Margot E Quinlan

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Many cellular structures are assembled from networks of actin filaments, and the architecture of these networks depends on the mechanism by which the filaments are formed. Several classes of proteins are known to assemble new filaments, including the Arp2/3 complex, which creates branched filament networks, and Spire, which creates unbranched filaments. We(More)
The actin cytoskeleton is essential for many cellular functions including shape determination, intracellular transport and locomotion. Previous work has identified two factors--the Arp2/3 complex and the formin family of proteins--that nucleate new actin filaments via different mechanisms. Here we show that the Drosophila protein Spire represents a third(More)
The structural change that generates force and motion in actomyosin motility has been proposed to be tilting of the myosin light chain domain, which serves as a lever arm. Several experimental approaches have provided support for the lever arm hypothesis; however, the extent and timing of tilting motions are not well defined in the motor protein complex of(More)
Spire and Cappuccino are actin nucleation factors that are required to establish the polarity of Drosophila melanogaster oocytes. Their mutant phenotypes are nearly identical, and the proteins interact biochemically. We find that the interaction between Spire and Cappuccino family proteins is conserved across metazoan phyla and is mediated by binding of the(More)
Evidence for cooperation between actin nucleators is growing. The WH2-containing nucleator Spire and the formin Cappuccino interact directly, and both are essential for assembly of an actin mesh during Drosophila oogenesis. Their interaction requires the kinase noncatalytic C-lobe domain (KIND) domain of Spire and the C-terminal tail of the formin. Here we(More)
Formins are multidomain proteins that assemble actin in a wide variety of biological processes. They both nucleate and remain processively associated with growing filaments, in some cases accelerating filament growth. The well conserved formin homology 1 and 2 domains were originally thought to be solely responsible for these activities. Recently a role in(More)
To study the orientation and dynamics of myosin, we measured fluorescence polarization of single molecules and ensembles of myosin decorating actin filaments. Engineered chicken gizzard regulatory light chain (RLC), labeled with bisiodoacetamidorhodamine at cysteine residues 100 and 108 or 104 and 115, was exchanged for endogenous RLC in rabbit skeletal(More)
Formins are a conserved family of proteins known to enhance actin polymerization. Most formins are regulated by an intramolecular interaction. The Drosophila formin, Cappuccino (Capu), was believed to be an exception. Capu does not contain conserved autoinhibitory domains and can be regulated by a second protein, Spire. We report here that Capu is, in fact,(More)
Several complementary techniques have been developed to determine average orientation, dynamics on multiple time scales, and concerted rotational motions of individual fluorescent probes bound to biological macromolecules. In both protein domains and nucleic acids, tilting and wobble are relevant to their functional mechanisms. Here we briefly review(More)