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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Feb;25(1):6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2012.11.007. Epub 2012 Dec 22.

In vitro studies of actin filament and network dynamics.

Author information

1
Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, 600 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, United States. dyche@mullinslab.ucsf.edu

Abstract

Now that many genomes have been sequenced, a central concern of cell biology is to understand how the proteins they encode work together to create living matter. In vitro studies form an essential part of this program because understanding cellular functions of biological molecules often requires isolating them and reconstituting their activities. In particular, many elements of the actin cytoskeleton were first discovered by biochemical methods and their cellular functions deduced from in vitro experiments. We highlight recent advances that have come from in vitro studies, beginning with studies of actin filaments, and ending with multi-component reconstitutions of complex actin-based processes, including force-generation and cell spreading. We describe both scientific results and the technical innovations that made them possible.

PMID:
23267766
PMCID:
PMC3578108
DOI:
10.1016/j.ceb.2012.11.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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