Cell Biology

Defocusing with Dynamin

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Science  27 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5726, pp. 1229
DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5726.1229a

In mammalian cells, actin-rich focal adhesions form at places where the cell membrane protein integrin interacts with the extracellular matrix. When adherent cells move across a surface, they lay down focal adhesions at the front of the cell and disassemble adhesions at the back. Much is known about focal adhesion assembly, but less about disassembly.

Ezratty et al. targeted molecules specifically involved in focal adhesion disassembly by adding a drug that induced microtubule disassembly and then removing the drug to allow microtubules to regrow, during which time focal adhesions disassembled in a synchronous fashion. They found that adhesion disassembly required focal adhesion kinase and dynamin, which localized to the adhesions, and inhibiting dynamin activity prevented cell migration. Thus, the disassembly of focal adhesions involves a pair of molecular entities, microtubules and dynamin, neither of which are used in the assembly process. — SMH

Nat. Cell Biol. 10.1038/ncb1262 (2005).

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