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Nat Cell Biol. 2001 Feb;3(2):204-9.

Cofilin/ADF is required for cell motility during Drosophila ovary development and oogenesis.

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Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


The driving force behind cell motility is the actin cytoskeleton. Filopodia and lamellipodia are formed by the polymerization and extension of actin filaments towards the cell membrane. This polymerization at the barbed end of the filament is balanced by depolymerization at the pointed end, recycling the actin in a 'treadmilling' process. One protein involved in this process is cofilin/actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF), which can depolymerize actin filaments, allowing treadmilling to occur at an accelerated rate. Cofilin/ADF is an actin-binding protein that is required for actin-filament disassembly, cytokinesis and the organization of muscle actin filaments. There is also evidence that cofilin/ADF enhances cell motility, although a direct requirement in vivo has not yet been shown. Here we show that Drosophila cofilin/ADF, which is encoded by the twinstar (tsr) gene, promotes cell movements during ovary development and oogenesis. During larval development, cofilin/ADF is required for the cell rearrangement needed for formation of terminal filaments, stacks of somatic cells that are important for the initiation of ovarioles. It is also required for the migration of border cells during oogenesis. These results show that cofilin/ADF is an important regulator of actin-based cell motility during Drosophila development.

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