, Volume 62, Issue 9, pp 955-970

Actin polymerization machinery: the finish line of signaling networks, the starting point of cellular movement

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Abstract.

Dynamic assembly of actin filaments generates the forces supporting cell motility. Several recent biochemical and genetic studies have revealed a plethora of different actin binding proteins whose coordinated activity regulates the turnover of actin filaments, thus controlling a variety of actin-based processes, including cell migration. Additionally, emerging evidence is highlighting a scenario whereby the same basic set of actin regulatory proteins is also the convergent node of different signaling pathways emanating from extracellular stimuli, like those from receptor tyrosine kinases. Here, we will focus on the molecular mechanisms of how the machinery of actin polymerization functions and is regulated, in a signaling-dependent mode, to generate site-directed actin assembly leading to cell motility.

†These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received 26 October 2004; received after revision 27 December 2004; accepted 6 January 2005 Available online 09 March 2005