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J Cell Sci. 2019 Mar 26;132(6). pii: jcs226506. doi: 10.1242/jcs.226506.

Arp2/3-branched actin regulates microtubule acetylation levels and affects mitochondrial distribution.

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Institute of Systems Biomedicine, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China.
Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China.
Institute of Microelectronics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Tsinghua-Peking Joint Center for Life Sciences and Max-Plank Partner Group, School of Life Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
Institute of Systems Biomedicine, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China


Actin and microtubule cytoskeletons regulate cell morphology, participate in organelle trafficking and function in response to diverse environmental cues. Precise spatial-temporal coordination between these two cytoskeletons is essential for cells to live and move. Here, we report a novel crosstalk between actin and microtubules, in which the branched actin maintains microtubule organization, dynamics and stability by affecting tubulin acetylation levels. We observed that acetylated tubulin significantly decreases upon perturbation of the Arp2/3-branched actin. We subsequently discover that HDAC6 participates in this process by altering its interaction with tubulin and the Arp2/3-stabilizer cortactin. We further identify that the homeostasis of branched actin controls mitochondrial distribution via this microtubule acetylation-dependent mechanism. Our findings shed new light on the integral view of cytoskeletal networks, highlighting post-translational modification as another possible form of cytoskeletal inter-regulation, aside from the established crosstalks through structural connection or upstream signaling pathways.


Arp2/3-branched actin; Cortactin; HDAC6; Microtubule acetylation; Mitochondria


Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare no competing or financial interests.

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