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We review how motile cells regulate actin filament assembly at their leading edge. Activation of cell surface receptors generates signals (including activated Rho family GTPases) that converge on integrating proteins of the WASp family (WASp, N-WASP, and Scar/WAVE). WASP family proteins stimulate Arp2/3 complex to nucleate actin filaments, which grow at a(More)
The 70 C-terminal amino acids of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp WA) activate the actin nucleation activity of the Arp2/3 complex. WASp WA binds both the Arp2/3 complex and actin monomers, but the mechanism by which it activates the Arp2/3 complex is not known. We characterized the effect of WASp WA on actin polymerization in the absence and presence(More)
The Arp2/3 complex, a stable assembly of two actin-related proteins (Arp2 and Arp3) with five other subunits, caps the pointed end of actin filaments and nucleates actin polymerization with low efficiency. WASp and Scar are two similar proteins that bind the p21 subunit of the Arp2/3 complex, but their effect on the nucleation activity of the complex was(More)
Most nucleated cells crawl about by extending a pseudopod that is driven by the polymerization of actin filaments in the cytoplasm behind the leading edge of the plasma membrane. These actin filaments are linked into a network by Y-branches, with the pointed end of each filament attached to the side of another filament and the rapidly growing barbed end(More)
Metazoan cells harness the power of actin dynamics to create cytoskeletal arrays that stimulate protrusions and drive intracellular organelle movements. In plant cells, the actin cytoskeleton is understood to participate in cell elongation; however, a detailed description and molecular mechanism(s) underpinning filament nucleation, growth, and turnover are(More)
The evolutionarily conserved Arp2/3 complex has been shown to activate actin nucleation and branching in several eukaryotes, but its biological functions are not well understood in multicellular organisms. The model plant Arabidopsis provides many advantages for genetic dissection of the function of this conserved actin-nucleating machinery, yet the(More)
We characterized the interaction of Acanthamoeba actophorin, a member of ADF/cofilin family, with filaments of amoeba and rabbit skeletal muscle actin. The affinity is about 10 times higher for muscle actin filaments (Kd = 0.5 microM) than amoeba actin filaments (Kd = 5 microM) even though the affinity for muscle and amoeba Mg-ADP-actin monomers (Kd = 0.1(More)
A dynamic network of polymers, the actin cytoskeleton, co-ordinates numerous fundamental cellular processes. In pollen tubes, organelle movements and cytoplasmic streaming, organization of the tip zone, vesicle trafficking, and tip growth have all been linked to actin-based function. Further, during the self-incompatibility response of Papaver rhoeas,(More)
The interaction of bovine spleen profilin with ATP- and ADP-G-actin and poly(L-proline) has been studied by spectrofluorimetry, analytical ultracentrifugation, and rapid kinetics in low ionic strength buffer. Profilin binding to G-actin is accompanied by a large quenching of tryptophan fluorescence, allowing the measurement of an equilibrium dissociation(More)
Xenopus actin-interacting protein 1 (XAip1) is thought to promote fragmentation of actin filaments by cofilin. To examine the mechanism of XAip1, we measured polymer lengths by fluorescence microscopy and the concentration of filament ends with an elongation assay. Cofilin creates ends by severing actin filaments. XAip1 alone does not sever actin filaments(More)