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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 12;108(28):11464-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1104211108. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

RefilinB (FAM101B) targets filamin A to organize perinuclear actin networks and regulates nuclear shape.

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  • 1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Unité 873, F-38054 Grenoble, France.


The intracellular localization and shape of the nucleus plays a central role in cellular and developmental processes. In fibroblasts, nuclear movement and shape are controlled by a specific perinuclear actin network made of contractile actin filament bundles called transmembrane actin-associated nuclear (TAN) lines that form a structure called the actin cap. The identification of regulatory proteins associated with this specific actin cytoskeletal dynamic is a priority for understanding actin-based changes in nuclear shape and position in normal and pathological situations. Here, we first identify a unique family of actin regulators, the refilin proteins (RefilinA and RefilinB), that stabilize specifically perinuclear actin filament bundles. We next identify the actin-binding filamin A (FLNA) protein as the downstream effector of refilins. Refilins act as molecular switches to convert FLNA from an actin branching protein into one that bundles. In NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, the RefilinB/FLNA complex organizes the perinuclear actin filament bundles forming the actin cap. Finally, we demonstrate that in epithelial normal murine mammary gland (NmuMG) cells, the RefilinB/FLNA complex controls formation of a new perinuclear actin network that accompanies nuclear shape changes during the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Our studies open perspectives for further functional analyses of this unique actin-based network and shed light on FLNA function during development and in human syndromes associated with FLNA mutations.

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