Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Actin filaments, cellular 'workhorses,' caught in action

Date:
May 2, 2011
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Scientists have succeeded in showing the breakup of actin filaments, the thread-like structures inside cells that are crucial to their movement, maintenance and division.

Thread-like actin filaments, strong as commercial plastic, are the muscular workhorses of our cells -- pushing on membranes to move cells to the proper location within tissues and applying pressure within the interior to keep all working parts of the cell where they need to be. These filaments do their jobs through a mysterious process of continual splitting and reassembly. Filament ends are marked by red and green arrows and the severing events are indicated by pink arrows and yellow dots. The images answer long-standing questions about just where these breaks occur.
Credit: Cristian Suarez

Scientists at Yale University and in Grenoble France have succeeded in creating a movie showing the breakup of actin filaments, the thread-like structures inside cells that are crucial to their movement, maintenance and division.

Actin filaments are the muscular workhorses of our cells -- pushing on membranes to move cells to the proper location within tissues and applying pressure within the interior to keep all working parts of the cell where they need to be. These filaments do their jobs through a mysterious process of continual splitting and reassembly.

Actin filaments are assembled and disassembled in a complex series of molecular events, known to be influenced by the protein cofilin. However, it was not known exactly where these breaks occur along the filaments, made up of actins monomer, which are as strong as commercial plastic.

Enrique De La Cruz, associate professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale, and his French colleagues used fluorescent stains of cofilin which enabled them to create movies of this molecular disassembly. They used technology called total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy peer into the inner workings of the cell.

The work is published in the April 28 issue of Current Biology.

View video.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cristian Suarez, Jιrιmy Roland, Rajaa Boujemaa-Paterski, Hyeran Kang, Brannon R. McCullough, Anne-Cιcile Reymann, Christophe Guιrin, Jean-Louis Martiel, Enrique M. De La Cruz, Laurent Blanchoin. Cofilin Tunes the Nucleotide State of Actin Filaments and Severs at Bare and Decorated Segment Boundaries. Current Biology, 28 April 2011 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.03.064

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Actin filaments, cellular 'workhorses,' caught in action." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110428123942.htm>.
Yale University. (2011, May 2). Actin filaments, cellular 'workhorses,' caught in action. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110428123942.htm
Yale University. "Actin filaments, cellular 'workhorses,' caught in action." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110428123942.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) — An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) — A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins