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J Mol Biol. 1999 Mar 26;287(2):293-300.

Morphogenesis of liposomes encapsulating actin depends on the type of actin-crosslinking.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Nagoya, Chikusa-ku, 464-8602, Japan.


To study the morphogenesis of cells caused by the organization of their internal cytoskeletal network, we characterized the transformation of liposomes encapsulating actin and its crosslinking proteins, fascin, alpha-actinin, or filamin, using real-time high-intensity dark-field microscopy. With increasing temperature, the encapsulated G-actin polymerized into actin filaments and formed bundles or gels, depending on the type of actin-crosslinking protein that was co-encapsulated, causing various morphological changes of liposomes. The differences in morphology among transformed liposomes indicate that actin-crosslinking proteins determine liposome shape by organizing their specific actin networks. Morphological analysis reveals that the crosslinking manner, i.e. distance and angular flexibility between adjacent crosslinked actin filaments, is essential for the morphogenesis rather than their binding affinity and stoichiometry to actin filaments.

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