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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2006 Dec;17(6):698-711. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

The role of the lens actin cytoskeleton in fiber cell elongation and differentiation.

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Departments of Ophthalmology, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.


The vertebrate ocular lens is a fascinating and unique transparent tissue that grows continuously throughout life. During the process of differentiation into fiber cells, lens epithelial cells undergo dramatic morphological changes, membrane remodeling, polarization, transcriptional activation and elimination of cellular organelles including nuclei, concomitant with migration towards the lens interior. Most of these events are presumed to be influenced in large part, by dynamic reorganization of the cellular actin cytoskeleton and by intercellular and cell: extracellular matrix interactions. In light of recent and unprecedented advancement in our understanding of the mechanistic bases underlying regulation of actin cytoskeletal dynamics and the role of the actin cytoskeleton in cell function, this review attempts to summarize current knowledge regarding the role of the cellular actin cytoskeleton, in lens fiber cell elongation and differentiation, and regulation of actin cytoskeletal organization in the lens.

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