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Sample records for growing actin networks

  1. Curvature and torsion in growing actin networks

    PubMed Central

    Shaevitz, Joshua W; Fletcher, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Curvature and torsion in growing actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaevitz, Joshua W.; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2008-06-01

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

  3. Growing actin networks regulated by obstacle size and shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Bo; Lin, Ji; Qian, Jin

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weichsel, Julian; Schwarz, Ulrich S.

    2013-03-01

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

  5. Growing an actin gel on spherical surfaces.

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Actin filaments growing against a barrier with fluctuating shape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadhu, Raj Kumar; Chatterjee, Sakuntala

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Force-Velocity Measurements of a Few Growing Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Brangbour, Coraline; du Roure, Olivia; Helfer, Emmanuèle; Démoulin, Damien; Mazurier, Alexis; Fermigier, Marc; Carlier, Marie-France; Bibette, Jérôme; Baudry, Jean

    2011-01-01

    The polymerization of actin in filaments generates forces that play a pivotal role in many cellular processes. We introduce a novel technique to determine the force-velocity relation when a few independent anchored filaments grow between magnetic colloidal particles. When a magnetic field is applied, the colloidal particles assemble into chains under controlled loading or spacing. As the filaments elongate, the beads separate, allowing the force-velocity curve to be precisely measured. In the widely accepted Brownian ratchet model, the transduced force is associated with the slowing down of the on-rate polymerization. Unexpectedly, in our experiments, filaments are shown to grow at the same rate as when they are free in solution. However, as they elongate, filaments are more confined in the interspace between beads. Higher repulsive forces result from this higher confinement, which is associated with a lower entropy. In this mechanism, the production of force is not controlled by the polymerization rate, but is a consequence of the restriction of filaments' orientational fluctuations at their attachment point. PMID:21541364

  10. 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

  11. Growing networks with superjoiners.

    PubMed

    Jabr-Hamdan, Ameerah; Sun, Jie; Ben-Avraham, Daniel

    2014-11-01

    We study the Krapivsky-Redner (KR) network growth model, but where new nodes can connect to any number of existing nodes, m, picked from a power-law distribution p(m)∼m^{-α}. Each of the m new connections is still carried out as in the KR model with probability redirection r (corresponding to degree exponent γ_{KR}=1+1/r in the original KR model). The possibility to connect to any number of nodes resembles a more realistic type of growth in several settings, such as social networks, routers networks, and networks of citations. Here we focus on the in-, out-, and total-degree distributions and on the potential tension between the degree exponent α, characterizing new connections (outgoing links), and the degree exponent γ_{KR}(r) dictated by the redirection mechanism.

  12. Growing networks with superjoiners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jabr-Hamdan, Ameerah; Sun, Jie; ben-Avraham, Daniel

    2014-11-01

    We study the Krapivsky-Redner (KR) network growth model, but where new nodes can connect to any number of existing nodes, m , picked from a power-law distribution p (m ) ˜m-α . Each of the m new connections is still carried out as in the KR model with probability redirection r (corresponding to degree exponent γKR=1 +1 /r in the original KR model). The possibility to connect to any number of nodes resembles a more realistic type of growth in several settings, such as social networks, routers networks, and networks of citations. Here we focus on the in-, out-, and total-degree distributions and on the potential tension between the degree exponent α , characterizing new connections (outgoing links), and the degree exponent γKR(r ) dictated by the redirection mechanism.

  13. Cyclic hardening in bundled actin networks.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Encoding Mechano-Memories in Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foucard, Louis; Majumdar, Sayantan; Levine, Alex; Gardel, Margaret

    The ability of cells to sense and adapt to external mechanical stimuli is vital to many of its biological functions. A critical question is therefore to understand how mechanosensory mechanisms arise in living matter, with implications in both cell biology and smart materials design. Experimental work has demonstrated that the mechanical properties of semiflexible actin networks in Eukaryotic cells can be modulated (either transiently or irreversibly) via the application of external forces. Previous work has also shown with a combination of numerical simulations and analytic calculations shows that the broken rotational symmetry of the filament orientational distribution in semiflexible networks leads to dramatic changes in the mechanical response. Here we demonstrate with a combination of numerical and analytic calculations that the observed long-lived mechano-memory in the actin networks arise from changes in the nematic order of the constituent filaments. These stress-induced changes in network topology relax slowly under zero stress and can be observed through changes in the nonlinear mechanics. Our results provide a strategy for designing a novel class of materials and demonstrate a new putative mechanism of mechanical sensing in eukaryotic cells.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Fluorescent derivatives of actin and actin-binding domains are powerful tools for studying actin filament architecture and dynamics in live cells. Growing evidence, however, indicates that these probes are biased, and their cellular distribution does not accurately reflect that of the cytoskeleton. To understand the strengths and weaknesses of commonly used live-cell probes—fluorescent protein fusions of actin, Lifeact, F-tractin, and actin-binding domains from utrophin—we compared their distributions in cells derived from various model organisms. We focused on five actin networks: the peripheral cortex, lamellipodial and lamellar networks, filopodial bundles, and stress fibers. Using phalloidin as a standard, we identified consistent biases in the distribution of each probe. The localization of F-tractin is the most similar to that of phalloidin but induces organism-specific changes in cell morphology. Both Lifeact and GFP-actin concentrate in lamellipodial actin networks but are excluded from lamellar networks and filopodia. In contrast, the full utrophin actin-binding domain (Utr261) binds filaments of the lamellum but only weakly localizes to lamellipodia, while a shorter variant (Utr230) is restricted to the most stable subpopulations of actin filaments: cortical networks and stress fibers. In some cells, Utr230 also detects Golgi-associated filaments, previously detected by immunofluorescence but not visible by phalloidin staining. Consistent with its localization, Utr230 exhibits slow rates of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) compared to F-tractin, Utr261 and Lifeact, suggesting that it may be more useful for FRAP- and photo-activation-based studies of actin network dynamics. PMID:26317264

  19. 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.

  20. Organization of growing random networks

    SciTech Connect

    Krapivsky, P. L.; Redner, S.

    2001-06-01

    The organizational development of growing random networks is investigated. These growing networks are built by adding nodes successively, and linking each to an earlier node of degree k with an attachment probability A{sub k}. When A{sub k} grows more slowly than linearly with k, the number of nodes with k links, N{sub k}(t), decays faster than a power law in k, while for A{sub k} growing faster than linearly in k, a single node emerges which connects to nearly all other nodes. When A{sub k} is asymptotically linear, N{sub k}(t){similar_to}tk{sup {minus}{nu}}, with {nu} dependent on details of the attachment probability, but in the range 2{lt}{nu}{lt}{infinity}. The combined age and degree distribution of nodes shows that old nodes typically have a large degree. There is also a significant correlation in the degrees of neighboring nodes, so that nodes of similar degree are more likely to be connected. The size distributions of the in and out components of the network with respect to a given node{emdash}namely, its {open_quotes}descendants{close_quotes} and {open_quotes}ancestors{close_quotes}{emdash}are also determined. The in component exhibits a robust s{sup {minus}2} power-law tail, where s is the component size. The out component has a typical size of order lnt, and it provides basic insights into the genealogy of the network.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2014-03-01

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

  3. Cross-Linking Molecules Modify Composite Actin Networks Independently

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  4. Diffusing wave spectroscopy microrheology of actin filament networks.

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  5. Universal properties of growing networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krapivsky, P. L.; Derrida, B.

    2004-09-01

    Networks growing according to the rule that every new node has a probability pk of being attached to k preexisting nodes, have a universal phase diagram and exhibit power-law decays of the distribution of cluster sizes in the non-percolating phase. The percolation transition is continuous but of infinite order and the size of the giant component is infinitely differentiable at the transition (though of course non-analytic). At the transition the average cluster size (of the finite components) is discontinuous.

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

    PubMed

    Carlier, Marie-France; Shekhar, Shashank

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 3D actin network centerline extraction with multiple active contours.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Composite Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-03-01

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

  11. The role of actin networks in cellular mechanosensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azatov, Mikheil

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

  12. Membrane related dynamics and the formation of actin in cells growing on micro-topographies: a spatial computational model

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Intra-cellular processes of cells at the interface to an implant surface are influenced significantly by their extra-cellular surrounding. Specifically, when growing osteoblasts on titanium surfaces with regular micro-ranged geometry, filaments are shorter, less aligned and they concentrate at the top of the geometric structures. Changes to the cytoskeleton network, i. e., its localization, alignment, orientation, and lengths of the filaments, as well as the overall concentration and distribution of key-actors are induced. For example, integrin is distributed homogeneously, whereas integrin in activated state and vinculin, both components of focal adhesions, have been found clustered on the micro-ranged geometries. Also, the concentration of Rho, an intracellular signaling protein related to focal adhesion regulation, was significantly lower. Results To explore whether regulations associated with the focal adhesion complex can be responsible for the changed actin filament patterns, a spatial computational model has been developed using ML-Space, a rule-based model description language, and its associated Brownian-motion-based simulator. The focus has been on the deactivation of cofilin in the vicinity of the focal adhesion complex. The results underline the importance of sensing mechanisms to support a clustering of actin filament nucleations on the micro-ranged geometries, and of intracellular diffusion processes, which lead to spatially heterogeneous distributions of active (dephosphorylated) cofilin, which in turn influences the organization of the actin network. We find, for example, that the spatial heterogeneity of key molecular actors can explain the difference in filament lengths in cells on different micro-geometries partly, but to explain the full extent, further model assumptions need to be added and experimentally validated. In particular, our findings and hypothesis referring to the role, distribution, and amount of active cofilin have still

  13. Growing Networks with Positive and Negative Links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dech, Corynne; Antwi, Shadrack; Shaw, Leah

    Scale-free networks grown via preferential attachment have been used to model real-world networks such as the Internet, citation networks, and social networks. Here we investigate signed scale-free networks where an edge represents a positive or negative connection. We present analytic results and simulation for a growing signed network model. We compare the signed network to an unsigned scale-free network. We discuss several options for preferential attachment in a signed network that could be further adapted to model the accumulation of links over time in real-world signed networks.

  14. Growing local likelihood network: Emergence of communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, S.; Small, M.

    2015-10-01

    In many real situations, networks grow only via local interactions. New nodes are added to the growing network with information only pertaining to a small subset of existing nodes. Multilevel marketing, social networks, and disease models can all be depicted as growing networks based on local (network path-length) distance information. In these examples, all nodes whose distance from a chosen center is less than d form a subgraph. Hence, we grow networks with information only from these subgraphs. Moreover, we use a likelihood-based method, where at each step we modify the networks by changing their likelihood to be closer to the expected degree distribution. Combining the local information and the likelihood method, we grow networks that exhibit novel features. We discover that the likelihood method, over certain parameter ranges, can generate networks with highly modulated communities, even when global information is not available. Communities and clusters are abundant in real-life networks, and the method proposed here provides a natural mechanism for the emergence of communities in scale-free networks. In addition, the algorithmic implementation of network growth via local information is substantially faster than global methods and allows for the exploration of much larger networks.

  15. Viscoelastic properties of actin networks influence material transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Weirich, Kimberly; Gardel, Margaret

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-18

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

  3. Criticalities in crosslinked actin networks due to myosin activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheinman, Michael

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-19

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

  6. Multidimensional neural growing networks and computer intelligence

    SciTech Connect

    Yashchenko, V.A.

    1995-03-01

    This paper examines information-computation processes in time and in space and some aspects of computer intelligence using multidimensional matrix neural growing networks. In particular, issues of object-oriented {open_quotes}thinking{close_quotes} of computers are considered.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-10

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

  9. 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.

  10. Features and heterogeneities in growing network models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferretti, Luca; Cortelezzi, Michele; Yang, Bin; Marmorini, Giacomo; Bianconi, Ginestra

    2012-06-01

    Many complex networks from the World Wide Web to biological networks grow taking into account the heterogeneous features of the nodes. The feature of a node might be a discrete quantity such as a classification of a URL document such as personal page, thematic website, news, blog, search engine, social network, etc., or the classification of a gene in a functional module. Moreover the feature of a node can be a continuous variable such as the position of a node in the embedding space. In order to account for these properties, in this paper we provide a generalization of growing network models with preferential attachment that includes the effect of heterogeneous features of the nodes. The main effect of heterogeneity is the emergence of an “effective fitness” for each class of nodes, determining the rate at which nodes acquire new links. The degree distribution exhibits a multiscaling behavior analogous to the the fitness model. This property is robust with respect to variations in the model, as long as links are assigned through effective preferential attachment. Beyond the degree distribution, in this paper we give a full characterization of the other relevant properties of the model. We evaluate the clustering coefficient and show that it disappears for large network size, a property shared with the Barabási-Albert model. Negative degree correlations are also present in this class of models, along with nontrivial mixing patterns among features. We therefore conclude that both small clustering coefficients and disassortative mixing are outcomes of the preferential attachment mechanism in general growing networks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-28

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kumakura, Michiko; Kawaguchi, Atsushi Nagata, Kyosuke

    2015-02-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weirich, Kimberly; Gardel, Margaret

    2014-03-01

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

  15. Spatially embedded growing small-world networks

    PubMed Central

    Zitin, Ari; Gorowara, Alexander; Squires, Shane; Herrera, Mark; Antonsen, Thomas M.; Girvan, Michelle; Ott, Edward

    2014-01-01

    Networks in nature are often formed within a spatial domain in a dynamical manner, gaining links and nodes as they develop over time. Motivated by the growth and development of neuronal networks, we propose a class of spatially-based growing network models and investigate the resulting statistical network properties as a function of the dimension and topology of the space in which the networks are embedded. In particular, we consider two models in which nodes are placed one by one in random locations in space, with each such placement followed by configuration relaxation toward uniform node density, and connection of the new node with spatially nearby nodes. We find that such growth processes naturally result in networks with small-world features, including a short characteristic path length and nonzero clustering. We find no qualitative differences in these properties for two different topologies, and we suggest that results for these properties may not depend strongly on the topology of the embedding space. The results do depend strongly on dimension, and higher-dimensional spaces result in shorter path lengths but less clustering. PMID:25395180

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  19. Multi-layered greedy network-growing algorithm: extension of greedy network-growing algorithm to multi-layered networks.

    PubMed

    Kamimura, Ryotaro

    2004-02-01

    In this paper, we extend our greedy network-growing algorithm to multi-layered networks. With multi-layered networks, we can solve many complex problems that single-layered networks fail to solve. In addition, the network-growing algorithm is used in conjunction with teacher-directed learning that produces appropriate outputs without computing errors between targets and outputs. Thus, the present algorithm is a very efficient network-growing algorithm. The new algorithm was applied to three problems: the famous vertical-horizontal lines detection problem, a medical data problem and a road classification problem. In all these cases, experimental results confirmed that the method could solve problems that single-layered networks failed to. In addition, information maximization makes it possible to extract salient features in input patterns.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Actin filaments and associated actin binding proteins play an essential role in governing the mechanical properties of eukaryotic cells. Even though cells have multiple actin binding proteins (ABPs) that exist simultaneously to maintain the structural and mechanical integrity of the cellular cytoskeleton, how these proteins work together to determine the properties of actin networks is not clearly understood. The ABP, palladin, is essential for the maintenance of cell morphology and the regulation of cell movement. Palladin coexists with α-actinin in stress fibers and focal adhesions and binds to both actin and α-actinin. To obtain insight into how mutually interacting actin crosslinking proteins modulate the properties of actin networks, we characterized the micro-structure and mechanics of actin networks crosslinked with palladin and α-actinin. We first showed that palladin crosslinks actin filaments into bundled networks which are viscoelastic in nature. Our studies also showed that composite networks of α-actinin/palladin/actin behave very similar to pure palladin or pure [Formula: see text]-actinin networks. However, we found evidence that palladin and α-actinin synergistically modify network viscoelasticity. To our knowledge, this is the first quantitative characterization of the physical properties of actin networks crosslinked with two mutually interacting crosslinkers.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  6. In vitro studies of actin filament and network dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Mullins, R Dyche; Hansen, Scott D

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-09

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-21

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

  10. Knowledge Discovery from Growing Social Networks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-12-24

    undesirable things by blocking a limited number of links in a network. 2) An effective visualization method for understanding a complex network, in...representative information diffusion models. 4) An effective method for ranking influential nodes in complex social networks by estimating diffusion...trends, and market opportunities. We can now obtain digital traces of human social interaction with time stamp information in a wide variety of

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jun; Tang, Jay X.

    2011-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Grabski, S.; Schindler, M.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-05-01

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

  14. Mechanics of actin networks crosslinked with mutant human α-actinin-4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volkmer, Sabine; Blair, Daniel; Kasza, Karen; Weitz, David

    2007-03-01

    Globular actin can be polymerized in vitro to form F-actin in the presence of various binding proteins. These networks often exhibit dramatic nonlinear rheological response to imposed strains. We study the rheological properties of F-actin networks crosslinked with human α-actinin-4. A single genetic mutation of the α-actinin-4 protein is associated with focal and segmented glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a genetic disorder which leads to renal failure. Mechanically, the mutant crosslinker has an increased binding strength compared to the wild type. We will show that human α-actinin-4, displays a unique stiffening response. Moreover, we also demonstrate that a single point mutation dramatically effects the inherent relaxation time of the crosslinked network.

  15. Natural Gas Pipeline Network: Changing and Growing

    EIA Publications

    1996-01-01

    This chapter focuses upon the capabilities of the national natural gas pipeline network, examining how it has expanded during this decade and how it may expand further over the coming years. It also looks at some of the costs of this expansion, including the environmental costs which may be extensive. Changes in the network as a result of recent regional market shifts are also discussed.

  16. How Do Online Social Networks Grow?

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Konglin; Li, Wenzhong; Fu, Xiaoming; Nagler, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Online social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Gowalla allow people to communicate and interact across borders. In past years online social networks have become increasingly important for studying the behavior of individuals, group formation, and the emergence of online societies. Here we focus on the characterization of the average growth of online social networks and try to understand which are possible processes behind seemingly long-range temporal correlated collective behavior. In agreement with recent findings, but in contrast to Gibrat's law of proportionate growth, we find scaling in the average growth rate and its standard deviation. In contrast, Renren and Twitter deviate, however, in certain important aspects significantly from those found in many social and economic systems. Whereas independent methods suggest no significance for temporally long-range correlated behavior for Renren and Twitter, a scaling analysis of the standard deviation does suggest long-range temporal correlated growth in Gowalla. However, we demonstrate that seemingly long-range temporal correlations in the growth of online social networks, such as in Gowalla, can be explained by a decomposition into temporally and spatially independent growth processes with a large variety of entry rates. Our analysis thus suggests that temporally or spatially correlated behavior does not play a major role in the growth of online social networks. PMID:24940744

  17. Complex growing networks with intrinsic vertex fitness

    SciTech Connect

    Bedogne, C.; Rodgers, G. J.

    2006-10-15

    One of the major questions in complex network research is to identify the range of mechanisms by which a complex network can self organize into a scale-free state. In this paper we investigate the interplay between a fitness linking mechanism and both random and preferential attachment. In our models, each vertex is assigned a fitness x, drawn from a probability distribution {rho}(x). In Model A, at each time step a vertex is added and joined to an existing vertex, selected at random, with probability p and an edge is introduced between vertices with fitnesses x and y, with a rate f(x,y), with probability 1-p. Model B differs from Model A in that, with probability p, edges are added with preferential attachment rather than randomly. The analysis of Model A shows that, for every fixed fitness x, the network's degree distribution decays exponentially. In Model B we recover instead a power-law degree distribution whose exponent depends only on p, and we show how this result can be generalized. The properties of a number of particular networks are examined.

  18. Growing multiplex networks with arbitrary number of layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Momeni, Naghmeh; Fotouhi, Babak

    2015-12-01

    This paper focuses on the problem of growing multiplex networks. Currently, the results on the joint degree distribution of growing multiplex networks present in the literature pertain to the case of two layers and are confined to the special case of homogeneous growth and are limited to the state state (that is, the limit of infinite size). In the present paper, we first obtain closed-form solutions for the joint degree distribution of heterogeneously growing multiplex networks with arbitrary number of layers in the steady state. Heterogeneous growth means that each incoming node establishes different numbers of links in different layers. We consider both uniform and preferential growth. We then extend the analysis of the uniform growth mechanism to arbitrary times. We obtain a closed-form solution for the time-dependent joint degree distribution of a growing multiplex network with arbitrary initial conditions. Throughout, theoretical findings are corroborated with Monte Carlo simulations. The results shed light on the effects of the initial network on the transient dynamics of growing multiplex networks and takes a step towards characterizing the temporal variations of the connectivity of growing multiplex networks, as well as predicting their future structural properties.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    The effects of the mechanical disruption of the thin actin network of statocytes on gravisensitivity have been studied on lentil roots. Seedling roots were first inverted for 7 min (root tip upward) and then placed in the downward (normal) position for 7 min before gravitropic stimulation in the horizontal position. The period of inversion allowed the amyloplasts to move from the distal part to the proximal part of the statocyte, but did not fully sediment. When the roots were returned to the tip down position, the amyloplasts moved toward the distal part, but also did not completely sediment by the time the roots were placed horizontally. Thus, in these roots the amyloplasts could be still moving toward the distal wall after they had been replaced in the normal position and the actin network should not be fully restored. Gravisensitivity was estimated by the analysis of the dose-response curves of vertical and treated (inverted and returned to downward position) roots. The only effect, which has been observed on treated roots, was a delay of graviresponse for about 1 min. Our interpretation of this result is that in vertical roots the amyloplasts can exert tensions in the actin network that are directly transmitted to mechanoreceptors located in the plasma membrane. In roots with a partially disrupted actin network, a delay of 1 min is necessary for the amyloplasts to activate mechanoreceptors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-11

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

  1. Region growing with pulse-coupled neural networks: an alternative to seeded region growing.

    PubMed

    Stewart, R D; Fermin, I; Opper, M

    2002-01-01

    The seeded region growing (SRG) algorithm is a fast robust parameter-free method for segmenting intensity images given initial seed locations for each region. The requirement of predetermined seeds means that the model cannot operate fully autonomously. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel region growing variant of the pulse-coupled neural network (PCNN), which offers comparable performance to the SRG and is able to generate seed locations internally, opening the way to fully autonomous operation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Synergistic action of dendritic mitochondria and creatine kinase maintains ATP homeostasis and actin dynamics in growing neuronal dendrites.

    PubMed

    Fukumitsu, Kansai; Fujishima, Kazuto; Yoshimura, Azumi; Wu, You Kure; Heuser, John; Kengaku, Mineko

    2015-04-08

    The distribution of mitochondria within mature, differentiated neurons is clearly adapted to their regional physiological needs and can be perturbed under various pathological conditions, but the function of mitochondria in developing neurons has been less well studied. We have studied mitochondrial distribution within developing mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells and have found that active delivery of mitochondria into their dendrites is a prerequisite for proper dendritic outgrowth. Even when mitochondria in the Purkinje cell bodies are functioning normally, interrupting the transport of mitochondria into their dendrites severely disturbs dendritic growth. Additionally, we find that the growth of atrophic dendrites lacking mitochondria can be rescued by activating ATP-phosphocreatine exchange mediated by creatine kinase (CK). Conversely, inhibiting cytosolic CKs decreases dendritic ATP levels and also disrupts dendrite development. Mechanistically, this energy depletion appears to perturb normal actin dynamics and enhance the aggregation of cofilin within growing dendrites, reminiscent of what occurs in neurons overexpressing the dephosphorylated form of cofilin. These results suggest that local ATP synthesis by dendritic mitochondria and ATP-phosphocreatine exchange act synergistically to sustain the cytoskeletal dynamics necessary for dendritic development.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Dynamics of epidemic diseases on a growing adaptive network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demirel, Güven; Barter, Edmund; Gross, Thilo

    2017-02-01

    The study of epidemics on static networks has revealed important effects on disease prevalence of network topological features such as the variance of the degree distribution, i.e. the distribution of the number of neighbors of nodes, and the maximum degree. Here, we analyze an adaptive network where the degree distribution is not independent of epidemics but is shaped through disease-induced dynamics and mortality in a complex interplay. We study the dynamics of a network that grows according to a preferential attachment rule, while nodes are simultaneously removed from the network due to disease-induced mortality. We investigate the prevalence of the disease using individual-based simulations and a heterogeneous node approximation. Our results suggest that in this system in the thermodynamic limit no epidemic thresholds exist, while the interplay between network growth and epidemic spreading leads to exponential networks for any finite rate of infectiousness when the disease persists.

  8. Dynamics of epidemic diseases on a growing adaptive network

    PubMed Central

    Demirel, Güven; Barter, Edmund; Gross, Thilo

    2017-01-01

    The study of epidemics on static networks has revealed important effects on disease prevalence of network topological features such as the variance of the degree distribution, i.e. the distribution of the number of neighbors of nodes, and the maximum degree. Here, we analyze an adaptive network where the degree distribution is not independent of epidemics but is shaped through disease-induced dynamics and mortality in a complex interplay. We study the dynamics of a network that grows according to a preferential attachment rule, while nodes are simultaneously removed from the network due to disease-induced mortality. We investigate the prevalence of the disease using individual-based simulations and a heterogeneous node approximation. Our results suggest that in this system in the thermodynamic limit no epidemic thresholds exist, while the interplay between network growth and epidemic spreading leads to exponential networks for any finite rate of infectiousness when the disease persists. PMID:28186146

  9. Temporal dynamics of connectivity and epidemic properties of growing networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fotouhi, Babak; Shirkoohi, Mehrdad Khani

    2016-01-01

    Traditional mathematical models of epidemic disease had for decades conventionally considered static structure for contacts. Recently, an upsurge of theoretical inquiry has strived towards rendering the models more realistic by incorporating the temporal aspects of networks of contacts, societal and online, that are of interest in the study of epidemics (and other similar diffusion processes). However, temporal dynamics have predominantly focused on link fluctuations and nodal activities, and less attention has been paid to the growth of the underlying network. Many real networks grow: Online networks are evidently in constant growth, and societal networks can grow due to migration flux and reproduction. The effect of network growth on the epidemic properties of networks is hitherto unknown, mainly due to the predominant focus of the network growth literature on the so-called steady state. This paper takes a step towards alleviating this gap. We analytically study the degree dynamics of a given arbitrary network that is subject to growth. We use the theoretical findings to predict the epidemic properties of the network as a function of time. We observe that the introduction of new individuals into the network can enhance or diminish its resilience against endemic outbreaks and investigate how this regime shift depends upon the connectivity of newcomers and on how they establish connections to existing nodes. Throughout, theoretical findings are corroborated with Monte Carlo simulations over synthetic and real networks. The results shed light on the effects of network growth on the future epidemic properties of networks and offers insights for devising a priori immunization strategies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Mixing properties of growing networks and Simpson's paradox.

    PubMed

    Capocci, Andrea; Colaiori, Francesca

    2006-08-01

    The mixing properties of networks are usually inferred by comparing the degree of a node with the average degree of its neighbors. This kind of analysis often leads to incorrect conclusions: Assortative patterns may appear reversed by a mechanism known as Simpson's paradox. We prove this fact by analytical calculations and simulations on three classes of growing networks based on preferential attachment and fitness, where the disassortative behavior observed is a spurious effect. Our results give a crucial contribution to the debate about the origin of disassortative mixing, since networks previously classified as disassortative reveal instead assortative behavior to a careful analysis.

  15. Two-population dynamics in a growing network model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanova, Kristinka; Iordanov, Ivan

    2012-02-01

    We introduce a growing network evolution model with nodal attributes. The model describes the interactions between potentially violent V and non-violent N agents who have different affinities in establishing connections within their own population versus between the populations. The model is able to generate all stable triads observed in real social systems. In the framework of rate equations theory, we employ the mean-field approximation to derive analytical expressions of the degree distribution and the local clustering coefficient for each type of nodes. Analytical derivations agree well with numerical simulation results. The assortativity of the potentially violent network qualitatively resembles the connectivity pattern in terrorist networks that was recently reported. The assortativity of the network driven by aggression shows clearly different behavior than the assortativity of the networks with connections of non-aggressive nature in agreement with recent empirical results of an online social system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-21

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

  19. Mechanical Stress Induces Remodeling of Vascular Networks in Growing Leaves.

    PubMed

    Bar-Sinai, Yohai; Julien, Jean-Daniel; Sharon, Eran; Armon, Shahaf; Nakayama, Naomi; Adda-Bedia, Mokhtar; Boudaoud, Arezki

    2016-04-01

    Differentiation into well-defined patterns and tissue growth are recognized as key processes in organismal development. However, it is unclear whether patterns are passively, homogeneously dilated by growth or whether they remodel during tissue expansion. Leaf vascular networks are well-fitted to investigate this issue, since leaves are approximately two-dimensional and grow manyfold in size. Here we study experimentally and computationally how vein patterns affect growth. We first model the growing vasculature as a network of viscoelastic rods and consider its response to external mechanical stress. We use the so-called texture tensor to quantify the local network geometry and reveal that growth is heterogeneous, resembling non-affine deformations in composite materials. We then apply mechanical forces to growing leaves after veins have differentiated, which respond by anisotropic growth and reorientation of the network in the direction of external stress. External mechanical stress appears to make growth more homogeneous, in contrast with the model with viscoelastic rods. However, we reconcile the model with experimental data by incorporating randomness in rod thickness and a threshold in the rod growth law, making the rods viscoelastoplastic. Altogether, we show that the higher stiffness of veins leads to their reorientation along external forces, along with a reduction in growth heterogeneity. This process may lead to the reinforcement of leaves against mechanical stress. More generally, our work contributes to a framework whereby growth and patterns are coordinated through the differences in mechanical properties between cell types.

  20. Mechanical Stress Induces Remodeling of Vascular Networks in Growing Leaves

    PubMed Central

    Bar-Sinai, Yohai; Julien, Jean-Daniel; Sharon, Eran; Armon, Shahaf; Nakayama, Naomi; Adda-Bedia, Mokhtar; Boudaoud, Arezki

    2016-01-01

    Differentiation into well-defined patterns and tissue growth are recognized as key processes in organismal development. However, it is unclear whether patterns are passively, homogeneously dilated by growth or whether they remodel during tissue expansion. Leaf vascular networks are well-fitted to investigate this issue, since leaves are approximately two-dimensional and grow manyfold in size. Here we study experimentally and computationally how vein patterns affect growth. We first model the growing vasculature as a network of viscoelastic rods and consider its response to external mechanical stress. We use the so-called texture tensor to quantify the local network geometry and reveal that growth is heterogeneous, resembling non-affine deformations in composite materials. We then apply mechanical forces to growing leaves after veins have differentiated, which respond by anisotropic growth and reorientation of the network in the direction of external stress. External mechanical stress appears to make growth more homogeneous, in contrast with the model with viscoelastic rods. However, we reconcile the model with experimental data by incorporating randomness in rod thickness and a threshold in the rod growth law, making the rods viscoelastoplastic. Altogether, we show that the higher stiffness of veins leads to their reorientation along external forces, along with a reduction in growth heterogeneity. This process may lead to the reinforcement of leaves against mechanical stress. More generally, our work contributes to a framework whereby growth and patterns are coordinated through the differences in mechanical properties between cell types. PMID:27074136

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Menéndez, Horacio; Rodríguez, José Félix

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Detection of systolic ejection click using time growing neural network.

    PubMed

    Gharehbaghi, Arash; Dutoit, Thierry; Ask, Per; Sörnmo, Leif

    2014-04-01

    In this paper, we present a novel neural network for classification of short-duration heart sounds: the time growing neural network (TGNN). The input to the network is the spectral power in adjacent frequency bands as computed in time windows of growing length. Children with heart systolic ejection click (SEC) and normal children are the two groups subjected to analysis. The performance of the TGNN is compared to that of a time delay neural network (TDNN) and a multi-layer perceptron (MLP), using training and test datasets of similar sizes with a total of 614 normal and abnormal cardiac cycles. From the test dataset, the classification rate/sensitivity is found to be 97.0%/98.1% for the TGNN, 85.1%/76.4% for the TDNN, and 92.7%/85.7% for the MLP. The results show that the TGNN performs better than do TDNN and MLP when frequency band power is used as classifier input. The performance of TGNN is also found to exhibit better immunity to noise.

  4. STAR syndrome-associated CDK10/Cyclin M regulates actin network architecture and ciliogenesis.

    PubMed

    Guen, Vincent J; Gamble, Carly; Perez, Dahlia E; Bourassa, Sylvie; Zappel, Hildegard; Gärtner, Jutta; Lees, Jacqueline A; Colas, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    CDK10/CycM is a protein kinase deficient in STAR (toe Syndactyly, Telecanthus and Anogenital and Renal malformations) syndrome, which results from mutations in the X-linked FAM58A gene encoding Cyclin M. The biological functions of CDK10/CycM and etiology of STAR syndrome are poorly understood. Here, we report that deficiency of CDK10/Cyclin M promotes assembly and elongation of primary cilia. We establish that this reflects a key role for CDK10/Cyclin M in regulation of actin network organization, which is known to govern ciliogenesis. In an unbiased screen, we identified the RhoA-associated kinase PKN2 as a CDK10/CycM phosphorylation substrate. We establish that PKN2 is a bone fide regulator of ciliogenesis, acting in a similar manner to CDK10/CycM. We discovered that CDK10/Cyclin M binds and phosphorylates PKN2 on threonines 121 and 124, within PKN2's core RhoA-binding domain. Furthermore, we demonstrate that deficiencies in CDK10/CycM or PKN2, or expression of a non-phosphorylatable version of PKN2, destabilize both the RhoA protein and the actin network architecture. Importantly, we established that ectopic expression of RhoA is sufficient to override the induction of ciliogenesis resulting from CDK10/CycM knockdown, indicating that RhoA regulation is critical for CDK10/CycM's negative effect on ciliogenesis. Finally, we show that kidney sections from a STAR patient display dilated renal tubules and abnormal, elongated cilia. Altogether, these results reveal CDK10/CycM as a key regulator of actin dynamics and a suppressor of ciliogenesis through phosphorylation of PKN2 and promotion of RhoA signaling. Moreover, they suggest that STAR syndrome is a ciliopathy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  7. Growing network model for community with group structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noh, Jae Dong; Jeong, Hyeong-Chai; Ahn, Yong-Yeol; Jeong, Hawoong

    2005-03-01

    We propose a growing network model for a community with a group structure. The community consists of individual members and groups, gatherings of members. The community grows as a new member is introduced by an existing member at each time step. The new member then creates a new group or joins one of the groups of the introducer. We investigate the emerging community structure analytically and numerically. The group size distribution shows a power-law distribution for a variety of growth rules, while the activity distribution follows an exponential or a power law depending on the details of the growth rule. We also present an analysis of empirical data from online communities the “Groups” in http://www.yahoo.com and the “Cafe” in http://www.daum.net, which show a power-law distribution for a wide range of group sizes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Growing Brazilian demand to spur gas network in South America

    SciTech Connect

    Deffarges, E.H. ); Maurer, L.I.A. )

    1993-01-18

    A recent combination in South America of economic and geopolitical factors is prompting development of a new integrated gas-pipeline network in the continent's Southern Cone. The crucial factors include privatization, regional integration, economic growth, and environmental concerns. The area, Latin America's largest regional entity, includes Brazil (population 150 million and a 1990 GNP of about $375 billion, 9th largest in the world), Argentina (population 32 million and the third largest Latin American economy after Brazil and Mexico), Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay are members of the MercoSur economic bloc whose objective is to develop free trade in the region. There are very few integrated pipeline networks in the world. Besides the giant North American system, with hundreds of producers and pipelines, there is only one other large integrated network. It connects continental European countries to their outside suppliers such as Norway, the C.I.S., and Algeria. The emergence of a new pipeline system is therefore important for the natural-gas industry worldwide and even more so if it occurs in a region now growing rapidly after a decade of economic difficulties.

  11. Ranking nodes in growing networks: When PageRank fails

    PubMed Central

    Mariani, Manuel Sebastian; Medo, Matúš; Zhang, Yi-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    PageRank is arguably the most popular ranking algorithm which is being applied in real systems ranging from information to biological and infrastructure networks. Despite its outstanding popularity and broad use in different areas of science, the relation between the algorithm’s efficacy and properties of the network on which it acts has not yet been fully understood. We study here PageRank’s performance on a network model supported by real data, and show that realistic temporal effects make PageRank fail in individuating the most valuable nodes for a broad range of model parameters. Results on real data are in qualitative agreement with our model-based findings. This failure of PageRank reveals that the static approach to information filtering is inappropriate for a broad class of growing systems, and suggest that time-dependent algorithms that are based on the temporal linking patterns of these systems are needed to better rank the nodes. PMID:26553630

  12. Growing networks of overlapping communities with internal structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Jean-Gabriel; Hébert-Dufresne, Laurent; Allard, Antoine; Dubé, Louis J.

    2016-08-01

    We introduce an intuitive model that describes both the emergence of community structure and the evolution of the internal structure of communities in growing social networks. The model comprises two complementary mechanisms: One mechanism accounts for the evolution of the internal link structure of a single community, and the second mechanism coordinates the growth of multiple overlapping communities. The first mechanism is based on the assumption that each node establishes links with its neighbors and introduces new nodes to the community at different rates. We demonstrate that this simple mechanism gives rise to an effective maximal degree within communities. This observation is related to the anthropological theory known as Dunbar's number, i.e., the empirical observation of a maximal number of ties which an average individual can sustain within its social groups. The second mechanism is based on a recently proposed generalization of preferential attachment to community structure, appropriately called structural preferential attachment (SPA). The combination of these two mechanisms into a single model (SPA+) allows us to reproduce a number of the global statistics of real networks: The distribution of community sizes, of node memberships, and of degrees. The SPA+ model also predicts (a) three qualitative regimes for the degree distribution within overlapping communities and (b) strong correlations between the number of communities to which a node belongs and its number of connections within each community. We present empirical evidence that support our findings in real complex networks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-15

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-08

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majumdar, Sayantan; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2015-03-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. The Role of Temporal Trends in Growing Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ruppin, Eytan; Shavitt, Yuval

    2016-01-01

    The rich get richer principle, manifested by the Preferential attachment (PA) mechanism, is widely considered one of the major factors in the growth of real-world networks. PA stipulates that popular nodes are bound to be more attractive than less popular nodes; for example, highly cited papers are more likely to garner further citations. However, it overlooks the transient nature of popularity, which is often governed by trends. Here, we show that in a wide range of real-world networks the recent popularity of a node, i.e., the extent by which it accumulated links recently, significantly influences its attractiveness and ability to accumulate further links. We proceed to model this observation with a natural extension to PA, named Trending Preferential Attachment (TPA), in which edges become less influential as they age. TPA quantitatively parametrizes a fundamental network property, namely the network’s tendency to trends. Through TPA, we find that real-world networks tend to be moderately to highly trendy. Networks are characterized by different susceptibilities to trends, which determine their structure to a large extent. Trendy networks display complex structural traits, such as modular community structure and degree-assortativity, occurring regularly in real-world networks. In summary, this work addresses an inherent trait of complex networks, which greatly affects their growth and structure, and develops a unified model to address its interaction with preferential attachment. PMID:27486847

  6. Growing Homophilic Networks Are Natural Navigable Small Worlds

    PubMed Central

    Malkov, Yury A.; Ponomarenko, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Navigability, an ability to find a logarithmically short path between elements using only local information, is one of the most fascinating properties of real-life networks. However, the exact mechanism responsible for the formation of navigation properties remained unknown. We show that navigability can be achieved by using only two ingredients present in the majority of networks: network growth and local homophily, giving a persuasive answer how the navigation appears in real-life networks. A very simple algorithm produces hierarchical self-similar optimally wired navigable small world networks with exponential degree distribution by using only local information. Adding preferential attachment produces a scale-free network which has shorter greedy paths, but worse (power law) scaling of the information extraction locality (algorithmic complexity of a search). Introducing saturation of the preferential attachment leads to truncated scale-free degree distribution that offers a good tradeoff between these parameters and can be useful for practical applications. Several features of the model are observed in real-life networks, in particular in the brain neural networks, supporting the earlier suggestions that they are navigable. PMID:27348120

  7. Transcriptional Network Growing Models Using Motif-Based Preferential Attachment.

    PubMed

    Abdelzaher, Ahmed F; Al-Musawi, Ahmad F; Ghosh, Preetam; Mayo, Michael L; Perkins, Edward J

    2015-01-01

    Understanding relationships between architectural properties of gene-regulatory networks (GRNs) has been one of the major goals in systems biology and bioinformatics, as it can provide insights into, e.g., disease dynamics and drug development. Such GRNs are characterized by their scale-free degree distributions and existence of network motifs - i.e., small-node subgraphs that occur more abundantly in GRNs than expected from chance alone. Because these transcriptional modules represent "building blocks" of complex networks and exhibit a wide range of functional and dynamical properties, they may contribute to the remarkable robustness and dynamical stability associated with the whole of GRNs. Here, we developed network-construction models to better understand this relationship, which produce randomized GRNs by using transcriptional motifs as the fundamental growth unit in contrast to other methods that construct similar networks on a node-by-node basis. Because this model produces networks with a prescribed lower bound on the number of choice transcriptional motifs (e.g., downlinks, feed-forward loops), its fidelity to the motif distributions observed in model organisms represents an improvement over existing methods, which we validated by contrasting their resultant motif and degree distributions against existing network-growth models and data from the model organism of the bacterium Escherichia coli. These models may therefore serve as novel testbeds for further elucidating relationships between the topology of transcriptional motifs and network-wide dynamical properties.

  8. Growing optimal scale-free networks via likelihood.

    PubMed

    Small, Michael; Li, Yingying; Stemler, Thomas; Judd, Kevin

    2015-04-01

    Preferential attachment, by which new nodes attach to existing nodes with probability proportional to the existing nodes' degree, has become the standard growth model for scale-free networks, where the asymptotic probability of a node having degree k is proportional to k^{-γ}. However, the motivation for this model is entirely ad hoc. We use exact likelihood arguments and show that the optimal way to build a scale-free network is to attach most new links to nodes of low degree. Curiously, this leads to a scale-free network with a single dominant hub: a starlike structure we call a superstar network. Asymptotically, the optimal strategy is to attach each new node to one of the nodes of degree k with probability proportional to 1/N+ζ(γ)(k+1)(γ) (in a N node network): a stronger bias toward high degree nodes than exhibited by standard preferential attachment. Our algorithm generates optimally scale-free networks (the superstar networks) as well as randomly sampling the space of all scale-free networks with a given degree exponent γ. We generate viable realization with finite N for 1≪γ<2 as well as γ>2. We observe an apparently discontinuous transition at γ≈2 between so-called superstar networks and more treelike realizations. Gradually increasing γ further leads to reemergence of a superstar hub. To quantify these structural features, we derive a new analytic expression for the expected degree exponent of a pure preferential attachment process and introduce alternative measures of network entropy. Our approach is generic and can also be applied to an arbitrary degree distribution.

  9. Amplification of actin polymerization forces

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-03

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

  14. Growing Fully Distributed Robust Topologies in a Sensor Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasparri, Andrea; Meloni, Sandro; Panzieri, Stefano

    Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are at the forefront of emerging technologies due to the recent advances in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology. WSN are considered to be unattended systems with applications ranging from environmental sensing, structural monitoring, and industrial process control to emergency response and mobile target tracking.The distributed nature and the limited hardware capabilities of WSN challenge the development of effective applications. The strength of a sensor network, which turns out to be also its weakness, is the capability to perform inter-node processing while sharing data across the network. However, the limited reliability of a node, due to the low-cost nature of the hardware components, drastically constrains this aspect. For this reason, the availability of a mechanism to build distributed robust connectivity topologies, where robustness is meant against random failures of nodes and intentional attacks of nodes, is crucial. The complex network theory along with the percolation theory provides a suitable framework to achieve that. Indeed, topologies such as multi-modal and scale free ones, show interesting properties which might be embedded into a sensor network to significantly increase its robustness. In this work, a mechanisms to build robust topologies in a distributed fashion is proposed, its effectiveness is analytically investigated and results are validated through simulations.

  15. Swelling-induced surface instabilities in growing poroelastic polymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hennessy, Matthew G.; Vitale, Alessandra; Cabral, Joao T.; Matar, Omar K.

    2016-11-01

    The swelling that occurs when a deformable polymer network absorbs solvent can generate large compressive stresses which, in turn, can lead to a rich variety of surface instabilities. In this talk, we will discuss recent experiments by our group which suggest that the growth of a polymer network by photopolymerisation and the onset of swelling-induced surface instabilities can simultaneously occur and drive the self-assembly of complex three-dimensional structures. In addition, we will present a theoretical model of photopolymersation that captures the growth, swelling, and mechanical response of the polymer network. The model is based on an Eulerian formulation of nonlinear poroelasticity. The transport of monomer is described by a generalisation of Darcy's law that accounts for flow due to gradients in the pressure and composition. A combination of asymptotic analysis and finite-element simulations is used to explore the coupling between growth and instability as well as the resulting surface morphologies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Growing up with Social Networks and Online Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strom, Paris; Strom, Robert

    2012-01-01

    This presentation examines child and adolescent social networking with an emphasis on how this unprecedented form of communication can be used to contribute to healthy growth and development. Most literature about child and adolescent relationships reflects yesterday's world, a time when face-to-face encounters were the only concern. Students saw…

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

    PubMed

    Felmy, Felix

    2007-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Responses to cell loss become restricted as the supporting cells in mammalian vestibular organs grow thick junctional actin bands that develop high stability.

    PubMed

    Burns, Joseph C; Corwin, Jeffrey T

    2014-01-29

    Sensory hair cell (HC) loss is a major cause of permanent hearing and balance impairments for humans and other mammals. Yet, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds readily replace HCs and recover from such sensory deficits. It is unknown what prevents replacement in mammals, but cell replacement capacity declines contemporaneously with massive postnatal thickening of F-actin bands at the junctions between vestibular supporting cells (SCs). In non-mammals, SCs can give rise to regenerated HCs, and the bands remain thin even in adults. Here we investigated the stability of the F-actin bands between SCs in ears from chickens and mice and Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Pharmacological experiments and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) of SC junctions in utricles from mice that express a γ-actin-GFP fusion protein showed that the thickening F-actin bands develop increased resistance to depolymerization and exceptional stability that parallels a sharp decline in the cell replacement capacity of the maturing mammalian ear. The FRAP recovery rate and the mobile fraction of γ-actin-GFP both decreased as the bands thickened with age and became highly stabilized. In utricles from neonatal mice, time-lapse recordings in the vicinity of dying HCs showed that numerous SCs change shape and organize multicellular actin purse strings that reseal the epithelium. In contrast, adult SCs appeared resistant to deformation, with resealing responses limited to just a few neighboring SCs that did not form purse strings. The exceptional stability of the uniquely thick F-actin bands at the junctions of mature SCs may play an important role in restricting dynamic repair responses in mammalian vestibular epithelia.

  1. 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 ...

  2. Growing up wired: social networking sites and adolescent psychosocial development.

    PubMed

    Spies Shapiro, Lauren A; Margolin, Gayla

    2014-03-01

    Since the advent of social networking site (SNS) technologies, adolescents' use of these technologies has expanded and is now a primary way of communicating with and acquiring information about others in their social network. Overall, adolescents and young adults' stated motivations for using SNSs are quite similar to more traditional forms of communication-to stay in touch with friends, make plans, get to know people better, and present oneself to others. We begin with a summary of theories that describe the role of SNSs in adolescents' interpersonal relationships, as well as common methodologies used in this field of research thus far. Then, with the social changes that occur throughout adolescence as a backdrop, we address the ways in which SNSs intersect with key tasks of adolescent psychosocial development, specifically peer affiliation and friendship quality, as well as identity development. Evidence suggests that SNSs differentially relate to adolescents' social connectivity and identity development, with sociability, self-esteem, and nature of SNS feedback as important potential moderators. We synthesize current findings, highlight unanswered questions, and recommend both methodological and theoretical directions for future research.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-05-01

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

  4. Accelerated actin filament polymerization from microtubule plus-ends

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Growing Up Wired: Social Networking Sites and Adolescent Psychosocial Development

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, Lauren A. Spies; Margolin, Gayla

    2013-01-01

    Since the advent of SNS technologies, adolescents' use of these technologies has expanded and is now a primary way of communicating with and acquiring information about others in their social network. Overall, adolescents and young adults’ stated motivations for using SNSs are quite similar to more traditional forms of communication—to stay in touch with friends, make plans, get to know people better, and present oneself to others. We begin with a summary of theories that describe the role of SNSs in adolescents’ interpersonal relationships, as well as common methodologies used in this field of research thus far. Then, with the social changes that occur throughout adolescence as a backdrop, we address the ways in which SNSs intersect with key tasks of adolescent psychosocial development, specifically peer affiliation and friendship quality, as well as identity development. Evidence suggests that SNSs differentially relate to adolescents’ social connectivity and identity development, with sociability, self-esteem, and nature of SNS feedback as important potential moderators. We synthesize current findings, highlight unanswered questions, and recommend both methodological and theoretical directions for future research. PMID:23645343

  6. Actin Mechanics and Fragmentation*

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Scott D; Mullins, R Dyche

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Responses to Cell Loss Become Restricted as the Supporting Cells in Mammalian Vestibular Organs Grow Thick Junctional Actin Bands That Develop High Stability

    PubMed Central

    Burns, Joseph C.

    2014-01-01

    Sensory hair cell (HC) loss is a major cause of permanent hearing and balance impairments for humans and other mammals. Yet, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds readily replace HCs and recover from such sensory deficits. It is unknown what prevents replacement in mammals, but cell replacement capacity declines contemporaneously with massive postnatal thickening of F-actin bands at the junctions between vestibular supporting cells (SCs). In non-mammals, SCs can give rise to regenerated HCs, and the bands remain thin even in adults. Here we investigated the stability of the F-actin bands between SCs in ears from chickens and mice and Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Pharmacological experiments and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) of SC junctions in utricles from mice that express a γ-actin–GFP fusion protein showed that the thickening F-actin bands develop increased resistance to depolymerization and exceptional stability that parallels a sharp decline in the cell replacement capacity of the maturing mammalian ear. The FRAP recovery rate and the mobile fraction of γ-actin–GFP both decreased as the bands thickened with age and became highly stabilized. In utricles from neonatal mice, time-lapse recordings in the vicinity of dying HCs showed that numerous SCs change shape and organize multicellular actin purse strings that reseal the epithelium. In contrast, adult SCs appeared resistant to deformation, with resealing responses limited to just a few neighboring SCs that did not form purse strings. The exceptional stability of the uniquely thick F-actin bands at the junctions of mature SCs may play an important role in restricting dynamic repair responses in mammalian vestibular epithelia. PMID:24478379

  9. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal networks vary throughout the growing season and between successional stages.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Alison Elizabeth; Daniell, Tim John; Öpik, Maarja; Davison, John; Moora, Mari; Zobel, Martin; Selosse, Marc-André; Evans, Darren

    2013-01-01

    To date, few analyses of mutualistic networks have investigated successional or seasonal dynamics. Combining interaction data from multiple time points likely creates an inaccurate picture of the structure of networks (because these networks are aggregated across time), which may negatively influence their application in ecosystem assessments and conservation. Using a replicated bipartite mutualistic network of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal-plant associations, detected using large sample numbers of plants and AM fungi identified through molecular techniques, we test whether the properties of the network are temporally dynamic either between different successional stages or within the growing season. These questions have never been directly tested in the AM fungal-plant mutualism or the vast majority of other mutualisms. We demonstrate the following results: First, our examination of two different successional stages (young and old forest) demonstrated that succession increases the proportion of specialists within the community and decreases the number of interactions. Second, AM fungal-plant mutualism structure changed throughout the growing season as the number of links between partners increased. Third, we observed shifts in associations between AM fungal and plant species throughout the growing season, potentially reflecting changes in biotic and abiotic conditions. Thus, this analysis opens up two entirely new areas of research: 1) identifying what influences changes in plant-AM fungal associations in these networks, and 2) what aspects of temporal variation and succession are of general importance in structuring bipartite networks and plant-AM fungal communities.

  10. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Networks Vary throughout the Growing Season and between Successional Stages

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Alison Elizabeth; Daniell, Tim John; Öpik, Maarja; Davison, John; Moora, Mari; Zobel, Martin; Selosse, Marc-André; Evans, Darren

    2013-01-01

    To date, few analyses of mutualistic networks have investigated successional or seasonal dynamics. Combining interaction data from multiple time points likely creates an inaccurate picture of the structure of networks (because these networks are aggregated across time), which may negatively influence their application in ecosystem assessments and conservation. Using a replicated bipartite mutualistic network of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal-plant associations, detected using large sample numbers of plants and AM fungi identified through molecular techniques, we test whether the properties of the network are temporally dynamic either between different successional stages or within the growing season. These questions have never been directly tested in the AM fungal-plant mutualism or the vast majority of other mutualisms. We demonstrate the following results: First, our examination of two different successional stages (young and old forest) demonstrated that succession increases the proportion of specialists within the community and decreases the number of interactions. Second, AM fungal-plant mutualism structure changed throughout the growing season as the number of links between partners increased. Third, we observed shifts in associations between AM fungal and plant species throughout the growing season, potentially reflecting changes in biotic and abiotic conditions. Thus, this analysis opens up two entirely new areas of research: 1) identifying what influences changes in plant-AM fungal associations in these networks, and 2) what aspects of temporal variation and succession are of general importance in structuring bipartite networks and plant-AM fungal communities. PMID:24358265

  11. Self-growing neural network architecture using crisp and fuzzy entropy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cios, Krzysztof J.

    1992-01-01

    The paper briefly describes the self-growing neural network algorithm, CID3, which makes decision trees equivalent to hidden layers of a neural network. The algorithm generates a feedforward architecture using crisp and fuzzy entropy measures. The results for a real-life recognition problem of distinguishing defects in a glass ribbon, and for a benchmark problen of telling two spirals apart are shown and discussed.

  12. Self-growing neural network architecture using crisp and fuzzy entropy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cios, Krzysztof J.

    1992-01-01

    The paper briefly describes the self-growing neural network algorithm, CID2, which makes decision trees equivalent to hidden layers of a neural network. The algorithm generates a feedforward architecture using crisp and fuzzy entropy measures. The results of a real-life recognition problem of distinguishing defects in a glass ribbon and of a benchmark problem of differentiating two spirals are shown and discussed.

  13. Growing scale-free networks with tunable distributions of triad motifs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shuguang; Yuan, Jianping; Shi, Yong; Zagal, Juan Cristóbal

    2015-06-01

    Network motifs are local structural patterns and elementary functional units of complex networks in real world, which can have significant impacts on the global behavior of these systems. Many models are able to reproduce complex networks mimicking a series of global features of real systems, however the local features such as motifs in real networks have not been well represented. We propose a model to grow scale-free networks with tunable motif distributions through a combined operation of preferential attachment and triad motif seeding steps. Numerical experiments show that the constructed networks have adjustable distributions of the local triad motifs, meanwhile preserving the global features of power-law distributions of node degree, short average path lengths of nodes, and highly clustered structures.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. A growing and pruning sequential learning algorithm of hyper basis function neural network for function approximation.

    PubMed

    Vuković, Najdan; Miljković, Zoran

    2013-10-01

    Radial basis function (RBF) neural network is constructed of certain number of RBF neurons, and these networks are among the most used neural networks for modeling of various nonlinear problems in engineering. Conventional RBF neuron is usually based on Gaussian type of activation function with single width for each activation function. This feature restricts neuron performance for modeling the complex nonlinear problems. To accommodate limitation of a single scale, this paper presents neural network with similar but yet different activation function-hyper basis function (HBF). The HBF allows different scaling of input dimensions to provide better generalization property when dealing with complex nonlinear problems in engineering practice. The HBF is based on generalization of Gaussian type of neuron that applies Mahalanobis-like distance as a distance metrics between input training sample and prototype vector. Compared to the RBF, the HBF neuron has more parameters to optimize, but HBF neural network needs less number of HBF neurons to memorize relationship between input and output sets in order to achieve good generalization property. However, recent research results of HBF neural network performance have shown that optimal way of constructing this type of neural network is needed; this paper addresses this issue and modifies sequential learning algorithm for HBF neural network that exploits the concept of neuron's significance and allows growing and pruning of HBF neuron during learning process. Extensive experimental study shows that HBF neural network, trained with developed learning algorithm, achieves lower prediction error and more compact neural network.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Action selection in growing state spaces: control of network structure growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thalmeier, Dominik; Gómez, Vicenç; Kappen, Hilbert J.

    2017-01-01

    The dynamical processes taking place on a network depend on its topology. Influencing the growth process of a network therefore has important implications on such dynamical processes. We formulate the problem of influencing the growth of a network as a stochastic optimal control problem in which a structural cost function penalizes undesired topologies. We approximate this control problem with a restricted class of control problems that can be solved using probabilistic inference methods. To deal with the increasing problem dimensionality, we introduce an adaptive importance sampling method for approximating the optimal control. We illustrate this methodology in the context of formation of information cascades, considering the task of influencing the structure of a growing conversation thread, as in Internet forums. Using a realistic model of growing trees, we show that our approach can yield conversation threads with better structural properties than the ones observed without control.

  19. Reply to ``Comment on `Linking population-level models with growing networks: A class of epidemic models' ''

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breban, Romulus; Vardavas, Raffaele; Blower, Sally

    2006-07-01

    We disagree with Bootsma and Diekmann that our formula for the basic reproduction ratio (R0) has an underlying conceptual mistake. In Phys. Rev. E 72, 046110 (2005), we propose a large class of growing networks (which we call Kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) growing networks) as individual-level models for the transmission of infectious diseases. KMC growing networks are conceptually different from the well-established Crump-Mode-Jagers continuous-time branching processes. Thus, the branching process definition of R0 is not valid for KMC growing networks, and a different implementation of the biological definition of R0 is necessary.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Fibre cell initiation and elongation is critical for cotton fibre development. However, little is known about the regulation of initiation and elongation during fibre cell development. Here, the regulatory role of a novel protein GhCFE1A was uncovered. GhCFE1A is preferentially expressed at initiation and rapid elongation stages during fibre development; in addition, much higher expression of GhCFE1A was detected at the fibre initiation stage in fibreless cotton mutants than in the fibre-bearing TM-1 wild-type. Importantly, overexpression of GhCFE1A in cotton not only delayed fibre cell elongation but also significantly reduced the density of lint and fuzz fibre initials and stem trichomes. Yeast two-hybrid assay showed that GhCFE1A interacted with several actin proteins, and the interaction was further confirmed by co-sedimentation assay. Interestingly, a subcellular localization assay showed that GhCFE1A resided on the cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network and co-localized with actin cables. Moreover, the density of F-actin filaments was shown to be reduced in GhCFE1A-overexpressing fibres at the rapid elongation stage compared with the wild-type control. Taken together, the results demonstrate that GhCFE1A probably functions as a dynamic linker between the actin cytoskeleton and the ER network, and plays an important role in fibre cell initiation and elongation during cotton fibre development.

  2. A study of the temporal robustness of the growing global container-shipping network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Nuo; Wu, Nuan; Dong, Ling-Ling; Yan, Hua-Kun; Wu, Di

    2016-10-01

    Whether they thrive as they grow must be determined for all constantly expanding networks. However, few studies have focused on this important network feature or the development of quantitative analytical methods. Given the formation and growth of the global container-shipping network, we proposed the concept of network temporal robustness and quantitative method. As an example, we collected container liner companies’ data at two time points (2004 and 2014) and built a shipping network with ports as nodes and routes as links. We thus obtained a quantitative value of the temporal robustness. The temporal robustness is a significant network property because, for the first time, we can clearly recognize that the shipping network has become more vulnerable to damage over the last decade: When the node failure scale reached 50% of the entire network, the temporal robustness was approximately ‑0.51% for random errors and ‑12.63% for intentional attacks. The proposed concept and analytical method described in this paper are significant for other network studies.

  3. A study of the temporal robustness of the growing global container-shipping network.

    PubMed

    Wang, Nuo; Wu, Nuan; Dong, Ling-Ling; Yan, Hua-Kun; Wu, Di

    2016-10-07

    Whether they thrive as they grow must be determined for all constantly expanding networks. However, few studies have focused on this important network feature or the development of quantitative analytical methods. Given the formation and growth of the global container-shipping network, we proposed the concept of network temporal robustness and quantitative method. As an example, we collected container liner companies' data at two time points (2004 and 2014) and built a shipping network with ports as nodes and routes as links. We thus obtained a quantitative value of the temporal robustness. The temporal robustness is a significant network property because, for the first time, we can clearly recognize that the shipping network has become more vulnerable to damage over the last decade: When the node failure scale reached 50% of the entire network, the temporal robustness was approximately -0.51% for random errors and -12.63% for intentional attacks. The proposed concept and analytical method described in this paper are significant for other network studies.

  4. A study of the temporal robustness of the growing global container-shipping network

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Nuo; Wu, Nuan; Dong, Ling-ling; Yan, Hua-kun; Wu, Di

    2016-01-01

    Whether they thrive as they grow must be determined for all constantly expanding networks. However, few studies have focused on this important network feature or the development of quantitative analytical methods. Given the formation and growth of the global container-shipping network, we proposed the concept of network temporal robustness and quantitative method. As an example, we collected container liner companies’ data at two time points (2004 and 2014) and built a shipping network with ports as nodes and routes as links. We thus obtained a quantitative value of the temporal robustness. The temporal robustness is a significant network property because, for the first time, we can clearly recognize that the shipping network has become more vulnerable to damage over the last decade: When the node failure scale reached 50% of the entire network, the temporal robustness was approximately −0.51% for random errors and −12.63% for intentional attacks. The proposed concept and analytical method described in this paper are significant for other network studies. PMID:27713549

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Dan N; Zastrow, Michael S

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-08-01

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

  9. Asymptotic behavior of connecting-nearest-neighbor models for growing networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juher, David; Saldaña, Joan; Soler, Jaume

    2006-02-01

    This paper deals with the mathematical description of the asymptotic behavior of the solutions of a couple of models for the dynamics of growing networks based on connecting, with a higher probability, nodes that have a neighbor in common. The first model, proposed by A. Vázquez, is nonlinear and, in general, the long-time behavior of the solutions differs from the one predicted by the linear reduction proposed in its original treatment. A second model is specifically derived from the rules defining an in silico model also proposed by Vázquez to simulate the growth of a network under the mechanism of connecting nearest neighbors. The two analytical models lead to very different predictions for the configuration of the network that are tested using the simulations of the in silico model.

  10. 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.

  11. A geometric graph model for citation networks of exponentially growing scientific papers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Zheng; Ouyang, Zhenzheng; Liu, Qi; Li, Jianping

    2016-08-01

    In citation networks, the content relativity of papers is a precondition of engendering citations, which is hard to model by a topological graph. A geometric graph is proposed to predict some features of the citation networks with exponentially growing papers, which addresses the precondition by using coordinates of nodes to model the research contents of papers, and geometric distances between nodes to diversities of research contents between papers. Citations between modeled papers are drawn according to a geometric rule, which addresses the precondition as well as some other factors engendering citations, namely academic influences of papers, aging of those influences, and incomplete copying of references. Instead of cumulative advantage of degree, the model illustrates that the scale-free property of modeled networks arises from the inhomogeneous academic influences of modeled papers. The model can also reproduce some other statistical features of citation networks, e.g. in- and out-assortativities, which show the model provides a suitable tool to understand some aspects of citation networks by geometry.

  12. Application of growing hierarchical SOM for visualisation of network forensics traffic data.

    PubMed

    Palomo, E J; North, J; Elizondo, D; Luque, R M; Watson, T

    2012-08-01

    Digital investigation methods are becoming more and more important due to the proliferation of digital crimes and crimes involving digital evidence. Network forensics is a research area that gathers evidence by collecting and analysing network traffic data logs. This analysis can be a difficult process, especially because of the high variability of these attacks and large amount of data. Therefore, software tools that can help with these digital investigations are in great demand. In this paper, a novel approach to analysing and visualising network traffic data based on growing hierarchical self-organising maps (GHSOM) is presented. The self-organising map (SOM) has been shown to be successful for the analysis of highly-dimensional input data in data mining applications as well as for data visualisation in a more intuitive and understandable manner. However, the SOM has some problems related to its static topology and its inability to represent hierarchical relationships in the input data. The GHSOM tries to overcome these limitations by generating a hierarchical architecture that is automatically determined according to the input data and reflects the inherent hierarchical relationships among them. Moreover, the proposed GHSOM has been modified to correctly treat the qualitative features that are present in the traffic data in addition to the quantitative features. Experimental results show that this approach can be very useful for a better understanding of network traffic data, making it easier to search for evidence of attacks or anomalous behaviour in a network environment.

  13. A finite-element mesh generator based on growing neural networks.

    PubMed

    Triantafyllidis, D G; Labridis, D P

    2002-01-01

    A mesh generator for the production of high-quality finite-element meshes is being proposed. The mesh generator uses an artificial neural network, which grows during the training process in order to adapt itself to a prespecified probability distribution. The initial mesh is a constrained Delaunay triangulation of the domain to be triangulated. Two new algorithms to accelerate the location of the best matching unit are introduced. The mesh generator has been found able to produce meshes of high quality in a number of classic cases examined and is highly suited for problems where the mesh density vector can be calculated in advance.

  14. Expansion of cooperatively growing populations: Optimal migration rates and habitat network structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Kai-Cheng; Wu, Zhi-Xi; Holme, Petter; Nonaka, Etsuko

    2017-01-01

    Range expansion of species is driven by the interactions among individual- and population-level processes and the spatial pattern of habitats. In this work we study how cooperatively growing populations spread on networks representing the skeleton of complex landscapes. By separating the slow and fast variables of the expansion process, we are able to give analytical predictions for the critical conditions that divide the dynamic behaviors into different phases (extinction, localized survival, and global expansion). We observe a resonance phenomenon in how the critical condition depends on the expansion rate, indicating the existence of an optimal strategy for global expansion. We derive the conditions for such optimal migration in locally treelike graphs and numerically study other structured networks. Our results highlight the importance of both the underlying interaction pattern and migration rate of the expanding populations for range expansion. We also discuss potential applications of the results to biological control and conservation.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. [The reorganization of actin cytoskeleton and microtubule system of human endothelial vein in the intercellular contacts formation].

    PubMed

    Shahov, A S; Dugina, V B; Alieva, I B

    2015-01-01

    Endothelial cells are tightly fitted to each other and lining the interior surface of all vessels of living organism to provide vascular permeability regulation and interchange between the blood circulating in vessels and tissue fluids of those organs in which these vessels are located. In vitro endothelial monolayer conserve it's basic barrier function which is native for vessels endothelium. Based on this fact we used endothelial cells growing in vitro as a model system in experimental studies of cytoskeletal and adhesion cell components interaction. In current paper, cultured human vein endothelial cells monolayer was used to quantify cytoskeleton alterations in the of endothelial cells from spreading and formation of the first cell-cell contacts to confluent monolayer formation. The system of actin filaments formed two different cytoskeletal structures in the cells of venous endothelium: 1) cortical actin network; 2) actin stress fibers (bundles) arranged parallel to the substrate. Two actin isoforms, β- and γ-cytoplasmic (non-muscle) actins, are expressed in endothelial cells. The bundles of actin stress fibers were detected by immunofluorescent staining with antibody against β-actin, whereas antibodies against γ-actin identified cortical and lamellar networks. For assessment of the actin cytoskeleton organization it's fluorescence intensity on the area of 10 μM2 located (1) near the free edge, and (2) in the zone of cell-cell contacts were analyzed. Fluorescence intensity of β-actin structures was higher in the areas of cell-cell contact. The fluorescence of γ-actin structures was more intensive at the leading edges of the lamellae, and was the lowest on the stable edges of the cells with formed cell-cell contacts. The endothelial monolayer formation was accompanied by microtubule system alteration: the number of microtubules increased at the cell edge, and besides the microtubules quantity in the area of already formed cell-cell contact was always

  20. Growing hierarchical tree SOM: an unsupervised neural network with dynamic topology.

    PubMed

    Forti, Alberto; Foresti, Gian Luca

    2006-12-01

    In this paper we introduce a tree structured self-organizing network, called the Growing Hierarchical Tree SOM (GHTSOM), that combines unsupervised learning with a dynamic topology for hierarchical classification of unlabelled data sets. The main feature of the proposed model is a SOM-like self-organizing process that allows the network to adapt the topology of each layer of the hierarchy to the characteristics of the training set. In particular the self-organization is obtained in two steps: the first one concerns the learning phase and is finalized with the creation of a tree of SOMs, while the second one is in regard to the clustering phase and provides the formation of classes for each level of the tree (hence self-organization not only for training but also for the creation of topological connections). As a result the network works without the need for user-defined parameters. Experimental results are proposed on both synthetic and real data sets.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Recognition of handwritten similar Chinese characters by self-growing probabilistic decision-based neural network.

    PubMed

    Fu, H C; Xu, Y Y; Chang, H Y

    1999-12-01

    Recognition of similar (confusion) characters is a difficult problem in optical character recognition (OCR). In this paper, we introduce a neural network solution that is capable of modeling minor differences among similar characters, and is robust to various personal handwriting styles. The Self-growing Probabilistic Decision-based Neural Network (SPDNN) is a probabilistic type neural network, which adopts a hierarchical network structure with nonlinear basis functions and a competitive credit-assignment scheme. Based on the SPDNN model, we have constructed a three-stage recognition system. First, a coarse classifier determines a character to be input to one of the pre-defined subclasses partitioned from a large character set, such as Chinese mixed with alphanumerics. Then a character recognizer determines the input image which best matches the reference character in the subclass. Lastly, the third module is a similar character recognizer, which can further enhance the recognition accuracy among similar or confusing characters. The prototype system has demonstrated a successful application of SPDNN to similar handwritten Chinese recognition for the public database CCL/HCCR1 (5401 characters x200 samples). Regarding performance, experiments on the CCL/HCCR1 database produced 90.12% recognition accuracy with no rejection, and 94.11% accuracy with 6.7% rejection, respectively. This recognition accuracy represents about 4% improvement on the previously announced performance. As to processing speed, processing before recognition (including image preprocessing, segmentation, and feature extraction) requires about one second for an A4 size character image, and recognition consumes approximately 0.27 second per character on a Pentium-100 based personal computer, without use of any hardware accelerator or co-processor.

  5. The yeast gene, MDM20, is necessary for mitochondrial inheritance and organization of the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Hermann, G J; King, E J; Shaw, J M

    1997-04-07

    In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the growing bud inherits a portion of the mitochondrial network from the mother cell soon after it emerges. Although this polarized transport of mitochondria is thought to require functions of the cytoskeleton, there are conflicting reports concerning the nature of the cytoskeletal element involved. Here we report the isolation of a yeast mutant, mdm20, in which both mitochondrial inheritance and actin cables (bundles of actin filaments) are disrupted. The MDM20 gene encodes a 93-kD polypeptide with no homology to other characterized proteins. Extra copies of TPM1, a gene encoding the actin filament-binding protein tropomyosin, suppress mitochondrial inheritance defects and partially restore actin cables in mdm20 delta cells. Synthetic lethality is also observed between mdm20 and tpm1 mutant strains. Overexpression of a second yeast tropomyosin, Tpm2p, rescues mutant phenotypes in the mdm20 strain to a lesser extent. Together, these results provide compelling evidence that mitochondrial inheritance in yeast is an actin-mediated process. MDM20 and TPM1 also exhibit the same pattern of genetic interactions; mutations in MDM20 are synthetically lethal with mutations in BEM2 and MYO2 but not SAC6. Although MDM20 and TPM1 are both required for the formation and/or stabilization of actin cables, mutations in these genes disrupt mitochondrial inheritance and nuclear segregation to different extents. Thus, Mdm20p and Tpm1p may act in vivo to establish molecular and functional heterogeneity of the actin cytoskeleton.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-12

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

  7. Empirical test of the origin of Zipf’s law in growing social networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qunzhi; Sornette, Didier

    2011-11-01

    Zipf’s power law is a general empirical regularity found in many systems. We report a detailed analysis of a burgeoning network of social groups, in which all ingredients needed for Zipf’s law to apply are verifiable and verified. A recently developed theory predicts that Zipf’s law corresponds to systems that are growing according to a maximally sustainable path in the presence of random proportional growth, stochastic birth and death processes. We estimate empirically the average growth r and its standard deviation σ as well as the death rate h and predict without adjustable parameters the exponent μ of the power law distribution P(s) of the group sizes s. Using numerical simulations of the underlying growth model, we demonstrate that the empirical stability of Zipf’s law over the whole lifetime of the social network can be attributed to the interplay between a finite lifetime effect and a large σ value. Our analysis and the corresponding results demonstrate that Zipf’s law can be observed with a good precision even when the balanced growth condition is not realized, if the random proportional growth has a strong stochastic component and is acting on young systems under development.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-01

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

  14. A Firm-Growing Model and the Study of Communication Patterns' Effect on the Structure of Firm's Social Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Liang; Li, Haigang; Chen, Zhong; Li, Li; He, Da-Ren

    In this article, we propose a firm-growing model, and then collect empirical data to test model validity. The simulation results agree well with the empirical data. We next explore the effect of communication patterns on the growth and structure of firm’s social network and find that the extents to which employees reluctantly interact within or across departments significantly influence the structure of firm’s social network.

  15. Monitoring of Solar Radiation Intensity using Wireless Sensor Network for Plant Growing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siregar, B.; Fadli, F.; Andayani, U.; Harahap, LA; Fahmi, F.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract— Plant growth is highly depending on the sunlight, if the consumption of sunlight is enough, it will grow well. The plant will be green because of its chlorophyll and it can perform photosynthesis at maximum; but if the plants get less sunlight, it will make the plants be yellowing. Radiation is electromagnetic waves that are good for plants, so-called visible light. In the electromagnetic wave spectrum the best wavelength range from 400-700 nm for the plant. A monitoring of sun intensity is needed in order to obtain sufficient solar radiation consumption and provide notification if there is a high radiation. In this study, several sensors and devices were combined such as photosynthetic solar radiation sensors, GSM / GPRS and waspmote as a main board or a microcontroller. The test was carried out on at least three occasions; the system has a stable radiation in the morning with an average of 505.51 micrometers. IN this study, we have successfully developed a monitoring tools for solar radiation intensity applied on plant growth by using wireless sensor network.

  16. Grow Your Personal Learning Network: New Technologies Can Keep You Connected and Help You Manage Information Overload

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warlick, David

    2009-01-01

    Personal learning networks (PLNs) are not new. People have long relied on their families, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to supplement their knowledge about the world. But the times are changing. Information and communication technologies (ICT), including an ever-growing repertoire of open source applications, have freed content from the…

  17. The effect of the neural activity on topological properties of growing neural networks.

    PubMed

    Gafarov, F M; Gafarova, V R

    2016-09-01

    The connectivity structure in cortical networks defines how information is transmitted and processed, and it is a source of the complex spatiotemporal patterns of network's development, and the process of creation and deletion of connections is continuous in the whole life of the organism. In this paper, we study how neural activity influences the growth process in neural networks. By using a two-dimensional activity-dependent growth model we demonstrated the neural network growth process from disconnected neurons to fully connected networks. For making quantitative investigation of the network's activity influence on its topological properties we compared it with the random growth network not depending on network's activity. By using the random graphs theory methods for the analysis of the network's connections structure it is shown that the growth in neural networks results in the formation of a well-known "small-world" network.

  18. The role of substrate curvature in actin-based pushing forces.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Ian M; Ehrenberg, Morton; Bindschadler, Michael; McGrath, James L

    2004-06-22

    The extension of the plasma membrane during cell crawling or spreading is known to require actin polymerization; however, the question of how pushing forces derive from actin polymerization remains open. A leading theory (herein referred to as elastic propulsion) illustrates how elastic stresses in networks growing on curved surfaces can result in forces that push particles. To date all examples of reconstituted motility have used curved surfaces, raising the possibility that such squeezing forces are essential for actin-based pushing. By contrast, other theories, such as molecular ratchets, neither require nor consider surface curvature to explain pushing forces. Here, we critically test the requirement of substrate curvature by reconstituting actin-based motility on polystyrene disks. We find that disks move through extracts in a manner that indicates pushing forces on their flat surfaces and that disks typically move faster than the spheres they are manufactured from. For a subset of actin tails that form on the perimeter of disks, we find no correlation between local surface curvature and tail position. Collectively the data indicate that curvature-dependent mechanisms are not required for actin-based pushing.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-12

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

  2. 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.

  3. Energy efficient flexible hybrid wavelength division multiplexing-time division multiplexing passive optical network with pay as you grow deployment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garg, Amit Kumar; Madavi, Amresh Ashok; Janyani, Vijay

    2017-02-01

    A flexible hybrid wavelength division multiplexing-time division multiplexing passive optical network architecture that allows dual rate signals to be sent at 1 and 10 Gbps to each optical networking unit depending upon the traffic load is proposed. The proposed design allows dynamic wavelength allocation with pay-as-you-grow deployment capability. This architecture is capable of providing up to 40 Gbps of equal data rates to all optical distribution networks (ODNs) and up to 70 Gbps of a asymmetrical data rate to the specific ODN. The proposed design handles broadcasting capability with simultaneous point-to-point transmission, which further reduces energy consumption. In this architecture, each module sends a wavelength to each ODN, thus making the architecture fully flexible; this flexibility allows network providers to use only required OLT components and switch off others. The design is also reliable to any module or TRx failure and provides services without any service disruption. Dynamic wavelength allocation and pay-as-you-grow deployment support network extensibility and bandwidth scalability to handle future generation access networks.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Brugerolle, G; Bricheux, G; Coffe, G

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-08

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

  9. 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.

  10. Stochastic Dynamical Model of a Growing Citation Network Based on a Self-Exciting Point Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golosovsky, Michael; Solomon, Sorin

    2012-08-01

    We put under experimental scrutiny the preferential attachment model that is commonly accepted as a generating mechanism of the scale-free complex networks. To this end we chose a citation network of physics papers and traced the citation history of 40 195 papers published in one year. Contrary to common belief, we find that the citation dynamics of the individual papers follows the superlinear preferential attachment, with the exponent α=1.25-1.3. Moreover, we show that the citation process cannot be described as a memoryless Markov chain since there is a substantial correlation between the present and recent citation rates of a paper. Based on our findings we construct a stochastic growth model of the citation network, perform numerical simulations based on this model and achieve an excellent agreement with the measured citation distributions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  12. The City in the Country: Growing Alternative Food Networks in Metropolitan Areas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarosz, Lucy

    2008-01-01

    Alternative food networks (AFNs) are commonly defined by attributes such as the spatial proximity between farmers and consumers, the existence of retail venues such as farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) and a commitment to sustainable food production and consumption. Focusing upon processes rather than attributes, this paper…

  13. Growing complex network of citations of scientific papers: Modeling and measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golosovsky, Michael; Solomon, Sorin

    2017-01-01

    We consider the network of citations of scientific papers and use a combination of the theoretical and experimental tools to uncover microscopic details of this network growth. Namely, we develop a stochastic model of citation dynamics based on the copying-redirection-triadic closure mechanism. In a complementary and coherent way, the model accounts both for statistics of references of scientific papers and for their citation dynamics. Originating in empirical measurements, the model is cast in such a way that it can be verified quantitatively in every aspect. Such validation is performed by measuring citation dynamics of physics papers. The measurements revealed nonlinear citation dynamics, the nonlinearity being intricately related to network topology. The nonlinearity has far-reaching consequences including nonstationary citation distributions, diverging citation trajectories of similar papers, runaways or "immortal papers" with infinite citation lifetime, etc. Thus nonlinearity in complex network growth is our most important finding. In a more specific context, our results can be a basis for quantitative probabilistic prediction of citation dynamics of individual papers and of the journal impact factor.

  14. Joint estimation of preferential attachment and node fitness in growing complex networks

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Thong; Sheridan, Paul; Shimodaira, Hidetoshi

    2016-01-01

    Complex network growth across diverse fields of science is hypothesized to be driven in the main by a combination of preferential attachment and node fitness processes. For measuring the respective influences of these processes, previous approaches make strong and untested assumptions on the functional forms of either the preferential attachment function or fitness function or both. We introduce a Bayesian statistical method called PAFit to estimate preferential attachment and node fitness without imposing such functional constraints that works by maximizing a log-likelihood function with suitably added regularization terms. We use PAFit to investigate the interplay between preferential attachment and node fitness processes in a Facebook wall-post network. While we uncover evidence for both preferential attachment and node fitness, thus validating the hypothesis that these processes together drive complex network evolution, we also find that node fitness plays the bigger role in determining the degree of a node. This is the first validation of its kind on real-world network data. But surprisingly the rate of preferential attachment is found to deviate from the conventional log-linear form when node fitness is taken into account. The proposed method is implemented in the R package PAFit. PMID:27601314

  15. Joint estimation of preferential attachment and node fitness in growing complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, Thong; Sheridan, Paul; Shimodaira, Hidetoshi

    2016-09-01

    Complex network growth across diverse fields of science is hypothesized to be driven in the main by a combination of preferential attachment and node fitness processes. For measuring the respective influences of these processes, previous approaches make strong and untested assumptions on the functional forms of either the preferential attachment function or fitness function or both. We introduce a Bayesian statistical method called PAFit to estimate preferential attachment and node fitness without imposing such functional constraints that works by maximizing a log-likelihood function with suitably added regularization terms. We use PAFit to investigate the interplay between preferential attachment and node fitness processes in a Facebook wall-post network. While we uncover evidence for both preferential attachment and node fitness, thus validating the hypothesis that these processes together drive complex network evolution, we also find that node fitness plays the bigger role in determining the degree of a node. This is the first validation of its kind on real-world network data. But surprisingly the rate of preferential attachment is found to deviate from the conventional log-linear form when node fitness is taken into account. The proposed method is implemented in the R package PAFit.

  16. Going to Scale: As KIPP Network Grows, Positive Impacts Are Sustained. In Focus Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuttle, Christina Clark; Gleason, Philip; Knechtel, Virginia; Nichols-Barrer, Ira; Booker, Kevin; Chojnacki, Gregory; Coen, Thomas; Goble, Lisbeth

    2015-01-01

    KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) is a national network of public charter schools whose stated mission is to help underserved students enroll in and graduate from college. Prior studies (see Tuttle et al. 2013) have consistently found that attending a KIPP middle school positively affects student achievement, but few have addressed longer-term…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balter, Ariel

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  1. A growing global network's role in outbreak response: AFHSC-GEIS 2008-2009.

    PubMed

    Johns, Matthew C; Burke, Ronald L; Vest, Kelly G; Fukuda, Mark; Pavlin, Julie A; Shrestha, Sanjaya K; Schnabel, David C; Tobias, Steven; Tjaden, Jeffrey A; Montgomery, Joel M; Faix, Dennis J; Duffy, Mark R; Cooper, Michael J; Sanchez, Jose L; Blazes, David L; Wangchuk, Sonam; Dorji, Tandin; Gibbons, Robert; Iamsirithaworn, Sopon; Richardson, Jason; Buathong, Rome; Jarman, Richard; Yoon, In-Kyu; Shakya, Geeta; Ofula, Victor; Coldren, Rodney; Bulimo, Wallace; Sang, Rosemary; Omariba, Duke; Obura, Beryl; Mwala, Dennis; Kasper, Matthew; Brice, Gary; Williams, Maya; Yasuda, Chad; Barthel, Robert V; Pimentel, Guillermo; Meyers, Chris; Kammerer, Peter; Baynes, Darcie E; Metzgar, David; Hawksworth, Anthony; Blair, Patrick; Ellorin, Melody; Coon, Robert; Macintosh, Victor; Burwell, Kristen; Macias, Elizabeth; Palys, Thomas; Jerke, Kurt

    2011-03-04

    A cornerstone of effective disease surveillance programs comprises the early identification of infectious threats and the subsequent rapid response to prevent further spread. Effectively identifying, tracking and responding to these threats is often difficult and requires international cooperation due to the rapidity with which diseases cross national borders and spread throughout the global community as a result of travel and migration by humans and animals. From Oct.1, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2009, the United States Department of Defense's (DoD) Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (AFHSC-GEIS) identified 76 outbreaks in 53 countries. Emerging infectious disease outbreaks were identified by the global network and included a wide spectrum of support activities in collaboration with host country partners, several of which were in direct support of the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). The network also supported military forces around the world affected by the novel influenza A/H1N1 pandemic of 2009. With IHR (2005) as the guiding framework for action, the AFHSC-GEIS network of international partners and overseas research laboratories continues to develop into a far-reaching system for identifying, analyzing and responding to emerging disease threats.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinxin

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

  3. Demonstration of prominent actin filaments in the root columella

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collings, D. A.; Zsuppan, G.; Allen, N. S.; Blancaflor, E. B.; Brown, C. S. (Principal Investigator)

    2001-01-01

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

  4. Traveling waves in actin dynamics and cell motility

    PubMed Central

    Allard, Jun; Mogilner, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Much of current understanding of cell motility arose from studying steady treadmilling of actin arrays. Recently, there have been a growing number of observations of a more complex, non-steady, actin behavior, including self-organized waves. It is becoming clear that these waves result from activation and inhibition feedbacks in actin dynamics acting on different scales, but the exact molecular nature of these feedbacks and respective roles of biomechanics and biochemistry are still unclear. Here, we review recent advances achieved in experimental and theoretical studies of actin waves and discuss mechanisms and physiological significance of wavy protrusions. PMID:22985541

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Nan Hyung; Qi, Aidong

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. International network on endocrine complications in thalassaemia (I-CET): an opportunity to grow.

    PubMed

    De Sanctis, V; Soliman, A T; Angastiniotis, M; Eleftheriou, A; Kattamis, Ch; Karimi, M; El Kholy, M; Elsedfy, H; Yassin, Mohd Abdel Daem Mohd; El Awwa, A; Stoeva, I; Skordis, N; Raiola, G; Fiscina, B

    2012-04-01

    Most of the endocrine complications in thalassaemia are attributable to iron overload which may be the result of economic circumstances (expense of the chelation therapy), late onset of chelation therapy or poor compliance with the iron chelation therapy. The major difficulties reported by hematologists or pediatric endocrinologists experienced in thalassaemias or thalassaemia syndromes in following growth disorders and endocrine complications were: lack of familiarity with medical treatment of endocrine complications (40%), interpretation of endocrine tests (30%), costs (65%), absence of paediatric endocrinologist for consultation on growth disorders and endocrine complications (27%), facilities (27%), other (e.g. lack of collaboration and on-time consultation between thalassaemic Centers supervised by hematologists and endocrinologists) (17%). Because any progress we make in research into growth disorders and endocrine complications in thalassaemia should be passed on to all those suffering from it, guaranteeing them the same therapeutic benefits and the same quality of life, on the 8th of May, 2009 in Ferrara (Italy), the International Network on Endocrine Complications in Thalassemia (I-CET) was founded. The I-CET group is planning to conduct, in Ferrara in May 2012, a workshop, "MRI and Endocrine Complications in Thalassaemia", and in Doha (Qatar) in September 2012, a 3-day intensive course entitled, "Growth disorders and Endocrine Complications in Thalassaemia", to provide interested pediatricians, physicians and hematologists from all over the world with an in-depth approach to the diagnosis and management of growth and endocrine disorders in thalassaemic patients.

  11. Spontaneous actin dynamics in contractile rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruse, Karsten; Wollrab, Viktoria; Thiagarajan, Raghavan; Wald, Anne; Riveline, Daniel

    Networks of polymerizing actin filaments are known to be capable to self-organize into a variety of structures. For example, spontaneous actin polymerization waves have been observed in living cells in a number of circumstances, notably, in crawling neutrophils and slime molds. During later stages of cell division, they can also spontaneously form a contractile ring that will eventually cleave the cell into two daughter cells. We present a framework for describing networks of polymerizing actin filaments, where assembly is regulated by various proteins. It can also include the effects of molecular motors. We show that the molecular processes driven by these proteins can generate various structures that have been observed in contractile rings of fission yeast and mammalian cells. We discuss a possible functional role of each of these patterns. The work was supported by Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France, (ANR-10-LABX-0030-INRT) and by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through SFB1027.

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

    PubMed Central

    Belin, Brittany J; Mullins, R Dyche

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Actin Polymerization is Stimulated by Actin Crosslinking Protein Palladin

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Markus; Hauslage, Jens; Limbach, Christoph

    2003-08-01

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

  16. Regulation of myosin II activity by actin architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Winterhoff, Moritz; Faix, Jan

    2015-06-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Biomimetic systems for studying actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Upadhyaya, Arpita; van Oudenaarden, Alexander

    2003-09-16

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

  2. The dynamics of filament assembly define cytoskeletal network morphology

    PubMed Central

    Foffano, Giulia; Levernier, Nicolas; Lenz, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a key component in the machinery of eukaryotic cells, and it self-assembles out of equilibrium into a wide variety of biologically crucial structures. Although the molecular mechanisms involved are well characterized, the physical principles governing the spatial arrangement of actin filaments are not understood. Here we propose that the dynamics of actin network assembly from growing filaments results from a competition between diffusion, bundling and steric hindrance, and is responsible for the range of observed morphologies. Our model and simulations thus predict an abrupt dynamical transition between homogeneous and strongly bundled networks as a function of the actin polymerization rate. This suggests that cells may effect dramatic changes to their internal architecture through minute modifications of their nonequilibrium dynamics. Our results are consistent with available experimental data. PMID:28000681

  3. The dynamics of filament assembly define cytoskeletal network morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foffano, Giulia; Levernier, Nicolas; Lenz, Martin

    2016-12-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is a key component in the machinery of eukaryotic cells, and it self-assembles out of equilibrium into a wide variety of biologically crucial structures. Although the molecular mechanisms involved are well characterized, the physical principles governing the spatial arrangement of actin filaments are not understood. Here we propose that the dynamics of actin network assembly from growing filaments results from a competition between diffusion, bundling and steric hindrance, and is responsible for the range of observed morphologies. Our model and simulations thus predict an abrupt dynamical transition between homogeneous and strongly bundled networks as a function of the actin polymerization rate. This suggests that cells may effect dramatic changes to their internal architecture through minute modifications of their nonequilibrium dynamics. Our results are consistent with available experimental data.

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Peyla, Philippe; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2007-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Quantitative Fluorescent Speckle Microscopy (QFSM) is a live cell imaging method to analyze the dynamics of macromolecular assemblies with high spatial and temporal resolution. Its greatest successes were in the analysis of actin filament and adhesion dynamics in the context of cell migration and microtubule dynamics in interphase and the meotic/mitotic spindle. Here, we focus on the former application to illustrate the procedures of FSM imaging and the computational image processing that extracts quantitative information from these experiments. QFSM is advantageous over other methods because it measures the movement and turnover kinetics of the actin filament (F-actin) network in living cells across the entire field of view. Experiments begin with microinjection of fluorophore-labeled actin into cells, which generate a low ratio of fluorescently-labeled:endogenous unlabeled actin monomers. Spinning disk confocal or wide-field imaging then visualizes fluorophore clusters (2–8 actin monomers) within the assembled F-actin network as speckles. QFSM software identifies and computationally tracks and utilizes the location, appearance, and disappearance of speckles to derive network flows and maps of the rate of filament assembly and disassembly. PMID:23042526

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Arnoys, E J; Schindler, M

    2000-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-02-01

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

  12. Verification of Satellite Radar Remote Sensing Based Estimates of Boreal and Subalpine Growing Seasons Using an Ecosystem Process Model and Surface Biophysical Measurement Network Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimball, J. S.; McDonald, K. C.; Running, S. W.; Zimmermann, R.

    2002-12-01

    We employ daily surface Radar backscatter data from the SeaWinds Ku-band Scatterometer onboard Quikscat to estimate landscape freeze-thaw state and associated length of the seasonal non-frozen period as a surrogate for determining the annual growing season across boreal and subalpine regions of North America for 2000 and 2001. We compare these results with estimates of growing season length derived from a network of surface stations, utilizing BIOME-BGC stand-level ecosystem process model simulations, site sap flow and tower eddy flux net CO2 exchange measurements for a network of mature evergreen coniferous forest stands. Remote sensing based estimates of spatial patterns in the timing of seasonal freeze-thaw vary by more than 8 weeks, while associated estimates of growing season length span more than 14 weeks across the region. Inter-annual variability between 2000 and 2001 is found to be on the order of 1-4 weeks. Remote sensing estimates of growing season initiation and length are found to be well correlated with both site measurements and model simulations. Remote sensing measurements of the end of the seasonal non-frozen period are also found to be consistent with site based temperature measurements, but not with site based estimates of growing season termination. These findings are attributed to a relatively strong dependence of the onset of the growing season to snowmelt and associated soil thaw in spring and the relative importance of additional factors such as light availability and day length in controlling growing season termination. This work was performed at the University of Montana, and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  13. 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

  14. IFT88 influences chondrocyte actin organization and biomechanics

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Z.; Wann, A.K.T.; Thompson, C.L.; Hassen, A.; Wang, W.; Knight, M.M.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Objectives Primary cilia are microtubule based organelles which control a variety of signalling pathways important in cartilage development, health and disease. This study examines the role of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) protein, IFT88, in regulating fundamental actin organisation and mechanics in articular chondrocytes. Methods The study used an established chondrocyte cell line with and without hypomorphic mutation of IFT88 (IFT88orpk). Confocal microscopy was used to quantify F-actin and myosin IIB organisation. Viscoelastic cell and actin cortex mechanics were determined using micropipette aspiration with actin dynamics visualised in live cells transfected with LifeACT-GFP. Results IFT88orpk cells exhibited a significant increase in acto-myosin stress fibre organisation relative to wild-type (WT) cells in monolayer and an altered response to cytochalasin D. Rounded IFT88orpk cells cultured in suspension exhibited reduced cortical actin expression with reduced cellular equilibrium modulus. Micropipette aspiration resulted in reduced membrane bleb formation in IFT88orpk cells. Following membrane blebbing, IFT88orpk cells exhibited slower reformation of the actin cortex. IFT88orpk cells showed increased actin deformability and reduced cortical tension confirming that IFT regulates actin cortex mechanics. The reduced cortical tension is also consistent with the reduced bleb formation. Conclusions This study demonstrates for the first time that the ciliary protein IFT88 regulates fundamental actin organisation and the stiffness of the actin cortex leading to alterations in cell deformation, mechanical properties and blebbing in an IFT88 chondrocyte cell line. This adds to the growing understanding of the role of primary cilia and IFT in regulating cartilage biology. PMID:26493329

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Measuring actin dynamics during phagocytosis using photo-switchable fluorescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovari, Daniel T.; Curtis, Jennifer E.

    2013-03-01

    Phagocytosis has traditionally been investigated in terms of the relevant biochemical signaling pathways. However, a growing number of studies investigating the physical aspects of phagocytosis have demonstrated that several distinct forces are exerted throughout particle ingestion. We use variations on FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching) in combination with photo-switchable fluorescent protein to investigate actin dynamics as a phagocyte attempts to engulf its prey. The goal of our actin studies are to determine the recruitment and polymerization rate of actin in the forming phagosome and whether an organized contractile actin ring is present and responsible for phagosome closure, as proposed in the literature. These experiments are ongoing and contribute to our long term effort of developing a physics based model of phagocytosis.

  3. IKKε inhibits PKC to promote Fascin-dependent actin bundling

    PubMed Central

    Ogura, Yosuke; Misaki, Kazuyo; Maeda, Takuya; Kimpara, Akiyo; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Hayashi, Shigeo

    2016-01-01

    Signaling molecules have pleiotropic functions and are activated by various extracellular stimuli. Protein kinase C (PKC) is activated by diverse receptors, and its dysregulation is associated with diseases including cancer. However, how the undesired activation of PKC is prevented during development remains poorly understood. We have previously shown that a protein kinase, IKKε, is active at the growing bristle tip and regulates actin bundle organization during Drosophila bristle morphogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that IKKε regulates the actin bundle localization of a dynamic actin cross-linker, Fascin. IKKε inhibits PKC, thereby protecting Fascin from inhibitory phosphorylation. Excess PKC activation is responsible for the actin bundle defects in IKKε-deficient bristles, whereas PKC is dispensable for bristle morphogenesis in wild-type bristles, indicating that PKC is repressed by IKKε in wild-type bristle cells. These results suggest that IKKε prevents excess activation of PKC during bristle morphogenesis. PMID:27578797

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

    PubMed

    Frieden, C; Patane, K

    1985-07-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Actin-mediated motion of meiotic chromosomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Actin Skeletons at the Membrane as Liquid Crystal Elastomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. The Cortical Localization of the Microtubule Orientation Protein, Kar9p, Is Dependent upon Actin and Proteins Required for Polarization

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Rita K.; Matheos, Dina; Rose, Mark D.

    1999-01-01

    In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, positioning of the mitotic spindle requires both the cytoplasmic microtubules and actin. Kar9p is a novel cortical protein that is required for the correct position of the mitotic spindle and the orientation of the cytoplasmic microtubules. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)– Kar9p localizes to a single spot at the tip of the growing bud and the mating projection. However, the cortical localization of Kar9p does not require microtubules (Miller, R.K., and M.D. Rose. 1998. J. Cell Biol. 140: 377), suggesting that Kar9p interacts with other proteins at the cortex. To investigate Kar9p's cortical interactions, we treated cells with the actin-depolymerizing drug, latrunculin-A. In both shmoos and mitotic cells, Kar9p's cortical localization was completely dependent on polymerized actin. Kar9p localization was also altered by mutations in four genes, spa2Δ, pea2Δ, bud6Δ, and bni1Δ, required for normal polarization and actin cytoskeleton functions and, of these, bni1Δ affected Kar9p localization most severely. Like kar9Δ, bni1Δ mutants exhibited nuclear positioning defects during mitosis and in shmoos. Furthermore, like kar9Δ, the bni1Δ mutant exhibited misoriented cytoplasmic microtubules in shmoos. Genetic analysis placed BNI1 in the KAR9 pathway for nuclear migration. However, analysis of kar9Δ bni1Δ double mutants suggested that Kar9p retained some function in bni1Δ mitotic cells. Unlike the polarization mutants, kar9Δ shmoos had a normal morphology and diploids budded in the correct bipolar pattern. Furthermore, Bni1p localized normally in kar9Δ. We conclude that Kar9p's function is specific for cytoplasmic microtubule orientation and that Kar9p's role in nuclear positioning is to coordinate the interactions between the actin and microtubule networks. PMID:10085294

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

    PubMed

    Quarmby, Lynne

    2014-09-08

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Blaas, Kathrin; Holzinger, Andreas

    2017-03-21

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

  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. Nuclear actin depolymerization in transcriptionally active avian and amphibian oocytes leads to collapse of intranuclear structures

    PubMed Central

    Maslova, Antonina; Krasikova, Alla

    2012-01-01

    Actin, which is normally depleted in the nuclei of somatic cells, accumulates in high amounts in giant nuclei of amphibian oocytes. The supramolecular organization and functions of this nuclear pool of actin in growing vertebrate oocyte are controversial. Here, we investigated the role of nuclear actin in the maintenance of the spatial architecture of intranuclear structures in avian and amphibian growing oocytes. A meshwork of filamentous actin was not detected in freshly isolated or fixed oocyte nuclei of Xenopus, chicken or quail. We found that the actin meshwork inside the oocyte nucleus could be induced by phalloidin treatment. Actin polymerization is demonstrated to be required to stabilize the specific spatial organization of nuclear structures in avian and amphibian growing oocytes. In experiments with the actin depolymerizing drugs cytochalasin D and latrunculin A, we showed that disassembly of nuclear actin polymers led to chromosome condensation and their transportation to a limited space within the oocyte nucleus. Experimentally induced “collapsing” of chromosomes and nuclear bodies, together with global inhibition of transcription, strongly resembled the process of karyosphere formation during oocyte growth. PMID:22572951

  17. A simple approach to controllably grow network-like branched single-crystalline Si 3N 4 nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Na; Peng, Zhijian; Fu, Xiuli; Wang, Chengbiao; Fu, Zhiqiang; Qi, Longhao; Miao, Hezhuo

    2010-07-01

    We reported a simple, large-scale, and controllable growth method for network-like branched single-crystalline Si 3N 4 nanostructures by catalyst-assisted pyrolysis of a polysilazane. The templates were a silicon wafer deposited with a 5 nm Fe film. The processes simply involved in thermal cross-linking of the polymer precursor, crushing of the solidified preceramic polymer chunks into fine powder, and thermal pyrolysis of the powder under the protection of ultra-high purity nitrogen. The collected white network-like branched nanostructures were formed through "metal-absorption on the surface of nanostructures" model by vapor-liquid-solid mechanism. Microstructure characterizations indicate that the nanostructures are single-crystalline hexagonal α-Si 3N 4. The reaction mechanism of Si 3N 4 nanonetworks was also proposed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Murrell, Michael P.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Contact-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been shown to reveal cortical actin structures. Using live endothelial cells, we visualized cortical actin dynamics simultaneously by AFM and confocal fluorescence microscopy. We present a method that quantifies dynamic changes in the mechanical ultrastructure of the cortical actin web. We argue that the commonly used, so-called error signal imaging in AFM allows a qualitative, but not quantitative, analysis of cortical actin dynamics. The approach we used comprises fast force-curve-based topography imaging and subsequent image processing that enhances local height differences. Dynamic changes in the organization of the cytoskeleton network can be observed and quantified by surface roughness calculations and automated morphometrics. Upon treatment with low concentrations of the actin-destabilizing agent cytochalasin D, the cortical cytoskeleton network is thinned out and the average mesh size increases. In contrast, jasplakinolide, a drug that enhances actin polymerization, consolidates the cytoskeleton network and reduces the average mesh area. In conclusion, cortical actin dynamics can be quantified in live cells. To our knowledge, this opens a new pathway for conducting quantitative structure-function analyses of the endothelial actin web just beneath the apical plasma membrane. PMID:26287621

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Richard B; Purich, Daniel L

    2002-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-18

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Dynamic network morphology and tension buildup in a 3D model of cytokinetic ring assembly.

    PubMed

    Bidone, Tamara C; Tang, Haosu; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2014-12-02

    During fission yeast cytokinesis, actin filaments nucleated by cortical formin Cdc12 are captured by myosin motors bound to a band of cortical nodes and bundled by cross-linking proteins. The myosin motors exert forces on the actin filaments, resulting in a net pulling of the nodes into a contractile ring, while cross-linking interactions help align actin filaments and nodes into a single bundle. We used these mechanisms in a three-dimensional computational model of contractile ring assembly, with semiflexible actin filaments growing from formins at cortical nodes, capturing of filaments by neighboring nodes, and cross-linking among filaments through attractive interactions. The model was used to predict profiles of actin filament density at the cell cortex, morphologies of condensing node-filament networks, and regimes of cortical tension by varying the node pulling force and strength of cross-linking among actin filaments. Results show that cross-linking interactions can lead to confinement of actin filaments at the simulated cortical boundary. We show that the ring-formation region in parameter space lies close to regions leading to clumps, meshworks or double rings, and stars/cables. Since boundaries between regions are not sharp, transient structures that resemble clumps, stars, and meshworks can appear in the process of ring assembly. These results are consistent with prior experiments with mutations in actin-filament turnover regulators, myosin motor activity, and changes in the concentration of cross-linkers that alter the morphology of the condensing network. Transient star shapes appear in some simulations, and these morphologies offer an explanation for star structures observed in prior experimental images. Finally, we quantify tension along actin filaments and forces on nodes during ring assembly and show that the mechanisms describing ring assembly can also drive ring constriction once the ring is formed.

  6. Crystal growing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neville, J. P.

    1990-01-01

    One objective is to demonstrate the way crystals grow and how they affect the behavior of material. Another objective is to compare the growth of crystals in metals and nonmetals. The procedures, which involve a supersaturated solution of a salt that will separate into crystals on cooling and the pouring off of an eutectic solution to expose the crystals formed by a solid solution when an alloy of two metals forms a solid and eutectic solution on cooling, are described.

  7. Growing a Professional Network to Over 3000 Members in Less Than 4 Years: Evaluation of InspireNet, British Columbia’s Virtual Nursing Health Services Research Network

    PubMed Central

    Atherton, Pat; Borycki, Elizabeth; Mickelson, Grace; Cordeiro, Jennifer; Novak Lauscher, Helen; Black, Agnes

    2014-01-01

    Background Use of Web 2.0 and social media technologies has become a new area of research among health professionals. Much of this work has focused on the use of technologies for health self-management and the ways technologies support communication between care providers and consumers. This paper addresses a new use of technology in providing a platform for health professionals to support professional development, increase knowledge utilization, and promote formal/informal professional communication. Specifically, we report on factors necessary to attract and sustain health professionals’ use of a network designed to increase nurses’ interest in and use of health services research and to support knowledge utilization activities in British Columbia, Canada. Objective “InspireNet”, a virtual professional network for health professionals, is a living laboratory permitting documentation of when and how professionals take up Web 2.0 and social media. Ongoing evaluation documents our experiences in establishing, operating, and evaluating this network. Methods Overall evaluation methods included (1) tracking website use, (2) conducting two member surveys, and (3) soliciting member feedback through focus groups and interviews with those who participated in electronic communities of practice (eCoPs) and other stakeholders. These data have been used to learn about the types of support that seem relevant to network growth. Results Network growth exceeded all expectations. Members engaged with varying aspects of the network’s virtual technologies, such as teams of professionals sharing a common interest, research teams conducting their work, and instructional webinars open to network members. Members used wikis, blogs, and discussion groups to support professional work, as well as a members’ database with contact information and areas of interest. The database is accessed approximately 10 times per day. InspireNet public blog posts are accessed roughly 500 times

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

    PubMed Central

    Jones, J D; Luby-Phelps, K

    1996-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brawley, Crista M.; Rock, Ronald S.

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A Robust Actin Filaments Image Analysis Framework

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Arg/Abl2 modulates the affinity and stoichiometry of binding of cortactin to F-actin.

    PubMed

    MacGrath, Stacey M; Koleske, Anthony J

    2012-08-21

    The Abl family nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Arg/Abl2 interacts with cortactin, an Arp2/3 complex activator, to promote actin-driven cell edge protrusion. Both Arg and cortactin bind directly to filamentous actin (F-actin). While protein-protein interactions between Arg and cortactin have well-characterized downstream effects on the actin cytoskeleton, it is unclear whether and how Arg and cortactin affect each other's actin binding properties. We employ actin cosedimentation assays to show that Arg increases the stoichiometry of binding of cortactin to F-actin at saturation. Using a series of Arg deletion mutants and fragments, we demonstrate that the Arg C-terminal calponin homology domain is necessary and sufficient to increase the stoichiometry of binding of cortactin to F-actin. We also show that interactions between Arg and cortactin are required for optimal affinity between cortactin and the actin filament. Our data suggest a mechanism for Arg-dependent stimulation of binding of cortactin to F-actin, which may facilitate the recruitment of cortactin to sites of local actin network assembly.

  17. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Markus; Limbach, Christoph

    2005-08-01

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

  20. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-04

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

  10. Myosin-Va and Dynamic Actin Oppose Microtubules to Drive Long-Range Organelle Transport

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Summary In animal cells, microtubule and actin tracks and their associated motors (dynein, kinesin, and myosin) are thought to regulate long- and short-range transport, respectively [1–8]. Consistent with this, microtubules extend from the perinuclear centrosome to the plasma membrane and allow bidirectional cargo transport over long distances (>1 μm). In contrast, actin often comprises a complex network of short randomly oriented filaments, suggesting that myosin motors move cargo short distances. These observations underpin the “highways and local roads” model for transport along microtubule and actin tracks [2]. The “cooperative capture” model exemplifies this view and suggests that melanosome distribution in melanocyte dendrites is maintained by long-range transport on microtubules followed by actin/myosin-Va-dependent tethering [5, 9]. In this study, we used cell normalization technology to quantitatively examine the contribution of microtubules and actin/myosin-Va to organelle distribution in melanocytes. Surprisingly, our results indicate that microtubules are essential for centripetal, but not centrifugal, transport. Instead, we find that microtubules retard a centrifugal transport process that is dependent on myosin-Va and a population of dynamic F-actin. Functional analysis of mutant proteins indicates that myosin-Va works as a transporter dispersing melanosomes along actin tracks whose +/barbed ends are oriented toward the plasma membrane. Overall, our data highlight the role of myosin-Va and actin in transport, and not tethering, and suggest a new model in which organelle distribution is determined by the balance between microtubule-dependent centripetal and myosin-Va/actin-dependent centrifugal transport. These observations appear to be consistent with evidence coming from other systems showing that actin/myosin networks can drive long-distance organelle transport and positioning [10, 11]. PMID:25065759

  11. Visualizing Actin Architectures in Cells Incubated with Cell-Penetrating Peptides.

    PubMed

    He, Lin; Watson, Peter D; Jones, Arwyn T

    2015-01-01

    Defining the exact role of the actin cytoskeleton in mediating endocytosis through different pathways is a significant challenge. The general consensus is that actin has an important role in organizing the early stages of endocytosis but there is still much to learn. Actin has also been implicated in cell internalization of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). It is suggested that CPP variants such as octaarginine (R8) and the HIV Tat peptide induce actin-dependent plasma membrane perturbation and enter via macropinocytosis. Here, we describe confocal microscopy techniques that allow for high-resolution spatial characterization of the actin cytoskeleton in untreated mammalian cells and those incubated with actin-disrupting agents and CPPs. By performing X-Y-Z projection images through different regions of cells to show basal and apical profiles, we initially highlight how these techniques can be used to reveal major differences in cortical and filamentous actin organization between different cell lines. Using these techniques, we demonstrate that the actin-disrupting agent cytochalasin D rapidly changes this framework at concentrations significantly lower than is normally used. Experiments are also performed to highlight that serum starvation significantly sensitizes cells to the effects of R8 on actin-induced ruffling and lamellapodia formation. The techniques described here can be used to gain a higher level of knowledge of the organization of the actin network in individual model cell systems, how this is perturbed using commonly used actin inhibitors, and how plasma membrane reorganization can be induced by the addition of drug delivery vectors such as CPPs.

  12. Neural networks combined with region growing techniques for tumor detection in [18F]-fluorothymidine dynamic positron emission tomography breast cancer studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cseh, Zoltan; Kenny, Laura; Swingland, James; Bose, Subrata; Turheimer, Federico E.

    2013-03-01

    Early detection and precise localization of malignant tumors has been a primary challenge in medical imaging in recent years. Functional modalities play a continuously increasing role in these efforts. Image segmentation algorithms which enable automatic, accurate tumor visualization and quantification on noisy positron emission tomography (PET) images would significantly improve the quality of treatment planning processes and in turn, the success of treatments. In this work a novel multistep method has been applied in order to identify tumor regions in 4D dynamic [18F] fluorothymidine (FLT) PET studies of patients with locally advanced breast cancer. In order to eliminate the effect of inherently detectable high inhomogeneity inside tumors, specific voxel-kinetic classes were initially introduced by finding characteristic FLT-uptake curves with K-means algorithm on a set of voxels collected from each tumor. Image voxel sets were then split based on voxel time-activity curve (TAC) similarities, and models were generated separately on each voxel set. At first, artificial neural networks, in comparison with linear classification algorithms were applied to distinguish tumor and healthy regions relying on the characteristics of TACs of the individual voxels. The outputs of the best model with very high specificity were then used as input seeds for region shrinking and growing techniques, the application of which considerably enhanced the sensitivity and specificity (78.65% +/- 0.65% and 98.98% +/- 0.03%, respectively) of the final image segmentation model.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. The nitrate reductase inhibitor, tungsten, disrupts actin microfilaments in Zea mays L.

    PubMed

    Adamakis, Ioannis-Dimosthenis S; Panteris, Emmanuel; Eleftheriou, Eleftherios P

    2014-05-01

    Tungsten is a widely used inhibitor of nitrate reductase, applied to diminish the nitric oxide levels in plants. It was recently shown that tungsten also has heavy metal attributes. Since information about the toxic effects of tungsten on actin is limited, and considering that actin microfilaments are involved in the entry of tungsten inside plant cells, the effects of tungsten on them were studied in Zea mays seedlings. Treatments with sodium tungstate for 3, 6, 12 or 24 h were performed on intact seedlings and seedlings with truncated roots. Afterwards, actin microfilaments in meristematic root and leaf tissues were stained with fluorescent phalloidin, and the specimens were examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy. While the actin microfilament network was well organized in untreated seedlings, in tungstate-treated ones it was disrupted in a time-dependent manner. In protodermal root cells, the effects of tungsten were stronger as cortical microfilaments were almost completely depolymerized and the intracellular ones appeared highly bundled. Fluorescence intensity measurements confirmed the above results. In the meristematic leaf tissue of intact seedlings, no depolymerization of actin microfilaments was noticed. However, when root tips were severed prior to tungstate application, both cortical and endoplasmic actin networks of leaf cells were disrupted and bundled after 24 h of treatment. The differential response of root and leaf tissues to tungsten toxicity may be due to differential penetration and absorption, while the effects on actin microfilaments could not be attributed to the nitric oxide depletion by tungsten.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Regulation of the Actin Cytoskeleton by an Interaction of IQGAP Related Protein GAPA with Filamin and Cortexillin I

    PubMed Central

    Rieger, Daniela; Müller, Rolf; Rivero, Francisco; Faix, Jan; Schleicher, Michael; Noegel, Angelika A.

    2010-01-01

    Filamin and Cortexillin are F-actin crosslinking proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum allowing actin filaments to form three-dimensional networks. GAPA, an IQGAP related protein, is required for cytokinesis and localizes to the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Here we describe a novel interaction with Filamin which is required for cytokinesis and regulation of the F-actin content. The interaction occurs through the actin binding domain of Filamin and the GRD domain of GAPA. A similar interaction takes place with Cortexillin I. We further report that Filamin associates with Rac1a implying that filamin might act as a scaffold for small GTPases. Filamin and activated Rac associate with GAPA to regulate actin remodelling. Overexpression of filamin and GAPA in the various strains suggests that GAPA regulates the actin cytoskeleton through interaction with Filamin and that it controls cytokinesis through association with Filamin and Cortexillin. PMID:21085675

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Chiu Fan; Pruessner, Gunnar

    2016-05-01

    Cell motility and tissue morphogenesis depend crucially on the dynamic remodeling of actomyosin networks. An actomyosin network consists of an actin polymer network connected by cross-linker proteins and motor protein myosins that generate internal stresses on the network. A recent discovery shows that for a range of experimental parameters, actomyosin networks contract to clusters with a power-law size distribution [J. Alvarado, Nat. Phys. 9, 591 (2013), 10.1038/nphys2715]. Here, we argue that actomyosin networks can exhibit a robust critical signature without fine-tuning because the dynamics of the system can be mapped onto a modified version of percolation with trapping (PT), which is known to show critical behavior belonging to the static percolation universality class without the need for fine-tuning of a control parameter. We further employ our PT model to generate experimentally testable predictions.

  5. 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

  6. Interactions between actin filaments and between actin filaments and membranes in quick-frozen and deeply etched hair cells of the chick ear

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    Replicas of the apical surface of hair cells of the inner ear (vestibular organ) were examined after quick freezing and rotary shadowing. With this technique we illustrate two previously undescribed ways in which the actin filaments in the stereocilia and in the cuticular plate are attached to the plasma membrane. First, in each stereocilium there are threadlike connectors running from the actin filament bundle to the limiting membrane. Second, many of the actin filaments in the cuticular plate are connected to the apical cell membrane by tiny branched connecting units like a "crow's foot." Where these "feet" contact the membrane there is a small swelling. These branched "feet" extend mainly from the ends of the actin filaments but some connect the lateral surfaces of the actin filaments as well. Actin filaments in the cuticular plate are also connected to each other by finer filaments, 3 nm in thickness and 74 +/- 14 nm in length. Interestingly, these 3-nm filaments (which measure 4 nm in replicas) connect actin filaments not only of the same polarity but of opposite polarities as documented by examining replicas of the cuticular plate which had been decorated with subfragment 1 (S1) of myosin. At the apicolateral margins of the cell we find two populations of actin filaments, one just beneath the tight junction as a network, the other at the level of the zonula adherens as a ring. The latter which is quite substantial is composed of actin filaments that run parallel to each other; adjacent filaments often show opposite polarities, as evidenced by S1 decoration. The filaments making up this ring are connected together by the 3-nm connectors. Because of the polarity of the filaments this ring may be a "contractile" ring; the implications of this is discussed. PMID:6890555

  7. Regulation of actin filament length in erythrocytes and striated muscle.

    PubMed

    Fowler, V M

    1996-02-01

    Actin filaments polymerize in vitro to lengths which display an exponential distribution, yet in many highly differentiated cells they can be precisely maintained at uniform lengths in elaborate supramolecular structures. Recent results obtained using two classic model systems, the erythrocyte membrane cytoskeleton and the striated muscle sarcomere, reveal surprising similarities and instructive differences in the molecules and mechanisms responsible for determining and maintaining actin filament lengths in these two systems. Tropomodulin caps the slow-growing, pointed filament ends in muscle and in erythrocytes. CapZ caps the fast-growing, barbed filament ends in striated muscle, whereas a newly discovered barbed end capping protein, adducin, may cap the barbed filament ends in erythrocytes. The mechanisms responsible for specifying the characteristic filament lengths in these systems are more elusive and may include strict control of the relative amounts of actin filament capping proteins and side-binding proteins, molecular templates (e.g. tropomyosin and nebulin) and/or verniers (e.g. tropomyosin).

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Arabidopsis CAP1 - a key regulator of actin organisation and development.

    PubMed

    Deeks, Michael J; Rodrigues, Cecília; Dimmock, Simon; Ketelaar, Tijs; Maciver, Sutherland K; Malhó, Rui; Hussey, Patrick J

    2007-08-01

    Maintenance of F-actin turnover is essential for plant cell morphogenesis. Actin-binding protein mutants reveal that plants place emphasis on particular aspects of actin biochemistry distinct from animals and fungi. Here we show that mutants in CAP1, an A. thaliana member of the cyclase-associated protein family, display a phenotype that establishes CAP1 as a fundamental facilitator of actin dynamics over a wide range of plant tissues. Plants homozygous for cap1 alleles show a reduction in stature and morphogenetic disruption of multiple cell types. Pollen grains exhibit reduced germination efficiency, and cap1 pollen tubes and root hairs grow at a decreased rate and to a reduced length. Live cell imaging of growing root hairs reveals actin filament disruption and cytoplasmic disorganisation in the tip growth zone. Mutant cap1 alleles also show synthetic phenotypes when combined with mutants of the Arp2/3 complex pathway, which further suggests a contribution of CAP1 to in planta actin dynamics. In yeast, CAP interacts with adenylate cyclase in a Ras signalling cascade; but plants do not have Ras. Surprisingly, cap1 plants show disruption in plant signalling pathways required for co-ordinated organ expansion suggesting that plant CAP has evolved to attain plant-specific signalling functions.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Characterization and dynamics of cytoplasmic F-actin in higher plant endosperm cells during interphase, mitosis, and cytokinesis

    PubMed Central

    1987-01-01

    We have identified an F-actin cytoskeletal network that remains throughout interphase, mitosis, and cytokinesis of higher plant endosperm cells. Fluorescent labeling was obtained using actin monoclonal antibodies and/or rhodamine-phalloidin. Video-enhanced microscopy and ultrastructural observations of immunogold-labeled preparations illustrated microfilament-microtubule co-distribution and interactions. Actin was also identified in cell crude extract with Western blotting. During interphase, microfilament and microtubule arrays formed two distinct networks that intermingled. At the onset of mitosis, when microtubules rearranged into the mitotic spindle, microfilaments were redistributed to the cell cortex, while few microfilaments remained in the spindle. During mitosis, the cortical actin network remained as an elastic cage around the mitotic apparatus and was stretched parallel to the spindle axis during poleward movement of chromosomes. This suggested the presence of dynamic cross-links that rearrange when they are submitted to slow and regular mitotic forces. At the poles, the regular network is maintained. After midanaphase, new, short microfilaments invaded the equator when interzonal vesicles were transported along the phragmoplast microtubules. Colchicine did not affect actin distribution, and cytochalasin B or D did not inhibit chromosome transport. Our data on endosperm cells suggested that plant cytoplasmic actin has an important role in the cell cortex integrity and in the structural dynamics of the poorly understood cytoplasm- mitotic spindle interface. F-actin may contribute to the regulatory mechanisms of microtubule-dependent or guided transport of vesicles during mitosis and cytokinesis in higher plant cells. PMID:3680376

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

  18. KDM3A coordinates actin dynamics with intraflagellar transport to regulate cilia stability.

    PubMed

    Yeyati, Patricia L; Schiller, Rachel; Mali, Girish; Kasioulis, Ioannis; Kawamura, Akane; Adams, Ian R; Playfoot, Christopher; Gilbert, Nick; van Heyningen, Veronica; Wills, Jimi; von Kriegsheim, Alex; Finch, Andrew; Sakai, Juro; Schofield, Christopher J; Jackson, Ian J; Mill, Pleasantine

    2017-02-28

    Cilia assembly and disassembly are coupled to actin dynamics, ensuring a coherent cellular response during environmental change. How these processes are integrated remains undefined. The histone lysine demethylase KDM3A plays important roles in organismal homeostasis. Loss-of-function mouse models of Kdm3a phenocopy features associated with human ciliopathies, whereas human somatic mutations correlate with poor cancer prognosis. We demonstrate that absence of KDM3A facilitates ciliogenesis, but these resulting cilia have an abnormally wide range of axonemal lengths, delaying disassembly and accumulating intraflagellar transport (IFT) proteins. KDM3A plays a dual role by regulating actin gene expression and binding to the actin cytoskeleton, creating a responsive "actin gate" that involves ARP2/3 activity and IFT. Promoting actin filament formation rescues KDM3A mutant ciliary defects. Conversely, the simultaneous depolymerization of actin networks and IFT overexpression mimics the abnormal ciliary traits of KDM3A mutants. KDM3A is thus a negative regulator of ciliogenesis required for the controlled recruitment of IFT proteins into cilia through the modulation of actin dynamics.

  19. 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

  20. KDM3A coordinates actin dynamics with intraflagellar transport to regulate cilia stability

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, Rachel; Kawamura, Akane; Gilbert, Nick; Wills, Jimi; von Kriegsheim, Alex

    2017-01-01

    Cilia assembly and disassembly are coupled to actin dynamics, ensuring a coherent cellular response during environmental change. How these processes are integrated remains undefined. The histone lysine demethylase KDM3A plays important roles in organismal homeostasis. Loss-of-function mouse models of Kdm3a phenocopy features associated with human ciliopathies, whereas human somatic mutations correlate with poor cancer prognosis. We demonstrate that absence of KDM3A facilitates ciliogenesis, but these resulting cilia have an abnormally wide range of axonemal lengths, delaying disassembly and accumulating intraflagellar transport (IFT) proteins. KDM3A plays a dual role by regulating actin gene expression and binding to the actin cytoskeleton, creating a responsive “actin gate” that involves ARP2/3 activity and IFT. Promoting actin filament formation rescues KDM3A mutant ciliary defects. Conversely, the simultaneous depolymerization of actin networks and IFT overexpression mimics the abnormal ciliary traits of KDM3A mutants. KDM3A is thus a negative regulator of ciliogenesis required for the controlled recruitment of IFT proteins into cilia through the modulation of actin dynamics. PMID:28246120

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Cortical flow aligns actin filaments to form a furrow

    PubMed Central

    Reymann, Anne-Cecile; Staniscia, Fabio; Erzberger, Anna; Salbreux, Guillaume; Grill, Stephan W

    2016-01-01

    Cytokinesis in eukaryotic cells is often accompanied by actomyosin cortical flow. Over 30 years ago, Borisy and White proposed that cortical flow converging upon the cell equator compresses the actomyosin network to mechanically align actin filaments. However, actin filaments also align via search-and-capture, and to what extent compression by flow or active alignment drive furrow formation remains unclear. Here, we quantify the dynamical organization of actin filaments at the onset of ring assembly in the C. elegans zygote, and provide a framework for determining emergent actomyosin material parameters by the use of active nematic gel theory. We characterize flow-alignment coupling, and verify at a quantitative level that compression by flow drives ring formation. Finally, we find that active alignment enhances but is not required for ring formation. Our work characterizes the physical mechanisms of actomyosin ring formation and highlights the role of flow as a central organizer of actomyosin network architecture. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17807.001 PMID:27719759

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yamamoto, Kazuyoshi; Kiss, John Z.

    2002-01-01

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

  9. Host actin polymerization tunes the cell division cycle of an intracellular pathogen.

    PubMed

    Siegrist, M Sloan; Aditham, Arjun K; Espaillat, Akbar; Cameron, Todd A; Whiteside, Sarah A; Cava, Felipe; Portnoy, Daniel A; Bertozzi, Carolyn R

    2015-04-28

    Growth and division are two of the most fundamental capabilities of a bacterial cell. While they are well described for model organisms growing in broth culture, very little is known about the cell division cycle of bacteria replicating in more complex environments. Using a D-alanine reporter strategy, we found that intracellular Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) spend a smaller proportion of their cell cycle dividing compared to Lm growing in broth culture. This alteration to the cell division cycle is independent of bacterial doubling time. Instead, polymerization of host-derived actin at the bacterial cell surface extends the non-dividing elongation period and compresses the division period. By decreasing the relative proportion of dividing Lm, actin polymerization biases the population toward cells with the highest propensity to form actin tails. Thus, there is a positive-feedback loop between the Lm cell division cycle and a physical interaction with the host cytoskeleton.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  13. Myosin VI small insert isoform maintains exocytosis by tethering secretory granules to the cortical actin.

    PubMed

    Tomatis, Vanesa M; Papadopulos, Andreas; Malintan, Nancy T; Martin, Sally; Wallis, Tristan; Gormal, Rachel S; Kendrick-Jones, John; Buss, Folma; Meunier, Frédéric A

    2013-02-04

    Before undergoing neuroexocytosis, secretory granules (SGs) are mobilized and tethered to the cortical actin network by an unknown mechanism. Using an SG pull-down assay and mass spectrometry, we found that myosin VI was recruited to SGs in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Interfering with myosin VI function in PC12 cells reduced the density of SGs near the plasma membrane without affecting their biogenesis. Myosin VI knockdown selectively impaired a late phase of exocytosis, consistent with a replenishment defect. This exocytic defect was selectively rescued by expression of the myosin VI small insert (SI) isoform, which efficiently tethered SGs to the cortical actin network. These myosin VI SI-specific effects were prevented by deletion of a c-Src kinase phosphorylation DYD motif, identified in silico. Myosin VI SI thus recruits SGs to the cortical actin network, potentially via c-Src phosphorylation, thereby maintaining an active pool of SGs near the plasma membrane.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. F-actin structure destabilization and DNase I binding loop: fluctuations mutational cross-linking and electron microscopy analysis of loop states and effects on F-actin.

    PubMed

    Oztug Durer, Zeynep A; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Sept, David; Kudryashov, Dmitri S; Reisler, Emil

    2010-01-22

    The conformational dynamics of filamentous actin (F-actin) is essential for the regulation and functions of cellular actin networks. The main contribution to F-actin dynamics and its multiple conformational states arises from the mobility and flexibility of the DNase I binding loop (D-loop; residues 40-50) on subdomain 2. Therefore, we explored the structural constraints on D-loop plasticity at the F-actin interprotomer space by probing its dynamic interactions with the hydrophobic loop (H-loop), the C-terminus, and the W-loop via mutational disulfide cross-linking. To this end, residues of the D-loop were mutated to cysteines on yeast actin with a C374A background. These mutants showed no major changes in their polymerization and nucleotide exchange properties compared to wild-type actin. Copper-catalyzed disulfide cross-linking was investigated in equimolar copolymers of cysteine mutants from the D-loop with either wild-type (C374) actin or mutant S265C/C374A (on the H-loop) or mutant F169C/C374A (on the W-loop). Remarkably, all tested residues of the D-loop could be cross-linked to residues 374, 265, and 169 by disulfide bonds, demonstrating the plasticity of the interprotomer region. However, each cross-link resulted in different effects on the filament structure, as detected by electron microscopy and light-scattering measurements. Disulfide cross-linking in the longitudinal orientation produced mostly no visible changes in filament morphology, whereas the cross-linking of D-loop residues >45 to the H-loop, in the lateral direction, resulted in filament disruption and the presence of amorphous aggregates on electron microscopy images. A similar aggregation was also observed upon cross-linking the residues of the D-loop (>41) to residue 169. The effects of disulfide cross-links on F-actin stability were only partially accounted for by the simulations of current F-actin models. Thus, our results present evidence for the high level of conformational plasticity in

  2. Formation of actin filament bundles in the ring canals of developing Drosophila follicles

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Growing the intracellular bridges that connect nurse cells with each o ther and to the developing oocyte is vital for egg development. These ring canals increase from 0.5 microns in diameter at stage 2 to 10 microns in diameter at stage 11. Thin sections cut horizontally as you would cut a bagel, show that there is a layer of circumferentially oriented actin filaments attached to the plasma membrane at the periphery of each canal. By decoration with subfragment 1 of myosin we find actin filaments of mixed polarities in the ring such as found in the "contractile ring" formed during cytokinesis. In vertical sections through the canal the actin filaments appear as dense dots. At stage 2 there are 82 actin filaments in the ring, by stage 6 there are 717 and by stage 10 there are 726. Taking into account the diameter, this indicates that there is 170 microns of actin filaments/canal at stage 2 (pi x 0.5 microns x 82), 14,000 microns at stage 9 and approximately 23,000 microns at stage 11 or one inch of actin filament! The density of actin filaments remains unchanged throughout development. What is particularly striking is that by stages 4-5, the ring of actin filaments has achieved its maximum thickness, even though the diameter has not yet increased significantly. Thereafter, the diameter increases. Throughout development, stages 2-11, the canal length also increases. Although the density (number of actin filaments/micron2) through a canal remains constant from stage 5 on, the actin filaments appear as a net of interconnected bundles. Further information on this net of bundles comes from studying mutant animals that lack kelch, a protein located in the ring canal that has homology to the actin binding protein, scruin. In this mutant, the actin filaments form normally but individual bundles that comprise the fibers of the net are not bound tightly together. Some bundles enter into the ring canal lumen but do not completely occlude the lumen. all these observations lay

  3. 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.

  4. Diffusion Rate Limitations in Actin-Based Propulsion of Hard and Deformable Particles

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Richard B.; Purich, Daniel L.

    2006-01-01

    The mechanism by which actin polymerization propels intracellular vesicles and invasive microorganisms remains an open question. Several recent quantitative studies have examined propulsion of biomimetic particles such as polystyrene microspheres, phospholipid vesicles, and oil droplets. In addition to allowing quantitative measurement of parameters such as the dependence of particle speed on its size, these systems have also revealed characteristic behaviors such a saltatory motion of hard particles and oscillatory deformation of soft particles. Such measurements and observations provide tests for proposed mechanisms of actin-based motility. In the actoclampin filament end-tracking motor model, particle-surface-bound filament end-tracking proteins are involved in load-insensitive processive insertion of actin subunits onto elongating filament plus-ends that are persistently tethered to the surface. In contrast, the tethered-ratchet model assumes working filaments are untethered and the free-ended filaments grow as thermal ratchets in a load-sensitive manner. This article presents a model for the diffusion and consumption of actin monomers during actin-based particle propulsion to predict the monomer concentration field around motile particles. The results suggest that the various behaviors of biomimetic particles, including dynamic saltatory motion of hard particles and oscillatory vesicle deformations, can be quantitatively and self-consistently explained by load-insensitive, diffusion-limited elongation of (+)-end-tethered actin filaments, consistent with predictions of the actoclampin filament-end tracking mechanism. PMID:16731556

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-05

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

  7. Growing an Emerging Research University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Birx, Donald L.; Anderson-Fletcher, Elizabeth; Whitney, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    The emerging research college or university is one of the most formidable resources a region has to reinvent and grow its economy. This paper is the first of two that outlines a process of building research universities that enhance regional technology development and facilitate flexible networks of collaboration and resource sharing. Although the…

  8. 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

  9. Actin is not required for nanotubular protrusions of primary astrocytes grown on metal nano-lawn.

    PubMed

    Gimsa, Ulrike; Iglic, Ales; Fiedler, Stefan; Zwanzig, Michael; Kralj-Iglic, Veronika; Jonas, Ludwig; Gimsa, Jan

    2007-01-01

    We used sub-micron metal rod decorated surfaces, 'nano-lawn' structures, as a substrate to study cell-to-cell and cell-to-surface interactions of primary murine astrocytes. These cells form thin membranous tubes with diameters of less than 100 nm and a length of several microns, which make contact to neighboring cells and the substrate during differentiation. While membrane protrusions grow on top of the nano-lawn pillars, nuclei sink to the bottom of the substrate. We observed gondola-like structures along those tubes, suggestive of their function as transport vehicles. Elements of the cytoskeleton such as actin fibers are commonly believed to be essential for triggering the onset and growth of tubular membrane protrusions. A rope-pulling mechanism along actin fibers has recently been proposed to account for the transport or exchange of cellular material between cells. We present evidence for a complementary mechanism that promotes growth and stabilization of the observed tubular protrusions of cell membranes. This mechanism does not require active involvement of actin fibers as the formation of membrane protrusions could not be prevented by suppressing polymerization of actin by latrunculin B. Also theoretically, actin fibers are not essential for the growing and stability of nanotubes since curvature-driven self-assembly of interacting anisotropic raft elements is sufficient for the spontaneous formation of thin nano-tubular membrane protrusions.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Growing and Growing: Promoting Functional Thinking with Geometric Growing Patterns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markworth, Kimberly A.

    2010-01-01

    Design research methodology is used in this study to develop an empirically-substantiated instruction theory about students' development of functional thinking in the context of geometric growing patterns. The two research questions are: (1) How does students' functional thinking develop in the context of geometric growing patterns? (2) What are…

  20. Quantitation of liquid-crystalline ordering in F-actin solutions.

    PubMed

    Coppin, C M; Leavis, P C

    1992-09-01

    Actin filaments (F-actin) are important determinants of cellular shape and motility. These functions depend on the collective organization of numerous filaments with respect to both position and orientation in the cytoplasm. Much of the orientational organization arises spontaneously through liquid crystal formation in concentrated F-actin solutions. In studying this phenomenon, we found that solutions of purified F-actin undergo a continuous phase transition, from the isotropic state to a liquid crystalline state, when either the mean filament length or the actin concentration is increased above its respective threshold value. The phase diagram representing the threshold filament lengths and concentrations at which the phase transition occurs is consistent with that predicted by Flory's theory on solutions of noninteracting, rigid cylinders (Flory, 1956b). However, in contrast to other predictions based on this model, we found no evidence for the coexistence of isotropic and anisotropic phases. Furthermore, the phase transition proved to be temperature dependent, which suggests the existence of orientation-dependent interfilament interactions or of a temperature-dependent filament flexibility. We developed a simple method for growing undistorted fluorescent acrylodan-labeled F-actin liquid crystals; and we derived a simple theoretical treatment by which polarization-of-fluorescence measurements could be used to quantitate, for the first time, the degree of spontaneous filament ordering (nematic order parameter) in these F-actin liquid crystals. This order parameter was found to increase monotonically with both filament length and concentration. Actin liquid crystals can readily become distorted by a process known as "texturing." Zigzaging and helicoidal liquid crystalline textures which persisted in the absence of ATP were observed through the polarizing microscope. Possible texturing mechanisms are discussed.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The evolution of the actin binding NET superfamily

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The evolution of the actin binding NET superfamily.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Verification of satellite radar remote sensing based estimates of boreal and subalpine growing seasons using an ecosystem process model and surface biophysical measurement network information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McDonald, K. C.; Kimball, J. S.; Zimmerman, R.

    2002-01-01

    We employ daily surface Radar backscatter data from the SeaWinds Ku-band Scatterometer onboard Quikscat to estimate landscape freeze-thaw state and associated length of the seasonal non-frozen period as a surrogate for determining the annual growing season across boreal and subalpine regions of North America for 2000 and 2001.

  6. Hydrogen sulfide modulates actin-dependent auxin transport via regulating ABPs results in changing of root development in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Honglei; Hu, Yanfeng; Fan, Tingting; Li, Jisheng

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) signaling has been considered a key regulator of plant developmental processes and defenses. In this study, we demonstrate that high levels of H2S inhibit auxin transport and lead to alterations in root system development. H2S inhibits auxin transport by altering the polar subcellular distribution of PIN proteins. The vesicle trafficking and distribution of the PIN proteins are an actin-dependent process. H2S changes the expression of several actin-binding proteins (ABPs) and decreases the occupancy percentage of F-actin bundles in the Arabidopsis roots. We observed the effects of H2S on F-actin in T-DNA insertion mutants of cpa, cpb and prf3, indicating that the effects of H2S on F-actin are partially removed in the mutant plants. Thus, these data imply that the ABPs act as downstream effectors of the H2S signal and thereby regulate the assembly and depolymerization of F-actin in root cells. Taken together, our data suggest that the existence of a tightly regulated intertwined signaling network between auxin, H2S and actin that controls root system development. In the proposed process, H2S plays an important role in modulating auxin transport by an actin-dependent method, which results in alterations in root development in Arabidopsis. PMID:25652660

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Structural definition of the F-actin-binding THATCH domain from HIP1R.

    PubMed

    Brett, Tom J; Legendre-Guillemin, Valerie; McPherson, Peter S; Fremont, Daved H

    2006-02-01

    Huntingtin-interacting protein-1 related (HIP1R) has a crucial protein-trafficking role, mediating associations between actin and clathrin-coated structures at the plasma membrane and trans-Golgi network. Here, we characterize the F-actin-binding region of HIP1R, termed the talin-HIP1/R/Sla2p actin-tethering C-terminal homology (THATCH) domain. The 1.9-A crystal structure of the human HIP1R THATCH core reveals a large sequence-conserved surface patch created primarily by residues from the third and fourth helices of a unique five-helix bundle. Point mutations of seven contiguous patch residues produced significant decreases in F-actin binding. We also show that THATCH domains have a conserved C-terminal latch capable of oligomerizing the core, thereby modulating F-actin engagement. Collectively, these results establish a framework for investigating the links between endocytosis and actin dynamics mediated by THATCH domain-containing proteins.

  10. Cofilin recruits F-actin to SPCA1 and promotes Ca2+-mediated secretory cargo sorting.

    PubMed

    Kienzle, Christine; Basnet, Nirakar; Crevenna, Alvaro H; Beck, Gisela; Habermann, Bianca; Mizuno, Naoko; von Blume, Julia

    2014-09-01

    The actin filament severing protein cofilin-1 (CFL-1) is required for actin and P-type ATPase secretory pathway calcium ATPase (SPCA)-dependent sorting of secretory proteins at the trans-Golgi network (TGN). How these proteins interact and activate the pump to facilitate cargo sorting, however, is not known. We used purified proteins to assess interaction of the cytoplasmic domains of SPCA1 with actin and CFL-1. A 132-amino acid portion of the SPCA1 phosphorylation domain (P-domain) interacted with actin in a CFL-1-dependent manner. This domain, coupled to nickel nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni-NTA) agarose beads, specifically recruited F-actin in the presence of CFL-1 and, when expressed in HeLa cells, inhibited Ca(2+) entry into the TGN and secretory cargo sorting. Mutagenesis of four amino acids in SPCA1 that represent the CFL-1 binding site also affected Ca(2+) import into the TGN and secretory cargo sorting. Altogether, our findings reveal the mechanism of CFL-1-dependent recruitment of actin to SPCA1 and the significance of this interaction for Ca(2+) influx and secretory cargo sorting.

  11. 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 to control the dynamics and architecture of distinct actin networks.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. F-actin polymerization and retrograde flow drive sustained PLCγ1 signaling during T cell activation

    PubMed Central

    Babich, Alexander; Li, Shuixing; O'Connor, Roddy S.; Milone, Michael C.; Freedman, Bruce D.

    2012-01-01

    Activation of T cells by antigen-presenting cells involves assembly of signaling molecules into dynamic microclusters (MCs) within a specialized membrane domain termed the immunological synapse (IS). Actin and myosin IIA localize to the IS, and depletion of F-actin abrogates MC movement and T cell activation. However, the mechanisms that coordinate actomyosin dynamics and T cell receptor signaling are poorly understood. Using pharmacological inhibitors that perturb individual aspects of actomyosin dynamics without disassembling the network, we demonstrate that F-actin polymerization is the primary driver of actin retrograde flow, whereas myosin IIA promotes long-term integrity of the IS. Disruption of F-actin retrograde flow, but not myosin IIA contraction, arrested MC centralization and inhibited sustained Ca2+ signaling at the level of endoplasmic reticulum store release. Furthermore, perturbation of retrograde flow inhibited PLCγ1 phosphorylation within MCs but left Zap70 activity intact. These studies highlight the importance of ongoing actin polymerization as a central driver of actomyosin retrograde flow, MC centralization, and sustained Ca2+ signaling. PMID:22665519

  14. 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

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. Dynamin-2 Regulates Fusion Pore Expansion and Quantal Release through a Mechanism that Involves Actin Dynamics in Neuroendocrine Chromaffin Cells

    PubMed Central

    González-Jamett, Arlek M.; Momboisse, Fanny; Guerra, María José; Ory, Stéphane; Báez-Matus, Ximena; Barraza, Natalia; Calco, Valerie; Houy, Sébastien; Couve, Eduardo; Neely, Alan; Martínez, Agustín D.; Gasman, Stéphane; Cárdenas, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past years, dynamin has been implicated in tuning the amount and nature of transmitter released during exocytosis. However, the mechanism involved remains poorly understood. Here, using bovine adrenal chromaffin cells, we investigated whether this mechanism rely on dynamin’s ability to remodel actin cytoskeleton. According to this idea, inhibition of dynamin GTPase activity suppressed the calcium-dependent de novo cortical actin and altered the cortical actin network. Similarly, expression of a small interfering RNA directed against dynamin-2, an isoform highly expressed in chromaffin cells, changed the cortical actin network pattern. Disruption of dynamin-2 function, as well as the pharmacological inhibition of actin polymerization with cytochalasine-D, slowed down fusion pore expansion and increased the quantal size of individual exocytotic events. The effects of cytochalasine-D and dynamin-2 disruption were not additive indicating that dynamin-2 and F-actin regulate the late steps of exocytosis by a common mechanism. Together our data support a model in which dynamin-2 directs actin polymerization at the exocytosis site where both, in concert, adjust the hormone quantal release to efficiently respond to physiological demands. PMID:23940613

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Actin Cytoskeleton Contributes to the Elastic Modulus of Embryonic Tendon During Early Development

    PubMed Central

    Schiele, Nathan R.; von Flotow, Friedrich; Tochka, Zachary L.; Hockaday, Laura A.; Marturano, Joseph E.; Thibodeau, Jeffrey J.; Kuo, Catherine K.

    2016-01-01

    Tendon injuries are common and heal poorly. Strategies to regenerate or replace injured tendons are challenged by an incomplete understanding of normal tendon development. Our previous study showed that embryonic tendon elastic modulus increases as a function of developmental stage. Inhibition of enzymatic collagen crosslink formation abrogated increases in tendon elastic modulus at late developmental stages, but did not affect increases in elastic modulus of early stage embryonic tendons. Here, we aimed to identify potential contributors to the mechanical properties of these early stage embryonic tendons. We characterized tendon progenitor cells in early stage embryonic tendons, and the influence of actin cytoskeleton disruption on tissue elastic modulus. Cells were closely packed in embryonic tendons, and did not change in density during early development. We observed an organized network of actin filaments that seemed contiguous between adjacent cells. The actin filaments exhibited a crimp pattern with a period and amplitude that matched the crimp of collagen fibers at each developmental stage. Chemical disruption of the actin cytoskeleton decreased tendon tissue elastic modulus, measured by atomic force microscopy. Our results demonstrate that early developmental stage embryonic tendons possess a well organized actin cytoskeleton network that contributes significantly to tendon tissue mechanical properties. PMID:25721681

  3. Actin cytoskeleton contributes to the elastic modulus of embryonic tendon during early development.

    PubMed

    Schiele, Nathan R; von Flotow, Friedrich; Tochka, Zachary L; Hockaday, Laura A; Marturano, Joseph E; Thibodeau, Jeffrey J; Kuo, Catherine K

    2015-06-01

    Tendon injuries are common and heal poorly. Strategies to regenerate or replace injured tendons are challenged by an incomplete understanding of normal tendon development. Our previous study showed that embryonic tendon elastic modulus increases as a function of developmental stage. Inhibition of enzymatic collagen crosslink formation abrogated increases in tendon elastic modulus at late developmental stages, but did not affect increases in elastic modulus of early stage embryonic tendons. Here, we aimed to identify potential contributors to the mechanical properties of these early stage embryonic tendons. We characterized tendon progenitor cells in early stage embryonic tendons, and the influence of actin cytoskeleton disruption on tissue elastic modulus. Cells were closely packed in embryonic tendons, and did not change in density during early development. We observed an organized network of actin filaments that seemed contiguous between adjacent cells. The actin filaments exhibited a crimp pattern with a period and amplitude that matched the crimp of collagen fibers at each developmental stage. Chemical disruption of the actin cytoskeleton decreased tendon tissue elastic modulus, measured by atomic force microscopy. Our results demonstrate that early developmental stage embryonic tendons possess a well organized actin cytoskeleton network that contributes significantly to tendon tissue mechanical properties.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. ADF/cofilin is not essential but is critically important for actin activities during phagocytosis in Tetrahymena thermophila.

    PubMed

    Shiozaki, Nanami; Nakano, Kentaro; Kushida, Yasuharu; Noguchi, Taro Q P; Uyeda, Taro Q P; Wloga, Dorota; Dave, Drashti; Vasudevan, Krishna Kumar; Gaertig, Jacek; Numata, Osamu

    2013-08-01

    ADF/cofilin is a highly conserved actin-modulating protein. Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton in vivo through severing and depolymerizing of F-actin by this protein is essential for various cellular events, such as endocytosis, phagocytosis, cytokinesis, and cell migration. We show that in the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, the ADF/cofilin homologue Adf73p associates with actin on nascent food vacuoles. Overexpression of Adf73p disrupted the proper localization of actin and inhibited the formation of food vacuoles. In vitro, recombinant Adf73p promoted the depolymerization of filaments made of T. thermophila actin (Act1p). Knockout cells lacking the ADF73 gene are viable but grow extremely slowly and have a severely decreased rate of food vacuole formation. Knockout cells have abnormal aggregates of actin in the cytoplasm. Surprisingly, unlike the case in animals and yeasts, in Tetrahymena, ADF/cofilin is not required for cytokinesis. Thus, the Tetrahymena model shows promise for future studies of the role of ADF/cofilin in vivo.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. FHOD proteins in actin dynamics--a formin' class of its own.

    PubMed

    Bechtold, Meike; Schultz, Jörg; Bogdan, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells have evolved a variety of actin-binding proteins to regulate the architecture and the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton in time and space. The Diaphanous-related formins (DRF) represent a diverse group of Rho-GTPase-regulated actin regulators that control a range of actin structures composed of tightly-bundled, unbranched actin filaments as found in stress fibers and in filopodia. Under resting conditions, DRFs are auto-inhibited by an intra-molecular interaction between the C-terminal and the N-terminal domains. The auto-inhibition is thought to be released by binding of an activated RhoGTPase to the N-terminal GTPase-binding domain (GBD). However, there is growing evidence for more sophisticated variations from this simplified linear activation model. In this review we focus on the formin homology domain-containing proteins (FHOD), an unconventional group of DRFs. Recent findings on the molecular control and cellular functions of FHOD proteins in vivo are discussed in the light of the phylogeny of FHOD proteins.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The universal bundling activity of AtVLN4 in diffusely growing cells.

    PubMed

    Du, Fei; Zhang, Yi; Ren, Haiyun

    2011-09-01

    We recently reported that AtVLN4, a member of villin/gelsolin/fragmin superfamily in Arabidopsis thaliana, participated in root hair growth through its actin bundling activity. To further understand the functions of AtVLN4, we investigated its in vivo expression pattern and roles in diffusely growing cells. Transcription analysis of AtVLN4 and detection of AtVLN 4 promoter-GUS activity consistently indicated that AtVLN4 had a universal expression pattern and was preferentially expressed in vegetative tissues. Observation of actin structures labeled by GFP-fABD2 revealed that there were less actin bundles in many diffusely growing cell types in atvln4-1 seedlings than in wild-type seedlings. Pharmacological studies by treatment with Latrunculin B showed that the actin filaments were much easier to be disrupted in diffusely growing cells of atvln4-1 seedlings. Collectively, these results demonstrate that AtVLN4 has a universal actin bundling activity in diffusely growing cells just like that in the tip growing cell, root hairs.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-04

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

  8. Postsynaptic actin regulates active zone spacing and glutamate receptor apposition at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Blunk, Aline D; Akbergenova, Yulia; Cho, Richard W; Lee, Jihye; Walldorf, Uwe; Xu, Ke; Zhong, Guisheng; Zhuang, Xiaowei; Littleton, J Troy

    2014-07-01

    Synaptic communication requires precise alignment of presynaptic active zones with postsynaptic receptors to enable rapid and efficient neurotransmitter release. How transsynaptic signaling between connected partners organizes this synaptic apparatus is poorly understood. To further define the mechanisms that mediate synapse assembly, we carried out a chemical mutagenesis screen in Drosophila to identify mutants defective in the alignment of active zones with postsynaptic glutamate receptor fields at the larval neuromuscular junction. From this screen we identified a mutation in Actin 57B that disrupted synaptic morphology and presynaptic active zone organization. Actin 57B, one of six actin genes in Drosophila, is expressed within the postsynaptic bodywall musculature. The isolated allele, act(E84K), harbors a point mutation in a highly conserved glutamate residue in subdomain 1 that binds members of the Calponin Homology protein family, including spectrin. Homozygous act(E84K) mutants show impaired alignment and spacing of presynaptic active zones, as well as defects in apposition of active zones to postsynaptic glutamate receptor fields. act(E84K) mutants have disrupted postsynaptic actin networks surrounding presynaptic boutons, with the formation of aberrant actin swirls previously observed following disruption of postsynaptic spectrin. Consistent with a disruption of the postsynaptic actin cytoskeleton, spectrin, adducin and the PSD-95 homolog Discs-Large are all mislocalized in act(E84K) mutants. Genetic interactions between act(E84K) and neurexin mutants suggest that the postsynaptic actin cytoskeleton may function together with the Neurexin-Neuroligin transsynaptic signaling complex to mediate normal synapse development and presynaptic active zone organization.

  9. Postsynaptic actin regulates active zone spacing and glutamate receptor apposition at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    Blunk, Aline D.; Akbergenova, Yulia; Cho, Richard W.; Lee, Jihye; Walldorf, Uwe; Xu, Ke; Zhong, Guisheng; Zhuang, Xiaowei; Littleton, J. Troy

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic communication requires precise alignment of presynaptic active zones with postsynaptic receptors to enable rapid and efficient neurotransmitter release. How transsynaptic signaling between connected partners organizes this synaptic apparatus is poorly understood. To further define the mechanisms that mediate synapse assembly, we carried out a chemical mutagenesis screen in Drosophila to identify mutants defective in the alignment of active zones with postsynaptic glutamate receptor fields at the larval neuromuscular junction. From this screen we identified a mutation in actin 57B that disrupted synaptic morphology and presynaptic active zone organization. Actin 57B, one of six actin genes in Drosophila, is expressed within the postsynaptic bodywall musculature. The isolated allele, actE84K, harbors a point mutation in a highly conserved glutamate residue in subdomain 1 that binds members of the Calponin Homology protein family, including spectrin. Homozygous actE84K mutants show impaired alignment and spacing of presynaptic active zones, as well as defects in apposition of active zones to postsynaptic glutamate receptor fields. actE84K mutants have disrupted postsynaptic actin networks surrounding presynaptic boutons, with the formation of aberrant actin swirls previously observed following disruption of postsynaptic spectrin. Consistent with a disruption of the postsynaptic actin cytoskeleton, spectrin, adducin and the PSD-95 homolog Disc-Large are all mislocalized in actE84K mutants. Genetic interactions between actE84K and neurexin mutants suggest that the postsynaptic actin cytoskeleton may function together with the Neurexin-Neuroligin transsynaptic signaling complex to mediate normal synapse development and presynaptic active zone organization. PMID:25066865

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Apical domain polarization localizes actin-myosin activity to drive ratchet-like apical constriction.

    PubMed

    Mason, Frank M; Tworoger, Michael; Martin, Adam C

    2013-08-01

    Apical constriction promotes epithelia folding, which changes tissue architecture. During Drosophila gastrulation, mesoderm cells exhibit repeated contractile pulses that are stabilized such that cells apically constrict like a ratchet. The transcription factor Twist is required to stabilize cell shape. However, it is unknown how Twist spatially coordinates downstream signals to prevent cell relaxation. We find that during constriction, Rho-associated kinase (Rok) is polarized to the middle of the apical domain (medioapical cortex), separate from adherens junctions. Rok recruits or stabilizes medioapical myosin II (Myo-II), which contracts dynamic medioapical actin cables. The formin Diaphanous mediates apical actin assembly to suppress medioapical E-cadherin localization and form stable connections between the medioapical contractile network and adherens junctions. Twist is not required for apical Rok recruitment, but instead polarizes Rok medioapically. Therefore, Twist establishes radial cell polarity of Rok/Myo-II and E-cadherin and promotes medioapical actin assembly in mesoderm cells to stabilize cell shape fluctuations.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Structure of the Rigor Actin-Tropomyosin-Myosin Complex

    PubMed Central

    Behrmann, Elmar; Müller, Mirco; Penczek, Pawel A.; Mannherz, Hans Georg; Manstein, Dietmar J.; Raunser, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    The interaction of myosin with actin filaments is the central feature of muscle contraction and cargo movement along actin filaments of the cytoskeleton. Myosin converts the chemical energy stored in ATP into force and movement along actin filaments. Myosin binding to actin induces conformational changes that are coupled to the nucleotide-binding pocket and amplified by a specialized region of the motor domain for efficient force generation. Tropomyosin plays a key role in regulating the productive interaction between myosins and actin. Here, we report the 8 Å resolution structure of the actin-tropomyosin-myosin complex determined by cryo electron microscopy. The pseudo-atomic model of the complex obtained from fitting crystal structures into the map defines the large actin-myosin-tropomyosin interface and the molecular interactions between the proteins in detail and allows us to propose a structural model for tropomyosin dependent myosin binding to actin and actin-induced nucleotide release from myosin. PMID:22817895

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. MARCKS actin-binding capacity mediates actin filament assembly during mitosis in human hepatic stellate cells.

    PubMed

    Rombouts, Krista; Mello, Tommaso; Liotta, Francesco; Galli, Andrea; Caligiuri, Alessandra; Annunziato, Francesco; Pinzani, Massimo

    2012-08-15

    Cross-linking between the actin cytoskeleton and plasma membrane actin-binding proteins is a key interaction responsible for the mechanical properties of the mitotic cell. Little is known about the identity, the localization, and the function of actin filament-binding proteins during mitosis in human hepatic stellate cells (hHSC). The aim of the present study was to identify and analyze the cross talk between actin and myristoylated alanine-rich kinase C substrate (MARCKS), an important PKC substrate and actin filament-binding protein, during mitosis in primary hHSC. Confocal analysis and chromosomal fraction analysis of mitotic hHSC demonstrated that phosphorylated (P)-MARCKS displays distinct phase-dependent localizations, accumulates at the perichromosomal layer, and is a centrosomal protein belonging to the chromosomal cytosolic fraction. Aurora B kinase (AUBK), an important mitotic regulator, β-actin, and P-MARCKS concentrate at the cytokinetic midbody during cleavage furrow formation. This localization is critical since MARCKS-depletion in hHSC is characterized by a significant loss in cytosolic actin filaments and cortical β-actin that induces cell cycle inhibition and dislocation of AUBK. A depletion of AUBK in hHSC affects cell cycle, resulting in multinucleation. Quantitative live cell imaging demonstrates that the actin filament-binding capacity of MARCKS is key to regulate mitosis since the cell cycle inhibitory effect in MARCKS-depleted cells caused abnormal cell morphology and an aberrant cytokinesis, resulting in a significant increase in cell cycle time. These findings implicate that MARCKS, an important PKC substrate, is essential for proper cytokinesis and that MARCKS and its partner actin are key mitotic regulators during cell cycle in hHSC.

  18. Regulation of Sodium Channel Activity by Capping of Actin Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Shumilina, Ekaterina V.; Negulyaev, Yuri A.; Morachevskaya, Elena A.; Hinssen, Horst; Khaitlina, Sofia Yu

    2003-01-01</