Drug-induced alterations of cytokeratin organization in cultured epithelial cells

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Science  04 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4584, pp. 501-503
DOI: 10.1126/science.6186022


The distribution of keratin intermediate filaments, previously considered static in organization and imperturbable by conventional drugs used to alter the structure and organization of the cytoskeleton, can be altered significantly by treatment with colchicine and cytochalasin D. The loss of microfilaments and microtubules converts the keratin cytoskeleton from a branching, even distribution to a series of starlike structures whose filaments are maintained by multiple membrane attachment sites. These findings provide a means for manipulating cytokeratin organization to investigate the role of keratins in cytoskeletal structure and function.