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Biochem Pharmacol. 2008 Dec 1;76(11):1310-22. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2008.05.028. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

Actin-targeting natural compounds as tools to study the role of actin cytoskeleton in signal transduction.

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Virology and Immunology Unit, GIGA-R, GIGA B34, University of Liège, Avenue de l'Hopital 1, B-4000 Liège, Belgium.


Actin cytoskeleton controls a vast range of cellular processes such as motility, cytokinesis, differentiation, vesicle transport, phagocytosis, muscle contraction. A growing literature clearly demonstrated that actin cytoskeleton can play a regulating role in several signalling pathways. Cells tightly regulate actin dynamics through numerous specific proteins in order to rapidly and locally respond to various stimuli. An obvious approach to determine the involvement of actin cytoskeleton in signalling pathways is the use of actin-targeting natural compounds. These drugs modulate actin dynamics, accelerating either polymerization or depolymerization, through various mechanisms. This review focus on the use of these actin-targeting drugs as tools to demonstrate the role of actin cytoskeleton in several signal transduction pathways such as those initiated from antigen receptor in T and B cells or those involving mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) or transcription factors NF-kappaB and SRF (serum response factor). In this last case (SRF), the use of various actin-targeting drugs participated in the elucidation of the molecular mechanism by which actin regulates SRF-mediated transcription.

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