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Exp Cell Res. 1986 Jun;164(2):492-506.

Reversible induction of actin rods in mouse C3H-2K cells by incubation in salt buffers and by treatment with non-ionic detergents.


Incubating conditions which induced actin paracrystal-like intracellular structures (actin rods) were investigated by using several cell lines. We have found that an incubation of cells of a mouse fibroblastic cell line, C3H-2K, in an isotonic solution of NaCl containing 1 mM MgCl2, 1 mM CaCl2 and 10 mM MES, pH 6.5, induced disintegration of stress fibers and formation of actin rods in the cytoplasm. Actin rods were induced also by incubating in salt buffers in which Na+ of the above solution was substituted by most cations except K+ or Rb+. When the actin rod-forming cells were transferred back to DMEM containing 10% FBS, actin rods disappeared and stress fibers subsequently re-formed within 1 h at 37 degrees C. Although the induction was observed in NaCl buffer at a wide range of pH values (5.5-10), the optimal pH was 6.5. Formation of actin rods is dependent upon cellular metabolism, as it was inhibited at 4 degrees C, or by metabolic inhibitors. Incubation in NaCl buffer induced actin rods in HeLa, L, NRK, BALB/c 3T3 and Swiss 3T3 cells, but not in CEF or MEF cells. A decrease in cell volume was observed parallel with the induction of actin rods, except for CEF and MEF cells. Alterations in intracellular concentrations of Na, K or Ca were not correlated with the induction, however. Actin rods were also induced in C3H-2K cells by a brief treatment with non-ionic detergents. Tween 80 at concentrations as low as 0.003% was effective for the induction, but did not increase the passive membrane transport of p-nitrophenylphosphate. In contrast to the induction by NaCl buffer, treatment with Tween 80 induced numerous tiny actin rods at 4 degrees C, which became larger when further incubated at 37 degrees C. Double immunofluorescence staining with anti-actin antibody and anti-vinculin antibody showed that vinculin plaques remained at least in an early stage of the actin rod formation. We discuss the mechanism for the induction of actin rods based upon the present findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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