How actin networks are actin'

Jan 02, 2008

Dynamic networks of growing actin filaments are critical for many cellular processes, including cell migration, intracellular transport, and the recovery of proteins from the cell surface. In this week’s issue of the open-access journal PLoS Biology, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis shed light on how multiple proteins cooperate to regulate the assembly of such actin networks.

A central player in generating actin networks is the Arp2/3 complex. In most cells, there are multiple proteins that can regulate the function of the Arp2/3 complex, although how the activities of these proteins are coordinated in the cell to generate the appropriate network of actin filaments in a complex, multi-step process remains unclear. To better understand how multiple Arp2/3 regulatory proteins are coordinated in the cell, Brian Galletta, Dennis Chuang, and John Cooper used a combination of live-cell imaging, computer-aided particle tracking, and quantitative motion analysis to determine how disruption of the function of each of these regulatory proteins, individually and its combination, altered the movement of actin patches in bakers yeast.

These studies have revealed that while Arp2/3 regulatory proteins sometimes play overlapping roles in this process, they often play unique roles. The molecular machinery contained in actin patches can be found throughout nature. Therefore, Brian Galleta says that, “these studies should shed light on how actin networks are regulated in human cells during normal cell function and allow for a better understanding of how actin misregulation might contribute to the progression of disease processes including cancer, inflammation, and infection.”


Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Conjoined Brazilian twin dies after surgery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gravity: It's the law, even for cells (w/ Video)

Dec 05, 2014

Everybody knows that cells are microscopic, but why? Why aren't cells bigger? The average animal cell is 10 microns across and the traditional explanation has been cells are the perfect size because if they were any bigger ...

Recommended for you

Many transplant surgeons suffer burnout

Feb 25, 2015

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a national study on transplant surgeon burnout

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.