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A wide range of organisms use circadian clocks to keep internal sense of daily time and regulate their behavior accordingly. Most of these clocks use intracellular genetic networks based on positive and negative regulatory elements. The integration of these "circuits" at the cellular level imposes strong constraints on their functioning and design. Here, we(More)
Actin filaments in cells depolymerize rapidly despite the presence of high concentrations of polymerizable G actin. Cofilin is recognized as a key regulator that promotes actin depolymerization. In this study, we show that although pure cofilin can disassemble Listeria monocytogenes actin comet tails, it cannot efficiently disassemble comet tails in the(More)
Vertebrate brains vary tremendously in size, but differences in form are more subtle. To bring out functional contrasts that are independent of absolute size, we have normalized brain component sizes to whole brain volume. The set of such volume fractions is the cerebrotype of a species. Using this approach in mammals we previously identified specific(More)
Turnover of actin filaments in cells requires rapid actin disassembly in a cytoplasmic environment that thermodynamically favors assembly because of high concentrations of polymerizable monomers. We here image the disassembly of single actin filaments by cofilin, coronin, and actin-interacting protein 1, a purified protein system that reconstitutes rapid,(More)
Covalent modification cycles (e.g., phosphorylation-dephosphorylation) underlie most cellular signaling and control processes. Low molecular copy number, arising from compartmental segregation and slow diffusion between compartments, potentially renders these cycles vulnerable to intrinsic chemical fluctuations. How can a cell operate reliably in the(More)
Actin filaments and microtubules polymerize and depolymerize by adding and removing subunits at polymer ends, and these dynamics drive cytoplasmic organization, cell division, and cell motility. Since Wegner proposed the treadmilling theory for actin in 1976, it has largely been assumed that the chemical state of the bound nucleotide determines the rates of(More)
Regulatory gene circuits with positive-feedback loops control stem cell differentiation, but several mechanisms can contribute to positive feedback. Here, we dissect feedback mechanisms through which the transcription factor PU.1 controls lymphoid and myeloid differentiation. Quantitative live-cell imaging revealed that developing B cells decrease PU.1(More)
We report here that actin filaments in vitro exist in two populations with significantly different shrinkage rates. Newly polymerized filaments shrink rapidly, primarily from barbed ends, at 1.8/s, but as they age they switch to a stable state that shrinks slowly, primarily from pointed ends, at approximately 0.1/s. This dynamic filament stabilization runs(More)
Metabolite gradients might guide mitochondrial localization in cells and angiogenesis in tissues. It is unclear whether they can exist in single cells, because the length scale of most cells is small compared to the expected diffusion times of metabolites. For investigation of metabolic gradients, we need experimental systems in which spatial patterns of(More)
Covalent modification cycles (e.g. phosphorylation-dephosphorylation) underlie most cellular signaling and control processes. Low molecular copy number, arising from compartmental segregation and slow diffusion between compartments, potentially renders these cycles vulnerable to intrinsic chemical fluctuations. How can a cell operate reliably in the(More)