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Recent advances in live cell imaging of F-actin structures, combined with pulse-chase imaging and computational modeling have suggested that actin is transported along the axon via biased polymerization of metastable actin fibers (actin trails). This mechanism is distinct from motor driven polymer transport such as for neurofilaments and can be best described as molecular hitchhiking, where G-actin molecules are intermittently incorporated into actin fibers which grow preferentially in the anterograde direction. In this paper, we discuss how various axonal and actin trail parameters like axon diameter, trail nucleation rates, basal G-actin concentration, and trail length influence the transport rate. These predictions can help guide future experiments to verify this novel protein transport mechanism. We introduce a simplified, analytically solvable model of actin transport which relates these parameters to experimentally measurable quantities. We also discuss why a simple diffusion-based transport mechanism cannot explain bulk actin transport in the axon.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Physical biology
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Actin capping proteins are cytoskeletal proteins that bind to the ends of ACTIN FILAMENTS to regulate actin polymerization.
A family of low molecular weight proteins that bind ACTIN and control actin polymerization. They are found in eukaryotes and are ubiquitously expressed.
A fungal metabolite that blocks cytoplasmic cleavage by blocking formation of contractile microfilament structures resulting in multinucleated cell formation, reversible inhibition of cell movement, and the induction of cellular extrusion. Additional reported effects include the inhibition of actin polymerization, DNA synthesis, sperm motility, glucose transport, thyroid secretion, and growth hormone release.
The directed transport of ORGANELLES and molecules along nerve cell AXONS. Transport can be anterograde (from the cell body) or retrograde (toward the cell body). (Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 3d ed, pG3)
A family of low MOLECULAR WEIGHT actin-binding proteins found throughout eukaryotes. They remodel the actin CYTOSKELETON by severing ACTIN FILAMENTS and increasing the rate of monomer dissociation.
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