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Sample records for actin network growth

  1. Growth of branched actin networks against obstacles.

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, A E

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  4. Analysis of microtubule growth dynamics arising from altered actin network structure and contractility in breast tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Ory, Eleanor; Bhandary, Lekhana; Boggs, Amanda; Chakrabarti, Kristi; Parker, Joshua; Losert, Wolfgang; Martin, Stuart S

    2017-01-16

    The periphery of epithelial cells is shaped by opposing cytoskeletal physical forces generated predominately by two dynamic force generating systems - growing microtubule ends push against the boundary from the cell center, and the actin cortex contracts the attached plasma membrane. Here we investigate how changes to the structure and dynamics of the actin cortex alter the dynamics of microtubules. Current drugs target actin polymerization and contraction to reduce cell division and invasiveness; however, the impacts on microtubule dynamics remain incompletely understood. Using human MCF-7 breast tumor cells expressing GFP-tagged microtubule end-binding-protein-1 (EB1) and coexpression of cytoplasmic fluorescent protein mCherry, we map the trajectories of growing microtubule ends and cytoplasmic boundary respectively. Based on EB1 tracks and cytoplasmic boundary outlines, we calculate the speed, distance from cytoplasmic boundary, and straightness of microtubule growth. Actin depolymerization with Latrunculin-A reduces EB1 growth speed as well as allows the trajectories to extend beyond the cytoplasmic boundary. Blebbistatin, a direct myosin-II inhibitor, reduced EB1 speed and yielded less straight EB1 trajectories. Inhibiting signaling upstream of myosin-II contractility via the Rho-kinase inhibitor, Y-27632, altered EB1 dynamics differently from Blebbistatin. These results indicate that reduced actin cortex integrity can induce distinct alterations in microtubule dynamics. Given recent findings that tumor stem cell characteristics are increased by drugs which reduce actin contractility or stabilize microtubules, it remains important to clearly define how cytoskeletal drugs alter the interactions between these two filament systems in tumor cells.

  5. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-07

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

  6. Reversible stress softening of actin networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The mechanical properties of cells play an essential role in numerous physiological processes. Organized networks of semiflexible actin filaments determine cell stiffness and transmit force during mechanotransduction, cytokinesis, cell motility and other cellular shape changes1–3. Although numerous actin-binding proteins have been identified that organize networks, the mechanical properties of actin networks with physiological architectures and concentrations have been difficult to measure quantitatively. Studies of mechanical properties in vitro have found that crosslinked networks of actin filaments formed in solution exhibit stress stiffening arising from the entropic elasticity of individual filaments or crosslinkers resisting extension4–8. Here we report reversible stress-softening behaviour in actin networks reconstituted in vitro that suggests a critical role for filaments resisting compression. Using a modified atomic force microscope to probe dendritic actin networks (like those formed in the lamellipodia of motile cells), we observe stress stiffening followed by a regime of reversible stress softening at higher loads. This softening behaviour can be explained by elastic buckling of individual filaments under compression that avoids catastrophic fracture of the network. The observation of both stress stiffening and softening suggests a complex interplay between entropic and enthalpic elasticity in determining the mechanical properties of actin networks. PMID:17230186

  7. Growing actin networks regulated by obstacle size and shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Bo; Lin, Ji; Qian, Jin

    2017-01-01

    Growing actin networks provide the driving force for the motility of cells and intracellular pathogens. Based on the molecular-level processes of actin polymerization, branching, capping, and depolymerization, we have developed a modeling framework to simulate the stochastic and cooperative behaviors of growing actin networks in propelling obstacles, with an emphasis on the size and shape effects on work capacity and filament orientation in the growing process. Our results show that the characteristic size of obstacles changes the protrusion power per unit length, without influencing the orientation distribution of actin filaments in growing networks. In contrast, the geometry of obstacles has a profound effect on filament patterning, which influences the orientation of filaments differently when the drag coefficient of environment is small, intermediate, or large. We also discuss the role of various parameters, such as the aspect ratio of obstacles, branching rate, and capping rate, in affecting the protrusion power of network growth.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Marsick, Bonnie M; Letourneau, Paul C

    2011-03-17

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

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

    PubMed

    Carlier, Marie-France; Shekhar, Shashank

    2017-03-01

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

  11. Mechanical detection of a long-range actin network emanating from a biomimetic cortex.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-19

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

  12. Curvature and torsion in growing actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Shaevitz, Joshua W; Fletcher, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Rickettsia rickettsii move within a host cell by polymerizing a comet-tail of actin fibers that ultimately pushes the cell forward. This dense network of cross-linked actin polymers typically exhibits a striking curvature that causes bacteria to move in gently looping paths. Theoretically, tail curvature has been linked to details of motility by considering force and torque balances from a finite number of polymerizing filaments. Here we track beads coated with a prokaryotic activator of actin polymerization in three dimensions to directly quantify the curvature and torsion of bead motility paths. We find that bead paths are more likely to have low rather than high curvature at any given time. Furthermore, path curvature changes very slowly in time, with an autocorrelation decay time of 200 s. Paths with a small radius of curvature, therefore, remain so for an extended period resulting in loops when confined to two dimensions. When allowed to explore a three-dimensional (3D) space, path loops are less evident. Finally, we quantify the torsion in the bead paths and show that beads do not exhibit a significant left- or right-handed bias to their motion in 3D. These results suggest that paths of actin-propelled objects may be attributed to slow changes in curvature, possibly associated with filament debranching, rather than a fixed torque. PMID:18560043

  13. 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.

  14. Cyclic hardening in bundled actin networks.

    PubMed

    Schmoller, K M; Fernández, P; Arevalo, R C; Blair, D L; Bausch, A R

    2010-01-01

    Nonlinear deformations can irreversibly alter the mechanical properties of materials. Most soft materials, such as rubber and living tissues, display pronounced softening when cyclically deformed. Here we show that, in contrast, reconstituted networks of crosslinked, bundled actin filaments harden when subject to cyclical shear. As a consequence, they exhibit a mechano-memory where a significant stress barrier is generated at the maximum of the cyclic shear strain. This unique response is crucially determined by the network architecture: at lower crosslinker concentrations networks do not harden, but soften showing the classic Mullins effect known from rubber-like materials. By simultaneously performing macrorheology and confocal microscopy, we show that cyclic shearing results in structural reorganization of the network constituents such that the maximum applied strain is encoded into the network architecture.

  15. 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

  16. Actin network architecture can determine myosin motor activity.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-08

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Cross-Linking Molecules Modify Composite Actin Networks Independently

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmoller, K. M.; Lieleg, O.; Bausch, A. R.

    2008-09-01

    While cells make use of many actin binding proteins (ABPs) simultaneously to tailor the mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton, the detailed interplay of different ABPs is not understood. By a combination of macrorheological measurements and confocal microscopy, we show that the ABPs fascin and filamin modify the structural and viscoelastic properties of composite in vitro actin networks independently. The outnumbering ABP dictates the local network structure and therefore also dominates the macromechanical network response.

  2. Diffusing wave spectroscopy microrheology of actin filament networks.

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, A; Xu, J; Kuo, S C; Wirtz, D

    1999-01-01

    Filamentous actin (F-actin), one of the constituents of the cytoskeleton, is believed to be the most important participant in the motion and mechanical integrity of eukaryotic cells. Traditionally, the viscoelastic moduli of F-actin networks have been measured by imposing a small mechanical strain and quantifying the resulting stress. The magnitude of the viscoelastic moduli, their concentration dependence and strain dependence, as well as the viscoelastic nature (solid-like or liquid-like) of networks of uncross-linked F-actin, have been the subjects of debate. Although this paper helps to resolve the debate and establishes the extent of the linear regime of F-actin networks' rheology, we report novel measurements of the high-frequency behavior of networks of F-actin, using a noninvasive light-scattering based technique, diffusing wave spectroscopy (DWS). Because no external strain is applied, our optical assay generates measurements of the mechanical properties of F-actin networks that avoid many ambiguities inherent in mechanical measurements. We observe that the elastic modulus has a small magnitude, no strain dependence, and a weak concentration dependence. Therefore, F-actin alone is not sufficient to generate the elastic modulus necessary to sustain the structural rigidity of most cells or support new cellular protrusions. Unlike previous studies, our measurements show that the mechanical properties of F-actin are highly dependent on the frequency content of the deformation. We show that the loss modulus unexpectedly dominates the elastic modulus at high frequencies, which are key for fast transitions. Finally, the measured mean square displacement of the optical probes, which is also generated by DWS measurements, offers new insight into the local bending fluctuations of the individual actin filaments and shows how they generate enhanced dissipation at short time scales. PMID:9916038

  3. Two-tiered coupling between flowing actin and immobilized N-cadherin/catenin complexes in neuronal growth cones

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Mikael; Leduc, Cécile; Lagardère, Matthieu; Argento, Amélie; Sibarita, Jean-Baptiste; Thoumine, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal growth cones move forward by dynamically connecting actin-based motility to substrate adhesion, but the mechanisms at the individual molecular level remain unclear. We cultured primary neurons on N-cadherin–coated micropatterned substrates, and imaged adhesion and cytoskeletal proteins at the ventral surface of growth cones using single particle tracking combined to photoactivated localization microscopy (sptPALM). We demonstrate transient interactions in the second time scale between flowing actin filaments and immobilized N-cadherin/catenin complexes, translating into a local reduction of the actin retrograde flow. Normal actin flow on micropatterns was rescued by expression of a dominant negative N-cadherin construct competing for the coupling between actin and endogenous N-cadherin. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments confirmed the differential kinetics of actin and N-cadherin, and further revealed a 20% actin population confined at N-cadherin micropatterns, contributing to local actin accumulation. Computer simulations with relevant kinetic parameters modeled N-cadherin and actin turnover well, validating this mechanism. Such a combination of short- and long-lived interactions between the motile actin network and spatially restricted adhesive complexes represents a two-tiered clutch mechanism likely to sustain dynamic environment sensing and provide the force necessary for growth cone migration. PMID:26038554

  4. 3D actin network centerline extraction with multiple active contours.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2014-02-01

    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.

  5. Self-organization of actin networks by a monomeric myosin

    PubMed Central

    Saczko-Brack, Dario; Warchol, Ewa; Rogez, Benoit; Kröss, Markus; Heissler, Sarah M.; Sellers, James R.; Batters, Christopher; Veigel, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    The organization of actomyosin networks lies at the center of many types of cellular motility, including cell polarization and collective cell migration during development and morphogenesis. Myosin-IXa is critically involved in these processes. Using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, we resolved actin bundles assembled by myosin-IXa. Electron microscopic data revealed that the bundles consisted of highly ordered lattices with parallel actin polarity. The myosin-IXa motor domains aligned across the network, forming cross-links at a repeat distance of precisely 36 nm, matching the helical repeat of actin. Single-particle image processing resolved three distinct conformations of myosin-IXa in the absence of nucleotide. Using cross-correlation of a modeled actomyosin crystal structure, we identified sites of additional mass, which can only be accounted for by the large insert in loop 2 exclusively found in the motor domain of class IX myosins. We show that the large insert in loop 2 binds calmodulin and creates two coordinated actin-binding sites that constrain the actomyosin interactions generating the actin lattices. The actin lattices introduce orientated tracks at specific sites in the cell, which might install platforms allowing Rho-GTPase–activating protein (RhoGAP) activity to be focused at a definite locus. In addition, the lattices might introduce a myosin-related, force-sensing mechanism into the cytoskeleton in cell polarization and collective cell migration. PMID:27956608

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Participation of Actin on Giardia lamblia Growth and Encystation

    PubMed Central

    Castillo-Romero, Araceli; Leon-Avila, Gloria; Perez Rangel, Armando; Cortes Zarate, Rafael; Garcia Tovar, Carlos; Hernandez, Jose Manuel

    2009-01-01

    Background Microfilaments play a determinant role in different cell processes such as: motility, cell division, phagocytosis and intracellular transport; however, these structures are poorly understood in the parasite Giardia lamblia. Methodology and Principal Findings By confocal microscopy using TRITC-phalloidin, we found structured actin distributed in the entire trophozoite, the label stand out at the ventral disc, median body, flagella and around the nuclei. During Giardia encystation, a sequence of morphological changes concurrent to modifications on the distribution of structured actin and in the expression of actin mRNA were observed. To elucidate whether actin participates actively on growth and encystation, cells were treated with Cytochalasin D, Latrunculin A and Jasplakinolide and analyzed by confocal and scanning electron microscopy. All drugs caused a growth reduction (27 to 45%) and changes on the distribution of actin. Besides, 60 to 80% of trophozoites treated with the drugs, exhibited damage at the caudal region, alterations in the flagella and wrinkles-like on the plasma membrane. The drugs also altered the cyst-yield and the morphology, scanning electron microscopy revealed diminished cytokinesis, cysts with damages in the wall and alterations in the size and on the intermembranal space. Furthermore, the drugs caused a significant reduction of the intensity of flourescence-labeled CWP1 on ESV and on cyst wall, this was coincident with a reduction of CWP1 gene expression (34%). Conclusions and Significance All our results, indicated an important role of actin in the morphology, growth and encystation and indirectly suggested an actin role in gene expression. PMID:19774081

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

    PubMed Central

    Grabski, S.; Schindler, M.

    1996-01-01

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

  10. Actin Polymerization Is Essential for Pollen Tube GrowthV⃞

    PubMed Central

    Vidali, Luis; McKenna, Sylvester T.; Hepler, Peter K.

    2001-01-01

    Actin microfilaments, which are prominent in pollen tubes, have been implicated in the growth process; however, their mechanism of action is not well understood. In the present work we have used profilin and DNAse I injections, as well as latrunculin B and cytochalasin D treatments, under quantitatively controlled conditions, to perturb actin microfilament structure and assembly in an attempt to answer this question. We found that a ∼50% increase in the total profilin pool was necessary to half-maximally inhibit pollen tube growth, whereas a ∼100% increase was necessary for half-maximal inhibition of cytoplasmic streaming. DNAse I showed a similar inhibitory activity but with a threefold more pronounced effect on growth than streaming. Latrunculin B, at only 1–4 nM in the growth medium, has a similar proportion of inhibition of growth over streaming to that of profilin. The fact that tip growth is more sensitive than streaming to the inhibitory substances and that there is no correlation between streaming and growth rates suggests that tip growth requires actin assembly in a process independent of cytoplasmic streaming. PMID:11514633

  11. Viscoelastic properties of actin networks influence material transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Weirich, Kimberly; Gardel, Margaret

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Actin-Capping Protein and the Hippo pathway regulate F-actin and tissue growth in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Beatriz García; Gaspar, Pedro; Brás-Pereira, Catarina; Jezowska, Barbara; Rebelo, Sofia Raquel; Janody, Florence

    2011-06-01

    The conserved Hippo tumor suppressor pathway is a key kinase cascade that controls tissue growth by regulating the nuclear import and activity of the transcription co-activator Yorkie. Here, we report that the actin-Capping Protein αβ heterodimer, which regulates actin polymerization, also functions to suppress inappropriate tissue growth by inhibiting Yorkie activity. Loss of Capping Protein activity results in abnormal accumulation of apical F-actin, reduced Hippo pathway activity and the ectopic expression of several Yorkie target genes that promote cell survival and proliferation. Reduction of two other actin-regulatory proteins, Cofilin and the cyclase-associated protein Capulet, cause abnormal F-actin accumulation, but only the loss of Capulet, like that of Capping Protein, induces ectopic Yorkie activity. Interestingly, F-actin also accumulates abnormally when Hippo pathway activity is reduced or abolished, independently of Yorkie activity, whereas overexpression of the Hippo pathway component expanded can partially reverse the abnormal accumulation of F-actin in cells depleted for Capping Protein. Taken together, these findings indicate a novel interplay between Hippo pathway activity and actin filament dynamics that is essential for normal growth control.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Microtubules Remodel Actomyosin Networks in Xenopus Egg Extracts via Two Mechanisms of F-Actin Transport

    PubMed Central

    Waterman-Storer, Clare; Duey, Devin Y.; Weber, Kari L.; Keech, John; Cheney, Richard E.; Salmon, E.D.; Bement, William M.

    2000-01-01

    Interactions between microtubules and filamentous actin (F-actin) are crucial for many cellular processes, including cell locomotion and cytokinesis, but are poorly understood. To define the basic principles governing microtubule/F-actin interactions, we used dual-wavelength digital fluorescence and fluorescent speckle microscopy to analyze microtubules and F-actin labeled with spectrally distinct fluorophores in interphase Xenopus egg extracts. In the absence of microtubules, networks of F-actin bundles zippered together or exhibited serpentine gliding along the coverslip. When microtubules were nucleated from Xenopus sperm centrosomes, they were released and translocated away from the aster center. In the presence of microtubules, F-actin exhibited two distinct, microtubule-dependent motilities: rapid (∼250–300 nm/s) jerking and slow (∼50 nm/s), straight gliding. Microtubules remodeled the F-actin network, as F-actin jerking caused centrifugal clearing of F-actin from around aster centers. F-actin jerking occurred when F-actin bound to motile microtubules powered by cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin straight gliding occurred when F-actin bundles translocated along the microtubule lattice. These interactions required Xenopus cytosolic factors. Localization of myosin-II to F-actin suggested it may power F-actin zippering, while localization of myosin-V on microtubules suggested it could mediate interactions between microtubules and F-actin. We examine current models for cytokinesis and cell motility in light of these findings. PMID:10908578

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  19. Role of the actin bundling protein fascin in growth cone morphogenesis: localization in filopodia and lamellipodia.

    PubMed

    Cohan, C S; Welnhofer, E A; Zhao, L; Matsumura, F; Yamashiro, S

    2001-02-01

    Growth cones at the distal tips of growing nerve axons contain bundles of actin filaments distributed throughout the lamellipodium and that project into filopodia. The regulation of actin bundling by specific actin binding proteins is likely to play an important role in many growth cone behaviors. Although the actin binding protein, fascin, has been localized in growth cones, little information is available on its functional significance. We used the large growth cones of the snail Helisoma to determine whether fascin was involved in temporal changes in actin filaments during growth cone morphogenesis. Fascin localized to radially oriented actin bundles in lamellipodia (ribs) and filopodia. Using a fascin antibody and a GFP fascin construct, we found that fascin incorporated into actin bundles from the beginning of growth cone formation at the cut end of axons. Fascin associated with most of the actin bundle except the proximal 6--12% adjacent to the central domain, which is the region associated with actin disassembly. Later, during growth cone morphogenesis when actin ribs shortened, the proximal fascin-free zone of bundles increased, but fascin was retained in the distal, filopodial portion of bundles. Treatment with tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), which phosphorylates fascin and decreases its affinity for actin, resulted in loss of all actin bundles from growth cones. Our findings suggest that fascin may be particularly important for the linear structure and dynamics of filopodia and for lamellipodial rib dynamics by regulating filament organization in bundles.

  20. 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.

  1. Criticalities in crosslinked actin networks due to myosin activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheinman, Michael

    2013-03-01

    Many essential processes in cells and tissues, like motility and morphogenesis, are orchestrated by molecular motors applying internal, active stresses on crosslinked networks of actin filaments. Using scaling analysis, mean-field calculation, numerical modelling and in vitro experiments of such active networks we predict and observe different mechanical regimes exhibiting interesting critical behaviours with non-trivial power-law dependencies. Firstly, we find that the presence of active stresses can dramatically increase the stiffness of a floppy network, as was observed in reconstituted intracellular F-actin networks with myosin motors and extracellular gels with contractile cells. Uniform internal stress results in an anomalous, critical mechanical regime only in the vicinity of the rigidity percolation points of the network. However, taking into account heterogeneity of motors, we demonstrate that the motors, stiffening any floppy network, induce large non-affine fluctuations, giving rise to a critical mechanical regime. Secondly, upon increasing motor concentration, the resulting large internal stress is able to significantly enhance unbinding of the network's crosslinks and, therefore, disconnect the initially well-connected network to isolated clusters. However, during this process, when the network approaches marginal connectivity the internal stresses are expected to drop drastically such that the connectivity stabilizes. This general argument and detailed numerical simulations show that motors should drive a well connected network to a close vicinity of a critical point of marginal connectivity. Experiments clearly confirm this conclusion and demonstrate robust critical connectivity of initially well-connected networks, ruptured by the motor activity for a wide range of parameters. M. Sheinman, C.P. Broedersz and F.C. MacKintosh, Phys. Rev. Lett, in press. J. Alvarado, M. Sheinman, A. Sharma, F.C. MacKintosh and G. Koenderink, in preparation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Busiek, Kimberly K; Margolin, William

    2015-03-16

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Two Distinct Actin Networks Mediate Traction Oscillations to Confer Focal Adhesion Mechanosensing.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhanghan; Plotnikov, Sergey V; Moalim, Abdiwahab Y; Waterman, Clare M; Liu, Jian

    2017-02-28

    Focal adhesions (FAs) are integrin-based transmembrane assemblies that connect a cell to its extracellular matrix (ECM). They are mechanosensors through which cells exert actin cytoskeleton-mediated traction forces to sense the ECM stiffness. Interestingly, FAs themselves are dynamic structures that adapt their growth in response to mechanical force. It is unclear how the cell manages the plasticity of the FA structure and the associated traction force to accurately sense ECM stiffness. Strikingly, FA traction forces oscillate in time and space, and govern the cell mechanosensing of ECM stiffness. However, precisely how and why the FA traction oscillates is unknown. We developed a model of FA growth that integrates the contributions of the branched actin network and stress fibers (SFs). Using the model in combination with experimental tests, we show that the retrograde flux of the branched actin network promotes the proximal growth of the FA and contributes to a traction peak near the FA's distal tip. The resulting traction gradient within the growing FA favors SF formation near the FA's proximal end. The SF-mediated actomyosin contractility further stabilizes the FA and generates a second traction peak near the center of the FA. Formin-mediated SF elongation negatively feeds back with actomyosin contractility, resulting in central traction peak oscillation. This underpins the observed FA traction oscillation and, importantly, broadens the ECM stiffness range over which FAs can accurately adapt to traction force generation. Actin cytoskeleton-mediated FA growth and maturation thus culminate with FA traction oscillation to drive efficient FA mechanosensing.

  6. 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.

  7. Nerve growth cone lamellipodia contain two populations of actin filaments that differ in organization and polarity

    PubMed Central

    1992-01-01

    The organization and polarity of actin filaments in neuronal growth cones was studied with negative stain and freeze-etch EM using a permeabilization protocol that caused little detectable change in morphology when cultured nerve growth cones were observed by video- enhanced differential interference contrast microscopy. The lamellipodial actin cytoskeleton was composed of two distinct subpopulations: a population of 40-100-nm-wide filament bundles radiated from the leading edge, and a second population of branching short filaments filled the volume between the dorsal and ventral membrane surfaces. Together, the two populations formed the three- dimensional structural network seen within expanding lamellipodia. Interaction of the actin filaments with the ventral membrane surface occurred along the length of the filaments via membrane associated proteins. The long bundled filament population was primarily involved in these interactions. The filament tips of either population appeared to interact with the membrane only at the leading edge; this interaction was mediated by a globular Triton-insoluble material. Actin filament polarity was determined by decoration with myosin S1 or heavy meromyosin. Previous reports have suggested that the polarity of the actin filaments in motile cells is uniform, with the barbed ends toward the leading edge. We observed that the actin filament polarity within growth cone lamellipodia is not uniform; although the predominant orientation was with the barbed end toward the leading edge (47-56%), 22-25% of the filaments had the opposite orientation with their pointed ends toward the leading edge, and 19-31% ran parallel to the leading edge. The two actin filament populations display distinct polarity profiles: the longer filaments appear to be oriented predominantly with their barbed ends toward the leading edge, whereas the short filaments appear to be randomly oriented. The different length, organization and polarity of the two filament

  8. 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.

  9. Competition between Tropomyosin, Fimbrin, and ADF/Cofilin drives their sorting to distinct actin filament networks.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Jenna R; Hocky, Glen M; Homa, Kaitlin E; Morganthaler, Alisha N; Hitchcock-DeGregori, Sarah E; Voth, Gregory A; Kovar, David R

    2017-03-10

    The fission yeast actin cytoskeleton is an ideal, simplified system to investigate fundamental mechanisms behind cellular self-organization. By focusing on the stabilizing protein tropomyosin Cdc8, bundling protein fimbrin Fim1, and severing protein coffin Adf1, we examined how their pairwise and collective interactions with actin filaments regulate their activity and segregation to functionally diverse F-actin networks. Utilizing multi-color TIRF microscopy of in vitro reconstituted F-actin networks, we observed and characterized two distinct Cdc8 cables loading and spreading cooperatively on individual actin filaments. Furthermore, Cdc8, Fim1, and Adf1 all compete for association with F-actin by different mechanisms, and their cooperative association with actin filaments affects their ability to compete. Finally, competition between Fim1 and Adf1 for F-actin synergizes their activities, promoting rapid displacement of Cdc8 from a dense F-actin network. Our findings reveal that competitive and cooperative interactions between actin binding proteins help define their associations with different F-actin networks.

  10. 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

  11. Cytoskeletal actin networks in motile cells are critically self-organized systems synchronized by mechanical interactions.

    PubMed

    Cardamone, Luca; Laio, Alessandro; Torre, Vincent; Shahapure, Rajesh; DeSimone, Antonio

    2011-08-23

    Growing networks of actin fibers are able to organize into compact, stiff two-dimensional structures inside lamellipodia of crawling cells. We put forward the hypothesis that the growing actin network is a critically self-organized system, in which long-range mechanical stresses arising from the interaction with the plasma membrane provide the selective pressure leading to organization. We show that a simple model based only on this principle reproduces the stochastic nature of lamellipodia protrusion (growth periods alternating with fast retractions) and several of the features observed in experiments: a growth velocity initially insensitive to the external force; the capability of the network to organize its orientation; a load-history-dependent growth velocity. Our model predicts that the spectrum of the time series of the height of a growing lamellipodium decays with the inverse of the frequency. This behavior is a well-known signature of self-organized criticality and is confirmed by unique optical tweezer measurements performed in vivo on neuronal growth cones.

  12. Focal loss of actin bundles causes microtubule redistribution and growth cone turning.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Feng-Quan; Waterman-Storer, Clare M; Cohan, Christopher S

    2002-05-27

    It is commonly believed that growth cone turning during pathfinding is initiated by reorganization of actin filaments in response to guidance cues, which then affects microtubule structure to complete the turning process. However, a major unanswered question is how changes in actin cytoskeleton are induced by guidance cues and how these changes are then translated into microtubule rearrangement. Here, we report that local and specific disruption of actin bundles from the growth cone peripheral domain induced repulsive growth cone turning. Meanwhile, dynamic microtubules within the peripheral domain were oriented into areas where actin bundles remained and were lost from areas where actin bundles disappeared. This resulted in directional microtubule extension leading to axon bending and growth cone turning. In addition, this local actin bundle loss coincided with localized growth cone collapse, as well as asymmetrical lamellipodial protrusion. Our results provide direct evidence, for the first time, that regional actin bundle reorganization can steer the growth cone by coordinating actin reorganization with microtubule dynamics. This suggests that actin bundles can be potential targets of signaling pathways downstream of guidance cues, providing a mechanism for coupling changes in leading edge actin with microtubules at the central domain during turning.

  13. Profilin Regulates Apical Actin Polymerization to Control Polarized Pollen Tube Growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaonan; Qu, Xiaolu; Jiang, Yuxiang; Chang, Ming; Zhang, Ruihui; Wu, Youjun; Fu, Ying; Huang, Shanjin

    2015-12-07

    Pollen tube growth is an essential step during flowering plant reproduction, whose growth depends on a population of dynamic apical actin filaments. Apical actin filaments were thought to be involved in the regulation of vesicle fusion and targeting in the pollen tube. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the construction of apical actin structures in the pollen tube remain largely unclear. Here, we identify profilin as an important player in the regulation of actin polymerization at the apical membrane in the pollen tube. Downregulation of profilin decreased the amount of filamentous actin and induced disorganization of apical actin filaments, and reduced tip-directed vesicle transport and accumulation in the pollen tube. Direct visualization of actin dynamics revealed that the elongation of actin filaments originating at the apical membrane decreased in profilin mutant pollen tubes. Mutant profilin that is defective in binding poly-L-proline only partially rescues the actin polymerization defect in profilin mutant pollen tubes, although it fully rescues the actin turnover phenotype. We propose that profilin controls the construction of actin structures at the pollen tube tip, presumably by favoring formin-mediated actin polymerization at the apical membrane.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Why is Actin Patchy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

    2009-03-01

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

  18. Avalanches, hardening and softening in dense cross-linked actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astrom, Jan; Kumar, Sunil; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Karttunen, Mikko

    2008-03-01

    Actin filament networks enable the cytoskeleton to adjust to internal and external forcing. These active networks can adapt to changes by dynamically adjusting their crosslinks. Here, we study actin filaments as elastic fibers having finite dimensions. We employ a full three-dimensional model to study the elastic properties of actin networks by computer simulations. We model a dense actin network with the crosslinks being approximately 1μm apart. The results show that dense actin networks, without any pre-straining, are characterized by (a) strain hardening without entropic elasticity, (b) 'viscotic' hysteresis in the case of strong crosslinks, (c) avalanches of crosslink slippage leading to strain softening in the case of breakable crosslinks, and (d) spontaneous formation of stress fibers in the case of active crosslink formation and destruction. We will discuss the relation to recent experimental observations.

  19. Arabidopsis microtubule-destabilizing protein 25 functions in pollen tube growth by severing actin filaments.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    The formation of distinct actin filament arrays in the subapical region of pollen tubes is crucial for pollen tube growth. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the organization and dynamics of the actin filaments in this region remain to be determined. This study shows that Arabidopsis thaliana MICROTUBULE-DESTABILIZING PROTEIN25 (MDP25) has the actin filament-severing activity of an actin binding protein. This protein negatively regulated pollen tube growth by modulating the organization and dynamics of actin filaments in the subapical region of pollen tubes. MDP25 loss of function resulted in enhanced pollen tube elongation and inefficient fertilization. MDP25 bound directly to actin filaments and severed individual actin filaments, in a manner that was dramatically enhanced by Ca(2+), in vitro. Analysis of a mutant that bears a point mutation at the Ca(2+) binding sites demonstrated that the subcellular localization of MDP25 was determined by cytosolic Ca(2+) level in the subapical region of pollen tubes, where MDP25 was disassociated from the plasma membrane and moved into the cytosol. Time-lapse analysis showed that the F-actin-severing frequency significantly decreased and a high density of actin filaments was observed in the subapical region of mdp25-1 pollen tubes. This study reveals a mechanism whereby calcium enhances the actin filament-severing activity of MDP25 in the subapical region of pollen tubes to modulate pollen tube growth.

  20. 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

  1. Effects of filament rigidity in myosin II-induced actin network contractility and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weirich, Kimberly; Gardel, Margaret

    2014-03-01

    Cells change shape, deforming to move and divide. The dynamic protein scaffold that shapes the cell is the cortex, a disordered, thin network of actin filaments. Random, local stresses generated by myosin II in the network create cellular-scale deformations. Myosin induced buckling and severing of actin filaments has been shown to underlie the contractility of two-dimensional disordered actin networks. This non-linear elastic response of actin filaments is thought to be an essential symmetry breaking mechanism to produce robust contractility in disordered actomyosin networks. To test this idea, we explore the effects of an actin bundling protein fascin, a crosslinker which induces polarity specific bundling of actin filaments, to create a network of F-actin bundles. We investigate myosin-induced stresses in a network of randomly oriented actin filaments, confined to a thin sheet at a supported lipid bilayer surface through a crowding agent. We find fascin-bundled filaments are less prone to filament buckling and show increased filament sliding, causing the myosin activity to induce network reorganization rather than contraction. Thus, changes in the filament bending rigidity in motor-filament systems can drive the system between distinct states with unique dynamic and mechanical signatures.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Carbonylation and disassembly of the F-actin cytoskeleton in oxidant induced barrier dysfunction and its prevention by epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor α in a human colonic cell line

    PubMed Central

    Banan, A; Zhang, Y; Losurdo, J; Keshavarzian, A

    2000-01-01

    BACKGROUND—Intestinal barrier dysfunction concomitant with high levels of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM) in the inflamed mucosa have been observed in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The cytoskeletal network has been suggested to be involved in the regulation of barrier function. Growth factors (epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor α (TGF-α)) protect gastrointestinal barrier integrity against a variety of noxious agents. However, the underlying mechanisms of oxidant induced disruption and growth factor mediated protection remain elusive.
AIMS—To determine: (1) if oxidation and disassembly of actin (a key cytoskeletal component) plays a major role in ROM induced epithelial monolayer barrier dysfunction; and (2) if growth factor mediated protection involves prevention of theses alterations.
METHODS—Caco-2 monolayers were preincubated with EGF, TGF-α, or vehicle before incubation with ROM (H2O2 or HOCl). Effects on cell integrity, barrier function, and G- and F-actin (oxidation, disassembly, and assembly) were determined.
RESULTS—ROM dose dependently and significantly increased F- and G-actin oxidation (carbonylation), decreased the stable F-actin fraction (index of stability), and increased the monomeric G-actin fraction (index of disassembly). Concomitant with these changes were disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and loss of the monolayer barrier function. In contrast, growth factor pretreatment decreased actin oxidation and enhanced the stable F-actin, while in concert prevented actin disruption and restored normal barrier function of monolayers exposed to ROM. Cytochalasin-D, an inhibitor of actin assembly, not only caused actin disassembly and barrier dysfunction but also abolished the protective action of growth factors. Moreover, an actin stabilising agent, phalloidin, mimicked the protective actions of the growth factors.
CONCLUSIONS—Oxidation, disassembly, and instability of the actin cytoskeleton appears to

  5. Self-organized DNA/F-actin gels: entangled networks of nematic domains with tunable density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, John; Zribi, Olena; Smalyukh, Ivan; Hwee Lai, Ghee; Golestanian, Ramin; Angelini, Thomas; Wong, Gerard

    2008-03-01

    We examine mixtures of DNA and F-actin as a model system of like-charged rigid rods and flexible chains. Confocal microscopy reveals the formation of elongated nematic F-actin domains reticulated via defect-free vertices into a network, all embedded in a mesh of random DNA. Synchrotron x-ray scattering results indicate that the DNA mesh squeezes the F-actin domains into a nematic state via the osmotic pressure of uncondensed counterions, so that the inter-actin spacing within the domains decreases with increasing DNA concentration. These observations are consistent with arguments based on electrostatics and nematic elasticity.

  6. 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.

  7. Relating microstructure to rheology of a bundled and cross-linked F-actin network in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, J. H.; Gardel, M. L.; Mahadevan, L.; Matsudaira, P.; Weitz, D. A.

    2004-06-01

    The organization of individual actin filaments into higher-order structures is controlled by actin-binding proteins (ABPs). Although the biological significance of the ABPs is well documented, little is known about how bundling and cross-linking quantitatively affect the microstructure and mechanical properties of actin networks. Here we quantify the effect of the ABP scruin on actin networks by using imaging techniques, cosedimentation assays, multiparticle tracking, and bulk rheology. We show how the structure of the actin network is modified as the scruin concentration is varied, and we correlate these structural changes to variations in the resultant network elasticity.

  8. Growth cone-like waves transport actin and promote axonogenesis and neurite branching

    PubMed Central

    Flynn, Kevin C.; Pak, Chi W.; Shaw, Alisa E.; Bradke, Frank; Bamburg, James R.

    2010-01-01

    Axonogenesis involves a shift from uniform delivery of materials to all neurites to preferential delivery to the putative axon, supporting its more rapid extension. Waves, growth cone-like structures that propagate down the length of neurites, were shown previously to correlate with neurite growth in dissociated cultured hippocampal neurons. Waves are similar to growth cones in their structure, composition and dynamics. Here, we report that waves form in all undifferentiated neurites, but occur more frequently in the future axon during initial neuronal polarization. Moreover, wave frequency and their impact on neurite growth are altered in neurons treated with stimuli that enhance axonogenesis. Coincident with wave arrival, growth cones enlarge and undergo a marked increase in dynamics. Through their engorgement of filopodia along the neurite shaft, waves can induce de novo neurite branching. Actin in waves maintains much of its cohesiveness during transport whereas actin in non-wave regions of the neurite rapidly diffuses as measured by live cell imaging of photoactivated GFP-actin and photoconversion of Dendra-actin. Thus, waves represent an alternative axonal transport mechanism for actin. Waves also occur in neurons in organotypic hippocampal slices where they propagate along neurites in the dentate gyrus and the CA regions and induce branching. Taken together, our results indicate that waves are physiologically relevant and contribute to axon growth and branching via the transport of actin and by increasing growth cone dynamics. PMID:19513994

  9. A Gβγ effector, ElmoE, transduces GPCR signaling to the actin network during chemotaxis.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jianshe; Mihaylov, Vassil; Xu, Xuehua; Brzostowski, Joseph A; Li, Hongyan; Liu, Lunhua; Veenstra, Timothy D; Parent, Carole A; Jin, Tian

    2012-01-17

    Activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) leads to the dissociation of heterotrimeric G-proteins into Gα and Gβγ subunits, which go on to regulate various effectors involved in a panoply of cellular responses. During chemotaxis, Gβγ subunits regulate actin assembly and migration, but the protein(s) linking Gβγ to the actin cytoskeleton remains unknown. Here, we identified a Gβγ effector, ElmoE in Dictyostelium, and demonstrated that it is required for GPCR-mediated chemotaxis. Remarkably, ElmoE associates with Gβγ and Dock-like proteins to activate the small GTPase Rac, in a GPCR-dependent manner, and also associates with Arp2/3 complex and F-actin. Thus, ElmoE serves as a link between chemoattractant GPCRs, G-proteins and the actin cytoskeleton. The pathway, consisting of GPCR, Gβγ, Elmo/Dock, Rac, and Arp2/3, spatially guides the growth of dendritic actin networks in pseudopods of eukaryotic cells during chemotaxis.

  10. RefilinB (FAM101B) targets FilaminA to organize perinuclear actin networks and regulates nuclear shape

    PubMed Central

    Gay, Olivia; Gilquin, Benoît; Nakamura, Fumihiko; Jenkins, Zandra A.; McCartney, Rosannah; Krakow, Deborah; Deshiere, Alexandre; Assard, Nicole; Hartwig, John H.; Robertson, Stephen P.; Baudier, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    The intracellular localization and shape of the nucleus plays a central role in cellular and developmental processes. In fibroblasts, nuclear movement and shape are controlled by a specific perinuclear actin network made of contractile actin filament bundles called transmembrane actin-associated nuclear (TAN) lines that form a structure called the actin cap. The identification of regulatory proteins associated with this specific actin cytoskeletal dynamic is a priority for understanding actin-based changes in nuclear shape and position in normal and pathological situations. Here, we first identify a unique family of actin regulators, the refilin proteins (RefilinA and RefilinB), that stabilize specifically perinuclear actin filament bundles. We next identify the actin-binding filamin A (FLNA) protein as the downstream effector of refilins. Refilins act as molecular switches to convert FLNA from an actin branching protein into one that bundles. In NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, the RefilinB/FLNA complex organizes the perinuclear actin filament bundles forming the actin cap. Finally, we demonstrate that in epithelial normal murine mammary gland (NmuMG) cells, the RefilinB/FLNA complex controls formation of a new perinuclear actin network that accompanies nuclear shape changes during the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). Our studies open perspectives for further functional analyses of this unique actin-based network and shed light on FLNA function during development and in human syndromes associated with FLNA mutations. PMID:21709252

  11. Morphology and viscoelasticity of actin networks formed with the mutually interacting crosslinkers: palladin and alpha-actinin.

    PubMed

    Grooman, Brian; Fujiwara, Ikuko; Otey, Carol; Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2012-01-01

    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 clearly understood. The ABP, palladin, is essential for the maintenance of cell morphology and the regulation of cell movement. Palladin coexists with α-actinin in stress fibers and focal adhesions and binds to both actin and α-actinin. To obtain insight into how mutually interacting actin crosslinking proteins modulate the properties of actin networks, we characterized the micro-structure and mechanics of actin networks crosslinked with palladin and α-actinin. We first showed that palladin crosslinks actin filaments into bundled networks which are viscoelastic in nature. Our studies also showed that composite networks of α-actinin/palladin/actin behave very similar to pure palladin or pure [Formula: see text]-actinin networks. However, we found evidence that palladin and α-actinin synergistically modify network viscoelasticity. To our knowledge, this is the first quantitative characterization of the physical properties of actin networks crosslinked with two mutually interacting crosslinkers.

  12. The effects of collapsing factors on F-actin content and microtubule distribution of Helisoma growth cones.

    PubMed

    Torreano, Paul J; Waterman-Storer, Clare M; Cohan, Christopher S

    2005-03-01

    Growth cone collapsing factors induce growth cone collapse or repulsive growth cone turning by interacting with membrane receptors that induce alterations in the growth cone cytoskeleton. A common change induced by collapsing factors in the cytoskeleton of the peripheral domain, the thin lamellopodial area of growth cones, is a decline in the number of radially aligned F-actin bundles that form the core of filopodia. The present study examined whether ML-7, a myosin light chain kinase inhibitor, serotonin, a neurotransmitter and TPA, an activator of protein kinase C, which induce growth cone collapse of Helisoma growth cones, depolymerized or debundled F-actin. We report that these collapsing factors had different effects. ML-7 induced F-actin reorganization consistent with debundling whereas serotonin and TPA predominately depolymerized and possibly debundled F-actin. Additionally, these collapsing factors induced the formation of a dense actin-ring around the central domain, the thicker proximal area of growth cones [Zhou and Cohan, 2001: J. Cell Biol. 153:1071-1083]. The formation of the actin-ring occurred subsequent to the loss of actin bundles. The ML-7-induced actin-ring was found to inhibit microtubule extension into the P-domain. Thus, ML-7, serotonin, and TPA induce growth cone collapse associated with a decline in radially aligned F-actin bundles through at least two mechanisms involving debundling of actin filaments and/or actin depolymerization.

  13. Coordinated Movement of Vesicles and Actin Bundles during Nerve Growth Revealed by Superresolution Microscopy.

    PubMed

    Nozumi, Motohiro; Nakatsu, Fubito; Katoh, Kaoru; Igarashi, Michihiro

    2017-02-28

    The growth cone is an essential structure for nerve growth. Although its membrane and cytoskeleton are likely to interact coordinately during nerve growth, the mechanisms are unknown due to their close proximity. Here, we used superresolution microscopy to simultaneously observe vesicles and F-actin in growth cones. We identified a novel vesicular generation mechanism that is independent of clathrin and dependent on endophilin-3- and dynamin-1 and that occurs proximal to the leading edge simultaneously with fascin-1-dependent F-actin bundling. In contrast to conventional clathrin-dependent endocytosis, which occurs distal from the leading edge at the basal surfaces of growth cones, this mechanism was distinctly observed at the apical surface using 3D imaging and was involved in mediating axon growth. Reduced endophilin or fascin inhibited this endocytic mechanism. These results suggest that, at the leading edge, vesicles are coordinately generated and transported with actin bundling during nerve growth.

  14. 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

  15. Nervous Wreck and Cdc42 cooperate to regulate endocytic actin assembly during synaptic growth

    PubMed Central

    Rodal, Avital A.; Motola-Barnes, Rebecca N.; Littleton, J. Troy

    2008-01-01

    Regulation of synaptic morphology depends on endocytosis of activated growth signal receptors, but the mechanisms regulating this membrane trafficking event are unclear. Actin polymerization mediated by WASp (Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein) and the Arp2/3 (Actin related protein 2/3) complex generates forces at multiple stages of endocytosis. F-BAR/SH3 domain proteins play key roles in this process by coordinating membrane deformation with WASp-dependent actin polymerization. However, it is not known how other WASp ligands, such as the small GTPase Cdc42, coordinate with F-BAR/SH3 proteins to regulate actin polymerization at membranes. Nervous Wreck (Nwk) is a conserved neuronal F-BAR/SH3 protein that localizes to periactive zones at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and is required for regulation of synaptic growth via BMP signaling. Here we show that Nwk interacts with the endocytic proteins dynamin and Dap160 and functions together with Cdc42 to promote WASp-mediated actin polymerization in vitro and to regulate synaptic growth in vivo. Cdc42 function is associated with Rab11-dependent recycling endosomes, and we show that Rab11 co-localizes with Nwk at the NMJ. Taken together, our results suggest that synaptic growth activated by growth factor signaling is controlled at an endosomal compartment via coordinated Nwk and Cdc42-dependent actin assembly. PMID:18701694

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. In vitro studies of actin filament and network dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Mullins, R Dyche; Hansen, Scott D

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  19. Structural and viscoelastic properties of actin networks formed by espin or pathologically relevant espin mutants.

    PubMed

    Lieleg, Oliver; Schmoller, Kurt M; Purdy Drew, Kirstin R; Claessens, Mireille M A E; Semmrich, Christine; Zheng, Lili; Bartles, James R; Bausch, Andreas R

    2009-11-09

    The structural organization of the cytoskeleton determines its viscoelastic response which is crucial for the correct functionality of living cells. Both the mechanical response and microstructure of the cytoskeleton are regulated on a microscopic level by the local activation of different actin binding and/or bundling proteins (ABPs). Misregulations in the expression of these ABPs or mutations in their sequence can entail severe cellular dysfunctions and diseases. Here, we study the structural and viscoelastic properties of reconstituted actin networks cross-linked by the ABP espin and compare the obtained network properties to those of other bundled actin networks. Moreover, we quantify the impact of pathologically relevant espin mutations on the viscoelastic properties of these cytoskeletal networks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-21

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

  1. ZNF185, an actin-cytoskeleton-associated growth inhibitory LIM protein in prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J-S; Gong, A; Young, C Y F

    2007-01-04

    We have recently identified ZNF185 as a gene that is downregulated in prostate cancer (PCa), in part via epigenetic alteration, and maybe associated with disease progression. In this study, we cloned the ZNF185 cDNA from normal human prostate tissues and investigated its biological function. We show that ZNF185 is a novel actin-cytoskeleton-associated Lin-l 1, Isl-1 and Mec-3 (LIM) domain-containing protein that localizes to F-actin structures, and is enriched at focal adhesions. We find that the NH(2)-terminal region, which we designate the actin-targeting domain, facilitates ZNF185 binding to actin in vitro and is both necessary and sufficient to mediate actin-cytoskeleton targeting of ZNF185, whereas the LIM domain, which is localized in the COOH-terminus is dispensable for this phenomenon. Interestingly, ectopic expression of full-length ZNF185, but not a mutant lacking the actin-targeting domain, could suppress proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of PCa cells. Together, our data suggest that ZNF185 may function as a tumor-suppressor protein by associating with the actin-cytoskeleton.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Strain hardening, avalanches, and strain softening in dense cross-linked actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, Jan A.; Kumar, P. B. Sunil; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Karttunen, Mikko

    2008-05-01

    Actin filament networks enable the cytoskeleton to adjust to internal and external forcing. These dynamic networks can adapt to changes by dynamically adjusting their cross-links. Here, we model actin filaments as cross-linked elastic fibers of finite dimensions, with the cross-links being approximately 1μm apart, and employ a full three-dimensional model to study their elastic properties by computer simulations. The results show compelling evidence that dense actin networks are characterized by (a) strain hardening without entropic elasticity, (b) avalanches of cross-link slippage leading to strain softening in the case of breakable cross-links, and (c) spontaneous formation of stress fibers in the case of dynamic cross-link formation and destruction.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Actin disruption alters the localization of tau in the growth cones of cerebellar granule neurons.

    PubMed

    Zmuda, J F; Rivas, R J

    2000-08-01

    Cultured cerebellar granule neurons initially extend a single axon, followed by the extension of a second axon to attain a bipolar morphology. Differentiation culminates with the extension of several short dendrites from the cell body. In the present study, we determined the location of the dephosphorylated form of the microtubule-associated protein tau (dtau) within the growth cones of newly forming axons and examined whether this localization was influenced by the actin cytoskeleton. Following elongation of the initial axon at 2-3 days in vitro, dtau immunoreactivity was present along the entire length of the axon, becoming most intense just proximal to the growth cone. Dtau labeling dropped off dramatically along the microtubules of the growth cone and was undetectable along the most distal tips of these microtubules. As the initial axon continued to elongate at 3-4 days in vitro, the actin-rich growth cone peripheral domain characteristically underwent a dramatic reduction in size. Dtau immunoreactivity extended all the way to the most distal tips of the microtubules in the growth cones of these cells. Cytochalasin D and latrunculin A mimicked the effects of this characteristic reduction in growth cone size with regard to dtau localization in the growth cone. Depolymerization of filamentous actin caused the collapse of the peripheral domain and allowed dtau to bind all the way to the most distal tips of microtubules in the axon. Upon removal of the drugs, the peripheral domain of the growth cone rapidly re-formed and dtau was once again excluded from the most distal regions of growth cone microtubules. These findings suggest a novel role for actin in determining the localization of the microtubule-associated protein &tgr; within the growth cones of neurons.

  11. Buckling-induced F-actin fragmentation modulates the contraction of active cytoskeletal networks.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Biel, Thomas; Lomada, Pranith; Yu, Qilin; Kim, Taeyoon

    2017-04-11

    Actomyosin contractility originating from interactions between F-actin and myosin facilitates various structural reorganizations of the actin cytoskeleton. Cross-linked actomyosin networks show a tendency to contract to single or multiple foci, which has been investigated extensively in numerous studies. Recently, it was suggested that suppression of F-actin buckling via an increase in bending rigidity significantly reduces network contraction. In this study, we demonstrate that networks may show the largest contraction at intermediate bending rigidity, not at the lowest rigidity, if filaments are severed by buckling arising from myosin activity as demonstrated in recent experiments; if filaments are very flexible, frequent severing events can severely deteriorate network connectivity, leading to the formation of multiple small foci and low network contraction. By contrast, if filaments are too stiff, the networks exhibit minimal contraction due to the inhibition of filament buckling. This study reveals that buckling-induced filament severing can modulate the contraction of active cytoskeletal networks, which has been neglected to date.

  12. Toxoplasma gondii F-actin forms an extensive filamentous network required for material exchange and parasite maturation

    PubMed Central

    Periz, Javier; Whitelaw, Jamie; Harding, Clare; Gras, Simon; Del Rosario Minina, Mario Igor; Latorre-Barragan, Fernanda; Lemgruber, Leandro; Reimer, Madita Alice; Insall, Robert; Heaslip, Aoife; Meissner, Markus

    2017-01-01

    Apicomplexan actin is important during the parasite's life cycle. Its polymerization kinetics are unusual, permitting only short, unstable F-actin filaments. It has not been possible to study actin in vivo and so its physiological roles have remained obscure, leading to models distinct from conventional actin behaviour. Here a modified version of the commercially available actin-chromobody was tested as a novel tool for visualising F-actin dynamics in Toxoplasma gondii. Cb labels filamentous actin structures within the parasite cytosol and labels an extensive F-actin network that connects parasites within the parasitophorous vacuole and allows vesicles to be exchanged between parasites. In the absence of actin, parasites lack a residual body and inter-parasite connections and grow in an asynchronous and disorganized manner. Collectively, these data identify new roles for actin in the intracellular phase of the parasites lytic cycle and provide a robust new tool for imaging parasitic F-actin dynamics. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.24119.001 PMID:28322189

  13. Arabidopsis ACT11 modifies actin turnover to promote pollen germination and maintain the normal rate of tube growth.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ming; Huang, Shanjin

    2015-08-01

    Actin is an ancient conserved protein that is encoded by multiple isovariants in multicellular organisms. There are eight functional actin genes in the Arabidopsis genome, and the precise function and mechanism of action of each isovariant remain poorly understood. Here, we report the characterization of ACT11, a reproductive actin isovariant. Our studies reveal that loss of function of ACT11 causes a delay in pollen germination, but enhances pollen tube growth. Cytological analysis revealed that the amount of filamentous actin decreased, and the rate of actin turnover increased in act11 pollen. Convergence of actin filaments upon the germination aperture was impaired in act11 pollen, consistent with the observed delay of germination. Reduction of actin dynamics with jasplakinolide suppressed the germination and tube growth phenotypes in act11 pollen, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms involve an increase in actin dynamics. Thus, we demonstrate that ACT11 is required to maintain the rate of actin turnover in order to promote pollen germination and maintain the normal rate of pollen tube growth.

  14. Memo-RhoA-mDia1 signaling controls microtubules, the actin network, and adhesion site formation in migrating cells.

    PubMed

    Zaoui, Kossay; Honoré, Stéphane; Isnardon, Daniel; Braguer, Diane; Badache, Ali

    2008-11-03

    Actin assembly at the cell front drives membrane protrusion and initiates the cell migration cycle. Microtubules (MTs) extend within forward protrusions to sustain cell polarity and promote adhesion site turnover. Memo is an effector of the ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase involved in breast carcinoma cell migration. However, its mechanism of action remained unknown. We report in this study that Memo controls ErbB2-regulated MT dynamics by altering the transition frequency between MT growth and shortening phases. Moreover, although Memo-depleted cells can assemble the Rac1-dependent actin meshwork and form lamellipodia, they show defective localization of lamellipodial markers such as alpha-actinin-1 and a reduced number of short-lived adhesion sites underlying the advancing edge of migrating cells. Finally, we demonstrate that Memo is required for the localization of the RhoA guanosine triphosphatase and its effector mDia1 to the plasma membrane and that Memo-RhoA-mDia1 signaling coordinates the organization of the lamellipodial actin network, adhesion site formation, and MT outgrowth within the cell leading edge to sustain cell motility.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  17. The Eps8/IRSp53/VASP Network Differentially Controls Actin Capping and Bundling in Filopodia Formation

    PubMed Central

    Milanesi, Francesca; Di Fiore, Pier Paolo; Menna, Elisabetta; Matteoli, Michela; Gov, Nir S.; Scita, Giorgio; Ciliberto, Andrea

    2011-01-01

    There is a body of literature that describes the geometry and the physics of filopodia using either stochastic models or partial differential equations and elasticity and coarse-grained theory. Comparatively, there is a paucity of models focusing on the regulation of the network of proteins that control the formation of different actin structures. Using a combination of in-vivo and in-vitro experiments together with a system of ordinary differential equations, we focused on a small number of well-characterized, interacting molecules involved in actin-dependent filopodia formation: the actin remodeler Eps8, whose capping and bundling activities are a function of its ligands, Abi-1 and IRSp53, respectively; VASP and Capping Protein (CP), which exert antagonistic functions in controlling filament elongation. The model emphasizes the essential role of complexes that contain the membrane deforming protein IRSp53, in the process of filopodia initiation. This model accurately accounted for all observations, including a seemingly paradoxical result whereby genetic removal of Eps8 reduced filopodia in HeLa, but increased them in hippocampal neurons, and generated quantitative predictions, which were experimentally verified. The model further permitted us to explain how filopodia are generated in different cellular contexts, depending on the dynamic interaction established by Eps8, IRSp53 and VASP with actin filaments, thus revealing an unexpected plasticity of the signaling network that governs the multifunctional activities of its components in the formation of filopodia. PMID:21814501

  18. Crosslinked actin networks show liquid crystal elastomer behaviour, including soft-mode elasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalhaimer, Paul; Discher, Dennis E.; Lubensky, Tom C.

    2007-05-01

    Actin filament networks with protein crosslinks of distinct length and flexibility resemble liquid crystal elastomers. We simulate actin filament systems with flexible crosslinkers of varying length and connectivity to understand general phase behaviour and elasticity. Simulated networks with very short filaments and long crosslinkers resemble the cytoskeleton of the red blood cell and remain isotropic in compression and shear, seeming well-suited to blood flow. In contrast, networks with longer filaments as found in many cell types show three regimes of nematic phase behaviour dependent on crosslinker length: (1) `loose' networks are isotropic at zero stress but align under compression or shear; (2) `semi-loose' networks are nematic at low stress but become isotropic under dilation and (3) `tight' networks possess a locked-in nematic order as represented by the cytoskeleton of the outer hair cell in the ear, for which anisotropic compliance directs sound propagation. Furthermore, for a subset of loose networks with `periodic' connections among filaments, extremely soft stress-strain behaviour is found, as predicted for liquid crystal elastomers.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  1. Dendritic Actin Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

    2010-03-01

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

  2. MicroFilament Analyzer identifies actin network organizations in epidermal cells of Arabidopsis thaliana roots

    PubMed Central

    Jacques, Eveline; Lewandowski, Michal; Buytaert, Jan; Fierens, Yves; Verbelen, Jean-Pierre; Vissenberg, Kris

    2013-01-01

    The plant cytoskeleton plays a crucial role in the cells’ growth and development during different developmental stages and it undergoes many rearrangements. In order to describe the arrangements of the F-actin cytoskeleton in root epidermal cells of Arabidopsis thaliana, the recently developed software MicroFilament Analyzer (MFA) was exploited. This software enables high-throughput identification and quantification of the orientation of filamentous structures on digital images in a highly standardized and fast way. Using confocal microscopy and transgenic GFP-FABD2-GFP plants the actin cytoskeleton was visualized in the root epidermis. MFA analysis revealed that during the early stages of cell development F-actin is organized in a mainly random pattern. As the cells grow, they preferentially adopt a longitudinal organization, a pattern that is also preserved in the largest cells. In the evolution from young to old cells, an approximately even distribution of transverse, oblique or combined orientations is always present besides the switch from random to a longitudinal oriented actin cytoskeleton. PMID:23656865

  3. Actin-myosin network influences morphological response of neuronal cells to altered osmolarity.

    PubMed

    Bober, Brian G; Love, James M; Horton, Steven M; Sitnova, Mariya; Shahamatdar, Sina; Kannan, Ajay; Shah, Sameer B

    2015-04-01

    Acute osmotic fluctuations in the brain occur during a number of clinical conditions and can result in a variety of adverse neurological symptoms. Osmotic perturbation can cause changes in the volumes of intra- and extracellular fluid and, due to the rigidity of the skull, can alter intracranial pressure thus making it difficult to analyze purely osmotic effects in vivo. The present study aims to determine the effects of changes in osmolarity on SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells in vitro, and the role of the actin-myosin network in regulating this response. Cells were exposed to hyper- or hypoosmotic media and morphological and cytoskeletal responses were recorded. Hyperosmotic shock resulted in a drop in cell body volume and planar area, a persisting shape deformation, and increases in cellular translocation. Hypoosmotic shock did not significantly alter planar area, but caused a transient increase in cell body volume and an increase in cellular translocation via the development of small protrusions rich in actin. Disruption of the actin-myosin network with latrunculin and blebbistatin resulted in changes to volume and shape regulation, and a decrease in cellular translocation. In both osmotic perturbations, no apparent disruptions to cytoskeletal integrity were observed by light microscopy. Overall, because osmotically induced changes persisted even after volume regulation occurred, it is possible that osmotic stress may play a larger role in neurological dysfunction than currently believed.

  4. 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.

  5. Self-organized gels in DNA/F-actin mixtures without crosslinkers: networks of induced nematic domains with tunable density.

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-21

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. LRRK2 guides the actin cytoskeleton at growth cones together with ARHGEF7 and Tropomyosin 4.

    PubMed

    Häbig, Karina; Gellhaar, Sandra; Heim, Birgit; Djuric, Verena; Giesert, Florian; Wurst, Wolfgang; Walter, Carolin; Hentrich, Thomas; Riess, Olaf; Bonin, Michael

    2013-12-01

    Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene represent the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, LRRK2 function and molecular mechanisms causing the parkinsonian phenotype remain widely unknown. Most of LRRK2 knockdown and overexpression models strengthen the relevance of LRRK2 in regulating neurite outgrowth. We have recently identified ARHGEF7 as the first guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) of LRRK2. This GEF is influencing neurite outgrowth through regulation of actin polymerization. Here, we examined the expression profile of neuroblastoma cells with reduced LRRK2 and ARHGEF7 levels to identify additional partners of LRRK2 in this process. Tropomyosins (TPMs), and in particular TPM4, were the most interesting candidates next to other actin cytoskeleton regulating transcripts in this dataset. Subsequently, enhanced neurite branching was shown using primary hippocampal neurons of LRRK2 knockdown animals. Furthermore, we observed an enhanced number of growth cones per neuron and a mislocalization and dysregulation of ARHGEF7 and TPM4 in these neuronal compartments. Our results reveal a fascinating connection between the neurite outgrowth phenotype of LRRK2 models and the regulation of actin polymerization directing further investigations of LRRK2-related pathogenesis.

  9. 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.

  10. Elastic coupling of nascent apCAM adhesions to flowing actin networks.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  12. Direct observation of dendritic actin filament networks nucleated by Arp2/3 complex and WASP/Scar proteins.

    PubMed

    Blanchoin, L; Amann, K J; Higgs, H N; Marchand, J B; Kaiser, D A; Pollard, T D

    2000-04-27

    Most nucleated cells crawl about by extending a pseudopod that is driven by the polymerization of actin filaments in the cytoplasm behind the leading edge of the plasma membrane. These actin filaments are linked into a network by Y-branches, with the pointed end of each filament attached to the side of another filament and the rapidly growing barbed end facing forward. Because Arp2/3 complex nucleates actin polymerization and links the pointed end to the side of another filament in vitro, a dendritic nucleation model has been proposed in which Arp2/3 complex initiates filaments from the sides of older filaments. Here we report, by using a light microscopy assay, many new features of the mechanism. Branching occurs during, rather than after, nucleation by Arp2/3 complex activated by the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) or Scar protein; capping protein and profilin act synergistically with Arp2/3 complex to favour branched nucleation; phosphate release from aged actin filaments favours dissociation of Arp2/3 complex from the pointed ends of filaments; and branches created by Arp2/3 complex are relatively rigid. These properties result in the automatic assembly of the branched actin network after activation by proteins of the WASP/Scar family and favour the selective disassembly of proximal regions of the network.

  13. A family of ROP proteins that suppresses actin dynamics, and is essential for polarized growth and cell adhesion.

    PubMed

    Burkart, Graham M; Baskin, Tobias I; Bezanilla, Magdalena

    2015-07-15

    In plants, the ROP family of small GTPases has been implicated in the polarized growth of tip-growing cells, such as root hairs and pollen tubes; however, most of the data derive from overexpressing ROP genes or constitutively active and dominant-negative isoforms, whereas confirmation by using loss-of-function studies has generally been lacking. Here, in the model moss Physcomitrella patens, we study ROP signaling during tip growth by using a loss-of-function approach based on RNA interference (RNAi) to silence the entire moss ROP family. We find that plants with reduced expression of ROP genes, in addition to failing to initiate tip growth, have perturbed cell wall staining, reduced cell adhesion and have increased actin-filament dynamics. Although plants subjected to RNAi against the ROP family also have reduced microtubule dynamics, this reduction is not specific to loss of ROP genes, as it occurs when actin function is compromised chemically or genetically. Our data suggest that ROP proteins polarize the actin cytoskeleton by suppressing actin-filament dynamics, leading to an increase in actin filaments at the site of polarized secretion.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jacquelyn A; Bridgman, Paul C

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

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

  17. In vitro expression of the alpha-smooth muscle actin isoform by rat lung mesenchymal cells: regulation by culture condition and transforming growth factor-beta.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, J J; Woodcock-Mitchell, J L; Perry, L; Zhao, J; Low, R B; Baldor, L; Absher, P M

    1993-07-01

    alpha-Smooth muscle actin (alpha SM actin)-containing cells recently have been demonstrated in intraalveolar lesions in both rat and human tissues following lung injury. In order to develop model systems for the study of such cells, we examined cultured lung cell lines for this phenotype. The adult rat lung fibroblast-like "RL" cell lines were found to express alpha SM actin mRNA and protein and to organize this actin into stress fiber-like structures. Immunocytochemical staining of subclones of the RL87 line demonstrated the presence in the cultures of at least four cell phenotypes, one that fails to express alpha SM actin and three distinct morphologic types that do express alpha SM actin. The proportion of cellular actin that is the alpha-isoform was modulated by the culture conditions. RL cells growing at low density expressed minimal alpha SM actin. On reaching confluent densities, however, alpha SM actin increased to at least 20% of the total actin content. This effect, combined with the observation that the most immunoreactive cells were those that displayed overlapping cell processes in culture, suggests that cell-cell contact may be involved in actin isoform regulation in these cells. Similar to the response of some smooth muscle cell lines, alpha SM actin expression in RL cells also was promoted by conditions, e.g., maintenance in low serum medium, which minimize cell division. alpha SM actin expression was modulated in RL cells by the growth factor transforming growth factor-beta. Addition of this cytokine to growing cells substantially elevated the proportion of alpha SM actin protein.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  19. Actin polymerization machinery: the finish line of signaling networks, the starting point of cellular movement.

    PubMed

    Disanza, A; Steffen, A; Hertzog, M; Frittoli, E; Rottner, K; Scita, G

    2005-05-01

    Dynamic assembly of actin filaments generates the forces supporting cell motility. Several recent biochemical and genetic studies have revealed a plethora of different actin binding proteins whose coordinated activity regulates the turnover of actin filaments, thus controlling a variety of actin-based processes, including cell migration. Additionally, emerging evidence is highlighting a scenario whereby the same basic set of actin regulatory proteins is also the convergent node of different signaling pathways emanating from extracellular stimuli, like those from receptor tyrosine kinases. Here, we will focus on the molecular mechanisms of how the machinery of actin polymerization functions and is regulated, in a signaling-dependent mode, to generate site-directed actin assembly leading to cell motility.

  20. Gas7b (growth arrest specific protein 7b) regulates neuronal cell morphology by enhancing microtubule and actin filament assembly.

    PubMed

    Gotoh, Aina; Hidaka, Masafumi; Hirose, Keiko; Uchida, Takafumi

    2013-11-29

    Neurons undergo several morphological changes as a part of normal neuron maturation process. Alzheimer disease is associated with increased neuroproliferation and impaired neuronal maturation. In this study, we demonstrated that Gas7b (growth arrest specific protein 7b) expression in a neuronal cell line, Neuro 2A, induces cell maturation by facilitating formation of dendrite-like processes and/or filopodia projections and that Gas7b co-localizes with neurite microtubules. Molecular analysis was performed to evaluate whether Gas7b associates with actin filaments and microtubules, and the data revealed two novel roles of Gas7b in neurite outgrowth: we showed that Gas7b enhances bundling of several microtubule filaments and connects microtubules with actin filaments. These results suggest that Gas7b governs neural cell morphogenesis by enhancing the coordination between actin filaments and microtubules. We conclude that lower neuronal Gas7b levels may impact Alzheimer disease progression.

  1. Connective tissue growth factor modulates podocyte actin cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix synthesis and is induced in podocytes upon injury.

    PubMed

    Fuchshofer, Rudolf; Ullmann, Sabrina; Zeilbeck, Ludwig F; Baumann, Matti; Junglas, Benjamin; Tamm, Ernst R

    2011-09-01

    Structural changes of podocytes and retraction of their foot processes are a critical factor in the pathogenesis of minimal change nephritis and glomerulosclerosis. Here we tested, if connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is involved in podocyte injury during acute and chronic puromycin aminonucleoside nephrosis (PAN) as animal models of minimal change nephritis, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, respectively. Rats were treated once (acute PAN) or for 13 weeks (chronic PAN). In both experimental conditions, CTGF and its mRNA were found to be highly upregulated in podocytes. The upregulation correlated with onset and duration of proteinuria in acute PAN, and glomerulosclerosis and high expression of glomerular fibronectin, and collagens I, III, and IV in chronic PAN. In vitro, treatment of podocytes with recombinant CTGF increased amount and density of actin stress fibers, the expression of actin-associated molecules such as podocalyxin, synaptopodin, ezrin, and actinin-4, and activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Moreover, we observed increased podocyte expression of mRNA for transforming growth factor (TGF)-β2, TGF-β receptor II, fibronectin, and collagens I, III, and IV. Treatment of cultured podocytes with puromycin aminonucleoside resulted in loss of actin stress fibers and cell death, effects that were partially prevented when CTGF was added to the culture medium. Depletion of CTGF mRNA in cultured podocytes by RNA interference reduced both the number of actin stress fibers and the expression of actin-associated molecules. We propose that the expression of CTGF is acutely upregulated in podocytes as part of a cellular attempt to repair structural changes of the actin cytoskeleton. When the damaging effects on podocyte structure and function persist chronically, continuous CTGF expression in podocytes is a critical factor that promotes progressive accumulation of glomerular extracellular matrix and

  2. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 induces alpha-smooth muscle actin expression in granulation tissue myofibroblasts and in quiescent and growing cultured fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    Granulation tissue fibroblasts (myofibroblasts) develop several ultrastructural and biochemical features of smooth muscle (SM) cells, including the presence of microfilament bundles and the expression of alpha-SM actin, the actin isoform typical of vascular SM cells. Myofibroblasts have been proposed to play a role in wound contraction and in retractile phenomena observed during fibrotic diseases. We show here that the subcutaneous administration of transforming growth factor- beta 1 (TGF beta 1) to rats results in the formation of a granulation tissue in which alpha-SM actin expressing myofibroblasts are particularly abundant. Other cytokines and growth factors, such as platelet-derived growth factor and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, despite their profibrotic activity, do not induce alpha-SM actin in myofibroblasts. In situ hybridization with an alpha-SM actin probe shows a high level of alpha-SM actin mRNA expression in myofibroblasts of TGF beta 1-induced granulation tissue. Moreover, TGF beta 1 induces alpha-SM actin protein and mRNA expression in growing and quiescent cultured fibroblasts and preincubation of culture medium containing whole blood serum with neutralizing antibodies to TGF beta 1 results in a decrease of alpha-SM actin expression by fibroblasts in replicative and non-replicative conditions. These results suggest that TGF beta 1 plays an important role in myofibroblast differentiation during wound healing and fibrocontractive diseases by regulating the expression of alpha-SM actin in these cells. PMID:8314838

  3. Nuclei migrate through constricted spaces using microtubule motors and actin networks in C. elegans hypodermal cells.

    PubMed

    Bone, Courtney R; Chang, Yu-Tai; Cain, Natalie E; Murphy, Shaun P; Starr, Daniel A

    2016-11-15

    Cellular migrations through constricted spaces are a crucial aspect of many developmental and disease processes including hematopoiesis, inflammation and metastasis. A limiting factor in these events is nuclear deformation. Here, we establish an in vivo model in which nuclei can be visualized while moving through constrictions and use it to elucidate mechanisms for nuclear migration. C. elegans hypodermal P-cell larval nuclei traverse a narrow space that is about 5% their width. This constriction is blocked by fibrous organelles, structures that pass through P cells to connect the muscles to cuticle. Fibrous organelles are removed just prior to nuclear migration, when nuclei and lamins undergo extreme morphological changes to squeeze through the space. Both actin and microtubule networks are organized to mediate nuclear migration. The LINC complex, consisting of the SUN protein UNC-84 and the KASH protein UNC-83, recruits dynein and kinesin-1 to the nuclear surface. Both motors function in P-cell nuclear migration, but dynein, functioning through UNC-83, plays a more central role as nuclei migrate towards minus ends of polarized microtubule networks. Thus, the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton are coordinated to move nuclei through constricted spaces.

  4. Directed actin assembly and motility.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Networks Models of Actin Dynamics during Spermatozoa Postejaculatory Life: A Comparison among Human-Made and Text Mining-Based Models

    PubMed Central

    Ordinelli, Alessandra; Ramal Sanchez, Marina; Mattioli, Mauro; Barboni, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Here we realized a networks-based model representing the process of actin remodelling that occurs during the acquisition of fertilizing ability of human spermatozoa (HumanMade_ActinSpermNetwork, HM_ASN). Then, we compared it with the networks provided by two different text mining tools: Agilent Literature Search (ALS) and PESCADOR. As a reference, we used the data from the online repository Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), referred to the actin dynamics in a more general biological context. We found that HM_ALS and the networks from KEGG data shared the same scale-free topology following the Barabasi-Albert model, thus suggesting that the information is spread within the network quickly and efficiently. On the contrary, the networks obtained by ALS and PESCADOR have a scale-free hierarchical architecture, which implies a different pattern of information transmission. Also, the hubs identified within the networks are different: HM_ALS and KEGG networks contain as hubs several molecules known to be involved in actin signalling; ALS was unable to find other hubs than “actin,” whereas PESCADOR gave some nonspecific result. This seems to suggest that the human-made information retrieval in the case of a specific event, such as actin dynamics in human spermatozoa, could be a reliable strategy. PMID:27642606

  7. Network growth models and genetic regulatory networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, D. V.; Kauffman, S. A.; Socolar, J. E. S.

    2006-03-01

    We study a class of growth algorithms for directed graphs that are candidate models for the evolution of genetic regulatory networks. The algorithms involve partial duplication of nodes and their links, together with the innovation of new links, allowing for the possibility that input and output links from a newly created node may have different probabilities of survival. We find some counterintuitive trends as the parameters are varied, including the broadening of the in-degree distribution when the probability for retaining input links is decreased. We also find that both the scaling of transcription factors with genome size and the measured degree distributions for genes in yeast can be reproduced by the growth algorithm if and only if a special seed is used to initiate the process.

  8. Network growth models and genetic regulatory networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Socolar, Joshua; Foster, David; Kauffman, Stuart

    2006-03-01

    We study a class of growth algorithms for directed graphs that are candidate models for the evolution of genetic regulatory networks. The algorithms involve partial duplication of nodes and their links, together with innovation of new links, allowing for the possibility that input and output links from a newly created node may have different probabilities of survival. We find some counterintuitive trends as parameters are varied, including the broadening of indegree distribution when the probability for retaining input links is decreased. We also find that both the scaling of transcription factors with genome size and the measured degree distributions for genes in yeast can be reproduced by the growth algorithm if and only if a special seed is used to initiate the process.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majumdar, Sayantan; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2015-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel Szymanski

    2012-10-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-13

    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.

  12. 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

  13. CRMP-5 interacts with actin to regulate neurite outgrowth

    PubMed Central

    GONG, XIAOBING; TAN, MINGHUI; GAO, YUAN; CHEN, KEEN; GUO, GUOQING

    2016-01-01

    CRMP family proteins (CRMPs) are abundantly expressed in the developing nervous system mediating growth cone guidance, neuronal polarity and axon elongation. CRMP-5 has been indicated to serve a critical role in neurite outgrowth. However, the detailed mechanisms of how CRMP-5 regulates neurite outgrowth remain unclear. In the current study, co-immunoprecipitation was used to identify the fact that CRMP-5 interacted with the actin and tubulin cytoskeleton networks in the growth cones of developing hippocampal neurons. CRMP-5 exhibited increased affinity towards actin when compared with microtubules. Immunocytochemistry was used to identify the fact that CRMP-5 colocalized with actin predominantly in the C-domain and T-zone in growth cones. In addition, genetic inhibition of CRMP-5 by siRNA suppressed the expression of actin, growth cone development and neurite outgrowth. Overexpression of CRMP-5 promoted the interaction with actin, growth cone development and hippocampal neurite outgrowth. Taken together, these data suggest that CRMP-5 is able to interact with the actin cytoskeleton network in the growth cone and affect growth cone development and neurite outgrowth via this interaction in developing hippocampal neurons. PMID:26677106

  14. Distribution of GAP-43, beta-III tubulin and F-actin in developing and regenerating axons and their growth cones in vitro, following neurotrophin treatment.

    PubMed

    Avwenagha, Ovokeloye; Campbell, Gregor; Bird, Margaret M

    2003-11-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) when added to explant cultures of both embryonic and adult retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons exerted a marked effect on their growth cone size and complexity and also on the intensity of GAP-43, beta-III tubulin and F-actin immunoreaction product in their axons. GAP-43 was distributed in axons, lamellipodia, and filopodia whereas beta-III tubulin was distributed along the length of developing and adult regenerating axons and also in the C-domain of their growth cones. BDNF-treated developing RGC growth cones were larger and displayed increased numbers of GAP-43 and microtubule-containing branches. Although filopodia and lamellipodia were lost from both developing and adult RGC growth cones following trkB-IgG treatment, the intensity of the immunoreaction product of all these molecules was reduced and trkB-IgGs had no effect on the axonal distribution of betas-III tubulin and GAP-43. BDNF-treated growth cones also displayed increased numbers of F-actin containing filopodia and axonal protrusions. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that trkB-IgG treatment causes the loss of F-actin in the P-domain of growth cone tips in developing and regenerating RGC axons. Although microtubules and F-actin domains normally remained distinct in cultured growth cones, beta-III tubulin and F-actin overlapped within the growth cone C-domain, and within axonal protrusions of adult RGC axons, under higher concentrations of BDNF. The collapse of RGC growth cones appeared to correlate with the loss of F-actin. In vitro, trkB signalling may therefore be involved in the maintenance and stabilisation of RGC axons, by influencing F-actin polymerisation, stabilisation and distribution.

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

    PubMed

    Ladt, Kelsey; Ganguly, Archan; Roy, Subhojit

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Amplification of actin polymerization forces.

    PubMed

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-03-28

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

  18. TGFβ2 Induces the Formation of Cross-Linked Actin Networks (CLANs) in Human Trabecular Meshwork Cells Through the Smad and Non-Smad Dependent Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Montecchi-Palmer, Michela; Bermudez, Jaclyn Y.; Webber, Hannah C.; Patel, Gaurang C.; Clark, Abbot F.; Mao, Weiming

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Increased intraocular pressure results from increased aqueous humor (AH) outflow resistance at the trabecular meshwork (TM) due to pathologic changes including the formation of cross-linked actin networks (CLANs). Transforming growth factor β2 (TGFβ2) is elevated in the AH and TM of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) patients and induces POAG-associated TM changes, including CLANs. We determined the role of individual TGFβ2 signaling pathways in CLAN formation. Methods Cultured nonglaucomatous human TM (NTM) cells were treated with control or TGFβ2, with or without the inhibitors of TGFβ receptor, Smad3, c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK), extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK), P38, or Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK). NTM cells were cotreated with TGFβ2 plus inhibitors for 10 days or pretreated with TGFβ2 for 10 days followed by 1-hour inhibitor treatment. NTM cells were immunostained with phalloidin-Alexa-488 and 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). Data were analyzed using 1-way ANOVA and Dunnett's post hoc test. Results TGFβ2 significantly induced CLAN formation (n = 6 to 12, P < 0.05), which was completely inhibited by TGFβ receptor, Smad3, and ERK inhibitors, as well as completely or partially inhibited by JNK, P38, and ROCK inhibitors, depending on cell strains. One-hour exposure to ROCK inhibitor completely resolved formed CLANs (P < 0.05), whereas TGFβ receptor, Smad3 inhibitor, and ERK inhibitors resulted in partial or complete resolution. The JNK and P38 inhibitors showed partial or no resolution. Among these inhibitors, the ROCK inhibitor was the most disruptive to the actin stress fibers, whereas ERK inhibition showed the least disruption. Conclusions TGFβ2-induced CLANs in NTM cells were prevented and resolved using various pathway inhibitors. Apart from CLAN inhibition, some of these inhibitors also had different effects on actin stress fibers. PMID:28241317

  19. Nucleocapsid of Tomato spotted wilt tospovirus forms mobile particles that traffic on an actin/endoplasmic reticulum network driven by myosin XI-K.

    PubMed

    Feng, Zhike; Chen, Xiaojiao; Bao, Yiqun; Dong, Jiahong; Zhang, Zhongkai; Tao, Xiaorong

    2013-12-01

    A number of viral proteins from plant viruses, other than movement proteins, have been shown to traffic intracellularly along actin filaments and to be involved in viral infection. However, there has been no report that a viral capsid protein may traffic within a cell by utilizing the actin/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network. We used Tomato spotted wilt tospovirus (TSWV) as a model virus to study the cell biological properties of a nucleocapsid (N) protein. We found that TSWV N protein was capable of forming highly motile cytoplasmic inclusions that moved along the ER and actin network. The disruption of actin filaments by latrunculin B, an actin-depolymerizing agent, almost stopped the intracellular movement of N inclusions, whereas treatment with a microtubule-depolymerizing reagent, oryzalin, did not. The over-expression of a myosin XI-K tail, functioning in a dominant-negative manner, completely halted the movement of N inclusions. Latrunculin B treatment strongly inhibited the formation of TSWV local lesions in Nicotiana tabacum cv Samsun NN and delayed systemic infection in N. benthamiana. Collectively, our findings provide the first evidence that the capsid protein of a plant virus has the novel property of intracellular trafficking. The findings add capsid protein as a new class of viral protein that traffics on the actin/ER system.

  20. Combinatorial genetic analysis of a network of actin disassembly‐promoting factors

    PubMed Central

    Ydenberg, Casey A.; Johnston, Adam; Weinstein, Jaclyn; Bellavance, Danielle; Jansen, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    The patterning of actin cytoskeleton structures in vivo is a product of spatially and temporally regulated polymer assembly balanced by polymer disassembly. While in recent years our understanding of actin assembly mechanisms has grown immensely, our knowledge of actin disassembly machinery and mechanisms has remained comparatively sparse. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an ideal system to tackle this problem, both because of its amenabilities to genetic manipulation and live‐cell imaging and because only a single gene encodes each of the core disassembly factors: cofilin (COF1), Srv2/CAP (SRV2), Aip1 (AIP1), GMF (GMF1/AIM7), coronin (CRN1), and twinfilin (TWF1). Among these six factors, only the functions of cofilin are essential and have been well defined. Here, we investigated the functions of the nonessential actin disassembly factors by performing genetic and live‐cell imaging analyses on a combinatorial set of isogenic single, double, triple, and quadruple mutants in S. cerevisiae. Our results show that each disassembly factor makes an important contribution to cell viability, actin organization, and endocytosis. Further, our data reveal new relationships among these factors, providing insights into how they work together to orchestrate actin turnover. Finally, we observe specific combinations of mutations that are lethal, e.g., srv2Δ aip1Δ and srv2Δ crn1Δ twf1Δ, demonstrating that while cofilin is essential, it is not sufficient in vivo, and that combinations of the other disassembly factors perform vital functions. © 2015 The Authors. Cytoskeleton Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26147656

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

    PubMed

    Felmy, Felix

    2007-08-01

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

  2. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  3. 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.

  4. Growth of a Dendritic Channel Network (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-05-15

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

  6. Actin Mechanics and Fragmentation*

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Cholera toxin treatment of vascular smooth muscle cells decreases smooth muscle α-actin content and abolishes the platelet-derived growth factor-BB-stimulated DNA synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Sachinidis, Agapios; Seul, Claudia; Gouni-Berthold, Ioanna; Seewald, Stefan; Ko, Yon; Vetter, Hans; Fingerle, Jürgen; Hoppe, Jürgen

    2000-01-01

    The second messenger cyclic AMP regulates diverse biological processes such as cell morphology and cell growth. We examined the role of the second messenger cyclic AMP on rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) morphology and the intracellular transduction pathway mediated by platelet-derived growth factor β-receptor (PDGF-Rβ). The effect of PDGF-BB on VSMCs growth was assessed by [3H]-thymidine incorporation. Tyrosine phosphorylation of PDGF-Rβ, PLC-γ1, ERK1 and ERK2, p125FAK and paxillin as well as Sm α-actin was examined by the chemiluminescence Western blotting method. Actin mRNA level was quantitated by Northern blotting. Visualization of Sm α-actin filaments, paxillin and PDGF-Rβ was performed by immunfluorescence microscopy. Cholera toxin (CTX; 10 nM) treatment lead to a large and sustained increase in the cyclic AMP concentration after 2 h which correlated with change of VSMC morphology including complete disruption of the Sm α-actin filament array and loss of focal adhesions. Treatment of VSMCs with CTX did not influence tyrosine phosphorylation of p125FAK and paxillin but decreased the content of a Sm α-actin protein. Maximal decrease of 70% was observed after 24 h of treatment. CTX also caused a 90% decrease of the actin mRNA level. CTX treatment completely abolished PDGF-BB stimulated DNA-synthesis although PDGF-Rβ level and subcellular distribution and translocation was not altered. Furthermore CTX attenuated the PDGF-BB-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the PDGF-Rβ, PI 3′-K, PLC-γ1 and ERK1/2 indicating an action of cyclic AMP on PDGF-β receptor. We conclude that although cyclic AMP attenuates the PDGF-Rβ mediated intracellular transduction pathway, an intact actin filament may be required for the PDGF-BB-induced DNA synthesis in VSMCs. PMID:10928958

  8. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 2 activation by focal mechanical stimulation requires interaction with the actin cytoskeleton and enhances growth cone motility.

    PubMed

    Sugio, Shouta; Nagasawa, Masami; Kojima, Itaru; Ishizaki, Yasuki; Shibasaki, Koji

    2016-12-22

    We have previously reported that transient receptor potential vanilloid 2 (TRPV2) can be activated by mechanical stimulation, which enhances axonal outgrowth in developing neurons; however, the molecular mechanisms that govern the contribution of TRPV2 activation to axonal outgrowth remain unclear. In the present study, we examined this mechanism by using PC12 cells as a neuronal model. Overexpression of TRPV2 enhanced axonal outgrowth in a mechanical stimulus-dependent manner. Accumulation of TRPV2 at the cell surface was 4-fold greater in the growth cone compared with the soma. In the growth cone, TRPV2 is not static, but dynamically accumulates (within ∼100 ms) to the site of mechanical stimulation. The dynamic and acute clustering of TRPV2 can enhance very weak mechanical stimuli via focal accumulation of TRPV2. Focal application of mechanical stimuli dramatically increased growth cone motility and caused actin reorganization via activation of TRPV2. We also found that TRPV2 physically interacts with actin and that changes in the actin cytoskeleton are required for its activation. Here, we demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that TRPV2 clustering is induced by mechanical stimulation generated by axonal outgrowth and that TRPV2 activation is triggered by actin rearrangements that result from mechanical stimulation. Moreover, TRPV2 activation enhances growth cone motility and actin accumulation to promote axonal outgrowth. Sugio, S., Nagasawa, M., Kojima, I., Ishizaki, Y., Shibasaki, K. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 2 activation by focal mechanical stimulation requires interaction with the actin cytoskeleton and enhances growth cone motility.

  9. Salinomycin inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer and cancer cell migration by disruption of actin stress fiber integrity.

    PubMed

    Schenk, Miriam; Aykut, Berk; Teske, Christian; Giese, Nathalia A; Weitz, Juergen; Welsch, Thilo

    2015-03-28

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by aggressive growth, early metastasis and high resistance to chemotherapy. Salinomycin is a promising compound eliminating cancer stem cells and retarding cancer cell migration. The present study investigated the effectiveness of salinomycin against PDAC in vivo and elucidated the mechanism of PDAC growth inhibition. Salinomycin treatment was well tolerated by the mice and significantly reduced tumor growth after 19 days compared to the control group (each n = 16). There was a trend that salinomycin also impeded metastatic spread to the liver and peritoneum. Whereas salinomycin moderately induced apoptosis and retarded proliferation at 5-10 µM, it strongly inhibited cancer cell migration that was accompanied by a marked loss of actin stress fibers after 6-9 h. Salinomycin silenced RhoA activity, and loss of stress fibers could be reversed by Rho activation. Moreover, salinomycin dislocated fascin from filopodia and stimulated Rac-associated circular dorsal ruffle formation. In conclusion, salinomycin is an effective and promising compound against PDAC. Besides its known stem cell-specific cytotoxic effects, salinomycin blocks cancer cell migration by disrupting stress fiber integrity and affecting the mutual Rho-GTPase balance.

  10. Bacterial nucleators: actin' on actin

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Actin depolymerizing factors ADF7 and ADF10 play distinct roles during pollen development and pollen tube growth.

    PubMed

    Daher, Firas Bou; Geitmann, Anja

    2012-07-01

    An important player in actin remodeling is the actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) which increases actin filament treadmilling rates. Previously, we had prepared fluorescent protein fusions of two Arabidopsis pollen specific ADFs, ADF7 and ADF10. These had enabled us to determine the temporal expression patterns and subcellular localization of these proteins during male gametophyte development. Here we generated stable transformants containing both chimeric genes allowing for simultaneous imaging and direct comparison. One of the striking differences between the two proteins was the localization profile in the growing pollen tube apex. Whereas ADF10 was associated with the filamentous actin array forming the subapical actin fringe, ADF7 was present in the same cytoplasmic region, but in diffuse form. This suggests that ADF7 is involved in the high actin turnover that is likely to occur in the fringe by continuously and efficiently depolymerizing filamentous actin and supplying monomeric actin to the advancing end of the fringe. The possibility to visualize both of these pollen-specific ADFs simultaneously opens avenues for future research into the regulatory function of actin binding proteins in pollen.

  12. Actinous enigma or enigmatic actin

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Competitive cluster growth in complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreira, André A.; Paula, Demétrius R.; Costa Filho, Raimundo N.; Andrade, José S., Jr.

    2006-06-01

    In this work we propose an idealized model for competitive cluster growth in complex networks. Each cluster can be thought of as a fraction of a community that shares some common opinion. Our results show that the cluster size distribution depends on the particular choice for the topology of the network of contacts among the agents. As an application, we show that the cluster size distributions obtained when the growth process is performed on hierarchical networks, e.g., the Apollonian network, have a scaling form similar to what has been observed for the distribution of a number of votes in an electoral process. We suggest that this similarity may be due to the fact that social networks involved in the electoral process may also possess an underlining hierarchical structure.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. The knock-out of ARP3a gene affects F-actin cytoskeleton organization altering cellular tip growth, morphology and development in moss Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Finka, Andrija; Saidi, Younousse; Goloubinoff, Pierre; Neuhaus, Jean-Marc; Zrÿd, Jean-Pierre; Schaefer, Didier G

    2008-10-01

    The seven subunit Arp2/3 complex is a highly conserved nucleation factor of actin microfilaments. We have isolated the genomic sequence encoding a putative Arp3a protein of the moss Physcomitrella patens. The disruption of this ARP3A gene by allele replacement has generated loss-of-function mutants displaying a complex developmental phenotype. The loss-of function of ARP3A gene results in shortened, almost cubic chloronemal cells displaying affected tip growth and lacking differentiation to caulonemal cells. In moss arp3a mutants, buds differentiate directly from chloronemata to form stunted leafy shoots having differentiated leaves similar to wild type. Yet, rhizoids never differentiate from stem epidermal cells. To characterize the F-actin organization in the arp3a-mutated cells, we disrupted ARP3A gene in the previously described HGT1 strain expressing conditionally the GFP-talin marker. In vivo observation of the F-actin cytoskeleton during P. patens development demonstrated that loss-of-function of Arp3a is associated with the disappearance of specific F-actin cortical structures associated with the establishment of localized cellular growth domains. Finally, we show that constitutive expression of the P. patens Arp3a and its Arabidopsis thaliana orthologs efficiently complement the mutated phenotype indicating a high degree of evolutionary conservation of the Arp3 function in land plants.

  17. 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.

  18. Directional Transport of a Bead Bound to Lamellipodial Surface Is Driven by Actin Polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Nobezawa, Daisuke; Ikeda, Sho-ichi; Wada, Eitaro; Nagano, Takashi

    2017-01-01

    The force driving the retrograde flow of actin cytoskeleton is important in the cellular activities involving cell movement (e.g., growth cone motility in axon guidance, wound healing, or cancer metastasis). However, relative importance of the forces generated by actin polymerization and myosin II in this process remains elusive. We have investigated the retrograde movement of the poly-d-lysine-coated bead attached with the optical trap to the edge of lamellipodium of Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts. The velocity of the attached bead drastically decreased by submicromolar concentration of cytochalasin D, latrunculin A, or jasplakinolide, indicating the involvement of actin turnover. On the other hand, the velocity decreased only slightly in the presence of 50 μM (−)-blebbistatin and Y-27632. Comparative fluorescence microscopy of the distribution of actin filaments and that of myosin II revealed that the inhibition of actin turnover by cytochalasin D, latrunculin A, or jasplakinolide greatly diminished the actin filament network. On the other hand, inhibition of myosin II activity by (−)-blebbistatin or Y-27632 little affected the actin network but diminished stress fibers. Based on these results, we conclude that the actin polymerization/depolymerization plays the major role in the retrograde movement, while the myosin II activity is involved in the maintenance of the dynamic turnover of actin in lamellipodium. PMID:28246604

  19. Botulinum toxin type A targets RhoB to inhibit lysophosphatidic acid-stimulated actin reorganization and acetylcholine release in nerve growth factor-treated PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Hiroshi; Zhang, Xieping; Erickson, Kelly; Ray, Prabhati

    2004-09-01

    Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A) produced by Clostridium botulinum inhibits Ca2+-dependent acetylcholine (ACh) release (neuroexocytosis) at peripheral neuromuscular junctions, sometimes causing neuromuscular paralysis. This inhibitory effect is attributed to its metalloprotease activity to cleave the 25-kDa synaptosomal-associated protein, which is essential for the exocytotic machinery. However, deletion of this protein does not result in a complete block of neuroexocytosis, suggesting that botulinum-mediated inhibition may occur via another mechanism. Rho GTPases, a class of small GTP-binding proteins (G proteins), control actin cytoskeletal organization, thereby regulating a variety of cellular functions in various cells, including neuronal cells. We have shown that the G protein activator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) triggered actin reorganization followed by Ca2+-dependent ACh release in nerve growth factor-treated PC12 cells and that BoNT/A blocked both events through degradation of RhoB by the proteasome. Overexpression of wild-type RhoB caused actin reorganization and enhanced the release of ACh by LPA to overcome toxin's inhibitory effect on actin reorganization/exocytosis stimulated by LPA, whereas overexpression of a dominant negative RhoB inhibited ACh release, regardless of LPA and/or toxin treatment. Finally, a knockdown of the RhoB gene via sequence-specific, post-transcriptional gene silencing reduced RhoB expression in PC12 cells, resulting in total inhibition of both actin reorganization and ACh release induced by LPA. We conclude that the RhoB signaling pathway regulates ACh release via actin cytoskeletal reorganization and that botulinum toxin inhibits neuroexocytosis by targeting RhoB pathway.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Accelerated actin filament polymerization from microtubule plus-ends

    PubMed Central

    Henty-Ridilla, Jessica L.; Rankova, Aneliya; Eskin, Julian A.; Kenny, Katelyn; Goode, Bruce L.

    2016-01-01

    Microtubules govern actin network remodeling in a wide range of biological processes, yet the mechanisms underlying this cytoskeletal crosstalk have remained obscure. Here we used single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to show that the microtubule plus-end associated protein CLIP-170 binds tightly to formins to accelerate actin filament elongation. Furthermore, we observed mDia1 dimers and CLIP-170 dimers co-tracking growing filament ends for minutes. CLIP-170-mDia1 complexes promoted actin polymerization approximately 18 times faster than free barbed end growth, while simultaneously enhancing protection from capping protein. We used a microtubule-actin dynamics co-reconstitution system to observe CLIP-170-mDia1 complexes being recruited to growing microtubule ends by EB1. The complexes triggered rapid growth of actin filaments that remained attached to the microtubule surface. These activities of CLIP-170 were required in primary neurons for normal dendritic morphology. Thus, our results reveal a cellular mechanism whereby growing microtubule plus-ends direct rapid actin assembly. PMID:27199431

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

    PubMed

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

    1983-05-01

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

  4. Temperature-induced sol-gel transition and microgel formation in α-actinin cross-linked actin networks: A rheological study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tempel, M.; Isenberg, G.; Sackmann, E.

    1996-08-01

    We have studied the sol-gel transition, the viscoelastic and the structural properties of networks constituted of semiflexible actin filaments cross-linked by α-actinin. Cross-linking was regulated in a reversible way by varying the temperature through the association-dissociation equilibrium of the actin-α-actinin system. Viscoelastic parameters [shear storage modulus G'(ω), phase shift tan(Φ)(ω), creep compliance J(t)] were measured as a function of temperature and actin-to-cross-linker ratio by a magnetically driven rotating disc rheometer. G'(ω) and tan(Φ)(ω) were studied at a frequency ω corresponding to the elastic plateau regime of the G'(ω) versus ω spectrum of the purely entangled solution. The microstructure of the networks was viewed by negative staining electron microscopy (EM). The phase shift tan(Φ) (or equivalently the viscosity η) diverges and reaches a maximum when approaching the apparent gel point from lower and higher temperatures, and the maximum defines the gel point (temperature Tg). The elastic plateau modulus G'N diverges at temperatures beyond this gel point TTg. The cross-linking transition (corresponding to a sol-gel transition at zero frequency) is interpreted in terms of a percolation model and the divergence of G'N at TTg), (2) that microscopic segregation takes place at T<=Tg leading to local formation of clusters (a state termed microgel), and (3) that at low actin-α-actinin ratios (rAα<=10) and low temperatures (T<=10 °C) macroscopic segregation into bundles of cross-linked actin filaments and a diluted solution of actin filaments is observed. The three regimes of network structure are represented by an

  5. Actinic reticuloid

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yamamoto, Kazuyoshi; Kiss, John Z.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Filopodia and actin arcs guide the assembly and transport of two populations of microtubules with unique dynamic parameters in neuronal growth cones

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Andrew W.; Kabir, Nurul; Forscher, Paul

    2002-01-01

    We have used multimode fluorescent speckle microscopy (FSM) and correlative differential interference contrast imaging to investigate the actin–microtubule (MT) interactions and polymer dynamics known to play a fundamental role in growth cone guidance. We report that MTs explore the peripheral domain (P-domain), exhibiting classical properties of dynamic instability. MT extension occurs preferentially along filopodia, which function as MT polymerization guides. Filopodial bundles undergo retrograde flow and also transport MTs. Thus, distal MT position is determined by the rate of plus-end MT assembly minus the rate of retrograde F-actin flow. Short MT displacements independent of flow are sometimes observed. MTs loop, buckle, and break as they are transported into the T-zone by retrograde flow. MT breakage results in exposure of new plus ends which can regrow, and minus ends which rapidly undergo catastrophes, resulting in efficient MT turnover. We also report a previously undetected presence of F-actin arc structures, which exhibit persistent retrograde movement across the T-zone into the central domain (C-domain) at ∼1/4 the rate of P-domain flow. Actin arcs interact with MTs and transport them into the C-domain. Interestingly, although the MTs associated with arcs are less dynamic than P-domain MTs, they elongate efficiently as a result of markedly lower catastrophe frequencies. PMID:12105186

  11. IQGAP and mitotic exit network (MEN) proteins are required for cytokinesis and re-polarization of the actin cytoskeleton in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Corbett, Mark; Xiong, Yulan; Boyne, James R; Wright, Daniel J; Munro, Ewen; Price, Clive

    2006-11-01

    In budding yeast the final stages of the cell division cycle, cytokinesis and cell separation, are distinct events that require to be coupled, both together and with mitotic exit. Here we demonstrate that mutations in genes of the mitotic exit network (MEN) prevent cell separation and are synthetically lethal in combination with both cytokinesis and septation defective mutations. Analysis of the synthetic lethal phenotypes reveals that Iqg1p functions in combination with the MEN components, Tem1p, Cdc15p Dbf20p and Dbf2p to govern the re-polarization of the actin cytoskeleton to either side of the bud neck. In addition phosphorylation of the conserved PCH protein, Hof1p, is dependent upon these activities and requires actin ring assembly. Recruitment of Dbf2p to the bud neck is dependent upon actin ring assembly and correlates with Hof1p phosphorylation. Failure to phosphorylate Hof1p results in the increased stability of the protein and its persistence at the bud neck. These data establish a mechanistic dependency of cell separation upon an intermediate step requiring actomyosin ring assembly.

  12. A genome-wide analysis reveals that the Drosophila transcription factor Lola promotes axon growth in part by suppressing expression of the actin nucleation factor Spire

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The phylogenetically conserved transcription factor Lola is essential for many aspects of axon growth and guidance, synapse formation and neural circuit development in Drosophila. To date it has been difficult, however, to obtain an overall view of Lola functions and mechanisms. Results We use expression microarrays to identify the lola-dependent transcriptome in the Drosophila embryo. We find that lola regulates the expression of a large selection of genes that are known to affect each of several lola-dependent developmental processes. Among other loci, we find lola to be a negative regulator of spire, an actin nucleation factor that has been studied for its essential role in oogenesis. We show that spire is expressed in the nervous system and is required for a known lola-dependent axon guidance decision, growth of ISNb motor axons. We further show that reducing spire gene dosage suppresses this aspect of the lola phenotype, verifying that derepression of spire is an important contributor to the axon stalling phenotype of embryonic motor axons in lola mutants. Conclusions These data shed new light on the molecular mechanisms of many lola-dependent processes, and also identify several developmental processes not previously linked to lola that are apt to be regulated by this transcription factor. These data further demonstrate that excessive expression of the actin nucleation factor Spire is as deleterious for axon growth in vivo as is the loss of Spire, thus highlighting the need for a balance in the elementary steps of actin dynamics to achieve effective neuronal morphogenesis. PMID:22129300

  13. Employment growth through labor flow networks.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Omar A; Axtell, Robert L

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2011-10-18

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

  15. Growth-Induced Instability in Metabolic Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Goyal, Sidhartha; Wingreen, Ned S.

    2007-03-30

    Product-feedback inhibition is a ubiquitous regulatory scheme for maintaining homeostasis in living cells. Individual metabolic pathways with product-feedback inhibition are stable as long as one pathway step is rate limiting. However, pathways are often coupled both by the use of a common substrate and by stoichiometric utilization of their products for cell growth. We show that such a coupled network with product-feedback inhibition may exhibit limit-cycle oscillations which arise via a Hopf bifurcation. Our results highlight novel evolutionary constraints on the architecture of metabolism.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-12

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

  17. Bisphenol A affects germination and tube growth in Picea meyeri pollen through modulating Ca2+ flux and disturbing actin-dependent vesicular trafficking during cell wall construction.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tongjie; Fan, Chengyu; Man, Yi; Zhou, Junhui; Jing, Yanping

    2015-09-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA), a widespread pollutant, is reportedly harmful to humans, animals and plants. However, the effect of BPA on plant pollen tube growth, as well as the mechanism involved, remains unclear. Here, we report that BPA significantly inhibited Picea meyeri pollen germination and tube elongation in a dose-dependent manner. Transmission electron microscopy showed that BPA was detrimental to organelles such as mitochondria and Golgi apparatus. Non-invasive detection revealed that BPA inhibited extracellular Ca(2+) influx and promoted intracellular Ca(2+) efflux at the pollen tube tip, thereby inducing a dissipated Ca(2+) gradient. Fluorescence labeling showed that BPA disorganized actin filaments (AFs), which subsequently led to abnormal vesicle trafficking. Furthermore, BPA reduced the activity of acid phosphatase, a typical exocytosis enzyme. Moreover, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis and subsequent fluorescence labeling revealed that BPA induced an abnormal deposition of cell wall components, including pectins and callose. Taken together, our results indicate that BPA, a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, disturbs Ca(2+) flux in P. meyeri pollen tubes, thus disrupting AF organization, resulting in abnormal actin-dependent vesicle trafficking and further affecting the deposition of cell wall components. These findings provide new insight into the mechanism of BPA toxicity in pollen tube tip growth.

  18. Growth dominates choice in network percolation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijayaraghavan, Vikram S.; Noël, Pierre-André; Waagen, Alex; D'Souza, Raissa M.

    2013-09-01

    The onset of large-scale connectivity in a network (i.e., percolation) often has a major impact on the function of the system. Traditionally, graph percolation is analyzed by adding edges to a fixed set of initially isolated nodes. Several years ago, it was shown that adding nodes as well as edges to the graph can yield an infinite order transition, which is much smoother than the traditional second-order transition. More recently, it was shown that adding edges via a competitive process to a fixed set of initially isolated nodes can lead to a delayed, extremely abrupt percolation transition with a significant jump in large but finite systems. Here we analyze a process that combines both node arrival and edge competition. If started from a small collection of seed nodes, we show that the impact of node arrival dominates: although we can significantly delay percolation, the transition is of infinite order. Thus, node arrival can mitigate the trade-off between delay and abruptness that is characteristic of explosive percolation transitions. This realization may inspire new design rules where network growth can temper the effects of delay, creating opportunities for network intervention and control.

  19. Network structure impacts global commodity trade growth and resilience.

    PubMed

    Kharrazi, Ali; Rovenskaya, Elena; Fath, Brian D

    2017-01-01

    Global commodity trade networks are critical to our collective sustainable development. Their increasing interconnectedness pose two practical questions: (i) Do the current network configurations support their further growth? (ii) How resilient are these networks to economic shocks? We analyze the data of global commodity trade flows from 1996 to 2012 to evaluate the relationship between structural properties of the global commodity trade networks and (a) their dynamic growth, as well as (b) the resilience of their growth with respect to the 2009 global economic shock. Specifically, we explore the role of network efficiency and redundancy using the information theory-based network flow analysis. We find that, while network efficiency is positively correlated with growth, highly efficient systems appear to be less resilient, losing more and gaining less growth following an economic shock. While all examined networks are rather redundant, we find that network redundancy does not hinder their growth. Moreover, systems exhibiting higher levels of redundancy lose less and gain more growth following an economic shock. We suggest that a strategy to support making global trade networks more efficient via, e.g., preferential trade agreements and higher specialization, can promote their further growth; while a strategy to increase the global trade networks' redundancy via e.g., more abundant free-trade agreements, can improve their resilience to global economic shocks.

  20. Metabolic network modularity in archaea depends on growth conditions.

    PubMed

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro; Borjigin, Suritalatu

    2011-01-01

    Network modularity is an important structural feature in metabolic networks. A previous study suggested that the variability in natural habitat promotes metabolic network modularity in bacteria. However, since many factors influence the structure of the metabolic network, this phenomenon might be limited and there may be other explanations for the change in metabolic network modularity. Therefore, we focus on archaea because they belong to another domain of prokaryotes and show variability in growth conditions (e.g., trophic requirement and optimal growth temperature), but not in habitats because of their specialized growth conditions (e.g., high growth temperature). The relationship between biological features and metabolic network modularity is examined in detail. We first show the absence of a relationship between network modularity and habitat variability in archaea, as archaeal habitats are more limited than bacterial habitats. Although this finding implies the need for further studies regarding the differences in network modularity, it does not contradict previous work. Further investigations reveal alternative explanations. Specifically, growth conditions, trophic requirement, and optimal growth temperature, in particular, affect metabolic network modularity. We have discussed the mechanisms for the growth condition-dependant changes in network modularity. Our findings suggest different explanations for the changes in network modularity and provide new insights into adaptation and evolution in metabolic networks, despite several limitations of data analysis.

  1. Network structure impacts global commodity trade growth and resilience

    PubMed Central

    Rovenskaya, Elena; Fath, Brian D.

    2017-01-01

    Global commodity trade networks are critical to our collective sustainable development. Their increasing interconnectedness pose two practical questions: (i) Do the current network configurations support their further growth? (ii) How resilient are these networks to economic shocks? We analyze the data of global commodity trade flows from 1996 to 2012 to evaluate the relationship between structural properties of the global commodity trade networks and (a) their dynamic growth, as well as (b) the resilience of their growth with respect to the 2009 global economic shock. Specifically, we explore the role of network efficiency and redundancy using the information theory-based network flow analysis. We find that, while network efficiency is positively correlated with growth, highly efficient systems appear to be less resilient, losing more and gaining less growth following an economic shock. While all examined networks are rather redundant, we find that network redundancy does not hinder their growth. Moreover, systems exhibiting higher levels of redundancy lose less and gain more growth following an economic shock. We suggest that a strategy to support making global trade networks more efficient via, e.g., preferential trade agreements and higher specialization, can promote their further growth; while a strategy to increase the global trade networks’ redundancy via e.g., more abundant free-trade agreements, can improve their resilience to global economic shocks. PMID:28207790

  2. Actinic Prurigo.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Modeling actin waves in dictyostelium cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasnik, Vaibhav; Mukhopadhyay, Ranjan

    2011-03-01

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

  4. Calcineurin-dependent cofilin activation and increased retrograde actin flow drive 5-HT-dependent neurite outgrowth in Aplysia bag cell neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Feng; Hyland, Callen; Van Goor, David; Forscher, Paul

    2012-12-01

    Neurite outgrowth in response to soluble growth factors often involves changes in intracellular Ca(2+); however, mechanistic roles for Ca(2+) in controlling the underlying dynamic cytoskeletal processes have remained enigmatic. Bag cell neurons exposed to serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) respond with a threefold increase in neurite outgrowth rates. Outgrowth depends on phospholipase C (PLC) → inositol trisphosphate → Ca(2+) → calcineurin signaling and is accompanied by increased rates of retrograde actin network flow in the growth cone P domain. Calcineurin inhibitors had no effect on Ca(2+) release or basal levels of retrograde actin flow; however, they completely suppressed 5-HT-dependent outgrowth and F-actin flow acceleration. 5-HT treatments were accompanied by calcineurin-dependent increases in cofilin activity in the growth cone P domain. 5-HT effects were mimicked by direct activation of PLC, suggesting that increased actin network treadmilling may be a widespread mechanism for promoting neurite outgrowth in response to neurotrophic factors.

  5. The murine Nck SH2/SH3 adaptors are important for the development of mesoderm-derived embryonic structures and for regulating the cellular actin network.

    PubMed

    Bladt, Friedhelm; Aippersbach, Elke; Gelkop, Sigal; Strasser, Geraldine A; Nash, Piers; Tafuri, Anna; Gertler, Frank B; Pawson, Tony

    2003-07-01

    Mammalian Nck1 and Nck2 are closely related adaptor proteins that possess three SH3 domains, followed by an SH2 domain, and are implicated in coupling phosphotyrosine signals to polypeptides that regulate the actin cytoskeleton. However, the in vivo functions of Nck1 and Nck2 have not been defined. We have mutated the murine Nck1 and Nck2 genes and incorporated beta-galactosidase reporters into the mutant loci. In mouse embryos, the two Nck genes have broad and overlapping expression patterns. They are functionally redundant in the sense that mice deficient for either Nck1 or Nck2 are viable, whereas inactivation of both Nck1 and Nck2 results in profound defects in mesoderm-derived notochord and embryonic lethality at embryonic day 9.5. Fibroblast cell lines derived from Nck1(-/-) Nck2(-/-) embryos have defects in cell motility and in the organization of the lamellipodial actin network. These data suggest that the Nck SH2/SH3 adaptors have important functions in the development of mesodermal structures during embryogenesis, potentially linked to a role in cell movement and cytoskeletal organization.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Laplacian networks: Growth, local symmetry, and shape optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devauchelle, O.; Szymczak, P.; Pecelerowicz, M.; Cohen, Y.; Seybold, H. J.; Rothman, D. H.

    2017-03-01

    Inspired by river networks and other structures formed by Laplacian growth, we use the Loewner equation to investigate the growth of a network of thin fingers in a diffusion field. We first review previous contributions to illustrate how this formalism reduces the network's expansion to three rules, which respectively govern the velocity, the direction, and the nucleation of its growing branches. This framework allows us to establish the mathematical equivalence between three formulations of the direction rule, namely geodesic growth, growth that maintains local symmetry, and growth that maximizes flux into tips for a given amount of growth. Surprisingly, we find that this growth rule may result in a network different from the static configuration that optimizes flux into tips.

  9. Nonlinear growth: an origin of hub organization in complex networks

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Marcus

    2017-01-01

    Many real-world networks contain highly connected nodes called hubs. Hubs are often crucial for network function and spreading dynamics. However, classical models of how hubs originate during network development unrealistically assume that new nodes attain information about the connectivity (for example the degree) of existing nodes. Here, we introduce hub formation through nonlinear growth where the number of nodes generated at each stage increases over time and new nodes form connections independent of target node features. Our model reproduces variation in number of connections, hub occurrence time, and rich-club organization of networks ranging from protein–protein, neuronal and fibre tract brain networks to airline networks. Moreover, nonlinear growth gives a more generic representation of these networks compared with previous preferential attachment or duplication–divergence models. Overall, hub creation through nonlinear network expansion can serve as a benchmark model for studying the development of many real-world networks.

  10. SYP73 Anchors the ER to the Actin Cytoskeleton for Maintenance of ER Integrity and Streaming in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Cao, Pengfei; Renna, Luciana; Stefano, Giovanni; Brandizzi, Federica

    2016-12-05

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an essential organelle that spreads throughout the cytoplasm as one interconnected network of narrow tubules and dilated cisternae that enclose a single lumen. The ER network undergoes extensive remodeling, which critically depends on membrane-cytoskeleton interactions [1]. In plants, the ER is also highly mobile, and its streaming contributes significantly to the movement of other organelles [2, 3]. The remodeling and motility of the plant ER rely mainly on actin [4] and to a minor extent on microtubules [5]. Although a three-way interaction between the ER, cytosolic myosin-XI, and F-actin mediates the plant ER streaming [6], the mechanisms underlying stable interaction of the ER membrane with actin are unknown. Early electron microscopy studies suggested a direct attachment of the plant ER with actin filaments [7, 8], but it is plausible that yet-unknown proteins facilitate anchoring of the ER membrane with the cytoskeleton. We demonstrate here that SYP73, a member of the plant Syp7 subgroup of SNARE proteins [9] containing actin-binding domains, is a novel ER membrane-associated actin-binding protein. We show that overexpression of SYP73 causes a striking rearrangement of the ER over actin and that, similar to mutations of myosin-XI [4, 10, 11], loss of SYP73 reduces ER streaming and affects overall ER network morphology and plant growth. We propose a model for plant ER remodeling whereby the dynamic rearrangement and streaming of the ER network depend on the propelling action of myosin-XI over actin coupled with a SYP73-mediated bridging, which dynamically anchors the ER membrane with actin filaments.

  11. Actin dynamics in mouse fibroblasts in microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  12. 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

  13. A Dictyostelium mutant lacking an F-actin cross-linking protein, the 120-kD gelation factor

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

    Actin-binding proteins are known to regulate in vitro the assembly of actin into supramolecular structures, but evidence for their activities in living nonmuscle cells is scarce. Amebae of Dictyostelium discoideum are nonmuscle cells in which mutants defective in several actin-binding proteins have been described. Here we characterize a mutant deficient in the 120-kD gelation factor, one of the most abundant F-actin cross- linking proteins of D. discoideum cells. No F-actin cross-linking activity attributable to the 120-kD protein was detected in mutant cell extracts, and antibodies recognizing different epitopes on the polypeptide showed the entire protein was lacking. Under the conditions used, elimination of the gelation factor did not substantially alter growth, shape, motility, or chemotactic orientation of the cells towards a cAMP source. Aggregates of the mutant developed into fruiting bodies consisting of normally differentiated spores and stalk cells. In cytoskeleton preparations a dense network of actin filaments as typical of the cell cortex, and bundles as they extend along the axis of filopods, were recognized. A significant alteration found was an enhanced accumulation of actin in cytoskeletons of the mutant when cells were stimulated with cyclic AMP. Our results indicate that control of cell shape and motility does not require the fine-tuned interactions of all proteins that have been identified as actin-binding proteins by in vitro assays. PMID:1698791

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Myosin 1b promotes the formation of post-Golgi carriers by regulating actin assembly and membrane remodelling at the trans-Golgi network.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Claudia G; Yamada, Ayako; Tenza, Danièle; Louvard, Daniel; Raposo, Graça; Coudrier, Evelyne

    2011-06-12

    The function of organelles is intimately associated with rapid changes in membrane shape. By exerting force on membranes, the cytoskeleton and its associated motors have an important role in membrane remodelling. Actin and myosin 1 have been implicated in the invagination of the plasma membrane during endocytosis. However, whether myosin 1 and actin contribute to the membrane deformation that gives rise to the formation of post-Golgi carriers is unknown. Here we report that myosin 1b regulates the actin-dependent post-Golgi traffic of cargo, generates force that controls the assembly of F-actin foci and, together with the actin cytoskeleton, promotes the formation of tubules at the TGN. Our results provide evidence that actin and myosin 1 regulate organelle shape and uncover an important function for myosin 1b in the initiation of post-Golgi carrier formation by regulating actin assembly and remodelling TGN membranes.

  16. Analysis of Network Topologies Underlying Ethylene Growth Response Kinetics

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Plant Growth Models Using Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. GPCRs and actin-cytoskeleton dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Conflicting attachment and the growth of bipartite networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, Chung Yin Joey; Weitz, Joshua S.

    2016-03-01

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

  2. Effects of polymerization and nucleotide identity on the conformational dynamics of the bacterial actin homolog MreB.

    PubMed

    Colavin, Alexandre; Hsin, Jen; Huang, Kerwyn Casey

    2014-03-04

    The assembly of protein filaments drives many cellular processes, from nucleoid segregation, growth, and division in single cells to muscle contraction in animals. In eukaryotes, shape and motility are regulated through cycles of polymerization and depolymerization of actin cytoskeletal networks. In bacteria, the actin homolog MreB forms filaments that coordinate the cell-wall synthesis machinery to regulate rod-shaped growth and contribute to cellular stiffness through unknown mechanisms. Like actin, MreB is an ATPase and requires ATP to polymerize, and polymerization promotes nucleotide hydrolysis. However, it is unclear whether other similarities exist between MreB and actin because the two proteins share low sequence identity and have distinct cellular roles. Here, we use all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to reveal surprising parallels between MreB and actin structural dynamics. We observe that MreB exhibits actin-like polymerization-dependent structural changes, wherein polymerization induces flattening of MreB subunits, which restructures the nucleotide-binding pocket to favor hydrolysis. MreB filaments exhibited nucleotide-dependent intersubunit bending, with hydrolyzed polymers favoring a straighter conformation. We use steered simulations to demonstrate a coupling between intersubunit bending and the degree of flattening of each subunit, suggesting cooperative bending along a filament. Taken together, our results provide molecular-scale insight into the diversity of structural states of MreB and the relationships among polymerization, hydrolysis, and filament properties, which may be applicable to other members of the broad actin family.

  3. Phosphorylation of the growth arrest-specific protein Gas2 is coupled to actin rearrangements during Go-->G1 transition in NIH 3T3 cells

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    Growth arrest-specific (Gas2) protein has been shown to be a component of the microfilament system, that is highly expressed in growth arrested mouse and human fibroblasts and is hyperphosphorylated upon serum stimulation of quiescent cells. (Brancolini, C., S. Bottega, and C. Schneider. 1992. J. Cell Biol. 117:1251-1261). In this study we demonstrate that the kinetics of Gas2 phosphorylation, during Go-->G1 transition, as induced by addition of 20% FCS to serum starved NIH 3T3 cells, is temporally coupled to the reorganization of actin cytoskeleton. To better dissect the relationship between Gas2 phosphorylation and the modification of the microfilament architecture we used specific stimuli for both membrane ruffling (PDGF and PMA) and stress fiber formation (L-alpha-lysophosphatidic acid LPA) (Ridley, A. J., and A. Hall. 1992. Cell. 70:389-399). All of them, similarly to 20% FCS, are able to downregulate Gas2 biosynthesis. PDGF and PMA induce Gas2 hyperphosphorylation that is temporally coupled with the appearance of membrane ruffling where Gas2 localizes. On the other hand LPA, a specific stimulus for stress fiber formation, fails to induce a detectable Gas2 hyperphosphorylation. Thus, Gas2 hyperphosphorylation is specifically correlated with the formation of membrane ruffling possibly implying a role of Gas2 in this process. PMID:8120096

  4. Centrality Fingerprints for Power Grid Network Growth Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurfinkel, Aleks Jacob; Silva, Daniel A.; Rikvold, Per Arne

    In our previous work, we have shown that many of the properties of the Florida power grid are reproduced by deterministic network growth models based on the minimization of energy dissipation Ediss. As there is no a priori best Ediss minimizing growth model, we here present a tool, called the "centrality fingerprint," for probing the behavior of different growth models. The centrality fingerprints are comparisons of the current flow into/out of the network with the values of various centrality measures calculated at every step of the growth process. Finally, we discuss applications to the Maryland power grid.

  5. Growing an actin gel on spherical surfaces.

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Actin-Regulator Feedback Interactions during Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Haosu; Bidone, Tamara C.

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Developmental time windows for axon growth influence neuronal network topology.

    PubMed

    Lim, Sol; Kaiser, Marcus

    2015-04-01

    Early brain connectivity development consists of multiple stages: birth of neurons, their migration and the subsequent growth of axons and dendrites. Each stage occurs within a certain period of time depending on types of neurons and cortical layers. Forming synapses between neurons either by growing axons starting at similar times for all neurons (much-overlapped time windows) or at different time points (less-overlapped) may affect the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks. Here, we explore the extreme cases of axon formation during early development, either starting at the same time for all neurons (parallel, i.e., maximally overlapped time windows) or occurring for each neuron separately one neuron after another (serial, i.e., no overlaps in time windows). For both cases, the number of potential and established synapses remained comparable. Topological and spatial properties, however, differed: Neurons that started axon growth early on in serial growth achieved higher out-degrees, higher local efficiency and longer axon lengths while neurons demonstrated more homogeneous connectivity patterns for parallel growth. Second, connection probability decreased more rapidly with distance between neurons for parallel growth than for serial growth. Third, bidirectional connections were more numerous for parallel growth. Finally, we tested our predictions with C. elegans data. Together, this indicates that time windows for axon growth influence the topological and spatial properties of neuronal networks opening up the possibility to a posteriori estimate developmental mechanisms based on network properties of a developed network.

  10. A computational model for cancer growth by using complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvão, Viviane; Miranda, José G. V.

    2008-09-01

    In this work we propose a computational model to investigate the proliferation of cancerous cell by using complex networks. In our model the network represents the structure of available space in the cancer propagation. The computational scheme considers a cancerous cell randomly included in the complex network. When the system evolves the cells can assume three states: proliferative, non-proliferative, and necrotic. Our results were compared with experimental data obtained from three human lung carcinoma cell lines. The computational simulations show that the cancerous cells have a Gompertzian growth. Also, our model simulates the formation of necrosis, increase of density, and resources diffusion to regions of lower nutrient concentration. We obtain that the cancer growth is very similar in random and small-world networks. On the other hand, the topological structure of the small-world network is more affected. The scale-free network has the largest rates of cancer growth due to hub formation. Finally, our results indicate that for different average degrees the rate of cancer growth is related to the available space in the network.

  11. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Local Arp2/3-dependent actin assembly modulates applied traction force during apCAM adhesion site maturation

    PubMed Central

    Buck, Kenneth B.; Schaefer, Andrew W.; Schoonderwoert, Vincent T.; Creamer, Matthew S.; Dufresne, Eric R.; Forscher, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Homophilic binding of immunoglobulin superfamily molecules such as the Aplysia cell adhesion molecule (apCAM) leads to actin filament assembly near nascent adhesion sites. Such actin assembly can generate significant localized forces that have not been characterized in the larger context of axon growth and guidance. We used apCAM-coated bead substrates applied to the surface of neuronal growth cones to characterize the development of forces evoked by varying stiffness of mechanical restraint. Unrestrained bead propulsion matched or exceeded rates of retrograde network flow and was dependent on Arp2/3 complex activity. Analysis of growth cone forces applied to beads at low stiffness of restraint revealed switching between two states: frictional coupling to retrograde flow and Arp2/3-dependent propulsion. Stiff mechanical restraint led to formation of an extensive actin cup matching the geometric profile of the bead target and forward growth cone translocation; pharmacological inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex or Rac attenuated F-actin assembly near bead binding sites, decreased the efficacy of growth responses, and blocked accumulation of signaling molecules associated with nascent adhesions. These studies introduce a new model for regulation of traction force in which local actin assembly forces buffer nascent adhesion sites from the mechanical effects of retrograde flow. PMID:27852899

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Live Cell Imaging of Actin Dynamics in the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus nidulans.

    PubMed

    Schultzhaus, Zachary; Quintanilla, Laura; Hilton, Angelyn; Shaw, Brian D

    2016-04-01

    Hyphal cells of filamentous fungi grow at their tips in a method analogous to pollen tube and root hair elongation. This process, generally referred to as tip growth, requires precise regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, and characterizing the various actin structures in these cell types is currently an active area of research. Here, the actin marker Lifeact was used to document actin dynamics in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans. Contractile double rings were observed at septa, and annular clusters of puncta were seen subtending growing hyphal tips, corresponding to the well-characterized subapical endocytic collar. However, Lifeact also revealed two additional structures. One, an apical array, was dynamic on the face opposite the tip, while a subapical web was dynamic on the apical face and was located several microns behind the growth site. Each was observed turning into the other over time, implying that they could represent different localizations of the same structure, although hyphae with a subapical web grew faster than those exhibiting an apical array. The subapical web has not been documented in any filamentous fungus to date, and is separate from the networks of F-actin seen in other tip-growing organisms surrounding septa or stationary along the plasmalemma.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lord, Andrew; Soppera, Andrea; Jacquet, Arnaud

    2016-03-06

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  3. Confinement induces actin flow in a meiotic cytoplasm

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinxin

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Nanotopography-induced symmetry-breaking and guidance of actin polymerization waves and cell migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

    Many types of eukaryotic cells on a surfaces exhibit reaction diffusion-type waves of actin polymerization. Exposing migrating Dictyostelium discoideum cells to asymmetries at a length scale relevant to actin waves (300 nm) results in guidance of actin polymerization and of the migration of the cells themselves. Quantitative measurements of actin wave speed and direction distributions show that actin polymerization is preferentially localized to nanoridges and directed along the ridges, and that the velocity of guided actin polymerization waves decreases with decreasing ridge spacing. A stochastic growth model of actin polymerization dynamics reproduces these key observations. Supported by NSF-PoLS.

  10. Geometrical and Mechanical Properties Control Actin Filament Organization

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Geometrical and mechanical properties control actin filament organization.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  12. Comparison of Gompertz and neural network models of broiler growth.

    PubMed

    Roush, W B; Dozier, W A; Branton, S L

    2006-04-01

    Neural networks offer an alternative to regression analysis for biological growth modeling. Very little research has been conducted to model animal growth using artificial neural networks. Twenty-five male chicks (Ross x Ross 308) were raised in an environmental chamber. Body weights were determined daily and feed and water were provided ad libitum. The birds were fed a starter diet (23% CP and 3,200 kcal of ME/kg) from 0 to 21 d, and a grower diet (20% CP and 3,200 kcal of ME/ kg) from 22 to 70 d. Dead and female birds were not included in the study. Average BW of 18 birds were used as the data points for the growth curve to be modeled. Training data consisted of alternate-day weights starting with the first day. Validation data consisted of BW at all other age periods. Comparison was made between the modeling by the Gompertz nonlinear regression equation and neural network modeling. Neural network models were developed with the Neuroshell Predictor. Accuracy of the models was determined by mean square error (MSE), mean absolute deviation (MAD), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), and bias. The Gompertz equation was fit for the data. Forecasting error measurements were based on the difference between the model and the observed values. For the training data, the lowest MSE, MAD, MAPE, and bias were noted for the neural-developed neural network. For the validation data, the lowest MSE and MAD were noted with the genetic algorithm-developed neural network. Lowest bias was for the neural-developed network. As measured by bias, the Gompertz equation underestimated the values whereas the neural- and genetic-developed neural networks produced little or no overestimation of the observed BW responses. Past studies have attempted to interpret the biological significance of the estimates of the parameters of an equation. However, it may be more practical to ignore the relevance of parameter estimates and focus on the ability to predict responses.

  13. Cyclase-associated protein (CAP) acts directly on F-actin to accelerate cofilin-mediated actin severing across the range of physiological pH.

    PubMed

    Normoyle, Kieran P M; Brieher, William M

    2012-10-12

    Fast actin depolymerization is necessary for cells to rapidly reorganize actin filament networks. Utilizing a Listeria fluorescent actin comet tail assay to monitor actin disassembly rates, we observed that although a mixture of actin disassembly factors (cofilin, coronin, and actin-interacting protein 1 is sufficient to disassemble actin comet tails in the presence of physiological G-actin concentrations this mixture was insufficient to disassemble actin comet tails in the presence of physiological F-actin concentrations. Using biochemical complementation, we purified cyclase-associated protein (CAP) from thymus extracts as a factor that protects against the inhibition of excess F-actin. CAP has been shown to participate in actin dynamics but has been thought to act by liberating cofilin from ADP·G-actin monomers to restore cofilin activity. However, we found that CAP augments cofilin-mediated disassembly by accelerating the rate of cofilin-mediated severing. We also demonstrated that CAP acts directly on F-actin and severs actin filaments at acidic, but not neutral, pH. At the neutral pH characteristic of cytosol in most mammalian cells, we demonstrated that neither CAP nor cofilin are capable of severing actin filaments. However, the combination of CAP and cofilin rapidly severed actin at all pH values across the physiological range. Therefore, our results reveal a new function for CAP in accelerating cofilin-mediated actin filament severing and provide a mechanism through which cells can maintain high actin turnover rates without having to alkalinize cytosol, which would affect many biochemical reactions beyond actin depolymerization.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Nan Hyung; Qi, Aidong

    2015-01-01

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

  15. The accelerated growth of the worldwide air transportation network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azzam, Mark; Klingauf, Uwe; Zock, Alexander

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Gene duplication models for directed networks with limits on growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enemark, Jakob; Sneppen, Kim

    2007-11-01

    Background: Duplication of genes is important for evolution of molecular networks. Many authors have therefore considered gene duplication as a driving force in shaping the topology of molecular networks. In particular it has been noted that growth via duplication would act as an implicit means of preferential attachment, and thereby provide the observed broad degree distributions of molecular networks. Results: We extend current models of gene duplication and rewiring by including directions and the fact that molecular networks are not a result of unidirectional growth. We introduce upstream sites and downstream shapes to quantify potential links during duplication and rewiring. We find that this in itself generates the observed scaling of transcription factors for genome sites in prokaryotes. The dynamical model can generate a scale-free degree distribution, p(k)\\propto 1/k^{\\gamma } , with exponent γ = 1 in the non-growing case, and with γ>1 when the network is growing. Conclusions: We find that duplication of genes followed by substantial recombination of upstream regions could generate features of genetic regulatory networks. Our steady state degree distribution is however too broad to be consistent with data, thereby suggesting that selective pruning acts as a main additional constraint on duplicated genes. Our analysis shows that gene duplication can only be a main cause for the observed broad degree distributions if there are also substantial recombinations between upstream regions of genes.

  17. [Actin in the wound healing process].

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Laboratory Observations on Tidal Network Growth and Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefanon, L.; Carniello, L.; D'Alpaos, A.

    2011-12-01

    We present the results of laboratory experiments carried out in a large experimental apparatus aimed at reproducing a typical lagoonal environment subject to tidal forcings. The experiments were designed in order to improve our understanding of the main processes governing tidal network initiation and its progressive morphodynamic evolution. In particular, the experiments summarized herein aimed at understanding the physical processes, as well as boundary and initial conditions, which lead to the initiation and subsequent development of a tidal channel network, starting from a plane horizontal tidal flat located behind a barrier island and connected through the sea by a single inlet. During the experiments we observed the growth and development of tidal networks and analyzed their most relevant geomorphic features, taking into account the role played by the characteristics of the tidal forcing in driving the development of channelled patterns. The experimental evidence suggests that general network evolution is substantially characterized by three processes: (1) channel elongation via headward growth, driven by the exceedance of a critical bottom shear stress; (2) incision and sinuosity gradually increasing with channels age; (3) formation of new lateral creeks and tributaries. The lack of external sediment supply, the absence of vegetation, and the prevalence of bedload transport prevented any deposition processes and lateral surface accretion, attributing a purely erosive character to the experimental lagoon. Nevertheless, the morphodynamic feedbacks occurring in the erosional case are essentially the same that occur under depositional conditions. In fact, in both cases, channel excavation is closely connected to concentration of tidal fluxes within the channel network during maximum ebb phase when maximum velocities and shear stresses are reached. In this experimental lagoon the main morphodynamic process responsible for tidal network initiation and development

  19. Chemotaxis and Actin Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Fragmented Romanian sociology: growth and structure of the collaboration network.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Requirements for F-BAR proteins TOCA-1 and TOCA-2 in actin dynamics and membrane trafficking during Caenorhabditis elegans oocyte growth and embryonic epidermal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Giuliani, Chiara; Troglio, Flavia; Bai, Zhiyong; Patel, Falshruti B; Zucconi, Adriana; Malabarba, Maria Grazia; Disanza, Andrea; Stradal, Theresia B; Cassata, Giuseppe; Confalonieri, Stefano; Hardin, Jeffrey D; Soto, Martha C; Grant, Barth D; Scita, Giorgio

    2009-10-01

    The TOCA family of F-BAR-containing proteins bind to and remodel lipid bilayers via their conserved F-BAR domains, and regulate actin dynamics via their N-Wasp binding SH3 domains. Thus, these proteins are predicted to play a pivotal role in coordinating membrane traffic with actin dynamics during cell migration and tissue morphogenesis. By combining genetic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans with cellular biochemical experiments in mammalian cells, we showed that: i) loss of CeTOCA proteins reduced the efficiency of Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) in oocytes. Genetic interference with CeTOCAs interacting proteins WSP-1 and WVE-1, and other components of the WVE-1 complex, produced a similar effect. Oocyte endocytosis defects correlated well with reduced egg production in these mutants. ii) CeTOCA proteins localize to cell-cell junctions and are required for proper embryonic morphogenesis, to position hypodermal cells and to organize junctional actin and the junction-associated protein AJM-1. iii) Double mutant analysis indicated that the toca genes act in the same pathway as the nematode homologue of N-WASP/WASP, wsp-1. Furthermore, mammalian TOCA-1 and C. elegans CeTOCAs physically associated with N-WASP and WSP-1 directly, or WAVE2 indirectly via ABI-1. Thus, we propose that TOCA proteins control tissues morphogenesis by coordinating Clathrin-dependent membrane trafficking with WAVE and N-WASP-dependent actin-dynamics.

  3. Requirements for F-BAR Proteins TOCA-1 and TOCA-2 in Actin Dynamics and Membrane Trafficking during Caenorhabditis elegans Oocyte Growth and Embryonic Epidermal Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Falshruti B.; Zucconi, Adriana; Malabarba, Maria Grazia; Disanza, Andrea; Stradal, Theresia B.; Cassata, Giuseppe; Confalonieri, Stefano; Hardin, Jeffrey D.; Soto, Martha C.; Grant, Barth D.; Scita, Giorgio

    2009-01-01

    The TOCA family of F-BAR–containing proteins bind to and remodel lipid bilayers via their conserved F-BAR domains, and regulate actin dynamics via their N-Wasp binding SH3 domains. Thus, these proteins are predicted to play a pivotal role in coordinating membrane traffic with actin dynamics during cell migration and tissue morphogenesis. By combining genetic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans with cellular biochemical experiments in mammalian cells, we showed that: i) loss of CeTOCA proteins reduced the efficiency of Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) in oocytes. Genetic interference with CeTOCAs interacting proteins WSP-1 and WVE-1, and other components of the WVE-1 complex, produced a similar effect. Oocyte endocytosis defects correlated well with reduced egg production in these mutants. ii) CeTOCA proteins localize to cell–cell junctions and are required for proper embryonic morphogenesis, to position hypodermal cells and to organize junctional actin and the junction-associated protein AJM-1. iii) Double mutant analysis indicated that the toca genes act in the same pathway as the nematode homologue of N-WASP/WASP, wsp-1. Furthermore, mammalian TOCA-1 and C. elegans CeTOCAs physically associated with N-WASP and WSP-1 directly, or WAVE2 indirectly via ABI-1. Thus, we propose that TOCA proteins control tissues morphogenesis by coordinating Clathrin-dependent membrane trafficking with WAVE and N-WASP–dependent actin-dynamics. PMID:19798448

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Belin, Brittany J; Mullins, R Dyche

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Actin Polymerization is Stimulated by Actin Crosslinking Protein Palladin

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Actin protofilament orientation in deformation of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton.

    PubMed Central

    Picart, C; Dalhaimer, P; Discher, D E

    2000-01-01

    The red cell's spectrin-actin network is known to sustain local states of shear, dilation, and condensation, and yet the short actin filaments are found to maintain membrane-tangent and near-random azimuthal orientations. When calibrated with polarization results for single actin filaments, imaging of micropipette-deformed red cell ghosts has allowed an assessment of actin orientations and possible reorientations in the network. At the hemispherical cap of the aspirated projection, where the network can be dilated severalfold, filaments have the same membrane-tangent orientation as on a relatively unstrained portion of membrane. Likewise, over the length of the network projection pulled into the micropipette, where the network is strongly sheared in axial extension and circumferential contraction, actin maintains its tangent orientation and is only very weakly aligned with network extension. Similar results are found for the integral membrane protein Band 3. Allowing for thermal fluctuations, we deduce a bound for the effective coupling constant, alpha, between network shear and azimuthal orientation of the protofilament. The finding that alpha must be about an order of magnitude or more below its tight-coupling value illustrates how nanostructural kinematics can decouple from more macroscopic responses. Monte Carlo simulations of spectrin-actin networks at approximately 10-nm resolution further support this conclusion and substantiate an image of protofilaments as elements of a high-temperature spin glass. PMID:11106606

  10. Regulation of myosin II activity by actin architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weirich, Kimberly; Stam, Samantha; McCall, Patrick; Munro, Edwin; Gardel, Margaret

    2015-03-01

    Networks of actin filaments containing myosin II motors generate forces and motions that promote biological processes such as cell division, motility, and cargo transport. In cells, actin filaments are arranged in various structures from disordered meshworks to tight bundles. Clusters of myosin II motors, known as myosin filaments, crosslink and generate force on neighboring actin filaments. We hypothesized that the local actin architecture controls the magnitude and duration of force generated by myosin II motors. We used fluorescence imaging to directly measure the mobility of myosin II filaments on actin networks and bundles with varying actin filament polarity, orientation, spacing, and length. On unipolar bundles, myosin exhibits fast, unidirectional motion consistent with their unloaded gliding speed. On mixed polarity bundles, myosin speed is reduced by one order of magnitude and marked by direction switching and trapping. Increasing filament spacing and bundle flexibility reduces the duration of trapping and enhances the mobility of motors. Simulations indicate that stable trapping is a signature of large generated forces while increased mobility indicates force release. Our data underscore that the efficiency of force generation by myosin motors in an actin network depends sensitively on its architecture and suggests actin crosslinking proteins are tuned to optimize actomyosin contractility.

  11. Dendritic Actin Filament Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Actin-filament disassembly: it takes two to shrink them fast.

    PubMed

    Winterhoff, Moritz; Faix, Jan

    2015-06-01

    Actin-filament disassembly is indispensable for replenishing the pool of polymerizable actin and allows continuous dynamic remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton. A new study now reveals that ADF/cofilin preferentially dismantles branched networks and provides new insights into the collaborative work of ADF/cofilin and Aip1 on filament disassembly at the molecular level.

  14. Actin-binding proteins implicated in the formation of the punctate actin foci stimulated by the self-incompatibility response in Papaver.

    PubMed

    Poulter, Natalie S; Staiger, Christopher J; Rappoport, Joshua Z; Franklin-Tong, Vernonica E

    2010-03-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a key target for signaling networks and plays a central role in translating signals into cellular responses in eukaryotic cells. Self-incompatibility (SI) is an important mechanism responsible for preventing self-fertilization. The SI system of Papaver rhoeas pollen involves a Ca(2+)-dependent signaling network, including massive actin depolymerization as one of the earliest cellular responses, followed by the formation of large actin foci. However, no analysis of these structures, which appear to be aggregates of filamentous (F-)actin based on phalloidin staining, has been carried out to date. Here, we characterize and quantify the formation of F-actin foci in incompatible Papaver pollen tubes over time. The F-actin foci increase in size over time, and we provide evidence that their formation requires actin polymerization. Once formed, these SI-induced structures are unusually stable, being resistant to treatments with latrunculin B. Furthermore, their formation is associated with changes in the intracellular localization of two actin-binding proteins, cyclase-associated protein and actin-depolymerizing factor. Two other regulators of actin dynamics, profilin and fimbrin, do not associate with the F-actin foci. This study provides, to our knowledge, the first insights into the actin-binding proteins and mechanisms involved in the formation of these intriguing structures, which appear to be actively formed during the SI response.

  15. Actin organization and gene expression in Beta vulgaris seedlings under clinorotation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozeko, L. Y.; Shevchenko, G. V.; Artemenko, O. A.; Martyn, G. G.; Kordyum, E. L.

    2005-08-01

    Actin microfilaments (MFs) as highly dynamic structure respond by rapid reorganization to different external influences, including gravity. The object of our experiments was to examine both the actin organization and actin gene expression during growth and differentiation of root cells under clinorotation. It was shown that MFs acted as the indicator of changes caused by altered gravity in distal elongation zone (DEZ) cells, particularly actin cytoskeleton is enhanced in cortex cells. The data testify stable actin expression under altered gravity. The F-actin MFs enhancement in cortex cells of the DEZ occurred under clinorotation at the same level of the total actin content as in the stationary conditions is suggested to be caused by transformation of G-actin into F-actin.

  16. Polycation induced actin bundles.

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  17. Actin is an essential component of plant gravitropic signaling pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Markus; Hauslage, Jens; Limbach, Christoph

    2003-08-01

    A role of the actin cytoskeleton in the different phases of gravitropism in higher plant organs seems obvious, but experimental evidence is still inconclusive and contradictory. In gravitropically tip-growing rhizoids and protonemata, however, it is well documented that actin is an essential component of the tip-growth machinery and is involved either in the cellular mechanisms that lead to gravity sensing and in the processes of the graviresponses that result in the reorientation of the growth direction. All these processes depend on a complexly organized and highly dynamic organization of actin filaments whose diverse functions are coordinated by numerous associated proteins. Actin filaments and myosins mediate the transport of secretory vehicles to the growing tip and precisely control the delivery of cell wall material. In addition, both cell types use a very efficient actomyosin-based system to control and correct the position of their statoliths and to direct sedimenting statoliths to confined graviperception sites at the plasma membrane. The studies presented in this paper provide evidence for the essential role of actin in plant gravity sensing and the gravitropic responses. A unique actin-organizing center exists in the tip of characean rhizoids and protonemata which is associated with and dynamically regulated by a specific set of actin-dynamizing proteins. It is concluded that this highly dynamic apical actin array is an essential prerequisite for gravity sensing and gravity-oriented tip growth.

  18. Biomimetic systems for studying actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Upadhyaya, Arpita; van Oudenaarden, Alexander

    2003-09-16

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, S.; Ingber, D. E.

    2000-01-01

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

  20. Visualization and simulation of bubble growth in pore networks

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Xuehai; Yortsos, Y.C.

    1994-03-01

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

  1. An actin-binding protein, LlLIM1, mediates calcium and hydrogen regulation of actin dynamics in pollen tubes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huei-Jing; Wan, Ai-Ru; Jauh, Guang-Yuh

    2008-08-01

    Actin microfilaments are crucial for polar cell tip growth, and their configurations and dynamics are regulated by the actions of various actin-binding proteins (ABPs). We explored the function of a lily (Lilium longiflorum) pollen-enriched LIM domain-containing protein, LlLIM1, in regulating the actin dynamics in elongating pollen tube. Cytological and biochemical assays verified LlLIM1 functioning as an ABP, promoting filamentous actin (F-actin) bundle assembly and protecting F-actin against latrunculin B-mediated depolymerization. Overexpressed LlLIM1 significantly disturbed pollen tube growth and morphology, with multiple tubes protruding from one pollen grain and coaggregation of FM4-64-labeled vesicles and Golgi apparatuses at the subapex of the tube tip. Moderate expression of LlLIM1 induced an oscillatory formation of asterisk-shaped F-actin aggregates that oscillated with growth period but in different phases at the subapical region. These results suggest that the formation of LlLIM1-mediated overstabilized F-actin bundles interfered with endomembrane trafficking to result in growth retardation. Cosedimentation assays revealed that the binding affinity of LlLIM1 to F-actin was simultaneously regulated by both pH and Ca(2+): LlLIM1 showed a preference for F-actin binding under low pH and low Ca(2+) concentration. The potential functions of LlLIM1 as an ABP sensitive to pH and calcium in integrating endomembrane trafficking, oscillatory pH, and calcium circumstances to regulate tip-focused pollen tube growth are discussed.

  2. In vitro inhibition of incompatible pollen tubes in Nicotiana alata involves the uncoupling of the F-actin cytoskeleton and the endomembrane trafficking system.

    PubMed

    Roldán, Juan A; Rojas, Hernán J; Goldraij, Ariel

    2015-01-01

    In the S-RNase-based self-incompatibility system, subcellular events occurring in the apical region of incompatible pollen tubes during the pollen rejection process are poorly understood. F-actin dynamics and endomembrane trafficking are crucial for polar growth, which is temporally and spatially controlled in the tip region of pollen tubes. Thus, we developed a simple in vitro assay to study the changes in the F-actin cytoskeleton and the endomembrane system at the apical region of incompatible pollen tubes in Nicotiana alata. Growth but not germination of pollen tubes of S c₁₀-, S₇₀-, and S₇₅-haplotypes was selectively inhibited by style extracts carrying the same haplotypes. Pollen F-actin cytoskeleton and endomembrane system, visualized by fluorescent markers, were normal during the initial 60 min of pollen culture in the presence of compatible and incompatible style extracts. Additional culture resulted in complete growth arrest and critical alterations in the integrity of the F-actin cytoskeleton and the endomembrane system of incompatible pollen tubes. The F-actin ring and the V-shaped zone disappeared from the apical region, while distorted F-actin cables and progressive formation of membrane aggregates evolved in the subapical region and the shank. The vacuolar network of incompatible pollen tubes invaded the tip region, but vacuolar membrane integrity remained mostly unaffected. The polar growth machinery of incompatible pollen tubes was uncoupled, as evidenced by the severe disruption of colocalization between the F-actin cytoskeleton and the endomembrane compartments. A model of pollen rejection integrating the main subcellular events occurring in incompatible pollen is discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-10

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

  4. Calcium Regulation of an Actin Spring

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Arabidopsis CAP regulates the actin cytoskeleton necessary for plant cell elongation and division.

    PubMed

    Barrero, Roberto A; Umeda, Masaaki; Yamamura, Saburo; Uchimiya, Hirofumi

    2002-01-01

    An Arabidopsis cDNA (AtCAP1) that encodes a predicted protein of 476 amino acids highly homologous with the yeast cyclase-associated protein (CAP) was isolated. Expression of AtCAP1 in the budding yeast CAP mutant was able to rescue defects such as abnormal cell morphology and random budding pattern. The C-terminal domain, 158 amino acids of AtCAP1 possessing in vitro actin binding activity, was needed for the regulation of cytoskeleton-related defects of yeast. Transgenic plants overexpressing AtCAP1 under the regulation of a glucocorticoid-inducible promoter showed different levels of AtCAP1 accumulation related to the extent of growth abnormalities, in particular size reduction of leaves as well as petioles. Morphological alterations in leaves were attributable to decreased cell size and cell number in both epidermal and mesophyll cells. Tobacco suspension-cultured cells (Bright Yellow 2) overexpressing AtCAP1 exhibited defects in actin filaments and were unable to undergo mitosis. Furthermore, an immunoprecipitation experiment suggested that AtCAP1 interacted with actin in vivo. Therefore, AtCAP1 may play a functional role in actin cytoskeleton networking that is essential for proper cell elongation and division.

  6. Quantitative Fluorescent Speckle Microscopy (QFSM) to Measure Actin Dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 meotic/mitotic spindle. Here, we focus 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 microinjection of fluorophore-labeled actin into cells, which generate a low ratio of fluorescently-labeled:endogenous unlabeled actin monomers. Spinning disk confocal or wide-field imaging then visualizes fluorophore clusters (2–8 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. A green fluorescent protein fusion to actin-binding domain 2 of Arabidopsis fimbrin highlights new features of a dynamic actin cytoskeleton in live plant cells.

    PubMed

    Sheahan, Michael B; Staiger, Chris J; Rose, Ray J; McCurdy, David W

    2004-12-01

    The actin cytoskeleton coordinates numerous cellular processes required for plant development. The functions of this network are intricately linked to its dynamic arrangement, and thus progress in understanding how actin orchestrates cellular processes relies on critical evaluation of actin organization and turnover. To investigate the dynamic nature of the actin cytoskeleton, we used a fusion protein between green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the second actin-binding domain (fABD2) of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) fimbrin, AtFIM1. The GFP-fABD2 fusion protein labeled highly dynamic and dense actin networks in diverse species and cell types, revealing structural detail not seen with alternative labeling methods, such as the commonly used mouse talin GFP fusion (GFP-mTalin). Further, we show that expression of the GFP-fABD2 fusion protein in Arabidopsis, unlike GFP-mTalin, has no detectable adverse effects on plant morphology or development. Time-lapse confocal microscopy and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analyses of the actin cytoskeleton labeled with GFP-fABD2 revealed that lateral-filament migration and sliding of individual actin filaments or bundles are processes that contribute to the dynamic and continually reorganizing nature of the actin scaffold. These new observations of the dynamic actin cytoskeleton in plant cells using GFP-fABD2 reveal the value of this probe for future investigations of how actin filaments coordinate cellular processes required for plant development.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Integrated healthcare networks' performance: a growth curve modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Wan, Thomas T H; Wang, Bill B L

    2003-05-01

    This study examines the effects of integration on the performance ratings of the top 100 integrated healthcare networks (IHNs) in the United States. A strategic-contingency theory is used to identify the relationship of IHNs' performance to their structural and operational characteristics and integration strategies. To create a database for the panel study, the top 100 IHNs selected by the SMG Marketing Group in 1998 were followed up in 1999 and 2000. The data were merged with the Dorenfest data on information system integration. A growth curve model was developed and validated by the Mplus statistical program. Factors influencing the top 100 IHNs' performance in 1998 and their subsequent rankings in the consecutive years were analyzed. IHNs' initial performance scores were positively influenced by network size, number of affiliated physicians and profit margin, and were negatively associated with average length of stay and technical efficiency. The continuing high performance, judged by maintaining higher performance scores, tended to be enhanced by the use of more managerial or executive decision-support systems. Future studies should include time-varying operational indicators to serve as predictors of network performance.

  12. Aluminum modifies the viscosity of filamentous actin solutions as measured by optical displacement microviscometry.

    PubMed

    Arnoys, E J; Schindler, M

    2000-01-01

    A microtechnique has been developed that is capable of measuring the viscosity of filamentous actin (F-actin) solutions. This method, called optical displacement microviscometry (ODM), was utilized to determine the changes in viscosity of solutions of rabbit muscle, human platelet, and maize pollen actin when measured in the absence and presence of aluminum. Measurements demonstrated that the viscosity of the different actin solutions decreased with aluminum concentration. In contrast, increases in viscosity were observed when aluminum was added to F-actin solutions containing filamin (chicken gizzard), a protein that bundles actin filaments. Confocal fluorescence imaging of pure actin solutions in the presence of aluminum showed a disrupted actin network composed of fragmented actin filaments in the form of small aggregates. In contrast, in the presence of filamin, aluminum promoted the formation of thicker actin filaments. These measurements demonstrate that aluminum can affect actin filaments differentially depending on the presence of an actin-binding protein. In addition, a strong correlation is observed between the changes in viscosity as measured by ODM and the thickness and assembled state of bundles of actin filaments.

  13. Genetic control of root growth: from genes to networks

    PubMed Central

    Slovak, Radka; Ogura, Takehiko; Satbhai, Santosh B.; Ristova, Daniela; Busch, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Background Roots are essential organs for higher plants. They provide the plant with nutrients and water, anchor the plant in the soil, and can serve as energy storage organs. One remarkable feature of roots is that they are able to adjust their growth to changing environments. This adjustment is possible through mechanisms that modulate a diverse set of root traits such as growth rate, diameter, growth direction and lateral root formation. The basis of these traits and their modulation are at the cellular level, where a multitude of genes and gene networks precisely regulate development in time and space and tune it to environmental conditions. Scope This review first describes the root system and then presents fundamental work that has shed light on the basic regulatory principles of root growth and development. It then considers emerging complexities and how they have been addressed using systems-biology approaches, and then describes and argues for a systems-genetics approach. For reasons of simplicity and conciseness, this review is mostly limited to work from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, in which much of the research in root growth regulation at the molecular level has been conducted. Conclusions While forward genetic approaches have identified key regulators and genetic pathways, systems-biology approaches have been successful in shedding light on complex biological processes, for instance molecular mechanisms involving the quantitative interaction of several molecular components, or the interaction of large numbers of genes. However, there are significant limitations in many of these methods for capturing dynamic processes, as well as relating these processes to genotypic and phenotypic variation. The emerging field of systems genetics promises to overcome some of these limitations by linking genotypes to complex phenotypic and molecular data using approaches from different fields, such as genetics, genomics, systems biology and phenomics. PMID

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Actinic keratosis. Current treatment options.

    PubMed

    Jeffes, E W; Tang, E H

    2000-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

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

  18. Lamellipodial actin mechanically links myosin activity with adhesion site formation

    PubMed Central

    Giannone, Gregory; Dubin-Thaler, Benjamin; Rossier, Olivier; Cai, Yunfei; Chaga, Oleg; Jiang, Guoying; Beaver, William; Döbereiner, Hans-Günther; Freund, Yoav; Borisy, Gary; Sheetz, Michael P.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Cell motility proceeds by cycles of edge protrusion, adhesion and retraction. Whether these functions are coordinated by biochemical or biomechanical processes is unknown. We find that myosin II pulls the rear of the lamellipodial actin network, causing upward bending, edge retraction and initiation of new adhesion sites. The network then separates from the edge and condenses over the myosin. Protrusion resumes as lamellipodial actin regenerates from the front and extends rearward until it reaches newly assembled myosin, initiating the next cycle. Upward bending, observed by evanescence and electron microscopy, results in ruffle formation when adhesion strength is low. Correlative fluorescence and electron microscopy shows that the regenerating lamellipodium forms a cohesive, separable layer of actin above the lamellum. Thus, actin polymerization periodically builds a mechanical link, the lamellipodium, connecting myosin motors with the initiation of adhesion sites, suggesting that the major functions driving motility are coordinated by a biomechanical process. PMID:17289574

  19. A Legionella Effector Disrupts Host Cytoskeletal Structure by Cleaving Actin

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yao; Zhu, Wenhan; Tan, Yunhao; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Staiger, Christopher J.

    2017-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila, the etiological agent of Legionnaires’ disease, replicates intracellularly in protozoan and human hosts. Successful colonization and replication of this pathogen in host cells requires the Dot/Icm type IVB secretion system, which translocates approximately 300 effector proteins into the host cell to modulate various cellular processes. In this study, we identified RavK as a Dot/Icm substrate that targets the host cytoskeleton and reduces actin filament abundance in mammalian cells upon ectopic expression. RavK harbors an H95EXXH99 motif associated with diverse metalloproteases, which is essential for the inhibition of yeast growth and for the induction of cell rounding in HEK293T cells. We demonstrate that the actin protein itself is the cellular target of RavK and that this effector cleaves actin at a site between residues Thr351 and Phe352. Importantly, RavK-mediated actin cleavage also occurs during L. pneumophila infection. Cleavage by RavK abolishes the ability of actin to form polymers. Furthermore, an F352A mutation renders actin resistant to RavK-mediated cleavage; expression of the mutant in mammalian cells suppresses the cell rounding phenotype caused by RavK, further establishing that actin is the physiological substrate of RavK. Thus, L. pneumophila exploits components of the host cytoskeleton by multiple effectors with distinct mechanisms, highlighting the importance of modulating cellular processes governed by the actin cytoskeleton in the intracellular life cycle of this pathogen. PMID:28129393

  20. Pattern formation in actin gels: A study in the mechanics of gels formed by the important cytoskeletal protein actin, especially as applied to cellular motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balter, Ariel

    We have studied pattern formation in actin gels to better understand how they function in biological systems, especially in the motility mechanism used by some pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria. By coating themselves with certain enzymes, these bacteria appropriate actin (a protein) from the surrounding host cell's cytoplasm and cause a network or "gel" of actin filaments to grow on their outer surface. As the resulting "comet tail" shaped protrusion grows, it pushes the bacterium away. In experiments, polystyrene beads coated with the same enzymes will also generate comet tails and swim in a very similar manner. However, these bead experiments have also generated anomalous results such as the formation of many comet tails. In some experiments, when two comet tails formed they systematically grew into regular, oppositely handed helices. The formation of any comet tails on a bead poses a physical conundrum. The bacterial enzyme coating is asymmetrical so the comet tail forms in a particular place. But the beads are symmetrical, so comet tails formation constitutes symmetry breaking and spontaneous pattern formation. We have modeled this process as a competition between elastic energy (which favors many tails) and chemical energy (which favors few tails). Our analytical model explains the factors that experimentally determine the number of tails, and numerical simulations confirm these predictions. To understand the helical tails, we did extensive data analysis involving image processing, statistical analysis and mathematical modeling of images of the helical tails. We identified some important features of how the twin tails form. For instance, the tail growth rate is independent of drag force, and bead rotation must accompany helical tail formation. We also created a physical model for helical growth. Numerical simulations of our model show that at very low Reynolds number, a cylindrical object growing under the conditions of an actin comet tail can spontaneously

  1. Actin interaction and regulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 5/p35 complex activity.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jiqing; Tsutsumi, Koji; Tokuraku, Kiyotaka; Estes, Katherine A; Hisanaga, Shin-ichi; Ikezu, Tsuneya

    2011-01-01

    Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) plays a critical role during neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity, and neurodegeneration. Cdk5 activity depends on association with neuronal proteins p35 and p25, a proteolytic product of p35. Cdk5 regulates the actin cytoskeletal dynamics that are essential for neuronal migration, neuritic growth, and synaptogenesis. However, little is known about the interaction of actin and Cdk5 and its effect on neuronal Cdk5 activity. In a previous study, we observed that Cdk5/p35 activity is negatively correlated with co-immunoprecipitated F-actin (filamentous actin) amounts in the mouse brain, and suggested that F-actin inhibits the formation of the Cdk5/p35 complex [Journal of Neuroscience (2008) vol. 28, p. 14511]. The experiments reported here were undertaken to elucidate the relationship between actin and the formation of the Cdk5/p35 complex and its activity. Instead of an F-actin-mediated inhibition, we propose that G-actin (globular actin) in the F-actin preparations is responsible for inhibiting Cdk5/p35 and Cdk5/p25 kinase activity. We found that F-actin binds to p35 but not p25 or Cdk5. We have shown that G-actin binds directly to Cdk5 without disrupting the formation of the Cdk5/p35 or Cdk5/p25 complexes. G-actin potently suppressed Cdk5/p35 and Cdk5/p25 activity when either histone H1 or purified human tau protein were used as substrates, indicating a substrate-independent inhibitory effect of G-actin on Cdk5 activity. Finally, G-actin suppressed the activity of Cdk5 immunoprecipitated from wild type and p35-deficient mouse brain, suggesting that G-actin suppresses endogenous Cdk5 activity in a p35-independent manner. Together, these results suggest a novel mechanism of actin cytoskeletal regulation of Cdk5/p35 activity.

  2. Interaction of microtubules with the actin cytoskeleton via cross-talk of EB1-containing +TIPs and γ-actin in epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Dugina, Vera; Alieva, Irina; Khromova, Natalya; Kireev, Igor; Gunning, Peter W.; Kopnin, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Actin microfilaments and microtubules are both highly dynamic cytoskeleton components implicated in a wide range of intracellular processes as well as cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. The interactions of actin filaments with the microtubule system play an important role in the assembly and maintenance of 3D cell structure. Here we demonstrate that cytoplasmic actins are differentially distributed in relation to the microtubule system. LSM, 3D-SIM, proximity ligation assay (PLA) and co-immunoprecipitation methods applied in combination with selective depletion of β- or γ-cytoplasmic actins revealed a selective interaction between microtubules and γ-, but not β-cytoplasmic actin via the microtubule +TIPs protein EB1. EB1-positive comet distribution analysis and quantification have shown more effective microtubule growth in the absence of β-actin. Our data represent the first demonstration that microtubule +TIPs protein EB1 interacts mainly with γ-cytoplasmic actin in epithelial cells. PMID:27683037

  3. Interaction of microtubules with the actin cytoskeleton via cross-talk of EB1-containing +TIPs and γ-actin in epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Dugina, Vera; Alieva, Irina; Khromova, Natalya; Kireev, Igor; Gunning, Peter W; Kopnin, Pavel

    2016-11-08

    Actin microfilaments and microtubules are both highly dynamic cytoskeleton components implicated in a wide range of intracellular processes as well as cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. The interactions of actin filaments with the microtubule system play an important role in the assembly and maintenance of 3D cell structure. Here we demonstrate that cytoplasmic actins are differentially distributed in relation to the microtubule system. LSM, 3D-SIM, proximity ligation assay (PLA) and co-immunoprecipitation methods applied in combination with selective depletion of β- or γ-cytoplasmic actins revealed a selective interaction between microtubules and γ-, but not β-cytoplasmic actin via the microtubule +TIPs protein EB1. EB1-positive comet distribution analysis and quantification have shown more effective microtubule growth in the absence of β-actin. Our data represent the first demonstration that microtubule +TIPs protein EB1 interacts mainly with γ-cytoplasmic actin in epithelial cells.

  4. Actin stress in cell reprogramming

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott D; Mullins, R Dyche

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Single-molecule studies of actin assembly and disassembly factors.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Moesin and cortactin control actin-dependent multivesicular endosome biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Muriel, Olivia; Tomas, Alejandra; Scott, Cameron C.; Gruenberg, Jean

    2016-01-01

    We used in vivo and in vitro strategies to study the mechanisms of multivesicular endosome biogenesis. We found that, whereas annexinA2 and ARP2/3 mediate F-actin nucleation and branching, respectively, the ERM protein moesin supports the formation of F-actin networks on early endosomes. We also found that moesin plays no role during endocytosis and recycling to the plasma membrane but is absolutely required, much like actin, for early-to-late-endosome transport and multivesicular endosome formation. Both actin network formation in vitro and early-to-late endosome transport in vivo also depend on the F-actin–binding protein cortactin. Our data thus show that moesin and cortactin are necessary for formation of F-actin networks that mediate endosome biogenesis or maturation and transport through the degradative pathway. We propose that the primary function of endosomal F-actin is to control the membrane remodeling that accompanies endosome biogenesis. We also speculate that this mechanism helps segregate tubular and multivesicular membranes along the recycling and degradation pathways, respectively. PMID:27605702

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Peyla, Philippe; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2007-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. A novel form of actin in Leishmania: molecular characterisation, subcellular localisation and association with subpellicular microtubules.

    PubMed

    Sahasrabuddhe, Amogh A; Bajpai, Virendra K; Gupta, Chhitar M

    2004-03-01

    To study the occurrence and subcellular distribution of actin in trypanosomatid parasites, we have cloned and overexpressed Leishmania donovani actin gene in bacteria, purified the protein, and employed the affinity purified rabbit polyclonal anti-recombinant actin antibodies as a probe to study the organisation and subcellular distribution of actin in Leishmania cells. The Leishmania actin did not cross react with antimammalian actin antibodies but was readily recognized by the anti-Leishmania actin antibodies in both the promastigote and amastigote forms of the parasite. About 10(6) copies per cell of this protein (M(r) 42.05 kDa) were present in the Leishmania promastigote. Unlike other eukaryotic actins, the oligomeric forms of Leishmania actin were not stained by phalloidin nor were dissociated by actin filament-disrupting agents, like Latrunculin B and Cytochalasin D. Analysis of the primary structure of this protein revealed that these unusual characteristics may be related to the presence of highly diverged amino acids in the DNase I-binding loop (amino acids 40-50) and the hydrophobic plug (amino acids 262-272) regions of Leishmania actin. The subcellular distribution of actin was studied in the Leishmania promastigotes by employing immunoelectron and immunofluorescence microscopies. This protein was present not only in the flagella, flagellar pocket, nucleus and the kinetoplast but it was also localized on the nuclear, vacuolar and cytoplasmic face of the plasma membranes. Further, the plasma membrane-associated actin was colocalised with subpellicular microtubules, while most of the actin present in the kinetoplast colocalised with the k-DNA network. These results clearly indicate that Leishmania contains a novel form of actin which may structurally and functionally differ from other eukaryotic actins. The functional significance of these observations is discussed.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. A Gly65Val substitution in an actin, GhACT_LI1, disrupts cell polarity and membrane anchoring of F-actin resulting in dwarf, lintless Li1 cotton plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Actin polymerizes to form the cytoskeleton and organize polar growth in all eukaryotic cells. Species with numerous actin genes are especially useful for the dissection of actin molecular function due to redundancy and neofunctionalization. Here, we investigated the role of a cotton (Gossypium hi...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Actin-mediated motion of meiotic chromosomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Actin Skeletons at the Membrane as Liquid Crystal Elastomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  20. Direct actin binding to A- and B-type lamin tails and actin filament bundling by the lamin A tail

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Dan N; Zastrow, Michael S

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear intermediate filament networks formed by A- and B-type lamins are major components of the nucleoskeleton. Lamins have growing links to human physiology and disease including Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD), lipodystrophy, cardiomyopathy, neuropathy, cerebellar disorders and segmental accelerated ‘aging’ syndromes. How lamins interact with other nucleoskeletal components, and even the identities of these other components, are open questions. Previous studies suggested lamins might bind actin. We report that the recombinant C-terminal tail domain of human A- and B-type lamins binds directly to purified actin in high-speed pelleting assays. This interaction maps to a conserved Actin Binding site (AB-1) comprising lamin A residues 461–536 in the Ig-fold domain, which are 54% identical in lamin B1. Two EDMD-causing missense mutations (R527P and L530P) in lamin A that are predicted to disrupt the Ig-fold, each reduced F-actin binding by ∼66%, whereas the surface-exposed lipodystrophy-causing R482Q mutation had no significant effect. The lamin A tail was unique among lamins in having a second actin-binding site (AB-2). This second site was mapped to lamin A tail residues 564–608, based on actin-binding results for the lamin C tail and internal deletions in the lamin A tail that cause Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (Δ35, Δ50) or restrictive dermopathy (Δ90). Supporting the presence of two actin-binding sites, recombinant precursor (unmodified) and mature lamin A tails (not C or B1 tails) each bundled F-actin in vitro: furthermore F-actin bundling was reduced 25–40% by the R527P, L530P, Δ35 and Δ50 mutations, and was abolished by Δ90. Unexpectedly, the mature lamin A tail bound F-actin significantly more efficiently than did the prelamin A tail; this suggested unmodified residues 647–664, unique to prelamin A, might auto-inhibit binding to actin (and potentially other partners). These biochemical results suggest direct mechanisms

  1. Small acidic protein 1 and SCF(TIR)(1) ubiquitin proteasome pathway act in concert to induce 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid-mediated alteration of actin in Arabidopsis roots.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Maho; Umetsu, Kana; Oono, Yutaka; Higaki, Takumi; Blancaflor, Elison B; Rahman, Abidur

    2017-03-01

    2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), a functional analogue of auxin, is used as an exogenous source of auxin as it evokes physiological responses like the endogenous auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Previous molecular analyses of the auxin response pathway revealed that IAA and 2,4-D share a common mode of action to elicit downstream physiological responses. However, recent findings with 2,4-D-specific mutants suggested that 2,4-D and IAA might also use distinct pathways to modulate root growth in Arabidopsis. Using genetic and cellular approaches, we demonstrate that the distinct effects of 2,4-D and IAA on actin filament organization partly dictate the differential responses of roots to these two auxin analogues. 2,4-D but not IAA altered the actin structure in long-term and short-term assays. Analysis of the 2,4-D-specific mutant aar1-1 revealed that small acidic protein 1 (SMAP1) functions positively to facilitate the 2,4-D-induced depolymerization of actin. The ubiquitin proteasome mutants tir1-1 and axr1-12, which show enhanced resistance to 2,4-D compared with IAA for inhibition of root growth, were also found to have less disrupted actin filament networks after 2,4-D exposure. Consistently, a chemical inhibitor of the ubiquitin proteasome pathway mitigated the disrupting effects of 2,4-D on the organization of actin filaments. Roots of the double mutant aar1-1 tir1-1 also showed enhanced resistance to 2,4-D-induced inhibition of root growth and actin degradation compared with their respective parental lines. Collectively, these results suggest that the effects of 2,4-D on actin filament organization and root growth are mediated through synergistic interactions between SMAP1 and SCF(TIR)(1) ubiquitin proteasome components.

  2. Control of actin filament dynamics at barbed ends by WH2 domains: from capping to permissive and processive assembly.

    PubMed

    Carlier, Marie-France; Pernier, Julien; Avvaru, Balendu Sankara

    2013-10-01

    WH2 domains are multifunctional regulators of actin assembly that can either sequester G-actin or allow polarized barbed end growth. They all bind similarly to a hydrophobic pocket at the barbed face of actin. Depending on their electrostatic environment, WH2 domains can nucleate actin assembly by facilitating the formation of prenuclei dimers along the canonical spontaneous assembly pathway. They also modulate filament barbed end dynamics in a versatile fashion, acting either as barbed end cappers or assisting barbed end growth like profilin or uncapping barbed ends and potentially mediating processive elongation like formins when they are dimerized. Tandem repeats of WH2 domains can sever filaments and either remain bound to created barbed ends like gelsolin, or strip off an ADP-actin subunit from the severed polymer end, depending on their relative affinity for terminal ADP-F-actin or ADP-G-actin. In summary, WH2 domains recapitulate all known elementary regulatory functions so far found in individual actin-binding proteins. By combining different discrete sets of these multifunctional properties, they acquire specific functions in various actin-based processes, and participate in activities as diverse as filament branching, filopodia extension, or actin remodeling in ciliogenesis and asymmetric meiotic division. They also integrate these functions with other actin-binding motifs present either in the same protein or in a complex with another protein, expanding the range of complexity in actin regulation. The details of their molecular mechanisms and the underlying structural basis provide exciting avenues in actin research.

  3. Src and cortactin promote lamellipodia protrusion and filopodia formation and stability in growth cones

    PubMed Central

    He, Yingpei; Ren, Yuan; Wu, Bingbing; Decourt, Boris; Lee, Aih Cheun; Taylor, Aaron; Suter, Daniel M.

    2015-01-01

    Src tyrosine kinases have been implicated in axonal growth and guidance; however, the underlying cellular mechanisms are not well understood. Specifically, it is unclear which aspects of actin organization and dynamics are regulated by Src in neuronal growth cones. Here, we investigated the function of Src2 and one of its substrates, cortactin, in lamellipodia and filopodia of Aplysia growth cones. We found that up-regulation of Src2 activation state or cortactin increased lamellipodial length, protrusion time, and actin network density, whereas down-regulation had opposite effects. Furthermore, Src2 or cortactin up-regulation increased filopodial density, length, and protrusion time, whereas down-regulation promoted lateral movements of filopodia. Fluorescent speckle microscopy revealed that rates of actin assembly and retrograde flow were not affected in either case. In summary, our results support a model in which Src and cortactin regulate growth cone motility by increasing actin network density and protrusion persistence of lamellipodia by controlling the state of actin-driven protrusion versus retraction. In addition, both proteins promote the formation and stability of actin bundles in filopodia. PMID:26224308

  4. The Drosophila javelin Gene Encodes a Novel Actin-Associated Protein Required for Actin Assembly in the Bristle ▿

    PubMed Central

    Shapira, Shira; Bakhrat, Anna; Bitan, Amir; Abdu, Uri

    2011-01-01

    The Drosophila melanogaster bristle is a highly polarized cell that builds specialized cytoskeletal structures. Whereas actin is required for increasing bristle length, microtubules are essential for bristle axial growth. To identify new proteins involved in cytoskeleton organization during bristle development, we focused on identifying and characterizing the javelin (jv) locus. We found that in a jv mutant, the bristle tip is swollen and abnormal organization of bristle grooves is seen over the entire bristle. Using confocal and electron microscopy, we found that in jv mutant bristles, actin bundles do not form properly due to a loss of actin filaments within the bundle. We show that jv is an allele of the predicted CG32397 gene that encodes a protein with no homologs outside insects. Expression of the Jv protein fused to a green fluorescent protein (GFP) shows that the protein is colocalized with actin bundles in the bristle. Moreover, expression of Jv-GFP within the germ line led to the formation of ectopic actin bundles that surround the nucleus of nurse cells. Thus, we report that Jv is a novel actin-associated protein required for actin assembly during Drosophila bristle development. PMID:21930794

  5. Physical Model for Self-Organization of Actin Cytoskeleton and Adhesion Complexes at the Cell Front

    PubMed Central

    Shemesh, Tom; Bershadsky, Alexander D.; Kozlov, Michael M.

    2012-01-01

    Cell motion is driven by interplay between the actin cytoskeleton and the cell adhesions in the front part of the cell. The actin network segregates into lamellipodium and lamellum, whereas the adhesion complexes are characteristically distributed underneath the actin system. Here, we suggest a computational model for this characteristic organization of the actin-adhesion system. The model is based on the ability of the adhesion complexes to sense mechanical forces, the stick-slip character of the interaction between the adhesions and the moving actin network, and a hypothetical propensity of the actin network to disintegrate upon sufficiently strong stretching stresses. We identify numerically three possible types of system organization, all observed in living cells: two states in which the actin network exhibits segregation into lamellipodium and lamellum, whereas the cell edge either remains stationary or moves, and a state where the actin network does not undergo segregation. The model recovers the asynchronous fluctuations and outward bulging of the cell edge, and the dependence of the edge protrusion velocity on the rate of the nascent adhesion generation, the membrane tension, and the substrate rigidity. PMID:22768930

  6. Emergence of the small-world architecture in neural networks by activity dependent growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gafarov, F. M.

    2016-11-01

    In this paper, we propose a model describing the growth and development of neural networks based on the latest achievements of experimental neuroscience. The model is based on two evolutionary equations. The first equation is for the evolution of the neurons state and the second is for the growth of axon tips. By using the model, we demonstrated the neuronal growth process from disconnected neurons to fully connected three-dimensional networks. For the analysis of the network's connections structure, we used the random graphs theory methods. It is shown that the growth in neural networks results in the formation of a well-known ;small-world; network model. The analysis of the connectivity distribution shows the presence of a strictly non-Gaussian but no scale-free degree distribution for the in-degree node distribution. In terms of the graphs theory, this study developed a new model of dynamic graph.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-07

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

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

    PubMed

    Blaas, Kathrin; Holzinger, Andreas

    2017-03-21

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

  10. Ring closure in actin polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinha, Supurna; Chattopadhyay, Sebanti

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-10-01

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

  13. Cilia assembly: a role for F-actin in IFT recruitment.

    PubMed

    Quarmby, Lynne

    2014-09-08

    Ciliary growth rates are limited by the availability of precursors at the growing tip. A new paper reveals that the early rapid growth of nascent cilia is supported by F-actin-facilitated delivery of IFT proteins to basal bodies.

  14. Visualization of actin polymerization in invasive structures of macrophages and carcinoma cells using photoconvertible β-actin-Dendra2 fusion proteins.

    PubMed

    Dovas, Athanassios; Gligorijevic, Bojana; Chen, Xiaoming; Entenberg, David; Condeelis, John; Cox, Dianne

    2011-02-14

    Actin polymerization controls a range of cellular processes, from intracellular trafficking to cell motility and invasion. Generation and elongation of free barbed ends defines the regions of actively polymerizing actin in cells and, consequently, is of importance in the understanding of the mechanisms through which actin dynamics are regulated. Herein we present a method that does not involve cell permeabilization and provides direct visualization of growing barbed ends using photoswitchable β-actin-Dendra2 constructs expressed in murine macrophage and rat mammary adenocarcinoma cell lines. The method exploits the ability of photoconverted (red) G-actin species to become incorporated into pre-existing (green) actin filaments, visualized in two distinct wavelengths using TIRF microscopy. In growing actin filaments, photoconverted (red) monomers are added to the barbed end while only green monomers are recycled from the pointed end. We demonstrate that incorporation of actin into intact podosomes of macrophages occurs constitutively and is amenable to inhibition by cytochalasin D indicating barbed end incorporation. Additionally, actin polymerization does not occur in quiescent invadopodial precursors of carcinoma cells suggesting that the filaments are capped and following epidermal growth factor stimulation actin incorporation occurs in a single but extended peak. Finally, we show that Dendra2 fused to either the N- or the C-terminus of β-actin profoundly affects its localization and incorporation in distinct F-actin structures in carcinoma cells, thus influencing the ability of monomers to be photoconverted. These data support the use of photoswitchable actin-Dendra2 constructs as powerful tools in the visualization of free barbed ends in living cells.

  15. 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.

  16. Growth and containment of a hierarchical criminal network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshak, Charles Z.; Rombach, M. Puck; Bertozzi, Andrea L.; D'Orsogna, Maria R.

    2016-02-01

    We model the hierarchical evolution of an organized criminal network via antagonistic recruitment and pursuit processes. Within the recruitment phase, a criminal kingpin enlists new members into the network, who in turn seek out other affiliates. New recruits are linked to established criminals according to a probability distribution that depends on the current network structure. At the same time, law enforcement agents attempt to dismantle the growing organization using pursuit strategies that initiate on the lower level nodes and that unfold as self-avoiding random walks. The global details of the organization are unknown to law enforcement, who must explore the hierarchy node by node. We halt the pursuit when certain local criteria of the network are uncovered, encoding if and when an arrest is made; the criminal network is assumed to be eradicated if the kingpin is arrested. We first analyze recruitment and study the large scale properties of the growing network; later we add pursuit and use numerical simulations to study the eradication probability in the case of three pursuit strategies, the time to first eradication, and related costs. Within the context of this model, we find that eradication becomes increasingly costly as the network increases in size and that the optimal way of arresting the kingpin is to intervene at the early stages of network formation. We discuss our results in the context of dark network disruption and their implications on possible law enforcement strategies.

  17. Growth and containment of a hierarchical criminal network.

    PubMed

    Marshak, Charles Z; Rombach, M Puck; Bertozzi, Andrea L; D'Orsogna, Maria R

    2016-02-01

    We model the hierarchical evolution of an organized criminal network via antagonistic recruitment and pursuit processes. Within the recruitment phase, a criminal kingpin enlists new members into the network, who in turn seek out other affiliates. New recruits are linked to established criminals according to a probability distribution that depends on the current network structure. At the same time, law enforcement agents attempt to dismantle the growing organization using pursuit strategies that initiate on the lower level nodes and that unfold as self-avoiding random walks. The global details of the organization are unknown to law enforcement, who must explore the hierarchy node by node. We halt the pursuit when certain local criteria of the network are uncovered, encoding if and when an arrest is made; the criminal network is assumed to be eradicated if the kingpin is arrested. We first analyze recruitment and study the large scale properties of the growing network; later we add pursuit and use numerical simulations to study the eradication probability in the case of three pursuit strategies, the time to first eradication, and related costs. Within the context of this model, we find that eradication becomes increasingly costly as the network increases in size and that the optimal way of arresting the kingpin is to intervene at the early stages of network formation. We discuss our results in the context of dark network disruption and their implications on possible law enforcement strategies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Transport along freely suspended actin cortex models in a controlled microfluidic environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, Simon; Haraszti, Tamas; Roos, Wouter; Schmitz, Christian; Ulmer, Jens; Graeter, Stefan; Spatz, Joachim P.

    2006-03-01

    Arrays of microfabricated pillars are constructed to serve as a template for mimicking the actin cortex of cells. The three-dimensional template surface prevents interaction of the actin filaments hanging between pillars. A special flow-cell design enables applying flow around a network of actin freely suspended between polydimethylsiloxane pillars. This opens new possibilities to study the mechanics of two-dimensional actin networks as a function of actin-crosslinkers, to observe the active diffusion of molecular motors operating on pending networks and to investigate the alternations in the transport of microscopic particles, coated by different proteins and molecular motors, along these actin cortex models under the drag of flow. The stiffness of the F-actin can be tuned by bundling through various cross-linkers. Additionally, actin filaments act as tracks for guiding passive and active transport of cargo such as organelles or microspheres by molecular motors like myosin-V. These transport problems are biomimetic studies of tracks and external driving force on a statistical process of two-dimensional networks isolated from the complicated and undetermined cellular environment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Novel actin depolymerizing macrolide aplyronine A.

    PubMed

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

    1996-09-01

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

  3. Bacterial Actins and Their Interactors.

    PubMed

    Gayathri, Pananghat

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Recruitment Kinetics of Tropomyosin Tpm3.1 to Actin Filament Bundles in the Cytoskeleton Is Independent of Actin Filament Kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Appaduray, Mark A.; Masedunskas, Andrius; Lucas, Christine A.; Warren, Sean C.; Timpson, Paul; Stear, Jeffrey H.

    2016-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic network of filaments that is involved in virtually every cellular process. Most actin filaments in metazoa exist as a co-polymer of actin and tropomyosin (Tpm) and the function of an actin filament is primarily defined by the specific Tpm isoform associated with it. However, there is little information on the interdependence of these co-polymers during filament assembly and disassembly. We addressed this by investigating the recovery kinetics of fluorescently tagged isoform Tpm3.1 into actin filament bundles using FRAP analysis in cell culture and in vivo in rats using intracellular intravital microscopy, in the presence or absence of the actin-targeting drug jasplakinolide. The mobile fraction of Tpm3.1 is between 50% and 70% depending on whether the tag is at the C- or N-terminus and whether the analysis is in vivo or in cultured cells. We find that the continuous dynamic exchange of Tpm3.1 is not significantly impacted by jasplakinolide, unlike tagged actin. We conclude that tagged Tpm3.1 may be able to undergo exchange in actin filament bundles largely independent of the assembly and turnover of actin. PMID:27977753

  5. Long-range conformational effects of proteolytic removal of the last three residues of actin.

    PubMed Central

    Strzelecka-Gołaszewska, H; Mossakowska, M; Woźniak, A; Moraczewska, J; Nakayama, H

    1995-01-01

    Truncated derivatives of actin devoid of either the last two (actin-2C) or three residues (actin-3C) were used to study the role of the C-terminal segment in the polymerization of actin. The monomer critical concentration and polymerization rate increased in the order: intact actin < actin-2C < actin-3C. Conversely, the rate of hydrolysis of actin-bound ATP during spontaneous polymerization of Mg-actin decreased in the same order, so that, for actin-3C, the ATP hydrolysis significantly lagged behind the polymer growth. Probing the conformation of the nucleotide site in the monomer form by measuring the rates of the bound nucleotide exchange revealed a similar change upon removal of either the two or three residues from the C-terminus. The C-terminal truncation also resulted in a slight decrease in the rate of subtilisin cleavage of monomeric actin within the DNAse-I binding loop, whereas in F-actin subunits the susceptibility of this and of another site within this loop, specifically cleaved by a proteinase from Escherichia coli A2 strain, gradually increased upon sequential removal of the two and of the third residue from the C-terminus. From these and other observations made in this work it has been concluded that perturbation of the C-terminal structure in monomeric actin is transmitted to the cleft, where nucleotide and bivalent cation are bound, and to the DNAse-I binding loop on the top of subdomain 2. Further changes at these sites, observed on the polymer level, seem to result from elimination of the intersubunit contact between the C-terminal residues and the DNAse-I binding loop. It is suggested that formation of this contact plays an essential role in regulating the hydrolysis of actin-bound ATP associated with the polymerization process. Images Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 8 PMID:7733893

  6. Roles of Asp179 and Glu270 in ADP-Ribosylation of Actin by Clostridium perfringens Iota Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Belyy, Alexander; Tabakova, Irina; Lang, Alexander E.; Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens iota toxin is a binary toxin composed of the enzymatically active component Ia and receptor binding component Ib. Ia is an ADP-ribosyltransferase, which modifies Arg177 of actin. The previously determined crystal structure of the actin-Ia complex suggested involvement of Asp179 of actin in the ADP-ribosylation reaction. To gain more insights into the structural requirements of actin to serve as a substrate for toxin-catalyzed ADP-ribosylation, we engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, in which wild type actin was replaced by actin variants with substitutions in residues located on the Ia-actin interface. Expression of the actin mutant Arg177Lys resulted in complete resistance towards Ia. Actin mutation of Asp179 did not change Ia-induced ADP-ribosylation and growth inhibition of S. cerevisiae. By contrast, substitution of Glu270 of actin inhibited the toxic action of Ia and the ADP-ribosylation of actin. In vitro transcribed/translated human β-actin confirmed the crucial role of Glu270 in ADP-ribosylation of actin by Ia. PMID:26713879

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stevenson, V A; Theurkauf, W E

    2000-10-05

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

  9. Formin' actin in the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Modeling transcriptional networks regulating secondary growth and wood formation in forest trees.

    PubMed

    Liu, Lijun; Filkov, Vladimir; Groover, Andrew

    2014-06-01

    The complex interactions among the genes that underlie a biological process can be modeled and presented as a transcriptional network, in which genes (nodes) and their interactions (edges) are shown in a graphical form similar to a wiring diagram. A large number of genes have been identified that are expressed during the radial woody growth of tree stems (secondary growth), but a comprehensive understanding of how these genes interact to influence woody growth is currently lacking. Modeling transcriptional networks has recently been made tractable by next-generation sequencing-based technologies that can comprehensively catalog gene expression and transcription factor-binding genome-wide, but has not yet been extensively applied to undomesticated tree species or woody growth. Here we discuss basic features of transcriptional networks, approaches for modeling biological networks, and examples of biological network models developed for forest trees to date. We discuss how transcriptional network research is being developed in the model forest tree genus, Populus, and how this research area can be further developed and applied. Transcriptional network models for forest tree secondary growth and wood formation could ultimately provide new predictive models to accelerate hypothesis-driven research and develop new breeding applications.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bamburg, James R.; Bernstein, Barbara W.

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Direct interaction of microtubule- and actin-based transport motors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, J. D.; Brady, S. T.; Richards, B. W.; Stenolen, D.; Resau, J. H.; Copeland, N. G.; Jenkins, N. A.

    1999-01-01

    The microtubule network is thought to be used for long-range transport of cellular components in animal cells whereas the actin network is proposed to be used for short-range transport, although the mechanism(s) by which this transport is coordinated is poorly understood. For example, in sea urchins long-range Ca2+-regulated transport of exocytotic vesicles requires a microtubule-based motor, whereas an actin-based motor is used for short-range transport. In neurons, microtubule-based kinesin motor proteins are used for long-range vesicular transport but microtubules do not extend into the neuronal termini, where actin filaments form the cytoskeletal framework, and kinesins are rapidly degraded upon their arrival in neuronal termini, indicating that vesicles may have to be transferred from microtubules to actin tracks to reach their final destination. Here we show that an actin-based vesicle-transport motor, MyoVA, can interact directly with a microtubule-based transport motor, KhcU. As would be expected if these complexes were functional, they also contain kinesin light chains and the localization of MyoVA and KhcU overlaps in the cell. These results indicate that cellular transport is, in part, coordinated through the direct interaction of different motor molecules.

  13. A complex network approach for the growth of aerogels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, R. V.; da Cunha, C. R.; Rambo, C. R.

    2014-07-01

    The formation of the gel structure of a finite set of inorganic particles interacting via long range potentials is studied via Monte Carlo simulations for different conditions of temperature and concentration. We found that there are certain specific conditions wherein gelation can occur. Moreover, the integrated network of connected particles is investigated. A divergence of an order parameter was observed and indicates the transition from random Erdös-Rényi to scale-free networks. The effects of a reaction limited process are also investigated and indicate that the dissociation of particles favors the formation of random networks.

  14. Dual pools of actin at presynaptic terminals.

    PubMed

    Bleckert, Adam; Photowala, Huzefa; Alford, Simon

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. [Photodynamic therapy for actinic cheilitis].

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  17. Distribution of actin of the human erythrocyte membrane cytoskeleton after interaction with radiographic contrast media.

    PubMed

    Franke, R P; Scharnweber, T; Fuhrmann, R; Krüger, A; Wenzel, F; Mrowietz, C; Jung, F

    2013-01-01

    A type-dependent chemotoxic effect of radiographic contrast media on erythrocytes and endothelial cells was reported several times. While mechanisms of toxicity are still unclear the cellular reactions e.g. echinocyte formation in erythrocytes and the buckling of endothelial cells coincided with deterioration of capillary perfusion (in patients with coronary artery disease) and tissue oxygen tension (in the myocardium of pigs). Whether the shape changes in erythrocytes coincide with changes in the arrangement of actin, the core of the actin-spectrin cytoskeletal network and possible actor in membrane stresses and deformation is not known until now. To get specific informations actin was stained using two different staining methods (antibodies to β-actin staining oligomeric G-actin and polymeric F-actin and Phalloidin-Rhodamin staining polymeric F-actin only). In addition, an advanced version of confocal laser scanning microscopes was used enabling the display of the actin arrangement near substrate surfaces. Blood smears were produced after erythrocyte suspension in autologous plasma or in two different plasma/RCM mixtures. In this study an even homogenous distribution of fine grained globular actin in the normal human erythrocyte could be demonstrated. After suspension of erythrocytes in a plasma/Iodixanol mixture an increased number of membrane protrusions appeared densely filled with intensely stained actin similar to cells suspended in autologous plasma, however, there in less numbers. Suspension in Iopromide, in contrast, induced a complete reorganization of the cytoskeletal actin: the fine grained globular actin distribution disappeared and only few, long and thick actin filaments bundled and possibly polymerized appeared, instead, shown here for the first time.

  18. Influence of dendrite network defects on channel segregate growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simpson, M.; Yerebakan, M.; Flemings, M. C.

    1985-01-01

    The solidifying ingot interdendritic flow analysis in which channel segregates are assumed to be produced by interdendritic fluid flow dissolving channels in the primary dendrite network is presently refined by examining the flow through a dendrite network possessing a small defect. Attention is given to the section of the mushy zone in a solidifying casting. Since defects such as that presently treated are unavoidable in a real casting, a more reliable indication may be furnished of the occurrence of channel segregates.

  19. Regulation of actin catch-slip bonds with a RhoA-formin module

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Cho-yin; Lou, Jizhong; Wen, Kuo-Kuang; McKane, Melissa; Eskin, Suzanne G.; Rubenstein, Peter A.; Chien, Shu; Ono, Shoichiro; Zhu, Cheng; McIntire, Larry V.

    2016-01-01

    The dynamic turnover of the actin cytoskeleton is regulated cooperatively by force and biochemical signaling. We previously demonstrated that actin depolymerization under force is governed by catch-slip bonds mediated by force-induced K113:E195 salt-bridges. Yet, the biochemical regulation as well as the functional significance of actin catch bonds has not been elucidated. Using AFM force-clamp experiments, we show that formin controlled by RhoA switches the actin catch-slip bonds to slip-only bonds. SMD simulations reveal that the force does not induce the K113:E195 interaction when formin binds to actin K118 and E117 residues located at the helical segment extending to K113. Actin catch-slip bonds are suppressed by single residue replacements K113E and E195K that interrupt the force-induced K113:E195 interaction; and this suppression is rescued by a K113E/E195K double mutant (E/K) restoring the interaction in the opposite orientation. These results support the biological significance of actin catch bonds, as they corroborate reported observations that RhoA and formin switch force-induced actin cytoskeleton alignment and that either K113E or E195K induces yeast cell growth defects rescued by E/K. Our study demonstrates how the mechano-regulation of actin dynamics is modulated by biochemical signaling molecules, and suggests that actin catch bonds may be important in cell functions. PMID:27731359

  20. Regulation of actin catch-slip bonds with a RhoA-formin module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Cho-Yin; Lou, Jizhong; Wen, Kuo-Kuang; McKane, Melissa; Eskin, Suzanne G.; Rubenstein, Peter A.; Chien, Shu; Ono, Shoichiro; Zhu, Cheng; McIntire, Larry V.

    2016-10-01

    The dynamic turnover of the actin cytoskeleton is regulated cooperatively by force and biochemical signaling. We previously demonstrated that actin depolymerization under force is governed by catch-slip bonds mediated by force-induced K113:E195 salt-bridges. Yet, the biochemical regulation as well as the functional significance of actin catch bonds has not been elucidated. Using AFM force-clamp experiments, we show that formin controlled by RhoA switches the actin catch-slip bonds to slip-only bonds. SMD simulations reveal that the force does not induce the K113:E195 interaction when formin binds to actin K118 and E117 residues located at the helical segment extending to K113. Actin catch-slip bonds are suppressed by single residue replacements K113E and E195K that interrupt the force-induced K113:E195 interaction; and this suppression is rescued by a K113E/E195K double mutant (E/K) restoring the interaction in the opposite orientation. These results support the biological significance of actin catch bonds, as they corroborate reported observations that RhoA and formin switch force-induced actin cytoskeleton alignment and that either K113E or E195K induces yeast cell growth defects rescued by E/K. Our study demonstrates how the mechano-regulation of actin dynamics is modulated by biochemical signaling molecules, and suggests that actin catch bonds may be important in cell functions.

  1. 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

  2. New single-molecule speckle microscopy reveals modification of the retrograde actin flow by focal adhesions at nanometer scales.

    PubMed

    Yamashiro, Sawako; Mizuno, Hiroaki; Smith, Matthew B; Ryan, Gillian L; Kiuchi, Tai; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Watanabe, Naoki

    2014-04-01

    Speckle microscopy directly visualizes the retrograde actin flow, which is believed to promote cell-edge protrusion when linked to focal adhesions (FAs). However, it has been argued that, due to rapid actin turnover, the use of green fluorescent protein-actin, the lack of appropriate analysis algorithms, and technical difficulties, speckle microscopy does not necessarily report the flow velocities of entire actin populations. In this study, we developed a new, user-friendly single-molecule speckle (SiMS) microscopy using DyLight dye-labeled actin. Our new SiMS method enables in vivo nanometer-scale displacement analysis with a low localization error of ±8-8.5 nm, allowing accurate flow-velocity measurement for actin speckles with lifetime <5 s. In lamellipodia, both short- and long-lived F-actin molecules flow with the same speed, indicating they are part of a single actin network. These results do not support coexistence of F-actin populations with different flow speeds, which is referred to as the lamella hypothesis. Mature FAs, but not nascent adhesions, locally obstruct the retrograde flow. Interestingly, the actin flow in front of mature FAs is fast and biased toward FAs, suggesting that mature FAs attract the flow in front and actively remodel the local actin network.

  3. New single-molecule speckle microscopy reveals modification of the retrograde actin flow by focal adhesions at nanometer scales

    PubMed Central

    Yamashiro, Sawako; Mizuno, Hiroaki; Smith, Matthew B.; Ryan, Gillian L.; Kiuchi, Tai; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Watanabe, Naoki

    2014-01-01

    Speckle microscopy directly visualizes the retrograde actin flow, which is believed to promote cell-edge protrusion when linked to focal adhesions (FAs). However, it has been argued that, due to rapid actin turnover, the use of green fluorescent protein–actin, the lack of appropriate analysis algorithms, and technical difficulties, speckle microscopy does not necessarily report the flow velocities of entire actin populations. In this study, we developed a new, user-friendly single-molecule speckle (SiMS) microscopy using DyLight dye-labeled actin. Our new SiMS method enables in vivo nanometer-scale displacement analysis with a low localization error of ±8–8.5 nm, allowing accurate flow-velocity measurement for actin speckles with lifetime <5 s. In lamellipodia, both short- and long-lived F-actin molecules flow with the same speed, indicating they are part of a single actin network. These results do not support coexistence of F-actin populations with different flow speeds, which is referred to as the lamella hypothesis. Mature FAs, but not nascent adhesions, locally obstruct the retrograde flow. Interestingly, the actin flow in front of mature FAs is fast and biased toward FAs, suggesting that mature FAs attract the flow in front and actively remodel the local actin network. PMID:24501425

  4. Network-Growth Rule Dependence of Fractal Dimension of Percolation Cluster on Square Lattice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Shu; Tamura, Ryo

    2013-05-01

    To investigate the network-growth rule dependence of certain geometric aspects of percolation clusters, we propose a generalized network-growth rule introducing a generalized parameter q and we study the time evolution of the network. The rule we propose includes a rule in which elements are randomly connected step by step and the rule recently proposed by Achlioptas et al. [Science 323 (2009) 1453]. We consider the q-dependence of the dynamics of the number of elements in the largest cluster. As q increases, the percolation step is delayed. Moreover, we also study the q-dependence of the roughness and the fractal dimension of the percolation cluster.

  5. Soft viscoelastic properties of nuclear actin age oocytes due to gravitational creep.

    PubMed

    Feric, Marina; Broedersz, Chase P; Brangwynne, Clifford P

    2015-11-18

    The actin cytoskeleton helps maintain structural organization within living cells. In large X. laevis oocytes, gravity becomes a dominant force and is countered by a nuclear actin network that prevents liquid-like nuclear bodies from immediate sedimentation and coalescence. However, nuclear actin's mechanical properties, and how they facilitate the stabilization of nuclear bodies, remain unknown. Using active microrheology, we find that nuclear actin forms a weak viscoelastic network, with a modulus of roughly 0.1 Pa. Embedded probe particles subjected to a constant force exhibit continuous displacement, due to viscoelastic creep. Gravitational forces also cause creep displacement of nuclear bodies, resulting in their asymmetric nuclear distribution. Thus, nuclear actin does not indefinitely support the emulsion of nuclear bodies, but only kinetically stabilizes them by slowing down gravitational creep to ~2 months. This is similar to the viability time of large oocytes, suggesting gravitational creep ages oocytes, with fatal consequences on long timescales.

  6. Rho GTPases, phosphoinositides, and actin

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Computational Tension Mapping of Adherent Cells Based on Actin Imaging.

    PubMed

    Manifacier, Ian; Milan, Jean-Louis; Jeanneau, Charlotte; Chmilewsky, Fanny; Chabrand, Patrick; About, Imad

    2016-01-01

    Forces transiting through the cytoskeleton are known to play a role in adherent cell activity. Up to now few approaches haves been able to determine theses intracellular forces. We thus developed a computational mechanical model based on a reconstruction of the cytoskeleton of an adherent cell from fluorescence staining of the actin network and focal adhesions (FA). Our custom made algorithm converted the 2D image of an actin network into a map of contractile interactions inside a 2D node grid, each node representing a group of pixels. We assumed that actin filaments observed under fluorescence microscopy, appear brighter when thicker, we thus presumed that nodes corresponding to pixels with higher actin density were linked by stiffer interactions. This enabled us to create a system of heterogeneous interactions which represent the spatial organization of the contractile actin network. The contractility of this interaction system was then adapted to match the level of force the cell truly exerted on focal adhesions; forces on focal adhesions were estimated from their vinculin expressed size. This enabled the model to compute consistent mechanical forces transiting throughout the cell. After computation, we applied a graphical approach on the original actin image, which enabled us to calculate tension forces throughout the cell, or in a particular region or even in single stress fibers. It also enabled us to study different scenarios which may indicate the mechanical role of other cytoskeletal components such as microtubules. For instance, our results stated that the ratio between intra and extra cellular compression is inversely proportional to intracellular tension.

  8. Computational Tension Mapping of Adherent Cells Based on Actin Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Manifacier, Ian; Milan, Jean-Louis; Jeanneau, Charlotte; Chmilewsky, Fanny; Chabrand, Patrick; About, Imad

    2016-01-01

    Forces transiting through the cytoskeleton are known to play a role in adherent cell activity. Up to now few approaches haves been able to determine theses intracellular forces. We thus developed a computational mechanical model based on a reconstruction of the cytoskeleton of an adherent cell from fluorescence staining of the actin network and focal adhesions (FA). Our custom made algorithm converted the 2D image of an actin network into a map of contractile interactions inside a 2D node grid, each node representing a group of pixels. We assumed that actin filaments observed under fluorescence microscopy, appear brighter when thicker, we thus presumed that nodes corresponding to pixels with higher actin density were linked by stiffer interactions. This enabled us to create a system of heterogeneous interactions which represent the spatial organization of the contractile actin network. The contractility of this interaction system was then adapted to match the level of force the cell truly exerted on focal adhesions; forces on focal adhesions were estimated from their vinculin expressed size. This enabled the model to compute consistent mechanical forces transiting throughout the cell. After computation, we applied a graphical approach on the original actin image, which enabled us to calculate tension forces throughout the cell, or in a particular region or even in single stress fibers. It also enabled us to study different scenarios which may indicate the mechanical role of other cytoskeletal components such as microtubules. For instance, our results stated that the ratio between intra and extra cellular compression is inversely proportional to intracellular tension. PMID:26812601

  9. 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.

  10. Curation-Based Network Marketing: Strategies for Network Growth and Electronic Word-of-Mouth Diffusion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Church, Earnie Mitchell, Jr.

    2013-01-01

    In the last couple of years, a new aspect of online social networking has emerged, in which the strength of social network connections is based not on social ties but mutually shared interests. This dissertation studies these "curation-based" online social networks (CBN) and their suitability for the diffusion of electronic word-of-mouth…

  11. Modeling the average shortest-path length in growth of word-adjacency networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulig, Andrzej; DroŻdŻ, Stanisław; Kwapień, Jarosław; OświÈ©cimka, Paweł

    2015-03-01

    We investigate properties of evolving linguistic networks defined by the word-adjacency relation. Such networks belong to the category of networks with accelerated growth but their shortest-path length appears to reveal the network size dependence of different functional form than the ones known so far. We thus compare the networks created from literary texts with their artificial substitutes based on different variants of the Dorogovtsev-Mendes model and observe that none of them is able to properly simulate the novel asymptotics of the shortest-path length. Then, we identify the local chainlike linear growth induced by grammar and style as a missing element in this model and extend it by incorporating such effects. It is in this way that a satisfactory agreement with the empirical result is obtained.

  12. The Transcriptional and Gene Regulatory Network of Lactococcus lactis MG1363 during Growth in Milk

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Anne; Hansen, Morten E.; Kuipers, Oscar P.; Kilstrup, Mogens; Kok, Jan

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we examine the changes in the expression of genes of Lactococcus lactis subspecies cremoris MG1363 during growth in milk. To reveal which specific classes of genes (pathways, operons, regulons, COGs) are important, we performed a transcriptome time series experiment. Global analysis of gene expression over time showed that L. lactis adapted quickly to the environmental changes. Using upstream sequences of genes with correlated gene expression profiles, we uncovered a substantial number of putative DNA binding motifs that may be relevant for L. lactis fermentative growth in milk. All available novel and literature-derived data were integrated into network reconstruction building blocks, which were used to reconstruct and visualize the L. lactis gene regulatory network. This network enables easy mining in the chrono-transcriptomics data. A freely available website at http://milkts.molgenrug.nl gives full access to all transcriptome data, to the reconstructed network and to the individual network building blocks. PMID:23349698

  13. Smooth muscle hyperplasia due to loss of smooth muscle α-actin is driven by activation of focal adhesion kinase, altered p53 localization and increased levels of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β

    PubMed Central

    Papke, Christina L.; Cao, Jiumei; Kwartler, Callie S.; Villamizar, Carlos; Byanova, Katerina L.; Lim, Soon-Mi; Sreenivasappa, Harini; Fischer, Grant; Pham, John; Rees, Meredith; Wang, Miranda; Chaponnier, Christine; Gabbiani, Giulio; Khakoo, Aarif Y.; Chandra, Joya; Trache, Andreea; Zimmer, Warren; Milewicz, Dianna M.

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in ACTA2, encoding the smooth muscle cell (SMC)-specific isoform of α-actin (α-SMA), cause thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections and occlusive vascular diseases, including early onset coronary artery disease and stroke. We have shown that occlusive arterial lesions in patients with heterozygous ACTA2 missense mutations show increased numbers of medial or neointimal SMCs. The contribution of SMC hyperplasia to these vascular diseases and the pathways responsible for linking disruption of α-SMA filaments to hyperplasia are unknown. Here, we show that the loss of Acta2 in mice recapitulates the SMC hyperplasia observed in ACTA2 mutant SMCs and determine the cellular pathways responsible for SMC hyperplasia. Acta2−/− mice showed increased neointimal formation following vascular injury in vivo, and SMCs explanted from these mice demonstrated increased proliferation and migration. Loss of α-SMA induced hyperplasia through focal adhesion (FA) rearrangement, FA kinase activation, re-localization of p53 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and increased expression and ligand-independent activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (Pdgfr-β). Disruption of α-SMA in wild-type SMCs also induced similar cellular changes. Imatinib mesylate inhibited Pdgfr-β activation and Acta2−/− SMC proliferation in vitro and neointimal formation with vascular injury in vivo. Loss of α-SMA leads to SMC hyperplasia in vivo and in vitro through a mechanism involving FAK, p53 and Pdgfr-β, supporting the hypothesis that SMC hyperplasia contributes to occlusive lesions in patients with ACTA2 missense mutations. PMID:23591991

  14. Smooth muscle hyperplasia due to loss of smooth muscle α-actin is driven by activation of focal adhesion kinase, altered p53 localization and increased levels of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β.

    PubMed

    Papke, Christina L; Cao, Jiumei; Kwartler, Callie S; Villamizar, Carlos; Byanova, Katerina L; Lim, Soon-Mi; Sreenivasappa, Harini; Fischer, Grant; Pham, John; Rees, Meredith; Wang, Miranda; Chaponnier, Christine; Gabbiani, Giulio; Khakoo, Aarif Y; Chandra, Joya; Trache, Andreea; Zimmer, Warren; Milewicz, Dianna M

    2013-08-01

    Mutations in ACTA2, encoding the smooth muscle cell (SMC)-specific isoform of α-actin (α-SMA), cause thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections and occlusive vascular diseases, including early onset coronary artery disease and stroke. We have shown that occlusive arterial lesions in patients with heterozygous ACTA2 missense mutations show increased numbers of medial or neointimal SMCs. The contribution of SMC hyperplasia to these vascular diseases and the pathways responsible for linking disruption of α-SMA filaments to hyperplasia are unknown. Here, we show that the loss of Acta2 in mice recapitulates the SMC hyperplasia observed in ACTA2 mutant SMCs and determine the cellular pathways responsible for SMC hyperplasia. Acta2(-/-) mice showed increased neointimal formation following vascular injury in vivo, and SMCs explanted from these mice demonstrated increased proliferation and migration. Loss of α-SMA induced hyperplasia through focal adhesion (FA) rearrangement, FA kinase activation, re-localization of p53 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and increased expression and ligand-independent activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (Pdgfr-β). Disruption of α-SMA in wild-type SMCs also induced similar cellular changes. Imatinib mesylate inhibited Pdgfr-β activation and Acta2(-/-) SMC proliferation in vitro and neointimal formation with vascular injury in vivo. Loss of α-SMA leads to SMC hyperplasia in vivo and in vitro through a mechanism involving FAK, p53 and Pdgfr-β, supporting the hypothesis that SMC hyperplasia contributes to occlusive lesions in patients with ACTA2 missense mutations.

  15. Differences in G-actin containing bound ATP or ADP: the Mg2+-induced conformational change requires ATP.

    PubMed

    Frieden, C; Patane, K

    1985-07-16

    The role of adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) in the Mg2+-induced conformational change of rabbit skeletal muscle G-actin has been investigated by comparing actin containing bound ADP with actin containing bound ATP. As previously described [Frieden, C. (1982) J. Biol. Chem. 257, 2882-2886], N-acetyl-N'-(5-sulfo-1-naphthyl)ethylenediamine-labeled G-actin containing ATP undergoes a time-dependent Mg2+-induced fluorescence change that reflects a conformational change in the actin. Addition of Mg2+ to labeled G-actin containing ADP gives no fluorescence change, suggesting that the conformational change does not occur. The fluorescence change can be restored on the addition of ATP. Examination of the time courses of these experiments suggests that ATP must replace ADP prior to the Mg2+-induced change. The Mg2+-induced polymerization of actin containing ADP is extraordinarily slow compared to that of actin containing ATP. The lack of the Mg2+-induced conformational change, which is an essential step in the Mg2+-induced polymerization, is probably the cause for the very slow polymerization of actin containing ADP. On the other hand, at 20 degrees C, at pH 8, and in 2 mM Mg2+, the elongation rate from the slow growing end of an actin filament, measured by using the protein brevin to block growth at the fast growing end, is only 4 times slower for actin containing ADP than for actin containing ATP.

  16. Growth states of catalytic reaction networks exhibiting energy metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondo, Yohei; Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2011-07-01

    All cells derive nutrition by absorbing some chemical and energy resources from the environment; these resources are used by the cells to reproduce the chemicals within them, which in turn leads to an increase in their volume. In this study we introduce a protocell model exhibiting catalytic reaction dynamics, energy metabolism, and cell growth. Results of extensive simulations of this model show the existence of four phases with regard to the rates of both the influx of resources and cell growth. These phases include an active phase with high influx and high growth rates, an inefficient phase with high influx but low growth rates, a quasistatic phase with low influx and low growth rates, and a death phase with negative growth rate. A mean field model well explains the transition among these phases as bifurcations. The statistical distribution of the active phase is characterized by a power law, and that of the inefficient phase is characterized by a nearly equilibrium distribution. We also discuss the relevance of the results of this study to distinct states in the existing cells.

  17. Ssp1 CaMKK: A Sensor of Actin Polarization That Controls Mitotic Commitment through Srk1 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

    PubMed Central

    Giménez-Zaragoza, David; López-Avilés, Sandra; Yance-Chávez, Tula; Montserrat, Marta; Pujol, M. Jesús; Bachs, Oriol; Aligue, Rosa

    2015-01-01

    Background Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK) is required for diverse cellular functions. Mammalian CaMKK activates CaMKs and also the evolutionarily-conserved AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe CaMKK, Ssp1, is required for tolerance to limited glucose through the AMPK, Ssp2, and for the integration of cell growth and division through the SAD kinase Cdr2. Results Here we report that Ssp1 controls the G2/M transition by regulating the activity of the CaMK Srk1. We show that inhibition of Cdc25 by Srk1 is regulated by Ssp1; and also that restoring growth polarity and actin localization of ssp1-deleted cells by removing the actin-monomer-binding protein, twinfilin, is sufficient to suppress the ssp1 phenotype. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that entry into mitosis is mediated by a network of proteins, including the Ssp1 and Srk1 kinases. Ssp1 connects the network of components that ensures proper polarity and cell size with the network of proteins that regulates Cdk1-cyclin B activity, in which Srk1 plays an inhibitory role. PMID:26575035

  18. The growth of minicircle networks on regular lattices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diao, Y.; Hinson, K.; Arsuaga, J.

    2012-01-01

    The mitochondrial DNA of trypanosomes is organized into a network of topologically linked minicircles. In order to investigate how key topological properties of the network change with minicircle density, the authors introduced, in an earlier study, a mathematical model in which randomly oriented minicircles were placed on the vertices of the simple square lattice. Using this model, the authors rigorously showed that when the density of minicircles increases, percolation clusters form. For higher densities, these percolation clusters are the backbones for networks of minicircles that saturate the entire lattice. An important relevant question is whether these findings are generally true. That is, whether these results are independent of the choice of the lattices on which the model is based. In this paper, we study two additional lattices (namely the honeycomb and the triangular lattices). These regular lattices are selected because they have been proposed for trypanosomes before and after replication. We compare our findings with our earlier results on the square lattice and show that the mathematical statements derived for the square lattice can be extended to these other lattices qualitatively. This finding suggests the universality of these properties. Furthermore, we performed a numerical study which provided data that are consistent with our theoretical analysis, and showed that the effect of the choice of lattices on the key network topological characteristics is rather small.

  19. Effect of Flumorph on F-Actin Dynamics in the Potato Late Blight Pathogen Phytophthora infestans.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Oomycetes are fungal-like pathogens that cause notorious diseases. Protecting crops against oomycetes requires regular spraying with chemicals, many with an unknown mode of action. In the 1990s, flumorph was identified as a novel crop protection agent. It was shown to inhibit the growth of oomycete pathogens including Phytophthora spp., presumably by targeting actin. We recently generated transgenic Phytophthora infestans strains that express Lifeact-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP), which enabled us to monitor the actin cytoskeleton during hyphal growth. For analyzing effects of oomicides on the actin cytoskeleton in vivo, the P. infestans Lifeact-eGFP strain is an excellent tool. Here, we confirm that flumorph is an oomicide with growth inhibitory activity. Microscopic analyses showed that low flumorph concentrations provoked hyphal tip swellings accompanied by accumulation of actin plaques in the apex, a feature reminiscent of tips of nongrowing hyphae. At higher concentrations, swelling was more pronounced and accompanied by an increase in hyphal bursting events. However, in hyphae that remained intact, actin filaments were indistinguishable from those in nontreated, nongrowing hyphae. In contrast, in hyphae treated with the actin depolymerizing drug latrunculin B, no hyphal bursting was observed but the actin filaments were completely disrupted. This difference demonstrates that actin is not the primary target of flumorph.

  20. Diclofenac Topical (actinic keratosis)

    MedlinePlus

    ... growths on the skin caused by too much sun exposure). Diclofenac is in a class of medications ... plan to avoid exposure to real and artificial sunlight (sun lamps) and to wear protective clothing and ...

  1. Tracer diffusion through F-actin: effect of filament length and cross-linking.

    PubMed Central

    Jones, J D; Luby-Phelps, K

    1996-01-01

    We have determined diffusion coefficients for small (50- to 70-nm diameter) fluorescein-thiocarbamoyl-labeled Ficoll tracers through F-actin as a function of filament length and cross-linking. fx45 was used to regulate filament length and avidin/biotinylated actin or ABP-280 was used to prepare cross-linked actin gels. We found that tracer diffusion was generally independent of filament length in agreement with theoretical predictions for diffusion through solutions of rods. However, in some experiments diffusion was slower through short (< or = 1.0 micron) filaments, although this result was not consistently reproducible. Measured diffusion coefficients through unregulated F-actin and filaments of lengths > 1.0 micron were more rapid than predicted by theory for tracer diffusion through rigid, random networks, which was consistent with some degree of actin bundling. Avidin-induced cross-linking of biotinylated F-actin did not affect diffusion through unregulated F-actin, but in cases where diffusion was slower through short filaments this cross-linking method resulted in enhanced tracer diffusion rates indistinguishable from unregulated F-actin. This finding, in conjunction with increased turbidity of 1.0-micron filaments upon avidin cross-linking, indicated that this cross-linking method induces F-actin bundling. By contrast, ABP-280 cross-linking retarded diffusion through unregulated F-actin and decreased turbidity. Tracer diffusion under these conditions was well approximated by the diffusion theory. Both cross-linking procedures resulted in gel formation as determined by falling ball viscometry. These results demonstrate that network microscopic geometry is dependent on the cross-linking method, although both methods markedly increase F-actin macroscopic viscosity. PMID:8913611

  2. Nucleus-associated actin in Amoeba proteus.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  3. The Differential Formation of the LINC-Mediated Perinuclear Actin Cap in Pluripotent and Somatic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Khatau, Shyam B.; Kusuma, Sravanti; Hanjaya-Putra, Donny; Mali, Prashant; Cheng, Linzhao; Lee, Jerry S. H.; Gerecht, Sharon; Wirtz, Denis

    2012-01-01

    The actin filament cytoskeleton mediates cell motility and adhesion in somatic cells. However, whether the function and organization of the actin network are fundamentally different in pluripotent stem cells is unknown. Here we show that while conventional actin stress fibers at the basal surface of cells are present before and after onset of differentiation of mouse (mESCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), actin stress fibers of the actin cap, which wrap around the nucleus, are completely absent from undifferentiated mESCs and hESCs and their formation strongly correlates with differentiation. Similarly, the perinuclear actin cap is absent from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), while it is organized in the parental lung fibroblasts from which these hiPSCs are derived and in a wide range of human somatic cells, including lung, embryonic, and foreskin fibroblasts and endothelial cells. During differentiation, the formation of the actin cap follows the expression and proper localization of nuclear lamin A/C and associated linkers of nucleus and cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes at the nuclear envelope, which physically couple the actin cap to the apical surface of the nucleus. The differentiation of hESCs is accompanied by the progressive formation of a perinuclear actin cap while induced pluripotency is accompanied by the specific elimination of the actin cap, and that, through lamin A/C and LINC complexes, this actin cap is involved in progressively shaping the nucleus of hESCs undergoing differentiation. While, the localization of lamin A/C at the nuclear envelope is required for perinuclear actin cap formation, it is not sufficient to control nuclear shape. PMID:22574215

  4. Actin-based gravity-sensing mechanisms in unicellular plant model systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Markus; Limbach, Christoph

    2005-08-01

    Considerable progress has been made in the understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying gravity sensing and gravity-oriented polarized growth in single-celled rhizoids and protonemata of the characean algae. It is well known that the actin cytoskeleton plays a key role in these processes. Numerous actin-binding proteins control apical actin polymerization and the dynamic remodeling of the actin arrangement. An actomyosin-based system mediates the delivery and incorporation of secretory vesicles at the growing tip and coordinates the tip-high gradient of cytoplasmic free calcium which is required for local exocytosis. Additionally, the actomyosin system precisely controls the position of statoliths and, upon a change in orientation relative to the gravity vector, directs sedimenting statoliths to the confined graviperception sites of the plasma membrane where gravitropic signalling is initiated. The upward growth response of protonemata is preceded by an actin-dependent relocalization of the Ca2+-gradient to the upper flank. The downward growth response of rhizoids, however, is caused by differential growth of the opposite flankes due to a local reduction of cytoplasmic free calcium limited to the plasma membrane area where statoliths are sedimented. Thus, constant actin polymerization in the growing tip and the spatiotemporal control of actin remodeling are essential for gravity sensing and gravity-oriented polarized growth of characean rhizoids and protonemata.

  5. Unconventional myosin traffic in cells reveals a selective actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Brawley, Crista M.; Rock, Ronald S.

    2009-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells have a self-organizing cytoskeleton where motors transport cargoes along cytoskeletal tracks. To understand the sorting process, we developed a system to observe single-molecule motility in a cellular context. We followed myosin classes V, VI, and X on triton-extracted actin cytoskeletons from Drosophila S2, mammalian COS-7, and mammalian U2OS cells. We find that these cells vary considerably in their global traffic patterns. The S2 and U2OS cells have regions of actin that either enhance or inhibit specific myosin classes. U2OS cells allow for 1 motor class, myosin VI, to move along stress fiber bundles, while motility of myosin V and X are suppressed. Myosin X motors are recruited to filopodia and the lamellar edge in S2 cells, whereas myosin VI motility is excluded from the same regions. Furthermore, we also see different velocities of myosin V motors in central regions of S2 cells, suggesting regional control of motor motility by the actin cytoskeleton. We also find unexpected features of the actin cytoskeletal network, including a population of reversed filaments with the barbed-end toward the cell center. This myosin motor regulation demonstrates that native actin cytoskeletons are more than just a collection of filaments. PMID:19478066

  6. Slow down of actin depolymerization by cross-linking molecules.

    PubMed

    Schmoller, Kurt M; Semmrich, Christine; Bausch, Andreas R

    2011-02-01

    The ability to control the assembly and disassembly dynamics of actin filaments is an essential property of the cellular cytoskeleton. While many different proteins are known which accelerate the polymerization of monomers into filaments or promote their disintegration, much less is known on mechanisms which guarantee the kinetic stability of the cytoskeletal filaments. Previous studies indicate that cross-linking molecules might fulfill these stabilizing tasks, which in addition facilitates their ability to regulate the organization of cytoskeletal structures in vivo. The effect of depolymerization factors on such structures or the mechanism which leads finally to their disintegration remain unknown. Here, we use multiple depolymerization methods in order to directly demonstrate that cross-linking and bundling proteins effectively suppress the actin depolymerization in a concentration dependent manner. Even the actin depolymerizing factor cofilin is not sufficient to facilitate a fast disintegration of highly cross-linked actin networks unless molecular motors are used simultaneously. The drastic modification of actin kinetics by cross-linking molecules can be expected to have wide-ranging implications for our understanding of the cytoskeleton, where cross-linking molecules are omnipresent and essential.

  7. Inhibition of microbial growth by carbon nanotube networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olivi, Massimiliano; Zanni, Elena; de Bellis, Giovanni; Talora, Claudio; Sarto, Maria Sabrina; Palleschi, Claudio; Flahaut, Emmanuel; Monthioux, Marc; Rapino, Stefania; Uccelletti, Daniela; Fiorito, Silvana

    2013-09-01

    In the last years carbon nanotubes have attracted increasing attention for their potential applications in the biomedical field as diagnostic and therapeutic nano tools. Here we investigate the antimicrobial activity of different fully characterized carbon nanotube types (single walled, double walled and multi walled) on representative pathogen species: Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the opportunistic fungus Candida albicans. Our results show that all the carbon nanotube types possess a highly significant antimicrobial capacity, even though they have a colony forming unit capacity and induction of oxidative stress in all the microbial species to a different extent. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed that the microbial cells were wrapped or entrapped by carbon nanotube networks. Our data taken together suggest that the reduced capacity of microbial cells to forming colonies and their oxidative response could be related to the cellular stress induced by the interactions of pathogens with the CNT network.

  8. A Model for the Growth of Network Service Providers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

    and innovation in a complex system of network providers, users and service providers. The model combines Cournot and Bertrand games to model...Engineering) Discussion The objective function (TE0) gives the total revenue generated by the NSP, which we compute from the amount of commodity actually...notebook computer with an Intel CORE i5 CPU at 2.53 GHz. The runtimes to generate the solutions vary from a few seconds in cases without fixed costs

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-15

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

  10. 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

  11. Technical advance: identification of plant actin-binding proteins by F-actin affinity chromatography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, S.; Brady, S. R.; Kovar, D. R.; Staiger, C. J.; Clark, G. B.; Roux, S. J.; Muday, G. K.

    2000-01-01

    Proteins that interact with the actin cytoskeleton often modulate the dynamics or organization of the cytoskeleton or use the cytoskeleton to control their localization. In plants, very few actin-binding proteins have been identified and most are thought to modulate cytoskeleton function. To identify actin-binding proteins that are unique to plants, the development of new biochemical procedures will be critical. Affinity columns using actin monomers (globular actin, G-actin) or actin filaments (filamentous actin, F-actin) have been used to identify actin-binding proteins from a wide variety of organisms. Monomeric actin from zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) hypocotyl tissue was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and shown to be native and competent for polymerization to actin filaments. G-actin, F-actin and bovine serum albumin affinity columns were prepared and used to separate samples enriched in either soluble or membrane-associated actin-binding proteins. Extracts of soluble actin-binding proteins yield distinct patterns when eluted from the G-actin and F-actin columns, respectively, leading to the identification of a putative F-actin-binding protein of approximately 40 kDa. When plasma membrane-associated proteins were applied to these columns, two abundant polypeptides eluted selectively from the F-actin column and cross-reacted with antiserum against pea annexins. Additionally, a protein that binds auxin transport inhibitors, the naphthylphthalamic acid binding protein, which has been previously suggested to associate with the actin cytoskeleton, was eluted in a single peak from the F-actin column. These experiments provide a new approach that may help to identify novel actin-binding proteins from plants.

  12. Characterization and regulation of an additional actin-filament-binding site in large isoforms of the stereocilia actin-bundling protein espin.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Lili; Beeler, Dina M; Bartles, James R

    2014-03-15

    The espin actin-bundling proteins, which are produced as isoforms of different sizes from a single gene, are required for the growth of hair cell stereocilia. We have characterized an additional actin-filament-binding site present in the extended amino-termini of large espin isoforms. Constitutively active in espin 2, the site increased the size of actin bundles formed in vitro and inhibited actin fluorescence recovery in microvilli. In espin 1, which has an N-terminal ankyrin repeat domain, the site was autoinhibited by binding between the ankyrin repeat domain and a peptide near the actin-binding site. Deletion of this peptide from espin 1 activated its actin-binding site. The peptide resembled tail homology domain I of myosin III, a ligand of the ankyrin repeat domain localized with espin 1 at the tip of stereocilia. A myosin III tail homology domain I peptide, but not scrambled control peptides, inhibited internal binding of the ankyrin repeat domain and released the espin 1 actin-binding site from autoinhibition. Thus, this regulation could result in local activation of the additional actin-binding site of espin 1 by myosin III in stereocilia.

  13. Arg/Abl2 modulates the affinity and stoichiometry of binding of cortactin to F-actin.

    PubMed

    MacGrath, Stacey M; Koleske, Anthony J

    2012-08-21

    The Abl family nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Arg/Abl2 interacts with cortactin, an Arp2/3 complex activator, to promote actin-driven cell edge protrusion. Both Arg and cortactin bind directly to filamentous actin (F-actin). While protein-protein interactions between Arg and cortactin have well-characterized downstream effects on the actin cytoskeleton, it is unclear whether and how Arg and cortactin affect each other's actin binding properties. We employ actin cosedimentation assays to show that Arg increases the stoichiometry of binding of cortactin to F-actin at saturation. Using a series of Arg deletion mutants and fragments, we demonstrate that the Arg C-terminal calponin homology domain is necessary and sufficient to increase the stoichiometry of binding of cortactin to F-actin. We also show that interactions between Arg and cortactin are required for optimal affinity between cortactin and the actin filament. Our data suggest a mechanism for Arg-dependent stimulation of binding of cortactin to F-actin, which may facilitate the recruitment of cortactin to sites of local actin network assembly.

  14. F-actin distribution and function during sexual development in Eimeria maxima.

    PubMed

    Frölich, Sonja; Wallach, Michael

    2015-06-01

    To determine the involvement of the actin cytoskeleton in macrogametocyte growth and oocyst wall formation, freshly purified macrogametocytes and oocysts were stained with Oregon Green 514 conjugated phalloidin to visualize F-actin microfilaments, while Evans blue staining was used to detect type 1 wall forming bodies (WFB1s) and the outer oocyst wall. The double-labelled parasites were then analysed at various stages of sexual development using three-dimensional confocal microscopy. The results showed F-actin filaments were distributed throughout the entire cytoplasm of mature Eimeria maxima macrogametocytes forming a web-like meshwork of actin filaments linking the type 1 WFBs together into structures resembling 'beads on a string'. At the early stages of oocyst wall formation, F-actin localization changed in alignment with the egg-shaped morphology of the forming oocysts with F-actin microfilaments making direct contact with the WFB1s. In tissue oocysts, the labelled actin cytoskeleton was situated underneath the forming outer layer of the oocyst wall. Treatment of macrogametocytes in vitro with the actin depolymerizing agents, Cytochalasin D and Latrunculin, led to a reduction in the numbers of mature WFB1s in the cytoplasm of the developing macrogametocytes, indicating that the actin plays an important role in WFB1 transport and oocyst wall formation in E. maxima.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  18. A high-affinity interaction with ADP-actin monomers underlies the mechanism and in vivo function of Srv2/cyclase-associated protein.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Pieta K; Quintero-Monzon, Omar; Kugler, Jamie; Moseley, James B; Almo, Steven C; Lappalainen, Pekka; Goode, Bruce L

    2004-11-01

    Cyclase-associated protein (CAP), also called Srv2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a conserved actin monomer-binding protein that promotes cofilin-dependent actin turnover in vitro and in vivo. However, little is known about the mechanism underlying this function. Here, we show that S. cerevisiae CAP binds with strong preference to ADP-G-actin (Kd 0.02 microM) compared with ATP-G-actin (Kd 1.9 microM) and competes directly with cofilin for binding ADP-G-actin. Further, CAP blocks actin monomer addition specifically to barbed ends of filaments, in contrast to profilin, which blocks monomer addition to pointed ends of filaments. The actin-binding domain of CAP is more extensive than previously suggested and includes a recently solved beta-sheet structure in the C-terminus of CAP and adjacent sequences. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we define evolutionarily conserved residues that mediate binding to ADP-G-actin and demonstrate that these activities are required for CAP function in vivo in directing actin organization and polarized cell growth. Together, our data suggest that in vivo CAP competes with cofilin for binding ADP-actin monomers, allows rapid nucleotide exchange to occur on actin, and then because of its 100-fold weaker binding affinity for ATP-actin compared with ADP-actin, allows other cellular factors such as profilin to take the handoff of ATP-actin and facilitate barbed end assembly.

  19. Understanding the Scalability of Bayesian Network Inference Using Clique Tree Growth Curves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mengshoel, Ole J.

    2010-01-01

    One of the main approaches to performing computation in Bayesian networks (BNs) is clique tree clustering and propagation. The clique tree approach consists of propagation in a clique tree compiled from a Bayesian network, and while it was introduced in the 1980s, there is still a lack of understanding of how clique tree computation time depends on variations in BN size and structure. In this article, we improve this understanding by developing an approach to characterizing clique tree growth as a function of parameters that can be computed in polynomial time from BNs, specifically: (i) the ratio of the number of a BN s non-root nodes to the number of root nodes, and (ii) the expected number of moral edges in their moral graphs. Analytically, we partition the set of cliques in a clique tree into different sets, and introduce a growth curve for the total size of each set. For the special case of bipartite BNs, there are two sets and two growth curves, a mixed clique growth curve and a root clique growth curve. In experiments, where random bipartite BNs generated using the BPART algorithm are studied, we systematically increase the out-degree of the root nodes in bipartite Bayesian networks, by increasing the number of leaf nodes. Surprisingly, root clique growth is well-approximated by Gompertz growth curves, an S-shaped family of curves that has previously been used to describe growth processes in biology, medicine, and neuroscience. We believe that this research improves the understanding of the scaling behavior of clique tree clustering for a certain class of Bayesian networks; presents an aid for trade-off studies of clique tree clustering using growth curves; and ultimately provides a foundation for benchmarking and developing improved BN inference and machine learning algorithms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  1. Cortactin promotes exosome secretion by controlling branched actin dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Optimal treatment of actinic keratoses

    PubMed Central

    Uhlenhake, Elizabeth E

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. A fractal growth model: Exploring the connection pattern of hubs in complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Dongyan; Wang, Xingyuan; Huang, Penghe

    2017-04-01

    Fractal is ubiquitous in many real-world networks. Previous researches showed that the strong disassortativity between the hub-nodes on all length scales was the key principle that gave rise to the fractal architecture of networks. Although fractal property emerged in some models, there were few researches about the fractal growth model and quantitative analyses about the strength of the disassortativity for fractal model. In this paper, we proposed a novel inverse renormalization method, named Box-based Preferential Attachment (BPA), to build the fractal growth models in which the Preferential Attachment was performed at box level. The proposed models provided a new framework that demonstrated small-world-fractal transition. Also, we firstly demonstrated the statistical characteristic of connection patterns of the hubs in fractal networks. The experimental results showed that, given proper growing scale and added edges, the proposed models could clearly show pure small-world or pure fractal or both of them. It also showed that the hub connection ratio showed normal distribution in many real-world networks. At last, the comparisons of connection pattern between the proposed models and the biological and technical networks were performed. The results gave useful reference for exploring the growth principle and for modeling the connection patterns for real-world networks.

  5. Generation of an isogenic collection of yeast actin mutants and identification of three interrelated phenotypes.

    PubMed Central

    Whitacre, J; Davis, D; Toenjes, K; Brower, S; Adams, A

    2001-01-01

    A large collection of yeast actin mutations has been previously isolated and used in numerous studies of actin cytoskeletal function. However, the various mutations have been in congenic, rather than isogenic, backgrounds, making it difficult to compare the subtle phenotypes that are characteristic of these mutants. We have therefore placed 27 mutations in an isogenic background. We used a subset of these mutants to compare the degree to which different actin alleles are defective in sporulation, endocytosis, and growth on NaCl-containing media. We found that the three phenotypes are highly correlated. The correlations are specific and not merely a reflection of general growth defects, because the phenotypes are not correlated with growth rates under normal conditions. Significantly, those actin mutants exhibiting the most severe phenotypes in all three processes have altered residues that cluster to a small region of the actin crystal structure previously defined as the fimbrin (Sac6p)-binding site. We examined the relationship between endocytosis and growth on salt and found that shifting wild-type or actin mutant cells to high salt reduces the rate of alpha-factor internalization. These results suggest that actin mutants may be unable to grow on salt because of additive endocytic defects (due to mutation and salt). PMID:11156976

  6. Ecological network analysis for economic systems: growth and development and implications for sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jiali; Ulanowicz, Robert E

    2014-01-01

    The quantification of growth and development is an important issue in economics, because these phenomena are closely related to sustainability. We address growth and development from a network perspective in which economic systems are represented as flow networks and analyzed using ecological network analysis (ENA). The Beijing economic system is used as a case study and 11 input-output (I-O) tables for 1985-2010 are converted into currency networks. ENA is used to calculate system-level indices to quantify the growth and development of Beijing. The contributions of each direct flow toward growth and development in 2010 are calculated and their implications for sustainable development are discussed. The results show that during 1985-2010, growth was the main attribute of the Beijing economic system. Although the system grew exponentially, its development fluctuated within only a small range. The results suggest that system ascendency should be increased in order to favor more sustainable development. Ascendency can be augmented in two ways: (1) strengthen those pathways with positive contributions to increasing ascendency and (2) weaken those with negative effects.

  7. Ecological Network Analysis for Economic Systems: Growth and Development and Implications for Sustainable Development

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jiali; Ulanowicz, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    The quantification of growth and development is an important issue in economics, because these phenomena are closely related to sustainability. We address growth and development from a network perspective in which economic systems are represented as flow networks and analyzed using ecological network analysis (ENA). The Beijing economic system is used as a case study and 11 input–output (I-O) tables for 1985–2010 are converted into currency networks. ENA is used to calculate system-level indices to quantify the growth and development of Beijing. The contributions of each direct flow toward growth and development in 2010 are calculated and their implications for sustainable development are discussed. The results show that during 1985–2010, growth was the main attribute of the Beijing economic system. Although the system grew exponentially, its development fluctuated within only a small range. The results suggest that system ascendency should be increased in order to favor more sustainable development. Ascendency can be augmented in two ways: (1) strengthen those pathways with positive contributions to increasing ascendency and (2) weaken those with negative effects. PMID:24979465

  8. Pore-network study of bubble growth in porous media driven by heat transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Satik, C.; Yortsos, Y.C.

    1996-05-01

    We present experimental and theoretical investigations of vapor phase growth in pore-network models of porous media. Visualization experiments of boiling of ethyl alcohol in horizontal etched-glass micromodels were conducted. The vapor phase was observed to grow into a disordered pattern following a sequence of pressurization and pore-filling steps. At sufficiently small cluster sizes, growth occurred `one pore at a time,` leading to invasion percolation patterns. Single-bubble (cluster) growth was next simulated with a pore-network simulator that includes heat transfer (convection and conduction), and capillary and viscous forces, although not gravity. A boundary in the parameter space was delineated that separates patterns of growth dictated solely by capillarity (invasion percolation) from other patterns. The region of validity of invasion percolation was found to decrease as the supersaturation (heat flux), the capillary number, the thermal diffusivity, and the vapor cluster size increase. Implications to continuum models are discussed. 33 refs., 9 figs.

  9. Quantifying a pathway: kinetic analysis of actin dendritic nucleation.

    PubMed

    Kraikivski, Pavel; Slepchenko, Boris M

    2010-08-04

    Progress in uncovering the reaction networks that underlie important cell functions is laying the groundwork for quantitative identification of protein-interaction pathways. Since direct measurement of rate constants is not always feasible, the parameters are often inferred from multiple pieces of data using kinetic analyses based on appropriate mathematical models. The success of this approach relies on the sufficiency of available experimental data for a unique parameterization of the network. The concept of a rate-limiting step is applied to the analysis of experimental data that are usually used to quantify a pathway of actin dendritic nucleation, the Arp2/3-mediated mechanism that enables rapid changes of cell shape in response to external cues. The method yields analytical descriptions of the dynamics of polymerized actin and provides insights into how the experimental curves should be analyzed. It is shown that dynamics measured by pyrene-labeled actin assays with varying Arp2/3 concentrations are equally well described by two different rate-limiting steps: 1), binding of a nucleating complex to the side of a preexisting filament; or 2), its subsequent activation. To distinguish between the alternatives, we propose experiments with varying concentrations of actin monomers, taking advantage of the fact that the number of branches in the two cases depends differently on the initial monomer concentration. The idea is tested by simulating the proposed experiments with the use of spatial stochastic modeling.

  10. Transition from isotropic to digitated growth modulates network formation in Physarum polycephalum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogel, David; Gautrais, Jacques; Perna, Andrea; Sumpter, David J. T.; Deneubourg, Jean-Louis; Dussutour, Audrey

    2017-01-01

    Some organisms, including fungi, ants, and slime molds, explore their environment and forage by forming interconnected networks. The plasmodium of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum is a large unicellular amoeboid organism that grows a tubular spatial network through which nutrients, body mass, and chemical signals are transported. Individual plasmodia are capable of sophisticated behaviours such as optimizing their network connectivity and dynamics using only decentralized information processing. In this study, we used a population of plasmodia that interconnect through time to analyse the dynamical interactions between growth of individual plasmodia and global network formation. Our results showed how initial conditions, such as the distance between plasmodia, their size, or the presence and quality of food, affect the emerging network connectivity.

  11. Self-organized Gels in DNA/F-Actin mixtures without Crosslinkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

    Interactions between flexible chains and rigid rods govern a broad range of soft matter systems. As a model system of like-charged rigid rods and flexible chains, we examine mixtures of DNA and filamentous actin (F-actin). Confocal microscopy reveals the formation of elongated nematic F-actin domains reticulated via defect-free vertices into a network embedded in a mesh of random DNA. Synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) indicates that the DNA mesh squeezes the F-actin domains into a nematic state with an inter-actin spacing that decreases with increasing DNA concentration. Salt strongly influences the domain sizes and transitions the system from a counterion-controlled regime to a depletion-controlled regime, both mechanisms of which are entropic in origin.

  12. Manipulation of the nerve growth factor network in prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Papatsoris, Athanasios G; Liolitsa, Danae; Deliveliotis, Charalambos

    2007-03-01

    Autocrine and paracrine events regulated by nerve growth factor (NGF) and relevant receptors (low- and high affinity; p75 neurotrophin receptor [p75(NTR)] and TrkA, respectively) seem to play a significant role in prostate carcinogenesis. Studies reveal that p75(NTR) is both a tumor suppressor of growth and a metastasis suppressor of human prostate cancer cells. Furthermore, p75(NTR) is progressively lost during prostate carcinogenesis. An imbalance between p75(NTR) and tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA)-mediated signals may be involved in the progression of prostate cancer through increased proliferation and reduced apoptosis. The antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of GnRH analogs in prostate cancer cells may be mediated by altering the TrkA:p75(NTR) NGF receptor ratio. Administration of NGF induces a reversion of the androgen-independent/androgen receptor-negative prostate cancer cell lines to a less malignant phenotype. Finally, Trk inhibition is a novel, attractive and rational approach for prostate cancer therapy. This review unravels the NGF 'circuitry' in prostate cancinogenesis for relevant pharmacologic manipulation to lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents.

  13. Antibodies to Actin in Autoimmune Neutropenia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-12

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

  16. Actinic cheilitis in dental practice.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  17. Myosin-Va and dynamic actin oppose microtubules to drive long-range organelle transport.

    PubMed

    Evans, Richard D; Robinson, Christopher; Briggs, Deborah A; Tooth, David J; Ramalho, Jose S; Cantero, Marta; Montoliu, Lluis; Patel, Shyamal; Sviderskaya, Elena V; Hume, Alistair N

    2014-08-04

    In animal cells, microtubule and actin tracks and their associated motors (dynein, kinesin, and myosin) are thought to regulate long- and short-range transport, respectively. Consistent with this, microtubules extend from the perinuclear centrosome to the plasma membrane and allow bidirectional cargo transport over long distances (>1 μm). In contrast, actin often comprises a complex network of short randomly oriented filaments, suggesting that myosin motors move cargo short distances. These observations underpin the "highways and local roads" model for transport along microtubule and actin tracks. The "cooperative capture" model exemplifies this view and suggests that melanosome distribution in melanocyte dendrites is maintained by long-range transport on microtubules followed by actin/myosin-Va-dependent tethering. In this study, we used cell normalization technology to quantitatively examine the contribution of microtubules and actin/myosin-Va to organelle distribution in melanocytes. Surprisingly, our results indicate that microtubules are essential for centripetal, but not centrifugal, transport. Instead, we find that microtubules retard a centrifugal transport process that is dependent on myosin-Va and a population of dynamic F-actin. Functional analysis of mutant proteins indicates that myosin-Va works as a transporter dispersing melanosomes along actin tracks whose +/barbed ends are oriented toward the plasma membrane. Overall, our data highlight the role of myosin-Va and actin in transport, and not tethering, and suggest a new model in which organelle distribution is determined by the balance between microtubule-dependent centripetal and myosin-Va/actin-dependent centrifugal transport. These observations appear to be consistent with evidence coming from other systems showing that actin/myosin networks can drive long-distance organelle transport and positioning.

  18. Myosin-Va and Dynamic Actin Oppose Microtubules to Drive Long-Range Organelle Transport

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Richard D.; Robinson, Christopher; Briggs, Deborah A.; Tooth, David J.; Ramalho, Jose S.; Cantero, Marta; Montoliu, Lluis; Patel, Shyamal; Sviderskaya, Elena V.; Hume, Alistair N.

    2014-01-01

    Summary In animal cells, microtubule and actin tracks and their associated motors (dynein, kinesin, and myosin) are thought to regulate long- and short-range transport, respectively [1–8]. Consistent with this, microtubules extend from the perinuclear centrosome to the plasma membrane and allow bidirectional cargo transport over long distances (>1 μm). In contrast, actin often comprises a complex network of short randomly oriented filaments, suggesting that myosin motors move cargo short distances. These observations underpin the “highways and local roads” model for transport along microtubule and actin tracks [2]. The “cooperative capture” model exemplifies this view and suggests that melanosome distribution in melanocyte dendrites is maintained by long-range transport on microtubules followed by actin/myosin-Va-dependent tethering [5, 9]. In this study, we used cell normalization technology to quantitatively examine the contribution of microtubules and actin/myosin-Va to organelle distribution in melanocytes. Surprisingly, our results indicate that microtubules are essential for centripetal, but not centrifugal, transport. Instead, we find that microtubules retard a centrifugal transport process that is dependent on myosin-Va and a population of dynamic F-actin. Functional analysis of mutant proteins indicates that myosin-Va works as a transporter dispersing melanosomes along actin tracks whose +/barbed ends are oriented toward the plasma membrane. Overall, our data highlight the role of myosin-Va and actin in transport, and not tethering, and suggest a new model in which organelle distribution is determined by the balance between microtubule-dependent centripetal and myosin-Va/actin-dependent centrifugal transport. These observations appear to be consistent with evidence coming from other systems showing that actin/myosin networks can drive long-distance organelle transport and positioning [10, 11]. PMID:25065759

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Self-assembly of Artificial Actin Filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosenick, Christopher; Cheng, Shengfeng

    Actin Filaments are long, double-helical biopolymers that make up the cytoskeleton along with microtubules and intermediate filaments. In order to further understand the self-assembly process of these biopolymers, a model to recreate actin filament geometry was developed. A monomer in the shape of a bent rod with vertical and lateral binding sites was designed to assemble into single or double helices. With Molecular Dynamics simulations, a variety of phases were observed to form by varying the strength of the binding sites. Ignoring lateral binding sites, we have found a narrow range of binding strengths that lead to long single helices via various growth pathways. When lateral binding strength is introduced, double helices begin to form. These double helices self-assemble into substantially more stable structures than their single helix counterparts. We have found double helices to form long filaments at about half the vertical binding strength of single helices. Surprisingly, we have found that triple helices occasionally form, indicating the importance of structural regulation in the self-assembly of biopolymers.

  1. Actin crosslinkers: repairing the sense of touch.

    PubMed

    Sun, Sean X; Walcott, Sam

    2010-10-26

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

  2. Development of a multi-classification neural network model to determine the microbial growth/no growth interface.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Navarro, Francisco; Valero, Antonio; Hervás-Martínez, César; Gutiérrez, Pedro A; García-Gimeno, Rosa M; Zurera-Cosano, Gonzalo

    2010-07-15

    Boundary models have been recognized as useful tools to predict the ability of microorganisms to grow at limiting conditions. However, at these conditions, microbial behaviour can vary, being difficult to distinguish between growth or no growth. In this paper, the data from the study of Valero et al. [Valero, A., Pérez-Rodríguez, F., Carrasco, E., Fuentes-Alventosa, J.M., García-Gimeno, R.M., Zurera, G., 2009. Modelling the growth boundaries of Staphylococcus aureus: Effect of temperature, pH and water activity. International Journal of Food Microbiology 133 (1-2), 186-194] belonging to growth/no growth conditions of Staphylococcus aureus against temperature, pH and a(w) were divided into three categorical classes: growth (G), growth transition (GT) and no growth (NG). Subsequently, they were modelled by using a Radial Basis Function Neural Network (RBFNN) in order to create a multi-classification model that was able to predict the probability of belonging at one of the three mentioned classes. The model was developed through an over sampling procedure using a memetic algorithm (MA) in order to balance in part the size of the classes and to improve the accuracy of the classifier. The multi-classification model, named Smote Memetic Radial Basis Function (SMRBF) provided a quite good adjustment to data observed, being able to correctly classify the 86.30% of training data and the 82.26% of generalization data for the three observed classes in the best model. Besides, the high number of replicates per condition tested (n=30) produced a smooth transition between growth and no growth. At the most stringent conditions, the probability of belonging to class GT was higher, thus justifying the inclusion of the class in the new model. The SMRBF model presented in this study can be used to better define microbial growth/no growth interface and the variability associated to these conditions so as to apply this knowledge to a food safety in a decision-making process.

  3. Chaperone Hsp47 Drives Malignant Growth and Invasion by Modulating an ECM Gene Network.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jieqing; Xiong, Gaofeng; Fu, Hanjiang; Evers, B Mark; Zhou, Binhua P; Xu, Ren

    2015-04-15

    The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a determining factor in the tumor microenvironment that restrains or promotes malignant growth. In this report, we show how the molecular chaperone protein Hsp47 functions as a nodal hub in regulating an ECM gene transcription network. A transcription network analysis showed that Hsp47 expression was activated during breast cancer development and progression. Hsp47 silencing reprogrammed human breast cancer cells to form growth-arrested and/or noninvasive structures in 3D cultures, and to limit tumor growth in xenograft assays by reducing deposition of collagen and fibronectin. Coexpression network analysis also showed that levels of microRNA(miR)-29b and -29c were inversely correlated with expression of Hsp47 and ECM network genes in human breast cancer tissues. We found that miR-29 repressed expression of Hsp47 along with multiple ECM network genes. Ectopic expression of miR-29b suppressed malignant phenotypes of breast cancer cells in 3D culture. Clinically, increased expression of Hsp47 and reduced levels of miR-29b and -29c were associated with poor survival outcomes in breast cancer patients. Our results show that Hsp47 is regulated by miR-29 during breast cancer development and progression, and that increased Hsp47 expression promotes cancer progression in part by enhancing deposition of ECM proteins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. The actin crosslinking protein palladin modulates force generation and mechanosensitivity of tumor associated fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Azatov, Mikheil; Goicoechea, Silvia M.; Otey, Carol A.; Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2016-01-01

    Cells organize actin filaments into higher-order structures by regulating the composition, distribution and concentration of actin crosslinkers. Palladin is an actin crosslinker found in the lamellar actin network and stress fibers, which are critical for mechanosensing of the environment. Palladin also serves as a molecular scaffold for α-actinin, another key actin crosslinker. By virtue of its close interactions with actomyosin structures in the cell, palladin may play an important role in cell mechanics. However, the role of palladin in cellular force generation and mechanosensing has not been studied. Here, we investigate the role of palladin in regulating the plasticity of the actin cytoskeleton and cellular force generation in response to alterations in substrate stiffness. Traction force microscopy revealed that tumor-associated fibroblasts generate larger forces on substrates of increased stiffness. Contrary to expectations, knocking down palladin increased the forces generated by cells and inhibited their ability to sense substrate stiffness for very stiff gels. This was accompanied by significant differences in actin organization, adhesion dynamics and altered myosin organization in palladin knock-down cells. Our results suggest that actin crosslinkers such as palladin and myosin motors coordinate for optimal cell function and to prevent aberrant behavior as in cancer metastasis. PMID:27353427

  6. Instantaneous inactivation of cofilin reveals its function of F-actin disassembly in lamellipodia.

    PubMed

    Vitriol, Eric A; Wise, Ariel L; Berginski, Mathew E; Bamburg, James R; Zheng, James Q

    2013-07-01

    Cofilin is a key regulator of the actin cytoskeleton. It can sever actin filaments, accelerate filament disassembly, act as a nucleation factor, recruit or antagonize other actin regulators, and control the pool of polymerization-competent actin monomers. In cells these actions have complex functional outputs. The timing and localization of cofilin activity are carefully regulated, and thus global, long-term perturbations may not be sufficient to probe its precise function. To better understand cofilin's spatiotemporal action in cells, we implemented chromophore-assisted laser inactivation (CALI) to instantly and specifically inactivate it. In addition to globally inhibiting actin turnover, CALI of cofilin generated several profound effects on the lamellipodia, including an increase of F-actin, a rearward expansion of the actin network, and a reduction in retrograde flow speed. These results support the hypothesis that the principal role of cofilin in lamellipodia at steady state is to break down F-actin, control filament turnover, and regulate the rate of retrograde flow.

  7. Non-lytic, actin-based exit of intracellular parasites from C. elegans intestinal cells.

    PubMed

    Estes, Kathleen A; Szumowski, Suzannah C; Troemel, Emily R

    2011-09-01

    The intestine is a common site for invasion by intracellular pathogens, but little is known about how pathogens restructure and exit intestinal cells in vivo. The natural microsporidian parasite N. parisii invades intestinal cells of the nematode C. elegans, progresses through its life cycle, and then exits cells in a transmissible spore form. Here we show that N. parisii causes rearrangements of host actin inside intestinal cells as part of a novel parasite exit strategy. First, we show that N. parisii infection causes ectopic localization of the normally apical-restricted actin to the basolateral side of intestinal cells, where it often forms network-like structures. Soon after this actin relocalization, we find that gaps appear in the terminal web, a conserved cytoskeletal structure that could present a barrier to exit. Reducing actin expression creates terminal web gaps in the absence of infection, suggesting that infection-induced actin relocalization triggers gap formation. We show that terminal web gaps form at a distinct stage of infection, precisely timed to precede spore exit, and that all contagious animals exhibit gaps. Interestingly, we find that while perturbations in actin can create these gaps, actin is not required for infection progression or spore formation, but actin is required for spore exit. Finally, we show that despite large numbers of spores exiting intestinal cells, this exit does not cause cell lysis. These results provide insight into parasite manipulation of the host cytoskeleton and non-lytic escape from intestinal cells in vivo.

  8. 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

  9. The health benefits of network growth: new evidence from a national survey of older adults.

    PubMed

    Cornwell, Benjamin; Laumann, Edward O

    2015-01-01

    Scholars who study how social networks affect older adults' health are often concerned with the prospect of declining social connectedness in late life. This paper shifts the focus to older adults' tendencies to cultivate new social ties. This process of network growth can improve access to social resources, boost self-esteem, reduce loneliness, and increase physical activity. We therefore examine the link between tie cultivation and health using new longitudinal data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), which recorded changes in older adults' confidant network rosters over a period of about five years. Most respondents (81.8%) added at least one new network member during the study period, and most (59.4%) cultivated multiple new confidant relationships. Longitudinal analyses suggest that the addition of new confidants is associated with improvements in functional, self-rated, and psychological health, net of baseline connectedness as well as any network losses that occurred during the same period. Network losses were associated with physical but not psychological well-being. These findings underscore the importance of distinguishing between concurrent processes that underlie social network change in later life, and highlight the need for additional research on the mechanisms by which network change may improve health.

  10. The Health Benefits of Network Growth: New Evidence from a National Survey of Older Adults*

    PubMed Central

    Cornwell, Benjamin; Laumann, Edward O.

    2013-01-01

    Scholars who study how social networks affect older adults’ health are often concerned with the prospect of declining social connectedness in late life. This paper shifts the focus to older adults’ tendencies to cultivate new social ties. This process of network growth can improve access to social resources, boost self-esteem, reduce loneliness, and increase physical activity. We therefore examine the link between tie cultivation and health using new longitudinal data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), which recorded changes in older adults’ confidant network rosters over a period of about five years. Most respondents (81.8%) added at least one new network member during the study period, and most (59.4%) cultivated multiple new confidant relationships. Longitudinal analyses suggest that the addition of new confidants is associated with improvements in functional, self-rated, and psychological health, net of baseline connectedness as well as any network losses that occurred during the same period. Network losses were associated with physical but not psychological well-being. These findings underscore the importance of distinguishing between concurrent processes that underlie social network change in later life, and highlight the need for additional research on the mechanisms by which network change may improve health. PMID:24128674

  11. Action selection in growing state spaces: control of network structure growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thalmeier, Dominik; Gómez, Vicenç; Kappen, Hilbert J.

    2017-01-01

    The dynamical processes taking place on a network depend on its topology. Influencing the growth process of a network therefore has important implications on such dynamical processes. We formulate the problem of influencing the growth of a network as a stochastic optimal control problem in which a structural cost function penalizes undesired topologies. We approximate this control problem with a restricted class of control problems that can be solved using probabilistic inference methods. To deal with the increasing problem dimensionality, we introduce an adaptive importance sampling method for approximating the optimal control. We illustrate this methodology in the context of formation of information cascades, considering the task of influencing the structure of a growing conversation thread, as in Internet forums. Using a realistic model of growing trees, we show that our approach can yield conversation threads with better structural properties than the ones observed without control.

  12. A RhoA and Rnd3 cycle regulates actin reassembly during membrane blebbing.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Kana; Maeda, Fumiyo; Nagasako, Tomoya; Mochizuki, Yuki; Uchida, Seiichi; Ikenouchi, Junichi

    2016-03-29

    The actin cytoskeleton usually lies beneath the plasma membrane. When the membrane-associated actin cytoskeleton is transiently disrupted or the intracellular pressure is increased, the plasma membrane detaches from the cortex and protrudes. Such protruded membrane regions are called blebs. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying membrane blebbing are poorly understood. This study revealed that epidermal growth factor receptor kinase substrate 8 (Eps8) and ezrin are important regulators of rapid actin reassembly for the initiation and retraction of protruded blebs. Live-cell imaging of membrane blebbing revealed that local reassembly of actin filaments occurred at Eps8- and activated ezrin-positive foci of membrane blebs. Furthermore, we found that a RhoA-ROCK-Rnd3 feedback loop determined the local reassembly sites of the actin cortex during membrane blebbing.

  13. A Steric Antagonism of Actin Polymerization by a Salmonella Virulence Protein

    SciTech Connect

    Margarit,S.; Davidson, W.; Frego, L.; Stebbins, F.

    2006-01-01

    Salmonella spp. require the ADP-ribosyltransferase activity of the SpvB protein for intracellular growth and systemic virulence. SpvB covalently modifies actin, causing cytoskeletal disruption and apoptosis. We report here the crystal structure of the catalytic domain of SpvB, and we show by mass spectrometric analysis that SpvB modifies actin at Arg177, inhibiting its ATPase activity. We also describe two crystal structures of SpvB-modified, polymerization-deficient actin. These structures reveal that ADP-ribosylation does not lead to dramatic conformational changes in actin, suggesting a model in which this large family of toxins inhibits actin polymerization primarily through steric disruption of intrafilament contacts.

  14. A formin-nucleated actin aster concentrates cell wall hydrolases for cell fusion in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Dudin, Omaya; Bendezú, Felipe O.; Groux, Raphael; Laroche, Thierry; Seitz, Arne

    2015-01-01

    Cell–cell fusion is essential for fertilization. For fusion of walled cells, the cell wall must be degraded at a precise location but maintained in surrounding regions to protect against lysis. In fission yeast cells, the formin Fus1, which nucleates linear actin filaments, is essential for this process. In this paper, we show that this formin organizes a specific actin structure—the actin fusion focus. Structured illumination microscopy and live-cell imaging of Fus1, actin, and type V myosins revealed an aster of actin filaments whose barbed ends are focalized near the plasma membrane. Focalization requires Fus1 and type V myosins and happens asynchronously always in the M cell first. Type V myosins are essential for fusion and concentrate cell wall hydrolases, but not cell wall synthases, at the fusion focus. Thus, the fusion focus focalizes cell wall dissolution within a broader cell wall synthesis zone to shift from cell growth to cell fusion. PMID:25825517

  15. Generation of membrane structures during phagocytosis and chemotaxis of macrophages: role and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Rougerie, Pablo; Miskolci, Veronika; Cox, Dianne

    2013-01-01

    Summary Macrophages are best known for their protective search and destroy functions against invading micro-organisms. These processes are commonly known as chemotaxis and phagocytosis. Both of these processes require actin cytoskeletal remodeling to produce distinct F-actin rich membrane structures called lamellipodia and phagocytic cups. This review will focus on the mechanisms by which macrophages regulate actin polymerization through initial receptor signaling and subsequent Arp2/3 activation by nucleation promoting factors like the WASP/WAVE family, followed by remodeling of actin networks to produce these very distinct structures. PMID:24117824

  16. Regulation of Sperm Capacitation and the Acrosome Reaction by PIP 2 and Actin Modulation.

    PubMed

    Breitbart, Haim; Finkelstein, Maya

    2015-01-01

    Actin polymerization and development of hyperactivated (HA) motility are two processes that take place during sperm capacitation. Actin polymerization occurs during capacitation and prior to the acrosome reaction, fast F-actin breakdown takes place. The increase in F-actin during capacitation depends upon inactivation of the actin severing protein, gelsolin, by its binding to phosphatydilinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate (PIP 2 ) and its phosphorylation on tyrosine-438 by Src. Activation of gelsolin following its release from PIP 2 is known to cause F-actin breakdown and inhibition of sperm motility, which can be restored by adding PIP 2 to the cells. Reduction of PIP 2 synthesis inhibits actin polymerization and motility, while increasing PIP 2 synthesis enhances these activities. Furthermore, sperm demonstrating low motility contained low levels of PIP 2 and F-actin. During capacitation there was an increase in PIP 2 and F-actin levels in the sperm head and a decrease in the tail. In spermatozoa with high motility, gelsolin was mainly localized to the sperm head before capacitation, whereas in low motility sperm, most of the gelsolin was localized to the tail before capacitation and translocated to the head during capacitation. We also showed that phosphorylation of gelsolin on tyrosine-438 depends upon its binding to PIP 2 . Stimulation of phospholipase C, by Ca 2 + -ionophore or by activating the epidermal-growth-factor-receptor, inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of gelsolin and enhances enzyme activity. In conclusion, these data indicate that the increase of PIP 2 and/or F-actin in the head during capacitation enhances gelsolin translocation to the head. As a result, the decrease of gelsolin in the tail allows the maintenance of high levels of F-actin in this structure, which is essential for the development of HA motility.

  17. Regulation of sperm capacitation and the acrosome reaction by PIP2 and actin modulation

    PubMed Central

    Breitbart, Haim; Finkelstein, Maya

    2015-01-01

    Actin polymerization and development of hyperactivated (HA) motility are two processes that take place during sperm capacitation. Actin polymerization occurs during capacitation and prior to the acrosome reaction, fast F-actin breakdown takes place. The increase in F-actin during capacitation depends upon inactivation of the actin severing protein, gelsolin, by its binding to phosphatydilinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate (PIP2) and its phosphorylation on tyrosine-438 by Src. Activation of gelsolin following its release from PIP2 is known to cause F-actin breakdown and inhibition of sperm motility, which can be restored by adding PIP2 to the cells. Reduction of PIP2 synthesis inhibits actin polymerization and motility, while increasing PIP2 synthesis enhances these activities. Furthermore, sperm demonstrating low motility contained low levels of PIP2 and F-actin. During capacitation there was an increase in PIP2 and F-actin levels in the sperm head and a decrease in the tail. In spermatozoa with high motility, gelsolin was mainly localized to the sperm head before capacitation, whereas in low motility sperm, most of the gelsolin was localized to the tail before capacitation and translocated to the head during capacitation. We also showed that phosphorylation of gelsolin on tyrosine-438 depends upon its binding to PIP2. Stimulation of phospholipase C, by Ca2+-ionophore or by activating the epidermal-growth-factor-receptor, inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of gelsolin and enhances enzyme activity. In conclusion, these data indicate that the increase of PIP2 and/or F-actin in the head during capacitation enhances gelsolin translocation to the head. As a result, the decrease of gelsolin in the tail allows the maintenance of high levels of F-actin in this structure, which is essential for the development of HA motility. PMID:25966627

  18. Physical and biological regulation of neuron regenerative growth and network formation on recombinant dragline silks.

    PubMed

    An, Bo; Tang-Schomer, Min D; Huang, Wenwen; He, Jiuyang; Jones, Justin A; Lewis, Randolph V; Kaplan, David L

    2015-04-01

    Recombinant spider silks produced in transgenic goat milk were studied as cell culture matrices for neuronal growth. Major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) supported neuronal growth, axon extension and network connectivity, with cell morphology comparable to the gold standard poly-lysine. In addition, neurons growing on MaSp1 films had increased neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) expression at both mRNA and protein levels. The results indicate that MaSp1 films present useful surface charge and substrate stiffness to support the growth of primary rat cortical neurons. Moreover, a putative neuron-specific surface binding sequence GRGGL within MaSp1 may contribute to the biological regulation of neuron growth. These findings indicate that MaSp1 could regulate neuron growth through its physical and biological features. This dual regulation mode of MaSp1 could provide an alternative strategy for generating functional silk materials for neural tissue engineering.

  19. Promotion of growth by elevated carbon dioxide is coordinated through a flexible transcriptional network in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Dimas M; Mueller-Roeber, Bernd; Schippers, Jos H M

    2013-03-01

    Although gibberellins (GAs) promote many developmental responses in plants, little is known about how the hormone interacts with environmental signals at the molecular level for regulating plant growth. Recently, we have demonstrated that inhibition of growth by the GA biosynthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol (PAC) at ambient [CO₂] (350 µmol CO₂ mol(-1)) is reverted by elevated [CO₂] (750 μmol CO₂ mol(-1)). Our finding points to an important role of elevated [CO₂] as a signal allowing higher growth rates of low-GA plants. GA promotes plant growth via a complex transcriptional network that integrates multiple signaling pathways. Herein, we discuss how elevated [CO₂] stimulates biomass accumulation in a GA-independent manner by regulating the expression of growth-related genes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Growth hormone biases amygdala network activation after fear learning

    PubMed Central

    Gisabella, B; Farah, S; Peng, X; Burgos-Robles, A; Lim, S H; Goosens, K A

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged stress exposure is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder characterized by the ‘over-encoding' of a traumatic experience. A potential mechanism by which this occurs is through upregulation of growth hormone (GH) in the amygdala. Here we test the hypotheses that GH promotes the over-encoding of fearful memories by increasing the number of neurons activated during memory encoding and biasing the allocation of neuronal activation, one aspect of the process by which neurons compete to encode memories, to favor neurons that have stronger inputs. Viral overexpression of GH in the amygdala increased the number of amygdala cells activated by fear memory formation. GH-overexpressing cells were especially biased to express the immediate early gene c-Fos after fear conditioning, revealing strong autocrine actions of GH in the amygdala. In addition, we observed dramatically enhanced dendritic spine density in GH-overexpressing neurons. These data elucidate a previously unrecognized autocrine role for GH in the regulation of amygdala neuron function and identify specific mechanisms by which chronic stress, by enhancing GH in the amygdala, may predispose an individual to excessive fear memory formation. PMID:27898076

  2. Microtubule and Actin Interplay Drive Intracellular c-Src Trafficking.

    PubMed

    Arnette, Christopher; Frye, Keyada; Kaverina, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The proto-oncogene c-Src is involved in a variety of signaling processes. Therefore, c-Src spatiotemporal localization is critical for interaction with downstream targets. However, the mechanisms regulating this localization have remained elusive. Previous studies have shown that c-Src trafficking is a microtubule-dependent process that facilitates c-Src turnover in neuronal growth cones. As such, microtubule depolymerization lead to the inhibition of c-Src recycling. Alternatively, c-Src trafficking was also shown to be regulated by RhoB-dependent actin polymerization. Our results show that c-Src vesicles primarily exhibit microtubule-dependent trafficking; however, microtubule depolymerization does not inhibit vesicle movement. Instead, vesicular movement becomes both faster and less directional. This movement was associated with actin polymerization directly at c-Src vesicle membranes. Interestingly, it has been shown previously that c-Src delivery is an actin polymerization-dependent process that relies on small GTPase RhoB at c-Src vesicles. In agreement with this finding, microtubule depolymerization induced significant activation of RhoB, together with actin comet tail formation. These effects occurred downstream of GTP-exchange factor, GEF-H1, which was released from depolymerizing MTs. Accordingly, GEF-H1 activity was necessary for actin comet tail formation at the Src vesicles. Our results indicate that regulation of c-Src trafficking requires both microtubules and actin polymerization, and that GEF-H1 coordinates c-Src trafficking, acting as a molecular switch between these two mechanisms.

  3. Mechanism of Actin-Based Motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantaloni, Dominique; Le Clainche, Christophe; Carlier, Marie-France

    2001-05-01

    Spatially controlled polymerization of actin is at the origin of cell motility and is responsible for the formation of cellular protrusions like lamellipodia. The pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Shigella flexneri, which undergo actin-based propulsion, are acknowledged models of the leading edge of lamellipodia. Actin-based motility of the bacteria or of functionalized microspheres can be reconstituted in vitro from only five pure proteins. Movement results from the regulated site-directed treadmilling of actin filaments, consistent with observations of actin dynamics in living motile cells and with the biochemical properties of the components of the synthetic motility medium.

  4. Regulation of the Actin Cytoskeleton by an Interaction of IQGAP Related Protein GAPA with Filamin and Cortexillin I

    PubMed Central

    Rieger, Daniela; Müller, Rolf; Rivero, Francisco; Faix, Jan; Schleicher, Michael; Noegel, Angelika A.

    2010-01-01

    Filamin and Cortexillin are F-actin crosslinking proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum allowing actin filaments to form three-dimensional networks. GAPA, an IQGAP related protein, is required for cytokinesis and localizes to the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Here we describe a novel interaction with Filamin which is required for cytokinesis and regulation of the F-actin content. The interaction occurs through the actin binding domain of Filamin and the GRD domain of GAPA. A similar interaction takes place with Cortexillin I. We further report that Filamin associates with Rac1a implying that filamin might act as a scaffold for small GTPases. Filamin and activated Rac associate with GAPA to regulate actin remodelling. Overexpression of filamin and GAPA in the various strains suggests that GAPA regulates the actin cytoskeleton through interaction with Filamin and that it controls cytokinesis through association with Filamin and Cortexillin. PMID:21085675

  5. Intergenic GWAS SNPs are key components of the spatial and regulatory network for human growth.

    PubMed

    Schierding, William; Antony, Jisha; Cutfield, Wayne S; Horsfield, Julia A; O'Sullivan, Justin M

    2016-08-01

    Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies has resulted in the identification of hundreds of genetic variants associated with growth and stature. Determining how these genetic variants influence growth is important, but most are non-coding, and there is little understanding of how these variants contribute to adult height. To determine the mechanisms by which human variation contributes to growth, we combined spatial genomic connectivity (high-throughput conformation capture) with functional (gene expression, expression Quantitative Trait Loci) data to determine how non-genic loci associated with infant length, pubertal and adult height and contribute to gene regulatory networks. This approach identified intergenic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) ∼85 kb upstream of FBXW11 that spatially connect with distant loci. These regulatory connections are reinforced by evidence of SNP-enhancer effects and altered expression in genes influencing the action of human growth hormone. Functional assays provided evidence for enhancer activity of the intergenic region near FBXW11 that harbors SNP rs12153391, which is associated with an expression Quantitative Trait Loci. Our results suggest that variants in this locus have genome-wide effects as key modifiers of growth (both overgrowth and short stature) acting through a regulatory network. We believe that the genes and pathways connected with this regulatory network are potential targets that could be investigated for diagnostic, prenatal and carrier testing for growth disorders. Finally, the regulatory networks we generated illustrate the power of using existing datasets to interrogate the contribution of intergenic SNPs to common syndromes/diseases.

  6. Network growth models: A behavioural basis for attachment proportional to fitness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, Michael; Perera, Supun; Piraveenan, Mahendrarajah; Bliemer, Michiel; Latty, Tanya; Reid, Chris

    2017-02-01

    Several growth models have been proposed in the literature for scale-free complex networks, with a range of fitness-based attachment models gaining prominence recently. However, the processes by which such fitness-based attachment behaviour can arise are less well understood, making it difficult to compare the relative merits of such models. This paper analyses an evolutionary mechanism that would give rise to a fitness-based attachment process. In particular, it is proven by analytical and numerical methods that in homogeneous networks, the minimisation of maximum exposure to node unfitness leads to attachment probabilities that are proportional to node fitness. This result is then extended to heterogeneous networks, with supply chain networks being used as an example.

  7. Global Optimization, Local Adaptation, and the Role of Growth in Distribution Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ronellenfitsch, Henrik; Katifori, Eleni

    2016-09-01

    Highly optimized complex transport networks serve crucial functions in many man-made and natural systems such as power grids and plant or animal vasculature. Often, the relevant optimization functional is nonconvex and characterized by many local extrema. In general, finding the global, or nearly global optimum is difficult. In biological systems, it is believed that such an optimal state is slowly achieved through natural selection. However, general coarse grained models for flow networks with local positive feedback rules for the vessel conductivity typically get trapped in low efficiency, local minima. In this work we show how the growth of the underlying tissue, coupled to the dynamical equations for network development, can drive the system to a dramatically improved optimal state. This general model provides a surprisingly simple explanation for the appearance of highly optimized transport networks in biology such as leaf and animal vasculature.

  8. Network growth models: A behavioural basis for attachment proportional to fitness

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Michael; Perera, Supun; Piraveenan, Mahendrarajah; Bliemer, Michiel; Latty, Tanya; Reid, Chris

    2017-01-01

    Several growth models have been proposed in the literature for scale-free complex networks, with a range of fitness-based attachment models gaining prominence recently. However, the processes by which such fitness-based attachment behaviour can arise are less well understood, making it difficult to compare the relative merits of such models. This paper analyses an evolutionary mechanism that would give rise to a fitness-based attachment process. In particular, it is proven by analytical and numerical methods that in homogeneous networks, the minimisation of maximum exposure to node unfitness leads to attachment probabilities that are proportional to node fitness. This result is then extended to heterogeneous networks, with supply chain networks being used as an example. PMID:28205599

  9. Nuclear Actin in Development and Transcriptional Reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Misu, Shinji; Takebayashi, Marina; Miyamoto, Kei

    2017-01-01

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

  10. α-Synuclein and Its A30P Mutant Affect Actin Cytoskeletal Structure and Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Vítor L.; Bellani, Serena; Giannandrea, Maila; Yousuf, Malikmohamed; Valtorta, Flavia; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2009-01-01

    The function of α-synuclein, a soluble protein abundant in the brain and concentrated at presynaptic terminals, is still undefined. Yet, α-synuclein overexpression and the expression of its A30P mutant are associated with familial Parkinson's disease. Working in cell-free conditions, in two cell lines as well as in primary neurons we demonstrate that α-synuclein and its A30P mutant have different effects on actin polymerization. Wild-type α-synuclein binds actin, slows down its polymerization and accelerates its depolymerization, probably by monomer sequestration; A30P mutant α-synuclein increases the rate of actin polymerization and disrupts the cytoskeleton during reassembly of actin filaments. Consequently, in cells expressing mutant α-synuclein, cytoskeleton-dependent processes, such as cell migration, are inhibited, while exo- and endocytic traffic is altered. In hippocampal neurons from mice carrying a deletion of the α-synuclein gene, electroporation of wild-type α-synuclein increases actin instability during remodeling, with growth of lamellipodia-like structures and apparent cell enlargement, whereas A30P α-synuclein induces discrete actin-rich foci during cytoskeleton reassembly. In conclusion, α-synuclein appears to play a major role in actin cytoskeletal dynamics and various aspects of microfilament function. Actin cytoskeletal disruption induced by the A30P mutant might alter various cellular processes and thereby play a role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. PMID:19553474

  11. Nuclear actin depolymerization in transcriptionally active avian and amphibian oocytes leads to collapse of intranuclear structures

    PubMed Central

    Maslova, Antonina; Krasikova, Alla

    2012-01-01

    Actin, which is normally depleted in the nuclei of somatic cells, accumulates in high amounts in giant nuclei of amphibian oocytes. The supramolecular organization and functions of this nuclear pool of actin in growing vertebrate oocyte are controversial. Here, we investigated the role of nuclear actin in the maintenance of the spatial architecture of intranuclear structures in avian and amphibian growing oocytes. A meshwork of filamentous actin was not detected in freshly isolated or fixed oocyte nuclei of Xenopus, chicken or quail. We found that the actin meshwork inside the oocyte nucleus could be induced by phalloidin treatment. Actin polymerization is demonstrated to be required to stabilize the specific spatial organization of nuclear structures in avian and amphibian growing oocytes. In experiments with the actin depolymerizing drugs cytochalasin D and latrunculin A, we showed that disassembly of nuclear actin polymers led to chromosome condensation and their transportation to a limited space within the oocyte nucleus. Experimentally induced “collapsing” of chromosomes and nuclear bodies, together with global inhibition of transcription, strongly resembled the process of karyosphere formation during oocyte growth. PMID:22572951

  12. Percolation mechanism drives actin gels to the critically connected state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chiu Fan; Pruessner, Gunnar

    2016-05-01

    Cell motility and tissue morphogenesis depend crucially on the dynamic remodeling of actomyosin networks. An actomyosin network consists of an actin polymer network connected by cross-linker proteins and motor protein myosins that generate internal stresses on the network. A recent discovery shows that for a range of experimental parameters, actomyosin networks contract to clusters with a power-law size distribution [J. Alvarado, Nat. Phys. 9, 591 (2013), 10.1038/nphys2715]. Here, we argue that actomyosin networks can exhibit a robust critical signature without fine-tuning because the dynamics of the system can be mapped onto a modified version of percolation with trapping (PT), which is known to show critical behavior belonging to the static percolation universality class without the need for fine-tuning of a control parameter. We further employ our PT model to generate experimentally testable predictions.

  13. Actin Dynamics: From Nanoscale to Microscale

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E.

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Interactions between actin filaments and between actin filaments and membranes in quick-frozen and deeply etched hair cells of the chick ear

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    Replicas of the apical surface of hair cells of the inner ear (vestibular organ) were examined after quick freezing and rotary shadowing. With this technique we illustrate two previously undescribed ways in which the actin filaments in the stereocilia and in the cuticular plate are attached to the plasma membrane. First, in each stereocilium there are threadlike connectors running from the actin filament bundle to the limiting membrane. Second, many of the actin filaments in the cuticular plate are connected to the apical cell membrane by tiny branched connecting units like a "crow's foot." Where these "feet" contact the membrane there is a small swelling. These branched "feet" extend mainly from the ends of the actin filaments but some connect the lateral surfaces of the actin filaments as well. Actin filaments in the cuticular plate are also connected to each other by finer filaments, 3 nm in thickness and 74 +/- 14 nm in length. Interestingly, these 3-nm filaments (which measure 4 nm in replicas) connect actin filaments not only of the same polarity but of opposite polarities as documented by examining replicas of the cuticular plate which had been decorated with subfragment 1 (S1) of myosin. At the apicolateral margins of the cell we find two populations of actin filaments, one just beneath the tight junction as a network, the other at the level of the zonula adherens as a ring. The latter which is quite substantial is composed of actin filaments that run parallel to each other; adjacent filaments often show opposite polarities, as evidenced by S1 decoration. The filaments making up this ring are connected together by the 3-nm connectors. Because of the polarity of the filaments this ring may be a "contractile" ring; the implications of this is discussed. PMID:6890555

  15. Quantitative Analysis of Filament Branch Orientation in Listeria Actin Comet Tails.

    PubMed

    Jasnin, Marion; Crevenna, Alvaro H

    2016-02-23

    Several bacterial and viral pathogens hijack the host actin cytoskeleton machinery to facilitate spread and infection. In particular, Listeria uses Arp2/3-mediated actin filament nucleation at the bacterial surface to generate a branched network that will help propel the bacteria. However, the mechanism of force generation remains elusive due to the lack of high-resolution three-dimensional structural data on the spatial organization of the actin mother and daughter (i.e., branch) filaments within this network. Here, we have explored the three-dimensional structure of Listeria actin tails in Xenopus laevis egg extracts using cryo-electron tomography. We found that the architecture of Listeria actin tails is shared between those formed in cells and in cell extracts. Both contained nanoscopic bundles along the plane of the substrate, where the bacterium lies, and upright filaments (also called Z filaments), both oriented tangentially to the bacterial cell wall. Here, we were able to identify actin filament intersections, which likely correspond to branches, within the tails. A quantitative analysis of putative Arp2/3-mediated branches in the actin network showed that mother filaments lie on the plane of the substrate, whereas daughter filaments have random deviations out of this plane. Moreover, the analysis revealed that branches are randomly oriented with respect to the bacterial surface. Therefore, the actin filament network does not push directly toward the surface but rather accumulates, building up stress around the Listeria surface. Our results favor a mechanism of force generation for Listeria movement where the stress is released into propulsive motion.

  16. Quantitative Analysis of Filament Branch Orientation in Listeria Actin Comet Tails

    PubMed Central

    Jasnin, Marion; Crevenna, Alvaro H.

    2016-01-01

    Several bacterial and viral pathogens hijack the host actin cytoskeleton machinery to facilitate spread and infection. In particular, Listeria uses Arp2/3-mediated actin filament nucleation at the bacterial surface to generate a branched network that will help propel the bacteria. However, the mechanism of force generation remains elusive due to the lack of high-resolution three-dimensional structural data on the spatial organization of the actin mother and daughter (i.e., branch) filaments within this network. Here, we have explored the three-dimensional structure of Listeria actin tails in Xenopus laevis egg extracts using cryo-electron tomography. We found that the architecture of Listeria actin tails is shared between those formed in cells and in cell extracts. Both contained nanoscopic bundles along the plane of the substrate, where the bacterium lies, and upright filaments (also called Z filaments), both oriented tangentially to the bacterial cell wall. Here, we were able to identify actin filament intersections, which likely correspond to branches, within the tails. A quantitative analysis of putative Arp2/3-mediated branches in the actin network showed that mother filaments lie on the plane of the substrate, whereas daughter filaments have random deviations out of this plane. Moreover, the analysis revealed that branches are randomly oriented with respect to the bacterial surface. Therefore, the actin filament network does not push directly toward the surface but rather accumulates, building up stress around the Listeria surface. Our results favor a mechanism of force generation for Listeria movement where the stress is released into propulsive motion. PMID:26497103

  17. Altered resting-state whole-brain functional networks of neonates with intrauterine growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Batalle, Dafnis; Muñoz-Moreno, Emma; Tornador, Cristian; Bargallo, Nuria; Deco, Gustavo; Eixarch, Elisenda; Gratacos, Eduard

    2016-04-01

    The feasibility to use functional MRI (fMRI) during natural sleep to assess low-frequency basal brain activity fluctuations in human neonates has been demonstrated, although its potential to characterise pathologies of prenatal origin has not yet been exploited. In the present study, we used intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) as a model of altered neurodevelopment due to prenatal condition to show the suitability of brain networks to characterise functional brain organisation at neonatal age. Particularly, we analysed resting-state fMRI signal of 20 neonates with IUGR and 13 controls, obtaining whole-brain functional networks based on correlations of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in 90 grey matter regions of an anatomical atlas (AAL). Characterisation of the networks obtained with graph theoretical features showed increased network infrastructure and raw efficiencies but reduced efficiency after normalisation, demonstrating hyper-connected but sub-optimally organised IUGR functional brain networks. Significant association of network features with neurobehavioral scores was also found. Further assessment of spatiotemporal dynamics displayed alterations into features associated to frontal, cingulate and lingual cortices. These findings show the capacity of functional brain networks to characterise brain reorganisation from an early age, and their potential to develop biomarkers of altered neurodevelopment.

  18. The Continuing Growth of Global Cooperation Networks in Research: A Conundrum for National Governments

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Caroline S.; Park, Han Woo; Leydesdorff, Loet

    2015-01-01

    Global collaboration continues to grow as a share of all scientific cooperation, measured as coauthorships of peer-reviewed, published papers. The percent of all scientific papers that are internationally coauthored has more than doubled in 20 years, and they account for all the growth in output among the scientifically advanced countries. Emerging countries, particularly China, have increased their participation in global science, in part by doubling their spending on R&D; they are increasingly likely to appear as partners on internationally coauthored scientific papers. Given the growth of connections at the international level, it is helpful to examine the phenomenon as a communications network and to consider the network as a new organization on the world stage that adds to and complements national systems. When examined as interconnections across the globe over two decades, a global network has grown denser but not more clustered, meaning there are many more connections but they are not grouping into exclusive ‘cliques’. This suggests that power relationships are not reproducing those of the political system. The network has features an open system, attracting productive scientists to participate in international projects. National governments could gain efficiencies and influence by developing policies and strategies designed to maximize network benefits—a model different from those designed for national systems. PMID:26196296

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  20. Molecular architecture of synaptic actin cytoskeleton in hippocampal neurons reveals a mechanism of dendritic spine morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Korobova, Farida; Svitkina, Tatyana

    2010-01-01

    Excitatory synapses in the brain play key roles in learning and memory. The formation and functions of postsynaptic mushroom-shaped structures, dendritic spines, and possibly of presynaptic terminals, rely on actin cytoskeleton remodeling. However, the cytoskeletal architecture of synapses remains unknown hindering the understanding of synapse morphogenesis. Using platinum replica electron microscopy, we characterized the cytoskeletal organization and molecular composition of dendritic spines, their precursors, dendritic filopodia, and presynaptic boutons. A branched actin filament network containing Arp2/3 complex and capping protein was a dominant feature of spine heads and presynaptic boutons. Surprisingly, the spine necks and bases, as well as dendritic filopodia, also contained a network, rather than a bundle, of branched and linear actin filaments that was immunopositive for Arp2/3 complex, capping protein, and myosin II, but not fascin. Thus, a tight actin filament bundle is not necessary for structural support of elongated filopodia-like protrusions. Dynamically, dendritic filopodia emerged from densities in the dendritic shaft, which by electron microscopy contained branched actin network associated with dendritic microtubules. We propose that dendritic spine morphogenesis begins from an actin patch elongating into a dendritic filopodium, which tip subsequently expands via Arp2/3 complex-dependent nucleation and which length is modulated by myosin II-dependent contractility.