Biochemistry and Regulation of Nonmuscle Actins
Actin is a component of virtually all eukaryotic cells. In cells of many types, it is the most abundant protein species. Moreover, many of its physical and chemical properties have been absolutely conserved throughout evolution. These observations underscore the critical nature of the contractile and cytoskeletal functions ascribed to actin. It is essential, therefore, in understanding cell motility and shape determination to address the regulation of actin polymerization, the intracellular distribution of actin, and the interaction of actin with myosin. It is the thesis of this chapter that substantial further insights into the regulation of actin in nonmuscle cells can be obtained only by a multifaceted approach involving biochemical, ultrastructural, and genetic techniques. Of course, the single common denominator in all such studies is actin itself. Hence, such studies can be built only on a solid foundation: a broad, quantitative characterization of actin purified from each organism selected for study.
KeywordsMuscle Actin Thin Filament Dictyostelium Discoideum Acanthamoeba Castellanii Nonmuscle Cell
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