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Nat Cell Biol. 2000 Jul;2(7):385-91.

The Arp2/3 complex branches filament barbed ends: functional antagonism with capping proteins.

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Laboratoire d'Enzymologie et Biochimie Structurale, CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


The Arp2/3 complex is an essential regulator of actin polymerization in response to signalling and generates a dendritic array of filaments in lamellipodia. Here we show that the activated Arp2/3 complex interacts with the barbed ends of filaments to initiate barbed-end branching. Barbed-end branching by Arp2/3 quantitatively accounts for polymerization kinetics and for the length correlation of the branches of filaments observed by electron microscopy. Filament branching is visualized at the surface of Listeria in a reconstituted motility assay. The functional antagonism between the Arp2/3 complex and capping proteins is essential in the maintenance of the steady state of actin assembly and actin-based motility.

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