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Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2011 May;68(5):259-65. doi: 10.1002/cm.20509. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Self-regulative organization of the cytoskeleton.

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Institute for Experimental Physics I, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


Despite its impressive complexity the cytoskeleton succeeds to persistently organize itself and thus the cells' interior. In contrast to classical man-made machines, much of the cellular organization originates from inherent self-assembly and self-organization allowing a high degree of autonomy for various functional units. Recent experimental and theoretical studies revealed numerous examples of cytoskeleton components that arrange and organize in a self-regulative way. In the present review we want to shortly summarize some of the principle mechanisms that are able to inherently trigger and regulate the cytoskeleton organization. Although taken individually most of these regulative principles are rather simple with intuitively predictable consequences, combinations of two or more of these mechanisms can quickly give rise to very complex, unexpected behavior and might even be able to explain the formation of different functional units out of a common pool of available building blocks.

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