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

Assembly-disassembly of actin bundles in starfish oocytes: an analysis of actin-associated proteins in the isolated cortex.

One rapid response of starfish oocytes to the maturation-inducing hormone, 1-methyladenine (1-MA), is the formation of transient actin-filled spikes on the cell surface. The presence and distribution of G- and F-actin and several actin-associated proteins were examined in cortices isolated from oocytes before, during, and after spike formation by using antibodies and the F-actin-specific stain, NBD-phallacidin. Before 1-MA addition, staining with antiactin and NBD-phallacidin indicates that most of the actin in the cortex is either G-actin or oligomeric actin, but rather little is F-actin. Application of the hormone results in the conversion and redistribution of this cortical actin into large bundles of F-actin which form the cores of spikes. When the spikes recede, F-actin disappears, and the amount of all forms of actin bound in the cortex appears to decrease. Antibodies to sea urchin egg myosin, fascin and a 220-kDa protein were used to examine these actin-associated proteins during the times that the organization of actin changes. Myosin and the 220-kDa protein are bound to the cortex and uniformly distributed before 1-MA application while fascin appears to be unbound. When spikes appear after 1-MA addition, fascin and the 220-kDa protein are localized coincidently with the spikes, whereas myosin remains uniformly distributed throughout the cortex and is excluded from the spikes. After spike resorption, fascin and the 220-kDa protein appear to lose their cortical binding while myosin retains its localization unchanged. These results indicate that actin, fascin and the 220-kDa protein undergo major organizational changes in the cortex in response to 1-MA.[1]


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