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J Cell Sci. 2010 Apr 15;123(Pt 8):1329-42. doi: 10.1242/jcs.065698. Epub 2010 Mar 23.

Overlapping and distinct functions for cofilin, coronin and Aip1 in actin dynamics in vivo.

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Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Actin-filament disassembly is crucial for actin-based motility, to control filament network architecture and to regenerate subunits for assembly. Here, we examined the roles of three actin cytoskeletal proteins, coronin, cofilin and Aip1, which have been suggested to combine in various ways to control actin dynamics by promoting or regulating disassembly. We studied their functions during the endocytosis process in budding yeast, where actin-filament dynamics at the cortical actin 'patch' contribute to the formation and movement of endocytic vesicles. We found that all three proteins were recruited during the late phase of the life of the actin patch. They all arrived at the same time, when actin and other actin-associated proteins were leaving the patch. Cofilin point mutations influenced the localization of coronin and Aip1, but the complete loss of coronin had no effect on localization of cofilin or Aip1. Using quantitative patch motion analysis and comparing mutant alleles, the phenotypes for mutations of the three genes showed some commonalities, but also some striking differences. Cofilin was clearly the most important; it displayed the most severe mutant phenotypes affecting actin-patch assembly and movement. Together, the results suggest that all three proteins work together to promote actin disassembly, but not in a simple way, and not with equal importance.

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