CELL BIOLOGY: Space, the Final Frontier

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Science  28 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5539, pp. 2351d
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5539.2351d

Inside cells, the actin cytoskeleton regulates spatial arrangements and transmits the forces propelling cellular rearrangements in morphogenesis. Actin either exists as soluble monomers or forms polarized filaments, and this transition is controlled by a variety of actin-binding proteins.

Baum and Perrimon describe how a group of proteins is involved in controlling the polarized distribution of actin filaments in the Drosophila follicular epithelium. This epithelium forms a single layer of cells that undergoes multiple morphological changes as the embryo develops, and within which islands of mutant cells were generated with the directed mosaic technique. Drosophila profilin and cofilin are important in cortical actin production and stabilization, respectively, whereas a homolog of the adenylyl cyclase-associated protein (CAP) limits actin filament formation at apical regions of the cell. The function of CAP is linked to the actin filament promoter Enabled and to the Abelson tyrosine kinase. Together, these proteins appear to act as master regulators of the apical actin cytoskeleton. — SMH

Nature Cell Biol. 3, 883 (2001).

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