Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Dec;74(12):5613-7.

Phalloidin-induced actin polymerization in the cytoplasm of cultured cells interferes with cell locomotion and growth.


Phalloidin, the toxic drug from the mushroom Amanita phalloides, was injected into the cytoplasm of tissue culture cells and the changes in intracellular actin distribution were followed by immunofluorescence microscopy with actin antibody. At low concentrations, phalloidin recruits the non- or less highly polymerized forms of cytoplasmic actin into stable "islands" of aggregated actin polymers and does not interfere with the preexisting thick bundles of microfilaments (stress fibers). Differential focusing shows that these islands of phalloidin-induced actin polymers occur at a level in the cytoplasm that is above the submembranous bundles of microfilaments present on the adhesive side of the cells. The pattern of cytoplasmic microtubules remains unaffected by the injection of phalloidin; however, filamin, a protein usually associated with actin in the cytoplasm, is also recruited into the islands. At higher phalloidin concentrations, contraction of the cell is observed. These results are discussed in the light of previous biochemical studies by Wieland and Faulstich and their coworkers [for a review see Wieland, T. (1977) Naturwissenschaften 64, 303-309] on the in vitro interaction of phalloidin with muscle actin, which have documented that phalloidin reacts stoichiometrically with actin, promotes actin polymerization, and stabilizes actin polymers. In addition, we show that microinjection of phalloidin interferes in a concentration-dependent manner with cell locomotion and cell growth. These results indicate that a well-balanced controlled reversible equilibrium between different polymerization states of actin may be a necessary requirement for cell locomotion and may also influence other cellular functions such as growth.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center