The structure of the actin filament uncapping complex mediated by twinfilin

Journal: Science Advances

Published: 2021-01-01

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd5271

Affiliations: 4

Authors: 3

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Research Highlight

Uncapping the mystery of an actin regulator



The three-dimensional structure of a protein involved in the assembly of actin filaments could help to settle a long-standing scientific debate about the regulation of cytoskeletal organization.

The coordinated assembly and disassembly of actin filaments — which give cells their shape and help organize their contents — is fundamental to many cellular processes, including neuronal development, immune responses and the spread of cancer.

Now, a team led by a researcher from the Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology has determined the X-ray crystal structure of actin in complex with a bundle of proteins that sit on the fast-growing ends of its filament, like a mushroom cap on a stalk.

They showed how one member of this complex disrupts the capping structure, thereby enabling the breakdown of filaments and allowing individual actin proteins to be used elsewhere in the cell.

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  1. Science Advances 7, eabd5271 (2021). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abd5271
Institutions Share
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR, Singapore 0.44
National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore 0.33
Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), Thailand 0.11
Okayama University, Japan 0.11