Stress release drives symmetry breaking for actin-based movement.

  title={Stress release drives symmetry breaking for actin-based movement.},
  author={Jasper van der Gucht and Ewa K Paluch and Julie Plastino and C{\'e}cile Sykes},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  volume={102 22},
By using a simple assay composed of purified proteins, we studied the spontaneous polarization of actin networks polymerizing on spherical beads, which subsequently undergo movement. We show evidence that this symmetry breaking is based on the release of elastic energy, analogous to the fracture of polymer gels. The dynamics of this process and the thickness at which it occurs depend on the growth rate and mechanical properties of the actin gel. We explain our experimental results with a model… CONTINUE READING

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