Science.gov

Sample records for actin network growth

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

    PubMed

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-21

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

  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. 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.

  4. Tau co-organizes dynamic microtubule and actin networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Reversible stress softening of actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Elasticity of F-actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret Lise

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Actin network architecture can determine myosin motor activity.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-27

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

  16. 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.

  17. Computational Analysis of Viscoelastic Properties of Crosslinked Actin Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  19. The role of Arp2/3 in growth cone actin dynamics and guidance is substrate dependent.

    PubMed

    San Miguel-Ruiz, José E; Letourneau, Paul C

    2014-04-23

    During development extrinsic guidance cues modulate the peripheral actin network in growth cones to direct axons to their targets. We wanted to understand the role of the actin nucleator Arp2/3 in growth cone actin dynamics and guidance. Since growth cones migrate in association with diverse adhesive substrates during development, we probed the hypothesis that the functional significance of Arp2/3 is substrate dependent. We report that Arp2/3 inhibition led to a reduction in the number of filopodia and growth cone F-actin content on laminin and L1. However, we found substrate-dependent differences in growth cone motility, actin retrograde flow, and guidance after Arp2/3 inhibition, suggesting that its role, and perhaps that of other actin binding proteins, in growth cone motility is substrate dependent. PMID:24760849

  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. Formation of actin networks in microfluidic concentration gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

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

  4. 3D Actin Network Centerline Extraction with Multiple Active Contours

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. ROP Gtpase–Dependent Dynamics of Tip-Localized F-Actin Controls Tip Growth in Pollen Tubes

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Ying; Wu, Guang; Yang, Zhenbiao

    2001-01-01

    Tip-growing pollen tubes provide a useful model system to study polar growth. Although roles for tip-focused calcium gradient and tip-localized Rho-family GTPase in pollen tube growth is established, the existence and function of tip-localized F-actin have been controversial. Using the green fluorescent protein–tagged actin-binding domain of mouse talin, we found a dynamic form of tip-localized F-actin in tobacco pollen tubes, termed short actin bundles (SABs). The dynamics of SABs during polar growth in pollen tubes is regulated by Rop1At, a Rop GTPase belonging to the Rho family. When overexpressed, Rop1At transformed SAB into a network of fine filaments and induced a transverse actin band behind the tip, leading to depolarized growth. These changes were due to ectopic Rop1At localization to the apical region of the plasma membrane and were suppressed by guanine dissociation inhibitor overexpression, which removed ectopically localized Rop1At. Rop GTPase–activating protein (RopGAP1) overexpression, or Latrunculin B treatments, also recovered normal actin organization and tip growth in Rop1At-overexpressing tubes. Moreover, overexpression of RopGAP1 alone disrupted SABs and inhibited growth. Finally, SAB oscillates and appears at the tip before growth. Together, these results indicate that the dynamics of tip actin are essential for tip growth and provide the first direct evidence to link Rho GTPase to actin organization in controlling cell polarity and polar growth in plants. PMID:11238457

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lappalainen, Pekka

    2016-08-15

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2015-12-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Filopodial actin bundles are not necessary for microtubule advance into the peripheral domain of Aplysia neuronal growth cones.

    PubMed

    Burnette, Dylan T; Schaefer, Andrew W; Ji, Lin; Danuser, Gaudenz; Forscher, Paul

    2007-12-01

    Filopodial actin bundles guide microtubule assembly in the growth cone peripheral (P) domain and retrograde actin-network flow simultaneously transports microtubules rearward. Therefore, microtubule-end position is determined by the sum of microtubule assembly and retrograde transport rates. However, how filopodia actually affect microtubule assembly dynamics is unknown. To address this issue we quantitatively assessed microtubule and actin dynamics before and after selective removal of filopodia. Filopodium removal had surprisingly little effect on retrograde actin-flow rates or underlying network structures, but resulted in an approximate doubling of peripheral microtubule density and deeper penetration of microtubules into the P domain. The latter stemmed from less efficient coupling of microtubules to remaining actin networks and not from a change in microtubule polymer dynamics. Loss of filopodia also resulted in increased lateral microtubule movements and a more randomized microtubule distribution in the P domain. In summary, filopodia do not seem to be formally required for microtubule advance; however, their presence ensures radial distribution of microtubules in the P domain and facilitates microtubule transport by retrograde flow. The resulting dynamic steady state has interesting implications for rapid microtubule-positioning responses in the P domain.

  8. 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

  9. Cdc42 and Actin Control Polarized Expression of TI-VAMP Vesicles to Neuronal Growth Cones and Their Fusion with the Plasma MembraneV⃞

    PubMed Central

    Alberts, Philipp; Rudge, Rachel; Irinopoulou, Theano; Danglot, Lydia; Gauthier-Rouvière, Cécile; Galli, Thierry

    2006-01-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin-insensitive vesicle-associated membrane protein (TI-VAMP)-mediated fusion of intracellular vesicles with the plasma membrane is crucial for neurite outgrowth, a pathway not requiring synaptobrevin-dependent exocytosis. Yet, it is not known how the TI-VAMP membrane trafficking pathway is regulated or how it is coordinated with cytoskeletal dynamics within the growth cone that guide neurite outgrowth. Here, we demonstrate that TI-VAMP, but not synaptobrevin 2, concentrates in the peripheral, F-actin-rich region of the growth cones of hippocampal neurons in primary culture. Its accumulation correlates with and depends upon the presence of F-actin. Moreover, acute stimulation of actin remodeling by homophilic activation of the adhesion molecule L1 induces a site-directed, actin-dependent recruitment of the TI-VAMP compartment. Expression of a dominant-positive mutant of Cdc42, a key regulator of cell polarity, stimulates formation of F-actin- and TI-VAMP-rich filopodia outside the growth cone. Furthermore, we report that Cdc42 activates exocytosis of pHLuorin tagged TI-VAMP in an actin-dependent manner. Collectively, our data suggest that Cdc42 and regulated assembly of the F-actin network control the accumulation and exocytosis of TI-VAMP-containing membrane vesicles in growth cones to coordinate membrane trafficking and actin remodeling during neurite outgrowth. PMID:16381811

  10. Cdc42 and actin control polarized expression of TI-VAMP vesicles to neuronal growth cones and their fusion with the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Alberts, Philipp; Rudge, Rachel; Irinopoulou, Theano; Danglot, Lydia; Gauthier-Rouvière, Cécile; Galli, Thierry

    2006-03-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin-insensitive vesicle-associated membrane protein (TI-VAMP)-mediated fusion of intracellular vesicles with the plasma membrane is crucial for neurite outgrowth, a pathway not requiring synaptobrevin-dependent exocytosis. Yet, it is not known how the TI-VAMP membrane trafficking pathway is regulated or how it is coordinated with cytoskeletal dynamics within the growth cone that guide neurite outgrowth. Here, we demonstrate that TI-VAMP, but not synaptobrevin 2, concentrates in the peripheral, F-actin-rich region of the growth cones of hippocampal neurons in primary culture. Its accumulation correlates with and depends upon the presence of F-actin. Moreover, acute stimulation of actin remodeling by homophilic activation of the adhesion molecule L1 induces a site-directed, actin-dependent recruitment of the TI-VAMP compartment. Expression of a dominant-positive mutant of Cdc42, a key regulator of cell polarity, stimulates formation of F-actin- and TI-VAMP-rich filopodia outside the growth cone. Furthermore, we report that Cdc42 activates exocytosis of pHLuorin tagged TI-VAMP in an actin-dependent manner. Collectively, our data suggest that Cdc42 and regulated assembly of the F-actin network control the accumulation and exocytosis of TI-VAMP-containing membrane vesicles in growth cones to coordinate membrane trafficking and actin remodeling during neurite outgrowth.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-30

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

  16. Actin kinetics shapes cortical network structure and mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsche, Marco; Erlenkämper, Christoph; Moeendarbary, Emad; Charras, Guillaume; Kruse, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    The actin cortex of animal cells is the main determinant of cellular mechanics. The continuous turnover of cortical actin filaments enables cells to quickly respond to stimuli. Recent work has shown that most of the cortical actin is generated by only two actin nucleators, the Arp2/3 complex and the formin Diaph1. However, our understanding of their interplay, their kinetics, and the length distribution of the filaments that they nucleate within living cells is poor. Such knowledge is necessary for a thorough comprehension of cellular processes and cell mechanics from basic polymer physics principles. We determined cortical assembly rates in living cells by using single-molecule fluorescence imaging in combination with stochastic simulations. We find that formin-nucleated filaments are, on average, 10 times longer than Arp2/3-nucleated filaments. Although formin-generated filaments represent less than 10% of all actin filaments, mechanical measurements indicate that they are important determinants of cortical elasticity. Tuning the activity of actin nucleators to alter filament length distribution may thus be a mechanism allowing cells to adjust their macroscopic mechanical properties to their physiological needs. PMID:27152338

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Actin-dependent vacuolar occupancy of the cell determines auxin-induced growth repression.

    PubMed

    Scheuring, David; Löfke, Christian; Krüger, Falco; Kittelmann, Maike; Eisa, Ahmed; Hughes, Louise; Smith, Richard S; Hawes, Chris; Schumacher, Karin; Kleine-Vehn, Jürgen

    2016-01-12

    The cytoskeleton is an early attribute of cellular life, and its main components are composed of conserved proteins. The actin cytoskeleton has a direct impact on the control of cell size in animal cells, but its mechanistic contribution to cellular growth in plants remains largely elusive. Here, we reveal a role of actin in regulating cell size in plants. The actin cytoskeleton shows proximity to vacuoles, and the phytohormone auxin not only controls the organization of actin filaments but also impacts vacuolar morphogenesis in an actin-dependent manner. Pharmacological and genetic interference with the actin-myosin system abolishes the effect of auxin on vacuoles and thus disrupts its negative influence on cellular growth. SEM-based 3D nanometer-resolution imaging of the vacuoles revealed that auxin controls the constriction and luminal size of the vacuole. We show that this actin-dependent mechanism controls the relative vacuolar occupancy of the cell, thus suggesting an unanticipated mechanism for cytosol homeostasis during cellular growth.

  19. Collapsin response mediator protein 4 regulates growth cone dynamics through the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Khazaei, Mohamad R; Girouard, Marie-Pier; Alchini, Ricardo; Ong Tone, Stephan; Shimada, Tadayuki; Bechstedt, Susanne; Cowan, Mitra; Guillet, Dominique; Wiseman, Paul W; Brouhard, Gary; Cloutier, Jean Francois; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-10-24

    Coordinated control of the growth cone cytoskeleton underlies axon extension and guidance. Members of the collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP) family of cytosolic phosphoproteins regulate the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton, but their roles in regulating growth cone dynamics remain largely unexplored. Here, we examine how CRMP4 regulates the growth cone cytoskeleton. Hippocampal neurons from CRMP4-/- mice exhibited a selective decrease in axon extension and reduced growth cone area, whereas overexpression of CRMP4 enhanced the formation and length of growth cone filopodia. Biochemically, CRMP4 can impact both microtubule assembly and F-actin bundling in vitro. Through a structure function analysis of CRMP4, we found that the effects of CRMP4 on axon growth and growth cone morphology were dependent on microtubule assembly, whereas filopodial extension relied on actin bundling. Intriguingly, anterograde movement of EB3 comets, which track microtubule protrusion, slowed significantly in neurons derived from CRMP4-/- mice, and rescue of microtubule dynamics required CRMP4 activity toward both the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Together, this study identified a dual role for CRMP4 in regulating the actin and microtubule growth cone cytoskeleton. PMID:25225289

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Actin-dependent vacuolar occupancy of the cell determines auxin-induced growth repression

    PubMed Central

    Scheuring, David; Löfke, Christian; Krüger, Falco; Kittelmann, Maike; Eisa, Ahmed; Hughes, Louise; Smith, Richard S.; Hawes, Chris; Schumacher, Karin; Kleine-Vehn, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    The cytoskeleton is an early attribute of cellular life, and its main components are composed of conserved proteins. The actin cytoskeleton has a direct impact on the control of cell size in animal cells, but its mechanistic contribution to cellular growth in plants remains largely elusive. Here, we reveal a role of actin in regulating cell size in plants. The actin cytoskeleton shows proximity to vacuoles, and the phytohormone auxin not only controls the organization of actin filaments but also impacts vacuolar morphogenesis in an actin-dependent manner. Pharmacological and genetic interference with the actin–myosin system abolishes the effect of auxin on vacuoles and thus disrupts its negative influence on cellular growth. SEM-based 3D nanometer-resolution imaging of the vacuoles revealed that auxin controls the constriction and luminal size of the vacuole. We show that this actin-dependent mechanism controls the relative vacuolar occupancy of the cell, thus suggesting an unanticipated mechanism for cytosol homeostasis during cellular growth. PMID:26715743

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Actin remodeling by ADF/cofilin is required for cargo sorting at the trans-Golgi network

    PubMed Central

    von Blume, Julia; Duran, Juan M.; Forlanelli, Elena; Alleaume, Anne-Marie; Egorov, Mikhail; Polishchuk, Roman; Molina, Henrik

    2009-01-01

    Knockdown of the actin-severing protein actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin inhibited export of an exogenously expressed soluble secretory protein from Golgi membranes in Drosophila melanogaster and mammalian tissue culture cells. A stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture mass spectrometry–based protein profiling revealed that a large number of endogenous secretory proteins in mammalian cells were not secreted upon ADF/cofilin knockdown. Although many secretory proteins were retained, a Golgi-resident protein and a lysosomal hydrolase were aberrantly secreted upon ADF/cofilin knockdown. Overall, our findings indicate that inactivation of ADF/cofilin perturbed the sorting of a subset of both soluble and integral membrane proteins at the trans-Golgi network (TGN). We suggest that ADF/cofilin-dependent actin trimming generates a sorting domain at the TGN, which filters secretory cargo for export, and that uncontrolled growth of this domain causes missorting of proteins. This type of actin-dependent compartmentalization and filtering of secretory cargo at the TGN by ADF/cofilin could explain sorting of proteins that are destined to the cell surface. PMID:20026655

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Tuning myosin-driven sorting on cellular actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Hariadi, Rizal F; Sommese, Ruth F; Sivaramakrishnan, Sivaraj

    2015-01-01

    Myosin V and VI are antagonistic motors that cohabit membrane vesicles in cells. A systematic study of their collective function, however, is lacking and forms the focus of this study. We functionally reconstitute a two-dimensional actin-myosin interface using myosin V and VI precisely patterned on DNA nanostructures, in combination with a model keratocyte actin meshwork. While scaffolds display solely unidirectional movement, their directional flux is modulated by both actin architecture and the structural properties of the myosin lever arm. This directional flux can be finely-tuned by the relative number of myosin V and VI motors on each scaffold. Pairing computation with experimental observations suggests that the ratio of motor stall forces is a key determinant of the observed competitive outcomes. Overall, our study demonstrates an elegant mechanism for sorting of membrane cargo using equally matched antagonistic motors, simply by modulating the relative number of engagement sites for each motor type. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05472.001 PMID:25738229

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. FIMBRIN1 Is Involved in Lily Pollen Tube Growth by Stabilizing the Actin Fringe[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Su, Hui; Zhu, Jinsheng; Cai, Chao; Pei, Weike; Wang, Jiaojiao; Dong, Huaijian; Ren, Haiyun

    2012-01-01

    An actin fringe structure in the subapex plays an important role in pollen tube tip growth. However, the precise mechanism by which the actin fringe is generated and maintained remains largely unknown. Here, we cloned a 2606-bp full-length cDNA encoding a deduced 77-kD fimbrin-like protein from lily (Lilium longiflorum), named FIMBRIN1 (FIM1). Ll-FIM1 was preferentially expressed in pollen and concentrated at actin fringe in the subapical region, as well as in longitudinal actin-filament bundles in the shank of pollen tubes. Microinjection of Ll-FIM1 antibody into lily pollen tubes inhibited tip growth and disrupted the actin fringe. Furthermore, we verified the function of Ll-FIM1 in the fim5 mutant of its closest relative, Arabidopsis thaliana. Pollen tubes of fim5 mutants grew with a larger diameter in early stages but could recover into normal forms in later stages, despite significantly slower growth rates. The actin fringe of the fim5 mutants, however, was impaired during both early and late stages. Impressively, stable expression of fim5pro:GFP:Ll-FIM1 rescued the actin fringe and the growth rate of Arabidopsis fim5 pollen tubes. In vitro biochemical analysis showed that Ll-FIM1 could bundle actin filaments. Thus, our study has identified a fimbrin that may stabilize the actin fringe by cross-linking actin filaments into bundles, which is important for proper tip growth of lily pollen tubes. PMID:23150633

  15. Molecular origin of strain softening in cross-linked F-actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

    Two types of measurement are presented that relate molecular events to macroscopic behavior of F-actin networks. First, shear modulus is measured by oscillating an embedded microbead. Second, a microbead is translated at constant rate and transitions in the resisting force are observed. The loading rate dependence of the force at the transitions is similar to that of the molecular unbinding force, suggesting that they share a common origin. Reversibility tests of shear modulus provide further evidence that strain softening of F-actin networks is caused by force-induced rupture of cross-links.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Lam T.; Hirst, Linda S.

    2011-03-01

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

  17. Molecular Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii Formin 3, an Actin Nucleator Dispensable for Tachyzoite Growth and Motility

    PubMed Central

    Daher, Wassim; Klages, Natacha; Carlier, Marie-France

    2012-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii belongs to the phylum Apicomplexa, a group of obligate intracellular parasites that rely on gliding motility to enter host cells. Drugs interfering with the actin cytoskeleton block parasite motility, host cell invasion, and egress from infected cells. Myosin A, profilin, formin 1, formin 2, and actin-depolymerizing factor have all been implicated in parasite motility, yet little is known regarding the importance of actin polymerization and other myosins for the remaining steps of the parasite lytic cycle. Here we establish that T. gondii formin 3 (TgFRM3), a newly described formin homology 2 domain (FH2)-containing protein, binds to Toxoplasma actin and nucleates rabbit actin assembly in vitro. TgFRM3 expressed as a transgene exhibits a patchy localization at several distinct structures within the parasite. Disruption of the TgFRM3 gene by double homologous recombination in a ku80-ko strain reveals no vital function for tachyzoite propagation in vitro, which is consistent with its weak level of expression in this life stage. Conditional stabilization of truncated forms of TgFRM3 suggests that different regions of the molecule contribute to distinct localizations. Moreover, expression of TgFRM3 lacking the C-terminal domain severely affects parasite growth and replication. This work provides a first insight into how this specialized formin, restricted to the group of coccidia, completes its actin-nucleating activity. PMID:22210829

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Gardel, Margaret

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

  20. β-Spectrin regulates the hippo signaling pathway and modulates the basal actin network.

    PubMed

    Wong, Kenneth Kin Lam; Li, Wenyang; An, Yanru; Duan, Yangyang; Li, Zhuoheng; Kang, Yibin; Yan, Yan

    2015-03-01

    Emerging evidence suggests functional regulation of the Hippo pathway by the actin cytoskeleton, although the detailed molecular mechanism remains incomplete. In a genetic screen, we identified a requirement for β-Spectrin in the posterior follicle cells for the oocyte repolarization process during Drosophila mid-oogenesis. β-spectrin mutations lead to loss of Hippo signaling activity in the follicle cells. A similar reduction of Hippo signaling activity was observed after β-Spectrin knockdown in mammalian cells. We further demonstrated that β-spectrin mutations disrupt the basal actin network in follicle cells. The abnormal stress fiber-like actin structure on the basal side of follicle cells provides a likely link between the β-spectrin mutations and the loss of the Hippo signaling activity phenotype.

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

    PubMed

    Chae, Byeong Seok; Furst, Eric M

    2005-03-29

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Bidirectional interactions between NOX2-type NADPH oxidase and the F-actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones.

    PubMed

    Munnamalai, Vidhya; Weaver, Cory J; Weisheit, Corinne E; Venkatraman, Prahatha; Agim, Zeynep Sena; Quinn, Mark T; Suter, Daniel M

    2014-08-01

    NADPH oxidases are important for neuronal function but detailed subcellular localization studies have not been performed. Here, we provide the first evidence for the presence of functional NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2)-type complex in neuronal growth cones and its bidirectional relationship with the actin cytoskeleton. NADPH oxidase inhibition resulted in reduced F-actin content, retrograde F-actin flow, and neurite outgrowth. Stimulation of NADPH oxidase via protein kinase C activation increased levels of hydrogen peroxide in the growth cone periphery. The main enzymatic NADPH oxidase subunit NOX2/gp91(phox) localized to the growth cone plasma membrane and showed little overlap with the regulatory subunit p40(phox) . p40(phox) itself exhibited colocalization with filopodial actin bundles. Differential subcellular fractionation revealed preferential association of NOX2/gp91(phox) and p40(phox) with the membrane and the cytoskeletal fraction, respectively. When neurite growth was evoked with beads coated with the cell adhesion molecule apCAM, we observed a significant increase in colocalization of p40(phox) with NOX2/gp91(phox) at apCAM adhesion sites. Together, these findings suggest a bidirectional functional relationship between NADPH oxidase activity and the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones, which contributes to the control of neurite outgrowth. We have previously shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are critical for actin organization and dynamics in neuronal growth cones as well as neurite outgrowth. Here, we report that the cytosolic subunit p40(phox) of the NOX2-type NADPH oxidase complex is partially associated with F-actin in neuronal growth cones, while ROS produced by this complex regulates F-actin dynamics and neurite growth. These findings provide evidence for a bidirectional relationship between NADPH oxidase activity and the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones. PMID:24702317

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-18

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

    Filtration through the kidney eliminates toxins, manages electrolyte balance, and controls water homeostasis. Reabsorption of water from the luminal fluid of the nephron occurs through aquaporin-2 (AQP2) water pores in principal cells that line the kidney-collecting duct. This vital process is impeded by formation of an "actin barrier" that obstructs the passive transit of AQP2 to the plasma membrane. Bidirectional control of AQP2 trafficking is managed by hormones and signaling enzymes. We have discovered that vasopressin-independent facets of this homeostatic mechanism are under the control of A-Kinase Anchoring Protein 220 (AKAP220; product of the Akap11 gene). CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and imaging approaches show that loss of AKAP220 disrupts apical actin networks in organoid cultures. Similar defects are evident in tissue sections from AKAP220-KO mice. Biochemical analysis of AKAP220-null kidney extracts detected reduced levels of active RhoA GTPase, a well-known modulator of the actin cytoskeleton. Fluorescent imaging of kidney sections from these genetically modified mice revealed that RhoA and AQP2 accumulate at the apical surface of the collecting duct. Consequently, these animals are unable to appropriately dilute urine in response to overhydration. We propose that membrane-proximal signaling complexes constrained by AKAP220 impact the actin barrier dynamics and AQP2 trafficking to ensure water homeostasis. PMID:27402760

  9. Viscoelasticity of entangled actin networks studied by long-pulse magnetic bead microrheometry.

    PubMed

    Uhde, Jorg; Ter-Oganessian, Nikita; Pink, David A; Sackmann, Erich; Boulbitch, Alexei

    2005-12-01

    We studied the viscoelastic response of entangled actin networks using embedded microbeads driven by force pulses with amplitudes in the range from 3 to 120 pN and durations up to 60 s. We distinguished three regimes in the time dependence of the compliance J(t) of the network. These were characterized by specific power laws J(t) approximately t(alpha)(i) (i=1, 2, 3). In the short-time regime (i=1), we observed the exponent alpha1 approximately 0.75. In the long-time regime (i=3), we find that alpha3 approximately 1. For the intermediate-time interval (i=2), we observed a novel dynamic regime: for all actin concentrations and all applied forces, it was characterized by the exponent alpha3 approximately 0.5. In both regimes i=2 and i=3, the compliance depended upon the actin concentration c, such as J approximately c(-gamma)(i) with gamma2 approximately 1.1 and gamma 3 approximately 1.4. Using these results, we calculated the shear modulus in the frequency domain and found that the intermediate-time regime in the t domain corresponds to its plateau behavior. PMID:16485983

  10. 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.

  11. Tip-localized actin polymerization and remodeling, reflected by the localization of ADF, profilin and villin, are fundamental for gravity-sensing and polar growth in characean rhizoids.

    PubMed

    Braun, Markus; Hauslage, Jens; Czogalla, Aleksander; Limbach, Christoph

    2004-07-01

    Polar organization and gravity-oriented, polarized growth of characean rhizoids are dependent on the actin cytoskeleton. In this report, we demonstrate that the prominent center of the Spitzenkörper serves as the apical actin polymerization site in the extending tip. After cytochalasin D-induced disruption of the actin cytoskeleton, the regeneration of actin microfilaments (MFs) starts with the reappearance of a flat, brightly fluorescing actin array in the outermost tip. The actin array rounds up, produces actin MFs that radiate in all directions and is then relocated into its original central position in the center of the Spitzenkörper. The emerging actin MFs rearrange and cross-link to form the delicate, subapical meshwork, which then controls the statolith positioning, re-establishes the tip-high calcium gradient and mediates the reorganization of the Spitzenkörper with its central ER aggregate and the accumulation of secretory vesicles. Tip growth and gravitropic sensing, which includes control of statolith positioning and gravity-induced sedimentation, are not resumed until the original polar actin organization is completely restored. Immunolocalization of the actin-binding proteins, actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) and profilin, which both accumulate in the center of the Spitzenkörper, indicates high actin turnover and gives additional support for the actin-polymerizing function of this central, apical area. Association of villin immunofluorescence with two populations of thick undulating actin cables with uniform polarity underlying rotational cytoplasmic streaming in the basal region suggests that villin is the major actin-bundling protein in rhizoids. Our results provide evidence that the precise coordination of apical actin polymerization and dynamic remodeling of actin MFs by actin-binding proteins play a fundamental role in cell polarization, gravity sensing and gravity-oriented polarized growth of characean rhizoids.

  12. 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.

  13. Stress Enhanced Gelation in α-Actinin-4 Cross-linked Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Norman; Broedersz, Chase; Depken, Martin; Becker, Daniel; Pollak, Martin; Mackintosh, Frederick; Weitz, David

    2012-02-01

    A hallmark of biopolymer networks is their exquisite sensitivity to stress, demonstrated for example, by pronounced nonlinear elastic stiffening. Typically, they also yield under increased static load, providing a mechanism to achieve fluid-like behavior. In this talk, I will demonstrate an unexpected dynamical behavior in biopolymer networks consisting of F-actin cross-linked by a physiological actin binding protein, α-Actinin-4. Applied stress actually enhances gelation of these networks by delaying the onset of structural relaxation and network flow, thereby extending the regime of solid-like behavior to much lower frequencies. By using human kidney disease-associated mutant cross-linkers with varying binding affinities, we propose a molecular origin for this stress-enhanced gelation: It arises from the increased binding affinity of the cross-linker under load, characteristic of catch-bond-like behavior. This property may have important biological implications for intracellular mechanics, representing as it does a qualitatively new class of material behavior.

  14. Semaphorin3a Enhances Endocytosis at Sites of Receptor–F-Actin Colocalization during Growth Cone Collapse

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Alyson E.; Nakamura, Fumio; Kawamoto, Susumu; Goshima, Yoshio; Kalb, Robert G.; Strittmatter, Stephen M.

    2000-01-01

    Axonal growth cone collapse is accompanied by a reduction in filopodial F-actin. We demonstrate here that semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) induces a coordinated rearrangement of Sema3A receptors and F-actin during growth cone collapse. Differential interference contrast microscopy reveals that some sites of Sema3A-induced F-actin reorganization correlate with discrete vacuoles, structures involved in endocytosis. Endocytosis of FITC-dextran by the growth cone is enhanced during Sema3A treatment, and sites of dextran accumulation colocalize with actin-rich vacuoles and ridges of membrane. Furthermore, the Sema3A receptor proteins, neuropilin-1 and plexin, and the Sema3A signaling molecule, rac1, also reorganize to vacuoles and membrane ridges after Sema3A treatment. These data support a model whereby Sema3A stimulates endocytosis by focal and coordinated rearrangement of receptor and cytoskeletal elements. Dextran accumulation is also increased in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) growth cones, in response to ephrin A5, and in RGC and DRG growth cones, in response to myelin and phorbol-ester. Therefore, enhanced endocytosis may be a general principle of physiologic growth cone collapse. We suggest that growth cone collapse is mediated by both actin filament rearrangements and alterations in membrane dynamics. PMID:10769032

  15. In β-actin knockouts, epigenetic reprogramming and rDNA transcription inactivation lead to growth and proliferation defects.

    PubMed

    Almuzzaini, Bader; Sarshad, Aishe A; Rahmanto, Aldwin S; Hansson, Magnus L; Von Euler, Anne; Sangfelt, Olle; Visa, Neus; Farrants, Ann-Kristin Östlund; Percipalle, Piergiorgio

    2016-08-01

    Actin and nuclear myosin 1 (NM1) are regulators of transcription and chromatin organization. Using a genome-wide approach, we report here that β-actin binds intergenic and genic regions across the mammalian genome, associated with both protein-coding and rRNA genes. Within the rDNA, the distribution of β-actin correlated with NM1 and the other subunits of the B-WICH complex, WSTF and SNF2h. In β-actin(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), we found that rRNA synthesis levels decreased concomitantly with drops in RNA polymerase I (Pol I) and NM1 occupancies across the rRNA gene. Reintroduction of wild-type β-actin, in contrast to mutated forms with polymerization defects, efficiently rescued rRNA synthesis underscoring the direct role for a polymerization-competent form of β-actin in Pol I transcription. The rRNA synthesis defects in the β-actin(-/-) MEFs are a consequence of epigenetic reprogramming with up-regulation of the repressive mark H3K4me1 (monomethylation of lys4 on histone H3) and enhanced chromatin compaction at promoter-proximal enhancer (T0 sequence), which disturb binding of the transcription factor TTF1. We propose a novel genome-wide mechanism where the polymerase-associated β-actin synergizes with NM1 to coordinate permissive chromatin with Pol I transcription, cell growth, and proliferation.-Almuzzaini, B., Sarshad, A. A. , Rahmanto, A. S., Hansson, M. L., Von Euler, A., Sangfelt, O., Visa, N., Farrants, A.-K. Ö., Percipalle, P. In β-actin knockouts, epigenetic reprogramming and rDNA transcription inactivation lead to growth and proliferation defects.

  16. The F-actin capping protein is required for hyphal growth and full virulence but is dispensable for septum formation in Botrytis cinerea.

    PubMed

    González-Rodríguez, Victoria E; Garrido, Carlos; Cantoral, Jesús M; Schumacher, Julia

    2016-10-01

    Filamentous (F-) actin is an integral part of the cytoskeleton allowing for cell growth, intracellular motility, and cytokinesis of eukaryotic cells. Its assembly from G-actin monomers and its disassembly are tightly regulated processes involving a number of actin-binding proteins (ABPs) such as F-actin nucleators and cross-linking proteins. F-actin capping protein (CP) is an alpha/beta heterodimer known from yeast and higher eukaryotes to bind to the fast growing ends of the actin filaments stabilizing them. In this study, we identified the orthologs of the two CP subunits, named BcCPA1 and BcCPB1, in the plant pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea and showed that the two proteins physically interact in a yeast two-hybrid approach. GFP-BcCPA1 fusion proteins were functional and localized to the assumed sites of F-actin accumulation, i.e. to the hyphal tips and the sites of actin ring formation. Deletion of bccpa1 had a profound effect on hyphal growth, morphogenesis, and virulence indicating the importance of F-actin capping for an intact actin cytoskeleton. As polarized growth - unlike septum formation - is impaired in the mutants, it can be concluded that the organization and/or localization of actin patches and cables are disturbed rather than the functionality of the actin rings.

  17. The F-actin capping protein is required for hyphal growth and full virulence but is dispensable for septum formation in Botrytis cinerea.

    PubMed

    González-Rodríguez, Victoria E; Garrido, Carlos; Cantoral, Jesús M; Schumacher, Julia

    2016-10-01

    Filamentous (F-) actin is an integral part of the cytoskeleton allowing for cell growth, intracellular motility, and cytokinesis of eukaryotic cells. Its assembly from G-actin monomers and its disassembly are tightly regulated processes involving a number of actin-binding proteins (ABPs) such as F-actin nucleators and cross-linking proteins. F-actin capping protein (CP) is an alpha/beta heterodimer known from yeast and higher eukaryotes to bind to the fast growing ends of the actin filaments stabilizing them. In this study, we identified the orthologs of the two CP subunits, named BcCPA1 and BcCPB1, in the plant pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea and showed that the two proteins physically interact in a yeast two-hybrid approach. GFP-BcCPA1 fusion proteins were functional and localized to the assumed sites of F-actin accumulation, i.e. to the hyphal tips and the sites of actin ring formation. Deletion of bccpa1 had a profound effect on hyphal growth, morphogenesis, and virulence indicating the importance of F-actin capping for an intact actin cytoskeleton. As polarized growth - unlike septum formation - is impaired in the mutants, it can be concluded that the organization and/or localization of actin patches and cables are disturbed rather than the functionality of the actin rings. PMID:27647239

  18. Bidirectional interactions between NOX2-type NADPH oxidase and the F-actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones

    PubMed Central

    Munnamalai, Vidhya; Weaver, Cory J.; Weisheit, Corinne E.; Venkatraman, Prahatha; Agim, Zeynep Sena; Quinn, Mark T.; Suter, Daniel M.

    2014-01-01

    NADPH oxidases are important for neuronal function but detailed subcellular localization studies have not been performed. Here, we provide the first evidence for the presence of functional NOX2-type NADPH oxidase complex in neuronal growth cones and its bidirectional relationship with the actin cytoskeleton. NADPH oxidase inhibition resulted in reduced F-actin content, retrograde F-actin flow, and neurite outgrowth. Stimulation of NADPH oxidase via protein kinase C activation increased levels of hydrogen peroxide in the growth cone periphery. The main enzymatic NADPH oxidase subunit NOX2/gp91phox localized to the growth cone plasma membrane and showed little overlap with the regulatory subunit p40phox. p40phox itself exhibited co-localization with filopodial actin bundles. Differential subcellular fractionation revealed preferential association of NOX2/gp91phox and p40phox with the membrane and the cytoskeletal fraction, respectively. When neurite growth was evoked with beads coated with the cell adhesion molecule apCAM, we observed a significant increase in co-localization of p40phox with NOX2/gp91phox at apCAM adhesion sites. Together, these findings suggest a bidirectional functional relationship between NADPH oxidase activity and the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal growth cones, which contributes to the control of neurite outgrowth. PMID:24702317

  19. 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.

  20. DNA segregation by the bacterial actin AlfA during Bacillus subtilis growth and development.

    PubMed

    Becker, Eric; Herrera, Nick C; Gunderson, Felizza Q; Derman, Alan I; Dance, Amber L; Sims, Jennifer; Larsen, Rachel A; Pogliano, Joe

    2006-12-13

    We here identify a protein (AlfA; actin like filament) that defines a new family of actins that are only distantly related to MreB and ParM. AlfA is required for segregation of Bacillus subtilis plasmid pBET131 (a mini pLS32-derivative) during growth and sporulation. A 3-kb DNA fragment encoding alfA and a downstream gene (alfB) is necessary and sufficient for plasmid stability. AlfA-GFP assembles dynamic cytoskeletal filaments that rapidly turn over (t(1/2)< approximately 45 s) in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. A point mutation (alfA D168A) that completely inhibits AlfA subunit exchange in vivo is strongly defective for plasmid segregation, demonstrating that dynamic polymerization of AlfA is necessary for function. During sporulation, plasmid segregation occurs before septation and independently of the DNA translocase SpoIIIE and the chromosomal Par proteins Soj and Spo0J. The absence of the RacA chromosome anchoring protein reduces the efficiency of plasmid segregation (by about two-fold), suggesting that it might contribute to anchoring the plasmid at the pole during sporulation. Our results suggest that the dynamic polymerization of AlfA mediates plasmid separation during both growth and sporulation.

  1. DNA segregation by the bacterial actin AlfA during Bacillus subtilis growth and development.

    PubMed

    Becker, Eric; Herrera, Nick C; Gunderson, Felizza Q; Derman, Alan I; Dance, Amber L; Sims, Jennifer; Larsen, Rachel A; Pogliano, Joe

    2006-12-13

    We here identify a protein (AlfA; actin like filament) that defines a new family of actins that are only distantly related to MreB and ParM. AlfA is required for segregation of Bacillus subtilis plasmid pBET131 (a mini pLS32-derivative) during growth and sporulation. A 3-kb DNA fragment encoding alfA and a downstream gene (alfB) is necessary and sufficient for plasmid stability. AlfA-GFP assembles dynamic cytoskeletal filaments that rapidly turn over (t(1/2)< approximately 45 s) in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. A point mutation (alfA D168A) that completely inhibits AlfA subunit exchange in vivo is strongly defective for plasmid segregation, demonstrating that dynamic polymerization of AlfA is necessary for function. During sporulation, plasmid segregation occurs before septation and independently of the DNA translocase SpoIIIE and the chromosomal Par proteins Soj and Spo0J. The absence of the RacA chromosome anchoring protein reduces the efficiency of plasmid segregation (by about two-fold), suggesting that it might contribute to anchoring the plasmid at the pole during sporulation. Our results suggest that the dynamic polymerization of AlfA mediates plasmid separation during both growth and sporulation. PMID:17139259

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Activation of myosin V-based motility and F-actin-dependent network formation of endoplasmic reticulum during mitosis.

    PubMed

    Wollert, Torsten; Weiss, Dieter G; Gerdes, Hans-Hermann; Kuznetsov, Sergei A

    2002-11-25

    It is widely believed that microtubule- and F-actin-based transport of cytoplasmic organelles and membrane fusion is down-regulated during mitosis. Here we show that during the transition of Xenopus egg extracts from interphase to metaphase myosin V-driven movement of small globular vesicles along F-actin is strongly inhibited. In contrast, the movement of ER and ER network formation on F-actin is up-regulated in metaphase extracts. Our data demonstrate that myosin V-driven motility of distinct organelles is differently controlled during the cell cycle and suggest an active role of F-actin in partitioning, positioning, and membrane fusion of the ER during cell division. PMID:12438410

  5. Growth inhibition and changes in morphology and actin distribution in Acetabularia acetabulum by phalloidin and phalloidin derivatives.

    PubMed

    Sawitzky, H; Hanfstingl, U; Faulstich, H

    2003-03-01

    Effects on morphology and microfilament structure caused by phalloidin, phallacidin, and some semisynthetic phalloidin derivatives were studied in vegetative cells of the green alga Acetabularia acetabulum (L.) Silva. All phalloidin derivatives (except for phalloidin itself) caused growth stop of the alga after 1 day and (except for the fluorescein-labeled phalloidin) death of the cells after 4-7 days. Hair whorl tip growth and morphology as screened by light microscopy, as well as microfilament structure in tips, suggested that growth stop is correlated with a disorganization of actin filaments similar to that recently described for jasplakinolide (H. Sawitzky, S. Liebe, J. Willingale-Theune, D. Menzel, European Journal of Cell Biology 78: 424-433, 1999). Using rabbit muscle actin as a model target protein, we found that the toxic effects in vivo did not correlate with actin affinity values, suggesting that permeation through membranes must play a role. Indeed, the most lipophilic phalloidin derivatives benzoylphalloidin and dithiolanophalloidin were the most active in causing growth stop at ca. 100 microM. In comparison to the concentration of jasplakinolide required to cause similar effects (<3 microM), the two most active phalloidin derivatives exhibited an activity ca. 30 times lower. Nonetheless, lipophilic phalloidin derivatives can be used in algae, and probably also other cells, to modulate actin dynamics in vivo. In addition, we found that the fluorescent fluorescein isothiocyanate-phalloidin is able to enter living algal cells and stains actin structures brightly. Since it does not suppress actin dynamics, we suggest fluorescein isothiocyanate-phalloidin as a tool for studying rearrangements of actin structures in live cells, e.g., by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruizhe; Carlsson, Anders E.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Nitin; Gardel, Margaret

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

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. Sustainable growth in complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tessone, C. J.; Geipel, M. M.; Schweitzer, F.

    2011-12-01

    Based on the analysis of the dependency network in 18 Java projects, we develop a novel model of network growth which considers both preferential attachment and the addition of new nodes with a heterogeneous distribution of their initial degree, k0. Empirically we find that the cumulative distributions of initial and final degrees in the network follow power law behaviours: 1-P(k0)~k01-α, and 1-P(k)~k1-γ, respectively. For the total number of links as a function of the network size, we find empirically K(N)~Nβ, where βin[1.25, 2] (for small N), while converging to β~1 for large N. This indicates a transition from a growth regime with increasing network density towards a sustainable regime, which prevents a collapse due to ever increasing dependencies. Our theoretical framework allows us to predict relations between the exponents α, β, γ, which also link issues of software engineering and developer activity. These relations are verified by means of computer simulations and empirical investigations. They indicate that the growth of real Open Source Software networks occurs on the edge between two regimes, which are dominated either by the initial degree distribution of added nodes, or by the preferential attachment mechanism. Hence, the heterogeneous degree distribution of newly added nodes, found empirically, is essential to describe the laws of sustainable growth in networks.

  12. Network growth approach to macroevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Shao-Meng; Chen, Yong; Zhang, Pan

    2007-07-01

    We propose a novel network growth model coupled with the competition interaction to simulate macroevolution. Our work shows that competition plays an important role in macroevolution and it is more rational to describe the interaction between species by network structures. Our model presents a complete picture of the development of phyla and the splitting process. It is found that periodic mass extinction occurred in our networks without any extraterrestrial factors and the lifetime distribution of species is very close to the fossil record. We also perturb networks with two scenarios of mass extinctions on different hierarchic levels in order to study their recovery.

  13. Genome-wide RNAi screen for nuclear actin reveals a network of cofilin regulators

    PubMed Central

    Dopie, Joseph; Rajakylä, Eeva K.; Joensuu, Merja S.; Huet, Guillaume; Ferrantelli, Evelina; Xie, Tiao; Jäälinoja, Harri; Jokitalo, Eija; Vartiainen, Maria K.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Nuclear actin plays an important role in many processes that regulate gene expression. Cytoplasmic actin dynamics are tightly controlled by numerous actin-binding proteins, but regulation of nuclear actin has remained unclear. Here, we performed a genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen in Drosophila cells to identify proteins that influence either nuclear polymerization or import of actin. We validate 19 factors as specific hits, and show that Chinmo (known as Bach2 in mammals), SNF4Aγ (Prkag1 in mammals) and Rab18 play a role in nuclear localization of actin in both fly and mammalian cells. We identify several new regulators of cofilin activity, and characterize modulators of both cofilin kinases and phosphatase. For example, Chinmo/Bach2, which regulates nuclear actin levels also in vivo, maintains active cofilin by repressing the expression of the kinase Cdi (Tesk in mammals). Finally, we show that Nup98 and lamin are candidates for regulating nuclear actin polymerization. Our screen therefore reveals new aspects of actin regulation and links nuclear actin to many cellular processes. PMID:26021350

  14. Genome-wide RNAi screen for nuclear actin reveals a network of cofilin regulators.

    PubMed

    Dopie, Joseph; Rajakylä, Eeva K; Joensuu, Merja S; Huet, Guillaume; Ferrantelli, Evelina; Xie, Tiao; Jäälinoja, Harri; Jokitalo, Eija; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2015-07-01

    Nuclear actin plays an important role in many processes that regulate gene expression. Cytoplasmic actin dynamics are tightly controlled by numerous actin-binding proteins, but regulation of nuclear actin has remained unclear. Here, we performed a genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen in Drosophila cells to identify proteins that influence either nuclear polymerization or import of actin. We validate 19 factors as specific hits, and show that Chinmo (known as Bach2 in mammals), SNF4Aγ (Prkag1 in mammals) and Rab18 play a role in nuclear localization of actin in both fly and mammalian cells. We identify several new regulators of cofilin activity, and characterize modulators of both cofilin kinases and phosphatase. For example, Chinmo/Bach2, which regulates nuclear actin levels also in vivo, maintains active cofilin by repressing the expression of the kinase Cdi (Tesk in mammals). Finally, we show that Nup98 and lamin are candidates for regulating nuclear actin polymerization. Our screen therefore reveals new aspects of actin regulation and links nuclear actin to many cellular processes.

  15. Formin-Dependent Synaptic Growth; Evidence that Dlar Signals via Diaphanous to Modulate Synaptic Actin and Dynamic Pioneer Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Pawson, Catherine; Eaton, Benjamin A.; Davis, Graeme W.

    2008-01-01

    The diaphanous gene is the founding member of a family of Diaphanous Related Formin proteins (DRF). We identified diaphanous in a screen for genes that are necessary for the normal growth and stabilization of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Here we demonstrate that diaphanous mutations perturb synaptic growth at the NMJ. Diaphanous protein is present both pre- and postsynaptically. However, genetic rescue experiments in combination with additional genetic interaction experiments support the conclusion that dia is necessary presynaptically for normal NMJ growth. We then document defects in both the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons in dia mutant nerve terminals. In so doing, we define and characterize a population of dynamic pioneer microtubules within the NMJ that are distinct from the bundled core of microtubules identified by the MAP1b-like protein Futsch. Defects in both synaptic actin and dynamic pioneer MTs are correlated with impaired synaptic growth in dia mutants. Finally, we present genetic evidence that Dia functions downstream of the presynaptic receptor tyrosine phosphatase Dlar and the Rho-type GEF trio to control NMJ growth. Based upon the established function of DRFs as Rho-GTPase dependent regulators of the cell cytoskeleton, we propose a model in which Diaphanous links receptor tyrosine phosphatase signaling at the plasma membrane to growth-dependent modulation of the synaptic actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. PMID:18971454

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bernabò, Nicola; 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

  20. IDENTIFICATION OF NOVEL FIBROBLAST GROWTH FACTOR RECEPTOR 3 GENE MUTATIONS IN ACTINIC CHEILITIS

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Annie; Dekker, Nusi; Jordan, Richard C.K.

    2009-01-01

    Objective Activating mutations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) gene are responsible for several craniosynostosis and chondrodysplasia syndromes as well as some human cancers including bladder and cervical carcinoma. Despite a high frequency in some benign skin disorders, FGFR3 mutations have not been reported in cutaneous malignancies. Actinic cheilitis (AC) is a sun-induced premalignancy affecting the lower lip that frequently progresses to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The objective of this study was to determine if FGFR3 gene mutations are present in AC and SCC of the lip. Study Design DNA was extracted and purified from micro-dissected, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of 20 cases of AC and SCC arising in AC. Exons 7, 15, and 17 were PCR amplified and direct sequenced. Results Four novel somatic mutations in the FGFR3 gene were identified: exon 7 mutation 742C→T (amino acid change R248C), exon 15 mutations 1850A→G (D617G) and 1888G→A (V630M), and exon 17 mutation 2056G→A (E686K). Grade of dysplasia did not correlate with presence of mutations. Conclusion The frequency of FGFR3 receptor mutations suggests a functional role for the FGFR3 receptor in the development of epithelial disorders and perhaps a change may contribute to the pathogenesis of some AC and SCC. PMID:19327639

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Actinic Keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  4. Transformation from Spots to Waves in a Model of Actin Pattern Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitelam, Stephen; Bretschneider, Till; Burroughs, Nigel J.

    2009-05-01

    Actin networks in certain single-celled organisms exhibit a complex pattern-forming dynamics that starts with the appearance of static spots of actin on the cell cortex. Spots soon become mobile, executing persistent random walks, and eventually give rise to traveling waves of actin. Here we describe a possible physical mechanism for this distinctive set of dynamic transformations, by equipping an excitable reaction-diffusion model with a field describing the spatial orientation of its chief constituent (which we consider to be actin). The interplay of anisotropic actin growth and spatial inhibition drives a transformation at fixed parameter values from static spots to moving spots to waves.

  5. Transformation from spots to waves in a model of actin pattern formation.

    PubMed

    Whitelam, Stephen; Bretschneider, Till; Burroughs, Nigel J

    2009-05-15

    Actin networks in certain single-celled organisms exhibit a complex pattern-forming dynamics that starts with the appearance of static spots of actin on the cell cortex. Spots soon become mobile, executing persistent random walks, and eventually give rise to traveling waves of actin. Here we describe a possible physical mechanism for this distinctive set of dynamic transformations, by equipping an excitable reaction-diffusion model with a field describing the spatial orientation of its chief constituent (which we consider to be actin). The interplay of anisotropic actin growth and spatial inhibition drives a transformation at fixed parameter values from static spots to moving spots to waves.

  6. Src64 controls a novel actin network required for proper ring canal formation in the Drosophila male germline.

    PubMed

    Eikenes, Åsmund Husabø; Malerød, Lene; Lie-Jensen, Anette; Sem Wegner, Catherine; Brech, Andreas; Liestøl, Knut; Stenmark, Harald; Haglund, Kaisa

    2015-12-01

    In many organisms, germ cells develop as cysts in which cells are interconnected via ring canals (RCs) as a result of incomplete cytokinesis. However, the molecular mechanisms of incomplete cytokinesis remain poorly understood. Here, we address the role of tyrosine phosphorylation of RCs in the Drosophila male germline. We uncover a hierarchy of tyrosine phosphorylation within germline cysts that positively correlates with RC age. The kinase Src64 is responsible for mediating RC tyrosine phosphorylation, and loss of Src64 causes a reduction in RC diameter within germline cysts. Mechanistically, we show that Src64 controls an actin network around the RCs that depends on Abl and the Rac/SCAR/Arp2/3 pathway. The actin network around RCs is required for correct RC diameter in cysts of developing germ cells. We also identify that Src64 is required for proper germ cell differentiation in the Drosophila male germline independent of its role in RC regulation. In summary, we report that Src64 controls actin dynamics to mediate proper RC formation during incomplete cytokinesis during germline cyst development in vivo. PMID:26628094

  7. Src64 controls a novel actin network required for proper ring canal formation in the Drosophila male germline.

    PubMed

    Eikenes, Åsmund Husabø; Malerød, Lene; Lie-Jensen, Anette; Sem Wegner, Catherine; Brech, Andreas; Liestøl, Knut; Stenmark, Harald; Haglund, Kaisa

    2015-12-01

    In many organisms, germ cells develop as cysts in which cells are interconnected via ring canals (RCs) as a result of incomplete cytokinesis. However, the molecular mechanisms of incomplete cytokinesis remain poorly understood. Here, we address the role of tyrosine phosphorylation of RCs in the Drosophila male germline. We uncover a hierarchy of tyrosine phosphorylation within germline cysts that positively correlates with RC age. The kinase Src64 is responsible for mediating RC tyrosine phosphorylation, and loss of Src64 causes a reduction in RC diameter within germline cysts. Mechanistically, we show that Src64 controls an actin network around the RCs that depends on Abl and the Rac/SCAR/Arp2/3 pathway. The actin network around RCs is required for correct RC diameter in cysts of developing germ cells. We also identify that Src64 is required for proper germ cell differentiation in the Drosophila male germline independent of its role in RC regulation. In summary, we report that Src64 controls actin dynamics to mediate proper RC formation during incomplete cytokinesis during germline cyst development in vivo.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Force generation by endocytic actin patches in budding yeast.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Anders E; Bayly, Philip V

    2014-04-15

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

  13. Force Generation by Endocytic Actin Patches in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E.; Bayly, Philip V.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

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

  18. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and the actin network are not required for the stimulation of glucose transport caused by mitochondrial uncoupling: comparison with insulin action.

    PubMed Central

    Tsakiridis, T; Vranic, M; Klip, A

    1995-01-01

    In L6 myotubes insulin stimulates glucose transport through the translocation of glucose transporters GLUT1, GLUT3 and GLUT4 from intracellular stores to the plasma membrane. An intact actin network and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity are required for this process. Glucose transport is also stimulated by the mitochondrial ATP-production uncoupler dinitrophenol. We show here that, in serum-depleted myotubes, dinitrophenol induced translocation of GLUT1 and GLUT4, but not GLUT3. This response was not affected by inhibiting phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase or disassembling the actin network. Insulin, but not dinitrophenol, caused tyrosine phosphorylation of several polypeptides, including the insulin-receptor substrate-1 and mitogen-activated protein kinase. Similarly, insulin, but not dinitrophenol, caused actin reorganization, which was inhibited by wortmannin. We conclude that insulin and dinitrophenol stimulate glucose transport by different mechanisms. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:7619042

  19. Plectin reinforces vascular integrity by mediating crosstalk between the vimentin and the actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Osmanagic-Myers, Selma; Rus, Stefanie; Wolfram, Michael; Brunner, Daniela; Goldmann, Wolfgang H.; Bonakdar, Navid; Fischer, Irmgard; Reipert, Siegfried; Zuzuarregui, Aurora; Walko, Gernot; Wiche, Gerhard

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mutations in the cytoskeletal linker protein plectin result in multisystemic diseases affecting skin and muscle with indications of additional vascular system involvement. To study the mechanisms underlying vascular disorders, we established plectin-deficient endothelial cell and mouse models. We show that apart from perturbing the vimentin cytoskeleton of endothelial cells, plectin deficiency leads to severe distortions of adherens junctions (AJs), as well as tight junctions, accompanied by an upregulation of actin stress fibres and increased cellular contractility. Plectin-deficient endothelial cell layers were more leaky and showed reduced mechanical resilience in fluid-shear stress and mechanical stretch experiments. We suggest that the distorted AJs and upregulated actin stress fibres in plectin-deficient cells are rooted in perturbations of the vimentin cytoskeleton, as similar phenotypes could be mimicked in wild-type cells by disruption of vimentin filaments. In vivo studies in endothelium-restricted conditional plectin-knockout mice revealed significant distortions of AJs in stress-prone aortic arch regions and increased pulmonary vascular leakage. Our study opens a new perspective on cytoskeleton-controlled vascular permeability, where a plectin-organized vimentin scaffold keeps actomyosin contractility ‘in-check’ and maintains AJ homeostasis. PMID:26519478

  20. The NAV2 homolog Sickie regulates F-actin-mediated axonal growth in Drosophila mushroom body neurons via the non-canonical Rac-Cofilin pathway.

    PubMed

    Abe, Takashi; Yamazaki, Daisuke; Murakami, Satoshi; Hiroi, Makoto; Nitta, Yohei; Maeyama, Yuko; Tabata, Tetsuya

    2014-12-01

    The Rac-Cofilin pathway is essential for cytoskeletal remodeling to control axonal development. Rac signals through the canonical Rac-Pak-LIMK pathway to suppress Cofilin-dependent axonal growth and through a Pak-independent non-canonical pathway to promote outgrowth. Whether this non-canonical pathway converges to promote Cofilin-dependent F-actin reorganization in axonal growth remains elusive. We demonstrate that Sickie, a homolog of the human microtubule-associated protein neuron navigator 2, cell-autonomously regulates axonal growth of Drosophila mushroom body (MB) neurons via the non-canonical pathway. Sickie was prominently expressed in the newborn F-actin-rich axons of MB neurons. A sickie mutant exhibited axonal growth defects, and its phenotypes were rescued by exogenous expression of Sickie. We observed phenotypic similarities and genetic interactions among sickie and Rac-Cofilin signaling components. Using the MARCM technique, distinct F-actin and phospho-Cofilin patterns were detected in developing axons mutant for sickie and Rac-Cofilin signaling regulators. The upregulation of Cofilin function alleviated the axonal defect of the sickie mutant. Epistasis analyses revealed that Sickie suppresses the LIMK overexpression phenotype and is required for Pak-independent Rac1 and Slingshot phosphatase to counteract LIMK. We propose that Sickie regulates F-actin-mediated axonal growth via the non-canonical Rac-Cofilin pathway in a Slingshot-dependent manner.

  1. Dynamin at actin tails.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunkyung; De Camilli, Pietro

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  3. Guardians of the actin monomer.

    PubMed

    Xue, Bo; Robinson, Robert C

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Actinic Cheilitis

    MedlinePlus

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

  9. A chemo-mechanical constitutive model for transiently cross-linked actin networks and a theoretical assessment of their viscoelastic behaviour.

    PubMed

    Fallqvist, B; Kroon, M

    2013-04-01

    Biological materials can undergo large deformations and also show viscoelastic behaviour. One such material is the network of actin filaments found in biological cells, giving the cell much of its mechanical stiffness. A theory for predicting the relaxation behaviour of actin networks cross-linked with the cross-linker α-actinin is proposed. The constitutive model is based on a continuum approach involving a neo-Hookean material model, modified in terms of concentration of chemically activated cross-links. The chemical model builds on work done by Spiros (Doctoral thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 1998) and has been modified to respond to mechanical stress experienced by the network. The deformation is split into a viscous and elastic part, and a thermodynamically motivated rate equation is assigned for the evolution of viscous deformation. The model predictions were evaluated for stress relaxation tests at different levels of strain and found to be in good agreement with experimental results for actin networks cross-linked with α-actinin. PMID:22623110

  10. 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

  11. Organized F-actin is essential for normal trichome morphogenesis in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed Central

    Szymanski, D B; Marks, M D; Wick, S M

    1999-01-01

    Actin microfilaments form a three-dimensional cytoskeletal network throughout the cell and constitute an essential throughway for organelle and vesicle transport. Development of Arabidopsis trichomes, unicellular structures derived from the epidermis, is being used as a genetic system in which to study actin-dependent growth in plant cells. The present study indicates that filamentous actin (F-actin) plays an important role during Arabidopsis trichome morphogenesis. For example, immunolocalization of actin filaments during trichome morphogenesis identified rearrangements of the cytoskeletal structure during the development of the mature cell. Moreover, pharmacological experiments indicate that there are distinct requirements for actin- and microtubule-dependent function during trichome morphogenesis. The F-actin-disrupting drug cytochalasin D does not affect the establishment of polarity during trichome development; however, maintenance and coordination of the normal pattern of cell growth are very sensitive to this drug. In contrast, oryzalin, an agent that depolymerizes microtubules, severely inhibits cell polarization. Furthermore, cytochalasin D treatment phenocopies a known class of mutations that cause distorted trichome morphology. Results of an analysis of cell shape and microfilament structure in wild-type, mutant, and drug-treated trichomes are consistent with a role for actin in the maintenance and coordination of an established growth pattern. PMID:10590162

  12. Identification of a hormone-regulated dynamic nuclear actin network associated with estrogen receptor alpha in human breast cancer cell nuclei.

    PubMed

    Ambrosino, Concetta; Tarallo, Roberta; Bamundo, Angela; Cuomo, Danila; Franci, Gianluigi; Nassa, Giovanni; Paris, Ornella; Ravo, Maria; Giovane, Alfonso; Zambrano, Nicola; Lepikhova, Tatiana; Jänne, Olli A; Baumann, Marc; Nyman, Tuula A; Cicatiello, Luigi; Weisz, Alessandro

    2010-06-01

    Estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) is a modular protein of the steroid/nuclear receptor family of transcriptional regulators that upon binding to the hormone undergoes structural changes, resulting in its nuclear translocation and docking to specific chromatin sites. In the nucleus, ERalpha assembles in multiprotein complexes that act as final effectors of estrogen signaling to the genome through chromatin remodeling and epigenetic modifications, leading to dynamic and coordinated regulation of hormone-responsive genes. Identification of the molecular partners of ERalpha and understanding their combinatory interactions within functional complexes is a prerequisite to define the molecular basis of estrogen control of cell functions. To this end, affinity purification was applied to map and characterize the ERalpha interactome in hormone-responsive human breast cancer cell nuclei. MCF-7 cell clones expressing human ERalpha fused to a tandem affinity purification tag were generated and used to purify native nuclear ER-containing complexes by IgG-Sepharose affinity chromatography and glycerol gradient centrifugation. Purified complexes were analyzed by two-dimensional DIGE and mass spectrometry, leading to the identification of a ligand-dependent multiprotein complex comprising beta-actin, myosins, and several proteins involved in actin filament organization and dynamics and/or known to participate in actin-mediated regulation of gene transcription, chromatin dynamics, and ribosome biogenesis. Time course analyses indicated that complexes containing ERalpha and actin are assembled in the nucleus early after receptor activation by ligands, and gene knockdown experiments showed that gelsolin and the nuclear isoform of myosin 1c are key determinants for assembly and/or stability of these complexes. Based on these results, we propose that the actin network plays a role in nuclear ERalpha actions in breast cancer cells, including coordinated regulation of target gene

  13. Dynamic actin structures stabilized by profilin.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. β1 and β3 Integrins Cooperate to Induce Syndecan-4-Containing Cross-linked Actin Networks in Human Trabecular Meshwork Cells

    PubMed Central

    Filla, Mark S.; Woods, Anne; Kaufman, Paul L.; Peters, Donna M.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose To characterize the molecular composition of cross-linked actin networks (CLANs) and the regulation of their formation by integrins in normal human trabecular meshwork (TM) cells. CLANs have been observed in steroid-treated and glaucomatous TM cells and have been suggested to contribute to decreased outflow facility by altering the contractility of the TM. Methods Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to identify molecular components of CLANs and quantitate CLAN formation in HTM cells plated on coverslips coated with various extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins (fibronectin, types I and IV collagen, and vitronectin), vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, or activating antibodies against β1, β3, or α2β1 integrins. These integrin antibodies were also used as soluble ligands. Results CLAN vertices contained the actin-binding proteins α-actinin and filamin and the signaling molecules syndecan-4 and PIP2. CLANs lacked Arp3 and cortactin. CLAN formation was dependent on the ECM substrate and was significantly higher on fibronectin and VCAM-1 compared with vitronectin, types I or IV collagen. Adsorbed β1 integrin antibodies also induced CLANs, whereas adsorbed β3 or α2β1 integrin antibodies did not. Soluble β3 integrin antibodies, however, induced CLANs and actually enhanced CLAN formation in cells spread on fibronectin, VCAM-1, type I or type IV collagen, or β1 integrin antibodies. Conclusions CLANs are unique actin-branched networks whose formation can be regulated by β1 and β3 integrin signaling pathways. Thus, integrin-mediated signaling events can modulate the organization of the actin cytoskeleton in TM cells and hence could participate in regulating cytoskeletal events previously demonstrated to be involved in controlling outflow facility. PMID:16639003

  16. The actin-binding proteins eps8 and gelsolin have complementary roles in regulating the growth and stability of mechanosensory hair bundles of mammalian cochlear outer hair cells.

    PubMed

    Olt, Jennifer; Mburu, Philomena; Johnson, Stuart L; Parker, Andy; Kuhn, Stephanie; Bowl, Mike; Marcotti, Walter; Brown, Steve D M

    2014-01-01

    Sound transduction depends upon mechanosensitive channels localized on the hair-like bundles that project from the apical surface of cochlear hair cells. Hair bundles show a stair-case structure composed of rows of stereocilia, and each stereocilium contains a core of tightly-packed and uniformly-polarized actin filaments. The growth and maintenance of the stereociliary actin core are dynamically regulated. Recently, it was shown that the actin-binding protein gelsolin is expressed in the stereocilia of outer hair cells (OHCs) and in its absence they become long and straggly. Gelsolin is part of a whirlin scaffolding protein complex at the stereocilia tip, which has been shown to interact with other actin regulatory molecules such as Eps8. Here we investigated the physiological effects associated with the absence of gelsolin and its possible overlapping role with Eps8. We found that, in contrast to Eps8, gelsolin does not affect mechanoelectrical transduction during immature stages of development. Moreover, OHCs from gelsolin knockout mice were able to mature into fully functional sensory receptors as judged by the normal resting membrane potential and basolateral membrane currents. Mechanoelectrical transducer current in gelsolin-Eps8 double knockout mice showed a profile similar to that observed in the single mutants for Eps8. We propose that gelsolin has a non-overlapping role with Eps8. While Eps8 is mainly involved in the initial growth of stereocilia in both inner hair cells (IHCs) and OHCs, gelsolin is required for the maintenance of mature hair bundles of low-frequency OHCs after the onset of hearing. PMID:24475274

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Actinic Keratoses

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ichimura, Koichiro; Kurihara, Hidetake; Sakai, Tatsuo

    2007-09-01

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

  3. Optogenetic Control of PIP3: PIP3 Is Sufficient to Induce the Actin-Based Active Part of Growth Cones and Is Regulated via Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Kakumoto, Toshiyuki; Nakata, Takao

    2013-01-01

    Phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) is highly regulated in a spatiotemporal manner and plays multiple roles in individual cells. However, the local dynamics and primary functions of PIP3 in developing neurons remain unclear because of a lack of techniques for manipulating PIP3 spatiotemporally. We addressed this issue by combining optogenetic control and observation of endogenous PIP3 signaling. Endogenous PIP3 was abundant in actin-rich structures such as growth cones and “waves”, and PIP3-rich plasma membranes moved actively within growth cones. To study the role of PIP3 in developing neurons, we developed a PI3K photoswitch that can induce production of PIP3 at specific locations upon blue light exposure. We succeeded in producing PIP3 locally in mouse hippocampal neurons. Local PIP3 elevation at neurite tips did not induce neurite elongation, but it was sufficient to induce the formation of filopodia and lamellipodia. Interestingly, ectopic PIP3 elevation alone activated membranes to form actin-based structures whose behavior was similar to that of growth-cone-like “waves”. We also found that endocytosis regulates effective PIP3 concentration at plasma membranes. These results revealed the local dynamics and primary functions of PIP3, providing fundamental information about PIP3 signaling in neurons. PMID:23951027

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2011-10-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Adaptive importance sampling for network growth models

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Susan P.

    2016-01-01

    Network Growth Models such as Preferential Attachment and Duplication/Divergence are popular generative models with which to study complex networks in biology, sociology, and computer science. However, analyzing them within the framework of model selection and statistical inference is often complicated and computationally difficult, particularly when comparing models that are not directly related or nested. In practice, ad hoc methods are often used with uncertain results. If possible, the use of standard likelihood-based statistical model selection techniques is desirable. With this in mind, we develop an Adaptive Importance Sampling algorithm for estimating likelihoods of Network Growth Models. We introduce the use of the classic Plackett-Luce model of rankings as a family of importance distributions. Updates to importance distributions are performed iteratively via the Cross-Entropy Method with an additional correction for degeneracy/over-fitting inspired by the Minimum Description Length principle. This correction can be applied to other estimation problems using the Cross-Entropy method for integration/approximate counting, and it provides an interpretation of Adaptive Importance Sampling as iterative model selection. Empirical results for the Preferential Attachment model are given, along with a comparison to an alternative established technique, Annealed Importance Sampling. PMID:27182098

  7. Employment Growth through Labor Flow Networks

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23658682

  8. 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.

  9. Downregulation of the DNA repair enzyme apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 stimulates transforming growth factor-β1 production and promotes actin rearrangement.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Yuri; Yamamori, Tohru; Yasui, Hironobu; Inanami, Osamu

    2015-05-22

    The DNA repair enzyme apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) plays a central role in base excision repair and functions as a reductive activator of various transcription factors. Multiple other functionalities have been ascribed to APE1 in addition to these major functions. A recent study showed that APE1 knockdown upregulated the expression of a set of genes related to extracellular matrix (ECM) production, indicating an additional novel biological role for this enzyme. Based on this finding, we have investigated the effect of APE1 downregulation on ECM-related gene expression and its biological consequences. Endogenous APE1 expression was downregulated in human cervical carcinoma HeLa cells and human lung carcinoma A549 cells using siRNA. When the expression of six ECM-related genes (TGFB1, LAMC1, FN1, COL1A1, COL3A1, and COL4A1) was evaluated, we found that APE1 knockdown upregulated the expression of TGFB1 in both cell lines. APE1 downregulation promoted actin rearrangement, inducing F-actin accumulation in HeLa cells and the dissipation of stress fibers in A549 cells. We also discovered that APE1 knockdown enhanced cellular motility in A549 cells, which was suppressed by the inhibition of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 signaling. These results suggested that APE1 controls the organization of actin cytoskeleton through the regulation of TGF-β1 expression, providing novel insights into the biological significance of APE1. PMID:25858321

  10. [Actinic Keratosis].

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  11. Coordination of Actin- and Microtubule-Based Cytoskeletons Supports Transport of Spermatids and Residual Bodies/Phagosomes During Spermatogenesis in the Rat Testis.

    PubMed

    Tang, Elizabeth I; Lee, Will M; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-04-01

    Germ cell transport across the seminiferous epithelium during spermatogenesis requires the intricate coordination of cell junctions, signaling proteins, and both actin- and microtubule (MT)-based cytoskeletons. Although the involvement of cytoskeletons in germ cell transport has been suggested, the precise mechanism(s) remains elusive. Based on growing evidence that actin and MT interactions underlie fundamental cellular processes, such as cell motility, it is unlikely that actin- and MT-based cytoskeletons work independently to regulate germ cell transport in the testis. Using rats treated with adjudin, a potential male contraceptive that disrupts spermatid adhesion and transport in the testis, as a study model, we show herein that actin- and MT-based cytoskeletons are both necessary for transport of spermatids and residual bodies/phagosomes across the seminiferous epithelium in adult rat testes. Analysis of intratubular expression of F-actin and tubulin revealed disruption of both actin and MT networks, concomitant with misdirected spermatids and phagosomes in rats treated with adjudin. Actin regulatory proteins, epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8 and actin-related protein 3, were mislocalized and down-regulated at the actin-rich anchoring junction between germ and Sertoli cells (apical ectoplasmic specialization) after adjudin treatment. Nonreceptor tyrosine kinase p-FAK-Tyr(407), known to regulate F-actin nucleation via actin-related protein 3, was also mislocalized and down-regulated at the apical ectoplasmic specialization, corroborating the observation of actin cytoskeleton disruption. Additionally, spatiotemporal expression of MT regulatory protein end-binding protein 1, shown to be involved in MT-actin cross talk herein, was also disrupted after adjudin treatment. In summary, spermatid/phagosome transport across the epithelium during spermatogenesis requires the coordination between actin- and MT-based cytoskeletons.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Actin-resistant DNAse I Expression From Oncolytic Adenovirus Enadenotucirev Enhances Its Intratumoral Spread and Reduces Tumor Growth.

    PubMed

    Tedcastle, Alison; Illingworth, Sam; Brown, Alice; Seymour, Leonard W; Fisher, Kerry D

    2016-04-01

    Spread of oncolytic viruses through tumor tissue is essential to effective virotherapy. Interstitial matrix is thought to be a significant barrier to virus particle convection between "islands" of tumor cells. One way to address this is to encode matrix-degrading enzymes within oncolytic viruses, for secretion from infected cells. To test the hypothesis that extracellular DNA provides an important barrier, we assessed the ability of DNase to promote virus spread. Nonreplicating Ad5 vectors expressing actin-resistant DNase (aDNAse I), proteinase K (PK), hyaluronidase (rhPH20), and chondroitinase ABC (CABC) were injected into established DLD human colorectal adenocarcinoma xenografts, transcomplemented with a replicating Ad5 virus. Each enzyme improved oncolysis by the replicating adenovirus, with no evidence of tumor cells being shed into the bloodstream. aDNAse I and rhPH20 hyaluronidase were then cloned into conditionally-replicating group B adenovirus, Enadenotucirev (EnAd). EnAd encoding each enzyme showed significantly better antitumor efficacy than the parental virus, with the aDNAse I-expressing virus showing improved spread. Both DNase and hyaluronidase activity was still measurable 32 days postinfection. This is the first time that extracellular DNA has been implicated as a barrier for interstitial virus spread, and suggests that oncolytic viruses expressing aDNAse I may be promising candidates for clinical translation. PMID:26708004

  18. Actin-resistant DNAse I Expression From Oncolytic Adenovirus Enadenotucirev Enhances Its Intratumoral Spread and Reduces Tumor Growth.

    PubMed

    Tedcastle, Alison; Illingworth, Sam; Brown, Alice; Seymour, Leonard W; Fisher, Kerry D

    2016-04-01

    Spread of oncolytic viruses through tumor tissue is essential to effective virotherapy. Interstitial matrix is thought to be a significant barrier to virus particle convection between "islands" of tumor cells. One way to address this is to encode matrix-degrading enzymes within oncolytic viruses, for secretion from infected cells. To test the hypothesis that extracellular DNA provides an important barrier, we assessed the ability of DNase to promote virus spread. Nonreplicating Ad5 vectors expressing actin-resistant DNase (aDNAse I), proteinase K (PK), hyaluronidase (rhPH20), and chondroitinase ABC (CABC) were injected into established DLD human colorectal adenocarcinoma xenografts, transcomplemented with a replicating Ad5 virus. Each enzyme improved oncolysis by the replicating adenovirus, with no evidence of tumor cells being shed into the bloodstream. aDNAse I and rhPH20 hyaluronidase were then cloned into conditionally-replicating group B adenovirus, Enadenotucirev (EnAd). EnAd encoding each enzyme showed significantly better antitumor efficacy than the parental virus, with the aDNAse I-expressing virus showing improved spread. Both DNase and hyaluronidase activity was still measurable 32 days postinfection. This is the first time that extracellular DNA has been implicated as a barrier for interstitial virus spread, and suggests that oncolytic viruses expressing aDNAse I may be promising candidates for clinical translation.

  19. 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

  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. Reconstitution and Protein Composition Analysis of Endocytic Actin Patches

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Analysis of Network Topologies Underlying Ethylene Growth Response Kinetics.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  9. 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

  10. MicroRNA-584 and the Protein Phosphatase and Actin Regulator 1 (PHACTR1), a New Signaling Route through Which Transforming Growth Factor-β Mediates the Migration and Actin Dynamics of Breast Cancer Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Fils-Aimé, Nadège; Dai, Meiou; Guo, Jimin; El-Mousawi, Mayada; Kahramangil, Bora; Neel, Jean-Charles; Lebrun, Jean-Jacques

    2013-01-01

    TGF-β plays an important role in breast cancer progression as a prometastatic factor, notably through enhancement of cell migration. It is becoming clear that microRNAs, a new class of small regulatory molecules, also play crucial roles in mediating tumor formation and progression. We found TGF-β to down-regulate the expression of the microRNA miR-584 in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, we identified PHACTR1, an actin-binding protein, to be positively regulated by TGF-β in a miR-584-dependent manner. Moreover, we found TGF-β-mediated down-regulation of miR-584 and increased expression of PHACTR1 to be required for TGF-β-induced cell migration of breast cancer cells. Indeed, both overexpression of miR-584 and knockdown of PHACTR1 resulted in a drastic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and reduced TGF-β-induced cell migration. Our data highlight a novel signaling route whereby TGF-β silences the expression of miR-584, resulting in enhanced PHACTR1 expression, and further leading to actin rearrangement and breast cancer cell migration. PMID:23479725

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

    PubMed

    Chesarone, Melissa A; Goode, Bruce L

    2009-02-01

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

  12. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

    IB at the leading edge of E. histolytica. ABP-120 organizes F-actin in a network and myosin IB participates in the pseudopod formation. Similar approaches using T. vaginalis resulted in the discovery of an actin-binding protein that participate in the F-actin reorganization during adhesion of parasites to target cells. This protein is homologous to alpha-actinin from other eukaryotic cells. Finally, by using cell biology approaches, F-actin was observed in the cytoplasm as well as in the nucleus of Dinoflagellates. The recent developments in the molecular genetics of protozoa will provide new insights to understand the roles of actin-binding proteins during cytoskeleton activities.

  15. Force response and actin remodeling (agglomeration) in fibroblasts due to lateral indentation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shengyuan; Saif, M Taher A

    2007-01-01

    We report the loading and unloading force response of single living adherent fibroblasts due to large lateral indentation obtained by a two-component microelectromechanical systems force sensor. Strong hysteretic force response is observed for all the tested cells. For the loading process, the force response is linear (often with small initial non-linearity) to a deformation scale comparable to the undeformed cell size, followed by plastic yielding. In situ visualization of actin fibers by tagging with green fluorescent protein indicates that during the indentation process, actin network possibly decomposes irreversibly at discrete locations where well-defined circular actin agglomerates appear all over the cell, which explains the irreversibility of the force response. Similar agglomeration is observed when the cell is compressed laterally by a micro plate. The distribution pattern of the agglomerates strongly correlates with the arrangement of the actin fibers of the pre-indented cell. The size of the agglomerates increases with time as t(alpha), initially with alpha=2-3 followed by alpha=0.5-1. The higher growth rate suggests influx of actin into the agglomerates. The slower rate suggests a diffusive spreading, but the diffusion constant is two orders of magnitude lower than that of an actin monomer through the cytoplasm. Actin agglomeration has previously been observed due to biochemical treatment, gamma-radiation, and ischemic injury, and has been identified as a precursor to cell death. We believe this is the first evidence of actin agglomeration due to mechanical indentation/compression. The study demonstrates that living cells may initiate similar functionalities in response to dissimilar mechanical and biochemical stimuli.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tsai, Feng-Ching; Koenderink, Gijsje Hendrika

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Network meta-analysis of the outcome 'participant complete clearance' in nonimmunosuppressed participants of eight interventions for actinic keratosis: a follow-up on a Cochrane review.

    PubMed

    Gupta, A K; Paquet, M

    2013-08-01

    The conclusions of pairwise meta-analyses of interventions for actinic keratosis (AK) are limited due to the lack of direct comparison between some interventions. Consequently, we performed a network meta-analysis for eight treatments [5-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA)-photodynamic therapy (PDT), cryotherapy, diclofenac 3% in 2·5% hyaluronic acid (DCF/HA), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) 0·5% or 5·0%, imiquimod (IMI) 5%, ingenol mebutate (IMB) 0·015-0·05%, methyl aminolaevulinate (MAL)-PDT and placebo/vehicle (including placebo-PDT)] to determine their relative efficacies. As part of a prior Cochrane systematic review, different databases and grey literature were searched for randomized controlled trials up to April 2012. The inclusion criteria were parallel-group studies with nonimmunosuppressed participants: (i) reporting 'participant complete clearance' and (ii) comparing at least two of the interventions. Thirty-two publications met the criteria and they included the following number of individual or pooled studies (n) and total number of participants (N) for the different interventions: 5-FU 0·5% (n = 4, N = 169), 5-FU 5·0% (n = 2, N = 44), ALA-PDT (n = 6, N = 739), cryotherapy (n = 2, N = 174), DCF/HA (n = 5, N = 299), IMI (n = 14, N = 1411), IMB (n = 3, N = 560), MAL-PDT (n = 7, N = 557) and placebo (n = 32, N = 2520). Network analyses using a random-effects Bayesian model were carried out with the software ADDIS v1.16.1. The interventions were ranked as follows based on calculated probabilities and odd ratios: 5-FU > ALA-PDT ≈ IMI ≈ IMB ≈ MAL-PDT > cryotherapy > DCF/HA > placebo. This efficacy ranking was obtained based on the current available data on 'participant complete clearance' from randomized controlled trials and the analysis model used. However, several other factors should also be considered when prescribing a treatment for AK.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  4. 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

  5. L1-dependent neuritogenesis involves ankyrinB that mediates L1-CAM coupling with retrograde actin flow.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Kazunari; Yoshihara, Fumie; Tojima, Takuro; Ooashi, Noriko; Yoon, Woohyun; Mikoshiba, Katsuhiko; Bennett, Vann; Kamiguchi, Hiroyuki

    2003-12-01

    The cell adhesion molecule L1 (L1-CAM) plays critical roles in neurite growth. Its cytoplasmic domain (L1CD) binds to ankyrins that associate with the spectrin-actin network. This paper demonstrates that L1-CAM interactions with ankyrinB (but not with ankyrinG) are involved in the initial formation of neurites. In the membranous protrusions surrounding the soma before neuritogenesis, filamentous actin (F-actin) and ankyrinB continuously move toward the soma (retrograde flow). Bead-tracking experiments show that ankyrinB mediates L1-CAM coupling with retrograde F-actin flow in these perisomatic structures. Ligation of the L1-CAM ectodomain by an immobile substrate induces L1CD-ankyrinB binding and the formation of stationary ankyrinB clusters. Neurite initiation preferentially occurs at the site of these clusters. In contrast, ankyrinB is involved neither in L1-CAM coupling with F-actin flow in growth cones nor in L1-based neurite elongation. Our results indicate that ankyrinB promotes neurite initiation by acting as a component of the clutch module that transmits traction force generated by F-actin flow to the extracellular substrate via L1-CAM.

  6. 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. PMID:26448645

  7. 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.

  8. Regulation of cellular actin architecture by S100A10.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-15

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

  9. 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

  10. Dynamic Localization of G-actin During Membrane Protrusion in Neuronal Motility

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi Wai; Vitriol, Eric A.; Shim, Sangwoo; Wise, Ariel L.; Velayutham, Radhi P.; Zheng, James Q.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Background Actin-based cell motility is fundamental for the development, function, and malignant events of eukaryotic organisms. During neural development, axonal growth cones depend on rapid assembly and disassembly of actin filaments (F-actin) for their guided extension to specific targets for wiring. Monomeric globular actin (G-actin) is the building block for F-actin but is not considered to play a direct role in spatiotemporal control of actin dynamics in cell motility. Results Here we report that a pool of G-actin dynamically localizes to the leading edge of growth cones and neuroblastoma cells to spatially elevate the G-/F-actin ratio that drives membrane protrusion and cell movement. Loss of G-actin localization leads to the cessation and retraction of membrane protrusions. Moreover, G-actin localization occurs asymmetrically in growth cones during attractive turning. Finally, we identify the actin monomer binding proteins profilin and thymosin β4 as key molecules that localize actin monomers to the leading edge of lamellipodia for their motility. Conclusions Our results suggest that dynamic localization of G-actin provides a novel mechanism to regulate the spatiotemporal actin dynamics underlying membrane protrusion in cell locomotion and growth cone chemotaxis. PMID:23746641

  11. Actin in Herpesvirus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Kari L.; Baines, Joel D.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hansen, Scott D; Mullins, R Dyche

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  14. Actin Rings of Power.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-20

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-02-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Lord, Andrew; Soppera, Andrea; Jacquet, Arnaud

    2016-03-01

    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. PMID:26809568

  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. The impact of capacity growth in national telecommunications networks.

    PubMed

    Lord, Andrew; Soppera, Andrea; Jacquet, Arnaud

    2016-03-01

    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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-20

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

  4. Network effects in a human capital based economic growth model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaz Martins, Teresa; Araújo, Tanya; Augusta Santos, Maria; St Aubyn, Miguel

    2009-06-01

    We revisit a recently introduced agent model [ACS, 11, 99 (2008)], where economic growth is a consequence of education (human capital formation) and innovation, and investigate the influence of the agents’ social network, both on an agent’s decision to pursue education and on the output of new ideas. Regular and random networks are considered. The results are compared with the predictions of a mean field (representative agent) model.

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

    PubMed

    Hartwig, J H; Shevlin, P

    1986-09-01

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

  6. Abnormal Growth Factor/Cytokine Network in Gastric Cancer

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Gastric cancer cells express a broad spectrum of the growth factor/cytokine receptor systems that organize the complex interaction between cancer cells and stromal cells in tumor microenvironment, which confers cell growth, apoptosis, morphogenesis, angiogenesis, progression and metastasis. However, these abnormal growth factor/cytokine networks differ in the two histological types of gastric cancer. Importantly, activation of nuclear factor-kB pathway by Helicobacter pylori infection may act as a key player for induction of growth factor/cytokine networks in gastritis and pathogenesis of gastric cancer. Better understanding of these events will no doubt provide new approaches for biomarkers of diagnosis and effective therapeutic targeting of gastric cancer. PMID:19308687

  7. Gibberellins and DELLAs: central nodes in growth regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Claeys, Hannes; De Bodt, Stefanie; Inzé, Dirk

    2014-04-01

    Gibberellins (GAs) are growth-promoting phytohormones that were crucial in breeding improved semi-dwarf varieties during the green revolution. However, the molecular basis for GA-induced growth stimulation is poorly understood. In this review, we use light-regulated hypocotyl elongation as a case study, combined with a meta-analysis of available transcriptome data, to discuss the role of GAs as central nodes in networks connecting environmental inputs to growth. These networks are highly tissue-specific, with dynamic and rapid regulation that mostly occurs at the protein level, directly affecting the activity and transcription of effectors. New systems biology approaches addressing the role of GAs in growth should take these properties into account, combining tissue-specific interactomics, transcriptomics and modeling, to provide essential knowledge to fuel a second green revolution.

  8. Network effect of knowledge spillover: Scale-free networks stimulate R&D activities and accelerate economic growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konno, Tomohiko

    2016-09-01

    We study how knowledge spillover networks affect research and development (R&D) activities and economic growth. For this purpose, we extend a Schumpeterian growth model to the one on networks that depict the knowledge spillover relationships of R&D. We show that scale-free networks stimulate R&D activities and accelerate economic growth.

  9. 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. PMID:26764747

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [Actin in the wound healing process].

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Direct dynamin–actin interactions regulate the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A syndecan-4 binding peptide derived from laminin 5 uses a novel PKCε pathway to induce cross-linked actin network (CLAN) formation in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells.

    PubMed

    Filla, Mark S; Clark, Ross; Peters, Donna M

    2014-10-01

    In this study, we examined the role(s) of syndecan-4 in regulating the formation of an actin geodesic dome structure called a cross-linked actin network (CLAN) in which syndecan-4 has previously been localized. CLANs have been described in several different cell types, but they have been most widely studied in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells where they may play a key role in controlling intraocular pressure by regulating aqueous humor outflow from the eye. In this study we show that a loss of cell surface synedcan-4 significantly reduces CLAN formation in HTM cells. Analysis of HTM cultures treated with or without dexamethasone shows that laminin 5 deposition within the extracellular matrix is increased by glucocorticoid treatment and that a laminin 5-derived, syndecan-4-binding peptide (PEP75), induces CLAN formation in TM cells. This PEP75-induced CLAN formation was inhibited by heparin and the broad spectrum PKC inhibitor Ro-31-7549. In contrast, the more specific PKCα inhibitor Gö 6976 had no effect, thus excluding PKCα as a downstream effector of syndecan-4 signaling. Analysis of PKC isozyme expression showed that HTM cells also expressed both PKCγ and PKCε. Cells treated with a PKCε agonist formed CLANs while a PKCα/γ agonist had no effect. These data suggest that syndecan-4 is essential for CLAN formation in HTM cells and that a novel PKCε-mediated signaling pathway can regulate formation of this unique actin structure. PMID:25128150

  18. A syndecan-4 binding peptide derived from laminin 5 uses a novel PKCε pathway to induce cross-linked actin network (CLAN) formation in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells

    PubMed Central

    Filla, Mark S.; Clark, Ross; Peters, Donna M.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we examined the role(s) of syndecan-4 in regulating the formation of an actin geodesic dome structure called a cross-linked actin network (CLAN) in which syndecan-4 has previously been localized. CLANs have been described in several different cell types, but they have been most widely studied in human trabecular meshwork (HTM) cells where they may play a key role in controlling intraocular pressure by regulating aqueous humor outflow from the eye. In this study we show that a loss of cell surface synedcan-4 significantly reduces CLAN formation in HTM cells. Analysis of HTM cultures treated with or without dexamethasone shows that laminin 5 deposition within the extracellular matrix is increased by glucocorticoid treatment and that a laminin 5-derived, syndecan-4-binding peptide (PEP75), induces CLAN formation in TM cells. This PEP75-induced CLAN formation was inhibited by heparin and the broad spectrum PKC inhibitor Ro-31-7549. In contrast, the more specific PKCα inhibitor Go 6976 had no effect, thus excluding PKCα as a downstream effector of syndecan-4 signaling. Analysis of PKC isozyme expression showed that HTM cells also expressed both PKCγ and PKCε. Cells treated with a PKCε agonist formed CLANs while a PKCα/γ agonist had no effect. These data suggest that syndecan-4 is essential for CLAN formation in HTM cells and that a novel PKCε-mediated signaling pathway can regulate formation of this unique actin structure. PMID:25128150

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  20. Excitable actin dynamics in lamellipodial protrusion and retraction.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Moseley, James B.; Goode, Bruce L.

    2006-01-01

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

  2. A Network Meta-Analysis of the Relative Efficacy of Treatments for Actinic Keratosis of the Face or Scalp in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Vegter, Stefan; Tolley, Keith

    2014-01-01

    Background Several treatments are available for actinic keratosis (AK) on the face and scalp. Most treatment modalities were compared to placebo and therefore little is known on their relative efficacy. Objectives To compare the different treatments for mild to moderate AK on the face and scalp available in clinical practice in Europe. Methods A network meta-analysis (NMA) was performed on the outcome “complete patient clearance”. Ten treatment modalities were included: two 5-aminolaevulinic acid photodynamic therapies (ALA-PDT), applied as gel (BF-200 ALA) or patch; methyl-aminolevulinate photodynamic therapy (MAL-PDT); three modalities with imiquimod (IMI), applied as a 4-week or 16-week course with 5% imiquimod, or a 2–3 week course with 3.75% imiquimod; cryotherapy; diclofenac 3% in 2.5% hyaluronic acid; 0.5% 5-fluorouracil (5-FU); and ingenol mebutate (IMB). The only data available for 5% 5-FU was from one small study and was determined to be too limited to be reliably included in the analysis. For BF-200 ALA and MAL-PDT, data from illumination with narrow-band lights were selected as these are typically used in clinical practice. The NMA was performed with a random-effects Bayesian model. Results 25 trials on 5,562 patients were included in the NMA. All active treatments were significantly better than placebo. BF-200 ALA showed the highest efficacy compared to placebo to achieve total patient clearance. BF-200 ALA had the highest probability to be the best treatment and the highest SUCRA score (64.8% and 92.1%), followed by IMI 5% 4 weeks (10.1% and 74.2%) and 5-FU 0.5% (7.2% and 66.8%). Conclusions This NMA showed that BF-200 ALA, using narrow-band lights, was the most efficacious treatment for mild to moderate AK on the face and scalp. This analysis is relevant for clinical decision making and health technology assessment, assisting the improved management of AK. PMID:24892649

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Two Functionally Distinct Sources of Actin Monomers Supply the Leading Edge of Lamellipodia

    PubMed Central

    Vitriol, Eric A.; McMillen, Laura M.; Kapustina, Maryna; Gomez, Shawn M.; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Zheng, James Q.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Lamellipodia, the sheet-like protrusions of motile cells, consist of networks of actin filaments (F-actin) regulated by the ordered assembly from and disassembly into actin monomers (G-actin). Traditionally, G-actin is thought to exist as a homogeneous pool. Here, we show that there are two functionally and molecularly distinct sources of G-actin that supply lamellipodial actin networks. G-actin originating from the cytosolic pool requires the monomer binding protein thymosin β4 (Tβ4) for optimal leading edge localization, is targeted to formins, and is responsible for creating an elevated G/F-actin ratio that promotes membrane protrusion. The second source of G-actin comes from recycled lamellipodia F-actin. Recycling occurs independently of Tβ4 and appears to regulate lamellipodia homeostasis. Tβ4-bound G-actin specifically localizes to the leading edge because it doesn’t interact with Arp2/3-mediated polymerization sites found throughout the lamellipodia. These findings demonstrate that actin networks can be constructed from multiple sources of monomers with discrete spatiotemporal functions. PMID:25865895

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

    PubMed

    Leite, Sérgio Carvalho; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Leite, Sérgio Carvalho; Sousa, Mónica Mendes

    2016-09-01

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

  8. Concentration profiles of actin-binding molecules in lamellipodia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcke, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Motile cells form lamellipodia in the direction of motion, which are flat membrane protrusions containing an actin filament network. The network flows rearward relative to the leading edge of the lamellipodium due to actin polymerization at the front. Thus, actin binding molecules are subject to transport towards the rear of the cell in the bound state and diffuse freely in the unbound state. We analyze this reaction-diffusion-advection process with respect to the concentration profiles of these species and provide an analytic approximation for them. Network flow may cause a depletion zone of actin binding molecules close to the leading edge. The existence of such zone depends on the free molecule concentration in the cell body, on the ratio of the diffusion length to the distance bound molecules travel rearward with the flow before dissociating, and the ratio of the diffusion length to the width of the region with network flow and actin binding. Our calculations suggest the existence of depletion zones for the F-actin cross-linkers filamin and α-actinin in fish keratocytes (and other cell types), which is in line with the small elastic moduli of the F-actin network close to the leading edge found in measurements of the force motile cells are able to exert.

  9. Gibberellins - a multifaceted hormone in plant growth regulatory network.

    PubMed

    Gantait, Saikat; Sinniah, Uma Rani; Ali, Md Nasim; Sahu, Narayan Chandra

    2015-01-01

    Plants tend to acclimatize to unfavourable environs by integrating growth and development to environmentally activated signals. Phytohormones strongly regulate convergent developmental and stress adaptive procedures and synchronize cellular reaction to the exogenous and endogenous conditions within the adaptive signaling networks. Gibberellins (GA), a group of tetracyclic diterpenoids, being vital regulators of plant growth, are accountable for regulating several aspects of growth and development of higher plants. If the element of reproduction is considered as an absolute requisite then for a majority of the higher plants GA signaling is simply indispensable. Latest reports have revealed unique conflicting roles of GA and other phytohormones in amalgamating growth and development in plants through environmental signaling. Numerous physiological researches have detailed substantial crosstalk between GA and other hormones like abscisic acid, auxin, cytokinin, and jasmonic acid. In this review, a number of explanations and clarifications for this discrepancy are explored based on the crosstalk among GA and other phytohormones.

  10. Actin Automata with Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Sanz, Ramón; Adamatzky, Andy

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

  11. Arabidopsis AtADF1 is functionally affected by mutations on actin binding sites.

    PubMed

    Dong, Chun-Hai; Tang, Wei-Ping; Liu, Jia-Yao

    2013-03-01

    The plant actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) binds to both monomeric and filamentous actin, and is directly involved in the depolymerization of actin filaments. To better understand the actin binding sites of the Arabidopsis thaliana L. AtADF1, we generated mutants of AtADF1 and investigated their functions in vitro and in vivo. Analysis of mutants harboring amino acid substitutions revealed that charged residues (Arg98 and Lys100) located at the α-helix 3 and forming an actin binding site together with the N-terminus are essential for both G- and F-actin binding. The basic residues on the β-strand 5 (K82/A) and the α-helix 4 (R135/A, R137/A) form another actin binding site that is important for F-actin binding. Using transient expression of CFP-tagged AtADF1 mutant proteins in onion (Allium cepa) peel epidermal cells and transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana L. plants overexpressing these mutants, we analyzed how these mutant proteins regulate actin organization and affect seedling growth. Our results show that the ADF mutants with a lower affinity for actin filament binding can still be functional, unless the affinity for actin monomers is also affected. The G-actin binding activity of the ADF plays an essential role in actin binding, depolymerization of actin polymers, and therefore in the control of actin organization. PMID:23190411

  12. Molecular systems governing leaf growth: from genes to networks.

    PubMed

    González, Nathalie; Inzé, Dirk

    2015-02-01

    Arabidopsis leaf growth consists of a complex sequence of interconnected events involving cell division and cell expansion, and requiring multiple levels of genetic regulation. With classical genetics, numerous leaf growth regulators have been identified, but the picture is far from complete. With the recent advances made in quantitative phenotyping, the study of the quantitative, dynamic, and multifactorial features of leaf growth is now facilitated. The use of high-throughput phenotyping technologies to study large numbers of natural accessions or mutants, or to screen for the effects of large sets of chemicals will allow for further identification of the additional players that constitute the leaf growth regulatory networks. Only a tight co-ordination between these numerous molecular players can support the formation of a functional organ. The connections between the components of the network and their dynamics can be further disentangled through gene-stacking approaches and ultimately through mathematical modelling. In this review, we describe these different approaches that should help to obtain a holistic image of the molecular regulation of organ growth which is of high interest in view of the increasing needs for plant-derived products.

  13. The Molecular Evolution of Actin

    PubMed Central

    Hightower, Robin C.; Meagher, Richard B.

    1986-01-01

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

  14. Physical determinants of vascular network remodeling during tumor growth.

    PubMed

    Welter, M; Rieger, H

    2010-10-01

    The process in which a growing tumor transforms a hierarchically organized arterio-venous blood vessel network into a tumor specific vasculature is analyzed with a theoretical model. The physical determinants of this remodeling involve the morphological and hydrodynamic properties of the initial network, generation of new vessels (sprouting angiogenesis), vessel dilation (circumferential growth), vessel regression, tumor cell proliferation and death, and the interdependence of these processes via spatio-temporal changes of blood flow parameters, oxygen/nutrient supply and growth factor concentration fields. The emerging tumor vasculature is non-hierarchical, compartmentalized into well-characterized zones, displays a complex geometry with necrotic zones and "hot spots" of increased vascular density and blood flow of varying size, and transports drug injections efficiently. Implications for current theoretical views on tumor-induced angiogenesis are discussed.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  17. Nuclear and cytoplasmic actin in dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  20. Intranuclear Actin Regulates Osteogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. A central role for the WH2 domain of Srv2/CAP in recharging actin monomers to drive actin turnover in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhry, Faisal; Little, Kristin; Talarico, Lou; Quintero-Monzon, Omar; Goode, Bruce L.

    2010-01-01

    Cellular processes propelled by actin polymerization require rapid disassembly of filaments, and then efficient recycling of ADF/cofilin-bound ADP-actin monomers back to an assembly-competent ATP-bound state. How monomer recharging is regulated in vivo is still not well understood, but recent work suggests the involvement of the ubiquitous actin-monomer binding protein Srv2/CAP. To better understand Srv2/CAP mechanism, we explored the contribution of its WH2 domain, the function of which has remained highly elusive. We found that the WH2 domain binds to actin monomers and, unlike most other WH2 domains, exhibits similar binding affinity for ATP-actin and ADP-actin (Kd ~1.5μM). Mutations in the WH2 domain that impair actin binding disrupt the ability of purified full-length Srv2/CAP to catalyze nucleotide exchange on ADF/cofilin-bound actin monomers and accelerate actin turnover in vitro. The same mutations impair Srv2/CAP function in vivo in regulating actin organization, cell growth, and cell morphogenesis. Thus, normal cell growth and organization depend on the ability of Srv2/CAP to recharge actin monomers, and the WH2 domain plays a central role in this process. Our data also reveal that while most isolated WH2 domains inhibit nucleotide exchange on actin, WH2 domains in the context of intact proteins can help promote nucleotide exchange. PMID:20169536

  2. Actin Filament Segmentation Using Dynamic Programming

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongsheng; Shen, Tian; Huang, Xiaolei

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Quantitative fluorescent speckle microscopy (QFSM) to measure actin dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    Quantitative fluorescent speckle microscopy (QFSM) is a live-cell imaging method to analyze the dynamics of macromolecular assemblies with high spatial and temporal resolution. Its greatest successes were in the analysis of actin filament and adhesion dynamics in the context of cell migration and microtubule dynamics in interphase and the meiotic/mitotic spindle. Here, focus is on the former application to illustrate the procedures of FSM imaging and the computational image processing that extracts quantitative information from these experiments. QFSM is advantageous over other methods because it measures the movement and turnover kinetics of the actin filament (F-actin) network in living cells across the entire field of view. Experiments begin with the microinjection of fluorophore-labeled actin into cells, which generate a low ratio of fluorescently labeled to endogenously unlabeled actin monomers. Spinning disk confocal or wide-field imaging then visualizes fluorophore clusters (two to eight actin monomers) within the assembled F-actin network as speckles. QFSM software identifies and computationally tracks and utilizes the location, appearance, and disappearance of speckles to derive network flows and maps of the rate of filament assembly and disassembly. PMID:23042526

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:11826305

  8. 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

  9. Viscoelastic properties of actin-coated membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Identification of a Putative Network of Actin-Associated Cytoskeletal Proteins in Glomerular Podocytes Defined by Co-Purified mRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Nabet, Behnam; Tsai, Arthur; Tobias, John W.; Carstens, Russ P.

    2009-01-01

    The glomerular podocyte is a highly specialized and polarized kidney cell type that contains major processes and foot processes that extend from the cell body. Foot processes from adjacent podocytes form interdigitations with those of adjacent cells, thereby creating an essential intercellular junctional domain of the renal filtration barrier known as the slit diaphragm. Interesting parallels have been drawn between the slit diaphragm and other sites of cell-cell contact by polarized cells. Notably mutations in several genes encoding proteins localized to the foot processes can lead to proteinuria and kidney failure. Mutations in the Wilm's tumor gene (WT1) can also lead to kidney disease and one isoform of WT1, WT1(+KTS), has been proposed to regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. We originally sought to identify mRNAs associated with WT1(+KTS) through an RNA immunoprecipitation and microarray approach, hypothesizing that the proteins encoded by these mRNAs might be important for podocyte morphology and function. We identified a subset of mRNAs that were remarkably enriched for transcripts encoding actin-binding proteins and other cytoskeletal proteins including several that are localized at or near the slit diaphragm. Interestingly, these mRNAs included those of α-actinin-4 and non-muscle myosin IIA that are mutated in genetic forms of kidney disease. However, isolation of the mRNAs occurred independently of the expression of WT1, suggesting that the identified mRNAs were serendipitously co-purified on the basis of co-association in a common subcellular fraction. Mass spectroscopy revealed that other components of the actin cytoskeleton co-purified with these mRNAs, namely actin, tubulin, and elongation factor 1α. We propose that these mRNAs encode a number of proteins that comprise a highly specialized protein interactome underlying the slit diaphragm. Collectively, these gene products and their interactions may prove to be important for the

  12. A new link between the retrograde actin flow and focal adhesions.

    PubMed

    Yamashiro, Sawako; Watanabe, Naoki

    2014-11-01

    The retrograde actin flow, continuous centripetal movement of the cell peripheral actin networks, is widely observed in adherent cells. The retrograde flow is believed to facilitate cell migration when linked to cell adhesion molecules. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge regarding the functional relationship between the retrograde actin flow and focal adhesions (FAs). We also introduce our recent study in which single-molecule speckle (SiMS) microscopy dissected the complex interactions between FAs and the local actin flow. FAs do not simply impede the actin flow, but actively attract and remodel the local actin network. Our findings provide a new insight into the mechanisms for protrusion and traction force generation at the cell leading edge. Furthermore, we discuss possible roles of the actin flow-FA interaction based on the accumulated knowledge and our SiMS study. PMID:25190817

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

    PubMed

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Side-binding proteins modulate actin filament dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Network growth dynamics of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) nests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gravish, Nick; Goodisman, Michael A. D.; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2012-02-01

    We study the construction dynamics and topology of fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) nests. Fire ants in colonies of hundreds to hundreds of thousands create subterranean tunnel networks through the excavation of soil. We observed the construction of nests in a laboratory experiment. Workers were isolated from focal colony and placed in a quasi 2D, vertically oriented arena with wetted soil. We monitored nest growth using time-lapse photography. We found that nests grew linearly in time through tunnel lengthening and branching. Tunnel path length followed an extended power law distribution, P (l - l0)^β. Average degree of tunnel nodes was k = 2.17 ±0.40 and networks were cyclical. In simulation we model the nest growth as a branching and annihilating levy-flight process. We study this as a function of dimensionality (2D and 3D space considered) and step length distribution function P(ls). We find that in two-dimensions path length distribution is exponential, independent of the functional form of P(ls) consistent with a poisson spatial process while in three-dimensions P(l) = P(ls). Comparing simulation and experiment we attribute the slower than exponential tail of P(l) in experiment as a result of a behavioral component to the ant digging program.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  18. 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

  19. Viruses that ride on the coat-tails of actin nucleation.

    PubMed

    Newsome, Timothy P; Marzook, N Bishara

    2015-10-01

    Actin nucleation drives a diversity of critical cellular processes and the motility of a select group of viral pathogens. Vaccinia virus and baculovirus, Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus, recruit and activate the cellular actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, at the surface of virus particles thereby instigating highly localized actin nucleation. The extension of these filaments provides a mechanical force that bestows the ability to navigate the intracellular environment and promote their infectious cycles. This review outlines the viral and cellular proteins that initiate and regulate the signalling networks leading to viral modification of the actin cytoskeleton and summarizes recent insights into the role of actin-based virus transport. PMID:26459972

  20. Acanthamoeba castellanii: identification and distribution of actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    González-Robles, Arturo; Castañón, Guadalupe; Hernández-Ramírez, Verónica Ivonne; Salazar-Villatoro, Lizbeth; González-Lázaro, Mónica; Omaña-Molina, Maritza; Talamás-Rohana, Patricia; Martínez-Palomo, Adolfo

    2008-07-01

    The presence of the cytoskeleton of Acanthamoeba castellanii was observed by means of cryo-electronmicroscopy and immunofluorescence techniques. This structure is formed largely by fibers and networks of actin located mainly in cytoplasmic locomotion structures as lamellipodia and as well as in various endocytic structures. In addition, the comparison between total actin content in whole extracts among different amoebae was made. The molecular weight of actin in A. castellanii was 44 kDa, and 45 kDa for Naegleria fowleri and Entamoeba histolytica.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. TSC1 controls distribution of actin fibers through its effect on function of Rho family of small GTPases and regulates cell migration and polarity.

    PubMed

    Ohsawa, Maki; Kobayashi, Toshiyuki; Okura, Hidehiro; Igarashi, Takashi; Mizuguchi, Masashi; Hino, Okio

    2013-01-01

    The tumor-suppressor genes TSC1 and TSC2 are mutated in tuberous sclerosis, an autosomal dominant multisystem disorder. The gene products of TSC1 and TSC2 form a protein complex that inhibits the signaling of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex1 (mTORC1) pathway. mTORC1 is a crucial molecule in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation and survival. When the TSC1/TSC2 complex is not functional, uncontrolled mTORC1 activity accelerates the cell cycle and triggers tumorigenesis. Recent studies have suggested that TSC1 and TSC2 also regulate the activities of Rac1 and Rho, members of the Rho family of small GTPases, and thereby influence the ensuing actin cytoskeletal organization at focal adhesions. However, how TSC1 contributes to the establishment of cell polarity is not well understood. Here, the relationship between TSC1 and the formation of the actin cytoskeleton was analyzed in stable TSC1-expressing cell lines originally established from a Tsc1-deficient mouse renal tumor cell line. Our analyses showed that cell proliferation and migration were suppressed when TSC1 was expressed. Rac1 activity in these cells was also decreased as was formation of lamellipodia and filopodia. Furthermore, the number of basal actin stress fibers was reduced; by contrast, apical actin fibers, originating at the level of the tight junction formed a network in TSC1-expressing cells. Treatment with Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibitor diminished the number of apical actin fibers, but rapamycin had no effect. Thus, the actin fibers were regulated by the Rho-ROCK pathway independently of mTOR. In addition, apical actin fibers appeared in TSC1-deficient cells after inhibition of Rac1 activity. These results suggest that TSC1 regulates cell polarity-associated formation of actin fibers through the spatial regulation of Rho family of small GTPases.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Single-Molecule Studies of Actin Assembly and Disassembly Factors

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Benjamin A.; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L.

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is very dynamic and highly regulated by multiple associated proteins in vivo. Understanding how this system of proteins functions in the processes of actin network assembly and disassembly requires methods to dissect the mechanisms of activity of individual factors and of multiple factors acting in concert. The advent of single-filament and single-molecule fluorescence imaging methods has provided a powerful new approach to discovering actin-regulatory activities and obtaining direct, quantitative insights into the pathways of molecular interactions that regulate actin network architecture and dynamics. Here we describe techniques for acquisition and analysis of single-molecule data, applied to the novel challenges of studying the filament assembly and disassembly activities of actin-associated proteins in vitro. We discuss the advantages of single-molecule analysis in directly visualizing the order of molecular events, measuring the kinetic rates of filament binding and dissociation, and studying the coordination among multiple factors. The methods described here complement traditional biochemical approaches in elucidating actin-regulatory mechanisms in reconstituted filamentous networks. PMID:24630103

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Actin dynamics in living mammalian cells.

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Transforming growth factor-beta-induced stimulation of formation of collagen fiber network and anti-fibrotic effect of taurine in an in vitro model of hepatic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Kato, Junya; Ido, Akio; Hasuike, Satoru; Uto, Hirofumi; Hori, Takeshi; Hayashi, Katsuhiro; Murakami, Shigeru; Terano, Akira; Tsubouchi, Hirohito

    2004-09-01

    The cell strain M, which was established from normal rat liver cells, is characterized by the active formation of a collagen fiber network. In this study, we investigated the characterization of M cells and evaluated the anti-fibrogenic effects of taurine using this culture system. M cells expressed cytokeratin (CK)8, CK18, vimentin, and alpha-smooth muscle actin, whereas expression of CK-19 or desmin was not detected. Also, M cells expressed transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1, -beta2, and TGF-beta type I and II receptors, and treatment with TGF-beta1 (1ng/ml) for 6 days markedly stimulated the formation of a collagen fiber network and expression of procollagen alpha1(I) mRNA. When M cells were treated with various concentrations of taurine (10-50mM), network formation and procollagen alpha1(I) expression were significantly suppressed in a dose dependent manner. Additionally, even in the presence of TGF-beta1, taurine treatment effectively reduced the formation of a collagen fiber network. These results suggest that M cells exhibit features of not only hepatocytes but also myofibroblasts, and TGF-beta1 plays an important role in the formation of collagen fiber networks in this culture system. Additionally, this M cell culture system is appropriate for use as an in vitro model of hepatic fibrosis in the evaluation of the anti-fibrogenic effects of various agents.

  12. Nerve growth factor stimulates axon outgrowth through negative regulation of growth cone actomyosin restraint of microtubule advance

    PubMed Central

    Turney, Stephen G.; Ahmed, Mostafa; Chandrasekar, Indra; Wysolmerski, Robert B.; Goeckeler, Zoe M.; Rioux, Robert M.; Whitesides, George M.; Bridgman, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Nerve growth factor (NGF) promotes growth, differentiation, and survival of sensory neurons in the mammalian nervous system. Little is known about how NGF elicits faster axon outgrowth or how growth cones integrate and transform signal input to motor output. Using cultured mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons, we found that myosin II (MII) is required for NGF to stimulate faster axon outgrowth. From experiments inducing loss or gain of function of MII, specific MII isoforms, and vinculin-dependent adhesion-cytoskeletal coupling, we determined that NGF causes decreased vinculin-dependent actomyosin restraint of microtubule advance. Inhibition of MII blocked NGF stimulation, indicating the central role of restraint in directed outgrowth. The restraint consists of myosin IIB- and IIA-dependent processes: retrograde actin network flow and transverse actin bundling, respectively. The processes differentially contribute on laminin-1 and fibronectin due to selective actin tethering to adhesions. On laminin-1, NGF induced greater vinculin-dependent adhesion–cytoskeletal coupling, which slowed retrograde actin network flow (i.e., it regulated the molecular clutch). On fibronectin, NGF caused inactivation of myosin IIA, which negatively regulated actin bundling. On both substrates, the result was the same: NGF-induced weakening of MII-dependent restraint led to dynamic microtubules entering the actin-rich periphery more frequently, giving rise to faster elongation. PMID:26631553

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

    PubMed

    Chalut, Kevin J; Paluch, Ewa K

    2016-09-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Actin-cytoskeleton dynamics in non-monotonic cell spreading

    PubMed Central

    Heinrich, Doris; Youssef, Simon; Schroth-Diez, Britta; Engel, Ulrike; Aydin, Daniel; Blümmel, Jacques; Spatz, Joachim P

    2008-01-01

    The spreading of motile cells on a substrate surface is accompanied by reorganization of their actin network. We show that spreading in the highly motile cells of Dictyostelium is non-monotonic, and thus differs from the passage of spreading cells through a regular series of stages. Quantification of the gain and loss of contact area revealed fluctuating forces of protrusion and retraction that dominate the interaction of Dictyostelium cells with a substrate. The molecular basis of these fluctuations is elucidated by dual-fluorescence labeling of filamentous actin together with proteins that highlight specific activities in the actin system. Front-to-tail polarity is established by the sorting out of myosin-II from regions where dense actin assemblies are accumulating. Myosin-IB identifies protruding front regions, and the Arp2/3 complex localizes to lamellipodia protruded from the fronts. Coronin is used as a sensitive indicator of actin disassembly to visualize the delicate balance of polymerization and depolymerization in spreading cells. Short-lived actin patches that co-localize with clathrin suggest that membrane internalization occurs even when the substrate-attached cell surface expands. We conclude that non-monotonic cell spreading is characterized by spatiotemporal patterns formed by motor proteins together with regulatory proteins that either promote or terminate actin polymerization on the scale of seconds. PMID:19262103

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. Rapid non-equilibrium turnover fluidizes entangled F-actin solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCall, Patrick M.; Kovar, David R.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    The actin cytoskeleton of living cells is a semiflexible polymer network which regulates cell division, motility, and morphogenesis by controlling cell shape. These complex shape-changing processes require both mechanical deformation and remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Molecular motors generate internal forces to drive deformation, while cytoskeletal remodeling is regulated by non-equilibrium polymer turnover. Although the mechanical properties of equilibrium actin filament (F-actin) networks are well-described by theories of semiflexible polymers, these theories do not incorporate the effects of non-equilibrium turnover. To address this experimentally, we developed a model system in which both the turnover rate and the length distribution of purified F-actin can be tuned independently at steady-state through the combined action of actin regulatory proteins. Specifically we tune the concentrations of cofilin, profilin, and formin to regulate F-actin severing, recycling, and nucleation, respectively. We find that the actin turnover rate can be tuned by cofilin up to 25-fold (31 +/- 2 subunits/sec/filament). Surprisingly, changes in turnover rate have no effect on the steady-state F-actin length distribution, which is instead set by formin concentration. Passive microrheology measurements show that increased turnover leads to striking fluidization in both entangled and crosslinked networks. Non-equilibrium turnover thus enables modulation of network mechanics, which impacts force transmission and material deformation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ammer, Amanda Gatesman; Weed, Scott A.

    2008-01-01

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

  1. The yin-yang of dendrite morphology: unity of actin and microtubules.

    PubMed

    Georges, Penelope C; Hadzimichalis, Norell M; Sweet, Eric S; Firestein, Bonnie L

    2008-12-01

    Actin and microtubules (MT) are targets of numerous molecular pathways that control neurite outgrowth. To generate a neuronal protrusion, coordinated structural changes of the actin and MT cytoskeletons must occur. Neurite formation occurs when actin filaments (F-actin) are destabilized, filopodia are extended, and MTs invade filopodia. This process results in either axon or dendrite formation. Axonal branching involves interplay between F-actin and MTs, with F-actin and MTs influencing polymerization, stabilization, and maintenance of each other. Our knowledge of the mechanisms regulating development of the axon, however, far eclipses our understanding of dendritic development and branching. The two classes of neurites, while fundamentally similar in their ability to elongate and branch, dramatically differ in growth rate, orientation of polarized MT bundles, and mechanisms that initiate branching. In this review, we focus on how F-actin, MTs, and proteins that link the two cytoskeletons coordinate to specifically initiate dendritic events. PMID:18987787

  2. Viscoelastic properties of actin-coated membranes.

    PubMed

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

    2001-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The Tribal Telecommunications Network: Economic Growth through Satellite Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sunderman, Tracy

    1989-01-01

    Describes the Tribal Telecommunications Network, a non-profit Native American organization promoted by the Hopland Band of the Pomo Indians. Outlines network uses and objectives: identifying and locating economic and information resources, creating jobs, and teleconferencing tribal meetings. (SV)

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-29

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

  10. 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.

  11. Actin Assembly at Model-Supported Lipid Bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Heath, George R.; Johnson, Benjamin R.G.; Olmsted, Peter D.; Connell, Simon D.; Evans, Stephen D.

    2013-01-01

    We report on the use of supported lipid bilayers to reveal dynamics of actin polymerization from a nonpolymerizing subphase via cationic phospholipids. Using varying fractions of charged lipid, lipid mobility, and buffer conditions, we show that dynamics at the nanoscale can be used to control the self-assembly of these structures. In the case of fluid-phase lipid bilayers, the actin adsorbs to form a uniform two-dimensional layer with complete surface coverage whereas gel-phase bilayers induce a network of randomly oriented actin filaments, of lower coverage. Reducing the pH increased the polymerization rate, the number of nucleation events, and the total coverage of actin. A model of the adsorption/diffusion process is developed to provide a description of the experimental data and shows that, in the case of fluid-phase bilayers, polymerization arises equally due to the adsorption and diffusion of surface-bound monomers and the addition of monomers directly from the solution phase. In contrast, in the case of gel-phase bilayers, polymerization is dominated by the addition of monomers from solution. In both cases, the filaments are stable for long times even when the G-actin is removed from the supernatant—making this a practical approach for creating stable lipid-actin systems via self-assembly. PMID:24268147

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

    PubMed

    Jégou, Antoine; Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume

    2016-05-24

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

  13. F-actin buckling coordinates contractility and severing in a biomimetic actomyosin cortex

    PubMed Central

    Murrell, Michael P.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2012-01-01

    Here we develop a minimal model of the cell actomyosin cortex by forming a quasi-2D cross-linked filamentous actin (F-actin) network adhered to a model cell membrane and contracted by myosin thick filaments. Myosin motors generate both compressive and tensile stresses on F-actin and consequently induce large bending fluctuations, which reduces their effective persistence length to <1 μm. Over a large range of conditions, we show the extent of network contraction corresponds exactly to the extent of individual F-actin shortening via buckling. This demonstrates an essential role of buckling in breaking the symmetry between tensile and compressive stresses to facilitate mesoscale network contraction of up to 80% strain. Portions of buckled F-actin with a radius of curvature ∼300 nm are prone to severing and thus compressive stresses mechanically coordinate contractility with F-actin severing, the initial step of F-actin turnover. Finally, the F-actin curvature acquired by myosin-induced stresses can be further constrained by adhesion of the network to a membrane, accelerating filament severing but inhibiting the long-range transmission of the stresses necessary for network contractility. Thus, the extent of membrane adhesion can regulate the coupling between network contraction and F-actin severing. These data demonstrate the essential role of the nonlinear response of F-actin to compressive stresses in potentiating both myosin-mediated contractility and filament severing. This may serve as a general mechanism to mechanically coordinate contractility and cortical dynamics across diverse actomyosin assemblies in smooth muscle and nonmuscle cells. PMID:23213249

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

    PubMed

    Shimizu, T

    1997-08-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Surface growth on percolation networks by a conserved-noise restricted solid-on-solid growth model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang Bub

    2016-02-01

    Surface growth by the conserved-noise restricted solid-on-solid model is investigated on diluted lattices, i.e., on percolation networks that are embedded in two spatial dimensions. The growth exponent β and the roughness exponent α are defined, respectively, by the mean-square surface width via W2(t ) ˜t2 β and the mean-square saturated width via Wsat2(L ) ˜L2 α , where L is the system size. These are measured on both an infinite network and a backbone network and the results are compared with power-counting predictions obtained using the fractional Langevin equation. While the Monte Carlo results on deterministic fractal substrates show excellent agreement with the predictions [D. H. Kim and J. M. Kim, Phys. Rev. E 84, 011105 (2011), 10.1103/PhysRevE.84.011105], the results on critical percolation networks deviate by 8%-12% from these predictions.

  18. Surface growth on percolation networks by a conserved-noise restricted solid-on-solid growth model.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang Bub

    2016-02-01

    Surface growth by the conserved-noise restricted solid-on-solid model is investigated on diluted lattices, i.e., on percolation networks that are embedded in two spatial dimensions. The growth exponent β and the roughness exponent α are defined, respectively, by the mean-square surface width via W(2)(t)∼t(2β) and the mean-square saturated width via W(sat)(2)(L)∼L(2α), where L is the system size. These are measured on both an infinite network and a backbone network and the results are compared with power-counting predictions obtained using the fractional Langevin equation. While the Monte Carlo results on deterministic fractal substrates show excellent agreement with the predictions [D. H. Kim and J. M. Kim, Phys. Rev. E 84, 011105 (2011)], the results on critical percolation networks deviate by 8%-12% from these predictions. PMID:26986299

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

    PubMed

    Meunier, Frédéric A; Gutiérrez, Luis M

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Rickettsia Sca2 is a bacterial formin-like mediator of actin-based motility

    PubMed Central

    Haglund, Cat M.; Choe, Julie E.; Skau, Colleen T.; Kovar, David R.; Welch, Matthew D.

    2011-01-01

    Diverse intracellular pathogens subvert the host actin polymerization machinery to drive movement within and between cells during infection. Rickettsia in the spotted fever group (SFG) are Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens that undergo actin-based motility and assemble distinctive ‘comet tails’ that consist of long, unbranched actin filaments1,2. Despite this distinct organization, it was proposed that actin in Rickettsia comet tails is nucleated by the host Arp2/3 complex and the bacterial protein RickA, which assemble branched actin networks3,4. However, a second bacterial gene, sca2, was recently implicated in actin tail formation by R. rickettsii5. Here, we demonstrate that Sca2 is a bacterial actin-assembly factor that functionally mimics eukaryotic formin proteins. Sca2 nucleates unbranched actin filaments, processively associates with growing barbed ends, requires profilin for efficient elongation, and inhibits the activity of capping protein, all properties shared with formins. Sca2 localizes to the Rickettsia surface and is sufficient to promote the assembly of actin filaments in cytoplasmic extract. These results suggest that Sca2 mimics formins to determine the unique organization of actin filaments in Rickettsia tails and drive bacterial motility, independently of host nucleators. PMID:20972427

  1. Mechanical coupling between transsynaptic N-cadherin adhesions and actin flow stabilizes dendritic spines

    PubMed Central

    Chazeau, Anaël; Garcia, Mikael; Czöndör, Katalin; Perrais, David; Tessier, Béatrice; Giannone, Grégory; Thoumine, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    The morphology of neuronal dendritic spines is a critical indicator of synaptic function. It is regulated by several factors, including the intracellular actin/myosin cytoskeleton and transcellular N-cadherin adhesions. To examine the mechanical relationship between these molecular components, we performed quantitative live-imaging experiments in primary hippocampal neurons. We found that actin turnover and structural motility were lower in dendritic spines than in immature filopodia and increased upon expression of a nonadhesive N-cadherin mutant, resulting in an inverse relationship between spine motility and actin enrichment. Furthermore, the pharmacological stimulation of myosin II induced the rearward motion of actin structures in spines, showing that myosin II exerts tension on the actin network. Strikingly, the formation of stable, spine-like structures enriched in actin was induced at contacts between dendritic filopodia and N-cadherin–coated beads or micropatterns. Finally, computer simulations of actin dynamics mimicked various experimental conditions, pointing to the actin flow rate as an important parameter controlling actin enrichment in dendritic spines. Together these data demonstrate that a clutch-like mechanism between N-cadherin adhesions and the actin flow underlies the stabilization of dendritic filopodia into mature spines, a mechanism that may have important implications in synapse initiation, maturation, and plasticity in the developing brain. PMID:25568337

  2. Formin' actin in the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  7. Regulation of an Actin Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-03-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Pollen specific expression of maize genes encoding actin depolymerizing factor-like proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Lopez, I; Anthony, R G; Maciver, S K; Jiang, C J; Khan, S; Weeds, A G; Hussey, P J

    1996-01-01

    In pollen development, a dramatic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton takes place during the passage of the pollen grain into dormancy and on activation of pollen tube growth. A role for actin-binding proteins is implicated and we report here the identification of a small gene family in maize that encodes actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)-like proteins. The ADF group of proteins are believed to control actin polymerization and depolymerization in response to both intracellular and extracellular signals. Two of the maize genes ZmABP1 and ZmABP2 are expressed specifically in pollen and germinating pollen suggesting that the protein products may be involved in pollen actin reorganization. A third gene, ZmABP3, encodes a protein only 56% and 58% identical to ZmABP1 and ZmABP2, respectively, and its expression is suppressed in pollen and germinated pollen. The fundamental biochemical characteristics of the ZmABP proteins has been elucidated using bacterially expressed ZmABP3 protein. This has the ability to bind monomeric actin (G-actin) and filamentous actin (F-actin). Moreover, it decreases the viscosity of polymerized actin solutions consistent with an ability to depolymerize filaments. These biochemical characteristics, taken together with the sequence comparisons, support the inclusion of the ZmABP proteins in the ADF group. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8693008

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Structural insights into de novo actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Katsuhisa; Shimmen, Teruo

    2009-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26577186

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Modeling dynamic fracture growth with an elastic network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Jau-Inn

    1992-09-01

    A conceptually simple model, consisting of a network of particles and springs, is used to model dynamic fracturing processes. In this model, the springs provide the resistance to compression and deformation, and particle masses provide the inertial effect. When such a network is subjected to a dynamic loading, Newton's equations of motion are solved to determine the evolution of the network. If a spring is stretched or compressed beyond prescribed threshold limits at any time-step, the spring breaks and initiates a fracture. The model results indicate that the fracture pattern depends on the inhomogeneities of the rock, the active crack-driving force, and the in-situ stresses.

  5. Stable Force Balance between Epithelial Cells Arises from F-Actin Turnover.

    PubMed

    Jodoin, Jeanne N; Coravos, Jonathan S; Chanet, Soline; Vasquez, Claudia G; Tworoger, Michael; Kingston, Elena R; Perkins, Lizabeth A; Perrimon, Norbert; Martin, Adam C

    2015-12-21

    The propagation of force in epithelial tissues requires that the contractile cytoskeletal machinery be stably connected between cells through E-cadherin-containing adherens junctions. In many epithelial tissues, the cells' contractile network is positioned at a distance from the junction. However, the mechanism or mechanisms that connect the contractile networks to the adherens junctions, and thus mechanically connect neighboring cells, are poorly understood. Here, we identified the role for F-actin turnover in regulating the contractile cytoskeletal network's attachment to adherens junctions. Perturbing F-actin turnover via gene depletion or acute drug treatments that slow F-actin turnover destabilized the attachment between the contractile actomyosin network and adherens junctions. Our work identifies a critical role for F-actin turnover in connecting actomyosin to intercellular junctions, defining a dynamic process required for the stability of force balance across intercellular contacts in tissues.

  6. Polymerization of Actin from Maize Pollen.

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  7. Cultured rat mesangial cells contain smooth muscle alpha-actin not found in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Elger, M.; Drenckhahn, D.; Nobiling, R.; Mundel, P.; Kriz, W.

    1993-01-01

    A monoclonal antibody against smooth muscle alpha-actin (SM alpha-actin) was used to study the expression of SM alpha-actin in kidney sections and mesangial cell (MC) cultures. In the tissue sections, indirect immunofluorescence revealed intense labeling of vascular smooth muscle cells and precapillary pericytes for SM alpha-actin. Glomerular cells including MC were negative, with the exception of scattered smooth muscle cells in the wall of the intraglomerular segment of the efferent arteriole. In contrast, in MC cultures 50 to 95% of the cells displayed bright fluorescence. Immunoreactivity for SM alpha-actin first appeared 3 days after explanation of glomeruli and increased until the primary culture reached subconfluence. In each subculture (1 to 10) expression of SM alpha-actin was weak on day 1 and pronounced at subconfluence. Growth arrest of subconfluent cultures for 1 to 7 days in serum-free medium did not alter the percentage of cells positive for SM alpha-actin. However, exposure of MC to serum-free medium beginning on the first day of subculture curtailed expression of SM alpha-actin. Double-labeling with antibodies against proliferating cell nuclear antigen and SM alpha-actin revealed SM alpha-actin-positive filaments in both replicating and resting cells. In summary, our results demonstrate that some process or processes associated with cell proliferation and cell growth of MC are accompanied by de novo expression of SM alpha-actin. The relevance to the contractile behavior of the difference in SM alpha-actin expression under in vitro and in vivo conditions is unknown. Images Figure 1 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 9 PMID:8434645

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:25496300

  11. Anti-tropomyosin antibodies co-localise with actin microfilaments and label plasmodesmata.

    PubMed

    Faulkner, Christine R; Blackman, Leila M; Collings, David A; Cordwell, Stuart J; Overall, Robyn L

    2009-06-01

    The actin cytoskeleton and associated actin-binding proteins form a complex network involved in a number of fundamental cellular processes including intracellular trafficking. In plants, both actin and myosin have been localised to plasmodesmata, and thus it is likely that other actin-binding proteins are also associated with plasmodesmata structure or function. A 75-kDa protein, enriched in plasmodesmata-rich cell wall extracts from the green alga Chara corallina, was sequenced and found to contain three peptides with similarity to the animal actin-binding protein tropomyosin. Western blot analysis with anti-tropomyosin antibodies confirmed the identity of this 75-kDa protein as a tropomyosin-like protein and further identified an additional 55-kDa protein, while immunofluorescence microscopy localised the antibodies to plasmodesmata and to the subcortical actin bundles and associated structures. The anti-tropomyosin antibodies detected a single protein at 42.5 kDa in Arabidopsis thaliana extracts and two proteins at 58.5 and 54 kDa in leek extracts, and these localised to plasmodesmata and the cell plate in A. thaliana and to plasmodesmata in leek tissue. Tropomyosin is an actin-binding protein thought to be involved in a range of functions associated with the actin cytoskeleton, including the regulation of myosin binding to actin filaments, but to date no tropomyosin-like proteins have been conclusively identified in plant genomes. Our data suggests that a tropomyosin-like protein is associated with plasmodesmata.

  12. Atomic Force Microscopy and Light Scattering of Small Unilamellar Actin-Containing Liposomes

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Andre F.; Wingert, Philip; Nickels, Jonathan

    2003-01-01

    Three-dimensional networks of filamentous actin (F-actin) encapsulated inside phosphatidylcholine liposomes are currently being used in an effort to model the cytoskeleton and plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. In this article, unilamellar lipid vesicles consisting of egg yolk-derived phosphatidylcholine encapsulating monomeric actin (G-actin) were made via extrusion in low ionic strength buffer (G-buffer). Vesicle shape and structure in these dispersions was studied using a combination of fluid-tapping atomic force microscopy, and multiangle static light scattering. After subjecting the liposome dispersion to high ionic strength polymerization buffer (F-buffer) containing K+ ions, atomic force microscopy imaging and light scattering of these liposomes indicated the formation of specialized structures, including an overall liposome structure transformation from spherical to torus, disk-shaped geometries and tubular assemblies. Several atomic force microscopy control measurements were made to ascertain that the specialized structures formed were not due to free G-actin and F-actin self-assembling on the sample surface, plain liposomes exposed to G- and F-buffer, or liposomes encapsulating G-actin. Liposomes encapsulating G-actin assumed mostly thin disk shapes and some large irregularly shaped aggregates. In contrast, liposomes encapsulating polymerized actin assumed mostly torus or disk shapes along with some high aspect ratio tubular structures. PMID:12885667

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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.

  15. Reconstitution and regulation of actin gel-sol transformation with purified filamin and villin.

    PubMed

    Nunnally, M H; Powell, L D; Craig, S W

    1981-03-10

    Gel-sol transformation of actin filaments, a process essential for cell motility, can be reconstituted in vitro and regulated in a predictable fashion by the combined action of villin and filamin. Measurements made in a low shear falling ball viscometer show that mixtures of actin, villin, and filamin exist either as a gel (yield point greater than or equal to 140 dynes/cm2) or as a low viscosity liquid depending on the relative ration of villin:actin. Filamin induces gelation of F-actin by forming stable cross-links between actin filaments. Villin inhibits filamin-induced F-actin gelation, but the effect can be overcome by increasing the amount of filamin. Sedimentation assays show that villin does not inhibit gelation of actin by preventing filamin from binding to F-actin. Results from viscosity measurements and filament length determinations show that villin increases actin filament number by reducing the average filament length without altering the total amount of polymer. Because the gel point of a fixed amount of polymer is sharply dependent on the ratio of cross-links to number of polymers, the solation effect of villin might be explained by its effect on filament number. Based on the network theory of gel formation, calculations of the amount of additional cross-linker required to overcome the effect of a known increase in the number of actin filaments agree reasonably well with experimental findings. These results document the existence of cellular proteins which could regulate gel-sol transformation in vivo by their effect on actin polymer length and, therefore, on actin filament number.

  16. Geometric assortative growth model for small-world networks.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yilun

    2014-01-01

    It has been shown that both humanly constructed and natural networks are often characterized by small-world phenomenon and assortative mixing. In this paper, we propose a geometrically growing model for small-world networks. The model displays both tunable small-world phenomenon and tunable assortativity. We obtain analytical solutions of relevant topological properties such as order, size, degree distribution, degree correlation, clustering, transitivity, and diameter. It is also worth noting that the model can be viewed as a generalization for an iterative construction of Farey graphs. PMID:24578661

  17. Geometric Assortative Growth Model for Small-World Networks

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    It has been shown that both humanly constructed and natural networks are often characterized by small-world phenomenon and assortative mixing. In this paper, we propose a geometrically growing model for small-world networks. The model displays both tunable small-world phenomenon and tunable assortativity. We obtain analytical solutions of relevant topological properties such as order, size, degree distribution, degree correlation, clustering, transitivity, and diameter. It is also worth noting that the model can be viewed as a generalization for an iterative construction of Farey graphs. PMID:24578661

  18. Geometric assortative growth model for small-world networks.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yilun

    2014-01-01

    It has been shown that both humanly constructed and natural networks are often characterized by small-world phenomenon and assortative mixing. In this paper, we propose a geometrically growing model for small-world networks. The model displays both tunable small-world phenomenon and tunable assortativity. We obtain analytical solutions of relevant topological properties such as order, size, degree distribution, degree correlation, clustering, transitivity, and diameter. It is also worth noting that the model can be viewed as a generalization for an iterative construction of Farey graphs.

  19. Actin - a biosensor that determines cell fate in yeasts.

    PubMed

    Smethurst, Daniel G J; Dawes, Ian W; Gourlay, Campbell W

    2014-02-01

    The decision to proliferate, to activate stress response mechanisms or to initiate cell death lies at the heart of the maintenance of a healthy cell population. Within multicellular and colony-forming single-celled organisms, such as yeasts, the functionality of cellular compartments that connect signalling to cell fate must be maintained to maximise adaptability and survival. The actin cytoskeleton is involved in processes such as the regulation of membrane microcompartments, receptor internalisation and the control of master regulatory GTPases, which govern cell decision-making. This affords the actin cytoskeleton a central position within cell response networks. In this sense, a functional actin cytoskeleton is essential to efficiently connect information input to response at the level of the cell. Recent research from fungal, plant and mammalian cells systems has highlighted that actin can trigger apoptotic death in cells that become incompetent to respond to environmental cues. It may also be the case that this property has been appropriated by microorganisms competing for niche environments within a human host. Here, we discuss the research that has been carried out in yeast that links actin to signalling processes and cell fate that supports its role as a biosensor.

  20. 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.

  1. Growth states of catalytic reaction networks exhibiting energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:21867233

  2. 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.

  3. Nanoparticle network growth in arc generated fireballs of silicon powder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Tsuyohito; Cappelli, Mark; Osaka University Collaboration; Stanford University Collaboration

    2011-10-01

    Recently we observed buoyant fireballs by arc igniting silicon that drift in air for several seconds and postulated that the low aggregate density was attributed to the formation of a network of nanoparticles that must completely surround the burning silicon core, trapping the heated vapor generated as a result of particle combustion [Ito et al, Phys Rev E 80, 067401 (2009)]. In this study, we describe the capturing of several of these fireballs in flight, and have confirmed this nanostructure by scanning electron microscopy. The nanoparticle network is found to have an unusually high porosity (> 99%). It is also found that the overall nanoparticle network size is determined by the size of the molten silicon core, independent of the time of capture. In other words, the size and structure of the surrounding nanoparticle network seems to be limited by the vapor flux from the molten silicon core, which is determined by its surface area (size). Further details of both the experiments and analysis will be presented at the conference.

  4. 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

  5. A Robust Actin Filaments Image Analysis Framework.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. F-actin distribution at nodes of Ranvier and Schmidt-Lanterman incisures in mammalian sciatic nerves.

    PubMed

    Kun, Alejandra; Canclini, Lucía; Rosso, Gonzalo; Bresque, Mariana; Romeo, Carlos; Hanusz, Alicia; Cal, Karina; Calliari, Aldo; Sotelo Silveira, José; Sotelo, José R

    2012-07-01

    Very little is known about the function of the F-actin cytoskeleton in the regeneration and pathology of peripheral nerve fibers. The actin cytoskeleton has been associated with maintenance of tissue structure, transmission of traction and contraction forces, and an involvement in cell motility. Therefore, the state of the actin cytoskeleton strongly influences the mechanical properties of cells and intracellular transport therein. In this work, we analyze the distribution of F-actin at Schmidt-Lanterman Incisures (SLI) and nodes of Ranvier (NR) domains in normal, regenerating and pathologic Trembler J (TrJ/+) sciatic nerve fibers, of rats and mice. F-actin was quantified and it was found increased in TrJ/+, both in SLI and NR. However, SLI and NR of regenerating rat sciatic nerve did not show significant differences in F-actin, as compared with normal nerves. Cytochalasin-D and Latrunculin-A were used to disrupt the F-actin network in normal and regenerating rat sciatic nerve fibers. Both drugs disrupt F-actin, but in different ways. Cytochalasin-D did not disrupt Schwann cell (SC) F-actin at the NR. Latrunculin-A did not disrupt F-actin at the boundary region between SC and axon at the NR domain. We surmise that the rearrangement of F-actin in neurological disorders, as presented here, is an important feature of TrJ/+ pathology as a Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) model.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. TWISTED DWARF1 Mediates the Action of Auxin Transport Inhibitors on Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jinsheng; Bailly, Aurelien; Zwiewka, Marta; Sovero, Valpuri; Di Donato, Martin; Ge, Pei; Oehri, Jacqueline; Aryal, Bibek; Hao, Pengchao; Linnert, Miriam; Burgardt, Noelia Inés; Lücke, Christian; Weiwad, Matthias; Michel, Max; Weiergräber, Oliver H; Pollmann, Stephan; Azzarello, Elisa; Mancuso, Stefano; Ferro, Noel; Fukao, Yoichiro; Hoffmann, Céline; Wedlich-Söldner, Roland; Friml, Jiří; Thomas, Clément; Geisler, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Plant growth and architecture is regulated by the polar distribution of the hormone auxin. Polarity and flexibility of this process is provided by constant cycling of auxin transporter vesicles along actin filaments, coordinated by a positive auxin-actin feedback loop. Both polar auxin transport and vesicle cycling are inhibited by synthetic auxin transport inhibitors, such as 1-N-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA), counteracting the effect of auxin; however, underlying targets and mechanisms are unclear. Using NMR, we map the NPA binding surface on the Arabidopsis thaliana ABCB chaperone TWISTED DWARF1 (TWD1). We identify ACTIN7 as a relevant, although likely indirect, TWD1 interactor, and show TWD1-dependent regulation of actin filament organization and dynamics and that TWD1 is required for NPA-mediated actin cytoskeleton remodeling. The TWD1-ACTIN7 axis controls plasma membrane presence of efflux transporters, and as a consequence act7 and twd1 share developmental and physiological phenotypes indicative of defects in auxin transport. These can be phenocopied by NPA treatment or by chemical actin (de)stabilization. We provide evidence that TWD1 determines downstream locations of auxin efflux transporters by adjusting actin filament debundling and dynamizing processes and mediating NPA action on the latter. This function appears to be evolutionary conserved since TWD1 expression in budding yeast alters actin polarization and cell polarity and provides NPA sensitivity. PMID:27053424

  11. Synthetic polyamines: new compounds specific to actin dynamics for mammalian cell and fission yeast.

    PubMed

    Riveline, Daniel; Thiagarajan, Raghavan; Lehn, Jean-Marie; Carlier, Marie-France

    2014-01-01

    Actin is a major actor in the determination of cell shape. On the one hand, site-directed assembly/disassembly cycles of actin filaments drive protrusive force leading to lamellipodia and filopodia dynamics. Force produced by actin similarly contributes in membrane scission in endocytosis or Golgi remodeling. On the other hand, cellular processes like adhesion, immune synapse, cortex dynamics or cytokinesis are achieved by combining acto-myosin contractility and actin assembly in a complex and not fully understood manner. New chemical compounds are therefore needed to disentangle acto-myosin and actin dynamics. We have found that synthetic, cell permeant, short polyamines are promising new actin regulators in this context. They generate growth and stabilization of lamellipodia within minutes by slowing down the actin assembly/disassembly cycle and facilitating nucleation. We now report that these polyamines also slow down cytokinetic ring closure in fission yeast. This shows that these synthetic compounds are active also in yeasts, and these experiments specifically highlight that actin depolymerization is involved in the ring closure. Thus, synthetic polyamines appear to be potentially powerful agents in a quantitative approach to the role of actin in complex processes in cell biology, developmental biology and potentially cancer research.

  12. An Eden model for the growth of adaptive networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meakin, Paul

    1991-12-01

    An adaptive growth model based on the Eden model has been investigated using computer simulations. In this model a “score” associated with all the sites along the shortest path from the newly added site to the initial seed or growth site is incremented by an amount δ 1 ( δ1=1/( l+1) η where l is the path length) and the score associated with all the sites in the cluster is decreased by a fixed amount δ2 ( δ2=1/ Nm) after each growth event. If the score associated with a site falls below zero it is removed from the cluster. In the asymptotic limit ( t→∞ where t is the number of growth events) the cluster size fluctuates about a constant value proportional to N vm where the exponent v is given by the empirical relationship v=2/(2+ η), which is supported by simple theoretical considerations. The growth of the number of occupied sites, s( t), can be represented by the scaling form s( t) = N vm ƒ(t/N vm) .

  13. What the geometry of a river network says about its growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devauchelle, Olivier; Cohen, Yossi; Seybold, Hansjoerg F.; Yi, Robert S.; Szymczak, Piotr; Rothman, Daniel H.

    2014-11-01

    The growth of a river network is governed by the flow of rainwater towards it. When the streams drain groundwater, this flow conforms to a harmonic field, thus turning the network growth into an analogue of Saffman-Taylor fingering and diffusion-limited aggregation. A theoretical description of this process should specify (i) how fast a river grows, (ii) in which direction and (iii) when it bifurcates. Simple physical reasoning suggests that a river grows along the groundwater flow lines (geodesic growth). In a harmonic field, this hypothesis sets the branching angle of the network to 72°, regardless of the other growth rules. This geometrical property appears unambiguously in nature. Inspired by fracture mechanics, we reformulate the geodesic growth in terms of local symmetry: as it cuts into the landscape, a river maintains a symmetric groundwater flow around its tip. Based on this principle, we reconstruct the history of the network by growing it backwards from its present geometry. We then use this history to infer the network's dynamics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-18

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

  15. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  16. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  17. Choosing orientation: influence of cargo geometry and ActA polarization on actin comet tails

    PubMed Central

    Lacayo, Catherine I.; Soneral, Paula A. G.; Zhu, Jie; Tsuchida, Mark A.; Footer, Matthew J.; Soo, Frederick S.; Lu, Yu; Xia, Younan; Mogilner, Alexander; Theriot, Julie A.

    2012-01-01

    Networks of polymerizing actin filaments can propel intracellular pathogens and drive movement of artificial particles in reconstituted systems. While biochemical mechanisms activating actin network assembly have been well characterized, it remains unclear how particle geometry and large-scale force balance affect emergent properties of movement. We reconstituted actin-based motility using ellipsoidal beads resembling the geometry of Listeria monocytogenes. Beads coated uniformly with the L. monocytogenes ActA protein migrated equally well in either of two distinct orientations, with their long axes parallel or perpendicular to the direction of motion, while intermediate orientations were unstable. When beads were coated with a fluid lipid bilayer rendering ActA laterally mobile, beads predominantly migrated with their long axes parallel to the direction of motion, mimicking the orientation of motile L. monocytogenes. Generating an accurate biophysical model to account for our observations required the combination of elastic-propulsion and tethered-ratchet actin-polymerization theories. Our results indicate that the characteristic orientation of L. monocytogenes must be due to polarized ActA rather than intrinsic actin network forces. Furthermore, viscoelastic stresses, forces, and torques produced by individual actin filaments and lateral movement of molecular complexes must all be incorporated to correctly predict large-scale behavior in the actin-based movement of nonspherical particles. PMID:22219381

  18. Actin filament dynamics impacts keratinocyte stem cell maintenance

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Force Transmission in the Actin Cytoskeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret

    2012-02-01

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

  20. Actin filament organization in the fish keratocyte lamellipodium

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Alessa, L; Kropf, D L

    1999-01-01

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

  2. Cooperative symmetry-breaking by actin polymerization in a model for cell motility.

    PubMed

    van Oudenaarden, A; Theriot, J A

    1999-12-01

    Polymerizing networks of actin filaments are capable of exerting significant mechanical forces, used by eukaryotic cells and their prokaryotic pathogens to change shape or to move. Here we show that small beads coated uniformly with a protein that catalyses actin polymerization are initially surrounded by symmetrical clouds of actin filaments. This symmetry is broken spontaneously, after which the beads undergo directional motion. We have developed a stochastic theory, in which each actin filament is modelled as an elastic brownian ratchet, that quantitatively accounts for the observed emergent symmetry-breaking behaviour. Symmetry-breaking can only occur for polymers that have a significant subunit off-rate, such as the biopolymers actin and tubulin.

  3. The reconstitution of actin polymerization on liposomes.

    PubMed

    Stamnes, Mark; Xu, Weidong

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Biohybrid networks of selectively desulfated glycosaminoglycans for tunable growth factor delivery.

    PubMed

    Zieris, Andrea; Dockhorn, Ron; Röhrich, Anika; Zimmermann, Ralf; Müller, Martin; Welzel, Petra B; Tsurkan, Mikhail V; Sommer, Jens-Uwe; Freudenberg, Uwe; Werner, Carsten

    2014-12-01

    Sulfation patterns of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) govern the electrostatic complexation of biomolecules and thus allow for modulating the release profiles of growth factors from GAG-based hydrogels. To explore options related to this, selectively desulfated heparin derivatives were prepared, thoroughly characterized, and covalently converted with star-shaped poly(ethylene glycol) into binary polymer networks. The impact of the GAG sulfation pattern on the network characteristics of the obtained hydrogels was theoretically evaluated by mean field methods and experimentally analyzed by rheometry and swelling measurements. Sulfation-dependent differences of reactivity and miscibility of the heparin derivatives were shown to determine network formation. A theory-based design concept for customizing growth factor affinity and physical characteristics was introduced and validated by quantifying the release of fibroblast growth factor 2 from a set of biohybrid gels. The resulting new class of cell-instructive polymer matrices with tunable GAG sulfation will be instrumental for multiple applications in biotechnology and medicine. PMID:25329425

  5. Biohybrid networks of selectively desulfated glycosaminoglycans for tunable growth factor delivery.

    PubMed

    Zieris, Andrea; Dockhorn, Ron; Röhrich, Anika; Zimmermann, Ralf; Müller, Martin; Welzel, Petra B; Tsurkan, Mikhail V; Sommer, Jens-Uwe; Freudenberg, Uwe; Werner, Carsten

    2014-12-01

    Sulfation patterns of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) govern the electrostatic complexation of biomolecules and thus allow for modulating the release profiles of growth factors from GAG-based hydrogels. To explore options related to this, selectively desulfated heparin derivatives were prepared, thoroughly characterized, and covalently converted with star-shaped poly(ethylene glycol) into binary polymer networks. The impact of the GAG sulfation pattern on the network characteristics of the obtained hydrogels was theoretically evaluated by mean field methods and experimentally analyzed by rheometry and swelling measurements. Sulfation-dependent differences of reactivity and miscibility of the heparin derivatives were shown to determine network formation. A theory-based design concept for customizing growth factor affinity and physical characteristics was introduced and validated by quantifying the release of fibroblast growth factor 2 from a set of biohybrid gels. The resulting new class of cell-instructive polymer matrices with tunable GAG sulfation will be instrumental for multiple applications in biotechnology and medicine.

  6. Predicting the growth of fractal particle agglomeration networks with graph theoretical methods.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubler, Alfred

    2007-03-01

    We study an electromechanical system [J. Jun, A. Hubler, PNAS 102, 536 (2005); J. Jun, Ph.D. thesis, UIUC (2004)], where conducting particles self-organize into dendritic patterns under the influence of an electric field for the purpose of collecting and transporting charge. The system forms stable open-loop networks with many reproducible statistical quantities, such as the number of termini and the number of branch points, but the final topology of the network is sensitive to the initial conditions of the particles. Small differences in the initial configuration may lead to very different stationary states. We present robust and reliable ensemble prediction algorithms for the growth of such fractal charge transportation networks. These predictors may lead to the discovery of common properties and serve a prototype to predict fractal growth in other areas, including neural systems; blood vessel systems, river networks, and dielectric break through.

  7. 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.

  8. An integrated network of Arabidopsis growth regulators and its use for gene prioritization

    PubMed Central

    Sabaghian, Ehsan; Drebert, Zuzanna; Inzé, Dirk; Saeys, Yvan

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that govern plant growth has been an important topic in plant research, and current advances in large-scale data generation call for computational tools that efficiently combine these different data sources to generate novel hypotheses. In this work, we present a novel, integrated network that combines multiple large-scale data sources to characterize growth regulatory genes in Arabidopsis, one of the main plant model organisms. The contributions of this work are twofold: first, we characterized a set of carefully selected growth regulators with respect to their connectivity patterns in the integrated network, and, subsequently, we explored to which extent these connectivity patterns can be used to suggest new growth regulators. Using a large-scale comparative study, we designed new supervised machine learning methods to prioritize growth regulators. Our results show that these methods significantly improve current state-of-the-art prioritization techniques, and are able to suggest meaningful new growth regulators. In addition, the integrated network is made available to the scientific community, providing a rich data source that will be useful for many biological processes, not necessarily restricted to plant growth. PMID:26620795

  9. Association of actin with alpha crystallins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  10. Actin dynamics in papilla cells of Brassica rapa during self- and cross-pollination.

    PubMed

    Iwano, Megumi; Shiba, Hiroshi; Matoba, Kyoko; Miwa, Teruhiko; Funato, Miyuki; Entani, Tetsuyuki; Nakayama, Pulla; Shimosato, Hiroko; Takaoka, Akio; Isogai, Akira; Takayama, Seiji

    2007-05-01

    The self-incompatibility system of the plant species Brassica is controlled by the S-locus, which contains S-RECEPTOR KINASE (SRK) and S-LOCUS PROTEIN11 (SP11). SP11 binding to SRK induces SRK autophosphorylation and initiates a signaling cascade leading to the rejection of self pollen. However, the mechanism controlling hydration and germination arrest during self-pollination is unclear. In this study, we examined the role of actin, a key cytoskeletal component regulating the transport system for hydration and germination in the papilla cell during pollination. Using rhodamine-phalloidin staining, we showed that cross-pollination induced actin polymerization, whereas self-pollination induced actin reorganization and likely depolymerization. By monitoring transiently expressed green fluorescent protein fused to the actin-binding domain of mouse talin, we observed the concentration of actin bundles at the cross-pollen attachment site and actin reorganization and likely depolymerization at the self-pollen attachment site; the results correspond to those obtained by rhodamine-phalloidin staining. We further showed that the coat of self pollen is sufficient to mediate this response. The actin-depolymerizing drug cytochalasin D significantly inhibited pollen hydration and germination during cross-pollination, further emphasizing a role for actin in these processes. Additionally, three-dimensional electron microscopic tomography revealed the close association of the actin cytoskeleton with an apical vacuole network. Self-pollination disrupted the vacuole network, whereas cross-pollination led to vacuolar rearrangements toward the site of pollen attachment. Taken together, our data suggest that self- and cross-pollination differentially affect the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton, leading to changes in vacuolar structure associated with hydration and germination.

  11. Network growth with preferential attachment for high indegree and low outdegree

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sevim, Volkan; Rikvold, Per Arne

    2008-04-01

    We study the growth of a directed transportation network, such as a food web, in which links carry resources. We propose a growth process in which new nodes (or species) preferentially attach to existing nodes with high indegree (in food-web language, number of prey) and low outdegree (or number of predators). This scheme, which we call inverse preferential attachment, is intended to maximize the amount of resources available to each new node. We show that the outdegree (predator) distribution decays at least exponentially fast for large outdegree and is continuously tunable between an exponential distribution and a delta function. The indegree (prey) distribution is poissonian in the large-network limit.

  12. The Rationality of Four Metrics of Network Robustness: A Viewpoint of Robust Growth of Generalized Meshes

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaofan; Zhu, Yuanrui; Hong, Jing; Yang, Lu-Xing; Wu, Yingbo; Tang, Yuan Yan

    2016-01-01

    There are quite a number of different metrics of network robustness. This paper addresses the rationality of four metrics of network robustness (the algebraic connectivity, the effective resistance, the average edge betweenness, and the efficiency) by investigating the robust growth of generalized meshes (GMs). First, a heuristic growth algorithm (the Proximity-Growth algorithm) is proposed. The resulting proximity-optimal GMs are intuitively robust and hence are adopted as the benchmark. Then, a generalized mesh (GM) is grown up by stepwise optimizing a given measure of network robustness. The following findings are presented: (1) The algebraic connectivity-optimal GMs deviate quickly from the proximity-optimal GMs, yielding a number of less robust GMs. This hints that the rationality of the algebraic connectivity as a measure of network robustness is still in doubt. (2) The effective resistace-optimal GMs and the average edge betweenness-optimal GMs are in line with the proximity-optimal GMs. This partly justifies the two quantities as metrics of network robustness. (3) The efficiency-optimal GMs deviate gradually from the proximity-optimal GMs, yielding some less robust GMs. This suggests the limited utility of the efficiency as a measure of network robustness. PMID:27518448

  13. Actin in hair cells and hearing loss.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Effect of the accelerating growth of communications networks on their structure.

    PubMed

    Dorogovtsev, S N; Mendes, J F

    2001-02-01

    Motivated by data on the evolution of the Internet and World Wide Web we consider scenarios of self-organization of nonlinearly growing networks into free-scale structures. We find that the accelerating growth of networks establishes their structure. For growing networks with preferential linking and increasing density of links, two scenarios are possible. In one of them, the value of the exponent gamma of the distribution of the number of incoming links is between 3/2 and 2. In the other scenario, gamma>2 and the distribution is necessarily nonstationary.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Steven L.; Korobova, Farida

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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. PMID:26976596

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:26866809

  12. Microtubule and Actin Interplay Drive Intracellular c-Src Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26866809

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26577186

  14. Model for adhesion clutch explains biphasic relationship between actin flow and traction at the cell leading edge

    PubMed Central

    Craig, Erin M.; Stricker, Jonathan; Gardel, Margaret L.; Mogilner, Alex

    2015-01-01

    Cell motility relies on the continuous reorganization of a dynamic actin-myosin-adhesion network at the leading edge of the cell, in order to generate protrusion at the leading edge and traction between the cell and its external environment. We analyze experimentally measured spatial distributions of actin flow, traction force, myosin density, and adhesion density in control and pharmacologically perturbed epithelial cells in order to develop a mechanical model of the actin-adhesion-myosin self-organization at the leading edge. A model in which the F-actin network is treated as a viscous gel, and adhesion clutch engagement is strengthened by myosin but weakened by actin flow, can explain the measured molecular distributions and correctly predict the spatial distributions of the actin flow and traction stress. We test the model by comparing its predictions with measurements of the actin flow and traction stress in cells with fast and slow actin polymerization rates. The model predicts how the location of the lamellipodium-lamellum boundary depends on the actin viscosity and adhesion strength. The model further predicts that the location of the lamellipodium-lamellum boundary is not very sensitive to the level of myosin contraction. PMID:25969948

  15. Chaperone Hsp47 drives malignant growth and invasion by modulating an ECM gene network

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jieqing; Xiong, Gaofeng; Fu, Hanjiang; Evers, B. Mark; Zhou, Binhua P.; Xu, Ren

    2015-01-01

    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 non-invasive structures in 3D cultures, and to limit tumor growth in xenograft assays by reducing deposition of collagen and fibronectin. Co-expression network analysis also showed that levels of microRNA-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. PMID:25744716

  16. The actin of muscle and fibroblasts.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, P J

    1976-01-01

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

  17. Quantifying actin wave modulation on periodic topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  18. Plastins regulate ectoplasmic specialization via its actin bundling activity on microfilaments in the rat testis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Wong, Chris KC; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-01-01

    Plastins are a family of actin binding proteins (ABPs) known to cross-link actin microfilaments in mammalian cells, creating actin microfilament bundles necessary to confer cell polarity and cell shape. Plastins also support cell movement in response to changes in environment, involved in cell/tissue growth and development. They also confer plasticity to cells and tissues in response to infection or other pathological conditions (e.g., inflammation). In the testis, the cell-cell anchoring junction unique to the testis that is found at the Sertoli cell-cell interface at the blood-testis barrier (BTB) and at the Sertoli-spermatid (e.g., 8–19 spermatids in the rat testis) is the basal and the apical ectoplasmic specialization (ES), respectively. The ES is an F-actin-rich anchoring junction constituted most notably by actin microfilament bundles. A recent report using RNAi that specifically knocks down plastin 3 has yielded some insightful information regarding the mechanism by which plastin 3 regulates the status of actin microfilament bundles at the ES via its intrinsic actin filament bundling activity. Herein, we provide a brief review on the role of plastins in the testis in light of this report, which together with recent findings in the field, we propose a likely model by which plastins regulate ES function during the epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis via their intrinsic activity on actin microfilament organization in the rat testis. PMID:26608945

  19. Allyl Isothiocyanate Inhibits Actin-Dependent Intracellular Transport in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Sporsheim, Bjørnar; Øverby, Anders; Bones, Atle Magnar

    2015-01-01

    Volatile allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) derives from the biodegradation of the glucosinolate sinigrin and has been associated with growth inhibition in several plants, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms of this feature remain scarcely investigated in plants. In this study, we present evidence of an AITC-induced inhibition of actin-dependent intracellular transport in A. thaliana. A transgenic line of A. thaliana expressing yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-tagged actin filaments was used to show attenuation of actin filament movement by AITC. This appeared gradually in a time- and dose-dependent manner and resulted in actin filaments appearing close to static. Further, we employed four transgenic lines with YFP-fusion proteins labeling the Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), vacuoles and peroxisomes to demonstrate an AITC-induced inhibition of actin-dependent intracellular transport of or, in these structures, consistent with the decline in actin filament movement. Furthermore, the morphologies of actin filaments, ER and vacuoles appeared aberrant following AITC-exposure. However, AITC-treated seedlings of all transgenic lines tested displayed morphologies and intracellular movements similar to that of the corresponding untreated and control-treated plants, following overnight incubation in an AITC-absent environment, indicating that AITC-induced decline in actin-related movements is a reversible process. These findings provide novel insights into the cellular events in plant cells following exposure to AITC, which may further expose clues to the physiological significance of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system. PMID:26690132

  20. The statistical mechanics of complex signaling networks: nerve growth factor signaling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, K. S.; Hill, C. C.; Calero, G. A.; Myers, C. R.; Lee, K. H.; Sethna, J. P.; Cerione, R. A.

    2004-10-01

    The inherent complexity of cellular signaling networks and their importance to a wide range of cellular functions necessitates the development of modeling methods that can be applied toward making predictions and highlighting the appropriate experiments to test our understanding of how these systems are designed and function. We use methods of statistical mechanics to extract useful predictions for complex cellular signaling networks. A key difficulty with signaling models is that, while significant effort is being made to experimentally measure the rate constants for individual steps in these networks, many of the parameters required to describe their behavior remain unknown or at best represent estimates. To establish the usefulness of our approach, we have applied our methods toward modeling the nerve growth factor (NGF)-induced differentiation of neuronal cells. In particular, we study the actions of NGF and mitogenic epidermal growth factor (EGF) in rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. Through a network of intermediate signaling proteins, each of these growth factors stimulates extracellular regulated kinase (Erk) phosphorylation with distinct dynamical profiles. Using our modeling approach, we are able to predict the influence of specific signaling modules in determining the integrated cellular response to the two growth factors. Our methods also raise some interesting insights into the design and possible evolution of cellular systems, highlighting an inherent property of these systems that we call 'sloppiness.'

  1. Growth of Bi 2S 3 skeleton crystals with three-dimensional network morphologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Debao; Shao, Mingwang; Yu, Dabin; Yu, Weichao; Qian, Yitai

    2003-07-01

    Skeleton crystals of Bi 2S 3 have been prepared via a solvothermal route using BiCl 3 and anhydrous sodium sulfite as starting reagents. Transmission electron microscopy studies showed that the rod-based skeleton crystals have three-dimensional network morphologies. The influence of reaction time and the temperatures has been discussed. A possible growth mechanism was proposed.

  2. 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

  3. Application of GA in optimization of pore network models generated by multi-cellular growth algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamshidi, Saeid; Boozarjomehry, Ramin Bozorgmehry; Pishvaie, Mahmoud Reza

    2009-10-01

    In pore network modeling, the void space of a rock sample is represented at the microscopic scale by a network of pores connected by throats. Construction of a reasonable representation of the geometry and topology of the pore space will lead to a reliable prediction of the properties of porous media. Recently, the theory of multi-cellular growth (or L-systems) has been used as a flexible tool for generation of pore network models which do not require any special information such as 2D SEM or 3D pore space images. In general, the networks generated by this method are irregular pore network models which are inherently closer to the complicated nature of the porous media rather than regular lattice networks. In this approach, the construction process is controlled only by the production rules that govern the development process of the network. In this study, genetic algorithm has been used to obtain the optimum values of the uncertain parameters of these production rules to build an appropriate irregular lattice network capable of the prediction of both static and hydraulic information of the target porous medium.

  4. Emergence of hierarchy in cost-driven growth of spatial networks.

    PubMed

    Louf, Rémi; Jensen, Pablo; Barthelemy, Marc

    2013-05-28

    One of the most important features of spatial networks--such as transportation networks, power grids, the Internet, and neural networks--is the existence of a cost associated with the length of links. Such a cost has a profound influence on the global structure of these networks, which usually display a hierarchical spatial organization. The link between local constraints and large-scale structure is not elucidated, however, and we introduce here a generic model for the growth of spatial networks based on the general concept of cost-benefit analysis. This model depends essentially on a single scale and produces a family of networks that range from the star graph to the minimum spanning tree and are characterized by a continuously varying exponent. We show that spatial hierarchy emerges naturally, with structures composed of various hubs controlling geographically separated service areas, and appears as a large-scale consequence of local cost-benefit considerations. Our model thus provides the basic building blocks for a better understanding of the evolution of spatial networks and their properties. We also find that, surprisingly, the average detour is minimal in the intermediate regime as a result of a large diversity in link lengths. Finally, we estimate the important parameters for various world railway networks and find that, remarkably, they all fall in this intermediate regime, suggesting that spatial hierarchy is a crucial feature for these systems and probably possesses an important evolutionary advantage.

  5. 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.

  6. Percolation mechanism drives actin gels to the critically connected state.

    PubMed

    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)1745-247310.1038/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. PMID:27300931

  7. Role of gelsolin in actin depolymerization of adherent human neutrophils.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, J S; Coburn, J P; Tauber, A I; Zaner, K S

    1997-01-01

    Human neutrophils generally function adherent to an extracellular matrix. We have previously reported that upon adhesion to laminin- or fibronectin-coated, but not uncoated, plastic there is a depolymerization of actin in neutrophils. This phenomenon was not affected by inhibitors of the more well-studied components of the signal transduction pathway, specifically, pertussis toxin, an inhibitor of G-proteins, H-7 or staurosporine, inhibitors of protein kinase C, or herbimycin A, an inhibitor of nonreceptor tyrosine kinase. We therefore focused our attention on actin-binding proteins and measured the changes in the partitioning of gelsolin between the Triton X-100-soluble and -insoluble cellular fractions which occur upon neutrophil adhesion by means of quantitating anti-gelsolin antibody binding to aliquots of these fractions. It was found that approximately 90% of the total cellular gelsolin was found in the Triton X-100-soluble fraction in suspended cells, but that upon adherence to either fibronectin- or laminin-coated plastic about 40% of the soluble gelsolin could be detected in the insoluble fraction. This effect was not observed in cells adherent to uncoated plastic, wherein more than 90% of the gelsolin was found in the soluble fraction. Results of immunofluorescence microscopy of these cell preparations was consistent with this data. A gelsolin translocation to the insoluble cellular actin network may account for a part of the observed actin depolymerization. Images PMID:9017600

  8. Growth factor signalling networks in breast cancer and resistance to endocrine agents: new therapeutic strategies.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, R I; Hutcheson, I R; Britton, D; Knowlden, J M; Jones, H E; Harper, M E; Hiscox, S E; Barrow, D; Gee, J M W

    2005-02-01

    Recent evidence demonstrates that growth factor networks are highly interactive with the estrogen receptor (ER) in the control of breast cancer growth and development. As such, tumor responses to anti-hormones are likely to be a composite of the ER and growth factor inhibitory activity of these agents, with alterations/aberrations in growth factor signalling providing a mechanism for the development of anti-hormone resistance. In this light, the current article focuses on illustrating the relationship between growth factor signalling and anti-hormone failure in our in-house tumor models of breast cancer and describes how we are now beginning to successfully target their actions to improve the effects of anti-hormonal drugs and to block aggressive disease progression.

  9. Measurement of plant growth in view of an integrative analysis of regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Wuyts, Nathalie; Dhondt, Stijn; Inzé, Dirk

    2015-06-01

    As the regulatory networks of growth at the cellular level are elucidated at a fast pace, their complexity is not reduced; on the contrary, the tissue, organ and even whole-plant level affect cell proliferation and expansion by means of development-induced and environment-induced signaling events in growth regulatory processes. Measurement of growth across different levels aids in gaining a mechanistic understanding of growth, and in defining the spatial and temporal resolution of sampling strategies for molecular analyses in the model Arabidopsis thaliana and increasingly also in crop species. The latter claim their place at the forefront of plant research, since global issues and future needs drive the translation from laboratory model-acquired knowledge of growth processes to improvements in crop productivity in field conditions. PMID:26002069

  10. 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. PMID:25701039

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

    PubMed

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

    1981-03-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Visualizing and Evaluating the Growth of Multi-Institutional Collaboration Based on Research Network Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jake; Pelfrey, Clara; Zhang, Guo-Qiang

    2014-01-01

    Research collaboration plays an important role in scientific productivity and academic innovation. Multi-institutional collaboration has become a vital approach for integrating multidisciplinary resources and expertise to enhance biomedical research. There is an increasing need for analyzing the effect of multi-institutional research collaboration. In this paper, we present a collaboration analysis pipeline based on research networks constructed from publication co-authorship relationship. Such research networks can be effectively used to render and analyze large-scale institutional collaboration. The co-authorship networks of the Cleveland Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) were visualized and analyzed. SciVal Expert™ was used to extract publication data of the CTSC members. The network was presented in informative and aesthetically appealing diagrams using the open source visualization package Gephi. The analytic result demonstrates the effectiveness of our approach, and it also indicates the substantial growth of research collaboration among the CTSC members crossing its partner institutions. PMID:25954579

  15. Visualizing and evaluating the growth of multi-institutional collaboration based on research network analysis.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jake; Pelfrey, Clara; Zhang, Guo-Qiang

    2014-01-01

    Research collaboration plays an important role in scientific productivity and academic innovation. Multi-institutional collaboration has become a vital approach for integrating multidisciplinary resources and expertise to enhance biomedical research. There is an increasing need for analyzing the effect of multi-institutional research collaboration. In this paper, we present a collaboration analysis pipeline based on research networks constructed from publication co-authorship relationship. Such research networks can be effectively used to render and analyze large-scale institutional collaboration. The co-authorship networks of the Cleveland Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) were visualized and analyzed. SciVal Expert™ was used to extract publication data of the CTSC members. The network was presented in informative and aesthetically appealing diagrams using the open source visualization package Gephi. The analytic result demonstrates the effectiveness of our approach, and it also indicates the substantial growth of research collaboration among the CTSC members crossing its partner institutions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Effects of the F-actin inhibitor latrunculin A on the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Kopecká, Marie; Yamaguchi, Masashi; Kawamoto, Susumu

    2015-07-01

    Our basic cell biology research was aimed at investigating the effect on eukaryotic cells of the sudden loss of the F-actin cytoskeleton. Cells treated with latrunculin A (LA) in yeast extract peptone dextrose (YEPD) medium were examined using phase-contrast and fluorescent microscopy, freeze-substitution, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, counted using a Bürker chamber and their absorbance measured. The cells responded to the presence of LA, an F-actin inhibitor, with the disappearance of actin patches, actin cables and actin rings. This resulted in the formation of larger spherical cells with irregular morphology in the cell walls and ultrastructural disorder of the cell organelles and secretory vesicles. Instead of buds, LA-inhibited cells formed only 'table-mountain-like' wide flattened swellings without apical growth with a thinner glucan cell-wall layer containing β-1,3-glucan microfibrils. The LA-inhibited cells lysed. Actin cables and patches were required for bud formation and bud growth. In addition, actin patches were required for the formation of β-1,3-glucan microfibrils in the bud cell wall. LA has fungistatic, fungicidal and fungilytic effects on the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

  18. Affinity chromatography of immobilized actin and myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Bottomley, R C; Trayer, I P

    1975-01-01

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

  19. Actin Cross-Linkers and the Shape of Stereocilia

    PubMed Central

    Lenz, Martin; Prost, Jacques; Joanny, Jean-François

    2010-01-01

    Stereocilia are actin-based cellular protrusions essential for hearing. We propose that they are shaped by the detachment dynamics of actin cross-linkers, in particular espin. We account for experimentally observed stereocilium shapes, treadmilling velocity to length relationship, espin 1 localization profile, and microvillus length to espin level relationship. If the cross-linkers are allowed to reattach, our model yields a dynamical phase transition toward unbounded growth. Considering the simplified case of a noninteracting, one-filament system, we calculate the length probability distribution in the growing phase and its stationary form in a continuum approximation of the finite-length phase. Numerical simulations of interacting filaments suggest an anomalous power-law divergence of the protrusion length at the growth transition, which could be a universal feature of cross-linked depolymerizing systems. PMID:20959082

  20. The role of palladin in actin organization and cell motility

    PubMed Central

    Goicoechea, Silvia M.; Arneman, Daniel; Otey, Carol A.

    2008-01-01

    Palladin is a widely expressed protein found in stress fibers, focal adhesions, growth cones, Z-discs, and other actin-based subcellular structures. It belongs to a small gene family that includes the Z-disc proteins myopalladin and myotilin, all of which share similar Ig-like domains. Recent advances have shown that palladin shares with myotilin the ability to bind directly to F-actin, and to crosslink actin filaments into bundles, in vitro. Studies in a variety of cultured cells suggest that the actin-organizing activity of palladin plays a central role in promoting cell motility. Correlative evidence also supports this hypothesis, as palladin levels are typically upregulated in cells that are actively migrating: in developing vertebrate embryos, in cells along a wound edge, and in metastatic cancer cells. Recently, a mutation in the human palladin gene was implicated in an unusually penetrant form of inherited pancreatic cancer, which has stimulated new ideas about the role of palladin in invasive cancer. PMID:18342394

  1. 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

  2. Formin 1 Regulates Ectoplasmic Specialization in the Rat Testis Through Its Actin Nucleation and Bundling Activity.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D; Wong, Chris K C; Han, Daishu; Lee, Will M; Cheng, C Yan

    2015-08-01

    During spermatogenesis, developing spermatids and preleptotene spermatocytes are transported across the adluminal compartment and the blood-testis barrier (BTB), respectively, so that spermatids line up near the luminal edge to prepare for spermiation, whereas preleptotene spermatocytes enter the adluminal compartment to differentiate into late spermatocytes to prepare for meiosis I/II. These cellular events involve actin microfilament reorganization at the testis-specific, actin-rich Sertoli-spermatid and Sertoli-Sertoli cell junction called apical and basal ectoplasmic specialization (ES). Formin 1, an actin nucleation protein known to promote actin microfilament elongation and bundling, was expressed at the apical ES but limited to stage VII of the epithelial cycle, whereas its expression at the basal ES/BTB stretched from stage III to stage VI, diminished in stage VII, and was undetectable in stage VIII tubules. Using an in vitro model of studying Sertoli cell BTB function by RNA interference and biochemical assays to monitor actin bundling and polymerization activity, a knockdown of formin 1 in Sertoli cells by approximately 70% impeded the tight junction-permeability function. This disruptive effect on the tight junction barrier was mediated by a loss of actin microfilament bundling and actin polymerization capability mediated by changes in the localization of branched actin-inducing protein Arp3 (actin-related protein 3), and actin bundling proteins Eps8 (epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8) and palladin, thereby disrupting cell adhesion. Formin 1 knockdown in vivo was found to impede spermatid adhesion, transport, and polarity, causing defects in spermiation in which elongated spermatids remained embedded into the epithelium in stage IX tubules, mediated by changes in the spatiotemporal expression of Arp3, Eps8, and palladin. In summary, formin 1 is a regulator of ES dynamics.

  3. Molecular and structural basis for redox regulation of beta-actin.

    PubMed

    Lassing, Ingrid; Schmitzberger, Florian; Björnstedt, Mikael; Holmgren, Arne; Nordlund, Pär; Schutt, Clarence E; Lindberg, Uno

    2007-07-01

    An essential consequence of growth factor-mediated signal transduction is the generation of intracellular H(2)O(2). It operates as a second messenger in the control of actin microfilament dynamics, causing rapid and dramatic changes in the morphology and motile activity of stimulated cells. Little is understood about the molecular mechanisms causing these changes in the actin system. Here, it is shown that H(2)O(2) acts directly upon several levels of this system, and some of the mechanistic effects are detailed. We describe the impact of oxidation on the polymerizability of non-muscle beta/gamma-actin and compare with that of muscle alpha-actin. Oxidation of beta/gamma-actin can cause a complete loss of polymerizability, crucially, reversible by the thioredoxin system. Further, oxidation of the actin impedes its interaction with profilin and causes depolymerization of filamentous actin. The effects of oxidation are critically dependent on the nucleotide state and the concentration of Ca(2+). We have determined the crystal structure of oxidized beta-actin to a resolution of 2.6 A. The arrangement in the crystal implies an antiparallel homodimer connected by an intermolecular disulfide bond involving cysteine 374. Our data indicate that this dimer forms under non-polymerizing and oxidizing conditions. We identify oxidation of cysteine 272 in the crystallized actin dimer, likely to a cysteine sulfinic acid. In beta/gamma-actin, this is the cysteine residue most reactive towards H(2)O(2) in solution, and we suggest plausible structural determinants for its reactivity. No other oxidative modification was obvious in the structure, highlighting the specificity of the oxidation by H(2)O(2). Possible consequences of the observed effects in a cellular context and their potential relevance are discussed.

  4. A Co-Association Network Analysis of the Genetic Determination of Pig Conformation, Growth and Fatness

    PubMed Central

    Puig-Oliveras, Anna; Ballester, Maria; Corominas, Jordi; Revilla, Manuel; Estellé, Jordi; Fernández, Ana I.; Ramayo-Caldas, Yuliaxis; Folch, Josep M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Several QTLs have been identified for major economically relevant traits in livestock, such as growth and meat quality, revealing the complex genetic architecture of these traits. The use of network approaches considering the interactions of multiple molecules and traits provides useful insights into the molecular underpinnings of complex traits. Here, a network based methodology, named Association Weight Matrix, was applied to study gene interactions and pathways affecting pig conformation, growth and fatness traits. Results The co-association network analysis underpinned three transcription factors, PPARγ, ELF1, and PRDM16 involved in mesoderm tissue differentiation. Fifty-four genes in the network belonged to growth-related ontologies and 46 of them were common with a similar study for growth in cattle supporting our results. The functional analysis uncovered the lipid metabolism and the corticotrophin and gonadotrophin release hormone pathways among the most important pathways influencing these traits. Our results suggest that the genes and pathways here identified are important determining either the total body weight of the animal and the fat content. For instance, a switch in the mesoderm tissue differentiation may determinate the age-related preferred pathways being in the puberty stage those related with the miogenic and osteogenic lineages; on the contrary, in the maturity stage cells may be more prone to the adipocyte fate. Hence, our results demonstrate that an integrative genomic co-association analysis is a powerful approach for identifying new connections and interactions among genes. Conclusions This work provides insights about pathways and key regulators which may be important determining the animal growth, conformation and body proportions and fatness traits. Molecular information concerning genes and pathways here described may be crucial for the improvement of genetic breeding programs applied to pork meat production. PMID:25503799

  5. Logistic growth for the Nuzi cuneiform tablets: Analyzing family networks in ancient Mesopotamia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueda, Sumie; Makino, Kumi; Itoh, Yoshiaki; Tsuchiya, Takashi

    2015-03-01

    We reconstruct the published year of each cuneiform tablet of the Nuzi society in ancient Mesopotamia. The tablets are on land transaction, marriage, loan, slavery contracts, etc. The number of tablets seems to increase by logistic growth. It may show the dynamics of concentration of lands or other properties into few powerful families in a period of about sixty years and most of them are in about thirty years. We reconstruct family trees and social networks of Nuzi and estimate the published years of cuneiform tablets consistently with the trees and networks, formulating least squares problems with linear inequality constraints.

  6. The actin cytoskeleton in endothelial cell phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Prasain, Nutan; Stevens, Troy

    2009-01-01

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

  7. WAVE binds Ena/VASP for enhanced Arp2/3 complex-based actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Havrylenko, Svitlana; Noguera, Philippe; Abou-Ghali, Majdouline; Manzi, John; Faqir, Fahima; Lamora, Audrey; Guérin, Christophe; Blanchoin, Laurent; Plastino, Julie

    2015-01-01

    The WAVE complex is the main activator of the Arp2/3 complex for actin filament nucleation and assembly in the lamellipodia of moving cells. Other important players in lamellipodial protrusion are Ena/VASP proteins, which enhance actin filament elongation. Here we examine the molecular coordination between the nucleating activity of the Arp2/3 complex and the elongating activity of Ena/VASP proteins for the formation of actin networks. Using an in vitro bead motility assay, we show that WAVE directly binds VASP, resulting in an increase in Arp2/3 complex-based actin assembly. We show that this interaction is important in vivo as well, for the formation of lamellipodia during the ventral enclosure event of Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis. Ena/VASP's ability to bind F-actin and profilin-complexed G-actin are important for its effect, whereas Ena/VASP tetramerization is not necessary. Our data are consistent with the idea that binding of Ena/VASP to WAVE potentiates Arp2/3 complex activity and lamellipodial actin assembly.

  8. A role for actin arcs in the leading edge advance of migrating cells

    PubMed Central

    Burnette, Dylan T.; Manley, Suliana; Sengupta, Prabuddha; Sougrat, Rachid; Davidson, Michael W.; Kachar, Bechara; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The migration of epithelial cells requires coordination of two actin modules at the leading edge: one in the lamellipodium and one in the lamella. How the two modules connect mechanistically to regulate directed edge motion is not understood. Using a combination of live-cell imaging and photoactivation approaches, we demonstrate that the actin network of the lamellipodium evolves spatio-temporally into the lamella. This occurs during the retraction phase of edge motion when myosin II redistributes to the cell edge and condenses the lamellipodial-actin into an arc-like bundle (i.e., actin arc) parallel to the edge. The newly formed actin arc moves rearward and couples to focal adhesions as it enters the lamella. We propose net edge extension occurs by nascent focal adhesions advancing the site at which new actin arcs slow down and form the base of the next protrusion event. The actin arc thus serves as a structural element underlying the temporal and spatial connection between the lamellipodium and lamella to drive directed cell motion. PMID:21423177

  9. Inhibition of tobacco mosaic virus movement by expression of an actin-binding protein.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Christina; Niehl, Annette; Sambade, Adrian; Steinmetz, André; Heinlein, Manfred

    2009-04-01

    The tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) movement protein (MP) required for the cell-to-cell spread of viral RNA interacts with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as well as with the cytoskeleton during infection. Whereas associations of MP with ER and microtubules have been intensely investigated, research on the role of actin has been rather scarce. We demonstrate that Nicotiana benthamiana plants transgenic for the actin-binding domain 2 of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) fimbrin (AtFIM1) fused to green fluorescent protein (ABD2:GFP) exhibit a dynamic ABD2:GFP-labeled actin cytoskeleton and myosin-dependent Golgi trafficking. These plants also support the movement of TMV. In contrast, both myosin-dependent Golgi trafficking and TMV movement are dominantly inhibited when ABD2:GFP is expressed transiently. Inhibition is mediated through binding of ABD2:GFP to actin filaments, since TMV movement is restored upon disruption of the ABD2:GFP-labeled actin network with latrunculin B. Latrunculin B shows no significant effect on the spread of TMV infection in either wild-type plants or ABD2:GFP transgenic plants under our treatment conditions. We did not observe any binding of MP along the length of actin filaments. Collectively, these observations demonstrate that TMV movement does not require an intact actomyosin system. Nevertheless, actin-binding proteins appear to have the potential to exert control over TMV movement through the inhibition of myosin-associated protein trafficking along the ER membrane.

  10. WAVE binds Ena/VASP for enhanced Arp2/3 complex–based actin assembly

    PubMed Central

    Havrylenko, Svitlana; Noguera, Philippe; Abou-Ghali, Majdouline; Manzi, John; Faqir, Fahima; Lamora, Audrey; Guérin, Christophe; Blanchoin, Laurent; Plastino, Julie

    2015-01-01

    The WAVE complex is the main activator of the Arp2/3 complex for actin filament nucleation and assembly in the lamellipodia of moving cells. Other important players in lamellipodial protrusion are Ena/VASP proteins, which enhance actin filament elongation. Here we examine the molecular coordination between the nucleating activity of the Arp2/3 complex and the elongating activity of Ena/VASP proteins for the formation of actin networks. Using an in vitro bead motility assay, we show that WAVE directly binds VASP, resulting in an increase in Arp2/3 complex–based actin assembly. We show that this interaction is important in vivo as well, for the formation of lamellipodia during the ventral enclosure event of Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis. Ena/VASP's ability to bind F-actin and profilin-complexed G-actin are important for its effect, whereas Ena/VASP tetramerization is not necessary. Our data are consistent with the idea that binding of Ena/VASP to WAVE potentiates Arp2/3 complex activity and lamellipodial actin assembly. PMID:25355952

  11. The Drosophila planar polarity gene multiple wing hairs directly regulates the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Lu, Qiuheng; Schafer, Dorothy A; Adler, Paul N

    2015-07-15

    The evolutionarily conserved frizzled/starry night (fz/stan) pathway regulates planar cell polarity (PCP) in vertebrates and invertebrates. This pathway has been extensively studied in the Drosophila wing, where it is manifested by an array of distally pointing cuticular hairs. Using in vivo imaging we found that, early in hair growth, cells have multiple actin bundles and hairs that subsequently fuse into a single growing hair. The downstream PCP gene multiple wing hairs (mwh) plays a key role in this process and acts to antagonize the actin cytoskeleton. In mwh mutants hair initiation is not limited to a small region at the distal edge of pupal wing cells as in wild type, resulting in multiple hairs with aberrant polarity. Extra actin bundles/hairs are formed and do not completely fuse, in contrast to wild type. As development proceeded additional hairs continued to form, further increasing hair number. We identified a fragment of Mwh with in vivo rescue activity and that bound and bundled F-actin filaments and inhibited actin polymerization in in vitro actin assays. The loss of these activities can explain the mwh mutant phenotype. Our data suggest a model whereby, prior to hair initiation, proximally localized Mwh inhibits actin polymerization resulting in polarized activation of the cytoskeleton and hair formation on the distal side of wing cells. During hair growth Mwh is found in growing hairs, where we suggest it functions to promote the fusion of actin bundles and inhibit the formation of additional actin bundles that could lead to extra hairs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-30

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

  13. CapZ regulates autophagosomal membrane shaping by promoting actin assembly inside the isolation membrane.

    PubMed

    Mi, Na; Chen, Yang; Wang, Shuai; Chen, Mengran; Zhao, Mingkun; Yang, Guang; Ma, Meisheng; Su, Qian; Luo, Sai; Shi, Jingwen; Xu, Jia; Guo, Qiang; Gao, Ning; Sun, Yujie; Chen, Zhucheng; Yu, Li

    2015-09-01

    A fundamental question regarding autophagosome formation is how the shape of the double-membrane autophagosomal vesicle is generated. Here we show that in mammalian cells assembly of an actin scaffold inside the isolation membrane (the autophagosomal precursor) is essential for autophagosomal membrane shaping. Actin filaments are depolymerized shortly after starvation and actin is assembled into a network within the isolation membrane. When formation of actin puncta is disrupted by an actin polymerization inhibitor or by knocking down the actin-capping protein CapZβ, isolation membranes and omegasomes collapse into mixed-membrane bundles. Formation of actin puncta is PtdIns(3)P dependent, and inhibition of PtdIns(3)P formation by treating cells with the PI(3)K inhibitor 3-MA, or by knocking down Beclin-1, abolishes the formation of actin puncta. Binding of CapZ to PtdIns(3)P, which is enriched in omegasomes, stimulates actin polymerization. Our findings illuminate the mechanism underlying autophagosomal membrane shaping and provide key insights into how autophagosomes are formed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

  15. Non-Contact Plant Growth Measurement Method and System Based on Ubiquitous Sensor Network Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Suk, Jinweon; Kim, Seokhoon; Ryoo, Intae

    2011-01-01

    This paper proposes a non-contact plant growth measurement system using infrared sensors based on the ubiquitous sensor network (USN) technology. The proposed system measures plant growth parameters such as the stem radius of plants using real-time non-contact methods, and generates diameter, cross-sectional area and thickening form of plant stems using this measured data. Non-contact sensors have been used not to cause any damage to plants during measurement of the growth parameters. Once the growth parameters are measured, they are transmitted to a remote server using the sensor network technology and analyzed in the application program server. The analyzed data are then provided for administrators and a group of interested users. The proposed plant growth measurement system has been designed and implemented using fixed-type and rotary-type infrared sensor based measurement methods and devices. Finally, the system performance is compared and verified with the measurement data that have been obtained by practical field experiments. PMID:22163849

  16. Small worlds and semantic network growth in typical and late talkers.

    PubMed

    Beckage, Nicole; Smith, Linda; Hills, Thomas

    2011-05-11

    Network analysis has demonstrated that systems ranging from social networks to electric power grids often involve a small world structure-with local clustering but global ac cess. Critically, small world structure has also been shown to characterize adult human semantic networks. Moreover, the connectivity pattern of these mature networks is consistent with lexical growth processes in which children add new words to their vocabulary based on the structure of the language-learning environment. However, thus far, there is no direct evidence that a child's individual semantic network structure is associated with their early language learning. Here we show that, while typically developing children's early networks show small world structure as early as 15 months and with as few as 55 words, children with language delay (late talkers) have this structure to a smaller degree. This implicates a maladaptive bias in word acquisition for late talkers, potentially indicating a preference for "oddball" words. The findings provide the first evidence of a link between small-world connectivity and lexical development in individual children.

  17. Comparative analysis of Salmonella genomes identifies a metabolic network for escalating growth in the inflamed gut.

    PubMed

    Nuccio, Sean-Paul; Bäumler, Andreas J

    2014-03-18

    The Salmonella genus comprises a group of pathogens associated with illnesses ranging from gastroenteritis to typhoid fever. We performed an in silico analysis of comparatively reannotated Salmonella genomes to identify genomic signatures indicative of disease potential. By removing numerous annotation inconsistencies and inaccuracies, the process of reannotation identified a network of 469 genes involved in central anaerobic metabolism, which was intact in genomes of gastrointestinal pathogens but degrading in genomes of extraintestinal pathogens. This large network contained pathways that enable gastrointestinal pathogens to utilize inflammation-derived nutrients as well as many of the biochemical reactions used for the enrichment and biochemical discrimination of Salmonella serovars. Thus, comparative genome analysis identifies a metabolic network that provides clues about the strategies for nutrient acquisition and utilization that are characteristic of gastrointestinal pathogens. IMPORTANCE While some Salmonella serovars cause infections that remain localized to the gut, others disseminate throughout the body. Here, we compared Salmonella genomes to identify characteristics that distinguish gastrointestinal from extraintestinal pathogens. We identified a large metabolic network that is functional in gastrointestinal pathogens but decaying in extraintestinal pathogens. While taxonomists have used traits from this network empirically for many decades for the enrichment and biochemical discrimination of Salmonella serovars, our findings suggest that it is part of a "business plan" for growth in the inflamed gastrointestinal tract. By identifying a large metabolic network characteristic of Salmonella serovars associated with gastroenteritis, our in silico analysis provides a blueprint for potential strategies to utilize inflammation-derived nutrients and edge out competing gut microbes.

  18. Stochastic model of profilin-actin polymerization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horan, Brandon; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

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

  19. Contribution of nuclear actin to transcription regulation.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Shota; Yamamoto, Koji; Harata, Masahiko

    2015-06-01

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

  20. Phosphorylation and actin activation of brain myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Barylko, B; Sobieszek, A

    1983-01-01

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

  1. Actin microfilaments in presumptive statocytes of root caps and coleoptiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, R. G.; Sack, F. D.

    1990-01-01

    Rhodamine-phalloidin was used to determine the distribution of actin microfilament bundles (mfb) in cells thought to be the site of gravity perception (statocytes) in coleoptiles and root caps of Zea mays and Hordeum vulgare. In coleoptile cells, amyloplasts were usually observed in close proximity to thick mfb, which often appeared to divide into finer mfb adjacent to individual amyloplasts. The nucleus in these cells was surrounded by an extensive network of mfb, which were connected to thicker transvacuolar mfb. Columella cells of the root cap contained an extensive reticulum of fine mfb throughout the protoplast, but lacked the much thicker mfb seen in coleoptile cells. The distribution and extent of mfb observed in fixed cells correlates with patterns of streaming and amyloplast movement seen in living cells. A possible role for actin mfb in the perception of gravity is discussed.

  2. Spontaneous symmetry breaking for geometrical trajectories of actin-based motility in three dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Fu-Lai; Leung, Kwan-tai; Chen, Hsuan-Yi

    2016-07-01

    Actin-based motility is important for many cellular processes. In this article we extend our previous studies of an actin-propelled circular disk in two dimensions to an actin-propelled spherical bead in three dimensions. We find that for an achiral load the couplings between the motion of the load and the actin network induce a series of bifurcations, starting with a transition from rest to moving state, followed by a transition from straight to planar curves, and finally a further transition from motion in a plane to one with torsion. To address the intriguing, experimentally observed chiral motility of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, we also study the motility of a spherical load with a built-in chirality. For such a chiral load, stable circular trajectories are no longer found in numerical simulations. Instead, helical trajectories with handedness that depends on the chirality of the load are found. Our results reveal the relation between the symmetry of actin network and the trajectories of actin-propelled loads.

  3. Spontaneous symmetry breaking for geometrical trajectories of actin-based motility in three dimensions.

    PubMed

    Wen, Fu-Lai; Leung, Kwan-Tai; Chen, Hsuan-Yi

    2016-07-01

    Actin-based motility is important for many cellular processes. In this article we extend our previous studies of an actin-propelled circular disk in two dimensions to an actin-propelled spherical bead in three dimensions. We find that for an achiral load the couplings between the motion of the load and the actin network induce a series of bifurcations, starting with a transition from rest to moving state, followed by a