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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2003 May;60(5):1007-12.

Effects of cytochalasin D on the actin cytoskeleton: association of neoformed actin aggregates with proteins involved in signaling and endocytosis.

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Department of Cell Biology, Institute of Anatomy and Physiology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Gronnegaardsvej 7, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Cytochalasin D (CD) has been extensively used for assessing the role of the actin cytoskeleton in different biological processes. However, effects of CD have not always been consistent and CD-treated cells have been found to contain irregular spots of F-actin. By transfecting MCF-7 cells with an actin-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein fusion protein we show that, in vivo, CD induces actin aggregation de novo, while simultaneously depolymerizing preexisting actin cytoskeletal components. We also show that CD-induced actin aggregates bind the F-actin-selective drug phalloidin and associate with proteins involved in cell signaling as well as with receptors and endosomal markers (active MAP kinases, paxillin, erbB2, transferrin, Rab-5), but not with clathrin, protein kinase A, protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B, or tubulin. Thus, CD induces new sites of actin aggregation that selectively associate with several important regulatory proteins. Failure of CD to interupt a biological process may therefore not prove that the process is independent of actin aggregation.

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