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

© NANOCLUSTERING/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© NANOCLUSTERING/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

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.

Supported content

  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

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