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Gene Review

act-2  -  Protein ACT-2

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on actin


Biological context of actin

  • RNA interference of Ce-kettin caused weak disorganization of the actin filaments in body wall muscle [6].
  • Although the model refers primarily to the locomotion of nematode sperm, it has important implications for the mechanics of actin-based cell motility [7].
  • It is hypothesized that actin plays a role in the shaping of the cell and in the arrangement of its organelles during nematode spermiogenesis, when MSP is present, in an inactive state, in the fibrous bodies [8].
  • In Caenorhabditis elegans and Ascaris suum, previous studies have reported that sperm motility does not involve actin, but, instead, requires a specific cytoskeletal protein, namely major-sperm-protein (MSP) [8].
  • SCAR-cells have reduced levels of F-actin staining during vegetative growth, and abnormal cell morphology and actin distribution during chemotaxis [9].

Anatomical context of actin

  • Given these advantages, it has been possible to use C. elegans to investigate the different ways in which the actin cytoskeleton drives the cellular rearrangements underlying morphogenesis, through regulated polymerization or actomyosin contraction [4].
  • TM4SF10 colocalized with ZO1 and p120ctn in undifferentiated confluent podocytes and also colocalized with the tips of actin filaments at cell contacts [10].
  • Tropomyosin shows a distinct pattern in spermatids, but is located in the MSP and actin-containing cap in spermatozoa [8].
  • We have studied the localization of actin and MSP in spermatids and spermatozoa of Graphidium strigosum (Dujardin, 1845), a species which has elongate male germ cells in which organelles are easily identified [11].
  • Immunocytochemical observations reveal that actin and MSP have an identical localization in precise areas of the male germ cells [11].

Associations of actin with chemical compounds


Other interactions of actin

  • The fourth actin gene, act-4 mapped to 20-35% from the left end of X [14].
  • The myo-3 gene mapped to the middle of linkage group V near the cluster of three actin genes (act-1,2,3) [14].
  • Moreover, nematode sperm lack detectable molecular motors or the battery of actin-binding proteins that characterize actin-based motility [7].
  • Sperm of the nematode, Ascaris suum, are amoeboid cells that do not require actin or myosin to crawl over solid substrata [15].
  • The increased synthesis of forms of myosin, actin and troponin in the nematode living in the rapid-responder SWR host may relate to the attempted reorganisation or repair of the cytoskeleton and/or muscle layer in the host immune initiated, increased mucus production and smooth muscle activity within intestinal environment [16].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of actin


  1. The molecules of mechanosensation. Garcia-Anoveros, J., Corey, D.P. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
  2. Molecular genetic approaches to understanding the actin cytoskeleton. Sutherland, J.D., Witke, W. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. The Caenorhabditis elegans spe-26 gene is necessary to form spermatids and encodes a protein similar to the actin-associated proteins kelch and scruin. Varkey, J.P., Muhlrad, P.J., Minniti, A.N., Do, B., Ward, S. Genes Dev. (1995) [Pubmed]
  4. Actin-based forces driving embryonic morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Marston, D.J., Goldstein, B. Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. (2006) [Pubmed]
  5. The RNA-binding protein SUP-12 controls muscle-specific splicing of the ADF/cofilin pre-mRNA in C. elegans. Anyanful, A., Ono, K., Johnsen, R.C., Ly, H., Jensen, V., Baillie, D.L., Ono, S. J. Cell Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Caenorhabditis elegans kettin, a large immunoglobulin-like repeat protein, binds to filamentous actin and provides mechanical stability to the contractile apparatuses in body wall muscle. Ono, K., Yu, R., Mohri, K., Ono, S. Mol. Biol. Cell (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. How nematode sperm crawl. Bottino, D., Mogilner, A., Roberts, T., Stewart, M., Oster, G. J. Cell. Sci. (2002) [Pubmed]
  8. Actin and major sperm protein in spermatids and spermatozoa of the parasitic nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Mansir, A., Justine, J.L. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  9. SCAR, a WASP-related protein, isolated as a suppressor of receptor defects in late Dictyostelium development. Bear, J.E., Rawls, J.F., Saxe, C.L. J. Cell Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  10. Expression of TM4SF10, a Claudin/EMP/PMP22 family cell junction protein, during mouse kidney development and podocyte differentiation. Bruggeman, L.A., Martinka, S., Simske, J.S. Dev. Dyn. (2007) [Pubmed]
  11. Actin and major sperm protein in spermatozoa of a nematode, Graphidium strigosum (Strongylida: Trichostrongylidae). Mansir, A., Justine, J.L. Folia Parasitol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  12. The Caenorhabditis elegans vab-10 spectraplakin isoforms protect the epidermis against internal and external forces. Bosher, J.M., Hahn, B.S., Legouis, R., Sookhareea, S., Weimer, R.M., Gansmuller, A., Chisholm, A.D., Rose, A.M., Bessereau, J.L., Labouesse, M. J. Cell Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  13. Talin loss-of-function uncovers roles in cell contractility and migration in C. elegans. Cram, E.J., Clark, S.G., Schwarzbauer, J.E. J. Cell. Sci. (2003) [Pubmed]
  14. Mapping muscle protein genes by in situ hybridization using biotin-labeled probes. Albertson, D.G. EMBO J. (1985) [Pubmed]
  15. Supramolecular assemblies of the Ascaris suum major sperm protein (MSP) associated with amoeboid cell motility. King, K.L., Stewart, M., Roberts, T.M. J. Cell. Sci. (1994) [Pubmed]
  16. Plasticity demonstrated in the proteome of a parasitic nematode within the intestine of different host strains. Morgan, C., LaCourse, E.J., Rushbrook, B.J., Greetham, D., Hamilton, J.V., Barrett, J., Bailey, K., Brophy, P.M. Proteomics (2006) [Pubmed]
  17. Isolation of actin-associated proteins from Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes and their localization in the early embryo. Aroian, R.V., Field, C., Pruliere, G., Kenyon, C., Alberts, B.M. EMBO J. (1997) [Pubmed]
  18. Misexpression of acetylcholinesterases in the C. elegans pha-2 mutant accompanies ultrastructural defects in pharyngeal muscle cells. Mörck, C., Axäng, C., Goksör, M., Pilon, M. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  19. The development and evolution of actin-containing organelles during spermiogenesis of a primitive nematode. Noury-Sraïri, N., Gourbault, N., Justine, J.L. Biol. Cell (1993) [Pubmed]
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