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Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Apr;17(4):445-57. doi: 10.1038/ncb3137. Epub 2015 Mar 23.

Cellular chirality arising from the self-organization of the actin cytoskeleton.

Author information

1
Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117411, Singapore.
2
Faculty of Biology, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.
3
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.
4
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Program, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
5
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.
6
1] Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117411, Singapore [2] Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.

Abstract

Cellular mechanisms underlying the development of left-right asymmetry in tissues and embryos remain obscure. Here, the development of a chiral pattern of actomyosin was revealed by studying actin cytoskeleton self-organization in cells with isotropic circular shape. A radially symmetrical system of actin bundles consisting of α-actinin-enriched radial fibres (RFs) and myosin-IIA-enriched transverse fibres (TFs) evolved spontaneously into the chiral system as a result of the unidirectional tilting of all RFs, which was accompanied by a tangential shift in the retrograde movement of TFs. We showed that myosin-IIA-dependent contractile stresses within TFs drive their movement along RFs, which grow centripetally in a formin-dependent fashion. The handedness of the chiral pattern was shown to be regulated by α-actinin-1. Computational modelling demonstrated that the dynamics of the RF-TF system can explain the pattern transition from radial to chiral. Thus, actin cytoskeleton self-organization provides built-in machinery that potentially allows cells to develop left-right asymmetry.

PMID:
25799062
DOI:
10.1038/ncb3137
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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