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Curr Biol. 2011 Oct 11;21(19):R825-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.07.043.

Bulk cytoplasmic actin and its functions in meiosis and mitosis.

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1
Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Christine_Field@hms.harvard.edu

Abstract

Discussions of actin cell biology generally focus on the cortex, a thin, actin-rich layer of cytoplasm under the plasma membrane. Here we review the much less studied biology of actin filaments deeper in the cytoplasm and their recently revealed functions in mitosis and meiosis that are most prominent in large oocyte, egg and early embryo cells. The cellular functions of cytoplasmic actin range from the assembly and positioning of meiotic spindles to the prevention of cytoplasmic streaming. We discuss the possible use of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms to nucleate and organize actin filaments to achieve these diverse cellular functions, the cell-cycle regulation of these functions, and the many unanswered questions about this largely unexplored mechanism of cytoplasmic organization.

PMID:
21996509
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2011.07.043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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