ABSTRACT: The cytoskeleton is a system of intracellular filaments crucial for cell shape, division, and function in all three domains of life. The simple cytoskeletons of prokaryotes show surprising plasticity in composition, with none of the core filament-forming proteins conserved in all lineages. In contrast, eukaryotic cytoskeletal function has been hugely elaborated by the addition of accessory proteins and extensive gene duplication and specialization. Much of this complexity evolved before the last common ancestor of eukaryotes. The distribution of cytoskeletal filaments puts constraints on the likely prokaryotic line that made this leap of eukaryogenesis.
Project description:Eukaryotic cells have a self-organizing cytoskeleton where motors transport cargoes along cytoskeletal tracks. To understand the sorting process, we developed a system to observe single-molecule motility in a cellular context. We followed myosin classes V, VI, and X on triton-extracted actin cytoskeletons from Drosophila S2, mammalian COS-7, and mammalian U2OS cells. We find that these cells vary considerably in their global traffic patterns. The S2 and U2OS cells have regions of actin that either enhance or inhibit specific myosin classes. U2OS cells allow for 1 motor class, myosin VI, to move along stress fiber bundles, while motility of myosin V and X are suppressed. Myosin X motors are recruited to filopodia and the lamellar edge in S2 cells, whereas myosin VI motility is excluded from the same regions. Furthermore, we also see different velocities of myosin V motors in central regions of S2 cells, suggesting regional control of motor motility by the actin cytoskeleton. We also find unexpected features of the actin cytoskeletal network, including a population of reversed filaments with the barbed-end toward the cell center. This myosin motor regulation demonstrates that native actin cytoskeletons are more than just a collection of filaments.
Project description:This review extensively reports data from the literature concerning the complex relationships between the stress-induced c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) and the four main cytoskeleton elements, which are actin filaments, microtubules, intermediate filaments, and septins. To a lesser extent, we also focused on the two membrane-associated cytoskeletons spectrin and ESCRT-III. We gather the mechanisms controlling cytoskeleton-associated JNK activation and the known cytoskeleton-related substrates directly phosphorylated by JNK. We also point out specific locations of the JNK upstream regulators at cytoskeletal components. We finally compile available techniques and tools that could allow a better characterization of the interplay between the different types of cytoskeleton filaments upon JNK-mediated stress and during development. This overview may bring new important information for applied medical research.
Project description:Various enteric bacterial pathogens target the host cell cytoskeletal machinery as a crucial event in their pathogenesis. Despite thorough studies detailing strategies microbes use to exploit these components of the host cell, the role of the spectrin-based cytoskeleton has been largely overlooked. Here we show that the spectrin cytoskeleton is a host system that is hijacked by adherent (Entropathogenic Escherichia coli [EPEC]), invasive triggering (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium [S. Typhimurium]) and invasive zippering (Listeria monocytogenes) bacteria. We demonstrate that spectrin cytoskeletal proteins are recruited to EPEC pedestals, S. Typhimurium membrane ruffles and Salmonella containing vacuoles (SCVs), as well as sites of invasion and comet tail initiation by L. monocytogenes. Spectrin was often seen co-localizing with actin filaments at the cell periphery, however a disconnect between the actin and spectrin cytoskeletons was also observed. During infections with S. Typhimurium ?sipA, actin-rich membrane ruffles at characteristic sites of bacterial invasion often occurred in the absence of spectrin cytoskeletal proteins. Additionally, early in the formation of L. monocytogenes comet tails, spectrin cytoskeletal elements were recruited to the surface of the internalized bacteria independent of actin filaments. Further studies revealed the presence of the spectrin cytoskeleton during SCV and Listeria comet tail formation, highlighting novel cytoplasmic roles for the spectrin cytoskeleton. SiRNA targeted against spectrin and the spectrin-associated proteins severely diminished EPEC pedestal formation as well as S. Typhimurium and L. monocytogenes invasion. Ultimately, these findings identify the spectrin cytoskeleton as a ubiquitous target of enteric bacterial pathogens and indicate that this cytoskeletal system is critical for these infections to progress.
Project description:Plant trichomes originate from epidermal cell, forming protective structure from abiotic and biotic stresses. Different from the unicellular trichome in Arabidopsis, tomato trichomes are multicellular structure and can be classified into seven different types based on cell number, shape and the presence of glandular cells. Despite the importance of tomato trichomes in insect resistance, our understanding of the tomato trichome morphogenesis remains elusive. In this study, we quantitatively analyzed morphological traits of trichomes in tomato and further performed live imaging of cytoskeletons in stably transformed lines with actin and microtubule markers. At different developmental stages, two types of cytoskeletons exhibited distinct patterns in different trichome cells, ranging from transverse, spiral to longitudinal. This gradual transition of actin filament angle from basal to top cells could correlate with the spatial expansion mode in different cells. Further genetic screen for aberrant trichome morphology led to the discovery of a number of independent mutations in SCAR/WAVE and ARP2/3 complex, which resulted in actin bundling and distorted trichomes. Disruption of microtubules caused isotropic expansion while abolished actin filaments entirely inhibited axial extension of trichomes, indicating that microtubules and actin filaments may control distinct aspects of trichome cell expansion. Our results shed light on the roles of cytoskeletons in the formation of multicellular structure of tomato trichomes.
Project description:The actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletons are vital structures for cell growth and development across all species. While individual molecular mechanisms underpinning actin and MT dynamics have been intensively studied, principles that govern the cytoskeleton organization remain largely unexplored. Here, we captured biologically relevant characteristics of the plant cytoskeleton through a network-driven imaging-based approach allowing us to quantitatively assess dynamic features of the cytoskeleton. By introducing suitable null models, we demonstrate that the plant cytoskeletal networks exhibit properties required for efficient transport, namely, short average path lengths and high robustness. We further show that these advantageous features are maintained during temporal cytoskeletal rearrangements. Interestingly, man-made transportation networks exhibit similar properties, suggesting general laws of network organization supporting diverse transport processes. The proposed network-driven analysis can be readily used to identify organizational principles of cytoskeletons in other organisms.
Project description:The asymmetric cell division of the zygote is the initial and crucial developmental step in most multicellular organisms. In flowering plants, whether zygote polarity is inherited from the preexisting organization in the egg cell or reestablished after fertilization has remained elusive. How dynamically the intracellular organization is generated during zygote polarization is also unknown. Here, we used a live-cell imaging system with Arabidopsis zygotes to visualize the dynamics of the major elements of the cytoskeleton, microtubules (MTs), and actin filaments (F-actins), during the entire process of zygote polarization. By combining image analysis and pharmacological experiments using specific inhibitors of the cytoskeleton, we found features related to zygote polarization. The preexisting alignment of MTs and F-actin in the egg cell is lost on fertilization. Then, MTs organize into a transverse ring defining the zygote subapical region and driving cell outgrowth in the apical direction. F-actin forms an apical cap and longitudinal arrays and is required to position the nucleus to the apical region of the zygote, setting the plane of the first asymmetrical division. Our findings show that, in flowering plants, the preexisting cytoskeletal patterns in the egg cell are lost on fertilization and that the zygote reorients the cytoskeletons to perform directional cell elongation and polar nuclear migration.
Project description:This paper proposes a physical model involving the key structures within the neural cytoskeleton as major players in molecular-level processing of information required for learning and memory storage. In particular, actin filaments and microtubules are macromolecules having highly charged surfaces that enable them to conduct electric signals. The biophysical properties of these filaments relevant to the conduction of ionic current include a condensation of counterions on the filament surface and a nonlinear complex physical structure conducive to the generation of modulated waves. Cytoskeletal filaments are often directly connected with both ionotropic and metabotropic types of membrane-embedded receptors, thereby linking synaptic inputs to intracellular functions. Possible roles for cable-like, conductive filaments in neurons include intracellular information processing, regulating developmental plasticity, and mediating transport. The cytoskeletal proteins form a complex network capable of emergent information processing, and they stand to intervene between inputs to and outputs from neurons. In this manner, the cytoskeletal matrix is proposed to work with neuronal membrane and its intrinsic components (e.g., ion channels, scaffolding proteins, and adaptor proteins), especially at sites of synaptic contacts and spines. An information processing model based on cytoskeletal networks is proposed that may underlie certain types of learning and memory.
Project description:The cytoskeleton is an essential cellular component that enables various sophisticated functions of epithelial cells by forming specialized subcellular compartments. However, the functional and structural roles of cytoskeletons in subcellular compartmentalization are still not fully understood. Here we identified a novel network structure consisting of actin filaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules directly beneath the apical membrane in mouse airway multiciliated cells and in cultured epithelial cells. Three-dimensional imaging by ultra-high voltage electron microscopy and immunofluorescence revealed that the morphological features of each network depended on the cell type and were spatiotemporally integrated in association with tissue development. Detailed analyses using Odf2 mutant mice, which lack ciliary basal feet and apical microtubules, suggested a novel contribution of the intermediate filaments to coordinated ciliary beating. These findings provide a new perspective for viewing epithelial cell differentiation and tissue morphogenesis through the structure and function of apical cytoskeletal networks.
Project description:The functions and elasticities of the cell are largely related to the structures of the cytoskeletons underlying the lipid bilayer. Among various cell types, the red blood cell (RBC) possesses a relatively simple cytoskeletal structure. Underneath the membrane, the RBC cytoskeleton takes the form of a two-dimensional triangular network, consisting of nodes of actins (and other proteins) and edges of spectrins. Recent experiments focusing on the malaria-infected RBCs (iRBCs) show that there is a correlation between the elongation of spectrins in the cytoskeletal network and the stiffening of the iRBCs. Here we rationalize the correlation between these two observations by combining the wormlike chain model for single spectrins and the effective medium theory for the network elasticity. We specifically focus on how the disorders in the cytoskeletal network affect its macroscopic elasticity. Analytical and numerical solutions from our model reveal that the stiffness of the membrane increases with increasing end-to-end distances of spectrins, but has a nonmonotonic dependence on the variance of the end-to-end distance distributions. These predictions are verified quantitatively by our atomic force microscopy and micropipette aspiration measurements of iRBCs. The model may, from a molecular level, provide guidelines for future identification of new treatment methods for RBC-related diseases, such as malaria infection.