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Sample records for growing actin networks

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Reversible stress softening of actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  5. Elasticity of F-actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret Lise

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Tau co-organizes dynamic microtubule and actin networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Actin network architecture can determine myosin motor activity.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Computational Analysis of Viscoelastic Properties of Crosslinked Actin Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-30

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadhyaya, Arpita

    2014-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Formation of actin networks in microfluidic concentration gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. Degree distributions of growing networks.

    PubMed

    Krapivsky, P L; Rodgers, G J; Redner, S

    2001-06-01

    The in-degree and out-degree distributions of a growing network model are determined. The in-degree is the number of incoming links to a given node (and vice versa for out-degree). The network is built by (i) creation of new nodes which each immediately attach to a preexisting node, and (ii) creation of new links between preexisting nodes. This process naturally generates correlated in-degree and out-degree distributions. When the node and link creation rates are linear functions of node degree, these distributions exhibit distinct power-law forms. By tuning the parameters in these rates to reasonable values, exponents which agree with those of the web graph are obtained.

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

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Composite Actin Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-03-01

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

  6. The role of actin networks in cellular mechanosensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azatov, Mikheil

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-18

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

  15. Explosive percolation transitions in growing networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, S. M.; Son, S.-W.; Kahng, B.

    2016-03-01

    Recent extensive studies of the explosive percolation (EP) model revealed that the EP transition is second order with an extremely small value of the critical exponent β associated with the order parameter. This result was obtained from static networks, in which the number of nodes in the system remains constant during the evolution of the network. However, explosive percolating behavior of the order parameter can be observed in social networks, which are often growing networks, where the number of nodes in the system increases as dynamics proceeds. However, extensive studies of the EP transition in such growing networks are still missing. Here we study the nature of the EP transition in growing networks by extending an existing growing network model to a general case in which m node candidates are picked up in the Achiloptas process. When m =2 , this model reduces to the existing model, which undergoes an infinite-order transition. We show that when m ≥3 , the transition becomes second order due to the suppression effect against the growth of large clusters. Using the rate-equation approach and performing numerical simulations, we also show that the exponent β decreases algebraically with increasing m , whereas it does exponentially in a corresponding static random network model. Finally, we find that the hyperscaling relations hold but in different forms.

  16. Explosive percolation transitions in growing networks.

    PubMed

    Oh, S M; Son, S-W; Kahng, B

    2016-03-01

    Recent extensive studies of the explosive percolation (EP) model revealed that the EP transition is second order with an extremely small value of the critical exponent β associated with the order parameter. This result was obtained from static networks, in which the number of nodes in the system remains constant during the evolution of the network. However, explosive percolating behavior of the order parameter can be observed in social networks, which are often growing networks, where the number of nodes in the system increases as dynamics proceeds. However, extensive studies of the EP transition in such growing networks are still missing. Here we study the nature of the EP transition in growing networks by extending an existing growing network model to a general case in which m node candidates are picked up in the Achiloptas process. When m = 2, this model reduces to the existing model, which undergoes an infinite-order transition. We show that when m ≥ 3, the transition becomes second order due to the suppression effect against the growth of large clusters. Using the rate-equation approach and performing numerical simulations, we also show that the exponent β decreases algebraically with increasing m, whereas it does exponentially in a corresponding static random network model. Finally, we find that the hyperscaling relations hold but in different forms. PMID:27078375

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

    PubMed

    Lappalainen, Pekka

    2016-08-15

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Features and heterogeneities in growing network models.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    John, Karin; Stöter, Thomas; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2016-09-21

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Continuum modeling of forces in growing viscoelastic cytoskeletal networks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin Seob; Sun, Sean X

    2009-02-21

    Mechanical properties of the living cell are important in cell movement, cell division, cancer development and cell signaling. There is considerable interest in measuring local mechanical properties of living materials and the living cytoskeleton using micromechanical techniques. However, living materials are constantly undergoing internal dynamics such as growth and remodeling. A modeling framework that combines mechanical deformations with cytoskeletal growth dynamics is necessary to describe cellular shape changes. The present paper develops a general finite deformation modeling approach that can treat the viscoelastic cytoskeleton. Given the growth dynamics in the cytoskeletal network and the relationship between deformation and stress, the shape of the network is computed in an incremental fashion. The growth dynamics of the cytoskeleton can be modeled as stress dependent. The result is a consistent treatment of overall cell deformation. The framework is applied to a growing 1-d bundle of actin filaments against an elastic cantilever, and a 2-d cell undergoing wave-like protrusion dynamics. In the latter example, mechanical forces on the cell adhesion are examined as a function of the protrusion dynamics. PMID:19041329

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Tuning myosin-driven sorting on cellular actin networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Lam T.; Hirst, Linda S.

    2011-03-01

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

  3. A self-organising network that grows when required.

    PubMed

    Marsland, Stephen; Shapiro, Jonathan; Nehmzow, Ulrich

    2002-01-01

    The ability to grow extra nodes is a potentially useful facility for a self-organising neural network. A network that can add nodes into its map space can approximate the input space more accurately, and often more parsimoniously, than a network with predefined structure and size, such as the Self-Organising Map. In addition, a growing network can deal with dynamic input distributions. Most of the growing networks that have been proposed in the literature add new nodes to support the node that has accumulated the highest error during previous iterations or to support topological structures. This usually means that new nodes are added only when the number of iterations is an integer multiple of some pre-defined constant, A. This paper suggests a way in which the learning algorithm can add nodes whenever the network in its current state does not sufficiently match the input. In this way the network grows very quickly when new data is presented, but stops growing once the network has matched the data. This is particularly important when we consider dynamic data sets, where the distribution of inputs can change to a new regime after some time. We also demonstrate the preservation of neighbourhood relations in the data by the network. The new network is compared to an existing growing network, the Growing Neural Gas (GNG), on a artificial dataset, showing how the network deals with a change in input distribution after some time. Finally, the new network is applied to several novelty detection tasks and is compared with both the GNG and an unsupervised form of the Reduced Coulomb Energy network on a robotic inspection task and with a Support Vector Machine on two benchmark novelty detection tasks. PMID:12416693

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. How do online social networks grow?

    PubMed

    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.

  7. How do online social networks grow?

    PubMed

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stam, Samantha; Gardel, Margaret

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chae, Byeong Seok; Furst, Eric M

    2005-03-29

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    2015-04-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-18

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

  16. Comparing neural networks: a benchmark on growing neural gas, growing cell structures, and fuzzy ARTMAP.

    PubMed

    Heinke, D; Hamker, F H

    1998-01-01

    This article compares the performance of some recently developed incremental neural networks with the wellknown multilayer perceptron (MLP) on real-world data. The incremental networks are fuzzy ARTMAP (FAM), growing neural gas (GNG) and growing cell structures (GCS). The real-world datasets consist of four different datasets posing different challenges to the networks in terms of complexity of decision boundaries, overlapping between classes, and size of the datasets. The performance of the networks on the datasets is reported with respect to measure classification error, number of training epochs, and sensitivity toward variation of parameters. Statistical evaluations are applied to examine the significance of the results. The overall performance ranks in the following descending order: GNG, GCS, MLP, FAM. PMID:18255809

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-26

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26871086

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Menéndez, Horacio; Rodríguez, José Félix

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  8. Linking Data and Learning - The Grow Network Study: Summary Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Light, Daniel; Honey, Margaret; Heinze, Juliet; Brunner, Cornelia; Wexler, Dara; Mandinach, Ellen; Fasca, Chad

    2005-01-01

    With funding from the Carnegie Corporation, in the spring of 2002, EDC's Center for Children and Technology began a two-year exploratory study that examined how educators and administrators within the New York City public school system are using data?made available to them through the print and web-based reporting system of the Grow Network to…

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:27074136

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hansen, Scott D; Mullins, R Dyche

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-11-25

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

  17. Uncorrelatedness in growing networks with preferential survival of nodes.

    PubMed

    Juher, David; Saldaña, Joan

    2011-01-01

    The emergence of uncorrelated growing networks is proved when nodes are removed either uniformly or under the preferential survival rule recently observed in the World Wide Web evolution. To this aim, the rate equation for the joint probability of degrees is derived, and stationary symmetrical solutions are obtained, by passing to the continuum limit. When a uniformly random removal of extant nodes and linear preferential attachment of new nodes are at work, we prove that the only stationary solution corresponds to uncorrelated networks for any removal rate r∈(0,1). In the more general case of preferential survival of nodes, uncorrelated solutions are also obtained. These results generalize the uncorrelatedness displayed by the (undirected) Barabási-Albert network model to models with uniformly random and selective (against low degrees) removal of nodes.

  18. A growing and pruning method for radial basis function networks.

    PubMed

    Bortman, M; Aladjem, M

    2009-06-01

    A recently published generalized growing and pruning (GGAP) training algorithm for radial basis function (RBF) neural networks is studied and modified. GGAP is a resource-allocating network (RAN) algorithm, which means that a created network unit that consistently makes little contribution to the network's performance can be removed during the training. GGAP states a formula for computing the significance of the network units, which requires a d-fold numerical integration for arbitrary probability density function p(x) of the input data x (x in R(d)) . In this work, the GGAP formula is approximated using a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) for p(x) and an analytical solution of the approximated unit significance is derived. This makes it possible to employ the modified GGAP for input data having complex and high-dimensional p(x), which was not possible in the original GGAP. The results of an extensive experimental study show that the modified algorithm outperforms the original GGAP achieving both a lower prediction error and reduced complexity of the trained network.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Nitin; Gardel, Margaret

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Growing networks of overlapping communities with internal structure.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27627327

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Actinic Keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. The Role of Temporal Trends in Growing Networks.

    PubMed

    Mokryn, Osnat; Wagner, Allon; Blattner, Marcel; 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-15

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

  3. Growing Homophilic Networks Are Natural Navigable Small Worlds.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Growing Homophilic Networks Are Natural Navigable Small Worlds.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Growing optimal scale-free networks via likelihood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Emergence of disassortative mixing from pruning nodes in growing scale-free networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Sheng-Jun; Wang, Zhen; Jin, Tao; Boccaletti, Stefano

    2014-12-01

    Disassortative mixing is ubiquitously found in technological and biological networks, while the corresponding interpretation of its origin remains almost virgin. We here give evidence that pruning the largest-degree nodes of a growing scale-free network has the effect of decreasing the degree correlation coefficient in a controllable and tunable way, while keeping both the trait of a power-law degree distribution and the main properties of network's resilience and robustness under failures or attacks. The essence of these observations can be attributed to the fact the deletion of large-degree nodes affects the delicate balance of positive and negative contributions to degree correlation in growing scale-free networks, eventually leading to the emergence of disassortativity. Moreover, these theoretical prediction will get further validation in the empirical networks. We support our claims via numerical results and mathematical analysis, and we propose a generative model for disassortative growing scale-free networks.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Association of Spectrin-Like Proteins with the Actin-Organized Aggregate of Endoplasmic Reticulum in the Spitzenkörper of Gravitropically Tip-Growing Plant Cells1

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Markus

    2001-01-01

    Spectrin-like epitopes were immunochemically detected and immunofluorescently localized in gravitropically tip-growing rhizoids and protonemata of characean algae. Antiserum against spectrin from chicken erythrocytes showed cross-reactivity with rhizoid proteins at molecular masses of about 170 and 195 kD. Confocal microscopy revealed a distinct spherical labeling of spectrin-like proteins in the apices of both cell types tightly associated with an apical actin array and a specific subdomain of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the ER aggregate. The presence of spectrin-like epitopes, the ER aggregate, and the actin cytoskeleton are strictly correlated with active tip growth. Application of cytochalasin D and A23187 has shown that interfering with actin or with the calcium gradient, which cause the disintegration of the ER aggregate and abolish tip growth, inhibits labeling of spectrin-like proteins. At the beginning of the graviresponse in rhizoids the labeling of spectrin-like proteins remained in its symmetrical position at the cell tip, but was clearly displaced to the upper flank in gravistimulated protonemata. These findings support the hypothesis that a displacement of the Spitzenkörper is required for the negative gravitropic response in protonemata, but not for the positive gravitropic response in rhizoids. It is evident that the actin/spectrin system plays a role in maintaining the organization of the ER aggregate and represents an essential part in the mechanism of gravitropic tip growth. PMID:11299343

  17. High-Performance Tools: Nevada's Experiences Growing Network Capability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biasi, G.; Smith, K. D.; Slater, D.; Preston, L.; Tibuleac, I.

    2007-05-01

    Like most regional seismic networks, the Nevada Seismic Network relies on a combination of software components to perform its mission. Core components for automatic network operation are from Antelope, a real- time environmental monitoring software system from Boulder Real-Time Technologies (BRTT). We configured the detector for multiple filtering bands, generally to distinguish local, regional, and teleseismic phases. The associator can use all or a subset of detections for each location grid. Presently we use detailed grids in the Reno-Carson City, Las Vegas, and Yucca Mountain areas, a large regional grid and a teleseismic grid, with a configurable order of precedence among solutions. Incorporating USArray stations into the network was straight- forward. Locations for local events are available in 30-60 seconds, and relocations are computed every 20 seconds. Testing indicates that relocations could be computed every few seconds or less if desired on a modest Sun server. Successive locations may be kept in the database, or criteria applied to select a single preferred location. New code developed by BRTT partially in response to an NSL request automatically launches a gradient-based relocator to refine locations and depths. Locations are forwarded to QDDS and other notification mechanisms. We also use Antelope tools for earthquake picking and analysis and for database viewing and maintenance. We have found the programming interfaces supplied with Antelope instrumental as we work toward ANSS system performance requirements. For example, the Perl language interface to the real-time Object Ring Buffer (ORB) was used to reduce the time to produce ShakeMaps to the present value of ~3 minutes. Hypoinverse was incorporated into a real-time system with Perl ORB access tools. Using the Antelope PHP interface, we now have off-site review capabilities for events and ShakeMaps from hand-held internet devices. PHP and Perl tools were used to develop a remote capability, now

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:23645343

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

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tsakiridis, T; Vranic, M; Klip, A

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ammer, Amanda Gatesman; Weed, Scott A.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Dynamin at actin tails.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunkyung; De Camilli, Pietro

    2002-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

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

  9. Actin in hair cells and hearing loss.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Actinic Cheilitis

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed

    Fallqvist, B; Kroon, M

    2013-04-01

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

  19. Chemotaxis and Actin Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  20. Percolation phase transition of static and growing networks under a weighted function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Xiao; Hong, Jin-Song; Gao, Ya-Chun; Yang, Hong-Chun; Yang, Chun; Fu, Chuan-Ji; Hu, Jian-Quan

    2016-02-01

    We investigate the percolation phase transitions in both the static and growing networks where the nodes are sampled according to a weighted function with a tunable parameter α. For the static network, i.e. the number of nodes is constant during the percolation process, the percolation phase transition can evolve from continuous to discontinuous as the value of α is tuned. Based on the properties of the weighted function, three typical values of α are analyzed. The model becomes the classical Erdös-Rényi (ER) network model at α=1. When α=0.5, it is shown that the percolation process generates a weakly discontinuous phase transition where the order parameter exhibits an extremely abrupt transition with a significant jump in large but finite system. For α=‑1, the cluster size distribution at the lower pseudo-transition point does not obey the power-law behavior, indicating a strongly discontinuous phase transition. In the case of growing network, in which the collection of nodes is increasing, a smoother continuous phase transition emerges at α=0.5, in contrast to the weakly discontinuous phase transition of the static network. At α=‑1, on the other hand, probability modulation effect shows that the nature of strongly discontinuous phase transition remains the same with the static network despite the node arrival even in the thermodynamic limit. These percolation properties of the growing networks could provide useful reference for network intervention and control in practical applications in consideration of the increasing size of most actual networks.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  3. Novel direct and self-regulating approaches to determine optimum growing multi-experts network structure.

    PubMed

    Loo, Chu Kiong; Rajeswari, Mandava; Rao, M V C

    2004-11-01

    This paper presents two novel approaches to determine optimum growing multi-experts network (GMN) structure. The first method called direct method deals with expertise domain and levels in connection with local experts. The growing neural gas (GNG) algorithm is used to cluster the local experts. The concept of error distribution is used to apportion error among the local experts. After reaching the specified size of the network, redundant experts removal algorithm is invoked to prune the size of the network based on the ranking of the experts. However, GMN is not ergonomic due to too many network control parameters. Therefore, a self-regulating GMN (SGMN) algorithm is proposed. SGMN adopts self-adaptive learning rates for gradient-descent learning rules. In addition, SGMN adopts a more rigorous clustering method called fully self-organized simplified adaptive resonance theory in a modified form. Experimental results show SGMN obtains comparative or even better performance than GMN in four benchmark examples, with reduced sensitivity to learning parameters setting. Moreover, both GMN and SGMN outperform the other neural networks and statistical models. The efficacy of SGMN is further justified in three industrial applications and a control problem. It provides consistent results besides holding out a profound potential and promise for building a novel type of nonlinear model consisting of several local linear models. PMID:15565767

  4. Dynamic actin structures stabilized by profilin.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Hard competitive growing neural network for the diagnosis of small bearing faults

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barakat, M.; El Badaoui, M.; Guillet, F.

    2013-05-01

    A hard competitive growing neural network (HC-GNN) with shrinkage learning is put forward to detect and diagnose small bearing faults. Structure determination based on supervised learning is an important issue in pattern classification. For that reason, the proposed approach introduces new hidden units whenever necessary and adjusts their shapes to minimize the risk of misclassification. This leads to smaller networks compared to classical radial basis functions or probabilistic neural networks and therefore enables the use of large data sets with satisfactory classification accuracy. This technique is based on the following concepts: (1) growing architecture, (2) dynamic adaptive learning, (3), convergence by means of several criteria, (4) embedded weighted feature selection, and (5) optimized network structure. HC-GNN consists of two main stages and runs in an iterative way. The first stage learns weighted selected parameters to well-known classes while the second stage associates the testing parameters of unknown samples to the learned classes. This approach is applied on a machinery system with different small bearing faults at various speeds and loads. The challenge is to detect and diagnose these faults regardless of the motor's shaft speed. Obtained results are analyzed, explained and compared with various techniques that have been widely investigated in diagnosis area.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. Actinic Keratoses

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Modeling the Effect of Fluid Flow on a Growing Network of Fractures in a Porous Medium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alhashim, Mohammed; Koch, Donald

    2015-11-01

    The injection of a viscous fluid at high pressure in a geological formation induces the fracturing of pre-existing joints. Assuming a constant solid-matrix stress field, a weak joint saturated with fluid is fractured when the fluid pressure exceeds a critical value that depends on the joint's orientation. In this work, the formation of a network of fractures in a porous medium is modeled. When the average length of the fractures is much smaller than the radius of a cluster of fractured joints, the fluid flow within the network can be described as Darcy flow in a permeable medium consisting of the fracture network. The permeability and porosity of the medium are functions of the number density of activated joints and consequently depend on the fluid pressure. We demonstrate conditions under which these relationships can be derived from percolation theory. Fluid may also be lost from the fracture network by flowing into the permeable rock matrix. The solution of the model shows that the cluster radius grows as a power law with time in two regimes: (1) an intermediate time regime when the network contains many fractures but fluid loss is negligible; and (2) a long time regime when fluid loss dominates. In both regimes, the power law exponent depends on the Euclidean dimension and the injection rate dependence on time.

  14. Physical exercise improves properties of bone and its collagen network in growing and maturing mice.

    PubMed

    Isaksson, Hanna; Tolvanen, Viivi; Finnilä, Mikko A J; Iivarinen, Jarkko; Tuukkanen, Juha; Seppänen, Kari; Arokoski, Jari P A; Brama, Pieter A; Jurvelin, Jukka S; Helminen, Heikki J

    2009-09-01

    This study characterized bone structure, composition, and mechanical properties in growing male mice. The development of the collagen network during maturation was monitored, and the effect of voluntary physical exercise was investigated. We hypothesized that increased bone loading from exercise would increase the amount and improve the properties of the collagen network during growth and maturation. Half of the mice (total n = 168) had access to running wheels, while half were kept sedentary. Weight and running activity were recorded, and groups of mice were killed at 1, 2, 4, and 6 months of age. The collagen network was assessed by biochemical evaluation of collagen content and cross-links and by tensile testing of decalcified bone. Mineralized femur was analyzed with pQCT and three-point-bending and femoral neck-strength tests. After 6 months, the exercising mice had 10% lower body weight than the sedentary group. There was no difference in the amount of collagen or collagen cross-links, while tensile testing had higher breaking force and stiffness of the collagen network in runners after 4 months but not after 6 months. The bone mineral density and cross-sectional area were higher in the running group after 6 months. Runners also showed higher breaking force and stiffness of the diaphysis and the femoral neck at 2 and 6 months. The significant modulation of mechanical properties of the collagen network without any change in collagen content indicates that physical exercise improves properties of the collagen network in maturing bone. The improvement after exercise of the properties of mineralized bone appears to be more pronounced and long-lasting compared to the early improved properties of the collagen network.

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

    PubMed

    Ichimura, Koichiro; Kurihara, Hidetake; Sakai, Tatsuo

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. [Actinic Keratosis].

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  18. Automatic landmark extraction from image data using modified growing neural gas network.

    PubMed

    Fatemizadeh, Emad; Lucas, Caro; Soltanian-Zadeh, Hamid

    2003-06-01

    A new method for automatic landmark extraction from MR brain images is presented. In this method, landmark extraction is accomplished by modifying growing neural gas (GNG), which is a neural-network-based cluster-seeking algorithm. Using modified GNG (MGNG) corresponding dominant points of contours extracted from two corresponding images are found. These contours are borders of segmented anatomical regions from brain images. The presented method is compared to: 1) the node splitting-merging Kohonen model and 2) the Teh-Chin algorithm (a well-known approach for dominant points extraction of ordered curves). It is shown that the proposed algorithm has lower distortion error, ability of extracting landmarks from two corresponding curves simultaneously, and also generates the best match according to five medical experts. PMID:12834162

  19. Actin filament organization in the fish keratocyte lamellipodium

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Mechanical Response of Cytoskeletal Networks

    PubMed Central

    Gardel, Margaret L.; Kasza, Karen E.; Brangwynne, Clifford P.; Liu, Jiayu; Weitz, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The cellular cytoskeleton is a dynamic network of filamentous proteins, consisting of filamentous actin (F-actin), microtubules, and intermediate filaments. However, these networks are not simple linear, elastic solids; they can exhibit highly nonlinear elasticity and athermal dynamics driven by ATP-dependent processes. To build quantitative mechanical models describing complex cellular behaviors, it is necessary to understand the underlying physical principles that regulate force transmission and dynamics within these networks. In this chapter, we review our current understanding of the physics of networks of cytoskeletal proteins formed in vitro. We introduce rheology, the technique used to measure mechanical response. We discuss our current understanding of the mechanical response of F-actin networks, and how the biophysical properties of F-actin and actin cross-linking proteins can dramatically impact the network mechanical response. We discuss how incorporating dynamic and rigid microtubules into F-actin networks can affect the contours of growing microtubules and composite network rigidity. Finally, we discuss the mechanical behaviors of intermediate filaments. PMID:19118688

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Reconstitution and Protein Composition Analysis of Endocytic Actin Patches

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. Guiding Principles for Designing and Growing a Campus Network for the Future.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Long, Philip E.

    2000-01-01

    Offers guidelines to help colleges and universities ensure a course of telecommunications network growth and renewal, provide continuous network upgrades, and maintain a position of flexibility. Discusses focuses on principles that guide network planning and design; how to apply principles to standard building blocks and network design; voice,…

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  11. Facile formation of branched titanate nanotubes to grow a three-dimensional nanotubular network directly on a solid substrate.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haimin; Liu, Porun; Wang, Hongjuan; Yu, Hua; Zhang, Shanqing; Zhu, Huaiyong; Peng, Feng; Zhao, Huijun

    2010-02-01

    The hydrothermal formation of branched titanate nanotubes that grow a 3D nanotubular network directly onto a titanium substrate is reported. The resultant 3D nanotubular network exhibits a unique all-dimensional uniform porous structure. The inner and outer tubular diameters of branched titanate nanotubes were found to be approximately 6 and 12 nm, respectively. For the majority of the nanotubes, the wall is formed from three layers of titanate with an approximate 7.7 A interlayer space. In terms of individual nanotubes, these characteristics are quantitatively similar to those of previously reported nonbranched nanotubes. However, in terms of how nanotubes are arranged in the film, the all-dimensional uniform nanotubular network structure obtained here is distinctively different from those of previously reported structures. The 3D nanotubular network structure was formed by the jointing of branched nanotubes. In contrast, the previously reported nanotubes tend to grow vertically on the substrate, and the resultant tubular films are formed by interwoven nonbranched nanotubes. The branched titanate nanotubes can be readily formed on titanium substrates but not in solution suspension forms. A continuous seed formation-oriented crystal growth mechanism was proposed for the branched titanate nanotubular network formation. Such a network structure could be useful for applications such as photocatalysis, membrane separation, field emission, and photovoltaic devices. PMID:20039654

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

    PubMed

    Brugerolle, G; Bricheux, G; Coffe, G

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chesarone, Melissa A; Goode, Bruce L

    2009-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

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

  15. A comparison between the performance of feed forward neural networks and the supervised growing neural gas algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berlich, Rüdiger; Kunze, Marcel

    1997-02-01

    The Supervised Growing Neural Gas algorithm (SGNG) provides an interesting alternative to standard Multi-Layer Perceptrons (MLP). A comparison is drawn between the performance of SGNG and MLP in the domain of function mapping. A further field of interest is classification power, which has been investigated with real data taken by PS197 at CERN. The characteristics of the two network models will be discussed from a practical point of view as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Wave Patterns in Cell Membrane and Actin Cortex Uncoupled from Chemotactic Signals.

    PubMed

    Gerisch, Günther; Ecke, Mary

    2016-01-01

    When cells of Dictyostelium discoideum orientate in a gradient of chemoattractant, they are polarized into a protruding front pointing toward the source of attractant, and into a retracting tail. Under the control of chemotactic signal inputs, Ras is activated and PIP3 is synthesized at the front, while the PIP3-degrading phosphatase PTEN decorates the tail region. As a result of signal transduction, actin filaments assemble at the front into dendritic structures associated with the Arp2/3 complex, in contrast to the tail region where a loose actin meshwork is associated with myosin-II and cortexillin, an antiparallel actin-bundling protein. In axenically growing strains of D. discoideum, wave patterns built by the same components evolve in the absence of any external signal input. Since these autonomously generated patterns are constrained to the plane of the substrate-attached cell surface, they are optimally suited to the optical analysis of state transitions between front-like and tail-like states of the membrane and the actin cortex. Here, we describe imaging techniques using fluorescent proteins to probe for the state of the membrane, the reorganization of the actin network, and the dynamics of wave patterns.

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

    PubMed

    Tsai, Feng-Ching; Koenderink, Gijsje Hendrika

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gupta, A K; Paquet, M

    2013-08-01

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

  20. The Yeast Gene, MDM20, Is Necessary for Mitochondrial Inheritance and Organization of the Actin Cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Hermann, Greg J.; King, Edward J.; Shaw, Janet M.

    1997-01-01

    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 mdm20Δ 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. PMID:9105043

  1. Regulation of cellular actin architecture by S100A10.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-15

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

  2. Dictyostelium discoideum cells lacking the 34,000-dalton actin-binding protein can grow, locomote, and develop, but exhibit defects in regulation of cell structure and movement: a case of partial redundancy

    PubMed Central

    1996-01-01

    Cells lacking the Dictyostelium 34,000-D actin-bundling protein, a calcium-regulated actin cross-linking protein, were created to probe the function of this polypeptide in living cells. Gene replacement vectors were constructed by inserting either the UMP synthase or hygromycin resistance cassette into cloned 4-kb genomic DNA containing sequences encoding the 34-kD protein. After transformation and growth under appropriate selection, cells lacking the protein were analyzed by PCR analyses on genomic DNA, Northern blotting, and Western blotting. Cells lacking the 34-kD protein were obtained in strains derived from AX2 and AX3. Growth, pinocytosis, morphogenesis, and expression of developmentally regulated genes is normal in cells lacking the 34-kD protein. In chemotaxis studies, 34-kD- cells were able to locomote and orient normally, but showed an increased persistence of motility. The 34-kD- cells also lost bits of cytoplasm during locomotion. The 34-kD- cells exhibited either an excessive number of long and branched filopodia, or a decrease in filopodial length and an increase in the total number of filopodia per cell depending on the strain. Reexpression of the 34-kD protein in the AX2-derived strain led to a "rescue" of the defect in the persistence of motility and of the excess numbers of long and branched filopodia, demonstrating that these defects result from the absence of the 34-kD protein. We explain the results through a model of partial functional redundancy. Numerous other actin cross-linking proteins in Dictyostelium may be able to substitute for some functions of the 34-kD protein in the 34-kD cells. The observed phenotype is presumed to result from functions that cannot be adequately supplanted by a substitution of another actin cross- linking protein. We conclude that the 34-kD actin-bundling protein is not essential for growth, but plays an important role in dynamic control of cell shape and cytoplasmic structure. PMID:8922380

  3. Bundling actin filaments from membranes: some novel players

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Clément

    2012-01-01

    Progress in live-cell imaging of the cytoskeleton has significantly extended our knowledge about the organization and dynamics of actin filaments near the plasma membrane of plant cells. Noticeably, two populations of filamentous structures can be distinguished. On the one hand, fine actin filaments which exhibit an extremely dynamic behavior basically characterized by fast polymerization and prolific severing events, a process referred to as actin stochastic dynamics. On the other hand, thick actin bundles which are composed of several filaments and which are comparatively more stable although they constantly remodel as well. There is evidence that the actin cytoskeleton plays critical roles in trafficking and signaling at both the cell cortex and organelle periphery but the exact contribution of actin bundles remains unclear. A common view is that actin bundles provide the long-distance tracks used by myosin motors to deliver their cargo to growing regions and accordingly play a particularly important role in cell polarization. However, several studies support that actin bundles are more than simple passive highways and display multiple and dynamic roles in the regulation of many processes, such as cell elongation, polar auxin transport, stomatal and chloroplast movement, and defense against pathogens. The list of identified plant actin-bundling proteins is ever expanding, supporting that plant cells shape structurally and functionally different actin bundles. Here I review the most recently characterized actin-bundling proteins, with a particular focus on those potentially relevant to membrane trafficking and/or signaling. PMID:22936939

  4. Actin in Herpesvirus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Kari L.; Baines, Joel D.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  6. Actin Rings of Power.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-20

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-02-01

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

  9. 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.

  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. Stochastic dynamical model of a growing citation network based on a self-exciting point process.

    PubMed

    Golosovsky, Michael; Solomon, Sorin

    2012-08-31

    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. PMID:23002894

  12. Data-driven modelling of a gene regulatory network for cell fate decisions in the growing limb bud

    PubMed Central

    Uzkudun, Manu; Marcon, Luciano; Sharpe, James

    2015-01-01

    Parameter optimization coupled with model selection is a convenient approach to infer gene regulatory networks from experimental gene expression data, but so far it has been limited to single cells or static tissues where growth is not significant. Here, we present a computational study in which we determine an optimal gene regulatory network from the spatiotemporal dynamics of gene expression patterns in a complex 2D growing tissue (non-isotropic and heterogeneous growth rates). We use this method to predict the regulatory mechanisms that underlie proximodistal (PD) patterning of the developing limb bud. First, we map the expression patterns of the PD markers Meis1, Hoxa11 and Hoxa13 into a dynamic description of the tissue movements that drive limb morphogenesis. Secondly, we use reverse-engineering to test how different gene regulatory networks can interpret the opposing gradients of fibroblast growth factors (FGF) and retinoic acid (RA) to pattern the PD markers. Finally, we validate and extend the best model against various previously published manipulative experiments, including exogenous application of RA, surgical removal of the FGF source and genetic ectopic expression of Meis1. Our approach identifies the most parsimonious gene regulatory network that can correctly pattern the PD markers downstream of FGF and RA. This network reveals a new model of PD regulation which we call the “crossover model”, because the proximal morphogen (RA) controls the distal boundary of Hoxa11, while conversely the distal morphogens (FGFs) control the proximal boundary. PMID:26174932

  13. Data-driven modelling of a gene regulatory network for cell fate decisions in the growing limb bud.

    PubMed

    Uzkudun, Manu; Marcon, Luciano; Sharpe, James

    2015-07-14

    Parameter optimization coupled with model selection is a convenient approach to infer gene regulatory networks from experimental gene expression data, but so far it has been limited to single cells or static tissues where growth is not significant. Here, we present a computational study in which we determine an optimal gene regulatory network from the spatiotemporal dynamics of gene expression patterns in a complex 2D growing tissue (non-isotropic and heterogeneous growth rates). We use this method to predict the regulatory mechanisms that underlie proximodistal (PD) patterning of the developing limb bud. First, we map the expression patterns of the PD markers Meis1, Hoxa11 and Hoxa13 into a dynamic description of the tissue movements that drive limb morphogenesis. Secondly, we use reverse-engineering to test how different gene regulatory networks can interpret the opposing gradients of fibroblast growth factors (FGF) and retinoic acid (RA) to pattern the PD markers. Finally, we validate and extend the best model against various previously published manipulative experiments, including exogenous application of RA, surgical removal of the FGF source and genetic ectopic expression of Meis1. Our approach identifies the most parsimonious gene regulatory network that can correctly pattern the PD markers downstream of FGF and RA. This network reveals a new model of PD regulation which we call the "crossover model", because the proximal morphogen (RA) controls the distal boundary of Hoxa11, while conversely the distal morphogens (FGFs) control the proximal boundary.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-20

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

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

    PubMed

    Hartwig, J H; Shevlin, P

    1986-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Ying; Wu, Guang; Yang, Zhenbiao

    2001-01-01

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

  17. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Pham, Thong; Sheridan, Paul; Shimodaira, Hidetoshi

    2016-09-07

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Temporal evolution of the macropore network and saturated hydraulic conductivity in an arable, clayey topsoil during one growing season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandin, Maria; Köstel, Johannes; Jarvis, Nicholas; Larsbo, Mats

    2015-04-01

    Soil macropore networks and thus hydraulic properties at and close to saturation vary considerably with time, as a result of the dynamic nature of a diverse range of interacting soil structure-forming and degrading factors such as tillage and traffic events, faunal and plant root activity, swell/shrink arising from wetting and drying cycles, freeze-thaw etc. These properties are nevertheless treated as constants in most hydrological modelling studies. This is mostly justified by a lack of understanding of the processes driving these changes. Temporal variations of saturated and near-saturated hydraulic conductivity have been studied in the field (e.g. by tension disc infiltrometer), but these measurements only indirectly reflect the characteristics of the macropore network. In this study, we used non-destructive X-ray tomography to investigate the temporal changes in the macropore network characteristics occurring in the harrowed layer of a conventionally-tilled agricultural field over one growing season. Undisturbed soil cores (60-70 mm height, 68 mm diameter) were sampled on five different occasions. Changes in the geometric and topological properties of the X-ray imaged macropore system (voxel resolution = 120 µm) were compared with variations in saturated hydraulic conductivity measured on the same samples. Image analysis showed that total porosity, specific surface area, average pore diameter and the connectivity of the pore system in the uppermost 60-70 mm of ploughed and harrowed soil decreased from the first sampling occasion shortly after seedbed preparation and sowing until the middle of the growing season after which it slightly increased again. Separate analysis of the total porosity of the top 5 mm showed a marked decrease between the first two sampling occasions, followed by a gradual increase. Despite these structural changes in the macropore system, saturated hydraulic conductivity was only weakly correlated with macropore network characteristics.

  3. Direct dynamin–actin interactions regulate the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Excitable actin dynamics in lamellipodial protrusion and retraction.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Moseley, James B.; Goode, Bruce L.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vegter, Stefan; Tolley, Keith

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Concentration profiles of actin-binding molecules in lamellipodia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcke, Martin

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Actin Automata with Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Sanz, Ramón; Adamatzky, Andy

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

  15. The Molecular Evolution of Actin

    PubMed Central

    Hightower, Robin C.; Meagher, Richard B.

    1986-01-01

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

  16. Nuclear and cytoplasmic actin in dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Anders E; Bayly, Philip V

    2014-04-15

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

  18. Force Generation by Endocytic Actin Patches in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Anders E.; Bayly, Philip V.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Intranuclear Actin Regulates Osteogenesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruizhe; Carlsson, Anders E.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  5. 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. Accelerators, Brakes, and Gears of Actin Dynamics in Dendritic Spines

    PubMed Central

    Pontrello, Crystal G.; Ethell, Iryna M.

    2010-01-01

    Dendritic spines are actin-rich structures that accommodate the postsynaptic sites of most excitatory synapses in the brain. Although dendritic spines form and mature as synaptic connections develop, they remain plastic even in the adult brain, where they can rapidly grow, change, or collapse in response to normal physiological changes in synaptic activity that underlie learning and memory. Pathological stimuli can adversely affect dendritic spine shape and number, and this is seen in neurodegenerative disorders and some forms of mental retardation and autism as well. Many of the molecular signals that control these changes in dendritic spines act through the regulation of filamentous actin (F-actin), some through direct interaction with actin, and others via downstream effectors. For example, cortactin, cofilin, and gelsolin are actin-binding proteins that directly regulate actin dynamics in dendritic spines. Activities of these proteins are precisely regulated by intracellular signaling events that control their phosphorylation state and localization. In this review, we discuss how actin-regulating proteins maintain the balance between F-actin assembly and disassembly that is needed to stabilize mature dendritic spines, and how changes in their activities may lead to rapid remodeling of dendritic spines. PMID:20463852

  7. Viscoelastic properties of actin-coated membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Dissecting the contribution of actin and vimentin intermediate filaments to mechanical phenotype of suspended cells using high-throughput deformability measurements and computational modeling.

    PubMed

    Gladilin, Evgeny; Gonzalez, Paula; Eils, Roland

    2014-08-22

    Mechanical cell properties play an important role in many basic biological functions, including motility, adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. There is a growing body of evidence that the mechanical cell phenotype can be used for detection and, possibly, treatment of various diseases, including cancer. Understanding of pathological mechanisms requires investigation of the relationship between constitutive properties and major structural components of cells, i.e., the nucleus and cytoskeleton. While the contribution of actin und microtubules to cellular rheology has been extensively studied in the past, the role of intermediate filaments has been scarcely investigated up to now. Here, for the first time we compare the effects of drug-induced disruption of actin and vimentin intermediate filaments on mechanical properties of suspended NK cells using high-throughput deformability measurements and computational modeling. Although, molecular mechanisms of actin and vimentin disruption by the applied cytoskeletal drugs, Cytochalasin-D and Withaferin-A, are different, cell softening in both cases can be attributed to reduction of the effective density and stiffness of filament networks. Our experimental data suggest that actin and vimentin deficient cells exhibit, in average, 41% and 20% higher deformability in comparison to untreated control. 3D Finite Element simulation is performed to quantify the contribution of cortical actin and perinuclear vimentin to mechanical phenotype of the whole cell. Our simulation provides quantitative estimates for decreased filament stiffness in drug-treated cells and predicts more than two-fold increase of the strain magnitude in the perinuclear vimentin layer of actin deficient cells relatively to untreated control. Thus, the mechanical function of vimentin becomes particularly essential in motile and proliferating cells that have to dynamically remodel the cortical actin network. These insights add functional cues to frequently

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yamashiro, Sawako; Watanabe, Naoki

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Taiwan: growing, growing, gone.

    PubMed

    Hanson, R

    1979-10-01

    Accommodation between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China may not be inconceivable as trade contacts (though officially disallowed) grow. Because of Taiwan's well-established success and the pressing need in China to industrialize, it appears, however, that such an accommodation will occur only after China becomes more like Taiwan. Taiwan owes its success, first, to land reform and then, in the 1960s, to steady industrialization. Besides broad controls over money supply and capital designed to ward off inflationary pressures when needed, and the grand outlines for development, another factor in the island's economic success is that the government has interfered little with private enterprise. The economy has an underpinning of small to medium size businesses. There are more than 10,000 trading companies. This diverse foundation has given the economy as a whole a flexible buffer on which more sophisticated industires can be formed. PMID:12278253

  14. Septin 9 Exhibits Polymorphic Binding to F-Actin and Inhibits Myosin and Cofilin Activity.

    PubMed

    Smith, Clayton; Dolat, Lee; Angelis, Dimitrios; Forgacs, Eva; Spiliotis, Elias T; Galkin, Vitold E

    2015-10-01

    Septins are a highly conserved family of proteins in eukaryotes that is recognized as a novel component of the cytoskeleton. Septin 9 (SEPT9) interacts directly with actin filaments and functions as an actin stress fiber cross-linking protein that promotes the maturation of nascent focal adhesions and cell migration. However, the molecular details of how SEPT9 interacts with F-actin remain unknown. Here, we use electron microscopy and image analysis to show that SEPT9 binds to F-actin in a highly polymorphic fashion. We demonstrate that the basic domain (B-domain) of the N-terminal tail of SEPT9 is responsible for actin cross-linking, while the GTP-binding domain (G-domain) does not bundle F-actin. We show that the B-domain of SEPT9 binds to three sites on F-actin, and the two of these sites overlap with the binding regions of myosin and cofilin. SEPT9 inhibits actin-dependent ATPase activity of myosin and competes with the weakly bound state of myosin for binding to F-actin. At the same time, SEPT9 significantly reduces the extent of F-actin depolymerization by cofilin. Taken together, these data suggest that SEPT9 protects actin filaments from depolymerization by cofilin and myosin and indicate a mechanism by which SEPT9 could maintain the integrity of growing and contracting actin filaments.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. The centrosome is an actin-organizing center

    PubMed Central

    Farina, Francesca; Gaillard, Jérémie; Guérin, Christophe; Couté, Yohann; Sillibourne, James; Blanchoin, Laurent; Théry, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Microtubules and actin filaments are the two main cytoskeleton networks supporting intracellular architecture and cell polarity. The centrosome nucleates and anchors microtubules and is therefore considered to be the main microtubule-organizing center. However, recurring, yet unexplained, observations have pointed towards a connection between the centrosome and actin filaments. Here we have used isolated centrosomes to demonstrate that the centrosome can directly promote actin filament assembly. A cloud of centrosome-associated actin filaments could be identified in living cells as well. Actin-filament nucleation at the centrosome was mediated by the nucleation promoting factor WASH in combination with the Arp2/3 complex. Pericentriolar material 1 (PCM1) appeared to modulate the centrosomal actin network by regulating Arp2/3 complex and WASH recruitment to the centrosome. Hence our results reveal an additional facet of the centrosome as an intracellular organizer and provide mechanistic insights into how the centrosome can function as an actin filament-organizing center. PMID:26655833

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

    PubMed

    Newsome, Timothy P; Marzook, N Bishara

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-15

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  2. Guardians of the actin monomer.

    PubMed

    Xue, Bo; Robinson, Robert C

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. The actin-microtubule cross-linking activity of Drosophila Short stop is regulated by intramolecular inhibition.

    PubMed

    Applewhite, Derek A; Grode, Kyle D; Duncan, Mara C; Rogers, Stephen L

    2013-09-01

    Actin and microtubule dynamics must be precisely coordinated during cell migration, mitosis, and morphogenesis--much of this coordination is mediated by proteins that physically bridge the two cytoskeletal networks. We have investigated the regulation of the Drosophila actin-microtubule cross-linker Short stop (Shot), a member of the spectraplakin family. Our data suggest that Shot's cytoskeletal cross-linking activity is regulated by an intramolecular inhibitory mechanism. In its inactive conformation, Shot adopts a "closed" conformation through interactions between its NH(2)-terminal actin-binding domain and COOH-terminal EF-hand-GAS2 domain. This inactive conformation is targeted to the growing microtubule plus end by EB1. On activation, Shot binds along the microtubule through its COOH-terminal GAS2 domain and binds to actin with its NH(2)-terminal tandem CH domains. We propose that this mechanism allows Shot to rapidly cross-link dynamic microtubules in response to localized activating signals at the cell cortex.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Actin dynamics in living mammalian cells.

    PubMed

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

    1998-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. A model actin comet tail disassembling by severing

    PubMed Central

    Michalski, P J; Carlsson, A E

    2011-01-01

    We use a numerical simulation to model an actin comet tail as it grows from the surface of a small object (a bead) and disassembles by severing. We explore the dependence of macroscopic properties such as the local tail radius and tail length on several controllable properties, namely, the bead diameter, the bead velocity, the severing rate per unit length, and the actin gel mesh size. The model predicts an F-actin density with an initial exponential decay followed by an abrupt decay at the edge of the tail, and predicts that the comet tail diameter is constant along the length of the tail. The simulation results are used to fit a formula relating the comet tail length to the control parameters, and it is proposed that this formula offers a means to extract quantitative information on the actin gel mesh size and severing kinetics from simple macroscopic measurements. PMID:21566272

  11. The nuclear F-actin interactome of Xenopus oocytes reveals an actin-bundling kinesin that is essential for meiotic cytokinesis.

    PubMed

    Samwer, Matthias; Dehne, Heinz-Jürgen; Spira, Felix; Kollmar, Martin; Gerlich, Daniel W; Urlaub, Henning; Görlich, Dirk

    2013-07-01

    Nuclei of Xenopus laevis oocytes grow 100 000-fold larger in volume than a typical somatic nucleus and require an unusual intranuclear F-actin scaffold for mechanical stability. We now developed a method for mapping F-actin interactomes and identified a comprehensive set of F-actin binders from the oocyte nuclei. Unexpectedly, the most prominent interactor was a novel kinesin termed NabKin (Nuclear and meiotic actin-bundling Kinesin). NabKin not only binds microtubules but also F-actin structures, such as the intranuclear actin bundles in prophase and the contractile actomyosin ring during cytokinesis. The interaction between NabKin and F-actin is negatively regulated by Importin-β and is responsive to spatial information provided by RanGTP. Disconnecting NabKin from F-actin during meiosis caused cytokinesis failure and egg polyploidy. We also found actin-bundling activity in Nabkin's somatic paralogue KIF14, which was previously shown to be essential for somatic cell division. Our data are consistent with the notion that NabKin/KIF14 directly link microtubules with F-actin and that such link is essential for cytokinesis. PMID:23727888

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

    PubMed

    Chalut, Kevin J; Paluch, Ewa K

    2016-09-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. Viscoelastic properties of actin-coated membranes.

    PubMed

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

    2001-02-01

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

  16. Hippocampal Dendritic Spines Are Segregated Depending on Their Actin Polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Domínguez-Iturza, Nuria; Calvo, María; Benoist, Marion; Esteban, José Antonio; Morales, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Dendritic spines are mushroom-shaped protrusions of the postsynaptic membrane. Spines receive the majority of glutamatergic synaptic inputs. Their morphology, dynamics, and density have been related to synaptic plasticity and learning. The main determinant of spine shape is filamentous actin. Using FRAP, we have reexamined the actin dynamics of individual spines from pyramidal hippocampal neurons, both in cultures and in hippocampal organotypic slices. Our results indicate that, in cultures, the actin mobile fraction is independently regulated at the individual spine level, and mobile fraction values do not correlate with either age or distance from the soma. The most significant factor regulating actin mobile fraction was the presence of astrocytes in the culture substrate. Spines from neurons growing in the virtual absence of astrocytes have a more stable actin cytoskeleton, while spines from neurons growing in close contact with astrocytes show a more dynamic cytoskeleton. According to their recovery time, spines were distributed into two populations with slower and faster recovery times, while spines from slice cultures were grouped into one population. Finally, employing fast lineal acquisition protocols, we confirmed the existence of loci with high polymerization rates within the spine. PMID:26881098

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-29

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

  19. Actin Assembly at Model-Supported Lipid Bilayers

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jégou, Antoine; Romet-Lemonne, Guillaume

    2016-05-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Murrell, Michael P.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shimizu, T

    1997-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Meunier, Frédéric A; Gutiérrez, Luis M

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-27

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  10. Regulation of an Actin Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-03-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Structural insights into de novo actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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

    2015-11-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton helps maintain structural organization within living cells. In large X. laevis oocytes, gravity becomes a dominant force and is countered by a nuclear actin network that prevents liquid-like nuclear bodies from immediate sedimentation and coalescence. However, nuclear actin's mechanical properties, and how they facilitate the stabilization of nuclear bodies, remain unknown. Using active microrheology, we find that nuclear actin forms a weak viscoelastic network, with a modulus of roughly 0.1 Pa. Embedded probe particles subjected to a constant force exhibit continuous displacement, due to viscoelastic creep. Gravitational forces also cause creep displacement of nuclear bodies, resulting in their asymmetric nuclear distribution. Thus, nuclear actin does not indefinitely support the emulsion of nuclear bodies, but only kinetically stabilizes them by slowing down gravitational creep to ~2 months. This is similar to the viability time of large oocytes, suggesting gravitational creep ages oocytes, with fatal consequences on long timescales. PMID:26577186

  3. 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

  4. Growing up in a dangerous environment: a network of multiple targeting and folding pathways for nascent polypeptides in the cytosol.

    PubMed

    Bukau, B; Hesterkamp, T; Luirink, J

    1996-12-01

    The first events in the lives of proteins are the most hazardous. Starting at the ribosome, nascent polypeptides undergo complex folding processes endangered by aggregation reactions. Proteins with organellar destinations require correct targeting to the translocation machineries and prevention from premature folding. The high precision and speed of these processes is ensured by a cystosolic system consisting of molecular chaperones, folding catalysts and targeting factors. This review focuses on the interactions of this system with nascent polypeptides and discusses new concepts for protein folding in the cytosol. It is proposed that folding and targeting are promoted by a flexible network of multiple unassisted and assisted pathways.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-21

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

  6. Polymerization of Actin from Maize Pollen.

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    During fission yeast cytokinesis, actin filaments nucleated by cortical formin Cdc12 are captured by myosin motors bound to a band of cortical nodes and bundled by cross-linking proteins. The myosin motors exert forces on the actin filaments, resulting in a net pulling of the nodes into a contractile ring, while cross-linking interactions help align actin filaments and nodes into a single bundle. We used these mechanisms in a three-dimensional computational model of contractile ring assembly, with semiflexible actin filaments growing from formins at cortical nodes, capturing of filaments by neighboring nodes, and cross-linking among filaments through attractive interactions. The model was used to predict profiles of actin filament density at the cell cortex, morphologies of condensing node-filament networks, and regimes of cortical tension by varying the node pulling force and strength of cross-linking among actin filaments. Results show that cross-linking interactions can lead to confinement of actin filaments at the simulated cortical boundary. We show that the ring-formation region in parameter space lies close to regions leading to clumps, meshworks or double rings, and stars/cables. Since boundaries between regions are not sharp, transient structures that resemble clumps, stars, and meshworks can appear in the process of ring assembly. These results are consistent with prior experiments with mutations in actin-filament turnover regulators, myosin motor activity, and changes in the concentration of cross-linkers that alter the morphology of the condensing network. Transient star shapes appear in some simulations, and these morphologies offer an explanation for star structures observed in prior experimental images. Finally, we quantify tension along actin filaments and forces on nodes during ring assembly and show that the mechanisms describing ring assembly can also drive ring constriction once the ring is formed. PMID:25468341

  9. Dynamic Network Morphology and Tension Buildup in a 3D Model of Cytokinetic Ring Assembly

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    During fission yeast cytokinesis, actin filaments nucleated by cortical formin Cdc12 are captured by myosin motors bound to a band of cortical nodes and bundled by cross-linking proteins. The myosin motors exert forces on the actin filaments, resulting in a net pulling of the nodes into a contractile ring, while cross-linking interactions help align actin filaments and nodes into a single bundle. We used these mechanisms in a three-dimensional computational model of contractile ring assembly, with semiflexible actin filaments growing from formins at cortical nodes, capturing of filaments by neighboring nodes, and cross-linking among filaments through attractive interactions. The model was used to predict profiles of actin filament density at the cell cortex, morphologies of condensing node-filament networks, and regimes of cortical tension by varying the node pulling force and strength of cross-linking among actin filaments. Results show that cross-linking interactions can lead to confinement of actin filaments at the simulated cortical boundary. We show that the ring-formation region in parameter space lies close to regions leading to clumps, meshworks or double rings, and stars/cables. Since boundaries between regions are not sharp, transient structures that resemble clumps, stars, and meshworks can appear in the process of ring assembly. These results are consistent with prior experiments with mutations in actin-filament turnover regulators, myosin motor activity, and changes in the concentration of cross-linkers that alter the morphology of the condensing network. Transient star shapes appear in some simulations, and these morphologies offer an explanation for star structures observed in prior experimental images. Finally, we quantify tension along actin filaments and forces on nodes during ring assembly and show that the mechanisms describing ring assembly can also drive ring constriction once the ring is formed. PMID:25468341

  10. Formation of filopodia-like bundles in vitro from a dendritic network.

    PubMed

    Vignjevic, Danijela; Yarar, Defne; Welch, Matthew D; Peloquin, John; Svitkina, Tatyana; Borisy, Gary G

    2003-03-17

    We report the development and characterization of an in vitro system for the formation of filopodia-like bundles. Beads coated with actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3)-activating proteins can induce two distinct types of actin organization in cytoplasmic extracts: (1) comet tails or clouds displaying a dendritic array of actin filaments and (2) stars with filament bundles radiating from the bead. Actin filaments in these bundles, like those in filopodia, are long, unbranched, aligned, uniformly polar, and grow at the barbed end. Like filopodia, star bundles are enriched in fascin and lack Arp2/3 complex and capping protein. Transition from dendritic to bundled organization was induced by depletion of capping protein, and add-back of this protein restored the dendritic mode. Depletion experiments demonstrated that star formation is dependent on Arp2/3 complex. This poses the paradox of how Arp2/3 complex can be involved in the formation of both branched (lamellipodia-like) and unbranched (filopodia-like) actin structures. Using purified proteins, we showed that a small number of components are sufficient for the assembly of filopodia-like bundles: Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)-coated beads, actin, Arp2/3 complex, and fascin. We propose a model for filopodial formation in which actin filaments of a preexisting dendritic network are elongated by inhibition of capping and subsequently cross-linked into bundles by fascin.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1981-03-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  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. 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

  17. A Robust Actin Filaments Image Analysis Framework.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

  20. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  1. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Force Transmission in the Actin Cytoskeleton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardel, Margaret

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    van Oudenaarden, A; Theriot, J A

    1999-12-01

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

  6. The reconstitution of actin polymerization on liposomes.

    PubMed

    Stamnes, Mark; Xu, Weidong

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Association of actin with alpha crystallins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Steven L.; Korobova, Farida

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton helps maintain structural organization within living cells. In large X. laevis oocytes, gravity becomes a dominant force and is countered by a nuclear actin network that prevents liquid-like nuclear bodies from immediate sedimentation and coalescence. However, nuclear actin’s mechanical properties, and how they facilitate the stabilization of nuclear bodies, remain unknown. Using active microrheology, we find that nuclear actin forms a weak viscoelastic network, with a modulus of roughly 0.1 Pa. Embedded probe particles subjected to a constant force exhibit continuous displacement, due to viscoelastic creep. Gravitational forces also cause creep displacement of nuclear bodies, resulting in their asymmetric nuclear distribution. Thus, nuclear actin does not indefinitely support the emulsion of nuclear bodies, but only kinetically stabilizes them by slowing down gravitational creep to ~2 months. This is similar to the viability time of large oocytes, suggesting gravitational creep ages oocytes, with fatal consequences on long timescales. PMID:26577186

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. The actin of muscle and fibroblasts.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, P J

    1976-01-01

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

  6. Quantifying actin wave modulation on periodic topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Lee, Chiu Fan; Pruessner, Gunnar

    2016-05-01

    Cell motility and tissue morphogenesis depend crucially on the dynamic remodeling of actomyosin networks. An actomyosin network consists of an actin polymer network connected by cross-linker proteins and motor protein myosins that generate internal stresses on the network. A recent discovery shows that for a range of experimental parameters, actomyosin networks contract to clusters with a power-law size distribution [J. Alvarado, Nat. Phys. 9, 591 (2013)1745-247310.1038/nphys2715]. Here, we argue that actomyosin networks can exhibit a robust critical signature without fine-tuning because the dynamics of the system can be mapped onto a modified version of percolation with trapping (PT), which is known to show critical behavior belonging to the static percolation universality class without the need for fine-tuning of a control parameter. We further employ our PT model to generate experimentally testable predictions. PMID:27300931

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1981-03-31

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

  11. A Role for Nuclear Actin in HDAC 1 and 2 Regulation.

    PubMed

    Serebryannyy, Leonid A; Cruz, Christina M; de Lanerolle, Primal

    2016-06-27

    Class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) are known to remove acetyl groups from histone tails. This liberates positive charges on the histone tail and allows for tighter winding of DNA, preventing transcription factor binding and gene activation. Although the functions of HDAC proteins are becoming apparent both biochemically and clinically, how this class of proteins is regulated remains poorly understood. We identified a novel interaction between nuclear actin and HDAC 1 and HDAC 2. Nuclear actin has been previously shown to interact with a growing list of nuclear proteins including chromatin remodeling complexes, transcription factors and RNA polymerases. We find that monomeric actin is able to bind the class I HDAC complex. Furthermore, increasing the concentration of actin in HeLa nuclear extracts was able to suppress overall HDAC function. Conversely, polymerizing nuclear actin increased HDAC activity and decreased histone acetylation. Moreover, the interaction between class I HDACs and nuclear actin was found to be activity dependent. Together, our data suggest nuclear actin is able to regulate HDAC 1 and 2 activity.

  12. A Role for Nuclear Actin in HDAC 1 and 2 Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Serebryannyy, Leonid A.; Cruz, Christina M.; de Lanerolle, Primal

    2016-01-01

    Class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) are known to remove acetyl groups from histone tails. This liberates positive charges on the histone tail and allows for tighter winding of DNA, preventing transcription factor binding and gene activation. Although the functions of HDAC proteins are becoming apparent both biochemically and clinically, how this class of proteins is regulated remains poorly understood. We identified a novel interaction between nuclear actin and HDAC 1 and HDAC 2. Nuclear actin has been previously shown to interact with a growing list of nuclear proteins including chromatin remodeling complexes, transcription factors and RNA polymerases. We find that monomeric actin is able to bind the class I HDAC complex. Furthermore, increasing the concentration of actin in HeLa nuclear extracts was able to suppress overall HDAC function. Conversely, polymerizing nuclear actin increased HDAC activity and decreased histone acetylation. Moreover, the interaction between class I HDACs and nuclear actin was found to be activity dependent. Together, our data suggest nuclear actin is able to regulate HDAC 1 and 2 activity. PMID:27345839

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

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

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

  14. 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)

  15. Actin Cross-Linkers and the Shape of Stereocilia

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Affinity chromatography of immobilized actin and myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Bottomley, R C; Trayer, I P

    1975-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. A nuclear F-actin scaffold stabilizes ribonucleoprotein droplets against gravity in large cells.

    PubMed

    Feric, Marina; Brangwynne, Clifford P

    2013-10-01

    The size of a typical eukaryotic cell is of the order of ∼10 μm. However, some cell types grow to very large sizes, including oocytes (immature eggs) of organisms from humans to starfish. For example, oocytes of the frog Xenopus laevis grow to a diameter ≥1 mm. They have a correspondingly large nucleus (germinal vesicle) of ∼450 μm in diameter, which is similar to smaller somatic nuclei, but contains a significantly higher concentration of actin. The form and structure of this nuclear actin remain controversial, and its potential mechanical role within these large nuclei is unknown. Here, we use a microrheology and quantitative imaging approach to show that germinal vesicles contain an elastic F-actin scaffold that mechanically stabilizes these large nuclei against gravitational forces, which are usually considered negligible within cells. We find that on actin disruption, ribonucleoprotein droplets, including nucleoli and histone locus bodies, undergo gravitational sedimentation and fusion. We develop a model that reveals how gravity becomes an increasingly potent force as cells and their nuclei grow larger than ∼10 μm, explaining the requirement for a stabilizing nuclear F-actin scaffold in large Xenopus oocytes. All life forms are subject to gravity, and our results may have broad implications for cell growth and size control.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Stochastic model of profilin-actin polymerization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horan, Brandon; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

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

  6. Contribution of nuclear actin to transcription regulation.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Shota; Yamamoto, Koji; Harata, Masahiko

    2015-06-01

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

  7. Phosphorylation and actin activation of brain myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Barylko, B; Sobieszek, A

    1983-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Actin-based motility is important for many cellular processes. In this article we extend our previous studies of an actin-propelled circular disk in two dimensions to an actin-propelled spherical bead in three dimensions. We find that for an achiral load the couplings between the motion of the load and the actin network induce a series of bifurcations, starting with a transition from rest to moving state, followed by a 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. PMID:27575158

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 Ca2+-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. PMID:23382463

  15. Reversible Membrane Pearling in Live Cells upon Destruction of the Actin Cortex

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Live Cell Imaging of F-actin Dynamics via Fluorescent Speckle Microscopy (FSM)

    PubMed Central

    Lim, James; Danuser, Gaudenz

    2009-01-01

    In this protocol we describe the use of Fluorescent Speckle Microscopy (FSM) to capture high-resolution images of actin dynamics in PtK1 cells. A unique advantage of FSM is its ability to capture the movement and turnover kinetics (assembly/disassembly) of the F-actin network within living cells. This technique is particularly useful in deriving quantitative measurements of F-actin dynamics when paired with computer vision software (qFSM). We describe the selection, microinjection and visualization of fluorescent actin probes in living cells. Importantly, similar procedures are applicable to visualizing other macomolecular assemblies. FSM has been demonstrated for microtubules, intermediate filaments, and adhesion complexes. PMID:19684563

  17. Structural, Mechanical, and Dynamical Variability of the Actin Cortex in Living Cells

    PubMed Central

    Eghiaian, Frédéric; Rigato, Annafrancesca; Scheuring, Simon

    2015-01-01

    In eukaryotic cells, an actin-based cortex lines the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane, endowing the cells with crucial mechanical and functional properties. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to study the structural dynamics of the actin cortex at high lateral resolution in living cells. Here, we performed atomic force microscopy time-lapse imaging and mechanical mapping of actin in the cortex of living cells at high lateral and temporal resolution. Cortical actin filaments adopted discernible arrangements, ranging from large parallel bundles with low connectivity to a tight meshwork of short filaments. Mixing of these architectures resulted in attuned cortex networks with specific connectivity, mechanical responses, and marked differences in their dynamic behavior. PMID:25809247

  18. 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

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Retinoids and glucocorticoids have opposite effects on actin cytoskeleton rearrangement in hippocampal HT22 cells.

    PubMed

    Hélène, Roumes; Julie, Brossaud; Aloïs, Lemelletier; Marie-Pierre, Moisan; Véronique, Pallet; Anabelle, Redonnet; Jean-Benoît, Corcuff

    2016-02-01

    A chronic excess of glucocorticoids elicits deleterious effects in the hippocampus. Conversely, retinoic acid plays a major role in aging brain plasticity. As synaptic plasticity depends on mechanisms related to cell morphology, we investigated the involvement of retinoic acid and glucocorticoids in the remodelling of the HT22 neurons actin cytoskeleton. Cells exhibited a significantly more elongated shape with retinoic acid and a rounder shape with dexamethasone; retinoic acid reversed the effects of dexamethasone. Actin expression and abundance were unchanged by retinoic acid or dexamethasone but F-actin organization was dramatically modified. Indeed, retinoic acid and dexamethasone increased (70 ± 7% and 176 ± 5%) cortical actin while retinoic acid suppressed the effect of dexamethasone (90 ± 6%). Retinoic acid decreased (-22 ± 9%) and dexamethasone increased (134 ± 16%) actin stress fibres. Retinoic acid also suppressed the effect of dexamethasone (-21 ± 7%). Spectrin is a key protein in the actin network remodelling. Its abundance was decreased by retinoic acid and increased by dexamethasone (-21 ± 11% and 52 ± 10%). However, retinoic acid did not modify the effect of dexamethasone (48 ± 7%). Calpain activity on spectrin was increased by retinoic acid and decreased by dexamethasone (26 ± 14% and -57 ± 5%); retinoic acid mildly but significantly modified the effect of dexamethasone (-44 ± 7%). The calpain inhibitor calpeptin suppressed the effects of retinoic acid and dexamethasone on cell shape and actin stress fibres remodelling but did not modify the effects on cortical actin. Retinoic acid and dexamethasone have a dramatic but mainly opposite effect on actin cytoskeleton remodelling. These effects originate, at least partly, from calpain activity.

  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. Analytical solutions of actin-retrograde-flow in a circular stationary cell: a mechanical point of view.

    PubMed

    Ghasemi, V A; Firoozabadi, B; Saidi, M S

    2014-03-01

    The network of actin filaments in the lamellipodium (LP) of stationary and migrating cells flows in a retrograde direction, from the membrane periphery toward the cell nucleus. We have theoretically studied this phenomenon in the circular stationary (fully spread) cells. Adopting a continuum view on the LP actin network, new closed-form solutions are provided for the actin-retrograde-flow (ARF) in a polar coordinate system. Due to discrepancy in the mechanical models of the actin network in the ARF regime, solutions are provided for both assumptions of solid and fluid behavior. Other involved phenomena, including polymerizing machine at the membrane periphery, cytosol drag, adhesion friction, and membrane tension, are also discussed to provide an overall quantitative view on this problem.

  5. Effect of alpha-actinin on actin structure. Actin ATPase activity.

    PubMed

    Singh, I; Goll, D E; Robson, R M

    1981-08-28

    Alpha-Actinin increases the ATPase activity of actin by up to 84%, depending un pH, divalent cations present and the added Mg2+: ATP ratio. Dithiothreitol decreases actin ATPase activity approx. 20% but does not reduce the ability of alpha-actinin to increase actin ATP activity. Increasing amounts of added alpha-actinin up to 1 mos alpha-actinin to 49 mol actin cause in increasing increment in actin ATPase activity, but adding alpha-actinin beyond 1 mol alpha-actinin to 49 mol actin elicits only small additional increments in activity. Actin ATPase activity ranges from approx 100 nmol Pi/mg actin per h (4.3 mol Pi/mol actin per h) at high levels (10 mM) of ATP in the presence of lower amounts (1 mM) of added mg2+ to approx. 12.5 nmol Pi/mg actin per h (0.52 mol Pi/mol actin per h) at high pH (8.5) or at low levels (0.5-1.0 mM) of ATP in the presence of higher amounts (10 mM) of added Mg2+ ATp uncomplexed with Mg2+ inhibits the ability of alpha-actinin to increase F-actin ATPase activity. Activities with different divalent cations showed that the actin ATPase in these studies, which was 1/100 as great as Mg2+-modified actomyosin ATPase activity, was not due to trace amounts of myosin contaminating the actin preparations. The results are consistent with the concept that alpha-actinin can alter the structure of actin monomers. PMID:6456018

  6. Change in the actin-myosin subfragment 1 interaction during actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Chaussepied, P; Kasprzak, A A

    1989-12-01

    To better characterize the conformational differences of G- and F-actin, we have compared the interaction between G- and F-actin with myosin subfragment 1 (S1) which had part of its F-actin binding site (residues 633-642) blocked by a complementary peptide or "antipeptide" (Chaussepied, P., and Morales, M. F. (1988) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 85, 7471-7475). Light scattering, sedimentation, and electron microscopy measurements showed that, with the antipeptide covalently attached to the S1 heavy chain, S1 was not capable of inducing G-actin polymerization in the absence of salt. Moreover, the antipeptide-carrying S1 did not change the fluorescence polarization of 5-[2-(iodoacetyl)-aminoethyl]aminonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid (1,5-IAEDANS)-labeled G-actin or of 1,5-IAEDANS-labeled actin dimer, compared to the control S1. This result, interpreted as a lack of interaction between G-actin and antipeptide-carrying S1, was confirmed further by the following experiments: in the presence of G-actin, antipeptide.S1 heavy chain was not protected against trypsin and papain proteolysis, and G-actin could not be cross-linked to antipeptide.S1 by 1-ethyl-3[-3-(dimethylamino)propyl]carbodiimide. In contrast, similar experiments showed that antipeptide.S1 was able to interact with nascent F-actin and with F-actin. Thus, blocking the stretch 633-642 of S1 heavy chain by the antipeptide strongly inhibits G-actin-S1 interaction but only slightly alters F-actin-S1 contact. We, therefore postulate that this stretch of skeletal S1 heavy chain is essential for G-actin-S1 interaction and that the G-F transformation generates new S1 binding site(s) on the actin molecule.

  7. Unconventional actin conformations localize on intermediate filaments in mitosis

    SciTech Connect

    Hubert, Thomas; Vandekerckhove, Joel; Gettemans, Jan

    2011-03-04

    Research highlights: {yields} Unconventional actin conformations colocalize with vimentin on a cage-like structure in metaphase HEK 293T cells. {yields} These conformations are detected with the anti-actin antibodies 1C7 ('lower dimer') and 2G2 ('nuclear actin'), but not C4 (monomeric actin). {yields} Mitotic unconventional actin cables are independent of filamentous actin or microtubules. {yields} Unconventional actin colocalizes with vimentin on a nocodazole-induced perinuclear dense mass of cables. -- Abstract: Different structural conformations of actin have been identified in cells and shown to reside in distinct subcellular locations of cells. In this report, we describe the localization of actin on a cage-like structure in metaphase HEK 293T cells. Actin was detected with the anti-actin antibodies 1C7 and 2G2, but not with the anti-actin antibody C4. Actin contained in this structure is independent of microtubules and actin filaments, and colocalizes with vimentin. Taking advantage of intermediate filament collapse into a perinuclear dense mass of cables when microtubules are depolymerized, we were able to relocalize actin to such structures. We hypothesize that phosphorylation of intermediate filaments at mitosis entry triggers the recruitment of different actin conformations to mitotic intermediate filaments. Storage and partition of the nuclear actin and antiparallel 'lower dimer' actin conformations between daughter cells possibly contribute to gene transcription and transient actin filament dynamics at G1 entry.

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2011-10-18

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

  9. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  10. Probing the actin-auxin oscillator

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The directional transport of the plant hormone auxin depends on transcellular gradients of auxin-efflux carriers that continuously cycle between plasma membrane and intracellular compartments. This cycling has been proposed to depend on actin filaments. However, the role of actin for the polarity of auxin transport has been disputed. To get insight into this question, actin bundling was induced by overexpression of the actin-binding domain of talin in tobacco BY-2 cells and in rice plants. This bundling can be reverted by addition of auxins, which allows to address the role of actin organization on the flux of auxin. In both systems, the reversion of a normal actin configuration can be restored by addition of exogenous auxins and this fully restores the respective auxin-dependent functions. These findings lead to a model of a self-referring regulatory circuit between polar auxin transport and actin organization. To further dissect the actin-auxin oscillator, we used photoactivated release of caged auxin in tobacco cells to demonstrate that auxin gradients can be manipulated at a subcellular level. PMID:20023411

  11. Profilin connects actin assembly with microtubule dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Actin cytoskeleton redox proteome oxidation by cadmium

    PubMed Central

    Go, Young-Mi; Orr, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Epidemiological studies associate environmental cadmium (Cd) exposure with the risk of lung diseases. Although mechanisms are not fully elucidated, several studies demonstrate Cd effects on actin and actin-associated proteins. In a recent study of Cd at concentrations similar to environmental exposures, we found that redox-dependent inflammatory signaling by NF-κB was sensitive to the actin-disrupting agent, cytochalasin D. The goal of the present study was to use mass spectrometry-based redox proteomics to investigate Cd effects on the actin cytoskeleton proteome and related functional pathways in lung cells at low environmental concentrations. The results showed that Cd under conditions that did not alter total protein thiols or glutathione redox state caused significant oxidation of peptidyl Cys of proteins regulating actin cytoskeleton. Immunofluorescence microscopy of lung fibroblasts and pulmonary artery endothelial cells showed that low-dose Cd exposure stimulated filamentous actin formation and nuclear localization of destrin, an actin-depolymerizing factor. Taken together, the results show that redox states of peptidyl Cys in proteins associated with actin cytoskeleton pathways are selectively oxidized in lung by Cd at levels thought to occur from environmental exposure. PMID:24077948

  13. Colchicine activates actin polymerization by microtubule depolymerization.

    PubMed

    Jung, H I; Shin, I; Park, Y M; Kang, K W; Ha, K S

    1997-06-30

    Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts were treated with the microtubule-disrupting agent colchicine to study any interaction between microtubule dynamics and actin polymerization. Colchicine increased the amount of filamentous actin (F-actin), in a dose- and time-dependent manner with a significant increase at 1 h by about 130% over control level. Confocal microscopic observation showed that colchicine increased F-actin contents by stress fiber formation without inducing membrane ruffling. Colchicine did not activate phospholipase C and phospholipase D, whereas lysophosphatidic acid did, indicating that colchicine may have a different mechanism of actin polymerization regulation from LPA. A variety of microtubule-disrupting agents stimulated actin polymerization in Swiss 3T3 and Rat-2 fibroblasts as did colchicine, but the microtubule-stabilizing agent taxol inhibited actin polymerization induced by the above microtubule-disrupting agents. In addition, colchicine-induced actin polymerization was blocked by two protein phosphatase inhibitors, okadaic acid and calyculin A. These results suggest that microtubule depolymerization activates stress fiber formation by serine/threonine dephosphorylation in fibroblasts. PMID:9264034

  14. Integration of linear and dendritic actin nucleation in Nck-induced actin comets

    PubMed Central

    Borinskaya, Sofya; Velle, Katrina B.; Campellone, Kenneth G.; Talman, Arthur; Alvarez, Diego; Agaisse, Hervé; Wu, Yi I.; Loew, Leslie M.; Mayer, Bruce J.

    2016-01-01

    The Nck adaptor protein recruits cytosolic effectors such as N-WASP that induce localized actin polymerization. Experimental aggregation of Nck SH3 domains at the membrane induces actin comet tails—dynamic, elongated filamentous actin structures similar to those that drive the movement of microbial pathogens such as vaccinia virus. Here we show that experimental manipulation of the balance between unbranched/branched nucleation altered the morphology and dynamics of Nck-induced actin comets. Inhibition of linear, formin-based nucleation with the small-molecule inhibitor SMIFH2 or overexpression of the formin FH1 domain resulted in formation of predominantly circular-shaped actin structures with low mobility (actin blobs). These results indicate that formin-based linear actin polymerization is critical for the formation and maintenance of Nck-dependent actin comet tails. Consistent with this, aggregation of an exclusively branched nucleation-promoting factor (the VCA domain of N-WASP), with density and turnover similar to those of N-WASP in Nck comets, did not reconstitute dynamic, elongated actin comets. Furthermore, enhancement of branched Arp2/3-mediated nucleation by N-WASP overexpression caused loss of the typical actin comet tail shape induced by Nck aggregation. Thus the ratio of linear to dendritic nucleation activity may serve to distinguish the properties of actin structures induced by various viral and bacterial pathogens. PMID:26609071

  15. Integration of linear and dendritic actin nucleation in Nck-induced actin comets.

    PubMed

    Borinskaya, Sofya; Velle, Katrina B; Campellone, Kenneth G; Talman, Arthur; Alvarez, Diego; Agaisse, Hervé; Wu, Yi I; Loew, Leslie M; Mayer, Bruce J

    2016-01-15

    The Nck adaptor protein recruits cytosolic effectors such as N-WASP that induce localized actin polymerization. Experimental aggregation of Nck SH3 domains at the membrane induces actin comet tails--dynamic, elongated filamentous actin structures similar to those that drive the movement of microbial pathogens such as vaccinia virus. Here we show that experimental manipulation of the balance between unbranched/branched nucleation altered the morphology and dynamics of Nck-induced actin comets. Inhibition of linear, formin-based nucleation with the small-molecule inhibitor SMIFH2 or overexpression of the formin FH1 domain resulted in formation of predominantly circular-shaped actin structures with low mobility (actin blobs). These results indicate that formin-based linear actin polymerization is critical for the formation and maintenance of Nck-dependent actin comet tails. Consistent with this, aggregation of an exclusively branched nucleation-promoting factor (the VCA domain of N-WASP), with density and turnover similar to those of N-WASP in Nck comets, did not reconstitute dynamic, elongated actin comets. Furthermore, enhancement of branched Arp2/3-mediated nucleation by N-WASP overexpression caused loss of the typical actin comet tail shape induced by Nck aggregation. Thus the ratio of linear to dendritic nucleation activity may serve to distinguish the properties of actin structures induced by various viral and bacterial pathogens. PMID:26609071

  16. 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.

  17. Crystal structure of an archaeal actin homolog.

    PubMed

    Roeben, Annette; Kofler, Christine; Nagy, István; Nickell, Stephan; Hartl, F Ulrich; Bracher, Andreas

    2006-04-21

    Prokaryotic homologs of the eukaryotic structural protein actin, such as MreB and ParM, have been implicated in determination of bacterial cell shape, and in the segregation of genomic and plasmid DNA. In contrast to these bacterial actin homologs, little is known about the archaeal counterparts. As a first step, we expressed a predicted actin homolog of the thermophilic archaeon Thermoplasma acidophilum, Ta0583, and determined its crystal structure at 2.1A resolution. Ta0583 is expressed as a soluble protein in T.acidophilum and is an active ATPase at physiological temperature. In vitro, Ta0583 forms sheets with spacings resembling the crystal lattice, indicating an inherent propensity to form filamentous structures. The fold of Ta0583 contains the core structure of actin and clearly belongs to the actin/Hsp70 superfamily of ATPases. Ta0583 is approximately equidistant from actin and MreB on the structural level, and combines features from both eubacterial actin homologs, MreB and ParM. The structure of Ta0583 co-crystallized with ADP indicates that the nucleotide binds at the interface between the subdomains of Ta0583 in a manner similar to that of actin. However, the conformation of the nucleotide observed in complex with Ta0583 clearly differs from that in complex with actin, but closely resembles the conformation of ParM-bound nucleotide. On the basis of sequence and structural homology, we suggest that Ta0583 derives from a ParM-like actin homolog that was once encoded by a plasmid and was transferred into a common ancestor of Thermoplasma and Ferroplasma. Intriguingly, both genera are characterized by the lack of a cell wall, and therefore Ta0583 could have a function in cellular organization.

  18. 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. PMID:17520481

  19. Probing actin incorporation into myofibrils using Asp11 and His73 actin mutants.

    PubMed

    Xia, D; Peng, B; Sesok, D A; Peng, I

    1993-01-01

    We used a cell free system Bouché et al.: J. Cell Biol. 107:587-596, 1988] to study the incorporation of actin into myofibrils. We used alpha-skeletal muscle actin and actins with substitutions of either His73 [Solomon and Rubenstein: J. Biol.Chem. 262:11382, 1987], or Asp11 [Solomon et al.: J. Biol. Chem. 263:19662, 1988]. Actins were translated in reticulocyte lysate and incubated with myofibrils. The incorporated wild type actin could be cross-linked into dimers using N,N'-1,4-phenylenebismaleimide (PBM), indicating that the incorporated actin is actually inserted into the thin filaments of the myofibril. The His73 mutants incorporated to the same extent as wild type actin and was also cross-linked with PBM. Although some of the Asp11 mutants co-assembled with carrier actin, only 1-3% of the Asp11 mutant actins incorporated after 2 min and did not increase after 2 hr. Roughly 17% of wild type actin incorporated after 2 min and 31% after 2 hr. ATP increased the release of wild type actin from myofibrils, but did not increase the release of Asp11 mutants. We suggest that (1) the incorporation of wild type and His73 mutant actins was due to a physiological process whereas association of Asp11 mutants with myofibrils was non-specific, (2) the incorporation of wild type actin involved a rapid initial phase, followed by a slower phase, and (3) since some of the Asp11 mutants can co-assemble with wild type actin, the ability to self-assemble was not sufficient for incorporation into myofibrils. Thus, incorporation probably includes interaction between actin and a thin filament associated protein. We also showed that incorporation occurred at actin concentrations which would cause disassembly of F-actin. Since the myofibrils did not show large scale disassembly but incorporated actin, filament stability and monomer incorporation are likely to be mediated by actin associated proteins of the myofibril. PMID:8287497

  20. Profilin Binding to Poly-l-Proline and Actin Monomers along with Ability to Catalyze Actin Nucleotide Exchange Is Required for Viability of Fission Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jia; Pollard, Thomas D.

    2001-01-01

    We tested the ability of 87 profilin point mutations to complement temperature-sensitive and null mutations of the single profilin gene of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We compared the biochemical properties of 13 stable noncomplementing profilins with an equal number of complementing profilin mutants. A large quantitative database revealed the following: 1) in a profilin null background fission yeast grow normally with profilin mutations having >10% of wild-type affinity for actin or poly-l-proline, but lower affinity for either ligand is incompatible with life; 2) in the cdc3-124 profilin ts background, fission yeast function with profilin having only 2–5% wild-type affinity for actin or poly-l-proline; and 3) special mutations show that the ability of profilin to catalyze nucleotide exchange by actin is an essential function. Thus, poly-l-proline binding, actin binding, and actin nucleotide exchange are each independent requirements for profilin function in fission yeast. PMID:11294914

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. PMID:24926301

  5. Tuba stimulates intracellular N-WASP-dependent actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Eva M; Makar, Robert S; Gertler, Frank B

    2006-07-01

    Tuba is a multidomain scaffolding protein that links cytoskeletal dynamics and membrane trafficking pathways. The N-terminus of Tuba binds dynamin1, and the C-terminus contains domains that can interact with signaling pathways and cytoskeletal regulatory elements. We investigated Tuba localization, distribution and function in B16 melanoma cells. Tuba overexpression stimulated dorsal ruffles that occurred independently of dynamin function. Tuba expression induced actin-driven motility of small puncta that required the C-terminal SH3, GEF and BAR domains. Additionally, Tuba was recruited to lipid vesicles generated by overexpression of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase type Ialpha (PIP5Kalpha), localizing prominently to the head of the comets and at lower levels along the actin tail. We propose that Tuba facilitates dorsal ruffling of melanoma cells through direct interaction with actin-regulatory proteins and the recruitment of signaling molecules to lipid microdomains for the coordinated assembly of a cytoskeletal network. Knockdown of Tuba by RNA interference (RNAi) attenuated PIP5Kalpha-generated comet formation and the invasive behavior of B16 cells, implying that Tuba function is required for certain aspects of these processes. These results suggest first that Tuba-stimulated dorsal ruffling might represent a novel mechanism for the coordination of N-WASP-dependent cytoskeletal rearrangements and second that Tuba function is implicated in motility processes. PMID:16757518

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Fluorescence single-molecule imaging of actin turnover and regulatory mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Naoki

    2012-01-01

    Cells must rapidly remodel the actin filament network to achieve various cellular functions. Actin filament turnover is a dynamic process that plays crucial roles in cell adhesion, locomotion, cytokinesis, endocytosis, phagocytosis, tissue remodeling, etc., and is regulated by cell signaling cascades. Success in elucidating dynamic biological processes such as actin-based motility relies on the means enabling real time monitoring of the process. The invention of live-cell fluorescence single-molecule imaging has opened a window for direct viewing of various actin remodeling processes. In general, assembly and dissociation of actin and its regulators turned out to occur at the faster rates than previously estimated by biochemical and structural analyses. Cells undergo such fast continuous exchange of the components perhaps not only to drive actin remodeling but also to facilitate rapid response in many other cell mechanics and signaling cascades. This chapter describes how epifluorescence single-molecule imaging which visualizes deeper area than the TIRF microscopy is achieved in XTC cells, the currently best platform for this approach.

  10. Actin depolymerizing factor controls actin turnover and gliding motility in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Simren; Sibley, L. David

    2011-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites rely on actin-based gliding motility to move across the substratum, cross biological barriers, and invade their host cells. Gliding motility depends on polymerization of parasite actin filaments, yet ∼98% of actin is nonfilamentous in resting parasites. Previous studies suggest that the lack of actin filaments in the parasite is due to inherent instability, leaving uncertain the role of actin-binding proteins in controlling dynamics. We have previously shown that the single allele of Toxoplasma gondii actin depolymerizing factor (TgADF) has strong actin monomer–sequestering and weak filament-severing activities in vitro. Here we used a conditional knockout strategy to investigate the role of TgADF in vivo. Suppression of TgADF led to accumulation of actin-rich filaments that were detected by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Parasites deficient in TgADF showed reduced speed of motility, increased aberrant patterns of motion, and inhibition of sustained helical gliding. Lack of TgADF also led to severe defects in entry and egress from host cells, thus blocking infection in vitro. These studies establish that the absence of stable actin structures in the parasite are not simply the result of intrinsic instability, but that TgADF is required for the rapid turnover of parasite actin filaments, gliding motility, and cell invasion. PMID:21346192

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yang, Shengyuan; Saif, M Taher A

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Rapid polymerization of Entamoeba histolytica actin induced by interaction with target cells.

    PubMed

    Bailey, G B; Day, D B; Gasque, J W

    1985-08-01

    Within 5 s of challenge of Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites with red blood cells (RBC), attachment and deformation of target cells occurred at multiple sites on the amoeba surface. Many trophozoite-target interfaces were outlined with a ring of polymerized amoeba actin, revealed by rhodamine-phalloidin staining of glutaraldehyde-fixed and Triton-X 100-extracted cells. The beginnings of phagocytic pseudopods rimmed many targets. The phagocytic membrane and underlying actin network grew uniformly about a target cell, which became dramatically elongated and constricted, sometimes severed, as it entered the amoeba. Total engulfment of RBC targets occurred within 10 s. By methanol extraction and spectrofluorimetric measurement of bound rhodamine-phalloidin we were able to quantitate polymerized actin in amoebae. Interaction with target cells was accompanied by a net increase of up to twofold in the average polymerized actin content of trophozoites. This reached a maximum during the period of most active phagocytosis (4 min after challenge at 25 degrees C), and declined as phagocytic activity diminished (8-16 min). Challenge with latex beads of similar size and number, which E. histolytica phagocytized more slowly than RBC, induced neither a detectable increase in polymerized actin content nor appearance of polymerized actin at the contact interface. RBC inhibited phagocytosis of latex beads, but the reverse did not occur. The results demonstrate a rapid, recognition-specific stimulation of reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton of E. histolytica induced by binding to target cells. Vigorous phagocytic activity is frequently an immediate consequence of cell-cell contact, which emphasizes the importance of this process in the contact-mediated attack mechanism of this pathogen. The quantitative assay of polymerized actin may be useful in further studies of this mechanism. PMID:2862217

  14. Dynamin-2 regulates fusion pore expansion and quantal release through a mechanism that involves actin dynamics in neuroendocrine chromaffin cells.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Binding of actin to lens alpha crystallins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    Actin has been coupled to a cyanogen bromide-activated Sepharose 4B column, then tested for binding to alpha, beta, and gamma crystallin preparations from the bovine lens. Alpha, but not beta or gamma, crystallins bound to the actin affinity column in a time dependent and saturable manner. Subfractionation of the alpha crystallin preparation into the alpha-A and alpha-B species, followed by incubation with the affinity column, demonstrated that both species bound approximately the same. Together, these studies demonstrate a specific and saturable binding of lens alpha-A and alpha-B with actin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  18. 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…

  19. Live cell imaging of actin dynamics in dexamethasone-treated porcine trabecular meshwork cells.

    PubMed

    Fujimoto, Tomokazu; Inoue, Toshihiro; Inoue-Mochita, Miyuki; Tanihara, Hidenobu

    2016-04-01

    The regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in trabecular meshwork (TM) cells is important for controlling outflow of the aqueous humor. In some reports, dexamethasone (DEX) increased the aqueous humor outflow resistance and induced unusual actin structures, such as cross-linked actin networks (CLAN), in TM cells. However, the functions and dynamics of CLAN in TM cells are not completely known, partly because actin stress fibers have been observed only in fixed cells. We conducted live-cell imaging of the actin dynamics in TM cells with or without DEX treatment. An actin-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion construct with a modified insect virus was transfected into porcine TM cells. Time-lapse imaging of live TM cells treated with 25 μM Y-27632 and 100 nM DEX was performed using an inverted fluorescence microscope. Fluorescent images were recorded every 15 s for 30 min after Y-27632 treatment or every 30 min for 72 h after DEX treatment. The GFP-actin was expressed in 22.7 ± 10.9% of the transfected TM cells. In live TM cells, many actin stress fibers were observed before the Y-27632 treatment. Y-27632 changed the cell shape and decreased stress fibers in a time-dependent manner. In fixed cells, CLAN-like structures were seen in 26.5 ± 1.7% of the actin-GFP expressed PTM cells treated with DEX for 72 h. In live imaging, there was 28% CLAN-like structure formation at 72 h after DEX treatment, and the lifetime of CLAN-like structures increased after DEX treatment. The DEX-treated cells with CLAN-like structures showed less migration than DEX-treated cells without CLAN-like structures. Furthermore, the control cells (without DEX treatment) with CLAN-like structures also showed less migration than the control cells without CLAN-like structures. These results suggested that CLAN-like structure formation was correlated with cell migration in TM cells. Live cell imaging of the actin cytoskeleton provides valuable information on the actin dynamics in TM

  20. Gravity sensing in tip-growing cells.

    PubMed

    Sievers, A; Buchen, B; Hodick, D

    1996-08-01

    In addition to the statocytes of roots and shoots, a number of tip-growing cells also sense gravity, which influences the cells' growth and development. Since these tip-growing cells are highly suitable for observations in vivo, the movement and sedimentation of their statoliths can be studied in detail. Experimental manipulation by centrifugation, drug application, optical tweezers or microgravity can be monitored by light microscopy. The statoliths are localized in distinct cytoplasmic areas by interactions with actin filaments or microtubules, and their sedimentation seems to be narrowly confined. Since gravisensing and the graviresponse take place within the same cell, the gravitropic signal transduction chain is not complicated by signal transmission between sensing and responding cells. Studies on tip-growing cells have now enabled the formulation of models explaining positive and negative gravitropism.

  1. 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

  2. Correlation between polymerizability and conformation in scallop beta-like actin and rabbit skeletal muscle alpha-actin.

    PubMed

    Khaitlina, S; Antropova, O; Kuznetsova, I; Turoverov, K; Collins, J H

    1999-08-01

    In order to investigate the structural basis for functional differences among actin isoforms, we have compared the polymerization properties and conformations of scallop adductor muscle beta-like actin and rabbit skeletal muscle alpha-actin. Polymerization of scallop Ca(2+)-actin was slower than that of skeletal muscle Ca(2+)-actin. Cleavage of the actin polypeptide chain between Gly-42 and Val-43 with Escherichia coli protease ECP 32 impaired the polymerization of scallop Mg(2+)-actin to a greater extent than skeletal muscle Mg(2+)-actin. When monomeric scallop and skeletal muscle Ca(2+)-actins were subjected to limited proteolysis with trypsin, subtilisin, or ECP 32, no differences in the conformation of actin subdomain 2 were detected. At the same time, local differences in the conformations of scallop and skeletal muscle actin subdomains 1 were revealed as intrinsic fluorescence differences. Replacement of tightly bound Ca(2+) with Mg(2+) resulted in more extensive proteolysis of segment 61-69 of scallop actin than in the case of skeletal muscle actin. Furthermore, segment 61-69 was more accessible to proteolysis with subtilisin in polymerized scallop Ca(2+)-actin than in polymerized skeletal muscle Ca(2+)-actin, indicating that, in the polymeric form, the nucleotide-containing cleft is in a more open conformation in beta-like scallop actin than in skeletal muscle alpha-actin. We suggest that this difference between scallop and skeletal muscle actins is due to a less efficient shift of scallop actin subdomain 2 to the position it has in the polymer. The possible consequences of amino acid substitutions in actin subdomain 1 in the allosteric regulation of the actin cleft, and hence in the different stabilities of polymers formed by different actins, are discussed. PMID:10415117

  3. 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

  4. Genetics Home Reference: actin-accumulation myopathy

    MedlinePlus

    ... 7(3):160-8. Citation on PubMed Laing NG, Dye DE, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Richard G, Monnier ... Vigneron J, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Beggs AH, Laing NG. Mutations in the skeletal muscle alpha-actin gene ...

  5. [Actin in the wound healing process].

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Structural Dynamics of an Actin Spring

    PubMed Central

    Mahadevan, L.; Riera, C.S.; Shin, Jennifer H.

    2011-01-01

    Actin-based motility in cells is usually associated with either polymerization/depolymerization in the presence of cross-linkers or contractility in the presence of myosin motors. Here, we focus on a third distinct mechanism involving actin in motility, seen in the dynamics of an active actin spring that powers the acrosomal reaction of the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) sperm. During this process, a 60-μm bent and twisted bundle of cross-linked actin uncoils and becomes straight in a few seconds in the presence of Ca2+. This straightening, which occurs at a constant velocity, allows the acrosome to forcefully penetrate the egg. Synthesizing ultrastructural information with the kinetics, energetics, and imaging of calcium binding allows us to construct a dynamical theory for this mechanochemical engine consistent with our experimental observations. It also illuminates the general mechanism by which energy may be stored in conformational changes and released cooperatively in ordered macromolecular assemblies. PMID:21320427

  7. 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.

  8. Mechanics model for actin-based motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yuan

    2009-02-01

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

  9. Nematic textures in F-actin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, P.; Roy, J.; Chakrabarti, N.; Basu, S.; Das, U.

    2002-05-01

    Actin filaments, which are protein polymers occurring abundantly and ubiquitously in muscle and nonmuscle cells, are known to align in a shear flow, and with an external magnetic field. They form a nematic liquid crystal of the athermal type at a low concentration. Typical defects and textures of the nematic actin liquid crystal are described in this work. The generation of well-aligned nematic single crystals has been reported, in the vicinity of an air-water interface, with the actin filaments spontaneously aligning normal to the interface. Away from the air-water interface nematic single crystal domains are due to the alignment of the actin filaments parallel to the glass surface. The twist-bend nature of the disclination line of integral strength (m=1) has been attributed to the relative magnitudes of the anisotropic curvature elastic constants, which reflect the filaments' semirigidity.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Actinic review of EUV masks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldmann, Heiko; Ruoff, Johannes; Harnisch, Wolfgang; Kaiser, Winfried

    2010-04-01

    Management of mask defects is a major challenge for the introduction of EUV for HVM production. Once a defect has been detected, its printing impact needs to be predicted. Potentially the defect requires some repair, the success of which needs to be proven. This defect review has to be done with an actinic inspection system that matches the imaging conditions of an EUV scanner. During recent years, several concepts for such an aerial image metrology system (AIMS™) have been proposed. However, until now no commercial solution exists for EUV. Today, advances in EUV optics technology allow envisioning a solution that has been discarded before as unrealistic. We present this concept and its technical cornerstones.While the power requirement for the EUV source is less demanding than for HVM lithography tools, radiance, floor space, and stability are the main criteria for source selection. The requirement to emulate several generations of EUV scanners demands a large flexibility for the ilumination and imaging systems. New critical specifications to the EUV mirrors in the projection microscope can be satisfied using our expertise from lithographic mirrors. In summary, an EUV AIMS™ meeting production requirements seems to be feasible.

  13. 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.

  14. Actin: its cumbersome pilgrimage through cellular compartments.

    PubMed

    Schleicher, Michael; Jockusch, Brigitte M

    2008-06-01

    In this article, we follow the history of one of the most abundant, most intensely studied proteins of the eukaryotic cells: actin. We report on hallmarks of its discovery, its structural and functional characterization and localization over time, and point to present days' knowledge on its position as a member of a large family. We focus on the rather puzzling number of diverse functions as proposed for actin as a dual compartment protein. Finally, we venture on some speculations as to its origin.

  15. 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.

  16. Sarcomeric Pattern Formation by Actin Cluster Coalescence

    PubMed Central

    Friedrich, Benjamin M.; Fischer-Friedrich, Elisabeth; Gov, Nir S.; Safran, Samuel A.

    2012-01-01

    Contractile function of striated muscle cells depends crucially on the almost crystalline order of actin and myosin filaments in myofibrils, but the physical mechanisms that lead to myofibril assembly remains ill-defined. Passive diffusive sorting of actin filaments into sarcomeric order is kinetically impossible, suggesting a pivotal role of active processes in sarcomeric pattern formation. Using a one-dimensional computational model of an initially unstriated actin bundle, we show that actin filament treadmilling in the presence of processive plus-end crosslinking provides a simple and robust mechanism for the polarity sorting of actin filaments as well as for the correct localization of myosin filaments. We propose that the coalescence of crosslinked actin clusters could be key for sarcomeric pattern formation. In our simulations, sarcomere spacing is set by filament length prompting tight length control already at early stages of pattern formation. The proposed mechanism could be generic and apply both to premyofibrils and nascent myofibrils in developing muscle cells as well as possibly to striated stress-fibers in non-muscle cells. PMID:22685394

  17. Phosphorylation of CRN2 by CK2 regulates F-actin and Arp2/3 interaction and inhibits cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Xavier, Charles-Peter; Rastetter, Raphael H.; Blömacher, Margit; Stumpf, Maria; Himmel, Mirko; Morgan, Reginald O.; Fernandez, Maria-Pilar; Wang, Conan; Osman, Asiah; Miyata, Yoshihiko; Gjerset, Ruth A.; Eichinger, Ludwig; Hofmann, Andreas; Linder, Stefan; Noegel, Angelika A.; Clemen, Christoph S.

    2012-01-01

    CRN2 (synonyms: coronin 1C, coronin 3) functions in the re-organization of the actin network and is implicated in cellular processes like protrusion formation, secretion, migration and invasion. We demonstrate that CRN2 is a binding partner and substrate of protein kinase CK2, which phosphorylates CRN2 at S463 in its C-terminal coiled coil domain. Phosphomimetic S463D CRN2 loses the wild-type CRN2 ability to inhibit actin polymerization, to bundle F-actin, and to bind to the Arp2/3 complex. As a consequence, S463D mutant CRN2 changes the morphology of the F-actin network in the front of lamellipodia. Our data imply that CK2-dependent phosphorylation of CRN2 is involved in the modulation of the local morphology of complex actin structures and thereby inhibits cell migration. PMID:22355754

  18. 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

  19. Drosophila cyfip regulates synaptic development and endocytosis by suppressing filamentous actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lu; Wang, Dan; Wang, Qifu; Rodal, Avital A; Zhang, Yong Q

    2013-04-01

    The formation of synapses and the proper construction of neural circuits depend on signaling pathways that regulate cytoskeletal structure and dynamics. After the mutual recognition of a growing axon and its target, multiple signaling pathways are activated that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics to determine the morphology and strength of the connection. By analyzing Drosophila mutations in the cytoplasmic FMRP interacting protein Cyfip, we demonstrate that this component of the WAVE complex inhibits the assembly of filamentous actin (F-actin) and thereby regulates key aspects of synaptogenesis. Cyfip regulates the distribution of F-actin filaments in presynaptic neuromuscular junction (NMJ) terminals. At cyfip mutant NMJs, F-actin assembly was accelerated, resulting in shorter NMJs, more numerous satellite boutons, and reduced quantal content. Increased synaptic vesicle size and failure to maintain excitatory junctional potential amplitudes under high-frequency stimulation in cyfip mutants indicated an endocytic defect. cyfip mutants exhibited upregulated bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, a major growth-promoting pathway known to be attenuated by endocytosis at the Drosophila NMJ. We propose that Cyfip regulates synapse development and endocytosis by inhibiting actin assembly.

  20. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27623148

  1. A Multimodular Tensegrity Model of an Actin Stress Fiber

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yaozhi; Xu, Xian; Lele, Tanmay; Kumar, Sanjay; Ingber, Donald E.

    2008-01-01

    Stress fibers are contractile bundles in the cytoskeleton that stabilize cell structure by exerting traction forces on extracellular matrix. Individual stress fibers are molecular bundles composed of parallel actin and myosin filaments linked by various actin-binding proteins, which are organized end-on-end in a sarcomere-like pattern within an elongated three-dimensional network. While measurements of single stress fibers in living cells show that they behave like tensed viscoelastic fibers, precisely how this mechanical behavior arises from this complex supramolecular arrangement of protein components remains unclear. Here we show that computationally modeling a stress fiber as a multi-modular tensegrity network can predict several key behaviors of stress fibers measured in living cells, including viscoelastic retraction, fiber splaying after severing, non-uniform contraction, and elliptical strain of a puncture wound within the fiber. The tensegrity model also can explain how they simultaneously experience passive tension and generate active contraction forces; in contrast, a tensed cable net model predicts some, but not all, of these properties. Thus, tensegrity models may provide a useful link between molecular and cellular scale mechanical behaviors, and represent a new handle on multi-scale modeling of living materials. PMID:18632107

  2. Shaping up to divide: coordinating actin and microtubule cytoskeletal remodelling during mitosis.

    PubMed

    Lancaster, Oscar M; Baum, Buzz

    2014-10-01

    Cell division requires the wholesale reorganization of cell architecture. At the same time as the microtubule network is remodelled to generate a bipolar spindle, animal cells entering mitosis replace their interphase actin cytoskeleton with a contractile mitotic actomyosin cortex that is tightly coupled to the plasma membrane--driving mitotic cell rounding. Here, we consider how these two processes are coordinated to couple chromosome segregation and cell division. In doing so we explore the relative roles of cell shape and the actin cortex in spindle morphogenesis, orientation and positioning.

  3. Cytoplasmic intermediate filaments mediate actin-driven positioning of the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Dupin, Isabelle; Sakamoto, Yasuhisa; Etienne-Manneville, Sandrine

    2011-03-15

    The localization of the nucleus is precisely regulated, and defects in nuclear positioning are observed in diseases such as lissencephaly, cerebellar ataxia and dysplasia. We show here that cytoplasmic intermediate filaments are essential players in actin-dependent positioning of the nucleus. The actin retrograde flow is relayed by a flow of intermediate filaments that accumulate asymmetrically around the nuclear envelope. Perturbations of the intermediate filament network alter positioning of the nucleus in both migrating and immobile astrocytes. This function of intermediate filaments might be crucial for regulating cell motility, in particular in tumor cells expressing high levels of cytoplasmic intermediate filaments.

  4. 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

  5. Interactions of actin, myosin, and an actin-binding protein of chronic myelogenous leukemia leukocytes.

    PubMed Central

    Boxer, L A; Stossel, T P

    1976-01-01

    Actin, myosin, and a high molecular weight actin-binding protein were purified from chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) leukocytes. CML leukocyte actin resembled skeletal muscle and other cytoplasmic actins by its subunit molecular weight, by its ability to polymerize in the presence of salts, and to activate the Mg2+-ATPase activity of rabbit skeletal muscle myosin. CML leukocyte myosin was similar to other vertebrate cytoplasmic myosins in having heavy chains and two light subunits. However, its apparent heavy-chain molecular weight and Stokes radius suggested that it was variably degraded during purification. Purified CML leukocyte myosin had average specific EDTA- AND Ca2+-activated ATPase activities of 125 and 151 nmol Pi released/mg protein per min, respectively and low specific Mg2+-ATPase activity. The Mg2+-ATPase activity of CML myosin was increased 200-fold by rabbit skeletal muscle F-actin, but the specific activity relative to that of actin-activated rabbit skeletal muscle myosin was low. CML leukocyte myosin, like other vertebrate cytoplasmic myosins, formed filaments in 0.1 M KCl solutions. Reduced and denatured CML leukocyte-actin-binding protein had a single high molecular weight subunit like a recently described actin-binding protein of rabbit pulmonary macrophages which promotes the polymerization and gelation of actin. Cytoplasmic extracts of CML leukocytes prepared with ice-cold 0.34-M sucrose solutions containing Mg2+-ATP, dithiothreitol, and EDTA at pH 7.0 underwent rapid gelation when warmed to 25 degrees C. Initially, the gel could be liquified by cooling to ice-bath temperature. With time, warmed cytoplasmic extract gels shrunk ("contracted") into aggregates. The following findings indicated that CML leukocyte actin-binding protein promoted the temperature-dependent gelation of actin in the cytoplasmic extracts and that CML leukocyte myosin was involved in the contraction of the actin gels: (a) Cytoplasmic extract gels initially contained

  6. SelR reverses Mical-mediated oxidation of actin to regulate F-actin dynamics.

    PubMed

    Hung, Ruei-Jiun; Spaeth, Christopher S; Yesilyurt, Hunkar Gizem; Terman, Jonathan R

    2013-12-01

    Actin's polymerization properties are markedly altered by oxidation of its conserved Met 44 residue. Mediating this effect is a specific oxidation-reduction (redox) enzyme, Mical, that works with Semaphorin repulsive guidance cues and selectively oxidizes Met 44. We now find that this actin-regulatory process is reversible. Employing a genetic approach, we identified a specific methionine sulfoxide reductase (MsrB) enzyme SelR that opposes Mical redox activity and Semaphorin-Plexin repulsion to direct multiple actin-dependent cellular behaviours in vivo. SelR specifically catalyses the reduction of the R isomer of methionine sulfoxide (methionine-R-sulfoxide) to methionine, and we found that SelR directly reduced Mical-oxidized actin, restoring its normal polymerization properties. These results indicate that Mical oxidizes actin stereospecifically to generate actin Met-44-R-sulfoxide (actin(Met(R)O-44)), and also implicate the interconversion of specific Met/Met(R)O residues as a precise means to modulate protein function. Our results therefore uncover a specific reversible redox actin regulatory system that controls cell and developmental biology.

  7. PMP22 Is Critical for Actin-Mediated Cellular Functions and for Establishing Lipid Rafts

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sooyeon; Amici, Stephanie; Tavori, Hagai; Zeng, Waylon M.; Freeland, Steven; Fazio, Sergio

    2014-01-01

    Haploinsufficiency of peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) causes hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies, a peripheral nerve lesion induced by minimal trauma or compression. As PMP22 is localized to cholesterol-enriched membrane domains that are closely linked with the underlying actin network, we asked whether the myelin instability associated with PMP22 deficiency could be mediated by involvement of the protein in actin-dependent cellular functions and/or lipid raft integrity. In peripheral nerves and cells from mice with PMP22 deletion, we assessed the organization of filamentous actin (F-actin), and actin-dependent cellular functions. Using in vitro models, we discovered that, in the absence of PMP22, the migration and adhesion capacity of Schwann cells and fibroblasts are similarly impaired. Furthermore, PMP22-deficient Schwann cells produce shortened myelin internodes, and display compressed axial cell length and collapsed lamellipodia. During early postnatal development, F-actin-enriched Schmidt-Lanterman incisures do not form properly in nerves from PMP22−/− mice, and the expression and localization of molecules associated with uncompacted myelin domains and lipid rafts, including flotillin-1, cholesterol, and GM1 ganglioside, are altered. In addition, we identified changes in the levels and distribution of cholesterol and ApoE when PMP22 is absent. Significantly, cholesterol supplementation of the culture medium corrects the elongation and migration deficits of PMP22−/− Schwann cells, suggesting that the observed functional impairments are directly linked with cholesterol deficiency of the plasma membrane. Our findings support a novel role for PMP22 in the linkage of the actin cytoskeleton with the plasma membrane, likely through regulating the cholesterol content of lipid rafts. PMID:25429154

  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. Actin filaments and microtubules play different roles during bristle elongation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Tilney, L G; Connelly, P S; Vranich, K A; Shaw, M K; Guild, G M

    2000-04-01

    Developing bristles in Drosophila pupae contain 7-11 bundles of crosslinked actin filaments and a large population of microtubules. During bristle growth the rate of cell elongation increases with bristle length. Thin section EM shows that bundle size is correlated with the amount of cytoplasm at all points along the bristle. Thus, as the bristle elongates and tapers, fewer actin filaments are used. To ensure penetration of inhibitors we isolated thoraces and cultured them in vitro; bristles elongate at rates identical to bristles growing in situ. Interestingly, inhibitors of actin filament assembly (cytochalasin D and latrunculin A) dramatically curtailed bristle elongation while a filament stabilizer (jasplakinolide) accelerated elongation. In contrast, inhibitors of microtubule dynamics (nocodazole, vinblastine, colchicine and taxol) did not affect bristle elongation. Surprisingly, the bristle microtubules are stable and do not turn over. Furthermore, the density of microtubules decreases as the bristle elongates. These two facts coupled with calculations and kinetics of elongation and the fact that the microtubules are short indicate that the microtubules are assembled early in development and then transported distally as the bristle grows. We conclude that actin assembly is crucial for bristle cell elongation and that microtubules must furnish other functions such as to provide bulk to the bristle cytoplasm as well as playing a role in vesicle transport.

  10. Force-velocity relation for actin-polymerization-driven motility from Brownian dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kun-Chun; Liu, Andrea J

    2009-09-01

    We report numerical simulation results for the force-velocity relation for actin-polymerization-driven motility. We use Brownian dynamics to solve a physically consistent formulation of the dendritic nucleation model with semiflexible filaments that self-assemble and push a disk. We find that at small loads, the disk speed is independent of load, whereas at high loads, the speed decreases and vanishes at a characteristic stall pressure. Our results demonstrate that at small loads, the velocity is controlled by the reaction rates, whereas at high loads the stall pressure is determined by the mechanical properties of the branched actin network. The behavior is consistent with experiments and with our recently proposed self-diffusiophoretic mechanism for actin-polymerization-driven motility. New in vitro experiments to measure the force-velocity relation are proposed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Purification and Characterization of Actin from Maize Pollen 1

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiong; Yen, Lung-Fei

    1992-01-01

    Pollen is an excellent source of actin for biochemical and physiological studies of the actomyosin system in higher plants. We have developed an efficient method to prepare relatively high levels of actin from the pollen of maize (Zea mays L.). The procedures of purification include acetone powder preparation, saturated ammonium sulfate fractionation, diethylaminoethyl-cellulose chromatography, a cycle of polymerization-depolymerization, and Sephacryl S-200 gel filtration. The average yield of actin is 19 milligrams per 100 grams of pollen grains extracted. This is comparable with those of Acanthamoeba castellanii and human platelets. The purified pollen actin is electrophoretically homogeneous and its molecular mass is 42 kilodaltons. The amino acid composition and circular dichroism spectrum of pollen actin are identical to those of muscle actin. The actin purified from pollen is able to polymerize to F-actin. The pollen F-actin activated the activity of the muscle myosin ATPase sevenfold. ImagesFigure 1Figure 2 PMID:16668982

  17. 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.

  18. Incorporation of mammalian actin into microfilaments in plant cell nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Paves, Heiti; Truve, Erkki

    2004-01-01

    Background Actin is an ancient molecule that shows more than 90% amino acid homology between mammalian and plant actins. The regions of the actin molecule that are involved in F-actin assembly are largely conserved, and it is likely that mammalian actin is able to incorporate into microfilaments in plant cells but there is no experimental evidence until now. Results Visualization of microfilaments in onion bulb scale epidermis cells by different techniques revealed that rhodamine-phalloidin stained F-actin besides cytoplasm also in the nuclei whereas GFP-mouse talin hybrid protein did not enter the nuclei. Microinjection of fluorescently labeled actin was applied to study the presence of nuclear microfilaments in plant cells. Ratio imaging of injected fluorescent rabbit skeletal muscle actin and phalloidin staining of the microinjected cells showed that mammalian actin was able to incorporate into plant F-actin. The incorporation occurred preferentially in the nucleus and in the perinuclear region of plant cells whereas part of plant microfilaments, mostly in the periphery of cytoplasm, did not incorporate mammalian actin. Conclusions Microinjected mammalian actin is able to enter plant cell's nucleus, whereas incorporation of mammalian actin into plant F-actin occurs preferentially in the nucleus and perinuclear area. PMID:15102327

  19. The EGF receptor is an actin-binding protein

    PubMed Central

    1992-01-01

    In a number of recent studies it has been shown that in vivo part of the EGF receptor (EGFR) population is associated to the actin filament system. In this paper we demonstrate that the purified EGFR can be cosedimented with purified filamentous actin (F-actin) indicating a direct association between EGFR and actin. A truncated EGFR, previously shown not to be associated to the cytoskeleton, was used as a control and this receptor did not cosediment with actin filaments. Determination of the actin-binding domain of the EGFR was done by measuring competition of either a polyclonal antibody or synthetic peptides on EGFR cosedimentation with F-actin. A synthetic peptide was made homologous to amino acid residues 984-996 (HL-33) of the EGFR which shows high homology with the actin-binding domain of Acanthamoeba profilin. A polyclonal antibody raised against HL-33 was found to prevent cosedimentation of EGFR with F-actin. This peptide HL-33 was shown to bind directly to actin in contrast with a synthetic peptide homologous to residues 1001-1013 (HL-34). During cosedimentation, HL-33 competed for actin binding of the EGFR and HL-34 did not, indicating that the EGFR contains one actin-binding site. These results demonstrate that the EGFR is an actin-binding protein which binds to actin via a domain containing amino acids residues 984-996. PMID:1383230

  20. Crystal structure of a nuclear actin ternary complex.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  1. The actinome of Dictyostelium discoideum in comparison to actins and actin-related proteins from other organisms.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Jayabalan M; Fey, Petra; Ramalingam, Nagendran; Liu, Xiao I; Rohlfs, Meino; Noegel, Angelika A; Müller-Taubenberger, Annette; Glöckner, Gernot; Schleicher, Michael

    2008-07-09

    Actin belongs to the most abundant proteins in eukaryotic cells which harbor usually many conventional actin isoforms as well as actin-related proteins (Arps). To get an overview over the sometimes confusing multitude of actins and Arps, we analyzed the Dictyostelium discoideum actinome in detail and compared it with the genomes from other model organisms. The D. discoideum actinome comprises 41 actins and actin-related proteins. The genome contains 17 actin genes which most likely arose from consecutive gene duplications, are all active, in some cases developmentally regulated and coding for identical proteins (Act8-group). According to published data, the actin fraction in a D. discoideum cell consists of more than 95% of these Act8-type proteins. The other 16 actin isoforms contain a conventional actin motif profile as well but differ in their protein sequences. Seven actin genes are potential pseudogenes. A homology search of the human genome using the most typical D. discoideum actin (Act8) as query sequence finds the major actin isoforms such as cytoplasmic beta-actin as best hit. This suggests that the Act8-group represents a nearly perfect actin throughout evolution. Interestingly, limited data from D. fasciculatum, a more ancient member among the social amoebae, show different relationships between conventional actins. The Act8-type isoform is most conserved throughout evolution. Modeling of the putative structures suggests that the majority of the actin-related proteins is functionally unrelated to canonical actin. The data suggest that the other actin variants are not necessary for the cytoskeleton itself but rather regulators of its dynamical features or subunits in larger protein complexes.

  2. Impact of Carbon Nanomaterials on Actin Polymerization.

    PubMed

    Dong, Ying; Sun, Haiyan; Li, Xu; Li, Xin; Zhao, Lina

    2016-03-01

    Many nanomaterials have entered people's daily lives and impact the normal process of biological entities consequently. As one kind of the important nanomaterials, carbon based nanomaterials have invoked a lot of concerns from scientific researches because of their unique physicochemical properties. In eukaryotes, actin is the most abundantly distributed protein in both cytoplasm and cell nucleus, and closely controls the cell proliferation and mobility. Recently, many investigations have found some carbon based nanomaterials can affect actin cytoskeleton remarkably, including fullerenes derivatives, carbon nanotubes, graphene and its derivatives. However, these interaction processes are complicated and the underlying mechanism is far from being understood clearly. In this review, we discussed the different mechanisms of carbon nanomaterials impact on actin polymerization into three pathways, as triggering the signaling pathways from carbon nanomaterials outside of cells, increasing the production of reactive oxygen species from carbon nanomaterials inside of cells and direct interaction from carbon nanomaterials inside of cells. As a result, the dimension and size of carbon nanomaterials play a key role in regulation of actin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, we forecasted the possible investigation strategy for meeting the challenges of the future study on this topic. We hope the findings are helpful in understanding the molecular mechanism in carbon nanomaterials regulating actin polymerization, and provide new insight in novel nanomedicine development for inhibition tumor cell migration. PMID:27455649

  3. The actin cytoskeleton of chemotactic amoebae operates close to the onset of oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westendorf, Christian; Negrete, Jose, Jr.; Bae, Albert; Sandmann, Rabea; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Beta, Carsten

    2013-03-01

    We report evidence that the actin machinery of chemotactic Dictyostelium cells operates close to an oscillatory instability. The averaged F-actin response of many cells to a short-time pulse of cAMP is reminiscent of a damped oscillation. At the single-cell level, however, the response dynamics ranged from short, strongly damped responses to slowly decaying, weakly damped oscillations. Furthermore, in a small subpopulation, we observed self-sustained oscillations in the cortical F-actin concentration. We systematically exposed a large number of cells to periodic pulse trains. The results indicate a resonance peak at periodic inputs of around 20 s. We propose a delayed feedback model that explains our experimental findings based on a time-delay in the actin regulatory network. To quantitatively test the model, we performed stimulation experiments with cells that express GFP-tagged fusion proteins of Coronin and Aip1. These served as markers of the F-actin disassembly process and thus allow us to estimate the delay time. Based on this independent estimate, our model predicts an intrinsic period of 20 s, which agrees with the resonance observed experimentally. Financial support by the Max-Planck Society and the DFG (SFB 937).

  4. FMNL2 drives actin-based protrusion and migration downstream of Cdc42.

    PubMed

    Block, Jennifer; Breitsprecher, Dennis; Kühn, Sonja; Winterhoff, Moritz; Kage, Frieda; Geffers, Robert; Duwe, Patrick; Rohn, Jennifer L; Baum, Buzz; Brakebusch, Cord; Geyer, Matthias; Stradal, Theresia E B; Faix, Jan; Rottner, Klemens

    2012-06-01

    Cell migration entails protrusion of lamellipodia, densely packed networks of actin filaments at the cell front. Filaments are generated by nucleation, likely mediated by Arp2/3 complex and its activator Scar/WAVE. It is unclear whether formins contribute to lamellipodial actin filament nucleation or serve as elongators of filaments nucleated by Arp2/3 complex. Here we show that the Diaphanous-related formin FMNL2, also known as FRL3 or FHOD2, accumulates at lamellipodia and filopodia tips. FMNL2 is cotranslationally modified by myristoylation and regulated by interaction with the Rho-guanosine triphosphatase Cdc42. Abolition of myristoylation or Cdc42 binding interferes with proper FMNL2 activation, constituting an essential prerequisite for subcellular targeting. In vitro, C-terminal FMNL2 drives elongation rather than nucleation of actin filaments in the presence of profilin. In addition, filament ends generated by Arp2/3-mediated branching are captured and efficiently elongated by the formin. Consistent with these biochemical properties, RNAi-mediated silencing of FMNL2 expression decreases the rate of lamellipodia protrusion and, accordingly, the efficiency of cell migration. Our data establish that the FMNL subfamily member FMNL2 is a novel elongation factor of actin filaments that constitutes the first Cdc42 effector promoting cell migration and actin polymerization at the tips of lamellipodia. PMID:22608513

  5. Actin restructuring during Salmonella typhimurium infection investigated by confocal and super-resolution microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Jason J.; Kunde, Yuliya A.; Hong-Geller, Elizabeth; Werner, James H.

    2014-01-01

    We have used super-resolution optical microscopy and confocal microscopy to visualize the cytoskeletal restructuring of HeLa cells that accompanies and enables Salmonella typhimurium internalization. Herein, we report the use of confocal microscopy to verify and explore infection conditions that would be compatible with super-resolution optical microscopy, using Alexa-488 labeled phalloidin to stain the actin cytoskeletal network. While it is well known that actin restructuring and cytoskeletal rearrangements often accompany and assist in bacterial infection, most studies have employed conventional diffraction-limited fluorescence microscopy to explore these changes. Here we show that the superior spatial resolution provided by single-molecule localization methods (such as direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy) enables more precise visualization of the nanoscale changes in the actin cytoskeleton that accompany bacterial infection. In particular, we found that a thin (100-nm) ring of actin often surrounds an invading bacteria 10 to 20 min postinfection, with this ring being transitory in nature. We estimate that a few hundred monofilaments of actin surround the S. typhimurium in this heretofore unreported bacterial internalization intermediate.

  6. How actin crosslinking and bundling proteins cooperate to generate an enhanced cell mechanical response

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tseng, Yiider; Kole, Thomas P.; Lee, Jerry S H.; Fedorov, Elena; Almo, Steven C.; Schafer, Benjamin W.; Wirtz, Denis

    2005-01-01

    Actin-crosslinking proteins organize actin filaments into dynamic and complex subcellular scaffolds that orchestrate important mechanical functions, including cell motility and adhesion. Recent mutation studies have shown that individual crosslinking proteins often play seemingly non-essential roles, leading to the hypothesis that they have considerable redundancy in function. We report live-cell, in vitro, and theoretical studies testing the mechanical role of the two ubiquitous actin-crosslinking proteins, alpha-actinin and fascin, which co-localize to stress fibers and the basis of filopodia. Using live-cell particle tracking microrheology, we show that the addition of alpha-actinin and fascin elicits a cell mechanical response that is significantly greater than that originated by alpha-actinin or fascin alone. These live-cell measurements are supported by quantitative rheological measurements with reconstituted actin filament networks containing pure proteins that show that alpha-actinin and fascin can work in concert to generate enhanced cell stiffness. Computational simulations using finite element modeling qualitatively reproduce and explain the functional synergy of alpha-actinin and fascin. These findings highlight the cooperative activity of fascin and alpha-actinin and provide a strong rationale that an evolutionary advantage might be conferred by the cooperative action of multiple actin-crosslinking proteins with overlapping but non-identical biochemical properties. Thus the combination of structural proteins with similar function can provide the cell with unique properties that are required for biologically optimal responses.

  7. Xenopus laevis nucleotide binding protein 1 (xNubp1) is important for convergent extension movements and controls ciliogenesis via regulation of the actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Ioannou, Andriani; Santama, Niovi; Skourides, Paris A

    2013-08-15

    Nucleotide binding protein 1 (Nubp1) is a highly conserved phosphate loop (P-loop) ATPase involved in diverse processes including iron-sulfur protein assembly, centrosome duplication and lung development. Here, we report the cloning, expression and functional characterization of Xenopus laevis Nubp1. We show that xNubp1 is expressed maternally, displays elevated expression in neural tissues and is required for convergent extension movements and neural tube closure. In addition, xNubp1knockdown leads to defective ciliogenesis of the multi-ciliated cells of the epidermis as well as the monociliated cells of the gastrocoel roof plate. Specifically, xNubp1 is required for basal body migration, spacing and docking in multi-ciliated cells and basal body positioning and axoneme elongation in monociliated gastrocoel roof plate cells. Live imaging of the different pools of actin and basal body migration during the process of ciliated cell intercalation revealed that two independent pools of actin are present from the onset of cell intercalation; an internal network surrounding the basal bodies, anchoring them to the cell cortex and an apical pool of punctate actin which eventually matures into the characteristic apical actin network. We show that xN