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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Gelsolin mediates calcium-dependent disassembly of Listeria actin tails.

The role of intracellular Ca2+ in the regulation of actin filament assembly and disassembly has not been clearly defined. We show that reduction of intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) to <40 nM in Listeria monocytogenes-infected, EGFP-actin-transfected Madin-Darby canine kidney cells results in a 3-fold lengthening of actin filament tails. This increase in tail length is the consequence of marked slowing of the actin filament disassembly rate, without a significant change in assembly rate. The Ca2+-sensitive actin-severing protein gelsolin concentrates in the Listeria rocket tails at normal resting [Ca2+]i and disassociates from the tails when [Ca2+]i is lowered. Reduction in [Ca2+]i also blocks the severing activity of gelsolin, but not actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin microinjected into Listeria-infected cells. In Xenopus extracts, Listeria tail lengths are also calcium-sensitive, markedly shortening on addition of calcium. Immunodepletion of gelsolin, but not Xenopus ADF/cofilin, eliminates calcium-sensitive actin-filament shortening. Listeria tail length is also calcium-insensitive in gelsolin-null mouse embryo fibroblasts. We conclude that gelsolin is the primary Ca2+-sensitive actin filament recycling protein in the cell and is capable of enhancing Listeria actin tail disassembly at normal resting [Ca2+]i (145 nM). These experiments illustrate the unique and complementary functions of gelsolin and ADF/cofilin in the recycling of actin filaments.[1]


  1. Gelsolin mediates calcium-dependent disassembly of Listeria actin tails. Larson, L., Arnaudeau, S., Gibson, B., Li, W., Krause, R., Hao, B., Bamburg, J.R., Lew, D.P., Demaurex, N., Southwick, F. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
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