Chloroplast photorelocation movement towards weak light and away from strong light is essential for plants to adapt to the fluctuation of ambient light conditions. In the previous study, we showed that blue light receptor phototropins mediated blue light-induced chloroplast movement in Arabidopsis by regulating short actin filaments localized at the chloroplast periphery (cp-actin filaments) rather than actin cables in the cytoplasm. However, the signaling pathway for the chloroplast photorelocation movement is still unclear. We also identified JAC1 (J-domain protein required for chloroplast accumulation response 1) as an essential component for the accumulation response and dark positioning in Arabidopsis. We recently determined the crystal structure of the J-domain of JAC1. The JAC1 J-domain has a positively charged surface, which forms a putative interface with the Hsc70 chaperone by analogy to that of bovine auxilin. Furthermore, the mutation of the highly conserved HPD motif in the JAC1 J-domain impaired the in vivo activity of JAC1. These data suggest that JAC1 cochaperone activity with HSC70 is essential for chloroplast photorelocation movement.
Arabidopsis; auxilin; blue light; clathrin; endocytosis; J-domain; organelle movement; phototropin
The plant organelles, chloroplast and nucleus, change their position in response to light. In Arabidopsis thaliana leaf cells, chloroplasts and nuclei are distributed along the inner periclinal wall in darkness. In strong blue light, they become positioned along the anticlinal wall, while in weak blue light, only chloroplasts are accumulated along the inner and outer periclinal walls. Blue-light dependent positioning of both organelles is mediated by the blue-light receptor phototropin and controlled by the actin cytoskeleton. Interestingly, however, it seems that chloroplast movement requires short, fine actin filaments organized at the chloroplast edge, whereas nuclear movement does cytoplasmic, thick actin bundles intimately associated with the nucleus. Although there are many similarities between photo-relocation movements of chloroplasts and nuclei, plant cells appear to have evolved distinct mechanisms to regulate actin organization required for driving the movements of these organelles.
actin; Arabidopsis; blue light; chloroplast positioning; phototropin; nuclear positioning
In a recent publication using an actin-visualized line of Arabidopsis (Ichikawa et al. 2011, ref. 11), we reported a detailed analysis with higher time resolution on the dynamics of chloroplast actin filaments (cp-actin filaments) during chloroplast avoidance movement and demonstrated a good correlation between the biased configuration of cp-actin filaments and chloroplast movement. However, we could not conclusively determine whether the reorganization of cp-actin filaments into a biased configuration preceded actual chloroplast movement (and, thus, whether it could be a cause of the movement). In this report, we present clear evidence that the reorganization of cp-actin filaments into a biased distribution is induced even in the absence of the actual movement of chloroplasts. When the cells were treated with 2,3-butanedione monoxime (BDM), a potent inhibitor of myosin ATPase, chloroplast motility was completely suppressed. Nevertheless, the disappearance and biased relocalization of cp-actin filaments toward the side of the prospective movement direction were induced by irradiation with a strong blue light microbeam. The results definitively indicate that the reorganization of cp-actin filaments is not an effect of chloroplast movement; however, it is feasible that the biased localization of cp-actin filaments is an event leading to chloroplast movement.
Actin filament; Arabidopsis; Chloroplast movement; Organelle movement; Photomovement; Phototropin
Sheetz and Spudich (1983, Nature (Lond.), 303:31-35) showed that ATP- dependent movement of myosin along actin filaments can be measured in vitro using myosin-coated beads and oriented actin cables from Nitella. To establish this in vitro movement as a quantitative assay and to understand better the basis for the movement, we have defined the factors that affect the myosin-bead velocity. Beads coated with skeletal muscle myosin move at a rate of 2-6 micron/s, depending on the myosin preparation. This velocity is independent of myosin concentration on the bead surface for concentrations above a critical value (approximately 20 micrograms myosin/2.5 X 10(9) beads of 1 micron in diameter). Movement is optimal between pH 6.8 and 7.5, at KCl concentrations less than 70 mM, at ATP concentrations greater than 0.1 mM, and at Mg2+ concentrations between 2 and 6 mM. From the temperature dependence of bead velocity, we calculate activation energies of 90 kJ/mol below 22 degrees C and 40 kJ/mol above 22 degrees C. Different myosin species move at their own characteristic velocities, and these velocities are proportional to their actin-activated ATPase activities. Further, the velocities of beads coated with smooth or skeletal muscle myosin correlate well with the known in vivo rates of myosin movement along actin filaments in these muscles. This in vitro assay, therefore, provides a rapid, reproducible method for quantitating the ATP- dependent movement of myosin molecules on actin.
Chloroplast movement as a response of plants to light variations is presented as an example in each classical textbook, showing that these organelles accumulate in response to low light and avoid high light irradiation. In sharp contrast to the morphological discovery of the phenomenon, which dates back more than a century, the molecular understanding of this effect is just at its beginning and only recently first components of the signal cascade initiating this process were described. Among these, a protein termed CHUP1 was identified. This protein is present in the outer membrane of chloroplasts and thereby discussed as the first component of a possible ‘moving ensemble’ assembling at the ‘moved cargo’. The protein is able to interact with actin and profilin—and even more, is able to regulate this interaction in vitro. Thereby, today it can be stated that actin filament reformation and chloroplast repositioning are coordinated if not dependent on each other.
chloroplast movement; profilin binding; actin binding; avoidance response of chloroplasts
The mechanism of the light-dependent movements of chloroplasts is based on actin and myosin but its details are largely unknown. The movements are activated by blue light in terrestrial angiosperms. The aim of the present study was to determine the role of myosin associated with the chloroplast surface in the light-induced chloroplast responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. The localization of myosins was investigated under blue light intensities generating avoidance and accumulation responses of chloroplasts. The localization was compared in wild type plants and in phot2 mutant lacking the avoidance response.
Wild type and phot2 mutant plants were irradiated with strong (36 µEm−2s−1) and/or weak (0.8 µEm−2s−1) blue light. The leaf tissue was immunolabeled with antimyosin antibodies. Different arrangements of myosins were observed in the mesophyll depending on the fluence rate in wild type plants. In tissue irradiated with weak blue light myosins were associated with chloroplast envelopes. In contrast, in tissue irradiated with strong blue light chloroplasts were almost myosin-free. The effect did not occur in red light and in the phot2 mutant.
Myosin displacement is blue light specific, i.e., it is associated with the activation of a specific blue-light photoreceptor. We suggest that the reorganization of myosins is essential for chloroplast movement. Myosins appear to be the final step of the signal transduction pathway starting with phototropin2 and leading to chloroplast movements.
Arabidopsis; blue light; chloroplast movements; myosins; phototropins
The dynamic remodeling of actin filaments in guard cells functions in stomatal movement regulation. In our previous study, we found that the stochastic dynamics of guard cell actin filaments play a role in chloroplast movement during stomatal movement. In our present study, we further found that tubular actin filaments were present in tobacco guard cells that express GFP-mouse talin; approximately 2.3 tubular structures per cell with a diameter and height in the range of 1–3 µm and 3–5 µm, respectively. Most of the tubular structures were found to be localized in the cytoplasm near the inner walls of the guard cells. Moreover, the tubular actin filaments altered their localization slowly in the guard cells of static stoma, but showed obvious remodeling, such as breakdown and re-formation, in moving guard cells. Tubular actin filaments were further found to be colocalized with the chloroplasts in guard cells, but their roles in stomatal movement regulation requires further investigation.
actin dynamics; tubular actin filaments; chloroplast; guard cell; stomatal movement
Although organelle movement in higher plants is predominantly actin-based, potential roles for the 17 predicted Arabidopsis myosins in motility are only just emerging. It is shown here that two Arabidopsis myosins from class XI, XIE, and XIK, are involved in Golgi, peroxisome, and mitochondrial movement. Expression of dominant negative forms of the myosin lacking the actin binding domain at the amino terminus perturb organelle motility, but do not completely inhibit movement. Latrunculin B, an actin destabilizing drug, inhibits organelle movement to a greater extent compared to the effects of AtXIE-T/XIK-T expression. Amino terminal YFP fusions to XIE-T and XIK-T are dispersed throughout the cytosol and do not completely decorate the organelles whose motility they affect. XIE-T and XIK-T do not affect the global actin architecture, but their movement and location is actin-dependent. The potential role of these truncated myosins as genetically encoded inhibitors of organelle movement is discussed.
Golgi; mitochondria; motility; myosin; peroxisome
Actin filaments that serve as ‘rails’ for the myosin-based transport of membrane organelles [1-4] continuously turn over by concurrent growth and shortening at the opposite ends . While it is known that dynamics of actin filaments is essential for many of the actin cytoskeleton functions, the role of such dynamics in the myosin-mediated organelle transport was never studied before. Here we addressed the role of turnover of actin filaments in the myosin-based transport of membrane organelles by treating cells with the drugs that suppress actin filament dynamics and found that such a suppression significantly inhibited organelle transport along the actin filaments without inhibiting their intracellular distribution or the activity of the myosin motors. We conclude that dynamics of actin filaments is essential for myosin-based transport of membrane organelles and suggest a previously unknown role of actin filament dynamics in providing the ‘rails’ for continuous organelle movement resulting in the increased distances traveled by membrane organelles along the actin filaments.
Crawling locomotion of eukaryotic cells is achieved by a process dependent on the actin cytoskeleton1: protrusion of the leading edge requires assembly of a network of actin filaments2, which must be disassembled at the cell rear for sustained motility. Although ADF/cofilin proteins have been shown to contribute to actin disassembly3, it is not clear how activity of these locally acting proteins could be coordinated over the whole-cell distance scale. Here we show that nonmuscle myosin II plays a direct role in actin network disassembly in crawling cells. In moving fish keratocytes, myosin II is concentrated in regions at the rear with high rates of network disassembly. Activation of myosin II by ATP in detergent-extracted cytoskeletons results in rear-localized disassembly of the actin network. Inhibition of myosin II activity and stabilization of actin filaments synergistically impede cell motility, suggesting the existence of two disassembly pathways, one of which requires myosin II activity. Our results establish the importance of myosin II as an enzyme for actin network disassembly; we propose that gradual formation and reorganization of an actomyosin network provides an intrinsic destruction timer, enabling long-range coordination of actin network treadmilling in motile cells.
An earlier report suggested that actin and myosin I alpha (MMIα), a myosin associated with endosomes and lysosomes, were involved in the delivery of internalized molecules to lysosomes. To determine whether actin and MMIα were involved in the movement of lysosomes, we analyzed by time-lapse video microscopy the dynamic of lysosomes in living mouse hepatoma cells (BWTG3 cells), producing green fluorescent protein actin or a nonfunctional domain of MMIα. In GFP-actin cells, lysosomes displayed a combination of rapid long-range directional movements dependent on microtubules, short random movements, and pauses, sometimes on actin filaments. We showed that the inhibition of the dynamics of actin filaments by cytochalasin D increased pauses of lysosomes on actin structures, while depolymerization of actin filaments using latrunculin A increased the mobility of lysosomes but impaired the directionality of their long-range movements. The production of a nonfunctional domain of MMIα impaired the intracellular distribution of lysosomes and the directionality of their long-range movements. Altogether, our observations indicate for the first time that both actin filaments and MMIα contribute to the movement of lysosomes in cooperation with microtubules and their associated molecular motors.
Myosin V is an actin-based motor protein involved in intracellular cargo transport . Given this physiological role, it was widely assumed that all class V myosins are processive, able to take multiple steps along actin filaments without dissociating. This notion was challenged when several class V myosins were characterized as nonprocessive in vitro, including Myo2p, the essential class V myosin from S. cerevisiae [2–6]. Myo2p moves cargo including secretory vesicles and other organelles for several microns along actin cables in vivo. This demonstrated cargo transporter must therefore either operate in small ensembles or behave processively in the cellular context. Here we show that Myo2p moves processively in vitro as a single motor when it walks on an actin track that more closely resembles the actin cables found in vivo. The key to processivity is tropomyosin: Myo2p is not processive on bare actin but highly processive on actin-tropomyosin. The major yeast tropomyosin isoform, Tpm1p, supports the most robust processivity. Tropomyosin slows the rate of MgADP release, thus increasing the time the motor spends strongly attached to actin. This is the first example of tropomyosin switching a motor from nonprocessive to processive motion on actin.
Subcortical fibrils composed of bundles of F-actin filaments and endoplasmic filaments are responsible for endoplasmic streaming. It is reported here that these fibrils and filaments move actively in an artificial medium containing Mg-ATP and sucrose at neutral pH, when the medium was added to the cytoplasm squeezed out of the cell. The movement was observed by phase-contrast microscopy or dark-field microscopy and recorded on 16-mm film. Chains of chloroplasts linked by subcortical fibrils showed translational movement in the medium. Even after all chloroplasts and the endoplasm were washed away by perfusion with fresh medium, free fibrils and/or filaments (henceforth, referred to as fibers) not attached to chloroplasts continued travelling in the direction of the fiber orientation. Sometimes the fibers formed rings and rotated. Chloroplast chains and free fibers or rings continued moving for 5-30 min at about half the rate of the endoplasmic streaming in vivo. Calcium ion concentrations < 10(-7) M permitted movement to take place. Electron microscopy revealed that both fibers and rings were bundles of F-actin filaments that showed the same polarity after decoration with heavy meromyosin.
Three yeast actin-binding proteins were identified using yeast actin filaments as an affinity matrix. One protein appears to be a yeast myosin heavy chain; it is dissociated from actin filaments by ATP, it is similar in size (200 kD) to other myosins, and antibodies directed against Dictyostelium myosin heavy chain bind to it. Immunofluorescence experiments show that a second actin-binding protein (67 kD) colocalizes in vivo with both cytoplasmic actin cables and cortical actin patches, the only identifiable actin structures in yeast. The cortical actin patches are concentrated at growing surfaces of the yeast cell where they might play a role in membrane and cell wall insertion, and the third actin-binding protein (85 kD) is only detected in association with these structures. This 85-kD protein is therefore a candidate for a determinant of growth sites. The in vivo role of this protein was tested by overproduction; this overproduction causes a reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton which in turn dramatically affects the budding pattern and spatial growth organization of the yeast cell.
Previous studies have shown that plant mitochondrial movements are myosin-based along actin filaments, which undergo continuous turnover by the exchange of actin subunits from existing filaments. Although earlier studies revealed that actin filament dynamics are essential for many functions of the actin cytoskeleton, there are little data connecting actin dynamics and mitochondrial movements.
We addressed the role of actin filament dynamics in the control of mitochondrial movements by treating cells with various pharmaceuticals that affect actin filament assembly and disassembly. Confocal microscopy of Arabidopsis thaliana root hairs expressing GFP-FABD2 as an actin filament reporter showed that mitochondrial distribution was in agreement with the arrangement of actin filaments in root hairs at different developmental stages. Analyses of mitochondrial trajectories and instantaneous velocities immediately following pharmacological perturbation of the cytoskeleton using variable-angle evanescent wave microscopy and/or spinning disk confocal microscopy revealed that mitochondrial velocities were regulated by myosin activity and actin filament dynamics. Furthermore, simultaneous visualization of mitochondria and actin filaments suggested that mitochondrial positioning might involve depolymerization of actin filaments on the surface of mitochondria.
Base on these results we propose a mechanism for the regulation of mitochondrial speed of movements, positioning, and direction of movements that combines the coordinated activity of myosin and the rate of actin turnover, together with microtubule dynamics, which directs the positioning of actin polymerization events.
The actin cytoskeleton plays essential roles in cell polarization and cell morphogenesis of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast cells utilize formin-generated actin cables as tracks for polarized transport, which forms the basis for a positive feedback loop driving Cdc42-dependent cell polarization. Previous studies on cable organization mostly focused on polarized actin cables in budded cells and their role as relatively static tracks for myosin-dependent organelle transport. Using quantitative live cell imaging, we have recently characterized the dynamics of cortical actin cables throughout the yeast cell cycle. Surprisingly, randomly oriented actin cables in G1 cells exhibited the highest level of dynamics, while cable dynamics was markedly slowed down upon cell polarization. We further demonstrated that the rapid dynamics of randomly oriented cables were driven by the formin Bni1 and Myosin V. Our data suggested a precise spatio-temporal regulation of the two yeast formins, as well as an unexpected mechanism of actin cable rearrangement through myosins. Here we discuss the immediate significance of these findings, which illustrates the importance of generating randomness for cellular organization.
actin; formin; myosin; polarity; self organization
In vivo time-lapse microscopy reveals that the number of peroxisomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells is fairly constant and that a subset of the organelles are targeted and segregated to the bud in a highly ordered, vectorial process. The dynamin-like protein Vps1p controls the number of peroxisomes, since in a vps1Δ mutant only one or two giant peroxisomes remain. Analogous to the function of other dynamin-related proteins, Vps1p may be involved in a membrane fission event that is required for the regulation of peroxisome abundance. We found that efficient segregation of peroxisomes from mother to bud is dependent on the actin cytoskeleton, and active movement of peroxisomes along actin filaments is driven by the class V myosin motor protein, Myo2p: (a) peroxisomal dynamics always paralleled the polarity of the actin cytoskeleton, (b) double labeling of peroxisomes and actin cables revealed a close association between both, (c) depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton abolished all peroxisomal movements, and (d) in cells containing thermosensitive alleles of MYO2, all peroxisome movement immediately stopped at the nonpermissive temperature. In addition, time-lapse videos showing peroxisome movement in wild-type and vps1Δ cells suggest the existence of various levels of control involved in the partitioning of peroxisomes.
peroxisome inheritance; Vps1; fission; actin cytoskeleton; Myo2p
Retrograde flow of cortical actin networks and bundles is essential for cell motility and retrograde intracellular movement, and for the formation and maintenance of microvilli, stereocilia, and filopodia. Actin cables, which are F-actin bundles that serve as tracks for anterograde and retrograde cargo movement in budding yeast, undergo retrograde flow that is driven, in part, by actin polymerization and assembly. We find that the actin cable retrograde flow rate is reduced by deletion or delocalization of the type II myosin Myo1p, and by deletion or conditional mutation of the Myo1p motor domain. Deletion of the tropomyosin isoform Tpm2p, but not the Tpm1p isoform, increases the rate of actin cable retrograde flow. Pretreatment of F-actin with Tpm2p, but not Tpm1p, inhibits Myo1p binding to F-actin and Myo1p-dependent F-actin gliding. These data support novel, opposing roles of Myo1p and Tpm2 in regulating retrograde actin flow in budding yeast and an isoform-specific function of Tpm1p in promoting actin cable function in myosin-driven anterograde cargo transport.
Formins are a conserved family of proteins with robust effects in promoting actin nucleation and elongation. However, the mechanisms restraining formin activities in cells to generate actin networks with particular dynamics and architectures are not well understood. In S. cerevisiae, formins assemble actin cables, which serve as tracks for myosin-dependent intracellular transport. Here, we show that the kinesin-like myosin passenger-protein Smy1 interacts with the FH2 domain of the formin Bnr1 to decrease rates of actin filament elongation, which is distinct from the formin displacement activity of Bud14. In vivo analysis of smy1Δ mutants demonstrates that this ‘damper’ mechanism is critical for maintaining proper actin cable architecture, dynamics, and function. We directly observe Smy1–3GFP being transported by myosin V and transiently pausing at the neck in a manner dependent on Bnr1. These observations suggest that Smy1 is part of a negative feedback mechanism that detects cable length and prevents overgrowth.
actin; formin; Smy1; myosin; Bnr1; yeast; kinesin; Bud14
The actin cytoskeleton is involved in the responses of plants to environmental signals. Actin bundles play the role of tracks in chloroplast movements activated by light. Chloroplasts redistribute in response to blue light in the mesophyll cells of Nicotiana tabacum. The aim of this work was to study the relationship between chloroplast responses and the organization of actin cytoskeleton in living tobacco cells. Chloroplast movements were measured photometrically as changes in light transmission through the leaves. The actin cytoskeleton, labeled with plastin-GFP, was visualised by confocal microscopy.
The actin cytoskeleton was affected by strong blue and red light. No blue light specific actin reorganization was detected. EGTA and trifluoperazine strongly inhibited chloroplast responses and disrupted the integrity of the cytoskeleton. This disruption was reversible by Ca2+ or Mg2+. Additionally, the effect of trifluoperazine was reversible by light. Wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphoinositide kinases, potently inhibited chloroplast responses but did not influence the actin cytoskeleton at the same concentration. Also this inhibition was reversed by Ca2+ and Mg2+. Magnesium ions were equally or more effective than Ca2+ in restoring chloroplast motility after treatment with EGTA, trifluoperazine or wortmannin.
The architecture of the actin cytoskeleton in the mesophyll of tobacco is significantly modulated by strong light. This modulation does not affect the direction of chloroplast redistribution in the cell. Calcium ions have multiple functions in the mechanism of the movements. Our results suggest also that Mg2+ is a regulatory molecule cooperating with Ca2+ in the signaling pathway of blue light-induced tobacco chloroplast movements.
Subtilisin cleaved actin was shown to retain several properties of intact actin including the binding of heavy meromyosin (HMM), the dissociation from HMM by ATP, and the activation of HMM ATPase activity. Similar Vmax but different Km values were obtained for acto- HMM ATPase with the cleaved and intact actins. The ATPase activity of HMM stimulated by copolymers of intact and cleaved actin showed a linear dependence on the fraction of intact actin in the copolymer. The most important difference between the intact and cleaved actin was observed in an in vitro motility assay for actin sliding movement over an HMM coated surface. Only 30% of the cleaved actin filaments appeared mobile in this assay and moreover, the velocity of the mobile filaments was approximately 30% that of intact actin filaments. These results suggest that the motility of actin filaments can be uncoupled from the activation of myosin ATPase activity and is dependent on the structural integrity of actin and perhaps, dynamic changes in the actin molecule.
In smooth muscles there is no organized sarcomere structure wherein the relative movement of myosin filaments and actin filaments has been documented during contraction. Using the recently developed in vitro assay for myosin-coated bead movement (Sheetz, M.P., and J.A. Spudich, 1983, Nature (Lond.)., 303:31-35), we were able to quantitate the rate of movement of both phosphorylated and unphosphorylated smooth muscle myosin on ordered actin filaments derived from the giant alga, Nitella. We found that movement of turkey gizzard smooth muscle myosin on actin filaments depended upon the phosphorylation of the 20-kD myosin light chains. About 95% of the beads coated with phosphorylated myosin moved at velocities between 0.15 and 0.4 micron/s, depending upon the preparation. With unphosphorylated myosin, only 3% of the beads moved and then at a velocity of only approximately 0.01-0.04 micron/s. The effects of phosphorylation were fully reversible after dephosphorylation with a phosphatase prepared from smooth muscle. Analysis of the velocity of movement as a function of phosphorylation level indicated that phosphorylation of both heads of a myosin molecule was required for movement and that unphosphorylated myosin appears to decrease the rate of movement of phosphorylated myosin. Mixing of phosphorylated smooth muscle myosin with skeletal muscle myosin which moves at 2 microns/s resulted in a decreased rate of bead movement, suggesting that the more slowly cycling smooth muscle myosin is primarily determining the velocity of movement in such mixtures.
How myosin 10, an unconventional myosin, walks processively along actin is still controversial. Here, we used single molecule fluorescence techniques, TIRF and FIONA, to study the motility and the stepping mechanism of dimerized myosin 10 heavy-meromyosin-like fragment on both single actin filaments and two-dimensional F-actin rafts cross-linked by fascin or α-actinin. As a control, we also tracked and analyzed the stepping behavior of the well characterized processive motor myosin 5a. We have shown that myosin 10 moves processively along both single actin filaments and F-actin rafts with a step size of 31 nm. Moreover, myosin 10 moves more processively on fascin-F-actin rafts than on α-actinin-F-actin rafts, whereas myosin 5a shows no such selectivity. Finally, on fascin-F-actin rafts, myosin 10 has more frequent side steps to adjacent actin filaments than myosin 5a in the F-actin rafts. Together, these results reveal further single molecule features of myosin 10 on various actin structures, which may help to understand its cellular functions.
The organization of actin filaments into higher-ordered structures governs eukaryotic cell shape and movement. Global actin network size and architecture is maintained in a dynamic steady-state through regulated assembly and disassembly. Here, we used experimentally defined actin structures in vitro to investigate how the activity of myosin motors depends on network architecture. Direct visualization of filaments revealed myosin-induced actin network deformation. During this reorganization myosins selectively contracted and disassembled anti-parallel actin structures while parallel actin bundles remained unaffected. The local distribution of nucleation sites and the resulting orientation of actin filaments appeared to regulate the scalability of the contraction process. This “orientation selection” mechanism for selective contraction and disassembly suggests how the dynamics of the cellular actin cytoskeleton can be spatially controlled by actomyosin contractility.
Growth cone motility and guidance depend on the dynamic reorganization of filamentous actin (F-actin). In the growth cone, F-actin undergoes turnover, which is the exchange of actin subunits from existing filaments. However, the function of F-actin turnover is not clear. We used jasplakinolide (jasp), a cell-permeable macrocyclic peptide that inhibits F-actin turnover, to study the role of F-actin turnover in axon extension. Treatment with jasp caused axon retraction, demonstrating that axon extension requires F-actin turnover. The retraction of axons in response to the inhibition of F-actin turnover was dependent on myosin activity and regulated by RhoA and myosin light chain kinase. Significantly, the endogenous myosin-based contractility was sufficient to cause axon retraction, because jasp did not alter myosin activity. Based on these observations, we asked whether guidance cues that cause axon retraction (ephrin-A2) inhibit F-actin turnover. Axon retraction in response to ephrin-A2 correlated with decreased F-actin turnover and required RhoA activity. These observations demonstrate that axon extension depends on an interaction between endogenous myosin-driven contractility and F-actin turnover, and that guidance cues that cause axon retraction inhibit F-actin turnover.
jasplakinolide; RhoA; ephrin; cytoskeleton; myosin