filaments (F-actin) and required for cell migration in thyroid carcinoma cells. Here, we show a role for PI3KAP/XB130 as an actin-crosslinking protein. First, we found that the carboxyl terminal region of PI3KAP/XB130 containing amino acid residues 830-840 was required and sufficient for localization to F-actin in NIH3T3 cells, and this region is directly bound to F-actin in vitro. Moreover, actin-crosslinking assay revealed that recombinant PI3KAP/XB130 crosslinked F-actin. In general, actin-crosslinking proteins often multimerize to assemble multiple actin-binding sites. We then investigated whether PI3KAP/XB130 could form a multimer. Blue native-PAGE analysis showed that recombinant PI3KAP/XB130 was detected at 250-1200 kDa although the molecular mass was approximately 125 kDa, suggesting that PI3KAP/XB130 formed multimers. Furthermore, we found that the amino terminal 40 amino acids were required for this multimerization by co-immunoprecipitation assay in HEK293T cells. Deletion mutants of PI3KAP/XB130 lacking the actin-binding region or the multimerizing region did not crosslink actin filaments, indicating that actin binding and multimerization of PI3KAP/XB130 were necessary to crosslink F-actin. Finally, we examined roles of PI3KAP/XB130 on endocytosis, an actin-related biological process. Overexpression of PI3KAP/XB130 enhanced dextran uptake in HEK 293 cells. However, most of the cells transfected with the deletion mutant lacking the actin-binding region incorporated dextran to a similar extent as control cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that PI3KAP/XB130 crosslinks F-actin through both its actin-binding region and multimerizing region and plays

  7. Synthetic chondramide A analogues stabilize filamentous actin and block invasion by Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Ma, Christopher I; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Maier, Martin E; Sept, David; Sibley, L David

    2013-09-27

    Apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii rely on actin-based motility to cross biological barriers and invade host cells. Key structural and biochemical differences in host and parasite actins make this an attractive target for small-molecule inhibitors. Here we took advantage of recent advances in the synthesis of cyclic depsipeptide compounds that stabilize filamentous actin to test the ability of chondramides to disrupt growth of T. gondii in vitro. Structural modeling of chondramide A (2) binding to an actin filament model revealed variations in the binding site between host and parasite actins. A series of 10 previously synthesized analogues (2b-k) with substitutions in the β-tyrosine moiety blocked parasite growth on host cell monolayers with EC₅₀ values that ranged from 0.3 to 1.3 μM. In vitro polymerization assays using highly purified recombinant actin from T. gondii verified that synthetic and natural product chondramides target the actin cytoskeleton. Consistent with this, chondramide treatment blocked parasite invasion into host cells and was more rapidly effective than pyrimethamine, a standard therapeutic agent. Although the current compounds lack specificity for parasite vs host actin, these studies provide a platform for the future design and synthesis of synthetic cyclic peptide inhibitors that selectively disrupt actin dynamics in parasites. PMID:24020843

  8. Synthetic Chondramide A Analogues Stabilize Filamentous Actin and Block Invasion by Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii rely on actin-based motility to cross biological barriers and invade host cells. Key structural and biochemical differences in host and parasite actins make this an attractive target for small-molecule inhibitors. Here we took advantage of recent advances in the synthesis of cyclic depsipeptide compounds that stabilize filamentous actin to test the ability of chondramides to disrupt growth of T. gondii in vitro. Structural modeling of chondramide A (2) binding to an actin filament model revealed variations in the binding site between host and parasite actins. A series of 10 previously synthesized analogues (2b–k) with substitutions in the β-tyrosine moiety blocked parasite growth on host cell monolayers with EC50 values that ranged from 0.3 to 1.3 μM. In vitro polymerization assays using highly purified recombinant actin from T. gondii verified that synthetic and natural product chondramides target the actin cytoskeleton. Consistent with this, chondramide treatment blocked parasite invasion into host cells and was more rapidly effective than pyrimethamine, a standard therapeutic agent. Although the current compounds lack specificity for parasite vs host actin, these studies provide a platform for the future design and synthesis of synthetic cyclic peptide inhibitors that selectively disrupt actin dynamics in parasites. PMID:24020843

  9. 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

  10. Gestalt-binding of tropomyosin on actin during thin filament activation.

    PubMed

    Lehman, William; Orzechowski, Marek; Li, Xiaochuan Edward; Fischer, Stefan; Raunser, Stefan

    2013-08-01

    Our thesis is that thin filament function can only be fully understood and muscle regulation then elucidated if atomic structures of the thin filament are available to reveal the positions of tropomyosin on actin in all physiological states. After all, it is tropomyosin influenced by troponin that regulates myosin-crossbridge cycling on actin and therefore controls contraction in all muscles. In addition, we maintain that a complete appreciation of thin filament activation also requires that the mechanical properties of tropomyosin itself are recognized and then related to the effect of myosin-association on actin. Taking the Gestalt-binding of tropomyosin into account, coupled with our electron microscopy structures and computational chemistry, we propose a comprehensive mechanism for tropomyosin regulatory movement over the actin filament surface that explains the cooperative muscle activation process. In fact, well-known point mutations of critical amino acids on the actin-tropomyosin binding interface disrupt Gestalt-binding and are associated with a number of inherited myopathies. Moreover, dysregulation of tropomyosin may also be a factor that interferes with the gatekeeping operation of non-muscle tropomyosin in the controlling interactions of a wide variety of cellular actin-binding proteins. The clinical relevance of Gestalt-binding is discussed in articles by the Marston and the Gunning groups in this special journal issue devoted to the impact of tropomyosin on biological systems.

  11. Probing the flexibility of tropomyosin and its binding to filamentous actin using molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Wenjun; Barua, Bipasha; Hitchcock-DeGregori, Sarah E

    2013-10-15

    Tropomyosin (Tm) is a coiled-coil protein that binds to filamentous actin (F-actin) and regulates its interactions with actin-binding proteins like myosin by moving between three positions on F-actin (the blocked, closed, and open positions). To elucidate the molecular details of Tm flexibility in relation to its binding to F-actin, we conducted extensive molecular dynamics simulations for both Tm alone and Tm-F-actin complex in the presence of explicit solvent (total simulation time >400 ns). Based on the simulations, we systematically analyzed the local flexibility of the Tm coiled coil using multiple parameters. We found a good correlation between the regions with high local flexibility and a number of destabilizing regions in Tm, including six clusters of core alanines. Despite the stabilization by F-actin binding, the distribution of local flexibility in Tm is largely unchanged in the absence and presence of F-actin. Our simulations showed variable fluctuations of individual Tm periods from the closed position toward the open position. In addition, we performed Tm-F-actin binding calculations based on the simulation trajectories, which support the importance of Tm flexibility to Tm-F-actin binding. We identified key residues of Tm involved in its dynamic interactions with F-actin, many of which have been found in recent mutational studies to be functionally important, and the rest of which will make promising targets for future mutational experiments.

  12. Yeast actin filaments display ATP-dependent sliding movement over surfaces coated with rabbit muscle myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Kron, S J; Drubin, D G; Botstein, D; Spudich, J A

    1992-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used to study the function of components of the actin cytoskeleton in vivo, mainly because it is easy to derive and characterize mutations affecting these proteins. In contrast, biochemical studies have generally used proteins derived from higher eukaryotes. We have devised a simple procedure to prepare, in high yield, homogeneous native actin from wild-type and act1 mutant yeast. Using intensified video fluorescence microscopy, we found that actin filaments polymerized from these preparations exhibit ATP-dependent sliding movement over surfaces coated with rabbit skeletal muscle myosin. The rates of sliding movement of the wild-type and mutant yeast actins were each about half that of rabbit skeletal muscle actin under similar conditions. We conclude that over the large evolutionary distance between yeast and mammals there has been significant conservation of actin function, specifically the ability to be moved by interaction with myosin. Images PMID:1533933

  13. The role of formin tails in actin nucleation, processive elongation, and filament bundling.

    PubMed

    Vizcarra, Christina L; Bor, Batbileg; Quinlan, Margot E

    2014-10-31

    Formins are multidomain proteins that assemble actin in a wide variety of biological processes. They both nucleate and remain processively associated with growing filaments, in some cases accelerating filament growth. The well conserved formin homology 1 and 2 domains were originally thought to be solely responsible for these activities. Recently a role in nucleation was identified for the Diaphanous autoinhibitory domain (DAD), which is C-terminal to the formin homology 2 domain. The C-terminal tail of the Drosophila formin Cappuccino (Capu) is conserved among FMN formins but distinct from other formins. It does not have a DAD domain. Nevertheless, we find that Capu-tail plays a role in filament nucleation similar to that described for mDia1 and other formins. Building on this, replacement of Capu-tail with DADs from other formins tunes nucleation activity. Capu-tail has low-affinity interactions with both actin monomers and filaments. Removal of the tail reduces actin filament binding and bundling. Furthermore, when the tail is removed, we find that processivity is compromised. Despite decreased processivity, the elongation rate of filaments is unchanged. Again, replacement of Capu-tail with DADs from other formins tunes the processive association with the barbed end, indicating that this is a general role for formin tails. Our data show a role for the Capu-tail domain in assembling the actin cytoskeleton, largely mediated by electrostatic interactions. Because of its multifunctionality, the formin tail is a candidate for regulation by other proteins during cytoskeletal rearrangements.

  14. Assembly Kinetics Determine the Architecture of α-actinin Crosslinked F-actin Networks

    PubMed Central

    Falzone, Tobias T.; Lenz, Martin; Kovar, David R.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2013-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is organized into diverse meshworks and bundles that support many aspects of cell physiology. Understanding the self-assembly of these actin-based structures is essential for developing predictive models of cytoskeletal organization. Here we show that the competing kinetics of bundle formation with the onset of dynamic arrest arising from filament entanglements and cross-linking determine the architecture of reconstituted actin networks formed with α-actinin cross-links. Cross-link mediated bundle formation only occurs in dilute solutions of highly mobile actin filaments. As actin polymerization proceeds, filament mobility and bundle formation are arrested concomitantly. By controlling the onset of dynamic arrest, perturbations to actin assembly kinetics dramatically alter the architecture of biochemically identical samples. Thus, the morphology of reconstituted F-actin networks is a kinetically determined structure similar to those formed by physical gels and glasses. These results establish mechanisms controlling the structure and mechanics in diverse semi-flexible biopolymer networks. PMID:22643888

  15. Transport of ER vesicles on actin filaments in neurons by myosin V.

    PubMed

    Tabb, J S; Molyneaux, B J; Cohen, D L; Kuznetsov, S A; Langford, G M

    1998-11-01

    Axoplasmic organelles in the giant axon of the squid have been shown to move on both actin filaments and microtubules and to switch between actin filaments and microtubules during fast axonal transport. The objectives of this investigation were to identify the specific classes of axoplasmic organelles that move on actin filaments and the myosin motors involved. We developed a procedure to isolate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) from extruded axoplasm and to reconstitute its movement in vitro. The isolated ER vesicles moved on exogenous actin filaments adsorbed to coverslips in an ATP-dependent manner without the addition of soluble factors. Therefore myosin was tightly bound and not extracted during isolation. These vesicles were identified as smooth ER by use of an antibody to an ER-resident protein, ERcalcistorin/protein disulfide isomerase (EcaSt/PDI). Furthermore, an antibody to squid myosin V was used in immunogold EM studies to show that myosin V localized to these vesicles. The antibody was generated to a squid brain myosin (p196) that was classified as myosin V based on comparisons of amino acid sequences of tryptic peptides of this myosin with those of other known members of the myosin V family. Dual labeling with the squid myosin V antibody and a kinesin heavy chain antibody showed that the two motors colocalized on the same vesicles. Finally, antibody inhibition experiments were performed with two myosin V-specific antibodies to show that myosin V motor activity is required for transport of vesicles on actin filaments in axoplasm. One antibody was made to a peptide in the globular tail domain and the other to the globular head fragment of myosin V. Both antibodies inhibited vesicle transport on actin filaments by greater than 90% compared to controls. These studies provide the first direct evidence that ER vesicles are transported on actin filaments by myosin V. These data confirm the role of actin filaments in fast axonal transport and provide support for

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  17. A mechanical model for the motility of actin filaments on myosin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolau, Dan V., Jr.; Fulga, Florin; Nicolau, Dan V.

    2004-03-01

    The interaction of actin filaments with myosin is crucial to cell motility, muscular contraction, cell division and other processes. The in vitro motility assay involves the motion of actin filaments on a substrate coated with myosin, and is used extensively to investigate the dynamics of the actomyosin system. Following on from previous work, we propose a new mechanical model of actin motility on myosin, wherein a filament is modeled as a chain of beads connected by harmonic springs. This imposes a limitation on the "stretching" of the filament. The rotation of one bead with respect to its neighbours is also constrained in similar way. We implemented this model and used Monte Carlo simulations to determine whether it can predict the directionality of filament motion. The principal advantages of this model over our previous one are that we have removed the empirically correct but artificial assumption that the filament moves like a "worm" i.e. the head determines the direction of movement and the rest of the filament "follows" the head as well as the inclusion of dependencies on experimental rate constants (and so also on e.g. ATP concentration) via the cross-bridge cycle.

  18. Single-filament kinetic studies provide novel insights into regulation of actin-based motility

    PubMed Central

    Shekhar, Shashank; Carlier, Marie-France

    2016-01-01

    Polarized assembly of actin filaments forms the basis of actin-based motility and is regulated both spatially and temporally. Cells use a variety of mechanisms by which intrinsically slower processes are accelerated, and faster ones decelerated, to match rates observed in vivo. Here we discuss how kinetic studies of individual reactions and cycles that drive actin remodeling have provided a mechanistic and quantitative understanding of such processes. We specifically consider key barbed-end regulators such as capping protein and formins as illustrative examples. We compare and contrast different kinetic approaches, such as the traditional pyrene-polymerization bulk assays, as well as more recently developed single-filament and single-molecule imaging approaches. Recent development of novel biophysical methods for sensing and applying forces will in future allow us to address the very important relationship between mechanical stimulus and kinetics of actin-based motility. PMID:26715420

  19. Red light, Phot1 and JAC1 modulate Phot2-dependent reorganization of chloroplast actin filaments and chloroplast avoidance movement.

    PubMed

    Ichikawa, Satoshi; Yamada, Noboru; Suetsugu, Noriyuki; Wada, Masamitsu; Kadota, Akeo

    2011-08-01

    The phototropin (phot)-dependent intracellular relocation of chloroplasts is a ubiquitous phenomenon in plants. We have previously revealed the involvement of a short cp-actin (chloroplast actin) filament-based mechanism in this movement. Here, the reorganization of cp-actin filaments during the avoidance movement of chloroplasts was analyzed in higher time resolution under blue GFP (green fluorescent protein) excitation light in an actin filament-visualized line of Arabidopsis thaliana. Under standard background red light of 89 μmol m(-2) s(-1), cp-actin filaments transiently disappeared at approximately 30 s and reappeared in a biased configuration on chloroplasts approximately 70 s after blue excitation light irradiation. The timing of biased cp-actin reappearance was delayed under the background of strong red light or in the absence of red light. Consistently, chloroplast movement was delayed under these conditions. In phot1 mutants, acceleration of both the disappearance and reappearance of cp-actin filaments occurred, indicating an inhibitory action of phot1 on reorganization of cp-actin filaments. Avoidance movements began sooner in phot1 than in wild-type plants. No reorganization of cp-actin filaments was seen in phot2 or phot1phot2 mutants lacking phot2, which is responsible for avoidance movements. Surprisingly, jac1 (j-domain protein required for chloroplast accumulation response 1) mutants, lacking the accumulation response, showed no avoidance movements under the whole-cell irradiation condition for GFP observation. Cp-actin filaments in jac1 did not show a biased distribution, with a small or almost no transient decrease in the number. These results indicate a close association between the biased distribution of cp-actin filaments and chloroplast movement. Further, JAC1 is suggested to function in the biased cp-actin filament distribution by regulating their appearance and disappearance.

  20. Phosphatase and actin regulator 4 is associated with intermediate filaments in adult neural stem cells and their progenitor astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hyo Min; Kim, Joo Yeon; Kim, Hyun; Sun, Woong

    2014-10-01

    Phosphatase and actin regulator 4 (Phactr4) is a newly discovered protein that inhibits protein phosphatase 1 and shows actin-binding activity. We previously found that Phactr4 is expressed in the neurogenic niche in adult mice, although its precise subcellular localization and possible function in neural stem cells (NSCs) is not yet understood. Here, we show that Phactr4 formed punctiform clusters in the cytosol of subventricular zone-derived adult NSCs and their progeny in vitro. These Phactr4 signals were not associated with F-actin fibers but were closely associated with intermediate filaments such as nestin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) fibers. Direct binding of Phactr4 with nestin and GFAP filaments was demonstrated using Duolink protein interaction analyses and immunoprecipitation assays. Interestingly, when nestin fibers were de-polymerized during the mitosis or by the phosphatase inhibitor, Phactr4 appeared to be dissociated from nestin, suggesting that their protein interaction is regulated by the protein phosphorylation. These results suggest that Phactr4 forms functional associations with intermediate filament networks in adult NSCs.

  1. The "Le Chatelier's principle"-governed response of actin filaments to osmotic stress.

    PubMed

    Ito, Tadanao; Yamazaki, Masahito

    2006-07-13

    Actin filaments inhibit osmotic stress-driven water flow across a semipermeable membrane in proportion to the filament concentration (Ito, T.; Zaner, K. S.; Stossel, T. P. Biophys. J. 1987, 51, 745). When the filaments are cross-linked by F-actin binding protein, filamin A, this flow is stopped completely (Ito, T.; Suzuki, A.; Stossel, T. P. Biophys. J. 1992, 61, 1301). No conventional theory accurately accounts for these results. Here, this response is analyzed by formulating the entropy of the system under osmotic stress. Results demonstrate that the response of the actin filaments to osmotic stress is governed by the Le Chatelier's principle, which states that an external interaction that disturbs the equilibrium brings about processes in the body that tend to reduce the effects of this interaction. In the present case, disrupting equilibrium by osmotic stress brings about a reaction that decreases the chemical potential of water in the F-actin solution, reducing the effect of the applied osmotic disturbance. This decrease in the chemical potential of the water in the F-actin solution is caused by an increase in the chemical potential of F-actin, which is induced by isothermal absorption of heat by F-actin aided by work done by osmotic stress. As a result, F-actin has an inhibitory effect on the osmotic stress-driven water flow, and can even completely stop the flow when it is cross-linked. This is the first report demonstrating that the Le Chatelier's principle applies to the reaction of biopolymers against equilibrium disturbances such as osmotic stress. PMID:16821884

  2. Emerging roles of sumoylation in the regulation of actin, microtubules, intermediate filaments, and septins.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Annabel; Greenlee, Matt; Matts, Jessica; Kline, Jake; Davis, Kayla J; Miller, Rita K

    2015-07-01

    Sumoylation is a powerful regulatory system that controls many of the critical processes in the cell, including DNA repair, transcriptional regulation, nuclear transport, and DNA replication. Recently, new functions for SUMO have begun to emerge. SUMO is covalently attached to components of each of the four major cytoskeletal networks, including microtubule-associated proteins, septins, and intermediate filaments, in addition to nuclear actin and actin-regulatory proteins. However, knowledge of the mechanisms by which this signal transduction system controls the cytoskeleton is still in its infancy. One story that is beginning to unfold is that SUMO may regulate the microtubule motor protein dynein by modification of its adaptor Lis1. In other instances, cytoskeletal elements can both bind to SUMO non-covalently and also be conjugated by it. The molecular mechanisms for many of these new functions are not yet clear, but are under active investigation. One emerging model links the function of MAP sumoylation to protein degradation through SUMO-targeted ubiquitin ligases, also known as STUbL enzymes. Other possible functions for cytoskeletal sumoylation are also discussed.

  3. [Congenital myopathies - skeletal muscle diseases related to disorder of actin filament structure and functions].

    PubMed

    Robaszkiewicz, Katarzyna; Moraczewska, Joanna

    2011-01-01

    Congenital myopathies are clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders characterized by muscle structural abnormalities, muscle weakness and deformities. The clinical spectrum of the disease ranges from severe cases with early death to adult-onset cases with slow progression. In the skeletal muscle fibers, the specific structural changes are rod-shaped structures present in the sarcoplasm (nemaline myopathy – NM) or nuclei (intranuclear rod myopathy – IRM), cap-like structures peripherally located within muscle fibers (cap disease – CD), accumulations of actin filaments (actin myopathy – AM), changes in the fiber type proportion and size (congenital fiber type disproportion – CFTD), irregularity of Z-lines and abnormal localization of myofiber nuclei. Mutations in several genes encoding muscle proteins have been linked to congenital myopathy. These genes include a-skeletal actin (ACTA1), tropomyosin (TPM2 and TPM3), troponin (TNNT1) and nebulin (NEB). In vitro and in vivo studies show that mutations identified within these genes have varying impacts on thin filament protein structure, which affect polymerization and stabilization of actin filament, actin cellular localization and regulation of actin-myosin activity. Many lines of evidence suggest that mutated proteins have "toxic" effects. Unfortunately, there is no existing simple correlation between the degree of protein disruption, muscle pathologies and disease severity. PMID:21677359

  4. Novel actin filaments from Bacillus thuringiensis form nanotubules for plasmid DNA segregation

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Shimin; Narita, Akihiro; Popp, David; Ghoshdastider, Umesh; Lee, Lin Jie; Srinivasan, Ramanujam; Balasubramanian, Mohan K.; Oda, Toshiro; Koh, Fujiet; Larsson, Mårten; Robinson, Robert C.

    2016-01-01

    Here we report the discovery of a bacterial DNA-segregating actin-like protein (BtParM) from Bacillus thuringiensis, which forms novel antiparallel, two-stranded, supercoiled, nonpolar helical filaments, as determined by electron microscopy. The BtParM filament features of supercoiling and forming antiparallel double-strands are unique within the actin fold superfamily, and entirely different to the straight, double-stranded, polar helical filaments of all other known ParMs and of eukaryotic F-actin. The BtParM polymers show dynamic assembly and subsequent disassembly in the presence of ATP. BtParR, the DNA-BtParM linking protein, stimulated ATP hydrolysis/phosphate release by BtParM and paired two supercoiled BtParM filaments to form a cylinder, comprised of four strands with inner and outer diameters of 57 Å and 145 Å, respectively. Thus, in this prokaryote, the actin fold has evolved to produce a filament system with comparable features to the eukaryotic chromosome-segregating microtubule. PMID:26873105

  5. Spatial Localisation of Actin Filaments across Developmental Stages of the Malaria Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Angrisano, Fiona; Delves, Michael J.; Zuccala, Elizabeth S.; Turnbull, Lynne; Dekiwadia, Chaitali; Olshina, Maya A.; Marapana, Danushka S.; Wong, Wilson; Mollard, Vanessa; Bradin, Clare H.; Tonkin, Christopher J.; Gunning, Peter W.; Ralph, Stuart A.; Whitchurch, Cynthia B.; Sinden, Robert E.; Cowman, Alan F.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.; Baum, Jake

    2012-01-01

    Actin dynamics have been implicated in a variety of developmental processes during the malaria parasite lifecycle. Parasite motility, in particular, is thought to critically depend on an actomyosin motor located in the outer pellicle of the parasite cell. Efforts to understand the diverse roles actin plays have, however, been hampered by an inability to detect microfilaments under native conditions. To visualise the spatial dynamics of actin we generated a parasite-specific actin antibody that shows preferential recognition of filamentous actin and applied this tool to different lifecycle stages (merozoites, sporozoites and ookinetes) of the human and mouse malaria parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and P. berghei along with tachyzoites from the related apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Actin filament distribution was found associated with three core compartments: the nuclear periphery, pellicular membranes of motile or invasive parasite forms and in a ring-like distribution at the tight junction during merozoite invasion of erythrocytes in both human and mouse malaria parasites. Localisation at the nuclear periphery is consistent with an emerging role of actin in facilitating parasite gene regulation. During invasion, we show that the actin ring at the parasite-host cell tight junction is dependent on dynamic filament turnover. Super-resolution imaging places this ring posterior to, and not concentric with, the junction marker rhoptry neck protein 4. This implies motor force relies on the engagement of dynamic microfilaments at zones of traction, though not necessarily directly through receptor-ligand interactions at sites of adhesion during invasion. Combined, these observations extend current understanding of the diverse roles actin plays in malaria parasite development and apicomplexan cell motility, in particular refining understanding on the linkage of the internal parasite gliding motor with the extra-cellular milieu. PMID:22389687

  6. Flexural rigidity of microtubules and actin filaments measured from thermal fluctuations in shape

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    Microtubules are long, proteinaceous filaments that perform structural functions in eukaryotic cells by defining cellular shape and serving as tracks for intracellular motor proteins. We report the first accurate measurements of the flexural rigidity of microtubules. By analyzing the thermally driven fluctuations in their shape, we estimated the mean flexural rigidity of taxol-stabilized microtubules to be 2.2 x 10(-23) Nm2 (with 6.4% uncertainty) for seven unlabeled microtubules and 2.1 x 10(-23) Nm2 (with 4.7% uncertainty) for eight rhodamine-labeled microtubules. These values are similar to earlier, less precise estimates of microtubule bending stiffness obtained by modeling flagellar motion. A similar analysis on seven rhodamine-phalloidin- labeled actin filaments gave a flexural rigidity of 7.3 x 10(-26) Nm2 (with 6% uncertainty), consistent with previously reported results. The flexural rigidity of these microtubules corresponds to a persistence length of 5,200 microns showing that a microtubule is rigid over cellular dimensions. By contrast, the persistence length of an actin filament is only approximately 17.7 microns, perhaps explaining why actin filaments within cells are usually cross-linked into bundles. The greater flexural rigidity of a microtubule compared to an actin filament mainly derives from the former's larger cross-section. If tubulin were homogeneous and isotropic, then the microtubule's Young's modulus would be approximately 1.2 GPa, similar to Plexiglas and rigid plastics. Microtubules are expected to be almost inextensible: the compliance of cells is due primarily to filament bending or sliding between filaments rather than the stretching of the filaments themselves. PMID:8432732

  7. Capping Protein Increases the Rate of Actin-based Motility by Promoting Filament Nucleation by the Arp2/3 Complex

    PubMed Central

    Akin, Orkun; Mullins, R. Dyche

    2008-01-01

    Summary Capping protein is an integral component of Arp2/3-nucleated actin networks that drive amoeboid motility. Increasing the concentration of capping protein, which caps barbed ends of actin filaments and prevents elongation, increases the rate of actin-based motility in vivo and in vitro. We studied the synergy between capping protein and Arp2/3 using an in vitro actin-based motility system reconstituted from purified proteins. We find that capping protein increases the rate of motility by promoting more frequent filament nucleation by the Arp2/3 complex, and not by increasing the rate of filament elongation as previously suggested. One consequence of this coupling between capping and nucleation is that, while the rate of motility depends strongly on the concentration of capping protein and Arp2/3, the net rate of actin assembly is insensitive to changes in either factor. By reorganizing their architecture, dendritic actin networks harness the same assembly kinetics to drive different rates of motility. PMID:18510928

  8. Echinococcus granulosus: Cloning and Functional in Vitro Characterization of an Actin Filament Fragmenting Protein.

    PubMed

    Cortez-Herrera, E; Yamamoto, R R; Rodrigues, J J; Farias, S E; Ferreira, H B; Zaha, A

    2001-04-01

    We report the isolation and characterization of an Echinococcus granulosus gene that codes for a protein with actin filament fragmenting and nucleating activities (EgAFFP). The genomic region corresponding to the EgAFFP gene presents a coding sequence of 1110 bp that is interrupted by eight introns. The EgAFFP deduced amino acid sequence is about 40% homologous to those of several members of the gelsolin family, such as Physarum polycephalum fragmin, Dictyostelium discoideum severin, and Lumbricus terrestris actin modulator. As do other proteins of the same family, EgAFFP presents three repeated domains, each one characterized by internal conserved amino acid motifs. Assays with fluorescence-labeled actin showed that the full-length recombinant EgAFFP effectively binds actin monomers in both a calcium-dependent and calcium-independent manner and also presents actin nucleating and severing activities.

  9. The structural basis of actin filament branching by the Arp2/3 complex

    PubMed Central

    Rouiller, Isabelle; Xu, Xiao-Ping; Amann, Kurt J.; Egile, Coumaran; Nickell, Stephan; Nicastro, Daniela; Li, Rong; Pollard, Thomas D.; Volkmann, Niels; Hanein, Dorit

    2008-01-01

    The actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex mediates the formation of branched actin filaments at the leading edge of motile cells and in the comet tails moving certain intracellular pathogens. Crystal structures of the Arp2/3 complex are available, but the architecture of the junction formed by the Arp2/3 complex at the base of the branch was not known. In this study, we use electron tomography to reconstruct the branch junction with sufficient resolution to show how the Arp2/3 complex interacts with the mother filament. Our analysis reveals conformational changes in both the mother filament and Arp2/3 complex upon branch formation. The Arp2 and Arp3 subunits reorganize into a dimer, providing a short-pitch template for elongation of the daughter filament. Two subunits of the mother filament undergo conformational changes that increase stability of the branch. These data provide a rationale for why branch formation requires cooperative interactions among the Arp2/3 complex, nucleation-promoting factors, an actin monomer, and the mother filament. PMID:18316411

  10. The structural basis of actin filament branching by the Arp2/3 complex.

    PubMed

    Rouiller, Isabelle; Xu, Xiao-Ping; Amann, Kurt J; Egile, Coumaran; Nickell, Stephan; Nicastro, Daniela; Li, Rong; Pollard, Thomas D; Volkmann, Niels; Hanein, Dorit

    2008-03-10

    The actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex mediates the formation of branched actin filaments at the leading edge of motile cells and in the comet tails moving certain intracellular pathogens. Crystal structures of the Arp2/3 complex are available, but the architecture of the junction formed by the Arp2/3 complex at the base of the branch was not known. In this study, we use electron tomography to reconstruct the branch junction with sufficient resolution to show how the Arp2/3 complex interacts with the mother filament. Our analysis reveals conformational changes in both the mother filament and Arp2/3 complex upon branch formation. The Arp2 and Arp3 subunits reorganize into a dimer, providing a short-pitch template for elongation of the daughter filament. Two subunits of the mother filament undergo conformational changes that increase stability of the branch. These data provide a rationale for why branch formation requires cooperative interactions among the Arp2/3 complex, nucleation-promoting factors, an actin monomer, and the mother filament.

  11. Polymorphism of highly cross-linked F-actin networks: Probing multiple length scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Lam T.; Hirst, Linda S.

    2011-03-01

    The assembly properties of F-actin filaments in the presence of different biological cross-linker concentrations and types have been investigated using a combined approach of fluorescence confocal microscopy and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation. In particular for highly cross-linked regimes, new network morphologies are observed. Complex network formation and the details of the resulting structure are strongly dependent on the ratio of cross-linkers to actin monomers and cross-linker shape but only weakly dependent on overall actin concentration and filament length. The work presented here may help to provide some fundamental understanding of how excessive cross-linkers interact with the actin filament solution, creating different structures in the cell under high cross-linker concentrations. F-actin is not only of biological importance but also, as an example of a semiflexible polymer, has attracted significant interest in its physical behavior. In combination with different cross-linkers semiflexible filaments may provide new routes to bio-materials development and act as the inspiration for new hierarchical network-based materials.

  12. Myosin lever arm directs collective motion on cellular actin network

    PubMed Central

    Hariadi, Rizal F.; Cale, Mario; Sivaramakrishnan, Sivaraj

    2014-01-01

    The molecular motor myosin teams up to drive muscle contraction, membrane traffic, and cell division in biological cells. Myosin function in cells emerges from the interaction of multiple motors tethered to a scaffold, with surrounding actin filaments organized into 3D networks. Despite the importance of myosin function, the influence of intermotor interactions on collective motion remains poorly understood. In this study, we used precisely engineered myosin assemblies to examine emergence in collective myosin movement. We report that tethering multiple myosin VI motors, but not myosin V motors, modifies their movement trajectories on keratocyte actin networks. Single myosin V and VI dimers display similar skewed trajectories, albeit in opposite directions, when traversing the keratocyte actin network. In contrast, tethering myosin VI motors, but not myosin V motors, progressively straightens the trajectories with increasing myosin number. Trajectory shape of multimotor scaffolds positively correlates with the stiffness of the myosin lever arm. Swapping the flexible myosin VI lever arm for the relatively rigid myosin V lever increases trajectory skewness, and vice versa. A simplified model of coupled motor movement demonstrates that the differences in flexural rigidity of the two myosin lever arms is sufficient to account for the differences in observed behavior of groups of myosin V and VI motors. In accordance with this model trajectory, shapes for scaffolds containing both myosin V and VI are dominated by the myosin with a stiffer lever arm. Our findings suggest that structural features unique to each myosin type may confer selective advantages in cellular functions. PMID:24591646

  13. Myosin lever arm directs collective motion on cellular actin network.

    PubMed

    Hariadi, Rizal F; Cale, Mario; Sivaramakrishnan, Sivaraj

    2014-03-18

    The molecular motor myosin teams up to drive muscle contraction, membrane traffic, and cell division in biological cells. Myosin function in cells emerges from the interaction of multiple motors tethered to a scaffold, with surrounding actin filaments organized into 3D networks. Despite the importance of myosin function, the influence of intermotor interactions on collective motion remains poorly understood. In this study, we used precisely engineered myosin assemblies to examine emergence in collective myosin movement. We report that tethering multiple myosin VI motors, but not myosin V motors, modifies their movement trajectories on keratocyte actin networks. Single myosin V and VI dimers display similar skewed trajectories, albeit in opposite directions, when traversing the keratocyte actin network. In contrast, tethering myosin VI motors, but not myosin V motors, progressively straightens the trajectories with increasing myosin number. Trajectory shape of multimotor scaffolds positively correlates with the stiffness of the myosin lever arm. Swapping the flexible myosin VI lever arm for the relatively rigid myosin V lever increases trajectory skewness, and vice versa. A simplified model of coupled motor movement demonstrates that the differences in flexural rigidity of the two myosin lever arms is sufficient to account for the differences in observed behavior of groups of myosin V and VI motors. In accordance with this model trajectory, shapes for scaffolds containing both myosin V and VI are dominated by the myosin with a stiffer lever arm. Our findings suggest that structural features unique to each myosin type may confer selective advantages in cellular functions.

  14. Phosphorylation of tropomodulin1 contributes to the regulation of actin filament architecture in cardiac muscle

    PubMed Central

    Bliss, Katherine T.; Tsukada, Takehiro; Novak, Stefanie Mares; Dorovkov, Maxim V.; Shah, Samar P.; Nworu, Chinedu; Kostyukova, Alla S.; Gregorio, Carol C.

    2014-01-01

    Tropomodulin1 (Tmod1) is an actin-capping protein that plays an important role in actin filament pointed-end dynamics and length in striated muscle. No mechanisms have been identified to explain how Tmod1's functional properties are regulated. The purpose of this investigation was to explore the functional significance of the phosphorylation of Tmod1 at previously identified Thr54. Rat cardiomyocytes were assessed for phosphorylation of Tmod1 using Pro-Q Diamond staining and 32P labeling. Green fluorescent protein-tagged phosphorylation-mimic (T54E) and phosphorylation-deficient (T54A) versions of Tmod1 were expressed in cultured cardiomyocytes, and the ability of these mutants to assemble and restrict actin lengths was observed. We report for the first time that Tmod1 is phosphorylated endogenously in cardiomyocytes, and phosphorylation at Thr54 causes a significant reduction in the ability of Tmod1 to assemble to the pointed end compared with that of the wild type (WT; 48 vs. 78%, respectively). In addition, overexpression of Tmod1-T54E restricts actin filament lengths by only ∼3%, whereas Tmod1-WT restricts the lengths significantly by ∼8%. Finally, Tmod1-T54E altered the actin filament-capping activity in polymerization assays. Taken together, our data suggest that pointed-end assembly and Tmod1's thin filament length regulatory function are regulated by its phosphorylation state.—Bliss, K. T., Tsukada, T., Novak, S. M., Dorovkov, M. V., Shah, S. P., Nworu, C., Kostyukova, A. S., Gregorio, C. C. Phosphorylation of tropomodulin1 contributes to the regulation of actin filament architecture in cardiac muscle. PMID:24891520

  15. Actin filament tracking based on particle filters and stretching open active contour models.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2009-01-01

    We introduce a novel algorithm for actin filament tracking and elongation measurement. Particle Filters (PF) and Stretching Open Active Contours (SOAC) work cooperatively to simplify the modeling of PF in a one-dimensional state space while naturally integrating filament body constraints to tip estimation. Our algorithm reduces the PF state spaces to one-dimensional spaces by tracking filament bodies using SOAC and probabilistically estimating tip locations along the curve length of SOACs. Experimental evaluation on TIRFM image sequences with very low SNRs demonstrates the accuracy and robustness of this approach. PMID:20426170

  16. 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

  17. Actin filaments and microtubules play different roles during bristle elongation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Tilney, L G; Connelly, P S; Vranich, K A; Shaw, M K; Guild, G M

    2000-04-01

    Developing bristles in Drosophila pupae contain 7-11 bundles of crosslinked actin filaments and a large population of microtubules. During bristle growth the rate of cell elongation increases with bristle length. Thin section EM shows that bundle size is correlated with the amount of cytoplasm at all points along the bristle. Thus, as the bristle elongates and tapers, fewer actin filaments are used. To ensure penetration of inhibitors we isolated thoraces and cultured them in vitro; bristles elongate at rates identical to bristles growing in situ. Interestingly, inhibitors of actin filament assembly (cytochalasin D and latrunculin A) dramatically curtailed bristle elongation while a filament stabilizer (jasplakinolide) accelerated elongation. In contrast, inhibitors of microtubule dynamics (nocodazole, vinblastine, colchicine and taxol) did not affect bristle elongation. Surprisingly, the bristle microtubules are stable and do not turn over. Furthermore, the density of microtubules decreases as the bristle elongates. These two facts coupled with calculations and kinetics of elongation and the fact that the microtubules are short indicate that the microtubules are assembled early in development and then transported distally as the bristle grows. We conclude that actin assembly is crucial for bristle cell elongation and that microtubules must furnish other functions such as to provide bulk to the bristle cytoplasm as well as playing a role in vesicle transport.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Actin filaments target the oligomeric maturation of the dynamin GTPase Drp1 to mitochondrial fission sites.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-26

    While the dynamin GTPase Drp1 plays a critical role during mitochondrial fission, mechanisms controlling its recruitment to fission sites are unclear. A current assumption is that cytosolic Drp1 is recruited directly to fission sites immediately prior to fission. Using live-cell microscopy, we find evidence for a different model, progressive maturation of Drp1 oligomers on mitochondria through incorporation of smaller mitochondrially-bound Drp1 units. Maturation of a stable Drp1 oligomer does not forcibly lead to fission. Drp1 oligomers also translocate directionally along mitochondria. Ionomycin, a calcium ionophore, causes rapid mitochondrial accumulation of actin filaments followed by Drp1 accumulation at the fission site, and increases fission rate. Inhibiting actin polymerization, myosin IIA, or the formin INF2 reduces both un-stimulated and ionomycin-induced Drp1 accumulation and mitochondrial fission. Actin filaments bind purified Drp1 and increase GTPase activity in a manner that is synergistic with the mitochondrial protein Mff, suggesting a role for direct Drp1/actin interaction. We propose that Drp1 is in dynamic equilibrium on mitochondria in a fission-independent manner, and that fission factors such as actin filaments target productive oligomerization to fission sites.

  20. Actin filaments target the oligomeric maturation of the dynamin GTPase Drp1 to mitochondrial fission sites

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    While the dynamin GTPase Drp1 plays a critical role during mitochondrial fission, mechanisms controlling its recruitment to fission sites are unclear. A current assumption is that cytosolic Drp1 is recruited directly to fission sites immediately prior to fission. Using live-cell microscopy, we find evidence for a different model, progressive maturation of Drp1 oligomers on mitochondria through incorporation of smaller mitochondrially-bound Drp1 units. Maturation of a stable Drp1 oligomer does not forcibly lead to fission. Drp1 oligomers also translocate directionally along mitochondria. Ionomycin, a calcium ionophore, causes rapid mitochondrial accumulation of actin filaments followed by Drp1 accumulation at the fission site, and increases fission rate. Inhibiting actin polymerization, myosin IIA, or the formin INF2 reduces both un-stimulated and ionomycin-induced Drp1 accumulation and mitochondrial fission. Actin filaments bind purified Drp1 and increase GTPase activity in a manner that is synergistic with the mitochondrial protein Mff, suggesting a role for direct Drp1/actin interaction. We propose that Drp1 is in dynamic equilibrium on mitochondria in a fission-independent manner, and that fission factors such as actin filaments target productive oligomerization to fission sites. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11553.001 PMID:26609810

  1. Extracellular Inhibitors, Repellents, and Semaphorin/Plexin/MICAL-mediated Actin Filament Disassembly

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Ruei-Jiun; Terman, Jonathan R.

    2011-01-01

    Multiple extracellular signals have been identified that regulate actin dynamics within motile cells, but how these instructive cues present on the cell surface exert their precise effects on the internal actin cytoskeleton is still poorly understood. One particularly interesting class of these cues is a group of extracellular proteins that negatively alter the movement of cells and their processes. Over the years, these types of events have been described using a variety of terms and herein we provide an overview of inhibitory/repulsive cellular phenomena and highlight the largest known protein family of repulsive extracellular cues, the Semaphorins. Specifically, the Semaphorins (Semas) utilize Plexin cell-surface receptors to dramatically collapse the actin cytoskeleton and we summarize what is known of the direct molecular and biochemical mechanisms of Sema-triggered actin filament (F-actin) disassembly. We also discuss new observations from our lab that reveal that the multi-domain oxidoreductase (Redox) enzyme MICAL, an important mediator of Sema/Plexin repulsion, is a novel F-actin disassembly factor. Our results indicate that MICAL triggers Sema/Plexin-mediated reorganization of the F-actin cytoskeleton and suggest a role for specific Redox signaling events in regulating actin dynamics. PMID:21800438

  2. Real-Time Measurements of Actin Filament Polymerization by Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Jeffrey R.; Pollard, Thomas D.

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the mechanism of actin polymerization and its regulation by associated proteins requires an assay to monitor polymerization dynamics and filament topology simultaneously. The only assay meeting these criteria is total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (Amann and Pollard, 2001; Fujiwara et al., 2002). The fluorescence signal is fourfold stronger with actin labeled on Cys-374 with Oregon green rather than rhodamine. To distinguish growth at barbed and pointed ends we used image drift correction and maximum intensity projections to reveal points where single N-ethylmaleimide inactivated myosins attach filaments to the glass coverslip. We estimated association rates at high actin concentrations and dissociation rates near and below the critical actin concentration. At the barbed end, the association rate constant for Mg-ATP-actin is 7.4 μM−1 s−1 and the dissociation rate constant is 0.89 s−1. At the pointed end the association and dissociation rate constants are 0.56 μM−1 s−1 and 0.19 s−1. When vitamin D binding protein sequesters all free monomers, ADP-actin dissociates from barbed ends at 1.4 s−1 and from pointed ends at 0.16 s−1 regardless of buffer nucleotide. PMID:15556992

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jun; Tang, Jay X.

    2011-04-01

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

  4. Electron tomography and simulation of baculovirus actin comet tails support a tethered filament model of pathogen propulsion.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Jan; Pfanzelter, Julia; Winkler, Christoph; Narita, Akihiro; Le Clainche, Christophe; Nemethova, Maria; Carlier, Marie-France; Maeda, Yuichiro; Welch, Matthew D; Ohkawa, Taro; Schmeiser, Christian; Resch, Guenter P; Small, J Victor

    2014-01-01

    Several pathogens induce propulsive actin comet tails in cells they invade to disseminate their infection. They achieve this by recruiting factors for actin nucleation, the Arp2/3 complex, and polymerization regulators from the host cytoplasm. Owing to limited information on the structural organization of actin comets and in particular the spatial arrangement of filaments engaged in propulsion, the underlying mechanism of pathogen movement is currently speculative and controversial. Using electron tomography we have resolved the three-dimensional architecture of actin comet tails propelling baculovirus, the smallest pathogen yet known to hijack the actin motile machinery. Comet tail geometry was also mimicked in mixtures of virus capsids with purified actin and a minimal inventory of actin regulators. We demonstrate that propulsion is based on the assembly of a fishbone-like array of actin filaments organized in subsets linked by branch junctions, with an average of four filaments pushing the virus at any one time. Using an energy-minimizing function we have simulated the structure of actin comet tails as well as the tracks adopted by baculovirus in infected cells in vivo. The results from the simulations rule out gel squeezing models of propulsion and support those in which actin filaments are continuously tethered during branch nucleation and polymerization. Since Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella flexneri, and Vaccinia virus among other pathogens use the same common toolbox of components as baculovirus to move, we suggest they share the same principles of actin organization and mode of propulsion. PMID:24453943

  5. Interactions between actin and myosin filaments in skeletal muscle visualized in frozen-hydrated thin sections.

    PubMed

    Trus, B L; Steven, A C; McDowall, A W; Unser, M; Dubochet, J; Podolsky, R J

    1989-04-01

    For the purpose of determining net interactions between actin and myosin filaments in muscle cells, perhaps the single most informative view of the myofilament lattice is its averaged axial projection. We have studied frozen-hydrated transverse thin sections with the goal of obtaining axial projections that are not subject to the limitations of conventional thin sectioning (suspect preservation of native structure) or of equatorial x-ray diffraction analysis (lack of experimental phases). In principle, good preservation of native structure may be achieved with fast freezing, followed by low-dose electron imaging of unstained vitrified cryosections. In practice, however, cryosections undergo large-scale distortions, including irreversible compression; furthermore, phase contrast imaging results in a nonlinear relationship between the projected density of the specimen and the optical density of the micrograph. To overcome these limitations, we have devised methods of image restoration and generalized correlation averaging, and applied them to cryosections of rabbit psoas fibers in both the relaxed and rigor states. Thus visualized, myosin filaments appear thicker than actin filaments by a much smaller margin than in conventional thin sections, and particularly so for rigor muscle. This may result from a significant fraction of the myosin S1-cross-bridges averaging out in projection and thus contributing only to the baseline of projected density. Entering rigor incurs a loss of density from an annulus around the myosin filament, with a compensating accumulation of density around the actin filament. This redistribution of mass represents attachment of the fraction of cross-bridges that are visible above background. Myosin filaments in the "nonoverlap" zone appear to broaden on entering rigor, suggesting that on deprivation of ATP, cross-bridges in situ move outwards even without actin in their immediate proximity.

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

    PubMed

    Gladilin, Evgeny; Gonzalez, Paula; Eils, Roland

    2014-08-22

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

  7. Myosin-induced volume increase of the hyper-mobile water surrounding actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Makoto; Kabir, Syed Rashel; Siddique, Md Shahjahan Parvez; Nazia, Umme Salma; Miyazaki, Takashi; Kodama, Takao

    2004-09-10

    Microwave dielectric spectroscopy can measure the rotational mobility of water molecules that hydrate proteins and the hydration-shell volume. Using this technique, we have recently shown that apart from typical hydrating water molecules with lowered mobility there are other water molecules around the actin filaments (F-actin) which have a much higher mobility than that of bulk water [Biophys. J. 85 (2003) 3154]. We report here that the volume of this water component (hyper-mobile water) markedly increases without significant change of the volume of the ordinary hydration shell when the myosin motor-domain (S1, myosin subfragment-1) binds to F-actin. No hyper-mobile component was found in the hydration shell of S1 itself. The present results strongly suggest that the solvent space around S1 bound to F-actin is diffusionally asymmetric, which supports our model of force generation by actomyosin proposed previously [op. cit.]. PMID:15313212

  8. A function for filamentous alpha-smooth muscle actin: retardation of motility in fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Rønnov-Jessen, L; Petersen, O W

    1996-07-01

    Actins are known to comprise six mammalian isoforms of which beta- and gamma-nonmuscle actins are present in all cells, whereas alpha-smooth muscle (alpha-sm) actin is normally restricted to cells of the smooth muscle lineages. alpha-Sm actin has been found also to be expressed transiently in certain nonmuscle cells, in particular fibroblasts, which are referred to as myofibroblasts. The functional significance of alpha-sm actin in fibroblasts is unknown. However, myofibroblasts appear to play a prominent role in stromal reaction in breast cancer, at the site of wound repair, and in fibrotic reactions. Here, we show that the presence of alpha-sm actin is a signal for retardation of migratory behavior in fibroblasts. Comparison in a migration assay of fibroblast cell strains with and without alpha-sm actin revealed migratory restraint in alpha-sm actin-positive fibroblasts. Electroporation of monoclonal antibody (mAb) 1A4, which recognizes specifically the NH2-terminal Ac-EEED sequence of alpha-sm actin, significantly increased the frequency of migrating cells over that obtained with an unrelated antibody or a mAb against beta-actin. Time-lapse video microscopy revealed migratory rates of 4.8 and 3.0 microns/h, respectively. To knock out the alpha-sm actin protein, several antisense phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotide (ODNs) were tested. One of these, 3'UTI, which is complementary to a highly evolutionary conserved 3' untranslated (3'UT) sequence of alpha-sm actin mRNA, was found to block alpha-sm actin synthesis completely without affecting the synthesis of any other proteins as analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Targeting by antisense 3'UTI significantly increased motility compared with the corresponding sense ODN. alpha-Sm actin inhibition also led to the formation of less prominent focal adhesions as revealed by immunofluorescence staining against vinculin, talin, and beta1-integrin. We propose that an important function of filamentous alpha

  9. Mechanism of actin filament nucleation by the bacterial effector VopL

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Bingke; Cheng, Hui-Chun; Brautigam, Chad A.; Tomchick, Diana R.; Rosen, Michael K.

    2012-05-02

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus protein L (VopL) is an actin nucleation factor that induces stress fibers when injected into eukaryotic host cells. VopL contains three N-terminal Wiskott-Aldrich homology 2 (WH2) motifs and a unique VopL C-terminal domain (VCD). We describe crystallographic and biochemical analyses of filament nucleation by VopL. The WH2 element of VopL does not nucleate on its own and requires the VCD for activity. The VCD forms a U-shaped dimer in the crystal, stabilized by a terminal coiled coil. Dimerization of the WH2 motifs contributes strongly to nucleation activity, as do contacts of the VCD to actin. Our data lead to a model in which VopL stabilizes primarily lateral (short-pitch) contacts between actin monomers to create the base of a two-stranded filament. Stabilization of lateral contacts may be a common feature of actin filament nucleation by WH2-based factors.

  10. Dense granule trafficking in Toxoplasma gondii requires a unique class 27 myosin and actin filaments

    PubMed Central

    Heaslip, Aoife T.; Nelson, Shane R.; Warshaw, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The survival of Toxoplasma gondii within its host cell requires protein release from secretory vesicles, called dense granules, to maintain the parasite’s intracellular replicative niche. Despite the importance of DGs, nothing is known about the mechanisms underlying their transport. In higher eukaryotes, secretory vesicles are transported to the plasma membrane by molecular motors moving on their respective cytoskeletal tracks (i.e., microtubules and actin). Because the organization of these cytoskeletal structures differs substantially in T. gondii, the molecular motor dependence of DG trafficking is far from certain. By imaging the motions of green fluorescent protein–tagged DGs in intracellular parasites with high temporal and spatial resolution, we show through a combination of molecular genetics and chemical perturbations that directed DG transport is independent of microtubules and presumably their kinesin/dynein motors. However, directed DG transport is dependent on filamentous actin and a unique class 27 myosin, TgMyoF, which has structural similarity to myosin V, the prototypical cargo transporter. Actomyosin DG transport was unexpected, since filamentous parasite actin has yet to be visualized in vivo due in part to the prevailing model that parasite actin forms short, unstable filaments. Thus our data uncover new critical roles for these essential proteins in the lytic cycle of this devastating pathogen. PMID:27146112

  11. Dense granule trafficking in Toxoplasma gondii requires a unique class 27 myosin and actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Heaslip, Aoife T; Nelson, Shane R; Warshaw, David M

    2016-07-01

    The survival of Toxoplasma gondii within its host cell requires protein release from secretory vesicles, called dense granules, to maintain the parasite's intracellular replicative niche. Despite the importance of DGs, nothing is known about the mechanisms underlying their transport. In higher eukaryotes, secretory vesicles are transported to the plasma membrane by molecular motors moving on their respective cytoskeletal tracks (i.e., microtubules and actin). Because the organization of these cytoskeletal structures differs substantially in T. gondii, the molecular motor dependence of DG trafficking is far from certain. By imaging the motions of green fluorescent protein-tagged DGs in intracellular parasites with high temporal and spatial resolution, we show through a combination of molecular genetics and chemical perturbations that directed DG transport is independent of microtubules and presumably their kinesin/dynein motors. However, directed DG transport is dependent on filamentous actin and a unique class 27 myosin, TgMyoF, which has structural similarity to myosin V, the prototypical cargo transporter. Actomyosin DG transport was unexpected, since filamentous parasite actin has yet to be visualized in vivo due in part to the prevailing model that parasite actin forms short, unstable filaments. Thus our data uncover new critical roles for these essential proteins in the lytic cycle of this devastating pathogen. PMID:27146112

  12. Myosin-10 and actin filaments are essential for mitotic spindle function

    PubMed Central

    Woolner, Sarah; O'Brien, Lori L.; Wiese, Christiane; Bement, William M.

    2008-01-01

    Mitotic spindles are microtubule-based structures responsible for chromosome partitioning during cell division. Although the roles of microtubules and microtubule-based motors in mitotic spindles are well established, whether or not actin filaments (F-actin) and F-actin–based motors (myosins) are required components of mitotic spindles has long been controversial. Based on the demonstration that myosin-10 (Myo10) is important for assembly of meiotic spindles, we assessed the role of this unconventional myosin, as well as F-actin, in mitotic spindles. We find that Myo10 localizes to mitotic spindle poles and is essential for proper spindle anchoring, normal spindle length, spindle pole integrity, and progression through metaphase. Furthermore, we show that F-actin localizes to mitotic spindles in dynamic cables that surround the spindle and extend between the spindle and the cortex. Remarkably, although proper anchoring depends on both F-actin and Myo10, the requirement for Myo10 in spindle pole integrity is F-actin independent, whereas F-actin and Myo10 actually play antagonistic roles in maintenance of spindle length. PMID:18606852

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Drosophila cyfip regulates synaptic development and endocytosis by suppressing filamentous actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lu; Wang, Dan; Wang, Qifu; Rodal, Avital A; Zhang, Yong Q

    2013-04-01

    The formation of synapses and the proper construction of neural circuits depend on signaling pathways that regulate cytoskeletal structure and dynamics. After the mutual recognition of a growing axon and its target, multiple signaling pathways are activated that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics to determine the morphology and strength of the connection. By analyzing Drosophila mutations in the cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein Cyfip, we demonstrate that this component of the WAVE complex inhibits the assembly of filamentous actin (F-actin) and thereby regulates key aspects of synaptogenesis. Cyfip regulates the distribution of F-actin filaments in presynaptic neuromuscular junction (NMJ) terminals. At cyfip mutant NMJs, F-actin assembly was accelerated, resulting in shorter NMJs, more numerous satellite boutons, and reduced quantal content. Increased synaptic vesicle size and failure to maintain excitatory junctional potential amplitudes under high-frequency stimulation in cyfip mutants indicated an endocytic defect. cyfip mutants exhibited upregulated bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, a major growth-promoting pathway known to be attenuated by endocytosis at the Drosophila NMJ. We propose that Cyfip regulates synapse development and endocytosis by inhibiting actin assembly.

  15. Mechanical force mobilizes zyxin from focal adhesions to actin filaments and regulates cytoskeletal reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Yoshigi, Masaaki; Hoffman, Laura M; Jensen, Christopher C; Yost, H Joseph; Beckerle, Mary C

    2005-10-24

    Organs and tissues adapt to acute or chronic mechanical stress by remodeling their actin cytoskeletons. Cells that are stimulated by cyclic stretch or shear stress in vitro undergo bimodal cytoskeletal responses that include rapid reinforcement and gradual reorientation of actin stress fibers; however, the mechanism by which cells respond to mechanical cues has been obscure. We report that the application of either unidirectional cyclic stretch or shear stress to cells results in robust mobilization of zyxin from focal adhesions to actin filaments, whereas many other focal adhesion proteins and zyxin family members remain at focal adhesions. Mechanical stress also induces the rapid zyxin-dependent mobilization of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein from focal adhesions to actin filaments. Thickening of actin stress fibers reflects a cellular adaptation to mechanical stress; this cytoskeletal reinforcement coincides with zyxin mobilization and is abrogated in zyxin-null cells. Our findings identify zyxin as a mechanosensitive protein and provide mechanistic insight into how cells respond to mechanical cues. PMID:16247023

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-18

    Contact-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been shown to reveal cortical actin structures. Using live endothelial cells, we visualized cortical actin dynamics simultaneously by AFM and confocal fluorescence microscopy. We present a method that quantifies dynamic changes in the mechanical ultrastructure of the cortical actin web. We argue that the commonly used, so-called error signal imaging in AFM allows a qualitative, but not quantitative, analysis of cortical actin dynamics. The approach we used comprises fast force-curve-based topography imaging and subsequent image processing that enhances local height differences. Dynamic changes in the organization of the cytoskeleton network can be observed and quantified by surface roughness calculations and automated morphometrics. Upon treatment with low concentrations of the actin-destabilizing agent cytochalasin D, the cortical cytoskeleton network is thinned out and the average mesh size increases. In contrast, jasplakinolide, a drug that enhances actin polymerization, consolidates the cytoskeleton network and reduces the average mesh area. In conclusion, cortical actin dynamics can be quantified in live cells. To our knowledge, this opens a new pathway for conducting quantitative structure-function analyses of the endothelial actin web just beneath the apical plasma membrane.

  18. AUTOMATED ACTIN FILAMENT SEGMENTATION, TRACKING AND TIP ELONGATION MEASUREMENTS BASED ON OPEN ACTIVE CONTOUR MODELS.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Smith, Matthew B; Fujiwara, Ikuko; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2009-06-28

    This paper presents an automated method for actin filament segmentation and tracking for measuring tip elongation rates in Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM) images. The main contributions of the paper are: (i) we use a novel open active contour model for filament segmentation and tracking, which is fast and robust against noise; (ii) different strategies are proposed to solve the filament intersection problem, which is shown to be the main difficulty in filament tracking; and (iii) this fully automated method avoids the need of human interaction and thus reduces required time for the entire elongation measurement process on an image sequence. Application to experimental results demonstrated the robustness and effectiveness of this method.

  19. Emerging roles of sumoylation in the regulation of actin, microtubules, intermediate filaments, and septins

    PubMed Central

    Alonso, Annabel; Greenlee, Matt; Matts, Jessica; Kline, Jake; Davis, Kayla J.

    2015-01-01

    Sumoylation is a powerful regulatory system that controls many of the critical processes in the cell, including DNA repair, transcriptional regulation, nuclear transport, and DNA replication. Recently, new functions for SUMO have begun to emerge. SUMO is covalently attached to components of each of the four major cytoskeletal networks, including microtubule‐associated proteins, septins, and intermediate filaments, in addition to nuclear actin and actin‐regulatory proteins. However, knowledge of the mechanisms by which this signal transduction system controls the cytoskeleton is still in its infancy. One story that is beginning to unfold is that SUMO may regulate the microtubule motor protein dynein by modification of its adaptor Lis1. In other instances, cytoskeletal elements can both bind to SUMO non‐covalently and also be conjugated by it. The molecular mechanisms for many of these new functions are not yet clear, but are under active investigation. One emerging model links the function of MAP sumoylation to protein degradation through SUMO‐targeted ubiquitin ligases, also known as STUbL enzymes. Other possible functions for cytoskeletal sumoylation are also discussed. © 2015 The Authors. Cytoskeleton Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26033929

  20. Actin filament organization and myosin head labelling patterns in vertebrate skeletal muscles in the rigor and weak binding states.

    PubMed

    Squire, J M; Harford, J J

    1988-08-01

    The structures of vertebrate skeletal muscles (particularly from frog and fish) in the rigor state are analysed in terms of the concept of target areas on actin filaments. Assuming that 100% of the heads are to be attached to actin in rigor, then satisfactory qualitative low-resolution modelling of observed X-ray diffraction data is obtained if the outer ends of these myosin heads can move axially (total range about 200A) and azimuthally (total range less than 60 degrees) from their original lattice sites on the myosin filament surface to attach in defined target areas on the actin filaments. On this basis, each actin target area comprises about four actin monomers along one of the two long-pitched helical strands of the actin filament (about 200 A) or an azimuthal range of actin binding sites of about 100 degrees around the thin filament axis. If myosin heads simply label in a non-specific way the nearest actin monomers to them, as could occur with non-specific transient attachment in a 'weak binding' state, then the predicted X-ray diffraction pattern would comprise layer lines at the same axial spacings (orders of 429 A) as those seen in patterns from resting muscle. It is shown that actin target areas in vertebrate skeletal muscles are probably arranged on an approximate 62 (right-handed) helix of pitch (P) of about 720 A, subunit translation P/6 and near repeat P/2. Troponin position need not be considered in defining the labelling pattern of cross-bridges on this 62 helix of target areas; the target areas appear to be defined solely by the azimuthal position of the actin binding sites. The distribution of actin filament labelling patterns could be regular in fish muscle which has a 'crystalline' A-band, but will be irregular in higher vertebrate muscles such as frog sartorius muscle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  2. DeFiNe: an optimisation-based method for robust disentangling of filamentous networks.

    PubMed

    Breuer, David; Nikoloski, Zoran

    2015-12-15

    Thread-like structures are pervasive across scales, from polymeric proteins to root systems to galaxy filaments, and their characteristics can be readily investigated in the network formalism. Yet, network links usually represent only parts of filaments, which, when neglected, may lead to erroneous conclusions from network-based analyses. The existing alternatives to detect filaments in network representations require tuning of parameters over a large range of values and treat all filaments equally, thus, precluding automated analysis of diverse filamentous systems. Here, we propose a fully automated and robust optimisation-based approach to detect filaments of consistent intensities and angles in a given network. We test and demonstrate the accuracy of our solution with contrived, biological, and cosmic filamentous structures. In particular, we show that the proposed approach provides powerful automated means to study properties of individual actin filaments in their network context. Our solution is made publicly available as an open-source tool, "DeFiNe", facilitating decomposition of any given network into individual filaments.

  3. DeFiNe: an optimisation-based method for robust disentangling of filamentous networks

    PubMed Central

    Breuer, David; Nikoloski, Zoran

    2015-01-01

    Thread-like structures are pervasive across scales, from polymeric proteins to root systems to galaxy filaments, and their characteristics can be readily investigated in the network formalism. Yet, network links usually represent only parts of filaments, which, when neglected, may lead to erroneous conclusions from network-based analyses. The existing alternatives to detect filaments in network representations require tuning of parameters over a large range of values and treat all filaments equally, thus, precluding automated analysis of diverse filamentous systems. Here, we propose a fully automated and robust optimisation-based approach to detect filaments of consistent intensities and angles in a given network. We test and demonstrate the accuracy of our solution with contrived, biological, and cosmic filamentous structures. In particular, we show that the proposed approach provides powerful automated means to study properties of individual actin filaments in their network context. Our solution is made publicly available as an open-source tool, “DeFiNe”, facilitating decomposition of any given network into individual filaments. PMID:26666975

  4. Myosin-I moves actin filaments on a phospholipid substrate: implications for membrane targeting

    PubMed Central

    1992-01-01

    Acanthamoeba myosin-I bound to substrates of nitrocellulose or planar lipid membranes on glass moved actin filaments at an average velocity of 0.2 micron/s. This movement required ATP and phosphorylation of the myosin-I heavy chain. We prepared planar lipid membranes on a glass support by passive fusion of lipid vesicles (Brian, A. A., and H. M. McConnell. 1984. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 81:6159-6163) composed of phosphatidylcholine and containing 0-40% phosphatidylserine. The mass of lipid that bound to the glass was the same for membranes of 2 and 20% phosphatidylserine in phosphatidylcholine and was sufficient to form a single bilayer. Myosin-I moved actin filaments on planar membranes of 5-40% but not 0-2% phosphatidylserine. At the low concentrations of phosphatidylserine, actin filaments tended to detach suggesting that less myosin-I was bound. We used the cooperative activation of Acanthamoeba myosin-I ATPase by low concentrations of actin to assess the association of phospholipids with myosin-I. Under conditions where activity depends on the binding of actin to the tail of myosin-I (Albanesi, J. P., H. Fujisaki, and E. D. Korn. 1985. J. Biol. Chem. 260:11174-11179), phospholipid vesicles with 5-40% phosphatidylserine inhibited ATPase activity. The motility and ATPase results demonstrate a specific interaction of the tail of myosin-I with physiological concentrations of phosphatidylserine. This interaction is sufficient to support motility and may provide a mechanism to target myosin-I to biological membranes. PMID:1530945

  5. Microtubules and actin filaments are not critically involved in the biogenesis of epithelial cell surface polarity.

    PubMed

    Salas, P J; Misek, D E; Vega-Salas, D E; Gundersen, D; Cereijido, M; Rodriguez-Boulan, E

    1986-05-01

    We have studied the role of microtubules and actin filaments in the biogenesis of epithelial cell surface polarity, using influenza hemagglutinin and vesicular stomatitis G protein as model apical and basolateral proteins in infected Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Addition of colchicine or nocodazole to confluent monolayers at concentrations sufficient to completely disassemble microtubules did not affect the asymmetric budding of influenza or vesicular stomatitis virus and only slightly reduced the typical asymmetric surface distribution of their envelope proteins, despite extensive cytoplasmic redistribution of the Golgi apparatus. Alteration of microtubular function by taxol or dissociation of actin filaments by cytochalasin D also failed to have a significant effect. Furthermore, neither colchicine nor cytochalasin D pretreatment blocked the ability of subconfluent Madin-Darby canine kidney cells to sustain polarized budding of influenza virus a few hours after attachment to the substrate. Our results indicate that domain-specific microtubule or actin filament "tracks" are not responsible for the vectorial delivery of apically or basolaterally directed transport vesicles. In conjunction with currently available evidence, they are compatible with a model in which receptors in the cytoplasmic aspect of apical or basolateral regions provide vectoriality to the transport of vesicles carrying plasma membrane proteins to their final surface localization. PMID:2871031

  6. High expression of Lifeact in Arabidopsis thaliana reduces dynamic reorganization of actin filaments but does not affect plant development.

    PubMed

    van der Honing, Hannie S; van Bezouwen, Laura S; Emons, Anne Mie C; Ketelaar, Tijs

    2011-10-01

    Lifeact is a novel probe that labels actin filaments in a wide range of organisms. We compared the localization and reorganization of Lifeact:Venus-labeled actin filaments in Arabidopsis root hairs and root epidermal cells of lines that express different levels of Lifeact: Venus with that of actin filaments labeled with GFP:FABD2, a commonly used probe in plants. Unlike GFP:FABD2, Lifeact:Venus labeled the highly dynamic fine F-actin in the subapical region of tip-growing root hairs. Lifeact:Venus expression at varying levels was not observed to affect plant development. However, at expression levels comparable to those of GFP:FABD2 in a well-characterized marker line, Lifeact:Venus reduced reorganization rates of bundles of actin filaments in root epidermal cells. Reorganization rates of cytoplasmic strands, which reflect the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, were also reduced in these lines. Moreover, in the same line, Lifeact:Venus-decorated actin filaments were more resistant to depolymerization by latrunculin B than those in an equivalent GFP:FABD2-expressing line. In lines where Lifeact: Venus is expressed at lower levels, these effects are less prominent or even absent. We conclude that Lifeact: Venus reduces remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis in a concentration-dependent manner. Since this reduction occurs at expression levels that do not cause defects in plant development, selection of normally growing plants is not sufficient to determine optimal Lifeact expression levels. When correct expression levels of Lifeact have been determined, it is a valuable probe that labels dynamic populations of actin filaments such as fine F-actin, better than FABD2 does.

  7. Nonlinear elasticity of semiflexible filament networks.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fanlong; Terentjev, Eugene M

    2016-08-10

    We develop a continuum theory for equilibrium elasticity of a network of crosslinked semiflexible filaments, spanning the full range between flexible entropy-driven chains to stiff athermal rods. We choose the 3-chain constitutive model of network elasticity over several plausible candidates, and derive analytical expressions for the elastic energy at arbitrary strain, with the corresponding stress-strain relationship. The theory fits well to a wide range of experimental data on simple shear in different filament networks, quantitatively matching the differential shear modulus variation with stress, with only two adjustable parameters (which represent the filament stiffness and the pre-tension in the network, respectively). The general theory accurately describes the crossover between the positive and negative Poynting effect (normal stress on imposed shear) on increasing the stiffness of filaments forming the network. We discuss the network stability (the point of marginal rigidity) and the phenomenon of tensegrity, showing that filament pre-tension on crosslinking into the network determines the magnitude of linear modulus G0. PMID:27444846

  8. Nonlinear elasticity of semiflexible filament networks.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fanlong; Terentjev, Eugene M

    2016-08-10

    We develop a continuum theory for equilibrium elasticity of a network of crosslinked semiflexible filaments, spanning the full range between flexible entropy-driven chains to stiff athermal rods. We choose the 3-chain constitutive model of network elasticity over several plausible candidates, and derive analytical expressions for the elastic energy at arbitrary strain, with the corresponding stress-strain relationship. The theory fits well to a wide range of experimental data on simple shear in different filament networks, quantitatively matching the differential shear modulus variation with stress, with only two adjustable parameters (which represent the filament stiffness and the pre-tension in the network, respectively). The general theory accurately describes the crossover between the positive and negative Poynting effect (normal stress on imposed shear) on increasing the stiffness of filaments forming the network. We discuss the network stability (the point of marginal rigidity) and the phenomenon of tensegrity, showing that filament pre-tension on crosslinking into the network determines the magnitude of linear modulus G0.

  9. Electric field modulation of the motility of actin filaments on myosin-functionalised surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramsey, L. C.; Aveyard, J.; van Zalinge, H.; Persson, M.; Mânsson, A.; Nicolau, D. V.

    2013-02-01

    We investigated the difference in electrically guided acto-myosin motility on two surfaces. Rabbit skeletal muscle heavy meromyosin (HMM) was absorbed onto surfaces coated with Nitrocellulose (NC) and Poly(butyl methacrylate) (PBMA). A modified in vitro motility assay with sealed chambers for the insertion of electrodes allowed an electrical field to be applied across the flow cell. On all surfaces a small increase in velocity and general guidance of the actin filaments towards the positive electrode is seen at field strengths in the range of ~3000 - 4000Vm-1. A large increase in velocity was observed at ~5000Vm-1 and a significant change in the velocity of the actin filaments present in field strengths higher than this. NC supported the highest percentage of motile filaments and at a field of 8000Vm-1 reached ~66%. PBMA however supported the least percentage of motile filaments and irregular motility was observed even at higher fields where guidance was expected to be strong. The change in velocity in the range of fields tested varied significantly on the surfaces with NC displaying a 46% increase from 0 to 8000Vm-1 whereas on PBMA this value was just 37%.

  10. The More the Tubular: Dynamic Bundling of Actin Filaments for Membrane Tube Formation

    PubMed Central

    Weichsel, Julian; Geissler, Phillip L.

    2016-01-01

    Tubular protrusions are a common feature of living cells, arising from polymerization of stiff protein filaments against a comparably soft membrane. Although this process involves many accessory proteins in cells, in vitro experiments indicate that similar tube-like structures can emerge without them, through spontaneous bundling of filaments mediated by the membrane. Using theory and simulation of physical models, we have elaborated how nonequilibrium fluctuations in growth kinetics and membrane shape can yield such protrusions. Enabled by a new grand canonical Monte Carlo method for membrane simulation, our work reveals a cascade of dynamical transitions from individually polymerizing filaments to highly cooperatively growing bundles as a dynamical bottleneck to tube formation. Filament network organization as well as adhesion points to the membrane, which bias filament bending and constrain membrane height fluctuations, screen the effective attractive interactions between filaments, significantly delaying bundling and tube formation. PMID:27384915

  11. Actin Filament Tracking Based on Particle Filters and Stretching Open Active Contour Models

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2010-01-01

    We introduce a novel algorithm for actin filament tracking and elongation measurement. Particle Filters (PF) and Stretching Open Active Contours (SOAC) work cooperatively to simplify the modeling of PF in a one-dimensional state space while naturally integrating filament body constraints to tip estimation. Existing microtubule (MT) tracking methods track either MT tips or entire bodies in high-dimensional state spaces. In contrast, our algorithm reduces the PF state spaces to one-dimensional spaces by tracking filament bodies using SOAC and probabilistically estimating tip locations along the curve length of SOACs. Experimental evaluation on TIRFM image sequences with very low SNRs demonstrates the accuracy and robustness of the proposed approach. PMID:20426170

  12. On the properties of a bundle of flexible actin filaments in an optical trap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perilli, Alessia; Pierleoni, Carlo; Ciccotti, Giovanni; Ryckaert, Jean-Paul

    2016-06-01

    We establish the statistical mechanics framework for a bundle of Nf living and uncrosslinked actin filaments in a supercritical solution of free monomers pressing against a mobile wall. The filaments are anchored normally to a fixed planar surface at one of their ends and, because of their limited flexibility, they grow almost parallel to each other. Their growing ends hit a moving obstacle, depicted as a second planar wall, parallel to the previous one and subjected to a harmonic compressive force. The force constant is denoted as the trap strength while the distance between the two walls as the trap length to make contact with the experimental optical trap apparatus. For an ideal solution of reactive filaments and free monomers at fixed free monomer chemical potential μ1, we obtain the general expression for the grand potential from which we derive averages and distributions of relevant physical quantities, namely, the obstacle position, the bundle polymerization force, and the number of filaments in direct contact with the wall. The grafted living filaments are modeled as discrete Wormlike chains, with F-actin persistence length ℓp, subject to discrete contour length variations ±d (the monomer size) to model single monomer (de)polymerization steps. Rigid filaments (ℓp = ∞), either isolated or in bundles, all provide average values of the stalling force in agreement with Hill's predictions Fs H = N f k B T ln ( ρ 1 / ρ 1 c) / d , independent of the average trap length. Here ρ1 is the density of free monomers in the solution and ρ1c its critical value at which the filament does not grow nor shrink in the absence of external forces. Flexible filaments (ℓp < ∞) instead, for values of the trap strength suitable to prevent their lateral escape, provide an average bundle force and an average trap length slightly larger than the corresponding rigid cases (few percents). Still the stalling force remains nearly independent on the average trap length, but

  13. Mechanisms of leiomodin 2-mediated regulation of actin filament in muscle cells.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-13

    Leiomodin (Lmod) is a class of potent tandem-G-actin-binding nucleators in muscle cells. Lmod mutations, deletion, or instability are linked to lethal nemaline myopathy. However, the lack of high-resolution structures of Lmod nucleators in action severely hampered our understanding of their essential cellular functions. Here we report the crystal structure of the actin-Lmod2162-495 nucleus. The structure contains two actin subunits connected by one Lmod2162-495 molecule in a non-filament-like conformation. Complementary functional studies suggest that the binding of Lmod2 stimulates ATP hydrolysis and accelerates actin nucleation and polymerization. The high level of conservation among Lmod proteins in sequence and functions suggests that the mechanistic insights of human Lmod2 uncovered here may aid in a molecular understanding of other Lmod proteins. Furthermore, our structural and mechanistic studies unraveled a previously unrecognized level of regulation in mammalian signal transduction mediated by certain tandem-G-actin-binding nucleators. PMID:26417072

  14. He-Ne laser influenced actin filaments alleviate the damage of UV-B in wheat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Huize; Han, Rong

    2015-01-01

    This work investigated the use of a He-Ne laser in alleviating the damaging effects of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation on wheat seedlings by influenced actin filaments. Triticum aestivum seedlings were irradiated with either enhanced UV-B (10.08 KJ m-2 d-1) or a combination of UV-B light and the He-Ne laser. Plants were also exposed to the He-Ne laser alone. In order to compare the effect of the He-Ne laser, red light (same power and wavelength as the He-Ne laser) treatment and the combined UV-B and red light treatment were added. Moreover, wheat seedlings were treated with actin special drugs, including cytochalasin B (CB) and jasplakinolide (JAS). We analyzed the growth of the seedlings, the distribution of actin filaments (AFs), DNA laddering and ACTIN expression in the different groups. The results showed that enhanced UV-B produced negative effects on the growth of wheat seedlings while implementing the He-Ne laser partially alleviated the injury. With the red light treatment, there are no positive effects. The ACTIN expression stayed the same in the different treatments, while the distribution and the protein content are different. The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopic results further established significant changes in the chemical composition of the wall material. These results suggested that the He-Ne laser alleviated the damaging effects of UV-B radiation in wheat seedlings by changing the characteristics of the AFs.

  15. Substrate, focal adhesions, and actin filaments: a mechanical unit with a weak spot for mechanosensitive proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchenbüchler, David; Born, Simone; Kirchgeßner, Norbert; Houben, Sebastian; Hoffmann, Bernd; Merkel, Rudolf

    2010-05-01

    Mechanosensing is a vital prerequisite for dynamic remodeling of focal adhesions and cytoskeletal structures upon substrate deformation. For example, tissue formation, directed cell orientation or cell differentiation are regulated by such mechanosensing processes. Focal adhesions and the actin cytoskeleton are believed to be involved in these processes, but where mechanosensing molecules are located and how elastic substrate, focal adhesions and the cytoskeleton couple with each other upon substrate deformation still remains obscure. To approach these questions we have developed a sensitive method to apply defined spatially decaying deformation fields to cells cultivated on ultrasoft elastic substrates and to accurately quantify the resulting displacements of the actin cytoskeleton, focal adhesions, as well as the substrate. Displacement fields were recorded in live cell microscopy by tracking either signals from fluorescent proteins or marker particles in the substrate. As model cell type we used myofibroblasts. These cells are characterized by highly stable adhesion and force generating structures but are still able to detect mechanical signals with high sensitivity. We found a rigid connection between substrate and focal adhesions. Furthermore, stress fibers were found to be barely extendable almost over their whole lengths. Plastic deformation took place only at the very ends of actin filaments close to focal adhesions. As a result, this area became elongated without extension of existing actin filaments by polymerization. Both ends of the stress fibers were mechanically coupled with detectable plastic deformations on either site. Interestingly, traction force dependent substrate deformation fields remained mostly unaffected even when stress fiber elongations were released. These data argue for a location of mechanosensing proteins at the ends of actin stress fibers and describe, except for these domains, the whole system to be relatively rigid for tensile

  16. Drebrin-like protein DBN-1 is a sarcomere component that stabilizes actin filaments during muscle contraction.

    PubMed

    Butkevich, Eugenia; Bodensiek, Kai; Fakhri, Nikta; von Roden, Kerstin; Schaap, Iwan A T; Majoul, Irina; Schmidt, Christoph F; Klopfenstein, Dieter R

    2015-07-06

    Actin filament organization and stability in the sarcomeres of muscle cells are critical for force generation. Here we identify and functionally characterize a Caenorhabditis elegans drebrin-like protein DBN-1 as a novel constituent of the muscle contraction machinery. In vitro, DBN-1 exhibits actin filament binding and bundling activity. In vivo, DBN-1 is expressed in body wall muscles of C. elegans. During the muscle contraction cycle, DBN-1 alternates location between myosin- and actin-rich regions of the sarcomere. In contracted muscle, DBN-1 is accumulated at I-bands where it likely regulates proper spacing of α-actinin and tropomyosin and protects actin filaments from the interaction with ADF/cofilin. DBN-1 loss of function results in the partial depolymerization of F-actin during muscle contraction. Taken together, our data show that DBN-1 organizes the muscle contractile apparatus maintaining the spatial relationship between actin-binding proteins such as α-actinin, tropomyosin and ADF/cofilin and possibly strengthening actin filaments by bundling.

  17. Ena/VASP Enabled is a highly processive actin polymerase tailored to self-assemble parallel-bundled F-actin networks with Fascin.

    PubMed

    Winkelman, Jonathan D; Bilancia, Colleen G; Peifer, Mark; Kovar, David R

    2014-03-18

    Filopodia are exploratory finger-like projections composed of multiple long, straight, parallel-bundled actin filaments that protrude from the leading edge of migrating cells. Drosophila melanogaster Enabled (Ena) is a member of the Ena/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein protein family, which facilitates the assembly of filopodial actin filaments that are bundled by Fascin. However, the mechanism by which Ena and Fascin promote the assembly of uniformly thick F-actin bundles that are capable of producing coordinated protrusive forces without buckling is not well understood. We used multicolor evanescent wave fluorescence microscopy imaging to follow individual Ena molecules on both single and Fascin-bundled F-actin in vitro. Individual Ena tetramers increase the elongation rate approximately two- to threefold and inhibit capping protein by remaining processively associated with the barbed end for an average of ∼10 s in solution, for ∼60 s when immobilized on a surface, and for ∼110 s when multiple Ena tetramers are clustered on a surface. Ena also can gather and simultaneously elongate multiple barbed ends. Collectively, these properties could facilitate the recruitment of Fascin and initiate filopodia formation. Remarkably, we found that Ena's actin-assembly properties are tunable on Fascin-bundled filaments, facilitating the formation of filopodia-like F-actin networks without tapered barbed ends. Ena-associated trailing barbed ends in Fascin-bundled actin filaments have approximately twofold more frequent and approximately fivefold longer processive runs, allowing them to catch up with leading barbed ends efficiently. Therefore, Fascin and Ena cooperate to extend and maintain robust filopodia of uniform thickness with aligned barbed ends by a unique mechanistic cycle.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Dynamic Filament Formation by a Divergent Bacterial Actin-Like ParM Protein

    PubMed Central

    Brzoska, Anthony J.; Jensen, Slade O.; Barton, Deborah A.; Davies, Danielle S.; Overall, Robyn L.; Skurray, Ronald A.; Firth, Neville

    2016-01-01

    Actin-like proteins (Alps) are a diverse family of proteins whose genes are abundant in the chromosomes and mobile genetic elements of many bacteria. The low-copy-number staphylococcal multiresistance plasmid pSK41 encodes ParM, an Alp involved in efficient plasmid partitioning. pSK41 ParM has previously been shown to form filaments in vitro that are structurally dissimilar to those formed by other bacterial Alps. The mechanistic implications of these differences are not known. In order to gain insights into the properties and behavior of the pSK41 ParM Alp in vivo, we reconstituted the parMRC system in the ectopic rod-shaped host, E. coli, which is larger and more genetically amenable than the native host, Staphylococcus aureus. Fluorescence microscopy showed a functional fusion protein, ParM-YFP, formed straight filaments in vivo when expressed in isolation. Strikingly, however, in the presence of ParR and parC, ParM-YFP adopted a dramatically different structure, instead forming axial curved filaments. Time-lapse imaging and selective photobleaching experiments revealed that, in the presence of all components of the parMRC system, ParM-YFP filaments were dynamic in nature. Finally, molecular dissection of the parMRC operon revealed that all components of the system are essential for the generation of dynamic filaments. PMID:27310470

  2. Regulation of myosin IIA and filamentous actin during insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Stall, Richard; Ramos, Joseph; Kent Fulcher, F.; Patel, Yashomati M.

    2014-03-10

    Insulin stimulated glucose uptake requires the colocalization of myosin IIA (MyoIIA) and the insulin-responsive glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) at the plasma membrane for proper GLUT4 fusion. MyoIIA facilitates filamentous actin (F-actin) reorganization in various cell types. In adipocytes F-actin reorganization is required for insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. What is not known is whether MyoIIA interacts with F-actin to regulate insulin-induced GLUT4 fusion at the plasma membrane. To elucidate the relationship between MyoIIA and F-actin, we examined the colocalization of MyoIIA and F-actin at the plasma membrane upon insulin stimulation as well as the regulation of this interaction. Our findings demonstrated that MyoIIA and F-actin colocalized at the site of GLUT4 fusion with the plasma membrane upon insulin stimulation. Furthermore, inhibition of MyoII with blebbistatin impaired F-actin localization at the plasma membrane. Next we examined the regulatory role of calcium in MyoIIA-F-actin colocalization. Reduced calcium or calmodulin levels decreased colocalization of MyoIIA and F-actin at the plasma membrane. While calcium alone can translocate MyoIIA it did not stimulate F-actin accumulation at the plasma membrane. Taken together, we established that while MyoIIA activity is required for F-actin localization at the plasma membrane, it alone is insufficient to localize F-actin to the plasma membrane. - Highlights: • Insulin induces colocalization of MyoIIA and F-actin at the cortex in adipocytes. • MyoIIA is necessary but not sufficient to localize F-actin at the cell cortex. • MyoIIA-F-actin colocalization is regulated by calcium and calmodulin.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Kinetic Insights into the Elongation Reaction of Actin Filaments as a Function of Temperature, Pressure, and Macromolecular Crowding.

    PubMed

    Gao, Mimi; Winter, Roland

    2015-12-01

    Actin polymerization is an essential process in eukaryotic cells that provides a driving force for motility and mechanical resistance for cell shape. By using preformed gelsolin-actin nuclei and applying stopped-flow methodology, we quantitatively studied the elongation kinetics of actin filaments as a function of temperature and pressure in the presence of synthetic and protein crowding agents. We show that the association of actin monomers to the pointed end of double-stranded helical actin filaments (F-actin) proceeds via a transition state that requires an activation energy of 56 kJ mol(-1) for conformational and hydration rearrangements, but exhibits a negligible activation volume, pointing to a compact transition state that is devoid of packing defects. Macromolecular crowding causes acceleration of the F-actin elongation rate and counteracts the deteriorating effect of pressure. The results shed new light on the combined effect of these parameters on the polymerization process of actin, and help us understand the temperature and pressure sensitivity of actin polymerization under extreme conditions.

  5. Amplification of actin polymerization forces

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Cellular target of weak magnetic fields: ionic conduction along actin filaments of microvilli.

    PubMed

    Gartzke, Joachim; Lange, Klaus

    2002-11-01

    The interaction of weak electromagnetic fields (EMF) with living cells is a most important but still unresolved biophysical problem. For this interaction, thermal and other types of noise appear to cause severe restrictions in the action of weak signals on relevant components of the cell. A recently presented general concept of regulation of ion and substrate pathways through microvilli provides a possible theoretical basis for the comprehension of physiological effects of even extremely low magnetic fields. The actin-based core of microfilaments in microvilli is proposed to represent a cellular interaction site for magnetic fields. Both the central role of F-actin in Ca2+ signaling and its polyelectrolyte nature eliciting specific ion conduction properties render the microvillar actin filament bundle an ideal interaction site for magnetic and electric fields. Ion channels at the tip of microvilli are connected with the cytoplasm by a bundle of microfilaments forming a diffusion barrier system. Because of its polyelectrolyte nature, the microfilament core of microvilli allows Ca2+ entry into the cytoplasm via nonlinear cable-like cation conduction through arrays of condensed ion clouds. The interaction of ion clouds with periodically applied EMFs and field-induced cation pumping through the cascade of potential barriers on the F-actin polyelectrolyte follows well-known physical principles of ion-magnetic field (MF) interaction and signal discrimination as described by the stochastic resonance and Brownian motor hypotheses. The proposed interaction mechanism is in accord with our present knowledge about Ca2+ signaling as the biological main target of MFs and the postulated extreme sensitivity for coherent excitation by very low field energies within specific amplitude and frequency windows. Microvillar F-actin bundles shielded by a lipid membrane appear to function like electronic integration devices for signal-to-noise enhancement; the influence of coherent signals

  7. Characterization of Actin Filament Dynamics during Mitosis in Wheat Protoplasts under UV-B Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Huize; Han, Rong

    2016-01-01

    Enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation is caused by the thinning ozone and affects photosynthesis and crop yield. Recently, UV-B radiation has been considered as an environmental signal that regulates plant growth. Elucidating the downstream effectors in UV-B-triggered pathways is of particular interest. Previous studies have shown that actin filaments (AFs) play many roles during cell physiological processes. However, the underlying response of AFs to UV-B radiation remains unclear. In this study, wheat protoplasts were isolated from 7-d-old leaves. The dynamics of AFs during mitosis were observed under different treatments. The protoplasts were treated with UV-B radiation, cytochalasin B (CB) and jasplakinolide (JAS). Ph-FITC labelling results revealed typical actin filament structures in the control group; AFs were rearranged under UV-B radiation. AFs polymerized into bundles during interphase, the preprophase band (PPB) structure was destroyed during prophase, and the AFs gathered into plaques during metaphase in response to UV-B radiation. During anaphase and telophase, the distribution of AFs was dispersed. Pharmacologic experiments revealed that CB induced apoptosis and JAS induced nuclear division without cytokinesis in wheat protoplasts. These results indicated that AFs respond to UV-B radiation during mitosis, supplying evidence of UV-B signal transduction in plants. PMID:26823006

  8. Characterization of Actin Filament Dynamics during Mitosis in Wheat Protoplasts under UV-B Radiation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huize; Han, Rong

    2016-01-01

    Enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation is caused by the thinning ozone and affects photosynthesis and crop yield. Recently, UV-B radiation has been considered as an environmental signal that regulates plant growth. Elucidating the downstream effectors in UV-B-triggered pathways is of particular interest. Previous studies have shown that actin filaments (AFs) play many roles during cell physiological processes. However, the underlying response of AFs to UV-B radiation remains unclear. In this study, wheat protoplasts were isolated from 7-d-old leaves. The dynamics of AFs during mitosis were observed under different treatments. The protoplasts were treated with UV-B radiation, cytochalasin B (CB) and jasplakinolide (JAS). Ph-FITC labelling results revealed typical actin filament structures in the control group; AFs were rearranged under UV-B radiation. AFs polymerized into bundles during interphase, the preprophase band (PPB) structure was destroyed during prophase, and the AFs gathered into plaques during metaphase in response to UV-B radiation. During anaphase and telophase, the distribution of AFs was dispersed. Pharmacologic experiments revealed that CB induced apoptosis and JAS induced nuclear division without cytokinesis in wheat protoplasts. These results indicated that AFs respond to UV-B radiation during mitosis, supplying evidence of UV-B signal transduction in plants. PMID:26823006

  9. Actin filaments are involved in the maintenance of Golgi cisternae morphology and intra-Golgi pH.

    PubMed

    Lázaro-Diéguez, Francisco; Jiménez, Nuria; Barth, Holger; Koster, Abraham J; Renau-Piqueras, Jaime; Llopis, Juan L; Burger, Koert N J; Egea, Gustavo

    2006-12-01

    Here we examine the contribution of actin dynamics to the architecture and pH of the Golgi complex. To this end, we have used toxins that depolymerize (cytochalasin D, latrunculin B, mycalolide B, and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin) or stabilize (jasplakinolide) filamentous actin. When various clonal cell lines were examined by epifluorescence microscopy, all of these actin toxins induced compaction of the Golgi complex. However, ultrastructural analysis by transmission electron microscopy and electron tomography/three-dimensional modelling of the Golgi complex showed that F-actin depolymerization first induces perforation/fragmentation and severe swelling of Golgi cisternae, which leads to a completely disorganized structure. In contrast, F-actin stabilization results only in cisternae perforation/fragmentation. Concomitantly to actin depolymerization-induced cisternae swelling and disorganization, the intra-Golgi pH significantly increased. Similar ultrastructural and Golgi pH alkalinization were observed in cells treated with the vacuolar H+ -ATPases inhibitors bafilomycin A1 and concanamycin A. Overall, these results suggest that actin filaments are implicated in the preservation of the flattened shape of Golgi cisternae. This maintenance seems to be mediated by the regulation of the state of F-actin assembly on the Golgi pH homeostasis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Probe surface chemistry dependence and local polymer network structure in F-actin microrheology.

    PubMed

    Chae, Byeong Seok; Furst, Eric M

    2005-03-29

    We investigate the dependence of F-actin microrheology on probe surface chemistry using diffusing wave spectroscopy. Polystyrene probe particles exhibit subdiffusive mean-squared displacements, where Deltar(2)(t) approximately t(0.77)(+/-)(0.03) consistent with previous experiments and theory. However, polystyrene probes preadsorbed with bovine serum albumin (BSA) interact weakly with the surrounding polymer network and exhibit a scaling exponent similar to pure diffusion Deltar(2)(t) approximately t, which decreases as particle size and actin concentration increases. Using models of particle diffusion in locally heterogeneous viscoelastic microenvironments, we find that the microrheological response of BSA-treated particles is consistent with the formation of a polymer-depleted shell surrounding the probes. The shell thickness scales with particle size but not polymer concentration. These results suggest that the depletion is caused by exclusion or orientation of actin filaments near probes due to their long length and rigidity.

  12. Engineering Circular Gliding of Actin Filaments Along Myosin-Patterned DNA Nanotube Rings To Study Long-Term Actin-Myosin Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Hariadi, Rizal F; Appukutty, Abhinav J; Sivaramakrishnan, Sivaraj

    2016-09-27

    Nature has evolved molecular motors that are critical in cellular processes occurring over broad time scales, ranging from seconds to years. Despite the importance of the long-term behavior of molecular machines, topics such as enzymatic lifetime are underexplored due to the lack of a suitable approach for monitoring motor activity over long time periods. Here, we developed an "O"-shaped Myosin Empowered Gliding Assay (OMEGA) that utilizes engineered micron-scale DNA nanotube rings with precise arrangements of myosin VI to trap gliding actin filaments. This circular gliding assay platform allows the same individual actin filament to glide over the same myosin ensemble (50-1000 motors per ring) multiple times. First, we systematically characterized the formation of DNA nanotubes rings with 4, 6, 8, and 10 helix circumferences. Individual actin filaments glide along the nanotube rings with high processivity for up to 12.8 revolutions or 11 min in run time. We then show actin gliding speed is robust to variation in motor number and independent of ring curvature within our sample space (ring diameter of 0.5-4 μm). As a model application of OMEGA, we then analyze motor-based mechanical influence on "stop-and-go" gliding behavior of actin filaments, revealing that the stop-to-go transition probability is dependent on motor flexibility. Our circular gliding assay may provide a closed-loop platform for monitoring long-term behavior of broad classes of molecular motors and enable characterization of motor robustness and long time scale nanomechanical processes.

  13. Structure and Dynamics of an Arp2/3 Complex-independent Component of the Lamellipodial Actin Network

    PubMed Central

    Henson, John H.; Cheung, David; Fried, Christopher A.; Shuster, Charles B.; McClellan, Mary K.; Voss, Meagen K.; Sheridan, John T.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf

    2010-01-01

    Sea urchin coelomocytes contain an unusually broad lamellipodial region and have served as a useful model experimental system for studying the process of actin-based retrograde/centripetal flow. In the current study the small molecule drug 2,3-butanedione monoxime (BDM) was employed as a means of delocalizing the Arp2/3 complex from the cell edge in an effort to investigate the Arp2/3 complex-independent aspects of retrograde flow. Digitally-enhanced phase contrast, fluorescence and polarization light microscopy, along with rotary shadow TEM methods demonstrated that BDM treatment resulted in the centripetal displacement of the Arp2/3 complex and the associated dendritic lamellipodial (LP) actin network from the cell edge. In its wake there remained an array of elongate actin filaments organized into concave arcs that displayed retrograde flow at approximately one quarter the normal rate. Actin polymerization inhibitor experiments indicated that these arcs were generated by polymerization at the cell edge, while active myosin-based contraction in BDM treated cells was demonstrated by localization with anti-phospho-MRLC antibody, the retraction of the cytoskeleton in the presence of BDM, and the response of the BDM arcs to laser-based severing. The results suggest that BDM treatment reveals an Arp2/3 complex-independent actin structure in coelomocytes consisting of elongate filaments integrated into the LP network and that these filaments represent a potential connection between the LP network and the central cytoskeleton. PMID:19530177

  14. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer between points on tropomyosin and actin in skeletal muscle thin filaments: does tropomyosin move?

    PubMed

    Miki, M; Miura, T; Sano, K; Kimura, H; Kondo, H; Ishida, H; Maéda, Y

    1998-06-01

    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy has been used to determine spatial relationships between residues on tropomyosin and actin in reconstituted muscle thin filament, and to detect a positional change of tropomyosin relative to actin on the thin filament in the presence and absence of Ca2+ ions. In addition to Cys-190 which is a single cysteine residue in rabbit skeletal muscle alpha-tropomyosin, a new site, Cys-87 which is a unique cysteine residue in a mutant alpha-tropomyosin, was labeled with a resonance energy donor molecule, 5-(2-iodoacetylaminoethyl)aminonaphthalene 1-sulfonic acid (IAEDANS). On the other hand, Gln-41, Lys-61, Cys-374, and the ATP-binding site of actin were selectively labeled with acceptor probes: fluorescein cadaverine, fluorescein 5-isothiocyanate, 4-dimethyl-aminophenylazophenyl 4'-maleimide, and TNP-ATP (or TNP-ADP), respectively. The distances between probes attached to position 87 of the mutant tropomyosin and Gln-41, Lys-61, Cys-374, or the nucleotide-binding site of actin on the reconstituted thin filament in the presence of Ca2+ ion were measured to be 43.2, 49.7, 45.4, and 35.2 A, respectively, and the distance between probes attached to position 190 of tropomyosin and Gln-41 or the nucleotide-binding site of actin were 51.6 and 43.1 A, respectively. The transfer efficiencies between these donor and acceptor molecules were large, so that the efficiency should be very sensitive to changes in distance between probes attached to tropomyosin and actin. However, the transfer efficiency did not change appreciably upon removal of Ca2+ ions, suggesting that tropomyosin does not change its position on the reconstituted thin filament in response to a change in Ca2+ ion concentration. The present results do not support the notion of tropomyosin movement on skeletal muscle thin filaments as proposed in the steric blocking theory.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

  18. A novel multitarget tracking algorithm for Myosin VI protein molecules on actin filaments in TIRFM sequences.

    PubMed

    Li, G; Sanchez, V; Nagaraj, P C S B; Khan, S; Rajpoot, N

    2015-12-01

    We propose a novel multitarget tracking framework for Myosin VI protein molecules in total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy sequences which integrates an extended Hungarian algorithm with an interacting multiple model filter. The extended Hungarian algorithm, which is a linear assignment problem based method, helps to solve measurement assignment and spot association problems commonly encountered when dealing with multiple targets, although a two-motion model interacting multiple model filter increases the tracking accuracy by modelling the nonlinear dynamics of Myosin VI protein molecules on actin filaments. The evaluation of our tracking framework is conducted on both real and synthetic total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy sequences. The results show that the framework achieves higher tracking accuracies compared to the state-of-the-art tracking methods, especially for sequences with high spot density. PMID:26259144

  19. Specific Transformation of Assembly with Actin Filaments and Molecular Motors in a Cell-Sized Self-Emerged Liposome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takiguchi, Kingo; Negishi, Makiko; Tanaka-Takiguchi, Yohko; Hayashi, Masahito; Yoshikawa, Kenichi

    2014-12-01

    Eukaryotes, by the same combination of cytoskeleton and molecular motor, for example actin filament and myosin, can generate a variety of movements. For this diversity, the organization of biological machineries caused by the confinement and/or crowding effects of internal living cells, may play very important roles.

  20. A semi-flexible model prediction for the polymerization force exerted by a living F-actin filament on a fixed wall.

    PubMed

    Pierleoni, Carlo; Ciccotti, Giovanni; Ryckaert, Jean-Paul

    2015-10-14

    We consider a single living semi-flexible filament with persistence length ℓp in chemical equilibrium with a solution of free monomers at fixed monomer chemical potential μ1 and fixed temperature T. While one end of the filament is chemically active with single monomer (de)polymerization steps, the other end is grafted normally to a rigid wall to mimic a rigid network from which the filament under consideration emerges. A second rigid wall, parallel to the grafting wall, is fixed at distance L < < ℓp from the filament seed. In supercritical conditions where monomer density ρ1 is higher than the critical density ρ1c, the filament tends to polymerize and impinges onto the second surface which, in suitable conditions (non-escaping filament regime), stops the filament growth. We first establish the grand-potential Ω(μ1, T, L) of this system treated as an ideal reactive mixture, and derive some general properties, in particular the filament size distribution and the force exerted by the living filament on the obstacle wall. We apply this formalism to the semi-flexible, living, discrete Wormlike chain model with step size d and persistence length ℓp, hitting a hard wall. Explicit properties require the computation of the mean force f̄i(L) exerted by the wall at L and associated potential f̄i(L)=-dWi(L)/dL on a filament of fixed size i. By original Monte-Carlo calculations for few filament lengths in a wide range of compression, we justify the use of the weak bending universal expressions of Gholami et al. [Phys. Rev. E 74, 041803 (2006)] over the whole non-escaping filament regime. For a filament of size i with contour length Lc = (i - 1) d, this universal form is rapidly growing from zero (non-compression state) to the buckling value fb(Lc,ℓp)=π(2)kBTℓp4Lc (2) over a compression range much narrower than the size d of a monomer. Employing this universal form for living filaments, we find that the average force exerted by a living filament on a wall at

  1. Generation of contractile actomyosin bundles depends on mechanosensitive actin filament assembly and disassembly

    PubMed Central

    Tojkander, Sari; Gateva, Gergana; Husain, Amjad; Krishnan, Ramaswamy; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2015-01-01

    Adhesion and morphogenesis of many non-muscle cells are guided by contractile actomyosin bundles called ventral stress fibers. While it is well established that stress fibers are mechanosensitive structures, physical mechanisms by which they assemble, align, and mature have remained elusive. Here we show that arcs, which serve as precursors for ventral stress fibers, undergo lateral fusion during their centripetal flow to form thick actomyosin bundles that apply tension to focal adhesions at their ends. Importantly, this myosin II-derived force inhibits vectorial actin polymerization at focal adhesions through AMPK-mediated phosphorylation of VASP, and thereby halts stress fiber elongation and ensures their proper contractility. Stress fiber maturation additionally requires ADF/cofilin-mediated disassembly of non-contractile stress fibers, whereas contractile fibers are protected from severing. Taken together, these data reveal that myosin-derived tension precisely controls both actin filament assembly and disassembly to ensure generation and proper alignment of contractile stress fibers in migrating cells. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06126.001 PMID:26652273

  2. Generation of contractile actomyosin bundles depends on mechanosensitive actin filament assembly and disassembly.

    PubMed

    Tojkander, Sari; Gateva, Gergana; Husain, Amjad; Krishnan, Ramaswamy; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2015-01-01

    Adhesion and morphogenesis of many non-muscle cells are guided by contractile actomyosin bundles called ventral stress fibers. While it is well established that stress fibers are mechanosensitive structures, physical mechanisms by which they assemble, align, and mature have remained elusive. Here we show that arcs, which serve as precursors for ventral stress fibers, undergo lateral fusion during their centripetal flow to form thick actomyosin bundles that apply tension to focal adhesions at their ends. Importantly, this myosin II-derived force inhibits vectorial actin polymerization at focal adhesions through AMPK-mediated phosphorylation of VASP, and thereby halts stress fiber elongation and ensures their proper contractility. Stress fiber maturation additionally requires ADF/cofilin-mediated disassembly of non-contractile stress fibers, whereas contractile fibers are protected from severing. Taken together, these data reveal that myosin-derived tension precisely controls both actin filament assembly and disassembly to ensure generation and proper alignment of contractile stress fibers in migrating cells. PMID:26652273

  3. Mechanisms of leiomodin 2-mediated regulation of actin filament in muscle cells

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Leiomodin (Lmod) is a class of potent tandem-G-actin–binding nucleators in muscle cells. Lmod mutations, deletion, or instability are linked to lethal nemaline myopathy. However, the lack of high-resolution structures of Lmod nucleators in action severely hampered our understanding of their essential cellular functions. Here we report the crystal structure of the actin–Lmod2162–495 nucleus. The structure contains two actin subunits connected by one Lmod2162–495 molecule in a non–filament-like conformation. Complementary functional studies suggest that the binding of Lmod2 stimulates ATP hydrolysis and accelerates actin nucleation and polymerization. The high level of conservation among Lmod proteins in sequence and functions suggests that the mechanistic insights of human Lmod2 uncovered here may aid in a molecular understanding of other Lmod proteins. Furthermore, our structural and mechanistic studies unraveled a previously unrecognized level of regulation in mammalian signal transduction mediated by certain tandem-G-actin–binding nucleators. PMID:26417072

  4. Formation of actin networks in microfluidic concentration gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. The effects of actin cytoskeleton perturbation on keratin intermediate filament formation in mesenchymal stem/stromal cells.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tzu-Hao; Huang, Hsien-Da; Ong, Wei-Kee; Fu, Yun-Ju; Lee, Oscar K; Chien, Shu; Ho, Jennifer H

    2014-04-01

    F-actin plays a crucial role in composing the three-dimensional cytoskeleton and F-actin depolymerization alters fate choice of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs). Here, we investigated differential gene expression and subsequent physiological changes in response to F-actin perturbation by latrunculin B in MSCs. Nineteen genes were down-regulated and 27 genes were up-regulated in the first 15 min after F-actin depolymerization. Functional enrichment analysis revealed that five genes involved in keratin (KRT) intermediate filaments clustering in the chromosome 17q21.2 region, i.e., KRT14, KRT19, KRT34, KRT-associated protein (KRTAP) 1-5, and KRTAP2-3, were strongly up-regulated. Transcription factor prediction identified NKX2.5 as the potential transcription factor to control KRT19, KRT34, KRTAP1-5, and KRTAP2-3; and indeed, the protein level of NKX2.5 was markedly increased in the nuclear fraction within 15 min of F-actin depolymerization. The peak of keratin intermediate filament formation was 1 h after actin perturbation, and the morphological changes showed by decrease in the ratio of long-axis to short-axis diameter in MSCs was observed after 4 h. Together, F-actin depolymerization rapidly triggers keratin intermediate filament formation by turning on keratin-related genes on chromosome 17q21.2. Such findings offer new insight in lineage commitment of MSCs and further scaffold design in MSC-based tissue engineering.

  6. Action of the mechanical disruption of the actin network on the gravisensitivity of the root statocyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefranc, A.; Jeune, B.; Driss-Ecole, D.; Perbal, G.

    Recent analyses on root gravisensing have lead to propose a model of action of statoliths in which mechanoreceptors are located in the plasma membrane. These mechanoreceptors should be connected together by bridging filaments as well as to the actin network. In order to test this hypothesis, we have subjected the actin network to partial disruption caused by the sedimentation of amyloplasts. Seedling roots were first inverted for 7 min and replaced in the upright position for 7 min before gravitropic stimulation. The period of inversion allowed the amyloplasts to move from the distal part to the proximal part of the statocyte, but not to reach a complete sedimentation. The same held true when the root were placed back in the upright position. In these conditions, to sediment the amyloplasts had to disrupt the actin network at least partially and these organelles were moving in the direction of the root tip just before gravistimulus. Gravisensitivity was estimated by the analysis of the dose-response curves of control and treated (inverted and replaced in the vertical position) roots. The only effect which has been observed on treated roots is a delay of about 1 to 2 min in their response to gravistimulus. This delay could correspond to the time which is necessary for the amyloplasts to move toward the lower longitudinal wall This result is in agreement with the hypothesis that with a partially disrupted actin network the amyloplasts have to sediment on the bridging filaments which connect the mechanoreceptors in order to trigger the transduction chain. of the gravitropic reaction.

  7. Single-Molecule Discrimination within Dendritic Spines of Discrete Perisynaptic Sites of Actin Filament Assembly Driving Postsynaptic Reorganization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanpied, Thomas A.

    2013-03-01

    In the brain, the strength of synaptic transmission between neurons is principally set by the organization of proteins within the receptive, postsynaptic cell. Synaptic strength at an individual site of contact can remain remarkably stable for months or years. However, it also can undergo diverse forms of plasticity which change the strength at that contact independent of changes to neighboring synapses. Such activity-triggered neural plasticity underlies memory storage and cognitive development, and is disrupted in pathological physiology such as addiction and schizophrenia. Much of the short-term regulation of synaptic plasticity occurs within the postsynaptic cell, in small subcompartments surrounding the synaptic contact. Biochemical subcompartmentalization necessary for synapse-specific plasticity is achieved in part by segregation of synapses to micron-sized protrusions from the cell called dendritic spines. Dendritic spines are heavily enriched in the actin cytoskeleton, and regulation of actin polymerization within dendritic spines controls both basal synaptic strength and many forms of synaptic plasticity. However, understanding the mechanism of this control has been difficult because the submicron dimensions of spines limit examination of actin dynamics in the spine interior by conventional confocal microscopy. To overcome this, we developed single-molecule tracking photoactivated localization microscopy (smtPALM) to measure the movement of individual actin molecules within living spines. This revealed inward actin flow from broad areas of the spine plasma membrane, as well as a dense central core of heterogeneous filament orientation. The velocity of single actin molecules along filaments was elevated in discrete regions within the spine, notably near the postsynaptic density but surprisingly not at the endocytic zone which is involved in some forms of plasticity. We conclude that actin polymerization is initiated at many well-separated foci within

  8. The molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis complex interacts with actin filaments via molybdenum insertase Cnx1 as anchor protein in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Kaufholdt, David; Baillie, Christin-Kirsty; Bikker, Rolf; Burkart, Valentin; Dudek, Christian-Alexander; von Pein, Linn; Rothkegel, Martin; Mendel, Ralf R; Hänsch, Robert

    2016-03-01

    The pterin based molybdenum cofactor (Moco) plays an essential role in almost all organisms. Its biosynthesis is catalysed by six enzymes in a conserved four step reaction pathway. The last three steps are located in the cytoplasm, where a multimeric protein complex is formed to protect the intermediates from degradation. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation was used to test for cytoskeleton association of the Moco biosynthesis enzymes with actin filaments and microtubules using known cytoskeleton associated proteins, thus permitting non-invasive in vivo studies. Coding sequences of binding proteins were cloned via the GATEWAY system. No Moco biosynthesis enzyme showed any interaction with microtubules. However, alone the two domain protein Cnx1 exhibited interaction with actin filaments mediated by both domains with the Cnx1G domain displaying a stronger interaction. Cnx6 showed actin association only if unlabelled Cnx1 was co-expressed in comparable amounts. So Cnx1 is likely to be the anchor protein for the whole biosynthesis complex on actin filaments. A stabilization of the whole Moco biosynthesis complex on the cytoskeleton might be crucial. In addition a micro-compartmentation might either allow a localisation near the mitochondrial ATM3 exporter providing the first Moco intermediate or near one of the three molybdate transporters enabling efficient molybdate incorporation.

  9. Identification of an ATP-controlled allosteric switch that controls actin filament nucleation by Arp2/3 complex

    PubMed Central

    Rodnick-Smith, Max; Liu, Su-Ling; Balzer, Connor J.; Luan, Qing; Nolen, Brad J.

    2016-01-01

    Nucleation of branched actin filaments by Arp2/3 complex is tightly regulated to control actin assembly in cells. Arp2/3 complex activation involves conformational changes brought about by ATP, Nucleation Promoting Factor (NPF) proteins, actin filaments and NPF-recruited actin monomers. To understand how these factors promote activation, we must first understand how the complex is held inactive in their absence. Here we demonstrate that the Arp3 C-terminal tail is a structural switch that prevents Arp2/3 complex from adopting an active conformation. The interaction between the tail and a hydrophobic groove in Arp3 blocks movement of Arp2 and Arp3 into an activated filament-like (short pitch) conformation. Our data indicate ATP binding destabilizes this interaction via an allosteric link between the Arp3 nucleotide cleft and the hydrophobic groove, thereby promoting the short-pitch conformation. Our results help explain how Arp2/3 complex is locked in an inactive state without activators and how autoinhibition is relieved. PMID:27417392

  10. Identification of an ATP-controlled allosteric switch that controls actin filament nucleation by Arp2/3 complex.

    PubMed

    Rodnick-Smith, Max; Liu, Su-Ling; Balzer, Connor J; Luan, Qing; Nolen, Brad J

    2016-01-01

    Nucleation of branched actin filaments by Arp2/3 complex is tightly regulated to control actin assembly in cells. Arp2/3 complex activation involves conformational changes brought about by ATP, Nucleation Promoting Factor (NPF) proteins, actin filaments and NPF-recruited actin monomers. To understand how these factors promote activation, we must first understand how the complex is held inactive in their absence. Here we demonstrate that the Arp3 C-terminal tail is a structural switch that prevents Arp2/3 complex from adopting an active conformation. The interaction between the tail and a hydrophobic groove in Arp3 blocks movement of Arp2 and Arp3 into an activated filament-like (short pitch) conformation. Our data indicate ATP binding destabilizes this interaction via an allosteric link between the Arp3 nucleotide cleft and the hydrophobic groove, thereby promoting the short-pitch conformation. Our results help explain how Arp2/3 complex is locked in an inactive state without activators and how autoinhibition is relieved. PMID:27417392

  11. Computational and theoretical modeling of intermediate filament networks: Structure, mechanics and disease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus J.

    2012-08-01

    Intermediate filaments, in addition to microtubules and actin microfilaments, are one of the three major components of the cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells. It was discovered during the recent decades that in most cells, intermediate filament proteins play key roles to reinforce cells subjected to large-deformation, and that they participate in signal transduction, and it was proposed that their nanomechanical properties are critical to perform those functions. However, it is still poorly understood how the nanoscopic structure, as well as the combination of chemical composition, molecular structure and interfacial properties of these protein molecules contribute to the biomechanical properties of filaments and filament networks. Here we review recent progress in computational and theoretical studies of the intermediate filaments network at various levels in the protein's structure. A multiple scale method is discussed, used to couple molecular modeling with atomistic detail to larger-scale material properties of the networked material. It is shown that a finer-trains-coarser methodology as discussed here provides a useful tool in understanding the biomechanical property and disease mechanism of intermediate filaments, coupling experiment and simulation. It further allows us to improve the understanding of associated disease mechanisms and lays the foundation for engineering the mechanical properties of biomaterials.

  12. Effect of phosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol on myelin basic protein-mediated binding of actin filaments to lipid bilayers in vitro.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Joan M; Rangaraj, Godha; Dicko, Awa

    2012-09-01

    Myelin basic protein (MBP) binds to negatively charged lipids on the cytosolic surface of oligodendrocytes and is believed to be responsible for adhesion of these surfaces in the multilayered myelin sheath. It can also assemble actin filaments and tether them to lipid bilayers through electrostatic interactions. Here we investigate the effect of increased negative charge of the lipid bilayer due to phosphorylation of phosphatidylinositol (PI) on MBP-mediated binding of actin to the lipid bilayer, by substituting phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate or phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate for PI in phosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylglycerol lipid vesicles. Phosphorylation of PI caused dissociation of the MBP/actin complex from the lipid vesicles due to repulsion of the negatively charged complex from the negatively charged membrane surface. An effect of phosphorylation could be detected even if the inositol lipid was only 2mol% of the total lipid. Calcium-calmodulin dissociated actin from the MBP-lipid vesicles and phosphorylation of PI increased the amount dissociated. These results show that changes to the lipid composition of myelin, which could occur during signaling or other physiological events, could regulate the ability of MBP to act as a scaffolding protein and bind actin filaments to the lipid bilayer.

  13. Formin and capping protein together embrace the actin filament in a ménage à trois

    PubMed Central

    Shekhar, Shashank; Kerleau, Mikael; Kühn, Sonja; Pernier, Julien; Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume; Jégou, Antoine; Carlier, Marie-France

    2015-01-01

    Proteins targeting actin filament barbed ends play a pivotal role in motile processes. While formins enhance filament assembly, capping protein (CP) blocks polymerization. On their own, they both bind barbed ends with high affinity and very slow dissociation. Their barbed-end binding is thought to be mutually exclusive. CP has recently been shown to be present in filopodia and controls their morphology and dynamics. Here we explore how CP and formins may functionally coregulate filament barbed-end assembly. We show, using kinetic analysis of individual filaments by microfluidics-assisted fluorescence microscopy, that CP and mDia1 formin are able to simultaneously bind barbed ends. This is further confirmed using single-molecule imaging. Their mutually weakened binding enables rapid displacement of one by the other. We show that formin FMNL2 behaves similarly, thus suggesting that this is a general property of formins. Implications in filopodia regulation and barbed-end structural regulation are discussed. PMID:26564775

  14. Reorganized actin filaments anchor chloroplasts along the anticlinal walls of Vallisneria epidermal cells under high-intensity blue light.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Yuuki; Takagi, Shingo

    2005-08-01

    In epidermal cells of the aquatic angiosperm Vallisneria gigantea Graebner, high-intensity blue light (BL) induces the avoidance response of chloroplasts. We examined simultaneous BL-induced changes in the configuration of actin filaments in the cytoplasmic layers that face the outer periclinal wall (P side) and the anticlinal wall (A side). The results clearly showed that dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton occurs on both sides. Upon BL irradiation, thick, long bundles of actin filaments appeared, concomitant with the directed migration of chloroplasts from the P side to the A side. After 15-20 min of BL irradiation, fine actin bundles on only the A side appeared to associate with chloroplasts that had migrated from the P side. To examine the role of the fine actin bundles, we evaluated the anchorage of chloroplasts by centrifuging living cells. Upon BL irradiation, the resistance of chloroplasts on both the P and A sides to the centrifugal force decreased remarkably. After 20 min of BL irradiation, the resistance of chloroplasts on the A side increased again, but chloroplasts on the P side could still be displaced. The BL-induced recovery of resistance of chloroplasts on the A side was sensitive to photosynthesis inhibitors but insensitive to an inhibitor of flavoproteins. The photosynthesis inhibitors also prevented the fine actin bundles from appearing on the A side under BL irradiation. These results strongly suggest that the BL-induced avoidance response of chloroplasts includes photosynthesis-dependent and actin-dependent anchorage of chloroplasts on the A side of epidermal cells. PMID:15809866

  15. Dynamic actin structures stabilized by profilin.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  16. Single-molecule visualization of a formin-capping protein ‘decision complex' at the actin filament barbed end

    PubMed Central

    Bombardier, Jeffrey P.; Eskin, Julian A.; Jaiswal, Richa; Corrêa, Ivan R.; Xu, Ming-Qun; Goode, Bruce L.; Gelles, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    Precise control of actin filament length is essential to many cellular processes. Formins processively elongate filaments, whereas capping protein (CP) binds to barbed ends and arrests polymerization. While genetic and biochemical evidence has indicated that these two proteins function antagonistically, the mechanism underlying the antagonism has remained unresolved. Here we use multi-wavelength single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to observe the fully reversible formation of a long-lived ‘decision complex' in which a CP dimer and a dimer of the formin mDia1 simultaneously bind the barbed end. Further, mDia1 displaced from the barbed end by CP can randomly slide along the filament and later return to the barbed end to re-form the complex. Quantitative kinetic analysis reveals that the CP-mDia1 antagonism that we observe in vitro occurs through the decision complex. Our observations suggest new molecular mechanisms for the control of actin filament length and for the capture of filament barbed ends in cells. PMID:26566078

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  18. Micromechanical properties of keratin intermediate filament networks

    PubMed Central

    Sivaramakrishnan, Sivaraj; DeGiulio, James V.; Lorand, Laszlo; Goldman, Robert D.; Ridge, Karen M.

    2008-01-01

    Keratin intermediate filaments (KIFs) form cytoskeletal KIF networks that are essential for the structural integrity of epithelial cells. However, the mechanical properties of the in situ network have not been defined. Particle-tracking microrheology (PTM) was used to obtain the micromechanical properties of the KIF network in alveolar epithelial cells (AECs), independent of other cytoskeletal components, such as microtubules and microfilaments. The storage modulus (G′) at 1 Hz of the KIF network decreases from the perinuclear region (335 dyn/cm2) to the cell periphery (95 dyn/cm2), yielding a mean value of 210 dyn/cm2. These changes in G′ are inversely proportional to the mesh size of the network, which increases ≈10-fold from the perinuclear region (0.02 μm2) to the cell periphery (0.3 μm2). Shear stress (15 dyn/cm2 for 4 h) applied across the surface of AECs induces a more uniform distribution of KIF, with the mesh size of the network ranging from 0.02 μm2 near the nucleus to only 0.04 μm2 at the cell periphery. This amounts to a 40% increase in the mean G′. The storage modulus of the KIF network in the perinuclear region accurately predicts the shear-induced deflection of the cell nucleus to be 0.87 ± 0.03 μm. The high storage modulus of the KIF network, coupled with its solid-like rheological behavior, supports the role of KIF as an intracellular structural scaffold that helps epithelial cells to withstand external mechanical forces. PMID:18199836

  19. 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.

  20. Crystallization of fluorescent quantum dots within a three-dimensional bio-organic template of actin filaments and lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Henry, Etienne; Dif, Aurélien; Schmutz, Marc; Legoff, Loic; Amblard, François; Marchi-Artzner, Valérie; Artzner, Franck

    2011-12-14

    Biological molecules and molecular self-assemblies are promising templates to organize well-defined inorganic nanostructures. We demonstrate the ability of a self-assembled three-dimensional crystal template of helical actin protein filaments and lipids bilayers to generate a hierarchical self-assembly of quantum dots. Functionnalized tricystein peptidic quantum dots (QDs) are incorporated during the dynamical self-assembly of this actin/lipid template resulting in the formation of crystalline fibers. The crystal parameters, 26.5×18.9×35.5 nm3, are imposed by the membrane thickness, the diameter, and the pitch of the actin self-assembly. This process ensures the high quality of the crystal and results in unexpected fluorescence properties. This method of preparation offers opportunities to generate crystals with new symmetries and a large range of distance parameters.

  1. Crystallization of fluorescent quantum dots within a three-dimensional bio-organic template of actin filaments and lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Henry, Etienne; Dif, Aurélien; Schmutz, Marc; Legoff, Loic; Amblard, François; Marchi-Artzner, Valérie; Artzner, Franck

    2011-12-14

    Biological molecules and molecular self-assemblies are promising templates to organize well-defined inorganic nanostructures. We demonstrate the ability of a self-assembled three-dimensional crystal template of helical actin protein filaments and lipids bilayers to generate a hierarchical self-assembly of quantum dots. Functionnalized tricystein peptidic quantum dots (QDs) are incorporated during the dynamical self-assembly of this actin/lipid template resulting in the formation of crystalline fibers. The crystal parameters, 26.5×18.9×35.5 nm3, are imposed by the membrane thickness, the diameter, and the pitch of the actin self-assembly. This process ensures the high quality of the crystal and results in unexpected fluorescence properties. This method of preparation offers opportunities to generate crystals with new symmetries and a large range of distance parameters. PMID:22074314

  2. Actin filaments and microtubule dual-granule transport in human adhered platelets: the role of alpha-dystrobrevins.

    PubMed

    Cerecedo, Doris; Cisneros, Bulmaro; Mondragón, Ricardo; González, Sirenia; Galván, Iván J

    2010-04-01

    Upon activation with physiological stimuli, human platelets undergo morphological changes, centralizing their organelles and secreting effector molecules at the site of vascular injury. Previous studies have indicated that the actin filaments and microtubules of suspension-activated platelets play a critical role in granule movement and exocytosis; however, the participation of these cytoskeleton elements in adhered platelets remains unexplored. alpha- and beta-dystrobrevin members of the dystrophin-associated protein complex in muscle and non-muscle cells have been described as motor protein receptors that might participate in the transport of cellular components in neurons. Recently, we characterized the expression of dystrobrevins in platelets; however, their functional diversity within this cellular model had not been elucidated. The present study examined the contribution of actin filaments and microtubules in granule trafficking during the platelet adhesion process using cytoskeleton-disrupting drugs, quantification of soluble P-selectin, fluorescence resonance transfer energy analysis and immunoprecipitation assays. Likewise, we assessed the interaction of alpha-dystrobrevins with the ubiquitous kinesin heavy chain. Our results strongly suggest that microtubules and actin filaments participate in the transport of alpha and dense granules in the platelet adhesion process, during which alpha-dystrobrevins play the role of regulatory and adaptor proteins that govern trafficking events.

  3. [Tropomyosin and myosin subfragment 1 induce in thin muscle fiber filaments differing conformational changes in the C-terminal portion of the polypeptide chain of actin].

    PubMed

    Borovikov, Iu S; Dobrowolski, Z; Dabrowska, R

    1988-08-01

    Muscle fibres, free of myosin, troponin and tropomyosin, containing thin filaments reconstructed from G-actin and modified by fluorescent label 1,5-IAEDANS were used for polarized microfluorimetric studies of the effect of tropomyosin (TM) from smooth muscles, and of subfragment 1 (S1) from skeletal muscles on the structural state of F-actin. TM and S1 were shown to initiate different changes in polarized fluorescence of 1,5-IAEDANS of F-actin: TM increases, whereas S1 decreases fluorescent anisotropy. It was suggested that the structural state of F-actin may differ in the C-terminal of polypeptide chain of actin.

  4. Microstructural model for cyclic hardening in F-actin networks crosslinked by α-actinin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Menéndez, Horacio; Rodríguez, José Félix

    2016-06-01

    The rheology of F-actin networks has attracted a great attention during the last years. In order to gain a complete understanding of the rheological properties of these novel materials, it is necessary the study in a large deformations regime to alter their internal structure. In this sense, Schmoller et al. (2010) showed that the reconstituted networks of F-actin crosslinked with α-actinin unexpectedly harden when they are subjected to a cyclical shear. This observation contradicts the expected Mullins effect observed in most soft materials, such as rubber and living tissues, where a pronounced softening is observed when they are cyclically deformed. We think that the key to understand this stunning effect is the gelation process. To define it, the most relevant constituents are the chemical crosslinks - α-actinin -, the physical crosslinks - introduced by the entanglement of the semiflexible network - and the interaction between them. As a consequence of this interaction, a pre-stressed network emerges and introduces a feedback effect, where the pre-stress also regulates the adhesion energy of the α-actinin, setting the structure in a metastable reference configuration. Therefore, the external loads and the evolvement of the trapped stress drive the microstructural changes during the cyclic loading protocol. In this work, we propose a micromechanical model into the framework of nonlinear continuum mechanics. The mechanics of the F-actin filaments is modelled using the wormlike chain model for semiflexible filaments and the gelation process is modelled as mesoscale dynamics for the α-actinin and physical crosslink. The model has been validated with reported experimental results.

  5. RAB-10 Promotes EHBP-1 Bridging of Filamentous Actin and Tubular Recycling Endosomes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Peixiang; Liu, Hang; Wang, Yu; Liu, Ou; Zhang, Jing; Gleason, Adenrele; Yang, Zhenrong; Wang, Hui; Shi, Anbing; Grant, Barth D

    2016-06-01

    EHBP-1 (Ehbp1) is a conserved regulator of endocytic recycling, acting as an effector of small GTPases including RAB-10 (Rab10). Here we present evidence that EHBP-1 associates with tubular endosomal phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] enriched membranes through an N-terminal C2-like (NT-C2) domain, and define residues within the NT-C2 domain that mediate membrane interaction. Furthermore, our results indicate that the EHBP-1 central calponin homology (CH) domain binds to actin microfilaments in a reaction that is stimulated by RAB-10(GTP). Loss of any aspect of this RAB-10/EHBP-1 system in the C. elegans intestinal epithelium leads to retention of basolateral recycling cargo in endosomes that have lost their normal tubular endosomal network (TEN) organization. We propose a mechanism whereby RAB-10 promotes the ability of endosome-bound EHBP-1 to also bind to the actin cytoskeleton, thereby promoting endosomal tubulation. PMID:27272733

  6. RAB-10 Promotes EHBP-1 Bridging of Filamentous Actin and Tubular Recycling Endosomes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu; Liu, Ou; Zhang, Jing; Gleason, Adenrele; Yang, Zhenrong; Wang, Hui; Shi, Anbing; Grant, Barth D.

    2016-01-01

    EHBP-1 (Ehbp1) is a conserved regulator of endocytic recycling, acting as an effector of small GTPases including RAB-10 (Rab10). Here we present evidence that EHBP-1 associates with tubular endosomal phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] enriched membranes through an N-terminal C2-like (NT-C2) domain, and define residues within the NT-C2 domain that mediate membrane interaction. Furthermore, our results indicate that the EHBP-1 central calponin homology (CH) domain binds to actin microfilaments in a reaction that is stimulated by RAB-10(GTP). Loss of any aspect of this RAB-10/EHBP-1 system in the C. elegans intestinal epithelium leads to retention of basolateral recycling cargo in endosomes that have lost their normal tubular endosomal network (TEN) organization. We propose a mechanism whereby RAB-10 promotes the ability of endosome-bound EHBP-1 to also bind to the actin cytoskeleton, thereby promoting endosomal tubulation. PMID:27272733

  7. A three-dimensional FRET analysis to construct an atomic model of the actin-tropomyosin complex on a reconstituted thin filament.

    PubMed

    Miki, Masao; Makimura, Satoshi; Saitoh, Takahiro; Bunya, Masashi; Sugahara, Yasuyuki; Ueno, Yutaka; Kimura-Sakiyama, Chieko; Tobita, Hidetaka

    2011-12-16

    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) was used to construct an atomic model of the actin-tropomyosin (Tm) complex on a reconstituted thin filament. We generated five single-cysteine mutants in the 146-174 region of rabbit skeletal muscle α-Tm. An energy donor probe was attached to a single-cysteine Tm residue, while an energy acceptor probe was located in actin Gln41, actin Cys374, or the actin nucleotide binding site. From these donor-acceptor pairs, FRET efficiencies were determined with and without Ca(2+). Using the atomic coordinates for F-actin and Tm, we searched all possible arrangements for Tm segment 146-174 on F-actin to calculate the FRET efficiency for each donor-acceptor pair in each arrangement. By minimizing the squared sum of deviations for the calculated FRET efficiencies from the observed FRET efficiencies, we determined the location of the Tm segment on the F-actin filament. Furthermore, we generated a set of five single-cysteine mutants in each of the four Tm regions 41-69, 83-111, 216-244, and 252-279. Using the same procedures, we determined each segment's location on the F-actin filament. In the best-fit model, Tm runs along actin residues 217-236, which were reported to compose the Tm binding site. Electrostatic, hydrogen-bonding, and hydrophobic interactions are involved in actin and Tm binding. The C-terminal region of Tm was observed to contact actin more closely than did the N-terminal region. Tm contacts more residues on actin without Ca(2+) than with it. Ca(2+)-induced changes on the actin-Tm contact surface strongly affect the F-actin structure, which is important for muscle regulation.

  8. A tridimensional view of the organization of actin filaments in the central nervous system by use of fluorescent photooxidation.

    PubMed

    Capani, Francisco; Saraceno, Ezequiel; Boti, Valeria Romina; Aon-Bertolino, Laura; Fernández, Juan Carlos; Gato, Fernándo; Kruse, Maria Sol; Krause, Maria Sol; Giraldez, Lisandro; Ellisman, Mark H; Coirini, Héctor

    2008-04-01

    Cellular and subcellular organization and distribution of actin filaments have been studied with various techniques. The use of fluorescence photo-oxidation combined with phalloidin conjugates with eosin has allowed the examination of the precise cellular and subcellular location of F-actin. Correlative fluorescence light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy studies of F-actin distribution are facilitated with this method for morphological and physiological studies. Because phalloidin-eosin is smaller than other markers, this method allows the analysis of the three-dimensional location of F-actin with high-resolution light microscopy, three-d serial sections reconstructions, and electron tomography. The combination of selective staining and three-dimensional reconstructions provide a valuable tool for revealing aspects of the synaptic morphology that are not available when conventional electron microscopy is used. By applying this selective staining technique and three-dimensional imaging, we uncovered the structural organization of actin in the postsynaptic densities in physiological and pathological conditions. PMID:18669318

  9. A Peek into Tropomyosin Binding and Unfolding on the Actin Filament

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Abhishek; Hitchcock-DeGregori, Sarah E.

    2009-01-01

    Background Tropomyosin is a prototypical coiled coil along its length with subtle variations in structure that allow interactions with actin and other proteins. Actin binding globally stabilizes tropomyosin. Tropomyosin-actin interaction occurs periodically along the length of tropomyosin. However, it is not well understood how tropomyosin binds actin. Principal Findings Tropomyosin's periodic binding sites make differential contributions to two components of actin binding, cooperativity and affinity, and can be classified as primary or secondary sites. We show through mutagenesis and analysis of recombinant striated muscle α-tropomyosins that primary actin binding sites have a destabilizing coiled-coil interface, typically alanine-rich, embedded within a non-interface recognition sequence. Introduction of an Ala cluster in place of the native, more stable interface in period 2 and/or period 3 sites (of seven) increased the affinity or cooperativity of actin binding, analysed by cosedimentation and differential scanning calorimetry. Replacement of period 3 with period 5 sequence, an unstable region of known importance for cooperative actin binding, increased the cooperativity of binding. Introduction of the fluorescent probe, pyrene, near the mutation sites in periods 2 and 3 reported local instability, stabilization by actin binding, and local unfolding before or coincident with dissociation from actin (measured using light scattering), and chain dissociation (analyzed using circular dichroism). Conclusions This, and previous work, suggests that regions of tropomyosin involved in binding actin have non-interface residues specific for interaction with actin and an unstable interface that is locally stabilized upon binding. The destabilized interface allows residues on the coiled-coil surface to obtain an optimal conformation for interaction with actin by increasing the number of local substates that the side chains can sample. We suggest that local disorder is a

  10. Effects of Roundup and glyphosate formulations on intracellular transport, microtubules and actin filaments in Xenopus laevis melanophores.

    PubMed

    Hedberg, Daniel; Wallin, Margareta

    2010-04-01

    Glyphosate containing herbicides, such as Roundup, are commonly used and generally considered to be safe. However, some toxic effects are found on amphibians in vivo and human and mouse cells in vitro. In this study the effects of Roundup, glyphosate, glyphosateisopropylamine and isopropylamine were studied on intracellular transport by measuring aggregation capacity in Xenopus laevis melanophores. The chemicals inhibited retrograde transport of melanosomes in the range of 0.5-5mM. Cellular morphology and localization of microtubules and actin filaments were affected as determined by immunocytochemistry. Both glyphosate and Roundup decreased pH in the media. Acidic pH inhibited melanosome transport and altered microtubule and actin morphology in the absence of chemicals, while transport inhibiting concentrations of glyphosate, Roundup and glyphosateisopropylamine disassembled both microtubules and actin filaments. At physiological pH the effects of Roundup decreased whereas glyphosate failed to inhibit transport. Physiological pH decreases glyphosate lipophilicity and its diffusion into the cytoplasm. The Roundup formulation contains surfactants, such as POEA (polyetylated tallow amine) that increases membrane permeability allowing cellular uptake at physiological pH. Our results show that the effects of glyphosate containing compounds are pH-dependent and that they inhibit intracellular transport through disassembly of the cytoskeleton possibly by interfering with intracellular Ca(2+)-balance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Drosophila Homologues of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) and the Formin Diaphanous Collaborate by a Conserved Mechanism to Stimulate Actin Filament Assembly*

    PubMed Central

    Jaiswal, Richa; Stepanik, Vince; Rankova, Aneliya; Molinar, Olivia; Goode, Bruce L.; McCartney, Brooke M.

    2013-01-01

    Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is a large multidomain protein that regulates the cytoskeleton. Recently, it was shown that vertebrate APC through its Basic domain directly collaborates with the formin mDia1 to stimulate actin filament assembly in the presence of nucleation barriers. However, it has been unclear whether these activities extend to homologues of APC and Dia in other organisms. Drosophila APC and Dia are each required to promote actin furrow formation in the syncytial embryo, suggesting a potential collaboration in actin assembly, but low sequence homology between the Basic domains of Drosophila and vertebrate APC has left their functional and mechanistic parallels uncertain. To address this question, we purified Drosophila APC1 and Dia and determined their individual and combined effects on actin assembly using both bulk fluorescence assays and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. Our data show that APC1, similar to its vertebrate homologue, bound to actin monomers and nucleated and bundled filaments. Further, Drosophila Dia nucleated actin assembly and protected growing filament barbed ends from capping protein. Drosophila APC1 and Dia directly interacted and collaborated to promote actin assembly in the combined presence of profilin and capping protein. Thus, despite limited sequence homology, Drosophila and vertebrate APCs exhibit highly related activities and mechanisms and directly collaborate with formins. These results suggest that APC-Dia interactions in actin assembly are conserved and may underlie important in vivo functions in a broad range of animal phyla. PMID:23558679

  13. AFAP-1L1-mediated actin filaments crosslinks hinder Trypanosoma cruzi cell invasion and intracellular multiplication.

    PubMed

    de Araújo, Karine Canuto Loureiro; Teixeira, Thaise Lara; Machado, Fabrício Castro; da Silva, Aline Alves; Quintal, Amanda Pifano Neto; da Silva, Claudio Vieira

    2016-10-01

    Host actin cytoskeleton polymerization has been shown to play an important role during Trypanosoma cruzi internalization into mammalian cell. The structure and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton in cells are regulated by a vast number of actin-binding proteins. Here we aimed to verify the impact of AFAP-1L1, during invasion and multiplication of T. cruzi. Knocking-down AFAP-1L1 increased parasite cell invasion and intracellular multiplication. Thus, we have shown that the integrity of the machinery formed by AFAP-1L1 in actin cytoskeleton polymerization is important to hinder parasite infection.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Origins and evolution of the formin multigene family that is involved in the formation of actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Chalkia, Dimitra; Nikolaidis, Nikolas; Makalowski, Wojciech; Klein, Jan; Nei, Masatoshi

    2008-12-01

    In eukaryotes, the assembly and elongation of unbranched actin filaments is controlled by formins, which are long, multidomain proteins. These proteins are important for dynamic cellular processes such as determination of cell shape, cell division, and cellular interaction. Yet, no comprehensive study has been done about the origins and evolution of this gene family. We therefore performed extensive phylogenetic and motif analyses of the formin genes by examining 597 prokaryotic and 53 eukaryotic genomes. Additionally, we used three-dimensional protein structure data in an effort to uncover distantly related sequences. Our results suggest that the formin homology 2 (FH2) domain, which promotes the formation of actin filaments, is a eukaryotic innovation and apparently originated only once in eukaryotic evolution. Despite the high degree of FH2 domain sequence divergence, the FH2 domains of most eukaryotic formins are predicted to assume the same fold and thus have similar functions. The formin genes have experienced multiple taxon-specific duplications and followed the birth-and-death model of evolution. Additionally, the formin genes experienced taxon-specific genomic rearrangements that led to the acquisition of unrelated protein domains. The evolutionary diversification of formin genes apparently increased the number of formin's interacting molecules and consequently contributed to the development of a complex and precise actin assembly mechanism. The diversity of formin types is probably related to the range of actin-based cellular processes that different cells or organisms require. Our results indicate the importance of gene duplication and domain acquisition in the evolution of the eukaryotic cell and offer insights into how a complex system, such as the cytoskeleton, evolved.

  16. Origins and evolution of the formin multigene family that is involved in the formation of actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Chalkia, Dimitra; Nikolaidis, Nikolas; Makalowski, Wojciech; Klein, Jan; Nei, Masatoshi

    2008-12-01

    In eukaryotes, the assembly and elongation of unbranched actin filaments is controlled by formins, which are long, multidomain proteins. These proteins are important for dynamic cellular processes such as determination of cell shape, cell division, and cellular interaction. Yet, no comprehensive study has been done about the origins and evolution of this gene family. We therefore performed extensive phylogenetic and motif analyses of the formin genes by examining 597 prokaryotic and 53 eukaryotic genomes. Additionally, we used three-dimensional protein structure data in an effort to uncover distantly related sequences. Our results suggest that the formin homology 2 (FH2) domain, which promotes the formation of actin filaments, is a eukaryotic innovation and apparently originated only once in eukaryotic evolution. Despite the high degree of FH2 domain sequence divergence, the FH2 domains of most eukaryotic formins are predicted to assume the same fold and thus have similar functions. The formin genes have experienced multiple taxon-specific duplications and followed the birth-and-death model of evolution. Additionally, the formin genes experienced taxon-specific genomic rearrangements that led to the acquisition of unrelated protein domains. The evolutionary diversification of formin genes apparently increased the number of formin's interacting molecules and consequently contributed to the development of a complex and precise actin assembly mechanism. The diversity of formin types is probably related to the range of actin-based cellular processes that different cells or organisms require. Our results indicate the importance of gene duplication and domain acquisition in the evolution of the eukaryotic cell and offer insights into how a complex system, such as the cytoskeleton, evolved. PMID:18840602

  17. Structural Evidence for Actin-like Filaments in Toxoplasma gondii Using High-Resolution Low-Voltage Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schatten, Heide; Sibley, L. David; Ris, Hans

    2003-08-01

    The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is representative of a large group of parasites within the phylum Apicomplexa, which share a highly unusual motility system that is crucial for locomotion and active host cell invasion. Despite the importance of motility in the pathology of these unicellular organisms, the motor mechanisms for locomotion remain uncertain, largely because only limited data exist about composition and organization of the cytoskeleton. By using cytoskeleton stabilizing protocols on membrane-extracted parasites and novel imaging with high-resolution low-voltage field emission scanning electron microscopy (LVFESEM), we were able to visualize for the first time a network of actin-sized filaments just below the cell membrane. A complex cytoskeletal network remained after removing the actin-sized fibers with cytochalasin D, revealing longitudinally arranged, subpellicular microtubules and intermediate-sized fibers of 10 nm, which, in stereo images, are seen both above and below the microtubules. These approaches open new possibilities to characterize more fully the largely unexplored and unconventional cytoskeletal motility complex in apicomplexan parasites.

  18. Light-Induced Movements of Chloroplasts and Nuclei Are Regulated in Both Cp-Actin-Filament-Dependent and -Independent Manners in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Light-induced chloroplast movement and attachment to the plasma membrane are dependent on actin filaments. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the short actin filaments on the chloroplast envelope, cp-actin filaments, are essential for chloroplast movement and positioning. Furthermore, cp-actin-filament-mediated chloroplast movement is necessary for the strong-light-induced nuclear avoidance response. The proteins CHLOROPLAST UNUSUAL POSITIONING 1 (CHUP1), KINESIN-LIKE PROTEIN FOR ACTIN-BASED CHLOROPLAST MOVEMENT 1 (KAC1) and KAC2 are required for the generation and/or maintenance of cp-actin filaments in Arabidopsis. In land plants, CHUP1 and KAC family proteins play pivotal roles in the proper movement of chloroplasts and their attachment to the plasma membrane. Here, we report similar but distinct phenotypes in chloroplast and nuclear photorelocation movements between chup1 and kac1kac2 mutants. Measurement of chloroplast photorelocation movement indicated that kac1kac2, but not chup1, exhibited a clear strong-light-induced increase in leaf transmittance changes. The chloroplast movement in kac1kac2 depended on phototropin 2, CHUP1 and two other regulators for cp-actin filaments, PLASTID MOVEMENT IMPAIRED 1 and THRUMIN 1. Furthermore, kac1kac2 retained a weak but significant nuclear avoidance response although chup1 displayed a severe defect in the nuclear avoidance response. The kac1kac2chup1 triple mutant was completely defective in both chloroplast and nuclear avoidance responses. These results indicate that CHUP1 and the KACs function somewhat independently, but interdependently mediate both chloroplast and nuclear photorelocation movements. PMID:27310016

  19. Light-Induced Movements of Chloroplasts and Nuclei Are Regulated in Both Cp-Actin-Filament-Dependent and -Independent Manners in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Suetsugu, Noriyuki; Higa, Takeshi; Gotoh, Eiji; Wada, Masamitsu

    2016-01-01

    Light-induced chloroplast movement and attachment to the plasma membrane are dependent on actin filaments. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the short actin filaments on the chloroplast envelope, cp-actin filaments, are essential for chloroplast movement and positioning. Furthermore, cp-actin-filament-mediated chloroplast movement is necessary for the strong-light-induced nuclear avoidance response. The proteins CHLOROPLAST UNUSUAL POSITIONING 1 (CHUP1), KINESIN-LIKE PROTEIN FOR ACTIN-BASED CHLOROPLAST MOVEMENT 1 (KAC1) and KAC2 are required for the generation and/or maintenance of cp-actin filaments in Arabidopsis. In land plants, CHUP1 and KAC family proteins play pivotal roles in the proper movement of chloroplasts and their attachment to the plasma membrane. Here, we report similar but distinct phenotypes in chloroplast and nuclear photorelocation movements between chup1 and kac1kac2 mutants. Measurement of chloroplast photorelocation movement indicated that kac1kac2, but not chup1, exhibited a clear strong-light-induced increase in leaf transmittance changes. The chloroplast movement in kac1kac2 depended on phototropin 2, CHUP1 and two other regulators for cp-actin filaments, PLASTID MOVEMENT IMPAIRED 1 and THRUMIN 1. Furthermore, kac1kac2 retained a weak but significant nuclear avoidance response although chup1 displayed a severe defect in the nuclear avoidance response. The kac1kac2chup1 triple mutant was completely defective in both chloroplast and nuclear avoidance responses. These results indicate that CHUP1 and the KACs function somewhat independently, but interdependently mediate both chloroplast and nuclear photorelocation movements.

  20. Actin Mechanics and Fragmentation*

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Actin Filaments at the Leading Edge of Cancer Cells Are Characterized by a High Mobile Fraction and Turnover Regulation by Profilin I

    PubMed Central

    Lorente, Gisela; Syriani, Emilio; Morales, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Cellular motility is the basis for cancer cell invasion and metastasis. In the case of breast cancer, the most common type of cancer among women, metastasis represents the most devastating stage of the disease. The central role of cellular motility in cancer development emphasizes the importance of understanding the specific mechanisms involved in this process. In this context, tumor development and metastasis would be the consequence of a loss or defect of the mechanisms that control cytoskeletal remodeling. Profilin I belongs to a family of small actin binding proteins that are thought to assist in actin filament elongation at the leading edge of migrating cells. Traditionally, Profilin I has been considered to be an essential control element for actin polymerization and cell migration. Expression of Profilin I is down-regulated in breast and various other cancer cells. In MDA-MB-231 cells, a breast cancer cell line, further inhibition of Profilin I expression promotes hypermotility and metastatic spread, a finding that contrasts with the proposed role of Profilin in enhancing polymerization. In this report, we have taken advantage of the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) of GFP-actin to quantify and compare actin dynamics at the leading edge level in both cancer and non-cancer cell models. Our results suggest that (i) a high level of actin dynamics (i.e., a large mobile fraction of actin filaments and a fast turnover) is a common characteristic of some cancer cells; (ii) actin polymerization shows a high degree of independence from the presence of extracellular growth factors; and (iii) our results also corroborate the role of Profilin I in regulating actin polymerization, as raising the intracellular levels of Profilin I decreased the mobile fraction ratio of actin filaments and slowed their polymerization rate; furthermore, increased Profilin levels also led to reduced individual cell velocity and directionality. PMID:24465723

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Comparison of morphogenetic networks of filamentous fungi and yeast.

    PubMed

    Wendland, J

    2001-11-01

    Fungi generally display either of two growth modes, yeast-like or filamentous, whereas dimorphic fungi, upon environmental stimuli, are able to switch between the yeast-like and the filamentous growth mode. Signal transduction pathways have been elucidated in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, establishing a morphogenetic network that links cell-cycle events with cellular morphogenesis. Recent molecular genetic studies in several filamentous fungal model systems revealed key components required for distinct steps from fungal spore germination to the maintenance of polar hyphal growth, mycelium formation, and nuclear division. This allows a mechanistic comparison of yeast-like and hyphal growth and the establishment of a core model morphogenetic network for filamentous growth including signaling via the cAMP pathway, Rho modules, and cell cycle kinases. Appreciating similarities between morphogenetic networks of the unicellular yeasts and the multicellular filamentous fungi will open new research directions, help in isolating the central network components, and ultimately pave the way to elucidate the central differences (of many) that distinguish, e.g., the growth mode of filamentous fungi from that of their yeast-like relatives, the role of cAMP signaling, and nuclear division. PMID:11686673

  4. Redundant mechanisms for anaphase chromosome movements: crane-fly spermatocyte spindles normally use actin filaments but also can function without them.

    PubMed

    Fabian, Lacramioara; Forer, Arthur

    2005-10-01

    Actin inhibitors block or slow anaphase chromosome movements in crane-fly spermatocytes, but stopping of movement is only temporary; we assumed that cells adapt to loss of actin by switching to mechanism(s) involving only microtubules. To test this, we produced actin-filament-free spindles: we added latrunculin B during prometaphase, 9-80 min before anaphase, after which chromosomes generally moved normally during anaphase. We confirmed the absence of actin filaments by staining with fluorescent phalloidin and by showing that cytochalasin D had no effect on chromosome movement. Thus, actin filaments are involved in normal anaphase movements, but in vivo, spindles nonetheless can function normally without them. We tested whether chromosome movements in actin-filament-free spindles arise via microtubules by challenging such spindles with anti-myosin drugs. Y-27632 and BDM (2,3-butanedione monoxime), inhibitors that affect myosin at different regulatory levels, blocked chromosome movement in normal spindles and in actin-filament-free spindles. We tested whether BDM has side effects on microtubule motors. BDM had no effect on ciliary and sperm motility or on ATPase activity of isolated ciliary axonemes, and thus it does not directly block dynein. Nor does it block kinesin, assayed by a microtubule sliding assay. BDM could conceivably indirectly affect these microtubule motors, though it is unlikely that it would have the same side effect on the motors as Y-27632. Since BDM and Y-27632 both affect chromosome movement in the same way, it would seem that both affect spindle myosin; this suggests that spindle myosin interacts with kinetochore microtubules, either directly or via an intermediate component. PMID:16228898

  5. Filamentous actin and its associated binding proteins are the stimulatory site for 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase association within the membrane of human erythrocytes.

    PubMed

    Real-Hohn, Antonio; Zancan, Patricia; Da Silva, Daniel; Martins, Eliane R; Salgado, Leonardo T; Mermelstein, Claudia S; Gomes, Andre M O; Sola-Penna, Mauro

    2010-05-01

    Glycolytic enzymes reversibly associate with the human erythrocyte membrane (EM) as part of their regulatory mechanism. The site for this association has been described as the amino terminus of band 3, a transmembrane anion transporter. Binding of glycolytic enzymes to this site is recognized to inhibit glycolysis, since binding inhibits the catalytic activity of these enzymes, including the rate-limiting enzyme 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase (PFK). However, the existence of a putative stimulatory site for glycolytic enzymes within the EM has been proposed. PFK has been described as able to reversibly associate with other proteins, such as microtubules, which inhibit the enzyme, and filamentous actin, which activates the enzyme. Here, it is demonstrated that PFK also binds to actin filaments and its associated binding proteins in the protein meshwork that forms the erythrocyte cytoskeleton. Through fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments using either confocal microscopy or fluorescence spectroscopy, we show that, within the EM, PFK and actin filaments containing its associated binding proteins are located close enough to propose binding between them. Moreover, specifically blocking PFK binding to band 3 results in an association of the enzyme with the EM that increases the enzyme's catalytic activity. Conversely, disruption of the association between PFK and actin filaments containing its associated binding proteins potentiates the inhibitory action of the EM on the enzyme. Furthermore, it is shown that insulin signaling increases the association of PFK to actin filaments and its associated binding proteins, revealing that this event may play a role on the stimulatory effects of insulin on erythrocyte glycolysis. In summary, the present work presents evidence that filamentous actin and its associated binding proteins are the stimulatory site for PFK within the EM.

  6. Preparation and Characterization of a Polyclonal Antibody against Human Actin Filament-Associated Protein-120 kD

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yujian; Liu, Yong; Guo, Jiayu; Tang, Tao; Gao, Jian; Huang, Tao; Wang, Bin; Liu, Shaojun

    2016-01-01

    Actin filament-associated protein-120kD (AFAP-120) is an alternatively spliced isoform of actin filament-associated protein-110kD (AFAP-110) and contains an additional neuronal insert (NINS) fragment in addition to identical domains to the AFAP-110. Unlike AFAP-110 widely expressed in tissues, AFAP-120 is specifically expressed in the nervous system and plays a role in organizing dynamic actin structures during neuronal differentiation. However, anti-AFAP-120 antibody is still commercially unavailable, and this may hinder the function research for AFAP-120. In this study, we simultaneously used the ABCpred online server and the BepiPred 1.0 server to predict B-cell epitopes in the exclusive NINS sequence of human AFAP-120 protein, and found that a 16aa-peptide sequence was the consensus epitope predicted by both tools. This peptide was chemically synthesized and used as an immunogen to develop polyclonal antibody against AFAP-120 (anti-AFAP-120). The sensitivity and specificity of anti-AFAP-120 were analyzed with immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, and immunofluorescence assays. Our results indicated that anti-AFAP-120 could react with over-expressed and endogenous human AFAP-120 protein under denatured condition, but not with human AFAP-110 protein. Moreover, native human AFAP-120 protein could also be recognized by the anti-AFAP-120 antibody. These results suggested that the prepared anit-AFAP-120 antibody would be a useful tool for studying the biochemical and biological functions of AFAP-120. PMID:27322249

  7. Structure of kinetochore fibres in crane-fly spermatocytes after irradiation with an ultraviolet microbeam: neither microtubules nor actin filaments remain in the irradiated region.

    PubMed

    Forer, Arthur; Spurck, Tim; Pickett-Heaps, Jeremy D; Wilson, Paula J

    2003-11-01

    We studied chromosome movement after kinetochore microtubules were severed. Severing a kinetochore fibre in living crane-fly spermatocytes with an ultraviolet microbeam creates a kinetochore stub, a birefringent remnant of the spindle fibre connected to the kinetochore and extending only to the edge of the irradiated region. After the irradiation, anaphase chromosomes either move poleward led by their stubs or temporarily stop moving. We examined actin and/or microtubules in irradiated cells by means of confocal fluorescence microscopy or serial-section reconstructions from electron microscopy. For each cell thus examined, chromosome movement had been recorded continuously until the moment of fixation. Kinetochore microtubules were completely severed by the ultraviolet microbeam in cells in which chromosomes continued to move poleward after the irradiation: none were seen in the irradiated regions. Similarly, actin filaments normally present in kinetochore fibres were severed by the ultraviolet microbeam irradiations: the irradiated regions contained no actin filaments and only local spots of non-filamentous actin. There was no difference in irradiated regions when the associated chromosomes continued to move versus when they stopped moving. Thus, one cannot explain motion with severed kinetochore microtubules in terms of either microtubules or actin-filaments bridging the irradiated region. The data seem to negate current models for anaphase chromosome movement and support a model in which poleward chromosome movement results from forces generated within the spindle matrix that propel kinetochore fibres or kinetochore stubs poleward. PMID:14569597

  8. Association of hepatitis C virus replication complexes with microtubules and actin filaments is dependent on the interaction of NS3 and NS5A.

    PubMed

    Lai, Chao-Kuen; Jeng, King-Song; Machida, Keigo; Lai, Michael M C

    2008-09-01

    The hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA replication complex (RC), which is composed of viral nonstructural (NS) proteins and host cellular proteins, replicates the viral RNA genome in association with intracellular membranes. Two viral NS proteins, NS3 and NS5A, are essential elements of the RC. Here, by using immunoprecipitation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer assays, we demonstrated that NS3 and NS5A interact with tubulin and actin. Furthermore, immunofluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy revealed that HCV RCs were aligned along microtubules and actin filaments in both HCV replicon cells and HCV-infected cells. In addition, the movement of RCs was inhibited when microtubules or actin filaments were depolymerized by colchicine and cytochalasin B, respectively. Based on our observations, we propose that microtubules and actin filaments provide the tracks for the movement of HCV RCs to other regions in the cell, and the molecular interactions between RCs and microtubules, or RCs and actin filaments, are mediated by NS3 and NS5A. PMID:18562541

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Attractive interactions among intermediate filaments determine network mechanics in vitro.

    PubMed

    Pawelzyk, Paul; Mücke, Norbert; Herrmann, Harald; Willenbacher, Norbert

    2014-01-01

    Mechanical and structural properties of K8/K18 and vimentin intermediate filament (IF) networks have been investigated using bulk mechanical rheometry and optical microrheology including diffusing wave spectroscopy and multiple particle tracking. A high elastic modulus G0 at low protein concentration c, a weak concentration dependency of G0 (G0 ∼ c(0.5 ± 0.1)) and pronounced strain stiffening are found for these systems even without external crossbridgers. Strong attractive interactions among filaments are required to maintain these characteristic mechanical features, which have also been reported for various other IF networks. Filament assembly, the persistence length of the filaments and the network mesh size remain essentially unaffected when a nonionic surfactant is added, but strain stiffening is completely suppressed, G0 drops by orders of magnitude and exhibits a scaling G0 ∼ c(1.9 ± 0.2) in agreement with microrheological measurements and as expected for entangled networks of semi-flexible polymers. Tailless K8Δ/K18ΔT and various other tailless filament networks do not exhibit strain stiffening, but still show high G0 values. Therefore, two binding sites are proposed to exist in IF networks. A weaker one mediated by hydrophobic amino acid clusters in the central rod prevents stretched filaments between adjacent cross-links from thermal equilibration and thus provides the high G0 values. Another strong one facilitating strain stiffening is located in the tail domain with its high fraction of hydrophobic amino acid sequences. Strain stiffening is less pronounced for vimentin than for K8/K18 due to electrostatic repulsion forces partly compensating the strong attraction at filament contact points.

  11. MamK, a bacterial actin, forms dynamic filaments in vivo that are regulated by the acidic proteins MamJ and LimJ

    PubMed Central

    Draper, Olga; Byrne, Meghan E.; Li, Zhuo; Keyhani, Sepehr; Cueto Barrozo, Joyce; Jensen, Grant; Komeili, Arash

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Bacterial actins, in contrast to their eukaryotic counterparts, are highly divergent proteins whose wide-ranging functions are thought to correlate with their evolutionary diversity. One clade, represented by the MamK protein of magnetotactic bacteria, is required for the subcellular organization of magnetosomes, membrane-bound organelles that aid in navigation along the earth’s magnetic field. Using a fluorescence recovery after photobleaching assay in Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1, we find that, like traditional actins, MamK forms dynamic filaments that require an intact NTPase motif for their turnover in vivo. We also uncover two proteins, MamJ and LimJ, which perform a redundant function to promote the dynamic behavior of MamK filaments in wildtype cells. The absence of both MamJ and LimJ leads to static filaments, a disrupted magnetosome chain, and an anomalous build-up of cytoskeletal filaments between magnetosomes. Our results suggest that MamK filaments, like eukaryotic actins, are intrinsically stable and rely on regulators for their dynamic behavior, a feature that stands in contrast to some classes of bacterial actins characterized to date. PMID:21883528

  12. PLEKHG3 enhances polarized cell migration by activating actin filaments at the cell front.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Trang Thi Thu; Park, Wei Sun; Park, Byung Ouk; Kim, Cha Yeon; Oh, Yohan; Kim, Jin Man; Choi, Hana; Kyung, Taeyoon; Kim, Cheol-Hee; Lee, Gabsang; Hahn, Klaus M; Meyer, Tobias; Heo, Won Do

    2016-09-01

    Cells migrate by directing Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) and cell division control protein 42 (Cdc42) activities and by polymerizing actin toward the leading edge of the cell. Previous studies have proposed that this polarization process requires a local positive feedback in the leading edge involving Rac small GTPase and actin polymerization with PI3K likely playing a coordinating role. Here, we show that the pleckstrin homology and RhoGEF domain containing G3 (PLEKHG3) is a PI3K-regulated Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RhoGEF) for Rac1 and Cdc42 that selectively binds to newly polymerized actin at the leading edge of migrating fibroblasts. Optogenetic inactivation of PLEKHG3 showed that PLEKHG3 is indispensable both for inducing and for maintaining cell polarity. By selectively binding to newly polymerized actin, PLEKHG3 promotes local Rac1/Cdc42 activation to induce more local actin polymerization, which in turn promotes the recruitment of more PLEKHG3 to induce and maintain cell front. Thus, autocatalytic reinforcement of PLEKHG3 localization to the leading edge of the cell provides a molecular basis for the proposed positive feedback loop that is required for cell polarization and directed migration. PMID:27555588

  13. FMRP regulates actin filament organization via the armadillo protein p0071

    PubMed Central

    Nolze, Alexander; Schneider, Jacqueline; Keil, René; Lederer, Marcell; Hüttelmaier, Stefan; Kessels, Michael M.; Qualmann, Britta; Hatzfeld, Mechthild

    2013-01-01

    Loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) causes synaptic dysfunction and intellectual disability. FMRP is an RNA-binding protein that controls the translation or turnover of a subset of mRNAs. Identifying these target transcripts is an important step toward understanding the pathology of the disease. Here, we show that FMRP regulates actin organization and neurite outgrowth via the armadillo protein p0071. In mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking FMRP (Fmr1−), the actin cytoskeleton was markedly reorganized with reduced stress fibers and F-actin/G-actin ratios compared to fibroblasts re-expressing the protein. FMRP interfered with the translation of the p0071 mRNA in a 3′-UTR-dependent manner. Accordingly, FMRP-depleted cells revealed elevated levels of p0071 protein. The knockdown of p0071 in Fmr1− fibroblasts restored stress fibers and an elongated cell shape, thus rescuing the Fmr1− phenotype, whereas overexpression of p0071 in Fmr1+ cells mimicked the Fmr1− phenotype. Moreover, p0071 and FMRP regulated neurite outgrowth and branching in a diametrically opposed way in agreement with the negative regulation of p0071 by FMRP. These results identify p0071 as an important and novel FMRP target and strongly suggest that impaired actin cytoskeletal functions mediated by an excess of p0071 are key aspects underlying the fragile X syndrome. PMID:24062571

  14. PLEKHG3 enhances polarized cell migration by activating actin filaments at the cell front

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Trang Thi Thu; Park, Wei Sun; Park, Byung Ouk; Kim, Cha Yeon; Oh, Yohan; Kim, Jin Man; Choi, Hana; Kyung, Taeyoon; Kim, Cheol-Hee; Lee, Gabsang; Hahn, Klaus M.; Meyer, Tobias; Heo, Won Do

    2016-01-01

    Cells migrate by directing Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) and cell division control protein 42 (Cdc42) activities and by polymerizing actin toward the leading edge of the cell. Previous studies have proposed that this polarization process requires a local positive feedback in the leading edge involving Rac small GTPase and actin polymerization with PI3K likely playing a coordinating role. Here, we show that the pleckstrin homology and RhoGEF domain containing G3 (PLEKHG3) is a PI3K-regulated Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RhoGEF) for Rac1 and Cdc42 that selectively binds to newly polymerized actin at the leading edge of migrating fibroblasts. Optogenetic inactivation of PLEKHG3 showed that PLEKHG3 is indispensable both for inducing and for maintaining cell polarity. By selectively binding to newly polymerized actin, PLEKHG3 promotes local Rac1/Cdc42 activation to induce more local actin polymerization, which in turn promotes the recruitment of more PLEKHG3 to induce and maintain cell front. Thus, autocatalytic reinforcement of PLEKHG3 localization to the leading edge of the cell provides a molecular basis for the proposed positive feedback loop that is required for cell polarization and directed migration. PMID:27555588

  15. CF2 represses Actin 88F gene expression and maintains filament balance during indirect flight muscle development in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Gajewski, Kathleen M; Schulz, Robert A

    2010-01-01

    The zinc finger protein CF2 is a characterized activator of muscle structural genes in the body wall muscles of the Drosophila larva. To investigate the function of CF2 in the indirect flight muscle (IFM), we examined the phenotypes of flies bearing five homozygous viable mutations. The gross structure of the IFM was not affected, but the stronger hypomorphic alleles caused an increase of up to 1.5X in the diameter of the myofibrils. This size increase did not cause any disruption of the hexameric arrangement of thick and thin filaments. RT-PCR analysis revealed an increase in the transcription of several structural genes. Ectopic overexpression of CF2 in the developing IFM disrupts muscle formation. While our results indicate a role for CF2 as a direct negative regulator of the thin filament protein gene Actin 88F (Act88F), effects on levels of transcripts of myosin heavy chain (mhc) appear to be indirect. This role is in direct contrast to that described in the larval muscles, where CF2 activates structural gene expression. The variation in myofibril phenotypes of CF2 mutants suggest the CF2 may have separate functions in fine-tuning expression of structural genes to insure proper filament stoichiometry, and monitoring and/or controlling the final myofibril size. PMID:20520827

  16. Determination of the persistence length of actin filaments on microcontact printed myosin patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hajne, Joanna; Hanson, Kristi L.; van Zalinge, Harm; Nicolau, Dan V.; Nicolau, Dan V.

    2015-03-01

    Protein molecular motors, which convert chemical energy into kinetic energy, are prime candidates for use in nanodevice in which active transport is required. To be able to design these devices it is essential that the properties of the cytoskeletal filaments propelled by the molecular motors are well established. Here we used micro-contact printed BSA to limit the amount of HMM that can adsorb creating a tightly confined pathway for the filaments to travel. Both the image and statistical analysis of the movement of the filaments through these structures have been used to new insights into the motility behaviour of actomyosin on topographically homogenous, but motor-heterogeneous planar systems. It will be shown that it is possible to determine the persistence length of the filaments and that it is related to the amount of locally adsorbed HMM. This provides a basis that can be used to optimize the design of future nanodevices incorporating the actomyosin system for the active transport.

  17. Filamentous fungal-specific septin AspE is phosphorylated in vivo and interacts with actin, tubulin and other septins in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus

    SciTech Connect

    Juvvadi, Praveen Rao; Belina, Detti; Soderblom, Erik J.; Moseley, M. Arthur; Steinbach, William J.

    2013-02-15

    Highlights: ► In vivo interactions of the novel septin AspE were identified by GFP-Trap® affinity purification. ► Septins AspA, AspB, AspC and AspD interacted with AspE in vivo. ► Actin and tubulin interacted with AspE in vivo. ► AspE is phosphorylated at six serine residues in vivo. -- Abstract: We previously analyzed the differential localization patterns of five septins (AspA–E), including a filamentous fungal-specific septin, AspE, in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Here we utilized the A. fumigatus strain expressing an AspE–EGFP fusion protein and show that this novel septin with a tubular localization pattern in hyphae is phosphorylated in vivo and interacts with the other septins, AspA, AspB, AspC and AspD. The other major proteins interacting with AspE included the cytoskeletal proteins, actin and tubulin, which may be involved in the organization and transport of the septins. This is the first report analyzing the phosphorylation of AspE and localizing the sites of phosphorylation, and opens opportunities for further analysis on the role of post-translational modifications in the assembly and organization of A. fumigatus septins. This study also describes the previously unknown interaction of AspE with the actin-microtubule network. Furthermore, the novel GFP-Trap® affinity purification method used here complements widely-used GFP localization studies in fungal systems.

  18. A 45,000-mol-wt protein from unfertilized sea urchin eggs severs actin filaments in a calcium-dependent manner and increases the steady-state concentration of nonfilamentous actin.

    PubMed

    Wang, L L; Spudich, J A

    1984-09-01

    A 45,000-mol-wt protein has been purified from unfertilized sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) eggs. The isolation scheme includes DEAE cellulose ion-exchange chromatography, gel filtration, and hydroxylapatite chromatography. The homogeneity of the isolated protein is greater than 90% by SDS PAGE. The 45,000-mol-wt protein reduces the viscosity of actin filaments in a Ca2+-dependent manner. The free calcium concentration required for the activity of this protein is in the micromolar range. Electron microscopic studies reveal that the formation of short filaments parallels the decrease in viscosity. Energy transfer and sedimentation experiments indicate a net disassembly of actin filaments and an increase in the steady-state nonfilamentous actin concentration in the presence of Ca2+ ions and the 45,000-mol-wt protein. The increase in the steady-state nonfilamentous actin concentration is proportional to the amount of 45,000-mol-wt protein added. The actin molecules disassembled by the addition of the 45,000-mol-wt protein are capable of polymerization.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. A three-dimensional FRET analysis to construct an atomic model of the actin-tropomyosin-troponin core domain complex on a muscle thin filament.

    PubMed

    Miki, Masao; Makimura, Satoshi; Sugahara, Yasuyuki; Yamada, Ryuta; Bunya, Masashi; Saitoh, Takahiro; Tobita, Hidetaka

    2012-06-29

    It is essential to know the detailed structure of the thin filament to understand the regulation mechanism of striated muscle contraction. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) was used to construct an atomic model of the actin-tropomyosin (Tm)-troponin (Tn) core domain complex. We generated single-cysteine mutants in the 167-195 region of Tm and in TnC, TnI, and the β-TnT 25-kDa fragment, and each was attached with an energy donor probe. An energy acceptor probe was located at actin Gln41, actin Cys374, or the actin nucleotide-binding site. From these donor-acceptor pairs, FRET efficiencies were determined with and without Ca(2+). Using the atomic coordinates for F-actin, Tm, and the Tn core domain, we searched all possible arrangements for Tm or the Tn core domain on F-actin to calculate the FRET efficiency for each donor-acceptor pair in each arrangement. By minimizing the squared sum of deviations for the calculated FRET efficiencies from the observed FRET efficiencies, we determined the location of Tm segment 167-195 and the Tn core domain on F-actin with and without Ca(2+). The bulk of the Tn core domain is located near actin subdomains 3 and 4. The central helix of TnC is nearly perpendicular to the F-actin axis, directing the N-terminal domain of TnC toward the actin outer domain. The C-terminal region in the I-T arm forms a four-helix-bundle structure with the Tm 175-185 region. After Ca(2+) release, the Tn core domain moves toward the actin outer domain and closer to the center of the F-actin axis.

  1. A36-dependent actin filament nucleation promotes release of vaccinia virus.

    PubMed

    Horsington, Jacquelyn; Lynn, Helena; Turnbull, Lynne; Cheng, Delfine; Braet, Filip; Diefenbach, Russell J; Whitchurch, Cynthia B; Karupiah, Guna; Newsome, Timothy P

    2013-03-01

    Cell-to-cell transmission of vaccinia virus can be mediated by enveloped virions that remain attached to the outer surface of the cell or those released into the medium. During egress, the outer membrane of the double-enveloped virus fuses with the plasma membrane leaving extracellular virus attached to the cell surface via viral envelope proteins. Here we report that F-actin nucleation by the viral protein A36 promotes the disengagement of virus attachment and release of enveloped virus. Cells infected with the A36(YdF) virus, which has mutations at two critical tyrosine residues abrogating localised actin nucleation, displayed a 10-fold reduction in virus release. We examined A36(YdF) infected cells by transmission electron microscopy and observed that during release, virus appeared trapped in small invaginations at the plasma membrane. To further characterise the mechanism by which actin nucleation drives the dissociation of enveloped virus from the cell surface, we examined recombinant viruses by super-resolution microscopy. Fluorescently-tagged A36 was visualised at sub-viral resolution to image cell-virus attachment in mutant and parental backgrounds. We confirmed that A36(YdF) extracellular virus remained closely associated to the plasma membrane in small membrane pits. Virus-induced actin nucleation reduced the extent of association, thereby promoting the untethering of virus from the cell surface. Virus release can be enhanced via a point mutation in the luminal region of B5 (P189S), another virus envelope protein. We found that the B5(P189S) mutation led to reduced contact between extracellular virus and the host membrane during release, even in the absence of virus-induced actin nucleation. Our results posit that during release virus is tightly tethered to the host cell through interactions mediated by viral envelope proteins. Untethering of virus into the surrounding extracellular space requires these interactions be relieved, either through the force

  2. Hydrogen peroxide formation and actin filament reorganization by Cdc42 are essential for ethanol-induced in vitro angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yong; Luo, Jia; Leonard, Stephen S; Harris, Gabriel K; Millecchia, Lyndell; Flynn, Daniel C; Shi, Xianglin

    2003-05-01

    This report focuses on the identification of the molecular mechanisms of ethanol-induced in vitro angiogenesis. The manipulation of angiogenesis is an important therapeutic approach for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic inflammation. Our results showed that ethanol stimulation altered the integrity of actin filaments and increased the formation of lamellipodia and filopodia in SVEC4-10 cells. Further experiments demonstrated that ethanol stimulation increased cell migration and invasion and induced in vitro angiogenesis in SVEC4-10 cells. Mechanistically, ethanol stimulation activated Cdc42 and produced H(2)O(2) a reactive oxygen species intermediate in SVEC4-10 cells. Measuring the time course of Cdc42 activation and H(2)O(2) production upon ethanol stimulation revealed that the Cdc42 activation and the increase of H(2)O(2) lasted more than 3 h, which indicates the mechanisms of the long duration effects of ethanol on the cells. Furthermore, either overexpression of a constitutive dominant negative Cdc42 or inhibition of H(2)O(2) production abrogated the effects of ethanol on SVEC4-10 cells, indicating that both the activation of Cdc42 and the production of H(2)O(2) are essential for the actions of ethanol. Interestingly, we also found that overexpression of a constitutive dominant positive Cdc42 itself was sufficient to produce H(2)O(2) and to induce in vitro angiogenesis. Taken together, our results suggest that ethanol stimulation can induce H(2)O(2) production through the activation of Cdc42, which results in reorganizing actin filaments and increasing cell motility and in vitro angiogenesis. PMID:12598535

  3. 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

  4. Engagement of CD81 induces ezrin tyrosine phosphorylation and its cellular redistribution with filamentous actin

    SciTech Connect

    Coffey, Greg P.; Rajapaksa, Ranjani; Liu, Raymond; Sharpe, Orr; Kuo, Chiung-Chi; Wald Krauss, Sharon; Sagi, Yael; Davis, R. Eric; Staudt, Louis M.; Sharman, Jeff P.; Robinson, William H.; Levy, Shoshana

    2009-06-09

    CD81 is a tetraspanin family member involved in diverse cellular interactions in the immune and nervous systems and in cell fusion events. However, the mechanism of action of CD81 and of other tetraspanins has not been defined. We reasoned that identifying signaling molecules downstream of CD81 would provide mechanistic clues. We engaged CD81 on the surface of Blymphocytes and identified the induced tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins by mass spectrometry. This analysis showed that the most prominent tyrosine phosphorylated protein was ezrin, an actin binding protein and a member of the ezrin-radixin-moesin family. We also found that CD81 engagement induces spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and that Syk was involved in tyrosine phosphorylation of ezrin. Ezrin colocalized with CD81 and F-actin upon stimulation and this association was disrupted when Syk activation was blocked. Taken together, these studies suggest a model in which CD81 interfaces between the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton by activating Syk, mobilizing ezrin, and recruiting F-actin to facilitate cytoskeletal reorganization and cell signaling. This may be a mechanism explaining the pleiotropic effects induced in response to stimulating cells by anti-CD81 antibodies or by the hepatitis C virus, which uses this molecule as its key receptor.

  5. Engagement of CD81 induces ezrin tyrosine phosphorylation and its cellular redistribution with filamentous actin

    PubMed Central

    Coffey, Greg P.; Rajapaksa, Ranjani; Liu, Raymond; Sharpe, Orr; Kuo, Chiung-Chi; Krauss, Sharon Wald; Sagi, Yael; Davis, R. Eric; Staudt, Louis M.; Sharman, Jeff P.; Robinson, William H.; Levy, Shoshana

    2009-01-01

    Summary CD81 is a tetraspanin family member involved in diverse cellular interactions in the immune and nervous systems and in cell fusion events. However, the mechanism of action of CD81 and of other tetraspanins has not been defined. We reasoned that identifying signaling molecules downstream of CD81 would provide mechanistic clues. We engaged CD81 on the surface of B-lymphocytes and identified the induced tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins by mass spectrometry. This analysis showed that the most prominent tyrosine phosphorylated protein was ezrin, an actin-binding protein and a member of the ezrin-radixin-moesin family. We also found that CD81 engagement induces spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and that Syk was involved in tyrosine phosphorylation of ezrin. After engagement of CD81, it colocalized with ezrin and F-actin, and this association was disrupted when Syk activation was blocked. Taken together, these studies suggest a model in which CD81 interfaces between the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton by activating Syk, mobilizing ezrin, and recruiting F-actin to facilitate cytoskeletal reorganization and cell signaling. This mechanism might explain the pleiotropic effects induced in response to stimulation of cells by anti-CD81 antibodies or by the hepatitis C virus, which uses this molecule as its key receptor. PMID:19654214

  6. Capping protein regulatory cycle driven by CARMIL and V-1 may promote actin network assembly at protruding edges

    PubMed Central

    Fujiwara, Ikuko; Remmert, Kirsten; Piszczek, Grzegorz; Hammer, John A.

    2014-01-01

    Although capping protein (CP) terminates actin filament elongation, it promotes Arp2/3-dependent actin network assembly and accelerates actin-based motility both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, capping protein Arp2/3 myosin I linker (CARMIL) antagonizes CP by reducing its affinity for the barbed end and by uncapping CP-capped filaments, whereas the protein V-1/myotrophin sequesters CP in an inactive complex. Previous work showed that CARMIL can readily retrieve CP from the CP:V-1 complex, thereby converting inactive CP into a version with moderate affinity for the barbed end. Here we further clarify the mechanism of this exchange reaction, and we demonstrate that the CP:CARMIL complex created by complex exchange slows the rate of barbed-end elongation by rapidly associating with, and dissociating from, the barbed end. Importantly, the cellular concentrations of V-1 and CP determined here argue that most CP is sequestered by V-1 at steady state in vivo. Finally, we show that CARMIL is recruited to the plasma membrane and only at cell edges undergoing active protrusion. Assuming that CARMIL is active only at this location, our data argue that a large pool of freely diffusing, inactive CP (CP:V-1) feeds, via CARMIL-driven complex exchange, the formation of weak-capping complexes (CP:CARMIL) at the plasma membrane of protruding edges. In vivo, therefore, CARMIL should promote Arp2/3-dependent actin network assembly at the leading edge by promoting barbed-end capping there. PMID:24778263

  7. Networking galore: intermediate filaments and cell migration.

    PubMed

    Chung, Byung-Min; Rotty, Jeremy D; Coulombe, Pierre A

    2013-10-01

    Intermediate filaments (IFs) are assembled from a diverse group of evolutionarily conserved proteins and are specified in a tissue-dependent, cell type-dependent, and context-dependent fashion in the body. IFs are involved in multiple cellular processes that are crucial for the maintenance of cell and tissue integrity and the response and adaptation to various stresses, as conveyed by the broad array of crippling clinical disorders caused by inherited mutations in IF coding sequences. Accordingly, the expression, assembly, and organization of IFs are tightly regulated. Migration is a fitting example of a cell-based phenomenon in which IFs participate as both effectors and regulators. With a particular focus on vimentin and keratin, we here review how the contributions of IFs to the cell's mechanical properties, to cytoarchitecture and adhesion, and to regulatory pathways collectively exert a significant impact on cell migration.

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

    PubMed

    Tsai, Feng-Ching; Koenderink, Gijsje Hendrika

    2015-12-01

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

  9. LlSR28 is involved in pollen germination by affecting filamentous actin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cao, Li-Juan; Zhao, Meng-Meng; Liu, Chang; Dong, Huai-Jian; Li, Wang-Cheng; Ren, Hai-Yun

    2013-07-01

    Alternative splicing plays important roles in gene regulation and contributes to protein complexity. Previous studies suggest that alternative splicing exists in members of the villin/gelsolin/fragmin superfamily. In this study, a serine/argine-rich (SR) protein cDNA with 28 kDa protein (LlSR28) was isolated from a lily (Lilium longiflorum) expression library. Protein domain analysis showed that LlSR28 had similar structures to Arabidopsis SR45 (AtSR45), and LlSR28 could complement the phenotype of loss of AtSR45 function. Therefore, overexpression of LlSR28 and AtSR45 mutant (atsr45-1) were used in the following experiments. Overexpression of LlSR28 in Arabidopsis completely inhibited pollen germination. In contrast, the pollen germination of atsr45-1 was earlier than that of wild-type. In addition, pollen of atsr45-1 contained less F-actin at the corresponding hydration stage during pollen germination compared to that of wild-type. Alternative splicing analysis showed that Arabidopsis villin1 (AtVLN1) transcript encoding the full-length protein was increased, and that encoding the truncated protein was decreased in atst45-1. Moreover, the mRNA expression level of other actin-binding proteins (ABPs) abundant in Arabidopsis pollen was also changed in atsr45-1. In conclusion, we hypothesize that LlSR28 alters F-actin dynamics probably through its alternative splicing activities to affect directly or indirectly the alternative splicing of AtVLN1 and the expression of different ABPs, which then affects the pollen germination. PMID:23741063

  10. Structural Studies of Interactions between Cardiac Troponin I and Actin in Regulated Thin Filament using Förster Resonance Energy Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Jun; Chinnaraj, Mathivanan; Zhang, Zhihong; Cheung, Herbert C.; Dong, Wen-Ji

    2008-01-01

    The Ca2+-induced interaction between cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and actin plays a key role in the regulation of cardiac muscle contraction and relaxation. In this report we investigated changes of this interaction in response to strong crossbridge formation between myosin S1 and actin and PKA phosphorylation of cTnI within reconstituted thin filament. The interaction was monitored by measuring Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between the fluorescent donor 5-(iodoacetamidoethyl)aminonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid (AEDANS) attached to the residues 131, 151, 160 167, 188 and 210 of cTnI and the nonfluorescent acceptor 4-dimethylaminophenylazophenyl-4′-maleimide (DABM) attached to cysteine 374 of actin. The FRET distance measurements showed that bound Ca2+ induced large increases in the distances from actin to the cTnI sites, indicating a Ca2+-triggered separation of actin from cTnI. Strongly bound myosin S1 induced additional increases in these distances in the presence of bound Ca2+. These two-step changes in the observed FRET distances provide a direct link of structural changes at the interface between cTnI and actin to the three-state model of thin filament regulation of muscle contraction and relaxation. When cTnC was inactivated through mutations of key residues within the 12-residue Ca2+-binding loop, strongly bound S1 alone induced increases in the distances in spite of the fact that the filaments no longer bound regulatory Ca2+. These results suggest bound Ca2+ or strongly bound S1 alone can partially activate thin filament, but full activation requires both bound Ca2+ and strongly bound S1. The distributions of the FRET distances revealed different structural dynamics associated with different regions of cTnI in different biochemical states. The second actin-binding region appears more rigid than the inhibitory/regulatory region. In the Mg2+ state, the regulatory region appears more flexible than the inhibitory region, and in the Ca2+ state, the

  11. Cytoskeletal social networking in the growth cone: How +TIPs mediate microtubule-actin cross-linking to drive axon outgrowth and guidance.

    PubMed

    Cammarata, Garrett M; Bearce, Elizabeth A; Lowery, Laura Anne

    2016-09-01

    The growth cone is a unique structure capable of guiding axons to their proper destinations. Within the growth cone, extracellular guidance cues are interpreted and then transduced into physical changes in the actin filament (F-actin) and microtubule cytoskeletons, providing direction and movement. While both cytoskeletal networks individually possess important growth cone-specific functions, recent data over the past several years point towards a more cooperative role between the two systems. Facilitating this interaction between F-actin and microtubules, microtubule plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs) have been shown to link the two cytoskeletons together. Evidence suggests that many +TIPs can couple microtubules to F-actin dynamics, supporting both microtubule advance and retraction in the growth cone periphery. In addition, growing in vitro and in vivo data support a secondary role for +TIPs in which they may participate as F-actin nucleators, thus directly influencing F-actin dynamics and organization. This review focuses on how +TIPs may link F-actin and microtubules together in the growth cone, and how these interactions may influence axon guidance. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans Kettin, a Large Immunoglobulin-like Repeat Protein, Binds to Filamentous Actin and Provides Mechanical Stability to the Contractile Apparatuses in Body Wall Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Ono, Kanako; Yu, Robinson; Mohri, Kurato

    2006-01-01

    Kettin is a large actin-binding protein with immunoglobulin-like (Ig) repeats, which is associated with the thin filaments in arthropod muscles. Here, we report identification and functional characterization of kettin in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that one of the monoclonal antibodies that were raised against C. elegans muscle proteins specifically reacts with kettin (Ce-kettin). We determined the entire cDNA sequence of Ce-kettin that encodes a protein of 472 kDa with 31 Ig repeats. Arthropod kettins are splice variants of much larger connectin/titin-related proteins. However, the gene for Ce-kettin is independent of other connectin/titin-related genes. Ce-kettin localizes to the thin filaments near the dense bodies in both striated and nonstriated muscles. The C-terminal four Ig repeats and the adjacent non-Ig region synergistically bind to actin filaments in vitro. RNA interference of Ce-kettin caused weak disorganization of the actin filaments in body wall muscle. This phenotype was suppressed by inhibiting muscle contraction by a myosin mutation, but it was enhanced by tetramisole-induced hypercontraction. Furthermore, Ce-kettin was involved in organizing the cytoplasmic portion of the dense bodies in cooperation with α-actinin. These results suggest that kettin is an important regulator of myofibrillar organization and provides mechanical stability to the myofibrils during contraction. PMID:16597697

  15. C-terminal fragment of amebin promotes actin filament bundling, inhibits acto-myosin ATPase activity and is essential for amoeba migration.

    PubMed

    Jóźwiak, Jolanta; Rzhepetskyy, Yuriy; Sobczak, Magdalena; Kocik, Elżbieta; Skórzewski, Radosław; Kłopocka, Wanda; Rędowicz, Maria Jolanta

    2011-02-01

    Amebin [formerly termed as ApABP-FI; Sobczak et al. (2007) Biochem. Cell Biol. 85] is encoded in Amoeba proteus by two transcripts, 2672-nt and 1125-nt. A product of the shorter transcript (termed as C-amebin), comprising C-terminal 375 amino-acid-residue fragment of amebin, has been expressed and purified as the recombinant GST-fusion protein. GST-C-amebin bound both to monomeric and filamentous actin. The binding was Ca(2+)-independent and promoted filament bundling, as revealed with the transmission electron microscopy. GST-C-amebin significantly decreased MgATPase activity of rabbit skeletal muscle acto-S1. Removal with endoproteinase ArgC of a positively charged C-terminal region of GST-amebin containing KLASMWEQ sequence abolished actin-binding and bundling as well as the ATPase-inhibitory effect of C-amebin, indicating that this protein region was involved in the interaction with actin. Microinjection of amoebae with antibody against C-terminus of amebin significantly affected amoebae morphology, disturbed cell polarization and transport of cytoplasmic granules as well as blocked migration. These data indicate that amebin may be one of key regulators of the actin-cytoskeleton dynamics and actin-dependent motility in A. proteus.

  16. 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

  17. Actin filaments and microtubules of Arabidopsis suspension cells show different responses to changing turgor pressure.

    PubMed

    Shi, Lanchun; Wang, Bochu; Gong, Wei; Zhang, Yungang; Zhu, Liqing; Yang, Xingyan

    2011-02-25

    Past decades have brought great advances in understanding the relationship between turgor pressure and plant cell growth. New studies have provided evidence that turgor pressure acts as a stimulus for cell growth, and is also a developmental cue for post-embryonic organogenesis. However, the subcellular mechanisms underlying plant cell turgor pressure sensing remain unclear. Here, using the relatively simple undifferentiated cells from suspension cultures, we report real-time in vivo observations of the reorganization of microtubules and actin microfilaments induced by turgor pressure changes. We found that these two cytoskeletal elements differed in their reorganization patterns. Our results will be useful in the understanding of the relationship between the cytoskeleton, turgor pressure, and stress in plant cell morphogenesis.

  18. Addition of Phenylboronic Acid to Malus domestica Pollen Tubes Alters Calcium Dynamics, Disrupts Actin Filaments and Affects Cell Wall Architecture.

    PubMed

    Fang, Kefeng; Gao, Sai; Zhang, Weiwei; Xing, Yu; Cao, Qingqin; Qin, Ling

    2016-01-01

    A key role of boron in plants is to cross-link the cell wall pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan-II (RG-II) through borate diester linkages. Phenylboronic acid (PBA) can form the same reversible ester bonds but cannot cross-link two molecules, so can be used as an antagonist to study the function of boron. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of PBA on apple (Malus domestica) pollen tube growth and the underlying regulatory mechanism. We observed that PBA caused an inhibition of pollen germination, tube growth and led to pollen tube morphological abnormalities. Fluorescent labeling, coupled with a scanning ion-selective electrode technique, revealed that PBA induced an increase in extracellular Ca2+ influx, thereby elevating the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+]c and disrupting the [Ca2+]c gradient, which is critical for pollen tube growth. Moreover the organization of actin filaments was severely perturbed by the PBA treatment. Immunolocalization studies and fluorescent labeling, together with Fourier-transform infrared analysis (FTIR) suggested that PBA caused an increase in the abundance of callose, de-esterified pectins and arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) at the tip. However, it had no effect on the deposition of the wall polymers cellulose. These effects are similar to those of boron deficiency in roots and other organs, indicating that PBA can induce boron deficiency symptoms. The results provide new insights into the roles of boron in pollen tube development, which likely include regulating [Ca2+]c and the formation of the actin cytoskeleton, in addition to the synthesis and assembly of cell wall components. PMID:26886907

  19. Addition of Phenylboronic Acid to Malus domestica Pollen Tubes Alters Calcium Dynamics, Disrupts Actin Filaments and Affects Cell Wall Architecture.

    PubMed

    Fang, Kefeng; Gao, Sai; Zhang, Weiwei; Xing, Yu; Cao, Qingqin; Qin, Ling

    2016-01-01

    A key role of boron in plants is to cross-link the cell wall pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan-II (RG-II) through borate diester linkages. Phenylboronic acid (PBA) can form the same reversible ester bonds but cannot cross-link two molecules, so can be used as an antagonist to study the function of boron. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of PBA on apple (Malus domestica) pollen tube growth and the underlying regulatory mechanism. We observed that PBA caused an inhibition of pollen germination, tube growth and led to pollen tube morphological abnormalities. Fluorescent labeling, coupled with a scanning ion-selective electrode technique, revealed that PBA induced an increase in extracellular Ca2+ influx, thereby elevating the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+]c and disrupting the [Ca2+]c gradient, which is critical for pollen tube growth. Moreover the organization of actin filaments was severely perturbed by the PBA treatment. Immunolocalization studies and fluorescent labeling, together with Fourier-transform infrared analysis (FTIR) suggested that PBA caused an increase in the abundance of callose, de-esterified pectins and arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) at the tip. However, it had no effect on the deposition of the wall polymers cellulose. These effects are similar to those of boron deficiency in roots and other organs, indicating that PBA can induce boron deficiency symptoms. The results provide new insights into the roles of boron in pollen tube development, which likely include regulating [Ca2+]c and the formation of the actin cytoskeleton, in addition to the synthesis and assembly of cell wall components.

  20. Addition of Phenylboronic Acid to Malus domestica Pollen Tubes Alters Calcium Dynamics, Disrupts Actin Filaments and Affects Cell Wall Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Kefeng; Gao, Sai; Zhang, Weiwei; Xing, Yu; Cao, Qingqin; Qin, Ling

    2016-01-01

    A key role of boron in plants is to cross-link the cell wall pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan-II (RG-II) through borate diester linkages. Phenylboronic acid (PBA) can form the same reversible ester bonds but cannot cross-link two molecules, so can be used as an antagonist to study the function of boron. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of PBA on apple (Malus domestica) pollen tube growth and the underlying regulatory mechanism. We observed that PBA caused an inhibition of pollen germination, tube growth and led to pollen tube morphological abnormalities. Fluorescent labeling, coupled with a scanning ion-selective electrode technique, revealed that PBA induced an increase in extracellular Ca2+ influx, thereby elevating the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+]c and disrupting the [Ca2+]c gradient, which is critical for pollen tube growth. Moreover the organization of actin filaments was severely perturbed by the PBA treatment. Immunolocalization studies and fluorescent labeling, together with Fourier-transform infrared analysis (FTIR) suggested that PBA caused an increase in the abundance of callose, de-esterified pectins and arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) at the tip. However, it had no effect on the deposition of the wall polymers cellulose. These effects are similar to those of boron deficiency in roots and other organs, indicating that PBA can induce boron deficiency symptoms. The results provide new insights into the roles of boron in pollen tube development, which likely include regulating [Ca2+]c and the formation of the actin cytoskeleton, in addition to the synthesis and assembly of cell wall components. PMID:26886907

  1. Role of Actin Filaments in Correlating Nuclear Shape and Cell Spreading

    PubMed Central

    Vishavkarma, Renu; Raghavan, Swetavalli; Kuyyamudi, Chandrashekar; Majumder, Abhijit; Dhawan, Jyotsna; Pullarkat, Pramod A.

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that substrate properties like stiffness and adhesivity influence stem cell morphology and differentiation. Recent experiments show that cell morphology influences nuclear geometry and hence gene expression profile. The mechanism by which surface properties regulate cell and nuclear properties is only beginning to be understood. Direct transmission of forces as well as chemical signalling are involved in this process. Here, we investigate the formal aspect by studying the correlation between cell spreading and nuclear deformation using Mesenchymal stem cells under a wide variety of conditions. It is observed that a robust quantitative relation holds between the cell and nuclear projected areas, irrespective of how the cell area is modified or when various cytoskeletal or nuclear components are perturbed. By studying the role of actin stress fibers in compressing the nucleus we propose that nuclear compression by stress fibers can lead to enhanced cell spreading due to an interplay between elastic and adhesion factors. The significance of myosin-II in regulating this process is also explored. We demonstrate this effect using a simple technique to apply external compressive loads on the nucleus. PMID:25251154

  2. Effect of disruption of actin filaments by Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin on insulin secretion in HIT-T15 cells and pancreatic islets.

    PubMed Central

    Li, G; Rungger-Brändle, E; Just, I; Jonas, J C; Aktories, K; Wollheim, C B

    1994-01-01

    To examine their role in insulin secretion, actin filaments (AFs) were disrupted by Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin that ADP-ribosylates G-actin. Ribosylation also prevents polymerization of G-actin to F-actin and inhibits AF assembly by capping the fast-growing end of F-actin. Pretreatment of HIT-T15 cells with the toxin inhibited stimulated insulin secretion in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The toxin did not affect cellular insulin content or nonstimulated secretion. In static incubation, toxin treatment caused 45-50% inhibition of secretion induced by nutrients alone (10 mM glucose + 5 mM glutamine + 5 mM leucine) or combined with bombesin (phospholipase C-activator) and 20% reduction of that potentiated by forskolin (stimulator of adenylyl cyclase). In perifusion, the stimulated secretion during the first phase was marginally diminished, whereas the second phase was inhibited by approximately 80%. Pretreatment of HIT cells with wartmannin, a myosin light chain kinase inhibitor, caused a similar pattern of inhibition of the biphasic insulin release as C2 toxin. Nutrient metabolism and bombesin-evoked rise in cytosolic free Ca2+ were not affected by C2 toxin, indicating that nutrient recognition and the coupling between receptor activation and second messenger generation was not changed. In the toxin-treated cells, the AF web beneath the plasma membrane and the diffuse cytoplasmic F-actin fibers disappeared, as shown both by staining with an antibody against G- and F-actin and by staining F-actin with fluorescent phallacidin. C2 toxin dose-dependently reduced cellular F-actin content. Stimulation of insulin secretion was not associated with changes in F-actin content and organization. Treatment of cells with cytochalasin E and B, which shorten AFs, inhibited the stimulated insulin release by 30-50% although differing in their effects on F-actin content. In contrast to HIT-T15 cells, insulin secretion was potentiated in isolated rat islets after disruption of

  3. Myosin-10 produces its power-stroke in two phases and moves processively along a single actin filament under low load

    PubMed Central

    Takagi, Yasuharu; Farrow, Rachel E.; Billington, Neil; Nagy, Attila; Batters, Christopher; Yang, Yi; Sellers, James R.; Molloy, Justin E.

    2014-01-01

    Myosin-10 is an actin-based molecular motor that participates in essential intracellular processes such as filopodia formation/extension, phagocytosis, cell migration, and mitotic spindle maintenance. To study this motor protein’s mechano-chemical properties, we used a recombinant, truncated form of myosin-10 consisting of the first 936 amino acids, followed by a GCN4 leucine zipper motif, to force dimerization. Negative-stain electron microscopy reveals that the majority of molecules are dimeric with a head-to-head contour distance of ∼50 nm. In vitro motility assays show that myosin-10 moves actin filaments smoothly with a velocity of ∼310 nm/s. Steady-state and transient kinetic analysis of the ATPase cycle shows that the ADP release rate (∼13 s−1) is similar to the maximum ATPase activity (∼12–14 s−1) and therefore contributes to rate limitation of the enzymatic cycle. Single molecule optical tweezers experiments show that under intermediate load (∼0.5 pN), myosin-10 interacts intermittently with actin and produces a power stroke of ∼17 nm, composed of an initial 15-nm and subsequent 2-nm movement. At low optical trap loads, we observed staircase-like processive movements of myosin-10 interacting with the actin filament, consisting of up to six ∼35-nm steps per binding interaction. We discuss the implications of this load-dependent processivity of myosin-10 as a filopodial transport motor. PMID:24753602

  4. [The effect of the functional electrostimulation of rat fast and slow muscles on the structural state of actin in the thin filaments of a ghost muscle fiber].

    PubMed

    Kirillina, V P; Borovikov, Iu S; Szczepanowska, J; Carraro, U

    1992-01-01

    The effect of electrostimulation of fast (EDL) and slow (SOL) rat muscles on the orientation and mobility of fluorescent probes rhodamine-phalloidine and 1.5-IAEDANS (N-iodoacetyl-N'-(5-sulpho-1-naphtyl)-ethylenediamine), located in various parts of actin molecule, has been studied by polarized microfluorimetry techniques. Muscles were stimulated at 20 Hz with the pulse width of 0.3 msec, some muscles were treated for 6 h during the first day, the other muscles for 6 h a day during the next 4 days before glycerinization. Then muscle fibres freed by the extraction of myosin, tropomyosin and troponin (ghost fibres) were used. It was shown that the binding of myosin subfragment 1 (S1) to actin induced the changes in polarized fluorescence of the fibres. The analysis of the obtained data showed that the formation of actomyosin complex in stimulated muscles resulted in increasing the angle between the thin filaments and the emission dipole of rhodamine-phalloidine, as well as in decreasing the mobility of this dye. In the experiments with the 1.5-IAEDANS label, the angle of the emission dipole decreased, while the label mobility increased. It was suggested that the orientation of domains in actomyosin complex changes following the electrostimulation to affect both the conformational state of F-actin in thin filaments of ghost fibres and actin-myosin interaction.

  5. 40-kDa protein from thin filaments of the mussel Crenomytilus grayanus changes the conformation of F-actin during the ATPase cycle.

    PubMed

    Sirenko, V V; Simonyan, A H; Dobrzhanskaya, A V; Shelud'ko, N S; Borovikov, Y S

    2013-03-01

    Polarized fluorimetry was used to study in ghost muscle fibers the influence of a 40-kDa protein from the thin filaments of the mussel Crenomytilus grayanus on conformational changes of F-actin modified by the fluorescent probes 1,5-IAEDANS and FITC-phalloidin during myosin subfragment (S1) binding in the absence of nucleotides and in the presence of MgADP or MgATP. The fluorescence probes were rigidly bound with actin, which made the absorption and emission dipoles of the probes sensitive to changes in the orientation and mobility of both actin monomer and its subdomain-1 in thin filaments of the muscle fiber. On modeling different intermediate states of actomyosin, the orientation and mobility of oscillators of the dyes were changed discretely, which suggests multistep changes in the actin conformation during the cycle of ATP hydrolysis. The 40-kDa protein influenced the orientation and mobility of the fluorescent probes markedly, suppressing changes in their orientation and mobility in the absence of nucleotides and in the presence of MgADP, but enhancing these changes in the presence of MgATP. The calponin-like 40-kDa protein is supposed to prevent formation of the strong binding state of actomyosin in the absence of nucleotides and in the presence of MgADP but to activate formation of this state in the presence of MgATP.

  6. Mechanochemistry of protein 4.1's spectrin-actin-binding domain: ternary complex interactions, membrane binding, network integration, structural strengthening

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    Mechanical strength of the red cell membrane is dependent on ternary interactions among the skeletal proteins, spectrin, actin, and protein 4.1. Protein 4.1's spectrin-actin-binding (SAB) domain is specified by an alternatively spliced exon encoding 21 amino acid (aa) and a constitutive exon encoding 59 aa. A series of truncated SAB peptides were engineered to define the sequences involved in spectrin-actin interactions, and also membrane strength. Analysis of in vitro supramolecular assemblies showed that gelation activity of SAB peptides correlates with their ability to recruit a critical amount of spectrin into the complex to cross-link actin filaments. Also, several SAB peptides appeared to exhibit a weak, cooperative actin-binding activity which mapped to the first 26 residues of the constitutive 59 aa. Fluorescence-imaged microdeformation was used to show SAB peptide integration into the elastic skeletal network of spectrin, actin, and protein 4.1. In situ membrane-binding and membrane-strengthening abilities of the SAB peptides correlated with their in vitro gelation activity. The findings imply that sites for strong spectrin binding include both the alternative 21-aa cassette and a conserved region near the middle of the 59 aa. However, it is shown that only weak SAB affinity is necessary for physiologically relevant action. Alternatively spliced exons can thus translate into strong modulation of specific protein interactions, economizing protein function in the cell without, in and of themselves, imparting unique function. PMID:7642705

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

    PubMed

    Foissner, Ilse; Wasteneys, Geoffrey O

    2007-04-01

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

  8. The centrosome is an actin-organizing center

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. αT-Catenin Is a Constitutive Actin-binding α-Catenin That Directly Couples the Cadherin·Catenin Complex to Actin Filaments*

    PubMed Central

    Wickline, Emily D.; Dale, Ian W.; Merkel, Chelsea D.; Heier, Jonathon A.; Stolz, Donna B.

    2016-01-01

    α-Catenin is the primary link between the cadherin·catenin complex and the actin cytoskeleton. Mammalian αE-catenin is allosterically regulated: the monomer binds the β-catenin·cadherin complex, whereas the homodimer does not bind β-catenin but interacts with F-actin. As part of the cadherin·catenin complex, αE-catenin requires force to bind F-actin strongly. It is not known whether these properties are conserved across the mammalian α-catenin family. Here we show that αT (testes)-catenin, a protein unique to amniotes that is expressed predominantly in the heart, is a constitutive actin-binding α-catenin. We demonstrate that αT-catenin is primarily a monomer in solution and that αT-catenin monomer binds F-actin in cosedimentation assays as strongly as αE-catenin homodimer. The β-catenin·αT-catenin heterocomplex also binds F-actin with high affinity unlike the β-catenin·αE-catenin complex, indicating that αT-catenin can directly link the cadherin·catenin complex to the actin cytoskeleton. Finally, we show that a mutation in αT-catenin linked to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, V94D, promotes homodimerization, blocks β-catenin binding, and in cardiomyocytes disrupts localization at cell-cell contacts. Together, our data demonstrate that αT-catenin is a constitutively active actin-binding protein that can physically couple the cadherin·catenin complex to F-actin in the absence of tension. We speculate that these properties are optimized to meet the demands of cardiomyocyte adhesion. PMID:27231342

  11. 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

  12. Structural Polymorphism of the Actin-Espin System: A Prototypical System of Filaments and Linkers in Stereocilia

    SciTech Connect

    Purdy, Kirstin R.; Wong, Gerard C. L.; Bartles, James R.

    2007-02-02

    We examine the interaction between cytoskeletal F-actin and espin 3A, a prototypical actin bundling protein found in sensory cell microvilli, including ear cell stereocilia. Espin induces twist distortions in F-actin as well as facilitates bundle formation. Mutations in one of the two F-actin binding sites of espin, which have been implicated in deafness, can tune espin-actin interactions and radically transform the system's phase behavior. These results are compared to recent theoretical work on the general phase behavior linker-rod systems.

  13. Structural Polymorphism of the Actin-Espin System: A Prototypical System of Filaments and Linkers in Stereocilia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purdy, Kirstin R.; Bartles, James R.; Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2007-02-01

    We examine the interaction between cytoskeletal F-actin and espin 3A, a prototypical actin bundling protein found in sensory cell microvilli, including ear cell stereocilia. Espin induces twist distortions in F-actin as well as facilitates bundle formation. Mutations in one of the two F-actin binding sites of espin, which have been implicated in deafness, can tune espin-actin interactions and radically transform the system’s phase behavior. These results are compared to recent theoretical work on the general phase behavior linker-rod systems.

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

    PubMed

    Chesarone, Melissa A; Goode, Bruce L

    2009-02-01

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

  15. Incorporation and turnover of biotin-labeled actin microinjected into fibroblastic cells: an immunoelectron microscopic study

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    We investigated the mechanism of turnover of an actin microfilament system in fibroblastic cells on an electron microscopic level. A new derivative of actin was prepared by labeling muscle actin with biotin. Cultured fibroblastic cells were microinjected with biotinylated actin, and incorporated biotin-actin molecules were detected by immunoelectron microscopy using an anti-biotin antibody and a colloidal gold-labeled secondary antibody. We also analyzed the localization of injected biotin-actin molecules on a molecular level by freeze-drying techniques. Incorporation of biotin-actin was rapid in motile peripheral regions, such as lamellipodia and microspikes. At approximately 1 min after injection, biotin-actin molecules were mainly incorporated into the distal part of actin bundles in the microspikes. Heavily labeled actin filaments were also observed at the distal fringe of the densely packed actin networks in the lamellipodium. By 5 min after injection, most actin polymers in microspikes and lamellipodia were labeled uniformly. These findings suggest that actin subunits are added preferentially at the membrane-associated ends of preexisting actin filaments. At earlier times after injection, we often observed that the labeled segments were continuous with unlabeled segments, suggesting the incorporation of new subunits at the ends of preexisting filaments. Actin incorporation into stress fibers was a slower process. At 2-3 min after injection, microfilaments at the surface of stress fibers incorporated biotin-actin, but filaments in the core region of stress fibers did not. At 5-10 min after injection, increasing density of labeling along stress fibers toward their distal ends was observed. Stress fiber termini are generally associated with focal contacts. There was no rapid nucleation of actin filaments off the membrane of focal contacts and the pattern of actin incorporation at focal contacts was essentially identical to that into distal parts of stress fibers

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  17. Microrheology of single microtubule filaments and synthesized cytoskeletal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, Matthias; Rohrbach, Alexander

    2015-03-01

    The ability to sense and respond to external mechanical forces is crucial for cells in many processes such as cell growth and division. Common models on mechanotransduction rely on the conversion of mechanical stimuli to chemical signals in the cell periphery and their translocation by diffusion (passive) or molecular motors (active). These processes are rather slow (~ seconds) and it has been argued that the cytoskeleton itself might be able to transport a mechanical signal within microseconds via stress waves. Microtubules are the stiffest component of the cytoskeleton and thus ideal candidates for this purpose. We study the frequency dependent response of single microtubule filaments and small networks thereof in a bottom-up approach using several (N =2-10) time-multiplexed optical tweezers together with back focal plane interferometry. Small synthesized networks with a defined geometry are constructed using trapped Neutravidin beads as anchor points for biotinylated filaments. The network is then probed by a defined oscillation of one anchor (actor). The frequency dependent response of the remaining beads (sensors) is analyzed experimentally and modeled theoretically over a wide frequency range.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. Role and structural mechanism of WASP-triggered conformational changes in branched actin filament nucleation by Arp2/3 complex.

    PubMed

    Rodnick-Smith, Max; Luan, Qing; Liu, Su-Ling; Nolen, Brad J

    2016-07-01

    The Arp2/3 (Actin-related proteins 2/3) complex is activated by WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein) family proteins to nucleate branched actin filaments that are important for cellular motility. WASP recruits actin monomers to the complex and stimulates movement of Arp2 and Arp3 into a "short-pitch" conformation that mimics the arrangement of actin subunits within filaments. The relative contribution of these functions in Arp2/3 complex activation and the mechanism by which WASP stimulates the conformational change have been unknown. We purified budding yeast Arp2/3 complex held in or near the short-pitch conformation by an engineered covalent cross-link to determine if the WASP-induced conformational change is sufficient for activity. Remarkably, cross-linked Arp2/3 complex bypasses the need for WASP in activation and is more active than WASP-activated Arp2/3 complex. These data indicate that stimulation of the short-pitch conformation is the critical activating function of WASP and that monomer delivery is not a fundamental requirement for nucleation but is a specific requirement for WASP-mediated activation. During activation, WASP limits nucleation rates by releasing slowly from nascent branches. The cross-linked complex is inhibited by WASP's CA region, even though CA potently stimulates cross-linking, suggesting that slow WASP detachment masks the activating potential of the short-pitch conformational switch. We use structure-based mutations and WASP-Arp fusion chimeras to determine how WASP stimulates movement toward the short-pitch conformation. Our data indicate that WASP displaces the autoinhibitory Arp3 C-terminal tail from a hydrophobic groove at Arp3's barbed end to destabilize the inactive state, providing a mechanism by which WASP stimulates the short-pitch conformation and activates Arp2/3 complex. PMID:27325766

  20. Actin Filaments Are Involved in the Coupling of V0-V1 Domains of Vacuolar H+-ATPase at the Golgi Complex.

    PubMed

    Serra-Peinado, Carla; Sicart, Adrià; Llopis, Juan; Egea, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    We previously reported that actin-depolymerizing agents promote the alkalization of the Golgi stack and thetrans-Golgi network. The main determinant of acidic pH at the Golgi is the vacuolar-type H(+)-translocating ATPase (V-ATPase), whose V1domain subunitsBandCbind actin. We have generated a GFP-tagged subunitB2construct (GFP-B2) that is incorporated into the V1domain, which in turn is coupled to the V0sector. GFP-B2 subunit is enriched at distal Golgi compartments in HeLa cells. Subcellular fractionation, immunoprecipitation, and inversal FRAP experiments show that the actin depolymerization promotes the dissociation of V1-V0domains, which entails subunitB2translocation from Golgi membranes to the cytosol. Moreover, molecular interaction between subunitsB2andC1and actin were detected. In addition, Golgi membrane lipid order disruption byd-ceramide-C6 causes Golgi pH alkalization. We conclude that actin regulates the Golgi pH homeostasis maintaining the coupling of V1-V0domains of V-ATPase through the binding of microfilaments to subunitsBandCand preserving the integrity of detergent-resistant membrane organization. These results establish the Golgi-associated V-ATPase activity as the molecular link between actin and the Golgi pH. PMID:26872971

  1. Actin Filaments Are Involved in the Coupling of V0-V1 Domains of Vacuolar H+-ATPase at the Golgi Complex.

    PubMed

    Serra-Peinado, Carla; Sicart, Adrià; Llopis, Juan; Egea, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    We previously reported that actin-depolymerizing agents promote the alkalization of the Golgi stack and thetrans-Golgi network. The main determinant of acidic pH at the Golgi is the vacuolar-type H(+)-translocating ATPase (V-ATPase), whose V1domain subunitsBandCbind actin. We have generated a GFP-tagged subunitB2construct (GFP-B2) that is incorporated into the V1domain, which in turn is coupled to the V0sector. GFP-B2 subunit is enriched at distal Golgi compartments in HeLa cells. Subcellular fractionation, immunoprecipitation, and inversal FRAP experiments show that the actin depolymerization promotes the dissociation of V1-V0domains, which entails subunitB2translocation from Golgi membranes to the cytosol. Moreover, molecular interaction between subunitsB2andC1and actin were detected. In addition, Golgi membrane lipid order disruption byd-ceramide-C6 causes Golgi pH alkalization. We conclude that actin regulates the Golgi pH homeostasis maintaining the coupling of V1-V0domains of V-ATPase through the binding of microfilaments to subunitsBandCand preserving the integrity of detergent-resistant membrane organization. These results establish the Golgi-associated V-ATPase activity as the molecular link between actin and the Golgi pH.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Reconstitution and regulation of actin gel-sol transformation with purified filamin and villin.

    PubMed

    Nunnally, M H; Powell, L D; Craig, S W

    1981-03-10

    Gel-sol transformation of actin filaments, a process essential for cell motility, can be reconstituted in vitro and regulated in a predictable fashion by the combined action of villin and filamin. Measurements made in a low shear falling ball viscometer show that mixtures of actin, villin, and filamin exist either as a gel (yield point greater than or equal to 140 dynes/cm2) or as a low viscosity liquid depending on the relative ration of villin:actin. Filamin induces gelation of F-actin by forming stable cross-links between actin filaments. Villin inhibits filamin-induced F-actin gelation, but the effect can be overcome by increasing the amount of filamin. Sedimentation assays show that villin does not inhibit gelation of actin by preventing filamin from binding to F-actin. Results from viscosity measurements and filament length determinations show that villin increases actin filament number by reducing the average filament length without altering the total amount of polymer. Because the gel point of a fixed amount of polymer is sharply dependent on the ratio of cross-links to number of polymers, the solation effect of villin might be explained by its effect on filament number. Based on the network theory of gel formation, calculations of the amount of additional cross-linker required to overcome the effect of a known increase in the number of actin filaments agree reasonably well with experimental findings. These results document the existence of cellular proteins which could regulate gel-sol transformation in vivo by their effect on actin polymer length and, therefore, on actin filament number.

  4. [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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fallqvist, B; Kroon, M

    2013-04-01

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

  7. Tuning myosin-driven sorting on cellular actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Hariadi, Rizal F; Sommese, Ruth F; Sivaramakrishnan, Sivaraj

    2015-01-01

    Myosin V and VI are antagonistic motors that cohabit membrane vesicles in cells. A systematic study of their collective function, however, is lacking and forms the focus of this study. We functionally reconstitute a two-dimensional actin-myosin interface using myosin V and VI precisely patterned on DNA nanostructures, in combination with a model keratocyte actin meshwork. While scaffolds display solely unidirectional movement, their directional flux is modulated by both actin architecture and the structural properties of the myosin lever arm. This directional flux can be finely-tuned by the relative number of myosin V and VI motors on each scaffold. Pairing computation with experimental observations suggests that the ratio of motor stall forces is a key determinant of the observed competitive outcomes. Overall, our study demonstrates an elegant mechanism for sorting of membrane cargo using equally matched antagonistic motors, simply by modulating the relative number of engagement sites for each motor type. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05472.001 PMID:25738229

  8. Molecular origin of strain softening in cross-linked F-actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

    Two types of measurement are presented that relate molecular events to macroscopic behavior of F-actin networks. First, shear modulus is measured by oscillating an embedded microbead. Second, a microbead is translated at constant rate and transitions in the resisting force are observed. The loading rate dependence of the force at the transitions is similar to that of the molecular unbinding force, suggesting that they share a common origin. Reversibility tests of shear modulus provide further evidence that strain softening of F-actin networks is caused by force-induced rupture of cross-links.

  9. Phytoplasma infection in tomato is associated with re-organization of plasma membrane, ER stacks, and actin filaments in sieve elements

    PubMed Central

    Buxa, Stefanie V.; Degola, Francesca; Polizzotto, Rachele; De Marco, Federica; Loschi, Alberto; Kogel, Karl-Heinz; di Toppi, Luigi Sanità; van Bel, Aart J. E.; Musetti, Rita

    2015-01-01

    Phytoplasmas, biotrophic wall-less prokaryotes, only reside in sieve elements of their host plants. The essentials of the intimate interaction between phytoplasmas and their hosts are poorly understood, which calls for research on potential ultrastructural modifications. We investigated modifications of the sieve-element ultrastructure induced in tomato plants by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani,’ the pathogen associated with the stolbur disease. Phytoplasma infection induces a drastic re-organization of sieve-element substructures including changes in plasma membrane surface and distortion of the sieve-element reticulum. Observations of healthy and stolbur-diseased plants provided evidence for the emergence of structural links between sieve-element plasma membrane and phytoplasmas. One-sided actin aggregates on the phytoplasma surface also inferred a connection between phytoplasma and sieve-element cytoskeleton. Actin filaments displaced from the sieve-element mictoplasm to the surface of the phytoplasmas in infected sieve elements. Western blot analysis revealed a decrease of actin and an increase of ER-resident chaperone luminal binding protein (BiP) in midribs of phytoplasma-infected plants. Collectively, the studies provided novel insights into ultrastructural responses of host sieve elements to phloem-restricted prokaryotes. PMID:26347766

  10. Using the peptide BP100 as a cell-penetrating tool for the chemical engineering of actin filaments within living plant cells.

    PubMed

    Eggenberger, Kai; Mink, Christian; Wadhwani, Parvesh; Ulrich, Anne S; Nick, Peter

    2011-01-01

    The delivery of externally applied macromolecules or nanoparticles into living cells still represents a critically limiting step before the full capabilities of chemical engineering can be explored. Molecular transporters such as cell-penetrating peptides, peptoids, and other mimetics can be used to carry cargo across the cellular membrane, but it is still difficult to find suitable sequences that operate efficiently for any particular type of cell. Here we report that BP100 (KKLFKKILKYL-amide), originally designed as an antimicrobial peptide against plant pathogens, can be employed as a fast and efficient cell-penetrating agent to transport fluorescent test cargoes into the cytosol of walled plant cells. The uptake of BP100 proceeds slightly more slowly than the endocytosis of fluorescent dextranes, but BP100 accumulates more efficiently and to much higher levels (by an order of magnitude). The entry of BP100 can be efficiently blocked by latrunculin B; this suggests that actin filaments are essential to the uptake mechanism. To test whether this novel transporter can also be used to deliver functional cargoes, we designed a fusion construct of BP100 with the actin-binding Lifeact peptide (MGVADLIKKFESISKEE). We demonstrated that the short BP100 could transport the attached 17-residue sequence quickly and efficiently into tobacco cells. The Lifeact construct retained its functionality as it successfully labeled the actin bundles that tether the nucleus in the cell center.

  11. Intermediate filament mechanics in vitro and in the cell: from coiled coils to filaments, fibers and networks.

    PubMed

    Köster, Sarah; Weitz, David A; Goldman, Robert D; Aebi, Ueli; Herrmann, Harald

    2015-02-01

    Intermediate filament proteins form filaments, fibers and networks both in the cytoplasm and the nucleus of metazoan cells. Their general structural building plan accommodates highly varying amino acid sequences to yield extended dimeric α-helical coiled coils of highly conserved design. These 'rod' particles are the basic building blocks of intrinsically flexible, filamentous structures that are able to resist high mechanical stresses, that is, bending and stretching to a considerable degree, both in vitro and in the cell. Biophysical and computer modeling studies are beginning to unfold detailed structural and mechanical insights into these major supramolecular assemblies of cell architecture, not only in the 'test tube' but also in the cellular and tissue context.

  12. Intermediate filament mechanics in vitro and in the cell: From coiled coils to filaments, fibers and networks

    PubMed Central

    Köster, Sarah; Weitz, David; Goldman, Robert D.; Aebi, Ueli; Herrmann, Harald

    2015-01-01

    Summary Intermediate filament proteins form filaments, fibers and networks both in the cytoplasm and the nucleus of metazoan cells. Their general structural building plan accommodates highly varying amino acid sequences to yield extended dimeric α-helical coiled coils of highly conserved design. These “rod” particles are the basic building blocks of intrinsically flexible, filamentous structures that are able to resist high mechanical stresses, i.e. bending and stretching to a considerable degree, both in vitro and in the cell. Biophysical and computer modeling studies are beginning to unfold detailed structural and mechanical insights into these major supramolecular assemblies of cell architecture, not only in the “test tube” but also in the cellular and tissue context. PMID:25621895

  13. 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.

  14. Action of the mechanical disruption of the actin network on the gravisensitivity of the root statocyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefranc, A.; Jeune, B.; Driss-Ecole, D.; Perbal, G.

    The effects of the mechanical disruption of the thin actin network of statocytes on gravisensitivity have been studied on lentil roots. Seedling roots were first inverted for 7 min (root tip upward) and then placed in the downward (normal) position for 7 min before gravitropic stimulation in the horizontal position. The period of inversion allowed the amyloplasts to move from the distal part to the proximal part of the statocyte, but did not fully sediment. When the roots were returned to the tip down position, the amyloplasts moved toward the distal part, but also did not completely sediment by the time the roots were placed horizontally. Thus, in these roots the amyloplasts could be still moving toward the distal wall after they had been replaced in the normal position and the actin network should not be fully restored. Gravisensitivity was estimated by the analysis of the dose-response curves of vertical and treated (inverted and returned to downward position) roots. The only effect, which has been observed on treated roots, was a delay of graviresponse for about 1 min. Our interpretation of this result is that in vertical roots the amyloplasts can exert tensions in the actin network that are directly transmitted to mechanoreceptors located in the plasma membrane. In roots with a partially disrupted actin network, a delay of 1 min is necessary for the amyloplasts to activate mechanoreceptors.

  15. Purification of recombinant human and Drosophila septin hexamers for TIRF assays of actin-septin filament assembly.

    PubMed

    Mavrakis, M; Tsai, F-C; Koenderink, G H

    2016-01-01

    Septins are guanine nucleotide-binding proteins that are conserved from fungi to humans. Septins assemble into heterooligomeric complexes and higher-order structures with key roles in various cellular functions including cell migration and division. The mechanisms by which septins assemble and interact with other cytoskeletal elements like actin remain elusive. A powerful approach to address this question is by cell-free reconstitution of purified cytoskeletal proteins combined with fluorescence microscopy. Here, we describe procedures for the purification of recombinant Drosophila and human septin hexamers from Escherichia coli and reconstitution of actin-septin coassembly. These procedures can be used to compare assembly of Drosophila and human septins and their coassembly with the actin cytoskeleton by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. PMID:27473911

  16. Purification of recombinant human and Drosophila septin hexamers for TIRF assays of actin-septin filament assembly.

    PubMed

    Mavrakis, M; Tsai, F-C; Koenderink, G H

    2016-01-01

    Septins are guanine nucleotide-binding proteins that are conserved from fungi to humans. Septins assemble into heterooligomeric complexes and higher-order structures with key roles in various cellular functions including cell migration and division. The mechanisms by which septins assemble and interact with other cytoskeletal elements like actin remain elusive. A powerful approach to address this question is by cell-free reconstitution of purified cytoskeletal proteins combined with fluorescence microscopy. Here, we describe procedures for the purification of recombinant Drosophila and human septin hexamers from Escherichia coli and reconstitution of actin-septin coassembly. These procedures can be used to compare assembly of Drosophila and human septins and their coassembly with the actin cytoskeleton by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy.

  17. Single-Molecule Studies of Actin Assembly and Disassembly Factors

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Benjamin A.; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L.

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is very dynamic and highly regulated by multiple associated proteins in vivo. Understanding how this system of proteins functions in the processes of actin network assembly and disassembly requires methods to dissect the mechanisms of activity of individual factors and of multiple factors acting in concert. The advent of single-filament and single-molecule fluorescence imaging methods has provided a powerful new approach to discovering actin-regulatory activities and obtaining direct, quantitative insights into the pathways of molecular interactions that regulate actin network architecture and dynamics. Here we describe techniques for acquisition and analysis of single-molecule data, applied to the novel challenges of studying the filament assembly and disassembly activities of actin-associated proteins in vitro. We discuss the advantages of single-molecule analysis in directly visualizing the order of molecular events, measuring the kinetic rates of filament binding and dissociation, and studying the coordination among multiple factors. The methods described here complement traditional biochemical approaches in elucidating actin-regulatory mechanisms in reconstituted filamentous networks. PMID:24630103

  18. Reconstitution and Protein Composition Analysis of Endocytic Actin Patches

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  20. Reinforcing the LINC complex connection to actin filaments: the role of FHOD1 in TAN line formation and nuclear movement

    PubMed Central

    Antoku, Susumu; Zhu, Ruijun; Kutscheidt, Stefan; Fackler, Oliver T; Gundersen, Gregg G

    2015-01-01

    Positioning the nucleus is critical for many cellular processes including cell division, migration and differentiation. The linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex spans the inner and outer nuclear membranes and has emerged as a major factor in connecting the nucleus to the cytoskeleton for movement and positioning. Recently, we discovered that the diaphanous formin family member FHOD1 interacts with the LINC complex component nesprin-2 giant (nesprin-2G) and that this interaction plays essential roles in the formation of transmembrane actin-dependent nuclear (TAN) lines and nuclear movement during cell polarization in fibroblasts. We found that FHOD1 strengthens the connection between nesprin-2G and rearward moving dorsal actin cables by providing a second site of interaction between nesprin-2G and the actin cable. These results indicate that the LINC complex connection to the actin cytoskeleton can be enhanced by cytoplasmic factors and suggest a new model for TAN line formation. We discuss how the nesprin-2G-FHOD1 interaction may be regulated and its possible functional significance for development and disease. PMID:26083340

  1. Rickettsia Sca2 is a bacterial formin-like mediator of actin-based motility

    PubMed Central

    Haglund, Cat M.; Choe, Julie E.; Skau, Colleen T.; Kovar, David R.; Welch, Matthew D.

    2011-01-01

    Diverse intracellular pathogens subvert the host actin polymerization machinery to drive movement within and between cells during infection. Rickettsia in the spotted fever group (SFG) are Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens that undergo actin-based motility and assemble distinctive ‘comet tails’ that consist of long, unbranched actin filaments1,2. Despite this distinct organization, it was proposed that actin in Rickettsia comet tails is nucleated by the host Arp2/3 complex and the bacterial protein RickA, which assemble branched actin networks3,4. However, a second bacterial gene, sca2, was recently implicated in actin tail formation by R. rickettsii5. Here, we demonstrate that Sca2 is a bacterial actin-assembly factor that functionally mimics eukaryotic formin proteins. Sca2 nucleates unbranched actin filaments, processively associates with growing barbed ends, requires profilin for efficient elongation, and inhibits the activity of capping protein, all properties shared with formins. Sca2 localizes to the Rickettsia surface and is sufficient to promote the assembly of actin filaments in cytoplasmic extract. These results suggest that Sca2 mimics formins to determine the unique organization of actin filaments in Rickettsia tails and drive bacterial motility, independently of host nucleators. PMID:20972427

  2. Actin filament barbed-end capping activity in neutrophil lysates: the role of capping protein-beta 2.

    PubMed

    DiNubile, M J; Cassimeris, L; Joyce, M; Zigmond, S H

    1995-12-01

    A barbed-end capping activity was found in high speed supernates of neutrophils lysed in submicromolar calcium. In dilute supernate (> or = 100-fold dilution of cytoplasm), this activity accounted for most of the inhibition of barbed-end elongation of pyrenyl-G-actin from spectrin-F-actin seeds. Pointed-end elongation from gelsolin-capped F-actin seeds was not inhibited at comparable concentrations of supernate, thus excluding actin monomer sequestration as a cause of the observed inhibition. Most of the capping activity was due to capping protein-beta 2 (a homologue of cap Z). Thus, while immunoadsorption of > or = 95% of the gelsolin in the supernate did not decrease capping activity, immunoadsorption of capping protein-beta 2 reduced capping activity proportionally to the amount of capping protein-beta 2 adsorbed. Depletion of > 90% of capping protein-beta 2 from the supernate removed 90% of its capping activity. The functional properties of the capping activity were defined. The dissociation constant for binding to barbed ends (determined by steady state and kinetic analyses) was approximately 1-2 nM; the on-rate of capping was between 7 x 10(5) and 5 x 10(6) M-1 s-1; and the off-rate was approximately 2 x 10(-3) s-1. The concentration of capper free in the intact cell (determined by adsorption of supernate with spectrin-actin seeds) was estimated to be approximately 1-2 microM. Thus, there appeared to be enough high affinity capper to cap all the barbed ends in vivo. Nevertheless, immediately after lysis with detergent, neutrophils contained sites that nucleate barbed-end elongation of pyrenyl-G-actin. These barbed ends subsequently become capped with a time course and concentration dependence similar to that of spectrin-F-actin seeds in high speed supernates. These observations suggest that, despite the excess of high affinity capper, some ends either are not capped in vivo or are transiently uncapped upon lysis and dilution. PMID:8590796

  3. β-Spectrin regulates the hippo signaling pathway and modulates the basal actin network.

    PubMed

    Wong, Kenneth Kin Lam; Li, Wenyang; An, Yanru; Duan, Yangyang; Li, Zhuoheng; Kang, Yibin; Yan, Yan

    2015-03-01

    Emerging evidence suggests functional regulation of the Hippo pathway by the actin cytoskeleton, although the detailed molecular mechanism remains incomplete. In a genetic screen, we identified a requirement for β-Spectrin in the posterior follicle cells for the oocyte repolarization process during Drosophila mid-oogenesis. β-spectrin mutations lead to loss of Hippo signaling activity in the follicle cells. A similar reduction of Hippo signaling activity was observed after β-Spectrin knockdown in mammalian cells. We further demonstrated that β-spectrin mutations disrupt the basal actin network in follicle cells. The abnormal stress fiber-like actin structure on the basal side of follicle cells provides a likely link between the β-spectrin mutations and the loss of the Hippo signaling activity phenotype.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Subaxolemmal filamentous network in the giant nerve fiber of the squid (Loligo pealei L.) and its possible role in excitability

    PubMed Central

    1978-01-01

    A new technique utilizing the squid giant nerve fiber has been developed which permits direct examination of the inner face of the axolemma by scanning electron microscopy. The axoplasm was removed sequentially in a 15-mm long segment of the fiber by intracellular perfusion with a solution of KF, KCl, Ca++-containing seawater, or with pronase. The action potential of the fibers was monitored during these treatments. After brief prefixation in 1% paraformaldehyde and 1% glutaraldehyde, the perfused segment was opened by a lne could be related to information on the detailed morphology of the cytoplasmic face of the axolemma and the ectoplasm. The results obtained by scanning electron microscopy were further substantiated by transmission electron microscopy of thin sections. In addition, living axons were studied with polarized light during axoplasm removal, and the identification of actin by heavy meromyosin labeling and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was accomplished. These observations demonstrate that a three-dimensional network of interwoven filaments, consisting partly of an actinlike protein, is firmly attached to the axolemma. The axoplasmic face of fibers in which the filaments have been removed partially after perfusion with pronase displays smooth membranous blebs and large profiles which sppose the axolemma. In fibers where the excitability has been suppressed by pronase perfusion, approximately one-third of the inner face of the axolemma in the perfusion zone is free of filaments. It is hypothesized that the attachment of axoplasm filaments to the axolemma may have a role in the maintenance of the normal morphology of the axolemma, and, thus, in some aspect of excitability. PMID:690181

  6. Direct visualisation and kinetic analysis of normal and nemaline myopathy actin polymerisation using total internal reflection microscopy.

    PubMed

    Feng, Juan-Juan; Ushakov, Dmitry S; Ferenczi, Michael A; Laing, Nigel G; Nowak, Kristen J; Marston, Steven B

    2009-01-01

    Actin filaments were formed by elongation of pre-formed nuclei (short crosslinked actin-HMM complexes) that were attached to a microscope cover glass. By using TIRF illumination we could see actin filaments at high contrast despite the presence of 150 nM TRITC-phalloidin in the solution. Actin filaments showed rapid bending and translational movements due to Brownian motion but the presence of the methylcellulose polymer network constrained lateral movement away from the surface. Both the length and the number of filaments increased with time. Some filaments did not change length at all and some filaments joined up end-to-end (annealing). We did not see any decrease in filament length or filament breakage. For quantitative analysis of polymerisation time course we measured the contour length of all the filaments in a frame at a series of time points and also tracked the length of individual filaments over time. Elongation rate was the same measured by both methods (0.23 microm/min at 0.1 microM actin) and was up to 10 times faster than previously published measurements. The annealed filament population reached 30% of the total after 40 min. Polymerisation rate increased linearly with actin concentration. K(on) was 2.07 microm min(-1) microM(-1) (equivalent to 34.5 monomers s(-1) microM(-1)) and critical concentration was less than 20 nM. This technique was used to study polymerisation of a mutant actin (D286G) from a transgenic mouse model. D286G actin elongated at a 40% lower rate than non-transgenic actin.

  7. Spontaneous and X-Ray Triggered Crystallization at Long Range in Self-Assembling Filament Networks

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Honggang; Pashuck, Eugene T.; Velichko, Yuri S.; Weigand, Steven J.; Cheetham, Andrew G.; Newcomb, Christina J.; Stupp, Samuel I.

    2011-01-01

    We report here crystallization at long range in networks of like-charge supramolecular filaments mediated by repulsive forces. The crystallization is spontaneous beyond a given concentration of the molecules that form the filaments, but can be triggered by X-ray photons at lower concentrations. The crystalline domains formed by X-ray irradiation, with inter-filament separations of up to 320 angstroms, are stable for hours after the beam is turned off, and ions that screen charges on the filaments suppress ordering. We hypothesize that the stability of crystalline domains emerges from a balance of repulsive tensions linked to native or X-ray induced charges and the mechanical compressive entrapment of filaments within a network. Similar phenomena may occur naturally in the cytoskeleton of cells, and if induced externally in biological or artificial systems lead to possible biomedical and lithographic functions. PMID:20019248

  8. Golgi-derived vesicles from developing epithelial cells bind actin filaments and possess myosin-I as a cytoplasmically oriented peripheral membrane protein

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    In the intestinal brush border, the mechanoenzyme myosin-I links the microvillus core actin filaments with the plasma membrane. Previous immunolocalization shows that myosin-I is associated with vesicles in mature enterocytes (Drenckhahn, D., and R. Dermietzel. 1988. J. Cell Biol. 107:1037-1048) suggesting a potential role mediating vesicle motility. We now report that myosin-I is associated with Golgi-derived vesicles isolated from cells that are rapidly assembling brush borders in intestinal crypts. Crypt cells were isolated in hyperosmotic buffer, homogenized, and fractionated using differential- and equilibrium- density centrifugation. Fractions containing 50-100-nm vesicles, a similar size to those observed in situ, were identified by EM and were shown to contain myosin-I as demonstrated by immunoblotting and immunolabel negative staining. Galactosyltransferase, a marker enzyme for trans-Golgi membranes was present in these fractions, as was alkaline phosphatase, which is an apical membrane targeted enzyme. Galactosyltransferase was also present in vesicles immuno-purified with antibodies to myosin-I. Villin, a marker for potential contamination from fragmented microvilli, was absent. Myosin-I was found to reside on the vesicle "outer" or cytoplasmic surface for it was accessible to exogenous proteases and intact vesicles could be immunolabeled with myosin-I antibodies in solution. The bound myosin-I could be extracted from the vesicles using NaCl, KI and Na2CO3, suggesting that it is a vesicle peripheral membrane protein. These vesicles were shown to bundle actin filaments in an ATP-dependent manner. These results are consistent with a role for myosin-I as an apically targeted motor for vesicle translocation in epithelial cells. PMID:8416982

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

    PubMed

    Newsome, Timothy P; Marzook, N Bishara

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Disarrangement of actin filaments and Ca²⁺ gradient by CdCl₂ alters cell wall construction in Arabidopsis thaliana root hairs by inhibiting vesicular trafficking.

    PubMed

    Fan, Jun-Ling; Wei, Xue-Zhi; Wan, Li-Chuan; Zhang, Ling-Yun; Zhao, Xue-Qin; Liu, Wei-Zhong; Hao, Huai-Qin; Zhang, Hai-Yan

    2011-07-15

    Cadmium (Cd), one of the most toxic heavy metals, inhibits many cellular and physiological processes in plants. Here, the involvement of cytoplasmic Ca²⁺ gradient and actin filaments (AFs) in vesicular trafficking, cell wall deposition and tip growth was investigated during root (hair) development of Arabidopsis thaliana in response to CdCl₂ treatment. Seed germination and root elongation were prevented in a dose- and time-dependent manner by CdCl₂ treatment. Fluorescence labelling and non-invasive detection showed that CdCl₂ inhibited extracellular Ca²⁺ influx, promoted intracellular Ca²⁺ efflux, and disturbed the cytoplasmic tip-focused Ca²⁺ gradient. In vivo labelling revealed that CdCl₂ modified actin organization, which subsequently contributed to vesicle trafficking. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that CdCl₂ induced cytoplasmic vacuolization and was detrimental to organelles such as mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Finally, immunofluorescent labelling and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis indicated that configuration/distribution of cell wall components such as pectins and cellulose was significantly altered in response to CdCl₂. Our results indicate that CdCl₂ induces disruption of Ca²⁺ gradient and AFs affects the distribution of cell wall components in root hairs by disturbing vesicular trafficking in A. thaliana.

  11. Fascin 1 is an actin filament-bundling protein that regulates ectoplasmic specialization dynamics in the rat testis.

    PubMed

    Gungor-Ordueri, N Ece; Celik-Ozenci, Ciler; Cheng, C Yan

    2014-11-01

    In the testis, spermatids are polarized cells, with their heads pointing toward the basement membrane during maturation. This polarity is crucial to pack the maximal number of spermatids in the seminiferous epithelium so that millions of sperms can be produced daily. A loss of spermatid polarity is detected after rodents are exposed to toxicants (e.g., cadmium) or nonhormonal male contraceptives (e.g., adjudin), which is associated with a disruption on the expression and/or localization of polarity proteins. In the rat testis, fascin 1, an actin-bundling protein found in mammalian cells, was expressed by Sertoli and germ cells. Fascin 1 was a component of the ectoplasmic specialization (ES), a testis-specific anchoring junction known to confer spermatid adhesion and polarity. Its expression in the seminiferous epithelium was stage specific. Fascin 1 was localized to the basal ES at the Sertoli cell-cell interface of the blood-testis barrier in all stages of the epithelial cycle, except it diminished considerably at late stage VIII. Fascin 1 was highly expressed at the apical ES at stage VII-early stage VIII and restricted to the step 19 spermatids. Its knockdown by RNAi that silenced fascin 1 by ~70% in Sertoli cells cultured in vitro was found to perturb the tight junction-permeability barrier via a disruption of F-actin organization. Knockdown of fascin 1 in vivo by ~60-70% induced defects in spermatid polarity, which was mediated by a mislocalization and/or downregulation of actin-bundling proteins Eps8 and palladin, thereby impeding F-actin organization and disrupting spermatid polarity. In summary, these findings provide insightful information on spermatid polarity regulation.

  12. Fascin 1 is an actin filament-bundling protein that regulates ectoplasmic specialization dynamics in the rat testis

    PubMed Central

    Gungor-Ordueri, N. Ece; Celik-Ozenci, Ciler

    2014-01-01

    In the testis, spermatids are polarized cells, with their heads pointing toward the basement membrane during maturation. This polarity is crucial to pack the maximal number of spermatids in the seminiferous epithelium so that millions of sperms can be produced daily. A loss of spermatid polarity is detected after rodents are exposed to toxicants (e.g., cadmium) or nonhormonal male contraceptives (e.g., adjudin), which is associated with a disruption on the expression and/or localization of polarity proteins. In the rat testis, fascin 1, an actin-bundling protein found in mammalian cells, was expressed by Sertoli and germ cells. Fascin 1 was a component of the ectoplasmic specialization (ES), a testis-specific anchoring junction known to confer spermatid adhesion and polarity. Its expression in the seminiferous epithelium was stage specific. Fascin 1 was localized to the basal ES at the Sertoli cell-cell interface of the blood-testis barrier in all stages of the epithelial cycle, except it diminished considerably at late stage VIII. Fascin 1 was highly expressed at the apical ES at stage VII–early stage VIII and restricted to the step 19 spermatids. Its knockdown by RNAi that silenced fascin 1 by ∼70% in Sertoli cells cultured in vitro was found to perturb the tight junction-permeability barrier via a disruption of F-actin organization. Knockdown of fascin 1 in vivo by ∼60–70% induced defects in spermatid polarity, which was mediated by a mislocalization and/or downregulation of actin-bundling proteins Eps8 and palladin, thereby impeding F-actin organization and disrupting spermatid polarity. In summary, these findings provide insightful information on spermatid polarity regulation. PMID:25159326

  13. Loss of cargo binding in the human myosin VI deafness mutant (R1166X) leads to increased actin filament binding

    PubMed Central

    Arden, Susan D.; Tumbarello, David A.; Butt, Tariq; Kendrick-Jones, John; Buss, Folma

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in myosin VI have been associated with autosomal-recessive (DFNB37) and autosomal-dominant (DFNA22) deafness in humans. Here, we characterise an myosin VI nonsense mutation (R1166X) that was identified in a family with hereditary hearing loss in Pakistan. This mutation leads to the deletion of the C-terminal 120 amino acids of the myosin VI cargo-binding domain, which includes the WWY-binding motif for the adaptor proteins LMTK2, Tom1 as well as Dab2. Interestingly, compromising myosin VI vesicle-binding ability by expressing myosin VI with the R1166X mutation or with single point mutations in the adaptor-binding sites leads to increased F-actin binding of this myosin in vitro and in vivo. As our results highlight the importance of cargo attachment for regulating actin binding to the motor domain, we perform a detailed characterisation of adaptor protein binding and identify single amino acids within myosin VI required for binding to cargo adaptors. We not only show that the adaptor proteins can directly interact with the cargo-binding tail of myosin VI, but our in vitro studies also suggest that multiple adaptor proteins can bind simultaneously to non-overlapping sites in the myosin VI tail. In conclusion, our characterisation of the human myosin VI deafness mutant (R1166X) suggests that defects in cargo binding may leave myosin VI in a primed/activated state with an increased actin-binding ability. PMID:27474411

  14. Loss of cargo binding in the human myosin VI deafness mutant (R1166X) leads to increased actin filament binding.

    PubMed

    Arden, Susan D; Tumbarello, David A; Butt, Tariq; Kendrick-Jones, John; Buss, Folma

    2016-10-01

    Mutations in myosin VI have been associated with autosomal-recessive (DFNB37) and autosomal-dominant (DFNA22) deafness in humans. Here, we characterise an myosin VI nonsense mutation (R1166X) that was identified in a family with hereditary hearing loss in Pakistan. This mutation leads to the deletion of the C-terminal 120 amino acids of the myosin VI cargo-binding domain, which includes the WWY-binding motif for the adaptor proteins LMTK2, Tom1 as well as Dab2. Interestingly, compromising myosin VI vesicle-binding ability by expressing myosin VI with the R1166X mutation or with single point mutations in the adaptor-binding sites leads to increased F-actin binding of this myosin in vitro and in vivo As our results highlight the importance of cargo attachment for regulating actin binding to the motor domain, we perform a detailed characterisation of adaptor protein binding and identify single amino acids within myosin VI required for binding to cargo adaptors. We not only show that the adaptor proteins can directly interact with the cargo-binding tail of myosin VI, but our in vitro studies also suggest that multiple adaptor proteins can bind simultaneously to non-overlapping sites in the myosin VI tail. In conclusion, our characterisation of the human myosin VI deafness mutant (R1166X) suggests that defects in cargo binding may leave myosin VI in a primed/activated state with an increased actin-binding ability. PMID:27474411

  15. Identification of a hormone-regulated dynamic nuclear actin network associated with estrogen receptor alpha in human breast cancer cell nuclei.

    PubMed

    Ambrosino, Concetta; Tarallo, Roberta; Bamundo, Angela; Cuomo, Danila; Franci, Gianluigi; Nassa, Giovanni; Paris, Ornella; Ravo, Maria; Giovane, Alfonso; Zambrano, Nicola; Lepikhova, Tatiana; Jänne, Olli A; Baumann, Marc; Nyman, Tuula A; Cicatiello, Luigi; Weisz, Alessandro

    2010-06-01

    Estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) is a modular protein of the steroid/nuclear receptor family of transcriptional regulators that upon binding to the hormone undergoes structural changes, resulting in its nuclear translocation and docking to specific chromatin sites. In the nucleus, ERalpha assembles in multiprotein complexes that act as final effectors of estrogen signaling to the genome through chromatin remodeling and epigenetic modifications, leading to dynamic and coordinated regulation of hormone-responsive genes. Identification of the molecular partners of ERalpha and understanding their combinatory interactions within functional complexes is a prerequisite to define the molecular basis of estrogen control of cell functions. To this end, affinity purification was applied to map and characterize the ERalpha interactome in hormone-responsive human breast cancer cell nuclei. MCF-7 cell clones expressing human ERalpha fused to a tandem affinity purification tag were generated and used to purify native nuclear ER-containing complexes by IgG-Sepharose affinity chromatography and glycerol gradient centrifugation. Purified complexes were analyzed by two-dimensional DIGE and mass spectrometry, leading to the identification of a ligand-dependent multiprotein complex comprising beta-actin, myosins, and several proteins involved in actin filament organization and dynamics and/or known to participate in actin-mediated regulation of gene transcription, chromatin dynamics, and ribosome biogenesis. Time course analyses indicated that complexes containing ERalpha and actin are assembled in the nucleus early after receptor activation by ligands, and gene knockdown experiments showed that gelsolin and the nuclear isoform of myosin 1c are key determinants for assembly and/or stability of these complexes. Based on these results, we propose that the actin network plays a role in nuclear ERalpha actions in breast cancer cells, including coordinated regulation of target gene

  16. Cooperative symmetry-breaking by actin polymerization in a model for cell motility.

    PubMed

    van Oudenaarden, A; Theriot, J A

    1999-12-01

    Polymerizing networks of actin filaments are capable of exerting significant mechanical forces, used by eukaryotic cells and their prokaryotic pathogens to change shape or to move. Here we show that small beads coated uniformly with a protein that catalyses actin polymerization are initially surrounded by symmetrical clouds of actin filaments. This symmetry is broken spontaneously, after which the beads undergo directional motion. We have developed a stochastic theory, in which each actin filament is modelled as an elastic brownian ratchet, that quantitatively accounts for the observed emergent symmetry-breaking behaviour. Symmetry-breaking can only occur for polymers that have a significant subunit off-rate, such as the biopolymers actin and tubulin.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  18. Divalent cations crosslink vimentin intermediate filament tail domains to regulate network mechanics.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yi-Chia; Broedersz, Chase P; Rowat, Amy C; Wedig, Tatjana; Herrmann, Harald; Mackintosh, Frederick C; Weitz, David A

    2010-06-18

    Intermediate filament networks in the cytoplasm and nucleus are critical for the mechanical integrity of metazoan cells. However, the mechanism of crosslinking in these networks and the origins of their mechanical properties are not understood. Here, we study the elastic behavior of in vitro networks of the intermediate filament protein vimentin. Rheological experiments reveal that vimentin networks stiffen with increasing concentrations of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+), showing that divalent cations act as crosslinkers. We quantitatively describe the elastic response of vimentin networks over five decades of applied stress using a theory that treats the divalent cations as crosslinkers: at low stress, the behavior is entropic in origin, and increasing stress pulls out thermal fluctuations from single filaments, giving rise to a nonlinear response; at high stress, enthalpic stretching of individual filaments significantly modifies the nonlinearity. We investigate the elastic properties of networks formed by a series of protein variants with stepwise tail truncations and find that the last 11 amino acids of the C-terminal tail domain mediate crosslinking by divalent ions. We determined the single-filament persistence length, l(P) approximately 0.5 mum, and Young's modulus, Y approximately 9 MPa; both are consistent with literature values. Our results provide insight into a crosslinking mechanism for vimentin networks and suggest that divalent ions may help regulate the cytoskeletal structure and mechanical properties of cells.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Intermediate Filaments as Organizers of Cellular Space: How They Affect Mitochondrial Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Nicole; Leube, Rudolf E.

    2016-01-01

    Intermediate filaments together with actin filaments and microtubules form the cytoskeleton, which is a complex and highly dynamic 3D network. Intermediate filaments are the major mechanical stress protectors but also affect cell growth, differentiation, signal transduction, and migration. Using intermediate filament-mitochondrial crosstalk as a prominent example, this review emphasizes the importance of intermediate filaments as crucial organizers of cytoplasmic space to support these functions. We summarize observations in different mammalian cell types which demonstrate how intermediate filaments influence mitochondrial morphology, subcellular localization, and function through direct and indirect interactions and how perturbations of these interactions may lead to human diseases. PMID:27399781

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

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

  3. Activation of 5-HT7 receptor stimulates neurite elongation through mTOR, Cdc42 and actin filaments dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Speranza, Luisa; Giuliano, Teresa; Volpicelli, Floriana; De Stefano, M. Egle; Lombardi, Loredana; Chambery, Angela; Lacivita, Enza; Leopoldo, Marcello; Bellenchi, Gian C.; di Porzio, Umberto; Crispino, Marianna; Perrone-Capano, Carla

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that the serotonin receptor subtype 7 (5-HT7R) plays a crucial role in shaping neuronal morphology during embryonic and early postnatal life. Here we show that pharmacological stimulation of 5-HT7R using a highly selective agonist, LP-211, enhances neurite outgrowth in neuronal primary cultures from the cortex, hippocampus and striatal complex of embryonic mouse brain, through multiple signal transduction pathways. All these signaling systems, involving mTOR, the Rho GTPase Cdc42, Cdk5, and ERK, are known to converge on the reorganization of cytoskeletal proteins that subserve neurite outgrowth. Indeed, our data indicate that neurite elongation stimulated by 5-HT7R is modulated by drugs affecting actin polymerization. In addition, we show, by 2D Western blot analyses, that treatment of neuronal cultures with LP-211 alters the expression profile of cofilin, an actin binding protein involved in microfilaments dynamics. Furthermore, by using microfluidic chambers that physically separate axons from the soma and dendrites, we demonstrate that agonist-dependent activation of 5-HT7R stimulates axonal elongation. Our results identify for the first time several signal transduction pathways, activated by stimulation of 5-HT7R, that converge to promote cytoskeleton reorganization and consequent modulation of axonal elongation. Therefore, the activation of 5-HT7R might represent one of the key elements regulating CNS connectivity and plasticity during development. PMID:25814944

  4. Activation of 5-HT7 receptor stimulates neurite elongation through mTOR, Cdc42 and actin filaments dynamics.

    PubMed

    Speranza, Luisa; Giuliano, Teresa; Volpicelli, Floriana; De Stefano, M Egle; Lombardi, Loredana; Chambery, Angela; Lacivita, Enza; Leopoldo, Marcello; Bellenchi, Gian C; di Porzio, Umberto; Crispino, Marianna; Perrone-Capano, Carla

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that the serotonin receptor subtype 7 (5-HT7R) plays a crucial role in shaping neuronal morphology during embryonic and early postnatal life. Here we show that pharmacological stimulation of 5-HT7R using a highly selective agonist, LP-211, enhances neurite outgrowth in neuronal primary cultures from the cortex, hippocampus and striatal complex of embryonic mouse brain, through multiple signal transduction pathways. All these signaling systems, involving mTOR, the Rho GTPase Cdc42, Cdk5, and ERK, are known to converge on the reorganization of cytoskeletal proteins that subserve neurite outgrowth. Indeed, our data indicate that neurite elongation stimulated by 5-HT7R is modulated by drugs affecting actin polymerization. In addition, we show, by 2D Western blot analyses, that treatment of neuronal cultures with LP-211 alters the expression profile of cofilin, an actin binding protein involved in microfilaments dynamics. Furthermore, by using microfluidic chambers that physically separate axons from the soma and dendrites, we demonstrate that agonist-dependent activation of 5-HT7R stimulates axonal elongation. Our results identify for the first time several signal transduction pathways, activated by stimulation of 5-HT7R, that converge to promote cytoskeleton reorganization and consequent modulation of axonal elongation. Therefore, the activation of 5-HT7R might represent one of the key elements regulating CNS connectivity and plasticity during development.

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

    PubMed Central

    Murrell, Michael P.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2012-01-01

    Here we develop a minimal model of the cell actomyosin cortex by forming a quasi-2D cross-linked filamentous actin (F-actin) network adhered to a model cell membrane and contracted by myosin thick filaments. Myosin motors generate both compressive and tensile stresses on F-actin and consequently induce large bending fluctuations, which reduces their effective persistence length to <1 μm. Over a large range of conditions, we show the extent of network contraction corresponds exactly to the extent of individual F-actin shortening via buckling. This demonstrates an essential role of buckling in breaking the symmetry between tensile and compressive stresses to facilitate mesoscale network contraction of up to 80% strain. Portions of buckled F-actin with a radius of curvature ∼300 nm are prone to severing and thus compressive stresses mechanically coordinate contractility with F-actin severing, the initial step of F-actin turnover. Finally, the F-actin curvature acquired by myosin-induced stresses can be further constrained by adhesion of the network to a membrane, accelerating filament severing but inhibiting the long-range transmission of the stresses necessary for network contractility. Thus, the extent of membrane adhesion can regulate the coupling between network contraction and F-actin severing. These data demonstrate the essential role of the nonlinear response of F-actin to compressive stresses in potentiating both myosin-mediated contractility and filament severing. This may serve as a general mechanism to mechanically coordinate contractility and cortical dynamics across diverse actomyosin assemblies in smooth muscle and nonmuscle cells. PMID:23213249

  6. Role of Turnover in Active Stress Generation in a Filament Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiraiwa, Tetsuya; Salbreux, Guillaume

    2016-05-01

    We study the effect of turnover of cross-linkers, motors, and filaments on the generation of a contractile stress in a network of filaments connected by passive cross-linkers and subjected to the forces exerted by molecular motors. We perform numerical simulations where filaments are treated as rigid rods and molecular motors move fast compared to the time scale of an exchange of cross-linkers. We show that molecular motors create a contractile stress above a critical number of cross-linkers. When passive cross-linkers are allowed to turn over, the stress exerted by the network vanishes due to the formation of clusters. When both filaments and passive cross-linkers turn over, clustering is prevented and the network reaches a dynamic contractile steady state. A maximum stress is reached for an optimum ratio of the filament and cross-linker turnover rates. Taken together, our work reveals conditions for stress generation by molecular motors in a fluid isotropic network of rearranging filaments.

  7. Role of turnover in active stress generation in a filament network

    PubMed Central

    Hiraiwa, Tetsuya; Salbreux, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    We study the effect of turnover of cross-linkers, motors, and filaments on the generation of a contractile stress in a network of filaments connected by passive cross-linkers and subjected to the forces exerted by molecular motors. We perform numerical simulations where filaments are treated as rigid rods and molecular motors move fast compared to the time scale of an exchange of cross-linkers. We show that molecular motors create a contractile stress above a critical number of cross-linkers. When passive cross-linkers are allowed to turn over, the stress exerted by the network vanishes due to the formation of clusters. When both filaments and passive cross-linkers turn over, clustering is prevented and the network reaches a dynamic contractile steady state. A maximum stress is reached for an optimum ratio of the filament and cross-linker turnover rates. Taken together, our work reveals conditions for stress generation by molecular motors in a fluid isotropic network of rearranging filaments. PMID:27203344

  8. Role of Active Contraction and Tropomodulins in Regulating Actin Filament Length and Sarcomere Structure in Developing Zebrafish Skeletal Muscle.

    PubMed

    Mazelet, Lise; Parker, Matthew O; Li, Mei; Arner, Anders; Ashworth, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    Whilst it is recognized that contraction plays an important part in maintaining the structure and function of mature skeletal muscle, its role during development remains undefined. In this study the role of movement in skeletal muscle maturation was investigated in intact zebrafish embryos using a combination of genetic and pharmacological approaches. An immotile mutant line (cacnb1 (ts25) ) which lacks functional voltage-gated calcium channels (dihydropyridine receptors) in the muscle and pharmacological immobilization of embryos with a reversible anesthetic (Tricaine), allowed the study of paralysis (in mutants and anesthetized fish) and recovery of movement (reversal of anesthetic treatment). The effect of paralysis in early embryos (aged between 17 and 24 hours post-fertilization, hpf) on skeletal muscle structure at both myofibrillar and myofilament level was determined using both immunostaining with confocal microscopy and small angle X-ray diffraction. The consequences of paralysis and subsequent recovery on the localization of the actin capping proteins Tropomodulin 1 & 4 (Tmod) in fish aged from 17 hpf until 42 hpf was also assessed. The functional consequences of early paralysis were investigated by examining the mechanical properties of the larval muscle. The length-force relationship, active and passive tension, was measured in immotile, recovered and control skeletal muscle at 5 and 7 day post-fertilization (dpf). Recovery of muscle function was also assessed by examining swimming patterns in recovered and control fish. Inhibition of the initial embryonic movements (up to 24 hpf) resulted in an increase in myofibril length and a decrease in width followed by almost complete recovery in both moving and paralyzed fish by 42 hpf. In conclusion, myofibril organization is regulated by a dual mechanism involving movement-dependent and movement-independent processes. The initial contractile event itself drives the localization of Tmod1 to its sarcomeric

  9. Role of Active Contraction and Tropomodulins in Regulating Actin Filament Length and Sarcomere Structure in Developing Zebrafish Skeletal Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Mazelet, Lise; Parker, Matthew O.; Li, Mei; Arner, Anders; Ashworth, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    Whilst it is recognized that contraction plays an important part in maintaining the structure and function of mature skeletal muscle, its role during development remains undefined. In this study the role of movement in skeletal muscle maturation was investigated in intact zebrafish embryos using a combination of genetic and pharmacological approaches. An immotile mutant line (cacnb1ts25) which lacks functional voltage-gated calcium channels (dihydropyridine receptors) in the muscle and pharmacological immobilization of embryos with a reversible anesthetic (Tricaine), allowed the study of paralysis (in mutants and anesthetized fish) and recovery of movement (reversal of anesthetic treatment). The effect of paralysis in early embryos (aged between 17 and 24 hours post-fertilization, hpf) on skeletal muscle structure at both myofibrillar and myofilament level was determined using both immunostaining with confocal microscopy and small angle X-ray diffraction. The consequences of paralysis and subsequent recovery on the localization of the actin capping proteins Tropomodulin 1 & 4 (Tmod) in fish aged from 17 hpf until 42 hpf was also assessed. The functional consequences of early paralysis were investigated by examining the mechanical properties of the larval muscle. The length-force relationship, active and passive tension, was measured in immotile, recovered and control skeletal muscle at 5 and 7 day post-fertilization (dpf). Recovery of muscle function was also assessed by examining swimming patterns in recovered and control fish. Inhibition of the initial embryonic movements (up to 24 hpf) resulted in an increase in myofibril length and a decrease in width followed by almost complete recovery in both moving and paralyzed fish by 42 hpf. In conclusion, myofibril organization is regulated by a dual mechanism involving movement-dependent and movement-independent processes. The initial contractile event itself drives the localization of Tmod1 to its sarcomeric position

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Filament networks attached to membranes: cytoskeletal pressure and local bilayer deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auth, Thorsten; Safran, S. A.; Gov, Nir S.

    2007-11-01

    Several cell types, among them red blood cells, have a cortical, two-dimensional (2D) network of filaments sparsely attached to their lipid bilayer. In many mammalian cells, this 2D polymer network is connected to an underlying 3D, more rigid cytoskeleton. In this paper, we consider the pressure exerted by the thermally fluctuating, cortical network of filaments on the bilayer and predict the bilayer deformations that are induced by this pressure. We treat the filaments as flexible polymers and calculate the pressure that a network of such linear chains exerts on the bilayer; we then minimize the bilayer shape in order to predict the resulting local deformations. We compare our predictions with membrane deformations observed in electron micrographs of red blood cells. The polymer pressure along with the resulting membrane deformation can lead to compartmentalization, regulate in-plane diffusion and may influence protein sorting as well as transmit signals to the polymerization of the underlying 3D cytoskeleton.

  12. Viscoelasticity of entangled actin networks studied by long-pulse magnetic bead microrheometry.

    PubMed

    Uhde, Jorg; Ter-Oganessian, Nikita; Pink, David A; Sackmann, Erich; Boulbitch, Alexei

    2005-12-01

    We studied the viscoelastic response of entangled actin networks using embedded microbeads driven by force pulses with amplitudes in the range from 3 to 120 pN and durations up to 60 s. We distinguished three regimes in the time dependence of the compliance J(t) of the network. These were characterized by specific power laws J(t) approximately t(alpha)(i) (i=1, 2, 3). In the short-time regime (i=1), we observed the exponent alpha1 approximately 0.75. In the long-time regime (i=3), we find that alpha3 approximately 1. For the intermediate-time interval (i=2), we observed a novel dynamic regime: for all actin concentrations and all applied forces, it was characterized by the exponent alpha3 approximately 0.5. In both regimes i=2 and i=3, the compliance depended upon the actin concentration c, such as J approximately c(-gamma)(i) with gamma2 approximately 1.1 and gamma 3 approximately 1.4. Using these results, we calculated the shear modulus in the frequency domain and found that the intermediate-time regime in the t domain corresponds to its plateau behavior. PMID:16485983

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. A 'hot-spot' mutation alters the mechanical properties of keratin filament networks.

    PubMed

    Ma, L; Yamada, S; Wirtz, D; Coulombe, P A

    2001-05-01

    Keratins 5 and 14 polymerize to form the intermediate filament network in the progenitor basal cells of many stratified epithelia including epidermis, where it provides crucial mechanical support. Inherited mutations in K5 or K14 result in epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), a skin-fragility disorder. The impact that such mutations exert on the intrinsic mechanical properties of K5/K14 filaments is unknown. Here we show, by using differential interference contrast microscopy, that a 'hot-spot' mutation in K14 greatly reduces the ability of reconstituted mutant filaments to bundle under crosslinking conditions. Rheological assays measure similar small-deformation mechanical responses for crosslinked solutions of wild-type and mutant keratins. The mutation, however, markedly reduces the resilience of crosslinked networks against large deformations. Single-particle tracking, which probes the local organization of filament networks, shows that the mutant polymer exhibits highly heterogeneous structures compared to those of wild-type filaments. Our results indicate that the fragility of epithelial cells expressing mutant keratin may result from an impaired ability of keratin polymers to be crosslinked into a functional network. PMID:11331879

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  16. Regulation of cell proliferation by ERK and signal-dependent nuclear translocation of ERK is dependent on Tm5NM1-containing actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Schevzov, Galina; Kee, Anthony J; Wang, Bin; Sequeira, Vanessa B; Hook, Jeff; Coombes, Jason D; Lucas, Christine A; Stehn, Justine R; Musgrove, Elizabeth A; Cretu, Alexandra; Assoian, Richard; Fath, Thomas; Hanoch, Tamar; Seger, Rony; Pleines, Irina; Kile, Benjamin T; Hardeman, Edna C; Gunning, Peter W

    2015-07-01

    ERK-regulated cell proliferation requires multiple phosphorylation events catalyzed first by MEK and then by casein kinase 2 (CK2), followed by interaction with importin7 and subsequent nuclear translocation of pERK. We report that genetic manipulation of a core component of the actin filaments of cancer cells, the tropomyosin Tm5NM1, regulates the proliferation of normal cells both in vitro and in vivo. Mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking Tm5NM1, which have reduced proliferative capacity, are insensitive to inhibition of ERK by peptide and small-molecule inhibitors, indicating that ERK is unable to regulate proliferation of these knockout (KO) cells. Treatment of wild-type MEFs with a CK2 inhibitor to block phosphorylation of the nuclear translocation signal in pERK resulted in greatly decreased cell proliferation and a significant reduction in the nuclear translocation of pERK. In contrast, Tm5NM1 KO MEFs, which show reduced nuclear translocation of pERK, were unaffected by inhibition of CK2. This suggested that it is nuclear translocation of CK2-phosphorylated pERK that regulates cell proliferation and this capacity is absent in Tm5NM1 KO cells. Proximity ligation assays confirmed a growth factor-stimulated interaction of pERK with Tm5NM1 and that the interaction of pERK with importin7 is greatly reduced in the Tm5NM1 KO cells.

  17. FMNL2 drives actin-based protrusion and migration downstream of Cdc42.

    PubMed

    Block, Jennifer; Breitsprecher, Dennis; Kühn, Sonja; Winterhoff, Moritz; Kage, Frieda; Geffers, Robert; Duwe, Patrick; Rohn, Jennifer L; Baum, Buzz; Brakebusch, Cord; Geyer, Matthias; Stradal, Theresia E B; Faix, Jan; Rottner, Klemens

    2012-06-01

    Cell migration entails protrusion of lamellipodia, densely packed networks of actin filaments at the cell front. Filaments are generated by nucleation, likely mediated by Arp2/3 complex and its activator Scar/WAVE. It is unclear whether formins contribute to lamellipodial actin filament nucleation or serve as elongators of filaments nucleated by Arp2/3 complex. Here we show that the Diaphanous-related formin FMNL2, also known as FRL3 or FHOD2, accumulates at lamellipodia and filopodia tips. FMNL2 is cotranslationally modified by myristoylation and regulated by interaction with the Rho-guanosine triphosphatase Cdc42. Abolition of myristoylation or Cdc42 binding interferes with proper FMNL2 activation, constituting an essential prerequisite for subcellular targeting. In vitro, C-terminal FMNL2 drives elongation rather than nucleation of actin filaments in the presence of profilin. In addition, filament ends generated by Arp2/3-mediated branching are captured and efficiently elongated by the formin. Consistent with these biochemical properties, RNAi-mediated silencing of FMNL2 expression decreases the rate of lamellipodia protrusion and, accordingly, the efficiency of cell migration. Our data establish that the FMNL subfamily member FMNL2 is a novel elongation factor of actin filaments that constitutes the first Cdc42 effector promoting cell migration and actin polymerization at the tips of lamellipodia. PMID:22608513

  18. Actin filaments participate in the relocalization of phosphatidylinositol3-kinase to glucose transporter-containing compartments and in the stimulation of glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Q; Bilan, P J; Tsakiridis, T; Hinek, A; Klip, A

    1998-01-01

    Insulin stimulates the rate of glucose uptake into muscle and adipose cells by translocation of glucose transporters from an intracellular storage pool to the plasma membrane. This event requires the prior activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase). Here we report that insulin causes an increase in wortmannin-sensitive PI 3-kinase activity and a gain in the enzyme's regulatory and catalytic subunits p85alpha and p110beta (but not p110alpha) in the intracellular compartments containing glucose transporters. The hormone also caused a marked reorganization of actin filaments, which was prevented by cytochalasin D. Cytochalasin D also decreased significantly the insulin-dependent association of PI 3-kinase activity and the levels of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1, p85alpha and p110beta with immunopurified GLUT4-containing compartments. In contrast, the drug did not alter the insulin-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS-1, the association of PI 3-kinase with IRS-1, or the stimulation of PI 3-kinase by insulin in anti-(IRS-1) or anti-p85 immunoprecipitates from whole cell lysates. Cytochalasin D, and the chemically unrelated latrunculin B, which also inhibits actin filament reassembly, prevented the insulin stimulation of glucose transport by approx. 50%. Cytochalasin D decreased by about one-half the insulin-dependent translocation to the plasma membrane of the GLUT1 and GLUT4 glucose transporters. The results suggest that the existence of intact actin filament is correlated with the full recruitment of glucose transporters by insulin. The underlying function of the actin filaments might be to facilitate the insulin-mediated association of the p85-p110 PI 3-kinase with glucose-transporter-containing compartments. PMID:9560323

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Moseley, James B.; Goode, Bruce L.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-20

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

  3. Structural insights into de novo actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Inroads into the Structure and Function of Intermediate Filament Networks

    PubMed Central

    Goldman, Robert D.; Cleland, Megan M.; Murthy, Prasanna; Mahammad, Saleemulla; Kuczmarski, Edward R.

    2011-01-01

    Although intermediate filaments are one of three major cytoskeletal systems of vertebrate cells, they remain the least understood with respect to their structure and function. This is due in part to the fact that they are encoded by a large gene family which is developmentally regulated in a cell and tissue type specific fashion. This article is in honor of Ueli Aebi. It highlights the studies on IF that have been carried out by our laboratory for more than 40 years. Many of our advances in understanding IF are based on conversations with Ueli which have taken place during adventurous and sometimes dangerous hiking and biking trips throughout the world. PMID:22120848

  5. Polymerization of Actin from Maize Pollen.

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Concentration profiles of actin-binding molecules in lamellipodia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcke, Martin

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Co-option of the polarity gene network shapes filament morphology in angiosperms.

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Ana Maria Rocha; Yockteng, Roxana; Schnable, James; Alvarez-Buylla, Elena R; Freeling, Michael; Specht, Chelsea D

    2014-08-29

    The molecular genetic mechanisms underlying abaxial-adaxial polarity in plants have been studied as a property of lateral and flattened organs, such as leaves. In leaves, laminar expansion occurs as a result of balanced abaxial-adaxial gene expression. Over- or under- expression of either abaxializing or adaxializing genes inhibits laminar growth, resulting in a mutant radialized phenotype. Here, we show that co-option of the abaxial-adaxial polarity gene network plays a role in the evolution of stamen filament morphology in angiosperms. RNA-Seq data from species bearing laminar (flattened) or radial (cylindrical) filaments demonstrates that species with laminar filaments exhibit balanced expression of abaxial-adaxial (ab-ad) genes, while overexpression of a YABBY gene is found in species with radial filaments. This result suggests that unbalanced expression of ab-ad genes results in inhibition of laminar outgrowth, leading to a radially symmetric structure as found in many angiosperm filaments. We anticipate that co-option of the polarity gene network is a fundamental mechanism shaping many aspects of plant morphology during angiosperm evolution.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-11-25

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

  11. Monitoring the integrity of filament-wound structures using built-in sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Mark; Kumar, Amrita; Qing, Xinlin; Beard, Shawn J.; Russell, Samuel S.; Walker, James L.; Delay, Thomas K.

    2003-08-01

    Monitoring the integrity of filament wound composite structures such as solid rocket motors and liquid fuel bottles is important in order to prevent catastrophic failures and to prolong the service life of these structures. To ensure the safety and reliability of rocket components, they require frequent inspection for structural damages that might have occurred during manufacturing, transportation, and storage. The timely and accurate detection, characterization and monitoring of structural cracking, delamination, debonding and other types of damage is a major concern in the operational environment. Utilization of a sensor network system integrated with the structure itself can greatly reduce this inspection burden through fast in-situ data collection and processing. Acellent Technologies, Inc. is currently developing integrated structural monitoring tools for continuous monitoring of composite and metal structures on aircraft and spacecraft. Acellent's integrated structural monitoring system consists of a flexible sensor/actuator network layer called the SMART Layer, supporting diagnostic hardware, and data processing/analysis software. Recently, Acellent has been working with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to develop ways of embedding the SMART Layer inside filament wound composite bottles. SMART Layers were designed and manufactured for the filament wound bottles and embedded in them during the filament winding process. Acellent has been working on developing a complete structural health monitoring system for the filament wound bottles including data processing tools to interpret the changes in sensor signal caused by changes in the structural condition or material property. A prototype of a filament wound composite bottle with an embedded sensor network has been fabricated and preliminary data analysis tools have been developed.

  12. Covisualization in living onion cells of putative integrin, putative spectrin, actin, putative intermediate filaments, and other proteins at the cell membrane and in an endomembrane sheath

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reuzeau, C.; Doolittle, K. W.; McNally, J. G.; Pickard, B. G.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Covisualizations with wide-field computational optical-sectioning microscopy of living epidermal cells of the onion bulb scale have evidenced two major new cellular features. First, a sheath of cytoskeletal elements clads the endomembrane system. Similar elements clad the inner faces of punctate plasmalemmal sites interpreted as plasmalemmal control centers. One component of the endomembrane sheath and plasmalemmal control center cladding is anti-genicity-recognized by two injected antibodies against animal spectrin. Immunoblots of separated epidermal protein also showed bands recognized by these antibodies. Injected phalloidin identified F-actin with the same cellular distribution pattern, as did antibodies against intermediate-filament protein and other cytoskeletal elements known from animal cells. Injection of general protein stains demonstrated the abundance of endomembrane sheath protein. Second, the endomembrane system, like the plasmalemmal puncta, contains antigen recognized by an anti-beta 1 integrin injected into the cytoplasm. Previously, immunoblots of separated epidermal protein were shown to have a major band recognized both by this antibody prepared against a peptide representing the cytosolic region of beta 1 integrin and an antibody against the matrix region of beta 1 integrin. The latter antiboby also identified puncta at the external face of protoplasts. It is proposed that integrin and associated transmembrane proteins secure the endomembrane sheath and transmit signals between it and the lumen or matrix of the endoplasmic reticulum and organellar matrices. This function is comparable to that proposed for such transmembrane linkers in the plasmalemmal control centers, which also appear to bind cytoskeleton and a host of related molecules and transmit signals between them and the wall matrix. It is at the plasmalemmal control centers that the endoplasmic reticulum, a major component of the endomembrane system, attaches to the plasma membrane.

  13. Covisualization in living onion cells of putative integrin, putative spectrin, actin, putative intermediate filaments, and other proteins at the cell membrane and in an endomembrane sheath.

    PubMed

    Reuzeau, C; Doolittle, K W; McNally, J G; Pickard, B G

    1997-01-01

    Covisualizations with wide-field computational optical-sectioning microscopy of living epidermal cells of the onion bulb scale have evidenced two major new cellular features. First, a sheath of cytoskeletal elements clads the endomembrane system. Similar elements clad the inner faces of punctate plasmalemmal sites interpreted as plasmalemmal control centers. One component of the endomembrane sheath and plasmalemmal control center cladding is anti-genicity-recognized by two injected antibodies against animal spectrin. Immunoblots of separated epidermal protein also showed bands recognized by these antibodies. Injected phalloidin identified F-actin with the same cellular distribution pattern, as did antibodies against intermediate-filament protein and other cytoskeletal elements known from animal cells. Injection of general protein stains demonstrated the abundance of endomembrane sheath protein. Second, the endomembrane system, like the plasmalemmal puncta, contains antigen recognized by an anti-beta 1 integrin injected into the cytoplasm. Previously, immunoblots of separated epidermal protein were shown to have a major band recognized both by this antibody prepared against a peptide representing the cytosolic region of beta 1 integrin and an antibody against the matrix region of beta 1 integrin. The latter antiboby also identified puncta at the external face of protoplasts. It is proposed that integrin and associated transmembrane proteins secure the endomembrane sheath and transmit signals between it and the lumen or matrix of the endoplasmic reticulum and organellar matrices. This function is comparable to that proposed for such transmembrane linkers in the plasmalemmal control centers, which also appear to bind cytoskeleton and a host of related molecules and transmit signals between them and the wall matrix. It is at the plasmalemmal control centers that the endoplasmic reticulum, a major component of the endomembrane system, attaches to the plasma membrane

  14. 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

  15. Viscoelastic properties of actin-coated membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-02-01

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

  16. Guardians of the actin monomer.

    PubMed

    Xue, Bo; Robinson, Robert C

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Retrograde Flow and Myosin II Activity within the Leading Cell Edge Deliver F-Actin to the Lamella to Seed the Formation of Graded Polarity Actomyosin II Filament Bundles in Migrating Fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Tom W.; Vaughan, Andrew N.

    2008-01-01

    In migrating fibroblasts actomyosin II bundles are graded polarity (GP) bundles, a distinct organization to stress fibers. GP bundles are important for powering cell migration, yet have an unknown mechanism of formation. Electron microscopy and the fate of photobleached marks show actin filaments undergoing retrograde flow in filopodia, and the lamellipodium are structurally and dynamically linked with stationary GP bundles within the lamella. An individual filopodium initially protrudes, but then becomes separated from the tip of the lamellipodium and seeds the formation of a new GP bundle within the lamella. In individual live cells expressing both GFP-myosin II and RFP-actin, myosin II puncta localize to the base of an individual filopodium an average 28 s before the filopodium seeds the formation of a new GP bundle. Associated myosin II is stationary with respect to the substratum in new GP bundles. Inhibition of myosin II motor activity in live cells blocks appearance of new GP bundles in the lamella, without inhibition of cell protrusion in the same timescale. We conclude retrograde F-actin flow and myosin II activity within the leading cell edge delivers F-actin to the lamella to seed the formation of new GP bundles. PMID:18799629

  18. Unveiling a Network of Parallel Filaments in the Infrared Dark Cloud G14.225-0.506

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busquet, Gemma; Zhang, Qizhou; Palau, Aina; Liu, Hauyu Baobab; Sánchez-Monge, Álvaro; Estalella, Robert; Ho, Paul T. P.; de Gregorio-Monsalvo, Itziar; Pillai, Thushara; Wyrowski, Friedrich; Girart, Josep M.; Santos, Fábio P.; Franco, Gabriel A. P.

    2013-02-01

    We present the results of combined NH3 (1,1) and (2,2) line emission observed with the Very Large Array and the Effelsberg 100 m telescope of the infrared dark cloud G14.225-0.506. The NH3 emission reveals a network of filaments constituting two hub-filament systems. Hubs are associated with gas of rotational temperature T rot ~ 15 K, non-thermal velocity dispersion σNT ~ 1 km s-1, and exhibit signs of star formation, while filaments appear to be more quiescent (T rot ~ 11 K and σNT ~ 0.6 km s-1). Filaments are parallel in projection and distributed mainly along two directions, at P.A. ~ 10° and 60°, and appear to be coherent in velocity. The averaged projected separation between adjacent filaments is between 0.5 pc and 1 pc, and the mean width of filaments is 0.12 pc. Cores within filaments are separated by ~0.33 ± 0.09 pc, which is consistent with the predicted fragmentation of an isothermal gas cylinder due to the "sausage"-type instability. The network of parallel filaments observed in G14.225-0.506 is consistent with the gravitational instability of a thin gas layer threaded by magnetic fields. Overall, our data suggest that magnetic fields might play an important role in the alignment of filaments, and polarization measurements in the entire cloud would lend further support to this scenario.

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

    PubMed

    Meunier, Frédéric A; Gutiérrez, Luis M

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Mechanical Response of Cytoskeletal Networks

    PubMed Central

    Gardel, Margaret L.; Kasza, Karen E.; Brangwynne, Clifford P.; Liu, Jiayu; Weitz, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The cellular cytoskeleton is a dynamic network of filamentous proteins, consisting of filamentous actin (F-actin), microtubules, and intermediate filaments. However, these networks are not simple linear, elastic solids; they can exhibit highly nonlinear elasticity and athermal dynamics driven by ATP-dependent processes. To build quantitative mechanical models describing complex cellular behaviors, it is necessary to understand the underlying physical principles that regulate force transmission and dynamics within these networks. In this chapter, we review our current understanding of the physics of networks of cytoskeletal proteins formed in vitro. We introduce rheology, the technique used to measure mechanical response. We discuss our current understanding of the mechanical response of F-actin networks, and how the biophysical properties of F-actin and actin cross-linking proteins can dramatically impact the network mechanical response. We discuss how incorporating dynamic and rigid microtubules into F-actin networks can affect the contours of growing microtubules and composite network rigidity. Finally, we discuss the mechanical behaviors of intermediate filaments. PMID:19118688

  1. 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.

  2. A network of 2-4 nm filaments found in sea urchin smooth muscle. Protein constituents and in situ localization.

    PubMed

    Pureur, R P; Coffe, G; Soyer-Gobillard, M O; de Billy, F; Pudles, J

    1986-01-01

    In this report the coisolation of two proteins from sea urchin smooth muscle of apparent molecular weights (Mr) 54 and 56 kD respectively, as determined on SDS-PAGE, is described. Like the intermediate filament proteins, these two proteins are insoluble in high ionic strength buffer solution. On two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and by immunological methods it is shown that these proteins are not related (by these criteria) to rat smooth muscle desmin (54 kD) or vimentin (56 kD). Furthermore, in conditions where both desmin and vimentin assemble in vitro into 10 nm filaments, the sea urchin smooth muscle proteins do not assemble into filaments. Ultrastructural studies on the sea urchin smooth muscle cell show that the thin and thick filaments organization resembles that described in the vertebrate smooth muscle. However, instead of 10 nm filaments, a network of filaments, 2-4 nm in diameter, is revealed, upon removal of the thin and thick filaments by 0.6 M KCl treatment. By indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, and in particular by immunocytochemical electron microscopy studies on the sea urchin smooth muscle cell, it is shown that the antibodies raised against both 54 and 56 kD proteins appear to specifically label these 2-4 nm filaments. These findings indicate that both the 54 and 56 kD proteins might be constituents of this category of filaments. The possible significance of this new cytoskeletal element, that we have named echinonematin filaments, is discussed. PMID:3509996

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-06-11

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Actin Assembly at Model-Supported Lipid Bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Heath, George R.; Johnson, Benjamin R.G.; Olmsted, Peter D.; Connell, Simon D.; Evans, Stephen D.

    2013-01-01

    We report on the use of supported lipid bilayers to reveal dynamics of actin polymerization from a nonpolymerizing subphase via cationic phospholipids. Using varying fractions of charged lipid, lipid mobility, and buffer conditions, we show that dynamics at the nanoscale can be used to control the self-assembly of these structures. In the case of fluid-phase lipid bilayers, the actin adsorbs to form a uniform two-dimensional layer with complete surface coverage whereas gel-phase bilayers induce a network of randomly oriented actin filaments, of lower coverage. Reducing the pH increased the polymerization rate, the number of nucleation events, and the total coverage of actin. A model of the adsorption/diffusion process is developed to provide a description of the experimental data and shows that, in the case of fluid-phase bilayers, polymerization arises equally due to the adsorption and diffusion of surface-bound monomers and the addition of monomers directly from the solution phase. In contrast, in the case of gel-phase bilayers, polymerization is dominated by the addition of monomers from solution. In both cases, the filaments are stable for long times even when the G-actin is removed from the supernatant—making this a practical approach for creating stable lipid-actin systems via self-assembly. PMID:24268147

  8. Dynamic network morphology and tension buildup in a 3D model of cytokinetic ring assembly.

    PubMed

    Bidone, Tamara C; Tang, Haosu; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2014-12-01

    During fission yeast cytokinesis, actin filaments nucleated by cortical formin Cdc12 are captured by myosin motors bound to a band of cortical nodes and bundled by cross-linking proteins. The myosin motors exert forces on the actin filaments, resulting in a net pulling of the nodes into a contractile ring, while cross-linking interactions help align actin filaments and nodes into a single bundle. We used these mechanisms in a three-dimensional computational model of contractile ring assembly, with semiflexible actin filaments growing from formins at cortical nodes, capturing of filaments by neighboring nodes, and cross-linking among filaments through attractive interactions. The model was used to predict profiles of actin filament density at the cell cortex, morphologies of condensing node-filament networks, and regimes of cortical tension by varying the node pulling force and strength of cross-linking among actin filaments. Results show that cross-linking interactions can lead to confinement of actin filaments at the simulated cortical boundary. We show that the ring-formation region in parameter space lies close to regions leading to clumps, meshworks or double rings, and stars/cables. Since boundaries between regions are not sharp, transient structures that resemble clumps, stars, and meshworks can appear in the process of ring assembly. These results are consistent with prior experiments with mutations in actin-filament turnover regulators, myosin motor activity, and changes in the concentration of cross-linkers that alter the morphology of the condensing network. Transient star shapes appear in some simulations, and these morphologies offer an explanation for star structures observed in prior experimental images. Finally, we quantify tension along actin filaments and forces on nodes during ring assembly and show that the mechanisms describing ring assembly can also drive ring constriction once the ring is formed.

  9. Dynamic network morphology and tension buildup in a 3D model of cytokinetic ring assembly.

    PubMed

    Bidone, Tamara C; Tang, Haosu; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2014-12-01

    During fission yeast cytokinesis, actin filaments nucleated by cortical formin Cdc12 are captured by myosin motors bound to a band of cortical nodes and bundled by cross-linking proteins. The myosin motors exert forces on the actin filaments, resulting in a net pulling of the nodes into a contractile ring, while cross-linking interactions help align actin filaments and nodes into a single bundle. We used these mechanisms in a three-dimensional computational model of contractile ring assembly, with semiflexible actin filaments growing from formins at cortical nodes, capturing of filaments by neighboring nodes, and cross-linking among filaments through attractive interactions. The model was used to predict profiles of actin filament density at the cell cortex, morphologies of condensing node-filament networks, and regimes of cortical tension by varying the node pulling force and strength of cross-linking among actin filaments. Results show that cross-linking interactions can lead to confinement of actin filaments at the simulated cortical boundary. We show that the ring-formation region in parameter space lies close to regions leading to clumps, meshworks or double rings, and stars/cables. Since boundaries between regions are not sharp, transient structures that resemble clumps, stars, and meshworks can appear in the process of ring assembly. These results are consistent with prior experiments with mutations in actin-filament turnover regulators, myosin motor activity, and changes in the concentration of cross-linkers that alter the morphology of the condensing network. Transient star shapes appear in some simulations, and these morphologies offer an explanation for star structures observed in prior experimental images. Finally, we quantify tension along actin filaments and forces on nodes during ring assembly and show that the mechanisms describing ring assembly can also drive ring constriction once the ring is formed. PMID:25468341

  10. Dynamic Network Morphology and Tension Buildup in a 3D Model of Cytokinetic Ring Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Bidone, Tamara C.; Tang, Haosu; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2014-01-01

    During fission yeast cytokinesis, actin filaments nucleated by cortical formin Cdc12 are captured by myosin motors bound to a band of cortical nodes and bundled by cross-linking proteins. The myosin motors exert forces on the actin filaments, resulting in a net pulling of the nodes into a contractile ring, while cross-linking interactions help align actin filaments and nodes into a single bundle. We used these mechanisms in a three-dimensional computational model of contractile ring assembly, with semiflexible actin filaments growing from formins at cortical nodes, capturing of filaments by neighboring nodes, and cross-linking among filaments through attractive interactions. The model was used to predict profiles of actin filament density at the cell cortex, morphologies of condensing node-filament networks, and regimes of cortical tension by varying the node pulling force and strength of cross-linking among actin filaments. Results show that cross-linking interactions can lead to confinement of actin filaments at the simulated cortical boundary. We show that the ring-formation region in parameter space lies close to regions leading to clumps, meshworks or double rings, and stars/cables. Since boundaries between regions are not sharp, transient structures that resemble clumps, stars, and meshworks can appear in the process of ring assembly. These results are consistent with prior experiments with mutations in actin-filament turnover regulators, myosin motor activity, and changes in the concentration of cross-linkers that alter the morphology of the condensing network. Transient star shapes appear in some simulations, and these morphologies offer an explanation for star structures observed in prior experimental images. Finally, we quantify tension along actin filaments and forces on nodes during ring assembly and show that the mechanisms describing ring assembly can also drive ring constriction once the ring is formed. PMID:25468341

  11. Signalling to actin assembly via the WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein)-family proteins and the Arp2/3 complex.

    PubMed Central

    Millard, Thomas H; Sharp, Stewart J; Machesky, Laura M

    2004-01-01

    The assembly of a branched network of actin filaments provides the mechanical propulsion that drives a range of dynamic cellular processes, including cell motility. The Arp2/3 complex is a crucial component of such filament networks. Arp2/3 nucleates new actin filaments while bound to existing filaments, thus creating a branched network. In recent years, a number of proteins that activate the filament nucleation activity of Arp2/3 have been identified, most notably the WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein) family. WASP-family proteins activate the Arp2/3 complex, and consequently stimulate actin assembly, in response to extracellular signals. Structural studies have provided a significant refinement in our understanding of the molecular detail of how the Arp2/3 complex nucleates actin filaments. There has also been much progress towards an understanding of the complicated signalling processes that regulate WASP-family proteins. In addition, the use of gene disruption in a number of organisms has led to new insights into the specific functions of individual WASP-family members. The present review will discuss the Arp2/3 complex and its regulators, in particular the WASP-family proteins. Emphasis will be placed on recent developments in the field that have furthered our understanding of actin dynamics and cell motility. PMID:15040784

  12. Choosing orientation: influence of cargo geometry and ActA polarization on actin comet tails

    PubMed Central

    Lacayo, Catherine I.; Soneral, Paula A. G.; Zhu, Jie; Tsuchida, Mark A.; Footer, Matthew J.; Soo, Frederick S.; Lu, Yu; Xia, Younan; Mogilner, Alexander; Theriot, Julie A.

    2012-01-01

    Networks of polymerizing actin filaments can propel intracellular pathogens and drive movement of artificial particles in reconstituted systems. While biochemical mechanisms activating actin network assembly have been well characterized, it remains unclear how particle geometry and large-scale force balance affect emergent properties of movement. We reconstituted actin-based motility using ellipsoidal beads resembling the geometry of Listeria monocytogenes. Beads coated uniformly with the L. monocytogenes ActA protein migrated equally well in either of two distinct orientations, with their long axes parallel or perpendicular to the direction of motion, while intermediate orientations were unstable. When beads were coated with a fluid lipid bilayer rendering ActA laterally mobile, beads predominantly migrated with their long axes parallel to the direction of motion, mimicking the orientation of motile L. monocytogenes. Generating an accurate biophysical model to account for our observations required the combination of elastic-propulsion and tethered-ratchet actin-polymerization theories. Our results indicate that the characteristic orientation of L. monocytogenes must be due to polarized ActA rather than intrinsic actin network forces. Furthermore, viscoelastic stresses, forces, and torques produced by individual actin filaments and lateral movement of molecular complexes must all be incorporated to correctly predict large-scale behavior in the actin-based movement of nonspherical particles. PMID:22219381

  13. The structure of the cuticular plate, an in vivo actin gel.

    PubMed

    DeRosier, D J; Tilney, L G

    1989-12-01

    The cuticular plate is a network of actin filaments found in hair cells of the cochlea. In the alligator lizard, it consists of rootlets, emanating from the stereocilia, and of cross-connecting actin filaments that anchor these rootlets. In thin sections, this network displays striking patches of 650 +/- 110-A striae. By quantitative analyses of the images, the mystery of the striae can be explained. They are due in part to the rootlets which are sets of flat ribbons of actin filaments. The ribbons in each set are separated by approximately 650 A. Numerous whiskers 30 A in diameter extend from each ribbon's face, interconnecting adjacent ribbons. The nonrootlet filaments, except at the margins of the cell, occur primarily as single filaments. Like the ribbons, they are bristling with whiskers. The patches of striae are explained by ribbons and filaments held at a 650-A separation by the whiskers that project from them. A simple model for regions of bewhiskered filaments is a box crammed full of randomly oriented test-tube brushes. A thin slice through the box will show regions of dark lines or striae due to the wire backbones of the brushes separated from one another by the bristle length. Using the computer instead of test-tube brushes, we have been able to model quantitatively the filament distribution and pattern of striae seen in the cuticular plate of the lizard. The organization of actin filaments we have deduced from our simulations differs from that found in macrophages or in the terminal web of intestinal epithelial cells.

  14. The structure of the cuticular plate, an in vivo actin gel.

    PubMed

    DeRosier, D J; Tilney, L G

    1989-12-01

    The cuticular plate is a network of actin filaments found in hair cells of the cochlea. In the alligator lizard, it consists of rootlets, emanating from the stereocilia, and of cross-connecting actin filaments that anchor these rootlets. In thin sections, this network displays striking patches of 650 +/- 110-A striae. By quantitative analyses of the images, the mystery of the striae can be explained. They are due in part to the rootlets which are sets of flat ribbons of actin filaments. The ribbons in each set are separated by approximately 650 A. Numerous whiskers 30 A in diameter extend from each ribbon's face, interconnecting adjacent ribbons. The nonrootlet filaments, except at the margins of the cell, occur primarily as single filaments. Like the ribbons, they are bristling with whiskers. The patches of striae are explained by ribbons and filaments held at a 650-A separation by the whiskers that project from them. A simple model for regions of bewhiskered filaments is a box crammed full of randomly oriented test-tube brushes. A thin slice through the box will show regions of dark lines or striae due to the wire backbones of the brushes separated from one another by the bristle length. Using the computer instead of test-tube brushes, we have been able to model quantitatively the filament distribution and pattern of striae seen in the cuticular plate of the lizard. The organization of actin filaments we have deduced from our simulations differs from that found in macrophages or in the terminal web of intestinal epithelial cells. PMID:2592408

  15. 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

  16. Structural and functional changes in myocardial thin filaments in experimental hypothyrosis.

    PubMed

    Sukoyan, G V; Berberashvili, T M; Asatiani, K Dzh

    2007-05-01

    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer study revealed decreased intermonomer mobility of Ca-actin and Mg-actin filame