Learn More
Dynamic instability-the switching of a two-state polymer between phases of steady elongation and rapid shortening-is essential to the cellular function of eukaryotic microtubules, especially during chromosome segregation. Since the discovery of dynamic instability 20 years ago, no other biological polymer has been found to exhibit this behavior. Using total(More)
Ena/VASP proteins regulate the actin cytoskeleton during cell migration and morphogenesis and promote assembly of both filopodial and lamellipodial actin networks. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying their cellular functions we used total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to visualize VASP tetramers interacting with static and(More)
Multiple unrelated polymer systems have evolved to partition DNA molecules between daughter cells at division. To better understand polymer-driven DNA segregation, we reconstituted the three-component segregation system of the R1 plasmid from purified components. We found that the ParR/parC complex can construct a simple bipolar spindle by binding the ends(More)
BACKGROUND The leading actin network in motile cells is composed of two compartments, the lamellipod and the lamellum. Construction of the lamellipod requires a set of conserved proteins that form a biochemical cycle. The timing of this cycle and the roles of its components in determining actin network architecture in vivo, however, are not well understood.(More)
The Arp2/3 complex, first isolated from Acanthamoeba castellani by affinity chromatography on profilin, consists of seven polypeptides; two actin-related proteins, Arp2 and Arp3; and five apparently novel proteins, p40, p35, p19, p18, and p14 (Machesky et al., 1994). The complex is homogeneous by hydrodynamic criteria with a Stokes' radius of 5.3 nm by gel(More)
Type II par operons harness polymerization of the dynamically unstable actin-like protein ParM to segregate low-copy plasmids in rod-shaped bacteria. In this study, we use time-lapse fluorescence microscopy to follow plasmid dynamics and ParM assembly in Escherichia coli. Plasmids lacking a par operon undergo confined diffusion with a diffusion constant of(More)
Capping protein (CP) is an integral component of Arp2/3-nucleated actin networks that drive amoeboid motility. Increasing the concentration of capping protein, which caps barbed ends of actin filaments and prevents elongation, increases the rate of actin-based motility in vivo and in vitro. We studied the synergy between CP and Arp2/3 using an in vitro(More)
BACKGROUND Cellular movements are powered by the assembly and disassembly of actin filaments. Actin dynamics are controlled by Arp2/3 complex, the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) and the related Scar protein, capping protein, profilin, and the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF, also known as cofilin). Recently, using an assay that both reveals the(More)
BACKGROUND Assembly and organization of actin filaments are required for many cellular processes, including locomotion and division. In many cases, actin assembly is initiated when proteins of the WASP/Scar family respond to signals from Rho family G proteins and stimulate the actin-nucleating activity of the Arp2/3 complex. Two questions of fundamental(More)
BACKGROUND Actin filaments polymerize in vivo primarily from their fast-growing barbed ends. In cells and extracts, GTPgammaS and Rho-family GTPases, including Cdc42, stimulate barbed-end actin polymerization; however, the mechanism responsible for the initiation of polymerization is unknown. There are three formal possibilities for how free barbed ends may(More)