Thomas D. Pollard

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Motile cells extend a leading edge by assembling a branched network of actin filaments that produces physical force as the polymers grow beneath the plasma membrane. A core set of proteins including actin, Arp2/3 complex, profilin, capping protein, and ADF/cofilin can reconstitute the process in vitro, and mathematical models of the constituent reactions(More)
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)
I measured the rate of elongation at the barbed and pointed ends of actin filaments by electron microscopy with Limulus sperm acrosomal processes as nuclei. With improvements in the mechanics of the assay, it was possible to measure growth rates from 0.05 to 280 s-1. At 22 degrees C in 1 mM MgCl2, 10 mM imidazole (pH 7), 0.2 mM ATP with 1 mM EGTA or 50(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)
The protein actin forms filaments that provide cells with mechanical support and driving forces for movement. Actin contributes to biological processes such as sensing environmental forces, internalizing membrane vesicles, moving over surfaces, and dividing the cell in two. These cellular activities are complex; they depend on interactions of actin monomers(More)
This review summarizes what is known about the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms that initiate the assembly of actin filaments in cells. Assembly and disassembly of these filaments contribute to many types of cellular movements. Numerous proteins regulate actin assembly, but Arp2/3 complex and formins are the focus of this review because more is known(More)
Microscopy of fluorescent fusion proteins and genetic dependencies show that fission yeast assemble and constrict a cytokinetic contractile ring in a precisely timed, sequential order. More than 90 min prior to separation of the spindle pole bodies (SPB), the anillin-like protein (Mid1p) migrates from the nucleus and specifies a broad band of cortex around(More)
ADF/cofilins are key regulators of actin dynamics during cellular motility, yet their precise role and mechanism of action are shrouded in ambiguity. Direct observation of actin filaments by evanescent wave microscopy showed that cofilins from fission yeast and human do not increase the rate that pointed ends of actin filaments shorten beyond the rate for(More)
We used fluorescence microscopy to measure global and local concentrations of 28 cytoskeletal and signaling proteins fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Native promoters controlled the expression of these functional YFP fusion proteins. Fluorescence measured by microscopy or flow cytometry was directly(More)
Cytokinesis in most eukaryotes requires the assembly and contraction of a ring of actin filaments and myosin II. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe requires the formin Cdc12p and profilin (Cdc3p) early in the assembly of the contractile ring. The proline-rich formin homology (FH) 1 domain binds profilin, and the FH2 domain binds actin. Expression(More)