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Sample records for actin networks formed

  1. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  2. Dynamics of active actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, Simone

    2014-03-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-18

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

  6. Actomyosin contractility spatiotemporally regulates actin network dynamics in migrating cells.

    PubMed

    Okeyo, Kennedy Omondi; Adachi, Taiji; Sunaga, Junko; Hojo, Masaki

    2009-11-13

    Coupling interactions among mechanical and biochemical factors are important for the realization of various cellular processes that determine cell migration. Although F-actin network dynamics has been the focus of many studies, it is not yet clear how mechanical forces generated by actomyosin contractility spatiotemporally regulate this fundamental aspect of cell migration. In this study, using a combination of fluorescent speckle microscopy and particle imaging velocimetry techniques, we perturbed the actomyosin system and examined quantitatively the consequence of actomyosin contractility on F-actin network flow and deformation in the lamellipodia of actively migrating fish keratocytes. F-actin flow fields were characterized by retrograde flow at the front and anterograde flow at the back of the lamellipodia, and the two flows merged to form a convergence zone of reduced flow intensity. Interestingly, activating or inhibiting actomyosin contractility altered network flow intensity and convergence, suggesting that network dynamics is directly regulated by actomyosin contractility. Moreover, quantitative analysis of F-actin network deformation revealed that the deformation was significantly negative and predominant in the direction of cell migration. Furthermore, perturbation experiments revealed that the deformation was a function of actomyosin contractility. Based on these results, we suggest that the actin cytoskeletal structure is a mechanically self-regulating system, and we propose an elaborate pathway for the spatiotemporal self-regulation of the actin cytoskeletal structure during cell migration. In the proposed pathway, mechanical forces generated by actomyosin interactions are considered central to the realization of the various mechanochemical processes that determine cell motility. PMID:19665125

  7. Mechanical Detection of a Long-Range Actin Network Emanating from a Biomimetic Cortex

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Actin is ubiquitous globular protein that polymerizes into filaments and forms networks that participate in the force generation of eukaryotic cells. Such forces are used for cell motility, cytokinesis, and tissue remodeling. Among those actin networks, we focus on the actin cortex, a dense branched network beneath the plasma membrane that is of particular importance for the mechanical properties of the cell. Here we reproduce the cellular cortex by activating actin filament growth on a solid surface. We unveil the existence of a sparse actin network that emanates from the surface and extends over a distance that is at least 10 times larger than the cortex itself. We call this sparse actin network the “actin cloud” and characterize its mechanical properties with optical tweezers. We show, both experimentally and theoretically, that the actin cloud is mechanically relevant and that it should be taken into account because it can sustain forces as high as several picoNewtons (pN). In particular, it is known that in plant cells, actin networks similar to the actin cloud have a role in positioning the nucleus; in large oocytes, they play a role in driving chromosome movement. Recent evidence shows that such networks even prevent granule condensation in large cells. PMID:25140420

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Coupled actin-lamin biopolymer networks and protecting DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tao; Rocklin, D. Zeb; Mao, Xiaoming; Schwarz, J. M.

    The mechanical properties of cells are largely determined by networks of semiflexible biopolymers forming the cytoskeleton. Similarly, the mechanical properties of cell nuclei are also largely determined by networks of semiflexible biopolymers forming the nuclear cytoskeleton. In particular, a network of filamentous lamin sits just inside the inner nuclear membrane to presumably protect the heart of the cell nucleus--the DNA. It has been demonstrated over the past decade that the actin cytoskeletal biopolymer network and the lamin biopolymer network are coupled via a sequence of proteins bridging the outer and inner nuclear membranes, known as the LINC complex. We, therefore, probe the consequences of such a coupling in a model biopolymer network system via numerical simulations to understand the resulting deformations in the lamin network in response to perturbations in the actin cytoskeletal network. We find, for example, that the force transmission across the coupled system can depend sensitively on the concentration of LINC complexes. Such study could have implications for mechanical mechanisms of the regulation of transcription since DNA couples to lamin via lamin-binding domains so that deformations in the lamin network may result in deformations in the DNA.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-15

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

  15. Polymorphism of Cross-Linked Actin Networks in Giant Vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limozin, Laurent; Sackmann, Erich

    2002-09-01

    Actin networks cross-linked by natural linkers α-actinin and filamin are generated in giant vesicles by polymerization through ionophore-mediated influx of Mg2+. α-actinin induces the formation of randomly linked networks at 25 °C which transform at <15 °C into spiderweblike gels or ringlike bundles depending on the vesicle size. Muscle filamin forms ringlike structures under all experimental conditions which can supercoil by subsequent Mg2+ addition. The polymorphism is rationalized in terms of recent models of bivalent ion coupled semiflexible polyelectrolytes and by considering the topology of the linkers.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Real-Time Dynamics of Emerging Actin Networks in Cell-Mimicking Compartments

    PubMed Central

    Deshpande, Siddharth; Pfohl, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the cytoskeletal functionality and its relation to other cellular components and properties is a prominent question in biophysics. The dynamics of actin cytoskeleton and its polymorphic nature are indispensable for the proper functioning of living cells. Actin bundles are involved in cell motility, environmental exploration, intracellular transport and mechanical stability. Though the viscoelastic properties of actin-based structures have been extensively probed, the underlying microstructure dynamics, especially their disassembly, is not fully understood. In this article, we explore the rich dynamics and emergent properties exhibited by actin bundles within flow-free confinements using a microfluidic set-up and epifluorescence microscopy. After forming entangled actin filaments within cell-sized quasi two-dimensional confinements, we induce their bundling using three different fundamental mechanisms: counterion condensation, depletion interactions and specific protein-protein interactions. Intriguingly, long actin filaments form emerging networks of actin bundles via percolation leading to remarkable properties such as stress generation and spindle-like intermediate structures. Simultaneous sharing of filaments in different links of the network is an important parameter, as short filaments do not form networks but segregated clusters of bundles instead. We encounter a hierarchical process of bundling and its subsequent disassembly. Additionally, our study suggests that such percolated networks are likely to exist within living cells in a dynamic fashion. These observations render a perspective about differential cytoskeletal responses towards numerous stimuli. PMID:25785606

  18. Actin network disassembly powers dissemination of Listeria monocytogenes.

    PubMed

    Talman, Arthur M; Chong, Ryan; Chia, Jonathan; Svitkina, Tatyana; Agaisse, Hervé

    2014-01-01

    Several bacterial pathogens hijack the actin assembly machinery and display intracellular motility in the cytosol of infected cells. At the cell cortex, intracellular motility leads to bacterial dissemination through formation of plasma membrane protrusions that resolve into vacuoles in adjacent cells. Here, we uncover a crucial role for actin network disassembly in dissemination of Listeria monocytogenes. We found that defects in the disassembly machinery decreased the rate of actin tail turnover but did not affect the velocity of the bacteria in the cytosol. By contrast, defects in the disassembly machinery had a dramatic impact on bacterial dissemination. Our results suggest a model of L. monocytogenes dissemination in which the disassembly machinery, through local recycling of the actin network in protrusions, fuels continuous actin assembly at the bacterial pole and concurrently exhausts cytoskeleton components from the network distal to the bacterium, which enables membrane apposition and resolution of protrusions into vacuoles. PMID:24155331

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Invadosomes - shaping actin networks to follow mechanical cues.

    PubMed

    Kedziora, Katarzyna M; Isogai, Tadamoto; Jalink, Kees; Innocenti, Metello

    2016-01-01

    Invadosomes are actin-based protrusions formed by cells in response to obstacles in their microenvironment, especially basement membranes and dense interstitial matrices. A versatile set of proteins controls assembly and dynamics of the actin networks at invadosomes and adhesive molecules link them with the extracellular matrix. Furthermore, polarized delivery of proteases makes invadosomes degradative. Therefore, invadosomes have been classically viewed as specialized protrusions involved in cell migration and remodeling of the microenvironment. Recent discoveries have considerably broadened this picture by showing that invadosomes respond to traction forces and can self-organize into dynamic arrays capable of following the topography of the substrate. Although these findings suggest that invadosomes may function as mechanosensors, this possibility has not been critically evaluated. In this review, we first summarize the organization and dynamics of actin in invadosomes and their superstructures with emphasis on force-production mechanisms. Next, we outline our current understanding of how mechanical cues impinge on invadosomes and modify their behavior. From this perspective, we provide an outlook of the outstanding open questions and the main challenges in the field. PMID:27100494

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-30

    Actin 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. Formation of actin networks in microfluidic concentration gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. 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

  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. Mechanism of Actin Network Attachment to Moving Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Co, Carl; Wong, Derek T.; Gierke, Sarah; Chang, Vicky; Taunton, Jack

    2007-01-01

    Summary Actin filament networks exert protrusive and attachment forces on membranes and thereby drive membrane deformation and movement. Here, we show that N-WASP WH2 domains play a previously unanticipated role in vesicle movement by transiently attaching actin filament barbed ends to the membrane. To dissect the attachment mechanism, we reconstituted the propulsive motility of lipid-coated glass beads using purified soluble proteins. N-WASP WH2 mutants assembled actin comet tails and initiated movement, but the comet tails catastrophically detached from the membrane. When presented on the surface of a lipid-coated bead, WH2 domains were sufficient to maintain comet tail attachment. In v-Src-transformed fibroblasts, N-WASP WH2 mutants were severely defective in the formation of circular podosome arrays. In addition to creating an attachment force, interactions between WH2 domains and barbed ends may locally amplify signals for dendritic actin nucleation. PMID:17350575

  8. Talin can crosslink actin filaments into both networks and bundles.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; Robson, R M; Schmidt, J M; Stromer, M H

    1996-01-17

    The talin-actin interaction was examined by using negative staining and cosedimentation assays. At pH 6.4 and low ionic strength, talin extensively crosslinked actin filaments into both networks and bundles. The bundles consist of parallel actin filaments with a center-to-center distance of 13 nm, and talin crossbridges spaced at 36-nm intervals along the bundles. As pH was increased stepwise from 6.4 to 7.3, talin's bundling activity was decreased first, then its networking activity. Qualitatively similar results were obtained at pH 6.4 by increasing ionic strength. Chemical crosslinking indicated talin was present as a dimer from pH 6.4 to 7.3, with or without added KC1. The results show that talin can interact directly with actin filaments by formation of actin filament networks and bundles, with the bundles more sensitive to dissolution by increase in pH or ionic strength. PMID:8561791

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. FtsA forms actin-like protofilaments

    PubMed Central

    Szwedziak, Piotr; Wang, Qing; Freund, Stefan MV; Löwe, Jan

    2012-01-01

    FtsA is an early component of the Z-ring, the structure that divides most bacteria, formed by tubulin-like FtsZ. FtsA belongs to the actin family of proteins, showing an unusual subdomain architecture. Here we reconstitute the tethering of FtsZ to the membrane via FtsA's C-terminal amphipathic helix in vitro using Thermotoga maritima proteins. A crystal structure of the FtsA:FtsZ interaction reveals 16 amino acids of the FtsZ tail bound to subdomain 2B of FtsA. The same structure and a second crystal form of FtsA reveal that FtsA forms actin-like protofilaments with a repeat of 48 Å. The identical repeat is observed when FtsA is polymerized using a lipid monolayer surface and FtsAs from three organisms form polymers in cells when overexpressed, as observed by electron cryotomography. Mutants that disrupt polymerization also show an elongated cell division phenotype in a temperature-sensitive FtsA background, demonstrating the importance of filament formation for FtsA's function in the Z-ring. PMID:22473211

  12. Viscoelastic properties of actin networks influence material transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Weirich, Kimberly; Gardel, Margaret

    2015-03-01

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

  13. Formation of regularly spaced networks as a general feature of actin bundle condensation by entropic forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Florian; Strehle, Dan; Schnauß, Jörg; Käs, Josef

    2015-04-01

    Biopolymer networks contribute mechanical integrity as well as functional organization to living cells. One of their major constituents, the protein actin, is present in a large variety of different network architectures, ranging from extensive networks to densely packed bundles. The shape of the network is directly linked to its mechanical properties and essential physiological functions. However, a profound understanding of architecture-determining mechanisms and their physical constraints remains elusive. We use experimental bottom-up systems to study the formation of confined actin networks by entropic forces. Experiments based on molecular crowding as well as counterion condensation reveal a generic tendency of homogeneous filament solutions to aggregate into regular actin bundle networks connected by aster-like centers. The network architecture is found to critically rely on network formation history. Starting from identical biochemical compositions, we observe drastic changes in network architecture as a consequence of initially biased filament orientation or mixing-induced perturbations. Our experiments suggest that the tendency to form regularly spaced bundle networks is a rather general feature of isotropic, homogeneous filament solutions subject to uniform attractive interactions. Due to the fundamental nature of the considered interactions, we expect that the investigated type of network formation further implies severe physical constraints for cytoskeleton self-organization on the more complex level of living cells.

  14. 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

  15. Aluminum Induces Rigor within the Actin Network of Soybean Cells.

    PubMed Central

    Grabski, S.; Schindler, M.

    1995-01-01

    Aluminum is toxic to both plants and animals. Root growth and pollen-tube extension are inhibited after aluminum stress in acidic environments. Incubation of cultured neurons with aluminum results in the formation of neurofibrillar tangles reminiscent of the neural pathology observed in Alzheimer's disease. The present communication demonstrates that aluminum induces a rapid and dramatic increase in the rigidity of the actin network in soybean (Glycine max) root cells. This rigidity can be prevented by either co-incubation with sodium fluoride or magnesium, or pretreatment with cytochalasin D. It is proposed that the growth-inhibitory activity and cytotoxicity of aluminum in plants may be a consequence of a global rigor that is induced within the actin network. This rigor may result from the formation of nonhydrolyzable [Al3+-ADP] or [Al3+-ATP] complexes whose binding to actin/myosin can modify contraction. Additionally, Al3+-mediated interference with the normal kinetics of F-actin filament assembly/disassembly could precipitate subsequent disorganization of associated cytoskeletal structures and promote altered expression of cytoskeletal proteins. PMID:12228515

  16. Arp2/3 complex-dependent actin networks constrain myosin II function in driving retrograde actin flow.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qing; Zhang, Xiao-Feng; Pollard, Thomas D; Forscher, Paul

    2012-06-25

    The Arp2/3 complex nucleates actin filaments to generate networks at the leading edge of motile cells. Nonmuscle myosin II produces contractile forces involved in driving actin network translocation. We inhibited the Arp2/3 complex and/or myosin II with small molecules to investigate their respective functions in neuronal growth cone actin dynamics. Inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex with CK666 reduced barbed end actin assembly site density at the leading edge, disrupted actin veils, and resulted in veil retraction. Strikingly, retrograde actin flow rates increased with Arp2/3 complex inhibition; however, when myosin II activity was blocked, Arp2/3 complex inhibition now resulted in slowing of retrograde actin flow and veils no longer retracted. Retrograde flow rate increases induced by Arp2/3 complex inhibition were independent of Rho kinase activity. These results provide evidence that, although the Arp2/3 complex and myosin II are spatially segregated, actin networks assembled by the Arp2/3 complex can restrict myosin II-dependent contractility with consequent effects on growth cone motility. PMID:22711700

  17. In vitro studies of actin filament and network dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Mullins, R Dyche; Hansen, Scott D

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Actin Filament Elongation in Arp2/3-derived Networks is Controlled by Three Distinct Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Michelot, Alphée; Grassart, Alexandre; Okreglak, Voytek; Costanzo, Michael; Boone, Charles; Drubin, David G.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Spatial and temporal control of actin filament barbed end elongation is crucial for force generation by actin networks. In this study, genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry were used to reveal three complementary mechanisms that regulate actin filament barbed end elongation in Arp2/3-derived networks. Aip1 inhibits elongation of aged ADP-actin filaments decorated with cofilin, and together with capping protein (CP), maintains a high level of assembly-competent actin species. We identified Abp1 and Aim3 as two additional proteins that work together to inhibit barbed end elongation. Abp1/Aim3 collaborates with CP to control elongation of newly assembled ATP-actin filaments to organize filament polarity within actin networks. Thus, three distinct mechanisms control filament elongation in different regions of Arp2/3 networks, maintaining pools of assembly-competent actin species while ensuring proper filament polarity and facilitating force production. PMID:23333351

  19. Actin filament elongation in Arp2/3-derived networks is controlled by three distinct mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Michelot, Alphée; Grassart, Alexandre; Okreglak, Voytek; Costanzo, Michael; Boone, Charles; Drubin, David G

    2013-01-28

    Spatial and temporal control of actin filament barbed end elongation is crucial for force generation by actin networks. In this study, genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry were used to reveal three complementary mechanisms that regulate actin filament barbed end elongation in Arp2/3-derived networks. Aip1 inhibits elongation of aged ADP-actin filaments decorated with cofilin and, together with capping protein (CP), maintains a high level of assembly-competent actin species. We identified Abp1 and Aim3 as two additional proteins that work together to inhibit barbed end elongation. Abp1/Aim3 collaborates with CP to control elongation of newly assembled ATP-actin filaments to organize filament polarity within actin networks. Thus, three distinct mechanisms control filament elongation in different regions of Arp2/3 networks, maintaining pools of assembly-competent actin species while ensuring proper filament polarity and facilitating force production. PMID:23333351

  20. On the organization of self-assembled actin networks in giant vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limozin, L.; Bärmann, M.; Sackmann, E.

    2003-04-01

    We studied the formation of actin scaffolds in giant vesicles of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC). Polymerization of actin was induced at low ionic strength through ionophore-mediated influx of Mg^{2+} (2 mM). The spatial organization of the filamentous actin was visualized by confocal and epifluorescence microscopy as a function of the filaments length and membrane composition, by including various amounts of cholesterol or lipids with neutral and positively charged polyethyleneglycol headgroups (PEG lipopolymers). In vesicles of pure DMPC, the newly polymerized actin adsorbs to the membrane and forms a thin shell. In the presence of 2.5 mol% lipopolymers or of cholesterol at a molar fraction x=0.37, formation of a thin adsorbed film is impeded. A fuzzy cortex is predominantly formed in vesicles of diameter d smaller than the filament persistence length (dleq 15 μm) while for larger vesicles a homogeneous network formation is favoured in the bulk of the vesicle. The fuzzy-cortex formation is interpreted as a consequence of the reduction of the bending energy if the actin filaments accumulate close to the vesicle wall.

  1. 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

  2. F-actin forms mobile and unwinding ring-shaped structures in germinating Arabidopsis pollen expressing Lifeact

    PubMed Central

    Vogler, Frank; Sprunck, Stefanie

    2015-01-01

    The flowering plant pollen tube is the fastest elongating plant cell and transports the sperm cells for double fertilization. The highly dynamic formation and reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is essential for pollen germination and pollen tube growth. To drive pollen-specific expression of fluorescent marker proteins, commonly the strong Lat52 promoter is used. Here we show by quantitative fluorescent analysis that the gametophyte-specific ARO1 promoter from Arabidopsis drives an about 3.5 times weaker transgene expression than the Lat52 promoter. In one third of the pollen of F-actin-labeled ARO1p:tagRFP-T-Lifeact transgenic lines we observed mobile ring-shaped actin structures in pollen grains and pollen tubes. Pollen tube growth, transgene transmission and seed production were not affected by tagRFP-T-Lifeact expression. F-actin rings were able to integrate into emerging actin filaments and they may reflect a particular physiological state of the pollen or a readily available storage form provided for rapid actin network remodeling. PMID:26337326

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Force Feedback Controls Motor Activity and Mechanical Properties of Self-Assembling Branched Actin Networks.

    PubMed

    Bieling, Peter; Li, Tai-De; Weichsel, Julian; McGorty, Ryan; Jreij, Pamela; Huang, Bo; Fletcher, Daniel A; Mullins, R Dyche

    2016-01-14

    Branched actin networks--created by the Arp2/3 complex, capping protein, and a nucleation promoting factor--generate and transmit forces required for many cellular processes, but their response to force is poorly understood. To address this, we assembled branched actin networks in vitro from purified components and used simultaneous fluorescence and atomic force microscopy to quantify their molecular composition and material properties under various forces. Remarkably, mechanical loading of these self-assembling materials increases their density, power, and efficiency. Microscopically, increased density reflects increased filament number and altered geometry but no change in average length. Macroscopically, increased density enhances network stiffness and resistance to mechanical failure beyond those of isotropic actin networks. These effects endow branched actin networks with memory of their mechanical history that shapes their material properties and motor activity. This work reveals intrinsic force feedback mechanisms by which mechanical resistance makes self-assembling actin networks stiffer, stronger, and more powerful. PMID:26771487

  6. Stability of actin-lysozyme complexes formed in cystic fibrosis disease.

    PubMed

    Mohammadinejad, Sarah; Ghamkhari, Behnoush; Abdolmaleki, Sarah

    2016-08-21

    Finding the conditions for destabilizing actin-lysozyme complexes is of biomedical importance in preventing infections in cystic fibrosis. In this manuscript, the effects of different charge-mutants of lysozyme and salt concentration on the stability of actin-lysozyme complexes are studied using Langevin dynamics simulation. A coarse-grained model of F-actin is used in which both its twist and bending rigidities are considered. We observe that the attraction between F-actins is stronger in the presence of wild-type lysozymes relative to the mutated lysozymes of lower charges. By calculating the potential of mean force between F-actins, we conclude that the stability of actin-lysozyme complexes is decreased by reducing the charge of lysozyme mutants. The distributions of different lysozyme charge-mutants show that wild-type (+9e) lysozymes are mostly accumulated in the center of triangles formed by three adjacent F-actins, while lysozyme mutants of charges +7e and +5e occupy the bridging regions between F-actins. Low-charge mutants of lysozyme (+3e) distribute uniformly around F-actins. A rough estimate of the electrostatic energy for these different distributions proves that the distribution in which lysozymes reside in the center of triangles leads to more stable complexes. Also our results in the presence of a salt suggest that at physiological salt concentration of airway, F-actin complexes are not formed by charge-reduced mutants of lysozyme. The findings are interesting because if we can design charge-reduced lysozyme mutants with considerable antibacterial activity, they are not sequestered inside F-actin aggregates and can play their role as antibacterial agents against airway infection. PMID:27436705

  7. Post-polymerization crosstalk between the actin cytoskeleton and microtubule network.

    PubMed

    Joo, E Emily; Yamada, Kenneth M

    2016-05-01

    Cellular cytoskeletal systems play many pivotal roles in living organisms by controlling cell shape, division, and migration, which ultimately govern morphology, physiology, and functions of animals. Although the cytoskeletal systems are distinct and play different roles, there is growing evidence that these diverse cytoskeletal systems coordinate their functions with each other. This coordination between cytoskeletal systems, often termed cytoskeletal crosstalk, has been identified when the dynamic state of one individual system affects the other system. In this review, we briefly describe some well-established examples of crosstalk between cytoskeletal systems and then introduce a newly discovered form of crosstalk between the actin cytoskeleton and microtubule network that does not appear to directly alter polymerization or depolymerization of either system. The biological impact and possible significance of this post-polymerization crosstalk between actin and microtubules will be discussed in detail. PMID:27058810

  8. Dynamic light-scattering study on changes in mobility of chromaffin granules in actin network with its assembly and Ca2+-dependent disassembly by gelsolin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujime, Satoru; Miyamoto, Shigeaki; Funatsu, Takashi; Ishiwata, S.

    1993-06-01

    As a final stage of cell signal transduction, secretory cells release hormones by exocytosis. Before secretory granules contact with the cell membrane for fusion, an actin network barrier must dissociate as a prelude. In order to elucidate dynamical behaviors of secretory granules in actin network, in vitro assembly and disassembly processes of actin networks were examined by means of dynamic light-scattering spectroscopy. We studied actin polymerization in the presence of chromaffin granules isolated from bovine adrenal medullae, and found that the entanglement of actin filaments rapidly formed cages which confined granules in them. We also studied the effect of gelsolin, one of the actin-severing proteins, on the network of actin filaments performed in the presence of chromaffin granules. It turned out that the cages which confined granules rapidly disappeared when gelsolin was added in the presence of free Ca2+ ions. Semiquantitative analyses of dynamic light-scattering spectra permitted us to estimate the changes in the mobility (or translational diffusion coefficient) of chromaffin granules in the actin network with its assembly and Ca2+-dependent disassembly by gelsolin. Based on the present results and some pieces of evidence in literature, a model is proposed for biophysical situations before, during, and after an exocytotic event.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Hierarchical Cross-linked F-actin Networks: Understanding Structure and Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirst, Linda; Nguyen, Lam

    2009-11-01

    The protein, F-actin provides us with an interesting system in which to investigate the assembly properties of semi-flexible filaments in the presence of cross-linkers. Recently it was observed that F-actin, in the presence of the cross-linker alpha-actinin at high molar ratios will generate a novel hierarchical network of filament bundles. We investigate this system using coarse-grained molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, confocal microscopy and x-ray scattering. We have studied the F-actin/alpha-actinin system in detail with different actin conc. (C) and alpha-actinin/actin molar ratios (gamma). Confocal microscopy and analysis shows that the assembled systems fall into one of 3 phases depending on C and gamma: (1) loosely connected network of F-actin and bundles, (2) loosely connected network of dense domains and (3) uniform network of bundles. This can be explained and replicated using MD simulation. We have also examined different types of cross-linkers to represent the proteins, fascin and filamin. Results show that phase formation is related to the flexibility in binding between F-actin and cross-linkers. This degree of freedom, possible with longer cross-linkers allows the formation of branch points and thus bundle networks.

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

    PubMed

    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 Ca(2+) 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. PMID:26568308

  15. Nonequilibrium-Driven Motion in Actin Networks: Comet Tails and Moving Beads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burroughs, N. J.; Marenduzzo, D.

    2007-06-01

    We present 3D dynamic Monte-Carlo simulations of the growth of an actin network close to an obstacle coated with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP), an inducer of actin branching. Our simulations incorporate both elasticity and relaxation of the actin tail, thus allowing for local network compression. Whilst steady state motility derives mainly from polymerization at the leading edge, nonthermal stored elastic energy and retrograde flow are observed in a thin slab of material close to the obstacle. We observe a crossover from steady to hopping bead motion as the branching rate is decreased.

  16. A network of spectrin and plectin surrounds the actin cuffs of apical tubulobulbar complexes in the rat.

    PubMed

    Aristaeus de Asis, Marc; Pires, Manuel; Lyon, Kevin; Vogl, A Wayne

    2013-07-01

    Tubulobulbar complexes (TBCs) are actin-related endocytic structures that internalize intercellular junctions in the seminiferous epithelium. The structures consist of elongate tubular projections of the attached plasma membranes of two adjacent cells that project into Sertoli cells. This double membrane core is cuffed by a dentritic actin network and is capped at its end by a clathrin-coated pit. Here we explore the possibility that elements of the spectrin cytoskeleton are associated with clusters of tubulobulbar complexes that develop at adhesion junctions between late spermatids and Sertoli cells at the apex of the epithelium, and extend what is known about the distribution of plectin at the sites. Cryo-sections of perfusion-fixed testes and apical processes of Sertoli cells mechanically dissociated from perfusion-fixed testes were probed for spectrin, EPB41, and actin and analyzed using conventional fluorescence microscopy and confocal microscopy. Data sets from confocal microscopy were analyzed further in three-dimensional reconstructions using computer software. Additional apical Sertoli cell processes were probed for plectin and analyzed using conventional fluorescence microscopy. Antibodies generated against elements of the spectrin cytoskeleton react with material around and between the actin cuffs of tubulobulbar complexes, but appear excluded from the actin cuffs themselves. A similar staining pattern occurs with a probe for plectin. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed the staining patterns observed by fluourescence microscopy. Based on our results, we suggest that a network of spectrin and plectin forms a scaffold around tubulobulbar complexes that may provide support for the actin network that cuffs each complex and also link adjacent complexes together. PMID:24381803

  17. A network of spectrin and plectin surrounds the actin cuffs of apical tubulobulbar complexes in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Aristaeus de Asis, Marc; Pires, Manuel; Lyon, Kevin; Vogl, A Wayne

    2013-01-01

    Tubulobulbar complexes (TBCs) are actin-related endocytic structures that internalize intercellular junctions in the seminiferous epithelium. The structures consist of elongate tubular projections of the attached plasma membranes of two adjacent cells that project into Sertoli cells. This double membrane core is cuffed by a dentritic actin network and is capped at its end by a clathrin-coated pit. Here we explore the possibility that elements of the spectrin cytoskeleton are associated with clusters of tubulobulbar complexes that develop at adhesion junctions between late spermatids and Sertoli cells at the apex of the epithelium, and extend what is known about the distribution of plectin at the sites. Cryo-sections of perfusion-fixed testes and apical processes of Sertoli cells mechanically dissociated from perfusion-fixed testes were probed for spectrin, EPB41, and actin and analyzed using conventional fluorescence microscopy and confocal microscopy. Data sets from confocal microscopy were analyzed further in three-dimensional reconstructions using computer software. Additional apical Sertoli cell processes were probed for plectin and analyzed using conventional fluorescence microscopy. Antibodies generated against elements of the spectrin cytoskeleton react with material around and between the actin cuffs of tubulobulbar complexes, but appear excluded from the actin cuffs themselves. A similar staining pattern occurs with a probe for plectin. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed the staining patterns observed by fluourescence microscopy. Based on our results, we suggest that a network of spectrin and plectin forms a scaffold around tubulobulbar complexes that may provide support for the actin network that cuffs each complex and also link adjacent complexes together. PMID:24381803

  18. 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

  19. Branching and capping determine the force-velocity relationships of branching actin networks.

    PubMed

    Smith, Daniel B; Liu, Jian

    2013-02-01

    A branching actin network is the major engine that drives cell motility. A measure of the effectiveness of an engine is the velocity the engine is able to produce at a given resistance-the force-velocity relationship. Concave force-velocity relationships consist of a force-insensitive region, indicative of an adaptive response. In contrast, convex force-velocity relationships would reflect a passive response. Even in in vitro experiments, branching actin networks can exhibit both concave and convex force-velocity curves. However, the exact mechanism that can explain both force-velocity curves is not yet known. We carried out an agent-based stochastic simulation to explore such a mechanism. We discovered an emergent behavior of a branching actin network: Upon resistance, it remodels itself by increasing the number of filaments growing in contact with the load. The remodeling is favored by branching events and limited by capping. The force-velocity relationship hinges on the relative time-scale between the intrinsic kinetics of the branching actin network and the loading. Shortly after encountering resistance (∼seconds), the force-velocity relationship of the actin network is always convex, as it does not have enough time to remodel itself. A concave force-velocity relationship requires network remodeling at longer time-scales (∼tens of seconds to minutes) and the faster branching event relative to capping. Furthermore, our model explains the observed hysteresis in the force-velocity relationship of actin networks. Our model thus establishes a unified mechanism that can account for both convex and concave force-velocity relationships observed in branching actin networks. PMID:23358606

  20. Orientational order of the lamellipodial actin network as demonstrated in living motile cells.

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  2. Computer Simulations of Mechano-Chemical Networks Choreographing Actin Dynamics in Cell Motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuravlev, Pavel I.; Hu, Longhua; Papoian, Garegin A.

    In eukaryotic cells, cell motility is largely driven by self-assembly and growth of filamentous networks comprised of actin. Numerous proteins regulate actin network dynamics either biochemically, or through mechanical interactions. This regulation is rather complex, intricately coordinated both spatially and temporally. Although experiments in vivo and in vitro have provided a trove of structural and biochemical information about actin-based cell motility processes, experimental data is not always easy to interpret unambiguously, sometimes various interpretations being in contradiction with each other. Hence, mathematical modeling approaches are necessary for providing a physical foundation for interpreting and guiding experiments. In particular, computer simulations based on physicochemical interactions provide a systems-level description of protrusion dynamics. In this contribution, we review recent progress in modeling actin-based cell motility using detailed computer simulations. We elaborate on the way actin network dynamics is determined by the interplay between chemical reactions, mechanical feedbacks, and transport bottlenecks. We also discuss the role of inherent randomness of elementary chemical reactions in determining the dynamical behavior of the mechano-chemical network controlling actin polymerization and growth.

  3. Spontaneous polarization in an interfacial growth model for actin filament networks with a rigorous mechanochemical coupling.

    PubMed

    John, Karin; Caillerie, Denis; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2014-11-01

    Many processes in eukaryotic cells, including cell motility, rely on the growth of branched actin networks from surfaces. Despite its central role the mechanochemical coupling mechanisms that guide the growth process are poorly understood, and a general continuum description combining growth and mechanics is lacking. We develop a theory that bridges the gap between mesoscale and continuum limit and propose a general framework providing the evolution law of actin networks growing under stress. This formulation opens an area for the systematic study of actin dynamics in arbitrary geometries. Our framework predicts a morphological instability of actin growth on a rigid sphere, leading to a spontaneous polarization of the network with a mode selection corresponding to a comet, as reported experimentally. We show that the mechanics of the contact between the network and the surface plays a crucial role, in that it determines directly the existence of the instability. We extract scaling laws relating growth dynamics and network properties offering basic perspectives for new experiments on growing actin networks. PMID:25493815

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Actin binding proteins (ABPs) not only set the structure of actin filament assemblies but also mediate the frequency-dependent viscoelastic moduli of cross-linked and bundled actin networks. Point mutations in the actin binding domain of those ABPs can tune the association and dissociation dynamics of the actin/ABP bond and thus modulate the network mechanics both in the linear and non-linear response regime. We here demonstrate how the exchange of a single charged amino acid in the actin binding domain of the ABP fascin triggers such a modulation of the network rheology. Whereas the overall structure of the bundle networks is conserved, the transition point from strain-hardening to strain-weakening sensitively depends on the cross-linker off-rate and the applied shear rate. Our experimental results are consistent both with numerical simulations of a cross-linked bundle network and a theoretical description of the bundle network mechanics which is based on non-affine bending deformations and force-dependent cross-link dynamics. PMID:26004635

  5. A microstructurally informed model for the mechanical response of three-dimensional actin networks

    PubMed Central

    KWON, R.Y.; LEW, A.J.; JACOBS, C.R.

    2008-01-01

    We propose a class of microstructurally informed models for the linear elastic mechanical behavior of cross-linked polymer networks such as the actin cytoskeleton. Salient features of the models include the possibility to represent anisotropic mechanical behavior resulting from anisotropic filament distributions, and a power-law scaling of the mechanical properties with the filament density. Mechanical models within the class are parameterized by seven different constants. We demonstrate a procedure for determining these constants using finite element models of three-dimensional actin networks. Actin filaments and cross-links were modeled as elastic rods, and the networks were constructed at physiological volume fractions and at the scale of an image voxel. We show the performance of the model in estimating the mechanical behavior of the networks over a wide range of filament densities and degrees of anisotropy. PMID:18568835

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Isolation and characterization of a regulated form of actin depolymerizing factor.

    PubMed

    Morgan, T E; Lockerbie, R O; Minamide, L S; Browning, M D; Bamburg, J R

    1993-08-01

    Actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) is an 18.5-kD protein with pH-dependent reciprocal F-actin binding and severing/depolymerizing activities. We previously showed developing muscle down-regulates ADF (J. R. Bamburg and D. Bray. 1987. J. Cell Biol. 105: 2817-2825). To further study this process, we examined ADF expression in chick myocytes cultured in vitro. Surprisingly, ADF immunoreactivity increases during the first 7-10 d in culture. This increase is due to the presence of a new ADF species with higher relative molecular weight which reacts identically to brain ADF with antisera raised against either brain ADF or recombinant ADF. We have purified both ADF isoforms from myocytes and have shown by peptide mapping and partial sequence analysis that the new isoform is structurally related to ADF. Immunoprecipitation of both isoforms from extracts of cells prelabeled with [32P]orthophosphate showed that the new isoform is radiolabeled, predominantly on a serine residue, and hence is called pADF. pADF can be converted into a form which comigrates with ADF on 1-D and 2-D gels by treatment with alkaline phosphatase. pADF has been quantified in a number of cells and tissues where it is present from approximately 18% to 150% of the amount of unphosphorylated ADF. pADF, unlike ADF, does not bind to G-actin, or affect the rate or extent of actin assembly. Four ubiquitous protein kinases failed to phosphorylate ADF in vitro suggesting that ADF phosphorylation in vivo is catalyzed by a more specific kinase. We conclude that the ability to regulate ADF activity is important to muscle development since myocytes have both pre- and posttranslational mechanisms for regulating ADF activity. The latter mechanism is apparently a general one for cell regulation of ADF activity. PMID:7687605

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Beam forming network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cramer, P. W., Jr. (Inventor)

    1985-01-01

    The network, which is connected to a layer of 134 feed elements that transmit and receive microwaves, consists of a pair of circuit boards parallel to the feed element layer. One of the two boards has 87 dividers that each divide a signal to be transmitted into seven portions, and the other board has 134 combiners that each collect seven transmit signal portions and deliver the sum to one of the feed elements. A similar arrangement is used to handle received signals. The large number of interconnections are made by printed circuit conductors radiating from each of the numerous dividers and combiners, and by providing interconnection pins that interconnect the ends of pairs of conductors lying on the two boards. The printed circuit conductors extend in undulating paths that provide maximum separation of conductors to minimize crosstalk.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Isoforms of α-Actinin from Cardiac, Smooth, and Skeletal Muscle Form Polar Arrays of Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Kenneth A.; Taylor, Dianne W.; Schachat, Fred

    2000-01-01

    We have used a positively charged lipid monolayer to form two-dimensional bundles of F-actin cross-linked by α-actinin to investigate the relative orientation of the actin filaments within them. This method prevents growth of the bundles perpendicular to the monolayer plane, thereby facilitating interpretation of the electron micrographs. Using α-actinin isoforms isolated from the three types of vertebrate muscle, i.e., cardiac, skeletal, and smooth, we have observed almost exclusively cross-linking between polar arrays of filaments, i.e., actin filaments with their plus ends oriented in the same direction. One type of bundle can be classified as an Archimedian spiral consisting of a single actin filament that spirals inward as the filament grows and the bundle is formed. These spirals have a consistent hand and grow to a limiting internal diameter of 0.4–0.7 μm, where the filaments appear to break and spiral formation ceases. These results, using isoforms usually characterized as cross-linkers of bipolar actin filament bundles, suggest that α-actinin is capable of cross-linking actin filaments in any orientation. Formation of specifically bipolar or polar filament arrays cross-linked by α-actinin may require additional factors that either determine the filament orientation or restrict the cross-linking capabilities of α-actinin. PMID:10791977

  20. Actin dynamics: from nanoscale to microscale.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Anders E

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Arp2/3 complex ATP hydrolysis promotes lamellipodial actin network disassembly but is dispensable for assembly

    PubMed Central

    Ingerman, Elena; Hsiao, Jennifer Ying

    2013-01-01

    We examined the role of ATP hydrolysis by the Arp2/3 complex in building the leading edge of a cell by studying the effects of hydrolysis defects on the behavior of the complex in the lamellipodial actin network of Drosophila S2 cells and in a reconstituted, in vitro, actin-based motility system. In S2 cells, nonhydrolyzing Arp2 and Arp3 subunits expanded and delayed disassembly of lamellipodial actin networks and the effect of mutant subunits was additive. Arp2 and Arp3 ATP hydrolysis mutants remained in lamellipodial networks longer and traveled greater distances from the plasma membrane, even in networks still containing wild-type Arp2/3 complex. In vitro, wild-type and ATP hydrolysis mutant Arp2/3 complexes each nucleated actin and built similar dendritic networks. However, networks constructed with Arp2/3 hydrolysis-defective mutants were more resistant to disassembly by cofilin. Our results indicate that ATP hydrolysis on both Arp2 and Arp3 contributes to dissociation of the complex from the actin network but is not strictly necessary for lamellipodial network disassembly. PMID:23439681

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:27280401

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Motion in partially and fully cross-linked F-actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, Eliza; Ehrlicher, Allen; Weitz, David

    2012-02-01

    Single molecule experiments have measured stall forces and procession rates of molecular motors on isolated cytoskeletal fibers in Newtonian fluids. But in the cell, these motors are transporting cargo through a highly complex cytoskeletal network. To compare these single molecule results to the forces exerted by motors within the cell, an evaluation of the response of the cytoskeletal network is needed. Using magnetic tweezers and fluorescence confocal microscopy we observe and quantify the relationship between bead motion and filament response in F-actin networks both partially and fully cross-linked with filamin We find that when the transition from full to partial cross-linking is brought about by a decrease in cross-linker concentration there is a simultaneous decline in the elasticity of the network, but the response of the bead remains qualitatively similar. However, when the cross-linking is reduced through a shortening of the F-actin filaments the bead response is completely altered. The characteristics of the altered bead response will be discussed here.

  7. 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. PMID:27104747

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-21

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

  10. Actin-Bundling Protein TRIOBP Forms Resilient Rootlets of Hair Cell Stereocilia That Are Essential for Hearing

    PubMed Central

    Kitajiri, Shin-ichiro; Sakamoto, Takeshi; Belyantseva, Inna A.; Goodyear, Richard J.; Stepanyan, Ruben; Fujiwara, Ikuko; Bird, Jonathan E.; Riazuddin, Saima; Riazuddin, Sheikh; Ahmed, Zubair M.; Hinshaw, Jenny E.; Sellers, James; Bartles, James R.; Hammer, John A.; Richardson, Guy P.; Griffith, Andrew J.; Frolenkov, Gregory I.; Friedman, Thomas B.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Inner ear hair cells detect sound through deflection of mechanosensory stereocilia. Each stereocilium is supported by a paracrystalline array of parallel actin filaments that are packed more densely at the base, forming a rootlet extending into the cell body. The function of rootlets and the molecules responsible for their formation are unknown. We found that TRIOBP, a cytoskeleton-associated protein mutated in human hereditary deafness DFNB28, is localized to rootlets. In vitro, purified TRIOBP isoform 4 protein organizes actin filaments into uniquely dense bundles reminiscent of rootlets, but distinct from bundles formed by espin, an actin cross-linker in stereocilia. We generated mutant Triobp mice (TriobpΔex8/Δex8) that are profoundly deaf. Stereocilia of TriobpΔex8/Δex8 mice develop normally, but fail to form rootlets and are easier to deflect and damage. Thus, F-actin bundling by TRIOBP provides durability and rigidity for normal mechanosensitivity of stereocilia and may contribute to resilient cytoskeletal structures elsewhere. PMID:20510926

  11. 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

  12. Two distinct actin networks mediate traction oscillations to confer mechanosensitivity of focal adhesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhanghan; Plotnikov, Sergey; Waterman, Clare; Liu, Jian

    Cells sense the mechanical stiffness of their extracellular matrix (ECM) by exerting traction force through focal adhesions (FAs), which are integrin-based protein assemblies. Strikingly, FA-mediated traction forces oscillate in time and space and govern durotaxis - the tendency of most cell types to migrate toward stiffer ECM. The underlying mechanism of this intriguing oscillation of FA traction force is unknown. Combing theory and experiment, we develop a model of FA growth, which integrates coordinated contributions of a branched actin network and stress fibers in the process. We show that retrograde flux of branched actin network contributes to a traction peak near the FA distal tip and that stress fiber-mediated actomyosin Contractility generates a second traction peak near the FA center. Formin-mediated stress fiber elongation negatively feeds back with actomyosin Contractility, resulting in the central traction peak oscillation. This underpins observed spatio-temporal patterns of the FA traction, and broadens the ECM stiffness range, over which FAs could accurately adapt with traction force generation. Our findings shed light on the fundamental mechanism of FA mechanosensing and hence durotaxis.

  13. Two approaches to glassy dynamics and diffusion on actin filament networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snider, Joseph

    In spite of mass effort to understand glasses, basic features are still not completely known. Even whether or not glasses, as in windows, bottles, etc., are solids or liquids is not settled, let alone their thermodynamics. To make some headway in understanding glasses, this dissertation will take two distinct approaches. First, a direct simulation of a glassy system will be performed and compared to experiments, and from this the thermodynamics will be found. Second, rather than looking directly at a specific system, a general energy landscape appropriate for glass will be considered, and a new numeric technique to exactly calculate thermodynamic quantities will be presented and applied. The second part of this thesis will study diffusion on actin filament networks. Intracellular molecular motor-driven transport is essential for such diverse processes as mitosis, neuronal function, and mitochondrial transport. In vitro studies clarify these motors' function at the single molecule level but fail to elucidate how effective transport emerges from the collective behavior of multiple motors on a filamentary network. We investigate how the combined system of Myosin-V (MV) motors plus actin filaments is used to transport pigment granules in Xenopus melanophores. By analyzing single particle tracking data, we construct simulations and test a hypothesis that cells regulate transport by controlling how often granules switch from one filament to another, rather than, for example, altering motor activity at the single molecule level.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Cytoarchitecture of Kirsten sarcoma virus-transformed rat kidney fibroblasts: butyrate-induced reorganization within the actin microfilament network.

    PubMed

    Ryan, M P; Higgins, P J

    1988-10-01

    Murine sarcoma virus-transformed rat fibroblasts (KNRK cells) undergo marked cytoarchitectural reorganization during in vitro exposure to sodium-n-butyrate (NaB) resulting in restoration of (1) a more typical fibroblastoid morphology, (2) proper cell-to-cell orientation, and (3) substratum adherence. Augmented cell spreading, involving greater than 90% of the population, was a function of culture density and time of exposure to NaB (2 mM final concentration). Induced cell spreading reflected a 2.5- to 3.0-fold increase in both total cellular actin content and deposition of actin into the detergent-resistant cytoskeleton. Cytoskeletal actin deposition in response to NaB was accompanied by the formation of occasionally dense, parallel alignments of F-actin-containing microfilaments and by a dramatic increase in the size and incidence of actin-enriched membrane ruffles. Long-term NaB-treated cells exhibited parallel orientations of microfilaments similar to those found in untransformed fibroblasts. Increased cytoskeletal actin occurred within 24 hr of NaB exposure, correlating with the initial reorganization of actin-containing microfilaments detected microscopically, and reflected concomitant 3-fold increases in cellular alpha-actinin and fibronectin content. In contrast, the amount of vimentin, tropomyosin, and tubulin in NaB-treated cells was significantly decreased. NaB-induced morphologic restructuring of sarcoma virus-transformed fibroblasts, thus, impacts on all three basic cytoskeletal systems. Selective increases, however, were evident in particular cytoskeletal proteins (actin, alpha-actinin, fibronectin) implicated in microfilament networking and cell spreading. PMID:2844835

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

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

  19. Pushing with actin: from cells to pathogens.

    PubMed

    Small, J Victor

    2015-02-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:26021350

  2. 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

  3. Ocean Sciences: Carbonate Network Forms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafaelsen, Bjarne

    2004-08-01

    The Carbonate Network is a new Internet-based international network (www.carbonet.net) for carbonate researchers. The network aims to stimulate an increased exchange of knowledge between carbonate researchers from different geological institutions, and to provide a scientific forum for discussing carbonate-related issues. The discussion forum (www.carbonet.net/forum), which is the essence of the Carbonate Network, includes information about meetings, publications, excursions, courses, Internet resources, and specific scientific topics (geophysics, sedimentology, geochemistry, paleontology, petrophysics, mineralogy, among others).

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    Bendezú, Felipe O; Martin, Sophie G

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Signaling Network Triggers and Membrane Physical Properties Control the Actin Cytoskeleton-Driven Isotropic Phase of Cell Spreading

    PubMed Central

    Rangamani, Padmini; Fardin, Marc-Antoine; Xiong, Yuguang; Lipshtat, Azi; Rossier, Olivier; Sheetz, Michael P.; Iyengar, Ravi

    2011-01-01

    Cell spreading is regulated by signaling from the integrin receptors that activate intracellular signaling pathways to control actin filament regulatory proteins. We developed a hybrid model of whole-cell spreading in which we modeled the integrin signaling network as ordinary differential equations in multiple compartments, and cell spreading as a three-dimensional stochastic model. The computed activity of the signaling network, represented as time-dependent activity levels of the actin filament regulatory proteins, is used to drive the filament dynamics. We analyzed the hybrid model to understand the role of signaling during the isotropic phase of fibroblasts spreading on fibronectin-coated surfaces. Simulations showed that the isotropic phase of spreading depends on integrin signaling to initiate spreading but not to maintain the spreading dynamics. Simulations predicted that signal flow in the absence of Cdc42 or WASP would reduce the spreading rate but would not affect the shape evolution of the spreading cell. These predictions were verified experimentally. Computational analyses showed that the rate of spreading and the evolution of cell shape are largely controlled by the membrane surface load and membrane bending rigidity, and changing information flow through the integrin signaling network has little effect. Overall, the plasma membrane acts as a damper such that only ∼5% of the actin dynamics capability is needed for isotropic spreading. Thus, the biophysical properties of the plasma membrane can condense varying levels of signaling network activities into a single cohesive macroscopic cellular behavior. PMID:21320428

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majumdar, Sayantan; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2015-03-01

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

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. Mena/VASP and αII-Spectrin complexes regulate cytoplasmic actin networks in cardiomyocytes and protect from conduction abnormalities and dilated cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In the heart, cytoplasmic actin networks are thought to have important roles in mechanical support, myofibrillogenesis, and ion channel function. However, subcellular localization of cytoplasmic actin isoforms and proteins involved in the modulation of the cytoplasmic actin networks are elusive. Mena and VASP are important regulators of actin dynamics. Due to the lethal phenotype of mice with combined deficiency in Mena and VASP, however, distinct cardiac roles of the proteins remain speculative. In the present study, we analyzed the physiological functions of Mena and VASP in the heart and also investigated the role of the proteins in the organization of cytoplasmic actin networks. Results We generated a mouse model, which simultaneously lacks Mena and VASP in the heart. Mena/VASP double-deficiency induced dilated cardiomyopathy and conduction abnormalities. In wild-type mice, Mena and VASP specifically interacted with a distinct αII-Spectrin splice variant (SH3i), which is in cardiomyocytes exclusively localized at Z- and intercalated discs. At Z- and intercalated discs, Mena and β-actin localized to the edges of the sarcomeres, where the thin filaments are anchored. In Mena/VASP double-deficient mice, β-actin networks were disrupted and the integrity of Z- and intercalated discs was markedly impaired. Conclusions Together, our data suggest that Mena, VASP, and αII-Spectrin assemble cardiac multi-protein complexes, which regulate cytoplasmic actin networks. Conversely, Mena/VASP deficiency results in disrupted β-actin assembly, Z- and intercalated disc malformation, and induces dilated cardiomyopathy and conduction abnormalities. PMID:23937664

  13. Actin Polymerization is Stimulated by Actin Crosslinking Protein Palladin

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. The Cauliflower Mosaic Virus Protein P6 Forms Motile Inclusions That Traffic along Actin Microfilaments and Stabilize Microtubules1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Harries, Phillip A.; Palanichelvam, Karuppaiah; Yu, Weichang; Schoelz, James E.; Nelson, Richard S.

    2009-01-01

    The gene VI product (P6) of Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) is a multifunctional protein known to be a major component of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies formed during CaMV infection. Although these inclusions are known to contain virions and are thought to be sites of translation from the CaMV 35S polycistronic RNA intermediate, the precise role of these bodies in the CaMV infection cycle remains unclear. Here, we examine the functionality and intracellular location of a fusion between P6 and GFP (P6-GFP). We initially show that the ability of P6-GFP to transactivate translation is comparable to unmodified P6. Consequently, our work has direct application for the large body of literature in which P6 has been expressed ectopically and its functions characterized. We subsequently found that P6-GFP forms highly motile cytoplasmic inclusion bodies and revealed through fluorescence colocalization studies that these P6-GFP bodies associate with the actin/endoplasmic reticulum network as well as microtubules. We demonstrate that while P6-GFP inclusions traffic along microfilaments, those associated with microtubules appear stationary. Additionally, inhibitor studies reveal that the intracellular movement of P6-GFP inclusions is sensitive to the actin inhibitor, latrunculin B, which also inhibits the formation of local lesions by CaMV in Nicotiana edwardsonii leaves. The motility of P6 along microfilaments represents an entirely new property for this protein, and these results imply a role for P6 in intracellular and cell-to-cell movement of CaMV. PMID:19028879

  16. 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.

  17. miR-34/449 control apical actin network formation during multiciliogenesis through small GTPase pathways

    PubMed Central

    Chevalier, Benoît; Adamiok, Anna; Mercey, Olivier; Revinski, Diego R.; Zaragosi, Laure-Emmanuelle; Pasini, Andrea; Kodjabachian, Laurent; Barbry, Pascal; Marcet, Brice

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate multiciliated cells (MCCs) contribute to fluid propulsion in several biological processes. We previously showed that microRNAs of the miR-34/449 family trigger MCC differentiation by repressing cell cycle genes and the Notch pathway. Here, using human and Xenopus MCCs, we show that beyond this initial step, miR-34/449 later promote the assembly of an apical actin network, required for proper basal bodies anchoring. Identification of miR-34/449 targets related to small GTPase pathways led us to characterize R-Ras as a key regulator of this process. Protection of RRAS messenger RNA against miR-34/449 binding impairs actin cap formation and multiciliogenesis, despite a still active RhoA. We propose that miR-34/449 also promote relocalization of the actin binding protein Filamin-A, a known RRAS interactor, near basal bodies in MCCs. Our study illustrates the intricate role played by miR-34/449 in coordinating several steps of a complex differentiation programme by regulating distinct signalling pathways. PMID:26381333

  18. miR-34/449 control apical actin network formation during multiciliogenesis through small GTPase pathways.

    PubMed

    Chevalier, Benoît; Adamiok, Anna; Mercey, Olivier; Revinski, Diego R; Zaragosi, Laure-Emmanuelle; Pasini, Andrea; Kodjabachian, Laurent; Barbry, Pascal; Marcet, Brice

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate multiciliated cells (MCCs) contribute to fluid propulsion in several biological processes. We previously showed that microRNAs of the miR-34/449 family trigger MCC differentiation by repressing cell cycle genes and the Notch pathway. Here, using human and Xenopus MCCs, we show that beyond this initial step, miR-34/449 later promote the assembly of an apical actin network, required for proper basal bodies anchoring. Identification of miR-34/449 targets related to small GTPase pathways led us to characterize R-Ras as a key regulator of this process. Protection of RRAS messenger RNA against miR-34/449 binding impairs actin cap formation and multiciliogenesis, despite a still active RhoA. We propose that miR-34/449 also promote relocalization of the actin binding protein Filamin-A, a known RRAS interactor, near basal bodies in MCCs. Our study illustrates the intricate role played by miR-34/449 in coordinating several steps of a complex differentiation programme by regulating distinct signalling pathways. PMID:26381333

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Felmy, Felix

    2007-08-01

    During regulated fusion of secretory granules with the plasma membrane, a fusion pore first opens and then dilates. The dilating pore allows cargo proteins from the dense core to be released into the extracellular space. Using real-time evanescent field fluorescence microscopy of live PC12 cells, it was determined how rapidly proteins of different sizes escape from single granules after fusion. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)-Venus is released 40-fold slower than the three times smaller neuropeptide Y [NPY-monomeric GFP (mGFP)]. An NPY bearing two mGFPs in tandem [NPY-(mGFP)(2)] as an intermediate-sized fusion probe is released most slowly. Although, the time-course of release varies substantially for a given probe. Coexpression of beta-actin, actin-related protein 3 or mAbp1 slowed the release of the two larger cargo molecules but did not affect release of NPY-mGFP or of the granule-membrane-bound probe Vamp-pHluorin. Additionally, high concentrations of cytochalasin D slowed release of the tPA-Venus. Together these results suggest that fusion pore dilation is not the only determinate of release time-course and that actin rearrangements similar to those mediating actin-mediated motility influences the time-course of release without directly interfering with the granule membrane to cell membrane connection. PMID:17506863

  1. 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.

  2. Neural network with formed dynamics of activity

    SciTech Connect

    Dunin-Barkovskii, V.L.; Osovets, N.B.

    1995-03-01

    The problem of developing a neural network with a given pattern of the state sequence is considered. A neural network structure and an algorithm, of forming its bond matrix which lead to an approximate but robust solution of the problem are proposed and discussed. Limiting characteristics of the serviceability of the proposed structure are studied. Various methods of visualizing dynamic processes in a neural network are compared. Possible applications of the results obtained for interpretation of neurophysiological data and in neuroinformatics systems are discussed.

  3. 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

  4. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  5. Actin from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Greer, C; Schekman, R

    1982-01-01

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

  6. The Stationary-Phase Cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Display Dynamic Actin Filaments Required for Processes Extending Chronological Life Span

    PubMed Central

    Lejskova, Renata; Malcova, Ivana

    2015-01-01

    Stationary-growth-phase Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cultures consist of nondividing cells that undergo chronological aging. For their successful survival, the turnover of proteins and organelles, ensured by autophagy and the activation of mitochondria, is performed. Some of these processes are engaged in by the actin cytoskeleton. In S. cerevisiae stationary-phase cells, F actin has been shown to form static aggregates named actin bodies, subsequently cited to be markers of quiescence. Our in vivo analyses revealed that stationary-phase cultures contain cells with dynamic actin filaments, besides the cells with static actin bodies. The cells with dynamic actin displayed active endocytosis and autophagy and well-developed mitochondrial networks. Even more, stationary-phase cell cultures grown under calorie restriction predominantly contained cells with actin cables, confirming that the presence of actin cables is linked to successful adaptation to stationary phase. Cells with actin bodies were inactive in endocytosis and autophagy and displayed aberrations in mitochondrial networks. Notably, cells of the respiratory activity-deficient cox4Δ strain displayed the same mitochondrial aberrations and actin bodies only. Additionally, our results indicate that mitochondrial dysfunction precedes the formation of actin bodies and the appearance of actin bodies corresponds to decreased cell fitness. We conclude that the F-actin status reflects the extent of damage that arises from exponential growth. PMID:26351139

  7. 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.

  8. Actin Mechanics and Fragmentation*

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-15

    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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Rictor/mTORC2 regulates blood-testis barrier dynamics via its effects on gap junction communications and actin filament network

    PubMed Central

    Mok, Ka-Wai; Mruk, Dolores D.; Lee, Will M.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2013-01-01

    In the mammalian testis, coexisting tight junctions (TJs), basal ectoplasmic specializations, and gap junctions (GJs), together with desmosomes near the basement membrane, constitute the blood-testis barrier (BTB). The most notable feature of the BTB, however, is the extensive network of actin filament bundles, which makes it one of the tightest blood-tissue barriers. The BTB undergoes restructuring to facilitate the transit of preleptotene spermatocytes at stage VIII-IX of the epithelial cycle. Thus, the F-actin network at the BTB undergoes cyclic reorganization via a yet-to-be explored mechanism. Rictor, the key component of mTORC2 that is known to regulate actin cytoskeleton, was shown to express stage-specifically at the BTB in the seminiferous epithelium. Its expression was down-regulated at the BTB in stage VIII-IX tubules, coinciding with BTB restructuring at these stages. Using an in vivo model, a down-regulation of rictor at the BTB was also detected during adjudin-induced BTB disruption, illustrating rictor expression is positively correlated with the status of the BTB integrity. Indeed, the knockdown of rictor by RNAi was found to perturb the Sertoli cell TJ-barrier function in vitro and the BTB integrity in vivo. This loss of barrier function was accompanied by changes in F-actin organization at the Sertoli cell BTB in vitro and in vivo, associated with a loss of interaction between actin and α-catenin or ZO-1. Rictor knockdown by RNAi was also found to impede Sertoli cell-cell GJ communication, disrupting protein distribution (e.g., occludin, ZO-1) at the BTB, illustrating that rictor is a crucial BTB regulator.—Mok, K., Mruk, D. D., Lee, W. M., Cheng, C. Y. Rictor/mTORC2 regulates blood-testis barrier dynamics via its effects on gap junction communications and actin filament network. PMID:23288930

  18. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Kelch Proteins and Bud14 Protein Form a Stable 520-kDa Formin Regulatory Complex That Controls Actin Cable Assembly and Cell Morphogenesis*

    PubMed Central

    Gould, Christopher J.; Chesarone-Cataldo, Melissa; Alioto, Salvatore L.; Salin, Bénédicte; Sagot, Isabelle; Goode, Bruce L.

    2014-01-01

    Formins perform essential roles in actin assembly and organization in vivo, but they also require tight regulation of their activities to produce properly functioning actin structures. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Bud14 is one member of an emerging class of formin regulators that target the FH2 domain to inhibit actin polymerization, but little is known about how these regulators are themselves controlled in vivo. Kelch proteins are critical for cell polarity and morphogenesis in a wide range of organisms, but their mechanistic roles in these processes are still largely undefined. Here, we report that S. cerevisiae Kelch proteins, Kel1 and Kel2, associate with Bud14 in cell extracts to form a stable 520-kDa complex with an apparent stoichiometry of 2:2:1 Bud14/Kel1/Kel2. Using pairwise combinations of GFP- and red fluorescent protein-tagged proteins, we show that Kel1, Kel2, and Bud14 interdependently co-localize at polarity sites. By analyzing single, double, and triple mutants, we show that Kel1 and Kel2 function in the same pathway as Bud14 in regulating Bnr1-mediated actin cable formation. Loss of any component of the complex results in long, bent, and hyper-stable actin cables, accompanied by defects in secretory vesicle traffic during polarized growth and septum formation during cytokinesis. These observations directly link S. cerevisiae Kelch proteins to the control of formin activity, and together with previous observations made for S. pombe homologues tea1p and tea3p, they have broad implications for understanding Kelch function in other systems. PMID:24828508

  19. 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

  20. Dysfunctional connections between the nucleus and the actin and microtubule networks in laminopathic models.

    PubMed

    Hale, Christopher M; Shrestha, Arun L; Khatau, Shyam B; Stewart-Hutchinson, P J; Hernandez, Lidia; Stewart, Colin L; Hodzic, Didier; Wirtz, Denis

    2008-12-01

    Laminopathies encompass a wide array of human diseases associated to scattered mutations along LMNA, a single gene encoding A-type lamins. How such genetic alterations translate to cellular defects and generate such diverse disease phenotypes remains enigmatic. Recent work has identified nuclear envelope proteins--emerin and the linker of the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complex--which connect the nuclear lamina to the cytoskeleton. Here we quantitatively examine the composition of the nuclear envelope, as well as the architecture and functions of the cytoskeleton in cells derived from two laminopathic mouse models, including Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (Lmna(L530P/L530P)) and Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (Lmna(-/-)). Cells derived from the overtly aphenotypical model of X-linked Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (Emd(-/y)) were also included. We find that the centrosome is detached from the nucleus, preventing centrosome polarization in cells under flow--defects that are mediated by the loss of emerin from the nuclear envelope. Moreover, while basal actin and focal adhesion structure are mildly affected, RhoA activation, cell-substratum adhesion, and cytoplasmic elasticity are greatly lowered, exclusively in laminopathic models in which the LINC complex is disrupted. These results indicate a new function for emerin in cell polarization and suggest that laminopathies are not directly associated with cells' inability to polarize, but rather with cytoplasmic softening and weakened adhesion mediated by the disruption of the LINC complex across the nuclear envelope. PMID:18790843

  1. Myosins, Actin and Autophagy.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-01-27

    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

  4. GhCFE1A, a dynamic linker between the ER network and actin cytoskeleton, plays an important role in cotton fibre cell initiation and elongation

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Fenni; Wang, Haihai; Wang, Xinyu; Han, Libo; Ma, Yinping; Wang, Sen; Feng, Zhidi; Niu, Xiaowei; Cai, Caiping; Kong, Zhaosheng; Zhang, Tianzhen; Guo, Wangzhen

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25609828

  5. 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. PMID:25609828

  6. A pathogenic bacterium triggers epithelial signals to form a functional bacterial receptor that mediates actin pseudopod formation.

    PubMed Central

    Rosenshine, I; Ruschkowski, S; Stein, M; Reinscheid, D J; Mills, S D; Finlay, B B

    1996-01-01

    Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) belongs to a group of bacterial pathogens that induce actin accumulation beneath adherent bacteria. We found that EPEC adherence to epithelial cells mediates the formation of fingerlike pseudopods (up to 10 microm) beneath bacteria. These actin-rich structures also contain tyrosine phosphorylated host proteins concentrated at the pseudopod tip beneath adherent EPEC. Intimate bacterial adherence (and pseudopod formation) occurred only after prior bacterial induction of tyrosine phosphorylation of an epithelial membrane protein, Hp90, which then associates directly with an EPEC adhesin, intimin. These interactions lead to cytoskeletal nucleation and pseudopod formation. This is the first example of a bacterial pathogen that triggers signals in epithelial cells which activates receptor binding activity to a specific bacterial ligand and subsequent cytoskeletal rearrangement. Images PMID:8654358

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-15

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Actin Skeletons at the Membrane as Liquid Crystal Elastomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-03-01

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

  20. Interactions between plant endomembrane systems and the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Pengwei; Hussey, Patrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Membrane trafficking, organelle movement, and morphogenesis in plant cells are mainly controlled by the actin cytoskeleton. Not all proteins that regulate the cytoskeleton and membrane dynamics in animal systems have functional homologs in plants, especially for those proteins that form the bridge between the cytoskeleton and membrane; the membrane-actin adaptors. Their nature and function is only just beginning to be elucidated and this field has been greatly enhanced by the recent identification of the NETWORKED (NET) proteins, which act as membrane-actin adaptors. In this review, we will summarize the role of the actin cytoskeleton and its regulatory proteins in their interaction with endomembrane compartments and where they potentially act as platforms for cell signaling and the coordination of other subcellular events. PMID:26106403

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Actinic reticuloid

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Robustness of a partially interdependent network formed of clustered networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, Shuai; Huang, Xuqing; Stanley, H. Eugene; Havlin, Shlomo

    2014-03-01

    Clustering, or transitivity, a behavior observed in real-world networks, affects network structure and function. This property has been studied extensively, but most of this research has been limited to clustering in single networks. The effect of clustering on the robustness of coupled networks, on the other hand, has received much less attention. Only the case of a pair of fully coupled networks with clustering has recently received study. Here we generalize the study of clustering of a fully coupled pair of networks and apply it to a partially interdependent network of networks with clustering within the network components. We show, both analytically and numerically, how clustering within networks affects the percolation properties of interdependent networks, including the percolation threshold, the size of the giant component, and the critical coupling point at which the first-order phase transition changes to a second-order phase transition as the coupling between the networks is reduced. We study two types of clustering, one proposed by Newman [Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 058701 (2009), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.058701] in which the average degree is kept constant while the clustering is changed, and the other by Hackett et al. [Phys. Rev. E 83, 056107 (2011), 10.1103/PhysRevE.83.056107] in which the degree distribution is kept constant. The first type of clustering is studied both analytically and numerically, and the second is studied numerically.

  6. Mesoscopic model of actin-based propulsion.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jie; Mogilner, Alex

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. HopW1 from Pseudomonas syringae Disrupts the Actin Cytoskeleton to Promote Virulence in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Cecchini, Nicolas M.; Li, Yujie; Lee, Min Woo; Kovar, David R.; Greenberg, Jean T.

    2014-01-01

    A central mechanism of virulence of extracellular bacterial pathogens is the injection into host cells of effector proteins that modify host cellular functions. HopW1 is an effector injected by the type III secretion system that increases the growth of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae on the Columbia accession of Arabidopsis. When delivered by P. syringae into plant cells, HopW1 causes a reduction in the filamentous actin (F-actin) network and the inhibition of endocytosis, a known actin-dependent process. When directly produced in plants, HopW1 forms complexes with actin, disrupts the actin cytoskeleton and inhibits endocytosis as well as the trafficking of certain proteins to vacuoles. The C-terminal region of HopW1 can reduce the length of actin filaments and therefore solubilize F-actin in vitro. Thus, HopW1 acts by disrupting the actin cytoskeleton and the cell biological processes that depend on actin, which in turn are needed for restricting P. syringae growth in Arabidopsis. PMID:24968323

  10. 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

  11. Non-lytic, actin-based exit of intracellular parasites from C. elegans intestinal cells.

    PubMed

    Estes, Kathleen A; Szumowski, Suzannah C; Troemel, Emily R

    2011-09-01

    The intestine is a common site for invasion by intracellular pathogens, but little is known about how pathogens restructure and exit intestinal cells in vivo. The natural microsporidian parasite N. parisii invades intestinal cells of the nematode C. elegans, progresses through its life cycle, and then exits cells in a transmissible spore form. Here we show that N. parisii causes rearrangements of host actin inside intestinal cells as part of a novel parasite exit strategy. First, we show that N. parisii infection causes ectopic localization of the normally apical-restricted actin to the basolateral side of intestinal cells, where it often forms network-like structures. Soon after this actin relocalization, we find that gaps appear in the terminal web, a conserved cytoskeletal structure that could present a barrier to exit. Reducing actin expression creates terminal web gaps in the absence of infection, suggesting that infection-induced actin relocalization triggers gap formation. We show that terminal web gaps form at a distinct stage of infection, precisely timed to precede spore exit, and that all contagious animals exhibit gaps. Interestingly, we find that while perturbations in actin can create these gaps, actin is not required for infection progression or spore formation, but actin is required for spore exit. Finally, we show that despite large numbers of spores exiting intestinal cells, this exit does not cause cell lysis. These results provide insight into parasite manipulation of the host cytoskeleton and non-lytic escape from intestinal cells in vivo. PMID:21949650

  12. Non-Lytic, Actin-Based Exit of Intracellular Parasites from C. elegans Intestinal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Estes, Kathleen A.; Szumowski, Suzannah C.; Troemel, Emily R.

    2011-01-01

    The intestine is a common site for invasion by intracellular pathogens, but little is known about how pathogens restructure and exit intestinal cells in vivo. The natural microsporidian parasite N. parisii invades intestinal cells of the nematode C. elegans, progresses through its life cycle, and then exits cells in a transmissible spore form. Here we show that N. parisii causes rearrangements of host actin inside intestinal cells as part of a novel parasite exit strategy. First, we show that N. parisii infection causes ectopic localization of the normally apical-restricted actin to the basolateral side of intestinal cells, where it often forms network-like structures. Soon after this actin relocalization, we find that gaps appear in the terminal web, a conserved cytoskeletal structure that could present a barrier to exit. Reducing actin expression creates terminal web gaps in the absence of infection, suggesting that infection-induced actin relocalization triggers gap formation. We show that terminal web gaps form at a distinct stage of infection, precisely timed to precede spore exit, and that all contagious animals exhibit gaps. Interestingly, we find that while perturbations in actin can create these gaps, actin is not required for infection progression or spore formation, but actin is required for spore exit. Finally, we show that despite large numbers of spores exiting intestinal cells, this exit does not cause cell lysis. These results provide insight into parasite manipulation of the host cytoskeleton and non-lytic escape from intestinal cells in vivo. PMID:21949650

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26644512

  15. New mechanism of γ-H2AX generation: Surfactant-induced actin disruption causes deoxyribonuclease I translocation to the nucleus and forms DNA double-strand breaks.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiaoxu; Yang, Gang; Toyooka, Tatsushi; Ibuki, Yuko

    2015-12-01

    We previously showed that nonionic surfactants, nonylphenol polyethoxylates (NPEOs), induced phosphorylation of histone H2AX, forming γ-H2AX. In this study, we analyzed the mechanism of γ-H2AX generation by an NPEO with 15 ethylene oxide units (NPEO(15)). In MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells, NPEO(15) treatment induced γ-H2AX in a dose-dependent manner. EDTA and ZnCl2, two inhibitors of deoxyribonuclease I (DNase I), inhibited both the γ-H2AX and DNA double-strand breaks induced by NPEO(15). NPEO(15) disrupted filamentous actin and released free DNase I as detected by cell fractionation analysis. Based on immunofluorescence staining of DNase I and monitoring DNase I-GFP localization, DNase I was translocated from the cytosol to the nucleus of cells after treatment with NPEO(15). This translocation did not occur with the common DNA damage inducers ultraviolet B irradiation and hydrogen peroxide. Other surfactants, Tween 20, Triton X-100 and Nonidet P-40, also generated γ-H2AX. These results show that γ-H2AX induction by surfactants including NPEOs, occurs via a new mechanism involving release of free DNase I with actin disruption. This mechanism is distinct from the process of γ-H2AX generation caused by direct chemically induced DNA damage. PMID:26653977

  16. Resilience of networks formed of interdependent modular networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shekhtman, Louis M.; Shai, Saray; Havlin, Shlomo

    2015-12-01

    Many infrastructure networks have a modular structure and are also interdependent with other infrastructures. While significant research has explored the resilience of interdependent networks, there has been no analysis of the effects of modularity. Here we develop a theoretical framework for attacks on interdependent modular networks and support our results through simulations. We focus, for simplicity, on the case where each network has the same number of communities and the dependency links are restricted to be between pairs of communities of different networks. This is particularly realistic for modeling infrastructure across cities. Each city has its own infrastructures and different infrastructures are dependent only within the city. However, each infrastructure is connected within and between cities. For example, a power grid will connect many cities as will a communication network, yet a power station and communication tower that are interdependent will likely be in the same city. It has previously been shown that single networks are very susceptible to the failure of the interconnected nodes (between communities) (Shai et al 2014 arXiv:1404.4748) and that attacks on these nodes are even more crippling than attacks based on betweenness (da Cunha et al 2015 arXiv:1502.00353). In our example of cities these nodes have long range links which are more likely to fail. For both treelike and looplike interdependent modular networks we find distinct regimes depending on the number of modules, m. (i) In the case where there are fewer modules with strong intraconnections, the system first separates into modules in an abrupt first-order transition and then each module undergoes a second percolation transition. (ii) When there are more modules with many interconnections between them, the system undergoes a single transition. Overall, we find that modular structure can significantly influence the type of transitions observed in interdependent networks and should be

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Photonic Quantum Networks formed from NV− centers

    PubMed Central

    Nemoto, Kae; Trupke, Michael; Devitt, Simon J.; Scharfenberger, Burkhard; Buczak, Kathrin; Schmiedmayer, Jörg; Munro, William J.

    2016-01-01

    In this article we present a simple repeater scheme based on the negatively-charged nitrogen vacancy centre in diamond. Each repeater node is built from modules comprising an optical cavity containing a single NV−, with one nuclear spin from 15N as quantum memory. The module uses only deterministic processes and interactions to achieve high fidelity operations (>99%), and modules are connected by optical fiber. In the repeater node architecture, the processes between modules by photons can be in principle deterministic, however current limitations on optical components lead the processes to be probabilistic but heralded. Our resource-modest repeater architecture contains two modules at each node, and the repeater nodes are then connected by entangled photon pairs. We discuss the performance of such a quantum repeater network with modest resources and then incorporate more resource-intense strategies step by step. Our architecture should allow large-scale quantum information networks with existing or near future technology. PMID:27215433

  20. Photonic Quantum Networks formed from NV(-) centers.

    PubMed

    Nemoto, Kae; Trupke, Michael; Devitt, Simon J; Scharfenberger, Burkhard; Buczak, Kathrin; Schmiedmayer, Jörg; Munro, William J

    2016-01-01

    In this article we present a simple repeater scheme based on the negatively-charged nitrogen vacancy centre in diamond. Each repeater node is built from modules comprising an optical cavity containing a single NV(-), with one nuclear spin from (15)N as quantum memory. The module uses only deterministic processes and interactions to achieve high fidelity operations (>99%), and modules are connected by optical fiber. In the repeater node architecture, the processes between modules by photons can be in principle deterministic, however current limitations on optical components lead the processes to be probabilistic but heralded. Our resource-modest repeater architecture contains two modules at each node, and the repeater nodes are then connected by entangled photon pairs. We discuss the performance of such a quantum repeater network with modest resources and then incorporate more resource-intense strategies step by step. Our architecture should allow large-scale quantum information networks with existing or near future technology. PMID:27215433

  1. Photonic Quantum Networks formed from NV‑ centers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemoto, Kae; Trupke, Michael; Devitt, Simon J.; Scharfenberger, Burkhard; Buczak, Kathrin; Schmiedmayer, Jörg; Munro, William J.

    2016-05-01

    In this article we present a simple repeater scheme based on the negatively-charged nitrogen vacancy centre in diamond. Each repeater node is built from modules comprising an optical cavity containing a single NV‑, with one nuclear spin from 15N as quantum memory. The module uses only deterministic processes and interactions to achieve high fidelity operations (>99%), and modules are connected by optical fiber. In the repeater node architecture, the processes between modules by photons can be in principle deterministic, however current limitations on optical components lead the processes to be probabilistic but heralded. Our resource-modest repeater architecture contains two modules at each node, and the repeater nodes are then connected by entangled photon pairs. We discuss the performance of such a quantum repeater network with modest resources and then incorporate more resource-intense strategies step by step. Our architecture should allow large-scale quantum information networks with existing or near future technology.

  2. A unified design space of synthetic stripe-forming networks

    PubMed Central

    Schaerli, Yolanda; Munteanu, Andreea; Gili, Magüi; Cotterell, James; Sharpe, James; Isalan, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a promising tool to study the function and properties of gene regulatory networks. Gene circuits with predefined behaviours have been successfully built and modelled, but largely on a case-by-case basis. Here we go beyond individual networks and explore both computationally and synthetically the design space of possible dynamical mechanisms for 3-node stripe-forming networks. First, we computationally test every possible 3-node network for stripe formation in a morphogen gradient. We discover four different dynamical mechanisms to form a stripe and identify the minimal network of each group. Next, with the help of newly established engineering criteria we build these four networks synthetically and show that they indeed operate with four fundamentally distinct mechanisms. Finally, this close match between theory and experiment allows us to infer and subsequently build a 2-node network that represents the archetype of the explored design space. PMID:25247316

  3. Actin-mediated motion of meiotic chromosomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Visualization of prosomes (MCP-proteasomes), intermediate filament and actin networks by "instantaneous fixation" preserving the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Arcangeletti, C; Sütterlin, R; Aebi, U; De Conto, F; Missorini, S; Chezzi, C; Scherrer, K

    1997-06-01

    A new "instantaneous" fixation/extraction procedure, yielding good preservation of intermediate filaments (IFs) and actin filaments when applied at 37 degrees C, has been explored to reexamine the relationships of the prosomes to the cytoskeleton. Prosomes are protein complexes of variable subunit composition, including occasionally a small RNA, which were originally observed as trans-acting factors in untranslated mRNPs. Constituting also the proteolytic core of the 26S proteasomes, they are also called "multicatalytic proteinase (MCP) complexes" or "20S-Proteasomes." In Triton X-100-extracted epithelial, fibroblastic, and muscle cells, prosome particles were found associated primarily with the IFs (Olink-Coux et al., 1994). Application of "instantaneous fixation" has now led to the new observation that a major fraction of prosome particles, composed of specific sets of subunits, is distributed in variable proportions between the IFs and the microfilament/ stress fiber system in PtK1 epithelial cells and human fibroblasts. Electron microscopy using gold-labeled antibodies confirms this dual localization on classical whole mounts and on cells exposed to instantaneous fixation. In contrast to the resistance of the prosome-IF association, a variable fraction of the prosome particles is released from the actin cytoskeleton by Triton X-100 when applied prior to fixation. Moreover, in vitro copolymerization of prosomes with G-actin made it possible to observe "ladder-like" filamentous structures in the electron microscope, in which the prosome particles, like the "rungs of a ladder," laterally crosslink two or more actin filaments in a regular pattern. These results demonstrate that prosomes are bound in the cell not only to IFs but also to the actin cytoskeleton and, furthermore, not only within large M(r) complexes (possibly mRNPs and/or 26S proteasomes), but also directly, as individual prosome particles. PMID:9216087

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Lamellipodial actin mechanically links myosin activity with adhesion-site formation.

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Actin-based phagosome motility.

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

  11. Actinic Prurigo.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. NMII forms a contractile transcellular sarcomeric network to regulate apical cell junctions and tissue geometry.

    PubMed

    Ebrahim, Seham; Fujita, Tomoki; Millis, Bryan A; Kozin, Elliott; Ma, Xuefei; Kawamoto, Sachiyo; Baird, Michelle A; Davidson, Michael; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Hisa, Yasuo; Conti, Mary Anne; Adelstein, Robert S; Sakaguchi, Hirofumi; Kachar, Bechara

    2013-04-22

    Nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) is thought to be the master integrator of force within epithelial apical junctions, mediating epithelial tissue morphogenesis and tensional homeostasis. Mutations in NMII are associated with a number of diseases due to failures in cell-cell adhesion. However, the organization and the precise mechanism by which NMII generates and responds to tension along the intercellular junctional line are still not known. We discovered that periodic assemblies of bipolar NMII filaments interlace with perijunctional actin and α-actinin to form a continuous belt of muscle-like sarcomeric units (∼400-600 nm) around each epithelial cell. Remarkably, the sarcomeres of adjacent cells are precisely paired across the junctional line, forming an integrated, transcellular contractile network. The contraction/relaxation of paired sarcomeres concomitantly impacts changes in apical cell shape and tissue geometry. We show differential distribution of NMII isoforms across heterotypic junctions and evidence for compensation between isoforms. Our results provide a model for how NMII force generation is effected along the junctional perimeter of each cell and communicated across neighboring cells in the epithelial organization. The sarcomeric network also provides a well-defined target to investigate the multiple roles of NMII in junctional homeostasis as well as in development and disease. PMID:23562268

  13. NMII forms a contractile transcellular sarcomeric network to regulate apical cell junctions and tissue geometry

    PubMed Central

    Ebrahim, Seham; Fujita, Tomoki; Millis, Bryan A.; Kozin, Elliott; Ma, Xuefei; Kawamoto, Sachiyo; Baird, Michelle A.; Davidson, Michael; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Hisa, Yasuo; Conti, Mary Anne; Adelstein, Robert S.; Sakaguchi, Hirofumi; Kachar, Bechara

    2013-01-01

    Summary Nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) is thought to be the master integrator of force within epithelial apical junctions, mediating epithelial tissue morphogenesis and tensional homeostasis [1-3]. Mutations in NMII are associated with a number of diseases due to failures in cell-cell adhesion [4-8]. However, the organization and the precise mechanism by which NMII generates and responds to tension along the intercellular junctional line are still not known. We discovered that periodic assemblies of bipolar NMII filaments interlace with perijunctional actin and α-actinin to form a continuous belt of muscle-like sarcomeric units (~400 – 600 nm) around each epithelial cell. Remarkably, the sarcomeres of adjacent cells are precisely paired across the junctional line forming an integrated, transcellular contractile network. The contraction/relaxation of paired sarcomeres concomitantly impacts changes in apical cell shape and tissue geometry. We show differential distribution of NMII isoforms across heterotypic junctions and evidence for compensation between isoforms. Our results provide a model for how NMII force generation is effected along the junctional perimeter of each cell, and communicated across neighboring cells in the epithelial organization. The sarcomeric network also provides a well-defined target to investigate the multiple roles of NMII in junctional homeostasis as well as in development and disease. PMID:23562268

  14. [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

  15. 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

  16. Elasticity, adhesion and actin based propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopinathan, Ajay

    2006-03-01

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

  17. Dynamics of Opinion Forming in Structurally Balanced Social Networks

    PubMed Central

    Altafini, Claudio

    2012-01-01

    A structurally balanced social network is a social community that splits into two antagonistic factions (typical example being a two-party political system). The process of opinion forming on such a community is most often highly predictable, with polarized opinions reflecting the bipartition of the network. The aim of this paper is to suggest a class of dynamical systems, called monotone systems, as natural models for the dynamics of opinion forming on structurally balanced social networks. The high predictability of the outcome of a decision process is explained in terms of the order-preserving character of the solutions of this class of dynamical systems. If we represent a social network as a signed graph in which individuals are the nodes and the signs of the edges represent friendly or hostile relationships, then the property of structural balance corresponds to the social community being splittable into two antagonistic factions, each containing only friends. PMID:22761667

  18. Scattering form factors for self-assembled network junctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, T.; Safran, S. A.; Sottmann, T.; Strey, R.

    2007-11-01

    The equilibrium microstructures in microemulsions and other self-assembled systems show complex, connected shapes such as symmetric bicontinuous spongelike structures and asymmetric bicontinuous networks formed by cylinders interconnected at junctions. In microemulsions, these cylinder network microstructures may mediate the structural transition from a spherical or globular phase to the bicontinuous microstructure. To understand the structural and statistical properties of such cylinder network microstructures as measured by scattering experiments, models are needed to extract the real-space structure from the scattering data. In this paper, we calculate the scattering functions appropriate for cylinder network microstructures. We focus on such networks that contain a high density of network junctions that connect the cylindrical elements. In this limit, the network microstructure can be regarded as an assembly of randomly oriented, closed packed network junctions (i.e., the cylinder scattering contributions are neglected). Accordingly, the scattering spectrum of the network microstructure can be calculated as the product of the junction number density, the junction form factor, which describes the scattering from the surface of a single junction, and a structure factor, which describes the local correlations of different junctions due to junction interactions (including their excluded volume). This approach is applied to analyze the scattering data from a bicontinuous microemulsion with equal volumes of water and oil. In a second approach, we included the cylinder scattering contribution in the junction form factor by calculating the scattering intensity of Y junctions to which three rods with spherical cross section are attached. The respective theoretical predictions are compared with results of neutron scattering measurements on a water-in-oil microemulsion with a connected microstructure.

  19. Isolation and characterization of three forms of 36-kDa Ca2+-dependent actin- and phospholipid-binding proteins from human placenta membrane.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, H; Sonobe, S; Owada, M K; Kakunaga, T

    1987-07-31

    We purified three forms of 36-kDa proteins, two monomeric 36-kDa proteins, which had pIs of 7.5 (36K-I) and 6.4 (36K-II), and one 36-kDa complex (36K-C) consisting of two subunits, 36-kDa (pI 7.5) and 12-kDa (pI 5.8), from human placenta membrane. The 36-kDa subunit of 36K-C was identical to 36K-I as judged by pI, cyanogen bromide peptide mapping and immunological cross-reactivity. The three proteins showed F-actin- and phosphatidylserine-binding abilities dependent on Ca2+ concentrations at millimolar and micromolar levels, respectively. They all had phospholipase A2 inhibitory activity. Only 36K-II was phosphorylated extensively at tyrosine residue in Ca2+- and EGF- dependent manners in the membrane fraction of A431 cells. 36K-I was the best substrate for src kinase, whereas 36K-II was the best for fps kinase. However, 36K-C was not phosphorylated by any kinases used here. PMID:3619909

  20. Functional interdependence between septin and actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Katja; Nichols, Benjamin J

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  4. Enhanced Two-Stage Reactive Polymer Network Forming Systems

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Devatha P.; Cramer, Neil B.; McBride, Matthew K.; Gaipa, John C.; Shandas, Robin; Bowman, Christopher N.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we develop thiol/acrylate two-stage reactive network forming polymer systems that exhibit two distinct and orthogonal stages of curing. Using a thiol-acrylate system with excess acrylate functional groups, a first stage polymer network is formed via a 1 to 1 stoichiometric thiol-acrylate Michael addition reaction (stage 1). At a later point in time, the excess acrylate functional groups are homopolymerized via a photoinitiated free radical polymerization to form a second stage polymer network (stage 2). By varying the monomers within the system as well as the stoichiometery of the thiol to acrylate functional groups, we demonstrate the ability of the two-stage polymer network forming systems to encompass a wide range of properties at the end of both the stage 1 and stage 2 polymerizations. Using urethane di- and hexa-acrylates within the formulations led to two-stage reactive polymeric systems with stage 1 Tgs that ranged from −12 to 30 °C. The systems were then photocured, upon which the Tg of the systems increases by up to 90 °C while also achieving a nearly 20 fold modulus increase. PMID:22798700

  5. Testing pulse forming networks with DARHT accelerator cells

    SciTech Connect

    Rose, E. A.; Dalmas, D. A.; Downing, J. N. , Jr.; Temple, R. D.

    2001-01-01

    The Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrotest Facility [DARHT] at Los Alamos will use two induction linacs to produce high-energy electron beams. The electron beams will be used to generate x-rays from bremsstrahlung targets. The x-rays will be used to produce radiographs. The first accelerator is operational now, generating a 60-nanosecond electron beam. The second accelerator is under construction. It will generate a 2-microsecond electron beam. The 78 induction cells of the second axis accelerator will be driven by an equal number of pulse forming networks. Each pulse forming network [PFN] generates a nominal 200-kV, 2-microsecond pulse to drive an accelerator cell. Each pulse forming network consists of a set of four equal-capacitance sub-PFN's, stacked in a Marx configuration. The PFN Test Stand was configured to test newly constructed accelerator cells under conditions of full voltage and pulse duration. The PFN Test Stand also explored jitter, prefire and reliability issues for a pulse forming network operated into a purely resistive load. The PFN Test Stand provided experience operating a simple subsystem of the DARHT accelerator. This subsystem involved controls, diagnostics, data acquisition and archival, power supplies, trigger systems, core reset and a gas flow system for the spark gaps. Issues for the DARHT accelerator were investigated in this small-scale facility.

  6. TESTING PULSE FORMING NETWORKS WITH DARHT ACCELERATOR CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    E.A. ROSE; D.A. DALMAS; J.N. DOWNING; R.D. TEMPLE

    2001-06-01

    The Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrotest Facility [DARHT] at Los Alamos will use two induction linacs to produce high-energy electron beams. The electron beams will be used to generate x-rays from bremsstrahlung targets. The x-rays will be used to produce radiographs. The first accelerator is operational now, generating a 60- nanosecond electron beam. The second accelerator is under construction. It will generate a 2-microsecond electron beam. The 78 induction cells of the second axis accelerator will be driven by an equal number of pulse forming networks. Each pulse forming network [PFN] generates a nominal 200-kV, 2-microsecond pulse to drive an accelerator cell. Each pulse forming network consists of a set of four equal-capacitance sub-PFN's, stacked in a Marx configuration. The PFN Test Stand was configured to test newly constructed accelerator cells under conditions of full voltage and pulse duration. The PFN Test Stand also explored jitter, prefire and reliability issues for a pulse forming network operated into a purely resistive load. The PFN Test Stand provided experience operating a simple subsystem of the DARHT accelerator. This subsystem involved controls, diagnostics, data acquisition and archival, power supplies, trigger systems, core reset and a gas flow system for the spark gaps. Issues for the DARHT accelerator were investigated in this small-scale facility.

  7. The interaction of vinculin with actin.

    PubMed

    Golji, Javad; Mofrad, Mohammad R K

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Bipartite opinion forming: Towards consensus over coopetition networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Bo; Chen, Yao; Liu, Guangbin; Sun, Fuchun; Li, Hongbo

    2015-12-01

    Within the framework of signed graph and multi-agent systems, this paper investigates the distributed bipartite opinion forming problem over coopetition networks. Several sufficient algebraic and geometric topology conditions that guarantee consensus, regardless of the magnitudes of individual coupling strengths among the agents, have been derived by exploring the interaction direction patterns. All the criteria presented do not require the global knowledge of the coupling weights of the entire network, and thus are easier to check. The effectiveness of the theoretical results are illustrated by numerical examples.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  11. Particle tracking microrheology of gel-forming amyloid fibril networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corrigan, A. M.; Donald, A. M.

    2009-04-01

    Microrheology is a technique that is increasingly used to investigate the local viscoelastic properties of complex fluids non-invasively, by tracking the motion of micron-sized probe spheres. In this work, passive Particle Tracking Microrheology (PTM) is used to study network formation in the milk protein β -lactoglobulin at 80 ° C and p H 2. In these conditions the protein aggregates to form thread-like structures known as amyloid fibrils, which can further aggregate into elastic networks. Using PTM, gels were observed to form at significantly lower concentrations than determined by bulk rheometry, where the oscillatory shear forces may disrupt either fibril or network formation. During incubation, the Mean Square Displacement (MSD) of the probe particles exhibited time-cure superposition, allowing the critical relaxation exponent to be calculated as ˜ 0.63 , consistent with other biopolymer gels. Combined with the gel-like appearance of the complex modulus at long incubation times, this confirms that a true gel is forming, with physical or chemical crosslinks forming between the fibrils, refining the conclusions of other workers in the field.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Crystal structure of a nuclear actin ternary complex.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. Actin-Regulator Feedback Interactions during Endocytosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-29

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

  15. Form, Function, and Information Processing in Stochastic Regulatory Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, Chris

    2009-03-01

    The ability of a biological network to transduce signals, e.g., from chemical information about the abundance of small molecules into regulatory information about the rate of mRNA expression, is thwarted by numerous sources of noise. A great amount has been learned and conjectured in the last decade about the extent to which the form of a network --- specified by the connectivity and sign of regulation --- constrains or guides the networks function --- the particular noisy input-output relation(s) the network is capable of executing. In parallel, a great amount of research has sought to elucidate the role of inescapable or 'intrinsic' noise arising from the finite copy number of the participating molecules, which sets physical limits on information processing in small cells. I'll discuss how information theory may help illuminate these topics by providing a framework for quantifying function which does not rely on specifying the particular task to be performed a priori, as well as by providing a measure for the extent to which form follows function. En route I hope to show how stochastic chemical kinetics, modeled by the (linear) master equation describing the probability of copy counts for all reactants, benefits from the same spectral approaches fundamental to solving the (linear) diffusion equation.

  16. Laser programmable integrated circuit for forming synapses in neural networks

    DOEpatents

    Fu, C.Y.

    1997-02-11

    Customizable neural network in which one or more resistors form each synapse is disclosed. All the resistors in the synaptic array are identical, thus simplifying the processing issues. Highly doped, amorphous silicon is used as the resistor material, to create extremely high resistances occupying very small spaces. Connected in series with each resistor in the array is at least one severable conductor whose uppermost layer has a lower reflectivity of laser energy than typical metal conductors at a desired laser wavelength. 5 figs.

  17. Process for forming synapses in neural networks and resistor therefor

    DOEpatents

    Fu, Chi Y.

    1996-01-01

    Customizable neural network in which one or more resistors form each synapse. All the resistors in the synaptic array are identical, thus simplifying the processing issues. Highly doped, amorphous silicon is used as the resistor material, to create extremely high resistances occupying very small spaces. Connected in series with each resistor in the array is at least one severable conductor whose uppermost layer has a lower reflectivity of laser energy than typical metal conductors at a desired laser wavelength.

  18. Process for forming synapses in neural networks and resistor therefor

    DOEpatents

    Fu, C.Y.

    1996-07-23

    Customizable neural network in which one or more resistors form each synapse is disclosed. All the resistors in the synaptic array are identical, thus simplifying the processing issues. Highly doped, amorphous silicon is used as the resistor material, to create extremely high resistances occupying very small spaces. Connected in series with each resistor in the array is at least one severable conductor whose uppermost layer has a lower reflectivity of laser energy than typical metal conductors at a desired laser wavelength. 5 figs.

  19. Laser programmable integrated curcuit for forming synapses in neural networks

    DOEpatents

    Fu, Chi Y.

    1997-01-01

    Customizable neural network in which one or more resistors form each synapse. All the resistors in the synaptic array are identical, thus simplifying the processing issues. Highly doped, amorphous silicon is used as the resistor material, to create extremely high resistances occupying very small spaces. Connected in series with each resistor in the array is at least one severable conductor whose uppermost layer has a lower reflectivity of laser energy than typical metal conductors at a desired laser wavelength.

  20. Bifurcation Analysis for Neural Networks in Neutral Form

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hong-Bing; Sun, Xiao-Ke

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, a system of neural networks in neutral form with time delay is investigated. Further, by introducing delay τ as a bifurcation parameter, it is found that Hopf bifurcation occurs when τ is across some critical values. The direction of the Hopf bifurcations and the stability are determined by using normal form method and center manifold theory. Next, the global existence of periodic solution is established by using a global Hopf bifurcation result. Finally, an example is given to support the theoretical predictions.

  1. Actin engine in immunological synapse.

    PubMed

    Piragyte, Indre; Jun, Chang-Duk

    2012-06-01

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

  2. Active microrheology of entangled blends of DNA and Actin link polymer flexibility to induced molecular deformations and stress propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzpatrick, Robert; Robertson-Anderson, Rae; Anderson Research Team

    Actin is a ubiquitous structural protein in the cytoskeleton that gives cells shape and rigidity, and plays important roles in mechanical processes such as cell motility and division. Actin's diverse roles stem from its ability to polymerize into semiflexible filaments that are less than one persistence length (17 µm) in length, and form entangled networks that display unique viscoelastic properties. We previously found that entangled actin networks propagate microscale forces over several persistence lengths (>60 m) and takes minutes to relax. DNA, oppositely, has thousands of persistence lengths (50 nm) per chain, exhibits minimal force propagation, and takes only seconds to re-equilibrate. To directly determine the role of flexibility in mechanical response and force propagation of entangled networks, we use optical tweezers and fluorescence microscopy to investigate blends of actin and DNA. We use optically driven microspheres to perturb the network far from equilibrium and measure the force the network creates in response to the induced force. We simultaneously track partially labeled actin filaments during the perturbation and subsequent relaxation period. We characterize filament deformation and show explicitly how induced microscale forces propagate through the network.

  3. Discrimination of complex form by simple oscillator networks.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Yoshinori; Taylor, Ryan R L; Loh, Yik-Wen; Maddess, Ted

    2009-01-01

    Natural images are rich in higher order spatial correlations. Brain scanning, psychophysics and electrophysiology indicate that humans are sensitive to these image properties. A useful tool for exploring this sense is the set of isotrigon textures. Like natural images these textures have low dimensionality relative to random images, but like random images contain no average structure in their first to third order correlation functions. Thus, the structured appearance of these textures results from higher order correlations. One way to generate the higher order products inherent in higher order correlations is recursive nonlinear processing. We therefore decided to examine if very small oscillator networks could produce a profile of activity that matches human isotrigon discrimination performance across 53 isotrigon texture types. Human performance was measured in 23 subjects. The two best network types found contained as few as 4 oscillators. The input oscillators are of a novel cubic form and the final readout oscillator was a logistic oscillator. Mean readout oscillator activity matched human performance reasonably well even though the network parameters were fixed for all 53 texture types. Overall it appears that relatively simple, short range, and biologically plausible, recursive processing could provide the basis for discrimination of complex form. PMID:19919282

  4. Course 6: Physics of Composite Cell Membrane and Actin Based Cytoskeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sackmann, E.; Bausch, A. R.; Vonna, L.

    1 Architecture of composite cell membranes 1.1 The lipid/protein bilayer is a multicomponent smectic phase with mosaic like architecture 1.2 The spectrin/actin cytoskeleton as hyperelastic cell stabilizer 1.3 The actin cortex: Architecture and function 2 Physics of the actin based cytoskeleton 2.1 Actin is a living semiflexible polymer 2.2 Actin network as viscoelastic body 2.3 Correlation between macroscopic viscoelasticity and molecular 3 Heterogeneous actin gels in cells and biological function 3.1 Manipulation of actin gels 3.2 Control of organization and function of actin cortex by cell signalling 4 Micromechanics and microrheometry of cells 5 Activation of endothelial cells: On the possibility of formation of stress fibers as phase transition of actin-network triggered by cell signalling pathways 6 On cells as adaptive viscoplastic bodies 7 Controll of cellular protrusions controlled by actin/myosin cortex

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Neuronal oscillations form parietal/frontal networks during contour integration

    PubMed Central

    Castellano, Marta; Plöchl, Michael; Vicente, Raul; Pipa, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    The ability to integrate visual features into a global coherent percept that can be further categorized and manipulated are fundamental abilities of the neural system. While the processing of visual information involves activation of early visual cortices, the recruitment of parietal and frontal cortices has been shown to be crucial for perceptual processes. Yet is it not clear how both cortical and long-range oscillatory activity leads to the integration of visual features into a coherent percept. Here, we will investigate perceptual grouping through the analysis of a contour categorization task, where the local elements that form contour must be linked into a coherent structure, which is then further processed and manipulated to perform the categorization task. The contour formation in our visual stimulus is a dynamic process where, for the first time, visual perception of contours is disentangled from the onset of visual stimulation or from motor preparation, cognitive processes that until now have been behaviorally attached to perceptual processes. Our main finding is that, while local and long-range synchronization at several frequencies seem to be an ongoing phenomena, categorization of a contour could only be predicted through local oscillatory activity within parietal/frontal sources, which in turn, would synchronize at gamma (>30 Hz) frequency. Simultaneously, fronto-parietal beta (13–30 Hz) phase locking forms a network spanning across neural sources that are not category specific. Both long range networks, i.e., the gamma network that is category specific, and the beta network that is not category specific, are functionally distinct but spatially overlapping. Altogether, we show that a critical mechanism underlying contour categorization involves oscillatory activity within parietal/frontal cortices, as well as its synchronization across distal cortical sites. PMID:25165437

  7. Actin distribution patterns in HL-60 leukemia cells treated with etoposide.

    PubMed

    Grzanka, A

    2001-10-01

    Localization of actin was studied in HL-60 leukemia cells after treatment with the anticancer agent etoposide for 3 days in a range of concentrations (0.02-200 microM). Significant changes in morphology of the cells and F-actin distribution patterns labelled with TRITC-phalloidin occurred only after treatment with 100 and 200 microM etoposide. In comparison with control cells, the number of cells decreased, cells were larger and almost all treated cells had irregular surfaces with lamellipodia. F-actin was distributed in a punctate pattern throughout the cytoplasm after treatment. In some treated cells, fluorescence appeared as a bright haze, whereas in other cells it formed a network. Treated cells also showed bright fluorescence at their periphery. Immunogold labelling of actin was observed in cells whether or not treated with etoposide. Labelling was found in the nucleus and also in the cytoplasm. At the ultrastructural level, cells treated with 100 and 200 microM etoposide showed increased positivity for actin in relation with blebbing, margination of nuclear chromatin and bodies containing recognizable nuclear fragments. These findings indicate that alterations in expression of actin in HL-60 cells after treatment with etoposide is dose-dependent and related with apoptosis. PMID:11700950

  8. Anillin Regulates Neuronal Migration and Neurite Growth by Linking RhoG to the Actin Cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Tian, Dong; Diao, Min; Jiang, Yuxiang; Sun, Lingfei; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Zhucheng; Huang, Shanjin; Ou, Guangshuo

    2015-05-01

    Neuronal migration and neurite growth are essential events in neural development, but it remains unclear how guidance cues are transduced through receptors to the actin cytoskeleton, which powers these processes. We report that a cytokinetic scaffold protein, Anillin, is redistributed to the leading edge of the C. elegans Q neuroblast during cell migration and neurite growth. To bypass the requirement for Anillin in cytokinesis, we used the somatic CRISPR-Cas9 technique to generate conditional mutations in Anillin. We demonstrate that Anillin regulates cell migration and growth cone extension by stabilizing the F-actin network at the leading edge. Our biochemical analysis shows that the actin-binding domain of Anillin is sufficient to stabilize F-actin by antagonizing the F-actin severing activity of Cofilin. We further uncover that the active form of RhoG/MIG-2 directly binds to Anillin and recruits it to the leading edge. Our results reveal a novel pathway in which Anillin transduces the RhoG signal to the actin cytoskeleton during neuronal migration and neurite growth. PMID:25843030

  9. CNS myelin wrapping is driven by actin disassembly.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-27

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

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

    PubMed

    Brugerolle, G; Bricheux, G; Coffe, G

    1996-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The Three-Dimensional Dynamics of Actin Waves, a Model of Cytoskeletal Self-Organization

    PubMed Central

    Bretschneider, Till; Anderson, Kurt; Ecke, Mary; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Schroth-Diez, Britta; Ishikawa-Ankerhold, Hellen C.; Gerisch, Günther

    2009-01-01

    Actin polymerization is typically initiated at specific sites in a cell by membrane-bound protein complexes, and the resulting structures are involved in specialized cellular functions, such as migration, particle uptake, or mitotic division. Here we analyze the potential of the actin system to self-organize into waves that propagate on the planar, substrate-attached membrane of a cell. We show that self-assembly involves the ordered recruitment of proteins from the cytoplasmic pool and relate the organization of actin waves to their capacity for applying force. Three proteins are shown to form distinct three-dimensional patterns in the actin waves. Myosin-IB is enriched at the wave front and close to the plasma membrane, the Arp2/3 complex is distributed throughout the waves, and coronin forms a sloping layer on top of them. CARMIL, a protein that links myosin-IB to the Arp2/3 complex, is also recruited to the waves. Wave formation does not depend on signals transmitted by heterotrimeric G-proteins, nor does their propagation require SCAR, a regulator upstream of the Arp2/3 complex. Propagation of the waves is based on an actin treadmilling mechanism, indicating a program that couples actin assembly to disassembly in a three-dimensional pattern. When waves impinge on the cell perimeter, they push the edge forward; when they reverse direction, the cell border is paralyzed. These data show that force-generating, highly organized supramolecular networks are autonomously formed in live cells from molecular motors and proteins controlling actin polymerization and depolymerization. PMID:19348770

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

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, H; Kinosita, K

    1994-01-01

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

  16. Simultaneous tracking of 3D actin and microtubule strains in individual MLO-Y4 osteocytes under oscillatory flow.

    PubMed

    Baik, Andrew D; Qiu, Jun; Hillman, Elizabeth M C; Dong, Cheng; Guo, X Edward

    2013-02-22

    Osteocytes in vivo experience complex fluid shear flow patterns to activate mechanotransduction pathways. The actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletons have been shown to play an important role in the osteocyte's biochemical response to fluid shear loading. The dynamic nature of physiologically relevant fluid flow profiles (i.e., 1Hz oscillatory flow) impedes the ability to image and study both actin and MT cytoskeletons simultaneously in the same cell with high spatiotemporal resolution. To overcome these limitations, a multi-channel quasi-3D microscopy technique was developed to track the actin and MT networks simultaneously under steady and oscillatory flow. Cells displayed high intercellular variability and intracellular cytoskeletal variability in strain profiles. Shear Exz was the predominant strain in both steady and oscillatory flows in the form of viscoelastic creep and elastic oscillations, respectively. Dramatic differences were seen in oscillatory flow, however. The actin strains displayed an oscillatory strain profile more often than the MT networks in all the strains tested and had a higher peak-to-trough strain magnitude. Taken together, the actin networks are the more responsive cytoskeletal networks in osteocytes under oscillatory flow and may play a bigger role in mechanotransduction pathway activation and regulation. PMID:23352617

  17. Geometrical and Mechanical Properties Control Actin Filament Organization

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  19. Liquid-like bundles of crosslinked actin filaments contract without motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weirich, Kimberly

    The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic, structural material that drives cellular-scale deformations during processes such as cell migration and division. Motor proteins are responsible for actively driving many deformations by buckling and translocating actin filaments. However, there is evidence that deformations, such as the constriction of the actin bundle that drives the separation of cells during division, can occur without motors, mediated instead by crosslinker proteins. How might crosslinkers, independent of motors, drive contraction of a bundle? Using a model system of purified proteins, we show that crosslinkers, analogous to molecular cohesion, create an effective surface tension that induces bundle contraction. Crosslinked short actin filaments form micron-sized spindle-shaped bundles. Similar to tactoid granules found at the isotropic-nematic phase transition in liquid crystals, these bundles coarsen and coalesce like liquid droplets. In contrast, crosslinked long filaments coarsen into a steady state of bundles that are frozen in a solid-like network. Near the liquid-solid boundary, filaments of intermediate length initially form bundles that spontaneously contract into tactoid droplets. Our results, that crosslinked actin bundles are liquid-like with an effective surface tension, provide evidence for a mechanism of motor-independent contractility in biological materials.

  20. Building an artificial actin cortex on microscopic pillar arrays.

    PubMed

    Ayadi, R; Roos, W H

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells obtain their morphology and mechanical strength from the cytoskeleton and in particular from the cross-linked actin network that branches throughout the whole cell. This actin cortex lies like a quasi-two-dimensional (2D) biopolymer network just below the cell membrane, to which it is attached. In the quest for building an artificial cell, one needs to make a biomimetic model of the actin cortex and combine this in a bottom-up approach with other "synthetic" components. Here, we describe a reconstitution method for such an artificial actin cortex, which is freely suspended on top of a regular array of pillars. By this immobilization method, the actin network is only attached to a surface at discrete points and can fluctuate freely in between. By discussing the method to make the micropillars and the way to reconstitute a quasi-2D actin network on top, we show how one can study an isolated, reconstituted part of a cell. This allows the study of fundamental interaction mechanisms of actin networks, providing handles to design a functional actin cortex in an artificial cell. PMID:25997345

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Shockwave Absorption using Network-forming Ionic glass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jaejun; Yang, Ke; Moore, Jeffrey; Sottos, Nancy; MURI SWED Collaboration

    2015-06-01

    Network-forming ionic glasses composed of di-ammonium cations and citrate anions exhibit significant potential for dissipation of shock wave energy. The long alkyl side chains in the di-ammonium cation form a soft matrix, while the negatively charged heads of anions segregate into hard nanophase domains. Similar to polyurea, which has microphase separation of soft and hard domains, we hypothesize that shock wave dissipation of the ionic glass occurs by bond breaking in the hard domains and/or pressure-induced phase transition. By employing size-tunable alkyl side chains in the cations, we examine the effect of the relative soft domain size on energy dissipation. A series of thin film (ca. 50 μm) ionic glass specimens are subjected to laser-induced compressive stress waves and the transmitted response measured interferometrically. Structural changes of the ionic glass due to shock wave impact are characterized by x-ray diffraction. When compared directly to polyurea films of identical thickness and geometry, the ionic glass showed superior shock-wave mitigating performance. ONR MURI program.

  4. Tropomyosin diffusion over actin subunits facilitates thin filament assembly

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-11-20

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  8. Mechanics model for actin-based motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yuan

    2009-02-01

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

  9. Excitable actin dynamics in lamellipodial protrusion and retraction.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  10. Actin is required for IFT regulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  12. VASP Governs Actin Dynamics by Modulating Filament Anchoring

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. The evolution of the actin binding NET superfamily.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Timothy J; Deeks, Michael J; Wang, Pengwei; Hussey, Patrick J

    2014-01-01

    The Arabidopsis Networked (NET) superfamily are plant-specific actin binding proteins which specifically label different membrane compartments and identify specialized sites of interaction between actin and membranes unique to plants. There are 13 members of the superfamily in Arabidopsis, which group into four distinct clades or families. NET homologs are absent from the genomes of metazoa and fungi; furthermore, in plantae, NET sequences are also absent from the genome of mosses and more ancient extant plant clades. A single family of the NET proteins is found encoded in the club moss genome, an extant species of the earliest vascular plants. Gymnosperms have examples from families 4 and 3, with a hybrid form of NET1 and 2 which shows characteristics of both NET1 and NET2. In addition to NET3 and 4 families, the NET1 and pollen-expressed NET2 families are found only as independent sequences in Angiosperms. This is consistent with the divergence of reproductive actin. The four families are conserved across Monocots and Eudicots, with the numbers of members of each clade expanding at this point, due, in part, to regions of genome duplication. Since the emergence of the NET superfamily at the dawn of vascular plants, they have continued to develop and diversify in a manner which has mirrored the divergence and increasing complexity of land-plant species. PMID:24926301

  15. The evolution of the actin binding NET superfamily

    PubMed Central

    Hawkins, Timothy J.; Deeks, Michael J.; Wang, Pengwei; Hussey, Patrick J.

    2014-01-01

    The Arabidopsis Networked (NET) superfamily are plant-specific actin binding proteins which specifically label different membrane compartments and identify specialized sites of interaction between actin and membranes unique to plants. There are 13 members of the superfamily in Arabidopsis, which group into four distinct clades or families. NET homologs are absent from the genomes of metazoa and fungi; furthermore, in plantae, NET sequences are also absent from the genome of mosses and more ancient extant plant clades. A single family of the NET proteins is found encoded in the club moss genome, an extant species of the earliest vascular plants. Gymnosperms have examples from families 4 and 3, with a hybrid form of NET1 and 2 which shows characteristics of both NET1 and NET2. In addition to NET3 and 4 families, the NET1 and pollen-expressed NET2 families are found only as independent sequences in Angiosperms. This is consistent with the divergence of reproductive actin. The four families are conserved across Monocots and Eudicots, with the numbers of members of each clade expanding at this point, due, in part, to regions of genome duplication. Since the emergence of the NET superfamily at the dawn of vascular plants, they have continued to develop and diversify in a manner which has mirrored the divergence and increasing complexity of land-plant species. PMID:24926301

  16. Activity of a gelsolin-like actin modulator in rat skeletal muscle under protein catabolic conditions.

    PubMed Central

    D'Haese, J; Rutschmann, M; Dahlmann, B; Hinssen, H

    1987-01-01

    A gelsolin-like actin-modulating protein was isolated from rat skeletal muscle and characterized with respect to its interaction with actin. The protein, with a molecular mass of approx. 85 kDa, forms a stoichiometric complex with two actin molecules and is activated by micromolar concentrations of Ca2+. It effectively severs actin filaments and promotes nucleation of actin polymerization. The activity of this protein is detectable already in crude extracts by its capability to reduce the steady state viscosity of actin. Actin-modulating activities were determined in muscle extracts of rats kept under protein catabolic conditions, i.e. as generated by corticosterone treatment and starvation. In both cases we found a marked increase of modulator activity. The possibility is discussed that the increased activity of actin modulator indicates a fragmentation of actin filaments prior to the proteolytic degradation of actin. Images Fig. 2. PMID:3435453

  17. 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

  18. Synaptopodin-2 induces assembly of peripheral actin bundles and immature focal adhesions to promote lamellipodia formation and prostate cancer cell migration.

    PubMed

    Kai, FuiBoon; Fawcett, James P; Duncan, Roy

    2015-05-10

    Synaptopodin-2 (Synpo2), an actin-binding protein and invasive cancer biomarker, induces formation of complex stress fiber networks in the cell body and promotes PC3 prostate cancer cell migration in response to serum stimulation. The role of these actin networks in enhanced cancer cell migration is unknown. Using time-course analysis and live cell imaging of mock- and Synpo2-transduced PC3 cells, we now show that Synpo2 induces assembly of actin fibers near the cell periphery and Arp2/3-dependent lamellipodia formation. Lamellipodia formed in a non-directional manner or repeatedly changed direction, explaining the enhanced chemokinetic activity of PC3 cells in response to serum stimulation. Myosin contraction promotes retrograde flow of the Synpo2-associated actin filaments at the leading edge and their merger with actin networks in the cell body. Enhanced PC3 cell migration correlates with Synpo2-induced formation of lamellipodia and immature focal adhesions (FAs), but is not dependent on myosin contraction or FA maturation. The previously reported correlation between Synpo2-induced stress fiber assembly and enhanced PC3 cell migration therefore reflects the role of Synpo2 as a newly identified regulator of actin bundle formation and nascent FA assembly near the leading cell edge. PMID:25883213

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Holzinger, Andreas; Blaas, Kathrin

    2016-01-01

    This chapter gives an overview of the most common F-actin-perturbing substances that are used to study actin dynamics in living plant cells in studies on morphogenesis, motility, organelle movement, or when apoptosis has to be induced. These substances can be divided into two major subclasses: F-actin-stabilizing and -polymerizing substances like jasplakinolide and chondramides and F-actin-severing compounds like chytochalasins and latrunculins. Jasplakinolide was originally isolated form a marine sponge, and can now be synthesized and has become commercially available, which is responsible for its wide distribution as membrane-permeable F-actin-stabilizing and -polymerizing agent, which may even have anticancer activities. Cytochalasins, derived from fungi, show an F-actin-severing function and many derivatives are commercially available (A, B, C, D, E, H, J), also making it a widely used compound for F-actin disruption. The same can be stated for latrunculins (A, B), derived from red sea sponges; however the mode of action is different by binding to G-actin and inhibiting incorporation into the filament. In the case of swinholide a stable complex with actin dimers is formed resulting also in severing of F-actin. For influencing F-actin dynamics in plant cells only membrane permeable drugs are useful in a broad range. We however introduce also the phallotoxins and synthetic derivatives, as they are widely used to visualize F-actin in fixed cells. A particular uptake mechanism has been shown for hepatocytes, but has also been described in siphonal giant algae. In the present chapter the focus is set on F-actin dynamics in plant cells where alterations in cytoplasmic streaming can be particularly well studied; however methods by fluorescence applications including phalloidin and antibody staining as well as immunofluorescence-localization of the inhibitor drugs are given. PMID:26498789

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

    PubMed Central

    Holzinger, Andreas; Blaas, Kathrin

    2016-01-01

    This chapter will give an overview of the most common F-actin perturbing substances, that are used to study actin dynamics in living plant cells in studies on morphogenesis, motility, organelle movement or when apoptosis has to be induced. These substances can be divided into two major subclasses – F-actin stabilizing and polymerizing substances like jasplakinolide, chondramides and F-actin severing compounds like chytochalasins and latrunculins. Jasplakinolide was originally isolated form a marine sponge, and can now be synthesized and has become commercially available, which is responsible for its wide distribution as membrane permeable F-actin stabilizing and polymerizing agent, which may even have anti-cancer activities. Cytochalasins, derived from fungi show an F-actin severing function and many derivatives are commercially available (A, B, C, D, E, H, J), also making it a widely used compound for F-actin disruption. The same can be stated for latrunculins (A, B), derived from red sea sponges, however the mode of action is different by binding to G-actin and inhibiting incorporation into the filament. In the case of swinholide a stable complex with actin dimers is formed resulting also in severing of F-actin. For influencing F-actin dynamics in plant cells only membrane permeable drugs are useful in a broad range. We however introduce also the phallotoxins and synthetic derivatives, as they are widely used to visualize F-actin in fixed cells. A particular uptake mechanism has been shown for hepatocytes, but has also been described in siphonal giant algae. In the present chapter the focus is set on F-actin dynamics in plant cells where alterations in cytoplasmic streaming can be particularly well studied; however methods by fluorescence applications including phalloidin- and antibody staining as well as immunofluorescence-localization of the inhibitor drugs are given. PMID:26498789

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. WASp-dependent actin cytoskeleton stability at the dendritic cell immunological synapse is required for extensive, functional T cell contacts.

    PubMed

    Malinova, Dessislava; Fritzsche, Marco; Nowosad, Carla R; Armer, Hannah; Munro, Peter M G; Blundell, Michael P; Charras, Guillaume; Tolar, Pavel; Bouma, Gerben; Thrasher, Adrian J

    2016-05-01

    The immunological synapse is a highly structured and molecularly dynamic interface between communicating immune cells. Although the immunological synapse promotes T cell activation by dendritic cells, the specific organization of the immunological synapse on the dendritic cell side in response to T cell engagement is largely unknown. In this study, confocal and electron microscopy techniques were used to investigate the role of dendritic cell actin regulation in immunological synapse formation, stabilization, and function. In the dendritic cell-restricted absence of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein, an important regulator of the actin cytoskeleton in hematopoietic cells, the immunological synapse contact with T cells occupied a significantly reduced surface area. At a molecular level, the actin network localized to the immunological synapse exhibited reduced stability, in particular, of the actin-related protein-2/3-dependent, short-filament network. This was associated with decreased polarization of dendritic cell-associated ICAM-1 and MHC class II, which was partially dependent on Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein phosphorylation. With the use of supported planar lipid bilayers incorporating anti-ICAM-1 and anti-MHC class II antibodies, the dendritic cell actin cytoskeleton organized into recognizable synaptic structures but interestingly, formed Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein-dependent podosomes within this area. These findings demonstrate that intrinsic dendritic cell cytoskeletal remodeling is a key regulatory component of normal immunological synapse formation, likely through consolidation of adhesive interaction and modulation of immunological synapse stability. PMID:26590149

  10. F-actin dismantling through a redox-driven synergy between Mical and cofilin.

    PubMed

    Grintsevich, Elena E; Yesilyurt, Hunkar Gizem; Rich, Shannon K; Hung, Ruei-Jiun; Terman, Jonathan R; Reisler, Emil

    2016-08-01

    Numerous cellular functions depend on actin filament (F-actin) disassembly. The best-characterized disassembly proteins, the ADF (actin-depolymerizing factor)/cofilins (encoded by the twinstar gene in Drosophila), sever filaments and recycle monomers to promote actin assembly. Cofilin is also a relatively weak actin disassembler, posing questions about mechanisms of cellular F-actin destabilization. Here we uncover a key link to targeted F-actin disassembly by finding that F-actin is efficiently dismantled through a post-translational-mediated synergism between cofilin and the actin-oxidizing enzyme Mical. We find that Mical-mediated oxidation of actin improves cofilin binding to filaments, where their combined effect dramatically accelerates F-actin disassembly compared with either effector alone. This synergism is also necessary and sufficient for F-actin disassembly in vivo, magnifying the effects of both Mical and cofilin on cellular remodelling, axon guidance and Semaphorin-Plexin repulsion. Mical and cofilin, therefore, form a redox-dependent synergistic pair that promotes F-actin instability by rapidly dismantling F-actin and generating post-translationally modified actin that has altered assembly properties. PMID:27454820

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Structure and Mechanics of Actin Cortex Contained in Vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limozin, Laurent; Roth, Alexander; Sackmann, Erich

    2003-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1986-01-01

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

  16. Environmental toxicants perturb human Sertoli cell adhesive function via changes in F-actin organization mediated by actin regulatory proteins

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Xiang; Mruk, Dolores D.; Tang, Elizabeth I.; Wong, Chris K.C.; Lee, Will M.; John, Constance M.; Turek, Paul J.; Silvestrini, Bruno; Cheng, C. Yan

    2014-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION Can human Sertoli cells cultured in vitro and that have formed an epithelium be used as a model to monitor toxicant-induced junction disruption and to better understand the mechanism(s) by which toxicants disrupt cell adhesion at the Sertoli cell blood–testis barrier (BTB)? SUMMARY ANSWER Our findings illustrate that human Sertoli cells cultured in vitro serve as a reliable system to monitor the impact of environmental toxicants on the BTB function. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY Suspicions of a declining trend in semen quality and a concomitant increase in exposures to environmental toxicants over the past decades reveal the need of an in vitro system that efficiently and reliably monitors the impact of toxicants on male reproductive function. Furthermore, studies in rodents have confirmed that environmental toxicants impede Sertoli cell BTB function in vitro and in vivo. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE AND DURATION We examined the effects of two environmental toxicants: cadmium chloride (0.5–20 µM) and bisphenol A (0.4–200 µM) on human Sertoli cell function. Cultured Sertoli cells from three men were used in this study, which spanned an 18-month period. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS Human Sertoli cells from three subjects were cultured in F12/DMEM containing 5% fetal bovine serum. Changes in protein expression were monitored by immunoblotting using specific antibodies. Immunofluorescence analyses were used to assess changes in the distribution of adhesion proteins, F-actin and actin regulatory proteins following exposure to two toxicants: cadmium chloride and bisphenol A (BPA). MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE Human Sertoli cells were sensitive to cadmium and BPA toxicity. Changes in the localization of cell adhesion proteins were mediated by an alteration of the actin-based cytoskeleton. This alteration of F-actin network in Sertoli cells as manifested by truncation and depolymerization of actin microfilaments at the Sertoli cell BTB was caused by

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Borejdo, J; Ortega, H

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott D.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Fission yeast IQGAP arranges actin filaments into the cytokinetic contractile ring.

    PubMed

    Takaine, Masak; Numata, Osamu; Nakano, Kentaro

    2009-10-21

    The contractile ring (CR) consists of bundled actin filaments and myosin II; however, the actin-bundling factor remains elusive. We show that the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe IQGAP Rng2 is involved in the generation of CR F-actin and required for its arrangement into a ring. An N-terminal fragment of Rng2 is necessary for the function of Rng2 and is localized to CR F-actin. In vitro the fragment promotes actin polymerization and forms linear arrays of F-actin, which are resistant to the depolymerization induced by the actin-depolymerizing factor Adf1. Our findings indicate that Rng2 is involved in the generation of CR F-actin and simultaneously bundles the filaments and regulates its dynamics by counteracting the effects of Adf1, thus enabling the reconstruction of CR F-actin bundles, which provides an insight into the physical properties of the building blocks that comprise the CR. PMID:19713940

  1. 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

  2. Ratiometric Imaging of the T-Cell Actin Cytoskeleton Reveals the Nature of Receptor-Induced Cytoskeletal Enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Smoligovets, Alexander A.; Smith, Adam W.; Groves, Jay T.

    2013-01-01

    The T-cell actin cytoskeleton mediates adaptive immune system responses to peptide antigens by physically directing the motion and clustering of T-cell receptors (TCRs) on the cell surface. When TCR movement is impeded by externally applied physical barriers, the actin network exhibits transient enrichment near the trapped receptors. The coordinated nature of the actin density fluctuations suggests that they are composed of filamentous actin, but it has not been possible to eliminate de novo polymerization at TCR-associated actin polymerizing factors as an alternative cause. Here, we use a dual-probe cytoskeleton labeling strategy to distinguish between stable and polymerizing pools of actin. Our results suggest that TCR-associated actin consists of a relatively high proportion of the stable cytoskeletal fraction and extends away from the cell membrane into the cell. This implies that actin enrichment at mechanically trapped TCRs results from three-dimensional bunching of the existing filamentous actin network. PMID:23931330

  3. Modulation of actin structure and function by phosphorylation of Tyr-53 and profilin binding

    SciTech Connect

    Baek, Kyuwon; Liu, Xiong; Ferron, Francois; Shu, Shi; Korn, Edward D.; Dominguez, Roberto

    2008-08-27

    On starvation, Dictyostelium cells aggregate to form multicellular fruiting bodies containing spores that germinate when transferred to nutrient-rich medium. This developmental cycle correlates with the extent of actin phosphorylation at Tyr-53 (pY53-actin), which is low in vegetative cells but high in viable mature spores. Here we describe high-resolution crystal structures of pY53-actin and unphosphorylated actin in complexes with gelsolin segment 1 and profilin. In the structure of pY53-actin, the phosphate group on Tyr-53 makes hydrogen-bonding interactions with residues of the DNase I-binding loop (D-loop) of actin, resulting in a more stable conformation of the D-loop than in the unphosphorylated structures. A more rigidly folded D-loop may explain some of the previously described properties of pY53-actin, including its increased critical concentration for polymerization, reduced rates of nucleation and pointed end elongation, and weak affinity for DNase I. We show here that phosphorylation of Tyr-53 inhibits subtilisin cleavage of the D-loop and reduces the rate of nucleotide exchange on actin. The structure of profilin-Dictyostelium-actin is strikingly similar to previously determined structures of profilin-{beta}-actin and profilin-{alpha}-actin. By comparing this representative set of profilin-actin structures with other structures of actin, we highlight the effects of profilin on the actin conformation. In the profilin-actin complexes, subdomains 1 and 3 of actin close around profilin, producing a 4.7 deg. rotation of the two major domains of actin relative to each other. As a result, the nucleotide cleft becomes moderately more open in the profilin-actin complex, probably explaining the stimulation of nucleotide exchange on actin by profilin.

  4. Mutant Profilin Suppresses Mutant Actin-dependent Mitochondrial Phenotype in Saccharomyces cerevisiae*

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Kuo-Kuang; McKane, Melissa; Stokasimov, Ema; Rubenstein, Peter A.

    2011-01-01

    In the Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin-profilin interface, Ala167 of the actin barbed end W-loop and His372 near the C terminus form a clamp around a profilin segment containing residue Arg81 and Tyr79. Modeling suggests that altering steric packing in this interface regulates actin activity. An actin A167E mutation could increase interface crowding and alter actin regulation, and A167E does cause growth defects and mitochondrial dysfunction. We assessed whether a profilin Y79S mutation with its decreased mass could compensate for actin A167E crowding and rescue the mutant phenotype. Y79S profilin alone caused no growth defect in WT actin cells under standard conditions in rich medium and rescued the mitochondrial phenotype resulting from both the A167E and H372R actin mutations in vivo consistent with our model. Rescue did not result from effects of profilin on actin nucleotide exchange or direct effects of profilin on actin polymerization. Polymerization of A167E actin was less stimulated by formin Bni1 FH1-FH2 fragment than was WT actin. Addition of WT profilin to mixtures of A167E actin and formin fragment significantly altered polymerization kinetics from hyperbolic to a decidedly more sigmoidal behavior. Substitution of Y79S profilin in this system produced A167E behavior nearly identical to that of WT actin. A167E actin caused more dynamic actin cable behavior in vivo than observed with WT actin. Introduction of Y79S restored cable movement to a more normal phenotype. Our studies implicate the importance of the actin-profilin interface for formin-dependent actin and point to the involvement of formin and profilin in the maintenance of mitochondrial integrity and function. PMID:21956104

  5. Global Networked Learning: A New Form of Collaborative Action Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mirny, A.; Wiske, M. S.; Joo, J.; Cunningham, G.; Daniels, D.; Farid, A. B.; Gordon, F.; Madani, R.; Nissen, S. C.

    2010-01-01

    A year-long collaborative action research project used networked technologies to connect researchers at a university-based online professional development program and a group of practitioner researchers based in a range of schools and educational agencies in several countries. They studied the process and effects of online professional development…

  6. Fractal and Small-World Networks Formed by Self-Organized Critical Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Akitomo; Mizutaka, Shogo; Yakubo, Kousuke

    2015-11-01

    We propose a dynamical model in which a network structure evolves in a self-organized critical (SOC) manner and explain a possible origin of the emergence of fractal and small-world networks. Our model combines a network growth and its decay by failures of nodes. The decay mechanism reflects the instability of large functional networks against cascading overload failures. It is demonstrated that the dynamical system surely exhibits SOC characteristics, such as power-law forms of the avalanche size distribution, the cluster size distribution, and the distribution of the time interval between intermittent avalanches. During the network evolution, fractal networks are spontaneously generated when networks experience critical cascades of failures that lead to a percolation transition. In contrast, networks far from criticality have small-world structures. We also observe the crossover behavior from fractal to small-world structure in the network evolution.

  7. Superconducting nanowire networks formed on nanoporous membrane substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Qiong

    Introducing a regular array of holes into superconducting thin films has been actively pursued to stabilize and pin the vortex lattice against external driving forces, enabling higher current capabilities. If the width of the sections between neighboring holes is comparable to the superconducting coherence length, the circulation of the Cooper pairs in around the holes in the presence of a magnetic field can also produce the Little-Parks effect, i.e. periodic oscillation of the critical temperature. These two mechanisms, commensurate vortex pinning enhancement by the hole-array and the critical temperature oscillations of a wire network due to Little-Parks effect can induce similar experimental observations such as magnetoresistance oscillation and enhancement of the critical current at specific magnetic fields. This dissertation work investigates the effect of a hole-array on the properties of superconducting films deposited onto nanoporous substrates. Experiments on anisotropies of the critical temperature for niobium films on anodic aluminum oxide membrane substrates containing a regular hole-array reveal that the critical temperature exhibits two strong anisotropic effects: Little-Parks oscillations whose period varies with field direction superimposed on a smooth background arising from one dimensional confinement by the finite lateral space between neighboring holes. The two components of the anisotropy are intrinsically linked and appear in concert. That is, the hole-array changes the dimensionality of a two-dimensional (2D) film to a network of 1D nanowire network. Network of superconducting nanowires with transverse dimensions as small as few nanometers were achieved by coating molybdenum germanium (MoGe) layer onto commercially available filtration membranes which have extremely dense nanopores. The magnetoresistance, magnetic field dependence of the critical temperature and the anisotropies of the synthesized MoGe nanowire networks can be consistently

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2009-03-01

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

  10. Capillary suspensions: Particle networks formed through the capillary force

    PubMed Central

    Koos, Erin

    2014-01-01

    The addition of small amounts of a secondary fluid to a suspension can, through the attractive capillary force, lead to particle bridging and network formation. The capillary bridging phenomenon can be used to stabilize particle suspensions and precisely tune their rheological properties. This effect can even occur when the secondary fluid wets the particles less well than the bulk fluid. These materials, so-called capillary suspensions, have been the subject of recent research studying the mechanism for network formation, the properties of these suspensions, and how the material properties can be modified. Recent work in colloidal clusters is summarized and the relationship to capillary suspensions is discussed. Capillary suspensions can also be used as a pathway for new material design and some of these applications are highlighted. Results obtained to date are summarized and central questions that remain to be answered are proposed in this review. PMID:25729316

  11. Linear induction accelerator and pulse forming networks therefor

    DOEpatents

    Buttram, Malcolm T.; Ginn, Jerry W.

    1989-01-01

    A linear induction accelerator includes a plurality of adder cavities arranged in a series and provided in a structure which is evacuated so that a vacuum inductance is provided between each adder cavity and the structure. An energy storage system for the adder cavities includes a pulsed current source and a respective plurality of bipolar converting networks connected thereto. The bipolar high-voltage, high-repetition-rate square pulse train sets and resets the cavities.

  12. Preliminary Results form the Japanese Total Lightning Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobara, Y.; Ishii, H.; Kumagai, Y.; Liu, C.; Heckman, S.; Price, C. G.; Williams, E. R.

    2015-12-01

    We report on the initial observational results from the first Japanese Total Lightning Detection Network (JTLN) in relation to severe weather phenomena. The University of Electro-Communications (UEC) has deployed the Earth Networks (EN) Total Lightning System over Japan to carry out research on the relationship between thunderstorm activity and severe weather phenomena since 2013. In this paper we first demonstrate the current status of our new network followed by the initial scientific results. The lightning jump algorithm was applied to our total lightning data to study the relationship between total lighting activity and hazardous weather events such as gust fronts and tornadoes over land reported by the JMA (Japanese Meteorological Agency) in 2014. As a result, a clear increase in total lighting flash rate as well as lightning jumps are observed prior to most hazardous weather events (~20 min) indicating potential usefulness for early warning in Japan. Furthermore we are going to demonstrate the relationship of total lightning activities with meteorological radar data focusing particularly on Japanese Tornadic storms.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rudy, Jerry W

    2015-09-24

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Symmetry breaking in reconstituted actin cortices.

    PubMed

    Abu Shah, Enas; Keren, Kinneret

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Symmetry breaking in reconstituted actin cortices

    PubMed Central

    Abu Shah, Enas; Keren, Kinneret

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Robustness of a network formed by n interdependent networks with a one-to-one correspondence of dependent nodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Jianxi; Buldyrev, S. V.; Havlin, S.; Stanley, H. E.

    2012-06-01

    Many real-world networks interact with and depend upon other networks. We develop an analytical framework for studying a network formed by n fully interdependent randomly connected networks, each composed of the same number of nodes N. The dependency links connecting nodes from different networks establish a unique one-to-one correspondence between the nodes of one network and the nodes of the other network. We study the dynamics of the cascades of failures in such a network of networks (NON) caused by a random initial attack on one of the networks, after which a fraction p of its nodes survives. We find for the fully interdependent loopless NON that the final state of the NON does not depend on the dynamics of the cascades but is determined by a uniquely defined mutual giant component of the NON, which generalizes both the giant component of regular percolation of a single network (n=1) and the recently studied case of the mutual giant component of two interdependent networks (n=2). We also find that the mutual giant component does not depend on the topology of the NON and express it in terms of generating functions of the degree distributions of the network. Our results show that, for any n⩾2 there exists a critical p=pc>0 below which the mutual giant component abruptly collapses from a finite nonzero value for p⩾pc to zero for pnetworks where pc=0 for n=1. We show that, if at least one of the networks in the NON has isolated or singly connected nodes, the NON completely disintegrates for sufficiently large n even if p=1. In contrast, in the absence of such nodes, the NON survives for any n for sufficiently large p. We illustrate this behavior by comparing two exactly solvable examples of NONs composed of Erdős-Rényi (ER) and random regular (RR) networks. We find that the robustness of n coupled RR networks of degree k is dramatically higher compared to the n-coupled ER

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Actin-associated Proteins in the Pathogenesis of Podocyte Injury

    PubMed Central

    He, Fang-Fang; Chen, Shan; Su, Hua; Meng, Xian-Fang; Zhang, Chun

    2013-01-01

    Podocytes have a complex cellular architecture with interdigitating processes maintained by a precise organization of actin filaments. The actin-based foot processes of podocytes and the interposed slit diaphragm form the final barrier to proteinuria. The function of podocytes is largely based on the maintenance of the normal foot process structure with actin cytoskeleton. Cytoskeletal dynamics play important roles during normal podocyte development, in maintenance of the healthy glomerular filtration barrier, and in the pathogenesis of glomerular diseases. In this review, we focused on recent findings on the mechanisms of organization and reorganization of these actin-related molecules in the pathogenesis of podocyte injury and potential therapeutics targeting the regulation of actin cytoskeleton in podocytopathies. PMID:24396279

  7. Plasmodial vein networks of the slime mold Physarum polycephalum form regular graphs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumgarten, Werner; Ueda, Tetsuo; Hauser, Marcus J. B.

    2010-10-01

    The morphology of a typical developing biological transportation network, the vein network of the plasmodium of the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum is analyzed during its free extension. The network forms a classical, regular graph, and has exclusively nodes of degree 3. This contrasts to most real-world transportation networks which show small-world or scale-free properties. The complexity of the vein network arises from the weighting of the lengths, widths, and areas of the vein segments. The lengths and areas follow exponential distributions, while the widths are distributed log-normally. These functional dependencies are robust during the entire evolution of the network, even though the exponents change with time due to the coarsening of the vein network.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Formin-mediated actin polymerization at endothelial junctions is required for vessel lumen formation and stabilization.

    PubMed

    Phng, Li-Kun; Gebala, Véronique; Bentley, Katie; Philippides, Andrew; Wacker, Andrin; Mathivet, Thomas; Sauteur, Loïc; Stanchi, Fabio; Belting, Heinz-Georg; Affolter, Markus; Gerhardt, Holger

    2015-01-12

    During blood vessel formation, endothelial cells (ECs) establish cell-cell junctions and rearrange to form multicellular tubes. Here, we show that during lumen formation, the actin nucleator and elongation factor, formin-like 3 (fmnl3), localizes to EC junctions, where filamentous actin (F-actin) cables assemble. Fluorescent actin reporters and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments in zebrafish embryos identified a pool of dynamic F-actin with high turnover at EC junctions in vessels. Knockdown of fmnl3 expression, chemical inhibition of formin function, and expression of dominant-negative fmnl3 revealed that formin activity maintains a stable F-actin content at EC junctions by continual polymerization of F-actin cables. Reduced actin polymerization leads to destabilized endothelial junctions and consequently to failure in blood vessel lumenization and lumen instability. Our findings highlight the importance of formin activity in blood vessel morphogenesis. PMID:25584798

  10. Coronin 1B antagonizes Cortactin and remodels Arp2/3-containing actin branches in lamellipodia

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Liang; Makhov, Alexander M.; Schafer, Dorothy A.; Bear, James E.

    2008-01-01

    Summary The dendritic actin network generated by Arp2/3 complex in lamellipodia underlies formation of protrusions, directional sensing and migration. While the generation of this network is well studied, the mechanisms regulating network disassembly are poorly understood. We report that Coronin 1B disassembles Arp2/3-containing actin filament branches by inducing Arp2/3 dissociation. This activity is antagonized by Cortactin, a filament branch stabilizer. Consistent with this biochemical competition, depletion of both proteins partially rescues defects in lamellipodial dynamics observed upon depletion of either protein alone. Coronin 1B targets actin branches in a manner that is mutually exclusive with Arp2/3 complex and alters the branch angle. We conclude that Coronin 1B replaces Arp2/3 complex at actin filament branches as the dendritic network matures and drives the turnover of branched actin networks. PMID:18775315

  11. G-actin guides p53 nuclear transport: potential contribution of monomeric actin in altered localization of mutant p53

    PubMed Central

    Saha, Taniya; Guha, Deblina; Manna, Argha; Panda, Abir Kumar; Bhat, Jyotsna; Chatterjee, Subhrangsu; Sa, Gaurisankar

    2016-01-01

    p53 preserves genomic integrity by restricting anomaly at the gene level. Till date, limited information is available for cytosol to nuclear shuttling of p53; except microtubule-based trafficking route, which utilizes minus-end directed motor dynein. The present study suggests that monomeric actin (G-actin) guides p53 traffic towards the nucleus. Histidine-tag pull-down assay using purified p53(1–393)-His and G-actin confirms direct physical association between p53 and monomeric G-actin. Co-immunoprecipitation data supports the same. Confocal imaging explores intense perinuclear colocalization between p53 and G-actin. To address atomistic details of the complex, constraint-based docked model of p53:G-actin complex was generated based on crystal structures. MD simulation reveals that p53 DNA-binding domain arrests very well the G-actin protein. Docking benchmark studies have been carried out for a known crystal structure, 1YCS (complex between p53DBD and BP2), which validates the docking protocol we adopted. Co-immunoprecipitation study using “hot-spot” p53 mutants suggested reduced G-actin association with cancer-associated p53 conformational mutants (R175H and R249S). Considering these findings, we hypothesized that point mutation in p53 structure, which diminishes p53:G-actin complexation results in mutant p53 altered subcellular localization. Our model suggests p53Arg249 form polar-contact with Arg357 of G-actin, which upon mutation, destabilizes p53:G-actin interaction and results in cytoplasmic retention of p53R249S. PMID:27601274

  12. G-actin guides p53 nuclear transport: potential contribution of monomeric actin in altered localization of mutant p53.

    PubMed

    Saha, Taniya; Guha, Deblina; Manna, Argha; Panda, Abir Kumar; Bhat, Jyotsna; Chatterjee, Subhrangsu; Sa, Gaurisankar

    2016-01-01

    p53 preserves genomic integrity by restricting anomaly at the gene level. Till date, limited information is available for cytosol to nuclear shuttling of p53; except microtubule-based trafficking route, which utilizes minus-end directed motor dynein. The present study suggests that monomeric actin (G-actin) guides p53 traffic towards the nucleus. Histidine-tag pull-down assay using purified p53(1-393)-His and G-actin confirms direct physical association between p53 and monomeric G-actin. Co-immunoprecipitation data supports the same. Confocal imaging explores intense perinuclear colocalization between p53 and G-actin. To address atomistic details of the complex, constraint-based docked model of p53:G-actin complex was generated based on crystal structures. MD simulation reveals that p53 DNA-binding domain arrests very well the G-actin protein. Docking benchmark studies have been carried out for a known crystal structure, 1YCS (complex between p53DBD and BP2), which validates the docking protocol we adopted. Co-immunoprecipitation study using "hot-spot" p53 mutants suggested reduced G-actin association with cancer-associated p53 conformational mutants (R175H and R249S). Considering these findings, we hypothesized that point mutation in p53 structure, which diminishes p53:G-actin complexation results in mutant p53 altered subcellular localization. Our model suggests p53Arg249 form polar-contact with Arg357 of G-actin, which upon mutation, destabilizes p53:G-actin interaction and results in cytoplasmic retention of p53R249S. PMID:27601274

  13. Bending Flexibility of Actin Filaments during Motor-Induced Sliding

    PubMed Central

    Vikhorev, Petr G.; Vikhoreva, Natalia N.; Månsson, Alf

    2008-01-01

    Muscle contraction and other forms of cell motility occur as a result of cyclic interactions between myosin molecules and actin filaments. Force generation is generally attributed to ATP-driven structural changes in myosin, whereas a passive role is ascribed to actin. However, some results challenge this view, predicting structural changes in actin during motor activity, e.g., when the actin filaments slide on a myosin-coated surface in vitro. Here, we analyzed statistical properties of the sliding filament paths, allowing us to detect changes of this type. It is interesting to note that evidence for substantial structural changes that led to increased bending flexibility of the filaments was found in phalloidin-stabilized, but not in phalloidin-free, actin filaments. The results are in accordance with the idea that a high-flexibility structural state of actin is a prerequisite for force production, but not the idea that a low-to-high flexibility transition of the actin filament should be an important component of the force-generating step per se. Finally, our data challenge the general view that phalloidin-stabilized filaments behave as native actin filaments in their interaction with myosin. This has important implications, since phalloidin stabilization is a routine procedure in most studies of actomyosin function. PMID:18835897

  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. Form and function in gene regulatory networks: the structure of network motifs determines fundamental properties of their dynamical state space

    PubMed Central

    Ahnert, S. E.; Fink, T. M. A.

    2016-01-01

    Network motifs have been studied extensively over the past decade, and certain motifs, such as the feed-forward loop, play an important role in regulatory networks. Recent studies have used Boolean network motifs to explore the link between form and function in gene regulatory networks and have found that the structure of a motif does not strongly determine its function, if this is defined in terms of the gene expression patterns the motif can produce. Here, we offer a different, higher-level definition of the ‘function’ of a motif, in terms of two fundamental properties of its dynamical state space as a Boolean network. One is the basin entropy, which is a complexity measure of the dynamics of Boolean networks. The other is the diversity of cyclic attractor lengths that a given motif can produce. Using these two measures, we examine all 104 topologically distinct three-node motifs and show that the structural properties of a motif, such as the presence of feedback loops and feed-forward loops, predict fundamental characteristics of its dynamical state space, which in turn determine aspects of its functional versatility. We also show that these higher-level properties have a direct bearing on real regulatory networks, as both basin entropy and cycle length diversity show a close correspondence with the prevalence, in neural and genetic regulatory networks, of the 13 connected motifs without self-interactions that have been studied extensively in the literature. PMID:27440255

  16. Identification of actin as a 15-deoxy-Delta12,14-prostaglandin J2 target in neuroblastoma cells: mass spectrometric, computational, and functional approaches to investigate the effect on cytoskeletal derangement.

    PubMed

    Aldini, Giancarlo; Carini, Marina; Vistoli, Giulio; Shibata, Takahiro; Kusano, Yuri; Gamberoni, Luca; Dalle-Donne, Isabella; Milzani, Aldo; Uchida, Koji

    2007-03-13

    A proteomic approach was used to identify 15-deoxy-Delta12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) protein targets in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. By using biotinylated 15d-PGJ2, beta-actin was found as the major adducted protein; at least 12 proteins were also identified as minor biotin-positive spots, falling in different functional classes, including glycolytic enzymes (enolase and lactate dehydrogenase), redox enzymes (biliverdin reductase), and a eukaryotic regulatory protein (14-3-3gamma). 15d-PGJ2 induced marked morphological changes in the actin filament network and in particular promoted F-actin depolymerization as confirmed by Western blot analysis. By using a mass spectrometric approach, we found that 15d-PGJ2 reacts with isolated G-actin in a 1:1 stoichiometric ratio and selectively binds the Cys374 site through a Michael adduction mechanism. Computational studies showed that the covalent binding of 15d-PGJ2 induces a significant unfolding of actin structure and in particular that 15d-PGJ2 distorts the actin subdomains 2 and 4, which define the nucleotide binding sites impeding the nucleotide exchange. The functional effect of 15d-PGJ2 on G-actin was studied by polymerization measurement: in the presence of 15d-PGJ2, a lower amount of F-actin forms, as followed by the increase in pyrenyl-actin fluorescence intensity, as the major effect of increasing 15d-PGJ2 concentrations occurs on the maximum extent of actin polymerization, whereas it is negligible on the initial rate of reaction. In summary, the results here reported give an insight into the role of 15d-PGJ2 as a cytotoxic compound in neuronal cell dysfunction. Actin is the main protein cellular target of 15d-PGJ2, which specifically binds through a Michael adduction to Cys374, leading to a protein conformational change that can explain the disruption of the actin cytoskeleton, F-actin depolymerization, and impairment of G-actin polymerization. PMID:17297918

  17. Formin3 is required for assembly of the F-actin structure that mediates tracheal fusion in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Hiromasa; Takasu, Etsuko; Aigaki, Toshiro; Kato, Kagayaki; Hayashi, Shigeo; Nose, Akinao

    2004-10-15

    During tracheal development in Drosophila, some branches join to form a continuous luminal network. Specialized cells at the branch tip, called fusion cells, extend filopodia to make contact and become doughnut shaped to allow passage of the lumen. These morphogenetic processes accompany the highly regulated cytoskeletal reorganization of fusion cells. We identified the Drosophila formin3 (form3) gene that encodes a novel formin and plays a role in tracheal fusion. Formins are a family of proteins characterized by highly conserved formin homology (FH) domains. The formin family functions in various actin-based processes, including cytokinesis and cell polarity. During embryogenesis, form3 mRNA is expressed mainly in the tracheal system. In form3 mutant embryos, the tracheal fusion does not occur at some points. This phenotype is rescued by the forced expression of form3 in the trachea. We used live imaging of GFP-moesin during tracheal fusion to show that an F-actin structure that spans the adjoining fusion cells and mediates the luminal connection does not form at abnormal anastomosis sites in form3 mutants. These results suggested that Form3 plays a role in the F-actin assembly, which is essential for cellular rearrangement during tracheal fusion. PMID:15385168

  18. Actin Dynamics in Growth Cone Motility and Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Timothy M.; Letourneau, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    Motile growth cones lead growing axons through developing tissues to synaptic targets. These behaviors depend on the organization and dynamics of actin filaments that fill the growth cone leading margin (peripheral (P-) domain). Actin filament organization in growth cones is regulated by actin-binding proteins that control all aspects of filament assembly, turnover, interactions with other filaments and cytoplasmic components, and participation in producing mechanical forces. Actin filament polymerization drives protrusion of sensory filopodia and lamellipodia, and actin filament connections to the plasma membrane link the filament network to adhesive contacts of filopodia and lamellipodia with other surfaces. These contacts stabilize protrusions and transduce mechanical forces generated by actomyosin activity into traction that pulls an elongating axon along the path towards its target. Adhesive ligands and extrinsic guidance cues bind growth cone receptors and trigger signaling activities involving Rho GTPases, kinases, phosphatases, cyclic nucleotides and [Ca++] fluxes. These signals regulate actin binding proteins to locally modulate actin polymerization, interactions and force transduction to steer the growth cone leading margin towards the sources of attractive cues and away from repellent guidance cues. PMID:24164353

  19. Steric Effects Induce Geometric Remodeling of Actin Bundles in Filopodia.

    PubMed

    Dobramysl, Ulrich; Papoian, Garegin A; Erban, Radek

    2016-05-10

    Filopodia are ubiquitous fingerlike protrusions, spawned by many eukaryotic cells, to probe and interact with their environments. Polymerization dynamics of actin filaments, comprising the structural core of filopodia, largely determine their instantaneous lengths and overall lifetimes. The polymerization reactions at the filopodial tip require transport of G-actin, which enter the filopodial tube from the filopodial base and diffuse toward the filament barbed ends near the tip. Actin filaments are mechanically coupled into a tight bundle by cross-linker proteins. Interestingly, many of these proteins are relatively short, restricting the free diffusion of cytosolic G-actin throughout the bundle and, in particular, its penetration into the bundle core. To investigate the effect of steric restrictions on G-actin diffusion by the porous structure of filopodial actin filament bundle, we used a particle-based stochastic simulation approach. We discovered that excluded volume interactions result in partial and then full collapse of central filaments in the bundle, leading to a hollowed-out structure. The latter may further collapse radially due to the activity of cross-linking proteins, hence producing conical-shaped filament bundles. Interestingly, electron microscopy experiments on mature filopodia indeed frequently reveal actin bundles that are narrow at the tip and wider at the base. Overall, our work demonstrates that excluded volume effects in the context of reaction-diffusion processes in porous networks may lead to unexpected geometric growth patterns and complicated, history-dependent dynamics of intermediate metastable configurations. PMID:27166814

  20. Polyamorphic transitions in network glasses and glass-forming liquids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kieffer, John

    2006-03-01

    Over the past two decades, we have witnessed increasing evidence for the occurrence of polyamorphism, i.e., the existence of more than one thermodynamically and structurally distinct non-crystalline state of a given substance. This concept is manifest predominantly through the transitions between different polyamorphic states, as we are still not able to unequivocally describe a given amorphous structure. However, if substantiated, the concept of polyamorphism should facilitate such a description, since it implies that polyamorphic states are uniquely defined and a distinctive structural character must exist for each state. We have observed polyamorphic transitions in a number of glass-forming systems, e.g., when probing their high-frequency visco-elastic response as a function of temperature,[1] or when compacting such systems at high pressures. We have carried out molecular dynamics simulations to reveal explanations for the phenomena observed in experiments.[2] In this presentation we discuss reversible and irreversible transitions in silica glass, their relation to the anomalous thermo-mechanical properties of this material, and the effects of permanent densification on structure and properties. We present an unusual transition in boron oxide glass, which is continuous upon compression and discontinuous upon decompression.[3] We show how the manifestations of polyamorphic transitions and their are related to structural transformations in the crystalline counterparts of these materials, and how this can even lead to the discovery of previously unknown metastable crystalline phases. [1] J. Kieffer, J.E. Masnik, O. Nickolayev, and J.D. Bass, Phys. Rev. B 58, 694 (1998). [2] L. Huang, and J. Kieffer, Phys. Rev. B 69, 224203 and 224204 (2004). [3] J.D. Nicholas, S.V. Sinogeikin, J. Kieffer, and J.D. Bass, Phys. Rev. Letters 92, 215701 (2004).

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Formation of cofilin-actin rods following cucurbitacin-B-induced actin aggregation depends on Slingshot homolog 1-mediated cofilin hyperactivation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan-Ting; Ouyang, Dong-Yun; Xu, Li-Hui; Zha, Qing-Bing; He, Xian-Hui

    2013-10-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that cucurbitacin B (CuB), as well as other cucurbitacins, damages the actin cytoskeleton in a variety of cell types. However, the underlying mechanism of such an effect is not well understood. In this study, we showed that CuB rapidly induced actin aggregation followed by actin rod formation in melanoma cells. Cofilin, a critical regulator of actin dynamics, was dramatically dephosphorylated (i.e., activated) upon CuB treatment. Notably, the activated cofilin subsequently formed rod-like aggregates, which were highly colocalized with actin rods, indicating the formation of cofilin-actin rods. Cofilin knockdown significantly suppressed rod formation but did not prevent actin aggregation. Furthermore, knockdown of the cofilin phosphatase Slingshot homolog 1 (SSH1), but not chronophin (CIN), alleviated CuB-induced cofilin hyperactivation and cofilin-actin rod formation. The activity of Rho kinase and LIM kinase, two upstream regulators of cofilin activation, was downregulated after cofilin hyperactivation. Pretreatment with a thiol-containing reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger N-acetyl cysteine, but not other ROS inhibitors without thiol groups, suppressed CuB-induced actin aggregation, cofilin hyperactivation and cofilin-actin rod formation, suggesting that thiol oxidation might be involved in these processes. Taken together, our results demonstrated that CuB-induced formation of cofilin-actin rods was mediated by SSH1-dependent but CIN-independent cofilin hyperactivation. PMID:23695982

  4. Isoform diversity in the Arp2/3 complex determines actin filament dynamics.

    PubMed

    Abella, Jasmine V G; Galloni, Chiara; Pernier, Julien; Barry, David J; Kjær, Svend; Carlier, Marie-France; Way, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The Arp2/3 complex consists of seven evolutionarily conserved subunits (Arp2, Arp3 and ARPC1-5) and plays an essential role in generating branched actin filament networks during many different cellular processes. In mammals, however, the ARPC1 and ARPC5 subunits are each encoded by two isoforms that are 67% identical. This raises the possibility that Arp2/3 complexes with different properties may exist.  We found that Arp2/3 complexes containing ARPC1B and ARPC5L are significantly better at promoting actin assembly than those with ARPC1A and ARPC5, both in cells and in vitro. Branched actin networks induced by complexes containing ARPC1B or ARPC5L are also disassembled ∼2-fold slower than those formed by their counterparts. This difference reflects the ability of cortactin to stabilize ARPC1B- and ARPC5L- but not ARPC1A- and ARPC5-containing complexes against coronin-mediated disassembly. Our observations demonstrate that the Arp2/3 complex in higher eukaryotes is actually a family of complexes with different properties. PMID:26655834

  5. 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

  6. Whirlin interacts with espin and modulates its actin-regulatory function: an insight into the mechanism of Usher syndrome type II.

    PubMed

    Wang, Le; Zou, Junhuang; Shen, Zuolian; Song, E; Yang, Jun

    2012-02-01

    Whirlin mutations cause retinal degeneration and hearing loss in Usher syndrome type II (USH2) and non-syndromic deafness, DFNB31. Its protein recruits other USH2 causative proteins to form a complex at the periciliary membrane complex in photoreceptors and the ankle link of the stereocilia in hair cells. However, the biological function of this USH2 protein complex is largely unknown. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified espin, an actin-binding/bundling protein involved in human deafness when defective, as a whirlin-interacting protein. The interaction between these two proteins was confirmed by their coimmunoprecipitation and colocalization in cultured cells. This interaction involves multiple domains of both proteins and only occurs when espin does not bind to actin. Espin was partially colocalized with whirlin in the retina and the inner ear. In whirlin knockout mice, espin expression changed significantly in these two tissues. Further studies found that whirlin increased the mobility of espin and actin at the actin bundles cross-linked by espin and, eventually, affected the dimension of these actin bundles. In whirlin knockout mice, the stereocilia were thickened in inner hair cells. We conclude that the interaction between whirlin and espin and the balance between their expressions are required to maintain the actin bundle network in photoreceptors and hair cells. Disruption of this actin bundle network contributes to the pathogenic mechanism of hearing loss and retinal degeneration caused by whirlin and espin mutations. Espin is a component of the USH2 protein complex and could be a candidate gene for Usher syndrome. PMID:22048959

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  9. Establishing conversation spaces in hastily formed networks: the worst fire in modern Swedish history.

    PubMed

    Lundberg, Jonas; Törnqvist, Eva K; Nadjm-Tehrani, Simin

    2014-10-01

    In presenting examples from the most extensive and demanding fire in modern Swedish history, this paper describes challenges facing hastily formed networks in exceptional situations. Two concepts that have been used in the analysis of the socio-technical systems that make up a response are conversation space and sensemaking. This paper argues that a framework designed to promote understanding of the sensemaking process must take into consideration the time and the location at which an individual is engaged in an event. In hastily formed networks, location is partly mediated through physical systems that form conversation spaces of players and their interaction practices. This paper identifies and discusses four challenges to the formation of shared conversation spaces. It is based on the case study of the 2006 Bodträskfors forest fire in Sweden and draws on the experiences of organised volunteers and firefighters who participated in a hastily formed network created to combat the fire. PMID:25196337

  10. Ground test bed design for self-forming network in disaggregated satellites system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Pengfei; Yang, Lei; Chen, Xiaoqian

    2016-02-01

    Disaggregated spacecraft architecture arouses an increasing attention in the realm of distributed space systems in recent years. One of the main technical challenges for disaggregated spacecraft system is self-forming network, in which new satellite nodes are allowed to join in a 'plug-and-play' fashion. To facilitate the protocol design for self-forming network, high-fidelity simulation tools are required. To that end, with the aid of OPNET Modeler's co-simulation mechanism provided by the external system (Esys) module, a ground test bed solution for self-forming network in disaggregated satellites system is presented, and then tested in a self-forming network scenario during the ingress process of a new-added satellite module. Simulation results show that this test bed can support for the evaluation of network performance, as well as mobility modeling which enables reflecting both the effects of orbital dynamic behaviors and in-orbit maneuver or control efforts. Though this test bed is mainly developed for the purpose of further study in disaggregated satellites system, its architecture can also be extended to other satellite network applications.

  11. Nuclear F-actin Formation and Reorganization upon Cell Spreading*♦

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Mechanical force-induced polymerization and depolymerization of F-actin at water/solid interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xueqiang; Hu, Xiuyuan; Lei, Haozhi; Hu, Jun; Zhang, Yi

    2016-03-01

    Actin molecules are among the three main cytoskeleton proteins of cells and undergo rapid cycling to regulate critical processes such as endocytosis, cytokinesis, cell polarity, and cell morphogenesis. Although extensive studies have been carried out on the dynamics as well as biological functions of actin polymerization and depolymerization both in vivo and in vitro, the molecular mechanisms by which cells sense and respond to mechanical signals are not fully understood. In particular, little attention has been paid to the effect of a physical force that is exerted directly on the actin cytoskeleton. In this paper, we have explored how the mechanical force affects the actin polymerization and depolymerization behaviors at water/solid interfaces using an atomic force microscope (AFM) operated in liquid. By raster scanning an AFM probe on a substrate surface with a certain load, it was found that actin monomers could polymerize into filaments without the help of actin related proteins (ARPs). Further study indicated that actin monomers were inclined to form filaments only under a small scanning load. The polymerized actin filaments would be depolymerized when the mechanical force was stronger. A possible mechanism has been suggested to explain the mechanical force induced actin polymerization.Actin molecules are among the three main cytoskeleton proteins of cells and undergo rapid cycling to regulate critical processes such as endocytosis, cytokinesis, cell polarity, and cell morphogenesis. Although extensive studies have been carried out on the dynamics as well as biological functions of actin polymerization and depolymerization both in vivo and in vitro, the molecular mechanisms by which cells sense and respond to mechanical signals are not fully understood. In particular, little attention has been paid to the effect of a physical force that is exerted directly on the actin cytoskeleton. In this paper, we have explored how the mechanical force affects the actin

  13. Microelectromechanical filter formed from parallel-connected lattice networks of contour-mode resonators

    DOEpatents

    Wojciechowski, Kenneth E; Olsson, III, Roy H; Ziaei-Moayyed, Maryam

    2013-07-30

    A microelectromechanical (MEM) filter is disclosed which has a plurality of lattice networks formed on a substrate and electrically connected together in parallel. Each lattice network has a series resonant frequency and a shunt resonant frequency provided by one or more contour-mode resonators in the lattice network. Different types of contour-mode resonators including single input, single output resonators, differential resonators, balun resonators, and ring resonators can be used in MEM filter. The MEM filter can have a center frequency in the range of 10 MHz-10 GHz, with a filter bandwidth of up to about 1% when all of the lattice networks have the same series resonant frequency and the same shunt resonant frequency. The filter bandwidth can be increased up to about 5% by using unique series and shunt resonant frequencies for the lattice networks.

  14. Self-organizing actin waves as planar phagocytic cup structures

    PubMed Central

    Ecke, Mary; Schroth-Diez, Britta; Gerwig, Silke; Engel, Ulrike; Maddera, Lucinda; Clarke, Margaret

    2009-01-01

    Actin waves that travel on the planar membrane of a substrate-attached cell underscore the capability of the actin system to assemble into dynamic structures by the recruitment of proteins from the cytoplasm. The waves have no fixed shape, can reverse their direction of propagation and can fuse or divide. Actin waves separate two phases of the plasma membrane that are distinguished by their lipid composition. The area circumscribed by a wave resembles in its phosphoinositide content the interior of a phagocytic cup, leading us to explore the possibility that actin waves are in-plane phagocytic structures generated without the localized stimulus of an attached particle. Consistent with this view, wave-forming cells were found to exhibit a high propensity for taking up particles. Cells fed rod-shaped particles produced elongated phagocytic cups that displayed a zonal pattern that reflected in detail the actin and lipid pattern of free-running actin waves. Neutrophils and macrophages are known to spread on surfaces decorated with immune complexes, a process that has been interpreted as “frustrated” phagocytosis. We suggest that actin waves enable a phagocyte to scan a surface for particles that might be engulfed. PMID:19855162

  15. Nuclear Actin Extends, with No Contraction in Sight

    PubMed Central

    Pederson, Thoru; Aebi, Ueli

    2005-01-01

    Within the past two years, actin has been implicated in eukaryotic gene transcription by all three classes of RNA polymerase. Moreover, within just the past year, actin has been identified as a constituent of filaments attached to the nuclear pore complexes and extending into the nucleus. This review summarizes these and other very recent advances in the nuclear actin field and emphasizes the key present issues. On the one hand, we are confronted with a body of evidence for a role of actin in gene transcription but with no known structural basis; on the other hand, there is now evidence for polymeric actin—not likely in the classical F-actin conformation—in the nuclear periphery with no known function. In addition, numerous proteins that interact with either G- or F-actin are increasingly being detected in the nucleus, suggesting that both monomeric and oligomeric or polymeric forms of actin are at play and raising the possibility that the equilibrium between them, perhaps differentially regulated at various intranuclear sites, may be a major determinant of nuclear function. PMID:16148048

  16. 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)

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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. PMID:27224479

  20. Hyper-mobility of water around actin filaments revealed using pulse-field gradient spin-echo {sup 1}H NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Wazawa, Tetsuichi; Sagawa, Takashi; Ogawa, Tsubasa; Morimoto, Nobuyuki; Kodama, Takao; Suzuki, Makoto

    2011-01-28

    Research highlights: {yields} Translationally hyper-mobile water has been detected around actin filaments. {yields} Translationally hyper-mobile water is formed upon polymerization of actin. {yields} Low water viscosity was found around F-actin using fluorescence anisotropy. {yields} Formation of hyper-mobile water may explain endothermic actin polymerization. -- Abstract: This paper reports that water molecules around F-actin, a polymerized form of actin, are more mobile than those around G-actin or in bulk water. A measurement using pulse-field gradient spin-echo {sup 1}H NMR showed that the self-diffusion coefficient of water in aqueous F-actin solution increased with actin concentration by {approx}5%, whereas that in G-actin solution was close to that of pure water. This indicates that an F-actin/water interaction is responsible for the high self-diffusion of water. The local viscosity around actin was also investigated by fluorescence measurements of Cy3, a fluorescent dye, conjugated to Cys 374 of actin. The steady-state fluorescence anisotropy of Cy3 attached to F-actin was 0.270, which was lower than that for G-actin, 0.334. Taking into account the fluorescence lifetimes of the Cy3 bound to actin, their rotational correlation times were estimated to be 3.8 and 9.1 ns for F- and G-actin, respectively. This indicates that Cy3 bound to F-actin rotates more freely than that bound to G-actin, and therefore the local water viscosity is lower around F-actin than around G-actin.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Coactosin-like protein, a human F-actin-binding protein: critical role of lysine-75.

    PubMed Central

    Provost, P; Doucet, J; Stock, A; Gerisch, G; Samuelsson, B; Rådmark, O

    2001-01-01

    Coactosin-like protein (CLP) was recently identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen using 5-lipoxygenase as bait. In the present study, we report the functional characterization of CLP as a human filamentous actin (F-actin)-binding protein. CLP mRNA shows a wide tissue distribution and is predominantly expressed in placenta, lung, kidney and peripheral-blood leucocytes. Endogenous CLP is localized in the cytosol of myeloid cells. Using a two-hybrid approach, actin was identified as a CLP-interacting protein. Binding experiments indicated that CLP associates with F-actin, but does not form a stable complex with globular actin. In transfected mammalian cells, CLP co-localized with actin stress fibres. CLP bound to actin filaments with a stoichiometry of 1:2 (CLP: actin subunits), but could be cross-linked to only one subunit of actin. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed the involvement of Lys(75) of CLP in actin binding, a residue highly conserved in related proteins and supposed to be exposed on the surface of the CLP protein. Our results identify CLP as a new human protein that binds F-actin in vitro and in vivo, and indicate that Lys(75) is essential for this interaction. PMID:11583571

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

    PubMed

    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. RNase L Interacts with Filamin A To Regulate Actin Dynamics and Barrier Function for Viral Entry

    PubMed Central

    Siddiqui, Mohammad Adnan; Dayal, Shubham; Naji, Merna; Ezelle, Heather J.; Zeng, Chun; Zhou, Aimin; Hassel, Bret A.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The actin cytoskeleton and its network of associated proteins constitute a physical barrier that viruses must circumvent to gain entry into cells for productive infection. The mechanisms by which the physical signals of infection are sensed by the host to activate an innate immune response are not well understood. The antiviral endoribonuclease RNase L is ubiquitously expressed in a latent form and activated upon binding 2-5A, a unique oligoadenylate produced during viral infections. We provide evidence that RNase L in its inactive form interacts with the actin-binding protein Filamin A to modulate the actin cytoskeleton and inhibit virus entry. Cells lacking either RNase L or Filamin A displayed increased virus entry which was exacerbated in cells lacking both proteins. RNase L deletion mutants that reduced Filamin A interaction displayed a compromised ability to restrict virus entry, supporting the idea of an important role for the RNase L-Filamin A complex in barrier function. Remarkably, both the wild type and a catalytically inactive RNase L mutant were competent to reduce virus entry when transfected into RNase L-deficient cells, indicating that this novel function of RNase L is independent of its enzymatic activity. Virus infection and RNase L activation disrupt its association with Filamin A and release RNase L to mediate its canonical nuclease-dependent antiviral activities. The dual functions of RNase L as a constitutive component of the actin cytoskeleton and as an induced mediator of antiviral signaling and effector functions provide insights into its mechanisms of antiviral activity and opportunities for the development of novel antiviral agents. PMID:25352621

  6. Nanosecond electric pulses trigger actin responses in plant cells

    SciTech Connect

    Berghoefer, Thomas; Eing, Christian; Flickinger, Bianca; Hohenberger, Petra; Wegner, Lars H.; Frey, Wolfgang; Nick, Peter

    2009-09-25

    We have analyzed the cellular effects of nanosecond pulsed electrical fields on plant cells using fluorescently tagged marker lines in the tobacco cell line BY-2 and confocal laser scanning microscopy. We observe a disintegration of the cytoskeleton in the cell cortex, followed by contraction of actin filaments towards the nucleus, and disintegration of the nuclear envelope. These responses are accompanied by irreversible permeabilization of the plasma membrane manifest as uptake of Trypan Blue. By pretreatment with the actin-stabilizing drug phalloidin, the detachment of transvacuolar actin from the cell periphery can be suppressed, and this treatment can also suppress the irreversible perforation of the plasma membrane. We discuss these findings in terms of a model, where nanosecond pulsed electric fields trigger actin responses that are key events in the plant-specific form of programmed cell death.

  7. Formin' actin in the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Bacterial actins and their diversity

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Mechanical properties of branched actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Razbin, Mohammadhosein; Falcke, Martin; Benetatos, Panayotis; Zippelius, Annette

    2015-07-01

    Cells moving on a two dimensional substrate generate motion by polymerizing actin filament networks inside a flat membrane protrusion. New filaments are generated by branching off existing ones, giving rise to branched network structures. We investigate the force-extension relation of branched filaments, grafted on an elastic structure at one end and pushing with the free ends against the leading edge cell membrane. Single filaments are modeled as worm-like chains, whose thermal bending fluctuations are restricted by the leading edge cell membrane, resulting in an effective force. Branching can increase the stiffness considerably; however the effect depends on branch point position and filament orientation, being most pronounced for intermediate tilt angles and intermediate branch point positions. We describe filament networks without cross-linkers to focus on the effect of branching. We use randomly positioned branch points, as generated in the process of treadmilling, and orientation distributions as measured in lamellipodia. These networks reproduce both the weak and strong force response of lamellipodia as measured in force-velocity experiments. We compare properties of branched and unbranched networks. The ratio of the network average of the force per branched filament to the average force per unbranched filament depends on the orientation distribution of the filaments. The ratio exhibits compression dependence and may go up to about 4.5 in networks with a narrow orientation distribution. With orientation distributions measured in lamellipodia, it is about two and essentially independent from network compression, graft elasticity and filament persistence length. PMID:26040560

  10. Mechanical properties of branched actin filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Razbin, Mohammadhosein; Falcke, Martin; Benetatos, Panayotis; Zippelius, Annette

    2015-07-01

    Cells moving on a two dimensional substrate generate motion by polymerizing actin filament networks inside a flat membrane protrusion. New filaments are generated by branching off existing ones, giving rise to branched network structures. We investigate the force-extension relation of branched filaments, grafted on an elastic structure at one end and pushing with the free ends against the leading edge cell membrane. Single filaments are modeled as worm-like chains, whose thermal bending fluctuations are restricted by the leading edge cell membrane, resulting in an effective force. Branching can increase the stiffness considerably; however the effect depends on branch point position and filament orientation, being most pronounced for intermediate tilt angles and intermediate branch point positions. We describe filament networks without cross-linkers to focus on the effect of branching. We use randomly positioned branch points, as generated in the process of treadmilling, and orientation distributions as measured in lamellipodia. These networks reproduce both the weak and strong force response of lamellipodia as measured in force-velocity experiments. We compare properties of branched and unbranched networks. The ratio of the network average of the force per branched filament to the average force per unbranched filament depends on the orientation distribution of the filaments. The ratio exhibits compression dependence and may go up to about 4.5 in networks with a narrow orientation distribution. With orientation distributions measured in lamellipodia, it is about two and essentially independent from network compression, graft elasticity and filament persistence length.

  11. Diverse synaptic plasticity mechanisms orchestrated to form and retrieve memories in spiking neural networks.

    PubMed

    Zenke, Friedemann; Agnes, Everton J; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity, the putative basis of learning and memory formation, manifests in various forms and across different timescales. Here we show that the interaction of Hebbian homosynaptic plasticity with rapid non-Hebbian heterosynaptic plasticity is, when complemented with slower homeostatic changes and consolidation, sufficient for assembly formation and memory recall in a spiking recurrent network model of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In the model, assemblies were formed during repeated sensory stimulation and characterized by strong recurrent excitatory connections. Even days after formation, and despite ongoing network activity and synaptic plasticity, memories could be recalled through selective delay activity following the brief stimulation of a subset of assembly neurons. Blocking any component of plasticity prevented stable functioning as a memory network. Our modelling results suggest that the diversity of plasticity phenomena in the brain is orchestrated towards achieving common functional goals. PMID:25897632

  12. Diverse synaptic plasticity mechanisms orchestrated to form and retrieve memories in spiking neural networks

    PubMed Central

    Zenke, Friedemann; Agnes, Everton J.; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity, the putative basis of learning and memory formation, manifests in various forms and across different timescales. Here we show that the interaction of Hebbian homosynaptic plasticity with rapid non-Hebbian heterosynaptic plasticity is, when complemented with slower homeostatic changes and consolidation, sufficient for assembly formation and memory recall in a spiking recurrent network model of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. In the model, assemblies were formed during repeated sensory stimulation and characterized by strong recurrent excitatory connections. Even days after formation, and despite ongoing network activity and synaptic plasticity, memories could be recalled through selective delay activity following the brief stimulation of a subset of assembly neurons. Blocking any component of plasticity prevented stable functioning as a memory network. Our modelling results suggest that the diversity of plasticity phenomena in the brain is orchestrated towards achieving common functional goals. PMID:25897632

  13. Soliton quenching NLTL impulse circuit with a pulse forming network at the output

    DOEpatents

    McEwan, Thomas E.; Dallum, Gregory E.

    1998-01-01

    An impulse forming circuit is disclosed which produces a clean impulse from a nonlinear transmission line compressed step function without customary soliton ringing by means of a localized pulse shaping and differentiating network which shunts the nonlinear transmission line output to ground.

  14. Soliton quenching NLTL impulse circuit with a pulse forming network at the output

    DOEpatents

    McEwan, T.E.; Dallum, G.E.

    1998-09-08

    An impulse forming circuit is disclosed which produces a clean impulse from a nonlinear transmission line compressed step function without customary soliton ringing by means of a localized pulse shaping and differentiating network which shunts the nonlinear transmission line output to ground. 5 figs.

  15. Modeling Multiple Human-Automation Distributed Systems using Network-form Games

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brat, Guillaume

    2012-01-01

    The paper describes at a high-level the network-form game framework (based on Bayes net and game theory), which can be used to model and analyze safety issues in large, distributed, mixed human-automation systems such as NextGen.

  16. 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

  17. Myosin Va facilitates the distribution of secretory granules in the F-actin rich cortex of PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Rüdiger; Kögel, Tanja; Kuznetsov, Sergei A; Salm, Thorsten; Schlicker, Oliver; Hellwig, Andrea; Hammer, John A; Gerdes, Hans-Hermann

    2003-04-01

    Neuroendocrine secretory granules, the storage organelles for neuropeptides and hormones, are formed at the trans-Golgi network, stored inside the cell and exocytosed upon stimulation. Previously, we have reported that newly formed secretory granules of PC12 cells are transported in a microtubule-dependent manner from the trans-Golgi network to the F-actin-rich cell cortex, where they undergo short directed movements and exhibit a homogeneous distribution. Here we provide morphological and biochemical evidence that myosin Va is associated with secretory granules. Expression of a dominant-negative tail domain of myosin Va in PC12 cells led to an extensive clustering of secretory granules close to the cell periphery, a loss of their cortical restriction and a strong reduction in their motility in the actin cortex. Based on this data we propose a model that implies a dual transport system for secretory granules: after microtubule-dependent delivery to the cell periphery, secretory granules exhibit a myosin Va-dependent transport leading to their restriction and even dispersal in the F-actin-rich cortex of PC12 cells. PMID:12615975

  18. Isolation of a 5-Kilodalton Actin-Sequestering Peptide from Human Blood Platelets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safer, Daniel; Golla, Rajasree; Nachmias, Vivianne T.

    1990-04-01

    Resting human platelets contain ≈0.3 mM unpolymerized actin. When freshly drawn and washed platelets are treated with saponin, 85-90% of the unpolymerized actin diffuses out. Analysis by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under nondenaturing conditions shows that the bulk of this unpolymerized actin migrates with a higher mobility than does pure G-actin, profilactin, or actin-gelsolin complex. When muscle G-actin is added to fresh or boiled saponin extract, the added muscle actin is shifted to the high-mobility form. The saponin extract contains an acidic peptide having a molecular mass in the range of 5 kDa, which has been purified to homogeneity by reverse-phase HPLC. This peptide also shifts muscle actin to the high-mobility form. Addition of either boiled saponin extract or the purified peptide to muscle G-actin also strongly and stoichiometrically inhibits salt-induced polymerization, as assayed by falling-ball viscometry and by sedimentation. We conclude that this peptide binds to the bulk of the unpolymerized actin in platelets and prevents it from polymerizing.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Epidemiology of actinic keratoses.

    PubMed

    Green, Adèle C

    2015-01-01

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

  1. The many forms of a pleomorphic bacterial pathogen—the developmental network of Legionella pneumophila

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Peter; Abdelhady, Hany; Garduño, Rafael A.

    2014-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is a natural intracellular bacterial parasite of free-living freshwater protozoa and an accidental human pathogen that causes Legionnaires' disease. L. pneumophila differentiates, and does it in style. Recent experimental data on L. pneumophila's differentiation point at the existence of a complex network that involves many developmental forms. We intend readers to: (i) understand the biological relevance of L. pneumophila's forms found in freshwater and their potential to transmit Legionnaires' disease, and (ii) learn that the common depiction of L. pneumophila's differentiation as a biphasic developmental cycle that alternates between a replicative and a transmissive form is but an oversimplification of the actual process. Our specific objectives are to provide updates on the molecular factors that regulate L. pneumophila's differentiation (Section The Differentiation Process and Its Regulation), and describe the developmental network of L. pneumophila (Section Dissecting Lp's Developmental Network), which for clarity's sake we have dissected into five separate developmental cycles. Finally, since each developmental form seems to contribute differently to the human pathogenic process and the transmission of Legionnaires' disease, readers are presented with a challenge to develop novel methods to detect the various L. pneumophila forms present in water (Section Practical Implications), as a means to improve our assessment of risk and more effectively prevent legionellosis outbreaks. PMID:25566200

  2. The many forms of a pleomorphic bacterial pathogen-the developmental network of Legionella pneumophila.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Peter; Abdelhady, Hany; Garduño, Rafael A

    2014-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is a natural intracellular bacterial parasite of free-living freshwater protozoa and an accidental human pathogen that causes Legionnaires' disease. L. pneumophila differentiates, and does it in style. Recent experimental data on L. pneumophila's differentiation point at the existence of a complex network that involves many developmental forms. We intend readers to: (i) understand the biological relevance of L. pneumophila's forms found in freshwater and their potential to transmit Legionnaires' disease, and (ii) learn that the common depiction of L. pneumophila's differentiation as a biphasic developmental cycle that alternates between a replicative and a transmissive form is but an oversimplification of the actual process. Our specific objectives are to provide updates on the molecular factors that regulate L. pneumophila's differentiation (Section The Differentiation Process and Its Regulation), and describe the developmental network of L. pneumophila (Section Dissecting Lp's Developmental Network), which for clarity's sake we have dissected into five separate developmental cycles. Finally, since each developmental form seems to contribute differently to the human pathogenic process and the transmission of Legionnaires' disease, readers are presented with a challenge to develop novel methods to detect the various L. pneumophila forms present in water (Section Practical Implications), as a means to improve our assessment of risk and more effectively prevent legionellosis outbreaks. PMID:25566200

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:25800683

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  6. Contact rearrangements form coupled networks from local motions in allosteric proteins.

    PubMed

    Daily, Michael D; Upadhyaya, Tarak J; Gray, Jeffrey J

    2008-04-01

    Allosteric proteins bind an effector molecule at one site resulting in a functional change at a second site. We hypothesize that networks of contacts altered, formed, or broken are a significant contributor to allosteric communication in proteins. In this work, we identify which interactions change significantly between the residue-residue contact networks of two allosteric structures, and then organize these changes into graphs. We perform the analysis on 15 pairs of allosteric structures with effector and substrate each present in at least one of the two structures. Most proteins exhibit large, dense regions of contact rearrangement, and the graphs form connected paths between allosteric effector and substrate sites in five of these proteins. In the remaining 10 proteins, large-scale conformational changes such as rigid-body motions are likely required in addition to contact rearrangement networks to account for substrate-effector communication. On average, clusters which contain at least one substrate or effector molecule comprise 20% of the protein. These allosteric graphs are small worlds; that is, they typically have mean shortest path lengths comparable to those of corresponding random graphs and average clustering coefficients enhanced relative to those of random graphs. The networks capture 60-80% of known allostery-perturbing mutants in three proteins, and the metrics degree and closeness are statistically good discriminators of mutant residues from nonmutant residues within the networks in two of these three proteins. For two proteins, coevolving clusters of residues which have been hypothesized to be allosterically important differ from the regions with the most contact rearrangement. Residues and contacts which modulate normal mode fluctuations also often participate in the contact rearrangement networks. In summary, residue-residue contact rearrangement networks provide useful representations of the portions of allosteric pathways resulting from

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Antagonism between Ena/VASP proteins and actin filament capping regulates fibroblast motility.

    PubMed

    Bear, James E; Svitkina, Tatyana M; Krause, Matthias; Schafer, Dorothy A; Loureiro, Joseph J; Strasser, Geraldine A; Maly, Ivan V; Chaga, Oleg Y; Cooper, John A; Borisy, Gary G; Gertler, Frank B

    2002-05-17

    Cell motility requires lamellipodial protrusion, a process driven by actin polymerization. Ena/VASP proteins accumulate in protruding lamellipodia and promote the rapid actin-driven motility of the pathogen Listeria. In contrast, Ena/VASP negatively regulate cell translocation. To resolve this paradox, we analyzed the function of Ena/VASP during lamellipodial protrusion. Ena/VASP-deficient lamellipodia protruded slower but more persistently, consistent with their increased cell translocation rates. Actin networks in Ena/VASP-deficient lamellipodia contained shorter, more highly branched filaments compared to controls. Lamellipodia with excess Ena/VASP contained longer, less branched filaments. In vitro, Ena/VASP promoted actin filament elongation by interacting with barbed ends, shielding them from capping protein. We conclude that Ena/VASP regulates cell motility by controlling the geometry of actin filament networks within lamellipodia. PMID:12086607

  10. In Vivo Imaging and Characterization of Actin Microridges

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Pui-ying; Mangos, Steve; Green, Julie M.; Reiser, Jochen; Huttenlocher, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Actin microridges form labyrinth like patterns on superficial epithelial cells across animal species. This highly organized assembly has been implicated in mucus retention and in the mechanical structure of mucosal surfaces, however the mechanisms that regulate actin microridges remain largely unknown. Here we characterize the composition and dynamics of actin microridges on the surface of zebrafish larvae using live imaging. Microridges contain phospho-tyrosine, cortactin and VASP, but not focal adhesion kinase. Time-lapse imaging reveals dynamic changes in the length and branching of microridges in intact animals. Transient perturbation of the microridge pattern occurs before cell division with rapid re-assembly during and after cytokinesis. Microridge assembly is maintained with constitutive activation of Rho or inhibition of myosin II activity. However, expression of dominant negative RhoA or Rac alters microridge organization, with an increase in distance between microridges. Latrunculin A treatment and photoconversion experiments suggest that the F-actin filaments are actively treadmilling in microridges. Accordingly, inhibition of Arp2/3 or PI3K signaling impairs microridge structure and length. Taken together, actin microridges in zebrafish represent a tractable in vivo model to probe pattern formation and dissect Arp2/3-mediated actin dynamics in vivo. PMID:25629723

  11. The Role of Actin Cytoskeleton in Memory Formation in Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Lamprecht, Raphael

    2016-01-01

    The central, lateral and basolateral amygdala (BLA) nuclei are essential for the formation of long-term memories including emotional and drug-related memories. Studying cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory in amygdala may lead to better understanding of how memory is formed and of fear and addiction-related disorders. A challenge is to identify molecules activated by learning that subserve cellular changes needed for memory formation and maintenance in amygdala. Recent studies show that activation of synaptic receptors during fear and drug-related learning leads to alteration in actin cytoskeleton dynamics and structure in amygdala. Such changes in actin cytoskeleton in amygdala are essential for fear and drug-related memories formation. Moreover, the actin cytoskeleton subserves, after learning, changes in neuronal morphogenesis and glutamate receptors trafficking in amygdala. These cellular events are involved in fear and drug-related memories formation. Actin polymerization is also needed for the maintenance of drug-associated memories in amygdala. Thus, the actin cytoskeleton is a key mediator between receptor activation during learning and cellular changes subserving long-term memory (LTM) in amygdala. The actin cytoskeleton may serve as a target for pharmacological treatment of fear memory associated with fear and anxiety disorders and drug addiction to prevent the debilitating consequences of these diseases. PMID:27065800

  12. The Role of Actin Cytoskeleton in Memory Formation in Amygdala.

    PubMed

    Lamprecht, Raphael

    2016-01-01

    The central, lateral and basolateral amygdala (BLA) nuclei are essential for the formation of long-term memories including emotional and drug-related memories. Studying cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory in amygdala may lead to better understanding of how memory is formed and of fear and addiction-related disorders. A challenge is to identify molecules activated by learning that subserve cellular changes needed for memory formation and maintenance in amygdala. Recent studies show that activation of synaptic receptors during fear and drug-related learning leads to alteration in actin cytoskeleton dynamics and structure in amygdala. Such changes in actin cytoskeleton in amygdala are essential for fear and drug-related memories formation. Moreover, the actin cytoskeleton subserves, after learning, changes in neuronal morphogenesis and glutamate receptors trafficking in amygdala. These cellular events are involved in fear and drug-related memories formation. Actin polymerization is also needed for the maintenance of drug-associated memories in amygdala. Thus, the actin cytoskeleton is a key mediator between receptor activation during learning and cellular changes subserving long-term memory (LTM) in amygdala. The actin cytoskeleton may serve as a target for pharmacological treatment of fear memory associated with fear and anxiety disorders and drug addiction to prevent the debilitating consequences of these diseases. PMID:27065800

  13. Modulation of the extracellular matrix patterning of thrombospondins by actin dynamics and thrombospondin oligomer state

    PubMed Central

    Hellewell, Andrew L.; Gong, Xianyun; Schärich, Karsten; Christofidou, Elena D.; Adams, Josephine C.

    2015-01-01

    Thrombospondins (TSPs) are evolutionarily-conserved, secreted glycoproteins that interact with cell surfaces and extracellular matrix (ECM) and have complex roles in cell interactions. Unlike the structural components of the ECM that form networks or fibrils, TSPs are deposited into ECM as arrays of nanoscale puncta. The cellular and molecular mechanisms for the patterning of TSPs in ECM are poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated whether the mechanisms of TSP patterning in cell-derived ECM involves actin cytoskeletal pathways or TSP oligomer state. From tests of a suite of pharmacological inhibitors of small GTPases, actomyosin-based contractility, or actin microfilament integrity and dynamics, cytochalasin D and jasplakinolide treatment of cells were identified to result in altered ECM patterning of a model TSP1 trimer. The strong effect of cytochalasin D indicated that mechanisms controlling puncta patterning depend on global F-actin dynamics. Similar spatial changes were obtained with endogenous TSPs after cytochalasin D treatment, implicating physiological relevance. Under matched experimental conditions with ectopically-expressed TSPs, the magnitude of the effect was markedly lower for pentameric TSP5 and Drosophila TSP, than for trimeric TSP1 or dimeric Ciona TSPA. To distinguish between the variables of protein sequence or oligomer state, we generated novel, chimeric pentamers of TSP1. These proteins accumulated within ECM at higher levels than TSP1 trimers, yet the effect of cytochalasin D on the spatial distribution of puncta was reduced. These findings introduce a novel concept that F-actin dynamics modulate the patterning of TSPs in ECM and that TSP oligomer state is a key determinant of this process. PMID:26182380

  14. Pressure-driven transformation of the ordering in amorphous network-forming materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeidler, Anita; Salmon, Philip S.

    2016-06-01

    The pressure-induced changes to the structure of disordered oxide and chalcogenide network-forming materials are investigated on the length scales associated with the first three peaks in measured diffraction patterns. The density dependence of a given peak position does not yield the network dimensionality, in contrast to metallic glasses where the results indicate a fractal geometry with a local dimensionality of ≃5 /2 . For oxides, a common relation is found between the intermediate-range ordering, as described by the position of the first sharp diffraction peak, and the oxygen-packing fraction, a parameter that plays a key role in driving changes to the coordination number of local motifs. The first sharp diffraction peak can therefore be used to gauge when topological changes are likely to occur, events that transform network structures and their related physical properties.

  15. Structure, dynamics and multiple length-scales in network-forming materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Mark

    2016-07-01

    Relationships between the structural and dynamical properties of network-forming materials are investigated. A generic model is utilised for systems of stoichiometry MX2 which are linked in the sense that they can all be usefully considered as constructed from linked MX4 tetrahedra. A single model parameter (the anion polarizability) is varied systematically to control the mean MXM bond angles (and hence the network topologies). The networks evolve from those dominated by corner-sharing units to those dominated by edge-sharing structural motifs. These changes are accompanied by changes in the characteristic length-scales, with the emergence of ordering on intermediate length-scales. Key dynamical properties (the liquid relaxation just above the melting point and the liquid fragility) are studied and their relationship to the underlying static structure analysed.

  16. Human Inspired Self-developmental Model of Neural Network (HIM): Introducing Content/Form Computing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krajíček, Jiří

    This paper presents cross-disciplinary research between medical/psychological evidence on human abilities and informatics needs to update current models in computer science to support alternative methods for computation and communication. In [10] we have already proposed hypothesis introducing concept of human information model (HIM) as cooperative system. Here we continue on HIM design in detail. In our design, first we introduce Content/Form computing system which is new principle of present methods in evolutionary computing (genetic algorithms, genetic programming). Then we apply this system on HIM (type of artificial neural network) model as basic network self-developmental paradigm. Main inspiration of our natural/human design comes from well known concept of artificial neural networks, medical/psychological evidence and Sheldrake theory of "Nature as Alive" [22].

  17. Meiotic chromosomes move by linkage to dynamic actin cables with transduction of force through the nuclear envelope.

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-27

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

  18. Channel Networks on Large Fans: Refining Analogs for the Ridge-forming Unit, Sinus Meridiani

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkinson, Justin

    2009-01-01

    Stream channels are generally thought of as forming within confined valley settings, separated by interfluves. Sinuous ridges on Mars and Earth are often interpreted as stream channels inverted by subsequent erosion of valley sides. In the case of the ridge-forming unit (RFU), this interpretation fails to explain the (i) close spacing of the ridges, which are (ii) organized in networks, and which (iii) cover large areas (approximately 175,000 km (exp 2)). Channel networks on terrestrial fans develop unconfined by valley slopes. Large fans (100s km long) are low-angle, fluvial features, documented worldwide, with characteristics that address these aspects of the RFU. Ridge patterns Channels on large fans provide an analog for the sinuous and elongated morphology of RFU ridges, but more especially for other patterns such as subparallel, branching and crossing networks. Branches are related to splays (delta-like distributaries are rare), whose channels can rejoin the main channel. Crossing patterns can be caused by even slight sinuosity splay-related side channels often intersect. An avulsion node distant from the fan apex, gives rise to channels with slightly different, and hence intersecting, orientations. Channels on neighboring fans intersect along the common fan margin. 2. Network density Channels are the dominant feature on large terrestrial fans (lakes and dune fields are minor). Inverted landscapes on subsequently eroded fans thus display indurated channels as networks of significantly close-spaced ridges. 3. Channel networks covering large areas Areas of individual large terrestrial fans can reach >200,000 km 2 (105-6 km 2 with nested fans), providing an analog for the wide area distribution of the RFU.

  19. Adult neural precursor cells form connexin-dependent networks that improve their survival.

    PubMed

    Ravella, Ajaya; Ringstedt, Thomas; Brion, Jean-Pierre; Pandolfo, Massimo; Herlenius, Eric

    2015-10-21

    Establishment of cellular networks and calcium homeostasis are essential for embryonic stem cell proliferation and differentiation. We also hypothesized that adult neural progenitor cells form functional cellular networks relevant for their development. We isolated neuronal progenitor cells from the subventricular zone of 5-week-old mice to investigate the role of gap junctions, calcium homeostasis, and cellular networks in cell differentiation and survival. Western blotting and reverse transcription-PCR showed that the cells expressed the gap junction components connexin 26, 36, 43, and 45, and that expression of connexin 43 increased in early (8 days) differentiated cells. Transmission electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry also indicated that gap junctions were present. Scrape-loading experiments showed dye transfer between cells that could be prevented by gapjunction blockers; thus, functional intercellular gap junctions had been established. However, dye transfer was four times stronger in differentiated cultures, correlating with the increased connexin 43 expression. During time-lapse calcium imaging, both differentiated and undifferentiated cultures showed spontaneous calcium activity that was reduced by gap junction blockers. Cross-correlation analysis of the calcium recordings showed that the cells were interconnected through gap junctions and that the early-differentiated cells were organized in small-world networks. Gap junction blockers did not affect proliferation and differentiation, but resulted in twice as many apoptotic cells. mRNAi knockdown of connexin 43 also doubled the number of apoptotic cells. We conclude that adult neural progenitor cells form networks in vitro that are strengthened during early differentiation by increased expression of connexin 43. The networks are functional and improve cell survival. PMID:26351758

  20. Ubiquitin ligase TRIM3 controls hippocampal plasticity and learning by regulating synaptic γ-actin levels

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Joerg; Végh, Marlene J.; Dawitz, Julia; Kroon, Tim; Loos, Maarten; Labonté, Dorthe; Li, Ka Wan; Van Nierop, Pim; Van Diepen, Michiel T.; De Zeeuw, Chris I.; Kneussel, Matthias; Meredith, Rhiannon M.; Smit, August B.

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity requires remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. Although two actin isoforms, β- and γ-actin, are expressed in dendritic spines, the specific contribution of γ-actin in the expression of synaptic plasticity is unknown. We show that synaptic γ-actin levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM3. TRIM3 protein and Actg1 transcript are colocalized in messenger ribonucleoprotein granules responsible for the dendritic targeting of messenger RNAs. TRIM3 polyubiquitylates γ-actin, most likely cotranslationally at synaptic sites. Trim3−/− mice consequently have increased levels of γ-actin at hippocampal synapses, resulting in higher spine densities, increased long-term potentiation, and enhanced short-term contextual fear memory consolidation. Interestingly, hippocampal deletion of Actg1 caused an increase in long-term fear memory. Collectively, our findings suggest that temporal control of γ-actin levels by TRIM3 is required to regulate the timing of hippocampal plasticity. We propose a model in which TRIM3 regulates synaptic γ-actin turnover and actin filament stability and thus forms a transient inhibitory constraint on the expression of hippocampal synaptic plasticity. PMID:26527743

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillen, Laura; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Vavylonis Group Team

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

  2. Ha-VP39 binding to actin and the influence of F-actin on assembly of progeny virions.

    PubMed

    Lu, S; Ge, G; Qi, Y

    2004-11-01

    We present evidence that actin is necessary for the successful assembly of HaNPV virions. Purified nucleocapsid protein Ha-VP39 of Heliothis armigera nuclear polyhedrosis virus (HaNPV) was found to be able to bind to actin in vitro without assistance, as demonstrated by Western blot and isothermal titration calorimeter. DeltaH and binding constants (K) detected by isothermal titration calorimeter strongly suggested that Ha-VP39 first binds actin to seed the formation of hexamer complex of actin, and the hexamers then link to each other to form filaments, and the filaments finally twist into cable structures. The proliferation of HaNPV was completely inhibited in Hz-AM1 cells cultivated in the medium containing 0.5 microg/ml cytochalasin D (CD) to prevent polymerization of actin, while its yield was reduced to 10(-4) in the presence of 0.1 microg/ml CD. Actin concentration and the viral DNA synthesis were not significantly affected by CD even though the progeny virions assembled in the CD treated cells were morphologically different from normal ones and resulted in fewer plaques in plaque assay. PMID:15503206

  3. Novel actin-like filament structure from Clostridium tetani.

    PubMed

    Popp, David; Narita, Akihiro; Lee, Lin Jie; Ghoshdastider, Umesh; Xue, Bo; Srinivasan, Ramanujam; Balasubramanian, Mohan K; Tanaka, Toshitsugu; Robinson, Robert C

    2012-06-15

    Eukaryotic F-actin is constructed from two protofilaments that gently wind around each other to form a helical polymer. Several bacterial actin-like proteins (Alps) are also known to form F-actin-like helical arrangements from two protofilaments, yet with varied helical geometries. Here, we report a unique filament architecture of Alp12 from Clostridium tetani that is constructed from four protofilaments. Through fitting of an Alp12 monomer homology model into the electron microscopy data, the filament was determined to be constructed from two antiparallel strands, each composed of two parallel protofilaments. These four protofilaments form an open helical cylinder separated by a wide cleft. The molecular interactions within single protofilaments are similar to F-actin, yet interactions between protofilaments differ from those in F-actin. The filament structure and assembly and disassembly kinetics suggest Alp12 to be a dynamically unstable force-generating motor involved in segregating the pE88 plasmid, which encodes the lethal tetanus toxin, and thus a potential target for drug design. Alp12 can be repeatedly cycled between states of polymerization and dissociation, making it a novel candidate for incorporation into fuel-propelled nanobiopolymer machines. PMID:22514279

  4. A pulse forming network design for blocked-bore plasma armature experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carey, William J.; Barrett, B. D.; Nunnally, W. C.; Dillon, W. E.; Eubank, Eric L.

    1993-01-01

    The railgun diagnostic program now in progress requires a ramping current waveform with a continuously positive di/dt until peak current is delivered approximately 1 millisecond after circuit closure. This pulse forming network (PFN) is designed to power blocked-bore plasma armature studies being conducted on a section of the THUNDERBOLT prototype, SUVAC. The PFN design has an operating voltage range from 300 to 1400 volts and is capable of delivering peak currents up to 200 kA.

  5. Actin-based propulsion of functionalized hard versus fluid spherical objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delatour, Vincent; Shekhar, Shashank; Reymann, Anne-Cécile; Didry, Dominique; Diêp Lê, Kim Hô; Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume; Helfer, Emmanuèle; Carlier, Marie-France

    2008-02-01

    The directed polymerization of a branched actin network against a functionalized surface drives cell protrusions and organelle propulsion in living cells. Solid microspheres or giant unilamellar vesicles, functionalized with neural Wiskott Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP), initiate the formation of a branched actin array using actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex, when placed in a motility assay reconstituted with pure proteins. These systems are useful biomimetic models of actin-based propulsion that allow to address how the interplay between the physical properties of the functionalized surface and the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton determines motile behavior. Both solid beads and deformable vesicles display either continuous or saltatory propulsive motions, which are analyzed comparatively; we show that the deformability of liposomes and the mobility of N-WASP at the lipid surface affect the dynamic and structural parameters of the actin meshwork. Our results indicate that beads and vesicles use different mechanisms to translate insertional polymerization of actin at their surface into directed movement: stress relaxation within the actin gel prevents the accumulation of filaments at the front of moving beads, while segregation of nucleators reduces actin polymerization at the front of moving vesicles.

  6. Immunofluorescent localization of actin in relation to transcription sites in mouse pronuclei.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, E; Besombes, D; Debey, P

    1998-07-01

    Previous biochemical and morphological studies have shown the presence of actin in the nucleus of different cell types where its role remains unclear. In this work, through fluorescence microscopy we studied the localization of actin in the nuclei of early mouse embryos with particular attention to its possible involvement in the onset of transcription occurring at the late one-cell stage. Fluorescent labelling of embryo sections showed that nuclear actin in abundant, in a non-filamentous state, in the whole nucleoplasm excluding the nucleolar precursor bodies. Immunofluorescence on permeabilized embryos revealed that insoluble nuclear actin accumulates in a few large aggregates in transcriptionally inert early one-cell embryos and progressively redistributes into many small aggregates in transcriptionally active late one-cell embryos. Interestingly, these actin aggregates clearly colocalize with transcription sites. Treatment of late one-cell embryos with cytochalasin D induces the formation of actin bundles network in the nucleoplasm but has no apparent effect on the transcriptional activity. In addition, the inhibition of transcription by alpha-amanitin does not modify the nuclear actin distribution. Hence, there does not appear to be a direct causal relationship between transcriptional activity and nuclear actin organization at the one-cell stage although nuclear actin aggregates appear associated with transcription sites. PMID:9621302

  7. A Two-step Mechanism for the Folding of Actin by the Yeast Cytosolic Chaperonin

    PubMed Central

    Stuart, Sarah F.; Leatherbarrow, Robin J.; Willison, Keith R.

    2011-01-01

    Actin requires the chaperonin containing TCP1 (CCT), a hexadecameric ATPase essential for cell viability in eukaryotes, to fold to its native state. Following binding of unfolded actin to CCT, the cavity of the chaperone closes and actin is folded and released in an ATP-dependent folding cycle. In yeast, CCT forms a ternary complex with the phosducin-like protein PLP2p to fold actin, and together they can return nascent or chemically denatured actin to its native state in a pure in vitro folding assay. The complexity of the CCT-actin system makes the study of the actin folding mechanism technically challenging. We have established a novel spectroscopic assay through selectively labeling the C terminus of yeast actin with acrylodan and observe significant changes in the acrylodan fluorescence emission spectrum as actin is chemically unfolded and then refolded by the chaperonin. The variation in the polarity of the environment surrounding the fluorescent probe during the unfolding/folding processes has allowed us to monitor actin as it folds on CCT. The rate of actin folding at a range of temperatures and ATP concentrations has been determined for both wild type CCT and a mutant CCT, CCT4anc2, defective in folding actin in vivo. Binding of the non-hydrolysable ATP analog adenosine 5′-(β,γ-imino)triphosphate to the ternary complex leads to 3-fold faster release of actin from CCT following addition of ATP, suggesting a two-step folding process with a conformational change occurring upon closure of the cavity and a subsequent final folding step involving packing of the C terminus to the native-like state. PMID:21056978

  8. The effect of mouse twinfilin-1 on the structure and dynamics of monomeric actin.

    PubMed

    Takács-Kollár, Veronika; Nyitrai, Miklós; Hild, Gábor

    2016-07-01

    The effect of twinfilin-1 on the structure and dynamics of monomeric actin was investigated with fluorescence spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry experiments. Fluorescence anisotropy measurements proved that G-actin and twinfilin-1 could form a complex. Due to the formation of the complexes the dissociation of the nucleotide slowed down from the nucleotide-binding pocket of actin. Fluorescence quenching experiments showed that the accessibility of the actin bound ε-ATP decreased in the presence of twinfilin-1. Temperature dependent fluorescence resonance energy transfer and differential scanning calorimetry experiments revealed that the protein matrix of actin becomes more rigid and more heat resistant in the presence of twinfilin-1. The results suggest that the nucleotide binding cleft shifted into a more closed and stable conformational state of actin in the presence of twinfilin-1. PMID:27079635

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Host actin cytoskeleton polymerization has been shown to play an important role during Trypanosoma cruzi internalization into mammalian cell. The structure and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton in cells are regulated by a vast number of actin-binding proteins. Here we aimed to verify the impact of AFAP-1L1, during invasion and multiplication of T. cruzi. Knocking-down AFAP-1L1 increased parasite cell invasion and intracellular multiplication. Thus, we have shown that the integrity of the machinery formed by AFAP-1L1 in actin cytoskeleton polymerization is important to hinder parasite infection. PMID:27349187

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Arabidopsis FIMBRIN5, an Actin Bundling Factor, Is Required for Pollen Germination and Pollen Tube Growth[W

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Youjun; Yan, Jin; Zhang, Ruihui; Qu, Xiaolu; Ren, Sulin; Chen, Naizhi; Huang, Shanjin

    2010-01-01

    Actin cables in pollen tubes serve as molecular tracks for cytoplasmic streaming and organelle movement and are formed by actin bundling factors like villins and fimbrins. However, the precise mechanisms by which actin cables are generated and maintained remain largely unknown. Fimbrins comprise a family of five members in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we characterized a fimbrin isoform, Arabidopsis FIMBRIN5 (FIM5). Our results show that FIM5 is required for the organization of actin cytoskeleton in pollen grains and pollen tubes, and FIM5 loss-of-function associates with a delay of pollen germination and inhibition of pollen tube growth. FIM5 decorates actin filaments throughout pollen grains and tubes. Actin filaments become redistributed in fim5 pollen grains and disorganized in fim5 pollen tubes. Specifically, actin cables protrude into the extreme tips, and their longitudinal arrangement is disrupted in the shank of fim5 pollen tubes. Consequently, the pattern and velocity of cytoplasmic streaming were altered in fim5 pollen tubes. Additionally, loss of FIM5 function rendered pollen germination and tube growth hypersensitive to the actin-depolymerizing drug latrunculin B. In vitro biochemical analyses indicated that FIM5 exhibits actin bundling activity and stabilizes actin filaments. Thus, we propose that FIM5 regulates actin dynamics and organization during pollen germination and tube growth via stabilizing actin filaments and organizing them into higher-order structures. PMID:21098731

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Formation of long and winding nuclear F-actin bundles by nuclear c-Abl tyrosine kinase

    SciTech Connect

    Aoyama, Kazumasa; Yuki, Ryuzaburo; Horiike, Yasuyoshi; Kubota, Sho; Yamaguchi, Noritaka; Morii, Mariko; Ishibashi, Kenichi; Nakayama, Yuji; Kuga, Takahisa; Hashimoto, Yuuki; Tomonaga, Takeshi; Yamaguchi, Naoto

    2013-12-10

    The non-receptor-type tyrosine kinase c-Abl is involved in actin dynamics in the cytoplasm. Having three nuclear localization signals (NLSs) and one nuclear export signal, c-Abl shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Although monomeric actin and filamentous actin (F-actin) are present in the nucleus, little is known about the relationship between c-Abl and nuclear actin dynamics. Here, we show that nuclear-localized c-Abl induces nuclear F-actin formation. Adriamycin-induced DNA damage together with leptomycin B treatment accumulates c-Abl into the nucleus and increases the levels of nuclear F-actin. Treatment of c-Abl-knockdown cells with Adriamycin and leptomycin B barely increases the nuclear F-actin levels. Expression of nuclear-targeted c-Abl (NLS-c-Abl) increases the levels of nuclear F-actin even without Adriamycin, and the increased levels of nuclear F-actin are not inhibited by inactivation of Abl kinase activity. Intriguingly, expression of NLS-c-Abl induces the formation of long and winding bundles of F-actin within the nucleus in a c-Abl kinase activity-dependent manner. Furthermore, NLS-c-AblΔC, which lacks the actin-binding domain but has the full tyrosine kinase activity, is incapable of forming nuclear F-actin and in particular long and winding nuclear F-actin bundles. These results suggest that nuclear c-Abl plays critical roles in actin dynamics within the nucleus. - Highlights: • We show the involvement of c-Abl tyrosine kinase in nuclear actin dynamics. • Nuclear F-actin is formed by nuclear-localized c-Abl and its kinase-dead version. • The c-Abl actin-binding domain is prerequisite for nuclear F-actin formation. • Formation of long nuclear F-actin bundles requires nuclear c-Abl kinase activity. • We discuss a role for nuclear F-actin bundle formation in chromatin regulation.

  17. Triggering Actin Comets Versus Membrane Ruffles: Distinctive Effects of Phosphoinositides on Actin Reorganization

    PubMed Central

    Ueno, Tasuku; Falkenburger, Björn H.; Pohlmeyer, Christopher; Inoue, Takanari

    2012-01-01

    A limited set of phosphoinositide membrane lipids regulate diverse cellular functions including proliferation, differentiation, and migration. We developed two techniques based on rapamycin-induced protein dimerization to rapidly change the concentration of plasma membrane phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2]. First, we increased PI(4,5)P2 synthesis from phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate [PI(4)P] using a membrane recruitable form of PI(4)P 5-kinase, and found that COS-7, HeLa, and HEK293 cells formed bundles of motile actin filaments known as actin comets. In contrast, a second technique that increased the concentration of PI(4,5)P2 without consuming PI(4)P induced membrane ruffles. These distinct phenotypes were mediated by dynamin-mediated vesicular trafficking and mutually inhibitory crosstalk between the small guanosine triphosphatases Rac and RhoA. Our results indicate that the effect of PI(4,5)P2 on actin reorganization depends on the abundance of other phosphoinositides, such as PI(4)P. Thus, combinatorial regulation of phosphoinositide concentrations may contribute to the diversity of phosphoinositide functions. PMID:22169478

  18. Interneurons and oligodendrocyte progenitors form a structured synaptic network in the developing neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Orduz, David; Maldonado, Paloma P; Balia, Maddalena; Vélez-Fort, Mateo; de Sars, Vincent; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Emiliani, Valentina; Angulo, Maria Cecilia

    2015-01-01

    NG2 cells, oligodendrocyte progenitors, receive a major synaptic input from interneurons in the developing neocortex. It is presumed that these precursors integrate cortical networks where they act as sensors of neuronal activity. We show that NG2 cells of the developing somatosensory cortex form a transient and structured synaptic network with interneurons that follows its own rules of connectivity. Fast-spiking interneurons, highly connected to NG2 cells, target proximal subcellular domains containing GABAA receptors with γ2 subunits. Conversely, non-fast-spiking interneurons, poorly connected with these progenitors, target distal sites lacking this subunit. In the network, interneuron-NG2 cell connectivity maps exhibit a local spatial arrangement reflecting innervation only by the nearest interneurons. This microcircuit architecture shows a connectivity peak at PN10, coinciding with a switch to massive oligodendrocyte differentiation. Hence, GABAergic innervation of NG2 cells is temporally and spatially regulated from the subcellular to the network level in coordination with the onset of oligodendrogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06953.001 PMID:25902404

  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. Polymer dynamics and fluid flow in actin-based cell motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theriot, Julie

    2005-03-01

    In living cells, nonequilibrium protein polymerization reactions are frequently used to convert chemical energy into mechanical energy and thereby generate useful force for cellular movements. We have examined the polymer and fluid dynamics in two biological cases where the assembly of branched actin filament networks generates force: the intracellular movement of the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, and the extension of the leading edge of skin epithelial cells during wound-healing. In both cases, net actin filament assembly occurs at the front of the network structure and net disassembly occurs at the rear. Actin protein subunits and other network components must be recycled through the fluid phase to the front of the polymerizing network in order for forward movement to continue at steady state. For actin-based movement of Listeria monocytogenes, we have found that actin recycling is not rate-limiting; instead, the speed of movement is governed by the cooperative dissociation of groups of noncovalent protein-protein bonds attaching the filamentous network to the bacterial surface. In contrast, rapid actin-based extension at the leading edge of moving epithelial cells is associated with unusual perturbations in intracellular fluid flow.

  1. The Actin Nucleator Cobl Is Controlled by Calcium and Calmodulin

    PubMed Central

    Haag, Natja; Kessels, Michael M.; Qualmann, Britta

    2015-01-01

    Actin nucleation triggers the formation of new actin filaments and has the power to shape cells but requires tight control in order to bring about proper morphologies. The regulation of the members of the novel class of WASP Homology 2 (WH2) domain-based actin nucleators, however, thus far has largely remained elusive. Our study reveals signal cascades and mechanisms regulating Cordon-Bleu (Cobl). Cobl plays some, albeit not fully understood, role in early arborization of neurons and nucleates actin by a mechanism that requires a combination of all three of its actin monomer–binding WH2 domains. Our experiments reveal that Cobl is regulated by Ca2+ and multiple, direct associations of the Ca2+ sensor Calmodulin (CaM). Overexpression analyses and rescue experiments of Cobl loss-of-function phenotypes with Cobl mutants in primary neurons and in tissue slices demonstrated the importance of CaM binding for Cobl’s functions. Cobl-induced dendritic branch initiation was preceded by Ca2+ signals and coincided with local F-actin and CaM accumulations. CaM inhibitor studies showed that Cobl-mediated branching is strictly dependent on CaM activity. Mechanistic studies revealed that Ca2+/CaM modulates Cobl’s actin binding properties and furthermore promotes Cobl’s previously identified interactions with the membrane-shaping F-BAR protein syndapin I, which accumulated with Cobl at nascent dendritic protrusion sites. The findings of our study demonstrate a direct regulation of an actin nucleator by Ca2+/CaM and reveal that the Ca2+/CaM-controlled molecular mechanisms we discovered are crucial for Cobl’s cellular functions. By unveiling the means of Cobl regulation and the mechanisms, by which Ca2+/CaM signals directly converge on a cellular effector promoting actin filament formation, our work furthermore sheds light on how local Ca2+ signals steer and power branch initiation during early arborization of nerve cells—a key process in neuronal network formation. PMID

  2. Optogenetics to target actin-mediated synaptic loss in Alzheimer's

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahedi, Atena; DeFea, Kathryn; Ethell, Iryna

    2013-03-01

    Numerous studies in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) animal models show that overproduction of Aβ peptides and their oligomerization can distort dendrites, damage synapses, and decrease the number of dendritic spines and synapses. Aβ may trigger synapse loss by modulating activity of actin-regulating proteins, such as Rac1 and cofilin. Indeed, Aβ1-42 oligomers can activate actin severing protein cofilin through calcineurin-mediated activation of phosphatase slingshot and inhibit an opposing pathway that suppresses cofilin phosphorylation through Rac-mediated activation of LIMK1. Excessive activation of actin-severing protein cofilin triggers the formation of a non-dynamic actin bundles, called rods that are found in AD brains and cause loss of synapses. Hence, regulation of these actin-regulating proteins in dendritic spines could potentially provide useful tools for preventing the synapse/spine loss associated with earlier stages of AD neuropathology. However, lack of spatiotemporal control over their activity is a key limitation. Recently, optogenetic advancements have provided researchers with convenient light-activating proteins such as photoactivatable Rac (PARac). Here, we transfected cultured primary hippocampal neurons and human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells with a PARac/ mCherry-containing plasmid and the mCherry-positive cells were identified and imaged using an inverted fluorescence microscope. Rac1 activation was achieved by irradiation with blue light (480nm) and live changes in dendritic spine morphology were observed using mCherry (587nm). Rac activation was confirmed by immunostaining for phosphorylated form of effector proteinP21 protein-activated kinase 1 (PAK1) and reorganization of actin. Thus, our studies confirm the feasibility of using the PA-Rac construct to trigger actin re-organization in the dendritic spines.

  3. In vitro modulation of filament bundling in F-actin and keratins by annexin II and calcium.

    PubMed

    Ma, A S; Bystol, M E; Tranvan, A

    1994-05-01

    In our preliminary subcellular localization experiment we demonstrated that annexin II co-localized with submembranous actin in subpopulations of both cultured fibroblasts and keratinocytes. To investigate the physical interaction between annexin II and actin at the cell periphery, in vitro reconstitution experiments were carried out with keratins used as a control. Annexin II, isolated by immunoaffinity column chromatography, was found to exist as globular structures measuring 10 to 25 nm in diameter by rotary shadowing, similar to a previous report. We believe that these structures represent its polymeric forms. By negative staining, monomeric annexin II was detectable as tapered rods, measuring 6 nm in length and 1 to 2 nm in diameter. When annexin II was mixed with actin in 3 mM piperazine-N, N-bis-2-ethanesulfonic acid (PIPES) buffer with 10 mM NaCl2, 2 mM MgCl2 and 0.1 mM CaCl2, thick twisting actin bundles formed, confirming previous reports. This bundling was much reduced when calcium was removed. In the presence of 5 mM ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) in 5 mM tris, pH 7.2, keratins were found to form a network of filaments, which began to disassemble when the chelator was removed and became fragmented when 0.1 mM CaCl2 was added. Keratins under the same conditions did not fragment when annexin II was present. These results suggest that annexin II, in conjunction with Ca2+, may be involved in a flexible system accommodating changes in the membrane cytoskeletal framework at the cell periphery in keratinocytes. PMID:7520812

  4. Self-organized Gels in DNA/F-Actin mixtures without Crosslinkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

    Interactions between flexible chains and rigid rods govern a broad range of soft matter systems. As a model system of like-charged rigid rods and flexible chains, we examine mixtures of DNA and filamentous actin (F-actin). Confocal microscopy reveals the formation of elongated nematic F-actin domains reticulated via defect-free vertices into a network embedded in a mesh of random DNA. Synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) indicates that the DNA mesh squeezes the F-actin domains into a nematic state with an inter-actin spacing that decreases with increasing DNA concentration. Salt strongly influences the domain sizes and transitions the system from a counterion-controlled regime to a depletion-controlled regime, both mechanisms of which are entropic in origin.

  5. Nanostructural Units in Disordered Network-Forming Materials and the Origin of Intermediate Range Order

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massobrio, C.

    Disordered network-forming materials are characterized by structural order extending well beyond the first shell of neighbors. For these reasons, reliable atomic-scale modeling is ideally suited to complement experiments in the search of the microscopic origins of this behavior. A key to understand why these systems have specific structural properties is to focus on the nanostructural units by which they are composed. By analyzing the role played by these units, one is able to put forth a valuable rationale accounting for the occurrence of intermediate range order. In this review, we present recent results obtained via first-principles molecular dynamics on a set of disordered network-forming materials, with special emphasis on the prototypical system GeSe2. In a short introduction we begin with explicit examples of differences, at the structure factor and pair correlation level, between networks exhibiting intermediate range order and those purely disordered at any length scale. Concerning our theoretical approach, we rely on density functional theory and first-principles molecular dynamics to follow the time trajectories at finite temperature of these networks and obtain statistical averages to be compared with the experimental quantities. Specific methodological issues pertaining to the simulation of disordered materials are analyzed in detail (size of the computational cell, role of exchange-correlation functional, and production of an amorphous phase). Then, three specific points are addressed by considering both experimental and simulation results: first, the atomic-scale signature of intermediate range order as it manifests itself via the appearance of the first sharp diffraction peak in the total neutron structure factor; second, the correlation existing between fluctuations of concentration on the intermediate distances scale and the shape taken by the partial structure factors; and third, the establishment of the nanostructural units responsible for the

  6. Diastereomeric domains formed by chiral liquid crystals confined in a network of helical nanofilaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuchband, Michael; Chen, Dong; Horanyi, Balazs; Korblova, Eva; Walba, David; Maclennan, Joseph; Glaser, Matthew; Clark, Noel

    2014-03-01

    Mixtures of the bent-core liquid crystal material NOBOW with guest mesogens are well dispersed in the isotropic phase. Upon cooling, the NOBOW forms B4 helical nanofilaments which often nucleate and phase-separate directly from the isotropic melt, forming locally homochiral dendritic networks which act as a porous medium of large internal area. The guest material is then confined to the nanoscale interstitial volumes between the twisted filaments. A typical cell contains a conglomerate of independently nucleated left- and right-handed B4 domains many tens of microns across. Polarized optical microscopy reveals that chiral guest liquid crystal materials with a specific twist of the director form optically distinguishable diastereomeric domains in the left- and right-handed chiral domains. Due to the different twist environments of the pores in the left- and right-handed helical nanofilament networks, the molecular arrangements of chiral guest material and the corresponding changes of birefringence in the left- and right-handed chiral domains differ as the chiral guest transitions from isotropic to cholesteric, and then to smectic. Funding by ED GAANN Award P200A120014 and NSF MRSEC Grant DMR-0820579.

  7. An Interconnected Network of Core-Forming Melts Produced by Shear Deformation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruhn, D.; Groebner, N.; Kohlstedt, D. L.

    2000-01-01

    The formation mechanism of terrestrial planetary is still poorly understood, and has been the subject of numerous experimental studies. Several mechanisms have been proposed by which metal-mainly iron with some nickel-could have been extracted from a silicate mantle to form the core. Most recent models involve gravitational sinking of molten metal or metal sulphide through a partially or fully molten mantle that is often referred to as a'magma ocean. Alternative models invoke percolation of molten metal along an interconnected network (that is, porous flow) through a solid silicate matrix. But experimental studies performed at high pressures have shown that, under hydrostatic conditions, these melts do not form an interconnected network, leading to the widespread assumption that formation of metallic cores requires a magma ocean. In contrast, here we present experiments which demonstrate that shear deformation to large strains can interconnect a significant fraction of initially isolated pockets of metal and metal sulphide melts in a solid matrix of polycrystalline olivine. Therefore, in a dynamic (nonhydrostatic) environment, percolation remains a viable mechanism for the segregation and migration of core-forming melts in a solid silicate mantle.

  8. An interconnected network of core-forming melts produced by shear deformation

    PubMed

    Bruhn; Groebner; Kohlstedt

    2000-02-24

    The formation mechanism of terrestrial planetary cores is still poorly understood, and has been the subject of numerous experimental studies. Several mechanisms have been proposed by which metal--mainly iron with some nickel--could have been extracted from a silicate mantle to form the core. Most recent models involve gravitational sinking of molten metal or metal sulphide through a partially or fully molten mantle that is often referred to as a 'magma ocean'. Alternative models invoke percolation of molten metal along an interconnected network (that is, porous flow) through a solid silicate matrix. But experimental studies performed at high pressures have shown that, under hydrostatic conditions, these melts do not form an interconnected network, leading to the widespread assumption that formation of metallic cores requires a magma ocean. In contrast, here we present experiments which demonstrate that shear deformation to large strains can interconnect a significant fraction of initially isolated pockets of metal and metal sulphide melts in a solid matrix of polycrystalline olivine. Therefore, in a dynamic (non-hydrostatic) environment, percolation remains a viable mechanism for the segregation and migration of core-forming melts in a solid silicate mantle. PMID:10706283

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  11. Cell Elasticity Is Regulated by the Tropomyosin Isoform Composition of the Actin Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Jalilian, Iman; Heu, Celine; Cheng, Hong; Freittag, Hannah; Desouza, Melissa; Stehn, Justine R.; Bryce, Nicole S.; Whan, Renee M.; Hardeman, Edna C.

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is the primary polymer system within cells responsible for regulating cellular stiffness. While various actin binding proteins regulate the organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton, the proteins responsible for regulating the mechanical properties of cells are still not fully understood. In the present study, we have addressed the significance of the actin associated protein, tropomyosin (Tpm), in influencing the mechanical properties of cells. Tpms belong to a multi-gene family that form a co-polymer with actin filaments and differentially regulate actin filament stability, function and organization. Tpm isoform expression is highly regulated and together with the ability to sort to specific intracellular sites, result in the generation of distinct Tpm isoform-containing actin filament populations. Nanomechanical measurements conducted with an Atomic Force Microscope using indentation in Peak Force Tapping in indentation/ramping mode, demonstrated that Tpm impacts on cell stiffness and the observed effect occurred in a Tpm isoform-specific manner. Quantitative analysis of the cellular filamentous actin (F-actin) pool conducted both biochemically and with the use of a linear detection algorithm to evaluate actin structures revealed that an altered F-actin pool does not absolutely predict changes in cell stiffness. Inhibition of non-muscle myosin II revealed that intracellular tension generated by myosin II is required for the observed increase in cell stiffness. Lastly, we show that the observed increase in cell stiffness is partially recapitulated in vivo as detected in epididymal fat pads isolated from a Tpm3.1 transgenic mouse line. Together these data are consistent with a role for Tpm in regulating cell stiffness via the generation of specific populations of Tpm isoform-containing actin filaments. PMID:25978408

  12. Piccolo Directs Activity Dependent F-Actin Assembly from Presynaptic Active Zones via Daam1

    PubMed Central

    Wagh, Dhananjay; Terry-Lorenzo, Ryan; Waites, Clarissa L.; Leal-Ortiz, Sergio A.; Maas, Christoph; Reimer, Richard J.; Garner, Craig C.

    2015-01-01

    The dynamic assembly of filamentous (F) actin plays essential roles in the assembly of presynaptic boutons, the fusion, mobilization and recycling of synaptic vesicles (SVs), and presynaptic forms of plasticity. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the temporal and spatial assembly of presynaptic F-actin remain largely unknown. Similar to other F-actin rich membrane specializations, presynaptic boutons contain a set of molecules that respond to cellular cues and trans-synaptic signals to facilitate activity-dependent assembly of F-actin. The presynaptic active zone (AZ) protein Piccolo has recently been identified as a key regulator of neurotransmitter release during SV cycling. It does so by coordinating the activity-dependent assembly of F-Actin and the dynamics of key plasticity molecules including Synapsin1, Profilin and CaMKII. The multidomain structure of Piccolo, its exquisite association with the AZ, and its ability to interact with a number of actin-associated proteins suggest that Piccolo may function as a platform to coordinate the spatial assembly of F-actin. Here we have identified Daam1, a Formin that functions with Profilin to drive F-actin assembly, as a novel Piccolo binding partner. We also found that within cells Daam1 activation promotes Piccolo binding, an interaction that can spatially direct the polymerization of F-Actin. Moreover, similar to Piccolo and Profilin, Daam1 loss of function impairs presynaptic-F-actin assembly in neurons. These data suggest a model in which Piccolo directs the assembly of presynaptic F-Actin from the AZ by scaffolding key actin regulatory proteins including Daam1. PMID:25897839

  13. Mechanical force-induced polymerization and depolymerization of F-actin at water/solid interfaces.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xueqiang; Hu, Xiuyuan; Lei, Haozhi; Hu, Jun; Zhang, Yi

    2016-03-21

    Actin molecules are among the three main cytoskeleton proteins of cells and undergo rapid cycling to regulate critical processes such as endocytosis, cytokinesis, cell polarity, and cell morphogenesis. Although extensive studies have been carried out on the dynamics as well as biological functions of actin polymerization and depolymerization both in vivo and in vitro, the molecular mechanisms by which cells sense and respond to mechanical signals are not fully understood. In particular, little attention has been paid to the effect of a physical force that is exerted directly on the actin cytoskeleton. In this paper, we have explored how the mechanical force affects the actin polymerization and depolymerization behaviors at water/solid interfaces using an atomic force microscope (AFM) operated in liquid. By raster scanning an AFM probe on a substrate surface with a certain load, it was found that actin monomers could polymerize into filaments without the help of actin related proteins (ARPs). Further study indicated that actin monomers were inclined to form filaments only under a small scanning load. The polymerized actin filaments would be depolymerized when the mechanical force was stronger. A possible mechanism has been suggested to explain the mechanical force induced actin polymerization. PMID:26928199

  14. The anti-proliferative agent jasplakinolide rearranges the actin cytoskeleton of plant cells.

    PubMed

    Sawitzky, H; Liebe, S; Willingale-Theune, J; Menzel, D

    1999-06-01

    In the present study, we have characterized the action of the natural cyclodepsipeptide jasplakinolide (JAS) on the cytoplasmic architecture, actin-based cytoplasmic motility, and the organization of the actin cytoskeleton in selected examples of green algae (Acetabularia, Pseudobryopsis and Nitella) and higher plant cells (Allium bulb scale cells and Sinapis root hairs). JAS was capable of influencing the actin cytoskeleton and inhibiting cytoplasmic streaming in a differential, cell type-specific manner. With the exception of Nitella, two consecutive responses were observed upon incubation with 2.5 microM JAS: In the first phase cytoplasmic streaming increased transiently alongside with minor modifications of the actin cytoskeleton in the form of adventitious actin spots and spikes appearing throughout the cell cortex in addition to the normal actin bundle system typical for each cell type. In the second phase, cytoplasmic streaming stopped and the actin cytoskeleton became heavily reorganized into shorter, straight, more and more randomly oriented bundle segments. JAS exerted severe long-term effects on the actin cytoskeleton when treatments exceeded 30min at a concentration of 2.5 microM. An in situ competition assay using equimolar concentrations of JAS and FITC-phalloidin suggested that JAS has a phalloidin-like action. Effects of JAS were significantly different from those of cytochalasin D with respect to the resulting degree of perturbance of cytoplasmic organization, the distribution of actin filaments and the speed of reversibility. PMID:10430024

  15. Propagating waves separate two states of actin organization in living cells

    PubMed Central

    Schroth-Diez, Britta; Gerwig, Silke; Ecke, Mary; Hegerl, Reiner; Diez, Stefan; Gerisch, Günther

    2009-01-01

    Propagating actin waves are dynamic supramolecular structures formed by the self-assembly of proteins within living cells. They are built from actin filaments together with single-headed myosin, the Arp2∕3 complex, and coronin in a defined three-dimensional order. The function of these waves in structuring the cell cortex is studied on the substrate-attached surface of Dictyostelium cells by the use of total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. Actin waves separate two areas of the cell cortex from each other, which are distinguished by the arrangement of actin filaments. The Arp2∕3 complex dominates in the area enclosed by a wave, where it has the capacity of building dendritic structures, while the proteins prevailing in the external area, cortexillin I and myosin-II, bundle actin filaments and arrange them in antiparallel direction. Wave propagation is accompanied by transitions in the state of actin with a preferential period of 5 min. Wave generation is preceded by local fluctuations in actin assembly, some of the nuclei of polymerized actin emanating from clathrin-coated structures, others emerging independently. The dynamics of phase transitions has been analyzed to provide a basis for modeling the nonlinear interactions that produce spatio-temporal patterns in the actin system of living cells. PMID:20514132

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-30

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

  17. Myosin-Va and dynamic actin oppose microtubules to drive long-range organelle transport.

    PubMed

    Evans, Richard D; Robinson, Christopher; Briggs, Deborah A; Tooth, David J; Ramalho, Jose S; Cantero, Marta; Montoliu, Lluis; Patel, Shyamal; Sviderskaya, Elena V; Hume, Alistair N

    2014-08-01

    In animal cells, microtubule and actin tracks and their associated motors (dynein, kinesin, and myosin) are thought to regulate long- and short-range transport, respectively. Consistent with this, microtubules extend from the perinuclear centrosome to the plasma membrane and allow bidirectional cargo transport over long distances (>1 μm). In contrast, actin often comprises a complex network of short randomly oriented filaments, suggesting that myosin motors move cargo short distances. These observations underpin the "highways and local roads" model for transport along microtubule and actin tracks. The "cooperative capture" model exemplifies this view and suggests that melanosome distribution in melanocyte dendrites is maintained by long-range transport on microtubules followed by actin/myosin-Va-dependent tethering. In this study, we used cell normalization technology to quantitatively examine the contribution of microtubules and actin/myosin-Va to organelle distribution in melanocytes. Surprisingly, our results indicate that microtubules are essential for centripetal, but not centrifugal, transport. Instead, we find that microtubules retard a centrifugal transport process that is dependent on myosin-Va and a population of dynamic F-actin. Functional analysis of mutant proteins indicates that myosin-Va works as a transporter dispersing melanosomes along actin tracks whose +/barbed ends are oriented toward the plasma membrane. Overall, our data highlight the role of myosin-Va and actin in transport, and not tethering, and suggest a new model in which organelle distribution is determined by the balance between microtubule-dependent centripetal and myosin-Va/actin-dependent centrifugal transport. These observations appear to be consistent with evidence coming from other systems showing that actin/myosin networks can drive long-distance organelle transport and positioning. PMID:25065759

  18. The accessibility of etheno-nucleotides to collisional quenchers and the nucleotide cleft in G- and F-actin.

    PubMed Central

    Root, D. D.; Reisler, E.

    1992-01-01

    Recent publication of the atomic structure of G-actin (Kabsch, W., Mannherz, H. G., Suck, D., Pai, E. F., & Holmes, K. C., 1990, Nature 347, 37-44) raises questions about how the conformation of actin changes upon its polymerization. In this work, the effects of various quenchers of etheno-nucleotides bound to G- and F-actin were examined in order to assess polymerization-related changes in the nucleotide phosphate site. The Mg(2+)-induced polymerization of actin quenched the fluorescence of the etheno-nucleotides by approximately 20% simultaneously with the increase in light scattering by actin. A conformational change at the nucleotide binding site was also indicated by greater accessibility of F-actin than G-actin to positively, negatively, and neutrally charged collisional quenchers. The difference in accessibility between G- and F-actin was greatest for I-, indicating that the environment of the etheno group is more positively charged in the polymerized form of actin. Based on calculations of the change in electric potential of the environment of the etheno group, specific polymerization-related movements of charged residues in the atomic structure of G-actin are suggested. The binding of S-1 to epsilon-ATP-G-actin increased the accessibility of the etheno group to I- even over that in Mg(2+)-polymerized actin. The quenching of the etheno group by nitromethane was, however, unaffected by the binding of S-1 to actin. Thus, the binding of S-1 induces conformational changes in the cleft region of actin that are different from those caused by Mg2+ polymerization of actin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1304380

  19. Analysis of rhodamine and fluorescein-labeled F-actin diffusion in vitro by fluorescence photobleaching recovery.

    PubMed Central

    Simon, J R; Gough, A; Urbanik, E; Wang, F; Lanni, F; Ware, B R; Taylor, D L

    1988-01-01

    Properties of filamentous acetamidofluorescein-labeled actin and acetamidotetramethylrhodamine-labeled actin (AF and ATR-actin, respectively) were examined to resolve discrepancies in the reported translational diffusion coefficients of F-actin measured in vitro by FPR and other techniques. Using falling-ball viscometry and two independent versions of fluorescence photobleaching recovery (FPR), the present data indicate that several factors are responsible for these discrepancies. Gel filtration chromatography profoundly affects the viscosity of actin solutions and filament diffusion coefficients. ATR-actin and, to a lesser degree, AF-actin show a reduction in viscosity in proportion to the fraction labeled, presumably due to filament shortening. Actin filaments containing AF-actin or ATR-actin are susceptible to photoinduced damage, including a covalent cross-linking of actin protomers within filaments and an apparent cleavage of filaments detected by a decrease of the measured viscosity and an increase in the measured filament diffusion coefficients. Quantum yields of the two photoinduced effects are quite different. Multiple cross-links are produced relative to each photobleaching event, whereas less than 1% filament cleavage occurs. Substantial differences in the filament diffusion coefficients measured by FPR are also the result of differences in illumination geometry and sampling time. However, under controlled conditions, FPR can be used as a quantitative tool for measuring the hydrodynamic properties of actin filaments. Incremented filament shortening caused by photoinduced cleavage or incremental addition of filament capping proteins produces a continuous and approximately linear increase of filament diffusion coefficients, indicating that filaments are not associated in solution. Our results indicate that actin filaments exhibit low mobilities and it is inferred that actin filaments formed in vitro by column-purified actin, under standard conditions, are

  20. Oral nicotinamide and actinic keratosis: a supplement success story.

    PubMed

    Kim, Burcu; Halliday, Gary M; Damian, Diona L

    2015-01-01

    Nicotinamide has shown potential as a safe and effective intervention for the prevention of malignant and premalignant skin lesions. Recent studies have shown that nicotinamide, in both oral and topical forms, is able to prevent ultraviolet-induced immunosuppression in humans [1,2,3] and mice [4,5]. Immunosuppression is a known factor for the progression of premalignant lesions, such as actinic keratosis [6]. Murine studies have shown that nicotinamide is also able to protect against photocarcinogenesis [4,5]. Preliminary human studies suggest that nicotinamide may help prevent skin cancers and enhance the regression of actinic keratoses. PMID:25561219

  1. 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

  2. Mechanoaccumulative Elements of the Mammalian Actin Cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. The catalytic domain of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate 3-kinase-a contributes to ITPKA-induced modulation of F-actin.

    PubMed

    Ashour, Dina Julia; Pelka, Benjamin; Jaaks, Patricia; Wundenberg, Torsten; Blechner, Christine; Zobiak, Bernd; Failla, Antonio Virgilio; Windhorst, Sabine

    2015-02-01

    Inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate-3-kinase-A (ITPKA) has been considered as an actin bundling protein because its N-terminal actin binding domain (ABD) induces formation of linear actin bundles. Since in many cancer cell lines ITPKA is essential for formation of lamellipodia, which consist of cross-linked actin filaments, here we analyzed if full length-ITPKA may induce formation of more complex actin structures. Indeed, we found that incubation of F-actin with ITPKA resulted in formation of dense, branched actin networks. Based on our result that ITPKA does not exhibit an additional C-terminal ABD, we exclude that ITPKA cross-links actin filaments by simultaneous F-actin binding with two different ABDs. Instead, stimulated-emission-depletion-microscopy and measurement of InsP3 Kinase activity give evidence that that N-terminal ABD-homodimers of ITPKA bind to F-actin while the monomeric C-termini insert between adjacent actin filaments. Thereby, they prevent formation of thick actin bundles but induce formation of thin branched actin structures. Interestingly, when embedded in this dense actin network, InsP3 Kinase activity is doubled and the product of InsP3 Kinase activity, Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 , inhibits spontaneous actin polymerization which may reflect a local negative feedback regulation of InsP3 Kinase activity. In conclusion, we demonstrate that not only the ABD of ITPKA modulates actin dynamics but reveal that the InsP3 Kinase domain substantially contributes to this process. PMID:25620569

  4. 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

  5. The actin crosslinking protein palladin modulates force generation and mechanosensitivity of tumor associated fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Azatov, Mikheil; Goicoechea, Silvia M.; Otey, Carol A.; Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2016-01-01

    Cells organize actin filaments into higher-order structures by regulating the composition, distribution and concentration of actin crosslinkers. Palladin is an actin crosslinker found in the lamellar actin network and stress fibers, which are critical for mechanosensing of the environment. Palladin also serves as a molecular scaffold for α-actinin, another key actin crosslinker. By virtue of its close interactions with actomyosin structures in the cell, palladin may play an important role in cell mechanics. However, the role of palladin in cellular force generation and mechanosensing has not been studied. Here, we investigate the role of palladin in regulating the plasticity of the actin cytoskeleton and cellular force generation in response to alterations in substrate stiffness. Traction force microscopy revealed that tumor-associated fibroblasts generate larger forces on substrates of increased stiffness. Contrary to expectations, knocking down palladin increased the forces generated by cells and inhibited their ability to sense substrate stiffness for very stiff gels. This was accompanied by significant differences in actin organization, adhesion dynamics and altered myosin organization in palladin knock-down cells. Our results suggest that actin crosslinkers such as palladin and myosin motors coordinate for optimal cell function and to prevent aberrant behavior as in cancer metastasis. PMID:27353427

  6. Network analysis reveals that bacteria and fungi form modules that correlate independently with soil parameters.

    PubMed

    de Menezes, Alexandre B; Prendergast-Miller, Miranda T; Richardson, Alan E; Toscas, Peter; Farrell, Mark; Macdonald, Lynne M; Baker, Geoff; Wark, Tim; Thrall, Peter H

    2015-08-01

    Network and multivariate statistical analyses were performed to determine interactions between bacterial and fungal community terminal restriction length polymorphisms as well as soil properties in paired woodland and pasture sites. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed that shifts in woodland community composition correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon, while changes in pasture community composition correlated with moisture, nitrogen and phosphorus. Weighted correlation network analysis detected two distinct microbial modules per land use. Bacterial and fungal ribotypes did not group separately, rather all modules comprised of both bacterial and fungal ribotypes. Woodland modules had a similar fungal : bacterial ribotype ratio, while in the pasture, one module was fungal dominated. There was no correspondence between pasture and woodland modules in their ribotype composition. The modules had different relationships to soil variables, and these contrasts were not detected without the use of network analysis. This study demonstrated that fungi and bacteria, components of the soil microbial communities usually treated as separate functional groups as in a CCA approach, were co-correlated and formed distinct associations in these adjacent habitats. Understanding these distinct modular associations may shed more light on their niche space in the soil environment, and allow a more realistic description of soil microbial ecology and function. PMID:25040229

  7. Dynamic Light Scattering in Network-Forming Oxide Melts: Ties Between Structure and Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tran, Tri; Schnell, Stanley; Sidebottom, David

    2013-03-01

    We report results from a series of dynamic light scattering studies of network-forming oxide glasses obtained using photon correlation spectroscopy. These studies focus specifically on how the dynamics of these viscous melts are influenced by systematic changes in the chemical structure of the oxide network and include studies of both sodium phosphate and sodium aluminophosphate melts. The fragility, a dynamical property of the liquid near the glass transition point, is determined from these measurements and seen to decrease with increases in the average density of bridging oxygen bonds regardless of the alkali content. Moreover, this dependence of the fragility on bond density is shown to be identically reproduced in both alkali borate melts and chalcogenide glasses, provided accommodations are made for the presence of structural entities in the borate system that contribute to their intermediate range order. The universal pattern that emerges suggests a significant tie between network structure and dynamics that is consistent with predictions for a rigidity transition near an average bond number of 2.4 and within the framework of a simple two-state bond model, may be traced to a common dependence of the configurational entropy on connectivity. This work is funded by NSF grant no. DMR-0906640

  8. Molecular characterization and expression analysis of the β-actin gene from the ridgetail white prawn Exopalaemon carinicauda.

    PubMed

    Liang, J P; Wang, Y; Ge, Q Q; Li, J T; Liu, P; Li, J; Nie, G X

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved protein that is found in all eukaryotic cells, and has been widely used as an internal control gene in gene expression studies. In this study, we cloned an actin gene (named Ecβ-actin) from Exopalaemon carinicauda and determined its expression levels. The full-length cDNA of Ecβ-actin was 1335 bp long, comprising a 1131-bp ORF encoding 376 amino acids, a 65-bp 5'-UTR, and a 139-bp 3'-UTR with a poly(A) tail. The A + T content was approximately 79% in the 3'-UTR of the Ecβ-actin mRNA. The 3'-UTR contained two repeats of the AUUUA motif. The putative protein Ecβ-actin showed high identity (97-99%) with other actins from various species. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Ecβ-actin belongs to Crustacea, although it formed a singleton sub-branch that was located a short distance from crabs and other shrimp species. Ecβ- actin expression was detected in the hepatopancreas, ovary, muscle, gill, stomach, and hemocytes, and was strongly expressed in the hemocytes and ovary of E. carinicauda. Ecβ-actin mRNA expression varied during ovarian development, with high levels observed at stages I and V. Therefore, caution should be taken when using the Ecβ-actin gene as an endogenous control gene. PMID:27173226

  9. Cofilin 1-Mediated Biphasic F-Actin Dynamics of Neuronal Cells Affect Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Infection and Replication

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, Yangfei; Zheng, Kai; Ju, Huaiqiang; Wang, Shaoxiang; Pei, Ying; Ding, Weichao; Chen, Zhenping; Wang, Qiaoli; Qiu, Xianxiu; Zhong, Meigong; Zeng, Fanli; Ren, Zhe; Qian, Chuiwen; Liu, Ge

    2012-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) invades the nervous system and causes pathological changes. In this study, we defined the remodeling of F-actin and its possible mechanisms during HSV-1 infection of neuronal cells. HSV-1 infection enhanced the formation of F-actin-based structures in the early stage of infection, which was followed by a continuous decrease in F-actin during the later stages of infection. The disruption of F-actin dynamics by chemical inhibitors significantly reduced the efficiency of viral infection and intracellular HSV-1 replication. The active form of the actin-depolymerizing factor cofilin 1 was found to increase at an early stage of infection and then to continuously decrease in a manner that corresponded to the remodeling pattern of F-actin, suggesting that cofilin 1 may be involved in the biphasic F-actin dynamics induced by HSV-1 infection. Knockdown of cofilin 1 impaired HSV-1-induced F-actin assembly during early infection and inhibited viral entry; however, overexpression of cofilin 1 did not affect F-actin assembly or viral entry during early infection but decreased intracellular viral reproduction efficiently. Our results, for the first time, demonstrated the biphasic F-actin dynamics in HSV-1 neuronal infection and confirmed the association of F-actin with the changes in the expression and activity of cofilin 1. These results may provide insight into the mechanism by which HSV-1 productively infects neuronal cells and causes pathogenesis. PMID:22623803

  10. Linear viscoelastic properties of transient networks formed by associating polymers with multiple stickers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Indei, Tsutomu; Takimoto, Jun-ichi

    2010-11-01

    We have developed a single-chain theory that describes dynamics of associating polymer chains carrying multiple associative groups (or stickers) in the transient network formed by themselves and studied linear viscoelastic properties of this network. It is shown that if the average number N¯ of stickers associated with the network junction per chain is large, the terminal relaxation time τA that is proportional to τXN¯2 appears. The time τX is the interval during which an associated sticker goes back to its equilibrium position by one or more dissociation steps. In this lower frequency regime ω <1/τX, the moduli are well described in terms of the Rouse model with the longest relaxation time τA. The large value of N¯ is realized for chains carrying many stickers whose rate of association with the network junction is much larger than the dissociation rate. This associative Rouse behavior stems from the association/dissociation processes of stickers and is different from the ordinary Rouse behavior in the higher frequency regime, which is originated from the thermal segmental motion between stickers. If N¯ is not large, the dynamic shear moduli are well described in terms of the Maxwell model characterized by a single relaxation time τX in the moderate and lower frequency regimes. Thus, the transition occurs in the viscoelastic relaxation behavior from the Maxwell-type to the Rouse-type in ω <1/τX as N¯ increases. All these results are obtained under the affine deformation assumption for junction points. We also studied the effect of the junction fluctuations from the affine motion on the plateau modulus by introducing the virtual spring for bound stickers. It is shown that the plateau modulus is not affected by the junction fluctuations.

  11. 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.

  12. Two-dimensional interlocked pentagonal bilayer ice: how do water molecules form a hydrogen bonding network?

    PubMed

    Zhu, Weiduo; Zhao, Wen-Hui; Wang, Lu; Yin, Di; Jia, Min; Yang, Jinlong; Zeng, Xiao Cheng; Yuan, Lan-Feng

    2016-06-01

    The plethora of ice structures observed both in bulk and under nanoscale confinement reflects the extraordinary ability of water molecules to form diverse forms of hydrogen bonding networks. An ideal hydrogen bonding network of water should satisfy three requirements: (1) four hydrogen bonds connected with every water molecule, (2) nearly linear hydrogen bonds, and (3) tetrahedral configuration for the four hydrogen bonds around an O atom. However, under nanoscale confinement, some of the three requirements have to be unmet, and the selection of the specific requirement(s) leads to different types of hydrogen bonding structures. According to molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for water confined between two smooth hydrophobic walls, we obtain a phase diagram of three two-dimensional (2D) crystalline structures and a bilayer liquid. A new 2D bilayer ice is found and named the interlocked pentagonal bilayer ice (IPBI), because its side view comprises interlocked pentagonal channels. The basic motif in the top view of IPBI is a large hexagon composed of four small pentagons, resembling the top view of a previously reported "coffin" bilayer ice [Johnston, et al., J. Chem. Phys., 2010, 133, 154516]. First-principles optimizations suggest that both bilayer ices are stable. However, there are fundamental differences between the two bilayer structures due to the difference in the selection among the three requirements. The IPBI sacrifices the linearity of hydrogen bonds to retain locally tetrahedral configurations of the hydrogen bonds, whereas the coffin structure does the opposite. The tradeoff between the conditions of an ideal hydrogen bonding network can serve as a generic guidance to understand the rich phase behaviors of nanoconfined water. PMID:27063210

  13. A lipid bound actin meshwork organizes liquid phase separation in model membranes

    PubMed Central

    Honigmann, Alf; Sadeghi, Sina; Keller, Jan; Hell, Stefan W; Eggeling, Christian; Vink, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The eukaryotic cell membrane is connected to a dense actin rich cortex. We present FCS and STED experiments showing that dense membrane bound actin networks have severe influence on lipid phase separation. A minimal actin cortex was bound to a supported lipid bilayer via biotinylated lipid streptavidin complexes (pinning sites). In general, actin binding to ternary membranes prevented macroscopic liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered domain formation, even at low temperature. Instead, depending on the type of pinning lipid, an actin correlated multi-domain pattern was observed. FCS measurements revealed hindered diffusion of lipids in the presence of an actin network. To explain our experimental findings, a new simulation model is proposed, in which the membrane composition, the membrane curvature, and the actin pinning sites are all coupled. Our results reveal a mechanism how cells may prevent macroscopic demixing of their membrane components, while at the same time regulate the local membrane composition. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01671.001 PMID:24642407

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Actin and Endocytosis in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Actin binding proteins, spermatid transport and spermiation*

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Increased beta-actin and tubulin polymerization in regrowing axons: relationship to the conditioning lesion effect.

    PubMed

    Lund, Linda M; Machado, Victor M; McQuarrie, Irvine G

    2002-12-01

    Spinal motor neurons of Sprague-Dawley rats were examined to determine which of the neuronal isoforms of actin (beta or gamma) upregulate following axon injury. In situ hybridization studies showed greater beta-actin mRNA levels but no change in gamma-actin mRNA levels-suggesting that axon regrowth utilizes beta-actin. We radiolabeled the newly synthesized actin and tubulin that are subsequently transported in the axon to the site of an axotomizing injury. This allowed us to evaluate changes in polymerization as new cytoskeletal elements approach the injury site. Previous studies had shown that the rate of the most rapid subcomponent of actin and tubulin transport (called SCb) accelerates following axotomy (J. Jacob and I. McQuarrie, J. Neurobiol. 22: 570-583, 1991). This rate increase is associated with an increased proportion of SCb tubulin and actin in polymer (vs monomer) form (J. Jacob and I. McQuarrie, J. Neurosci, Res. 43: 412-419, 1996). However, in that study newly synthesized proteins were radiolabeled at 7 days after axotomy-which is at the peak of increased protein synthesis. This time-course did not examine actin and tubulin that were already in transit in axons when the injury occurred. This actin and tubulin would enter the regrowing axons first. Here, we have radiolabeled newly synthesized proteins 3 days prior to axotomy. For beta-tubulin, the ratio of monomer to polymer was unaffected. For actin, the equilibrium shifted strongly toward polymerization. We conclude that the acceleration of axonal outgrowth seen after the second of two serial axotomies (the "conditioning lesion effect") is related to the ability of actin that is already in transit to polymerize in response to the first axotomy. PMID:12504890

  2. Alpha-herpesvirus infection induces the formation of nuclear actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Feierbach, Becket; Piccinotti, Silvia; Bisher, Margaret; Denk, Winfried; Enquist, Lynn W

    2006-08-01

    Herpesviruses are large double-stranded DNA viruses that replicate in the nuclei of infected cells. Spatial control of viral replication and assembly in the host nucleus is achieved by the establishment of nuclear compartments that serve to concentrate viral and host factors. How these compartments are established and maintained remains poorly understood. Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is an alpha-herpesvirus often used to study herpesvirus invasion and spread in the nervous system. Here, we report that PRV and herpes simplex virus type 1 infection of neurons results in formation of actin filaments in the nucleus. Filamentous actin is not found in the nucleus of uninfected cells. Nuclear actin filaments appear physically associated with the viral capsids, as shown by serial block-face scanning electron micropscopy and confocal microscopy. Using a green fluorescent protein-tagged viral capsid protein (VP26), we show that nuclear actin filaments form prior to capsid assembly and are required for the efficient formation of viral capsid assembly sites. We find that actin polymerization dynamics (e.g., treadmilling) are not necessary for the formation of these sites. Green fluorescent protein-VP26 foci co-localize with the actin motor myosin V, suggesting that viral capsids travel along nuclear actin filaments using myosin-based directed transport. Viral transcription, but not viral DNA replication, is required for actin filament formation. The finding that infection, by either PRV or herpes simplex virus type 1, results in formation of nuclear actin filaments in neurons, and that PRV infection of an epithelial cell line results in a similar phenotype is evidence that F-actin plays a conserved role in herpesvirus assembly. Our results suggest a mechanism by which assembly domains are organized within infected cells and provide insight into how the viral infectious cycle and host actin cytoskeleton are integrated to promote the infection process. PMID:16933992

  3. Structure of the 34 kDa F-actin-bundling protein ABP34 from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Kyu; Kim, Ji-Hye; Kim, Ji-Sun; Kang, Sa-Ouk

    2015-09-01

    The crystal structure of the 34 kDa F-actin-bundling protein ABP34 from Dictyostelium discoideum was solved by Ca(2+)/S-SAD phasing and refined at 1.89 Å resolution. ABP34 is a calcium-regulated actin-binding protein that cross-links actin filaments into bundles. Its in vitro F-actin-binding and F-actin-bundling activities were confirmed by a co-sedimentation assay and transmission electron microscopy. The co-localization of ABP34 with actin in cells was also verified. ABP34 adopts a two-domain structure with an EF-hand-containing N-domain and an actin-binding C-domain, but has no reported overall structural homologues. The EF-hand is occupied by a calcium ion with a pentagonal bipyramidal coordination as in the canonical EF-hand. The C-domain structure resembles a three-helical bundle and superposes well onto the rod-shaped helical structures of some cytoskeletal proteins. Residues 216-244 in the C-domain form part of the strongest actin-binding sites (193-254) and exhibit a conserved sequence with the actin-binding region of α-actinin and ABP120. Furthermore, the second helical region of the C-domain is kinked by a proline break, offering a convex surface towards the solvent area which is implicated in actin binding. The F-actin-binding model suggests that ABP34 binds to the side of the actin filament and residues 216-244 fit into a pocket between actin subdomains -1 and -2 through hydrophobic interactions. These studies provide insights into the calcium coordination in the EF-hand and F-actin-binding site in the C-domain of ABP34, which are associated through interdomain interactions. PMID:26327373

  4. Dynamic network morphology and tension buildup in a 3D model of cytokinetic ring assembly.

    PubMed

    Bidone, Tamara C; Tang, Haosu; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2014-12-01

    During fission yeast cytokinesis, actin filaments nucleated by cortical formin Cdc12 are captured by myosin motors bound to a band of cortical nodes and bundled by cross-linking proteins. The myosin motors exert forces on the actin filaments, resulting in a net pulling of the nodes into a contractile ring, while cross-linking interactions help align actin filaments and nodes into a single bundle. We used these mechanisms in a three-dimensional computational model of contractile ring assembly, with semiflexible actin filaments growing from formins at cortical nodes, capturing of filaments by neighboring nodes, and cross-linking among filaments through attractive interactions. The model was used to predict profiles of actin filament density at the cell cortex, morphologies of condensing node-filament networks, and regimes of cortical tension by varying the node pulling force and strength of cross-linking among actin filaments. Results show that cross-linking interactions can lead to confinement of actin filaments at the simulated cortical boundary. We show that the ring-formation region in parameter space lies close to regions leading to clumps, meshworks or double rings, and stars/cables. Since boundaries between regions are not sharp, transient structures that resemble clumps, stars, and meshworks can appear in the process of ring assembly. These results are consistent with prior experiments with mutations in actin-filament turnover regulators, myosin motor activity, and changes in the concentration of cross-linkers that alter the morphology of the condensing network. Transient star shapes appear in some simulations, and these morphologies offer an explanation for star structures observed in prior experimental images. Finally, we quantify tension along actin filaments and forces on nodes during ring assembly and show that the mechanisms describing ring assembly can also drive ring constriction once the ring is formed. PMID:25468341

  5. Differential coloring reveals that plastids do not form networks for exchanging macromolecules.

    PubMed

    Schattat, Martin H; Griffiths, Sarah; Mathur, Neeta; Barton, Kiah; Wozny, Michael R; Dunn, Natalie; Greenwood, John S; Mathur, Jaideep

    2012-04-01

    Stroma-filled tubules named stromules are sporadic extensions of plastids. Earlier, photobleaching was used to demonstrate fluorescent protein diffusion between already interconnected plastids and formed the basis for suggesting that all plastids are able to form networks for exchanging macromolecules. However, a critical appraisal of literature shows that this conjecture is not supported by unequivocal experimental evidence. Here, using photoconvertible mEosFP, we created color differences between similar organelles that enabled us to distinguish clearly between organelle fusion and nonfusion events. Individual plastids, despite conveying a strong impression of interactivity and fusion, maintained well-defined boundaries and did not exchange fluorescent proteins. Moreover, the high pleomorphy of etioplasts from dark-grown seedlings, leucoplasts from roots, and assorted plastids in the accumulation and replication of chloroplasts5 (arc5), arc6, and phosphoglucomutase1 mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana suggested that a single plastid unit might be easily mistaken for interconnected plastids. Our observations provide succinct evidence to refute the long-standing dogma of interplastid connectivity. The ability to create and maintain a large number of unique biochemical factories in the form of singular plastids might be a key feature underlying the versatility of green plants as it provides increased internal diversity for them to combat a wide range of environmental fluctuations and stresses. PMID:22474180

  6. Hierarchical self-assembly of a striped gyroid formed by threaded chiral mesoscale networks

    PubMed Central

    Kirkensgaard, Jacob J. K.; Evans, Myfanwy E.; de Campo, Liliana; Hyde, Stephen T.

    2014-01-01

    Numerical simulations reveal a family of hierarchical and chiral multicontinuous network structures self-assembled from a melt blend of Y-shaped ABC and ABD three-miktoarm star terpolymers, constrained to have equal-sized A/B and C/D chains, respectively. The C and D majority domains within these patterns form a pair of chiral enantiomeric gyroid labyrinths (srs nets) over a broad range of compositions. The minority A and B components together define a hyperbolic film whose midsurface follows the gyroid minimal surface. A second level of assembly is found within the film, with the minority components also forming labyrinthine domains whose geometry and topology changes systematically as a function of composition. These smaller labyrinths are well described by a family of patterns that tile the hyperbolic plane by regular degree-three trees mapped onto the gyroid. The labyrinths within the gyroid film are densely packed and contain either graphitic hcb nets (chicken wire) or srs nets, forming convoluted intergrowths of multiple nets. Furthermore, each net is ideally a single chiral enantiomer, induced by the gyroid architecture. However, the numerical simulations result in defect-ridden achiral patterns, containing domains of either hand, due to the achiral terpolymeric starting molecules. These mesostructures are among the most topologically complex morphologies identified to date and represent an example of hierarchical ordering within a hyperbolic pattern, a unique mode of soft-matter self-assembly. PMID:24474747

  7. Structure and transcription of the actin gene of Trypanosoma brucei

    SciTech Connect

    Ben Amar, M.F.; Pays, A.; Tebabi, P.; Dero, B.; Seebeck, T.; Steinert, M.; Pays, E.

    1988-05-01

    In Trypanosoma brucei, the actin gene is present in a cluster of two, three, or four tandemly linked copies, depending on the strain. Each cluster seems to exist in two allelic versions, as suggested by the polymorphism of both gene number and restriction fragment length in the DNA from cloned trypanosomes. The amplification of the gene copy number probably occurs through unequal sister chromatic exchange. The chromosomes harboring the actin genes belong to the large size class. The coding sequence was 1,128 nucleotides long and showed 60 to 70% homology to other eucaryotic actin genes. Surprisingly, this homology seemed weaker with Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma vivax, Trypanosoma mega, or Leishmania acting-specific sequences. The mRNA was around 1.6 kilobases long and was synthesized at the same level in bloodstream and procyclic forms of the parasite. Large RNA precursors, up to 7.7 kilobases, were found in a pattern identical in strains containing either two or three gene copies. Probing of the flanking regions of the gene with either steady-state or in vitro transcripts, as well as S1 nuclease protection and primer extension experiments, allowed mapping of the 3' splice site of the actin mRNA, 38 nucleotides upstream from the translation initiation codon. A variably sized poly(dT) tract was found about 30 base pairs ahead of the splice site. The largest detected actin mRNA precursor seemed to give rise to at least two additional stable mRNAs. The RNA polymerase transcribing the actin gene exhibited the same sensitivity to inhibition by ..cap alpha..-amanitin as that transcribing both the spliced leader and the bulk of polyadenylated mRNAs.

  8. Molecular Architecture of Synaptic Actin Cytoskeleton in Hippocampal Neurons Reveals a Mechanism of Dendritic Spine Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Korobova, Farida

    2010-01-01

    Excitatory synapses in the brain play key roles in learning and memory. The formation and functions of postsynaptic mushroom-shaped structures, dendritic spines, and possibly of presynaptic terminals, rely on actin cytoskeleton remodeling. However, the cytoskeletal architecture of synapses remains unknown hindering the understanding of synapse morphogenesis. Using platinum replica electron microscopy, we characterized the cytoskeletal organization and molecular composition of dendritic spines, their precursors, dendritic filopodia, and presynaptic boutons. A branched actin filament network containing Arp2/3 complex and capping protein was a dominant feature of spine heads and presynaptic boutons. Surprisingly, the spine necks and bases, as well as dendritic filopodia, also contained a network, rather than a bundle, of branched and linear actin filaments that was immunopositive for Arp2/3 complex, capping protein, and myosin II, but not fascin. Thus, a tight actin filament bundle is not necessary for structural support of elongated filopodia-like protrusions. Dynamically, dendritic filopodia emerged from densities in the dendritic shaft, which by electron microscopy contained branched actin network associated with dendritic microtubules. We propose that dendritic spine morphogenesis begins from an actin patch elongating into a dendritic filopodium, which tip subsequently expands via Arp2/3 complex-dependent nucleation and which length is modulated by myosin II-dependent contractility. PMID:19889835

  9. Fluvial Channel Networks as Analogs for the Ridge-Forming Unit, Sinus Meridiani, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkinson, M. J.; du Bois, J. B.

    2010-01-01

    Fluvial models have been generally discounted as analogs for the younger layered rock units of Sinus Meridiani. A fluvial model based on the large fluvial fan provides a possibly close analog for various features of the sinuous ridges of the etched, ridge-forming unit (RFU) in particular. The close spacing of the RFU ridges, their apparently chaotic orientations, and their organization in dense networks all appear unlike classical stream channel patterns. However, drainage patterns on large fluvial fans low-angle, fluvial aggradational features, 100s of km long, documented worldwide by us provide parallels. Some large fan characteristics resemble those of classical floodplains, but many differences have been demonstrated. One major distinction relevant to the RFU is that channel landscapes of large fans can dominate large areas (1.2 million km2 in one S. American study area). We compare channel morphologies on large fans in the southern Sahara Desert with ridge patterns in Sinus Meridiani (fig 1). Stream channels are the dominant landform on large terrestrial fans: they may equate to the ubiquitous, sinuous, elongated ridges of the RFU that cover areas region wide. Networks of convergent/divergent and crossing channels may equate to similar features in the ridge networks. Downslope divergence is absent in channels of terrestrial upland erosional landscapes (fig. 1, left), whereas it is common to both large fans (fig. 1, center) and RFU ridge patterns (fig 1, right downslope defined as the regional NW slope of Sinus Meridiani). RFU ridge orientation, judged from those areas apparently devoid of impact crater control, is broadly parallel with the regional slope (arrow, fig. 1, right), as is mean orientation of major channels on large fans (arrow, fig. 1, center). High densities per unit area characterize fan channels and martian ridges reaching an order of magnitude higher than those in uplands just upstream of the terrestrial study areas fig. 1. In concert with

  10. Clarin-1, Encoded by the Usher Syndrome III Causative Gene, Forms a Membranous Microdomain

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Guilian; Zhou, Yun; Hajkova, Dagmar; Miyagi, Masaru; Dinculescu, Astra; Hauswirth, William W.; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Geng, Ruishuang; Alagramam, Kumar N.; Isosomppi, Juha; Sankila, Eeva-Marja; Flannery, John G.; Imanishi, Yoshikazu

    2009-01-01

    Clarin-1 is the protein product encoded by the gene mutated in Usher syndrome III. Although the molecular function of clarin-1 is unknown, its primary structure predicts four transmembrane domains similar to a large family of membrane proteins that include tetraspanins. Here we investigated the role of clarin-1 by using heterologous expression and in vivo model systems. When expressed in HEK293 cells, clarin-1 localized to the plasma membrane and concentrated in low density compartments distinct from lipid rafts. Clarin-1 reorganized actin filament structures and induced lamellipodia. This actin-reorganizing function was absent in the modified protein encoded by the most prevalent North American Usher syndrome III mutation, the N48K form of clarin-1 deficient in N-linked glycosylation. Proteomics analyses revealed a number of clarin-1-interacting proteins involved in cell-cell adhesion, focal adhesions, cell migration, tight junctions, and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Consistent with the hypothesized role of clarin-1 in actin organization, F-actin-enriched stereocilia of auditory hair cells evidenced structural disorganization in Clrn1−/− mice. These observations suggest a possible role for clarin-1 in the regulation and homeostasis of actin filaments, and link clarin-1 to the interactive network of Usher syndrome gene products. PMID:19423712

  11. Dimeric WH2 repeats of VopF sequester actin monomers into non-nucleating linear string conformations: An X-ray scattering study.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    VopF and VopL are highly similar virulence-factors of Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio parahaemolyticus respectively that disrupt the host's actin cytoskeleton, using a unique organization in dimerized WH2 repeats. Association of dimerized WH2 domains with the barbed face of actin confers multifunctional activities to VopF in vitro, including G-actin sequestration and filament nucleation, barbed end tracking and uncapping. Here, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements of complexes of VopF with actin and structural modeling reveal that VopF stabilizes linear actin-strings that differ from canonical actin filament architectures but represent non-polymerizable sequestered forms of actin. The results exclude that VopL binds the pointed end of actin filaments in the template filament nucleation mechanism derived from crystallographic studies. PMID:25818509

  12. A mass weighted chemical elastic network model elucidates closed form domain motions in proteins

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Min Hyeok; Seo, Sangjae; Jeong, Jay Il; Kim, Bum Joon; Liu, Wing Kam; Lim, Byeong Soo; Choi, Jae Boong; Kim, Moon Ki

    2013-01-01

    An elastic network model (ENM), usually Cα coarse-grained one, has been widely used to study protein dynamics as an alternative to classical molecular dynamics simulation. This simple approach dramatically saves the computational cost, but sometimes fails to describe a feasible conformational change due to unrealistically excessive spring connections. To overcome this limitation, we propose a mass-weighted chemical elastic network model (MWCENM) in which the total mass of each residue is assumed to be concentrated on the representative alpha carbon atom and various stiffness values are precisely assigned according to the types of chemical interactions. We test MWCENM on several well-known proteins of which both closed and open conformations are available as well as three α-helix rich proteins. Their normal mode analysis reveals that MWCENM not only generates more plausible conformational changes, especially for closed forms of proteins, but also preserves protein secondary structures thus distinguishing MWCENM from traditional ENMs. In addition, MWCENM also reduces computational burden by using a more sparse stiffness matrix. PMID:23456820

  13. Forming an ad-hoc nearby storage, based on IKAROS and social networking services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filippidis, Christos; Cotronis, Yiannis; Markou, Christos

    2014-06-01

    We present an ad-hoc "nearby" storage, based on IKAROS and social networking services, such as Facebook. By design, IKAROS is capable to increase or decrease the number of nodes of the I/O system instance on the fly, without bringing everything down or losing data. IKAROS is capable to decide the file partition distribution schema, by taking on account requests from the user or an application, as well as a domain or a Virtual Organization policy. In this way, it is possible to form multiple instances of smaller capacity higher bandwidth storage utilities capable to respond in an ad-hoc manner. This approach, focusing on flexibility, can scale both up and down and so can provide more cost effective infrastructures for both large scale and smaller size systems. A set of experiments is performed comparing IKAROS with PVFS2 by using multiple clients requests under HPC IOR benchmark and MPICH2.

  14. Cortical Hubs Form a Module for Multisensory Integration on Top of the Hierarchy of Cortical Networks

    PubMed Central

    Zamora-López, Gorka; Zhou, Changsong; Kurths, Jürgen

    2009-01-01

    Sensory stimuli entering the nervous system follow particular paths of processing, typically separated (segregated) from the paths of other modal information. However, sensory perception, awareness and cognition emerge from the combination of information (integration). The corticocortical networks of cats and macaque monkeys display three prominent characteristics: (i) modular organisation (facilitating the segregation), (ii) abundant alternative processing paths and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs. Here, we study in detail the organisation and potential function of the cortical hubs by graph analysis and information theoretical methods. We find that the cortical hubs form a spatially delocalised, but topologically central module with the capacity to integrate multisensory information in a collaborative manner. With this, we resolve the underlying anatomical substrate that supports the simultaneous capacity of the cortex to segregate and to integrate multisensory information. PMID:20428515

  15. A pulse-forming network for particle path visualization. [at Ames Aeromechanics Water Tunnel Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcalister, K. W.

    1981-01-01

    A procedure is described for visualizing nonsteady fluid flow patterns over a wide velocity range using discrete nonluminous particles. The paramount element responsible for this capability is a pulse-forming network with variable inductance that is used to modulate the discharge of a fixed amount of electrical energy through a xenon flashtube. The selectable duration of the resultant light emission functions as a variable shutter so that particle path images of constant length can be recorded. The particles employed as flow markers are hydrogen bubbles that are generated by electrolysis in a water tunnel. Data are presented which document the characteristics of the electrical circuit and establish the relation of particle velocity to both section inductance and film exposure.

  16. The Design of MACs (Minimal Actin Cortices)

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Femtosecond pump-probe studies of actinic-wavelength dependence in aqueous chlorine dioxide photochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bixby, Teresa J.; Bolinger, Joshua C.; Patterson, Joshua D.; Reid, Philip J.

    2009-04-01

    The actinic or photolysis-wavelength dependence of aqueous chlorine dioxide (OClO) photochemistry is investigated using femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopy. Following photoexcitation at 310, 335, and 410 nm the photoinduced evolution in optical density is measured from the UV to the near IR. Analysis of the optical-density evolution illustrates that the quantum yield for atomic chlorine production (ΦCl) increases with actinic energy, with ΦCl=0.16±0.02 for 410 nm excitation and increasing to 0.25±0.01 and 0.54±0.10 for 335 and 310 nm excitations, respectively. Consistent with previous studies, the production of Cl occurs through two channels, with one channel corresponding to prompt (<5 ps) Cl formation and the other corresponding to the thermal decomposition of ClOO formed by OClO photoisomerization. The partitioning between Cl production channels is dependent on actinic energy, with prompt Cl production enhanced with an increase in actinic energy. Limited evidence is found for enhanced ClO production with an increase in actinic energy. Stimulated emission and excited-state absorption features associated with OClO populating the optically prepared A22 surface decrease with an increase in actinic energy suggesting that the excited-state decay dynamics are also actinic energy dependent. The studies presented here provide detailed information on the actinic-wavelength dependence of OClO photochemistry in aqueous solution.

  18. Opposing Roles for Actin in Cdc42p PolarizationD⃞

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Femtosecond pump-probe studies of actinic-wavelength dependence in aqueous chlorine dioxide photochemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Bixby, Teresa J.; Bolinger, Joshua C.; Patterson, Joshua D.; Reid, Philip J.

    2009-04-21

    The actinic or photolysis-wavelength dependence of aqueous chlorine dioxide (OClO) photochemistry is investigated using femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopy. Following photoexcitation at 310, 335, and 410 nm the photoinduced evolution in optical density is measured from the UV to the near IR. Analysis of the optical-density evolution illustrates that the quantum yield for atomic chlorine production ({Phi}{sub Cl}) increases with actinic energy, with {Phi}{sub Cl}=0.16{+-}0.02 for 410 nm excitation and increasing to 0.25{+-}0.01 and 0.54{+-}0.10 for 335 and 310 nm excitations, respectively. Consistent with previous studies, the production of Cl occurs through two channels, with one channel corresponding to prompt (<5 ps) Cl formation and the other corresponding to the thermal decomposition of ClOO formed by OClO photoisomerization. The partitioning between Cl production channels is dependent on actinic energy, with prompt Cl production enhanced with an increase in actinic energy. Limited evidence is found for enhanced ClO production with an increase in actinic energy. Stimulated emission and excited-state absorption features associated with OClO populating the optically prepared {sup 2}A{sub 2} surface decrease with an increase in actinic energy suggesting that the excited-state decay dynamics are also actinic energy dependent. The studies presented here provide detailed information on the actinic-wavelength dependence of OClO photochemistry in aqueous solution.

  20. Expression of transfected mutant beta-actin genes: transitions toward the stable tumorigenic state.

    PubMed Central

    Leavitt, J; Ng, S Y; Varma, M; Latter, G; Burbeck, S; Gunning, P; Kedes, L

    1987-01-01

    Mutant human beta-actin genes were introduced into normal human (KD) fibroblasts and the derivative cell line HuT-12, which is immortalized but nontumorigenic, to test their ability to promote conversion to the tumorigenic state. Transfected substrains of HuT-12 fibroblasts that expressed abundant levels of mutant beta-actin (Gly-244----Asp-244) produced subcutaneous tumors in athymic mice after long latent periods (1.5 to 3 months). However, transfected substrains of KD fibroblasts retained their normal finite life span in culture and consequently were incapable of producing tumors. Substrains of HuT-12 cells transfected with the wild-type beta-actin gene and some transfected strains that expressed low or undetectable levels of mutant beta-actin did not produce tumors. Cell lines derived from transfectant cell tumors always exhibited elevated synthesis of the mutant beta-actin, ranging from 145 to 476% of the level expressed by the transfected cells that were inoculated to form the tumor. In general, primary transfectant cells that expressed the highest levels of mutant beta-actin were more tumorigenic than strains that expressed lower levels. The tumor-derived strains were stable in tumorigenicity and produced tumors with shortened latent periods of only 2 to 4 weeks. These findings imply that the primary transfectant strains develop subpopulations of cells that are selected to form tumors because of their elevated rate of exogenous mutant beta-actin synthesis. Actin synthesis and accumulation of gamma-actin mRNA from the endogenous beta- and gamma-actin genes were diminished in tumor-derived strains, apparently to compensate for elevated mutant beta-actin synthesis and maintain the normal cellular concentration of actin. Synthesis of the transformation-sensitive tropomyosin isoforms was decreased along with mutant beta-actin expression. Such modulations in tropomyosin synthesis are characteristically seen in transformation of avian, rodent, and human fibroblasts

  1. 3D Filament Network Segmentation with Multiple Active Contours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2014-03-01

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

  2. Actin polymerization driven by WASH causes V-ATPase retrieval and vesicle neutralization before exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Carnell, Michael; Zech, Tobias; Calaminus, Simon D.; Ura, Seiji; Hagedorn, Monica; Johnston, Simon A.; May, Robin C.; Soldati, Thierry; Machesky, Laura M.

    2011-01-01

    WASP and SCAR homologue (WASH) is a recently identified and evolutionarily conserved regulator of actin polymerization. In this paper, we show that WASH coats mature Dictyostelium discoideum lysosomes and is essential for exocytosis of indigestible material. A related process, the expulsion of the lethal endosomal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans from mammalian macrophages, also uses WASH-coated vesicles, and cells expressing dominant negative WASH mutants inefficiently expel C. neoformans. D. discoideum WASH causes filamentous actin (F-actin) patches to form on lysosomes, leading to the removal of vacuolar adenosine triphosphatase (V-ATPase) and the neutralization of lysosomes to form postlysosomes. Without WASH, no patches or coats are formed, neutral postlysosomes are not seen, and indigestible material such as dextran is not exocytosed. Similar results occur when actin polymerization is blocked with latrunculin. V-ATPases are known to bind avidly to F-actin. Our data imply a new mechanism, actin-mediated sorting, in which WASH and the Arp2/3 complex polymeriz