Navigation Links
A budding role for a cellular dynamo
Date:2/18/2009

Waltham, MAActin, a globular protein found in all eukaryotic cells, is a workhorse that varies remarkably little from baker's yeast to the human body. Part of the cytoskeleton, actin assembles into networks of filaments that give the cell structural plasticity while driving many essential functions, from cell motility and division, to vesicle and organelle transport within the cell. In a groundbreaking new study in the current issue of Developmental Cell, Brandeis researchers raise the curtain on how this actin maintains just the right filament length to keep the cell healthy and happily dividing.

Using baker's yeast as the model organism, Brandeis researchers Melissa Chesarone, Christopher Gould, and James Moseley, all in the lab of biologist Bruce Goode, set out to discover how the length of actin fibers is controlled. By answering this question, the scientists sought to advance understanding of asymmetrical cell division, a process that not only allows yeast to divide, but also ensures the proper renewal of human stem cells and plays a crucial role in early stages of embryonic development.

In yeast cells, as in all other cells, actin fibers serve as internal "railways" or tracks that give the cell directionality and provide the wherewithal for transporting various molecular and membrane-bound cargoes from one end of the cell to the other. Molecular machines called formins produce many of the actin fibers, but in the absence of a displacement factor to put a brake on the process, formins will essentially stop at nothing, producing excessively long actin filaments at ridiculously fast rates, and wreaking cellular havoc, says Goode. In humans, genetic defects in formins are associated with conditions such as infertility and deafness.

"We wanted to know how you turn the formins off. What disrupts the interaction of the formin with the actin filament, thus terminating actin assembly and regulating its length?" Goode explained.

The researchers discovered that a protein called Bud14 is a potent inhibitor, directly binding to the formin and displacing it, thereby producing actin filaments of normal length, a prerequisite for proper actin cable architecture and cargo transport.

"In all animal, plant, and human cells, life depends on rapidly producing actin filaments of defined lengths, and we now have an important clue as to how this is regulated," said Goode. "We're now homing in on the precise mechanism by which Bud14 works and extending this analysis to mammalian cells. Once again, yeast has provided the ideal system in which to pioneer a basic problem that applies to most other species."


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Gardner
gardner@brandeis.edu
781-736-4204
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tuning in on cellular communication in the fruit fly
2. Researchers identify new function of protein in cellular respiration
3. Dictyostelium cells shown to lay breadcrumb trail as first step in multicellular formation
4. Johns Hopkins researchers detect sweet cacophony while listening to cellular cross-talk
5. Columbia to award 2008 Horwitz Prize to Arthur Horwich & Ulrich Hartl for cellular protein folding
6. UC San Diego bioengineers fill holes in science of cellular self-organization
7. A new cellular pathway linked to cancer is identified by NYU researchers
8. Cellular self-eating promotes pancreatitis
9. LIAI researchers discover new cellular mechanism that will significantly advance vaccine development
10. Researchers discover critical detail of cellular defense against genetic mistakes
11. Genome of marine organism tells of humans unicellular ancestors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/8/2016)... N.C. , March 8, 2016   ... sensor technology, today announced it has secured $11M ... by GII Tech, a new venture fund being ... with additional participation from existing investors TDF Ventures ... the funds to continue its triple-digit growth and ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... DE SOTO, Kansas , March 3, ... Plus® to offer Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, a blood ... detection of lung cancer Early CDT®-Lung test ... individuals. --> Early CDT®-Lung test to its ... --> Oncimmune, a leader in early cancer detection, ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... , March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "Global ...  report to their offering. ... the addition of the  "Global Biometric ...  report to their offering. --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... The MIT bioLogic design ... the bioLogic team explored how bacterial properties can be applied to fabric and formed ... bacteria, which move in response to humidity change. The team harvested Natto cells and ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... 2016 According to a ... "Separation Systems for Commercial Biotechnology Market - Global ... 2015 - 2023", the separation systems for commercial ... in 2014 and is projected to expand at ... to reach US$ 19,227.8 Mn in 2023. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Intelligent Implant Systems announced ... FDA via 510(k) for sale in the United States. These components expand the ... fusions. With one-level sales beginning in October of 2015, the company has seen ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... NEW YORK , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biotechnology acceleration company reports the Company,s CEO  was ... capital titled Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To ... Life Science Leader magazine is an ... work for everything from emerging biotechs to Big ...
Breaking Biology Technology: