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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Jan;14(1):7-12. doi: 10.1038/nrm3492. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

New insights into the regulation and cellular functions of the ARP2/3 complex.

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UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


The actin-related protein 2/3 (ARP2/3) complex nucleates branched actin filament networks, but requires nucleation promoting factors (NPFs) to stimulate this activity. NPFs include proteins such as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP), neural WASP (NWASP), WASP family verprolin-homologous protein (WAVE; also known as SCAR) and the recently identified WASP and SCAR homologue (WASH) complex. The mechanisms underlying NPF-dependent regulation and the cellular functions of ARP2/3 are being unravelled using new chemical and genetic approaches. Of particular interest is the role of the ARP2/3 complex in vesicular trafficking and directional cell motility.

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