Emmanuèle Helfer

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Abiomimetic motility assay is used to analyze the mechanism of force production by site-directed polymerization of actin. Polystyrene microspheres, functionalized in a controlled fashion by the N-WASP protein, the ubiquitous activator of Arp2/3 complex, undergo actin-based propulsion in a medium that consists of five pure proteins. We have analyzed the(More)
Twinfilins are conserved actin-binding proteins composed of two actin depolymerizing factor homology (ADF-H) domains. Twinfilins are involved in diverse morphological and motile processes, but their mechanism of action has not been elucidated. Here, we show that mammalian twinfilin both sequesters ADP-G-actin and caps filament barbed ends with preferential(More)
Dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is essential for motile and morphological processes in all eukaryotic cells. One highly conserved protein that regulates actin dynamics is twinfilin, which both sequesters actin monomers and caps actin filament barbed ends. Twinfilin is composed of two ADF/cofilin-like domains, Twf-N and Twf-C. Here, we(More)
BACKGROUND INFORMATION The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein and scar homolog (WASH) complex is the major Arp2/3 activator at the surface of endosomes. The branched actin network, that the WASH complex induces, contributes to cargo sorting and scission of transport intermediates destined for most endosomal routes. A major challenge is to understand how the(More)
The polymerization of actin in filaments generates forces that play a pivotal role in many cellular processes. We introduce a novel technique to determine the force-velocity relation when a few independent anchored filaments grow between magnetic colloidal particles. When a magnetic field is applied, the colloidal particles assemble into chains under(More)
Sorting of cargoes in endosomes occurs through their selective enrichment into sorting platforms, where transport intermediates are generated. The WASH complex, which directly binds to lipids, activates the Arp2/3 complex and hence actin polymerization onto such sorting platforms. Here, we analyzed the role of actin polymerization in the physiology of(More)
F-actin gels of increasing concentrations (25-300 microM) display in vitro a progressive onset of birefringence due to orientational ordering of actin filaments. At F-actin concentrations <100 microM, this birefringence can be erased and restored at will by sonication and gentle flow, respectively. Hence, the orientational ordering does not result from a(More)
Genomic aberrations at the chromosome 16q arm are one of the most consistent abnormalities observed by loss of heterozygosity and comparative genomic hybridization analyses in human prostate cancer, suggesting that there are tumor suppressor or metastasis suppressor genes encoded by this chromosomal region. To functionally identify such suppressor genes, we(More)
Spatially controlled assembly of actin in branched filaments generates cell protrusions or the propulsion of intracellular vesicles and pathogens. The propulsive movement of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) functionalized by N-WASP (full-length or truncated) is reconstituted in a biochemically controlled medium, and analyzed using phase contrast and(More)
Actin, one of the most abundant proteins within eukaryotic cells, assembles into long filaments that form intricate cytoskeletal networks and are continuously remodelled via cycles of actin polymerization and depolymerization. These cycles are driven by ATP hydrolysis, a process that also acts to destabilize the filaments as they grow older. Recently,(More)