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: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cytoskeletons get a closer look

Mar 06, 2014

(Phys.org) —Rice University researchers have developed a theoretical approach to analyze the process by which protein building blocks form the biopolymer skeletons of living cells.

Unearthing key function of plant hormone

Feb 28, 2014

Plants, like animals, employ hormones as messengers, which coordinate growth and regulate how they react to the environment. One of these plant hormones, auxin, regulates nearly all aspects of plant behavior and development, ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...