Cultured human osteosarcoma cell, where actin filaments are visualized in red and vimentin intermediate filaments in green.
Credit: Image courtesy of Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
Animal cells harbor three types of cytoskeletal elements: actin filaments, intermediate filaments and microtubules. Despite their name, cytoskeletons are very dynamic structures, which undergo rapid reorganization in cells and thus contribute to numerous cellular processes, such as morphogenesis, motility, intracellular transport, and cell division. Consequently, defects in cytoskeletal structures lead to various diseases, including cancer and neurological disorders.
Different cytoskeletal systems do not function in isolation, but collaborate with each other in cells. Post-doctoral researcher Yaming Jiu working at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki has now revealed that cytoplasmic intermediate filaments interact with specific contractile actin filament structures called arcs.
"Actin arcs transport intermediate filaments from cell periphery toward the nucleus. Consequently, disruption of actin arcs led to an abnormal spreading of the intermediate filament network toward the cell periphery and associated defects in cell morphogenesis. Intermediate filaments resist the movement of arcs, and their depletion led to abnormalities in the shape of the arc-rich leading edge of motile cells," describes research director Pekka Lappalainen.
Materials provided by Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
- Yaming Jiu, Jaakko Lehtimäki, Sari Tojkander, Fang Cheng, Harri Jäälinoja, Xiaonan Liu, Markku Varjosalo, John E. Eriksson, Pekka Lappalainen. Bidirectional Interplay between Vimentin Intermediate Filaments and Contractile Actin Stress Fibers. Cell Reports, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.008
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Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Cytoskeletons shaking hands: Defects in cytoskeletal structures lead to various diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150603083200.htm>.
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). (2015, June 3). Cytoskeletons shaking hands: Defects in cytoskeletal structures lead to various diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150603083200.htm
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Cytoskeletons shaking hands: Defects in cytoskeletal structures lead to various diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150603083200.htm (accessed May 25, 2017).