R Dyche Mullins

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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 Arp2/3 complex is a stable assembly of seven protein subunits including two actin-related proteins (Arp2 and Arp3) and five novel proteins. Previous work showed that this complex binds to the sides of actin filaments and is concentrated at the leading edges of motile cells. Here, we show that Arp2/3 complex purified from Acanthamoeba caps the pointed(More)
Eukaryotic cells use actin polymerization to change shape, move, and internalize extracellular materials by phagocytosis and endocytosis, and to form contractile structures. In addition, several pathogens have evolved to use host cell actin assembly for attachment, internalization, and cell-to-cell spread. Although cells possess multiple mechanisms for(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)
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)
The protein N-WASP [a homolog to the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)] regulates actin polymerization by stimulating the actin-nucleating activity of the actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex. N-WASP is tightly regulated by multiple signals: Only costimulation by Cdc42 and phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP2) yields potent(More)
The ability of a eukaryotic cell to resist deformation, to transport intracellular cargo and to change shape during movement depends on the cytoskeleton, an interconnected network of filamentous polymers and regulatory proteins. Recent work has demonstrated that both internal and external physical forces can act through the cytoskeleton to affect local(More)
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)
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)
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)