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Sample records for actin nucleation factor

  1. Molecular Basis of Actin Nucleation Factor Cooperativity

    PubMed Central

    Zeth, Kornelius; Pechlivanis, Markos; Samol, Annette; Pleiser, Sandra; Vonrhein, Clemens; Kerkhoff, Eugen

    2011-01-01

    The distinct actin nucleation factors of the Spir and formin subgroup families cooperate in actin nucleation. The Spir/formin cooperativity has been identified to direct two essential steps in mammalian oocyte maturation, the asymmetric spindle positioning and polar body extrusion during meiosis. Understanding the nature and regulation of the Spir/Fmn cooperation is an important requirement to comprehend mammalian reproduction. Recently we dissected the structural elements of the Spir and Fmn family proteins, which physically link the two actin nucleation factors. The trans-regulatory interaction is mediated by the Spir kinase non-catalytic C-lobe domain (KIND) and the C-terminal formin Spir interaction motif (FSI). The interaction inhibits formin nucleation activity and enhances the Spir activity. To get insights into the molecular mechanism of the Spir/Fmn interaction, we determined the crystal structure of the KIND domain alone and in complex with the C-terminal Fmn-2 FSI peptide. Together they confirm the proposed structural homology of the KIND domain to the protein kinase fold and reveal the basis of the Spir/formin interaction. The complex structure showed a large interface with conserved and positively charged residues of the Fmn FSI peptide mediating major contacts to an acidic groove on the surface of KIND. Protein interaction studies verified the electrostatic nature of the interaction. The data presented here provide the molecular basis of the Spir/formin interaction and give a first structural view into the mechanisms of actin nucleation factor cooperativity. PMID:21705804

  2. Bacterial nucleators: actin' on actin

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Nanoscale segregation of actin nucleation and elongation factors determines dendritic spine protrusion

    PubMed Central

    Chazeau, Anaël; Mehidi, Amine; Nair, Deepak; Gautier, Jérémie J; Leduc, Cécile; Chamma, Ingrid; Kage, Frieda; Kechkar, Adel; Thoumine, Olivier; Rottner, Klemens; Choquet, Daniel; Gautreau, Alexis; Sibarita, Jean-Baptiste; Giannone, Grégory

    2014-01-01

    Actin dynamics drive morphological remodeling of neuronal dendritic spines and changes in synaptic transmission. Yet, the spatiotemporal coordination of actin regulators in spines is unknown. Using single protein tracking and super-resolution imaging, we revealed the nanoscale organization and dynamics of branched F-actin regulators in spines. Branched F-actin nucleation occurs at the PSD vicinity, while elongation occurs at the tip of finger-like protrusions. This spatial segregation differs from lamellipodia where both branched F-actin nucleation and elongation occur at protrusion tips. The PSD is a persistent confinement zone for IRSp53 and the WAVE complex, an activator of the Arp2/3 complex. In contrast, filament elongators like VASP and formin-like protein-2 move outwards from the PSD with protrusion tips. Accordingly, Arp2/3 complexes associated with F-actin are immobile and surround the PSD. Arp2/3 and Rac1 GTPase converge to the PSD, respectively, by cytosolic and free-diffusion on the membrane. Enhanced Rac1 activation and Shank3 over-expression, both associated with spine enlargement, induce delocalization of the WAVE complex from the PSD. Thus, the specific localization of branched F-actin regulators in spines might be reorganized during spine morphological remodeling often associated with synaptic plasticity. PMID:25293574

  4. Identification of a novel regulatory sequence of actin nucleation promoting factor encoded by Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yun; Zhang, Yongli; Han, Shili; Hu, Xue; Zhou, Yuan; Mu, Jingfang; Pei, Rongjuan; Wu, Chunchen; Chen, Xinwen

    2015-04-10

    Actin polymerization induced by nucleation promoting factors (NPFs) is one of the most fundamental biological processes in eukaryotic cells. NPFs contain a conserved output domain (VCA domain) near the C terminus, which interacts with and activates the cellular actin-related protein 2/3 complex (Arp2/3) to induce actin polymerization and a diverse regulatory domain near the N terminus. Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) nucleocapsid protein P78/83 is a virus-encoded NPF that contains a C-terminal VCA domain and induces actin polymerization in virus-infected cells. However, there is no similarity between the N terminus of P78/83 and that of other identified NPFs, suggesting that P78/83 may possess a unique regulatory mechanism. In this study, we identified a multifunctional regulatory sequence (MRS) located near the N terminus of P78/83 and determined that one of its functions is to serve as a degron to mediate P78/83 degradation in a proteasome-dependent manner. In AcMNPV-infected cells, the MRS also binds to another nucleocapsid protein, BV/ODV-C42, which stabilizes P78/83 and modulates the P78/83-Arp2/3 interaction to orchestrate actin polymerization. In addition, the MRS is also essential for the incorporation of P78/83 into the nucleocapsid, ensuring virion mobility powered by P78/83-induced actin polymerization. The triple functions of the MRS enable P78/83 to serve as an essential viral protein in the AcMNPV replication cycle, and the possible roles of the MRS in orchestrating the virus-induced actin polymerization and viral genome decapsidation are discussed.

  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. Structure of a longitudinal actin dimer assembled by tandem w domains: implications for actin filament nucleation.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-15

    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 β4. 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 β4 to tandem W domains can change their activity from actin filament nucleation to monomer sequestration.

  7. Dendritic Actin Filament Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Chlamydial TARP is a bacterial nucleator of actin.

    PubMed

    Jewett, Travis J; Fischer, Elizabeth R; Mead, David J; Hackstadt, Ted

    2006-10-17

    Chlamydia trachomatis entry into host cells results from a parasite-directed remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. A type III secreted effector, TARP (translocated actin recruiting phosphoprotein), has been implicated in the recruitment of actin to the site of internalization. To elucidate the role of TARP in actin recruitment, we identified host cell proteins that associated with recombinant GST-TARP fusions. TARP directly associated with actin, and this interaction promoted actin nucleation as determined by in vitro polymerization assays. Domain analysis of TARP identified an actin-binding domain that bears structural and primary amino acid sequence similarity to WH2 domain family proteins. In addition, a proline-rich domain was found to promote TARP oligomerization and was required for TARP-dependent nucleation of new actin filaments. Our findings reveal a mechanism by which chlamydiae induce localized cytoskeletal changes by the translocated effector TARP during entry into host cells.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-15

    mDia1 belongs to the formin family of proteins that share FH1 and FH2 domains. Although formins play a critical role in the formation of many actin-based cellular structures, the physiological regulation of formin-mediated actin assembly within the cell is still unknown. Here we show that cells possess an acute actin polymer restoration mechanism involving mDia1. By using single-molecule live-cell imaging, we found that several treatments including low-dose G-actin-sequestering drugs and unpolymerizable actin mutants activate mDia1 to initiate fast directional movement. The FH2 region, the core domain for actin nucleation, is sufficient to respond to latrunculin B (LatB) to increase its actin nucleation frequency. Simulation analysis revealed an unexpected paradoxical effect of LatB that leads to a several fold increase in free G-actin along with an increase in total G-actin. These results indicate that in cells, the actin nucleation frequency of mDia1 is enhanced not only by Rho, but also strongly through increased catalytic efficiency of the FH2 domain. Consistently, frequent actin nucleation by mDia1 was found around sites of vigorous actin disassembly. Another major actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, was not affected by the G-actin increase induced by LatB. Taken together, we propose that transient accumulation of G-actin works as a cue to promote mDia1-catalyzed actin nucleation to execute rapid reassembly of actin filaments.

  11. Dendritic Actin Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

    2010-03-01

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

  12. F- and G-actin homeostasis regulates mechanosensitive actin nucleation by formins.

    PubMed

    Higashida, Chiharu; Kiuchi, Tai; Akiba, Yushi; Mizuno, Hiroaki; Maruoka, Masahiro; Narumiya, Shuh; Mizuno, Kensaku; Watanabe, Naoki

    2013-04-01

    Physical force evokes rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. Signalling pathways such as tyrosine kinases, stretch-activated Ca(2+) channels and Rho GTPases are involved in force sensing. However, how signals are transduced to actin assembly remains obscure. Here we show mechanosensitive actin polymerization by formins (formin homology proteins). Cells overexpressing mDia1 increased the amount of F-actin on release of cell tension. Fluorescence single-molecule speckle microscopy revealed rapid induction of processive actin assembly by mDia1 on cell cortex deformation. mDia1 lacking the Rho-binding domain and other formins exhibited mechanosensitive actin nucleation, suggesting Rho-independent activation. Mechanosensitive actin nucleation by mDia1 required neither Ca(2+) nor kinase signalling. Overexpressing LIM kinase abrogated the induction of processive mDia1. Furthermore, s-FDAPplus (sequential fluorescence decay after photoactivation) analysis revealed a rapid actin monomer increase on cell cortex deformation. Our direct visualization of the molecular behaviour reveals a mechanosensitive actin filament regeneration mechanism in which G-actin released by actin remodelling plays a pivotal role.

  13. Rab1 recruits WHAMM during membrane remodeling but limits actin nucleation.

    PubMed

    Russo, Ashley J; Mathiowetz, Alyssa J; Hong, Steven; Welch, Matthew D; Campellone, Kenneth G

    2016-03-15

    Small G-proteins are key regulatory molecules that activate the actin nucleation machinery to drive cytoskeletal rearrangements during plasma membrane remodeling. However, the ability of small G-proteins to interact with nucleation factors on internal membranes to control trafficking processes has not been well characterized. Here we investigated roles for members of the Rho, Arf, and Rab G-protein families in regulating WASP homologue associated with actin, membranes, and microtubules (WHAMM), an activator of Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin nucleation. We found that Rab1 stimulated the formation and elongation of WHAMM-associated membrane tubules in cells. Active Rab1 recruited WHAMM to dynamic tubulovesicular structures in fibroblasts, and an active prenylated version of Rab1 bound directly to an N-terminal domain of WHAMM in vitro. In contrast to other G-protein-nucleation factor interactions, Rab1 binding inhibited WHAMM-mediated actin assembly. This ability of Rab1 to regulate WHAMM and the Arp2/3 complex represents a distinct strategy for membrane remodeling in which a Rab G-protein recruits the actin nucleation machinery but dampens its activity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruizhe

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

  15. Formins: Actin nucleators that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics during spermatogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D; Tang, Elizabeth I; Wong, Chris KC; Lee, Will M; Silvestrini, Bruno; Cheng, C Yan

    2015-01-01

    Formins are a growing class of actin nucleation proteins that promote the polymerization of actin microfilaments, forming long stretches of actin microfilaments to confer actin filament bundling in mammalian cells. As such, microfilament bundles can be formed in specific cellular domains, in particular in motile mammalian cells, such as filopodia. Since ectoplasmic specialization (ES), a testis-specific adherens junction (AJ), at the Sertoli cell-cell and Sertoli-spermatid interface is constituted by arrays of actin microfilament bundles, it is likely that formins are playing a significant physiological role on the homeostasis of ES during the epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis. In this Commentary, we provide a timely discussion on formin 1 which was recently shown to be a crucial regulator of actin microfilaments at the ES in the rat testis (Li N et al. Endocrinology, 2015, in press; DOI: 10.1210/en.2015-1161, PMID:25901598). We also highlight research that is needed to unravel the functional significance of formins in spermatogenesis. PMID:26413414

  16. Formins: Actin nucleators that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics during spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D; Tang, Elizabeth I; Wong, Chris Kc; Lee, Will M; Silvestrini, Bruno; Cheng, C Yan

    2015-01-01

    Formins are a growing class of actin nucleation proteins that promote the polymerization of actin microfilaments, forming long stretches of actin microfilaments to confer actin filament bundling in mammalian cells. As such, microfilament bundles can be formed in specific cellular domains, in particular in motile mammalian cells, such as filopodia. Since ectoplasmic specialization (ES), a testis-specific adherens junction (AJ), at the Sertoli cell-cell and Sertoli-spermatid interface is constituted by arrays of actin microfilament bundles, it is likely that formins are playing a significant physiological role on the homeostasis of ES during the epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis. In this Commentary, we provide a timely discussion on formin 1 which was recently shown to be a crucial regulator of actin microfilaments at the ES in the rat testis (Li N et al. Endocrinology, 2015, in press; DOI: 10.1210/en.2015-1161, PMID:25901598). We also highlight research that is needed to unravel the functional significance of formins in spermatogenesis.

  17. Quantifying a pathway: kinetic analysis of actin dendritic nucleation.

    PubMed

    Kraikivski, Pavel; Slepchenko, Boris M

    2010-08-04

    Progress in uncovering the reaction networks that underlie important cell functions is laying the groundwork for quantitative identification of protein-interaction pathways. Since direct measurement of rate constants is not always feasible, the parameters are often inferred from multiple pieces of data using kinetic analyses based on appropriate mathematical models. The success of this approach relies on the sufficiency of available experimental data for a unique parameterization of the network. The concept of a rate-limiting step is applied to the analysis of experimental data that are usually used to quantify a pathway of actin dendritic nucleation, the Arp2/3-mediated mechanism that enables rapid changes of cell shape in response to external cues. The method yields analytical descriptions of the dynamics of polymerized actin and provides insights into how the experimental curves should be analyzed. It is shown that dynamics measured by pyrene-labeled actin assays with varying Arp2/3 concentrations are equally well described by two different rate-limiting steps: 1), binding of a nucleating complex to the side of a preexisting filament; or 2), its subsequent activation. To distinguish between the alternatives, we propose experiments with varying concentrations of actin monomers, taking advantage of the fact that the number of branches in the two cases depends differently on the initial monomer concentration. The idea is tested by simulating the proposed experiments with the use of spatial stochastic modeling.

  18. Elucidating Key Motifs Required for Arp2/3-Dependent and Independent Actin Nucleation by Las17/WASP

    PubMed Central

    Urbanek, Agnieszka N.; Smaczynska-de Rooij, Iwona I.

    2016-01-01

    Actin nucleation is the key rate limiting step in the process of actin polymerization, and tight regulation of this process is critical to ensure actin filaments form only at specific times and at defined regions of the cell. Arp2/3 is a well-characterised protein complex that can promote nucleation of new filaments, though its activity requires additional nucleation promotion factors (NPFs). The best recognized of these factors are the WASP family of proteins that contain binding motifs for both monomeric actin and for Arp2/3. Previously we demonstrated that the yeast WASP homologue, Las17, in addition to activating Arp2/3 can also nucleate actin filaments de novo, independently of Arp2/3. This activity is dependent on its polyproline rich region. Through biochemical and in vivo analysis we have now identified key motifs within the polyproline region that are required for nucleation and elongation of actin filaments, and have addressed the role of the WH2 domain in the context of actin nucleation without Arp2/3. We have also demonstrated that full length Las17 is able to bind liposomes giving rise to the possibility of direct linkage of nascent actin filaments to specific membrane sites to which Las17 has been recruited. Overall, we propose that Las17 functions as the key initiator of de novo actin filament formation at endocytic sites by nucleating, elongating and tethering nascent filaments which then serve as a platform for Arp2/3 recruitment and function. PMID:27637067

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    During spermatogenesis, developing spermatids and preleptotene spermatocytes are transported across the adluminal compartment and the blood-testis barrier (BTB), respectively, so that spermatids line up near the luminal edge to prepare for spermiation, whereas preleptotene spermatocytes enter the adluminal compartment to differentiate into late spermatocytes to prepare for meiosis I/II. These cellular events involve actin microfilament reorganization at the testis-specific, actin-rich Sertoli-spermatid and Sertoli-Sertoli cell junction called apical and basal ectoplasmic specialization (ES). Formin 1, an actin nucleation protein known to promote actin microfilament elongation and bundling, was expressed at the apical ES but limited to stage VII of the epithelial cycle, whereas its expression at the basal ES/BTB stretched from stage III to stage VI, diminished in stage VII, and was undetectable in stage VIII tubules. Using an in vitro model of studying Sertoli cell BTB function by RNA interference and biochemical assays to monitor actin bundling and polymerization activity, a knockdown of formin 1 in Sertoli cells by approximately 70% impeded the tight junction-permeability function. This disruptive effect on the tight junction barrier was mediated by a loss of actin microfilament bundling and actin polymerization capability mediated by changes in the localization of branched actin-inducing protein Arp3 (actin-related protein 3), and actin bundling proteins Eps8 (epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8) and palladin, thereby disrupting cell adhesion. Formin 1 knockdown in vivo was found to impede spermatid adhesion, transport, and polarity, causing defects in spermiation in which elongated spermatids remained embedded into the epithelium in stage IX tubules, mediated by changes in the spatiotemporal expression of Arp3, Eps8, and palladin. In summary, formin 1 is a regulator of ES dynamics. PMID:25901598

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. The integral membrane protein, ponticulin, acts as a monomer in nucleating actin assembly

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    Ponticulin, an F-actin binding transmembrane glycoprotein in Dictyostelium plasma membranes, was isolated by detergent extraction from cytoskeletons and purified to homogeneity. Ponticulin is an abundant membrane protein, averaging approximately 10(6) copies/cell, with an estimated surface density of approximately 300 per microns2. Ponticulin solubilized in octylglucoside exhibited hydrodynamic properties consistent with a ponticulin monomer in a spherical or slightly ellipsoidal detergent micelle with a total molecular mass of 56 +/- 6 kD. Purified ponticulin nucleated actin polymerization when reconstituted into Dictyostelium lipid vesicles, but not when a number of commercially available lipids and lipid mixtures were substituted for the endogenous lipid. The specific activity was consistent with that expected for a protein comprising 0.7 +/- 0.4%, by mass, of the plasma membrane protein. Ponticulin in octylglucoside micelles bound F- actin but did not nucleate actin assembly. Thus, ponticulin-mediated nucleation activity was sensitive to the lipid environment, a result frequently observed with transmembrane proteins. At most concentrations of Dictyostelium lipid, nucleation activity increased linearly with increasing amounts of ponticulin, suggesting that the nucleating species is a ponticulin monomer. Consistent with previous observations of lateral interactions between actin filaments and Dictyostelium plasma membranes, both ends of ponticulin-nucleated actin filaments appeared to be free for monomer assembly and disassembly. Our results indicate that ponticulin is a major membrane protein in Dictyostelium and that, in the proper lipid matrix, it is sufficient for lateral nucleation of actin assembly. To date, ponticulin is the only integral membrane protein known to directly nucleate actin polymerization. PMID:8432731

  2. Genome-Wide siRNA Screen Identifies Complementary Signaling Pathways Involved in Listeria Infection and Reveals Different Actin Nucleation Mechanisms during Listeria Cell Invasion and Actin Comet Tail Formation

    PubMed Central

    Kühbacher, Andreas; Emmenlauer, Mario; Rämo, Pauli; Kafai, Natasha; Dehio, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Listeria monocytogenes enters nonphagocytic cells by a receptor-mediated mechanism that is dependent on a clathrin-based molecular machinery and actin rearrangements. Bacterial intra- and intercellular movements are also actin dependent and rely on the actin nucleating Arp2/3 complex, which is activated by host-derived nucleation-promoting factors downstream of the cell receptor Met during entry and by the bacterial nucleation-promoting factor ActA during comet tail formation. By genome-wide small interfering RNA (siRNA) screening for host factors involved in bacterial infection, we identified diverse cellular signaling networks and protein complexes that support or limit these processes. In addition, we could precise previously described molecular pathways involved in Listeria invasion. In particular our results show that the requirements for actin nucleators during Listeria entry and actin comet tail formation are different. Knockdown of several actin nucleators, including SPIRE2, reduced bacterial invasion while not affecting the generation of comet tails. Most interestingly, we observed that in contrast to our expectations, not all of the seven subunits of the Arp2/3 complex are required for Listeria entry into cells or actin tail formation and that the subunit requirements for each of these processes differ, highlighting a previously unsuspected versatility in Arp2/3 complex composition and function. PMID:25991686

  3. The polymerization of actin. A study of the nucleation reaction.

    PubMed Central

    Grazi, E; Ferri, A; Cino, S

    1983-01-01

    We compared the properties of the nuclei that accumulate in 7.5 mM-KCl in ATP-G-actin solutions and of the oligomers that are formed by sonication of either G-actin or F-actin. We found that the ability of the above species to prime the polymerization of actin decays with different rates. The nuclei are stable in 7.5 mM-KCl (they decay with a rate constant of 1.5 X 10(-3) s -1 at pH 7.8 at 22 degrees C in the absence of KCl). The oligomers formed by sonication of either G-actin or F-actin, once the sonication is stopped, revert to simpler structures or evolve into F-actin, depending on the KCl concentration in which they are kept. In 10.5 mM-KCl at pH 7.8 at 22 degrees C their priming ability decays with a rate constant of 6 X 10(-3) s -1. We propose that the nuclei that form spontaneously in 7.5 mM-KCl are not directly susceptible to elongation. They must first be converted into activated nuclei, which exist in very low concentration at the steady state. The activated nuclei are directly susceptible to elongation, they have a short life and they decay rapidly into the ground state unless the elongation reaction occurs. Sonication displaces the steady-state concentration in favour of the activated state. PMID:6615456

  4. Coordinated recruitment of Spir actin nucleators and myosin V motors to Rab11 vesicle membranes

    PubMed Central

    Pylypenko, Olena; Welz, Tobias; Tittel, Janine; Kollmar, Martin; Chardon, Florian; Malherbe, Gilles; Weiss, Sabine; Michel, Carina Ida Luise; Samol-Wolf, Annette; Grasskamp, Andreas Till; Hume, Alistair; Goud, Bruno; Baron, Bruno; England, Patrick; Titus, Margaret A; Schwille, Petra; Weidemann, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    There is growing evidence for a coupling of actin assembly and myosin motor activity in cells. However, mechanisms for recruitment of actin nucleators and motors on specific membrane compartments remain unclear. Here we report how Spir actin nucleators and myosin V motors coordinate their specific membrane recruitment. The myosin V globular tail domain (MyoV-GTD) interacts directly with an evolutionarily conserved Spir sequence motif. We determined crystal structures of MyoVa-GTD bound either to the Spir-2 motif or to Rab11 and show that a Spir-2:MyoVa:Rab11 complex can form. The ternary complex architecture explains how Rab11 vesicles support coordinated F-actin nucleation and myosin force generation for vesicle transport and tethering. New insights are also provided into how myosin activation can be coupled with the generation of actin tracks. Since MyoV binds several Rab GTPases, synchronized nucleator and motor targeting could provide a common mechanism to control force generation and motility in different cellular processes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17523.001 PMID:27623148

  5. Coordinated recruitment of Spir actin nucleators and myosin V motors to Rab11 vesicle membranes.

    PubMed

    Pylypenko, Olena; Welz, Tobias; Tittel, Janine; Kollmar, Martin; Chardon, Florian; Malherbe, Gilles; Weiss, Sabine; Michel, Carina Ida Luise; Samol-Wolf, Annette; Grasskamp, Andreas Till; Hume, Alistair; Goud, Bruno; Baron, Bruno; England, Patrick; Titus, Margaret A; Schwille, Petra; Weidemann, Thomas; Houdusse, Anne; Kerkhoff, Eugen

    2016-09-13

    There is growing evidence for a coupling of actin assembly and myosin motor activity in cells. However, mechanisms for recruitment of actin nucleators and motors on specific membrane compartments remain unclear. Here we report how Spir actin nucleators and myosin V motors coordinate their specific membrane recruitment. The myosin V globular tail domain (MyoV-GTD) interacts directly with an evolutionarily conserved Spir sequence motif. We determined crystal structures of MyoVa-GTD bound either to the Spir-2 motif or to Rab11 and show that a Spir-2:MyoVa:Rab11 complex can form. The ternary complex architecture explains how Rab11 vesicles support coordinated F-actin nucleation and myosin force generation for vesicle transport and tethering. New insights are also provided into how myosin activation can be coupled with the generation of actin tracks. Since MyoV binds several Rab GTPases, synchronized nucleator and motor targeting could provide a common mechanism to control force generation and motility in different cellular processes.

  6. A formin-nucleated actin aster concentrates cell wall hydrolases for cell fusion in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Dudin, Omaya; Bendezú, Felipe O.; Groux, Raphael; Laroche, Thierry; Seitz, Arne

    2015-01-01

    Cell–cell fusion is essential for fertilization. For fusion of walled cells, the cell wall must be degraded at a precise location but maintained in surrounding regions to protect against lysis. In fission yeast cells, the formin Fus1, which nucleates linear actin filaments, is essential for this process. In this paper, we show that this formin organizes a specific actin structure—the actin fusion focus. Structured illumination microscopy and live-cell imaging of Fus1, actin, and type V myosins revealed an aster of actin filaments whose barbed ends are focalized near the plasma membrane. Focalization requires Fus1 and type V myosins and happens asynchronously always in the M cell first. Type V myosins are essential for fusion and concentrate cell wall hydrolases, but not cell wall synthases, at the fusion focus. Thus, the fusion focus focalizes cell wall dissolution within a broader cell wall synthesis zone to shift from cell growth to cell fusion. PMID:25825517

  7. A mitochondria-anchored isoform of the actin-nucleating spire protein regulates mitochondrial division

    PubMed Central

    Manor, Uri; Bartholomew, Sadie; Golani, Gonen; Christenson, Eric; Kozlov, Michael; Higgs, Henry; Spudich, James; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial division, essential for survival in mammals, is enhanced by an inter-organellar process involving ER tubules encircling and constricting mitochondria. The force for constriction is thought to involve actin polymerization by the ER-anchored isoform of the formin protein inverted formin 2 (INF2). Unknown is the mechanism triggering INF2-mediated actin polymerization at ER-mitochondria intersections. We show that a novel isoform of the formin-binding, actin-nucleating protein Spire, Spire1C, localizes to mitochondria and directly links mitochondria to the actin cytoskeleton and the ER. Spire1C binds INF2 and promotes actin assembly on mitochondrial surfaces. Disrupting either Spire1C actin- or formin-binding activities reduces mitochondrial constriction and division. We propose Spire1C cooperates with INF2 to regulate actin assembly at ER-mitochondrial contacts. Simulations support this model's feasibility and demonstrate polymerizing actin filaments can induce mitochondrial constriction. Thus, Spire1C is optimally positioned to serve as a molecular hub that links mitochondria to actin and the ER for regulation of mitochondrial division. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08828.001 PMID:26305500

  8. A mitochondria-anchored isoform of the actin-nucleating spire protein regulates mitochondrial division.

    PubMed

    Manor, Uri; Bartholomew, Sadie; Golani, Gonen; Christenson, Eric; Kozlov, Michael; Higgs, Henry; Spudich, James; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2015-08-25

    Mitochondrial division, essential for survival in mammals, is enhanced by an inter-organellar process involving ER tubules encircling and constricting mitochondria. The force for constriction is thought to involve actin polymerization by the ER-anchored isoform of the formin protein inverted formin 2 (INF2). Unknown is the mechanism triggering INF2-mediated actin polymerization at ER-mitochondria intersections. We show that a novel isoform of the formin-binding, actin-nucleating protein Spire, Spire1C, localizes to mitochondria and directly links mitochondria to the actin cytoskeleton and the ER. Spire1C binds INF2 and promotes actin assembly on mitochondrial surfaces. Disrupting either Spire1C actin- or formin-binding activities reduces mitochondrial constriction and division. We propose Spire1C cooperates with INF2 to regulate actin assembly at ER-mitochondrial contacts. Simulations support this model's feasibility and demonstrate polymerizing actin filaments can induce mitochondrial constriction. Thus, Spire1C is optimally positioned to serve as a molecular hub that links mitochondria to actin and the ER for regulation of mitochondrial division.

  9. Toxoplasma gondii profilin acts primarily to sequester G-actin while formins efficiently nucleate actin filament formation in vitro.

    PubMed

    Skillman, Kristen M; Daher, Wassim; Ma, Christopher I; Soldati-Favre, Dominique; Sibley, L David

    2012-03-27

    Apicomplexan parasites employ gliding motility that depends on the polymerization of parasite actin filaments for host cell entry. Despite this requirement, parasite actin remains almost entirely unpolymerized at steady state; formation of filaments required for motility relies on a small repertoire of actin-binding proteins. Previous studies have shown that apicomplexan formins and profilin exhibit canonical functions on heterologous actins from higher eukaryotes; however, their biochemical properties on parasite actins are unknown. We therefore analyzed the impact of T. gondii profilin (TgPRF) and FH1-FH2 domains of two formin isoforms in T. gondii (TgFRM1 and TgFRM2) on the polymerization of T. gondii actin (TgACTI). Our findings based on in vitro assays demonstrate that TgFRM1-FH1-FH2 and TgFRM2-FH1-FH2 dramatically enhanced TgACTI polymerization in the absence of profilin, making them the sole protein factors known to initiate polymerization of this normally unstable actin. In addition, T. gondii formin domains were shown to both initiate polymerization and induce bundling of TgACTI filaments; however, they did not rely on TgPRF for these activities. In contrast, TgPRF sequestered TgACTI monomers, thus inhibiting polymerization even in the presence of formins. Collectively, these findings provide insight into the unusual control mechanisms of actin dynamics within the parasite.

  10. Early nucleation events in the polymerization of actin, probed by time-resolved small-angle x-ray scattering

    PubMed Central

    Oda, Toshiro; Aihara, Tomoki; Wakabayashi, Katsuzo

    2016-01-01

    Nucleators generating new F-actin filaments play important roles in cell activities. Detailed information concerning the events involved in nucleation of actin alone in vitro is fundamental to understanding these processes, but such information has been hard to come by. We addressed the early process of salt-induced polymerization of actin using the time-resolved synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Actin molecules in low salt solution maintain a monomeric state by an electrostatic repulsive force between molecules. On mixing with salts, the repulsive force was rapidly screened, causing an immediate formation of many of non-polymerizable dimers. SAXS kinetic analysis revealed that tetramerization gives the highest energetic barrier to further polymerization, and the major nucleation is the formation of helical tetramers. Filaments start to grow rapidly with the formation of pentamers. These findings suggest an acceleration mechanism of actin assembly by a variety of nucleators in cells. PMID:27775032

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

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

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

  12. A36-dependent Actin Filament Nucleation Promotes Release of Vaccinia Virus

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Cell-to-cell transmission of vaccinia virus can be mediated by enveloped virions that remain attached to the outer surface of the cell or those released into the medium. During egress, the outer membrane of the double-enveloped virus fuses with the plasma membrane leaving extracellular virus attached to the cell surface via viral envelope proteins. Here we report that F-actin nucleation by the viral protein A36 promotes the disengagement of virus attachment and release of enveloped virus. Cells infected with the A36YdF virus, which has mutations at two critical tyrosine residues abrogating localised actin nucleation, displayed a 10-fold reduction in virus release. We examined A36YdF infected cells by transmission electron microscopy and observed that during release, virus appeared trapped in small invaginations at the plasma membrane. To further characterise the mechanism by which actin nucleation drives the dissociation of enveloped virus from the cell surface, we examined recombinant viruses by super-resolution microscopy. Fluorescently-tagged A36 was visualised at sub-viral resolution to image cell-virus attachment in mutant and parental backgrounds. We confirmed that A36YdF extracellular virus remained closely associated to the plasma membrane in small membrane pits. Virus-induced actin nucleation reduced the extent of association, thereby promoting the untethering of virus from the cell surface. Virus release can be enhanced via a point mutation in the luminal region of B5 (P189S), another virus envelope protein. We found that the B5P189S mutation led to reduced contact between extracellular virus and the host membrane during release, even in the absence of virus-induced actin nucleation. Our results posit that during release virus is tightly tethered to the host cell through interactions mediated by viral envelope proteins. Untethering of virus into the surrounding extracellular space requires these interactions be relieved, either through the force of actin

  13. The Role of Formin Tails in Actin Nucleation, Processive Elongation, and Filament Bundling*

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Formins are multidomain proteins that assemble actin in a wide variety of biological processes. They both nucleate and remain processively associated with growing filaments, in some cases accelerating filament growth. The well conserved formin homology 1 and 2 domains were originally thought to be solely responsible for these activities. Recently a role in nucleation was identified for the Diaphanous autoinhibitory domain (DAD), which is C-terminal to the formin homology 2 domain. The C-terminal tail of the Drosophila formin Cappuccino (Capu) is conserved among FMN formins but distinct from other formins. It does not have a DAD domain. Nevertheless, we find that Capu-tail plays a role in filament nucleation similar to that described for mDia1 and other formins. Building on this, replacement of Capu-tail with DADs from other formins tunes nucleation activity. Capu-tail has low-affinity interactions with both actin monomers and filaments. Removal of the tail reduces actin filament binding and bundling. Furthermore, when the tail is removed, we find that processivity is compromised. Despite decreased processivity, the elongation rate of filaments is unchanged. Again, replacement of Capu-tail with DADs from other formins tunes the processive association with the barbed end, indicating that this is a general role for formin tails. Our data show a role for the Capu-tail domain in assembling the actin cytoskeleton, largely mediated by electrostatic interactions. Because of its multifunctionality, the formin tail is a candidate for regulation by other proteins during cytoskeletal rearrangements. PMID:25246531

  14. Direct interaction between two actin nucleators is required in Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Quinlan, Margot E.

    2013-01-01

    Controlled actin assembly is crucial to a wide variety of cellular processes, including polarity establishment during early development. The recently discovered actin mesh, a structure that traverses the Drosophila oocyte during mid-oogenesis, is essential for proper establishment of the major body axes. Genetic experiments indicate that at least two proteins, Spire (Spir) and Cappuccino (Capu), are required to build this mesh. The spire and cappuccino genetic loci were first identified as maternal effect genes in Drosophila. Mutation in either locus results in the same phenotypes, including absence of the mesh, linking them functionally. Both proteins nucleate actin filaments. Spir and Capu also interact directly with each other in vitro, suggesting a novel synergistic mode of regulating actin. In order to understand how and why proteins with similar biochemical activity would be required in the same biological pathway, genetic experiments were designed to test whether a direct interaction between Spir and Capu is required during oogenesis. Indeed, data in this study indicate that Spir and Capu must interact directly with one another and then separate to function properly. Furthermore, these actin regulators are controlled by a combination of mechanisms, including interaction with one another, functional inhibition and regulation of their protein levels. Finally, this work demonstrates for the first time in a multicellular organism that the ability of a formin to assemble actin filaments is required for a specific structure. PMID:24089467

  15. Direct interaction between two actin nucleators is required in Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Quinlan, Margot E

    2013-11-01

    Controlled actin assembly is crucial to a wide variety of cellular processes, including polarity establishment during early development. The recently discovered actin mesh, a structure that traverses the Drosophila oocyte during mid-oogenesis, is essential for proper establishment of the major body axes. Genetic experiments indicate that at least two proteins, Spire (Spir) and Cappuccino (Capu), are required to build this mesh. The spire and cappuccino genetic loci were first identified as maternal effect genes in Drosophila. Mutation in either locus results in the same phenotypes, including absence of the mesh, linking them functionally. Both proteins nucleate actin filaments. Spir and Capu also interact directly with each other in vitro, suggesting a novel synergistic mode of regulating actin. In order to understand how and why proteins with similar biochemical activity would be required in the same biological pathway, genetic experiments were designed to test whether a direct interaction between Spir and Capu is required during oogenesis. Indeed, data in this study indicate that Spir and Capu must interact directly with one another and then separate to function properly. Furthermore, these actin regulators are controlled by a combination of mechanisms, including interaction with one another, functional inhibition and regulation of their protein levels. Finally, this work demonstrates for the first time in a multicellular organism that the ability of a formin to assemble actin filaments is required for a specific structure.

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-04-27

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

  17. Distinct roles for the actin nucleators Arp2/3 and hDia1 during NK-mediated cytotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Boyd; Cooper, John A.

    2010-01-01

    Background Several actin nucleators, including Arp2/3 and various formins, control numerous cytoskeletal-based functions in vivo. Results We investigated the relative roles of these nucleators. As a model system, we used natural killer (NK) lymphocytes, which display a wide range of cytoskeletal-based functions that culminate in the lysis of target cells. NK cells lacking either Arp2/3 or the formin hDia1 were ineffective in target cell lysis, but for distinct reasons. Loss of Arp2/3 function led to defects in cells adhesion and actin assembly at the junction with the target cell (the lytic synapse). In contrast, loss of hDia1 did not disrupt actin assembly at the lytic synapse. Instead, loss of hDia1 led to perturbations in the microtubule cytoskeleton, including the targeting of microtubules to the lytic synapse. Conclusions These studies reveal novel distinctions and relationships among the functions of Arp2/3, formins and microtubules in cells. Notably, a formin mediates the capture of microtubules at the cell periphery. PMID:19913427

  18. ACTIN DEPOLYMERIZING FACTOR4 regulates actin dynamics during innate immune signaling in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Henty-Ridilla, Jessica L; Li, Jiejie; Day, Brad; Staiger, Christopher J

    2014-01-01

    Conserved microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) are sensed by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) on cells of plants and animals. MAMP perception typically triggers rearrangements to actin cytoskeletal arrays during innate immune signaling. However, the signaling cascades linking PRR activation by MAMPs to cytoskeleton remodeling are not well characterized. Here, we developed a system to dissect, at high spatial and temporal resolution, the regulation of actin dynamics during innate immune signaling in plant cells. Within minutes of MAMP perception, we detected changes to single actin filament turnover in epidermal cells treated with bacterial and fungal MAMPs. These MAMP-induced alterations phenocopied an ACTIN DEPOLYMERIZING FACTOR4 (ADF4) knockout mutant. Moreover, actin arrays in the adf4 mutant were unresponsive to a bacterial MAMP, elf26, but responded normally to the fungal MAMP, chitin. Together, our data provide strong genetic and cytological evidence for the inhibition of ADF activity regulating actin remodeling during innate immune signaling. This work is the first to directly link an ADF/cofilin to the cytoskeletal rearrangements elicited directly after pathogen perception in plant or mammalian cells.

  19. Assessment of Actin FS and Actin FSL sensitivity to specific clotting factor deficiencies.

    PubMed

    Lawrie, A S; Kitchen, S; Purdy, G; Mackie, I J; Preston, F E; Machin, S J

    1998-06-01

    We present a two centre study designed to assess the sensitivity of Actin FS and Actin FSL to deficiencies of factor VIII, IX, XI or XII. The study was undertaken at two centres to avoid bias due to the investigations being undertaken on one analyser. Samples from patients with a factor VIII (n = 36, F VIII = < 1.0-50 iu/dl), factor IX (n = 22, F IX = 2-48 iu/dl), factor XI (n = 23, F XI = 5-50 u/dl) or a factor XII (n = 18, F XII = 1-50 u/dl) deficient state were studied. Activated partial thromboplastin times (APTT) were determined using two batches of Actin FS and of Actin FSL; comparison of APTT results between centres was facilitated by the conversion of clotting times to ratios (test divided by geometric mean normal clotting time). APTT ratios were considered to be elevated if greater than two standard deviations above the mean normal. The factor deficient status of each sample was verified by assaying all samples for factors VIII, IX, XI and XII. Clotting factor assays were performed on a Sysmex CA-1000 fitted with research software, which permitted the auto-dilution and testing of three serial dilution of both a reference preparation and each patient's sample. Assay results were calculated using parallel-line Bioassay principles. This procedure allowed for variation in clotting times due to the effect of temporal drift of any of the reagents within the assay system. Actin FS and Actin FSL demonstrate acceptable sensitivity to factor VIII deficiency, however, both reagents failed to detect a large proportion of factor XI (17.4% and 30.4% of samples, respectively) and factor XII (66.7% and 72.2%, respectively) deficiencies. The detection rate with Actin FSL for factor IX deficiency was also poor (36.4% not detected). As factor IX and XI deficiencies are both associated with haemorrhagic disorders, the inability of these reagents to detect such abnormalities gave cause for concern.

  20. Myocardin-Related Transcription Factor A Activation by Competition with WH2 Domain Proteins for Actin Binding

    PubMed Central

    Weissbach, Julia; Schikora, Franziska; Weber, Anja; Kessels, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTFs) are coactivators of serum response factor (SRF)-mediated gene expression. Activation of MRTF-A occurs in response to alterations in actin dynamics and critically requires the dissociation of repressive G-actin–MRTF-A complexes. However, the mechanism leading to the release of MRTF-A remains unclear. Here we show that WH2 domains compete directly with MRTF-A for actin binding. Actin nucleation-promoting factors, such as N-WASP and WAVE2, as well as isolated WH2 domains, including those of Spire2 and Cobl, activate MRTF-A independently of changes in actin dynamics. Simultaneous inhibition of Arp2-Arp3 or mutation of the CA region only partially reduces MRTF-A activation by N-WASP and WAVE2. Recombinant WH2 domains and the RPEL domain of MRTF-A bind mutually exclusively to cellular and purified G-actin in vitro. The competition by different WH2 domains correlates with MRTF-SRF activation. Following serum stimulation, nonpolymerizable actin dissociates from MRTF-A, and de novo formation of the G-actin–RPEL complex is impaired by a transferable factor. Our work demonstrates that WH2 domains activate MRTF-A and contribute to target gene regulation by a competitive mechanism, independently of their role in actin filament formation. PMID:26976641

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. NMR solution structures of actin depolymerizing factor homology domains

    PubMed Central

    Goroncy, Alexander K; Koshiba, Seizo; Tochio, Naoya; Tomizawa, Tadashi; Sato, Manami; Inoue, Makato; Watanabe, Satoru; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Tanaka, Akiko; Kigawa, Takanori; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2009-01-01

    Actin is one of the most conserved proteins in nature. Its assembly and disassembly are regulated by many proteins, including the family of actin-depolymerizing factor homology (ADF-H) domains. ADF-H domains can be divided into five classes: ADF/cofilin, glia maturation factor (GMF), coactosin, twinfilin, and Abp1/drebrin. The best-characterized class is ADF/cofilin. The other four classes have drawn much less attention and very few structures have been reported. This study presents the solution NMR structure of the ADF-H domain of human HIP-55-drebrin-like protein, the first published structure of a drebrin-like domain (mammalian), and the first published structure of GMF β (mouse). We also determined the structures of mouse GMF γ, the mouse coactosin-like domain and the C-terminal ADF-H domain of mouse twinfilin 1. Although the overall fold of the five domains is similar, some significant differences provide valuable insights into filamentous actin (F-actin) and globular actin (G-actin) binding, including the identification of binding residues on the long central helix. This long helix is stabilized by three or four residues. Notably, the F-actin binding sites of mouse GMF β and GMF γ contain two additional β-strands not seen in other ADF-H structures. The G-actin binding site of the ADF-H domain of human HIP-55-drebrin-like protein is absent and distorted in mouse GMF β and GMF γ. PMID:19768801

  4. Three-color FRET expands the ability to quantify the interactions of several proteins involved in actin filament nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallrabe, Horst; Sun, Yuansheng; Fang, Xiaolan; Periasamy, Ammasi; Bloom, George

    2012-03-01

    With traditional 2-color Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) microscopy, valuable quantitative analyses can be conducted. Correlations of donor (D), acceptor (A) and their ratios (D:A) with energy transfer efficiency (E%) or distance (r) allows measurement of changes between control and experimental samples; also, clustered vs. random assembly of cellular components can be differentiated. Essentially, only the above three parameters D, A and D:A vs. E% are the basis for these deductions. 3-color FRET uses the same basic parameters, but exponentially expands the opportunities to quantify interrelationships among 3 cellular components. We investigated a number of questions based on the results of a triple combination (F1-F2-F3) of TFPNWASP/ Venus-IQGAP1/mCherry-Actin - all involved in the nucleation of actin - to apply the extensive analysis assay possible with 3-color FRET. How do changing N-WASP or IQGAP1 fluorescence levels affect actin fluorescence? What is the effect on E% of NWASP-actin by IQGAP1 or E% of IQGAP1-actin by N-WASP? These and other questions are explored in the context of all proteins of interest being in FRET distance vs. any two in the absence of the third. 4 cases are compared based on bleed-through corrected FRET: (1) all 3 interact, (2) only F1- F3 and F2-F3 [not F1-F2], (3) only F1-F2 and F2-F3 interact [not F1-F3], (4) only F1-F2 and F1-F3 interact [not F2-F3]. Other than describing the methodology in detail, several biologically relevant results are presented showing how E% (i.e. distance), fluorescence levels and ratios are affected in each of the cases. These correlations can only be observed in a 3-fluorophore combination. 3-color FRET will greatly expand the investigative range of quantitative analysis for the life-science researcher.

  5. Endosome-ER Contacts Control Actin Nucleation and Retromer Function through VAP-Dependent Regulation of PI4P.

    PubMed

    Dong, Rui; Saheki, Yasunori; Swarup, Sharan; Lucast, Louise; Harper, J Wade; De Camilli, Pietro

    2016-07-14

    VAP (VAPA and VAPB) is an evolutionarily conserved endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-anchored protein that helps generate tethers between the ER and other membranes through which lipids are exchanged across adjacent bilayers. Here, we report that by regulating PI4P levels on endosomes, VAP affects WASH-dependent actin nucleation on these organelles and the function of the retromer, a protein coat responsible for endosome-to-Golgi traffic. VAP is recruited to retromer budding sites on endosomes via an interaction with the retromer SNX2 subunit. Cells lacking VAP accumulate high levels of PI4P, actin comets, and trans-Golgi proteins on endosomes. Such defects are mimicked by downregulation of OSBP, a VAP interactor and PI4P transporter that participates in VAP-dependent ER-endosomes tethers. These results reveal a role of PI4P in retromer-/WASH-dependent budding from endosomes. Collectively, our data show how the ER can control budding dynamics and association with the cytoskeleton of another membrane by direct contacts leading to bilayer lipid modifications.

  6. 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

  7. Geometrical and mechanical properties control actin filament organization.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-05-01

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

  9. Actin-interacting Protein 1 Promotes Disassembly of Actin-depolymerizing Factor/Cofilin-bound Actin Filaments in a pH-dependent Manner*

    PubMed Central

    Nomura, Kazumi; Hayakawa, Kimihide; Tatsumi, Hitoshi; Ono, Shoichiro

    2016-01-01

    Actin-interacting protein 1 (AIP1) is a conserved WD repeat protein that promotes disassembly of actin filaments when actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin is present. Although AIP1 is known to be essential for a number of cellular events involving dynamic rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton, the regulatory mechanism of the function of AIP1 is unknown. In this study, we report that two AIP1 isoforms from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, known as UNC-78 and AIPL-1, are pH-sensitive in enhancement of actin filament disassembly. Both AIP1 isoforms only weakly enhance disassembly of ADF/cofilin-bound actin filaments at an acidic pH but show stronger disassembly activity at neutral and basic pH values. However, a severing-defective mutant of UNC-78 shows pH-insensitive binding to ADF/cofilin-decorated actin filaments, suggesting that the process of filament severing or disassembly, but not filament binding, is pH-dependent. His-60 of AIP1 is located near the predicted binding surface for the ADF/cofilin-actin complex, and an H60K mutation of AIP1 partially impairs its pH sensitivity, suggesting that His-60 is involved in the pH sensor for AIP1. These biochemical results suggest that pH-dependent changes in AIP1 activity might be a novel regulatory mechanism of actin filament dynamics. PMID:26747606

  10. Human CAP1 is a key factor in the recycling of cofilin and actin for rapid actin turnover.

    PubMed

    Moriyama, Kenji; Yahara, Ichiro

    2002-04-15

    Cofilin-ADF (actin-depolymerizing factor) is an essential driver of actin-based motility. We discovered two proteins, p65 and p55, that are components of the actin-cofilin complex in a human HEK293 cell extract and identified p55 as CAP1/ASP56, a human homologue of yeast CAP/SRV2 (cyclase-associated protein). CAP is a bifunctional protein with an N-terminal domain that binds to Ras-responsive adenylyl cyclase and a C-terminal domain that inhibits actin polymerization. Surprisingly, we found that the N-terminal domain of CAP1, but not the C-terminal domain, is responsible for the interaction with the actin-cofilin complex. The N-terminal domain of CAP1 was also found to accelerate the depolymerization of F-actin at the pointed end, which was further enhanced in the presence of cofilin and/or the C-terminal domain of CAP1. Moreover, CAP1 and its C-terminal domain were observed to facilitate filament elongation at the barbed end and to stimulate ADP-ATP exchange on G-actin, a process that regenerates easily polymerizable G-actin. Although cofilin inhibited the nucleotide exchange on G-actin even in the presence of the C-terminal domain of CAP1, its N-terminal domain relieved this inhibition. Thus, CAP1 plays a key role in speeding up the turnover of actin filaments by effectively recycling cofilin and actin and through its effect on both ends of actin filament.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Interactions among a Fimbrin, a Capping Protein, and an Actin-depolymerizing Factor in Organization of the Fission Yeast Actin Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Nakano, Kentaro; Satoh, Kazuomi; Morimatsu, Akeshi; Ohnuma, Masaaki; Mabuchi, Issei

    2001-01-01

    We report studies of the fission yeast fimbrin-like protein Fim1, which contains two EF-hand domains and two actin-binding domains (ABD1 and ABD2). Fim1 is a component of both F-actin patches and the F-actin ring, but not of F-actin cables. Fim1 cross-links F-actin in vitro, but a Fim1 protein lacking either EF-hand domains (Fim1A12) or both the EF-hand domains and ABD1 (Fim1A2) has no actin cross-linking activity. Overexpression of Fim1 induced the formation of F-actin patches throughout the cell cortex, whereas the F-actin patches disappear in cells overexpressing Fim1A12 or Fim1A2. Thus, the actin cross-linking activity of Fim1 is probably important for the formation of F-actin patches. The overexpression of Fim1 also excluded the actin-depolymerizing factor Adf1 from the F-actin patches and inhibited the turnover of actin in these structures. Thus, Fim1 may function in stabilizing the F-actin patches. We also isolated the gene encoding Acp1, a subunit of the heterodimeric F-actin capping protein. fim1 acp1 double null cells showed more severe defects in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton than those seen in each single mutant. Thus, Fim1 and Acp1 may function in a similar manner in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton. Finally, genetic studies suggested that Fim1 may function in cytokinesis in cooperation with Cdc15 (PSTPIP) and Rng2 (IQGAP), respectively. PMID:11694585

  13. Effects of binding factors on structural elements in F-actin.

    PubMed

    Scoville, Damon; Stamm, John D; Altenbach, Christian; Shvetsov, Alexander; Kokabi, Kaveh; Rubenstein, Peter A; Hubbell, Wayne L; Reisler, Emil

    2009-01-20

    Understanding the dynamics of the actin filament is essential to a detailed description of their interactions and role in the cell. Previous studies have linked the dynamic properties of actin filaments (F-actin) to three structural elements contributing to a hydrophobic pocket, namely, the hydrophobic loop, the DNase I binding loop, and the C-terminus. Here, we examine how these structural elements are influenced by factors that stabilize or destabilize F-actin, using site-directed spin-labeled (SDSL) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), fluorescence, and cross-linking techniques. Specifically, we employ cofilin, an actin destabilizing protein that binds and severs filaments, and phalloidin, a fungal toxin that binds and stabilizes F-actin. We find that cofilin shifts both the DNase I binding loop and the hydrophobic loop away from the C-terminus in F-actin, as demonstrated by weakened spin-spin interactions, and alters the environment of spin probes on residues of these two loops. In contrast, although phalloidin strongly stabilizes F-actin, it causes little or no local change in the environment of the loop residues. This indicates that the stabilizing effect of phalloidin is achieved mainly through constraining structural fluctuations in F-actin and suggests that factors and interactions that control these fluctuations have an important role in the cytoskeleton dynamics.

  14. Nuclear actin activates human transcription factor genes including the OCT4 gene.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Shota; Yamamoto, Koji; Tokunaga, Makio; Sakata-Sogawa, Kumiko; Harata, Masahiko

    2015-01-01

    RNA microarray analyses revealed that nuclear actin activated many human transcription factor genes including OCT4, which is required for gene reprogramming. Oct4 is known to be activated by nuclear actin in Xenopus oocytes. Our findings imply that this process of OCT4 activation is conserved in vertebrates and among cell types and could be used for gene reprogramming of human cells.

  15. Actin dynamics tune the integrated stress response by regulating eukaryotic initiation factor 2α dephosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, Joseph E; Dalton, Lucy E; Clarke, Hanna J; Malzer, Elke; Dominicus, Caia S; Patel, Vruti; Moorhead, Greg; Ron, David; Marciniak, Stefan J

    2015-01-01

    Four stress-sensing kinases phosphorylate the alpha subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α) to activate the integrated stress response (ISR). In animals, the ISR is antagonised by selective eIF2α phosphatases comprising a catalytic protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) subunit in complex with a PPP1R15-type regulatory subunit. An unbiased search for additional conserved components of the PPP1R15-PP1 phosphatase identified monomeric G-actin. Like PP1, G-actin associated with the functional core of PPP1R15 family members and G-actin depletion, by the marine toxin jasplakinolide, destabilised the endogenous PPP1R15A-PP1 complex. The abundance of the ternary PPP1R15-PP1-G-actin complex was responsive to global changes in the polymeric status of actin, as was its eIF2α-directed phosphatase activity, while localised G-actin depletion at sites enriched for PPP1R15 enhanced eIF2α phosphorylation and the downstream ISR. G-actin's role as a stabilizer of the PPP1R15-containing holophosphatase provides a mechanism for integrating signals regulating actin dynamics with stresses that trigger the ISR. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04872.001 PMID:25774599

  16. G-actin sequestering protein thymosin-β4 regulates the activity of myocardin-related transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Morita, Tsuyoshi; Hayashi, Ken'ichiro

    2013-08-02

    Myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTFs) are robust coactivators of serum response factor (SRF). MRTFs contain three copies of the RPEL motif at their N-terminus, and they bind to monomeric globular actin (G-actin). Previous studies illustrate that G-actin binding inhibits MRTF activity by preventing the MRTFs nuclear accumulation. In the living cells, the majority of G-actin is sequestered by G-actin binding proteins that prevent spontaneous actin polymerization. Here, we demonstrate that the most abundant G-actin sequestering protein thymosin-β4 (Tβ4) was involved in the regulation of subcellular localization and activity of MRTF-A. Tβ4 competed with MRTF-A for G-actin binding; thus, interfering with G-actin-MRTF-A complex formation. Tβ4 overexpression induced the MRTF-A nuclear accumulation and activation of MRTF-SRF signaling. The activation rate of MRTF-A by the Tβ4 mutant L17A, whose affinity for G-actin is very low, was lower than that by wild-type Tβ4. In contrast, the β-actin mutant 3DA, which has a lower affinity for Tβ4, more effectively suppressed MRTF-A activity than wild-type β-actin. Furthermore, ectopic Tβ4 increased the endogenous expression of SRF-dependent actin cytoskeletal genes. Thus, Tβ4 is an important MRTF regulator that controls the G-actin-MRTFs interaction.

  17. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Cellular Levels of Signaling Factors Are Sensed by β-actin Alleles to Modulate Transcriptional Pulse Intensity.

    PubMed

    Kalo, Alon; Kanter, Itamar; Shraga, Amit; Sheinberger, Jonathan; Tzemach, Hadar; Kinor, Noa; Singer, Robert H; Lionnet, Timothée; Shav-Tal, Yaron

    2015-04-21

    The transcriptional response of β-actin to extra-cellular stimuli is a paradigm for transcription factor complex assembly and regulation. Serum induction leads to a precisely timed pulse of β-actin transcription in the cell population. Actin protein is proposed to be involved in this response, but it is not known whether cellular actin levels affect nuclear β-actin transcription. We perturbed the levels of key signaling factors and examined the effect on the induced transcriptional pulse by following endogenous β-actin alleles in single living cells. Lowering serum response factor (SRF) protein levels leads to loss of pulse integrity, whereas reducing actin protein levels reveals positive feedback regulation, resulting in elevated gene activation and a prolonged transcriptional response. Thus, transcriptional pulse fidelity requires regulated amounts of signaling proteins, and perturbations in factor levels eliminate the physiological response, resulting in either tuning down or exaggeration of the transcriptional pulse.

  19. The actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin signaling pathway and DNA damage responses in cancer.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chun-Yuan; Leu, Jyh-Der; Lee, Yi-Jang

    2015-02-13

    The actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin protein family is essential for actin dynamics, cell division, chemotaxis and tumor metastasis. Cofilin-1 (CFL-1) is a primary non-muscle isoform of the ADF/cofilin protein family accelerating the actin filamental turnover in vitro and in vivo. In response to environmental stimulation, CFL-1 enters the nucleus to regulate the actin dynamics. Although the purpose of this cytoplasm-nucleus transition remains unclear, it is speculated that the interaction between CFL-1 and DNA may influence various biological responses, including DNA damage repair. In this review, we will discuss the possible involvement of CFL-1 in DNA damage responses (DDR) induced by ionizing radiation (IR), and the implications for cancer radiotherapy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Identification of Arabidopsis cyclase-associated protein 1 as the first nucleotide exchange factor for plant actin.

    PubMed

    Chaudhry, Faisal; Guérin, Christophe; von Witsch, Matthias; Blanchoin, Laurent; Staiger, Christopher J

    2007-08-01

    The actin cytoskeleton powers organelle movements, orchestrates responses to abiotic stresses, and generates an amazing array of cell shapes. Underpinning these diverse functions of the actin cytoskeleton are several dozen accessory proteins that coordinate actin filament dynamics and construct higher-order assemblies. Many actin-binding proteins from the plant kingdom have been characterized and their function is often surprisingly distinct from mammalian and fungal counterparts. The adenylyl cyclase-associated protein (CAP) has recently been shown to be an important regulator of actin dynamics in vivo and in vitro. The disruption of actin organization in cap mutant plants indicates defects in actin dynamics or the regulated assembly and disassembly of actin subunits into filaments. Current models for actin dynamics maintain that actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin removes ADP-actin subunits from filament ends and that profilin recharges these monomers with ATP by enhancing nucleotide exchange and delivery of subunits onto filament barbed ends. Plant profilins, however, lack the essential ability to stimulate nucleotide exchange on actin, suggesting that there might be a missing link yet to be discovered from plants. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana CAP1 (AtCAP1) is an abundant cytoplasmic protein; it is present at a 1:3 M ratio with total actin in suspension cells. AtCAP1 has equivalent affinities for ADP- and ATP-monomeric actin (Kd approximately 1.3 microM). Binding of AtCAP1 to ATP-actin monomers inhibits polymerization, consistent with AtCAP1 being an actin sequestering protein. However, we demonstrate that AtCAP1 is the first plant protein to increase the rate of nucleotide exchange on actin. Even in the presence of ADF/cofilin, AtCAP1 can recharge actin monomers and presumably provide a polymerizable pool of subunits to profilin for addition onto filament ends. In turnover assays, plant profilin, ADF, and CAP act cooperatively to promote flux

  4. Histone acetyltransferase Enok regulates oocyte polarization by promoting expression of the actin nucleation factor spire

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Fu; Paulson, Ariel; Dutta, Arnob; Venkatesh, Swaminathan; Smolle, Michaela

    2014-01-01

    KAT6 histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are highly conserved in eukaryotes and have been shown to play important roles in transcriptional regulation. Here, we demonstrate that the Drosophila KAT6 Enok acetylates histone H3 Lys 23 (H3K23) in vitro and in vivo. Mutants lacking functional Enok exhibited defects in the localization of Oskar (Osk) to the posterior end of the oocyte, resulting in loss of germline formation and abdominal segments in the embryo. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis revealed that spire (spir) and maelstrom (mael), both required for the posterior localization of Osk in the oocyte, were down-regulated in enok mutants. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that Enok is localized to and acetylates H3K23 at the spir and mael genes. Furthermore, Gal4-driven expression of spir in the germline can largely rescue the defective Osk localization in enok mutant ovaries. Our results suggest that the Enok-mediated H3K23 acetylation (H3K23Ac) promotes the expression of spir, providing a specific mechanism linking oocyte polarization to histone modification. PMID:25512562

  5. 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

  6. Cytoplasmic Actin: Purification and Single Molecule Assembly Assays

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott D.; Zuchero, J. Bradley; Mullins, R. Dyche

    2014-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is essential to all eukaryotic cells. In addition to playing important structural roles, assembly of actin into filaments powers diverse cellular processes, including cell motility, cytokinesis, and endocytosis. Actin polymerization is tightly regulated by its numerous cofactors, which control spatial and temporal assembly of actin as well as the physical properties of these filaments. Development of an in vitro model of actin polymerization from purified components has allowed for great advances in determining the effects of these proteins on the actin cytoskeleton. Here we describe how to use the pyrene actin assembly assay to determine the effect of a protein on the kinetics of actin assembly, either directly or as mediated by proteins such as nucleation or capping factors. Secondly, we show how fluorescently labeled phalloidin can be used to visualize the filaments that are created in vitro to give insight into how proteins regulate actin filament structure. Finally, we describe a method for visualizing dynamic assembly and disassembly of single actin filaments and fluorescently labeled actin binding proteins using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. PMID:23868587

  7. 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

  8. Cytoplasmic Actin Is an Extracellular Insect Immune Factor which Is Secreted upon Immune Challenge and Mediates Phagocytosis and Direct Killing of Bacteria, and Is a Plasmodium Antagonist

    PubMed Central

    Sandiford, Simone L.; Dong, Yuemei; Pike, Andrew; Blumberg, Benjamin J.; Bahia, Ana C.; Dimopoulos, George

    2015-01-01

    Actin is a highly versatile, abundant, and conserved protein, with functions in a variety of intracellular processes. Here, we describe a novel role for insect cytoplasmic actin as an extracellular pathogen recognition factor that mediates antibacterial defense. Insect actins are secreted from cells upon immune challenge through an exosome-independent pathway. Anopheles gambiae actin interacts with the extracellular MD2-like immune factor AgMDL1, and binds to the surfaces of bacteria, mediating their phagocytosis and direct killing. Globular and filamentous actins display distinct functions as extracellular immune factors, and mosquito actin is a Plasmodium infection antagonist. PMID:25658622

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

    PubMed

    Daher, Firas Bou; Geitmann, Anja

    2012-07-01

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

  10. TaADF3, an Actin-Depolymerizing Factor, Negatively Modulates Wheat Resistance Against Puccinia striiformis

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Chunlei; Deng, Lin; Chang, Dan; Chen, Shuntao; Wang, Xiaojie; Kang, Zhensheng

    2016-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton has been implicated in plant defense against pathogenic fungi, oomycetes, and bacteria. Actin depolymerizing factors (ADFs) are stimulus responsive actin cytoskeleton modulators. However, there is limited evidence linking ADFs with plant defense against pathogens. In this study, we have isolated and functionally characterized a stress-responsive ADF gene (TaADF3) from wheat, which was detectable in all examined wheat tissues. TaADF3 is a three-copy gene located on chromosomes 5AL, 5BL, and 5DL. A particle bombardment assay in onion epidermal cells revealed the cytoplasmic and nuclear localization of TaADF3. The expression of TaADF3 was inducible by abscisic acid (ABA), as well as various abiotic stresses (drought and cold) and virulent Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) but was down regulated in response to avirulent Pst. Virus-induced silencing of TaADF3 copies enhanced wheat resistance to avirulent Pst, with decreased reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and hypersensitive response (HR). Upon treatment with virulent Pst, TaADF3-knockdown plants exhibited reduced susceptibility, which was accompanied by increased ROS production and HR. Interestingly, the silencing of TaADF3 resulted in hindered pathogen penetration and haustoria formation for both avirulent and virulent Pst. Moreover, the array and distribution of actin filaments was transformed in TaADF3-knockdown epidermal cells, which possibly facilitated attenuating the fungus penetration. Thus, our findings suggest that TaADF3 positively regulates wheat tolerance to abiotic stresses and negatively regulates wheat resistance to Pst in an ROS-dependent manner, possibly underlying the mechanism of impeding fungal penetration dependent on the actin architecture dynamics. PMID:26834758

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

    PubMed Central

    1990-01-01

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

  12. Why is Actin Patchy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlsson, Anders

    2009-03-01

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

  13. Identification of two nuclear factor-binding domains on the chicken cardiac actin promoter: implications for regulation of the gene.

    PubMed Central

    Quitschke, W W; DePonti-Zilli, L; Lin, Z Y; Paterson, B M

    1989-01-01

    The cis-acting regions that appear to be involved in negative regulation of the chicken alpha-cardiac actin promoter both in vivo and in vitro have been identified. A nuclear factor(s) binding to the proximal region mapped over the TATA element between nucleotides -50 and -25. In the distal region, binding spanned nucleotides -136 to -112, a region that included a second CArG box (CArG2) 5' to the more familiar CCAAT-box (CArG1) consensus sequence. Nuclear factors binding to these different domains were found in both muscle and nonmuscle preparations but were detectable at considerably lower levels in tissues expressing the alpha-cardiac actin gene. In contrast, concentrations of the beta-actin CCAAT-box binding activity were similar in all extracts tested. The role of these factor-binding domains on the activity of the cardiac actin promoter in vivo and in vitro and the prevalence of the binding factors in nonmuscle extracts are consistent with the idea that these binding domains and their associated factors are involved in the tissue-restricted expression of cardiac actin through both positive and negative regulatory mechanisms. In the absence of negative regulatory factors, these same binding domains act synergistically, via other factors, to activate the cardiac actin promoter during myogenesis. Images PMID:2552286

  14. Protein Kinase D Controls Actin Polymerization and Cell Motility through Phosphorylation of Cortactin*

    PubMed Central

    Eiseler, Tim; Hausser, Angelika; De Kimpe, Line; Van Lint, Johan; Pfizenmaier, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    We here identify protein kinase D (PKD) as an upstream regulator of the F-actin-binding protein cortactin and the Arp actin polymerization machinery. PKD phosphorylates cortactin in vitro and in vivo at serine 298 thereby generating a 14-3-3 binding motif. In vitro, a phosphorylation-deficient cortactin-S298A protein accelerated VCA-Arp-cortactin-mediated synergistic actin polymerization and showed reduced F-actin binding, indicative of enhanced turnover of nucleation complexes. In vivo, cortactin co-localized with the nucleation promoting factor WAVE2, essential for lamellipodia extension, in the actin polymerization zone in Heregulin-treated MCF-7 cells. Using a 3-dye FRET-based approach we further demonstrate that WAVE2-Arp and cortactin prominently interact at these structures. Accordingly, cortactin-S298A significantly enhanced lamellipodia extension and directed cell migration. Our data thus unravel a previously unrecognized mechanism by which PKD controls cancer cell motility. PMID:20363754

  15. Zyxin regulates endothelial von Willebrand factor secretion by reorganizing actin filaments around exocytic granules

    PubMed Central

    Han, Xiaofan; Li, Pin; Yang, Zhenghao; Huang, Xiaoshuai; Wei, Guoqin; Sun, Yujie; Kang, Xuya; Hu, Xueting; Deng, Qiuping; Chen, Liangyi; He, Aibin; Huo, Yingqing; Li, Dong; Betzig, Eric; Luo, Jincai

    2017-01-01

    Endothelial exocytosis of Weibel–Palade body (WPB) is one of the first lines of defence against vascular injury. However, the mechanisms that control WPB exocytosis in the final stages (including the docking, priming and fusion of granules) are poorly understood. Here we show that the focal adhesion protein zyxin is crucial in this process. Zyxin downregulation inhibits the secretion of von Willebrand factor (VWF), the most abundant cargo in WPBs, from human primary endothelial cells (ECs) induced by cAMP agonists. Zyxin-deficient mice exhibit impaired epinephrine-stimulated VWF release, prolonged bleeding time and thrombosis, largely due to defective endothelial secretion of VWF. Using live-cell super-resolution microscopy, we visualize previously unappreciated reorganization of pre-existing actin filaments around WPBs before fusion, dependent on zyxin and an interaction with the actin crosslinker α-actinin. Our findings identify zyxin as a physiological regulator of endothelial exocytosis through reorganizing local actin network in the final stage of exocytosis. PMID:28256511

  16. Plant Actin-Depolymerizing Factors Possess Opposing Biochemical Properties Arising from Key Amino Acid Changes throughout Evolution.

    PubMed

    Nan, Qiong; Qian, Dong; Niu, Yue; He, Yongxing; Tong, Shaofei; Niu, Zhimin; Ma, Jianchao; Yang, Yang; An, Lizhe; Wan, Dongshi; Xiang, Yun

    2017-02-01

    Functional divergence in paralogs is an important genetic source of evolutionary innovation. Actin-depolymerizing factors (ADFs) are among the most important actin binding proteins and are involved in generating and remodeling actin cytoskeletal architecture via their conserved F-actin severing or depolymerizing activity. In plants, ADFs coevolved with actin, but their biochemical properties are diverse. Unfortunately, the biochemical function of most plant ADFs and the potential mechanisms of their functional divergence remain unclear. Here, in vitro biochemical analyses demonstrated that all 11 ADF genes in Arabidopsis thaliana exhibit opposing biochemical properties. Subclass III ADFs evolved F-actin bundling (B-type) function from conserved F-actin depolymerizing (D-type) function, and subclass I ADFs have enhanced D-type function. By tracking historical mutation sites on ancestral proteins, several fundamental amino acid residues affecting the biochemical functions of these proteins were identified in Arabidopsis and various plants, suggesting that the biochemical divergence of ADFs has been conserved during the evolution of angiosperm plants. Importantly, N-terminal extensions on subclass III ADFs that arose from intron-sliding events are indispensable for the alteration of D-type to B-type function. We conclude that the evolution of these N-terminal extensions and several conserved mutations produced the diverse biochemical functions of plant ADFs from a putative ancestor.

  17. Plant Actin-Depolymerizing Factors Possess Opposing Biochemical Properties Arising from Key Amino Acid Changes throughout Evolution[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Nan, Qiong; Niu, Yue; He, Yongxing; Tong, Shaofei; Niu, Zhimin; Ma, Jianchao; Yang, Yang; An, Lizhe; Wan, Dongshi

    2017-01-01

    Functional divergence in paralogs is an important genetic source of evolutionary innovation. Actin-depolymerizing factors (ADFs) are among the most important actin binding proteins and are involved in generating and remodeling actin cytoskeletal architecture via their conserved F-actin severing or depolymerizing activity. In plants, ADFs coevolved with actin, but their biochemical properties are diverse. Unfortunately, the biochemical function of most plant ADFs and the potential mechanisms of their functional divergence remain unclear. Here, in vitro biochemical analyses demonstrated that all 11 ADF genes in Arabidopsis thaliana exhibit opposing biochemical properties. Subclass III ADFs evolved F-actin bundling (B-type) function from conserved F-actin depolymerizing (D-type) function, and subclass I ADFs have enhanced D-type function. By tracking historical mutation sites on ancestral proteins, several fundamental amino acid residues affecting the biochemical functions of these proteins were identified in Arabidopsis and various plants, suggesting that the biochemical divergence of ADFs has been conserved during the evolution of angiosperm plants. Importantly, N-terminal extensions on subclass III ADFs that arose from intron-sliding events are indispensable for the alteration of D-type to B-type function. We conclude that the evolution of these N-terminal extensions and several conserved mutations produced the diverse biochemical functions of plant ADFs from a putative ancestor. PMID:28123105

  18. 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.

  19. Directed actin assembly and motility.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Nck adaptors, besides promoting N-WASP mediated actin-nucleation activity at pedestals, influence the cellular levels of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Tir effector

    PubMed Central

    Nieto-Pelegrin, Elvira; Kenny, Brendan; Martinez-Quiles, Narcisa

    2014-01-01

    Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) binding to human intestinal cells triggers the formation of disease-associated actin rich structures called pedestals. The latter process requires the delivery, via a Type 3 secretion system, of the translocated Intimin receptor (Tir) protein into the host plasma membrane where binding of a host kinase-modified form to the bacterial surface protein Intimin triggers pedestal formation. Tir-Intimin interaction recruits the Nck adaptor to a Tir tyrosine phosphorylated residue where it activates neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP); initiating the major pathway to actin polymerization mediated by the actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex. Previous studies with Nck-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) identified a key role for Nck in pedestal formation, presumed to reflect a lack of N-WASP activation. Here, we show the defect relates to reduced amounts of Tir within Nck-deficient cells. Indeed, Tir delivery and, thus, pedestal formation defects were much greater for MEFs than HeLa (human epithelial) cells. Crucially, the levels of two other effectors (EspB/EspF) within Nck-deficient MEFs were not reduced unlike that of Map (Mitochondrial associated protein) which, like Tir, requires CesT chaperone function for efficient delivery. Interestingly, drugs blocking various host protein degradation pathways failed to increase Tir cellular levels unlike an inhibitor of deacetylase activity (Trichostatin A; TSA). Treatments with TSA resulted in significant recovery of Tir levels, potentiation of actin polymerization and improvement in bacterial attachment to cells. Our findings have important implications for the current model of Tir-mediated actin polymerization and opens new lines of research in this area. PMID:25482634

  1. Factors Affecting the Inclusion Potency for Acicular Ferrite Nucleation in High-Strength Steel Welds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Yongjoon; Jeong, Seonghoon; Kang, Joo-Hee; Lee, Changhee

    2016-06-01

    Factors affecting the inclusion potency for acicular ferrite nucleation in high-strength weld metals were investigated and the contribution of each factor was qualitatively evaluated. Two kinds of weld metals with different hardenabilities were prepared, in both, MnTi2O4-rich spinel formed as the predominant inclusion phase. To evaluate the factors determining the inclusion potency, the inclusion characteristics of size, phase distribution in the multiphase inclusion, orientation relationship with ferrite, and Mn distribution near the inclusion were analyzed. Three factors affecting the ferrite nucleation potency of inclusions were evaluated: the Baker-Nutting (B-N) orientation relationship between ferrite and the inclusion; the formation of an Mn-depleted zone (MDZ) near the inclusion; and the strain energy around the inclusion. Among these, the first two factors were found to be the most important. In addition, it was concluded that the increased chemical driving force brought about by the formation of an MDZ contributed more to the formation of acicular ferrite in higher-strength weld metals, because the B-N orientation relationship between ferrite and the inclusion was less likely to form as the transformation temperature decreased.

  2. Microtubules as Platforms for Assaying Actin Polymerization In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Oelkers, J. Margit; Vinzenz, Marlene; Nemethova, Maria; Jacob, Sonja; Lai, Frank P. L.; Block, Jennifer; Szczodrak, Malgorzata; Kerkhoff, Eugen; Backert, Steffen; Schlüter, Kai; Stradal, Theresia E. B.; Small, J. Victor

    2011-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is continuously remodeled through cycles of actin filament assembly and disassembly. Filaments are born through nucleation and shaped into supramolecular structures with various essential functions. These range from contractile and protrusive assemblies in muscle and non-muscle cells to actin filament comets propelling vesicles or pathogens through the cytosol. Although nucleation has been extensively studied using purified proteins in vitro, dissection of the process in cells is complicated by the abundance and molecular complexity of actin filament arrays. We here describe the ectopic nucleation of actin filaments on the surface of microtubules, free of endogenous actin and interfering membrane or lipid. All major mechanisms of actin filament nucleation were recapitulated, including filament assembly induced by Arp2/3 complex, formin and Spir. This novel approach allows systematic dissection of actin nucleation in the cytosol of live cells, its genetic re-engineering as well as screening for new modifiers of the process. PMID:21603613

  3. Chlamydia trachomatis Tarp harbors distinct G and F actin binding domains that bundle actin filaments.

    PubMed

    Jiwani, Shahanawaz; Alvarado, Stephenie; Ohr, Ryan J; Romero, Adriana; Nguyen, Brenda; Jewett, Travis J

    2013-02-01

    All species of Chlamydia undergo a unique developmental cycle that transitions between extracellular and intracellular environments and requires the capacity to invade new cells for dissemination. A chlamydial protein called Tarp has been shown to nucleate actin in vitro and is implicated in bacterial entry into human cells. Colocalization studies of ectopically expressed enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-Tarp indicate that actin filament recruitment is restricted to the C-terminal half of the effector protein. Actin filaments are presumably associated with Tarp via an actin binding alpha helix that is also required for actin nucleation in vitro, but this has not been investigated. Tarp orthologs from C. pneumoniae, C. muridarum, and C. caviae harbor between 1 and 4 actin binding domains located in the C-terminal half of the protein, but C. trachomatis serovar L2 has only one characterized domain. In this work, we examined the effects of domain-specific mutations on actin filament colocalization with EGFP-Tarp. We now demonstrate that actin filament colocalization with Tarp is dependent on two novel F-actin binding domains that endow the Tarp effector with actin-bundling activity. Furthermore, Tarp-mediated actin bundling did not require actin nucleation, as the ability to bundle actin filaments was observed in mutant Tarp proteins deficient in actin nucleation. These data shed molecular insight on the complex cytoskeletal rearrangements required for C. trachomatis entry into host cells.

  4. Regulators of Actin Dynamics in Gastrointestinal Tract Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Steinestel, Konrad; Wardelmann, Eva; Hartmann, Wolfgang; Grünewald, Inga

    2015-01-01

    Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton underlies cell migration in a wide variety of physiological and pathological processes, such as embryonic development, wound healing, and tumor cell invasion. It has been shown that actin assembly and disassembly are precisely regulated by intracellular signaling cascades that respond to changes in the cell microenvironment, ligand binding to surface receptors, or oncogenic transformation of the cell. Actin-nucleating and actin-depolymerizing (ANFs/ADFs) and nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) regulate cytoskeletal dynamics at the leading edge of migrating cells, thereby modulating cell shape; these proteins facilitate cellular movement and mediate degradation of the surrounding extracellular matrix by secretion of lytic proteases, thus eliminating barriers for tumor cell invasion. Accordingly, expression and activity of these actin-binding proteins have been linked to enhanced metastasis and poor prognosis in a variety of malignancies. In this review, we will summarize what is known about expression patterns and the functional role of actin regulators in gastrointestinal tumors and evaluate first pharmacological approaches to prevent invasion and metastatic dissemination of malignant cells. PMID:26345720

  5. Generation of membrane structures during phagocytosis and chemotaxis of macrophages: role and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Rougerie, Pablo; Miskolci, Veronika; Cox, Dianne

    2013-01-01

    Summary Macrophages are best known for their protective search and destroy functions against invading micro-organisms. These processes are commonly known as chemotaxis and phagocytosis. Both of these processes require actin cytoskeletal remodeling to produce distinct F-actin rich membrane structures called lamellipodia and phagocytic cups. This review will focus on the mechanisms by which macrophages regulate actin polymerization through initial receptor signaling and subsequent Arp2/3 activation by nucleation promoting factors like the WASP/WAVE family, followed by remodeling of actin networks to produce these very distinct structures. PMID:24117824

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

    PubMed

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

    1993-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  8. Three cotton genes preferentially expressed in flower tissues encode actin-depolymerizing factors which are involved in F-actin dynamics in cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Xue-Bao; Xu, Dan; Wang, Xiu-Lan; Huang, Geng-Qing; Luo, Juan; Li, Deng-Di; Zhang, Ze-Ting; Xu, Wen-Liang

    2010-01-01

    To investigate whether the high expression levels of actin-depolymerizing factor genes are related to pollen development, three GhADF genes (cDNAs) were isolated and characterized in cotton. Among them, GhADF6 and GhADF8 were preferentially expressed in petals, whereas GhADF7 displayed the highest level of expression in anthers, revealing its anther specificity. The GhADF7 transcripts in anthers reached its peak value at flowering, suggesting that its expression is developmentally-regulated in anthers. The GhADF7 gene including the promoter region was isolated from the cotton genome. To demonstrate the specificity of the GhADF7 promoter, the 5'-flanking region, including the promoter and 5'-untranslated region, was fused with the GUS gene. Histochemical assays demonstrated that the GhADF7:GUS gene was specifically expressed in pollen grains. When pollen grains germinated, very strong GUS staining was detected in the elongating pollen tube. Furthermore, overexpression of GhADF7 gene in Arabidopsis thaliana reduced the viable pollen grains and, consequently, transgenic plants were partially male-sterile. Overexpression of GhADF7 in fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) altered the balance of actin depolymerization and polymerization, leading to the defective cytokinesis and multinucleate formation in the cells. Given all the above results together, it is proposed that the GhADF7 gene may play an important role in pollen development and germination.

  9. Nucleotide exchange factor GEF-H1 mediates cross-talk between microtubules and the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Krendel, Mira; Zenke, Frank T; Bokoch, Gary M

    2002-04-01

    Regulation of the actin cytoskeleton by microtubules is mediated by the Rho family GTPases. However, the molecular mechanisms that link microtubule dynamics to Rho GTPases have not, as yet, been identified. Here we show that the Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF)-H1 is regulated by an interaction with microtubules. GEF-H1 mutants that are deficient in microtubule binding have higher activity levels than microtubule-bound forms. These mutants also induce Rho-dependent changes in cell morphology and actin organization. Furthermore, drug-induced microtubule depolymerization induces changes in cell morphology and gene expression that are similar to the changes induced by the expression of active forms of GEF-H1. Furthermore, these effects are inhibited by dominant-negative versions of GEF-H1. Thus, GEF-H1 links changes in microtubule integrity to Rho-dependent regulation of the actin cytoskeleton.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Predisposing factors of actinic keratosis in a North-West German population.

    PubMed

    Hensen, Peter; Müller, Marcel L; Haschemi, Ramin; Ständer, Hartmut; Luger, Thomas A; Sunderkötter, Cord; Schiller, Meinhard

    2009-01-01

    The growing incident rates of skin cancer and their corresponding precursor lesions, e.g. actinic keratosis (AK), among Caucasians have become an important public health problem. A multicenter case-control study was conducted to identify the risk factors of AK of a prototypical Central European population. The study population comprised a total of 331 cases and 383 controls. Using multivariate analysis we identified ten independent variables predicting the AK risk. The five most crucial were age (OR 1.11; 95% CI 1.08-1,14), gender (OR 3.92; 95% CI 2.42-6.36), history of previous skin malignancies (OR 6.47; 95% CI 3.21-13.03), pale skin phototype (OR 2.5; 95% CI 1.53-4.06), and sun exposure for occupational reasons (OR 1.72; 95% CI 1.01-2.92). Additionally, sun exposure for recreational reasons, denial of the use of sunscreens, painful sunburn episodes before the age of 20, and a familial history of skin malignancies are also significant independent correlates of AK. Our epidemiological data suggest that constitutional susceptibility and sunlight exposure are equally involved in the onset of AK. Additional prophylactic and educational efforts should focus on increasing sun protection policies and educational programs especially aimed at outdoor workers, men, fair skinned individuals and patients with a history of previous skin malignancies. These measures should be able to reduce the excessive incidence rates of AK among Caucasians in Central Europe.

  13. [Expression of elongation factor-1 alpha-A and beta-actin promoters in embryos of transgenic Medaka (Oryzias latipes)].

    PubMed

    Long, Hua

    2003-06-01

    Two expression vectors with the promoter of either Medaka (Oryzias latipes) elongation factor gene or beta-actin gene were constructed based on pBluescript SK+. Both of them are linked with green-fluorescent protein (GFP) gene. And they are named as pB-EF and pB-BA, respectively. The microinjection experiments were conducted with fertilized Medaka eggs at one-cell stage. The expression of two vectors, pB-EF and pB-BA, was observed under stereo-fluorescence microscope. The detection results showed that both EF-1 alpha-A promoter and beta-actin promoter are strong. In the process of embryo development, the activity of beta-actin promoter became stronger while that of EF-1 alpha-A promoter weaker gradually. beta-actin promoter was but EF-1 alpha-A promoter distributed throughout fish body uniformly. The expression rate of two vectors, pB-EF and pB-BA, are 8.23% and 6.10%, respectively.

  14. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  15. 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.

  16. F-actin sequesters elongation factor 1alpha from interaction with aminoacyl-tRNA in a pH-dependent reaction

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    The machinery of eukaryotic protein synthesis is found in association with the actin cytoskeleton. A major component of this translational apparatus, which is involved in the shuttling of aa-tRNA, is the actin- binding protein elongation factor 1alpha (EF-1alpha). To investigate the consequences for translation of the interaction of EF-1alpha with F- actin, we have studied the effect of F-actin on the ability of EF- 1alpha to bind to aa-tRNA. We demonstrate that binding of EF-1alpha:GTP to aa-tRNA is not pH sensitive with a constant binding affinity of approximately 0.2 microM over the physiological range of pH. However, the sharp pH dependence of binding of EF-1alpha to F-actin is sufficient to shift the binding of EF-1alpha from F-actin to aa-tRNA as pH increases. The ability of EF-1alpha to bind either F-actin or aa- tRNA in competition binding experiments is also consistent with the observation that EF-1alpha's binding to F-actin and aa-tRNA is mutually exclusive. Two pH-sensitive actin-binding sequences in EF-1alpha are identified and are predicted to overlap with the aa-tRNA-binding sites. Our results suggest that pH-regulated recruitment and release of EF- 1alpha from actin filaments in vivo will supply a high local concentration of EF-1alpha to facilitate polypeptide elongation by the F-actin-associated translational apparatus. PMID:8922379

  17. Phosphoinositides and membrane curvature switch the mode of actin polymerization via selective recruitment of toca-1 and Snx9.

    PubMed

    Gallop, Jennifer L; Walrant, Astrid; Cantley, Lewis C; Kirschner, Marc W

    2013-04-30

    The membrane-cytosol interface is the major locus of control of actin polymerization. At this interface, phosphoinositides act as second messengers to recruit membrane-binding proteins. We show that curved membranes, but not flat ones, can use phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate [PI(3)P] along with phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] to stimulate actin polymerization. In this case, actin polymerization requires the small GTPase cell cycle division 42 (Cdc42), the nucleation-promoting factor neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP) and the actin nucleator the actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex. In liposomes containing PI(4,5)P2 as the sole phosphoinositide, actin polymerization requires transducer of Cdc42 activation-1 (toca-1). In the presence of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate, polymerization is both more efficient and independent of toca-1. Under these conditions, sorting nexin 9 (Snx9) can be implicated as a specific adaptor that replaces toca-1 to mobilize neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and the Arp2/3 complex. This switch in phosphoinositide and adaptor specificity for actin polymerization from membranes has implications for how different types of actin structures are generated at precise times and locations in the cell.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  19. The unusual dynamics of parasite actin result from isodesmic polymerization.

    PubMed

    Skillman, Kristen M; Ma, Christopher I; Fremont, Daved H; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Cooper, John A; Sept, David; Sibley, L David

    2013-01-01

    Previous reports have indicated that parasite actins are short and inherently unstable, despite being required for motility. Here we re-examine the polymerization properties of actin in Toxoplasma gondii, unexpectedly finding that it exhibits isodesmic polymerization in contrast to the conventional nucleation-elongation process of all previously studied actins from both eukaryotes and bacteria. Polymerization kinetics of actin in T. gondii lacks both a lag phase and critical concentration, normally characteristic of actins. Unique among actins, the kinetics of assembly can be fit with a single set of rate constants for all subunit interactions, without need for separate nucleation and elongation rates. This isodesmic model accurately predicts the assembly, disassembly and the size distribution of actin filaments in T. gondii in vitro, providing a mechanistic explanation for actin dynamics in vivo. Our findings expand the repertoire of mechanisms by which actin polymerization is governed and offer clues about the evolution of self-assembling, stabilized protein polymers.

  20. Factors Affecting the Nucleation Kinetics of Microporosity Formation in Aluminum Alloy A356

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Lu; Cockcroft, Steve; Reilly, Carl; Zhu, Jindong

    2012-03-01

    Metal cleanliness is one of the most critical parameters affecting microporosity formation in aluminum alloy castings. It is generally acknowledged that oxide inclusions in the melt promote microporosity formation by facilitating pore nucleation. In this study, microporosity formation under different casting conditions, which aimed to manipulate the tendency to form and entrain oxide films in small directionally cast A356 samples was investigated. Castings were prepared with and without the aid of argon gas shielding and with a varying pour surface area. Two alloy variants of A356 were tested in which the main difference was Sr content. Porous disc filtration analysis was used to assess the melt cleanliness and identify the inclusions in the castings. The porosity volume fraction and size distribution were measured using X-ray micro-tomography analysis. The measurements show a clear increment in the volume fraction, number density, and pore size in a manner consistent with an increasing tendency to form and entrain oxide films during casting. By fitting the experimental results with a comprehensive pore formation model, an estimate of the pore nucleation population has been made. The model predicts that increasing the tendency to form oxide films increases both the number of nucleation sites and reduces the supersaturation necessary for pore nucleation in A356 castings. Based on the model predictions, Sr modification impacts both the nucleation kinetics and the pore growth kinetics via grain structure.

  1. CRP2, a new invadopodia actin bundling factor critically promotes breast cancer cell invasion and metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Dieterle, Monika; Moreau, Flora; Al Absi, Antoun; Steinmetz, André; Oudin, Anaïs; Berchem, Guy; Janji, Bassam; Thomas, Clément

    2016-01-01

    A critical process underlying cancer metastasis is the acquisition by tumor cells of an invasive phenotype. At the subcellular level, invasion is facilitated by actin-rich protrusions termed invadopodia, which direct extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. Here, we report the identification of a new cytoskeletal component of breast cancer cell invadopodia, namely cysteine-rich protein 2 (CRP2). We found that CRP2 was not or only weakly expressed in epithelial breast cancer cells whereas it was up-regulated in mesenchymal/invasive breast cancer cells. In addition, high expression of the CRP2 encoding gene CSRP2 was associated with significantly increased risk of metastasis in basal-like breast cancer patients. CRP2 knockdown significantly reduced the invasive potential of aggressive breast cancer cells, whereas it did not impair 2D cell migration. In keeping with this, CRP2-depleted breast cancer cells exhibited a reduced capacity to promote ECM degradation, and to secrete and express MMP-9, a matrix metalloproteinase repeatedly associated with cancer progression and metastasis. In turn, ectopic expression of CRP2 in weakly invasive cells was sufficient to stimulate cell invasion. Both GFP-fused and endogenous CRP2 localized to the extended actin core of invadopodia, a structure primarily made of actin bundles. Purified recombinant CRP2 autonomously crosslinked actin filaments into thick bundles, suggesting that CRP2 contributes to the formation/maintenance of the actin core. Finally, CRP2 depletion significantly reduced the incidence of lung metastatic lesions in two xenograft mouse models of breast cancer. Collectively, our data identify CRP2 as a new cytoskeletal component of invadopodia that critically promotes breast cancer cell invasion and metastasis. PMID:26883198

  2. Phylogenetic Patterns of Codon Evolution in the ACTIN-DEPOLYMERIZING FACTOR/COFILIN (ADF/CFL) Gene Family.

    PubMed

    Roy-Zokan, Eileen M; Dyer, Kelly A; Meagher, Richard B

    2015-01-01

    The actin-depolymerizing factor/cofilin (ADF/CFL) gene family encodes a diverse group of relatively small proteins. Once known strictly as modulators of actin filament dynamics, recent research has demonstrated that these proteins are involved in a variety of cellular processes, from signal transduction to the cytonuclear trafficking of actin. In both plant and animal lineages, expression patterns of paralogs in the ADF/CFL gene family vary among tissue types and developmental stages. In this study we use computational approaches to investigate the evolutionary forces responsible for the diversification of the ADF/CFL gene family. Estimating the rate of non-synonymous to synonymous mutations (dN/dS) across phylogenetic lineages revealed that the majority of ADF/CFL codon positions were under strong purifying selection, with rare episodic events of accelerated protein evolution. In both plants and animals these instances of accelerated evolution were ADF/CFL subclass specific, and all of the sites under selection were located in regions of the protein that could serve in new functional roles. We suggest these sites may have been important in the functional diversification of ADF/CFL proteins.

  3. Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton via transcriptional regulation of cytoskeletal/focal adhesion genes by myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTFs/MAL/MKLs)

    SciTech Connect

    Morita, Tsuyoshi; Mayanagi, Taira; Sobue, Kenji

    2007-10-01

    RhoA is a crucial regulator of stress fiber and focal adhesion formation through the activation of actin nucleation and polymerization. It also regulates the nuclear translocation of myocardin-related transcription factor-A and -B (MRTF-A/B, MAL or MKL 1/2), which are co-activators of serum response factor (SRF). In dominant-negative MRTF-A (DN-MRTF-A)-expressing NIH 3T3 cell lines, the expressions of several cytoskeletal/focal adhesion genes were down-regulated, and the formation of stress fiber and focal adhesion was severely diminished. MRTF-A/B-knockdown cells also exhibited such cytoskeletal defects. In reporter assays, both RhoA and MRTF-A enhanced promoter activities of these genes in a CArG-box-dependent manner, and DN-MRTF-A inhibited the RhoA-mediated activation of these promoters. In dominant-negative RhoA (RhoA-N19)-expressing NIH 3T3 cell lines, the nuclear translocation of MRTF-A/B was predominantly prevented, resulting in the reduced expression of cytoskeletal/focal adhesion proteins. Further, constitutive-active MRTF-A/B increased the expression of endogenous cytoskeletal/focal adhesion proteins, and thereby rescued the defective phenotype of stress fibers and focal adhesions in RhoA-N19 expressing cells. These results indicate that MRTF-A/B act as pivotal mediators of stress fiber and focal adhesion formation via the transcriptional regulation of a subset of cytoskeletal/focal adhesion genes.

  4. Collapsin Response Mediator Protein-1 Regulates Arp2/3-dependent Actin Assembly*

    PubMed Central

    Yu-Kemp, Hui-Chia; Brieher, William M.

    2016-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial parasite that uses host proteins to assemble an Arp2/3-dependent actin comet tail to power its movement through the host cell. Initiation of comet tail assembly is more efficient in cytosol than it is under defined conditions, indicating that unknown factors contribute to the reaction. We therefore fractionated cytosol and identified CRMP-1 as a factor that facilitates Arp2/3-dependent Listeria actin cloud formation in the presence of Arp2/3 and actin alone. It also scored as an important factor for Listeria actin comet tail formation in brain cytosol. CRMP-1 does not nucleate actin assembly on its own, nor does it directly activate the Arp2/3 complex. Rather, CRMP-1 scored as an auxiliary factor that promoted the ability of Listeria ActA protein to activate the Arp2/3 complex to trigger actin assembly. CRMP-1 is one member of a family of five related proteins that modulate cell motility in response to extracellular signals. Our results demonstrate an important role for CRMP-1 in Listeria actin comet tail formation and open the possibility that CRMP-1 controls cell motility by modulating Arp2/3 activation. PMID:26598519

  5. Instantaneous inactivation of cofilin reveals its function of F-actin disassembly in lamellipodia.

    PubMed

    Vitriol, Eric A; Wise, Ariel L; Berginski, Mathew E; Bamburg, James R; Zheng, James Q

    2013-07-01

    Cofilin is a key regulator of the actin cytoskeleton. It can sever actin filaments, accelerate filament disassembly, act as a nucleation factor, recruit or antagonize other actin regulators, and control the pool of polymerization-competent actin monomers. In cells these actions have complex functional outputs. The timing and localization of cofilin activity are carefully regulated, and thus global, long-term perturbations may not be sufficient to probe its precise function. To better understand cofilin's spatiotemporal action in cells, we implemented chromophore-assisted laser inactivation (CALI) to instantly and specifically inactivate it. In addition to globally inhibiting actin turnover, CALI of cofilin generated several profound effects on the lamellipodia, including an increase of F-actin, a rearward expansion of the actin network, and a reduction in retrograde flow speed. These results support the hypothesis that the principal role of cofilin in lamellipodia at steady state is to break down F-actin, control filament turnover, and regulate the rate of retrograde flow.

  6. Nuclear Function of Subclass I Actin-Depolymerizing Factor Contributes to Susceptibility in Arabidopsis to an Adapted Powdery Mildew Fungus.

    PubMed

    Inada, Noriko; Higaki, Takumi; Hasezawa, Seiichiro

    2016-03-01

    Actin-depolymerizing factors (ADFs) are conserved proteins that function in regulating the structure and dynamics of actin microfilaments in eukaryotes. In this study, we present evidence that Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) subclass I ADFs, particularly ADF4, functions as a susceptibility factor for an adapted powdery mildew fungus. The null mutant of ADF4 significantly increased resistance against the adapted powdery mildew fungus Golovinomyces orontii. The degree of resistance was further enhanced in transgenic plants in which the expression of all subclass I ADFs (i.e. ADF1-ADF4) was suppressed. Microscopic observations revealed that the enhanced resistance of adf4 and ADF1-4 knockdown plants (ADF1-4Ri) was associated with the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and cell death specific to G. orontii-infected cells. The increased resistance and accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in ADF1-4Ri were suppressed by the introduction of mutations in the salicylic acid- and jasmonic acid-signaling pathways but not by a mutation in the ethylene-signaling pathway. Quantification by microscopic images detected an increase in the level of actin microfilament bundling in ADF1-4Ri but not in adf4 at early G. orontii infection time points. Interestingly, complementation analysis revealed that nuclear localization of ADF4 was crucial for susceptibility to G. orontii. Based on its G. orontii-infected-cell-specific phenotype, we suggest that subclass I ADFs are susceptibility factors that function in a direct interaction between the host plant and the powdery mildew fungus.

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

    PubMed

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

    1983-05-01

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

  8. Dynamics of condensate formation in stochastic transport with pair-factorized steady states: Nucleation and coarsening time scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagel, Hannes; Janke, Wolfhard

    2016-05-01

    Driven diffusive systems such as the zero-range process (ZRP) and the pair-factorized steady states (PFSS) stochastic transport process are versatile tools that lend themselves to the study of transport phenomena on a generic level. While their mathematical structure is simple enough to allow significant analytical treatment, they offer a variety of interesting phenomena. With appropriate dynamics, the ZRP and PFSS models feature a condensation transition where, for a supercritical density, the translational symmetry breaks spontaneously and excess particles form a single-site or spatially extended condensate, respectively. In this paper we numerically study the typical time scales of the two stages of this condensation process: Nucleation and coarsening. Nucleation is the first stage of condensation where the bulk system relaxes to its stationary distribution and droplet nuclei form in the system. These droplets then gradually grow or evaporate in the coarsening regime to coalesce in a single condensate when the system finally relaxes to the stationary state. We use the ZRP condensation model to discuss the choice of the estimation method for the nucleation time scale and present scaling exponents for the ZRP and PFSS condensation models with respect to the choice of the typical droplet nuclei mass. We then proceed to present scaling exponents in the coarsening regime of the ZRP for partially asymmetric dynamics and the PFSS model for symmetric and asymmetric dynamics.

  9. TaADF4, an actin-depolymerizing factor from wheat, is required for resistance to the stripe rust pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bing; Hua, Yuan; Wang, Juan; Huo, Yan; Shimono, Masaki; Day, Brad; Ma, Qing

    2017-03-01

    Actin filament assembly in plants is a dynamic process, requiring the activity of more than 75 actin-binding proteins. Central to the regulation of filament assembly and stability is the activity of a conserved family of actin-depolymerizing factors (ADFs), whose primarily function is to regulate the severing and depolymerization of actin filaments. In recent years, the activity of ADF proteins has been linked to a variety of cellular processes, including those associated with response to stress. Herein, a wheat ADF gene, TaADF4, was identified and characterized. TaADF4 encodes a 139-amino-acid protein containing five F-actin-binding sites and two G-actin-binding sites, and interacts with wheat (Triticum aestivum) Actin1 (TaACT1), in planta. Following treatment of wheat, separately, with jasmonic acid, abscisic acid or with the avirulent race, CYR23, of the stripe rust pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, we observed a rapid induction in accumulation of TaADF4 mRNA. Interestingly, accumulation of TaADF4 mRNA was diminished in response to inoculation with a virulent race, CYR31. Silencing of TaADF4 resulted in enhanced susceptibility to CYR23, demonstrating a role for TaADF4 in defense signaling. Using a pharmacological-based approach, coupled with an analysis of host response to pathogen infection, we observed that treatment of plants with the actin-modifying agent latrunculin B enhanced resistance to CYR23, including increased production of reactive oxygen species and enhancement of localized hypersensitive cell death. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that TaADF4 positively modulates plant immunity in wheat via the modulation of actin cytoskeletal organization.

  10. Chlamydia trachomatis Tarp cooperates with the Arp2/3 complex to increase the rate of actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Jiwani, Shahanawaz; Ohr, Ryan J; Fischer, Elizabeth R; Hackstadt, Ted; Alvarado, Stephenie; Romero, Adriana; Jewett, Travis J

    2012-04-20

    Actin polymerization is required for Chlamydia trachomatis entry into nonphagocytic host cells. Host and chlamydial actin nucleators are essential for internalization of chlamydiae by eukaryotic cells. The host cell Arp2/3 complex and the chlamydial translocated actin recruiting phosphoprotein (Tarp) are both required for entry. Tarp and the Arp2/3 complex exhibit unique actin polymerization kinetics individually, but the molecular details of how these two actin nucleators cooperate to promote bacterial entry is not understood. In this study we provide biochemical evidence that the two actin nucleators act synergistically by co-opting the unique attributes of each to enhance the dynamics of actin filament formation. This process is independent of Tarp phosphorylation. We further demonstrate that Tarp colocalization with actin filaments is independent of the Tarp phosphorylation domain. The results are consistent with a model in which chlamydial and host cell actin nucleators cooperate to increase the rate of actin filament formation.

  11. Modeling actin waves in dictyostelium cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasnik, Vaibhav; Mukhopadhyay, Ranjan

    2011-03-01

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

  12. Regimes of wave type patterning driven by refractory actin feedback: transition from static polarization to dynamic wave behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, W. R.; Carlsson, A. E.; Edelstein-Keshet, L.

    2012-08-01

    Patterns of waves, patches, and peaks of actin are observed experimentally in many living cells. Models of this phenomenon have been based on the interplay between filamentous actin (F-actin) and its nucleation promoting factors (NPFs) that activate the Arp2/3 complex. Here we present an alternative biologically-motivated model for F-actin-NPF interaction based on properties of GTPases acting as NPFs. GTPases (such as Cdc42, Rac) are known to promote actin nucleation, and to have active membrane-bound and inactive cytosolic forms. The model is a natural extension of a previous mathematical mini-model of small GTPases that generates static cell polarization. Like other modellers, we assume that F-actin negative feedback shapes the observed patterns by suppressing the trailing edge of NPF-generated wave-fronts, hence localizing the activity spatially. We find that our NPF-actin model generates a rich set of behaviours, spanning a transition from static polarization to single pulses, reflecting waves, wave trains, and oscillations localized at the cell edge. The model is developed with simplicity in mind to investigate the interaction between nucleation promoting factor kinetics and negative feedback. It explains distinct types of pattern initiation mechanisms, and identifies parameter regimes corresponding to distinct behaviours. We show that weak actin feedback yields static patterning, moderate feedback yields dynamical behaviour such as travelling waves, and strong feedback can lead to wave trains or total suppression of patterning. We use a recently introduced nonlinear bifurcation analysis to explore the parameter space of this model and predict its behaviour with simulations validating those results.

  13. Actinous enigma or enigmatic actin

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Quantifying and localizing actin-free barbed ends in neutrophils.

    PubMed

    Glogauer, Michael

    2007-01-01

    We describe here a permeablization method that retains coupling between N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) receptor stimulation and barbed-end actin nucleation in neutrophils. Using fluorescently-tagged actin monomers, we are able to quantify and localize actin-free barbed ends generated downstream of chemoattractant receptors. Partial permeabilization of the neutrophils with the mild detergent n-octyl-beta-glucopyranoside maintains signaling from membrane receptor to the actin cytoskeleton while allowing for the introduction of inhibitors and activators of signal transduction pathways implicated in regulating actin cytoskeleton dynamics. This is a useful assay for studying signal transduction to the actin cytoskeleton in neutrophils.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. The Nf-actin gene is an important factor for food-cup formation and cytotoxicity of pathogenic Naegleria fowleri.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Hae-Jin; Kim, Jong-Hyun; Shin, Myeong-Heon; Song, Kyoung-Ju; Shin, Ho-Joon

    2010-03-01

    Naegleria fowleri destroys target cells by trogocytosis, a phagocytosis mechanism, and a process of piecemeal ingestion of target cells by food-cups. Phagocytosis is an actin-dependent process that involves polymerization of monomeric G-actin into filamentous F-actin. However, despite the numerous studies concerning phagocytosis, its role in the N. fowleri food-cup formation related with trogocytosis has been poorly reported. In this study, we cloned and characterized an Nf-actin gene to elucidate the role of Nf-actin gene in N. fowleri pathogenesis. The Nf-actin gene is composed of 1,128-bp and produced a 54.1-kDa recombinant protein (Nf-actin). The sequence identity was 82% with nonpathogenic Naegleria gruberi but has no sequence identity with other mammals or human actin gene. Anti-Nf-actin polyclonal antibody was produced in BALB/c mice immunized with recombinant Nf-actin. The Nf-actin was localized on the cytoplasm, pseudopodia, and especially, food-cup structure (amoebastome) in N. fowleri trophozoites using immunofluorescence assay. When N. fowleri co-cultured with Chinese hamster ovary cells, Nf-actin was observed to localize around on phagocytic food-cups. We also observed that N. fowleri treated with cytochalasin D as actin polymerization inhibitor or transfected with antisense oligomer of Nf-actin gene had shown the reduced ability of food-cup formation and in vitro cytotoxicity. Finally, it suggests that Nf-actin plays an important role in phagocytic activity of pathogenic N. fowleri.

  17. Mechanics of Biomimetic Liposomes Encapsulating an Actin Shell.

    PubMed

    Guevorkian, Karine; Manzi, John; Pontani, Léa-Lætitia; Brochard-Wyart, Françoise; Sykes, Cécile

    2015-12-15

    Cell-shape changes are insured by a thin, dynamic, cortical layer of cytoskeleton underneath the plasma membrane. How this thin cortical structure impacts the mechanical properties of the whole cell is not fully understood. Here, we study the mechanics of liposomes or giant unilamellar vesicles, when a biomimetic actin cortex is grown at the inner layer of the lipid membrane via actin-nucleation-promoting factors. Using a hydrodynamic tube-pulling technique, we show that tube dynamics is clearly affected by the presence of an actin shell anchored to the lipid bilayer. The same force pulls much shorter tubes in the presence of the actin shell compared to bare membranes. However, in both cases, we observe that the dynamics of tube extrusion has two distinct features characteristic of viscoelastic materials: rapid elastic elongation, followed by a slower elongation phase at a constant rate. We interpret the initial elastic regime by an increase of membrane tension due to the loss of lipids into the tube. Tube length is considerably shorter for cortex liposomes at comparable pulling forces, resulting in a higher spring constant. The presence of the actin shell seems to restrict lipid mobility, as is observed in the corral effect in cells. The viscous regime for bare liposomes corresponds to a leakout of the internal liquid at constant membrane tension. The presence of the actin shell leads to a larger friction coefficient. As the tube is pulled from a patchy surface, membrane tension increases locally, leading to a Marangoni flow of lipids. As a conclusion, the presence of an actin shell is revealed by its action that alters membrane mechanics.

  18. Mechanics of Biomimetic Liposomes Encapsulating an Actin Shell

    PubMed Central

    Guevorkian, Karine; Manzi, John; Pontani, Léa-Lætitia; Brochard-Wyart, Françoise; Sykes, Cécile

    2015-01-01

    Cell-shape changes are insured by a thin, dynamic, cortical layer of cytoskeleton underneath the plasma membrane. How this thin cortical structure impacts the mechanical properties of the whole cell is not fully understood. Here, we study the mechanics of liposomes or giant unilamellar vesicles, when a biomimetic actin cortex is grown at the inner layer of the lipid membrane via actin-nucleation-promoting factors. Using a hydrodynamic tube-pulling technique, we show that tube dynamics is clearly affected by the presence of an actin shell anchored to the lipid bilayer. The same force pulls much shorter tubes in the presence of the actin shell compared to bare membranes. However, in both cases, we observe that the dynamics of tube extrusion has two distinct features characteristic of viscoelastic materials: rapid elastic elongation, followed by a slower elongation phase at a constant rate. We interpret the initial elastic regime by an increase of membrane tension due to the loss of lipids into the tube. Tube length is considerably shorter for cortex liposomes at comparable pulling forces, resulting in a higher spring constant. The presence of the actin shell seems to restrict lipid mobility, as is observed in the corral effect in cells. The viscous regime for bare liposomes corresponds to a leakout of the internal liquid at constant membrane tension. The presence of the actin shell leads to a larger friction coefficient. As the tube is pulled from a patchy surface, membrane tension increases locally, leading to a Marangoni flow of lipids. As a conclusion, the presence of an actin shell is revealed by its action that alters membrane mechanics. PMID:26682806

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Polarized growth is maintained by both polarized exocytosis, which transports membrane components to specific locations on the cell cortex, and endocytosis, which retrieves these components before they can diffuse away. Despite functional links between these two transport pathways, they are generally considered to be separate events. Using live cell imaging, in vivo and in vitro protein binding assays, and in vitro pyrene-actin polymerization assays, we show that the yeast Rab GTPase Sec4p couples polarized exocytosis with cortical actin polymerization, which induces endocytosis. After polarized exocytosis to the plasma membrane, Sec4p binds Las17/Bee1p (yeast Wiskott—Aldrich Syndrome protein [WASp]) in a complex with Sla1p and Sla2p during actin patch assembly. Mutations that inactivate Sec4p, or its guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Sec2p, inhibit actin patch formation, whereas the activating sec4-Q79L mutation accelerates patch assembly. In vitro assays of Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization established that GTPγS-Sec4p overrides Sla1p inhibition of Las17p-dependent actin nucleation. These results support a model in which Sec4p relocates along the plasma membrane from polarized sites of exocytic vesicle fusion to nascent sites of endocytosis. Activated Sec4p then promotes actin polymerization and triggers compensatory endocytosis, which controls surface expansion and kinetically refines cell polarization. PMID:27526190

  20. Actin stress in cell reprogramming

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Confinement induces actin flow in a meiotic cytoplasm

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. The role of cyclase-associated protein in regulating actin filament dynamics - more than a monomer-sequestration factor.

    PubMed

    Ono, Shoichiro

    2013-08-01

    Dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is fundamental to a number of cell biological events. A variety of actin-regulatory proteins modulate polymerization and depolymerization of actin and contribute to actin cytoskeletal reorganization. Cyclase-associated protein (CAP) is a conserved actin-monomer-binding protein that has been studied for over 20 years. Early studies have shown that CAP sequesters actin monomers; recent studies, however, have revealed more active roles of CAP in actin filament dynamics. CAP enhances the recharging of actin monomers with ATP antagonistically to ADF/cofilin, and also promotes the severing of actin filaments in cooperation with ADF/cofilin. Self-oligomerization and binding to other proteins regulate activities and localization of CAP. CAP has crucial roles in cell signaling, development, vesicle trafficking, cell migration and muscle sarcomere assembly. This Commentary discusses the recent advances in our understanding of the functions of CAP and its implications as an important regulator of actin cytoskeletal dynamics, which are involved in various cellular activities.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-05-15

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

  4. Rho GTPases, phosphoinositides, and actin

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. Identification of Actin-Binding Proteins from Maize Pollen

    SciTech Connect

    Staiger, C.J.

    2004-01-13

    Specific Aims--The goal of this project was to gain an understanding of how actin filament organization and dynamics are controlled in flowering plants. Specifically, we proposed to identify unique proteins with novel functions by investigating biochemical strategies for the isolation and characterization of actin-binding proteins (ABPs). In particular, our hunt was designed to identify capping proteins and nucleation factors. The specific aims included: (1) to use F-actin affinity chromatography (FAAC) as a general strategy to isolate pollen ABPs (2) to produce polyclonal antisera and perform subcellular localization in pollen tubes (3) to isolate cDNA clones for the most promising ABPs (4) to further purify and characterize ABP interactions with actin in vitro. Summary of Progress By employing affinity chromatography on F-actin or DNase I columns, we have identified at least two novel ABPs from pollen, PrABP80 (gelsolin-like) and ZmABP30, We have also cloned and expressed recombinant protein, as well as generated polyclonal antisera, for 6 interesting ABPs from Arabidopsis (fimbrin AtFIM1, capping protein a/b (AtCP), adenylyl cyclase-associated protein (AtCAP), AtCapG & AtVLN1). We performed quantitative analyses of the biochemical properties for two of these previously uncharacterized ABPs (fimbrin and capping protein). Our studies provide the first evidence for fimbrin activity in plants, demonstrate the existence of barbed-end capping factors and a gelsolin-like severing activity, and provide the quantitative data necessary to establish and test models of F-actin organization and dynamics in plant cells.

  7. Rocket launcher mechanism of collaborative actin assembly defined by single-molecule imaging.

    PubMed

    Breitsprecher, Dennis; Jaiswal, Richa; Bombardier, Jeffrey P; Gould, Christopher J; Gelles, Jeff; Goode, Bruce L

    2012-06-01

    Interacting sets of actin assembly factors work together in cells, but the underlying mechanisms have remained obscure. We used triple-color single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image the tumor suppressor adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) and the formin mDia1 during filament assembly. Complexes consisting of APC, mDia1, and actin monomers initiated actin filament formation, overcoming inhibition by capping protein and profilin. Upon filament polymerization, the complexes separated, with mDia1 moving processively on growing barbed ends while APC remained at the site of nucleation. Thus, the two assembly factors directly interact to initiate filament assembly and then separate but retain independent associations with either end of the growing filament.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  9. Actinic reticuloid

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-09-01

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

  10. Regulatory mimicry in Listeria monocytogenes actin-based motility

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Ryan; Swiss, Rachel; Briones, Gabriel; Stone, Kathryn L.; Gulcicek, Erol E.; Agaisse, Hervé

    2009-01-01

    Summary The actin-based motility of the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes relies on ActA, a bacterial factor mimicking the activity of host cell nucleation-promoting factors of the WASP/WAVE family. The activity of WASP and WAVE is tightly regulated in cells. However, it is not known whether the activity of ActA is regulated upon L. monocytogenes infection. Here, we used an RNAi-based genetic approach in combination with computer-assisted image analysis to investigate the role of host factors in L. monocytogenes spread from cell to cell. We showed that the host cell serine/threonine kinase CK2 is required for efficient actin tail formation. We demonstrated that, similar to WASP and WAVE, the affinity of ActA for the ARP2/3 complex is regulated by CK2-mediated phosphorylation. We also demonstrated the importance of this regulatory mechanism in a mouse model of infection. Our work suggests that ActA is a bacterial virulence factor that not only displays a structural mimic of the VCA domain of WASP/WAVE family members, but also co-opted CK2 as the host cell factor regulating its activity, a form of mimicry that we refer to as regulatory mimicry. We present comparative evidence supporting the notion that unrelated pathogens displaying actin-based motility may have evolved a similar strategy. PMID:19748468

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

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Haosu; Bidone, Tamara C.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Actin network architecture can determine myosin motor activity.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-09-01

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

  14. Pathway of actin filament branch formation by Arp2/3 complex revealed by single-molecule imaging

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Benjamin A.; Daugherty-Clarke, Karen; Goode, Bruce L.; Gelles, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    Actin filament nucleation by actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex is a critical process in cell motility and endocytosis, yet key aspects of its mechanism are unknown due to a lack of real-time observations of Arp2/3 complex through the nucleation process. Triggered by the verprolin homology, central, and acidic (VCA) region of proteins in the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) family, Arp2/3 complex produces new (daughter) filaments as branches from the sides of preexisting (mother) filaments. We visualized individual fluorescently labeled Arp2/3 complexes dynamically interacting with and producing branches on growing actin filaments in vitro. Branch formation was strikingly inefficient, even in the presence of VCA: only ∼1% of filament-bound Arp2/3 complexes yielded a daughter filament. VCA acted at multiple steps, increasing both the association rate of Arp2/3 complexes with mother filament and the fraction of filament-bound complexes that nucleated a daughter. The results lead to a quantitative kinetic mechanism for branched actin assembly, revealing the steps that can be stimulated by additional cellular factors. PMID:23292935

  15. The pros and cons of common actin labeling tools for visualizing actin dynamics during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Spracklen, Andrew J; Fagan, Tiffany N; Lovander, Kaylee E; Tootle, Tina L

    2014-09-15

    Dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is required for both development and tissue homeostasis. While fixed image analysis has provided significant insight into such events, a complete understanding of cytoskeletal dynamics requires live imaging. Numerous tools for the live imaging of actin have been generated by fusing the actin-binding domain from an actin-interacting protein to a fluorescent protein. Here we comparatively assess the utility of three such tools--Utrophin, Lifeact, and F-tractin--for characterizing the actin remodeling events occurring within the germline-derived nurse cells during Drosophila mid-oogenesis or follicle development. Specifically, we used the UAS/GAL4 system to express these tools at different levels and in different cells, and analyzed these tools for effects on fertility, alterations in the actin cytoskeleton, and ability to label filamentous actin (F-actin) structures by both fixed and live imaging. While both Utrophin and Lifeact robustly label F-actin structures within the Drosophila germline, when strongly expressed they cause sterility and severe actin defects including cortical actin breakdown resulting in multi-nucleate nurse cells, early F-actin filament and aggregate formation during stage 9 (S9), and disorganized parallel actin filament bundles during stage 10B (S10B). However, by using a weaker germline GAL4 driver in combination with a higher temperature, Utrophin can label F-actin with minimal defects. Additionally, strong Utrophin expression within the germline causes F-actin formation in the nurse cell nuclei and germinal vesicle during mid-oogenesis. Similarly, Lifeact expression results in nuclear F-actin only within the germinal vesicle. F-tractin expresses at a lower level than the other two labeling tools, but labels cytoplasmic F-actin structures well without causing sterility or striking actin defects. Together these studies reveal how critical it is to evaluate the utility of each actin labeling tool

  16. The pros and cons of common actin labeling tools for visualizing actin dynamics during Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Spracklen, Andrew J.; Fagan, Tiffany N.; Lovander, Kaylee E.; Tootle, Tina L.

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is required for both development and tissue homeostasis. While fixed image analysis has provided significant insight into such events, a complete understanding of cytoskeletal dynamics requires live imaging. Numerous tools for the live imaging of actin have been generated by fusing the actin-binding domain from an actin-interacting protein to a fluorescent protein. Here we comparatively assess the utility of three such tools – Utrophin, Lifeact, and F-tractin – for characterizing the actin remodeling events occurring within the germline-derived nurse cells during Drosophila mid-oogenesis or follicle development. Specifically, we used the UAS/GAL4 system to express these tools at different levels and in different cells, and analyzed these tools for effects on fertility, alterations in the actin cytoskeleton, and ability to label filamentous actin (F-actin) structures by both fixed and live imaging. While both Utrophin and Lifeact robustly label F-actin structures within the Drosophila germline, when strongly expressed they cause sterility and severe actin defects including cortical actin breakdown resulting in multi-nucleate nurse cells, early F-actin filament and aggregate formation during stage 9 (S9), and disorganized parallel actin filament bundles during stage 10B (S10B). However, by using a weaker germline GAL4 driver in combination with a higher temperature, Utrophin can label F-actin with minimal defects. Additionally, strong Utrophin expression within the germline causes F-actin formation in the nurse cell nuclei and germinal vesicle during mid-oogenesis. Similarly, Lifeact expression results in nuclear F-actin only within the germinal vesicle. F-tractin expresses at a lower level than the other two labeling tools, but labels cytoplasmic F-actin structures well without causing sterility or striking actin defects. Together these studies reveal how critical it is to evaluate the utility of each actin labeling

  17. Antagonistic regulation of F-BAR protein assemblies controls actin polymerization during podosome formation.

    PubMed

    Tsujita, Kazuya; Kondo, Akihiro; Kurisu, Shusaku; Hasegawa, Junya; Itoh, Toshiki; Takenawa, Tadaomi

    2013-05-15

    FBP17, an F-BAR domain protein, has emerged as a crucial factor linking the plasma membrane to WASP-mediated actin polymerization. Although it is well established that FBP17 has a powerful self-polymerizing ability that promotes actin nucleation on membranes in vitro, knowledge of inhibitory factors that counteract this activity in vivo is limited. Here, we demonstrate that the assembly of FBP17 on the plasma membranes is antagonized by PSTPIP2, another F-BAR protein implicated in auto-inflammatory disorder. Knockdown of PSTPIP2 in macrophage promotes the assembly of FBP17 as well as subsequent actin nucleation at podosomes, resulting in an enhancement of matrix degradation. This phenotype is rescued by expression of PSTPIP2 in a manner dependent on its F-BAR domain. Time-lapse total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy observations reveal that the self-assembly of FBP17 at the podosomal membrane initiates actin polymerization, whereas the clustering of PSTPIP2 has an opposite effect. Biochemical analysis and live-cell imaging show that PSTPIP2 inhibits actin polymerization by competing with FBP17 for assembly at artificial as well as the plasma membrane. Interestingly, the assembly of FBP17 is dependent on WASP, and its dissociation by WASP inhibition strongly induces a self-organization of PSTPIP2 at podosomes. Thus, our data uncover a previously unappreciated antagonism between different F-BAR domain assemblies that determines the threshold of actin polymerization for the formation of functional podosomes and may explain how the absence of PSTPIP2 causes auto-inflammatory disorder.

  18. A stable transcription factor complex nucleated by oligomeric AML1–ETO controls leukaemogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Xiao-Jian; Wang, Zhanxin; Wang, Lan; Jiang, Yanwen; Kost, Nils; Soong, T. David; Chen, Wei-Yi; Tang, Zhanyun; Nakadai, Tomoyoshi; Elemento, Olivier; Fischle, Wolfgang; Melnick, Ari; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Nimer, Stephen D.; Roeder, Robert G.

    2013-06-30

    Transcription factors are frequently altered in leukaemia through chromosomal translocation, mutation or aberrant expression. AML1–ETO, a fusion protein generated by the t(8;21) translocation in acute myeloid leukaemia, is a transcription factor implicated in both gene repression and activation. AML1–ETO oligomerization, mediated by the NHR2 domain, is critical for leukaemogenesis, making it important to identify co-regulatory factors that ‘read’ the NHR2 oligomerization and contribute to leukaemogenesis. Here we show that, in human leukaemic cells, AML1–ETO resides in and functions through a stable AML1–ETO-containing transcription factor complex (AETFC) that contains several haematopoietic transcription (co)factors. These AETFC components stabilize the complex through multivalent interactions, provide multiple DNA-binding domains for diverse target genes, co-localize genome wide, cooperatively regulate gene expression, and contribute to leukaemogenesis. Within the AETFC complex, AML1–ETO oligomerization is required for a specific interaction between the oligomerized NHR2 domain and a novel NHR2-binding (N2B) motif in E proteins. Crystallographic analysis of the NHR2–N2B complex reveals a unique interaction pattern in which an N2B peptide makes direct contact with side chains of two NHR2 domains as a dimer, providing a novel model of how dimeric/oligomeric transcription factors create a new protein-binding interface through dimerization/oligomerization. Intriguingly, disruption of this interaction by point mutations abrogates AML1–ETO-induced haematopoietic stem/progenitor cell self-renewal and leukaemogenesis. These results reveal new mechanisms of action of AML1–ETO, and provide a potential therapeutic target in t(8;21)-positive acute myeloid leukaemia.

  19. Actin-dependent propulsion of endosomes and lysosomes byrecruitment of n-wasp

    SciTech Connect

    Taunton J; Rowning BA; Coughlin ML; Wu M; Moon RT; Mitchison TJ; Larabell CA

    2000-02-07

    We examined the spatial and temporal control of actin assembly in living Xenopus eggs. Within minutes of egg activation,dynamic actin-rich comet tails appeared on a subset of cytoplasmic vesicles that were enriched in protein kinase C (PKC), causing the vesicles to move through the cytoplasm. Actin comet tail formation in vivo was stimulated by the PKC activator phorbol myristate acetate (PMA),and this process could be reconstituted in a cell-free system. We used this system to define the characteristics that distinguish vesicles associated with actin comet tails from other vesicles in the extract. We found that the protein, N-WASP, was recruited to the surface of every vesicle associated with an actin comet tail, suggesting that vesicle movement results from actin assembly nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex, the immediate downstream target of N-WASP, The motile vesicles accumulated the dye acridine orange, a marker for endosomes and lysosomes. Furthermore, vesicles associated with actin comet tails had the morphological features of multivesicular endosomes as revealed by electron microscopy. Endosomes and lysosomes from mammalian cells preferentially nucleated actin assembly and moved in the Xenopus egg extract system. These results define endosomes and lysosomes as recruitment sites for the actin nucleation machinery and demonstrate that actin assembly contributes to organelle movement. Conversely, by nucleating actin assembly, intracellular membranes may contribute to the dynamic organization of the actin cytoskeleton.

  20. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. On Capillary Rise and Nucleation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prasad, R.

    2008-01-01

    A comparison of capillary rise and nucleation is presented. It is shown that both phenomena result from a balance between two competing energy factors: a volume energy and a surface energy. Such a comparison may help to introduce nucleation with a topic familiar to the students, capillary rise. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)

  2. 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

  3. Homogeneous nucleation kinetics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rasmussen, D. H.; Appleby, M. R.; Leedom, G. L.; Babu, S. V.; Naumann, R. J.

    1983-01-01

    Homogeneous nucleation kinetics are rederived in a manner fundamentally similar to the approach of classical nucleation theory with the following modifications and improvements. First, the cluster is a parent phase cluster and does not require energization to the parent state. Second, the thermodynamic potential used to describe phase stability is a continuous function along the pathway of phase decomposition. Third, the kinetics of clustering corresponds directly to the diffusional flux of monomers through the cluster distribution and are formally similar to classical theory with the resulting kinetic equation modified by two terms in the preexponential factor. These terms correct for the influence of a supersaturation dependent clustering within the parent phase and for the influence of an asymmetrical cluster concentration as a function of cluster size at the critical cluster size. Fourth, the supersaturation dependence of the nucleation rate is of the same form as that given by classical nucleation theory. This supersaturation dependence must however be interpreted in terms of a size dependent surface tension. Finally, there are two scaling laws which describe supersaturation to either constant nucleation rate or to the thermodynamically determined physical spinodal.

  4. Dimers in nucleating vapors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lushnikov, A. A.; Kulmala, M.

    1998-09-01

    The dimer stage of nucleation may affect considerably the rate of the nucleation process at high supersaturation of the nucleating vapor. Assuming that the dimer formation limits the nucleation rate, the kinetics of the particle formation-growth process is studied starting with the definition of dimers as bound states of two associating molecules. The partition function of dimer states is calculated by summing the Boltzmann factor over all classical bound states, and the equilibrium population of dimers is found for two types of intermolecular forces: the Lennard-Jones (LJ) and rectangular well+hard core (RW) potentials. The principle of detailed balance is used for calculating the evaporation rate of dimers. The kinetics of the particle formation-growth process is then investigated under the assumption that the trimers are stable with respect to evaporation and that the condensation rate is a power function of the particle mass. If the power exponent λ=n/(n+1) (n is a non-negative integer), the kinetics of the process is described by a finite set of moments of particle mass distribution. When the characteristic time of the particle formation by nucleation is much shorter than that of the condensational growth, n+2 universal functions of a nondimensional time define the kinetic process. These functions are calculated for λ=2/3 (gas-to-particle conversion in the free molecular regime) and λ=1/2 (formation of islands on surfaces).

  5. cAMP-induced actin cytoskeleton remodelling inhibits MKL1-dependent expression of the chemotactic and pro-proliferative factor, CCN1

    PubMed Central

    Duggirala, Aparna; Kimura, Tomomi E.; Sala-Newby, Graciela B.; Johnson, Jason L.; Wu, Yih-Jer; Newby, Andrew C.; Bond, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Elevation of intracellular cAMP concentration has numerous vascular protective effects that are in part mediated via actin cytoskeleton-remodelling and subsequent regulation of gene expression. However, the mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here we investigated whether cAMP-induced actin-cytoskeleton remodelling modulates VSMC behaviour by inhibiting expression of CCN1. In cultured rat VSMC, CCN1-silencing significantly inhibited BrdU incorporation and migration in a wound healing assay. Recombinant CCN1 enhanced chemotaxis in a Boyden chamber. Adding db-cAMP, or elevating cAMP using forskolin, significantly inhibited CCN1 mRNA and protein expression in vitro; transcriptional regulation was demonstrated by measuring pre-spliced CCN1 mRNA and CCN1-promoter activity. Forskolin also inhibited CCN1 expression in balloon injured rat carotid arteries in vivo. Inhibiting RhoA activity, which regulates actin-polymerisation, by cAMP-elevation or pharmacologically with C3-transferase, or inhibiting its downstream kinase, ROCK, with Y27632, significantly inhibited CCN1 expression. Conversely, expression of constitutively active RhoA reversed the inhibitory effects of forskolin on CCN1 mRNA. Furthermore, CCN1 mRNA levels were significantly decreased by inhibiting actin-polymerisation with latrunculin B or increased by stimulating actin-polymerisation with Jasplakinolide. We next tested the role of the actin-dependent SRF co-factor, MKL1, in CCN1 expression. Forskolin inhibited nuclear translocation of MKL1 and binding of MKL1 to the CCN1 promoter. Constitutively-active MKL1 enhanced basal promoter activity of wild-type but not SRE-mutated CCN1; and prevented forskolin inhibition. Furthermore, pharmacological MKL-inhibition with CCG-1423 significantly inhibited CCN1 promoter activity as well as mRNA and protein expression. Our data demonstrates that cAMP-induced actin-cytoskeleton remodelling regulates expression of CCN1 through MKL1: it highlights a novel c

  6. cAMP-induced actin cytoskeleton remodelling inhibits MKL1-dependent expression of the chemotactic and pro-proliferative factor, CCN1.

    PubMed

    Duggirala, Aparna; Kimura, Tomomi E; Sala-Newby, Graciela B; Johnson, Jason L; Wu, Yih-Jer; Newby, Andrew C; Bond, Mark

    2015-02-01

    Elevation of intracellular cAMP concentration has numerous vascular protective effects that are in part mediated via actin cytoskeleton-remodelling and subsequent regulation of gene expression. However, the mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here we investigated whether cAMP-induced actin-cytoskeleton remodelling modulates VSMC behaviour by inhibiting expression of CCN1. In cultured rat VSMC, CCN1-silencing significantly inhibited BrdU incorporation and migration in a wound healing assay. Recombinant CCN1 enhanced chemotaxis in a Boyden chamber. Adding db-cAMP, or elevating cAMP using forskolin, significantly inhibited CCN1 mRNA and protein expression in vitro; transcriptional regulation was demonstrated by measuring pre-spliced CCN1 mRNA and CCN1-promoter activity. Forskolin also inhibited CCN1 expression in balloon injured rat carotid arteries in vivo. Inhibiting RhoA activity, which regulates actin-polymerisation, by cAMP-elevation or pharmacologically with C3-transferase, or inhibiting its downstream kinase, ROCK, with Y27632, significantly inhibited CCN1 expression. Conversely, expression of constitutively active RhoA reversed the inhibitory effects of forskolin on CCN1 mRNA. Furthermore, CCN1 mRNA levels were significantly decreased by inhibiting actin-polymerisation with latrunculin B or increased by stimulating actin-polymerisation with Jasplakinolide. We next tested the role of the actin-dependent SRF co-factor, MKL1, in CCN1 expression. Forskolin inhibited nuclear translocation of MKL1 and binding of MKL1 to the CCN1 promoter. Constitutively-active MKL1 enhanced basal promoter activity of wild-type but not SRE-mutated CCN1; and prevented forskolin inhibition. Furthermore, pharmacological MKL-inhibition with CCG-1423 significantly inhibited CCN1 promoter activity as well as mRNA and protein expression. Our data demonstrates that cAMP-induced actin-cytoskeleton remodelling regulates expression of CCN1 through MKL1: it highlights a novel c

  7. New Insights into Mechanism and Regulation of Actin Capping Protein

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, John A.; Sept, David

    2008-01-01

    The heterodimeric actin capping protein, referred to here as “CP,” is an essential element of the actin cytoskeleton, binding to the barbed ends of actin filaments and regulating their polymerization. In vitro, CP has a critical role in the dendritic nucleation process of actin assembly mediated by Arp2/3 complex, and in vivo, CP is important for actin assembly and actin-based process of morphogenesis and differentiation. Recent studies have provided new insight into the mechanism of CP binding the barbed end, which raises new possibilities for the dynamics of CP and actin in cells. In addition, a number of molecules that bind and regulate CP have been discovered, suggesting new ideas for how CP may integrate into diverse processes of cell physiology. PMID:18544499

  8. The conserved Tarp actin binding domain is important for chlamydial invasion.

    PubMed

    Jewett, Travis J; Miller, Natalie J; Dooley, Cheryl A; Hackstadt, Ted

    2010-07-15

    The translocated actin recruiting phosphoprotein (Tarp) is conserved among all pathogenic chlamydial species. Previous reports identified single C. trachomatis Tarp actin binding and proline rich domains required for Tarp mediated actin nucleation. A peptide antiserum specific for the Tarp actin binding domain was generated and inhibited actin polymerization in vitro and C. trachomatis entry in vivo, indicating an essential role for Tarp in chlamydial pathogenesis. Sequence analysis of Tarp orthologs from additional chlamydial species and C. trachomatis serovars indicated multiple putative actin binding sites. In order to determine whether the identified actin binding domains are functionally conserved, GST-Tarp fusions from multiple chlamydial species were examined for their ability to bind and nucleate actin. Chlamydial Tarps harbored variable numbers of actin binding sites and promoted actin nucleation as determined by in vitro polymerization assays. Our findings indicate that Tarp mediated actin binding and nucleation is a conserved feature among diverse chlamydial species and this function plays a critical role in bacterial invasion of host cells.

  9. Microtubule actin crosslinking factor 1 regulates the Balbiani body and animal-vegetal polarity of the zebrafish oocyte.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Tripti; Marlow, Florence L; Ferriola, Deborah; Mackiewicz, Katarzyna; Dapprich, Johannes; Monos, Dimitri; Mullins, Mary C

    2010-08-19

    Although of fundamental importance in developmental biology, the genetic basis for the symmetry breaking events that polarize the vertebrate oocyte and egg are largely unknown. In vertebrates, the first morphological asymmetry in the oocyte is the Balbiani body, a highly conserved, transient structure found in vertebrates and invertebrates including Drosophila, Xenopus, human, and mouse. We report the identification of the zebrafish magellan (mgn) mutant, which exhibits a novel enlarged Balbiani body phenotype and a disruption of oocyte polarity. To determine the molecular identity of the mgn gene, we positionally cloned the gene, employing a novel DNA capture method to target region-specific genomic DNA of 600 kb for massively parallel sequencing. Using this technique, we were able to enrich for the genomic region linked to our mutation within one week and then identify the mutation in mgn using massively parallel sequencing. This is one of the first successful uses of genomic DNA enrichment combined with massively parallel sequencing to determine the molecular identity of a gene associated with a mutant phenotype. We anticipate that the combination of these technologies will have wide applicability for the efficient identification of mutant genes in all organisms. We identified the mutation in mgn as a deletion in the coding sequence of the zebrafish microtubule actin crosslinking factor 1 (macf1) gene. macf1 is a member of the highly conserved spectraplakin family of cytoskeletal linker proteins, which play diverse roles in polarized cells such as neurons, muscle cells, and epithelial cells. In mgn mutants, the oocyte nucleus is mislocalized; and the Balbiani body, localized mRNAs, and organelles are absent from the periphery of the oocyte, consistent with a function for macf1 in nuclear anchoring and cortical localization. These data provide the first evidence for a role for spectraplakins in polarization of the vertebrate oocyte and egg.

  10. Mechano-chemical energy transduction in biological systems. The effect of mechanical stimulation on the polymerization of actin: a kinetic study.

    PubMed Central

    Ferri, A; Grazi, E

    1982-01-01

    Mechanical stimulation (forced circulation in narrow tubing) accelerates as much as 10-fold the rate of polymerization of actin. The increase in the rate is proportional to the intensity of the stimulation for flow rates between 0 and 3 cm/s. This supports the hypothesis that a statistical factor (the orientation of the flowing particles) is influenced by the flow. Comparison of the kinetics of the polymerization of resting and of mechanically stimulated actin solutions shows that both the nucleation and the elongation steps are accelerated. It is thus concluded that flow orients not only the oligomeric structures but also the actin monomers. The elongation reaction, also in the flow-stimulated samples, occurs always by the addition of ATP--G-actin (or ATP-containing oligomers) and not by the fusion of ADP-containing oligomeric structures. PMID:7138502

  11. 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.

  12. Mechanics model for actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yuan

    2009-02-01

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

  13. Nuclear Actin in Development and Transcriptional Reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Misu, Shinji; Takebayashi, Marina; Miyamoto, Kei

    2017-01-01

    Actin is a highly abundant protein in eukaryotic cells and dynamically changes its polymerized states with the help of actin-binding proteins. Its critical function as a constituent of cytoskeleton has been well-documented. Growing evidence demonstrates that actin is also present in nuclei, referred to as nuclear actin, and is involved in a number of nuclear processes, including transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. The contribution of nuclear actin to transcriptional regulation can be explained by its direct interaction with transcription machineries and chromatin remodeling factors and by controlling the activities of transcription factors. In both cases, polymerized states of nuclear actin affect the transcriptional outcome. Nuclear actin also plays an important role in activating strongly silenced genes in somatic cells for transcriptional reprogramming. When these nuclear functions of actin are considered, it is plausible to speculate that nuclear actin is also implicated in embryonic development, in which numerous genes need to be activated in a well-coordinated manner. In this review, we especially focus on nuclear actin's roles in transcriptional activation, reprogramming and development, including stem cell differentiation and we discuss how nuclear actin can be an important player in development and cell differentiation.

  14. Actinic Prurigo.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Vault-poly-ADP-ribose polymerase in the Octopus vulgaris brain: a regulatory factor of actin polymerization dynamic.

    PubMed

    De Maio, Anna; Natale, Emiliana; Rotondo, Sergio; Di Cosmo, Anna; Faraone-Mennella, Maria Rosaria

    2013-09-01

    Our previous behavioural, biochemical and immunohistochemical analyses conducted in selected regions (supra/sub oesophageal masses) of the Octopus vulgaris brain detected a cytoplasmic poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (more than 90% of total enzyme activity). The protein was identified as the vault-free form of vault-poly-ADP-ribose polymerase. The present research extends and integrates the biochemical characterization of poly-ADP-ribosylation system, namely, reaction product, i.e., poly-ADP-ribose, and acceptor proteins, in the O. vulgaris brain. Immunochemical analyses evidenced that the sole poly-ADP-ribose acceptor was the octopus cytoskeleton 50-kDa actin. It was present in both free, endogenously poly-ADP-ribosylated form (70kDa) and in complex with V-poly-ADP-ribose polymerase and poly-ADP-ribose (260kDa). The components of this complex, alkali and high salt sensitive, were purified and characterized. The kind and the length of poly-ADP-ribose corresponded to linear chains of 30-35 ADP-ribose units, in accordance with the features of the polymer synthesized by the known vault-poly-ADP-ribose polymerase. In vitro experiments showed that V-poly-ADP-ribose polymerase activity of brain cytoplasmic fraction containing endogenous actin increased upon the addition of commercial actin and was highly reduced by ATP. Anti-actin immunoblot of the mixture in the presence and absence of ATP showed that the poly-ADP-ribosylation of octopus actin is a dynamic process balanced by the ATP-dependent polymerization of the cytoskeleton protein, a fundamental mechanism for synaptic plasticity.

  16. Actin Dynamics: From Nanoscale to Microscale

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E.

    2010-01-01

    The dynamic nature of actin in cells manifests itself in many ways: Polymerization near the cell edge is balanced by depolymerization in the interior, externally induced actin polymerization is followed by depolymerization, and spontaneous oscillations of the cell periphery are frequently seen. I discuss how mathematical modeling relates quantitative measures of actin dynamics to the rates of underlying molecular level processes. The rate of actin incorporation at the leading edge of a moving cell is roughly consistent with existing theories, and the factors determining the characteristic time of actin polymerization are fairly well understood. However, our understanding of actin disassembly is limited, in particular the interplay between severing and depolymerization and the role of specific combinations of proteins in implementing disassembly events. The origins of cell-edge oscillations, and their possible relation to actin waves, are a fruitful area of future research. PMID:20462375

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

    PubMed

    Marsick, Bonnie M; Letourneau, Paul C

    2011-03-17

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

  18. Association of actin filaments with axonal microtubule tracts.

    PubMed

    Bearer, E L; Reese, T S

    1999-02-01

    Axoplasmic organelles move on actin as well as microtubules in vitro and axons contain a large amount of actin, but little is known about the organization and distribution of actin filaments within the axon. Here we undertake to define the relationship of the microtubule bundles typically found in axons to actin filaments by applying three microscopic techniques: laser-scanning confocal microscopy of immuno-labeled squid axoplasm; electronmicroscopy of conventionally prepared thin sections; and electronmicroscopy of touch preparations-a thin layer of axoplasm transferred to a specimen grid and negatively stained. Light microscopy shows that longitudinal actin filaments are abundant and usually coincide with longitudinal microtubule bundles. Electron microscopy shows that microfilaments are interwoven with the longitudinal bundles of microtubules. These bundles maintain their integrity when neurofilaments are extracted. Some, though not all microfilaments decorate with the S1 fragment of myosin, and some also act as nucleation sites for polymerization of exogenous actin, and hence are definitively identified as actin filaments. These actin filaments range in minimum length from 0.5 to 1.5 microm with some at least as long as 3.5 microm. We conclude that the microtubule-based tracks for fast organelle transport also include actin filaments. These actin filaments are sufficiently long and abundant to be ancillary or supportive of fast transport along microtubules within bundles, or to extend transport outside of the bundle. These actin filaments could also be essential for maintaining the structural integrity of the microtubule bundles.

  19. State-dependent diffusion of actin-depolymerizing factor/cofilin underlies the enlargement and shrinkage of dendritic spines

    PubMed Central

    Noguchi, Jun; Hayama, Tatsuya; Watanabe, Satoshi; Ucar, Hasan; Yagishita, Sho; Takahashi, Noriko; Kasai, Haruo

    2016-01-01

    Dendritic spines are the postsynaptic sites of most excitatory synapses in the brain, and spine enlargement and shrinkage give rise to long-term potentiation and depression of synapses, respectively. Because spine structural plasticity is accompanied by remodeling of actin scaffolds, we hypothesized that the filamentous actin regulatory protein cofilin plays a crucial role in this process. Here we investigated the diffusional properties of cofilin, the actin-severing and depolymerizing actions of which are activated by dephosphorylation. Cofilin diffusion was measured using fluorescently labeled cofilin fusion proteins and two-photon imaging. We show that cofilins are highly diffusible along dendrites in the resting state. However, during spine enlargement, wild-type cofilin and a phosphomimetic cofilin mutant remain confined to the stimulated spine, whereas a nonphosphorylatable mutant does not. Moreover, inhibition of cofilin phosphorylation with a competitive peptide disables spine enlargement, suggesting that phosphorylated-cofilin accumulation is a key regulator of enlargement, which is localized to individual spines. Conversely, spine shrinkage spreads to neighboring spines, even though triggered by weaker stimuli than enlargement. Diffusion of exogenous cofilin injected into a pyramidal neuron soma causes spine shrinkage and reduced PSD95 in spines, suggesting that diffusion of dephosphorylated endogenous cofilin underlies the spreading of spine shrinkage and long-term depression. PMID:27595610

  20. Interactions of Listeria monocytogenes with mammalian cells during entry and actin-based movement: bacterial factors, cellular ligands and signaling.

    PubMed Central

    Cossart, P; Lecuit, M

    1998-01-01

    Although <50 kb of its 3.3 megabase genome is known, Listeria monocytogenes has received much attention and an impressive amount of data has contributed in raising this bacterium among the best understood intracellular pathogens. The mechanisms that Listeria uses to enter cells, escape from the phagocytic vacuole and spread from one cell to another using an actin-based motility process have been analysed in detail. Several bacterial proteins contributing to these events have been identified, including the invasion proteins internalin A (InlA) and B (InlB), the secreted pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O (LLO) which promotes the escape from the phagocytic vacuole, and the surface protein ActA which is required for actin polymerization and bacterial movement. While LLO and ActA are critical for the infectious process and are not redundant with other listerial proteins, the precise role of InlA and InlB in vivo remains unclear. How InlA, InlB, LLO or ActA interact with the mammalian cells is beginning to be deciphered. The picture that emerges is that this bacterium uses general strategies also used by other invasive bacteria but has evolved a panel of specific tools and tricks to exploit mammalian cell functions. Their study may lead to a better understanding of important questions in cell biology such as ligand receptor signalling and dynamics of actin polymerization in mammalian cells. PMID:9669997

  1. Nuclear Actin in Development and Transcriptional Reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Misu, Shinji; Takebayashi, Marina; Miyamoto, Kei

    2017-01-01

    Actin is a highly abundant protein in eukaryotic cells and dynamically changes its polymerized states with the help of actin-binding proteins. Its critical function as a constituent of cytoskeleton has been well-documented. Growing evidence demonstrates that actin is also present in nuclei, referred to as nuclear actin, and is involved in a number of nuclear processes, including transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodeling. The contribution of nuclear actin to transcriptional regulation can be explained by its direct interaction with transcription machineries and chromatin remodeling factors and by controlling the activities of transcription factors. In both cases, polymerized states of nuclear actin affect the transcriptional outcome. Nuclear actin also plays an important role in activating strongly silenced genes in somatic cells for transcriptional reprogramming. When these nuclear functions of actin are considered, it is plausible to speculate that nuclear actin is also implicated in embryonic development, in which numerous genes need to be activated in a well-coordinated manner. In this review, we especially focus on nuclear actin’s roles in transcriptional activation, reprogramming and development, including stem cell differentiation and we discuss how nuclear actin can be an important player in development and cell differentiation. PMID:28326098

  2. Modulation of actin dynamics as potential macrophage subtype-targeting anti-tumour strategy

    PubMed Central

    Pergola, Carlo; Schubert, Katrin; Pace, Simona; Ziereisen, Jana; Nikels, Felix; Scherer, Olga; Hüttel, Stephan; Zahler, Stefan; Vollmar, Angelika M.; Weinigel, Christina; Rummler, Silke; Müller, Rolf; Raasch, Martin; Mosig, Alexander; Koeberle, Andreas; Werz, Oliver

    2017-01-01

    Tumour-associated macrophages mainly comprise immunosuppressive M2 phenotypes that promote tumour progression besides anti-tumoural M1 subsets. Selective depletion or reprogramming of M2 may represent an innovative anti-cancer strategy. The actin cytoskeleton is central for cellular homeostasis and is targeted for anti-cancer chemotherapy. Here, we show that targeting G-actin nucleation using chondramide A (ChA) predominantly depletes human M2 while promoting the tumour-suppressive M1 phenotype. ChA reduced the viability of M2, with minor effects on M1, but increased tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α release from M1. Interestingly, ChA caused rapid disruption of dynamic F-actin filaments and polymerization of G-actin, followed by reduction of cell size, binucleation and cell division, without cellular collapse. In M1, but not in M2, ChA caused marked activation of SAPK/JNK and NFκB, with slight or no effects on Akt, STAT-1/-3, ERK-1/2, and p38 MAPK, seemingly accounting for the better survival of M1 and TNFα secretion. In a microfluidically-supported human tumour biochip model, circulating ChA-treated M1 markedly reduced tumour cell viability through enhanced release of TNFα. Together, ChA may cause an anti-tumoural microenvironment by depletion of M2 and activation of M1, suggesting induction of G-actin nucleation as potential strategy to target tumour-associated macrophages in addition to neoplastic cells. PMID:28134280

  3. Autographa californica Multiple Nucleopolyhedrovirus Ac34 Protein Retains Cellular Actin-Related Protein 2/3 Complex in the Nucleus by Subversion of CRM1-Dependent Nuclear Export

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Jingfang; Zhang, Yongli; Hu, Yangyang; Hu, Xue; Zhou, Yuan; Pei, Rongjuan; Wu, Chunchen; Chen, Jizheng; van Oers, Monique M.; Chen, Xinwen; Wang, Yun

    2016-01-01

    Actin, nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs), and the actin-related protein 2/3 complex (Arp2/3) are key elements of the cellular actin polymerization machinery. With nuclear actin polymerization implicated in ever-expanding biological processes and the discovery of the nuclear import mechanisms of actin and NPFs, determining Arp2/3 nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling mechanism is important for understanding the function of nuclear actin. A unique feature of alphabaculovirus infection of insect cells is the robust nuclear accumulation of Arp2/3, which induces actin polymerization in the nucleus to assist in virus replication. We found that Ac34, a viral late gene product encoded by the alphabaculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), is involved in Arp2/3 nuclear accumulation during virus infection. Further assays revealed that the subcellular distribution of Arp2/3 under steady-state conditions is controlled by chromosomal maintenance 1 (CRM1)-dependent nuclear export. Upon AcMNPV infection, Ac34 inhibits CRM1 pathway and leads to Arp2/3 retention in the nucleus. PMID:27802336

  4. Actin filament curvature biases branching direction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Evan; Risca, Viviana; Chaudhuri, Ovijit; Chia, Jia-Jun; Geissler, Phillip; Fletcher, Daniel

    2012-02-01

    Actin filaments are key components of the cellular machinery, vital for a wide range of processes ranging from cell motility to endocytosis. Actin filaments can branch, and essential in this process is a protein complex known as the Arp2/3 complex, which nucleate new ``daughter'' filaments from pre-existing ``mother'' filaments by attaching itself to the mother filament. Though much progress has been made in understanding the Arp2/3-actin junction, some very interesting questions remain. In particular, F-actin is a dynamic polymer that undergoes a wide range of fluctuations. Prior studies of the Arp2/3-actin junction provides a very static notion of Arp2/3 binding. The question we ask is how differently does the Arp2/3 complex interact with a straight filament compared to a bent filament? In this study, we used Monte Carlo simulations of a surface-tethered worm-like chain to explore possible mechanisms underlying the experimental observation that there exists preferential branch formation by the Arp2/3 complex on the convex face of a curved filament. We show that a fluctuation gating model in which Arp2/3 binding to the actin filament is dependent upon a rare high-local-curvature shape fluctuation of the filament is consistent with the experimental data.

  5. 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.

  6. Actin dynamics in mouse fibroblasts in microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  7. Overexpression of actin-depolymerizing factor blocks oxidized low-density lipoprotein-induced mouse brain microvascular endothelial cell barrier dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Sun, Lu; Si, Yan-Fang; Li, Bao-Min

    2012-12-01

    The aim of present work was to elucidate the role of actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF), an important regulator of actin cytoskeleton, in the oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL)-induced blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption. The primary mouse brain microvascular endothelial cells (MBMECs) were exposed to ox-LDL. Treatment with LDL served as control. It was found that ADF mRNA level and protein expression were decreased when exposed to ox-LDL in MBMECs. Then, we investigated the influence of ADF overexpression on ox-LDL-treated MBMECs. Structurally, overexpression of ADF inhibited ox-LDL-induced F-actin formation. Functionally, overexpression of ADF attenuated ox-LDL-induced disruption of endothelial barrier marked by restoration of transendothelial electrical resistance, permeability of Evans Blue and expression of tight junction-associated proteins including ZO-1 and occludin, and blocked ox-LDL-induced oxidative stress marked by inhibition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and activity of NADPH oxidase and Nox2 expression. However, overexpression of ADF in control cells had no significant effect on endothelial permeability and ROS formation. In conclusion, overexpression of ADF blocks ox-LDL-induced disruption of endothelial barrier. In addition, siRNA-mediated downregulation of ADF expression aggravated ox-LDL-induced disruption of endothelial barrier and ROS formation. These findings identify ADF as a key signaling molecule in the regulation of BBB integrity and suggest that ADF might be used as a target to modulate diseases accompanied by ox-LDL-induced BBB compromise.

  8. EFA6, exchange factor for ARF6, regulates the actin cytoskeleton and associated tight junction in response to E-cadherin engagement.

    PubMed

    Luton, Frédéric; Klein, Stéphanie; Chauvin, Jean-Paul; Le Bivic, André; Bourgoin, Sylvain; Franco, Michel; Chardin, Pierre

    2004-03-01

    We addressed the role of EFA6, exchange factor for ARF6, during the development of epithelial cell polarity in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. EFA6 is located primarily at the apical pole of polarized cells, including the plasma membrane. After calcium-triggered E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion, EFA6 is recruited to a Triton X-100-insoluble fraction and its protein level is increased concomitantly to the accelerated formation of a functional tight junction (TJ). The expression of EFA6 results in the selective retention at the cell surface of the TJ protein occludin. This effect is due to EFA6 capacities to promote selectively the stability of the apical actin ring onto which the TJ is anchored, resulting in the exclusion of TJ proteins from endocytosis. Finally, our data suggest that EFA6 effects are achieved by the coordinate action of both its exchange activity and its actin remodeling C-terminal domain. We conclude that EFA6 is a signaling molecule that responds to E-cadherin engagement and is involved in TJ formation and stability.

  9. Fine-Tuning of the Actin Cytoskeleton and Cell Adhesion During Drosophila Development by the Unconventional Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors Myoblast City and Sponge

    PubMed Central

    Biersmith, Bridget; Wang, Zong-Heng; Geisbrecht, Erika R.

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionarily conserved Dock proteins function as unconventional guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Upon binding to engulfment and cell motility (ELMO) proteins, Dock–ELMO complexes activate the Rho family of small GTPases to mediate a diverse array of biological processes, including cell motility, apoptotic cell clearance, and axon guidance. Overlapping expression patterns and functional redundancy among the 11 vertebrate Dock family members, which are subdivided into four families (Dock A, B, C, and D), complicate genetic analysis. In both vertebrate and invertebrate systems, the actin dynamics regulator, Rac, is the target GTPase of the Dock-A subfamily. However, it remains unclear whether Rac or Rap1 are the in vivo downstream GTPases of the Dock-B subfamily. Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent genetic model organism for understanding Dock protein function as its genome encodes one ortholog per subfamily: Myoblast city (Mbc; Dock A) and Sponge (Spg; Dock B). Here we show that the roles of Spg and Mbc are not redundant in the Drosophila somatic muscle or the dorsal vessel. Moreover, we confirm the in vivo role of Mbc upstream of Rac and provide evidence that Spg functions in concert with Rap1, possibly to regulate aspects of cell adhesion. Together these data show that Mbc and Spg can have different downstream GTPase targets. Our findings predict that the ability to regulate downstream GTPases is dependent on cellular context and allows for the fine-tuning of actin cytoskeletal or cell adhesion events in biological processes that undergo cell morphogenesis. PMID:25908317

  10. Fine-Tuning of the Actin Cytoskeleton and Cell Adhesion During Drosophila Development by the Unconventional Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors Myoblast City and Sponge.

    PubMed

    Biersmith, Bridget; Wang, Zong-Heng; Geisbrecht, Erika R

    2015-06-01

    The evolutionarily conserved Dock proteins function as unconventional guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Upon binding to engulfment and cell motility (ELMO) proteins, Dock-ELMO complexes activate the Rho family of small GTPases to mediate a diverse array of biological processes, including cell motility, apoptotic cell clearance, and axon guidance. Overlapping expression patterns and functional redundancy among the 11 vertebrate Dock family members, which are subdivided into four families (Dock A, B, C, and D), complicate genetic analysis. In both vertebrate and invertebrate systems, the actin dynamics regulator, Rac, is the target GTPase of the Dock-A subfamily. However, it remains unclear whether Rac or Rap1 are the in vivo downstream GTPases of the Dock-B subfamily. Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent genetic model organism for understanding Dock protein function as its genome encodes one ortholog per subfamily: Myoblast city (Mbc; Dock A) and Sponge (Spg; Dock B). Here we show that the roles of Spg and Mbc are not redundant in the Drosophila somatic muscle or the dorsal vessel. Moreover, we confirm the in vivo role of Mbc upstream of Rac and provide evidence that Spg functions in concert with Rap1, possibly to regulate aspects of cell adhesion. Together these data show that Mbc and Spg can have different downstream GTPase targets. Our findings predict that the ability to regulate downstream GTPases is dependent on cellular context and allows for the fine-tuning of actin cytoskeletal or cell adhesion events in biological processes that undergo cell morphogenesis.

  11. Translation elongation factor EF-Tu modulates filament formation of actin-like MreB protein in vitro.

    PubMed

    Defeu Soufo, Hervé Joël; Reimold, Christian; Breddermann, Hannes; Mannherz, Hans G; Graumann, Peter L

    2015-04-24

    EF-Tu has been shown to interact with actin-like protein MreB and to affect its localization in Escherichia coli and in Bacillus subtilis cells. We have purified YFP-MreB in an active form, which forms filaments on glass slides in vitro and was active in dynamic light-scattering assays, polymerizing in milliseconds after addition of magnesium. Purified EF-Tu enhanced the amount of MreB filaments, as seen by sedimentation assays, the speed of filament formation and the length of MreB filaments in vitro. EF-Tu had the strongest impact on MreB filaments in a 1:1 ratio, and EF-Tu co-sedimented with MreB filaments, revealing a stoichiometric interaction between both proteins. This was supported by cross-linking assays where 1:1 species were well detectable. When expressed in E. coli cells, B. subtilis MreB formed filaments and induced the formation of co-localizing B. subtilis EF-Tu structures, indicating that MreB can direct the positioning of EF-Tu structures in a heterologous cell system. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis showed that MreB filaments have a higher turnover in B. subtilis cells than in E. coli cells, indicating different filament kinetics in homologous or heterologous cell systems. The data show that MreB can direct the localization of EF-Tu in vivo, which in turn positively affects the formation and dynamics of MreB filaments. Thus, EF-Tu is a modulator of the activity of a bacterial actin-like protein.

  12. The ability of an attaching and effacing pathogen to trigger localized actin assembly contributes to virulence by promoting mucosal attachment

    PubMed Central

    Mallick, Emily M.; Garber, John J.; Vanguri, Vijay K.; Balasubramanian, Sowmya; Blood, Timothy; Clark, Stacie; Vingadassalom, Didier; Louissaint, Christopher; McCormick, Beth; Snapper, Scott B.; Leong, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) adheres to intestinal epithelial cells, then stimulates the actin nucleation promoting factor N-WASP to induce localized actin assembly resulting in an actin “pedestal”, the function of which is poorly understood. EHEC also produces Shiga toxin (Stx), which penetrates the intestinal epithelium to cause a life-threatening renal and systemic disease. To assess the role of pedestal formation in colonization and disease, we utilized the murine pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, which also forms actin pedestals, and the genetically engineered C. rodentium (Φstx2dact), which additionally triggers Stx-mediated systemic disease. We found that an intestine-specific N-WASP-deficient (iNWKO) mouse suffered dramatically less colonization and disease than N-WASP-proficient littermate controls when infected with either strain. In addition, upon infection of wild type mice, mutants of C. rodentium or C. rodentium (Φstx2dact) that are specifically defective in pedestal formation demonstrated a relatively modest defect in cecal colonization and fecal shedding, but a more severe defect in colonization of the colonic mucosa. The C. rodentium (Φstx2dact) pedestal-defective mutant did not cause renal disease and, after normalizing for fecal bacterial load, was associated with a 16-fold lower risk of lethality. These findings suggest that the ability of an attaching and effacing pathogen to promote localized actin assembly contributes to virulence by promoting mucosal attachment. PMID:24780054

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-07

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

  14. 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

  15. Bulk cytoplasmic actin and its functions in meiosis and mitosis.

    PubMed

    Field, Christine M; Lénárt, Péter

    2011-10-11

    Discussions of actin cell biology generally focus on the cortex, a thin, actin-rich layer of cytoplasm under the plasma membrane. Here we review the much less studied biology of actin filaments deeper in the cytoplasm and their recently revealed functions in mitosis and meiosis that are most prominent in large oocyte, egg and early embryo cells. The cellular functions of cytoplasmic actin range from the assembly and positioning of meiotic spindles to the prevention of cytoplasmic streaming. We discuss the possible use of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms to nucleate and organize actin filaments to achieve these diverse cellular functions, the cell-cycle regulation of these functions, and the many unanswered questions about this largely unexplored mechanism of cytoplasmic organization.

  16. Fimbrin phosphorylation by metaphase Cdk1 regulates actin cable dynamics in budding yeast

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Yansong; Han, Xuemei; Zheng, Liangzhen; Xie, Ying; Mu, Yuguang; Yates, John R.; Drubin, David G.

    2016-01-01

    Actin cables, composed of actin filament bundles nucleated by formins, mediate intracellular transport for cell polarity establishment and maintenance. We previously observed that metaphase cells preferentially promote actin cable assembly through cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) activity. However, the relevant metaphase Cdk1 targets were not known. Here we show that the highly conserved actin filament crosslinking protein fimbrin is a critical Cdk1 target for actin cable assembly regulation in budding yeast. Fimbrin is specifically phosphorylated on threonine 103 by the metaphase cyclin–Cdk1 complex, in vivo and in vitro. On the basis of conformational simulations, we suggest that this phosphorylation stabilizes fimbrin's N-terminal domain, and modulates actin filament binding to regulate actin cable assembly and stability in cells. Overall, this work identifies fimbrin as a key target for cell cycle regulation of actin cable assembly in budding yeast, and suggests an underlying mechanism. PMID:27068241

  17. Villin severing activity enhances actin-based motility in vivo.

    PubMed

    Revenu, Céline; Courtois, Matthieu; Michelot, Alphée; Sykes, Cécile; Louvard, Daniel; Robine, Sylvie

    2007-03-01

    Villin, an actin-binding protein associated with the actin bundles that support microvilli, bundles, caps, nucleates, and severs actin in a calcium-dependant manner in vitro. We hypothesized that the severing activity of villin is responsible for its reported role in enhancing cell plasticity and motility. To test this hypothesis, we chose a loss of function strategy and introduced mutations in villin based on sequence comparison with CapG. By pyrene-actin assays, we demonstrate that this mutant has a strongly reduced severing activity, whereas nucleation and capping remain unaffected. The bundling activity and the morphogenic effects of villin in cells are also preserved in this mutant. We thus succeeded in dissociating the severing from the three other activities of villin. The contribution of villin severing to actin dynamics is analyzed in vivo through the actin-based movement of the intracellular bacteria Shigella flexneri in cells expressing villin and its severing variant. The severing mutations abolish the gain of velocity induced by villin. To further analyze this effect, we reconstituted an in vitro actin-based bead movement in which the usual capping protein is replaced by either the wild type or the severing mutant of villin. Confirming the in vivo results, villin-severing activity enhances the velocity of beads by more than two-fold and reduces the density of actin in the comets. We propose a model in which, by severing actin filaments and capping their barbed ends, villin increases the concentration of actin monomers available for polymerization, a mechanism that might be paralleled in vivo when an enterocyte undergoes an epithelio-mesenchymal transition.

  18. Villin Severing Activity Enhances Actin-based Motility In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Revenu, Céline; Courtois, Matthieu; Michelot, Alphée; Sykes, Cécile; Louvard, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    Villin, an actin-binding protein associated with the actin bundles that support microvilli, bundles, caps, nucleates, and severs actin in a calcium-dependant manner in vitro. We hypothesized that the severing activity of villin is responsible for its reported role in enhancing cell plasticity and motility. To test this hypothesis, we chose a loss of function strategy and introduced mutations in villin based on sequence comparison with CapG. By pyrene-actin assays, we demonstrate that this mutant has a strongly reduced severing activity, whereas nucleation and capping remain unaffected. The bundling activity and the morphogenic effects of villin in cells are also preserved in this mutant. We thus succeeded in dissociating the severing from the three other activities of villin. The contribution of villin severing to actin dynamics is analyzed in vivo through the actin-based movement of the intracellular bacteria Shigella flexneri in cells expressing villin and its severing variant. The severing mutations abolish the gain of velocity induced by villin. To further analyze this effect, we reconstituted an in vitro actin-based bead movement in which the usual capping protein is replaced by either the wild type or the severing mutant of villin. Confirming the in vivo results, villin-severing activity enhances the velocity of beads by more than two-fold and reduces the density of actin in the comets. We propose a model in which, by severing actin filaments and capping their barbed ends, villin increases the concentration of actin monomers available for polymerization, a mechanism that might be paralleled in vivo when an enterocyte undergoes an epithelio-mesenchymal transition. PMID:17182858

  19. Dynamics of an actin spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riera, Christophe; Mahadevan, L.; Shin, Jennifer; Matsudaira, Paul

    2003-03-01

    The acrosome of the sperm of the horseshoe crab (Limulus Polyphemus) is an unusual actin based system that shows a spectacular dynamical transition in the presence of Ca++ that is present in abundance in the neighborhood of the egg. During this process, the bundle, which is initially bent and twisted uncoils and becomes straight in a matter of a few seconds. Based on microstructural data, we propose a model for the dynamics of uncoiling that is best represented by a triple-well potential corresponding to the different structural arrangements of the supertwisted filaments. Each of the false, true and coiled states corresponds to a local minimum of the energy, with the true state being the one with the lowest energy. Using an evolution equation derived by balancing torques, we investigate the nucleation and propagation of the phase transition and compare the results with those of experiments. Our model quantifies the hypothesis that the acrosomal bundle behaves like a mechano-chemical spring.

  20. Comparison of the interfacial energy and pre-exponential factor calculated from the induction time and metastable zone width data based on classical nucleation theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiau, Lie-Ding

    2016-09-01

    The pre-exponential factor and interfacial energy obtained from the metastable zone width (MSZW) data using the integral method proposed by Shiau and Lu [1] are compared in this study with those obtained from the induction time data using the conventional method (ti ∝J-1) for three crystallization systems, including potassium sulfate in water in a 200 mL vessel, borax decahydrate in water in a 100 mL vessel and butyl paraben in ethanol in a 5 mL tube. The results indicate that the pre-exponential factor and interfacial energy calculated from the induction time data based on classical nucleation theory are consistent with those calculated from the MSZW data using the same detection technique for the studied systems.

  1. IRF4, MC1R and TYR genes are risk factors for actinic keratosis independent of skin color.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Leonie C; Liu, Fan; Pardo, Luba M; Hofman, Albert; Uitterlinden, André G; Kayser, Manfred; Nijsten, Tamar

    2015-06-01

    Actinic keratosis (AK) is a pre-malignant skin disease, highly prevalent in elderly Europeans. This study investigates genetic susceptibility to AK with a genome-wide association study (GWAS). A full body skin examination was performed in 3194 elderly individuals from the Rotterdam Study (RS) of exclusive north-western European origin (aged 51-99 years, 45% male). Physicians graded the number of AK into four severity levels: none (76%), 1-3 (14%), 4-9 (6%) and ≥10 (5%), and skin color was quantified using a spectrophotometer on sun-unexposed skin. A GWAS for AK severity was conducted, where promising signals at IRF4 and MC1R (P < 4.2 × 10(-7)) were successfully replicated in an additional cohort of 623 RS individuals (IRF4, rs12203592, Pcombined = 6.5 × 10(-13) and MC1R, rs139810560, Pcombined = 4.1 × 10(-9)). Further, in an analysis of ten additional well-known human pigmentation genes, TYR also showed significant association with AK (rs1393350, P = 5.3 × 10(-4)) after correction for multiple testing. Interestingly, the strength and significance of above-mentioned associations retained largely the same level after skin color adjustment. Overall, our data strongly suggest that IRF4, MC1R and TYR genes likely have pleiotropic effects, a combination of pigmentation and oncogenic functions, resulting in an increased risk of AK.

  2. X-ray scattering study of actin polymerization nuclei assembled by tandem W domains

    SciTech Connect

    Rebowski, Grzegorz; Boczkowska, Malgorzata; Hayes, David B.; Guo, Liang; Irving, Thomas C.; Dominguez, Roberto

    2008-08-27

    The initiation of actin polymerization in cells requires actin filament nucleators. With the exception of formins, known filament nucleators use the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP) homology 2 (WH2 or W) domain for interaction with actin. A common architecture, found in Spire, Cobl, VopL, and VopF, consists of tandem W domains that tie together three to four actin monomers to form a polymerization nucleus. Uncontrollable polymerization has prevented the structural investigation of such nuclei. We have engineered stable nuclei consisting of an actin dimer and a trimer stabilized by tandem W domain hybrid constructs and studied their structures in solution by x-ray scattering. We show that Spire-like tandem W domains stabilize a polymerization nucleus by lining up actin subunits along the long-pitch helix of the actin filament. Intersubunit contacts in the polymerization nucleus, thought to involve the DNase I-binding loop of actin, coexist with the binding of the W domain in the cleft between actin subdomains 1 and 3. The successful stabilization of filament-like multiactin assemblies opens the way to the crystallographic investigation of intersubunit contacts in the actin filament.

  3. 54Mn2+ as a tracer of the polymerization of actin. Intermediate oligomers condense to give F-actin.

    PubMed Central

    Grazi, E

    1984-01-01

    Mg2+, at submicromolar concentrations, is needed for the nucleation of actin [Maruyama (1981) J. Biol. Chem. 256, 1060-1062]. I show here that Mn2+ fulfils the same function. It binds to oligomers present in the ATP-G-actin solutions with a ratio of 2-3 Mn2+ ions per 100 actin monomers and with an association constant of 0.66 X 10(10) M-1 at pH 8.2 at 25 degrees C. The time course of the binding of Mn2+ to polymerizing actin is not affected by the initial concentration of the protein. Analysis of the distribution of the binding shows that, both in the large oligomeric species and in the polymers, 1 Mn2+ ion is bound for every 14-25 actin monomers, whereas in the smaller oligomeric species 1 Mn2+ ion is bound for every 4 actin monomers. The proposal is made that Mn2+ stabilizes actin nuclei and decreases the concentration of the monomers at the steady state. It is also proposed that, at least in some experimental conditions, the direct condensation of oligomers of intermediate length is an effective mechanism of F-actin formation. PMID:6508731

  4. Regulation of actin polymerization by tropomodulin-3 controls megakaryocyte actin organization and platelet biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sui, Zhenhua; Nowak, Roberta B; Sanada, Chad; Halene, Stephanie; Krause, Diane S; Fowler, Velia M

    2015-07-23

    The actin cytoskeleton is important for platelet biogenesis. Tropomodulin-3 (Tmod3), the only Tmod isoform detected in platelets and megakaryocytes (MKs), caps actin filament (F-actin) pointed ends and binds tropomyosins (TMs), regulating actin polymerization and stability. To determine the function of Tmod3 in platelet biogenesis, we studied Tmod3(-/-) embryos, which are embryonic lethal by E18.5. Tmod3(-/-) embryos often show hemorrhaging at E14.5 with fewer and larger platelets, indicating impaired platelet biogenesis. MK numbers are moderately increased in Tmod3(-/-) fetal livers, with only a slight increase in the 8N population, suggesting that MK differentiation is not significantly affected. However, Tmod3(-/-) MKs fail to develop a normal demarcation membrane system (DMS), and cytoplasmic organelle distribution is abnormal. Moreover, cultured Tmod3(-/-) MKs exhibit impaired proplatelet formation with a wide range of proplatelet bud sizes, including abnormally large proplatelet buds containing incorrect numbers of von Willebrand factor-positive granules. Tmod3(-/-) MKs exhibit F-actin disturbances, and Tmod3(-/-) MKs spreading on collagen fail to polymerize F-actin into actomyosin contractile bundles. Tmod3 associates with TM4 and the F-actin cytoskeleton in wild-type MKs, and confocal microscopy reveals that Tmod3, TM4, and F-actin partially colocalize near the membrane of proplatelet buds. In contrast, the abnormally large proplatelets from Tmod3(-/-) MKs show increased F-actin and redistribution of F-actin and TM4 from the cortex to the cytoplasm, but normal microtubule coil organization. We conclude that F-actin capping by Tmod3 regulates F-actin organization in mouse fetal liver-derived MKs, thereby controlling MK cytoplasmic morphogenesis, including DMS formation and organelle distribution, as well as proplatelet formation and sizing.

  5. Prostaglandins temporally regulate cytoplasmic actin bundle formation during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Spracklen, Andrew J; Kelpsch, Daniel J; Chen, Xiang; Spracklen, Cassandra N; Tootle, Tina L

    2014-02-01

    Prostaglandins (PGs)--lipid signals produced downstream of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes--regulate actin dynamics in cell culture and platelets, but their roles during development are largely unknown. Here we define a new role for Pxt, the Drosophila COX-like enzyme, in regulating the actin cytoskeleton--temporal restriction of actin remodeling during oogenesis. PGs are required for actin filament bundle formation during stage 10B (S10B). In addition, loss of Pxt results in extensive early actin remodeling, including actin filaments and aggregates, within the posterior nurse cells of S9 follicles; wild-type follicles exhibit similar structures at a low frequency. Hu li tai shao (Hts-RC) and Villin (Quail), an actin bundler, localize to all early actin structures, whereas Enabled (Ena), an actin elongation factor, preferentially localizes to those in pxt mutants. Reduced Ena levels strongly suppress early actin remodeling in pxt mutants. Furthermore, loss of Pxt results in reduced Ena localization to the sites of bundle formation during S10B. Together these data lead to a model in which PGs temporally regulate actin remodeling during Drosophila oogenesis by controlling Ena localization/activity, such that in S9, PG signaling inhibits, whereas at S10B, it promotes Ena-dependent actin remodeling.

  6. Actinic Granuloma with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Phasukthaworn, Ruedee; Chanprapaph, Kumutnart; Vachiramon, Vasanop

    2016-01-01

    Actinic granuloma is an uncommon granulomatous disease, characterized by annular erythematous plaque with central clearing predominately located on sun-damaged skin. The pathogenesis is not well understood, ultraviolet radiation is recognized as precipitating factor. We report a case of a 52-year-old woman who presented with asymptomatic annular erythematous plaques on the forehead and both cheeks persisting for 2 years. The clinical presentation and histopathologic findings support the diagnosis of actinic granuloma. During that period of time, she also developed focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. The association between actinic granuloma and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis needs to be clarified by further studies. PMID:27293392

  7. Piracy of decay-accelerating factor (CD55) signal transduction by the diffusely adhering strain Escherichia coli C1845 promotes cytoskeletal F-actin rearrangements in cultured human intestinal INT407 cells.

    PubMed

    Peiffer, I; Servin, A L; Bernet-Camard, M F

    1998-09-01

    Diffusely adhering Escherichia coli (DAEC) C1845 (clinical isolate) harboring the fimbrial adhesin F1845 can infect cultured human differentiated intestinal epithelial cells; this process is followed by the disassembly of the actin network in the apical domain. The aim of this study was to examine the mechanism by which DAEC C1845 promotes F-actin rearrangements. For this purpose, we used a human embryonic intestinal cell line (INT407) expressing the membrane-associated glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) protein-anchored decay-accelerating factor (DAF), the receptor of the F1845 adhesin. We show here that infection of INT407 cells by DAEC C1845 can provoke dramatic F-actin rearrangements without cell entry. Clustering of phosphotyrosines was observed, revealing that the DAEC C1845-DAF interaction involves the recruitment of signal transduction molecules. A pharmacological approach with a subset of inhibitors of signal transduction molecules was used to identify the cascade of signal transduction molecules that are coupled to the DAF, that are activated upon infection, and that promote the F-actin rearrangements. DAEC C1845-induced F-actin rearrangements can be blocked dose dependently by protein tyrosine kinase, phospholipase Cgamma, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, protein kinase C, and Ca2+ inhibitors. F-actin rearrangements and blocking by inhibitors were observed after infection of the cells with two E. coli recombinants carrying the plasmids containing the fimbrial adhesin F1845 or the fimbrial hemagglutinin Dr, belonging to the same family of adhesins. These findings show that the DAEC Dr family of pathogens promotes alterations in the intestinal cell cytoskeleton by piracy of the DAF-GPI signal cascade without bacterial cell entry.

  8. [Actin in the wound healing process].

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Ice-Nucleating Bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obata, Hitoshi

    Since the discovery of ice-nucleating bacteria in 1974 by Maki et al., a large number of studies on the biological characteristics, ice-nucleating substance, ice nucleation gene and frost damage etc. of the bacteria have been carried out. Ice-nucleating bacteria can cause the freezing of water at relatively warm temperature (-2.3°C). Tween 20 was good substrates for ice-nucleating activity of Pseudomonas fluorescens KUIN-1. Major fatty acids of Isolate (Pseudomonas fluorescens) W-11 grown at 30°C were palmitic, cis-9-hexadecenoic and cis-11-octadecenoic which amounted to 90% of the total fatty acids. Sequence analysis shows that an ice nucleation gene from Pseudomonas fluorescens is related to the gene of Pseudomonas syringae.

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

    PubMed

    Normoyle, Kieran P M; Brieher, William M

    2012-10-12

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

  11. Nucleation and Growth of Integrin Adhesions

    PubMed Central

    Atilgan, Erdinç; Ovryn, Ben

    2009-01-01

    We present a model that provides a mechanistic understanding of the processes that govern the formation of the earliest integrin adhesions ex novo from an approximately planar plasma membrane. Using an analytic analysis of the free energy of a dynamically deformable membrane containing freely diffusing receptors molecules and long repeller molecules that inhibit integrins from binding with ligands on the extracellular matrix, we predict that a coalescence of polymerizing actin filaments can deform the membrane toward the extracellular matrix and facilitate integrin binding. Monte Carlo simulations of this system show that thermally induced membrane fluctuations can either zip-up and increase the radius of a nucleated adhesion or unzip and shrink an adhesion, but the fluctuations cannot bend the ventral membrane to nucleate an adhesion. To distinguish this integrin adhesion from more mature adhesions, we refer to this early adhesion as a nouveau adhesion. PMID:19413961

  12. Erbium laser resurfacing for actinic cheilitis.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Joel L

    2013-11-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition characterized by grayish-whitish area(s) of discoloration on the mucosal lip, often blunting the demarcation between mucosa and cutaneous lip. Actinic cheilitis is considered to be an early part of the spectrum of squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma specifically of the lip has a high rate of recurrence and metastasis through the oral cavity leading to a poor overall survival. Risk factors for the development of actinic cheilitis include chronic solar irradiation, increasing age, male gender, light skin complexion, immunosuppression, and possibly tobacco and alcohol consumption. Treatment options include topical pharmacotherapy (eg, fluorouracil, imiquimod) or procedural interventions (eg, cryotherapy, electrosurgery, surgical vermillionectomy, laser resurfacing), each with their known advantages and disadvantages. There is little consensus as to which treatment options offer the most clinical utility given the paucity of comparative clinical data. In my practice, laser resurfacing has become an important tool for the treatment of actinic cheilitis owing to its ease of use and overall safety, tolerability, and cosmetic acceptability. Herein the use of erbium laser resurfacing is described for three actinic cheilitis presentations for which I find it particularly useful: clinically prominent actinic cheilitis, biopsy-proven actinic cheilitis, and treatment of the entire lip following complete tumor excision of squamous cell carcinoma. All patients were treated with a 2940-nm erbium laser (Sciton Profile Contour Tunable Resurfacing Laser [TRL], Sciton, Inc., Palo Alto, CA).

  13. Ice nucleation on carbon surface supports the classical theory for heterogeneous nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabriolu, Raffaela; Li, Tianshu

    2015-05-01

    The prevalence of heterogeneous nucleation in nature was explained qualitatively by the classical theory for heterogeneous nucleation established over more than 60 years ago, but the quantitative validity and the key conclusions of the theory have remained unconfirmed. Employing the forward flux sampling method and the coarse-grained water model (mW), we explicitly computed the heterogeneous ice nucleation rates in the supercooled water on a graphitic surface at various temperatures. The independently calculated ice nucleation rates were found to fit well according to the classical theory for heterogeneous nucleation. The fitting procedure further yields the estimate of the potency factor, which measures the ratio of the heterogeneous nucleation barrier to the homogeneous nucleation barrier. Remarkably, the estimated potency factor agrees quantitatively with the volumetric ratio of the critical nuclei between the heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation. Our numerical study thus provides a strong support to the quantitative power of the theory and allows understanding ice nucleation behaviors under the most relevant freezing conditions.

  14. Diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins is influenced by the activity of dynamic cortical actin.

    PubMed

    Saha, Suvrajit; Lee, Il-Hyung; Polley, Anirban; Groves, Jay T; Rao, Madan; Mayor, Satyajit

    2015-11-05

    Molecular diffusion at the surface of living cells is believed to be predominantly driven by thermal kicks. However, there is growing evidence that certain cell surface molecules are driven by the fluctuating dynamics of cortical cytoskeleton. Using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we measure the diffusion coefficient of a variety of cell surface molecules over a temperature range of 24-37 °C. Exogenously incorporated fluorescent lipids with short acyl chains exhibit the expected increase of diffusion coefficient over this temperature range. In contrast, we find that GPI-anchored proteins exhibit temperature-independent diffusion over this range and revert to temperature-dependent diffusion on cell membrane blebs, in cells depleted of cholesterol, and upon acute perturbation of actin dynamics and myosin activity. A model transmembrane protein with a cytosolic actin-binding domain also exhibits the temperature-independent behavior, directly implicating the role of cortical actin. We show that diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins also becomes temperature dependent when the filamentous dynamic actin nucleator formin is inhibited. However, changes in cortical actin mesh size or perturbation of branched actin nucleator Arp2/3 do not affect this behavior. Thus cell surface diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins and transmembrane proteins that associate with actin is driven by active fluctuations of dynamic cortical actin filaments in addition to thermal fluctuations, consistent with expectations from an "active actin-membrane composite" cell surface.

  15. Diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins is influenced by the activity of dynamic cortical actin

    PubMed Central

    Saha, Suvrajit; Lee, Il-Hyung; Polley, Anirban; Groves, Jay T.; Rao, Madan; Mayor, Satyajit

    2015-01-01

    Molecular diffusion at the surface of living cells is believed to be predominantly driven by thermal kicks. However, there is growing evidence that certain cell surface molecules are driven by the fluctuating dynamics of cortical cytoskeleton. Using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we measure the diffusion coefficient of a variety of cell surface molecules over a temperature range of 24–37°C. Exogenously incorporated fluorescent lipids with short acyl chains exhibit the expected increase of diffusion coefficient over this temperature range. In contrast, we find that GPI-anchored proteins exhibit temperature-independent diffusion over this range and revert to temperature-dependent diffusion on cell membrane blebs, in cells depleted of cholesterol, and upon acute perturbation of actin dynamics and myosin activity. A model transmembrane protein with a cytosolic actin-binding domain also exhibits the temperature-independent behavior, directly implicating the role of cortical actin. We show that diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins also becomes temperature dependent when the filamentous dynamic actin nucleator formin is inhibited. However, changes in cortical actin mesh size or perturbation of branched actin nucleator Arp2/3 do not affect this behavior. Thus cell surface diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins and transmembrane proteins that associate with actin is driven by active fluctuations of dynamic cortical actin filaments in addition to thermal fluctuations, consistent with expectations from an “active actin-membrane composite” cell surface. PMID:26378258

  16. Dissecting Bacterial Cell Wall Entry and Signaling in Eukaryotic Cells: an Actin-Dependent Pathway Parallels Platelet-Activating Factor Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Gram-positive bacterial cell wall (CW) peptidoglycan-teichoic acid complex is released into the host environment during bacterial metabolism or death. It is a highly inflammatory Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) ligand, and previous in vivo studies have demonstrated its ability to recapitulate pathological features of pneumonia and meningitis. We report that an actin-dependent pathway is involved in the internalization of the CW by epithelial and endothelial cells, in addition to the previously described platelet-activating factor receptor (PAFr)-dependent uptake pathway. Unlike the PAFr-dependent pathway, which is mediated by clathrin and dynamin and does not lead to signaling, the alternative pathway is sensitive to 5-(N-ethyl-N-isopropyl) amiloride (EIPA) and engenders Rac1, Cdc42, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling. Upon internalization by this macropinocytosis-like pathway, CW is trafficked to lysosomes. Intracellular CW trafficking is more complex than previously recognized and suggests multiple points of interaction with and without innate immune signaling. PMID:28049146

  17. 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.

  18. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Two Binding Sites for Nucleation-promoting Factor WASp-VCA on Arp2/3 Complex

    SciTech Connect

    S Ti; C Jurgenson; B Nolen; T Pollard

    2011-12-31

    Actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex mediates the formation of actin filament branches during endocytosis and at the leading edge of motile cells. The pathway of branch formation is ambiguous owing to uncertainty regarding the stoichiometry and location of VCA binding sites on Arp2/3 complex. Isothermal titration calorimetry showed that the CA motif from the C terminus of fission yeast WASP (Wsp1p) bound to fission yeast and bovine Arp2/3 complex with a stoichiometry of 2 to 1 and very different affinities for the two sites (K{sub d}s of 0.13 and 1.6 {micro}M for fission yeast Arp2/3 complex). Equilibrium binding, kinetic, and cross-linking experiments showed that (i) CA at high-affinity site 1 inhibited Arp2/3 complex binding to actin filaments, (ii) low-affinity site 2 had a higher affinity for CA when Arp2/3 complex was bound to actin filaments, and (iii) Arp2/3 complex had a much higher affinity for free CA than VCA cross-linked to an actin monomer. Crystal structures showed the C terminus of CA bound to the low-affinity site 2 on Arp3 of bovine Arp2/3 complex. The C helix is likely to bind to the barbed end groove of Arp3 in a position for VCA to deliver the first actin subunit to the daughter filament.

  19. Actin filaments as dynamic reservoirs for Drp1 recruitment

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Drp1 is a dynamin-family GTPase recruited to mitochondria and peroxisomes, where it oligomerizes and drives membrane fission. Regulation of mitochondrial Drp1 recruitment is not fully understood. We previously showed that Drp1 binds actin filaments directly, and actin polymerization is necessary for mitochondrial Drp1 oligomerization in mammals. Here we show the Drp1/actin interaction displays unusual properties that are influenced by several factors. At saturation, only a fraction Drp1 binds actin filaments, and the off-rate of actin-bound Drp1 is significantly increased by unbound Drp1. GDP and GTP accelerate and decelerate Drp1/actin binding dynamics, respectively. Actin has a biphasic effect on Drp1 GTP hydrolysis, increasing at low actin:Drp1 ratio but returning to baseline at high ratio. Drp1 also bundles filaments. Bundles have reduced dynamics but follow the same trends as single filaments. Drp1 preferentially incorporates into bundles at higher ionic strength. We measure Drp1 concentration to be ∼0.5 μM in U2OS cell cytosol, suggesting the actin-binding affinity measured here (Kd = 0.6 μM) is in the physiologically relevant range. The ability of Drp1 to bind actin filaments in a highly dynamic manner provides potential for actin filaments to serve as reservoirs of oligomerization-competent Drp1 that can be accessed for mitochondrial fission. PMID:27559132

  20. Actin Mechanics and Fragmentation*

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Diamond nucleation using polyethene

    SciTech Connect

    Morell, Gerardo; Makarov, Vladimir; Varshney, Deepak; Weiner, Brad

    2013-07-23

    The invention presents a simple, non-destructive and non-abrasive method of diamond nucleation using polyethene. It particularly describes the nucleation of diamond on an electrically viable substrate surface using polyethene via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique in a gaseous environment.

  2. Diamond Nucleation Using Polyethene

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morell, Gerardo (Inventor); Makarov, Vladimir (Inventor); Varshney, Deepak (Inventor); Weiner, Brad (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    The invention presents a simple, non-destructive and non-abrasive method of diamond nucleation using polyethene. It particularly describes the nucleation of diamond on an electrically viable substrate surface using polyethene via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique in a gaseous environment.

  3. ATP-dependent membrane assembly of F-actin facilitates membrane fusion.

    PubMed

    Jahraus, A; Egeberg, M; Hinner, B; Habermann, A; Sackman, E; Pralle, A; Faulstich, H; Rybin, V; Defacque, H; Griffiths, G

    2001-01-01

    We recently established an in vitro assay that monitors the fusion between latex-bead phagosomes and endocytic organelles in the presence of J774 macrophage cytosol (). Here, we show that different reagents affecting the actin cytoskeleton can either inhibit or stimulate this fusion process. Because the membranes of purified phagosomes can assemble F-actin de novo from pure actin with ATP (), we focused here on the ability of membranes to nucleate actin in the presence of J774 cytosolic extracts. For this, we used F-actin sedimentation, pyrene actin assays, and torsional rheometry, a biophysical approach that could provide kinetic information on actin polymerization and gel formation. We make two major conclusions. First, under our standard in vitro conditions (4 mg/ml cytosol and 1 mM ATP), the presence of membranes actively catalyzed the assembly of cytosolic F-actin, which assembled into highly viscoelastic gels. A model is discussed that links these results to how the actin may facilitate fusion. Second, cytosolic actin paradoxically polymerized more under ATP depletion than under high-ATP conditions, even in the absence of membranes; we discuss these data in the context of the well described, large increases in F-actin seen in many cells during ischemia.

  4. Nucleation and Crystallization in nucleated Polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schick, Christoph; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Wurm, Andreas

    2012-02-01

    Crystallization is commonly considered as nucleation followed by a growth process. Here we apply the recently developed technique, differential fast scanning calorimetry (DFSC), for a unique, new look at the crystal growth of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) and PCL carbon nanotube composites from 185 K, below the glass transition temperature, to 330 K, close to the equilibrium melting temperature. The DFSC allows temperature control of the sample and determination of its heat capacity during temperature treatments by employing cooling and heating rates from 50 to 50,000 K/s. First, the crystal nucleation and overall crystallization half times were determined simultaneously in the range of temperatures where crystallization of PCL occurs. After attempting to analyze the experiments with the classical nucleation and growth model a new methodology is described, which addresses the specific problems of crystallization of flexible linear macromolecules. The structures seem to range from having practically unmeasurable latent heats of ordering (nuclei) to being clearly-recognizable, ordered species with rather sharp disordering endotherms at temperatures from the glass transition to equilibrium melting (increasingly perfect and larger crystals). The mechanisms and kinetics of growth (if any) involve a detailed understanding of the interaction with the surrounding rigid amorphous fraction (RAF) in dependence of crystal size and perfection. E. Zhuravlev, J.W.P. Schmelzer, B. Wunderlich and C. Schick, Kinetics of nucleation and crystallization in poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL), Polymer 52 (2011) 1983-1997.

  5. Viscosity of interfacial water regulates ice nucleation

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Kaiyong; Chen, Jing; Zhang, Qiaolan; Zhang, Yifan; Xu, Shun; Zhou, Xin; Cui, Dapeng; Wang, Jianjun Song, Yanlin

    2014-03-10

    Ice formation on solid surfaces is an important phenomenon in many fields, such as cloud formation and atmospheric icing, and a key factor for applications in preventing freezing. Here, we report temperature-dependent nucleation rates of ice for hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces. The results show that hydrophilic surface presents a lower ice nucleation rate. We develop a strategy to extract the thermodynamic parameters, J{sub 0} and Γ, in the context of classical nucleation theory. From the extracted J{sub 0} and Γ, we reveal the dominant role played by interfacial water. The results provide an insight into freezing mechanism on solid surfaces.

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

    PubMed

    Ladt, Kelsey; Ganguly, Archan; Roy, Subhojit

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Sensing actin dynamics: Structural basis for G-actin-sensitive nuclear import of MAL

    SciTech Connect

    Hirano, Hidemi; Matsuura, Yoshiyuki

    2011-10-22

    Highlights: {yields} MAL has a bipartite NLS that binds to Imp{alpha} in an extended conformation. {yields} Mutational analyses verified the functional significance of MAL-Imp{alpha} interactions. {yields} Induced folding and NLS-masking by G-actins inhibit nuclear import of MAL. -- Abstract: The coordination of cytoskeletal actin dynamics with gene expression reprogramming is emerging as a crucial mechanism to control diverse cellular processes, including cell migration, differentiation and neuronal circuit assembly. The actin-binding transcriptional coactivator MAL (also known as MRTF-A/MKL1/BSAC) senses G-actin concentration and transduces Rho GTPase signals to serum response factor (SRF). MAL rapidly shuttles between the cytoplasm and the nucleus in unstimulated cells but Rho-induced depletion of G-actin leads to MAL nuclear accumulation and activation of transcription of SRF:MAL-target genes. Although the molecular and structural basis of actin-regulated nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of MAL is not understood fully, it is proposed that nuclear import of MAL is mediated by importin {alpha}/{beta} heterodimer, and that G-actin competes with importin {alpha}/{beta} for the binding to MAL. Here we present structural, biochemical and cell biological evidence that MAL has a classical bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLS) in the N-terminal 'RPEL' domain containing Arg-Pro-X-X-X-Glu-Leu (RPEL) motifs. The NLS residues of MAL adopt an extended conformation and bind along the surface groove of importin-{alpha}, interacting with the major- and minor-NLS binding sites. We also present a crystal structure of wild-type MAL RPEL domain in complex with five G-actins. Comparison of the importin-{alpha}- and actin-complexes revealed that the binding of G-actins to MAL is associated with folding of NLS residues into a helical conformation that is inappropriate for importin-{alpha} recognition.

  8. Nucleation in food colloids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Povey, Malcolm J. W.

    2016-12-01

    Nucleation in food colloids has been studied in detail using ultrasound spectroscopy. Our data show that classical nucleation theory (CNT) remains a sound basis from which to understand nucleation in food colloids and analogous model systems using n-alkanes. Various interpretations and modifications of CNT are discussed with regard to their relevance to food colloids. Much of the evidence presented is based on the ultrasound velocity spectrometry measurements which has many advantages for the study of nucleating systems compared to light scattering and NMR due to its sensitivity at low solid contents and its ability to measure true solid contents in the nucleation and early crystal growth stages. Ultrasound attenuation spectroscopy also responds to critical fluctuations in the induction region. We show, however, that a periodic pressure fluctuation such as a quasi-continuous (as opposed to a pulse comprising only a few pressure cycles) ultrasound field can alter the nucleation process, even at very low acoustic intensity. Thus care must be taken when using ultrasound techniques that the measurements do not alter the studied processes. Quasi-continuous ultrasound fields may enhance or suppress nucleation and the criteria to determine such effects are derived. The conclusions of this paper are relevant to colloidal systems in foods, pharmaceuticals, agro-chemicals, cosmetics, and personal products.

  9. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics of nucleation

    SciTech Connect

    Schweizer, M.; Sagis, L. M. C.

    2014-12-14

    We present a novel approach to nucleation processes based on the GENERIC framework (general equation for the nonequilibrium reversible-irreversible coupling). Solely based on the GENERIC structure of time-evolution equations and thermodynamic consistency arguments of exchange processes between a metastable phase and a nucleating phase, we derive the fundamental dynamics for this phenomenon, based on continuous Fokker-Planck equations. We are readily able to treat non-isothermal nucleation even when the nucleating cores cannot be attributed intensive thermodynamic properties. In addition, we capture the dynamics of the time-dependent metastable phase being continuously expelled from the nucleating phase, and keep rigorous track of the volume corrections to the dynamics. Within our framework the definition of a thermodynamic nuclei temperature is manifest. For the special case of nucleation of a gas phase towards its vapor-liquid coexistence, we illustrate that our approach is capable of reproducing recent literature results obtained by more microscopic considerations for the suppression of the nucleation rate due to nonisothermal effects.

  10. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics of nucleation.

    PubMed

    Schweizer, M; Sagis, L M C

    2014-12-14

    We present a novel approach to nucleation processes based on the GENERIC framework (general equation for the nonequilibrium reversible-irreversible coupling). Solely based on the GENERIC structure of time-evolution equations and thermodynamic consistency arguments of exchange processes between a metastable phase and a nucleating phase, we derive the fundamental dynamics for this phenomenon, based on continuous Fokker-Planck equations. We are readily able to treat non-isothermal nucleation even when the nucleating cores cannot be attributed intensive thermodynamic properties. In addition, we capture the dynamics of the time-dependent metastable phase being continuously expelled from the nucleating phase, and keep rigorous track of the volume corrections to the dynamics. Within our framework the definition of a thermodynamic nuclei temperature is manifest. For the special case of nucleation of a gas phase towards its vapor-liquid coexistence, we illustrate that our approach is capable of reproducing recent literature results obtained by more microscopic considerations for the suppression of the nucleation rate due to nonisothermal effects.

  11. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics of nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweizer, M.; Sagis, L. M. C.

    2014-12-01

    We present a novel approach to nucleation processes based on the GENERIC framework (general equation for the nonequilibrium reversible-irreversible coupling). Solely based on the GENERIC structure of time-evolution equations and thermodynamic consistency arguments of exchange processes between a metastable phase and a nucleating phase, we derive the fundamental dynamics for this phenomenon, based on continuous Fokker-Planck equations. We are readily able to treat non-isothermal nucleation even when the nucleating cores cannot be attributed intensive thermodynamic properties. In addition, we capture the dynamics of the time-dependent metastable phase being continuously expelled from the nucleating phase, and keep rigorous track of the volume corrections to the dynamics. Within our framework the definition of a thermodynamic nuclei temperature is manifest. For the special case of nucleation of a gas phase towards its vapor-liquid coexistence, we illustrate that our approach is capable of reproducing recent literature results obtained by more microscopic considerations for the suppression of the nucleation rate due to nonisothermal effects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  13. Growth of branched actin networks against obstacles.

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, A E

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Takaine, Masak; Numata, Osamu; Nakano, Kentaro

    2009-01-01

    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

  15. Polycation induced actin bundles.

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  16. Effect of temperature on the mechanism of actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Zimmerle, C T; Frieden, C

    1986-10-21

    The rate of the Mg2+-induced polymerization of rabbit skeletal muscle G-actin has been measured as as function of temperature at pH 8 by using various concentrations of Mg2+, Ca2+, and G-actin. A polymerization mechanism similar to that proposed at this pH [Frieden, C. (1983) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 80, 6513-6517] was found to fit the data from 10 to 35 degrees C. From the kinetic data, no evidence for actin filament fragmentation was found at any temperature. Dimer formation is the most temperature-sensitive step, with the ratio of forward and reverse rate constants changing 4 orders of magnitude from 10 to 35 degrees C. Over this temperature change, all other ratios of forward and reverse rate constants change 7-fold or less, and the critical concentration remains nearly constant. The reversible Mg2+-induced isomerization of G-actin monomer occurs to a greater extent with increasing temperature, measured either by using N-(iodoacetyl)-N'-(5-sulfo-1-naphthyl)ethylenediamine-labeled actin or by simulation of the full-time course of the polymerization reaction. This is partially due to Mg2+ binding becoming tighter, and Ca2+ binding becoming weaker, with increasing temperature. Elongation rates from the filament-pointed end, determined by using actin nucleated by plasma gelsolin, show a temperature dependence slightly larger than that expected for a diffusion-limited reaction.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Daniel Szymanski

    2012-10-23

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

  19. Ca2+ regulation of gelsolin activity: binding and severing of F-actin.

    PubMed Central

    Kinosian, H J; Newman, J; Lincoln, B; Selden, L A; Gershman, L C; Estes, J E

    1998-01-01

    Regulation of the F-actin severing activity of gelsolin by Ca2+ has been investigated under physiologic ionic conditions. Tryptophan fluorescence intensity measurements indicate that gelsolin contains at least two Ca2+ binding sites with affinities of 2.5 x 10(7) M-1 and 1.5 x 10(5) M-1. At F-actin and gelsolin concentrations in the range of those found intracellularly, gelsolin is able to bind F-actin with half-maximum binding at 0.14 microM free Ca2+ concentration. Steady-state measurements of gelsolin-induced actin depolymerization suggest that half-maximum depolymerization occurs at approximately 0.4 microM free Ca2+ concentration. Dynamic light scattering measurements of the translational diffusion coefficient for actin filaments and nucleated polymerization assays for number concentration of actin filaments both indicate that severing of F-actin occurs slowly at micromolar free Ca2+ concentrations. The data suggest that binding of Ca2+ to the gelsolin-F-actin complex is the rate-limiting step for F-actin severing by gelsolin; this Ca2+ binding event is a committed step that results in a Ca2+ ion bound at a high-affinity, EGTA-resistant site. The very high affinity of gelsolin for the barbed end of an actin filament drives the binding reaction equilibrium toward completion under conditions where the reaction rate is slow. PMID:9826630

  20. Mean-field kinetic nucleation theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalikmanov, V. I.

    2006-03-01

    A new semiphenomenological model of homogeneous vapor-liquid nucleation is proposed in which the cluster kinetics follows the "kinetic approach to nucleation" and the thermodynamic part is based on the revised Fisher droplet model with the mean-field argument for the cluster configuration integral. The theory is nonperturbative in a cluster size and as such is valid for all clusters down to monomers. It contains two surface tensions: macroscopic (planar) and microscopic. The latter is a temperature dependent quantity related to the vapor compressibility factor at saturation. For Lennard-Jones fluids the microscopic surface tension possesses a universal behavior with the parameters found from the mean-field density functional calculations. The theory is verified against nucleation experiments for argon, nitrogen, water, and mercury, demonstrating very good agreement with experimental data. Classical nucleation theory fails to predict experimental results when a critical cluster becomes small.

  1. Biallelic truncating mutations in FMN2, encoding the actin-regulatory protein Formin 2, cause nonsyndromic autosomal-recessive intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Law, Rosalind; Dixon-Salazar, Tracy; Jerber, Julie; Cai, Na; Abbasi, Ansar A; Zaki, Maha S; Mittal, Kirti; Gabriel, Stacey B; Rafiq, Muhammad Arshad; Khan, Valeed; Nguyen, Maria; Ali, Ghazanfar; Copeland, Brett; Scott, Eric; Vasli, Nasim; Mikhailov, Anna; Khan, Muhammad Nasim; Andrade, Danielle M; Ayaz, Muhammad; Ansar, Muhammad; Ayub, Muhammad; Vincent, John B; Gleeson, Joseph G

    2014-12-04

    Dendritic spines represent the major site of neuronal activity in the brain; they serve as the receiving point for neurotransmitters and undergo rapid activity-dependent morphological changes that correlate with learning and memory. Using a combination of homozygosity mapping and next-generation sequencing in two consanguineous families affected by nonsyndromic autosomal-recessive intellectual disability, we identified truncating mutations in formin 2 (FMN2), encoding a protein that belongs to the formin family of actin cytoskeleton nucleation factors and is highly expressed in the maturing brain. We found that FMN2 localizes to punctae along dendrites and that germline inactivation of mouse Fmn2 resulted in animals with decreased spine density; such mice were previously demonstrated to have a conditioned fear-learning defect. Furthermore, patient neural cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells showed correlated decreased synaptic density. Thus, FMN2 mutations link intellectual disability either directly or indirectly to the regulation of actin-mediated synaptic spine density.

  2. Gas Hydrate Nucleation Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, R. E.; Zatsepina, O.; Phelps, T. J.

    2003-12-01

    The onset of gas hydrate nucleation is greatly affected by the thermal history of the water that forms its lattice structure. Hydrate formation experiments were performed in a 72 liter pressure vessel by bubbling carbon dioxide through a 1 liter column at hydrate formation pressures (1.4 to 3.7 MPa) and temperatures (275.0 to 278.0 K) to quantify this effect. They show that when even a fraction ( e. g. 20 %) of the water in which hydrate has formed was recently frozen and thawed, the overpressurization for nucleation was reduced by an average of 50 % versus experiments performed in distilled water. In those experiments where a lower overpressure is present when hydrate nucleated, they tended to form on the surface of bubbles, whereas when a higher amount of overpressure was necessary for hydrate to nucleate, they appeared to form abruptly on bubble surfaces as well as from the bulk liquid phase. In approximation of classical nucleation, hydrate formation could be described as occurring by the spontaneous joining together of arising components of the hydrate lattice. In water that was frozen, and kept at a low temperature (< 275 K), molecular simulation models predict the predominance of water molecules organized as penatmeters, a possible subunit of the hydrate lattice. Our results suggest that in nature, initiation of hydrate formation may be strongly influenced by temperature dependant pre-structuring of water molecules prior to their contact with gas.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  4. Amplification of actin polymerization forces

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Amplification of actin polymerization forces.

    PubMed

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-03-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Self-organizing actin patterns shape membrane architecture but not cell mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Fritzsche, M.; Li, D.; Colin-York, H.; Chang, V. T.; Moeendarbary, E.; Felce, J. H.; Sezgin, E.; Charras, G.; Betzig, E.; Eggeling, C.

    2017-01-01

    Cell-free studies have demonstrated how collective action of actin-associated proteins can organize actin filaments into dynamic patterns, such as vortices, asters and stars. Using complementary microscopic techniques, we here show evidence of such self-organization of the actin cortex in living HeLa cells. During cell adhesion, an active multistage process naturally leads to pattern transitions from actin vortices over stars into asters. This process is primarily driven by Arp2/3 complex nucleation, but not by myosin motors, which is in contrast to what has been theoretically predicted and observed in vitro. Concomitant measurements of mechanics and plasma membrane fluidity demonstrate that changes in actin patterning alter membrane architecture but occur functionally independent of macroscopic cortex elasticity. Consequently, tuning the activity of the Arp2/3 complex to alter filament assembly may thus be a mechanism allowing cells to adjust their membrane architecture without affecting their macroscopic mechanical properties. PMID:28194011

  8. Self-organizing actin patterns shape membrane architecture but not cell mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritzsche, M.; Li, D.; Colin-York, H.; Chang, V. T.; Moeendarbary, E.; Felce, J. H.; Sezgin, E.; Charras, G.; Betzig, E.; Eggeling, C.

    2017-02-01

    Cell-free studies have demonstrated how collective action of actin-associated proteins can organize actin filaments into dynamic patterns, such as vortices, asters and stars. Using complementary microscopic techniques, we here show evidence of such self-organization of the actin cortex in living HeLa cells. During cell adhesion, an active multistage process naturally leads to pattern transitions from actin vortices over stars into asters. This process is primarily driven by Arp2/3 complex nucleation, but not by myosin motors, which is in contrast to what has been theoretically predicted and observed in vitro. Concomitant measurements of mechanics and plasma membrane fluidity demonstrate that changes in actin patterning alter membrane architecture but occur functionally independent of macroscopic cortex elasticity. Consequently, tuning the activity of the Arp2/3 complex to alter filament assembly may thus be a mechanism allowing cells to adjust their membrane architecture without affecting their macroscopic mechanical properties.

  9. Actinic keratosis. Current treatment options.

    PubMed

    Jeffes, E W; Tang, E H

    2000-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Fundamentals of microcrack nucleation mechanics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fu, L. S.; Sheu, Y. C.; Co, C. M.; Zhong, W. F.; Shen, H. D.

    1985-01-01

    A foundation for ultrasonic evaluation of microcrack nucleation mechanics is identified in order to establish a basis for correlations between plane strain fracture toughness and ultrasonic factors through the interaction of elastic waves with material microstructures. Since microcracking is the origin of (brittle) fracture, it is appropriate to consider the role of stress waves in the dynamics of microcracking. Therefore, the following topics are discussed: (1) microstress distributions with typical microstructural defects located in the stress field; (2) elastic wave scattering from various idealized defects; and (3) dynamic effective-properties of media with randomly distributed inhomogeneities.

  12. Colloids and Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ackerson, Bruce

    1997-01-01

    The objectives of the work funded under this grant were to develop a microphotographic technique and use it to monitor the nucleation and growth of crystals of hard colloidal spheres. Special attention is given to the possible need for microgravity studies in future experiments. A number of persons have been involved in this work. A masters student, Keith Davis, began the project and developed a sheet illumination apparatus and an image processing system for detection and analysis. His work on a segmentation program for image processing was sufficient for his master's research and has been published. A post doctoral student Bernie Olivier and a graduate student Yueming He, who originally suggested the sheet illumination, were funded by another source but along with Keith made photographic series of several samples (that had been made by Keith Davis). Data extraction has been done by Keith, Bernie, Yueming and two undergraduates employed on the grant. Results are published in Langmuir. These results describe the sheet lighting technique as one which illuminates not only the Bragg scattering crystal, but all the crystals. Thus, accurate crystal counts can be made for nucleation rate measurements. The strange crystal length scale reduction, observed in small angle light scattering (SALS) studies, following the initial nucleation and growth period, has been observed directly. The Bragg scattering (and dark) crystal size decreases in the crossover region. This could be an effect due to gravitational forces or due to over- compression of the crystal during growth. Direct observations indicate a complex morphology for the resulting hard sphere crystals. The crystal edges are fairly sharp but the crystals have a large degree of internal structure. This structure is a result of (unstable) growth and not aggregation. As yet unpublished work compares growth exponents data with data obtained by SALS. The nucleation rate density is determined over a broad volume fraction range

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  14. Nucleation of electrically charged droplets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De, B. R.

    1979-01-01

    The nucleating droplets or clusters in many nucleation environments (various colloidal plasmas in laboratory and technological applications, astrophysical condensation environments, etc.) are likely to be at a finite electric potential. This may be due either to the presence of electrons and ions in the gas phase or to the thermal ionization or photoionization of the droplets. The paper demonstrates that this potential may introduce a nontrivial modification in the conventional nucleation theory. Some results for the typical case of nucleation of water droplets are presented. The general conclusion is that the electric potential makes nucleation harder to achieve, thereby demonstrating the importance of a finite droplet potential in the theory of nucleation.

  15. Cortactin promotes exosome secretion by controlling branched actin dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Sinha, Seema; Hoshino, Daisuke; Hong, Nan Hyung; Seiki, Motoharu; Tyska, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Triggering signaling pathways using F-actin self-organization

    PubMed Central

    Colin, A.; Bonnemay, L.; Gayrard, C.; Gautier, J.; Gueroui, Z.

    2016-01-01

    The spatiotemporal organization of proteins within cells is essential for cell fate behavior. Although it is known that the cytoskeleton is vital for numerous cellular functions, it remains unclear how cytoskeletal activity can shape and control signaling pathways in space and time throughout the cell cytoplasm. Here we show that F-actin self-organization can trigger signaling pathways by engineering two novel properties of the microfilament self-organization: (1) the confinement of signaling proteins and (2) their scaffolding along actin polymers. Using in vitro reconstitutions of cellular functions, we found that both the confinement of nanoparticle-based signaling platforms powered by F-actin contractility and the scaffolding of engineered signaling proteins along actin microfilaments can drive a signaling switch. Using Ran-dependent microtubule nucleation, we found that F-actin dynamics promotes the robust assembly of microtubules. Our in vitro assay is a first step towards the development of novel bottom-up strategies to decipher the interplay between cytoskeleton spatial organization and signaling pathway activity. PMID:27698406

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  19. How Leiomodin and Tropomodulin use a common fold for different actin assembly functions

    PubMed Central

    Boczkowska, Malgorzata; Rebowski, Grzegorz; Kremneva, Elena; Lappalainen, Pekka; Dominguez, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    How proteins sharing a common fold have evolved different functions is a fundamental question in biology. Tropomodulins (Tmods) are prototypical actin filament pointed-end-capping proteins, whereas their homologues, Leiomodins (Lmods), are powerful filament nucleators. We show that Tmods and Lmods do not compete biochemically, and display similar but distinct localization in sarcomeres. Changes along the polypeptide chains of Tmods and Lmods exquisitely adapt their functions for capping versus nucleation. Tmods have alternating tropomyosin (TM)- and actin-binding sites (TMBS1, ABS1, TMBS2 and ABS2). Lmods additionally contain a C-terminal extension featuring an actin-binding WH2 domain. Unexpectedly, the different activities of Tmods and Lmods do not arise from the Lmod-specific extension. Instead, nucleation by Lmods depends on two major adaptations—the loss of pointed-end-capping elements present in Tmods and the specialization of the highly conserved ABS2 for recruitment of two or more actin subunits. The WH2 domain plays only an auxiliary role in nucleation. PMID:26370058

  20. Comparative study on methodology in molecular dynamics simulation of nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julin, Jan; Napari, Ismo; Vehkamäki, Hanna

    2007-06-01

    Gas-liquid nucleation of 1000 Lennard-Jones atoms is simulated to evaluate temperature regulation methods and methods to obtain nucleation rate. The Berendsen and the Andersen thermostats are compared. The Berendsen thermostat is unable to control the temperature of clusters larger than the critical size. Independent of the thermostating method the velocities of individual atoms and the translational velocities of clusters up to at least six atoms are accurately described by the Maxwell velocity distribution. Simulations with the Andersen thermostat yield about two times higher nucleation rates than those with the Berendsen thermostat. Nucleation rate is extracted from the simulations by direct observation of times of nucleation onset and by the method of Yasuoka and Matsumoto [J. Chem. Phys. 109, 8451 (1998)]. Compared to the direct observation, the nucleation rates obtained from the method of Yasuoka and Matsumoto are higher by a factor of 3.

  1. Nonmedially assembled F-actin cables incorporate into the actomyosin ring in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Junqi; Huang, Yinyi; Yu, Haochen; Subramanian, Dhivya; Padmanabhan, Anup; Thadani, Rahul; Tao, Yaqiong; Tang, Xie; Wedlich-Soldner, Roland

    2012-01-01

    In many eukaryotes, cytokinesis requires the assembly and constriction of an actomyosin-based contractile ring. Despite the central role of this ring in cytokinesis, the mechanism of F-actin assembly and accumulation in the ring is not fully understood. In this paper, we investigate the mechanism of F-actin assembly during cytokinesis in Schizosaccharomyces pombe using lifeact as a probe to monitor actin dynamics. Previous work has shown that F-actin in the actomyosin ring is assembled de novo at the division site. Surprisingly, we find that a significant fraction of F-actin in the ring was recruited from formin-Cdc12p nucleated long actin cables that were generated at multiple nonmedial locations and incorporated into the ring by a combination of myosin II and myosin V activities. Our results, together with findings in animal cells, suggest that de novo F-actin assembly at the division site and directed transport of F-actin cables assembled elsewhere can contribute to ring assembly. PMID:23185032

  2. Holding back the microfilament--structural insights into actin and the actin-monomer-binding proteins of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Olshina, Maya A; Wong, Wilson; Baum, Jake

    2012-05-01

    Parasites from the phylum Apicomplexa are responsible for several major diseases of man, including malaria and toxoplasmosis. These highly motile protozoa use a conserved actomyosin-based mode of movement to power tissue traversal and host cell invasion. The mode termed as 'gliding motility' relies on the dynamic turnover of actin, whose polymerisation state is controlled by a markedly limited number of identifiable regulators when compared with other eukaryotic cells. Recent studies of apicomplexan actin regulator structure-in particular those of the core triad of monomer-binding proteins, actin-depolymerising factor/cofilin, cyclase-associated protein/Srv2, and profilin-have provided new insights into possible mechanisms of actin regulation in parasite cells, highlighting divergent structural features and functions to regulators from other cellular systems. Furthermore, the unusual nature of apicomplexan actin itself is increasingly coming into the spotlight. Here, we review recent advances in understanding of the structure and function of actin and its regulators in apicomplexan parasites. In particular we explore the paradox between there being an abundance of unpolymerised actin, its having a seemingly increased potential to form filaments relative to vertebrate actin, and the apparent lack of visible, stable filaments in parasite cells.

  3. Overview: Nucleation of clathrate hydrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warrier, Pramod; Khan, M. Naveed; Srivastava, Vishal; Maupin, C. Mark; Koh, Carolyn A.

    2016-12-01

    Molecular level knowledge of nucleation and growth of clathrate hydrates is of importance for advancing fundamental understanding on the nature of water and hydrophobic hydrate formers, and their interactions that result in the formation of ice-like solids at temperatures higher than the ice-point. The stochastic nature and the inability to probe the small length and time scales associated with the nucleation process make it very difficult to experimentally determine the molecular level changes that lead to the nucleation event. Conversely, for this reason, there have been increasing efforts to obtain this information using molecular simulations. Accurate knowledge of how and when hydrate structures nucleate will be tremendously beneficial for the development of sustainable hydrate management strategies in oil and gas flowlines, as well as for their application in energy storage and recovery, gas separation, carbon sequestration, seawater desalination, and refrigeration. This article reviews various aspects of hydrate nucleation. First, properties of supercooled water and ice nucleation are reviewed briefly due to their apparent similarity to hydrates. Hydrate nucleation is then reviewed starting from macroscopic observations as obtained from experiments in laboratories and operations in industries, followed by various hydrate nucleation hypotheses and hydrate nucleation driving force calculations based on the classical nucleation theory. Finally, molecular simulations on hydrate nucleation are discussed in detail followed by potential future research directions.

  4. Nucleation in Synoptically Forced Cirrostratus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, R.-F.; Starr, D. OC.; Reichardt, J.; DeMott, P. J.

    2004-01-01

    Formation and evolution of cirrostratus in response to weak, uniform and constant synoptic forcing is simulated using a one-dimensional numerical model with explicit microphysics, in which the particle size distribution in each grid box is fully resolved. A series of tests of the model response to nucleation modes (homogeneous-freezing-only/heterogeneous nucleation) and heterogeneous nucleation parameters are performed. In the case studied here, nucleation is first activated in the prescribed moist layer. A continuous cloud-top nucleation zone with a depth depending on the vertical humidity gradient and one of the nucleation parameters is developed afterward. For the heterogeneous nucleation cases, intermittent nucleation zones in the mid-upper portion of the cloud form where the relative humidity is on the rise, because existent ice crystals do not uptake excess water vapor efficiently, and ice nuclei (IN) are available. Vertical resolution as fine as 1 m is required for realistic simulation of the homogeneous-freezing-only scenario, while the model resolution requirement is more relaxed in the cases where heterogeneous nucleation dominates. Bulk microphysical and optical properties are evaluated and compared. Ice particle number flux divergence, which is due to the vertical gradient of the gravity-induced particle sedimentation, is constantly and rapidly changing the local ice number concentration, even in the nucleation zone. When the depth of the nucleation zone is shallow, particle number concentration decreases rapidly as ice particles grow and sediment away from the nucleation zone. When the depth of the nucleation zone is large, a region of high ice number concentration can be sustained. The depth of nucleation zone is an important parameter to be considered in parametric treatments of ice cloud generation.

  5. Ice nucleation in nature: supercooling point (SCP) measurements and the role of heterogeneous nucleation.

    PubMed

    Wilson, P W; Heneghan, A F; Haymet, A D J

    2003-02-01

    In biological systems, nucleation of ice from a supercooled aqueous solution is a stochastic process and always heterogeneous. The average time any solution may remain supercooled is determined only by the degree of supercooling and heterogeneous nucleation sites it encounters. Here we summarize the many and varied definitions of the so-called "supercooling point," also called the "temperature of crystallization" and the "nucleation temperature," and exhibit the natural, inherent width associated with this quantity. We describe a new method for accurate determination of the supercooling point, which takes into account the inherent statistical fluctuations of the value. We show further that many measurements on a single unchanging sample are required to make a statistically valid measure of the supercooling point. This raises an interesting difference in circumstances where such repeat measurements are inconvenient, or impossible, for example for live organism experiments. We also discuss the effect of solutes on this temperature of nucleation. Existing data appear to show that various solute species decrease the nucleation temperature somewhat more than the equivalent melting point depression. For non-ionic solutes the species appears not to be a significant factor whereas for ions the species does affect the level of decrease of the nucleation temperature.

  6. Nucleation theorems, the statistical mechanics of molecular clusters, and a revision of classical nucleation theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, I. J.

    1997-11-01

    The nucleation theorems relate the temperature and supersaturation dependence of the rate of nucleation of droplets from a metastable vapor phase to properties of the critical molecular cluster, the size that is approximately equally likely to grow or decay. They are derived here using a combination of statistical mechanics and cluster population dynamics, using an arbitrary model cluster definition. The theorems are employed to test the validity of the classical theory of homogeneous nucleation and its ``internally consistent'' form. It is found that the properties of the critical cluster for these models are incorrect, and it emerges that this occurs because the classical theory employs the free energy of a fixed droplet, rather than one free to take any position in space. Thus a term representing positional, or mixing, entropy is missing from the cluster free energy. A revised model is proposed, based on the capillarity approximation but with such a term included, and it is shown that it is fully consistent with the nucleation theorems. The model increases classical rates by factors of approximately 104-106. Other nucleation models should be tested for internal consistency using the same methods. Finally, the nucleation theorems are used to extract the excess internal energies of molecular clusters from experimental data for several substances.

  7. Mutational Analysis Reveals a Noncontractile but Interactive Role of Actin and Profilin in Viral RNA-Dependent RNA Synthesis▿

    PubMed Central

    Harpen, Mary; Barik, Tiasha; Musiyenko, Alla; Barik, Sailen

    2009-01-01

    As obligatory parasites, viruses co-opt a variety of cellular functions for robust replication. The expression of the nonsegmented negative-strand RNA genome of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a significant pediatric pathogen, absolutely requires actin and is stimulated by the actin-regulatory protein profilin. As actin is a major contractile protein, it was important to determine whether the known functional domains of actin and profilin were important for their ability to activate RSV transcription. Analyses of recombinant mutants in a reconstituted RSV transcription system suggested that the divalent-cation-binding domain of actin is critically needed for binding to the RSV genome template and for the activation of viral RNA synthesis. In contrast, the nucleotide-binding domain and the N-terminal acidic domain were needed neither for template binding nor for transcription. Specific surface residues of actin, required for actin-actin contact during filamentation, were also nonessential for viral transcription. Unlike actin, profilin did not directly bind to the viral template but was recruited by actin. Mutation of the interactive residues of actin or profilin, resulting in the loss of actin-profilin binding, also abolished profilin's ability to stimulate viral transcription. Together, these results suggest that actin acts as a classical transcription factor for the virus by divalent-cation-dependent binding to the viral template and that profilin acts as a transcriptional cofactor, in part by associating with actin. This essential viral role of actin is independent of its contractile cellular role. PMID:19710142

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. β- and γ-Actins in the nucleus of human melanoma A375 cells.

    PubMed

    Migocka-Patrzałek, Marta; Makowiecka, Aleksandra; Nowak, Dorota; Mazur, Antonina J; Hofmann, Wilma A; Malicka-Błaszkiewicz, Maria

    2015-11-01

    Actin is a highly conserved protein that is expressed in all eukaryotic cells and has essential functions in the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Nuclear actin is involved in transcription by all three RNA polymerases, chromatin remodelling, RNA processing, intranuclear transport, nuclear export and in maintenance of the nuclear architecture. The nuclear actin level and polymerization state are important factors regulating nuclear processes such as transcription. Our study shows that, in contrast to the cytoplasm, the majority of endogenous nuclear actin is unpolymerized in human melanoma A375 cells. Most mammalian cells express the two non-muscle β- and γ-actin isoforms that differ in only four amino acids. Despite their sequence similarity, studies analysing the cytoplasmic functions of these isoforms demonstrated that β- and γ-actins show differences in localization and function. However, little is known about the involvement of the individual actin isoforms in nuclear processes. Here, we used the human melanoma A375 cell line to analyse actin isoforms in regard to their nuclear localization. We show that both β- and γ-non-muscle actin isoforms are present in nuclei of these cells. Immunolocalization studies demonstrate that both isoforms co-localize with RNA polymerase II and hnRNP U. However, we observe differences in the ratio of cytoplasmic to nuclear actin distribution between the isoforms. We show that β-actin has a significantly higher nucleus-to-cytoplasm ratio than γ-actin.

  11. On the Ice Nucleation Spectrum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barahona, D.

    2012-01-01

    This work presents a novel formulation of the ice nucleation spectrum, i.e. the function relating the ice crystal concentration to cloud formation conditions and aerosol properties. The new formulation is physically-based and explicitly accounts for the dependency of the ice crystal concentration on temperature, supersaturation, cooling rate, and particle size, surface area and composition. This is achieved by introducing the concepts of ice nucleation coefficient (the number of ice germs present in a particle) and nucleation probability dispersion function (the distribution of ice nucleation coefficients within the aerosol population). The new formulation is used to generate ice nucleation parameterizations for the homogeneous freezing of cloud droplets and the heterogeneous deposition ice nucleation on dust and soot ice nuclei. For homogeneous freezing, it was found that by increasing the dispersion in the droplet volume distribution the fraction of supercooled droplets in the population increases. For heterogeneous ice nucleation the new formulation consistently describes singular and stochastic behavior within a single framework. Using a fundamentally stochastic approach, both cooling rate independence and constancy of the ice nucleation fraction over time, features typically associated with singular behavior, were reproduced. Analysis of the temporal dependency of the ice nucleation spectrum suggested that experimental methods that measure the ice nucleation fraction over few seconds would tend to underestimate the ice nuclei concentration. It is shown that inferring the aerosol heterogeneous ice nucleation properties from measurements of the onset supersaturation and temperature may carry significant error as the variability in ice nucleation properties within the aerosol population is not accounted for. This work provides a simple and rigorous ice nucleation framework where theoretical predictions, laboratory measurements and field campaign data can be

  12. New insights into dynamic actin-based chloroplast photorelocation movement.

    PubMed

    Kong, Sam-Geun; Wada, Masamitsu

    2011-09-01

    Chloroplast movement is essential for plants to survive under various environmental light conditions. Phototropins-plant-specific blue-light-activated receptor kinases-mediate the response by perceiving light intensity and direction. Recently, novel chloroplast actin (cp-actin) filaments have been identified as playing a pivotal role in the directional chloroplast photorelocation movement. Encouraging progress has recently been made in this field of research through molecular genetics and cell biological analyses. This review describes factors that have been identified as being involved in chloroplast movement and their roles in the regulation of cp-actin filaments, thus providing a basis for reflection on their biochemical activities and functions.

  13. Cavitation Bubble Nucleation by Energetic Particles

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.D.

    1998-12-01

    In the early sixties, experimental measurements using a bubble chamber confirmed quantitatively the thermal spike theory of bubble nucleation by energetic particles: the energy of the slow, heavy alpha decay recoils used in those experiments matched the calculated bubble nucleation energy to within a few percent. It was a triumph, but was soon to be followed by a puzzle. Within a couple of years, experiments on similar liquids, but well below their normal boiling points, placed under tensile stress showed that the calculated bubble nucleation energy was an order of magnitude less than the recoil energy. Why should the theory work so well in the one case and so badly in the other? How did the liquid, or the recoil particle, "know" the difference between the two experiments? Another mathematical model of the same physical process, introduced in 1967, showed qualitatively why different analyses would be needed for liquids with high and low vapor pressures under positive or negative pressures. But, the quantitative agreement between the calculated nucleation energy and the recoil energy was still poor--the former being smaller by a factor of two to three. In this report, the 1967 analysis is extended and refined: the qualitative understanding of the difference between positive and negative pressure nucleation, "boiling" and "cavitation" respectively, is retained, and agreement between the negative pressure calculated to be needed for nucleation and the energy calculated to be available is much improved. A plot of the calculated negative pressure needed to induce bubble formation against the measured value now has a slope of 1.0, although there is still considerable scatter in the individual points.

  14. Surface Nanobubbles Nucleate Microdroplets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xuehua; Lhuissier, Henri; Sun, Chao; Lohse, Detlef

    2014-04-01

    When a hydrophobic solid is in contact with water, surface nanobubbles often form at the interface. They have a lifetime many orders of magnitude longer than expected. Here, we show that they even withstand a temperature increase to temperatures close to the boiling point of bulk water; i.e., they do not nucleate larger bubbles ("superstability"). On the contrary, when the vapor-liquid contact line passes a nanobubble, a liquid film remains around it, which, after pinch-off, results in a microdroplet in which the nanobubbles continue to exist. Finally, the microdroplet evaporates and the nanobubble consequently bursts. Our results support that pinning plays a crucial role for nanobubble stability.

  15. Ring closure in actin polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinha, Supurna; Chattopadhyay, Sebanti

    2017-03-01

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

  16. Plant villin, lily P-135-ABP, possesses G-actin binding activity and accelerates the polymerization and depolymerization of actin in a Ca2+-sensitive manner.

    PubMed

    Yokota, Etsuo; Tominaga, Motoki; Mabuchi, Issei; Tsuji, Yasunori; Staiger, Christopher J; Oiwa, Kazuhiro; Shimmen, Teruo

    2005-10-01

    From germinating pollen of lily, two types of villins, P-115-ABP and P-135-ABP, have been identified biochemically. Ca(2+)-CaM-dependent actin-filament binding and bundling activities have been demonstrated for both villins previously. Here, we examined the effects of lily villins on the polymerization and depolymerization of actin. P-115-ABP and P-135-ABP present in a crude protein extract prepared from germinating pollen bound to a DNase I affinity column in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Purified P-135-ABP reduced the lag period that precedes actin filament polymerization from monomers in the presence of either Ca(2+) or Ca(2+)-CaM. These results indicated that P-135-ABP can form a complex with G-actin in the presence of Ca(2+) and this complex acts as a nucleus for polymerization of actin filaments. However, the nucleation activity of P-135-ABP is probably not relevant in vivo because the assembly of G-actin saturated with profilin, a situation that mimics conditions found in pollen, was not accelerated in the presence of P-135-ABP. P-135-ABP also enhanced the depolymerization of actin filaments during dilution-mediated disassembly. Growth from filament barbed ends in the presence of Ca(2+)-CaM was also prevented, consistent with filament capping activity. These results suggested that lily villin is involved not only in the arrangement of actin filaments into bundles in the basal and shank region of the pollen tube, but also in regulating and modulating actin dynamics through its capping and depolymerization (or fragmentation) activities in the apical region of the pollen tube, where there is a relatively high concentration of Ca(2+).

  17. Actin behavior in bulk cytoplasm is cell cycle regulated in early vertebrate embryos

    PubMed Central

    Field, Christine M.; Wühr, Martin; Anderson, Graham A.; Kueh, Hao Yuan; Strickland, Devin; Mitchison, Timothy J.

    2011-01-01

    The mechanical properties of cells change as they proceed through the cell cycle, primarily owing to regulation of actin and myosin II. Most models for cell mechanics focus on actomyosin in the cortex and ignore possible roles in bulk cytoplasm. We explored cell cycle regulation of bulk cytoplasmic actomyosin in Xenopus egg extracts, which is almost undiluted cytoplasm from unfertilized eggs. We observed dramatic gelation-contraction of actomyosin in mitotic (M phase) extract where Cdk1 activity is high, but not in interphase (I-phase) extract. In spread droplets, M-phase extract exhibited regular, periodic pulses of gelation-contraction a few minutes apart that continued for many minutes. Comparing actin nucleation, disassembly and myosin II activity between M-phase and I-phase extracts, we conclude that regulation of nucleation is likely to be the most important for cell cycle regulation. We then imaged F-actin in early zebrafish blastomeres using a GFP–Utrophin probe. Polymerization in bulk cytoplasm around vesicles increased dramatically during mitosis, consistent with enhanced nucleation. We conclude that F-actin polymerization in bulk cytoplasm is cell cycle regulated in early vertebrate embryos and discuss possible biological functions of this regulation. PMID:21610091

  18. A detailed study of ice nucleation by feldspar minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whale, T. F.; Murray, B. J.; Wilson, T. W.; Carpenter, M. A.; Harrison, A.; Holden, M. A.; Vergara Temprado, J.; Morris, J.; O'Sullivan, D.

    2015-12-01

    Immersion mode heterogeneous ice nucleation plays a crucial role in controlling the composition of mixed phase clouds, which contain both supercooled liquid water and ice particles. The amount of ice in mixed phase clouds can affect cloud particle size, lifetime and extent and so affects radiative properties and precipitation. Feldspar minerals are probably the most important minerals for ice nucleation in mixed phase clouds because they nucleate ice more efficiently than other components of atmospheric mineral dust (Atkinson et al. 2013). The feldspar class of minerals is complex, containing numerous chemical compositions, several crystal polymorphs and wide variations in microscopic structure. Here we present the results of a study into ice nucleation by a wide range of different feldspars. We found that, in general, alkali feldspars nucleate ice more efficiently than plagioclase feldspars. However, we also found that particular alkali feldspars nucleate ice relatively inefficiently, suggesting that chemical composition is not the only important factor that dictates the ice nucleation efficiency of feldspar minerals. Ice nucleation by feldspar is described well by the singular model and is probably site specific in nature. The alkali feldspars that do not nucleate ice efficiently possess relatively homogenous structure on the micrometre scale suggesting that the important sites for nucleation are related to surface topography. Ice nucleation active site densities for the majority of tested alkali feldspars are similar to those found by Atkinson et al (2013), meaning that the validity of global aerosol modelling conducted in that study is not affected. Additionally, we have found that ice nucleation by feldspars is strongly influenced, both positively and negatively, by the solute content of droplets. Most other nucleants we have tested are unaffected by solutes. This provides insight into the mechanism of ice nucleation by feldspars and could be of importance

  19. Serum Calcium-decreasing Factor, Caldecrin, Inhibits Receptor Activator of NF-κB Ligand (RANKL)-mediated Ca2+ Signaling and Actin Ring Formation in Mature Osteoclasts via Suppression of Src Signaling Pathway*

    PubMed Central

    Tomomura, Mineko; Hasegawa, Hiroya; Suda, Naoto; Sakagami, Hiroshi; Tomomura, Akito

    2012-01-01

    Osteoclasts are essential for bone dynamics and calcium homeostasis. Recently, we reported that serum calcium-decreasing factor, caldecrin, which is a secretory-type serine protease isolated from the pancreas, inhibits osteoclast differentiation by suppression of NFATc1 activity regardless of its own protease activity (Hasegawa, H., Kido, S., Tomomura, M., Fujimoto, K., Ohi, M., Kiyomura, M., Kanegae, H., Inaba, A., Sakagami, H., and Tomomura, A. (2010) Serum calcium-decreasing factor, caldecrin, inhibits osteoclast differentiation by suppression of NFATc1 activity. J. Biol. Chem. 285, 25448–25457). Here, we investigated the effects of caldecrin on the function of mature osteoclasts by treatment with receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL). Caldecrin inhibited the RANKL-stimulated bone resorptive activity of mature osteoclasts. Furthermore, caldecrin inhibited RANKL-mediated sealing actin ring formation, which is associated with RANKL-evoked Ca2+ entry through transient receptor potential vanilloid channel 4. The inhibitors of phospholipase Cγ, Syk, and c-Src suppressed RANKL-evoked Ca2+ entry and actin ring formation of mature osteoclasts. Interestingly, caldecrin significantly inhibited RANKL-stimulated phosphorylation of c-Src, Syk, phospholipase Cγ1 and Cγ2, SLP-76, and Pyk2 but not that of ERK, JNK, or Akt. Caldecrin inhibited RANKL-stimulated c-Src kinase activity and c-Src·Syk association. These results suggest that caldecrin inhibits RANKL-stimulated calcium signaling activation and cytoskeletal organization by suppression of the c-Src·Syk pathway, which may in turn reduce the bone resorptive activity of mature osteoclasts. Thus, caldecrin is capable of acting as a negative regulator of osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast function of bone resorption. PMID:22461633

  20. CAS-1, a C. elegans cyclase-associated protein, is required for sarcomeric actin assembly in striated muscle.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Kazumi; Ono, Kanako; Ono, Shoichiro

    2012-09-01

    Assembly of contractile apparatuses in striated muscle requires precisely regulated reorganization of the actin cytoskeletal proteins into sarcomeric organization. Regulation of actin filament dynamics is one of the essential processes of myofibril assembly, but the mechanism of actin regulation in striated muscle is not clearly understood. Actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin is a key enhancer of actin filament dynamics in striated muscle in both vertebrates and nematodes. Here, we report that CAS-1, a cyclase-associated protein in Caenorhabditis elegans, promotes ADF/cofilin-dependent actin filament turnover in vitro and is required for sarcomeric actin organization in striated muscle. CAS-1 is predominantly expressed in striated muscle from embryos to adults. In vitro, CAS-1 binds to actin monomers and enhances exchange of actin-bound ATP/ADP even in the presence of UNC-60B, a muscle-specific ADF/cofilin that inhibits the nucleotide exchange. As a result, CAS-1 and UNC-60B cooperatively enhance actin filament turnover. The two proteins also cooperate to shorten actin filaments. A cas-1 mutation is homozygous lethal with defects in sarcomeric actin organization. cas-1-mutant embryos and worms have aggregates of actin in muscle cells, and UNC-60B is mislocalized to the aggregates. These results provide genetic and biochemical evidence that cyclase-associated protein is a critical regulator of sarcomeric actin organization in striated muscle.

  1. Periodic actin structures in neuronal axons are required to maintain microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Yue; Hahn, Ines; Webb, Stephen E.D.; Pearce, Simon P.; Prokop, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Axons are cable-like neuronal processes wiring the nervous system. They contain parallel bundles of microtubules as structural backbones, surrounded by regularly spaced actin rings termed the periodic membrane skeleton (PMS). Despite being an evolutionarily conserved, ubiquitous, highly ordered feature of axons, the function of PMS is unknown. Here we studied PMS abundance, organization, and function, combining versatile Drosophila genetics with superresolution microscopy and various functional readouts. Analyses with 11 actin regulators and three actin-targeting drugs suggest that PMS contains short actin filaments that are depolymerization resistant and sensitive to spectrin, adducin, and nucleator deficiency, consistent with microscopy-derived models proposing PMS as specialized cortical actin. Upon actin removal, we observed gaps in microtubule bundles, reduced microtubule polymerization, and reduced axon numbers, suggesting a role of PMS in microtubule organization. These effects become strongly enhanced when carried out in neurons lacking the microtubule-stabilizing protein Short stop (Shot). Combining the aforementioned actin manipulations with Shot deficiency revealed a close correlation between PMS abundance and microtubule regulation, consistent with a model in which PMS-dependent microtubule polymerization contributes to their maintenance in axons. We discuss potential implications of this novel PMS function along axon shafts for axon maintenance and regeneration. PMID:27881663

  2. Novel actin depolymerizing macrolide aplyronine A.

    PubMed

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

    1996-09-01

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

  3. Bacterial Actins and Their Interactors.

    PubMed

    Gayathri, Pananghat

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Binding of a C-terminal fragment (residues 369 to 435) of vitamin D-binding protein to actin.

    PubMed

    Buch, Stefan; Gremm, Dagmar; Wegner, Albrecht; Mannherz, Hans Georg

    2002-10-01

    The vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) binds to monomeric actin with high affinity. The variation in DBP isoforms is due to genetic polymorphism and varying glycosylation. To obtain a homogeneous preparation, the cDNA for human DBP and truncations thereof were cloned and various systems were applied for heterologous bacterial and yeast expression. The full-length protein and the N- and C-terminal halves of DBP remained insoluble probably because the protein did not fold to its native three-dimensional structure due to formation of accidental intra- and inter-molecular disulfide bonds during expression in bacteria or yeast. This problem was overcome by cloning of a C-terminal fragment comprising residues 369 to 435 that did not contain disulfide bonds and was completely soluble. Binding of the C-terminal fragment to monomeric actin was demonstrated by comigration with actin during native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and surface plasmon resonance, however, at considerably lower affinity than full-length DBP. This suggests that in addition to the C-terminal amino acid sequence other parts (amino acid residues or sugar moieties) of DBP participate in actin binding. The C-terminal fragment was found to inhibit denaturation of actin and to decrease the rate of actin polymerisation both at the barbed and at the pointed end in a concentration-dependent manner. According to a quantitative analysis of the polymerisation kinetics, association of actin monomers to nucleate filaments was not prevented by binding of the C-terminal fragment to actin. These data suggest that the sites on the surface of actin that are involved in actin nucleation and elongation are different.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stevenson, V A; Theurkauf, W E

    2000-10-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-14

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

  8. Nucleation of Crystals in Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vekilov, Peter G.

    2010-07-01

    Solution crystallization is an essential part of processes in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and a major step in physiological and pathological phenomena. Crystallization starts with nucleation and control of nucleation is crucial for the control of the number, size, perfection, polymorphism and other characteristics of the crystalline materials. Recently, there have been significant advances in the understanding of the mechanism of nucleation of crystals in solution. The most significant of these is the two-step mechanism of nucleation, according to which the crystalline nucleus appears inside pre-existing metastable clusters of size several hundred nanometers, which consist of dense liquid and are suspended in the solution. While initially proposed for protein crystals, the applicability of this mechanism has been demonstrated for small molecule organic materials, colloids, and biominerals. This mechanism helps to explain several long-standing puzzles of crystal nucleation in solution: nucleation rates which are many orders of magnitude lower than theoretical predictions, nucleation kinetic dependencies with steady or receding parts at increasing supersaturation, the role of heterogeneous substrates for polymorph selection, the significance of the dense protein liquid, and others. More importantly, this mechanism provides powerful tools for control of the nucleation process by varying the solution thermodynamic parameters so that the volume occupied by the dense liquid shrinks or expands.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bamburg, James R.; Bernstein, Barbara W.

    2017-01-01

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

  10. The rpg4-mediated resistance to wheat stem rust (Puccinia graminis) in barley (Hordeum vulgare) requires Rpg5, a second NBS-LRR gene, and an actin depolymerization factor.

    PubMed

    Wang, X; Richards, J; Gross, T; Druka, A; Kleinhofs, A; Steffenson, B; Acevedo, M; Brueggeman, R

    2013-04-01

    The rpg4 gene confers recessive resistance to several races of wheat stem rust (Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici) and Rpg5 provides dominant resistance against isolates of the rye stem rust (P. graminis f. sp. secalis) in barley. The rpg4 and Rpg5 genes are tightly linked on chromosome 5H, and positional cloning using high-resolution populations clearly separated the genes, unambiguously identifying Rpg5; however, the identity of rpg4 remained unclear. High-resolution genotyping of critical recombinants at the rpg4/Rpg5 locus, designated here as rpg4-mediated resistance locus (RMRL) delimited two distinct yet tightly linked loci required for resistance, designated as RMRL1 and RMRL2. Utilizing virus-induced gene silencing, each gene at RMRL1, i.e., HvRga1 (a nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat [NBS-LRR] domain gene), Rpg5 (an NBS-LRR-protein kinase domain gene), and HvAdf3 (an actin depolymerizing factor-like gene), was individually silenced followed by inoculation with P. graminis f. sp. tritici race QCCJ. Silencing each gene changed the reaction type from incompatible to compatible, indicating that all three genes are required for rpg4-mediated resistance. This stem rust resistance mechanism in barley follows the emerging theme of unrelated pairs of genetically linked NBS-LRR genes required for specific pathogen recognition and resistance. It also appears that actin cytoskeleton dynamics may play an important role in determining resistance against several races of stem rust in barley.

  11. Preferential Nucleation during Polymorphic Transformations

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, H.; Sietsma, J.; Offerman, S. E.

    2016-01-01

    Polymorphism is the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one phase or crystal structure. Polymorphism may occur in metals, alloys, ceramics, minerals, polymers, and pharmaceutical substances. Unresolved are the conditions for preferential nucleation during polymorphic transformations in which structural relationships or special crystallographic orientation relationships (OR’s) form between the nucleus and surrounding matrix grains. We measured in-situ and simultaneously the nucleation rates of grains that have zero, one, two, three and four special OR’s with the surrounding parent grains. These experiments show a trend in which the activation energy for nucleation becomes smaller – and therefore nucleation more probable - with increasing number of special OR’s. These insights contribute to steering the processing of polymorphic materials with tailored properties, since preferential nucleation affects which crystal structure forms, the average grain size and texture of the material, and thereby - to a large extent - the final properties of the material. PMID:27484579

  12. Phase nucleation in curved space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gómez, Leopoldo; García, Nicolás; Vitelli, Vincenzo; Lorenzana, José; Daniel, Vega

    Nucleation and growth is the dominant relaxation mechanism driving first-order phase transitions. In two-dimensional flat systems, nucleation has been applied to a wide range of problems in physics, chemistry and biology. Here we study nucleation and growth of two-dimensional phases lying on curved surfaces and show that curvature modifies both critical sizes of nuclei and paths towards the equilibrium phase. In curved space, nucleation and growth becomes inherently inhomogeneous and critical nuclei form faster on regions of positive Gaussian curvature. Substrates of varying shape display complex energy landscapes with several geometry-induced local minima, where initially propagating nuclei become stabilized and trapped by the underlying curvature (Gómez, L. R. et al. Phase nucleation in curved space. Nat. Commun. 6:6856 doi: 10.1038/ncomms7856 (2015).).

  13. Preferential Nucleation during Polymorphic Transformations.

    PubMed

    Sharma, H; Sietsma, J; Offerman, S E

    2016-08-03

    Polymorphism is the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one phase or crystal structure. Polymorphism may occur in metals, alloys, ceramics, minerals, polymers, and pharmaceutical substances. Unresolved are the conditions for preferential nucleation during polymorphic transformations in which structural relationships or special crystallographic orientation relationships (OR's) form between the nucleus and surrounding matrix grains. We measured in-situ and simultaneously the nucleation rates of grains that have zero, one, two, three and four special OR's with the surrounding parent grains. These experiments show a trend in which the activation energy for nucleation becomes smaller - and therefore nucleation more probable - with increasing number of special OR's. These insights contribute to steering the processing of polymorphic materials with tailored properties, since preferential nucleation affects which crystal structure forms, the average grain size and texture of the material, and thereby - to a large extent - the final properties of the material.

  14. Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin Impairs Neutrophil Actin-Based Motility▿

    PubMed Central

    Szarowicz, Sarah E.; During, Russell L.; Li, Wei; Quinn, Conrad P.; Tang, Wei-Jen; Southwick, Frederick S.

    2009-01-01

    Inhalation anthrax results in high-grade bacteremia and is accompanied by a delay in the rise of the peripheral polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) count and a paucity of PMNs in the infected pleural fluid and mediastinum. Edema toxin (ET) is one of the major Bacillus anthracis virulence factors and consists of the adenylate cyclase edema factor (EF) and protective antigen (PA). Relatively low concentrations of ET (100 to 500 ng/ml of PA and EF) significantly impair human PMN chemokinesis, chemotaxis, and ability to polarize. These changes are accompanied by a reduction in chemoattractant-stimulated PMN actin assembly. ET also causes a significant decrease in Listeria monocytogenes intracellular actin-based motility within HeLa cells. These defects in actin assembly are accompanied by a >50-fold increase in intracellular cyclic AMP and a >4-fold increase in the phosphorylation of protein kinase A. We have previously shown that anthrax lethal toxin (LT) also impairs neutrophil actin-based motility (R. L. During, W. Li, B. Hao, J. M. Koenig, D. S. Stephens, C. P. Quinn, and F. S. Southwick, J. Infect. Dis. 192:837-845, 2005), and we now find that LT combined with ET causes an additive inhibition of PMN chemokinesis, polarization, chemotaxis, and FMLP (N-formyl-met-leu-phe)-induced actin assembly. We conclude that ET alone or combined with LT impairs PMN actin assembly, resulting in paralysis of PMN chemotaxis. PMID:19349425

  15. Dual pools of actin at presynaptic terminals.

    PubMed

    Bleckert, Adam; Photowala, Huzefa; Alford, Simon

    2012-06-01

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

  16. Immunoinhibitory adapter protein Src homology domain 3 lymphocyte protein 2 (SLy2) regulates actin dynamics and B cell spreading.

    PubMed

    von Holleben, Max; Gohla, Antje; Janssen, Klaus-Peter; Iritani, Brian M; Beer-Hammer, Sandra

    2011-04-15

    Appropriate B cell activation is essential for adaptive immunity. In contrast to the molecular mechanisms that regulate positive signaling in immune responses, the counterbalancing negative regulatory pathways remain insufficiently understood. The Src homology domain 3 (SH3)-containing adapter protein SH3 lymphocyte protein 2 (SLy2, also known as hematopoietic adapter-containing SH3 and sterile α-motif (SAM) domains 1; HACS1) is strongly up-regulated upon B cell activation and functions as an endogenous immunoinhibitor in vivo, but the underlying molecular mechanisms of SLy2 function have been elusive. We have generated transgenic mice overexpressing SLy2 in B and T cells and have studied the biological effects of elevated SLy2 levels in Jurkat and HeLa cells. Our results demonstrate that SLy2 induces Rac1-dependent membrane ruffle formation and regulates cell spreading and polarization and that the SLy2 SH3 domain is essential for these effects. Using immunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy, we provide evidence that the actin nucleation-promoting factor cortactin is an SH3 domain-directed interaction partner of SLy2. Consistent with an important role of SLy2 for actin cytoskeletal reorganization, we further show that SLy2-transgenic B cells are severely defective in cell spreading. Together, our findings extend our mechanistic understanding of the immunoinhibitory roles of SLy2 in vivo and suggest that the physiological up-regulation of SLy2 observed upon B cell activation functions to counteract excessive B cell spreading.

  17. [Photodynamic therapy for actinic cheilitis].

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  18. Chemotaxis and Actin Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. Nucleation and growth of cracks in vitreous-bonded aluminum oxide at elevated temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Jakus, K.; Wiederhorn, S.M.; Hockey, B.J.

    1986-10-01

    The nucleation and growth of cracks was studied at elevated temperatures on a grade of vitreous-bonded aluminium oxide that contained approx. =8 vol% glass at the grain boundaries. Cracks were observed to nucleate within the vitreous phase, close to the tensile surface of the flexural test specimens used in these experiments. Crack nucleation occurred at a strain of approx. =0.08% to 0.12% which corresponded to a crack nucleation time of approx. =35% of the time to failure by creep rupture. Once nucleated, cracks propagated along grain boundaries, as long as the stress for crack propagation was maintained. The crack velocity for cracks that were nucleated by the creep process was found to be linearly proportional to the apparent stress intensity factor, whereas for cracks that were nucleated by indentation, the crack velocity was proportional to the fourth power of the apparent stress intensity factor.

  20. A membrane cytoskeleton from Dictyostelium discoideum. I. Identification and partial characterization of an actin-binding activity

    PubMed Central

    1981-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum plasma membranes isolated by each of three procedures bind F-actin. The interactions between these membranes and actin are examined by a novel application of falling ball viscometry. Treating the membranes as multivalent actin-binding particles analogous to divalent actin-gelation factors, we observe large increases in viscosity (actin cross-linking) when membranes of depleted actin and myosin are incubated with rabbit skeletal muscle F-actin. Pre- extraction of peripheral membrane proteins with chaotropes or the inclusion of Triton X-100 during the assay does not appreciably diminish this actin cross-linking activity. Lipid vesicles, heat- denatured membranes, proteolyzed membranes, or membranes containing endogenous actin show minimal actin cross-linking activity. Heat- denatured, but not proteolyzed, membranes regain activity when assayed in the presence of Triton X-100. Thus, integral membrane proteins appear to be responsible for some or all of the actin cross-linking activity of D. discoideum membranes. In the absence of MgATP, Triton X- 100 extraction of isolated D. discoideum membranes results in a Triton- insoluble residue composed of actin, myosin, and associated membrane proteins. The inclusion of MgATP before and during Triton extraction greatly diminishes the amount of protein in the Triton-insoluble residue without appreciably altering its composition. Our results suggest the existence of a protein complex stabilized by actin and/or myosin (membrane cytoskeleton) associated with the D. discoideum plasma membrane. PMID:6894148

  1. Protein crystal nucleation in pores

    PubMed Central

    Nanev, Christo N.; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2017-01-01

    The most powerful method for protein structure determination is X-ray crystallography which relies on the availability of high quality crystals. Obtaining protein crystals is a major bottleneck, and inducing their nucleation is of crucial importance in this field. An effective method to form crystals is to introduce nucleation-inducing heterologous materials into the crystallization solution. Porous materials are exceptionally effective at inducing nucleation. It is shown here that a combined diffusion-adsorption effect can increase protein concentration inside pores, which enables crystal nucleation even under conditions where heterogeneous nucleation on flat surfaces is absent. Provided the pore is sufficiently narrow, protein molecules approach its walls and adsorb more frequently than they can escape. The decrease in the nucleation energy barrier is calculated, exhibiting its quantitative dependence on the confinement space and the energy of interaction with the pore walls. These results provide a detailed explanation of the effectiveness of porous materials for nucleation of protein crystals, and will be useful for optimal design of such materials. PMID:28091515

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  3. Climate Impacts of Ice Nucleation

    SciTech Connect

    Gettelman, A.; Liu, Xiaohong; Barahona, Donifan; Lohmann, U.; Chen, Chih-Chieh

    2012-10-19

    [1] Several different ice nucleation parameterizations in two different General Circulation Models (GCMs) are used to understand the effects of ice nucleation on the mean climate state, and the Aerosol Indirect Effects (AIE) of cirrus clouds on climate. Simulations have a range of ice microphysical states that are consistent with the spread of observations, but many simulations have higher present-day ice crystal number concentrations than in-situ observations. These different states result from different parameterizations of ice cloud nucleation processes, and feature different balances of homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation. Black carbon aerosols have a small (-0.06 Wm-2) and not statistically significant AIE when included as ice nuclei, for nucleation efficiencies within the range of laboratory measurements. Indirect effects of anthropogenic aerosols on cirrus clouds occur as a consequence of increasing anthropogenic sulfur emissions with different mechanisms important in different models. In one model this is due to increases in homogeneous nucleation fraction, and in the other due to increases in heterogeneous nucleation with coated dust. The magnitude of the effect is the same however. The resulting ice AIE does not seem strongly dependent on the balance between homogeneous and heterogeneous ice nucleation. Regional effects can reach several Wm-2. Indirect effects are slightly larger for those states with less homogeneous nucleation and lower ice number concentration in the base state. The total ice AIE is estimated at 0.27 ± 0.10 Wm-2 (1σ uncertainty). Finally, this represents a 20% offset of the simulated total shortwave AIE for ice and liquid clouds of -1.6 Wm-2.

  4. Climate Impacts of Ice Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gettelman, Andrew; Liu, Xiaohong; Barahona, Donifan; Lohmann, Ulrike; Chen, Celia

    2012-01-01

    Several different ice nucleation parameterizations in two different General Circulation Models (GCMs) are used to understand the effects of ice nucleation on the mean climate state, and the Aerosol Indirect Effects (AIE) of cirrus clouds on climate. Simulations have a range of ice microphysical states that are consistent with the spread of observations, but many simulations have higher present-day ice crystal number concentrations than in-situ observations. These different states result from different parameterizations of ice cloud nucleation processes, and feature different balances of homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation. Black carbon aerosols have a small (0.06 Wm(exp-2) and not statistically significant AIE when included as ice nuclei, for nucleation efficiencies within the range of laboratory measurements. Indirect effects of anthropogenic aerosols on cirrus clouds occur as a consequence of increasing anthropogenic sulfur emissions with different mechanisms important in different models. In one model this is due to increases in homogeneous nucleation fraction, and in the other due to increases in heterogeneous nucleation with coated dust. The magnitude of the effect is the same however. The resulting ice AIE does not seem strongly dependent on the balance between homogeneous and heterogeneous ice nucleation. Regional effects can reach several Wm2. Indirect effects are slightly larger for those states with less homogeneous nucleation and lower ice number concentration in the base state. The total ice AIE is estimated at 0.27 +/- 0.10 Wm(exp-2) (1 sigma uncertainty). This represents a 20% offset of the simulated total shortwave AIE for ice and liquid clouds of 1.6 Wm(sup-2).

  5. Influence of Grain Boundary Properties and Orientation on Void Nucleation

    SciTech Connect

    Fensin, Saryu Jindal

    2016-03-01

    For ductile metals, dynamic fracture during shock loading is thought to occur through void nucleation, growth, and then coalescence that leads to material failure. Particularly for high purity metals, it has been observed by numerous investigators that, under incipient spall conditions, voids appear to heterogeneously nucleate at some grain boundaries, but not others. Several factors can affect the void nucleation stress at a grain boundary, such as grain boundary structure, orientation with respect to the loading direction, energy and excess volume, in addition to its interactions with dislocations. In this work, we focus on the influence of loading direction with respect to the grain boundary plane and grain boundary properties such as energy and excess volume on the stress required for void nucleation of a grain boundary, in copper from moleculardynamics simulations. Flyer plate simulations were carried out for four boundary types with different energies and excess volumes. These boundaries were chosen as model systems to represent various boundaries observed in “real” materials. Simulations indicate that there is no direct correlation between the void nucleation stress at a boundary and either its energy and excess volume. This result suggests that average properties of grain boundaries alone are not sufficient indicators of the spall strength of a boundary and perhaps local boundary properties need to be taken into account in order to predict its susceptibility to void nucleation for broad ranges of materials. We also present both experimental and simulation results corresponding to the affect of orientation on void nucleation.

  6. Computational spatiotemporal analysis identifies WAVE2 and Cofilin as joint regulators of costimulation-mediated T cell actin dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Roybal, Kole T.; Buck, Taráz E.; Ruan, Xiongtao; Cho, Baek Hwan; Clark, Danielle J.; Ambler, Rachel; Tunbridge, Helen M.; Zhang, Jianwei; Verkade, Paul; Wülfing, Christoph; Murphy, Robert F.

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescence microscopy is one of the most important tools in cell biology research and it provides spatial and temporal information to investigate regulatory systems inside cells. This technique can generate data in the form of signal intensities at thousands of positions resolved inside individual live cells; however, given extensive cell-to-cell variation, methods do not currently exist to assemble these data into three- or four-dimensional maps of protein concentration that can be compared across different cells and conditions. Here, we have developed one such method and applied it to investigate actin dynamics in T cell activation. Antigen recognition in T cells by the T cell receptor (TCR) is amplified by engagement of the costimulatory receptor CD28 and we have determined how CD28 modulates actin dynamics. We imaged actin and eight core actin regulators under conditions where CD28 in the context of a strong TCR signal was engaged or blocked to yield over a thousand movies. Our computational analysis identified diminished recruitment of the activator of actin nucleation WAVE2 and the actin severing protein cofilin to F-actin as the dominant difference upon costimulation blockade. Reconstitution of WAVE2 and cofilin activity restored the defect in actin signaling dynamics upon costimulation blockade. Thus we have developed and validated an approach to quantify protein distributions in time and space for analysis of complex regulatory systems. PMID:27095595

  7. Arp2/3 complex inhibition radically alters lamellipodial actin architecture, suspended cell shape, and the cell spreading process

    PubMed Central

    Henson, John H.; Yeterian, Mesrob; Weeks, Richard M.; Medrano, Angela E.; Brown, Briana L.; Geist, Heather L.; Pais, Mollyann D.; Oldenbourg, Rudolf; Shuster, Charles B.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have investigated the dendritic actin cytoskeleton of the cell edge's lamellipodial (LP) region by experimentally decreasing the activity of the actin filament nucleator and branch former, the Arp2/3 complex. Here we extend these studies via pharmacological inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex in sea urchin coelomocytes, cells that possess an unusually broad LP region and display correspondingly exaggerated centripetal flow. Using light and electron microscopy, we demonstrate that Arp2/3 complex inhibition via the drug CK666 dramatically altered LP actin architecture, slowed centripetal flow, drove a lamellipodial-to-filopodial shape change in suspended cells, and induced a novel actin structural organization during cell spreading. A general feature of the CK666 phenotype in coelomocytes was transverse actin arcs, and arc generation was arrested by a formin inhibitor. We also demonstrate that CK666 treatment produces actin arcs in other cells with broad LP regions, namely fish keratocytes and Drosophila S2 cells. We hypothesize that the actin arcs made visible by Arp2/3 complex inhibition in coelomocytes may represent an exaggerated manifestation of the elongate mother filaments that could possibly serve as the scaffold for the production of the dendritic actin network. PMID:25568343

  8. Molecular architecture of synaptic actin cytoskeleton in hippocampal neurons reveals a mechanism of dendritic spine morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Korobova, Farida; Svitkina, Tatyana

    2010-01-01

    Excitatory synapses in the brain play key roles in learning and memory. The formation and functions of postsynaptic mushroom-shaped structures, dendritic spines, and possibly of presynaptic terminals, rely on actin cytoskeleton remodeling. However, the cytoskeletal architecture of synapses remains unknown hindering the understanding of synapse morphogenesis. Using platinum replica electron microscopy, we characterized the cytoskeletal organization and molecular composition of dendritic spines, their precursors, dendritic filopodia, and presynaptic boutons. A branched actin filament network containing Arp2/3 complex and capping protein was a dominant feature of spine heads and presynaptic boutons. Surprisingly, the spine necks and bases, as well as dendritic filopodia, also contained a network, rather than a bundle, of branched and linear actin filaments that was immunopositive for Arp2/3 complex, capping protein, and myosin II, but not fascin. Thus, a tight actin filament bundle is not necessary for structural support of elongated filopodia-like protrusions. Dynamically, dendritic filopodia emerged from densities in the dendritic shaft, which by electron microscopy contained branched actin network associated with dendritic microtubules. We propose that dendritic spine morphogenesis begins from an actin patch elongating into a dendritic filopodium, which tip subsequently expands via Arp2/3 complex-dependent nucleation and which length is modulated by myosin II-dependent contractility.

  9. Molecular requirements for actin-based lamella formation in Drosophila S2 cells.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Stephen L; Wiedemann, Ursula; Stuurman, Nico; Vale, Ronald D

    2003-09-15

    Cell migration occurs through the protrusion of the actin-enriched lamella. Here, we investigated the effects of RNAi depletion of approximately 90 proteins implicated in actin function on lamella formation in Drosophila S2 cells. Similar to in vitro reconstitution studies of actin-based Listeria movement, we find that lamellae formation requires a relatively small set of proteins that participate in actin nucleation (Arp2/3 and SCAR), barbed end capping (capping protein), filament depolymerization (cofilin and Aip1), and actin monomer binding (profilin and cyclase-associated protein). Lamellae are initiated by parallel and partially redundant signaling pathways involving Rac GTPases and the adaptor protein Nck, which stimulate SCAR, an Arp2/3 activator. We also show that RNAi of three proteins (kette, Abi, and Sra-1) known to copurify with and inhibit SCAR in vitro leads to SCAR degradation, revealing a novel function of this protein complex in SCAR stability. Our results have identified an essential set of proteins involved in actin dynamics during lamella formation in Drosophila S2 cells.

  10. Nucleus-associated actin in Amoeba proteus.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Profilin as a regulator of the membrane-actin cytoskeleton interface in plant cells.

    PubMed

    Sun, Tiantian; Li, Shanwei; Ren, Haiyun

    2013-12-19

    Membrane structures and cytoskeleton dynamics are intimately inter-connected in the eukaryotic cell. Recently, the molecular mechanisms operating at this interface have been progressively addressed. Many experiments have revealed that the actin cytoskeleton can interact with membranes through various discrete membrane domains. The actin-binding protein, profilin has been proven to inhibit actin polymerization and to promote F-actin elongation. This is dependent on many factors, such as the profilin/G-actin ratio and the ionic environment of the cell. Additionally, profilin has specific domains that interact with phosphoinositides and poly-L-proline rich proteins; theoretically, this gives profilin the opportunity to interact with membranes, and a large number of experiments have confirmed this possibility. In this article, we summarize recent findings in plant cells, and discuss the evidence of the connections among actin cytoskeleton, profilin and biomembranes through direct or indirect relationships.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Biochemical interaction of an actin-capping protein, CapZ, with NAP-22.

    PubMed

    Odagaki, Sin-Ichi; Kumanogoh, Haruko; Nakamura, Shun; Maekawa, Shohei

    2009-07-01

    NAP-22 is a neuronal protein localized in the presynaptic membrane and synaptic vesicles and recovered in a Triton-insoluble low-density microdomain fraction after biochemical fractionation of the synaptic plasma membrane. NAP-22 organizes membrane microdomains through binding to membrane lipids such as cholesterol, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. In this study, NAP-22-binding proteins were screened through the pull-down assay using brain-derived NAP-22 bound to Sepharose 4B. An actin-capping protein, CapZ, was identified in the precipitate through mass spectrometry and Western blotting. CapZ was then expressed in E. coli and the purified protein-bound NAP-22 directly. Because bacterially expressed NAP-22 bound CapZ, it was determined that the N-terminal myristoyl moiety of NAP-22 is not necessary for the binding. The binding of NAP-22 showed no effect on the actin nucleation activity of CapZ measured with centrifugation and viscometric assays. Hence, the CapZ-NAP-22 complex could work as the nucleation site of actin polymerization or as the actin filament-anchoring site on the membrane microdomain.

  16. 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.

  17. Freezing Rate Due to Heterogeneous Nucleation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vali, Gabor

    1994-07-01

    The heterogeneous nucleation of ice from supercooled water is influenced by the nature of the foreign nuclei that serve as the sites for ice embryo formation, and by the stochastic nature of the process of embryo growth to critical size. The relative roles of these two factors have been the subject of some debate, especially as they influence the way nucleation of ice is modeled in clouds. `Freezing rate' is defined as the time-dependent rate at which a population of macroscopically identical samples (e.g., drops in a volume of air) freeze due to the nuclei contained in them. Freezing rate is the combined result of nucleus content and of time dependence. The time-dependent freezing rate model (TDFR) is consistent with available empirical evidence. For droplets cooled at rates of the order of 1°C per min, the nucleus content, or nucleus spectrum, predicts the freezing rate with reasonable accuracy. For samples exposed to a fixed temperature, the time dependence of the freezing rate becomes important, but the probability of freezing is not the same for each individual of the sample population. Stochastic models are not supported by the results. Application of the TDFR model and use of measured freezing nucleus data for precipitation provide a basis for the description of ice formation via immersion-freezing nucleation in cloud models. Limitations to full development of these models arise from inadequate knowledge about the freezing nucleus content of cloud water as a function of cloud evolution.

  18. Nucleation theory using equations of state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obeidat, Abdalla A.

    Various equations of state (EOS) have been used with the most general Gibbsian form (P-form) of classical nucleation theory ( CNT) to see if any improvement could be realized in predicted rates for vapor-to-liquid nucleation. The standard or S-form of CNT relies on the assumption of an incompressible liquid droplet. With the use of realistic EOSs, this assumption is no longer needed. The P-form results for water and heavy water were made using the highly accurate IAPWS-95 EOS and the CREOS. The P-form successfully predicted the temperature (T) supersaturation (S ) dependence of the nucleation rate, although the absolute value was in error by roughly a factor of 100. The results for methanol and ethanol using a less accurate CPHB EOS showed little improvement over the S-form results. Gradient theory (GT), a form of density functional theory (DFT), was applied to water and alcohols using the CPHB EOS. The water results showed an improved T dependence, but the S dependence was slightly poorer compared to the S-form of CNT. The methanol and ethanol results were improved by several orders of magnitude in the predicted rates. GT and P-form CNT were also found to be in good agreement with a single high T molecular dynamics rate for TIP4P water. The P-form of binary nucleation theory was studied for a fictitious water-ethanol system whose properties were generated from DFT and a mean-field EOS for a hard sphere Yukawa fluid. The P-form was not successful in removing the unphysical behavior predicted by binary CNT in its simplest form. The DFT results were greatly superior to all forms of classical theory.

  19. Cofilin cooperates with fascin to disassemble filopodial actin filaments

    PubMed Central

    Breitsprecher, Dennis; Koestler, Stefan A.; Chizhov, Igor; Nemethova, Maria; Mueller, Jan; Goode, Bruce L.; Small, J. Victor; Rottner, Klemens; Faix, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Cells use a large repertoire of proteins to remodel the actin cytoskeleton. Depending on the proteins involved, F-actin is organized in specialized protrusions such as lamellipodia or filopodia, which serve diverse functions in cell migration and sensing. Although factors responsible for directed filament assembly in filopodia have been extensively characterized, the mechanisms of filament disassembly in these structures are mostly unknown. We investigated how the actin-depolymerizing factor cofilin-1 affects the dynamics of fascincrosslinked actin filaments in vitro and in live cells. By multicolor total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and fluorimetric assays, we found that cofilin-mediated severing is enhanced in fascin-crosslinked bundles compared with isolated filaments, and that fascin and cofilin act synergistically in filament severing. Immunolabeling experiments demonstrated for the first time that besides its known localization in lamellipodia and membrane ruffles, endogenous cofilin can also accumulate in the tips and shafts of filopodia. Live-cell imaging of fluorescently tagged proteins revealed that cofilin is specifically targeted to filopodia upon stalling of protrusion and during their retraction. Subsequent electron tomography established filopodial actin filament and/or bundle fragmentation to precisely correlate with cofilin accumulation. These results identify a new mechanism of filopodium disassembly involving both fascin and cofilin. PMID:21940796

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  1. Optimal treatment of actinic keratoses

    PubMed Central

    Uhlenhake, Elizabeth E

    2013-01-01

    The most compelling reason and primary goal of treating actinic keratoses is to prevent malignant transformation into invasive squamous cell carcinoma, and although there are well established guidelines outlining treatment modalities and regimens for squamous cell carcinoma, the more commonly encountered precancerous actinic lesions have no such standard. Many options are available with variable success and patient compliance rates. Prevention of these lesions is key, with sun protection being a must in treating aging patients with sun damage as it is never too late to begin protecting the skin. PMID:23345970

  2. Quantitative Analysis of Filament Branch Orientation in Listeria Actin Comet Tails.

    PubMed

    Jasnin, Marion; Crevenna, Alvaro H

    2016-02-23

    Several bacterial and viral pathogens hijack the host actin cytoskeleton machinery to facilitate spread and infection. In particular, Listeria uses Arp2/3-mediated actin filament nucleation at the bacterial surface to generate a branched network that will help propel the bacteria. However, the mechanism of force generation remains elusive due to the lack of high-resolution three-dimensional structural data on the spatial organization of the actin mother and daughter (i.e., branch) filaments within this network. Here, we have explored the three-dimensional structure of Listeria actin tails in Xenopus laevis egg extracts using cryo-electron tomography. We found that the architecture of Listeria actin tails is shared between those formed in cells and in cell extracts. Both contained nanoscopic bundles along the plane of the substrate, where the bacterium lies, and upright filaments (also called Z filaments), both oriented tangentially to the bacterial cell wall. Here, we were able to identify actin filament intersections, which likely correspond to branches, within the tails. A quantitative analysis of putative Arp2/3-mediated branches in the actin network showed that mother filaments lie on the plane of the substrate, whereas daughter filaments have random deviations out of this plane. Moreover, the analysis revealed that branches are randomly oriented with respect to the bacterial surface. Therefore, the actin filament network does not push directly toward the surface but rather accumulates, building up stress around the Listeria surface. Our results favor a mechanism of force generation for Listeria movement where the stress is released into propulsive motion.

  3. Quantitative Analysis of Filament Branch Orientation in Listeria Actin Comet Tails

    PubMed Central

    Jasnin, Marion; Crevenna, Alvaro H.

    2016-01-01

    Several bacterial and viral pathogens hijack the host actin cytoskeleton machinery to facilitate spread and infection. In particular, Listeria uses Arp2/3-mediated actin filament nucleation at the bacterial surface to generate a branched network that will help propel the bacteria. However, the mechanism of force generation remains elusive due to the lack of high-resolution three-dimensional structural data on the spatial organization of the actin mother and daughter (i.e., branch) filaments within this network. Here, we have explored the three-dimensional structure of Listeria actin tails in Xenopus laevis egg extracts using cryo-electron tomography. We found that the architecture of Listeria actin tails is shared between those formed in cells and in cell extracts. Both contained nanoscopic bundles along the plane of the substrate, where the bacterium lies, and upright filaments (also called Z filaments), both oriented tangentially to the bacterial cell wall. Here, we were able to identify actin filament intersections, which likely correspond to branches, within the tails. A quantitative analysis of putative Arp2/3-mediated branches in the actin network showed that mother filaments lie on the plane of the substrate, whereas daughter filaments have random deviations out of this plane. Moreover, the analysis revealed that branches are randomly oriented with respect to the bacterial surface. Therefore, the actin filament network does not push directly toward the surface but rather accumulates, building up stress around the Listeria surface. Our results favor a mechanism of force generation for Listeria movement where the stress is released into propulsive motion. PMID:26497103

  4. Reconstitution and dissection of the 600-kDa Srv2/CAP complex: roles for oligomerization and cofilin-actin binding in driving actin turnover.

    PubMed

    Quintero-Monzon, Omar; Jonasson, Erin M; Bertling, Enni; Talarico, Lou; Chaudhry, Faisal; Sihvo, Maarit; Lappalainen, Pekka; Goode, Bruce L

    2009-04-17

    Srv2/cyclase-associated protein is expressed in virtually all plant, animal, and fungal organisms and has a conserved role in promoting actin depolymerizing factor/cofilin-mediated actin turnover. This is achieved by the abilities of Srv2 to recycle cofilin from ADP-actin monomers and to promote nucleotide exchange (ATP for ADP) on actin monomers. Despite this important and universal role in facilitating actin turnover, the mechanism underlying Srv2 function has remained elusive. Previous studies have demonstrated a critical functional role for the G-actin-binding C-terminal half of Srv2. Here we describe an equally important role in vivo for the N-terminal half of Srv2 in driving actin turnover. We pinpoint this activity to a conserved patch of surface residues on the N-terminal dimeric helical folded domain of Srv2, and we show that this functional site interacts with cofilin-actin complexes. Furthermore, we show that this site is essential for Srv2 acceleration of cofilin-mediated actin turnover in vitro. A cognate Srv2-binding site is identified on a conserved surface of cofilin, suggesting that this function likely extends to other organisms. In addition, our analyses reveal that higher order oligomerization of Srv2 depends on its N-terminal predicted coiled coil domain and that oligomerization optimizes Srv2 function in vitro and in vivo. Based on these data, we present a revised model for the mechanism by which Srv2 promotes actin turnover, in which coordinated activities of its N- and C-terminal halves catalyze sequential steps in recycling cofilin and actin monomers.

  5. Preferential nucleation during polymorphic transformations

    DOE PAGES

    Sharma, H.; Sietsma, J.; Offerman, S. E.

    2016-08-03

    Polymorphism is the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one phase or crystal structure. Polymorphism may occur in metals, alloys, ceramics, minerals, polymers, and pharmaceutical substances. Unresolved are the conditions for preferential nucleation during polymorphic transformations in which structural relationships or special crystallographic orientation relationships (OR’s) form between the nucleus and surrounding matrix grains. We measured in-situ and simultaneously the nucleation rates of grains that have zero, one, two, three and four special OR’s with the surrounding parent grains. These experiments show a trend in which the activation energy for nucleation becomes smaller – and thereforemore » nucleation more probable - with increasing number of special OR’s. As a result, these insights contribute to steering the processing of polymorphic materials with tailored properties, since preferential nucleation affects which crystal structure forms, the average grain size and texture of the material, and thereby - to a large extent - the final properties of the material.« less

  6. Preferential nucleation during polymorphic transformations

    SciTech Connect

    Sharma, H.; Sietsma, J.; Offerman, S. E.

    2016-08-03

    Polymorphism is the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one phase or crystal structure. Polymorphism may occur in metals, alloys, ceramics, minerals, polymers, and pharmaceutical substances. Unresolved are the conditions for preferential nucleation during polymorphic transformations in which structural relationships or special crystallographic orientation relationships (OR’s) form between the nucleus and surrounding matrix grains. We measured in-situ and simultaneously the nucleation rates of grains that have zero, one, two, three and four special OR’s with the surrounding parent grains. These experiments show a trend in which the activation energy for nucleation becomes smaller – and therefore nucleation more probable - with increasing number of special OR’s. As a result, these insights contribute to steering the processing of polymorphic materials with tailored properties, since preferential nucleation affects which crystal structure forms, the average grain size and texture of the material, and thereby - to a large extent - the final properties of the material.

  7. Antibodies to Actin in Autoimmune Neutropenia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-02-01

    protein as actin. Purified Acanthamoeba actin by anti-neutrophil antibodies in autoimmune neutropenia, comigrated with the protein and was specifically...anti-rabbit IgG were obtained from ICN Immunobiolog- formed using purified Acanthamoeba actin (gift of Dr Blair Bowers. icals, Naperville, IL. Cells...preparations𔃼 1 - was the protein recognized by these anti-neutrophil antibody 6 .2- positive sera, lgG, and F(ab’) 2. Purified Acanthamoeba actin

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-12

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

  10. Nucleation and growth of zinc from chloride concentrated solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Trejo, G.; Ortega B, R.; Meas V, Y.; Ozil, P.; Chainet, E.; Nguyen, B.

    1998-12-01

    The electrodeposition of metals is a complex phenomenon influenced by a number of factors that modify the rates of nucleation and growth and determine the properties of the deposits. In this work the authors study the influence of the zinc chloride (ZnCl{sub 2}) concentration on the zinc nucleation process on glassy carbon, in a KCl electrolyte under conditions close to those employed in commercial acid deposition baths for zinc. The electrochemical study was performed using cyclic voltammetry and potentiostatic current-time transients. The charge-transfer coefficient and the formal potential for ZnCl{sub 2} reduction were evaluated from cyclic voltammetry experiments. The nucleation process was analyzed by comparing the transients obtained with the known dimensionless (i/i{sub m}){sup 2} vs. t/t{sub m} response for instantaneous or progressive nucleation. The results show that the nucleation process and the number density of sites are dependent on ZnCl{sub 2} concentration. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of the deposits shows that the deposits are homogeneous and compact although a change in the morphology is observed as a function of ZnCl{sub 2} concentration. Evaluation of the corrosion resistance reveals the influence of the nucleation process on the subsequent corrosion resistance of the zinc deposits.

  11. Nucleation of mesospheric cloud particles: Sensitivities and limits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilms, Henrike; Rapp, Markus; Kirsch, Annekatrin

    2016-03-01

    Nucleation of mesospheric ice particles is thought to occur via heterogeneous nucleation on meteor smoke particles. However, several factors determining the nucleation rate are poorly known. To study the effect of uncertainties in the nucleation rate on cloud properties, we use the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres and systematically vary the nucleation rate over ±10 orders of magnitude. In one set of simulations, the background state of the atmosphere is described by climatological conditions. In a second set, gravity wave-perturbed profiles from the Kühlungsborn Mechanistic general Circulation Model (KMCM) are used with typical temperature (vertical wind) perturbations at the mesopause on the order of 9 K (0.45 m/s). The resulting noctilucent cloud (NLC) characteristics are compared to lidar and satellite measurements. Realistic NLCs compared to the lidar measurements can only be modeled if the nucleation rate is reduced by up to 3 orders of magnitude compared to standard assumptions. For the same cases, the simulated NLCs compare best to the satellite measurements if the nucleation rate is reduced by 2 orders of magnitude or more. Dynamical processes at the mesopause strongly influence the NLC development. In a gravity wave-perturbed atmosphere, the ice particles have only limited time for nucleation and growth. The growth time is limited by the vertical wind, because the vertical wind determines the residence time of the ice particles in the supersaturated region. Since the vertical wind amplitudes reach 1.5 m/s in KMCM (compared to a mean upwelling of ˜4 cm/s in the climatology), the ice particles remain significantly smaller in a gravity wave-perturbed atmosphere than in climatological background conditions.

  12. Actinic cheilitis in dental practice.

    PubMed

    Savage, N W; McKay, C; Faulkner, C

    2010-06-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a potentially premalignant condition involving predominantly the vermilion of the lower lip. The aim of the current paper was to review the clinical presentation of actinic cheilitis and demonstrate the development of management plans using a series of cases. These are designed to provide immediate treatment where required but also to address the medium and long-term requirements of the patient. The authors suggest that the clinical examination of lips and the assessment of actinic cheilitis and other lip pathology become a regular part of the routine soft tissue examination undertaken as a part of the periodic examination of dental patients. Early recognition of actinic cheilitis can allow the development of strategies for individual patients that prevent progression. These are based on past sun exposure, future lifestyle changes and the daily use of emollient sunscreens, broad-brimmed hats and avoidance of sun exposure during the middle of the day. This is a service that is not undertaken as a matter of routine in general medical practice as patients are not seen with the regularity of dental patients and generally not under the ideal examination conditions available in the dental surgery.

  13. Dynamic actin remodeling during epithelial-mesenchymal transition depends on increased moesin expression.

    PubMed

    Haynes, Jennifer; Srivastava, Jyoti; Madson, Nikki; Wittmann, Torsten; Barber, Diane L

    2011-12-01

    Remodeling of actin filaments is necessary for epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); however, understanding of how this is regulated in real time is limited. We used an actin filament reporter and high-resolution live-cell imaging to analyze the regulated dynamics of actin filaments during transforming growth factor-β-induced EMT of mammary epithelial cells. Progressive changes in cell morphology were accompanied by reorganization of actin filaments from thin cortical bundles in epithelial cells to thick, parallel, contractile bundles that disassembled more slowly but remained dynamic in transdifferentiated cells. We show that efficient actin filament remodeling during EMT depends on increased expression of the ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) protein moesin. Cells suppressed for moesin expression by short hairpin RNA had fewer, thinner, and less stable actin bundles, incomplete morphological transition, and decreased invasive capacity. These cells also had less α-smooth muscle actin and phosphorylated myosin light chain in cortical patches, decreased abundance of the adhesion receptor CD44 at membrane protrusions, and attenuated autophosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase. Our findings suggest that increased moesin expression promotes EMT by regulating adhesion and contractile elements for changes in actin filament organization. We propose that the transciptional program driving EMT controls progressive remodeling of actin filament architectures.

  14. Actin crosslinkers: repairing the sense of touch.

    PubMed

    Sun, Sean X; Walcott, Sam

    2010-10-26

    Cells use actin bundles infused with myosin to exert contractile forces on the extracellular environment. This active tension is essential for cellular mechanosensation. Now, the role of actin crosslinkers in stabilizing and repairing the actin bundles is coming into clearer view.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-07

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

  16. A high-affinity interaction with ADP-actin monomers underlies the mechanism and in vivo function of Srv2/cyclase-associated protein.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Pieta K; Quintero-Monzon, Omar; Kugler, Jamie; Moseley, James B; Almo, Steven C; Lappalainen, Pekka; Goode, Bruce L

    2004-11-01

    Cyclase-associated protein (CAP), also called Srv2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a conserved actin monomer-binding protein that promotes cofilin-dependent actin turnover in vitro and in vivo. However, little is known about the mechanism underlying this function. Here, we show that S. cerevisiae CAP binds with strong preference to ADP-G-actin (Kd 0.02 microM) compared with ATP-G-actin (Kd 1.9 microM) and competes directly with cofilin for binding ADP-G-actin. Further, CAP blocks actin monomer addition specifically to barbed ends of filaments, in contrast to profilin, which blocks monomer addition to pointed ends of filaments. The actin-binding domain of CAP is more extensive than previously suggested and includes a recently solved beta-sheet structure in the C-terminus of CAP and adjacent sequences. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we define evolutionarily conserved residues that mediate binding to ADP-G-actin and demonstrate that these activities are required for CAP function in vivo in directing actin organization and polarized cell growth. Together, our data suggest that in vivo CAP competes with cofilin for binding ADP-actin monomers, allows rapid nucleotide exchange to occur on actin, and then because of its 100-fold weaker binding affinity for ATP-actin compared with ADP-actin, allows other cellular factors such as profilin to take the handoff of ATP-actin and facilitate barbed end assembly.

  17. The N-terminal tropomyosin- and actin-binding sites are important for leiomodin 2’s function

    PubMed Central

    Ly, Thu; Moroz, Natalia; Pappas, Christopher T.; Novak, Stefanie M.; Tolkatchev, Dmitri; Wooldridge, Dayton; Mayfield, Rachel M.; Helms, Gregory; Gregorio, Carol C.; Kostyukova, Alla S.

    2016-01-01

    Leiomodin is a potent actin nucleator related to tropomodulin, a capping protein localized at the pointed end of the thin filaments. Mutations in leiomodin-3 are associated with lethal nemaline myopathy in humans, and leiomodin-2–knockout mice present with dilated cardiomyopathy. The arrangement of the N-terminal actin- and tropomyosin-binding sites in leiomodin is contradictory and functionally not well understood. Using one-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance and the pointed-end actin polymerization assay, we find that leiomodin-2, a major cardiac isoform, has an N-terminal actin-binding site located within residues 43–90. Moreover, for the first time, we obtain evidence that there are additional interactions with actin within residues 124–201. Here we establish that leiomodin interacts with only one tropomyosin molecule, and this is the only site of interaction between leiomodin and tropomyosin. Introduction of mutations in both actin- and tropomyosin-binding sites of leiomodin affected its localization at the pointed ends of the thin filaments in cardiomyocytes. On the basis of our new findings, we propose a model in which leiomodin regulates actin poly­merization dynamics in myocytes by acting as a leaky cap at thin filament pointed ends. PMID:27307584

  18. Boron nitride nanotube-mediated stimulation modulates F/G-actin ratio and mechanical properties of human dermal fibroblasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricotti, Leonardo; das Neves, Ricardo Pires; Ciofani, Gianni; Canale, Claudio; Nitti, Simone; Mattoli, Virgilio; Mazzolai, Barbara; Ferreira, Lino; Menciassi, Arianna

    2014-02-01

    F/G-actin ratio modulation is known to have an important role in many cell functions and in the regulation of specific cell behaviors. Several attempts have been made in the latest decades to finely control actin production and polymerization, in order to promote certain cell responses. In this paper we demonstrate the possibility of modulating F/G-actin ratio and mechanical properties of normal human dermal fibroblasts by using boron nitride nanotubes dispersed in the culture medium and by stimulating them with ultrasound transducers. Increasing concentrations of nanotubes were tested with the cells, without any evidence of cytotoxicity up to 10 μg/ml concentration of nanoparticles. Cells treated with nanoparticles and ultrasound stimulation showed a significantly higher F/G-actin ratio in comparison with the controls, as well as a higher Young's modulus. Assessment of Cdc42 activity revealed that actin nucleation/polymerization pathways, involving Rho GTPases, are probably influenced by nanotube-mediated stimulation, but they do not play a primary role in the significant increase of F/G-actin ratio of treated cells, such effect being mainly due to actin overexpression.

  19. Control of nuclear organization by F-actin binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Pfisterer, Karin; Jayo, Asier; Parsons, Maddy

    2017-03-04

    The regulation of nuclear shape and deformability is a key factor in controlling diverse events from embryonic development to cancer cell metastasis, but the mechanisms governing this process are still unclear. Our recent study demonstrated an unexpected role for the F-actin bundling protein fascin in controlling nuclear plasticity through a direct interaction with Nesprin-2. Nesprin-2 is a component of the LINC complex that is known to couple the F-actin cytoskeleton to the nuclear envelope. We demonstrated that fascin, which is predominantly associated with peripheral F-actin rich filopodia, binds directly to Nesprin-2 at the nuclear envelope in a range of cell types. Depleting fascin or specifically blocking the fascin-Nesprin-2 complex leads to defects in nuclear polarization, movement and cell invasion. These studies reveal a novel role for an F-actin bundling protein in control of nuclear plasticity and underline the importance of defining nuclear-associated roles for F-actin binding proteins in future.

  20. Active Chemical Thermodynamics promoted by activity of cortical actin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Bhaswati; Chaudhuri, Abhishek; Gowrishankar, Kripa; Rao, Madan

    2011-03-01

    The spatial distribution and dynamics of formation and breakup of the nanoclusters of cell surface proteins is controlled by the active remodeling dynamics of the underlying cortical actin. To explain these observations, we have proposed a novel mechanism of nanoclustering, involving the transient binding to and advection along constitutively occuring ``asters'' of cortical actin. We study the consequences of such active actin-based clustering, in the context of chemical reactions involving conformational changes of cell surface proteins. We find that the active remodeling of cortical actin, can give rise to a dramatic increase in efficiency and extent of conformational spread, even at low levels of expression at the cell surface. We define a activity temperature (τa) arising due to actin activities which can be used to describe chemical thermodynamics of the system. We plot TTT (time-temparature-transformation) curves and compute the Arrhenius factors which depend on τa . With this, the active asters can be treated as enzymes whose enzymatic reaction rate can be related to the activity.

  1. O'Brien's actinic granuloma: an unusually extensive presentation.

    PubMed

    Lazzarini, Rosana; Rotter, Anita; Farias, Debora Cadore de; Muller, Helena

    2011-01-01

    O'Brien's actinic granuloma is a rare skin disease. Controversy continues over whether it should be considered a specific condition or a form of granuloma annulare located in sun-exposed areas. Its pathogenesis is unknown; however, the most widely accepted hypothesis suggests that solar radiation is the triggering factor. This paper describes the case of a 78-year old, fair-skinned male, who presented with a 10-year history of an infiltrate of annular erythematous papules on his forehead and left malar region. The diagnosis of O'Brien actinic granuloma was established from histopathology, since the clinical condition of the patient was extensive, unlike cases reported in the literature.

  2. 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.

  3. Actin dynamics at the Golgi complex in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Egea, Gustavo; Lázaro-Diéguez, Francisco; Vilella, Montserrat

    2006-04-01

    Secretion and endocytosis are highly dynamic processes that are sensitive to external stimuli. Thus, in multicellular organisms, different cell types utilize specialised pathways of intracellular membrane traffic to facilitate specific physiological functions. In addition to the complex internal molecular factors that govern sorting functions and fission or fusion of transport carriers, the actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in both the endocytic and secretory pathways. The interaction between the actin cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking is not restricted to transport processes: it also appears to be directly involved in the biogenesis of Golgi-derived transport carriers (budding and fission processes) and in the maintenance of the unique flat shape of Golgi cisternae.

  4. Crystal nucleation in lithium borate glass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Gary L.; Neilson, George F.; Weinberg, Michael C.

    1988-01-01

    Crystal nucleation measurements were made on three lithium borate compositions in the vicinity of Li2O-2Br2O3. All nucleation measurements were performed at 500 C. Certain aspects of the nucleation behavior indicated (tentatively) that it proceeded by a homogeneous mechanism. The steady state nucleation rate was observed to have the largest value when the Li2O concentration was slightly in excess of the diborate composition. The change in nucleation rate with composition is controlled by the variation of viscosity as well as the change in free energy with composition. The variation of nucleation rate is explained qualitatively in these terms.

  5. 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.

  6. Ice nucleation activity of agricultural soil dust aerosols from Mongolia, Argentina, and Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinke, I.; Funk, R.; Busse, J.; Iturri, A.; Kirchen, S.; Leue, M.; Möhler, O.; Schwartz, T.; Schnaiter, M.; Sierau, B.; Toprak, E.; Ullrich, R.; Ulrich, A.; Hoose, C.; Leisner, T.

    2016-11-01

    Soil dust particles emitted from agricultural areas contain considerable mass fractions of organic material. Also, soil dust particles may act as carriers for potentially ice-active biological particles. In this work, we present ice nucleation experiments conducted in the Aerosol Interaction and Dynamics in the Atmosphere (AIDA) cloud chamber. We investigated the ice nucleation efficiency of four types of soil dust from different regions of the world. The results are expressed as ice nucleation active surface site (INAS) densities and presented for the immersion freezing and the deposition nucleation mode. For immersion freezing occurring at 254 K, samples from Argentina, China, and Germany show ice nucleation efficiencies which are by a factor of 10 higher than desert dusts. On average, the difference in ice nucleation efficiencies between agricultural and desert dusts becomes significantly smaller at temperatures below 247 K. In the deposition mode the soil dusts showed higher ice nucleation activity than Arizona Test Dust over a temperature range between 232 and 248 K and humidities RHice up to 125%. INAS densities varied between 109 and 1011 m-2 for these thermodynamic conditions. For one soil dust sample (Argentinian Soil), the effect of treatments with heat was investigated. Heat treatments (383 K) did not affect the ice nucleation efficiency observed at 249 K. This finding presumably excludes proteinaceous ice-nucleating entities as the only source of the increased ice nucleation efficiency.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  9. Ice Nucleation in Deep Convection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jensen, Eric; Ackerman, Andrew; Stevens, David; Gore, Warren J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The processes controlling production of ice crystals in deep, rapidly ascending convective columns are poorly understood due to the difficulties involved with either modeling or in situ sampling of these violent clouds. A large number of ice crystals are no doubt generated when droplets freeze at about -40 C. However, at higher levels, these crystals are likely depleted due to precipitation and detrainment. As the ice surface area decreases, the relative humidity can increase well above ice saturation, resulting in bursts of ice nucleation. We will present simulations of these processes using a large-eddy simulation model with detailed microphysics. Size bins are included for aerosols, liquid droplets, ice crystals, and mixed-phase (ice/liquid) hydrometers. Microphysical processes simulated include droplet activation, freezing, melting, homogeneous freezing of sulfate aerosols, and heterogeneous ice nucleation. We are focusing on the importance of ice nucleation events in the upper part of the cloud at temperatures below -40 C. We will show that the ultimate evolution of the cloud in this region (and the anvil produced by the convection) is sensitive to these ice nucleation events, and hence to the composition of upper tropospheric aerosols that get entrained into the convective column.

  10. Ice Nucleation Properties of Oxidized Carbon Nanomaterials.

    PubMed

    Whale, Thomas F; Rosillo-Lopez, Martin; Murray, Benjamin J; Salzmann, Christoph G

    2015-08-06

    Heterogeneous ice nucleation is an important process in many fields, particularly atmospheric science, but is still poorly understood. All known inorganic ice nucleating particles are relatively large in size and tend to be hydrophilic. Hence it is not obvious that carbon nanomaterials should nucleate ice. However, in this paper we show that four different readily water-dispersible carbon nanomaterials are capable of nucleating ice. The tested materials were carboxylated graphene nanoflakes, graphene oxide, oxidized single walled carbon nanotubes and oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotubes. The carboxylated graphene nanoflakes have a diameter of ∼30 nm and are among the smallest entities observed so far to nucleate ice. Overall, carbon nanotubes were found to nucleate ice more efficiently than flat graphene species, and less oxidized materials nucleated ice more efficiently than more oxidized species. These well-defined carbon nanomaterials may pave the way to bridging the gap between experimental and computational studies of ice nucleation.

  11. Signalling to actin assembly via the WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein)-family proteins and the Arp2/3 complex.

    PubMed Central

    Millard, Thomas H; Sharp, Stewart J; Machesky, Laura M

    2004-01-01

    The assembly of a branched network of actin filaments provides the mechanical propulsion that drives a range of dynamic cellular processes, including cell motility. The Arp2/3 complex is a crucial component of such filament networks. Arp2/3 nucleates new actin filaments while bound to existing filaments, thus creating a branched network. In recent years, a number of proteins that activate the filament nucleation activity of Arp2/3 have been identified, most notably the WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein) family. WASP-family proteins activate the Arp2/3 complex, and consequently stimulate actin assembly, in response to extracellular signals. Structural studies have provided a significant refinement in our understanding of the molecular detail of how the Arp2/3 complex nucleates actin filaments. There has also been much progress towards an understanding of the complicated signalling processes that regulate WASP-family proteins. In addition, the use of gene disruption in a number of organisms has led to new insights into the specific functions of individual WASP-family members. The present review will discuss the Arp2/3 complex and its regulators, in particular the WASP-family proteins. Emphasis will be placed on recent developments in the field that have furthered our understanding of actin dynamics and cell motility. PMID:15040784

  12. Regulation of Sperm Capacitation and the Acrosome Reaction by PIP 2 and Actin Modulation.

    PubMed

    Breitbart, Haim; Finkelstein, Maya

    2015-01-01

    Actin polymerization and development of hyperactivated (HA) motility are two processes that take place during sperm capacitation. Actin polymerization occurs during capacitation and prior to the acrosome reaction, fast F-actin breakdown takes place. The increase in F-actin during capacitation depends upon inactivation of the actin severing protein, gelsolin, by its binding to phosphatydilinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate (PIP 2 ) and its phosphorylation on tyrosine-438 by Src. Activation of gelsolin following its release from PIP 2 is known to cause F-actin breakdown and inhibition of sperm motility, which can be restored by adding PIP 2 to the cells. Reduction of PIP 2 synthesis inhibits actin polymerization and motility, while increasing PIP 2 synthesis enhances these activities. Furthermore, sperm demonstrating low motility contained low levels of PIP 2 and F-actin. During capacitation there was an increase in PIP 2 and F-actin levels in the sperm head and a decrease in the tail. In spermatozoa with high motility, gelsolin was mainly localized to the sperm head before capacitation, whereas in low motility sperm, most of the gelsolin was localized to the tail before capacitation and translocated to the head during capacitation. We also showed that phosphorylation of gelsolin on tyrosine-438 depends upon its binding to PIP 2 . Stimulation of phospholipase C, by Ca 2 + -ionophore or by activating the epidermal-growth-factor-receptor, inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of gelsolin and enhances enzyme activity. In conclusion, these data indicate that the increase of PIP 2 and/or F-actin in the head during capacitation enhances gelsolin translocation to the head. As a result, the decrease of gelsolin in the tail allows the maintenance of high levels of F-actin in this structure, which is essential for the development of HA motility.

  13. Regulation of sperm capacitation and the acrosome reaction by PIP2 and actin modulation

    PubMed Central

    Breitbart, Haim; Finkelstein, Maya

    2015-01-01

    Actin polymerization and development of hyperactivated (HA) motility are two processes that take place during sperm capacitation. Actin polymerization occurs during capacitation and prior to the acrosome reaction, fast F-actin breakdown takes place. The increase in F-actin during capacitation depends upon inactivation of the actin severing protein, gelsolin, by its binding to phosphatydilinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate (PIP2) and its phosphorylation on tyrosine-438 by Src. Activation of gelsolin following its release from PIP2 is known to cause F-actin breakdown and inhibition of sperm motility, which can be restored by adding PIP2 to the cells. Reduction of PIP2 synthesis inhibits actin polymerization and motility, while increasing PIP2 synthesis enhances these activities. Furthermore, sperm demonstrating low motility contained low levels of PIP2 and F-actin. During capacitation there was an increase in PIP2 and F-actin levels in the sperm head and a decrease in the tail. In spermatozoa with high motility, gelsolin was mainly localized to the sperm head before capacitation, whereas in low motility sperm, most of the gelsolin was localized to the tail before capacitation and translocated to the head during capacitation. We also showed that phosphorylation of gelsolin on tyrosine-438 depends upon its binding to PIP2. Stimulation of phospholipase C, by Ca2+-ionophore or by activating the epidermal-growth-factor-receptor, inhibits tyrosine phosphorylation of gelsolin and enhances enzyme activity. In conclusion, these data indicate that the increase of PIP2 and/or F-actin in the head during capacitation enhances gelsolin translocation to the head. As a result, the decrease of gelsolin in the tail allows the maintenance of high levels of F-actin in this structure, which is essential for the development of HA motility. PMID:25966627

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

    PubMed

    Arnette, Christopher; Frye, Keyada; Kaverina, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The proto-oncogene c-Src is involved in a variety of signaling processes. Therefore, c-Src spatiotemporal localization is critical for interaction with downstream targets. However, the mechanisms regulating this localization have remained elusive. Previous studies have shown that c-Src trafficking is a microtubule-dependent process that facilitates c-Src turnover in neuronal growth cones. As such, microtubule depolymerization lead to the inhibition of c-Src recycling. Alternatively, c-Src trafficking was also shown to be regulated by RhoB-dependent actin polymerization. Our results show that c-Src vesicles primarily exhibit microtubule-dependent trafficking; however, microtubule depolymerization does not inhibit vesicle movement. Instead, vesicular movement becomes both faster and less directional. This movement was associated with actin polymerization directly at c-Src vesicle membranes. Interestingly, it has been shown previously that c-Src delivery is an actin polymerization-dependent process that relies on small GTPase RhoB at c-Src vesicles. In agreement with this finding, microtubule depolymerization induced significant activation of RhoB, together with actin comet tail formation. These effects occurred downstream of GTP-exchange factor, GEF-H1, which was released from depolymerizing MTs. Accordingly, GEF-H1 activity was necessary for actin comet tail formation at the Src vesicles. Our results indicate that regulation of c-Src trafficking requires both microtubules and actin polymerization, and that GEF-H1 coordinates c-Src trafficking, acting as a molecular switch between these two mechanisms.

  15. Test of classical nucleation theory and mean first-passage time formalism on crystallization in the Lennard-Jones liquid

    SciTech Connect

    Lundrigan, Sarah E. M.; Saika-Voivod, Ivan

    2009-09-14

    We perform molecular dynamics (MD) and Monte Carlo computer simulations to test the ability of the recently developed formalism of mean first-passage time (MFPT) [J. Wedekind, R. Strey, and D. Reguera, J. Chem. Phys. 126, 134103 (2007); J. Wedekind and D. Reguera, J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 11060 (2008)] to characterize crystal nucleation in the Lennard-Jones liquid. We find that the nucleation rate, critical embryo size, Zeldovich factor, attachment rate, and the nucleation barrier profile obtained from MFPT all compare very well to the same quantities calculated using other methods. Furthermore, we find that the nucleation rate obtained directly through MD closely matches the prediction of classical nucleation theory.

  16. Test of classical nucleation theory and mean first-passage time formalism on crystallization in the Lennard-Jones liquid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundrigan, Sarah E. M.; Saika-Voivod, Ivan

    2009-09-01

    We perform molecular dynamics (MD) and Monte Carlo computer simulations to test the ability of the recently developed formalism of mean first-passage time (MFPT) [J. Wedekind, R. Strey, and D. Reguera, J. Chem. Phys. 126, 134103 (2007); J. Wedekind and D. Reguera, J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 11060 (2008)] to characterize crystal nucleation in the Lennard-Jones liquid. We find that the nucleation rate, critical embryo size, Zeldovich factor, attachment rate, and the nucleation barrier profile obtained from MFPT all compare very well to the same quantities calculated using other methods. Furthermore, we find that the nucleation rate obtained directly through MD closely matches the prediction of classical nucleation theory.

  17. A RhoA and Rnd3 cycle regulates actin reassembly during membrane blebbing.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Kana; Maeda, Fumiyo; Nagasako, Tomoya; Mochizuki, Yuki; Uchida, Seiichi; Ikenouchi, Junichi

    2016-03-29

    The actin cytoskeleton usually lies beneath the plasma membrane. When the membrane-associated actin cytoskeleton is transiently disrupted or the intracellular pressure is increased, the plasma membrane detaches from the cortex and protrudes. Such protruded membrane regions are called blebs. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying membrane blebbing are poorly understood. This study revealed that epidermal growth factor receptor kinase substrate 8 (Eps8) and ezrin are important regulators of rapid actin reassembly for the initiation and retraction of protruded blebs. Live-cell imaging of membrane blebbing revealed that local reassembly of actin filaments occurred at Eps8- and activated ezrin-positive foci of membrane blebs. Furthermore, we found that a RhoA-ROCK-Rnd3 feedback loop determined the local reassembly sites of the actin cortex during membrane blebbing.

  18. Insights into the effects of disease-causing mutations in human actins.

    PubMed

    Rubenstein, Peter A; Wen, Kuo-Kuang

    2014-04-01

    Mutations in all six actins in humans have now been shown to cause diseases. However, a number of factors have made it difficult to gain insight into how the changes in actin functions brought about by these pathogenic mutations result in the disease phenotype. These include the presence of multiple actins in the same cell, limited accessibility to pure mutant material, and complexities associated with the structures and their component cells that manifest the diseases. To try to circumvent these difficulties, investigators have turned to the use of model systems. This review describes these various approaches, the initial results obtained using them, and the insight they have provided into allosteric mechanisms that govern actin function. Although results so far have not explained a particular disease phenotype at the molecular level, they have provided valuable insight into actin function at the mechanistic level which can be utilized in the future to delineate the molecular bases of these different actinopathies.

  19. A requirement for polymerized actin in DNA double-strand break repair.

    PubMed

    Andrin, Christi; McDonald, Darin; Attwood, Kathleen M; Rodrigue, Amélie; Ghosh, Sunita; Mirzayans, Razmik; Masson, Jean-Yves; Dellaire, Graham; Hendzel, Michael J

    2012-07-01

    Nuclear actin is involved in several nuclear processes from chromatin remodeling to transcription. Here we examined the requirement for actin polymerization in DNA double-strand break repair. Double-strand breaks are considered the most dangerous type of DNA lesion. Double-strand break repair consists of a complex set of events that are tightly regulated. Failure at any step can have catastrophic consequences such as genomic instability, oncogenesis or cell death. Many proteins involved in this repair process have been identified and their roles characterized. We discovered that some DNA double-strand break repair factors are capable of associating with polymeric actin in vitro and specifically, that purified Ku70/80 interacts with polymerized actin under these conditions. We find that the disruption of polymeric actin inhibits DNA double strand break repair both in vitro and in vivo. Introduction of nuclear targeted mutant actin that cannot polymerize, or the depolymerization of endogenous actin filaments by the addition of cytochalasin D, alters the retention of Ku80 at sites of DNA damage in live cells. Our results suggest that polymeric actin is required for proper DNA double-strand break repair and may function through the stabilization of the Ku heterodimer at the DNA damage site.

  20. Two kinesin-like proteins mediate actin-based chloroplast movement in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Suetsugu, Noriyuki; Yamada, Noboru; Kagawa, Takatoshi; Yonekura, Hisashi; Uyeda, Taro Q P; Kadota, Akeo; Wada, Masamitsu

    2010-05-11

    Organelle movement is essential for efficient cellular function in eukaryotes. Chloroplast photorelocation movement is important for plant survival as well as for efficient photosynthesis. Chloroplast movement generally is actin dependent and mediated by blue light receptor phototropins. In Arabidopsis thaliana, phototropins mediate chloroplast movement by regulating short actin filaments on chloroplasts (cp-actin filaments), and the chloroplast outer envelope protein CHUP1 is necessary for cp-actin filament accumulation. However, other factors involved in cp-actin filament regulation during chloroplast movement remain to be determined. Here, we report that two kinesin-like proteins, KAC1 and KAC2, are essential for chloroplasts to move and anchor to the plasma membrane. A kac1 mutant showed severely impaired chloroplast accumulation and slow avoidance movement. A kac1kac2 double mutant completely lacked chloroplast photorelocation movement and showed detachment of chloroplasts from the plasma membrane. KAC motor domains are similar to those of the kinesin-14 subfamily (such as Ncd and Kar3) but do not have detectable microtubule-binding activity. The C-terminal domain of KAC1 could interact with F-actin in vitro. Instead of regulating microtubules, KAC proteins mediate chloroplast movement via cp-actin filaments. We conclude that plants have evolved a unique mechanism to regulate actin-based organelle movement using kinesin-like proteins.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Ruei-Jiun; Terman, Jonathan R.

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Nuclear role of WASp in gene transcription is uncoupled from its ARP2/3-dependent cytoplasmic role in actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Sadhukhan, Sanjoy; Sarkar, Koustav; Taylor, Matthew; Candotti, Fabio; Vyas, Yatin M

    2014-07-01

    Defects in Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASp) underlie development of WAS, an X-linked immunodeficiency and autoimmunity disorder of childhood. Nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) of the WASp family generate F-actin in the cytosol via the VCA (verprolin-homology, cofilin-homology, and acidic) domain and support RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription in the nucleus. Whether nuclear-WASp requires the integration of its actin-related protein (ARP)2/3-dependent cytoplasmic function to reprogram gene transcription, however, remains unresolved. Using the model of human TH cell differentiation, we find that WASp has a functional nuclear localizing and nuclear exit sequences, and accordingly, its effects on transcription are controlled mainly at the level of its nuclear entry and exit via the nuclear pore. Human WASp does not use its VCA-dependent, ARP2/3-driven, cytoplasmic effector mechanisms to support histone H3K4 methyltransferase activity in the nucleus of TH1-skewed cells. Accordingly, an isolated deficiency of nuclear-WASp is sufficient to impair the transcriptional reprogramming of TBX21 and IFNG promoters in TH1-skewed cells, whereas an isolated deficiency of cytosolic-WASp does not impair this process. In contrast, nuclear presence of WASp in TH2-skewed cells is small, and its loss does not impair transcriptional reprogramming of GATA3 and IL4 promoters. Our study unveils an ARP2/3:VCA-independent function of nuclear-WASp in TH1 gene activation that is uncoupled from its cytoplasmic role in actin polymerization.

  3. Ice nucleation activity of polysaccharides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bichler, Magdalena; Felgitsch, Laura; Haeusler, Thomas; Seidl-Seiboth, Verena; Grothe, Hinrich

    2015-04-01

    Heterogeneous ice nucleation is an important process in the atmosphere. It shows direct impact on our climate by triggering ice cloud formation and therefore it has much influence on the radiation balance of our planet (Lohmann et al. 2002; Mishchenko et al. 1996). The process itself is not completely understood so far and many questions remain open. Different substances have been found to exhibit ice nucleation activity (INA). Due to their vast differences in chemistry and morphology it is difficult to predict what substance will make good ice nuclei and which will not. Hence simple model substances must be found and be tested regarding INA. Our work aims at gaining to a deeper understanding of heterogeneous ice nucleation. We intend to find some reference standards with defined chemistry, which may explain the mechanisms of heterogeneous ice nucleation. A particular focus lies on biological carbohydrates in regards to their INA. Biological carbohydrates are widely distributed in all kingdoms of life. Mostly they are specific for certain organisms and have well defined purposes, e.g. structural polysaccharides like chitin (in fungi and insects) and pectin (in plants), which has also water-binding properties. Since they are widely distributed throughout our biosphere and mostly safe to use for nutrition purposes, they are well studied and easily accessible, rendering them ideal candidates as proxies. In our experiments we examined various carbohydrates, like the already mentioned chitin and pectin, as well as their chemical modifications. Lohmann U.; A Glaciation Indirect Aerosol Effect Caused by Soot Aerosols; J. Geoph. Res.; Vol. 24 No.4; pp 11-1 - 11-4; 2002 Mishchenko M.I., Rossow W.B., Macke A., Lacis A. A.; Sensitivity of Cirrus Cloud Albedo, Bidirectional Reflectance and Optical Thickness Retrieval Accuracy to Ice Particle Shape, J. Geoph. Res.; Vol. 101, No D12; pp. 16,973 - 16,985; 1996

  4. Experimental Tests of Nucleation Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dea, Jack Yuen

    1982-03-01

    In recent years there has been controversy surrounding experimental nucleation data that did not conform to classical nucleation theory. More recent data, however, suggest good agreement between theory and experiment. At the Desert Research Institute (DRI), it was decided to perform sensitive tests of nucleation in soluble aerosol particles using newly developed instruments and techniques. Very steady aerosol generation was accomplished with a newly developed atomizer; very high monodispersity in the sample aerosol was achieved using two electrical mobility analyzers in series; and, very fine control over the supersaturation was achieved using a newly developed CFD (Continuous Flow Diffusion) cloud chamber built for NASA for use in zero -gravity situations. The results of a series of experiments indicated that the supersaturation needs to be about 15% greater than predicted by theory. However, a mass correction, taking into account the shape of the salt particles produced data that are in excellent agreement with theory. Moreover, the relative hygroscopicity of several soluble substances and the slopes of the Kohler curves obtained agreed very well with theory. The results mean that the hygroscopicity of various substances can be rated using the Kohler curves. Calculations have been done to determine the hygroscopicity of a number of sulfate compounds. The results of these calculations indicate that under restricted conditions (aerosol diameters < 0.1 (mu)m and aerosol particles composed of either one soluble compound or one soluble compound plus an insoluble component), it is possible to distinguish apart most of the sulfate species using either the DFC cloud chamber or an instantaneous version of the CFD cloud chamber. These results point to a possible application of nucleation theory to aerosol species differentiation in the atmosphere.

  5. The actin cytoskeleton in endothelial cell phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Prasain, Nutan; Stevens, Troy

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Polymerization of actin by positively charged liposomes

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    By cosedimentation, spectrofluorimetry, and electron microscopy, we have established that actin is induced to polymerize at low salt concentrations by positively charged liposomes. This polymerization occurs only at the surface of the liposomes, and thus monomers not in direct contact with the liposome remain monomeric. The integrity of the liposome membrane is necessary to maintain actin in its polymerized state since disruption of the liposome depolymerizes actin. Actin polymerized at the surface of the liposome is organized into two filamentous structures: sheets of parallel filaments in register and a netlike organization. Spectrofluorimetric analysis with the probe N- pyrenyl-iodoacetamide shows that actin is in the F conformation, at least in the environment of the probe. However, actin assembly induced by the liposome is not accompanied by full ATP hydrolysis as observed in vitro upon addition of salts. PMID:3360852

  7. Nucleation precursors in protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Vekilov, Peter G.; Vorontsova, Maria A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystal nucleation is a central problem in biological crystallography and other areas of science, technology and medicine. Recent studies have demonstrated that protein crystal nuclei form within crucial precursors. Here, methods of detection and characterization of the precursors are reviewed: dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy and Brownian microscopy. Data for several proteins provided by these methods have demonstrated that the nucleation precursors are clusters consisting of protein-dense liquid, which are metastable with respect to the host protein solution. The clusters are several hundred nanometres in size, the cluster population occupies from 10−7 to 10−3 of the solution volume, and their properties in solutions supersaturated with respect to crystals are similar to those in homogeneous, i.e. undersaturated, solutions. The clusters exist owing to the conformation flexibility of the protein molecules, leading to exposure of hydrophobic surfaces and enhanced intermolecular binding. These results indicate that protein conformational flexibility might be the mechanism behind the metastable mesoscopic clusters and crystal nucleation. Investigations of the cluster properties are still in their infancy. Results on direct imaging of cluster behaviors and characterization of cluster mechanisms with a variety of proteins will soon lead to major breakthroughs in protein biophysics. PMID:24598910

  8. Structural and Functional Dissection of the Abp1 ADFH Actin-binding Domain Reveals Versatile In Vivo Adapter Functions

    SciTech Connect

    Quintero-Monzon,O.; Rodal, A.; Strokopytov, B.; Almo, S.; Goode, B.

    2005-01-01

    Abp1 is a multidomain protein that regulates the Arp2/3 complex and links proteins involved in endocytosis to the actin cytoskeleton. All of the proposed cellular functions of Abp1 involve actin filament binding, yet the actin binding site(s) on Abp1 have not been identified, nor has the importance of actin binding for Abp1 localization and function in vivo been tested. Here, we report the crystal structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Abp1 actin-binding actin depolymerizing factor homology (ADFH) domain and dissect its activities by mutagenesis. Abp1-ADFH domain and ADF/cofilin structures are similar, and they use conserved surfaces to bind actin; however, there are also key differences that help explain their differential effects on actin dynamics. Using point mutations, we demonstrate that actin binding is required for localization of Abp1 in vivo, the lethality caused by Abp1 overexpression, and the ability of Abp1 to activate Arp2/3 complex. Furthermore, we genetically uncouple ABP1 functions that overlap with SAC6, SLA1, and SLA2, showing they require distinct combinations of activities and interactions. Together, our data provide the first structural and functional view of the Abp1-actin interaction and show that Abp1 has distinct cellular roles as an adapter, linking different sets of ligands for each function.

  9. Sigmoid kinetics of protein crystal nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanev, Christo N.; Tonchev, Vesselin D.

    2015-10-01

    A non-linear differential equation expressing the new phase nucleation rate in the different steps of the process (non-stationary and stationary nucleation and in the plateau region) is derived from basic principles of the nucleation theory. It is shown that one and the same sigmoid (logistic) function describes both nucleation scenarios: the one according to the classical theory, and the other according to the modern two-stage mechanism of protein crystal formation. Comparison to experimental data on both insulin crystal nucleation kinetics and on bovine β-lactoglobulin crystallization indicates a good agreement with the sigmoidal prediction. Experimental data for electrochemical nucleation and glass crystallization obey the same sigmoid time dependence, and suggest universality of this nucleation kinetics law.

  10. Ice nucleation properties of agricultural soil dusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinke, Isabelle; Funk, Roger; Busse, Jacqueline; Iturri, Antonela; Kirchen, Silke; Leue, Martin; Möhler, Ottmar; Schwartz, Thomas; Sierau, Berko; Toprak, Emre; Ulrich, Andreas; Hoose, Corinna; Leisner, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Soil dust particles emitted from agricultural areas contain large amounts of organic material such as fungi, bacteria and plant debris. Being carrier for potentially highly ice-active biological particles, agricultural soil dusts are candidates for being very ice-active as well. In this work, we present ice nucleation experiments conducted in the AIDA cloud chamber. We investigated the ice nucleation efficiency of four types of soil dust from different regions of the world. Results are presented for the immersion freezing and the deposition nucleation mode: all soil dusts show higher ice nucleation efficiencies than desert dusts, especially at temperatures above 254 K. For one soil dust sample, the effect of heat treatments was investigated. Heat treatments did not affect the ice nucleation efficiency which presumably excludes primary biological particles as the only source of the increased ice nucleation efficiency. Therefore, organo-mineral complexes or organic compounds may contribute substantially to the high ice nucleation activity of agricultural soil dusts.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

  13. GPCRs and actin-cytoskeleton dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-07

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

  15. Bioinformatics study of the mangrove actin genes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basyuni, M.; Wasilah, M.; Sumardi

    2017-01-01

    This study describes the bioinformatics methods to analyze eight actin genes from mangrove plants on DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank as well as predicted the structure, composition, subcellular localization, similarity, and phylogenetic. The physical and chemical properties of eight mangroves showed variation among the genes. The percentage of the secondary structure of eight mangrove actin genes followed the order of a helix > random coil > extended chain structure for BgActl, KcActl, RsActl, and A. corniculatum Act. In contrast to this observation, the remaining actin genes were random coil > extended chain structure > a helix. This study, therefore, shown the prediction of secondary structure was performed for necessary structural information. The values of chloroplast or signal peptide or mitochondrial target were too small, indicated that no chloroplast or mitochondrial transit peptide or signal peptide of secretion pathway in mangrove actin genes. These results suggested the importance of understanding the diversity and functional of properties of the different amino acids in mangrove actin genes. To clarify the relationship among the mangrove actin gene, a phylogenetic tree was constructed. Three groups of mangrove actin genes were formed, the first group contains B. gymnorrhiza BgAct and R. stylosa RsActl. The second cluster which consists of 5 actin genes the largest group, and the last branch consist of one gene, B. sexagula Act. The present study, therefore, supported the previous results that plant actin genes form distinct clusters in the tree.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Photodynamic therapy for actinic keratoses.

    PubMed

    Kalisiak, Michal S; Rao, Jaggi

    2007-01-01

    Actinic keratoses (AKs) are one of the most common conditions that are treated by dermatologists and they have the potential to progress to squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has emerged as a novel and versatile method of treating those lesions. Topical preparations of aminolevulinic acid and methyl aminolevulinate are commercially available photosensitizers, and numerous light sources may be used for photoactivation. This article focuses on practical aspects of PDT in the treatment of AKs, outcomes of relevant clinical trials, and special applications of PDT in transplant recipients and other who are predisposed to AK formation. Step-by-step descriptions of PDT sessions are presented.

  18. The C-terminal dimerization motif of cyclase-associated protein is essential for actin monomer regulation.

    PubMed

    Iwase, Shohei; Ono, Shoichiro

    2016-12-01

    Cyclase-associated protein (CAP) is a conserved actin-regulatory protein that functions together with actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin to enhance actin filament dynamics. CAP has multiple functional domains, and the function to regulate actin monomers is carried out by its C-terminal half containing a Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein homology 2 (WH2) domain, a CAP and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa 2 (CARP) domain, and a dimerization motif. WH2 and CARP are implicated in binding to actin monomers and important for enhancing filament turnover. However, the role of the dimerization motif is unknown. Here, we investigated the function of the dimerization motif of CAS-2, a CAP isoform in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, in actin monomer regulation. CAS-2 promotes ATP-dependent recycling of ADF/cofilin-bound actin monomers for polymerization by enhancing exchange of actin-bound nucleotides. The C-terminal half of CAS-2 (CAS-2C) has nearly as strong activity as full-length CAS-2. Maltose-binding protein (MBP)-tagged CAS-2C is a dimer. However, MBP-CAS-2C with a truncation of either one or two C-terminal β-strands is monomeric. Truncations of the dimerization motif in MBP-CAS-2C nearly completely abolish its activity to sequester actin monomers from polymerization and enhance nucleotide exchange on actin monomers. As a result, these CAS-2C variants, also in the context of full-length CAS-2, fail to compete with ADF/cofilin to release actin monomers for polymerization. CAS-2C variants lacking the dimerization motif exhibit enhanced binding to actin filaments, which is mediated by WH2. Taken together, these results suggest that the evolutionarily conserved dimerization motif of CAP is essential for its C-terminal region to exert the actin monomer-specific regulatory function.

  19. ATP-dependent regulation of actin monomer-filament equilibrium by cyclase-associated protein and ADF/cofilin.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Kazumi; Ono, Shoichiro

    2013-07-15

    CAP (cyclase-associated protein) is a conserved regulator of actin filament dynamics. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, CAS-1 is an isoform of CAP that is expressed in striated muscle and regulates sarcomeric actin assembly. In the present study, we report that CAS-2, a second CAP isoform in C. elegans, attenuates the actin-monomer-sequestering effect of ADF (actin depolymerizing factor)/cofilin to increase the steady-state levels of actin filaments in an ATP-dependent manner. CAS-2 binds to actin monomers without a strong preference for either ATP- or ADP-actin. CAS-2 strongly enhances the exchange of actin-bound nucleotides even in the presence of UNC-60A, a C. elegans ADF/cofilin that inhibits nucleotide exchange. UNC-60A induces the depolymerization of actin filaments and sequesters actin monomers, whereas CAS-2 reverses the monomer-sequestering effect of UNC-60A in the presence of ATP, but not in the presence of only ADP or the absence of ATP or ADP. A 1:100 molar ratio of CAS-2 to UNC-60A is sufficient to increase actin filaments. CAS-2 has two independent actin-binding sites in its N- and C-terminal halves, and the C-terminal half is necessary and sufficient for the observed activities of the full-length CAS-2. These results suggest that CAS-2 (CAP) and UNC-60A (ADF/cofilin) are important in the ATP-dependent regulation of the actin monomer-filament equilibrium.

  20. Evaluation of actinic cheilitis using fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito Nogueira, Marcelo; Cosci, Alessandro; Pratavieira, Sebastião.; Takahama, Ademar; Souza Azevedo, Rebeca; Kurachi, Cristina

    2016-03-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a potentially malignant disorder that mostly affects the vermilion border of the lower lip and can lead to squamous cell carcinoma. Because of its heterogeneous clinical aspect, it is difficult to indicate representative biopsy area. Late diagnosis is a limiting factor of therapeutic possibilities available to treat oral cancer. The diagnosis of actinic cheilitis is mainly based on clinical and histopathological analysis and it is a time consuming procedure to get the results. Information about the organization and chemical composition of the tissues can be obtained using fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy techniques without the need for biopsy. The main targeted fluorophores are NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide), which have free and bound states, each one with different average lifetimes. The average lifetimes for free and bound NADH and FAD change according to tissue metabolic alterations and allow a quick and non-invasive clinical investigation of injuries and to help clinicians with the early diagnosis of actinic cheilitis. This study aims to evaluate the fluorescence lifetime parameters at the discrimination of three degrees of epithelial dysplasia, the most important predictor of malignant development, described in up to 100% of actinic cheilitis cases.

  1. Reconstitution of a Minimal Actin Cortex by Coupling Actin Filaments to Reconstituted Membranes.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Sven K

    2016-01-01

    A thin layer of actin filaments in many eukaryotic cell types drives pivotal aspects of cell morphogenesis and is generally cited as the actin cortex. Myosin driven contractility and actin cytoskeleton membrane interactions form the basis of fundamental cellular processes such as cytokinesis, cell migration, and cortical flows. How the interplay between the actin cytoskeleton, the membrane, and actin binding proteins drives these processes is far from being understood. The complexity of the actin cortex in living cells and the hardly feasible manipulation of the omnipotent cellular key players, namely actin, myosin, and the membrane, are challenging in order to gain detailed insights about the underlying mechanisms. Recent progress in developing bottom-up in vitro systems where the actin cytoskeleton is combined with reconstituted membranes may provide a complementary route to reveal general principles underlying actin cortex properties. In this chapter the reconstitution of a minimal actin cortex by coupling actin filaments to a supported membrane is described. This minimal system may be very well suited to study for example protein interactions on membrane bound actin filaments in a very controlled and quantitative manner as it may be difficult to perform in living systems.

  2. Communication. Kinetics of scavenging of small, nucleating clusters. First nucleation theorem and sum rules

    DOE PAGES

    Malila, Jussi; McGraw, Robert; Laaksonen, Ari; ...

    2015-01-07

    Despite recent advances in monitoring nucleation from a vapor at close-to-molecular resolution, the identity of the critical cluster, forming the bottleneck for the nucleation process, remains elusive. During past twenty years, the first nucleation theorem has been often used to extract the size of the critical cluster from nucleation rate measurements. However, derivations of the first nucleation theorem invoke certain questionable assumptions that may fail, e.g., in the case of atmospheric new particle formation, including absence of subcritical cluster losses and heterogeneous nucleation on pre-existing nanoparticles. Here we extend the kinetic derivation of the first nucleation theorem to give amore » general framework to include such processes, yielding sum rules connecting the size dependent particle formation and loss rates to the corresponding loss-free nucleation rate and the apparent critical size from a naïve application of the first nucleation theorem that neglects them.« less

  3. Expression of type I collagen and tenascin C is regulated by actin polymerization through MRTF in dedifferentiated chondrocytes.

    PubMed

    Parreno, Justin; Raju, Sneha; Niaki, Mortah Nabavi; Andrejevic, Katarina; Jiang, Amy; Delve, Elizabeth; Kandel, Rita

    2014-10-16

    This study examined actin regulation of fibroblast matrix genes in dedifferentiated chondrocytes. We demonstrated that dedifferentiated chondrocytes exhibit increased actin polymerization, nuclear localization of myocardin related transcription factor (MRTF), increased type I collagen (col1) and tenascin C (Tnc) gene expression, and decreased Sox9 gene expression. Induction of actin depolymerization by latrunculin treatment or cell rounding, reduced MRTF nuclear localization, repressed col1 and Tnc expression, and increased Sox9 gene expression in dedifferentiated chondrocytes. Treatment of passaged chondrocytes with MRTF inhibitor repressed col1 and Tnc expression, but did not affect Sox9 expression. Our results show that actin polymerization regulates fibroblast matrix gene expression through MRTF in passaged chondrocytes.

  4. Force of an actin spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Jennifer; Mahadevan, L.; Matsudaira, Paul

    2003-03-01

    The acrosomal process of the horseshoe crab sperm is a novel mechanochemical molecular spring that converts its elastic stain energy to mechanical work upon the chemical activation by Ca2+. Twisted and bent, the initial state of the acrosomal bundle features a high degree of complexity in its structure and the energy is believed to be stored in the highly strained actin filaments as an elastic potential energy. When activated, the bundle relaxes from the coil of the highly twisted and bent filaments to its straight conformation at a mean velocity of 15um/s. The mean extension velocity increases dramatically from 3um/s to 27um/s when temperature of the medium is changed from 9.6C to 32C (respective viscosities of 1.25-0.75cp), yet it exhibits a very weak dependence on changes in the medium viscosity (1cp-33cp). These experiments suggest that the uncoiling of the actin spring should be limited not by the viscosity of the medium but by the unlatching events of involved proteins at a molecular level. Unlike the viscosity-limited processes, where force is directly related to the rate of the reaction, a direct measurement is required to obtain the spring force of the acrosomal process. The extending acrosomal bundle is forced to push against a barrier and its elastic buckling response is analyzed to measure the force generated during the uncoiling.

  5. Actin-Regulator Feedback Interactions during Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Numerical study of the spontaneous nucleation of self-rotational moist gas in a converging-diverging nozzle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Qing-Fen; Hu, Da-Peng; Jiang, Jing-Zhi; Qiu, Zhong-Hua

    2010-01-01

    Spontaneous nucleation is the primary way of droplet formation in the supersonic gas separation technology, and the converging-diverging nozzle is the condensation and separation unit of supersonic gas separation devices. A three-dimensional geometrical model for the generation of self-rotational transonic gas flow is set up, based on which, the spontaneous nucleation of self-rotational transonic moist gas in the converging-diverging nozzle is carried out using an Eulerian multi-fluid model. The simulated results of the main flow and nucleation parameters indicate that the spontaneous nucleation can occur in the diverging part of the nozzle. However, different from the nucleation flow without self-rotation, the distributions of these parameters are unsymmetrical about the nozzle axis due to the irregular flow form caused by the self-rotation of gas flow. The nucleation region is located on the position where gas flows with intense rotation and the self-rotation impacts much on the nucleation process. Stronger rotation delays the onset of spontaneous nucleation and yields lower nucleation rate and narrow nucleation region. In addition, influences of other factors such as inlet total pressure p 0, inlet total temperature T 0, the nozzle-expanding ratio Ȧ and the inlet relative humidity ф 0 on the nucleation of self-rotational moist gas flow in the nozzle are also discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

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

  8. Laser control of zeolite nucleation.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Marta; Mayoral, Alvaro; Mateo, Ester; Lahoz, Ruth; de la Fuente, Germán F; Coronas, Joaquín

    2012-02-01

    Precursor solutions for the synthesis of zeolites are irradiated by means of a Nd-YAG laser. These solutions are subsequently submitted to a hydrothermal treatment and the results analyzed by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. Laser irradiation promotes the formation of silica nanoparticles that nucleate into zeolite (silicalite-1), following a hydrothermal treatment. The average crystal size (in the 0.6-3.6 μm range) of the zeolite exponentially decreases as a function of laser irradiation time. In addition, a longer irradiation time results in a narrower crystal size distribution.

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2011-10-18

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

  10. Growing an actin gel on spherical surfaces.

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Crystal nucleation of colloidal hard dumbbells.

    PubMed

    Ni, Ran; Dijkstra, Marjolein

    2011-01-21

    Using computer simulations, we investigate the homogeneous crystal nucleation in suspensions of colloidal hard dumbbells. The free energy barriers are determined by Monte Carlo simulations using the umbrella sampling technique. We calculate the nucleation rates for the plastic crystal and the aperiodic crystal phase using the kinetic prefactor as determined from event driven molecular dynamics simulations. We find good agreement with the nucleation rates determined from spontaneous nucleation events observed in event driven molecular dynamics simulations within error bars of one order of magnitude. We study the effect of aspect ratio of the dumbbells on the nucleation of plastic and aperiodic crystal phases, and we also determine the structure of the critical nuclei. Moreover, we find that the nucleation of the aligned close-packed crystal structure is strongly suppressed by a high free energy barrier at low supersaturations and slow dynamics at high supersaturations.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. The Yeast V159N Actin Mutant Reveals Roles for Actin Dynamics In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Belmont, Lisa D.; Drubin, David G.

    1998-01-01

    Actin with a Val 159 to Asn mutation (V159N) forms actin filaments that depolymerize slowly because of a failure to undergo a conformational change after inorganic phosphate release. Here we demonstrate that expression of this actin results in reduced actin dynamics in vivo, and we make use of this property to study the roles of rapid actin filament turnover. Yeast strains expressing the V159N mutant (act1-159) as their only source of actin have larger cortical actin patches and more actin cables than wild-type yeast. Rapid actin dynamics are not essential for cortical actin patch motility or establishment of cell polarity. However, fluid phase endocytosis is defective in act1-159 strains. act1-159 is synthetically lethal with cofilin and profilin mutants, supporting the conclusion that mutations in all of these genes impair the polymerization/ depolymerization cycle. In contrast, act1-159 partially suppresses the temperature sensitivity of a tropomyosin mutant, and the loss of cytoplasmic cables seen in fimbrin, Mdm20p, and tropomyosin null mutants, suggesting filament stabilizing functions for these actin-binding proteins. Analysis of the cables in these double-mutant cells supports a role for fimbrin in organizing cytoplasmic cables and for Mdm20p and tropomyosin in excluding cofilin from the cables. PMID:9732289

  14. Morphological changes in liposomes caused by polymerization of encapsulated actin and spontaneous formation of actin bundles.

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, H; Hotani, H

    1992-01-01

    Spherical giant liposomes that had encapsulated skeletal-muscle G-actin were made by swelling a dried lipid mixture of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine/cardiolipin, 1:1 (wt/wt), in a solution of G-actin/CaCl2 at 0 degree C. Polymerization of the encapsulated G-actin into actin filaments was achieved by raising the temperature to 30 degrees C. We observed the subsequent shape changes of the liposomes by dark-field and differential interference-contrast light microscopy. After approximately 40 min, which was required for completion of actin polymerization, two shapes of liposome were evident: dumbbell and disk. Elongation of the dumbbell-shaped liposomes was concomitant with actin polymerization. Polarization microscopy showed that actin filaments formed thick bundles in the liposomes and that these filaments lay contiguous to the periphery of the liposome. Localization of actin filaments in the liposomes was confirmed by observation of rhodamine phalloidin-conjugated actin filaments by fluorescence microscopy. Both dumbbell- and disk-shaped liposomes were rigid and kept their shapes as far as actin filaments were stabilized. In contrast, liposomes containing bovine serum albumin were fragile, and their shapes continually fluctuated from Brownian motion, indicating that the actin bundles served as mechanical support for the liposome shapes. Images PMID:1454846

  15. Lifeact: a versatile marker to visualize F-actin.

    PubMed

    Riedl, Julia; Crevenna, Alvaro H; Kessenbrock, Kai; Yu, Jerry Haochen; Neukirchen, Dorothee; Bista, Michal; Bradke, Frank; Jenne, Dieter; Holak, Tad A; Werb, Zena; Sixt, Michael; Wedlich-Soldner, Roland

    2008-07-01

    Live imaging of the actin cytoskeleton is crucial for the study of many fundamental biological processes, but current approaches to visualize actin have several limitations. Here we describe Lifeact, a 17-amino-acid peptide, which stained filamentous actin (F-actin) structures in eukaryotic cells and tissues. Lifeact did not interfere with actin dynamics in vitro and in vivo and in its chemically modified peptide form allowed visualization of actin dynamics in nontransfectable cells.

  16. Synthetic mimetics of actin-binding macrolides: rational design of actin-targeted drugs.

    PubMed

    Perrins, Richard D; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Marriott, Gerard

    2008-03-01

    Actin polymerization and dynamics are involved in a wide range of cellular processes such as cell division and migration of tumor cells. At sites of cell lysis, such as those occurring during a stroke or inflammatory lung diseases, actin is released into the serum where it polymerizes, leading to problems with clot dissolution and sputum viscosity. Therefore, drugs that target these actin-mediated processes may provide one mechanism to treat these conditions. Marine-organism-derived macrolides, such as reidispongiolide A, can bind to, sever, and inhibit polymerization of actin. Our studies show that the function of these complex macrolides resides in their tail region, whereas the head group stabilizes the actin-drug complex. Synthetic compounds derived from this tail region could therefore be used as a mimetic of the natural product, providing a range of designer compounds to treat actin-associated diseases or as probes to study actin polymerization.

  17. F-actin aggregates in transformed cells

    PubMed Central

    1981-01-01

    Polymerized actin has been found aggregated into distinctive patches inside transformed cells in culture. The F-actin-specific fluorescent probe, nitrobenzoxadiazole-phallacidin, labels these F-actin aggregates near the ventral cell surface of cells transformed by RNA or DNA tumor viruses, or by chemical mutagens, or spontaneously. Their appearance in all eight transformed cell types studied suggests their ubiquity and involvement in transformation morphology. Actin patches developed in normal rat kidney (NRK) cells transformed by a temperature-sensitive mutant of Rous sarcoma virus (LA23-NRK) within 30 min after a shift from the nonpermissive (39 degrees C) to the permissive temperature (32 degrees C). Patch appearance paralleling viral src gene expression tends to implicate pp60src kinase activity in destabilizing the cytoskeleton. However, appearance of the actin aggregates in cells not transformed by retrovirus calls for alternative mechanisms, perhaps involving an endogenous kinase, for this apparently common trait. PMID:6270163

  18. Xenopus egg cytoplasm with intact actin.

    PubMed

    Field, Christine M; Nguyen, Phuong A; Ishihara, Keisuke; Groen, Aaron C; Mitchison, Timothy J

    2014-01-01

    We report optimized methods for preparing Xenopus egg extracts without cytochalasin D, that we term "actin-intact egg extract." These are undiluted egg cytoplasm that contains abundant organelles, and glycogen which supplies energy, and represents the least perturbed cell-free cytoplasm preparation we know of. We used this system to probe cell cycle regulation of actin and myosin-II dynamics (Field et al., 2011), and to reconstitute the large, interphase asters that organize early Xenopus embryos (Mitchison et al., 2012; Wühr, Tan, Parker, Detrich, & Mitchison, 2010). Actin-intact Xenopus egg extracts are useful for analysis of actin dynamics, and interaction of actin with other cytoplasmic systems, in a cell-free system that closely mimics egg physiology, and more generally for probing the biochemistry and biophysics of the egg, zygote, and early embryo. Detailed protocols are provided along with assays used to check cell cycle state and tips for handling and storing undiluted egg extracts.

  19. Signalling Pathways Controlling Cellular Actin Organization.

    PubMed

    Steffen, Anika; Stradal, Theresia E B; Rottner, Klemens

    2017-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is essential for morphogenesis and virtually all types of cell shape changes. Reorganization is per definition driven by continuous disassembly and re-assembly of actin filaments, controlled by major, ubiquitously operating machines. These are specifically employed by the cell to tune its activities in accordance with respective environmental conditions or to satisfy specific needs.Here we sketch some fundamental signalling pathways established to contribute to the reorganization of specific actin structures at the plasma membrane. Rho-family GTPases are at the core of these pathways, and dissection of their precise contributions to actin reorganization in different cell types and tissues will thus continue to improve our understanding of these important signalling nodes. Furthermore, we will draw your attention to the emerging theme of actin reorganization on intracellular membranes, its functional relation to Rho-GTPase signalling, and its relevance for the exciting phenomenon autophagy.

  20. Truncated Dual-Cap Nucleation Site Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matson, Douglas M.; Sander, Paul J.

    2012-01-01

    During heterogeneous nucleation within a metastable mushy-zone, several geometries for nucleation site development must be considered. Traditional spherical dual cap and crevice models are compared to a truncated dual cap to determine the activation energy and critical cluster growth kinetics in ternary Fe-Cr-Ni steel alloys. Results of activation energy results indicate that nucleation is more probable at grain boundaries within the solid than at the solid-liquid interface.

  1. Experiments on Nucleation in Different Flow Regimes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayuzick, Robert J.; Hofmeister, W. H.; Morton, C. M.; Robinson, M. B.

    1998-01-01

    The vast majority of metallic engineering materials are solidified from the liquid phase. Understanding the solidification process is essential to control microstructure, which in turn, determines the properties of materials. The genesis of solidification is nucleation, where the first stable solid forms from the liquid phase. Nucleation kinetics determine the degree of undercooling and phase selection. As such, it is important to understand nucleation phenomena in order to control solidification or glass formation in metals and alloys.

  2. Experiments on Nucleation in Different Flow Regimes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayuzick, R. J.; Hofmeister, W. H.; Morton, C. M.; Robinson, M. B.

    1999-01-01

    The vast majority of metallic engineering materials are solidified from the liquid phase. Understanding the solidification process is essential to control microstructure, which in turn, determines the properties of materials. The genesis of solidification is nucleation, where the first stable solid forms from the liquid phase. Nucleation kinetics determine the degree of undercooling and phase selection. As such, it is important to understand nucleation phenomena in order to control solidification or glass formation in metals and alloys. Early experiments in nucleation kinetics were accomplished by droplet dispersion methods. Dilatometry was used by Turnbull and others, and more recently differential thermal analysis and differential scanning calorimetry have been used for kinetic studies. These techniques have enjoyed success; however, there are difficulties with these experiments. Since materials are dispersed in a medium, the character of the emulsion/metal interface affects the nucleation behavior. Statistics are derived from the large number of particles observed in a single experiment, but dispersions have a finite size distribution which adds to the uncertainty of the kinetic determinations. Even though temperature can be controlled quite well before the onset of nucleation, the release of the latent heat of fusion during nucleation of particles complicates the assumption of isothermality during these experiments. Containerless processing has enabled another approach to the study of nucleation kinetics. With levitation techniques it is possible to undercool one sample to nucleation repeatedly in a controlled manner, such that the statistics of the nucleation process can be derived from multiple experiments on a single sample. The authors have fully developed the analysis of nucleation experiments on single samples following the suggestions of Skripov. The advantage of these experiments is that the samples are directly observable. The nucleation temperature

  3. Molecular dynamics simulations of ice nucleation by electric fields.

    PubMed

    Yan, J Y; Patey, G N

    2012-07-05

    Molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate heterogeneous ice nucleation in model systems where an electric field acts on water molecules within 10-20 Å of a surface. Two different water models (the six-site and TIP4P/Ice models) are considered, and in both cases, it is shown that a surface field can serve as a very effective ice nucleation catalyst in supercooled water. Ice with a ferroelectric cubic structure nucleates near the surface, and dipole disordered cubic ice grows outward from the surface layer. We examine the influences of temperature and two important field parameters, the field strength and distance from the surface over which it acts, on the ice nucleation process. For the six-site model, the highest temperature where we observe field-induced ice nucleation is 280 K, and for TIP4P/Ice 270 K (note that the estimated normal freezing points of the six-site and TIP4P/Ice models are ∼289 and ∼270 K, respectively). The minimum electric field strength required to nucleate ice depends a little on how far the field extends from the surface. If it extends 20 Å, then a field strength of 1.5 × 10(9) V/m is effective for both models. If the field extent is 10 Å, then stronger fields are required (2.5 × 10(9) V/m for TIP4P/Ice and 3.5 × 10(9) V/m for the six-site model). Our results demonstrate that fields of realistic strength, that act only over a narrow surface region, can effectively nucleate ice at temperatures not far below the freezing point. This further supports the possibility that local electric fields can be a significant factor influencing heterogeneous ice nucleation in physical situations. We would expect this to be especially relevant for ice nuclei with very rough surfaces where one would expect local fields of varying strength and direction.

  4. New Findings on Ice Nucleation in Mid-latitude Cirrus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, S.; Mitchell, D. L.; Lawson, P.; Baker, B. A.

    2011-12-01

    Recent GCM simulations (CESM1) show a global aerosol indirect effect of -1.39 W m-2 with -2.02 W m-2 from shortwave and +0.63 W m-2 from longwave cloud forcing, the longwave being due to homogeneous nucleation of ice crystals. However, the extent of homogeneous nucleation in ice clouds is poorly understood. This study uses results from a recent field campaign, SPARTICUS (Small PARTicles In CirrUS), to evaluate the impact of homogeneous nucleation on the ice particle size distribution (PSD) shape, as well as ice particle concentration, shape, PSD effective size and fall speed. While earlier measurements were difficult to evaluate for ice nucleation effects due to the problem of ice particle shattering, recent in-situ measurements using the 2 dimensional-stereo (2D-S) probe have greatly reduced this problem resulting in provocative findings for both synoptic and anvil cirrus sampled during SPARTICUS. For mid-latitude synoptic and anvil cirrus around -40°C, these new measurements show that clear changes in the ice PSD and its properties occur regarding (1) PSD shape, (2) total number concentration-to-ice water content ratio (N/IWC), (3) PSD mean size, (4) PSD mean area ratio and (5) the mass-weighted fall velocity (Vm). These changes are consistent with a change in ice nucleation mechanism, with heterogeneous nucleation processes active at temperatures warmer than -40°C and homogeneous freezing nucleation at temperatures colder than -40°C. The change in Vm implies that cirrus colder than -40°C will have longer lifetimes and greater cloud coverage than warmer cirrus clouds, all other relevant factors remaining equal. The increase in N/IWC with colder temperatures (T < -40°C) appears consistent with homogeneous nucleation theory. Figure 1 shows normalized frequency distribution of PSD area ratios for temperatures above and below -40°C. Area ratios (ice particle projected area/area of circle defined by particle maximum dimension) are a measure of ice particle shape

  5. Actin dynamics shape microglia effector functions.

    PubMed

    Uhlemann, Ria; Gertz, Karen; Boehmerle, Wolfgang; Schwarz, Tobias; Nolte, Christiane; Freyer, Dorette; Kettenmann, Helmut; Endres, Matthias; Kronenberg, Golo

    2016-06-01

    Impaired actin filament dynamics have been associated with cellular senescence. Microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, are emerging as a central pathophysiological player in neurodegeneration. Microglia activation, which ranges on a continuum between classical and alternative, may be of critical importance to brain disease. Using genetic and pharmacological manipulations, we studied the effects of alterations in actin dynamics on microglia effector functions. Disruption of actin dynamics did not affect transcription of genes involved in the LPS-triggered classical inflammatory response. By contrast, in consequence of impaired nuclear translocation of phospho-STAT6, genes involved in IL-4 induced alternative activation were strongly downregulated. Functionally, impaired actin dynamics resulted in reduced NO secretion and reduced release of TNFalpha and IL-6 from LPS-stimulated microglia and of IGF-1 from IL-4 stimulated microglia. However, pathological stabilization of the actin cytoskeleton increased LPS-induced release of IL-1beta and IL-18, which belong to an unconventional secretory pathway. Reduced NO release was associated with decreased cytoplasmic iNOS protein expression and decreased intracellular arginine uptake. Furthermore, disruption of actin dynamics resulted in reduced microglia migration, proliferation and phagocytosis. Finally, baseline and ATP-induced [Ca(2+)]int levels were significantly increased in microglia lacking gelsolin, a key actin-severing protein. Together, the dynamic state of the actin cytoskeleton profoundly and distinctly affects microglia behaviours. Disruption of actin dynamics attenuates M2 polarization by inhibiting transcription of alternative activation genes. In classical activation, the role of actin remodelling is complex, does not relate to gene transcription and shows a major divergence between cytokines following conventional and unconventional secretion.

  6. Binary Nucleation of Water and Sodium Chloride

    SciTech Connect

    Nemec, Thomas; Marsik, Frantisek; Palmer, Donald

    2005-01-01

    Nucleation processes in the binary water-sodium chloride system are investigated in the sense of the classical nucleation theory (CNT). The CNT is modified to be able to handle the electrolytic nature of the system and is employed to investigate the acceleration of the nucleation process due to the presence of sodium chloride in the steam. This phenomenon, frequently observed in the Wilson zone of steam turbines, is called early condensation. Therefore, the nucleation rates of the water-sodium chloride mixture are of key importance in the power cycle industry.

  7. Heterogeneous nucleation of ice from supercooled water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seeley, Lane Howard

    The relaxation of a metastable phase via the formation of a critical domain of the corresponding stable phase is a phenomenon that has been studied extensively in condensed matter physics. This dissertation describes laboratory studies of this phenomenon in the context of ice nucleation from undercooled liquid water. Such a study presents unique experimental challenges because the formation of a critical embryo is a statistical event, and once it occurs the entire sample relaxes to the stable phase. In order to study this statistical process it is necessary to create a large ensemble of separate, yet identical, domains of the metastable phase. The design of an apparatus is described which creates such an ensemble, in time, by repeatedly freezing and thawing a single water drop. This apparatus allows for the collection of a large data set and therefore can identify subtle changes in nucleation statistics that are produced by external controls. This dissertation describes a series of experiments intended to probe several aspects of ice nucleation. Results are presented for homogeneous ice nucleation as well as heterogeneous ice nucleation by; silanized and unsilanized glass, aliphatic alcohol Langmuir films, ionizing radiation, electric fields and motion at the three phase contact line. These experiments are analyzed largely in the context of classical nucleation theory. The unique experimental technique described here allows for sensitive tests of the temperature dependent nucleation rates, R( T), in these systems. Analysis of the R( T) within the context of classical nucleation theory constrains thermodynamic parameters and provides insight into these nucleation processes.

  8. A DOCK8-WIP-WASp complex links T cell receptors to the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Janssen, Erin; Tohme, Mira; Hedayat, Mona; Leick, Marion; Kumari, Sudha; Ramesh, Narayanaswamy; Massaad, Michel J.; Ullas, Sumana; Azcutia, Veronica; Goodnow, Christopher C.; Randall, Katrina L.; Qiao, Qi; Wu, Hao; Al-Herz, Waleed; Cox, Dianne; Hartwig, John; Irvine, Darrell J.; Luscinskas, Francis W.; Geha, Raif S.

    2016-01-01

    Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is associated with mutations in the WAS protein (WASp), which plays a critical role in the initiation of T cell receptor–driven (TCR-driven) actin polymerization. The clinical phenotype of WAS includes susceptibility to infection, allergy, autoimmunity, and malignancy and overlaps with the symptoms of dedicator of cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8) deficiency, suggesting that the 2 syndromes share common pathogenic mechanisms. Here, we demonstrated that the WASp-interacting protein (WIP) bridges DOCK8 to WASp and actin in T cells. We determined that the guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity of DOCK8 is essential for the integrity of the subcortical actin cytoskeleton as well as for TCR-driven WASp activation, F-actin assembly, immune synapse formation, actin foci formation, mechanotransduction, T cell transendothelial migration, and homing to lymph nodes, all of which also depend on WASp. These results indicate that DOCK8 and WASp are in the same signaling pathway that links TCRs to the actin cytoskeleton in TCR-driven actin assembly. Further, they provide an explanation for similarities in the clinical phenotypes of WAS and DOCK8 deficiency. PMID:27599296

  9. Generation of an isogenic collection of yeast actin mutants and identification of three interrelated phenotypes.

    PubMed Central

    Whitacre, J; Davis, D; Toenjes, K; Brower, S; Adams, A

    2001-01-01

    A large collection of yeast actin mutations has been previously isolated and used in numerous studies of actin cytoskeletal function. However, the various mutations have been in congenic, rather than isogenic, backgrounds, making it difficult to compare the subtle phenotypes that are characteristic of these mutants. We have therefore placed 27 mutations in an isogenic background. We used a subset of these mutants to compare the degree to which different actin alleles are defective in sporulation, endocytosis, and growth on NaCl-containing media. We found that the three phenotypes are highly correlated. The correlations are specific and not merely a reflection of general growth defects, because the phenotypes are not correlated with growth rates under normal conditions. Significantly, those actin mutants exhibiting the most severe phenotypes in all three processes have altered residues that cluster to a small region of the actin crystal structure previously defined as the fimbrin (Sac6p)-binding site. We examined the relationship between endocytosis and growth on salt and found that shifting wild-type or actin mutant cells to high salt reduces the rate of alpha-factor internalization. These results suggest that actin mutants may be unable to grow on salt because of additive endocytic defects (due to mutation and salt). PMID:11156976

  10. The Interplay between Viscoelastic and Thermodynamic Properties Determines the Birefringence of F-Actin Gels

    PubMed Central

    Helfer, Emmanuèle; Panine, Pierre; Carlier, Marie-France; Davidson, Patrick

    2005-01-01

    F-actin gels of increasing concentrations (25–300 μM) display in vitro a progressive onset of birefringence due to orientational ordering of actin filaments. At F-actin concentrations <100 μM, this birefringence can be erased and restored at will by sonication and gentle flow, respectively. Hence, the orientational ordering does not result from a thermodynamic transition to a nematic phase but instead is due to mechanical stresses stored in the gels. In contrast, at F-actin concentrations ≥100 μM, gels display spontaneous birefringence recovery, at rest, which is the sign of true nematic ordering, in good agreement with statistical physics models of the isotropic/nematic transition. Well-aligned samples of F-actin gels could be produced and their small-angle x-ray scattering patterns are quite anisotropic. These patterns show no sign of filament positional short-range order and could be modeled by averaging the form factor with the Maier-Saupe nematic distribution function. The derived nematic order parameter S of the gels ranged from S = 0.7 at 300 μM to S = 0.4 at 25 μM. Both birefringence and small-angle x-ray scattering data indicate that, even in absence of cross-linking proteins, spontaneous cooperative alignment of actin filaments may arise in motile regions of living cells where F-actin concentrations can reach values of a few 100 μM. PMID:15863487

  11. Effects of solution crowding on actin polymerization reveal the energetic basis for nucleotide-dependent filament stability

    PubMed Central

    Frederick, Kendra B.; Sept, David; De La Cruz, Enrique M.

    2008-01-01

    Actin polymerization is a fundamental cellular process involved in cell structure maintenance, force generation, and motility. Phosphate release from filament subunits following ATP hydrolysis destabilizes the filament lattice and increases the critical concentration (Cc) for assembly. The structural differences between ATP- and ADP-actin are still debated, as well as the energetic factors that underlie nucleotide-dependent filament stability, particularly under crowded intracellular conditions. Here, we investigate the effect of crowding agents on ATP- and ADP-actin polymerization, and find that ATP-actin polymerization is largely unaffected by solution crowding, while crowding agents lower the Cc of ADP-actin in a concentration-dependent manner. The stabilities of ATP- and ADP-actin filaments are comparable in the presence of physiological amounts (~30% w/v) and types (sorbitol) of low molecular weight crowding agents. Crowding agents act to stabilize ADP-F-actin by slowing subunit dissociation. These observations suggest that nucleotide hydrolysis and phosphate release per se do not introduce intrinsic differences in the in vivo filament stability. Rather, the preferential disassembly of ADP-actin filaments in cells is driven through interactions with regulatory proteins. Interpretation of the experimental data according to osmotic stress theory implicates water as an allosteric regulator of actin activity and hydration as the molecular basis for nucleotide-dependent filament stability. PMID:18374941

  12. Interaction between MyRIP and the actin cytoskeleton regulates Weibel–Palade body trafficking and exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Conte, Ianina L.; Hellen, Nicola; Bierings, Ruben; Mashanov, Gregory I.; Manneville, Jean-Baptiste; Kiskin, Nikolai I.; Hannah, Matthew J.; Molloy, Justin E.; Carter, Tom

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Weibel–Palade body (WPB)–actin interactions are essential for the trafficking and secretion of von Willebrand factor; however, the molecular basis for this interaction remains poorly defined. Myosin Va (MyoVa or MYO5A) is recruited to WPBs by a Rab27A–MyRIP complex and is thought to be the prime mediator of actin binding, but direct MyRIP–actin interactions can also occur. To evaluate the specific contribution of MyRIP–actin and MyRIP–MyoVa binding in WPB trafficking and Ca2+-driven exocytosis, we used EGFP–MyRIP point mutants with disrupted MyoVa and/or actin binding and high-speed live-cell fluorescence microscopy. We now show that the ability of MyRIP to restrict WPB movement depends upon its actin-binding rather than its MyoVa-binding properties. We also show that, although the role of MyRIP in Ca2+-driven exocytosis requires both MyoVa- and actin-binding potential, it is the latter that plays a dominant role. In view of these results and together with the analysis of actin disruption or stabilisation experiments, we propose that the role of MyRIP in regulating WPB trafficking and exocytosis is mediated largely through its interaction with actin rather than with MyoVa. PMID:26675235

  13. Actin activates Pseudomonas aeruginosa ExoY nucleotidyl cyclase toxin and ExoY-like effector domains from MARTX toxins

    PubMed Central

    Belyy, Alexander; Raoux-Barbot, Dorothée; Saveanu, Cosmin; Namane, Abdelkader; Ogryzko, Vasily; Worpenberg, Lina; David, Violaine; Henriot, Veronique; Fellous, Souad; Merrifield, Christien; Assayag, Elodie; Ladant, Daniel; Renault, Louis; Mechold, Undine

    2016-01-01

    The nucleotidyl cyclase toxin ExoY is one of the virulence factors injected by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III secretion system into host cells. Inside cells, it is activated by an unknown eukaryotic cofactor to synthesize various cyclic nucleotide monophosphates. ExoY-like adenylate cyclases are also found in Multifunctional-Autoprocessing Repeats-in-ToXin (MARTX) toxins produced by various Gram-negative pathogens. Here we demonstrate that filamentous actin (F-actin) is the hitherto unknown cofactor of ExoY. Association with F-actin stimulates ExoY activity more than 10,000 fold in vitro and results in stabilization of actin filaments. ExoY is recruited to actin filaments in transfected cells and alters F-actin turnover. Actin also activates an ExoY-like adenylate cyclase MARTX effector domain from Vibrio nigripulchritudo. Finally, using a yeast genetic screen, we identify actin mutants that no longer activate ExoY. Our results thus reveal a new sub-group within the class II adenylyl cyclase family, namely actin-activated nucleotidyl cyclase (AA-NC) toxins. PMID:27917880

  14. Interaction between MyRIP and the actin cytoskeleton regulates Weibel-Palade body trafficking and exocytosis.

    PubMed

    Conte, Ianina L; Hellen, Nicola; Bierings, Ruben; Mashanov, Gregory I; Manneville, Jean-Baptiste; Kiskin, Nikolai I; Hannah, Matthew J; Molloy, Justin E; Carter, Tom

    2016-02-01

    Weibel-Palade body (WPB)-actin interactions are essential for the trafficking and secretion of von Willebrand factor; however, the molecular basis for this interaction remains poorly defined. Myosin Va (MyoVa or MYO5A) is recruited to WPBs by a Rab27A-MyRIP complex and is thought to be the prime mediator of actin binding, but direct MyRIP-actin interactions can also occur. To evaluate the specific contribution of MyRIP-actin and MyRIP-MyoVa binding in WPB trafficking and Ca(2+)-driven exocytosis, we used EGFP-MyRIP point mutants with disrupted MyoVa and/or actin binding and high-speed live-cell fluorescence microscopy. We now show that the ability of MyRIP to restrict WPB movement depends upon its actin-binding rather than its MyoVa-binding properties. We also show that, although the role of MyRIP in Ca(2+)-driven exocytosis requires both MyoVa- and actin-binding potential, it is the latter that plays a dominant role. In view of these results and together with the analysis of actin disruption or stabilisation experiments, we propose that the role of MyRIP in regulating WPB trafficking and exocytosis is mediated largely through its interaction with actin rather than with MyoVa.

  15. A Dichotomy in Cortical Actin and Chemotactic Actin Activity between Human Memory and Naive T Cells Contributes to Their Differential Susceptibility to HIV-1 Infection*

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Human memory and naive CD4 T cells can mainly be identified by the reciprocal expression of the CD45RO or CD45RA isoforms. In HIV-1 infection, blood CD45RO memory CD4 T cells are preferentially infected and serve as a major viral reservoir. The molecular mechanism dictating this differential susceptibility to HIV-1 remains largely obscure. Here, we report that the different susceptibility of memory and naive T cells to HIV is not determined by restriction factors such as Apobec3G or BST2. However, we observed a phenotypic distinction between human CD45RO and CD45RA resting CD4 T cells in their cortical actin density and actin dynamics. CD45RO CD4 T cells possess a higher cortical actin density and can be distinguished as CD45RO+Actinhigh. In contrast, CD45RA T cells are phenotypically CD45RA+Actinlow. In addition, the cortical actin in CD45RO memory CD4 T cells is more dynamic and can respond to low dosages of chemotactic induction by SDF-1, whereas that of naive cells cannot, despite a similar level of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 present on both cells. We further demonstrate that this difference in the cortical actin contributes to their differential susceptibility to HIV-1; resting memory but not naive T cells are highly responsive to HIV-mediated actin dynamics that promote higher levels of viral entry and early DNA synthesis in resting memory CD4 T cells. Furthermore, transient induction of actin dynamics in resting naive T cells rescues HIV latent infection following CD3/CD28 stimulation. These results suggest a key role of chemotactic actin activity in facilitating HIV-1 latent infection of these T cell subsets. PMID:22879601

  16. Controlled ice nucleation using freeze-dried Pseudomonas syringae encapsulated in alginate beads.

    PubMed

    Weng, Lindong; Tessier, Shannon N; Swei, Anisa; Stott, Shannon L; Toner, Mehmet

    2017-03-14

    The control of ice nucleation is of fundamental significance in many process technologies related to food and pharmaceutical science and cryobiology. Mechanical perturbation, electromagnetic fields and ice-nucleating agents (INAs) have been known to induce ice nucleation in a controlled manner. But these ice-nucleating methods may suffer from cumbersome manual operations, safety concerns of external fields, and biocompatibility and recovery issues of INA particles, especially when used in living systems. Given the automatic ice-seeding nature of INAs, a promising solution to overcome some of the above limitations is to engineer a biocomposite that accommodates the INA particles but minimizes their interactions with biologics, as well as enabling the recovery of used particles. In this study, freeze-dried Pseudomonas syringae, a model ice-nucleating agent, was encapsulated into microliter-sized alginate beads. We evaluated the performance of the bacterial hydrogel beads to initiate ice nucleation in water and aqueous glycerol solution by investigating factors including the size and number of the beads and the local concentration of INA particles. In the aqueous sample of a fixed volume, the total mass of the INA particles (m) was found to be the governing parameter that is solely responsible for determining the ice nucleation performance of the bacterial hydrogel beads. The freezing temperature has a strong positive linear correlation with log10m. The findings in this study provide an effective, predictable approach to control ice nucleation, which can improve the outcome and standardization of many ice-assisted process technologies.

  17. Enhancement of the droplet nucleation in a dense supersaturated Lennard-Jones vapor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhukhovitskii, D. I.

    2016-05-01

    The vapor-liquid nucleation in a dense Lennard-Jones system is studied analytically and numerically. A solution of the nucleation kinetic equations, which includes the elementary processes of condensation/evaporation involving the lightest clusters, is obtained, and the nucleation rate is calculated. Based on the equation of state for the cluster vapor, the pre-exponential factor is obtained. The latter diverges as a spinodal is reached, which results in the nucleation enhancement. The work of critical cluster formation is calculated using the previously developed two-parameter model (TPM) of small clusters. A simple expression for the nucleation rate is deduced and it is shown that the work of cluster formation is reduced for a dense vapor. This results in the nucleation enhancement as well. To verify the TPM, a simulation is performed that mimics a steady-state nucleation experiments in the thermal diffusion cloud chamber. The nucleating vapor with and without a carrier gas is simulated using two different thermostats for the monomers and clusters. The TPM proves to match the simulation results of this work and of other studies.

  18. Enhancement of the droplet nucleation in a dense supersaturated Lennard-Jones vapor.

    PubMed

    Zhukhovitskii, D I

    2016-05-14

    The vapor-liquid nucleation in a dense Lennard-Jones system is studied analytically and numerically. A solution of the nucleation kinetic equations, which includes the elementary processes of condensation/evaporation involving the lightest clusters, is obtained, and the nucleation rate is calculated. Based on the equation of state for the cluster vapor, the pre-exponential factor is obtained. The latter diverges as a spinodal is reached, which results in the nucleation enhancement. The work of critical cluster formation is calculated using the previously developed two-parameter model (TPM) of small clusters. A simple expression for the nucleation rate is deduced and it is shown that the work of cluster formation is reduced for a dense vapor. This results in the nucleation enhancement as well. To verify the TPM, a simulation is performed that mimics a steady-state nucleation experiments in the thermal diffusion cloud chamber. The nucleating vapor with and without a carrier gas is simulated using two different thermostats for the monomers and clusters. The TPM proves to match the simulation results of this work and of other studies.

  19. Transient behavior and time lags in binary nucleation

    SciTech Connect

    Wyslouzil, B.E.; Wilemski, G.

    1996-04-02

    To investigate transient binary nucleation, both qualitatively and quantitatively, we numerically solved the birth-death equations for vapor-to-liquid phase transitions. We found that in its early transient stages, binary nucleation rarely, if ever, occurs via the saddle point. Instead most binary systems pass through a temporary stage in which the region of maximum flux extends over a ridge on the free energy surface before reaching the state of saddle point nucleation. Both the number of particles formed and their composition may be affected, and this could be very important for nucleation in glasses and other condensed mixtures for which timescales are very long. In order to plan experiments, accurate estimates of the time lag are important. We therefore directly calculated the time lag for the saddle point flux using our numerical results and compared it with the available analytical predictions. Although the analytical results over-estimate the time lag by factors of 2-6, the numerical results followed the predicted analytical trends quite closely under most conditions.

  20. Actin from pig and rat uterus.

    PubMed Central

    Elce, J S; Elbrecht, A S; Middlestadt, M U; McIntyre, E J; Anderson, P J

    1981-01-01

    Smooth-muscle actin was isolated from pig uterus and from pregnant-rat uterus. Methods involving acetone-dried powders were unsuccessful, and a column-chromatographic procedure was developed, with proteinase inhibitors and avoiding polymerization as a purification step. The yield of pure actin was 0.8--1.5 mg/g wet wt. of uterus, which should be compared with an expected yield of actin from skeletal muscle of 2--4 mg/g wet wt. The actin was pure as judged by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis, and exhibited alpha-, beta-, and gamma-forms on isoelectric focusing. It possessed a blocked N-terminal amino acid residue, and its amino acid analysis conformed to those of other actins. The rat uterine actin was available only in small amounts (5--10 mg) and did not polymerize. The pig uterine actin could be obtained in amounts up to 30 mg, polymerized reversibly, and activated a skeletal myosin Mg2+-dependent ATPase. Images Fig. 2. Fig. 4. PMID:6458278

  1. Reversible stress softening of actin networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Actin dynamics: old friends with new stories.

    PubMed

    Staiger, Christopher J; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2006-12-01

    Actin dynamics, or the rapid turnover of actin filaments, play a central role in numerous cellular processes. A large and diverse cast of characters, accessory proteins known as actin-binding proteins, modulate actin dynamics. They do this by binding to the monomer pool, interacting with the side and ends of filaments, creating breaks along a filament, and generating new filaments de novo. Recent biochemical and single-filament imaging analyses of several conserved classes of plant actin-binding proteins reveal unusual and unexpected properties. Examples that are highlighted in this review include: an abundant monomer-binding protein that catalyzes nucleotide exchange; a barbed-end capping protein that is dissociated from filament ends by the signaling lipid, phosphatidic acid; a villin-like bundling protein that lacks all Ca(2+)-regulated activities; and a formin family member that is non-processive and is sufficient to generate actin filament bundles. These and other stories motivate a careful description of the properties of plant proteins in vitro as a prelude to greater insight into the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the regulation of actin dynamics in vivo.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-15

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

  4. Thymosin beta4: actin regulation and more.

    PubMed

    Yarmola, Elena G; Klimenko, Evguenia S; Fujita, Go; Bubb, Michael R

    2007-09-01

    The intracellular function of thymosin beta(4) is not limited to simple sequestration of globular actin. Our recent studies revealed that thymosin beta(4) affects actin critical concentration and forms a ternary complex with actin and profilin. The consequences of this complex formation can be very significant. Our new data demonstrate that it is likely that profilin affects binding of thymosin beta(4) to actin in the ternary complex through allosteric changes in actin rather than through competition for the binding site. The N- and C-terminal thymosin beta(4) helices are known to be unstructured in aqueous solution and to adopt helical conformation in organic solvents or upon binding to actin. Osmolytes stabilize protein structure, and TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) specifically stabilizes hydrogen bonds. This increases affinity of intact thymosin beta(4) to actin significantly, but the increase is much less for thymosin beta(4) sulfoxide. Our data show that oxidation does not alter binding of profilin to form a ternary complex, and therefore it is very likely that there is no direct steric interference by methionine 6 of thymosin beta(4). Rather, since TMAO has little effect on thymosin beta(4) sulfoxide, this observation is consistent with the hypothesis that methionine oxidation prevents helix transition. The experiment with truncated versions of thymosin beta(4) also supports this hypothesis. Oxidation and formation of the helices are important for both intra- and extracellular properties of thymosin beta(4). We found that actin and, in lesser extent, profilin-actin complex protect thymosin beta(4) from oxidation.

  5. Actin as a potential target for decavanadate.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Susana; Moura, José J G; Aureliano, Manuel

    2010-12-01

    ATP prevents G-actin cysteine oxidation and vanadyl formation specifically induced by decavanadate, suggesting that the oxometalate-protein interaction is affected by the nucleotide. The ATP exchange rate is increased by 2-fold due to the presence of decavanadate when compared with control actin (3.1×10(-3) s(-1)), and an apparent dissociation constant (k(dapp)) of 227.4±25.7 μM and 112.3±8.7 μM was obtained in absence or presence of 20 μM V(10), respectively. Moreover, concentrations as low as 50 μM of decameric vanadate species (V(10)) increases the relative G-actin intrinsic fluorescence intensity by approximately 80% whereas for a 10-fold concentration of monomeric vanadate (V(1)) no effects were observed. Upon decavanadate titration, it was observed a linear increase in G-actin hydrophobic surface (2.6-fold), while no changes were detected for V(1) (0-200 μM). Taken together, three major ideas arise: i) ATP prevents decavanadate-induced G-actin cysteine oxidation and vanadate reduction; ii) decavanadate promotes actin conformational changes resulting on its inactivation, iii) decavanadate has an effect on actin ATP binding site. Once it is demonstrated that actin is a new potential target for decavanadate, being the ATP binding site a suitable site for decavanadate binding, it is proposed that some of the biological effects of vanadate can be, at least in part, explained by decavanadate interactions with actin.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Nuclear F-actin enhances the transcriptional activity of β-catenin by increasing its nuclear localization and binding to chromatin.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Shota; Yamamoto, Koji; de Lanerolle, Primal; Harata, Masahiko

    2016-04-01

    Actin plays multiple roles both in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus. Cytoplasmic actin, in addition to its structural role in the cytoskeleton, also contributes to the subcellular localization of transcription factors by interacting with them or their partners. The transcriptional cofactor β-catenin, which acts as an intracellular transducer of canonical Wnt signaling, indirectly associates with the cytoplasmic filamentous actin (F-actin). Recently, it has been observed that F-actin is transiently formed within the nucleus in response to serum stimulation and integrin signaling, and also during gene reprogramming. Despite these earlier observations, information about the function of nuclear F-actin is poorly defined. Here, by facilitating the accumulation of nuclear actin artificially, we demonstrate that polymerizing nuclear actin enhanced the nuclear accumulation and transcriptional function of β-catenin. Our results also show that the nuclear F-actin colocalizes with β-catenin and enhances the binding of β-catenin to the downstream target genes of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, including the genes for the cell cycle regulators c-myc and cyclin D, and the OCT4 gene. Nuclear F-actin itself also associated with these genes. Since Wnt/β-catenin signaling has important roles in cell differentiation and pluripotency, our observations suggest that nuclear F-actin formed during these biological processes is involved in regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling.

  8. Binary nucleation at low temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahoransky, R. A.; Peters, F.

    1985-01-01

    The onset of homogeneous condensation of binary vapors in the supersaturated state is studied in ethanol/n-propanol and water/ethanol via their unsteady expansion in a shock tube at temperatures below 273 K. Ethanol/n-propanol forms a nearly ideal solution, whereas water/ethanol is an example of a strongly nonideal mixture. Vapor mixtures of various compositions are diluted in dry air at small mole fractions and expanded in the driver section from room temperature. The onset of homogeneous condensation is detected optically and the corresponding thermodynamic state is evaluated. The experimental results are compared with the binary nucleation theory, and the particular problems of theoretical evaluation at low temperatures are discussed.

  9. Ice nucleation on hydrophilic silicon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ochshorn, Eli; Cantrell, Will

    2008-04-01

    We have used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to study thin water films on a hydrophilic silicon surface in the temperature range from 20to-20°C. Throughout that range, the spectra of the water adjacent to the silicon surface are consistent with that of bulk water near 25°C. Thicker films (>1μm) freeze at -11±1°C. We reconcile the apparent paradox of a thin film of water which is quite liquidlike at a temperature where freezing of thicker films occurs by hypothesizing that the nucleation event in the thicker film is triggered by a critical ice embryo which forms at some small distance from the silicon surface, as opposed to in direct contact with it.

  10. Simple improvements to classical bubble nucleation models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Kyoko K.; Tanaka, Hidekazu; Angélil, Raymond; Diemand, Jürg

    2015-08-01

    We revisit classical nucleation theory (CNT) for the homogeneous bubble nucleation rate and improve the classical formula using a correct prefactor in the nucleation rate. Most of the previous theoretical studies have used the constant prefactor determined by the bubble growth due to the evaporation process from the bubble surface. However, the growth of bubbles is also regulated by the thermal conduction, the viscosity, and the inertia of liquid motion. These effects can decrease the prefactor significantly, especially when the liquid pressure is much smaller than the equilibrium one. The deviation in the nucleation rate between the improved formula and the CNT can be as large as several orders of magnitude. Our improved, accurate prefactor and recent advances in molecular dynamics simulations and laboratory experiments for argon bubble nucleation enable us to precisely constrain the free energy barrier for bubble nucleation. Assuming the correction to the CNT free energy is of the functional form suggested by Tolman, the precise evaluations of the free energy barriers suggest the Tolman length is ≃0.3 σ independently of the temperature for argon bubble nucleation, where σ is the unit length of the Lennard-Jones potential. With this Tolman correction and our prefactor one gets accurate bubble nucleation rate predictions in the parameter range probed by current experiments and molecular dynamics simulations.

  11. Nucleation in periodically driven electrochemical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smelyanskiy, V. N.; Dykman, M. I.; Rabitz, H.; Vugmeister, B. E.; Bernasek, S. L.; Bocarsly, A. B.

    1999-06-01

    We calculate both the exponent and the prefactor in the nucleation rate of a periodically driven system. Nucleation dynamics is described by the Fokker-Planck equation for the probability distribution of the nuclei over their size. This distribution is found using the concept of the most probable (optimal) nucleation path. The results apply in a broad range of driving force amplitudes, from weak to moderately strong forces where the nucleation rate is changed exponentially strongly, and also in the broad range of the driving frequencies, from low-frequency driving, where the system follows the force adiabatically, to high-frequency nonadiabatic driving. For strong driving forces, the time dependence of the nucleation rate changes from strongly nonsinusoidal to a weak with the increasing frequency of driving. The response of the nucleation rate to the driving force is described in terms of logarithmic susceptibility (LS), which can be obtained from the optimal nucleation path in the absence of the driving. LS is a smooth function of frequency, and therefore even a driving force with comparatively high frequency can change the modulation rate exponentially strongly. LS and the Faraday current are calculated for simple models of electrochemical systems, where the ac driving is produced by modulation of the electrode potential. We also suggest how to find LS from measurements of the average nucleation rate.

  12. Dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Gressin, Laurène; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Cellular processes, including morphogenesis, polarization, and motility, rely on a variety of actin-based structures. Although the biochemical composition and filament organization of these structures are different, they often emerge from a common origin. This is possible because the actin structures are highly dynamic. Indeed, they assemble, grow, and disassemble in a time scale of a second to a minute. Therefore, the reorganization of a given actin structure can promote the formation of another. Here, we discuss such transitions and illustrate them with computer simulations. PMID:26989473

  13. Actin-based propulsion of a microswimmer.

    PubMed

    Leshansky, A M

    2006-07-01

    A simple hydrodynamic model of actin-based propulsion of microparticles in dilute cell-free cytoplasmic extracts is presented. Under the basic assumption that actin polymerization at the particle surface acts as a force dipole, pushing apart the load and the free (nonanchored) actin tail, the propulsive velocity of the microparticle is determined as a function of the tail length, porosity, and particle shape. The anticipated velocities of the cargo displacement and the rearward motion of the tail are in good agreement with recently reported results of biomimetic experiments. A more detailed analysis of the particle-tail hydrodynamic interaction is presented and compared to the prediction of the simplified model.

  14. Evolution of the Cp-Actin-based Motility System of Chloroplasts in Green Plants.

    PubMed

    Suetsugu, Noriyuki; Wada, Masamitsu

    2016-01-01

    During the course of green plant evolution, numerous light responses have arisen that optimize their growth under fluctuating light conditions. The blue light receptor phototropin mediates several photomovement responses at the tissue, cellular and organelle levels. Chloroplast photorelocation movement is one such photomovement response, and is found not only in most green plants, but also in some red algae and photosynthetic stramenopiles. In general, chloroplasts move toward weak light to maximally capture photosynthetically active radiation (the chloroplast accumulation response), and they move away from strong light to avoid photodamage (the avoidance response). In land plants, chloroplast movement is dependent on specialized actin filaments, chloroplast-actin filaments (cp-actin filaments). Through molecular genetic analysis using Arabidopsis thaliana, many molecular factors that regulate chloroplast photorelocation were identified. In this Perspective, we discuss the evolutionary history of the molecular mechanism for chloroplast photorelocation movement in green plants in view of cp-actin filaments.

  15. Actin Polymerization Driven Mitochondrial Transport in Mating S. cerevisiae by Fourier Imaging Correlation Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senning, Eric; Marcus, Andrew

    2010-03-01

    The dynamic microenvironment of cells depends on macromolecular architecture, equilibrium fluctuations, and non-equilibrium forces generated by cytoskeletal proteins. We studied the influence of these factors on the motions of mitochondria in mating S. cerevisiae using Fourier imaging correlation spectroscopy (FICS). Our measurements provide detailed, length scale dependent information about the dynamic behavior of mitochondria. We investigate the influence of the actin cytoskeleton on mitochondrial motion, and make comparisons between conditions in which actin network assembly and disassembly is varied, either by using disruptive pharmacological agents, or mutations that alter the rates of actin polymerization. We find that non-equilibrium forces associated with actin polymerization lead to a 1.5-fold enhancement of the long-time mitochondrial diffusion coefficient, and a transient sub-diffusive temporal scaling of the mean-square displacement. Our results lend support to an existing model in which these forces are directly coupled to mitochondrial membrane surfaces.

  16. Mena-GRASP65 interaction couples actin polymerization to Golgi ribbon linking.

    PubMed

    Tang, Danming; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Huang, Shijiao; Yuan, Hebao; Li, Jie; Wang, Yanzhuang

    2016-01-01

    In mammalian cells, the Golgi reassembly stacking protein 65 (GRASP65) has been implicated in both Golgi stacking and ribbon linking by forming trans-oligomers through the N-terminal GRASP domain. Because the GRASP domain is globular and relatively small, but the gaps between stacks are large and heterogeneous, it remains puzzling how GRASP65 physically links Golgi stacks into a ribbon. To explore the possibility that other proteins may help GRASP65 in ribbon linking, we used biochemical methods and identified the actin elongation factor Mena as a novel GRASP65-binding protein. Mena is recruited onto the Golgi membranes through interaction with GRASP65. Depleting Mena or disrupting actin polymerization resulted in Golgi fragmentation. In cells, Mena and actin were required for Golgi ribbon formation after nocodazole washout; in vitro, Mena and microfilaments enhanced GRASP65 oligomerization and Golgi membrane fusion. Thus Mena interacts with GRASP65 to promote local actin polymerization, which facilitates Golgi ribbon linking.

  17. Nucleation pressure threshold in acoustic droplet vaporization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miles, Christopher; Doering, Charles; Kripfgans, Oliver

    2016-11-01

    We combine classical nucleation theory with superharmonic focusing to predict necessary pressures to induce nucleation in acoustic droplet vaporization. We show that linear acoustics is a valid approximation to leading order when particle displacements in the sound field are small relative the radius of the droplet. This is done by perturbation analysis of an axisymmetric compressible inviscid flow about a droplet with small surface perturbations relative to the mean radius subjected to an incoming ultrasonic wave. The necessary nucleation pressure threshold inside the droplet is calculated to be - 9 . 33 +/- 0 . 30 MPa for typical experimental parameters by employing results from classical homogeneous nucleation theory. As a result we are able to predict if a given incident pressure waveform will induce nucleation. This research was supported by the Rackham Merit Fellowship, the University of Michigan Physics department, the University of Michigan's MCubed program, and NSF awards PHY-1205219 and DMS-1515161.

  18. In Silico Reconstitution of Actin-Based Symmetry Breaking and Motility

    PubMed Central

    Dayel, Mark J.; Akin, Orkun; Landeryou, Mark; Risca, Viviana; Mogilner, Alex; Mullins, R. Dyche

    2009-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells assemble viscoelastic networks of crosslinked actin filaments to control their shape, mechanical properties, and motility. One important class of actin network is nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex and drives both membrane protrusion at the leading edge of motile cells and intracellular motility of pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. These networks can be reconstituted in vitro from purified components to drive the motility of spherical micron-sized beads. An Elastic Gel model has been successful in explaining how these networks break symmetry, but how they produce directed motile force has been less clear. We have combined numerical simulations with in vitro experiments to reconstitute the behavior of these motile actin networks in silico using an Accumulative Particle-Spring (APS) model that builds on the Elastic Gel model, and demonstrates simple intuitive mechanisms for both symmetry breaking and sustained motility. The APS model explains observed transitions between smooth and pulsatile motion as well as subtle variations in network architecture caused by differences in geometry and conditions. Our findings also explain sideways symmetry breaking and motility of elongated beads, and show that elastic recoil, though important for symmetry breaking and pulsatile motion, is not necessary for smooth directional motility. The APS model demonstrates how a small number of viscoelastic network parameters and construction rules suffice to recapture the complex behavior of motile actin networks. The fact that the model not only mirrors our in vitro observations, but also makes novel predictions that we confirm by experiment, suggests that the model captures much of the essence of actin-based motility in this system. PMID:19771152

  19. Requirement of cortical actin organization for bombesin, endothelin, and EGF receptor internalization.

    PubMed

    Lunn, J A; Wong, H; Rozengurt, E; Walsh, J H

    2000-12-01

    The role of actin organization in occupancy-induced receptor internalization remains poorly defined. Here we report that treatment of mouse Swiss 3T3 cells with latrunculin A, a potent inhibitor of actin polymerization (including cortical actin), inhibited the internalization of the endogenous bombesin/gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) receptor, as judged by uptake of (125)I-labeled GRP or fluorescent Cy3-labeled bombesin. In contrast, cells pretreated with cytochalasin D showed minimal inhibition of bombesin/GRP receptor internalization. Similarly, pretreatment of Swiss 3T3 cells with the potent Rho-kinase inhibitor HA-1077, at concentrations (10-20 microM) that abrogated bombesin-mediated stress fiber formation, did not significantly alter receptor-mediated internalization of (125)I-GRP. These results indicate that bombesin/GRP receptor internalization depends on latrunculin A-sensitive cortical actin rather than on rapidly turning over actin stress fibers that are disrupted by either cytochalasin D or HA-1077. The rates and total levels of internalization of the endogenously expressed endothelin A receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor were also markedly reduced by latrunculin A in Swiss 3T3 cells. The potency of latrunculin A for inhibiting G protein-coupled receptor endocytosis was comparable to that for reducing internalization of the epidermal growth factor tyrosine kinase receptor. We conclude that cortical actin structures, disrupted by latrunculin A, are necessary for occupancy-induced receptor internalization in animal cells.

  20. Nucleation in an Ultra Low Ionization Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, J. O.; Enghoff, M. B.; Paling, S.; Svensmark, H.

    2010-12-01

    Atmospheric ions can enhance the nucleation of aerosols, as has been established by experiments, observation, and theory. In the clean marine atmosphere ionization is mainly caused by cosmic rays which in turn are controlled by the activity of the Sun, thus providing a potential link between solar activity and climate. In order to understand the effect ions may have on the production of cloud condensation nuclei the overall contribution of ion induced nucleation to the global production of secondary aerosols must be determined. One issue with determining this contribution is that several mechanisms for nucleation exist and it can be difficult to determine the relative importance of the various mechanisms in a given nucleation event when both ion induced and electrically neutral nucleation mechanisms are at work at the same time. We have carried out nucleation experiments in the Boulby Underground Laboratory, located 1100 meters below ground, thus reducing the flux of ionizing cosmic radiation by six orders of magnitude. Similarly we have reduced the gamma background by shielding the experiment in lead and copper. Finally we have used air stored for several weeks and passed through an active charcoal filter in order to reduce the Radon concentration. In this way we have been able to make nucleation experiments with very low ionizing background, meaning that we can rule out ion induced nucleation as a contributing mechanism. Our experimental setup is a 50 L electropolished stainless steel reactor at near atmospheric conditions. The chamber contains clean air with the addition of water vapor, ozone, and SO2. Using UV lights at 254 nm ozone is photolyzed, leading to the production of sulfuric acid and thus aerosols. An 18 MBq Caesium-137 gamma ray source with various amounts of lead in front allows us to alter the ionization in our chamber. By making series of nucleation bursts with varying amounts of ionizing radiation we then gauge the relative importance of ion

  1. Increased actin polymerization and stabilization interferes with neuronal function and survival in the AMPKγ mutant Loechrig.

    PubMed

    Cook, Mandy; Bolkan, Bonnie J; Kretzschmar, Doris

    2014-01-01

    loechrig (loe) mutant flies are characterized by progressive neuronal degeneration, behavioral deficits, and early death. The mutation is due to a P-element insertion in the gene for the γ-subunit of the trimeric AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) complex, whereby the insertion affects only one of several alternative transcripts encoding a unique neuronal isoform. AMPK is a cellular energy sensor that regulates a plethora of signaling pathways, including cholesterol and isoprenoid synthesis via its downstream target hydroxy-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase. We recently showed that loe interferes with isoprenoid synthesis and increases the prenylation and thereby activation of RhoA. During development, RhoA plays an important role in neuronal outgrowth by activating a signaling cascade that regulates actin dynamics. Here we show that the effect of loe/AMPKγ on RhoA prenylation leads to a hyperactivation of this signaling pathway, causing increased phosphorylation of the actin depolymerizating factor cofilin and accumulation of filamentous actin. Furthermore, our results show that the resulting cytoskeletal changes in loe interfere with neuronal growth and disrupt axonal integrity. Surprisingly, these phenotypes were enhanced by expressing the Slingshot (SSH) phosphatase, which during development promotes actin depolymerization by dephosphorylating cofilin. However, our studies suggest that in the adult SSH promotes actin polymerization, supporting in vitro studies using human SSH1 that suggested that SSH can also stabilize and bundle filamentous actin. Together with the observed increase in SSH levels in the loe mutant, our experiments suggest that in mature neurons SSH may function as a stabilization factor for filamentous actin instead of promoting actin depolymerization.

  2. Structural Differences Explain Diverse Functions of Plasmodium Actins

    PubMed Central

    Vahokoski, Juha; Martinez, Silvia Muñico; Ignatev, Alexander; Lepper, Simone; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Sidén-Kiamos, Inga; Sachse, Carsten; Kursula, Inari

    2014-01-01

    Actins are highly conserved proteins and key players in central processes in all eukaryotic cells. The two actins of the malaria parasite are among the most divergent eukaryotic actins and also differ from each other more than isoforms in any other species. Microfilaments have not been directly observed in Plasmodium and are presumed to be short and highly dynamic. We show that actin I cannot complement actin II in male gametogenesis, suggesting critical structural differences. Cryo-EM reveals that Plasmodium actin I has a unique filament structure, whereas actin II filaments resemble canonical F-actin. Both Plasmodium actins hydrolyze ATP more efficiently than α-actin, and unlike any other actin, both parasite actins rapidly form short oligomers induced by ADP. Crystal structures of both isoforms pinpoint several structural changes in the monomers causing the unique polymerization properties. Inserting the canonical D-loop to Plasmodium actin I leads to the formation of long filaments in vitro. In vivo, this chimera restores gametogenesis in parasites lacking actin II, suggesting that stable filaments are required for exflagellation. Together, these data underline the divergence of eukaryotic actins and demonstrate how structural differences in the monomers translate into filaments with different properties, implying that even eukaryotic actins have faced different evolutionary pressures and followed different paths for developing their polymerization properties. PMID:24743229

  3. F-actin staining of Drosophila testes.

    PubMed

    Bonaccorsi, Silvia; Giansanti, Maria G; Cenci, Giovanni; Gatti, Maurizio

    2012-01-01

    Preparations of Drosophila testes fixed with paraformaldehyde can be stained for F-actin according to the protocol described here. This staining procedure is particularly suitable for staining the male fusome and the cytokinetic contractile ring.

  4. The WAVE/SCAR complex promotes polarized cell movements and actin enrichment in epithelia during C. elegans embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Falshruti B.; Bernadskaya, Yelena Y.; Chen, Esteban; Jobanputra, Aesha; Pooladi, Zahra; Freeman, Kristy L.; Gally, Christelle; Mohler, William A.; Soto, Martha C.

    2009-01-01

    The WAVE/SCAR complex promotes actin nucleation through the Arp2/3 complex, in response to Rac signaling. We show that loss of WVE-1/GEX-1, the only C. elegans WAVE/SCAR homolog, by genetic mutation or by RNAi, has the same phenotype as loss of GEX-2/Sra1/p140/PIR121, GEX-3/NAP1/HEM2/KETTE, or ABI-1/ABI, the three other components of the C. elegans WAVE/SCAR complex. We find that the entire WAVE/SCAR complex promotes actin-dependent events at different times and in different tissues during development. During C. elegans embryogenesis loss of CED-10/Rac1, WAVE/SCAR complex components, or Arp2/3 blocks epidermal cell migrations despite correct epidermal cell differentiation. 4D movies show that this failure occurs due to decreased membrane dynamics in specific epidermal cells. Unlike myoblasts in Drosophila, epidermal cell fusions in C. elegans can occur in the absence of WAVE/SCAR or Arp2/3. Instead we find that subcellular enrichment of F-actin in epithelial tissues requires the Rac-WAVE/SCAR- Arp2/3 pathway. Intriguingly, we find that at the same stage of development both F-actin and WAVE/SCAR proteins are enriched apically in one epithelial tissue and basolaterally in another. We propose that temporally and spatially regulated actin nucleation by the Rac-WAVE/SCAR- Arp2/3 pathway is required for epithelial cell organization and movements during morphogenesis. PMID:18938151

  5. Actin binding domain of filamin distinguishes posterior from anterior actin filaments in migrating Dictyostelium cells

    PubMed Central

    Shibata, Keitaro; Nagasaki, Akira; Adachi, Hiroyuki; Uyeda, Taro Q. P.

    2016-01-01

    Actin filaments in different parts of a cell interact with specific actin binding proteins (ABPs) and perform different functions in a spatially regulated manner. However, the mechanisms of those spatially-defined interactions have not been fully elucidated. If the structures of actin filaments differ in different parts of a cell, as suggested by previous in vitro structural studies, ABPs may distinguish these structural differences and interact with specific actin filaments in the cell. To test this hypothesis, we followed the translocation of the actin binding domain of filamin (ABDFLN) fused with photoswitchable fluorescent protein (mKikGR) in polarized Dictyostelium cells. When ABDFLN-mKikGR was photoswitched in the middle of a polarized cell, photoswitched ABDFLN-mKikGR rapidly translocated to the rear of the cell, even though actin filaments were abundant in the front. The speed of translocation (>3 μm/s) was much faster than that of the retrograde flow of cortical actin filaments. Rapid translocation of ABDFLN-mKikGR to the rear occurred normally in cells lacking GAPA, the only protein, other than actin, known to bind ABDFLN. We suggest that ABDFLN recognizes a certain feature of actin filaments in the rear of the cell and selectively binds to them, contributing to the posterior localization of filamin.

  6. Cross-linking study on skeletal muscle actin: properties of suberimidate-treated actin.

    PubMed

    Ohara, O; Takahashi, S; Ooi, T; Fujiyoshi, Y

    1982-06-01

    Cross-linking experiments were performed on muscle skeletal actin, using imidoesters of various chain lengths. Chemical analyses on all products except one (derived from succinimidate) show evidence of the presence of intramolecular cross-links in the molecule. The detailed properties of suberimidate-treated actin (SA) are as follows: SA contains nearly 1 mol of intramolecular cross-link per mol of actin and less than 15% of intermolecularly cross-linked products. Even at a low salt concentration, SA is polymeric, exchanges slowly its bound nucleotide with free nucleotides in solution, and shows an F-actin-type CD spectrum. Electron micrographs of SA reveal that SA exists actually as fibrous polymers in solutions of low ionic strength, although the fibers seem to be less rigid than those at high salt concentration. The F-form of SA at a high salt concentration is indistinguishable from intact F-actin. SA can bind heavy meromyosin and activate the ATPase of heavy meromyosin as observed for intact F-actin. Tropomyosin binds SA only at a high salt concentration. These results show that SA possesses the properties of F-actin even in media of low salt concentration, which are favorable for depolymerization of F-actin. Thus, we may infer that the conformation of SA is frozen in the F-state of actin by the introduction of intramolecular cross-links in the protein.

  7. Neurite outgrowth is driven by actin polymerization even in the presence of actin polymerization inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Chia, Jonathan X.; Efimova, Nadia; Svitkina, Tatyana M.

    2016-01-01

    Actin polymerization is a universal mechanism to drive plasma membrane protrusion in motile cells. One apparent exception to this rule is continuing or even accelerated outgrowth of neuronal processes in the presence of actin polymerization inhibitors. This fact, together with the key role of microtubule dynamics in neurite outgrowth, led to the concept that microtubules directly drive plasma membrane protrusion either in the course of polymerization or by motor-driven sliding. The possibility that unextinguished actin polymerization drives neurite outgrowth in the presence of actin drugs was not explored. We show that cultured hippocampal neurons treated with cytochalasin D or latrunculin B contained dense accumulations of branched actin filaments at ∼50% of neurite tips at all tested drug concentrations (1–10 μM). Actin polymerization is required for neurite outgrowth because only low concentrations of either inhibitor increased the length and/or number of neurites, whereas high concentrations inhibited neurite outgrowth. Of importance, neurites undergoing active elongation invariably contained a bright F-actin patch at the tip, whereas actin-depleted neurites never elongated, even though they still contained dynamic microtubules. Stabilization of microtubules by Taxol treatment did not stop elongation of cytochalasin–treated neurites. We conclude that actin polymerization is indispensable for neurite elongation. PMID:27682586

  8. Cardiac actin is the major actin gene product in skeletal muscle cell differentiation in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Bains, W; Ponte, P; Blau, H; Kedes, L

    1984-01-01

    We examined the expression of alpha-skeletal, alpha-cardiac, and beta- and gamma-cytoskeletal actin genes in a mouse skeletal muscle cell line (C2C12) during differentiation in vitro. Using isotype-specific cDNA probes, we showed that the alpha-skeletal actin mRNA pool reached only 15% of the level reached in adult skeletal muscle and required several days to attain this peak, which was then stably maintained. However, these cells accumulated a pool of alpha-cardiac actin six times higher than the alpha-skeletal actin mRNA peak within 24 h of the initiation of differentiation. After cells had been cultured for an additional 3 days, this pool declined to 10% of its peak level. In contrast, over 95% of the actin mRNA in adult skeletal muscle coded for alpha-actin. This suggests that C2C12 cells express a pattern of sarcomeric actin genes typical of either muscle development or regeneration and distinct from that seen in mature, adult tissue. Concurrently in the course of differentiation the beta- and gamma-cytoskeletal actin mRNA pools decreased to less than 10% of their levels in proliferating cells. The decreases in beta- and gamma-cytoskeletal actin mRNAs are apparently not coordinately regulated. Images PMID:6493226

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  10. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements of actin-phalloidin interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helms, Michael K.; French, Todd E.

    2000-03-01

    Compounds that interact with the cytoskeleton affect mobility and division, making them useful for treatment of certain types of cancer. Actin binding drugs such as the phallotoxins (small, bicyclic peptides) bind to and stabilize actin polymers (F-actin) without binding to actin monomers (G-actin). It has been shown that the intensity of fluorescently labeled phallotoxins such as fluorescein- phalloidin and rhodamine-phalloidin increases upon bind F- actin. We used LJL BioSystems' new FLAReTM technology to measure excited state lifetime changes of fluorescein- phalloidin and rhodamine-phalloidin upon binding to F- actin.

  11. Mechanism of Actin Filament Bundling by Fascin

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-07

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

  12. Mammalian and malaria parasite cyclase-associated proteins catalyze nucleotide exchange on G-actin through a conserved mechanism.

    PubMed

    Makkonen, Maarit; Bertling, Enni; Chebotareva, Natalia A; Baum, Jake; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2013-01-11

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are among the most highly conserved regulators of actin dynamics, being present in organisms from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Yeast, plant, and mammalian CAPs are large multidomain proteins, which catalyze nucleotide exchange on actin monomers from ADP to ATP and recycle actin monomers from actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin for new rounds of filament assembly. However, the mechanism by which CAPs promote nucleotide exchange is not known. Furthermore, how apicomplexan CAPs, which lack many domains present in yeast and mammalian CAPs, contribute to actin dynamics is not understood. We show that, like yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 interacts with ADF/cofilin and ADP-G-actin through its N-terminal α-helical and C-terminal β-strand domains, respectively. However, in the variation to yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 has two adjacent profilin-binding sites, and it interacts with ATP-actin monomers with high affinity through its WH2 domain. Importantly, we revealed that the C-terminal β-sheet domain of mouse CAP1 is essential and sufficient for catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers, although the adjacent WH2 domain is not required for this function. Supporting these data, we show that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum CAP, which is entirely composed of the β-sheet domain, efficiently promotes nucleotide exchange on actin monomers. Collectively, this study provides evidence that catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers via the β-sheet domain is the most highly conserved function of CAPs from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Other functions, including interactions with profilin and ADF/cofilin, evolved in more complex organisms to adjust the specific role of CAPs in actin dynamics.

  13. QM/MD simulation of SWNT nucleation on transition-metal carbide nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Page, Alister J; Yamane, Honami; Ohta, Yasuhito; Irle, Stephan; Morokuma, Keiji

    2010-11-10

    The mechanism and kinetics of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) nucleation from Fe- and Ni-carbide nanoparticle precursors have been investigated using quantum chemical molecular dynamics (QM/MD) methods. The dependence of the nucleation mechanism and its kinetics on environmental factors, including temperature and metal-carbide carbon concentration, has also been elucidated. It was observed that SWNT nucleation occurred via three distinct stages, viz. the precipitation of the carbon from the metal-carbide, the formation of a "surface/subsurface" carbide intermediate species, and finally the formation of a nascent sp(2)-hybidrized carbon structure supported by the metal catalyst. The SWNT cap nucleation mechanism itself was unaffected by carbon concentration and/or temperature. However, the kinetics of SWNT nucleation exhibited distinct dependences on these same factors. In particular, SWNT nucleation from Ni(x)C(y) nanoparticles proceeded more favorably compared to nucleation from Fe(x)C(y) nanoparticles. Although SWNT nucleation from Fe(x)C(y) and Ni(x)C(y) nanoparticle precursors occurred via an identical route, the ultimate outcomes of these processes also differed substantially. Explicitly, the Ni(x)-supported sp(2)-hybridized carbon structures tended to encapsulate the catalyst particle itself, whereas the Fe(x)-supported structures tended to form isolated SWNT cap structures on the catalyst surface. These differences in SWNT nucleation kinetics were attributed directly to the relative strengths of the metal-carbon interaction, which also dictates the precipitation of carbon from the nanoparticle bulk and the longevity of the resultant surface/subsurface carbide species. The stability of the surface/subsurface carbide was also influenced by the phase of the nanoparticle itself. The observations agree well with experimentally available data for SWNT growth on iron and nickel catalyst particles.

  14. Actinic Flux Calculations: A Model Sensitivity Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krotkov, Nickolay A.; Flittner, D.; Ahmad, Z.; Herman, J. R.; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    calculate direct and diffuse surface irradiance and actinic flux (downwelling (2p) and total (4p)) for the reference model. Sensitivity analysis has shown that the accuracy of the radiative transfer flux calculations for a unit ETS (i.e. atmospheric transmittance) together with a numerical interpolation technique for the constituents' vertical profiles is better than 1% for SZA less than 70(sub o) and wavelengths longer than 310 nm. The differences increase for shorter wavelengths and larger SZA, due to the differences in pseudo-spherical correction techniques and vertical discretetization among the codes. Our sensitivity study includes variation of ozone cross-sections, ETS spectra and the effects of wavelength shifts between vacuum and air scales. We also investigate the effects of aerosols on the spectral flux components in the UV and visible spectral regions. The "aerosol correction factors" (ACFs) were calculated at discrete wavelengths and different SZAs for each flux component (direct, diffuse, reflected) and prescribed IPMMI aerosol parameters. Finally, the sensitivity study was extended to calculation of selected photolysis rates coefficients.

  15. Nucleation of shear bands in amorphous alloys

    PubMed Central

    Perepezko, John H.; Imhoff, Seth D.; Chen, Ming-Wei; Wang, Jun-Qiang; Gonzalez, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    The initiation and propagation of shear bands is an important mode of localized inhomogeneous deformation that occurs in a wide range of materials. In metallic glasses, shear band development is considered to center on a structural heterogeneity, a shear transformation zone that evolves into a rapidly propagating shear band under a shear stress above a threshold. Deformation by shear bands is a nucleation-controlled process, but the initiation process is unclear. Here we use nanoindentation to probe shear band nucleation during loading by measuring the first pop-in event in the load–depth curve which is demonstrated to be associated with shear band formation. We analyze a large number of independent measurements on four different bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) alloys and reveal the operation of a bimodal distribution of the first pop-in loads that are associated with different shear band nucleation sites that operate at different stress levels below the glass transition temperature, Tg. The nucleation kinetics, the nucleation barriers, and the density for each site type have been determined. The discovery of multiple shear band nucleation sites challenges the current view of nucleation at a single type of site and offers opportunities for controlling the ductility of BMG alloys. PMID:24594599

  16. In Vitro Biochemical Characterization of Cytokinesis Actin-Binding Proteins.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Dennis; Morganthaler, Alisha N; Kovar, David R; Suarez, Cristian

    2016-01-01

    Characterizing the biochemical and biophysical properties of purified proteins is critical to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms that facilitate complicated cellular processes such as cytokinesis. Here we outline in vitro assays to investigate the effects of cytokinesis actin-binding proteins on actin filament dynamics and organization. We describe (1) multicolor single-molecule TIRF microscopy actin assembly assays, (2) "bulk" pyrene actin assembly/disassembly assays, and (3) "bulk" sedimentation actin filament binding and bundling assays.

  17. Apoptosis and apoptotic pathway in actinic prurigo by immunohistochemistry

    PubMed Central

    Cuevas-González, Juan-Carlos; García-Vázquez, Francisco-Javier; Rodríguez-Lobato, Erika; Farfán-Morales, José-Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    Background Actinic prurigo (AP) is an idiopathic photodermatosis, this entity requires exposure to UV-B and -A to develop lesions. Apoptosis is a physiological death program that can be initiated by a permanently active mechanism (extrinsic pathway) or irreparable damage (intrinsic pathway). Material and Methods Descriptive study, the sample size comprised 64 paraffin blocks of tissue with a diagnosis of AP. In H&E-stained slides, the diagnosis of AP was corroborated, and 1-µm-thick sections were processed for immunohistochemistry (IHC). A database was constructed with SPSS version 20, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA, and descriptive statistics were analyzed by X2 test and comparison of means. Results A total of 64 cases were processed, of which 40 (62.5%) were cheilitis AP and 24 (37.5%) were AP in the skin. Of the 40 cheilitis samples, 27 were positive for Bcl-2 and caspase 3 (67.5%), p53 was expressed in 30 (75%). Of the skin lesions,p53 and caspase 3 were expressed in 18 of 24 cases (75%), and 13 were positive for Bcl-2 (54%). Conclusions We propose that apoptosis is the last step in the type IV subtype a-b hypersensitivity response-activation of the intrinsic pathway indicates that external factors, such as UV-A and -B are the trigger. Key words:Apoptosis, actinic prurigo, cheilitis actinic prurigo. PMID:26615506

  18. Actin-based movement of Listeria monocytogenes: actin assembly results from the local maintenance of uncapped filament barbed ends at the bacterium surface

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    The thermodynamic basis for actin-based motility of Listeria monocytogenes has been investigated using cytoplasmic extracts of Xenopus eggs, initially developed by Theriot et al. (Theriot, J. A., J. Rosenblatt, D. A. Portnoy, P. J. Goldschmidt-Clermont, and T. J. Mitchison. 1994. Cell. 76:505-517) as an in vitro cell-free system. A large proportion (75%) of actin was found unpolymerized in the extracts. The amount of unassembled actin (12 microM) is accounted for by the sequestering functions of T beta 4Xen (20 microM) and profilin (5 microM), the barbed ends being capped. Movement of Listeria was not abolished by depletion of over 99% of the endogenous profilin. The proline-rich sequences of ActA are unlikely to be the target of profilin. All data support the view that actin assembly at the rear of Listeria results from a local shift in steady state due to a factor, keeping filaments uncapped, bound to the surface of the bacterium, while barbed ends are capped in the bulk cytoplasm. Movement is controlled by the energetic difference (i.e., the difference in critical concentration) between the two ends of the filaments, hence a constant ATP supply and the presence of barbed end capped F-actin in the medium are required to buffer free G-actin at a high concentration. The role of membrane components is demonstrated by the facts that: (a) Listeria movement can be reconstituted in the resuspended pellets of high speed-centrifuged extracts that are enriched in membranes; (b) Actin-based motility of endogenous vesicles, exhibiting the same rocketing movement as Listeria, can be observed in the extracts. PMID:7615635

  19. Dynamic density functional theory for nucleation: Non-classical predictions of mesoscopic nucleation theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duran-Olivencia, Miguel A.; Yatsyshin, Peter; Lutsko, James F.; Kalliadasis, Serafim

    2016-11-01

    Classical density functional theory (DFT) for fluids and its dynamic extension (DDFT) provide an appealing mean-field framework for describing equilibrium and dynamics of complex soft matter systems. For a long time, homogeneous nucleation was considered to be outside the limits of applicability of DDFT. However, our recently developed mesoscopic nucleation theory (MeNT) based on fluctuating hydrodynamics, reconciles the inherent randomness of the nucleation process with the deterministic nature of DDFT. It turns out that in the weak-noise limit, the most likely path (MLP) for nucleation to occur is determined by the DDFT equations. We present computations of MLPs for homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation in colloidal suspensions. For homogeneous nucleation, the MLP obtained is in excellent agreement with the reduced order-parameter description of MeNT, which predicts a multistage nucleation pathway. For heterogeneous nucleation, the presence of impurities in the fluid affects the MLP, but remarkably, the overall qualitative picture of homogeneous nucleation persists. Finally, we highlight the use of DDFT as a simulation tool, which is especially appealing as there are no known applications of MeNT to heterogeneous nucleation. We acknowledge financial support from the European Research Council via Advanced Grant No. 247031 and from EPSRC via Grants No. EP/L020564 and EP/L025159.

  20. Resisting sarcolemmal rupture: dystrophin repeats increase membrane-actin stiffness.

    PubMed

    Sarkis, Joe; Vié, Véronique; Winder, Steve J; Renault, Anne; Le Rumeur, Elisabeth; Hubert, Jean-François

    2013-01-01

    Dystrophin is an essential part of a membrane protein complex that provides flexible support to muscle fiber membranes. Loss of dystrophin function leads to membrane fragility and muscle-wasting disease. Given the importance of cytoskeletal interactions in strengthening the sarcolemma, we have focused on actin-binding domain 2 of human dystrophin, constituted by repeats 11 to 15 of the central domain (DYS R11-15). We previously showed that DYS R11-15 also interacts with membrane lipids. We investigated the shear elastic constant (μ) and the surface viscosity (η(s)) of Langmuir phospholipid monolayers mimicking the inner leaflet of the sarcolemma in the presence of DYS R11-15 and actin. The initial interaction of 100 nM DYS R11-15 with the monolayers slightly modifies their rheological properties. Injection of 0.125 μM filamentous actin leads to a strong increase of μ and η(s,) from 0 to 5.5 mN/m and 2.4 × 10(-4) N · s/m, respectively. These effects are specific to DYS R11-15, require filamentous actin, and depend on phospholipid nature and lateral surface pressure. These findings suggest that the central domain of dystrophin contributes significantly to the stiffness and the stability of the sarcolemma through its simultaneous interactions with the cytoskeleton and lipid membrane. This mechanical link is likely to be a major contributing factor to the shock absorber function of dystrophin and muscle sarcolemmal integrity on mechanical stress.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-05-01

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

  2. Temperature Gradient Field Theory of Nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, S.; Ain, W. Q.; Azhari, A.; Prasada Rao, A. K.

    2016-02-01

    According to the proposed theory, ceramic particles present in molten metal, lose heat at a slower rate than the metallic liquid during cooling. Such condition results in the formation of a spherical thermal gradient field (TGF) around each particle. Hence, the interstitials (low temperature) of such TGFs are the regions to reach the nucleation temperature first, owing to low energy barrier than the liquid-particle interface (higher temperature). Analytics also indicate that the nucleation rate is higher at the TGF interstitials, than at the liquid-particle interface. Such TGF network results in simultaneous nucleation throughout the system, resulting in grain refinement.

  3. Metadynamics simulations of ice nucleation and growth.

    PubMed

    Quigley, D; Rodger, P M

    2008-04-21

    The metadynamics method for accelerating rate events in molecular simulations is applied to the problem of ice freezing. We demonstrate homogeneous nucleation and growth of ice at 180 K in the isothermal-isobaric ensemble without the presence of external fields or surfaces. This result represents the first report of continuous and dynamic ice nucleation in a system of freely evolving density. Simulations are conducted using a variety of periodic simulation domains. In all cases the cubic polymorph ice I(c) is grown. The influence of boundary effects on estimates of the nucleation free energy barrier are discussed in relation to differences between this and earlier work.

  4. Experiments on Nucleation in Different Flow Regimes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bayuzick, Robert J.

    1999-01-01

    The vast majority of metallic engineering materials are solidified from the liquid phase. Understanding the solidification process is essential to control microstructure, which in turn, determines the properties of materials. The genesis of solidification is nucleation, where the first stable solid forms from the liquid phase. Nucleation kinetics determine the degree of undercooling and phase selection. As such, it is important to understand nucleation phenomena in order to control solidification or glass formation in metals and alloys. Early experiments in nucleation kinetics were accomplished by droplet dispersion methods [1-6]. Dilitometry was used by Turnbull and others, and more recently differential thermal analysis and differential scanning calorimetry have been used for kinetic studies. These techniques have enjoyed success; however, there are difficulties with these experiments. Since materials are dispersed in a medium, the character of the emulsion/metal interface affects the nucleation behavior. Statistics are derived from the large number of particles observed in a single experiment, but dispersions have a finite size distribution which adds to the uncertainty of the kinetic determinations. Even though temperature can be controlled quite well before the onset of nucleation, the release of the latent heat of fusion during nucleation of particles complicates the assumption of isothermality during these experiments. Containerless processing has enabled another approach to the study of nucleation kinetics [7]. With levitation techniques it is possible to undercool one sample to nucleation repeatedly in a controlled manner, such that the statistics of the nucleation process can be derived from multiple experiments on a single sample. The authors have fully developed the analysis of nucleation experiments on single samples following the suggestions of Skripov [8]. The advantage of these experiments is that the samples are directly observable. The nucleation

  5. Fast Imaging of Freezing Drops: Investigating Contact Nucleation at the Triple Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurganus, C.

    2011-12-01

    Heterogeneous nucleation of cloud droplets is important for understanding cloud microphysical processes, but the relevant roles of the primary nucleation pathways remains an open question. The contact and immersion modes are two of the primary pathways in the troposphere. An interpretation of difference between the contact and immersion modes is based on the energy barrier for nucleation at a three-phase and two-phase interface, respectively. Previous laboratory experiments have noted a preference for nucleation in the contact mode, with freezing temperatures 2-5K warmer than in the immersion mode. However, our recent study [1] shows no preference for nucleation in the contact mode. This surprising null result may indicate the importance of other, non-thermodynamic factors for contact nucleation. We employ high speed imaging of supercooled water drops, to determine nucleation site spatial statistics. Our geometry avoids the "point-like contact" associated with seed particles by providing a simple, symmetric contact line (triple line defined by the substrate-liquid-air interface) for a drop resting on a homogeneous silicon substrate. Furthermore, the imaging configuration localizes nucleation sites in the horizontal plane. Initial tests used low cooling rates to minimize temperature variation within the water drop. The freezing events display nearly perfect spatial uniformity in the immersed (liquid-substrate) region and, thereby, no preference for nucleation at the triple line [1]. Using a related technique, but relying on a rapid cooling rate, Suzuki et al. [2] note preferential nucleation at the triple line, contrasting with our observations and possibly indicating a thermodynamic preference for contact nucleation. Aside from differences in imaging techniques, our experiment was utilized a very slow cooling system, so as to ensure equal opportunity for freezing throughout the water volume. A simple calculation of the rate of thermal diffusion in a rapidly cooled

  6. The cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase Arg regulates gastrulation via control of actin organization.

    PubMed

    Bonacci, Gustavo; Fletcher, Jason; Devani, Madhav; Dwivedi, Harsh; Keller, Ray; Chang, Chenbei

    2012-04-01

    Coordinated cell movements are crucial for vertebrate gastrulation and are controlled by multiple signals. Although many factors are shown to mediate non-canonical Wnt pathways to regulate cell polarity and intercalation during gastrulation, signaling molecules acting in other pathways are less investigated and the connections between various signals and cytoskeleton are not well understood. In this study, we show that the cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase Arg modulates gastrulation movements through control of actin remodeling. Arg is expressed in the dorsal mesoderm at the onset of gastrulation, and both gain- and loss-of-function of Arg disrupted axial development in Xenopus embryos. Arg controlled migration of anterior mesendoderm, influenced cell decision on individual versus collective migration, and modulated spreading and protrusive activities of anterior mesendodermal cells. Arg also regulated convergent extension of the trunk mesoderm by influencing cell intercalation behaviors. Arg modulated actin organization to control dynamic F-actin distribution at the cell-cell contact or in membrane protrusions. The functions of Arg required an intact tyrosine kinase domain but not the actin-binding motifs in its carboxyl terminus. Arg acted downstream of receptor tyrosine kinases to regulate phosphorylation of endogenous CrkII and paxillin, adaptor proteins involved in activation of Rho family GTPases and actin reorganization. Our data demonstrate that Arg is a crucial cytoplasmic signaling molecule that controls dynamic actin remodeling and mesodermal cell behaviors during Xenopus gastrulation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. High-speed depolymerization at actin filament ends jointly catalysed by Twinfilin and Srv2/CAP.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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