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J Neurobiol. 2004 Jan;58(1):103-17.

Regulation of the neuronal actin cytoskeleton by ADF/cofilin.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Neuroscience Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA.


Actin and microtubules are major cytoskeletal elements of most cells including neurons. In order for a cell to move and change shape, its cytoskeleton must undergo rearrangements that involve breaking down and reforming filaments. Many recent reviews have focused on the signaling pathways emanating from receptors that ultimately affect axon growth and growth cone steering. This particular review will address changes in the actin cytoskeleton modulated by the family of actin dynamizing proteins known as actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin or AC proteins. Though much is known about inactivation of AC proteins through phosphorylation at ser3 by LIM or TES kinases, new mechanisms of regulation of AC have recently emerged. A novel phosphatase, slingshot (SSH), and the 14-3-3 family of regulatory proteins have also been found to affect AC activity. The potential role of AC proteins in modulating the actin organizational changes that accompany neurite initiation, axonogenesis, growth cone guidance, and dendritic spine formation will be discussed.

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