Actin filaments in cells depolymerize rapidly despite the presence of high concentrations of polymerizable G actin. Cofilin is recognized as a key regulator that promotes actin depolymerization. In this study, we show that although pure cofilin can disassemble Listeria monocytogenes actin comet tails, it cannot efficiently disassemble comet tails in the presence of polymerizable actin. Thymus extracts also rapidly disassemble comet tails, and this reaction is more efficient than pure cofilin when normalized to cofilin concentration. By biochemical fractionation, we identify Aip1 and coronin as two proteins present in thymus extract that facilitate the cofilin-mediated disassembly of Listeria comet tails. Together, coronin and Aip1 lower the amount of cofilin required to disassemble the comet tail and permit even low concentrations of cofilin to depolymerize actin in the presence of polymerizable G actin. The cooperative activities of cofilin, coronin, and Aip1 should provide a biochemical basis for understanding how actin filaments can grow in some places in the cell while shrinking in others.
Actin-binding proteins of the actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family are thought to control actin-based motile processes. ADF1 from Arabidopsis thaliana appears to be a good model that is functionally similar to other members of the family. The function of ADF in actin dynamics has been examined using a combination of physical–chemical methods and actin-based motility assays, under physiological ionic conditions and at pH 7.8. ADF binds the ADPbound forms of G- or F-actin with an affinity two orders of magnitude higher than the ATP- or ADP-Pi– bound forms. A major property of ADF is its ability to enhance the in vitro turnover rate (treadmilling) of actin filaments to a value comparable to that observed in vivo in motile lamellipodia. ADF increases the rate of propulsion of Listeria monocytogenes in highly diluted, ADF-limited platelet extracts and shortens the actin tails. These effects are mediated by the participation of ADF in actin filament assembly, which results in a change in the kinetic parameters at the two ends of the actin filament. The kinetic effects of ADF are end specific and cannot be accounted for by filament severing. The main functionally relevant effect is a 25-fold increase in the rate of actin dissociation from the pointed ends, while the rate of dissociation from the barbed ends is unchanged. This large increase in the rate-limiting step of the monomer-polymer cycle at steady state is responsible for the increase in the rate of actin-based motile processes. In conclusion, the function of ADF is not to sequester G-actin. ADF uses ATP hydrolysis in actin assembly to enhance filament dynamics.
During actin-based motility, capping protein influences actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin binding that increases in space and time concomitant with the state of the nucleotide associated to the actin subunits. ADF/cofilin induces microscopic fragmentation of the actin network, which induces turnover through a macroscopic, stochastic dynamic mechanism.
Cell motility depends on the rapid assembly, aging, severing, and disassembly of actin filaments in spatially distinct zones. How a set of actin regulatory proteins that sustains actin-based force generation during motility work together in space and time remains poorly understood. We present our study of the distribution and dynamics of Arp2/3 complex, capping protein (CP), and actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin in actin “comet tails,” using a minimal reconstituted system with nucleation-promoting factor (NPF)-coated beads. The Arp2/3 complex concentrates at nucleation sites near the beads as well as in the first actin shell. CP colocalizes with actin and is homogeneously distributed throughout the comet tail; it serves to constrain the spatial distribution of ATP/ADP-Pi filament zones to areas near the bead. The association of ADF/cofilin with the actin network is therefore governed by kinetics of actin assembly, actin nucleotide state, and CP binding. A kinetic simulation accurately validates these observations. Following its binding to the actin networks, ADF/cofilin is able to break up the dense actin filament array of a comet tail. Stochastic severing by ADF/cofilin loosens the tight entanglement of actin filaments inside the comet tail and facilitates turnover through the macroscopic release of large portions of the aged actin network.
Actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilins are essential regulators
of actin filament turnover. Several ADF/cofilin isoforms are found in
multicellular organisms, but their biological differences have remained
unclear. Herein, we show that three ADF/cofilins exist in mouse and
most likely in all other mammalian species. Northern blot and in situ
hybridization analyses demonstrate that cofilin-1 is expressed in most
cell types of embryos and adult mice. Cofilin-2 is expressed in muscle
cells and ADF is restricted to epithelia and endothelia. Although the
three mouse ADF/cofilins do not show actin isoform specificity, they
all depolymerize platelet actin filaments more efficiently than muscle
actin. Furthermore, these ADF/cofilins are biochemically different. The
epithelial-specific ADF is the most efficient in turning over actin
filaments and promotes a stronger pH-dependent actin filament
disassembly than the two other isoforms. The muscle-specific cofilin-2
has a weaker actin filament depolymerization activity and displays a
5–10-fold higher affinity for ATP-actin monomers than cofilin-1 and
ADF. In steady-state assays, cofilin-2 also promotes filament assembly
rather than disassembly. Taken together, these data suggest that the
three biochemically distinct mammalian ADF/cofilin isoforms evolved to
fulfill specific requirements for actin filament dynamics in different
The leading edge (∼1 μm) of lamellipodia in Xenopus laevis keratocytes and fibroblasts was shown to have an extensively branched organization of actin filaments, which we term the dendritic brush. Pointed ends of individual filaments were located at Y-junctions, where the Arp2/3 complex was also localized, suggesting a role of the Arp2/3 complex in branch formation. Differential depolymerization experiments suggested that the Arp2/3 complex also provided protection of pointed ends from depolymerization. Actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin was excluded from the distal 0.4 μm of the lamellipodial network of keratocytes and in fibroblasts it was located within the depolymerization-resistant zone. These results suggest that ADF/cofilin, per se, is not sufficient for actin brush depolymerization and a regulatory step is required. Our evidence supports a dendritic nucleation model (Mullins, R.D., J.A. Heuser, and T.D. Pollard. 1998. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 95:6181–6186) for lamellipodial protrusion, which involves treadmilling of a branched actin array instead of treadmilling of individual filaments. In this model, Arp2/3 complex and ADF/cofilin have antagonistic activities. Arp2/3 complex is responsible for integration of nascent actin filaments into the actin network at the cell front and stabilizing pointed ends from depolymerization, while ADF/cofilin promotes filament disassembly at the rear of the brush, presumably by pointed end depolymerization after dissociation of the Arp2/3 complex.
actin; Arp2/3 complex; actin depolymerizing factor/cofilin; locomotion; treadmilling
Two cDNAs, isolated from a Xenopus laevis embryonic library, encode proteins of 168 amino acids, both of which are 77% identical to chick cofilin and 66% identical to chick actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF), two structurally and functionally related proteins. These Xenopus ADF/cofilins (XADs) differ from each other in 12 residues spread throughout the sequence but do not differ in charge. Purified GST- fusion proteins have pH-dependent actin-depolymerizing and F-actin- binding activities similar to chick ADF and cofilin. Similarities in the developmental and tissue specific expression, embryonic localization, and in the cDNA sequence of the noncoding regions, suggest that the two XACs arise from allelic variants of the pseudotetraploid X. laevis. Immunofluorescence localization of XAC in oocyte sections with an XAC-specific monoclonal antibody shows it to be diffuse in the cortical cytoplasm. After fertilization, increased immunostaining is observed in two regions: along the membrane, particularly that of the vegetal hemisphere, and at the interface between the cortical and animal hemisphere cytoplasm. The cleavage furrow and the mid-body structure are stained at the end of first cleavage. Neuroectoderm derived tissues, notochord, somites, and epidermis stain heavily either continuously or transiently from stages 18-34. A phosphorylated form of XAC (pXAC) was identified by 2D Western blotting, and it is the only species found in oocytes. Dephosphorylation of >60% of the pXAC occurs within 30 min after fertilization. Injection of one blastomere at the 2 cell stage, either with constitutively active XAC or with an XAC inhibitory antibody, blocked cleavage of only the injected blastomere in a concentration- dependent manner without inhibiting nuclear division. The cleavage furrow of eggs injected with constitutively active XAC completely regressed. Blastomeres injected with neutralized antibody developed normally. These results suggest that XAC is necessary for cytokinesis and that its activity must be properly regulated for cleavage to occur.
Actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilins are small actin-binding proteins found in all eukaryotes. In vitro, ADF/cofilins promote actin dynamics by depolymerizing and severing actin filaments. However, whether ADF/cofilins contribute to actin dynamics in cells by disassembling “old” actin filaments or by promoting actin filament assembly through their severing activity is a matter of controversy. Analysis of mammalian ADF/cofilins is further complicated by the presence of multiple isoforms, which may contribute to actin dynamics by different mechanisms. We show that two isoforms, ADF and cofilin-1, are expressed in mouse NIH 3T3, B16F1, and Neuro 2A cells. Depleting cofilin-1 and/or ADF by siRNA leads to an accumulation of F-actin and to an increase in cell size. Cofilin-1 and ADF seem to play overlapping roles in cells, because the knockdown phenotype of either protein could be rescued by overexpression of the other one. Cofilin-1 and ADF knockdown cells also had defects in cell motility and cytokinesis, and these defects were most pronounced when both ADF and cofilin-1 were depleted. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis and studies with an actin monomer-sequestering drug, latrunculin-A, demonstrated that these phenotypes arose from diminished actin filament depolymerization rates. These data suggest that mammalian ADF and cofilin-1 promote cytoskeletal dynamics by depolymerizing actin filaments and that this activity is critical for several processes such as cytokinesis and cell motility.
Actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin enhances the turnover of actin filaments by two separable activities: filament severing and pointed-end depolymerization. Multicellular organisms express multiple ADF/cofilin isoforms in a tissue-specific manner, and the vertebrate proteins are grouped into ADFs and cofilins on the basis of their biochemical activity. A recent comparative study has shown that ADF has greater severing and depolymerizing activities than cofilin [Chen, H., Bernstein, B. W., Sneider, J. M., Boyle, J. A., Minamide, L. S., and Bamburg, J. R. (2004) Biochemistry 43, 7127-7142]. Here, we show that the two Caenorhabditis elegans ADF/cofilin isoforms exhibit different activities for severing and depolymerizing actin filaments. The ADF-like non-muscle isoform UNC-60A had greater activities to cause net depolymerization and inhibit polymerization than the cofilin-like muscle isoform UNC-60B. Surprisingly, UNC-60B exhibited much stronger severing activity than UNC-60A, which was the opposite of what was observed for vertebrate counterparts. Moreover, UNC-60B induced much faster pointed-end depolymerization of rabbit muscle actin than UNC-60A, while UNC-60A caused slightly faster depolymerization of C. elegans actin than UNC-60B. These results suggest that cofilin-like UNC-60B is kinetically more efficient in enhancing actin turnover than ADF-like UNC-60A, while ADF-like UNC-60A is suitable for maintaining higher concentrations of monomeric actin. These functional differences might be specifically adapted for different actin dynamics in muscle and non-muscle cells.
The ADF/cofilins are a family of actin-binding proteins that remodel the actin cytoskeleton, for example during cytokinesis, by severing actin filaments and also increasing the rate at which monomers leave the filament's pointed end. Plants and animals have multiple ADF/cofilin genes and other eukaryotes have a single ADF/cofilin gene.
The ADF/cofilins are a family of actin-binding proteins expressed in all eukaryotic cells so far examined. Members of this family remodel the actin cytoskeleton, for example during cytokinesis, when the actin-rich contractile ring shrinks as it contracts through the interaction of ADF/cofilins with both monomeric and filamentous actin. The depolymerizing activity is twofold: ADF/cofilins sever actin filaments and also increase the rate at which monomers leave the filament's pointed end. The three-dimensional structure of ADF/cofilins is similar to a fold in members of the gelsolin family of actin-binding proteins in which this fold is typically repeated three or six times; although both families bind polyphosphoinositide lipids and actin in a pH-dependent manner, they share no obvious sequence similarity. Plants and animals have multiple ADF/cofilin genes, belonging in vertebrates to two types, ADF and cofilins. Other eukaryotes (such as yeast, Acanthamoeba and slime moulds) have a single ADF/cofilin gene. Phylogenetic analysis of the ADF/cofilins reveals that, with few exceptions, their relationships reflect conventional views of the relationships between the major groups of organisms.
Listeria monocytogenes is able to escape from the phagolysosome and grow within the host cell cytoplasm. By 3 h after initiation of infection, actin filaments begin to concentrate at one end of the bacterium. Polarization of F-actin is associated with intracellular bacterial movement, long projections of actin filaments forming directly behind the moving bacteria. New actin monomers are added to the region of the projection in proximity to the bacterium. The rate of new actin filament growth correlates closely with the speed of bacterial migration. This actin structure is anchored within the cytoplasm, serving as a fixed platform for directional expansion of the actin filament network. The actin projection progressively lengthens as the bacterium migrates. Cytochalasin blocks both elongation of the projection and bacterial movement but does not result in complete depolymerization of the bacterially induced actin structure, residual actin and alpha-actinin persisting in proximity to one end of the bacterium. Bacteria initially migrate within the cortical cytoplasm but later move to the peripheral membrane, where they form filopodiumlike structures which pivot and undulate in the extracellular medium. In the filopodia, bacteria are occasionally seen to abruptly change direction, turn 180 degrees, and move back into the medullary region of the host cell. All filopodium movement ceases once the bacterium containing the F-actin projection returns to the cortical cytoplasm. These results indicate that host cell actin polymerization is necessary for intracellular migration of listeriae and suggest that directional actin assembly may in fact generate the propulsive force for bacterial and filopodial movement.
The ability of actin filaments to function in cell morphogenesis and motility is closely coupled to their dynamic properties. Yeast cells contain two prominent actin structures, cables and patches, both of which are rapidly assembled and disassembled. Although genetic studies have shown that rapid actin turnover in patches and cables depends on cofilin, how cofilin might control cable disassembly remains unclear, because tropomyosin, a component of actin cables, is thought to protect actin filaments against the depolymerizing activity of ADF/cofilin. We have identified cofilin as a yeast tropomyosin (Tpm1) binding protein through Tpm1 affinity column and mass spectrometry. Using a variety of assays, we show that yeast cofilin can efficiently depolymerize and sever yeast actin filaments decorated with either Tpm1 or mouse tropomyosins TM1 and TM4. Our results suggest that yeast cofilin has the intrinsic ability to promote actin cable turnover, and that the severing activity may rely on its ability to bind Tpm1.
Proteins in the actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family are essential for rapid F-actin turnover, and most depolymerize actin in a pH-dependent manner. Complexes of human and plant ADF with F-actin at different pH were examined using electron microscopy and a novel method of image analysis for helical filaments. Although ADF changes the mean twist of actin, we show that it does this by stabilizing a preexisting F-actin angular conformation. In addition, ADF induces a large (∼12°) tilt of actin subunits at high pH where filaments are readily disrupted. A second ADF molecule binds to a site on the opposite side of F-actin from that of the previously described ADF binding site, and this second site is only largely occupied at high pH. All of these states display a high degree of cooperativity that appears to be an integral part of F-actin.
actin; ADF; cooperativity; electron microscopy; image processing
Here we describe the identification of a novel 37-kD actin monomer binding protein in budding yeast. This protein, which we named twinfilin, is composed of two cofilin-like regions. In our sequence database searches we also identified human, mouse, and Caenorhabditis elegans homologues of yeast twinfilin, suggesting that twinfilins form an evolutionarily conserved family of actin-binding proteins. Purified recombinant twinfilin prevents actin filament assembly by forming a 1:1 complex with actin monomers, and inhibits the nucleotide exchange reaction of actin monomers. Despite the sequence homology with the actin filament depolymerizing cofilin/actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) proteins, our data suggests that twinfilin does not induce actin filament depolymerization. In yeast cells, a green fluorescent protein (GFP)–twinfilin fusion protein localizes primarily to cytoplasm, but also to cortical actin patches. Overexpression of the twinfilin gene (TWF1) results in depolarization of the cortical actin patches. A twf1 null mutation appears to result in increased assembly of cortical actin structures and is synthetically lethal with the yeast cofilin mutant cof1-22, shown previously to cause pronounced reduction in turnover of cortical actin filaments. Taken together, these results demonstrate that twinfilin is a novel, highly conserved actin monomer-sequestering protein involved in regulation of the cortical actin cytoskeleton.
actin; cytoskeleton; budding yeast; twinfilin; cofilin
Chromophore-assisted laser inactivation (CALI) was developed to instantly and specifically inactivate cofilin in cells. Simultaneous CALI and live imaging revealed that the principal role of cofilin in lamellipodia at steady state is to break down F-actin, control filament turnover, and regulate the rate of retrograde flow in lamellipodia.
Cofilin is a key regulator of the actin cytoskeleton. It can sever actin filaments, accelerate filament disassembly, act as a nucleation factor, recruit or antagonize other actin regulators, and control the pool of polymerization-competent actin monomers. In cells these actions have complex functional outputs. The timing and localization of cofilin activity are carefully regulated, and thus global, long-term perturbations may not be sufficient to probe its precise function. To better understand cofilin's spatiotemporal action in cells, we implemented chromophore-assisted laser inactivation (CALI) to instantly and specifically inactivate it. In addition to globally inhibiting actin turnover, CALI of cofilin generated several profound effects on the lamellipodia, including an increase of F-actin, a rearward expansion of the actin network, and a reduction in retrograde flow speed. These results support the hypothesis that the principal role of cofilin in lamellipodia at steady state is to break down F-actin, control filament turnover, and regulate the rate of retrograde flow.
Phosphorylation of Xenopus Slingshot phosphatase (XSSH) at multiple sites within the tail domain occurs just after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and is accompanied by dephosphorylation of ADF/cofilin (XAC). Injection of anti-XSSH antibody, which blocks full phosphorylation of XSSH after GVBD, inhibits meiotic spindle formation and XAC dephosphorylation.
We identify Xenopus ADF/cofilin (XAC) and its activator, Slingshot phosphatase (XSSH), as key regulators of actin dynamics essential for spindle microtubule assembly during Xenopus oocyte maturation. Phosphorylation of XSSH at multiple sites within the tail domain occurs just after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and is accompanied by dephosphorylation of XAC, which was mostly phosphorylated in immature oocytes. This XAC dephosphorylation after GVBD is completely suppressed by latrunculin B, an actin monomer–sequestering drug. On the other hand, jasplakinolide, an F-actin–stabilizing drug, induces dephosphorylation of XAC. Effects of latrunculin B and jasplakinolide are reconstituted in cytostatic factor–arrested extracts (CSF extracts), and XAC dephosphorylation is abolished by depletion of XSSH from CSF extracts, suggesting that XSSH functions as an actin filament sensor to facilitate actin filament dynamics via XAC activation. Injection of anti-XSSH antibody, which blocks full phosphorylation of XSSH after GVBD, inhibits both meiotic spindle formation and XAC dephosphorylation. Coinjection of constitutively active XAC with the antibody suppresses this phenotype. Treatment of oocytes with jasplakinolide also impairs spindle formation. These results strongly suggest that elevation of actin dynamics by XAC activation through XSSH phosphorylation is required for meiotic spindle assembly in Xenopus laevis.
Listeria monocytogenes was used as a model intracellular parasite to study stages in the entry, growth, movement, and spread of bacteria in a macrophage cell line. The first step in infection is phagocytosis of the Listeria, followed by the dissolution of the membrane surrounding the phagosome presumably mediated by hemolysin secreted by Listeria as nonhemolytic mutants remain in intact vacuoles. Within 2 h after infection, each now cytoplasmic Listeria becomes encapsulated by actin filaments, identified as such by decoration of the actin filaments with subfragment 1 of myosin. These filaments are very short. The Listeria grow and divide and the actin filaments rearrange to form a long tail (often 5 microns in length) extending from only one end of the bacterium, a "comet's tail," in which the actin filaments appear randomly oriented. The Listeria "comet" moves to the cell surface with its tail oriented towards the cell center and becomes incorporated into a cell extension with the Listeria at the tip of the process and its tail trailing into the cytoplasm behind it. This extension contacts a neighboring macrophage that phagocytoses the extension of the first macrophage. Thus, within the cytoplasm of the second macrophage is a Listeria with its actin tail surrounded by a membrane that in turn is surrounded by the phagosome membrane of the new host. Both these membranes are then solubilized by the Listeria and the cycle is repeated. Thus, once inside a host cell, the infecting Listeria and their progeny can spread from cell to cell by remaining intracellular and thus bypass the humoral immune system of the organism. To establish if actin filaments are essential for the spread of Listeria from cell to cell, we treated infected macrophages with cytochalasin D. The Listeria not only failed to spread, but most were found deep within the cytoplasm, rather than near the periphery of the cell. Thin sections revealed that the net of actin filaments is not formed nor is a "comet" tail produced.
Regulated disassembly of actin filaments is involved in several cellular processes that require dynamic rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. Actin-interacting protein (AIP) 1 specifically enhances disassembly of actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin-bound actin filaments. In vitro, AIP1 actively disassembles filaments, caps barbed ends, and binds to the side of filaments. However, how AIP1 functions in the cellular actin cytoskeletal dynamics is not understood. We compared biochemical and in vivo activities of mutant UNC-78 proteins and found that impaired activity of mutant UNC-78 proteins to enhance disassembly of ADF/cofilin-bound actin filaments is associated with inability to regulate striated organization of actin filaments in muscle cells. Six functionally important residues are present in the N-terminal β-propeller, whereas one residue is located in the C-terminal β-propeller, suggesting the presence of two separate sites for interaction with ADF/cofilin and actin. In vitro, these mutant UNC-78 proteins exhibited variable alterations in actin disassembly and/or barbed end-capping activities, suggesting that both activities are important for its in vivo function. These results indicate that the actin-regulating activity of AIP1 in cooperation with ADF/cofilin is essential for its in vivo function to regulate actin filament organization in muscle cells.
Actin interacting protein 1 (Aip1) is a conserved component of the actin cytoskeleton first identified in a two-hybrid screen against yeast actin. Here, we report that Aip1p also interacts with the ubiquitous actin depolymerizing factor cofilin. A two-hybrid–based approach using cofilin and actin mutants identified residues necessary for the interaction of actin, cofilin, and Aip1p in an apparent ternary complex. Deletion of the AIP1 gene is lethal in combination with cofilin mutants or act1-159, an actin mutation that slows the rate of actin filament disassembly in vivo. Aip1p localizes to cortical actin patches in yeast cells, and this localization is disrupted by specific actin and cofilin mutations. Further, Aip1p is required to restrict cofilin localization to cortical patches. Finally, biochemical analyses show that Aip1p causes net depolymerization of actin filaments only in the presence of cofilin and that cofilin enhances binding of Aip1p to actin filaments. We conclude that Aip1p is a cofilin-associated protein that enhances the filament disassembly activity of cofilin and restricts cofilin localization to cortical actin patches.
Aip1; cofilin; actin; cytoskeleton; Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Cofilin plays an important role in actin turnover in cells by severing actin filaments and accelerating their depolymerization. The role of pH in the severing by cofilin was examined using fluorescence microscopy. To facilitate the imaging of actin filaments and to avoid the use of rhodamine phalloidin, which competes with cofilin, α-actin was labeled with tetramethylrhodamine cadaverine (TRC) at Gln41. The TRC-labeling inhibited actin treadmilling strongly, as measured by εATP release. Cofilin binding, detected via an increase in light scattering, and the subsequent conformational change in filament structure, as detected by TRC fluorescence decay, occurred 2–3 times faster at pH 6.8 than at pH 8.0. In contrast, actin filaments severing by cofilin was pH-independent. The pH-independent severing by cofilin was confirmed using actin labeled at Cys374 with Oregon Green® 488 maleimide. The depolymerization of actin by cofilin was faster at high pH.
actin; severing; pH; cofilin
Here we report that ALDH1L1 (FDH, a folate enzyme with tumor suppressor-like properties) inhibits cell motility. The underlying mechanism involves F-actin stabilization, re-distribution of cytoplasmic actin towards strong preponderance of filamentous actin, and formation of actin stress fibers. A549 cells expressing FDH demonstrated a much slower recovery of GFP-actin fluorescence in a FRAP assay, as well as an increase in G-actin polymerization and a decrease in F-actin depolymerization rates in pyren-actin fluorescence assays indicating the inhibition of actin dynamics. These effects were associated with robust dephosphorylation of the actin depolymerizing factor cofilin by PP1 and PP2A serine/threonine protein phosphatases but not the cofilin-specific phosphatases slingshot and chronophin. In fact, the PP1/PP2A inhibitor calyculin prevented cofilin dephosphorylation and restored motility. Inhibition of FDH-induced apoptosis by the JNK inhibitor SP600125 or the pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk did not restore motility or levels of phospho-cofilin, indicating that the observed effects are independent from FDH function in apoptosis. Interestingly, cofilin siRNA or expression of phosphorylation-deficient S3A cofilin mutant resulted in a decrease of G-actin and the actin stress fiber formation, the effects seen upon FDH expression. In contrast, the expression of S3D mutant, mimicking constitutive phosphorylation, prevented these effects further supporting the cofilin-dependent mechanism. Dephosphorylation of cofilin and inhibition of motility in response to FDH can be also prevented by the increased folate in media. Furthermore, folate depletion itself, in the absence of FDH, resulted in cofilin dephosphorylation and inhibition of motility in several cell lines. Our experiments showed that these effects were folate-specific and not a general response to nutrient starvation. Overall, this study demonstrates the presence of distinct intracellular signaling pathways regulating motility in response to folate status and points toward mechanisms involving folates in promoting a malignant phenotype.
ALDH1L1; cofilin; phosphatases; actin; folate
The role of the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin-family protein Adf1 in cytokinesis of fission yeast cells was studied. Adf1 was required for accumulation of actin at the division site by depolymerizing actin at the cell ends, assembly of the contractile ring through severing actin filaments, and maintenance of the contractile ring once formed. Genetic and cytological analyses suggested that it collaborates with profilin and capping protein in the mitotic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, it was unexpectedly found that Adf1 and myosin-II also collaborate in assembling the contractile ring. Tropomyosin was shown to antagonize the function of Adf1 in the contractile ring. We propose that formation and maintenance of the contractile ring are achieved by a balanced collaboration of these proteins.
Actin depolymerizing factors (ADF/cofilin) modulate the rate of actin filament turnover, networking cellular signals into cytoskeletal-dependent developmental pathways. Plant and animal genomes encode families of diverse ancient ADF isovariants. One weakly but ubiquitously expressed member of the Arabidopsis ADF gene family, ADF9, is moderately expressed in the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Mutant alleles adf9-1 and adf9-2 showed a 95% and 50% reduction in transcript levels, respectively. Compared to wild-type, mutant seedlings and plants were significantly smaller and adult mutant plants had decreased numbers of lateral branches and a reduced ability to form callus. The mutants flowered very early during long-day light cycles, but not during short days. adf9-1 showed a several-fold lower expression of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a master repressor of the transition to flowering, and increased expression of CONSTANS, an activator of flowering. Transgenic ADF9 expression complemented both developmental and gene expression phenotypes. FLC chromatin from adf9-1 plants contained reduced levels of histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation and lysine 9 and 14 acetylation, as well as increased nucleosome occupancy consistent with a less active chromatin state. We propose that ADF9 networks both cytoplasmic and nuclear processes within the SAM to control multicellular development.
ADF; Cofilin; Epigenetic; Nuclear; Flowering time; Shoot apical meristem
The specific functions of greater than 40 vertebrate nonmuscle tropomyosins (Tms) are poorly understood. In this article we have tested the ability of two Tm isoforms, TmBr3 and the human homologue of Tm5 (hTM5NM1), to regulate actin filament function. We found that these Tms can differentially alter actin filament organization, cell size, and shape. hTm5NM1 was able to recruit myosin II into stress fibers, which resulted in decreased lamellipodia and cellular migration. In contrast, TmBr3 transfection induced lamellipodial formation, increased cellular migration, and reduced stress fibers. Based on coimmunoprecipitation and colocalization studies, TmBr3 appeared to be associated with actin-depolymerizing factor/cofilin (ADF)-bound actin filaments. Additionally, the Tms can specifically regulate the incorporation of other Tms into actin filaments, suggesting that selective dimerization may also be involved in the control of actin filament organization. We conclude that Tm isoforms can be used to specify the functional properties and molecular composition of actin filaments and that spatial segregation of isoforms may lead to localized specialization of actin filament function.
Actin dynamics provide the driving force for many cellular processes including motility and endocytosis. Among the central cytoskeletal regulators are actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin, which depolymerizes actin filaments, and twinfilin, which sequesters actin monomers and caps filament barbed ends. Both interact with actin through an ADF homology (ADF-H) domain, which is also found in several other actin-binding proteins. However, in the absence of an atomic structure for the ADF-H domain in complex with actin, the mechanism by which these proteins interact with actin has remained unknown. Here, we present the crystal structure of twinfilin's C-terminal ADF-H domain in complex with an actin monomer. This domain binds between actin subdomains 1 and 3 through an interface that is conserved among ADF-H domain proteins. Based on this structure, we suggest a mechanism by which ADF/cofilin and twinfilin inhibit nucleotide exchange of actin monomers and present a model for how ADF/cofilin induces filament depolymerization by weakening intrafilament interactions.
The actin cytoskeleton powers organelle movements, orchestrates responses to abiotic stresses, and generates an amazing array of cell shapes. Underpinning these diverse functions of the actin cytoskeleton are several dozen accessory proteins that coordinate actin filament dynamics and construct higher-order assemblies. Many actin-binding proteins from the plant kingdom have been characterized and their function is often surprisingly distinct from mammalian and fungal counterparts. The adenylyl cyclase-associated protein (CAP) has recently been shown to be an important regulator of actin dynamics in vivo and in vitro. The disruption of actin organization in cap mutant plants indicates defects in actin dynamics or the regulated assembly and disassembly of actin subunits into filaments. Current models for actin dynamics maintain that actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin removes ADP–actin subunits from filament ends and that profilin recharges these monomers with ATP by enhancing nucleotide exchange and delivery of subunits onto filament barbed ends. Plant profilins, however, lack the essential ability to stimulate nucleotide exchange on actin, suggesting that there might be a missing link yet to be discovered from plants. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana CAP1 (AtCAP1) is an abundant cytoplasmic protein; it is present at a 1:3 M ratio with total actin in suspension cells. AtCAP1 has equivalent affinities for ADP– and ATP–monomeric actin (Kd ∼ 1.3 μM). Binding of AtCAP1 to ATP–actin monomers inhibits polymerization, consistent with AtCAP1 being an actin sequestering protein. However, we demonstrate that AtCAP1 is the first plant protein to increase the rate of nucleotide exchange on actin. Even in the presence of ADF/cofilin, AtCAP1 can recharge actin monomers and presumably provide a polymerizable pool of subunits to profilin for addition onto filament ends. In turnover assays, plant profilin, ADF, and CAP act cooperatively to promote flux of subunits through actin filament barbed ends. Collectively, these results and our understanding of other actin-binding proteins implicate CAP1 as a central player in regulating the pool of unpolymerized ATP–actin.